No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop
Well here I am camped out at a hotel near the airport in Boston. I have a wonderful view out my window of what looks like a tank farm. Fuel for the Airplanes perhaps?
Everyone here at the hotel could not be kinder to me. I went down to the desk yesterday morning to extend my stay. I began telling the clerk that I had to stay longer because my grandson’s funeral mass is not until Saturday morning. As soon as those words were out of my mouth the floodgates opened and I began sobbing uncontrollably. The people standing there at the desk comforted me, patted my hands, and stroked my back.
Standing around me was an assortment of flight attendants, pilots and various other travelers. They did their best to console me, a total stranger. I was so grateful to them. Like ripples in a pond, I think this time of sorrow gives others an opportunity to think about their own troubles and loved ones. I bet they took time to talk to their family and friends and tell them loved them. I would like to think that anyway. Life is too short to let squabbles and hurts get in the way of loving those close to you.
The desk clerk started typing away furiously and offered me every discount she could think of…senior citizen, military and whatever else they could find. When they were finished punching the magic buttons my bill went from $160 per night down to $100 per night. I am so grateful.
So anyone can make a difference in someone else’s life. The opportunity may come at you out of the blue at a moment’s notice. Never pass up a chance to show kindness to a stranger. You may never know how much it touches their heart.
Thank you, dear readers, for listening.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.
My question today, which I’ve been mulling over for the past few months, is what the hell happened to “We the People?” Because I’m looking down the barrel of my 60th birthday coming up I’ve been looking back over my life from a freedom and privacy perspective. My rights, personal freedom and privacy, have eroded drastically over the decades. Women’s rights are moving backwards at an alarming rate.
I’ve gone from being annoyed at the necessary evil of having a government to be afraid of the government. Taking a few moments to read the constitution and amendments to the constitution is a sobering experience.
Take the Bill of Rights for example. Our Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. It came into effect on December 15, 1791. Not a day goes by that some action of the government or law is passed or Presidential order is signed that violates these rights. I use to naively believe that the guys at the top of the heap used this Bill of Rights as a guideline.
I no longer believe that. When I do watch the news I tend to sit there with my mouth hanging open in shock, asking myself “did I hear what I thought I just heard?”
I think that part of the problem is that our children are no longer taught this in school. When I was in grade school we had a civics class. In the class we learned about how the branches of government are supposed to work. We had to memorize the preamble to the constitution and recite in class. We studied the Bill of Rights in great detail including how they came to be.
Today, our 20 and 30 somethings have the right to vote but have no education on how our government was intended by our forefathers, who created our nation, to work. Think about it for a second: People have to take a test to operate a motor vehicle, but no knowledge is required to go to the polls and decide on actions that could affect our lives for generations to come. Instead being taught common sense and courtesy they are taught that whatever they want is how it should be. If you don’t like something get a law passed. Pay no never mind that the law may infringe on your neighbors rights.
My mother-in-law’s twin sister passed away peacefully last night. We knew it was coming since the massive stroke she had 5 days ago. I told myself well “she will be in a better place; she’s not suffering anymore, yada, yada. Well you know what? It’s not OK; it sucks big hairy donkey balls.
For while I had 3 mothers – a mother and twin mother-in-laws. How lucky can a person be? So I was in denial thinking it would be better when she passed, but it’s not. I guess the denial helped me deal with the waiting. You can’t hide from grief. You can tell yourself all the things you hear people about the loss of a loved one but it doesn’t help. Nothing helps. Grief is just something you have to pass through and come out the other side. Like birth or death, it’s not something you can avoid or talk your way out of it.
It kind of helps a tiny bit to think of her in funny moments. Like the times she would sit there in the kitchen with her sister in the morning, drinking coffee wearing a mu mu and a hairnet or curlers. It’s funny to think of her favorite thing to say when someone annoyed her. She would bark “why don’t you just go shit in your hat.” I don’t wear hats, but I still think that’s funny.
At our wedding I was so used to her and my mother-in-law looking exactly alike that I forgot to inform my family that she had an identical twin. My aunt came up to me and asked “why does your mother-in-law keep changing her dress?” Now that’s funny.
So we all have to walk this road and deal with our grief as best we can. It’s a process and it just takes time.
Recently and with great reluctance I went back to Facebook after a 2 year boycott. It is truly a mixed bag and a mixed blessing. Facebook is weird on soooo many levels.
One thing I’m discovering is that there is a major communication breakdown that comes along with the ease of “liking” and “sharing” posts, rants, and etcetera. People will post some outrageous bit of news or quote, without expressing their own point of view on what they are sharing. Me, being the say it like I think it, will respond with something like, “UH, that’s not really funny” or “Seriously? You really believe that?” Only then they will go on to explain “yea, it’s messed up right?”
It’s an eye-opening experience. The majority behave as if they believe that everyone else believes exactly as they do. I thought it was just my immediate circle of friends, relatives, and in-laws. But I’m wrong, wrong, wrong.
I end up staring at myself in the mirror and asking if I’ve lost my mind. No I haven’t lost my mind. I’m just a very literal-minded person. I’m accused of being “liberal” but that’s not really what I am. I’m beyond conservative in many ways. However I tend to keep some opinions close to the vest because I’m not suffering from the delusion that everyone thinks like me…or even an extremely small subset of people thinks like me. Come to think of it the ONLY person who thinks exactly like me….is me.
It might make Facebook easier to navigate if you could pick your own categories for the people in your circle. Friends, close, friends, etc. doesn’t cover it. I would have categories like friends, weird relatives, in-laws, people you want to keep at arm’s length but hear from occasionally, people you want to keep an eye on because you are convinced that they are bat crap crazy, and so on. A little more flexibility with categories would be a good thing.
Another part of Facebook that has completely gone around the bend is the gaming aspect. It has turned into an Amway pyramid or Mary Kay racket. The only way to progress in the game is to invite “friends” and get them to play too. The game masters want this because the games cost money to play now. What happened to a little mindless solitaire just to unwind?
Ok that’s all for my Facebook rant today. I’m going to go to Facebook and post this rant!