if God were here – what would She do?

laughing emoji2A dear friend recently suggested that listening to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, right-wing politicians and preachers would add a dimension of understanding to the crisis enveloping our nation.  I tried his advice and immediately realized that the new dimension puts me in greater fear and disgust than ever.  The crap America finds itself in is much more odorous and enormously deeper than I ever imagined.  To my friend I must answer, “Next time just mind your own business.”

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that my attitude doesn’t advance the enlightenment of mankind nor does it advance a civil conversation, but I am wearied by the daily assault of racism and misogyny from the State News Network, the WH, and Bootlickers Unlimited.  I am wearied by curses and labels from those who are incapable of engaging in meaningful, intelligent dialog.  I am wearied….oh Lord, I am simply too tired to explain one more time to one more white, evangelical Republican that all people are created equal.  Yes, the blacks, browns, Muslims, gays, and Puerto Ricans are also loved by an omnipotent, magnanimous, munificent God and She absolutely loves those brown babies sitting in cages on our border.  Yes, She does.  It says so in their Christian scriptures.

You may query, “Larry, you seem awfully out of sorts, are you a political burn-out?”

I am fine, but I am weary.  And I am disillusioned.  Those issues that we are urged to discuss and find compromising solutions suitable to both of us – I have come to realize  we are so polarized on those key issues that there is no compromise.  Compromise is overrated anyway.  It reminds me of my ex-wife.  The compromise she advocated was this: “what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine and what’s ours is mine.”  Do you see the problem there?

Actually, I should probably not be this insincere about the weighty problems facing our nation, but have I told you how weary I am?  The American Academy of Psychologists has defined a new disorder in our country which they have named TBCS – trump bull crap syndrome.  It affects 10 out of every 10 Democrats and it is contagious.  Hey, go easy on me, I did not name this affliction and I did not vote for trump.

I see two solutions to my dilemma. 1) Seek solace and refuge with my make-believe monk friends on the island of Galagos in the Mediterranean, or 2) buy a few white sheets and work counter-intelligence with the local KKK.  Okay, option 2 is not a valid solution because there is no intelligence to counter in the KKK.   However, come to think of it, there is a 3rd solution.

Pray hard, trust that God, in her mysterious ways, will emasculate the bullies who have usurped our government and then lead our nation to a sensible election in 2020.  Maybe a female President?  Or maybe a gay president?

We want Pete, we want Pete, we want Pete.

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maturity with respect

Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane.  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.  Beyond the horizon is rest beckoning me.  Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me.

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Sometimes sobriety comes in small doses.  That infinite wisdom called experience knows when we are ready for an increased fix of maturity – a commodity sorely lacking in our addictions.  What’s that you say?  You always were mature?  Maybe we can talk about that in another post.

I have only myself as a barometer for comparison.  I am not who I used to be, I am not who I’d like to be, but, thank God I have a sober mind to guide me on the ‘clean and serene’ path.  That includes the maturity index.  When I think I’ve got it down pat, I do something absolutely stupid and inane.  A mini inventory and a sincere apology to those offended cleans my slate and puts me again on that clean and serene path. I know that this will be a continuing lifetime process.  Act stupid, apologize, regroup.  Act stupid, apologize, regroup.

As I travel this road, I become more acutely aware of the immaturity displayed by those in my life, sometimes family and friends, but more often celebrities and national leaders.  We have all heard in our recovery circles the words, “Too bad he doesn’t have our program.”

Indeed, too bad they don’t have our program.  Too bad they haven’t embraced growth and maturity.  No, don’t call it a judgmental thing; rather, it is seeing life through a different set of lenses.  Judging is a matter between that person and his/her God.  However, I do compare.  Would I be comfortable speaking as he does?  Would I be able to conduct myself as she does?  If not, is there something wrong with me?

And all I have upon which to rely is me and my path.  My path has brought a severely broken man to a mildly challenged man.  It has, again and again, reminded me that there is something much greater than that universe which spins between my ears.  A world of other humans, just like me, aspires just like me, and hurts just like me.  They endure the hardships of their lives and search for answers.  They experience joy and heartbreak – just like me.  The greatest bit of wisdom which I’ve realized is that I am not the center of existence.  My life is but a grain of sand in the desert, a drop of water in the ocean.  But, when co-existing peaceably and maturely with other grains and other drops, I become we and we become massive forces in this life’s experience.

I find myself, in today’s political atmosphere, questioning motives and behaviors of the nation’s leaders.  I sometimes can’t agree or disagree because my barometer doesn’t gauge some of the stupidity and ignorance which I see.  What’s wrong with them?  Why are they behaving like children?  Where is the respect and maturity which most of us have learned to embrace in our everyday lives?  How can a national leader show such crass disrespect for a war-time hero?  How can men and women of national prominence be so self-involved?

I guess they are not part of the same deserts and oceans which you and I are building.  Maybe they need a program like the one we have.  Maturity with respect heals the greatest of differences, creates a bridge to enlightenment.  I can only pray for their healing, be a voice for change, and then vote my conscience in November.

How about you?

 

HONOR

NOUN
  1. high respect; great esteem.
  2. adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.
  3. something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing pride and pleasure; a privilege.
VERB
  1. regard with great respect.
  2. fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement).
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Today’s world does not place a great deal of emphasis on honor – the noun or the verb. Newspaper headlines are filled with stories of individuals who have conducted their lives dishonorably.  My personal past is rife with dishonorable behavior under the influences of alcohol and ego.  That did not miraculously change on my sobriety date.   However, sober living did eventually make honorable intention a top priority.  In the end analysis of my personal inventories, living honorably with self-respect became more desirable than riches or fame.  As with everything in sobriety, it is not a pursuit of perfection, but rather a life of continuing growth.

Perhaps that is why my brain automatically zeroes in on stories of honor evidenced by other individuals.  This is especially true in the world of politics where that asset is in short supply.  Senator John McCain is one of those men who rises above political commonality.  We know his story and we know his politics.

I don’t call him a great man because of his political stance.  I have disagreed with his brand of politics on most occasions.  But, his life has been an outstanding lesson in honor – both the noun and the verb.  From his military career during which he was a POW enduring torture to his distinguished service to our country in government, Senator McCain obviously lived his life by a standard epitomized by a standard of valor and personal sacrifice.

His shoes will be hard to fill.  His legacy will be remembered long after the hoots and hollers of today’s political players will be merely a footnote in history.  His strength of character will be memorialized aside other great statesmen while the questionable character of today’s political movers and shakers will be remembered as nothing more than self-serving arrogance.

Living with honor and self-respect is not for wimps just as sobriety is not for wimps.  Senator McCain cemented my admiration for him during the rally for his Presidential campaign when a woman commented untruthfully about President Obama’s faith walk and his birthplace in a disparaging manner.  McCain took the microphone from her and proceeded to correct her assertions with a most eloquent statement of support for an equally honorable man, Barack Obama.  That response was class and grace as only a great statesmen could evoke.

We live in a nation which desperately needs the service of men and women who are driven by the old-fashioned ideals of honor and self-sacrifice.  As President Obama and Senator McCain have shown us, this is not a political thing, rather, it is a character thing.  Character is the most glaring absence in today’s political discourse.

When voting this November, perhaps we could become familiar with the candidates, disregard that R or D  beside their names and cast a vote for honor and character.  It’s a commodity available in all political flavors.  It’s our duty as citizens to find it.

 

 

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