I must be mad if I’m quoting Eminem…

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Y’all can bash me and make rude comments, or even unfriend me if you must. Anyone who “knows” me in the real world knows what kind of person I am. You know I am intolerant of intolerance. And yes, like all of us, I can be a hypocrite, but I have the self awareness to recognize and accept this.(and am constantly working to correct that fatal flaw).

Let me share a few things I found by doing a little digging…

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This poster is missing the Wiccan rede-An it harm none, do what ye will. But you get the drift…

Today kids, let’s talk about the Golden Rule. Turns out Christians don’t corner the market on this one. Several belief systems contain a tenet that mirrors this ideology. However, who, myself included, can say we live our lives by it?
Every morning I wake up to someone condemning someone else on Facebook. I respect and understand fully the freedom of speech. But when that speech spreads hate, I take issue. Most of the folks who spread this hate are good people, really good people-smart, educated people who go to church and help others-until you disagree with them, then they become haters.
Gay bashing, Muslim bashing, republican hating, democrat hating. Hate and hypocrisy.

You cannot preach hate and claim to hold true to the golden rule.

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I could be wrong about the origins, but I believe it is a Quaker saying “let your life speak”.

What if we did that? What if we all did?

What if, instead of criticizing minimum wage workers, you worked to help underprivileged to get education? Perhaps work/study programs where folks agreed to work for minimum wage at a COLLEGE while earning a degree? Maybe you were blessed to have parents to put you through school (by definition, a handout BTW), maybe you got scholarships and grants (umm, handout) or maybe you took loans out that you are still paying off. Regardless of how you got your degree, you are no better than the adult at McDonalds who is working 2 minimum wage jobs to get their family what they need. Stop putting them down, you got your coffee today-didn’t you?  Got your tires rotated and oil changed so you don’t have to get YOUR hands dirty on the way to work. Their hands are dirty because they are working. Condemn those who refuse to work but could. DON’T condemn those who work tirelessly and just want enough money to live. They have no degree, but that does not make them uneducated. I cannot repair my radiator, can you? Education comes in many shapes and forms,

What if, instead of constantly bashing an entire race, you looked at our race. We are flawed, and act inhumanely as well. We do it in the name of our beliefs. Are we so different? Does every culture not have an extremist element? Those who interpret to fit their personal beliefs? Does anyone remember the Crusades? Constantine converted the “world” to Christianity-he did not do so gently.

And what of love? If you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person. The end. Your diet won’t fail if I eat a brownie and your marriage won’t fail if gay people marry. It’s 2014 for pity’s sake.

What if instead of insulting, and wishing for assassination attempts on a president(and yes, sadly I have seen folks on facebook wish the president dead),  you work with organizations to encourage voting. It would be nice to see this chart a wee bit more filled with voters-of both parties (because it wouldn’t be fair if it were weighted in either direction now would it). But you teach nothing but hate when you share things like these. (according to cdc.gov, Ebola originated in Africa. So unless the president is also in charge over there, could he really have let it loose? Really?)

So does that mean that since Reagan ignored Aids, that was his fault? Of course not, that would be asinine.

Let’s try spreading the word to vote instead and responsibly educating folks, regardless of party. If you want to share why you are a Republican/Democrat with the masses, do it without spreading the hate.

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What if, instead of criticizing women (or men) who stay in abusive relationships, we-as a society-figure out why they do? Instead of using our day off to get mani/pedi’s, take one day and go to a shelter and see what YOU can do to help them?

What of kids? The sins of the parent should NOT fall on the kids. If kids can’t afford coats or bookbags-how dare you criticize them! WE  have the power to grow this next generation into responsible adults. WE can and should step in where their broken families fail. (shameless plug here, still collecting coats for the inner city kids, PM me for where you can drop off in Pittsburgh)

So, that’s my rant after waking up today to another HATE post on my wall. I don’t take them down, block or comment because you have the right to hate, but spreading it will NEVER make things right.

Be the change, I know I try every day.

DO UNTO OTHERS…

LET YOUR LIFE SPEAK…

Peace and Blessed Be

(I welcome a responsible discussion, but will not dignify hateful comments with a response)

widgets and whiners

Say you need something, for this discussion we will say a widget.
You promised someone this widget. This widget is available in 5 places.

-Imagine you know exactly which widget you want.
-Imagine there are 5 locations in which to obtain this widget, you’ve looked into them all. You know exactly which store you want to purchase it from.
-Imagine all of these stores are lined up next to each other with smiling faces waiting at the threshold.

So as you approach the store you WANT to shop in, you are bombarded with reps from the other stores-spewing propaganda as to why you shouldn’t go there. They are physically blocking your entry. You listen to them …you really have no choice. Some try to use logic to convince you, others bully and call names to get their point across.

So, you are beat down and go to the next store. Guess what, they follow you. Same outcome.
After you’ve explored all options and have to make a choice, only one will be happy. The others will be disappointed. Bottom line, you did what you could but there just wasn’t a solution that would please everyone.

The solution lies not in the choice you made. The solution can’t come from name-calling and character bashing, even threats.
The solution will not come until the folks who didn’t get their way grow the fuck up and move on.

Silence

When I need to disconnect, I head to the woods.
Right now I am sitting on a bench, alongside the Kiski River. The Westmoreland Heritage Trail, like other rails-to-trails projects, is a glorious thing. Following long forgotten railways, they offer a view that is precious to we “city-dwellers”. And the sound…
Yes, there is noise. A distant plane passing over, a far away car. What I listen for is the crunch of the squirrel running to gather acorns, the crows as they circle, the hiccup in the Kiski when she encounters a boulder, the rustle of the dry leaves as the wind blows, that is the silence I crave.
Surely not silence by definition, but for me it’s welcome. In a day filled with bustling traffic, needy kids(or parents), that ominous hum of florescent lights and the tap-tap-tap as we mindlessly type on our computers, this is the noise I need.
This earth, and this silence, fill me with spirit. Not of the religious sort, just a peace-I am connected. If I wasn’t, why would I need this?
The words of Carolyn McDade are my mantra as I hit the trail once more.
“Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.”
Peace friends and Blessed Be

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I had a dream…well, several actually

I am blessed (or cursed) to be one of those folks who can remember my dreams. No one can tell me that dreams mean nothing, I am convinced more than ever that my dreams are telling me something.

It’s been a tumultuous October. The decision to change is not one I take lightly, especially when it comes to jobs. So it’s not surprising to me that my dreams reflect this.

It started Thursday, with a dream that was dark and dreary. In this dream I was walking stone corridors. It was dark and dank, and quite chilly. The floor crunched under my feet as I wandered. It was gritty and littered with rocks. I turned a corner and saw a miniature stone castle, like a child’s playhouse. Inside was a golem, but an infant. I was scared and threw a rock, breaking off a piece of his little clay head. I was instantly horrified and scooped him up and comforted him. He snuggled with me and we went outside into the sunshine.
(Side note-I felt perplexed as to why one would craft a baby golem, when their purpose was to serve. How could this infant trapped in a stone castle serve anyone?)

The next nights’ dream also had an infant. In this dream I stated to another that the baby needs a bath. The other gently set the baby in the commode and began bathing him. Horrified, I snapped at the other, took the baby and bathed him in the tub. Then I realized the other felt terrible and simply didn’t know how to bathe the baby.

Saturday I dreamed I was walking and talking with a grungy man with long dreadlocks and a pure white Labrador retriever. He talked about how no one listened to him, no matter what church he went to. They all ridiculed his thoughts.
We discussed hunger, cruelty toward women, children and animals and in general, hate in the world. We were kicking around ideas and how the world needed to change its mindset and find balance.

Then, on Sunday at work, I had a conversation with an amazing woman.
All she did was ask if I knew anyone with kids who had old coats.
Then she told me her story. She was stabbed(I saw the scars) and left for dead by her ex husband. She spoke of the fear of leaving him, and that feeling that she caused it. This rang close to my heart, having been through so much with my best friend earlier this year. Then she spoke of an “underground” group of women who took women and children into their own homes and helped to get them on their feet. After she got stable, vowed she would speak for and help those who are unable.
This woman lives close to poverty not because she makes no money, but because she gives. Last year, when their coat drive didn’t have enough, she went to 4 goodwill stores and bought coats for them. She gives her time, money and her spirit to those in need. This MOVED me.

So I spent some time when I got home making a list of friends with young kids that I could email/call to see if they had spare coats. I fell asleep quickly, feeling filled with hope that my generous friends would help me help her.

And that night the dream(memory) was familiar, and welcome. This is one I’ve had before, always when I need it the most.
…it’s 1984. It’s fall. I’m driving (on my permit) my moms red Grand Torino. At the top of Hershey Road, I turn right onto Saltsburg. “Cut it tight” my dad says. As we drive he says “take us home” and I must’ve looked nervous because he said, as he always does as this point “don’t worry, your going the right way”.

I have never been more sure that I am exactly where I should be RIGHT NOW.
I’ve been moved by these dreams, this woman and I hope to embark on a mission to help, everywhere possible for the next phase of my life.

The smallest things can make the biggest difference.

(Side note realization-the golem would serve through me-mind blown)