Banning Cruelty

And then, finally, anger. Not the pound-the-table with your fist anger, but the center of your soul anger. Anger provoked by cruelty. The kind of anger known to lift the veils of denial, confusion, doubt. 

Cruelty deserves no presence in any life. You betray no one but yourself if you fail to ban cruelty from your life.

My sanctuaries

My father gave me chess and unlocked the door to reading. My mother and father opened the wondrous world of books and classical music for me. I loved certain pieces of classical music so much, my request to have them playing on the record player so I could listen as I went to sleep was rarely, if ever, denied. These beautiful places of sanctuary have always welcomed me, no matter the moment my life.

It is true that life can wallop any of us so hard the pain puts us out of action, for a time. Time, for me, in which I can’t always find my way back to books, chess, music. However, it is never lost on me that they’re there, waiting. They never abandon me.

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For SCK & VBK

No one is disposable

If you are treating someone as if they are disposable, stop it. If you are being treated as if you are disposable, stop it. No human being is disposable. What’s more, a healthy relationship of any kind is impossible.

If anyone treats someone else as if they are disposable,  they don’t just wound the other person, they wound themselves! What makes this true? The pattern of treating others as if they are disposable makes it impossible for other person to be close to you.  This pattern of behavior is what I call a distance-maker. Something a person does that keeps others as at a distance.

I’m 65. I’ve been on my own since December 1969 when my mother had me put in reform school and disowned me, having me declared an “emancipated minor” meaning that I was the sole person responsible for keeping me alive. My father, the greatest gift my life has given me, died in August 1969.  I was disowned by my mother and never allowed back into the family again. I know what it is to be treated as if I was disposable. I have a nephew, Joe. A beautiful a human being. A really good man.  The narrative of his life is his to tell. That said, I think it is a safe bet he knows what it is to be treated as if he was disposable being, just as deep  as I do.

For those stuck in this pattern, the questions are not, why am I  bad person? Or, why am I  mean ? You’re not bad or mean. The behavior is mean, but a behavior does not define the all of you. Perhaps the more salient question you might want to ask is this.  How did I come to believe (how was I taught) that intimacy between people was dangerous for me?

Two more thoughts. First, it is more likely than not that those treating others as if they are disposable don’t realize that’s what they’re doing.  Second, it is likely those caught in this behavior’s web fat the moment have been treated as if they’re disposable somewhere back down the line. They deserve compassion too.

What I wouldn’t give to be in a conversation with…

What I wouldn’t give to be in a conversation with

Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Haydn. Hell. All of them.

Add John Steinbeck and James Salter, Charles Dickens! Leo Tolstoy!  Edith Wharton, Shakespeare,  Dos Passos, Austen, Emily Dickinson. Hell. All of them.

And Lincoln, Washington, TR, FDR. Hell. All of them.

Dr. King, Mandela, Gandhi, Malcom, Sadat, Eleanor Roosevelt. Hell. All of them.

Congress & Shut The Fuck Up

I’d like to be able to just go ahead and say, Shut the fuck up and not cause any trouble in the process. I mean no disrespect. That said, I write and say my own sentences, thank you very much, and it is not my fault that shut the fuck up is a phrase that can be very helpful on the emotion management front. One of my favorite lines in movies is in Midnight Run, when Robert De Niro’s character says to Charles Grodin’s character, I got two words for you. Shut the fuck up. A classic line, if ever there was one.

Shut the fuck up is a playful phrase with all kinds of fun potential. Just close your eyes (or not) and imagine yourself saying, Shut the fuck up to those you think might just benefit from the experience.

I’d pay good money to walk up to Trump and say, “Yo, orange boy, or whatever the fuck happened to you, shut the fuck up.”

I thank some members of Congress for helping me realize I’d best not to say, Shut the fuck up,  because it is, if these folks are any measure, an apparently deadly form of nuclear-weapon English. After all, members of Congress cower in fear when faced with schoolyard tweet or taunt from Trump. Lyin’ Ted scare the shit out of you, does it? Little Marco, freeze you in place?

To these brave congressional few I say, I’ve got two words for you, shut the fuck up.