Down With Your Bad Self. 2016-02-17

GoodEvilEnjoy your life. Everything in this world is geared toward making us feel guilty about everything we do and have. Don’t eat this, don’t have that, don’t don’t don’t. Do this, then that, so many dos and dont’s. Can’t we just relax and enjoy our lives? Just a little?

The minute we’re born, we immediately absorb all of society’s joy, expectations, rules, ills, fates, and norms of the world around us. It starts with a thrust through a dark tunnel, a blinding flash of light, noises never heard before, a gentle slap on the butt, a gulp of oxygen, a good cry, passing around from one place to another, a pair of scissors, a knotted belly button, fingers probing around inside your crying hole, a wet washcloth rubbed all over you, some kind of slimy substance rubbed all over your body, a plastic thing wrapped around the bottom part of your body, your head and arms shoved into some kind of white cloth , everything tucked and swaddled in a cloth blanket, a comb scraped through whatever hair you have, and then exhibited to a room full of smiling and tear-filled life forms. I’m apparently adorable whatever that is. You’re then placed into a plastic rolling thing. Well, this is kind of comfortable. Wait who is this? Somebody said its name is Mom and smells good. There’s something familiar about this. I don’t know, but I like what’s going on here. I’m supposed to do what? I’ll try it, I guess. My cheeks are getting tired, but my middle part feels really good. Hold on… why am I being patted on the back? Oops, what was that noise I made? What the heck-oh-gee-whiz is going on here?  I think I’m really tired; I’ve had a big day. I’ve only been here an hour?!? Seriously?!? Things are going dark again. zzzzzzzzzz…

That’s quite an eventful, exciting, and stressful start to a new life. We’re thrust into the light to start living and are from that moment forward responsible for every decision we make. Will we drink our milk? Will we eat from that spoon? Do we like strained peas? Do we stick that in our mouth, or pick that shiny thing up off the table. Everything is a challenge and an accomplishment of some kind good, great, bad, or horrid.

Our decision process is greatly shaped by our immediate outer influences from our family, environment, friends, teachers, ministers, educational and entertainment resources. What we deem as normal or important in our lives can be very different not only for someone in another part of the world, but literally next door. We’re expected to conform in some way to the social structure put forth before us, obtain an education, be productive in society, obey the laws of the land, get a positive attitude, be a good son, sibling, spouse, parent, co-worker, etc. Be kind to others and put your best foot forward are the examples we all would like to believe is the most effective way to live a happy life. I would have to agree with all these things. I also believe a life with travel, adventure, creativeness, philanthropy, and volunteerism are all worthy things to amend our well-rounded souls.

In addition to the obvious ‘be a good person’ mantra we would like all our citizens to embody, we also have to assume responsibility for all the good and bad stuff that goes along with being a human in this world. Personal hygiene, health, eating properly, getting exercise, recycling, caring about our planet, donating to meaningful causes, conserving resources, being politically active, voting, serving your country in some way, joining the PTA, et al are all positive expectations. Every life, no matter where, no matter when, comes with an unwritten dictate to follow certain rules of living. Many treat those principles as guidelines, some find them overwhelming at best, and some just throw them out the window entirely. The many shades of engagement are what makes this world safe & wonderful and dark & extremely dangerous at the same time. We can never relax and say everything in my world is good today and the people around me are all wonderful. That’s just not reality.

We can’t ‘just get along’ and do the ‘right thing’ apparently. There was most likely somebody buying diapers and formula in line at Walmart behind Jodi Arias purchasing gas cans to drive to slaughter her boyfriend. There’s video of the husband buying a shovel, garbage bags, and rope at Home Depot two days before the untimely death of his wife. The math teacher who was just arrested by the Secret Service three blocks away for having child porn on his computer. The woman married to the decorated police officer who was a serial rapist and is now serving 400+ years in prison. The Priest who raped and murdered a young woman and got away with it for 30 years while continuing to preach to parishioners how they should live. We just never ever know. We have to always and forever be aware of our surroundings and be on guard and suspicious of all unknown people and situations.

Being a good citizen of this world seems to be a dying art. Paranoia of our environment is at an all time high, I’d optimistic for a better day and a better world in the making. Many things that were once secretive and closeted are now in the open and shared the world over. Bad guys are rooted out of their dark dank holes and thrust into the light of public opinion and scorn. Just as many positive messages are now being shared through social media as ugly and horrid tirades. Hopefully hearts and minds will turn toward the light at the end of the tunnel of life from whence we came and cast a positive shadow on this big rock we’re all floating on in the middle of nothingness. Life has consequences and optimism abounds… Sandy

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