Rambling About Us

Right now they kind of want it both ways. On the one hand they’re saying, “This is a you’re-on-your-own kind of a country,” but then they also want us to have warm, fuzzy, patriotic feelings because we’re all in this together.

It doesn’t work that way.

The flip side of “Nobody owes you anything” is “Then I don’t owe anyone anything.”

I’m not sure I want to live in such a place.

Compassion

Actor/author Wil Wheaton went through a recent health scare with his wife that required multiple trips to the emergency room.  This is the part of his story that resonated with me, because I realized that in all of the times I’ve been to the hospital with my Mona, we’ve never heard these words:

“That isn’t normal for a kidney stone or constipation,” the doctor says. “I’m going to get you an ultrasound, and some more pain medication.” Then, she does something I realize that the two other doctors we’ve seen since this all started didn’t do: she takes a moment and says, “I’m so sorry that you’re in so much pain, and I’m sorry that hurt so much. We’re going to figure out what’s going on with you, and I won’t send you home until we do.”

Read the whole account at WilWheaton.net.

Wo-oh, what I want to know…

Be Kind
by Michael Blumenthal from No Hurry, © Etruscan Press, 2012 (via)

Not merely because Henry James said
there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind—but
because it’s good for the soul, and,
what’s more, for others; it may be
that kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world, and, despite
the vagueness and uncertainty of
its recompense, a bird may yet wander
into a bush before our very houses,
gratitude may not manifest itself in deeds
entirely equal to our own, still there’s
weather arriving from every direction,
the feasts of famine and feasts of plenty
may yet prove to be one, so why not
allow the little sacrificial squinches and
squigulas to prevail? Why not inundate
the particular world with minute particulars?
Dust’s certainly all our fate, so why not
make it the happiest possible dust,
a detritus of blessedness? Surely
the hedgehog, furling and unfurling
into its spiked little ball, knows something
that, with gentle touch and unthreatening
tone, can inure to our benefit, surely the wicked
witches of our childhood have died and,
from where they are buried, a great kindness
has eclipsed their misdeeds. Yes, of course,
in the end so much comes down to privilege
and its various penumbras, but too much
of our unruly animus has already been
wasted on reprisals, too much of the
unblessed air is filled with smoke from
undignified fires. Oh friends, take
whatever kindness you can find
and be profligate in its expenditure:
It will not drain your limited resources,
I assure you, it will not leave you vulnerable
and unfurled, with only your sweet little claws
to defend yourselves, and your wet little noses,
and your eyes to the ground, and your little feet.

1st and 2nd

It’s been said that the first thought that pops into your head is just a reflection of how society has conditioned you to respond– it’s the second thought that defines who you are.

So if an unkind thought pops into your head, don’t fret over it.  Just replace it with one of your own.