Relationships


Are you mortal yet?  Have you reached that point in your life where you have come to the realization that this thing will come to an end?  I think I got there recently.  Don’t worry, this is not going to be some morbid post about a fascination with death.  So you’re safe to keep reading.

I grew up a preacher’s kid.  My father has spent the better part of his life marrying and burying.  Even to this day in his late seventies he seems to spend a majority of his ministerial duties at the side of dying people, and helping the grieving after their loved ones have died.  My mother is always telling me who is sick and dying, and who has died.  For most of my life I have just tuned it out, and complained to my wife that all my mother wants to discussed is who is sick, and who has died.  Quite depressing conversations really.

But something changed recently.  Not that the conversations about death increased or got more intense, or anything like that.  But instead, I woke up one morning very aware of my mortality; very aware that this condition that we refer to as life is only temporary.  Of course I have always known that, as I’m sure you have always known it as well.  But on that fateful recent day I became keenly aware that my days, your days, are numbered.  This awareness drove my thoughts inward.  I began to ritualistically take inventory of my life, and what I cherished the most.  I began to ask myself the hard questions about what have I accomplished in the time I have had so far? and what value have I added to the world around me, and to the lives of those that I interact with every day?  Have I done anything that will be remembered in someone else’s brief sojourn?  and have I contributed in any legitimate way to either humanity, or the world that we live in?

Yeah, tough questions.  People seem to take two approaches to this subject.  First, they say “the world needs to get out of my way and stop being so stupid.  Leave me alone, and let me do whatever I want to do in whatever way I want to do it.  Since I’m gonna die anyway I’m gonna get and take all I can regardless of what impact it may have on others.  So get out of my way, or there will be vengeful consequences.”  Or, second, people will say “life is short, and I must take advantage of what time I have to experience all that I can while adding value to the world around me.”

I hope that in whatever time that remains for my life that people who come into contact with me will feel that they have received benefit from being with me.  I hope that whatever I can add, whether it be kindness, humor, joy, laughter, positive energy, wisdom or any score of other positive attributes will leave a positive mark behind me, in everything that I do.

Of course none of us are perfect, and we all have our moments and days of hatefulness and selfishness. But I sincerely hope that I can learn how to hold all of that to a minimum.

Peace.

Although I consider myself to be an innocent bystander, primarily because I am new to this circle of folks, there seems to be quite the drama going on in the blog world these days.  It seems as if lots of fine people have fallen victim to the bad blood that has been generated from the sniping snarky comments of lots of other folks who for whatever reason have determined that it is in their general best interest to kick the other said folks while they are down.

My hope throughout this drama has been that somehow I can continue to forge friendships in this cyber space and time without getting drawn into these relationship issues that don’t really have anything to do with me.  The bad part is, I seem to have made some acquaintances on both sides of the fence.  Like you, I only have so much time in the day, so although I branch out and read lots of blogs from time to time, I have selected particular people that I read regularly because I really enjoy their perspectives, point of view, and the activities and events in their lives that they tend to share.  So, when I go to my favorites only to find that another of my favorites is being kicked around it’s a little disheartening.  What has made this all even worse is it has resulted in a vicious cycle of insult and injury followed by retaliation, revenge and separation.  Now to make matters worse, what was being done by inference is now being done openly, calling out the offenders by name.  The result: lots of people have hurt feelings, and because it’s bloggers, everyone is blogging about their hurt feelings.  The really funny thing (strange, not ha ha) is that the original offending ship has long since sailed.  It won’t be long until no one will even remember what started the whole ordeal because the drama is quickly morphing into an entirely different creature that no longer resembles it’s birth parents.

Although there have been bright blogging moments through out this entire ordeal, as some folks have ignored the whole thing and continued with their normal brilliant writing, most of my favorite blogs from the pre-drama days have degenerated and now are a general waste of time, even when the subject matter is not drama focused.  And this is a real shame.  But, it is a clear demonstration of the limitations of the written electronic media when it comes to managing and building relationships.  If I had a Star Trek-ish type teleporter, I would come abduct everyone of you and teleport you all into a locked room and not let you out until you either killed each other or resolved your differences.  Sometimes you just need to stop writing and pick up the phone and make a call, or better yet go meet face to face.  Be the grown people that we all are and resolve our differences as adults.

It is far too easy to hide behind the computer screen and the anonymity that blogging affords.  After all, you don’t really know me, and I don’t really know you.  Therefore I am not really vested in the reaction or response that my words elicit.  I can turn my back, I can ignore your comments, I can turn comments off and make my conversation one sided, I can even make it private and hand select those that can read what I have to say.  None that is possible in a fully vested relationship.  I will so get in my car and drive to your house and camp out on your front porch until you let me in your living room look me in the eye and explain to me why I shouldn’t punch you in the face for the crap you’ve been giving me (great non-punctuated long-ass sentence for emphasis — I’m creative that way).

Anyway, far be it from me to preach at you, unlike this fruit loop (Melody Spencer, not her). I just think with a little effort towards normalized relationships we can all get back to what we do best, blogging.

In no particular order, here is a shout out to a bunch of my favorite bloggers.  I hope to read you all for a long time to come.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z