Thanks to John Pavlovitz for this recent post, with which I wholeheartedly and proudly agree. Larry
Me vs. My Mouth
It would be great if I could speak only words of kindness and love and goodwill.
But then, I open my mouth and ruin everything.
Much as I may want to not ever say anything rude, mean or ugly, it still comes out. And I just hate that.
For one thing, God knows, there’s more than enough meanness being spewed by more than enough mouths that are better left shut. There is a desperate need in these times for words that encourage and heal and unite.
But, more selfishly, I just don’t ever want to say the wrong thing. Yes, I think I should be better than that. Is that really so much to ask?
Well, of course, because I’m human, it annoyingly is.
I am trying, you know. My time here is limited, as it is for all of us, and I want to spend as much of it as I can being a voice for love and goodness to all with whom I come in contact.
And every time I fail, it angers me. I can’t help it.
I think I owe that partly to growing up in an environment that had a low tolerance for making mistakes. That makes it hard for me to accept them in myself, because I don’t see them as simple missteps on the path.
I see them as serious character flaws.
It’s just something I need to work through, the frustration I feel when I say something unkind or malicious. I know we all say them, out of anger, out of hurt, out of spite, whatever the reason. It’s an unfortunate feature of our humanity.
So, any of you who find yourself on the receiving end of my venomous tongue, please know that I’m sorry. All I can say is, I’ll try to not let it happen again.
I do love you, despite what you may hear come out of this often mischievous mouth. 🤐🤐🤐
Texas, My Texas
I was born here, in Texas. Lived here every single day since, coming up on 64 years.
I love my state. I’m proud to be a Texan. Although, being one in summer gets a little uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, Texas is getting a lot of attention these days, for the worst imaginable reasons, making me far more ashamed than proud.
Chiefly among them, all the shooting and killing going on here, most recently at a shopping mall in Allen, just north of Dallas. Some guy rolled up in the parking lot, got out of his vehicle, and just started shooting people randomly, including children. As of now, there are eight people dead, including the shooter.
Incidentally, this was one of three reported mass shootings in the US on Saturday.
The one in Allen comes just a week after a mass shooting in Cleveland, Texas, where people were killed by someone who was mad at his neighbors for asking him to stop firing his AR-15 rifle outside, so their baby could sleep. After basically telling them, “It’s my yard, and I’ll shoot if I want to,” the neighbors threatened calling the police, so he got that AR-15 and shot them, instead. He killed five people, including a nine-year-old boy.
After the Allen shooting, the customary useless “thoughts and prayers” emanated from Austin. I swear, there is no emptier phrase in the English language by now.
And if that’s not bad enough, here’s the brilliant solution proposed by one Texas Representative, according to several news sources:
“A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill to ensure that children as young as eight-years-old receive annual training to man bleeding control stations. (italics mine)
“Representative Barbara Gervin-Hawkins — who has proposed the law — has said that since the mass school shooting at Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers, children should receive this training to save lives, according to CBS Austin.”
Yeah. Train school kids how to stop their classmates from bleeding to death. Don’t tell us we don’t take action! We can’t prevent your getting shot in the first place, but you’ll be shown how to use a tourniquet.
Now, some other reasons I’m ashamed of Texas these days include:
“Texas is leading the country when it comes to clean energy. But that hasn’t stopped state Republicans from introducing a bevy of new legislation that aims to stifle the state’s thriving clean energy industry, according to several recent news reports.” (insideclimatenews.org)
“HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The Republican-controlled Texas Senate has just passed a bill that would let Gov. Greg Abbott and his appointees overturn elections in Harris County. It comes in response to the 2022 mid-term elections last fall, in which Democrats performed better than expected.”
“CNN — The Texas Senate passed a bill Thursday requiring each public school classroom to display a copy of the Ten Commandments, a move that drew backlash from civil liberty advocates who say lawmakers should not dictate what religious materials students are exposed to.”
“Five women are suing Texas over its near-total abortion ban, saying they were denied abortion care despite having complications that put their lives and fetuses at risk.” (Austin-American Statesman)
“Texas AG Ken Paxton probing Austin children’s hospital following video of social worker discussing transition-related care” (Texas Tribune)
And that’s just a sample, folks.
I’m not a drinking man, but do you see how easily I could become one?
But, what do you expect from a state whose biggest political names are Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton and Ted Cruz?
It’s maddening, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s mightily depressing.
Fortunately, though, there are some fellow Texans who believe, as do I, that we can, we MUST, be better than this.
And we will be. Just don’t know when, exactly. But my love for Texas hasn’t wavered, despite the actions (or inaction) of some of her “leaders.”
This is still my home, and I ain’t leaving just because of a few irresponsible blockheads.
Greg, Ken, Ted, and the rest of you, what is our state motto? Let me remind you:
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!!!
This Life Thing
So, friends, here we are. Another new year.
And with it comes a sense of renewal. Of starting over. The slate is clean; we have yet another chance to do this life thing right or, at least, better.
It’s now January 2nd, though. How many resolutions have you already broken?
It’s okay, we’re human. We all need to be more patient with ourselves. And each other.
We are all on our own very individual journeys, at different points along the way. And, as such, we should be more understanding, if not respectful, of where others are.
I know that’s something I need to work to improve. Among other things.
I feel strongly that I want to be more loving this year. To send more love out into the world with my words and actions. Love is such a precious commodity, one that must be freely traded, and more often.
I want to show more kindness to others, as well. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a steady decline of it in our society for a long time, now. We’re all so hung up on ourselves, we forget how interdependent we really are. We forget what a kind word or deed can mean to someone. Or an unkind one, for that matter. What we say and do matters, however trivial we think it to be.
Oh, I know we all have people in our lives who stretch our love and kindness, as well as our patience, to their limits. And many folks have me doing the same thing in their lives. I know I’m grateful to them for loving me through it all, and I bet those people in your life, whether they tell you or not, are just as grateful.
Because, even if you don’t want to be, you are their lifeline.
Also, as some of you are already aware, I need to focus on my health more this year. I’m a diabetic; it’s time I act like one. Sure, I must eat healthier food and get more exercise but most importantly, I’ve got to change my mindset, to acknowledge finally that I can’t continue treating my body as I do. It’ll kill me; that simple.
So, how about you? What do you want to do in 2023? What do you need to do?
What do you want to see happen? Not just to you; to your family, to your friends, to the world.
Do you have resolutions? Objectives? Hopes? Dreams?
Since it’s natural this time of year to evaluate who you are, and who you desire to be, give yourself a little time to do that. Take a moment in your journey to notice where you are on this road, and decide if you’re going to continue on it.
I wish you all a year full of joy, love, peace and good health. Take care. See ya later.
And rest in peace, Barbara Walters. You’ve certainly earned it.