It’s All Right to Be Left

 

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Today, August 13th, is International Left Handers Day. A day for my people!

Yes, I am left-handed. A lefty. A southpaw. A weirdo. The English word sinister is derived from the Latin word for “left”. Gauche, French for “left”, is used in English to describe someone who is lacking in the social graces.

See how well thought of we are?

Nevertheless, I’m in an exclusive club; it’s estimated about 11% of the world’s population is left-handed.

Mind you, I’m not strictly southpawed. I throw right-handed. I golf right-handed. I bowl right-handed. I dance right-handed. Wait a minute…

Anyway, most anything else, I do left-handed. Yes, even that.

Writing left-handed is really annoying, though: I smear ink everywhere. I can’t even write in pencil without getting lead all on the side of my hand. And you can forget about felt markers.

Crayons, I remember doing okay with.

I’m sure it’s because pens are made for right handers. They’re not, really, but a lot of other things are. Scissors come to mind right away. We lefties just have to adapt. Like I had to when I broke my left wrist, and had to use my right hand for everything. That was fun. Fortunately, that only lasted a few weeks.

Anyway, I just want to say, take a lefty to lunch today.

And watch him eat.

 

The New Normal?

 

Out running some errands today, I passed by a school.

In front of the school was their sign, with the name of the school, and a place for cute sayings, important reminders of school events, whatever.

On the sign today was a saying that caught my attention, because it struck me as more than just a simple saying. It was more like an earnest plea to the human race.

It just said, “Make kindness normal.”

 

And immediately, I considered the implications of that simple statement. Does this even need to be said? Is kindness so abnormal, we actually need this reminder to bring it back to a level where it’s just what is expected?

And I knew full well the answer to both those questions: Yes.

I’ve noticed for years a steady erosion of kindness, manners, courtesy, civility, unselfishness; the things that separate the humans from the animals. Everybody’s all about ME; the hell with you.

And, just as the pace of global warming is accelerating, so has the erosion of these basic traits of humanity. From my vantage point, anyway. Whether on the freeway, in the store checkout line, at your kid’s soccer game or, most notably, in politics, there is simply no place for such displays of decency.

Make kindness normal.

Doesn’t seem like much to ask, does it?

Yet, in our current society, it sounds darn near impossible.

Nevertheless, I pledge to make it more normal in my life. Will you pledge to make it more normal in yours?

You never know; it may do us all some good to speak and act more kindly to each other.

I think we ought to try it.

 

Homewreckers

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Some things just don’t make sense to me.

I work over in a pretty heavily wooded area, which allows me to still catch an occasional glimpse of raccoons, possums, armadillos, squirrels and even deer as I drive up and down the same road all day.

I enjoy that very much. I love seeing wildlife; it’s my way, however small, of staying connected to nature.

One evening two weeks ago, when it was after dark and I was still driving, I came upon a deer crossing the road. Fortunately, I could stop in plenty of time to avoid hitting him. We just looked at each other for a second, then continued on our way.

A little later that same evening, I saw him again, over in the woods. I stopped a few seconds as we regarded each other again, me admiring the majestic presence of this beautiful animal, him…I don’t know, checking out some goof in a minibus.

And the sight of him thrilled me and saddened me, at the same time.

Because, it reminded me of what we’re doing to his home.

 

Now, I’m not saying we should never build any new roads, or construct any new buildings, in deference to the original inhabitants of this land. I know better.

But, here’s the part that doesn’t make sense:

On the street I drive on all day, what looks like a perfectly good office building sits empty, vacant, unused by anyone.

Meanwhile, more land nearby has been cleared for construction of a new office building.

And I don’t understand.

What’s wrong with the vacant building? Is it in disrepair inside? Wouldn’t it cost less to refurbish it, instead of starting from scratch?

And why do we have to crowd all the animals into an ever shrinking amount of space?

I just can’t help thinking, in our endless zeal to keep building, keep growing, keep expanding, maybe something’s gotten lost along the way.

Something like respect for the land, and the divine creatures that inhabit it.

Honestly, I don’t know what the solution is.

I just know, the last deer I saw was on the side of the road, dead, struck by a vehicle.

And it broke my heart in two.

 

Turn That D### Thing Off

Alright, folks, look…

This is just getting really ridiculous.

I sit in my shuttle van five days a week, watching in the morning as employees walk into their office building, their heads down and their eyes firmly fixed on…wait for it…their smartphones.

So many of them walk right into my path, I could run them right over and they would never know what hit ’em; they are that oblivious to anything other than what is on their smartphone screens. Or they could walk right into a brick wall, totally unaware of its existence until impact.

And they certainly don’t acknowledge the presence of other people, let alone actually speak to any of them.

And it always leaves me wondering the same thing: What the devil is so crucial that you can’t even afford to not take your eyes off that phone for the two to four minutes you spend walking from your car into the office? Do you really have to look at it every bloody second?

I submit, ladies and gentlemen, if you do, you have a serious problem.

Full disclosure: Apparently, so do I, only with my tablet. My wife accuses me of being addicted to it, and she may very well be right.

I know we all like to keep up with the latest news, weather, sports, friends’ Facebook posts, emails, Trump tweets (good lord, why?), etc. And modern technology is a wonderful thing…

…except for sucking the life out of us all.

Where this is leading, folks, is: I’m gonna unplug for awhile, and try to reconnect with family, friends, nature, books, and move the smartphone and tablet to a lower priority in my life. So, this will be my last post for the near future. I recommend you try to do the same, and rediscover life, and the world around you, and try to remember back to those primitive, pre-computer-in-your-hands days.

We’ll meet again down the road, I promise. Hopefully, I’ll be a little healthier when we do.

‘Til then, I wish you all well. Much love to you. ❤️