Thursday, February 13, 2014
In an interesting twist to seeing ourselves "above" each other, I had a conversation with someone that worked a plant floor. They told me what a supervisor's job was by their perception, what the manager's job was, and what they perceived as their job. Their perception of their job was incorrect. The job as expected by management was different than what they thought their job was, but they were also adamant about what others' jobs were. Where was the breakdown? In this example, the breakdown was for various reasons that were not necessarily the person's fault. However, the inability to see that other people have different roles to play, different responsibilities, that all drive to accomplish a goal for the group as a whole is part of that tunnel vision also. Not all of us can do the same job when we are trying to make a product because there are various things that need to happen when we make anything. Someone has to design it--not everyone has the talent or ability to design something. Someone has to sell it--no use in making something if we can't sell it. Someone has to manufacture it. It might be easy for one person to do all of this if we are talking about handmade goods that are sold at a bazaar or farmer's market. But a mass consumption product, like a car, is going to take a mass amount of people to assemble the car, let alone design and manufacture the thousands of sub-components that make up a car. There's nothing wrong with being happy with our particular lot in life, but there is a problem with projecting our perceptions onto others.
In that above example, the person had a misunderstanding of what job they played, but the misunderstanding of what roles others' play is tantamount to the real problem. We have a problem "walking" in someone else's shoes, and unfortunately, it's a mass majority of us. Take Congress and our current President. The mass majority, a large mass majority of them, have absolutely no idea what it is to be poor. The President (I cannot stand a liar) tries to portray himself like he has any clue. A little rich boy, black or white, son of a wealthy African and upper middle class white mother, stepson of a foreign diplomat...no, he has no idea what it is like to be poor. His solutions are catastrophic not just to the poor but the middle class, because in reality, he has no idea what it means to be either. That would be fine if he actually had people advising him that came from the ranks of the poor and middle class, but no. His wife is from an upper middle class family and they surround themselves with more and more wealth and extravagance. They have no idea. "You can never know what it's like to be in another man's shoes until you've walked a mile in them," my grandfather would say. Truth be told, most of us would never want to walk in anyone else's shoes, and those of us that have a rare glimpse into the different worlds become hopeful and dismayed at the same time. No one in my family has ever been poor, excepting me (see one of the previous blogs). I was raised with empathy by my grandmother, but to be quite frank, even my Grams, my wonderful empathetic Grams, had her limitations to what she could see. She believed in helping the poor but was reside to leave them there. To her they should learn, educate themselves and thus elevate themselves. It seems highly reasonable from a logical point of view. It is true that education can elevate, but there have always been plenty of self made men that have no formal education. Hell, even Einstein never actually "earned" a college education. Yet, a little known fact is that he taught at Princeton, one of the finest universities in the country, let alone world, with little more than an 8th grade formal education. However, Einstein and other self made men, were the exception then and remain the exception now. "All we are is all we know," as a Nirvana song says. The poor should not be looked down upon with pity and handouts, but given an understanding of how to achieve, a different picture than the only one that they know, and not just a perception of what they see to be different, but what it means, how to get there, and an effort, not mouth pieces, to make the system help them elevate themselves. Most in Congress can't see that, because they lack the ability to empathize the real situation that the poor experience.
Still work and financial situations are so easy to see. We know basically how much money someone has by the car they drive, the neighborhood they live in, and the company they keep. Yes, we are as a whole that shallow. A really good friend of mine has no friends that don't have college educations. I find it unfathomable. How could she go through 20 plus years as an adult and have no friends that are no college educated? Only a third of people in the United States are college educated. (Yes, a third, and some age brackets are lower.) How has she avoided ever making an acquaintance that became a friend that wasn't college educated? She kind of looked at me with this incredulous look like I had lost my mind when I asked.
"I've made acquaintance with plenty, but why on earth would I need to socialize with a clerk at Walmart? What could we possibly have in common?"
Really? I explained that probably over half the people that I knew and that I was friends with didn't. Well, of course, because I had served in the military and to her point, I had chosen to "live like that". (Ok, we're not really friends anymore.) Her view was that I was a bit too much like my mother in trying to empathize with people and that was a bad thing from her perspective. I didn't know my place. There might be some truth to that--the not knowing my place part. My mother and father were not exactly the types that treated people any better or worse because of their lot in life. I was always told to treat others as I would want to be treated. Of course, I pointed out that I wasn't a college graduate most of the years we were friends. The conundrum was ignored. I was her exception to her rule.
Yet, to a deeper problem, many of us turn away from those in need. We would rather not look, pretend not to see, than to have to feel any emotion for another person, a random stranger. The financial issues could affect anyone. There are plenty of homeless people that are so simply because they lost high paying jobs, were in hock to their ears, and everything hinged on them keeping that job. They've lost their homes, their credit to find another place to live, the phone to get another job, a stable address to put on a resume. Somehow, the friend above is sympathetic in those circumstances. But not for the homeless vet. Where's the VA? Have you ever been in the VA system?, I countered Helpful yes, able to take care of the mass number of vets with what Congress gives them? Veterans' benefits are often the first cut. A homeless person who's mentally incapable? Her response is that they should be placed in homes, asylums, they don't belong on the streets. With what money? In what homes? Asylums? Seriously? I asked her what if it was her. She had lost her mental facilities and became homeless would she want to be in an asylum? Well of course not, but she has family. They would take care of her. What if they were gone, no family to help? Don't be ridiculous, was her reply. Just trying to get her to the point of being able to empathize was like taking a pair of pliers crushing my own teeth and then pulling them out piece by piece. She wasn't going to ever understand. She just was never going to care unless it was her.
There are so many commercials for us to help dogs and help starving children overseas. Why none for the children here? How about commercials for 18 cents a day to help house children that have no parents and no family for whatever myriad of reasons that they have no one? Oh, right, because it's not just 18 cents a day. The average foster parent gets less than $104 per month per child. That's just $3.47 a day. How about we have a commercial for that $3.47 a day? Half a value meal, a small latte, what price is that to pay? Yet, we don't have the empathy for our own as we do for people completely around the world. Why? Because we don't like to empathize with people that could be us. There by the grace of God go us and we don't want to have to look that cyclops in the eye.
Should trying to empathize with others be the exception instead of the norm? The Nazis convinced an entire country to turn on a race of people, turn their heads away and even participate in mass genocide. There are various psychological models that explain the behavior. But take away all the mumbo-jumbo and we are left with one sorry fact. The German populace was unwilling to see it from the Jewish people's eyes. They couldn't imagine that they might be the ones in such a position. They were more than willing to think of themselves as superior. They were more than willing to think of others as inferior. And in that, they were more willing to give up their ability to empathize and reduce themselves to lower than human. If animals can empathize and we cannot, who truly is the greater being?
I know this all started with some jokes about some Southerners freaking out over a major snow storm. Truth be told, most, even the ones that are tasked with the safety of others down here, really don't know how to drive in the snow. Some of the pictures of jackknifed semis were semi drivers from regions with snow that assumed that it was like all other snow storms they've experienced. It is, but it isn't. People here see it once or twice a year and a couple days later it's gone. No one is prepared or ever acclimates. But that really isn't the problem. It's the surface of a bigger problem. The inability to empathize. There are just way too many people anymore that have given up trying to empathize, let alone can do so regularly. So isn't it funny how stupid those people are acting in the midst of a snow storm that we've been living with for months? No, it's really not funny and it's really not "them" that are stupid. Stupidity is assuming that you understand something that you don't. Assuming you understand the circumstances because you project your own circumstances on to someone else's is stupid. Empathy gives us the ability to discern the people who need help from the people that don't. Empathy keeps us from being stupid by assuming that we understand. Empathy gives us the ability to grow not just from one freak moment, but when applied regularly, the ability to gain perspective all the time. Roddy McDowell played a butler who advised Goldie Hawn's character, a rich woman who lives for a brief period as a poor middle class woman in the movie Overboard, with the following:
“… most of us go through life with blinders on. Knowing only that little station to which we were born. But you madam, have had the… rare privilege of escaping your bonds for just a spell. To see life from an entirely new perspective."
Not many of us have the opportunity to actually "walk" in another's shoes, live another life, but we all have the ability to acknowledge that our own limitations are not the same, our own circumstances vary for numerous reasons not just the reasons that we would project onto others, and more importantly, while we may never have a full grasp, we can empathize and learn to care quite a bit more than most of us are trying right now. We can live with blinders and judge others as we would judge them or we can become the greater beings that we like to believe we are and not only "judge not" but learn to feel and show compassion for what others are experiencing.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
I've debated a bit on what to write about this time around, but with recent focus by the President on a couple of women's issues I feel like it's more important than how I feel about coming home. However, I suppose it's a cross based on conversation that I had this past week that really "hit home" so to speak and that President Obama has decided, much like all his predecessors to talk the "good talk" when it comes to women's rights. After a meeting with Maria Shriver and the scathing study that she conducted into women making lower pay, an average of 70 cents on the dollar to our male counterparts, he came out and said he would "fight" for an equal pay bill for women. Right, so did Clinton, so did Bush Sr. The President, now faced with teenage almost college age daughters, is now concerned with the fact that 1 in 5, 20%, of all college women are sexually assaulted. The last President to really care, President Reagan, put Nancy Reagan in charge and reduced those "problems" from 1 in 4 to 1 in 5, from 25% to 20%. It's been this way now for over 20 years. While I'm super impressed (feel the sarcasm) that yet another male President wants to fix the issue--or at least seems motivated to improve it--I am loathe that men think that they can fix the problems that affect women. Don't get me wrong. It's awesome to want to help us fix the problems that have plagued women for decades, if not centuries, but here's the thing: Women have to be willing to start helping each other, stop beating each other down, before anything men are willing to do to help ever amounts to anything. Many white Americans were unsettled by what was happening to the "negro" Americans at the turn of the last century. They were in most cases the silent minority. Over decades, the African American community had leadership step forward and take the reins for equal treatment--Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin. (Look them up if you have no idea who I'm talking about.) Simply put, the African American community had leadership emerge that wasn't about themselves, but just simply tired of the unfair treatment and were in many cases willing and/or forced to give up their lives for their cause. I would hope that a women's movement in this day and age would not require such a drastic sacrifice as the first three named, but the truth is that Maria Shriver is the first since Nancy Reagan to "take up" the women's cause. Yes, I will be so bold. If we wish to be equal, we must first learn to treat each other equally and stand up for ourselves, and most importantly for each other. Maria Shriver is the first in years, if not decades, to make any true effort.
First, let's review what so called women in power have done for other women. Nancy Reagan was from the Silent Generation. The women of the Silent Generation won the right to vote, became Rosie the Riveter and helped the United States become the most powerful country in the last century and ultimately earned us the rights that we have now. Nancy Reagan was the epitome of what women could be, a great wife, a great leader in her own right in a day and age where the only way women were "great leaders" was in the shadow of a great man. Regardless of your opinion of the day and age that she grew up in, a different time and a different place, the causes she took up saw results. Ronald Reagan may be the Great Communicator, but his wife was equally formidable in making further positive changes to equal rights, children's rights (although in the 90s we may have taken that a little too far), and even women's rights. I find it laughable when you compare her record to Hillary Clinton. Hillary has never done anything for women that didn't benefit her and I would expect nothing less, as her and her husband seem to both be a bit narcissistic. He cheated with the ugliest women he could find and she played "Stand by Your Man" like a bad 50s song to get what she wanted. And make no mistake, Senator Clinton, Secretary of State Clinton, definitely got what she wanted. I'm loathe that some women would give her the Presidency on her record of self absorption. Don't get me wrong. I am impressed by the fact that Secretary of State Clinton took the blame for Benghazi, but that's about it. Worse yet, I believe she fell on that sword as a calculated move for the Presidency. She and her husband are definitely the Queen and King of how to manipulate the public. They like no others have Political Marketing down to a fine science. I daresay even better than the Reagans. Nancy Pelosi is another huge disappointment. Speaker of the House with no clout. I remember watching her talk about something to do with the Gulf War and thinking she has the strength of a token. She's so hyper focused on the issues with who she defines as "poor" she can't see the forest through the trees. Everything for her comes back to the precious "poor" subsidies. Nancy, you've never been poor, so shut up already. I've said it before the poor that have any pride don't want handouts and the ones that do only do so because they have no other options. The subsidies that keep them there are not accomplishing changing that. Barbara Walters also seemed like a good candidate to bring the women's issues to the forefront, but really she has earned her place as a journalist and since she's never acted like she had any political aspirations that should be plenty. She's never focused on women's issues exclusively, but she has held her own in her field that has been dominated by men. Her professionalism has opened the door for the larger number of successful, respected in the field of journalism and we cannot fault anyone that has earned that respect. Unlike that obnoxious phony, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. See my blog about her if you don't know. She wrote a horrible book blaming women for holding ourselves down, which is partially true, but she herself is one of "those" women. I hardly find her inputs valuable other than proof that some women that get "there" should have their teeth knocked in. I half suspect that Marissa Mayer would be that woman who would sexually harass men in the workplace to prove that she was the alpha after reading her book. That's not exactly what my Grams and her generation dreamt of a hundred years ago for women sweetheart.
So what was it that the Suffragettes dreamed of? Equality. Men and women working together equally. We are inherently different, but that's what makes men and women stronger. I've known couples that work together to achieve. Some are more traditional--the housewife and the husband as the bread winner. Some, far more rare, are the wife as the primary bread winner and the husband as the primary care giver for the children. Some are a completely equal split, interchanging the roles as needed to survive in this economy. That seems to be more and more of the middle class and thus why it really is becoming important to address that 70 cents on the dollar incongruity. For hourly jobs, this isn't an issue, but for most salary, the educated women, are making less and doing more. This hasn't changed from the 70s and 80s. I know I wasn't working then, but the numbers really haven't changed. We've covered it before, but the basics are women were making about 65 cents on the dollar then. That's not much improvement. Women made up 2.9% of Corporate America executives back then; we are 4.0% now. Again, not much improvement. We can blame men, but that's ridiculous. Women like Marissa Mayer are part of the problem and I think she pissed off enough women that the Maria Shriver's are just beginning to rear their heads. Equality is only as good as we are willing to give each other. Women cannot have separate bars for men than we have for ourselves. If it is inappropriate for a man to say to a woman, then it is equally inappropriate for it to be said by a woman to a man. Believe it or not, about 15% of all spousal abuse, reported anyway, is women on men. Yes, I'm serious. We cannot act as the abusers. We cannot stereotype what is inappropriate for men and then commit those same inappropriate behaviors in reverse. My Grams used to say "good for the goose, good for the gander". I couldn't quite figure out why the goose came first when I was younger. It always seemed like the gander had the better hand to start with. Recent studies do show that men still have the better hand coming out of the box (70 cents on the dollar afterall). But, we must consider ourselves equal, treat each other equally, and hold ourselves to the same level we expect men to behave at. Good for us, good for them. If we can say rude things to men, then we shouldn't be surprised that they can say rude things to us. In a conversation with one of my best friends, she pointed out that it may be the men that start it and it's a vicious circle. Perhaps, but it is equally likely that we started the circle also. It's a chicken and egg argument that doesn't accomplish anything. I'm not stating that we don't joke around with some people and that we might say things that a strict review of would deem inappropriate. I'm stating that we cannot forget that sometimes men are equally offended and I suspect less likely to tell anyone that they are offended than we are. "Good for the goose, good for the gander." Those protections that we would afford ourselves should apply to men also.
Another pet peeve about the older generations view of women is the Sexual Revolution. It was important to the Silent Generation that birth control be readily available. Yes, the Silent Generation. If you think pre-marital sex wasn't happening in their day and age, you seriously need to take a long look at some of those flapper dresses of the 1920s. Grams told me how a friend of hers died after a botched backroom abortion. A college girl, a college boyfriend who didn't, couldn't, marry his college sweetheart, died of hemorraging after aborting, illegally, a fetus. She could've had it done in a hospital, all quiet and less risk in spite of it being illegal because her family had money, but Grams' friend didn't want to admit the shame to her father. Grams and her friends were fighting for legalization of birth control pills and abortion rights way before the Baby Boomer generation was a twinkle in anyone's eyes. The Baby Boomer women can talk about the sexual revolution all they want, but let's be frank. What they did with the birth control pill was have key parties, spread sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS and blame gay men, and increase the divorce rate to more than 50%. The impact of their "free love" is 7 year olds baring their mid-drifts and looking like prostitutes and eighteen year old women like Mylie Cyrus acting like whores on stage and baring all in videos trying to define themselves as adult women. I seriously doubt that is what the Silent Generation had in mind, especially since I would sit and listen to my Grandmother and her friends talk about their view of the successes and where the Boomers were taking it. Divorce was supposed to be for not having to be abused, physically, emotionally or sexually. Well into the 70s it was still legal for a man to rape his wife. The Baby Boomers were not the ones to put those blue book laws to bed; they were busy with "key" parties. The Silent Generation did that as one of their last gestures. The good to come of the Sexual Revolution is that women are more in tune with our own bodies. Yet, it hasn't done anything in the medical field for us. We know more about the G spot and orgasms, but a doctor can't tell you exactly why we have PMS and why the symptoms vary so much from woman to woman. They can't explain why some of us have debilitating cramps and others have none. They created awesome replicas of breasts for women who suffer from breast cancer, yet the majority of women that have implants today are for their own vanity not because they survived some deadly disease. Doctors have spent a lot of time figuring out how to make us more vain and make money off of the vanity of women rather than help solve why women have mood swings and migraines. They know that some diseases affect women more than men and yet type a Google search on it and find nothing. Go to WebMD and study the diseases that say they are more likely to affect women than men. The number is staggering compared to those that affect men. In addition, the treatments for ailments that are exclusively female are far more barbaric because, well honestly, they've done more research into those diseases that affect more men. Endometriosis is one of the most dibilitating of women's diseases. It affects the reproductive system. It affects most women that get it in the child bearing, or pre-child bearing years. The main solution is to take the uterus. It means no children in many cases or a rush to have them before they take a woman's uterus to save her life. Yep. Years and years and years and hardly any focus on resolving a disease other than cutting us open and taking one of our most precious gifts. Have we demanded they focus on it? I doubt it; at least not the way they worried about ED. Doctors and scientists are focused on male issues, except breast cancer for the most part to this day. The Sexual Revolution was a waste of time. Medically, we still know very little about our bodies. Thanks Baby Boomers. We know all we need to know about our bodies sexually, but 3 of my friends will never have children of their own because endometriosis and other diseases that are exclusively female weren't as important yet.
So I look at my own generation, GenX. The men are better men. No offense to earlier generations, but they are. They were raised by single moms or they almost all had friends that were. They have a better grasp on the plight of women and children than men of previous generations. Not sure if that is by choice or not, but not relevant. They just overall are better men when it comes to women. They might have forgotten how to open the door for a lady, but I again view this as a problem with the mixed messages from the Baby Boomer women. I want in a social setting to be treated with the respect that my grandmother's generation was treated with. In a work setting, I want to be treated equally and fairly. It's not as confusing as the Boomers have made it sound. A football player doesn't tackle someone in a restaurant (well, shouldn't). Why would a man treat his date like he's in the workplace? Yet, I've heard women get pissy when a man opens the door for them. Let them. It's a nicety in a social setting that shows he's a gentleman. It's a show of respect. It's equally a show of respect to the gentleman to say "Thank you" not cuss him out for being a cad. A cad would've walked in before us and let the door close on us, and I wouldn't hold it against a gentleman for telling you politely that perhaps your date was a mistake and take you home immediately. Still in our generation, that girl-on-girl crime still is prevalent. I'm ashamed. Grams used to say, "if you've got nothing nice to say, don't say it at all." It's easier said than done, to be sure, but after 45 years, I know exactly what she means. We, women, cannot put each other down and not expect that to have an impact on keeping us in "our place". Telling other women that they can't achieve, that they are shooting above their place, trying to be more than they should be, these are things that Grams loathed. I suppose that's where I got it from. I can't stand to hear another women say that another woman shouldn't try to go to school, shouldn't try to succeed, shouldn't be the person that is doing this or that. If we feel that way, we shouldn't tell others what they should or shouldn't achieve, but ask ourselves why we are angry that they are achieving and not ourselves. We sometimes like to place blame on others for our failures. It's not a male or female thing; it's a human thing. But, it's a maturity level thing to reach a point where we acknowledge that some things are our own fault even if we were provoked. Getting even with the "mean" girl in high school might seem funny when at your 10 year high school reunion, but it shows that you never grew on your own. That "mean" girl will always have her own cross to bear and it's not really going to make us feel any better long term if we haven't already found a way to feel good about who we are.
I said earlier that this wasn't about me coming home, but that it somehow became intertwined with it. I was recently insulted by a late 20-early 30 somethinger. I'm fat and ugly and jealous of her. A daughter of a drug addict who looks like she's almost in her 40s who was a stripper, might still be. Most people back home aren't like that. But it's indicative of what kind of women we are still creating by the way we raise them. "All we are is all we know." I suppose I could still be pissed that she blew up my phone for a couple hours in the middle of the night. But then I realized that she knows what she is and wanted to try to make me feel bad about myself. It's a damn shame that's how some girls are still raised but it is still the big problem in our society. I think like a guy most of the time so it was all I could do not to go jerk her up and teach her to have some respect. But considering who she is, her family's issues, no one could expect her to grow up right. She would not have needed to blow my phone up if I hadn't intimidated her. All she did was brag and pretend to be something she's not. I didn't. Not my style but I was raised to try to see the other person's point of view. I can't imagine what a crappy life she's probably had. Doesn't change it's probably too late for her.
How will we fix people like her, society as a whole, the inequities that still exist? I suspect there's some things we will never fix. Nothing will ever be 100% equal. There will always be children that have had parents that might have drug problems. There will always be gold diggers. There will always be rapists, spousal abuse and yes pay differences. Maybe we make a law that makes it more even. Maybe we throw addicts and child abusers in jail. All we can do is grow ourselves and then society by sheer numbers will get better. Not because of some stupid political agenda. But because we have become better.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
I eluded to the problem with President Kennedy. He was most beloved by his family, to be sure, but with the death of the last major patriarch of the Kennedy family, the "Camelot" bandwagon is falling apart. The truth be told for all of President Kennedy's great ideas what he near brought to fruition was World War 3 and the end of the world as we know it. The Bay of Pigs and other mistakes during his short Presidency downplayed over the last 5 decades, not just because of the patriarch Senator, but also because much of the documentation and tapes that were released at the 50 years point, as is with anything classified as national security, were not available for public consumption. We now know the whole of President Kennedy's story and he was probably not right for the job at the time. He was immature and impetuous. His affairs were numerous and very indiscreet for a man at the time, and particularly for a man of such immense power. The Marilyn Monroe affair being a prime example and that has always been out there in the open because her star status made it impossible to keep under covers, excuse the pun. President Kennedy was untested, unproven, youthful, the youngest President in history at the time and by quite a large measure compared to his predecessors. The USSR definitely took advantage of his inexperience. In spite of all that, the image that was created by the Kennedy money and a strong advertising program was of "Camelot"--a pre-packaged beautiful young couple with young children, the epitome of hope and a fresh start. The packaging was ludicrous compared to the facts. Even in that day and age, women were usually pretty irate about a man cheating on his wife in such a public fashion, particularly if she had young children. Men might have thought the opposite, but at the same time a larger percentage of men had served in the military and the Bay of Pigs would have normally set them in an outrage. The image was of a dedicated, intelligent, thoughtful family man. The truth was he was a haphazard, intelligent, callous, philandering man. The funny thing isn't that this picture is the one that more and more facts support. The funny thing is the sheer dedication of following. Many people are shocked now to learn the details, assuming they were even alive back then, of the Bay of Pigs. What idiot would do that one man said when he was posed a scenario without who. The "idiot" was Kennedy. Yet, this same man upon finding out it was Kennedy scoffed and hem hawed (as Grams would say) that couldn't be right. He was shown some of the Kennedy Oval Office Tapes and documents that were tangible proof. "No, no, that can't be right," he iterated. Seriously. The man had been in an outrage when it was some random idiot that had been elected President in some future possible scenario, but when faced with the facts that it was one of his beloved Presidents, well, that just couldn't be right. No way could someone he had jumped on the bandwagon for so many years ago be the person that he thought would be an idiot.
Frankly, I'm not really surprised by it. Think about Global Warming for a minute. How's that playing outside your window right now? Over 10 years ago, the scientific community had become a 50-50 split on whether global warming was a hoax or not. The originating scientist had conducted his studies on his own, which honestly is unusual. In addition only a couple years later when asked for his data used for other scientists to independently verify his conclusions (another words see if they came up with the same results or whether he had made an error in his calculations), he had lost his data. No disc backup, no mainframe backup, he couldn't even say where he had pulled the data from. That's right. He could not even tell the other scientists what window of time he had used for his calculations and where he had pulled the temperature data from. Even if he didn't have the actual data, he wanted everyone to believe that he didn't remember whether it was 1800 to 1980 or whether he had gotten the information from newspaper archives, the Farmer's Almanac or where. Really. Within 5 years, other respected scientists had run various statistically sound data analyses and had come up with different results. The results were published by many of them. The planet appeared to be in a cycle and the warming we were observing was in a cycle around 80 years give or take. Had a "greenhouse effect" been present? The results by credible scientists were inconclusive. There was not enough data one way or the other to support the hypothesis. Yet, Al Gore and especially the media, jumped on that bandwagon so fast it would make your head spin. In fact, many people it did spin them, right on to the bandwagon. The media for the first time this year has stopped saying that this cold weather we've had for the last decade is "greenhouse effect" because they finally, finally, finally are starting to see that bandwagon wasn't a band. It was a one man "band" playing a guitar with one string. In fact, those other studies, suggest we are basically on target for the 80 year cycle. The last time this happened--extreme hot summers, drought, followed by extreme cold winters and high precipitation (snow, sleet and rain)--the 1930s, the Dust Bowl era. Right on target with the real scientific data, not the one that some guy made up and couldn't even remember what data he pulled from where or for when. How many of your friends are still on the "global warming" kick? They've heard these arguments. Why are they still on that bandwagon when it's clear that band couldn't carry a tune if you gave them a drawing of Bugs Bunny?
Likewise, people often misjudge other people and the bandwagon runs rampant. The "facts" presented are always opinions in the case of two individuals. The "facts" are as the person presenting them either views them through their eyes--which can sometimes be more like kaleidoscopes--may not even truly be facts. I've always been loath to judge a book by its cover. So many people are just so much more. How to decide what is fact versus fiction? What facts are skewed by the view of the individual and which facts are the truth? Recently I've been bombarded by people's views of each other and I think it is fortunate for the majority I am pretty fact oriented. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is entitled to their opinion, yet so many people are frustrated to no end if you don't share their opinion--doing whatever they deem necessary to sway your opinion to theirs. Yet, they don't seem to respect that we as human beings are entitled to our own opinions. I'm always cautious of people that seem overly insistent that I share their opinion of someone else. I've said it before--I can make up my own mind and I don't mind if my friends and I don't share the same opinion of another acquaintance or friend. For example, my sister does not care for one of my friends. She thinks this particular friend is a judgmental, obnoxious b*tch, not exactly my sister's words but I don't want to waste a paragraph. Well, yes, she is judgmental and a lot of the time, and I do mean a lot of the time, when she's drinking alcohol she becomes obnoxious and difficult to be around. It's why a couple of us that are her friends avoid pretty much all situations with her where alcohol might be involved. Okay, and yes, she's a total man hater. On the other hand, she's charming without alcohol. Her "judgments" in many situations are helpful particularly in finance and real estate; she's extremely astute. And in her defense, she was raised a man hater (unfair to her or any child), and of the men that have come and gone in her life, some have deserved that ire. Not all, but enough to reinforce that incorrect upbringing. My sister isn't going to go shopping with her or go have lunch with all of us. In fact, the only time she would ever interact with this friend of mine would be if alcohol were likely to be involved because the only social setting would be at a party or other social gathering. Yea, my sister's opinion is going to hold firm and I'm not going to "try" to change her opinion, because from my sister's point of view, my friend is simply a pain in the perverbial *ss. However, I'm going to have lunch with her and our other friends and go shopping or to a movie with her. She's bright, sweet and fun to be around in those social settings, and we've been friends for years. She's one of my friends that kept in contact with me over the years since I left--not out of some necessity, but because she's genuinely a caring person. She's also been through a lot over the years and hasn't always been dealt a fair hand. Would I have become who she is if I were dealt the same hand? I'm not sure. My personality is quite different, so it's probably not likely. Are there certain settings that I avoid with her? Actually yes, but the facts are that there are certain settings where it's just better to avoid the situation to prevent any strain on the friendship. I'm not inviting her to be around my sister if I can avoid it. I'm making sure that in those instances our mutual friends and I have an exit strategy to minimize any issues. Yes, it's a lot of work. If I met her today, I'd probably not go through all that work, but like I said, we've been friends for years and I know her heart in spite of what she's been through. If I hopped on the bandwagon of people against her, even years ago, what kind of person would I be?
Of course, like I eluded above, if I were to meet that same friend now, not have the years of friendship, would we be friends? Probably not. I just don't have the energy or patience for all that drama anymore. I'm willing to deal with hers because I know all about it--every last bit of it over the years. I know about the abusive ex, the health problems, the upbringing, all of it. It's a big pill to swallow for someone who hasn't been there over the years. She's never gotten counseling for it, and of her friends, we have simply given up trying to get her to go. Again that upbringing rearing its ugly head. So, I've digested that pill bit by bit over the years as she has accumulated it. Likewise, say what you will about me, she will always have my back because I have always been there for her in a time of need and she is a dedicated friend. Friends like that are priceless, proven over years through thick and thin. She won't be jumping on any bandwagon to lynch me, nor will she turn on me and lead the lynching. Have people attempted to get some of us on the bandwagon to dislike her? Yes, I've had plenty of people, even my sister, tell me I don't need all that drama. No, I don't. So, I meter out the time with her and pick and choose when I spend time with her carefully, but I love her just the same. I've heard a woman I recently met described as some would describe my friend. I have observed that she is bit more extreme than my friend, as alcohol does not need to be added to the mix for this particular lady. Would I be friends with her? No. Definitively no. Am I judging her and jumping on the bandwagon? No. I feel for her and her circumstances and suspect that whatever life has dealt her it's been very difficult for her. Would it be difficult for someone else? Well, likewise to my friend that my sister abhors, no two people are alike and we can never be sure how we would handle someone else's circumstances. I'd like to tell the lady she should get counseling, but there are two problems with that. One, I don't know her well enough and two, therefore it's none of my business. I suspect even if I did know her well enough to make it my business she would simply ignore the advice like my friend has ignored our suggestions over the years for her to go to counseling. We can lead a horse to water, but it's not going to drink until it's thirsty. Some people are either stronger or more stubborn, perhaps both, and refuse to drink. There's a point where we choose to not have someone in our lives for whatever reasons, but it should never be from others' opinions but from the facts that we can discern from those opinions and our own unskewed observations. I'm not sure that most people know the difference.
The worst part about the bandwagon mentality isn't that it's always wrong. It's that by "jumping on a bandwagon" we unwittingly give up our freedom to form our own opinion. We differ to someone else's opinion without taking the time to form our own. Some might say it's out of laziness, but I tend to believe from observation over the years, that it is mostly out of fear. We may fear retaliation from the people that are pushing their opinions. We may in some cases be afraid that we are not "smart enough" to ascertain the facts for ourselves so we defer to the first person that we or someone else acknowledges as an "expert". Even when that "expert" is proven to have been mistaken, we are slow, sometimes very slow, to admit that we followed along in mistake, not because we are truly obstinate, but it would require us to not only to admit to our mistake in following but perhaps the mistake of not doing our own research--like being sucker punched twice for the same error. How do we rectify this "bandwagon" mentality? I don't know. I suspect that over time people either make their own opinions or they don't. It's such a weird part of human nature--taking someone else's opinion for your own. Why do you think you put up signs in your yard for the politician that you've decided to vote for? Because studies have shown that a lot of people vote what they think other people are voting. That's not a real reason to vote for anyone, but when trace-ability studies have been conducted, we know that people will restate another person's opinion as their own with "facts" that they have not verified and that they have no basis for other than what they heard. Very scary when you consider the power that this gives the media. They tell us something, we accept it as "fact" and we then myna bird it to others like it is our own "facts" and our own opinions. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everyone start to realize that they can and should form their own opinions. That they are more than capable of looking at facts and other people's version of facts and discerning which are which and then forming their own opinions. My one friend doubts this. We'll never know for sure. The facts are that most people don't and no matter what no one can unwittingly conduct a random study and establish that all people are actually capable in spite of them not taking the time out to do it. It's just a debatable issue that's interesting over a drink or two that simply has no definitive proof one way or the other. Are some people just going to be "sheeple" no matter what you do or do they choose the bandwagon because of fear or confidence in themselves? Yep, we'll talk over a bourbon and coke later and we'll never come to a true conclusion.
END NOTE: For those of you that really don't know where the term "bandwagon" came from: Bandwagons were literally that at one time. Bands would ride around in their wagons from town to town. As they would ride into town, they would pull the tarps off of the wagons and start playing in order to encourage people to come out to dance and listen to them. People that liked the music and more often than not even people that didn't like the music would jump on the bandwagon as it rode through the towns. Yes, those people who didn't even like the music they were playing were jumping on the bandwagon for no real tangible reason or for reasons completely unrelated to the band or music. Voila, the phrase " jumping on the bandwagon" with the negative connotation that we apply to it was born.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
1. I'm going to quit being a "pack rat". Not completely, but the recent move has made me realize not just how much "stuff" I have but how much stuff I really don't need.
2. That promise has nothing to do with shoes or purses. A girl can never have too many cute shoes or purses.
3. I'm going to distance myself from difficult people. I know so much easier said than done, but I'm not talking about eliminating them from my life. I'm talking about just putting some distance, either real or metaphoric, between them and me. I have a couple of difficult friends. I love them all the same, but I just don't want to have their issues upsetting my apple cart. If they need me, I'll still be around. I just won't be hanging out with them regularly.
4. I'm going to the beach. I've been putting off a trip for a few years now for the most ridiculous reason. It's so ridiculous I'm not going to tell you why. I'm just going to the beach. Tropical, with rum runners, sun and fun.
5. I'm going to fall in love again. It's really easy to love, but being in love is something that makes us feel alive. The best part about being in love is that it connects us with our inner youth. It reminds us that we are still kids at heart. I think this is a good goal for anyone, whether married or with someone or single. If you're married and you don't think that you're in love anymore--figure out how to get back to it. If you're dating someone and it's not that fluttery butterfly feeling and it's not someone that you would forgive almost every transgression, then it's time to either cut that person loose or find it with that person. If you're single, then it's time to have that feeling again. I look back and I've only loved unconditionally once. If I'm honest, my ex did the one thing I would never forgive. Yet, I know that for one person I would've even forgiven that. Yep, I'm going to fall in love again.
6. I'm going to make at least one new great friend this year. Why not? I've made at least one good friend almost every year of my life. I've got some good friends that should be upgraded. I'm thinking that only one is probably a low goal. Maybe I'll make two or three great friends this year.
7. I'll not beat myself up over the things that other people do. The new job is definitely driving that message home. Sometimes the things that people do, they do it to themselves. I've always tried to help people find the right path. It's not really my responsibility and I get that. I'm not going to stop helping people because some people can't see the forest through the tree they have their noses crammed into. But I'm going to quit self depreciating because they don't want to do the right thing, they won't do the right thing or they simply choose to not do the right thing. Each of us creates our own crosses to bear. I don't have to help them bear crosses of their own makings.
Alrighty then. I was going to shoot for 10, but apparently I'm shooting for 7. I'll let you know how it goes next December.
Monday, December 23, 2013
My youngest son "came out" at the end of the summer. He broke up with his girlfriend of two years, a wonderful young lady who he describes as his "first true love". He even fears that she may be "the one" and what kind of cruel joke that might be. His father is still having issues with it, and although I am supportive, I'll be honest that I am a little disappointed. Not because he is gay, but because when I met his girlfriend two years ago, I truly thought my son had been lucky enough to meet his "soulmate" at 14 years old. How many of us can say that? When he told me, shortly before he told his girlfriend, I was devastated. For all the reasons a mother might be--it's not an easy decision, some people are ugly about it, and of course, his "soulmate" was not going to be his girlfriend. He loved her more than anyone he's ever been with, but he simply wasn't physically attracted to her. Ironic, since she is the most beautiful young woman I have ever seen. I mean magazine model material physically and just the most wonderful, intelligent, sweet personality--beautiful, inside and out. He just didn't think it would be fair to her. She deserved someone that loves her for not just who she is, not just romantically--as he explained, but who loves her for all she is. I couldn't argue that logic. My baby, in spite of what he thought might be a cruel joke, thought she deserved the whole package and of course had decided that he could never give her that. Neither he or she should have to "settle". The courage to admit that to me, to his father who is very anti-gay and kind of an *sshole (ok, granted my opinion although shared by some), and face the fact that it's not always accepted, let alone how many in his father's family view it...well, I am proud of him, of the courage it took to admit where he is at, and possibly at the cost of his best friend and his first true love. Since I'm no longer Christian as I do not practice it and I believe in reincarnation, I often think things like this are simply learning experiences. Perhaps, she is truly his soulmate and whatever cruel joke is a lesson to be learned. Or perhaps this a previous mistake in some other life just rectifying itself.
Most know from my blog that we recently moved "home" and my son told me that at his new school there is a young man that is openly "flaming" as he put it. A young man, who apparently says racially inappropriate things, also says inappropriate things about this young "flaming" man. My son pointed out to the kid that it takes courage to decide to be openly gay and just be himself. The inappropriate kid didn't get it. He thought it was "intellectual". Intellect has nothing to do with who we are emotionally. If it did, then the smartest people we know would be the most extroverted. The most intellectually capable are usually quite the reverse. Even those intellectuals that are "extroverted" are usually extremely guarded. I compartmentalize. I blend with any group, and I'm often painfully aware that some of the groups that I blend with would not want to blend, let alone spend time with, other groups that I hang out with. It's sometimes like high school. In high school, I hung out with "jocks", "burn-outs/potheads", "band geeks", "outcasts", "punkers", et cetera. I didn't care about race, whether someone was "smart" or not, or whatever. What I cared about what was inside, what the heart was like. I often gave people the benefit of the doubt to do the right thing. I have no qualms with saying that many people often didn't do the right thing. Back when I was younger, there was no way this "flaming" young man could even try to show the courage that he has. My son has shown his support, not because he's openly gay--he tells who he chooses to, but because of the courage that it takes to be who we are. This young man has accepted that he is a flamboyant person and gay and it's important this time of year that we start to appreciate that amount of courage. It's the time to open our hearts and minds to people that are different and reduce the amount of courage required to be ourselves.
Everyone knows there's been a lash out of both support and criticism for a 67 years old man, a "redneck" from the Louisiana backwoods who expressed his opinion about homosexuality. I hate to say this because of the potential backlash. (OK, I'm full of sh*t. Backlash all you want.) But, the truth is that he has the right to his opinion. In this day and age, saying anything that isn't "politically correct" can result in such a fascist response, even from the people that purport themselves to be the "open minded". It's an opinion of a 67 year old man who was raised what Christians have been raised to believe for centuries. For Christ's sake. He's entitled to his opinion, and frankly in this day and age it's just as courageous to be able to say your opinion at all. Ironically, at 67 years old, we almost all have more courage to just say what we think and what we mean. As we get older, we realize that it's even less important to tread lightly around people. I've often heard friends say that their grandparents or parents just speak their minds. Yes. I don't find that surprising at all. My Grams told me that she often wished that she had just spoke her mind when she was younger. People would be more evolved if they would simply stand up and say what they mean. Verbal exchange is what changes the world. Keeping it to yourself, especially when you disagree, simply allows the behavior to continue. When I faced the backlash of confronting people that were stealing, no one else said a word. Maybe one or two to others that they knew supported my calling it out, but to the hoard, no. They wanted it to stop, verbalized support to me, but often refused to "get into it" with people that they knew disagreed. The courage eluded them to even say what they believed. The opposite of courage is cowardice. Courage is doing the right thing, saying what you mean and standing by it. While I might disagree with the 67 years old man, I applaud his courage to speak his opinion in spite of backlash. For those that would judge that courage, I ask you to think about who is talking here. "Consider the source," my Grams would say. The source is a man who in spite of what he believes also said he believes ONLY God can judge. He's not some backwoods redneck from the Bayou just running his trap. He's an old man, who actually probably is more broader minded than those that are running around condemning him. He spoke his mind, opening up dialogue, and he probably was raised to condemn homosexuality but has accepted that only God can judge. Those that condemn his courage are the ones to worry about. Hypocrisy and cowardice are what come out of the woodwork when courage rears its head.
Someone asked me since I moved home, why I left. Most of my friends know there were multiple reasons. The truth is for all my strength we all face those things that test our resolve. Our ability to stand our ground. I waited for two years after I graduated Clemson. Then realized that I was waiting for nothing, and figured that I needed to move on. It wasn't courage to run away. It was a logical thing to do. It had nothing to do with courage. Like I stated indirectly earlier, intellect and courage are not one in the same. I had logicked that the only way to deal with a situation was to walk away, and I let a coward chase me from the one place that I had ever considered home. This coward had abused the hell out of me, and when it looked like my life had any chance of happiness that same coward chose to intimidate the one person that had what he had not. My heart. We can debate whether the heart was misplaced, but I make no qualms with friends about the fact that I gave it away and never got it back. I thought it would catch up with me, but then I realized that my own cowardice--running away from the problem--had made it so that I couldn't have it back. Whether the man who was intimated by the coward that beat the crap out of me should've had it in the first place is all up for debate. He is probably the only one that knows the answer to that. Most of my friends have a lot of sympathy for the guy that was dating me, because it became a very complicated situation. I was simply going to have this coward follow me around, even after he married someone else, making me miserable if he could have his way. I know in retrospect that if his new wife knew he'd have been in a world of sh*t. Coming home, I was confronted with the loss again. Honestly, the first time I had to deal with him--it's a small town after all--was not easy. I wanted to bash his head in. His wife is a friend and she really loves him. I still really wanted to bash his head in. He's not worth it; he never was. That's why he never got my heart. And, ironically, that's also why he made the other guy so miserable. At the time, he couldn't accept that my heart followed this other guy around like a puppy dog. Jealousy and cowardice are often hand and foot, and instead of having the courage to stand up for myself I ran away.
Courage is often something that we recognize in battle, but we don't think of in the day to day. I often think when someone talks of courage of the story in the Bible of Jesus stepping in the way of a crowd stoning a woman for being a whore. How many of us would step in the way? An NBC show "What would you do?" had an example of a grocery store customer berating a mentally handicapped person in front of other customers. So few of the people said anything. I see those bracelets on people--WWJD--and look at them as they knock into someone and don't mutter even an "excuse me", let alone an apology, and wonder do they even know that story from the Bible. My Grams said that she only rented her and my grandfather's rentals to "good Christian black families". Yes, well maybe she said negro, but it was in her experience they took better care of the property. Was it true? I don't know. I would expect outrage if it came out of my mouth, but I was born in 1968 not 1908. If she was alive, I wouldn't expect her wording to change much. It was appropriate for her day and age. In fact, it was courage in her day and age to say that she would only rent to black families. I heard people criticize her when I was little. For a 67 years old man, it was probably courage to say he thinks only God can judge people that are homosexual considering his generation. It is still courageous to come out and openly be gay in high school. It is still courageous to stand up and do the right thing in spite of the hoards being in opposition. It is still courageous to finally stand up and say "enough". In fact, sometimes, it's harder to say "enough" after a long time has passed. After over a decade, it wasn't easier to say that the Nazis had been wrong and committed unthinkable atrocities. Sometimes, courage is just as simple as being able to say to yourself that you ran away and it's time to go home. None of us know our own courage until we step up and face whatever it is that has put us in our place. Inside that cup that I received a couple years ago: "Strength comes from within." Sometimes it lies in wait within until we can stand it no more. Say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, but remember to appreciate those things that you are willing to stand up for and maybe show the courage to stand up for those things that you know you should've in the first place.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
After going to the bathroom, she was demanding why I wouldn't have another beer. I was the designated driver and while I had one and planned on maybe two or three through the night, I knew very well this weekend isn't the best time to be out drinking. Next weekend will be worse. Besides, she had been going on and on about how her job would be in jeopardy if she drank and drove--in spite of her driving drunk the night before across the county because a friend told her she "had to" stay on the couch. I wasn't sure why if that was supposedly her plan in the first place that she would deviate from that plan just because someone "insisted", but I figured this is more about the fact that the holidays aren't really easy for anyone. Then out of the blue, she tells me that I'm not a happy person and that I'm acting miserable. OK, just because I wasn't drinking, I was a miserable person. I wasn't drinking because I had designated myself as the driver for the night, because of her job and her going on and on about how she could lose her job, and because she lived on the complete opposite side of town. Oh, and I damn well didn't feel like it. Simple. Sometimes, I just don't feel like drinking but a beer or two. I've never really had friends make a big deal out of it. Hell, I'm pretty sure most don't even notice it. I asked her if she had a cigarette when she went to the bathroom--thinking maybe she was edgy because she couldn't smoke where we were at. She went to smoke and I just recentered. Figured we'd start a different conversation. When she got back that lasted all of two minutes. She started in on whether I danced, "cut loose' and ever enjoyed myself. Wow. Then insisted that I should probably have a beer if I couldn't have fun any other way. Again, wow. Now, anyone that knows me fairly well, knows I don't take verbal abuse anymore. Period. I asked her to clarify her thoughts. She told me that she had gone through all my Facebook pictures recently and I always look so happy. Well, yea, I thought, I make the best of any situation. So she didn't understand why I wasn't having fun with her. Why I wasn't going to drink and "cut loose". Wow. I explained that I used to go out dancing all night and most of the time only had a couple of drinks because when I was going to school I really couldn't afford to go out "drinking". I'd be out on the dance floor from 8 pm to 5 am and drink water most of the night. Well, that wasn't really possible to her.
OK, I asked her if she realized that she was projecting. What was projecting? Projecting I explained was when someone thinks something about themselves and forces that view of themselves onto someone else. She didn't follow. I told her I don't need to drink to have fun with my friends--it's fun, don't get me wrong. But, I knew she would have issues with work and I volunteered to be DD and was fine with it. I had to drive her across town when we were done and then drive back in the opposite direction home. I just would prefer not to on the Friday before Christmas. Plus, I had been out with friends the night before and I knew I have a Christmas party tonight. I just didn't feel like overloading myself over the holidays, so I was fine having fun with her and letting her "cut loose". She insisted that I look so happy all the time and why not right now...*sigh*. At that moment, a really good friend of mine walked over and gave me a big hug. I talked with him and she stormed off. Sent me a text that she had a ride home and left. I ended up having a good time with other friends because I wasn't going to go home when I wasn't tired, but I still only had a couple beers that my friend insisted on buying me over the next couple of hours. I didn't want more and none of my friends that I ended up with for the rest of the evening "insisted" that I drink.
What I've noticed over the last five years is that there are a lot of "miserable" people that don't really realize that they are so unhappy, and that most of them project those emotions onto other people. Most people, like this friend of mine, simply do not want to admit they aren't happy with things. I knew I was unhappy in Kansas, but I also had a reason to my madness. I wanted my kids to stay in the same school through high school. I had failed my oldest. I have since failed my youngest. My middle son will be the only one that graduates from the same high school as he started. I knew I wasn't happy, but I knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel too. I had already told my boys I would move back to the South, preferably South Carolina's Upstate, after they graduated. I had a plan, and I made the most of what I did have. I cut the people that projected their misery out of my life pretty much entirely. I kept the good friends and distanced myself from the ones that acted like this friend did. It was hard enough being in a place that I didn't want to be surrounded by people that were happy--let alone with people that were miserable schmucks.
I know this friend is a "survivor". A strong person who has survived some hardships that might have crushed others. She's not the only one. I know lots of "survivors". I myself am one. But none of us are the "only one". Hardships that don't break us don't always leave us in the best place. Yet, there seems to be a big difference between her and I. My hardships are gone. Life lessons that I just have to chalk up as fate, God, signs, something, leaving me with a brighter light, tested metal now finely polished into a fine saber. Others, like her, the life lessons have taken a toll, drowned them each time a little more, the tested metal just as sharpened but hardened and the malleability gone--more likely to snap at any added pressure. I've been there--we all have been. The difference is that some of us choose to be beacons and others choose to create crutches, project our own issues on others, and live embittered. I don't have the answer why one way or the other. I have made choices myself sometimes that have made me unhappy for some greater good. I'm not the one to judge. But if that greater good is for an eternity, then something is wrong. There should always be a light at the end of the tunnel. My light was coming back to where I knew I belonged, regardless of the reasoning I had to be elsewhere. Maybe my friend simply hasn't found her light at the end of the tunnel.
For those of my friends and readers that have wondered if they are happy or just pretending to be, think about how you view yourself when you look in the mirror. We all are the most conscious of our own flaws. Then look at how you view others. This friend said I look happy in every picture. They didn't nickname me "Happychick" because I'm not a happy chick. How come I'm not happy with her? That is projecting at its best. It's not that I'm not happy with her; it's that she's not happy and therefore it doesn't make sense why not her. I get it. It's hard to see the forest when you're standing with your nose right on a tree trunk. But if you are wondering something like that, then there's a reason and the reason hasn't got anything to do with the person you're mad at, jealous of, or upset with. The issue is yours and no matter how happy that other person is they're not going to be able to fix you. She wants to be happy, so she wants to be as happy as she sees me being. I can't make her happy. Only she can figure that out. We live in our own heads and no matter how much we think someone else can fix us the only person that can fix us is ourselves.