Hang on with your Fingernails – the Election will Soon be Over!

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I’ve always considered myself an optimist. But lately I’m leaning toward pessimism. Is it because there is less future ahead of me than past? Is the political climate getting me down? Are the newspapers really more biased today than in the past? Are my opportunities more limited and my energy not what it once was? Has “my dancing heart” stopped dancing?

I know I’m changing when those close to me accuse me of negativity. I reply that I’m being realistic. Today I trust people less and doubt the truth of what I read and hear. When I see people with power and money get off scot-free for offenses that you and I would be jailed for, then yes, I’ve become a pessimist.

I once believed in this country and its laws. I thought that because of the Constitution the most “perfect Union” in the world had been formed. Now I see our laws blatantly disregarded and ignored by those in authority. Men and women of integrity are becoming harder to find let alone to serve. Everywhere you turn there are scandals revealing the dishonesty and corruption in government, sports, and local politics.j0315822

Every day our work and our play is interrupted by telephone scammers telling us we have won a cruise or that they wish to help us fix our computer. The whole purpose for most of these propositions is to gain access to our PC, our bank account or credit card numbers.  Under the guise of our medical provider, some even inquire about our health and brazenly asking us to confirm our social security numbers.

Two years ago, my husband fell for a caller supposedly representing Microsoft. They asked if he had any problems with his PC, which he did. They were all too happy to help him.  When they were done, his computer went black and was never seen or heard from again.

My question to my husband was this: “Why out of millions of users would Microsoft select you?  When you really needed help, they never called or answered your emails. Why you? Why now?”

It took him weeks before he’d admit that yes, he was duped. Whatever they did once they gained access to his PC we’ll never know. Even his backup discs refused to work. The drive remained silent, the screen black.
untitledWe’re still getting those kinds of calls, but they’re now aimed at me. Yes, I’ve become cynical. We’re inundated by people out to get other people’s time and money.

What did those Microsoft Techies accomplish? Not a thing but the evil satisfaction of taking down another American’s device. They didn’t ask for a credit card or personal information. They just wanted to screw us up.

 

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“With these Hands Wonder” 16 x 20 Oil on Canvas

Career politicians are scammers. They lie constantly; and even though their Pinocchio’s are found out, they continue to repeat the same made-up facts defying someone to prove them wrong. Unfortunately, their supporters and the masses don’t care as long as their party wins.

Yes, I’ve had it! I’ll be glad when this election is over. Politicians don’t really care about you and me. They just want the power. They make promises we know they can’t keep or won’t deliver. Will 2017 be any better than the last eight years? Will the quagmire in the Middle East be fixed or made worse?  Will income and wages remain stagnant? Will the cost of living continue to go up while the Feds continue to deny there is any inflation?

The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that God is in control. He hears and answers prayers. He doesn’t promise what he can’t deliver. He is omnipotent. He wraps me in peace while the world is raging. He alone I trust and when I do, I have hope and optimism in the future.

Fact or Fiction — are most Historical Accounts True?

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"Americana" acrylic on canvas

“Americana” acrylic on canvas

I was sitting at my PC waiting for inspiration when my eyes caught sight of a binder on the lower shelf of our book case: “Covering America’s Past.” This brought a chuckle and I leaned down further in order to read the full title: “Discovering America’s Past.”

See what happens when you leave out only three letters. Do you wonder, as I do, how much of history is true. What has been altered, covered up or changed ever so slightly? It seems that each time a new party comes into power, the media and the administration tweak their achievements and failures here and there; and before you know it, major parts have been redacted or omitted.

Dating sites and Facebook accounts are replete with sins of omission. Calendar age may be lowered. Photos of the past are used instead of present ones. A bright and sunny profile as seen through rose-colored glasses replaces a more truthful record of past history. A fudge here, a twist there until the facts become fiction.

"Through her eyes" original drawing; live sitting

“Through her eyes” original drawing; live sitting

I had a dear aunt who simply could not tell the truth. She tried to outdo everyone. She wanted others to see her as she wanted to be seen, not as she really was. Everyone knew it and kindly listened to her stories, allowing her the satisfaction of completion. She was really a dear when it came to helping others and cheering them up. I suspect a low self-esteem kept her from being herself.

Love and tolerance sometimes demand that we accept people as they are. A positive attitude can change the way we see people and their human weaknesses. Unfortunately, we live in a society that not only expects perfection, but gloats over exposing human error.

My favorite saying has always been “There, but for the grace of God go I.” This simply implies that if I or anyone else had walked in the guilty person’s footsteps, we may have committed the same crime. In other words, we are all sinners and in need of forgiveness.

"Kindred Spirits II" acrylic on canvas

“Kindred Spirits II” acrylic on 30 x 24 canvas

The quote is attributed to John Bradford, but was also given credit to someone else even before his time. Winston Churchill repeated the phrase during his lifetime. Whoever said it first does not really matter since it is actually a paraphrase from Biblical scripture. The point is that we should be compassionate and empathetic with our fellow human beings and not so quick to condemn or criticize.

Of course, there are consequences for mistakes and sins. Some of them satisfied by a resolution of forgiveness, and others punishable by law. Thinking before you act and weighing the consequences can save you pain, anguish and punishment.

Life and Death Struggles Hit Everyone

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All around the world, individuals are in life and death battles against formidable enemies that threaten their existence. The danger often comes by being born in a certain region or conforming to a specific religion. Vulnerability may come simply because of skin color or ethnicity.

Most of us don’t take unnecessary risks if we can help it. We try to avoid confrontation if at all possible. When we find ourselves between the crosshairs of someone’s hatred, we may pray for the very first time. Few of us can understand the animosity that propels this anger. Sometimes we may be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Coincidence? Stupidity? We call it many things.

There are other threats that surround us each day. Disease, accident, emotional or physical turmoil may be waiting for us at the end of the day: in an intersection, at the office, within our own homes, stalking us as a lion ready to pounce. None of us are exempt. No one is above the human experience.

“Namesake” acrylic on canvas

The target changes with the fickle whims of fate and popular opinion. Today if you’re a police officer your life is at risk, not only from the threats of occupation, but from misaligned angst from perceived injustices. Facts are ignored in this wave of emotion.

The supposed victims of police brutality are usually in the process of breaking the law. Officers attempt to stop the perpetrator and make an arrest. They resist. They may even pull out a gun or attempt to physically pummel the officer. The “perp” resents being stopped from continuing to break the law. They see the officer or officers as the enemy intruding into their life and freedom to do what they please. They attempt to flee and are stopped either by a Taser or a bullet.

The assailant’s family grieves not only with sadness but with shouts of “police brutality.” And a new cycle of violence and hatred continues.

Self-examination is difficult. We sometimes see ourselves as victims in a random world where everyone is “out to get us.” Why is it so difficult to take responsibility for our own actions?

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When my children were still in school, I told their teachers at conference time that I believed in allowing my children to “suffer the consequences of their actions.” I wanted them to relate “outcome” with their negative actions. Of course, there were some teachers who were not to be trusted with this precious authority. Not everyone has a sense of fair play and justice.

How else can people learn the difference between right and wrong in a civilized society if not through suffering the consequences of their own actions?

It is delusion to blame policemen for brutality when you resist arrest for committing a crime. Period! A mature reasoning adult accepts responsibility for their choices. Savages do not. The outrage that follows when we do not is the result of exploitation and a failure of government. Lashing out to burn and destroy your own communities only hurts you and those you love.

When will the violence end? Only when the government and leaders cease to feed the fires of envy and hatred. Only when law abiding citizens in those communities rise up and stop the madness.