Today’s daily prompt certainly has the ability to stir up a lot of debate on what is right or moral in the name of survival. The question posed is this:
Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?
The Cliff Note version of the story is that 4 men were stranded at sea. One of the men, Richard Parker a 17-year-old cabin boy succumbed to illness and fell into a coma after drinking sea water. Dudley, the Captain, started making decisions about killing Parker in order for the other 3 to survive. His sales pitch included “Killing Parker before his natural death would better preserve his blood to drink.” I’m not stranded out at sea, but even if I was, I can’t imagine that being appealing to me.
My first question would be “Excuse me Dudley, but isn’t it the Captain that goes down with the ship?” We could argue that it was actually his duty as Captain to ensure the safety of the others or you could argue that’s exactly what he was doing when he presented the idea of a potential sacrifice. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Personally, for me it would have to come down to intention. “Dudley again raised the matter with Stephens pointing out that Parker was probably dying and that he and Stephens had wives and families.” This sales pitch would leave me to believe that some how their lives had more value because they had families. Was there any discussion on the fact that Parker was just a boy who hadn’t even had the opportunity to experience the riches of being a family man? Did anyone bring up the idea that maybe if one of them took their own lives, Parker could be nursed back to health with the remains. If not, selfishness seems to have entered the lifeboat.
What would you have done? I have no idea. I don’t think that question can truly be answered until after the fact and then it would be What did you do? When we are in a situation of survival, I believe it can either bring out the best in someone or the worst in a person. Either way the true colors always shine through.
Enjoy the Ride! Just make sure you’re traveling with the Rainbows of the world.
I’ve been trying to get up on this damn soap box all week, but I kept getting distracted by one piece of insanity after the other. So here I am, finally **tap pssh tap** I hope you can all hear me out there in Blogosphere and beyond. Ok, here we go…..
I need to address the escalated chatter I’ve been hearing lately in regards to a Revolution of some sort that is prompting people to run out and purchase firearms. People, I might add, who have NEVER owned a gun in their life. Everyone suddenly wants a weapon for “protection” for this Revolution. Really? Have these people ever tried to organize a group of people for a cause? Please!
You can call me crazy, but I’m going to provide you with a little scenario explaining why I believe there will NOT be a Revolution.
SCENE SETTING: The rally is being held in a large arena with red, white & blue balloons strung across the large stage. The Organizer is in jeans, a tailored shirt with dressy work boots, hoping his outfit will appeal to all classes in attendance. Flags are waving, lady Liberty is being erected through the center of the stage just as the Uncle Sam dancers make their way up the aisle high-fiving the crowd. The speaker appears at the podium and everyone is asked to move down closer to the stage due to the poor turnout. Just keeping it real.
REVOLUTION SPEAKER: Good afternoon. Thank you all for coming out today. I’m sure it wasn’t easy pulling yourselves away from your busy lives to make history, but I’m glad you chose to make this sacrifice for your country. Roaring Applause. I know everyone is feeling a little unsettled these days with the direction our country is taking, but this has been happening for a very long time. Between the chaos in the Middle East, school shootings, slow economy, healthcare issues, Social Security issues, Medicare issues and our everyday life issues we are all on edge. So, I thought it would be a great idea if We The People got together to form a Revolution. Enthusiastic applause. In order to do this we will all need to share in the responsibility of organizing events all over the country. Applause seems weaker. We will all need to do our part to make this a successful Revolution. The crowd begins to shift in their seats. We will be setting up tents throughout some of the largest cities in America. This means you may be living in conditions that you are not accustomed to for long periods of time. If your want change, you have to be willing to make some sacrifices. Section A leaves to use the restroom, they never return to their seats. We will organize groups to get the word out via the Social Media, but let me be clear, we will only use Social Media outlets to invite more of the We The People to join us. The majority of our mission will be held on the ground. Whispers are heard amongst the attenders. We need to show our strength in numbers by physically attending these events. A hand is raise and a question is asked from the crowd. Can we just “like” this Revolution on Facebook? Applause. No sir, this is real life. Forefathers begin spinning in their graves.
SCENE SETTING: The sounds of “This Land Is Your Land” is playing in the background. The Uncle Sams’ and Lady Liberties exit to man the tables and serve refreshments.
SPEAKER: Are you ready to take your country back? Weak applause and unrecognizable mumbles. We have information tables set up right outside these doors, so please, enjoy the refreshments while you decide how your talents can serve this Revolution best. Crickets can be heard chirping in another county.
WE THE PEOPLE: The crowd heads out to the lobby. We begin to whisper while avoiding eye contact with the organizer and aggressively search for the Exit signs.
SCENE SETTING: Long tables are set up outside the arena. Women dressed as Lady Liberty are patiently waiting to be swarmed with anxious Revolutionary participants, while the Uncle Sam clad men are serving refreshments. The free red, white & blue Revolution pens are waiting to be picked up to fill those sign-up sheets. Some curious potential participants begin to approach the table.
WE THE PEOPLE: First: Are these pens free? Um, is this Revolution thing going to be during the week, because I work?
Second: Is there any way we can revolt on a Saturday? Oh, wait make that Sunday Jimmy has practice on Saturday. Oh, no wait Sunday isn’t good Mary has dance. Can I get back to you? Are these pens free?
Third: Can I revolt from home? I work every other day, so I can revolt on my days off after my errands.
Fourth: Do you think this Revolution thing will take long? I can commit to 2 weeks of my vacation time, but that 3rd week is mine. Are these pens free?
Fifth: I really, really want to revolt, but Idol just started so, if your still revolting when the season is over I’ll be happy to help out. Hey, can I have this pen?
Instead of filling our homes with weaponry in preparation for a Revolution that may or may not happen, why don’t we figure out a way to honor the gift of American democracy. Impossible? That answer is up to all of us.
It’s time for me to leave the soap box and Enjoy the Ride!
Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.
It’s so interesting that this would be the prompt for the day. Just yesterday I was visiting one of my favorite places, Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride. She provided her readers the opportunity to take part in a little experiment of sorts, it’s something called Typealzyed. You must go her page and partake in the festivities. I am still amazed at the accuracy of my results, which now brings me all the way back to the initial prompt. You’ll thank me later for the detour over to Susie’s place!
Considering I hold a Phd. in self-deprecation, it’s not easy for me to toot my own horn. The real reason, according to the results of my Typealze study, is because it’s just not my nature. I get much more satisfaction out of hearing about or supporting the accomplishments of the people around me, than I do from talking about my own. See, apparently I am an ISFP personality. We tend not to give ourselves enough credit for the things we do well. Hence the lack of horn tooting.
I must say I am in very good company with my fellow ISFP personalities. Some famous ISFP’s are Jacki O., John Travolta, David Beckham and Michael Jackson. Not to shabby if i do say so myself. I consider myself honored to be in such good company.
ISFPs are observant, considerate, and kind. They appreciate being in the moment, and are often able to see beauty where others may not. ISFPs are particularly attuned to their environment and the emotions of those around them, and are motivated to bring harmony to both. ISFPs enjoy helping people achieve their goals, as they find meaning in being of service to others.
ISFPs are excellent listeners, and are sensitive to the needs of others. They value common sense and facts, often searching for a practical and immediate solution to a problem. ISFPs typically prefer to support others quietly and in the background, and may not have any desire to control or lead people and projects. As a result, an ISFP may find their accomplishments overlooked or underestimated by others.
Mark your calendars folks! Today is the day that this ISFP personality is going to turn over her Phd in self-depreciation, dust off that beautiful hand-crafted horn sitting in the corner and she is going to give it the toot of a lifetime. Please note: I am being very dramatic to build myself up.
TOOT: If I’m going to to release this toot, you better believe it will be done in style. So I now present to you Mr. Clarence Clemons on the Sax! Please insert sweet soulful sounds.
I am proud to announce the thing I like most about myself would be my incredibly quick wit. I’m not sure how you define “wit” but, my definition would include terms like; fast come-backs, under the breath sarcasm, snarky responses and hilarious one liners. This talent has been confirmed by the smiles or laughter they leave behind.
Everyone deserves a good toot now and then, so pick up your favorite horn and Enjoy the Ride!
Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.
I honestly don’t have a favorite online news source. My favorite way to receive news is via an old fashioned paper, you know where you get to turn pages. But, I do from time to time come across articles that I enjoy online via Facebook. The Onion is news with a twist that never disappoints. However, yesterday was different….
I came across this article on the Inquisitor Noah Pozner’s Mom Describes Newtown Victim’s Body, And Why We Should All Listen. Within this article you will also be able to read the original interview by Naomi Zeveloff, which appeared in The Jewish Daily Forward. Ms. Zeveloff interviewed Veronique, the very courageous mother of little Noah. She poignantly describes what she saw when she viewed his body prior to the formal services.
“We all saw how beautiful he was. He had thick, shiny hair, beautiful long eyelashes that rested on his cheeks. He looked like he was sleeping. But the reality of it was under the cloth he had covering his mouth there was no mouth left. His jaw was blown away. I just want people to know the ugliness of it so we don’t talk about it abstractly, like these little angels just went to heaven. No. They were butchered. They were brutalized. And that is what haunts me at night.”
Veronique’s methodical account of what she saw and why she needed to see Noah is raw. It’s personal, honest, horrific and necessary. She personally walks us through our own fears with dignity in this piece. This is not an easy read by any means, but listening to these horrific details is necessary in order for us to fully grasp the extent of harm that can be caused by these assault weapons.
I think Veronique says it best in this statement:
“I owed it to him as his mother, the good, the bad, the ugly … It is not up to me to say I am only going to look at you and deal with you when you are alive, that I am going to block out the reality of what you look like when you are dead. And as a little boy, you have to go in the ground. If I am going to shut my eyes to that I am not his mother. I had to bear it. I had to do it.”
We owe it to ourselves to do the same. Thank you Veronique.
The constant chatter about the impeding doom of falling off of the “oh so precious” Fiscal Cliff, had me crazy to the point of wanting to give it a big fat shove to help it along. Talk about beating a dead horse, or carcass in this case. Since early November we have been held prisoner to term “Fiscal Cliff.” What the hell does it mean?
Well, according to Fiscal Cliff for Dummies this is what it boils down to:
The United States fiscal cliff refers to a large predicted reduction in the budget deficit and a corresponding projected slowdown of the economy if specific laws are allowed to automatically expire or go into effect at the beginning of 2013.
What are we a bunch of wussies? I for one am much more afraid of things like Silence of the Lambs then falling off a fiscal cliff. Maybe we’ll have to struggle or god forbid sacrifice, but we’ll make it..simmer down. Remember the Great Depression? So does my mother, who was born smack into it and is still here to talk about it….you’ll all live. The imaginary money on our portfolios might take a hit, but we’ll all survive. I think some folks in that 1% category might have a much harder time than me…I’ve done struggle.
While all of our elected officials were sweating over the demise of their tax brackets, a big ole polka dotted elephant made her way to the center of the House floor. Rumor has it she was stunning. I heard first hand that she was wearing a red tutu with flashing lights, but it still wasn’t enough to get her recognized. What does a girl have to do to get noticed on the House floor? Please don’t answer that.
Her name was VAWA, she would have been 19 this year. Maybe you recognize her by her birth name, Violence Against Women Act. Sadly she is no longer with us since the GOP in the U.S. House of Representatives killed her this week. Yep, once again they will get away with murder. Why you ask? Other than the obvious, because they were too distracted by their own potential financial demise to give a shit, it’s because it would have expanded coverage of the law to more women including immigrants and Native Americans. More coverage, more money needed. It always comes down to the
Root of ALL Evil money.
Honestly, if we as a nation cannot recognize the importance of providing vital assistance, to vulnerable women and their children when they need it most, I think we all better take a glance in the mirror and ask ourselves…WHY?
Clearly there is a much bigger problem in this country and it has absolutely nothing to do with the almighty dollar. It’s the shortage of HUMANITY. We as a nation have fallen over the Humanity Cliff long ago. Where is all the hype about this freaking disaster?
Oh, sure humanity teases us now and then when it climbs back up that mountain, all tattered and torn from its many, many journeys over the cliff. Poor thing is hanging on by a thread. We all see it peaking over the top in the aftermath of some horrific tragedy, but then as life returns to “normal” or what is then defined as the “new normal” we shove it right back down. We can’t survive on these tidbits, we deserve more.
It’s obvious that the handful of good stories that surface in the wake of a tragedy restores our faith in humanity but it just isn’t enough anymore. These restorations need to be consistent in order to build a foundation that will prevent the fall.
Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world -Desmond Tutu
Our family units are broken.
Our children are becoming disconnected at the speed of light.
Our sense of community is scarce. We are distracted, divided and headed for disaster if we don’t collectively recognize this huge void in our daily lives. A unanimous Ah Ha moment is desperately needed for the common good.
It really is the everyday, unnoticed actions of kindness and caring that restore our faith in humanity. Practicing simple acts every day such as using caring words, providing a reassuring hug, lend a helping hand and confirm the acknowledgement of our existence by smiling at a stranger is a wonderful way to get started. Practice make perfect folks…we can do this together.
Remember, in the end that’s all we have is each other. So, take a moment to recognize that our obligation is not just with ourselves, but those who live with and within our decisions.
Keep it simple, make it significant and Enjoy the Ride!
First things first, I had to cash the check. I decided on one dollar bills for easier distribution. Just for the record, if I won the $500,000,000 there is a very good chance that I would at least ask to see it in ones…maybe roll around in it…naked….because that’s what the rich & famous do. Ok, back to reality.
Next task at hand was reading through all of the brilliant suggestions that poured in from my faithful followers. I must say these readers had some great suggestions. That’s a clear sign there are some good eggs in this world!
Kate over at coffeekatblog shared that if she won the big lottery she would put a wing on her favorite pet shelter. Well Kate, I only won 50 bucks but I hope you’ll be happy with my decision. I was at the pet store to purchase food for the king of the house when I noticed a table set up at the front of the store. I inquired and was informed they were selling little bundles that consisted of a can of food with a toy that would be donated to local pet shelters. BINGO! Thanks to Kate’s inspiration one dog & one cat at the shelter will have a Merry Christmas this year! $4.00 down $46.00 to go.
Next I took 5 one dollar bills, placed them into envelopes with a message and some smiles. DAF over at dearanonymousfriend and Benz over at benzeknees both suggested treating someone to a cup of coffee. This gave me the great idea to strategically place these envelopes at the Java Joe’s coffee cart in our building. Employees, patients and visitors stop by the cart during the day, many times for a much-needed break.
The other day when I stopped for a chai, the young girl at the cart told me about the “secret envelopes.” She took a picture of them with her phone and was clearly excited about the whole experience. She did share that one woman came down from visiting her mom in the hospital. Her mom was craving a “good” cup of coffee, but the daughter didn’t have any cash on her and the cart doesn’t take plastic. The woman used one of the “secret envelopes” and the young girl picked up the balance. Smiles all around on that note! $9.00 down $41.00 to go.
The idea of leaving a cheery note along with the cash came from Lynne over at Free Penny Press. So, in the spirit of surprises I took 6 more one dollar bills, placed them in envelopes with some smiles and taped them on the vending machines in the lobby. Sweets & Drinks on me. $15.00 down $35.00 to go. I also made 5 more random envelopes with happy messages and left them on the windshields of some battered looking cars in the parking lot. $20.00 down $30.00 to go.
My next idea came after noticing a frazzled young mother on my street. I remember those days all too well. This time of year the little ones are on a Christmas high that usually leave parents begging for 5 minutes of quiet time.
I took $10.00 to the Dollar Store and picked up Christmas coloring books & crayons and left them on the doorstep of homes with small children on my block. I included a note from Jingle, one of Santa’s elves, instructing them to color a picture and leave it for Santa. Hopefully that gave those parents at least 30 minutes of peace. $30.00 down $20.00 to go. My daughter was happy to play the part of Jingle for the delivery.
My husband and I stopped for lunch at a Panera. While we were there I noticed a young girl cleaning tables and organizing dishes. She was working hard to ensure that her area was spotless. Kathy over at fridaynight family suggested over tipping a server. Although this young girl was not a server, she was very friendly and hardworking. I left her an envelope on the table with $2.00 thanking her for efforts. $32.00 down $18.00 to go.
Next up was Dave over at Blog of Funny Names who suggested tipping someone who makes minimum wage. As I was loading my groceries into my car, a young man came over to get my cart. He and his co-workers were gathered in the parking lot heading to retrieve ALL the carts that were left far away from the store. Honestly, it takes 5 seconds to walk the cart back people. I gave them each $2.00 for their hard work out in the cold. $38.00 down $12.00 to go.
Another fine idea came from Julia over at Julia B Whitmore’s Blog Schrodinger’s Cat is Alive. Julia suggested spreading some kindness to those holiday opportunities that we see on the street every day. I see a young woman on my way to work holding a battered sign stating “Newly homeless and hungry.” I don’t know if she’s legit or not, but I’m not her judge. I gave her $5.00 and she gave me a heartfelt thank you. $43.00 down $7.00 to go. Julia also suggested a donation to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. Oddly enough I hadn’t come across one until Friday. $2.00 in the bucket! $45.00 down $5.00 to go.
The last $5.00 was put into envelopes with a simple message “Random Act of Kindness Pass It On.” I was trying to put these in just the right places. Hence the delay in finishing the mission. Then I thought there really isn’t a right or wrong place, so I went with my gut. One was left in a ‘Thank you” card at the Hallmark store. One was left on the counter at the post office. That decision was made after standing in line for over 45 minutes with a crew of Bah Humbugers. Next up an envelope strategically left in a magazine at the check-out, one inside a news paper and the last one amongst the toys at the Dollar Store.
Mission over accomplished with 32 Random acts completed! Heart refilled with joy and ready to Enjoy the Ride!
Our country is grieving. Each child who has been slaughtered belongs to each of us and each slain adult is a member of our family. It is impossible to explain the horror to ourselves and to our survivors. We need to hold each other’s hands and look into each other’s eyes and say, “I am sorry.”
Well friends, I’m here to report that I’m not a bizillionaire. I know sad but true. It really is tragic considering all of the kick ass plans I had for that dough. All those good intentions down the drain….again.
All those college loans lingering within my family, they’re staying. Keep paying your mortgages folks they won’t be paid off. No million dollar checks in the stockings this year kids, just new toothbrushes. Well, you can’t miss what you never had…right? Yea, you can…just a little.
So, while getting ready for work, because that’s what us common folk do, I decided to start focusing on the good fortune I did receive. The silver lining if you will. Prior to loosing the largest lottery on record, I was extremely excited about my other winnings, so let’s focus of the good here shall we.
Although I didn’t win the 500,000,000 (that’s a lot of zeros) prize, I did win $50 (that is one zero) on a chance I purchased from
my son. WOO HOO! Clearly even God is capable of typos. He was probably using his new iPad from Steve and still struggling with the whole touch screen thing. It’s much different from those other tablets he was using, so he is forgiven..this time. Now, what the heck am I going to do with my jackpot?
Since my original plan consisted of spreading my new-found wealth all around the world, I will now be forced to think on a smaller scale. On to Plan B. This 50 bucks is screaming to be released from my purse, so I better move quick. Taking that huge unexplained typo into consideration, it appears I will need to be very savvy with my spreading skills. It’s time to channel my inner Suze Orman for this challenge.
I’ve decided to collaborate my good fortune with this season of giving by performing 25 acts of kindness over the next few weeks. I have pledged to use my unexpected windfall to brighten the day of some unexpected recipients and share them here at Life With The Top Down. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section…we’re all friends here.
Practice kindness, Pass it on to others and Enjoy the Ride!
In the spirit of Thanksgiving I wanted to share with you a powerful perspective on how Thankful we are to live in the country we do, even if the election didn’t go your way. Any who … I thought the excerpt below sent an important message that needed to be shared.
This is a really interesting way to put things in perspective.
If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following.
There would be:
- 57 Asians
- 21 Europeans
- 14 from the Western hemisphere, both north and south, and
- 8 Africans
- 52 would be female
- 48 would be male
- 70 would be non-white
- 30 would be white
- 70 would be non-Christian
- 30 would be Christian
- 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
- 80 would live in substandard housing
- 70 would be unable to read
- 50 would suffer from malnutrition
- 1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
- 1 (Yes only 1) would have a college education
- 1 would own a computer
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent. The following is also something to ponder… If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death…you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep … you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
No matter how tough things can get, there’s still plenty to be thankful for…
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Enjoy the Ride!
This is an update on my recent post Democracy Is Alive. Looks like a small group of committed citizens certainly can make a difference…Oh yes we did!
After we gathered the troops to battle the politicians, we utilized our freedom of speech via the press and the good old social media. Fact: Facebook & YouTube scare the crap out of old politicians.
We went old school to pound pavements for signatures and also included an online petition for our cyber supporters as well. No one said it would be easy.
I was fortunate enough to be part of a team composed of like-minded individuals in order to make this a success. We all have talents that enabled us to move this forward quickly. This “project” was in the works for 7 years and we changed those plans in a little over 40 days.
For instance, my neighbor Joe created the video that tugged at heart-strings of his audience … hey now, nothing wrong with jumping on the sympathy wagon … which just happened to spread like wildfire, dubbing him the “Michael Moore” of our project.
Our neighbor Ray was our communicator/informant. He made calls to all parties involved daily to gather our
ammunition pertinent information, dubbing him “Deep Throat.”
As for me, well I was the digger. I searched until my eyes were burning and my fingers sore. Thank you Google and Public Records search engines thank you very much. This dubbed me “Erin Brockovich.”
The story made an appearance in our local paper The Northeast Times, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Radio Station 106.9 here in Philadelphia. Not bad for a few concerned neighbors.
Our initial goal was to stop the madness completely, however according to our City Councilman, it was already a “done deal” and although he admitted “I should have notified the community, I take full responsibility.” Let me finish this sentence: However, it was an election year and a lot of you already didn’t like me, so I decided winning for my 8th term was way more important than all of you.
Therefore, without a long drawn out legal battle we wouldn’t have a chance in reversing this deal. The other “done deal” will be this councilman loosing his next run for office. He has been in office for 32 years…so tootles!
After numerous negotiations we made the decision to compromise with the business owner and I am happy to report that we made some significant progress in saving a large portion of this land from the asphalt. It’s amazing what a collective effort can accomplish. Hmm, I wonder where this would come in handy *cough* DC.
The company we were up against has been at its current location for 11 years, with organic growth during that time, however he is getting cramped and does need additional space to expand. The fact that he is able to expand in this economy is a very good sign for our community.
We were extremely fortunate because just like us, this businessman was also duped by the politician involved. He was promised that “everything was taken care of” and he had nothing to worry about. Poor thing thought the politician was doing the right thing by him.
We have been given the opportunity to assist in the design of the area that will be surrounding the parking lot. It will now be bordered by natural berms, lined with mature trees to block our view and absorb sound. We blocked the idea of a chain-linked fence and agreed on something that would be safe, but esthetically easy on the eyes.
There is also going to be a “meadow” constructed using trees and grasses that are historic to the area. The business owner as agreed to maintain this portion of the property for (5) years to ensure this land resumes to its natural state. We were all especially elated about this piece of the plan.
This small sliver of the pie opened our eyes to some significant changes that need to be made in order have a successful voice in the decisions that are being made on behalf of “our best interest,” at all levels of our local government.
Now get out there and make a difference one act at a time….Enjoy the Ride!