Tag Archives: humanity

True Colors

DAILY PROMPT: Shipwrecked!

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.

281123201709953744_Fs8hbEnT_cPersonally, 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.

Angel Wings

DAILY PROMPT: Ripped From The Headlines

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….

K2621-06I 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.

Humanity Cliff

mw_1113_FISCAL_CLIFF_620x350The 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. 

The mascot went unnoticed

The GOP Mascot has left the building

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.

17654260Honestly, 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

561We are materialistic to a level that is on the brink on insanity. 

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 211106301254243494_jTQXJFTk_bday 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! 

Got Truth?

I’ve been pondering about writing on this subject, but I decided it was necessary.

On September 11th this year I had the pleasure of being in NYC one of my most favorite places to attend the taping of a very popular TV show.

My feeling was the ticket availability was due to the lack of enthusiasm for venturing into NYC on 9/11, but I don’t think that was the case. It seemed to be business as usual 11 years later.

As we headed out in the wee hours of the morning, I couldn’t help but notice how this day seemed to mirror 11 years ago, as far as the weather was concerned anyway. It was absolutely perfect with clear blue skies, cool air and bright sunshine. No one expected the darkness we all experienced later that morning and I certainly didn’t anticipate what I experienced 11 years later, which was absolutely nothing. No extra kindness, smiles, eye intact  or a word spoken the entire 2-hour ride for that matter.

The Faces of Vulnerability. LIFE

My Facebook, however, was exploding with images reflecting the towers draped in flags, flickering candles with prayers and, of course, the famous shot of the fireman planting the flag on the rubble. It was borderline annoying considering what I was experiencing in the real world.

All of these powerful images were met with the words “Never Forget.” News Flash….we’ve  forgotten something very important. Not the event, that will be embedded in us forever, but the lessons seem to be MIA. What happened to our vulnerability? 

As we were sitting on this bus, without an empty seat, I couldn’t help but notice the silence. It was deafening for god sakes, not a word was spoken.

I couldn’t help but think “If this bus blew up could I depend on this crew of statues to lend a helping hand?” Hey, I don’t walk around in fear of the sky falling, however, I don’t dismiss the possibility to the point of disconnect with the people around me.

Have we forgotten that the target that dreadful day 11 years ago was not the physical structures of these massive buildings, it was the strength they represented?

The real targets were our freedom, tolerance and decency. What happened to a sense of humanity? 

As I sat outside of a cafe waiting for my nephew to eat his 100th meal of the day, I watched a homeless man being passed by an endless sea of people. Did I mention he was an Army veteran, oh and that it was 9/11?

I understand people get tired of  giving up their dough to strangers that might be complete frauds…I get that whole thing. What bothered me was no one even made eye contact, he was invisible. 

Well, call me what you will I had to give him something before I left. He stood up, shook our hands, thanked us, complimented my nephew’s bow tie and explained his recent homelessness. He was legit, alive and very visible and long as you’re willing to open your eyes! 

Have we forgotten that we witnessed the worst of an ideology of fear and hatred, and the best of the American people? What happened to our unity? 

I was the last to enter the bus to return to Philly, only to find there were no seats..or so I thought. Apparently there was a seat being occupied by Louis Vuitton. Simmer down folks, not the man the travel tote! Seems like the designer travel tote, who was not a paying customer, suddenly had more value than me. After numerous requests, the bitch woman reluctantly moved Louis to the side without an ounce of acknowledgement to my existence…I was invisible. 

It could have been worse, it could have been a cheap knock-off! I had to justify it somehow people! 

All of this, along with the negative climate that seems to be clouding over us daily, really has me questioning my own Truth to Power. Why is it so hard for us to exercise these simple tasks? 

We speak to power in three senses:

  • To those who hold high places in our national life and bear the terrible responsibility of making decisions for war or peace.
  • To the American people who are the final reservoir of power in this country and whose values and expectations set the limits for those who exercise authority.
  • To the idea of Power itself, and its impact on Twentieth Century life.

Our truth is ancient: 

  • that love endures and overcomes.
  • that hatred destroys.
  • that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden.

You can check out more on this powerful statement right here….sttp.html

Honestly, if we want things to be different, we as individuals need to take serious action to recommit to communicating rather than acting rashly, focus more on building rather than destroying and observe wisely rather than acting without thought.

These small changes can make a huge difference, not just in our daily lives, but as a nation and a world.

We can do this folks….Truth to Power…one day at a time. Enjoy The Ride!

 

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