Anyone really care?

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So, there is supposedly one of the biggest sporting spectacles on Earth starting today (really is started a couple days ago with a soccer game) and I have to admit, I could care less. Like, I won’t even go out of my way one iota to see what is going on with the competition.

Does anyone really care about the Tokyo Olympics?

I mean, obviously, the athletes do but beyond that is there anyone left that really cares all that much?

I used to love the Olympics when I was younger and I can’t completely put my finger on the reason I don’t care about it now, but maybe it is because there is just too much attention paid to the athletes themselves and their only concern is really on themselves rather than representing the country for which they compete. I know for sure I could care not a lick for the politics and social agenda being injected into the sports.

Or maybe it’s the fact that the cities/countries that host the games are expected to spend HUGE amounts of money to build modern, spectacular facilities and new infrastructure to support the games. The spending has gotten ridiculous – money that could be spent elsewhere – all for the sake of impressing the world for a short period of time. After the Olympics are over, some of the facilities are converted for public use and others are just abandoned.

There is no luster left in the competition, despite the Olympic committee trying to generate it. At least, there isn’t any for me.

I am curious then, who is still interested (let alone excited) for the Olympics? If it still gets your attention, why? If you are no longer interested like me, what was it that caused you to practically ignore that it was even taking place?

Predictable intrusion

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You didn’t have to be a fortune teller to see this stuff coming.

Those people who predicted that Animal Farm or 1984 would come true (you know, the ones labeled as conspiracy theorists) apparently weren’t so far off, as the government has, and continues, to be in close contact with social media giants in order to “control narratives,” direct information, kill truth, and thus subjugate the population as it continues it’s bent on thought control. Obviously, the media itself has been in on the whole thing too, but then we already knew that.

The Biden administration confirmed that they are indeed coming after your free thought, the ability to ask questions and be skeptical, and truth in general as they seek to bury anything that doesn’t fit with their narrative. It even doubled down on Friday by saying, essentially, that your freedom of speech and free thought didn’t matter if it didn’t fit with the information they want you to have.

I have seen that the government is exploring the possibility of injecting themselves (see what I did there?) into your private text conversations to also combat misinformation. Though they deny that is really the intention, it can’t be too far off if they are battling people making choices of their own free will to not get the vaccine.

Soon, there will be people showing up at your door (if you aren’t vaccinated) to lecture you on the need to get vaccinated. As the Biden admin and Dr. Fauci state, it’s not the government doing this but “trusted” community activists who will be at your door to harass you. No, they aren’t government goons yet, but that could be down the road when you choose not to follow the silly government restrictions for operating your business or whatever.

I supposed life will continue to get uncomfortable for those who like to think skeptically and for themselves. The effort being put forth to control where you go, what you do, how you do it, and when you do it OR what you say, when you say it, how you say it, and where you say it is totally unprecedented in our history.

If you believe that the government (no matter who is in control) has your best interest in mind, your are sadly mistaken.

Only YOU have your best interest in mind and if you are letting others control what you believe and how to believe it, then you will lose your ability to have your best interest in mind.

You are giving up control and you won’t get it back.

Finger pointing

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There is a whole lot of finger pointing going on these days. “You did this,” or “You did that,” or “You failed to do…” is a common refrain heard across the land. It seems no one wants to be responsible for their own actions any longer. It is always someone else’s fault. It is always because of someone else’s failure. It is because of someone else’s attitude. It is because of someone else’s wealth or lack thereof.

Someone else is always to blame.

Or at least that seems to be what a majority of people believe and are trying to convince others of.

Newton’s Third Law says, “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

In general, Newton was actually talking about physical items. Some, however, would argue that it doesn’t really apply to “life” and shouldn’t be misused that way.

I say those people are idiots.

I would posit they are saying that because they are one of those people who don’t believe in ownership of their own actions.

How about coming at it from a different angle – Every action, inaction, attitude, reaction, has a consequence. Perhaps this would be more influential coming from someone else:

A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching. — Sivananda

So, how does this apply to the topic at hand?

EVERYTHING we do or say has consequences. Those consequences are in direct correlation (almost always) to how we navigate through life. Our actions in our environment, our interactions with others in our environment will always have consequences – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. There is never not a time when this isn’t true. Sure, the result might not have immediate consequence but make no mistake, there will eventually be a consequence.

I can’t help but take a look at the news and wonder how life would be different for lots of people had they made different choices in any given situation, whether a long time ago or in the immediate time and space.

Situations?

  • Law enforcement interactions: How you react in the situation will determine how they are going to react to you. Resistance, evasion, force, weapons, or suspicious activity will generate various levels of reaction. Do you always deserve the type of reaction you are going to get? Nope. But, you have to remember that your actions likely triggered the interaction in the first place. As such, your actions will also determine how the interaction progresses and ends. I can’t help but think there are a lot of situations as of late that ended terribly for lots of people (on both side of the law) because they weren’t following the law.
  • Cheating (whether in minor things or big things): You make the choice to be dishonest or to hide something from someone. You are creating a situation that will have a consequence. Will you experience that consequence right away? Maybe, maybe not.
  • Financial decisions: Spend wisely, reap positive consequences (most typically). Spend poorly, reap negative consequences (almost always). Either choice will likely result in habits that become a cycle. The cycle, as cycles go, repeats itself over and over. If you stop pointing fingers at others on why the cycle keeps perpetuating itself and change your behavior, because really no one else is to blame, then you will get different results. Thus, an action still has a reaction – just you get to decide if it is positive or negative.
  • Weight or health management: Admittedly, there are some genetics involved here, but for the most part you are still responsible for what you do or don’t put in your body. Make good choices, reap good benefits and a healthier body. Make poor choices, reap poor health and continually cascading issues. It all starts with a choice.
  • Work ethic: Your outcomes at work are directly related to how you approach work. If you are diligent, dedicated, conscientious, motivated, and energetic then you will likely have a good work experience. If you are lazy, apathetic, unmotivated, and have attitude issues then you will likely have a hard time keeping a job.

Are there exceptions to these things? Of course! Even Newton had exceptions to his 3rd law.

BUT, you can’t make a life out of pointing fingers and always blaming someone else.

You can’t be finding or relying on the exceptions for everything. If you are always looking for the exception, you probably really are looking for excuses. And those excuses? Those are the things holding you back and keeping you from making the right decisions at the right time, because you’ve trained yourself to point fingers and not take responsibility.

I’ll end with this, and I know it is cheesy, but the whole “Don’t forget if you point a finger at someone, you still have three pointed back at you.”

It’s true. Before you blame someone else for something, you better look at the choices and decisions you made along the way that got you to where you are at that moment in time.

Virtue signals?

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You have probably noticed a weird trend on social media these days. Weird, or is it just empty virtue signaling? There is a lot of virtue signaling going on these days for quite a lot of various subjects. What do you think about people doing things or saying things just so they can appear to be better than you or others? Are you down with that? Are you doing it?

The trend of which I speak has to do with the virtue signaling of posting pictures or videos of getting the COVID vaccination. Surprisingly, people I didn’t expect to see this from are actually doing it too.

Is it that you think by letting people know you have the vaccine that they will somehow think more of you? That you are meeting with their approval? That you are better than me or someone else because you have complied with social demands to do so? Have you succumb to peer pressure and in turn now become the peer pressurer?

Do you post about when you get the flu shot?

Do you post your taking your blood pressure meds?

Do you post about your hepatitis treatments?

Do you post that you were vaccinated against the chicken pox, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, or other childhood vaccinations?

Do you post about other medical issues?

Yes, getting the COVID vaccine is a personal choice, but does that mean we broadcast those medical personal choices to everyone? If not, then why are you doing so with this?

Perhaps you should check your motivations.

What virtue, exactly, are you signaling? By broadcasting it, are you signaling that you actually support the “vaccine passport” that would supposedly allow you to get into public events, other countries, and the like? Isn’t that a sort of medical discrimination? Do you support that too?

I doubt many people actually care whether you have your shot or not. It’s your choice to get it, or not. I don’t care. I don’t care about this one and I don’t care about any of the others.

Keep it to yourself. No one actually has a need to know.

Emotional blindness

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Let’s just start this whole thing by saying I am not talking about Alexithymia. I am not talking about the inability to express one’s emotions and I am not talking about a person who is “cold” and has no emotion towards something or someone. I am not talking about indifference or a lack of empathy.

I am talking about people who get so caught up in their emotions that it keeps them from rationally thinking about something or someone. I am talking about people who let their emotions dictate their response to almost everything. I am talking about people who refuse to set their emotions aside, causing them to be blind to the way they are thinking and acting. I am talking about people who are controlled nearly completely by their emotions instead of using their head.

I am sure you know what I mean.

Take a look around. Watch the news. Look at either political side. Take any controversial subject.

There are far too many people who have emotional blindness. They simply have allowed their emotions to control them and they refuse to look at the issues in a rational, logical way. They refuse to get to the root of the issue and instead allow the emotions to taint any true thought.

It’s sad. It’s irritating. It’s frustrating.

It’s the state of our world, our country, our time.

Frog in a pot

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A frog doesn’t know it is being cooked when the heat inside the pot slowly rises. Instead, it stays in the pot and doesn’t try to escape because it doesn’t recognize the danger it is in until it is too late.

There are a lot of Americans who don’t realize they are frogs in the pot.

The chef in the kitchen are the Democrats and their recipe for destroying America has all the right ingredients at the moment.

Compliant or apathetic people who look to the government to take care of them and solve their problems.

I may be a frog in the pot, but I sure know what the hell is going on and I am doing my best to get out, but those other frogs in the pot just keep pulling me back in.

Are you willing to get boiled, a slow and steady death…of your freedoms?

You better wake up and open those eyes soon. Those people you put in power are going to take your power and there won’t be any looking back.

Sick days

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What are your feelings on Sick Days? Have you or do you currently work in a position that offers you Sick Days? If you had access to Sick Days, did you use them? Maybe a better question is how did you use them?

Kind of loaded questions, probably. Here’s another…does they way you use your Sick Days say anything about you, like as a person?

As most of you understand, a paid Sick Day is for those times when you (or someone in your family) are physically ill and it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to work (or you need to care for someone), or if you (or someone in your family) have medical appointments you need to attend. In general, these are the only acceptable uses of your Sick Day(s).

With that being the general understanding of how a Sick Day is supposed to be used, where do you stand when people use a Sick day for something other than those two reasons?

Examples of other uses:

A co-worker takes a Sick Day because they want to take an extra day on either end of a holiday or vacation.

A co-worker uses a Sick Day to go shopping, or to take a beach/lake/whatever day – basically like a vacation day.

You take a Sick Day as a “mental health” day.

You aren’t sick, but just don’t feel like dealing with your co-workers today so you use a Sick Day.

A co-worker is avoiding doing part of their job so they take a Sick Day.

Obviously, there are lots of scenarios where someone could use a Sick Day for something other than being sick.

So, how do you feel about it? Is anything acceptable now?

I have some 100 days of Sick Leave accrued from the last 19+ years (15 year of teaching and 4+ in my current position).

I very rarely used my Sick Days when I was a teacher because it was just easier to go to school than it was to get a sub (all teachers feel this way), and I almost never use more than half of my allotted Sick Days in my current position. So, I have a large bank of days to draw from should I need them.

I guess this all comes from the fact that some of my co-workers have used all their Sick Days up (because they didn’t use them for their intended use) and then something happens and they need to ask for people to voluntarily gift them Sick Days. I know people who regularly (and often) take Sick Days to just do whatever they want because they can and no one questions them about it.

What do you think?

Do you think poorly of the people who use the benefit in such a way, or do you think it is OK to take an occasional “mental health” day?

Drop your thoughts, or experiences, in the comments. Really curious what you all think!

Loss of freedom

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Did everyone really think China was just going to leave Hong Kong alone when the British handed it over 23 years ago? Sure, the agreement said that China would have to keep it’s democracy intact and not limit the freedoms of the people loving there. Ha! With a wink, wink, and a nudge, nudge China said, “Sure, we’ll do that.” But they secretly had their fingers crossed behind their backs.

We have watched the slow-ish erosion of freedoms ever since. Today, the Communists in China effectively eliminated democracy from the one area most hoped would have greater influence on the rest of China. The resistance in Hong Kong has been admirable, but Communism just keeps on rolling. Mao is probably dancing in his grave today.

I feel sad for the people in Hong Kong. Their lives aren’t going to get better. It almost always goes the wrong direction when it comes to this stuff.

That Great Wall of China just got, for all intents and purposes, a little longer.

Resigned truth

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Two stories in the media over the last week deal with the truth and ultimately what may lead to a resignation in both cases. In one instance, the resignations came swiftly. In the other, it remains to be seen on what will happen but I am fairly sure it will also result in a resignation.

Truth hurts.

Plain and simple.

Of course, we live in a world that now speaks of “your truth” or “my truth.” There is no such thing. There is only one truth. You can’t create a truth for yourself because it makes you feel better. Truth doesn’t care about your feelings. Truth is truth. You can’t invent truth by telling a lie over and over again to make it true (though there are lots of people who do this). Truth is unchanging, even when we don’t like it.

School Board

Was the school board that far off on what they said in a “hot mic” moment for a meeting? They all have since resigned, but what exactly are they resigning for? The truth? Sure, they were speaking in generalities and doesn’t apply to all parents, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

If you have been in education at all (and I was for 15 years), the feelings of frustration expressed at the meeting are feelings that all people in education, at one time or another, have felt and thought. Teachers know full well that parents are the WORST part of the job. Not the students. Not the admin. Not the co-workers. Not the long hours or the endless paperwork. It’s the parents. Always the parents.

So, their criticism of the parents was not off base at all. Yes, they want their babysitters back so they can go to work. Yes, they want their kids gone so they can smoke pot (side note: the kids I was teaching as high school students are the late 20s, early 30s adults that led the push to legalize pot and are now smoking openly in their homes, around their children). Yes, parents don’t care what it takes each day to teacher their children. No, they don’t understand that their child acts differently at school than they do at home. Yes, not all kids are angels and they DO act like that at home and at school.

Professional Baseball

Kevin Mather of the Seattle Mariners head office (President and minority owner) stepped into last week with a video that basically offended everyone in baseball or that enjoys baseball. BUT, did he say anything that wasn’t true or hasn’t been thought and felt over the decades of baseball? No, I don’t think so.

The problem is that he talked of some things that are “taboo” I guess. Openly admitting that you are playing with people’s careers in order to keep them under contract longer or that hiring additional support staff to aid baseball personalities is a drain on revenue isn’t something we haven’t all thought or assumed. But the fact that he had the audacity to say the truth, in essence exposing a dirty little secret that every team in the league has dealt with, has turned the baseball world upside down.

Will he ultimately end up sacrificing his position? Yeah, I think he will. He is going to have to play to the PR nightmare game that is created by candor and truth, because people don’t like it.

To make amends, people will demand his resignation just like they did with the school board mentioned earlier. It won’t make the issues go away. The truth won’t make the issues go away. The issues will just be swept under the rug again and it will be business as usual. There won’t be a reckoning with the truth and people won’t change their ways.

They’ll (those being spoken about) just create their own truth to justify their behavior and keep on, keeping on.

One, other, or all?

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Sometimes the choices about a how you use your time and the entertainment that you consume is tough. There are so many different options these days. From the extremely varied different video streaming services, to all the music streaming platforms, to all the options for books (real, audio, digital), podcasts, and social media.

It literally is difficult to keep up with all the options. Like literally.

I like movies and TV.

I like audio books.

I like listening to music.

I like listening to a couple different podcasts.

So, the question is, how do I do it all? Do I need a schedule? How do I give them all their due audience? Seriously.

I like music to fill time while I am putzing. I like to listen to podcasts and audio books while I putz. I listen to music while I work.

I like to watch stuff, but I actually watch – I can’t just listen. That takes time.

So, how do I watch my shows and movies, listen to audio books and podcasts, and how do I listen to all the music?

Are you like me? Do you do all this stuff or do you just focus on one? How do you deal with all this entertainment and balance it, like to keep up with it?