Lost humanity

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Another trip in the ambulance and another ER visit. This time in a much larger city close by. There was a noticeable difference in care – both in quality and in humanity.

There are and have been a lot of things said about this whole health thing going on – you know, the one that starts with C and ends with D. It has caused a lot of fear and that fear has turned our society into a bunch of people with lost humanity. We have lost what it means to be human and to treat people in a humane way.

We see it all the time with the lockdowns. We see it all the time in the mandates. We see it all the time in masks and shots and the continual testing and the fight for basic medical rights/privacy as they are stripped away. We see it in the denials of service. We see it in the confrontations over restrictions. We see it in pointless rules that actually make things worse rather than helping the people they are supposed to.

Yesterday, I wasn’t allowed into the ER. Barred, with a whole bunch of other people, to sit and wait to see what happens – with little to no communication from the hospital staff. The patient actually had to text me, when able, so I could have updates.

I watched a mother of a severely autistic child argue with hospital staff about accompanying her child. It was obvious of his condition and lack of ability to communicate.

I watched as one of their own hospital nurses (white crocs, scrubs, name tag) struggle to breath while sitting in a wheel chair outside the ER doors. She was alone. She was probably late 20s maybe early 30s. When I mentioned to the lady behind the counter she was struggling, she shrugged and said she was being taken care of.

Obviously, I am frustrated with the treatment of my own loved one. The ER basically did nothing, other than monitor. My loved one said she had never experienced a more unfriendly healthcare experience. The ER doc said that since it didn’t appear to be life-threatening and their job isn’t to diagnose, they were going to release her. Basically, “We can’t help you and we don’t know what’s wrong with you, so get out.”

President Franklin D Roosevelt in his first Inaugural Address said that the “…only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” I has become increasingly clear that Americans have forgotten those words. We have totally and unwisely let fear control us over the last two years and, unfortunately, will probably continue to let fear control us.

Fear has caused us to lose our humanity. It’s a sad state to comment on, but the reality is that we have forgotten what it means to be human and to treat others with empathy and kindness.

This can’t be the way we move forward. We are doomed if that is the case.

The danger of precedent

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You’re gonna hear about the Supreme Court a lot in the coming days and weeks. They’re hearing a case that could change the course of human events in the U.S. for a long time to come (or not). It really depends on how the court decides the case it heard yesterday, the one about abortion and limiting it.

One of the ways the court makes it’s decisions is based on precedent. Precedent is used to help guide the court in making decisions related to issues of the past. A court obviously can’t really know if a decision they are making in the current day will be used as precedent, but they certainly know in the present when they are using the precedent set by earlier courts.

One of the things about SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) is that it relies heavily on precedents set by previous courts. This is kind of a nod to the fact that those justices have made a correct ruling based on interpretation of the Constitution, intent of the Founders, etc., etc. Therefore, most decisions coming from the court often don’t step on previous decisions and most often don’t overturn precedent.

But, there have been times where that has taken place and it was no small matter.

The best example of a court reversing it’s own precedent (and really the best one to apply now to abortion) is the 1896 case of Plessy vs. Ferguson. The precedent that was set by the court as a result of that case became known as the “separate but equal” doctrine. Essentially it established that, for all intents and purposes, segregation was legal as long as accommodations were equal for both races. Of course, we know the application of that doctrine didn’t really get applied that way and was the basis for all sorts of discriminatory and racist laws. Over and over there challenges to those racist laws and over and over the court upheld decisions in favor of racism simply because the justification was the precedent of Plessy. That precedent would eventually be overturned by a different and later court, which set a new precedent. The 1954 case of Brown vs. The Board of Education turned Plessy on it’s head by deciding in the case that separate was not equal but inherently unequal. Thus, sanctioned and legal racism was stamped out by a future court righting the wrongs of a previous court. There was a new understanding and interpretation and it was decided that the precedent was wrong, so they fixed it and made it right. It took 58 years to make that morally wrong decision, morally right.

Today, some 43 years after the Roe vs. Wade court decision SCOTUS has a chance to right another wrong. A chance to reverse a precedent that has cost millions and millions of human lives – those of unborn children. A chance to stand on what is morally right, saving the lives of babies, instead of standing on what is morally wrong, killing babies. It doesn’t seem like this should be that tough of a decision. But, apparently it is.

Going against public opinion isn’t an easy thing and I am sure it wasn’t that easy in the Brown decision, but it was the right thing to do. Lots of things have changed in 43 years since Roe was decided. Healthcare, medical knowledge, and technology has gotten a lot better in those years, so denying that life starts at conception is backwards as saying the Sun revolves around the Earth.

The arguments from the liberal side of the bench were a little strange yesterday. Sonia Sotomayor is standing on precedent and arguing for maintaining the status quo simple so the court can take on the appearance of legitimacy? Isn’t it less legitimate if it doesn’t correct precedent and right a wrong? To me that seems like a weird argument to make when talking about morally wrong judgements. Can you imagine if the court argued in 1954’s Brown decision that they needed to keep the Plessy precedent to “survive” and remain legitimate?

Anyone else find that strange?

Anyone else care about this topic? What do you think?

Ultimately, precedent can be a positive way to look at pending cases and it can be used as a guide to current issues, but if precedent can’t ever be corrected (despite public opinion) it’s a dangerous thing to stand on.

Partially informed

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One thing I really dislike is only getting part of the truth. Some would call this “omission” of truth. Some might go as far as to say it is lying since the whole truth was intentionally obfuscated. Deception. Dishonesty. Whatever you want to call it, I dislike it. The sad thing is that this seems to be common practice of nearly everyone in all aspects of daily life. Is there really an truth out there?

I hate trying to make a decision based on only part of the truth.

I hate trying to have a good attitude when I was intentionally misled about an activity or people.

I hate trying to be objective after I was only given some of the facts on purpose.

I don’t like being partially informed, even it it was unintentional.

I don’t care if you are an acquaintance, a friend, or a family member. If you aren’t going to give me all the details, I am going to be down right grumpy when I find out the whole truth or all the facts.

Recently, this seems to have been a common occurrence by those in my circle – close and not so close. I am only getting some of the info and I am finding out now, which is hurting relationships and even costing me more money in some instances. Unfortunately, the close the people are to the circle, the harder they are to push out of it.

I am always paying attention and I am, by now, obviously not the most trusting person because of past experiences. But, when the trust is violated even now, it makes for a difficult road ahead. People I shouldn’t have to distrust are causing me to do just that…

I am tired of living with my defenses up, waiting for the next instance to just confirm why I feel the way I feel.

People suck.

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!