BACKGROUND

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sing it!

Sometimes, I talk back to the radio when I'm listening to a song. Something will come on similar to this "She left me, took my dog, and now I'm sad." And I'll think, and occasionally say out loud, "Well, maybe if you hadn't treated her like dirt, she wouldn't have left you." I know I can't be the only one thinking that.

People usually write songs based on things they've experienced, which makes me wonder about songs with lyrics like this -

"Mad woman, bad woman
That's just what you are, yeah,
You'll smile in my face then rip the breaks out my car..."


Well, alrighty then. Poor Bruno Mars, he must have had a hell of a break-up with that psycho.

The interesting thing about songs is that we can all relate to them. Music has been called the universal language and it really is. It doesn't matter if you can't understand the language the song is being sung in, you can feel the emotions through the beat, the tempo of the music. I love it when I hear a song that makes me feel as though the artist is singing directly to me, to my pain, or my joy. Music makes us realize that we are not alone in our struggles and our joy. Elton John put it well in Sad Songs (Say So Much):

If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then It's easier to have those songs around
The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
and it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

RanDAMNess Part Some Number or Other

Before I get into Random thoughts, I have to direct everyone to this blog post over at If You Seek Amie. It succinctly and perfectly expresses my own thoughts on the rampant selfishness in the world.

Now then, random thoughts from life:

Each time I pull up to the ATM, it informs me that it speaks a new language. First, it was Spanish and then French, followed by Arabic. Now, it's Russian. My ATM is more cultured than I am.


The other day, I pulled away from said bank and saw that the exit from the bank now had a traffic light. Right in front of the exit is a horizontal crosswalk. That would be all fine and good, but there are no sidewalks ANYWHERE near this place. It's just a busy four-lane road. Not sure where the designers of that thought people were going to be walking and therefore be in need of a crosswalk. It's literally impossible to walk anywhere near that place.

I am a person who doesn't drink alcohol. At all. I have nothing against it, it is not a religious, moral, or otherwise Biblical decision of any kind and I am not a recovering alcoholic. I just don't drink. This seems to cause some people to believe that I cannot make my wishes on this matter known. I have had two different people at two different times feel the need to speak for me when someone offers me something to drink. Both times, I was sitting at a table and someone I did not know well offered me some wine. Before I could open my mouth to say "No thank you," the person who I do know well says "Oh, she doesn't drink." I guess my lack of drinking has obliterated my ability to speak for myself. 

Now, let me be clear. It is not that I am necessarily bothered by this per se. It's just really weird that it has happened to me twice with two different people. If someone offered me a food item I didn't like, no one would feel the need to say "Oh, she doesn't like spinach." And yet, when I am offered a drink, they feel the need to make it known that I don't drink. Maybe I don't care to explain that I don't drink (because that often causes a whole other discussion with people that I usually don't feel the need to engage in). Maybe I just want to say "No thank you" and move on, but for some reason people feel the need to jump in. It's a very odd phenomenon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Continue their work

On Martin Luther King Jr. day, there is no better time to discuss the hatred in the world. There is so much of it and really, there always has been. Perhaps we know more about it now because we have access to 24-hour/7-day-a-week news and we hear everything almost as it happens. Although we do not see the outward displays of hatred that we used to see prior to the civil rights movement, people still privately share their views that a black person is "less than." We have laws now against racial discrimination so a boss is not likely to openly call a black employee the N word, but privately the hatred is still there (and sometimes it's there publicly despite the laws against some of these egregious behaviors). With the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks coming up this year, I am certain we will hear more and more hatred directed toward the Muslims.

It has to end and we all know it, but the first thing we need to do toward that end is recognize the basic fact that judging a person on an external characteristic is wrong. Wrong is such a basic word, but it is a powerful one. We all have to stand up and say "This is not OK. It is WRONG." When someone blames an entire religion for the acts of an extremist, when someone makes a racially charged joke, we have to be willing to say something. We all need to stand up for what is RIGHT even if we stand alone because we are all connected to one another in this world even though we often refuse to see that.

No one in this world is better than another. We are all human beings, we are brothers and sisters fighting to get through the difficulties and sharing the joys of being human. We need to recognize that a person is not an external factor - all black people are not criminals, everyone raised in a trailer park is not trash, all Muslims are not trying to kill those of a different religion or belief system. Put yourself in the shoes of a person who is being judged by an external characteristic. If you're a stay-at-home mom, how would you like it if someone said that all stay-at-home moms are lazy and do nothing all day, but watch TV and eat Bon Bons? If you're a parent who has chosen to home school, how would you like it if someone said you're a religious zealot and your kids are going to be poorly educated and socially backward? Would you like it if someone told you that you are an idiot because you don't have a college degree?

The character of a person should not be judged by the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, the way they decide to educate their children, where they grew up, or whether or not they decide to go to college. These are all external factors that do not a person make. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers sacrificed their lives so that we could all be judged by who we ARE not by the color of our skin or any other factor. We are all together in making this world a better place and the sacrifices of those who came before us should not be forgotten. They should spur us on to do our part in continuing their work. It matters and every time you stop a racial joke in its tracks, every time you refuse to judge someone based on their religion, every time you stand up for someone, you move a stone away from the mountain of hate. We can break down these walls...TOGETHER!