Sunday, August 20, 2017

 

Doing Stupid Things

By Donovan Baldwin

Sooner or later, we all do stupid things.

We do something without thinking, blurt out words we wish we could recall, think only of ourselves and not those who care about us. We often wind up hurting not only those who hear those words, but, ourselves as well.

Sadly, while we can learn from the past we cannot correct, or change it.

Any hurt done, pain inflicted, moves forward into the future. It takes time to erase the memory of that, and, I think, most of us know that.

What we don't know is how long it will take, or how completely the parties involved, ourselves, and anyone we hurt, will be able to "forgive and forget".

The old lesson states: Hurt me once shame on you, hurt me twice, shame on me.

That's why we stay away from hot stoves...we, or someone we know, got burned, and are, naturally just a little bit afraid of them... or wary, at least.

Most of us get over that lesson, and some move on to be great cooks. Still, we never forget that time we got burned, especially if someone who should have cared about us somehow let it happen.

So, I guess, when interacting with people, especially people you value and care about, take extra special care of them, and pay attention to your words and actions, so that they can NOT fear you in the future, and will be happy to be there with you...where you want them to be.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

 

It's Not Easy Being Me...Or You

By Donovan Baldwin

What is it Kermit the Frog says? "It's not easy being green."

Well, that's my complaint too. I'm not green, but, it's not easy being ME either.

Wait! Let's look at that a bit more closely and modify that a tad.

It's not easy being YOU, ME, or anybody, sometimes. There always seems to be somebody who assumes us to be somebody else...somebody other than who we are, or want to be.

Waxing nostalgic, it used to be a bit simpler, in some respects.

The people down the road, in the same town or village, or, in the same country, had many of the same beliefs. There might be a few personality bumps, but, that grouchy old guy two houses down had essentially the same belief system as you, and your happy mom and dad, extended family, and the mayor...and so on.

These days, there's more differences...politics, religion, personal philosophy and lifestyle...it seems easier to offend...and BE OFFENDED.

I bet when most of us DO happen to offend people, we probably didn't mean to do so.

That's one way we're still alike. Usually, if someone offends YOU, they probably didn't mean to, either.

You want them to forgive you for your mistakes and accidental offenses. Sounds fair to do the same for them. Even when we're trying to understand each other, we must realize that it took a long time for each of us to become who we are.

Someone else isn't going to figure it out in a day.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

 

Overbearing Ignorance

By Donovan Baldwin

In 72 years, I have made my way through college, and read my way through many books; technical, informational, philosophical, and fictional.

I have acquired, and forgotten, various job skills.

I have learned all kinds of terms for "stuff" from abstruse and confusing, to absolutely senseless.

One thing in common about ALL these terms is: If you say them to somebody who doesn't know what THAT term means, you might as well be speaking a foreign language.

THAT also means that, if you use one of those terms to someone who does not understand it, someone who may be ten times smarter than you OR ME, and they don't react properly...they are not necessarily dumb. If we understand their confusion and take the time to explain what we actually meant, THEN, neither are we.

“If you wish to converse with me,” said Voltaire, “define your terms.”

Two people cannot begin to understand each other, or even honestly agree or disagree, if they do NOT understand what the other is saying. Yet, so many times I have seen someone training, or arguing with, someone, gloat over their supposed superiority because they used terms the other did not understand, or was not familiar with.

Someone who intentionally uses unknown, specialized, or esoteric terms to make another seem ignorant, is an ideal example of ignorance.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

 

Something for Nothing? Not Likely.

By Donovan Baldwin

Sometimes, people complain that they don't get nothing.

Double negative. I know. Writer's privilege.

Anyway, many people expect stuff to just happen...fall in their laps. They don't understand how "getting stuff" works.

To GET something, you usually have to DO something.

Even winning the lottery usually requires getting up out of the chair, going to the store, and buying a ticket...or talking someone else into doing it for you.

Step one: DO something.

Step two: do something that CAN GET you something.

I admit that includes robbing banks, or, selling drugs, but, even there, there's effort involved.

Step three; if you don't know how to do something that will get you something, learn how to do something that will.

Go to college?

Maybe.

Ever wonder how much a plumber or a good diesel mechanic gets paid? Better than some "college" jobs, that's for sure, and, there's nothing wrong with working with your hands, and taking money for it from people who can't or won't.

You can put a kid through college on a plumber's pay or drive a fine car or own a fine house.

Any idea how many fast food franchise owners started out flipping burgers?

Me neither, but, I've met a few, and, almost every fast food manager did...and, yes, I was a Taco Bell, and a Dairy Queen manager for a while.

Once you've completed step three, you're ready for step two.

That's how many millionaires became millionaires. Next one could be you.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

 

Oh! The Horror Of It All

By Donovan Baldwin

My father lost an eye when he was a boy. I grew up not thinking that there was anything was odd about seeing his empty eye socket.

He had a fake eye, a glass eye, of course, but, had to clean his eye socket with a special towel.

Ever see somebody clean their eye socket?

Once, when my aunt, my mother's sister, known for her "fainting spells" visited, my Dad dropped his eye, and yelled, as you do when you drop something.

My aunt ran into the room.

He turned to look at her, and, she fainted.

He also had a huge gash down his leg, a souvenir from another childhood injury. It opened up fro time to time. When this happened, it suppurated (leaked pus) and, occasionally, the bone was visible.

Oddly, I was not allowed to see horror movies, probably for fear they would mess up my head somehow.

The first "horror" movie I ever saw was "The Tingler" (Vincent Price 1959). I was a theater usher, at the Saenger Theater in Pensacola, and saw it dozens of times until I was sick of it. (I saw Liberty Valence get shot a lot too.)


I also saw the trick they used to scare theater audiences watching "The Tingler"...which you cannot duplicate watching it on TV...unless you sneak up behind them and pop a paper bag at an intense moment.

By the end of that experience, I had concluded that "horror" movies were: Silly. Stupid. Ridiculous. Funny. Dumb.

Maybe I missed something as a result, but, I've never really missed missing it.

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Monday, August 07, 2017

 

I Like A Simple Life

By Donovan Baldwin

I like a simple life.

I don't have a lot of rules in my life, at least not a lot of ones I actually try to live by. I do try to follow laws and customs of wherever I find myself.

Most of the rules I DO try to live by are pretty simple.

Don't hurt people.
Help people.
Keep your word.
Honor your promises.
Respect the beliefs of others.

Simple stuff, with, yes, room for modification if reality requires. I respect the beliefs of others, but, I kind of hope they respect mine.

One of these is, "My house, my rules."

I won't get angry if you don't like the way I do things in my house, but, I will if you give me a hard time about it...in my house. You're free to say whatever you want...in your house. We're both free to either try to work it out, or go home.

If I offend, and you're not sure if I intended to, then that's proof I did NOT intend to offend, mislead, or hurt. If I do intend to offend, you will know because, it will probably be private, unless you make it public, and I will make sure you understand.

"Mislead" or "hurt"?

Yeah, those are probably accidental.

I try to be honest about who and what I am, and, if something pops up that bothers you, it just wasn't covered yet. I would have told you if you had asked.

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Sunday, August 06, 2017

 

I Can Be Negative

By Donovan Baldwin

I can be pretty negative.

In fact, I'm positive I can be negative.

Two good things. I also am positive that I can be pretty positive, and, I don't think that being negative is always...well...a negative.

Positively!

We sometimes negative people are the ones who ask, "Why?", and "How?" and "Why not?"

Oh, sure constant negativity can be a downer, man, but, I just cannot feel that constant positivity can be constantly a positively uplifting thing either.

At least I'm pretty positive about that. Look at old Yin and Yang, the circle of life, my checking account. Things grow and prosper, but, sometimes because they are eating something else. If somebody wins, it's possible that somebody else lost...or, at least...didn't win...which is kind of like losing...if you're going to be negative about it.

Anyway, I guess what I'm positively trying to get at, is that we can't all have good stuff all the time....at least not in this segment of the space-time continuum we currently occupy.

That's a negative. Here's a positive: Maybe someday, if we keep working at it, we will get closer to that world, even if it's not in our lifetime.

Now, I'm not sure if that ended on a positive or negative note.

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