Enjoy Every Good Thing

Okay, two weeks into the new year, I have deleted my twitter account and, I won’t be back on there. I was trying to think of it as a “necessary evil,” but the truth is, it isn’t necessary. It is the Tower of Babel. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was something I didn’t want to participate in any longer. There are some great things about the internet. For the most part, social media isn’t one of them anymore, for a lot of reasons that I don’t feel like getting into right now because I’m too disappointed and disgusted by it.

Lately, the political climate has been such that it’s made me sick to my stomach. I’ve cried more than once worrying about what is going on in our country, my country, the U.S. It is heartbreaking. People have become so blinded by hate that they are missing the bigger picture, the facts, the truth, the reality of how our Democratic Republic is supposed to work, how it is that we are a free country and the rules and laws that make the continuation of that possible. As a writer, I’m obviously concerned with issues regarding freedom of speech, and I think every writer should be. I think a lot of people don’t have any concept of what is happening, or, possibly has already happened, in this country. I will also tell you that I do not believe in communism or any of its supposed ideals. I’m listening to politicians continuously promising people things that they cannot deliver, and people eating it up because they think that’s the answer, some politician needs to make it all better for them. I hope we don’t all end up suffering the consequences of that, of wondering where it all went. In California, there are approximately one hundred and twenty thousand homeless. L.A.’s Skid Row is 14.5 miles from where they held the Golden Globes this year, celebrities with armed escorts giving each other golden statues, claiming to care so much. Our state income tax rate is the highest in the country at 13.3%. Our newly elected governor just said he thinks we need an additional tax on our drinking water, that we already pay for, in order to ensure its safety and continued potability. Meanwhile, the state spends twenty-three billion dollars per year on illegal immigration, has the worst schools, and is wasting seventy-seven billion dollars on a “Supertrain” to nowhere. You can google to your heart’s content as to the situations in California’s major cities with regard to drug use and homelessness. At the time of the last election, I listened to a local news station, out of Sacramento, saying how great it was that outgoing Governor Jerry Brown had “protected the surplus.” I couldn’t listen to it. Read this here if you’re interested, from Forbes. California has been horribly mismanaged for decades, to say the least. Reminds me of that series of reports way back called “The Fleecing of America.”

Then there’s all that is going on in the nation. I don’t know what to say about all that at this point, or what I want to say about it. I will say that people are not thinking so much as many are being led around by blind hatred and succumbing to fear. Others are being manipulated by ideas about “fairness.” I’ll tell you that you don’t often hear about countries falling to Capitalism. What you hear about are countries ruined by socialism and communism, freedoms and luxuries disappearing seemingly overnight. If you think what happened to Cuba when Castro took over was an improvement, we’re unlikely to have anything in common. People tend to think that “fairness” would give everyone more, when in reality, it would give everyone less. But even less than that, as it would remove the opportunity of ever attaining more, and that is the destruction of a great deal of hope. Those who think that no one should ever be wealthy because everyone can’t be wealthy, are wrong. Some people have earned their wealthย through their own efforts and labor. Others have inherited it and wouldn’t you leave something for your kids if you could to make their lives easier? I find it odd how it never occurs to anyone that we have no “poor” politicians. Some of California’s politicians have held elected office for decades, and it has made them wealthy, while the state is a shambles. I will tell you that when the population ceases to understand how its own government functions, or should, that government becomes vulnerable. I think most folks don’t understand their own freedom. I think they stopped teaching American Government, Civics, History, in schools and we’re paying for it now in a nation that does not understand its own Constitution or Rights. People don’t understand the electoral college or how it functions or why it is necessary, because the needs and wants of the people in the cities are not the same as those in towns or rural areas, and it all has to work together. We have a nation that doesn’t understand the difference between a right, and a privilege, and on and on and on. I will tell you that I think the people voted in good faith, but that there are things happening in our government that may change our government forever. It breaks my heart. I love this country. I think it’s too bad that so many have turned even that into something to be mad about, or ashamed of, without ever stopping to consider all the good this country has done in the world, or where anyone living in this country would be without the freedoms and protections we enjoy as citizens. It isn’t a perfect country, but so far, I’m glad to have always called it home. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of this nation. It breaks my heart, and I am praying for us all. And that is what I believe and think prayer is good for, though I think it’s good for other things too, everything, but when there’s nothing else we can do, or could have done? Yes, prayer is good for that in my book.

How does it get fixed? For starters people have got to start thinking more and emoting less. But, we’ve already established that I’m probably not here to save the world or create world peace. Incidentally, remember when people used to say things, humorously, like “Does not play well with others” and that was kind of funny/cool in a sense, because it meant you might have some backbone, a bit or rebel to you, a mind of your own? Remember when having a mind of your own was a great thing? Now, in the last week, I’ve seen three different postings on social media, and websites, regarding how social media is being used by some to determine whether or not you are acceptable enough for whatever it is, you know, are you a nice enough person? A good enough person? People straight up saying they’re doing exactly that, using social media to determine your worthiness. So, now, we’ve gone from be yourself and speak your mind and lead with your heart and let your freak flag fly, to, mind your p’s and q’s because you are being watched and evaluated. (That means they’re being exclusionary based on opinion and arbitrary criteria, something I bet they’d say they were against.) And I’ve seen people who were previously very outspoken on some issues, suddenly shut up. And all that is all kinds of wrong too. There are no perfect people. “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

I think, if you’re looking around at something and you don’t like the way it’s going, well, sometimes you can choose not to participate. I don’t like all the garbage on twitter and all the ways people are misusing and abusing social media. I don’t like the way it was affecting me personally and my use of time, so I’m out. I’ll follow my favorite webpages. The ones that don’t provide that option, I’ll go out of my way to visit them.

I think, enjoy every good thing as much as you can, and find joy in everything you can find joy in. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. Practice happiness. I think, practice having hope, and finding things to have hope in.