Agent of Chaos

Sure, I could easily be talking about our Chief Executive Officer of the USA—certainly nobody does chaos like he does, but actually I was referring to our kitten/cat/Tasmanian 20170609_131620 (1).jpgDevil that magically appeared on our front step about 2.5 months ago.

I don’t mean to be discriminatory about orange, tiger-stripe cats here but since I’ve had a large number of cats and kittens in my life, including two previous ginger-striped ones, I knew that seeing this tiny, starving, max shoe.jpgmonth-old baby at the door was likely going to be quite a ride if we kept him because the other two little tigers had been in leagues of their own for terrorizing everyone around them, including the other cats and dogs.

But how can you turn away a gift from Spirit like that? We just couldn’t.

I named him Max—short for Maxim the Great. He’s very entertaining, very challenging, and he’s very, very naughty.

max eyes (1).jpgWhen a kitten holds eye contact with you to the extent that Max did at the start, I knew he was pretty intelligent, and would soon learn how to push all our buttons.

He’s going to be a big guy from the looks of his over-sized paws to his ever-lengthening legs and tail.

He’s also a real toughie who doesn’t back down from a good rough-housing until you’ve called the truce, not him. After the first week, he walked around here like he owned the place and we were merely his servants. I know most cats do that, but he’s worse—he’s a max eyes (2).jpgbiter—he enforces his own rules. I can trim his nails weekly but I can’t trim his teeth.  The only thing that presently saves us from blood scabs all over our arms and legs is using a water squirt-bottle on him when he bites or locking him in time-out for awhile.

Clearly we’d forgotten how good-mannered our last inside adult cats had been until Max reminded us of the difference between him and them. No plants are safe now, nor is any small object that can be pilfered from fewer and fewer locations that remain outside his leaping abilities.

The house is a mass of toys to distract him, boxes and beds to house him, and towels and blankets on all furniture to prevent him from shredding them—with his teeth, no less.

He has brought chaos into our previously quiet and stagnant lives.

max me.jpgI mean I’m trying to type this one-handed at times because he insists on being the middle of whatever I am doing; and it’s so rare when he’s loving and huggable, that you make allowances to accommodate him because Tasmanian Max is a terror of “epic proportions, unlike the world has ever seen before,” to quote the earlier mentioned agent of chaos that our nation/the world must presently endure.

I wonder if water squirt-bottles and time-outs would work with him? Someone should try it.

Anyway, I keep reminding myself that kittens go though behavior stages and soon enough he will be fat and lazy like most adult cats become. We simply have to survive the 1st-year growth phase. In the meantime, I also recognize Spirit’s metaphor on agents of chaos shaking things up in stagnant environments.

Let’s hope the nation and the world survives the large “orange one’s” insanity because I’m pretty sure he won’t outgrow it.

But as the vet said to give us hope for the future, “Neutering might help.”max on afgan.jpg

Vestigial Appendages

While reading a novel I ran across a humorous sentence—the main character was describing his boss’s mindset against treating others with basic human dignity.  “He viewed doing so as a vestigial appendage”—meaning it was similar to wisdom teeth and the appendix in human anatomy—an unnecessary present-day function and a left-over remnant from an vestigial.jpgancient time.

I chuckled at the reference, thinking it worthy enough of further consideration to have written it down on the napkin beside me. Those two words inspired memory flashes to my ninth grade Biology class—possibly a test question using that same mouthful, multi-syllabic, moniker for “the appendix” that I would eventually have removed forty years later.

In our current world, we deal with society’s vestigial respect dignityappendages all the time, but I wouldn’t call treating people with dignity and respect as one of them. Unfortunately in the last decade, our society has devolved into this particular mindset. We don’t respect others—we don’t respect differing opinions—and we don’t respect those who think differently than we do.

When a presidential candidate, and now The President of the United States, calls people that he wants to demean or diminish by childish, hurtful, disrespectful names, it lowers social mores in general to the level of street-slang and playground taunting.

Hearing a candidate for president doing so is disgusting, but hearing the chief representative of the American people doing it daily is appalling and unacceptable.

The problem, in my humble opinion, is that there are too many other adults who enjoy the childish nature of disrespecting others—too many people in our nation who like to put others down just to feel better than them—too many people who like to feel superior or separate from others for cliques.jpgone fleeting, delusional moment in time and alternate reality.

It’s like reliving junior high all over the nation—with mean-girl cliques and popularity trumping group camaraderie and compassion for all others.

Grow up people!  We are better than this!

Treating people with basic human dignity is NOT a vestigial appendage.

As the Senate now shows its take on the health care bill to the rest of us and many responsibilityviewing it aren’t surprised at the Medicaid cuts to people who need the most help, or the abundant tax cuts for those who need it the least, this situation is simply representative of a far deeper problem: How do we view ourselves in relation to all others around us?

Societies are only as strong as their treatment of the weakest among them. If some members of a society are considered expendable and not worth the rest of our time or expense, then how do you make the determination of where each of us rank in that same scenario?

hands of societyAre we already expendable now or perhaps will we be in another decade or two? Is there an age limit to caring about others? Are others too old, too young, too challenged, too needy, or just too much trouble?

When other people’s problems aren’t presently MY problems, how will I feel when suddenly life flips like it often does and I suddenly need help, and now MY problems aren’t something anyone else wants to deal with?

What we are seeing right now are the warning shots of a aree to respect.jpgGreat Society in peril of losing its sense of humanity—of losing its premise of basic human rights and dignities—of losing compassion for others, or failing to recognize that by one nasty twist of fate, you or I could be on the wrong end of someone else’s refusal for social responsibility.

This is a certainty: That social pendulum has to swing back to center soon or it is just a matter of time before we ALL will be considered vestigial appendages—easily removed from public consideration by a surgical slice—or the slash of a pen.

Do you want to find yourself on the operating table this year or maybe the next?

I know I don’t.strong together.jpg

Treatise on Integrity

integrit paper.jpg“Integrity: That which shall be humanly borne and displayed as an essential aspect of truth.”

Well that’s my definition of integrity if no one else’s.

“To live with integrity is to be intimately aligned to one’s truth and core values.”

Again, that’s my take on it.

But I do know from personal experience that if you live your life with integrity and truthfulness, you will never be disappointed in yourself.

There will be others who might not be very happy with you at times, especially when your integrity blocks their intentions, but you will stay true to your own ideals if you maintain your sense of personal integrity and right-action focus.

So what does this mean in today’s integrity-starved world?

For one thing, you will definitely stand out from the crowd—you might even be the focal point of the crowd’s anger, which isn’t the most enjoyable place to be.integrit 2

For another, you will find yourself reaching very deep within for the strength and courage to keep your integrity untarnished amidst the constant deluge of complaints and insults slung in your direction.

Another possibility? You might lose a friend or two during the process of staying true to your own beliefs on the rightness of a situation or an action.

But the really strange thing about personal integrity is that nearly everyone believes that THEIR core beliefs and the courage of THEIR convictions are the only TRUE ones possible, which makes the rest of our efforts to maintain personal integrity questionable to them.

integrit 3As much as I value integrity and truth, and I definitely do value them, I also know that what I believe to be the ultimate TRUTH may not be the same as what others believe it to be. We don’t all think and feel the same.

Furthermore, in my rational mind I know that truth is often the perspective of whoever is holding that viewpoint.

But also in my being I know that what I stand for as a loving and compassionate human being is as strong and unwavering as any army’s professed allegiance to any person, place or belief.

Stubbornness is my finest trait or so I’ve been told, because to me integrity is a core value that is worthy of staking one’s integrit 1personal reputation on and/or career future. Holding one’s personal integrity firm and unbending can define us as compassionate human beings when others around us flutter in the winds of political change and collective opinion.

In the largest sense, our Nation was built on certain fundamental assumptions on rightness and fairness, on equity and justice; and when the integrity of any democratically elected official is in question or fluctuating toward non-democratic ideals, then further exposition and assessment of possible wrong-doing must be allowed to happen. The democracy that supports us depends on the integrity of those who lead it.

If we can’t at least rely on a leader’s integrity to do what is lawful and right as guaranteed to us by our U.S. constitution, then we have little firm ground on which to take a stand.

integ world

As I mentioned previously, maintaining one’s integrity is often a tough and lonely stance to take in the face of tumultuous, self-serving opposition, but sometimes it is the only stand we truly have before we are driven to our knees.

No Sense of Identity

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Looking at my Facebook homepage this morning and seeing yet another of those “Who Are You?” quizzes (a potato chip or a Dorito?) being shared and taken by people who I actually know, I could make a broad non-judgmental comment like: “Human nature—go figure.”

But I think there is something deeper there to consider.

marketingAside from the on-line fun-quizzes being a marketing gimmick to further determine your buying habits or preferences for future products, they also show how gullible people can be and how willing many are to label themselves in some way for public acceptance.

 

I guess that aspect mystifies me the most.

The entirety of my life I have fought against the ready use of labels and judgments in labels.jpgdefining people—against me personally being grouped as a thoughtless commodity so easily shelved into a hierarchal genus or a colloquial catch-all phrase that disputes my individuality and unique qualities as a living, breathing, human being.

I refuse to be de-humanized.

While here, on my Facebook homepage—amidst people I actually know—they giggle and comment on which Saint they are, or which animal temperament they resemble, or which world leader they most emulate or which….snack food they seem to be.

identityI mean, ….seriously people? Do you have no sense of personal identity that you need to have a marketer try to group you onto some grocery shelf in the snack isle?

What’s wrong with you?????

 

So the best I can offer the people I actually DO know is to say: “Human nature—go figure.”

And leave it at that.crisis ident.jpg

Perspicacious

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I ran across this word yesterday in a crime novel and not knowing its meaning, I web-searched to find:

“having a ready insight into and understanding of things. SYN: discerning · shrewd · perceptive · astute · penetrating

Ok, …great.  Never knew what it meant, but now I do. So do I use it in every third sentence, or will it slip off my mental horizon as quickly as it emerged?

Yes, it’s more likely to be the latter case especially because in today’s world, perspicaciousness (the intelligence manifested as being astute) is rare.

Who needs to be exceptionally perceptive? How about insightful? I mean where will that get you, eh?

A knowing, penetrating gaze—capable of seeing through deceptions—of what value is that in our lives?

Certainly we can trust everything we hear, and see before us, can’t we? I mean when is discernment ever valued?

For example, would a President or his spokespeople ever intentionally deceive us?

Would some news outlets use their media platform to spread lies or carefully sherlock.jpgmanufactured propaganda like some autocratic dictatorship trying to keep its people in line?

Would disinformation ever be spread by either side of a political campaign to destroy all confidence in the voting process of a democracy?

Well of course not.

That just doesn’t happen in America, right?  What with all our FREEDOMS of press, religion, speech, right to bear arms, right to peaceful protest, etc., those nasty blotches on our freedoms cannot possibly exist, can they?

Yes, I can see that this new word “PERSPICACIOUS” will be gone from my mind as quickly as it arose, because there simply is no need for it.

All is well.  I can easily see that.

A Confluence of Events

Nothing invites chaos faster than proclaiming certainties.

No, the USA elections result isn’t because of a superstitious curse—the Cubs winningc-goat the World Series didn’t simply pass their “curse-goat” to the Democrats.

Last night (or early this morning), national news pundits began the election autopsy even before the critical battleground states were ceded. Something just wasn’t falling into line in every state’s rural-area voting totals; and all puzzled over what they were trump 2.jpgseeing until a deeper realization set in—Trump really was going to win.

The joke that we thought was his bid for the presidency, was actually on everyone else.

I can honestly say that this particular joke didn’t seem very funny last night—nor does it this morning.  But it is what it is. And you simply move forward from this day on just like I mentioned in my October 25th post. No matter who would be elected, it only mattered that it “makes life safer, better and happier for everyone.”

Time will tell, I guess.

Then I noticed that after listening to a few stunned morning-news people, I sighed and actually felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Yes. I could now pull out and gwbreuse my old response to every whining criticism I ever heard about President George W. Bush’s antics and actions from 2000-2008:

“Don’t tell ME about it—I didn’t vote for him!”

There……  I feel better already.

A Bit Too Early

After watching last night’s debate spectacle the only thing that I am certain of is that I took my nightly shower WAY too early.

It’s unfortunate that so much shadow-fodder has become the determiner of who will become the next President of the United States of America, but it appears that this is indeed the case.

limbo party.jpgThis was reminiscent of 1960’s “limbo” party-goers shouting to the gathering crowds: “How low can you go, my friends?  How far backward can you bend and still pass under the low-hanging bar?”

Well, it looks like we nearly scraped the ground last night with only those who slither capable of passing beneath it.

And slither he did, …this way, … and then that way.  One commentator said it was like watching a stand-off between a cobra and a mongoose.cobra-mongoose

 

Beyond the dust-kicking spectacle on last night’s television, I was a little amused Friday night and Saturday by the religious zealots suddenly remembering their moral stances and denouncing their alignment to limbo snake-dom; but as I mentioned in my previous “hypocrisy” rant, if they were actually true to their supposed moral-compasses, they wouldn’t have needed to change direction at this stage in the game. Trump said the same thing to all who defected from his campaign. He actually called them “HYPOCRITES” for deserting him, and that was about the only truth that he stated all weekend.

So there you have it.

In my opinion, this is what the murky, shadow-world exposition has revealed to all: There’s a lot of nastiness (energies, attitudes, actions) everywhere in the world right now, and when a candidate tries to make himself look cleaner by slinging twice the amount of mud on his opponent, we all get doused with it.

We’ll need to shower more frequently until this election season is over, so don’t use all the hot water.group showers.jpg