Job Satisfaction

I am taking an Organizational Behavior class and this was the discussion question: Is job satisfaction over rated in the U.S.A.?

No, job satisfaction is not overrated, just mis-understood. Certainly I have strong opinions of many things of which this is one. I am older and have had time to develop these thoughts. Satisfaction is an internally directed emotion/feeling/perception. Yes, we can and should control our emotions/feelings/perceptions.

Satisfaction is a matter of perspectives as the Value-percept Theory (a theory I do not totally agree with) suggests though I think these perspectives that yield satisfaction come from my behaviors and thoughts. At some point academia, psychology, media, or the KGB hijacked joy and turned it inside out. Believe what you will; I choose what I believe. I know that I am in charge of my contentment in life.

I can agree with, “The key lies in remembering that job satisfaction reflects what you think and feel about your job” (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2013). I believe what you think and feel determines your job satisfaction, and we get to choose what we think and feel (There I go being redundant). Yes, I am a determinist internalizer (Redundancy happens.). If satisfaction must be administered from the outside what ups the next level of enjoyment? Scratch and sniff wall paper? Am I a slave to being tickled by my supervisor? Sure ice cream makes it easier and taste better but easy is not usually the best choice for the long hall, and taste better makes me sluggish, and well, fat.

We have become a consumer society where entertainment is consumed; or, maybe we are an entertainment society where consuming is entertaining. Either way, we expect

Interior photo of a large sanitary sewer from ...

Interior photo of a large sanitary sewer from an access manhole. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

something outside us to please us in our marriages, our work, and even in our play. “Much of our leisure is spent in passive recreation…that lacks the challenge needed to trigger flow states”(Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2013). There is some really good advice for those seeking to improve their satisfaction/happiness; fake it till you make it (What comes first the positive feeling or the job satisfaction?).

Shawn Achor – The Happiness Advantage “It is not reality that shapes you but the lens through which you view reality” (12:29) http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxBloomington-Shawn-Achor-The;search%3Ashawn

Amy Cuddy – Your body Language Shapes Who You Are “Fake it till you make it.” (21:03) http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

Sherry Turkle – Connected, but alone?   (19:49) She suggests we are even losing the ability to communicate with our selves. http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together.html

Job Characteristics Theory – Jobs I have worked include re-roofing houses, put flooring in new homes, commercial landscape maintenance, security, working in sanitary sewers, retail, and firefighting. That is somewhat the order. Southeast Texas on asphalt shingles is warm and fairly repetitious. Security is so boring I found I could walk and read to get my best grades in high school. Yes, the sewers were in southeast Texas and it was too dark to read so I played a game called “Don’t get it on ya”. I think Job Crafting has merit. In reflection, the only times I didn’t enjoy my work was when I allowed my thinking and behaviors to be directed by other’s (union, pessimists, nay-sayers, name callers).

Firefighting sounds sooo cooool, and has such significance that Colquitt, Lepine, and Wesson remark about it. Yeah the fire always goes out. As a firefighter I know it will go our eventually anyway. I also know what it is like to hold dead babies while their parents sob near-by; I have stood at my own child’s door crying because he was breathing. I have watched an old man lose his lifelong mate; I nearly left mine. I have puked because of the sights and smells (remember I worked in a sewer before) and had other people vomit in my mouth to the point it came out my nose. I have fallen to concrete from 16 feet, and had attic contents drop upon my head. I have extracted drunken teenagers’ bodies from automobiles as cars travel by me at 70 mph; and I have watched my boys drive out of sight through tear blurred vision. I survived pay freezes, pay cuts, and worked beyond the hours I was paid in the rain, snow, heat, storm and on holidays. Yeah, there is a side that don’t make happy feelings, that you don’t want to talk about when you get home; you gotta choose .

The choice is yours.

Works Cited

Colquitt, J. J. (2013). Organizational Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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What “needs?”

Lady LibertyYesterday I watched YouTube videos of testimonies at the Gun Control Hearings. Over the past weeks we have heard many debates and testimonies on gun control. These have centered on the Second Amendment, self-defense, hunting, sport shooting, and semi-automatic weapons. One question presented is, “Why is there a need to own such weapons?”

We humans are fairly simple and have few needs. If the US Government is really interested in protecting us citizens from what we don’t really need, let us not leave out abortion, alcohol, automobiles, baseball, cell phones, football,  healthcare, most sexual activity, soccer, soft drinks, and televisions. We don’t need Air Jordans, Coach handbags, Mercedes Benz, Pandora, Gucci Jeans, or iPads. Our mouths are full of inflammatory and inciting words, where is the need for these?

We know what makes pregnant; we need only water to drink; we can walk to our destinations; we will die regardless the amount of healthcare; and, actually we know what causes AIDS, and ending sex out of wedlock would pretty much eliminate this problem. Certainly the word “Fire” is restricted in crowds where it can cause harm though it is not stripped from the mouth or erased from the brain.

If we boil life down to the needs we humans have it gets pretty straight forward; air, water, and food. Agrarianism provides everyone with a freedom of air, water, and a small plot of land; we move to subsistence farming. Of course this still does not achieve equal or fair because some will get acreage in Alaska, some Nebraska and others in Texas. I happen to think the Texan has the unfair advantage.

So, what is at the bottom of the gun control debate? I think it is power. It is government gone wild. I suggest a re-reading of the Declaration of Independence. Just say no to gun control.

My understanding of the purpose of the Second Amendment is one of invasion or tyranny (government wild). This has occurred in the United States at various levels. We have had tyranny in the US as we recall Wounded Knee, the Battle of Atlanta, and September 2001 was more than just an attack, it initiated a new level of government protectionism (A.K.A. Tyranny).

Uncle Sam, please stay away from my rights.

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Be Heard, our First Amendment Responsibility

Be HeardThe Founding Fathers of the United States had many disagreements in developing our Constitution. Slavery was one such issue. Apparently no one spoke loudly enough against it until in 1831 a man named William Lloyd Garrison, started a newspaper called the Liberator stating, “I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – and I will be heard!”

Communication is more than words strung together in series. What you do, or as the cliche goes, “Actions speak louder than words,” holds true as a language of its own. Words and actions must come together to Be Heard. William Lloyd Garrison was a man of action.

Though slavery was not a new form of oppression in our world, and the United States was not establishing new evils, the glaring difference was that our country was founded on a premise of freedom, specifically freedom in Christ. This group of men call the Founding Fathers declared their rights to freedom with a document we know as the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Were these words enough to be heard by the British? No, nor were the many redresses which preceded this declaration. These rights required responsibility, the state of being held as the cause of something that needs to be set right, synonymous with duty. This responsibility meant defiance which we recall as the Revolutionary War.

But as time would tell after this war, actually during this war, during the writing of the Constitution of the United States, some rights were debated and unaccounted (Why do good people do wrong? That is another subject for another time.). Hence, the Bill of Rights was written to correct some of these deficiencies in the Constitution. These were, initially, limiters of the Government, but more, they obliged a citizenry to check government when said government presented cause.   “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary…that they should declare the causes which impel them…”

The Bill of Rights began a process of amendment to the Constitution. It began with the first Amendment:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. And more “redress” was needed with regard to the basic rights as previously declared under Heaven.

There was a man named Michael who was heard because he acted by:

  • ·             Traveling over 6 million miles
  • ·             Speaking publicly more than 2500 times
  • ·             Being arrested at least than 20 times
  • ·             Writing 5 books
  • ·             Surviving 4 assaults
  • ·             Raising four children
  • ·             Winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and being the “youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize”
  • ·             Being named “Man of the Year” by Time magazine in a 1963
  • ·             Founding (1957) an organization with the motto of, “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”
  • ·             Continuing after his house was fire bombed in 1956
  • ·             Earning his Doctorate in 1955.
  • ·             Leading a church as pastor in 1954
  • ·             Joining in marriage in 1953
  • ·             Graduating from college in 1948
  • ·             Graduated from high school at the age of 15.
  • ·             Being born in 1929.
  • ·             Dying, at the age of 39, by assassination on April 4, 1968

Michael changed his name and was known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

How is it that some people can “say so much” in such a short time? Is it because they have a dream? Or, is it because they take up the responsibility to Be Heard in their words and deeds?

I challenge you, if you have not recently, read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the 27 Amendments. These are your freedoms; they are your responsibilities. Be Heard.

  • ·             The King Center – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
  • ·             The Official Website of the Nobel Peace Prize – Information on MLK’s award
  • ·             Freedom Documents -The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, etc.
  • ·             The Abolitionists – To create a more perfect union, they tore the nation apart
  • ·             A Class Divided – A teacher divides her class of white students to help them feel discrimination
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Arms: not specifically guns, or sporting.

While the Newtown Connecticut incident struck our hearts as an attack upon innocence, the assault on the Second Amendment is a naiveté of powers and sovereignties. The following is a quote of Kitty Werthmann as presented in an article titled, She survived Hitler and wants to warn America.

Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.  (Kerby)

The Second Amendment to the Constitution, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” is not, and was not, about guns specifically, or sporting. The word “Arms” is a plural word and an abbreviation of the word armament. This is not a hunting rifle but rather, “The weapons and supplies of war with which a military unit is equipped” (The Free Dictionary, 2012) And who is the militia? “…for all males in a nation ARE the militia according to the Founding Fathers and the Supreme Court…”  (Mead, 2012)

“This sentence comes from Thomas Jefferson’s three drafts of the Virginia Constitution. The text does vary slightly in each draft:  ‘No free man shall ever be debarred his the use of arms.’  (Monticello.org, 2012)”

It seems the United States of America is fast becoming, if it has not already become, a knee jerk nation responding to the emotions of the day. The Second Amendment is attacked while tolerating the effects of divorce, media violence, incapacity to enforce existing laws, and government which continues to outspend its means. The US provides weapons to rebels around the world who are supposedly fighting for freedom, and in the aftermath of a local tragedy, will seek to infringe upon the American citizen who would protect the philosophies of liberty.

I urge we move with all due caution into the ground which is now being prepared. To till this soil with the seeds of a repressive legislation may leach the nutrients of freedom from a fertile land. The special interests will claim to pluck weeds, yet Hollywood and its sponsors are very much the sowers of many of these thistles and thorns. Surely they are distracting at the same moment they ply on to the innate nature of human desire.

It is not the tools that break the ground which infest the field but rather the insects of ideology and the crows of collectivism which have distributed the pestilence of unchecked weeds which now cover the landscape of our children’s minds. It is the lack of regular cultivation in the field by parents who pursue the values of commercialism while neglecting the sprouting nest of nanny state which they have been sold in 30 second intervals, 30 foot tall signs, and 30 Mbps. Certainly not all stray shoots are infectious but without careful agronomy they may take over a good field. Can famine be but a few seasons away.

The incidents which have littered our nation are not isolated in cause or facilitation.  The problems are many and the solutions require deep plowing into soil gone hard. It is time we re-examine the values of the nuclear family. We must investigate the values of current entertainment and media presentation and how it manifests behaviors. Accountability and responsibility are needed in our communities and government.

The Founding Fathers took long deliberation in drafting our Constitution. Consideration of their reasoning and concerns resumed during the First Congress. What were they seeking to achieve? Why did they perceive the need for protections of speech and arms?

During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.  (Bill of Rights)

Works Cited

Armament. (2012). Retrieved December 20, 2012, from The Free Dictionary: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/armament

Bill of Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2012, from Charters of Freedom: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html

Jefferson Quotation. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2012, from Th. Jefferson Monticello: http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/no-freeman-shall-be-debarred-use-arms-quotation

Kerby, R. (n.d.). She survived Hitler and wants to warn America. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from beliefnet: http://blog.beliefnet.com/on_the_front_lines_of_the_culture_wars/2011/04/she-survived-hitler-and-wants-to-warn-america.html#ixzz2FWYxFZ8e

Mead, P. (2012, December 18). Mass Shooting in CT. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from Tentpegs: http://tentpegs.patrickmead.net/?p=1860

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Where do we start?

Fundraising poster for the American Committee ...

Fundraising poster for the American Committee for Relief in the Near East – the United States contributed a significant amount of aid to help Armenians during the Armenian Genocide. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I read and listen to all the discussion on Gun Control I still come to the same conclusions. Guns are tools. Laws are ineffective against law breakers. Mainstream media offers mass carnage, and encourages disrespect and racism for consumption. Society fails to recognize the value of stable marriage and parents involved in their children’s lives. Evil exists. We don’t have all the answers.

There are legitimate purposes for guns, even semi-automatic weapons. National security, homeland security, home security, self-defense, sporting and entertainment are legitimate uses. Yes, guns are as fun to shoot to some as painting flowers on canvas or playing dress up at renaissance fair is to others.

So, what if people obeyed the law? Murders would not happen and guns would not be an issue. That was just too easy.

There are laws against murder. Legislation “controls” various drugs. Prohibitions exist on alcohol use by age and activity. And, there is immigration law. Tax codes, environmental acts and safety regulations exist in many forms. We have statute which limits the speed on the freeways, highways and roadways. Yet, there are those who continue to do as they please leaving victims of their intentional and unintentional mayhem. We need specialist lawyers and attorneys just to keep track of the nuance and understanding of the plethora of decrees.

The worldview and perspective of the populace is subject to influence by mainstream media. There is much literature and academic research available on this topic. While not everyone agrees if it is good or bad most agree to the persuasive power of well scripted and crafted messages and visuals. Media provides many opportunities to observe meaningless mass mutilation of humans. It is and interesting enigma as many of entertainments elitist choose to indiscriminately slay the gun industry/owner as some sort of beast. Disrespect of others can be found in more formats than I can count but we find the sit-com, the night show, the talk show, the comic routine, and music replete with impudence. And race, which supposedly doesn’t matter, is unnecessarily a descriptor when identifying the human subjects of discussion be a criminal, an athlete, a performer, or an award winner.

Just look at commercial advertising. Open your eyes to the similarities of current behavior to those of TV and movie characters; life imitates art when art glamorizes life. Tattoos, smoking, drinking, cheating, disrespecting, hating and mass murdering are being proliferated where once it seemed on the decline.  Somehow I doubt it is mommy asking junior to go suck smoke, get inked, or kill 20 people.

Marriage is a social structure that has been disregarded. It is foundational to family despite how it is portrayed. It is promises to love, cherish, protect, and obey. It should be where children learn of commitment to someone other than themselves. Imagine the message to the child when a parent says, “I will always love you,” while walking away from their oath of matrimonial love.

We might say, “Yeah, but marriage fails.” Society allows marriage to fail by not supporting it and by not confronting actions that detract from it. It is possible that family and friends, and the media, can discourage the inappropriate actions and encourage positive relational behaviors of marriage. This influence comes through example, stories, and church. We know what it takes to woo a lover as we enact it during courtship. We also know what breaks apart the bindings of relationships. It is not rocket science.

Evil is real. You may not believe in the supernatural or spiritual though you have likely witnessed something you labeled as evil. How did you know? It is interesting that humans know evil. I think we know evil just as we know life. We don’t understand it but we know it exists.

Where do we start to eliminate the evil that is Newtown, Aurora, Columbine, World Trade Center Attack, Alfred P. Murrah Bombing, the Holocaust, Ukrainian Genocide, Bath Township in Michigan, Armenian Genocide, etc. Is it by disarming or by arming the masses? What if we eliminate or reshape media programing? How would society be changed if parents were husband and wife, and demonstrated the unconditional love they swore to live?

Where would you start?

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Why Again?

In contemplating the events in Newtown Connecticut yesterday (12/14/12) I wonder, as many do, what causes a person to erupt in such a violent manner as to kill innocents, much less children. The media repeated the story all day. The rhetoric about gun regulation has already begun.

Still, I am curious if there will be discussion on other possible similarities among the numerous mass murders which have occurred other than semi-automatic weapons. “Mass shootings generate sensational media coverage, yet most media have failed to connect the dots with regard to mental health” (Follman, 2012) Yes, I have also heard from a police officer that a particular type of mental health drug , central nervous system stimulants, seems to weave its way through these issues.

Other issues that I am interested in comparing are financial, parental, relational, and social (We have heard some on the social aspect with many of the perpetrators being loners or outsiders.). Is there a connection? Are there connections? Surely someone has done some research and it would be nice to know if there are other common factors or not.

And what of multiple stabbings? I find several incidents were as many as 22 people are stabbed by a single individual. Do these murders also have a link to people like Timothy McVeigh who used explosives? Bath Maine ring any school bells? Jim Jones used “cool aid” drink and there was Heaven’s Gate though these are called mass suicide. Again I ask, are there commonalities?

Maybe the problem is found in the gender and role confusion men and women face today. Yes, overwhelmingly these events are perpetrated by men yet we cannot lose sight that we have witnessed mothers killing their young. These women have often not chosen the gun though have taken the lives of their babies.

We live in a time where insurance and government create a near “fail safe” for every situation. Is there a disassociation with responsibility? It appears we find culpability with the alcohol, the drug, the weapon, the vehicle, etc. Or, it can be the fault of someone else who allowed too much consumption, too much debt, installed short railings, or a lack of regulation and supervision.

I would like to know of how this issue compares globally. There was the Norwegian shooting July 22, 2011 killing 80. Some have heard that yesterday in China 22 kindergarteners were stabbed by a single individual . Eight kindergartners were stabbed to death in China in 2010. I recall, but cannot find, that on the day of the Aurora Colorado there was a stabbing in a mall in China with multiple victims.

Maybe like in the movies (Twilight, Harry Potter, etc.), evil does exist. In real life these black sovereigns and authorities, these powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil realms just don’t make themselves visible to the human eye. Does evil exist? Evil is named conveniently by adding a letter “d” to evil.

Could it be that wickedness is roaming freely in a Godless place? If there is evil then is there God? And, “Where was God?” Is God everywhere or no where? Is God in your life? Is God for real?

I believe he is very real. Not a God that promises physical safety. The God I know uses believing people, all people and any people to serve his purpose. I suppose his reasoning is greater than I can comprehend. The lines of holy writings do challenge me when I read that Eve ate from the forbidden tree; “Why did God allow this?” Abraham was to sacrifice his first born; “Why would God ask this?” There was a great flood killing the multitudes. The list goes on as Joseph was innocently sent to prison, and Jesus was publicly crucified. I skipped many other examples. I don’t claim the answer but the outcomes have always led God’s people back to him.

Is there a root cause? Are there solutions? Maybe no correlations can be found. What are your thoughts?

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/jared-loughner-mass-shootings-mental-illness

http://qz.com/37069/the-deadliest-school-massacre-in-us-history-was-in-1927-why-its-aftermath-matters-now/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1269387/China-executes-Zhang-Minsheng-stabbed-8-schoolchildren-death.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-202_162-6325205.html

http://thedailyshift.com/2012/07/08/man-arrested-following-multiple-stabbings-in-phoenix-park/

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Chaotic+scene+hotel+after+multiple+stabbings/7566205/story.html#axzz2F6CR7Ujm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/23/world/europe/23oslo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://abcnews.go.com/News/children-dwon-south-carolina-river-mother-arrested/story?id=11413283#.UMyOyazjuno

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/women/andrea_yates/index.html

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What if…

“If we look for justice, we will only begin to complain and to indulge ourselves in the discontent of self-pity, as if to say, ‘Why should I be treated like this?’” (Oswald Chambers)

What if I am…

  • having a bad day?
  • allergic to your perfume?
  • on chemotherapy?
  • related to you?
  • morning a death?
  • living in the street?

What if I believe…

  • there is no God?
  • that sex outside of marriage is wrong?
  • in a master race?
  • I am in love with you?
  • in many Gods?
  • in honor killing?

What if I was born…

  • mean?
  • greedy?
  • jealous?
  • optimistic?
  • an alcoholic?
  • racist?

What if I was…

  • Right?
  • the 1%?
  • under the influence?
  • your benefactor?
  • unaware?
  • God?

What if you are…

  • having a bad day?
  • allergic to my perfume?
  • on chemotherapy?
  • related to me?
  • morning a death?
  • living in the street?

What if you believe…

  • there is no God?
  • that sex outside of marriage is wrong?
  • in a master race?
  • in many Gods?
  • in honor killing?

What if you were born…

  • mean?
  • greedy?
  • jealous?
  • optimistic?
  • an alcoholic?
  • racist?

What if you were…

  • Right?
  • the 1%?
  • under the influence?
  • my benefactor?
  • unaware?
  • God?

What if we…

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Falling

The marriage

The marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just finished reading and article by the New York Times titled, Best Friends Living Worlds Apart by Mirita Ojito.  http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/race/060500ojito-cuba.html

My take on this piece is what I feel is typical of our media in the United States and that of leading the reader to an intended conclusion. The conclusion presented is that we have a broad racial issue which does not exist in the rest of the world, e.g., Cuba. The term racial is ambiguous as anthropologist seem to be in debate as to the existence of various racial delineation yet the media provides it is a defined, common and accepted fact. Correlation verses causation is another issue which clouds over the media’s social offerings; though I am not a trained scientist I understand the difference.

I have lived more than half a century and have had many friends which may be categorized by “Google Circle” as acquaintance, casual friend, work friend, family friend, best friend, best friend forever, ex-friend, and a new one I learned from the article, friend of nostalgia. What I know of friendships is they are maintained by communication, interaction, caring and serving in a manner to promote the well-being of the other. Even best friends forever fall into the trap of not maintaining their relationships as we see in marriages that break. My reality says marriages don’t break if they are well maintained to prevent the cancer of selfish interest from growing to the malignant tumor of disinterest.

How does the definition of race, correlation vs. causation and marriage fit together to explain my concern of the message of this article? The article fails to recognize that human relationships, even marriages, fail for reasons other than “race.”  An unbiased look, “out from behind the pulpit,” at this relationship between Ruiz and Valdes would have had to eliminate all other causal factors to provide that this was a racial issue. The author hints at this though it is a small paragraph within the long and overstated cultural, not “racial,” identities of the individuals.

Beyond this I will challenge the many articles that dissuade marriage and the idea that “being one’s self” is some special right, privilege or goal worthy of pursuit. The reality that I know is we are dynamic. We move through time and space daily. Messages about what and who we are ever present. We pass through them as they intersect and target us to affirm and conflict with our self-identity. Over time these mold and amend our behaviors, personalities, values, and world view. If we are stagnant, just like the water we are said to have evolved from, we become stinky. Our journey can lead us to transformations of better or worse (sounds like a marriage promise).

My wife and I have maintained a relationship for 31 years. We have sacrificed our individuality in many places to make this work in a world that says be true to yourself, and demand to be accepted as yourself. My opinion of this philosophy is that you may find yourself alone with yourself at the end of the day.

Who we are changes daily from the time we are born. We move from a crying bundle of fat that cannot support our own weight to get out of our feces toward adulthood. We learn to feed ourselves, walk and speak replacing behaviors which our parents found wanting. Hopefully this development eventually leads to an enlightenment that says I am here for more than being me, for something or someone else.

This first 30 years of our marriage has produced a friendship and joy that was unknown at the beginning and unimaginable at times. It takes more than two myselfs to grow a lasting relationship. It takes learners willing to become givers and forgivers to make friendships work.

What do you think about maintaining relationships? Do we just happen to fall in and then fall out?

Is there something more than chance feelings which draw us to one another and pull us apart?

What causes us to dislike someone we don’t even know?

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Living unaware

Retired yet responding for Dyrk.

The simple things like smiling or saying “Hi.” The joy of a handshake of  an admirer, or better, a photo shot with them.

The complex things such being a mom, a dad, a husband, a wife, teenage years, and religion. The confounding, a dying 4 year old.

Fire Fighters support “Dyrk” Burcie, 4 year old w/ terminal cancer. http://tinyurl.com/6pomr4z http://tinyurl.com/6stbvps     #dyrk #dyrkstrong #fire #firefighters

I heard about this little boy from his grandmother. Funny, or not, how we can miss these things when they are right next to us.

The grandmother is a friend. I have worked with her son, the uncle of this little boy. I have spoken with her several times in the last month.

How did I not know of this? What was my focus?

The stuff that really matters sometimes slips by us. Not that we can fix it. We can share, care, and love ‘em. Sometimes that is what we can do, let them know they are loved.

May God bless you Dyrk.

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FD2012

Watching you grow;

The boy you were,

Now the man I know.

Tis what life’s about,

The promises to come,

And dreams lived out.

When all is done,

My everyday joy,

Is calling you son.

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