America, Life

Courage to be Different

Ever since I was fifteen I was always drawn to People with Convictions, people who was not afraid to be Different no matter the outcome Joe Medler is such a Person and has won my Respect. This Blog was written four years ago I dug it up going through the Directories of one of my old discarded Phones. I had lost contact with Joe but now I am one of his most Devoted Followers. To those of you who don’t like my Controversial Style, remember it takes Courage to Grow.

 

To Exercise Virtue

‘Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without it you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.’ -Maya Angelou

I’m thinking a lot about this quote and the idea it contains today.

Last night we elected a man to lead our country who I find to be dangerous. And I’m a white, middle class male. I can’t imagine the fear that my darker skinned brothers and sisters are feeling right now. I identify with them and I agree with them and I vote with them, but I am disciplined in acknowledging always that I am not in their shoes. I cannot have their perspective, even if I empathize with it. I am not the father of little girls nor am I a woman. I’m a native English speaking American and don’t have to fear being rounded up. I advocate for the disabled, both professionally and personally and I’m not them, watching a man openly mock an actual person with a disability, bullying him while doing his job from the podium with flags flying and crowds cheering and guffawing. I’m an advocate, but I’m protected.

I’m from the disaffected, largely white area of the country that would appear to have given the Presidency to Donald Trump. I know that the people that voted for him see something other than a dangerous, white supremacist, misogynistic monster. From my angle I’m afraid that that thing they saw allowed them to think they were supporting someone of virtue. Someone who would prioritize them without hurting others. I fear that they similarly can’t see what this feels like to fellow, hard working Americans with skin darker than theirs. Or the hard working immigrant families who’ve sacrificed whole lives, whole histories and all social standing to come to the place where hope lived only to find it lead by a man threatening to deport, insisting on building a wall and enthusiastically able to belittle and dismiss the sacrifice of families who’ve lost loved ones in defense of our highest ideals.

I don’t have any idea what I can do but stand up and try to find a sliver of light in the dark where I can try to send love through. It’s hard to listen when you are afraid. I am afraid. But it’s incredibly important to listen. I will try. I’m pretty sure I’ll fail a lot of the time, but i will keep trying.

What I do see is there is a lot of anger. There is a lot of fear. The air has been thick with it for years. My instincts in this moment are awful. I want to scream. I want to yell and lash out and blanket the land in judgment. It would feel good to do that. The fights that would ensue would make me feel like I was doing something. But I’d be working against the solutions we need. The fact is that this is a time that demands virtue. You can’t defeat the dark without light. You can’t address fear with fear. Anger will not go away with louder anger.

Patience. Love. Understanding. Compassion. Empathy.

These are the virtues we are lacking. There are real world problems that require real world answers. Yes. But if we can’t hear each other, if we can’t understand and empathize with the real fears than we can’t even begin the difficult conversations we need to have. We can’t ever learn to understand why something so confounding, how something so terrifying ever could have happened. I’m scared, I truly am. For me to overcome it’s going to take courage. It’s going to take courage to be patient. To listen. To try to reseed humanity, whatever tiny little portion of it I can effect with love.

There’s work to do. We must shine light into darkness. We must stay curious. We must seek out hate and counter it with love. We must find fear and meet it with empathy. We must meet anger head on and do whatever we can to show people compassion and love.

We must have courage and exercise our virtues. This is a time for our better angels to reveal themselves.

Author: joejmedler

Joe Medler lives in New Jersey with his wife, who is universally understood to be far too good for him, and his two young sons, who are far too smart for him. His work has been featured on MamaLode, The Original Bunker Punks and Sammiches and Psych Meds. You can find more of his work at https://developingdad.com/ and follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/developingdad

One thought on “To Exercise Virtue”

  1. The article is very riveting and revealing.
    I Blog about parenting and relationships, so it would be inappropriate to interject Racism. I do have a Blog written on the subject. I will forward it to you at a later date. However I do envision a lot of civil unrest down the road and pray they don’t escalate. With no mention of relevance I a Black.

    Liked by 1 person

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Health, Life

The Sickness

 

 

 

The Sickness

1972 was my last year in High School, that meant I was old enough to join the Army drink Alcohol without sneaking and have wild Promiscuous Sex. Wild Promiscuous Sex was the Norm during the Hippie Culture, ” Love the one you’re with” Condoms were for those practicing Plan Parenthood. Then one Day somewhere around 75 the Word on the Street was ” The Sickness” People showing up at Hospitals with a Rare form of Pneumonia among other Illnesses. The Sickness was believed to be a Homosexual Disease, it didn’t have a Name until 1983 when Scientists discovered its Origins and gave it a Name, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.



We now knew that the Sickness was a Virus that attacked the Immune System pretty much the same way Covid19 does. Many People had Died and we still weren’t taking it Seriously. I remembered my Best Friend and I meeting two young Woman at the Club and taking them Home for a Night of Promiscuity. No one asked who had the Condoms, this was during the onset of the Sickness, before it became an Epidemic. 1977 I was living with my Cousin in Texas. At that time I was big on Fashion, I knew enough to fabricate a Shirt and Trousers, but I wanted to learn her Craft. She was a Gifted Seamstress who made Clothes for the likes of Jackie O.



While there in Texas I met one of her Customers, he was worth over five Hundred Millions, so I know that she was the Real Deal with a Gift that I wanted to Learn. Her Husband was once one of the Rich and Famous, until Castro took it all away when he Nationalized all Foreign Interest and took away all the Rich Cubans Money. However Jose never lost his Aire of Aristocracy, he was a Player to the end. With a Wife in Texas who supported him to the Tune of Fifty Grand Annually. He had Women and Boys all the way to Miami. My Wife always Rebuked me that I should never Speak Ill of the Dead. She had Gold in her Fingertips and no Brains. She worked while he didn’t, he spent all his time chasing Ass, Girls and Boys.



So why was I not surprised when he came down with the Sickness and Died six Months after our Eyes last seen each other. One year later I looked into my Cousin’s Eyes for the last time in Bellevue Hospital. I guess they both didn’t believe in wearing a Raincoat in the Storm known as A.I.D.S. It was then that I learned the Importance of wearing Personal Protective Equipment, Example, the Mask. While laying in her Death Bed she gave a Nerve Rattling Cough, I guess the Virus was Devouring her Lungs. I looked down her Throat and there wasn’t any Red Skin Tissues, everything had the Color of Death, Gray. Yet another Lesson learned, a Virus can eat you alive. Twenty Two years later with a new Sickness, why would I not wear a Mask with my preexisting COPD and early Emphysema. Last Words, ” A Wise Man knows when to take Shelter from the Storm” no Matter what the Populace say or do, wear your Mask and keep a Condom handy. Forget about the Morbid Humor, I am trying to make a point here about the absolute Necessity of Personal Protection Equipment. Think about it, back in the Days of Tuberculosis if you went in a Room where someone was sick, you became Ill from breathing the same Air.

 

Related

Shared Article from Aol: Alyssa Milano says her Virus Symptoms still Linger.

https://www.aol.com/article/entertainment/2020/09/17/alyssa-milano-says-her-covid-19-symptoms-still-linger-6-months-after-she-fell-ill/24623291/

Safe Driving

Logic Behind The Wheel

 

Logic Behind The Wheel

The Onboard Computer in my Car receives Signals from different Sensors  throughout the Car. It then calculate and sends me a warning to fix it. The other Day my check Engine Light came on, stressing to some Degree, I had it Diagnosed. The Problem, a broken Solenoid plugged into the Top Cylinder of the Engine. The Camshaft Intake Solenoid, I replaced it after Researching where it was Located. I was never one for Artificial Intelligence, in High School we Discussed Big Brother and watch Si- Fi with Mister Spock talking about Logic. Never did I imagine owning a Car that Talks to me, Diagnosed itself and gives me Text Messages.

With slight adjustments my Car can Drive Itself, it already has On star. Anyway that’s enough of the Shop Talk, even though this is a Driving Blog. That is Plenty enough Technology for me. But what are you going to do with it. Watching a Riderless Horse wins a Race tells me that we Impede ourselves making Judgement Calls when we are Driving local, or Riding long Distance at the Interstate Allowed Speed. Both have cost Lives, that’s why I Drive with Logic behind the Wheel. The first and most Serious lack of Logic is, Traveling side by side at 85 MPH, a Recipe for Disaster. The Roadway is wide open, all you have to do is find yourself a Pocket and it’s smooth sailing. When I Travel eleven Hundred miles that’s how I Drive. Sometimes I go Hundreds of miles without having to use my Brakes.

Ever since Day one of me Driving a Car by myself for the first time. I’ve always asked myself what is it about Staggering the Traffic Flow, that the Mass do not Understand. Wheather it’s City or Interstate, there is always Clutter. Now we have Smart Cars, there should no Accidents, because the Car automatic Breaking System compensate for our bad judgments. It tells us the need for Staggering and to always Focus. It’s Front and Rear Sensors tell you that you are doing something wrong with a Chime. Welcome to Computer Assisted Driving, my Car is smarter Than I am. Without me sitting inside it using what I call Dumb Logic, it could Drive Itself safely indefinitely, with no Accidents. Yet with all this Technology I see Cars far more Equipped than Mine, in Bad Wecks.

Roadside Grave

I am forever Beating my Gums about the Bad Wrecks you Created, using Dumb Logic, Thinking that when you get to the Intersection, if the Light beats you, you are still going to take the Turn. Or for another matter beating the Railroad Crossings. Racing your Engine from one Light to the next is being on a Flight of Fancy. Taking off on a Flight of Fancy behind the Wheel is Stupid. It doesn’t Matter, even if you are my Favorite Racecar Driver, R.I.P.  One O’clock in the Afternoonon on the Van Wyck Expressway, two Brand New Cars blew my Doors off doing Ninety, they were Racing. Two Hundred and fifty Yards in front of me, they both Simultaneously decided to enter my Lane , the middle Lane. They bounced off each other, Rolled several times then Disintegrated, littering the Highway.

At fifty MPH I could not Differentiate the Bodies from the Debree.  This happened Forty years ago. Whenever I think about it, the Vividness is still clear, yet you wonder why I waste my Time writing Blogs about safe Driving? Whatever I say to you doesn’t Resonate anyway, because bad Drivers are like Alcoholics, they don’t think they have a problem. Today we have Smart Cars and Dumb Drivers. In my Hometown  in less than four Years, Thousands have lost their Lives on the Road, including one Hundred Bicyclists and more Pedestrians. Hello! Remember the Riderless Horse. Within the last six months two People went on Flights of Fancies on the Howard Franklin Bridge driving at speed approaching 100, in Rush Hour Traffic. The outcomes, Catastrophic, six months later one Body still haven’t been recoved.

And you still wonder why I Drive like a Jedi in a Meteor Storm. People Drive with everything except Logic, their Emotions, their bad Attitudes and nasty Temperaments rules. Where do you believe that Road Rage comes from. I have never recounted this Story to anyone because I am not proud of my behavior. Once Traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike going to work. I must have inadvertently made a Trucker mad. He followed me closely trying to Rearend me for Miles. Realizing that my Life was in Danger I began to change Lanes frantically. That didn’t work, Working in Construction there were alwaysTools and Materials all over the Car. I began unloading them onto his Windshield.

Not even a Can of Paint smearing his Windshield deterred him wanting to Rearend me shoving me off the Road. However when I raised a two pounds Hammer he backed off, knowing that my aim was precise, hitting his Windshield with everything that I had thrown. Thank God I didn’t travel with a Gun. Others who weren’t as Resilient as I was have lost thei’r Lives on the PA Turnpike from Diesel Dummies in a Fit of Rage. As did the young Mother who was ran off the Road into a Tree by a Trucker she cut off. Thirty years later I am Driving a Car that is a Technology Wonder, that does 170. If I had it back then, there would be no need for tossing things. Equipped with On Star and it’s own Telephone, all I had to do was call 911. Driving a Truck for many years I didn’t invent the Word Diesel Dummies. That’s what good Truckers call Inept Drivers. Better than fifty percent of the People on our Roadways use dumb Logic or no Logic at all. Because of this I am Driven to Write Blogs about Safe Driving, wheather I want to or not, someone has to carry the Torch. I have seen the Damage done from Mindless operation of a Motor Vehicle far too many times.

America, Life, Motivation, Parenting And Relationships, Religion

Five Percent

 

 

Five Percent

 

I was no more than fifteen when I told my Mother that I Believed that 95% of the People on this Earth was no Good. That was around the time that J.F.K. and M.L.K. left us. They set me Straight on how People are supposed to Live. My Mother’s reply was ” Then it was your endeavor to seek out and find those five Percent”. I still can’t figure out where she got her Wisdom from. At this point in my Life I have surpassed that five Percent. Many times I ask God why did he saved my Life so many times. For instance the time the Garbage Truck was heading to the Dump. Twelve years old on a Mission to Die, I chased it down and jump on the back of it. The Driver saw me and decided to shake me off. He took the Turn wide then cut sharp, I rolled fifteen feet, the near Death Exposure was a Rush, I got up and walked away.






Fifty five years later the only Scar I received I wear it like an Emblem of my Stupidity. He saved my Life to tell that there are Great people out there and they should be Sought out.

In this Life I was always fortunate to have Known some Great People. John Gutfreund was one, I will forever be dropping his Name, he was an Influencer. Regardless of his Stature he was first a Human Being and a Humble Man with Millions. His Money didn’t make him act like he was Special and looked down on anyone, including me. Then there was Mrs P, I met her while living in Pennsylvania. She was a Third Generation Polish Woman who’s Family Members were Diamond Retailers. She Married a Black Man who supported his Family well enough.








They had three Children, two Boys who shadows their Father, the Girl took her Mother’s Complexion, sixty five Percent yet she was considered Black. She knew different she wasn’t White and she wasn’t Black. She was a Human Being, Grateful for Life in any Skin. We were great Friends, Her Husband was fourth Generation Polish American we also were Friends. Nonetheless he had underlying Hate. I have no idea what his problems were, Hitler stomped all over his People. Persecution been around before Jesus, it will never end, that’s just the way Humans are. If you know your History you walk with Pride and Humility. One Day while traveling to the Jobsite with the Boss who was a Die Hard Hater, The Radio was set on The Howard Stern Show.



 

One of his Guests made a Comment that Black People were incapable of taking Care of themselves and maybe they were better off in Slavery. He was an Idiot and whoever listened were the same. They both cracked up with Hilarious laughter they showed their true Colors and their Insensitivity. So you see I have been Fortunate to have Known the Good the Bad and the Ugly Americans. Yet I keep searching for the five Percent. I never let the Mass put a Damper on my search for Cool People who just wanted to get along with each other. Years later I moved to Florida into a Gated Community That had never seen a Black Resident before me. Nevertheless you could not tell by the way they treated me with Fellowship and Respect. Many of us became good Friends we visited each other’s Home and Socialized.






 

This was a Community of five Percenters and proud of it. Today I see People gearing up to start a Civil War, not realizing that we can’t afford to tear it down. It cost Taxpayers Dollars to rebuild  Burnt out Storefronts. Revolutions are never free or Bloodless. Instead we should stand in the place where we Live and treat our Neighbors how we would like to be treated. Division is preached from the Highest Podiums with disregard for Peace and Tranquility. A Great American Statesman once said that Tyrants keep the People Ignorant with Disinformation. That’s how they stay in Power. As the Song goes” Ebony and Ivory living together in perfect Harmony” M.L.K’s Dream. Welcome to the New Order of five Percentages. One cold Winter’s Day that lives in my Heart keeps me Grounded and Focused.








Living in the North I learned to deal with cold Weather. Walking in Downtown Clearwater, surrounded by a Wealth of Scientology Buildings, I noticed an Indignant Woman shivering. I was wearing a Brand New Hoodie, I took it off and gave it to her. She didn’t say a Word but I know that our Hearts touched. A piece of Scripture flashed through my Head, ” I came to you dressed as a Beggar and you turned me away”. Two Days ago twelve at Night I am at the Service Station, a young Man in his twenties asked me for help. I didn’t know his Circumstances so I gave him enough to eat something. The Color of their Skin was of no Relevance, I am not a Sucker, I am my Brother’s Keeper, be he Black Yellow or White. I am so Glad that I never forgot my Flower Children Culture. You can say what you want about Hippies but they had the right Idea, Love the one you’re with. It’s a small World we are living in, you’re not alone, your Children are watching.

 

 

https://images.app.goo.gl/4Rc6EdMUVtkjnreP7

Life, Parenting And Relationships

Mother And Son Reunion

Talking To my Mom

I guess I have Blown the Window of Opportunity  to say the things to you that I should have said in Life. Nevertheless just to let you know that it will never be the same  without you. I can go on with my Life , but I will forever be Grateful for the Life you gave. Remembering the many times you jumped into Action like a Super Woman to save the Life you gave, once thinking that you could run seven miles to the E.R. with a four year old on your Shoulder. Carrying me to the point of making my first Buck, being twelve and a sneak Thief, throwing small change at you, That was to let you know that there was nothing I wouldn’t do to shoulder your Discomfort.

When you Discovered me, you gave no Shame, only Counseling. These are just some of my Shortcomings that were never Discussed in Life. Just to let you know that I deeply Regret not Talking to you. Many People babble Words yet they don’t Talk, some Speak Eloquently yet say Nothing. There are People you can Talk to about anything, you are one of those. Living in the Bronx at Fourteen we had the Greatest Conversation we ever had. You found one Ounce of Weed in my Clothes and flushed it in the Toilet. While I searched the House frantically you kept asking me what was I looking for. The Composure and the Diplomacy you presented left a lasting Lesson for the rest of my Life.

You have my Respect for Life. You didn’t go off the Deep End and try to Crippled me like you did when  coming Home five A.M. Shit-faced at sixteen. Thanks for every Hit you gave me for Dragging myself up instead of Raising myself Up. I chose to be a Deviant, instead of Rising to your Expectations. How Deserving of me to have a strong Willed Woman for a Mother. One that would give sweet Love as well as Tuff Love. One who could defend herself if I ever got the Notion. For all the Love and Respect the only Hand of mine would only be a Comforting Touch. How come we can’t and won’t say the things that really matters to each other in Life . Now you are gone and you never Heard the Words of Tears. As a Result of you Teaching me how to Talk, with my Heart, from the Heart, I am able to Compose this Dialogue.

I consider myself Fortunate for Knowing you. I Remembered when J.F.K. and M.L.K Died you Cried. Fifty years later I now Discover what those Tears ment. You saw their Vision. You told me that they may never Accept me but they will Respect you for the Job you do. Those Words have kept Food in my Stomach two New Cars in the Yard good Health Insurance and many other Trimmings. You didn’t Preach, you Teached. How fortunate could I have been, to be Homeschooled as well as Public, as well as in Life. You are a Beacon in this Storm called Life. You Thought me that a Man can Prosper by the Sweat of his Brow and be Loved by giving it. I ask your Forgiveness for not doing what you wanted of me at sixteen, be a Scholar.

They say that when you are getting ready to Die you come Full Circle with Life. I hope I am not getting ready to make the the big move. Having this Bly ( To give one a chance or to ignore/overlook something) is as Full Circle as it gets for me, Talking to my Celestial Mom. Anyway Mom I am a Blogger, they need to know that one should connect with the one they Love in Life, not after they are gone. Like Richie Heaven said “Old Friends what a Time it was , I have some Photographs”. Pattie Labelle bring Tears with you are my Friend. Niel Young said ” Old Man take a look at your Life, I am a lot like you were”. You Thought me the Importance of Music and Poetry. I know that she is Reading this while I write. She was such a great Listener. You could Talk for a half Hour, she would listen not saying a word then walk away. Penny for your Thoughts, you couldn’t pay anything for her Silence. I envied her for being so Poised. Interacting with each other takes great Communication, not just Talking but Listening and Feeling. Do you Feel Me? Make good use of good things while you still got them. Shower them with Love and Understanding while you still got them. Forget about correctness, I am Talking, saying things that should have been said. Because when Life have Ceased, Words have no Weight. Regardless, I love you Mom.

Lyrics

You are my friend,

I never knew it till then

My friend, my friend

You hold my hand,

You might not say a word

But I see your tears when I show my pain

You’re my, my friend

I never knew it till then

My friend

I feel your love,

When you’re not near

It helps me make it knowing you care

The thought of you helps me carry on

When I feel all hope is gone

I see the world with brand new eyes

Your love has made me realize

My future looks bright to me,

Oh because you are my friend

You are my friend

I’ve been looking around and you were here all the time

I’ve been around and around and around and around

I’ve been looking around and you were here all the time

You know what I’ve been doing

I’ve been looking [Repeat: x7]

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Marty Paich / Glen Campbell / Traditional

You Are My Friend lyrics © Spirit Music Group, BMG Rights Management, Songtrust Ave

P.S I tell my Wife I love her so much she hears a Broken Record.