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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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

America, Life, Motivation, Religion

Good Neighbors

 

 

Ever heard the saying ” Needle in a Haystack” well that’s exactly how it is finding People getting along in a Copacetic manner, as in unity, as in Congeniality, as in doing unto others, as in being down to Earth, as in being a Human Being. Or better yet as the Waltons would say being Neighborly. People are so full of themselves as my Mother used to say. She should know, she had a Sister who went out of her way to Drive a Wedge in the Harmony of the Family, with the he say she say Propaganda. She relished people at each other’s Throats, I call that the Jr Euwin Syndrome ( not happy unless the World is on fire) That is just the Hardcore Antagonist whose Soul belongs to Satan.

But what about the so called God-fearing ones who carries Malice in their Hearts as if it were thei’r Family Crest. They Hate you for being Black, for being Muslim, to be Christian,  to be Jewish, to be a Mongolian Priest. They killed St Valentine for not relinquishing his Belief, they Crucified Jesus for not Renouncing that he was The King of Kings, The Messiah and his ability to Heal. When I look back to see how far we’ve come from the Caves to where we are now, the Distance is short. Spirituality is a heavily trampled Rug. Thei’r entire Being is nothing but a Selfie on Social Networks, how do I look, how do you like me now, how am I doing Financially. Am I living next Door to Bill Gates or Bill Bradley.

Even in a Gated Community you are still a bad Neighbor, because you don’t respect your Neighbors rights to live there. In my old Neighborhood in New York a Black Nurse move into a Predominantly White Neighborhood, the Indignation she received for years would be enough for me to abandon the House and run for the Hills. Let’s forget about the Hardcore Haters, what about Family Members who don’t speak to each other, Neighbors who looks over their Fence and not a cordial word of Civility, or Coworkers you have worked with for years who have never said good morning.

My favorite are People in a Relationship, you let them close to you and they Trample on your Heart. I Relish saying what I have to say in two words so there you have it, this is not the way God planned for us to live among each other. Anyway who am I to Thread on the Subject, Cain killed his Brother, that was the first Evil Act and the rest of Mankind ran with the Ball. Buried in Time there are many Struggles, if not Moses would have no need to set his People Free. Thank God I have a Hippie Mentality Peace Love and Understanding, I choose not to live like you. Mr Morgan the most Prominent Attorney in my Area says that when you Live long enough to get to our Age, you have earned the right to speak your Mind.

Related

Don’t stay with someone who antagonizes you or belittles you.

2.

If you feel lonely, you’re better off being alone.

3.

Know when to walk away.

4.

You can gauge a person’s love for you by how they treat you when they are upset with you.

5.

Love is a verb, not a noun.

6.

When a lightbulb goes out, you fix the lightbulb. You don’t get a new house.

7.

Don’t settle for someone who has zero regard for your feelings or wants just because you’ve been together a long time.

8.

Just because you love each other does not mean that you’re good together long-term.

9.

No relationship is perfect and there will be conflict. What matters is the desire to solve the problem.

10.

Always fight the problem, not the other person. If you keep this in mind when arguing, you’ll be able to actually resolve the issue than be mad at each other.

11.

Don’t look for a girl you want to treat like a princess, look for a girl you want to treat like a partner.

12.

Don’t disparage your SO behind their back.

13.

Confidence isn’t “I know she likes me”, confidence is “I’ll be okay whether she likes me or not.”

14.

There are a number of people you can be compatible with. No one is perfect. You have to work at love.

15.

You’re not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

16.

Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you get when you see food coming at a restaurant.

17.

The grass is not greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.

18.

Stop trying to find the right person and start trying to BE the right person.

19.

The person who cares least in the relationship has the most control.

20.

Don’t listen to other people’s comments. Make your own relationship rules.

21.

It’s better to be happy than to be right.

22.

Always be the first to genuinely apologize after a fight.

23.

You can’t expect someone to love you when you can’t love yourself.

24.

Just because you liked the friend-version of someone doesn’t mean you’ll like the relationship-version of them.

25.

Before you move in with your partner, go on a road trip with them.

26.

Don’t be afraid to open up and be vulnerable. Vulnerability can bring you closer together and strengthen the two of you.

27.

When you and your SO are arguing, remember—it’s you and them VS the problem. Not you VS them.

28.

Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

29.

Don’t fall in love with someone’s potential.

30.

It takes two happy individuals to make a happy relationship.

31.

If the world didn’t give each other second chances, we would all be single.

32.

Everyone is searching for the perfect person, but no one is trying to be the perfect person.

33.

If you love the memories more than the relationship, it’s time to move on.

34.

Just because a person is right or perfect for you, you may not be the right one for them.

35.

If it’s broken, fix it. If you’ve lost count of how many times it’s broken, or the cost of repair far outweighs the initial outlay, throw it away and move on.

36.

Out of all the things needed for a successful relationship, love barely makes the top 5. Honesty, loyalty, trust, and communication all have to be there.

37.

Always hold hands when talking about the hard stuff. It helps to keep the negative emotions in check & shows you care.

38.

Be the man or woman you would want your future or current child dating.

39.

Love is about appreciation, not possession.

40.

Don’t go to bed angry. Everything will be there and worse in the morning.

41.

Always seduce your lover, even if you are in a committed relationship. Otherwise, another person will.

42.

Talk to each other about problems, not friends and family.

43.

Keep no secrets, tell no lies.

44.

Sometimes you gotta wise up and let go. Yes, it hurts. But it’ll hurt more in the future.

45.

Relationships aren’t hard. If it is hard, you are probably with the wrong person.

46.

Love is not a feeling. Feelings fade, change, respond to situations and events. Love is a choice.

47.

If it feels wrong at the beginning, it probably won’t get better.

48.

If you’re keeping score you already lost.

49.

Love is an action, not a feeling. It’s learned and developed skill, not an experience. Not that the romantic feeling doesn’t exist or isn’t a wonderful part of the relationship, but it doesn’t make it last.

50.

The best sign of a healthy relationship is no sign of it on Facebook

Written by:Lorenzo Jensen III

This article was published in thoughtcatalog.com  & Found on Ask

America, Life, Motivation

R.I.P

That was just a Dream

Wrong is just Wrong

The System Fails us Daily, I should’nt have  the Notion to touch Base with it. People far more qualified have tackled it and failed. However I must observe that Man have been Flawed since the Day Cain rose up out of Jealousy and  Killed. No Matter how near or Far, if you Kill in the absence of self defense, you are Flawed. That’s a nice way of saying you are Abnormal, in a way Handicapped, being unable to Rationalize your Thoughts before you Act. With that said I must tell you about a young Woman I met years ago. She was Vacationing with her Parents at the Resort I worked. Being a People Person I struck up a Conversation with her Parents. When I told them that I Blogged, they asked me to write about Jenny.

I asked them to talk about their Daughter who sat in a Wheelchair in a Degenerative Paulsey condition. While they talked she listened intensely and made poor speech gestures, agreeing and disagreeing. Jenny turned out to be one of the most Fascinating People I have ever met. She proved to me that we are who exactly who or what we choose to be. She was one of the Poster Children that forced Government and Society to create Handicap Accessibility to Public Buildings. Once that was accomplished after a long Uphill Battle, she went on to School and obtained two Degrees In Social Science dealing with People of her Kind. The sad outcome, she never landed a Job in her Field. All everyone saw was her Debilitating Physical appearance, not the Gifted Mind and Resilience. So you see  Prejudice goes beyond Color or Race.

The World's Greatest Daredevil

Sad but nonetheless a true Story of Human Strength. Something that so few posses, the strength to hold Convictions and to be resolute with what you do with your Life. I was given the Conviction to change my Life and I did. It is so easy to Blame, even tho God gave you Convictions to change the things you are able to change, and to accept with Serenity that which you can’t.The Choice to Hate is equivalent to Smoking Cigarettes, it’s a bad choice, you know that it’s bad for your Health, yet you puff away. Well my Friend Hate carry the same weight for your Mental Health, Nonetheless you Puff away on the Cigarette called Hate. Remember the Word Abnormal, unable to constructively rationalize your Thoughts. It’s an absolute Shame that some  Institutions are named after Great Men.

My High School for instance, William Howard Taft. When I attended Taft it was eighty five percent White, ten percent Black and five percent Latino. The latter two came to the Neighborhood for a better Life, a safer Place than the Hood, most of all a better Education. The Neighborhood’s Racial Gentrification was  representative of the School. The Abnormal  Attitude that these People had was that we didn’t belong there.(“This Land is your Land this Land is my Land , this Land was made for you and me”) After School there were Black Bashing, White Bashing and Gay Bashing, welcome to the Bronx 1969. America was on Fire with Hate and the Fire still Burns today. Doctor King Squelched it somewhat but the Embers refuse to be extinguished. The Movie the Bronx Tale said it all.

I have been walking through the Valley of the Shadows of Death for fifty Years. I am not coining Phrases, 1971 I escaped the Shadows of Death by God’s Grace. Years after many Black Men had Sacrificed their Lives so I could walk down an all white Street and wasn’t set upon by Children of Haters who inherited their Parents Hate, or  overzealous Block Watchers or even the Cops, like it happened to me in 1971. This was  Just around the time when J Edgar Hoover ran the FBI like a Luftwaffe. He  waged War on the Black Panther Party killing everything that looked Militant. At that point in time it appeared that Racism was Institutionalized in America. Many Days walking through White Neighborhoods all I could hear in my Head was Arlo Godfry’s song ” this Land is your Land this Land is my Land this Land was made for you and me”.

That Sentiment almost got my Friends and I Killed walking through all White Bensonhurst Brooklyn 1971. It was a beautiful Summer’s Day we were on our way to a Backyard Cookout near Bensonhurst. We got off the Train and  decided to take a shortcut through an all White Block. We weren’t half way through the Block before we were swarmed by Cops with Tactical Gears, the only thing they didn’t have was Rocket Launchers. Five well Dressed Black Kids, the oldest was nineteen. If one of us got nervous and ran or reached for Identification, we  would all be Dead, they all had Shotguns. After we showed ID and explained where we were heading the Trigger Fingers were relaxed, one Cop explained that a Neighbor called and told them that a Black Gang was loitering in the Neighborhood. This is not about the angry Black Man Syndrome, I am way beyond small People with big Hate. I am on a Cloud looking Down on them knowing that I overcame all their Hate and have none of my own. One good thing about Living in America for over fifty years, I have seen one of Dr King’s Dream come true, watching a Rainbow Collation of People marching for George Floyd. Forget about the Looters and Rebel Rousers, they have been around since 1794 yelling Guillotine. Stand Tall America, your time has come to show the World who you are.

America, Life

The Heartbeat Of America

That was just a Dream

This weekend I was fortunate to have spent three days of my Vacation in Monks Corner. Nestled in central South Carolina is this little Town with more Dirt Roads than these Feet have ever trodden. The People as down to Earth as the many Dirt Roads. The Town has come a long way from the years of 1940, the People have evolved beyond their Parents wildest imagination. In this town you can find Palital Homes accessible only by Dirt Roads. The Government have built Roads in places that an American Car will never be Driven, and now a Wall to keep out the people from picking the Fruit Trees, helping Farmers to make a profit. This Country was built on free Labor, so it can only prosper from Cheap Labor. Yet the people who were Born here waits on the bottom rung of the Ladder to drive on Roads found on Long Island and Suburbs in Washington,  all I want to know is where does the Tax Dollars go. That doesn’t stop the Natives of Monks Corner from striving. I call them Natives because most of them who were Born there choose to stay there and build the Town where their Predecessors would be elated with Pride, its Children have grown up and brought their Town up with them. I was re- introduced to my In-laws, all of them upstanding members of the Community, They Love Jesus and America too, many of them successful Professionals.To mention a few, one a retired Telephone Lineman who is also an entrepreneur who gave up an opportunity to play in the NFL to be with his Ailing Mother. Did I mention Salt of the Earth, his Nephew a retired Captain from the US Army who is also a skilled Craftsman.

Some of us have suffered abuse neglect and poverty, yet we rise above meritocracy and not transferring our pain to others. As the saying goes if it doesn’t kill you( the abuse) it will make you stronger. The Children of Monks Corner grew strong, some going as far back as their Native American and African Heritage. As Children they did more than their Chores and never neglected their Education. They knew that if they wanted more out of Life than their Parents afforded them that they had to work for it, and so did they. Life was hard but these  people had Tenacity. They overcame Racial discord and Discrimination by dealing with the situation by doing exactly what my Mother told me ( be the best at whatever you choose to be, if it is a Dishwasher be the best, if it’s the President of a Corporation be the Best. They may never accept You but they will Respect you for the Job you do.

The People of Monks Corner should be proud of their Journey, I consider it an Epic one. Along the way I have met a lot of people, years ago I met a Man in Texas, he was worth five hundred million. When the Heirs to his fortune graduated College, instead of giving them Offices next to him, he gave them Jobs working on Highways laying Blacktop in 113 degrees heat. I asked why he did that, he told me to teach them the value of a Dollar. The People of Monks Corner knows the value of a Dollar Working Farms early in the Morning then  going to School made their characters tireless. One of my In-laws a Master Craftsman  built his Home a mini Mansion from the Ground up two Stories. Like the Whiz K said whatever it is that is your Job, make sure that you do it, Work Hard Play Hard, that’s my Motto. I have always been a hard worker,  that’s why I Respect like minded people as myself, all my In-laws are hard workers.

From my Observation it appears to be the norm in this Town. The Town’s History is Rich, from Cotton Plantation to the Civil War, these are the decendants of America’s evolvement of Native Americans and African American. I have met Africans, they have their ways. The Children of Monks Corner are Americans who have reached out and grasp whatever benefits the System offers such as Education and Entrepreneurship. This was an absolute Culture Shock for me, living in Pennsylvania and New York all my Life. Coming to a place where my People owns their piece of the Rock, no matter how small is an Accomplishment. Furthermore their Town is not a Shanty Town, many of the Homes if they were in my Hometown of Tampa, on the Waterfront would easily fetch one Million. The inhabitants have come far, yet they stayed Grounded and Faithful. This was a Heartwarming experience for me to see the People as George would say have Overcome, and move on up to what their Parents could only have Envisioned.

The town of Moncks Corner, named for landowner Thomas Monck, dates back to 1728. It began as a trading post with a few taverns and stores. The Battle of Monck’s Corner was fought here in 1780, associated with the Siege of Charleston. The Town is Rich with history going back to its French Settlers running from oppression dating to the seventeenth Hundreds. This is my wife’s place of Birth all her Brothers an Cousins live here they are all professionals who choose to stay here when they finished School and build their Town. Many people who were born in a Rural settings like this, when they finish School they migrate to big Cities like New York where they have to adopt a new culture and sometimes losing theirs. The rest of the world should take a lesson from the Children of Monks Corner , instead of trying to jump Trump’s Wall they should put all their efforts in building the place  where they live and launch one revolution after another till the Tyrants run for Asylum to America. Many of us suffered the indignity of being unfortunate and depriviation.

My Mother was a hardworking Woman, been that way since Childhood, helping raising her siblings. When she was sick and in and out of Hospitals, we were unfortunates, no one threw a crust of Bread or such. Ambition is a powerful emotional Tool, always wanting, never staying down. Like the man  said ” so much trouble in the World, no one feels your pain. Me I going to shine till my Heart stops. That’s why when I see a Town’s People standing in the place where they Live it warms my Heart, like John Lennon said Imagine all the People living as one. So there you have it, that’s how  I spent my Vacation, learning about the Heartbeat of 🇺🇸. This is what makes America great people making it work, People building it up instead of tearing it down. They chose to light a Candle instead of cursing the Darkness of all its faults.

Post. Script.

The Lord Helps those who Helps Themselves.