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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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.

Life, Parenting And Relationships

The Monsters We Create

The Monsters we Create

One of my Readers once asked me , how do I get Centered to start writing. I told him that most of my Blogs are created in my Head as I go about the Business of Living. Situations I encountered, People I meet or just Daily Occurrences around me. For instance today one of Dr Phill’s Guest were a Teenager whose Mother was in Jail for Animal Cruelty. The Woman is said to be a good Mother who involved herself in School and Parent Teacher activities. One Day while punishing her fourteen years old Son for not doing his Homework among other things. She placed his Hamster in a Plastic Bag, gave him a Hammer and ordered her Son to Kill it. Now I ask you since when does Parenting comes to training your Children to kill. I have always held the Contention that Children who start out killing Lizards and small Animals graduated to People. So there you have the motivation for this Blog people creating Monsters in the way they Handle Children. The problems they create for Society by performing mindless acts of abuse on a Child. Not having the foresight to see down the Road around the Bend what a Traumatic experience can Manufacture. My first experience of Adults abusing Children came at the age of eight. We were going through a desperate Straight, deep in Poverty, Heads below the water. My Mother was one of the hardest Working Woman I have ever met.

She raised two Boys by herself after our no good Dad ran out on us. That was actually the first act of abuse, even tho too young to see. During that period Mother spent more time in the Hospital than Home. I was sent to live with Affluent Family Members whose Children were in College. My Father- in law thought that College made Fools of those without Common Sense. Here I was eight years old and just about starving. One Day I went to the Refrigerator and help myself to a Delicacy I didn’t have at Home, Milk. My Cousin the College Man observed me drinking the Milk. This Idiot took off his Belt, equivalent to a Barber’s Razor Strap, three inches wide. He beat me like a Jockey trying to get his Horse to the Wire, all the time calling me a Thief. At eight years old I considered Murder in Retaliation. In the County Government where I work as a Contractor, we have an eight years old awaiting Trial for the attempted Murder of his Sister. Also a nine years old awaiting Trial for Stabbing his Grandmother to Death. Take Head People, be careful of the Monsters you create. Siblings and Children in general are brutal punishers. Many times Parents cast a Blind Eye, or just think that its just Sibling rivalry. Many times the Tormentors have deep Rooted Hate and resentment for the Recipient of their Wrought. The following Blog is from My early Collection, I thought it was perfect for this Train of Thought and needed to be re- Blogged.

Favorite Son

Mothers are supposed to be our protectors, our Guardian Angels. Julie however did not see it that way. When she was young she fell in love with an older Man, suave and debonair, also well to do, but a Player nonetheless, she was totally overwhelmed by his charms. Women are so foolish when it comes to that type of thing, they are so easily played. If I was a woman and a Man turned on the charm on me like that, to the point where I was helpless and could not say no to his Casanova’s suave style. That would set off a red light in my Mind, that this Guy could charm a Hooker out of her hard earned money, and instead pay him for his services. Some Guys are just that good, most young Women have no defenses to a man like that. Julie was a sucker for his charms, she crumbled and had a child for him.

Did not take long for her to realize that she was taken for a ride and that this Man was a formidable Player, and that she wasn’t the first and by no means the last. Some Guys think that it is a form of conquest to have a whole lot of kids with different Women, sort of like a Sheikh and his Harem. Julie’s Heart was shattered, but the Child she had for him kept her Heart happy that she had something of his, that one day may bring him back. All this Child was to her was a Memorabilia of someone she would never have. She spoiled the Child rotten, never setting limitations or Boundaries. The Child grow wild and out of control, a ticking Time Bomb. Nine years went by Julie met another Man got married and had a child. Bad mistake, for nine years it was only the two of them, the Kid was quite satisfied with the way things were, no one else for her to share her affections with. The jealousy and resentment on his part was never masked, jealous of his new Brother and resentment of the Stepfather.

Big Brother was not up to sharing his Mother with some Half Brother, he rebelled, whined and snickered, always up in her arms where his infant Brother should be, in her Lap and in her Bed. For God’s sake what does it takes for someone to call the Child Psychologist. What is it? Am I the only one with a figurative Head on my Shoulder. Jealously was rampant in this little spoiled rotten Brat, after a while it finally hit him square in the face. Little Brother was here to stay, unless he took him out of the perfect Picture that once was, the relationship he once shared with his own personal Mom. I don’t remember when the Beatings started, I believe it was when the infant was one. This little Monster unleashed a campaign of Terror on his infant Brother. The Infant had Black Eyes, and highly visible Bruises representative of Abuse. The Baby always showed signs of fear for Big Brother, always cowering from sharp advances. Mother was as demented as son, all the time looking the other way, Daddy Chicken Shit fearing losing his beautifully Ugly new Wife refused to face the reality of what was transparent. They both neglected to put a stop to the Terror the Child was undergoing, at the hand of his Evil Step Brother. The Abuse continued for four more years before Eunuch Dad decided that Marriage or not, after cries and prompting from onlookers urged him to stand up and be a Father to his Child.

It was apparent that the Ignorant Woman chose to be Mother to only one Child, who was a constant reminder of her first Love. Without a doubt as evil as her Terroristic Son. the beating did not stop until the helpless Child ended up in the Hospital with Bowels obstruction and intestinal damage, where Big Brother had targeted his blows to avoid detection. As everyone knows that Psychopaths are clever in covering their Tracks. Am I the only one here that see a clear case of Child neglect, abuse and conspiracy, these People should be in Jail, one thing for certain, they will have to deal with their conscience and their God. Life is so ungiving, there are People out there that possess all the traits of good Parents and can’t have kids, and others that shouldn’t have a Pet, have all the Children they wanted.

My God what a Wicked World we live in, both Parents were aware of the Abuse and did nothing for four years until we threatened to expose them to the Child Welfare Department. How do these People live with themselves. Parenting does not sink to a lower level than that. This is why I can’t cast Judgement on the eight years old Child awaiting Trial in the Justice System where I work. No one knows his Situation for trying to Kill his Sister. Or the nine years old also awaiting Trial for killing his Grandmother. I would not be the Ideal Juror for either of these Cases, because I am Prejudicial to Abusers, being abused myself.

Life, Parenting And Relationships

Good Friends

Sweet and Sour

When I was younger it didn’t matter wheather I see any of my old friends who drifted out of my Life without a Postcard with a forwarding Address. Sad but true, it’s the same with Family Members. Now that I am all grown up and have made it my Business to be Educated and Enlightened in the subject of Life, People and Social Structures, I miss them. The reason for that is I would like them to see how well I have Bloomed and is at Peace with my World even with all it’s Ills and letdowns, from Politics to Religion and all the Sociological disorders. This is why I miss them, they are not around me to see how Aloft I am from those who Rejects Values, and Bloomed into a Flower, transforming into a Butterfly and not remaining a Caterpillar. I don’t hate, I don’t Blame or expect anything from Society or them who have abandoned and Deserted me for no good reasons. Lets not forget that Judas was a Disciple of Jesus.

That is the Motivation for this Blog, Sweet and Sour, because that is exactly how People are. Some of them wants to use you, some of them wants to be used by you, Sweet Dreams are made of these. Thank you Fleetwood Mac, I couldn’t have said it better, but that’s exactly how they are. Way beyond Sibling Rivalry, Brothers and Sisters dumping Dirt on you and you are not even Dead yet, all because of Ignorance and Idiocryncies. And that is the difference between them and myself, there is nothing Petty about me I am willing to die for my Convictions like Saint Valentine or Jesus refusing to Renounce their Faith. That is the Person that Age have made me, someone willing to Bury the Hatchet and not in your Back, being able to move on with my Life no matter what, capable of Forgiveness without Forgetfulness.

That is why I miss them to show off my Bodaciousness and how Magnanimous of Life I Have become, while they Languish in Mediocrity and smallmindedness. People I have known since twelve years old we lived like Family we shared Meals along with our secrets and Dreams, we grew up together and drifted apart vanished from each other’s Lives. That’s not how People should live, then one Day they show up at a Funeral acting like they cared about the Diseased one. That is the heights of Hypocrisy and that is the Crux of the Separation, Hypocrisy rules our lives, like Tom Petty said, it’s alright if you love me it’s ok if you don’t. Its as if Caren Carpenter read my Heart when she sang ” So far away dose’nt anybody stay in one Place anymore, it would be so nice to see your face at my Door”.

Life is so short and untimely it does us well to Savor each other, while we still can,Tomorrow we could be hearing  Eulogies. Years ago in a Sociology Class we discussed the twentieth Century as being a throw away Society, back then I considered the Ideology as Idle talking. And it shall come to pass, our Automobiles are replaced as regularly as our Androids and so too are Friends and Family. Granted, there are People in our Lives that we should distance ourselves from, People who drags you down instead of lifting you up. My best friend in High School was one, he didn’t have a Mind of his own.He didn’t know that a Black Man joining the Revolutionary Guard, the Protective Element of the Black Panther Party, was signing his own Death Warrant.

In the year 1972 J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI had Declared War and open Season on the Militant Group. Yet my Best friend allowed them to talk him into Joining the Group and bringing me along. On that Fateful day of going to the Induction, my Mother being Instinctive told me that If I did what she thought I was going to do, I would be Homeless. The Safe House  where we were to have the Meeting was a Bomb Factory, two hours before our Meeting the House blew up killing two. My Mother never liked him from Day one and always told me to watch myself around him. Naturally there are some Associations made in Hell, but the good ones should not be busted up for no good reasons, they should last your lifetime, because after all we are all we’ve got. In the end we go to each other’s Funerals shedding Crocodile Tears, like the Hypocrites we truly are.

The more I Reminis the more Depressing they are to me. I still can’t believe that I know not of my little Buddy’s whereabouts, the Catholic Schoolboy that started me smoking Weed at fourteen, he was only twelve but more Worldly than I. He Introduced me to Stanley Clark, Chic Corea and Tito Puente. Can you Imagine being Educated by a twelve year old. He told me Stories of Molestation in his School and the Impending Scandal in 1968 and forty years later Bishops are going to Prison for crimes they have been committing for forty years with Impunity. Junior I miss you, Junior is what I called him, he called me Pope. Two years before I met Junior I had another best Buddy Charlie was a Genius and a Saint. I on the other hand was too busy being Bad to walk in Charlie’s footprints, he was a Scholar. One Day while indoctrinating him in being Bad I almost got us both Killed. I was twelve years old dismantling Shotgun Shells when I decided to Bury one exposing the Cap and striking it with a Hammer. Twelve years later he moved to California and that was the last I seen or heard of my good Friend. I guess that is what being Californiacated does to Relationships. No Doubt in my Mind that he became Successful and thought he had outgrown me. My question is what good is being Successful and Dying like Howard Hughes, alone and in Despair. The Day I ceased to Rise I know I will hear Tupac’s voice ” How long will they mourn me”, or will they?. My Life is a Beacon for Relationships, I have been Faithful to the same Woman for forty years. I am sixty seven years old and fairly Healthy, nonetheless I know that I am walking my last Mile. ” Good company in a Journey makes the way shorter” –  Izaak Walton.

Life

I will always be there

 


You are young and in school, you meet  mr right, your heart tells you so. Things get hot and heavy,  bam you are pregnant, you marry him all is well and good, it’s the logical thing to do.  Baby is thriving well, it’s time to go go back to school. One Day you tell him of your intentions of going back to School. His male dominance surfaces, I would prefer if you stayed home he utters. I will always be here to provide for the family. Magnanimous gesture for sure, nonetheless finishing your education is as tangible as an insurance policy. Matter of fact more so if his testicles leads him from you. I have been married for thirty seven years, never once unfaithful, had many opportunities though I stayed the course. Whenever one of my friends got busted in their extra curricular activities, all I hear from her is, Men are Dogs.



I say to myself, not necessarily so they just think with their Testicles. A childhood friend of mine with a beautiful loving wife, taught that he  was too much for one woman. He had a woman in just about every State, he was away from Home more than a Traveling Salesman. The grief he caused this Woman, also a friend of mine made me despised him, her mother cared for me like a son. I had no choice  but to distance myself from him. I hope you are following my drift. Not all men is led by their Joystick. I stayed true to my wife and have no regrets for not being a Dog. There are so many contingencies why he may not be there for the long haul other than being unfaithful, it is of the utmost for you to be able to provide for yourself if the day comes. Not only that but two Incomes takes the Stress out of paying the Bills and living largely . Also the Days of the Wife staying Home and making Babies is long gone. Another friend of mine had a good marriage and a nice family, his wife however was an overbearing woman who taught her job was to mold him into the perfect Husband, always correcting and criticizing. One day he packed an overnight bag, telling her that he was working on a project that had to get done. No one have ever seen him again, nothing in this life is guaranteed.

 



Early in my Marriage I once told my wife that she was driving me crazy. Her response, it’s a wife’s job, to some Men that’s reason to run. No one knows what the future holds for us, that’s why you need to cushion yourself for whatever life throws at you. Janice was  sixteen years old when she hooked up with an older Man with plenty of money, by twenty she had three children for him. He told her there was no need to finish her education and no need to further her ambition of becoming a nurse, because he made enough money and would always be there. Ten years later he was convicted of murder never to walk the streets again. She was now twenty six with three children to feed, no education and no skills entering the workforce for the first time. All that I am saying is, don’t get caught up in the Honey Trap when everything is so sweet and cushy that you are unable to be objective and pragmatic about the rest of your Life. Don’t forget that Momma may have, Pops may have, Husband may have, Boyfriend may have but God bless the Girl that’s got her own. I once knew a Man who was married for twenty five years, he told me that he had fifty thousand dollars that his wife knew nothing about. I asked him why, he responded that it was his runaway Money if the day comes.

 

 

Anyone can wake up with their Running Shoes on a Sunday morning. Like No Doubt puts it, you came up with the Breeze ( running out on a Relationship) without a warning. Life is filled with uncertainties especially in Relationships, don’t put all your Eggs in one Basket, sleep with one Eye open. You might not get a restful Night’s sleep but there will be no surprises. Many Men are intimidated by a Professional Women or an independent one. The Old Days were Brutal, when I was fourteen I lived next door to a Man who didn’t allow his Wife to spend Money. She was a Seamstress with good Skills, every Penny she made was handed over to him, whatever the Household needed he did all the spending. This Scenario parallels a Woman doing the same Job as a Man and getting paid less for doing a better Job, As you can see History repeating itself. I was only fourteen but I knew that there was something Deathly wrong with this situation, it was like a Scenario extracted from Oliver Twist, mean and Dominating. Worse of all he had four Daughters who were getting a bad Education of what a Relationship should be. One of the Daughters married the Man who had a Woman in every State, how Paradoxical Life can be. Life is like reaching in a Grab Bag, you never know what you are going to get, and that is your reason for being self supporting.