Wednesday, August 17, 2011

can't we all just get along?

It isn't even 2012 and we are already in full swing into politics.  We see it everywhere.  On tv, in the newspaper, on the radio, etc.  And I find it sad that quite a few of them seem to take great relish in bashing each other.
I have friends that are straight, I have friends that are homosexual, and I have friends that are bisexual.  I have friends that are catholic, protestant, mormon, jewish, muslim, atheist, buddhist, agnostic, and even wiccan.  I have friends that are vegans, vegetarians, omnivores (it feels like literally because they will stuff anything into their mouths lol), and almost carnivores because they pretty much eat meat and not much else.  And I have friends that are liberal, conservative, tea party, republican, democrat, independent, green party, and a mix of 2 or more.
Everyone has their values, everyone has their opinions.  If you value something different than me I respect the fact that you value something different than me.  If you believe that your way is best that is up to you.  But why must we insist on bashing those that don't agree with us?  Why do we feel we have to spit on the ones we want to blame on our problems?  p.s. - I think that in politics especially there isn't a "right" side and the people that always have to blame the other wing on every problem no matter what need to take a look at how both sides have messed up but that is a completely other post.
Wouldn't it be better to get along and try and do what is best for the country rather than continually play the blame game?  How are people of different values sniping at each other going to make this country a better place to live?  Wouldn't it be better to stop the fighting and try and do what is right even if that means you have to accept some blame yourself and be a little humble about it?  Then perhaps we could get down to what we need to do to help our country in this time of not so great economy.

cheater sometimes prosper?

If you haven't heard lately, there has been a news story about a kid that made a crazy hockey shot to win $50,000.  If you already know the story feel free to jump to the next paragraph right now.  If you don't what happened is this.  This insurance company has a contest/raffle at a charity hockey game that they offer $50,000 to a kid if they can shoot a hockey puck from center ice and put it through a hole that is literally only 1/2 inch larger than the puck.  They draw this kid's name (Nick Smith).  He makes it and wins the money!  Only it wasn't him.  It was his twin brother.  Nick went home so Nate took the shot.  The next day the dad comes clean that he sent the twin up there and he returns the money.  There is a debate on if he did this of his own free will or if he came clean because some people in this town knew it was the wrong kid and were going to spill the beans anyways if he didn't.
The thing is that now there is controversy that the insurance company should?/will?/might need to?/might want to? pay the kid anyways for making the shot.
While I am not denying the shot was fantastic (you can find it by googling it if you haven't seen it) I don't like where this is going.  I don't mind if the kid gets some kudos for the shot; it was fun and he did a good job.
But are we teaching everyone that if you cheat and win money that you should be able to keep the money?
What are we teaching our kids?  If the dad truly did return the money on his own you could say good job to him but what in the world was he cheating for in the first place?  Didn't he just show his kid that if you find a chance to win money you should go for it even if you aren't being honest?  And if you win that money you should take it and run and hopefully you return it later because your conscience is bothering you?  And then since you were so "honest" by returning it that it is right that the money should be given to you anyways?
How in the world did this ever become a debate?  Why are we teaching our kids that this is in any way ok?
Do we really want to go down this road?  Have we already gone down this road by doing this?
I am disturbed that our society holds honesty and integrity in such low esteem that this has ever become an issue.  We should be teaching our children and neighbors to do what is right and what is honest the first time, not as a secondary consideration.
Perhaps this is a big reason why the world is in the shape it is today; perhaps this is what has driven the world to be in the shape it is today.  While there are good people out there, we have a few too many of this type of thing going on.  We should really get back to honor and integrity and honesty before we are the end of ourselves as people.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

saying goodbye

I have felt very different these last few weeks and I haven't been able to figure out what it is.  I haven't felt I have been connecting with anyone or much of anything and I hate feeling like this.  It is like there is a big hole in my heart and soul and I don't know how to fill it.
As I sit here tonight I reflect and think about the things that make me feel whole.  It was a good day today.  I got to see friends that I haven't gotten to see a lot lately and we had a ton of fun.  It went fast as it always does when you find yourself in good company doing things you love and there lies the rub of what I have been feeling lately.
As most of my friends know I blew out both knees in the championship game of the softball tournament this year.  I have been limping around for quite a while now and I know that my knees aren't getting better.  While this isn't the first time I have injured a knee it is the first time I have blown out both at the same time.
I look back at the moment it happened with pride because I stuck with it and I gave everything I could to help my team.  I never gave up and I always gave everything I had for them.  Getting carried off the field after diving the the base to be safe knowing I had done in both knees wasn't a bad way to go.  While I feel sorry for those that had to carry me off I am glad I  left it all on the field.
I think the loneliness I have felt here is knowing I have no fall softball league to look forward to and possibly next summer as well.
Unlike times before when I hurt a knee and was able to support myself with the other while it healed I have no recourse this time but to limp around equally on both knowing that neither is getting any rest.  And with school coming up next week I will not get any rest there either for them.
I also have to face the fact that they aren't healing.  That is difficult for me to say but I can write it here and say it again.  My knees aren't healing this time.  Neither one.  They feel just as bad as they did when they went out.
How do you say goodbye to your love?  It feels to me that very few people understand the depth of my soul that is carried by playing a game I truly love.  A game that I would play every day for the rest of my life and I would be happy doing it.  I have friends that love the game but they love other stuff too.
Softball has been the thing in my life so long that I don't even worry about the other stuff as much anymore.  It has become that much a part of me.
How do I say goodbye and how do I know if this is the time to say goodbye?
All the elements are in place.  My body is wrecked.  If I play next year I need new batting gloves and new spikes.  I know people that would buy my bats.  And I have the opportunity to help coach softball next year which would interfere if I play.
How do you say goodbye?
Is it time to say goodbye?
My friends in Mankato remind me I am getting old.  They remind me that the healing time is going to be longer.  That to play the game nightly will become a harder thing to do.  It was hard 3 years ago when I really started having serious knee problems.  They can joke all they want but taking tons of pain meds before every game to get through it without worrying about it has probably worn on my body as well.
Is it time to say goodbye?
How do you say goodbye?