pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


Leave a comment

But, What Did I Do?

barkit

As a person, as a society, and as a living being on this earth, that question has been asked or wondered forever. More often than not, it is because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, when a person or animal needs to blow off steam, get out their aggressions, or sadly, just make another feel as bad as they do. As a mother, I called this the Wagging Tail theory, after needing to find an analogy, that my daughters could understand, and in this very moment of life, it couldn’t be any more valid.

Whenever one of my own was wrongly blamed, singled out, or just felt to be less than they were, I asked them to imagine their sweet dogs, since they had loved those puppies from birth, and treasured them as constant companions and confidants. I explained how each of the three animals were all different in looks, and personality, but they all came into life the same way, needing the same nourishment, warmth, care and love, and when the time came to leave their mama dog, they relied completely on the attention and compassion their owner would give them. However, not all puppies were like ours, finding a perfect home, exactly what they were hoping for, and because of that, damage started.

Some, I would explain, were bought only as gifts, later ignored or tossed away, and others were abused and hurt, never understanding what they had done to deserve the treatment. Then one day, out of nowhere, and for no particular reason, they just couldn’t take it anymore, and when someone reached down to pet their wagging tail, they were bit, barked at, or worse. The rational mind knows this as a watershed moment, but for a child’s logic, it is that time when you are exhausted, and just can’t run anymore. It becomes that well known emotional and physical point when you are just done.

Understanding that they were not the cause, but the reaction from previous pain, my children would try and reconcile the event they had been caught up in, to figure out what had caused a friend to become hurtful, an employer to take another version of a situation, or why a loved one snapped over a simple mistake, or misunderstanding. The realization of a bigger picture usually came slowly, but when it did, they would be sad, taking into account the pain and suffering needing to finally be released. Keeping that in mind, they also looked for the bigger picture, and tried harder to help, not assuming facts not in evidence, as they so often heard on television, truly a wonderful concept.

Regardless, how a beating heart has been wronged, disappointed, embarrassed, let down or physically hurt, the need to be loved and wanted, equal to all others is always the ultimate goal. A child that acts up in class, doesn’t want punishment, only attention and compassion, but has no other way to get it. A dog that has been ignored, or abused is still as loyal and loving as they were in puppy days, however, biting a hand trying to feed it, is their only reaction of self preservation, not wanting more pain. The biggest lesson we can ever learn, is that all any of us want, is understanding, compassion and equality; even if it takes many bites from pain, or fearful screams to overcome our damage.

Looking at the family I raised, I am proud of them all, and the level of humanity they achieved, the values and morals they teach their children, and the understanding and support they give their partners at home, and in the workplace. However, sadly, I also know as long as there are differences in this world, affecting economic situations, physical ability, compassion and financial needs, there will continue to be voices needing to yell, unnecessary revenge waiting to be played out, and love wishing to be felt. I can only assume this is a lesson in humanity all of us are all to learn before we leave life. A very basic credo, that we are all the same, and loving one another is the only answer…a hope and directive, quoted many times, in all religious and spiritual teachings.

So, Talk…don’t Bark the next time that you receive a painful encounter. Then, listen with your heart, regardless of your frustration, and reverse the situation, getting to the source of the emotion. No, you won’t fix everything right then and there, maybe you never will. However, I can almost guarantee that genuine compassion and understanding will be the key to defusing the moment, and changing a life for the better, possibly even your own.

 

 


Leave a comment

Shh…it isn’t news, it is just bad….

Life has evolved into a spectator sport, featuring Team Terrorist and Team Celebrity, and we have only our sick need for information and gratification to blame, and don’t get me started on the actions of the announcer that represents our country. In the tragically accurate words of Don Henley, “get the widow on the setis the head dead yet…”

This past Sunday, a major news affiliate reported that people have become desensitized to violence and death…ya think??? Social media and an overused state of political correctness now afford everyone the chance to be an armchair quarterback, judge, CSI investigator, televangelist preacher or half naked superstar, posed, poised and polished for success. The result of this voyeuristic saturation has made brutality and suffering on people and animals commonplace, actually the norm, as we check the Internet before facing the day. Where is Walter Cronkite when we need him?

Growing up in a law enforcement environment, there were moments of silence and covertly exchanged looks, which always remained between the walls of our home. However on occasion, my father, who was the Police Chief, did mention when something profoundly affected him, but only to explain his demeanor, or to possibly make his family aware of a potentially serious matter. Regardless of anything he would speak about, it was a given that it was not for public knowledge, and with a deep sadness in his eyes, he would call it a tragedy. This exact scenario continued into my married years, with my own Police Officer spouse, and like before, any knowledge of the personal pain that someone experienced, or caused, remained in confidence.

I am not saying it was ever easy to keep shocking details, stories and events secret, they were no different from what The Enquirer pays big money for today, however, it wasn’t newsit was tragedy. Those things had happened to real people, with real lives and real emotions, and they were the ones left with the aftermath…not me.  Luckily, the only social media available was over the phone or across the yard, but even with that, we still expressed compassion and concern, along with the understanding that it could have been our family, and we were always respectful.

Unable to do the work, create the dream or face the struggle, people now find it easier to live life through social media, while watching horror unfold for some, and fame and fortune for others. Daily doses of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all that color generic lives, which once had personal goals, family achievements and memories intended to be passed down. Why make a life, or take a chance, when the same results will appear on the news? Imagine the pain, suffer without consequence, and above all resent your failures – all without leaving the house.

When Pandora opened the box, and a fruit stand opened in the Garden of Eden, innocence became lost, and the world has forever paid the price, on knowledge never meant to be shared. Ignorance isn’t always bliss, but there are times when it is still for the best. Likewise, entertainment that was once uplifting, is now uploaded on a grand scale, the majority of which is horrifying, and has nothing to do with laughter…unless you like cat videos, and if so, that is a whole different box of drama.

The earliest days of movies and entertainment featured pratfalls, self-deprecating humor, and a few pies in the face. We laughed, because it exposed our hidden fears of being publicly humiliated, and/or embarrassed. When it progressed to drama, we faced relationship pain on an undesired streetcar, lost dolls in a valley, and saw a simple man, that innocently pulled a Charly Gordon, again facing what we didn’t want in our own life. The difference is, back then we also examined our values, morals and attitude, and made a choice to do better. Now however, we don’t face anything, and what is there, is in full color, hour after hour…someone else’s life, watched vicious and vicariously, in complete abandonment, always demanding they give an emotional reaction… for our satisfaction.

Many years ago, as I recovered from a physical assault, horrific stalking and the loss of my employment as a single parent, I found myself sitting across from a therapist, thinking it would help. The one thing I remember, almost as much as the attack I lived through, was this complete stranger asking me to detail the event, so he could say, how did that make you feel? Seriously…how the fuck do you think it felt? Needless to say, my anger and rejection from that emotional care left me with a hairpin trigger whenever I hear those same, intruding six words.

Verbally rehashing trauma may be beneficial to some,  however I am not one of those people, and even if I was, it needs to be done in private, and not in public, on diamond vision or across a bandwidth.  That being said, those same damned words are now the prying calling card of social media, entertainment and the news.  People facing the darkest moments of their lives,  have to also expect a camera focused squarely on their pain…and face, from a reporter writing a lead if it bleeds breaking news spot.

It is long overdue for humanity to rediscover common decency, and the knowledge that nobody has the right to ask such questions.  The time has come to again offer a hand, and confirm someone is not alone, and they have a friend if they need it…what a novel concept, just like the books used to prop up a laptop, and not feed a brain.

My grandfather used to say that it always seemed our destination took forever to get to, but coming home was ten times shorter. I still cherish his wisdom, especially since  the way our world and commitment to one another has disintegrated, the trip back home is going to take a very long time…if we ever get there at all.