Taxation – a commentary

While watching the news this morning I saw a young couple being interviewed.  The young man had on a hat that stated taxation is theft.  I disagree. It is not theft.

As a youth I was fortunate enough to live in a foreign country in South America for a summer as an exchange student. Here I saw the results of lower taxation.  Police existed but in low numbers. As I walked along the sidewalks of the city I saw people come up behind people and steal jewelry right off of them and run. I saw watches taken from arms and earrings ripped out of ears. No one came to help the victims.  There was no one to do so. While there I also experienced seeing water rushing from the mountains into the lower city streets.  The rush of water was so strong that it would actually pull our car around as if we were on a water ride at an amusement park with no boundary walls.  The infrastructure that we have here – roads, police, firemen etc. are paid for by our taxes.  You pay taxes as to put in your fair share to help build and maintain these general welfare things.

As an adult I traveled to Haiti a few times.  Here education is not free to the children of the nation.  Most cannot afford to send their children to school. A high rate of illiteracy exists.  The government there had been looking into free education but in a nation wherein the incomes are so low taxation could not be much.

As one who has been blessed to see the other side of the coin I feel blessed to live in the USA.  I ask that anyone who thinks taxation is theft visit a nation where it is at a low level or does not exist at all.  You might understand why we have them.

 

 

 

 

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Nice to Meet You!

Greeting someone comes in many forms. With dogs, it is usually formatted in one of several manners. Are there similarities in the ways that we humans greet and interact with others? If so, what is the reasoning behind those similarities? Which methods do we dislike? Which ones are we attracted to?  Let us investigate a few classifications of dogs to reflect upon how we and those around us interact on a daily basis. Classifications are not set with lines of stone and can cross into other areas. For example, one might be an extreme barker and a beggar.  This is just for fun and not for any type of diagnoses.

The extreme barker – This dog greets you with a bark every time. They bark and bark seemingly unable to stop doing so. At times the bark is loud and aggressive, other times it is high pitched and almost whiny. Barking seems to be their second nature and even when asked to stop they are like the Energizer bunny and just keep on going and going. Barking is their main way to communicate. Brash, forward, and repetitive this dog will scare away the timid of heart and yet control others by their lude, incessant ranting. Mostly negative this type of dog cannot always see that they are upsetting others and will ramble on for quite some time. Some who encounter a barker are patient and wait for this type of canine to calm down. Others are turned off by the sheer volume of the noise and leave the area.  Extreme barkers are not good at making or keeping friends.  They scare most off.

The beggar – This dog is more laid back and might wait until you come into their territory to greet you. Then they will sit at your feet and beg for what they want.  If you are eating you may get to witness a little drool running down the side of their mouth as their big eyes seem to stare into your soul hoping you will give in to their plight. If you do, be ready for more begging as you have just become a target for their getting desired wants and needs. Beggars are good at reading people. They know who has that soft spot and will approach them first.  They also have good memories and will not usually forget who has helped them in the past to meet their needs. Those who have given in before will probably give in again. If you do not want to be target of a beggar you will need to set boundaries.  Beggars can be ones that we grow angry with over time.  Those who they go to often for their desires to be met grow weary and begin to resent them.  Blame can be placed onto them although, in fact, they have done nothing but get their needs met by someone who they taught to do so. It isn’t their fault in their eyes.  You were the one who played the game and thus will be asked to play again and again even when you try to stop. Beggars are not dumb and they are good at playing the game. Let them win once and you will become a provider in their eyes forever.

The hider-  This dog is more catlike and will run and hide under a bed or another safe place away from the noise and hub bub. More private and attached to their owners they do not trust newbies to their area. Getting to know you may take time. Opening up and sharing their lives by being near you or playing ball make time to develop.  That give and take may take time. Trust may be an issue with this type of dog.  Past abuse or other elements may be there, unhealed. They too have a keen sense but it is possibly tainted from things in the past.  A new twisted version of the truth prevails as they see the world through new eyes. This is the dog at the pound that hides in the corner and may even tremble when you approach. With love, patience, and understanding the hider dog may make an excellent companion for those in the immediate family. Others, not so much.

 

The jumper – This type of dog greets you by jumping up on you with their grandeur of excitement. They do not calm down for a while and usually don’t get down off of the person they are greeting unless ordered to do so. They then continue to attempt to get your attention by constantly running at you and wagging their tail hoping for attention. They may even jump onto your lap when you sit down and begin kissing you all over your face.  Aggressive in nature they can aggravate some.  Usually after a while, this type of dog will calm down if mature enough to do so. When they do, it’s only until you move and they will decide to possibly jump again. 

This list above is no where near complete. Would you like to add to the list?  Have some fun and create a new category with a descriptor.

 

 

 

 

Why do We Work? Simple or Complex?

Today I write about a loaded question — Why do we work?  Many would answer with the response, because I have to. But, is that really why we get up and travel to a place to do the same thing most days?  I beg to differ. I think it is more than that we have to.  Let me expound.

While in college I learned of a hierarchy that I believe can help explain why we work.  It is pictured above as a reference tool for this blog.  It is called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

At the root of our needs is the need for food etcetera; basic needs that sustain our life and give us the ability to survive. Without a roof over our heads, and the ability to provide for our basic needs, our future would be nullified and our existence void. Most all of us work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Yet, I think for many there are other reasons as well. Let us look at the next level on the scale.

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The second level is safety.  Our jobs help us know our future is safe. Some stay at the same job for years and risk less. In addition, others move and venture into new realms without such fears.  Jobs help us feel that our future is safer than if we did not have a career path.  We feel safer knowing that we are making an income and are able to provide not only for our day to day lives but for other goals such as vacations.  In addition our health can be paid for in some ways. With a job often comes the security of insurance and dental plans. Safety in knowing that we are able to be secure in our lives is important.  Yes, it is the money that pays for those things. But, in addition it is the knowing that the help is there when we need it that aids in our feeling safe.

The third level is about belonging.  I have had jobs where I felt like I belonged and others where I did not. Yet, somehow I felt as if by going to either place I belonged to the united front we call workers.  Being a worker allows you to be able to say things like I am a teacher, or I am a truck driver. For me, I felt lost when my life changed and I was unable to work. I felt a loss of my sense of identity. I was no longer able to define myself by the career path I had chosen. I had to look deeper and see who I was without the job. Yet, in addition to that I missed being a part of the day to day life I had with those I worked with and for. That work family I had known for over twenty years was suddenly gone and it was if I had gone through a drastic change. Belonging is important to many of us. I feel it is another reason we work.

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At the fourth level of the hierarchy is esteem. As we work many of us attempt to do our best as to receive recognition.  To be respected by others through comments such as, “Nice job!” lifts our spirits and helps us to see that we are on the right path. At times our self esteem relies on these simple pats on the back.  Self confidence boosts our self image and helps us desire to continue to do a good job. Pay raises, trophies, prize incentives,  and promotions help as well.   I myself enjoy working and hearing compliments but more than that I like knowing that I can save for trips and adventures I enjoy.  I also like knowing I can save for retirement one day.  But, I guess that goes back to the safety issue we spoke of in the last paragraph.

The top level of the hierarchy has to do with creativity, problem solving, and more.  I must admit that I am a creative problem solver to the hilt.  I love a good challenge. I live for them.  For example, as a teacher I would look at each student like a doctor might. They had personality traits that ranged from shy to excitable, and strengths and weaknesses that made them all unique. My job was to not only teach them but to figure out how to help them advance their skill set to be able to become who they wanted to be.  I loved to read about brain research and strategies to reach the kids. I miss that.  Morality came into play as well. I had varying moral standards than others.  That is okay, until when the morals of where you work are so varied that you don’t feel comfortable anymore.  But I digress. Do you work in a place where your creative side is exposed? Do you like that? Perhaps you work where you do as to allow that creative side to come out. Perhaps that being able to create helps you get compliments and awards. I used to get grants for my creative ideas. Have you?

As a teacher my job was to prepare youth for the workforce. Yet, the focus seemed to be so much on content they might need to be successful but not on the whys we adults work.  Looking at the hierarchy might just help us lead our young people into understanding the complex needs of our lives.  Our jobs should help satisfy those needs if we are to be successful in keeping them.  So, why do you work? I hope it is for more than just money.  🙂

 

P.S. I need to sign off as my parrot is trying to help me type.  LOL – She is a real helper!  She keeps on highlighting things etc.  I better go before she deletes it all.  HUGZ2all

 

 

 

Update – TBI survivor – Moving On

I wanted to let all of you know that I am working again.  I will never again teach as the need to handle multiple things happening at the same time is not possible.  Also, handling multiple conversations is impossible for me. I could no longer handle groups working, helping a kid with work, and answering a call from a parent simultaneously.   I find myself going to a quiet area more and more. I cannot handle noise and sudden sounds like I used to.

So what am I doing? I am a cook at a local home for those in need.  I have explained to the residents there that I am unable to remember all of their names and what they like in their coffee, tea etc.  They are quite understanding and remind me of how many sugars etc. as I take the coffee cart around.  I am doing well with remembering the recipes and cook at breakfast most days I work.  Knowing how to cook and wash dishes was in my memory bank from years and years of having done so therefore I am able to do most tasks as required.

As far as my fatigue I monitor myself and rest as needed.  There are still days where I sleep 10-12 hours to be rested.  I am working on losing the weight I had gained when sedentary ways filled my days following the accident. I am over feeling sorry for myself and need to be as healthy as I can.

In retrospect I look back and see that I tried everything I could to get back to my old profession, but it was impossible to do so.  It took a while for me to accept that.  The disability hearings and paperwork were impossible at this time in history. There are no tests to prove one cannot handle multiple tasks.  I only took tests done one on one or alone.  Distractions were not in the room and so I passed them. They need to come up with a more diverse set of tests to as not discriminate against those of us with a TBI.  I pray that happens in the future but as for me it is too late to get the funds I thought were there for me.  Do not rely on the system. It failed me.

I have learned that life can throw you a curve ball.  Curve balls happen. Some hit you in the face and leave you forever changed.  The old me is gone. She is not coming back.

I used to feel sorry for myself because of that fact. Now, I see that God allowed me to be able to do other things with the set of skills I maintained.  I am now meeting new people who understand me. I am not the only one out there who has lost the old me.  Lives change due to many factors; wars, blindness, diabetes, accidents, fires, mental illnesses, and more.  I see that in the eyes of the people I work to serve daily.  Some of them are still caught in the quagmire of feeling sorry for themselves. A few are asking for help even though they do not really need it, perhaps due to doctors and professionals telling them that they will never be able to do something they loved again. But, for the most part the people I see each day as I take around the coffee cart are like me. They speak of the days when they used to be in a profession they can no longer work in. They speak of lost friendships and how their lives were and how they are now. I glean from them tidbits of growth each day.  I see those who go out and celebrate life in their new form.  I watch as they laugh and play cards and savor life.  It is no longer about the nine to five job or the keeping up with the family next door as it is for some. It is about surviving something from their past and moving on. It is about discovering who we all are now and living joyously as each day is a gift.

If you are a TBI survivor or someone who cares for a survivor know that I admire you.  I look back on the last few years and see that I wasted a lot of time fighting to hold on to who I was and did not explore who I could be.  As a new school year approaches I fight off the temptations to look for an online teaching job as the desire to go back to who I was is there still. But then I brush it off and put on my scrubs and go to work. Bringing joy to those who I cook for is my new goal in life. To bring them a bit of joy makes me happy.  I understand them more than they may know and it seems that most of them understand me.

Friends, stay the course and be thankful for each day.  God bless each and every one of  you.  HUGZ 2 all   Pam

 

College History Lessons – truth?

via Daily Prompt: Retrospective

 

I must admit that I was never much of a history buff. I hated the lessons centered around wars and battles. I never could understand why we seemed to study people who had done horrible things.  Yes, we learned about supposed good people like Paul Revere, Christopher Columbus, and others. But, was what we were taught truth?  I must say that I am still learning things that are not the same as in the history texts used in schools both then and now.

Let us look at Margaret Sanger for one. In college I was taught that she was a major leader in the reform of women’s rights. She led the way to birth control and the ability to choose when and if a woman would want to become a mother. I agreed with that idea and saw how in my life as a young person it did matter. I wanted to be a mom but also wanted to limit the size of my family. I learned about her and actually admired her for the ideals she revered that I had been taught.

sanger2

Imagine my surprise when I was watching a documentary last night and learned that Margaret Sanger had purported what the KKK believed in. She spoke to them in May of 1926 in New Jersey.  She along with them believed in the “purging of human weeds”.  Among these weeds were idiots, insane, and feeble-minded. Her stance was not one of killing people via gas chambers, as Hitler had, but through their death prior to birth.  She believed in a means in which those not up to snuff could be eliminated and thus their population would be reduced.  This would include those who were not white. Her “Negro Project”  worked and in many ways still does. More black pre-born children are aborted every year than whites.

When I learned of this news I felt cheated. I was told only part of the history that surrounded this woman and I had thus revered her. I had never known of her engagement with the KKK nor her reason for beginning Planned Parenthood. It made me reflect back on the lessons I had taught as a teacher and if in fact I had taught partial truths to my students.  I wonder why we are spoon fed partial truths. Is it a control method to keep us accepting of ideas we are not supposed to completely understand? Is it so that we become idiots;  puppets to the gov’t and work to pay for their ideals?  Is it so that we think it is wonderful when people like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi receive the Sanger award?  I don’t know, but it makes me mad that the people of America are being told half truths.  In retrospective I wonder what else I was taught in my years of paying for my college education that were untruths. I’m mad that I was cheated from learning the truth – as an American I expected far better than that. Perhaps I could go back to the University and demand that I can retake the course for free. But then, the prof would probably just regurgitate the same old lies I learned in the eighties.

sanger

A Wedding is More than A Ceremony

via Daily Prompt: Ceremony

If asked what ceremony you think of most often, it might be a wedding.  This formal religious ceremony has become one of many varied approaches. It has changed from whence I was a child.

Then – Weddings I attended were all held in a church. There was at least one Bible reading and a lesson from the officiate of the wedding. Vows were stated as noted in the church guidelines and did not contain personalization.  Many services I attended distributed communion to those in attendance. Receptions were generally small with the couple opening their gifts as to be able to thank those who brought them. Cake was eaten as was some food. The reception lasted a short period of time and ended when everyone saw the couple off in their car as they ventured into their future.

 

Now- Weddings are in many varied venues. I have attended weddings out-of doors, once at a zoo, another time on a farm near a barn. Many of them do not have any reference to the Bible or the meaning of the vows or God’s message about marriage.  Vows are at times from the Bible, but most contain private words from the heart. Communion is distributed at some but not all. Receptions last hours with music, dancing, drinking, and gifts from the couple. Gifts to the couple are no longer opened at the reception and it is becoming more common to not receive a thank you or a card for the gifts given to the couple. Couples are rarely seen off to on their way to their new lives as many leave after most of the guests have come and gone.

 

Ceremonies are a part of the rituals of life. It is inevitable that they will change.  In some ways I like some of the newer traditions. But in so many ways I miss the simplistic ways of my childhood.  Most missed is the religious aspect of the marriage and the meaning of the vows. To me, the most important guest was always God. I’m not so sure that is the case anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Colored Glasses

Oh, those rose colored glasses – tinted with that blend of colors that darkens the suns and tints even the faces of my grandchildren. Those glasses that I wear that allow me to see into a world that I had not planned on being in. A world always tinted that shade of pink with a hue of brown allows me to work and function in the world of bright fluorescent lighting and sunshine. Without them a torrid of symptoms erupt and can cause migraines and eye fatigue.

Oh, those rose colored glasses are so different from the ones I had heard of long ago. Those glasses that people seem to think help you see the world in a positive light. A light that makes all look well and promising. How untrue, how simplistic a view that so many have.  Yet, for me it is a varied type of reality that my rose colored glasses bring. It is the reality of living with a TBI.

Four years ago I was in a rollover. We had just left my grandson’s baseball game and were headed home when we were t-boned. The details of the accident do not matter much, but the changes in the my life do.  That person in that car is no more. Or maybe, I should say that she does exist and is alive, yet the essence of her being is modified.  Back then I lived a life filled with teaching and traveling when I desired via car or plane.  Driving was a joy even in the busy streets of a city as long as I was bound to a site that I’d enjoy the day.  I loved being able to drive to distant places and relish in the cultures and levities of the locale. Now, I am to drive within a twenty minute from home range as to avoid fatigue etcetera.  I am learning to enjoy the local flavor of life. I have found a few places that I did not know of before, but mostly, I miss being able to go on an adventure to the local state parks and sites that I had grown to love. The one I miss the most is being able to go see my grandchildren.  To be there for their ball games, their concerts, and all that life envelops pains me.  I love seeing the photos on Facebook and being able to live through the pictures but it is not the same.  I have wished for one of those self driving cars. I could travel once again as I had to see the animals at the zoo in Cleveland or the Chihuly glass exhibit in a nearby city.  I could go to the markets and venues of Cleveland and maybe even see a professional ball game with the kids.  I miss being able to travel where I wish. I cannot even fly to locations like I used to as I cannot get to the airport without having a driver.  Those rose colored glasses help but they are not an answer.

Oh, those rose colored glasses that once helped me to believe in the system that would be there for me if I needed them are gone. Those glasses filled my mind with illusions that I would one day be taken care of by my retirement system, The process would not be hard and I would get from the system I had paid into what was due. But now that my new rose colored glasses are from whence I see the world I see that the system does not always work.  For those of us with  TBI the proof of our disability is almost impossible.  Then on top of that to find a doctor that will fill out the paperwork is another task indeed. What you think will be there for you might just be an illusion from that old rose colored mentality. Not all is greener on the other side of the fence. True, I know get the standard retirement I would have. I am thankful for the approximately four tenths I made while working. But you need to also see that gone are the days of a full income. Gone are the days of saving for retirement, but more than that gone are the days of living my dream job.  Gone are the days of building up the increments I will be paid. I am here by happenstance not by choice. In addition to the retirement system the settlement from the car insurance company barely covered my medical bills. There is no big pay off in the books for me. It may be possible for some, but my advice is to NEVER rely on it.

My rose colored glasses have helped me to see so many things. There are many who live in this world who may not have on the physical glasses but see the world in a new way. They are like me in that they had one life, had to let it go, and have moved on.  I am blessed to work in a place (part time) where I see these folks daily.  I now cook part time in a county facility where those who need respite care etcetera come to live. Each day when I serve them I see the faces of those who have put aside the life they once had. Some were engineers, soldiers, professors, and laborers for the good of the people. Yet, now for varied reasons they are a new person. A person who lives a life perhaps not by choice, but by the result of a card they were dealt in their lives; vehicle accidents, illnesses, fires that destroyed their homes and took all of their belongings and more.  Those moments that you see on the movies or in the news that seem out of reach for you. Those things are what effects others, not you. Until they do. Then and there the rose colored glasses begin to take on a new shade and color of their own.

I ask today that you take a look at how you see the world. Are you wearing those optimistic, it will never happen to me glasses or are you wearing the type that I have? Seeing the world through a new hue isn’t a bad thing. It can shape you and mold you to be a new person that has strengths and weaknesses like everyone else.  Change is inevitable.  It will happen. I just pray that the way you see the world is not out of a magical belief that all will be the way you plan it.  Life happens, card are dealt. Rose colored glasses are broken.  I pray you will never wear the glasses that I do. But, if you do know that you are not alone.