Disobey? To Obey or Not to Obey?

via Daily Prompt: Disobey

I was once asked at an interview by the person I would be working for if I would do as they told me to.  I answered, “No, not in all cases.”  I knew when I said it that it was not the answer he was looking for. He was wanting a “Yes sir,” kind of response I am sure. I went on to clarify that in my life I had been asked to do things that were against my beliefs by people of authority. That did not help. I left the interview knowing that I would not get a call back.  I’ve thought about that question since and realize now that I could have in fact lied and said I would not disobey his orders at any given time but I would be giving up self for someone in control. Back then I had allowed people in my life to tell me what to do and at times I was very wrong in so doing. I have since learned that setting boundaries is not bad. It is just not always welcome nor suggested.

How many times in your life have you not done as someone has asked you? Does that fall into the parameters of disobeying? I am not sure. If it is an ethical matter does that qualify as being disobedient? What if your ethical standards vary from someone else?

When I was a teacher I had the opportunity to go into homes to visit. At times I witnessed things that I would not choose to do in my home. That was their choice, and it was okay.  In fact, because of that, I used to explain to the young people who visited our home that we did not play with balls in the living room. If it was okay at their house that was the choice of their family. But, I collected pottery from various places we had traveled and did not want any to get broken. It was not an ethical thing, just a personal thing. Yet, one day a young man decided to throw a ball in the living room and consequently broke a piece when he knocked it off of the mantle. He in fact had disobeyed a simple rule and in the end I had to toss a broken piece I treasured into the trash. I bring that up as a simplistic example of how we react to things in the world about us. There are laws (speed limits) we might choose to ignore. We may text and drive. We may even drink and drive. Are those examples of disobedience? Or is it only when we get caught that we disobey? Maybe I could have told that man who interviewed me that I would do as he asked me to each and every time and then just chose the things I wanted to do. People do it all of the time. What is wrong with that?  ??

Disobedience is not well defined in our world. As a child we might have gotten a spanking or placed into a time out chair to aid in teaching us right from wrong. Adults get tickets, are fined, jailed, and more. But most times we really have nothing happen to us when we do not obey a law or a rule. If I could go back in time to that interview I would have liked to have asked that man why he was asking me that question. Did he really want me to obey him every time? I would hope not. I would hope that as an adult he trusted me to know when I would obey and when I would ask questions.  To disobey seems to be a natural thing we all do. Don’t we?

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Are We Sympathetic? Yes Empathetic? Not so Much

via Daily Prompt: Sympathy

Such a relevant topic for a day like today. It is the anniversary of 9-11 and we are experiencing tumultuous weather issues in the USA.  Our television news channels are broadcasting coverage of these events as people unify to send aid, workers, and more into the areas of need.  Being sympathetic to the masses has been something we have all been able to do in the last few days and I assume it will continue for a while.

Sympathy, or the feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune is common during times such as these. We can see the emptiness in the eyes of those who have lost so much and we are pained in knowing that life can be so cruel.  We watch as heroes of the catastrophes rise up and become noted on the screen and in the papers. Those who walk into scary places without fear for their own lives and recue people are those who we want to be like and they give us that good feeling deep inside knowing that they are there and that humans can be so loving and so kind. We cheer on the little guy driving out of harms way with his family in tow. He who is attempting to keep the family safe from harms way are heroes in their own sense.

We jeer and ridicule those who stay behind thinking them to be foolish yet forget that they have their reasons. Perhaps they do not have the money, gas, or a good vehicle to get them to safety hours or days away. We forget about the disabled, those who cannot drive, those who are ill and who are possibly just out of surgery.  We scoff them even when all they want to do is survive the personal storm they are going through and tolerate the rest. Yet, I hear people say how those people who stay are stupid. Are they dumb or are they the true heroes of this whole thing? The heroes are also those staying at the bedside of a loved one who is in their last days. The heroes who those staying to help an elderly grandparent to be sure they are taken care of. The heroes are staying there to get the electricity back on and to put out the fires. They do not ask for your judgement, nor your condemnation for their choices. They would like your respect.

Sympathy is abounding, yes it is. But, empathy, well empathy is not so strong. The ability to understand what someone else is going through and let them do as they feel they need to without judgement is lacking.   To share how they feel and why they feel the way they do is quite often forgotten. People have reasons. Let’s take two scenarios and look at them for just a moment-

** Within a few days of when my father died there was a massive ice storm. Trees were down and the power was out across our area.  Most of the people could not get to town to the funeral. Safety was first for many.  I applaud that. Yet, some chose to still go as we did not want him be buried alone. In that case some may have thought we were dumb and judged us.  Sympathy was overflowing as many loved my father. But, empathy was not as apparent.  To put yourself in one’s shoes and allow them to choose without the ramifications of judgement and gossip are not a strong suit in the US. I am just as guilty.  I judged many that day and since.  I am trying to change. But we need to go on…

 

**** Another scenario – Weddings occur at all times. Why just this morning I watched the news as a couple told of how they modified their destination wedding and had it locally instead. They redid this all while driving back from Florida via phone calls and texts to various sites. The wedding seemed lovely. The bride appeared thrilled to have just had the ceremony and to be married to the man she loves. That newscast reminded me of our wedding nearly 40 years ago. It was to be held on Jan. 28th, 1978 – but a blizzard came through. (No, I am not making this up. My life could be a TV series LOL) We had one week during a blizzard to redo the entire wedding. Flowers could not get in etc.  We were lucky. Others did not have it so well.

My point is that somewhere someone is having a double issue every time a catastrophe happens. People die, babies are born, people get hurt, weddings and reunions have to be postponed. The elderly cannot get to their medicines, people need to be taken out of their homes on snowmobiles, boats, rafts, and more. I wish that they would show more people who tower over the storms of life and are victorious  on the news. Those brides that save their weddings, those people who rescue the newborn puppies, or stay with a young mother as she delivers her newborn child. Those moments are the ones that are able to strengthen and unite us as a nation. Those are when we can look and say “Wow” I cannot believe that they survived that!”

I have always been proud to be an American.  I am most proud when I witness the people blessed to live in the US help one another and come together to be unified as one. Times when we do not gossip nor finger point but get off our butts and help one another and do so with pure gusto. When we unify we are stronger than ever.

Be that strength that the bride who has to redo her wedding needs. Be the hope that a man burying his mother in a storm needs as he stands against the strong winds of change. You are designed to be able to do such things. Rise up America, it is time that we unify and become brothers. We need to stop dividing ourselves by bickering and picking on little things that do not matter that much in the big picture. Life matters, hope matters.  Sympathy is a good thing. We are good at that one. Now, let us tackle empathy. Understand one another. Love one another. Edify one another. Love all Americans, be the light and the salt. It is on us. We just need to believe and act upon it. We can do it!

 

Needing to Vent – Missing My Old Life

Today I am missing the old me more than most. It is the first day of school and at this moment the kids are coming in and getting settled for the day. They are placing their new supplies into their desks, learning the combination for their lockers, and listening to all of the rules for the year. Their eyes are rolling back into their heads as they look around the room trying to see what is posted on the walls.

In my old classroom they used to see a ton of Garfield stuff. I had all kinds of posters and stuffies. The kids loved the brightness of the room and would often ask about why I liked Garfield.  I told them because he was my kind of cat. He loved lasagna (as I do) and he was a bit lazy like my fat cat at home. They would laugh and ask if they could hold the stuffies etc. I recall one year a student even brought in his vintage Garfield items and gave a report on how the physique of Garfield had modified over the years. He actually researched the history of Jon and when Odie came into play etc. It was amazing to watch.

I miss seeing them on a daily basis and getting to know them as learners. I loved to be like a detective and figure out what made them click. I would always start the year with a kind of survey that would ask about their interests etc. I then tried to infuse those things as much as I could to peak interest in the topics in a more personal way.  I used to even look at my tests to figure out what I needed to go back over. I tallied each question as to glean that information. Some I worked with said I was anal and maybe I was but I loved the challenge of getting to know the kids in that way. I felt as if I knew them in each category when I was able to keep them in my classroom all day. Later when they made the move to having me teach only one topic, science all things changed. I had 100 kids only for science and I lost the ability to see all sides of the students I was working with. I hated that aspect of departmentalization.

I want to thank all of you who read my blogs. I do so in order to feel as if I contribute something to this world and I do so to vent my ideas as I am today. Some of you know what it is like to bury the old you, your life, your career, your dreams. I get it. I am a new me and at times and happy that way. But then like when you lose a loved one to death the feelings rise back up again and you have to shove them back down inside or get out the box of Kleenex and just weep.

Thanks for listening to me vent. I am not so much angry like I had been – just frustrated that I seem to have no control over my life and my future. I have no income to do things and once again will be going to see a therapist today to attempt to get proof of my disability. They cannot do anything more for me. I am disabled – but I have to prove it to those who have control over my destiny and thus I am still playing their games.

God bless all of you who are injured and unable to live the life you had chosen for yourself. God bless all who think staying home and getting a disability check sounds good. If I ever get one I will let you know how that truly is. Gotta go take tests – at least it will help me pass the day and I wont be home when the bus pulls by. That would just be yet another trigger for what I am missing so much.

 

Daily Prompt – Ooze – fictional

via Daily Prompt: Ooze

 

As I entered the room the joy and laughter was contagious and filled the room as I walked across the wooden floor to the other side of the grouping. Here I sat down onto a cushioned chair facing the front.  Placing my bottom on the seat I arranged my paisley dress and relaxed. Life had been so crazy here of late. I needed a break from the highly stimulating lifestyle that had encompassed every cell of my being. It seemed as if anyone looked at me they could most likely see all of the crap I had been dealing with in my life oozing from my every pore. I looked up to capture the moment in which the comedian told a joke about sex. I cringed. It was not so much the act, but the roles of gender. Glancing around the room I began to notice that I was a part of a predominantly female audience. This event had been one advertised in the local paper and had drawn my attention as number one it was free and number two I needed to experience a good laugh as to just be able to relax a bit. I needed all of that which I held within to be released through joy and the lack of the need to focus on what I had been enduring in life. The ramblings carried on and were centered around the gender specific roles of the past and alluding that today women were meant to be so much more. I agreed to a point but in my mind was looking back on a simpler time in my life when I was able to be home with my sons. I missed those days now that I was working and raved the simplicity of the calmness of rocking my child to sleep. Being with them at the time had seemed to be so mundane. Yet, now trying to be it all my home, my spouse, and my family were the victims of it all. Continuing to listen I watched as young eyes lit up across the room to the cause of working and being a woman of today filled the airwaves. I thought in my mind of the bills that working had accumulated; day care, gas, uniforms, union fees and more. Was I really making that much money to make it worth it all? Processing what I knew versus what was being stated at the front of the room I began to feel sad. It was not funny that many of the women would discover what I had found out. They would be the wearers of many hats. Mother, wife, teacher, nurse, counselor, employee and so many more. I wished that I could remove some of those many hats. Some were so much heavier than ever.

Standing up I began to leave as I ushered myself across the room. I was about to leave when I saw a young woman standing to the side of the room watching with a tear rolling down the side of her face. Approaching her I asked if she would like a tissue and she began to weep. It was then that our discussion began to develop into something wherein she shared her life.  Being a mother of three she wanted to stay home. But felt as if she did she was settling for less. That she was not being as her friends were. Seeing the pain in that young woman’s eyes I opened up about what I had learned as a working mom. With all things there are costs. To get one thing, you must give up another.  As our emotions oozed out and tears meshed on our cheeks we discussed that we wanted to be able to choose our own paths. History had changed the role of a woman and it was good for some but not so much for others. Living in a modern world and wanting to be a mother at home was not the same as it used to be. The prestige associated with it had shifted. As the event closed I found my heart a bit lighter. I had found what I was seeking. I was needing to get back to basics and love my children and my family as God had intended me to do. I needed to serve him and those he loved. I needed to simplify and not worry so much about money. He would provide.

As I walked to the car I glanced back over my shoulder to see the young woman I had been talking to getting into her vehicle. Her vintage outdated van filled with car seats and worn out toys was beautiful in my eyes. She had chosen her path and nobody was going to change her mind. My heart oozed with joy as I saw her pull out of the lot. She was going home to rock one of her children to sleep. Not home to catch up on chores, not to do the dishes, nor to write a check to a daycare. She was going home to fulfill her job as a mother. It is what she wanted to do.

The Eclipse of My Being

Today as most focus on the eclipse of the sun I will be mostly inside. My TBI brain’s reaction to the light is extreme and so I will be only glancing up from time to time. Therefore, today I choose to focus on the eclipse with a twist on the content. I hope it helps illuminate my life and what is has become.

 

Full sun sun– The morning of the day of my accident and my entire life previous – Yes, there had been clouds and things along the way but my mind had its full potential and I was working in a field that I loved. I was bright, intelligent, able to learn and knew where I was going. I was on a path for the future that entailed enlightening young people in the classroom. I was a light for my grandchildren and dreamed of the day when I would be able to come visit them more often when I retired. I was traveling abroad and doing missions work as well. I was happy and my future was bright.

 

partially covered – partially covered  On the afternoon of the day of my accident the light within me began to become covered. I was throwing up and my head was killing me. I had been cut out of a vehicle and strapped to a board then loaded into the first of two ambulances that would take me to a  trauma center. Here I had the first tests and began the trek that would last for longer than I could ever imagine. My world began to shift into going to therapy and seeing doctors to help me be able to go back to work and to survive the pain of life. My life was still partially lit at that time as I truly believed that I would be able to teach again.  I went back to work for almost a complete year but began to realize that doing so was exhausting. I ended up having a nervous breakdown and entering a hospital to deal with the fact that I was having issues with being able to work. But, the light was still there as I truly believed that I would be able to complete my career and teach for another 5 – 10 years.  I was fighting to move forward but it did not work.

covered

My heart ached as I wanted to return to teaching and my school gave me the chance to tutor. It was then that I began to realize that multiple sounds in the room were quite distracting and I could not comprehend the material before me. Previously I had been using material I had been familiar with in previous years. It had been stored in my long term memory. But, anything new was not there to retrieve from. My short term memory was messed up.  As I began going to a new therapy place they revealed to me other areas of concern. It was here that I learned that my brain had not always let me know when I should not be doing things, like driving. My brain had experienced a diffused injury – not a localized one. They explained that a stroke is many times in one area of the brain. But, my injury was as if it had been shot with a pellet gun. The damage was all over the place and miniscule. The routes that various things had to take to get the messages to and from the brain were damaged. We were going to work on attempting to reroute some of them. My darkest hours were when it was suggested I not drive and when I was told that I would never teach again, not even part time. That crushed me. Not only would I ever return to my career but I would also not be able to drive to visit my grandchildren.  I sank into a deep depression and stayed home for months without even changing into street clothes. I began going through the house ridding myself of any memories of my days of teaching and giving things away that reminded me of my losses. As I cleaned out the house I was mostly unable to go visit the school. It tore at my heart to see the kids and answer their questions as to why I was not there. But, it also hurt to see how my co-workers seemed to not even care about my life and what it had become. I hurt in so many ways. I was feeling sorry for myself and attempting to bury the old me. I had even thought if having a funeral and ridding myself of thins from the old me. I sold my classic car. I hated to see her go. I threw out clothes I had work to work.  I became more negative and dark as time progressed. I had no dreams. I had no visions. I had lost my light. I was dark and soaked in all of its glory. I did not want to come out and try to find the new me and I did not like to be pushed to do so.

Light is returning – As I climb out of the death of my old self and move forward I am finding new ways to serve. I realize that I can tell others of my story through blogging, and I can serve from home on my PC for short bursts. I do crafts and talk to people more than I had for a while  but I am still in a muddled mess of letting go of the old me. I did go over to the school the other day and talked to one person that was there. I will return to full light one day. I know that God is with me and he is guiding me there.

As you watch the eclipse today know that for many it is a symbol of their lives as well. The darkness has enveloped so many of us at stages of our lives but then with the aid of many things we seem to move out and come back into the light once again.

 

( I was able to view it from time to time through a welding mask – I am so glad I could see the eclipse)

 

Recite

via Daily Prompt: Recite

As an elementary school child I can recall hearing my fellow classmates recite their Bible scriptures as to win prizes from the ladies who brought the felt flannel boards to school. This was an occasional class that students could attend (with a signed parental permission slip from home). I can recall on most every occasion asking my homeroom teacher to leave the classroom during those lessons in an adjacent room to allow myself to walk by and hear the stories and see the wonderful pictures on the board. I made up all kinds of excuses to go down the hall and would never actually go to the place I had asked to go to but rather sat adjacent to the beloved doorway and peeked in as to soak up all I could. I prayed that my mom would sign a slip so that I too could enter that room with my peers and earn ribbons and medals. I didn’t understand why I could not attend just because I was of the Catholic faith. I had walked to the little church in our neighborhood and it had pictures of the same Jesus I was asked to love. It was the same man and yet I wasn’t supposed to go in there! I became a rebellious child – seeking more and more ways to get ahold of the scriptures and learn them myself. I would listen in as they rehearsed at lunch and recess. I was determined to learn.  The prizes were nice but I was just wanting to be in that room!

In the early 1970’s in Mansfield, Ohio my public school allowed Bible instruction in my school.  I stayed with my teacher and most times read as she graded papers or did her paperwork. Later in life as I began to teach in a rural school the Bible studies were held after school in the cafeteria. Here again a note from home was needed to be able to stay. The last I knew of a few years back when I had to leave teaching due to my traumatic brain injury the church held classes in their new building across the street after school. It was here that they had a rich program with learning scripture (recitation), assistance with homework, and recreational time. I have been very fortunate to be in an environment rich with God’s word.   I am also blessed in that now as an adult I am allowed to learn to recite Bible verses and travel to places where I can see the buildings that were just in flannel so many years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

Trance

via Daily Prompt: Trance

Trance – this word stimulates a memory in me wherein I was in the basement of a Spiritualist Church along with about six other people. We were there to speak to the dead and conjure up apparitions and channel voices.  Seated in a circle we all faced the center of the dank, musty room and began to meditate on our spirit animals etc. I had been to a few of these in the past and had noticed that some folks had allowed outside entities to enter into their bodies. But, as of yet I had never had the offering by an outside entity to try to enter into my being. Today, as the time passed we had many Civil War soldiers who spoke to us through a few of the people in the room.  Being in a trance like state I began to feel something that I had not experienced previously.  I began to feel as if someone, or something was attempting to enter my body to speak. I immediately felt afraid. I began to talk to this thing in my head telling it to go into the person next to me and let them speak for them. After a short time the person next to me began to speak of a war scene and describe it in very blatant details. As I sat there listening I wondered if this was the same entity that had tried to speak through me. The historical content was interesting and at the time I wished I had paper and pencil to scribble down some notes in the little light that was provided. The room that night had a heavy feeling to it and the air smelled more putrid than usual. I was glad that night to leave that room behind and the event lay heavily on my mind for days.

I did return to that little church but —  not many more times into the basement for séances. I learned in time that this places was of the dark side and moved away from it completely. I type of this experience as to let you know that there are people who can project voices from the beyond but I chose to not be one of them. I ask you to look at all things through a filter, a filter owned and regulated by God himself. He has given you free will to do as you choose. I chose the wrong side for a while. I will not do it again. I hope you will do the same and avoid anything like a trance or a séance.