Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You should be outraged.

I've been largely silent publicly about the political goings on of late. My husband has heard it all and he is fairly sick of it, but that's between him and me.

I need to say a few things about the rather brazen way the Republican party has been taking or attempting to take things away from women. With the denial of Equal Pay just 15 months ago, the Zygote Personhood Movement -which is a neat little backdoor to taking down Roe V Wade - and now the call to not only allow companies and insurance providers to refuse coverage for prenatal testing and/or birth control but the call to strike FREE prenatal testing and birth control from health plans - the Affordable Care Act calls for these services to be offered free and without copay - on the basis of religious objection.

Now, I won't attack any specific politicians here because this isn't about a single person. This is about a group of people who seem to feel women should be given less or that they've been given too much already. This is 2012 and I am being told that, because I am a woman, I shouldn't be offered free health services by healthcare providers because someone who claimes to be a Christian objects to those services. AND I also shouldn't be given the right to be paid the same salary as someone who has a penis. Apparently, making equal pay a MANDATORY thing would cause "undue burden on small businesses".

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Republican representatives of all states both male and female alike - Are you fucking kidding me? You know, while I'm at it - SHAME ON YOU, US Chamber of Commerce for using small business as a scapegoat for your opposition to progressive legislations! 28% of small business owners are of the female persuasion and you are holding them back.

If you aren't actively supporting women's rights, then you are actively hindering the progress of women toward equality. I choose to take a stand here and now. I will not wait until its time to vote to call for you ALL to be kicked out of office. OUR tax dollars pay YOUR salaries. You are supposed to be working FOR us, not AGAINST us.

"to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" - Men. As in Mankind. Not men meaning people of the male gender. I take back my consent to be governed by those who would not see me as their equal. You are not above me or any other citizen. You have been given the power to govern by the citizens and we can take it back.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Its been a while!

Well, friends, I have been silent for quite a long while. There has been very little going on in my life, to be honest. However, I have been thinking about something that I read and started to put into motion in April of last year.

In February or March of 2011, I found a genetic research study which would test myself and my children for the gene that causes diabetes. For me, this is a really big deal because I spent 26 years watching this disease kill my father. It would mean that I could know, without a doubt, that one or both of my children would one day be diabetic. It would mean that I could know wether or not my children would pass on this terrible thing to any grandchildren I may have later. Most of all, it would mean that I could seek treatment sooner and possibly even delay the onset of diabetes in my children. But not stop it.

Diabetes is no big deal to a lot of people but, to me, its terrifying. I worry day in and day out that my children might one day become diabetic. I try not to think about it, but every time they eat a piece of candy or drink anything that isn't water, I worry. To me, diabetes is like this great huge tank or out of control Mack truck that no one can stop. Not ever. So, yes, I want to know anything that would prepare me or help me to slow this down. Or do I?

You see, I began to think about this from another point of view. I already worry about twice as much as any normal, sane person should. If I knew that my children would never be diabetic, I would find something else to worry about. If I knew that they would become diabetic one day, I would treat them as if they were already diabetic and stress them out until I "mother hen" them into a mental institution. My children don't need that in their lives. Nor do I.

Now, I am stuck in limbo. Do I want to know, or don't I? I don't know. I don't know if I am strong enough to face the results. I don't think I have enough tears to get through the testing. I can't imagine my children growing up and living as my father lived. I grew up walking the halls of every hospital in this city. I know where I am allowed to park, who has the best sandwiches and where I can get free coffee. I don't ever want to make use of this knowledge again.

What are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Humility - Part Deux - Those who do not have it.

I had promised to make a second part and here it is.

It's a well known fact that Doctors can be douche bags when it comes to humility. They have a human being come into their office and they look down at their noses because someone doesn't have insurance or a means of paying their bill. If I argue with the doctor, I am a pain in the ass. Well they are a pain in mine and need to learn how to be humble, I think.

I am a human being. I would like to be treated like a human being, thank you very fucking much. Learn how to treat me as such and don't tell me that I am crazy when I ask you legit questions about a problem I have. My fucking insurance is paying your paycheck, it is lining your pockets and feeding your family. Talk about ungrateful, you can't even be humble enough to know that I am helping you as much as you are supposedly helping me.

And maybe I am not being so humble myself at the moment, and sometimes I can have a lack of humility when the situation warrants it. Like now. Either way, now I have the displeasure of having to find someone willing to work cheaply or pro Bono to give me a second opinion. Thanks for the emotional hell.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's hard to be humble...

I would like to preface this post by apologizing to Doll, who asked me 3 months ago if I would contribute to this topic and give my opinion on Humility. It should have been here sooner, but life intervened. My apologies also to my much more punctual fellow posters on this thread. But now, at last and without any further ado...

What is humility? That's no so easy a question to answer as one might think. If you ask one thousand people this question, I have no doubt you would get nearly as many answers. The reason for this is simple. Well...OK, it's actually NOT so simple. It is actually rather complex. Because we, as humans, are complex. I mean, sure, you can look to Webster or Oxford or even for a definition, but that is just a scratch on the surface. All you will learn from any of those sources is simply what the WORD humility means. Defining words is easy. It's when you get down to what the concept of what the humility really IS that things get interesting; because it is so, so much more than just a word.

Humility and whether one does or does not have it, are shaped by so many different factors. Spirituality, up-bringing, environment, and the vast gamut of personal experiences, joys and traumas we all expeience as individuals throughout our lives. Which, for example, is why you: the reader, get all these fascinating little essays, rants and perspectives on Humility. Each on different from the next due to all of the factors listed above and more, but none wrong. And who knows, along the way you may discover or re-define what it actually means to you, and the role it - or it's absence - plays in your own life.

And so, all of that being said, humility to me is acceptance of yourself and your place in things with pride, while striving to be the best you you can become. And the real trick in this is to not cross that sometimes hair-thin line from pride into arrogance, which then blows humility all to shit until something happens to again teach you humility. It is, I think an on-going lesson to some degree in everyone's lives. In the legends of my faith and also in those of many other cultures, even the Gods themselves are not immune to the lessons of humility and arrogance. When looked at from that perspective, one realizes how truly powerful a force humility is. It is a place we must all tread with care, lest we fall and suffer the worst fate of all... Becoming self-important pompous douche bags!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Heathens view on Humility.

A short essay by Gothi Lush D.D.

I will say from the start that I am not a fan of humility as it is commonly used by the American populace and the religious leadership of the “Big 3” Abrahamic faiths to keep people subjugated.
Humility seems to be the device used to keep the masses in line. It is portrayed as something to aspire to, as if being meek is a good thing. When it is said that “the meek shall inherit the Earth” I wonder “why would you want that”. Valhalla, Heaven or Nirvana seems the better option, I mean isn’t that why most people seek out religion is to find something better than what we have now? But I think I might be getting off track.
Humility is the trait of knowing your place and never “tooting your own horn” and that is all fine and good if you’ve never done anything in your life worth talking about. But most of us have. I can not imagine a world without war stories. Who could rise against authority if they are busy knowing their place? Humility is alien to me because I see no one as my superior except for the gods. And even then if I am in their presence I have done something to warrant that attention. On the whole I see humility as a bad thing, sure it’s great to not let your tongue get you in trouble but I bet you do something better than the guy who can kick your ass… just not fisticuffs. I went off track again.     

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Humiliation Vs Humilty

In the eyes of the meek...

Being meek isn't as easy as people would think. Indeed, I have accepted things that other people wouldn't... For instance, I enjoy being submissive. It is a choice I live with every day because it affects me every day. I prefer to be told what to do by most people, but ONLY those whom I trust and think I ought to give such respect. However, and this is a big one, sometimes I let it go too far. I mean, as much as I like being submissive to others, there are times when I am crying out to be heard and nobody can hear me at all. Also, there seems to be a fine line between being submissive and being a doormat. I have had the unfortunate experience of being the doormat sometimes.

People sometimes ask me why I put myself through such things, and I don't ever have an honest answer I can give them, so I simply shrug. But tonight I was kind of forced to think about it because I was asked to write this blog for my friend. She wanted some "essays" on humility. So in thinking about this humility thing, I suppose the best possible answer I can give is that I am used to it... I've been pretty much talked over, ignored, pointed at, etc, since I was little. Being called "ugly" was a daily experience in my world by the kids at school.

There was a time where I was angry at myself and everyone else around me. You know, those turbulent teenage years when you're between childhood and adulthood? But then, who wouldn't be? I had stopped caring about myself because I was a victim of rape and molestation. I know what it is like to be violated so bad that being a teenager was something I wished wouldn't happen. I stopped caring so much, that people found me an easy target and teased me mercilessly, and I thought at the time that I was helpless.

Humility and humiliation are two words that are often confused. I was not humble back then, I was humiliated. Humiliation forces you into some actions that are similar to humility. Make no mistake, they are completely different. You do not force humility unto another, they are either humble or they aren't.

But you know what? Writing this is not humiliating. It is humbling. I will explain....

The whole time I was being humiliated, and this was a nearly twenty year stretch out of my nearly twenty eight years of life, I gave up on the one thing that I should have humbled myself to the most... And that was God. I said, "Why should I care about a God who is not there?" But he was. Through it all, I suppose there were always these signs that I saw and chose to ignore. He tested me.

I would never change the past. There are no "What if" moments for me. Everything, including the rapes, happened for a reason. I would not have been shaped into the strong woman that I am today. While I still submit myself in my daily life, I mostly submit to God. He has been good to me for throwing the challenges at me that make my life interesting.

Just recently, I was baptized. As I stood at the altar with my evangelist, he was crying. He was humbled to know that someone who went through as much as I had (though he doesn't know all of it), could find it in me to give myself back to Jesus. I said to him, "When you walk through life in darkness, you crave seeing the light." And it is totally true.

I started to go to church because I wanted to submit to Jesus, not just people. I want Him to be my boss, my guide. And I go to church because it makes me happy after years of being let down by humiliation.

The point is that I am humble for Jesus, and in life, because of the things that have shaped me over the years. I will have more to say about it later when I have thought, so this blog is to be continued.

Oh MY God

I know its scary when I've been thinking, but imagine what it must be like actually being inside my head, eh?

I've been thinking a lot about humility and how it seems like humanity has a complete lack of it lately. I wondered if maybe my standards are just too high or perhaps I have fallen victim to the sort of prideful self righteousness that causes so many of us to feel superior to other people. Lots of things make me feel like puking when it comes to people - the ones who think they shouldn't have to contribute to society at all because they've achieved enough in their life to be comfortable and no one else deserves as much as them AND the ones who feel like they shouldn't have to do anything but take up space and oxygen while everyone else in the world works their asses off and each person gives them just a little to make up for their total lack. Notice the theme there? Neither of them wants to give anything to anyone. One has plenty to share and the other has nothing, but thinks everyone should share with them. I believe that both points of view are wrong, prideful and flatly irritating.

Recently I have noted several people in my life who subscribe to a particular sect of Christianity committing grievous acts of blasphemy. I mean, not blasphemy in the way that I just think its blasphemy so I'm going to call it that - but no. Real, biblical blasphemy. (Coming from someone whose blog is called Well, Goddamn I suppose you'd think I'm the pot calling the kettle black and you might just be right about that). This is what made me wonder where reminding someone that they are going against the beliefs they subscribe to ends and blatant holier than thou attitudes begin.

An old friend of mine once told me "Humility is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there" which, I'm fairly sure he attributed to Mother Teresa, but I have not been able to substantiate that. I DO know that she said Both humility and prayer grow from an ear, mind, and tongue that have lived in silence with God, for in the silence of the heart God speaks.

Mahatma Ghandi said the seven great sins are 1: Wealth without work 2: Pleasure without conscience 3: Knowledge without character 4: Commerce without morality 5: Science without humility 6: Worship without sacrifice and 7: Politics without principle

Charles Dickens famously said that 'Umble we are. 'Umble we have been. 'Umble we shall ever be.

Of course, in contrast, you could go with Ted Turner's estimation that If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect.

When all else fails, we can turn to the internet encyclopedia to define humility for us.

For me, I feel that humility is a constant struggle against my own human nature. I believe very much that Man, as a reasoning being, carries with Him some pride and a lot of arrogance. We have this sort of inborn passion for ourselves that - to the best of my knowledge - other beasts of the world simply do not possess. I want to move away from that passion for self and learn to keep my mouth shut about small and insignificant things, but then I have to decide what is insignificant enough that I should not at least try to change or influence change in the world. What is small and carries no bearing ont he world? For, truly, if the wings of a butterfly flapping here today can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world tomorrow - then is someone drinking the sacramental wine as a dinner garnish arbitrary? How do you know?

To affect change in the world toward what I personally think is the best path for humanity would make me truly prideful, I think. I have no right to believe what I do is in the name of my God if my God has not personally told me to do it. And He hasn't! At the same time, I think that letting the world destroy itsself without intervention is truly selfish. One cannot stand alone and believe their actions have no consequences on those around them.

I have been accused of being a democrat, a liberal, too conservative, too religious, a nutjob, a socialist (that one was my favorite - oh no! I think all men are equal and should be treated that way!), and a republican. All because people who have no opinions of their own need to label those around them in order to be comfortable. In my life, I have learned that there is no comfort in humility. At all. Humility is a constant exercise in self control and a struggle to let go of the pride and ego which only stop me from seeing someone else's point of view and finding a diplomatic resolution. With all of these things in mind, I decided to invite some friends of mine to come here and guest author their own thoughts on humility. I don't know if they will all come forward, but I am hopeful.