Friday, March 30, 2012

Shame




Now, I don't know their stories, but their own words do them no favors.  And, unlike some of my friends, I don't blame the president, since this goes too far back to blame one leader or one party.  I blame the culture we have created, where the successful and wealthy are demonized and those who do not work are coddled, pitied, and lifted up to encourage guilt for success.

Yes, there are those who really do need help.  I understand that the economy is in shambles and unemployment is high.  I also understand that not everyone is like these people, but when we insult and criticize the successful for not doing "their part," what do we say to these?  Are they doing theirs?

Don't you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? "If you don't work, you don't eat." And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don't slack off in doing your duty.

If anyone refuses to obey our clear command written in this letter, don't let him get by with it. Point out such a person and refuse to subsidize his freeloading. Maybe then he'll think twice. But don't treat him as an enemy. Sit him down and talk about the problem as someone who cares. 

2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 The Message Bible

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quote for the Week

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

- Albert Ellis

Friday, March 23, 2012

Conversations at Work

We're discussing the lengths to which clients will go to customize their cars.  Then we start talking about cars we've owned.

Me:  I had a car that would change colors depending on the weather.

Paralegal:  Really!? That sounds cool!

Me:  Yeah.  When it was dry out, it was brown and gray.  If it rained it was red and black.

Paralegal:  Was it special paint or something?

Me:  Nah.  It was rust spots and gray primer.  The water made the rust look red and the primer look black.

Paralegal:  I don't know why I even listen to you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quote for the Week


A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reading

So my wife tells the girls she wants them to read to her belly so the baby can hear them.

I offer to read as well. I have books on AR15s, 1911s, gun laws, self defense...

I guess not.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.

Booker T. Washington

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ugh...

100.5 degree fever and I've spent the last 8 hours laying down. No fun at all. My stomach feels like I swallowed a grenade wrapped in loose fiberglass.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Song of My Road

Eyes on the road, I keep forwarding to the next song on my music player, trying to find one that can speak to what I feel. Not finding one, all I hear is the rain falling on the windshield and the tires pushing against the water as they press forward. The wipers attack the rain, furiously defending their patch of glass. But, the rain does not stop, invading the space as soon as the wipers go by.

I let the music player do what it wants, for now. The windows are fogging up, and the weather has taken a firm grasp on my attention. I don't want to hear that song right now, but the road will not allow distractions. Meanwhile, the tires continue to grab the road ahead and push it into the past, leaving only the sound of water splashing as it gives way.

I finally turn off the music player so I can think. But there's so much going on in my head right now, so I can't. A million thoughts are coming at me like the rain on the windshield. I try to make sense of it, pushing thoughts aside, waiting for the right one to make sense, to break through, but it's no use. I feel like the tires, grabbing the day ahead and pushing it into the past, leaving only the faintest memory as I make my way forward.

I had a nightmare a few days ago, where I was driving and was hit head on by a large vehicle. I woke up with a start. There was no life flashing, only the fog in my mind mind as I made the effort to bring my heartbeat back to normal. Perhaps I didn't survive the accident, having died in the dream only so I could wake up and take stock of where I am. Of who I am.

The last few months have been a frenzy, marking time on some cosmic odometer, at times too busy to see where I'm headed. Early days have been followed by late nights, a cycle that's become as mindless as the wheels chewing up the road. Littered alongside this road are more thoughts. More tasks. More intentions. I am paving my own road to a destination I hope I never see.

I remember a college class years ago where the professor asked us to imagine a taxi driver headed to the airport with a businessman in the back seat. The professor asked us to discuss what each might be thinking. I spoke of the businessman maybe wanting to spend more time time with his family, yet pulled away by his job. I spoke of regret and of the taxi driver glad to have the time to enjoy his loved ones.

Now, I have become those I have criticized. Twenty years later, I am the man in the back seat.

Forty-five minutes later, I pull into my parking space. This leg of my journey is over. I realize I have arrived. I have reached my goal. And yet, I remember nothing of my journey. Even the music was pushed aside, giving way to the dull, predictable soundtrack of wipers on glass, tires on wet road.

I never did find a song. Maybe there's a reason for that. The soundtrack for this journey cannot be written by someone else.  I have to write it.  I have to sing it.  I have to live it.  It is the song of MY road.  And it is not yet over.

H/T to Brigid for this post, which got me thinking.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quote for the Week

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.

Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Debt Relief

Phone call:

Me: [After all the pleasantries] How can I help you?

Caller: [Nervously] I heard that your company deals with debt problems...

Me: We do. Tell me what's going on.

Caller: I have some debt that I need help with. I can't sleep at night and I have no peace because of it.

Me: Ok. How much debt do you have?

Caller: About two.

Me: Two what? $200,000?

Caller: No. $2,000.

Me: Who is the creditor? Who is the lender?

Caller: There's two people. I only know their first name.

Me: Wait, how did you...Why do you owe the money?

Caller: I borrowed it some time ago for something I had to do.

Me: And you don't know the name of the person you owe? Where are they?

Caller: Well, they live in South America. One of them, she sent people over here to to collect. They're the ones I'm scared of.

Me: And the other debt?

Caller: They were able to track me down, too. But I'm making payments to them. Otherwise, they'll go see my family.

Me: So they did not know you moved here?

Caller: No. I moved to the US to avoid them.

Me: Umm... Sir, I can't help you with that kind of debt. What are they trying to do?

Dial tone ...