Loving Kills Us

I have always loved reading Stephen King novels.  They keep me on the edge of my chair, bed, couch–wherever I perch to do a marathon read.  I say marathon because I know that when I start one of his books, I will be there until the last page is turned and the last word read.  Sure, I can lay the book down to go to the bathroom or grab something to eat, but I know I won’t.  I will take it with me, reading as I do what has to be done to survive to the end of the book.

For me, there is always an underlying moral I glean from reading his work.  Sure, it is scary or tense or both (I will never look at clowns the same way after reading IT) but there is a humanness and a part of myself in every reading.  So it was and still is with his novel The Green Mile.  If you haven’t read it or seen the subsequent movie, it is about a man with supernatural powers to rectify the evil in life but is sentenced to die because he is believed to be a murderer of two young girls.  Spoiler–he didn’t do it and tried but failed to resurrect those young lives. He was holding them when found.   The story goes on to show how his head guard, who will ultimately make sure he rides “the lightning” (electric chair) to his death, comes to realize just how special this man is.  John Coffey is the prisoner’s name and his innocence creates a dilemma for the keeper of death row who sees what a truly wise and good man John Coffey is, and yet he is bound by law to execute him.

John Coffey, through the touch of another prisoner, becomes privy to who actually murdered the two girls and the manner in which it was accomplished.  He shares this with the man who will carry out the execution and it is emotional and gut wrenching for both of them.  John Coffey makes a statement that left me stunned and searching within myself as I read it.  The officer asks simply, “Why?  Why did it have to happen, John?”  John says, “It was their love what killed them, Boss.  It was their love.”  I knew the killer had threatened to kill the girls’ parents if they cried out,  and so they were silently led to their deaths.  It was their love what killed them.

I have never forgotten that statement.  I have fought an internal battle over that one.  But, I say to myself, LOVE is good! Love is what we strive for!  We show love to others, spread love in answer to hate, love our fellow human, animals, the earth.  LOVE is the reason we live!  It was their love what killed them.  My heart ached to understand because I knew that these words had a meaning and depth that I was not fully grasping.

As I went through daily tasks, met others, tried to be kind and loving to those I came into contact with, I kept wrestling with John Coffey’s words.  And then I literally bumped into a person–ragged, dirty, unkempt–as I went into a convenience store to grab a box of tissues because of a horrible cold.  I had exactly $2.00.  I saw the tissues were $1.79.  With tax, that would take the two dollars.  I grabbed a napkin by the hot and ready to eat food to wipe my runny nose as I headed to the counter with my tissues.  I heard the bell signaling someone else had entered the store and glanced toward it.  I saw that the person I had bumped into was still there, but now sitting on the cold ground, curled up to keep warm.  The hot food was not even two feet away from me.  A sign read, SALE!! 2 DOGS FOR $2.  I looked at the steaming hot dogs on the roller, the person huddled just outside the door, my box of tissues.  I grabbed another napkin, blew my nose and wiped it again, and grabbed the tissues to put them back.  I got to the counter and asked for the two hot dog special.  The woman behind the counter gave them to me, took my two dollars (no tax on food) and I got three little paper containers and put ketchup and mustard and relish in them.  I grabbed yet another napkin for my nose and a fistful for the person who was outside.

Pushing my way through the door, I went immediately to this person I now considered a friend in my mind and heart, and said, “If you’re hungry, maybe these will help.”  I blew my nose and smiled as he looked up at me with tears.  Feeling close to tears myself at his response, I pushed the food towards him and said with a choked voice, “Enjoy, okay man?”  He nodded and the tears rolled down his face.  He started to say something and I cut him off with, “Have a good one, man!” and went to my car and got in.  He was looking at me, mouth open, teary, and I waved and he awkwardly waved back and then smiled.  I used my coat sleeve to wipe both my eyes and my nose.  It was their love what killed them.

A little light crept into my heart and brain.  No, I was most certainly not going to die from not having tissues and yes, my coat sleeve would be stiff by the time I got out of the meeting I was attending and got home.  But in the moment where our eyes met, the man’s and mine, I felt love for him.  Not pity or superiority.  LOVE.  My sacrificing my box of tissues was NOT a big deal, but I felt those two hot dogs certainly were to my new friend–that I loved.

That evening, still thinking about John Coffey and the words, I exaggerated the events of the day.  What if I had had nothing to eat and spending the money on him would have actually harmed me and kept me hungry?  What if he were going to be picked up for vagrancy unless he had bus fare to get someplace safe but that would mean I had no money for my own bus fare?  What if I didn’t help him and he got beat up or we both did because I wouldn’t abandon him?  Oh my god!  It was their love what killed them.

Today, because we refuse to hate, we face a very real possibility of being harmed by those that do hate.  I will offer refuge for those that are abused.  I will march with signs for BLACK LIVES MATTER. I will march with signs for DREAMERS RIGHTS.  I will march for RAINBOW EQUALITY FOR ALL.  For immigrants.  For women.  For healthcare for all.  I will protest White Supremacy, the KKK, Neo-Nazis, the Nationalists.  And if asked to turn in someone for their beliefs, their citizenship status, their sexual orientation, their race–I will not and I will not out of LOVE for my fellow human beings.

Our rights are being systematically stripped from us.  Everything we value and live by is challenged.  We are not “IN” power, but we “HAVE” power.  There may come a time, and sooner than we expect, when our love will be on the line and a punishable criminal offense.  And that is when the future will look back on us, as a people and as a nation, and say, “IT WAS THEIR LOVE WHAT KILLED THEM.”  Is there any more honorable death?  Dying for each other out of love?

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Sometimes…

Fires are raging.  Floods are drowning and swamping.  And heat.  It is so hot everywhere.  It is September and triple digits keep baking the earth and its denizens with nights not cooling things down but holding the heat from the days of the glaring sun.  And then clouds, winds, torrents of rain.  Mother Nature seeks revenge for all we have done to her earth, her animals, her resources.  Why?

Because we have plundered and polluted all she so freely provides.  We destroy her and the air around her.  We are greedy, we are wasteful.  We are thoughtless and uncaring.  And yet we think we can keep on raping and pillaging her?  No.  She is through.  She has said enough is enough.  She is right.

Can we repair the damage done?  Can we apologize and do better?  Can we make things right?  Or is it too late?  Have we crossed the line into our own destruction and demise?  It would seem so.  And who or what is to blame?

Some blame homosexuality for the earth rebelling and spewing forth hurricanes, global warming, fires and devastation.  Seriously?  The religious right claim it is God’s wrath come down upon the earth for the same reason and–for not supporting a would-be dictator as president of the once great United States.  They feel God put him in office and is angry that the KKK, the neo-Nazis, the nationalists and the great white race are disparaged by all others.  Therefore, God brutalizes the non-white, non-evangelicals with wrathful disasters of nature.  Hmmmmmm…

We have a Republican congress in the United States that lay blame for the current situation on homosexuals, transgenders, poor people, the disabled, the elderly who are really of no use now that they cannot work and pay taxes, women who don’t know their “place,” people of color, Muslims, Jews, and probably my dog since she serves as nothing more than a source of emotional support for me.  Oh, and don’t forget the homeless and the sick.  More plagues on society, eating up the profits of the rich, straight, white males of the United States.  God is on their side.  Always has been and always will be.

Churches check tithes to see if you deserve help or can even be buried in their cemeteries .  They pay no taxes but their ministers bleed the gullible, guilt the vulnerable, and demand adherence to their interpretation of what God demands as they lounge around in mansions, are flown to save souls in private jets, build megachurches to impress those with funds to keep them going.  All this done while children starve, people live on the streets, work two jobs to put food on a table if they have a table.

Education is devalued because if the people paying for lush lifestyles are educated, they will realize they are literal slaves to those with the position and money and may rectify the situation.  Ignorant people can be led, lied to, manipulated and never understand they are being played for fools.  No healthcare will ensure these who sleep little and work much die off fairly rapidly.  The weak and less healthy will die off even more quickly.  And open discrimination will make sure no person of non-white privilege will advance.

On the other hand, there is another possibility that God isn’t being wrathful towards those non-white, non-straight, poor humans–both males and females .  Rather, he is showing the privileged what he can and will do to them unless they straighten up and fly right.  It was Jesus who said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.  How does that fit ministers? Congressmen?  Mr. President?

Our world is dying due to rich people seeking more and more money, more and more power.  There is no compassion, no kindness, no respect for others unless they have more money or more power.  And respect does not equal love, kindness, or compassion.  I respect the fact that a cobra can do great harm to me.  I do not confront nor challenge the cobra.  Nor do I love it.  I simply RESPECT the fact that it can and will win a fight if we tangle.  And not being stupid, I will not engage in a battle with it.  It is only when respect is coupled with caring, kindness, love that humankind can thrive and prosper.  That concept used to be the driving force of the United States.  It has eroded to money and power.

Yes, I believe God is showing the powers of nature to bring us back to a morality and kindness to each other that we seem to have lost.  But those who scream loudest about God’s wrath have no protection when their homes are flooded, their families taken in sickness, a fire ravages all they own.  They experience being wiped out and they are not so quick to condemn those who have also lost everything.  The United States needs to get back on track.  We are not a nation that needs to show its strength  by money and bullying.  We need to lead the way with compassion for our fellow human beings.  The “common people” pull together in a natural disaster, aiding and helping each other even as the powerful argue over how much money should be given in aid to restore the economy.

I am scared for our earth.  We have been complacent.  We have ignored the warning signs.  We have worshipped the economy too long.  You can’t breathe, nor drink money and power.  And you sure can’t take it with you when you die.  I am scared for us as humans.  Until we unite and get our priorities straight, like caring for each other regardless of color, sex, monetary worth, wellness–we will and are committing suicide as a species.  What will we choose to do now?  We can’t hem and haw about this any longer.  Nature has spoken.  What will be our response?

If I Were A Rich Man…la ti da da

If I Were A Rich Man…la ti da da

Does money corrupt? Or does a certain feeling of power that money often gives one actually corrupt?
What would we do had we won that Powerball lottery that the woman won this past week? She was advised to more or less hide (fat chance) from relatives, those who would see her as a way to profit off her winnings, and advised to get a good accountant and lawyer. Ahhh! One must protect one’s self. Would you do that?
True, relatives she has never met or heard of will be “getting in touch” to help her disperse her newly acquired wealth. “Old friends” from school, church, work will be making contact, having lost touch with her so many years ago. And charities, investors, etc., will be calling and tugging at her heartstrings to help those she is now able to give to. Would you listen and try to decide what to do?
Personally, if we won the huge Powerball lottery, we would probably be broke within a year. We would do crazy things like buy a piece of land, put tiny homes on it for veterans and the homeless, clean out the animal shelters and take them all to roam and be loved on acreage we would buy. We would allot a certain amount to St. Jude’s children’s hospital, build housing for LGBTQ who have been estranged by their families, and put little libraries with free books all around for children and adults to take books and read and read and read! We would pick up the bills for those who cannot afford healthcare and distribute food. We would set up mobile showers and job trainings for those on the streets and only ask they pay it forward as they become self-sufficient. We would champion MADD, Black Lives Matter, farm workers, try to help refugees who are only looking to escape terror and killing and have a better life. We would foster animals being cared for by inmates in prisons, offering skills to those same people, have a restaurant that feeds the homeless and hungry for free. See why we would be broke so quickly? But that is not the real WHY…
The real WHY is because there are so many people struggling, so many animals being killed and abandoned, so many people trying to be heard that are silenced and instead discriminated against. If we won the lottery and could use it as we wished…
But we have not won. We don’t even have the money to buy a chance so our odds are absolutely nil of winning without buying that ticket. Had we bought the ticket and won, we would do all the things listed above and as much more as we could until the money ran out. But it didn’t happen. It won’t happen in all likelihood until we buy a ticket which means we have to have the money to do so. BUT! All the things we want to do can still be done. As so many have said, “Kindness costs nothing.” Loving someone, caring, compassion cost nothing. If we feed an animal, love it, that is one less starving and killed animal. If we feed one homeless person/veteran, hunger pangs are relieved for a while and they don’t feel abandoned or disparaged. We could take the dollar we would spend on a lotto ticket and send it to St. Jude’s to show we care. We can support those people abandoned because of their sexual orientation, march with MADD, the Black Lives Matter people, the farm workers, be kind to a person newly arrived from a war-torn/oppressive country. We can petition for empathic change in the prison system, hand out books to those wanting to read and learn, buy a meal for a hungry person, show someone how to do something that may get them a job, try to get others at schools, gyms, to allow those on the streets to shower. Oh—there is soooo very much we can do! Not big stuff in the eyes of the world—but, big, caring, kind in the eyes of the hungry, the abused, those without hope or a voice.
Those reasons, those people, groups, animals do not deplete our feelings of kindness as we spread it. True, if I had money, I could do more, and bigger and better things. But the kindness, the love are not monitored by money and/or power. It is just us, sharing our hearts. That cannot be bought or sold and that will help us and everyone we can reach. That is true richness and wealth.

Does the TRUTH really matter now?

I have pondered this question repeatedly when I realize that I am in the minority when I want to know the truth of a situation, about a person’s motives behind actions, what actually happened in an incident.  I ask to be enlightened to the truth and am often ignored, laughed at, or discounted as a trouble maker.  But there are those out there that I hook up with once in awhile who also seek the truth and ah, how refreshing that can be!  And so now, I write to you in answer to this question being asked of me when I felt truth was the only thing left.  My questions became, “If the truth does not matter now, what does?  And if it makes me uncomfortable and I walk away, what am I walking toward?  Walking away to WHAT?  No truth at all?  Here is the conclusion I came to–MY Truth.

Truth not only matters NOW, it will ALWAYS matter.

For those who feel that TRUTH really doesn’t matter now, I will try to guide you gently along the path to show you why it most surely does matter, now and always.

TRUTH is acknowledging the simple empirical fact that if you step out into traffic, you will most likely be hit if you are not in a designated crosswalk, and sometimes if you are in said crosswalk.  TRUTH is the empirical fact that if you choose to do this at dusk or in night’s darkness,  the chances you will be hit and even killed increase dramatically.  That is a TRUTH we accept and teach children and others that might not be familiar with navigating city streets as a pedestrian.  Are we on the same page, here?  Logic says TRUTH matters NOW and ALWAYS.  If this makes you uncomfortable, maybe you should not walk anywhere there is traffic since the TRUTH MAY NOT MATTER TO YOU NOW.

Hoping that you got the idea behind the previous paragraph, let’s move on.  You get your total for gasoline you just pumped into your car.  The pump shows you bought ten gallons of gas at the price of $2.49 cents a gallon (gas has gone down in price–yay!) so you expect to pay $24.90 for your ten gallons of gasoline.  But when you start to pay, you are told, “That will be $26.”  Now this makes you very uncomfortable because the TRUTH is you only owe $24.90.  And as uncomfortable as that may be, the TRUTH  is you only have $25 on you and cannot pay the untruthful price demanded.  Uh-oh.  A very UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH!  Now what do you do? You have several choices at this point.  You can challenge the cost demanded, you can say things like, “I’m going to report this to the Better Business Bureau,” or some people will say, “Why are you asking for this much when it is only this much?” and then pay it and walk away, swearing never to go back to that particular gas station again.  Then your very uncomfortable truth is that you got taken to the cleaners, had to use a credit card to cover your gas, and you feel like a stupid sucker in what just transpired.  Yes, you could have  walked away, but you wouldn’t have driven away because the  TRUTH is you wouldn’t have been allowed to take your car with the gas from the station since you hadn’t paid for the gas.  And now you are either whipped, angry, or who knows what emotionally.  So you think maybe you shouldn’t have tried to get gas on this particular day because Does the truth really matter now?  Get it?

And now, having realized the emotional and mental impact knowing the TRUTH can carry, we move on.  A presidential election is in the offing and you are watching speeches on TV, the internet, or on comedy late night shows.  Who offers what?  Who has done what?  Who will do what?  DOES THE TRUTH REALLY MATTER NOW?  To the observer, the questioner, the VOTER, it damn well better!

Sadly, the majority of politicians and citizenry eligible to vote don’t worry about it.  And why should it matter?  The questions at hand–can women take control of their own bodies to whether or not we let refugees in from war-torn countries, to who is making the money and can control the economy, to who gets to keep their seat in Congress–does the truth really matter now?  Only the homeless, the poor, women, hungry children, humanitarian programs, Social Security, Medicare, medicaid, jobless folks are the ones who think it does.  But what do they know?  It makes people uncomfortable to think about the actual TRUTH so they don’t question.  They walk away and do nothing–until they realize that nothing matters if the truth doesn’t.  Make any sense?

So now we are at an individual level where each person must decide whether or not to seek the TRUTH.  Does this apply to personal relationships?  Does it apply to one’s sense of morality?    If the truth does not matter, is anyone accountable?  If someone steals my car, do I ignore the truth and shrug my shoulders when told the chances of recovering it are slim, and say, “Hey, that’s life.”  We are uncomfortable seeing homeless sleeping in the park, around people who speak a language different from our native tongue, thinking about the woman that cannot get birth control at Planned Parenthood because someone lied about that organization.  We are uncomfortable with the air quality and heat because no one wants to accept a truth of climate change and our air is polluted as we go on not wanting to know the truth of what we are doing.  We are uncomfortable with political candidates sniping at each other and advocating warmongering and being inhumane to those who they feel are less than themselves.  We are uncomfortable with seeing people trying to move here from devastation and strife in their countries to escape war and death.  We are uncomfortable with people denounced by their families when they dare to announce they are gay, transgender, an LGBT person.  We are uncomfortable with ungrounded accusations against citizens of color by police and the courts, their subsequent deaths without justification and the courts leniency toward those in authority who exacerbate this continually.  We are uncomfortable with man’s inhumanity to man, the cruelty that goes on unabated.  We are uncomfortable with ALL OF IT!  But we can always walk away if it becomes too uncomfortable, because the question still is, DOES THE TRUTH REALLY MATTER NOW?

TRUTH is  in and of itself UNCOMFORTABLE for someone, somewhere, and at some point.  Walk away if you will, if you must.  Or keep being uncomfortable, question the things that are happening, MAKE OTHERS UNCOMFORTABLE so the truth is known!  TRUTH is key to survival, as well as being and doing the uncomfortable.  Share with the homeless.  Offer a hand to the veteran.  Smile at the newly married gay couple, openly, to show you believe in the truth of love.  Take the woman to Planned Parenthood for birth control.  Support the workers living in poverty with minimum wage.  Offer that dirty little kid outside 7-11 an ice cream, a taquito when you go in for your donut and coffee.  See the person in a wheelchair struggling to open the door when he/she cannot control the body’s erratic motions and jerkings.  Let that older person have the seat on the aisle on the bus so they can get out more easily.  Say hello to the filthy, the tired, the worn down.  Pet that scared animal, leave some food for it if it is too afraid of you as a human to let you approach.

TRUTH DOES MATTER.  Find out the truth before you label, tag, ridicule.  We only learn about each other through finding the truth.  If you are going  to take up space on this earth, breathe air, excrete your waste, and simply exist for yourself and nothing else–try to avoid being uncomfortable and forget knowing the truth.  If you want to make a difference, show kindness and compassion to yourself and those you share this world with,  get uncomfortable and and search for the TRUTH  with all your heart!  No one asked for this life, a lot wish they didn’t have it, and we only have each other and the living animals and environment we share it with.  If we choose not to grasp the truth, we deserve what we get.  And that will be continuous strife, pain, and destruction of ourselves and this earth we occupy with apathy and a shrug of the shoulders.

To us, you, everything and everyone–THE TRUTH DOES MATTER NOW AND ALWAYS!  Walk away or DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING  to realize your TRUTH and the universal TRUTHS!

 

 

 

 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?

Ah, sadly I see people crying, grieving, wondering what is to be.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you hear?

My ears hurt from their cries of hate and fear.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, where do you go?

Back to my forest to think of love, peace, and where it will show.

 

You’re back Brown Bear.  And NOW what do you see?

I see people hugging the crying, consoling, saying this doesn’t have to be.

And now Brown Bear, NOW what do you hear?

I hear words of kindness, and children laughing as they play with baby animals here.

So Brown Bear, NOW  where do you go?

I stay here, sit in the love, watch the love grow.

 

We look at our world, and it no longer just encompasses our home, our neighborhood, our county, state, country–it is global.  What one feels and experiences is now a shared experience felt by all.  And we all have to stop and think–what do we see?  Hear?  Where will we go?

There are murders, injustices, people that all think they are right and everyone else is wrong and so must be eliminated, exorcised, punished.  But like Brown Bear, we see that, and come back and really look, and we see the comforters, the healers, the nurturers sharing love and kindness.  We see global outpourings of empathy, compassion, caring enough to overcome the bad with good.  We just have to look.

What do we hear?  Again, like Brown Bear, we hear angry voices, slander against others, name-calling, desperate voices wanting revenge, advocating a them/us mentality, total separation from the disenfranchised, anyone different economically, religiously, race wise, educationally, even those speaking a different language.  But upon listening closer, we hear, like Brown Bear, children laughing and squealing in delight as puppies lick their faces, kittens jump on them, a pet hamster scurries to hide in their t-shirts.  We hear music that promises a better world with lyrics of hope, music that never dies though written hundreds of years ago.  We hear positive words of affirmation that we globally are one and we respect that oneness as giving hope for our human frailties.  We hear, “I love you,”  “I care,” “I’m here for you.”  We hear prayers for peace, for relief for others, for our world.

And finally, as we asked Brown Bear, where do we go?  Simply, nowhere.  We stay.  If we are unhappy, we will be unhappy anywhere, because we never leave us.  But if we see the good, watch for the kindness and caring, we will see it.  And if we emulate it, there will be more and more to see.  If we listen for the kind words, the uplifting music, the voices of hope and encouragement, we will soon hear them everywhere–especially if we in turn share them.  Why go?  Why not stay?  And like Brown Bear, bask in the good, the love, and watch it grow as we nurture it and protect it so it can flourish.

We see and hear what we want to.  It is up to all of us to choose wisely for our sanity and the betterment of our world.  Just sayin…

Oxymoron of 2016

Political Science

    Political Science is the humorous oxymoron of 2016.  Everyone who loves puns and/or oxymorons, will enjoy the reverie entertained in the intelligent mind when they find obvious silliness in our English language.  A few oxymorons have always been fun, like jumbo shrimp, military intelligence, and one of my favorites from the poet W.B. Yeats, “a terrible beauty.”  We all chuckle to ourselves when we see the first two, if we stop to actually think about it, and we are brought to the verge of tears by Yeats as we think of different instances when we have experienced our own terrible beauty.  But now we have a new one, created by our government that sometimes strikes the funny bone in all of us–Political Science.

     Never have science and politics been so far apart in the continuum.   And yet a course in Political Science is required for every student entering college in the hopes of attaining a degree in higher education.  What do they teach in these courses now?  That there no longer is any actual science to the realm of politics?  Campaigns  have become chaotic and lack any sense of propriety or follow any established/traditional norm.  To be cliche, the system is a free for all with the loudest and most abrasive persons trying to appeal to voters.

     The literal definition of political science  is: n. a social science dealing with political institutions and with the principles and conduct of government.  (by the way, the word originated 1770-1780)  Again, the question presents itself–what does a political science teacher teach in his/her course now?  We all better wonder.

 

First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

Peculiar

     The word peculiar, by definition, is an adjective meaning: strange; queer; odd, as well as uncommon, unusual.  It is also defined as distinctive in nature or character from others.  Ahh, yes!  How many of us have been labeled as peculiar at one time or another in our lives?  My answer–oh, my, yes!  I love to splash in puddles when it rains, thoroughly soaking myself and anyone nearby because it is SO MUCH FUN!  It is freeing to be peculiar because no one ever knows what to expect from you and therefore, there is little demand to conform or adhere to protocol if you are peculiar.  It can also be so very educational.  How?  Look at the things you learn when you are peculiar!  For instance:  you learn so much about others you share  your world with.  You quickly find out who will respond to an invite you issue and who will definitely not.  The responders are part of your particular tribe and those who avoid your invites to distance themselves from you are to be left to their own devices and norms while you and your tribe venture out to explore and learn and have FUN!

Peculiar people often don’t care what others are wearing, who they are “mixing” with, financial status, or prestige.  Peculiar people are busy noticing someone’s smile, their eyes, a facial expression.  They go below the surface.  When a peculiar being realizes you are afraid, tense, stressed to bursting–they are the ones that will hug you, dirty or perfumed, dressed for the ball or sleeping on the ground–and let you know they care.  THEN they will do everything in their power to make you smile, comfort you, and be your friend as they welcome you with unconditional love.

Hate and bias are often the norm.  Screw the norm!  Be PECULIAR!!!  Even if you do something others judge as weird and insane, do it with love, compassion, fun!  Ahhh–blessed are the PECULIAR for theirs is the joy of life!

 

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