roseI ask myself this question almost everyday.    Why?  Because it was the way I was raised.  I can still hear the echo of my mother’s voice “…if you don’t behave, you’re going to suffer the consequences…”  However, Mother being Mother, she rarely told me (or my siblings) what “the consequences” would be.

So when I read about celebrities, sports figures, politicians, and the like doing stupid things and still come out smelling like a Queen Anne Rose, it makes me wonder.  Were their mothers just as vague as mine?

Joe Blundo, a columnist for The Columbus (OH) Dispatch, recently pondered celebrity reputations in “Despite affair, Tiger is already out of the woods,” (December 6, 2009).  Although Mr. Blundo’s article focuses on reputations, I believe society has become lax when it comes to consequences and responsibility. A slap on the wrist and million dollar endorsements have become the rule, and consequences the exception to it.

What do you think?
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/life/stories/2009/12/06/1A_BLUN06_–_for_dec._6.ART_ART_12-06-09_E1_88FSC8J.html

BTW – Anyone read Mr. Blundo’s piece?

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kesmarn
Admin

Good Lord! I just looked at the clock and it’s almost 1 a.m. WHAT HAVE I BEEN THINKING?

I guess I’ve been thinking that I’m having too much fun to go to bed.

But now I must…or tomorrow (later today) will not be pretty.

Good night, Planet Friends!

Kalima
Admin

Good night kesmarn, I was on the phone, sorry I missed you.

choicelady
Member

OK – being three hours behind a lot of you and still awake, more or less, I hope y’all go back and read ALL the comments here.

You are the most amazing people I’ve encountered in many years. There is such maturity, thoughtfulness, and outright kindness in these posts! I am part of many commentaries on blogs, but I have NEVER read so many outstanding and wise statements from anyone, anywhere.

As one of the fairly “newbie” commentators, I took to your collective and individual presence within HOURS. Every single one of you embodies the essence of human decency, thoughtful reflection, and compassion. And you all have that rare gift – a sense of humor! WOW!

I am SO grateful to you all for just being who you ARE! Thank you for letting me move to the Planet. It’s the best place I’ve been in years.

kesmarn
Admin

I think people have a tendency to see in others the qualities they possess themselves…… 😮 😮 😮

Kalima
Admin

We certainly are richer for your comments here.

Kalima
Admin

I have just spent a bewildering 30 minute with a neighbour I organize the shopping for twice a week. He is an 81 years old former professor in European history, a Japanese man, married to a wonderful German woman who died 2 years ago. He speaks 3 languages and is usually fun to talk to, but he has just knocked the wind out of my sails twice.

While waiting for the door to be answered, I couldn’t help but notice the pile of broken mirror in front of the gate which leads to the back of his house, I didn’t have to ask why the glass was there as one of my outside cats returned with a bleeding paw last week.

Armed with my camera, I followed him up the steep and winding staircase to view the reason for my visit, his nativity statues displayed as a nativity scene on his living room floor, they are Catholics, the whole family. As I was there taking pictures of what really was a beautiful display, I started thinking about just how Catholic or Christian it was to intend to hurt living creatures and I felt a slight chill.

We talked for a short time and just as I was leaving, he said that he had just been reading about someone saying that Obama was a radical Marxist. I laughed and told him just how ridiculous these statements from the RW machine were but he continued. He said that Obama had been active as a student with a group of radicals protesting the Vietnam war. When I pointed out that the President was 8 when the war started and 13 when the war ended and that maybe he would be better off checking these facts for himself before falling for the propaganda, he was silent. I was going to ask if he had read this in Japanese or English but to tell you the truth, it left a bitter taste in my mouth and made me wonder and think about how far flung the RW machine has cast it’s web of deceit and lies.

I’m happy to be home, where things are calm and I know that I decide for myself what is right and what is true.

choicelady
Member

Wow Kalima – that is frightening, isn’t it? Does he not remember the lies and hate directed at his people in the US during WW II? What does one do with all that?

I would counsel you to be his calm and quiet guide if you can, but I must say I’m put off by the cruelty to animals, too. But I also know that at the end of days, even my liberal-to-the-core mother became suspicious, angry, distrustful of people whose very rights she had championed at some cost to herself. You may be dealing with early stage dementia. If so, that’s terribly sad.

Life isn’t easy, is it? Thank you for your kindnesses to him, even as he grows more difficult probably by the day. Turn to us if it grows worse – we’re here for you.

Kalima
Admin

Yes that is it exactly, it was frightening an quite unexpected. He has a brother next door, they are not very close, but the brother confronted me years ago about “my” cats using his garden for a toilet. I spent almost 6 months going there every morning to check and clean up to keep the peace. When I later found out it wasn’t any of my cats and was sickened by his daily messages in German left on the soil for me to find, I lost my temper and refused to go there again. His brother and his wife were on my side and now he seems to be doing the same thing.

I have a toilet for my outsiders, they use it, so what I’ve just witnessed was a total shock.

I help him out because I was fond of his wife and will continue to do it, however my personal feelings have changed in just the space of 30 minutes and I hope he comes to his senses, I have a feeling he won’t.

kesmarn
Admin

Kalima, I agree with choicelady that your neighbor might be in the early stages of dementia. The increasing level of paranoia and hostility are very common. I see this so often in my work. People become convinced, for example, that others are entering their homes and stealing items or simply moving them around as a form of harassment. They think others are “plotting to ‘put me away’ or to ‘get my money.'” Even family members become suspect. It’s very painful. Hard to see a person who once had nothing but friendly feelings suddenly eye you with wary–even slightly hostile–caution.

You’re kind to want to continue to help him. He needs it, whether he recognizes it or not.

Kalima
Admin

You both could be right, I call him Tuesday and Saturday mornings to get his shopping list and sometimes he has forgotten what day it is, nothing strange, I forget myself sometimes.

One evening this summer, I received a late night call from him asking if he could come to collect his shopping now, it was Sunday and his shopping had been delivered on Saturday afternoon. I was worried but it had slipped my mind.

He has a nephew living close by, the son of another brother who died about 5 years ago, I am not family, don’t know the nephew, so don’t think it’s my place to voice my fears, they see him much more than I do.

In the meantime, I hope that my little outsiders have enough sense to stay away from this imminent danger, it’s his property, can’t do very much about it.

kesmarn
Admin

Cats are so clever, Kalima, it usually doesn’t take more than one time for them to sense which areas to avoid. And they certainly know where the “softies” live. I put food out tonight for a crafty neighborhood cat who may or may not have an owner. But he certainly knows how to get fed. He is absolutely HUGE. He must be hitting twenty different houses, giving them all the same pitiful looks and meows. He couldn’t be under 25 pounds! A real American cat.

Kalima
Admin

Yes they are clever kesmarn, it’s just that once the last feeding is over, they are on their own until the next morning and a lot can happen when I’m sleeping.

LOL he sounds huge and you don’t have to tell me about those pitiful, feed me looks and meows, I’ve seen them all and still fall for them every time. Once a sucker always a sucker. 🙂

kesmarn
Admin

Sucker is my middle name.

We’ll commend those little guys of yours to the protective care of St. Francis over night! 😮

Kalima
Admin

Yes, St. Francis is a busy man, but I’m sure he has time for 10 more kitties.

Bernard Marx
Member

How ridiculous. He’s either suffering from dementia or he’s a poor excuse for a professor. Either way he has no critical thinking skills.

Kalima
Admin

Yes I’m afraid the “critical” thinking is something many Japanese still have to learn. It exists where people have lived some time abroad but is sorely missing in the majority of others, a failure in the education system here. You learn what is taught, questions are not that welcomed.

Khirad
Member

It’s amazing they do as well as they do. Rote education has left many a Middle Eastern country behind.

And, oh yeah, in my generational parlance, really X-Files there.

escribacat
Member

Kalima, Are you saying he put a pile of broken mirror there so the cats would step in it and get injured?

Kalima
Admin

That’s the only reason I can think of, yes.

PatsyT
Member

I hear Twilight Zone music. Hope this works out well for you and your kittys.

Kalima
Admin

I was just talking to a friend about it saying that I’m very tempted to sneak out in the dead of night, in disguise if need be, to start collecting it and dispose of it when the stuff which doesn’t burn trash collection is due. It’s a thought spinning in my head as I type.

PatsyT
Member

OK for that -you need this… be careful…

Kalima
Admin

😆 now I just can’t stop laughing. I’m a bit of a klutz in the dark and can just imagine stumbling over something, cussing and waking up the whole bloody neighbourhood in the process. I’m beginning to feel like Benny Hill.

PatsyT
Member

NO NO -must -not- post- Benny Hill music ….
@%&(#?{*@1$……

There, I am back in control now
Well be careful either way…..
I am turning in
Keep us posted this week.

Kalima
Admin

Good night Patsy, stay tuned for the adventures of “Calamity Kalima.”

escribacat
Member

I think that’s an excellent idea, K.

Kalima
Admin

Oh gosh, don’t tempt me, I’m almost out of the front door and it isn’t even dark yet.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Oh…one more thing before I drift off.

I wanted to share a great website of FREE downloadable eBooks. You won’t believe the selection. It’s a massive resource if you have a Kindle or similar ebook reader. There is a limit of 5 books every 2 weeks, but hey…it’s free. Hope some of you might be able to snag some great reads…

http://www.truly-free.org/

kesmarn
Admin

Thanks for the link to what promises to be a great site, TRP.
Have a peaceful night.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

~Whew~…whatta day. I’m out for the night everyone. See you tomorrow.

Hopeington
Member
Hopeington

Dang, I had to go do some work, I guess I’m a bit late to say good night, but It was good conversing today…see ya then.

PatsyT
Member

I am just stopping by for a quick Hi,
About to watch “The People Speak”
on the History Channel
It is about to start here on the West Coast….

http://www.history.com/content/people-speak

kesmarn
Admin

Hi Patsy! Hope your weekend went well.

PatsyT
Member

Hey Kesmarn,
This weekend was busy one!
Here comes Monday !!

choicelady
Member

Hi- I started to watch some time after it began, and I wound up starting with the John Brown segment. I have come to loathe him because he’s the icon for the ‘justifiable homicide’ anti-abortion murderers. They think he made shooting doctors an OK thing to do. So, I had to turn it off. Otherwise I’d have watched indeed.

PatsyT
Member

Hi Choice,
yes, that was one part,
but there were many, very worthwhile and powerful moments.
The Sojourner Truth segment was a stand out

In her words..
~Sojourner pointed to one of the ministers. “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody helps me any best place. And ain’t I a woman?”

Sojourner raised herself to her full height. “Look at me! Look at my arm.” She bared her right arm and flexed her powerful muscles. “I have plowed, I have planted and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me. And ain’t I a woman?”

“I could work as much, and eat as much as man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain’t I a woman?”

The women in the audience began to cheer wildly.

She pointed to another minister. “He talks about this thing in the head. What’s that they call it?”

“Intellect,” whispered a woman nearby.

“That’s it, honey. What’s intellect got to do with women’s rights or black folks’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half-measure full?”

“That little man in black there! He says women can’t have as much rights as men.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Holy crap, …I posted that link to my poetry and everybody evaporated here! OMG,..they hate it and don’t know what to say!…LIE, LIE!….LMAO~

kesmarn
Admin

Hey, TRP, I finally just got a chance to take a look at the book.

You are a brave one…put your real name out there along with your work!

I have to take note of one poem in particular: it’s called “Blind.” Am I right that this is yours, not your partners? I think it’s very good. There’s a lot of talent and even more potential in those lines.

PatsyT
Member

The book looks great, I will have to check it out.
Good for you TRP!

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Well, real face, real name….I have had enough of hiding behind anonymity.
Thanks for the review. Glad you took a look. Yes, Blind is mine. Frankly, I thought that particular piece was a bit contrived, but I’m glad you saw the potential there.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Great people here. I think I’ll stay awhile..~smile~

Kalima
Admin

Thanks, I took a look and with these poor eyes of mine was unable to read the print, sorry.

I did something similar with my hubby, as a coffee table, limited edition book in 88′ and we gave it away to friends as gifts.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Yes, that text is difficult to read on that black background. Definitely don’t strain your eyes! But thank you for going anyway.
Blurb is a great resource for publishing one or just a few copies at a good price. Did my studio book there as well.

Kalima
Admin

Last year I was working on a little cat photo book with comments, an option on my IPhoto on Mac, I had just one page left before sending it off, when something knotted inside my old Mac. Off to to the doctor at the local Apple shop, they informed me that a lot of my stored data, including the unfinished book was damaged. I know little about what goes on under the hood of my computer and always had help, this time, too many cooks had spoiled the broth and the desire to start again was lost. Shame really.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Oh I hate when that happens! I have a history in IT and work with both PCs and Macs, so I know what you went through.
As long as you still have the photos on your phone it should be really easy to just plug ’em back into BookSmart, right?

Kalima
Admin

The photos all went poof too and they were stored in my IPhoto album. From that day I muddle through by myself and frantically email a friend who worked as a computer programmer to walk me through it, but he gets so mad sometimes when I don’t understand what he’s explaining, he disappears for hours.

I always say that I am and will remain a total technofart, I do just fine with only an on and off switch.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

LOL….too funny!..

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Boy, we DO seem to drag out the threads in here, huh? LOL~

I wanted to share something with all of you that I did as a collaborative effort with another artist. We are both members of OvationTV (I don’t know who gets this channel, but it’s an artist community channel on cable)…and anyway, they asked if John, the other artist, would provide some of his works for me to write interpretive poetry for. He did. I did. And if you have the time, please read it over. It’s best if you open the FULL SCREEN option and flip through our new book. It’s only 14 pages and you don’t have to buy anything. I make nothing from it so don’t feel obligated. I just thought I’d share and see what you all thought of my work. Lie if you must….LOL.
I feel like it is some of my best work in poetry. I know, I know…but just this once…

http://www.blurb.com/books/1012658

choicelady
Member

TRP – beautiful “book” with wonderful meld of word and image! I like Impermanence and Blind very much. Wow. Be not afraid – your work is wonderful!

I know Rochester, or used to. Good town, solid people, but not given to the rise of such as thee very often. It is a place of permanence, not flights of imagination. You are both of it and without it. Says volumes about your creativity to write without disdaining where you came from. That’s a gift.

Good night. Thank you for sharing!

javaz
Member

Kalima,
I love poetry.
I wish I could write that.
My poetry is limited to stupid limericks that I fudge from songs –

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,
It’s that time of year,
Say hello to friends you know,
And have another beer.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,
And when you walk down the street,
Pull your pants down low
And say hello
To everyone you meet!

🙂

And then there’s the Nantucket ones.

Kalima
Admin

😆 javaz, I loved it!

javaz
Member

TRP,
I’ve written that story and in most of my stories, I write that story over and over, because I have lived it.
Fortunately for me, I hit the rock bottom when much younger, and younger people, imho, are more resilient.

I also believe in Karma, and believe in lots of things, like the power of positive thinking, which seems to be under fire if you read Daily KOS or alternet.

I’m also very spiritual and I guess religious, even though I do not go to church any longer and do not believe in what church people believe.

I try to be positive in life, even during the dark hours, I try to find the meaning and the lesson and the good.

Don’t get me wrong.
I’ve sunken to the depths of despair, but fortunately I was able to crawl out of it.

Once you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go but up.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

I can say with absolute certainty that I am at the bottom. This will be the lowest point in my life. I’m middle aged, but I feel I have a lot to bring to the world. Hell, I may even lead the revolution, who knows? I feel I can be strong again…I know I have the strength to pull myself back up…I just have to find that one opportunity…that one…open door. Right now I am lost.
I was booted from the church so I have no support there and would rather live on the streets I think than to have them watch me squirm. But that’s just me.
I believe I am a good man. I believe I have worth on some level. I certainly don’t think I deserve to be thrown away. And I won’t stop blogging and posting until they turn off the internet here. And until my voice fades away here online…I have to keep trying to find that opportunity. I know it’s sad, but my online friends ARE my ONLY friends. I have to keep believing…it’s all I have.

Kalima
Admin

You have a very positive attitude that will serve you well. It’s never too late to start a new life or to learn something new. We have all been there at one time or another and somehow have found the strength to go on to more rewarding things, you will too I think and don’t ever give up trying.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Thanks for the pep talk, lady.

Kalima
Admin

You are most welcome.

choicelady
Member

TRP – any church that would boot you out is a fraud as far as faith goes. I’m horrified! And so sorry that has happened to you. Everyone needs community – depending on your desire, look to other churches. I now know why we resonate – I lived those great years in Buffalo! As much as people there and Rochester are salt of the earth, they can be closed minded and very cruel. I am so sorry. I refuse to let people dictate to me about how I live my life which is, by all measures, incredibly BORINGLY ordinary! Save for my politics, or course. But NO one can tell you that you are unworthy of the embrace of faith, so find others who share your views and be with them. They will love YOU, that is for sure. Whoever judged you? It’s their loss, for sure.

PS -bet I’m a LOT older than you, and I am living energetically and even sexily in my middle age – it really IS a state of mind these days. With your poetry and art you have an energetic vision. Therefore, you are NOT old!

choicelady
Member

I’m exhausted by it all. Quite a number of years ago, Rober Coles, the noted psycholgist who wrote about children in many different circumstances, did an article, “Children of Entitlement”. It focused on the rich and privileged, but I think it extends to even those raised poor who become wealthy and, in their own way,powerful. Americans don’t seem to respect their neighbors (they might be making $5 more than we) but do love the Rich and Famous. Why? This adulation all folds into the race to have 4000-square-foot homes and what I call “kitchen envy”.

Karl Marx once discussed the ‘feteshism of commodities’ so this is not new. We have so few personal relationships anymore that we have to have things – ever-changing, more and more – to feel good. I have a young relative who is a millionaire – young, hip, with it, spending lavishly on what he admits are toys but who has no real relationship with anyone, friend or love. He got it from his mother who always embodied the saying “she knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. I feel sorry for him – deeply, worriedly sorry for his hollowness. He is very lonely.

And is that not what this is all about? The happiest people I’ve ever known have been cops and union families, people with a tight, loyal circle of friends and supportive relatives. Too many of the rest of us have no support, no security, no nothing. So we move on to successive lovers, things, experiences, all the while seeking what we can’t find in work that no longer matters, people who no longer care, relationships that are no longer reciprocal.

I lived for several years in a working-class integrated neighborhood where we had block parties, spent summer nights doing gardening and conversing together, exchanged help when we needed it, shoveled sidwalks in winter. I babysat my neighbors’ kids who, when older, came and sat with me and my husband on our front porch and just talked. Young Black kids talking with middle aged, white adults! Cool! We had such a wonderful life! I now live in a similar area where I know fewer neighbors, but I still sit on the front porch to say hi to those going by. Someone has to make this a real neighborhood!

I wonder who talks with Tiger. No one talks with my relative unless they want something from him. Bet it’s the same with Tiger.

How sad.

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Well versed and written, Lady.
I, too, grew up in a similar community. Working class, but mixed and we all watched out for one another. Friday night beer and sausage parties, fireworks until the cops came, and neighbors that WERE your parent if your parent wasn’t around for some reason. And if you screwed up, you knew your folks would find out, so it was best to confess right away…LOL They were also the same people that watched over me the night my mom had her 1st heart attack and I couldn’t go in the ambulance so a neighbor had to watch me. There wasn’t a question or second thought…tight knit community.

We are all so…disconnected anymore. Distracted, displeased, and disloyal, too. Or is it that this is the new world coming and we, older folks, are just the grannies and gramps that shout at kids to get outta’ our yards? I wonder sometimes whether time has passed US by and the new, cold, impersonal society is the way of tomorrow. I certainly hope not.

choicelady
Member

Oh RarestPatriot – I share your fear and I hope we’re both wrong! Impersonality is so scary. I know, as a trained historian (and you CAN try this at home) that we’ve gone through this and worse before. A century ago many of our cities watched kids starve under their noses and walked on by. Right after WW II life was golden for some, a nightmare for many – riddled with corruption, brutality, etc. If you were Black or other minority, that’s the whole history of your experience. So some things have changed for the good, but so much has not.

We do have choices. I choose to be a center for my friends. I choose to reach out. I still bring food to people in times of trouble. I will say that is NOT reciprocated. But I keep on doing it. I bet you do, too! (OK – maybe not the casserole thing -but whatever you CAN do.) I still wave thank you to other drivers when they let me move over. Rarely does someone wave when I do it for them. I still do it because I keep thinking it will restore civility, so I don’t stop. We of antique values do have something to offer. I’m glad you grew up as you did. Keep on keeping on!

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Thank you, Lady. You’re a wise woman with a considerate and compassionate soul. I may be ‘rare’ but you, my friend, are even more rare for certain.
Happy to count you amongst my favorite posters. I happen to think being intelligent and compassionate is a helluva’ sexy combo….LOL~

TheRarestPatriot
Member

Oooh…I went a little, “tiger” there…when I said ‘sexy’, I, of course, meant ‘attractive’….LOL~

choicelady
Member

Thank you on ANY level, TRP! Tha’t so kind of you to say! I love your posts, too, and I do now know we’ve shared similar experiences. The true comfort of growing older is to see the good and bad of life can co-exist in the same place, same time. It’s exasperating as hell, but it sure makes for an interesting ride!

Hopeington
Member
Hopeington

Ditto about the growing up part, and everyone had kids, we had 6, lots of folks had 10 or more, 4 was small. There was always someone there.
My grandkids have to really struggle just to find kids to play with and they certainly don’t live in the neighborhood.
When I was my son’s age, all my friends had kids, very few of his friends do.
Civics isn’t being taught in schools any longer and I think that contributes to people not understanding the community effort it takes to be a healthy society, nor the responsibility of big business to lend a hand to the community they do business in.

Kalima
Admin

Well said choicelady. I too have met a number of wealthy people, some even well known but the thing they all had in common apart from wealth is their visible loneliness, their ruins of failed marriages and relationship on the way.

We all need friends and I remember something that my mother said years ago, if you reach middle age and can count your real friends on one hand, the ones who would rush to your side from anywhere in the world when you are in need, then you should consider yourself lucky.

I have seen my friends when they were generous, buying drinks for everyone, paying for everyone at the whole table after dinner and I have seen then fall and be rejected.
You can buy “friendship” as long as you are paying and as long as you can entertain the fickle people around you but you can’t buy genuine love, no matter how rich you may be, if they believe this then they should accept the consequences.

javaz
Member

Very true, choicelady.

I think my husband and myself are not the norm and have never been.
We’ve never had the desire to keep up with the Jones’s.
We were like that before we met, so we’re lucky or as I like to believe that it was FATE that we met.
I’m a romantic.

Way back years ago, I lost my job and was living on my own.
I always strove for independence, and refused to move back home, even though my parents urged it.

I lived such a simple life of sleeping on a mattress on the floor, having one chair and a small black and white TV, and a clock radio for music.
I had old dishes and pots and pans that my mom gave me when I moved out at 18, and a car that was a broken down rust-bucket that I had to always carry a jug of water for when the radiator overflowed.

I was very lucky and won’t go into it all, but even when I found gainful employment, and started making the BIG bucks, I’ve never shopped, shopped, shopped.

My husband and I do not own a flat screen TV, but we do have a very nice stereo system since music is an important part of our lives.
Oh, and we use a converter box to get TV.

Heck, we’re still on dial up for the Internet, and do not have cable or satellite.
We did finally get a cellphone last year, but it’s one of them that you buy the monthly minutes and they do roll over.
I think we pay 20 bucks for 3 months.

The furniture in our house is old and most of it belonged to my parents as do my dishes and flatware and pots and pans.

When we visited with my in-laws at Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law is quite wealthy since she married a man who is a developer, as was his father, her and their sons were shocked that we didn’t have cable TV and laughed at us, in a good way, when we were so impressed with their cell phones.
I mean, they can flip a thing and get a tiny keyboard on their phones and instantly log into the Internet.
We were mightily impressed.

Hopeington
Member
Hopeington

One of the reasons I can forget I don’t have a lot of money, is that I am wealthy in the things that really matter to me,
the love of my friends and family.

Kalima
Admin

That is really all we need and I’m lucky too. Good health would be nice too but I don’t want to seem greedy.

escribacat
Member

What a beautiful post, choicelady.

kesmarn
Admin

I second that. Wonderfully written and absolutely true.

AlphaBitch
Member
AlphaBitch

I was lucky enough this week to go visit my “adopted” Afghan son at work, whose family just bought a little store/gas station of their own (they have lived here for 3 years -came as refugees). Since buying the store about 2 months ago, they have transformed it from a filthy dirty, scary place to a nice little store.

I got to meet – at last – the family’s father. I had expected to be very formal, strictly adhering to THEIR cultural norms. Instead, I was greeted with smiles, handshakes, hugs and LOTS of laughter.

What my friend and I left with – and what we just finished discussing a few minutes ago -was how WONDERFUL it was in this day and age to get a dose of real, old fashioned “American” enthusiasm and “American” dream! These people work seven days a week, in 10 hour shifts. No days off, no vacations. But they are living their dream and over the moon excited to share it with me. No griping, no whining, no complaining. Sigh. It’s a Wonderful Life for the Hamidis, and God bless them, everyone. It was truly a life lesson, and one I wanted to share with you. Maybe it can give us all a little more hope.

kesmarn
Admin

What an encouraging story, AlphaBitch! My son teaches high school math at a local Islamic Academy and does a lot of private tutoring on the side. He is SO impressed with the way the Muslim community in America is just determined to overcome any and all obstacles: everything from mastering the language, to financial issues, to acceptance by the larger community, to getting an education…you name it. The work ethic is unbelievable. One of his high school kids just got a perfect 800 on the math section of the SATs. These kids will stay after school, study extra hours on weekends–whatever it takes–to succeed. (Of course the parents are right behind ’em, pushing all the way! But in a pretty constructive manner.) My son has been welcomed into homes, had dinner with families and is generally regarded, now, as a “brother.” It’s been a really positive experience all the way around. Do these people “get” the American Dream better than we do?

escribacat
Member

Wonderful story, Alpha. You are so right. We are spoiled and it’s often the newcomers to our country that appreciate the opportunities here.

choicelady
Member

Oh indeed! I have a great deal of interaction with Muslims from quite conservative to very progressive, and I adore them! You are SO right – they embody all the “American” virtues! They are who we once were – hard working, close-knit families and community, all the things we SAY we believe but leave on the doorstep once we finally do make it. My only problem with Muslims is my tendency to forget NOT to hug the men! (My problem, not theirs!) But I’m getting good at it. I’ve rarely met warmer or kinder people. Once I was a guest speaker at an interfaith women’s iftar (the evening meal breaking the daily fast of Ramadan) where total strangers offered to have me to their home that night! Wow. They were amazing, funny, warm, kind women. I’ve never met anyone, save one Shiite cleric, who was not outstandingly warm to me, and he was new to the country and just nervous around an American woman with no hijab. (His problem, not mine.) Indeed – they have renewed my faith in humanity! Wonderful people!

kesmarn
Admin

Yes, c’lady, that’s been my experience, too. Lovely, gracious people.

One of the Muslim doctors at our hospital explained to me that there are “modesty rules” for men as well as women. And one of them (he was struggling with this, as he was making a real effort to “assimilate”) was that it was considered immodest for a man to look directly into the eyes of a woman who was not his wife. Needless to say, communicating with a nursing staff that’s 90% female while not exactly looking at them was a toughie for him…and the staff! I appreciated the fact that he took time to explain this.

I understand that bright colors in clothing are discouraged for men as well. Wonder how those great looking Hamid Karzai rock star outfits fit in to that aspect the dress code!

choicelady
Member

I am struggling with Muslim customs too. I get In Focus, the periodical, and it has some fascinating ads. One was for NON silk ties that were “halal”. Well, I associate that entirely with food – like kosher is. So I wrote a friend, a US woman convert to Islam, and said, “how can ties be halal? We don’t EAT them?” She about died laughing since halal is yes, codes of conduct. Silk is reserved for women since men are not supposed to adorn themselves, but – women CAN. So I learned something – and gave my friend a good laugh.

kesmarn
Admin

Went to a Muslim sponsored unity dinner not long ago and in walked a woman in the most gorgeous head to toe silk outfit I have ever seen in my life. Beautiful pastel pinks and blue-greens with gold threads and spangles top to bottom. She paused for a moment at the top of the stairway, standing beside her husband, and every eye in the room was on her. I thought to myself: “Anyone who thinks you can’t be ‘covered up’ and still look drop-dead fabulous has never seen this woman!” It was enough to make me want to convert on the spot…just to get to wear clothes like that! 😮

Kalima
Admin

What happens in a marriage should remain private unless the parties choose to make it public knowledge that is. This whole Tiger thing has made me mad and then sad. The “vulture” press care more about how many women Tiger is alleged to have slept with than how many people have died this week due to lack of healthcare, how many children have died of starvation, the poverty in your own country and issues that face millions every day.

By pursuing this man’s private life, they forgot about his wife and two small children and the impact of what they wrote, true or not, will carry consequences, and have more than likely ruined the life of this family by not allowing them the privacy to work through it by themselves.

The women who target married men instead of finding their own are the ones I blame the most, they have always ranked on the lowest possible scale of tackiness in my opinion.

javaz
Member

I agree with almost everything you say, Kalima.
This isn’t the first time the MSM focus more on celebrity and their lives – Brittany Spears, Mel Gibson, Jon and Kate, the Octomom, etc.

It also makes me very angry that the news opens with headlines, and touch on the Afghanistan War, the health care reform debate, the economy and then Tiger Woods.
They go to commercial and then come back and briefly discuss one issue, such as the war and troop escalation, and then they bring in psychologists and lawyers and gossip columnists to discuss in depth Tiger Woods.

The only point I disagree with you, even though I do find women or men who purposely pursue married people vile creatures, is that ultimately no one is to blame but the cheating spouse.

Have you ever noticed in society that when a man strays, it’s always the other woman that’s blamed or the wife?

Yet if a woman strays, no one ever blames the other man and no one ever accuses the husband of not seeing to his wife’s needs, but rather disparages the woman?

It’s a double standard.

For instance, when Mark Sanford’s wife refused to stand by her man when he tearfully admitted to being in love with another woman, and apologizing to her, his constituents and finally his wife, that there were those who were angry that his wife deserted him in his time of need?

There were those who blamed his wife for not satisfying her man at home, so naturally he strayed.

I’m one of the women that praised Mrs. Sanford for skipping the humiliating televised confession and apology, and am cheering her for filing for divorce.

Yet do not doubt for a minute that there are those, the religious right wing and Limbaugh accusing Sanford’s wife of being a bitch and not a good wife, so no wonder the man cheated.

One more thing -there are people out there, including golfers, accusing Tiger’s wife of being a gold-digger.
They are saying she had to know what was going on, but turned a blind eye because of his money.

Tiger is the only person responsible for this situation, even though it is none of my business, but he took the vows and make the promises and he broke them.

Kalima
Admin

Yes the spouse is to blame javez but many men are weak when it comes to sexual attraction. We think about the consequences an affair would have on our families, they think that as long as it’s only once or a few times, it doesn’t count. I still blame the women and their total lack of compassion for the wives and often the children involved.

Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars.

TheRarestPatriot