Ramblings and Revolutions

I think, therefore I'm dangerous.

Song of the Day

Indiana wants me…

Lord, I can’t go back there….

Germanwings Crash

I’ll be honest, I have trouble understanding the mentality that drives people to commit suicide. But I’ve always had compassion for those who do.

But when you take 149 innocent men, women and children with you, that’s a different matter all together. At that point, you are not someone who committed suicide. You are a mass murderer.

As of today, that’s what appears to be the case with Andreas Lubitz, the copilot of the Airbus A320 that crashed into the French Alps on Tuesday. Yes, it’s still very early in the investigation, so perhaps it’s not wise to reach such a conclusion just yet. If Lubitz wasn’t trying to crash the aircraft, or if he was medically incapacitated, the world owes him a massive apology.

But if the reports from the French prosecutor’s office turn out to be  true — that he locked the pilot out of the cockpit then turned off the autopilot, sending himself and 149 people to their deaths —  Lubitz  is nothing short of a monster.

Nothing can excuse the havoc wreaked on the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives affected by such a horrific act. There’s truly nothing we can say to bring them comfort. As is often the case in circumstances such as these, there simply are no words.

Worth Considering…

Ever thought about how great wristbands are for promoting your school or team?

Wristbands. They’re a good thing.

The Foot, the Nurse and the Sailboat

Let me say this right up front: I can’t stand “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Having said that, I’ve always been fascinated by one of the Christmas classic’s key themes — the idea that we never know what effect we have on the lives of others. Sometimes, the smallest thing can have a much bigger impact than we ever thought possible.

You wouldn’t think, for example, that a comment about a small sticker on an employee name badge could make a huge difference in someone’s life. But it did.

This was way back when. I was not long out of college, and working in a hospital in the D.C. suburbs. I’d just moved to the megalopolis after almost a year and a half in a small town much like the one I grew up in. Talk about culture shock — different planet shock was more like it.

Here’s the thing about growing up in small towns that nobody ever tells you. They’re a great place to be — if you fit in. If you conform to the accepted standard, you’re fine. If you’re outside that norm, heaven help you. There’s a saying, reportedly Japanese, that “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” That’s a good way to put it.

Here’s the thing about moving to an isolated, rural area as an adult. They’re a great place to be too — if you’re from there. If you’re not, you’re instantly viewed with suspicion. You have to conform to the town’s ways (see “nail,” above) to fit in. If not, see ya stranger. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. And after a challenging 16 months, the door nearly hit me on the way out.

That’s the baggage I carried to D.C., and to my new job. How quickly I found out things were done differently.

By happy accident, my job involved interacting with a lot of people throughout the hospital every day. I soon developed friendships with nurses, lab techs, food service workers, and others. And here’s the thing about Washington, D.C. — everybody’s from somewhere else. It’s a melting pot of the highest order.

One of my new friends was a nurse I’ll call J. She was quite the character — brash, outspoken, not shy about expressing her opinion in a lovely Jamaican accent. And she had an opinion on everything.

At the time, employees in this particular facility all wore photo I.D. badges. Given the technology at the time, the pictures looked almost as good as a driver’s license of the  same era. With the tacit approval of management, most folks chose to cover them up with small stickers.

I decided to do the same, and promptly covered my own picture with a sticker of a bare foot. I didn’t give it much thought, just that it looked better than the pic.

J. thought otherwise. She was incensed when she saw it. She absolutely insisted that I choose a different image. It was all about standing up for myself.

“Don’t let ANYONE walk over you,” she said.  She would not rest until I replaced the offending foot,

In short order, the foot was gone, replaced by a sailboat. And I thought “Wow, someone believes in me.” That was something I wasn’t used to hearing from a whole lot of people.

Unfortunately, J. and I lost touch a few years back. I doubt she would even remember the name badge incident. But I do.

And I haven’t let anyone walk over me since.

 

50 Years/48 Hours/9 Seconds

Fifty years — the time between the first Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965,  a/k/a “Bloody Sunday,” and the day the first African-American president of the United States addressed those gathered to commemorate the march,

Nine seconds — the length of a video showing fraternity members from the University of Oklahoma chanting a racist slogan in 2015.

Forty-eight hours — the time between the video surfacing on social media and the frat losing national accreditation and being thrown off campus by the president of the university.

No, it’s not a perfect world. We’ve got a long way to go regarding relations among the races in this country, as the recent report on Ferguson, Mo., police tactics showed.

But the swift, fierce reaction to the fraternity incident shows we are making progress.

The Grass Is Always Greener*

Ever think about where you came from? Your hometown?

Maybe you still live there. Maybe you’re thousands of miles away. No matter what, it just seems there’s no place quite like the place where you grew up.

Me, I’m sitting here in Florida. And my little ol’ hometown is about a thousand miles north.  A place where I missed quite a bit of school way back when because of winter weather. A place where I recall walking through snow across campus in my Nanook-of-the-North parka to my college classes.

They had a winter storm last night. I called my dad. He was out scraping snow off his work vehicle. A couple of inches of white stuff already blanketed the ground, on the way to an expected total of about 10 inches.

And as I sat in my home in Florida — warm, sunny Florida — a thought occurred to me.

Life is good.

 

 

(*Where It Doesn’t Snow)

Culture Shock

Sometimes I feel like a Downton Abbey soul in a Sharknado world.

Where We Stand On The Issues Of The Day

1.) #TeamLlama

2.) #TeamWhiteAndGold

Obviously.

Call Me Skeptical, But…

… Whenever someone tells me “I’m one of the most honest people you’ll ever freakin’ meet,”  I tend not to trust them…

Just a thought…

If you’re looking for a great way to promote a cause or raise funds for your school, club or band, custom wristbands are a great way to go.

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