Just when you think it can’t get more nutso, it does. I learned that a carrier tried to deliver a box of rifles to a high school. My son asked if there was an adult there that had to sign for it. I was curious. Tried to find the article online. I found the site after site offering information as to how to ship rifles (and I assume it’s even easier for smaller guns). I didn’t search for tanks or howitzers, figuring that the search on rifles would already flag me for the FBI. I’m sure the NRA will find a way to justify this and make larger donations to the right people. It’s good for business even if it’s not healthy for kids. And perhaps there was a simple mistake? Incorrect shipping label?
But no one asks for my advice – but like others – I’ll volunteer some of it for free. After all, we’re a free country where everyone has the right to store nuclear secrets in their pool house – just saying.
Easy to see why people are getting flustered. Too many things seem out of control and there are more and more hurdles to jump every day. Problems pile up and TO-DO lists get longer. YIKES! What are we to do?
Reminds me of my earlier days at IBM. I was a newbie and was advised to make a list of the multiple tasks I had to do. One day my manager walked by my desk, and watched me stare at the list, making faces and scratching my head. Just like on those TV dramas she invited me to come into her office with my list. She sat me down and said we should look over my list and prioritize things: A, B, C, etc. “Probably the ones below C aren’t that important anyhow. So, OK, which of these is A, a high priority?” I answered, “They’re all A.” I think she waved me back to the bullpen and asked me to think things over.
I’ve thought about this over the years – plenty of water (and years) over the dam and now try to keep things in perspective. There’s an Irish prayer asking for the strength to change things that can be changed and the wisdom to know what cannot be changed. I’ve realized that it’s those things close at hand that are the most important and the problems close to home that are the high priority. While it would be nice to solve the challenge of climate change or even the storage of secret documents those are only distractions from the problems closer at hand.
I’ve laundry to put away, an attic to clean out, other things to toss, and plans to make with loved ones. And up there cycling in and out near the top of the list is the question of how I treat myself and the others around me – from my wife (partner), kids, and, yes, dog. If I’m down on myself, I need to do something positive, permit myself an “At-a-boy.” Maybe it’s just for getting out of bed, saying it’s nice to see the sun shining, or aren’t the clouds interesting. Or taking care of the dirty dishes or bringing out the garbage. Better yet, to say something nice to a loved one or friend.
It’s all too easy to be down and scream at others for all their faults. For a while, let them go, take a pass on your own, and take one small step doing something positive closer to home. Remember to smile and commit random acts of kindness. Maybe that’s all we can do and it is a good start.
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.