Some say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Could be. But there is the other side – good intentions are usually what they’re meant to be: one person reaching out to connect with another, to help or heal as best they can. Not all good intentions are successful. We’re all human and fallible.
When I was asked to submit an essay to The Havok Journal a year ago, I was told HJ doesn’t publish fiction, that it’s a journal for the veteran community. I try to keep this in mind – all the time. I’m an old liberal and by some hiccup in life was invited to serve on my local draft board even after I told them I had burnt my draft card. Scott suggested I write about that; I did, the rest is history.
I am well aware that veterans, the brave women, and men who defend our country and Constitution, are stepping up where I didn’t. Many veterans later move on into law enforcement, another occupation I shy from. Both occupations are dangerous, poorly paid, and get little thanks from the very people being served and protected.
So, I sit in my man cave all week and ask myself what I can do to help – as if that’s possible. Sometimes I can be entertaining (I hope) but all the time I try to reach out, somehow say “I care” and if intentions count, send my support your way.
I’m 80, still trying to mature – good oak barrels or even home-brewed, heavily-hopped beer aging in carboys or bottles for 6+ months – would be nice. But I take what I have at the moment and try to give back with a happy thought or a suggestion that may move both me and the reader out of a tough spot, even the movement that results is only that proverbial “smidgen.” Those are my intentions.
Philosophically, if you wish to go there, I’m a bit of this and that: Martin Buber’s I and Thou or the Eastern “Namaste” are two of the ingredients that go into the stew making me. Both approaches to life acknowledge the inherent goodness and godliness of another person, someone who may not look like me, think like me or even like me. (I don’t shave, so I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror in the AM in case you wonder.)
I believe it’s curative, reaching out and attempting to connect with another. It’s important to let others know that they are not alone and that they have intrinsic worth. This has always been my intention, not sure if that’s always been evident. If not, the problem was me – sitting up in my man cave typing away in the early hours of the morning.
Enough. Be well. Reach out to others and commit random acts of kindness – all this helps.
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.