photography by Bradford Chase

Can This Be True? It’s Not My Fault!

My musings, like my writing, seems to ramble. This little train of thought is no exception.

I’m staring at my computer and another 8 minutes passes before the keyboard started making noise again, fingers pushing keys. The words appearing on the page create a dialog different than the one mulling around in my head.

The voices are seldom loud and obnoxious, but their tendency to wander is common.

It’s a theme for most of my life.

Focus, distraction, focus, distraction. Wander. Can anyone relate?

Most of the time I’m capable of getting back on track, but there are times when the distance I meander from my original path is too far to successfully navigate a return course until I stop and regroup, or just give up.

Giving up is easy.

Pushing through these times of fog develops character and I know that from both experience and the significant number of times I’m told by those surrounding me. But pushing through the muck of the world is a difficult task. Current times evoke strong emotions. Regardless of political views, social views, or personal beliefs; we each struggle sorting through the gargantuan pile of rubble fumbling into our heads each day via the social media app of choice.

What’s your poison? Facebook? Such a great idea for sharing information, allowing vicarious illusions of friends and family in fun-filled ribbons of time. Unfortunately, it’s devolved into a gargoyle of hate and single-line jousting poking holes in the protective bubbles we attempt to hold around us.

Yet we can’t turn it off.

Well; we physically can push the button, but the mental addiction forces us to keep the screen lit so we don’t miss something exciting that might happen. It slowly dissolves common curtesy and the generosity residing in any humble spirit until we lose the ability to interact with anyone who might have a dissimilar viewpoint from our own.

It makes this world a sad place.

Should we place blame on a political figure or a world leader? Did they come into our home and hold our eyes open, forcing us to read what they believe? Or instead, did we delude our own integrity by letting the words and slant of our chosen source of information dilute the ability to think clearly and rationally on our own?

What we read; it’s not all true.


Storms are often used as a metaphor for life; So when it rains in life we have control of the choices we make.

The flood of information presented in real time has potential to overwhelm even the sharp-witted soul. With enough rain, the strongest dam still breaks.

But our response to life is always ours to make, and no other human is capable of directing the emotions or reactions we choose. It’s physically impossible. I know we like to say, “he or she made me mad,” but the truth is you got mad because you let yourself get mad, and no one else is to blame. Emotional response is all yours to own. You have total control of your reaction to events, no one outside of you can physically manipulate your feelings.

Sorry if that hurts to hear, but there is no rational argument to the contrary. We are individual beings and are totally responsible for any and all actions we take or words we speak and the consequences of those actions or words. Period.

As our troubled environment grow around us and metaphorical flood waters rise, we decide by default what happens next.

Do we plan ahead and learn to swim? Or maybe we put on a life jacket to help us float; perhaps we can move to higher ground and stay dry, or we chose to be stubborn to a fault, stand our ground and drown as the water level rises.

Our choice.

I think the best idea is planning ahead. Learn to interpret and understand our emotional response to situations and plan how we deal with information coming our way that is contrary to our own beliefs. Learn to respond rather than react. Immediate, emotional reactions to oppositional information is rarely positive or productive. Rational and thoughtful responses, however, tends to diffuse and help persuade when handled calmly.

Putting on a metaphorical life jacket can help; Surround ourselves with people who create positive energy, understand our personality, and care enough to assist us in keeping our head above water when we struggle.

Another options is moving to theoretical higher ground. Getting education with deep, focused research into topics we are passionate about. Learn the facts. Know the actual truth, not the media spin or political slant derived from social media and bias news outlets. Do the footwork ourselves and build a solid foundation to support our belief system. This takes real effort and sadly, most of us are just too lazy or close-minded to really make it happen successfully.

Or we just give up.

We toss away any lifejackets, we refuse to open our eyes or our minds, and we drown in the world of hate while feeling sorry for ourselves as the water rises around us. We blame everyone else for our troubles and sink deeper into the misery provided freely to all who will suck it in.

This path of least resistance is the easiest to travel, but clearly not the best way to go. Still, the choice is all ours.

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