Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Goodness of People June 8, 2013

I have experienced my share of human cruelty in my life. I have experienced things I would not wish on my worst enemy. I’ve watched others hurt my daughter over and over again. Yet, somehow, I still believe in the basic goodness of most people. I believe that most humans just want to find love and happiness. Sometimes we make mistakes and do stupid things in the pursuit of that happiness, but ultimately humans are good.

I believe in the goodness of people, despite what I have been through.

 

Your Last Day to Live May 18, 2013

I read a post on Pinterest that stated, ” Today, treat each person as though you know it is their last day to live”. It really made me think about how I interact with others. We don’t know, do we? We don’t know what the future holds, or how much time we have left in this life. Every interact, every choice we make, could be our last. I’m not pointing this out to depress anyone; rather to make you think about how to live.

How many careless interactions do we have each day? When you buy a meal at the drive-thru window, do you even make real eye contact? We so often live our routines on auto-pilot that we forget that we are dealing with a real human, not a machine. It doesn’t help that these cashiers have to read from a script like a robot: ” HelloWelcometoBlahBlahHowMayIServeYou?” You then shout your order at a speaker box and listen for the tinny response that confirms that they screwed up your request yet again. When you finally sort it out and drive around, you hand the young teen  your cash while playing with your radio or chatting on your cell phone. (Talking on a cell phone in public is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine….I will save that for another post). You grab your instant-gratification food and drink and drive off. This entire interaction usually takes place without any real eye contact or “human-ness”. (Human-ness is a word I created to represent the actual, real interactions we humans have when we are tuned in and really connecting).  How many of these type of interactions do you have in a day? a week? How many times are you so lost in your own thoughts that you only respond with auto-pilot answers? How would it be different if you knew that the young man working the drive-thru had only hours left to live? Would you take the time to look him in the eyes? Would you make an extra effort to speak to him with real responses instead of auto-pilot?

Living in the moment is really being present in each moment and in each interaction. We need to stop interacting on auto-pilot. I am making a real effort to do this, but I notice that I keep falling back into old habits. It is something that takes constant work and reflection. I so often get lost in my own thoughts that I forget to be in the moment.

I went through a drive-thru window on my way to work yesterday to pick  up a cup of coffee. The cashier sounded bored as she ask me the usual questions. I responded to the speaker with great enthusiasm. I got the same bored, “ThankYouYourOrderComesTo$2.36PleaseDriveAround.” I did not let this deter me. When I drove around to the window, I looked the young woman in the eyes and smiled as I handed her my cash. She seemed mildly surprised. When she turned back, I told her I liked her tattoo. She smiled A REAL SMILE as she thanked me. She then confided, “I wish my mama liked it.”  I told her to give her mom time, maybe it would grow on her. For that moment, we shared something. We made a connection of human-ness. Will she remember this in another week? Doubtful. But that interaction gave me a little lift. I felt more energized. I felt….happier. If I made this kind of connection with every person I spoke to that day, this equals a lot of energizing, happy moments. You do the math….happy moment + happy moment = happier me.

 

 

 

 

 

The Three Basic Wants August 5, 2012

What do we, as humans, want from life? Even though we all come from different backgrounds, have different life experiences, and live different realities, I believe we all want the same 3 basic things from life.

1.Acceptance. All of us, young, old, and everything in between, need to feel accepted by other humans. In an experiment conducted in 1958, researcher Solomon Asch concluded, ” The tendency to conformity in our society is so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black.” (You can read more on this experiment here.) We all want to belong…to something. We are social creatures who need interaction with other like-minded people.

2. Love. Why do you think there are so many songs written about love? Because it is a driving force of our interactions with one another. I’m not talking about sex (that is a horse of a different color). The feeling that another person has deep, meaningful and strong emotional ties to you can make all the wrongs in the world seem of no consequence. There are so many levels of love that  one human can feel: everything from love of a parent to love of a best friend.  What matters is that you have a deep, meaningful connection with another person.

3. To have purpose. What is life if you are just drifting through it without a reason? All humans need to feel like they have something to contribute to the good of the world. There is a reason we do what we do. Victor Frankl, who was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, said humans are, “characterised by an innate drive to find meaning and significance in their lives, and that failure to achieve meaning results in psychological distress.” (See more here). This desire of a purpose is also why so many people of retirement age find it so difficult to give up a career. Until they see a new purpose in life, they struggle to identify a reason to get up every day.

Feeling accepted, loved, and having a purpose can lead to a happy fulfilling life. If we work on obtaining these three things, I believe the other goodnessness  (yes, I made up that word because it fit!) of life: success, pleasure, respect, and yes, happiness, will follow as a result.

 

Rainey’s Ramblings July 8, 2012

More ramblings from the mind of Rainey…

*If we are so smart, how do animals know of impending storms or disasters before we do?
*Why do humans have internal organs that we don’t really need? Will future humans be born without these unneeded organs as humans evolve?
*Why are the males in the animal world the flashy ones? Women, where did WE go wrong? ( Don’t know about you, but I would give up make-up)
*If I had never tasted sugar and I tasted it now, would I dislike it?
*Do animals suffer from mental disorders? If so, how do the other animals treat them?
*Why do we assign power to some words ( curse words), then get upset when kids say them? They are just words….sounds…they mean whatever we say they mean.
*Why do we base everything we do on the almighty dollar: a worthless piece of paper! Wouldn’t it be easier to barter for what we need?
*Who ever looked at a clown and thought it would be a great idea to have at a CHILD’S party? Those guys are creepy as hell! (No offence, Le Clown)
*Why does society want to medicate every unique trait we have? Are we aiming for conformity, or a ‘superior race’ (is Hitler back?) of dullness?
*Why do some people who dislike children become teachers?
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Just some thoughts I’ve had today that I thought I would share.

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The Human Race June 6, 2012

en: A glass of water / de: Ein Glas Wasser / t...

en: A glass of water / de: Ein Glas Wasser / tet: Kupu bee ida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am often disappointed in the human race. I consider myself a fairly upbeat person who tends to see the glass as half full (unless I am in a depression, and then I have trouble seeing the glass and couldn’t give a damn if it is empty or full). When meeting new people, I reach out and try to make them feel comfortable. Empathy is one  of my strongest characteristics. When someone behaves in a bad way, I think they must have had a bad day. Inevitably, though, someone does something so wrong, so downright self-serving, that it makes  me ashamed to know that I belong to the same species.

That happened today at work. I witnessed a person with much clout look me (along with several others) in the eye and lie…not once…not twice…but three times. This same person had an agenda and did everything in her power to persuade us to go along with her idea,which was NOT in the best interest of the group.  She did everything she could to sway us. This disappointed me mainly because I knew this lady several years ago and she was a decent person whom I respected. She had a lesser level of authority then, but she did her job with fairness across the board. Now, with a greater amount of authority, she lost her values and morals.

What I witnessed next, however, restored my faith in mankind. This group of people listened, debated, and weighed the pros and cons of the situation. In the end, they did not allow her tactics to sway them and the group voted againest her proposal. When we put it all on the table, the resolution that was best for all won. Was it easy? No, we were given a no-win situation and had to choose the lesser of the evils. But I was proud to be part of the vocal group who stood up to her, debated with her, and stood for what we knew was right. I will be leaving this job in  a few short days, but I am happy to know that today I united with a decent group of people who fought for the right thing today…and won.

So don’t give up on the human race just yet, my friends. For every back-stabbing self-serving human, there are at least twenty hard-working decent people willing to fight the good fight. I am proud to be one of the twenty.