Category Archives: Happiness

A Watershed Issue That Won’t Go Away

The issue of abortion or as some refer to it, women reproductive rights, has been a topic of intense debate for at least 50 years.

The legal aspects & from a political position, I thought were settled in the Supreme Court decision • Roe vs Wade in 1973. From that point going forward, like it or not, abortion was legal in the USA.

That didn’t make it any less important or controversial. Arguments went back and forth, and in some extreme situations, life threatening activities were carried out by some extremists. It’s difficult to be taken serious if you supposedly support a pro-life position and then participate or support violence.

That’s been less of a reality as a means to advance a cause. New battles have emerged. Each time there’s an action, there’s a reaction.

Increased activity has recently occurred when some state legislatures decided that if an abortion was requested, and the woman having the procedure births a live baby, the physician is legally permitted, and in some states required, to complete the abortion.

The reaction to this pronouncement, motivated some states toward legislation which makes it a crime to destroy a living, breathing child. It’s referred to as, “the heart beat bill”, and it’s purpose is to protect that baby after its born, just as any other human baby. There are as of this writing, four states working to ban abortion, unless the life of the mother is threatened.

This spawned a series of vitriolic public announcements, which often have little impact.

There was one though, which received a huge panorama of comments. This AP story refers to a tweet that caught attention from a lot of people.
Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike, ignites social media
I agree with her idea, but not probably for the same reasons.
Overnight without warning, the pro-choice advocates assume the position that pro-life supported for decades. Be responsible for your reproductive capacity. Exercise your rights as a human with intelligence and morals. Don’t sleep with every Tom • Harry & Dick, who comes along. If you do, at least act responsibly and use an effective birth control method, so you don’t bring forth an unwanted or unloved child. We have plenty of those to go around.

She at least stated the obvious, women are more than sex objects. Women should indeed empower themselves and have the final right to choose for themselves. There’s more to abortion legal rights than merely a final contraception. There are instances of rape and incest, which need to be handled with concern for the well being of a woman’s physical and emotional health. Unwanted pregnancy is a public concern, and needs to be addressed with dignity and respect, not necessarily the heavy handed iron fist of new restrictive law.

Governor Kay Ivey signs most restrictive abortion ban in the nation into law. NBC15 News – Alabama – May 15th 2019.

This is the other swing of the societal pendulum. It’s another step in a long line of overt actions without working with the public, most specifically women. As a father, and grandfather, I of course want to see children, and unborn human life protected, but there are many points of view that need a better understanding. As a man, I’ve done what I needed to be responsible. I think it’s the right and duty of women to weigh in on this topic.

What do you think?

 

Why Are We Slipping Behind?

The Coming Conflict

War isn’t inevitable, conflict is. What do I mean?

I recall a friend telling me, if two people think alike, there’s no need for one of them. This sounds humorous or perhaps cavalier, but at it’s core we can identify a universal truth. Individuals have their own opinions on almost anything, and depending on the persons involved, will argue their point of view until one or both find resolution or at least a willingness to co-exist.

The fundamental issue at hand, is how do we communicate with each other and by what method(s) do we resolve our differences?

Abraham_Lincoln_emancipationHere’s an overview; person 1 thinks that all purchased chicken eggs should be brown. White eggs are deemed inferior by person 1. Person 2 thinks that any egg is a good egg, and therefore will purchase white shelled eggs sometimes, instead of brown ones. Of course this seems a silly example to some, but I’m using it to explain my point, rather than take a current issue, already in play which would tend to steer people toward discussing an issue, rather than the point I’m making.

If person 1 lives with person 2, a potential conflict exists. Several factors come into play, but we can see there are things that can be done to resolve their conflict. Conflicts arise but need not escalate if the individuals involved can come to an agreement. If this were two people living apart, then maybe they would talk about brown eggs vs. white eggs, and no matter the outcome, it’s likely to be settled in a congenial way. After all, why fight over eggs, right? Well, I’ve seen couples fight over lesser things, and they can almost come to blows over such things as, tooth paste caps not being placed back on the tube, the direction of toilet paper unrolling, kitchen cleanup, personal choices in shoes, clothes, hair styles, etc.

Whenever we look at humans, and attempt to describe the cause of their problems, we can spend a lot of time blaming things external to the cause, or focusing on debating the topics of the conflict. What’s really missing is the knowledge on how to resolve conflicts. We can blame the schools, religion, politicians, our spouse, or our peers. Although there’s plenty of blame for any problem to encompass several groups, there’s really one huge elephant in the room.

st_patricks_day_revelersOur society has moved from an agrarian based economy to an industrial, and on to a service based economy. This fundamental change removes people from their individual direct survival (farming), to living near a common populous work center, and having to learn to live and work with people outside of immediate family. This seems like a recipe to help people learn how to resolve their differences and avoid escalation of conflict. In reality, we have become less capable, more emotional, and more willing to escalate, after our differences are made known.

We are beginning to see healthy family relationships are core to problem resolution. Studies show a more likelihood for success of a person, based on two parents actively working to care for and raise their children together. A child learns many things from their care givers. If the biological parents of a child are unable to resolve their personal issues, where does the foundation start for learning conflict resolution? In fact, many people are choosing to not become married, or stay with the other person with whom they made a baby. The child may learn some things from a single loving, well meaning parent, but they don’t learn first hand, how two people resolve their differences.

The child grows into an adult, at least physically, but what do they know about handling emotions? As much as people write about how men and women are equal, they often overlook their fundamental differences. I see many women asserting their right to be who they are and choose what they want for themselves, but what does that suggest for interpersonal relations? Can they set aside their desire to make something of themselves in the world? Can a man choose to be responsible and caring, perhaps even willing to stay at home and raise the children if the mother is the more productive income earner?

Men and women are different but there’s a strong desire for women to be more like men. Men on the other hand, are labeled toxic if their inclinations are ‘traditional’. We can debate what those inclinations are but in the past, those differences weren’t identified as shameful or toxic, and a woman who wanted children, learned what made their world work so they could have a family and perpetuate another generation. She was often the ‘taming’ force for good in a relationship, and the man most often the less emotional.

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Once again, we can zero in on what a man or woman’s roles should be, but that misses the nature of how do we train future generations to be responsible for themselves, and not blame others? … And that as I see it, is our biggest failure. We’ve fallen into a trap of irresponsibility for our behavior. We seek to blame others or at least shift our part of the deal to some agency outside of the home. It’s been said, “it takes a village to raise a child”, but if that village doesn’t do any better than the originating family, we’re not going to improve.

The child grows into a man or a woman. They find their work day world less than all of what they hope. They haven’t an organization that builds them up as a group and helps them find purpose, so they gravitate to what they individually think gives them a purpose. Sometimes though, we need our batteries recharged. We might turn to ‘social media’ and there we find… more conflict. Everything we haven’t learned about dealing with differences of opinion, on ways to find common ground, or even the desire to find common ground, are often absent. Instead we call each other names, bait one another with questions designed to make us look clever and the other person, lesser.

We have another clever outlet for our discord, the news media. They’ve learned to earn market share and increase their revenue by constantly stirring up things that will lock us in to their point of view. Instead of truly being informative they foment discord for money, and the results are obvious. We’re even in disagreement as to where we get our news, and the relative trust we can place on the source.

I could write much more on this topic, but my main thoughts are, it’s not the other person’s fault, its our own, and the reasons for our failure, I believe start within the home. An incomplete family unit fails to provide all that’s needed to go forward in this complicated world. When two people declare they love each other and want to make a baby, what are they really saying? Til death do us part, or quit after the 50th time I told him or her to flush the toilet. How we engage each other, what we choose to say in discussing our preferences or point of view, go back to earliest formative years. If we didn’t gain some healthy conflict resolution by age 12, what happens to our abilities when we no longer have any cushion, coaches, mentors, or methods to deescalate? Instead, we’re left with people demanding conformance, and fanning the flames of those differences to the point of in some cases, coming to blows.

Compromise means different things to different people. Finding ways to get along creates a healthier atmosphere and avoiding the eventual, inevitable conflict. If we fail to work though our differences in the home, how does that impact our world?

USA_armed_forces

We might call on these organizations less often if we learn how to deescalate and get along.

Do We Really Care About Life?

Every year there are 125,000 abortions per day, world-wide.

In the USA, nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. There are over 3,000 abortions per day. Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies in the USA (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.

We have taken the one “God-like power” which humans have, and weaponized it. We think nothing of it. “It’s a medical procedure.”

We read news stories on the horrible tragedy of some crazy person that kills dozens of people with a gun. Horrified, as we should be, we take the creative process of human life and turn it into refuse.

baby_peering_around_blanket

baby peering from blanket

We read stories about how “global warming”, or “climate change”, is going to seriously impact future life. Yet, everyday we make choices, fully within our control, that destroy human life and ruin the opportunity to have someone born who can make significant contributions to our planet.

It’s as if the idea of destroying life is just another choice to be made. Should we have two sugars in our coffee, or not? Do we read this book, or watch this program on TV, today?

Well, there’s a disconnect in compassion when we value the life of animals or sea turtles, have them protected, but not human life. Don’t misunderstand me, animals, turtles, etc. need our protection, so too does human life.

woman carrying baby at beach during sunset

woman with baby on beach at sunset

We know how human life is created, and we know how to destroy it. We know that a human fetus will become a human, not a flower, or a gerbil, there’s no ambiguity, until we attempt to alter the outcome based on our beliefs. I believe there’s a connection between our collective decisions and consequences.

Our callous and careless choices lead us down a broad path of compounding bad decisions. We play our mental games, and use clever speech in an attempt to disguise or subvert truth from fiction. Simply put, if you don’t want a child – don’t have sex or choose an effective form of contraception.

We say to ourselves, we have the freedom to make such decisions without any ramifications. Choosing to not have children is a good choice for some people, however, choosing to have sexual intercourse as if it’s a recreational activity or right of passage, has serious consequences. Look around, do you see the whirlwinds drawing closer? You might say, there’s no connection to the increase in societal disparity between the haves, and have-nots. The “greed is good” line from a movie permeates the selfish way many of us fritter away our lives.

Do you believe we’re immune, that our culture is so important that it can’t disappear? Look at history. The seeds of our own demise have been planted and our corruption of right from wrong make us targets of the next Darwinian phase.

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There’s a non-violent way to express yourself and get your point across, regardless of what you’re saying or what your point is. In a free society, people have a right to believe whatever they want to believe. That’s their business and they can speak their mind. But nobody, even in a free society, has the right to take another person’s life. Ever. That’s something that we really need to move beyond.”
~ Chester Bennington
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earth_from_space

Saving the planet begins with how we treat each new human life