A rose is still a rose in spite of the gunsmoke

Once again life reminds us that our time is finite.  Once again we must take a few cleansing breaths and then move forward.  The art is in the grieving if we allow ourselves the luxury that is.  Knee-jerk emotional reactions never bode well.  Yet, billions of voices cry out every day “why,” but “why” is the wrong question.  Perhaps, as Albert Camus once related, “the foremost question of philosophy is why one should not commit suicide.”  And once those values are identified the next question should be “how?”  How do I move forward and continue this journey towards more happiness?

It takes some time to accept that basically, if allowed to, life sucks.  There are plenty of indications that it does.  There is death all around us, if not from some religious fanatic gone completely off the deep end of reason, then from the insane that dwell around us every day.  Our own government leveraged our future on pure speculation and has eroded away the foundation of the Constitutional freedoms we were once assured.  The resultant corruption guarantees us that we have the best legislatures in America that money can buy.  Public trust exists only in dictionaries.

It has gotten so bad with our leadership that we turned a cynical eye on each other while the media did its usual cheerleading for a fight.  A big one; a real can of whoop-ass because Americans are angry and they just want to smack the daylights out of somebody, and hey the next door neighbor looks like easy pickings, so let’s hate on him because I saw “that” political party’s sign on his front yard.  If nothing else we can crucify him on Facebook!

The only positive way out of this death spiral of negativity is to change the filters.  Take off the media colored glasses and the whole world will look different.  The key lies in where we look.  If we look inside ourselves, we find fear and frustration, joy and sadness, elation and anger; all the wonderful things that make us human.  And so we can be reminded that the infrequency of random acts of violence should be encouraging.  There isn’t a boogeyman hiding behind every other tree waiting to shoot us down or rape our children.  Are they out there?  Sure they are, but the odds of them being in your neighborhood are lower than being hit by lightning.

Matter of fact the Department of Justice revealed data that showed a significant decline in violent crimes over the last 20 years.  Our streets are actually as safe as they were in the 1950’s, back when school children safely walked themselves to school, or waited on a bus by themselves.  Yes America is as safe as then, but just look at the helicopter parents in that ridiculous line of vehicles leading to the school house door twice a day.  Reality is going to hit quite a few children head-on one day because they were over-protected by well-meaning caregivers.

Another angle might consider the volume of homo sapiens sharing tight spaces in cities all over the globe while demonstrating a death rate from totally senseless acts that is relatively low.  Until we figure in the Middle East and the like.  And therein lies the rub; therein lies the quandary.  The religiously insane have been with us since the beginning of time.  And as long as religions are around to brainwash and rob individuals of their free will there will be the extremists who believe non-believers get an automatic death sentence, which ups the odds for the rest of us that we could fall prey to their madness one day.  And all because of ideology and lack of agreement about who the Creator may or may not be, and who the Creator holds in favor.

All the more reason to stop and smell those roses, every chance you get.  The Creator that gave us free will knew we’d need them especially with the human knack for slinging manure at each other at every possible opportunity.  Let’s be fair to ourselves for once though and ask ourselves if our anger is towards our leadership that has failed us repeatedly, why are we the ones left standing bloodied and bruised and covered with crap while they jet off to their next fund-raiser smelling like, well, a rose?

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