Be Good, People or Be Good, People

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”

Mark 10:18

And here we thought that 2020 was going to be crazy just because it’s an election year.

Narrator: It will also be a crazy election year.

Already the situation in the Middle East has escalated. I’ll not analyze that here. But you should be paying attention.

Australia is burning with wildfires out of control. No blame game here, but keep them in your prayers.

And, Netflix removed the show that I was binge watching whilst I was in season 10 of 11.

Okay, the last one is really my first-world problem.

I don’t know if things in the world are worse than they’ve ever been, or if it’s just because we’re bombarded with it 24-7 from the airwaves and the Innerwebz.

I mean, think about ’round the clock coverage of the Flood (not a fairy tale Mr. Todd), the Plague, or the Holocaust (which our own media ignored for a good while). I’m sure that anyone in those situations thought that things had never been that bad.

But we’re fortunate enough to have our keyboards so that we can jump on Twitter and fix everything.

If I really have to put a sarcasm disclaimer after that, things are worse than I thought.

In the end, it’s our own behavior and relationships that we can control.

Don’t get me wrong. Stay informed. Stay active. Pay attention to what is going on.

But we’re not going to fix it on Twitter, or Facebook, or whatever app you’re currently using.

I am distressed when I see posts about people disowning friends and family members because of their political persuasion. Quite bluntly, I see most (if not all of that) from the “Orange Man Bad” crowd. The crowd that generally preaches about hate and diversity but who can’t handle differing opinions.

That’s a little more political than I intended to be with this post but, if you’re honest, you know I’m right (or correct if you can’t handle the word “right”).

Sadly, gone are the days of the loyal opposition when Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill would disagree politically, but be able to share a beer afterward.

My little post here isn’t going to fix that. I can only fix me.

Actually, theologically speaking, and in reference to the quote above, I can’t fix me. There is only one who can.

Not to preach, but we are by nature not good people.

Stll we can each strive to be better. We can turn to a higher power (I’ll even grant you the one of your choice) to ask for help in being better people. Help in being good people.

There’s a lot of talk about the need for kindness and love.

It’s more than posting a meme on Facebook.

If you post a cute picture about loving everyone and then spew your hatred, or post misleading political information…regardless of which side you represent, then the Orange Man and the Socialists aren’t the problem.

Things aren’t going to improve until we each, individually, work on being better people.

So, start by thinking before you post that meme, or re-tweet that tweet. And, if you stayed away from family gatherings because of politics, pick up the phone and apologize.

Then find a place to do some good.

Over the holidays, I had a couple of opportunities to do some good by portraying Santa. I won’t share details because I want to respect privacy. Let’s just say I realized that I need to do more of that.

Speaking of the holidays, today is Epiphany or Three Kings Day. You may now properly take down your Christmas decorations.

Will our collectively behaving better on social media or doing random good things fix this broken world?

Of course not.

But it might fix us.

That’s a good start.

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Here at the end of all things

“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”

As spoken by Frodo in J.R.R. Tolkien’s, The Return of the King

No, I’m not ending the blog. I’d say “Don’t Panic” but then I’d be mixing literary references.

As I write this, I realize that, for the first time in many years, I have not watched The Movies over the holiday break. I must find time to correct that in January.

And it may…may…be time to re-read the books.

We’re here at the end of the decade. While some would argue (largely for the sake of arguing) that the decade doesn’t end until 12/31/20…I’m going with it ending this week.

After all, I lived through the hysteria that was Y2K at the beginning of this century.

It’s the last Monday of the year and we’re going to be flooded with those posts reflecting on the last year, the last decade, etc.

This is, and isn’t, one of those posts.

I thought about a decade in review, and even thought of looking back over the past two decades. After all it was about twenty years ago that I really began my journey through the mazes of the innertubz.

I can’t pinpoint the actual date of the first blog, or the first website, but they were in the latter part of the last century. It sort of makes me want to look back and see how far I’ve come.

Since I’m still not thin or independently wealthy, there’s little point in that. However, there are a few things of note.

I can look back and see my journey through blogging politics and my time with the Old Dominion Blog Alliance and Bearing Drift. All that, of course, lead to my exit from political writing. Not because of either of those associations but because of a general disappointment in our “leaders.” Admittedly, there are times that I’m tempted to jump back into the fray. Truth be told, I spend a little too much time on Twitter. But, I long ago acknowledged that I’m not going to change the world from behind a keyboard.

More on that next week (year) when we look ahead, and not back.

I’ve yet to publish my first novel, in spite of my many successful Nanowrimo attempts. But I did write and publish my first play, Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy (Available on Amazon). I was fortunate enough to see it produced in 2018.

The last decade was also the time when I returned to traditional theater. What a ride it has been and continues to be. As the year closes I recall the times when I would close a show and think that it could be my last. Today, I sit here and write this and already have four firm commitments for 2020.

So, not a bad decade after all.

I am less in poundage than I was at the turn of the last decade, although still not where I’d like to be.

Which gets to what lies ahead.

For a while, I’ve done my annual More or Less post in which I don’t write resolutions, but I do list areas where I hope to improve. I’m not really doing that this year, but here are a few things I’m going to work on.

Health: While I need to continue to focus on weight loss, I’ll be concentrating more on healthy eating and movement. I’ll throw spiritual and emotional health in there as well. And no, I’m not going to elaborate on that right now.

Finances: Always a battle. But, until Publisher’s Clearing House knocks on our door with those roses and a big-@$$ check, we’ll fight on.

Writing: This one has suffered because of the theater/performance involvement. It needs work.

Theater: Already I have the four commitments, and I’m on the Board of Chamberlayne Actors Theatre. More opportunities will arise over the year. I just need to choose wisely.

There’s more, but this is beginning to sound like a list of resolutions.

The bottom line for me in 2020? Be better. Do better.

That’s all I can ask for. That’s really all any of us can do.

More on this next week (year), but 2020 is going to be a crazy year. It’s a presidential election year and all I’m going to say about that for now is, if you hate your opponents, or the other candidates, if you call them stupid, or evil, or whatever and you can’t see anything good in them on any level…then your opponents and the other candidates aren’t really the problem.

I have more to say, and I may eventually say it. But, one of the things I’m also sorting out for 2020 is how much time to spend here on this blog, or blogging in general. See “not independently wealthy” above.

For now, enjoy the rest of the holidays. Because CHRISTMAS IS NOT OVER.

Here’s wishing you the best for the new year, and the new decade.

Thanks for reading.

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