Lessons on Perspective

News flash: terrorists can enter the United States as refugees, immigrants, and tourists. But here’s the shocker: United States citizens can wake up one day and become terrorists too. And they have.

I’m talking, white as a piece of paper, devout Christian, 5th generation Americans.

So what are we to do? Close our borders, unless we’re waging war on other countries? Allow suspicion of our fellow country men to grow until we encounter more than 1 or 2 shootings a day? (This year, we have had more mass shootings than amount of days we’ve gone through on the calendar. Does that not worry you?)

Americans aren’t saints simply because they’re Americans. Muslims aren’t terrorists simply because they’re Muslim. Middle Easterners aren’t Muslim simply because they’re Middle Easterners. Refugees are none of this, simply because they are refugees. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge based off stereotypes. Don’t judge at all. It seems I’m always spouting common sense lessons we learn when we’re toddlers…you’d think they would stick.

News flash: it is not possible to protect your country from terrorists. They’ll do as they please. 

After 9/11, we smacked the Middle East with horrible casualties for over a decade trying to eradicate the terrorists in charge. In the end we didn’t eradicate Al Queda. They live on to wreak havoc another day. All we did was send millions of troops to ransack villages and bomb Iraq to pieces. Now we have millions of dead men, leaving their families to try to survive without them, millions of veterans we can’t seem to take care of after they sacrificed so much, and countless broken families on the other side. Broken families who mirror us in pain and sorrow, if not more. But we’ve forgotten them. We hate them. We hate them because of where they live. Did you ever stop to think they might hate us for the same reason? They have even more reason to hate us. We tore their lives apart.

Yeah, we got Saddam Hussein. Yay. I’ll admit, the world is a better place without him. But that doesn’t put a stop to the terror, obviously. He’s a player in a larger game than any of us can comprehend. All he did was hold a place that will be taken over and over again, no matter how many secret assassin missions our government sends out.

That anger you feel over 9/11 and the Boston Bombing and Paris and every other tragic act of terrorism? That horrible, tear filled, scream inducing, object throwing, burning rage that builds every time you remember the innocent deaths? That occurs daily in the hearts of citizens across the ocean. All it takes is one man to say “enough” and you have another to take Hussein’s place.

Revenge is empty. Suicide bombers die with their detonations, yet we scream for more blood. More heads on sticks to dance around. We all do, not just Americans. We’ve all lost too many in our efforts to avenge. It’s a never ending circle of death and destruction, and I simply do not understand the point.

Those posters say “Fighting for Freedom”…but honestly, I think you’re about 240 years late. They can bomb us all they want, but they can’t take over our country like they do elsewhere. Our freedom remains. Well….to an extent. That’s politics for another post. Point is; we fought for our freedom. We don’t need to defend it. As long as we are Americans to the truest sense of the word (not the crappy Americans we are today), Freedom will never leave. We’re not defending the people who died…that would be revenge. If we are attacked, as we have been, we should follow France and our previous actions; a swift attack to send a message of strength. A calculated strike to hit the core of the tree of evil. Japan destroyed Pearl Harbor. We dropped 2 bombs on them in a swift, clean, counter attack. They stopped. (let it be known that those bombs had after effects that will run on for many generations. let’s not do that again. But message received!) France ordered a counter strike on ISIS capital to show they will not be beat. Any other tragic events afterwards? no. Did they start a war to “defend their country”? no. Did they continue to welcome refugees afterwards? absolutely. Is America still having trouble grasping the notion of kindness? In the most shameful display of cowardice and everything-phobia.

I’ve already pleaded for us to see the difference between needy and malevolent. We cry out for war, for more strict immigration/refugee laws, for the ability to wear guns every day….all in an effort to protect ourselves…but what we don’t see is that none of these things protect us. We already have some of the most strict laws to filter incoming citizens. (look it up, you’d be surprised.) Our wars only breed more hate filled terrorists and kill our beloved soldiers. Citizens with guns haven’t stopped the 353 mass shootings this year, or the countless murders popping up on social media daily. I’ve actually only head of a handful of situations where armed vigilante efforts derailed a disaster. Now it’s time to plead for a change in perspective.

We all have our families. Most cherish their families.

We all have our homes. We’ve been nurturing said homes for years. We stock our homes with memories and precious keepsakes.

We all try to live our religious/non-religious lives. Each religion is important and valuable to the World Culture. None can and should be discredited, because in the end we’re all talking to an invisible man in the sky somehow, whether it’s through a cross, a green statue, or a tree. Some have more than one invisible man, some broaden him to the Universe, some just see it as fate. We all have our legitimate beliefs.

We’ve all suffered loss, through war, age, tragedy, and sickness.

We’re all humans.

The end of suffering is the beginning of perspective, tolerance, and generosity.



This Is One Of Those “Don’t Even Get Me Started!” Moments

30 Topic Challenge: Day 2- Something I feel strongly about.

I want to tell you I spent days mulling this one over, but it took a matter of minutes for my brain to flip through all of the things I feel strongly about. It was a matter of what is censored, what doesn’t have enough content, and what I feel like writing. So, I’ve come up with something really good. Let’s start with a quote.

“No fast food worker is worth $15. Not even management.”

Dear person,

your face isn’t worth $15. I hope your servers have the instinct to spit in your food. That comment deserves so much bad karma.

So, why is this important to me? Because, even though I don’t think the minimum wage should be that high (maybe $10), I still believe a human life is worth so much more. And all people here to do any service for you should be treated with respect.  Had he said “no fast food JOB is worth $15” I might have let it slide. And maybe that’s what he meant. But he didn’t. He made it sound like fast food workers are the scum under his precious, gold shoes. So this is a post about service for all the faces of ignorance out there.

1. Fast food isn’t a job for slackers. We might all think it is, and maybe it’s where a lot of slackers turn, but it’s not a job FOR slackers. One of my favorite quotes from a favorite movie, Stardust: “There are shop boys, and, there are boys who just happen to work in shops for the time being.” Do the math and $7.25 makes a little less than $14 grand. And that’s working 9-5, every weekday without holidays. We all know it doesn’t work that way. Now you big, weathered adults tell me if a single person can live off that, let alone a family. They’re just people like everyone else trying to make their way! They probably hate their job too, or maybe they’re really interesting and they actually enjoy working there. Who are you to judge? They’re happy. They’re trying. It IS a career, by definition.

2. There’s been so much debate at my university about tipping waiters. Now this is extremely infuriating to me, because I’m close to a few servers and former servers. Every time they get stiffed, it’s not only a punch in their face but a punch in mine too. It’s extremely distressing to go on the floor every shift and pour out all you have, just to get 5% sometimes. If that. Some people like me and others I know try to help out with that and give a little more than 20% so our hardworking servers can have a good day. Again, they’re just trying to get by. So the debate. Question 1: “why should I tip well all the time? I’ll tip 18% if they’re above and beyond, but if they don’t do well they don’t get a tip”. Always remember; servers have to give a certain percentage of their tip to the hosts, busers, and bartenders. Don’t make them pay you to eat. That’s not how it works, guys. 15-20%, all the time. I don’t care if they were the worst server you’ve ever had, don’t go below 15%. Question 2: “I don’t have money for a tip after I pay for my meal.” I hate this excuse. You shouldn’t be eating at a restaurant if you can’t afford a proper tip. Especially when you sit there and eat like a pig. Yeah, I’m talking to you, lady who ordered 4 bowls of rice. Servers depend on tips for their income. If you can’t afford said tip, go some place where they don’t need it. Like McDonalds. I hear they get paid a whopping $7.25, a whole $5 more than servers!

3. Nobody, not janitors, not cashiers, not burger flippers, not servers, not sales people, not teachers, are beneath you. Ever. End of story. They are there by choice, to provide service to you whether they need the money or like the job. They are not your slaves. Courtesy will get you ever where, I promise. To this day I’m extremely disturbed by stories I’ve heard of rude behavior such as snapping to get their attention and leaving large messes for them to take care of, knowing they will have to because “it’s their job”.

All in all…treat your neighbor with respect. That’s what I feel strongly about. Nobody is higher than the other in the totem pole.

Check back next week for the next topic: a book I love! It’ll be a short one, so maybe I’ll fit in three next week. Who knows?