We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For those of you who have known me for years, you know I usually post a reflection on the major Jewish holy days. My Christian friends here, along with my Jewish friends, appreciate those reflections. This year at Chanukah's eight days I've posted It's All About Attitude.
This year, at Chanukah, in my many years I do not recall seeing so many unhappy people, some for good reasons, but even then and for most unhappy due to lack of focus on the wonderful world, country, and people taken for granted, and losing sight of the strength within that comes from attitude. Hence my eight posts over eight days of eight lights for Chanukah of It's All About Attitude.
Chanukah is often referred to as the festival of lights. That is bowdlerized by many who don't pay attention to its narrative of fighting for freedom and turn it into a leftist narrative of whatever cause they are touting. I believe that our freedom comes from within, giving us the strength and smile to fight for a good and free life for ourselves and for others. That's why this year instead of my reflections about Chanukah I've posted eight times (for each light on the menorah) about It's All About Attitude. May you all have a great day, every day.
New International Version
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
My implied point in quoting this passage is that having a "good attitude" seems to me to be overly simplistic as a prescription for "happiness" or contentment. One's feelings are facts. Sane humans experience the whole gamut of emotions at different times and to varying degrees. The passage seems to acknowledge this. We cannot know what anyone else is going through or experiencing, or the cumulative effect of a lifetime of painful experiences. E.g., I am in some (somewhat ongoing) physical pain right now. Would I be happier, more content, if I were not? Definitely. Or, as someone has said, "Your common problems are not catastrophes. A child suffering 3rd-degree burns is a catastrophe." A good attitude will not reduce his suffering. Our job is to manage our emotions as best we can.
I am always reminded of Viktor Frankl's words and life experiences about attitude. At the very worst part of my life, 2014, a Veterans' Service Officer mailed me a copy of "Man's Search for Meaning" at his own expense. He explained that it got him through the aftermath of seeing his best friend die in a horrific tank explosion when serving in Afghanistan. It enabled me to bear my husband's catastrophic service related illness and ultimate death in 2016. If suffering has meaning, it is endurable. Read the book. Attitude is everything.
Dear Mr. Kessler:
You have been a steadying hand in the darkest of times for myself and my DH.
As most MF folks know that in 1999 after firing my DH from the university position he had held for 12 years. The nazis demanded that he stay on and "make them look good'. His only sin--his only crime was being a much loved faculty member, who built a highly regarded program that was recognized nation wide. When the retiring chancellor wanted to supplement his income he decided to try to put his wife in my husband's job.
I was the one that refused to let my DH stay on and so they not only have blacklisted him, but myself as well. He has only had one year of work since then. The fem-nazis of Seattle have stalked us, blacklisted us, broken into our home, etc. But, we survived in part because MF and Bruce Kessler were here. But mostly because, I believe in a loving God and the importance of attitude! We are so grateful for our dear daughter who has carried the financial burden all of these years. She works 60-70 hour weeks in her own business. Has done so since 2000, so that she can put a roof over our heads, and so much more. DH and I taught her to always be honest and look out for her clients--take care of her clients. She does that, I pray that these coming years will not destroy that beautiful woman.