Today's mantra is just thanks.
I often sing the first world blues and the burdens of being a PMMCMWM - poor married middle class middle-age white man. Oh, the computer is not fast enough. The beer wasn't that good. These blueberries are tart. Work! Can't live with it....but you need the money.
So today I just give thanks for having such a cushy life that I can sing of such trivial burdens. My burdens can be reduced to a small handful. All of them are within my control to eliminate, should I have a different sort of mind.
1. Work. I could quit or get with the program, striving to make more money, increase profits and live the corporate dream.
2. Animal abuse. If I could just shrug my shoulders and mollify myself with soothing words like, they're just animals, I wouldn't be bothered at all.
3. Pets. My cats and their costs and health issues causes stress and anxiety. I should quit taking in pets. Then I wouldn't have them to concern me. Or, once they have health issues, I could dump them or have them euthanized. That would ease my burdens.
4. Writing. Quitting writing would ease so many frustrations. Give up on the dream or exchange it for the corporate dream and life would be a dream.
5. Human rights. I mean, really, why should I care what happens to blacks, Arabs, women, and the poor, why should I care about marriage equality and GLBT rights and equality or what's going on in foreign lands? I'm not any of those things. I'm not a Jew or a Muslim. I'm a married heterosexual white boy. By pulling a Cheney, I can narrow my circle of concern to just my family. Doing so, I can also eliminate worries and concerns about the homeless, starving and poor, along with freedom and democracy.
6. Television and entertainment - climate change and global warming - gerrymandering - inept government - wealth inequality - torture, gun rights and gun violence - drones. None of them directly, tangibly affect me. I'm a white man. Those in power tend to be white men. They'll take care of me if I promise them my vote. Sure, food, energy and transportation costs are increasing my food and consumer prices but I have still have the wherewithal to buy whatever I desire. I don't live on the coast so who cares if the sea level is rising? I don't ski or visit the poles so I can easily ignore dwindling ice caps and glaciers. Storms dumping snow in the Midwest, Rockies, Central states and Northeast - who cares? I don't live there. They have a problem, those people should move. Problem solved.
7. My wife's health. Well, quite casually, I should pull a Gingrich and just be cruel and dump her. Give her a divorce settlement and move on. Then her health problems would not be my health problems.
That sums it all up. I really don't have any problems. So I give thanks for not having those problems.
Meanwhile, quoting that spinach loving comic sailor, I am what I am. All the things I listed are matters that concern me. Take them away and you've reduced me to something else. In my mind, you've reduced me to nothing.
I don't know what difference that would make. I enjoy being me so I'll give thanks for that.
Now, back to 'all those other things....'
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com