Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘bullying behavior

Never Imagined

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I never imagined that in my lifetime the United States would become a laughingstock of the world. It’s rather embarrassing to witness our once-powerful democracy devolve into such a mockery of itself. We are probably the last ones to finally see the hypocrisies being laid bare with the blatant disrespect for last November’s election. The rest of the world has seen through our holier-than-thou attitude for a long time.

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Try as I might to preserve the sanctity of my mental space, I failed miserably last night at preventing the invasion of the outrageous gobbledygook related to an hour-long phone call of bullying malfeasance that was recorded for all the world to hear. Sad. So sad.

I sure wish there were swift consequences for such blatant abuse of power.

Thank goodness I have Cyndie and our chickens to brighten things up for me. In a perfectly timed intervention that adjusted my attitude splendidly, Cyndie shared this tidbit:

She decided to offer our chickens the aging remains of an unfinished apple pie from Christmas. She set the foil pie pan in the coop on Sunday night when she closed the coop. Yesterday morning, when she opened things up for the day, Cyndie said there wasn’t a single trace of apple, crust, or the oatmeal crumble topping anywhere in sight. Just a perfectly clean pie pan.

I guess it’s safe to say our chickens like apple pie.

They do not automatically eat everything we set out for them. Some kitchen scraps get entirely ignored. We get a little extra entertainment value out of the times we appear to have offered something that catches their fancy.

That little story lightened my outlook nicely. Like a sunny winter day after an overnight fog.

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Trigger Words

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It’s so transparent, the malevolent words inserted as a preface to the targets of his greatest fear in any given moment. It’s a glaringly obvious tactic that is an essential weapon in every middle school bully’s arsenal.

“…radical Democrats!,” he emphasizes, striving to make them universally synonymous.

“…China virus,” he repeats in hope of deflecting blame as far away from his shoulders as possible.

He wants everyone to hear these trigger words, sympathizers, and nemeses alike.

He wants the descriptors to provoke. Who wouldn’t? I’d like to win the middle school war of words, too. Then you wouldn’t need to actually proceed to the playground fistfight that is the next result, if it came to that.

When I am tired, behind the wheel in the long commute at the end of a grueling day at work, and a soundbite plays on the radio before I can react to mute it, I am triggered to anger over the disingenuous conflations that sorrowfully smear the citizens of this democracy whose constitution he took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend.

“…anti-American protestors…” he rails while conspicuously and purposefully avoiding mention of the victims of the racially unbalanced excessive use of force by white police officers across the country that is sparking marches in the streets here and around the world by such wide cross-sections of populations as to be beyond grouping any more specific than “citizens.”

I know that those citizens are not being “anti-American.” I understand that he is tarnishing the masses to bolster his own weak attempts to garner favor with an outdated mindset that is in lock-step agreement with the false portraits he is ruthlessly painting.

Imagine, if we could only see what his other hand is doing to the pocketbooks of the 99% while he keeps all eyes and ears on his latest tweetstorm or disinformationbook post.

I urge all voting citizens of the United States of America to look beyond the partisan rhetoric, be smarter than any social media misdirections, and give your attention to the question of where the money is going. What is the national deficit? How will you afford health care and housing and transportation when an unmanaged pandemic is raging? How will our government address the maintenance needs of our aging infrastructure in the face of a changing climate?

Vote sensibly. Don’t fall for the trigger words our middle-schooler-in-chief is trying to sell.

There are blue skies out there if we can find a way to all reach them together.

That’s the place our chickens want to go, I can tell by the way they all look at it when they settle down on the roost at dusk.

Well, that is, except for the ones that are determined to perch upon the highest possible spot they can fit on for now…

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Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2020 at 6:00 am

A Glimmer

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I stumbled upon the television broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards show on Sunday night. Finally, I experienced a glimmer of hope that has been missing for me. My heart swelled when Meryl Streep publicly expressed some of the same sentiments I share about the prospect of our country having a President who displays boorish and bullying behavior.merylstreep

I know there are a lot of people who feel these same concerns, but I just haven’t been seeing the type of response Meryl provided: non-political, public, to a large live audience, and well thought out and articulated. A moment to point out the king has no clothes.

The tweeted response —in itself, a very un-Presidential behavior— was as juvenile as usual, saying Meryl is “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood…”

Really?

There are other voices expressing their views of the pending commander-in-chief, like this reference that I saw in Monday’s StarTribune Opinion page commentary:

“But there is no chance that Donald Trump can or will ever represent and nurture our best values, behavior, aspirations and ideals.

 That is the great contrast between Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

It’s an irony, for sure, that Obama — a man of discipline, dignity and intellect — will yield the office to Trump — a man of impulse, vulgarity and demagoguery.”

Dick Meyer Scripps Washington Bureau (TNS)

Reading an opinion piece in the paper doesn’t provide the same rallying hope as witnessing a public message delivered live to a wide audience.

I don’t expect any of this to alter the outcome of having the current President-elect assume the duties of leading the United States of America. His mysterious agenda will play out whether or not the universal public opinion of him suddenly becomes fully aware of who he really is.

What is his weird (scary) love for Russia and Putin all about, anyway?

Didn’t we discover who he really was when we got to hear him disparaging women? When we witnessed him bullying interviewers and other candidates? When we heard him boasting about any and every topic that he was the best, or loved (fill in the blank) more than anyone, whenever he was challenged?

Meryl explains things clearly:

It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct, to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.

Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

No wonder I have been suffering from a losing feeling lately. The bully is using his powerful position, and we all are paying for it. Disrespect invites disrespect. That’s a chain I would gladly break.

It’s a shame that the chain of disrespect will be starting all the way from the top now.

I hope I can find more occasions with public expressions of views like Meryl shared Sunday night. More than ever, we need to sow seeds of hope and love from the bottom up, to fracture any chains of bullying disrespect coming down from the highest position in this country.

Amen.

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Written by johnwhays

January 10, 2017 at 7:00 am