Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘hope

Rediscovery – Revisited

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First published about a year ago. I could use some reminding today about this seedling deep in my core.




Words on Images




Written by johnwhays

November 28, 2022 at 7:00 am


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Words on Images




Written by johnwhays

December 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

Witnessing Progress

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Sometimes, progress moves pretty slow in societies. Resistance to change is not easy to overcome. In the world of professional spectator sports in the US, we are seeing some rather impressive progress of late. Movement from entrenched mindsets that were blatantly white supremacist and discounted people of other races, toward decisions that show respect and inclusion.

Of particular note, the NFL team from Washington has dropped their “mascot” name; the Cleveland MLB club is changing their “mascot” name; and this week, Major League Baseball has announced they are reclassifying Negro Leagues as major league, bringing the statistics from the past into the MLB record books.

MLB has said it is “correcting a longtime oversight in the game’s history” by elevating the Negro Leagues on the centennial of its founding.

I understand how some can express criticism over the fact this should have happened a lot longer ago than just now, but I feel that now is better than never, so I’ll accept this progress and celebrate it.

May these changes be mere samplings of greater advances toward equitable social justice to come at increasingly rapid rates.

It feels so refreshing to experience a broadening hopefulness for the possibilities of greater love, truth, and justice in this country again.



Written by johnwhays

December 17, 2020 at 7:00 am

Multiple Pies

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The new oven plays a cute little tune when it reaches the temperature setting. I heard that song a lot yesterday, between the pies and gramma Betty buns Cyndie baked for customers and family members who are on her planned delivery route this morning.

Apple pies, pecan pies, and pumpkin pies (not shown) were options that customers of the White Pine Berry Farm could pre-order for Thanksgiving. Of course, Cyndie chose to make extra in order to have one of each for us to cut into for “testing purposes.”

Based on the results, testing probably wasn’t necessary. They were perfectly delicious.

She caught me in a happy mindset, so I was easy to please. Investors seemed pretty giddy yesterday after the Biden announcement of his cabinet picks, pushing the Dow past 30,000 for the first time ever. I heard some interviews with appointees and the President-Elect himself and witnessed level headed informative assessments of current realities that were completely free of conspiracy theories and hyperbolic rhetoric.

It was awe-inspiring for its complete lack of bombast.

Even as the pandemic spreads like wild around us, there is a growing measure of hope for a new normal that will be devoid of mockery and bullying from the highest offices of the new administration, where staff will no longer be required to parrot the company line or be shown the door.

It’s the honeymoon period. There’ll be time soon enough to call the next administration on their failures to live up to promises. For now, I am enjoying the breath of fresh air.

Have they promised a pie for everyone’s kitchen counter yet? They should.

I know someone who is pretty good at baking them.

(Oy. Think of how much test tasting that would involve…)



Written by johnwhays

November 25, 2020 at 7:00 am

Virus Mania

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It’s as if there is some sort of pandemic or something. The coronavirus is everywhere. That invisible little bug that half the people think is being way over-hyped while over a million others are dead from and hospitals are being stretched beyond capacity is not magically disappearing in the way some hoped.

Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

Radio on-the-street interviews capture a scary number of people who complain they are tired of the pandemic and frustrated with officials who are struggling to mandate protocols that can limit the spread. Not the proudest moment for the human race.

Staying home all the time is too hard. Really? How hard is it?

What if we had to practice avoiding others for a whole year? I don’t know. Maybe try imagining how hostages who are held for four times that long muster the ability to cope.

We have the promise of vaccines to look forward to, so the beginning of the resolution of the pandemic is within sight. It would be nice if people could rise to the occasion of not making things any worse than they already are while we work through the process of vaccine distribution on the way to achieving herd immunity.

Try pretending that it isn’t a hoax. Play along with us for a little while, for the good of the rest of the world population.

After it’s all over, maybe all the people who have lost jobs and businesses can be retrained to become firefighters or search and rescue EMTs to deal with the increasing wildfires and flooding hurricanes that global warming has continued to exacerbate while we have been distracted.

Just call me little miss sunshine this morning.

Forgive me. I’m just reacting sideways to the unending reports of GOP and White House lunacy stinking up the remnants of our democratic election here in the U.S.

I trust there is hope for a better day hiding out there somewhere. [Insert joke about expecting to find a pony in here someplace.]

I’ll keep digging. And staying home as much as possible.



Written by johnwhays

November 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

My Reaction

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Relief. Thinking about the rest of the world seeing we had chosen someone other than Donald Trump. Imagining the possibility of not being bombarded every single day with some new outrageous thing the President had said or done. A television analyst commented about the prospect of having headspace freed from the daily barrage.

That would be a relief.

There remains a fair amount of trepidation over the fact that 70 million people voted for four more years of what we just endured. Whatever portion of those voters were actual believers of the ruse pushed forth, they don’t just disappear. How many of them will be open to being deprogrammed by actual verifiable facts?

The celebrations that spontaneously erupted after multiple sources called the election for Biden are a natural reaction to everything that the world has endured since the GOP chose the course of their candidate for 2016. For everything that has happened since, is happening now, or will transpire in the days ahead, I believe we see evidence that “you reap what you sow.”

Our beliefs and actions have consequences.

Those who became emboldened to spout unsavory opinions and blatantly espouse racist ideologies should not be surprised to find a backlash against their actions.

In the aftermath of the style of governing of the last four years, all the supporters who now want to distance themselves from responsibility for what transpired are saddled by the fact of being guilty by association. All the members of the Republican party who remained silent while outrageous and unethical words or deeds were unleashed are culpable.

My philosophy is that we need to love them all, but my love for them does not allow for unsupported false accusations to which they may choose to cling.

May truth prevail.

May reality triumph over fantasy.

May wisdom overrule idiocy.

May we survive the interim period between the November election and the January inauguration during this global pandemic.

May things get no worse before they begin to finally get better.

No more mocking. No more bullying. No more hidden tax returns.

I am hoping for some ember of possibility the two political parties will work together to help the people of this country under the new President. Will it be possible to pass meaningful legislation? It will take cooperation.

I love cooperation. I’m hoping for unprecedented amounts of it in the near future and beyond.


Written by johnwhays

November 8, 2020 at 10:53 am

Figuring Out

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The human race has made it this far. Maybe things will change for the better if enough people overcome fear, selfish greed, and exclusionary dogma to embrace love for all others equally. Think about it.

In the meantime, rational thinking must tolerate the rampant distribution of disinformation and innumerable groups of gullible people who allow themselves to believe any narrative that aligns with their versions of reality.

Long ago I became disturbed by ever-increasing reports of atrocities enacted by individuals who had themselves been abused. It was very obvious that those who had been harmed were eventually becoming offenders. Generations of this pattern were creating an expanding pyramid of misery.

This led me to visualize inverting that pyramid of dysfunction by breaking the patterns in some who could raise healthier children. With each generation, there would be fewer abusers and from the top down, the cone of an inverted dysfunction pyramid would be getting smaller with time. A reverse-pyramid scheme.

Of course, the opposite of that is the wonderful perspective of a pyramid of healthy loving people expanding with every generation.

I sought to break the chain of depression that I had inherited from my family tree and provide the knowledge and support for my children to recognize depression in themselves and those they love.

With the innovations of a world-wide internet and social media applications, the less rational portions of the human population have found a method to consolidate their numbers in frightening ways. I’m finding myself stumped for ideas to invert the pyramid of fear-based philosophies.

How much of my loving them will influence a change of thought? Why doesn’t rational logic override conspiratorial fears? How will non-religious spirituality ever compete with entrenched dogma of so many rival sects?

Will our dog and our cat ever figure out how to peaceably get along?

From history, we know that civilizations collapse. There is no assurance that there will come a day when all people eventually come together into a healthy, compassionate, inclusive, and loving society. Maybe if robots are programmed to take over our governance. Although, I saw a curious report that an AI (artificial intelligence) controlled camera mistook a referee’s bald head for a soccer ball and followed it for the remainder of a match.

Based on the last four years of backlash to the US having elected a person of color to the highest office for the eight years previous, our democracy doesn’t appear to be the beacon of hope it was once purported to be. Capitalism doesn’t deserve very high marks either, given the insane disparity of wealth distribution and environmental destruction it has achieved.

If the US survives the outcome of our election on Tuesday, we will have a lot of work ahead of us to overcome animosities and nurture more love for others than ever before. Freedom may ring, but the world will be a much better place if it rings with due respect for all others.

Let’s expand love to more people in the world than any generation before us ever achieved.




Wandering Ponders

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There are times when putting on music that inspires my personal tastes, music which soars to the greatest depths of my vibrational energy and reaches the core of my being, brings on a rush like a drug.

I love that.

I have come to understand the belief that we make our own luck. Both good and bad. I also believe there are powers beyond our knowing that seek to cheer us on and want the best for us. I believe this more than I think there are powers that work against us.

There are enough circumstances, and our own shortsightedness, to balance that scale against our ultimate success.

I am dismayed over a sensation about the human race too often falling victim to the selfish greed and power worship of our nature. Despite the incredible number of people striving to do good for others, seeking true justice, full equality, better futures, a greater understanding of complex thought exercises that could lead to problem-solving advances, it too often appears as productive as pissing into the wind.

Even if one were to hold the key to fixing some current calamity, it would run smack dab into a wall of resistance and litigation to squash the solution in its infancy.

We have met the enemy. It is us.

By Ruth Bader Ginsberg achieving all that she did, we know what is possible. She didn’t do so invisibly. Obviously, she climbed to new heights on the shoulders of impressive women who came before her. It stands to reason to expect there are others currently striving to build on her legacy.

They are toiling this very minute. May they waste nary a second to launch together in pairs, in study groups, by the dozens, hundreds even, rising up to be heard, to grab positions of power, to lead in ways that would make The Notorious RBG vibrate with glee.

Something is tragically wrong when the police in a democracy get permission to barge into a home in the middle of the night without warning, triggering a defensive response that allows them to use deadly force with abandon and when citizens protest our objections, the perpetrators are held at fault only for the bullets that went astray of the innocent resident in her bed.

So many brilliant people have expressed the dysfunction of allowing corporations to call the shots. It is obvious that excessive salaries for top executives combined with insufficient pay for most everyone beneath them is an untenable situation.

Seems too obvious to deny or defend. As does doing harm to the environment. As does killing others for religious or ideological reasons.

It was said, “Never again.”

I wish.

I love when the good side triumphs. I can’t wait until we all can read about women who have achieved twice what RBG did.

I hope none of them delay for one day their rightful claims to places in history.



Written by johnwhays

September 26, 2020 at 9:15 am

Always Hope

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It is a time of speeches for democracy in the US this week and hearing the intelligent oration of our previous (44th) President last night was incredibly refreshing. After enduring years of the undoing of countless protections to our environment, the destruction of our country’s reputation across the globe, disrespecting our allies and coddling our adversaries, and repeatedly trashing our precious freedom of the press, the campaign for an alternative is finally stirring hope for a better future.

I sure hope our youngest eligible voters will show up like never before to exercise their right to have a say in who our lawmakers and policymakers and leaders will be for the next term, all the way down the ballot.

If our chickens could vote, I think the twelve young ones would choose to have the net removed so they could take over the whole coop.

The three adult hens might not be ready to accept the kids yet, though. Tuesday night, I think they thought the kids had locked them out of the house. When I arrived to close the chicken door for the night, to my surprise, the hens came running to meet me.

“What are you guys doing up still?!” I asked in amazement. “You’re supposed to be in bed already!”

Then I noticed their access door was already closed. Poor things couldn’t get in.

It was as if they were running toward me to tell me all about their dilemma.

When Cyndie got home later in the evening, I asked if she knew any reason why the door might have been closed. The realization flashed and she moaned in woe. She had closed it earlier in the day, in case any of the young ones hopped over a barrier while she was pulling out the poop board to clean it, and forgot to slide the door back open.

The young chicks have quickly gained full confidence for climbing to the big roosts and will make big leaps and flap wings to reach places we’d rather they didn’t, like the slanted surface above the nest boxes.

But their confidence and aggressiveness give me hope they will be up to every challenge that lies ahead while maturing into adulthood.

It feels good to experience a little boost in hope. For our chicks, yes, but more importantly, for our country.

It’s been a really long stretch of little to none in the hope department.

This serves to remind me to always hope, regardless of how gloomy the prospects might ever appear.



Written by johnwhays

August 20, 2020 at 6:00 am

Mixed Mind

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It’s a battle to maintain a positive, hopeful outlook amid a pandemic that our government has failed to effectively manage, which has our economy teetering on the brink of collapse. Meanwhile, Cyndie’s garden extravaganza can be described as nothing but a bountiful success and our new brood of rambunctious chicks inspire visions of a wonderful future.

My mood of the moment has been swinging wildly between hope and despair.

Federal secret police snatching protesters in Portland? The White House disrupting coronavirus reporting to the CDC? What is our government up to and why does there seem to be no way to enact checks and balances that once protected our democracy? Why is it that the current President has been allowed to keep his financial interests secret all this time?

Last night we lucked out once again in the stormy weather lottery. We were spared even a hint of destructive wind in the moments after warnings and radar images indicated a tornado was headed in our direction. We have yet to hear any reports of whether the vicinity around us was impacted negatively.

I can report the lightning bolts flashing dramatically in the clouds overhead were more frequent and numerous than I have ever witnessed before in my life. The constant rumble of distant thunder never once appeared to match the immediate flashes occurring directly above our location which baffled my understanding of the way things work.

I cannot fathom what actual energy was at play to generate such a dazzling display of countless electrical arcing bolts without the usual accompanying impacts of typical thunder. Just one night prior, we suffered two BOOM!s of thunder that scared me into a clench of inadvertent reaction that lasted three times as long as the explosion of thunder itself. The worst of those incidents surely was one that struck somewhere close enough that light and sound were simultaneous.

I can’t say for sure because I was attempting to be asleep at the time.

The warming of our planet assuredly is unleashing greater intensity of local storms, but each time we escape unscathed I feel a moment of hope that our destruction is not imminent. Tornadoes can be devastating, but they can also be relatively precise as to the areas of impact.

That is a little like deciding to raise free-range chickens in an area that includes foxes, coyotes, possums, skunks, feral cats, occasional passing mountain lions, neighboring dogs, and marauding raccoons.

It mixes my mind.



Written by johnwhays

July 19, 2020 at 9:57 am