Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘trust

Fateful Ignorance

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Twenty years ago today we didn’t conceive how everything would change on the following day. Nineteen hijackers knew what they were going to do the next day. The first had arrived in the United States almost two years earlier and the others gradually showed up throughout the following months.

They lived among us. Some underwent flight training in Florida. We didn’t have a clue.

Brings to mind my similar naiveté on January 5th this year. I didn’t conceive that the fanatics who believed the lies they were being fed about a stolen election would attack police and storm our nation’s capital in an attempted insurrection. They all knew what was going to happen the next day. Pipe bombs were planted, equipment gathered, transportation arranged.

For the last twenty years, we have been hearing threats of other possible attacks from foreign terrorists. In the months since the January 6th uprising, we have heard warnings about more attacks on our democracy that continue to loom.

After a while, we tend to grow numb to the alerts. I’d like to hope the FBI and CIA are on top of all the pertinent details so I don’t need to live on permanent alert, but history reveals that didn’t work for 9/11 or 1/6.

If I let myself think too much about it, my mind questions whether some group with ill intentions is busy today making their preparations unnoticed while we go about our daily business in cluelessness.

One way to offset that horror is to focus on what happened 50-years ago yesterday. John Lennon’s “Imagine” was released on September 9, 1971. Yesterday, the lyrics to the song were projected onto iconic buildings and landmarks around the world.

NPR included a segment about the song in their Morning Edition. I urge you to listen: NPR: John Lennon released ‘Imagine.’

It provides priceless context and analysis.


Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

No religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace…





Written by johnwhays

September 10, 2021 at 6:00 am

Hay Delivered

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One of the best parts of our relationship with This Old Horse is that they provide all the support needed to care for the horses, and the greatest relief for us is that we don’t have to find and transport baled hay. Yesterday was magical in that a trailer full of small squares was delivered right to our hay-shed door.









Since I was conveniently an hour away at the day-job when it arrived, the work of helping to unload and re-stack it in the shed landed on Cyndie. [monotone fake concern…] Too bad I wasn’t able to be there.

Despite the fact it was wintery-cold outside, all I wanted to do when I got home was go hang out with the horses. They were out on the back pasture, so Cyndie and I picked the chore of clearing out two years of overgrowth from within, and around the outside perimeter of the round pen. We were standing where the horses could clearly see us.

Our previous herd would quickly move their grazing to get very near wherever we happened to be, but these mares are much less connected to people at this point. They randomly appear to adjust their positioning with respect to us, though it usually involves maintaining a distance that reflects their understandable caution.

We look forward to showing them plenty of reasons to develop a special connection with us over time, starting with the fact we will be the primary ones serving up their rations of hay.



Written by johnwhays

April 20, 2021 at 6:00 am

Noticing Privilege

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I stumbled upon an article yesterday that gobbled up my attention and hung on to it for much longer than I usually allow most politically charged stories to occupy my mind.

While I was being held prisoner to traffic on Interstate 94 last Thursday, I passed some of the mind-numbing, slow-rolling-brakelights time listening to Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement and a few Senator’s worth of questions and his responses (“responses” because sometimes they weren’t answers).

Some of what he said, and the raw emotion with which he said it, seemed pretty compelling. Having not had the opportunity to hear Christine Blasey Ford’s session, I had nothing to compare to his version of the issue. I figured he had a lock on the needed votes to be confirmed for a lifetime term on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Despite what I figured, my gut and my intuition were providing me with an alternative take.

Methinks he doth protest too much.

Reading Nathan J. Robinson’s very long and excruciatingly thorough Current Affairs exposé, “How We Know Kavanaugh is Lying” was incredibly validating of my suspicions.

One of the reasons this article was so compelling for me is that most of the evidence presented is taken directly from the words I heard spoken live on the radio. When analyzed in the way Kavanaugh’s statements are laid out in the article, his own words seem to sabotage his defense. Combined with how often he avoids answering potentially harmful questions, frequently with bizarre redirecting responses, my first impression of his pretty compelling argument was completely dashed.

I just don’t know how anyone could in good conscience vote to confirm his nomination at this point. However, given the state of this country’s political situation, I won’t be surprised if those intent on furthering their agenda will do anything to get him seated on the nation’s highest court.

Pondering that possibility yesterday riled me up something fierce. How could they?! It would be a travesty! We can’t let this happen!

That was when I received an insight that privilege was framing my outrage. In my moment of upset over the possible injustice of this man being allowed to serve despite the preponderance of likelihood he is not worthy, it occurred to me how often similar injustices have been thrust upon groups of people throughout this country’s history.

Over and over again. So often that they come to expect it. Why would it be any other way? Why would indigenous people of multiple tribal nations ever trust the US government? Why would women be surprised to find out they weren’t being treated equal to men? Why would people of color be surprised to find out voting district boundaries had been gerrymandered to influence election results against their best interests?

If the outcome of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination doesn’t go the way I think it should, I hope I am able to contain my outrage and maintain some dignity, despite the injustice.

Generations of good people have endured far worse for far longer and continued to hold their heads high and carry on with hope for better days.

I’m all for better days. I’m even going to hope for sooner than later.