Put A Little Vaseline On It

rx

As I embark into my sixth decade, I am realizing that there are certain things I really need. I prided myself for many years in being able to thread a sewing machine needle without my Dollar Tree cheaters. Evidently from the text I sent my daughter last night – “I unlicked doir” –  I need my glasses all the time for reading, writing and arithmetic (especially since I’m in accounting). Last week, a friend of the family sent up a distress Facebook post needing prayer for the final weeks of her MA program. It was late, but I wanted to chip in my support, which I did with this message: “Im peaying, habg in ghere. So olose.” I checked the comment in the morning – oh snap – she’s gonna think I’m drunk, that’s not what I wanted to communicate. I added a comment which translated the above sentiment and assured her I was not intoxicated in any way, just forgot my glasses. She responded with a hearty laugh emoji. Without my glasses, miscommunication events will likely happen again, especially when I’m depositing money into offspring accounts, so I better keep them close.

Now the above comment was ridiculous, but miscommunication can have other outcomes, other effects. My sister and I were at my parents’ house one day. Standing at the kitchen counter, we were engaged in a serious and riveting conversation about what we all discuss in the kitchen: hemorrhoids. Who knows who the afflicted one was, but our conversation covered causes, symptoms, side effects and various and sundry methods of treatment. My mother entered the kitchen while we discussed the burning, itching and pain. She listened for a bit. And, in a humph, she pronounced her expert therapeutic remedy: “Just put a little Vaseline on it; and, for Pete’s sake, stop licking it!” Yes, miscommunication at its most humorous. No, Mom, we’re not talking about cold sores.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when miscommunication is rampant. Fake news, fake polls, fake people assail us on a daily basis. It takes a real serious effort to find out the veracity of a story, if we can at all. One has to examine multiple points of view, multiple forms of media and multiple sources to even glean or hope for a true understanding of an issue. It can be a real pain in the, um, backside, like our favorite kitchen conversation topic. But to be as informed as we can, we need to persevere in understanding what is going on. Whether that makes a difference in the long run, I don’t know; but, for me, I need to try to get the best and most objective understanding of a subject, I try to consider all points of view.

Putting a little Vaseline on it may work for cold sores and even may work for hemorrhoids – I know it works for diaper rash – and I suppose (hah!), metaphorically, it may work for us adults who are trying to soothe the painful troubles of our times. If we realize what we see and hear on the TV, the Internet, the paper and even what we hear from our friends is not necessarily the whole story or even the true story THAT can be the first course of treatment in getting to a higher place of understanding. And maybe from there, we can assuage the burning issues with the balm of compassion and commitment which will lead to respect, respect for each other and for our different points of view. And from that place of respect, I am confident, we can begin to heal our country’s ailments. Fifty years after MLK, RFK, Vietnam and Watergate, we should be there by now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shoelady For President

Old Lady who lived in a shoe

With the California primary fast approaching and the relentless updates on every primary from Iowa to Indiana, politics dominate the newscasts. Debates, debacles and debasements abound every night on the broadcast news and the talking head shows. Scrutiny, scorn and scurrilous scalawags seem to be the atmosphere in the campaigns of many, if not all.

I’m really dismayed over the lack of quality candidates. So, I think, the Shoelady should throw her helmet in the ring. I am reluctant because  politics is painfully slow. To get anything done of any significance takes decades, and I am an unrepentant hare who moves too fast for Washington or Sacramento or San Mateo or even Pacifica City Hall. But I am willing to give it a try.

As a mom of a mob, where, I’d like to think, we live in a benevolent monarchy, I feel I have the necessary qualifications for run our fiercely divided country. For one I would ensure that we have enough corners in the government buildings to send the folks that are just not getting along. When I moved into a three bedroom house, I was finally sufficiently able to send all ten to corners if need be. I think each member of Congress should have a “corner stipend” with their various other perks.

Second, my elbow room philosophy would become law. The Elbow Room Philosophy essentially means that everyone has their space. Their physical space, of course, in the cherry appointed offices, but also their spiritual and ideological space. The Elbow Room Philosophy is just another name for RESPECT. All branches of government will be mandated to respect each other and their respective opinions. “Can we all just get along?” If not, you may go to your corner. No fighting allowed.

Finally, all members of Congress will have to live within their means. I think each member should clean their own offices, if not for the experience of sympathizing with workers that them may represent. Also, I propose that each member spend some months on Welfare or Social Security as their sole income. I propose they do this in their home bases. Our representatives here in the Bay Area will become acutely aware, quickly, of how difficult it is to live on a fixed income, especially in a geographical area so expensive like San Francisco. I am not asking for more handouts, I want our representatives to know whom they serve.

As a middle child, I have had to broker many armistices in our somewhat tumultuous upbringing, and I have developed an ability to be fair, kind and patient. I think I would make a fine President of the United States. Shoelady for President!!