Category Archives: childhood

Tired of Being Motivated by Fear

I loaned some money to my nephew. He is a good kid, but young and not really an energetic kid. He would, when he was young, complain whenever he had to walk too far or sit too long, but he would always respond well to correction. He had and still has a gentle nature. Anyway, I loaned the kid sixty dollars. He was late in getting it back to me and I decided to instill a lesson in him. So I set a deadline, and said this is when you pay it back or don’t ever ask me for a favor. Harsh. Maybe. I called him on the day and he said I have it, but it’s in the bank, so next week I’ll get it to you uncle.

“No,” I said, “I’ll come and take you to the bank and you will pay me back on time and we will be good and all will be well.”

So I’m lecturing this poor kid on the way to the bank. When he starts asking me if I heard about the guy in the next city who stole some money from his friend’s business and then holed up in his house and the cops had to drag him out. Some shit like this, just some typical news story. I said look there are 20,000 people in that city and one guy had a bad time. Maybe one in our city will break down next month. So what? The news reports the exceptions, not the rule. Don’t worry about the news.

It has dawned on me though, I spent my life worrying about what the news told me to worry about. My parents were not much help, we were very poor and I studied despite them not caring much, my mom cared only that I get a degree. But I studied not what I wanted but what I thought would get me a job. I did so based on some news clip or blurb I heard about how the liberal arts majors (the stuff I enjoyed), these kids in liberal arts were struggling to find jobs.

Never has it occurred to me to do what I like. Except this little site lets me speak my mind. (Under an alias, because I’m still a coward.) This little site, the internet and writing in general have given me a tiny little voice in the vast world. I’m very grateful.

Back to the kid though, I made him pull the money out the bank. Hand it to me. Then I gave it back and made him buy me lunch. Look, he is 20 and braver than I ever was, he could have blown me off, but like a said, good kid.

I hope the lesson was a good one, I think it was. Pay your debts, but expect compassion from family, right? Did he even get it? I don’t know.

But the other lesson, the better lesson, your lesson, is to ignore the news, the world is full of good people not the people you see on the news in America. Events are tame and beautiful, not exciting like the news would have you believe.

Don’t be driven by fear. Let your internal drivers be knowledge, truth, and excellence, whatever but NOT fear. If you find yourself quoting a news story to someone or to yourself especially, just stop, the likelihood of that story being true in America, is very slim, and the likelihood of it being the exception to the rule is very wide.

So be smart out there, people. Pay your debts, be kind to family, ignore the news, and let your passion drive you not fear.

I’m far too old to have just figured this out, but I did.

J

C’mon Mom

Happy Mother’s Day, (belated) to all you Mother’s out there! I for one have mixed feelings this year. My own Mother read me the riot act just the other day for talking about some shit that happened in my own childhood. The story was in my mind harmless and funny, but mom was not amused. My Mother was typing up a report for me for school, back before computers I would have her type things up for me because she was in the hell that I now live, office work. She knew how to type well, I didn’t, and of course my shit was due tomorrow, or Monday, I think it was the weekend.

Anyway she is typing and she is rightfully mad at me, because I waited till the last minute, and she runs out of paper. So she sends my brother to the neighbor’s house to get some printer paper. Now my brother was tripping on acid that day and remembers only that she asked for paper and then, her yelling at him, and that is basically the story. Now looking back, to me, that is funny, can you imagine trying to do errands on acid! impossible (from what I hear, I honestly never did it, but I’ve seen it done and I repeat, impossible.)

Mom is pissed for telling this story to my in-laws, and tells me to keep our business just in the family like we are 1920’s gangsters or something, so probably this post will get me in more trouble someday, Luckily, no one ever reads this blog. So mom’s pissed and I can’t figure out why so I ask. And she tells me (shockingly) because she feels like she failed somehow because my brother is a fuck up, and why do I want to tell her stories of failure. Well I never, ever, ever felt my mom failed us, my brother is just a fuck up. Some people are just fuck ups. I don’t even blame my brother, he seems happy enough. He doesn’t even do acid anymore and he is not, but any economic standard successfull, but again he is happy so…

I’m sorry mom and I love you and I’m sorry you feel judged by the world. I feel that way too sometimes. I guess you are not going to sigh off on this book I’m writing about my childhood. I want to own my life I guess. I want to laugh about the craziness, not stuff it away and freak out when someone else brings it up. Oh, and don’t read this post mom, you won’t like it.

I put my book back up on Smashwords. That premium Kindle this didn’t work for me. I guess my book just doesn’t grab people and drive them to read it. I’ll try again but I think this year might be out, it’s May already and my day job is getting weird. I would hate to have to change jobs, that will put me out of writing for another year but you have to do what you have to do. Whatever, go to smashwords turn on adult content and search on ‘From Light to Life’ and thanks.

J