Saturday, September 13, 2008

Venom and Hate Mail to Houston After Ike

So, I'm sitting here, wondering about whether or not my house still exists.

(Well, I'm guessing it exists, but does it have a roof?)

I live in Houston and evacuated to another city with my children before Hurricane Ike came through. I went into a local posting forum to see if anyone has said anything about the area... I've checked on friends and family... Now I am more than a little curious about what has happened to my home.

But this post is not about my home. And it's not about Hurricane Ike.

There were some really kind sentiments. Many people said they were praying for Houston and Galveston. Others gave suggestions, and some said "Don't stick around! I've been through it, it's not fun." What really gets me is the hate.

Yes, the hate.

This post is about the hate that has come into Houston from people around the country. I don't try to pretend that everyone uses the best judgment. And I know that not everyone represents any city, Houston or otherwise. But on top of that, many people in other states may not realize the challenges that evacuation creates. Whether or not to evacuate, and when, is a big decision. Yes, it's often the safer route, but if the whole of the 4th largest city in the country evacuates, I would wonder how many deaths we would have trying to get every single person out. It's simply not possible. Evacuation is not a simple solution, and it's not the only solution, as many of the people who posted, imply. Take a read.

quit crying about Ike, you chose to live in this shit hole
You idiots made a choice to live near the gulf and get your ass kicked year after year by storms! Quit crying and acting like victims! If you don't want to weather the storm, rebuild your houses then suck it up and move to gods country... Chicago, IL LOL

No. #1 That Pisses Me Off About Hurricanes
It's those brain-dead cretin assholes who COULD but REFUSE to evacuate and ride out the storm. BUT as soon as they get in trouble, they whine and cry for rescue. Well, FUCK YOU DIPSHITS!! You wanted to stay, you can live in your own squalor the best you can for being STUPID! Any govermment agent who attempts to rescue you from your own stupidity should be fired, forthwith.

I am wandering how it is out there... all I have is CNN... and they never speak of North Houston... phuckers!!! Any info especially flooding would be appreciated... I have a house in Conroe and I would like to know about the flooding!!!!
Nope your house is gone! It blew right over my place as my roof was coming off! I got some great pictures of your place sailing by if you need them! Now I have to hurry and turn on my TV so I can see the bodies of the idiots that stayed floating down the street! Where did I put that popcorn?

You dipshits where told to leave! FEMA should let you all die and get rid of a few doorknobs. 250,000 less doorknobs sounds nice.all we ned now is the rest of TX to die then the world would be perfect.

People are nice. By the way, there were more. Some were so bad that I could not possibly put them here. There was one with a picture (actually two pictures) of a woman defecating, and the message was that the woman was on her way to Texas to bring people who survived the hurricane some food. (Well, at least it was creative...)

Why must people be cruel? Why must people spew hate and venom? What is the point of this? Ok, so you don't care for Texas, you think those who did not evacuate used poor judgment... Why go into that city's posting forum and take the time and energy to post hate?

Usually I like to give my perspective on things I see in life. I can't offer one this time. I just can't see it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Finding Faith: Confession of an opportunity wasted

So today I had an opportunity.

Let me tell you a little something about me. (In case you didn't already know...)


I am afraid to trust.

Yep. I am afraid to trust. It's true. It's ironic, actually. You see, I can have a little (haha) difficulty understanding others' motives, so I tend to trust pretty generously, most of the time. It has gotten me into some trouble, unfortunately. (The heart-break kind, not the law-break kind...) I guess, as a result, I try to be uber-aware and as a result, I am afraid to trust.

But today... Today I had an opportunity that doesn't come along very often.

(Well, I had a couple of opportunities in fact.)

Picture this: There's someone you love. Without limits. Let's just say it's your...... sister.

Yeah, that's it... It's your sister.

You love your sister more than life itself, and would do (and have done) so much for her. But for some, er... "odd" reason you suspect that she is... um.... cheating on her husband. Yeah... that's it. You think she is cheating.

Why do you think this?

Well... Behavior change. Change of activities, friends... Suddenly she's hard to get a hold of. Her stories don't match up. You... find some of what appears to be "evidence", but she has good explanations (which you aren't buying.) Nothing completely damning, but certainly more than a little suspicious.

And she knows it.

"No really! It's the tip of the latex glove from when I was coloring my hair!"

Uh, ok...

Unfortunately, you are in the situation where you really don't have the right to tell her what she can or can't do, but you have a reason for getting personally involved in stopping what you think is going on. (Pretend that she signed a pre-nup or something... Whatever the reason, it matters to you. A lot.)

After a number of months of this, your trust erodes. The thing about trust is that when it erodes in one area, it erodes in all areas. By the way... This is why relationships fail with regard to trust... When a couple gets to the point where (for instance) he can't trust her to be responsible, and she can't trust him to be compassionate, the rest goes out the window. Suddenly she can't trust him to be responsible and he can't trust her to be compassionate. Trust is gone.

So the trust erodes over months. You suspect that... on Friday nights she goes out with her new lover. But you have children, a spouse and are (very) rarely free on Friday nights. But you wonder... if, by chance, I'm free on a Friday? By gosh, I'm going to her place to find out! I want to know if she's really cheating on her husband! In fact, I need to know...

Never mind that her place is 50 miles from yours, or that the only way you would know she was actually seeing someone else would be to elaborately follow her, spy on her in a compromised situation, etc... The fact is that it's actually a wish to have the information available, and the mind tries to figure out how to make it possible. Right?


*** (Time passes)

At the end of a particularly grueling week, your spouse takes the kids to Chuck E Cheese's, because you are working late and need a break. It's Friday night. You are tired. You check your voicemail.

"Hey, Hon... Mom called and wants us to come stay at the lake house this weekend.
How about I go ahead and take the kids now... You go home, get some rest, and come up in the morning.
I love you and I'll talk you you later. Bye."

Opportunity is knocking. Just so happens the reason your week has been grueling is that the client you have been visiting is 50 miles away. Out by Ol' Sis. Oh and right here is the exit...

You have a decision to make.

For months you thought about this, thought that if you had the opportunity, you would want to know. You needed to know. Pre-nup, remember? This is your sister. Your, uh.... LITTLE sister. This guy is super rich, she is a free spirit, and certainly not likely to be able to get along without her "half"... She's cheating on him, by gosh! Your precious, adorable, incompetent little sister is cheating on her rich husband! And she's making the biggest mistake of her--

Wait. Hang on. This isn't your sister. It's not my sister. I don't have a sister. But I did have a decision to make...

This morning I came to a (proverbial?) crossroad and had to make a decision. I went right.

(Or was it left?)

I had been lacking trust, and now I had the opportunity to either prove myself right or wrong. I had the opportunity to learn that which I didn't know for sure. Learn things which I thought would make a difference between whether someone was right or wrong. This would enable me to be either really mad with good reason, or prove to myself that I had been a fool for not believing someone I care about. (Although not "seeing" what I'd expect to find is not fool-proof evidence of innocence... The cycle of mistrust would be likely to repeat, which is also unfortunate.)

So what did I do? I chose trust.

Funny thing is that I didn't even really have to think about it. It just happened.

I guess you could say that the trust chose me.

I might have proven myself right, or I could have hoped to prove myself wrong. Instead I proved, to myself, something much more.

I proved to myself that I was OK not knowing what I didn't know. (This is not the same as denial, by the way...)

No matter what happens outside of me, I am ok. This is the basis of faith.

You see, faith and trust are two things which must be given freely. They can't even really be earned. If one person does something which causes another person to have a hard time trusting...? Well, the trust still has to be given back. It can't be earned. I guess the litmus test of love is how quickly is one willing to trust someone who has hurt them? But is that really a litmus test of love? Probably not... It's a litmus test of the ability to trust.

Faith is like trust in that is must be given, not earned, but there is something extra special about faith...

Faith is not the belief that everything will be OK. Faith is the acceptance that everything is already OK, regardless of how things might appear at the moment.

This is why religious sects talk about faith (although they may not be able to articulate it if you ask them to go into depth...) When people talk about God's Plan, they are saying that regardless of how things may look at the moment, we need to have faith that things are the way they should be. Things are good.

Now don't blog out on me, this isn't a religious blog. (Not that it would matter if it were, would it? God is a pretty cool Guy...)

I'm just saying here that faith is NOT the same thing as hope. Hope is the anticipation of things being different in the future. Faith is the acceptance of what already is, regardless of how it may appear on the surface.

That's what I experienced today. On the surface, things had (I like using the past tense... Feels good.) HAD seemed suspicious. But in an instant... In ONE small minutiae of time, I realized that despite what may be the appearance, all is ok.

Is. Present tense.

So, today I had an opportunity. I had an opportunity to learn.
I thought I chose trust, but trust chose me.
And luckiest of all, I found faith.

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