Ignorance is Killing Us – Part 2 – Racism

    The second danger that we are facing now is Racism. I have been with my partner Hal, who is black, for more than 20 years, and in that time, I have learned a lot about how he sees the world as a black man. The things that he has seen in his life are frightening to think about for me. As a white man, I grew up with privilege that I never realized I had. To me, the local police were people I could put my trust in, especially in a small townh. I never thought that the black children I grew up with could have such a completely different view of the world, but after being with Hal, and then talking to some of the people I grew up with, I now know that the feelings of fear and distrust did exist even when I was a child.
    Those fears and feelings were never shared with me growing up because those feelings are deeply held in the black community. The common perception is that no white outsider can ever appreciate those feelings, that they would be called irrational or ridiculous. I never knowingly felt that way towards my friends, but I never realized that those feelings were being hidden from me either. My parents taught me as best they could to respect everyone, and to never look down on anyone. I am glad that those friends I had growing up never associated me personally with any of the problems that they encountered, but I wish that I had known about those problems so I could have helped to overcome them.
    As the number of murders committed by the police continue to grow, it becomes apparent that the real problem is ignorance. Pretending that this is a recent phenomenon completely proves the very point that my childhood friends, and Hal, have taught me. The problem has been around for over 400 years and is deeply rooted in our society. Slavery might have been outlawed, but the repercussions remain to this very day. White society has the remarkable ability to filter out unpleasant things and pretend that things are completely fine, unless the problems affect white society. This willful choice to be ignorant is a huge part of the problem.
    I am proud to be part of the #BLM movement, but I can never speak for  those directly affected. I can only speak from the perspective of a white man who is woke and proud of it. I choose to not be ignorant, because ignorance is killing us, all of us. To be silent is to be complicit.

Is It Too Much To Ask?

I want Trump defeated so much that I’m willing to vote for the human equivalent of a baloney sandwich to get rid of trump. The question of mine that no one can answer is “Is this the best we can do?”

I have nothing against Biden other than the sad truth that he cannot inspire me at all. When the Democrats seem intent on using the campaign platform consisting solely of “Biden is better than trump.” Of course Biden is better than trump. The only people I can think of who are worse than trump would be Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Not to mention Jim Jones and David Koresh.

I’ve given up ever seeing a Democrat who truly inspires me, one who brings energy and vision to a campaign. When someone as bland as Biden isn’t leading by 20-25 points in the polls over trump, I consider my point has been made.

I suppose that I’ll have to wait for a Democratic candidate with a big set, I don’t see any right now. But I’ll still vote for Biden over trump.

Names capitalized or not indicate my personal level of enthusiasm. That level is extremely low.

DDP Yoga Days 26-29

    I got so busy and tired that I neglected to make my daily entries about DDP Yoga. I have not stopped working out, but I have decided that I need to focus on getting more rest. Another factor is that because Phase 2 of the program is much longer per session so far, I don’t have time to work out in the morning and have to make time after work in the early evening. This is also the time when I am the most tired.
     Last night I finally forced myself to go to bed at around 2030. This is extremely early, but I know that I need to make this change to my routine so I can sleep better and longer each night. This change will also give me more energy and that in turn will make my workouts even better.

Ignoring The Noise

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If there is a better way to turn off the world for awhile than music, I don’t want to know what that is. Music is always with me and I consider music to be almost the best thing in the world. I honestly don’t know what I would do some days without a world of music to close out the noise of the actual world around me.

I was going through the motions at work this afternoon, desperate for the workday top just end, and my motivation was really dropping. I asked my Google Home speaker to play Dvorak. Immediately, I was transported to places I only dreamed about on the wings of his music. 

Music can get me through anything. Work, social distancing, anything. Let music take you away on an adventure sometime soon.

My Own Private Idaho

It sounds strange, but in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, I seem to be closer than ever to my own Private Idaho of Inner Peace. For whatever reason, things are falling into place with my life. There are still struggles, there always will be, but they no longer seem as insurmountable as they used to.

We moved on the first of April and have settled into our new place. As quiet as the last apartment was, this one puts it to shame. We are basically in the country in a medium size apartment complex, but without a major airport within 10 miles like the last place. Planes flew over all day and into the evening until 2300 or so each night. I don’t remember seeing vapor trails here in the sky since we arrived.

My sinuses acted up immediately after we arrived here. There were several days when I began to think that we must have moved to the worst place in the world for my sinus problems. But after starting Yoga on a daily basis, I have gotten better rather quickly, and I am sleeping better at night as well. I cannot describe how much better I feel.

Hal and I have not had any problems with the new neighbors. Everyone here is in the same situation as us with regards to the world situation, and that gives us all common ground to stand on.

We will save money by living here. I am relaxing with the knowledge that I can pay things off without as much stress every pay period. Things got too damned expensive at the last apartment, we just couldn’t stay there.

So there you have it. My personal story although a brief one, about how I have found my own Private Idaho and Inner Peace.

Be Kind to One Another

DDP Yoga Day 19

Friday is here, and I wanted to sleep in this morning. I firmly believe that DDP Yoga has helped me to sleep better at night. Sleeping has been a major problem for me for a long time. I suffer from frequent bouts of insomnia, which is never nice.
In the last 3 weeks, I have started sleeping better. I am extremely happy about this and I am attributing it ti DDP Yoga. Anyway, I chose to get a few more minutes of precious sleep this morning, but I will get my workout in this evening so I don’t miss a day of working out.
Looking forward to the weekend here.

DDP Yoga Day 8

This morning was the first time that I was tempted to skip a scheduled workout, but I am glad that I found the internal discipline to get up and take part in the workout session. I feel great after all the stretching, but even more than that, I feel incredible for making certain that I did NOT skip out today.
I know that one of the keys to making this program work for me is to resist the urge to cheat, or to stop altogether. That is the reason I have gotten into such terrible shape in the first place. I cannot afford to let that happen to me again. I need this program to work for me. I want this program to work for me. I want to be in better shape. I want to lose weight. I want to feel better. I want to sleep better and relax more.
This program is all about me, but not in a selfish way that hurts others. I can do this and I will feel so much better about myself in the long term.

Shape Of Things To Come?

I found myself thinking about the long-term affects of the Coronavirus pandemic. My mind wandered back to a classic sci-fi film from the 1930s called “Thins To Come”, a British film about how a tragedy causes both pain and progress.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Things_to_Come

What will the long-term affects of social distancing be? This is a question that we will all have to consider and answer, both for ourselves and society, in the near future. Will we attempt to return to the same environment that existed immediately before the pandemic struck?

I suspect that our behavior will modify itself quite visibly. I can easily see the adoption of wearing fade masks as a widespread result of this pandemic. I remember seeing pictures of people from Japan wearing face masks in years past, and thinking that it must be something in their culture that made wearing masks acceptable. The people seemed so crowded together that common sense would dictate a measure of self-isolation, even as small as wearing a mask.

I remember reading that the Japanese were also averse to body contact with strangers. The story I remember was about the common practice of handing someone a business card. In America, we just pull the card from our wallet and hand it to another person. The story I read stated quite clearly that in Japan, the proper way to give a business card was to remove it from a wallet or more preferably a card case, and then set it on a table in front of the person and then withdraw your hand.

I suppose that theoretically this practice allowed the card to lose some of your “essence” so it would be cleaner when the recipient chose to pick it up. A small act of social distancing that I can see happening here, even though it will seem rude at first to ask the person to place their card on the table so we can then pick it up ourself.

Handshakes will probably become less common in the future because it will produce the impression that the instigator if the handshake attempt isn’t that concerned with my health, or their own. I don’t see the elbow bump being the answer. Personally, I prefer the simple Vulcan hand gestures from Star Trek.

I find it virtually impossible to imagine going to dinner in a crowded restaurant, or sitting in a movie theater full of strangers after this pandemic ends. I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist, but these things will affect my own personal behavior going forward.

The latest concern is for our food supplies. I believe that everyone will demand more stringent inspections and much better working conditions in our food preparation facilities. A food shortage will definitely cause long-lasting social effects on society. Will we consume less meat in the future? I can very easily see a short-term decrease in meat consumption as a result of both shortages and the apparent lack of quality control and concern for the workers in those facilities.

On the “bright” side, I see more people working remotely in the future as well as less crowded commutes for those who must return to traditional workplaces and offices. Technology will continue to allow for more virtual meetings and less business travel. Again, some of these changes will be gradual, but they will happen more quickly due to the pandemic.

What are some of the things I have overlooked?

Just remember,

Be Kind to one another

DDP Yoga Day 5

Day 5 on the DDP Yoga plan introduced me to the next set of exercises. I could really feel a difference as I got in the shower afterwards. It is amazing that a 15-minute workout can make me feel so different. 
I took more care with my breathing during this workout and I believe that also made a difference in how I felt. The irony is that yesterday was a planned day off, and tomorrow is another planned day off. I think this is designed to keep me from getting discouraged or from getting too tired and losing motivation for either reason. This second set of exercises will carry me into next week and gradually build me up. 
On the negative side, I got almost no sleep last night because my sinuses were so congested. I couldn’t breathe through my nose, and breathing through my mouth resulted in my mouth getting so dry that it was ridiculous. I got my DDP Yoga workout in early because I didn’t want to skip it. I know that if I can get my sinuses under control that I will probably fall asleep at some point during the day.
I will cook during my breaks on the job and that should keep me busy and my mind occupied to stave off exhaustion until the afternoon. I also changed out all of the bed linens this morning to get whatever was irritating my sinuses away from me as much as possible tonight. A nice long hot shower should help things as well this evening.
The main thing is that as tired as I am, I do feel better overall than I have in a while. I will keep up with the DDP Yoga training because I truly believe that it will help me.