Good morning to everyone kind enough to take the time to read the latest offering from my “Thoughts for Thursday” series, or “TfT” (as those of you who belong to my “Insider’s Club” get to call it- only $9.95/month 1 month free with a year’s subscription).
And for those of you who can’t be bothered to spend a few minutes reading the most underappreciated work in all of literary history, I pity your sad existence, but you’ll never know because you’re not reading this are you?
It’s been a bit longer than usual since I was able to find the time and motivation to pen this episode and like always, life has been its typical challenge for Uncle Steve.
(Warning- the next section of my TfT is more serious than the usual tone of my writing, but what do you expect? I promise this week’s entry won’t be entirely about this, just hold on.)
I did toss out a few paragraphs some weeks ago when I fully intended to add an entry to this series, but the tragic Uvalde School Shootings had just occurred, and I had nothing positive to say to anyone at that time.
Just to clarify my position on this issue:
I'm not against gun ownership. I'm against a system that allows the sale of weapons that can fire 120 rounds a minute to mentally ill people too young to legally drink with no background check because that might "infringe" on your constitutional right to commit mass murder.
Pretty simple, right?
Do I have anything positive to say now?
Not really. What is there to say that hasn’t been said in the 23 years since Columbine and a near endless parade of towns and schools that we added to the list of tragedies ever since?
Thoughts and Prayers?
When is Enough, Enough?
There is new legislation that promises to be the most significant overhaul of the nation’s gun control laws in decades, supported by both parties in the Senate, and honestly, it’s almost pointless. It doesn’t raise the age to own a gun. It doesn’t limit the types of weapons that can be purchased.
It addresses some completely common-sense measures that would “hopefully” make it harder for someone with a mental illness to purchase a weapon and closes the “boyfriend” loophole that shouldn’t even exist.
What is the “boyfriend loophole” you ask? You can’t own a gun if you commit violence against your partner- common sense, right? We don’t want convicted violent offenders to own guns, correct? Well, if you weren’t married, living with them, or have a child with them, you can buy all the guns you want. Absurd.
And the Republicans in the House refuse to even support this.
70% of Americans want stricter gun control legislation and the politicians that supposedly represent us in our democratic society, do not reflect that demand.
Until they do, hoping that Robb Elementary is the last name on this horrific list is nonsense.
Thoughts and Prayers are great, but I’m also going to offer my ability to Vote for the candidates that I believe will make the obvious changes to try to improve this insanity. Maybe if enough of us do that, these atrocities will eventually become a distant memory.
The title of today’s entry is “All I Really Need to Know”.
Now, I’ve mentioned time and again over the course of writing these episodes, especially when I am so conceited as to offer up my opinions, that I am an idiot- it is a fair disclaimer that protects me from lawsuits.
And as an idiot, I find it helpful to keep a very simple list of things that I need to know concerning life in general.
I will now be so kind as to offer to share this list with all of you, thereby making your lives much easier by default.
Full disclosure, the complete title of this episode is “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and many of these points are directly stolen from the author of that piece- Robert Fulghum.
Stealing good ideas is much easier than coming up with them on your own. That’s a bonus tip.
Now, I know that the world and the people who presently reside in it are often far from “simple”.
As we got older, our lives became infinitely more complex and navigating the relationships and places that we found ourselves in always seemed far from “simple”.
But maybe we were making things too complicated on our own, and perhaps if everyone viewed things from the perspective of a Kindergartner, we would all be better off?
Well, here’s my list and I’ll let you decide for yourselves.
“Share Everything” Can I have one of your cookies? Sharing is caring. I’m not saying you need to give away your stuff, but when you have more than enough, looking out for those less fortunate is part of being human. Have a generous spirit and hope that if life finds you in need, you have surrounded yourself with those who feel the same way. Wouldn’t we all be better off if we did?
“Play Fair” “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”- Vince Lombardi I shouldn’t have to say this, but since that quote comes from the legendary Green Bay Packer’s Coach, you know it’s bad advice. Winning is meaningless if you lose your ability to respect yourself and be respected in the process. I’ve lost more times in my life than I care to remember, but knowing I tried to play the game the right way, means the times I did succeed were everything they were supposed to be.
“Don’t Hit People” I know the immediate response to this statement will be, “but what if?” I get it, but if everyone behaved this way, all your “what ifs” would be answered.
“Flush” Nuff said.
“Clean Up Your Own Mess” When my kids were little, we were big fans of “The Big Comfy Couch”, where the wonderful Loonette and Molly would perform the Ten Second Tidy on every episode. When my kids got too old for that show, I think they forgot all about the need to pick up after themselves. I may need to bring it back.
“Take a Nap Every Afternoon” This one becomes completely obvious the older you get.
“Wash Your Hands Before You Eat” I am positive we all know some of these people. The ones that can’t be bothered to washup, brush their teeth, wear deodorant. They’re the ones that needed the “Flush” mention from earlier.
“Say You’re Sorry When You Hurt Someone” When we were in kindergarten, we all did this. No matter if what you did was an accident or purposeful, you could say you were sorry, mean it, and still be friends and go back to playing. The older we get, the more impossible it seems for people to make this work. Look, we have all been wrong. We have all been the bad guy more than we care to realize. Stop. Realize what you did. Say you’re sorry. Be better next time. Move on. It’s honestly that easy.
“Don't Take Things That Aren't Yours” Can I have one of your cookies? Sometimes, the answer is going to be no. They may not have read this TfT yet, so they didn’t get the mention about “Sharing Everything”. People can say no, and that’s perfectly fine. We may not be happy about it, but it’s part of life and accepting that that’s ok, will go a long way towards being happier in it.
“When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together” We do better in life when we have others to go along on the journey with us. Friends, family, a significant other, whatever you can find that works for you. You check to the left and I’ll look to the right, and we’ll cross together when it’s safe. It’s a great system.
“Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup” Before becoming too smart and too jaded by life, everything was a miracle. The rain, the moon, a flower, a puppy, big or small, a child can find wonder in every moment. Sadly, we often lose that as we get older and understand that Thunder isn’t two clouds bumping together. It might take a little more effort to pause and reflect during our busy days but make the effort. It’s well worth it. Look! A puppy!
“Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.” “Here is your life”, I tell you as I hand you the proverbial hourglass. I turn it over and the sand begins to slowly run down. “How long is it going to take?”, you ask. “A lifetime”, I answer. How long that is, we may never know and don’t always control. What we do with the time we have, is up to us. Make good choices.
Thank you again for spending part of today reading this and I’ll try to get my next one out to you before Fall.
As always, Stay Well and Stay Safe. Uncle Steve