No Lives Matter

Black lives matter.  Cop lives matter.  All lives matter.

What if no lives matter?

As a species we are the most arrogant and self serving of any other.  We don’t evolve anymore, but rather force everything else in the world to adapt to suit us.  This includes each other.  Everything we do whether it is consciously known or not is to satisfy our own needs and desires.

We like to look back at history and think we are more civilized than we once were.  We don’t have gladiators fighting to the death, slaves bent over in the fields or innocent people in concentration camps.  The truth is we’re just a lot better at distracting ourselves from the horrors that go on around us.

20.9 million victims of sex trafficking worldwide since 2012.  21,000 people dying of starvation everyday.  150-200 species of plant/insect/bird/mammal going extinct every 24 hours.  We are more connected than ever in terms of knowing what is going on in other countries, yet we care even less.

We think we care, and maybe we do for the time it takes us to post a meme or our opinion on Facebook.  Sometimes we even donate some money or volunteer a few hours.  Then a few days or weeks go by and like everything else, whatever it was that had us so enraged and upset and motivated to change the world for the better is gone.  Those who are directly affected care and may try to do something for the better.  The vast majority of us though will just continue about our business.

There are some who exist who are genuinely passionate about making a difference.  They live their lives supporting what they believe.  It seems, however, that those who are the most motivated tend to be the ones who do the most damage.  ISIL is successful for one reason – they believe 100% in their cause.

What if everyone else who wanted to see positive changes in the world had even half of the passion and dedication as those extremists do?  What if people truly rallied together and took on the corruption that exists?  What if we had thought-provoking, open-minded debate instead of pointed finger closed-mindedness?  What is we cared more about keeping children safe, providing food and shelter for those in need and making our environment healthier than we do about buying the latest Iphone, watching the latest “reality” show or checking our Facebook 10x a day?

We think we have the right to life.  Why?  Because some ancient religious text says we do?  Because the US Constitution says we do?

We have no more right to life on this planet than any other creature that exists.  Instead of feeling entitled to life we need to start living in such a way that we deserve it.  We should be caring about the world instead of just ourselves.  Maybe then we can make the argument that all lives matter.

 

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7 Traditions That Need to Stop

I am very much a traditional person in a lot of ways.  I expect cake on my birthday, endless lights at Christmas and a yearly trip to the beach.  With that said there are some traditions that I am pleading with people to please stop.  Some of these have been around for decades, if not centuries, while others seemed to have developed in recent years.

1 – Bridal showers.  These seriously serve no purpose in my eyes.  Back in the day when couples did not live together before marriage but rather were still living at home with their parents these made sense.  The couple needed new appliances and odds and ends for their home.  Now most people have all they need prior to their wedding either because they’ve been living on their own or with their significant other.  Not to mention bridal showers are boring.  No one wants to waste a perfectly good afternoon being forced to socialize with people they barely know and watch someone open gifts.  It’s fun when the person is 4.  24 – not so much.

2 – Viewings.  Ok this probably will hit a nerve with some people, but realize I have much different views on the afterlife than most.  I recognize some people need these for closure, and offer a way for those to pay their respects who may not be able to make it to the funeral.  I get it.  I just don’t like them.  I’m forced to dress nicely to go somewhere for maybe 15-20 minutes and, in my case, avoid viewing a deceased person, just to say the same things to the family that everyone else is saying.  I would much rather attend the funeral (though really wish people would always have a closed casket) if it’s someone very close to me, or for casual relationships pay my respects via a card or call.

3 – Pork and sauerkraut.  This is strictly a south central PA tradition so for those who haven’t heard of it, it’s tradition on New Year’s Day to eat this meal for good luck.  It’s disgusting, and I’ve survived almost 30 years with an average amount of good luck without ever eating it.  Even avoiding the sauerkraut itself I find I can’t enjoy the pork because it’s been cooked in it.

4 – Huge family reunions.  I’m not talking about your grandparents and cousins; I’m talking about your mom’s cousin’s twice removed aunt’s stepdaughter kind of family reunions.  As a kid I went to these and the only good part was the large variety of food brought.  I mean seriously you could just send out mass invites to 100+ strangers to show up at a park and bring food and you’d have almost the same experience.  No great aunt Susie (or is it Mary?) I don’t remember that story about me from when I was 2 years old but I bet you’re going to tell it to me again…

5 – “Surprise” proposals when you’ve been together for years.  No, this is not me secretly harboring anger over not having a traditional proposal.  It’s called no one is surprised; the person who is being proposed to included.  If you’ve been together more than 3 years and especially if you’re already living together it’s just not that big of a deal.  It’s just signifying that you’re going to move forward in spending a ton of money on a one day event to entertain other people… oh wait, that’s for another blog rant.

6 – Preschool, pre-K, kindergarten graduations.  When did the end of the school year program turn into a full fledged cap and gown affair?  I seriously laugh anytime I see pictures of these events on Facebook.  Congrats – you can color inside the lines now.  Really though why so much pomp and circumstance?  To me it takes away the significance of high school and college graduations.  I was part of an 8th grade graduation ceremony which apparently was a big deal because we were moving onto the high school… We, meaning all the kids who went to the same building as me for 3 years; so remind me again what was such a big deal that we needed a ceremony for that?

7 – Fancy ways of asking people to… be your bridesmaid, go to Prom, etc.  I don’t know what started this, but again I find it pointless.  I would guess 99% of people who are asking someone to be in their wedding already are close to them, so why do you need to make a big deal out of asking them?  The one that amuses me more those are these couples in high school who are already established couples asking each other to Homecoming or Prom.  Isn’t it just assumed you’re going to be going there together if you’re already dating?!?

On that note I hope everyone goes out and eats hamburgs and hot dogs and watches fireworks this weekend to celebrate the 4th of July!