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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lackadaisical Disorder

I was staring into the refrigerator when I noticed the same pot of pasta that has been in there for a week. Of course I had the thought, "I better get that out of there before something starts growing in it," which was followed by, "maybe there's already something growing in it," which was followed by, "oh...I'll take care of it later."

I then came in here to sit at the computer when I noticed the same pile of half folded laundry that has been sitting since Wednesday (somehow it's more convenient to frantically search for clothes in a pile of laundry than to find them neatly folded in a drawer). I looked at it for a moment (in fact, I keep looking at it right now... I can see it in my peripheral vision...ngh...) and told myself I'd deal with it later because I wanted to enjoy my coffee.

It was after that I started thinking about all of the OCD people I've met in my life and recalled how perfectly clean and tidy their homes were(I figure we all know that acronym by now, but just in case: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). For a moment I wished that I could borrow the disorder for a day, just one day, so I could feel a true sense of accomplishment and pleasure when I swiftly sweep through my home and exorcise the dusty demons of dull dirty duties -- my sacred sanctum called home would be cleansed. But alas... I'm not that way, nor would I really want to borrow the disorder fearing I couldn't give it back. I have successfully convinced myself that I am a more productive human being in the aspects of my life where it counts (say, the job that pays me to work hard Monday through Friday) if I treat the rest of my life in a sort of lackadaisical manner.

The problem with this is the minor amount of guilt that creeps in. You know, the guilt that says, "It would take less than five minutes to clean that pot in the fridge," or, "You know you could have that laundry folded and put away in thirty minutes," and then you remember that sloth is one of the seven deadly sins and your deeply rooted Baptist blood starts pulsing through your veins and suddenly you feel the need to act or cry out for help when... "Hey, I wonder if there's such a thing as Lackadaisical Disorder?" If I were suffering from something like OLD (Obsessive Lackadaisical Disorder) I wouldn't have to feel this guilt because I would be unable to control my behavior.

By definition, the lackadaisical human approaches things without interest, vigor, or determination. There's a reference in the dictionary calling the word an alteration of lack-a-day: a 1695 terminology. Just think of how many days of good clean use that pot in my fridge has lacked because of my disorder. And no wonder the laundry is still sitting there, it holds absolutely no interest to me...none. I would much rather sit here and write on a blog about, well, basically nothing at this point because I am determined to make some kind of ridiculous point. Even that, by definition, would fall under OLD: another dictionary reference to lackadaisical is to be idle or indolent especially in a dreamy way, followed up with this example, "she was annoyingly lackadaisical and impractical." How much more proof do I need to support my case?

Of course, there is a draw back. No matter how tempting it is to be relieved of responsibility for my lazy approach to household chores, successfully labeling myself with OLD might mean some psychological zealot would refer me to an institution for help. That institution would do their best to pick my brain and find just the right pill to prescribe in an attempt to help me take the laundry seriously. I would then struggle to defend myself against the label I so longed for ten minutes ago and I would point out my high grade point average I carried all the way through grad school. They would then label me with something like OAD (Over Achiever Disorder) and prescribe another pill. Again, I would come to my own defense and point to my imagination and creativity and my ability to write but to no avail: they would label me with HD (Histrionic Disorder) and prescribe yet another pill. They would also subject me to group therapy that would in turn create COD (Codependency Disorder) and well... I would become nothing but a system drone and somehow contribute to the betterment of society.

All that being considered, I take back everything I said above. As soon as I leave my computer I will go clean the pot in the fridge and fold my laundry. I will choose to change my patterns of procrastination and take responsibility for my actions. I prefer to stay "normal" than ever be given an "out" because I'm OLD.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Someone asked me...

...what I thought "The American Dream" meant today. Here is my response:

I believe when “The American Dream” originated, it was born of a people who were exhausted with governmental oppression. They were in search of a place where they too could be landowners, they too could be wealthy, and where they were free to worship their God without domination of the papal or aristocratic influence – a place where the playing field was wide open and level. They were in search of a space where they could define and express their individuality, and America, “The New World,” provided that space. While I believe these elements, these desires, still lie at the core of every human being, I feel that the American government has evolved in such a way that this dream ever slowly fades from view.

With each new socially constructed governmental program, we are basically being told that we can't think properly for ourselves and that we're not capable of making rational decisions. We are being told, ever so subtly, that the government knows how to invest our money, that the government knows what’s best for our children, and perhaps we should lie down, close our eyes, say nothing, do nothing, and let government dream for us. But if we open our eyes for a moment or two, we may find that government created ideas, intended to "help" us, have ultimately hindered us -- a catch 22. We may want to be free from government assistance and chase our dreams of higher education, individual expression and ownership, but if we remove what the government should have never put in place, large numbers of us will suffer.

Our children suffer because the government has stuck its hand into our education system so far that it has somehow become acceptable for high school graduates to have a sixth grade reading level. I suppose this is what happens when we allow the government to tell us that we are not capable of “decency,” we are not capable of teaching our children morals and ethics – after all, they do come to school with drugs, guns, and bombs. This is why the government sticks its hands into our schools and decides it is more important to provide birth control for our sixth grade daughters at the nurse's office than it is to actually teach them to think. This is why the government deems political correctness in the classroom more important than intellectual excellence. Instead of truly teaching and treating each student with honor, we cart “the potentials” away to "gifted class" and pat each little “failure” on the head, label them with a disorder, hand them a vial of pills, and because well… they just can’t help it.

In the mean time, the financial divide between us grows wider and our perceived opportunities seemingly start to fade. Our lacking education system continues to breed sets of intellectually deprived individuals, lying dormant in their ignorance and complacency, refusing to vote because they don’t understand the process or why it even matters. Therefore, lets all “turn on the tube” and watch the chaos unravel as these political “heroes” are “victimized” by their own hubris before our very eyes.

We live in a time where people base their political decision on "what the government will do for me" instead of saying, “help us keep the peace but please allow us to make this life work.” The people seem to forget that WE ARE the government, or at least we were supposed to be.

We live in a country where Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream of equality -- no racism and no segregation. Yet despite all of his efforts and accomplishments, something called political correctness, set into motion to “prod” us into "respectable" behavior, has somehow created an intellectual and emotional segregation between races that now requires perhaps another great leader, with his or her own dream, to properly correct it. The next step is to say, “Yes, we are different, but we bleed the same, we love and die the same, and we all desire a space to live and dream the best. I can learn from you and you can learn from me, so let’s do this together.” But which of us will be the first to say it, and how many of us will agree?

Because of this I say “The American Dream” has become “How can I successfully weave my way through this muck and mire, over which it seems I have no control, and still place myself into a position in which I can pursue Life, Liberty, and Happiness?” When will we teach our children that heroes don’t come with record labels and air brushed photographs? How can we show them that knowledge is power and the dumber we get the weaker we are? And how do we convince those in power that teaching the people to think while they enjoy life is more valuable to the nation than an illiterate multimillion dollar football star? When will it occur to us that something as simple as teaching people to read and question the power of rhetoric might in turn prevent something as “minor” as mortgage fraud?

But then again, if you take the time to think about it, I’m currently writing nothing but rhetoric as well. So… I ask you, is it making you think? Am I some kind of crazy dissenter of the social order? Or am I making some valid points? What does “The American Dream” mean to you and where does it fit right now?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wake With Me And Dream...

I am as I am…
A dreamer…
Not the first, but possibly the last.
In My palms, numerous dreams
rising like mist and dust,
carried by Zephyrs and Blustering Breezes,
seeds to be planted,
falling amidst Thorns and Stones,
choked and stifled and growing in cracks,
never reaching fruition.

I am as I am…
A dreamer…
Roaming the endless halls and corridors
with Light so blinding
My eyes fall to the ground,
bearing My understanding,
never faltering, never fading,
seldom stumbling…I am…dreaming ...

One dream after another,
rising from My palms,
the projection of My energy,
like shining crystal spheres,
the treasures of My being and Yours
are plucked from the sky,
cast before Swine and swallowed
like slop.

Sleepers Awake!
The time for dreaming has come!
I cannot be the last,
nor was I the first,
and I cannot do this alone.

I am as I am and You must be as You are…