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Sunday, February 21, 2016


Other Perspectives

Hey All - February's going from a deep freeze to an early spring.  Not sure if this is Punxsatawney Phil's doing, or someone else's.

Big news in law and politics -  the death of Senior Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.  As expected, for reasons to numerous to mention, this touched off a political firestorm.  However, what caught this blogger's attention was the statement made by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  In terms of how they evaluated cases before the Court, they were polar opposites.  In real life, they were, to use Justice Ginsberg's words, "best buddies."

The way our nation is so divided, this seems almost impossible.  The way arguments on social media so quickly devolve into personal attacks, the way those attacks and their responses become so acidic and vitriolic, it's an honest to goodness miracle that a civil war hasn't already started.  Say this word, you're a racist.  Say that word, you're a terrorist.  Say something I don't agree with, that somehow gives me the right to humiliate, embarrass, and insult you in public because I know everything and you need to be "taught." 

But "best buddies?"  Those whose opinions actually counted, whose findings could potentially become the law of the land, whose decisions actually had more substantial consequences than just hurt feelings . . . How on earth could they be "best buddies" under these circumstances?!?

Here are my educated guesses:

(1). Respect.  Whatever they decided did not extend beyond the four corners of the written decision that the Court issued.  They didn't taunt each other about how stupid they thought the opposing argument was over lunch.  No posturing or posing, because someone just had to be a loudmouth.  No finger pointing or name-calling at the seventh grade level.  Never making it personal.
(2).  Understanding.  Ginsberg noted that after she read Scalia's dissents, in which he ripped apart the weaknesses of Ginsberg's decisions, she was able to make the final draft that much better by becoming aware of those weaknesses and covering them.  No, it didn't mean she was bowing down to his superior intellect, it meant that she learned to write a better opinion after seeing the opposing argument.
(3). Boundaries.  To expand on what's been stated in (1), there are times you, believe it or not, keep it in check.  Maybe give it a rest sometimes.  Maybe save it for another time.  Maybe just because you feel that way is not carte blanche to start the great American debate all.  The.  Time.  Cause.  You.  Feel.  Like.  It.

As Betas, we are often intimidated into remaining silent not to offend anyone.  And then when we do work up the fortitude to say what we think, right or wrong, we are not always prepared for what could be an onslaught of opposition and criticism, because that takes even more fortitude.  

Can you hold differing opinions with friends?  If you're willing to abide by the above three suggestions, you most likely can.
But what if a friend or relative is not willing to abide by them when you are?  Welcome to Beta Male Life 101! 

They don't have to be as nice, as respectful, or as mature as a pair of Supreme Court Justices.  And you don't have to associate with them if they won't.

Don't get it twisted, if they don't hold back from personal attacks on you, especially with an audience, you shouldn't feel guilty about knocking them down a few pegs.  Nevertheless, no amount of proof will make these people change their tune, so don't expect to be a hero.  Do only what is necessary to protect yourself, leave them behind, and find better people to associate with - you shouldn't limit yourself to only those who think like you do, but you should only permit people who can respect your views the way Scalia and Ginsberg respected each other.



Saturday, February 13, 2016

Make Love Stronger Than Hate

Hey All - Happy Valentine's Day!

This day is meant to celebrate love.  Yes, it's also day when people are very likely to buy each other jewelry and chocolates.  But it's primarily about love.

When you look at the world around us, through social media and otherwise, there are way too many reasons to hate.  There are terrorists who hate America, and there are terrorist apologists that tell us that it's our fault for getting them angry enough to kill.  There are ideological differences that divide our country, and there are "independents" who sometimes make excuses for the dividers.  There are people who will never respect us no matter what we do or say, and there are other people who eternally enable them and excuse their behavior.

And I wasn't even talking about the alpholes - don't get me started, lol!

Yes, there is so much negativity, misfortune, and backlash in this world, it's a miracle that World War III hasn't broken out yet.  There's so much drama in this world because, quite frankly, peace and respect just don't seem exciting enough.  Some people develop high-conflict personalities because being at peace is just way too boring for them.  Don't let them sell you on the "I'm only being honest" nonsense, because if they were ever confronted with that same exact honesty when aimed at their own failings, they'd throw a tantrum.

Ummm, Daaaaave?   Not to criticize, but isn't this post supposed to be about -

One step ahead of ya - yes, it is about love.

Even with so much unpleasantness in this world, there are still people who don't look to cause drama and agita.  There are people who really do care about us, are happy to see us succeed, and have an investment in our continued happiness.  There are people who are proud to have you in their circles, and are honored to be in yours.  They inspire you to be even better than you already are, and to make them feel just as happy as they make you.

This doesn't necessarily mean a romantic partner, though this certainly helps.  That same kind of compassion can also be found with family or with a tight-knit group of friends.  Respect.  Empathy.  Understanding.

As Bold Betas, it's tragically easy to forget those who are more worthy of our thoughts.  If we're confronted with so many haters, yet lack the ability to successfully repel their attacks, they tend to give themselves top billing.  However, when we become Bold and Bulletproof, we are able to drown out what those miscreants say and do, and then remove them from our lives.  Then we are in a much better position to love ourselves, and by extension, to love others.  To give and receive love in equal amounts.  To create more thoughts of happiness to share, and reduce thoughts of the alternative.

So send those others on their way, and appreciate those who deserve to be in your life.  Show love to those who love you.  Show compassion to those who bestow it on you.  Show appreciation to those who appreciate you.  And let ALL OF THIS take precedence over anyone who doesn't care, or who thinks less of you.

Goodness knows, that's not easy to do.  Negative thoughts have a way of making it tough, because negative people are so convinced that they're the only ones who are aware of reality.  They just don't like admitting that they're the ones who make their reality that way.  So let's beat them to the punch and put more love, and more happiness, in our reality.

I never celebrate Valentine's Day.  I don't need a day to show that I love somebody, I already do that every day.

Oooooh.   Ahhhhh.   Ohhhhhh.   That's amazing.  Nevertheless, the holiday is here.  So let's use it.