Democracy – A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.
Through school I was always taught that the basic belief of democracy was the belief that the rights of the many outweighed the rights of the few. As kids, we would vote for everything from which game to play to where to eat, of course with the majority vote winning. The outcome of those votes were accepted, even if not loved by all because everyone at least had input.
Recently things are far from the free world in which I grew up. The rights of the few in many corners seem to far outweigh those of the masses. Freedom of speech squelched by small groups who feel they have the right to quiet ideas they do not like. Political rallies shouted down by a handful interfering with the rights of the thousands who attended to hear the speakers. Media outlets turning off microphones to guests daring to disagree. A free and fair media replaced by big money corporations drilling in ideology from both sides relentlessly in a 24 hour news cycle.
The hatred and division are clear in all aspects of our lives, preventing the free flow of ideas. Social media filled with silly memes and those who must post every article they see supporting the ideas they share. Public shaming of people who not too long ago were allowed, even encouraged to live and speak freely. I find it fascinating that as a society we are so concerned about bullying in our schools yet on a too often regular basis otherwise intelligent adults are bullying each other.
I am sad and aggravated. I long for a better time.
Years ago Frank and went to the animal shelter with the intentions of adopting a kitten. Once there, they implored us to take 2 due to extreme over crowding. We headed into the cat room and began to walk down the aisle looking from cage to cage. One little black and white kitten jumped to the front of a cage and attempted to climb the little bars. For those old enough to remember the movie Gremlins, she looked just like one of the little monsters with giant ears and eyes the size of silver dollars. She picked me! I pointed her out and went along and did choose a second cat. They were both a little sick so we were send home with meds and told to follow-up with a Vet.
Once home, we realized the adorable black and white baby was younger than we thought not even able to feed herself. I found myself bottle feeding her sitting on the kitchen counter. We named her Lexi. I guess it was a test run at children. Throughout the years we had other animals that came and went. A dog who we had to give away after he tried to bite Meg, my mother’s cat that we took in after she passed. She went a bit crazy when I was pregnant with Megan so she too had to leave the family.
When the girls were younger we added Holly, our beautiful black lab who wanted nothing more than to play with our now aging kitty. Lexi would sit on a chair just high enough to smack the dog in the face, she did not share the urge to play. Eventually Lexi moved herself to the basement no longer climbing the steps, and interestingly the dog never went down. It was always as if they had made an arrangement on living space, often staring at each other at the stairs.
Over the years no matter the changes to our household, Lexi was a constant, @18 years old. She moved a little slower and screamed a bit louder and maybe did not hear as much as she once did but she was our girl.
This morning we said goodbye to Lexi, finding her peaceful in a corner after she did not come to eat. She will be missed.
The other night the girls and I watched the Disney movie Inside Out. We had seen it in the movies and enjoyed it, and we enjoyed it just as much the second time. If you have not seen it the premise is a young girl forced to move due to her fathers new job and the five emotions that lead her, joy, sadness, disgust, anger, and fear.
Multiple times throughout the movie I told my oldest daughter that the “sadness” character was my favorite. When asked why (other than how cute the character is,) I explained that throughout life you can only enjoy true joy because of real sadness. Life is full of highs and lows, many stormy moments that in my mind are all there to remind you that when you have the happy moments, true joy, you should wrap your arms around it and cherish the moments. How much of our lives are just a bunch of mixed moments, sadness, anger and fear leading to moments of great joy.The moment I was rushed down the hallway of a hospital for and emergency C-section because Madison’s heart rate had dropped. So scared, tears streaming down my face. Hours later the wonderful joy of holding my beautiful, healthy baby. So many moments before my BPM surgery and during the healing process all leading to a sense of peace and health allowing me to focus on what is important in life.
Sadness, an emotion that surrounded so much of my life growing up has once again been able to creep into my life. It started as a sadness of the loss of a few once important relationships. This sadness has now turned more to one of lamenting that you can not control others actions no matter how much you bend. Some are not happy unless they make everyone miserable around them. Joy for some is seeing sadness in others.
Clearly you should not surround yourself with people who make you feel bad. Of course, life is never that easy. A decision that seems so clear and easy has ripple effects often creating a whirlwind of confusion, hurt feelings and the ever so popular, politically correct, “I don’t want to get involved.” Sometimes you have to bite your lip and sometimes, well you just have to cut ties and move on. I guess the most important thing is knowing which is which.