January 22, 2014 - Is there something wrong with me? Am I a "bad" man?
I only ask these probing questions of you, because at night, before beddy-bye time, when I reflect upon the day that just was, I sometimes ask myself these same questions. And, these introspections usually follow the reflections of "Did I do all I could to help my fellows?" "Did I do harm to anyone?" "Have I done wrong or have I been a part of the problem and not a part of the solution."
Tonight after I tuck the largess that is myself in under the covers I will go through my personal litany and ask those questions before I drift off to nightie-night time. I don't know what I will answer.
But why, O'Rushola, are you questioning yourself?
Well kids, let me answer you this way. I don't know if I'm a skeptic or a cynic. For example, when I heard (over and over) President Obama said something to the effect that marijuana is no worse than alcohol, I didn't think:
A) Oh, I hate that man, and therefore I disagree with everything he agrees with;
B) Marijuana's da bom! Bam! Man, dats one cool Prez. Right-on, Dude; or
C) Pot is the Devil's weed and therefore all who inhale are doomed to the pain and suffering of Hell.
I didn't think any of those things, because I don't believe their premise.
What I did think was, "I wonder what folks are trying to hide?"
I think talking about something as juicy as this must be, means there is something of real importance they don't want us looking into or at. While you look at the hand with the shiny red ball, you don't see the other hand pick your pocket. I believe those in the loop would call it a diversionary tactic.
Recently, when I heard former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates had wrote a memoir, and that it was "critical" of the president but gave former Secretary of State H. Clinton high approval ratings, I thought: He's looking for a seat on the Clinton Part 2 presidential train.
This line of thinking is nothing new to me. I remember not voting for Bush One for United States President because he was a former CIA Director, and who in their right mind would trust somebody who works in secrets and lies to be open and truthful?
It has nothing to do with party affiliation. Democrat or Republican makes no nevermind to me. As far as I'm concerned, politics has made 'em all Repbucrats, or if you prefer, Demolicans.
See, there it is again . . . I just thought of another mark that can be added to the tally board, pushing up my status as Bad Man. I didn't look at the individual Republican or Democrat politician as the individual they are; nope, I just lumped all politicians together into one big, ball of elite muckity-muck.
Aren't all politicians pink on the inside? Do they not all bleed red, just like you and me? Hmm? I am not convinced.
So, do I live with a healthy dose of skepticism (questioning, questioning, questioning) or do I suffer with paranoid tendencies of a cynic (conspiracy, conspiracy, conspiracy)? AND, if I have let myself slip into being Mr. Cynical, how did that happen? Come on!
Even the flippiest, liberal, leftist, nicey-nice person these days doesn't stop a nanosecond to think before they re-post some no-good, mean-spirited, name calling hoo-doo to their social internet network of choice as long as it is about a Republican. The most straightlaced, God-fearing, Mom-lovin', truth seeking conservative is as quick to post their own attacks regardless of validity to their own social network.
What I'm saying is, maybe I am not alone. Maybe even a tough guy and independent thinker like me is as susceptible as those pinkies and meanies of the previous paragraph to the divisionary politics of left versus right. What happened to the politics of right versus wrong?
Ohmygod! I just did it again! I just blamed our political leaders for leading us, like sheep to the slaughter, by the nose hairs to extremist political viewpoints, instead of taking responsibility for my own beliefs. So, I am back to the beginning: Is there something wrong with me? Am I a bad man?
(Or is it just that my momma's kin hale from the Appalachian hollers and we're all inclined not trust revenuers upon the drawing our first breaths? Hillbilly logic?)
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org