Miner’s canary: A caged bird kept caged in mine tunnels because its demise provided a warning of dangerous levels of toxic gases. (idiomatic) Something whose sensitivity to adverse conditions makes it a useful early indicator of such conditions; something which warns of the coming of greater danger or trouble by a deterioration in its health or welfare On a major road near my home sits a small medical practice. It’s an unassuming building, with a small sign touting its primary doctor’s name, yet it catches my attention nearly every time I drive by. Day or night, rain or shine, I see people — as few as 1 or as many as 10 — standing outside, protesting its provision of abortion services. The most prominent sign they display is “Pray to end abortion,” and I always get irked to no end, because they’ve got it all wrong. When I see that sign, I think “Don’t pray to end abortion; pray to end poor access to adequate health care and misinformation about contraceptives.” By that, I mean: abortion isn’t the bigger problem. Unplanned/unwanted pregnancies are. A “high” number of abortions is merely a symptom of the bigger problem, which is women being pregnant when they are not ready or […]
In Part 1, I reflected on my tendency to rationalize around my happiness. In Part 2, I talk about how I changed. So after all of the reflection on my life, I realized that my happiness was my problem, and mine alone. I had to resolve to figure out how to make myself happy. I didn’t know what the hell it was that would make me happy, but I knew that only I could figure it out because I don’t think it’s acceptable to expect someone to give me something I can’t give myself. And frankly, I think it’s unfair to put the burden of my own happiness, mental health, etc. on another person. What makes the difference in my happiness is my choice to make my life fulfilling for me, regardless of the different factors I faced on a day-to-day basis. I’ve always had a mix of the things I felt I needed to consider myself established, content, and even happy, albeit not always at the same time. However, until now, I didn’t stop to think critically about their purpose in the grand scheme of my life. I seriously think a switch was flipped and it was like “Look, you have […]
I think I’ve lived my entire life in the pursuit of happiness. I want to get to a place in my life where although everything isn’t perfect (because that doesn’t exist), I’m content and have genuine joy in my heart, not the feeling of obligatory gratefulness for having found a certain level of good fortune in life. My relative sanity fluctuates greatly depending on a ridiculous amount of factors. My work life, my home life, my friendships, parenting experiences, finances, health, relationships, etc., all play into whether I wake up excited for to face the world or whether I stare at the ceiling while I coax myself up to deal with whatever I know is on my plate that day. But those are temporal. For me, there was something deeper, lurking beneath those stressors that changed how I looked at everything.
Admittedly, I don’t follow college sports or their athletes. I could generally care less, but I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz recently about the possible charges facing Florida State University’s quarterback Jameis Winston as a result of a rape accusation. On December 5, the State Attorney, William Meggs, announced that Winston would not be facing criminal charges due to what he called a lack of evidence, elaborating, “We have a duty as prosecutors to only file … charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of a conviction.” It’s important to interject here to explain what Meggs meant. Criminal charges were not filed because prosecutors did not believe that they would be able to prove to either a judge or jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the crime(s) in question occurred. That does not mean a crime did not occur. It means there isn’t enough evidence to prove it in a court of law. It does not mean the victim falsely reported a rape, falsely implicated Winston, or did anything falsely. It means that there is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime occurred. I would also like to venture that even if charges were filed against Winston […]
Today Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. While the official cause of death has not been determined, I think most of the world is assuming her death is the result of a drug overdose. If that’s the case, I won’t be shocked, based on the much-publicized (perhaps overly so) battle she waged with addiction to drugs and alcohol. What has shocked me is the sheer amount of comments I’m hearing about how disappointed people are in her ongoing struggle with addiction and her inability to overcome it. It seems so ignorant, insensitive, and removed. I wonder how many of these people have ever dealt with addiction up close and personal — in their own lives or of those they love — and not just through the media. I would venture to think that their outlook on the effects of addiction on the addict and the havoc it wreaks would be much different, perhaps less concerned with pointing fingers and more understanding of the rehabilitation process. After all, life is much different when you’re a participant instead of a spectator.