Ebola and Our Misplaced Outrage

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Good Saturday Morning!  You know this must be weighing heavily on my mind if I’m posting on a Saturday.  I promise that I will be brief.

 

Ebola Crisi

Last  night before we went  bed, there was some talking head on one of the news stations discussing the Ebola crisis.  I turned to my husband and said “I’m tired of this.  We need to change the channel.”  First he looked a little startled then, since he knows me pretty well, he understood and off we went to HGTV.  Then, this morning there they (the news people) were again talking about Ebola.  Again, I changed the channel.  Let  me be clear, it’s not that I don’t care about people with Ebola.  What I don’t care about is the borderline histrionics that people are going through now that Ebola has breached our borders.

It is not lost on me that had the United States – in fact the world – cared about what was happening on the African continent concerning the Ebola epidemic, we would not be in this situation.  Our unwillingness to get involved – offering financial, medical and technological assistance – and general apathy is exactly the reason why we have no idea how to respond.  This is why I  now find it difficult to listen to the media turn this into a social and political spectacle.

We have a history of treating Africa with indifference.  We did the same thing with AIDS/HIV, which ravaged Africa, but went largely unnoticed until it came to America and Europe.  I came across this really interesting article this morning written by  John D. Sutter, a columnist for CNN Opinion, Ebola: Where’s  the empathy for Ebola’s African victims?  that describes the current state of emergency in the African countries affected by the disease.  Additionally, he talks about how  and why the world ignored the issue while it was contained in Africa.  Please, take a moment from your Saturday morning coffee and read this article.  It may help to put things into perspective.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families affected by Ebola both here and abroad.  However, long before Ebola ever became an American issue, Big Poppa and I have been discussing ways to contribute our own resources to the cause.  We just could not see the suffering of nations and not want to help.  People, we are sitting in our comfortable homes, looking at our neat lawns and eating our abundant food worrying about what just might, possibly and could happen when over 4,000 people have died and the number is growing.  That is their reality!  Do you get it?  This is why I can’t watch another news person or politician spin this out of control.  I just refuse to be a part of that.

If you are at all interested in helping those in need, please follow this link to a list of non-governmental organizations working to help those in West Africa.

Peace,

Lisa

 

Just One Small Change

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Yesterday I was futzing around my house because it was CLEAN.  I love it when it’s freshly cleaned.  It’s so much prettier and comfy.  It makes me supremely happy, even if it is for only a few hours before the kids invade and destroy  return home.  As I stood in my dining room it occurred to me that we are in need of new dining room furniture.  Actually, I’ve known this for a while – probably before we even moved into this house.  I bought this furniture many years ago before I got married and we became a family of 7.  It seats 6.  No, now it seats 4 because during the move to Texas two of the chairs were damaged.  Obviously, I need a table that seats at least my whole family.  Not to mention that when I bought it there was only me and Mr. C. so, the white seat cushions were easily kept clean.  However, in the 17 years and 4 children that followed, not so much.   Now we rarely use it and it serves as more of a catch-all for mail, papers, laptops, etc. It needs to go. It’s time for a change.

In order to determine what I really want in that space, I decided to make what I thought was a minor adjustment in the layout:  I moved the table from sitting directly in front of the window to sitting on the diagonal in the room.  The room has an odd shape (it has 5 sides) and I wanted to see if the shift would give me more space for a larger table (it does).  Is there room for another buffet in addition to a china cabinet?  Yes.  Not to mention that I just wanted to see how I like it (not sure yet).  What is really interesting is the response of my family as they each came home.

Mr. C. : “What’s THIS?  Why are you always changing things when we’re gone?”

Me: “Just trying something new, son.  That’s all.”

Mr. C. : “Oh. Stop it.”

****

Thing 1: “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”

Thing 2: “YEAH, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”

Me: “I just moved the table to see if I like it better.  Thinking of getting new furniture.”

Thing 2: “Eeeewwww.  I don’t like it.”

Thing 1: “No, not at all.  I’m getting a snack.”

****

Big Poppa: “Soooo, you’ve been moving furniture, I see.”

Me: “Just trying to see if I have more room with this layout.  That’s all.”

Big Poppa:  “Okaaaaaay.”

In Big Poppa’s defense, we’ve been married long enough for me to know that he suspects what’s coming.  In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he starts looking around the house soon to see if we’re playing a game of Spot the New Furniture.  The man is no dummy.

From their reactions you would have thought that I had completely dismantled the room instead of making one small change to a space that we rarely use.

People are such creatures of habit that we hold on to things that are really harmful (or at least non productive) in order to maintain the status quo.  Familiarity seems to be more comfortable even when it’s not good for us. Never questioning or reevaluating our circumstances until something goes very wrong.   Much like that table is the catch-all for all of our household clutter, what do we hold on to that merely clutters up our lives?  Is it a bad habit or addiction?   Drinking too much.  Over spending. Over eating.  Are you holding on to a person that isn’t good for you?  I’m not necessarily talking about a spouse or partner, but friends, too.  Well meaning or not, some people are toxic and it may not be until you step away that you realize the negative impact that they have on you.   Here’s a tricky one – is it where you worship?  Too often we fall into the habit of attending the same church for years because it is your family church, or because your close friends attend, or because it’s conveniently located in your neighborhood.  But if you’re leaving service feeling empty and having trouble connecting with other members of the congregation, maybe it’s time to reevaluate what you need from your church family and move on.

Trust me when I tell you that no one else in my family cares at all about that dining room table.  In fact, if you asked them to describe what it looked like in detail, they would probably all fail.  However, it is always there in the same place, capable of catching a book bag or newspaper when it was carelessly tossed on top. Predictable. Dependable. I, however, love that table.  It was the first piece of furniture that I bought for my new townhouse that I had built for me and Mr. C.  It was so pretty and perfect for that space.  It was ours…makes me weepy (as silly as that sounds) just thinking about it.   However, now I’m in a different space, many years later.  Upon reevaluation, it’s time to let it go.  Not the memories, I can keep those, but the raggedy table must go.  I need something large enough for all of us. Something better suited for the style of the house.  Something that will hold our new memories and that I won’t want to cover with all of our clutter.  Much like a life well lived shouldn’t be filled with a big mess.  Yes, life can get messy, but we must not be afraid to move things around and free up some space.

Now, about that game of Spot the New Furniture…

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Married Seagulls

 

I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy. First, let her think that she’s having her own way.  And second, let her have it.

                                                                                                                                                                            Lyndon B. Johnson

Marriage Advice From Our 36th President