Monday, December 21, 2015

Fear is wasted energy

I see many of my facebook friends belittling college students for demanding safe spaces where they can be free from racial, ethnic, or religious "microagressions." The sneering at the naivete of youth often resides on the same facebook wall as someone who supports someone like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz because they will create a safe space, free from racial, ethnic, or religious macroaggresions like Islamic terrorism, undocumented immigration, and "criminals," an often nameless class of Otherness which belies a thinly-veiled description of minorities to white Middle America. 

Both the Millenial-and-Homelander students and the GenX-through-Baby-Boomers so-called "grown-ups" believe in differing politics, but, nonetheless, they are giving in to the same sense of fear that pervades America this year. People are convinced that Jesus is coming back very soon, that the world is gone to hell, that war and violence and corruption are signs of the times, and that ____________ is the AntiChrist. It's all wasted energy. Fear profits us nothing. Big corporations are ruining government? Creeping socialism is ruining government? The list of things we're afraid of in the United States is endless. We've become a nation of fretters, driven to and fro by the whispers of a fear comprised of names we can't pronounce easily.

Do not let fear govern your lives. Do not live in a state of anxiety. The world is getting better all the time. There has never been a safer time to be alive than 2015. You have less chance of dying at the hands of another human being today than anyone has ever had in the history of the world. The End is not nigh; there are miles to go before we sleep, so weep not, my friends. Be of good cheer. Shit happens, and it sucks when it does, but life is good. Life is not fair; it is a struggle, but it is beautiful and yours. Do not let others ruin your sunsets, your embraces, and your hope for tomorrow. Resist fearmongering wherever you can. We have people screaming at little children in the security lines at airports and cops asking to search bags at movie theaters now because of terrorism. Folks, I saw a sign on I-20 in Georgia yesterday that said that Georgia has already had 1,300+ highway fatalities in 2015. You have a greater chance of being killed by falling furniture than by terrorism. Do not let fear govern your lives.

The past seems like a safe place, but it only seems that way because we know what happened in the past. The future, full of uncertainty, leaves us anxious in the face of the terror of not knowing what's could happen. Embrace the unknown. Stop letting your fears cause you to think that yours are the only relevant ones and that others should share yours and ignore their "petty" fears. I fear many things, but I've not heard about any of those fears on the news. Sow joy and peace wherever you go and something might grow in your wake.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

What the Williams Family Did during the Summer of 2015

10,673.1 miles (all driven by Mac)

Nations visited: Two (USA and Canada)

Nations seen: Three (USA, Canada, & México)

States Visited: 34 & the District of Columbia
South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

Provinces Visited: 4
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island

3 Ferries Taken:
Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port-aux-Basques Newfoundland = 6 hours
Port-aux-Basques Newfoundland to Sydney, Nova Scotia = 6 hours
Dauphin Island, Alabama to Fort Morgan, Alabama = 40 minutes

Tolls Paid = >$200

7 Time Zones:
Newfoundland Time, Atlantic Daylight, Eastern Daylight, Central Daylight, Mountain Daylight, Mountain Standard, and Pacific Daylight. 

13 State Capitals (and our nation’s capital) :
Columbia, SC; Raleigh, NC; Richmond, VA; Washington, D.C.; Providence, Rhode Island; Augusta, Maine; Montpelier, Vermont; Columbus, Ohio; Frankfort, Kentucky; Lincoln, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; Montgomery, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia.

Interstates Traveled:  10, 20, 40, 70, 80, 90, 15, 25, 35, 55, 65, 75, 85, 95, 19, 76, 29, 93, 89, 91, 87, 79, 71, 64.

Times Jack watched one of the Star Wars movies: >40

Speeding Tickets = zero
Border crossings = two (Calais, Maine and St. Stephen’s, New Brunswick)
Agricultural inspections = one (Newfoundland)
Citizenship inspections (not at the border) = two (New Mexico and Texas)

Total Nights Away from Home= 46
Nights with relatives= 17 (Aunt Connie & Uncle Tommy, Aunt Tina & Uncle Loren, Lala & Jim, Grandma & Grandpa Fonnesbeck, Travis & Erin)
Nights with friends= 2 (Juan Carlos & Tara Avena)
Nights in hotels = 26 (Sleep Inn, Econolodge, Residence Inn, Courtyard, Holiday Inn Express, Wild Berry Lodge, Fairfield, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, and Hilton Garden Inn)
Nights sleeping on a ferry = 1 (Maritime Atlantic)

Awesome memories?