I just don’t get it.
I was. I still am. I was never satisfied with the obvious, what was right in front of my face. I had to know “why” things were the way they were (driving everyone around me crazy I’m sure). I guess “karma being karma”, it was only fair that I gave birth to five children with the exact same malady. As an adult I am humble enough to admit that I know precious little about anything. Every day it becomes even more apparent.
No matter how much research I do, how many mental health professionals I talk to, no matter how much insight I gain into human behavior or accumulate personal life experiences, I have been forced to accept that there will be “stuff” out there that will never make sense to me. There will always be things I will never fully comprehend.
Truth is, on some level I do accept that not everything is meant to be completely understood— that’s where our faith plays a big part. However, it boggles my mind that so many annoying, unpredictable and inexplicable things that we do and say as humans become a part of “who we are” or “the way it is done” with no apparent logic or common sense applied. For example:
I don’t understand why grocery stores and department stores have twelve fully operational registers on site— and they only open four of them at the busiest times!
I don’t understand why organic, healthy food costs four times as much as heavily fried, overly-sugared, starchy, high caloric fast food.
I don’t understand why people feel “entitled” to park in a handicap zone without a DMV tag meant for a legitimate impairment—even if all the other parking slots are taken.
I don’t understand why people feel the need to take extraordinary risks (bungee off bridges, swimming with sharks, jump out of perfectly good airplanes, ignore serious health problems and professional advice, driving while impaired, etc…) that have the potential to affect not only their own well-being, but that of others.
I don’t understand why people assume it is their right to birth children or own any pet without accepting full responsibility to learn how to properly care for, nurture and financially protect the well-being of the critters.
I don’t understand why people vote for politicians vying for higher office with documented nefarious backgrounds and aberrant behavior tendencies that affect the decisions they make on our behalf.
The very definition of “stupid” is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
“Why do people do the things they do? “Why did they do it that way?” “What made her say that?” No matter what we do to change our own behaviors, we never seem to be quite mentally in sync with others. If I am passionate about what I do, I am going to try to convince you to change your mind. Perhaps, if in my heart of hearts I believe that I am correct and morally just in doing (saying, believing, etc…) what I do, I may not understand why anyone else would even consider doing things differently!
The loud voices in my head and heart admit that the majority of us want an unrealistic peace in the world, the complete absence of physical and mental pain and anxiety while attempting to achieve social equality in every aspect of our lives. We assume that the result of achieving this peace will allow us to do more, be better. Nothing could be further from the truth. We want what we cannot/should not have, insisting it is not merely for ourselves but for the safety and overall “good” for everyone . Redistribution of wealth, one religion to worship the Almighty, one idea to do what is fair and equal for all; one solution to every problem, etc… Conformity is not freedom. Conformity is not equality.
My daughter, a former Marine Corps Sargent is a “mini-me” version of myself, strong willed and opinionated (she also has an over-abundance of good common sense). Last night we discussed why women should be allowed to “do what a man can do for the same compensation”. We both agreed that an equal effort deserves the same reward. She cannot understand why intelligent people will continue to argue whether men and women can be completely on equal ground. Like it or not, it comes down to biology. Preservation of our species depends on women giving birth, something men cannot do. To be fair, women can never be biologic “fathers”. One gender is not superior over the other; one ethnicity is not better than the other; one culture, religion or creed is not more acceptable than another. We are not equal beings with equal opportunities to succeed, but we are all equally gifted with the potential to “do better”. We all have a purpose.
I swear, some people are put on this earth to drive me crazy!
We desire personal freedoms to come and go as we please, to express ourselves, to be understood and fully accepted for who we are, just as we are. We want to be forgiven for our transgressions and sins and be given a “do over’ for every hurt (big and small) that we cause or mistake that we make. We want to be loved and accepted unconditionally despite our inability or willingness to reciprocate in kind.
I don’t understand how we can ever hope to achieve such lofty goals without admitting our personal failures, taking responsibility for our own actions and putting honest efforts toward doing “the right thing” each and every time.
I don’t understand why we continue to disavow the very existence of a benevolent Higher Being and Creator, or fail to give respect to others who have such strong positive beliefs (especially when their beliefs differ from our own).
I don’t understand how fighting, rioting, looting and provoking unlawful civil unrest is a logical and acceptable response to implied racism, bigotry and gender-hatred as a means to “heal” an embarrassing and indefensible history.
We must get into the habit of holding people accountable for the things they say and do rather than jumping on the bandwagon to be “politically correct” or socially expedient. Are we so indoctrinated by our past failures that we are willing to let others tell us how to think and act? What exactly does rioting and looting accomplish in the long run? If someone told you that an entire people of an opposing position or doctrine are evil, wouldn’t you want to investigate for yourself before forming a belief? It baffles me when others accept the opinions of others without checking out the facts and motives.
If it looks like a duck, has feathers like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is safe to assume it is, indeed a duck. Actions have consequences, regardless of intent. For example, Madeline Albright recently said to a group of Hillary supporters, “Women who don’t (support other women) have a special place in Hell”. Wow! Why would she think that was an appropriate thing to say to any kind of group? Did she change your mind about who you were going to vote for? I might suspect why she would think that, but to voice it out loud— I just don’t get it.
“Shock-jocks” and announcers (like Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, etc…) make a living saying and doing “unacceptable” things under the guise of entertainment. Have you ever said, “I don’t actually know this person very well, and I like what he does/did for the (fill in the blank), but there is just something about him I don’t care for. I don’t know what it is, but I can feel it, and I don’t think he is a good person. Don’t ask me to explain it.” Learn to trust your gut feelings, even when you don’t understand them right away.
I don’t understand why reasonable people marry for what I believe are all the wrong reasons (money, power, prestige, safety, family approval etc…) when there are enough examples of failed marriages and “what not to do” everywhere.
I don’t understand why partners cheat on their spouses (mentally and physically) whom they profess to love and cherish “‘til death do us part” in a moment of weakness as a selfish excuse for their own bad behavior.
I don’t understand why seemingly loving couples give up trying to save their marriage when faced with adversity, challenges and disagreements without seeking professional guidance and fiercely fighting for the relationship.
I don’t understand why otherwise intelligent people bring a child into the world—not because they want children, but in an effort to strengthen a dying union, to silence family members and friends, receive a tax write-off, an unfortunate “mistake”, etc….
Have you ever asked yourself why you keep making the same mistakes over and over? Think about it for a moment. How did we become so skilled at ignoring that gut feeling we get that warns us when we are about to make a poor or questionable decision? When did we stop trusting our own good judgment to act with character, integrity and good common sense?
I don’t understand why medicine costs so much, why healthy food costs so much and why there isn’t a cure for most cancers by now in this age of technological miracles.
I don’t understand why as a society we lawfully sanction the killing of the unborn as a matter of choice, but legally make it difficult to ease the agony of the dying by declaring it a crime for physicians to assist in a dignified death.
I don’t understand why we have hundreds of thousands of military veterans across America living on the streets in squalor and in peril, without decent nourishment, unable to get the medical and financial assistance they need, earned and deserve, while our government is planning to accept thousands of foreign refugees into our country without proper security vetting, spending billions of dollars (we don’t currently have) to ensure their personal safety, well-being and eventual integration into American society.
I just don’t get it, and probably never will. Life isn’t fair or equal, but that certainly doesn’t mean we get a pass to give up and do nothing about the inconsistencies and harsh realities we face in a politically correct society. It also doesn’t mean we excuse bad or inappropriate behavior as a solution to call attention to what is wrong in our world. We don’t have to fully understand what is happening, we just have to deal with it and do whatever we can to try and make it “better”, one person at a time.
Last week a lovely woman I met in California on the first leg of my book tour posted this question on Facebook: “Is our destiny a matter of chance or a matter of choice? Do we wait for it or do we go after it?” At the time I thought it an odd question to ask on a social network.
“Chance determines your destiny if you allow other people or circumstances to influence or make decisions on your behalf without input and energy from you directly. For example, waiting for something or someone to make you happy will certainly provide someone else’s version of happiness that may/may not be close to your expectations. Creating your own destiny is about using the skills and energy you already possess to make positive, organic choices PLUS doing what needs to be done to achieve the outcome you desire. This proactive move is “fluid”— it has no “one concrete goal”, but is open to bigger and better things in the process as a result of the effort you put out.”
The responses to my remark were over-whelming and positive, but the God’s honest truth is, I don’t really understand why our destiny, despite our good decisions, best intentions and hard work, turn out the way it does. I can tell you the statistical results of what will happen if we do things one way or another based on experience and research, but there are too many uncontrollable factors (like interacting with others that are inherently differently) within the process of living that affect how our destiny turns out to ever guarantee a predictable outcome.
We are all imperfect human beings (for a variety of inexplicable reasons). We “assume” before we know for sure, and we “leap” before we understand what we are jumping into. We do stupid things without thinking at all, based on no logic whatsoever.
The GOOD NEWS is that as humans we are also capable of incredible kindness and generosity when least expected. Sometimes we even surprise ourselves with what we thought we didn’t know! In effect, our destiny becomes a mixture of our efforts, our setbacks, our successes and our failures. It may not be the destiny we wanted or deserve, but the odds are better in our favor when we participate and learn in the process.
I accept the fact that I will never understand why socks disappear in the dryer or why one shoe always fits better than the other or why a recipe I’ve made a million times tastes different each time. I still have to do laundry when necessary and make meals when we are hungry.
That’s just common sense.