Today, because I’m in a bad mood (yeah, it’s all kind of getting to me – for the moment)… so I’d like to share something very personal and maybe that will help y’all get a better picture of why I struggle so (between peace & war)…
Ever hang out with bikers? You know, the kind that tend to scare you… Well I have (loaded gun & all) and I can tell you most ‘real’ bikers are the freest people, as a group, I’ve ever met. Reason is that if something bothers them they just take care of it – whatever way seems right. They don’t depend on cops or laws. They tend not to like bullshit either. Mess with one & he’ll mess with you. Simple. Primitive? Maybe, maybe not. Very effective though.
I’ve been abused as a child (see “Sometimes I Feel Like…” post), picked on as a kid, in a street gang (suburb, not inner city), an independent biker, a manager, director (on COO level) and more. In all of those ‘modes’ I’ve learned one thing – when things are not right you figure out what’s wrong and then act. In none of those ‘lives’ was it OK to just sit and take it. Although I believe in being peaceful and having/showing respect for my fellow man, I don’t believe (or haven’t in the past) in sitting still while shit hits the fan around me. Sure there were times I had to; but in almost all cases (almost), with time, I could do something (action) to better the situation.
Early years – The gang was having a problem with the guys in the next town – they were always picking fights. I came up with an idea… Every time one of these guys came over onto our turf (we had a nice little hang out at a little beach on a small lake), we would take turns and one of us would go over & pick a fight. After the fight, no matter who won or lost, we would tell the kid to go back and tell the others “Take a truce, or take a beating every time; we’ll share the beach but no more fighting.” Guess how many fights it took… three. Thank God, because I was next up in line – and I hate fighting (also not that good at it).
Mid years – I had a brother who (after a long ‘history’) one day came around and threatened me & my wife – saying “Next time I see you or her out on the road, I’m going to run you off.” Well, I told him to get out of my house, slept on it (so as not to act in anger) and the next day went looking for him. I found him at an intersection. When the light changed I chased him down and called him out “OK right now. Let’s do it.” He was in his car & I was on my bike. I thank the Lord for looking out for me because I could easily have died that day – but instead my brother put on a sheepish look and slunk into his seat. It was done… I took off. For the next few months, every night after work I’d come home, load my rifle and sit out in the yard waiting – if he showed up I was going to shoot him. Once again, thank you Lord for watching over me – or I could be in jail now for murder. My brother never showed up and I never saw him again. That was about 32 years ago.
Later years – As Director of Warehousing Operations (in a $150 million/year food distribution business) I took over for an operation that for 14 years could not get delivery trucks out on time (maybe average 75% at best – some days as low as 35%). When I took the position I told everybody in the department – line in the sand – trucks WILL go out on time. I did not let go, did whatever I thought needed doing. Some days I’d work 24 hours, go home get breakfast & shower, and come back for another 12 hours. (I didn’t expect someone else to do all the work.) Within 6 months the average ‘on time’ departure rate for trucks was about 95-97%. Later I was told “At first I thought you were a real asshole, but now I get what you’re doing. You’re OK man.” I had mellowed a whole lot by then.
In all of this (and a whole lot more) I learned many things – amongst them: violence is not a great option, respect for others is important, Love is the door, and being centered (in the present) is the key.
So that’s all… that’s why I’m struggling – seeing what I see and not being able to stop it is really, really difficult sometimes. Anyway, I’ll sign off now and go breathe – have to re-center. Thanks for listening.
Oh… almost forgot – the pic is me at age 31 (not today – 1982)… I’m in my standard everyday work clothes, working as a Production Manager with 4 supervisors and 100 workers – and I’m outdoors because we’re having our annual company picnic. A picture says a thousand words. My words? “I really don’t like being fucked with. I mean really. And I get even worse if you’re messin’ with those I love.”
I remind myself… shine the light… keep your flame lit… light others… be part of the awakening… as the dawn lights up the sky, the darkness of night will vanish.
And “like a child” I wish… somehow, someday, my light is going to shine bright… remember those huge signal bonfires on the mountaintops – in “Lord Of The Rings”?… like that… big and bright and effective… maybe… someday… God willing.
Have a great evening… Heck, I feel better already… Thanks everybody!
Frustrating as hell sometimes, but I do love you all – have to… want to… learning to… 🙂