Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The "Man" in the Middle

We are seeing it more often. Wife, mother, missing, police, searches, "grievous" husbands left at home to continue "normalcy" in the face of tragedy. We've seen it with Scott Peterson, Stephan Grant, Drew Peterson and most recently, Josh Powell. These are only the big cases I can think of off the top of my head and they made national news. I'm confident there are many, many other cases but for one reason or another, hasn't made the major airwaves, yet.

I titled this blog, "The "Man" in the Middle". I think most people can grasp my italicizing the word man, simply due to many definitions of what exactly a man is. I don't mean a male, alone. I don't even mean husband or significant other. I mean the degree and quality of character. The men that these missing ladies were married to, for one reason or another, did not have the character or integrity to be my definition of "man". These spouses either had control issues, financial issues, mental issues or anger issues left unchecked. Their wives, from what understanding we can glean from the events leading up to each of their disappearances, became spouses that had, for one reason or another, turned elsewhere away from their marriage, to grasp a breath of air away from what had become suffocating. And that is what I mean by "in the middle". There seemed to be an outside influence of even minor consequence that made these wives either look elsewhere or simply became aware that the union they were in was not healthy. These husbands were no longer taking care of her in some manner, whether it be physically, emotionally or providing that sense of security that we all need. And because these ladies lost faith in their spouse or their marriage, these men were moved to react in violent ways.

Being disillusioned by a marriage is no reason to fear violent consequences. Why should disillusionment or problems jump to violence, rather than a marriage counselor or even divorce court? A few cases has been reported where the wife wrote letters or told friends that if anything should happen to them, they should suspect their husbands. What is it about these men that jumps past reasonable action and goes straight to violence and the subsequent lying and hiding until the truth and evidence comes back to bite them? And why do wives stay with men they have such strong fears about?

I don't know what the answer is. I do believe there could have been more protection for them from the police. Perhaps it was available and these ladies chose not to open that door. But I would encourage everyone that may become suspicious in any way about the relationship of a friend, neighbor, sibling, adult child to get involved. Encourage them to talk. Encourage them to get help. Help them as quickly and as much as possible. We have too many children losing their mothers, and subsequently their fathers, in crimes of passion. Let's help these families before they get to that point.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What is a Right?

I suspect this post will not be a popular one. But, I have a need to look further into something I've observed quite a bit lately. There seems to be an uprising of people that are, somewhat, put off and bitter over the recent onslaught of fundraisers for the Haitian people and the tragic earthquake they recently experienced.

The United States is usually one of the first countries to offer help around the world when things of this nature happen. We, as a people, give the most monies to the cause. And I would venture to say, without proof, that we probably have the largest number of people that will travel to these locations to offer personal help and resources. Our celebrities often join forces to influence for more money for the cause.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Still Lessons to be Learned

Today is MLK Day, Martin Luther King's observance. He was a great man, a Godly man. He had messages that we can all still learn from today. But I'm afraid he, and his message, have been placed in a box he was trying to open decades ago. The race box. And it could be eye opening to look at that box.

Martin Luther King, along with his day of observance, was first observed in 1986 after President Reagan signed it into law in 1983. It was immediately embraced by the black community. It has taken nearly 25 years for the typical holiday observances to reach the magnitude it is today. But that, said, it's not as observed, yet, as some other holidays. We do close the federal offices, post offices and post offices, along with banks now. Some school districts have the day off, but if you look carefully, alot of those school districts are urban schools with a majority of black students. Out in the suburbs, its still unusual to have this day off. Such is the case here, around the Detroit area. We lived in the New England region for a few years and there, they would really observe the day by having the children learn excerpts from Mr. King's famous, "I Have a Dream" speech. In my opinion, learning about the man, his message and his words is observing the day in a much more genuine way that having the day off from school or work, simply to play for the day or a few more hours to get errands such as groceries done. But that's just me.

I feel that one of the most quoted phrases that epitomizes Mr. King is the one that says he dreams of the day his children aren't judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. What a great quote. What a great sentiment. And what a great goal. I think in the four decades that has passed since it was originally spoken, things between the black and white communities have improved. But it hasn't arrived yet. One of his last speeches he gave was about the Vietnam War. In it, he said that darkness doesn't dispel darkness. Light does. And hate does not cure hate. Love does. Isn't that profound? A little obvious, but profound, nonetheless. In this fight for race equality, I think both sides have, at times, forgotten this simple concept. I think it also holds true in most conflicts of ideals. Hate is met with hate. We see it in the abortion protests. We see it in the gay protests. Hate is met with hate. And hate will never, ever change someone's mind. It will never be the more attractive option. God did not intend for His people to use His words and His teachings to spew hate toward anyone. And that does not give the recipients of the radical, over-zealous religious protests the right to meet their hatred with hatred of their own. Two wrongs don't make a right, remember? Martin Luther King has been held up as a great man in the civil rights movement. We also need to remember he was a great follower of God.

"The content of our character." That's a sermon and life-goal for all of us, black, white, Jew, Islam, gay, straight, Christian or not. Let's consider the next time we have a difference of opinion, difference of ideals, difference of lifestyles what the content of our character is showing the world. Let's all, all of us, strive to make this one phrase spoken by Martin Luther King many, many years ago more the norm than not. I think it would go a very long way in this world.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year, Now What?

Here we all are in 2010. Do you recall being a kid and thinking the 2000's sounded so Sci-fi? It's just so amazing how quickly time passes. I learned a lot last year doing my blog. I actually got where I was writing more and enjoying it more. Then comes the holidays. SCREEEECCCCHHH!!!! That's the sound of brakes, in case you didn't know. My husband took quite a bit of time off, my son was between semesters and we simply did a lot of nothing. Relaxing, watching TV--mostly football games, and going to bed and getting up and eating whenever the spirit moved. It was so enjoyable. But, alas, bills need to be paid and jobs and schooling need returning to.

I realized that it's been awhile since my last entry and started thinking about what to write about. I think my brain is still on vacation. Apparently, I'm needing to get back into some sort of swing of writing. I have a few aspirations for my writing this new year. I'd like to finish the fiction novel I began during NaNoWriMo in November. I entered in the nth hour, so I hadn't really prepared for it very well and I wasn't convinced it was something I could do. I didn't finish the goal of 50,000 words, but I did enjoy my story and would like to continue with it. I have considered a new blog also. One that is thematic. I gave this quite a bit of thought and concluded that perhaps it will be a blog about encouragement. My husband and I have been told many times that we are Barnabases, encouragers. And in this day, who doesn't need encouragement from time to time? We all do. What do you think?

For better or worse, we are already almost halfway through January of this new year. Yikes! I want this year to be more purposeful. I'm tired of kind of "floating" along wherever life takes me and not really accomplishing anything or bettering myself at all. I have a couple of other goals for myself in addition to my writing. I'm sure you may hear about that in the future. I didn't make "resolutions", just resolving to be more purposeful. It's a phychological thing for me. Maybe I'll stick to this one. It would really help me to hear from you, the readers. What do want to see in 2010 for yourself? Speak up and let's help each other make this year the best we've had in a long time.