The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

THE POETRY OF ROBERT FROST: THE COLLECTED POEMS, COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED

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Thankful Thursdays – Grateful for more Opportunities

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Thankful Thursdays – Be Grateful you can still Fight… Do not go gentle into the Good Night (Dylan Thomas)

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Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

AUTHOR NOTES

DT’s father was going blind when DT wrote this poem. The dying of the light is a reference to darkness and being blind.

RYAN FU

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What’s Eating Ryan Fu – Fill the Boot or Fix the Problem

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I was driving into work, noticing there were firemen on each side of the street. I wondered what there were doing, then I saw a sign to “Fill the Boot”, a donation campaign to fund fireman programs. At first, I felt sad that I saw them out there trying to get donations from people. Then I got angry that these are the same people who risk their own lives to keep us safe. These are the guys who throw caution the in the wind and run into burning buildings.

It frustrates me when I seen rich athletes and movie stars walking around, not a care in the world, while our saviours are on the streets looking for handouts. I understand that they signed up for it knowing there wasn’t much money in it but there has to be a better way to help fund this important aspect of our society. If you see these fearless men out today please help them out, cause apparently our government isn’t it.

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What’s Eating Ryan Fu – Tom Brady & Manny Pacquaio, A Nation Of Winners (It’s all out fault)

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The NFL has suspended New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady for four games without pay in relation to the “Deflategate” incident in which the team was found to have used underinflated footballs for an advantage in the playoffs.

The Patriots were also fined $1 million and will forfeit its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, the league announced Monday.

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His counterpart, Manny Pacquiao revealed in his postfight news conference that he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. with what turned out to be a torn rotator cuff, he has been criticized for his handling of the injury.

He has even been sued by disgruntled fans who say he kept the injury hidden to keep the fight on schedule and preserve his payday of over $100 million.

Some people have the sense that Manny Pacquiao sold out for the money. And by fighting with a torn rotator cuff, not giving himself the best chance to win, he somehow perpetuated a fraud on the public. 

However, you feel about these two superstars situation, you must realize that we had a hand in their downfall. We are a Nation of Winners and we hate Losers. We put them on the highest of pedestals then we believe that they can do no wrong. But that’s where our own hubris comes into play because our heroes aren’t Gods, they are just like you and I. They feel the pressure to be successful and be perceived as a winner.

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It fucking annoys me when one of our “heroes” falls short on our own standards, even though we didn’t have the courage to reach for the stars like they did. Then we get butt hurt when we realize they are just like you and I. Just normal people trying to be successful in their endeavors, feeling the pressures of being successful. So, let’s give these people a break because if we were in their shoes, we would have probably done the same thing.

The Baltimore Riots – Is violence the best way to deal with all the Injustice of the World? How can we handle it as rational human beings?

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According to Reuters in Baltimore, ND, seven Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday as rioters threw bricks and stones and burned patrol cars in violent protests after the funeral of a black man who died in police custody.

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The riots broke out just a few blocks from the site of the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in northwest Baltimore and then spread through other parts of the city, after local law enforcement warned of a threat by gangs.

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Television images showed looting and a mob of rioters jumping on the top of a police car, after teenaged crowds ignored calls to disperse and clashed with a line of hundreds of police.

Is violence the best way to deal with all the Injustice of the World? How can we handle it as rational peaceful human beings?

A work in progress by Bare Naked in Public (BLW Contributor)

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Entering the funeral home, I immediately hear laughter and friendly chatter.  There is standing room only as friends and family spill out into the foyer.  My mood is lightened; this will definitely be a celebration of life. While I had not seen her in years, she played an important role in my life; colleague and mentor, my journey into administration began with her encouragement and support. I remember how proud she was when I shared the news that I had been hired for an administrative position in another district. We stayed in touch, until a rare form of dementia stole her mind. That was nearly eight years ago. A few weeks ago, it finally took her life.

The staff quietly hustled to add more chairs as the service is about to begin and I take my seat. Now I stare intently at her picture on the small program I received upon arriving. I remember her smile and her twinkling eyes. With a heavy sigh, I wonder how someone so vibrant and alive can quickly become a vacant face.  Life has cheated her and us, and it doesn’t seem fair.

After contemplating the ways of the Universe, I lift my head and glance around the room, row by row, so many familiar faces from long ago. Some of their names come easily, and others I struggle to recall.  A few of my current colleagues are in attendance as the world of education is so small. Now I search the room for the faces I expect to see, the ones I hope to see. It’s funny; when you reallyknow someone well they can be easily recognized by the back of their head, even after eight years.  . . . and there she is.

I am immediately anxious and nervous, taking short quick breaths, my heart races. Of course I expected to see her, but I did not anticipate my reaction. I consciously slow my breathing, close my eyes and listen to the beautiful words of a dear friend as he shares a story. After a few moments, I find myself back in the present, smiling and laughing as we remember a very special woman.

The service comes to a close, and folks crowd into the reception area. I talk with a few colleagues. I am standing just a few feet from her, waiting patiently for the right moment to speak, wanting to approach in the least intrusive way. I pretend to be occupied with my purse or my phone while I watch for my opportunity. In my head, I begin to compose all that I will say, knowing that she could politely turn her back on me. I hear words that indicate the conversation is coming to a close, and I gently touch her arm.

She turns to face me, surprised, smiling broadly. She hugs me tightly for what seems to be an eternity and I want to cry.  I wonder . . . Has she forgiven me? She pulls away and asks how I am, and how my family is doing. I struggle to find the words and manage a couple of okays and then I say, I really miss you. Somehow I feel like she knows life has been tough for me lately, and she tells me that in spite of everything that happened in the past she only wishes me the very best and she repeats herself several times, only the best.

She feels compelled to explain why she ended our relationship; It was all just too close she says. She thanks me for a card I sent her a few years ago, an attempt at mending our friendship, so thoughtful she says, it was all just too close. I feel tears in my eyes and on my cheeks. I wipe them quickly, and I am composed. I tell her again that I miss her, I hug her one more time and we say goodbye.

Driving home, I think about the mistake I made, falling in love with a man who was not available to me, or mine to love. It was not herhusband, but the husband of a mutual friend. He chased me, loved me, and we turned the world upside down for a little while.  He broke my heart and went home. Everyone’s lives went on as if I never existed. I paid dearly for my mistake.

I hoped that enough time had passed, and that she could forgive me. After seeing her, I realized she had forgiven me a long time ago. I do believe her good wishes for me are sincere. But she is not going to be my friend . . . . and that’s okay. It’s a shame that I spent so much time focusing on my mistakes, wishing for forgiveness and missing someone who had let me go.   Another pattern ever present in my life, another lesson learned, time to let go.

As I sit on my bed in the early morning hours finishing this story, I smile thinking about all the beautiful stories shared about our dear friend and colleague who passed away. And then it dawns on me. .  . . she created her beautiful story by the life she lived purposefully every single day. Her story is the gift she leaves for us to tell in her honor, and as an example to follow.

Today, I live an honorable life. I am creating my story, it gets better every day, and one day it will be told.

Check out other great articles from Bare Naked in

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What’s love gotta do with it by The Truth (BLW Contributor)

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Love has to do with everything….

The way the flowers bloom and the trees move

To the sun in the sky to the moon at night

Love has to do with everything

That’s why the bluebird sing and the lions stick together.

And the soft breeze to the wavy waters.

Love even sings….

What’s love got to do with it???

Must I say, I will,

Everything….

The reason why you smile and the reason you cry

Rather good or bad love is always around.

Love has to do with everything…

Whether you are happy or sad, love is around

To keep you up and going afloat.

Loving yourself first allows you to know love and receive it….

Love has to do with everything

The reason you breathe and the reason you stop.

What is love, its going to automatically grow.

We know no other word opposite of love…

For love, is taking over and all it do is grow, grow and grow….

What’s love got to do with it????

Everything…

🙂

It’s love every time I look around

Check out other great articles from The Truth

 

Police Officers, Doctors, Airline Pilots, Firefighters, and Nurses by 10 YEARS A SINGLE MOM (BLW Contributor)

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What do all those professions have in common?  They help people.  They keep people safe.  Many times, when everyone else is running the other way, they are running towards those who need help.  They are among the bravest, most selfless professions known to man.  Lay people sometimes have no idea the personal sacrifice involved in entering and becoming effective in these professions.  The only reward is that you may have helped someone.  You may have made someone’s life easier.

These professions define who you are.  They are held in reverence by those who hold them.  That piece of paper, your license, holds more meaning, than anyone who doesn’t have one, could ever begin to understand.  Losing it is like losing a big part of yourself.   Imagine that part of who you are is being dangled over your head or living in constant fear of losing it.  Losing a part of you in the blink of an eye.  That is what happens to a substance impaired worker in a helping profession.  We are taught to treat our patients and the public with respect and kindness but, when it is one of us, all of that goes out the window and we are treated harshly and without regard to our own personal safety.  Who in their right mind would self report if they knew that was going to be the result…years of emotional torment.

The fact of the matter is that we are all human.  We all experience loss, betrayal, pain, grief, and so much more.  We all have moments in life where we fall apart…where stress gets the best of us….we experience depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol abuse.  Society excuses most professions when substance abuse becomes an issue, in order to get the help they need with little or no questions.  Except when you are, a Police Officer, Doctor, Airline Pilot, Firefighter, and Nurse.  I will used alcohol abuse as an example.  The accountant comes to work drunk.  In most cases, he is given the option of treatment and if he takes the option and successfully completes rehabilitation, can return to work without severe ramifications….after all, he is only human.  Now, I will tell you what happens to the, “the helping professions”.

Police officer comes to work drunk

He is most often fired.  Sometimes arrested.  Generally, blacklisted and unable to get another job as a police officer.  Public humiliation comes in the form of calling the local news agency and tipping them off (they have the discretion not to do this).  Their pride at being a Police officer gone in a second….the shame weighing on them is too much for any one person to carry.  Their Badge and gun taken from them…..that has to be the most gut wrenching feeling.  To walk away without something that defines you at such a deep level.  There is little thought of their own personal safety.

Nurse comes to work drunk

In most cases the Nurse is fired and then has to fight for her licence and is then at the mercy of poorly trained people to oversee their recovery.  They are mocked and degraded by those who oversee their recover, their bosses and coworkers (if they are lucky enough to find another job) and the whole thing is put online for anyone to google.  Some are arrested against the advice of the Department of Public Health.  Public humiliation.  Most suffer from PTSD…not from the alcohol or drug abuse but, from the abuse and humiliation showered on them after they are caught under the influence…long after they stop using the drugs.  Actually, it follows you until you are old and grey and stop renewing your license or if you die.  On a personal level I have, as an experiment, applied for hundreds of jobs.  I have incredible experience as a Nurse and used to be sought after for jobs.  Now, the prospective employer looks up my license and never even bothers to call me.  They don’t even bother to understand my side of the story….it is discrimination at its best.

Firefighter comes to work drunk  

Read Police officer  story above.  Firefighters are generally treated better except in cases of relapse or getting into a drunk driving accident.  Those things are unforgivable offenses.  They are left with nothing.  The profession they love gone in a heartbeat with no hope of redemption.  The greatest source of pride stripped from them.  The brotherhood of firefighters stands beside them but, the administration does not.

Doctor comes to work drunk

News spreads quickly through the entire hospital.  Said Doctor, is asked to leave and not come back pending an internal investigation.  Little or no help or human kindness are offered.  The News reporters are called under the guise of protecting the public from this , “Monster”.  Public humiliation.  The Doctor is put into a program hand-picked by the Department of Public Health (much the same as nurses are) and left at the mercy of ill-trained, ill-intentioned power-hungry animals with anything but the Physicians best interest at heart.  Their pride is ripped from them by one single moment.  Countless physicians have committed suicide unable to withstand being abandoned by their colleagues and their profession….unable to withstand the shame.

Airline Pilot comes to work drunk

He is arrested at the gate.  The News agencies are called and they do anything they can to sensationalize it.  Extreme public humiliation.The pilot is put into a program and grounded for no less than a year.  They lose friends, loved ones, material possessions and their pride.  They now not only have to deal with recovery, they have to deal with criminal charges.  They have to fight and fight to get reinstated long after they have done all they need to do to recover.

Doing the hard work to obtain a license in any of these professions requires immeasurable dedication and skill.  That license becomes vitally important and intensely linked to who you are as a person.  It is a source of pride.  Falling into the grasp of drug or alcohol addiction and having that license put into jeopardy is the most horrific feeling in the world.  I know this from personal experience.  The humiliating way in which ‘recovery’ is structured within these professions is worse than the addiction itself.   The shame brings you to a low in depression you never thought possible.  Suicide and suicidal thoughts are common.  The burden placed on the ‘helping professions’ is enormous.  Meanwhile, the accountant is allowed to deal with their issues in privacy.

Some of you may disagree with what I have said here but, keep this in mind.  One in ten of us will fall victim to alcoholism or addiction.  The only thing worse than an impaired caregiver getting caught and treated, is the impaired caregiver who is so afraid to get caught because of the extremely punitive nature of the treatment and public humiliation they will receive, that they don’t go forward voluntarily to get the help that they need and go on to hurt the very people they vowed to help.  A caregiver should not go on to suffer from PTSD from the treatment they received for substance abuse at the hands of the department of public health or the department of public safety.

We know enough about addiction to do things better for our caregivers.  It’s a matter of public safety.  If an impaired caregiver goes undetected then the lives of those they care for could potentially be in danger.  The life of the caregiver could be in danger.  It serves no purpose to treat our caregivers like criminals and degrade and demean them for the disease of addiction. It puts them at risk of suicide.   It’s a matter of treating our caregivers the same way we are expected to treat our patients….with kindness, love, understanding, and dignity.

Check out other great articles from 10 YEARS A SINGLE MOM