Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The ability to choose...

When I was a child, I lived in a family that made choices for me based on what I needed and the way I was brought up. AS young people grow up, we tempt the boundaries of choices when we try to assert power or make mistakes. It is all a learning game I guess. The older I got the less I wanted my parents to make choices for me, I was edging towards adulthood and I had to make a choice of how I was going to proceed.

Parents in my day and age had made certain choices of what they believed was acceptable and not acceptable, what was normal and what was not, what was right and what was wrong. I sort of learned some lessons from them, and it came to pass that I made a ton of bad choices as I left the nest, and I attribute that to the fact that I did not know any better, and no one showed me the path to the outside or how to survive. Growing up in today's day and age is a lot harder than it was just 20 years ago. People are faced with so many choices as to how they will live their lives.

Even as adults, we make mistakes. WE get married too young, We have children when we cannot support them fully, WE get lost in substance abuse and alcoholism and the many "isms" that afflict society. We grow into adults with the baggage of the past, with buttons and attributes that may not necessarily showcase your talents and abilities. The desire to be known and respected is high on the need list. We find that if we lack in one area that if we augment other areas, that that will bring us notice and mention. If we grew up as the "outsider" we find ourselves in roles of the "dominant" as adults. Our families of origin and the circumstances of life usually translate into our adult lives. How we live as adults can usually be traced to some aspect of our upbringing.

As children and young people, if we made mistakes at home, we would get punished or grounded or we loose privileges or our parents take away the keys to the car. If we make serious mistakes as young people we might end up in youth detention or better yet JAIL! If we take the track of mistake making into adulthood, we may be stuck in the revolving door of the institutional kind.

It is all a matter of choices

Growing up we go to school and meet others in like places and spaces. We make friends and we cultivate friendships and relationships. But that process is wrought with drama and trauma. Growing up brings with it peer pressure to perform, to be noticed and liked by as many people as we can, or we form cliques that not everyone can be part of. In each and every social grouping in life we can find those who are different. Those who are acceptable to society and those that stay to the fringe of society, and those who take routes that not many choose to take. When I was in High School there were several groups of people to become part of.

  1. The Popular Girls
  2. The Geeks and Science Freaks
  3. The Stoners and Boners
  4. The Jocks and Cheerleaders
  5. The Satanists
  6. The Christians
  7. The other assorted religious groups
  8. The Booze and Beer runners
  9. and the Brains

Hindsight is 20/20 when one is an adult. I had the opportunity to travel among the groups over my teen career at life. Some of those groupings followed me into adulthood, although only a handful of people from those High School Groupings are still a part of my life today. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Now in the time of my life that I exist I can talk about "Choices."

For some, we never learn how to make choices correctly. We did not learn as young adults the correct way to make choices. For the most part, our lives are spent paying for the choices we made as younger people. The lives we live today are directly created by the choices we made as we grew into adults. Most of my friends made some good choices, and some of them didn't. A segment of my "circle of friends" come together during the week to try and mend their lives because of choices we made.

I made many bad choices as a young person, but I made those choices. I did not have someone walking with me tapping me on the shoulder to say "um, maybe that one isn't the right choice!" and I had to live with my choices. So the past five years I have been trying to right the wrongs and make amends to those I can and move on into my life making good and wise choices. I think I have made some good choices, I know that I have good guidance and support. Most people don't have a team of advisors that one can run ideas and decisions by before they make them.
I guess I am a lucky man.

I chose to live the life I live - with the one I want to live it with, in the city that I love and I have friends who chose to be part of my life because of the man I am today. I guess I made some wise choices in life to be blessed with the friends and "family of Choice" that I have today. How I live my life each day is based on a specific order of conditions that I follow to stay centered. I choose to live my best life, I choose to be free from addictions and alcohol because if I go back, I loose my ability to choose.

I don't engage in activity that puts me at odds with family, friends or the authorities. I've never broken a bone, but I have been in the hospital. I've never been arrested and I think I have led an ok life. It was not lived totally right because I am where I am and I have to live with that, and I am ok with this life I live today.

Sadly, we have had a hard lesson in choices as of late. People are blessed with free will, that is a gift from God, it comes with our warranty. People either learn their lessons early in life and they get a pass on strife, or they are doomed to repeat their mistakes until they do learn their lessons.

WHY people make the choices they do is beyond me. And I don't own the right to judge those who make different choices than I have, because looking at me, I could be better or I could be worse, it's all about perspective.

I wonder why people play with fire. When there is a good chance that they will get burned. I am told that if you keep walking by the barber shop that it is a forgone conclusion that you will at some point get a haircut. There is a problem with "societies" of today. One of those problems is called EGO. Straight men practice the fine art of "The Pissing Contest!" I have more than you do, I drive a better car, live in a bigger house, I have more money, so forth and so on. Mix low end drugs into this equation and you have a bad nightmare.

For some, men and women make some really big claims based on their piss patterns or drug use or drug control. Ones ability to obtain, maintain, peddle and or use drugs is a really bad mixture. When a few men gather in a group to be strong on others, that is a recipe for big, bad, trouble. Why some groups form in society is the big question.

I know why the allure of live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse is so attractive.

A friend asked the question about what to do with a certain societal problem. Why do men believe that they can control their societies, their peers and other men? Why do earthbound men even think that THEY are the center of the universe and have CONTROL over other men?

Drugs - Cash - Violence - Ego

Does the ability to "Control" speak of a man's character? Would that not make them God? I must say that men's pre-occupation with Pissing and Control of other men bespeaks of certain imagery.

I talk about why straight men have the need to be seen by other men as "in control" or respected because of EGO!! The Ego is such a valuable asset for some, and for others it is their worst quality. Nobody likes an egomaniac with control issues. Then you have the men who have the need or desire to be "controlled" or "subservient."

In social orders, there is a pecking order and a feeding order as well. There are those who control and direct, then there are those who are the gophers and the doers. Social groupings are very difficult to figure out and why they exist in certain areas is also a question. I don't take to the "being at the wrong place at the wrong time" where drugs are concerned, there is no wrong place or the wrong time when the powder lures you in. Your ability to act rightly is severely



Adults - like children - have choices.

Why some adults make the choices they do - is just beyond me. Then again, it is not beyond me because I know what it is like to be needed and controlled and I know what it is like to be in control and I sure as hell know what it is like to be "Out of Control." Cocaine will make you do stupid things.

Drugs in general will turn a regular joe on the street into an animal only out for one thing...DRUGS.

Been there, done that, don't want to go back. Sad, that lives came to an end over a "cash of cocaine." (that was just reported on the news) Once you get hooked, if you survive, will be your saving miracle. That's a real shame. If you start doing drugs or get hooked, that takes away someones ability to choose or make the right decisions. It is just a shame. Drugs will turn a mild mannered person into a monster that no one will recognize.

I know what it is like to be a junkie, and I know how to buy drugs and how to find them. So I know. I never got on the bad side of any dealer even when I was out of control. I know what it feels like to be wanted, to need to be "part of" and I know what it is like to be the "outsider."

Over a series of years I made a series of choices that took me to places that I had never been and never want to return. I chose to get into the pit, but the light exists and I chose to step out of the pit, and never look back. I chose never to go back to that life.

Recently we have seen what some people choose to do with their lives. And can we fault them for the choices they made? No, we cannot. And we should not. Sad that drugs had played a part in this tragedy.God only knows why some people ended up where they did at the exact moment that death embraced them, though now we do.

For those who commit crimes whether it be petty crime or hard murder, they will be judged by the court of their peers, yet we as society have already judged you. But in the end only God has final judgment.

What is it about the "Pissing Contest" between men? What does this prove in the end? There are men I respect, there are men I admire and then there are men that I just shake my head and pray, "But for the grace of God, I could be like them!" But I am not.

First and foremost, men and women are human beings, unless in their choices, they become "Other" by acting on certain decisions that bring harm to another human being or themselves. Yes, after the fact, we are all human and make mistakes and all will be judged by the one who created them.

I do not condone violence whether it be individual or gang related. There is NO room for gang violence in ANY city - or - in ANY society. You are not welcome in our city or in any city. Let's get that straight right from the get go.

We all have choices

For some, men and women, they have made their choices in life, and they also have the gift of free will, unless you allow someone to take that free will from you, and only God can do that.

It is very hard to comprehend what drives people to get involved with drugs, be that emmulation, wanting to be part of, coercion, you never know how hard the angel will fall if tempted by the dark side. Sadly, this is one of the possibilities.

The first thought that went through my mind was "what did these people do to find themselves on the receiving end of a gun?" Sadly as news is disseminated here, we find it was an internal battle, over drugs (cocaine) we now find out tonight.

While death on any front is cause to pause and consider their lives, we must also remember that they who were in those positions "Chose" to BE IN those positions. Did they make that choice or were they forced into those positions? And why did they have to die? Once you are caught in the web of addiction and drugs all bets are off.

Humans have free will and a choice, and we must remember that, above all else. That choice is diminished by the amount of drugs in ones system or how deep you are involved in the drug culture.

People are people and death is death

and Drugs are Drugs...

Sad as it is, this could have been avoided HAD they just walked away from the conflict and the drugs. Alas, there will be numerous funerals in the coming days and why? Because men will be men and egos will be egos and as long as men and women CHOOSE to act the way they do, they face the consequences of their choices and actions.

As a recovering junkie and alcoholic I know how hard it is to get out of the pit. Why some went to their deaths over cocaine is the question, that they died over drugs is a shame. We all have choices. They made theirs and ended up dead! Were they in the wrong place at the wrong time? We will not know for now, but maybe we will get some answers.

We pray for their souls for forgiveness, for peace and for their families who have to bury them in these times of High Holy Days and Easter. We Pray God's mercy and light upon these human beings.

Eternal Rest Grant them and may perpetual light shine upon them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice post, Jeremy. You said it well. (And I'm serious.)


12:02 AM  

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