Rainy Days and Mondays

This post by Doris McCraw

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The past few weeks have been stressful, and with the Holidays it may get worse before it gets better. In that vein, this post is about some of what is happening and our response. If anyone has ever heard or remember the Carpenters song “Rainy Days and Mondays” you know what I’m talking about. For those who may not have heard it, this link should take you there. https://youtu.be/dPmbT5XC-q0

I’ll start with the shootings. Please know, I don’t watch the news all the time. I get my information, then let the constant replay go unoticed. These events are terrible. While we all eventually come to an end of this life, it is never easy to see it cut short. While we can’t know exactly what is in the mind of the shooter, there are some clues I’ve picked up from working with delinquents. In both the Colorado Springs and San Bernidino events, the shooters probably believed they were doing the right thing.

How can killing ever be the right thing? I don’t know, but shooters such as these believe their actions are justified. When someone has no grounding they become the victims of the stronger personality. While this may not always a bad thing, when there are other issues involved, a person can take things literally and to a further consequnce than we would expect. When someone is wandering, they crave structure. If they don’t get it at home, or never learned to create it themselves, they become easy prey. I saw young men and women join gangs, gangs who had horrid initiations, terrible consequences for failing, yet these young people thrived in that structure. They had something to grab onto, to feel a part of. So yes, life can be depressing. Many people feel neglected, unloved and victims of lipservice caring.

I would hope that we can start to really care, take the time to listen and do more than just say we care, and start showing we do.

These things have been on my mind for some time. I think that is why after over 20 years of retirement, I still feel a kinship with those young people who were so lost. I think I still want to help them find a way home.

To end this post, I’ll leave you with a Christmas video from Kenny Rogers and Home Free. It’s the time of year to share love, and I want to send each and every one of you the best that life has to offer. You deserve it. https://youtu.be/o4qNaAlZ1xc

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25 Responses to Rainy Days and Mondays

  1. Joe Stephens says:

    It’s so hard to wrap our heads around a culture that would embrace violence, so it’s easier to pretend it doesn’t exist, I think. And before anyone gets angry, I don’t mean all Muslims. I am talking about radicals. As a Christian, I don’t want people judging me based on the actions of a mad bomber at an abortion clinic, and peaceful Muslims deserve the same. Sadly, all we can do is try to be as reasonably safe as we can and just love people. More than that is beyond our control.

    Sorry if that didn’t make sense. How I feel about this issue doesn’t completely make sense.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Joe, I agree with you completely. I feel people are individuals and should be treated the way by their actions, not their beliefs. It is not an easy issue to deal with. It is having discussions that I think helps us to find out own strengths and weaknesses, and learn that basically we all want the same thing, to be validated as individual humans. Not easy, but I feel strongly we need to start the dialogue. Doris

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    • Doris says:

      Joe, I’d replied earlier, but it hasn’t shown up. It is hard subject, and I realize others will have some different opinions than myself, but after thinking about the issue, I felt we at least needed to start a conversation. As to your not making sense, you made total sense to me. Doris

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  2. Wranglers says:

    It is a tough call. I usually think about the troubled person, and you are right most times they are wanting to belong. I alsi hate the way the police officers can’t do their job, because they fear repercussions. I’m not prejudice in any way, but I think if they look at the average of which nationality gets in the most trouble, they coild realize that’s why sometimes it seems like they are veing targeted. Anyway, that’s jow I look at it. Cher’ley

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cher’ley, like I answered Joe, it is the dialogue we need to have. We don’t all have to believe the same or even be best friends, but an issue does not get resolved by denying it doesn’t exist. I realize this is a somewhat touchy issue, but it bothers so many people, I wanted folks to know they are not alone in their worry. Doris

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    • Doris says:

      Cher’ley, my earlier comment hasn’t shown up. This post, while not my usual, is something that would not let me go. I truly want to encourage people to have conversations, not for the purpose of changing minds, although that would be nice, but to facilitate understanding. When one is fearful, then nothing really gets accomplished, except inertia. Doris

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  3. Thank you for having the courage to write about this issue, Doris. I definitely think many of us would like to bury our head in the sand and forget about it. I agree with your assessment of “why” young people get in this type of trouble and I feel the same way about trying to help in some way. When a public figure promises to “build a wall” or shut the door to our country to keep (undesirables – his words) out, it says to those people that they are unwanted. I know it’s probably never going to happen, but wouldn’t it be better if we as countries could solve our differences and get along, sparing us all the terror in terrorism? What a Christmas that would be!

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    • Doris says:

      Thank you Linda. It wasn’t an easy post to write either, but the topic wouldn’t leave me alone. For myself, if we would look at people as individuals, with their own problems and joys, it might be easier to actually have a conversation. We all want to me acknowledged, and I agree, what a Christmas, for that matter, what a year that would be. Doris

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  4. Doris, I admire your courage tackling this subject matter. It’s a hot issue these days with many people voicing their opinions – opinions that seem to perpetuate more hate. I agree that not fitting in plays a big part in why people gravitate towards extremist groups and gangs. They want to feel included and part of something bigger than what they have. Getting to know each individual rather than lumping them into a big group of this or that is so important, but unfortunately, is the tougher higher road to travel. I also agree with Cher’ley. We’re living in a time now when cops and officers are so afraid to do their jobs. I’ve been told by a friend, an LAPD officer (who years ago was with the South Central Gang Unit and did a fantastic job getting to know people in the community) that now he just sticks to “his calls” because it’s just not worth the possible repercussions anymore. There are two sides to every story. Great post, Doris, and an encouraging reminder that we can all make a difference if we just open up our minds and hearts.

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  5. Doris says:

    Sarah, it was a subject that just wouldn’t let me go. These times, well they are a changin’, as the song goes, and sometimes not always for the better. To me having he conversation, not to make everyone believe the same, but to bring about the positive change we are craving. I’m so sorry to hear about the officer who feels he can’t relate to people other than on the most superficial level. It’s the fear that keeps us stuck. Thank you for your kind words and opinions. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathy Waller says:

    Excellent post, Doris. What you said about people not getting what they need, feeling alienated, craving structure, reminds me of a remark by medical intuitive Carolyn Myss–people with low self-esteem, who feel they’re unwanted or unworthy, become predators; put them in a uniform, give them structure and a sense of acceptance and purpose, and self-esteem rises. But the uniform and/or purpose matter: Boy Scouts and 4-H and volunteer work, or Hitler Youth and the Nazi military? Or gangs or terrorists? I watched an eight-year-old with a permanent sneer on his face–his teacher said the father let him know he was worthless–do a 180-degree turn, and was amazed. Then I was told that over the summer he’d joined the Boy Scouts. Good people had accepted him, cared about him, and given him a positive purpose. We take our choice: love them or let them go and reap the consequences.

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    • Doris says:

      Thank you Kathy! My work with juveniles did play a big part of this post. I am so thrilled to hear about the eight year old young man. I know the issue is a big one, but if we start just with one person, then it can grow as they make their turn around. Just being loved is worth so much. Doris

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  7. S J Brown says:

    I admit I cannot understand the mindset of a person that would intentionally end another persons life. I also admit I have not lived their life or dealt with the things they have. At this point I don’t have answers , just more questions about how to prevent events like these.

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    • Doris says:

      SJ, it does not have easy answers. While I can understand why someone would kill, I struggle with how to keep them from getting that way. I admit my years of working with delinquents does have a bearing on my thought processes. I hope by bringing up the subject, in a non-threatening way, the discussion can start about how to deal not only with the perpetrators but the victims. Understanding and love will help, but getting there….Doris

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  8. I echo everyone’s sentiments, Doris — you are courageous to write this post and it is something that needs rational discussion. I’m in the same boat as Joe — as a Christian, I don’t abide by the deliberate mass killing of anyone. I’ve heard some people spout that if you’re Christian you condone the shootings in Colorado Springs. Sadly, such talk, and others (such as some running for President) are creating greater divisions and upheavals of hatred. I am greatly concerned where we as humans are headed with all of this. But, all we can control is ourselves, and I for one pray earnestly for the tide to shift. May peace and love reign in our hearts and lives even if the world continues its turmoil. Merry Christmas, Doris! I send you hugs and love!

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    • Doris says:

      Thank you Gayle. I truly do believe there are some amazing people in this world, but are afraid to say anything. I agree, we each can only speak for ourselves, but sometimes that speaking can start conversations that lead to understanding. When only the ‘squeaky wheel’ is the one being heard, it only keeps others from contributing.

      I echo your sentiments, Merry Christmas, hugs and love to all. Doris

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  9. I like the way you use music in this post to illustrate your point. I hope you’re having a peaceful holiday season.

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    • Doris says:

      Thank you Abbie. Music is very important to me, and many times it can enhance or even get the point across better. May your holidays be good ones also. Doris

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  10. Mike Staton says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful post, Doris. When we spend a lot of time looking at political posts on Facebook and seeing all the hateful comments, we forget that the majority of people are not obsessing on social media geared toward political stuff — only the left-wingers and right-wingers who enjoy metaphoric food fights. Back in the ’60s, President Johnson said the majority of Americans were the ‘Silent Majority,’ and that’s how I see myself. I’m trying to navigate my way through life, staying true to my upbringing in faith and my moral compass. Like Joe, I’m trying not to stereotype and broad-brush whole peoples. Back in the mid-80s when I was a newspaper reporter, I interviewed a young ex-con, a black man. He was trying to a good man, and had chosen to become a Muslim. He had rejected his childhood faith of Christianity and it’s message. I wondered why when I found the New Testament’s Jesus such a wonderful ‘Good News’ message. I do know this much… Jesus didn’t lead a crusade to conquer Rome, much as Judas Iscariot wanted him to do so.

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    • Doris says:

      MIke, what a wonderful response. I also grew up in the 50’s-60’s and remember the chaos of that time. I believe that was the beginning of my desire to be non-judgemental and view people as individuals. There is a story of a local man who disliked a group of people and was vocal about it, but would hire them to work on his farm and defend the individual as an equal. Those things add to my desire to make individuals feel their individuality while being accepted as they are by the whole. As I keep saying, we at least need to have the conversation. Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nancy Jardine says:

    A deep thoughtful post indeed, Doris, and I can only echo what others above have said. There have always been vulnerable people, some of them young, who veer towards an ideology that supposedly gives them something more meaningful to their existence- extreme sects etc- but what we are experiencing now with radicals intent on killing so many, even as they commit suicide, is an outcome I fail to comprehend.

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    • Doris says:

      Nancy, it isn’t an easy answer. My thoughts do come from my years of dealing with young people. They are so impressionable, and so easily led. It hurts to think of such wasted potential. The one thing I am happy about with this post is the conversation it has generated. For that I am very thankful. Thank you for being part of the conversation. Doris

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  12. katewyland says:

    Good post Doris. The need to belong is so important, as is the need to believe in something. Unfortunately religion has often led to violent conflict – think Belfast and Serbia in recent years in Europe. It’s odd how something that is supposed to elevate your thoughts and make you a better person often gets twisted and distorted into something vile. Has happened all throughout history. Not sure if that can ever change. With modern weapons the carnage is much worse.

    The San Bernadino shooter probably felt like an outsider and wanted to “belong” to something bigger than himself. Too bad someone like you hadn’t brought him into a positive group when he was younger.

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    • Doris says:

      Thank you for your kind words Kate. History is full of so much misguided attempts to create a ‘unified’ world. The joy is in the diffence, in my opinion. I prefer to have discussions where I can grown and learn, and that only happens when everyone is not the same and we are honored for who we are and what we can contribute to the whole. Doris

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  13. Wranglers says:

    Thanks Doris for caring about the young people and for sharing the links. I shall go there now. Cher’ley

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