That’s Just The Way It Is…

The Cast: My Thoughts (went rambling).

There’s a shoe in my tree. That’s just the way it is.

The shoe that is in the tree that is in my backyard.

“That’s just the way it is Some things will never change…” (The Way It Is, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, 1986)

Several days ago I was on Twitter and a conversation came up about God and the song One of Us (Joan Osborne, 1995). Now, I am a God fearing man. I believe in Him. I know he exists. I know He works miracles in my life and in the life of others. Along that same vein, I also believe in Jesus Christ. I also know what He has done for me and humankind. So, for me the question of “What if God was one of us?” is a moot point. That question—for me—is not worth toying with. I don’t play around with the “What ifs…?” regarding God’s existence. If others want to. Fine. I have no issue with that. But, as I have said: For me, it’s a waste of my time.

So, I bring this up because one individual would not let it drop. He kept going for days. Now, I get on my Twitter account every few days. I don’t live there. So, sometimes, I don’t see comments or responses for a while—this needs to be understood. Anyway, one person in the conversation mentioned that it was supposed to be a hypothetical question about today. Fine. Again, I had to mention to him that I don’t play that game when it comes to God. He is not a hypothetical to me. Meanwhile, the one fellow kept pushing and saying things like, “Obviously…” and all sorts of let-me-try-to-convince-you-of-my-point-of-view commentary. I wasn’t trying to convince anyone. I just mentioned that I don’t “What if…?” God’s existence (or the “when’s” of His existence). But, this dude wouldn’t drop it. Finally, on Monday, I had to block him. He wouldn’t take the hint. I didn’t agree with the song. I think it’s stupid. The tune is nice. The singing is good. I just feel that the lyrical conversation it starts is stupid. That is my opinion. You can feel any way you want about it. I’m not out to change your mind (and, don’t try to change mine). I give you this background because those thoughts lead me to others.

That’s just the way it is. I am sure we’ve all heard that (or something very close to it) said to us on more than one occasion—about more than one thing. I heard it a lot in the Marines. I used to hear it all the time in talking with people, but, not so much these days—now that I think about it. “That’s just the way things are. No use trying to change them.” WHAT?!?! What kind of idiotic attitude is that? That’s just the way things are. Deal with it. NO!!!

I have also heard the saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” (attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, for more on this, visit here) That quote is attributed to Gandhi, but, it is not his. However, the thought is still a good one. I have taught my children to stand up and fight for what they believe in, no matter the cost. Some things in life are worth all we have to offer. Christ was the perfect example of this. If there is something out there that truly bothers you, then fix it. I don’t have to like it. I don’t have to agree with it. It is up to you to get out of life what you want. And, some things are going to come at a cost. But, if you think it’s worth it, then it must be.

It seems to me that too many people have given up. They don’t know how to stand their ground. How to stand firm. Or even for what. It definitely isn’t easy. I know I have days where I question myself: “Is this battle really worth it?” I almost always answer, “YES! That’s why I started it in the first place!” But, some days I am tired and I let my guard down. Or worse, I quit. Then, I gotta start all over again. Ugh… If only I hadn’t just quit that one time! I understand why people do though. Why they quit. It’s hard. Life can be hard. It’s tiring. Working for a goal can be exhausting. Especially, if nobody else is on your side. It’s rough.

So, anyways, over the past few weeks—with all the Afghanistan debacle that has been happening—I have had the mental discussion of ‘change’ and ‘quitting’ in my head. Also, for a myriad of other reasons I have—for months—had the thought about a man and his circle drifting through my mind. If you are unfamiliar with the man and his circle, here’s the Cliff Notes. Basically, it’s this: Every man has a circle about them. In that circle they keep what is dear to them. Some have a circle big enough for their family. Some, for friends too. Others include more. And, so on. Erich (I have spoke of him often), is one of the bigger circle kinda guys. I am not. I am a smaller circle sorta fella. However, I am willing to move my circle about the larger circle and help those that need it. I’ll let you into my circle, but, not everybody gets to have an extended stay. That’s me. I’m not pretending anything. Oh, I’ll love the people in the bigger circles, and help them if I can, but, they have their own circle to abide in.

That sounds harsh, I know. But, I have come to accept who I am. I know my role. That’s fine. Oh, that doesn’t mean that I am not trying to be a better person. I’m just saying that I am aware of my mortal limitations and shortcomings. As a result, that saying of, “That’s just the way it is, some things will never change.” can bother me. Yes, some things will never change—only if we allow them to remain that way. The change will only come if we start with ourselves.

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place, Take a look at yourself and then make a change.” (Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson, 1988) Pretty true stuff there. It has been said that if you change yourself, then those around you begin to change. When they change, the community they live in changes. And, so on. This is how you affect large scale change: With yourself. So, that whole, “That’s just the way it is…” nonsense just irritates me. Change can happen. But, someone—maybe you—has to do it. And, maybe not just one time. But, time and time again. For days, weeks, years maybe. But, it must be done.

Where am I going with this? Honestly, I’m not rightly sure. This post started with my irritation at an individual who felt that my opinion needed to be addressed—changed. Just because I have a differing opinion than yours doesn’t mean I’m wrong, or have to change mine. Maybe you’re wrong? Maybe neither of us are wrong? Maybe we’re both wrong? What does it really matter? People can have differing opinions and life will still move on. It’s okay. (unless you’re a lunatic and an idiot who spouts nonsensical garbage, then you need to shut up. but, that’s my opinion)

With all that, my mind brought in the other—more dominant—thoughts regarding change. Change can be important, critical—in some cases. And the weak-willed attitude of there is nothing that can be done about it just gets my hackles up (it’s a saying. look it up). I just get tired—I guess—when I feel like I am the only one trying. “…the only one trying.” came from my morning routine. I get up in the morning, have to clean a space to make my lunch and breakfast, then I clean up after myself (this is almost everyday). I have to clean twice: Once because of someone else and then after myself. This should not be a thing. It isn’t that hard to wipe up crumbs, or put dishes in the dishwasher (not the sink! dishwasher!!!). And, some days, this grates on me worse than others and then I start the whole, “Why am I the only one…?” or “Why can’t anybody else…?” or “Grop dumb frattenhouse nicklefifer!!!” (on really bad days when I find really bad messes).

Change isn’t easy for some. Change about one’s self over a point in their life can be painfully excruciating. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. And, as the song goes: “That’s just the way it is. Some things will never change. That’s just the way it is. Ah, but don’t you believe them.” That’s right, don’t you believe them.

There’s a shoe in my tree. Some things will never change.

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