I was just talking to a lady on the sale pages on Facebook, and she commented that she was having a really hard time right now and she just kept hoping that her family would see the light at the end of the tunnel. I commented and told her that I always remind myself that Tyler Perry was down to living in his car before anybody was willing to take a chance on his writing. And that it always helps to keep in mind the old adage that
the way in which you view the world is the way in which you will meet it. And that it’s just been my experience that if you constantly expect the world to be understanding and generous and good, they usually are.
No, that doesn’t mean that people can’t be assholes, and that selfish people who are miserable won’t attempt to use you or abuse you to get a rise for themselves because they are personally powerless and they know it — because they’re everywhere, and in abundance. But it means that when you put out good energy, you generally get it back.
I remember a lady posted one day on the local concerned citizen page that she had lost a wallet at Kroger and she was so surprised that somebody turned it in. There were like 50 comments of people that followed saying how shocking that was. My response was something along the lines.of acknowledging that I know I’m an eternal optimist who can find the rainbow of sunshine in the middle of a tsunami shitstorm and who can eternally spot the unseen blessing in anything — for example, I always feel like I’m one doctor visit away from a colon cancer diagnosis, and then I think, well maybe I would be qualify for Make-A-Wish Foundation and I might actually get to see a Broadway production before I die (although it won’t be Hamilton) — but as that eternal optimist, it didn’t surprise me that people found a wallet in Dickson County, Tennessee, and turned it in. Because that’s exactly what I would do!
The title of that movie “God Isn’t Dead” always bugged me, because my immediate response was, “Whoever said that he was!?”
God is alive and present every day. But so is goodness.
A conversation I had with a friend once (who I missed dearly) always bounces around my brain in a moment like this. We had found some money on the ground and I immediately went on a mission to find out who the $10 belonged to. I told her that that was my granddaddy and my Uncle Chunky’s doings. My grandfather was so honest that he accidentally left the gas station with a candy bar one day that he hadn’t paid for a while getting gas, and he wouldn’t even eat it until he went back the next day and set it right. And that my Uncle would say that God was watching to see what I did with that $10.
Well, my dear friend Ms Sherry was raised by her aunt and uncle, and although she was old enough to be my mother and then some, we had so much in common, which meant her Aunt and Uncle were depression-era just like my great aunt and uncle. So they had a way of teaching life lessons that would stand the test of time. She told me a story about finding $20 when with her uncle, who she called her dad, and she queried her dad “what if God is just checking to see if we do the right thing,” and he responded: “Maybe, and what if it’s God’s way of buying our lunch?”
We laughed for days at that, but I also told her — “And that’s why when I lose my purse, somebody turns it in, and why when you lose yours, they use your credit card, because it’s “God’s way” of sending them some quick cash.”
We had such fun with that — God rest her soul, I think about her everyday — but it’s a lesson that sticks with you. One that goes back to what I truly believe. Of course bad things happen and honest people get taken for a ride, but I truly believe that if you expect goodness and honesty, and you put out goodness and honesty, it’s what you will find.
It’s why I could never understand the mentality of a man like Donald Trump.
I want to win the lottery just to give it all away. I keep lowering the prices on every piece I paint because I don’t feel right charging somebody for more time than it took me to make it. (And, also, I know how cheap I am. So, in turn, I expect a fair price for them.) Because while I do believe that people are still good, I’m not sure that I believe that all business is good. The corporate greed that is taking over America is one of our downfall. A nation that built our greatness and our success on hard work and labor unions, we’ve attempted to kill them for the sale of money in the pockets of rich men while teaching and persuading the working man that it’s for “his best interest” — and we’ve used moral issues, like Jesus Christ, abortion, and guns to do so. So as to distract him from noticing that he’s getting stiffed.
It’s sad. It’s sickening. It’s wrong.
Which is why it was hard for me not to tell tell that sweet lady to remember to vote on November 8th — and to remember to vote democratically. Because if we ensure four more years of the democratic platform, your family might actually begin to see the benefits of an economic turnaround spearheaded by the Democratic Party, and one that benefits the middle class. But I try not to be political in every area of my life, but it’s hard — because I can’t separate who I am from myself. And I am someone who wholeheartedly believes in the government of the United States’ responsibility, and the obligation of those of us who’ve been given the right to live in the greatest nation on Earth to remember the government’s ability to better the lives of people. It’s not “everybody for themselves” as the allegedly ‘Christian’ party has been brainwashing us to believe. And it’s also a little bit troubling.
No man is an island. And while nobody gets sick by themselves, nobody gets well alone either. And if one baby in this nation goes to bed without milk in her stomach, it doesn’t matter to me if they suffer because their mama was lazy and could actually get a job, or if they suffer because their family couldn’t afford it, all that matters to me, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, is that a baby went to bed hungry.
And that’s all I need to know.
The national deficit isn’t increased because of food stamps. It’s increased because of billionaires like Donald Trump who don’t pay taxes. They took a third of everything my uncle worked his entire life for before they let me see a cent. And do you think for one second I tried to find a way to get out of that?! No, I tried to see if I could roll it into an IRA, but my Uncle Chunky believed that that was the responsibility that came with living in such a blessed Nation. (Now, I take mad issue with Dickson County’s mismanagement of property taxes and the way they are sticking it to us for a lawsuit they’re playing a game of semantics and lying about it — and the day they get honest about that is day I might care about paying my property taxes on time), but as a nation, my uncle believed in the Bible when it said “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”
And so we did.
That’s the difference in the Democratic Party — and in one where we use our power for good to actually change lives.
Is government the solution to every problem? No, but if it’s not the beginning — who the hell is? If government isn’t here to better our country for everybody, to ensure stability and goodness and growth — what the hell is it here for? For men like Donald Trump to make insane amounts of money by evading federal taxes while that woman at McDonald’s works 50 hours a week and still can’t pay the rent — while paying our troops and our officers and our schools every cent that she owes?
Much like my beloved Uncle, Joe Biden’s father always said it best: “Joey, this is the price we pay for living in the greatest nation on Earth.”
If you believe in goodness and kindness and opportunity, please remember November 8th.
And if you believe our better days are in front of us instead of behind us, please remember to vote blue consistently.