My Last Dime

Last Dime 2                             

Let’s say I’m down to my last dime?  Let’s also say that I have to make that dime go as far as I can seeing as it represents the totality of my remaining financial resources.  What would I buy?  Not much probably, seeing as a dime doesn’t go as far as it used to.  I’m not even sure I could buy a gumball with a dime today.  So here I am down to my last dime.  Let’s also say that you too are down to your last dime.  Are you anxious? Scared?  Or are you exhilarated, confident, sure that you can turn that dime into a fortune?  If you’re the latter, I’ll be wanting some of the magic dust you’ve been huffing.  I’d also be curious to know how, with such confidence and aplomb, you came to have a total net worth of ten cents.  But I digress.  

Back to our predicament, or at least to me, it would undoubtedly feel predicament-ish.  Do you have a safety net…family with means, friends, standing by to catch you if you fall, people who care?  If so perhaps being down to your last dime is difficult for your pride or ego, but not a threat to your health or safety.  If that is the case then ‘lucky you.’  Let’s say for the sake of argument that I have a safety net too, puts us on an even footing as we walk this road of destitution.  But if we both have a safety net, I submit that we’re not truly down to our last dime.  We have the social circumstance of connectedness which we may very likely take for granted day to day.   However, that to which we may give little thought, that which seems ‘normal’ to us… is not normal for everyone.  If you don’t believe me spend a few minutes researching “poverty” on the internet…wow!

How does one determine the value of a safety net?  Unless one actually ‘falls’ the net may as well not exist.  Without a slip, a stumble, mistake, calamity, wrong turn, poor choice, bad luck… you get the picture, a safety net is conceptual,. It’s an idea.  Does having it help you sleep better at night?  I never thought about mine until now…now that I’m down to my last dime… suddenly it’s all I can think about.  How grateful I am that people care enough about me to reach out to catch me should I fall.  

Back to the notion of “normal.”  What if our ‘normal’ was “safety-net-free”?  What if this was indeed the last dime.  What if by some twist of fate we were falling through the cracks, and no one noticed?  How would that last dime feel between your fingers?  How would the world around you look as you held it?  How would you spend that last dime?  Would you find yourself entering a shop meekly asking the clerk to change your dime for ten pennies?  Would you find a wishing well?  Would you stand there and earnestly make ten consecutive wishes that somehow you would be saved from this fate before you walked away to sleep under a bridge that night?  I might!

In The Company Of Chaos

Chaos JH

In The Company Of Chaos

Right now I am not…in the company of chaos that is. If I choose that the boundaries of my home are the ends of the universe all seems to stand in a state of relative calm. However, should I venture into the realm of online news, social media, or wander into the wrong place at the wrong time I find myself in a veritable shit storm of well…chaos.

As a rule, I choose peace. Am I in the minority? More and more it would seem that whether chosen or not, some manner of war is the order of the day.  Why?  Why stir things up? Why choose a harsh word, or a bullet instead of lending a hand, or kind word? Why indeed? Why choose to inflict harm, be it physical or psychological, instead of help or even, as a commitment to the possible benefits of non-action, resort to silence?

Human drama, a sport, a whim, perhaps a necessary evil? Is it evil?  To me, it feels that way, but I have been most fortunate in my life to always have Maslow’s hierarchy met, so who am I to say. Some in my same situation seem to feel more alive taking stands on behalf of those who sell division as a commodity.  Ego is a tempestuous mistress. I feel more alive when more people have the chance to join me in that act; the act of feeling alive that is, and at peace.

Balance is ancient.  Historically, balance seems to be the adversarial antidote to chaos. Chaos in turn, seems to be a human psychologically supported virus of sorts.  A virus by nature identifies, attacks and overtakes its host in order to survive.  Curiously when the virus has accomplished its goal the host is ultimately brought down, and so comes to an end.  ‘The virus’ having attained its goal of domination ensures by its success its own demise.  Chaos, if viral at its core is calling to the “Dionysian Being” in all those who will listen.  We cannot live in chaos for long, pursuing chaos we ensure only our own temporary fix of adrenaline, followed then by our unavoidable ruin.

Does the desperate need for meaning lead to this ‘run of the lemmings’ in our human species?  Some behavior I’ve witnessed would lend credence to this hypothesis.  Could the need for meaning instead lead to a reach for calm, peace, perspective…a pause?  One would certainly hope so. But where would we get our precious drama?

It is easy to imagine solutions when not under fire. Corrections or right answers seem so obvious in the tranquility of a placid, comfortable familiar repose.  Many people struggle in ways I cannot fathom.  Others live opulent lifestyles afforded them by hard work, commitment and no small turn of good fortune, for which they most likely take full credit.  I’m not saying these beings don’t work for what they have but are we not all members of this world, and so potentially capable of perspective, empathy, and humility?  Be these situations as they may, chaos stirs, in and around us all.

Do we look, or look away?  Hiding our heads as long as we presume ourselves safe.  If the floodgates that have until now kept chaos in check finally burst, there will be no hiding from its faceless wrath.  What then?  What solutions will we wish we had committed to when we had the chance.  What sacrifices will we wish we had made.  What courage will we muster when the gun barrel finds us, be we armed, or empty-handed?

Have thoughts on the subject?  Please comment.  Life is bigger and better with shared experience!