Trouble Makers

wordart forget the dog beware of the kids

Trouble kids.

What is your definition of trouble makers?

When I was 16, we had a new pastor come to our church. When I first met him I was sitting on the counter, legs swinging, in the church’s kitchen. We had a decent size youth group in our small church for the size of our town.

We were active, loud, and enthusiastic. Normal. The one thing I later learned was that I looked like trouble, or so my pastor thought. This perplexed me since I believed I was a good girl.

Going back in time, in junior high about 7th grade or so, I got into a scuffle on the bus ride from school. I was in the coveted back seat, and a bigger boy wanted my seat. I didn’t budge. We scuffled, and we both got suspended from the bus. I don’t remember much except being aggravated because I wanted to win and feeling scared of going to the principal’s office. The one thing I didn’t remember my mom had to tell me later. My dad confronted the bus driver. I was surprised since my family is pretty quiet. We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

I don’t remember much except being aggravated because I wanted to win and feeling scared of going to the principal’s office. The one thing I didn’t remember my mom had to tell me later. My dad confronted the bus driver. I was surprised since my family is pretty quiet. We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

So, is it better to raise quiet, subservient children? Not in my world. Sit and take it or cause a fuss?

If you want a quiet, compliant, factory worker then fine, don’t hire me. I taught my children to think, to question what they read. Don’t believe everything. Investigate.

We need to feel free to speak up, to call attention to injustice, and to think of solutions for our problems.

More recently in my life, I’ve had a few minor verbal scuffles. And by a few, I mean six months worth of hell. When asked to help on a project at work, I dove in feet first. I asked questions.

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What do we want to see as a result?
  • How hard do we need to push the software company to modify their product or do we adapt?
  • Are we missing any steps along the way in this process?

I ran across some gaps in our process, so I spoke up. In one instance I noticed we’d have a noticeable loss of income in 2 months. I ruffled feathers. The birdies got angry with me. Would I do it again? Hell yes.

Maybe it wasn’t my job, but it affected me. I knew the software, and I knew the steps that needed to be taken to get the money in the door.

What concerns me is how we define a trouble maker. I see accomplishing a task as getting things done, even if you have to bump a few noses along the way.

Trouble making is causing a problem because you want to stir up attention. I avoid attention, but I like to do a job well. Work done well is what counts.

Or as in the song “Stand Out.”

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud

And if your gonna take a stand stand out

I highly recommend you listen to this episode of This American Life – Is This Working. Act 3 specifically talks about a school with an unusual method of discipline. When the method reached the real world things got interesting. This episode made me want to punch an idiot. The shortened version – Act 3 Is This Working

The Talking Cure! Yeah.

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Where the Wild Blooms Begin

English: Tree in winter. Part of a sequence of...

Childhood gave me a gift more valuable than I ever realized. Growing up in my childhood religion, people joined the church, “got saved” and many around saw their outward changes and cheered.

They saw old habits drop and lives healed. We talked about the life-giving flow of the Spirit. It was exciting.

Soon people forgot about the flow of the spirit. Many became fixated on the changes. The bad words not said or the clothing the converts wore.

Sunday morning came, and we preached about the clothing and the drinking, forgetting about the life force that caused the changes.

Lies, Illusion, Truth

I am thankful for the gift, sight. I crave truth. I’m meaning the ability to see past illusions. In a book I read, Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft, Veronica Cummer called it Sooth, after the old Forest tradition. Seeing through illusions in practical life has been important.

When a person says something with their words, but their actions are speaking the opposite, know the truth. It’s easy to change your clothes to impress another.

It’s easy to pretend to be kind and gentle. We’ve all seen people that lie with actions and words, but something leaves you uneasy. Underneath, the lie, the discord, is screaming.

Behind the Picture Screen

A picture formed in my mind as I was reading this book. For me, it clarified what I’ve seen but didn’t always understand. Hopefully, I can describe so others can understand.

I remember the Viewfinders I played with as a child. I’d insert the round plastic disk, pull the handle and a new image was there. I could play for hours.

Take the Viewfinder image and underlay another big whole picture. I call this picture underneath “Truth” and it doesn’t turn. Pretend the picture underneath is a picture of life and love. Maybe even a tree of life. It’s unchanging.

Each pull of the Viewfinder’s handle brings a new picture on top of the tree. A cross appears. A statue of Mary. A man is sitting cross-legged in quietness. The tree remains underneath. It continues the seasons of its life.

Springtime blooming, summer brings full green vitality, autumn colors, and winter with its bare bones. Turn the handle, change the religious face, and you can choose where to look.

What do you see? Do you see the statue of Mary with the colors of Autumn and worry that your religion is dying? Or do you see the tree with its season turning and know true religion with its love and life never ends.

Life expresses itself

When a person came to our church and become saved, they flipped a switch to allow life to flow into them. They felt the vitality flow into them and wanted to adapt to the contemporary expression of religion.

I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and, Nearly Dead. Two men changed their physical lives, and you saw their charisma return, and their will to live restored. These were two sick men.

800px-klimt_tree_of_life_1909It was the most inspirational film I’ve seen in a while, and there was no praying involved. No chanting, no symbolism, no bowing. I was in awe because there in front of me was lifeforce in action. Sooth. Truth. The tree of life is under the pictures flashing in front of our societies’ Viewfinder.

The truth is there, and once you see it, you will hardly notice anything else.

It’s almost spring here in Oklahoma. The squirrels are active and the birds are noisy. The Dogwood trees have put out their blossoms. And of course, the people are sneezing. The chatter of spring has arrived. I love this time of the year. Beginnings are fun. The thunderstorms and the smell of Petrichor.

Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Smell of dust after rain

The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond
The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a game I like to play because I love word games.  I took the idea from an episode of Doctor Who, Season 6. In that episode the companions to The Doctor, Amy and Rory had a locked door to open. They were given the pass code, but not told how to use it. Now we are all familiar with passwords and security codes. A jumbled bit of numbers and letters. Very secret things. The password was Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor. First the couple tried saying the words, Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor (smell of dust after rain.) Nothing happened. The door didn’t open. Then Amy tried a different way. Instead of just saying the words, she imagined the words. She felt the words. She pulled out the emotional link from inside of her that matched the words of the pass code. Crimson (crisp red flag flying in the breeze), Eleven (her eleventh birthday cake), Delight (the day of her wedding), Petrichor (a water  droplet hitting the dirt.) The doors open.

Once an idea is opened, many can run with it. Today many are revealing ideas. Opening doors. Exposing secrets. Teaching long forgotten truths to those around us. It’s not enough any more to merely go through the motions and do the job. The more effective way of living, the one that causes us to engage our emotions, demands our active cooperation. These aren’t new methods. They are forgotten tools. These were common in times past by Druids and Shamans. Modern commercials grab us and persuade us to buy their product by using our emotions. For example, Jif brand peanut butter once used the phrase, “Choosy mothers choose Jif.” As if to say, only mothers that give a damn about their children choose Jif. And if you don’t buy Jif peanut butter, you are an unfit mother. Much like the days when humanity learned about little things called germs causing disease, today we are learning to use more of our minds. Learning to open doors by engaging our entire selves.

Wake up. We are learning to fly by intention instead of brute strength. It’s a new day. Pay attention. We are learning new ways of seeing the world. New ways and long forgotten ways. If germs make us sick, what about our emotions and the emotions of others around us. I agree that actions count, but actions without connection is dry and blows away.

English: Emotions
English: Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My game is simple. I want to use the game to learn a new way of being. I want to engage my emotions with words. Random words or thought out ones. Why? Because I’m now aware of being able to do this. Because I believe humanity is evolving.

Buddhism teaches us to “be” no matter where we are or what we are doing. If you are washing the dishes, be there washing the dishes. If you are eating, be aware of eating. I admit that most of the time I avoid the unpleasant and forget to pay attention during the pleasant. Being awake in the Now is a habit to practice.

We learned well how to be robots and act out our parts. We learned our roles. We learned to put things in boxes and to analyze and dissect. We can take things apart to see how they once worked. We learned to distract ourselves when things are painful or boring and when everything is pleasant we are afraid it won’t last.

Four words: Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor (the smell of dust after rain.) Or try picking your own four words: Color, Number, Feeling, Smell.