Wednesday, April 5, 2023


Remember when we were younger, we might have a bad dream, maybe a nightmare, and the way to hide from the monsters in those dreams was to stick your head under the covers? The thinking was that if you couldn’t see the monster, the monster couldn’t see you. I think we’ve all done that, and when the dream passes, we even might have felt foolish with that reaction. 

The Apache Indians had a similar belief. They felt if they stared too long at the enemy, the enemy would spot them. Instead, they would glance at their enemy with long intervals of time in between each glance, and only when an attack order was given did they concentrate on their enemy. 

I don’t remember either Hannah or Emily having nightmares or bad dreams. I’m sure they did, but I just don’t recall it. However, William had a tougher time getting to bed and lasting through the night when we first adopted him, and it was beyond anything related to the adoption. 

Before he was adopted, he lived in a poor section of Guatemala City, Guatemala. His bedroom had a large window and one night (as he described it), robbers broke into their little home through that window. When we adopted him at age seven, his bedroom in his new home had a window that faced out to the cul de sac we lived on. Not knowing Spanish and not comprehending his fear, it was difficult convincing him he was safe. But in time and with patience and understanding, he outgrew it. That, and when he could speak English, he told us what his fear was.

Not just kids face monsters. As adults, we face monsters- real or imagined- too. 

Anxiety, fear, doubt, worry, and uncertainty can create monsters for us, can’t they? We worry about an unexpected payment or health issue. We worry about our kids as they travel from one place to another. We worry about our kids living in a different city or at college, hoping they make good choices. As we get older, we worry about our retirement, our frailty. We wonder, perhaps worry, what will happen to our spouse, our kids should we die. 

Yes, fear, worry, and uncertainty can be real monsters and can be difficult to deal with. And they won’t go away by simply shutting our eyes or hiding under our blankets. Try explaining that one to the person collecting the money for the bill. 

That ghastly trio of fear, worry, and uncertainty cause many anxious days and nights. Needless and painful, sometimes immobilizing us, not permitting us to move forward. 

Sometimes the monsters are more real than our imagination. 

The governor who signs a bill permitting the carrying and concealing of handguns with or without a permit. The governors who initiated the banning of books, and the ability of one or two people to throw out an entire curriculum because they deem it harmful to their child, placing their beliefs ahead of the majority. The leaders, past or current, who treat truth, respect for justice and the respect for democracy like a scrap of paper or a tin can to be thrown away. 

The leaders of our government, past and present, who condone hateful rhetoric. The neighbor who takes it upon herself to police those who drive down their street or walk down their sidewalk, asking for identification to prove they belong. Governors who forbid the teaching of different cultures- including heroes like Dr. King and Harriet Tubman- and forbid the teaching of our American history like slavery and civil rights freedom marches. The governors who would rather forbid individuals from dressing up in drag in the guise that it is harmful to children rather than addressing the actual harm for children- and teachers- that come from guns and bullets. 

A party of elected and non-elected individuals who, instead of changing their thinking and making their policies, thoughts and ideas more appealing to voters, limit who can vote, where they can vote, and when they can vote for the sole purpose of staying in power.

Yes, the monsters who live in our imagination are real. But so are the modern-day monsters we have to deal with. And we cannot deal with them by shutting our eyes or hiding under the covers. That didn’t do Germany any good when, little by little, the Nazis came into power, pointed fingers at that individual, that group of individuals, and deemed them inferior and less than. Folks, we are on that path, and it frightens me. 

I’m not sure who said it first, but if we remain silent with our words and do nothing by our actions, we condone what is taking place to others. And at some point, they will come for those who were silent. Us! Each of us! 

Yes, we have real, dangerous, and disgusting monsters in our lives. It’s time we stand up with one voice and say, “No more!” and state emphatically, “Enough!” 

I am normally positive and inspiring on this platform. I certainly try to be. Some posts are better than others. Not sure where this one will fall, but I felt it needed to be said. It has been weighing on me. So, I will not hide under the covers any longer. I will not shut my eyes to it. I’m using my voice and my words- strong or weak as they may be. I ask that you do too! Something to think about … 

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe