Side effects of paxil

Christmas-wish-listIf you could have anything you wanted for Christmas, I’m often asked, what would it be?

OK, if I could have anything, of course I would ask for world peace. I’m a priest – what else would I ask for?

But I don’t get to have just anything, any more than anyone else does.

So I’m going to make a realistic list of things that are entirely within the realm of human gift giving.

What do I want?

I want a restoration of civility in the world.

I want us to be nicer to each other.

I want the excruciating rudeness and nastiness and boorishness to Just. Stop. Now.

I want us to remember that we all come from ancient space dust, that we were all created in God’s image from that dust, and that we are all related. Whether we like it or not, we are all related. And that in the end, we shall return to that dust. Whether we like it or not.

I want the name-calling and the insults and the sneers and the snark to stop. Right. Now. Just. Stop.

I want people to stop separating the world into “us’s” and “thems.” There are no “thems” in God’s very good creation. We all belong to God, and there’s not a damned thing we can do about it.

I want all of us to remember that we could all be wrong. As in, what I believe about God and what you believe about God not only could be different, but we both could be wrong. And we will not know the answer until we meet God face to face. So stop with this nonsense about my religion being better than your religion.

In the same vein, kindly remember that because one of us says “God” and another says “Allah” and another says “Jehovah” and another says “Dios” and another says “Bwana Mungu” and another says “Wakantanka” doesn’t mean that we worship separate gods. It merely means we speak different languages. There is only one God. Deal with it.

I want there to be fewer weapons in the world, and no more of this so-called “I can carry a gun wherever I want so I can scare the bejesus out of you because it’s my right.” You have the right to carry the gun. I have the right not to be intimidated.

I want our so-called leaders and candidates to stop talking about carpet-bombing people. And no more of this “let’s kill all their family members just because we can.” No one can be a leader whose solution is simply to murder, in cold blood, anyone on earth.

I want people to stop drawing lines in the sand and to start walking together to make the world a better place. United we truly will stand together. Divided? We shall fall. Every. Single. Time.

I want Black Lives to Matter. And Native Lives. And Hispanic Lives. And All Lives. Because all of us are created in God’s image, and all of us deserve to be treated well. All of us.

I want less complaining and more complimenting. Stop bitching about how others have more, or have what you want. Start building up those same people, because they have succeeded.

I want more helping and less demanding help. Really, it’s not that hard. As Robert Fulgham said in his book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, “Share everything.” How hard can that possibly be? Remember, you can’t take your toys with you when die.

I know … I want a whole lot of things, most of which I will not be given as a gift.

But I can give these same things as gifts.

I can be more polite and more affirming.

I can give more, and demand less.

I can work harder to get more people across the finish line.

It is all up to me, and I know that.

Oh, and a few more kettlebells would be nice.

So would some silver earrings.

Those would go so well with my ever-whiter hair.

• • •

I wrote this column for InsideSources.com.

 

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Seroquel side effects

For the past two months, my right wrist and hand have been wrapped up, more or less immobilized because of a silly accident I had at the beach back in August.

As a right-handed person, this has been, at the very least, a bother. After surgery earlier this month, it was more than a bother, because my right thumb was totally immobilized for 10 days.

left_right_symbol_art_drink_coaster-r5e8f828876694e9bbab78224c87deafb_x7jy0_8byvr_324It was only from this experience that I became painfully aware of the tyranny of right-handedness in the world.

When your right hand – and especially your right thumb – is unavailable to you, and you are right-handed, you discover that the word is not built for you.

Really. It’s not.

Zippers on pants? They are made for right-handers.

Scissors? Unless you can find and buy special ones, they’re made for right-handers as well.

Door handles and door knobs? Can openers? Hand shakes? Men’s shirt buttons? Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto and ditto.

Heck, even typing is taught for righties, as in: I was taught to press the space bar with my right thumb, not my left. (Made you look, didn’t I? I never even realized that – until I couldn’t do it.)

I am telling you, there is a tyranny of right-handedness in this world, and I had no idea it even existed!

Of course, whenever I commented on this to left-handed people, they just laughed knowingly.

“Yep,” they would say. “Been dealing with that all my life.”

For one of our church flea markets, I needed to cut out raffle tickets. There was no way I could do it, not with my thumb wrapped up to three times its normal size and immobilized to boot. So I asked one of the teen-agers to help, showing her my wrapped-up hand and making a crack about scissors being for righties only. She then told me she was a leftie, and had been forced to learn to cut things with her right hand. That’s the first time I even knew she was a leftie. Because I wasn’t paying attention before this.

And my Big Brother? He’s a leftie who as a child was forced, by nuns, to learn to use his right hand. Now, he writes with his left, but still does a ton of other things as a rightie. Twas the way things were in those days, I suppose. But in talking with Big Brother about his experiences, he pointed out lots of other things that are right-handed (or mostly right-handed): Baseball gloves. Golf clubs. And from his time in the Army, automatic and semi-automatic weapons (the brass ejects from the right side).

So, yeah, ever since I was a child and heard his stories, I’ve known – kind of – of the tyranny of right-handedness. But I never gave it much thought. After all, the world was set up for me, and I could cruise through life knowing – knowing! – that all was well.

Until I got tossed by a wave and stuck out my hands to keep my face from being bounced off the ocean floor, and thus messed up one of my tendons, and from that learned all about De Quervain Tenosynovitis. (Trust me, when the orthopedic surgeon spit that one out, quite nonchalantly, my only possible response was, “Ooookaaaaayyy.”)

Because once I suffered that injury, and had my thumb and wrist immobilized, and then had the surgery, immobilizing my hand even more, I never once even thought about the privileges I enjoy as a right-hander.

I simply enjoyed my privilege, and whenever I encountered a leftie who was struggling in a rightie world, I pretty much assumed they would have to adapt to my privilege. (Learn to cut things with your right hand. Learn to open cans with your right hand. Adapt. Struggle. Survive my way, because my way is the world’s way. Deal with it.)

Now, of course, after a mere two months of having to live with this restriction, I am aware. There were even times when I was infuriated because I was so frustrated by the unfairness of it all. Oh, I got some sympathy for my frustrations, but mostly, the sympathy was for the injury and subsequent surgery. As to the rightie-leftie debate? Most people just shrugged and assured me that soon, my hand would be healed and I could go back to my position of privilege (not that they called it that, of course. They used terms like “normal.”)

I know, my injury is a not a big deal in the greater scheme of things. My tendon soon will be healed, and I will go back to doing all those things I’ve always done, with such great ease, because I am, after all, right-handed. There is a tyranny of right-handedness in the world, but soon, it won’t affect me anymore. Because I’m right-handed, I could, if I wanted, even forget about the tyranny I experienced for two whole months of my life.

But that’s not the point to this column. Forget about right-handedness vs. left-handedness.

Instead, imagine that we’re talking about whites and blacks – and all other people of color – in this county.

Imagine we’re talking about #BlackLivesMatter. And #NativeLivesMatter. And #LatinoLivesMatter. And #AsianLivesMatter.

NOW does the tyranny of white privilege makes sense?

Because that’s what I’m really talking about. blacklivesmatter

 

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