Debbie's Peace Blog

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Disability: Finding a balance





This article ran in the Arizona City Independent/Edition on October 16, 2002. Since then, our feline family has changed completely. We continue to cherish fond memories of Ray Lee, Baxter, and all the kitty-kids that have brought so much love into our lives.


 

While I was mulling over how to introduce this article series, something happened that symbolizes exactly what I want to say about living with a disability. For the first time, my ‘fur-son,’ Ray Lee, who was born in 1991, couldn't jump onto the cedar chest next to the table where I often sit to watch TV.

Knowing he likes to sleep in the window behind the chest or step up to my table and spread himself across my newspaper, I picked him up and set him on the chest. He gratefully managed the next step onto the table, where he draped himself over a sack full of fabric, providing both cushion and the lovely crinkle of plastic.

I knew this day would come. Besides his advanced age, for half his life Ray Lee has had arthritis that began in his feet. He also sleeps a lot more than he used to, something you only notice if you’re really paying attention.

In spite of his growing disability, Ray Lee doesn't feel sorry for himself, as some humans do. We've always had at least one younger ‘sibling’ to keep our older felines energized. That role now belongs to our 2 1/2 year-old ‘fur-daughter,’ Baxter, who loves to hunt and fight.

Since Baxter joined the family in late 2000, Ray Lee has tolerated her exuberance, even when she teases and taunts him. She often runs straight at him, leaping over him at the last second. Or she walks up and bats him across the head then runs away to fight another day.

For his part, Ray Lee has taught his little ‘sister’ how to nose-kiss, and he occasionally joins her in an exciting race from one end of the house to the other. He's not altogether invalid, in spite of being an octogenarian in cat years.

The upshot of this little tale occurred a few hours later. I feared I’d have to help him up to the chest from then on, but the next time he couldn't jump up, I stood up to help him and he scampered around my chair and hopped onto the seat, a little over three inches lower than the chest. From there he made it to the table on his own. He knew what he wanted and figured out how to get it himself, in spite of his disability.

This precious cat, with his natural feline sense of independence even as he relies so much on me, symbolizes the spirit of most people with disabilities. We hate to be dependent, but sometimes we have no choice. At other times we just need to figure out how to get the job done a different way. While I stand ready to help Ray Lee when he needs it, I let him do what he can for himself so he can maintain his self-esteem.

This is exactly what people with disabilities want. We don't need to be swaddled in cotton wool, protected from every one of life's bumps and bruises; we do not want to be patronized, treated as if we can't make a decision for ourselves; and we cannot survive without someone who loves us enough to provide help when we need it. Like every human being, a person with a disability thrives in a perfectly balanced relationship of interdependence.

That balance is tricky. Where disability is concerned, people often go to extremes, for good or ill. Either they do too much or too little. Most people choose to do nothing at all, avoiding any contact with anyone with a disability.



Cats and other animals love you
even when you have a disability.
(Obama Cat and Ditto in ‘Conference’)





In future articles, I'll discuss what people with various disabilities need to be productive citizens. Like Ray Lee, we might need help, but we also want to be useful. Ray Lee did that for me by being his lovable, cuddly self.

 

 
 
WEB EMAIL WORKING AGAIN - SORT OF: A few weeks ago, I was finally able to switch my website and email service to debbie@imaginetheworldatpeace.com to a new host. I still have to update them. We’re working on a long ‘Life List,’ but that task is moving up the agenda fast. I’ll keep you up-to-date here and on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks so much for all your love and patience.



 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.
 
 

 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Protesting Campaign Calls: It won’t stop the Madness but it helps me feel better

Hallelujah, it’s Primary Season, followed never-soon-enough by the General Election. Let the Celebrations begin!

Those euphemistically described festivities consist mainly of campaign phone calls.

Millions of them.

At least it seems like that.

We’ve received up to three calls per day most of the past three weeks, all for Republican candidates. Trouble is, we’re registered Democrats. It’s a question of timing.

If you vote in your state primary, you know if you declare for one of the two main parties, at this stage you vote for your party’s candidates. Early calls from the opposition are wasted. That’s why the escalating call pattern led us to suspect the Graying Old Party’s got a strategy going here. We call it our ‘Great Election Conspiracy Theory.’

All but one of the calls are recorded. We can’t tell them what we think of their campaign. We just have to hang up for relief - usually! The pattern developed this way:

Step 1) The calls begin, three per day, all for one candidate.

Step 2) A week into the process, primary ballots go out to people on the Permanent Early Voting List. As usual, we complete and return our ballots within two days.

Step 3) The calls, still for the same candidate, stop registering on Caller ID. We let most go to the answering machine. If the call continues on the machine, we pick up, hit ‘Off’ and ... blessed silence.

Step 4) One evening a call goes to the machine. I pick up, hit off - the recorded voice drones on ... and on and on and - I call Jim. We meet at the base station. The machine still spews. We marvel at the genius of the latest technology. (Not!) Jim finally unplugs the phone base from the wall, plugs it back in ... aaah, peace reigns once again in the Jordan household.

After that miserable escapade, I sit down at my computer to compose the following email:

 
To Whom It May Concern:
If anyone in the Republican party actually believes that the current policy of harassing Democratic voters via the telephone will actually convince anyone to vote for GOP candidates, you'd better make sure long-term mental health services are firmly included in your medical coverage. If we weren't already determined to cast a vote in every single election for every Democratic candidate we can possibly support, this abusive Republican policy would do the trick!

This evening, the latest RWNJ Dirty Trick finally forced me to ask the telephone company for complete instructions in how to block these disruptive calls. In the next few days, we'll be implementing this tool and sharing it with as many people as we can.

Thank you for reassuring us that we've been going in the right direction for the past 35 years, even if the rest of the country wasn't quite there yet! And if you're curious about the details of our latest experience with your abusive campaign calls, I'll be posting reports on my blog in the next few days and sending the link out to our numerous Twitter and Facebook friends!

In peace,
Debbie Jordan
imaginetheworldatpeace.com


I send the missive to the Arizona Republican and Democratic Parties. I copy Jim. Everybody knows the score.

Step 5) On each of the next two evenings, we receive only one recorded call inviting us to participate in a political poll. As soon as I hear those words, I hang up.

Step 6) Saturday morning a young man calls to invite me to answer questions for "a political research survey." I tell him I’m not interested and hang up.

Step 7) Since Sunday, we receive different numbers of calls each day, all recordings, all register on Caller ID, each for a different candidate, none for the subject of the earliest calls.

And so it goes.

I don’t know whether my email rant helped. I do feel better since I hit send.

Stay Blue, everyone. Vote for Fairness and Equality in your Primary and, especially, on November 4!






 
Believe it or not, I heard a few of the good ideas in this
book from pre-1980 Republicans. Pity they aren’t in
office today. I hope their successors will one day lead
a party that is again Grand instead of Grotesque.



WEB EMAIL WORKING AGAIN - SORT OF: A few weeks ago, I was finally able to switch my website and email service to debbie@imaginetheworldatpeace.com to a new host. I still have to update them. We’re working on a long ‘Life List,’ but that task is moving up the agenda fast. I’ll keep you up-to-date here and on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks so much for all your love and patience.


 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.
 
 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Poem of Peace

The earliest version of this poem appeared in Xenomorph Magazine, a one-issue Peace magazine published in 1988, and I updated it for my essay collection, The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace. I hope this version makes clear that the only way we can experience real progress is to stop glorifying the destructiveness of war and truly honor all those who work diligently to establish a peaceful society. Only then will everyone around the world be able to enjoy the benefits of a prosperous economy.




ODE TO WAR
(Or: Peace Is Dull)
(Revised version)
by Debbie Jordan (1989)
 
Peace is dull.
War is far more exciting.
So what if war kills people?

Peace takes a lot of hard work.
Day in and day out,
nothing but sameness;
slow, dull peace.

War may be expensive,
but peace certainly isn’t profitable,
except for those privileged few
who rake in
all the profits of war.

Where are the memorials to peace
and the peacemakers?

 

PERSONAL (including INACTIVE WEB EMAIL): In recent months I haven’t posted as much on this blog as I’d hoped. I haven’t been idle though, as Jim and I have been working on several things together. We’ll soon be dealing with the last issue on our list: getting my website email up and running again. I won’t go into detail here, but when we do make progress on that task, I’ll let you know. Positive thoughts, everybody. Ple-ease. Healing Thoughts!
 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Better Summer ahead?

I’m BA-a-ack!

Yes, I’ve been silent for much too long, for several reasons. But I’m finally nearing the point of resolution with a couple of life’s larger hurdles and plan to be more productive through the rest of the year--Robert Burns’ ‘best laid schemes’ notwithstanding!

Part of that plan involves sharing more of my often scattered thoughts in this space. I’ll continue to write about my dreams for a better world in which every person on the planet is treated with kindness, every animal and plant is respected for its vital role in our ecosystem, and we finally begin to take tender care of the only home we have in the vast universe, this wonderful Planet Earth.

I hope to avoid the ‘woe is us’ approach to the many problems of our present society. Instead, I’ll try to focus on the complete absence of logic in the current system and why certain changes would make life better for everyone, not merely one ‘special interest’ group or another. Many articles will be similar to my first essay collection, The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace.

Along the way, I’ll sprinkle in some articles written just for fun, about cats and baseball and anything else that pops into my head. We could all use a break once in a while. It’s good for the psyche.

So, remember: Nothing ever happens until someone shares an idea. That’s why I keep on writing this blog. I hope to see you soon!


WEB EMAIL STILL INACTIVE: One issue still on my To-Do list is to bring my website email back to life. Now that we're nearing the end of our long Spring agenda, I should be able to tackle the issue by early June. When that miracle occurs, I will definitely post the Good News here. More reason to keep in touch. Hope and Love to all!


The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, April 18, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, April 18, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Cottonwood Ln. & N. Pinal Ave.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

This will be Tony Fasline’s last vigil in Casa Grande for this season. Next week he’ll be heading up to the chilly northern confines of Youngstown, OH, and won’t return to our sunny desert till that Yankee chill runs him back to spend another winter in our wonderful desert Paradise.

As he does every year during his northland sojourn, Tony will join has many friends holding vigil for peace every Friday afternoon in and around Youngstown. I’ll try to post notices of those peace vigils at least a couple of times a month. Meanwhile, I’m working my way down a (now) much shorter To-Do list and hope to share more of my own writing before the end of the month. Stay tuned!

 


EMAIL INTERRUPTION:

I regret to report that I still haven’t been able to get my website email back up again. I do hope to cross that item off my agenda within the next few days. When that miracle occurs, I will definitely report the blessed event in this blog. So, please, PLEASE, send wonderful thoughts my way, and watch for that announcement, coming soon. I hope!

 

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, April 11, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, April 11, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Cottonwood Ln. & N. Casa Grande Ave.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

After reporting my latest spell of more severe illness last week, I had a worse downturn for the last few days. As often happens, while I was forced to slow down even more I discovered a new item from my diet that might be causing my latest sensitivity. As always, it’s another food item that is extremely good for normal, healthy people. But the nature of my autoimmune illness is such that most of the foods that cause me trouble are among those that are highly recommended for their health benefits. Ah well. Just gotta go with it, I guess.

This means that I still haven’t been able to do any of my most favorite activity, writing on my book and blog articles. I’ll try to keep you apprised when I’m finally up to doing that work again. Meanwhile, please, please remember that I really need your positive vibes and, from those that believe, prayers. I’m still thinking of a much better world for each one of you, and for everyone everywhere.

 


EMAIL INTERRUPTION:

Just one more thing I haven’t done this week is solve my website email problem. As with the rest of my long-postponed agenda, I’ve finally formulated a plan, and when I’m up to it, I’ll follow through with it. Please don’t give up on this vital work. Thank you.

 

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Peace Vigil, Casa Grande, AZ, and surrounding area, April 4, 2014:

PEACE VIGIL
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Friday, April 4, 2014
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
E. Cottonwood Ln. & N. Trekell Rd.


Peace Vigils are held every Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Casa Grande from mid-December to mid-April. Come and stand for Peace! Bring a sign or a sign can be provided - and bring another peace activist. The more the merrier! Call Debbie Jordan (520-494-0437) or Tony Fasline (520-426-0070) for details.

 


THIS WEEK:

I am so predictable. You’d think after a lifetime of riding the chronic-illness roller coaster up and down in unison with the seasons, I’d remember to monitor my activity level as the temperature rises. But no-o-o. When things warm up and I feel better than I did during the long months of frigid weather, I forget past experiences and dive head-long into a belated to-do list.

That’s when I hit the Wall.

I am now in my fifth day of intense exhaustion. Fortunately, the last two days included several short respites of strength. I’ve applied uncommon wisdom, gained with great difficulty from this last lesson, by limiting myself mostly to mental tasks when I have a little energy. Then I fill the relapses with TV and/or sudoku. The puzzles are a bit much for my fried brain, and I make frequent mistakes. But it helps me focus and be very still so I can refuel over time.

Even these few paragraphs have taken several long hours to complete. I’d add a sentence or two then have to rest. But this is the first time I’ve shared so much detail in a public forum. It’s possible that fact will help jog my memory the next time I consider playing ‘chicken’ with that dreaded Wall.

Hold onto good thoughts for me, please. I really need the support!

 

EMAIL INTERRUPTION: Just a note to say that the server for my website email has been down at the same time I have (see above). Now that my brain is regaining short spells of relative function, I’ll try to address the issue, probably by setting it up on an alternate server, at least for the time being. When I’ve accomplished that task, I’ll try to remember to post that news here. I don’t know if I can promise, but I do intend to try to get everything right. More upbeat thoughts for that too. Please!

 

As always, I invite everyone to join me in a vow to use our blessings, skills, and talents to build a society without poverty or war in which everyone is able to enjoy at least the basic benefits of prosperity and peace.

Meanwhile, send out your positive thoughts and, for those who are believers, prayers for all the suffering souls all around the world!

 
The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace and my historical mystery novel, Lion’s Pride, are available through your local bookstore. They are featured at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores around the world. Both are available for Kindle readers.
 

COMMENTS: The purpose of this blog is to share positive ideas for making changes that will help everyone, not just a narrow group of people. I’d love to hear more ideas for imprinting positive effects over a wide range of areas in our society.

 

 
© 2007 Debbie Jordan