Public Service Job Description

Tattered GloryAs we endure yet another presidential campaign it is hard to ignore how the people’s branch of government is failing us. Social programs, once thought to be enduring, are insufficient for current need and unsustainable for future demand. The electorate has all but abandoned the political process due to the lack of qualified candidates. We have, from coast to coast, a significant shortage of ideas and an overabundance of stagnant waste. In other words, a cesspool from which to choose our representatives.

This may seem like a harsh assessment. Some might even feel the need to rip it to shreds. However, I have given a great deal of thought to the state of public service lately, and it seems to me that self-service is a more accurate picture of our local, state, and federal government. It is with these thoughts in mind that I have come up with a few requirements of candidates seeking public office.

Candidates unable to speak publicly without using divisive language, including but not limited to sexist, homophobic, racist remarks and fear mongering ignorance, need not apply. In addition, voters deserve to know the following about potential public officials:

  • Criminal Record
  • Scholarly Writings
  • Team Building Experience
  • Math Skills (because someone has to do the math)

Other qualifications for a role in government should be a person’s willingness and ability to tell the truth, whether or not under oath, and a general understanding of human anatomy, in case a question about how babies are made comes up in the course of, you know, a televised interview. These are only a few ideas. There are certainly others worthy of consideration. Please share yours if you feel so inclined.

Thinking Outside The Binary

 

2016Decisions

Experience a moment. Now experience another one. Could you tell the difference between the two? My guess is that unless we are in motion, say, plummeting, careening, or catapulting from one stage of life to another, moments are indistinguishable. Even when we are in motion, moment to moment, the differences can be imperceptible, and we find ourselves needing to qualify moments to help us make sense of them. For instance, moments agonize, empower, frustrate, overwhelm, and energize, often simultaneously.

Said another way, we categorize moments as one thing or another in order to form a response to what is happening in the world around us. Sometimes the response is appropriate, e.g. raining outside, take an umbrella. Sometimes the response is inappropriate, e.g. miserable inside, take it out on everyone with whom you come into contact. Moments which we decide must never be forgotten have the power to change the future. At some point, it doesn’t matter what we could have done, only what we do next.

People, those we know and those we don’t, also get categorized. People are vulgar or silent, friendly or hostile, jerks or doormats. They make us angry or happy. They cause harm or give comfort. We are victor or victim, slayer or survivor, discoverer or destroyer, often sequentially, but we are also creators and stewards.

Places, too, are categorized as peaceful or volatile, wealthy or impoverished, harsh or welcoming. Cardinal directions lay it out for us – North or South, East or West – so that we don’t always realize when we’ve crossed the imaginary boundaries created to distinguish where we are from where we are going.

Moments, people, and places can be perceived as good or bad, but the good and the bad also have the power to inspire, cultivate, challenge, and enrich us beyond measure. We only have to decide that life is not an either or proposition. Cliché? Perhaps. But what if it is something more?

 

 

Life: Enter At Your Own Risk

Copyright- Claire Fuller
Copyright- Claire Fuller

Upon arrival we received instruction manuals. How Your Body Works and How the World Works. At the age of accountability, loosely defined, we were told to choose for ourselves. But choice, when faced with the lesser of two evils, was a useless proposition. A supplemental chapter was given to people of a certain age. Like the age of accountability, this age turned out to be not as certain as one might think. None of us could claim ignorance when it came to what was happening all over the world. Food insecurity was real. But we were not powerless. In theory.

*****

The fall semester has begun. It’s going to be a tough one, but the end is near. Or is it the beginning of something else? Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out more Friday Fictioneers here.

If Memory Serves

In her haste to be of service to the world she made a great mistake. Generous to a fault, in the end, fault was all that remained. She lacked the moral vocabulary to sustain her good intentions. A petulant moment often snowballed into an avalanche of despair. A soul can only claw its way back from hell so many times.

She was such a soul.

Her loves disintegrated under the weight of her passion. Her hope suffered from neglect. Blessings were burdens, and burden was her constant companion year after year, birth after birth. One so wholly advantaged and yet entirely oblivious to the power she possesses cannot be entrusted to guide the lives of children. One by one she leads them into the depths of a great chasm that takes a lifetime to escape. 

Some never do.

She lived in a small town, the kind of town that doesn’t forget. A town where victories are commemorated in cornerstones along Main Street and villains appear on the front page. Fathers and mothers of scholars and scoundrels can count on the comings and goings of their progeny to be well documented by the town historian. Neither grand affair nor petty grievance escapes notice, lest the good townspeople lose sight of who did what to whom and want for something to debate during an election year. Towns like this are common. So common, in fact, that her life could have been anyone’s life. Any place on the planet.

But the world was too large. She could not be a citizen of it. There was no home beyond the boundaries of her town, no protection, no redemption. So, she occupied one place forever.

They called her Peace.

*****FullSizeRender (1)

My New Love/Hate Relationships

I love discovering a new idea or a fresh way of looking at an old idea. If scientists were to scan my brain while I am exploring a subject about which I am passionate, they would observe synapses lit up like a Christmas tree.

Mastering a skill is thrilling. Anyone who has learned to tie his shoes knows this is true. We are at our natural best when we accomplish a goal which initially seemed impossible. Humans, every single one of us, when we have risen to a challenge and stand victorious at the finish line, we experience exhilaration that makes us want to shout out YEAH, BABY!

Teach a man to fish, and all that jazz. There is something to the whole self-reliance thing, and what better place to grab hold of knowledge that helps us to reach that all-important independent state of being than school, right? WRONG!

Conformity, mediocrity, and soul-sucking monotony are the hallmarks of the scholastic experience beyond kindergarten. This is especially disappointing at the college level. The process of signing up for the classes you need, on the day you need, at the time you need, with a professor who isn’t a complete horse’s ass, or worse, biding time until retirement or death, takes the joy right out of learning before you ever step foot in a college classroom.

1-DSC_0502

In case you are wondering, I’ve been up since 2A.M. The insomnia has officially set in and my brain is working overtime for no reason at all. In this moment, I am listening to rain pouring onto the already saturated ground in my garden. My new discoveries at the Texas Native Plant Society’s plant sale last weekend are getting a good soaking. Springtime rains are much appreciated here in North Texas. So, I am not complaining about the rain. It’s just that I planted drought tolerant plants. I hope they don’t drown before the scorching heat of summer gets a chance to beat the life out of them.

Which brings me back to my momentary disdain for academia. It seems the learning process is designed to beat the life out of us. The theory of natural selection makes much more sense to me now that it ever did. Survival of the fittest wins out in a world where those who can, do and those who can’t, invent ways to beat the life out of those who dare to think they can. (Not talking about dedicated educators here.) Please don’t get all butt hurt because your mother is a hard-working, underpaid school teacher.

Of course, this feeling is magnified by my being on the verge of spontaneous combustion at any moment. I know that in a few weeks, the pressure will subside and all will be right with the world. That is, until the summer session begins.

I love being a student. I hate the college experience.

I love being a woman. I hate menopause.

1-DSC_0482#ADSBELOWTHISPOSTARENOTENDORSEDBYTHISBLOGGER