Category Archives: Progressive Christianity

London 2017

I have friends in London and thankfully they are all safe after yesterday’s terrorist attack. I felt strange but for some reason, not as strange as I was after what happened in Ottawa, Paris, Brussels and …

I am not getting used to this. I read about the resilience of the people of London, and the UK as well, which does give me some comfort. What does cause me concern is the rise of hate coming from everywhere. Yes, my dad is still on the rampage; in case you are wondering. My heart aches to see loving Muslims automatically apologise for the actions of this British-born man who chose to cause destruction and murder people – a police officer, a mum and four others (five dead 3.45pm). I am not going into the philosophical discussion as to the cause of homegrown extremism; I’ll let the experts do that.

I may seem a bit cold-hearted for not reposting the call for prayers – those badly constructed memes that popped up seconds after the reports came out. Look, most of us are praying already, you don’t need to make this an official command. Our non-theist friends, they too are hoping for peace and a some calm. I will not be one to post a flag on my profile picture, as I have done once before, I have become a supporter of humankind, not one country. Oh, please do not dislike me for this – do not, ever! You have no idea how horrible I feel for the people I know who work in the area of Westminster.

I have picked an odd time to go back to my Christian roots. God does not like what is going on, from all sides. I do not want to hear the comparisons of the Christian God and the Muslim God. My goodness, give it a rest. I also do not like people bringing up the Crusades as an example of Christian violence. No, Christians are becoming more subversive in their treatment of non-Christians, or even Progressive Christians, to be honest. We take this as “okay” and “well, it could be worse”.

It is getting worse. It is also getting better.

I can talk about loving our brothers and sisters until forever, and most do understand. We all know there are those who choose to be hateful and take steps to act out this anger. This has been going on since humans (and their prehistory ancestors) discovered feelings. The weapons and modes of inflicting pain have changed (I will not say improved) but the underlying element has not. Standing up to this anger with anger does not work. Governments will make decisions in which may cause more disparity and uncomfortableness; that is part of protecting their citizens, unfortunately.

I am a ball of emotion. Going through bodily rehabilitation has made my anxiety disorder a bit more sensitive. PTSD is a bastard. Events like the terrorist attack yesterday just hit me hard. I have always known I cannot control the after effects of these events; yet, my brain says I have to try.

Again, my heart and my thoughts (these are allowed) go out to all my London friends, their families who worried, the survivors and especially to those who were lost; their families have a piece missing from their life.

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Filed under Good Parents, Mental Illness, Progressive Christianity

International Women’s Day 2017

Today is a day we should not have to commemorate, really.

I am not being anti-feminust, not at all. Sadly, the recognition for pay equity, the end to misogyny, the need for implementation of rights to protection under the law has forced hard-lined feminism; for that I am glad.

From the things I have read over the last few months, it seems women are enemies of other women. Though I am not a fan of Kim Kardashian, if she wants to pose naked in front of her mirror and post a photo, okay by me. Emma Watson wants to pose for a semi-topless photo, fine. We, as women, have to accept these moments, just as we would have to accept photos of women in hijabs and Hutterite women buying booze at the Liquor Board.

How difficult is it for women just to care a bit about other women? We cannot even gather ourselves together to fight for the choice to make choices. Majority of women who support the pro-choice movement support a woman who is anti-abortion, hence, the term pro-CHOICE. For those who do not, get up and give these women a bit of your time. For those women fighting for the unborn, recognise there are those who choose to control their reproductive rights. I am a woman who believes in choice. I would never have an abortion, EVER. I cannot, in my heart of hearts, deny the right for a woman to choose differently. I am not in control of their functions, and neither should you.

Never before have I seen the fight to end misogyny so strong. Judges in Canada are asking why a woman who files sexual assault charges against a man could not keep her knees together – The Robin Camp transcript: ‘ … keep your knees together’ and other key passages. Just recently, a man was acquitted of sexual assault as drunkenness can take away a person’s ability to “properly say no” to sex – Halifax judge made many errors in taxi driver’s sex-assault case, Crown says in appeal. Men were the judges in both of these cases. Ah, but hold your torches, women judges can hold the same opinion – Spain rape victim asked by judge if she tried ‘closing her legs’. You see, it is not necessarily about gender, but age. It is not necessarily about age, but background.

Progressive Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups are beginning to make gender issues a priority. Some are going as far as to realise the significance of gender constructs and are formulating their worship around the recognition of people as “people”, as opposed to “boy”, “girl”, “man” and “woman”. The roles of women and men are also being redefined, as so they should be.

The Canadian Mennonite Brethren Congress still does not allow for women as head or even associate pastors. Crying babies aresolelyy to be handled by their mums. My husband has a tough time with this, and he is a member of the MB Church in Waldheim. The Evangelical weirdo church in Waldheim does not have any women in ministerial groups and from the various number of sessions both Richard and I have attended, women do not seem to be allowed to serve as collection takers, let alone handle ministry duties. The church in town that is part of the General Mennonite Congress does allow for female pastors, but our town will not. Progress is not here, yet.

Feminism gets a bad wrap, especially from women. The movement is meant to empower all women, not just the ones looking for a fair shake. This is seen very vididly when it come to children.

Not getting into the abortion issue again, my focus is on the mum versus not-a-mum; who is better, who is worse. Being a mum can be tiring, mentally and physically draining but birthing of human beings has been going on for thousands of years. As a woman who chooses not to have children, I do not appreciate the notion of importance of station. Reversely, I cannot critise a mother of seven ready to have her eighth. Let’s not do this to each other. Women are valuable regardless of uterine occupation. Let us be kind to the woman who is carrying a child conceived in rape. Let us comfort the mum who lost a stillborn child. We are all in this together.

We cannot forget the women who cannot speak for themselves, those refugees lost in the battle for a safe place, women sold into sex slavery, women suffering in silence from dimestic abuse. We tend to focus on the wrongs handed out by men; however, women excuse themselves from the same behaviour.

This is a day to celebrate our role on yhe planet. Let’s do it right.

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Filed under Progressive Christianity, Women Doing It For Themselves

(Unfuddled)

Just going through another conflict. This time I think I may have won.

To make a long story short (and to prove a point brought up by a curmudgeon) I finally had to claim my space back. I have cut myself off from my parents due to their support for an ethical Canada (and Denmark). My brother is part of this as well because he couldn’t care less about my state of mind to begin with. I made the statement that my mental health is more important than their fear of ISIS. I still think Indian Head is safe.

When I see postings declaring a “war” on Islam, a call to protest (writtenly and physically) against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I had to call those out asking where they were when the Saskatchewan government threatened to cut wages and slash jobs to save pennies they forgot to save when the economy was good. Granted, the motion to pass Islamaphobia (specifically) as a hate crime does need to be expanded, but it in no way opens the door for the Islamification of Canada.

I have split myself from these people before. The difference is my approach to the situation. How can I find any compassion with people like my dad who constantly forget the governments they voted for make people like me lose hope in treatment? My dad’s answer to me finding help was: “let’s hope you get help soon, as we don’t want to hear about you jumping off a bridge.” Mental illness affects other families, not his.

The MP in the riding my parents live in is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada – Andrew Scheer. Though not as creepy, it is so difficult to read some of his concepts; there really isn’t anything of value, especially when representing a riding with 14 First Nations reservations. He represents a group of marginalised people; people who have for years have been abused, ostracised and forgotten.

There is no open support for our First Nations brothers and sisters. My parents have yet to respond to my coming out as bisexual. As hinted at earlier, my mental illness seems like an inconvience. I am worth more than that. My husband Richard is saddened by the turn of events, but this had turned to anger. He wants my dad to apologise.

There is no deal making. I will not ask for forgiveness in return for an apology. 

Not this time.

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Christmas Wrap Up

Hello!

It is that time of year again for me to complain about not wanting anything to do with Christmas. In some ways I won a little, as Richard has been feeling rather unChristmassy: we did not put up the big tree. My little fiber optic one is filling in the void.

My animals were to get the treatment, but I could not be arsed.

It is not all bad; we are going to the UK next year! I am not sure when it will be, as cost is the biggest obstacle. We do have enough funds to get there, only now we have to save for the visit. That is very much doable.

What to do until then? “First, you need to get the cars fixed,” you say. “Yeah, but after that?” I ask. I need to sit and do research on our destination. Richard has three things on his list:

1. A photo of Buckingham Palace
2. A photo of Big Ben
3. A visit to Stonehenge

I have three times a thousand-million things I want to do. I am so thankful for my lovelies in the UK who will be our hosts. OMGOSH!

On a health standpoint, things are the same. I am still crazy. Crazy in a good way, I hope. The down moments still happen, but you know what? I take them with a pack of pencil crayons or a dash of music mixing. I still have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Though, I have discovered probiotic drops are doing some good work. My rear in review will happen next week; be prepared.

You caught that? 😉

I sent out my annual ‘There is No War on Christmas’ greeting cards. Oh, its usually the same people guity of blaming the Atheists for Christians being oppressed, not realising they are doing to themselves. What would ikkle (borrowed this word from my friend Tony 😊) baby Jesus do?

Not much. The Christians believe God came to the Earth as Jesus to save sinners. In this example, he would be thinking: “I have to add more to the list. Gosh.”

No matter what side you are on during this season, remember just love each other; don’t give in to the hate. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas with Richard’s parents and sister, we remember those who have left us and those who are too far away. Take everyone in your heart, hold them tight and tell them how much you care, no matter how silly it sounds.

Richard and I wish you all a great holiday.

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Filed under Contentment, Downtime, Progressive Christianity, Vacation

Oratorio Oh No

I volunteer with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and this past Saturday was their annual Messiah Sing-Along, and I had the privilege to work this performance. It was also the same day as Richard’s work Christmas party. The review of the Christmas party gets its own block for another day.

As we live out of town, it would have been too far out for me to go to the show and run back to Waldheim to pick up Richard in time for his par tea. I decided to buy him a ticket for the show. I should have guessed from the look of his face I made a mistake.

We all know Handel’s Messiah. Well, not really; we know the Hallelujah part of the deal. Most of the world does not realise there is a beginning, more of a middle and an end. The Hallelujah isn’t even the end of the work. Ricky O’Bannon of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra gives a great historical review:

5 Thing You Might Not Know About Handel’s Messiah

Richard suffered greatly through the performance, stating during the intermission that he should have gone to a movie. He does not like opera, though I told him this was not an opera, he obviously could not care less. I value his opinion on this subject. He has been blessed with my constant grumblings on Star Trek and The Walking Dead. 

Richard told me the combinations of sounds bothered him. I have never played my CD version of Messiah for Richard. He does find some choral performances uncomfortable to his ears. At first, I could not understand, but after taking a step into his space, I realised his point. Unlike hymns sang in church, with harmonies, the voices are singing the same words at the same time. Choir performances are not always so simple. The art comes in the waves of words, interminglings of sentences and the musical instruments filling in some of the voids. The airs and recitatives sung by the soloists mirror opera, of course, but in Messiah, these introductions to the various parts of the story are so important.

Though I no longer adhere to any religious beliefs, this piece somehow makes me miss church. The point of Messiah is to invoke feelings of love, compassion, and the need to believe. I think the history of the work, the process and the purpose for its creation is enough for me to feel the feels. I have listened to this throughout the year, like a puppy, it is for life, not just for Christmas.

I tried my best to make this performance special for both of us. As mentioned, I volunteered this day and this meant I had to leave him alone at times. The concert took place at Knox United Church in Saskatoon, a 104-year-old building, a place of history. The setting of Messiah was perfect, though not written for Christmas and not originally performed in a church (almost an unheard of thing to be done in the 18th-century), this building needed this piece played here. The beauty of Handel’s music and the words of Charles Jennens made for a wonderful moment. I was part of a truncated performance of Messiah in university when I was part of the Concert Choir. our performance of the work was done at First Presbyterian Church in Regina. The vibe was not the same; there was no weakening of the knees . Not like Saturday.

Though Richard did not like the time spent amongst the chamber players, the chorus – spectators were encouraged to sing along (hence the name of the show), and the soloists, the day was brightened by him just being there. I understand not to play this for him on our trip to Tisdale for Christmas. Granted, I do give him credit for not liking Schubert’s Ave Maria, everyone’s favourite Christmas dirge. He skips this one every time. *praise hands* 

Unfortunately, I will still be blessed with Michael W Smith’s Greatest Christmas Hits.

 

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Filed under Arts and Mines, Historical Cool Stuff, Musical Fruits, Progressive Christianity

Missionary Positions – Round Two

Last night (1 December 2016) I treated myself to supper at the café in town. Richard had to go to Québec for a family matter, so I have been left again on my own.

I ordered soup with soy dumplings; interesting taste, but not something I would keep on my Favourite Food list. Whilst eating my soup I overheard two young women (mid-twenties?) discussing the power of the Lord. In Waldheim, that is not unusual. The conversation was loud, emotional, yet 110% positive, something that is also not unusual for Waldheim.

I had a shitty day yesterday, and honestly, the part of the conversation I heard last night made we ANGRY. One of the young girls, after having a massive Jesus moment (the breakdown happen in Laird, but Waldheim MB is her home church), declared she will be going on a worldwide Bible study. Basically, there is a program that lets participants learn about the places of the Bible in real time: Peter wrote a letter to the Corinthians, you can go to Corinth, Greece (it still exists). Jerusalem, Turkey, Ephesus (which, technically, is in Turkey) and the whatnot. Not knowing who this opportunity is through, I found a site offering the same travel experience: Bible Land Tours.

The squeaks of delight from the young lady geared up to go and her friend made me sense something was not right.

Funding for the trip. Yes, that is what I was thinking in the back of my cryptic crossword mind. It brought to mind a pamphlet Richard brought home this past Sunday. One of the locals is going on a mission trip to someplace that is home to some strange people (unbelievers, I think). As per the ritual, it began with an introduction of this young person’s lineage, the moment of blessed realisation, the plan, then ended off with the plea for spiritual and financial help.

The missionaries from Richard’s church all have the drive, but not so much the money. Richard, like this Sunday, refused to even consider giving money to this young man. “Who’s going to help us pay for the brakes on the car? The people at church?” We did not have to answer that. I bring this up every time this subject comes up, but the goodly church folk don’t get it, or don’t care. In fact, when the Missions Conference is held in the Town of Waldheim, Richard does not to go to church on those Sundays, out of pure protestation.

The group this chap is with has a “training” centre in Jamaica: YWAMDP. If you a choice between learning how to steer people to the Lord in a makeshift meeting hall on 20th Street, Saskatoon or a seaside hut in Jamaica, the choice is an easy one, especially when you are twenty. Do not get me wrong, there are young people willing to dispose of their selfishness and replace it with self-fullness through Christ, no doubt.

Not knowing the status or the purpose of this young man’s trip does not change the fact that asking for money in such a way undermines the purpose if the Great Commission:

Mark 6: 7-12

And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil[a] spirits. He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveller’s bag, no money.[b] He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes. 10 “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. 11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” 12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.)

Oh, you did not know this is part of the plan, did you? I called up the wrong quote. Well, Matthew was not the only one talking about letting it all go to spread the glory of the Lord.

Okay, this is 2016 and a person cannot enter a country willy-nilly and all that. Proper documents are needed, shots are required, language lessons may be necessary, and yes, money is now needed to get anywhere. I understand. A former co-worker quit his job and one Sunday spoke at Richard’s church outlining the monthly needs to keep his mission plan running and the amount of funds needed to support him, his wife and six children. Richard walked out. Though I was still attending church at this time, I did not go because the whole cast of MMFI were there to show support. I would have needed good dope to attend, just to kill the need to tell my former boss to f-off.

But, I digress.

You see, there are just too many missionaries. How many souls does God really need? How many points does a denomination get for each person “saved”? From my experience, letting someone know about God and Jesus through conversation can be enough to light a fire. I know there are groups in out local areas that are mission minded, Richard and I give graciously. You know I am no longer part of the Christian group, but money given from Richard comes from his pocket, money we could use to fix our house and fix our car. Local missionaries don’t seem to respect this.

Sorry young lady, I know you will be putting your plan through the churches in Waldheim and Laird, but guess what, you’re going to have to make due with help from others.

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Filed under Ethical Treats, Fretting Muchly, Progressive Christianity, Vacation

Progressive Waldheim Boots

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Progressive Church Boots

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Another Day in Paradise

I finally gathered up enough gumption to watch the church service the morning of the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, 12 June 2016. It was mentioned to me, through an argument, that there was a mention of the victims and a prayer for them and their families. Yeah, not really. The event itself was not mentioned by name and the victims were not mentioned as being part of the LGTBQ family. Lady, you downright fibbed to me. Here is the part she was talking about:

(1)

Yes, I only included the audio, as the video is not the best and we really don’t need to see what the pastor looks like. In all fairness, I listened and watched the service from the following week, but alas, there was nothing. Well, I should not be too upset, as the fires in Fort McMurray were still raging and it was Father’s Day. Then I remembered, some of the fathers of those killed will never see their children again. Some of the men at Pulse were fathers, they would never see their children again. Some of the women killed at Pulse may have had children. Though these women may not be fathers, the children are without mothers.

Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Orlando Shooting Victims (2)

I forced myself to watch this commentary after listening to Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint. I read the book last year and was mesmerised, so I decided to listen to Ms Bolz-Weber’s narration on the trip to Vancouver. I was still going to church at this time I read the book and discovered a strong urge to kick love back into the church I was going to; the one this audio quote comes from. Hearing the blasé attitude, but genuine condolence, I was reminded there is such a long way to go for acceptance. I mentioned on Facebook (after posting a story about the limited acceptance of LGBTQ people in the “church”) that if it were up to one of the pastors in town, I would not be allowed to enter the building in which he preaches. The clip I have posted here alludes to my point. I had to edit some parts of the sermon, as they were rambly; bigly. The whole thing is also twenty-eight minutes long. (Reference to 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.c]”>[c] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

(3)

There was a rebuttal the next week, but in allness, the damage was already done. When this was preached 12 October 2014, I was still grasping at what I was all about. I came out as bisexual the day of the shootings in Orlando, one year and eight months after this speech was given. I was fuming. My heart ached with the realisation the kids and adults who are silently identifying as lesbian, or gay, or bisexual, or transgender, or questioning, would not be welcomed in this place. They are to be turned away for the sake of the “church”. Do they turn away those who have been divorced? Do they turn away those who watch pornography? According to the sermon by this pastor, the church should be empty.

Maybe I am still looking for a reason for God? Then again, I will still find the same thing. People like me are not welcome here. I have found an ally; however, she is in a difficult place as well. We cannot talk to each other about our situations over a cup of coffee at the café. She says people here are scared. Scared of what? I know most of the people in Waldheim are not scared of Halloween, but they have an annoying habit of starting their candy hunt at three bloody thirty in the afternoon.

I am wailing over the same thing, and I am guessing you are getting tired of it. Lately, everything I read, see and listen to reminds me of the element I am missing. God is still here, only I need to look again.The other side of my brain says “no, Wendy, it is a creation by humans in order to explain the unexplainable.” You should be in the same room when I have this “discussion”, it is rather sad. I accept others and their beliefs in a deity, as my husband is a believer. There are progressive churches in Saskatoon and Regina, I know there are. Mennonite Central – the Saskatchewan version – is not quite ready. There was a gay couple married in the Osler Mennonite Church, so there is a hope, there is a light. I don’t want to say this, but Waldheim needs a good ol’ Enlightenment.

I will get right on that after I get my crafting table put together. I am tired and the town is tired. Mind you, it may be worth having another conversation with those who make the deals with God.

By the way Halloweeners, we don’t get home until 6.00pm, and don’t bother to sit on the front step when we get home; there will be nothing here for you.

 

(1) Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church, 12 Jun. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(2) Campo-Flores, Arian. “Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Orlando Shooting Victims.” WSJ. Wsj.com, 19 June 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(3) “How to Deal with Problems” Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church. 12 Oct. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

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Juss Cuss

If you feel you don’t fit in with a group, whether it being your workplace, a family function, or a Facebook collective, please remember that you were hired, born into, or invited for a reason. In some cases, the very people who roped you in may feel the same way. I am not saying you should do a survey, but I have a sneaking suspicion I am pretty close.

You may have people tell you to adjust your behaviour, yet it seems the one who has served thirty years at the same job (for example) did not get the same message. This may be true, but you also don’t know what changes they’ve made before you arrived on the scene; they may have been a lot worse. Stuff went on before you/me arrived. That is not to say we do not need some improvement, only thing to do is review the criticism (as this is what it is 98% of the time) and take stock of what can be changed versus what you think should be changed. Remember, you may feel you are in a place that is the personification of inbred cocker spaniels doing human things, but your introduction may have off-set the balance. You may have to re-calibrate yourself at first then slowly introduce your real self.

Goodness gracious, change can be good … for everyone. Speaking on a personal level, I am so lucky to have been able to express my innermost feelings (at a price), my dreams (no matter how far-fetched), and my artistic abilities (relating to finished projects). Take pride in change, even the bad ones. Of course, the bad one is not good, but the good one will not be bad.

I am not the same person I was two years ago or five days ago. We all have something holding us back and something pushing us forward. I have made concessions, agreements, and promises – some of these welcomed, some through sheer disapproval. Now, you know that not everyone will like you, and in turn, you will not like them. That is part of human nature. Actually, not all lions get along, so it is a NATURE thing, human or Panthera leo. Do not be upset; yet on the flipside, do not be the one upsetting. The thing about relationships is sometimes it is not about you, me, him, or her. Other times is is always about you, me, him, or her. Developing a good relationship comes with altering behaviour and accepting behaviour.

Forget the saying “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” That is a ridiculous concept. You should be prepared to support, or as I do, carry people in your heart. You cannot experience a person’s joys and sufferings, and they cannot do the same for you. We are only witnesses to each other’s happenings, whether we are physically there or we hear about it over the waves. Compassion is the key to surviving the relationship thing. When I was a practicing Christian, I found it more difficult to care about someone, for fear I was doing it wrong. No, I take that back, I cared differently. Now that I have stepped aside, I see compassion exists. There are people who I have worked with who believe in the power of the Ouija even though it is a made-up game. I giggle, but I have learned not to mention this out loud. I have seen charitableness in a thousand-million forms from my Christian brothers and sisters with no judgement (well, maybe a bit, but they are human). My Atheist and Agnostic cohorts are some of the first to step up and help someone in need. That is awesome!

It is also a crutch.

We all have background things to deal with, some are more frontal than others. I am not afraid to share. Hey, it’s all part of healing. I have learned to be nice to everyone, obvs. I have also learned to carry secrets. I have experienced high-school behaviour amongst forty year old adults. We all have. Granted, some of us are guilty of being one of the accused. Be honest. 

Please, let’s all just be good to each other. Stop collecting info on Facebook, start collecting Pokémon. I do not have the capacity to work at your high-speed level. You may not be able to comprehend the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Teamwork, I think is the word I am looking for. We are in this together, but sometimes others are more enthusiastic than their partners. Punishing a friend or a co-worker for a meltdown is not how we are supposed to get things done.

Humiliation is not the key to compliance. I do not like a clean desktop (the one on a desk not a computer). You may not like photographs in silver frames. As I mentioned earlier, we need to accept the fact we need to make adjustments, we have quotas to fill, we have cupcakes to make, and sometimes the procedures change. Like living in a new city, we have to learn to read a new map.

We need to rely on each other to make sure the squeaky wheel gets greased. We need to follow the rules, yet be prepared to change things up. We all have gifts and skills along with issues and problems. If a co-worker does something to piss you off, say something. Don’t shun and play favourites; it makes you look silly. It is up to us to encourage each other and break down barriers.

By breaking down barriers, I do not mean break the coffee pot.

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