chainsaw_headerHello everyone — seasonal greetings all round. Maybe you’ve turned here looking for a bit of humor. Perhaps some Christmas cheer via an anti-holiday rant or twisted x-mas tale. If so, you are sadly mistaken, will be sorely disappointed, and sincere apologies and earnest promises to make it up next week are extended. Before we continue to begin, let us just breach and tear down this 4th wall between us. We may not end up on the same page. But let’s at least try to see the book on the same reading level.

Thoughtful consideration is put into the content of these annual pre-, present and post-holiday articles and this year was no exception. Truthfully, in conception, many a yuletide idea and stocking stuffing story-worthy event sprang to mind. However, there is a not-so-holiday topic that has been eating at the mind and tearing through heartstrings of this writer. So it’s best it is said and done, so it can be spoken and at least considered.

3 years ago: During an afternoon discussion on over population with Lil’ Red (my spouse) I presented a hypothetical prediction. Telling her that nature would inevitably find a way to hold us accountable for our numbers. There would be a sickness, plague or pandemic. There would be rioting in the streets. Violent crime levels would rise. That the suicide rate would increase exponentially. And finally, public shootings would become a commonplace event in our society. Tragically — I have not been wrong on any account.

Present day: Realistically we cannot address or seek solutions to all these issues in the humble confines of this column. However, we can take a moment to seek some insight on the latter. And honestly this “most wonderful time of the year” is an excellent place to start.

Now we are not going to condemn or condone the protagonist, nor sympathize or side with the antagonists. Nor break the fine line between the two. We’re NOT going to point the finger in anyone’s direction. But rather spread our open hands wide in every direction, including our own. Because wherever you go, there you are and we’re all right here.

Oft condemned are those who are “weird”, “different” or don’t fit in. You can’t learn to swim if you’ve never been allowed at the pool and you can’t learn to play pool unless somebody shows you how to break beyond a simple initial hello, finding they’re not so different after all.

There is something in everyone that needs to be seen or heard. Appreciated in due time and in its unique way by those around. This is not to say we should constantly reward mediocrity, but perhaps stop over-glorifying society based standards of excellence. We can’t all be winners, but shouldn’t consider others losers just because they don’t want to play the game.

Beyond the playing field of the world, there should lie sanctuary. It should be a constantly welcoming bastion of safety, security, attentiveness, acceptance and understanding for all those within. Quite often the promise of this is enough to help one survive whence they came each day. If these simple requirements cannot be met then no one should be there. If you’re not going to raise it, then don’t start.

Stop staring at scrolling screens. It’s easy to avoid the rabbit hole if you stay out of the woods. Why game online when there’s someone there to play with. Stop obsessing over online status. Stop worrying about what other people you’ll never meet think of your latest overly modified selfie. Give a thumbs up, like and subscribe to those who are physically present!

Be aware ­— yes! Look for the signs — yes! But realize that signs are only posted once a problem has been created. Understand that by being truly aware you can avoid the signs.

Try to stop being so self-centered, become more self-aware. Behind everyone there is a trail, a time-line of people that make up the chain of events. Be aware of your place in other’s lines.

Everyone likes to place blame on everyone else, always forgetting that they are one of the every!

There, we’ve addressed this indirectly as much as we can. In the grand scheme of things this article will assuredly have little impact. Then again, we never know what lines we cross.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused. See ya.