Coping With Deafness And My 10 Pillars

I want to continue on from my 10 Pillars post of last week with a personal story about the second pillar which is “You are not alone”. 

As I have mentioned before I want deaf in 1988 at the age of forty-two, but I had been hearing impaired for years before that. I lost hearing in one ear during my early college years in the 1960s.  Since I had no insurance and I couldn’t afford to pay doctor bills and college tuition at the same time, it would be a few years later when I discovered the cause of my impending deafness.

After I graduated from college and had a job including full benefits I was told that I had cochlear otosclerosis and it would eventually cause total deafness. As the hearing loss progressed I got more and more powerful hearing aids for my remaining ear. 

1988 was a year of struggle for me. When I got out of bed in the morning I didn’t know if I would be able to hear or not. Finally, my doctor admitted that there was nothing else he could do for me so “goodbye”.  There was no counseling, no references to others that might be able to help me cope, just “goodbye”.  I felt like I was just set adrift in an endless ocean by myself.

Now, remember 1988 was before Google and such.  There was a public Internet connection via AOL but it was very crude and almost worthless. In spite of that, I spent hours looking for someone to help me.  Finally, I ran across an organization called ALDA (Association of Late-Deafened Adults) where I finally discovered that I was not alone in going deaf in mid-life. There were others like me out there. 

Now with Google and a very robust Internet, it is quite easy, if you look, to find help and convince yourself you are not alone. But you would be surprised at the number of people who will continue to live a pity-party for the rest of their lives after their traumatic event.

I would love to hear your stories about feeling alone in the world…

Self-Checkouts Kill Jobs

The graphic here came from one of my Facebook friends and I agree with her.  I know I am an advocate for automation but it is not always a good thing. This may be one of those times. Let me explain why.

I know there is a big chunk of our American society who just don’t have the skills to compete in our very technology-driven workforce. Some never learned to take learning as a lifelong goal. Some had learning beaten out of them at an early age. Some are just too lazy to do the work that learning requires.  

I also know that education levels vary very significantly between those who live in urban areas vs those in rural areas.  Much of that probably has to do with the lack of availability of education funding and adequate technology.  Education is definitely not an equal opportunity thing in the urban/rural debates.

If or maybe until all of us have skills not easily replace by automation, we need to keep a certain level of low skill jobs available. Supermarket checkouts should be part of that group.  

Getting to reason #3 on the above list, why would someone want to do all that work instead of letting someone else do it for them? 

What do you think?

Little Steps Are Not Enough…

What will it take to get even a small degree of bipartisanship back in our federal government? That seems to be the question of the decade for those of us living in the US and actually much of the world as well.  My friends at Eudaimonia & Co speak constantly about the dark side of capitalism and we all need that at least a small dose of that to keep us focused on the bright side of life. Here are some of their words in a recent post about that:

There are three great trends which shape American decline — and the central challenge of American renewal is somehow reversing them, not just mitigating them slightly. The first is stagnant incomes. The second is falling life expectancy. The third is that Americans are broke

As people grow poorer, they turn on their neighbours and peers and friends — the rise of extremism. The rise of such fresh poverty in the midst of plenty points to a deeply dysfunctional set of institutions. Living at the edge of ruin, perpetually, brings with it a set of social malaises, with which Americans are all too familiar — and the world reels at — from the rage and disconnection that fuel constant mass shootings to the depression and trauma and loneliness that pervades society, especially amongst the young. Poverty — which is what most Americans live in now, at least the relative kind — costs us more than we suppose: relationships, meaning, belonging, purpose, grief, the deeper consequences of a lack of deserved and fair chances, opportunities, and right.

Running desperately back to yesterday is not the same as moving towards tomorrow.

I give you this quote, not because I agree with all of it, but that it makes me think about the possible causes of our malaise.  We shouldn’t try to fix something until we have looked at it from all possible angles.  As the quote ends we can’t keep trying to resurrect yesterday thinking that will solve all our problems.  I think a significant part of the answer is to get that fact through to those who blindly follow anyone who tells them that he is going to make America great again. His simple answers are what it takes to solve some pretty complicated problems.

There seems to be no shortage of possible causes for why we are where we are in this country.  Maybe that is because there are so many problems that need to be addressed.  But, I gotta come back to my primary reason and that is lazy minds. For whatever reason, people just don’t want to do the homework needed to keep a free society functioning. They seek simple solutions to complicated problems. Why are so many lazy in that regard? Maybe that is at the core of where we are right now?

My 10 Pillars

I know you don’t care but since I am an addicted list maker I have been tinkering with my blogging schedule here at RJsCorner.  In order to not fixate on the political scene I have committed to addressing more diversified topics.  That diversity is driven by my blogging schedule as shown at the top of this and every page.

Monday is the only day I allow myself to concentrate on the political scene inside the beltway and particularly inside the Oval Office topics. Any more than that could drive me to insanity. 🙂  I have just changed Tuesday to blogging about my 10 pillars of life as shown here. My 10 pillars help define what I am and why I am on this earth. So to that end, I will be spending Tuesdays concentrating on one of those ten topics. 

Today’s post will concentrate on explaining the second pillar on this list.

I realize that I am prone to depression when things don’t go as I think they should. During those pity-party periods, I tend to think that I am the only one who has my problem-of-the-day.  Of course, thinking that a problem is exclusively mine makes it harder to deal with. We must each realize that no matter what our problems are there are people out there who have been there before us and can help us with them.  They will show us ways to cope with our problems. Siri might be a good start in finding them but she is never a total solution. 😳

Over the years I have learned a lot by studying how others cope.  So, my #6 pillar helps in accepting dealing with my #2 pillar. Never stop learning. Never think you know all there is to know. People who are convinced of that almost certainly know less that anyone. 

Pillar #2 – You Are Not Alone

In future posts I will be giving you some personal stories about realizing that I was not alone with particular problems.

Not Afraid To Call Them Out

My new blogging friend John  Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina is certainly not afraid to call out Evangelicals for their discrimination against others.  That is one of the primary things I admire him for and why read him daily. Here are some words from a recent post. I encourage you to click on the link to read the entire story.

[And please, my Evangelical friend,] don’t give me that hackneyed, tired nonsense, that you are loving LGBTQ people by doing the things you do to them, because that’s an insult to all of us.

 If you’re going to tell me with a straight face, that ridiculing them in the streets and excluding them from your churches and passing legislation to take away their civil rights and prohibiting them from being fully authentic—is loving them—I’m respectfully calling bullshit. The day you convinced yourself that this was love, you lost the plot completely.

Source: Stuff That Needs To Be Said

I hope at least a few Evangelicals will read his post and realize that they are poisoning Christianity by their hateful words and actions. There is far too much judging among Evangelicals if you ask me but I readily admit that I judge others more than I should. The difference between them and me is that I recognize it as a personal fault and is contrary to my Live and Let Live pillar of life, and for some weird reason they see their prejudices as following Jesus.

As the title of John’s blog says “Stuff That Needs To Be Said”, maybe he can get through to that guy who works in an oval office. But I kinda doubt ANYONE can get through to him except maybe Meuller. 🥺 But, maybe he could convince a few of his loyal base that they have attached their dreams to a con artist. That’s stuff that really needs to be said…

American Myths – American Exceptionalism

For this Question Everything Friday I want to bring you another dangerous myth that is ingrained into our country. That is that we are so exceptional that you can’t be compared to any other country.  Here is my quote for the day about that.

We can’t compare America to any other country! Especially not strange, dangerous countries like Scandinavia or France! We can’t? Why not? How else do you suppose that nations make progress — if not by learning from one another? Americans have been told that other places are “homogeneous”, so America can’t be compared to them — but “homogeneity” is not the reason they are successful societies. There are many more “homogeneous” societies which are failures than successes, just look at Asia and Africa — so homogeneity can’t be why some societies succeed, self-evidently. This myth is exceptionalism, only in a negative form — no comparison is possible. But it is a comparative analysis which teaches us the most when it comes to political economy. Have you ever wondered why you don’t know (probably) how exactly the French retirement system works? How the British healthcare system works? How the Swiss government works? Americans still haven’t learned this stuff because no one teaches it to them — and no one teaches it to them because the myth of exceptionalism says there’s no reason to learn it. 
via Eight Myths Americans Need to Unlearn About America

The way I personally learn almost everything is to see how others are doing it better them me and to try at one level or another to emulate them. If you have been around for a while you have probably noticed that the general format and look of RJsCorner seems to frequently change. I do that because I am constantly looking for ways to make the site more pleasant to visit and to give you my view of the world in more concise stories. If I didn’t have something to compare this site to improvements would be far less frequent.

In that same vein, we as a country need to constantly look at others who do things better than we do. Our reluctance to do that greatly hampers us from creating better and better processes. It has allowed other countries to leapfrog around us when it comes to healthcare, retirement systems and such. It was almost an epiphany to understand we are never taught to look outside our country for ways to do things better.  That is a lesson we MUST learn…