The Sacrificial Lamb

Desaparecidos – The Left Is Right

I wanted to bring this up because sometimes I believe we as humans take for granted the common struggle of being alive. We are our own sacrificial lambs. Our own judge, jury, and executioner. Our own UFOs. And our own Boogiemen. We are the reason we fail or succeed at anything we do, not just life.

When I’m not in school full-time I drive and deliver for FedEx. A couple days ago, Tuesday I think it was, I had a delivery to the methadone clinic in the city I live in. It was hands down the most intimidating delivery I’ve had up to this point. The place itself wasn’t overly seedy, but the people that were there stared me down the ENTIRE time I was inside. Like I did something wrong. If I was wrong for doing my job then so be it–it got me thinking, though.

I tried to put myself in their shoes. If I had been a struggling addict mother, one baby on my hip and another by my side, standing in line at the methadone clinic at 10 something in the morning on a Tuesday, how would I look at a clean, well shaven, FedEx delivery driver? Honestly, if I had the same personality I do now, I wouldn’t look at all. I’d more than likely be too ashamed of myself to look. Not because I’m a bad person or anything, but because I’d know I was in a much worse position. I could be the happiest mofo in town, but as soon as I’m reminded of how better off some others are (not that I’m all that well off necessarily) I would immediately shut down. The rest of my day would probably be ruined.

The only point I’m trying to make here is that none of us truly understand the sacrifices anybody has had to make in their lifetime.

You can sit me down, look me in the eyes, and tell me you understand it and always will. But say it to me next time you’re in line at the methadone clinic awaiting your legal dosage.

And then say it to me again when you’re spending time at your summer home in Cabo.

Yeah, you’ll be lying both times. I’d do the same thing. We like to think that because we’ve had experiences that we can automatically speak on the struggles of another, but the reality is that we only reflect on the struggles of others when those struggles are forced in front of our faces.

Exhibit A: Me at the methadone clinic… I didn’t even know that clinic existed until I delivered there.

I started thinking about how when I die nobody will know what I went through. My close friends and family will be aware of the things that I did but not necessarily of the life that I lived. Not as a whole at least. It stands to reason, the only person you’re out to please is yourself, and even those people that carry on and on about their life hold some things back. Extra special secrets only shared between lovers or perhaps a dark thought that need not be voiced–even now I’m withholding information from all of you (not about my thoughts on the clinic and the subject at hand, though).

If your life was played on a projection in the sky for the whole world to see, what parts would you be embarrassed about? What parts didn’t you share with people? How much of our life goes unseen? A handout to the homeless? A donation to Toys for Tots? Chances are you told somebody about those, though. The unfortunate part of life is that we are all destined to share only the things we deem worthy. We pick apart our life until it’s neat portions and then we divvy what we want and keep the leftovers in the freezer for some drunken occasion in the future… or it rots in our graves with us.

As morbid as that sounds, all I’m hoping anybody takes from this post is that our lives are continually taken for granted. We go around flaunting all of our nice things and forget about our neighbors on the other side of the fence that are starving (or standing in line at the methadone clinic). We sacrifice and give up things right and left until we have a “successful” life and then we forget about that struggle, we forget about when WE were standing in line at the methadone clinic (or whatever hypothetical situation), we forget when WE were homeless or when we received a donation FROM Toys for Tots so that we could have a Christmas like our neighbors had and refused to share with us.

We forget sometimes what it’s like to be human.

Dealing With Family and Christmas Greed

Maybe “Dealing” isn’t the right word for it. But Greed certainly is.

If you hop over to psychologytoday.com you can read about how to help your child avoid Christmas Greed Syndrome. I’m certainly not qualified to help anybody with it (and that won’t be the last time I’m not qualified to help).

Christmas Greed Syndrome is characterized by material gluttony and lack of appreciation.

Now, I understand this seems a rather obscure topic to start a blog with. But we’re here to navigate the human condition and what better way than to look at greed and family (everybody can relate in some way).

And away we go.

So, when I was younger, we’re talking like, real young–only stories to go off of, it was a running joke with my 4 older siblings that I would love absolutely anything I got for Xmas.

“This is exactly what I wanted!” is what I’m told was my line for every gift I unwrapped.

I had an inflatable ball pit (like those found at McDonald’s back in the day (minus the inflatable aspect)). I called it my arm-pit, it was shaped like a bear and it was the best thing in my life, I never wanted anything more. I loved Xmas with my whole heart.

Idk what happened between then and now, maybe just growing up and seeing how adults/peers acted around Xmas, but it’s one of my least favorite holidays. Honestly, I’ve grown to dislike almost all of the “Hallmark” holidays. I’ve found that it boils down to a plain dislike for greed.

Right? Who doesn’t hate greedy bastards?

Yeah, but if you’re the one saying that then you’re part of the problem.

I’m part of the problem.

I’m not going to chastise anybody here (on my blog I mean) more than myself. It’s just an observation I’ve made, primarily during my time in the military. Not that those in the military are greedy, don’t put words in my mouth (or on my page), but that I’ve had the “privilege” to encounter SO MANY different types of people.

Anywhere from dirt poor to obscenely wealthy (including a guy that CLAIMED to be the son (or grandson?) of the inventors of “Life Alert”).

And it was in the military that I began to realize that sometimes the most greedy people are those that grew up poor–their paychecks disappeared the fastest.

Sometimes this was because they were sending money home to help out their family and I’m all for that, but I’m referencing those that went out and bought things they didn’t need, and oh baby you’d better believe I’m part of that group.

I’m still part of that group.

I live beyond my means and I stress about money, but I pay my bills, too, so I like to think I’ve found a happy medium.

I’ll get on with it.

Greed has become the single most aggravating abstraction to witness. I’d just like to see less of it, really–I know, how could I have been so long winded to end that subject with such a blatant and boring statement. Well, I guess we’ll just have to deal with it, kinda like greed in a way.

Alright, family, here we go, strap in.

This time I visited WebMD–and I actually didn’t read symptoms for anything, so I don’t have a sneaking suspicion that I’m dying any quicker than I already am. HOWEVER!, I did check out this intriguing article by R. Morgan Griffin aptly titled “Home for the Holidays.”

I absolutely adore my siblings now that we all can function on similar brain waves (I’m the youngest by a minimum of 6 years, so all I’m implying is that I had a lot of living to do before that could happen). This isn’t about my relationship with my siblings, though.

If you’re struggling with the “Take. Take. Take.” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) of this time of year, and that includes toxic holiday gatherings, then do yourself a favor and head over to read that article. Like I said, I’m no professional on any of these subjects, but I can speak to you as one human to another (don’t be afraid to leave a comment for me).

I’m no “newb” when it comes to feeling upset during the holidays. I haven’t spent a single Xmas with my family since leaving for the military–going on 5 years now. I also think that my Scrooge mentality has developed from not being with my family when I’ve always felt that it mattered most. It’s all just theory, really. I might seek out some therapy at some point because I’m such a curious son-of-a-saint.

Anyway, thanks for going on this strange journey with me. I love to write (Creative Writing major) and being able to do it and share it with everybody, even if it isn’t something I’d attempt to publish in a book, really means a lot to me, folks. Take care this coming Christmas, be safe, and may the universe deliver the necessities unto you.

And don’t forget to remember, we are all just as confused about humanity as the generation before us. Let’s navigate the human condition together.