Saturday, November 12, 2011

Minding My Own Business

You know, if you spend a lot of time online reading other peoples' Facebook posts and checking out their random musings and shared links, it can be pretty time consuming. I mean, following that train of thought, just reading my blog and my abundance of opinions and thoughts takes up your time, as well. Of course I may be a bit biased but I consider reading my blog to be time well spent. Still, the other day I was scrolling through Facebook status updates and was taken aback by how many were tirelessly posting heated opinions, both pro and con, about Kim Kardashian and that whole wedding fiasco thing. The other hot topic that folks seemed to be heated about is the Occupy Wall Street movement. People were taking it all really personally. That's what people do, I guess.

I'm not really all that into celebrities and their antics. I think I lost interest in keeping up with the lives of people I've never met and probably never will at about the same time that I had Patrick. Just got completely infatuated with my baby and didn't have time for much else. Anyway, my point is, I just don't normally get personally involved with the lives of strangers. Well, except for waking up at the crack of dawn to have a party with my kids and a friend for the Royal Wedding. I guess that would be considered personal involvement in the lives of total strangers, now wouldn't it? maybe I'm a bit interested in the lives of others but not that much. Ha!

Anyway, I guess the reason we get into the lives of others has to do with the whole "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" thing. Or in the case of the Kardashians, "the grass is way browner than mine on the other side of her fence even though her fence probably cost more than my actual house." It's fun to imagine what it must be like for others to have all of the stuff we wish we had. Then it becomes satisfying in a totally creepy way when we see that sometimes, even though others have the all the stuff we think we want, they appear to be just as miserable as we are without it. Funny how that works, isn't it? We humans are pretty silly sometimes.

Which put me in mind of this, and sorry to get all political here, but the other day while I was watching a video of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, I was trying to figure out what the message was that they were actually trying to convey and all I could come up with was this: 'They have what I don't, so I want what they have.' Sort of. I'm not sure what they are after exactly...It seems that collectively, they don't either. There were lots of issues floating around in the air along with some other things that shall remain nameless. Certainly, you can't ignore the fact that they are out there and they are not happy with the status quo. I know it's rough out there for a lot of folks. As for me? I guess I am the "1%" that they so despise. I'm in the one percent because my husband, who comes from a middle class family, went to college with money which came in part from family savings, but most of which he earned by working at Hardee's, having a newspaper route, and earning academic scholarships to the Colorado School of Mines. When I met him, he was working at his first job as a process chemical engineer at a dreaded, eee-vil corporation in Corpus Christi, Texas, which so happens to produce the materials for just about every item that you use in your daily life, including the car you drive and most likely the device on which you are reading this post.

At that time he had an old rust bucket Toyota Corolla which he had to start by spraying carburetor cleaner into the engine. It took some powerful persuasion from me to convince him to sell that car long after he could afford a new one but it was unarguably unsafe. Our first home together was a tiny little shoe box of a condo that had a small sink, a mini-fridge and a two burner cook-top. We were deliriously happy there. We had each other and big dreams. It was a humble beginning to say the least. We all have to start out at the beginning, don't we? To this day, I have never met anyone with the work ethic and determination that motivates my husband. He cares about people, his industry and the environment. He's a Godly man, a great father and loving husband. Almost 17 years later, he still unselfishly works his butt off to provide a pretty stellar life for his family. He is generous and charitable. He is the "1%." There are countless others like us out there. If you have a problem with that? Well...I hate that for ya. This may not be a popular point of view. I realize I am only scratching the surface of the issue, here but I only have so much space. I know some of you will not like me saying these things and I'm sorry for that...but they happen to be true. Do I think the US Government is all right? No. Do I think they are all wrong? No. Somewhere in the murky middle? Maybe. Still...I am proud to be an American and believe in this country and the American dream because we are living it.

Of course everyone has the right to express their views. I actually love that about this country. My view is  that maybe the best thing for us to do is to stop being so interested in minding the business of others and be about God's business, instead. We were never promised that life would be fair. No matter where we are in life, there will always be someone way worse off and way better off than we are. Maybe the best place to focus our energy is not being envious or angry at those who have more than we do but thinking of ways that we can use the things we do have to be a blessing in the lives of others. Believe me...I know what it is like to start out with NOTHING. I am also experiencing the shared journey of building a life out of hard work, determination, faith, hope and love with the man of my dreams and through the power and mercy of  our heavenly Father. Nice work if you can get it. And now, I will just be quiet and mind my own business. Until next time...:0)




  1. wow.. i guess you really have no idea what occupy wall street stands for at all Catherine. The "1%" is referring to big banks, corporation, government corruption and bailing them out. While the rest of the population (the 99%) of us are struggling just to get by. The 99% are tired of the 1% "owning" and controling everything including how we run our lives. They (the government and big corporation) owns us. We are tired of paying them our hard earned money - 15-25% (or more of our income taxes), etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Lets not even talk about Monsanto putting our farmers out of business and forcing them to use GMO seed to feed us, foods, poisoning our drinking water with fluoride, preservatives, chemicals and toxins and other poisons these companies shove down our throats or the pharmaceutical companies that are getting rich after poisoning us with useless drugs that dont work, The gas and oil companies poisoning our planet with drilling, instead of using clean energy, and profiting off of all of it and the slow killing of the human race and our planet...I could go on and on, but i hope this gives you a bit more insight into what the 99% stand for. Its us against them, and We are fighting back. We want to live free, grow our own food, not be poisoned, and live our lives without all this big government running our lives and stealing our income so they can profit.

  2. You might find this video cute Catherine. Enjoy.

  3. Laura, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my blog. I actually follow and enjoy your blog and appreciate your wisdom. I know what I know about OWS from what I have read and seen. Because I cannot group myself in with the 99% I figured I must be in the 1% by default. I can see you are very passionate about your beliefs just as I am about mine and though we may have different views on this particular subject, I have nothing but respect for you. By the way, I did watch the video. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Well Catherine, whether you know it or not, you are one of the 99%. Unless you are one of the corporations/government bilking the "people" and running our country. I am not unemployed and make a darn good living in my business, and live a pretty good life... But I am still considered one of the 99%. Hope this makes sense. :)

  5. Wow! Great stuff you have here Catherine! Thanks for sharing your insights. I may be from another part of the world, but things aren't totally different. There's the small minority that practically owns and runs things and the vast majority struggling to survive. And yes, even here there are those totally fascinated with following the lives of celebrities and public figures. It sometimes makes me wonder if they have time for anything else. Anyway, great insights and thanks for sharing!

  6. I must chime in on this one ;)
    Dear sweet, honest, hard working David would never commit the atrocities done so by these criminals in suits. You have to wade beyond the silly protesting hippy stories out there and concentrate on the facts.

    This is why you and the rest of us ARE the 99%, take a read and tell me your not infuriated.

  7. Catherine, First time to your blog. I appreciate what you had to say about the occupy movement. And you are brave to tackle it. I have been timid about even attempting it myself.

    I really understand and identify with the protesters. However, my struggle over the protests themselves is 'when are people going to get busy to do something to change the way it is?'

    I have been evaluating my own life for ways to give back and protest using my actions. I blog, I volunteer at my co-op, work with local farmers, and soon I will be creating a local network to donate real food to disadvantaged people who usually get the yucky food that is unhealthy and no one else wants.

    Protesting is fine . . .for a time to get the word out. Then, people need to roll their sleeves up and get busy being the change.

    Just my two cents. But I agree, there is a lot of confusion with the actual protest because of fringe elements that want to make it about their own agenda. I guess those will always exist.

  8. glad you stopped by. I agree with you. I never really could get on board with standing around complaining and shaking my fist at someone who is probably not listening anyway. Better to be the change you want to see in the world. Still, I understand their frustrations at the powers that be. I just feel like pitching a tent and occupying the place of your discontent is not going to accomplish much.

  9. I really do understand the idea of being happy with what we have and not worrying about what we don't have, must accept the fact that though you and your husband have worked very hard for everything that you have, there are many, many, many, people in America that have worked very, very, very hard as well and for some reason or another (we are not privy to understand why this is so) these very hard working, good people, were not as lucky in the financial department as others may be. It is a fact that the middle class american is slowly disappearing and we are left with the poor and the wealthy. The reason for this is because the government is not doing their job properly. The government's job is to protect the people that pay taxes to that government - and the truth be said the middle class pays the most PERCENTAGE (of wages)of taxes- and these very same people are being neglected today.
    As a G-d fearing woman, please understand that making judgements about the fact that 99% of the country is simply complaining because they don't have what they want - is not the most accurate representation of this issue.
    I just wanted to comment because this issue is very close to my heart and I have witnessed Zicotti Park first hand and the people that were running it had a very important and peaceful agenda and the media has villified the movement for reasons unbeknownst to us (although I have a few good guesses as to why...)
    One more thing..I believe our mission in life is finding that place inside of us that can appreciate all that G-d has given us and when we do find that place we will understand what blessings have been bestowed upon us. The blessing in life is not how much we have in our pockets, it is how much we appreciate the life that G-d gave us - and you don't need any money to be able to do that - you just need to be breathing.
    G-d bless.

  10. I understand your point, Shayna. I did say that my impressions were formed by what I had seen and read in the media, including people protesting in Zucotti Park. I don't believe money buys happiness. I have been on the outside looking in, as it were and have had some pretty low times and tough struggles of my own. I did always believe that finding my way in this world was my responsibility and it never occurred to me to look to the government to either blame or to help me out. Just thought it was up to me. Turns out in my case, I was right.
    I visited your blog and found it really intriguing. One question: What's with leaving the letter O out of God? Just curious...
    Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I am not sure what's going on here, but I have left some comments that you might have in your email, but they don't seem to be showing up here...So please forgive if this is a repeat.
    I just wanted to clarify that I agree that we are all responsible for our own way in life, however, because we pay taxes to the government the government is responsible for our country in certain ways. My only point was that we must be sympathetic to other good people who work very hard and are still struggling in this country. You and I have found our way, but others are still questioning what "the way is"...being unsympathetic to their journey in life does not help our situation in this country.
    My point is a little clearer in my blog post "Democrats vs. Republicans - The Third World War" (in the politics category). I am not necessarily into politics, but I am into equality, free will and peace which, unfortuntely, politics plays a huge role in all three.
    I hope you don't mind my wordy commentary, but I love controversy - as long as it is peaceful! :)
    P.S. - I leave the O's out because I am Jewish and when I was little I was taught not to say or write the name of G-d in vain (or we would go to hell) so this is how we did it. You are right, it makes no sense, I simply do it out of habit...

  12. Shayna,

    My email is feel free to email me there. I am certainly sympathetic and am charitable toward those who have had trouble finding their way, so to speak. Unlike you, I avoid controversy whenever possible. I'm one of those who wishes everyone could just get along and be nice and respectful and compassionate all the time. Unrealistic? Yes. Still, a girl can dream, right?
    Thanks for explaining the G-d thing. I'd never heard of that before.



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