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Real Talk With Doc Yopp

An ongoing series of Doc Yopp's perspective for your reflection 

You Don't Get to Choose Your "For Better" or "For Worse"

January 10, 2017

Marriage that has been ordained is  beautiful thing; and it is a challenging thing.  True marriages are not filled with every day of  romantic walks on the beach or care-free dancing in a field of wild flowers.  

True marriage is a job; something you vowed to make work during the good, bad, not so pretty, better and worse.  The small print you may have missed on your fantasy wedding day is that---as my mother, Dr. Catherine Jones, has reminded from time to time over the years--- you don't get to choose what your for better or for worse will be.  

When you are experiencing the better, good times, the things during your marriage that make you happy (happiness being relative to what is happening at the moment) you get to choose to enjoy every right now moment of that 'for better' but not what, exactly, that for better gets to be. The same holds true for the 'this is not what I signed up for' times during your marriage.  When you are facing challenging times in your marriage, you get to choose to be mature and work through the challenges with your spouse; even if that means you change things about YOUR perspective and focus on YOUR attitude.  But, you don't get to choose what you will tolerate as your 'for worse.'  

Your UNCONDITIONAL love for each other will make the fight to work it out worth it all.  


Rationalizing Your Disobedience Does Not Make It Right

January 13, 2017 

I have been known (am still known, actually) to be a rule follower.  I like rules; they make things less chaotic and less chaotic works well with the set-up of my brain.   Rules, if  followed, create an environment of order.  Have I ALWAYS followed the rules?  Let me put it this way, there are memories of times before when I did not follow a rule or two that had been put in place.   Did I make excuses?  No.  I admitted my mistakes, felt bad, beat myself up a bit, asked for forgiveness, and endured the consequences (there are always consequences).  But, I did not make it someone else's fault or rationalize my decision to go against a rule just to enable a good sleep at night for myself.   

Rationalizing your decision to do what is not right does not make it right.

Are there some rules that should not even exist?  I truly believe so.  I mean really, rules and laws allowing one to own another human being (like a piece of property) as a slave?  That's definitely one we could have done without.  

Let's talk about rules God has given us who proclaim Christianity as our way of life.  As Christians, we are given this book of guidance, examples of how to live, and rules or commandments to follow.  As Christians, our behavior should be distinguishable from those not proclaiming Christianity as their way of life.  Therefore, you (I am talking specifically to my fellow Christians) cannot go against the rule book and then, once the anti-Bible following actions in which you have engaged have been brought to public knowledge, rationalize with God's plans are all that counts as if that makes it all right.  

As Christians are God's plans the ones we should allow to lead us.  I believe so.  Does the fact that thunder didn't roar, nor the heavens shoot lightening to strike you down mean  that your sin, your breaking of His rules, mean that it was all a part of God's plans for your life?  Or does it simply mean that you did wrong,  He gave you another chance to own your disobedience  and not repeat the decision?  I think that the latter is more likely to be what it means.  

You did wrong?  Admit it.  Do not rationalize by convincing yourself that it was God's plan.  I mean seriously,  so  it was God's plan for you to get pregnant for someone else's husband?  Hmmm.  What sense does that even make?  

Bottom line?  Rationalizing your wrong-doing overshadows  the responsibility you should take  for your disobedience.  Rationalizing your disobedience does not make it right.


As If It's Your Last

January 14, 2017 

Since mid-October 2016, my husband's family has been in bereavement mode; saying final farewells and laying loved-ones to rest.  Today, as I am in my den working on a crochet project I am donating to a hospital for preemies, listening to Ed Sheeran's "Tenerife Sea," I began to think more about life and death, about memories of me I would hope to leave for loved-ones, and how important it is to really enjoy your every right now moment for the true blessings they are.  

So, I encourage you to:  

*Smile as if it's your last smile.

*Compliment someone as if it's the last compliment you will give.

*Hug as if it's your last hug.

*Kiss as if it's your last kiss.

*Call your friend or family member as if it's your last call.

*Send and encouraging hand-written note, email, text,  as if it's the last missive you will send.

*Laugh as if it's your last laugh.

*Let the tears flow as if it's your last cry.

*Write as if it's the last thing you will pen.

*Thank someone as if it's your last expression of gratitude.

*Fight for what is right as if it's your last fight.

*Create as if it's your last creation.

*Love as if you will never love again.

*Snuggle your children as if you will never feel their touch again.

*Breathe as if it's your last breath.

Simply, LIVE as if it's your last day!


One-way View

January 18, 2017 

For weeks I have been telling myself to remember to wipe off the rear-view camera on my truck.  The problem is that I only think about it once I am backing out of a parking area and forget about it as soon as I no longer need my rear view.  This morning as I was about to pull out of my drive to take the eldest PrincessCub to school, as soon as I put my truck in reverse and was reminded by the hazy view that I need to wipe the camera off, I did what I always tell my children; don't put off for later what you can do now.  And so, I put the truck back in park and removed a tissue from the box of them in the back seat, got out , and finally wiped off the camera.  The problem this time?  When I began to pull out of my drive again, this time I had no rear view at all.  Instead, a black screen stared back at me with an error message stating that no signal to the camera could be detected.  

In that moment, I realized just how much I have come to rely on the back-up camera.  Mind you, there was absolutely nothing wrong with my side and rear-view mirrors, but my rear-view camera being down at the moment gave me a brief sense of not being able to see.   Now, even though I do use all of my mirrors when backing up (there were no rear-view cameras when I was 15 and learned how to drive. ;-)), that one particular view being unavailable made me uneasy.  Of course, when I made the slightest adjustment (shifting my eyes to my side and rear-view mirrors) in the way I viewed my surroundings, I successfully accomplished my goal of backing out of my drive without incident.

All of this took place in a matter of seconds, yet it made me think of how one-way peoples' views tend to be in this society in which we live.  Instead of making a slight adjustment by simply listening to another's point-of-view, so many people will choose to continue to try and only see (and force that view) from a perspective that has clearly provided an "error message" much like the no signal, black screen message my rear camera gave me this morning.   This one-way view provides an environment for racist beliefs (still blatantly present in 2017) that are not only verbalized but acted upon, as well.  This one-way view prevents spouses from even attempting to see the points of a disagreement from the other's perspective.  This one-way view prevents intelligent discourse regarding another's cultural or religious beliefs.  This one-way view prevents a teacher from obtaining a realistic, empathetic understanding of a poor child's  challenges in his neighborhood and at home which puts him in constant survival mode and not trusting of others; hence his attitude and behavioral problems at school. This one-way view provides the impetus for people who live in well-manicured, HOA communities, on the "right" side of the tracks, with the nose-in-the-air attitudes to actually believe they are immune to violence and burglary when in truth the criminals know their guards are down and target them the most.  

This one-way view prevents more detailed views of one's surroundings when all  that  is needed is just the simplest shift in sight; a willingness to view things from a different perspective.  It doesn't mean you have to or will always choose to change your point-of-view.  It could mean, however, that you may find a common ground with someone you never thought you'd associate with.  It could mean that  just maybe our progeny will have a chance of living in a society of sagacious, multi-viewing citizens of our human race.  


Ignore the Ignorance

January 23, 2017                                                                                                                  

America is full of  some of the most ignorant people.  Politics brings out the ignorance.  Religion brings out the ignorance.  Skin color, still for some dumb-ass reason, brings out the ignorance.  I am willing to bet that cavemen had more intelligence about them than a great many humans of the 21st century. 

Take it.  Leave it.  Do with it what you will, but allow me to offer an unsolicited suggestion.  IGNORE  THE  IGNORANCE.  

Someone posts a derogatory meme about President Obama?  Don't post a nasty one about President Trump.  Ignore the ignorance.  Someone posts something nasty about President Trump?  Don't check it with something horrible about President Obama.  Ignore the ignorance.   Your melanin-deficient contemporary says to you, "When I look at you, I don't see your color" (By the way, that is one of the dumbest  things a person can say to another.  You may not dwell on my beautiful melanin skin, but you see it.)?  Don't agree with that nonsense.  Ignore the ignorance.   Everyone is on a particular trending bandwagon without even a sliver of a fact-check done?  Ignore the ignorance by researching it,  studying it, and  asking proper questions before you hop on the posting bandwagon.  Someone takes the ignorant low road of morality?  Be the better person and ignore the ignorance.

Ignore the ignorance and watch it dissipate.  Stop adding kindling to the fire by giving ignorance an audience, your time, and energy.  Let it burn out.  It will, eventually, if you stop trying to make a brick wall understand.  I believe ignorant people are like bullies.  Bullies can't pick on someone who isn't bothered or doesn't allow the bully power.    When an ignorant person has no one paying attention to them, no one to argue with, it isn't interesting to them any more.  

 Remain silent about ignorant talk and tomfoolery?  No.  Speak up.  Stand up.  Work to make changes.  But be clear, ignorant folk aren't WILLING to change or meet on common ground.  So your voice, your stance, your efforts for change can only be shared with like-minded, open-minded, intelligent people who are willing to make a real difference in breaking the curse of ignorance for generations to come.  

Ignore the ignorance lest you are the last fool standing.