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Who Am I? What Have I Become?

7 November 2008 4 Comments

That's the question that i am asking myself here lately...  The short answer is..  I am Jeff and i feel like in the past couple of years i have changed.  i'm writing this because when i write, it makes me think.  Maybe seeing something written out or thinking about what i'm writing helps me understand things?  Dunno...

I've said many times and many posts that life seems to have started for me at 40.  Just a few short years ago everything changed for me.  Usually when i talk about how i've changed or how things have changed in my life, i talk about my love life, Misty, and how my view on love etc etc has changed so much.  But there's more that has seemed to have changed in me over the past few years...  is it age?  Is it my situation?  Hmmmmmm...

My views have changed so much on so many different things...  Ok, well maybe they haven't changed, maybe i've always had "views" but never expressed them??  Maybe my situation always determined how, when, why i spoke my mind.  As i'm typing this, i'm searching for a word that could best describe me at this point in my life.

For some reason, the first word i looked up in the dictionary was Cynical.  Maybe i thought cynical meant something else...  according to the dictionary cynical means:

: having or showing the attitude or temper of a cynic: as a: contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives <those cynical men who say that democracy cannot be honest and efficient — F. D. Roosevelt> b: based on or reflecting a belief that human conduct is motivated primarily by self-interest

Dunno why i thought i might be cynical.. although that last part of the definition DOES perk my ears up a little bit...  a belief that human conduct is motivated by self-interest  Hmmmm...  that's something to think about.

So is cynical a good definition of who i am or how i feel these days?  I think i'm the type of person that questions almost EVERYTHING!  I'm sure there's a word to describe that, but i just can't find it.. maybe some of you reading this can point me to it!  HA!  I don't think "confused" would describe me, since i know what i believe...  but even having said that, can a person KNOW what they believe and yet have so many questions?  What are these questions i'm talking about?  Just about anything that is presented to me, verbally, where there could be an alternative meaning or reason, i question it!  Does that make sense?

Politics, religion, love, hate, racism, economy, war, abortion... those are the things that pop in my mind right off that seems to entice me to question someone that has a view or belief on any of those subjects.  And not just those issues...  Say you're having a bad day, i may ask you why, you tell me why and i will immediately start giving you reasons why i think you shouldn't be having a bad day, or how to "fix" it so you don't have a bad day.  Seems like there's quite a few times i have the "answer" for anything... just ask Misty or my daughter Ashley.  Do i have all the answers, hell no,  but i like to think that i can offer an opinion that may help someone think or give someone an idea.  I probably get on a lot of peoples nerves hahaha!

Wow, i feel like i could go so many different directions with what i'm writing and what i'm thinking right now.  But i really want to look at myself as i write this post and see if i can see something interesting about ME!  And, i hope i can get some input from YOU, whoever you are that is reading this, or if nothing else make you think!  Is thinking a bad thing? haha

Religion seems to always be a hot topic where i work so i'm going to jump into that realm of discussion.  Well not necessarily religion in itself, but views from religious people, among other things.  I hope i don't jump all over the place and i hope i try and say what's on my mind that makes sense.

Judge Not?

I think what i can't stand the most is being judged.  If there's one thing i try soo hard in my own personal life these days, is to TRY and not judge anyone for anything.  The way i look at it.. you NEVER EVER EVER EVER know what's going on in a person's mind.  Usually people are judged by their actions and fingers are pointed.  Let's talk about alcohol for a second.  This may surprise some of you family members that read this, but i have never NOT drank.  Since i was probably 11 or 12 years old and could break into my daddy's "stash" i have took a drink of alcohol now and then.  Sometimes i have way over done it, and that's not a good thing, in my opinion.  Oh, by the way, i thought it was always funny how my dad had several bottles of liquor in a locked cabinet in the basement when i was a kid, liquor that he supposedly "confiscated" from drunks while he was a sheriff hahaha.  Anyways...  Using my work as an example, if dare mention that i'll drink a beer on occasion or a glass of wine,  you would think i had committed murder!  Yet the same folks that "judge" me, have no problem stealing, gossiping etc etc...  So i say that to say this, if you're going to come up to me and "judge" or if you tell me you believe everything is wrong except the things YOU do, then be prepared for me to ask you all kinds of interesting questions!

I have had so many conversations about drinking a beer.  I've had people stand before me and tell me how unhealthy it is "while they puff on their cigarette"!  Or they tell me how unhealthy it is "while they are eating their gravy and biscuit as it drips on the belly they have that's almost poking me in the eye it's so big"!  Yeah i'm the "unhealthy" one for drinking an occasional beer or glass of wine.

Then there's the whole, ALL DRINKING OF ALCOHOL is bad and it should be outlawed PERIOD!  And i'm reminded by them of how many families it has destroyed!  Has it destroyed families?  Of course... BUT, here's the way Jeff looks at it.  If i drive while i'm impaired, that's WRONG!  If alcohol consumes my life, that's WRONG!  But news flash for you... Maybe i CAN drink responsibly, maybe drinking a beer doesn't cause me to want to fight, kill, drive drunk etc etc.  And some people can't drink and drink responsibly.  Some people get addictions, but SOME DON'T!  Another news flash for ya... some people can't fricken EAT responsibly!  Look at the health of America these days..  Some people can eat right, some people can't... so does that mean we need to BAN ALL FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS?  When the folks at my work come to me and tell me if i drink a beer i'm going to hell, and i ask them if they are going to hell for over eating or smoking, why do they fumble on their words and never want to talk about those issues?

I don't have a problem with people being passionate about something, but if you're gonna be "pointing fingers" then when you point at me, stand beside me so you'll be pointing at yourself as well!

I remember not too long ago, there was a vote on liquor by the drink in a couple of towns close to ours.  One of my friends was talking about it and how they were petitioning it etc etc.  I asked him simply, "why do you not want liquor by the drink?"  His answer.. "it's wrong"!  I asked him why it's bad and there's where the conversation got interesting.  All i could get out of him was "it's wrong".  He and his church were pushing hard to get people to vote against it.  All i wanted to know from him is "why".  I'm not saying he or his church should not have an opinion, i just wanted to know why they stood for what they did.  Along with that, i wanted to know if they were going to start an opposition to the fast food places for selling people food since "some" people eat while they drive and cause deaths!  I asked him if they were going to try and get cell phones banned since people talk on their cell phones and causes accidents and kill people!  Of course he never answered those questions and thought that they didn't compare to the alcohol thing... why not?  Just because someone decides to drive drunk doesn't mean i shouldn't be able to go sit and drink a beer if i want to.  Just because i try and eat a cheese burger and fries driving down the road doesn't mean we should close every McDonald's!  I just feel like when you say "this is wrong" then where is that fine line i love to talk about so much?  Is just this one thing wrong that you are so passionate about?  Or is it all wrong and you just choose to focus on that one thing, OR just maybe it's all ok, but it's up to us as human's and individuals to make that choice and use our heads and not have the choice made for us?

In my former life, i probably would have had an opinion, but i would have kept it to myself.  These days, i want to know why, when, where and how!  haha

And again, it's not even so much about what JEFF believes, it's that Jeff wants to know WHY you believe what YOU believe!  And then i'm going to give you some things to think about when you give me your answer!  And some things i don't have anything to offer and i'll just listen!

Ok, this is getting long so i'm gonna stop for now... i'll pick up on this again later!

Opinions, thoughts and suggestions welcomed!!

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4 Comments »

  • phizzle said:

    And I thought I was brave getting into politics…deep breath…I agree w/ ya on this one. This is something I’ve spent a lot of time, not only thinking about, but actually studying. And each time I’m not sure of something, guess what…I say, “I don’t know”…it’s not that hard, but for most “church people” around here, not having an answer is like not believing or something, so they just make up some worthless nonsense. Something I see/hear on a consistent basis is that people that pass judgment (btw, the Bible doesn’t say not to judge, it says that if you DO judge, be prepared to be judged yourself by your own standards), as I was saying…people simply do NOT know how to read their Bible and think for themselves. They blindly follow what someone else tells them. Now, if you’ve studied and prayed about something that convicts you that’s not in the Bible, you better stick to it, i.e. drinking. BUT, drinking alcohol is not specifically addressed in the New Testament, only the excess. There’s a theory of “First Mention” in most scholarly circles, which simply says that the “First Mention” of something in the Bible holds an important position w/in context of that topic. Well, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine. I can already hear…”But it was grape juice”…there’s a simple answer to that…but I’ll let you read your Bible and find out for yourself. The Pharisees accused Jesus himself of being drunk…now, I don’t think you can accuse someone of being drunk who isn’t/hasn’t been drinking…can you? Anyway, my point is the same as Jake’s…there are A LOT of things that the Bible does not address; this is where personal conviction comes in. If you feel like you shouldn’t drink, maybe because you have a family history of addiction, then, by all means DON’T. As for me, I seriously think if it weren’t for alcohol, I would have jumped off a bridge a long time ago as it helps my anxiety w/out getting drunk. As for all those people who argue w/out knowing what they believe, if you are one of them, SHUT UP! Understand, not only what you believe, but why. If not, again, it’s ok to say I don’t know…as the saying goes, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt.” I hope a discussion like this causes people to question what they believe, not to abandon their beliefs, but to find out why.

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    well… you made ME think hahaha! Very good points and some of those points i have never thought about!

    I do realize what part of the country i live in (Bible Belt) and i realize “most” opinions i come across are based on religious beliefs. Then of course there are some that have no clue about religion that have “narrow” minds as well. But as we both have said here, people need to know WHY they believe in something, not just because mama and daddy did, not because the preacher does, not because they are AFRAID to even speak their own mind and thoughts! And it’s so much more than just religion. I think people become “trained” and don’t even know who they are sometimes. I don’t think God gave us this beautiful, wonderful and powerful thing called a brain to only set it aside and let everyone else think for us!

    To be honest, i think what you and i have said.. i think a LOT of people think the same way, but they are scared to death to speak it. I guess they think they have to portray something or make themselves “look good”. I think they are afraid if they speak something they are thinking, God will punish them or whatever.. even though they have those thoughts.. I may be way off base but i really believe that!

    I’ve also tried lately to step WAY outside the box and look at this world at a whole, not look at “mayberry” or NC or the Bible Belt or even our great Country. There’s a great big world out there, with all kinds of cultures, opinions, views etc etc.. and i’m going to talk about that when i have a chance to type it out.

    Anyways, thanks for the input! Maybe others will chime in!

    [Reply]

  • phizzle said:

    I’ll add one more thing…Religion is man-made, Christianity is Biblical. Nuff said.

    [Reply]

  • Ashley Jayne said:

    I’ll drink to that ;)

    [Reply]

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