Poetry – Choices


You can choose who to hate

And choose who to love.

It’s merely a question of prejudice.

You can side with the haters

Or side with the innocent

It’s only a roll of your dice.

Perhaps it is birth

Or experience and circumstance

That dictates your views?

Perhaps it is the cool light

Of rational thought

Or merely what’s reflected in the news?

We are all victims of lies,

Subject to propaganda,

As malleable as plasticine.

It is the manipulators

Who pull all the strings

And obfuscate what is seen.

Opher – 26.10,2019

We do make choices as to which side we support. But how do we make those choices? And who is manipulating us?

23 thoughts on “Poetry – Choices

      1. It absolutely is universally true. However, I have seen many who are able to break free of what they were taught by their parents and family and be able to think for themselves. And sometimes an accepting and loving family who promote that thinking have a child who goes the opposite way. So, my thought was that it is only in some cases that the manipulation from childhood perpetuates the postitive or negative of the family, because it’s never universally true that kids grow up to believe what their family has told them to.

      2. My parents were very odd in that respect. They put us into a religious school for our entire childhoods up until 8th grade, so that was literally every single day of our school lives. When we came home, my mother educated us on her religion which was just about the complete opposite. They both promoted learning science and Eastern Philosophy. For a while, I was completely convinced that I was religious, but that I believed in the Greek/Roman pantheon. I preferred the Greek because I liked the names better, although my favorite names had to be the ancient Egyptian G-ds. There were a few family vacations where we got into the car and just drove across the country. My parents made sure to stop at a friendly Native American reservation (they’re all friendly, but this one agreed to some things that the others felt were a little strange). We stayed in that area for five days, and in those five days, they had the three of us learn about the spirituality and philosophies regarding nature. So, although they made sure that religion and philosophy was a huge part of us growing up, they literally gave us complete access to absolutely everything they could and their influence basically ended up causing us all to want to learn more and more. Same with politics. The only truly “manipulative” thing that my parents ever really taught me was that before I agree with any side, I need to look at it from the perspective of people in my family. As a result, I learned how to look at everything from two sides. Instead of listening to the bitter battles on television, you know who in your family has judgment toward everything, and who doesn’t. You use both of them to frame a subject – you don’t even have to talk to anyone else to confirm what you think. It gives you a chance to frame both sides on your own, and then decide where you end up. Most times I ended up much more central than either of my parents were on any given subject and they never worked to bring me to their sides. So I was lucky as can be because of that

      3. I will say, I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for them. The only time I remember it not being so open ended was when my mom’s sister was dying from cancer. We would go to school and pray there because we prayed every morning there, and then come home and do the rosary with the prayer that my aunt’s pain would ease – no matter what that meant. My mom made it clear that we were praying to ease HER suffering, not ours. So whatever happens was in G-d’s hands, and she just hoped the pain would stop. During those months, there was no extra. We went to school and prayed in that way for my aunt’s pain, and came home and did the rosary to pray for my aunt’s pain. After she passed, my mother took some time to recover (obviously), but my dad kept the education going during that time until my mother was Ok enough to join him.

        The truth is, I don’t know if it worked or not. I just know it was what they did. As an adult, I also see how hard that had to be!

      4. Being a parent is hard. We have to bring them up to be inquisitive, open-minded, tolerant, knowledgeable, creative, analytical, questioning and full of awe and wonder. Not an easy job.

      5. Oh, believe me I know. But I can’t imagine how hard it is to tailor a lot of it per kid to ensure that’s how it ends up. And it’s not like tailoring it for 10 months and then they move on. It’s like a lifetime of tailoring it. It’s incomprehensible to me! I give all parents such credit, they (you) will never understand.

      6. I don’t subscribe to that. Having been in education for 36 years I have witnessed how children can be changed, how their skills, thoughts, ideals and views can be encouraged to develop. I think we see with fanatical religion how children are shackled. The children of Muslim, Jewish or Evangelical Christian families are rarely able to throw off the instilled upbringing. You see it with Southern Rock ‘n’ Rollers like Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. Most people are victims of their early upbringing.

      7. I was raised in unique way, I grant you, but Mommy was Roman Catholic and Daddy is Jewish. So I see how that can happen. However, at the end of the day, that’s just how more external influences mold them. Kids will grow up to be who they are, overall, if we let them. As parents, you can help them on that path, but the most important step to being a parent is to not get so annoyed at them you throw them out a window.

      8. I know every parent has gotten to that point. There are some days where the best thing you can do as a parent is to just NOT toss your kid out a window. Other days are a little better, and you can work on raising your kid to have the right ideals and education, and thinking. Shape them to be independent thinkers and try to give them the world. But on other days, it’s completely OK to just spend most of the day reminding yourself that your kid weighs too much to toss out the window without hurting your back. LOL

      9. Yeah, I know. I have always been an angel, and there was never any cause to worry about me, however….I’m the oldest. I spend an extraordinary amount of time worrying about the other two now that my mother isn’t around to yell at them anymore. How she let them get away with being SOOOOOOO worrisome, I’ll never know! 😉

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