The 5 Paragraph Blog: Necessary Evil

My first challenge topic comes from a dear friend of mine in Brazil. It started with a rambling discussion while he was still half asleep yesterday morning, but I managed to get him to condense it enough for me to understand the general idea; Necessary Evil. Being limited to a short format such as the 5 paragraph essay, this allows me to keep it brief. First, I’ll cover “What is necessary evil”. Next, I will give a historic example of what some term as a ‘necessary evil’. Finally, I’ll cover my own personal thoughts on the topic.

Simply put, according to Wikipedia, “A necessary evil is an evil that must be allowed for a greater good to result.” This brings into question; what is evil?  Well, according to multiple dictionaries (I’ll leave it up to you to look it up if you so desire) evil falls into 2 categories: 1. (something) profoundly immoral and malevolent. and 2. profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. I present these separately because the first relies on the motivations of fellow humans while the other implies a supernatural entity normally outside our control. For the intent of this essay, we will focus on our fellow human beings.

So, with the focus on “necessary evil” being implemented by a person or group of people, I will bring up one example easily found on the ‘net’. I want to make note that many of the examples you will find stem from times of war. However, we will not be discussing whether or not war, itself, is a “necessary evil”. The example I have chosen was the  English WWII code breakers having to allow the  Luftwaffe bombers to strike at times so the Germans wouldn’t know they had deciphered their codes. According to The BBC, “Millions of lives were saved” because of this. The lives of those lost during the allowed bombings in exchange for saving so many more lives is a frequent example of “necessary evil” that appears in Google search engines and questions. I  recommend a movie based on these events called “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch to get a good understanding of the situation.

Here is the difficult part for me; Making my own stance on this topic. I know many like to have things presented in “black and white”. That a stance always be one way or the other. I am afraid I can not do that. People and situations or not black and white and I have come to learn in my 42 years on this earth the need to take each person and situation as it comes and to apply my experience at that time. This does not mean I have fluid values, but as we are not dealing with perfect people and situations, it is a “necessary evil” that I have to be willing to be flexible and ready to do things I would never have thought I could do at any other time. An example would be protecting my family from a violent intruder intent on rape and/or murder. I would never consider killing a person under normal circumstances and I believe murder to be evil, but if I were to be presented with allowing another to commit it and the ability to prevent it using deadly force as being the only means; I would do just that.

I want to thank Maverix, my gamer friend, for this topic idea. It was a bit of a challenge in that I needed to look up a few things and link them to give proper credit. However, I enjoyed it immensely and hope that by covering this topic as I did, you appreciate the nature of “necessary evil”. Not only what it means, but understood the historic example I gave and my own stance on the matter. Using the comments section below will provide ample opportunity for you to let me know your thoughts and opinions on “necessary evil”.

Until the next one.

-Kri

The 5 Paragraph Blog: A New Start

You might have noticed I have a struggle (or 12) and it can bleed into my writing if you know what to look for. It is these struggles that bring me here this morning. You see, I live with chronic depression. It eats at the very fabric of my life and frequently makes just living my life a challenge. I don’t know how I get through it some days. I also frequently think about how I am not really good at anything. But, then this strange little idea popped into my head; I can be pretty good at the 5 paragraph essay. But, will it be worth it? Well, all I have to do is come up with 3 reasons! I think it will help me with my depression. It will also strengthen my writing skills and allow me to connect with other people.

So…depression. It’s such a dirty word to me. It dirties my soul. It discolors so much in my life on a daily basis. To say it makes me absolutely miserable on a daily, nay hourly, basis some weeks would be an understatement. Those of you that have dealt with any sort of clinical depression will understand this is not something you can just ignore or shut off at the convenience and will of those around you that just want you to get your crap together. However, I’ve found distraction can be helpful. The trick is to make it a healthy one until the moment, however long, finally passes where your brain is not dumping chemicals into your blood system to wreck havoc on your ability to function. I believe this 5 paragraph blog idea of mine could provide a good distraction that will yield multiple good benefits.

I’ve been writing for a very long time. Be it poetry, short stories, or cranking out essays. In fact, they were usually so very easy for me, that when in college, it kept me on the Dean’s List. It did not matter the topic, I could nearly always write about it and get a good grade from the teacher. I have always credited this ability with the fact I understood the 5 paragraph essay format so well that I could turn it into a 5-page term paper. Or a 10 page one. But, as with any skill, practice does make perfect and I don’t write nearly as much as I did in my younger days. It is my belief that using my 5 paragraph essay blog idea will provide the perfect means to gain regular practice that will help improve my writing skills.

If there is one thing I love, it is connecting with people. Heck, I love people in general. I care about that stranger walking down the street. My heart goes out to all those I see that are suffering. I wish I could help them all. I am not just saying this. It is the absolute truth. You..yes you mean something important to me. I want everyone on this earth to find joy. Perhaps, though my efforts on this blog I can achieve a stronger connection with others that will achieve this larger goal in my heart.

I hate to say it, but the most difficult part of writing this for me was being interrupted by my sister with a small crisis. I can say this, the very act of writing it allowed me to not drop into a tailspin of despair when she called to explain her latest trouble. And to assure you, my reader…it really is a small thing and it will be taken cared of. Not only that, I believe it helped me focus on writing again and I can definitely see how using this format will help improve my writing over time. And, because one major goal is to be able to connect with others; feel free to suggest, or even challenge me, with topics I can write about using the 5 paragraph essay format.

Until the next one.

-Kri

Why I agree every Christian should be a tree-hugging environmentalist

Balance! Love this article and it’s implications.

Trystan Owain Hughes

christianity-the-environmentLast week I shared an article on facebook urging Christians to care for God’s wonderful creation. This is something that is close to my own heart, but it is also something that I presumed, by now, was blindingly obvious to people of faith. I was, however, to be shocked and saddened at the response of some Christians. There were numerous comments that I thought were long-gone from the Christian tradition:

“I won’t be too concerned about the environment. It’s dying and cursed anyway”

“Surely winning souls is more important than protecting the forests. Get your priorities right.”

“Nothing in the Bible talks about tree hugging environmentalists.”

“I fear for your salvation if you think environmentalism is gospel issue.”

“Work on what is lasting – souls, souls, SOULS!”

christians-and-the-environmentJust as Christ wept over Jerusalem, I’m quite certain that he is weeping when he sees how some of his disciples are talking…

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PokemonGo: So much HYPE!

I know there is a lot of HYPE about this game, both positive and negative. I want to be clear that I absolutely condone and support this game!

Pokemon Teams

The negative I’ve run across personally is mostly negated by the fact I always go with a group. I think we ran across one set of people (Blue team) that turned their noses at us because we are Valor, but we just shrugged and moved on. I have seen a lot of bad attitudes in social media between the teams and I view it with some confusion because we are all people playing the same game.

The other negative is when we do go out (and we don’t out every night) we tend to be VERY tired by the time we get home and mornings are a little rougher. Working on timing that part better! I know we will find a happy median that balances playing this game with our responsibilities.

I will cover one more negative outside of the rare instances of accidents, murders, and robberies I am sure you would have read all about: Not everyone is respectful of the location and times they are at. If you are hunting late a night, be considerate. I know we all really want that Pokemon, but if we are to prove to the naysayers we are not all “10-year olds” we have to act with tact, politeness, and awareness of what is going on around us.

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Everything else has been mostly positive: A friend we have known for years have now come out with us TWICE the past few days. It’s is really nice catching up with old friends! You will, of course, be making new friends as well playing PokemonGo. Not only that, I have finally been able to share something with my best friend. She has been into Pokemon a long time, because of her kids “she says”. She is a font of knowledge when trying to figure out “What the heck Pokemon is that?!”.

I also got to hang with my nephew, and we all had a really great time with him as well. My husband and I have something neat to share and talk about, which improves our marriage even more. Our sons, who do not really play, have even gone out to walk with us. They stop to look at the sights or swing on the swings in the parks we come across. Family time is a definite positive for PokemonGo.

Pokemon FamilySource

Now, if you are on social media, I am sure you have seen many a meme, especially the first couple days, about sore legs. All those actively playing this game are getting a decent amount (if not more!) of EXERCISE. There is even a meme that mentions everyone should take a “before” picture and then post a follow up every 30 days to show their personal progress in getting into better shape. If this is not a plus to those living in a country that is known for being the most obese country in the world I don’t know what to tell you.

Before and after PokemonGo.pngSource

Finally (and I am sure there are more!), I’ve discovered places in my town that I’ve either never realized existed or forgot about (Been here 40 years now). Taking pictures has be a fun part of this game! I have seen neat murals, amazing buildings, natural and gorgeous spots, and rediscovered the joy of being out on a breezy day along the river’s edge. Being able to get out and go while dragging along the hubby, friends, and family that actually want to join me for PokemonGo has been one of the greatest blessings I’ve had in a long time.

So, yes…I play PokemonGo and I am proud of it.

Tickled Pink

It bubbles up unexpectedly;

A flash of bright expectations and brighter cheeks.

Caught unawares, embraced by a chaotic joy,

You turn, your amber eyes aglow, shaking you head;

Almost always, you seem surprised at the ridiculous wit

of a love who strives for your laughter.

The work, the random words; those verbal pokes

all just to hear that glorious sound echo from your mouth.

Really, I’m tickled pink!

 

Why I Bowl

I have a brain tumor, that’s why.

I suppose I need to explain what that has to do with bowling. It’s OK. I am used to explaining why I do, feel, respond, Etc the way I do. Because it’s not normal and I know it.

I’ve had little things here and there for as long as I can remember that I quietly struggled with. It was not outside my control, after all. Few knew that I had hallucinations and these times where I just sorta ‘spaced out’. Occasionally I would have these little shakes, but i was aware. I did not realize the spacing out and little shakes was a type of seizure until after I had my 3rd child in 2001 because..well they were little and I had seen people had gran=mal seizures. It was a tough pregnancy. I nearly lost him and I was on bed rest much of it. I even went into premature labor, which they stopped. Only to induce me at 37 weeks due to some complications.

I came home with a newborn like I did the first two times. While he needed a billie blanket because he was jaundiced, it was not unduly bad. However two other issues popped into my life at the same time. A friend came onto hard times and stayed with us. She had 3 children, one of them with a cleft-lip pallet and a newborn, like my own son. I was frequently left alone to care for all the children. 6 children, 2 of them newborns. One newborn you had to be careful feeding so he would not drown in formula.

I think it was the really the next thing that started to break me, though. My husband, who I view as my other half, literally,  started treating me with a lot of disdain and stopped touching me. I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. I tried everything. It was not until 2014, 13 years later I found out why. Things are fantastic in my marriage now, but 13 years ago a chain of events was set off that forever altered my ability to manage those oddities I’d dealt with before hand.

I did the sensible thing and I went to my doctor when I realized how hard it was for me. My depression was deep, I could not sleep, and I felt utterly worthless. I’ve known this doctor since I was 12. He is not one to give medication, so he sent me to a colleague, telling me “You just need something to temporarily help you get through this”. I took his advice and saw the doctor he referred me to.

I went to the appointment, told this doctor all my symptoms and he diagnosed me bi-polar. No blood work, no testing. Nada. Of course, I thought he knew what he was talking about and when he put me on enough medication that it seemed like a meal, I did not question it. Shortly after, I had my first grand-mal seizure. My symptoms began to get extreme. I could not work, care for myself, or be a “normal human being”. People told me to “snap out of it”. Trust me, I tried. I still do to this day.

I lost most my friends. People would get mad at me because I could not control my emotions. They could not understand why I just didn’t ‘think’ it away. They did not understand how I constantly chanted to myself to “Calm down. It’s ok. Stop acting like this. You can do this”. Over…and…over…and…over. But, it did not work. The medications did not work. In fact, I was to find out years later they are what made it worse.

It wasn’t just the emotional roller coaster of feeling everything to the extreme. Happy was ecstatic. One little unkind word had me in the depths of despair. Sexually, I was in constant hyper drive. Everything was amped up to such a degree I was so overwhelmed I could not think straight. I would shut down. I would look at a roll of paper towels and be unable to comprehend their existence. I’m not kidding. It’s not that I forgot what paper towels were. It was much more than that. It was like looking at an inter-dimensional object outside my real of existence and I could not comprehend them. If it got bad enough, I would get stroke-like symptoms and be hospitalized for days.

Another side effect of all this was memory loss. I would lose entire days, weeks even. I would lose the memory of seeing a movie. Or talking to someone. Or what I had spent. I became paranoid of what happened in those blank moments. Apparently I was just acting my usual self. Nothing different. No personality changes. The memories would just be…erased.

One of the memories lost was seeing a neurologist who had done some testing after my original Doctor disagreed with the bi-polar diagnoses. I did not recall having all these tests  and did not know about them until I was hospitalized one day and found this doctor standing over my hospital bed. He looked very unhappy. At first I thought he was mad at me. I had gotten used to people being mad at me, after all. People say and do terrible things when they do not understand.

Turns out he was not mad at me. He was mad at what had been done at me. Mad at the other doctors I had seen that did not question the diagnoses of another doctor who had not even taken blood tests to check my blood levels. He had taken MRIs, brain scans, and did an EKG on me. Unfortunately, I was so messed up that this was a memory that had been erased. While he is not the one who found the tumor, because it’s quite small and hard to see if you don’t know where to look, he could tell my the test results my brain was very wrong and the medications were causing reactions that amplified my symptoms.

He took me off all medications. Ironically, he had to put me back on one and wean me off because I was now addicted. Fun. He warned me it would take time and I should regain more control, but that the medications had forever altered my brain. Most people have an emotional filter and mine was pretty much gone. Apparently this is something you can see in the tests he had given me. I am sure he was using lay-mans terms for me, but it sure helped me understand it wasn’t my fault.

I mentioned he was not the one who found the tumor. Before I landed in the hospital that particular day, I was experiencing reverse tunnel vision off and on. I went to an optometrist who referred me to an Opto-neurologist who did some testing, including an MRI. This is the first MRI I recall having, but I now know I had others. They found the tumor in an unexpected place and only because the one viewing it did not just look in the area he was told to, he checked the entire brain. Because of the distance, I had signed a paper saying they could give me the results over the phone. Her exact words at one point was “If I had a brain tumor, I would want yours”. To this day, I can not decide how to take that, but I do think she was trying to assure me. This was in 2010 and it was shortly after I landed in the hospital to look up to my frowning neurologist. It took 9 years to get answers.

Some of you might be wondering why I elected not to get surgery or chemotherapy. The size and location of the tumor and the fact it looked like I was probably born with it meant that it was safer I just lived with it and found ways to manage my symptoms. Unless it shifts or starts growing, this is the choice I made. I am very careful of the situations I place myself in these days. It took me such a long time to know when to back off and when to embrace something in order to maintain my emotional stability. It does not help that during one of my stroke-like episodes I was also injured and have compressed nerves in my neck and hips. So, I also live with chronic nerve pain.

 

So, what does this have to do with bowling?

I bowl because it’s the one thing I allow myself to do where I lose control. It’s exhausting and I come home utterly worn out emotionally, mentally, and physically. It is a constant battle trying to keep myself in check. I fail constantly. The sounds of the bowling alley overwhelm me. The crashing of the ball and pins, the yelling out of the league bowlers. My teammates, mostly consisting of family (Husband and mother in law), telling me “If you just do…or if you just…just..just” adds to the high stress. I frequently ask myself and the others “Why do I do this to myself?”. They really think I can just magically tell myself to calm down. To not get upset when I feel I am letting my team down. I think they forget I am usually hurting the entire time and my senses are being bombarded along with having this lack of ’emotion filter’.

They mean well. They love me. Even my best friend joins us, and she does not bowl. She sits there just to support me and I love her more and more each time she chooses to do this with me. I know I am not easy. I know they want me to enjoy myself. They do not understand I am at war. With myself. I am fighting a battle and I am always losing it. But, I come back each week to fight it again because I have a hope: I will stumble across a coping method that will help me overcome it.

 

And that is why I bowl.

STOP

OMG. Just stop being so judgmental people.

You’ve never had your child do something and you realized your damn lucky something terrible did not happen? Your heart in your throat? Head pounding as you realize that close call.

Not every one is so lucky that it’s just a close call. A few are so unlucky that after a terror like that, everyone then sits in judgement of their parenting.

Let me tell you something: You don’t know ANYTHING about the parents involved most likely.

Go ahead, feel sorrow for the Gorilla. I know I do..

But, OMG..stop being so judgmental.

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