There are keys to your heart, keys to the city and keys on a piano, but the types of keys I’m talking about are the ones on your key ring.
What’s this for?
I have keys to our condo, the car, fire box, and safety deposit box. I also have keys to the pedestrian gate, the pool and mailbox. I have a key to my son’s house and a good friend’s condo. So in total and without misplacing them again, I have nine keys plus those random ones in the drawer, like the one I had for my suitcase in 1975.
I never understood what a little piece of metal with teeth and a name engraved on it could mean, until a recent conversation with a dear friend. She was working with the homeless when one of them shared with her the thing they really missed was “having a key”. Seems a strange thing to miss, but in reality it made complete sense. Without possessions a key is needless yet means everything. It’s a symbol of accomplishment and without one, there’s a void. Even if you own just one, you can be proud because you ‘have’ something; an apartment, a means of transportation, or just a box that holds your mail.
To the person who has nothing, that small metal object means everything.
What a shift in perspective a piece of metal can create. I started to think of the beautiful homes I’ve visited, the pricey cars I’ve driven in and the beautiful hotels I’ve stayed at – all needed just one thing to access them – a key. Entry to your place of work, your locker at the gym or a tool box needs just one thing – a key. In your lifetime, think of all the keys that have touched your hands – it’s astounding and yet I know I took them all for granted after the novelty wore off.
How wonderful that this homeless person, unknowingly, handed down such a gift of gratitude for all of us; all of us who have more keys than we know what to do with. No matter what race, religion, gender, or political party you’ve been hanging out with, I think we can all agree that if you’ve ever had just one key – you’ve been blessed!
Grateful for you and that random skeleton key in my jewelry box,
I’ve been observing how everyone’s ego seems to be WAY out of control; a day without an immigrant, a day without a woman, and a day without a (fill in the blank). It’s as if people think they can’t be replaced by someone else – someone who really wants to be us.
News stations telling us what we should believe through their bias, instead of reporting the actual news. Company’s so large that treating you as a valued human has been replaced with profits, profits, profits. We’re angry, defensive, and fast to blame others. We judge, criticize and use social media to attack and bully. “Our” religion is the “only” religion and God is only on “my” side not yours. We publish our opinions on public forums as if no other opinion matters, no other point of view is correct, no one is as smart as us or has researched and proven their point as well as we have. There is only one side… not two.
That makes for such a FLAT view of life.
But as I was researching the issue of ego, I found that ego is ruled by the reality principle. So it’s not really the ego at all that is out of check, it’s the id – that silly thing that is ruled by the pleasure principle. That immediate gratification thing, which means it doesn’t care about consequences or who it hurts. It’s all about the id – Individual Domination (my description) – that always has to have its way, no matter what.
We’ve all been ruled by it at one time or another, it takes over our consciousness and we can’t see right from wrong, we don’t comprehend penalties and we don’t care about anyone but ourselves. We want what we want when we want it and there’s only one way of thinking – ours.
It’s been the id all along and I have been blaming the disrespect for each other on the poor EGO. The id who picks and chooses which laws it wants to follow, since consequences hold no meaning. It’s the id who can’t compromise and is the force behind road rage and Facebook/Twitter wars. And don’t even get me started on the id’s control of Hollywood and Washington DC. The id has obviously grown up without any parental supervision and has tied up and muffled the superego, the part of us that censors the id with its morals and values. That crazy ole id has totally high-jacked the ego, which is the mediator between the id and superego, and which makes our choices “just right.”
~~ It’s not the ego at all – it’s all about the id. ~~
How can we level out those Three Stooges so the id doesn’t out-shine the ego and superego? Perhaps a quick slap across their collective faces to shake them back to reality, to use common sense, to start thinking before acting and not jump to conclusions and judge or discuss every action of every person in the entire universe!
January was a funny month. The big celebration on New Year’s Eve, then bam – life as we know it begins again. No more decorating for holidays, the shopping addiction waned and the weather in most of the country was cloudy and cold. But for me? I was lucky enough to be called for Jury duty the 4th week of January, something to look forward to…?
Monday, 7:45am I sat in a room with literally 600 people waiting to be called for Jury duty in the Orange County Superior Court. As they began to call the names I went back to the scene in the Hunger Games, thinking “not me, not me”. As I sat in the room overflowing with unhappy people I tried to look un-jury-able. I slipped through the first three cases and at 11:15am was hoping they’d send us home. But no, they announced the court on the 10th floor was in need of more jurors. Were the first selections defective? They seemed like very nice, normal people. Why were they rejected?
As they read the names, I slouched a bit, as if that would keep me from being called. It didn’t work and 110 of us headed for the elevators. Me, being a bit claustrophobic, headed for the stairs. “It’s only 7 more floors”, I thought, I was on the 3rd. As I rounded the corner on the 5th I thought, “This is crazy, I could die alone in this stairwell and they’d just think I went home”. I exited on the 5th floor and hit the elevator button hoping for an empty car, which arrived… just for me. It was a sign.
Roll call was read and as we were brought into the court, the judge explained that it could be a three week trial and stated the acceptable reasons for being excused. Well I don’t have an employer who won’t pay for me to be on a jury, I don’t have a prepaid trip anywhere or a pending surgery (that I know of). The only thing I was leaning towards was the self-employed missing income during the trial part…. Dammit, I don’t have a client meeting until the end of February, dammit why couldn’t I lie?
So the 50 of us who couldn’t come up with a killer reason were told to come back on Tuesday at 10:00am and the jury selection would begin. My husband suggested I share with them that I believe in the death penalty for traffic tickets, but I was sure that wasn’t going to be one of their questions.
The Hunger Games continue…
Day two. I promised myself I would climb those stairs all the way today. Though that small voice in the back of my head told me I should ease into it and take the escalator to the 3rd then attempt the climb to the 10th. As I opened the 10th floor door, ’wow’ was pretty much the only word I could think of, since I was unable to actually speak due to the lack of oxygen in my body. As I was climbing I promised myself that if my FITBIT hit 250bpm I’d stop or die; luckily, neither happened.
Juror Number 142
The 50 people from my group were now joined by another 40 that had been chosen in the previous morning’s group. There is no way I could be chosen there were so many of us. As they started to call ‘numbers randomly chosen by the computer’, I whispered to myself “may the odds be ever in your favor”. They were not, # 142 was chosen second to the last for those special seats up front.
We were read the charges and told not to assume the young man who sat staring straight ahead was guilty on the two counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and one count of kidnapping. I found being impartial is really, really hard. Tuesday melted into Wednesday then on to Thursday. Testimony was heard that actually made me tear up and facts were stated over and over and over again. On my breaks, flights and flights of stairs, 74 to be exact, were climbed, a lot of FITBIT steps were logged and I was ready to head into the weekend letting all the facts sink in. Deliberations were to start on Tuesday and I was really becoming interested.
I was going to make a difference.
Well that was until a lone germ from one of those 600 people during the week, crept into my head and from Friday on I was in bed. Monday I hoarsely called to be excused, and the clerk apologized, from the entire judicial system, for getting me sick. The hoarse voice did it and an alternate was chosen. Really… again? My last two juror attempts ended in dismissals.
After 11 days of bed/sofa surfing I was able to think clearly again. I percolated all the feelings of the emotional roller coaster I had been on and came up with this…
It’s all about BECOMING MORE FLEXIBLE
We hate when we’re not comfortable with something…
When we don’t get our way…
(we get chosen for jury duty)
We judge the situation without giving it a chance…
(it will be boring and drawn out)
We refuse to realize that we may actually be getting a lesson and learning something positive from it…
(exercise and making a difference)
Although situations change from what we now have become comfortable with…
With the blink of an eye we may be given a gift from a small organism …
(grateful that I was given time to think about the lessons and that I can now breathe without a vaporizer)
Instead of jumping on the “I can’t believe this is happening to me” bandwagon, sit back and think (without getting the flu) about the bigger picture and what lessons you are being shown. It’s all about becoming more flexible…
This is my “busy” season, decorating homes for Christmas, so I’ve had our gifts bought and wrapped and Christmas cards done by Thanksgiving. But the one thing I have been patiently waiting for is the Santa letter I receive from my grand-nephew each year. Because… I am Santa.
Finally it arrived! Henry, who is seven, asks before any requests for gifts, how I (Santa) am doing? And of course he wanted to know about Mrs. Claus and the elves. He was concerned if the reindeer were eating enough carrots and moves on to his list. Henry then ends the letter with “You are the BEST person in the world!” Man, I now have a huge responsibility to this little human to uphold that adjective.
I need to BE Santa,
walk in his boots and
get in that
Besides the list of his accomplishments and the year’s highlights, Henry’s two page letter contained a statement that I chose to center my response around:
“I don’t know how you get to every single child in one night!”
Am I up for the task of explaining this? It’s a query that has intrigued the masses for a millennium? I explain that there is something magical about the night before Christmas which allows ‘me’ to visit each and every child. I write “Remember dear Henry, even though you can’t see it or understand it, that doesn’t mean – the magic – doesn’t exist.”
And then I begin to think…
If it were only that simple for adults, we question, doubt, and analyze the miracles around us. We’ve lost the sparkle I just saw in the eyes of two young boys as they ran into the arms of the Santa in the Home Depot parking lot. They didn’t care how he got there; just that he was there, in a parking lot, in their neighborhood, on a lawn chair.
When did we lose the belief in the unbelievable; the joy in seeing the sparkle of good in others? Have we forgotten the simple act of lifting people up – like little Henry did in his letter?
“I like Dathan’s voice
I like Mason’s cool attitude
I like Rosalia’s teaching
I like that Druv likes ninjas
I like Leah’s tallness”
Can our sparkle return? What if we look for the good, the special, and the ‘tallness’ in our family, neighbors or strangers?
Will it take a miracle to have a ‘cool attitude’, be less suspicious, less negative and less selfish?
Even if you don’t believe in this Christian holiday, you’ve got to admit, that this one day seems to be somehow magical; it brings people together to celebrate something other than themselves. It’s sort of miracle that causes a spark. That can turn into a sparkle. Then BAM – we’re looking for the good and leaving the negative behind.
So dear Henry keep that sparkle, spread it around. Someday I hope you will realize that all the good you see is really the miracle that Santa and Christmas are all about!