Charlotte A. Stout

If you missed an ealier post, this page has my previous February 2017 Reflection postings.
If you want to read some earlier Reflections, click on the links below for the month you are interested in:

February 2017January 2017

February 24th: United Airlines – I Applaud You

I read a story recently about a couple who was asked to deplane before their Houston bound flight even left the gate. The couple watched as a Pakistani couple dressed in”traditional cultural garb” passed their row and started to put their luggage in an overhead bin. The seated male made a racist comment, something to the effect, “do you have a bomb in there.” which the Pakistani couple ignored.

The racist couple did not like being ignored and made more comments as others around them protested their inappropriateness. Things got heated, the flight crew was alerted and the racist couple was asked to deplane, but not before getting in one last jab. As they were being led off the plane the man turned around and screamed, “In Trump’s America you’ll soon be gone and I’ll still be here,” or words to that affect, which his female companion flipped everyone on-board the finger.

A passenger yelled back at the racist couple, “This isn’t Trump’s America.”

Last week I wrote about our values being tested. This is another example of how the rhetoric that has been used by the current resident of the White House over the last 18 months has given people of his ilk what they feel is free license to spew forth hate-filled rhetoric and carry out hate-filled actions, like desecrating the graves in a Jewish cemetery outside St. Louis, MO.

It is so hard to turn the other cheek and see the good in people and life in general when so much negativity permeates every part of our life and the world. United Airlines showed excellent judgment in thwarting a potentially volatile situation before it escalated. They demonstrated their goal of making every flight as positive an experience as possible for each passenger. If this means removing angry vocal racists then so be it.

United Airlines – I applaud you. When seeking a carrier for my next big trip will I be more apt to check for a United flight – You bet. We need to support the businesses and people who are brave enough to stand up and say, “no, not on our watch,” will we condone this un-American and inappropriate behavior.

February 17th: Testing Our Values

Let’s not downplay what is happening in our country today. I don’t care which political party you identify with, your gender, economic or social standing, sexual orientation, religious preference or geographical location. We are, all of us, Americans first before any other identifier.

As an American, I have always been proud of our open and accepting society. Yes, we have those who think they are better than many of us because of their zip code or income bracket but, those people do NOT comprise most of our population.

We have worked hard since the inception of this country to create a society that welcomes all and while equal rights for all has been a work in progress, we have made progress. We MUST remember this – “We Have Made Progress.”

Do we have more work to do? Yes, of course. But, the work we do should move us even closer to true equality and acceptance of everyone, not further away. Unfortunately, today we hear horrible hate filled rhetoric, see angry tweets, and watch and listen as insults are thrown toward anyone presumed not to be in total agreement with and fully praising the current administration.

Today we must be more in touch with and practice the values we embrace as Americans. It is unfortunate and sad that we have someone representing our Country who believes he is perfect when in fact his actions and words demonstrate he is a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic, arrogant, illiterate (look at his spelling, sentence structure and speech) person. He is embarrassing this Country every day with some inappropriate action or his words (tweets and speeches). This means it is up to each one of us to remember how to treat others with dignity and respect and model this behavior at every turn no matter how upset we are with the current resident of the White House.

Our values are being tested every day. Don’t respond in a way that further embarrasses this great Country. Rather, be kind, warm, accepting and loving. Don’t let DJT define who we are. We are better than that. We are Americans – a people comprised of immigrants who have struggled to achieve successful lives resulting in freedom and liberty for all.

February 10th: De-Stressing Amid Chaos

There is a lot going on in the world today. The threat of terror attacks looms ever present anywhere one travels these days. Domestic or international travel, it makes no difference, the risk is there, more prevalent than ever before.

Top this uncertainty off with a new president, one who it appears has no clue what he is doing and we are all stressed beyond what may feel normal or even manageable.

Just seeing a picture of the current president (no, I cannot say his name) will elevate my pulse and blood pressure until I feel so stressed that I become a bit breathless and dizzy. This is not good! So, how do I de-stress amid these uncertain and chaotic times.

I avoid the news, mute the sound if the current president is speaking (or one of his surrogates), and I watch a lot of late night talk shows where the hosts are more aligned with my political persuasion and can make me laugh about the craziness of the current administration.

Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah have helped me de-stress through humor. I don’t feel so alone in my frustration over how the current president was elected, his cabinet choices, and his ineptness in every realm of leadership. I feel a kinship with these people; I like to think they “get me” and I “get them.” We feel each other’s pain!

What I still do not understand is how members of Congress can continue to support this bumbling idiot of a president who has no regard for the constitution, manners, decorum, our long-standing and positive relationships with certain foreign leaders and is clueless about how laws are developed, approved and enacted. He believes that just because he is president he can do anything he wants without exception. OOPS! I slipped off on a tangent and my pressure escalated dangerously high.

I think it’s time to take a break from thinking about what is happening in our country and watch a re-run of Bill Maher. Want to join me?

February 3rd: Regret Today
By Catherine Pulsifer, © 2007

“How many times do we say something that
we immediately realized was not the right thing to say?
How many times do we look back
on an event and think, if only I had. . .
How many times do we do something
that we wish hadn't done?

You can't change what has been said.
You can't change a past event.
You can't change what has been done.

Do you call it regret, sorrow, repentance?
Do you think about what might have been?
Do you relive an event the way it should have been?

Forget about regret, and focus.
Focus on today, not on the past.
Focus on what you can do, not what you didn't do.

The only thing to regret is living in the past
The only thing to feel sorrow for is not living each day to the fullest.
The only thing to do to repent is to sincerely say, I'm sorry.

Don't live your life regretting yesterday.
Live your life so tomorrow you won't regret today.”