Who do you follow?

I like that the word on Facebook when you don’t want to read everything that someone is saying is “unfollow”, rather than something else like “hide” or “block”. Not following some people is a good idea.

I don’t want to follow the people who continually refuse to take care of themselves and then complain about it. I don’t want to follow the people who, through every fault of their own, are obese or have cancer or in miserable relationships or jobs. Facebook is not the place to continuously complain about migraines or insomnia or sinus headaches. If they are happening that often, go to the doctor.

I don’t want to follow people who feel it necessary to share their fear about the government, the environment, or the future. Their need to “educate” me about their pet fear of the week is disturbing. I don’t read the news for a reason. The news is full of bad news with no way out. The news and these people show only the sickness and don’t offer the cure.

I don’t want to follow people whose every post is a passive aggressive rant about the world. Where they start off everything with “Dear (fill in the blank)” – someone that they are not friends with – such as “Dear person who pulled out in front of me at the Walmart shopping mall” or “Dear postman who lost my important parcel”. They complain about how that person did something wrong that adversely affected them. They’re addressing their anger to people who don’t deserve it. The people who are reading it are not the people who harmed them – they are their friends. I’m tired of listening to their craziness and having them pour their anger upon me – someone who doesn’t deserve it.

I won’t follow these people because I’m afraid I’m going to become like them. I’m afraid that I am going to drink the Kool-Aid along with them and become just as miserable as they are. They are addicted to their own pain and they want to share it. But mostly I don’t want to follow them because I’m afraid of where they’ll lead me.

Poem – This is not a Christmas present

not a present

This is not a Christmas present.
This is hatefulness.
This is the exact opposite
of a present at all,
much less one celebrating
the birth of Jesus.
This is pure aggressiveness.
There is nothing passive about it.
The label is superfluous.
It is quite obvious
what he thinks
about his sister
from how he has packaged
his “gift”.

If this were given to me,
I might set it on fire right in front of him.
I might take it outside first.
I might put it under a steamroller.
I might shoot it with my revolver.
I might tie lead weights to it
and throw it into Percy Priest Lake.

Under no circumstances would I open it.
It doesn’t matter what is inside.
Gold bars?
Enough money
to pay off my mortgage?
The key
to my dream art studio?
A contract
for a personal chef and gardener?

No gift is worth this.
Sure, it wouldn’t take long
to cut through these cable ties.
Maybe an hour.
Maybe a few pairs of scissors
would get destroyed
in the process.
That isn’t the point.

My friend,
I’m telling you
this truth:
don’t take any “gift”
that is given
with this much hostility.
It isn’t worth it.
Walk away from it,
and that person.

That is the best present
you can give