Introvert I AM

Recently, and all too often, I’ve being called aggressive, impolite, and mean.  I am neither these adjectives nor any other misguided labels (i.e., aloof, unapproachable, and misanthropic).  In the past, I have rebuked such attempts of my character with disdain and bewilderment.  Recently, I have discovered as I always recognized, my personality is not the problem, but the misinterpretation thereof by the misinformed.  NEWFLASH! I am an introvert, not a monster.

WARNING!  An introverted personality is not synonymous with shyness, fear of crowds, or one that shrinks in the spotlight.   As an introvert, it simply means, I have little patient for small talk, or extended time in social settings.  On the contrary, I can operate quite well in large settings; I can speak to large groups with ease.  Nevertheless, and this is important, I need isolation to recoup my energy.  So, I prefer to be alone than in a crowd to regain my inner power.  Again, social events are not deal breakers. But I will need time between engagements to maximise optimal energy levels.

In the last few days, I’ve watched a TED video and read some literature on being an introvert in an extroverted society.  I found the video ok, but I would recommend all to give it a go, so we could drop with the negative labels.

Just my 60 seconds…

The Invisible Dragon

3 Reasons Joe Paterno’s Statue Must Come Down

hi-res-137545439_crop_exact“This has nothing to do with football,” stated Joe Paterno referring to the now infamous child molestation cases last November. Since his death however and the subsequent release of Freeh Report, we have learned that coach Paterno was right in a crude manner. The sex scandal was about much more than football. In the last few days, we all shirked listening to how Paterno and Penn State officials helped a sexual predator molest children for over 14 years. The conspiracy detailed how the most powerful men at Penn State turned their backs on helpless children. The fallout from the tragedy has polarized fans of college football. There is talk of Penn State deserving the death penalty and the Nittany Lions possibly not being eligible for bowl games. I contend there is, however, three solid reasons why the statue of Joe Paterno should be demolished immediately.

(Update: Paternoville has been renamed to Nittanyville)

Fans and Hero Worshipping

First, thousands of Penn State and sports fans believed Joe Paterno was Godlike and the good he had done is represented by his statue. I woefully disagree with their shortsightedness and insist that the statue should be removed immediately. The only remembrance of this sordid calamity should be the sexually abused children at the hands of the Penn State Football organization. Sports fans are misguided and soaked in the mist of hero worshiping way too much in America. College sports and men’s sports in particular have made Gods of men just because they win games. This is foolishness of the highest order. Our obsession with sports figures is out of whack. how do you argue to remember a man who organizes a cover up of child rape?

I contend nothing is lower than hiding a child sexual predator and Paterno did just that. Let us be in agreement, we have a warped affliction with men like Paterno. After all, we see the All-American man when we see these men, our John Wayne of college sports. We believe so much in these mythical figures that we lose our ability to think critically. Nonetheless, the fans of Joe Paterno needed his persona like an addict needs a fix. The hyperrealism of sports figures allow us to argue on their behalf regardless of their ills. In the end these men are human after all. Paterno demonstrated this by making the worst mistake of his life i.e., hiding the crimes of a sex offender. Why give him a statue for that?

Joe Paterno Had the Power to Stop Sandusky

Joe Paterno was the most powerful man on the Penn State campus. Yet, the report indicated he thought nothing about the victims but only about the Penn State brand and his image. Jerry Sandusky, his former defensive coordinator, was provided free reign even after the 1998 sexual rape allegation. Shockingly, this sexual predator was given keys to all the athletic facilities. Coach Paterno could have had Sandusky arrested on the spot. His passing the buck is inexcusable and reeks of cowardice. He had the power to insure this man would never hurt young boys at least on PSU property ever again. Yet, again, he did nothing.

Why did he allow his friend to have access to accommodations used to molest boys? What was Paterno thinking? We must color it correctly the buck at Penn State stopped with Joe Paterno. Sadly, we now know the greatest scandal in college history happened on his watch. I suggest the remembrance of the victims is the only worthy cause from this catastrophe and not the man who should have stopped it: Joe Paterno. Take it down now.

(Update: Jerry Sandusky Retirement Package Revoked By Penn State University)

What about the Children

93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker. Coach Jerry Sandusky was allowed to frequently bring young boys on the Penn State campus after the football and school officials were aware of a prior sexual abuse allegation. The Freeh’s reports indicated that Coach Paterno as far back as 1998 was aware of his friend’s crimes and he did nothing to secure the children. And let us be frank, Sandusky was a friend of the Penn State football organization. I ask you, would a professor, janitor, or athlete with matching allegations receive such clemency? PSU football officials held Sandusky secrets only until the Freeh report shined the light upon the depth of their evilness.

As a former college football star I understand athletic privileges. Athletic programs get away with a lot, trust me. With that said, Penn State football was given special treatment in other areas I assure you. All the same, what must we do as a society to never see something like this happen again? First, stop worshipping men as Gods because they coach a sport. Second, although the child abuse victim of the PSU Football Organization may never recover the excavation of Paterno’s statue is a step in helping with closure. The victims are being lost in the fight to save a legacy of a man who failed them. They deserve the statue, so we can remember, never again.

In closing, Paterno fans believe he was a God and he was not. Not surprisingly, he was flawed like the rest of us. Unfortunately, however, he may have relished in his hero status thrust upon him and became blinded by its glare. Nonetheless, his legacy and Penn State’s is tied with the worst sexual scandal ever to take place on a college campus. Now we must never allow this to happen again. We must remain critical of our heroes for who else watches them on earth? “This had nothing to do with football,” stated Joe Paterno. Sadly coach you were right and so drastically wrong. Remove the statue and return him to his humanness posthumously.

The Invisible Dragon

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Tao 77 Give Without Taking

tao te ching verse 77  (Robert Williams’ translation)

The Tao maintain balance in all things

because it is flexible as the wind.

It brings rain where it is needed and cold

to equal the heat.  It never stands by and

witness inequities. 

 

Ones who control by force and power

is in opposition of the Tao.  They take from

the needy and give all to the rich.

 

The master continues giving because

her abundance knows no end.

She expects nothing in return while

denying credit for her deeds.  She never

exalt herself above anyone.   

****

The woman who does not trust in the Tao believes people cannot do for themselves.  She provide her gifts out of pity.  The people are like small helpless babies. The true master is more transparent and understands that bringing others to self-reliance is the only true compassion.  As such, the master does not cry because she’s busy helping people care for themselves.

The Invisible Dragon

The Death of A Crack Addict

By Robert A. Williams

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Jesse held his timid posture inside the project’s hallway, absorbing the rumbling sounds from the apartment.  The loud stench of urine did not drown out the violent voices as he listened silently.  His slender frame, as a ship on bumpy waters, rocked steadily as he decoded the languages.  These evidently hateful sounds came from the apartment as always after multiple day crack binges.  Nevertheless, under the influence of crack, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts, Jesse with unbridled animosity ignited after hearing the scorning noises.  Pissed, he flushed his clenched fist down his mouth and screamed inaudibly.  While his character received rebuke from inside, he heard a voice say, “Jesse ain’t shit and never will be shit” pierced through the apartment’s peephole, and, as quickly as his rage had imploded; it halted.   The voice’s owner had never been among his naysayers but for this very first time he heard it clearly.  After recognizing the voice owner, his addicted frame collapsed upon the cement, as his emptiness filled him.  For the next two hours, inside the hallway, he furiously rubbed his convicted face, as he whispered again and again:

“I ain’t shit and never will be shit; I ain’t shit and never will be shit.” I ain’t shit and never will be shit.”

Later, in his deepened shallow voice, Jesse asked himself.  “What the fuck have I done?” He wondered had the addiction cost him his family’s hopes.  He snapped back! “I can’t stop, I’ve tried and not one person knows what I’ve been through.  How can they judge me?  What the fuck do they know; they have not walked in my shoes.”  Jesse invalid arguments from the past however were baseless again, but now because of that voice, he wondered was it true.  He mouth mumbled again, “I’ve never been shit” thus his final decree fell noiselessly onto the cement.  Jesse settled himself atop his size 12 feet; tucked his shirt neatly inside his dirty jeans and headed toward the building’s roof.  His mangled body for hours lay  unnoticed before the sunlight allowed the project spectators to recognized it.  The disfigured mesh of body and bones did not faze them; they’ve seen suicide by roof jumping before. “Cats can’t take it, and they jump the fuck off, it’s called ‘project sky rocket.’  The news reporter nervously listened to the hoodie wearing teen’s account, as yellow police tape restrained both; Jesse was a statistic now.

The funeral was uneventful, as most, concerning project residents. The family had to take donations, it’s a norm, no big deal.  A few friends stood with his siblings wondering why Jesse became a ‘project sky rocket’.  Hell, his sister let him stay with her, but they still wondered.  Sure she got on him about his addiction, “Jesse they going to put me out if they catch drugs in here, don’t bring that shit in here,”  But you know what, after each binge, she opened the door.  Jesse often listened outside her door as she would railed preparing for work, “His good for nothing Black ass”.  Nevertheless, she loved his ‘Black skinny ass’, like most siblings in those situations do.  Yea, she let him come back each time and this is why his suicide hurt her most.  Because, she promised to care for her oldest brother and she failed.  As foul-smelling and cracked out, she took him in, blitzed off some new drug shit, she took him in, fucked up on liquor; she took him in.  The morning of Jesse’ suicide however was different, the voice were different.  The voice convinced him he failed at life and disappointed everyone.  He heard that voice and it made him tired and apathetic.  No more fight in him, he was tired, so he jumped.

After several months, project’s natives produced a theory as they always do.  That early morning, a few residents saw Jesse outside his sister’s door before 4am as she undressed him on the other side.  Jesse and his sister kept their business in the street, like all residents of these prisons.  Nevertheless, most residents, like his sister, wondered aloud; why did he jump?  Well, as theory has it, that morning as Jesse crept up the project’s hallway, he was fine. But, as he gathered himself to enter his sister’s apartment, that one voice came from inside and into his head; thus, he freaked out.   Frightened and confused, he bugged out, as they say.  As such, he was whispering as he walked to the roof a few hours later.  His fellow addicts however warned him: Your mother has been dead ten years.