Reflections in a Decision

If I’m asked to define my character, who I am in one word, I’d use the word reflective. I like to think, I like to ponder. Now, before you assign a cool thought to that, being reflective has it’s drawbacks. Sometimes, I find it hard to let things go. Some things harder than others. The things that are hard, are those that I am passionate about, those things that I care deeply about. It also has been my experience that these are things I have little or no control over. The solution is, I write. That’s how I
exert control or at least, I’m able to say, I’ve done what I can. Often, it’s not enough.

The thing is, thats life. You don’t have a say in everything but every once in a while you have a responsibility to say something,  about something and when that time comes, you need to do so or flounder in your nights sleep wishing you had. Before doing so can create many a sleepless night, should I say something, or remain silent? As your wife stares at you between pillows, and tells you to let it go.

I’ve been down that road, and it kills you. I learned to solve it by making a quick decision, accepting the decision, admitting it if it was the wrong decision, and moving on. Not complicated.

The single reason you lose sleep over a decision is simple this. Fear! You worry how that decision will be perceived? Fear based in lack of self confidence.

Before you formulate any understanding of what I just said, think about that self confidence thing for a bit? What do you think I mean by that? Being self confidant isn’t about being in’ your face Bitch, I ain’t never wrong’. It’s about being confident to being wrong and correcting your mistakes.

If you can’t understand that your decisions have implications beyond your life, and that if your decisions impact others in a negative fashion, it’s probably the wrong decision. Not always, but usually. The question you should always ask, ‘Does my decision benefit a thing or a person?

If you find yourself defending a lot of your decisions, you might want to start thinking about how you make decisions. I get it, in the corporate world, your decisions have to benefit the corporation, but benefiting the corporation should be benefiting  those who work for the corporation. Unfortunately, that’s a by gone thought.

Truth is, most decisions you make are based on how you will be viewed. Please, don’t argue! It’s simply true of 99.9 percent of you. Make the safe choice, the easy road out. You make the choices your boss and your friends expect you to make and you are, for the most part, fine with that.

The problem is, it’s usually the wrong choice. Some of you who lose sleep over the problem, well, there’s still hope for you. Most of you just make the decision and nod off to sleep, thinking you’ve done a good and honorable thing, pleasing your friends and your boss. What you’ve really done is maintain the status quo, and failed to grow as a human being.

There are a lot of routine, day to day, minute to minute decisions we all make. In our professional lives as well in our personal spheres. Most of them require little thought, many are redundant. But there are many that create heartache for yourself and others, and those require reflection. More so, they require the ability to be able to think them through. Doing so without prejudice requires a bit more than just thinking about them. They require reflection.

 

Police Town, USA

I believe the only way to begin this piece is with a disclaimer. I live in a small town,  a bedroom community of St. Cloud that has a population of some 50,000 people. The Mississippi is what sepposter1arates us for the most part. Here on my side of the river, there’s a small town feel where everyone knows you and your neighbor. You lose that the minute you cross one of the four  bridges. Here in Sauk Rapids, I’ve met several of the police officers, worked with one, even consider Troy a friend.

Going back a bit further, as a young stud in the mind blowing sixties and seventies, I was influenced, and influenced deeply by the mantra that cops were pigs. I believed that  based on my experience growing up in Brainerd. Some of the officers back in the day  hated us, and by us, I mean anyone that was 18 or younger. Some of the names are remembered with vile. I remember my sister, a Jesus freak at the time, being taken down to the ground for no reason other than walking across a park. I, myself was harassed, arrested and charged several times on bullshit. As the years passed, one of the most hateful, ended up paying a high price for his behavior and another simply grew up, to the point where ten years after the fact, we were able to talk like sensible adults (and yes, I grew up as well).

Today, I have nothing but respect for our police officers. They put up with shit that I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. They are way underpaid, always under public scrutiny and always second guessed and 99.5 percent of them are decent people. Hardworking, with families, like you, like me.

But something is wrong!

Police brutality is spiraling out of control. In 2006, a report was issued by the United Nations Human Rights committee that stated plainly, that after 911, our war on terror  “created a generalized climate of impunity for law enforcement officers, and contributed to the erosion of what few accountability mechanisms exist for civilian control over law enforcement agencies. As a result, police brutality and abuse persist unabated and undeterred across the country.”

I’m fighting to take issue with that report and I’m finding it harder to do so as I do more research. First and foremost there are not a lot of verifiable statistics, believed to be because most instances of police brutality go unreported. I’m also struck by my own observation that since 911, Police forces seem to have become militarized.

The Rise of Technology
With the advent of the surveillance state, the police are finding out, that they too are being watched, even in the security of their own work environments. Officer Michael Hart could tell you more about that. So could Deputy Keller, or Corrections Officer Graham. Than there’s the 16 LA County deputies who thought they were safe in their own private world. Mind you, these are instances that happened in their own police stations, jails and the security of their own.

We too have Cameras.
The average American Joe and Josephine  are finding out quickly that their voice is amplified by pictures, and even more so by with moving pictures. Our smart-phones are providing us with an unprecedented voice we’ve never had before, and we are learning how to use that voice, effectively! We’ve came a long way from Rodney Kingand the California Highway Patrol can attest to that.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know there’s a growing problem and it’s evident, evident as hell.