Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Values, Priorities, and Choices

Values and Priorities @JLenniDorner blogspot image

We have time for what we value the most. 

Sometimes we don't realize what we value the most until we evaluate how we've elected to spend our time.

"But if I don't go to my job, I don't have money to live."

Okay. So you value security. You value the certainty of a roof over your head and knowing your next meal is waiting in the refrigerator. 

"What's wrong with that?"

Nothing. Plenty of people hold that value. Many don't even realize that value is engrained in them. In fact, whole societies base their identity around that value. Entire economic systems are in place based on the assurance that people will continue to value the security of having a home and food. 

But there are people who make the choice to live without that certainty. (There are also people who don't make that choice, but find themselves in such a situation for other reasons.) Nomads still exist. It's a hard life. But there are still people who make the choice to not value security. It means being an outcast. And because it conflicts with society, any time an actual social service is needed, it's much harder to obtain. Plus, nomads are more likely to be abducted by government people for various nefarious purposes because "no one will miss them." 

There's a fantastic book, Plunge, that shows how it's possible to have the money to travel. It means picking travel instead of paying a mortgage or renting an apartment. 

"That's not realistic! I can't do that."

Okay. But some people do that. There are nomadic families. 

There are writers who quit their day job and then publish and hope it'll be enough.

"That's a bad idea."

Yeah, probably. It's certainly against the odds. And it puts a lot more pressure on the writing. But if the person doesn't value security first, they value having the time to write first, then they're living their dream no matter the outcome.

There's nothing wrong with paying bills. Valuing the freedom of not going to jail because of debt. Valuing having a good credit score. Not everyone cares about those things though. I know a guy with terminal cancer who has stopped working and paying his bills. He's figured out what he values and is living his remaining days doing only what he finds important. (This blog would have to be NC-17 XXX for me to detail that value. So he's valuing, umm, satisfaction. Yeah, go with that.)

Some people value having time for their family above everything else.
Some people say they value time with their family above all else, and then make choices that keep them too busy to spend any real time with their family. 

"But the family needs a house, a car, nice clothing, college funds, medical care, etc etc etc..."

Those are mostly things that are part of the security value. (College should be valuing education, but sometimes people don't go just to learn but to try to feel the security that they can bet a better job.) Medical care is maybe valuing life, and will certainly keep Americans fighting to get paid so they can afford to stay alive so they can maybe one day have time to enjoy being alive.

I lost someone close to me a few months ago. She was a hard worker. Held two jobs at several points in her life just to make ends meet. Kept working 20, 40, 60, 90, or 110 hours a week. She talked about the ways she wanted to spend time with people "one day." Was making payments on her retirement dream. Though the numbers said she'd be paying toward that dream until she was about 85, assuming no other bills got in the way. Died at age 62 of a heart attack. Didn't get to spend time doing the things she said she valued, other than the 5 days she took off a year. 

She valued our relationship. A bookmark was found in the middle of Fractions of Existence. She had been reading my book in her precious spare moments. I'll never know if she liked it. We'll never discuss it. πŸ’”

The point is that we all have 24 hours in a day. We might value staying alive, having financial security (along with food and shelter), time with our family, and creative pursuits... 

If we look at how we spend our time, we can see what we are currently valuing.

Then we can decide if that's what we want to value, if we're spending our time on what really matters to us, and make choices to keep going this way or to risk everything to live the life we actually want.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

#IWSG J's 3 Book World Choices and Other Insights

"One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by."- Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today:
J Lenni Dorner (me! ✨), Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton!

July 6 question - If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

Short Answer:

You set the price!
FREE, .99 cents, $1.99, whatever...

Lumber Of The Kuweakunks 

By J Lenni Dorner

I pick this book and world because of the trees. 🌳
It's a short read with a mystery told in modern times and the early 1600s era.   

Long Answer:

For my longer answer, I arranged a few books in the shape of my name - J.
(Hopefully, no one will confuse my name with co-host Jenni Enzor's. J isn't an abbreviation, I didn't know about the superfluous "ay" that people add, or that sometimes J is short for Jayson or other namesLenni- Lenape means "original people". My tribe is also known as the Grandfathers. Naming customs are different in various cultures.)

BSC. I appreciate that the books are being redone with Graphix while still staying pretty true to the original books. Stoneybrook is a fictional small suburban-like town in the state of Connecticut. Most of the problems were solved in one book. 

The Baby-Sitters Club books remind me of my youth. It was just such a better world than my own, a parallel universe of sorts where I wished I could be. Not that I had any interest in baby-sitting. A rare happy period in my school-age time when, for a brief while, I had friends. The Logan character helped to cement the idea that it was okay for the girls I knew to have a guy friend (me). Their parents disagreed. My foster caretakers didn't know or care. Things eventually went bad because of other males at the school. Resulting in my being hospitalized more dead than alive. At which point I was passed to a different foster home. (This is all before I ran away and found my people and birth parents again.)

So anyone out there saying the new laws in parts of America are fine because the foster and adoption system exists can kiss my πŸ‘ss. Plenty of people are talking about that. 

I'll pause to talk about just how "pro-life" the American government has been for about two centuries. I don't often get political on social media, unless it relates to Native American issues, and this does. 

Think putting abortion services in Federal places will help? 🎲 That's rolling the dice because those places sometimes sterilize people without their knowledge or consent. Especially Native American women.

"On October 2, 2020, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning unwanted, unnecessary medical procedures on individuals without their full, informed consent."

House resolutions are not binding laws. 

In case anyone thinks this happened long ago. 2020. Hasn't even been two years since the House did something. Though, what they did wasn't much.

It was after finding out some medical personnel at the ICE cages were sterilizing people who they deemed to be non-Americans.
For ten seconds, imagine a popular, well-liked American celebrity is shooting a film in another country. And, while in that other country, is captured and sterilized. And the other country says, "well, it wasn't one of our citizens, so it's okay." Try to imagine how well that would go over. American citizens getting forcibly sterilized in other countries.

Now imagine it's someone that is barely known at all. Doesn't matter where they're from. Is it okay now?

"31 states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing permanent forced sterilizations."

Some states will outlaw abortion, but have laws to force sterilizations.

Surly the "pro-life" crowd has put a stop to forced sterilizations. Right? Nope.

There are some laws to prevent certain groups, like inmates, from being sterilized without consent. But there is NO LAW to prevent forced non-consensual sterilizations for all Americans.

So yes, in certain states, very soon, a person can be imprisoned for performing an abortion, and the person who had the abortion could be forcibly sterilized. 

Ending one pregnancy will be outlawed. But preventing a person from ever becoming pregnant by sterilizing that person is still legal. (Again, depending on the state.)

The loss of the right to consent to carry a pregnancy will be new to many people alive today.
The loss of the right to consent to ever reproduce was taken from many long ago and is still being fought to get back. 

In theory, medical malpractice and assault and battery might protect a patient from sterilization without consent. Unless the patient is incapacitated. And even then, consider that forced sterilization just happened in America. And that there are still laws that ALLOW it. But there do not seem to be laws that specifically OUTLAW it. 

In case you wonder, some places also prohibit people from making the choice to be sterilized via "tube tying" (tubal ligation) or hysterectomy (womb removal). One in six US hospitals, it is estimated, refuse to perform such procedures as electives. Vasectomies, however, are easier to obtain. https://www.insider.com/a-woman-needed-husbands-consent-to-get-her-tubes-tied-2020-2 

I'm With Them
I feel everyone should have the right to decide when and if they wish to create offspring, and that no one should be able to take away someone's consent for the use of their own body. (Not a parent, spouse, officer, court, president -- NO ONE.) No additions or removals should be performed without informed, comprehended consent. I'm also strongly opposed to permitting child marriages or forcing victims of pedophiles to endure pregnancy. I have seen a child, not yet a teen, who died in labor. And no, that fetus didn't make it either. There is a sick, dark underworld of sex-trafficking and pedophiles who rely on places with relaxed laws that make it easier for them to carry on. I have seen the horrors of the dark world they run. I oppose their existence and any law or ruling that makes anything easier for them.

The following is from a scene in Stargate SG-1:

After careful consideration, I believe that both Klorel and Skaara have the right to live. But living as a host with no will of one's own is not life, therefore only one may remain in the body. To that end, I award priority to the original owner of the body.

Lya is of the Nox people. The Nox are an advanced, non-violent, wise people who use technology in harmony with nature and have existed since ancient times in the Stargate Universe. 

As there are Stargate books, my third choice for a book world would be to live with the Nox. They feel like an evolution of my own Lenni-Lenape tribe, had history been different for Native Americans.

Thanks for reading! See you next time.

Please also visit: The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

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J Lenni Dorner (he/him πŸ‘¨πŸ½ or πŸ§‘πŸ½ they/them) ~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author
Please, call me J.