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This Is Us for Better or for Worse

So Confusing

Surrounded by people I am alone.

Alone I crave the company of one, or many . . .

Please don’t see me, don’t approach me, don’t . . .

Ignore me, never ignore me, I beg you, acknowledge my existence.

This is us!

I am white, I am black, I am brown, I am yellow, yellow? Is there such a thing as a yellow human, or truly black, and white, I think not, more like creamy latte approaching light brown, heavy on the cream, thank you very much, what the hell, it is so damned confusing at times.

But there is no confusion on the issues, right? Love it or leave it, my country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, upon this shore we welcome the teeming masses, just not from there or there or there or there or there, damn it all to hell, we need to re-write that section, amend it yes, that’s it, amendment, out with the old, in with the new, all-inclusive except . . .

Republican or Democrat, which are you, what, Liberal, Conservative? Ultra-Liberal, Ultra-Conservative, Independent? Seriously? Get off the fence and choose, you have to choose, it’s the good guys vs the bad guys and the bad guys are anyone who doesn’t agree with us, get it, pretty simple, really, our way at all costs, even if those costs are unity and tranquility.


Silliness . . . with a price!

One family . . . not unlike most families

One family . . . not unlike most families

Sadness and Anger

Did you know my tears make the same sound upon impacting the earth as yours? It’s true, I’ve seen it, heard it, the toughest man on the planet, crying, weeping like a little baby . . . just like a baby, in fact . . . over the loss of his baby, the loss of a home to fire, conflagration, burn, baby, burn, the cleansing debridement, out with the old, in with the new, where is the sense of it all? Urban, suburban, rural, moving further from the center, in search of a little elbow room, and yet stroll the streets of Moscow or take it casual in Eugene, it’s all the same, people, dammit all to hell, people, mothers, fathers, children, aunts, uncles, living, breathing, annoyingly predictable unpredictable homo sapiens, fluffing their plumage or hiding in the shadows, people, people who need people, are the luckiest . . . you’ve got to be out of your mind, lucky, get serious, needing people means pain, here we go back to debridement, strip off the top layer and let it breathe, try not to hear the screams.

I am angry! Cut off in traffic, interrupted in conversation, not respected by the boss or the wife or the husband, certainly not by the kids, feeling a wee bit like the invisible man, or a mushroom yes that’s it a mushroom, always in the dark and shit on daily, surely you understand, at work, while playing, or sitting in the closet hoping to one day break free, the anger builds, builds, a crescendo of frustrations to the climax, oh blessed climax, in Paris and Copenhagen, Minneapolis or Rio, we all feel it at times, but how we handle that angst, that blossoming caldron, there’s the rub, eh, to vent or not to vent, that is the question, whether tis nobler to suffer quietly or explode with a car bomb and take other sufferers with us.

Fear and Isolation

I fear, shh, not a word, never show fear, never voice it, but fear I do and fear I always shall, fearful of life itself if the truth be known, fearful that somehow, once again, I’ll screw it all up again, make a colossal mistake, take the wrong damned path again, and end up where I am destined to reside, in a cesspool of my own mistakes, barely above water, lost in that sea of confusion and feeling all too familiar the inadequacies I was born with. And what if I infect another with it, a child god forbid, or desperately cling to a partner, a spouse, and drag them down with me, roll the dice, boxcars or craps, hoping against hope that those little ivories will just once signal victory in a game beginning with birth and ending as worm food, fear so paralyzing at times as to seem unfair, some cosmic joke, so . . .

I shut you out, and you, and you, build up the walls, dig that moat, fill it up, close the drawbridge, safely tucked inside, out of touch, out of harm’s way, but oh so lonely, back to lonely, one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do, alone on a three dog night, cold seeping in behind those walls, desperately wishing for companionship or just some damned contact, can’t get warm now, can’t get warm, can’t get warm.

And isolation leads to segregation, me versus you, us versus them, misunderstanding runs rampant, no way to understand, to find common ground, when in truth the common ground is undeniable, as obvious as the damned nose on your face, nobody knows what the nose, knows, so speak, beak, but no one is listening, so sad, so sad, so sad!

Hope and fear and celebration and love

Hope and fear and celebration and love

Inadequate and Insignificant

I am inadequate, sure feels that way, incapable of reaching potentials, incapable of being all that I can be. Mommy and Daddy tell us from birth that we can be whatever we want to be, we just have to want it badly enough, but that’s just so much horseshit and anyone with half a brain recognizes that fact, the odds stacked against some, no friggin’ way it happens, toss away the unrealistic dreams, shelve thoughts of greatness, and just accept that fact that Darwin had it right all along and the top dogs will always feast on the bottom-feeders, so it seems and so we believe, and that leads us to . . .

I am insignificant, grand scheme of things, one in seven billion, one tiny speck of molecules swimming in a vast ocean of other molecules, unseen, unheard . . .

So we go about our lives, fluff that plumage once again, put on a show, try the latest makeup, get a face lift, buy expensive clothes, get a boob job, drive flashy cars, watch The Shark Tank and dream of opportunities wasted, that could have been me if only, run up the credit debt, live beyond our means, always chasing a dream which has been out of our grasp since birth, unable to comprehend that it is all so meaningless, the appearance, the image, the absolute insanity of it all, bigger home, bigger dick, bigger ego . . . bigger idiot!

Sigh again!

And Hopeful

A glimmer appears . . .

Coffee with friends, quiet moments of actual connection with a trusted one, festivities and gaiety and celebrations, baptisms and marriages, births and engagements, the theater, our pets, oh yes, our pets, hobbies, church, a good book by a warm fire, swimming in the lake on a hot summer day, ice-skating, snowball fights, building a snowman, playing board games, playing cards, tossing the ball around with your son, or daughter, the clouds part and the brilliant sunshine of life shines through . . .

Then one day, perhaps, if we are lucky, for some on the death bed, for others early enough to change, the realization arrives that what is truly important has been ours from day one, the ability to love, the ability to reach out and truly feel, the ability to express empathy and compassion, the ability to tap into our finer angels and get it, really get it, can you dig it, baby, can you possibly fathom the simplistic truth of it all?

This is us! This is who we are, mankind, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. To deny it is folly. To accept it is salvation from the ghosts who haunt us, ghosts of our own creation. The Boogey Man exists in each of us, his power derived via our permission, or we can kick that asswipe to the curb, hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more . . .

This is us!

Seven billion photocopies of the same being.

And in the end . . .

And in the end . . .

Author’s Note:

This was inspired by a recent jaunt around Facebook. All of humanity is on display on Facebook, if you look closely enough. There is joy, fear, anger, much anger, feelings of inadequacy, it is all there, bald and naked and risky in a detached sort of way.

It occurred to me, on that day, that there are a lot of unhappy, frustrated, fearful, and yes, hateful, people in the world, and those people are spending great amounts of time blaming others for their angst . . . the ex-husband, the mother, the illness, the Republicans, the Liberals, Trump, Obama, it’s all someone else’s fault . . . and I find that amazing.

So this coffee shop open-mike prose diatribe was born.

I hope you at least take a moment to reflect on its message.

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 08, 2018:

Thank you, Heather, and the name is Bill...Mr. Holland was my father. :)

Heather Maddox on May 08, 2018:

Mr. Holland,

I would swear that you have been snoopin' around in my mind. You have managed to paint a mural that parallels with my own inner chaos, frustrations and hopes for universal kindred acceptance. Well written!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 05, 2018:

I love your attitude, Lawrence. Keep working, keep publishing,and keep entertaining.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on February 04, 2018:


Thank you for this. I'm probably too much of an optimist to take much notice of what people say I can and can't do!

I did that in the past, and all it gave me were limits, far more restricting than I ever wanted.

Find the limit of your means, and push!!

I don't mean beyond your finances, stay within those, or get creative to produce more!

What I mean is find your talents, and work hard improving them

So what if I don't get noticed? Have I lost anything? No!

Churchill once said, "A fanatic is someone who can't change their mind, and won't change the subject."

But then again, this is just me.



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 01, 2018:

Happy New Year MizB! I try very hard to keep my mouth shut on Facebook. Maybe I'm afraid they will turn their attentions to me and look a bit deeper than the surface .. .or maybe that's what I want them to do. :)

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on December 31, 2017:

Hey, Bill, seems like you are a little frustrated yourself. Me, I'm just annoyed at some of the people on Facebook, but I'm disappointed that some of my family members are the very persons that you've described. Seems like the cousins are either very angry because their party WON, and they still won't shut up, or the others all have perfect families with perfect children, big houses and fancy cars. They are so perfect that most of them have been married two or three times in their search for perfection! Ha, got news, nobody's perfect. They used to make me feel bad at my inadequacy until I saw through them. Sometimes I have to hold back my words to keep my own mouth shut. But I guess we either unfriend them or love them anyway while considering the source.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 26, 2017:

Thank you so much, Brian. Yes, Tobias had to come back for one more reading. :) Merry Christmas my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 26, 2017:

Thank you Rajan, and Merry Christmas and blessings to you.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on December 25, 2017:

This reads like a coffeehouse performance by Tobias. Well expressed.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 25, 2017:

"This is us". So very true! Merry Christmas Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2017:

Thank you Zulma! I'm always a little afraid of what's going to pour out when I open it up. Merry Christmas my friend.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on December 24, 2017:

Brilliant stuff here, Bill. You just opened up your mind and let it all flow out. I love it.

Merry Christmas, Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2017:

Thank you, Michael my friend. You pretty much summed up my feelings as well.

So we cling to hope, and love, and move forward, one step at a time, one act of love at a time.

Merry Christmas and love always

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2017:

Great last statement, Kari...fear is the love killer. So true my friend.

Merry Christmas to you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2017:

Thank you, Mary, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2017:

All true, Dee! It's a lesson that took decades for me to learn, but at least I finally learned it.

Merry Christmas!

Michael Milec on December 23, 2017:

Deep calling unto abyss of a planet where the humanity chose to make a paradise its own where we live. Your tone reflects a century ago of someone described "A voice of one crying out in the wilderness." The’s where we find ourselves alone or lonely, surrounded by millions searching for "related soul" falling as a prey to physical and materialistic color often strolling as a body without soul unrecognizing dominating power within us the spiritual reality. We are coming to this world equipped by capacity to discern, to love, to create and to understand. Then I walk on the street or enter a construction site - where my world crumbles. You my friend have listed them all the deficiency by which our world is derailing from the original intention of the Creator for his creation...

Happy Christmas celebration and a merry holiday season.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 23, 2017:

I like to think I get it. I feel the only important thing in this world is love. We need to love each other, help each other, lend and ear or a hand. Fear is the love killer.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 23, 2017:

Christmas at its core is a message of Love. All the things you wrote are true of me as well. We get lost in our journey, we go back on the path and go off once again. I think as long as we don't give up, there is hope. Merry Christmas Bill to you and your family.

Dianna Mendez on December 23, 2017:

I was just discussing how our views of life changed as we grew older (maybe wiser?). How we used to think bigger was better, having the right home was an indicator of who you were. Life is best when things are simple, kept to what is really important -- like family, friends, faith, and being a positive role model. Thanks for this reminder, Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2017:

I can think of worse place to reside, Maria. Your head is lovely. :)

Merry Christmas dear lady


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2017:

Genna, when I was in college, I actually believed that one day there would be peace on earth and goodwill towards every man. Now I doubt it seriously, and I find that profoundly sad.

Merry Christmas to you, Genna, and peace be with you always.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2017:

Thank you Sparrow....I wanted to capture us all, which is not as easy as it may sound. I appreciate your kind words.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 23, 2017:

Will you please get outta my head, Sir Bill ... :)

Love this and you more,


Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 23, 2017:

This is wonderful Bill. And you've hit on one of my sore spots -- labels. Why are so many eager to assign one to us --- as though we could fit on an index card and filed away in some myopic category -- as if that could possibly define us as human beings. And if we don't fit somehow, then we're "complicated." (Lol.) Can't we just "be"? I mean without the labels or in fear of what makes us - dare I say it -- different from others? And why can't we respect those differences? We have such possibilities. Merry Christmas, my wise friend. :-)

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on December 23, 2017:

Wow Sir Billy! So much of truth in your words :) Interesting and profound message :) This is us in real :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 22, 2017:

Thanks so much, Pop! I appreciate your kind words. Merry Christmas to you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 22, 2017:

Let's hope, Larry, we all realize that before all is indeed lost.

Merry Christmas, my friend.

breakfastpop on December 22, 2017:

This is the finest "State of the Union" message I have ever read. I m using the word"union" in a very broad sense, because for me it means relationships of every kind. I hope this piece is read widely. It's important.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on December 21, 2017:

I argue, because I argue, and arguing is what makes the world work.

But when that turns to hate and violence, when communication dies, we all lose.

When we quit trying and just hate one another based on a label, all is lost.

Very poignant prose.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Awww, Sis, you had me laughing and crying at the same time. What a beauty you are, best Sis anyone could ask for.

Okay, my promise to you: I will not take cooking lessons.

I think you need a vacation. A trip to Washington is in order for you, don't you think? I think it's about damned time you visit your brother by another mother.

Hugs and love, always and forever


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Eric, I will truly cherish this comment of yours. No need to say more on my part. Thank you and love always!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Oh, Clive, I'll bet you still have a few of your own. :) Merry Christmas, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Thank you so much, Karen! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 21, 2017:

Worthy of a read yesterday and then again today to savor the impetus for thought of the purest kind - not answers.

Now I am not sure which one would be influenced more by this piece; Abby, Kirowac, Leary, Thompson, Pirsig, or Pham. I don't know the rules of poetry or cartoons but to me this is poetry.

My Vietnamese wife just shut the door on being whiter than I - she insists with no more discussion that her people are yellow.

You remind me of two truths. At the root of all love is the love of little things. And it takes all us little things to create a love so complete and enduring that God has meaning.

Do not tell anyone but your train of thought is my default position.

As I love your brother I love this.

Suzie from Carson City on December 21, 2017:

During your intro, I immediately thought, "Hmm, looks like bro is in a unique mood today and I know I'm going to like this. It took a mere few sentences more to realize Tobias had come back to visit, and there I was, sitting mesmerized in the audience once again. I quickly realized this is going to be a really good day, despite what may be in the plans.

So a fresh cup of coffee & my signature curl on the fireplace lounge, deciding if I'll forgive you for an article and not a sequel. (and of course I do, with my infamous pout)

How exquisitely you describe the thoughts in my head, the wishes of my heart and hope within my soul. The massive & continual game of "Follow the bouncing ball," I see, feel and try to understand every day in whatever ways that might move me just that little bit closer to "getting it."

As your older sister, it kills me to say this, but "you're always right, damn it." All I ask is that you never decide to take cooking lessons. Please let me be better than you at something?

If you'll excuse me now, I'm searching the crowd for Pete & Maria. Maria gets a hug......what Pete gets is my secret!! Love & Hugs, Paula Just another 2 inches to add to your big head.........THIS, made my entire day.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on December 21, 2017:

I admire hubs like these. Sounds like you just took all my thoughts away.

Karen A Szklany from New England on December 21, 2017:

Great reflection, Bill. Great message, too, that we all have everything we need to be happy and make a difference in others' lives. We just need to be still and listen, and we'll begin to recognize the hidden treasures within. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Thank you Torrilynn, and Merry Christmas to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

You are very welcome, Dora. Thank you for being a part of my life.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

I am too, Jackie...thankful...for my HP community, for you, for this gift of writing, which has connected me with so many....thank you and Merry Christmas!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Shannon, you are strong enough to still be standing tall, even after the crazy year you have had, so yes, my friend, I consider you to be strong.

And I'm sticking to that opinion!

Never will I tell you to shove it. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Marlene, I don't know why diversity is such a tough pill to swallow for some folks. Sad what they are missing.

Thank you and Merry Christmas dear friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

I love that, Flourish, a domino effect....beautiful thoughts. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Not so sophisticated at all, Manatita. LOL Thanks, Bro! It's always good to read your thoughts. Merry Christmas to you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Thank you Frank! Good luck hiding from the Witnesses. They are persistent! LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

Hugs to you, Lil Sis! I appreciate you coming back to HP to read this. Thank you for being who you are.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

It is a bit nasty out there, isn't it Peg? But not in our household, and that's a start. Merry Christmas my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2017:

I appreciate your thoughts, Lori! Thank you for sharing them. I have one main job, and that is to live my life with love. After that I have to let go of what others are doing.

torrilynn on December 21, 2017:

Beautiful !

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 20, 2017:

Your title made me think of the TV series "This Is Us." Both theirs and yours present life the way it is. Especially like the truth "what is truly important has been ours from day one, the ability to love, the ability to reach out . . ." You speak for many in this piece. Thank you.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 20, 2017:

We all are so much alike with the same problems and loves and ambitions. It appears the media jumps on a few hate groups and tries to insinuate this is what the world is. I hope we never buy into that. I hope it all fades away...but it won't.

I don't see much fault with my facebook friends, they seem to call the troublemakers for what they are and I am pleased to share that for those who need to know.

I am thankful for places like this where we get to know one another and see truth in our writings and our friendships.

Merry Christmas

Shannon Henry from Texas on December 20, 2017:

You could be describing me in much of that, especially the opening part a and the parts about fear of failure and worthiness. Funny thing is most of the time, I am very different in writing than in person or over the phone, at least in responding to others. I know very well that I am defensive and so are many others. It serves its purpose. However, it hinders me too and I am only now coming to terms with that. Before, I didn't even realize when I was being so defensive mostly by convincing myself it was just honesty. Well, honesty, yes, but I also didn't know how to let my guard down and simply be that vulnerable. Truth be told, I still don't. But at least I can better recognize that now. A chance to forgive myself and others, too, who respond to my defensiveness with some of their own.

But. . . I speak in personal terms here. This past year or so has been insane. And then I get a message from a friend who sees me as strong....and I feel incredibly humbled by the sentiment because I am not strong. I am incredibly weak and simply doing the best I can to learn as I go, mistakes and all. I appear strong to those who have not seen my weakness, or so it seems to me. And then I also realize that it's the same for others. Any time we inspire someone else. . . perception is key, but so is kindness and an open heart and mind. A willingness to see the good in others. Thank God we can be an inspiration to someone when we fail someone else.

It's not just on Facebook or on HubPages. It is everywhere. We don't want to be pushovers or doormats so we build defenses. We think our perspective is right, and maybe it is, but that doesn't mean another person's isn't also valid. It always takes two willing to develop and secure a bond. Bit it only takes one to difuse some of the negativity surrounding us. One person's rude remark doesn't have to be met with one in return as often happens online. Like diplomacy in customer.

Hey, I wrote you a book. Now you can diplomatically tell me where to shove it all. :P

Marlene Bertrand from USA on December 20, 2017:

I am fortunate to have limited internet access. It forces me to stay out of the mix of all the online stuff that is going on in the world right now. Every now and then, when I do gain access, I pop into Facebook and I want to tear out my hair over the abundance of nonsense that people talk about on Facebook.

I love your family photo. It is a lot like mine. This year, on Thanksgiving Day, my family took a group "selfie." When I look at the photo I see almost every nationality represented in the photo. We even had a foreign exchange student from South Korea who said our family felt more like family than anything else he had experienced since coming to America.

Diversity is where it's at. I wish all of the world could see that.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 20, 2017:

I stay off Facebook except to wish people Happy Birthday and severely limit tv exposure (no local news, limited cable news to about half an hour just so I know the headlines). It’s made me a happier person and I find that I treat others more warmly. You can impact your corner of the world and create a domino effect, negative or positive — your choice. I choose enthusiasm, happiness, and love.

manatita44 from london on December 20, 2017:

A not so sophisticated Shakespearean piece, Bro. Lol. Someone has ....ed you off!

A brilliant piece and one so real. But why only Facebook? It's here too. Seems to be getting easier in fact to 'diss' others on line, a big insecurity thing. Or perhaps we are too venomous.

I learn from Chinese movies. There is this woman who is evil incarnate. She gets caught sometimes and pays a small price as the good ones beg on her behalf. Yet she continues in the same old, same old. Scorpions will always be scorpions. I'm sure she's going to die soon. (not got to that part as yet)

Still, I'm saying that life is also, or can be also a cinema or movie. Scary, eh? Hang in there, Bro. Great stuff!!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 20, 2017:

against my better judgment.. my better? your better judgment, who the hell cares..LOL Brown people, white people, we all share this blue planet.. again with the color..LOL I enjoyed reading this.. in fact I read it this morning with a cup of black coffee while hiding out from the Jehovah witnesses knocking on my door.. creative, fun and never bland.. awesome

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on December 20, 2017:

Big Bro, I saw this post and had to come over and read. I'm glad you shared it on social media.

It reads like a poem. A commentary on the state of humanity with the good, the bad and the ugly.

And although I haven't written any hubs lately, I am glad to see so many over here still commenting and still engaged. Hugs to you on this chilly almost-winter-but-it-feels-like-it's-been-here-for-awhile sort of day. :P

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 20, 2017:

We are one, in this world, yet not of this world. You've brought out so many issues that are ongoing and seemingly out of control. I think I've never seen a more vicious environment in the news, in movies, in the grocery store. I wonder if all these communication devices are polluting our air space and making us crazy. But from one human being to another, blessings and hope for a calm, cheerful and cozy Christmas and the happiest of new years to you and your family.

Lori Colbo from United States on December 20, 2017:

This was so powerful. So thought provoking. One thing that caught my attention (amongst many others), is where you talk about being insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It reminded me of Psalm 8 where David says,

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,

The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

What is man that You are mindful of him,

And the son of man that You visit him?"

In a few different passages it says that God knit us together in our mother's womb.

I feel like you do about social media and everywhere else where is division and hate are becoming the norm. All we can do is be the best us we can be and spread love and respect at every opportunity.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2017:

Thank you Linda! I think this season is the perfect time for this reminder.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 20, 2017:

This is a thought-provoking article, Bill. I love the last section. It's very appropriate for the Christmas season. Love and empathy are vital in today's world.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2017:

Thank you for sharing your reflections, Ann! That was the whole point of this exercise, to point out that we are all the same, despite our efforts to wallow in the differences. I have to remind myself of this daily.

Have a safe and wonderful trip, my dear friend, and Merry Christmas to you!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2017:

McKenna, thank you for sharing your thought and fears. Voicing them makes them real for all of us, and allows us to share in them, and in my mind that makes us closer.

Ann Carr from SW England on December 20, 2017:

And a powerful message it is, bill. I have felt much the same lately, when I hear and see the news, sometimes when I look around me in town and, sadly, when I am bombarded with nastiness by immediate neighbours. I have to remind myself that all the people dear to me are not like that; all have their problems but they don't take it out on others and they don't moan. They look around and find joy to be thankful for and people to give love to.

I like your hubs which give vent to thoughts and philosophies (like Tobias, as Linda says). They flow with your string of consciousness and they always have a clear message, forcefully conveyed.

Well, I'm packed and ready to roll tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to experiencing a different world with new people around me and wonderful things to see and do. I am even feeling positive about the flights which enable me to do so (despite the fact that I shall be shaking a lot of the time)!

Happy, happy hugs and best wishes for your Christmas time. I hope it brings positive vibes and that you're surrounded with smiling, joyous people.


McKenna Meyers on December 20, 2017:

Bill, this reminds me of something that was told to me recently: "Each day when we wake up we have the choice to embrace love or fear." Too many days of my life, I unknowingly chose fear--fear because I didn't want to get rejected, fail, or take a risk. I chose fear because I was protecting my ego that couldn't tolerate any more assaults. I chose fear, isolating from others, because I didn't want to get hurt. But, when you choose fear, before you know it life has gotten away from you and your days are numbered. I choose love now. I choose real folks over Facebook friends and real life experiences over those on a screen. I choose to accept and love all people and, most of all, I choose to build connection. Thanks for the powerful words, Bill, and for keeping it real.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2017:

Good morning Linda, and how nice of you to remember Tobias. Love your analogy...and that's Bev's birthday movie today...Star Wars...may the force be with you always, my friend.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 20, 2017:

Bill, it was refreshing to hear the voice of Tobias this morning. His wisdom rings true. We are more alike than different, all made by the same God and loved equally by Him. The few differences that we have, well let's just say that if we were in lock step like the Star Wars saga Clone Wars how boring that would be.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2017:

Some days, Peggy, we settle for that...it is enough for today. I'm sorry for your loss. Blessings always!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 20, 2017:

Too bad we cannot be turned inside out. Those pulsing arteries and veins, ligaments, tendons and bones would all look pretty much the same. Correction...some bones would be bigger than others. Would there be bone envy? Just knowing mankind...there probably would be. Sigh.

Your diatribe was right on point. Yet there was still hope...and pets. We lost our dear little dog Skippy on Monday. That little glimmer of joy has been snuffed out and we are sad...but at least we (my husband and I) have each other...a few distant family members, some friends and our cat Peaches. Sadness mixed with solace. It is enough for today.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2017:

I do get the idea and I totally agree, Nell! :) Thank you for pointing that out.

Nell Rose from England on December 20, 2017:

Amazing Bill! I always say that the whole of humankind do only 10 or less things in life, all the same across the world. For example, we sleep, or we don't. We work, or we don't. we marry or we don't and...well you get the idea!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on December 20, 2017:

Thank you Janine! My Hubber score dropped so I figured I better try harder. LOL Happy Hump Day!

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on December 20, 2017:

What can I say, but I love this as I couldn't agree more that many are blaming someone else right about now. So, appreciate the reminder that for all our differences, we are alike on many levels, too. Happy Wednesday once again now!

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