I’m like a bad cold…REALLY???


By Kenneth Justice

So Kenneth, I think it’s time for you to start blogging again!” he said

Yesterday I had coffee with one of my dearest friends and the conversation was one of those typical coffee house conversations that touched upon many of the major issues in the NEWS of the past month;

—) “Syria, the conflict never seems to end

—) “The Palestinian/Israeli conflict, haven’t we heard about this once before?”

—) “Russia and Ukraine; who really gained anything by shooting down that plane?”

—-) “The new Barista who works at the coffee shop we hang out at; that’s kind of a low cut shirt for a barista isn’t it?

—-) “Do you think that customer has had plastic surgery or not? Those seem a little bit too big for her frame don’t they?

I’ve been away from my blog but the stories and conversations often seem to be the same….don’t they? It’s strange to me that the conflicts which occur around the world always seem to be circular in nature; they go on and on and on, people fight and argue incessantly and it rarely seems as though there is any conclusion to the struggles that men and women face all over the world.

Even in our own personal lives it seems as though when you finally get rid of one cranky manager or hostile customer; a new one is waiting in the shadows to rain down more misery upon your life. And let’s not even get started with cranky relatives; they don’t seem to ever go away.

It seems to me that in many ways; conflict is here to stay.

When I was younger I dreamed of the world that John Lennon wrote about; can’t we all just love each other and be at peace? The older I get the more I’m beginning to think that peace and resolution is nothing more than that which rocks dream about during the rem portion of their evening constitutional.

I guess the problem is not that conflict exists in the world; the real issue is how you and I respond to conflict when it occurs in our lives. Are you going to pick up a gun and kill someone because you believe they shouldn’t have built their house so close to yours? Are you going to shoot down a passenger plane from the sky because you think it will help your cause? Are you going to fire off bombs from the basements of hospitals and neighborhoods at innocent people merely because you don’t like how they spend their Saturdays?

Hopefully your idea of resolving conflict doesn’t involve beating up Aunt Mildred at the Sunday dinner because she gossiped about you behind your back; after all, it’s not her fault that she has nothing better in life than talking shit about you.

I guess conflict is sort of like coffee; it’s here to stay. Which reminds me, I’m here to stay as well, and I’m happy to announce that my sabbatical from blogging is officially over. Come back tomorrow and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, for all new articles from yours truly.

I’m sort of like a bad cold, I just don’t seem to go away,


Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

65 replies

  1. Fantastic! I’d been wondering where you were. And, yes, she probably has had some plastic surgery! 😉

  2. Conflict is unavoidable and learn to solve it amicably


  3. woot! woot! So glad to see a post from you in my inbox- this post rocked!- it is evident a little break really did you good, and to your writing.. there seems to be a great bounce in every sentence! 🙂

    • Thank you! My articles might be a tad bit shorter then they used to be… but my new strategy involves the idea of things that are shorter can be more sweet 😉

  4. Good thoughts. Warm Wishes.

  5. YAY! (not that I’ve had a ton of time to read blogs, but still, yay!)

    And I don’t think world peace means the absence of conflict, crime or misfortune. It just means the countries/governments of the world are working together instead of shooting each other. A lot of major world issues might be solved that way, if we ever get there. We’re all just trying to live our lives and be happy, after all.

  6. Great post…”I guess the problem is not that conflict exists in the world; the real issue is how you and I respond to conflict when it occurs in our lives.” A great springboard to improving ones life.

    Welcome back…once a week was not enough! 🙂

  7. Nice to ‘see’ you back, Kenneth.

    And yes, I’m one of those people who dream about peace across the world ………one day.

    As to killing Aunt Mildred, I might like to comment that I have several food allergies, but more importantly Food Intolerances. If I eat enough white flour products, or close exposure to a perfume I’m allergic to, I……literally could strangle someone……..Seriously.

    I’m very interested in the subject of toxins in our environment and how they affect us mentally (as well as physically). Took me a while to work out that I felt depressed and negative on a Saturday afternoon because I always bought my favourite rye bread at the Saturday morning local food market.

    Now I avoid over-consumption of grains. Took a while to work out my level of daily tolerance.

    I wonder how many teenagers diagnosed with ADD (or similar) are reacting to an over-consumption of ‘energy’ drinks laced with guarana.

    For that matter, is there any chance, toxic and/or banned chemicals are still being sprayed over eastern European crops?

    • Note to self; DO NOT serve white flour based cookies to Vicki at the next family function 😉

    • My wife is very sensitive to perfumes, pet dander, sodium, etc. She sometimes gets effects from fabrics she uses in her quilt studio. We’ve done a lot to reduce those factors in our lives. Going out to eat can be a challenge when you try to select tasty foods that won’t make you regret the experience. Grocery shopping can take a long time because we read labels for the ingredients. We make a lot of our food such as yogurt and soups. As you know, it takes more work.

      Fortunately, we’ve never felt the urge to kill anyone over food issues. Aunt Mildred is safe from us. 🙂

    • I should have added that it’s better not to feed me at all (at any function)…….and give me too much alcohol……well…….now that would be a biggggg mistake, but seriously……..

      The trouble is…….our education does NOT teach us how to deal with Conflict. We are not taught to Listen, Accept and/or necessarily Co-exist with peoples/cultures/upbringing/education different to our own. That only comes through experience and wisdom. And mistakes are things that we all make. It’s only human. It’s in our nature.

      How do we know what course of action we would take (in any given situation). There are literally millions of innocent people killed in conflict all over the world today…….eg. over 1.5 million in Tibet since 1959.

      Will the perpetrators ever be bought to justice in times of conflict?

  8. Who likes bad cold? Nobody..:D but we deal with it. Conflict can bring peace too, as long as we’re fair and generous to each other .
    Always pleasure seeing you!!:)

  9. Outstanding. I’ve been looking forward to the weekly thing since your sabbatical started, and am glad to hear you’re back in full swing. Excellent post to start back with too. Poignant as always.

  10. Nice to see you coming back more often, Kenneth. Get your balance. Don’t push for long posts. We readers can get your message in shorter ones, too. We will try our best to add suitable comments and keep the dialogue going. We won’t solve the world’s problems. Yes, conflict is always around. Try your best to reduce it in your own life.

  11. Welcome back, missed having you in my “inbox” in the mornings. Humans thrive on conflict and we will never be able to live in harmony. If we did, what then would we talk about?

  12. “nothing more than that which rocks dream about during the rem portion of their evening constitutional”
    Having read this three times to make sure I was reading it as written – I have only one thought: Culture Monk becomes Sir Real!! 🙂

  13. Hey friend! Nice to see you.

    As for conflict, it’s a strange thing. A friend and I were discussing kids having meltdowns over small stuff, and he made a point. To them, since they have no basis for actual conflicts, not getting a cookie or the right cup might just feel like the end of the world for them. I’ve found adults aren’t much better. If we managed to end wars, we’d find something else to gripe about. I think the issue is that with the internet we’re picking all those fights at once, so it gets overwhelming very fast.

    More succinctly, we’ll always find something to have conflict over no matter how good things get. Just keep plugging away one issue at a time.

    Side note: I find it interesting that veterans from Vietnam look down on our generation as one who has had no major conflict (because in their eyes Afghanistan and Iraq don’t count, apparently). They seem to think we’re less-than because of this, and yet wasn’t it peace they were fighting for? Now I hear disdain come from their mouths a fair amount. I know I got pretty pissed when I heard this, but as I was in the middle of a battleship tour on the 4th of July I didn’t not to get uppity. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this little paradox.

  14. You have the balance right, I think. I blog occasionally, rather than occasionally rest. Conflict… there doesn’t need to be so much of it. Often people act on what they think rather than what they know.

  15. If you try to figure out these age old conflicts you could do a doctoral on it (and what would that get you?) I don’t care what the armchair generals say, I think at this point it is like the Hatfields and McCoys . . . At some point it has to stop or what? Annihilation. So you know when you and your wife — or me and my husband — get ourselves into a messy argument because of a misunderstanding that really really hurts someone’s feeling and then both are hurt and pissed and that ache in your stomach when you can feel it spiraling out of control and you didn’t want that but now you are hurt and pissed too? At some point, as Pema Chodron says, you drop the story line. You go to your corners, take a walk, breathe, whatever, and come to remembering that “the other” is a person, a human being, who has many or all of the same values (and in this case, is someone you love.) Only by dropping the story line can you come together, and the love or friendliness can allow a healing, an opening, some tenderness, tathgathagarbha, and then you are on the path to having your marriage back. These idiots — BOTH SIDES — will never do that. Then there are the people who have a vested interest in a war there — not saying Jews or Palestinians — could be fundamentalist Christians, could be corporatists who want to sell war machines — and there is hatred, history, misinformation! So all you can do is not let it breed in you, vote, whatever. Be Peace. Don’t get into the gutter ourselves . . .

  16. Glad you’re back! And I really did have an Aunt Mildred who talked shit about everyone…she’s my godmother and a reminder to be different! How did you know?

  17. I was sort of going along with you until you mentioned Aunt Mildred. Now, why did you have to drag her into it? Has she been talking about me again?

  18. Yay! I missed you last week, man. 😉 (I’ve been on a bit of a writing sabbatical myself… it’s called – summer.)

  19. I’ve missed your blog, but you’ve needed a break, so I definitely don’t begrudge you that. Conflict is always going to be here; since the dawn of man, til long after we’re gone. I go through periods of time (like, months at a time) where I don’t read or watch any news. Why? It’s depressing. And it doesn’t matter if I don’t read about it; it’s still going to be happening anyway. Maybe that’s not the best attitude, but it’s mine, lol. I’m glad you’re here to stay. 😉

  20. Welcome Back!!! Was getting worried!

  21. Glad to have you back! 🙂

    Not a bad cold, maybe more like seasonal allergies 😉

  22. Oh conflict. So true…Glad you’re back!

  23. I admit, I was a little worried as well. I wondered if you had just gone off blogging altogether. So glad you are back in the saddle…. again. In other news, the girls both have a bad cold and I (the wifey) am staying home with the baby and the younger one as she is not fit for airline travel. Andy and the oldest are going to a family reunion in Maine. These colds… THEY JUST HANG ON!!!!!!!

    • Well, I tried to find a beach to disappear to but I guess its still not that time yet 😉

      Well, at least you have the little one to keep you company; they are always good when they are that age cuz you can talk to them and they are the best listeners 🙂

    • HA! Andy and I want to buy an island… if we ever win a lottery…

  24. Reblogged this on Gr8ful Bugger and commented:
    Ahhh… dirty old conflict… why some enjoy it so much. Let’s just all get along and enjoy the Journey, together. I feel, we are all in this together whether people want to admit it or not.

    Lots of love,

  25. Yay! I’m happy you are back!

  26. Glad to have you back, I’ve missed you’r daily insights.

  27. Great to hear from you Kenneth! You are very loved. Funnily enough, just had this same discussion with a lovely gentleman I met at a function the other evening…’Is conflict inevitable? And if we didn’t have any, would we create it?” Echoes of H.G. Wells and Time Machine. Personally speaking, although I too often hear “same old, same old”, I continue to have the will to create a better record, metaphorically, literally, personally, collectively. Starting of course with the personal. Thank you for you and for me and for we, as we carry go shining (and whining…only sometimes of course:))

  28. Welcome back! Great post 🙂

  29. Welcome back. Hopefully your sabbatical has re-energized you. I’m all for shorter posts. This one was the perfect length. As for conflict we all need to take a step back and take a deep breath. Will we ever learn from our past mistakes?

  30. Glad you’re back! Now to get me to come back lol. My poor lil’ blog is horribly neglected…eek. Anyway, it is so easy to get down and get sucked into the negativity but as I’m finally pulling out of my own horridly lengthy rut, I find you have to fight that. It’s not easy but it’s also worth it. I feel like I’m coming out from underneath or behind a cloud and I simply feel better. There’s not much else to describe it really. I think as long as we continually believe that peace can’t be found, then it won’t. It’s like what happens in our own personal lives, the more we buy into the negativity, the more it happens. Negative energy breeds more negative but on the flip (good) side, more positivity breeds more positivity. It may have to start small but that positive energy will grow. I think finding peace certainly has to be a team effort and it begins with believing it’s possible and then taking even the smallest steps to get there. I know it sounds like a long shot but it’s so important to keep believing I think. I also once told a friend years ago that I think it’s also in how you define peace. For me, I don’t believe CONFLICT will ever be totally gone but it’s in HOW you respond to it. People aren’t perfect therefore conflict will always be around but if we can get people to start addressing that conflict in nonviolent ways then peace can be found. There’s nothing wrong with having strong convictions and beliefs as long as it doesn’t mean causing harm to others for those beliefs, etc. It’s difficult to shift HOW people think but if we start small and grow, it can happen. 🙂 Look at that, my eternal optimism is finally showing again lol. Feels good – becoming a negative Nelly was so not my thing lol.


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