Things I Grapple to Understand

The longer I live the more things arise that I simply can’t get my head around and what I find interesting is that these are an integral part of the thinking/practice of people that I could well be chatting to here on Social Bridge or in a cafe somewhere in Ireland.

2015-10-07 13.29.11
Bridging Thought-Processes

So, here’s a few items for starters and I’d be delighted with help in developing an understanding of what can seem like parallel universes to me:

  • What is Donald Trump’s appeal (apart from his $$$$)?
  • How is it possible to believe in God and Heaven and Hell?
  • What it about abortion that gets Irish people so agitated ahead of say homelessness, inadequate provision for many people with disabilities and older people who are frail …?
  • Why do we let people suffer pain that we wouldn’t dream of putting our companion animals through?
  • How can you give a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to such a generalised question on a job application as: “Are you comfortable around dogs?” (Think tiny puppy to vicious guard dog).
  • How can people have headphones on while going for a walk on a beach?

I certainly don’t wish to offend anyone but I want to find ways of understanding.

What do you grapple to understand or have you resolved everything or simply stopped trying to get your head around what can seem like impossible questions?

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

54 thoughts on “Things I Grapple to Understand”

  1. 1.Every politician it is about power and control basically but will be a puppet like others.
    2.It all depends if you believe in God or not. If not then there is no hell, nor heaven
    3.The agitation of abortion probably has its roots in religion for the irish people. It is tantamount to murder.
    4.Moral dilemna although the ground work in Canada is being laid out for this.
    5.Questions are supposed to tell you a bit about a person and about the personality and character per se. I find these questions utterly stupid.
    6.Having headphones on a beach betrays the communication with others have of rolling waves. Unfortunately technology has jumped ahead of us that we can’t keep up with it. Needless to say give someone a gadget they will use to separate themselves from nature. There is bigger implication than this.
    My views not necessarily the view of others. You did ask? lol
    I can pretty much grasp almost any situation most of the time Be well.

  2. The only good thing about Trump is his take on veterans in the US. When the whole debate on TV came about he wanted half of the commercial money to go to veterans charity which I was very impressed with. Other than that he is an arrogant ass.

  3. I view the media blitz about Trump for what it is, if we print it or say it they will read/watch it. Trump is pure entertainment for the reality show watchers, the Judge Judy and Dr. Phil people, they have been bamboozled into believing that reality means real. the media has led them down the path and they think that what Trump says is right and true and that he can really make it happen. I am confident there are enough of us who can tell the difference between reality and make believe ,we will be able to make sure we do not have to worry about him ever making it to Pennsylvania Avenue.
    God, Heaven & Hell, after twelve years of Catholic School under the tuteledge of Sisters of Mercy, God, Heaven and Hell are a part of my DNA, if one believes in A God, then one must also accept Evil. Religion of any kind is always a war between the two.

    Abortion, I was taught it was wrong, but as I matured and saw the many unloved, unwanted and abused children brought into this world my view was altered. The right to choose to bear a child is a personal choice and should be left up to the person who will carry, and care for the child.

    Euthanasia should also be a choice, no one should be allowed to suffer great pain before being granted the relief/escape of death. Family members/Loved ones, must honor the wishes of the dying person and allow them to choose how they want to leave this world.

    Dogs, I guess I would have to check off uncomfortable with dogs, puppies included, My Mother was terribly afraid of dogs, I had to overcome my fear in order to help her navigate through a world with dogs before there were leash laws, had to take her hand and cross the street if we saw one coming. I can be in an area with dogs but the fear will show itself when they bark or growl. So I can always understand someone who is not comfortable around dogs. Neither one of us ever had a bad experience with a dog, never bit or anything, but this inate fear was also passed down to my daughter, but not my son, he is the proud owner of two crazy dogs.

    Headphones on the beach is not something I normally do, but on occasion I have sat and listened to a book on tape, while enjoying the sight of the waves rolling in and the faint sound sneaking in around the earphones.

    1. YardSailor, many thanks for your responses.
      Your description of your relationship to dogs is saddens me. It must have been a major blight on your mother’s life having such a fear.
      I can just imagine you sitting by the sea listening to that book and hearing the waves. Virginia Woolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’ would be a good one for that!

  4. Regarding the Donald. There are a lot of angry and frustrated people in the (middle part of the ) US. They think their jobs are being taken away by immigrants and minorities. They believe their rights are being taken away by liberal governments. They want to be heard … And Donald says the things that they wish they could say.
    An angry man attracts angry men …. And the crowd gets riled up. Good publicity. Bad politics.
    Thank goodness we have women and minorities and educated people who will vote.

  5. Interesting questions though some may have no answers and require further discussion I’ll give it a shot.
    1. People have been trying to figure this question out for some time. Basically Trump appeals to the person who thinks what Trump is saying but can’t say the same thing because it’s politically incorrect.
    2. Touchy subject but my guess is that for those who don’t believe in abortion, it involves a helpless child and people are always more emotional when it comes to children.
    3.Religion…tough topic. Some things simply require faith and an understanding that is above ours. If you believe it’s a question that doesn’t require an answer. If you dont believe, it doesn’t matter.
    4. I think it goes back again to what you believe about the difference between humans and animals and your personal beliefs beyond that.
    5. You can’t, it’s a trick question that should never be put on an application.
    6.theyre the same people who have headphones on in a park. They just don’t get it…:)

    1. Hi George, you’re point about the ‘helpless child’ may be key, here, though it still doesn’t explain how we don’t do too well with our services to young children who are in vulnerable situations of varying descriptions.

  6. I will answer these as follows..1. Trump says it like it is..but I feel he is uncouth, sort of a windbag and whether or not he would actually be for the middle class or the below poverty class remains to be seen. All talk and no action seems to be the trend with political hopefuls..give us a plan of action …
    2. Yes believing in God gives me hope that after death there is something heaven or hell (though some people experience Hell on earth through suffering and pain.
    3. Because abortion is an end of life. The fetus has no say mistake or not, rape or disease..This is a hard decision that one would have to make..Is it more humane to end someone life because of a disease or a life of hell. On the other hand there are so many couples that would sacrafice everything to have a child that was not wanted by another. So I’m kind of on the fence on this one…
    4. As far as being comfortable that depends to how the animal reacts to me. I am nervous around some breeds due to their publicity ..example a pit bull or a rothweiler, though I had a mix breed of german shepherd and who can tell?
    5. As far as wearing headphones they are tuning the real world out. What’s the sense of walking on the beach not hearing the natural sounds of nature at its best and worse. One can stay home and listen on their headphones , or on a plane,bus, or train. Be in tune with what’s around you. But some run with them on, the only thing is they’re oblivious to what is going on around them which can be in harms way.

  7. 1 God alone knows!
    2 Ask Donald trump.
    3 Hypocrisy of the RC Church… sorry hope I am not offending too many readers or you Jean.
    4 Again, God alone knows
    5 Too many people expect the perfect answer even when it does not exist …. and they don’t want to know the real answers!
    6 Because they have no soul!

  8. Okay…so lots of deep thoughts today…the one thing that sticks out for me is that I think it all comes down to choice, and the freedom and the ability to make a choice where the options don’t include reprisals or even fear of reprisals. I guess for me, the questions are – drum roll – are we capable of letting people make a choice, and are we able to cope with the decisions they make…I guess the answer is????:)

    1. Olga, it seems to me that the answer is probably ‘no,’ in relation to many things.
      I agree with your analysis and it seems that there is a fear that by giving choice, everyone will automatically grab it. I don’t think that’s the case at all. For example, I certainly don’t think that bringing in legislation to allow abortion in Ireland would mean that every woman would choose to take that path if the situation was complex.

  9. Gosh but you have been busy thinking! My immediate thoughts for what they are worth, are
    Trump: Could it be his hair? Or could it be that he hates some people that lots of other people hate too? And he says that for him God is ‘the ultimate’. Can I get a Hallelujah?
    2. The aforementioned God once had an outpost called Limbo for bad newborn babies who died before being baptised , where they languished forever. After that, even Hell had something going for it, and Heaven was real cool.
    3. God seems to be tied up with this vexed issue too. His establishment never even recognised unbaptised babies(see above), never allowed newborn dead babies into his churches, even my own brother who died at 15 months, my nephew who died at 9 months, and my new born niece did not merit an inside service, and went straight to the graveyard. Think of the Irish Cillin. All changed with abortion referendum when they realised that they had no value and set no store by and had no place for mere children and had to change their tune (rightly so).
    4.God does this, so we do it too
    6. Because they are on a different wavelength?

        1. I think many of us hold back for fear of offending but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how dignified and respectful all the comments have been.
          Glad you’re in better form now!

          1. You certainly have had interesting and heartfelt responses! I often get very vexed that my baby brother was sent straight to the graveyard, no church allowed for him, so am glad that the very heated and exasperating debate about the ‘unborn child’ forced a rethink on the part of the RC church who now admit that BORN babies do matter too, at least when they die. I am not so sure that BORN children have any rights beyond that though.

  10. “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” 🙂
    The Universe in endless, each person has their own circumstances and reasons, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ should be used wisely. It is all I know 🙂

      1. It would certainly be wonderful if it did turn out to be so — he could win the first primary, then stand up and say “This has been an adventure in the possibility of the absurd. But what started as a joke has turned sour. Look at the ugliness championed here and go and educate yourselves before it’s too late.” There, I got a little carried away. Sorry.

  11. You got me at #2. For the life in me, I can’t fathom why people still believe in a Christian God. (I don’t know enough about other faiths to comment on them.) It just seems so ludicrous and, well… a bit embarrassing. It’s like the lie that got so big it was easier to just carry on with it than to admit they’d made a very big mistake in their understanding of the universe and our place in it.

  12. You and I are on the same ‘page’ with the same questions. At times I get angry and frustrated when I ponder these things. Then I give up and decide to spread my own light in a loving way and hope it makes some dent to the dark.

  13. Pam, thanks for writing so openly. I was concerned as to whether this post would blow my world apart but I needed to get it off my chest.
    I agree that there is only so much thinking one can do about such topics and I love your pragmatic approach.

  14. Do you know, Jean, the older I get, the less I understand. I think fondly of the time when I knew everything and was right all the time. But that’s probably because the one thing I do know now is that the world is a far crazier place than it was then.

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