Why is this so?

Keeping Me Awake at Night

Connection to the world is vital and extraordinary. Today, most of the world is connected to each other via the internet. It is considered as necessary as all other daily sustenance, food, water and oxygen, although the world existed and functioned before it's invention. The same could be said, however, before the discovery of fire, the inventions of refrigeration and indoor plumbing. It existed, but not as well.

The internet, like language, books, newspapers, radio and television is a media for learning. It has the advantage of it's "instant" appeal. When something happens in the world, knowing is a click away. It creates many questions in the need to understand the "why, "how", " implications and meaning" of a situation or incident. Each situation allows for as many interpretations of any given issue as there are people existing in the world.

Much of what I see on television, or the internet leaves me uneasy, scared, completely mystified and sleepless in St. Louis.  I created this hub to gain insight into questions pertaining to a myriad of diverse questions created by the happenings in the world, the disturbing events that have become an everyday reality in our lives, the fodder for television series, such as Criminal Minds.  Opening our minds to the daily, bizarre, disturbing, often violent, newsworthy events is of little consequence if unexplored.  Ultimately, communication is key to understanding. Understanding must exist before anything can change.

Looking to the future

Wish I could say I'm wearing sunglasses because my future looks so bright...better to hide my tears.
Wish I could say I'm wearing sunglasses because my future looks so bright...better to hide my tears.

September 25, 2010 - Someone's son; A serial killer

The Facts

  • Dateline NBC ran a story last night called "In Broad Daylight", which detailed the story of a serial killer.

The Questions

  • What goes wrong when someone's "son" kills someone's "daughter"? Is there a common link among serial killers? Animals instinctively kill for food, but aside from rabies it is not done premeditatively to satisfy other needs. What void would compel a man to habitually accost a stranger, rape and kill her? Is parenting the issue or genetics...nurture or nature? Is it external influences, such as television or the hype generated by the news media? What are your thoughts.

John Gardner in his own words

September 26, 2010 - Laid Off

The Facts

As a relatively new member of the ranks comprising the unemployed, the number of predators preying upon this unfortunate group is shocking. With my confidence diminished and my ability to support my newly divorced status dwindling, it is difficult enough to trudge through the crowded trenches towards starting over in the workforce without fielding the cons from the honest job prospects. My rapid, life-altering changes are disorienting, disconcerting, depressing and disheartening. I don't quite yet feel like a member of the human race. I have been relying on the myriad of jobsites on the internet to get my resume out in the world. I've had a few legitimate "hits", but the majority are either work-from-home scams or schools trying to enroll me in programs now over-saturated with new graduates, ie. medical billing and coding. Registration on these jobsites usually involves the "required" submittal of your phone number. I have had at least three persistent callers with undecipherable accents that would make any response from me other than "say what" incomprehensible. I hang up and upon checking the number on the net, find countless complaints that these are relentless scammers. You learn to just ignore the phone for 1-800 or out-of-state numbers. I have found that the agency I trust has been my best source for legitimate jobs, although it appears that employers are taking advantage of the sheer numbers of the desperate unemployed and have adjusted their salary incentives down accordingly.

The Question

Local, St. Louis, KSDK television newscaster, Art Holiday, interviewed an economist early this week and stated he had heard that many 50+ year olds may never be employed again. He asked the guest expert her thoughts on this and she agreed, basically saying that employers are hiring new graduates that accept a lower starting salary than the experienced worker. Do you agree with this or do you think there is a more positive way for 50+ year olds to view their future in the workplace? Maybe this doomsday rhetoric is another ploy to scare the mature unemployed into scaling down their salary requirements? What are your thoughts.

Joblessness

September 27, 2010 - Homeless in St. Louis

The Facts

The Locust Street office where I worked 13-years prior to my recent layoff gave me a bird's eye view of the homeless struggling in their day to day life. The regulars would smile and wave to me as they passed my window on the dismal world of their existence. I shared a cigarette with one gentleman on a fairly regular basis. Outside on break on a beautiful day, a young homeless man politely greeted me with "Hello, how are you today" and I responded with the customary "Fine, how are you?" He was smiling as he told me fine, but he added that he had a toothache. When he moved his hand from his face it was painfully swollen and red. I was stunned to see he appeared to be very ill with cellulitis, but accustomed to bearing up under desperate circumstances he continued to struggle with a smile. I have been ridiculed by some who have never gone without a meal, for handing out a small stipend to provide the most destitute with a meager measure of comfort. The choice of comfort was their's and I did not give with judgement or reservation. Slapping me in the face would not have shocked me more than the harsh critiques I was admonished with, accusing me of perpetuating the problem. I cannot process the idea that they will just "go away" if there are no handouts. They have no where to go.

I find the apathetic indifference from those with all the creature comforts, those that have never had to go hungry, those that go home to a warm or air-conditioned abode comes with little effort. Some of the privileged dismiss another human being in need without breaking stride. Many of the homeless have confided that they are afraid of the shelters. They are afraid they will be beaten, robbed or killed for the clothing on their backs. Today many of the homeless are veterans, yet some of my harshest critics claim to be patriots.

The Questions

Do you believe that handouts are detrimental to the homeless or the city? What help do you believe is in the best interest of those living on the streets?

Homeless in St. Louis Documentary

Disgrace in America

September 28, 2910 - Living on the brink

My original goal was to try to be positive and attempt to enjoy my unplanned, imposed vacation from the daily grind of employment. I no longer had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to begin the routine of preparing for my workday, the 90-mile, roundtrip commute and stressful schedule of yet unknown events that comprised at least 10-hours away from home. Yet, I was lucky. The economic downturn did not personally affect me until late in May of 2010. Fatigue, while I was working, was one of my daily battles. Now laid off, my fatique, fueled by isolation, fear and depression, envelopes the atmosphere of everyday. Today I arose at 6:00 a.m. to walk my dog and begin another routine of online job hunting and cancelling a doctor appointment I recently scheduled to take care of one of my yearly medically advised obligations (put off for 3-years due to my work schedule). Cancelling my appointment today is due to a "pending issue" regarding my unemployment. Rendered helpless by the siystem, I am unable to contact anyone other than via email. Now, I must wait, without my weekly stipend, until the "forces that be" make their decision regarding the future of my unemployment earnings. I have been advised by my neighbors, many of who are subsisting on the same, to relax. They tell me they have experienced the same "pending" issue and iIt is just a glitch in the system and aside from blatant cheating, I'll be back on the dole shortly. Still, I am adjusting my frugal spending to nothing until I have the reassurance of my weekly check deposits. This surprise began last week. The next day I received a notice in the mail that the COBRA I am now paying for every month does not include Rx's. I recently signed up for insurance coverage when I was informed that changes have occurred that make it affordable to me. When I was notified that the coverage was effective, I called specifically to verify that prescription coverage was included in my plan, as it was while I was employed. I was told "yes, everything is the same". I had accumulated $210 out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions I take for an autoimmune disease involving my small bowel. I sent my receipts with the proper forms and got a letter telling me now that my COBRA does not include drug coverage. I immediately emailed the company that handles the insurance coverage. I have not yet received the courtesy of a response.

These recent "glitches" have sent me into a tailspin...a downward spiral. My divorce was finalized less than a month prior to my layoff. I had signed a lease for my apartment less two-weeks before my layoff. I proceeded with the move as I had no other options. I am at an age where retirement is closer than any prospects of starting over. The idea of school and the struggle to qualifiy slips further away in the rear-view mirror as I close in on depression. I have worked hard, climbed the ladder, struggled everyday through pressing on, even as my autoimmune problem worsened, for what? The only life-jacket strapped on me right now is the realization I am not up shit creek without a paddle alone. It is alarming to me that the one thought that gives me relief is the option to permanently opt out. The economy cannot take that away.

I am one of the luckier ones, still. I have my best friend, my unconditional love, my sweet, gorgeous, 7-year old Scottish Terrier. He deserves better. I feed him well, walk him often, but I look at him and realize as he stares back at me that he knows something is wrong. Dogs recognize and are affected by depression. So, I'll keep trying for now.

The Questions

I don't know

Unemployed Suicide Video

Depression and the unemployed

September 29, 2010 - The right to bear arms

The Facts

The news is that a grandmother in her late 60's to early 70's fired her gun and injured a 12-year old neighborhood troublemaker.  The article states he had been throwing bricks, broke some windows and would not cease and desist his destructive vandalism.

The grandmother was not the only disgruntled individual in this particular Chicago neighborhood.  Apparently, the mischievous juvenile has a reputation as a malcontent.  Understandably, the situation is frustrating and stressful, but shooting him seems out of control and irresponsible, putting others in harms way.  The article went on to explain that the grandmother may have been trying to protect herself.  However, the child in question stated he was playing basketball.  It appears the child, derived from the statements of numerous incidents from other neighbors, needs some professional intervention, but not a bullet.

The Questions

With the right to conceal and carry a weapon, do you think these types of incidents will increase?  How can a country that upholds a conceal and carry law prevent impaired citizen's from accessing this right or can they without infringing on civil rights? 

October 1, 2010 - Cash = Zero

The Facts

So, I've worked hard all my life. However, I have become a victim of the all encompassing, economic downturn; circumstances beyond my control. I am now subsisting on unemployment. It is inadequate to support the debt I have incurred through living in the manner I became accustomed to and worked all my life to support. The past is closing in. Although I did not use a credit card, I obtained a low interest rate offer due to my excellent credit rating, which I gave to my adult, non-working daughter. She has health issues that have interfered with her ability to hold a job. She puts health insurance, car insurance, prescription costs and groceries on this card. It is her only lifeline. At the time of my layoff her father, whom I divorced years ago, has taken over making the payments as a loan to me that I will pay back. He is now becoming overwhelmed with the cost of, basically, paying someone else's way. He is angry that our daughter does not make much contact with him.

I have been fortunate in my life, but now I am at a loss. I need help in making some life-altering decisions. Short of consulting a lawyer at this point, I would like some control over my own life while I still have options.

The Questions

If I continue this downward spiral, could filing for bankrupcy help me, especially since I do not personally use credit?

What about going underground? Is this an option some take when their circumstances become unbearable?

Running away

Comments 16 comments

gkroo 6 years ago

I will call it 'Reversion,' a reverting back to animal instincts. But in the case of the 'serial killer,' they are a different animal. Thank goodness there aren't many. There are differing ideas as to why. I like the 'Dianetics' explanation, though. It has to do with the tone scale of the individual. O, the video didn't work about the sexual predators.


Amy B 6 years ago

Sorry about the video, gkroo. I'm still floundering abit. I appreciate your input and will check out the 'Dianetics' explanation as I am unfamiliar with it or your reference to the "tone scale" of the individual. It sounds like interesting reading. Thank you very much.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Dogs with rabbies are unpredictable and so are people with mental illnesses. Nobody in their right mind would rape or kill.

About the people without jobs at fifty , that's a bummer. My opinion is that one should be retired by sixty though.

I've been paying more and more attention to the homeless people in Toronto within the last year (I always have paid attention to them but more as of late). There was a spot under a bridge I would drive by on the way to work many years ago and the same homeless guy was there years on end. I would always stop by that bridge and even if the light wasn;t red I would still stop the car and talk to him, give him some money, smokes ... whatever I could give.

A few weeks ago I was downtown visiting a friend at work. She took a break and as we walked out I saw a Native man, perhaps in his late thirties, early forties, stumbling on the sidewalk. He was pissed drunk.

"May the Great Spirit guide his path", I said and my friend felt compelled to tell me how drunk Natives were all over that particular area and that they were very dangerous.

"There's a park full of them across the street and before I got hired here the lady told me to stay away from them. And my friend got robbed here too."

I asked her specifically where the park was and after she explained the location to me she went back to work and I told her I was going to that park. She looked worryingly at me and told me that is a bad idea saying she was really scared for me.

If I didn't see the seriousness on her face I would have burst out laughing. As soon as she went back to work I went to that little park she described to me and fair enough it was a homlesness fest. There were several guys on one side laying down on sleeping bags, all the benches were occupied with people laying on them asleep ... this is right in the heart of downtown, behind a building.

To make a long story short, I survived the "park" experience but it left me with many question. One of the guys I spoke to in that park seemed like a regular guy, could have been me really. I found him to be honest, polite and so was I. What makes people so scared of homeless people is still beyond me. Sure when you shake their hands you feel the dry and hardened skin and that is uncommon for a non-homeless person but besides that and the fact that they might smell a little bad, we're all the same.

I got carried away here lol ...that's what happends when I find myself talking about poor people (http://hubpages.com/hub/Poor-People)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Mr.Happy sounds like the perfect name for you, because it sounds like you have a heart of gold, a sense of humor, and your kindness made me cry. I believe some people get used to living on east street and develop a hard shell. Mostly, they care about protecting "theirs" and screw everyone else. I had a coworker always say the same tired excuse that "there are places for the those people". I bet she wouldn't spend an hour in a shelter. The homeless I know fear for their lives in the shelters and prefer the streets. That type of thinking dismisses human beings. They are always someone else's problem. Some people are very fearful of anything outside the realm of their small world. This same woman admonished me for having a short conversation with a homeless man, making the comment "he almost grabbed you". She was angry with me, because I made her uncomfortable because I was not afraid. Since I didn't ask her to join us, what's the problem? I realize safety is always prudent and I am careful. The saddest thing to me was the gratitude the homeless had on their faces if you just treated them "human". It is an embarrassment to me to see one person treat another worse than I would ever treat my dog. Thank you for your time and comments.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 6 years ago from east of the equator

Hello Amy: Thanks for stopping by at my Hub this morning. I'm glad that you did. You are an excellent writer and can set up a PayPal account and start selling articles online. I have read many Hubs describing how to do this and what to do and where to go. Ask for some guidance at the Hubber's Hangout forum. You can do this. Many of us in our fifties are getting by on our wits and good looks without the benefit of savings or an unemployment check. I don't know where my rent is coming from each month. So far, so good. Keep writing and hubbing. Cheers.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I was fortunate that the company I was laid off from provided me with a severance package, my small 401K and my share in profit sharing. I have unemployment coming in weekly now. I am a frugal person so I want for nothing. I have gone a few days without a meal, but Mac always eats. Society today thinks their need is far more than is realistically necessity. This experience has taught me I need far less, have more than I need and that I am much stronger than I imagined. Thanks for providing me some suggestions I will check out. I appreciate it!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..yes quite the provocative writer and thinker you are - and so so supremely intelligent and that is where your 'sex appeal' lies .... a brainy beauty - lol lol - and a decent sensitive human being too - plus you have the most awesome BS detector around - and as Peter Sellers once said about your hubs in a movie - 'You're so hip it hurts ....."


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Epigramman, sweet, sweet man, where have you been all my life?

A brilliant, wonderful brain you are powered by. I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with you now, when I've experienced enough BS and douche bags, that I recognize the opposite when I see it. Too bad I'm not a poet...


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Amy, I'm taking a stroll down your memory lane to fill myself in and I find it amusing that your last comment here says "Too bad I'm not a poet..." especially since your latest hubs have been exceptional poetic expression. This life has the ability to bring us down or propel us upward according to our decisions. In other words, while life is formidable, we are more so and sometimes it just takes a kind word and a tangible act to change the direction. I hope the present finds you in a happier place. I enjoyed your essay. =:)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Winsome, I just got back online from an involuntary "computer" hiatus. Thank you so much for your kind words. It is so good to come back to such wise and beautiful words. I am trying to be positive and creative in this economy and my latest brainstorm is in the voiceover arena. I have contacted a company that tells me to practice my chosen scripts, make a demo and get it online so producers looking for a "voice" will hear me. Exciting stuff. Now that I have my own computer, I'm going to research creating a demo without the studio cost. Once I plow through my 500 emails, I'll be back to some creative writing. I think I've lost my mo-jo!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

The mo-jo doesn't go. Once you have it, it's yours for good. "Where there's a will, there's a way." I know you will find "it" and be the better for what you have added to your knowledge of life. I agree with your observation on the credibility issues facing the Roman Catholic Church as it attempts to recover without fully acknowledging the extent and depth of its failure to discipline and defrock wayward authorities. For the good of so many, it must do whatever is right so it may continue to serve with a renewed credibility and humility. You will make it to a higher pinnacle from the strength you are gaining in the climb. Don't opt for a bankruptcy while continuing medical concerns could result in some future major bills for which you will want that option more than you need it now. Why not babysit an oil rig? See, the options including the voice-over are limited only by your imagination. Online employment counselor? Greeting card writer? Scam-tracker? FBI undercover? At least now you have some Hub ideas? Hugs.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Perspycacious, Thank you for your heartfelt commentary. I appreciate your thoughtful insight, encouraging, helpful suggestions, and kindness. I am going to research "greeting card writer" and your intriguing "scam tracker" and "FBI undercover". I see ideas like "online employment counselor" and automatically assume I need a college degree. Thank you for reminding me of the fact that the internet has changed employment opportunities today. Hugs to you


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 4 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

Hello, Amy. How are you today?

Why people killing other? The reason could be really complex. But usually serial killer happened to be psychopath which the problem is in their brain alone, because no matter how terrible life can be, only those who has dysfunction in themselves will able to turned into serial killer.

I don't really know about the life in America. What is allowed and what is not allowed. Personally I don't like gun and thank's God, people in my country not really into gun. My father have riffle though, the one he used to shoot burglar the other day when the criminal entering our home. Considering the possibility of the incident to go wrong when criminal entering the house, while all family members and staffs are women but my father and my 11 years old brother, I think my father did the right thing by arming himself with rifle. Now, why the grandmother shoot the boy? My question is, why the boy parents or the authority didn't do anything before grandma took the action? surely so many people already witnessed the juvenile delinquent behaviour of the boy, right? But again, I don't know how life in America. In here, people take care their community and absolutely will do something over this kind of behaviour before it's too late and the child turn into real monster, or someone going mad and do the worst action like this grandmother did.

The problem of homeless also very complex and not as easy as we think it is. Sometimes being homeless not always because they have no choice. again, I don't know how is life in America is but I know homeless in my country. Some of them indeed really poor and need help, but some of them is very lazy and do not have will to do honest work. They chose to beg from others than to work. Chose to steal and rob others than doing honest work. Many of them even dare to bring their own children to beg on the street. this kind of behaviour indeed only doom themselves more because people stop believing them as good people an only able to sense danger around them. I wish I know how to fix this problem. :(

I like what you said about wanting to take control over your life because that exactly what we all need to do, regardless of what we have or what we don't have. Today in my country, Muslim starting the movement which we called entrepreneur Muslim. This movement suggesting people to not work for other but to creating their own field of work, unless for themselves, because we saw how many people got swayed from their path and doing white collar crime while working for other, simply to keep the food on their table. So my suggestion will be, no matter how old, how poor and how mess your life is, don't let others taking advantage and have control over it. Start your own job. creating something and make it work! It won't be easy, I know. I am living in this kind of hell right now, but it's worth every sweat and headache, because in the end I know, I have control over my own life.

I am agree with everyone, you are good writer with compassionate heart and quite sharp too. used it to make more money. Start serious job in this field, like writing a book maybe?

I wish you the best of luck, dear friend. thank you for sharing your life and thought.

Freya


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Freya, Its a sad fact that there will always be injustices in life and no one person can solve all of the problems seen on the news, heard on the radio. and read on the internet. I realize that the only control I have are in my own actions. No man is an island and the choices I make, what I do or don't do, has a ripple effect, not only involving my own life, but others.

I agree wholeheartedly with your ideas regarding the exciting entrepreneurial spirit. I was naive about business as usual, working for others, slaving away to make someone else rich, and leaving my livelihood at the whim of others. It was the way of the past and it felt safe to me. I believed if I gave 110%, kept my nose to the grindstone and strived to do my best or beyond, I would insure my future as irreplacable to my employer. I was shocked when I was so easily dismissed by an employer who called me "family". My layoff forced me to grow up. I see that the old ways of the past no longer work. This time has given me the space to stop scurrying around like a lab rat, just trying to keep my head above water in a frantic, sweatshop mentality that left me drained, exhausted and unable to think for myself. Although I admit to feeling stressed without an income, I actually feel better physically since I am no longer driving over 2 hours commuting, putting in 10 hour workdays, and trying to be superwoman meeting impossible demands at home. I'd finally "call it a day" around 1 a.m. to start another day at 5 a.m. and my health suffered.

I have been helping my 89-year old, nearly blind ex mother-in-law and got the idea about running errands and helping elderly folks that can no longer drive or get out. There is a great need among the elderly and I should be able to offer these services with little monetary investment. It is very exciting to think about "calling my own shots", no longer chained to a desk with two scheduled breaks a day. It sounds like freedom to me.

Thank you, Freya, for reading and commenting with such heartfelt eloquence. I envy the fact that you are so young and are able to see things so clearly. It took me far longer, but its better late than never!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

....well every writer just loves when their loyal readers and dedicated followers goes back in time and rescues some of their 'babies' and brings them back to life and hopefully some more 'renewed' attention - all of our past pieces are our children, aren't they - and to prove my sincere intentions and goodwill I have just posted this important hub of early Bechererisms to the Hubpages Facebook group ---- so some of our peers and colleagues can read what else you can do - and to me Amy this writing here and some of your other early stuff from this era is still to me some of your most passionate and profound writing because it comes from your big beautiful heart and deep probing searching mind ..... you care Amy about the little people and that is a pure noble thing to do but then again you are a pure noble writer and thinker and you could OUT STAHL THE STAHL any day of the week especially on Sundays when CBS wishes you would just go away - lol lol - but I doubt that will ever happen - because your voice will never go away and that is a blessing indeed to have 'journalistic angels' like you on this earth - lake erie time 10:28pm


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Wow, you crazy diamond, you've done it now with a phrase like 'journalistic angels'...I think I may have died and gone to heaven. Thank you, Colin, for making me feel useful, good about myself, and richer than that Stahl woman, because I have a friend in you. Going back and re-visiting my first baby steps lets me know you have my back. Money can't buy that kind of caring. I am eternally grateful for your enthusiasm, encouragement, loyalty and big, generous, passionate heart. You rock, Mister C.

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