Life Lessons

Bad-bad and Bad-good Choices

Insight on waking today: We daily make bad-good decisions and bad-bad decisions.

These are common calls, far milder than “Should I drop out of school” or “Should I marry this person.”

Logo of Tofutti BrandsBinging on chips and dip — make mine vegan if you please — is a bad-good decision. Dwelling on grim news that is more than a couple of steps distant from you is a bad-bad decision.

Wouldn’t sound better to write good-bad not bad-good? Certainly. Both pairs, however, are bad decisions, so “bad” is the primary modifier.

Junk food you can digest your way out of. Well, a few extra pounds might grow on you, but in moderation snacks won’t be what kills you in the end.

Obsessing on grim news outside the closer circles of one’s personal space radiates through the rest of the day like fountain pen ink on Kleenex.

Someone I know well just learned of a tragedy on Facebook. It’s not the closest connection nor a distant one, in the middle, more near than far. It’s a person whose day-to-day life is full of all sorts of lame luck and bad choices, according to their frequent social media posts. More a sad sack than schlemiel. One cringes when one hears in conversation or from posts the latest to befall them.

The bad-bad decision comes from considering the latest catastrophe (not ironic but indeed tragic disaster) longer than a moment. If you reflect or investigate on it further, your whole day, your thoughts and even activities are infected with the gloom of fate.

If you’re not in a position to help, it’s just poisoning yourself.

I realize in drafting this that I have been making a bad-bad choice for 14 1/2 months. Unintentionally infecting myself.

Several times a day I read on reliable news sites the latest chicanery of DJT (pronounced digit) and his administration. I’ve been steaming not just since Inauguration one year six days ago but his election in November 2016, when everything he said and did began to have a calamitous impact on my beloved country.

I don’t always read past the headlines and intro paragraphs — of the straight news then its interpretations, either punditry or satire, but that is enough to raise dread and anger, admittedly letting it steep to rancidity.

Dwelling on the president is a good decision, though, when doing so leads one to fight the ruination. I vote. I join pragmatic groups. I post wrought reflections. I consider various protests then participate in those most likely to have an impact. I commiserate with friends based on my finding the best available facts, neither rumors nor hypotheticals.

Beyond that day in and day out jonesing, the jerk in the White House until now has ruined my sunny demeanor, made me a shade surly and cynical, soured into a mis-demeanor so to speak. That does me and the cause no good at all.

This is NOT a call for ostrich ignorance; we all must mark Trump’s every conniving statement and pecuniary policy — without those softening into the monotonous but nearly acceptable stench of car exhaust on a busy street we walk every day.

It’s an acknowledgement that weaning myself from morning and afternoon reflections on Trump is healthy. Learn them then leave the latest after a second of absorption. This moves from the bad-bad to the good column.

Some bad-good would be fortifying: mush a chopped green onion into a few tablespoons of Tofutti “sour cream” and dashes of lemon juice and a dusting of smoked paprika. Open a bag of chips, the hell with pouring them into a bowl. Gorge!

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