I watched Clash of the Ozarks today, a reality show depicting a 100+ year feud between the Russells and the Evans. This show about feuding hillfolk reflects something I see every day in the city, too. People would rather stayed stuck to the old and go down in flames rather than step into a new direction. The current battle is over Russell’s land that will soon be going to auction due to unpaid taxes. Evans stands ready to purchase it. Russell stopped paying because “times are hard” and Russell is old school: he’s used to used to living off the land and moon-shining. “One hundred years ago you could self-sustain off the land and it was a great life. But with all the taxes and rules and regulations now it is outrageous.” Russell is opposed to change, so he’d rather instigate trouble rather than take personal responsibility for creating a new source of income. He’d rather spend his time rehashing old feuds rather than take a serious look around to see what other money making opportunities he might be overlooking. “That’s what is wrong with America now.” Evans said, “We don’t take care of ourselves anymore. We expect others to.”
The show is edited to depict Evans as being for change and progress, building the city and creating new jobs. Russell is depicted as being against it all out of fear. Whether that’s the actual case or not, the fact remains that all too often we find it easier to throw all our energy into hanging on to the past and things that no longer serve us, than looking around for a new direction.
One path doesn’t close up without another opening to us. All we have to do is take a moment to consider, what might be my new path? If we don’t ask that question, we won’t see it when it stands before us. This isn’t just a metaphor, it’s the absolute 3-D, in the physical, truth.
Rather than consider a different source of income in the new world, Russell spends his time accusing and talking protection and revenge. He talks about getting right with God and in the next breath talks about who all he’d kill if they get in his way. WWJD? WTF?
But that’s what it’s like for those who don’t want to consider accepting that change might be progress that could benefit them. They cannot envision that future. Rather than opening their mind to new opportunities and prospering along with the progress, they close down, barricade themselves behind their door, bring havoc down upon themselves and blame it on the ones who are doing “it” to them.
I know friends like that. Divorce happens or they lose a job or they do a stint in jail, after which what they did before is no longer an option. If they are going to move into a different place financially and emotionally, they need to consider new options. They can’t rely on what they’ve done in the past because it’s no longer available to them. Rather than train for a new job, they choose to hound their ex for additional support or shop doctors for eligibility for social security disability. Rather than take a class to get trained in a new profession, they opt to have a series of under the table, low-paying jobs. That impacts their self esteem and places a burden on those who must pick up the slack.
In 2000, I had a car accident. When I was tested after reaching “maximum medical improvement,” the neurologist gave me a 30% disability rating for the nerve damage in my hands and arms. That freaked me out since I type all day for work. I spent long hours researching what exercises would strengthen my hands and arms, all the while considering what my career change might be if I could no longer type all day. As soon as I began asking the Universe to send me ideas for new options, I was flooded with info and choices. I did more voice recording work than typing during the healing period, and 14 years later I’m doing fine. A few times a year my paws might need the wrist splints and rest from the keyboard for a few days but that’s the only real “disability.”
The point is, I didn’t let someone else’s opinion influence my decision to keep myself productive and self sufficient. I didn’t resist change and whine about how unfair it was for things to change. If I’m to be happy, I have to go with the flow, and that means accepting change and morphing with the times. My experience is it’s always an upgrade. The Universe knows its stuff!
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