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Lyn Hacker: Sometimes our ‘friends’ turn out not to be our friends at all; can we find understanding?

I had a friend yesterday, but not this morning. She weighed in on my Facebook page about my people and my religion (of sorts). She insulted me and them until she ranted herself into a tizzy and unfriended me.

But not before she started posting some really personal stuff that she had no right to do, which is where I drew the line. I had to respond (in exasperation), “Have you ever had a clue who I really am, or have I been some sort of a figment of your imagination all this time?”

Cause I don’t know how anyone who remotely knows me, can’t describe me in a hundred words or less. I’ve not changed hardly at all through life – maybe a few extra pounds (well, a lot) and some aches and pains, but no, pretty much the same female I’ve always been, (the same one who’s had my friend’s back for lo these last 50 years – yes 50 years). I’ve always resented being labeled. It’s such a lazy thing to do. Once you label people, you give up trying to understand them. Such a cop-out.

To whit, I was engaged to a Marine at 16, and marched against Nixon’s re-inauguration and for women’s rights in college. Worked several jobs, ie, horses, research, photography, respiratory, farming, back with the horses, writer, blah, blah. Big believer in limited government and some general republican tenets but primarily issue oriented, based on my personal life history. God loving. I vote for the candidate, generally speaking. Super eco-friendly. Pro hemp. Boom bada boom.

A friend in college who much later became a communications professor in Ohio once teased me, “Oh Lyn, you’re sooooo pragmatic!” Well yeah! And maybe a little dogmatic. Tell me something I don’t know. But the flip side is I rarely take a side until I’m pretty sure I can’t be convinced otherwise. I always see the gray hues in the so-called black and white pictures.

My friend thinks Christianity is a superstition. Sorry, I don’t agree. That there is a God and that He/She cares deeply for us, I have no doubt, my old friend. “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” wrote Shakespeare in Hamlet. If it was true four hundred years ago, it’s definitely true today when we are only just starting to realize the limits of our understanding of life.

A noted hyper-dimensional physicist, Dr. Michi Okaku, theorizes there may be more than the three dimensions, up to eleven. It blows my mind. He came to theorize about such a thing when he was just a child, and would observe the fish in his parents’ koi pond in their back yard. He realized that, because the eyes of the fish were on the sides of their heads, they couldn’t appreciate the space above them, so it didn’t exist for them. From the mouth of babes. What else are we not appreciating?

I was brought up believing that, in this country, we are free to have our own thoughts. I don’t have to justify myself to any body (as long as I don’t hurt anybody). Our feelings are supposed to be autonomous. We are supposed to own responsibility for our actions, good or bad. My father told me numerous times, your rights end where others’ rights begin.

We are a republic, not a democracy, and that’s a good thing. In a republic, certain inalienable rights are guaranteed to everyone. In a democracy, those could be changed via the majority rule. (Germany was a democracy with a liberal constitution when it elected Hitler). Lessons learned.

All things considered, this is probably the greatest country with the greatest possibilities for us all.

Having my friend as a friend was like having an attack-trained rottweiler by my side, which was tolerable as long as I was not the one under attack. I didn’t enjoy seeing others attacked either. I love that she’s a powerful, passionate, talented person, but maybe she isn’t so happy.

When she puts out these negative political vibes and her humor is based on taking pot shots at others – primarily republicans and Christians, she reminds me of our current late night comics. I used to like to watch Jay Leno, but I’ve enjoyed the follow-ups less and less. Same thing for Saturday Night Live, which really did used to be funny. C’mon, “Bassamatic,” and “Little Chocolate Donuts?” Why don’t I like their comedy nowadays? Because for the most part, it’s based on putting other people down. What’s funny about that? It takes absolutely no talent to insult people.

With all these differences, how did we get to become friends? Music, ironically enough. (Dr. Okaku, a big believer in string theory, which basically says everything is “strung” together, says music is the “voice of God.”) We sang in a talent show. We had virtually nothing else in common, and never have had.

Still I love her and even liked her most of the time, when she wasn’t ranting and raving about Republicans (which would get so tiresome). Republicans do this and they think that, she would opine, but you’ve got to know that’s not always true. I distinctly remember taking economics in high school, where the teacher taught us about advertising and propaganda. He warned against “sweeping generalizations.”

Scientifically, he said, if you can disprove it just one time, it isn’t true. Truth is definitive. Like pregnancy, it’s either one or the other, no gray areas. Even I, with my fondness for gray areas, can’t doubt it. So saying, I doubt very seriously there is one thing that every single Republican believes in, unless it’s in this country. One can probably say the same thing about Democrats. So when is all this name-calling, this hatespeak going to stop? Do we really want a world where we’re all alike, with no diversity at all?

America is at fault for this and that. America and Christians. There is nothing good about us. Further, Kentucky is a hotbed of ignorance (despite the respectable number of writers, musicians, artists and even movie stars who have come from here). Blah, blah, blah. So sad, because she is one of the privileged few to be born in Kentucky. But what she keeps forgetting is that my people were on Turtle Island a long, long time before hers ever thought of stepping on our shores. And they were living in Ken tah ten (Iroquois – Land of Tomorrow) a long time before it became a state. She doesn’t get that this is my country in a way she can never understand. I try not to hold it against her.

None of this really matters. It is what it is. It’s simply sad, and I feel bad because I can feel she’s not happy and so I feel badly for that. But I can’t help her. I can’t help her at all because, although we’ve been “friends” for all this time, apparently she doesn’t respect a thing about me (notwithstanding that those things have not changed with time). So there’s no way you can help someone unless they acknowledge, in some basic way, that you’re “worth while,” or “good enough” to help them. How much can a superstitious, God-loving libertarian help a flaming liberal (who, by this point, is actually acting like she is on fire)? I really don’t care what she is. I love her. She was my friend, sometimes more than others, for a very long time, and I’ll miss her.

Here’s the rub, to paraphrase Shakespeare. I would fight for the right of any of my friends and family, regardless of their religion, political persuasions, etc., to practice said politics, religion, etc. This sad Memorial Day reminds me of the huge military history of my ancestors, all the way back to the Revolutionary War. It’s not perfect here. It’s not perfect anywhere that I know of. But it is the best country, I think, and I know for sure I would not want to live anywhere else. This is my home.

Given the chance, I was happy to know my friend. We had many good times, and I was very fond of her family, and they were very nice to me. I tried to be very nice to them. After all of this, it’s really all I can say on the matter. All things come to an end.

And so I’ll address America as one of my favorite comics Bernie Mac would have – America, take care of your friends and family and don’t sacrifice them to the whims of modern day society and political fancy. Realize there is a lot more to meet the eye when it comes to surviving in this modern day world.

There will always be issues, and if the powers that be get their way, there will always be more and more of them coming up just in time to adequately obscure whatever might be happening in Congress and in Washington. Smoke and mirrors, smoke and mirrors, cause that’s the name of the game nowadays.

Chief Tecumseh said, “So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion, respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide…”

Lyn Hacker is a Lexington native raised by Appalachian parents to be not only educated but proficient in the living arts – working very hard, playing music, growing gardens, orchard management and beekeeping. The UK graduate has been a newspaper staff writer and production manager, a photography lab manager, a Thoroughbred statistics manager, a Bluegrass singer and songwriter, a registered respiratory therapist, a farmer, a Standardbred horsewoman, and a beekeeper. She lives on a farm in Sadieville.

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