The (Re)use of FORCE

I overdid it there with all caps, but how else do you show forceful typing? (Maybe all the grammatical mistakes and sloppy wording..)

When I start to get sick, there becomes an urgency to get better. Kind of like grieving the loss of my health, I go through denial (I’m healthy, I swear!) Shock (The world won’t survive without me!) Anger (GAR) Depression (I am soooo sick) and then maybe acceptance once I realize time is passing. Some of us simply accept our fate, cancel all of our plans, and retreat to bed. They’ve been sick many times, so they calmly wait it out. It’s not that complicated, it’s just a cold.

So as much as I love to keep things simple, my mind starts to race and I recall times when other illnesses threatened my body and mind. When I start to lose control past what (I feel) I can handle, I start to lose my mind. Will it get worse? Will it get better? What do I do? What do I not do? How black and white is my thinking?

Let me welcome you to the grey area. I like to think of the grey area (which always seems to have a silver lining) as a raincloud where my brainstorming happens. It’s not a sunny place. Very foggy to many viewing it from the outside (you can onluy see so far in the inside too). Sometimes there’s logic, sometimes there’s lightning. If you get struck, I’m sorry in advance. Don’t wallow in the puddles there. My critical thinking oddly gets soaks into some planted seeds. Other times it’s like a flood taking out the foundation of what I once knew. Spare me the imagery…

I digress. Why are we chatting about the weather when there are real issues going on around us? In my world, any injustice against me is one that is or could be happening to you or your mother or son or whoever.

I loved watching Trailer Park Boys in college. It gave me a different perspective on life. An injustice to you might not be one to me. Here comes the politics…

Unfortunately I can’t. I don’t know anything about politics. And “Thank the Lord,” I am getting the point (hopefully). People seem to love to talk about what they don’t know. So what do I know about force?

I know I have felt forced to do things for good reason. I know other things I have been forced to do because of the misuse of authority (disguising superiority). I know I don’t always understand the reasons and some things I must do because they are suggested. There are things I can do simply without the use of force. There are others things I feel compelled to do and I have no idea if it comes from the light or dark force.

I was watching Star Wars with a friend once and we started making connections to our everyday life. Obi Wan may be someone who guides you in life, while at the same time being someone you don’t always want to listen, even though you should (because you know they’re right.)

Hans Solo is that cool friend that always seems to get himself in trouble. Chewbacca’s that badass friend who loves to rage and always has your back. He also knows when you’re being ((insert negative characteristic here)). R2D2 is your genius friend. C3PO is the friend that’s always paranoid about getting into trouble. Princess Leia is that girl you think is cute and then one day you find out y’all are related. No wonder she was so cool…

Hopefully one day you’ll meet your Yoda and he will teach you how to use the force for good. Sadly many people are tempted by the dark side because it’s “more powerful.” By the end of the movie you’re burning alive telling Obi Wan that he’s the one with issues and before you know it you’re getting fresh robotic body armor to keep you “alive”.

Unfortunately some of the greatest people have been taken by the dark side. Some are lucky enough to realize it before it’s too late. To deny is to lie. Maybe I’m overgeneralizing, but how many times have you seen someone denying something they definitely did. The increasing panic shows the progressing problem. Being found out is the worst, especially when you had no intention of ever admitting what you did. (For all the purely honest people out there, come on, you were 5 once.) Problems we planned on taking to the grave seem to persist when we resist recognizing them.

I have heard of grown adults harboring shame from childhood, later acting out, then completely denying that the issue could somehow be connected to their past. How could someone’s faults from the past be manifesting in someone else’s future? I’ll leave that one to the therapists and shrinks out there. I wouldn’t want to give away any revelations or reflections that you could come up with yourself.

At the end of the day, the use of force can be tricky. *Below is short story I read in High School. Sometimes I tend to feel like the doctor, other times the parent, most of the time the child.

When it comes to childish behaviors, I’ve dealt with many. Managing the behaviors can be challenging, especially when you’re the one misbehaving. To start a chain reaction of wrong-doing can be hard to break. There would be times as an educator I would set down a book, tend to something else, forget where the book was, come up with something else to do, then start seeing random acts of mischief result out of the sense of “something is off”. Struggling with organization has diabolically disrupted my days in innumerable ways. Especially when someone else is able to step back and tell me how the chaos ensued…it’s upsetting. I feel shame for being lazy (or inept) and guilt for causing something to happen that I didn’t even know was going to happen. When I mess up, at least there’s that moment of awe where I can realize I can right my wrong by apologizing or making up for it. It’s awesome to comprehend and practice forgiveness and redemption.

What’s horrible is when you are doing something harmful and you don’t even feel hurt from it.

It’s a real thing. If you read that and you’re like, “well that’s not me and that will never be me,” then good for you. Sounds like you’re Gandhi or have been ingesting too much toxoplasma gondaii (a parasite that makes mice attracted to cat piss). I’m not saying you’re unaware of your own emotions and reactions, but I will throw out there that many of us do not want to admit when we are attracted to the wrong things (like the sweet smell of cat piss to a mouse).

Let’s go with this little anecdote. A child hits another child. The other child cries. The oldest sibling starts yelling at the others to stop making so much noise. Mom cancels the trip to MacDonalds. No Happy Meals today. Who is in the wrong here?

Some people would say all of them, some would say no one is to blame for all the stress. Does the first child know that hitting is harmful? Was it on purpose or was it an accident? Was the child that got hurt instigating? Is he crying because he feels neglected or unprotected? The oldest child tries to instill fear in the younger ones to get them to stop. That’s where I get stuck. Does the oldest know the yelling is exacerbating the situation? By trying to stop it so forcefully, will the result even last? Does it come from confusion or anger or just not knowing? Maybe she never learned how to soothe upset children. Maybe her mom used to yell and that’s why she yells. By kid number 3, she stopped caring about the crying and craziness. Maybe mom stopped yelling when Dad got disconnected. Maybe the kids remember the violent fights from the past and saw Dad push mom.

People have developed this awful ability to cover up their true pain and replace it with something “normal”. That doesn’t mean I’d like everyone to start ripping each other apart when they witness wrong doing. Please do not ask a homeless person why they are homeless (I mean, do whatever you want, but I advise against it). Please don’t ask someone cutting you in line at the grocery store what is wrong with them. There are some questions we just can’t answer at the time of conflict. Keep that in mind, especially when you’re ready to fight.

If someone says something about your mama, that’s a different story. Again, I digress. Drama, drama, drama. I could go on forever. Therein lies the problem. Stop the drama! But wait, there’s more. The use of force. It’s a lie, it’s the truth, no…it’s an excuse!

I always liked to the think that force was an excuse to cover up something else. A really good teacher doesn’t force kids to sit on the carpet or make kids listen. Sure they had the kids practice over and over again doing everything nicely. They learn how to line up, how to walk in the halls, how to turn in work, how to take turns, etc. It was amazing to me how much “common sense” the students didn’t have coming into class. Yet, when they were taught the rules repeatedly, they knew them better than I did. Even the kid who had trouble sitting next to all of the other kids wanted to stay with the group because he knew it was a safe place. He knew he would get his turn to contribute. He would be rewarded for his good choices. Did I force that kid to stop bugging others? Did I yell at him to quit taking things that weren’t his? Did I cry when he made a bad grade? No…I had to keep myself together. I had to show him the consequences of his actions. I had to spell out a + b = c to him. Even that wasn’t 100% effective because I was the one telling him. For me to be sure he was really getting it, he had to be able to explain it to me. When he told me he wanted to make friends, I truly believed him. Despite the many times I lost that little boys trust, I knew that he knew truth. Every child knows the truth, no matter how skewed their schema is of the world around them.

I read or heard something along the lines of the truth being what you already know but just forgot. Some of us learn to rationalize, justify, and intellectualize to survive. Some people say that the more you are, the more tormented you can become.


We practice coping skills (healthy or not) as we get older. We try to gain knowledge to gain understanding. For some of us, knowledge is power. Other people come to believe they are powerless.

With that, one can reflect on the forces that be. When does an urgency to do better become a feeble act of force? When can we start to process our weaknesses and protect ourselves from the misuse of our strengths?

All I know is that I know nothing. – Socrates

If I knew how to manipulate the forces that be, I’d make the world a better place for you and me. Funny I used to say that without “you”. What good is all of this without others to share it with? Sure, we have to do the next right thing. Just me? (That’s for my BFF). NO not just you. Not just you and me. But we’re working our way up. I can barely take care of myself, so I have to start small. My college told me, “What starts here changes the world.” Well, I started a lot of “new” things in college and it definitely changed the world. I developed a true, deep fear of others. I retreated inward and avoided conflict with the outside world. I also did that by staying outside the lines. Why would I try and conform socially when I already had to do that all day at school/work? I lived on the outside, tried to stay different, ironically falling into an alternative group of people that are not so uncommon. God works in mysterious ways. It’s a love/hate thing. Experiences in this world can be the best/worst.

Can anyone force me to make good choices? No, though they can force me into a cop car if I put myself and others in danger. Can anyone force me to stay in Houston forever? No, but if my family lives here forever then I probably will too. Can I force myself to be harder, better, faster, stronger (or less of a kook)?

I’m powerless and I can’t change unless I want to. I believe God has always wanted me to be good. I convinced myself I was “doing my best” many times, when I was plotting, scheming, and lying to get my way. Getting my way is oddly not God’s will most of the time…(I know, right?) The force of God is omnipotent. Sometime it’s as loud as thunder, other times it’s like the buzzing of cell phone. When I know danger is near, I have to let go of fear. So it brings me back to the most important question…how did Luke really become a Jedi?

This link has some good insight —

The author quotes Yoda during his quest for the truth. Yoda says, “…for my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It’s energy surrounds us and binds us…you must feel the Force around you.”

This blogger also stated his explanation beautifully.

He wrote:

“There is nothing more powerful and humbling than showing compassion through forgiveness. The Dark side has always been the quick and easy path because it is fueled by hate. It is easy to hate. Anger is easy. Rage is easy. So in the exact opposite, the Light side is fueled by love. Love is hard. Compassion is hard. Forgiveness is hard.

Luke did complete his training. Luke is a Jedi Knight. He needed to empathize with the tortured soul that was Darth Vader. He was able to forgive and love his father for who he was, not who he became.”

Well done, Rocco.

As for me, I better stop here. I’ve got things to do.

*William Carlos Williams – The Use of Force

They were new patients to me, all I had was the name, Olson. Please come down as soon as you can, my daughter is very sick.When I arrived I was met by the mother, a big startled looking woman, very clean and apologetic who merely said, Is this the doctor? and let me in. In the back, she added. You must excuse us, doctor, we have her in the kitchen where it is warm. It is very damp here sometimes.The child was fully dressed and sitting on her father’s lap near the kitchen table. He tried to get up, but I motioned for him not to bother, took off my overcoat and started to look things over. I could see that they were all very nervous, eyeing me up and down distrustfully. As often, in such cases, they weren’t telling me more than they had to, it was up to me to tell them; that’s why they were spending three dollars on me.The child was fairly eating me up with her cold, steady eyes, and no expression to her face whatever. She did not move and seemed, inwardly, quiet; an unusually attractive little thing, and as strong as a heifer in appearance. But her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly, and I realized that she had a high fever. She had magnificent blonde hair, in profusion. One of those picture children often reproduced in advertising leaflets and the photogravure sections of the Sunday papers.She’s had a fever for three days, began the father and we don’t know what it comes from. My wife has given her things, you know, like people do, but it don’t do no good. And there’s been a lot of sickness around. So we tho’t you’d better look her over and tell us what is the matter.As doctors often do I took a trial shot at it as a point of departure. Has she had a sore throat?Both parents answered me together, No . . . No, she says her throat don’t hurt her.Does your throat hurt you? added the mother to the child. But the little girl’s expression didn’t change nor did she move her eyes from my face.Have you looked?I tried to, said the mother, but I couldn’t see.As it happens we had been having a number of cases of diphtheria in the school to which this child went during that month and we were all, quite apparently, thinking of that, though no one had as yet spoken of the thing.Well, I said, suppose we take a look at the throat first. I smiled in my best professional manner and asking for the child’s first name I said, come on, Mathilda, open your mouth and let’s take a look at your throat.Nothing doing.Aw, come on, I coaxed, just open your mouth wide and let me take a look. Look, I said opening both hands wide, I haven’t anything in my hands. Just open up and let me see.Such a nice man, put in the mother. Look how kind he is to you. Come on, do what he tells you to. He won’t hurt you.At that I ground my teeth in disgust. If only they wouldn’t use the word “hurt” I might be able to get somewhere. But I did not allow myself to be hurried or disturbed but speaking quietly and slowly I approached the child again.As I moved my chair a little nearer suddenly with one catlike movement both her hands clawed instinctively for my eyes and she almost reached them too. In fact she knocked my glasses flying and they fell, though unbroken, several feet away from me on the kitchen floor.Both the mother and father almost turned themselves inside out in embarrassment and apology. You bad girl, said the mother, taking her and shaking her by one arm. Look what you’ve done. The nice man . . .For heaven’s sake, I broke in. Don’t call me a nice man to her. I’m here to look at her throat on the chance that she might have diphtheria and possibly die of it. But that’s nothing to her. Look here, I said to the child, we’re going to look at your throat. You’re old enough to understand what I’m saying. Will you open it now by yourself or shall we have to open it for you?Not a move. Even her expression hadn’t changed. Her breaths however were coming faster and faster. Then the battle began. I had to do it. I had to have a throat culture for her own protection. But first I told the parents that it was entirely up to them. I explained the danger but said that I would not insist on a throat examination so long as they would take the responsibility.If you don’t do what the doctor says you’ll have to go to the hospital, the mother admonished her severely.Oh yeah? I had to smile to myself. After all, I had already fallen in love with the savage brat, the parents were contemptible to me. In the ensuing struggle they grew more and more abject, crushed, exhausted while she surely rose to magnificent heights of insane fury of effort bred of her terror of me.The father tried his best, and he was a big man but the fact that she was his daughter, his shame at her behavior and his dread of hurting her made him release her just at the critical times when I had almost achieved success, till I wanted to kill him. But his dread also that she might have diphtheria made him tell me to go on, go on though he himself was almost fainting, while the mother moved back and forth behind us raising and lowering her hands in an agony of apprehension.Put her in front of you on your lap, I ordered, and hold both her wrists.But as soon as he did the child let out a scream. Don’t, you’re hurting me. Let go of my hands. Let them go I tell you. Then she shrieked terrifyingly, hysterically. Stop it! Stop it! You’re killing me!Do you think she can stand it, doctor! said the mother.You get out, said the husband to his wife. Do you want her to die of diphtheria?Come on now, hold her, I said.Then I grasped the child’s head with my left hand and tried to get the wooden tongue depressor between her teeth. She fought, with clenched teeth, desperately! But now I also had grown furious–at a child. I tried to hold myself down but I couldn’t. I know how to expose a throat for inspection. And I did my best. When finally I got the wooden spatula behind the last teeth and just the point of it into the mouth cavity, she opened up for an instant but before I could see anything she came down again and gripping the wooden blade between her molars she reduced it to splinters before I could get it out again.Aren’t you ashamed, the mother yelled at her. Aren’t you ashamed to act like that in front of the doctor?Get me a smooth-handled spoon of some sort, I told the mother. We’re going through with this. The child’s mouth was already bleeding. Her tongue was cut and she was screaming in wild hysterical shrieks. Perhaps I should have desisted and come back in an hour or more. No doubt it would have been better. But I have seen at least two children lying dead in bed of neglect in such cases, and feeling that I must get a diagnosis now or never I went at it again. But the worst of it was that I too had got beyond reason. I could have torn the child apart in my own fury and enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to attack her. My face was burning with it.The damned little brat must be protected against her own idiocy, one says to one’s self at such times. Others must be protected against her. It is a social necessity. And all these things are true. But a blind fury, a feeling of adult shame, bred of a longing for muscular release are the operatives. One goes on to the end.In a final unreasoning assault I overpowered the child’s neck and jaws. I forced the heavy silver spoon back of her teeth and down her throat till she gagged. And there it was–both tonsils covered with membrane. She had fought valiantly to keep me from knowing her secret. She had been hiding that sore throat for three days at least and lying to her parents in order to escape just such an outcome as this.Now truly she was furious. She had been on the defensive before but now she attacked. Tried to get off her father’s lap and fly at me while tears of defeat blinded her eyes.

Published by Shea

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