MIXED BLESSINGS

The Blue Ripple, by Rich Paschall

My mother used to refer to many things as mixed blessings. In part that was because she could always see the down side of anything good. Her mother was the same way so I guess it sort of runs in the family.

Visits from her aunt Harriet would probably fall into that category. (That named is changed although I am not sure any living relative would be offended).  The joyous greetings and fun visits would sooner or later degenerate into negative conversations regarding the hard life we all live.  This may have been fueled by too many adult beverages.

We might hear about the “good old days” but that was usually followed with stories of living through the Great Depressions.  Of course we could understand that the family struggled greatly after the market crash of 1929.  It seemed unfortunate to me that 50 years later so many conversations were brought down by this memory.

Visits to grandma were mixed blessings even though I liked her a lot.  There were always hard candies, marzipan and cookies from the German bakery. We were not allowed too many, but we were always given something.  The joy of our arrival seemed to be followed by the annoyance of our presence.  As children, we were always to be corrected so we tried to sit quietly and do nothing.  You can see how well that works on little ones.

Illness or accidents could be a mixed blessing in my mother’s mind or a “blessing in disguise.” Although the situation was bad, it was meant to teach you a good lesson.  Be careful.  Take care of yourself.  Avoid accidents.

When she was elderly, took a bad fall and was taken to the hospital, she noted that it was a good reminder of our blessings.  “Did you see that woman who was in the other bed?  Tomorrow she will have her leg amputated.  Someone else’s situation can be worse than yours.”  I guess I saw all of that as two negatives, so “mixed blessing” is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

We have all had jobs that were mixed blessings.  I had one that paid well but was unpleasant to work at. Another did not pay well but was rather enjoyable most of the time I was there.  In our working lives, many of the things we encounter contain mixed emotions, mixed benefits, mixed results.  In some, the negative outweighed the good by so much, I had to walk away.

When I was young and needed a car, some people I knew made me an offer on an automobile that was rarely used. I could not refuse. It was a mixed blessing. I felt I had to spend more time with the people who sold me the car and I always felt indebted to my father who loaned me the money. I was grateful and in their debt.

If I thought long and hard I guess I could think of many examples of mixed blessings of people, places, and events.  We could often see local, national and international events in this way.  In Chicago, we could look at the tenure of certain politicians as mixed blessings.  While there was too much patronage and even corruption, they managed to achieve great results for us.  This is why we referred to Chicago as “The City That Works” for many decades.

Very recently, many have hailed the great success of what they called the “Blue Wave.”  Of course, it was not that at all.  It was more of a ripple as many political analysts have noted.  While the current political situation energized many people to vote, equally as many stayed home.  NPR reported an estimated 47 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.  That means democracy was the loser again as the majority of voters elected to have no voice in the elections.

Voter turnout

For Democrats, the results were a mixed blessing.  If they were energized to work harder, so were the followers of 45.  Dems took back the House and declared their “Blue Wave” was a success, but Republicans strengthened their hold on the Senate which gives POTUS more power in some areas.  While energizing more “blue” voters, Dems may also have alerted “red” voters of the importance of getting to the polls.

Photo Garry Armstrong

The House Dems will gain control of committees and have increased oversight of government next year, but Senate Republicans will have an easier time pushing through 45’s appointments to government posts and federal judgeships.  That could push the courts more to the right, helping protect POTUS and friends.  Many Dems will be praying for the good health of 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

When you wish to energize voters to get more people to the polls, you may end up with a mixed blessing. Your opponents might be energized too and get some extra victories.

There will never be a strong Blue Wave, Red Wave or any wave until there is a strong wave of voters.  That would be a great blessing.

Author: Rich Paschall

When the Windows Live Spaces were closed and our sites were sent to Word Press, I thought I might actually write a regular column. A couple years ago I finally decided to try out a weekly entry for a year and published something every Sunday as well as a few other dates. I reached that goal and continued on. I hope you find them interesting. They are my Sunday Night Blog. Thanks to the support of Marilyn Armstrong you may find me from time to time on her blog space, SERENDIPITY. Rich Paschall Education: DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University Employment: Air freight professional

16 thoughts on “MIXED BLESSINGS”

  1. I had a friend with a very autistic son who didn’t talk much. I remember she and I were talking about “a blessing in disguise,” and Jeffrey looked up and said, “But why do they always come in costumes?” Good question. I have yet to find an answer. I know we could do better in terms of voting, but we did much better than usual. I think we deserve at least a little bit of applause for what we DID gain, which was a lot.

    A genuine rush of millennials voting, 7 new governors, 40 new representatives, and a senator. Not so bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dems flipped a Senate seat put Republicans picked up a total of 2 overall. This allows 45 to appoint almost anyone to federal posts and judgeships. That’s the part that concerns me. At least the House was turned blue.

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      1. We didn’t get where we are in a single election. It will take more than a single mid-term election to fix it. We let them take over. Now we’ve got to take back the field and it will take time. Yes, there will be damage. But it could have been worse. If we hadn’t taken the house, they’d be cutting Medicare and Social Security and WE would all be out on the damned street, begging.

        We are never going to have a perfect government. We are ALWAYS going to have opposition and that is how it is supposed to be. But we can at least have civil servants who are civil to one another. We can work things out, but first, we need to be able to talk to each other like adults and not like bratty kids fighting over a bucket in the sandbox.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There, almost always, seems to be an upside and a down side to most things. For instance, a lot of people see this blue ripple as a positive. I am not sure why! Because the downside is coming with many things, including higher taxes. Much higher probably. And the onslaught of the progressive and socialist minds, that will destroy our great country. Remember, nothing is really free for long. When you run out of other people’s money, then what? SADLY, down we go.

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    1. We aren’t running out of money. We are running out of money for the lower and middle classes. Doing just GREAT for the already richer than they possibly need to be. Everyone points out “they worked for their money.” So do trash collectors, but no one pays them millions and trust me, we would suffer more without trash collection than without fancier cell phones.

      Liked by 1 person

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