In 2007, about six years ago, around my 47th year on the planet, I came to a realization.
I realized that this custom made person; the good, bad, and ugly of me, was partly created from this place I’ve been working and hangin out the past thirty years. The place; Moncton Community Residences Incorporated (MCRI), has been my home away from home for over three decades.
Even though MCRI’s managers, employees, volunteers and other members play a vital role in the organization’s continuous success, they are not this thing I call my realization.
Rather, my realization is the philosophy of which myself and many other people work/worked under, a philosophy we: fought, embraced, tried to change, tried to keep, raised up, and beat down; a philosophy that does not crumple or sway no matter what obstacle we put before it. Through the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties-into the twenty first century, that philosophy has not changed. It has fought discrimination, oppression, rules and foolishness.
I believe the seed of MCRI’s philosophy was originally planted by a parent of a child who needed things outside the usual boundaries of things. I believe this to be true because only a parent can draw deep from within his/her personal emotions to create for his/her child the opportunity no professional could ever muster up. So, I think MCRI’s philosophy evolved from this single seed that encompasses all aspects of a person’s must-haves in life, which says; “My child has the right to be equal to you.”
Now, those of you out there who had the good fortune to work for MCRI know what I mean; you know you have felt that philosophical aura pressing down on you; you felt it when you made decisions; when you got your way; and when you lost your way. It is always there, saying; “My child has the right to be equal to you.” I know at times I respected those rights and I know at times I did not. I also know I could fool others, though I could not fool myself because that aura kept pressing down on me, kept saying to me; “My child has the right to be equal to you,” an aura that will just not fade.
And, that’s The Inspiration.
I took that aura and all of its connecting emotions and tried to put it into words. And, I wrote these words through the eyes and heart of a group of people who best understand what I am saying; the people I feel make up most of MCRI (and the rest of our world); the people I call the Regular Folks.
So, there you have it, I spent three years researching this aura, looking for those invisible things that created the “philosophy.” And, then I spent three more years writing, trying to put the philosophy into words. And, after that, I put my story away; away for one full year, to ensure I had not missed any of those important philosophical things that needed to be said.
And, then 2014 arrived…
Why write a book about Regular Folks?
(Excerpt from the Book’s Introduction)
After centuries of wars, turmoil, and financial disasters isn’t it about time a Regular Folks style of folk gets a shot at running this moving ball of dirt? I mean really, the crazies have had their turn. The intellects have had their turn. And yet, standing quietly in the shadows, enjoying beers and wines are the Regular Folks, paying for the whole darn thing.
Well, my friends, at any given time most have lived the Regular Folks style of life, living within those boundaries of average. You see, Regular Folks are seldom Presidents, Kings or Queens, nor will you find them in prison cells and other desolate situations. Regular Folks have their shining moments (like that bowling trophy I won back in ‘92), though most times a Regular Folks style blends into the environment. Regular Folks aren’t in the news much and only on occasion do Regular Folks win giant things like national and international awards. Few Regular Folks get super wealthy and there is a tendency to stay in a comfort zone populated by those with similar styles. Regular Folks like their skins, even if there is molting here and there. There are few prizes given out by the world for being a Regular Folk style, though I would personally note that most of the funniest, smartest, heroic, generous, and bravest people I know are not the famous ones I see on television. Regular Folks styles are a big batch of amigos and quite a likable bunch. The Other Folks styles can be a good bunch too; I just don’t think it is as good as the Regular Folks style.
Regular Folks make up the majority of the world but don’t usually run it. The Other Folks are often the bosses and the leaders. Regular Folks make the Other Folks look good, and when they look good, they win things and are hailed as amazing. Regular Folks just roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders and smile.
I’m the fourth of five children and I’d venture to guess that I only exist because of the old Roman Catholic rules on birth control. Really, what couple wants to replace the fun in their life with five financial liabilities? By the time I came along Mom and Dad were getting just a little bored with pictures and keeping documents (like my birth certificate), so I grew up not too spoiled, not too recognized – sort of in the middle of it all. I had average school marks. I was average at sports. Regular, regular, regular is the best way to describe me; therefore, I’ve decided I am an experienced, above average, average Regular Folks person and should write a book about my Regular Folks style.
This book is about the choices I made in life and how these impact my feelings as a Regular Folk. It sure isn’t meant to make me perfect; this Regular Folk style is not and will never be that, praise be! I also wrote this guide for the future Regular Folks, like my granddaughters Courtney (the munchkin) and Cassidy (the scoocher) because no matter how famous Regular Folks get in life, I don’t want them to ever, ever, forget the importance of being a Regular Folk.
The Book’s Makeup
I don’t know how many ways it takes to get your point across, all I “knows” is that it took me seven (for each and every chapter):
Introduction – An opening statement to try and get you interested in reading on.
- A Bedtime Story – My observations of real life things that happened to me, you, and the other fellas.
- Rant and Ramble – Me going bla, bla, bla.
- For Just One Day – A challenge for you.
- Get to the Point Grampie – A message to my two granddaughters.
- And by the Way – My final “two cents worth.”
- Poetry in Motion – Poems that may or not make any sense to you (and the less sense they make to you, the more intellectual I will convince myself to feel).
Me, You and the Other Fellas.
The Platinum Rule.
Most of What I Got I Deserved.
The Art of Liking Being Disliked.
That’s My Charisma You’re Smelling.
What Are You Allergic To?
How to Screw Up a Good Thing.
How to Effectively Negotiate with Government.
One Minute You Say You Will the Next You Won’t.
An Even Playing Field in an Uneven World.
Parent Adults Like They’re My Children.
Cuss Words I Should Stop Saying.
I’d Rather Have a Charmless House Full of Charm Than a Charming House Full of Charmless.
Expert Advice is Not Always the Best Advice.
Just ‘Cuz It’s in a Frame, Doesn’t Mean You Know the Game.
If I Wanted To Be Labeled I Would Have Bought a Labeler.
I Don’t Have to Be Strong to Be Strong.
I Shouldn’t Buy a Big Truck if I Don’t Know How to Park it.
Be Careful What You Wish For.
Close Your Pout or Help Out.
Keep Your Fork.
Who’s Your Buddy?
Me Buddy is Me Customer.
Settling into Old Geezerhood.
Robert’s Rules of Disorder.
Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings.
The Regular Folks Artist.
I’d Like to Blame You if You Don’t Mind.
How’s Your Timing?
Today, I’m Going to Try and Change My World