The Brady Bunch Fallacy

Light In the Distance. . .

OUTDATE – 179 Days and Counting

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Hello there once again! Guess it’s time for another “The world as Walks now sees it” and I have a question. Does anyone remember the “Brady Bunch?” It was about a man and a woman who for whatever reason were both raising 3 kids on their own, the guy 3 boys, the woman 3 girls, ok? Until one day when this lady met this fellow and they knew it was much more than a hunch, and they soon became the Brady bunch! Idyllic, right? Look, that pie in the sky American family “leave it to Beaver perfection doesn’t exist. Never has, never will. And not only just in families either. I’m almost 62, I have never known of a family that was not in some way dysfunctional.

No matter what picture they tried to present to the world, I promise, just scratch the surface and you will find someone who had an issue. Period, cut and dried, and not just someone, but everyone at one point or another. See, in my family I’m the one who was the predominant problem growing up. We have already established that fact in the statement, I was born broken, and we moved on. But this very moment I was in a conversation with the wisest person I know, (no not myself in the mirror but a reasonable guess…lol) On the phone we were laughing about how I said I have known a lot of families in my life and there was not a single one that didn’t have a few speedbumps or problems. So as far as I’m concerned, the idea of a perfect family is total BS.

And that all told I have also known a lot of people over the years and even in that small pocket of the whole people, family/friends equation there wasn’t one single person that wasn’t in some way flawed, or that hadn’t messed up or been an ass or been opinionated or arrogant or conceited or whatever. You get the picture here. I also pointed out that  I had never been in any kind of relationship, be it romantic or friendship, with anyone that at one point or another there wasn’t a “hic-up.” See, I finally figured it out, there are no perfect human interactions because there are no perfect humans. Wow, how friggin profound is that?!!?

It all boils down to maybe we are all in need of the compassion and understanding we want and expect from each other. Maybe there is no perfect dynamic or relationship, in fact I have never heard of one of those. All people bicker and then get along, disagree and then like the same things. I believe that being “in love” is different than loving someone. See to be “in love” is like the magical stage, sort of like the Brady Bunch thing. But loving someone is more about being able to overlook all the things that really tick you off about them because they are so overshadowed by the things that you do like about them, the qualities that make you want to be friends or husband or lover or whatever. In your mind and heart, these great qualities are more important than the things that bother you about that person.

Then, even then, from time to time you’re able to disagree, or argue or get mad and stomp off and give yourself some time, cool off or whatever, and then you find it was not as bad as it seemed, not such a big deal. Then you take the high road, make up with them or try to see their point of view. After all we can’t all always be right, otherwise we would just vanish as a species. O.K., so maybe not that but I am dang sure we would live a lonely existence cuz no one would want to be around us.  When you set yourself up as in-fall-ible, you’re bound to fall. Kinda sorta the reason that is part of the word.

So there ain’t no perfect families or whatever. Behind what people see, maybe dad is a drunk, mom’s on pills, the daughter’s bulimic or the son bipolar. Someone is flawed and it won’t be everyone all the time, but someone has issues. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good family. It doesn’t mean anything other than your family is normal. Humans make mistakes, people do stupid stuff and life won’t let it be any other way, you just have to remember the person that you feel disappointed by or that your mad at, well, they may feel the same way. It’s about get over it. Ask if the good in that person is more important than the not so good?

I think we all know the answer to that, so there it is, Walks “We are the world” message…and the Brady Bunch thing, yeah, it’s BS.

                          Perfect Imperfections

ain’t no perfect world,
not one bit of perfection man-made,
not an ideal or perspective, 
not a single thing I’m afraid.

ain’t no perfect relationships,
everybody has rough spots,
they argue fuss and fight,
then make up by the end of the night.

ain’t no perfect person, 
we’re all flawed in our own ways,
but if the good outweighs the bad,
then it’s a pretty good reason to stay.

I’ve found in life that the truth is crystal clear, 
come closer my friend while I whisper in your ear,
I’m sure to piss you off and we won’t always agree, 
but I promise to always care, and that’s the best you can get from me.
ain’t no perfect world....

© Steven “Walks On The Grass” Maisenbacher 2022

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an elder in my 9th decade. I have lived an ordinary life, I’ve done all the ordinary and expected things, went to school, got married, raised a family, tried to be a good person. Throughout this life I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. Then in my golden years, as I sought to find meaning in my existence, some unexpected things happened and I’ve since learned it took a lifetime to prepare me for the challenge to come. My journey – indeed my calling - led me to come to know a remarkable man who happened to be an inmate in federal prison. Nothing could have been more foreign to my personal experience. GHOST DANCER Communicating daily for nearly nine years I had the opportunity to walk many paths with Ghost discussing our thoughts on many common interests with candor and respect. With enormous generosity Ghost has allowed me to share his wisdom and knowledge of his Native American heritage on Journeys of the Spirit. Over time, Ghost gradually revealed his life story in small bits, like scrambled pieces of some gigantic puzzle. Now, after spending more than 40 years in prison, Ghost Dancer is at last free and ready to tell his amazing personal story. As the saying goes, “you can’t make this stuff up” and as his friend and editor I can say this is a story so big that even after working with him for nearly nine years, I continue to be astonished as he shares new details my mind simply could never imagine. From the very first chapter, Ghost leads us on his journey and invites us to walk with him on his Nene Cate (Red Road). From the day he was born, a happy, loving gifted child, he endured heartbreaking sorrows, betrayals and exploitations. Through it all, Ghost fought a system determined to destroy him by any means, as he struggled to remain true to his calling. Through Ghost Dancer I also met and came to know Walks On The Grass, another federal prisoner whose story is also compelling even though very different. In Journeys of the Spirit, Walks has shared his decades-long journey from deep addiction to wholeness in LONG ROAD HOME and shared other bits of his story in ALONG THE WAY. Now as he approaches his August release into this crazy world of 2022 Walks shares his the thoughts and misgivings as he counts down to the big day in LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE.

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