Too Far Away – A Reflection

This poem titled Too Far Away  was authored by Akiane kramarik at age 9 in her book titled My Dream Is Bigger Than I – Memories of Tomorrow – Part Three Page 94.  “You will need your own copy of this book to view the full text of this poem.  I limit quotes for the purpose of discussion and to follow copyright guidelines that allows for limited quotes.”

This poem titled Too Far Away consists of five stanzas with four lines each.  The photograph I choose for this reflection is of our time at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota…It seems to me when those idols were built those with the power and status to get that done were and remain too far away and far removed from the little people many of whom were Native Americans who helped make those idols happen..Because this poem has five stanzas I am purposely leaving out the first two stanzas and I encourage my readers to purchase your own book from Akiane online.  As I study this poem I am amazed at the breadth and depth of prose from a girl so young.  There is a popular saying that goes “from the mouths of babes”.   That saying talks about the wisdom that children often have that is many times beyond their years.  I will quote the last three stanzas for purposes of discussion in this reflection.  “Embraced Silence unfolds a sleepy birth tasting ocean millions of times.  In wind tangled clothes I plant an acre of land.   Leading myself I am not aware that the homeland swing of matchless wheat is not mine.  A prairie dove claims me to fly and my own voice tries to search me, out I am too far away.”  This is not the complete poem so to be able to appreciate this poem in its entirety you have to purchase your own book from Akiane online.  As I reflect on what the I means in this poem.  I think of the Native American tribes the many different tribes of the Native Americans who once populated America.  To me the reader this poem is the voice of the Native American men women and children forced off their land a land that was once theirs and now is no longer their land.  Around the world every section of land every piece of land has been cordoned off or sectioned off into square feet or square footage.  There is not one piece of land on planet earth that has escaped this.  Every square inch of land is accounted for these days.  Few people today really own anything.  It is true that hardworking families work hard to own a home.  All it takes is a series of “unfortunate events” and many families today face the cruel merciless powers of forced homeless situations.  Due to corruption on the highest levels and greedy mortgage lenders homeowners around the world were robbed blind.  Building equity is not possible much any more.  Today when you study those who own homes and I admire hardworking people who can buy their own home that is no small feat so well done to all homeowners out there.  I tip my hat to all homeowners out there out of great respect for the hard work blood sweat and tears that went into building and providing homes for your families.  From my time working in the mortgage business here in the USA I helped homeowners to leverage the equity they had built over the years into a loan that they could use their equity as collateral to borrow from the bank.  These loans allowed homeowners who had gotten into debt and debt can mean many things.  Not limited to credit card debts.  Many homeowners are beset with medical bills and the costs of keeping their homes up to par.  The average home needs repairs every five years.  From appliances to plumbing to drains painting the roof the windows the whole lot.  Owning your own home is not cheap it is constant work and upkeep.  The average homeowner needs their roof replaced every ten to fifteen to twenty years.  Depending on the kind of roof.  Storm damage and weather damage also contributes to the need to replace roofs and continuous repairs.  If that homeowner has some land then keeping the lawn mowed is also part of the hard work of keeping your home and garden nice.  So by the time homeowners applied for refinance mortgage lending at the lending company I worked for they owned their homes for some time and were in need of some debt relief.  Refinancing allowed homeowners the opportunity to consolidate their mounting debts into a new loan and as a result reduce the monthly bills by up to 500 US dollars a month which was a big difference for struggling  homeowners.  I always told my homeowners to destroy their credit cards and avoid at all costs the use of credit cards and to avoid debt whenever possible.  On one occasion a homeowners’ debts were too great and I suggested bankruptcy as they did not credit qualify for a refinance loan at that time.  I stayed away from unstable loans such as ARM loans which are Adjustable Rate Mortgage loans that had variable ARM interest rates.  I was ok with three year ARM loans for medical students.  Those couples who were finishing up med school would no doubt be in a much stronger financial position within three years and would be able to deal with their ARM loan.  The dangers of ARM loans was this.  For homeowners with no increase in their income in the near future.  ARM loans are not safe solid sound or good.  For homeowners on fixed income I used to say and I still say this –  avoid Adjustable rate anything.  Sad to say may home owners borrowed beyond their means and this contributed to the mortgage crash here in the USA.  The housing bubble burst leaving many families devastated.  I witnessed this firsthand.  California was very badly affected by the mortgage crisis.  It was my experience as a Lending Officer that helped me to decide to never own a home unless I earned substantial income.  There were med students who could not complete their studies or who failed their Boards and consequently lost their homes due to risky ARM mortgages.  It is from what I witnessed in the mortgage business that I choose to  never own a home of my own.  You see I knew I could not afford the expenses of upkeep and so to this day I rent.  I have noticed many former homeowners are also choosing to downsize and rent instead of home ownership.  Unless you are comfortably wealthy these days it is no longer to possible to own a home.  Or unless you are inventive or creative like some folks who are able to build creative new homes.  Many of us today are screwed and we will never be able to own a home which is not right.  Also, when you own a home in the USA anyway homeowners then bear the burden of paying additional taxes such as school taxes.  The burdens placed on home owners are too much and it is not just fair or right.  I remember my father in his older years struggling to pay his taxes as a homeowner.  I am impressed that my parents managed to buy their own home as they raised eight of us on limited income.  My father had polio and was on disability due to his polio.  My mother worked when she could.  My parents never had much and neither did they ever ask for much.  I will never forget one Christmas our family was struggling financially and my parents for the first time in many years experienced food insecurity.  They were not sure how the hell they were going to provide a nice Christmas dinner for us.  I will never forget their struggle.  Very kind people neighbors who had good will dropped off a Christmas basket for our family which had a Turkey and all the fixings for my mother to cook.  My mother was always a great cook.  My mother could cook anything.  With eight children you have to know how to cook anything.  My parents always managed to provide food and shelter for all eight of us which was no small task.  My parents never failed all eight of us when it came to food and shelter.  Despite my fathers alcohol addiction which was very serious.  My parents were excellent providers.  It is true that many today love themselves more than their own children which explains why it is the children who always suffer.  I recently gave a principal I met at a Walmart who was there to buy clothes for a little girl who has no place to lay her head at night.  That little girl is at risk of forced homelessness.  It is terrible.  That principal purchased clothes for that little girl out of her own pocket from the kindness of her heart.  I also gave five dollars to that principal so that little girl could buy a burger.  I asked that principal would she be so kind as to say to that little girl that this five dollars is from a lady she does not know her or may never meet her and that this little girl is loved.  That principal was moved by my small gesture.   I was moved by that principal’s act of kindness too.  I am small and I do not have much.  I have never  had much.  I donated that five dollars to put food in the belly of that little girl in honor of my living mother and my deceased father who saw to it that all eight of us were always well fed and housed.  I have a deceased gran Auntie Violet who was a teacher who did the same things that principal does.  She would buy items for the children and provide for them but not tell a soul of her kind deeds.  That is what charity is all about that is what true charity looks like.  We need more direct action to help others.  Too many charities today waste money and do not do what they should with money given them by people of goodwill.  I have no question in my mind that this principal would see to it that little girl got her five dollars for a burger.  I am on a strict budget too so to give that five dollars I saw to it that I spent less that day to remedy for my donation.  I sacrificed the choice of a larger meal and opted for less and fasted instead so that little girl could get some food in her stomach.  I pray and fast every day of my life for justice for children.  It is the children who always suffer and too many today love themselves more than their own children and this breaks my heart to pieces.  I wish I could scoop up every little child and show them what unconditional love looks like and feed them and clothe them.  Sad to say I am not able to do this.  Also there are no structures in place to enable people of goodwill to help children and the charities that are supposed to help children are failing miserably in this task.  Too many children today are accessed for abuse by diabolical workers in charities who work at these charities so as to access children for abuse.  That is a nightmare.  Trust is destroyed which explains why neighbors are afraid to go to their neighbors doors to see if their neighbor needs anything.  These days you risk being taken abused or shot if you knock on a strangers door.  My parents never forgot how to love their own children.  We were always well fed and housed.  What I would like young people growing up today to know is this.  Save every receipt you ever get.  When at a restaurant demand receipts when paying cash demand receipts wait for that receipt do not pay for a thing without a receipt.   During my time in Europe I had to demand receipts as it seemed to me in Europe anyway receipts are something they do not offer unless you ask for one.  I demanded receipts every time.  I did this for this reason.  There are stories of young people being accused of not paying for their food.  For example if you pay cash for your meal and forget to demand a receipt and the staff at that business or restaurant changes shift.  Well the new employee would not know that you paid for your meal or item.  It is then that you could be criminalized for not paying for your meal.  Also, always take picture of your receipt.  I say this because I am notorious for losing my receipts.  I lose receipts all the time.  It is only in recent years that I learned to slow down and take my time and save my receipts.  I had to learn to slow down.  I used to be a very fast paced person always on the go.  I had to slow down.  Now when I shop at any store not only do I ensure I have my receipt I also check my receipt to make sure the prices are as marked or the prices are right.  I then take a photo of my receipt.  Just in case I lose that receipt.  The photo is my proof of purchase.  Saving all of your receipts is the best iron clad way of ensuring your rights as a customer are protected should you ever need to return an item.  Also if you ever sustain an injury from a product you buy at a store.  Do not blame the store rather work with the store management and ask to get help submitting a claim to the manufacturer of that faulty product.  Most stores will work with you to accomplish this.  Also, know your rights as a customer.  Know what constitutes a valid sale versus what constitutes an invalid sale.  For example if you are purchasing a computer and you need a lot of RAM on your hard drive for processing power.  If you ask the right questions you should be sold the right computer.  Now this happened to me recently.  I purchased what looked like a very nice computer.  I purchased my computer at Walmart.  I love Walmart I always say if you want to meet nice people go to Walmart.  The staff are usually always pleasant and the price is usually right and the product quality is generally good to fair.  Well it seems to me that these days the quality of some products sold by Walmart is not as good as it once was.   So I recently purchased an inexpensive laptop computer.  I was reassured that the RAM on the hard drive would meet my needs.  Now to buy this computer at Walmart I had to speak to someone in electronics who then had to bring the computer up to the checkout for me to pay for it.  Well I bought that computer on August 3rd.  Corporate policy states that you cannot return that computer past 15 days.  Well 15 days is not enough time to determine of that computer was fit for purpose.  So in the month of September the whole OS or operating system crashed on me.  It crashed caput.  So I was smart enough this time around to have saved the box and my receipt for that computer.  So I went to customer service at Walmart.  I had to get in line naturally so I waited in line.  I was told since I could not find my receipt that minute that I could have the computer replaced.  So I had to go and get the replacement computer so to accomplish that I had to bring my old computer to electronics show the man that computer and request a replacement computer.  That man told me I was sold the wrong kind of computer for my needs.  What that meant to me the customer was this.  That was not a valid sale and I was entitled to a full refund.  Regardless of the 15 day return policy.  Well the man brought up the replacement computer and I had to get back in line.  This time the line was very long and I had to wait a long time.  There was no way I was going to ask to cut the line as most people are plain tired.  Many people today are angry and tired which is why I would not dare try to cut that line.  Also many people today think only of themselves and never consider for a moment what others might be going through.  That being said there are also many wonderful people who do understand the need to try to put yourself in the shoes or position of that other person.  So after a long wait I get to the counter and I am told that since my return was outside that 15 day window that I could not get it exchanged.  At this point I was mad I was livid I was very angry.  The worst you will see me do when I am angry is yell.  I have been known to cuss when I am angry.  I was told to call 1 800 Walmart.  So I did this I called 1 800 Walmart.  1 800 Walmart is an answering service switchboard not corporate that is what the manger at that Walmart told me later.  I want you to read how I got my refund.  I had to fight tooth and nail mystically speaking for my refund but I got my refund.  So while on the phone with 1 800 Walmart I was told to request a salaried manager.  So I did this.  I requested a salaried manager.  That woman told me to hang up with 1 800 Walmart that she would take care of the exchange.  As soon as I hung up she told me to call 1 800 Walmart again to arrange a three way call.  My God I was livid I was pissed.  People are too busy for this crap and the line behind me was long.  Walmart that day anyway seemed to not give a damn about their long line of customers and that horrible woman was a nightmare to deal with.  I proceeded to dial 1 800 Walmart again and while I was pressing buttons to get a person on the phone.  That woman was talking at me.  I literally had to cover one of my ears to hear the 1 800 Walmart prompts to get through.  While I was doing this I looked that witch in the eyes and stated this I said “Walmart treats their customers like crap.”  I said this and I knew that once I said that – that witch would not help  me.  True to form which is what I see in horrible nasty women all the time.  That witch forcibly dropped the computer on the counter with a bang and glared at me with vile hatred and stated I am not helping you with this and literally walked away.  I kid you not that is what that horrible woman did to me at Walmart.  I am telling you this story because there are horrible women out there and this needs to be addressed.  One day in Walmart I witnessed a public display of an office meeting Walmart was conducting a staff meeting in plain view.  While this meeting was underway there was a line of customers waiting to be served.  Meanwhile Walmart seemed that day to be too far away and removed to bother to stop that meeting to help the line of customers.  So while Walmart was conducting a public display of staff meeting chanting that their customers come first and clapping their hands.  Here we were paying customers standing in line watching this very odd public display with no one at the customer service counter.  Walmart is too far away to care much about their customers in any real sense of the word.  The time to hold meetings is when customers are not present so as to avoid looking stupid.  That was plain stupid and Walmart looked stupid in the eyes of many customers that day.    I proceeded to call the local police to see would they lodge a complaint that this was done to me.  The police laughed at me and told me it was a civil matter.  The police told me that unless someone is dead they were not sending a car to Walmart.  I can see the position of the Police after all they do have bigger fish to fry and the Police are overwhelmed and over worked.  I do not hate the police I have always found the police to be very helpful and the police have always given me good advice.  I can see how in the eyes of the police department this call was not worthy of a car or incident report.  The police helped as the police always do strive to help people.  Here is how that police department  helped me that day.  First of all while they found my phone call worthy of a laugh at least I made someone in the police department laugh that day.  The lady who answered my call took the time to tell me it was a civil matter.  The police woman did not have to tell me this she could have simply hung up on my call.  I say this because the police do care they really do care however their scope of abilities are often limited due to laws in place that limit what police can and cannot do.  So to the police department I say this.  I am glad my call made someone laugh that day.  God knows we all need a laugh once in a while.  I thank the police department for caring enough to listen which that lady most certainly did.  She listened to me and told me it was a civil matter which was very helpful.   So to the police department this little lady thanks you for all that you do to keep law and order and for putting up with distressed little ladies like myself.  The police do not get enough credit for all that they do to help others.  Many in the police force suffer complex post traumatic stress disorder and many can experience empathy fatigue.  As many get just plain sick and tired of dealing with crime and such.  I am glad I made a decent hardworking police woman laugh that day.  I learned from that phone call that this was now a civil matter.  So I proceeded to call 1 800 Walmart again.  I was then transferred to a department that Walmart contracts to deal with ethics.  It is called their ethics department.  I got nowhere with that phone call.  So I returned home.  I had to call 1 800 Walmart 9 or 10 times.  I was not quitting I refused to quit.  At the end of this reflection I am sharing my you tube section on knowing you rights as a customer and that yes refunds are possible.  You can listen to this on you tube.  I proceeded to record two anonymous feedback phone calls to 1 800 Walmart which I am told is an answering service.  I made sure to remain anonymous and not to name any Walmart employee.  I did this to expose to the world that it is not the fault of Walmart employees that Corporate policies are so rotten.  Rotten corporate policies place Walmart employees in awkward positions that often incite angry responses in Walmart customers.  Customers who often verbally abuse and yell at Walmart employees which is not right or just either.  All I did that day was yell and state that “Walmart treats their customers like crap.”  That is not verbal abuse that is the terrible truth.  Today people often do not want to hear the truth.  I find that to be the case as well.  The truth hurts which is why many no longer want to hear the truth.  The conversations I recorded are allowed as long as I am one of the parties in that phone call which I was.  Then where I live consent is only needed for one of the parties.   This was anonymous feedback to protect the identity of Walmart employees who deserve respect and the right to privacy.  It is for this reason I never name employees when dealing with nasty large corporations.  I was told that my ticket which was now started would be forwarded to the store.  I was sure to get a reference number for follow up.  I followed up in a few days and was told that yes the ticket was sent over but closed out by that store.  At which point I asked them to escalate this to a district manager.  They escalated this for me.  Now keep in mind too that the other store manager in charge of the horrible woman who refused to help me that day was not at work when I was at Walmart.  So to be fair and in his defense he was not present or given a chance to remedy this.  It is for this reason I wanted to give that manager a chance to remedy this.  I got a call from that manager.  He is a very nice man and works hard like most people do these days.  He loves working for Walmart and hopes to remain with Walmart at least another 20 years.  I sure hope he can do that.  That man apologized for how I was treated and provided me with a full refund.  That man will deal with his employee as he sees fit.  I was given a name by that manger whom I never met in person to request when I returned with my computer which was not a valid sale for the reasons mentioned.  I asked for that name and that man was very polite as well.  I was given my refund in cash and I was given the option of either cash or card as I had paid with my card.  I choose cash this time.  I state this to show you that customers need to know their rights.  You need to know your rights and never tolerate abusive treatment maltreatment from horrible women or men.  I followed up with that nice manager to thank  him for processing my return.  What that man told me next was a real eye opener for me.  He told me that the manufacturing company will not reimburse Walmart for that computer.  So Walmart is left to eat that cost.  I said that is not fair right or just.  I have offered that manager this.  To give me their grateful customer a chance to go after that nasty manufacturer and demand a replacement computer for Walmart to re sell.  It will be interesting to see if I can do that.  I gather I will likely be told that is not possible for any number of reasons.  I say this we need to put pressure on manufacturers and demand better accountability for the quality of their products.  Fifteen days is not long enough so if that manufacturer refuses to change their druidic nasty policies then don’t deal with them.  Stop buying their crap their  junk.  Customers have power so do employees.  We do have power it is just that we have forgotten our rights.  Demand that manufacturers are  held more accountable.  I also sustained an injury from another faulty product at Walmart.  I am in the process of working with Walmart to submit a claim.  I recently purchased a prepaid card to use on an online service.  I purchased that on purpose to see would I be able to return this prepaid card if I never used it or activated it.  I was told that once it is sold you cannot return it.  To me the customer that is no different than drug dealing.  Many companies like this need to be held to account and told well since you refuse to refund paying customers who change their minds from time to time then we are no longer feeding your greed your company corporate greed which is druidic and diabolical anyway.  This has nothing to do with Walmart mind you.  This has to do with wicked greed on the part of these companies pawning their wares to unwary customers.  I would ask Walmart to consider putting more pressure on companies like that and demanding better return policies for paying customers.  I am ending this refection with a link to my you tube section on how to get refunds.  One time in the Canary Islands a horrible man literally tried to grab my cell  phone when I was demanding my refund.  I got my refund and he never touched my phone though he tried very hard to abuse me and my rights as a customer by illegally and criminally grabbing my cell phone which had he succeeded could have landed him with some very serious charges.  Know your rights and exercise your rights and stand up for yourself.  Sad to say these days it is difficult to find others to advocate for you or to stand up for you.   So do it for yourself stand up for yourself because you sir and you lady are worthy it.  Enjoy this footage on my you tube channel and demand refunds for crap.  Do not take crap from employees or bad manufacturers anymore.  See my you tube link to ways to get refunds by knowing your rights.  Ya know I must say this.  I am glad I do not know too many people on a personal level these days.  I say this because I had many false friends.  I once had many friends and I once thought I was so blessed so lucky to have so many friends.  Well those friends proved to be false friends which hurt me deeply.  I will never heal fully in this life from the damage done to me and my family by so many false friends.  Today I consider myself lucky if I can count on one hand on five fingers a few good friends.  I struggle to find a good friend these days.  There are many false friends whose exteriors do not match their interiors.  They can look nice look the part and act nice but many are often wolves in sheep’s clothing.  It is not possible to know anymore what you are dealing with.  It is for this reason I prefer to allow the world to get to know me and what I am about through You tube.  That is the only way the world will know me in this life.  I do not want to know mankind.   I do not want intimacy with mankind.  I want to help my fellow men and women and brothers and sisters as much as possible through you tube.  That is the best I can do.  I am small and I do not have much to give.  I hope that the things I share on you tube will help others on their journeys.  I never get personal with a soul anymore.  I cannot afford that luxury.  My personal life was ruined destroyed beyond repair.  It is for this reason that I prefer solace silence and to remain loyal to the God of my understanding the God of life.  And while I am quiet in my personal life I am one of the few civilians who would take a bullet for other civilians.  I would take a bullet for my fellow American civilians.  The same is true in Europe I would take a bullet to protect innocent civilians.  If you ever see footage of a madman with a weapon hell bent and hell sent on shooting up innocent victims and a crazy woman charging at him to stop even if my body is pumped with lead bullets so help me God I will take a bullet for my fellow citizens.  I am sick and tired of hearing of tragedies like the El Paso Texas tragedy which really moved me to tears.  I have had enough.  Some may say I am crazy.  I do not care it is crazy that innocent people are under attack.  It is madness that civilians are not trained to know how to fight back and are often disarmed as well.  Then madmen can go and get dangerous weapons and destroy the lives of innocent people with unfettered access to them in the public realm.  So help me God if I am ever faced with such a mad man I will take him down even if means that this scumbag fills my little body with lead.  I tear up as I write this because civilians are not equipped to deal with war.  And it is a civil war it really is what America and the world is experiencing is a worldwide  civil war.  Civilians are under attack at every turn.  If you are not prepared to fight back you are dead meat.  Playing dead does not always work either as these demons who destroy know to pump that person with lead even when playing dead.  I would never tell others what to do.  That is not my role.  My role is the allow the world to get to know me via you tube and to know this.  That yes I would take a bullet for my fellow American and my fellow Irish and Europeans or anyone really around the world wherever I happen to be at the time.  I would take a bullet for you my fellow innocent civilian no matter where you live on this planet.  I would rather allow my small body to be pumped with lead if that means I succeed in stopping scumbags the scum of the earth from harming innocent civilians.  I hope I am never faced with a situation like that but if I ever was so help me God I would take that scumbag down even if that meant I lay dead in a pool of my own blood with my own small body filled with lead.  John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”  Well I cannot give much and I am very small and I am a person with a disability.  So help me God I will take a bullet for my fellow American Citizens if ever faced with a madman hell bent on destroying the lives of innocent civilians.  Few people know that I would take a bullet for them.  It is time I make this known about me.  I am very small and not much and I do not have much to give to others.  Save my own blood sweat and tears as a fellow American Citizen and Irish Citizen who is sick and tired of corruption and abuses of decent civilian men women and children.  I will do some good in this life.  So help me God!!!