-By Caoimhín Ó Laoghaire
Social networking and having a blog can help me connect with an audience if a topic comes up. It also help foster a better relationship with people I already know. However, social networking can cause problems. For instance, I have chosen to deactivate my Facebook account for an indefinite period of time. Well, that did not work. I have groups on there that I look after and many of my friends like to read the links I send. It was because I spend far too much time on there and some of my own Facebook friends just do not behave quite the way I want them too. So, now instead of deactivation, I will just post less and keep my chat function turned off. I need some time to do some healthier things at the moment.
In the arena of the worldwide web, there is no shortage of sites to add your two cents, put your thoughts, musings and your opinions into writing. We can all be thankful for this technology, but technology can be misused as we all well know. Corresponding publicly online is not really for the thin-skinned and if your feelings are hurt easily you might not want to spend too much time in the internet jungle out there. I do not mind someone pointing out a perceived inconsistency, irony or presenting a dissenting opinion of what I write. What I do find intolerable is disparaging individual people and looking down on others. A person who waits tables in a local cafe is performing an honorable occupation and doing what they need to do in our society. The man who cleans gum off floors after rude people is no less a man than the astrophysicist who really figures out how things work. My entire family is well-educated and each and every one of us has taken jobs in the entry-level sector as the need arose. We are a proud people. For this reason, you will likely not find me jumping on the band wagon to bash Walmart, GNC Health Food Stores, Hooters and library ladies which are areas members of my family can be found serving others. I was surprised at how much arrogance is shown for people who work in the food industry as line workers. Last time I checked, 100 percent of the population eats food. Attempts to disrespect an individual in fact disrespect millions of others and their efforts.
It is intolerable for people to attempt to “out” others regarding deeply personal and private information they are not prepared to share. If someone has a sensitive topic about themselves they wish to write about, they should have the privilege of the proper timing and the medium to do it. I am completely comfortable throwing a Bio out there on myself and my immediate family members as I do below. So people really want to know who I am and where I am coming from, here it is.
My name is Kevin Glenn O’Leary. I am named after my maternal grandfather. I was born in Freeport, Illinois in 1963. I joined the United States Navy after high school and served for eight years. Now I reside in Japan. I taught English for many years in Japan. I still teach today, but I have other work also. I even work in food production facility part-time from 11PM to 4:30AM. I made a successful language school in Japan when I was in my late twenties. In 2007, my son took over as president of O’Leary Language Systems.
I have two older sisters. Diane was born in 1959 and Susan was born in 1961. My father was a teacher. He is from the Savanna area along the Mississippi River. My father taught school for many years. Although originally a music major, he chose early in his career to teach science and changed his area of interest to geology. After leaving teaching mid-career he was engaged in sales and worked at Menards Home Center in Cherry Valley for many years. My mother is from a long line of early settlers to Oregon, Illinois. Her kin still connected to both sides of Atlantic and are is descended from Richard Chamberlin of Braintree, Massachusetts and her genealogy is traced back precisely prior to the Norman invasion of the British Isles in the 11th century. Jon de Tancerville was a chamberlain and the family took the name.
We were raised in a very rural area of just south of the Wisconsin-Illinois border. Our town only had 450 people, although the school system had an enrollment of nearly 1000 people. This is because none of the surrounding villages had schools and our school served about 5 towns in the region. Most of our neighbors were either dairy or grain farmers or somehow engaged in the agriculture business. My father taught in the same school system and taught all of his own children. My mother helped with church administration and worked for an insurance company in the nearby city.
I have three fabulous children which impress me every day. This is what I live for. I am in no way married to any specific vocation or corporation. The eldest is my son, Kevin (born 1983) who is married to a beautiful Japanese lady named Manami who really looks after him well. Next, is my daughter, Kristen Ai (born 2002). She has just turned 11 years old and is as tall as I am. Finally, Maria (born 2009) is a bright active child enjoying lots of friends in pre-school. My wife, Yuko is a nurse-midwife at a local hospital. Although the family homestead is Fukuoka, she was raised in Nagasaki.
The above, biography is a formative part of what makes me who I am today, for better or worse. My core values were instilled in me at a very early age and I have those excellent role-models to thank for that. Over the years, I have learned what truly is of value and what is just a materialistic consumable commodity. I made an insane amount of money in my 30s but where is it now? I still feel parts of my life represent wealth that is meaningful. My family, my true friends, my spiritual journey and a rich heritage I can be proud of.
With the medium of social networking, I can found often commenting on issues of the day like politics as I see them. I had been a conservative GOP supporter for most of my life. Now my politics are undecided or Independent blurring the lines of the Democratic and Libertarian parties in many areas. Who can argue with an Independent for just being and Independent, right?
In addition to politics, I write a great deal on life in Japan as I see it. I came to Japan in 1989 and have been here since minus a one and half year hiatus to the United States. A reader can certainly disagree with my approach to something, but cannot deny that I really observed something. As a teacher, I have come up with a lot of ideas over the years and found it was important to archive the most useful information in the best way possible. Many of these were done on You Tube. That wasn’t any easy thing to do because I have always been very shy and somewhat sensitive about my appearance. But, when I heard from other English teachers that it was very helpful to them, I was pleased and motivated to continue. If it is useful, great. If not, thanks for checking anyway.
These are things I am comfortable about writing about and will continue to do so. Dissenting opinions are welcome on my blog even questioning the wisdom of judgement of the author. I have a very liberal policy. I do not accept overly vulgar language and will certainly not tolerate anyone disrespecting a member of my family or another person who posts a comment. I am on a quest to become wiser myself and want to hear from you all. If you agree with my basic idea, great. Please visit my blog site often. If not, there are plenty of other sites on the internet that are dedicated to hate, every sexual perversion you can think of and just downright weird stuff. Here it is just my ramblings whenever a light bulb appears above my head and I feel compelled to share.
Whether you believe in Christianity or not, please heed Luke 6:31
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”