Indifference 1“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”    Haile Selassie

“Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.”    Elie Wiesel

“Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference.”    Charlie Chaplin

Has anyone noticed how much time we spend pleasing others? It is almost like a job. If there is a difficult person at work,  everyone treads lightly around them. I remember one person who had to verify certain work, before one could turn it in. Many times I would approach them and zone in on their  mood, which could greatly affect their attitude, and analysis towards your work. If they were pleasant, I turned over the papers, but if not,  I waited for another day.

What gives some people the right to walk all over others, and behave in such a childish way. Given a little authority, they become a force to be reckoned with. Of course there are the family members who are either constantly negative, in which case we overlook them, or they attempt to change their attitudes, which never works. Our friends are the same. There are times when certain friends call, and we will refuse to answer.  We cannot face their mood at that point. We simply wait for another day.

We all do it. When certain people are around us, we might refrain from certain jokes, or manner of speech. We may be quick to criticize some, but tread softly when offering advice to others. At times it feels as if there are those who get free passes to misbehave all they want, while the rest of us are forced to dance to their tune.

Of course the alternative is a battle, which we don’t want. It entrusts us with either accepting the situation, or complaining, which renders us in their category. We lose the battle, because they have had more practice with their frequent  disputes with others. I just  believe we spend a lot of time contemplating, how we will act,  what we will say, and how we will dress when we are considering an interaction with these people.

There are some people who are totally put off if you look nice.  It is as if you deliberately tried to make them appear inferior. You might get the snide remarks of, “Well Amy you look like your going to a party!” It really isn’t a compliment and it draws negative attention to you and gives you a sense of insecurity. You might spend the rest of the time avoiding everyone. All you want to do is get through the occasion.

One aunt likes to be outspoken, so we all endure the insults and casually laugh, regardless of how we are actually feeling. Other relatives like to engage in conversations that we are not involved in. We stand at the outskirts, with no recourse. Many times we might feel ostracized or ignored. Everyone around us appears to be engaged and happy. Our next attempt is what I call pretend participation. We join a group of people who are involved in conversation and we are satisfied to just be a listener. We stand there and pretend we are part of this group. On the outside it  appears we are enmeshed. On the niside, we feel helpless and embarrassed.

So much of our lives is enveloped in secrecy, and acting. There are times when I feel like shouting, “Will the real me please step forward.” So much is kept hidden. Our emotional state and impressions are not shared. What we do share is small truthful parts. The whole scoop is covered in mystery. I have discovered that many quiet people, are more intelligent than we give them credit. They pretend not to get certain jokes, because they  don’t care for the humor. Others laugh at their stupidity or innocence. How people judge us, might be totally wrong, due to the fact that they don’t, deep  down, know us. We keep so much hidden. I believe the most sensitive  people, hide behind the veil of the unknown.

After a while we get uneasy about who we actually are. We might disagree about what others are talking about, but to save peace, or to just get along with others, we remain silent. We become indifferent to the world. If everyone could entrust their deepest ideas, we might be surprised to discover they never really agreed with us on anything. We might also be surprised to discover how little we agree with their notions.

I’m not sure how the cover-up began. Why we all find it necessary to hide truths and sympathies is a mystery. Perhaps in order to have less confrontations, we simply agree to disagree. The problem is we don’t disagree, we just go along. It just appears we are agreeing. It might save quarreling with others, but continually remaining silent renders us empty, and unsure of who we are.

There is a need for balance. No one wants to incite a dispute. But the worry that comes with constantly betraying ourselves, can leave us in chaos. Sometimes damaging rules are enforced, due to the majorities lack of interest or self-confidence in themselves, to disagree. The silent majority can be ruled, by the few outspoken individuals.

I reiterate the importance of common sense. Having more faith in our innate impressions and beliefs is paramount. It is like waking up from the fog, and realizing the happenings surrounding us. Gently promoting honesty and integrity, is a worthwhile agenda. We don’t have to do battle, but we also don’t have to remain silent.

We are at a precipice. We don’t see the fall. I believe it is time to wake up, stand for something and promote goodwill. I mean it in the sense of recognizing that perhaps we have agreed too often, with the whims of society. We have allowed others to dictate the rules, for our homes and families. Even when our impressions tell us otherwise, we go along anyways. We must find the courage withing ourselves to change what can be changed for the better.

Our emotional  state of confusion, perhaps has more to do with our sense of being out of control of our lives. To a point we don’t have control. We do have free will to make needed changes and choices that benefit our mental and spiritual beings. Speeding through life in a dream state is not an answer. It is time to acquire the courage to stand for truth, empathy, kindness, tolerance understanding and especially love. We can’t keep shoving these under blankets out of fear and worry.

Our eyes should be opened to the goodness around us. Our ears must begin hearing the emotions and sentiments within us. Our voices should profess love and enlightenment, giving support to those around us. We don’t have to agree but we need to understand.

Each day we step out into the world, it should be with courage and fortitude, to think well of others, feel love towards all, display kindness, speak with honesty, listen closely and search for truth.  Perhaps it will support us in observing the positive and good in all people. Then there will be no worry, in how we look, or in what we say. We will be living in peace, and we will undoubtedly be more aware of who we are.

“Not the torturer will scare me, nor the body’s final fall, nor the barrels of death’s rifles, nor the shadows on the wall, nor the night when to the ground the last dim star of pain, is hurled but the blind indifference of a merciless, unfeeling world.” Roger Waters

“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.”    Bess Myerson

“Old age is far more than white hair, wrinkles, the feeling that it is too late and the game finished, that the stage belongs to the rising generations. The true evil is not the weakening of the body, but the indifference of the soul.”    Andre Maurois

“Our everyday cares, making a living, the crazy rat race of life, often make us forget the value of a good deed. Thus, the goodness that exists within each and every one of us is covered with layer upon layer of indifference and unawareness. In fact, we almost have to be reminded of the fact that goodness is there inside us.”    Shari Arison

“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.” Dali Lama

Bullying Ends When Adults Stop Bullying

Bullying Ends When Adults Stop Bullying“Bullying consists of the least competent most aggressive employee projecting their incompetence on to the least aggressive most competent employee and winning.”    Tim Field

“Who’s stronger? – The person who goes through bad experiences and can still see the good in life despite of it or the person who can’t control their impulses and imposes them on others?”    Anonymous

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”    Winston Churchill

“A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no. That’s where toughness comes into play. Toughness is not being a bully. It’s having backbone.” Robert Kiyosaki

I am  not surprised, when adults and the media go on and on about futile attempts at stopping the increase of bullying. Everyone is jumping on the wagon, trying to come up with ways of ending it. Clever people are involved, and meetings with intelligent people are held. The simple truth is, that it is easy to stop the bullying. All we need to do is stop it within ourselves, the adult population.

It must be human nature to always want to blame outside influences, and to fix other people or things. The reality is the  amount of forcefulness we use within our own environments, influences our entire lives, as well as the lives of our kids. This might hit home, but if we are honestly working for answers, we should dare to inspect all angles. Bullying can even involve tickling which was actually a form of torture. Kids may be laughing due to an uncontrolled response like a knee jerking from a tap. They lose their breath and try to stop laughing, but some parents continue tickling. If we as adults can’t stop ourselves from tickling the child, then we desire the  power and control.

When angry or upset we roughly grab a baby or  child. Our tone is harsher when we have reached our limit in patience. Our voice is louder. The harsh loud voice is intimidating to  a young child. The intensity of a grab of the arm tells the child who is mightier. Our screams, or yelling in their faces, or even close in proximity, tells a child be quiet, or else. The parent likely does not have to resort to anything further, because believe it or not, their control has already been enforced.

What has the child learned? They have learned FEAR. I accept the fact that we all get angry and perhaps lose our patience. Crossing the line is where it is wrong. If we do cross that line it is important to apologize quickly, explain how we erred and ask for forgiveness and talk it out. The less aggressive tactics we use the better. Many kids silently sit on buses, or other public places. Perhaps some are quiet out of fear of retaliation, from their parents or peers who are bullies.

Respect out of fear is equivalent to no respect. Respect cannot be forced. If respect is forced,  at some point in time, when the child is big enough, you will be challenged. Disciplining with care, attention, and love is harder, but the learning remains strong. The child begins to judge for themselves, the amount of time required to  wait, or the days or minutes necessary. They learn self-control.

Some parents ridicule kids who don’t always have the stamina. Whining, overtired, or  timid children, are afraid to challenge at times, out of fear of the parents. Some parents hate to observe a nervous child which sometimes they have created. Unless we look at honesty, we will fix an area that does not contain the wound. Having recently visited a busy park, I observed one mother, smacking her crying child. The smacks may not have left marks but I guarantee they left marks and scars on his spirit.

We shouldn’t have to sugar coat truth. We are big enough to face it and remedy it. If we are honest, the answers come swiftly, and solutions to our problems are found. Rough handling or forceful talking to children is demeaning. It defeats them and causes anxiety issues, as well as insecurity dilemmas. In order to gain back some semblance of power, kids bully other kids.

The strange thing is we don’t see how many times in the course of a day, we bully other adults. Even in conferences people speak over others, interrupt them, or speak out of turn. The people overseeing the conference tend to overlook the more dominant contenders. They have no problem telling the weaker individuals to remain silent and wait. Adults cut people off in traffic, steal parking spaces, race to the front of a line, pretending they didn’t know where the beginning of the line was. People grab for the last item, push their way through a crowd, use carriages or other devices to bully others out of their way.

People yell demand, or speak gruffly, so as to be taken first. Everyone around them backs off due to their forceful nature. We never stop to look at this as bullying. Intimidating those working in stores, or offices, or even when talking on a phone, is harassing or bullying others. When we scream at store clerks, or  yell at teachers because we don’t like hearing what they have to say, we are pushing others around. People yell at doctors, lawyers or anyone else providing a service.   The power struggle starts, if a disagreement ensues. No one negotiates or questions to understand, any point of view, other than their own. It amounts to blaming the speaker when we don’t like the answers.

Parents all  want the supposed “best”  teacher but someone must take the left overs. Parents want special schools but some kids are left behind. Let’s face it, the squeaky wheel has always gotten the attention, and so it is true with the bullying parent. We just hate to call it bullying, when we want to win our way. Those parents who are more aware of choice openings, or who speak up in advance of an announcement, are rewarded with the prize. Those who politely follow the guidelines are left at the start.

We all want instant service and we expect it from our kids. Children are not machines. Have you  visited a sports game where kids are playing? Parents yell at coaches, yell at the other team parents, and scream at the refs. Nobody holds back anymore. So why do we think our kids will refrain from hurting other kids who are in their way? If we show no patience, why would we expect to see our kids act in a different manner? Our problem is not to find answers about why kids bully. Our dilemma is to find solutions for adult bullying. If we stop it in ourselves, we won’t see it in our kids. Children are impressionable, that is the simplest truth you will get.

Fast passes at Disney are awesome but it pushes others aside and forces them to wait. It tells us money is power. We can’t wonder why money, and bullying are things we actually strive towards. People push kids to be more aggressive. We almost admire the bully who is the one who gets ahead. Our system is based on overcoming others. Parents of teenage boys must be the most sensitive to their behaviors. Boys are attempting to be their own person, and that is frightening to them. They must be the strong leader. They want to be free, yet they still want the protection of the family. If fathers belittle them in roughhousing, and when pinning them in holds, it crushes their pride. They get enough intimidation in the world, without having to  experience it from their fathers.

Some of the most educated people are bullies. They feel above others with their degrees and ideas. One is not allowed to enter their realm, or offer advice, to those who know everything already. The air about them keeps others in their place and almost afraid to speak up. We are so totally surrounded by bullies that we can’t even recognize it anymore. It has become part of the culture. The elite have their various realms. The poor have their various gangs. We are so book learned yet lacking in common sense and empathy. Common sense should tell us that what we sow, we reap, what we teach is what we will see transpiring, and what we model, will be observed in our children. Unless we make a drastic effort to change our own aggressive actions, and teach our children the time and place to be aggressive, we will be aiding in the creation of a bully.  we have to notice and admit it in ourselves before we will solve anything.

“I know you don’t want to stand up to the bullies, the peace-breakers, or even the demons among you. You want someone else to handle it, someone else to tell them to stop, someone else to bring the peace. And very often in your life, there will be someone else, and you’ll be able to stay in your place of peace. But other times, the peace you crave can only be found by fighting the battle, and the light you crave can only be seen by fighting the darkness.”    Sean Patrick Brennan

“The bullies are always popular. Why? People love power.”    Matthew Quick

“Children should be able to live a life free from bullying and harassment and it is time that we all took a stand against this.”    Katherine Jenkins

“Bullying is killing our kids. Being different is killing our kids and the kids who are bullying are dying inside. We have to save our kids whether they are bullied or they are bullying. They are all in pain.”    Cat Cora

“Bullying is a national epidemic.”    Macklemore

Advice Gone Wild

Advice Gone Wild“Do you have agendas for your children that are more important than the children themselves? Lost in the shuffle of uniforms, practices, games, recitals, and performances can be the creative and joyful soul of your child. Watch and listen carefully. Do they have time to daydream? From their dreams will emerge the practices and activities that will make self-discipline as natural as breathing.”        William Martin

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” Henri Nouwen

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”    Viggo Mortensen

“I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about.”    Henry Ford

There is so much going on around us constantly that we rarely have time to review what we are thinking saying or doing. There isn’t time anymore to worry about what we have concluded at any given moment. As a result we shoot off in various directions, buying items we likely don’t want or need and doing things not necessary.

I think we have become trapped in a bizarre notion of keeping up. Today we don’t fear so much our ability to have as much money as we doubt our ability to live up to perceptions of who we are and our abilities to accomplish great things. This understandably spills over into every asset of our lives. The result is a genuine misguided attitude of lack.

So many people who are actually well educated, have good jobs, nice families still have a gloom and doom sense of not making it in the world. They are forever striving to check out the next invention or newest idea on the market. One would think they  were giving out prizes for being the first to buy and use the latest project or food product.

I suppose that is why  there is so much discussion about healthy food, lifestyle exercise programs and benefits to  meditating. Of course I would agree that all of this is worthy and should be looked into. I just have a problem with the way it is being promoted and the negativity  surrounding those who are slower to jump on the wagon.

Everyone wants healthy food for themselves and their family. We all enjoy exercising and keeping the weight down. The trouble is we don’t all have the same kind of stamina after work or before work to put in the effort. Yes we can be called lazy or worse but likely the truth is we have different stresses  placed on our shoulders and therefore various amounts of anxiety that eats away at our will power.

I am not searching for excuses but I won’t blatantly admonish those who render themselves to the couch upon arriving home. Needless to say that might be the comfort they require at that moment. Somehow without a doubt we all understand the positives of healthy foods and exercise.  It is just that sometimes a change in one’s schedule takes time and yes  some effort which perhaps we can’t muster just yet. So many people insult others with their tone of voice. They make statements like, “if you read the statistics you would jump on board right away”. They are likely correct but the effort is lacking at the moment.

The weight of bowing  to these folks is as strong as the compulsion to buy candy when you are hungry. You want to do it but don’t have the stamina. I suppose the crux is the strain and pressure that gets in the way. Even when things are good for us we still need time to adjust our schedule and our time. The more something appears to be a must do, the more we shut down to it. There is already too much on our plates.

I also see a  similar happening with observing others houses, kids, games, free time, recreational activities and more. Someone may be content with their habits and lifestyle until they observe another. Suddenly they sense they are doing everything wrong, right down to the way they are diapering the baby. They believe they might be changing the baby too often or not frequently enough. They judge their kids games as above their heads or too  easy. The puzzles appear to need more pieces because their kids have outgrown them. They must hurry to buy new ones before the damage is done.

Some people sense their homes are too dirty, too clean, too cluttered too busy or too dull and unattractive for learning. Even moms and dads who devote many hours towards interactions with their kids believe they might not be doing it in the correct way. Perhaps they don’t speak to their kids enough, play games with them enough, bring them outside, or spend time building to enhance their kids math skills. If this sounds familiar then maybe it is time to slow down not rev up your wheels.

As one says one or two things never make or brake a situation. Missing one or two things is not going to make the difference in your child becoming a superstar or failing. I would be the first to say new inventions and ideas are well worth looking into but leisurely and with caution. Just because it is new does not mean it is the end all be all. If anyone recalls hearing the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” they will understand that not everything new is necessarily a good or even better thing. Jumping on all that is entering the market is not the way to go. Listening to what others tell you to follow must be taken with a grain of salt.

Our own lives are sometimes speeding along filled with as much fullness as anyone could muster. Has anyone thought of the fact that the more we attempt to fix things that perhaps are not even broken, the more frustrated we become and the more doubt and worry we place on ourselves. of course our clear thinking is then suffering because all we notice is what we are doing wrong.  We lose faith in some of our own improvised tactics.

Money can be a strain when one wants to buy the items deemed useful. Probably kids get as much adventure and pleasure and learning out of using sheets and towels to make a fort. If we allowed some creativeness to enter without controlling the toys perhaps we would find our child’s own personality venture forward.

I am not concerned with anyone who chooses to follow anything new nor am I against buying the best toys on the market if that is what you can afford. I am opposed to those people who condemn themselves when they can’t afford to do the changes physically, mentally or monetarily and then they fret over it. We are making bigger deals out of situations than we need to.

I remember during my teaching years, telling parents to remember that any inner talents their kids possess will come out in due time.  You cannot squelch inner qualities. Yes you can aid them but still you can’t stop them. At a future date in time they emerge. Parents would be best to lighten their own minds.

The internet allows for us to have too many opinions and way too many ideas. Let’s face the facts. It is too much to incorporate. Who is the judge stating that some new idea was better than a previous idea. We get confused because we have too much input and we are on overload. We visit someone and believe they are doing it better right down to the way they have arranged the playroom for better access to the toys. I for one have seen many kids scramble over all kinds of objects to get to toys.  That shows their initiative. Maybe we should stop  reading everyone else’s suggestions and trust our own. Allow our own kids to lead.

There isn’t a wrong or right way. There never was. It is based on popularity, newness and time saving. You can still keep things earthbound and find you have successful children. The first inventions were made by those kids who had nothing more than their imaginations to work with. Have faith in yourself and what you are doing. Have confidence in you and your kids and most definitely love your kids. That is what I would emphasize. Love is like magic. It works every time without fail. That is the key to success at anything.

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
― Francis Bacon

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”    William Martin

“In the end only kindness matters.”    Jewel


Superficiality“I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.”    Douglas Pagels

“People in this world of superficial communication find themselves isolated and lonely and have difficulty in talking about personal things that really matter to them.”    Theodore Zeldin

Perhaps, there are many of us losing our way, and confused about our purpose and meaning in life. This is almost becoming a trend. Of course we all might feel like that from time to time, but when it becomes a habit, perhaps we should discover some truths behind the scenes of  our lives.

I believe it is extremely difficult to maintain positive attitudes. Problems and stresses mount while answers are not forthcoming. We want to be good do good and behave in acceptable ways, but then we fall down into tantrums like a child. Life gets too complicated to figure out, and we want to run away from our responsibilities. You can’t blame someone from desiring to set themselves free. Unlocking the chains of duty and commitment, brings a sense of freedom.

Of  course the sense of release is short-lived because our duties and indebtedness to others, remains strong. If we could just take a quick vacation from our accountability, maybe we would be happy to return to them again and keep up our original promises. That is never an option for the most part, but mentally we might sit ourselves down, and ruminate options for improving our situations.

There are times in everyone’s life, when we feel overwhelmed. There appears to be no relief in sight, and discouragement, anger and frustration creeps in. Young couples with babies or young children, cope with the drudgery of work for low pay. They work for their needy kids, who appear to relentlessly want and need attention. Bills never appear to be caught up, and a prevailing tiredness won’t diminish. Relief is non-existent, and burdens keep pressing us down. The longer the situation continues the deeper into despair we get enmeshed.

This  probably sounds like a no-win situation. The truth is,  many times it is how we are seeing, facing and dealing with our lives. If we look for quietness, when we have young kids, we will likely not find it. If we search for happy  smiles, laughter and craziness, we came to the correct household. If we want to have money at a young age, perhaps we  should forgo having kids right away and devote endless hours to our jobs. Then we will come home to an empty quiet adobe. To have a life without duties is practically non-existent. Certainly if we refrain from buying  things like boats houses cars and skip vacations, we will have more money in the bank. By forgoing marriage and family at a young age, we may have less bills and responsibilities.

I suppose we forget that when we purchase an item, it comes with attachments. When we create bonds with others, it comes with promises. Everything about our lives encourages, mental, physical and emotional agreements. As much as we believe we can leave them all behind if we choose, we sadly find that down the road they come back to bite us in one way or another. All things come with a price. The hardest of all situations to walk away from, are the emotional attachments we have with others.

Some of us may require a short mental recess from the burdens. If we are given the  support when necessary, it helps us to face the negative aspects of our duties and overcome them by focusing on the positive benefits. We find we have so much more to be grateful for. This is not acknowledged when we are feeling unsupported and downtrodden. We can’t see between the murky water, how much we have to appreciate.

Everyone has those times when the road seems too rocky to travel down. We stop, throw up our hands and collapse to the ground. At that point we don’t care what others think of us. We don’t care what we think of ourselves. It is almost like a survival instinct. I sense that once the panicky mood has passed, we should attempt to gather as much of the resources available to us.  look with new eyes upon our situation. By engaging the support of others, we might overcome our battle with our various  stresses. When we win the fight, we gain back our strength, and can renew our faith in our obligations.

So many people believe, that they are the only  ones fighting anything difficult. If the truth were known,  there are many people dealing with situations out of their control. Perhaps only a little help,  comfort and understanding brings enlightenment to an unhealthy dilemma. Most of us can’t loosen up, unwind, and discuss our problems with the openness needed. We keep feelings locked up until they explode. We are left immobilized regarding what we can, or should do. It is always better to speak before the explosion but nevertheless, we can still ask for help at anytime.  Once others are aware of someone’s lack, they can offer their support. Perhaps by becoming the leaning post, will be enough to give the courage back to those in need.

When all we see from the media is material gains, we can miss the intangible gains and the huge benefits they provide. In this scenario, our material acquirement might be low, however our mental, emotional and spiritual gains might be high. Faith in our ability to draw good into our lives is vital.

  Remember that we all face setbacks of one kind or another. Perhaps our patience  needs to kick in. In due time we might see the whole canvas rather than focusing on the tiny bit of the picture. Decide today to examine the positive and dissolve the negative.

There are as many assessments of our lives as there are people who choose to critique our lives. Even when we require a vacation from our daily actions, it doesn’t mean we are giving up or retiring. It also doesn’t mean that things are not working. It simply means space is necessary at the present moment. Reflection is needed, and appreciation must be found.  We are not perhaps lost, just confused.

Kids and people make our lives significant. We can’t lose sight for a moment of that key factor. Our life is purposeful. We need playtime and recreation. In the scheme of life we can’t ask what makes us happy, but what makes our life have purpose and meaning. That is what will finally bring us the contentment we are searching for. Anything less is superficial.

“Our lives are mere flashes of light in an infinitely empty universe. In  12 years of education the most important lesson I have learned is that what we see as “normal” living is truly a travesty of our potential. In a society so governed by superficiality, appearances, and petty economics, dreams are more real than anything in the actual world. Refuse normalcy. Beauty is everywhere, love is endless, and joy bleeds from our everyday existence. Embrace it. I love all of you, all my friends, family, and community. I am ceaselessly grateful from the bottom of my heart for everyone. The only thing I can ask of you is to stay free of materialism. Remember that every day contains a universe of potential; exhaust it. Live and love so immensely that when death comes there is nothing left for him to take. Wealth is love, music, sports, learning, family and freedom. Above all, stay gold.”
Dominic Owen Mallary

“Constantly exposing yourself to popular culture and the mass media will ultimately shape your reality tunnel in ways that are not necessarily conducive to achieving your Soul Purpose and Life Calling. Modern society has generally ‘lost the plot’. Slavishly following its false gods and idols makes no sense in a spiritually aware life.”
Anthon St. Maarten

Unavoidable Changes

We all hate changes in our lives yet we cause so many unnecessary ones. It makes no sense how we frequently sabotage our lives. Perhaps we don’t think things through clearly enough before we jump on the new and mess things up. Changes are always difficult even when they are happy ones. They involve a new way of doing things or experiencing something. They  may involve swapping  our living quarters

Unavoidable Changes“There were people who went to sleep last night, poor and rich and white and black,  but they will never wake again. And those dead folks would give anything at all  for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of plowing. So you watch yourself about complaining. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t Unavoidable Changes 2like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” Maya Angelou

“We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.”    LeeAnn Taylor

“Essentially, humans are alive for the purpose of journey, a kind of three-act structure. They are born and spend several years discovering themselves and the world, then plod through a long middle in which they are compelled to search for a mate and reproduce and also create stability out of natural instability and then they find themselves at an ending tha seems to be designed for reflection. At the end, their bodies are slower, they are not as easily distracted, they do less work, and they think and feel about a life lived rather than look forward to a life getting started. He didn’t know what the point of the journey was, but he did believe we were designed to search for and find something. And he wondered out loud if the point wasn’t the search but the transformation the search creates. …[I wondered] that we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the character arc, the change.”    Donald Miller

We all hate changes in our lives yet we cause so many unnecessary ones. It makes no sense how we frequently sabotage our lives. Perhaps we don’t think things through clearly enough before we jump on the new and mess things up. Changes are always difficult even when they are happy ones. They involve a new way of doing things or experiencing something. They  may involve swapping  our living quarters.

Doubts are usually a part of the alterations. After starting the modifications into motion, we begin to review and question our actions. Of course at this point the ball has been started and we can’t stop it so easily. If we quit our job, probably we can ‘t easily get it back with a change of heart. Making decisions without thinking over the results, may leave us with regrets. Most people might live their entire lives in this fashion.

I recall a movie in which the young woman lived her life and the film abruptly worked through her life but before it completed the audience is brought to an earlier version where we see that she is about to be killed by a sniper. We observe her softly falling to the ground as her eyes witness her life as she envisioned it would be. Thus the view of her life is how she saw it. It was like watching playing cards snap through in seconds.

The notion struck me that as long or as short as our life is, it is still fleetingly short. Our lives are probably more similar to this woman’s lived view of her life than dissimilar. Perhaps we all have manifestations of how our lives will evolve. As living sends us some curves in the road we alter our plans and make choices without reflecting causing us more heartache, confusion and pain.

I believe most of us don’t go back on our decisions because we are too proud to admit we faltered. We live with our mistakes rather than working on achieving better results. It is at these crucial moments that we adjust  our life according to the choices we made. We all live with our decisions and most likely we all question what might have been or could have been if we chose various paths.

Many modifications are thrust at us without warning. In those situations we can face our problems, or run away from them.  In either case our decisions have results. Figuring out the possible outcomes might save us some hardships. Every word and action sets things in motion whose end results impact our world. Adjustments to our personal world are inevitable.

It surprises me when people wonder at the  transmutations taking place in their own lives when they have cause most of them. Choosing to fight or fault our friends can leave us with the task of finding new friends. Cheating or doing things behind our spouses back may lead to a disintegration of the marriage or relationship. Being  angry and rough with kids and disciplining with force leads to anger and bullying within our kids. Falsifying documents, either at work or state or government issues may result in a job loss or a loss of esteem from others.

The saying of “What we sow we will reap” has a lot of truth. No wonder there were so many awesome little sayings. They were likely helpful to people in their everyday life. I suppose we all like the quick pleasure and or satisfaction. We yearn for the chocolate bar but not the extra weight it will provide. We  want the attention of a new man or woman but not the breakup of our marriage or partnership. We want our kids to be superstar athletes but we don’t want to spend the time working with them. We want our kids to be good students but the time and energy it takes to monitor them is unappealing.

Suffice it to say we all do similar things. Desires overpower actual needs. If we don’t stop to think about this then we will continue to frequently be ruled by our desires. They in turn will rule our fluctuations within our lives. Modifications are always based on our feelings and stresses. If a job becomes too difficult, we change it or find ways to accommodate it. When a relationship is painful and corrosive, we modify it or revolutionize our life.

How do we keep some  semblance of stability within our lives is the question. As kids grow there are changes and new ways for dealing with them. Perhaps seeing deviations in their lives challenges us to acknowledge the ways in which we bring about our own conversions. By fighting with our kids and  forcing them to leave, we have altered our household as well as our relationship with our son or daughter. Our pride may stand in the way of our senses. It stays in the way when we can’t go back and attempt to make amends.

Kids are spontaneous. Adults can be that way also. There isn’t anything wrong with spontaneity unless we refuse to meditate on what we say and do to others. If we took a high road and made progress then we might choose to repeat such actions. Having made enemies or walls between those we love may require repair. These thoughts arise out of reflection. If one never reflects, we never learn from good or bad thoughts or actions.

Just as we mess up our own lives so do many others. In the end if we are not willing to forgive others their faults then they won’t think about forgiving us our transgressions. With more thought, there might be less amendments and or substitutions within our lives. Some change is welcome but forcing the change may not be.

Keeping our mind clear and free of clutter and unnecessary paraphernalia offers clarity to a situation. It almost insures we will pick with thought and conviction rather than a tempting desire. After all it is easier to allow our spouse to deal with the kids especially after a divorce.  How will the kids turn out? It is easier to give little attention to the kids because we have work to do and our own downtime to enjoy. How will the kids learn how to live their lives and how will they turn out? So many choices lead to such different results. We have more power than we ever realized.

Change is inevitable throughout our lives. Some substitutions we never see coming. Some transformations for the worse are our own fault and some are for our own good. We hold the  key in most of these revolutionary happenings. It is maintaining the ability to choose wisely using all of the pieces of the puzzle prior to making the selection that is relevant. Knowing we will be forced to live with the results may amend our original way of choosing.

We might arrive like a jellyfish ready to tangle with anyone near us. Yet such a creature has no protection for its sensitive body. It can strike and do damage to others and in the end to itself but it is without armor as is man. Our feelings are out in the open. We all hurt so easily which is perhaps why we strike out for what we want. We sense our vulnerability. Our difference is in our thoughts. Keep your thinking towards the light of inspiration. What is pure and honest, that will lead you forward in positive ways. Don’t be fooled by the brilliance of the flashes of distractions that leave you floundering in darkness and despair. If you find yourself in such a situation just move towards the light it is never too late. Maybe your fluctuations will be more like the gentle flow of the waves rushing over you rather than the forceful thrashing of the waves upon rocks.

“What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.”    Yukio mishima

“If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation. If I got any comfort as I set out on my first story, it was that in nearly every story, the protagonist is transformed. He’s a jerk at the beginning and nice at the end, or a coward at the beginning and brave at the end. If the character doesn’t change, the story hasn’t happened yet. And if story is derived from real life, if story is just condensed version of life then life itself may be designed to change us so that we evolve from one kind of person to another. ”    Donald Miller


Tolerance“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” Oliver Goldsmith
“We seldom confide in those who are better than ourselves.” Albert Camus
“Each time something difficult and challenging has happened to me it has marked the beginning of a new era in my life.” Kimberly Kirberger

“I AM IGNORANT of absolute truth. But I am humble before my ignorance and therein lies my honor and my reward.”    Khalil Gibran

Tolerance can be a bitter pill to swallow. It can be demanding of us at the most inopportune times. It calls to us when we are tired, weary, dejected and sad. Many times it is difficult to adhere to its’ calling. Sometimes it is hard to find in our world, home or heart. It brings our attention to things we might prefer to ignore. On the other side it rushes in a breath of spring air when we live up to its’ expectations.

Interference causes conflict between people. Most of us do not like unsolicited advice. Most of us only request suggestions from those who are quick to agree with us. When we say we are searching for another view, we are perhaps really scanning for confirmation of our own opinions. The person giving assistance is most likely considered the superior figure. There are likely few people we trust, to be in such a position of power. Conceivably, following somebody’s recommendations, is the equivalent of granting them control over us and our decisions.

We must learn how to gracefully impart our knowledge and leadership, and then bow out of the situation. That way, the person needing the guidance saves face. We sometimes sense a feeling of foolishness, when we don’t have all of the answers. On the contrary, accepting guidance never made anyone a fool, yet we should always trust our own judgment in the final analysis.

Perceptibly, if we are secure, then listening to someone’s counsel should not make us feel incompetent. We can feel threatened to some degree, if we consistently require instructions from others. There are times we choose not to ask for help, so if it is offered we quickly refuse. Even if the advice is excellent, it may be unwanted.

We all yearn to acquire answers for ourselves. It builds our security and self-esteem. Lots of times we realize that what worked for us, may not work or be correct for another. As the saying goes, “Different strokes for different folks.” Allowing people to make their own decisions is relevant to learning. They may make errors, but they will learn. Many people think that by pointing out the faults of others, they are doing them a favor.

A good rule to maintain is to remain silent, when people are making decisions. When asked for an opinion, kindly offer advice without going into a pressuring situation. There is a fine line between guiding an adult child, and acting out the parent-child relationship. We must remember that we are dealing with adults. Just because we were consulted on one subject, does not give us the authority to voice an opinion on every matter pertaining to our son or daughter. We do not have the permission, to keep offering opinions.

Tolerance might mean accepting those who are reasonably dissimilar from us. There are those who might have grown up in a different ethnic culture, economic group or uncommon home environment. Perhaps those who tend to exhibit little patience or small amounts of tolerance, were never given any slack themselves. They lived by a completely different set of rules. Whatever the case may be, we need to assess the common bonds that we have and focus on those. In many ways, we might find we are more alike than different.

One woman experienced so many rules, she was afraid to take any action without checking first with her parent or spouse to get permission. Another man recalled how his mother had few rules for her children. She was a free spirit and allowed her children to literally eat at any time of the day or night. They put themselves to bed whenever they were tired. There were no rules. Other than the fact she could never get a babysitter to sit more than once, she and her husband and children were extremely happy. Silence may alleviate many problems. In the circle of life, we will most likely play both roles of child and parent. If we comprehend this fact, then we should put greater effort into all of us getting along. After looking up the word tolerance in the thesaurus, I discovered a whole new way of understanding the word, and I thought I would share this.

Broad-mindedness is being open to political opinions and new cultures and ways of doing things. It is accepting more opinions and options no matter how far-fetched. In essence, I see this as experiencing a new world view of peace.

Open-mindedness is allowing everyone, including the best and least among us, to voice opinions. This encompasses voting and integrity, as well as producing fair and honest outcomes for the benefit of all. Lenience is having mercy and understanding when it is required. We didn’t come from the same playing field and we don’t all know or play by the same rules. We have to allow each other room to grow. I also see a place for this when dealing with children and the elderly, as well as those who are different from us.

Acceptance is being comfortable with the attitudes and ideas of all. Even if we don’t always agree, it is important for everyone to feel at home and valued. Being respected only comes with acceptance of what we are as a person, and the respect is given for being us. Forbearance is having a stay with it type of attitude. We might not fully embrace something with our arms wide-opened but we are willing to give it a shot. We are saying we will go the long route, and be willing to accept the final outcome.

Patience is tolerance at its utmost. It is the number one virtue next to love. Upon displaying patience, hurts of all kinds, as well as anger, fights, misunderstandings and more are averted. Babies, the elderly, the sick, poor, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually challenged people all necessitate our patience to the extreme level of endurance at times.

Easiness is someone who somehow makes everyone feel comfortable. Even when one doesn’t know the rules, we somehow have the sense we fit in anyways. The person capable of providing this kind of atmosphere is a truly wise, humble yet highly esteemed person.

Charity is the last of the examples of tolerance and it goes without saying that those who find it in their hearts to give of themselves to others, have provided something that cannot be returned. It is honest unconditional love of mankind in general. It is the outcome of all the tolerance dispersed. To say we or anyone else is tolerant, is a huge compliment. It is a difficult path to follow and a road less traveled. Only those hearts full of love accept the challenge to venture on it, but the destination is enlightening.

“The more a man knows, the more he forgives.” Catherine the Great

“Only those who do nothing at all make no mistakes but that would be a mistake.” Anonymous
“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” Eddie Rickenbacker

“You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness. For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”    Khalil Gibran

Blocked Intentions

Blocked“It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were, but he is most certainly as full as he wants to be.”    A.W. Tozer

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”    Epictetus

“Satan wants us to constantly focus on everything that is wrong with us and look at how far we still have to go. But God desires for us to rejoice in how far we have already come.”    Joyce Meyer

I can’t speak for others but I know I frequently develop awesome ideas and worthy plans only to have them tossed by the wayside like moldy bread. I don’t have the time to think about the loss of a good thing because I continue doing what I need to do and perhaps encounter another brilliant notion that likely will end up in the same place as the other ideas.

It occurred to me how many times my good intention was just a dream that was never realized. I consider why some designs don’t become a reality. I recall how many people I promised to call, have a lunch date, or visit for a short while just to say hello. It would mean so much to me if I could pull these things off yet I rarely do. I am caught up in my well intentioned plans that never go anywhere.

After admonishing myself and promising to do better, I review my workload and need to do list for the day and by the end of the day my want to do list hasn’t been considered. I shrug my shoulders in total understanding that there just wasn’t time. Now my goal is to find the time to attend to the things I believe are important. My anticipations or the desires of those I love always take a back seat to what I have to accomplish. The biggest dilemma is that I increase my to do list daily so I am sabotaging my want to do list.

As much as I prefer to discuss and relax with friends, it rarely happens. It likely is years before I run into a friend from the past and attempt to achieve a  meeting proposal in the future. This again repeats itself and our meeting never happens. Has society as a whole somehow sabotaged  our agendas? Workers are laid off and the ones remaining who still have a job are so thankful yet their load has increased. I wonder who the fortunate ones are in these cases and conclude no one.

We kid ourselves with our many gadgets, that we are getting more time. We end up with more time to do more jobs either within the household or at work. Some younger members believe they are working towards gaining more power or influence at work. They have faith it is only for the short term that they will keep to the grindstone. The older workers are aware of the hypnotic ability of jobs to keep everyone involved. We all admit  we do it for the money or power of moving up the line. We also agree we will stop the madness when the time is right and we have enough. That day never comes.

The  time and effort is tremendous and our stamina is astounding but our burdens increase and downtime is non-existent. Perhaps some of this is what we bring on ourselves. We want a bigger house. With more room we can actually buy more things to fill it up so that we can yearn for an even larger abode. By  living in the future, we lose our present. We practically lose ourselves. I always want to blame the jobs but truly, we must ask ourselves when we are content with what we own.

I see it that the more we desire, the more we lose our own time and happiness. If friends and family bring us pleasure and we don’t have time for them then we have lost some good things. I suppose everything has a price. Some people climb a ladder to success by working non-stop, stepping on others or cheating or lying. We all see that happening daily in the news reports. I don’t want to gain money or fame at the expense of losing the love and happy times with others. IBy choosing to ignore what is essential in my life, In a sense I am cheating myself. I am lying to myself if I believe I will quit my ambitious climb with the time stolen from those I love.

Have a work ethic is commendable. WE are only defeated when we are blinded to the  vital things. We all make choices. We all pay the price as everything has a condition. If we are willing to pay any amount I suppose the sky is the limit. We perhaps must be sure of what it is we want because we might  be lulled into areas and quantities that have a limited capacity for love and offer a passing joy. I know it is important to review our need to list often, no matter what our age.

We hurt ourselves when we don’t give ourselves the pleasure of relaxing and placing our brains on speed control. Maintaining a constant bustle of ideas and compiling a  stressful burden of jobs only increases anxiety and steals our peace. Society has unquestionably pushed us into this spiral of constant movement. We do have the power to stop and view the truth. As we stand on the brink of the vortex, and observe others caught in the  downward spiral, we can question where we are going.  Searching for a bit of serenity, may gain us some insight into another world full of calmness,  that was waiting to be found.

“The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.”    Francis Chan

“I wish people could accomplish everything they want so they could learn its not everything they need.”    Orrin Woodward

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”    Henry David Thoreau

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”    Henry David Thoreau

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”    Henry David Thoreau

Self Appreciation

Self Appreciation“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”    August Wilson

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”    Harvey Fierstein

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”    Michael J. Fox

There is so much talk, about allowing other people to define  who we are. I wondered why we never observe the good qualities within us. It is time to admire, and appreciate ourselves. The greatest road to anxiety, and depression, is to believe you are not worthy, can’t accomplish things and are a useless person.

This belief in your low opinion of self, is based on the estimations of others.It begins as a thought, and within a short time, travels throughout your brain. It finishes by convincing you, that you are behind in life, and likely will never catch up. I suppose it isn’t so much the sentiments others express to us, that makes us feel this way, as much as it is our negative perceptions about ourselves. The  more we hear only the negative estimations, the greater the chance of us feeling defeated.

Do we ever ask ourselves what we are really looking for in life? I would surmise that most of us including myself, are not ever sure about the choices that we have. It seems easier to just let things happen to us, rather than work on making something happen. By floating along without a care, we live and survive in a dream-like state of mind. Others form our attitudes, and give us agendas and goals to meet.

I think it works for most of us for awhile, until we begin to wade through problems and issues. Then we begin to question our outlook on life in general. Where have we been, what have we accomplished, and perhaps our most profound reflection is where have we made a difference. That is probably the arrival time for doubt in ourselves, and discouragement for what we are currently doing. We want to accomplish something. It feels good to speak of attainments of public stature, wealth, fame or job status.

The majority of people simply are not famous, involved in politics, wealthy, or at the top of their field. I would likely say one to five percent of the population are likely to   reach those  goals. The rest of us are in the ninety-five to ninety-nine percent, who struggle most of our lives. Knowing that fact will not automatically bring cheer to someone, questioning the importance of life, and their life in particular.

As soon as we review these subjects, the confidence and security dwindles, and the doubt and fear rises. We begin our life track with inflated egos, and huge goals. We finish even before we are actually done, with crushed  egos, and no goals. How did we get to this point, is the challenging question, we don’t understand. Finding the bottom line to this dilemma is a beginning.

Our wife or husband is not a super-model, perhaps doesn’t always do their share of the tasks around the house, and at times gets angry for no apparent reason. It is possible, that both husband and wife feel the same way about each other. Both parties at times, overlook doing their share. On the positive side, the spouses sat by the hospital bed, encouraging the other to feel better. They  helped out, without being asked, when a spouse lost a parent. They spent numerous hours talking things over, when there was a job loss. They compromised about a vacation or other recreational activity. They gave love when the other was without any hope, or love left.

Maybe we hide these sad moments in the back of our minds, so we don’t think about them. We can recall the negative reactions from our spouse,  but the positive remains unobserved. This area needs a lot of attention,  which most of us don’t give, or have the time to give. The love is solid, true and deep, just ignored. Perhaps by  bringing it out into the open, we can resolve some issues.

Our kids appear to be the worst behaved at a function. We are so embarrassed and angry at them for their misbehavior. We  lash out at them in front of others, and later feel ashamed of ourselves. The kids are upset with us, and not quite sure what they did wrong. Our spouse is mad that we didn’t just overlook the problem in the first place. Now we want to go home, escape, and not set eyes on our spouse, or kids, until the next day at least.

Children can surprise us with the good deeds, we never saw coming, as well as the bad conduct, we didn’t prepare for. Kids don’t think about who is present or watching. They are spontaneous and impulsive. They were not considering how mom or dad or anyone else was going to feel about their performance. That’s what makes them innocent and children.

If we reflect on how much attention we gave to the negative acts and the smaller amount of attention given to the positive, perhaps we might see a pattern. Most of us do pay notice of poor behavior. Complimenting good behavior is also a worthwhile thing to do. Kids never mean to necessarily hurt parents by their exploits. If they want something, the younger the child, the more impulsive they will be to get it in any way they can.

In this whole learning process of raising kids, has it ever occurred to us to pat ourselves on the back?  The fine qualities we observe in our children, are the result of our own hard work. We are their first teachers. We set the rules and boundaries. What a magnitude of a job we have taken on. Every positive gesture we see in our kids is a reflection of our teaching. The kids still have free will, as do all of us. They can choose the wrong thing at times, regardless of our instruction. It appears that parents are still  there to catch their kids, and help them out. How do we not see how selfless and worthy we really are. Some of us have more challenging kids, and a more difficult time in managing them. We give our life to them, and that is such a virtuous and moral accomplishment.

By now we should be building up our confidence. Neighbors who need us for one thing or another, can count on us. The friends of our kids can depend on a welcome smile, and support when required. We uplift our kids for as long as is necessary, and gradually pull away when it becomes unnecessary. The difficulty in letting go is so painful, yet we do this painful action, to help our kids be strong and independent individuals. As much as we want to keep them contained, what we want more is for  them to have their own life. How selfless is that kind of a person, especially when it is done with no strings attached.

The workplace can be a scarey and trying place. If we have made it easier for even one individual,  we have accomplished goals that nobody else was in the position to accomplish. We work hard at even a meaningless job for the sake of our families. How dignified that really is. We miss so much of our own movie about us, that it is no  wonder we don’t have more confidence.

Failure is a part of everyone’s life. If we learn from the mistakes, then it wasn’t in vain. Our inner beauty is thriving and strong, because we either accomplish something the first time, or we learn, and attempt  it again. Who is to say when we are judged by God, what he will measure or assess us with. Perhaps it will be our generous smile, and quick but kindly few words of a greeting, or comfort to others. How far reaching our smile and words may have traveled. Perhaps  we’ll be judged by the times we got out of bed and off to work when we were so tired. What was our reason for getting up. Our family depended on us and we were there.

I could go on and on with praiseworthy empathy that is seen every day.  Someone lost their wallet. Another person found it, and mailed it without sending their name. All the money and cards were still in the wallet. The person had no debt to repay, except to pay it forward one day. Goodness like that just can’t be discussed enough. Perhaps the person who did such a kind deed, never thought about any meaning to there  life.

We all  have such profound meaning, and such an intense influence on each other. Just review one day in your life, and recall all of the people you helped, or encouraged with advice, or any other form of support. You can’t buy that. Some things may appear to be so simple, yet when a person is at the end of their rope, you were the one who made a difference in getting them through. As we search for meaning in our lives, remember to recall your awesome and supportive words and actions for everyone you met. I remember being exhausted yet I had to pick up a food item that I just couldn’t find. I finally asked for help, and instead of telling me where to find it, the clerk offered to walk me to the aisle. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me, because I was feeling overwhelmed and ready to  give up on the Holiday. This person brought it back to me, that it wasn’t the gimmicks and Holiday, that made things special, but the people themselves. You are priceless. Your value is immeasurable, and the love you have to give to others, cannot be duplicated in any way. There would be so much less love in the world without your presence.

“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.”    Jodi Picoult

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”    Gautama Buddha

“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others”    Steve Maraboli

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Edward Everett Hale

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ”    M. Scott Peck

Addicted To Technology

Addicted To Technology“The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.”    E. F. Schumacher

“If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”    Omar N. Bradley

second addicted to technology“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.”    John F. Kennedy

None of us likes to be out of control nor have things out of control. Yet, our technology has totally gotten well beyond the limits. We all fight for power and freedom along with liberty, but perhaps media and technology has deprived us of all of this. I believe  it is  manipulating, and has lulled us into an addictive type of need and love.

I use the word love because most of us can’t spend a long time away from our “Stuff”. Anyone with the tiniest bit of techno savvy is seen holding something within their hands. Some people almost appear desperate as they cling to their I- phones, I-pads and whatever. Most people have already inculcated their kids into the habit. A child as young as two might be seen holding a device and pressing buttons.

Can we admit we have gone beyond our limit ? Some people are on computers or some other device right before they go to bed. If one spouse is in the bathroom, they pick their tool up from their nightstand. It can’t be far frm them in case they get a message of some kind. I wonder at the messages, that always seem to be so important, that they can’t let them wait for a better time. There is no privacy. People including bosses, and everyone else, can reach us at any time. Forget about discretion. We can’t escape the ever-ending messages coming through.

Whenever you are in the company of someone who is obsessed with their cell phone, or I pad, or I phone, you find their eyes drifting down to it and then their fingers get busy as they smile. They have totally forgotten  who they are physically with, and devote their attention to the device. You, the physically present person,  must wait for their return. Some people attempt to hide their focus on their device by softly drifting into another room. It amazes me that they think you don’t notice their movements, nor their lack of attention to the present moment with you.

It is so widespread now, that most of us who are not dependent,  just get used to waiting, for these habituated people, to finish whatever messages they are receiving. I know when I am in the presence of these users, I don’t even mention the interruption anymore. I just wait for the interference to end. I still find it annoying, but it is right up there with the waiting time at the  doctor’s office. You don’t like it, or enjoy it, but there are no alternatives so you accept it.

I love it when some people think, they are covering their dependent behavior. This appears to be even worse. One can believe themselves now, to be unimportant,  as well as stupid.  They believe they are fooling us. They keep it on their laps at a restaurant, and glance down now and again. Their smile, when they look down is one giveaway. Other people do a chore, while they peek at their device. They let out the dog, and stand outside, viewing and sending messages.

Some people believe falsely of course, that if they share the message with you, that somehow it makes it okay. You might also get the person who confesses they sent a message earlier, and were waiting for the reply they just received. You  have to praise the people who excuse themselves formally, to receive or send a text message. They get up, act important, express a serious look on their faces, and proceed to another room for privacy.

It seems like all of this might be a danger to them. Are they paying attention to their  world? They might trip and fall as I did when I attempted to dial a phone number while walking. I had seen it done so many times by others, but unfortunately I am not a good candidate, as I missed the end of the sidewalk and fell on the street. Only my ego got hurt.

I haven’t mentioned those people who  text while driving. I place this right up there with drinking and driving. They are focused on typing and reading. I hate to think about those drivers when I enter my car. I know of one accident in which a young girl blamed it on her shoes rather than admit she was sending a text. Her fine was less.

Media promotes Facebook, and other social communities. Now we can share the food we’re making for dinner, and the last time we showered. We have the ability to get one hundred people or more, to commiserate with us, when we are having a bad day. We display the beach area we are visiting, with no care for those who are out of a job or relationship. I know this might be a good thing for some people, but I need more than words on a page.

I need the intimacy of a face, exhibiting care and concern. I like the sound of voices, and seeing expressions change. I like to hear more words than a simple feel better, even if it is only one person, instead of one hundred. Somehow it reaches me more. Some people suffer depression,  from all of the wonderful places and things people expound about on Facebook. Your life can appear very dim in comparison. We really shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone.

In actuality, it is an assessment of  who can gain more friends. This doesn’t appear to be a healthy media device, for a downtrodden individual. Now we might be jealous of many more people, rather than the close friend. Confidence and security become things of the past. Competition  reigns even for young girls, who are competing with their faces and bodies. What are we valuing in this world? Are we aware of inner qualities, or is that something we laugh at? Has our virtue and our morals gone AWOL?

The tumultuous disruptions, throughout the world, are now able to touch our children within our homes. People with questionable motives, can enter our once safe environment, and destroy our family. There are deceitful people who are bent on lying, and coercing our children. It is difficult to monitor this. These people don’t have to show a face, or it can be a false image. As I already mentioned, faces give emotions.

Another area technology is affecting us, is within the social area of  High School. There are students who arenow ridiculed, twenty four seven. Being a teen, they have faith in their ability to handle themselves. The  pain and crushing of their spirit, may eventually destroy them. Many are left with fear and or anxiety. Confidence is gone, and insecurity is instilled. I ponder about the perpetrators of such deeds. Because they are wounding with a tool type of device, likely they feel less blame. They are not involved in the full fledged pain inflicted, when one sees hears or experiences it.

I am not sure if the wrong doers are aware, that they are hurting real people. If you call somebody a name to their face, and see their reaction, it might well up feelings of sorrow for your action. When such is not the case upon using a machine, one is deprived of observing the actual pain inflicted. It  appears that technology use, releases one of blame, and societal constraints and or restrictions. It becomes a covert operation. It is similar to mob rule where no one is at fault, when people or property are injured. Hiding behind a machine, permits freelance slander, manipulation, influence and suffering.

Perhaps we are becoming desensitized, from sensing any remorse, due to our addiction to technology. We have less time for emotions, when we are busy with our fingers tapping devices. Our minds are focused on how well, and how much we can do with these devices. Little time is given to our altruistic nature. Our  minds overtake and rule the heart. Some people are proud of the greatest damage they can accomplish. Perhaps they are bullied in other areas of their lives, and find relief in bullying others on-line.

Our machines keep us too busy to reflect, on what we have done wrong. Instead of man creating machines that are more human like, we are transforming into  more of a machine like existence. This is not true of everyone, but it certainly requires our heartfelt thought.

Some homes are now quiet after dinner, because even the kids are using a device. Our language is even suffering. People use short words, to convey a message. I  find people using less words, and less sensory adjectives, when speaking with or using technology. We have too many notes to send out, and too many people to respond to. With so many friends, can we understand that we are not gaining a close relationship with anyone? Do we care anymore about depth, or quality of love within our lives?

I have noticed our conversations with our spouses, are shorter and curt. I have observed that we all use less of our sense of sight, sound, and sensory. Our hearts are being deprived of compassion, empathy and love. Some things just have to be felt through the heart first. Technology is awesome, but will man misuse it as his reputation proves. What starts off as a good thing, may devour mankind of being humane.

Do we need a law about restricting the use of our devices? Man wants dominance. Now is the time to gain it by turning our technology off when in the presence of physical people. We have the self-control, to restrain their influence and use. As smart and capable as our devices are, they can be monitored, and they do have on and off switches. Let’s  not willingly turn our command over, to a mindless and heartless device’s ability, to overtake our influence and in the process, our humanity.

 “Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.”    Max Frisch

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.”    Jean Arp

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”    Albert Einstein

“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”    Sydney J. Harris

Make Thankfulness Routine

Gratitude“Throughout history wise men and women have encouraged us to feel grateful for what we have. Why? Very simply because gratitude makes us feel good.”   Richard Carlson, Ph.D

“We need to regularly stop and take stock; to sit down and determine within ourselves which things are worth valuing and which things are not; which risks are worth the cost and which are not. Even the most confusing or hurtful aspects of life can be made more tolerable by clear seeing and by choice.” Epictetus

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

As we review our lives since the beginning or even over the past year, we might think of the happy times, but I fear most of us dwell on those moments of pain. It seems to be human nature, to want to make all things perfect in our lives. No matter how wonderful the year might have been, we review what went wrong during the difficult times.

Told to do our best from the time we understood what that meant, programs us to strive for goals, attainment, wealth and achievement. This leaves us working hard, for those who dare to take up the challenge. We have become “A one” personalities so to speak. We find as much fault in ourselves, as we  find in others. It leaves us with feelings of insecurity, self doubt, distrust and a damaging notion of dissatisfaction.

The eager barrage of incentives, to keep working towards elusive dreams and ideas, overshadows reality, inner beauty and truth. We don’t have time to think about what is going correctly in our lives, because we are too busy with what we are trying to fix,  make better, or evolve into. I find it strange that our  inner feelings and nature, come in second, to our achieving acknowledgement from the world. Of course this world may consist of our boss, co-corkers, parents, spouse, siblings or any combination.

Leading a thoughtful, calm and gentle life is not enough for most of us. Somehow we must prove ourselves, make our mark on the world, or within our own circle. This defines us and proves our success. We should question how  we define success, and how does our success define us. Being a new year, I thought it appropriate to consider resolutions, and thoughts about life. Considering what we value may explain to us,  who we are by what we treasure.

I easily forget how much I have to be thankful for. I worry about the work I accomplish, the money I require to survive, the people who have lost my trust, the people who have hurt me or dismissed me time and again, and those who seem to be able to make so much more than I will ever be capable of earning. The envy and jealousy feelings creep in, when I believe I am as good as they are, so why do I strive while they coast. I loathe the health issues I deal with, and resent the good health of others. I ask myself why me.

I assume this sounds familiar on one level or another. Some of us let it sink in and fester, while others let it drift in, linger for a bit, and then we send it packing. In short time, we pick ourselves up and again, and step along the path of our journey. We  tell ourselves to work harder, give more time, and focus. We even give up our free time with friends and family, to accomplish the tasks we have set for ourselves. Our life gets busier and busier but it is okay. Now we don’t have time to review what we lack, when we have filled our lives with obstacles to overcome, and goals to reach. This appears to work, except for an unusually quiet moment, when we again review our state of mind, and find we have dropped even further into the well of despair.

There seems to be no answer. We have done all we can, and the dream is elusive and further away than ever. We have become so defeated, that we don’t recognize who we are any more. Family and friends seem to mean less to us, and as a matter of fact, we don’t have the time to understand them anymore.

Honestly, this year it is time to get back to the basics of your life. It is totally more relevant to recall what your treasures are, and how much they mean to you. As easy as it might be to say, I don’t care about this one or that one anymore, you would miss them if they  were gone from your life. People are our gifts. They are the irreplaceable items in our lives. They are not dispensable. Once we come to deduce their relevance, other ambitions we set and try to accomplish, pale in comparison.

Counting our blessings actually uplifts our emotional state. Just as over-thinking your dilemmas can induce anxiety, casting special relationships into the background of our lives reduces emotional well-being. He who is rich has the love of friends and family. Focus on that for the new year, and have faith you will be relaxed in your burdens. Love relieves pain. People experiencing hospital procedures always want someone they love nearby. Even people with Dementia, prefer to stay close by someone they have always trusted. Somehow love supersedes everything else.

If a person had to keep only one thing, his fortune, fame, youth, beauty, prowess, accomplishments, intelligence or people he loves, I would bet the love would always take  first place. We can all function without the former but we die inside without the later. People are downtrodden, even if they believe falsely that they are unloved. How strange to worry our whole lives about everything else, except what is vital to us all.

If we have love in our lives, then we already have much to be grateful for. Instead of thinking about the items we are lacking, count your blessings, by counting the people you love and care about. That should make all of us smile. During this year, vow to spend time with those you love. If you can’t do it in person, use the phone or computer or Skype or whatever. Promise yourself you will stop putting  people off in deference to things.

When we are feeling pain, it is people who push our clouds away. Have a fantastic new year full of enlightenment about what we should appreciate but have been taking for granted. Watch as your happiness is  guaranteed to soar. The more we come to know what is to be cherished,  the greater our increase of love, companionship, empathy tolerance,  and joy.  More attention to loved ones fills our hearts with love. The rest of our workload of striving towards outward goals, will be a piece of cake.

“It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” ~   Naomi Williams

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Cicero

“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”      John Wooden

“It isn’t what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart.”  Author Unknown

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you.  To express your appreciation,  sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return.  Truly appreciate those around you,  and you’ll soon find many others around you.  Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” ~ Ralph Marston

“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.” Unknown

“When life is sweet say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter say thank you and grow.” Unknown

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”   Cynthia Ozick

“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not figures on a dial.  We should count time by heart-throbs.  He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.” ~ Phillip James Bailey