“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
A. A. Milne

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” Henry Ward Beecher

“If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge.” Junot Díaz

“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?” Eckhart Tolle

We are all guilty at times of making judgments. It sounds simple enough when we are occupied with choosing paint colors styles of clothing or what we want to do, read, accomplish or study. We feel justified in making all sorts of judgments especially about people and situations. So what is the problem? Why worry about our judgments of people and situations? Is it harming anyone? The answers are that it does harm people, many issues arise from our uninformed judgments, we cause lots of problems for others and ourselves and we test the patience of friends family and co-workers. The trouble that gets stirred up many times results in major or minor fallout's.

Reflecting on the reasons we have the need to judge is a conflicted task that many of us do not engage in. Our judgments are based on questionable information. The golden rule of thinking before speaking has been totally ignored in preference of "truth" as we perceive  it and that is the key. What we might perceive as truth is not what another believes is honesty. Our opinions differ and we can debate until the morrow who is more or less correct and never agree on the answer. Is it boiling down to allowing judgments to fall away? Is it time to rethink what we thought was working? Is it working when it suits our needs and desires? Do judgments appear to be elusive and up to the person doing the assessments? ...continue reading "Judgements"

I am one of the most opinionated people I know and I am aware of how many times my judgments were off base or biased or self promoting. I am not sure now if anyone or anything can deliver an unbiased opinion. Once we announce a ruling on a person  object or idea we maintain the ruling.  we make poor  rulings but never go back to correct it or acknowledge it. What we perceive as the truth can  change on any given day. We use the excuses of people things or circumstances change but is that the whole truth?

I see it more as not having all of the facts on any given day or time. The facts change which hardly makes them facts We don't have all of the information on any person place or thing to form  opinions yet we do it anyway. Kids are one group of individuals we rule on and sometimes make difficult for kids to break out of their assigned  molds. We group them and observe our false proofs and ignore any truths that differ from our own thoughts. Making mistakes is part of living  is discovering the world and forming deductions. Do we remember how once people thought the world was round? As we gain more knowledge our ideas and opinions change. Our ideas are painted with  different strokes. Kids grow and discover why some things may not be right, fair, or appropriate. I always used to say you can't teach algebra to a kindergartener but when the kindergartener grows up you can.

Maybe that is how God sees us. We are immature in his eyes and we need time to grow experience the world and accept why there is good bad or indifference. God does not judge he just gives us time to explore and understand what is not obvious or simple to see. Do you get  tired of listening to those people who tell you I did this or that or I would do this and would never do that? I remember thinking one day that if my kids were starving I would steal if I had to in order to feed them. Unless we have been there or done that we can't say what we would think or do. If we were never poor we can't know what that feels like. We can't all know what it is like to be rich if that has never been the case.

I am not promoting the idea of stealing what you need. I am promoting the idea of refraining from judgments. Showing a better way to do things or make things happen is important. I appreciate how some people believe we shouldn't hand things or money over to the poor. They make a legitimate point for one argument. They worked hard for their earning and didn't grow up with silver spoons. Others strive and work hard to provide for their families. They are all to be commended. But what if some people don't know where or how to begin because they are more like our kindergartners looking for guidance. We can judge them, conclude they are not worth the effort and toss them away. the alternative is to think  without  judgments and find some answers that work for all of us.

The world is a better place for every improvement that is made no matter how small that improvement is. I don't think throwing money or items at someone necessarily helps as much as taking the time and effort to teach one how to survive and make a living in a difficult world. As teachers work and support their students until they are ready to fly on their own with the knowledge they gain so true is it possible to support anyone in their effort to learn and overcome a difficult situation they may find themselves in.

If we judge them too fast we ignore them and dislike or hate them. My grandmother always said "There but for the grace of God go I." There is truth in that statement. Have you ever grabbed your child before they took a serious fall or ran out into the street or cut themselves with a sharp object or stuck something into an electric socket? You make a loud sigh of relief but there are some parents who were not fortunate enough to save their children from the disaster. We feel safe believing that we would do the right thing so that something bad didn't happen to them. We grow up when we recognize there is no right or wrong as much as there is learning beyond what we know. There are days we are tired, not thinking, busy distracted. These are not excuses but facts we may not be privy to about why an incident happened.

Some people get the lesson sooner, some take time and some don't care but it is important to ask why. We could trade the judgments for answers to why did or what is the reason for the actions. No judgments just answers and solutions are found. We are not pushed above another person because we did a better job or won something. Destroying others with our weak judgments keeps us at the kindergarten level. Mature individuals no matter what the age treat others with respect and love. We recognize that they are working on their own learning and we have no idea how far they have come nor where it is they are striving to go. By spending so much time judging others  we leave little time to take an honest look at ourselves. The person we are busy assessing is striving to move forward while we are stagnant in our comfortable moment in time but there is always something new to understand and someone new to love and support. Whenever we strongly believe we are in the right, that is when we should step back and stop the judgments immediately.

On the other side are people who expect to be immediately understood. That is not forthcoming without thought and reason. It takes time for all of us to learn we are or should be working together to see the other side and cope with all thoughts again to find answers not guilt or blame. Until we get out of that mode of blame guilt jealousy and fault we leave little room for growth. There is truth found on both sides of an argument if we honestly look at it. Dump the judgments from your own mind and you can move your mind faster towards greater understanding and healing.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." Edmund Burke

“I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.” Albert Camus

“My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home. Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by. Reach your arm out and put it around them. And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them. If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start. Every. Single. Time.” Dan Pearce

language kills like a sharp knifeHave you ever been the victim of humiliation and felt like leaving a place , conversation or person who is victimizing you? I know there are degrees of everything but subtle or intense humiliation makes no difference to the victim because they know they are the subject or target of abuse. Now that is a ridiculous  word to use some people might say. However when a person experiences humiliation they don't stop to think about degrees and if they are in a lousy mood to begin with, they feel the humiliation even more.

"Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification." John Donne

"Abuse and neglect negate love. Care and affirmation the opposite of abuse and humiliation are the foundation of love. No one can rightfully proclaim to be loving when behaving in such a way."    Bell Hooks

"Humiliation of one person over another is often used as a way of exerting power over them, and a common form of oppression or abuse."

I remember reading about manners one time and I was surprised to read that manners did not consist of proper etiquette or being rich or well educated. Manners they mentioned was making every person feel comfortable and relaxed no matter what their race, religion, economic or educational attainment was. It was amazing and I thought about it for a long time. There are those people who can tell you how wonderful you look even if you misjudged an occasion and wore the wrong attire. They pretend they don't even notice. They are special people and a pleasure to make acquaintances with.

Then there are those people who make it a habit to target certain people and make their life miserable if they can. I must admit there are some people who appear to make better targets for the humiliations. Over the years I have had my share of tormentors and I remember often wondering why I was chosen to be their victim. Sometimes I felt like I had a bull's-eye on my  back or unwittingly applied for the role in life's play.  I bet most of us have been a victim at one time or another.

I am one of those people pleasers which I suppose makes others want to crush the "Goody two Shoes" person. I don't mean any harm I just like to keep things happy and comfortable for everyone. In the end I am demolished and made to feel inferior, stupid and out of touch with reality. It isn't a great place to be and it keeps the mood sad. After feeling sorry for myself I began to think of the many people who are the victims of humiliation in a variety of ways every day. One's religion, race, skin color, education, economic wealth, age and anything else anyone deems as less than perfect can make them a victim.

I remember some people at work who appeared to have all of the correct answers. Instead of others being happy with receiving the answers, they ignored the advice outwardly yet followed it behind closed doors. I attribute this to possible jealousy, or envy at the ease at which some people  think and find answers. Boys or girls who are shy might become the targets as does anyone with a physical or mental challenge. We might like to think it doesn't happen but in truth it does.

Anger and frustration also appear to be culprits of the birth of humiliation. Students get angry with a child who has all the answers and gets good grades. They please the teachers and gain praise and attention. That is another thought. Attention and consideration is what a lot of us strive to receive. Sometimes we just don't know how to go about doing it and the ways we see it done are not appealing to us because we deem those people the losers we humiliate.

I do believe that anger about anything triggers a need to strike out at someone and make them the scapegoat of our pent up rage. If a hapless victim is nearby it becomes easy to blame them and humiliation is on the rise again. Parents bully humiliate kids which is not a far step from bullying someone. They get frustrated and yell scream and belittle their kids in words and actions. This is the beginning stages of one's entry into the world of humiliation.

Boyfriends and girlfriends as well as pals have the ability to insult and put down others with words and actions. The humiliated feel terrible, question why, and dwell on it longer than they should. Of course when the friend needs someone they call the person back into the fold. Most of us go back thinking they just had a bad day but did they or is this a habitual occurrence? Those who escape humiliation are the ones who appear strong and more of a challenge so they are left alone. The elderly are victims due to their possible inability to think  clearly or their lack of strength to accomplish much work. They are fearful as children are and they do not complain.

Actually complaining may be another reason why people are chosen to be victimized. The victims tend to take a lot of punishment or abuse for a long time before they may strike back or depart from the union or friendship. When people are not wanted at a job or club they sense the feelings of others. When someone questions whether or not  they were harassed  into leaving they might have to say no yet they are aware of the humiliating atmosphere and animosity of the group. We are not fooling anyone when we behave in a bullying way and block others from the simple  pleasure of conversing and being accepted in a group of people.

I recall instances when I or someone I know  was ignored or slighted long enough during a group discussion that they quietly walked away. No one appeared to acknowledge their presence nor their departure. How sad is that? I am sure no one lost sleep over it nor did they likely think they did anything wrong but if we were honest with ourselves we would admit to the alternate ways we all use to intimidate or put someone else in their place so that they will be quiet. It happens so often that I would admit we have all probably witnessed it in one form or another.

What makes it worse is when someone comes back with the thought that they didn't mean to cause anyone any uneasiness yet they did and deep down they are aware of it. Like anything in order to understand something we must acknowledge it's existence. We can then come to terms with it and attempt to do better. The less athletic boy or clumsy girl or less abled child doesn't need ridicule in their life. Don't we all believe we have enough to deal with as we reflect on what life throws at us? Do we really want to make life harder for others when all we have to do is be respectful? Nobody said we had to listen to someone all day or make them our friend. We just have to respect their life and value and include them in whatever is going on.

If you have ever suffered a humiliation of any kind, you remember it and the pain it caused you. The time frame of the hurt varies but can be a long remembered incident. Treat your kids with respect and everyone else you meet. You will be the epitome of a well mannered person if all people feel comfortable in your presence. That means that any interaction they have with you will never leave them wounded but instead empowered to be better because you have set the example and made them at peace.

"It's okay to dislike someone or to dislike someone for no reason. But it's not okay to disrespect  degrade or humiliate that person." Spirit Science

"The reality of another person lies not in what he reveals to you but in what he  cannot reveal reveal to you. Therefore if you would understand him listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say." Khalil Gibran

"On this path let the heart be your guide for the body is hesitant and full of fear."    Rumi

Plowing Through Obstacles"Silence is the best way to  let someone know they did wrong." Pinterest anonymous

"Don't let the noise of other people's opinions drown out your own inner voice."

"Don't be fooled my silence is not a sign of weakness." picture perfect

"Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in." Shannon Alder

There are times when I can't think of anything to say  to anyone. It makes me feel stupid  and without any thoughts. On other occasions I feel like I am talking too much and I go home wondering if I said too much.  At a future date in time I review what I said wondering if that is why someone is a bit unfriendly with me. I can't always recall everything that I said so I promise myself in the future, to be more careful with my words .

Silence is a crazy notion. We talk to communicate so it appears inevitable to  speak rather than be silent. Here is where confusion sets in. If a baby is hungry or a child is hurt or hungry they cry and get attention. As adults we do the same in a different manner. Noise appears to be a good thing in these cases. When we are angry about something or with someone we speak out of turn or yell without thinking and have no remorse. This is likely not a good thing.

People are quiet at funerals and sometimes weddings because they don't have the words to explain their deep emotions. Silence is appropriate in these circumstances. If someone is in danger most others will yell in concern and as a warning. I am getting boring with all this chatter but I think we all get the idea that communication is relevant to  living peacefully. Actually words such as stillness peace calm and quiet are words explaining silence. I can see how one could deceive others with silence because nobody is sure what the person is actually thinking.

We might believe that  silence denotes reflection which supports our decision making and I agree with this thought. The problem always arises when we think instead of  remaining quiet or we remain quiet when we should be speaking. Now the soup is mixed and the uncomfortable feelings set in. I love making soup so I apologize for the analogy. Soup is always a different mixture just as situations and people.

When an opinion is asked of a mother-in-law she might be better off in silence or saying very little. Her opinion gets her into trouble. The daughter-in-law's opinion is accepted with an easier attitude. A parent's voice is the authority figure and although not wanted it is obeyed for the most part. The child's attitude of silence is desirable to the parents. The child is judged as not having the ability to make choices and this is debatable. The point is we are rewarded with calmness and peace if we speak certain times or remain in silence at other times. Big or small it corresponds about the same way.

Maybe we hold our tongue at work when the boss makes unreasonable suggestions. Let's face it we want to keep our job. I hate it when they say make a suggestion or give an opinion. Nobody has a desire to be fired. It is a mute subject and the people understand this as they all agree with the decision regardless of their inner thoughts about it. Silence and peace are maintained although there has been a price of integrity for this peace.

To get along we all must go along at times in our lives. I agree. The difficult part is when our silence is causing serious subject matter to be overlooked. It isn't about making trouble, causing an argument or disrupting the status quo but about integrity, mindfulness and truth. Once we give these attributes up for the sake of peace like a button into a button hole, it gets easier to do without any effort or thought.

It becomes easier to believe we are off of the hook because we believe it is not our fault. It is "they" who decide. It is a pet peeve of mine to cringe when I hear the word "they" even if I use it myself. I wonder who "they" are and I would like to see and meet them one day. I know "they" keep us clean neutral and silent. There are no accusations implied as I am quiet so many times myself. Nobody likes to make waves and most of us have so much on our plates that taking on a mountain of a problem is not what we want to do.

I relieve my guilty feelings with the knowledge that I don't have enough information, am not smart enough to figure it out, and I don't know the repercussions of another choice nor do I have the time to work on the problem. I must admit I neatly absolve myself from getting involved and from taking on any guilt. The older I get the more it doesn't work for me to accept my excuses.

I am not a rebel but it is easy to see many wrongs in any society of people including work places and recreational facilities. every area of society appears to impact people in various wasy for the better or the worse. I know people should take some responsibility.  Without a doubt we can't pull our own weight and the weight of others. My faith is in teaching others how to go about pulling their share of problems.

Silence also means to hush stifle suppress and squash. this innocently happens to us daily and you have to question the innocence. Decisions are made for us. We don't always have any options. It is the stifling, suppression and squashing that I have a problem with. Women who are abused and then ignored even in a subdued manner need a voice.  Kids who are abandoned and abused but not acknowledged until they are practically near death require action not attention after the fact.

There are so many abuses of people in one form or another. Those with disabilities are challenged and uneducated people search for a voice to be heard. The squeaky wheel gets the attention but so many others with wounds and pains keep their silence. We can feel guiltless by saying it is not our problem and then we can look away with blocked ears.

Living away from the tragedies of life absolves us in a way. We don't see it so we can let it go. It is only real when we see and hear the cries of anguish but most kids have cried so long and hard that they begin living in silence. I know we can't all join a peace corps or get physically involved but we do have voices and unless we speak up nothing will ever change.

The next time you see or hear something that appears wrong go with your heart and intuitive self. That will give you a better understanding of the truth. It is better to  call fire and find it was only a campfire than to refuse to see or hear and find out there was a blaze going on. I have recently been convinced that God will not judge us as harshly on the wrongs that we did as much as he will judge us on the times we overlooked people who needed us and we walked away. You don't have to jump into the fire but pull the alarm.

"In the end we will  remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King

"The world is a dangerous place not  because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything." Albert Einstein

Audrey Lorde said it best with the quote below.

"We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.
I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

Families30“Disbelief held me down inside my footsteps, making my body heavy but my heart wild.”  Markus Zusak

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”    Steven Pressfield

“Humanity does not suffer from the disease of wrong beliefs but humanity suffers from the contagious nature of the lack of belief. If you have no magic with you it is not because magic does not exist but it is because you do not believe in it. Even if the sun shines brightly upon your skin every day, if you do not believe in the sunlight, the sunlight for you does not exist.”    C. JoyBell C.

I find it too easy to trust others and I end up hurt and then in disbelief regarding their honesty. I suppose that is what makes most of us become a doubting person. We might go to a party with every intention f having a good time and immediately  get hit with another's angry mood or wrath thrown towards us. Maybe we go home wondering why and as much focus given we come up with no answers. The disappointment is huge and sometimes anger and disbelief creep in about their kindness towards us. Of course the sadness takes over and we are left with only unhappiness.

Sometimes I wonder if it is my turn to take the punishment so to speak. I go to a party with every intention of having a great time. The let down is tough. Instead of questioning the person who caused my disbelief I go home and relive the day and torture myself a little more. The only bit of pride left  is almost invisible and I look for answers in my own behavior. Perhaps I was mean to them in the past, or said something offensive to them unintentionally at a previous time. Their bad mood   caused them to lash out. The end of the reflection generates no new answers which is almost more painful because the truth might be they simply don't like me.

It appears easier to accept but not really. When you truly care about these people even if they don't reciprocate it is deeply humiliating and humbling. You believe in your heart without a doubt there is no recourse. Now  your  choices are difficult. If you choose the higher road you suck it up and try to stay out of the firing range just to keep your sense of self from being hurt. Some people no doubt choose revenge and they go after their target full force. There are two people feeling degraded. I don't see that as a good thing and I can't find any relief from one's own humiliation by degrading another.

It feels necessary to withstand the onslaught to discover some truth. The reality is at times we believe we are owned by misery, problems, obstacles and painful histories. I prefer to own them instead. Yes I have had a painful past, I keep it close to my heart as a reminder of my endurance and strength. Moving forward doesn't mean we forget the past as much as we overcome it and carry the sweet and sour pieces of it with us along our journey.

The hurts don't have to engulf us and burn us up. Instead they can grant us the power to forgive and respect every person's sufferings. Painful episodes remind me of my vulnerability and the defenselessness of others who do not see an ambush coming. The pain no longer owns us and we become  the owner of the wound. It is a wound of courage and defeat rather than an energy that forces us to crash and crawl.

Nobody is ever strong all of the time and it takes practice to refuse striking back at those who hurt us. I know there are times when I might strike out at another person because they said or did something I didn't like. My nerves are frazzled and my pain is strong while my pity is weak. At those moments I have to avoid releasing cruel remarks or actions. The power comes from my ownership of my pain.

Hold back your disbelief of others. They have their own battles to fight and survive. Have faith in their ability to overcome obstacles and defeat careless insensitivity. I would bet we have all been there. Our power and control always comes from our ability to own  our moods, attitudes, words and actions rather than allowing disbelief mixed up feelings of pain, anger and ego to shamefully own us and cause us to damage another human being.

“There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you're supposed to do, but in fact you're not there at all.”    Frederick Barthelme

“Impossibilitarians are defeated before the battle even begins. The best attitude that accommodates failure is disbelief. You can't do it because you believe you can't! You can do it because you believe you can!”    Israelmore Ayivor

“Whenever you can’t balance what you see with what you believe you have conflict.”
Shannon Alder

“Hope greets your desires warmly while doubts insult your efforts bitterly!”
Israelmore Ayivor

 ForgivenessOther people can make us feel like a trivial person.  So as Gary Zukav said, "The next time you feel unworthy, inadequate or inferior, remember that these experiences have nothing to do with humbleness, any more than lowering yourself to connect with another individual has to do with humbleness. There are no lower or higher individuals in the perception of a humble person. There are only souls." There is only love. Gary"

"Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one."  Bertrand Russell

"One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful." Sigmund Freund

Perhaps we make ourselves feel trivial when we don't value us. Whenever people are getting together it can be a happy time. It all changes for the worse when the occasion is cancelled due to the inability of some of the people being able to attend. What tugs at our hearts is the number of times the gathering occurs even though we are the one who can't attend. It can leave us with a sense of unworthiness at being that person that doesn't count for much and is considered the inconsequential entity.

Many times we are  aware of what we perceive as our placement in life and more than aware of the pain in generates in our hearts. We can attempt to please people and say all of the correct things yet we are not acknowledged for inclusion. Whether we are for or against something has little influence on our stature in a group setting. I have often wondered why some people are left in the trivial pile while others can be constantly recognized as the special and worthy people. I can only surmise  that it has to  do with maybe who we are on the inside. Perhaps others genuinely see that we want to be a part of the system but we won't bend to something we don't believe in, or we won't allow others to be left on the sidelines.

I  remember one friend who refused to give up her best friend, which was the cost, if she wanted to be a part of a larger "in" group of kids. As a teen this must have been rather tempting but in the end she couldn't do it so she gave up the honor of being included in the elite group at school. It is amazing why we must have certain groups at all. It empowers people  to feel special and more important than the person sitting next to them. In the process the person sitting beside them is demoted.

In a way this pretentiousness appears to be with a lot of secrecy, crutches and demands. I would think we would have to think act and talk a certain way and basically agree with the groups' ideas. It leaves no room for independence. Yes it may be difficult to stand alone but you do have freedom which we do value. When we commit to marriage we have demands that legally and morally ought to be followed. These rules are different than group rules which actually take away freedom. In any type of allegiance there are rules. I believe within groups there are unspoken rules which must be accepted without question if one wants to be included. Then we can receive instant friends, gratifications and support. Doesn't this all sound conditional? Marriage has rules but they are negotiable between the two parties.

It appears that we give up our freedom and rights to have friends and a sense of belonging. I say a sense of belonging because we are not really that self-assured, independent, or a socially accepted person with numerous friends attached to us all of the time. It is actually a charade that we are playing in order to appear perfect and worthy of acceptance. Of course that leaves the rest of us on the outside of the circle wondering what is wrong with us that we are not good enough to  be included. One can easily lose this acceptance and  the so called close friends can become the enemies.

We don't stop to think about what individuals  had to give up in order to maintain the pretend status. We don't see the anxiety found in those who are barely hanging on to their status in the group nor the guilt ridden people who sense that excluding others is not that cool. Most just continue on their path and cover up their doubts and nervousness with the happiness of having friends and companions to hang out with.

Most of us believe there is something wrong if we are okay with spending time alone with ourselves. we may not require a multitude of friends to eat up our time. We get to think what we want to do and we have the authority to dismiss any kind of judgment others send our way. We are actually the lucky ones with our own thoughts and minds. I value being my own boss and overseeing my own cause and effect.

I don't mean we can never join any group but the groups that are open to all are the ones worth joining. Whenever others are excluded and this can be in all areas of society including kid groups or teen groups. That is when it becomes a problem because it rates and demeans others causing them to feel trivial. How horrible is that? How can we live with ourselves if we devalue others without a thought?

The important thing is that we don't allow this to define who we are. If we let this into our minds and hearts enough to influence the way we think and feel then we have done a disservice to us. Being stronger against the tide is important. Basically we are all born alone, die alone and live within our own frame of thoughts. We learn in our own way, give to others in our own manner and interpret daily happenings with our own schemata.

Maybe joining with others frees us from making decisions which frees us from feeling accountable. When we don't make any mistakes we never learn and by doing only what we perceive to be the correct thing to do never teaches us anything new. If we were not so quick to judge others perhaps we wouldn't be so worried about the fact that others are swift about judging us. That is why we feel safe in groups because groups create the shield against anyone on the outside. This is a false sense of security.

There is so much of our lives we have to face alone. To understand life and love as well as friendship and compassion we must be opened to a variety of experiences involving a multitude of people. Constantly seeking only the familiar and safety net we never find the treasures of the undiscovered gems of life. We really are the same deep down. We all experience fear stress and pain. We can also experience joy happiness and love that is not conditional. Trust becomes a necessary part of true living. Being able to venture  beyond our gate of seclusion and fear allows us to learn and experience so much more of life.

Marriage and other commitments may cause us some necessary boundaries but they don't exclude others from being our friends. Teen groups child groups and any type of group that sends a message to others that they are better or above people only cause heartache. They are not worthy of having us join. We are not trivial and never were trivial. We created that in our own minds because others plant the seeds in us. It is up to us to comprehend our own power and worth. All of us face our own problems and good times. I would say that our value  is the amount of worth we see and foster in others. That can't help but reflect and shine on us. We never were nor never will be a trivial person.

"Don't allow people to make you feel unworthy. What they fear in you are qualities they would like to posses themselves. " Unknown

"Rejection doesn't mean you aren't good enough. It means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer." anonymous

"Live simply expect little give much. scatter sunshine, forget self  think of others." Norman Vincent Peale

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel," Maya Angelou

2nd pic for presentation"It is often easier to become outraged by injustice
half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home."
Carl T. Rowan

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." Thomas Paine

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform." Theodore H. White

"You don't have the power to make life "fair," but you do have the power to make life joyful."    Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I recently heard someone discussing  oppression and they became quite animated as they discussed their viewpoints. I  considered this topic in light of the world. All countries have their own ways of cruelty and tyranny. I was amazed at the other terms covering the meaning of oppression. Subjugation and persecution also fall into this category. Likely most of us might say we don't persecute anyone nor subjugate any person.

Although on the surface this is likely true, somehow it gnawed at me to consider this a bit deeper. I focused on the word harassment because it also  falls under the term of oppression. Now that is a controversial thought because just about all of us have harassed someone to some degree. Perhaps we have done it with words or actions or both. When we are angry with someone we tend to minimize what they have to say or ridicule them in front of others. Anyone who is not a quick thinker nor fast on their feet is fair game for an onslaught.

We likely don't consider this cruel and we excuse ourselves of blame. After all if their opinions are any good then they can offer them just as we did. Again we are not considering that we might have come to the occasion prepared for battle while they came and were innocently ambushed. I can understand that many times when we are hurt we let it fester inside of us for awhile  until we get the opportunity and immediately seize it.

Previously I would never have considered this cruel but I appreciate that it is possibly falling under persecuting another individual. Harassment is seen throughout society. People who want their own way in anything or everything simple become tyrannical in their manner. Husbands and wives may play this role when it suits them, in order to have their own way. Kids at times coerce their parents into obliging them against the parent's better judgement. Coercion is another form of persecution and oppression.

I honestly see this now as dominance in negative ways in order to achieve our own desires. Parents may continually subjugate their kids with fear. Threats of physical punishment send a clear and powerful message. Intimidations in the form of scare tactics and emotional threats also work even better on innocent children. Perhaps we don't consider this so much when we are under so much pressure ourselves and anxious to just get through the day.

Bullies are those who harass, intimidate and oppress others. Any person or chld who is afraid to speak their mind is being bullied. Swaying others to think or act the way we want through the demand of threats is another form of oppression which is called domination. In the animal kingdom the strongest fastest and smartest animal rules the rest of the group. In the human kingdom we pride ourselves at being above all of that. We choose to rule for the betterment of all. We respect the young and the old and allow everyone to have a say. On the surface  this sounds awesome but if we don't really abide by these rules then perhaps we are kidding ourselves.

I suppose it was my searching for the definitions of the words for persecution and oppression that led to my surprise at the rest of the meanings which we ignore myself included. Coercion is another that falls into the category and it is nasty to think we pressure others to bend their ideas. Some of these others are the young, old and helpless.  Of course any person forced into a subjugation of any kind is at the mercy of another more dominant individual.

I am reminded of instances at work when we voted for simple things like what we might want in our tiny cafeteria. Those with the power decided and those without control obliged them.  I never considered this as subjugation but perhaps it was. Few were asked for input on the matter. It goes far back to our childhood days of demand and receive. If we never grow out of that pattern we continue believing we deserve to have what we want at the expense of others.

I don't think the people who have dominion over us are necessarily cruel. I  am sure that most are not even aware of their oppression. Perhaps they never meant to  be so controlling and basically perform like a bully who can't be stopped. Fear  anxiety and stress are cruel ways to deal with others and teach respect. That kind of respect is not respect but harassment which leads to domination. Love needs to be a part of  respect.

I venture to say from my own experience that when another person shows no respect for me, it diminishes my respect for myself. That should not be the case but the truth is it does impress on self-esteem. I would encourage others to cultivate their own respect for themselves and keep it strong and untouched by the insults and bullying surrounding them. I would also hope that as much as we want and deserve respect we are willing to bestow it on others. Then we would have no need to oppress anyone.

Most of us have a lot of  respect for those we admire.  It is important to have respect for those we don't admire. Respect has nothing to do with liking someone but everything to do  we cherishing another's rights to live peacefully. By not confusing respect and like we can learn how to respond to others who appear in all degrees of loving and liking.

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience." George Washington

"People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong...Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?"    Thich Nhat Hanh

"You don't have the power to make life "fair," but you do have the power to make life joyful."    Jonathan lockwood Huie

"When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness."    Joseph Campbell