Sunday, May 31, 2009

Memories from My Childhood (#121)

My last two posts have been about memories from my childhood that were important moments in my life. I don't know why they were important absolutely except to say that they have endured within my recollections. There are, I am sure, some happenings in my past that I have tried not to remember and I don't see any reason to try to remember most of them now. I believe we are all benefited by not dwelling or digging into our early memories because of the unhelpful nature some of our past experiences would expose, nevertheless, we are all benefited by memories of significance, even occasionally painful ones, when they help us and others enrich our lives with a perspective aimed at positive growth and awareness. The enduring quality about life is that when we are confronted with unpleasant or behaviorally wrong consequences we are able to adjust and improve toward a better standard of thinking and behavior. A case in point being when I was eight and two relatives came to live with our young family, one of them pushed me into a blackberry patch. Ouch, then the other relative came and got me out and pushed the relative who pushed me, also into the blackberry patch. After that initial introduction to me to my newly met relatives a bond between the relative, who pushed me into the blackberry patch and myself formed that to this day is still full of admiration and happiness. The point is that although the memory of our first encounter was a painful one it served as a starting point for a lifelong friendship that we hold today. I will always attempt to emphasize my memories in light of their positive instructive value and their humorous qualities. Memories are important to me in that they demarcate times and circumstances in my life that remind me of how lucky and special my life has been being born into a family full of love and a country founded on the better and best traits a human could aspire to achieve.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Chicken Episode (#120)

Things happen in life that are difficult to assimilate when our perspective is violated by reality. In 1959, I was 4 years old and our family was living in downtown Sacramento. Since I was too young to go to school I was home during the day and my parents kept some chickens in the backyard. You could do that back then without being harassed by neighbors. Since my older brothers were at school and my younger brother barely two I occupied myself with playing with the chickens in the backyard. They became my friends. Well, one day my biological father came home and decided that it was time to put the chickens to use as food. When I realized what my father was doing, I became hysterical and tried to defend the chickens from the chopping block. I was told to knock it off. Well, I wasn't going to knock it off and continued to protest and defend the chickens. Of course my father paid me little attention and began to prepare the chickens to meet their maker. I then gave my parents an ultimatum, leave the chickens alone or I was leaving, wanting nothing to do with a family that was so cruel to my friends the chickens and insensitive to my pleas for them to be spared. My father, who saw the opportunity to teach me something, said that I would just have to leave because the chickens were not going to be spared. So a pole with a bandanna was prepared with some of my clothing put inside and it was given to me. I readily took the traveling pole on my shoulder and started down the alley and out to the next street. It was then that I realized I didn't know where to go and a feeling of resignation engulfed me. I turned back and went home with the sad knowledge that I could do very little to change what was going to happen to the chickens. My parents were watching me so I was never out of their sight. With spirit broken and the realization that what I thought was good and right, was not enough to change the reality of the chickens ending up in the pot. The moral of this story is that regardless of what appears altruistic, ideals at times will be secondary to the realities of other necessities. Harumph.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Our first color Television (#119)

What an exciting time. I was eight, at the wide-eyed, taking-in-everything phase of my life. We lived in Carmichael, California in the year 1963. I had heard of color television from ads on tv, from classmates at school and relatives I visited who had color tv at home. So when the tv deliveryman showed up and set up our Magnavox tv, with stereo and phonograph player, combination console, I was front and center in the room to experience the wonder of color tv. I remember the magnetic circular loop the tv setup man moved around in front of the tv screen to stabilize the color adjustments to the pictures on the screen. It wasn't long before the views on the screen were being shown in color instead of the usual black and white pictures. When I was young I thrived on tv whenever I could. I would sneak up early in the morning to watch anything that was on. We only had three channels back then and they all followed a similar broadcast schedule. My parents used to get after me for always being in the house watching tv instead of going outside and playing. I know they thought I was watching too much tv but I was fascinated by the cartoons and movies and the characters that were displayed in them. TV opened up my limited world to what the rest of the world was and could be like. Don't misunderstand about my tv viewing, it wasn't obsessive just a wonderful experience I tried to incorporate into all the other activities I was involved in. My life at that age was very busy. I played and read and listened to the radio, but watching our new color tv was just the best.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One door closes another one Opens (#118)

With the way things have going lately it seems like when one door closes it hits me on the backside also. But of course that is only what it seems. My overall experience has been that another door always opens. It is just the way things are in our society, constant change. Nothing specific has happened for me lately but I am confident, yes confident something is about to happen to effect a change in my life. I am somewhat excited also. The unknown used to affect me in a nervous or fearful way. However, my inner peace is ruling my conscious these days and I am content. Not to say that I am just letting things happen without any input as to my curiousness about things, it's just that, bring it on, is my hope. I just can't explain why I have such a feeling of optimism other than I see a bright future ahead for all of us and that vision is inspiring a sense of euphoria within me. I am very happy with the direction my life is taking and positive about the role I have in my life. I used to just hang on and let myself be taken along on the current of events, now I feel that I am at the rudder and I set the course knowing that the river of my destiny will land me on the side of the shore that I choose. Too many metaphors, doors and rivers, oh well, My point is that life is grand and I am glad to be participating in it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Peace in my Soul (#117)

When I awoke this morning it was with a weary realization that I only slept for 4 hours. Time has no favorites and my morning rituals needed to be addressed. So next time I won't stay up so late when I know I need to go to sleep earlier. Of course, there are times when I rationally choose to stay up later knowing full well that I will not get as much sleep and this was one of those times. I have been reading the old John Jakes comprehensive novels about the birth and growth of our country America. These books have captured my imagination and are difficult to put down when certain events are being described. Whatever trade-off I make in deciding which is more important, reading or sleeping, my soul is at peace with the outcome. I have been chuckling to myself in a comical way all morning. Which makes me wonder why I am in such a good mood. That's just like me though questioning a gift instead of just enjoying it. Why some mornings are a pleasure and some are more closely related to a struggle is beyond me. Today, however I will just enjoy and experience the richness of friendship and discovery every new day brings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What can I do to Help (#116)

I suppose what I could to to help is define what I'm referring to. What is foremost on my mind these days is our economy. Somehow our collective confidence in reshaping what our future will look like has yet to evolve. If we could all agree on a foundational design then our economy has a better chance of beginning to activate. We need greater leadership in helping to formulate an outlook for our future. Generally, a greener planet is natural, but without a more detailed scope of how to implement our future, it needs further explanation. Like the 19th century land grab opportunities, our future, needs to be made, in easy to act on ways. Our wills are ready to act but the amount of red tape and qualifications necessary to even become involved is prohibitive. We are strangling ourselves by all the rules and regulations keeping most people from becoming involved in our society and business creation. Rules and regulations are important in operating and maintaining economic growth but to initially get started many if not most people couldn't even qualify to begin a business. A restructuring to ease availability to start and grow a business should be a high priority. Our country must provide us with the tools to create and expand economic models that can begin to incorporate our American spirit of hard-work and ingenuity. This is our greatest advantage in this free market system of trade. If our government will help it's citizens start ambitious business' then we could grow to help not only eliminate unemployment but also export our business' to the rest of the world and help them eliminate their unemployment. What is crucial is to use opportunity of business to operate for success of all involved not just the few at the top. I know there is some way to make this happen. It will just take the right spirit of enterprise for all of us to agree and understand. We are all in this together.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't worry be Happy (#115)

Personally, my life's situation is in limbo caused by the economic recovery we all are going through. The uncertainty of my vocation is still being determined. Through this time of evaluation my mind is at ease for one particular reason. Hope. I am an idealist at heart and a ever-lasting romantic. So it figures that I know disappointment all too well. Despite disappointment, I am indefatigably resistant to nothing less than a good or better outcome for my future. Things aren't up to me they are up to circumstances beyond my control. I will have to decide some things after my fate is determined and of course I will. I have little setbacks at times in keeping my perspective on my overall enjoyment of life outlook, however enjoyment of life is still and will continue to grow as a principled characteristic of my cognition. I am constantly applying my cognition of enjoyment in ways that best suit my personal behavior. As a familiar behavioral constant emerges, hopefully a natural expression of my enjoyment of life will be evidenced by those whose lives I am in. I was once on a little league baseball team sponsored by a group called Optimist International. I had no real clear understanding of what this group was all about but today I think of the name optimist international and accept the simple premise it implies. My definition to it is simply, continual hope without fail to all. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. I don't want to miss the good times worrying about the unknown. Like the little song, "Don't worry be happy."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It is all in the Waiting (#114)

Patience, what a concept. If, like yesterday, I allow myself to get caught up in the moment of exasperation I lose an opportunity to become better in dealing with frustration. My struggle yesterday was figuring out how to get a malware infection off my computer so that I could use my computer in the manner I expect. Aren't I just a lot of la de da. I can't understand why I allow myself the time to think I deserve something. It is a privilege to have what I have, granted it's not much but to some people it is a lot. My sense of entitlement comes from somewhere. My ego unchecked is obnoxious. So how and why would I let the characteristics of selfishness display themselves in my behavior. I know better and yet continue bad behavior. I must learn a better way to meditate at times of tension and chaos. I amuse myself right now in that I actually enjoy a good puzzle, yet when presented with the one yesterday I didn't recognize it as a puzzle but instead as an attack on what I deserved. Deserves got nothing to do with it. I was able to catch myself and calm down to the point of actually solving my dilemma but I don't like how my initial reaction overwhelmed my common sense. Meditation has been the number one topic on my mind all morning so it's no surprise to me that it would be in my discussion today. Everyone has moments of stress and tension. It is how we handle these moments that distinguish us from awfully bad to well done good. Just another area in my life needing some attention where before no attention was given. Good luck to all of us.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Faith as a practical matter (#113)

Whether I have an organized belief system or a belief system based on the unknown, the faith necessary for either is real and pragmatic. Real in the sense that I believe my life has no purpose unless a force within me dictates otherwise, namely faith that I do exist for a reason. Pragmatic because the truth of my faith in the past has come about through my actions whether intentional or not. Although ideology is not considered pragmatism it's consequence through action can be. I am not trying to prove the validity of faith because that would require skills I am not equipped with, however my understanding of my life and it's circumstances move me to the position that my life without faith is of no value. I might as well be a cow in the field grazing on grass for the rest of my life. Faith allows me to see what is or could be and direct my being toward it's outcome. Faith also allows me to see what can't be and to hope that the outcome may become real but to recognize that it may very well not happen as well. Faith is my barometer in measuring the desires and pressures within my life and helps me to navigate in a way that satisfies what possibilities I may recognize as realizable. For all things that matter in my life, faith is either indirectly or directly involved in a foundational way.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Living is remarkable (#112)

I am still amazed about how I am present and attentive to the things happening around me at any given moment. Everything has a possibility to it. There are no preconditions on anything happening in my life. My decisions are made with open-minded consideration with no intent to do harm or wrong. In the past I would have already made up my mind about something previous to having to make a decision, without taking into account new considerations or arguments. The lazy, arrogant method of a know-it-all. Today, I weigh decisions at the time of their necessity. There is a liberating freedom to knowing that I am not bound by influences or conventions when making up my mind. I can flow freely from one decision to the next with the confidence that the decisions were based on my best ability, at the time, to do what was right and good. Times change and so do the circumstances of decisions already made, however revisiting previous decisions and altering to new decisions is required when necessary. All done with the best of intention. We as a species are so fallible, yet we endure because we can adapt, always, toward the better and best of our natures. Admitting honest changes in opinion is admirable and should be employed when we see the correctness of change. It is like that old saying when I was very young; we didn't come with instructions. True, we didn't, but we can build our own set of instructions based upon the two foundations of our souls, compassion, which is our hearts, and curiosity which is our minds. Both working for the same goal of bettering our world to give us an opportunity to truly live a remarkable life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do right by one person at a time (#111)

I have had to start over several times in my life. That's OK to do when you or I feel or realize something has changed in our life and we want to go in a new direction. A do-over is how it is described in today's vernacular. It takes a strong-minded person to admit we were wrong or to see reality in a different way and actually admit and change our existing one. Whatever it takes, if we feel we are better served and/or serve better, then change or starting over is what we should do. It doesn't have to be complicated either, just start with the first person who is affected by our change and then the next person and then so on and so on. Hopefully this starting over is a good step in our life's journey and will be a positive experience for ourselves and those around us. I know that in my case every time I have altered my behavior or perspective on reality it has been to fulfill a noble principle that had been lacking in my life. I write this composition with the desire to explain that it is never too late to take an inventory of one's self and guide one's self on a different or altered course. Life is a continuum of change and change within our lives is almost required. Being self-aware is the idea and admitting the necessity to change hopefully will bring about the action to move to a better place in the evolution of our lives.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love the Greatest Sense of All (#110)

I have been alive long enough to know that what is worthy to live for is love. My five senses of touching, tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing are fabulous and worthy of experiencing but the one emotion that exists in my life worthy of enduring throughout my whole life is love. It is the simple innocence of love that caps a cauldron of every other emotion within me. By capping I mean to say that when love is front and center all other emotions are available to protect love if needed. Love is the whole, and other emotions separately consist of its makeup. My experience is that when honest and truthful love exists there is nothing within existence that would stop me from protecting love. Nothing. The pure joy of the emotion is perfect. A complete sense of being is how I can describe the physical sensation. Every problem suddenly has a simple solution when seen through the eyes of love. This may sound delusional or naive, however, my contention is that it is only to those who are not experiencing love in their own lives. Life is too short for all of us not to experience it in it's most absolute form. Maybe love is not the absolute form to live life, maybe, but no other experience I have had has been equal to love. Sentimentality aside, to be born and have life as a human devoid of love seems to present a life with no incentive to aspire toward perfect sensations. Since our existence is predicated upon our senses then what would be the logical point without love?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Hope for the Future (#109)

What is it within us that makes us think what we think? The impetus or genesis of what forms in our minds that we think about is a mystery to me. My thoughts are a creation that occurs within my mind and I have no proof I am the cause. It could be that I react to whatever I think or that I initiate an event or circumstance and then think of my reaction to it. Or I could be forcing thoughts to come into my mind through force of my will and then believing them to be natural and then acting on them. Wait, I think I just confused myself. Whatever the scenario, which by the way is probably a combination of all possibilities, my mind is a beautiful mixture of mystery and ideas. In allowing my mind to focus on the mysteries of life and not so much on me, I free myself to be who I really am without worrying what anyone or any convention expects me to be. Life is exciting to live within the principled and disciplined guidelines I strive to adhere to. The future of our existence is the most valuable entity I can influence. I may be brazen or bold in thinking that I could have an influence on existence but in the least sense I can, because I am part of existence therefore an influential force of some kind. What I think and how I apply my thoughts will determine the effect I have. Regardless of how my thoughts arrive in me, the purpose in having them is to allow them to identify me in the world as a person who has value and strives to consider possibilities.

Monday, May 18, 2009

One Simple Thing (#108)

I am still a man who expects things to go according to how I think they should go. My mind tells me that what I have decided is the way they should be. In a perfect world there is nothing wrong with this way of thinking. Since I don't even live near anything remotely close to a perfect world my thinking therefore is flawed and doomed to fail. I know this and yet I find myself doing it over and over again. There must be something within me that won't allow me to see the world in it's pure realistic form or my mind is not capable of sustaining a constant truthful awareness of reality. My self-evaluation on this is that my hopes, wishes and expectations overrule any logical truth or practical answer. My thinking is that, in form, and at times, I choose to force a square peg into a round hole. My motives may be right but reality dictates a different response is necessary. All of that to say that what I need to do is pause and consider for a period of time until I have a clear understanding of any decision I must or will to make. None of this is new to me. I have known this about myself for many years and yet have not been able to exercise a protocol for dealing with it. Once again today I get a chance to organize a process that, although mechanical and stilted, will allow me to function properly in matters within and outside myself. Dealing with reality on it's terms is just one simple thing that I hope will finally become just that in my life.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Logic is not Proud (#107)

To be right or correct is not license to gloat or put on "airs" of superiority. To be right or correct is not a "God given talent" to only some or one. To be right or correct is simply a practical solution or a moral decision. There are times when I sense a complete understanding of some limited problem and can rationalize the best solution with simple deduction. These times are not common for me however, and like most people, I struggle to find the best solutions I can given most problems are defined within time constraints. So the best I can do is give my best to a solution that is sufficient enough to answer a problem reasonably. I have come to be well acquainted with the term, "I don't know". In the truth of not knowing I begin to start to learn. Any false pride I may have had in the past has been shattered numerous times through logic. Humility, in admitting an ignorance to a circumstance or happening, is much more welcome to my soul than some form of false bravado or feigned knowing. I learn more clearly about a subject or object when I start with the premise that I don't know. It is OK to bare my lack of knowledge publicly. I don't wish to fool anyone and I do wish to learn more about something I didn't know previously. I am satisfied, in my soul, that it is good for me to always begin my thoughts with the earnest appreciation of logic and it's humble application.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Art of being Genuine (#106)

The practice of being genuine requires a general understanding of who we are as a species and more specifically who I am as a person. What are my demonstrations of character and personality? Then what changes in my cognition and behavior do I idealize to form? These are the questions I need to address in order to organize a profile of my genuineness. In rationalizing a process and outline, to describe myself, I also take into account the times and circumstances where I have been disingenuous. Lessons from the past and hopes for the future will hopefully expose a wide panorama of moments I wish to mold into the definition of; the genuine Carl. In ways the legacy of who I am is the driving force of how I live my life. I know that a legacy is an illusive concept in a world as complex as this one, however my idealistic nature considers a legacy as one of the very few realities I have some control over. By stipulating that principles of honor and decency must be the parameters of my life I lay the foundation out for reasoning the circumstances that enter my life. The actions and positions I take are evidence of how far or how little I have progressed toward my ultimate goal of living within the better and best of human traits. It is not enough to try and fail at this ambitious agenda I desire. I must keep trying until I have moved ever closer to my ideal of the genuine me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Encouraging words matter (#105)

I find that at times a simple kind word will lift my spirit and change my outlook. My fears can become dominating if I let them and occasionally I do. Left alone I allow my fears to grow into something greater than their actual being. I will magnify and expand a situation until it becomes scarier than hell. Well, maybe not hell but real scary. It is at these times that someone will say something to me that will encourage or support me. As is usually the case I reflect back on what was so fearful and I find that it was more imaginary than real. My mind has the ability to exaggerate circumstances until they grow beyond the parameters of normal concern. Possibly my mind is not disciplined enough to handle the wild swings it occasionally takes me on. I am sure there is some truth to being less disciplined than I could be but in conjunction with that I believe human interaction is necessary for all of us to keep a perspective on what is going on in our lives. We need each other to examine what we are doing in a way that brings out the best in what we are doing. I don't always need someone looking into my life with a critical eye however I do need someone to be a friend when my best interests are being foiled by me. I am inherently opposed to uninvited advice. I am also, however, attentive when that uninvited advice comes with tact and humility. True concern shows itself when the giver of the concern exhibits selflessness. I always respond more positively when encouraging words are given in the spirit of friendship.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Hubris for Life (#104)

I've sitting here thinking about how much I would be willing to give up and still keep my sense of happiness. The economic downturn in the world right now has made me consider my own ability to support my current status. Off the top, a fear that what I have now and am comfortable with might have to be given up for the greater security of shelter, clothing, food and transportation. I know I can do without television and the Internet but what else must I have to give up. I have a dog and a cat who are my family so they stay. Electricity and gas are essential for power and heat so they stay. Phone service is trickier in that I need communication for finding and maintaining work so phone stays. Everything else however can be eliminated in order to budget to the minimum. I have these thoughts because my usual line of work has dried up with no clear restart date set. My blog would be missed but now that I am in the habit of daily writing I could always go to the journal format to replace it. My basic needs have always been a challenge since I have always had to live month to month. If it comes down to having to vacate my apartment, then another set of problems present themselves. Where do I go? What happens next? etc..... I am out ahead of my self when I follow this line of thought but I think planning for what very well could happen is intelligent on my part. None of this though has shaken my inner spirit or diminished my optimistic outlook for my future. My hubris for living is just as strong today as it has always been.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Face in the Mirror (#103)

Good morning, I say to myself, when I see my image in the mirror. By itself, unconsciously, my face registers an emotionless look until I make my face muscles form a smile. Rarely, do I end up in front of the mirror with a smile already beaming on my face. That's OK since I haven't had very many Christmas morning type awakenings lately. Circumstances change and the happy in my life is starting to become more real and consistent. I can see the difference when I study how I actually appear back at myself. The worry lines and age wrinkles seem to be less pronounced. Maybe my eyesight is affecting what I see but I don't think so. The positiveness behind the look I present to the world is real and comfortable. The image in the mirror, that I hope is seen, is what I hope I feel inside about all things that are happening in my life. My face is the window to my soul not just my eyes. The days of wearing a mask on my face are over. There is no value in masking thoughts or emotions with a false front. All of the time the truth needs its manifestation to show on my face. Tact and diplomacy have their place in order to spare unwarranted humiliation or misappropriate cruelty, but not at the expense of sheltering a greater harm. The great principle of honesty must be a beacon for shining light on any particular person, place or event. My face can be the canvas that expresses my understandings of what is going on, around and in my life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No Disappointment Necessary (#102)

There are very few things in existence that give me pleasure equal to writing on a subject that kindles my emotion. This is one of them. If I have no expectations I have no disappointment. My life is on-going for now, so I must take care to keep it going. Everything else is just filler. That may fly in the face of ambition and pursuit of human wonders, such as prestige or objects of complexity, but it is still just filler. The true ambition and pursuit of human wonders are idealistic ones, more of a philosophical search to find a compass I can ground my nature in. My internal happiness and stoic resolve, not to be defined by objects or uncontrollable outcomes, remain my path. The essence of my life has been defined for me. The internal search for the way to live has broadened my understanding in how to live. The impulse or drive to create from materials here on earth give us ways to improve the quality of our lives and help us manage our time as well. The distribution of these impulses within each individual cannot at this time be accurately measured, however, humanity has at it's core an equilibrium to survive and care for each other plus a curious nature to understand that which we don't understand. The proper model for life has yet to evolve in the most beneficial way to all individuals comprehensively. The future holds out this hope if we care to strive for it. The impetus created when life came into being is a continuum that will arrive somewhere, where however remains to be determined.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My word is my bond (#101)

"My word is my bond." The simplicity of saying this phrase is not as easy as actually accomplishing it. Of course it is easy to accomplish when everything goes according to plan or schedule. My problems arise when unexpected events interject themselves and other decisions come into play. In life or death emergencies allowances can be made. For the most part though unless a waiver is given by the promised one no allowance should be acceptable. Logic would dictate that a hierarchy of higher priority of circumstances should govern if a word given could be altered, however the strain on the system of accountability should always remain as the first priority. There are few ideals in human nature that I have a great influence over and keeping my word is one of them. Holding fast to virtuous principles is my ambition and goal. These ideals form the foundation of who I am so if I deny or waver from their precepts I become less who I want to be. For me that is not acceptable. I have seen enough and endured enough and practiced enough less than honorable human traits and I find despair and regret as the price for those ventures. I have mentioned in previous postings on my blog how I spent many years using the trial and error method as a default position when it came to crucial decisions in my life. Those days are over and a new day is here. Today when my word is given it will be honored by me with all the conviction I hold dear.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day (#100)

It is fitting that my 100th blog posting should fall on mother's day. The one person in my life who inspires me with a kind word of encouragement every time I talk with her. Throughout my life her hopes for making my world better than the one she lives is a constant. My mother bore the childbirth of eight of us children with each one taking a little more of her with us. Physically, the toll of just childbirth has been significant. She has endured however with a faith to be admired. Humility seems to be her stock in trade, a worthy quality. If my mother has a character flaw it's that she cares too much. I can't say enough about her courage and benevolence in keeping with the greater hopes and realities for those she loves and cares about. Life has not been easy for my mother but it has been a blessing for her. She has long ago found the joy of grace and applied it's principles to her life. I care about what a person thinks not what they have. What my mother thinks is more important to me than anything else in creation. We don't always agree nor should we but the value of knowing how she feels on most any subject continues to be a treasure for me to hold. I am fortunate that my mother is still with me as I continue the journey of life and appreciate more everyday that priceless gift. Happy Mother's Day Mom, words are just not enough to tell you how much I love You.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Humor's Power (#99)

In the beginning as a child, humor for me was a strategy and a defense mechanism in assimilating into social groups. A strategy in that if I could make you laugh you wouldn't necessarily want to outcast me. A defense mechanism so that also maybe you wouldn't want to hurt me. These childhood experiences were my first indoctrinations into the use and effect of humor. Why I felt a need to use humor to assimilate is a topic of discussion for another time, however, insecurity seems to have been the driving force. The topic of humor's power is a unique one in the traits available for human involvement. Humor is unique in that it's effect is generally positive and brings with it a sensation of good vibes. I think that the creative mind needs an outlet for humor that at times can be very droll or solemn. Humor also allows for individuals to communicate in a way that doesn't normally bridge many emotional feelings. There are many forms of humor, some very simple and direct, such as a well timed smile or an inadvertent comment at the right time. Other forms of humor take some thought to capture what is funny through the usage of irony, simile, metaphor, facetiousness and once in awhile through sarcasm. Whatever proper form of humor that is applied, it's outcome could have beneficial effects on those involved in it. Life is about living experiences that should make a person appreciate the gift life is. Humor is just a quality of life that should be available to all and practiced with courtesy and respect. Every living moment in life needs to be experienced and humor is a great way to fill some of those moments.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Parents and their Cat (#98)

I got some happy news about ten minutes ago when I looked at my phone and saw that I had missed a call from my parents. They have been going through a sense of fear because they lost their young cat three days ago. My parents live by themselves and their cat is their little bundle of joy. Well, the cat was meowing outside their door early this morning. The cat is home. I talked to both my parents during the preceding three days and they both were feeling a loss and guilt about the cat having got out and away from them. Sadie, the cat, is an indoor cat but she is still fairly young and full of curiosity. It isn't surprising that Sadie would try to get out and away, it does however bring to the surface the raw emotion of attachment that Sadie symbolizes in my parents life. Our hearts are just as vulnerable to deep emotion whether given to a human or animal. I know the feeling, having gone through my own experiences with animals and loss. My parents are mature and determined to live a quality of life expressing their will to be a part of life. The cat's adventure however took something out of their souls. They sounded lost and defeated at the real possible loss of Sadie. Their deep sense of loss hurt those of us who knew of their misfortune. Their voices this morning also conveyed their joy over recovering Sadie and the love they both feel for her. My parents raised eight children and numerous grandchildren, but Sadie is loved by them just as much. Life gives us what we live, and how we live with it, is the true barometer of the character of our lives.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

To be a Free Thinker (#97)

Everything in a market economy has a cost. Yes, even the air we breathe to the water we drink. Maybe not directly but absolutely indirectly. To be a free thinker is somewhat of an illusion since thinking freely is in itself taking a position. Not always a positive in a world striving for conformity. I understand the rationale for conformity, since it could lead to an efficient and concordant society. In some specific areas this is a universally sought after outcome by most, my pardon to the anarchists and chaos theory proponents. A slippery slope situation occurs when people of good will and honest opinion attempt to extend conformity into areas best left to individual development and exercise. It is in free thinking that we, as a society, must continue to encourage by teaching ourselves how to think, not necessarily what to think. There has never been an absolute way to live life. Living life is a learned process based on how life affects each of us. Yes, there are rules given about what can be lived in life, laws-codes-mores-ethics, but no one individual will know how to live within these parameters until they can personally ask the question, "how do I do this" and find their own answer. We are many on this planet and a society regulated in fundamentals will be necessary, but the ability to think freely, with knowledge, analysis, reason, compassion and objectivity, will require individual courage to discover our own "how" to live and stand in defense of our own decisions.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Purity of Love (#96)

Love is the one emotion I have experienced that absolutely makes me feel whole. I have no other experience with an emotion that captures the essence of my being. I have experienced powerful emotions such as paralyzing fear, great pride and tremendous joy. Not one of those is on the level with a type of perfect love. I use paralyzing fear as an example of an emotion that is inversely related to love in only a limited way. When I had been stricken with fear it was only for a moment and then through courage I was able to conquer the fear. With love, there is no amount of courage that can conquer a love that grips my being. Why would I want to conquer it anyway? Love is a gift, a special sensation attached to how my physical self operates. Never would I have thought that a feeling I could have would so dominate how I act or think on such a comprehensive level. I am only describing the good fortune I am lucky enough to have within me. How that translates to everything outside of me, including the subject of my love is not for me to control. I hope and pray that what I have been given is not wasted on me. If for no other reason I can give a meager description to it and hope to convey its purity so that anyone so fortunate to also feel love will know what an absolute perfect gift it is.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Guiding My Fate (#95)

What does it mean for me to say that I can guide my fate? What it means to me is that I can change the course of my destiny in slight and varied ways. I have enough control over who I am and how I can live my life to realistically modify the events of my fate or destiny. My destiny marches to its own drummer but how my destiny is achieved is what I am referring to. It's in the how that I have some control. The choices I make will determine how my fate is recorded in the annals of time. By sheer force of will I can hope to claim the determining factors that ultimately define my destiny. I can't get there by just hoping or believing that inherently my instinctual goodness will absolutely prevail in all circumstances. I must force a rigorous discipline upon myself in a daily fashion to keep the vigil of hope alive for the best outcome I wish for my fate. In theory, my fate had already been defined the moment I came into existence. It is in the living of my life that my fate's definition will come to be understood. I continually write about the better and best traditions of humanity because they are the yardsticks I find worthy for me to attain and be measured. If I can hold to the great principles of humanity, my humble attempt to have a more positive fate is more likely to happen than if I left it all to chance.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time as an Ally (#94)

Time has been a very real and helpful tool for me. I used to think of time as a reference point in the limited history of my life. I only saw time as a way to measure significant points in my life. Time was just an abstract necessary to demarcate and separate events. I have come a long ways since my meager understanding of the purpose for time in my life. Time is a constant companion, a check on the balance of every decision I would or do make. In every way time has come to be a priceless, precious commodity. I think of time as an entity that allows me to pause and consider how my life is being lived. Time gives me a dimension of clarity I otherwise would not have if I didn't take time. I am not quite explaining my relationship with time in a clearly cogent way although I am trying very hard to explain. Let me put it this way, time is running for all of us, and for me, time is not to be wasted by choice. Time's value makes what I do valuable, at least for me. So time has the quality I give it, which is to raise myself up to an order of living most desirable to me. My desire is to be a courageous example of a human permeated with the principles of the best qualities humanity has evolved. Time is my constant and faithful companion in my quest to enrich all of our lives as best I am able.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Still becoming a Gentleman (#93)

"A man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior". My most arduous ambition. This life-long growth, into the man I want to be, is complicated by my inability to discern precisely what is true in some cases. The certainty of truth can differ from one person to the next. My greatest challenge is applying logic to the emotional gift I, as a human, possess and then understanding what "correct behavior" is my truth. It is important for the truth to be my truth. I am the one who must live with my choices and hopefully be the only one who bears the consequences if they are inaccurate. In my ambition to be the best gentlemen I can be I bring principles of honor, virtue and charity and all their meanings to shape what my behavior should be. I wasn't born with noble character but I can learn noble character and claim it for my own. It is a life-choice that raises the possibility of me living the human experience in the better and best traditions of human ability. I don't do this to be better than anyone else. I don't do this to be selfish to attain an ulterior outcome. I do this so that my life may have a positive consequence in the lives of other living things. I do this so that when my life is over it can be said; look that guy Carl helped me more than he harmed me. To me, helping someone more than harming someone is the greatest legacy I know I can achieve just by trying.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

How to justify Greed (#92)

I have been trying to think of all the ways I can to justify having everything I want regardless of how it affects anyone or anything else. I can go to survival of the fittest and say I'm stronger and more deviously clever so I should have all I want. I could say that capitalism in its perfect form allows me to attain all that I want through legal and governmental sanction. I can say that greed is a natural trait and I am inherently only following my genetic code. I can say a moral/ethical code isn't necessary when I put myself above anything or anyone else, so why should I care what happens to you. I guess I could spend a lot of time listing reasons to support a greedy state of mind. In some possible culture this might even prove to be a honorable principle of the highest order. What's lacking in these aforementioned concepts for justifying greed is the bond of compassion we should all feel for each other. The term heartless comes to mind. The sociopathic/psychopathic behavior comes to my thoughts when I think of greed without any other concern. In our society today there are examples of greed that have been masked in economic terms and philosophies for the purpose of clever deception to fill a need to be greedy. It is important for all of us in society to call these examples out and expose them to principles of truth. My soul is torn with hurt when I see how some of us humans allow greed to blind us to the real harm our selfish actions place upon other humans. Proper honorable human traits would not allow it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Let the Past Go (#91)

At times I catch myself thinking back into my past and reminiscing about when good things happened and when bad things happened. There are times when looking back into my past helps me determine what to do in my present and future and that is natural and intelligent. It is not these times that I am writing about. It is the times when my mind wanders around through my memories with no particular direction. This way I have of mind-wandering has not been very beneficial to me. The process of growth of who I am are the predominant memories I encounter. It is the growth of who I am now that inspires this posting today. The process of growth itself however has not been too inspiring. I've said before that I was inclined to learn through trial and error. Although I rarely practice this principle of uneven logic, I did for a long time. My memories of decisions I've made have made me wince with a feeling of regret and embarassment. I must continually remind myself that those experiences are in the past and have, in a purely luck kind of way, gotten me to where I am today. I am so very thankful and appreciative to be living life as I am now. I don't make decisions based on chance or self-important reasons. To keep letting my mind wander into the land of my mind where what could have been torments me is irresponsible and foolish on my part. Today, life is hard and long and I know this and embrace it, because this is the true reality for me. I'm not the boss of me, life is.