Friday, December 31, 2010

An evaluation of time (#700)

I was talking to my brother yesterday. He was in the hospital to have his gall bladder, surgically removed. My brother John came through okay and we talked about how the pain was and laughed at different types of pain we have experienced that would compare with it. This was a good conversation with my older brother. I lost my oldest brother Jim to a heart attack 6 years ago and I still wish I could talk to him. This highlights for me the finiteness of time. It really just seems like yesterday that we were all kids playing together. I have not lost any time but it seems that time has escaped from me. I am well into middle age now and I recognize the value of every moment whereas when I was younger I had the mindset that time was not something worthy of my consideration. I suppose I am no different than anyone else who wakes up into a new day and keeps on living their life. It is just that there are moments now that permit me to pause and consider the time I have spent and the perspective I get about how much time I could have left. When I was younger my biggest fear was not being able to live out a full natural life span. It is also true that I threw myself carelessly into dangerous situations that could have easily ended my life. The paradox of what was going on inside my head, lol. Being at each end of the spectrum of my thoughts and actions during my life I have come to know this, there are no deserves in life. There is only this present moment, my memories of the past and my hopes for the future. As I keep moving forward through life, accumulating time, I am fortunate to know that time is finite and what I do with it is my legacy. It is the measure, not just in the length of my life, but in the abundance of virtuous manner as to how I live my life within the limited scope that is allowed for me.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dig deep to find the truth (#699)

It is so convenient in today's world to hear someone say something that sounds like it is right and accept it as truth. I am sure this has been going on since the beginning of time for us humans. Our individual worlds are busy, full of priorities and chaos, that learning and keeping up with commentary from new stories and comprehensive information becomes nearly impossible. What we find ourselves doing is connecting with some information outlet and relying on their fact-checking and overall conscious of what is happening and taking what they say as what is true. I have done this most of my life, especially if the conscious of the information being portrayed is in line with how I think. For many years I did myself a disservice by not evaluating what I was taking in with other points of view. I was subjective in my filters of information and their eventual reasonings. I have since broken out of that self-centered mode to a more open paradigm. I find that listening to all sides of any policy or position within news has given me the freedom to understand and make my own judgments. I find the truth has many layers to peel back before it is finally exposed as itself. I am not too busy anymore to know information and the intelligence it gives me. My priorities are to be informed by being objective. I am in a constant state of checking all information, even my foundational understandings against other points of view and facts. This is what life should be like, an opportunity for all of us to discern our own opinion and not let others do that for us out of convenience. It is okay to say I don't know. But it is wrong to say I know when all I have done is take someone else's talking point and made it my own. I am okay with how I present myself with the truth, at least it is mine and I am always open to learn more!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Taking things for granted is wrong (#698)

if there is one thing I know for sure it is this. I have joy and happiness within me. All I have to do to get it out is stop taking things for granted. When I do not have any expectations, my life is full of appreciation for things that help me in my life. Before, when I did take things for granted, I found that I was angry and made some of those around me feel inadequate. The cumulative effect of me expecting things in my life, on those who cared for me, began to disintegrate our relationships. I was blinded to the fact that my expectations on others was selfish. Even worse was the fact that I did not portray the same respect back to them I expected from them. I really was a selfish ego-driven demigod in my own mind. After having lost some relationships it began to occur to me that no one worth having in my life wants to be in a one-sided relationship. At times we need to receive and at times we need to give. It is just how we are. My own specialness began to deteriorate in front of me when I saw how callous my actions were and what effect they had on others. I have always been a good and kind person but somehow, someway I got lost to who I was and became something unrecognizable to those who really knew me. I have since found my way beck to me and since then I have come to practice one really simple thought, do not take anything for granted. All of life is a gift and nothing is deserved more by one over another without putting in the effort to achieve it. I have also learned the tremendous power of humility. It is almost a reverence that I live my life by now, doing for the sake of doing because it helps in my giving and through giving I also receive something of far more worthy in value, my joy and happiness.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The value of the human being (#697)

I stand tall and strong, pound my chest and say I am human and I am alive. Why do I do this? It is to remind myself that I have value. I am not some rock or microbe of insignificance, I am a human being who is capable of thinking and acting. I am just like every other human who can think and act. It is important to have intelligence about knowledge but it isn't what is the most valuable quality. Of greater value, what I contend to be our two natural instincts, are compassion and curiosity for all. Our baseline that defines who we are is what is natural to us. All other things are the journey we travel. At our core we are defined by understanding that we care for each other and we want to know things. Compassion and curiosity are the impetus for us to begin our movement, all other things are the momentum to keep us going. Only because we have care for each other and wonder about all that is around us are we able to use knowledge and the intelligence it provides us. What gets lost in this existence and how we developed our society is that material and prestige have somehow risen to greater value than the human entity. Wars, throughout the human record of life, have been fought for less noble ideals than the value of life. We have been taught that to trade life for materials is necessary and expected. Somehow our focus had been deviated from living in harmony with all of existence into hate and fear. It is my contention that in the denial of compassion and/or curiosity lesser human traits are allowed to develop. So how did the absence of compassion and curiosity originally happen? I can only assume that our ancient ancestors were, through some act, denied their care and/or wonder by some confusion or chaos. It is by default, my position that hate and fear were learned behaviors and not instinctual. Some event must have caused the fertile ground for our now prominent lesser natures of hate and fear to grow. Only in recognizing this knowledge can we have the hope to bring ourselves back to our original instincts. This is obviously my own opinion.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The wise are humble (#696)

I am mostly proving my point from two fronts. Humility in itself is not an indicator of wisdom, although it does seem to be a trait in most abundance with the wise. I know some humble people who are not learned academics or self-taught righteous proclamers. They are just simple in how they approach life. To each his own and in some ways simplicity in choice does show a fair amount of wisdom. For the most part however, the wise are secure in the knowledge that they understand circumstances and are not bellicose to describe such things. They do not choose to draw attention to themselves as an ego assuagement. Instead, they choose to humble themselves because they know they are very lucky to have insights into things that others have not yet gained. The other way I know of humility being a trait of the wise is through the opposite expression by those who would appear to be wise for reasons other than honor. There are people who speak out on subjects of importance with only a narrow view of the subject. Their most bombastic rhetoric is in direct contradiction with humility. As I have learned, through time, they are often proven to be wrong and/or deceptive in forwarding their insights, usually for personal considerations. In other words, those who speak out the loudest most often can be dismissed as not coming to us from wisdom but instead from ulterior motive. Prime examples are those who are paid to "explain" wisdom to us on television and radio shows. It appears that since one has some knowledge of a subject they are accepted as being wise about that subject and all those subjects that have commonality with it. Nonsense! Wisdom is out there to be found, a key to finding it is recognizing humility and distinguishing the nature of the humility.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Break out of the hard place (#695)

I am not satisfied with how I feel today. I do know this, I am able to change that by how I think from now on. I can choose to feel less than hopeful if I want. I can also choose to be more than hopeful as well. It is up to me. I often forget that I have that control. Previously, I would chalk things up to fate and say, "well this must be how things are since this is the way I feel." That was acquiescing to randomness as a control. I am so much more aware now and do not think of this existence as the plan. I think of existence of being a boundary for me to plan my own existence. There are some physical, emotional and psychological patterns within me that give me guidance in how I plan my thoughts, actions and behaviors, but nonetheless, I have the control. If I choose to be happy then that is what I can be just by putting my will toward it. There are also some limitations I live under as well and knowing these and recognizing my ability to function despite them is the key to me being able to manifest MY destiny. It is appropriate that I have this understanding of my place here in existence and how I reflect who I am. Time is short here, I have found this out the usual way, by living through it. As such, I am more determined than ever to have the kind of experiences I dream about come true. The only way for that to happen is for me to begin from a place where all the possibilities can come true. That place being in my thoughts. Like this morning, I am not always starting out in the right frame of mind. One thing I have learned is that I cannot assume that I will be where I want to be within me without constant attention to what my present situation is. I am a complex entity that needs my constant attention, otherwise I will lose sight of my ambitions and drift aimlessly, all the while wasting more valuable time.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Individuals within a community (#694)

Sorry to spill the beans but here is the truth, we are individuals who need to live with each other in a community. We are not one or the other of these in total, we are both in total. Our need to be unique is well observed from generation to generation. Individualism will always be something we must work out in our own way. But similarly, we are also communal, we need to be nurtured and share experiences so that we don't ever have to feel like we are alone. This dynamic of having to be separate while at the same time being together is something of a complexity that foreshadows our futures. We are inexorably linked to a concept of dualism. I have stated this before and again I will also do here, we are in the infancy of our species' evolution. What passes for complex now, will no doubt only seem simple at some future time in the destiny of humanity. What is needed today however is for us to recognize our particular paradigm of needing to be one while also needing to be one of many. It seems logical that we would be able to distinguish the difference that both realities offer. They are both real and deserve the conscious thought that should go into making them conjoin as a working unit. We take time for ourselves and we take time to interact. Both are separate functions we control as much as we are able. Some things are, by necessity, out of our control, that is not unusual for any of us. But what we do with the opportunities that make their way to us is all in our own hands. Our dual need to be is also a challenge to us to find the best of what we can do and instill that into our actions. Daily, I sacrifice what I would want for the sake of what others need. We all do this, it is why we know that our lives are more complex than just ourselves. We are also a community of souls who are trying and maintaining our life in order to advance beyond this present time into a future time. Our individual strengths are best reflected when there is someone or a group to share it with.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The necessity of hope (#693)

I was recently having a conversation about what the meaning of hope is. An expectation or "A belief that something wished for can happen"-Wiktionary. Certainly some hopes are nearly and/or impossible to achieve. Regardless, we still find a way to give some possibility to the event(s) occurring. Most hopes are just wishful thinking and pipe dreams of our wild imaginations. But their necessity is quite important. Hope gives us a way to endure those things that would deteriorate us without it. Possibilities are what hope are. Some probable but most improbable. What I wish to discuss though is the necessity of hope. Hope is what we can dream about and dream for. Hope is our inspiration for things not yet achieved or even realized. Hope can be the boundary for all things to work within to achieve. As you can see the necessity of hope is what makes us visionaries. I know none of this is news to us but to be reminded occasionally cannot hurt. Hope is an ideal for thinking, planning and acting on a life for ourselves and for others. The least I get from hope is that my principles for living have a structure for beginning. We are not just a species that understands the present and needs to survive within it. Through hope we get to glimpse at what the future could be and effect it in some way or another, our choice. As such, that hope is a necessity and of a value, is certain. It is also something that is undiminishable. Regardless of the stress and denial of human care, hope will endure where all other forms of mental logic will fail. It is inexorably linked to our will to survive and shall always be elevated in importance as to how we approach the living of our lives.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The promises we keep (#692)

The promises we keep are the bonds we build in our relationships and are vital to us maintaining those relationships. The promises we don't keep are the ones that hurt and tear apart the relationships we strive hard to keep. It is important to realize that when promises are kept good will is likely to be maintained and achieved. But just as inversely proportional or even worse is the broken promise. Always be wary of announcing a promise without being sure of your effort and intent to complete the promise. In my youth I will always remember how promises were both kept and broken and how I felt about both. When promises were kept I was happy and expected them to be so. That was bad on my part since I truly did not appreciate the effort that others gave from themselves to keep promises with me. When the promises were broken I would feel the emotion and physical pain of betrayal and self-loathing. this was wrong also, the best of intents cannot sustain an effort to keep a promise on their own. Sometimes promises are not meant to come to fruition. I am not offering an excuse or reason, to letting promises go unfulfilled, but that promises are broken is not always due to lack of effort or intent. My goal is to make those promises I do and keep them. Whatever that may be within all reasonable circumstances, even in unreasonable circumstances. Promises are the bonds we put into words to reflect our motivation and intent. The recipient of our promises also has a stake in how we either complete or not complete our promises. When the decision comes down as to whom has to sacrifice, the promiser or the promise, for me it will always be me, as the promiser, who has to sacrifice. I get to make that decision based upon what kind of man I want to be and how valuable I want my word to be known.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The price of peace is hard work (#691)

Now that my title shows that I have solved that dilemma, we can move on to other things, right? Wrong.  Anyway, it seems to me that when ever there is a conflict of any nature, the only recourse, that is not violent, involves the ability for people of different viewpoints to discuss them. Now discussion alone is not always or nearly enough. Compromise and/or creative thoughts need to be offered as solutions. I would rather have taxed my brain over a period of time to mentally wrestle out some kind of answer as opposed to jeopardizing any living soul in armed conflict. "War is not the answer"-Marvin Gaye is known to sing about in one of his classic songs. I agree and wish for peace to find it's way into our lives in a real and complete way. One of my Facebook friends, Carla, recently commented that in her 55 years on Earth ( same as me by the way), that she has never lived under peace. I started to think about her comment and I agree with it. There has been war waging since my conception on our planet without stop. The one hope I will carry from all this chaos of death and destruction we inflict on each other is that progress has been made in some conflicts that have avoided greater needless bloodshed. The progress has been accomplished by persons who would stand up to violence as an option and instead furthered contemplative and creative dialogue for resolution. It is easy to give in to anger and force to settle differences in the moment, but the effect causes emotions of deep hatred and lasting revenge. In accommodating the insanity of self-destruction, which violence truly is, we retreat from civilized solutions and historical achievements. The price of peace is hard but the payoff is lasting and satisfying.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My eyes are wide open (#690)

I do not ignore what is happening in our world. There is much good in our world to behold and marvel at, likewise there is much horror that is cruel and nightmarish. It is easy to put on a filter and only look at the best of what is happening around me. It is not what I do for myself. I force myself to look at the pain and anguish as much as I am able, in order to instill within me my sense of outrage and courage. I need to teach myself that I am not immune to what happens around me as much as I like the security of being shielded from the outrages. I need to be taught to stand tall and face up to outrage despite what actions may come at me for my stance. That old saying of "if your not against it, then by default, you are for it." I will not allow myself to be lesser of the man I am trying to be. I cannot solve all that is wrong nor can I solve much at all, but I do not have to be silent on any of it. I have found that by making a stand against bad people doing bad things is something that is welcomed by other like-minded individuals. It seems that once someone takes a risk and makes a stand others do as well. Sometimes I can lead and sometimes I can follow, but stand up I will. I feel responsible for the actions and activities that happen on our planet while I am alive. Superman complex? maybe so but without the illusion of being that capable. Change can only happen in the face of bad force by standing against that tide of momentum. We are all examples of what is good in life and at times we take turns being the first to take the lead on effecting change. I find it is now my duty to call out what is wrong when it is wrong. I will not allow myself to sit in a default position, allowing wrong to perpetuate, when I can make an effective action to change it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Greater expectations (#689)

Not for me, but out of me. I am past all that, what's in it for me, stuff. It is hopelessly vain and not integral to who I truly am. Yesterday I wrote about harmony and that is what I want all the time for myself and all others. I can work toward harmony for myself directly but for others I can only be an example. I have much work to do yet. I am still passionate and at times over-bearing in my beliefs. Staying on an even-keel for all circumstances is not something I have prepared to do all of my life. I am a recent convert to objectivity and calm discussion, however being a convert does not make me in any way a perfect practitioner. That is just process however and not the tougher assignment of thinking thoughts that keep me in harmony and aimed at greater expectations for myself. It is as if the rudimentary expectations I do reflect now, are just the foundation of what I hope to build off. I expect myself to help when needed or to go out of my way to make someone else's life better through some sort of act. The key to who I am is simply put this way, life is not just about me. I am only a small part of a long continual pattern of human species who dwell on this planet. But in that knowledge of who I am not, I get to define who I am. It is up to me to decide what destiny history will record about me. I have always been strong of mind and soul. Knowing this I am able to give of myself and find enjoyment through that. I do not need to be exulted in any way, contrarily, I would rather not even be noticed. I am self-satisfied with how I think and what actions I take. This is my reward, fulfillment. I am at a good place but I want to be at a better place so onward I go expecting even more out of myself.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The struggle for our identity (#688)

There are forces that exist which would prevent harmony from being our species greatest attribute. The forces would rather things remained the same so that a way of life can be maintained. It is a choice of judgment as to what life is and how it should be lived. I am but a singular force with little impetus but, nonetheless, I am a force. My direction of how life should be lived revolves around a harmony of compassion and curiosity. No other motivation consumes me. I do live in a society that is interspersed with levels of education and comprehension, which makes communication a difficulty. We all have different needs and wants at different times in our lives which also complicates finding harmony. But despite the differences and challenges, we may be able to find foundational agreements that are beneficial to us all and lead to harmony. Life is not a perfect scenario with hopes and dreams that are a constant with reality, however, basic human practice of compassion and curiosity can lead us through the contradictory, blinding mazes we erect for ourselves. Back to those unfortunate other forces for a moment. The status quo is never easy to change. When power is held it is not easily given back. The worst of our natures will reveal themselves and overrule those natures which could do benefit. We are a fragile species, given to fear at the drop of a hat. It is this very prevalent fear that guides the forces that would keep us from finding a social harmony. Unfortunately we are in the midst of these fear driven forces and unshackling ourselves from these fears is our greatest test if we are to find our identity. As a child I looked at the world with the true innocence of newness, why that cannot still be as I am in adulthood has everything to do with all of us finding our own true identities; compassion and curiosity.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In a call for help what will I do? (#687)

When I was growing up I could not even think about helping others unless it was an emergency right in front of me. I was too busy thinking and acting on my own behalf to care about what others were going through. The old out of sight out of mind philosophy. I am not proud to admit this but there it is anyway. I have grown from this insensitive position to one where I make myself available to circumstances beyond myself. I am available now to help when I hear the call for help. I cannot explain the transitive moment or circumstances that led me to who I am now but It has definitely something to do with maturity. By maturity, I mean to say that my perspective on my world and the rest of the world has changed. I no longer think in terms of what kind of advantage or fantasy can I obtain, contrarily, I think about what kind of positive mark can I make on the world today. My soul has grown into a place where it is in conjunction with my mind. A firm stable place from where I can stand with confidence and the freedom to be who I am now. I no longer peep around the corner to see if the coast is clear. lol. I stride confidently into my present and future with the purpose of a man who has something of value to offer and is willing to do so. What is so revealing to me about all of this is that through time and experience, I have continued to grow as a human being. Just when I think I have something all figured out I now know that I am just beginning again. It is funny this thing called life, it gives and it takes with no rhyme or reason, but if I continue to grow as I am doing it shows itself to be the most satisfying dynamic yet in what few years I have left within this existence.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The reward of discovery (#686)

I am not talking about an Earth shattering discovery, but just everyday discoveries that help us along in our days. I have maintained from the start of this blog that one of the two natures we are born with, curiosity, compassion being the other, must be allowed to manifest itself otherwise darker, less than noble traits will emerge due to the inability of curiosity to fulfill it's function. When curiosity is allowed to manifest itself then the opportunities for discovery increase. I bring this up because I want all to know the importance of discovery, even discovery that has a negative or painful outcome is still vital to being known. I have this certain way of looking at us humans and how we live. It is not much different than a life form inside a petri dish. We are still mostly just here on the planet, working toward what we will eventually appear to be. Not unlike the organism in the petri dish, we are still working out what is truth and what is fiction and in this process we are beginning to take on a form of something that truly defines us. We only get to who we are by moving from here to there through discovery. Our curious natures must be allowed to flourish with as little interference as possible. The truth of why we are here in this existence and how we got here are still yet unknown, but to continue to search through any and all evidence known and yet discovered may give us an opportunity to find out. I would rather face the truth of life than to cower from it in hopes that it doesn't hurt me. Much of living life is the same. Having a boldness to discover and continue to care to survive is our nature. When we put our natures toward action we can then find our destiny as a society of humans who must discover, if we are to fulfill who and what we are.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Changing myself is a constant (#685)

If I am not motivated to change who I am today, then the prospects for tomorrow become limited. Everything is in a state of change, everything. By not improving myself in a constant way, I will lose some advantages I have already achieved. Life is not a constant. Yesterday has already left and the only thing here now, is the present and a possibility of a future. I am here to inform everyone that life is a constantly, changing experience only interrupted by necessary sleep. While I am awake I am in need of changing. Most of what needs to be changed at this stage of my life is still everything! There is no firm ground I can stand on and shout to the world that I am here and will not be moving from this spot. Neither, physically, emotionally nor mentally. Once the concept of [change in perpetuity] is realized then the real living of my life can take place. I am liberated to the rationalization that anything is indeed possible. I have the wherewithal to effect any situation from any position I comprehend of myself. I become more than the Chameleon, I am a continuously evolving human whose true identity has yet to be defined. My destiny or story will be written on the pages of time after time has ceased to exist for me, not before. Those who do not wish to see that life is about change are the one's who will be left with a life of doubt about their own fulfillment. There is a difference in being secured in the thought that I have arrived at some place in time where my purpose has been revealed and the lack of understanding that means I am done changing within my purpose. Yet even now I still see more change for me, even beyond a purpose I have found for myself, so can you see that change is constantly inevitable? I have and I will do nothing less than to keep myself open to the new and old as a means to continue learning both.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the subject of emotion (#684)

For anyone on this planet who thinks that there is no truth to love or heartfelt emotion, then they are hopelessly dead to emotion. For all of us who have lost someone to death who was so special in our lives, we know the truth about how powerful love is in a real sense. The logical ones will try to dismiss emotion as some past instinctual behavior unnecessary for the new modern human being. I can only shake my head at such thinking and remind myself that without the emotion I have in my life, the richness and fullness of experiences I enjoy would be illogical. Love does exist and it exists in some cases so powerfully that when loss is experienced, the mind may even refuse to accept the loss on a rational basis. The pain becomes so overwhelming that the mind creates a scenario where the loss never occurred. A disjunction from reality as a survival instinct to combat the tremendous sense of heartfelt pain. I have been a part of and seen in others this type of survival mechanism. Our connections to each other is an imperative for us in this existence. We all need to get back to the root of who we are instead of, some unrealistic concept of our imagination, that which we might be. The beauty of how we work as an individual and communal species is just waiting to appear and it only can do so when we are in both modes of application, emotional and logical. I have learned the lesson of how powerful emotion can be and what influence it has in how we operate. How I feel about love and it's connection to those I feel love for, is just as important to me as breathing. Emotion and logic are what make me human and if I am not experiencing both, then in my mind, I am not human.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The two sides of myself (#683)

I cannot help but to be. I have much passion for how I see life should be lived and I am inevitably faced with a frustrating reality. So much so that my emotions are weary of being depressed from fighting for my vision that seems so logical and right, but failing most always. That is one side of who I am. The other side is much more care-free and open to enjoying each moment as if it is my last. Not irreverent or cavalier but tuned out to the chaos of aggravation and tuned into the beauty of what is before me. A sort of, I can see the acuteness of each tree despite the obtuseness of the whole forest, mentality. Without the two sides of me I am afraid I would be useless as a person. When not in argument over how life could be lived I take the time to actually live, like life should be lived, even if it is only for me . My perspective can only grow from such an arrangement and I do not end up howling at the moon as a consequence, lol. Survival is what is intuitive and instinctual within me and having the ability to disassociate my logical and compassionate mindset to a more curiously innocent one, has given me the advantage of enjoyment of life and allows me to step back into the battle for the direction of our humane society, when I am properly rested. The two counterparts of myself are distinct and serve me well. I have no illusion about this complexity I admit to, it is what it is and it is justified in my own mind. In my own mind, where by the way, all things to me form shape and understanding. I use this blog to describe my thoughts on a variety of subjects that are interpersonal to all of us but in this case I can only define how I operate and leave to the readers to draw their own conclusions on how they operate to maintain a semblance of self in conjunction with reality.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The wisdom in our world (#682)

There are two main points I want to make here. First, that experience and knowledge do help to clear up many confusing points of view, and second, that thoughtful time is also necessary to bring about the common sense and intuitive knowledge we need to be able to understand our world. It is common for wisdom to come to those who have not only time in life but also a keen common sense of knowledge. Words on paper help to describe history and philosophy but without a context of experience, these words are left lacking. Over time and having experiences that can be related to our own personal perspectives will we then, hopefully through objectivity, find ourselves entering into the arena of logical debate about or society. That is common, but not the only way our world can be understood. Insightful reasoning from our youth and their perspectives are not unheard of. Never discount the role of passion when applied to principles of virtue. Even the youngest thoughtful minds among us can rise to great common sense perceptions of objectivity, through knowledge and even limited experience and time. For the most part though, we are all bound to study and experience real life to be able to understand how our society works and how we can make it better. There is no shortcut to a sustaining wisdom. It must be earned through time, experience and knowledge. There must also be a passion for something greater than the individual. Our world is not just about ourself, it must always be considered in light of all of us here since the instinct of our species is to nurture and grow. We are social creatures who cannot live without each other for very long at all. In light of who we are, we then can figure out where we need to go as a species inexorably linked by a web of complexity. May we all gain the wisdom to see our mutual benefits within a panoramic whole.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bravery is sublime (#681)

Perfection is a sensation. A feeling of being one with all the Universe is an emotional experience unlike anything I have ever felt. I know several people who would question my sanity for making such a statement since they cannot fathom how an innate concept can be felt. I tell them that it is through the act of bravery that a feeling of perfection comes into existence. My argument is up for question with them since they no not of what I say. The actual act of bravery must be performed for the test, of whether a feeling of perfection exists or not, to be verified. Most are not willing to defend to the very core that which would be described as a brave endeavor. To put oneself in a position of vulnerability is seen by many as ignorant or the ultimate foolishness. So much of our society is wrapped around the concept of protecting our individual self, even to the extent that it harms others to do so. That is seen as the proper way to exist as opposed to bravely protecting those ideals of a virtuous human conscious from violation. The fear-ridden notion that we recede inwards into a shell of protection is only advocated by those who have not felt the sublimity of bravery. Once I had achieved this feeling of perfection, my perspective about who I am and what is important in the world had changed. I do not take advice that contradicts principles of virtue, I do not take suggestions or follow the lead of those who would put their right for more above those who have less. Words like courage and bravery mean something special when you have paid a price to learn them through action. They have length, depth and breadth, they are what is of the best of what exists within our souls. Concepts that when experienced will enlighten a person to the full experience of what it is to be human.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Life is the journey (#680)

Why do I say this? Simply because I hear so many people talking about how things should be and how to do it that I want to clarify their assumptions. In some instances it is well and good to not go howling at the moon, I understand when advice of this nature is given. What I am referring to instead is the kind of advice that tries to determine a process for action when other viable processes for action exist. We are not here to get somewhere. Where would we go? Earth has us captive except for a chosen few astronauts. Then shouldn't our experience here on Earth fit within what we want for ourselves and what we can do for others, not what others think we should have? The actions we take, no matter where or what we do, should be with the thought of experiencing life while going from point A to point B. There are certain expectations we have for ourselves and attaining those through achievement is commendable and respectable. But the actual attainment or achievement is not the purpose for our lives it is a justification of sorts for how we want to live our lives. Is there honor in what we achieve? Have we earned what we attained? How did we do these great feats? Whenever I am pursuing a goal it is the details I experience that give me satisfaction when I am on a quest. How I achieve or attain, especially noble efforts, are even more important than the actual attainment. I have a simple philosophy about my actions, every one of them, I tell myself that every thought and action I think or do is being recorded and somewhere, somehow and sometime they will be viewed by others. I place a real or imagined paradigm of hoped for reality on myself which serves me well in reminding me that everything I do has a significance. My journey is my signature to define to anyone and everyone who I am and how I live.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The importance of truth (#679)

Yesterday's post was focused on honesty and how we need to have it as the first premise of every thought we have. Today I want to continue along that thread of thought to explain the importance of truth. Truth gets us to honesty. When we have the clarity of reality before us, when making decisions based upon truth, it allows us to present ourselves in an open and clear light for interaction. In my personal experience, I have found that when I am dealing in truth, and the facts of it, I am thoroughly engaged. I listen to responses with an acuteness reserved only for the logically rational. In other words, I am, who I am supposed to be, when in the presence of truth. My spirit, my mind and my emotions are all on the ready for understanding. It is as if without the truth I am less of who I am and less optimistic about who I will be. I need air, water, food, shelter etc... but as well I need truth just as vitally. I know I can continue to survive in  our present society without the truth being dominant in all things, but I also know that I am not fulfilling all my potential when I am not surrounded by the truth. Many reasons are given for sheltering us from the truth but the sheltering is an illusion. Not only that, it steals from us our true reality which is ours to perceive and live within. I am not naive in the idea of why truth is so elusive to many of us. There are agendas by powers that be who have, perceived and real, advantages in maintaining acts of illusion. But my response to that is "at what cost?" Is it so hard to imagine that we could all tell the truth and achieve those things we strive for? If we all give each other the respect of being honest, have we not then risen up off the solid foundation of truth?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Being honest (#678)

Being honest. For such a thing to be, much must be thought out. Allowing for time to think before responding in an active way is imperative. Despite the best of intention, many other factors and situations must be considered. It is invaluable to begin at the point of truth however, before any real thought is given to being honest. I have found that when I try to present an honest thought in some way that is disingenuous I have nullified the objective of honesty with a dishonest delivery system. In other words, manipulating honesty is counterproductive! I need, as well as desire, to let honesty stand on it's own and be a part of whatever happens after that. I don't get to create the illusion that is not mine to create. I have to trust in how honesty is perceived and live within that boundary. When I think of how I want to be treated it is with the honesty that exists not some form of it meant to assuage some aspect of my reality. Despite the best of intention, I need to deal with reality and not a false sense of it. I know that some, myself at times included, have thought that by changing the truth just enough to protect someone, they and I were doing them a favor. Wrong!!! We all need what is real in life for us to be able to better understand how to live in life. The real pain and joy that exist should be ours to absorb as they naturally come to us all. I have much faith in the human species to be able to adapt our instincts and need to survive to whatever truth may appear. It is essential that we keep our communications based on foundations of reality. For all of us to be honest is the first step toward helping each other face and grow from the real life circumstances that belong to us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Intention versus reality (#677)

I often get caught up in the intention of an action I would like to proceed with and sometimes lose sight of whether the action I wish to perform is really a wise thing to do. Nobility of the action aside, often other perspectives tend to be less redeeming when viewed from the overall act. I get this. So in lieu of doing something sometimes that I know or realize may be construed differently I acquiesce to not doing it at all. This is and can be disheartening since the original intention was to do a positive thing. Funny how complex life can get and also unfortunate as well. I know that well intentioned motives are not enough when deciding to do something outside myself. Other factors need to be considered. Today, I am well aware of this and tread lightly, with a sense of respect for what a good intention on my part may do, but also how it will make others feel. It is not up to me to fix or make things better that which are not my direct responsibility. What I can do is reach out and offer, where it is appropriate, a helping hand that is offered solely in kindness, with the expectation that my offer will be declined. It is the least of which I can do and if declined, I know that I have tried to do the best of my intention. Charity, through the act of love, is easier to give and much more difficult to receive. I know so many proud souls who want so desperately to make their way in this world with their own two hands. Even the suggestion of an offer is enough to make them cringe. I am a proud man as well but my heart at times recognizes the really difficult times and I do want to make a difference where I can. It is my nature to care.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vigilance as a requirement (#676)

One enduring trait all of us should have learned to keep close to us is the action of being vigilant. "the ability to maintain attention and alertness over prolonged periods of time."-Wikipedia. Nothing in this life should give us the impression that we are immune to being made unsettled or uncomfortable by the whirligig of confusion that envelopes our existence. Whether it be environmental or societal, we are at the mercy of forces outside and beyond our control. If we are to maintain and/or improve our lives we must be aware of what could happen as well as what is happening. Our focus on the generalities and the specificities of what is happening around us is our own responsibility. We are in a state of existence where we are beginning to rationalize our promise and also our vulnerability. For our futures to come to fruition our very present must become solid and foundational with the best of our principles for living. Whatever they may be they must define us in action and thought. We have to remain vigilant in expressing who we are and what we see as our future. Not all futures will look the same and some will have different pathways to them, regardless, anything worth achieving requires sacrifice. I trust the natural instinct and overall general welfare we have for our species. We are an enlightened, creative, decent form of life and the continuing of us into time immemorial should be what all of us aspire toward. Staying "on guard" is a watchword for being vigilant. If we want to keep the best of who we are in practice and thought we have to stand upon a determined vigilance to defend and fight for our hopes and dreams. Our work is never done and rest is only a pause to re-energize. The notion that we have done our part and it is time to relax and enjoy the fruits of our overall labor is an illusion. Life is hard and needs to be fought for from the first breath to the last. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Greater than we (#675)

What is that I say? Something is greater than we? I cannot say that unequivocally, but I can say it as a probability. The unknown yet discovered in the Universe beyond our small area of understanding has the capability of being greater than we. Certainly there is nothing yet in the Universe that compares with our life form, but again we are in the infancy stage of our evolutionary development. Our still simple to complex mindsets have yet to become disciplined to the greater complexities that the Universe surely awaits to reveal to us. Only our ability to be confident in our own knowledge base, as unfulfilled, will we be able to be prepared for what is revealed to us next through our relentless, curious instinct to learn. Not knowing something is not the same as knowing we don't know. At the very least I know I don't know. I can admit to being uninformed but that does not mean that I don't know that something out there will eventually fill that void of not knowing. It may sound confusing, but I know I am still learning because there is still so much to learn. As much as I respect the fact that I am a part of this existence, I cannot let myself assume that I am one of the greatest entities of what is in a Universe. I have, as a member of the human race, only recently ventured to set foot on another orb like the Moon. There are reported billions of other stars in the Universe with their own unique solar systems, filled with planets. I only wish that aging to death was not a factor in this existence as I then would be allowed the privilege to be here when we do explore the full widths, lengths and depths of the boundaries, which make up the mystery of life and it's environment.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My helplessness makes me smile (#674)

My helplessness seems at times to more than make me smile it makes me outright laugh. I want so much for my personal life as well as for all our lives through a better society, but alas, I am mostly faced with disappointment. I know this is usually the outcome, but my hopes and desires are so real that the sensation of their non-achievement is emotionally and physically painful. It is then that I analyze my situation and the smile or laughter begins. I get caught up in the notion of deserves and should be's that I forget that I nor any other single human being has control over what may be. My life will be unfulfilling in many areas and I know this. Such is the lot in life of every human. This ability to immediately recognize my mistakes in the hoped for fruition of every aspiration I have, is somewhat a new phenomenon for me. I would get depressed and act out in the depression for long periods of time. Oh woe is me syndrome. lol. Being taught to have a thick skin while staying sensitive to my hopes has been a long and hard road for me to travel to get to this place of understanding I am at now. I still feel the sting and gut punch of my dashed expectations, but the time I spend in that space is seconds and minutes now, not weeks and months. I am able to remember that I only somewhat control me and nothing else. I take great solace in this awareness since it focuses me back on what I am doing every moment instead of on things that are outside my actions. Of course others will always try to manipulate and control others through power and influence but that is their choice for the quality of life they wish to live. I can stand against injustice wherever it is but I cannot force my aspirations on others when they have their own to fulfill. At the very least that is my choice. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our future is ahead of us (#673)

The importance of knowing history and having perspective notwithstanding, our future is what we need to focus our intentions on. We take what is best from our past and present and form a blueprint for the future. How do we start? We use our imaginations. Here again I will post a quote from Robert Kennedy-"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" Our imaginations can be the key to what our future can be. We can all be the architect of what the future can be. No one is more or less able to imagine the future. The struggles humanity has endured to get to a point in time where we are now is quite an historical story. We have, through pure grit and determination, refined our evolution from a hunter/gatherer to a more civilized social body. Where do we go from here? I can imagine a society that is all over the outer edges of our knowledge with technology, ingenuity and innovation leading the way for us to maneuver in time and space. Our future destiny as a species is unlimited by any other force other than our own and those in the Universe we have yet to comprehend and conquer. The great unknown will soon, in our evolution, become known and when it does become so, we will be looking for the next great imagination to lead our species into it's continual future path. I find it exhilarating to think that although I will not be around for it, our species, that which we will eternally be a part of, has such great promise and hope of living out the best of who and what we are through our ever advancing determination to go boldly into the next exciting future.

Friday, December 3, 2010

By helping you I help myself (#672)

This has been a learning experience for me. I have much in my life that I am thinking about at any given moment. It makes sense, since I am the one whom I am ultimately responsible for. But the lesson I am in continual learning mode about is that though I need to make decisions, concerning how I function in life, I also need to think about other things. What has been a pleasant surprise is that when I am struggling with something in my life, it suddenly becomes easier to resolve when I turn my mind to helping other people with their problems. Clearly for me, when I turn to help someone else I take my mind off my problems and focus on other people instead. This time away from my own problems seems to help give me clarity when I get back to it. Or, in other words, a different perspective, which usually translates into a simple solution for me. There is also something about helping others with their problems that seems to lift my spirits and make me feel good inside myself. It is almost selfish on my part to know that if I help other people I get to feel better. A win/win type scenario. Are we not all looking for opportunities to win/win? Lest I forget to say again, the good feeling I get when my spirit is lifted is also a benefit as well. So more like win/win/win. lol. I have found that learning this lesson of helping others to help myself is an ongoing daily routine I am trying to incorporate into my life more and more. Apparently, something like this, that seems so right, must be part of my better nature and therefore if good for me then why not good for you too? If our world was more about this approach, how much better would our existence here be?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The struggle to find my convictions (#671)

This post is about me. It is how I came to know what is important in life to me. I know we are all different and many reasons exist to describe who I am and how I live. I was taught by my parents, family members, friends and teachers. What I took in from all these lessons is what eventually defines me when I am out putting to action my convictions. It took time for my convictions to define themselves to me. I always knew what kind of human I wanted to be in theory but that is difficult to do when life in reality is so complex, or so I thought. Now that I am older and have perspective about mine and others' experiences, I see that there really is no reason to ever compromise my convictions. I know that now, to live in the ideal way I have always wanted to since I was a child, I must always let reality exist around the truth in my life. When I stand up for and with my principled convictions, the outcome will be whatever it ends up being. The outcome isn't up for me to decide. I don't deserve to be able to control what will be, no one does. I get to be a part of whatever it is, period. I am satisfied enough with that. I know that my life is what I do have some control over and reflecting back to everyone else who I am and what I stand for is my full time job. This may sound like I am not trying to do more about things I could effect in ways outside or greater than my own person, that would be wrong. I am trying with all my might to effect greater outcomes but I can only do that by being the best me I can be. Instead of trying to manipulate events or people I am only trying to be an example for others if they choose to turn there focus on me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How we judge each other (#670)

Remembering back to my early childhood, I was so innocent. Everything was new and fresh for the first time. My eyes were wide open with expectations, even though I did not know what to expect. That time was the best my life has been since. Why is that? Well, I thought anything was possible at any given moment, I admired everyone and everything and I was going to be a part of whatever was going to happen. I was just waiting to learn to be great like everyone else. However, that was not my outcome. I was quickly made aware that negative attitudes and less than noble instincts were at play in life and I was just beginning to see them for the first time. My high expectations of living in a world where everyone cared about each other was shattered. I began to see that people were labeled as different things and that these different things were not equal. I began to notice how words were used to describe some as either one thing or another instead of a mixture of many things. I was told to stay away from some people because they were not like me. What did that mean? Life became confusing to me and I was less happy. I started to feel fear as a reaction to being around certain "types" of people when before I was honored to meet new people. My world at that very young age of innocence was taken from me and in it's place was a darker more cynical one. I remember how I used to smile at the sunny days and look forward to new adventures. I still smile at the sunny days but the pure joy I felt has been gone since the days of my innocence. I am not the only one, everyone else has lost that first innocence they were born with as well. Our inability to see each other as family instead of with suspicion has taken our lives in existence, from innocence to fear.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Growth despite myself (#669)

I will change no matter what happens. Time is continual as well as my growth. I do have a choice in how I grow, it is up to me to recognize and act upon how the growth will manifest itself. The story of the frog who when placed into the kettle with hot water in it, will jump right back out. But when the the frog is placed in the kettle with luke-warm water, it will stay there even when the water is slowly heated to a boil, thus allowing itself to be killed when all it had to do was jump out. Such is the same for us. We will react immediately to imminent danger but when the danger slowly creeps up on us we usually do not see it until it is too late. That is what will happen to me if I am not choosing or directing the course of my own change. I need to do my own evaluations of who I am and where I want to be. If left up to others I will only be a tool for them to use or if left to no one I will end up being something other than what I could plan for. Everything around us is in a state of change except some who chose to see the world only one way, despite the fact that they are changing regardless. It is unfortunate for them since life has given every indication possible that nothing stays the same. It always comes back to fear when change is denied or ignored. It is not our nature to shrink from life but to advance into it. I am always happy when I wake up into a new day. I am constantly reminded that while I was sleeping the whole world changed around me. Of course, familiarity of some things make us wish that things would never change especially the better and best principles of our society. However how those principles are administered changes and that is how we keep adapting to our ever changing world.

Monday, November 29, 2010

To keep hope, action is required (#668)

Our nation was founded on the idea that a better way of life could exist from the one that was, at that time, being lived. That was a hope that eventually came to be realized. In that instance however, much action that required sacrifice and blood was necessary. Not all hopes require action that extreme but some form of action is required for all hopes. Hopes are things that have not been obtained by the one whom hopes but they may in some time within the present or future, be realized. I have found, in my experience, that hoping based upon just hoping, is insufficient to create the environment for the hope to become realized. Action by myself or other(s) needs to be facilitated. Hope is the idea, the dream, the aspiration that has a seed within our minds. It will only be that idea unless action of some thought is provided. Faith is different from hope. Faith is the belief that an idea is true or false, however one looks at the faith being considered. Faith is the rock whereas hope is the river. In hope, change is expected. I bring up the two concepts, faith and hope, because I wish to be clear in why I am defining hope and I do not wish for anyone to be confused by the two. A principled life is the beginning of my outlook. I have, over the years developed my principles for living and they follow me as I live day to day. My principled life is my motor, my hope is like the petrol that starts my motor and powers it through my day. The navigating I do is based upon the hope I wish to see or achieve. Here it is, my hope is my motivation for the course of my life. Everyone has hopes, the question is what are those hopes and are they valued as worthy? Our destinies are being written by the actions of our lives, what will your destiny say about you?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On the subject of courage (#667)

I am no master of courage but I do know what it is like to stand accountable for something while in fear of great bodily harm. That is one kind of courage. Another type of courage I know is telling the truth when the result of the telling is personal shame and embarrassment. Whether mental/emotional courage or physical courage, experiencing the choice to decide is most always tremendous fear. Why does it seem that fear is involved in most every opportunity I have to be courageous? When I look back on the times when I have been courageous, it seems that logically, I should have naturally been courageous. That has not been the case with me. The very few times I have been courageous without fear being involved happened with such rapidity that I did, just naturally or instinctually, display my courage. I would think then that when I have time to consider or feel emotion, I am susceptible to fear and it's cowardly actions. I also can conclude that fear and courage do not go hand in hand. They can be mutually exclusive when there is no time but to act. Just a little about fear here since it is quite prevalent in my ability to be courageous twenty-four-seven. I need some manifestation of fear in my life to protect me against some elements in life that do require me to be cautious. But never to the point of inaction. Only through processing facts and realities. I am coming into a stage in my life where I embrace fear as just another emotion I can use to better others and my own life. Fear can be controlled just as acting courageously can be controlled. More than any action I can reflect back from myself is the courageous action that is filled with the better and best principles humanity has discovered. Being courageous is a quest I wish to never shrink from.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Every action we make counts (#666)

There is nothing too small or insignificant if the action involves thoughtful consideration. How do we save the world? Or how do we stop poverty or hunger? These are big steps that seem impossible to achieve. What we do best however is little steps like helping out at a homeless shelter or donating clothing or some little amount of money we can afford. Even giving a down-and-out-person a smile or an encouraging word is something positive. Charity and respect are virtues we all need to be involved in, everyone of us. No exceptions. If all of us would have the mindset to create and be a part of good will, the wave toward the bigger steps of solving poverty and hunger would become inevitable. We all just need to be in the same desire to be in our good natures not our selfish and greedy ones. I know this is hard talking about doing something for others instead of doing something for yourself, but the reality is when you do something for someone else you are doing something for yourself. You are raising the level of your own sense of self worth. You are giving of yourself where others truly appreciate your actions. You are serving a purpose with real tangible results. In other words, you are making yourself matter in this life. I am significant when I make a positive difference to others. My life is worthy of being lived when others look at me and see a happiness or they feel good about who I am. Everything in our society is predicated on how we live with each other. Surely, there are those who would only see others as stepping stones to some artificial material happiness, but those people are the ones whom I am trying to show that people are the most important entity on this planet. How we live with other people is truly the real measure of our own happiness and the success of our purpose in life.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why do we lie? (#665)

I am referring to not telling truth, not the prone position. lol. In hiding the truth we are consciously, or less usually, sub-consciously, determining an advantage for ourselves or others. Why would we do this? One reason would be because we are afraid or concerned about what the truth may do. Most lies are for some short-term gain at the expense of someone or something else. We have gotten to a place where we do little to consider the overall effect of not telling the truth. We don't teach truth as a subject, instead we avoid discussing the results of what most lies lead to. In reality when we tell a lie we are stealing from someone or something. It is theft to lie. For sure we are stealing from our own truth and lessening our resolve to be as principled in action as we would think we are in thought. My own personal experiences with lying have been mostly centered on not knowing something but lying to hide my lack of knowledge. I have also lied about others to gain a perceived advantage in the eyes of someone I was trying to impress. In actuality, neither of these two reasons I used to lie about were worth the price I paid in humiliating myself. Eventually I was exposed and further alienated myself, more so than if I would have just been honest to begin with. I learned my lesson well and have risen to a place in my principled life where lying is not acceptable. The truth, however I have made it for myself, is what I reflect back. Most lies are because, like me, others were unwilling to work hard at learning. An idle or shiftless mind will resort to whatever words need to be spoken, regardless of veracity, to achieve or maintain an advantage. The destruction lying does to one's own character and spirit is not nearly worth any short-term gain. Truth however, gives me liberty and a sense of honest character that is noticed and admired not only by myself but others as well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The fullness of ourselves (#664)

Whether it be turkey, potatoes and gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie or our egos, moderation is the key. Today we celebrate a holiday that features the gratitude for bountiful harvests. Although a secular holiday, it does incorporate the concept of offering up a thanks to some higher power for our blessings. In America, we are fortunate that the overall moderate climate allows us to produce food harvests in plentiful amounts. Our nation has the capability to feed not only our own population but other countries' populations as well. Although the dysfunctionality of our society keeps many of our citizens in a state of hunger, opportunities to receive meals on this day are abundant. The history of our country, albeit somewhat painful and controversial, has led us to this moment in time where most of the world looks to us for action and direction. This position of leadership has dire responsibilities attached. Nothing but the best of our intentions should be forwarded lest the impression that we are not interested in others' welfare, even in our own overall welfare, be concluded. Our egos must never reach the point where we see only the dictates of our perceptions as the only justifiable course. We should not let ourselves be full of ourselves. No one has figured out how live in the most perfect way. Because of the benefits and sacrifices American society has provided to the world, in no way should that make us think we are better or more intelligent than other non-Americans. We may be further along in a lot of technological ingenuity, but in social and moral areas we are not superior to any great degree. Our current society has to reflect what is best about our evolution and we have a ways to go on that yet. Eat moderately today and think with a thankful heart for our blessings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why do I bother to wonder? (#663)

Curiosity is not something I just turn on and off. It is by my understanding, an instinct. I was born with it on and I will most likely breathe my last breath wondering what is next. I suppose life could be lived with little to no curiosity but I cannot see how. My curiosity is in everything I do. I am in a constant state of analyzing the situations and circumstances that surround me. Everything that filters in through my senses has to pass through a recognition feature of my mind and heart. Sometimes I think of myself as an organic computer, sorting the simple and complex equations that make up reality for me. Of course just because an event or thought may present itself does not mean I will understand it's significance, if any. What I do control is the degree by which I am curious. I can accept what others say as truth or I can research my own understanding. What effort do I put into knowing what is going on around me? I see varieties of choice as to becoming informed. Some have no intent to learn outside a certain generally accepted knowledge base and others will not allow themselves to learn within any generally accepted knowledge base. These are two extremes but they do have followers. I tend to fit into the category of questioning everything. This is not easy to do since some fears would prohibit me. What I do when fear surfaces is I remember that fear is a reaction to cowardly behavior, the unknown, myths and superstitions. I make the distinction of which one it is and then gird myself with courage and push forward into the questioning process. I suppose it is not uncommon to be afraid to question my life in existence but I know it is also my instinct to want to know why. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Logic and emotion (#662)

I can have both. Being sensitive to the emotional reactions I have and logically understanding practical reality are not two mutually exclusive paradigms. I can have both. I am a complex organism, capable of distinguishing between the vibrancy of emotion and how it effects logical decision making. Often we are told not to make decisions in the heat of the moment for that the decisions will more than likely tend to please some primal pleasure than advance an objective reasoned outcome. Of course, I know this can be true due to my own experiences. Like anything however, I learn and assimilate new ways of solving problems as I move through life. Using emotional sensitivities to motivate and/or encourage passion are two ways I have evolved beyond the simple illogic of rash decision making. I understand that the emotion I am sensitive to is but one ingredient in who and what I am. Emotion eminates from within me, that I know. Whatever comes from within me has my instinct and expectation as a driving force. Again I know this about myself. I am a greater entity than just my emotion. I am also curious about knowledge and how it is logically applied. The curious instinct that I have is also within me and is driven by my need to know. I am two halves of the same whole. As such my nature is to experience both my emotion and my thoughts. Not both as the same but both at the same time, equally shared with equal relevance. Not giving one more consideration without giving the other equal consideration. I may suffer the consequences of being emotionally logical, but I do not get to predetermine outcomes based on one or the other. I get to experience outcomes based on both, whatever that destiny may be.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The inspiration to become better humans (#661)

Inspiration comes from having a great goal. Hopefully, our ethics and morality will point us in the direction of a goal that is an advancement we all can approve. I just want to make the distinction about goals, there can be some that are inspirational but not healthy or an advancement of a positive nature. Selfish goals that benefit one without the consent of others who are being taken from. What I have in mind for goals are the ones that benefit the one and others as well. A positive goal in the sense that it advances society instead of retreats society backwards. Goals are like what we would wish for if we had the power of granting wishes. Goals that look out ahead of where we are as a society and see where we could be if we could only get there. I know that our life spans are short but regardless, having a purpose to strive toward can be and is fulfilling. With fulfillment comes an emotional and psychological uplifting of the spirit. A happiness if you will allow me to describe it as such. Certainly, the striving for the goal is not always fulfilling, but when in earnestness of purpose comes resolve and satisfaction that something worthwhile is being attempted. I have lived my youthful life with little purpose except to find my own pleasures. This did not bring me fulfillment, on the contrary it brought me more of a sense of hollowness. I had lost my way for awhile and now I am back. Full of purpose for striving toward goals that could benefit not just me but everyone. I would like to see a society that treated all like they are special and equal. I would like to see a world where poverty and hunger were not the dominant reality. I would like to see every human have a real chance and duty to participate in living a life of respect and honor. Many goals to see, much work to be done. I am content in that at least I see what could be. Now to work to make it happen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eliminating fear (#660)

The recorded history of our species seems to go back 30 to 40 thousand years. In all that time no one person or group has been able to establish peace while eliminating human on human fear. We come into this world with no idea why we are here and what we are confronted with varies from love to hate, from value to expendable. There is no continuity to how we live our lives since we are subjected to human forces that would abuse and harm us on a regular basis. Is it just me or are we a bit slow on the uptake of what progress should mean? Is it not obvious that a purpose everyone could embrace would be for us to establish a society that eliminated fear, at least from ourselves to ourselves? This planet and the Universe it is within offer enough anxious moments. Why have we not been working on a way for us to be free from fearing ourselves? Certainly there is some advantages to being a fear based society. We can let our baser instincts dominate our lives for the sake of avarice, power and domination. This has been going on in one form or another since the time of humans. It is a wonder that our minds are wasted on the things that serve no great purpose for us all and the generations that follow. It is a bit embarrassing to be a member of the human race and have history record that we allow fear to permeate our society without making the purposeful goal of eliminating human fears upon each other. This is something that we can control. The one thing that most likely is stopping us from making our society less fear based is our own fear of doing it. Fear cannot be eliminated in totality as long as there is an unknown  in our lives. But the knowns need not be feared.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Introspection as a guide in life (#659)

Who am I? What is it to be me? Examining my life and what matters to me is how I find out. I need to spend time just within me. Meditating and remembering on the thoughts I have motivation for. Why do I do what I do? I have more questions but these will do for today's subject. I find that when I talk to myself in an ordinary way I get to the deeper meanings of my actions. I know that some years ago I would have been considered nuts for having a conversation with myself. Maybe still today that is true, I am not absolutely sure. But I do know this, that when I question myself logically and analytically I get results that are discoverable just below the surface. Thoughts that have gone unnoticed until I brought them out. I see questioning myself as a form of self-examination. A clinical process to look at all the little details that help me understand myself. I may seem to be talking in circles and if I am I will assure you that there is a straight line logical sequence to what I am trying to convey. My point is that I move through decisions exclusively to my detriment if I don't stop to know why. I am not infallible, things I do have consequences, and as such reflect back on me. If and when I react either to my instinct, intellect or common sense, because of time constraints, I hope that it will be because I have looked into my motivations as a whole and trust my principles that I am acting in the best of mine and others' interests. If I am acting upon instinct, intellect and common sense, without time constraint, I have a greater chance of developing my introspection as a guide and the result should be one or many that I am rightly purposeful about.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The evolution of my listening (#658)

I have learned how to pause when I engage my mouth to speak, whether inadvertently or not. Pausing has come in handy that few split seconds. It seems that waiting to hear the full comment before replying is mighty helpful. lol. I, in the past, had liked to jump right in when I thought, what was being conveyed, was clear. More times than not I was correct in my assumptions. However, the times I was not correct really amplified to me the insensitive nature I exhibited of not listening, with the right intent. I was always so eager to jump in to show that I had tremendous reasoning facilities and look at me, aren't I an especially wise one. The deep need to be recognized for what I thought was being ignored, my value, had commandeered my persona. Fortunately, time and experience allows us to see better the reality we live in. All of us are special and desire some recognition for what we know and how we think. Now , back to my problem with speaking before I listen in totality. How I was able to change this was the opposite of how I used to jump the gun on conversations. Instead of thinking that I needed to show how special I was, I came to realize that I needed to show how insignificant I am. I am not anymore special than any other person. I am only just the sum of my experiences and reasonings. Today when I am given an opportunity to express an opinion, I feel deeply honored that others may find some significance in my musings. Humility is my watchword. I am humbled to be alive and involved in life at this level. You know, the living, breathing level. I feel no need whatsoever to show that I am worthy to exist. I am now only someone who cares about others and myself enough that I respect those who talk to me and listen fully when they do.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Raising the bar (#657)

The importance of meeting new people has tremendous advantages. Opportunities to learn of different and previously unknown cultural eccentricities can broaden our perspectives. I know of no one who could not benefit from having broader perspectives. Even opening up to the people we do know to learn more about them could as well help broaden our perspectives. The point being that in new and old relationships there are insights that can be gained to help us live better and more fruitful lives. In one particular way, what I am referring to is being able to motivate and push ourselves by seeing that same paradigm in others. When others push themselves to greater achievements it can have an attractive effect on us as well. We may not embrace what is being achieved by others as a priority in our own lives but we can appreciate the desire to achieve. The desire or raising the bar in how we look at what we want to achieve is the point. If all we have is what we know as to how to push ourselves toward our goals then we will be limiting our expectations. Some are born with a metabolism to achieve great results but most are just trudging along with the weight of the desired hoped. When I see other people pushing themselves toward a goal that is amazing if achieved then I as well wish to enlarge my own hope beyond a limited hope toward a greater and more substantial one. In other words, why settle for a slice of bread when the whole loaf can be gained. Then why settle for the loaf of bread when the bakery can be gained. Raising the bar in my life is not something that happens for me on it's own, I need others in my life that help me see that wanting more of a good thing is better than wanting less.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do we show we care? (#656)

Care about what? Anything. It is in how that we respond to any situation that is within our ability to effect. How, the operative word. First, what is our motivation for even responding? If the motivation to respond has any selfishness to it then further thought is required before deciding to respond. If there is no selfishness involved and no harm can be seen, then responding in an affirmative way is appropriate. Our motivations to care must come from what is known to us as being helpful. Not all things seen to be helpful, are helpful in reality. Thought, and confirmation of giving help is sometimes necessary. What is most important is that the help or care must be given from our hearts. The best kind of care or help that can be given is unconditional. With no expectation of something in return. A noble concept that has only the best intent of high principled action. We all have a duty to be the best human we can be if we are to survive in a society that demands these natures and principles from us. I have long held the idea that the best way to happiness is to be selfless. In other words, do things for others instead of doing things only for yourself. What is the purpose of being alive? We have all asked ourselves this question at some time in our lives, well the purpose is to be ready, willing and able to experience what we have here in the best possible way. I know I did not answer the question but I do not know anyone who can. In the meantime, we must make the best of our world and treat each other like the gift to life we are and make the best of our uncertain existence. We show we care in how we help and treat each other when help and treat are truly needed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trusting my instincts (#655)

I have written on trusting my instincts before but not as the main subject of a post. I have over 600 of these posts behind me now and remembering all the insights is not easy. I do have a guide though and that being, tell the truth as I know it and never deviate from my principles unless they can be improved upon. Trusting my instincts has proven to be important and enlightening. What are these instincts I am referring too? Simply put, they are my non-thinking actions. The impetus and momentum of my life is my next step. I have garnered ideals by which I try very hard to bring to practice. It is in the consistency of trying very hard, that I am further away from old behavior that does not reflect my intention anymore. My intentions are now, hopefully, being reflected by my actions based upon my hope for our combined futures. I "trust" that what is inside me now is the very thing that will help guide my future. I do not need to, necessarily, plan and coordinate every step I take in order to advance on my path in life. I can trust my instinct to carry me at times when the next step I take is too complicated for my mind to process in a quick and efficient way. I try to be true to myself and as such receive the benefit of actually acting as myself as well. Not everything can be planned or scheduled. Somewhere, somehow I have learned to trust that who I am is deep and runs through the conscious and subconscious parts of my mind. Although I am human and naturally prone to making mistakes, I am permeated to the bone marrow with the principles of the better and best natures humanity has achieved. I am humbled that I see that life, for me, must be right and good. Knowing what right and good are in action, sometimes is displayed when I cannot do it logically, but instinctually I can.

Monday, November 15, 2010

There are no deserves (#654)

None of us deserves anything. What did I say? How can that be? Well. let me explain what I mean. We are born into this world with no recollection of why. Apparently our only memories are from this life not anything before it. As such we are fresh and new to this existence as far as we have been able to establish. Therefore we have no expectation of rights about the beginning of our lives. There are societal rights, depending upon which country you are actually born in, that have been established from past human effort, but not of our own doing at the time of our birth. We have been gifted with our time in human existence with the work accomplished by those who came before us. We did not deserve any of this, what there is for us, for better or worse, was left here as a tragic struggle or other motivation. Certainly, we have molded ourselves into society to take what advantages we could get through calculating and perseverance, but only because the opportunities existed previous to us using them. Everything we do is as a result of something that was made available to us from the past. Even those things we build on in the present are just an extension of what the past has provided. We are the beneficiaries of the sacrifices from previous generations. It is a privilege to live in our existence at this time. We have continuing struggles but the foundations of our daily lives has already been established. I am not saying that we shouldn't continue to strive to make our and/or everyone else' life better but the mindset that we deserve is fallacious.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Help others and happiness will find you (#653)

It doesn't always work that way but mostly it does for me. Happiness sometimes is hard to define, but a sure indicator with me is when I find I am smiling. It doesn't take much for me to smile either. I do something good for someone or for some cause and a sense of satisfaction and emotional uplift occurs. I have no problem at all distinguishing between the cause and effect of this. My happiness is directly related to how I treat others. Nothing else is quite like it. Certainly I can make a major investment in some really cool piece of merchandise but the initial excitement of having attained a material item soon wears off. However, actions I take for the benefit of others, sticks with me for my lifetime. They also have indirect effects. When someone is directly affected by some action I take to help them they view me kindly and speak kindly about me, as well as, they are more likely to help someone else as well. I am a firm believer in "what comes around, goes around". My pursuit of happiness is like a way of life for me now. Not only do I get the great feeling associated with being happy, but I also get to help spread that feeling to others. What is the purpose of life? I am not sure and I will probably never know for absolute certainty but making this existence a better place to live and doing positive things seems to be sufficient for me. It is my hope that all of us will see the necessity of helping each other so that life can be just a little bit more happily bearable than it currently is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Facebook, blogs and other means to express (#652)

I can only imagine what my life would have been like if I had the options to express like I do now. I can, with some certainty, say that we all have something to say and a desire to be heard. When I was growing up and in my formative years there were few options for being heard and for even gathering information to help clarify my insights. That is not as difficult today. With the advent of the Internet and it's many components, gathering information and formulating much more precise arguments and thesis', is far easier. Having platforms to express the arguments and thesis' have also become more readily available because of the Internet. Facebook allows us to gain new acquaintences and share information of similar interest. I use blogger to express a daily opinion on some subject and as such fulfill my desire to be heard at my convenience. E-mail also is a way of sending out information to multitudes at the touch of a keystroke. I do not write letters much anymore but still do keep the means for them if I choose. Some things in life surpass the electronic age as to dearness to the heart and having received an handwritten letter is one of them. Mostly though, if I want to express in word, I have the means to do so in a way that is recorded and available for perusal. The ability to express myself is not the only consideration I have to make. The content of my message must reflect the high standards I have for myself. I like to think that (the better and best of humanity) is my guiding principle of virtue. I have a duty and a responsibility to only present objective and well thought out insights if I am to put my name on anything I write for public or private viewing. Expressing myself in the written word can never be for less than positive reasons. Learning to express myself in written form is a practice that I am continuing to perfect as it is a craft of refinement. I welcome all the challenges associated with it because I get to express like I have never been able to before.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the subject of harm (#651)

John Stuart Mill will always be the link for me in defining how I think about harm. It is not like I spend time thinking about harm, but when the subject of thought or action turns to the possibility of harm, I remind myself of Mr. Mill"s statement: "Do no harm". Three little words of huge magnitude. Do no harm to others or to oneself. Now the context of doing no harm is wide and varied. It includes physical, mental and emotional. That being said, I find that in my life doing no harm is very difficult to attain. Mostly, I do no harm but realistically, I harm despite not wanting to. Life is complicated and I get moving fast and when I move too fast I leave myself vulnerable to harming myself and others. The details of my life are crucial. The opposite of what I had been inculcated to believe. It is in the living of every moment and the details that make that up I find areas where, if I am not paying attention, the opportunity for harm is possible. The value of trying not to harm is that I get to understand the notion of slowing down so that I have a better sense of how I am living my life. It also reflects back that I am not alienating and causing strife to those in my life. Three little words. Although there are three little words which correspond with "Do no harm" and they are "I love you". In doing no harm I find that I can love others and enjoy the camaraderie and love in return from others. I wanted to entitle this post selflessness or the effects of being selfish, however, I decided to take the tack of coming at this subject from the cost/benefit of the action of thought. We must know how to live in order to teach our children how to live. To change the paradigm from "it's all about me", we must begin by understanding and accepting the principle Mr. Mill has phrased for us: "Do no harm".

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How do we see our future? (#650)

If I could have everyone write what they see our future as, I am certain we would see more things in common than we suspect. Possibly a society that has opportunities for all to be productive and contributive. What is the purpose other than to maintain order and offer fun as recreation? I would hope that doing space exploration would be our greatest curiosity in this reality. I am only talking about this reality, that is while we are alive. The one great unknown that is all around us is the space we are contained in. What is it? How far out does it go? What can be found out there that is awaiting our discovery? Certainly, bringing order and common purpose to our society, on whole, is the first step, but while we are working on that step we can also continue to expand our capabilities toward space exploration. A new and exciting future exists outside the areas of our known understandings. Some may be fearful and that is to be expected. No one lives in this existence without a dose of fear concerning the unknown. But traditionally we have been able to unlock our courage enough to defy our fear and step into the unknown. I always try to look at life as a great adventure with untold stories just waiting to be revealed. As a human being, I am comprised of the nature of curiosity. It is a destiny within me waiting to be used. The mere fact that life has offered us incomplete knowledge and the mind and will to try and complete that knowledge, is proof to me that my future is still yet out there, bigger and greater than the present I have now. That is my view, what is yours?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The attraction of the unknown (#649)

This is why I love to learn. I am attracted to knowing things I do not know. It is a positive thing for me. Some might not agree about knowing things yet unknown as a positive thing, but I do. I can agree that we are all different and what we want out of life would be different as well. The comfortability of having things stay constant is understood and at some level I also like consistency in life. It is not the reality of life and no matter how much I may wish for it to be so, it isn't. My internal motivation to know and understand keeps me focused on the bigger picture of experiencing change. Like I said, on some level I wish things could remain the same but that level is not real. It is just nostalgic. What I really want is more change in mighty ways and that is my true wish for life. It always comes back to the fact that life is short and all the living I want to do in it will not get accomplished. My wish is for me to somehow suspend the paradigm of time to allow for a fuller and deeper experience with life before it is over and the end of my life occurs. With what I presently know I am unable to configure a theory for suspending time. That doesn't mean that some variation of that does not exist. It just means that if it does exist, it is as yet, unknown to me. Hence the drive to know the unknowable. I may seem a little unrealistic but realism has been evolving and who is to say what realism will look like in the future? I have no illusions about finding the "fountain of youth" but that does not mean I give up all search for it. I get to define what my life will be about and I will do just that. Somehow when my time in existence is up, I will at least know before I leave existence, (probably through death, lol.) that I have not given up on what can be, only on what there is at the time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reason is our one advantage (#648)

The only thing that separates humans from the other species on this planet is our evolved sense of reason. Without it we are still trying to find fire for our campfires. This one essential component has allowed us to advance from living to survive, to living to understand. From reason we have nurtured and grown in our abilities to communicate. From the days of us being hunters and gatherers as a sole source of maintaining our existences, we have been able to learn how to live together relatively. We have formed civilizations and founded ideas into realities. We have taken more than just the life sustaining fruit of this planet to advance into industry and technology. Our advances in just in the last 500 years have been incredible. All of this movement into enlightenment have come as a direct result of being able to reason. Intelligence, is our one claim to the Universe that we are greater than the sum of our physical bodies. What is inside our minds is not necessarily revealed by just looking at us. We have the capability to conquer the physics we are limited by, the unknown we have yet to discover, and discover we will, and all other possibilities that are not natural to our perceived limitations. To be born a human being is quite an impressive achievement. How this happens that we are born human is something I have no clue about but that it does happen has been my fortuitous luck. Given that we have the ability to reason, possibly sometime in the future we may actually find out why. With reason there are no limitations that are beyond imagining. Make no mistake however, reason is our one true advantage and it must be protected from being dismissed as just another amongst many human traits.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A new paradigm in our society (#647)

I have heard the phrases "take our country back" and "I want things the way they used to be". I understand the sentiment. For me, what those phrases mean is, I want things the way they were when life seemed simpler and more understandable. I also wish I could have things the way they were when I was comfortable in life and there seemed to be less conflict and chaos. What I do know however is that the past is not coming back. Just like those who were close to me and died are not coming back either. I also know that what seemed like simpler times were just times where the whole truth was shielded from me. As much as I remember the good of days gone by I must also understand the bad that I was not privy to. When seen in an overall perspective through the lens of time I now understand that we have progressed forward from those days, and these days, however confusing, are still an improvement on the past. I, to this day, will always try to keep the good, moving forward, from the past but I will never try to keep the bad. As we continue to evolve, both in science and thought processes, the past and it's simpler times also begin to fade. Our destiny is out in front of us, not so much behind us. We need the past to remind of us where we have been but we need the future even more to give us vision as to where we hope to be. All of us live in the present and that is where we should spend most of our time. Not only living but thinking about the present as well. But the present is just a moment in time and having a destination to look forward to, into the future, is where we should set our sights.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Occam's Razor and the American Experiment (#646)

Elementarily put, "The simplest explanation is more likely the correct one."-Wikipedia. Whenever there is some doubt to most anything, always revert to your common sense or the most logical explanation. Doing this is not enough however, further investigation or research is still required. We have to be able to negotiate the reality we live in with our own ability to find truths were we can. The days of relying on some statesman/woman or some talking head is over. Never before has the crucial decisions we face been more important for us to understand. We are at a pivotal point in the evolution of our country and perhaps our world as well. The fits and starts of the progress we make as a species has been the hallmark of our time in existence. Our American history tells us that we are not a rationally contiguous society. We often take a step back after taking two steps forward. It has been our destiny so far though to continue forward despite our irrationality. Our greatest obstacles have been ourselves and some perceptions that are advanced with little to no benefit except to those who can make the perceptions appear to be correct. This is why I write this post today. It is an effort to have us all examine what is being promoted as what is needed for our health and welfare. We must all get up to speed and that won't happen unless we all engage in the necessary considerations of logic and human dignity. Nothing should be considered sacred when looking at how things work and how they could work better. There are new and novel ways at looking at things that go beyond what our history has provided. It is our destiny to shape and form a more perfect union as our founders had hoped we would.