Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sobriety as a choice (#578)

Life is hard enough without me complicating it without good reason. Forming and keeping a relationship is difficult but the alternative of having no relationship is even worse. Some choices in our lives by definition are both necessary and difficult. They can't be avoided. Staying sober and away from the influence of any mind disorienting substance is a choice I can make. When I was younger I would have said that being under the influence of most any substance was a necessity and a smart decision. A sort of relief from the constant chaos of society. A relief, however, implies that I am being subjugated to a struggling existence incapable of being improved. What I found is that the chaos of my life was something I could deal with and ultimately change. But not until I gave up the crutch of altering my reality. As I became sober and aware of my deficiencies, I also started to see solutions that when applied would, over time, solve my problems. One solved problem at a time, through consistency of purpose, my life began to become bearable. I also noticed that others noticed as well. I was starting to become a member of my community through shared interests. Being honest about my shortcomings, surprisingly, was not a big deal to like-minded individuals. I am able today to have thoughts about our present and future that actually help to improve life instead of hiding from life. My sobriety is the best reality to have happened to me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why compassion and curiosity? (#577)

How did I come to this understanding of my twin natures? Through the process of action. I acted on what was right within me. In my original innocence, my young youth, I was only able to process what was going on. I had no method or structure for evaluating beyond what memories I was storing. There was learned behavior that was based on emotion. How I felt about what was going on and how I was to act within my observations. To feel, was what was most important to me. I did not want to cry! I wanted to feel happy! I found happiness in caring through love. As to my other nature, there is no doubt within me that all I wanted to do, besides feel right inside me through caring, was learning or knowing everything I could. I was that child who was always asking "why". But why, but why, I discovered that the question why always took me to another question of why. If you think it is any different over 50 years later you would be mistaken. There is so much left out there that is unknown. That is how I know that our species is just in the beginning of our existence. There are too many questions that have yet to be asked and answered. There is also a nature I don't categorize with either compassion or curiosity, although it is ingrained in both. That being the will to survive. This separate, but singular anomaly is a shared nature and most intriguing, simply because it signifies, individually, how imperative it is for us to continue to exist.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Knowing Yourself (#576)

This is how I know myself. I imagine a perfect world. Then I see myself within it. What am I doing in this perfect world? How does it make me feel? Everything about me wants to be surrounded by perfection. I do not wish to be a God, I wish to live my life where we all have equality with no negatives. Through this exercise I know who I am. My spirit, my soul, my emotion and my mind all strive for the best of what could be for us all. What I must do now is incorporate who I am into a world that is far from perfect. The character of who I am is now up to me to express. What motivation or will power will I display? In what context will it be displayed? I have moved from learning who I am to practicing who I am. How I live now is my daily adventure, as opposed to wondering who I am. The satisfaction of knowing who I am brings with it a comfort. I am not confused about life now because I actually see through all the chaos. I want to help build this reality into a better reality. It is my purpose for being alive. I am not just some accident or serendipitous event. I am here in this existence to help it become a better existence. Now that may sound a bit arrogant, but it isn't my intent. My intent is to take this gift of life, that I have for now, and do everything I can to make it better. I am only moving forward and putting into practice the knowledge I have of who I am.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What is true? (#575)

Let me try to cover this in around 250 words. What is true? We know reality is true. We may not like what reality is, but nonetheless, it's truth is evident to all. I like to think of truth as good, but we know that truth can be bad as well. I do not like truth when it is bad. Although, what I like does not matter because truth will be whatever it is regardless of how anyone "feels". I have to live in this world with everyone else and accept the good truth right along with the bad truth. What I try to do though is not consciously create any reality of bad truth. What everyone else decides to do is up to them to decide. There is another kind of true that has to do with our thoughts on this world and any world that may exist in eternity. What is commonly called a belief system, or a variation of a belief system. What may be true to some about belief systems can also not be true to others who don't hold with a belief system. Therefore true, may be determined by individual perspective. So, in theory, two people looking at the same thing may see two different outlooks. One sees truth and the other does not see truth. I respect both points of thought. I am therefore, of the opinion that true really does derive it's definition from each individual person. That makes sense and is how it should be. Despite what truth we see or live, we are still only individuals with responsibility over only ourselves. Finding respect for everyone to know their own truth is how life should be lived.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Follow your dreams (#574)

Whatever it is that you want to do then try to make it happen. I am speaking of personal goals that have evaded you. I know that the actions needed to accomplish responsibilities leaves little time for pursuing personal goals. But the point of having these goals is to know a sense of satisfaction. It is a way of showing yourself that you are capable of setting out and accomplishing something important to you. time is our great enemy. The days slip by and before you know it years are behind us. Whenever we can be reminded to think of our personal goals it is worth remembering. The impetus to start will eventually come and in that we will start to see the rewards of our efforts. Life is not supposed to be about comfort. Some of life, yes, but not as an end result. We should have a level of uncomfortableness about us that will help to keep our edges honed and our eye on the ball. Following your dreams requires an effort of some proportion. They would not be dreams if they were easy, otherwise they would already be reality. What makes us different from each other is our motivation and will power to attain despite obstacle or even moments of hopelessness. Our characters are built upon the desire of our souls. If we would just take the time to fulfill our own hopes and dreams we then become greater examples to others, who must also endure struggling to accomplish their dreams and hopes as well.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The necessity of community (#573)

Some of us enjoy being alone most of the time to care for things that are more personal to us individually. But most of the time is not all of the time. It is at these other times that I have a real need to be in the company of other people. We are all different and have different viewpoints. We also have some things in common. It is with people I have things in common that I seem to spend more of my time. Especially when that commonality is a desire to improve our lives by sharing our experiences. It took me many years to finally figure out that I wanted to be a part of something where the good in life is the goal. When I was finally able to see that only trying to make my reality better was not inclusive of others. For the good in life to happen, I need to work for the good in all of our lives. People can tell who is selfish and who is not. Everyone pretty much has a bullpucky meter and we all know how to use it. Honesty is the key. There are many levels of honesty and using the appropriate level is a learned experience. We can only get that through our gathering as a community. We help and teach each other how best to effect the good for us. We need each other to better ourselves and those affected by us. The importance of community can never be over-valued. Personally, I have much I want to do as an individual but I never forget that what I do as an individual is shaped by what I do as a member of my community.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The maintenance of innocence (#572)

I do not wonder why there are so many troubles in the world. I know why. When I was a young child everything seemed possible, everyone was bright and wise. Then I started to feel the hurt and disappointment within reality. My very first concepts of our world however were based on a wonderful idea. That life was happy and people all cared for each other. It was probably true for me given that I am sure I was shielded from the worst of our manifestations and I am sure also that I was confused by those things that I did not understand. As time went on though I began to see that our society was not all give and share. I began to have to come to grips with how we really were to each other, not always kind and caring. It was hard on me to have to accept that we were not what we should be, according to what I first thought when I was very young. This is why I write this blog. My assertion is that we have two inherent natures; caring for each other, which I call compassion, and wondering about what life is, which I call curiosity. Compassion and curiosity, the two halves of the whole, who we are. When, like when I was young and began to feel hurt and disappointment, what was really happening was that compassion and curiosity, one or both, were being denied. That is when other, baser actions, filled the void where compassion and curiosity should have been. My innocence is still within me, it is just being clouded out by the hurt and disappointment that seems to fill or lives where it shouldn't. It is my duty to myself and everyone else to live in only compassion and curiosity.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I still have my hope (#571)

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you were willing to wait for it. That is how my hope works today. I keep the perspective that I don't deserve anything or that it won't change me if it ever comes to me. I am just happy that I have hope and the expectation that comes with it. It may never come to fruition but it is my hope and that makes me feel good. Everything is out of my control that is beyond me. But if I am ready for what I hope for to actually happen then It may just happen. If I give up hope and it happens, it may slip away from me because I am not ready to receive it. My hope is a gift to me. It makes me feel good inside. It is the greatest expectation I can experience. The value I place on what matters to me is indicative of the value I place on my principles for living. A hope is real. it may not be tangible but it has essence. It is a lot like my soul in that there is a constitution to it. My heart and my imagination are both linked inexorably to what I hope for. My hope is a culmination of how and what I see life can or could be. My hope is just as worthy to defend as any principle. My hope.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Words and their meanings (#570)

Even this morning I caught myself unable to sufficiently describe a point I was trying to make. My choice of words left too many opportunities for different interpretations. It is not that I try to leave ambiguous comments out there. It is just that at times in my haste, I don't pause long enough to consider what may else be construed from my choice of words. It is bad enough that most of us do not communicate by using proper sentences, it is also worse when we speak to each other orally. The fad of the day when I was growing up was to use slang and "hip" words to describe our feelings or our knowledge of particular topics. This has come back to plague me in some ways since I still find myself reverting back to some slang expressions. I am not saying that this is the only way I am deficient in communicating, but one of many. Most notorious is the the non-specific generalizations I use when I should be perfectly clear. I am guilty of trying to be poetic or clever instead being zeroed in on my point. I am also guilty of using cliche's and metaphors instead of speaking directly to what subject I am discussing. It is like it is easier for me when I can talk around a subject instead of being subjected to an uncomfortableness of speaking directly to an unsettling problem. I am still a work in progress and need to, myself, explain my thoughts with my own directly honest words.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The greatest gift I can give is my love (#569)

I can give thoughts on some temporary situation to make it better. I can pull what little money I have out of my pocket and give it to some needy situation. I can give blood or an organ to donation to keep someone healthy or alive. There are many ways I can do things that help others, but none of it, except under duress or coercion, would happen if I did not have love to give from my heart. Everything that makes me responsive to life in any good way is because I allow myself to love others. I do not suppress the gift of love I have within me. I know that I am no saint, not even close. I struggle sometimes with how much of the appearance of my love I must withdraw from some. When I am being used or abused I cannot continue to enable that kind of behavior without explaining to them the reason I have for curtailing my expressions of love for them. If the behavior continues then I must still love them but from a distance. I was inculcated that being a man required me to be tough and strong and not show emotion. I lived like that for a long time. I also noticed that emotion was not being shown back to me. I did not like that. I had to break out of that macho style. I finally realized that it was not about what I was taught to do, as some traditions, but it is more about what I think to do, that is what is important. I now proudly and honorably defend my right to show my love for others through the actions of my life. How satisfying!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The importance of having your own original thought (#568)

This post is in response to so many comments from all types of media that I read. Almost every time I read some point of view on a topic of current discussion, invariably someone uses a "quote" from some historical figure or some current figure using a "quote" from some historical figure. I imagine in the mind of the writer that the "quote" solidifies or fortifies the point they are trying to make. The problem that arises most often is that the "quote" ends up being the basis of the conclusion in the article. Yellow journalism is an idea of sensationalizing news content to help draw interest to it, therefore increase sales. It seems that finding a "quote" that will help promote one's point of view, of one's argument, is the current fad. I am less likely to believe anything I read that has some "quote" conveniently inserted to bolster claims. It is as if we quit thinking for ourselves and let others' thoughts think for us. We need to use our own original thought in context with what we are trying to communicate. Rarely does a "quote" have the same meaning when applied to different situations. Trying to shoehorn a "quote" into a point of view is shameless and devious. It tells me that for all the passion a writer may feel about a subject he/she is less informed about it and is using a shortcut to hide that fact. All of us should be creating our own "quotes" through the process of having a commanding knowledge of the subject matter we are trying to forward.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Marking milestones (#567)

It is good to stop occasionally and reflect on what has happened in the past. Today is one those days that I get the privilege to remember my parents, family and friends. I also get to look back at my own life and judge what has been happening with it. I am of an age now where all the activity of my life has become very important. I feel that my time is much too valuable to me to waste on things of little or no consequence. All my time must matter. As I look back on what I have been doing I am happy enough with the progress I am making to glean from my life those incomplete and inconsequential activities that used to fill my days. I have real purpose moving through my activities and that is pleasing. It is never enough but that is just me motivating me to greater achievement. I know that I am not doing anything that is above and beyond anything anyone else is doing but what I do is positive and can be built upon. There are areas of my life that are still being resistant to positive change and I will continue to struggle to correct that. They may seem small and insignificant but then again nothing really is small and insignificant. Every second and every action is important. In reflecting back upon myself, my friends and family I get to stop time in it's tracks for just a moment or two and analyze how I am living. Today's look back so far has me feeling good about who I am and where I am going with me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I am privileged to be human (#566)

Through all the cosmic dust trails that led me to being born on Earth as a human being, I am humbled. The odds of me being in existence with a human form must be beyond imagination. As such, to veer off subject, there must be some control somewhere, somehow, someway. But that will be for another time. This time is for the miracle of my being here. I have heard that humility is "overrated". when I saw this in response to something I wrote, I was reminded of my youth when no amount of logic could persuade me from my omniscient understandings. Haha. So, after reading that humility is overrated, I smiled and thought back to my own misunderstandings of how I was so special and therefore worthy of every praise and tribute. As time went by however, it became apparent to me that all of us are special and worthy of all praise and tribute. By now I had become more familiar and understanding of how logic works. Logic then dictated to me that special is not what I was but ordinary like everyone else. In fact, not even ordinary like everyone else but less so because of the huge ego I still carried around about my significance. Today I have come to say that the ego is smaller than a grain of sand and just as insignificant as well. It is a miracle that I am alive living in this existence where I get to experience all five of my senses, some are not so lucky, and stand up for the rights of all humans to be the miracle we are.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The importance of memories (#565)

I am glad that I can remember the things that have happened in my life. Not all my memories are positive but most all are. When I think back on the times in my life where happiness was vivid, I am reminded that those times were special. For all the living I have done so far the happy times seem to have only taken up a small amount of my life. I suppose this is why I am glad I can still remember those times. My memories, although not all happy have mostly been positive and educational. They serve to reflect back to me what I have found to be important. Life should not be so hard. It should have it's struggles but not to the point of deflating us to the point of despair. Life should be positive and full of opportunity. We always need to strive for what we want or need but the striving should be a positive thing, where the only obstacles we encounter are our own effort. So much of my life has been just maintaining my existence. This is good but not what it could be. There is so much more inside of me besides just staying alive. I will continue to build experiences that will hopefully add to the bank of memories that are the most enjoyable, happy ones. As to the striving for new and different hopes and dreams, I will redouble my efforts to overcome some of the institutional obstacles, we have built within our society, that seem to deny hopes despite any amount of striving expended. My memories will help guide me to continue to improve what life I have yet to live.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What duty do I owe humanity? (#564)

What is my part. I am not a god, thankfully I know this. I am not any more special than any other human, this is harder to admit but nonetheless true. It seems my ego is battling me for reality. lol. However the battle is lost and the ego is diminishing. Still I am left with what is my duty to humanity? Personally, without including anyone else, my duty to humanity is to be the best human I can be. That is my take on it. What then is the best human I can be and how does that look to others? Well, again for me, the best human I can be is an honest, caring, principled in virtue, man of action that reflects those qualities with intent. Courage, for me, is the willingness to stand behind and defend with all that I have that which I would advocate to you. If I am not 100% behind my words and actions then I am not going to convince anyone or myself that I am fulfilling a noble duty. I will continue to premise my comments about how I would do things so as not to imply I know what you should do. For me, there are inequities that I see that torture my soul. For me to turn a blind eye to this and focus only on myself is dastardly and much less than honorable. I do owe a duty to humanity that extends beyond my own personal desires. I know that this post is idealistic and hardly practical given the hustle and bustle of everyday life. What really is important though, my duty to you, should rise above any other argument I, or others, may employ to distract me from doing what in my heart and mind I know to be of greater service to humanity.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The unity within us (#563)

Our individual characteristics serve dual purposes. They define us as unique as well as define us in commonality. My contention is that we all start from the premise of compassion and curiosity. From there we diverge from each other encompassing the minutiae of our different experiences and understandings. A common thread is always with us nonetheless. Our hearts and minds recognize that overall we are forever linked as family. We are humans. We share the creation as a particular being. We have other life forms around us in the form of plants and other types of animals, but as humans we are alone in our existence, in and on this world. The one inescapable reality we are all confronted with is that a Universe completely enclosing our world exists all around us. We are trapped inside something that we know very little about. However, as I have postulated, we are curious. Our curiosity is what will move us out into the vast unknown. It is within our human nature to want to know, so know we will. In the wanting to know we will unite in a destiny of purpose that will expose our bonds to each other. The putting-aside of our differences in order to unite is our greatest obstacle or achievement. Fate and history will determine that outcome. I tend toward achievement. We are survivors and we adapt to whatever we need to do to achieve. It is our history so far.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Free to be me (#562)

Put aside all the trappings of opinion, belief and bias. Ha! Not so easy to do but once in awhile it happens. When the only thing I carry around with me is a hello and a smile. Life does not always have to be so serious. Yesterday was one of those days when the only thing I even cared to think about was if or how much food I was going to eat. We had a family gathering that brought many together in one place for a peaceful relaxing sit-down of conversation and happy recollection. A time out of sorts from the whatever paced life we normally lead on a day to day basis. A little reminder of how life can look when everyone's concerted effort to bring a positive and welcoming atmosphere is non-stop. It is days like yesterday that I will bring up in my mind when I next think of the individuals I shared that day with. The key was that everyone put out an effort to be just themselves in a way that showed their best qualities. I have felt for some time now that when I try to or make a real effort to live in my better and best qualities, life can have it's best meanings for me. The contentment I strive to feel in my soul is best exemplified when I quit thinking about myself and instead think of everyone else. Free to be me is a purposeful selflessness, a pathway to truly finding myself. Somewhat an oxymoron, but nonetheless true.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Diversity is unique (#561)

What a privilege it is to live in existence. What I mean specifically is that the variety of life forms and the individualness of humanity makes for an interesting, interacting society. My view is that I am a guest here on Earth and along with all the other guests we get to enjoy being alive and learning our environment. I realize that my "lens" is simplistic but regardless it is pure. How I live my life is dependent on many factors that can influence what decisions I get to make. However, the decisions are ultimately mine. I like the child's definition of "I am the boss of me." This brings me to why I am addressing this subject. What I allow myself to think and say is ultimately my perspective. I have had to fight through the acculturation of prejudice based upon factors of heredity and morays. I was able to see beyond my early limited view to an appreciation of all life, including my own. The less I think about how I think and feel and the more I think about how others think and feel, has been the key to my growth. Diversity of life forms is now to me a unique privilege to enjoy. If we were all the same how disinteresting would that quickly become. I do believe that our Universe within and without has some purpose and I do not know what that is. However I will partake of it with the joy and wonder of the newborn child I once was.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A higher standard (#560)

No sacrifice required. Funny how that is today when all I could think was how come I have to and not those other people. I used to hear, Carl, you are not those other people! I could not see that as a logical answer to my question. What was I thinking then? I must have been in some place in my head where logic was illogical. I have quit trying to be the my own judge and jury and have found a way to live where I am only the passenger Carl, in the metaphorical car. I have come to realize that having things work out for the best for me is not what I need. I need things to work out for the best for everyone. It has always been for me, as well as I assume most everyone else, to grow up to be a wise person. Someone who could help others see new concepts and grow into life with insight. I had forgotten that for a time and just tried to live life to experience what I desired. I lost track of my lifelong hope of being humble and helpful. Yes, humble and helpful leads me on a path to wisdom. I am still filtering out my useless desires obtained over a lifetime but they are becoming fewer and fewer. Hopefully I will reach a plane where my standard of living is easily recognizable by myself and others around me. I just want to be a good person who can help others find the goodness in themselves. I can never say this enough, life is too short and much needs to be done in my life. I need to spend all my time on putting to action a principled life that exemplifies my ideals.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Doing my best is good enough (#559)

When I have finished with doing all I can do and it isn't enough I often feel like I am not good enough. That is wrong thinking on my part. I have these great expectations for myself and they are almost impossible to live up to. I know this yet I still feel a let-down when I fail to achieve them. It is my nature I suppose, that whatever I can see in my mind happening should be able to be accomplished by me. I know this is not a reality I can control, but nonetheless it is my force of nature to expect it from myself. I love the fact that I am so driven to make what good in the world I can regardless of whether it is possible or not. It is this redeeming quality that I have that makes me feel a sense of disappointment and frustration at times. I am so predictable in that I hate fear, suffering and misery. Doing all I can do with what I have at the time it is needed is good enough. The outcome will most always be less than what I hope it to be but the outcome will at least have felt my attempt. I continue to strive to be a better person who can contribute even more to our existence. I will never be satisfied with not growing into someone more capable of better things. But as each snapshot in time reveals to me I am not done improving until I have no more breaths left. I am content however that I continue to care to be at least good enough.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Family is where your heart is (#558)

The feeling is the same no matter where I am. I have a group of friends I see a lot of and when I am around them I know I am home. It is a feeling I get of familiarity, honesty and caring that we express toward each other. The same is true with my family. I am getting ready to go visit a group of my family that I rarely get to spend time with. Distance has kept us apart but not much longer. Even if only for a few days it will last me a long time. What I am trying to express is that family is more than marriages, births and deaths, it is a feeling. It is a desire to share experiences with and laugh and talk and go places or just to be in one place all together. Families are also dysfunctional, just like my friendships but I try never to let circumstances get in the way of my great hope for us all to have the best in life. Whatever that may be to each of us. Whether friend or family, there is a bond that we try to respect. We share a heritage that is greater than any one of us individually. There is also the excitement surrounding a gathering. The unexpected fun, stories and general goofiness that is allowed because we can be ourselves. Although, for me, family is a feeling, it is also a state of mind bound by a commitment to each of us. The subconscious knowledge that we are loved just because, is at the foundation of what family represents.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My understanding of spirituality (#557)

I have come to a place in my life where I know that a greater force than I exists. I am not talking about a large person or elephants or larger creatures than myself. I am talking about a force within and without the Universe who has created all of which I know and never will know. My logic, common sense and gut lead me to this. For me there is no form or definition that I can give to explain my understanding. I can talk around the edges but not directly as to this force's absolute nature. Most every human being in existence, past and present, understands the concept of God. Many varieties and explanations are currently available to help in finding one's way to a God. I cannot tell anyone else what and who to believe in as it relates to the "right" God. That is for each individual to find for themselves. I only know what is personal to me and that is what I have arrived at. My contention that the two traits of human nature, compassion and curiosity, which define me, are directly given to me through my spirituality. It is my purpose then to live my life with these gifts in full evidence. It is somewhat sad that I had to get where I am now to be able to have this clarity but I will take what is. It is magnificent that I do now know what is important to me and I can give my the rest of my life full effort to fulfilling what my spirituality has revealed. I am not it, something greater than me is.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What I know about life (#556)

Some very basic things come to mind. I know that no one deserves anything unless they are willing to give it away. We are all special and are worthy of being alive. What we do with our lives defines who we are. Not what we think necessarily but what we do with those thoughts. My take is that life gives us opportunities to define who we are. What is really important is to first know who we are. Well, here is the crash course for all of us. We care and we wonder. Simple. Other things want to come into our minds to try to define us but those things are actions or thoughts that have lead us to this point. Let them go and get ready to start our new day being the caring and curious person we are for the rest of your life. Next, do only things that have a positive effect for everyone or most everyone. So before we act we must think about the consequences of our actions. We are the only one who we can work to make better every single moment. Our individual life is our responsibility above and beyond anything else. Next comes what we can do for others. Remember, it is always better, as a rule, to be selfless than it is to be selfish. This is a great guide. The real prizes in life are not necessarily material, although some necessities are real prizes, but the feelings we have within us when we effect a positive outcome to a problem. Self-satisfaction can be good when the solution is for someone else. Some important things I know about life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The strength to be vulnerable (#555)

Somewhat of an oxymoron. How is it strong to be open to trusting? I will say this, I have had to summon my courage up when I have left myself vulnerable. In all fairness, when I have done this it usually is that some reward might be achieved by putting my trust out beyond myself. The greatest example is with love between a man and a woman. One has to become vulnerable for the other to do the same. That is the payoff in that scenario. If however, there is no reciprocation then having been vulnerable leaves a very bad feeling. Almost so that one would not ever want to trust being vulnerable again. I know this feeling well. However, it is wrong to do so. Just because a bad feeling has come about through being vulnerable does not mean that eventually a good feeling will finally arrive for having been vulnerable. Like all things where there is risk, being prepared for the unexpected is wise. My life up to this point has been a lot of hit and miss. The hits have been small in comparison to the misses but I will continue to allow myself to reach for things beyond me. I do not know when things will happen but if I discontinue allowing myself to be vulnerable I will definitely miss out on them. I have had to learn how to harden myself to disappointment but not so that I would quit. I must remain strong in my conviction that being open and vulnerable is the best way for me to show the kind of man I am.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

No matter what have fun (#554)

Having fun with whatever is around you is vital. It helps keep your sense of perspective. I know this sounds off-kilter but it isn't. Even in death, when things seem impossible to handle because of intense loss, having the right thought about what life is, helps us get through the pain. I have said this so many times, life is a gift. We must appreciate and enjoy it. It is not endless and therefore requires us to think about how to have as much fun as possible. It is difficult when aspects of society treat us unfairly but again, what is the point of life without having fun. I have to be serious at times to help make our world better, but better is another reason to have fun. Anyway I look at life I always come back to it just has to be fun. My viewpoint is optimistic, not doom and gloom. I don't want to have anything negative in my life. This is an example I can actually reflect back out to others. It is a control I have that I can affect. We will only get better as a people and as a society when we are able to know what we are and where we are going. The future is amazing. We have come so far with technology, human interaction and faith that we are decent good people just trying to live with all the best we can find. I am so hopeful that we are moving in the right direction and wish to add to that movement. While I am adding, to moving in the right direction, I am also having as much fun as I can

Friday, August 6, 2010

Communication is the key (#553)

I have lived both ways. I have been quiet and not offered to talk about what is going on with me and I have opened up and let other people know what is going on in my life. Being closed up and not open about my life eventually left me feeling lonely and discouraged. My life got a lot less complicated but it also got a lot less fulfilling. I am now fully in the camp of sharing my life with others, generally and in detail, when appropriate. It is amazing the things we have in common and the support we can give one another when we know in real time what is happening around us. I used to think that making myself available to people would just bring chaos and drama. Occasionally some chaos and drama appears but only in very manageable ways. More the case is the feeling I have of being a part of life and having a positive influence on circumstances. I look forward to meeting like-minded souls who also wish to share their lives with me as much as I do with them. Life just seems to offer more solutions to problems when more helpful people are involved. The only way I could get to this point was to open up myself and trust others like they would like to be trusted. In most cases people hope for people who will trust them and they like returning trust where it is offered. When I say hello, smile or shake some one's hand I have another chance to make the world around me a better place. It all starts with the act of communicating.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rites of passage (#552)

What are these things we call rites? They are growth experiences. They are the circumstances that allow us to gain perspective. Often moving from the simple to the complex. When we gain these understandings we have elevated our view of life in general. Rites of passage can be described as maturity. These are good things and allow for our generations to move steadily forward into the existing unknown. Rites of passage come in many forms. Formal education, completion of social and religious traditions and simple/complex life experiences. Rites of passage are important because when we are born we have no perfect guideline for living. Through rites of passage we assimilate ourselves into generally accepted practices within our society. Rites of passage are not perfect either but they do help us maintain some order in our otherwise chaotic lives. There can be great debates as to the importance and efficacy of rites of passage and whether they actually serve us well. I think they do in the sense that some order is better than no order. A default position at best but we are still in our infancy as to the timeline of human evolution. For now a rites of passage gives us greater hope of keeping our society together with the hope that time will allow us to evolve into a society that is less institutional in it's application of conformity and more into a society that has unlimited possibilities for it's individualness. Even so, some form of rites of passage will still be present.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This grand experiment (#551)

I catch myself shaking my fist at the Universe and I catch myself smiling because of some nice thing that has happened. It seems that most of life is lived somewhere within these boundaries. The edge on my emotion is still sharp, however how I act on them is now tempered. I have found an equilibrium between my expressed actions and my emotional feelings which keeps me focused on what is in front of me instead of why something has happened. A maturity of sorts. Life is an odd thing. So many complexities mixed with many more simplicities. This whirligig of circumstances and possibilities is never-ending. I am so happy that I found myself within this existence. It has been worth every second whether I live a long life or not. If life were a big box of cracker jacks, then I would say that I have found the prize within. Happiness! Whatever must be done to have happiness as the greatest reality possible. All things should come back to this bottom line. It should not be just my happiness I strive for but all of our happiness together. I am one of the "Idealists" who is willing to say this out loud and stand and defend my right to think in ideal terms. Realistically, I know that it is not yet possible to have all things in the ideal. But, as to my motivation, that I am an idealist, will never change. I am tired of and ready to never again have to shake my fist at the Universe.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Truth must overcome fear (#550)

What is the great battle of our time? Fighting for the truth. The notion, policy, assumption, conviction, however it is justified, that some things are better off not known is incorrect. Let me first explain that as humans, we have a survival instinct that allows us to adapt to whatever threat there is to us in order to persevere. There is no truth out there that we cannot overcome and move forward from. It is in our best interests for us to have all the known facts in order for us to assimilate honest solutions. The idea that we need to be "cared-for" by those who are our leaders is a false idea. It assumes we are unable to handle reality and therefore must be kept in the dark about some sensitive issues. This approach is arrogant and egoistical on the part of those who misguide or lie to us. I am sure that some of the concern is honest intent to protect us from ourselves, but no one has that right to take truth from us. The effect of truth in all of our affairs is to arrive at justice. Life is not easy and can be very hard, regardless, no truth is better off left in the dark. No matter what consequence is perceived by those who are doing the hiding. Funny thing about perceived consequences, they are only possibilities not facts. If the trade off is to protect us from some truth and allowing a false reality to exist to protect us, I say bring on the truth and let us grow from it, not something that is an illusion. Never be afraid of the truth. Let us all learn the lesson of courage.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Respecting each other (#549)

We are human, so we make mistakes. We live in a fast paced world and it is easy to be insensitive without even thinking about it. All of our actions have a consequence. Our conscious must be in focus without fail. The reason I say this is because how we treat and are treated by others is personal to each of us. If I am going to exercise my right to be an individual, I must take on the responsibility that comes with it. The days of thinking that, regardless of the consequence of our actions, we are immune to how others are affected has passed. We are all interconnected. Like the scientific axiom, every action has an inverse and equal reaction. I would like to think that if more thought was given to just being courteous to each other a mountain of hurt feelings and guilt would not exist. What really is important in our lives? Can we distinguish our own desires from their effect on others? Simple questions, hard answers. It is what we must do if we are to have quality of relationships in our lives. I have found that it is in the relationships I have, and am continuing to form, that I find true success. My ability to take into account what effect I am having on others is one of my highest priorities. The quality of the life experience can be influenced by me and I choose to make as much of it a quality experience as possible.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Intelligence is only halfway to wisdom (#548)

I have heard this enough times to want to put some definition to it. All this IQ measuring is well and good but does not get anyone to wisdom. It is one thing to know a lot of facts and logic. It is another thing to put that knowledge to good common sense. When I was younger it occurred to me that to be very focused on learning letters and numbers was good but no better than knowing how to apply them in smart ways. Intelligence and common sense. We know how to get intelligence, namely by studying and being teachable. How does one "get" common sense? Common sense is understanding life in motion. Experiencing life is the usual manner, however some have shown an ability to observe others and learn through their interactions with life. For most of us though it is being in different circumstances to gather perspective as much as possible. There is also a "gut" feeling or "intuition" that is felt and if listened to can be a useful concept toward acting in wisdom. The main point I am trying to convey is that a balance between knowledge and common sense will serve me in my hope to display wisdom when I am called upon to do so. Wisdom should be our goal. The beauty and strength displayed when wisdom is revealed is sublime. It does not happen enough in my life for me, but it is my hope to achieve greater understanding in the hopes of being a wiser person.