Monday, January 31, 2011

Courage is uncommon (#731)

It is in all areas of our lives that courage can be employed but is not as implemented as I had hoped. My flawed understanding that people would "naturally" do whatever was needed to protect and advance better ways of living, has taken a hit. It had never occurred to me that standing up for ideals that we ourselves talk about and teach our children would be so difficult to actually do. What I have come to see however is that the cost of doing  a positive thing is too great for most people. I at times do the same thing myself. Courage is not an automatic reaction. it must be calculated I have found out. It is the human condition I suppose to fear before acting courageously. It has been my experience to see that courage is a relatively little used reaction. Time has had it's way with us and inured us to the sensitivity required to care enough to stand for something we know is right despite the difficulty it may bring upon us. It seems that courage that causes us difficulty is frowned upon and even laughed at. As if being noble in thought and action is less than what some human(s) may think. It is always curious to me why we would take a noble principle and place it beneath an ignoble act of dismissal. Anything that is a positive principle in utilization will no doubt be hard. Is it the hard that so dissuades us and allows us to, in this case, falsely label courage? We all share the same human frailties of doubt and question our own abilities to measure up to what is right and proper. We all share this. That is still no excuse for lying to ourselves so that we may feel better about our decisions to shirk courage when it offers it's opportunities. Our principles make up our real lives, when we deny our principles we are denying ourselves.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Can honor overcome greed? (#730)

This is a hypothetical example: It is all about the person and the circumstance. There are myriad excuses and reasons for doing one thing over another, but really it all comes down to the individual and the principles that are in place. The lure of something can be blinding. as well as confusing. How do we go about placing value on something that may have a different purpose than ours when we have let it go? In other words, has our value for something been sold for a price that does not reflect it's subsequent value or usage. If I have a title to something that evokes honor and I sell it to someone who chooses not to evoke honor with it but instead dishonor, what price or any do I assign to it? Do I hold onto it and disdain the offer of some riches for the sake of my honor? Or do I convince myself that the riches I receive are worth the transfer regardless of the use, since that is out of my control. Like I said there are myriad excuses and reasons for doing something. It really does come down to who I am and what value I would place on my principles. As others face dilemmas of this sort they will have to have a moment of reflection in order to decide their path. I find that having already decided which course is more important to me helps me to understand how I would react if faced with a similar circumstance. My principles must always come first if I am to be the man that I want to be. Nothing is more important than keeping the identity I most cherish for myself and no amount of persuasion will change that.  ps. Just a quick note, today marks the end of two years I have written a post for everyday. If I thought it was impossible back then well then I would have been wrong. Onward still.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Society must evolve (#729)

As we humans continue to face problems of monumental proportion we must be mindful that solutions are necessary from any possible quantification. I get highly frustrated that when I talk to some who, believe less possibilities are where the answers are, refuse to consider changing the existing ones. I am in agreement that simple is usually the best policy but to cling to policies that no longer work is unfortunate. As a species we have not arrived yet, we are still evolving our fundamental understanding of our personal natures and collective natures. Yes, they will at times be different. For us to close off our minds to changing from the familiar, regardless of how outdated or ineffective it has become, due to some misplaced allegiance is puzzlingly quixotic. I know that fear has much to do with how we as a species determine our own fates but to let the concept of (the evil I know is better than the one I don't) guide our visions for the present and future is more than impractical, it is also less than courageous. We are a species that has a gift of reason and principle that can be magnificent when in full force. While we are not always in full force we must strive to be as much as possible. Out solutions for questions that plague us are best exemplified through our over-reaching initiatives and perseverance. What we are right now is not who we can be tomorrow and many days afterward. For one thing our interests in forming a more perfect union is a challenge to us not only for ourselves and our children but for every generation forthcoming. Evolving as a society is our challenge and being up for it is our destiny.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reason as a force (#728)

How we think and what we do with our thoughts is a right we presently enjoy with restrictions. The restrictions, have to do with living in a society that must take into account everyone's purpose to NOT harm themselves or others. As an American society we have evolved to a place that shows signs of improving and becoming a model for the rest of the world. For more than two and a third centuries, America has progressed with conviction and conscious toward improvement in areas of science, literature, humanities and even politics. We are a country that allows for any religious or non-religious view. We have set up a social structure that enables the unfortunate among us to sustain themselves as a bridge toward a better existence. Our individualness is encouraged in regards of innovation, commerce and self-improvement. Our country has a sense of flourishing hope for all who would make effort and achieve. There is much more but to the point, all of this is possible due to the consequence of reason. Reason has at it's roots the infallible paradigm of logic. As logic goes so follows reason in most every situation. There are times when logic is not enough and gut-instinct, intuition and serendipity come into play but for all, logic is included to some degree. Reason has not always been the staple of societies past and had to be fought for against forces that would negate it and subject us instead. We, as a nation, have fought tirelessly and successfully to claim victory for reason to be our American society's banner of thought and action and must still to this day defend reason as our guiding principle. There exist forces today that would turn from reason back to superstition and fear as a guiding principle for our country. As long as we are vigilant and stand as sentinels to protect our right to think and act through reason we will be able to defend reason with a clear perception of our purpose set in our minds.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A little guilt can go a long way (#727)

This is strange for me to be talking about this. My normal response to whether guilt has any place in my life is no, yet I have a found at least one purpose for it. If it helps spur me to change something, uncomfortably realized about myself, to the better. Such is what happens occasionally when I am unfamiliar about a process, I have an opportunity to change something I don't like. All of us find ourselves in a position of ranting about something and not thinking instead about how to change it. When I do rationalize what I am doing and what I should be doing it hits home like the guilt of my hand being caught in the cookie jar. This is the type of guilt I am talking about. Not the kind of guilt I used to feel for mistakes in my past. I don't forget the guilt but I don't let myself wallow in it. That type of guilt is just a reminder to me not to go back to the ways that prompted it. The helpful guilt I allow myself to ponder is a guilt of construction. I am always talking about how I love to learn and be in a constant state of learning. This guilt is a genesis of new learning for me. I know that I have passion for something when the guilt of it hits me. What I need to do with that passion is where I can start once the guilt expresses itself to me. My process is to stop and think for a moment or two instead of get angry for feeling guilty. Truly! lol. My initial behavior is to lash out at the one who triggered the guilt within me. My learning is on-going and that is another prime example. Within minutes after processing whatever occurrence triggered the guilt I am able to smile to myself and get a healthy view of what other options are available for me to find solutions.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Curiosity is magical (#726)

I am blessed with a curiosity that has infinite ambition. lol. I mean I cannot stop wondering about anything and everything that comes into my sense of being. I am a non-stop engine of wanting to know. I realize that there are things that are not for me to know and things that are beyond my comprehension. I understand when to back off chasing for answers. I do not like it and find it difficult to do but nonetheless, there it is. Something else is soon to replace that for which I have failed to find an answer. I love to learn. I may not always like the answer I eventually discover but I am no less driven to find it. Remaining objective about my motives and inquisitive nature is a contentedness for me. Not always peaceful, but the process is what I strive to experience. It doesn't matter what the learning experience is as long as it has a principled foundation and a utility of some positive degree. The mere ability to research, reference, reason and analyze gives me a fulfillment yet to be discovered in my somewhat limited knowledge of activities of mental calculation. Certainly, there are forms of mental stimulation that are emotionally experienced and loving someone with a true devotion is one of them, however in lieu of that, increasing one's own wisdom is hardly inconsequential. I find a satisfaction in putting myself out into the world of the unknown without any preconceived notion of judgment for the subject I am attempting to understand. I try to visualize myself as a painter's canvas, ready to receive whatever the master has to offer. I hope I have conveyed my utter love for learning. It is magnificent as an option in experiencing life..

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Listening to my intuition (#725)

What is my intuition? For me it is a combination of things, gut instinct, common sense and my inner voice. A combination of these measured with a dose of logic seems to best describe what intuition is for me. I am still a little confused about the process or trigger of intuition but obviously it comes as a response to some form of stimuli. Whether the stimuli presents itself in the form of an action or an expressed thought, my intuition calls me to alert, as a sentinel ready to challenge some perceived anomaly. Some intuitions I receive are good and some are not. It really depends on my state of mind as well as the stimuli. What has not been obvious to me before is the need to understand when my intuition is calling me to pay attention. I often dismissed it as nothing of importance. I bought into the concept of the five senses and little more. Now I see that intuition-like occurrences have meaning and relevance. There is a core within me that acts as some sort of fail-safe or safeguard in order to help preserve my life and my thoughts about life. It is interesting that it has just now occurred to me that my intuition has a link to my survival instinct. I have often wondered about the survival instinct and what exactly it's role is in my life. Obviously it is to help keep me alive but now I sense it also serves to guide me in areas other than just my basic existence. It is not often I get a revelation on something profound when I am writing about it but this is one of those times. As I continue to try to shoehorn survival instinct into my two models of human nature, compassion and curiosity, I have now another consideration, are there really three instincts of human nature instead of two with the subset of survival shared by compassion and curiosity. Perhaps my confusion about the trigger of intuition is more revealing than I understood.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My life today and afterlife tomorrow (#724)

I have heard most every belief and prediction of what will happen upon my earthly demise. Some are fantastic and quite difficult to believe as possible and some are devastating and fearful to the worst degree. Since no one has proven themselves to have died, experienced death, and then come back to life and told me or anyone else what really happens, I am left with my own judgement. Having no judgement that is grounded in anything I would call fact, I am left with only circumstantial reasonings and ancient belief systems. Of course the one about going to heaven and having nothing but righteousness all around me sounds pleasant enough, I act like I am comparison shopping! lol, however, the same one that offers beauty in an everlasting way is the same one that also offers an excruciating never ending hellfire. Seems to me there are some fear-based issues there with that one. anyway, from where I am from that version is the most popular. I think I will be a smart shopper and wait to make a purchase on any afterlife decisions. The reason being is that I am still alive here in this one. But some say why not make a choice now and guarantee where you will go? I say, there are no guarantees after death other than circumstantial choices. This is where I am today. Here is the best part though, what one has to do to qualify for the heaven option, I already practice in my life. I have found many years ago that living a virtuous principled life is the actual best way to live while alive in this existence. If I happen to qualify for some great plan after I die then wonderful. I don't have to trip on picking out a possible everlasting life plan, all I have to do is live my life today like I want today. The rest will take care of itself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We are all the same (#723)

We start out that way and our minds have the same capacities for learning and creating. The differences come when we are raised up in our different environments. It is rather obvious that a child born into poverty will have little hope of having the opportunities of a child born into affluence. Is there anyone out there that would disagree with my statement? Hearing none, I will continue. lol. The health of all new born children is critical to our species development and advancement as well. It would be far more advantageous for poor children to at least have a healthy start and a chance to learn like children of wealth. I don't need to be wealthy to have a healthy mind to learn with, but I do need to be healthy. That a child is born into wealth and a child is born into poverty is a non-selective process as far as we know. What I am trying to say is that before the children are born they don't get to choose where and to whom they will be born. Having them start out on somewhat of an equal basis, despite the nature of our economic system, is what we should all be striving for. The future of our species is what is at stake. We can take pride in the fact that our country has endured, over time through blood and sweat, to achieve a society that can call for the honorable and noble principles of equality and freedom from the yoke of oppression, as our motto. Our rallying cry that symbolizes the respect and dignity every human should have when living on the face of this planet we call Earth. This generation right now has the opportunity to turn the world on it's head with a vigilant adherence to these principles. I hope we take the challenge, otherwise our shirking will only leave it for some future generation to struggle for it's attainment.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reasoning for actions (#722)

It is conventional to hear someone say that "they do this because they can". It is a superficial, cavalier statement at best and mindless to consequences statement at worst. It has a power to it that somehow rewards the thinkers of this in a personal way. I personally have said this in the past and have no good reason for it other than to gloat or fulfill some primal need to be in control. What has changed with me, in that I don't use this type of thought process anymore? It is the actual inverse of the statement that has evolved itself into my way of thinking. "I don't do this because I won't". It is a fitting place for me to start. If I do something today it is because I have a reason for it. Not only that but a reason that has principled motive behind it. Inversely, I don't do things today because I can find no principled motive of any value to justify it. A big change from the self-seeking individual I had been to the selfless individual I have become. I have even expanded this way of thinking into how I wish to reflect my ideals about my hopes. Yes, I am even applying a strict action in the present to what my hopes to the future may be. In other words, if my hopes are to come to fruition I will be in a position to fully honor them. My actions prior to the possibility of realizing a hope will provide the proof that my hope was of a pure and true nature. Say what, you say? It is simple, if I want something important enough I will be living as if I already have it. It is a principled statement through my actions that will mirror the belief in my hope. Certainly I will be disappointed in that not all hopes can come true as far as I have experienced. Despite this my honor dictates to me today that if it truly is a hope worth having it is a hope worth believing and acting as if it will come true, whether it does or not.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A higher calling (#721)

No, I am not talking about religion. I am talking about the better and best of what we have inside us. We are and always will be a work in progress. It just seems to me that the work in progress can reflect what is good about us becoming what is great about us. We really do get to choose what kind of person we will be. I know through personal experience that old habits and conditioned responses have made themselves a part of our thoughts and actions. True, but all we need to do to change these previous behaviors is to recognize them, slowly or swiftly, and then do something different, hopefully better. We are creatures of patterns because there is something about consistency that we are drawn toward. It makes us feel comfortable instead of feeling like we will fail. Consistency is good if it is not wrong thought and/or behavior. I am not trying to be a psychologist here but looking at what we do and say then evaluating that against what else we might do and say seems to be a worthy alternative. Always remember that change is the paradigm of our existence. If we are not always trying to become a better or best version of ourselves then what else are we doing that is more important? More than anything comfort has become synonymous with remaining static. I need to catch my breath occasionally, and having a spot to stop and reflect is gratifying. But not to the point where my stay at pausing in a comfortable place becomes who I am. life is too valuable a gift to stop being a part of just for the sake of comfort. We need to eliminate as much fear from our lives as possible so that the wonder of life can consume us instead.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A new society (#720)

I am sure to be opening a can of worms with this post but I must remain true to what is in my mind on a day to day basis. I see a society where we are not under pressure. Bold statement, but necessarily needed. Some pressure at times is necessary to advance initiatives and I understand that. What I am talking about are the day to day pressures which keep us from attending to all the important things going on in our lives. The way things are set up now we are under tremendous economic responsibilities which absorb most all of our energies to maintain. This of course leaves little time for family obligations and personal growth, let alone recreational time to admire the world we live in. Our society is out of whack in assigning most of our energies at economic issues compared to environmental, recreational and academic genre's. Our lives are gobbled up by our work. Certainly, not all of us are prone to the difficulties experienced in surviving a decent lifestyle. Some, few actually are in a position of having no economic pressures at all. The point being if the wealthiest of us realize that economic pressure is not a high priority value, why do most of the rest of us have to have it in our lives? The ethic of hard work has been promoted as a value and I agree that when work is being done it should be done with great effort and efficiency. My problem is that it shouldn't be such a consistent requirement on most of us. There needs to be a formula that offers work but not at the expense of dominating all of one's life. I have been very careful not to judge the system we employ now since progress toward a better world seems to move slowly. I do want it to be known though that the pace of progressing into a paradigm of a more balanced living experience has always been up to us, whom would want better, sooner than later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The daily battle against cynicism (#719)

The many models for information gathering and spreading has become anathema to truth as the premise for our conclusions. I have been deluged with propaganda that at it's core is meant to confuse and create false impressions. How is this possible in an era of enlightened thought and reasoning? Easier than what you would think. Specifically, because we are not doing our own individual thinking for ourselves. Apparently we are too busy to learn what reality is and instead "must" rely on outside or familiar sources to tell us what the truth is. It is convenient to live like that. I mean really, just sit back and have someone tell us what to think and how to act. It is almost god-like to be served that way. Oh, and by the way, what we are told must be the truth otherwise so many others would not be listening. The cocoon or artificial world we sometimes and most times allow ourselves to be a part of is dangerous and dulls our own abilities to live our life according to our own principles. If you have ever read "The allegory of the cave" in Plato's Republic, an eerie similarity runs concurrent. If we allow ourselves to be spoon-fed our information, then we are not the masters of our own destiny or even our own identity. I am not saying all information is bad or deceptive, what I am saying is that if I don't take the time to investigate each opinion or "fact" as it is presented then I am not allowing myself the right to disagree. I give up my voice as a challenge, improvement or agreement, if all I do is parrot someone else's talking point. Citizenship requires us to be informed, it does not tell us how to do that but if objectivity is the truth and fact, then we must as citizens investigate what comes to us as news, facts or truth.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adventures and quests (#718)

Despite the fact of my age I am still filled with the wonder of learning and discovering. I have no doubt that I will be like this for the rest of my days. Learning is a given, I am constantly trying to find new information from any source of credibility. I have been in that constant mode all of my life. What I have not always been in is a constant mode of adventure, starting and finishing quests. I am now seeing that I have fallen into a rut of sorts as far as getting outside my small circle and doing some exploring. I don't have to have some magical destination like outer space or under the water at the deepest point. I just need to go somewhere outside and keep my eyes open and my mind ready to receive. I am not looking for familiar places but for the unfamiliar. The places I have seen or heard of that piqued my curiosity. Life is getting by me and I have a need to fill my experiences up with new vistas and horizons. Since life is change by definition then I need to be changing as well. Of course I need to be grounded. I know this about myself. I look forward to coming home, but to do that I need to be away from home. Sacramento will always be my home, not any place in particular but the city itself. Otherwise, everywhere else is open for adventure. All of my life I have been adrift in some form or another, moving from different cities and states on a regular basis. I have found adventure and small quests to occupy my time while I was younger but not so much now. I need to change that and give myself a chance to rediscover the world I live in. the USA is grand but it is not all. I need to get outside of what I know and see the things that make up what I don't know. I am feeling a yearning to explore and I would be wise to heed my inclination.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The larger picture (#717)

It is important to understand that life is not guaranteed, even more, our reality as we know it is not guaranteed. Nothing we do as humans can guarantee most anything that physical nature and the universe we live in has in store. We are the pawns in our existence. Things have not been too bad for us humans according to our recorded history but then again we know little of our past, at least in terms of our origins and preceding cultures that have left some monuments. It is easy to take for granted our way of life in the context of seeing life through the filter of recent past generations and the present. I do it all the time, however that is not wise. At times I fail to use the technology we have developed to learn about the cause and effects of how our planet must sustain itself from the forces without. The dynamic of physics and mathematics play an important role in helping our species understand what the forces from without can do to our fragile world. We would do well to maintain a constant vigil and higher appreciation of our physical surroundings. Certainly we struggle as a species to understand and develop a way of life that highlights our attributes and forges societies that reflect the better and best of our natures but as important as our personal development as a species is, the greater concern is to protect ourselves from catastrophic extinction. I am not saying I know of such an imminent event, what I am saying is that an acute priority must be given to the vigilance of understanding our surroundings to the best of our abilities. Science offers us tools to help define parameters that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. We must take advantage of our species' ability to recognize patterns and the physics that accompany them. The larger picture needs our most sober attention, otherwise everything else may very well be for naught.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How do we "start over" (#716)

I once heard in a movie a line about how we live two lives, one we learn with and one we have after that. It is not a perfect saying but it does capture a notion. Although we are still always learning, we do reach a plateau where we realize that what we have learned previously has changed us from who we started out as to who we are now. I like the idea. It shows a maturity from our mistakes to go on in a way that hopes to eliminate future ones. The thoughts and actions of my younger years are not the same as today. I learned from those by-gone days and have since incorporated a process that is not as emotional or extreme through display. Some of my earlier considerations are the total opposite of what I hold as true today. The maturation process has been somewhat messy for me and I suspect for you as well. I do not hold myself in some time-limbo of constantly placing guilt or remorse at the forefront of my every present and future thought. I have forgiven myself and I have allowed myself to let it go. I am not perfect and that is what I am reminded of every time I do let the past stay in the past. My present and future need me to be aware and ready to handle what comes into my life. I am not a god who gets to blame you or me. I am just a fallible human trying to make my way in a world that gave me no rules for living that were either pure or practiced perfectly by anyone. I have survived my youthful journey to get to where I am today. For that I am lucky, not all get to survive their journey to understand life. Now do not think that I understand life but I do know more now then when I started. I am able to start over with the knowledge I have now and let my past go but also know that my past was real and I accept it for what it was. It is just not me anymore and the me now is ready to reflect that to all others.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Our better and best natures (#715)

Here is a topic! Behavior is learned. At least behavior that accounts for calculated responses. Which is what I want to discuss. I have a set of principles I wish to live by, doing helpful things for others and myself. One of them is to trust my gut (intuition) when I see a situation where I can be a positive influence. I had one the other day that was simple enough. I was leaving the grocery store when I saw a man carrying many plastic bags. He of course was down on his luck and searching for anything on the road and in the bushes for items he could turn into cash. He looked scruffy, dirty and old. My compassion for his plight was on high. However I was at the light and I needed to turn away from him and go the other way with no other immediate option. Here is what went through my mind. I was traveling away from him and the sense of distance began to relieve me of going back and helping him with something I could give. The further I got from him the more my mind was trying to tell me that fate had not allowed me this opportunity to help him. My gut was telling me something entirely different. I was getting overwhelmed with a struggle within me. I made it past the next light and was getting closer to home when I began to look for a sign that would decide my internal struggle. A lane opened up an the left allowing for me to make a u-turn and go back to him. I knew it was the right thing to do but yet I still balked at doing it. Finally the lane remained open and I took the initiative and made the u-turn and went back to find him. He was not where I last saw him but I did find him and gave him some of my food and some money, which I have very limited amounts of, with no questions asked. He gave me a smile and a courteous "thank you". I do not always do what I should do but I am getting better at it because I keep trying to let my better and best nature out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

One of life's struggles (#714)

Have you ever felt love for another human being that was so powerful that it's sensation is a constant? I am sure most of you have. Have you ever felt this same love for another human being and that human being did not love you back? It is unrequited love and I am also sure most of you have felt this as well. It is a double edged sword in it's existence. On the one hand to have such a tremendous gift to feel for another person is magnificent. On the other hand not being able to share it is torturous. It also brings about the struggle I am referring to, a dilemma if you will. When the love is constant, how then does one move on to find someone else to share their life with? I suppose this story is as old as time itself and the simple solution is to move on and allow time and other experiences to wash away the old feeling. The problem is when the old feeling is not old but is constant and at times even more pronounced. I know the answer is to be honest with any new person whom feelings are also felt for but not on the same level as "the one". A sort of resignation and compromise toward a relationship. Certainly a level of being honest in such a relationship is the proper thing to do. If I am not in love with someone I marry like I am in love with someone else, then the one I marry must at least be given the courtesy of knowing I have greater feelings for someone else. I am thinking that at least finding a relationship during life is better than pining all alone for the rest of my life. Or is it? It seems that for love to be true between two people it must have an honor to it. Regardless if the love is returned or not. It seems that the position I am taking is the one of living with the true unrequited love and not the compromised one. Especially since the compromised love is not the true love for the other either. I hate being alone but I hate worse settling for less than the magical. Just me!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New horizons (#713)

Everyday I wake up with a new outlook on life. It quickly morphs back into what I went to sleep with but for that first moment or two I have a fresh and new view on my world. This slight momentary glimpse into the pure world of my life gives me hope and satisfaction that everything is still possible. I really am enjoying being alive. Normally, in the past, fear would attach itself to me because I was unsure about how my life would continue. I have found that by confronting fear, it eventually fades into a lesser feeling and allows me to feel good instead of scared. Life really is grand, despite all the hurdles we erect for ourselves to have to jump over in order to survive. This leads me to seeing out ahead at what could be possible. The blindness that comes with fear is not part of the equation today. I can see clearly into my hope for my life and the new reality I could have. Let me be clear however, I am not talking about expectation, I am talking about what could be but always understanding that what could be is not what is. The beauty of how I see out ahead of myself is the happiness I feel inside me. I want great things not only for myself but just as much for everyone else. There is something fulfilling about wanting the best for all. Something within me reaches a level of perfection, albeit temporarily, but still there. I titled this post new horizons because it seems that everyday some new thought about how life could be better enters my consciousness. It is what I wish would never change for me. I have found a niche that suits who I am and how I want to live.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Compassion and Curiosity (#712)

What do I mean by these terms? I think that I would be better served to explain what I mean by ascribing each trait to an individual. Compassion=Mohandas Ghandi; by this I mean that his heart was open to all through sympathy to love. Curiosity=Christopher Columbus; His idea of a world that was not flat came to be true through his actions of discovery. We care for each other and we wonder about everything. This is magical what us humans have within us. The capacity to feel sensations that fill us with purity and hope, as well as, an imagination to know, that may possibly be turned into reality. The design of our natures is unique and does call into question whether or not we are part of some larger system of existence that is beyond our logic. For now, just knowing that I care and I wonder is sufficient. Some future ancestor of us will undoubtedly come across the answers that are only barely imaginable to us now. I hope anyway. That is the beauty of us humans, we will keep pushing the envelope of knowledge until we are no longer confined within existence. It is who we are. More than anything it is my hope that our natures will be utilized to their maximum for the better of all of us instead of us fighting so hard against each other, struggling to just survive. Our species is absolutely remarkable. We deserve every just and right second within our destinies. We are not there yet but we can be. I can see the pathway. It is a meeting of the minds about the value of time in conjunction with the value of each human. Extending time for every human now will not only help in our interactions with each other but will also give us time to discover the still undiscovered. If only we could just see each other as the reflection of ourselves and then all work to make life more in line with our natures of compassion and curiosity.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recapturing my innocence (#711)

It is still inside my head if I would only concentrate on it and give myself a chance to be apart of it again. My life is ongoing and not already set, or determined to be where it is now. I am just a boy who has moved around in life thinking that my actions have defined who I am. I am not defined by my actions, I am defined by the intent of my actions. It is what I think about myself and others that defines me. It is true that most times a person can be defined by their actions but outside forces often dictate what those actions should be and not necessarily the individual's intent. This is how we can confuse each other. Actions alone are not enough to define me, why I act is the key to me. I have been sitting here this morning allowing my mind's eye to see myself in a place where there is nothing ahead of me but my smile and my hope. I can do this every moment if I would just concentrate on the gift of this life that I still enjoy. Regardless of my circumstance, I am lucky to be alive. This is where I begin to see the original innocence I had when I was a child just learning. I am not owed any expectation or deserve from anyone, including myself. I have this moment and all that comes with it. I am here because this is where I am, not because it is a direct reflection of who I am. Remember, outside forces have their push and pull on us. I am learning to avoid the trappings of "what is" and strive to live in the "what could be". It is in the what could be that I recognize my innocence again. Fleeting images of simple awe and harmony. My destiny lies within the scope of finding my way back to the beginning of me and staying there, albeit a little more wiser, and humbled in the knowledge that my journey of self-discovery has at last come home.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My own temptations (#710)

My word I am only a human! I have the same desires and sensations that everyone else has. As I struggle to tame the wild that is within me I also recognize that the wild needs to exist. I am human and as such have within me instinctual characteristics. I need to survive. What is it that makes me need to survive? A will to live or some other definition of wanting life to the greatest degree? An impetus began before I was born that allowed me the struggle to be born. Life is not always fair or kind and being born is just the first part of the struggle to live. Nurture is needed and a sense of understanding, at least enough to allow me not to fall into deadly traps. I have within me a temperament that if left unattended would have me howling at the moon as if a lucid mind was the last thing I ever had. It is those impulses or instincts of the body and lesser of mind that I am responsible for containing and eventually funneling into positive and constructive thoughts and actions. It is my responsibility to understand my nature and adapt it to a mature set of principles. My first thought at times is still reactionary instead of thoughtful and enlightened. My core principles for living revolve around the universe of virtuousness. It may seem naively gallant or old school to want to be a civil gentleman, but it works for me. When I put the better and best out in front of me as a goal, it seems to assuage the human instincts that would be my enemy within. Whatever anyone has to do to make themselves into a better self is the goal. I hold no distinction as to any process along as it harms no one in it's application. For me trying to be virtuous in all my moments of life, trying being the operative verb, helps create within me a template for responding to any stimuli. I have and always will be my own worst enemy, but with principles of virtue to help guide me, I am also becoming my own best friend.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Objectivity and Spirituality (709)

Does the word objective get it's due? If we all would practice the meaning of this word; objective: "Not influenced by the emotions or prejudices. Based upon observed facts."-Wiktionary. It seems to exhibit the property of being logical. Wow, what a concept. I apologize, it is just that I am starting to grow cynicism out my ears because of the lack of objectivity in the current discourse of everyday life in our society. There are only so many truths and the truth is that what we believe to be truth is not necessarily truth. Belief systems are notorious for not being true based upon observation. That still doesn't stop most everyone from denying observed truth and accepting belief system as truth instead. I am not here to discount the efficacy of belief systems or it's purpose. I am simply stating that when observed facts are looked upon without emotion or prejudice, the truth of fact is what is real. It is my duty to perceive the truth and call it for what it is. I have nothing to gain or lose by just being honest. It is who I am, being honest that is. The very foundation of our observations are what we build our society from. Belief systems help us cope with the awesome aloneness we feel being here in existence, it is not however, a fact of observation, devoid of emotion and prejudice. We have a duality to us which allows us to remain objective about the world of matter that we live in and also subscribe to the beauty of a spiritual world, which we all should hope to experience. That does not mean that we have to let the two paradigms, objectivity and spirituality, of our existence clash, it just means we are privileged to enjoy both. Logic dictates that facts be observed and distinguished and belief system sets us free to have faith in something greater than ourselves. They both can co-exist in harmony.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What we do in life matters (#708)

Sure, if I died right now nothing would matter to me and why should I waste time caring about things when it is usually a struggle and I could be servicing my time in a more relaxing and self-centered way. I have thought about this many times and I always come back to the FACT that I just happen to care about others and want to help make a better world. It is my journey obviously since others do not feel the same. I do not blame anyone for what they do or don't do but I do hold out hope that some realization on their part will allow them to see that life is more than just ourselves. I have experienced many different sensations as a human who has some time in existence. The best sensations I have ever felt revolve around the compassionate side of my nature. Don't misunderstand me, I also experience great sensations when I am in discovery of the previously unknown. It is just that the compassionate side of me has the most experience with "feeling" alive. It has been a comprehensive evolution for me to get to this point. I started out, not unlike everyone else, just trying to find my way in the world with little to no help from anyone who could explain much to me at all. It has only been through perspectives gained from experience and logical application that I have endured long enough to have my current point of view. A maturation if you will allow me. I will not call it wisdom but it feels like it. I am humbled that I know what gives me purpose to continue doing what matters most to me in life. It would be far less a struggle to write this post from the point of view of "what can I get out of life today" perspective but it would not even be enjoyably satisfying. My destiny is ahead of me in such a clear way that not to follow it would be cruel and disappointing to my soul.

Friday, January 7, 2011

There are no stupid questions (#707)

You should hear me in my head telling myself not to ask a question sometimes because it seems that I have not understood some simple fact everybody else did. I mean I really give it to myself and let myself feel embarrassed. This only lasts for a few seconds then I dive in and ask my silly question. It is not about what others think about me it is what I think about myself. It takes me awhile to remember this but the time gap is getting shorter. My ego wants to tell me that I can get by without asking the question so as not to let myself look foolish, but I don't let my ego win anymore. I admit that sometimes I just don't get things. I am not perfect and being human is exemplified in imperfection. It is okay to be imperfect, as long as I realize that when I am not understanding I need to ask a question. Maturity dictates that learning is better than maintaining an illusion of intelligence. The usual result of my allowing people to see my personal ignorance about something that they take for granted is a sarcastic mocking or a snide reference of my perceived lack of intellect. Fine, I can handle what they think of me, they are not the ones I am trying to impress, I am. Here is another positive turn of events for me, a silver lining if you will. I get to show my courage and conquer my fear of being looked upon as a fool. The only stupid question is the one that is not asked. What I reflect out to others is my fallibility, something that is absolutely true. If my life is going to have meaning for me I need to be honest with myself and about myself. The occasional stupid question is a small price to pay to keep my honor intact. Lead by example and not by deception. Never stop asking questions, it is our only path to knowledge, regardless of the price we may pay.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The face of courage (#706)

How is it that fear can rob us of what we would fight for without question? Often it is because we feel we are doing it alone and that the counterweight is heavily against us. That will never be true when courage is presented to protect or defend a principle of virtue. There are always those out there who would honor and protect in the same way. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in the confusion of circumstances that would drown out the point of emphasis. Many have much to lose when virtue is being protected or defended. It seems that what I have just said is absurd. Who would not be on the side of virtue? Unfortunately there are many of them who have chosen to be cynical and have taken another path to fulfill themselves within existence. Their virtue is not of shared value but of self-satisfaction at the expense of others. Self-satisfaction is not bad in itself, however it is if the method of attainment is harm to others. Courage, on the other hand, as an act of selflessness is never less than virtuous. Our natures of compassionate curiosity don't always lend themselves to reacting in a courageous manner. Building our foundations with virtuous principles does. it is a conscious effort that has to be taken on our part. We must strengthen our resolve, even at the real threat of our demise to stand on what it is that makes us who we are. That being our individual principles. It is easy for me to sit here and write about courage and what it takes to exemplify it. It is easy but it is also true. I find no courage myself sitting here telling anyone what they should do to be courageous, I only know what I do in the instances I have had to stand and be judged by my actions. I have failed by being cowardly and I have succeeded by being courageous. Possibly having experienced both I have the perspective necessary to at least write about what it took to present the face of courage.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

An individual and communal destiny for us all. (#705)

We have a chance to have both when we become members of a society. It is quite refreshing to know that in society, both the individual is encouraged to grow and mature as well as the society of all the included individuals. The foundation for living is there for us to build upon. We must continue to include all of us and give ourselves opportunities to learn and become more informed to the realities of our current existence. there is much to learn about our world and ourselves. It is as if we have this duality to live concurrently in the present. We can do both at the same time, and actually we need to do both as it gives us perspective, one toward the other. My individual self is defined by my thoughts and actions that I deem my truths. When I use the same standard in the communal sense I find that my truths are not necessarily the same for others and I am forced to examine my motives. It is a real give and take to establish who I am and what I want for our society. It is my right and obligation though to follow through on both, certainly to respect myself and allow respect for others. I can ascertain some form of how life should be lived by the options that have been struggled for throughout our history. Creating the structure for individuals and societies to form and progress without much opposition from without. Understanding the importance of communication we should have with each other. Society is necessary, we cannot live without each other. As knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation so should our priorities be as well. Even better is the opportunity we have to help all of ourselves become greater educated and therefore greater citizens both individually and communally.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Having pride in your vision for the future (#704)

If anyone would ask me how I feel about our society and what I hope it leads us humans toward, I would not hesitate to describe my vision for the future. Everyone should want to express or describe what they see as the future for us humans. It is the single greatest way for us to communicate what is in our minds about how we view life. This is how we can all start to get where we hope to get. It is so simple to know that what we all think has value and when we put all of our values together it should display a direction that we can all then discuss. All of us are vested in this. I do not need someone speaking for me, I have a voice and thoughts about how life could be. Everyone else as well has the same ability. The greatest lie ever perpetrated on humanity by humanity is that we are not the same and that some know what is best for most. I disagree vehemently. We are all unique and have the capacity to have hopes and dreams for our lives and the lives of our children. We have a view point worthy of being heard just by the right of being alive. The human struggle to find an equanimity that binds us all in harmony is my vision of the future. I can only guess but I would not be surprised if a majority of others had the same view. None of this is complex in thought, it only seems to be complex when thought is attempted to be put into action. The general overall vision for the future seems to always end up being captive to some short term gain for those who are able and willing to put themselves above and beyond the rest of us. I am not surprised by the continual ineptitude of humanity to do the best for itself, however I am very disappointed that we cannot seem to correct the mistakes that keep us from making all of our life experiences better.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Doing right at all costs (#703)

Whenever the thought comes into my head that I know how to control a solution that involves one, or a multitude of people, I am suddenly reminded that I am not in the business of rationalizing the present or future of anyone but me. It is like a red flag suddenly appears in my minds eye, reminding me of all the past failures I have achieved trying to do the same thing on some small scale. Even if I had the greatest theory and plan to make the world a peaceful and humane place, if one person were hurt by my plan then my plan is a failure. The fact is I am not God nor is anyone else. It is not inconceivable that there are those out there who would be willing to sacrifice many just to achieve some theory of great good. In fact I am being too naive, not only is it not inconceivable it is more than likely happening now. There are those amongst us who would take the disorder and chaos of today and trade it for an illusion of stability and peace, in  most cases, regardless of the cost. I am not one of them. The thing about our civilization is that we have, over time, slowly evolved a world society that is wrestling with itself to find it's ultimate identity. it is a sort of negotiation within our lives to meld our souls to an egalitarian peace. Noble and worthy of continuing. Some are not respectful of allowing for time to accomplish this, instead they are driven by their egos into implementing some catastrophic happening for our society to reconcile peace through a multitude of human sacrifices. In other words, war raged for the peace it could bring. I am not talking about the kind of war initiated to protect from invaders, I am talking about war waged as a strategy to bring about peace under the guise of something else. A strategy where the outcome has already been determined and an acceptable amount of casualties factored in. This would be wrong, regardless of the outcome being world peace. Doing right by letting time evolve us without planning mass murder is the correct way for world peace to find it's way to us.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Do not lie to yourself (#702)

Really, do not lie to yourself because there are too many people out there very willing to do that for you. lol. Being honest with myself is the first thing I need to do before I ever open my mouth to say a word. What that means is that I need to educate myself to certain things and listen to others before I interject anything even remotely resembling informative conversation. There is a pride factor in not making myself look foolish. I have to remember that having some pride in who I am and what I stand for is only attainable when I actually know what I am talking about. This gets me to not lying to myself. I am not a lot of things, so why would I pretend to be something I am not? Certainly there are many reasons why I would do this, economic, political even religious reasons come to mind. However, despite these powerful reasons, I do not wish to trap myself into a lie. When I was a child I learned a very valuable lesson, don't lie. I remember I had told so many lies that I forgot what I had said and it became aware to everyone else as well as me. I then took myself aside and promised that no matter what, I would tell the truth, and not make things up that helped me with whatever advantage I saw for myself. That little practical discussion I had with myself has served me well. Not only that I have instituted personal policies of doing my own research on subjects as well as learning both sides of any argument. My moment of clarity was born out of the ashes of deceit. Do not let yourself have to go through that type of mess I had at an early age (8). When I don't know enough about something I say that, when I do know a lot about something I wisely offer it in the spirit of being helpful. When I don't know anything about something I shut my mouth and listen to learn more. What I don't do to myself today is lie. It is unhealthy and incorrect, on the other side of the world from being honest and trustworthy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Time to put in more effort (#701)

It is a new year and a time for new focus. I say this because it is traditional to do so. However, I find that whenever I think I should put in new effort on something, any time is appropriate. Today is just one of those serendipitous days that new effort and new year are synonymous. Serendipitous because I remembered to think of it, lol. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that I can always try harder despite anything I think at the time. It is only my weariness that keeps me from being stronger of mind and body. An interesting fallacious insight I have about myself is that I think I know me. I do to some degree, through memory and likes and dislikes, but what my overall potential can be is still an unknown, even to me. These little moments of clarity help focus reality for me on the basic thought that I am, as yet, an unfinished product of humanity. Potentially, the most magnificent species to have come forth from this planet is still finding out it's parameters. Our minds are as yet unlocked to their potentials, our bodies are defying the laws of physics every day. It is as if we are still forming into our true identity. This is the overview more so than just the little incremental steps I can take for me to improve on what I am doing. There is always another plateau I can attain with no end in sight of plateaus above me. It really all boils down to how focused in thought and action do I want to be? Putting in more effort also requires me to be more efficient in how I categorize my thoughts. It is as if I am trying to slow down time. It is an illusion of course but the better I am at accomplishing goals the less time I am spending on the goals and the more time I have for other ideas and activities. I am capable of more than what I am doing now and right now I recognize that with acute clarity.