The Alarm is Going Off

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I’m really beside myself today. I cannot for the life of me understand how everything has turned into a war.

Fight to the death.

Kill and destroy.

What was the day, the hour when people decided to actively partake in destroying a fellow human beings life? I look at social media and how many people have come under attack and it pains me that we actually have a choice and some people still choose to use their time, purpose and talent to absolutely ruin someone or a group of people. Has hate become invisible to the hateful eye? Is cruel the new cool and it doesn’t matter if something is even true as long as we can catch a ride on the bully bandwagon of public execution? We are so much better than this and if we aren’t then we should be. Can people not give anyone the benefit of the doubt? Are we so undisciplined that we cannot even wait to get the facts straight before we pass judgement? Do people even know what the word grace even means these days? I just can’t tonight because my heart is filled with hurt for what we are becoming. This is not our purpose. We are meant for so much more than this yet we allow ourselves to be reduced to such smallness. This is a wake up call and the alarm is going off.

People First

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Sometimes the simplest things spark my deepest thoughts. I realize today how similar we actually are. As I sat watching The Greatest Showman today, I couldn’t believe how reality reached in and grabbed a hold of me. We have a pattern as human beings for wanting to destroy what we don’t understand. Instead of giving someone or something a chance, it seems easier to fight or protest against it. One thing really hit me today. Life is never fair. At one time or another, we all feel discriminated against. Whether it’s because of our height, our ability, our intellect, the color of our skin or perhaps the sex we were born into…we have all experienced it. We have all felt stuck outside the circle of feeling accepted, and valued. We have all been hated or shunned or passed over because of a single attribute. The sad truth is we could change every single thing about ourselves or the one thing we think may hold us back and our experience would probably be the same. Maybe not to the same degree but it would still be there. The problem is never about who we are but the way someone is seeing us. We judge each other on almost everything there is to evaluate and somewhere a long the way, the real essence of a person remains unseen. There is nothing worse than feeling small and someone purposely trying to make one feel smaller. Why do people take delight in destroying other people’s lives or cheering for their failure? For people who claim to despise hate, how have we become so good at it? I’ve never quite fit into this way of thinking and I am grateful I find it hard to understand. People find fault and criticize with such passion that you’d think they get paid for it. We fight for justice for one soul while demeaning and taking down another. We demise what we don’t understand and who we will never try and understand. Where have we gone so wrong and what will it take to ever turn this misfortune around?

If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. If nothing else, it is entertaining and maybe it will inspire you to go deeper into your own thinking as it has for me. Love one another. Be kind. Put people before opinions, judgement, and any other nonsense we claim to have an affinity with. Remember what or who is really important. People and God First. Everything else second.

What We All Need Right Now

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Living takes its toll on all of us. There comes a time that although we do our best to remain positive, we grow tired. Our enthusiasm toward life slips away like light at the end of the day. We get up everyday, we give ourselves a pep talk and paint on our game face as we leave through the back door. We go through the motions day after day, year after year. We become more like robots and the passion we once felt is replaced by a numbness that is hard to digest. There is one thing that can ignite the spark inside all of us and that is hope. That is why we need to come together and unite so that hope can spread as deep and wide as the negativity that has been ripping our country apart. So what is hope? Where can we find it? Today it came in the form of a friendly wave and smile as I drove past a complete stranger. It came from the cashier in the store who made eye contact with me and engaged in friendly conversation. It came from connecting with a friend who has views very different than my own. At the end of the day, kindness matters. When we start to see good in the people around us, we become starved for even more. Sometimes we can only see what we allow ourselves to look for. Your perception of life and the people around you are a gauge for the amount of bull you feed to yourself on a daily basis. If you look for anger, you will see it. If you look for hate, you will find that too. Challenge yourself to look for the good in someplace your heart won’t allow you to see right now. Look for the good in that Facebook friend who constantly tries to pick a fight. If you are a democrat, look for the good in a fellow republican. You get the idea. If you are unwilling to even take a look, this world will never change. Our relationships will continue to decay and we will be so divided there will never be a way to ever bring us back as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. It’s time to take a leap of faith and leave our egos and opinions on the side of the road. It’s time for full speed ahead and not looking back. It’s time to be the loving, supportive, kind people we were meant to be. 

An Eye For an Eye

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We pile people into boxes. We sort and divide a few of them in our mind and then we stuff everyone like them in the same place, labeling them with out sharpie pen. We write labels like black, white, racist, cop, democrat, republican. People are more complex then the superficial label we put on them. We have to stop looking at one small part of them and and assume that is all they are. We also have to stop identifying ohrselves as this or that. We are all individuals. Our thoughts, our experiences and our actions separate us from everyone else. This anger, this tit for tat and eye for an eye mentality is poisoning humanity one person at a time. Right has to start here. Right now. We can’t go back and right every wrong but we can sure as hell stop another one from happening. We have to stand together, side by side, hand in hand but our anger keeps us worlds apart. Anger breeds hate and hate breeds pain. What more is there to say? How many more years can we survive as what we are slowly becoming? How do we change it? How do we stop the madness? Do not become part of the problem. Be an example of peace, forgiveness, love. Don’t make excuses for anyone in any situation at any level. Right has to be right and wrong has to be punished every single time. Whether you are the Secretary of State, a police officer or a common criminal, wrong has to be treated as wrong and we need to make an example of wrong by punishing actions every single time. No exceptions. No get out of jail free card no matter who you are, what job you hold or the color of your skin. No giving a pass because of something in the past that was handled wrong or a situation that wasn’t handled at all. Can we do that? Will we do that? It doesn’t seem so at this point in time. I don’t think we want it bad enough. We are more focused on power and retribution than we are making this world a better place. It starts with you and me. One person, one day at a time, one decision at a time.

Negative Nellie

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It’s been a really long week for me. I’d like to say everything worked out for the best but this one won’t end that way. When I started to think about it earlier, it became apparently obvious that I allowed myself to enter that dark place I fight so hard to be away from. I put myself smack in the middle of negative, angry people and guess what? I became one. I let their negativity seep into my own thinking and I laugh now while I realize why these last few days have played out so horribly. 

The truth is I cannot tuck myself away in a safe little place in the corner of my house. I also cannot let a small number of people who carry everything I never want to be influence how I feel about people in general. My attitude towards the world has been a discouraged one and the Universe has delivered the image I have created in my mind. There is so much good out there. Kindness lives in little acts all around me. I need to think of people as channels and when one plays news that is doom and gloom, I simply need to turn it off. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes as I write these words. Here it is,

An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.

Goi Nasu

God, please give me the strength to turn my face away from hateful words, anger and negativity and not allow them to ever be part of who I am. Help my heart remain loving and open and help me find the courage to be a reflection of who You intended me to be.

One Step At A Time

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If there is one thing that leads to decline when it comes to humanity it is believing we are different levels of importance. What is it that makes one person believe they are more important or valuable than another? Why can’t we see each other as equal and respect one another whoever we are? It doesn’t matter how much money we make, what religion we are or what country we were born in. We are all flesh and blood, made of the very same thing. How can our minds, our thinking, taint our souls in such a way that lead us to someplace that is so wrong? How can someone believe he has the right to take the life of another? What is it in our brain that leads us so far astray from love and hope? It’s impossible to look the other way. It is easy to fall victim of the anger until it eats us alive leaving behind nothing but hate. We are better than that. We have to be. In a loveless world, be love. In a hopeless world, offer hope. In a world that appears so unkind, be the kindness it desperately needs. Rise above the anger and hate and make this world a better place. There will always be people who will hurt others, don’t be one of them. Be better, never bitter. Bitterness will get us no place good. Be the light in the dark and forgive and love more than you ever have before. One small step at a time, you can make it a better world.

Can You Handle The Truth? 

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I gave some more thought to all these latest episodes of senseless violence. I listen to debate over debate about whether stricter gun laws or taking guns away altogether is a logical answer. I think there are many factors coming into play that most people don’t even consider. Despite how people might respond, I feel the need to offer my two cents. By all means, my words are not right or wrong, they are only my personal opinion. Do I think guns are a problem? You bet I do but guns cannot kill without someone pulling the trigger. We cannot deny that people are the biggest problem. I believe you could take away every single gun but as long as there is still a lack of respect among people, this world will remain unchanged. It physically pains me that someone’s beliefs or opinions hold more value than another human life. How can people kill others just because they think a different way or live a different way? I will tell you how. People have become consumed with themselves. They are selfish and entitled to do whatever they want, even if that means taking another life. The worst part of all is there is no remorse. We have desensitized people to the value of life and the significance of how each and every person contributes in his or her way. We are made to be different and choose a lifestyle that comfortably fits. We all matter but we live in a world of contradictions. The line between black and white has faded away and we are lost in a sea of gray. I can’t ignore the All Lives Matter theme that has been so popular over the past year. What does that mean exactly? I’ve heard it altered many ways. Black lives matter, white lives matter, cops lives matter. As long as we feel the need to insert an adjective before lives, we are in serious trouble. We separate ourselves into groups and we exclude groups that make us uncomfortable or who don’t fit into our little niche. So what  do we mean when we say “All lives matter?”All lives who agree with our own way of living matter? Are there exceptions or is the meaning so precise that there is no room for misunderstanding? Why am I bringing this up? Do I think the two problems are connected. Yes, I really do. Our words imply one thing and our actions imply another. I believe there is an ongoing lack of respect among people and for human life itself. If all lives mattered, there would be no abortion but we think a woman has the right to decide which lives do. Look at the death penalty. When someone kills another human being, in some states the way we deal with that issue is by killing them. How in the hell does that even make sense? I am going to punish you for killing someone and how am I going to do that? By killing you. So killing is wrong when you do it but when I sentence you to death and you are killed, then it’s okay. So which lives matter? The lives of people who do not commit heinous crimes? The lives of the tiny babies who we decide we want to keep around? The truth is lives matter when we say they do. This disrespect, disregard and dismissal of the value for each and every life because of the way we define it makes every life seem a little less significant. This lack of appreciation for the significance of each and every life along with mean, violent, crazy people who lack moral value and self control with the addition of guns is slowly destroying humanity one day at a time. If we believe we can determine which lives matter then we can continue to pick and choose whether it’s by abortion, guns, the death penalty or any other way we see fit to take that life away. This is so much more than what we see superficially. Guns don’t make people crazy, but having no regard for another’s life gives us the idea that we can take it or save it whenever and however we see fit. Don’t agree that the majority do not respect people with different views? Watch our politicians, turn on tv, pull up Facebook and look through some of the comments. Is this what respect looks like these days? Someone flips you the bird because you piss them off for driving the speed limit. Is that respect? Go to any Starbucks counter and watch how people treat the workers. “I need a cup of coffee.” You NEED one? People feel better or inferior to others. The inferior ones get swallowed up and the better ones? They are nasty, pushy bullies. Not everyone will agree and that’s okay but it is something worth considering. Is one directly linked to the other? Who really knows but I believe everything is connected excluding the people. That is the part that is truly devastating. Feeling connected is determined by too many things, the wrong things. Feeling connected is conditional and some people will sell their souls. The color of skin, the same religion, the same economical or educational level. Is that what we’ve come? We are becoming more superficial and pompous every single day. It is a travesty and I do my best to add kindness and compassion and love to a world that desperately needs it. Will that be enough? Will taking away guns be enough? How about stopping abortion and outlawing the death penalty? What will it take? Better yet, what are you willing to do?

You Write It Wednesday

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Love and hate. Two very powerful forces that drive people in ways that are unimaginable. Love can move mountains and hate, well it can burn those mountains down. They are polar opposites but equally as powerful. They have the ability to change the world and history is proof.  In your opinion, which one is leading in these ever changing times? Do you think the scale is tipping one way or the other? Why? What is the best example for each that you are witnessing right now?

I would rather be blind to hate than consumed by it.

I would rather know love and lose it than to never know love at all.

When Love is Replaced By Hate

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Not long ago, I wore a pair of shoes that rubbed the skin right off the top of my feet. I didn’t know the pain could be any worse until I stepped into the ocean. That saying about pouring salt in the wounds couldn’t be more true. The pain was excruciating. The sting stayed long after my feet were out of the water.

That is what it is like being around people with bad relationships. Years of watching people you love speak with such anger and disrespect toward one another leaves a gaping hole in the middle of your heart. Their words, their resentment, their attitude and actions are the salt that continually burns you up until the pain is so bad you feel sick inside. How can people who once loved each other become so miserable, so hateful? How can people be so angry that they feel justified to speak to their spouse in such a hateful tone? Day in and day out its blame, criticism, name calling, misery. What kind of life can you possibly have when you choose these horrible ways of living day after day? What happens to the people that see it year after year, every holiday, every single day? It makes everything awful for anyone around them. It’s so uncomfortable and disheartening that you wish you could crawl under a rock and hide until you find a way to escape. Do people become so consumed that they can’t even recognize what they are doing to the people around them? Do they even care because their hate for someone is stronger than their love for everyone else? It’s awful to watch from the sidelines and it just makes you never want to step foot in another game. It’s a sad way to remember people who once held such worth in your heart. It hurts to look back on all the times that could have been happy if only the hate would go away. Hate and anger destroy everyone. It starts on the inside until their is no kindness left to share and then it eats away at all the innocent people who try to love those filled with such contempt. Mostly it’s just sad. It makes me want to cry and never open my heart again. That wound gets deeper and bigger until I can’t feel anything around people except pain. I can’t stand by and watch. I don’t want to. It’s slowly killing me inside and I don’t want to witness it anymore. Have you ever experienced anyone you love in such a conflicted relationship? How do you handle it?