Why is it that people feel the need to personally insult fellow human beings? Today especially, I have seen one meme and post after another knocking people who believe in God or believe in the power of prayer. I never believed that a persons heart could realistically be so heartless and cruel. I wanted to believe that all people are good and kind and ultimately want a place we can abide together in peace. The reality is people are so full of themselves and their need to demean and insult far exceeds their desire to be kind. Why can’t people leave other people alone? Why has it become common practice to use our voices to humiliate, embarrass and demoralize another human being? What kind of person does that on a regular basis? What could possibly be in the mind and heart of someone who stops at nothing to prove a point and be flat out cruel? I’ve had it. I try my best to be respectful. Nine times out of ten I choose not to respond or feed negativity but everyday it gets a little bit harder. I will never let their lack of self control harden me to the point that I too become cruel. Today I recommit even more to be nicer, make this world a kinder place and to kill attack words with words of peace. Is anyone out there? Everyone needs to believe in something. They need hope to get through the years of their life. Why take that away from someone whatever that hope may be? Just leave people alone. I need an army. Please join with me.
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?
If you are judging someone for judging, you are both judging. If you do it first it’s bad enough, but to criticize and then judge back makes you a hypocrite.
There are some topics that seem to bring out the worst in us. Don’t allow yourself to go there. You know what I always say, be bitter or be better.
What are we becoming?
Have you seen the news?
Finger pointing, name calling, political abuse
Can’t say this, we’re taking down that
No Ten Commandments Statue, no confederate flag
When will we be satisfied?
When there is nothing left?
Perhaps we should be robots
Programmed, emotionally dead
We make enemies of people we just don’t like
If they don’t think the same, they’re just not right
Drag them through the mud, humiliate on the news
We will teach those folks a lesson, our mission’s not a ruse
Join us or we’ll beat you down,
We will do what it takes, so you look like a clown
The hate, the contempt are killing us now
As we fight for our selfish whims
We won’t bow down
Freedom for who?
Me or you?
So sad we live in a time we still have to choose
Politics, religion, so much war
Is breaking down our spirit worth fighting for?
Please tell me that this will not last
That love, kindness and freedom are not a thing of the past
The next time you speak, let kindness come out
Or do us all a favor and just shut your mouth
It’s not too late but we’re on the wrong path
Please help we find a way to bring humanity back
There seems to be a great debate when it comes to people’s rights these days. I have repeated pretty much the same sentiment toward this combustible topic all along. Everyone feels they are entitled to rights that protect their current lifestyle and beliefs. If you’ve followed the news the last few years, reports about religious rights, atheist rights, gay rights etc have been flooding your local news stories. There is one major problem that I believe many forget to think about it. When one sector wins the right to have rights, another sector loses their rights. What is a win for one group is always a lose for another. I often wonder if people really fight for something because they are truly passionate about something or because they just don’t want to feel slighted. Take the whole story of the 10 Commandment statue at the Capitol in Oklahoma CIty. Now Atheists are fighting to put up their own statue. I’m sorry, I can’t help but wonder if it’s less about really wanting that statue and more about the self centeredness we all possess that says, if you have it, then I should have it too. Why should she have something I don’t. That’s not fair, that’s not equal. Can someone answer me this? What the hell even is equality? Write me out a perfect plan where everyone of every religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, economical background, ethnicity will truly feel equal and that life is fair and not constantly trampling on their personal rights. They say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander but we don’t really believe that. We want what we want with little regard for anyone else. We don’t even consider when laws are made to protect our rights that those same laws infringe of others rights who believe differently than we do. Admit it, we have become a “I want and I am entitled to” society and we forget the “We The People” part. We have become, We the democrats, or we the gay community or we the Christian community, we the white community and it goes on and on and on. We are more divided and selfish than ever and the sad part, we don’t even recognize who and what we are becoming. We are like wild dogs fighting for one carcass thrown in a cage and we will fight til the death to make it our own. Do we even consider if we shared it than maybe everyone would feel full and possibly survive? I don’t think so. I am ashamed. I live by these words and repeat them every single day. We are just souls having a human experience. We should treat one another with respect. Does that mean we have to accept everything? No. The only right we really do have is to leave our mark on this world, a reflection of the way we have lived and decide whether we will use this gift of life we were given to create something wonderful, beautiful in the time we were given. and when we are ready to leave, look back and and be honest about whether we left the world that we created better or left it more bitter. What will you do?
It was with a very heavy heart that I watched American Sniper today. To take another’s life is incomprehensible to me. I was raised to value human life and to respect and honor the lives of others. The sad reality is we live in a world that is plagued by hate. We fight, we kill, we destroy what was never ours to take. Someone has to do it. Someone has to protect us from the evil that hides quietly around the next corner. Hatred infects those who experience it. It makes people do what does not feel good to the soul. When our actions and souls intentions are not aligned, we are bombarded with horrific internal struggle. We are all the same. We breath the same air and the same blood is running through our veins. We are love and when we act from a different place or see life as a different place, our souls are slowly weighed down with guilt and dread. The world becomes a very dark place and we are suffocated by the darkness that creeps into our own minds. When will we grasp the concept, what I wish for you, I wish for myself? What I do to others, I do to myself. We are all one, a connection that cannot be broken by a border, a country or a senseless war. We are brothers and must start treating each other as such. My heart screams out in pain over what we have become. We are like savages, shooting each other and hunting each other down like we are some type of animal. Sacrificing ourselves by wearing a bomb on our body to take the lives of many at the same time and in the name of….I can’t even write the word.
I am not in any way disrespecting our military or the men and woman who put their lives on the line to protect their country each and every day. We cannot just sit back like sitting ducks while we are under attack. I guess what I struggle with most is admitting to myself that it will never stop. What type of devastation would bring people to their knees and open up their hearts to see each other as human beings? I will not participate in the worldly hate.
I will do my part, the best I can to promote, share and be love. I will quietly remind myself we are all made of love and light. Underneath the behavior and the twisted minds, we are all the same. How does ones heart rot out the love? How does ones heart turn so cold that the only thing it feels leads to the destruction of what our lives were meant to be?
I am far from perfect but I believe in the cause and will vow to do my best. Will you join me in my crusade? Will you be a soldier of peace and love? Will you stand shoulder to shoulder and hold my hand regardless of your religion or color of your skin? Will you stop reinforcing all the things that make us different and start reinforcing what makes us the same? If you use color of skin, religion, the country you are from, the God you believe in to put yourself in a sub group than you have promoted the great divide. Take responsibility and be accountable for the hate in our beautiful world. Try something new like forgiveness and letting go and find something the same about the person standing next to you. I don’t care what has happened in the past. Use that as an excuse if you wish but I will not. Every day is a new day to start again and if you go through the motions recreating yesterday then you will continue to bring the past into today and there will never be a chance for a better future. You are the reason. Choose better, do better, be smarter than the person you were yesterday. Learn and grow and watch the world change slowly as each heart and mind slowly make a choice to live a different way. Can we stand together while respecting each other enough to have individual beliefs and our own unique idea of God? Can we start someplace small and take baby steps until we learn to walk together as one?
Sometimes, out of nowhere, the truth sneaks up on me and scares me to death. Tonight I was watching a Christmas special with my daughter. We were dancing and singing along to our favorite tunes. At the end of the show, Santa appeared. In fact, he showed up during commercials as well. He is on tv, on street corners, in our malls. I turned to my daughter as the reality sobered me up from my jovial mood. She looked at me with her great big, brown eyes and waited to hear my words. I told her this, I think I have done something really wrong. All these years I made you believe something that just isn’t true. Santa is not real but God is. It occurred to me that the quiet whisper of God is slowly being removed from our lives one place at a time. Being politically correct has become more important than being morally correct. These kids are growing up believing in things that just don’t exist while we quietly search our souls for a reason why our kids are becoming so lost, so hard and so passionate about all the wrong things. We go out to restaurants and we hear table after table shouting to each other over their meals. We drive around to the sound of blasting speakers and a bass that will vibrate an entire car while people are angrily beeping all around us. The world has become so noisy and the quiet whisper of God, who is now unseen and not invited in places like schools or holiday greetings, has been overtaken by the noise of the world. For me, God is the quiet. It is that place of calm that exists inside me. It is the place of love and compassion that understands we are all connected. Can you hear the quiet whisper? Can you feel the peace in a noisy fast-paced world? It pains me to know my daughter struggles with her faith. She is confused and she was raised in a world where God does not exist. I cannot force my views on her or anyone else. We are all so different and it is our differences that make each one of us unique and special. It just dawned on me that in a world where I had Christmas parties in school, she has had holiday celebrations. In a world where I often heard Merry Christmas, she grew up hearing Happy Holidays. We did not grow up in the same place. It may look the same but it is not and if these kids have nothing to believe in anymore, can you imagine how difficult their lives will be? Is there really a God? I don’t know the answer anymore to that question then the one I contemplated as a child. Is there really a Santa Claus? I do know this, believing in Santa brought me hope and happiness and made me believe that magical reindeer could fly. It gave me something to smile about and look forward to year after year. It was a time that brought my family together just for a moment underneath the same roof. Wait a minute, wasn’t that God too? It was a time of smiles and laughter and love, a sense of belonging that could not be undone. It was a sense of home and for me God represents that too. It is okay to say His name. It is okay to include Him in a blog and it is okay for you to disagree. That is just the way it is. We all must live our own truth whatever that may be. My wish is that everyone believes in something powerful enough to carry them through the hardest of times. I wish everyone finds something that ignites a spark and gives them hope that their single life matters. I wish we find that one thing that connects us all and overcomes the color of our skin, the place we were born, the religion we practice and especially our political beliefs. We are all living a life and trying to exist in a place where we have less and less to believe in. Find it for yourself and be the hope the world needs. Be the kindness, the compassion, the friendship and the love that will put our world back together and be a place we can all feel at home. There is no place like home and we all need to visit there once in a while.
I woke up today to read about air strikes in the headlines. I can’t help but wonder how we get from the innocent baby that we come into this life as to such angry, combative, vengeful adults. The thought of war is hard to imagine. Sometimes I guess it’s even necessary. It starts out in subtle ways. Disrespect for others opinions. Raising your voice and getting heated because you are sure that your ideas are right and the other person is wrong. Ruining relationships because of our inability to forgive and becoming angry and hateful enough to wish people harm. Our hearts harden. That is how the hate sneaks in. It’s like a back door where pity and hate and blame and superiority poison our souls. Hate consumes people as does the need to have each one of our beliefs validated. This “I’m right and you’re wrong attitude” along with “If you don’t agree with me you are dead to me” are two great examples of stops from here to there. Where is here you might ask? Here is where you realize that we are all individuals. We are conditioned by the influences we grow up around. Combine that with our life experiences and our egos outgrow our souls. We become like little tanks ready to plow over someone the second they make us angry. We can’t even control ourselves anymore. Initially when people get angry, they could still stay in control over their actions and act respectfully. Over time, the anger takes over and the hateful exchange of words, obscene gestures and disrespect for fellow beings, even ones we claim to love grows out of control until we can’t seem to get along with anyone who disagrees with our point of view. Is that to say there are not kind hearted and loving people all around us? Not a chance, but the older I get, the more I see the anger and impatience come out in the most basic exchanges. Just pay attention to the tone someone uses with waitstaff if their order is not correct. Think about it. How many times have you made a mistake or done something to unintentionally hurt someone? Don’t you feel bad enough? Aren’t you hard enough on yourself without having to be berated or punished by someone else? Who do we think we are to inflict pain and punishment on the very people who make our same mistakes and have similar shortcomings? How can we inflict our judgement and wrath on the same people who have looked past and forgiven ours? It’s okay for us to treat people offensively but the second they do something to us, we disown them, hate them, carry a grudge, purposely try and make their life miserable and maybe even end their life.
Hate and revenge start out subtle. Then those emotions grow so large that they consume who we are and change us into something hard. We become consumed with the me. I think, I believe, I’m right, I’ll fix you. The ego grows and poisons the infantile loving, trusting heart that was born into your tiny body. Our eyes of wonder become dark and cold. Arms that once reached out to love become arms that shove people away. The side of us that used to love to play becomes serious and expressionless. We slowly slip out of the person we were supposed to be and become a ticking time bomb to those around us.
As much as I try, I will never understand how people can be so cocky that they assume they must be right. There are so many people in this world. We are raised different and we think different. Life has handed us different experiences and led us down diverse paths. What is right to one could never be right for all. Why can’t that be okay. Why can’t we respectfully disagree while opening up our hearts and minds at least long enough to try and understand where another person is coming from? While we are busy talking over them and disrespecting them, we are showing with our action that we are superior and they are less of an individual than we are. It is selfish and demeaning and most of all cruel. To belittle someone else because they don’t agree with us to the point that we think we have the right to kill all who don’t agree. What in the world are we coming to? Isn’t there an enormous alarm screaming inside of you that says this is not the way you are supposed to be? This life should be about loving and helping and kindness and forgiveness and most importantly respecting people’s differences to the point that we find more respect and wonder for how different we really are. We should be curious about what makes each and everyone of us so different.
I am doing an online meditation and I heard something that really made sense. Listen close because it meant so much to me that I am really going to try and live by this logic. I hope it resonates in you as well. When we judge a person by his behavior, it is like ripping out one page of a novel and basing the entire book on that one page. That one page could be totally misleading about what the real book is actually about. What if you rip out a negative page and make the assumption that the one example defines who that person is. Don’t we all have bad day? Don’t we all make mistakes? It’s okay to observe and point out someone’s behavior. It is not okay to define or judge a person by their actions. Judging the person says much about who we are and nothing about who that person is. We could never know the whole book and it just doesn’t seem fair to base our opinion of another on that one page. It seems even more cruel and unfair to base the entire fate of a relationship on one or two pages. There is so much more to the story if you read a little deeper. We can’t pick and choose the pages to satisfy and validate out own egos. The quiet, instinctual part of us has got to be stronger than our pompous, self gratifying egos.
War does not feel good. No one wins. Sometimes it is necessary to protect ourselves but to what end? What does it settle? What does it prove? It proves that we are more controlled by our egos and less by our spirits. And in the name of love and God? Our religious beliefs would make us think we should kill others who don’t believe as we do? Common sense should start to kick in at some point. My God will always be a loving God. He would never want me to be hateful or hurtful. Are my beliefs right? Whose to say but at least they will not harm another person or give me an excuse to take a life of someone who does not belong to me. I will end with this.
I talk to my parents everyday and I have to admit some of our silly talks are downright amusing. Today I called and my dad seemed pretty agitated. He explained he was late for a doctors appointment and when I asked him why he doesn’t get going, he told me he was still waiting for my mom to get ready. Apparently, she had running behind because she was completely absorbed in her ipad. I get it. While she was here visiting, I was frustrated with her as well and for the very same reason. This is when he lost the argument. He said, “Kim, do you know what I saw on a church kiosk? Ipod ipad, I pray.” It was pretty obvious my dad was insinuating that praying has been replaced with little handheld devices and I admit, to a point, I tend to agree. However, I own and ipad and I am proud to admit that not one night ends without me laying in my bed saying my prayers. Then I asked my dad if he prays every day. His response? “I have to go Kim”. Guess what? He will not touch an ipad and I think it’s pretty safe to put myself out there and guess he does not pray each and every day.
I am slightly offended over the insulation that people who have phones and computers do not pray. That their God as to say has been replaced by endless hours of texting, typing, checking email, and playing video games. And though I agree that people waste a great deal of time on things that are less important than living and practicing religion, I believe a person of faith will still make time to pray even while owning every technological device on the market. So, a little chuckle for my dad trying to make a silly point. He just wasn’t going to win this one with ME.
If you are familiar with these three words, I am guessing you saw the movie too. Actually, a fellow blogger wrote a review on the movie and I was intrigued enough to go and check it out for myself. I personally enjoyed it. I love a book or movie that moves me. I love to walk away contemplating my own beliefs and why I feel so strongly about them.
I’ve learned a few things recently. The first is that religion divides. Religion makes people hate and act poorly toward one another. It is used as an excuse to hate, but it is not the religion itself but rather the people and the way they interpret their religion that causes us to get it so wrong. We get caught up in our humanness and it confuses what is real and what is not. My God does not hate. He accepts, He forgives and He loves, period. However, it is the fault of the people and their need and desire to push their beliefs on others that causes the greatest divide. People need to learn on their own. People need to see on their own. Sometimes, there are not enough words in the universe to change someone’s mind. The more we try, the more resistance we face. We are all entitled to our individual beliefs and who are we to tell another what they should believe as well. People love to argue over whether or not there even is a God and the hypocrisy is that by believing and pushing beliefs on someone else is like taking on the role of God yourself. I’m right. You’re wrong. Who do we think we are, acting as if our own truth is more real than the truth of another? What makes us think we have the right to push each other around and call each other hateful names? This is not love or peace or acceptance. This is ego and attitude and power. Those words do not exist in my version of religion.
I believe it is up to each and every one of us to decide for ourselves. When you come to your own truth it just feels right. It speaks deeper than words and is palpable in ways that words cannot express.
I have learned that religion is very personal. It should not be debated but should be respected. Remember, someone else’s truth is just as real to them as your truth is to you. For me, I do believe in God and I am proud to share the message of the movie. God’s not dead. It’s not up for discussion. It is the right choice for me. I respect everyone regardless whether you believe or not. That is your prerogative and your personal choice.
The movie was a pleasant surprise. I did not walk in with any expectations and the story held my attention all the way through. Will you see Tom Cruise or Demi Moore? Definitely not but it is worth seeing especially if your mind is open.