Posted in How I see the World..., Life

Gratitude!

Happy Thanksgiving, Sisters and Brothers!! I Pray you all, religious or otherwise, celebratory or not, impoverished or well endowed, all of you, are able to spend some time during “this time of year” with Kindred, with Friends, with Family! And may you all do so, as I shall, in the depths of humility and Gratitude, for the opportunity we are given to share these precious, rare, few, cherished moments, one with another!

My to-be-continued(s) will be continued, and I’ve other writings either completed or nearly so, that are also forthcoming. But it is now time for a showing of a bit of Gratitude! So without further adieu…

Sometimes Gratitude for Life is one of the most difficult to learn, at least for me it has been. Sometimes it’s difficult to be Grateful for the pain, the misery, the suffering. My own, as well as that of others. But to be Grateful for these things does not mean I find them pleasant, or like them, or enjoy seeing others so afflicted!

What it means, is that I’m Grateful to be alive, to experience these things, that I may better appreciate the Good things in Life! The Joys, the Happiness, The Love, all these things must have opposites (opposition), or we could not (in our present state of mortality) know them! Light/dark, Cold/Hot, Sweet/Bitter, Wet/Dry, etc. It is in the contrast(s) that we may know a thing, and thereby discern and distinguish, recognize, and “in time” appreciate!!

Life was never promised to be easy, but it was Promised to be rewarding, if we but put forth the effort, do what we know to be Right, and to share what we learn/know/have with others, that they too may flourish, in the Joy that is Living!

And it is this time of year in which we “Westerners” express Gratitude! And I’d like the rest of the World to know, that not all of us yanks celebrate the horrors and atrocities of the past, nor do we all wish these evils to be hid, covered-up, un-talked about, un-learned from, unacknowledged! We should however move on, and not let the past plague us like zombies, instead gain the upper hand against tyranny and the oppression of the Truth, let it be known, publish it upon the roof-tops, that we may NEVER repeat these egregious sins against one another!!

There is so much to Live for, to be Happy about, to be Grateful for, to Love and to Cherish (these last two can only be applied to Living organisms, sorry) each and every moment within the seconds, minutes, and hours of these fragile, beautiful, precious Gifts of Life we’ve been given! It is impossible to physically, or even digitally list all that we have to be Grateful for, for every moment anew, if we are so Blessed, is another to add to the list!!

I am thankful, yea, I am Grateful, for the uncountable Blessings I receive each and every moment, of each and every day! And when I am even more Greatly Blessed, I am able to share a few precious of those moments with some of you!

I am thankful and Grateful for each of you! Those whom I know, and those I do not! We are, all, Sisters and Brothers upon this Planet! We are all worthy, and deserving, of the basic necessities of Life, and more! That the few deny so many, I find appalling!

I am Grateful for all Life!! The birds, the bees, the trees, all the plants and all the animals, all of the organism that is Terra, our Home!

I am Grateful for a shower. I am Grateful for clean clothes. I am Grateful for hot, potable, drinkable water. Something the majority of the people within this Home of ours don’t have access to!

I am Grateful for food. packaged, processed, life stealing chemically altered/enhanced/”preserved” artificial and natural flavors added food, that makes you think you’re nourishing yourself, too expensive, make a wish and hope you don’t die from it food, so “cheap” you can barely afford it, while the fresh fruits and vegetables remain a privilege! Food.

I am Grateful for electricity, the internet, WordPress.com, and all those who are struggling to keep the Gift and Art of Writing alive, by whatever means necessary, even if they do take away our paper and pen!

I am Grateful to be alive, in this day and age! Though our follies are many, our viable options few, and difficulties greater in some instances than ever before, so too are the greatness of Blessings, opportunities for Growth, and Positivity!!! REMEMBER, all things must maintain a balance, so if you’re “seeing” more darkness in the world, then there must be more Light shining upon it!

I am Grateful for having Loved, and lost, and Loved again, and lost again, and… well, that story is still telling itself.

I am Grateful, to be a wordsmith, to know a few wordsmiths, to have read many works by wordsmiths, and for the drive to continue to be better with the skill/talent that wordsmithery is! LOL

I am Grateful, and deeply humbled, by those whom I am able to call/consider/know as Friends! For their presence and undeniable influence in and upon my Life! For their Goodness, Lovingkindness, and tender mercies, and generally bright-Lightedness! 😉 For each and every one of them, near and far, young and old, related or otherwise, Friend made anew, or one that I’ve known for a decade or two, and has stuck with me still, I am Grateful!!

For abundance, I am Grateful! For the Moon and Stars at night, and the Sun by day, and all that in this Universe is (and for all that this Universe is), I am Grateful!!

Aloha! Namaste! As-Salàmu Àlaykum!!

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Part II : Communication

It’s amazing, how difficult communicating is these days!

We LITERALLY have more words than we know what to do with!!

WHY???? To confuse the tongue!?

If Speech is a form of Communication, why is it so difficult to express how we feel!? Because NO amount of “words” CAN express, what I’m Feeling!!!

Are you alive?!?! How does that feel?! I couldn’t possibly, begin to use sign nor symbol, that makes sense to you as to how I feel about the Joy felt “Knowing” you are alive!!!!

And I say that to all 7 + billion of You, who are my Mother and Father, Aunt or Uncle, Grandma/pa, Brothers and Sisters, Daughters and Sons. To every bird, and cat, and dog, extra terrestrial living organism upon this Planet! Because, by Your Being Alive, I have Learned the Joy of Living! And I wish NOTHING more, than to Live with and to Love you, every moment of Your Life, Now and Forever!

I don’t “have” to know you, to Love you! Why? You are alive, I Love Life! That shouldn’t be confusing. Is it?

With all of the uncountable symbols “we” have created (which we have not! We’ve not yet had an “original” thought…), we’ve lost our sense!! A talent we all “innately” possess, to feel the Life around us, to sense how it’s feeling, to know how to help It Grow! And we all have the Capacity to do so. And to feel this sense of belonging, connectedness, and self-sacrificing obligation to want to watch it Grow, to nurture It, that by so doing, we ourselves might experience the Joy of Living!

We are not capable of Creating Life yet, we’re not that smart! We can (and do) participate from time to time, but It is NOT our doing!! A force Greater than ourselves determines Life and death!! We are merely spectators and participants! We could be that smart, but we’re to “stuck on silly” to STOP harming ourselves, and each other! Even though we desperately need each other to survive. “No man is an island.” (By someone smarter, and before me.)

We are ALL in this thing called Life together!!!! IT IS WITHIN OUR OWN BEST INTERESTS TO ENSURE THE SURVIVAL OF ALL LIFE ON EARTH!

HURRY! NOW!! MOST LIFE ON EARTH WILL COME TO AN UGLY DEMISE IF WE DON’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER!

GOOD MORNING!! IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP!!! TIME FOR ACTION(S). NO MORE WORDS! “THEY” ARE DEAD, AND NO LONGER BEAR THE MEANING THEY ONCE IMPLIED. SYMBOLS MEAN NOTHING, IF THEY DO NOT EXPRESS HOW YOU FEEL, WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU, AND/OR WHY YOU FEEL THAT WAY. WE MUST SHOW EACH OTHER HOW MUCH WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, BECAUSE THE “words” DON’T MATCH THE INTENT ANY LONGER!! THEY NO LONGER MAKE SENSE!

Count what you will, it matters not. Unless you are counting the number of Lives (or Forms of Life) you have Saved!!! THAT’s what I want to here! Please, tell me too, I’d like to help however I may! Even if just listening is all I can do, and might help! Maybe I’ll have an idea you can use!

I’m not saying don’t speak, communication and understanding are designed to help us express ourselves. Personally, I Believe the ability to communicate is an Gift of our Divine Creators! Whomever/Whatever They are, or “It Is”, that continue(s) to Make Life possible for us here on this planet! It is a force far Greater than “I”, that’s for sure!

Call that Energy and Divine Life/Light/Love whatever you will, but They Give us Life! What harm can be done, in expressing Gratitude to our Creators by the simple act of acknowledging the Life/Energy around us, how, when, and where we will? If we choose to at all?? Why is “devotion” of any type even an issue? Life is Divinely/Mystically Given, why not increase our efforts to acknowledge and appreciate it!? It’s a form of Communicating with the Life around you that you are alive, and a means by which the Life around us can do the same… you Know, like bearing fruit and stuff!!! Light begets Light. Life Acknowledged begets Life Acknowledged!

My Good Friend Steve says (like his Dad used to say), “Communicating/ion [words] are the seeds of Life!”

Let’s use our “words” wisely. Let’s let our Actions speak for us, louder than “words”. Let’s “Be the change(s) we wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi) Let’s let the world know how passionate we are about Living, by Living passionately, doing as we will, harming none!! Let’s express our Gratitude for being alive by Living a Life promoting Life, and cease the race towards a death that’s coming for us all anyway! Let’s make death wait, for ALL of our sake!!!

Peace!

Aloha! Namaste! As-Salamu Alaykum!

03OCT2019 (13:00ish) James Elron Mings

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Part I : The “Secret”

You want to know “the Secret”? It’s Life! There is no more important part of our existence, than Life! To acknowledge, to accept, to nurture, it’s a symbiotic relationship! When we thrive, when we grow, so does the Life which surrounds us! When we’re not choking it off, covering it up, pretending it’s not there, encroaching upon OUR busy lives, that is!

But it’s everywhere! We can’t kill it fast enough, it just keeps coming back!

…That’s Life. And our most Sacred, and Loving Mother is dying! She’s SCREAMING at with adverse weather patterns in divers places! Our Father is SCREAMING at us! Pick a religion, pick a priest, teacher, Profit… They’re all shouting His words; STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!!! YOU’RE DESTROYING WHAT I GAVE YOU!!!! STOOOOP!

{Our Mother Nurtures us, despite the fact we continue to RAPE and pillage Her!! She still nourishes us with all we Need to survive… until we’ve finished killing Her!

Our Father has Given us the intellect we continue to abuse, and the knowledge we’ve forsaken, and use against our Brothers and Sisters (Yes, all 7+ billion of us are related)!! And we, the “smartest” bi-ped creatures upon Terra, Earth, Home, however you call this place we live on, are the only ones destroying/killing HER, and ourselves!}

So much for being “so much more intelligent” than the rest of the Life on this planet. Where’s that gotten us?

This is it, Sisters and Brothers! If we don’t “get” Living here, with all of the Life Our Divine Creators have Given/Gifted us, we ALL lose!!!!

Time to STOP playing around, bullying, dominating, and destroying each other and the ONLY Planet we have to Live on, and time to START bringing each other back to LIFE!! All species, all breeds, all Living, functioning, Life sustaining organisms have a God/dess Given RIGHT to be here!! Let it Live, and it will help you Live! Let them Live, and they will help you Live!

ANYONE KILLING ANYTHING MUST BE STOPPED IMMEDIATELY, THAT LIFE MAY CONTINUE TO EXIST ON THIS PLANET!! WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE! WE NEED THEM, THEY NEED US!! And we NEED each other!

Please? If we don’t, most of us are going to die.

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Elemental Love

the Breeze caresses

the leaves shiver

the Planet exhales

One more breath of Life

As all Lovers

they laugh, they play

forever connected

forever apart

as One

the Flames dance

the Wood moans

intimacy palpable

rebirth from the ashes

As all Lovers

They’re entwined

unyielding

unrelenting

as One

the Earth quakes

the Water rushes

with destructive force

they move ’round the Sun

through gentleness, Life blooms

As all Lovers

they meet, and part,

and meet again

always forgiving,always giving

as One!

16SEP2019 James Elron MINGS

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life

Displaced Intentions

  We are living in an age of technology.  We are also living in an age of information.  We are inundated by them.  And they are growing and multiplying together at staggering rates.  And we are more disconnected from Life, and each other, than we’ve ever been.

  In the 1995 film Powder, Albert Einstein is attributed with the phrase, “It’s become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.”  Whether he said it or not (and personally, I think it likely he did), it is becoming more and more true every day.

  How is it we can download terabytes of information on to a drive the size of my thumb, but struggle ceaselessly to express, honestly and clearly, how we feel to “Loved Ones”??  We’re not only losing touch with our fellow human beings, but with our Mother Earth, who sustains us continually, despite the atrocities we’re committing to/upon her!  And our Heavenly Father, who Inspires us to greatness in every moment, regardless of the impurity of  our minds?

  We are losing touch with all that is important, and filling our Lives, and the space(s) we live in with things that matter not at all to our survival!  In fact, nearly ALL that we are presently about, is destructive to our well being, and a detriment to the survival of our children, and if we are not quick to change, the very existence of humanity.

  Have we become so narrowly focused on the acquisition of “stuff” that we cannot see the damage we are doing?  Have we been so far removed from our emotions that we are numb to the pain and suffering our inaction is causing at alarming rates?  And not just to ourselves, but to BILLIONS of our sisters, mothers, daughters, brothers, fathers, and sons?

  what Good is there in tracking the “time” we spend working, when we fail to treasure the moments we share with each other (physically, not digitally)?

  Our moral compass has been shattered.  Our values misaligned.  We are losing more quickly than we are gaining, our sense of right and wrong, and the very basic desire to see things done rightly!

  What happened?  I’m not yet that old, and not yet too old to remember, when -Deity- came first, then of the Earth Family(ies), then Friends, then all else!  Swear and curse words were not heard on television, and vile/crude jokes weren’t the standard for “comedic discourse”.

  We are losing track of what matters most.  Love!  And from it, Life!  And in losing them, we’re losing every bit of happiness we used to sing about, in Praise and in delight.  In the war against apathy/evil, we are not just losing, we’re giving up!  How can this be??

  Life is so precious, so fragile, so fleeting, and we’re wasting it!  Constantly looking for “new and improved” ways in which to take it, to make others miserable through it.  How many trillions in currency are we spending on saving our planet?  On saving the human race?  We’re spending that much on its destruction!

  How many people have you complained to today, about some aspect of your existence?  How many people have you hugged, and told them you Love them?  Have you hugged a tree today, in gratitude for the air you breathe, because of it?  Or the shade it offers?  Or the fruit?  When’s the last time you smiled and greeted a stranger passing you by, just because?

  There isn’t much any of us need during these short lived mortal experiences.  Love, Sustenance, shelter.  That’s it.  And there’s PLENTY of each,  for each and every one of us, if we are but willing to share!

  We cannot, we will not survive, if we don’t do it together!  As yet another old saying goes, “Together we stand!  Divided we fall!”  We’re all in this together.  If we do not learn from the mistakes of the past, we will continue to repeat them!  Only this time, we’ll be eliminating our future as well!

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

Dietary Choices…. How I started Choosing The Right!

  Good Morning!  And Good day to thee all!  A new post, for a new beginning.  The beginning of the future.  Of the more open, transparent me.  Of the me I’ve always been, yet continue to try to be better at…

  One of the first things I did (have done), in my efforts to become a Life-conscious Human-being, was ceasing to eat chocolate that was not, IS not, fair-trade.  Some 20 plus years ago, in a land far, far away, in the middle of a Life lived long ago, with someone no longer present therein, I discovered (and, to be fair and honest, it was my ex- who brought this knowledge to my attention), that 90% of the worlds chocolate was produced by, and the direct resultant product of slavery, and/or slave labor!

  Processed on the Ivory Coast, everything from milk chocolate to coco-butter (used in many things, including the making of “white chocolate”).  The other 10%, known as fair-trade, is the only kind of chocolate I now eat, and the only kind I’ve eaten since that day so long ago!

  The real tragedy is, is that in all the years I’ve known of it, talked of it/about it, I can count on one hand (with fingers left over) the number of people who have joined me in my crusade to combat this wrong, including those whom I’ve told that one might expect to have more interest in changing this ongoing wrong than others!!  {I speak of those whose skin is darker than my own, and only bring it up as a writer, providing a detail that cannot be gleaned without a reference…  This fact is NOT something that matters to me particularly, but for context.  Not because there is any more relevance to one human-being versus another… at least there shouldn’t be!!!}  The fact that so few have shown they care, in over 20 years of relating this information, has been an eye opener, if not disheartening, heartbreaking, and a cause of many tears having been shed, as I consider the wretched state of us all!  We are near ripe for destruction, save we repent!

  But this is not new information.  It is ages old, prophesied of and about many times, recorded time and again, by prophets both revered and hunted!  When profit margins are worth more to us than the people(s) whose labor, blood, sweat and tears it is gained from, we are ready for destruction.  When, for the sake of “ease”, Good people do NOTHING, despite knowing of injustice(s) being done, inhumane practices, direct slavery even, then is when the adversary gains his victory!  There is probably not much I could tell you of our wrong doing(s) that you are not already aware of, and yet it continues.  Because the “Good” people do nothing, and the adversary becomes stronger.

  What can we do to change this?  DO SOMETHING!!  STOP eating chocolate that isn’t fair trade!  STOP ignoring the homeless!  STOP enabling slave/sex traders by ignoring their existence!  STOP being complacent in the face of tyranny!  STOP letting other people choose leaders for you by not voting!!  Exercise your God-given, constitutionally protected rights, while you still can, while you still have them!  Repent ye ends of the earth, lest destruction swiftly comes upon us all!

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

Too Much, or, Not Enough?

  Good day to thee all!  Yet more time has passed, much more than desired for a blogger, since last I posted.  I’ve been suffering a bit from “writer’s block” if you will.  So I will do my best to make up for it with quality, as quantity does not seem to be forthcoming!  LOL

  My Birthday was not that long ago, and as I am wont to do on my Birthday, I spent the day evaluating my present, comparing it with the past (only for the sake of -hopefully- measuring growth), and plotting a course for the future!  This blog of course, having a part therein.

  And my current “trap”, or “time-suck” if you will, has been digital in nature, the many venues by which we “connect” with our fellow humans these days, as “personal”, face-to-face relationships are on the decline!

  And thus my question, is it a case of  “Too much…” digital input, ease in access, accessibility to the ‘fake’, and therefore free of real obligation or commitment?  Or is it “Not enough…” time, Positive feed back, ‘real people’, allowing for a desire for something “digital”, knowing it is more than likely not original, not real, not personal, not committal in any manner?

  One could add any number of adjective/verb combinations to the above list or lists, but the results wouldn’t vary much.  We’ve gotten so far away from personal, real, in-Life interactions, that it’s simply too easy, too desirable, too alluring, too safe to bother with the time-tested, time-proven, time-based, long lasting relationships of yesteryore!  It’s time for the new, the fake, the ever changeable, ever replaceable, short-term, non-committal, non-proven, non-existent relationships of the future!  Today it’s all about the be as fake (or as real) as you want, never mind the risk (’cause there’s so little chance of it mattering), it’ll all be over in the morning so you can try it all again with someone new at light speed whoever you want to pretend to be reality!

  Have we really come so far in our technology?  Have we really digressed so much from our humanity?  How ironic that a character in a movie (played by Jeff Goldblum) quoted so prophetically more than 20 years ago (in the film Powder), “It’s become appallingly clear, that our technology has surpassed our humanity!”  Guess what?  It was said originally by Albert Einstein, nearly (if not more than) 100 years ago!!!  What’s it say about us, that this has not only NOT improved, but gotten worse, and become more true since then!?!?

  Heaven help us if AI ever does decide to wipe out the virus that is humanity, in an attempt to save ourselves from ourselves!  We’ve already put most of our Lives into a digital box to “escape” the harsh reality(ies) of the “real world”, would we even notice if some AI decided we’d wasted enough of this planet away, and started systematically removing us from our USB charged ports??  I wonder…

  We, the human race, face a plethora of Life-threatening issues!  From Global Warming/Climate Change, to Genocide en mass, to the decay of moral values and Family ties, to our very ability to relate/communicate one-with-another without a digital interface!  Technology is a great tool, and has many Positive possible applications for the betterment of our species.The problem is, we’ve become not only dependent upon it, we’ve begun replacing RL with it!  THIS MUST STOP!!

  If it doesn’t, there’s little chance that we as a human organism upon the planet Terra, will see even the devastation our own practices of waste, pollution, and stripping of our natural resources will cause!  And something akin to the Matrix will “shelter” us all from the Real World we’ve enabled!

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life

Individual Truths…

  There are not enough ways in which to apologize to those of you who have been faithfully following a non-prolific blogger as myself, so instead I will thank you that you do, and have, and -hopefully- continue to do so!

  Thank you!!  Life allows us to make so many choices as to seem overwhelming at times, though I know that to be not true!  However, it is true that we (I especially) tend to be creatures of habit!  And it is more difficult (for me) to break bad habits than good, and twice that to set good habits in the place of bad!  But I continue to endeavor to do so, for, despite the roller-coaster that is Living, There are things I wish/want to do more than others, regardless of their place in my “habit scale”, and so long as I have a voice (…and/or fingers with which to type), I choose to share it, so long as there are people willing, wanting to listen!

  It is humbling, and remains to be so to me, that we are so Loved, and so Blessed, with each and every moment we are given.  In spite of our foibles, faults, and sinful nature(s)!  And so it is in humility that I now do my best, to share the God-given talent with which I’ve been Blessed, and put my voice on “the page”!

  Life has indeed been full of the challenges, presented to us all, to see the silver-lining, the light at the end of the tunnel, and many other worthy clichés  used to express the sentiment “There’s always something Good to see, and always a reason why!”  In other words, it’s been a challenge for me to so do, even though I know it to be true (there’s that poet in me again)!  Which is weird, because, if you know something to be true, shouldn’t it be easy to see, acknowledge, recognize???

  At any rate, here we are, you there, me here, separated by time, space, yet co-existing on the same planet, in the same time and space, though not logistically (you’ll not be reading this until at least I’m done typing it, perhaps a bit longer… unless of course you’re clairvoyant, in which case you may well have read it some time before I wrote it!, but still remains that separation)!  A paradox!  But something we know to be true!

  So, I seem to be stuck on “truth” thus far in the post, so let’s run with it, shall we?  What is “true”, and contrariwise, what is “false”?  As both are defined by perception, does that not make them both imaginary?

  And yet, we are so eager to stake our Lives upon our definitions of such imaginings.  Are they really “our” Lives to begin with?  Kind of hard to lay claim to something you had no hand in the Creation of, or lasting of, isn’t it?  As previously posted, We are “in control” only of our choices , all else is in the hands of a Higher Power!  So why are struggling so hard to inflict other people with what we think to be true?  We would be much better off worrying about our own choices, and let others make theirs, we’ll know in the end who was “right”!  Let us not strive to inflict others with what “we believe”, and instead struggle with all of our might to be as we believe (… or know) we should be!

  Where is “all this” coming from?  Well, I’ve been doing a lot of listening lately, to the messages my Universe has been providing!  Among other things, “Don’t forsake your talents!”  They are Gifts, which we are ALL given, whether we choose to use them or not.  They are not the same for us all, for some it is in athleticism, others in oration, others still in reasoning, but in ALL it comes as an art!  And beautifully at that!  Do you look at shapes and see beauty?  Or a playing field?  Or numbers?  Or words?  Or colors?  Patterns maybe, or perhaps even in the simple joy of learning??  Where you see beauty, therein lies your talent(s)!  This is a multiversal truth!  Second only to my own personal favorite, “Omnia vincit Amor!” (“Love conquers all!”, basically!)

  Seek ye therefore Love (Charity), and Beauty, therein will you find the truth about Life, the common thread(s) which we all share, though we all do not share the same vision!  Therein might we ALL find, together, Peace, and Harmony, and if together, Charity (Love)!  No greater “truths” can we know, and anything else, though not necessarily “false”, is certainly superfluous by comparison!  Life is too short to worry about being right, let’s just do right, and our “truths” will not only become deeper, more personal, but more shared by those whom we invite into our Lives!

  Blesséd be all!  Until next time…

  Aloha!  Namaste!  As-Salàmu Àlaykum!

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life

Choices…

  Life is a series of choices.  Moment by moment, second by second, minute by minute…

  We choose to act, or not.  To Live, or not.  On the micro-scale, these choices become infinite.  Do we greet the stranger as we walk past, or pretend they aren’t there?  do we pick up the garbage (plastic, styrofoam) toxic to our planet, or step over/around it?  Do we offer a smile, a frown, a grimace, to a Friend, Loved One, acquaintance, co-worker, -again- stranger, or look the other way?  Do we offer assistance to the beggar, with the Prayer they will get better?  Or scorn them for their plight, assuming the worst possible reasons for it, and rationalizing that they are totally responsible for their predicament?

  These are but a few of the myriad choices we make, not even scratching the surface of their entirety.  Yet they are some of the more poignant, the more character driven, those that -to others as well as ourselves- define us, and determine the example(s) we make for those who are and/or may be watching.  And we never know who may be watching at any given time…maybe safer to assume we always are.

  As we get older, the “legacy” which we leave behind becomes ever-more prevalent in our thoughts, and additionally, if we care, in our deeds.  And it is all based upon the choices we make.  Go to Church, or stay home.  Write that letter to a Friend, or watch the next episode of “X”, “Y”, or “Z” that we’ve DVR’d, downloaded, or subscribed to (who watches cable any more?)?

  Of course these choices are not always so “black or white”…  or are they?  Can everything really be so neatly packaged into a set of “right” or “wrong” boxes?  Is there not an endless field of gray?  I guess that depends upon your values, your morals, and what and/or how much you are willing to take responsibility for.

  Better people have said before me, “Be the change you wish to see in the world!”, and “I’m starting with the [wo]man in the mirror!  I’m asking [her]him to make that change!  If you want to make the world, a better place, take a look at yourself, and make that… change!

  It is amazing to me, that we have come so far technologically, and yet have digressed so humanitarianly!  It’s been less than my recollected lifetime since we were a MUCH more Family-oriented, neighborly, and kind peoples.  It was in my youth that We Are the World and Hands Across America were launched, and quite successfully for their time!  The youth of that time were alive with curiosity, a desire to reach out, to feel, and to be connected, figuratively as well as literally, to the world around them, and to step out of the “box” that surrounded the mindset(s) of our U.S. citizen parents, and their rampant “hands off” policy following the Vietnam tragedy(ies).  We wanted to be involved, and to make a difference, not just in the U.S. (and neither excluding it), but to/for all of humanity!

  And then “personal computing” happened… a boon to our ability to communicate globally, a bane to our ability to be connected, and to communicating personally!  Thirty-some years later, we are more disconnected than ever before, while simultaneously being fed more information about the globe and those 7+ billion brothers and sisters of ours than any one city of humans can keep up with!  iGen is the new and upcoming 20 somethings, and they’ve not known a time without the internet, mass-social media, and instant-connectivity, and are perhaps some of the most instant-gratification seeking individuals the world has known!  And we, their 40-something parents, have let it happen.  We’ve allowed TV programs (our generation’s single-parent baby-sitter), movies and video games to desensitize us,  to influence our decisions, our viewpoints, our choices, to the extent that many don’t recognize any longer the evil it has brought!  Family values are nearly non-existent, discipline (not to be confused with abuse!) found only from armed “enforcers” of the law, and banned from the home!

  Our choices to be more “individual”, less responsible, have changed the very landscape of our social makeup!  The right to choose is a sacred one, and one that should be afforded to all in much greater abundance than is presently the case in these “United” States, but it does not come without consequence!  With the right, the freedom to choose, comes great responsibility!  It is, in and of itself, not ‘free’, but that is how it’s meant to be!

  No one can take away our right to choose!  We may not like the consequences, or the responsibility, but it is the only thing that CANNOT be taken from us!  And yet, ironically, it is the “little things” that make the biggest impact, that have the most meaning!  Ever given a random hug, and seen the person’s face light up because of it?  Ever offer an unexpected compliment, and seen the person, at first bewildered, walk away more confident, happier, and full of good cheer they then, turned around and shared?  Ever help someone out, who fell, or tripped, or was down on their luck, then walked away without expectation of reward or praise?  Ever voted according to your conscience, regardless of the “popularity contest” that went on outside of the ballot box?

  It is a proven fact that random acts of kindness, generosity, and doing what’s right for the simple fact that it was right to do so, are contagious!  When we set this example, when we choose to act, instead of being acted upon, we can make a difference!  But we must want to… we must choose to.  Those choices can be major, or minor.  We don’t usually know which they are, or the impact they may have, ’til after the fact.  Sometimes not at all.  But they are always important, those choices we make.  Because they will inevitably have an effect on someone, whether we ever see it, or know it, or not.

  Choose wisely.