Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

What the World Needs Now…

I’m hardly the first to say, or sing, or lecture, or prophesy (I’m only claiming to be saying it, it’s been repeated so often)… It’s been said so many ways, in so many languages, it’s enough to make your head spin if you let it!
Life, is about one thing, and one Thing only!! Love.

That’s it. It’s not hard, nor rocket science, it’s what makes it, it’s what helps it to grow, and it’s how/why we continue to exist! No Living thing survives without Love (That includes the Living Planet we occupy!) We as Human Beings, whether we’re looking from the bottom, up, or the top, down, are only special in that we think we are the only things capable of cognitive thought.
I propose we are the only ones complaining about it! Take a Good look around you!
If you are not seeing a wondrous view, of the Living organism that is the Glory of Life on this planet we cohabitate (poetic license), then you are missing the point of what it’s all about.
I’m not saying you “have” to be in the middle of a forest to see It, I’m saying we are failing to see it in all the ways It inhabits the world around us! Life is everywhere, there for us to admire, enjoy, stand in awe of for Its complexity and simultaneous simplistic pulchritude! What a wonder, what a joy to experience!!

Who knows the name of Helen KELLER‘s teacher? What a wonderful woman! Such Blesséd Insight/Inspiration! Can you imagine being able to care so much, that you gave your Life for the betterment of an other? That’s Love.
Putting someone else’s wants and needs before your own. That’s it! It isn’t hard (though at times, it’ll hurt!), It isn’t complicated, there it is in a nutshell. Why then, do we continue to over-complicate matters, make excuses about why we “…can’t do it”, and avoid discussing it directly?
…Maybe ’cause we’re afraid to do it!? Likely. It involves risk; a vulnerability, that few are honestly willing to admit to, or follow through with. And so then, we can pretend it isn’t there. Those feelings, those emotions, that we define as “being Human”, in today’s world is little more than myth.
Is there any wonder why teenage suicides (and suicide in general) are so much on the incline, and higher than ever before in our known history!? C’mmon , people!! Isn’t it obvious?? Our teenage years are some of the most emotionally charged throughout our Lives, because for the first time we are beginning to experience those emotions on a personal level. All those words are starting to paint a rainbow upon our hearts, and they make sense on a Spiritual level as well as Functional and Philosophical! We are then beginning to make sense of a world that we were at once dumb to, but now understand!

…And we’re pretending these things “…don’t exist. They’re just excuses for weakness!” And too, why bother expressing them if there isn’t an emoji for it?
We’re losing not only our comprehension of God/dess’s Greatest Gift unto us all, we are totally forsaking it, and saying it is our own to take away! Did you Make you? Is it then yours, to take away? Food for thought…
However, it’s difficult to say (for teenagers these days, in particular) that you are “wrong” to do so (taking your own Life), when you do not have a real understanding of what a Glorious Gift, It is! That guilt falls to the Parents who aren’t providing their Children with a viable example of what Love is! …Among other things, unconditional! We’ve long since (as a society) left behind the days of when Family mattered most, values and morals included! We’ve forgotten the Face of our Fathers and Mothers.

Love. Sweet Love! That, is what the World needs now! That is what Life, needs now! That, is what’s missing from our Lives, that is making us miserable. No Living thing on Earth, is an Island. We ALL need Love! Each, and every trillion(s) of us.

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

Oh, ye ends of the Earth…

Good day to thee all!! How are my fellow Earthlings weathering this media storm??? Seriously, I Pray all are well, and those who have contracted this flu-like virus named “Covid-19”, a speedy and full recovery! It is tragic, that there are those among us whose immune systems cannot handle the strains and stresses of the flu, as is always the case. Every year, and change of season. Even more tragic, that an inept, would-be dictator, who continues to assume the throne of these United States, has so egregiously performed his duties, fulfilling 0% of the responsibility(ies) required of his post and station.
To they, all those who have been so grossly misrepresented, and mistreated as human beings, with undeniable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness! To them (to us all, in case you missed that), and their Kindred and Friends, my condolences and sincere wishes (and Prayers!) that we may all someday soon see a return to “normal”, wherever in the world you may be. For not one of us Living Human Souls, has gone unaffected by our -collective- current circumstances!
For all who have recently suffered the loss of a Loved one, I understand it is always a difficult time, and my wish(es) and Prayer(s) is that a comfortable “normality” may return to your lives, as their physical absence becomes slowly familiar enough that you (we) may carry on, cherishing the memories of those left behind, instead of the mourning we at first endure.

There is bitter irony in the saying/fact that, “We don’t know what we’ve got, ’til it’s gone.” That being (the irony, that is), that it/they are not “fully” appreciated until we no longer have them! How sad, that in the moment, we don’t realize the value possessed!
I know of no one (myself included) who has not, at some point (or many), experienced the Truth of this. Loss of a car, a house… more importantly that of a Friend, Kin, and/or Loved One, these events tend to bring to the forefront of our minds just how much a part of our lives they are! And not just the big things, but the little things as well! …If not more so.
Rarely do we understand/appreciate just how much said person/object means to us, or the smooth/continued function(s) [they] bring to our lives, until it is too late. And then the loss is all to clear! The ramifications, suddenly, abundantly, clear. Then does the real value become painfully, highly polished, crystal, clear.
So too of our Freedom(s)!! A wise man once said, They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. How much more liberty are we willing to give up? …How much more do we really have left to lose?

No matter your geographic location, we are all Human, and as such; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [wo]/men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” {-Preamble to the Declaration of Independence}
There is not one Human-being on Terra that this does not apply to. So why are only the 1%ers achieving this? Simple. They’re afraid that if they share, they won’t be able to enjoy the same level of “luxury” they inherited. The irony is, that there would be greater abundance, not less, if we all enjoyed such high standards of living. Such is the inherent flaw of narrow, short-sided, short-term thinking.
But, then, if they actually poked their heads out of their tiny boxes, they might see the world around them! The wonder, the majesty of a Divine Gift we’ve all been given… the Gift of Life!!!

That’s right! Ladies, Gentlemen, the cat’s out of the bag!! You’re ALIVE!!! And guess what!? There’s more! You… have… the… right… to… choose… how… you… Live… that… Life!!! THAT is an “inalienable” Right!! But WAIT!!!! There’s more!
We can ALL do so, Peaceably, Cooperatively, Interdependently, in Harmony and in Unison with EVERY OTHER LIFE FORM on the Planet! Hard to believe, I know. Because “they” have been telling you otherwise for milennia. But think about it! What’s stopping us?? All 7 (I’ve recently hear 8) + billion of us, are capable of Living, together, upon this abundant, verdant Earth we call home! Don’t believe me? Ask yourselves this; Why not???
For what reason (other than greed, or any other self-serving “sin”), what valid reason is there, why we cannot ALL prosper? There isn’t one.
Imagine, if we ALL, simply Lived as we wish, followed our Dreams, we would ALL be too busy enjoying Life to be envious, greedy, malicious, selfish, murderous, etc.)! There is NO Good reason, why we cannot. If we simply cease to imprison ourselves, cease allowing others to convince us why we should serve them, at all, and simply return to doing what we already know to be Right!!

Let’s throw Religion in the mix! Tell me of any One of them that does not have a version or form, type if you prefer, of The Golden Rule! Tell me, please, with so many billions of followers of Faiths around the world, each one of them “adhering to the same guiding principle”, it is humanly possible that we “live” in the kind of world we do??? Can anyone explain that to me? Please?
And don’t hide behind the Name by which you call upon Deity/Divine/Higher Power (or even if not at all, for you still bare a moral compass that has the same principle), because it matters not by what Name, or Element, or Universal Instructor/Constructor… really! It doesn’t matter! Are you practicing what you preach? If you were, WE could not POSSIBLY be struggling as WE are to survive!!!! Think about that! If even half of the “Believers” of “XYZ” Religion actually practiced what they preach/”believe”, would it even be possible that we would have even half the issues we humans have!!!??? I say unto you Nay! It would not be possible!
We, each and every one of 7 + billion of us, every single one of us, has the opportunity, in every single moment we are alive, to “Choose the Right!” Are we? Do you? I say unto you, Nay! For if ye were, that Righteousness would sweep across the face of the planet like a tornado against the filth that is “running” this world today!
But we don’t. We are all far too complacent. After all, it is not that evil is stronger, that it prevails, it is only because “Good” people do nothing. Putting them directly in league with those that continue to try to find ways to suppress and control your movement, your speech, the very air we breathe if we keep letting them!
And PLEASE I beg of you, don’t try to inflict your will upon another with violence (And words can be violent too)! There’s no need, it solves nothing, and since there isn’t a single solitary one of us that doesn’t have the exact same basic needs for Growth and Life: Love, Food(Water), and shelter! And in that order, for with the one before it, we can do with a little less of the next. …What possible gain can there be from inflicting violence upon another? There is none!! And just imagine, imagine, what we could accomplish, if we acted for each other’s Benefit, instead of detriment!? what we, the citizens of Planet Earth (Terra), could accomplish, in harmony with the Life that sustains us, and the Planet that provides it!! Act as you “Believe”, “Do unto others, as you would have done to you!”
There is one, and only one reason, ever given, where aggressive acts are condoned against another “sentient” being (…though, there are many “lesser” Life forms that understand the necessity for balance in Life better than we do), and that is in defense of an other, and their Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Not even your own, but theirs. In defense of an other than yourself.

And here’s the determining question(s) for if what you are doing is Right or wrong: Will Life and Living, be in some way, better for my doing it? Is what I’m doing benefiting more than myself? Does it/will it benefit in some way, some other living thing upon this, our planet? Is what I am doing, going to express in some way, to some thing other than myself that I care?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then do continue!
If the answer is no, let your conscience be your guide! We, as a “civil” “society”, have learned far too much to claim ignorance of our actions. We know precisely which Master we are serving. There can be only One. Life/Light!!!!! …Or Death/Dark.
It’s time we repent of our campaign(s) of death and destruction! Repent! Repent! And you know what, we don’t even have to get all “pious” about it, leave the pulpit and pews at home, and just go out and do some Good! Tear up some concrete (of your own, and/or with permission) and plant a Garden, volunteer, lend a hand, cook a meal, say “Thank you!”, say “I Love you!”, give a hug, give a smile, a warm greeting, something, anything to uplift or benefit another, and I Promise, Good things will come of it!

There you have It, my Friends, the latest and Greatest post yet! 😀 I’ve done my part. There is much to be done (writing, for me!), and no better time than now to be doing it! LOL I think I may go for a walk as well, take in some fresh air. Enjoy the Beauty of the Sights, Sounds, Smells, Tastes and Feels of the Life that surrounds me… while yet I am able. For we are not promised the next moment. Are you/will you be the One, to share it, to send “These Good Words” to another? By last count, I have a 1/51 of a chance, that someone, somewhere will share this with another, and they to another, and on. If not, I have shared it with those 51 of you, I hope you have enjoyed the Rant. I know I “come on strong”… but I do try to be plain, that I may be easily understood. A more difficult task than I once imagined!
I am human, and have many faults, that I daily endeavour to correct. Some days I am more successful than others, procrastination being one of my biggest pitfalls! LOL
So, until next I post… (I feel some poetry coming on… 🙂 )

Aloha! Namaste! As-Salàmu Àlaykum!

Shalom! Peace! Pax!

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!!

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

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

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.

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

A Life Too Short

  In memoriam of the lost, the fallen, the Loved ones left behind.

  I’m not entirely sure if it’s ’cause I’m getting older, or because of my views, or the death I’ve seen (not as much as some… many even, too many more…), or just an innate longing to see Life flourish, as opposed to seeing it squelched.  Regardless of the reason, it effects me to see death!  It rends my heart to see Life’s  senseless destruction!

  And such is what transpired on the night of 10JAN2019, here in Davis, CA.  To be sure, in a societal, or even global context (most unfortunately), this is not an uncommon occurrence.  But it happened here, in Davis, where it is uncommon, and where I was able to be present (geographically) as it transpired, aware of it, and, as noted, effected by it!

  22 year old Davis Police Officer Natalie CORONA was shot and killed by a (reportedly) crazed gunman, who showed up on a bicycle where she was responding to an (unrelated to the shooter, as far as we know) accident involving 3 vehicles in downtown Davis.

  I’m still soul searching to figure out why exactly this has had such an impact on me… I’ve come up with a few possibilities, but none of them -on their own anyway- seem to fit.  Perhaps it is just a combination of factors in my Life… my sensitivity, my Love for Life, beauty, and all things natural… perhaps it’s my poetic nature, and a “Life interrupted” in such a cruel manor is anything but “natural”.  Perhaps it’s because she was young enough to be my own daughter, and, not having any children of my own (though I dearly, painfully want them), I “adopted” her as a “soul daughter”, a surrogate, not so much unlike the premature death(s) of my own unborn children.

  Whatever the reason, I’ve a strong emotional attachment to this young woman, as “crazy” as it may seem, and the deepest of sympathies for her parents, having -even if only fractionally- a small modicum of understanding the pain of losing a child, being a surviving parent of two separate miscarriages of 3 children… a pain I wish upon no parent.  The world is worse off, with her absence.  By all accounts given, she was a caring, giving, gentle, strong, passionate, determined, upright server and protector of the city!  One who was destined for greatness in her chosen career, had she been allowed the opportunity to grow with it!

  I know I’ve spoken before of Life, it’s importance and meaning to me (poetically, at the very least), what I believe it means to be a part of so wonderful a Creation as human beings are!  The thing is, is that “my views” are not necessarily “your views”, and, quite obviously, there are those that have no regard for Life at all.  And that in-and-of itself hurts me deeply.

  My one time therapist told me I was a romantic.  I nearly laughed, for I know no poet who is otherwise!  But for me, this entails an optimism, an idealism, about what Life should/could be!  And a desire to see a shift in/towards that direction in ALL of us!  We are capable, as sentient human-beings, of growing, of becoming better than we are!  We are able, to be the “best” “us” we can be, if we but choose to do so!  And therein lies the crux of the matter.  Choice.  An indelible condition of our mortality!  I would not have it any other way!!  Yet there are so many of us, for some reason, who are choosing death over Life!  I don’t understand this!  There is not one out of 7 billion (plus) of us Human Beings, our brothers and sisters, that has any need that is different from our own!  Love, Food, Shelter.  That’s it!  So why are we continuing to refuse/deny our brothers and sisters of the very things we ourselves want?

  Are we not supposed to Love our neighbors as ourselves (EVERY major religion has a form of the Golden Rule, whether they follow it or not…)!?!?  Therefore, if we want it, shouldn’t we help them to have it too?  Who doesn’t want help obtaining a perfect “trifecta”, a balance of all that is necessary, with just a hint of what we want thrown in as the cherry on top, to keep us striving for better???

  As this is a COMMON goal among us all, why are we getting in each others way, and our own, to prevent it?  Ask anyone, and most people will tell you they’d rather live in Peace, than discord!  They’d rather face Love, than apathy.  They’d rather Live, than die.  Why then, are we so stuck on destruction?  Why do we continue to act not for the Greater Good (which, ironically, would indeed serve ourselves as well… especially if everybody was doing the same), but for the narrow, itty-bitty self-serving “now” and instant gratification we know cannot last, and will benefit not one of our progeny!?

  No one with more than most others will seriously or honestly tell you there Lives are better, or simpler with the abundance they have!  Easier, maybe, but their quality of Life is actually much lower than that of someone of the “blue collar” class, for, as “we” have less, we appreciate what we do have more!

  It is a shame, then, that there are so many out there, so hurting, so lost, that they feel the only way they can improve their own lives is by taking an other’s.  It’s false.  It solves nothing, and only increases the hurt that is felt.  And yet we allow it, by our own inaction.  By our neglect of that which we know to be right, versus what we are willing to do that is right.  Evil cannot win unless Good people do nothing.

  This, therefore, is a call to action!  To all those Good people out there, who have been convinced -falsely- that there’s “…nothing I can do”, STOP BELIEVING THIS LIE!!  Great things are accomplished by small acts!  You don’t have to move a mountain, just a pebble!  So that someone else’s journey through this Life might be a little smoother!  We all must climb that hill, that mountain, take those switchbacks, like it or not!  But if we take the time, and make the effort to help out another, by so simple a means as moving a pebble out of the way to make the path a little more smooth, can you imagine how easy that climb would be, for ALL of us, if we ALL chipped in in like manner????

  Who knows… by a simple random act of kindness, you might just be changing someones mood just enough, by putting a smile on their face, or in their heart, that they don’t feel that an other’s Life is worth being lost.

Posted in Life

Happy New Year!

 

The New year is always a time of new beginnings!  Yule has just past (the longest night), and we now move towards the Vernal Equinox, and the longest day!  As the days grow colder, we find and/or seek warmth from our companions… our Kindred, our Friends, our Loved Ones!

            It is a time of regrowth, of birth, of Life begun anew, as with the dawn.

            And so  we move towards the Light, the brighter days, towards the pleasant things we like to do outdoors, even as we hunker down for the cold, winter days ahead.

            Some make plans, set goals, “resolutions”, from every perspective and angle, newness is in the air.

            Embrace this energy, turn it to the Good, make the most of the year to come, starting with you!  Pick some “thing” you wish to improve, some “flaw” that needs work, and better your self.  Better your self-image, your self-Love, your self-talk.  Be the change you wish to see in the world! 

Let the world know you’re coming, and you won’t be held back!  And most importantly, don’t hold yourself back!!  We can accomplish ANYTHING if we set our minds to it!  Love all of Life to the fullest, and all that you are!  Or change that which you don’t Love about yourself so that you can!

            Follow the Golden Rule, and the Universe will pour upon you all the Blessings of Life!  Do good works, and cheerfully accept each challenge as a precious gift!  For it is, and they are!  How else are we to grow?

            May you find in the New Year all your heart’s desire, much success, and all the Love you put out into the world be returned to you an hundred fold!

            Aloha! Namaste! As-Salàmu Àlaykum!

Posted in Deep(er) Thoughts, Life

My Crazy Life… Or the Last Decade Thereof [Part IV]

Herein lies the long awaited final chapter.  I must apologize, for I don’t know that the congruity I had hoped for exists.  If not, please let me know where and why not, and I’ll correct as I’m able.  I’ve been away from my writing too long, and it’s looonnng past time that I get back to it.  Life is funny that way.  It’ll get in the way of whatever it is you want to do, if you let it.  And we usually do, then try to blame some outside source for the distraction.  The fault is my own.  I have failed to budget my time appropriately, and the one thing I want to/like to do most, is the thing that suffered.  No one ever says they want to fail, yet we let Life’s distractions dictate to us our actions, instead of the other way around.  This is what I’ve done.  But I know I am to blame.  It’s all too easy to do.  And “ease” is the gold-standard these days.  If it’s “hard“, we want little or nothing to do with it.  Well, guess what?  Nothing of the best things in Life are easy, if they were, they wouldn’t be the best!  They’d be (as so much is today) mediocre.

I am no fan of mediocrity.  It doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t think “…It’ll do!”  We are all meant to shine, and why wouldn’t we want to shine as brightly as we are able, for as long as we’re able??  I do!  And that’s how I choose to Live my Life!  When I blunder, it is by no small degree!  Contrariwise, I hope to begin adding to that very long list of failures, some absolutely amazing successes!  One day, one hour, one minute, one second, one moment at a time, that is just what I’ll endeavor to do!

Ready?  Grab a comfy spot, it’s not short!  LOL  Here it is…

The incarceration experience itself, was -again- as close as I ever want to come to a “living hell”.  I was more “out of my element” than I’ve ever been in my Life.  And I’m used to being the odd man out!

I was more alone than I’ve ever been, with but a handful of people (over the course of the entire imprisonment) that I would and/or want to socialize with.  I had nothing in common with 95% of the other “inmates” (…inmates is one of two distinctions made “in there”;  “Inmates” are those (now the majority) who took a plea bargain at some point, avoiding trial.  Mostly the youngsters, void of any sense of responsibility or ownership for/of their action(s).  A “convict” was one who had gone to trial and been convicted),the older generations,  -generally- taking ownership of their action(s), and took care of their own business.  Convicts tend(ed) to be more responsible, less meddling, more mindful of and considerate of others and other’s spaces.  So, though I remained friendly, I did not socialize much, if at all.  Had it not been for the previously mentioned programs, I would have completely isolated myself, and at times, I did.  The only exception to the commonality, was of course, our mutual incarceration.

My first 7 months were spent in “the hole”, a predicament, I was told (by the Sergeant in charge only after the fact) that was inflicted upon me because they (the C.O.’s) were concerned about my “mental state”…  Mind you, they had no cause  to have this concern, but this was the excuse proffered.  This was how my incarceration was to begin, and truth be told, it was more damaging to my “mental state” than being sent straight to the “GP” (General Population) would have been.  But I did not make an issue of this fact, because I wanted as little to do with the “governing body” as possible!  A truth I learned while in the military:  The fewer [of those in charge] who know your name after you’re gone, the better off you were!  And in fact, the similarities between prison life and the military are staggering {Sorry military, but it’s true!}.  But again I digress….

Being in “the hole”, you are completely isolated from all human physical contact, and most interaction(s) therewith!  You get (at Yolo County Jail, others may do things slightly differently… such as give you not an hour a day, but 7 hours divided among two or three instead, for the “time out” you’re given is mandated, not how they give it to you) one hour per day, to shave/shower, make a phone call, and spend time in/on the yard (an octagon shape it took me 43 steps to walk completely around)!

Obviously, you usually didn’t get it all done in your time, so you scheduled your time per day.  One day shower and make a phone call, next day walk and phone call (if you had someone available, and willing to take a collect call at whatever your time out was).  At Yolo County Jail, those times rotated throughout the week, and weren’t the same twice in a month.  This too was a tactic, employed to keep you off balance, unrested, “penalized” for whatever offense “they” perceived as a “just” reason for putting/keeping you in the hole.

Truly and completely out of my element, I turned to the one and only escape I had available to me;  Books!  Throughout my incarceration, I read in excess of 370 books, of varying genres and styles.  Scriptures, poetry, autobiographies, self-help, fiction, narrative non-fiction, biographies, sci-fi/fantasy (one of my favorite), tech manuals, I even read -and studied- college text books, with and without the accompanying course(s)!

Until I arrived at San Quentin, and actually spent a greater portion of my time “programming” (anything that is considered/conducive of self-improvement is called this), it’s just about all I did.  From the time I got up, ‘til the moment I went to bed (which was at random times of the day/evening depending on my dictated schedule), I had my nose in a book, and my brain far far away!

It may be the only thing that kept me from losing it!  I’ve always enjoyed reading, and being given such an immense amount of “time” in which to do so, I did!  LOL

It hid me from, and/or gave me an excuse to pretend I was hidden from, all the evils that went on around me.  And there were many.  violence was a common occurrence,  often one inmate against another.  Rarely, someone tweaking hard enough would brave acting out against a C.O., and that never went well for them!

Drugs of course, and plenty of them.  Food bought either through a quarterly package, or from the “canteen” was a favorite currency.  And cell phones aplenty!

We’ll discuss the sources another time, when I’m a little more at liberty to say…  By and large though, prison is a great place to go if you’re looking to hone your skills in criminality, or, more likely, learn/hear from another inmate the way they did it, or should have done it.  Then when you get out you have something new to try!!  Well, sort of.  It is rarely spoken (ironically), but it is the very act(s) that landed them there that they talk about most.  So, if it didn’t work for them, why do you think it would work for you??  Hmmm…

But logic is all but lost on the majority of the incarcerated (and too many of those in charge).  The entire system is rigged against them, often for little more cause than having been born/raised in an impoverished state, and has become so effective at keeping them there, that many of them are convinced that there is either no way out, or no better way!!  Seriously!!

The average education level in prison is 5th grade!!  That’s an average, which means that everyone with a 6th grade education or greater (about 1% of the prison population has a 12th grade or higher level of education), are actually raising the average to that level!!  The problem is systemic!  The entire system from the bottom up, and top down needs fixing, and public opinion right along with it!

Once more I digress, but it actually adds some context for you.  I have had a “13+” level of education for… more than half my life at this point.  So “relating” to the “General Population” was, for me, difficult to the extreme.  Ethically and Morally, as well as “educationally”.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means saying that all or even a majority of the uneducated are morally bankrupt, or “bad”, but what I am saying is that lack of education is one of the most serious problems in the United States, and it’s only getting worse, and the repercussions more numerous.  Poverty is the next most serious problem here in the U.S., and it too is only getting worse, and the -negative- repercussions more numerous.

Therein lies the heart of the problem.  The (majority of the…) wealthy don’t care.  The prison industrial complex is one of the biggest cash cows on the market, and everyone at the top is getting the biggest piece(s) of that shepherd’s pie!

Again with my digression(s)…

The horrors I witnessed are things that the “average” law abiding citizen only sees on t.v., and each one drove me a little deeper into my shell.  Had to!  No “sane” person can take such an abundance of illegality and violence, and not crack, one way or the other.  And by-and-large, the majority succumb.  Even some of the most God-fearing, religious, spiritual people I knew “in there”, had either participated in and/or supported it at some point or another.

Scripture(s) and books, primarily, were my salvation.  Scripture reading helped to deepen a Faith that had already been given a mega-boost during my Journey, and “regular” reading kept my mind busy on all things non-religion related.  Although, I could argue that religion is related to all things, I won’t… not here anyway.

My Faith, above all else, was my saving grace.  While I was in County Jail, and then at reception (D.V.I., Tracy), I had no source other than my own studies (possible by the fervent efforts of the -then- Bishop of the Davis 1st Ward [Thank you again, Travis!  All that you did meant, and means the world to me!!]), and this was invaluable to me!  I spent much of my time reading, rereading, pondering, and Praying about what I’d read.  I came to know the Book of Mormon better than ever before, and it Inspired me to continue to push through, regardless of what happened.

Once I got to Avenal, I was able to (re)establish services there, but for the duration of my time there (a little more than 5 months), I was the only attendee (I had met a couple of members on “my” yard, but they were usually busy doing other things… like working out).  This was fine by me, as I was able to get “alone” time I hadn’t had in more than 2 years, and study the scriptures in relative peace and quiet!

Upon my arrival at San Quentin however, I  had a community of people, fellow members, and outside volunteers, who truly enriched not only my study, but my Life, and they are a continuing and active part in my Life now (Thank you!  You know who you are!)

Reading “fun” books (not for school or religion) was my other go-to sanity saver, a good way for me to escape the world around me.  Many authors’ worlds consumed my attention, among them J.D. ROBB, Jim BUTCHER, Patrick ROTHFUSS, Brandon SANDERSON, LIU Cixin.  These author’s worlds transported me away from it all, and enabled me to be where I wanted to be… anywhere but there.

Despite it all, and by the Grace of God, the lions were kept at bay, and the only thing left of that time for me is the fading memory, the few Good people I want to keep in touch with, and the mental (social) issues that arose from (almost) 7 years of incarceration.

 

And now I’m on the outside.  My Life (and rightly so) will never be the same.  One cannot come from so long a stay in such an institution and remain the same, unless they have no desire to change.  And though I’d already had an appreciation for Life, for “liberty”, for ALL the beauty that surrounds us, it is exponentially more so now!  When forced to witness such ugliness, and having no other options for your time and attention, the yearning to make a difference, to show the world that a rose CAN grow amid a world of concrete, asphalt, and concertina wire!

I don’t know how well I’ve told this chapter of my Life.  I have plenty of room for improvement… as a writer I will always seek to improve.  To be more, to do more, to Live and to share that Living with more!  In some regards, the last ten years have been a blur.  In others, especially during that time of incarceration, it is/was the longest of my Life.  And I am Grateful. And humbled to the extreme.  That I sit now, on “the other side”, typing/writing this to you all, to say, I am here!  I am alive, and I Love all of my 7 + billion brothers and sisters, whether we see eye to eye or not!  And if not, let’s talk.  Let’s discover what it is about our differences that may cause conflict, and avoid that conflict, for our differences are what make us individuals.  And it is our individuality that unites us all, all seven billion of us, for it is what makes us human!  It is the single factor that does not change, but, that if appreciated, and not scorned, can help us all to grow in the midst of concrete, into the blossoming flowers we were all intended to be!  For we are more similar than not, we all have the same three basic needs; Love, Food, Shelter.  And in that order!  We all want Peace, and the freedom to live out our lives in harmony with our Loved ones, our kin, our Friends.

Adversity is but a teacher, and if we so choose to learn from it, instead of fighting against it, we can all appreciate the ease a little more when it comes.

Posted in 1, Deep(er) Thoughts, How I see the World..., Life, Poetry

Good Morning!!

Well, somebody had to say it!  LOL  You can’t see me, you’re reading this!  So it is important that I describe to you all that is going on around me, that you may understand.

Life.  Life is going on, all around me!  And I want so much to be a part of it!  But you won’t let me.  You keep the door(s) locked.  I can’t get in {“What if I’m (he’s) a “criminal”??}  Well, the cat’s out of the bag.  I am.

By “societies” standards, and definition.  In truth, I’m not.  I try, every day to be the Best me I can be, every day.

By “Best”, I mean, non-violent, Peace Loving, Love wanting, me that I can be.  I don’t condone violence, of ANY SORT, but I continue to be subjected to it, literally and figuratively.

My Name is Elron!  What’s your name?  How are you??  Simple greetings, to be shared or ignored as you please.  I have only my words, all else has left me.!

And so I return.  Again and again!  Gladly, for YOU!  Will you have me?

If so, I’ve made the means and the ways for you to contact me when you Wish, available on as many “sharing” “medias” as I’m willing to tolerate.  To be honest, I grow tired of all the technology, the data, it’s all so superfluous!  What MATTERS, IS LIFE!!!!  And the Living of it.

And the people you know, that you invite into your space, matters.  What you do with them, how you do it, Why you do it!

If I’ve confused you, please start from the top, and read it again.  Everything else, is so much fluff!!

I could sit here typing to/at/for you all about what I’ve gone through in this Life, or others, but I do not wish to spend every waking moment typing, or reading, though I enjoy both!  And yet, how else do we share?  I’d rather be Living, alive, feeling, experiencing, all that Life has to offer.  For it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, just so long as you are harming none in doing so.  That includes YOURSELF!

The TRUTH is out there, in every language.  And if that’s what you’re lookin’ for, you’ve found It!  If not, look else where.  I’ll tire eventually of repeating it, but I’ll say it again, perhaps with more words, so you can more easily Understand.

I Love you ALL, that I’ll NEVER tire of saying, to you as an individual, or as a Group.  For THAT is what matters, nothing more, nothing less.  If You’d like to Hear more, feel free to ask (in “person”, in RL preferably), but I’ll respond digitally if you want [you can’t like it or Love it, it’s not “alive”!]!

Aloha!  Namaste!  As-Alámu Álaykum!

~Me~  {~Elron~}