The Saga of the “Inflated” Facebook Status…


161859632Facebook-LikesOn more than a few occasions recently, my attention has been drawn to a bit of upset in one form or another regarding potentially “inflated” Facebook statuses. I know it’s an odd topic and what I’m about to write certainly isn’t an indictment against anyone (and I mean that). I just started thinking about it and well, here comes a blog.

When we go out in public, we normally put on nicer clothes; fix our hair and generally do our best to make a nice appearance. No-one thinks we are being fake or takes issue with our best presentation, but rather typically applaud our efforts. At work, we may be having a terrible day or having marital issues at home and we still try our best to put on a brave face and at least appear to be happy.

So, if you really think about it, Facebook is a public place. Folks really don’t want to know how such and such did you wrong or any inference to you somehow being a victim. In fact, most folks will encourage you but still add a precaution that the public space of Facebook isn’t really the format for your delicate personal issues. Really, when you get right down to it, Facebook isn’t a safe place to share your most intimate feelings as there are people on your friend’s list that aren’t necessarily your friends and have been lying in wait to stab your tender underbelly! Haha you know it’s true. The problem is that we often forget that and soon find ourselves embroiled in other people’s judgments, despite them having only a fraction of insight into who we really are. Live and learn I guess…

So, here’s the thing. If someone paints a picture of their life that maybe isn’t 100% true, do we really care? If it’s not true, don’t the people involved already know it? And, if they know it and their life isn’t so great, aren’t they the ones living that life? Further, who wants to promote their problems; their difficulties and their weaknesses? Who even wants to read that? It seems that if someone feels a need to glorify their life, let them glorify it. Maybe it’s fantasy? Maybe it’s the life they have imagined? Maybe it’s an empty wish? Well, good Lord, join the grant a wish foundation and let them say it! Right? People are suffering. People are hurting inside. People struggle. If she is putting on her lipstick and smiling anyway, let her smile. If he just added two zeroes to his paycheck, let him add it on. Hey, maybe if he keeps saying it enough it might actually happen.

I guess what I’m really talking about is compassion. Compassion is sort of like seeing through the story and pretending like you believe it’s true, not for honesty’s sake, but for the other person’s sake. And you do it with the hopes that one day they will trust you enough to let you see the real them. Why do folks inflate their Facebook status? They’re afraid to let you see the real them… A good friend once taught me that at first people are afraid to show you their heart. Picture clasped hands opening very briefly to let you see inside. Then, when trust is established, the hands open a little more and finally they stay open. An open heart is hands that stay open. Until that moment, you don’t get to see the real person. But, funnily enough, they would find that the real version of them is wonderful and really doesn’t need revision.

Some people aren’t really inflating their status, but choosing rather to only share the good bits! If I’m selling you a car, I don’t start with everything that is wrong with it. I tell you all its virtues, then maybe throw in a few needed repairs. On Facebook, because we are all people after all, we are selling people our hearts. Sure, everything in our life isn’t perfect, but for the good Lord’s sake, why would we tell everyone about that? LOL Personally, I don’t mind speaking of my challenges and mistakes because I know deep down you are just like me and I’m okay with that.

I think if you are really honest with yourself, feeling upset about the possibility that someone’s life isn’t as great as they say it is, is really more about you than it is about them. Otherwise, why even care? There are enough blessings and good things in life for all of us to have a healthy share! If I’m enjoying God’s abundant blessings in my life, I want you to have them as well. If you make 5 times more money than I do, God bless you and good for you! We have all felt a twinge of envy on occasion, but really, feeling that way points more to our feeling inferior than having genuine love. It also reveals that we may feel a need to be above others rather than stand shoulder to shoulder with them. I’m proud of my accomplishments in life, though I feel sometimes like I’ve earned 7 stars but am capable of 10 (smile). But, even in my accomplishments, I don’t want to be above you!

Since these are just some good thoughts, I hope I didn’t make you mad. Instead I say, live and let live. If I don’t approve of your life and think you are headed for trouble, then if true the trouble will come. But, with God everybody has a chance to turn anything around and if God did it for me, He will do it for you as well. Life is too short to demand an accurate portrayal of everyone’s life. I just ironed my jeans, you know what i mean?

Just some compassionate good thoughts…

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The Slippery Slide of the Vegetable Mind…


1337256000000_cached(2)Log on to Facebook. Check notifications. Reply to comments. Check Home. Scroll down, down, down looking for content. Click like. Keep scrolling, scrolling. Click on Home again. Repeat. Searching, searching for something to read and add a response. Keep glancing at notifications. (2) Click and read. Accept mystery friend because he knows three other mystery friends. Respond to private message. Back to Home page. Repeat.

Close laptop and stare at the TV. Watch mindlessly for eight minutes, then commercial comes on. Open laptop, check Facebook. Repeat.

Grab cellphone. Respond to text. Write LOL a lot. Check emails. Click on Sturhling watch ad. Check other emails. Repeat.

Electronic media has truly changed our world. We are inundated with brightly lit screens to stare at. But, at what cost?  What is the payment that is being exacted for our obsession with our devices? Most folks would say it’s the lack of human interaction. But I think it’s deeper than that. Facebook for example, is all about human interaction in an electronic format. The greatest toll paid comes in the form of time. Wasted, wasted time. Time for conversations that matter, gone. Time to think about your life and what you want in it, slipped away. Time to work on personal projects, evaporated. Time to pursue your dreams, vanished. Time to get refreshed and rejuvenated, obliterated. Time…

We have become a collection of people distracted and divided. Things are coming at us a hundred miles an hour and we don’t have time to take them on. Have you ever noticed how great you feel when you go camping? Or for that matter, anytime you go somewhere that forces you to disconnect from electricity. Is it the serene surroundings? Is it the dirty campsite? Or is it having the freedom to just sit down and think?

Human beings need time to think. We need a separation from the sounds and images and the clutter so that we can process what is going on and how we need to respond to it. It sounds mystical perhaps, but we need our time for meditation; for prayer; for the quietness that helps our hearts find peace again. We need the space required to recognize what’s been bothering us and time to hear our solution.

Without all of the distractions we have time to talk to one another. Not about the weather and the economy, but about the things that are the most important to us. We need an opportunity to bring up our griefs, our hassles, our challenges. We require a chance to clear the air; to resolve our differences and to find the sweetness we once knew. We need it…

I would submit that many people are defeated for the day, before they even get up. They lay there enduring a cascade of thoughts about what’s wrong with them and how fat they are and all of the worries and cares of life, without offering the slightest resistance. Then, up and out of bed they go; hurrying to shower and get ready, while slurping down some coffee and arriving at work slightly frazzled. They’re pissed off but have now forgotten why… The day passes quickly and it’s time to get home, eat dinner and participate in the electronic media dance ’til bedtime. Tomorrow is a new day to start it all over again.

Our stressed, frenzied world has succeeded in talking us into the illusion that we haven’t got enough time. We are so busy everyday and it never stops. Then one day, we wake up and we’re 5o and haven’t accomplished a fraction of the things of which we used to ardently dream.

Thankfully there is a solution. The answer lies in making the decision to take back your time; your life! Take the time you need to find your peace (It’s there for waiting for you). Plan spaces in your daily routine to give that old processor a chance to turn back on and come back to life. Turn something off. Unplug… Silence that notification sound. Shut it all down. Being overly busy isn’t a sign of success, it’s a sign that something is using your precious time with or without your consent.

Now there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to relax and stare at the TV or to play on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We all need a break to relax and veg out. The key is to set a predetermined limit on any activity that takes more time than it’s worth. And when your life remains exactly the same year after year after year, it’s not worth it!

Your precious life is shorter than you may have imagined. Those dreams, those ideals that remain in your heart and beckon for attention need to be given space for expression or they will go to the grave with you as something you wish you had done. Get off the slippery slide of distraction and awake your vegetable mind to the life, your life, that now is…

Those Facebook comments; those Housewives of Atlanta; those emails will be there tomorrow or whenever you decide to give them space again. The only difference will be that you can now entertain them with your happy, satisfied mind, pleased with the decisions you made to take back your life!

One life my friends, one life…alive!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Cleaning Out Your Closet, One Thought at a Time…


pohlig_builders_clean_closet_art_career_wardrobeDid you know that your mind (emphasis on YOUR mind) is not supposed to be full of fear, anxiety and stress? Oh sure, most people are living that way, but it’s not supposed to be that way. The problem is that we have become so accustomed to living that way and feel like it must be the norm. If you notice we say things like, “welcome to life” or “life happens” and even, “shit happens!” And, by saying that, we are openly declaring or admitting that we have accepted something, namely –  that’s just the way life is… Well, what if that’s not the way life is? What if you have been seduced into a mindset that, once setup, goes on defeating you for years and years? What if there is something out there operating within a vast network, secretly, to convince you and me of a gargantuan lie?

Believe it or not, that something or other does exist and is presently working within the systems of the world to do just that. Everything around you is negative with subtle fear trappings behind it. And, the more you buy into it, the more fear you experience; the more anxiety; the more stress, which are all more or less alternate names for the same thing.

If you have ever taken the time to monitor those wieldy thoughts of yours, you’ll see just how consistently this is occurring. But hey, who has time to monitor their thoughts? I mean life is sooooo busy, right? Well, I submit to you that it’s so busy because you have bought in. How much of that crap you do day by day do you really have to do? Look at our obsession with health (in America of course). You have to eat this and ingest that and add this and supplement that. After all, you don’t want to get cancer, right? You see, you bought in man. You became convinced that your only shot at living a long, healthy life was to do what the TV and Facebook and the media told you to do. And the clincher? You are doing it all out of fear. Now this doesn’t even account for the requirements to exercise. Gotta get your cardio; your weight training; your Pilates; your yoga or else you will surely die! The Bible says that bodily exercise does profit you of course, but the real source of your good health is God. Absent God, get on the fear train!

You can’t eat this or have too much of that. Sugar is outlawed and everything must be low fat. Butter kills, bacon kills, red meat kills, fried food kills, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and on it goes. Generations of people ate those things before us, but we are so much smarter now. I’ll bet you never considered that all that advertising wasn’t designed to make you healthier but rather  to make you buy something. And bought it, you did! (And I did)

So it is high time to get off the fear train and start cleaning out your closet. You feel the need to clean out your closet because it has become chock full of crap. So what about your mind? Chock full of crap. And like with your pesky closet, you can only start clearing it out one thought at a time. But even before you can start cleaning, you have to decide you want to. How many things in your life are sitting out there unresolved, cluttering up the background? It’s no wonder people feel overwhelmed. So why don’t we resolve things? We haven’t got enough time between the gym and Pilates and healthy food shopping and getting stuff done! No, I mean getting everything done! Today! Bought in…

Healthy thinking involves getting problems resolved. It means taking the time necessary to get on top of whatever is on top of you. If it takes a week, so be it. If it takes 6 months, so be it. Why put up with problems? You put up with them because you think you have to. I often wonder just how many health issues we face come directly from our own frenetic minds being pushed and pulled all over the globe and back.

Next we need some time to get quiet. Just get quiet. Whether it’s prayer or meditation or simply turning off electronics, just get quiet. You will be amazed how many thing come up when you give your mind a chance to get quiet. You may just find that thing you have been doing for the last ten years because you are disciplined really gets done because you are afraid. Here’s a test. Try to stop doing it. Just let it go… Seems to me that God can do His job pretty well without all my incessant meddling! When you stop doing all of that crap it is like you are saying, “Here I am and I have stopped running!” Indeed…

My good friend once remarked, “I find that my mind is at peace when I focus on right now and whenever I start to feel stress it’s because I have either gone back into the past or moved ahead to the future.” So, try to live just for today. Or better, try to live just for right now. Did you know that God designed life to be lived in 24 hour compartments? (God, not Dale Carnegie…)

In order to even have a chance of living that “good life” you have often imagined, you must first get control of your mind. Take the mental time you need to get things straight. If there’s something you need to say, say it! If something is undone and driving you nuts, do it. And, for goodness sakes, stop being afraid of everything! So, what if a disease shortened your life? Well, what if you are shortening your life by living in fear? You can only do what you can do, right? And the way I see it, the only thing you can ever totally control is your mind; or more specifically, your thoughts!

This short little go round the sun doesn’t offer you enough time to live another moment that way. Get God involved and stop trying to be so smart. He’s infinitely better than your best thinking and worth checking into (unless of course you are content right where you are…).

The “normal” way to live, though long hidden, is to be unafraid. The absence of fear introduces you to a world you only thought existed in childhood. But, as a kid, you knew you weren’t that smart. Hmmm…

You are worth the time…

Waiting on Sunshine…


20071104182814_waiting-borderI imagine that all of us like to feel good.  All of us want to experience happiness, right?  Yet feeling good and being happy appear to be somewhat elusive and mysterious, don’t they?  So that got me thinking (a dangerous proposition I know).  How many Facebook memes give advice on being happy?  Happiness is ___________ (you fill in the blank)!  Happiness is reported as being a sunny day; a loving family; your dog; the beach; solitude; a son, a daughter, a Mom etc., etc.  With so many ideas; so many choices; so much disparity out there, maybe it’s time to look at things from another angle.

It seems that the general consensus is that feeling good or being happy are emotional states that just sort of happen.  You know what I mean.  “I feel good today!”  “I’m feeling really happy right now!”  Yet those apparently inexplicable mental states are more a rarity than the norm for most folks.  According to my highly unscientific best guess estimates, people seem to be happy about 20% of the time and seeking happiness the other 80% of the time.  Maybe that’s the old 80/20 rule again?  Is it plausible to consider that maybe life is supposed to be like that?  Were humans created to enjoy a few good times and spend the rest of their lives pursuing good times?  Is it really about the chase or the wait; the long, long wait?

Cliche’ man says, “I think we’ve got the cart before the horse!”  Feelings are really emotional states.  Emotions come and go, have you noticed?  While feelings are wonderful, they aren’t any guarantee for truth (said a great man once).  Our emotions are really barometers; internal sensors that react precisely to what we are thinking or were thinking or think about the most.  Feelings aren’t reality checks, they are thought checks!  Your emotions reflect back to you your mental climate.  If your mental weather is stormy, you feel unsettled.  If your mental climate is sunny and calm, you feel pleasant and peaceful.  Now get this!!!  You don’t feel first, you think first!  Okay, I will say that again with volume.  YOU DON’T FEEL FIRST, YOU THINK FIRST!!!  The real trouble is that most of us aren’t really very clear about what we are thinking about.  Thoughts sort of hit our minds and we go with them.  And worse, we have learned to accept our often fleeting thoughts as truth!  So, here’s a shocker, just because you thought something doesn’t make it true!  Your current thoughts or prevailing feelings may have absolutely nothing to do with reality, but since you are an insider looking out, you beg to differ.  For example, suddenly (it appears) you feel discouraged.  The feeling is very real.  No future, no hope, no sunny days ahead!  And, in your discouraged state you long for happier times; times when you felt hopeful and encouraged about life and its infinite possibilities.  Ya feel me?  Okay now slow your roll for a minute here…  What thoughts preceded those discouraged feelings?  What little snippets of mental picturing led you and of course your feelings to that conclusion?  Trust me, something did.  The problem is that you were woefully unaware of those thoughts and where they led you.  Now all you’ve got left is discouragement.  Do you see what I’m getting at here?

Waiting on good feelings or waiting on happiness is like waiting to eat.  The sooner you decide to put the food in your mouth, the better you are going to feel.  Can you imagine having a banquet at your disposal; starving and yet still waiting for the right time to eat it?  Waiting until the sun comes out…  Waiting until the conditions are perfect for eating…  Waiting until you get your new job; new boyfriend; new car…  Seems the simple solution is to decide right now to eat!  So you say, cleverly, “Yes but what if there isn’t any food to eat?”  Well, if I were a betting man, I’d say that once you have decided to eat in your hungry state, you are going to find some food!  However, happiness and good feelings (despite my thrilling analogy) are always available to you if you will decide to take them!  But, you don’t decide to take them.  You know why, because you are waiting for them (your feelings) to decide for you.  And in that perpetual ruse, you will be waiting a very long time (80/20)…

Our great God Who created all there is, wants you to be happy and feel good always!  I know that sounds fanciful to you, but it’s true.  Sure there’s a time to cry, a time to mourn, a time to overcome, but God wants you to be happy!  And good feelings follow good thoughts, so you got to learn how  to control your thoughts.  You’ve got to challenge that malarkey that enters your brain!  (Remember just because you thought it doesn’t make it true!)  The good book says, “leading captive every thought to the obedience of Christ (like he controlled his thoughts).”  God wouldn’t have asked us to control our thoughts if it wasn’t possible, right?  The endgame of controlled thought isn’t bondage it’s happiness and joy and love and peace.  (Man, I felt good just saying that!)  You learn to rein in that thinker and stop letting it get dragged down the path!  The whole world is afraid of disease, but God heals!  (But what about the C-word?  Yeah that too!)  The economy is in dire condition, but God promises prosperity!  Good feelings flow forth from good thoughts like water flows over Niagara Falls!

So, stop waiting for the sun to come out in your life.  Stop waiting for the stars to align.  Stop waiting for anything to happen.  Decide right now, today, at this moment, that you ARE happy.  Decide that you feel good, even if you are a little under the weather!  Decide you are going to live the life God promised you instead of the one the world keeps telling you is available.

Try walking on sunshine instead…

Just some good thoughts…(and feelings :-))

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much?


CaptureAdmittedly, I have never been a fan of restrictions or anything that puts people under bondage.  I guess you could say I’m a liberal if liberal means “stop trying to live everyone else’s life and just do you!”  You know how annoying it is when you run into those people who insist on telling you how much is too much based on some standard they ascribe to, yet remain wholly unaware of what your personal decisions are based upon.   And usually, if they’re honest, they are just judging you for some enjoyment they feel they can’t enjoy but really would like to enjoy.  I remember when I was the Battery Commander in the Utah Army National Guard, one of the Sergeants once told me that my approach to life would “get me” one day!  Well, I’m still waiting…

So, with my aversion to religion and religious practices aside (religion being defined as man-made restrictions on enjoyment, seldom bible based or taken out of context etc), I began to ponder the question, “is there such a thing as too much?”  I mean if you really enjoy something, shouldn’t you do it as much as you can?  And how could doing something you really enjoy cause you hurt or difficulty?

It seems the answer is yes and no.  God says (not that dude on Facebook) that we are to do all things in moderation.  Well, moderation like discipline tends to illicit a negative reaction from most folks.   Again maybe that feeling comes not so much from the principles that the words convey but rather more of how people have used those words to beat us down!  So with that little caveat included, why moderation?  Why try to temper and control when “it feels like” less control is better?

Hmmm… This is where it gets interesting.  In order to understand, let’s consider the alcoholic.  At first the budding alcoholic has a drink because he enjoys it; maybe it masks some pain; maybe it softens hard feelings.  Soon, however, a few drinks no longer does the trick.  A few drinks turns into a lot of drinks which turns into a multitude of drinks.  And now, what once seemed to serve as a suitable medication now becomes an addiction which is never satisfied.  Okay maybe that example was too dramatic for you.  Let’s apply it to having fun.  Perhaps no-one loves fun more than I do.  In college, Eddie called me a “hedonistic bastard!”  (Yeah, Eddie swears…)  Yet can there be too much fun?  Again, yes and no.  If your pursuit of fun overrides your desire to work, you will soon find yourself no longer having fun.  Seems like the promise of having fun on the weekend maybe serves as a motivation to keep working during the week.  So what if you are retired?  Again, doing nothing isn’t fun for anyone, so there is such a thing as remaining productive even though you have retired from work.  Warning!!!  If you find yourself no longer productive it won’t be long before your time off work will morph into a misery that has no end point!   How about food?  No-one loves the taste of food more than me (see Eddie’s explanation earlier).  My Pops will tell you, I’m a great guy to cook for because I can appreciate some good tastes.  But, if I indulge my tastes without constraint, I soon find my food love turns into some anger over that fat guy staring back at me from the mirror.

Obvious results from over-indulgence aside, there’s something else to think about…  Us humanoids crave unique and exciting experiences.   A trip to Hawaii (or paradise rightly called) is a wonderful experience.  Yet, if we decide to move there it maybe loses some of its splendor.  Oh it’s still beautiful, but it is no longer unique!  Going to the club with friends and having drinks is great fun.  But going every night soon turns into monotony and before you know it you are forcing yourself to have the same fun you had when you didn’t do it so often.   Drug users quickly learn that it takes more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect.  (Yeah, you’re right, God probably wasn’t applying – all things in moderation – to drug use 🙂 )  But, I trust you get the point, right?

I often think that moderation refers not so much to quantity as it does to frequency.  When you get the nagging thought about not doing such and such so much, it probably follows frequency more so than occasional over-indulgent use (just preserving Thanksgiving folks!).  Have you ever found yourself in a setting that you wish would never end?  You know what I mean.  You’re just having the perfect time with perfect friends.  We have all been there, right?  But consider, that perfect time was for you at that perfect time, to be enjoyed in that perfect moment.  What made it a “perfect moment” was its uniqueness for you and your life.  If it happened every day it would soon lose its perfection.  Life is like that…  A lot of day to day requirements always leading up to the potential for “perfect moments.”  So savor the perfect moments, but not too much!

So, is there such a thing as too much?  Absolutely!  Moderation helps you to appreciate the beauty that this life is.  The absence of moderation, while promising you good times, will soon begin to afflict you and before you know it, will own you.  Anticipation is often just as pleasant as the actual event.

You have one precious life to live, my friends.  God desires the best of everything for you.   But (sorry there is a but), He is also smart enough to recognize that there is such a thing as too much (love excluded for sure).  So live it up; pursue your dreams; follow your heart, but every now and then put the brakes on and make sure that what you are desiring isn’t desiring you (to take you over)!

Just some good thoughts (in moderation 🙂 )…

 

The Generation that Forgot How to Think…


Having recently survived an election season, one thing has become alarmingly clear, our generation has forgotten how to think for themselves.  Sure, we are still thinking, but how much are we thinking for ourselves?  Lest you get defensive, allow me to explain what I mean.  With the advent of the media machine, social networking and 350 cable television channels, we are told what to think for the majority of our waking lives.  And, since we cannot seem to detach ourselves from the electronic information flow, we unknowingly succumb to ideas we don’t agree with and beliefs that are not our own.  Someone “in authority” says something and we quickly, without hesitation accept it as true.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not a good passive television watcher.  I just can’t seem to let things go that strike against my beliefs and so I make comments; annoying comments, much to my wife’s dismay (haha God bless her!).  Politics is an excellent example of what I mean (I know, I know, it’s just politics…or is it?).  The President makes a statement about something such as finding a way to control the gun violence that plagues America.  The news media interprets that as a ploy to rid the American people of weapons; Facebook gets on board and before you know it, a million frightened people start stock piling assault rifles; posting insanely slanted slogans about the President taking away our constitutional rights and so on.  My point however, isn’t that everything our President says is true necessarily, but rather, “what do you think about what is going on?”  …You, yes you personally!  Not Fox News, not Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh etc., etc.  That, of course doesn’t mean that you cannot totally agree with what someone says, but have you really given the subject any thought?  (Maybe you have, right?)  You see most of the time, if not all of the time, the media just scares the hell out of you and thus you start making decisions based on fear or mass hysteria.  I mean really, some states seriously entertained seceding from the union.  (Oh my lanta!)

Maybe that political topic is just too heated for you to hear what I’m saying here, so I will use another example.  What is your personal belief system?  I mean really, what do you believe?  When people ask me what “religion” I am, I hesitate to even answer because the words even used to describe a belief are so emotionally charged.  Personally, I loathe religion because it represents the ultimate in “non-thinking” activity!  (Yeah loathe is a strong word!)  If I say I’m a Christian, off go the minds to images of crackpots burning abortion clinics or picketing funerals; attributing evil to God by “somehow” concluding that God “hates” such and such and thus brought about catastrophe…(????)  As if…  Do you see what I’m saying?  No thought, just assumption and generalization.  When I ask people what they believe, they can scarcely even answer the question.  Not because they don’t know necessarily, but rather because what they say might not be the right answer… Yet, your right answer would be your honest answer to the question, don’t you think?  And let’s not even talk about using logic in this scenario.  Religion is fraught with illogic, yet maintained as truth.  Again, I don’t know about you, but I can’t get with illogic, especially when it comes to God.  Hmm..let’s see, He makes me sick to heal me?  He can without warning or reason kill off entire families in terrible accidents because it was their time; or because He called them home?  Have you noticed that even when people pray they say things like, “please let me get this job or please don’t let my children get hurt” as if God is working from the other side and we are beseeching Him  “NOT” to do something.  Illogical wouldn’t you say?  Now I get it, most often people don’t understand and thus accept what others say as truth, but wouldn’t you want to understand?  Or at minimum wouldn’t you want to say that it just doesn’t make sense, at least?  I believe that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (Because that’s what He says about Himself!).  I also believe that He is pure love.  So call me a zealot, but I can’t get with the idea that He does evil sometimes for some reasons.  Yes, that’s what I think!  (haha) You may disagree entirely, but you cannot argue with the logic.  Most times logic is explained away with catch phrases such as, “you gotta have faith brotha” which is code for I don’t understand either!  You can’t believe in things you cannot understand.  How could you?  You have to have at least some understanding in order to believe anything.

So there, I successfully discussed politics and religion!  Hey, maybe that’s why people say you cannot discuss either topic because neither one is generally based on any logic!  But lest (yes I used lest again) you miss the point of this blog, we as a generation need to recognize how this old world is seducing our minds over to the land of Nod.  We have so much information available at our finger tips, that we tend to think less and parrot more.  So I say, why not think for yourself and say what you think?  If you don’t agree, say so!  Don’t you admire that rare, select breed of people who tell you they disagree and why?  (I know I do!)  However, I don’t always admire those folks who tell you what they think and then fail to have a “why…”  (That’s why they invented the delete option on Facebook…I digress)  So, we need to get back to good old-fashioned thinking.

And finally, if you will indulge me, these days we have so much division when it comes to race, or at least that division has been brought to the forefront.  Race relations or the lack thereof can also be a product of the non-thinking masses.  Here’s a fascinating fun-fact!  A black person’s needs, wants and desires are generally the same as a white person’s needs, wants and desires, just as black labs tend to behave like white labs (haha).  To conclude that black people are lazy and love getting welfare means you have turned off your thinker somewhere.  People are people folks with the only real differentiating quality being skin color and hair styles.  Sure we have cultural differences, but to feel like you have to shake someone’s hand a certain way or speak with a high-pitched voice and mention Hennessy a lot is justifiably nutso.  Do you, be you and you will be able to relate.  Do the stereotype and expect annoyance.  And, if you must post that emotionally charged Facebook postcard that you thought was so funny, just be sure it represents what you really think because that’s how it will be taken.  I have often said that a down side to Facebook is that it lets you know how people “really” think and sometimes that aint so good!  The same logic rightfully applies to “Mexicans” “Polys” and every other group folks are quick to negatively characterize.

The solution?  Slow down a bit and give things a little thought.  Don’t get swept away in rhetoric or manipulated public opinion.  Be a person that considers and be willing to admit when you may have gotten something wrong.  Lord knows I’ve lived long enough to admit being wrong more than I’ve been right, but at least I’ve tried to employ a certain level of thought.  Have a “why” behind your belief or at least be able to say you are undecided.  Democrats aren’t always right; Republicans aren’t always right; Black folks aren’t always right; White folks aren’t always right.  Only God is ALWAYS right and He wants us to think!  Afterall, we are the only species with that capability!

Let’s wake up to the beauty that is this life and ‘think’ how we can make it that much better! 🙂

Just some good thoughts…

 

Routine Routines and the Dead TV Brain!


I recently heard of an anonymous study done on cell phone users across the country.  In the study they found that 50% of people never travel more than 3 miles from their house.  And add to that, the same people averaged only 5 places they traveled to throughout their week.  Pretty frikkin sad huh?  Get up; go to work.  After work, go to the gym, go home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed!  Shoot me now please!  (I felt bored just typing that)  There must be more to life than that, right?  We all know that it is good to have routines; ways of doing things that eliminate wasted energy like hanging your keys up on the key rack when you walk in the house so you don’t have to spend 20 minutes looking for them in the morning (after you got up late).  Or, figuring out what you are going to wear to work tomorrow before it’s morning so you don’t learn that your favorite jeans are in the washer (after you got up late)… Or, putting your tools back in the toolbox so you don’t have to use the butter knife for a screwdriver or your shoe for a hammer.  But sadly, we tend to try to fit our whole lives into routines and then life becomes…well, routine..  Same thing, same system, same stuff, different day.  No-one really wants to live that way, do they?  I don’t!

So, how can we escape the mundane and the same-o, same-o?  How can we use our time rather than finding things to occupy our time?  How can we summon up the courage to actually turn the TV off?  I know it seems weird but there actually was a time when there was no TV.  Scary, I know?  What the heck did people do?  I remember years ago when my wife and I first got married and lived in a ghetto little apartment down on Adam’s Avenue in Ogden, UT.  (Utah’s mini-attempt at the other side of town).  We were poor college students.  One day the unthinkable happened; the TV broke!  For a few days we stared at the spot it used to be in, above a table and we lamented its demise.  What the heck were you supposed to do in the evening?  We broke out the Scrabble and the Backgammon and played some games together.  Can you imagine that?  Married folks doing something together.  So, I got to thinking…hmmm.  No-one rushes home to watch mindless TV do they?  Oh I know we’ve got our Grey’s Anatomy, our sports, and the Good Wife ~ nothing wrong with that.  I mean that thing you do where you turn on the TV as soon as you get home and then flip through the channels looking for something to…wait for it….occupy your time.  Again, shoot me now!

This is no condemnation because I know how it happens to us.  It happens the same way that we are coerced into driving the exact same way to work everyday.  (At my house if we run out of Dunkin Donuts coffee you would think someone did a homicide there from my reaction ~ umm, I digress)  We eat the same meals, go to the same Target, same gas station and we even do the same exercises at the gym.  It happens to us because it is a whole lot easier to do things the exact same way, everyday.  No thought required; no adventure; no scary unknown.  We complain that we don’t have enough time to work on our new book or our new job or our new hobby because…because we can’t break ourselves away from Facebook, our iPhone, our Ipad or our cell phone  or from tweeting (or from the TV in the livingroom, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen).  We have as much time as we have always had, but we don’t see it being eaten away day after day, month after month.  In fact, we don’t see anything at all…

So, how can we escape the routine, the mundane, the boring?  We have to do something different.  We have to shake things up a little.  We have to open our eyes and look around us.  What’s going on?  What kind of life do we dream of but can’t ever seem to get to?  What do we want out of our next 24 hours?  What do we enjoy?  What makes our heart beat faster?  What do we have to offer this world?  What unique skill do we possess that can help someone’s life get a little brighter; a little better; a little more hopeful?  When I travel to Northern California on business I never actually turn the TV on.  I exercise, I read, I write, I go out to eat and usually end up at the lounge.  Interesting things happen at the lounge.  After a glass or two of wine people do something odd.  They talk.  They tell you stuff.  Now despite having to sit through some endless, pointless conversations about seeds or the competitive nature of lettuce, some conversations are actually useful.  Sometimes people want to learn about God or even unlearn some bologna about God.  Some people tell you about their failing marriage.  Some people give you advice about your marriage or your kids or yourlife.

You and I have to make up our minds to travel outside of our 3 mile prison.  We need to take a different road.  We need to tear the iPhone from our fingers and talk to someone.  30 minutes of thoughtful, meaningful conversation with your wife is better than 5 hours of mindless reality TV.  Family discussions at the Washington household last for hours and trump electronic entertainment times a hundred!  (Just ask them…)

You want a better, more fulfilling life?  Find yourself a human and talk to them.  Who knows you might share something that changes their lives forever and lo’ someone might even be able to help you out!

In the words of that odd cat, Rick James, “Were bustin out  of this L7 square, we done braided our hair, we don’t mind if you stare!”  And if that was too urban, just do something different!

Find a human…and talk!