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A look at anger….

There is a Buddist parable that basically says… If I buy you a gift, and you don’t accept it, who does it belong to? It ends up with the person who gave it right? The same can be said of anger. If you react in anger towards me, and I don’t accept it, then it goes back to you. If I don’t take on your anger… then the only person it really hurts is the one that initiated it.

Interesting how very often, the same that spout their hatred of “political correctness” also can’t really seem to handle a difference of opinion and view it as a personal attack rather than an opportunity to see something from a different point of view. Oh how we’ve been coddled in self-indulging individualism.

 

Life strives in all areas to teach us moderation. Listening to your heart may seem the way to go, but ignoring your inner advisor.. your head – never brings balance in the end. Strive to use both always. One without the other is not reliable. Please remember that.

Dear Human kind,

Dear Human Kind,
Hi there, hope you are doing well. I’d like to make a small humble request. I’d really love for there to be a respite from all the anger, hate, and violence. I think we all could use the break. It would be so cool for us to move forward as a species…. instead of backwards. Instead of holding on to old grudges, biases, and old mentalities, and instead of limiting ourselves to believing there would only be “one right way” of doing things. I wish we could be far less simple minded.

What if we faithfully accepted that we don’t actually have to prove our worth (nor should we require it from others).What if we understood that our humanity is worth enough… when we actually use it.

What if we understood that the truth is, that we don’t really need to get caught up in being “better” or “worth” more than other humans at all… because improving ourselves doesn’t actually ever require having any other person to consider “inferior”.

What if we more correctly adhered to the simple idea of encouraging people to focus far more on “proving” our own “character” instead? What if we actually accepted what we’ve been taught from a young age… to not judge a book by its cover… nor a person by their position. That our actions speak louder than words, and that when we build up those around us, it actually improves the chances for a healthier whole.

Imagine the amount of peace that could come into our day to day lives at simply not being so overly opinionated about others lives and what others “should do” or should “believe in”. What if we didn’t all have to be the same to be accepted?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to get over the egos of so quickly choosing hate or negative thoughts whenever presented with something we don’t understand, or appreciate.

Human kind…take a breather. Is actually ok to not already have an opinion on subjects you don’t know much about. You aren’t required to have a “stand” on every single issue. Its ok to admit you might need to research a little about something (before you present an opinion). Its ok to not know the answer. Emotion doesn’t always equal truth. Your “side” is not always “in the right”.

Mostly, I’m tired.. just as I know that many of us are. Simply it would just be amazing to have some good news to share.. some kind of hope that we finally understand that we are one people… that we could be unified in – at the very least – believing in the possibility of a better tomorrow. In believing that human kind can be far more than it is now… and that we are capable.

Thanks for the chat…

Sincerely,
~Serina

Simple question

Just a simple question.

Do you honestly believe it is ever acceptable to blanket hate an entire group of people based on their label of race/religion/orientation/nationality/etc?

If you’ve somehow managed to come up with an answer of “Yes”, then you have now justified the attitudes of the same terrorists you are so painfully afraid of.. You’ve placed yourself in that same mentality.

Its that simple. No change will happen until we have people grow to the point where they understand that you can’t just simply hate a group of people on one aspect. Lets be concise and truthful, its not the group you hate, its the murderous actions. Call it what it is. Stop trying to make it be something its not.

You can’t fix a problem by not identifying it correctly.

30% thoughts

Thoughts of the day….

If I were to flip a coin, I’d have a 50% chance of possibly getting a “better” decision made for me.

If I decided to only use 30% of my mental capacity in making decisions, how often do you think that choice picked would have ended up being the better choice? Something I would have come up with had I really put forth the effort to think out and care about the choice being made?

If you are grading someone’s effort, than 30% is failing grade.  It generally means that it wasn’t “important” enough for them to give more of their attention.

In the 2013 Primaries, our national average of voter turnout was 30.14%*. Roughly 30% of America’s mental capacity was used to choose our presidential candidates this year.

Maybe its just me, but I find this really frustrating. Less than 1/3 found it important enough to be bothered with to participate. Apathy is a continued problem in America. I think when you get too comfortable, and too used to leaving decisions to someone else, its  a real problem.

There is no shortage of bellyaching, or amazement over how we’ve gotten here, but pure and simple I think its rather obvious. For the most part we  ‘Merica’ don’t seem to “care enough” to pitch in and be involved. We’re become passive in just being comfortable that someone else will handle things, or make the decisions in our best interest.

When did we become so entitled that we stopped understanding that our actions (as well as inaction) has consequences.

If we can’t be bothered to effectively come up with ideas on improving the lives of our community members (which includes us)… if we can’t be bothered enough to even lightly research topics or candidates being brought up for our votes.. that honestly is apathy that is out of control.

 
*http://www.fairvote.org/2016_presidential_primary_voter_turnout_analysis_to_date

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/o5lyhg/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-trevor-addresses-the-orlando-shooting

I’m extremely frustrated, and this conversation has become stifling as its come up far too many times for us to continue to brush off. There is a saying that “You can’t reason with the unreasonable” and to be honest, I’m starting to feel like our nation is simply becoming unreasonable and unwilling to listen. We are so overly obsessed with “individual rights” and “individual freedoms” that we choose to not take intelligent action to adamantly support what should be our “collective rights” and “collective freedoms” as citizens of this nation.

I get that statement will cause ire, but I can’t honestly say that its untrue of how I really feel at this point in time.

Don’t get me wrong, individual rights and individual freedoms are great and have their place, but honestly I get the feeling we’ve been sold a “dream” here that isn’t able to accommodate completely what people now expect or now feel themselves personally entitled to. We’ve seemingly freed people from a community responsibility in favor of individual freedoms. This honestly makes my heart hurt.

In reality we are a collection of people, and part of being an organized collection of people is that through cooperation, basic guidelines are generally made to balance out things so that overall the benefit of being together is more positive for all associated rather than negative. Otherwise there is no reason to be a part of that organized group. Its through cooperation and aggreements that we are all supposed to reap some kind of collective benefit.  There are basic rights that simple human decency and respect lead us to support, and typically these are some of what a group of people working as a whole (like a country) would promote.

Things like a right to Life, Personal Security, Freedom from Slavery, Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech…etc..  Those are basic rights that shouldn’t be devalued. That said, the reality is that because we are all individuals, and perceptions vary… these ideas can often be morphed into perceptions that are more self-serving than actually right overall.

The reality is that if you are deciding to be part of an established group of citizens, there is some give and take involved in order to promote safety and protection of the whole. I feel like America has forgotten this truth. An ample example:

The official definition of Personal Security is:

PERSONAL SECURITY. The legal and uninterrupted enjoyment by a man of his life, his body, his health and his reputation.1 Bouv. Inst. n. 202.

What is currently happening though is that by using fear and an intense focus on “individual rights” rather than “collective rights”, we’ve gotten to the point where we’ve let even “Personal Security” be stretched into meaning something else.

The Second Amendment literally says:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

We’ve cherry-picked this. We’re not exactly following through with this constitutional notion entirely.. and we seem to be ok with that as long as it doesn’t impact us individually. We’ve taken it to mean that everyone individually should have a “right” to keep and bear arms (no matter what)… yet we kinda gloss over the “well regulated Militia” portion and pay no mind to that part.  I’ve heard people say that putting any limitations on a person’s access of guns is unconstitutional…. yet no mind is paid to how constitutional it actually seems towards a document that claims to desire:

” to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,”

… For there to be so very little “regulation” involved when so many gross examples are constantly made where it comes out that these weapons are NOT being used in conjunction to insure personal safety, or in protecting an organized state’s right to self-defense. When instead those weapons are instead being used to deny fellow countrymen, friends and family of their right to life at all. Why have we stopped working towards a “more perfect” solutions… stopped considering improved methods of dealing with these individuals? Why is it that we seem content for loopholes to exist where we actually make it easier on these individuals to acquire destructive tools against our population? When did America become that extreme?

The silent unasked question… at what point did it become more important for an unstable individual’s “rights” to supersede that of their neighbors and even their own safety? To the point where even those who have vocally and openly expressed  harmful/hateful intentions towards others – How is it that we STILL feel they should STILL have such unrestricted access?

Freedom of speech is one thing, but freedom from the consequences of threatening other Americans should not be tip-toed around. If you believe something enough to vocally spout or post it.. then you should be subject to dealing with the consequences associated with those threatening statements, and it might not be really all that bad that your “right” to “bear arms” be questioned or even temporarily suspended until your mental stability improves and is less harmful.

I totally get that even that extent wouldn’t resolve all issues… but why are we so NOT willing to brainstorm about this? Saving even some to me seems preferable to taking no action at all, and having another record broke… having to yet again hold another press conference or candle light vigil in the near future.

Don’t be fooled.. choosing to take no action is infact making a choice to stagnate as a society and cause no change.

It drives me insane how the instant you start talking about this subject, how quickly the American flags and pride instantly present as if to signify that even the thought  of having the conversation about changing the current ways of dealing with the ever changing world we live in today, is somehow unpatriotic.

To me that honestly is an exhibition of “false patriotism.”

To so quickly shut down and devalue the simple conversation is pretty unpatriotic.  America was not founded on accepting the ways of the past as being the “only option” to consider. This isn’t such a black and white conversation. There is a middle ground that people are trying to achieve and ignoring it without consideration isn’t actually “Patriotism” ….. its idiocy.

How patriotic is it really to NOT be willing to learn from our resent history, and give it the attention due to at least try and avoid tragedy in the future with the way the world is right now? How patriotic is it to disregard the suffering of your fellow countrymen… and to allow it to occur over and over and over again without any push for improvement.

I’m not a fan of guns in general. Yet I’m still willing to talk it out and have the conversation. I’m quite honestly of the opinion that gun ownership can’t simply ever “just be taken away” here nor do I think it would entirely have to for there to be actual improvement over our situations. Especially since other countries have successfully minimized their mass shooting numbers pretty dramatically with some responsible adjustments.

Australia is one such example. In Australia the changes they made were to coordinate and standardize the laws between their states so that they weren’t so vastly different across the board. This measure minimized the existence and abuse of any “locale” loopholes. Can you personally own a gun in Australia? The answer is Yes. People who possess or use a firearm in Australia must have a firearms licence. Owners must be at least 18 years of age and have secure storage for their firearms.

The attitude that anyone who would desire responsible gun reform in America is obviously unpatriotic is nonsense. The thought that it is unable to be improved upon or attained at all  is laziness. There is a middleground when it comes to public safety measures and a continued option to own firearms, and the real truth is that it has been found elsewhere and successfully instituted for the last 20 years.

I don’t know… perhaps we should go as far as defining an actual difference between what a basic “right” here is versus what is a “readily available privilege given freely to those who qualify” is.

Driving a car can lead to serious loss of life. Driving a car requires us to get a license by proving we know how to drive, and what the laws of the road are. We have to go back every 4 years to renew it, and sometimes we even have to be re-evaluated as to if it is still safe for us to be on the road. Why can’t gun ownership be treated similarly?

Either way, its time for America to get over themselves…. tie their shoelaces (as Trevor Noah relayed) learn from mistakes and actually work to DO something.

 

08 BlueCreek 9-12-2015 11-54-11 AM

The day has arrived… the day we as parents finally pass onto you in its entirety, the mantle of responsibility for your own life.  The first day as to which every decision you make is now your own, and all the good and bad that goes along with it. A blessing and a curse is adult hood, but the bright point of that is that now you are the one deciding. Its you that chooses your trajectory and how far you will go… no one else. It is your decision… it is your choice.  The determining factor is never resources.. its resourcefulness.

We are proud of the person you are, and while we may not always end up agreeing, we still feel confident in your ability to figure out what decent and moral choices  look like.

You will still get (sometimes unwanted) suggestions from us, but always remember that it is out of our love for you.  You will always be our child, our sweet daughter, even though we progressively won’t be able  to claim as much of your time, it will never sever our love for you. We recognize that in the end, this is now your life…. your responsibility, and it is no longer our place to safeguard you from this world. Our roles have changed.  As parents of an adult, it is now our place to be the sounding board, to listen, to occasionally offer (still sometimes unwanted) suggestions or advice, but most of all to remind you that even in the darkest hours, there is always still love, sincerity, and care present in this world. To serve as a reminder that hopefully helps you continue to look for those aspects in the world around you……. because while they are sometimes hard to see… they are still out there.

Relationships are hard at times, and its because people can plain be difficult, but know that light can be found in the shadows, you just have to actually look  to find the right switch.

If we’ve taught you anything, I hope that you always remember to “dig a bit deeper” and “consider the source”.

Evaluate and investigate motives, both your own, and of others. Understand that listening to others is actually vital to keeping your mentality effective and reasonable. Understand that listening doesn’t equate to necessarily agreeing, but know that without it, it is impossible to find any middle ground upon which to build a foundation of cooperation. Cooperation is the actual road to resolutions.  The worst thing that can happen is to lose empathy for the struggles of others, or to disregard them outright.

Remember that everyone, no matter their status or position or phase of life deserves basic respect. Remember that all negativity is formulated from a lack of respect in some regard.

Your power will be found only in your own actions and reactions. What YOU do, is the only thing you actually have real control over. Release yourself from incorrectly thinking otherwise.

Continuously question your own beliefs, and make sure they are really your own. This is important. Really think about the deepest “whys” and be willing to change them when illumination presents itself. Desire to evolve, to progress, to grow and mature as a human being. Set your sights high and work towards improvement.  This means that there will be times when things you previously held as “truth” will be challenged and even need to be abandoned for (hopefully) healthier positions on which to stand.

Be ok to not always “know”.. to not be “perfect” or absolutely “certain”…. instead investigate.   Seek truth, not glory, as pride can be a dangerous partner. Be open minded enough to realize that there are little pieces of truth in everything.. even those things you really disagree with. Strive to be reasonable enough to acknowledge actual bits of “truth” in opposing views, and never demonize people simply because of their views. Realize that if resolution is your actual desire, then it leaves no room for “Us” vs “Them” antics. You’ll find that learning why….. in actually discovering what experiences they had,  that fed those points of view are helpful in being able to present new thoughts or ideas in a way that they can understand and relate to. To be able to maybe inspire more positive interactions with them and possibly even inspire them to desire themselves to expand upon their own beliefs and grow themselves.

Know that understandings are not frequently the same.  Remember that your life experiences are unique to you.. just as is the case with everyone around you. What has been “true” in your case, is not for sure “true” for others.

Make sure to only take on beliefs that you are willing to have all your actions match. Don’t waste time or effort subscribing to half-hearted beliefs.. Life is precious.

Belief without implementation in your actions is meaningless and insincere, the same can be said for beliefs taken on without investigation. If you don’t know why you believe something… then figure it out first before put it into action.

What caused you to take on that belief? Is it just the “right thing” to do? What does “the right thing” mean to you? What does “right” really mean? Does this belief support human decency or crumble it? Is it really a “fair” position stand upon? Does it place others in a place of disadvantage? Does the belief blanket a whole group? Or does it respectfully stand to treat individuals as the individuals they are? Does it hold others hostage over the actions of a few who are “labeled” the same?  Strive to investigate your own heart and know the answers to those questions before you subscribe to any belief.

Faith is great, but that is a trust that should only be given something/someone that has actually been proven to deserve it. Try not to give that amount of trust prematurely.  The only constant in life, is that things change.  People are not above this rule, you are never completely the same person you started out as (and that can be a positive thing).  While some may currently deserve that “faith”, it doesn’t mean it will forever be the case.  Be prepared to deal with either scenario.

Don’t fear change…. instead fear stagnation, because that means growth and progress has stopped. Don’t be afraid to be innovative, or to think of things from other vantage points.  Always know that it takes many different positions to be able to ever see the full picture.

 

 

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