Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Politically Correct

Lately I've been hearing jokes form people that are kind of offensive and it's like they're completely oblivious to it. It's weird. 

Ellen Degeneres made "jokes" on her show recently by attempting to read Chinese names she purposely mispronounced in English. The names were from fans of her show. Imagine your name being read aloud by someone you admire on national television... to make fun of your name. 

My sister has also been making off-color jokes lately. She said she wanted to design a "cool" outfit that was a straight jacket butler's outfit. I said, "So you want to combine the notion of someone suffering from a mental disorder who wants to end their life and/or the lives of others and therefore has to be restrained AND someone in servitude or a role of catering to someone else's needs. That's not insensitive. It's like saying, "You're a slave to your disorder... But the outfit looks so Dark and Awesome!!!"

She said I was being too sensitive. Then she's been passing puns around with another guy she worked with and asked me to pick from a list of one's she found and liked to figure out which one to send him via email. Of the 22 jokes, I found 3 ok, 2 stupid, and the rest WRONG. Here are some of the most offensive: 

1. I heard two peanuts walked into a park... one was a-salted! 

-Given the climate of gang attacks and rapes happening not exactly a tasteful joke

2. The midget psychic escaped prison. He was a small medium at large. 

-Clever wording, but VERY wrong on several levels

3. Three Cannibal jokes. Given that cannibalism is a crime that's becoming more frequent -STILL not a great idea to joke about it. 

4. A couple jokes about disorders like amnesia, fainting, physical deformity, sign language... 

5. A couple jokes making fun of criminal activity in general.

Am I crazy or is there an issue here? What's weird is someone made a joke the other day about suicide. My sister lost it and was deeply offended. When she handed me these puns like they were no big deal I said, "How can you defend these kinds of jokes when the joke about suicide someone made the other day hurt you?" She rolled her eyes at me and said that was a completely different situation. It's always different when you ignore the pain you are joking about. If it comes at someone's expense -it's offensive. 

It's like all the Jeffrey Dahmer jokes there are around. I know 2 songs by women who mention them. "I'll eat your heart like Jeffrey Dahmer". when those crimes came out it wasn't a joke. Today it'd be like joking about cops beating and killing a black kid who's unarmed and has done nothing wrong. You're making light of something dark -and NOT in a good way. 

I think -especially at this point in time -we should just be more Mindful of things being said and offenses being made. I know I could do with a little less sexist jokes about women. That'd be nice.

Ghost Check-In 9-30-14

August 6th is when my world turned upside down. I thought it was when I made contact and started communicating through drawings with Henry. Nope. Ever since August 6th my life has gone topsy-turvy spiritually.

For some reason I'm not supposed to be alone. When it first began I was alone in my apartment dealing with heavy things and dark entities and light entities. Then for whatever reason I was sent to stay with my sister and our cat at our dad's house. Then our friends' house with their 2 cats. Now I'm back at my dad's house with the cat again.

Nights suck in general, but I've gotten used to them. I've been avoiding the issue of being intuitive and now I'm being jetstreamed into "psychic training". I'm sort of being trained through grace how to handle dark/negative beings and how to show them compassion and forgiveness. I finally feel like I have some sort of handle on things 2 months later, but I also acknowledge that means that something else is about to happen to change that. As soon as you conquer one mountain, God puts you on another one to climb.

I think, having dealt with dark spiritual beings at this point, I'm supposed to start focusing on people I come across in my daily lives. How to discern who they are and what they're meant for. Give guidance and spiritual advice. The best thing you can do is be a rose that slowly blossoms in someone's presence leaving a sweet perfume behind that they can hold onto. You don't "change" people. You open their eyes to more possibilities and share your visions of what you've learned from life. From there it's all in their hands.

Put your life in God's hands and let Him show others that by doing that they too can benefit -even if they choose not to do the same.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What Is Romantic Love?

I was asked by someone recently to kind of share my thoughts on Romantic Love. 

Personally it tends to be my least favorite kind. It gets hyped up and sung about so often and then you look around for songs that express Love of Nature or Love of Family or Love of God or Love of a Friend and you're sh*t out of luck. If ANY kind of love doesn't have the unconditional, forgiving, empathetic, understanding, spiritual love as its foundation its useless and empty.

And then there's MY BRAIN'S rational line of thought with regard to Romantic Love on the spectrum of ALL possible kids of love.

But actual romantic love itself for me has always been allusive in my reality and hard to grasp conceptually.

It once occurred to me that if I actually managed to find someone who could handle this level of random and weird, and I actually managed to open my SOUL up to that person, hand my heart over to them, and let them in entirely -I might die. If that love were rejected, denied, thrown aware, wounded, ended in any way for any reason I might not have the ability to survive. That kind of love is terrifying and yet it's the only kind worth having. So I avoid it. I'm meant to do other things in this life. I'm staying out of the wrestling ring this round. 

I think in the past I've tried to love people. Friends AND family. And when I opened up -the little or great I did -it was always ignored, cast aside, unappreciated, wasted... It never amounted to anything. You look for buckets. People you can dump love into if for no other reason than you have it to give. But it winds up being lost on people none the less. And I've had the same happen to me. It's always a strange experience when people want you to be their bucket. Why me? I accept and love ALL people, why would you want me to be "special" or this kind of love to be "deeper" than that? 

Romantics is SOFT and YIN and CARING and WARMTH. I can take the warmth. But the TRUST required and the other aspects that involve more "fluff" are hard for me. I was built tough. I was built ALONE. I was built to survive. I was taught these notions don't exist outside of fairy-tales. 

I have seen others in love, but that's because they were made by God for that purpose. It is written on their souls: You shall find romantic love in this life. But mine seems to have a different inscription: You shall GIVE love to ALL beings in this life. It's hard for me to fathom life-long romantics like it's hard for some people to imagine life-long single, global LOVE. 

My Favorite Teachers

I've written blogs about some of my favorite teachers before. Also some of my least favorite.
But it's become relevant in the past couple weeks again. I'm supposed to be a Spiritual Leader and Teacher, but I'm realizing that there are FEW if any exmaples of what that's actually supposed to look like as an ideal to achieve. 

You see, in our wondrous society, a Good Teacher is:

-Someone who encourages their students to do and be more
-Someone who makes kids get Good Grades
-Someone who is out-of-the-box creative
-Someone who is DOING ALL OF THE ABOVE

Basically it's someone doing ALL of the work pushing kids to Be MORE. And all of that Sounds great, but in reality it TAKES AWAY from the kids themselves doing more. You try bringing that into reality and what ends up happening is SOME improvement for a FEW kids, but the rest just follow along and STILL fail to see themselves beyond the span of their own reflection.

Some of the best teachers you will ever meet are more like Jesus. Or Yoda. 

They have this tendency to sit their annoyingly as YOU try figuring everything out for yourself. And you can ask them a billion questions and they CAN answer every one, but as soon as they do you don't care as much about the answer. It's only when you realize things FOR YOURSELF that those inner epiphanies happen.

The best teachers are available to call on whenever you really need to, and they WILL give you answers more by SHOWING you rather than TELLING -at least by their own personal experiences. But ultimately they make you feel like you already HAVE all the answers. They allow YOU to see for yourself how much you ARE and can be. 

And when these teachers do make a point, it's always to bring things back to the bigger picture: What Does It All MEAN? Where IS the meaning? What can your SOUL take away from this?
The same goes for effective leaders. GREAT LEADERS are actually kind of boring. 

In our society a Great Leader is:

-Someone who'll wage war, take a stand, and blast out their message to the world
-Someone who'll take charge and assign duties to others
-Someone who'll lead alongside his troops

Basically it's a War General. But in reality the best leaders are those Behind the Group. They are the GLUE. They are the ones who listen while everyone else tries to figure things out and then speaks when ASKED to -giving the great solution the group couldn't figure out on its own. 

It's someone who'll allow each individual to take responsibility and glory for the duties they are best suited for and are meant to do. It's someone who'll step aside and let someone else take the reigns when needed. A great leader is the WATER that the boat floats on to reach the island. It's the uplifting hope and the guiding principles and occasional insights.

Aside from Jesus, I've never really heard of or seen someone lead and teach in these ways. But it is the most effective way. To put others before yourself when leading and teaching. To allow others to BUILD themselves instead of trying to control everything. Having FAITH in PEOPLE rather than trying to CREATE PEOPLE.

Tough Discussion

The issue of Abortion is one 99.9% of people love to avoid. It's complicated. And messy. Whatever side of the line you stand on.

I've always maintained that NO ONE is rooting for abortion. No one's sitting there with Mardi Gras beads on waiving a glittering banner that says, "YAY Abortions are awesome!!!" NO. Even those who advocate for it do it from a position of "necessity" most of the time.

What it really comes down to is this: SCIENCE saying that it's a NON-SENTIENT "thing" -like organic material with no conscious conscience Verses BELIEF which says it is ENSOULED HUMAN BEING.

Personally I like the stand on the side of caution. Let's say we're on an alien planet where is issue is being debated and you have NO benefit to side with either. You are entirely unbias. What I would argue is that you RISK MORE by being in favor of abortion (on the off chance that they ARE ensouled and therefore suffer in a spiritual way). Better to play it safe. But it also has to be acknowledged that in some cases it can be WORSE to force a woman to remain pregnant and give birth. For instance: A young girl was raped recently and wanted to get an abortion on the basis that she didn't want it and she was going to commit suicide because of it. Now it's the baby's SOUL verses the mother's LIFE.

It's not easy to expect anyone going through that kind of spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, AND psychological struggle to give birth. EMPATHY demands you give GRACE and RESPECT to that woman and allow her to make her decision. 

My conclusion: These things happen. And HATE is never a solution to anything. ONLY Grace, Forgiveness, and Love. 

***Update: I was given spiritual understanding for how the issue of Abortion works on a spiritual level.  

1. God HAS to ensoul a human being. God knows when Conception happens and is going to happen. 

2. Jesus speaks to the soul before it goes into the "embryo" at the moment of conception. The soul is told of the fact that it will be aborted if it is going to be. It is hard to convey that kind of experience to a soul, but Jesus tries.  

3. A soul is put in the embryonic being, and since it is NOT very physical or mentally-oriented it is VERY spiritually in tuned with what is going on around it. When a YOUNG embryo is aborted within a few weeks it is a weird experience for the soul. But the greatest pain that soul experiences isn't death, it's being considered UNWANTED and UNLOVED and NON-EXISTENT by its mother.

4. At some point an embryo becomes Physically in-tuned with it's body. At this point you could call it a baby. When a Baby is terminated during pregnancy it suffers MORE pain because it is losing a BODY on top of possibly being unwanted, unloved, or believed to be of no value. 

5. What is the pain of a young girl who was forced into pregnancy by rape? What is the pain of a young woman forced into pregnancy by rape? It's hard to argue that One Pain is worse than another when you cannot speak to that pain. The pain of giving birth to your rapist's child after what happened. It's hard to say what kind of pain that would be like, so I leave it to that person to decide. 

6. Ultimately God feels ALL pains. All spiritual life comes from God and He is in empathy and spiritual sentients of connection to ALL pains. He also Understands All pains and does not Hate or Judge. He just understands. ALL people will end up in Heaven at some point to make peace with their pasts -both their past pains and the past pains they inflicted (even if unintentional).

ALL Is Forgiven

The other day I found out why Hell is now irrelevant to humankind. 

In the past people, when a person's soul was weighed down by negative things they had been led (by Darkness) to do or by negative things (led by darkness) that had happened to them, it was EASY for the Devil to grab souls and drag them down to Hell like sand falling through the cracks of God's hands -especially when those souls were unaware of God's ability to save them if they called on Him to. 

NOW more people should realize that between Jesus and God is a VAST, ENDLESS, ETERNAL Ocean of Forgiveness. For ALL things.

AND on top of all of this, the Devil did NOT create souls and therefore has NO right to them. It's ingrained in our heads from youth that THE DEVIL WILL GET YOU if you do XYZ -and therefore he has some sort of right to you. Murderers go to Hell because that's where they DESERVE to be. It's where they belong. But in reality, starting with Adam and Eve, without influence of the Devil God's children are PURE and INNOCENT. Humanity -and any individual human -would NOT be in a dark place if the Devil hadn't tainted them. So in the end, The Devil has NO right to ANY human soul. They ALL belong to God.

To say that God will not take in a soul for reasons XYZ belittles God by suggesting He does not see what the Devil has done OR that the capacity of His LOVE and FORGIVENESS for His own creations is limited.

The other thing I've come to realize is the LOVE that comes from ABOVE in general. We're taught -on the rare occasion it comes up or is mentioned at all in this world -that Angels fall into 2 categories: 

Either they're sweet innocent cherubs that sing and play harps -and that's all they do - OR they're Saint Michael the Angel with the Sword that will Battle Satan and Vanquish Any Evil. In reality, these beings -Especially human souls that have been Sainted -have a great capacity to LOVE. They are not just their to guide people or protect them like a means to an end -like some tool God built. They LOVE each other and the Beings God has created. They can be Your Friend. 

And its sad to think how much LOVE we have in US that goes to waste. Like the love a child has for every living thing around it. The pet dog isn't just an animal that wags it's tail -it's a best friend. That stuffed animal isn't just a ball of stitched fluff -it's a best friend. Children love in such a non-judgmental, free, unyielding way. If you told a child there was an angel named Saint Michael that would protect him if he ever called on him -that kid wouldn't just call in times of need, the child would wander around the house talking to Saint Michael and treating him like an invisible friend. Maybe that's WHY so many kids have imaginary friends. They're picking up on the spiritual instinct to befriend Beings that can't be seen with the naked eye that ARE watching out for them.

And this is the LOVE we should have for those above. For our relatives who sit watching and enjoying peace. For the Angels that wait to be called on and send love down. For Jesus who gives love freely to all. For God -our Creator -who is ALWAYS with us and WITHIN us.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WHY Cause Suffering?

I've debated this on and off throughout the past half decade or so. I think it's something ALL people wonder. For me the reason I wonder WHY suffering happens is to find a solution so it DOESN'T continue. Most people on the other hand take the WHY and then pass judgments and condemnation. Because the WHY we are debating is why a PERSON causes anther to suffer.

First off, are ALL violent acts the same? You take away the severity of the pain, it then becomes about the nature of the crime itself. And NO they aren't all the same. 

Categories of Crimes of Suffering: 

1. Societal Crimes: Racism, Sexism... Wrongful, Judgement Based Crimes Based on IGNORANCE

2. Sexual Crimes -Usually about Dominance of POWER 

3. Pure Violence like Murder -To end a life quickly -ESCAPE/END CONFLICT

4. Slow or Torturous Crimes -Deep psychological reasons like EMPTINESS (You don't take an act out slowly unless you're enjoying the process or feel it needs to be done)

5. Crimes of GAIN -Done for Money or some other MEANS TO AN END

6. Beating/Ongoing Abuse -Maintain POWER

So the ultimate reasons range from IGNORANCE, GAINING POWER, ESCAPING ISSUES, GAIN ITSELF, and EMPTINESS. Gaining power seems to be the most popular one. Especially in our society. And you can't help but wonder if it's because on some level we push people to that. It wouldn't be happening on this wide a scale if certain people in our world -specifically men -weren't being pushed towards AGGRESSION and POWER. You're not a real "man" if you are SUBMISSIVE or SUB-Anything. You have to be ALPHA.

I don't think it's instinctual like through genetics or "breading". And either way humans aren't animals and have rationality. 

There is also a distinction -which our society fails to recognize sometimes -between PSYCHOLOGICAL factors and MENTAL factors.

Psychological factors are emotions, SOUL, past issues, society... EXTERNAL influences turned INTERNAL in a negative way. 

Mental factors are more geared towards how your physical brain operates and processes information. Like motor skills. How you process things logically and analytically.

There's a difference between Henry David Thoreau and Einstein. One writes from emotions, past experiences, and spiritual insights -the other from cerebral thoughts and science.

The problem is society sees Brain and Psychology in BOTH and assumes they are one in the same or there is overlap where none exists. Society itself knows too little about the subject in general to really pass valued judgements on any of it.

And the other issue is sometimes there is Overlap. Sometimes a mental disorder is paired with psychological past trauma.

There are many underlying contributory factors to be understood. Again I'm not a psychiatrist and I actually don't like them much in general anyway. They tend to analyze people like insects under microscopes and think too much with their head and forget the compassion of their souls.

Ultimately it comes down to making the person doing the harming itself to UNDERSTAND why they are doing it. Then from there you can allow them to figure out what IMPACT it had on their lives and the lives of those they hurt.

This is Retribution. Not "eye for an eye" in the sense of taking something from someone who has taken -but allowing them to discover EMPATHY for themselves. THEN they will not harm in that way again.

Romanticizing Crime

Somebody made a point recently. Dexter. Weeds. Hannibal. Bates Motel. Breaking Bad. The Sopranos. CSI. Snapped. Game of Thrones. Bones. Vegas. Sherlock. Sons of Anarchy... 

There are a lot of TV shows either making CRIME relateable and borederline justifiable by glorifying the person doing the crimes OR they are making the "catch the criminal" mentality so "by the book" and common place that the crime itself become desensitizing.

And this weird thing happens when a bunch of people watch and like the same show together. They start making jokes about he show, discussing their favorite episodes... They become FANS.

So what then ends up happening is like what has already occurred with ME. I'll put myself on the chopping block as a guinea pig example of this. 

My friend Alex and I liked watching Hannibal together Seasons 1 and 2 when it was on. Right THERE that's already a weird thing to say. You liked a show about Jeffrey Dahmer's life and the way he killed people and why. Which ISN'T what I "like" about the show itself, but what it ends up sounding like. 

What we usually end up discussing is the behind-the-scenes of WHY Hannibal does what he does and WHY his "friend" Will stays and what Will is planning. 

But then there are people on the internet much like with the show Sherlock -who then proceed to make jokes, make light of, make merriment with... MESSED UP THINGS. The4se shows are Dark and Heavy. But they SEEM like they're made up. Like saying, "Well Hannibal doesn't really exist..." Or "THAT crime has never occurred that way..." But it's a LIE. 

And I ended up making a blog post a while back because of this because I found some funny jokes about the show Hannibal and thought they were amusing. But at some point you have to realize what's going on behind the scenes of our culture. 

1. Crime is becoming "comfortable" 
2. Crime is being "belittled" or made to seem "not that dark" 
3. TV is distancing us from the Reality of Crime 

In Bates Motel within the first 2 episodes Norman's mom was raped on her kitchen table. Then that character played it off like it wasn't that bad -because in the story she had been raped in the past (which was revealed many LATER). We then proceed through the show and "pinpoint" the moment in our mind like, "Ok that occurred so that's one of the things that leads to foreshadowing to why Norman snaps." It becomes A Fairytale.

Dark Acts like those shown in Game of Thrones have become our modern Grimm Tales. And yet they are STILL our Reality. Things like that HAVE happened and ARE happening. Maybe we should be more mindful of that and maybe treat these things with the gravity and weight they deserve. Violence, Pain, and Suffering are NOT for our amusement.

Lessons from Work -Circa 2012

Here's an old potential blog I wrote but never posted:

The other day one of our coworkers Jeff was logged onto a computer at work. After he left another coworker went onto the computer to program some boards. When I logged onto Facebook later that same day on my computer I noticed “Jeff” was saying some pretty interesting things on his Facebook page. For instance, I didn’t know that Jeff’s favorite color of nail polish was purple. Or that he was getting his nails done at the salon later that day after going shopping for some new sandals. He was also considering getting a perm for his hair. 

Many lessons can be learned at work during the day. For instance: Always log out of social media sites before shutting down a shared computer. Today I’d like to go over several other important lessons time at the office has taught me. I find these lessons to be valuable and important for everyone to know in whatever business they may have. 

Yesterday we were informed by our coworker Paul that many US States our currently considering succeeding from the United States. Paul often keeps us informed of various matters regarding the political climate of our country. For instance, throughout the past year he would leave his cubicle and stand in the middle of our cubicle section and discuss how frustrated he was with what one of the candidates did. For a while it was Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump. Then Romney and more Romney and Obama and then more Romney. He’s slightly democratic so most of his complaining was about Romney. He brought up his personal feelings with regard to various controversial issues raised during the election season and how poorly politicians were addressing them. 

What Paul didn’t realize was that when he was away the other employees would have some commentary on their own –but not on politics. Paul at one point was bestowed with the nickname “Paul”-itician. His behavior rather than his rhetoric was often discussed at lunch and at leisure throughout the office when he was away. 

Lesson: Sharing personal view points can add great insight into the lives of those around you. It can also irritate some people. Perhaps political opinions and personal views are best expressed on the appropriate occasion, calmly, and with great respect to others who may share differing views. Calmly. 

In another instance, two other coworkers Fred and Jim didn’t often see eye to eye. But they did express their views respectfully –usually when the other person wasn’t around. Jim is in Sales and during our marketing meetings he would share all the new leads he had with potential clients and all the products he was planning on shipping out to them. Fred was the Engineering Manager and during engineering meetings he would share how his department was low on parts and may have to push back or delay some of the current orders so he had time to order more parts and actually build the products to ship out. 

Lesson: Communication is an important part of any business culture. When one does not effectively communicate, important details and facts are left out of the attempt at a shared vision. The system then malfunctions and people can get very confused. And bewildered. And frustrated. And angry. And I’m going in the other room now... 

Sometimes it’s best not to take things so seriously. This is why most of us at work like to discuss a variety of non-work related topics. For instance Brian, Fred, and Ken often enjoyed discussing their favorite tv shows. Like the other day they were talking about Dancing with the Stars. Andrea, who’s cubicle is next to mine, actually had to interrupt their discussion to mention the very important fact that their “man cards” needed to be turned in by the end of the day. 

Lesson: Diversity is an important aspect of a business environment. Allowing people to feel free to be themselves and openly support the Giants or Dancing with the Stars leads to happier, and more accepting business relationships among coworkers. 

Actually one of the most diverse people in the office was a woman named Alex who was actually born and raised in Mexico. She spoke Spanish fluently and often talked to customers on the phone in Spanish. Once after having a 20 minute conversation over the phone speaking Spanish she actually continued speaking Spanish for the next 5 minutes… to Brian… who thought she was still talking on the phone… and she was confused why he was being so rude and ignoring her… and he was confused why she was looking at him…and she was confused why he wouldn’t answer her preguntas… 

Lesson: Communication is an important part of any business culture. When one does not effectively communicate important details people can get confused. And bewildered. And frustrated. And resentful. And really confused. 

I’ve been designing some new user interfaces for our boards. These user interfaces are just concepts right now and I have to make a lot of iterations. I was looking around my cubicle, among my art which generally consists of ink drawings I make and thought, “Why don’t I have any of the product images I create on my cubicle walls?” At the time I also noted how boring most of the Kleenex boxes we get are. They’re always floral print and I felt bad because most guys don’t like floral print. Then I thought what if my company made sleeves for Kleenex boxes as a way to promote our brand. 30 minutes later my experiment was complete. And with that I officially became the weird girl who sits in the artistically-inclined cubicle and puts images of our products on random boxes of Kleenex. 

Lesson: Diversity is an important aspect of a business environment. Allowing people to feel free to be themselves and design Kleenex box sleeves and grow potted plants at the office encourages acceptance and individuality in the cubicle community.

Re: Dracula and Valentine's Day

Update on the evergoing conversation with myself through the passage of time that nobody else will probably care about:

In a previous blog I unwittingly wrote about Dracula and St. Valentine via what I thought was happenstance. Now I see there was actually some mispoints and some symmetrical overlap between the 2 concepts which initially seemed unrelated.

That's pretty talented though. To weave Dracula and the story of Valentine's Day/St. Valentine together. We assume day to day that some things can NEVER have anything in common or cannot reflect back on one another. 2 ideas or notions or references that must forever remain in opposition to one another.

For Dracula: 

I was focused at the time entirely on Mina's perspective and her soul. I was caught up in the fact that a Hollywood movie might actually be praising a woman for choosing Faith in God over Romantic Love or a Man. That NEVER happens. what I then failed to see was Dracula himself. I called him EVIL because as Hollywood ALSO continues to perpetuate there is Black and White Good and Evil and NO inbetween. 

However if you think about it, Dracula had reason to be pissed. YES he was a ruthless leader who barbarically killed people, but SOMEWHERE in there was a part of him capable of DEEP romantic love. Losing that love cost him everything. He THEN became unhuman. 

The movie hints at the end that Dracula finds Peace WITH Mina in Heaven because she was compassionate enough to release his soul from the tormented, nonhuman being he had become. 

It's a strange kind of love story in that it's kind of a LOVE for SALVATION kind of story rather than just romanitc love. 

And in the same way, Saint Valentinus was NOT involved in any kind of Romantic Love setting. It was devotional love to God and compassion towards a young, blind girl. It was a SHARING of divinity. And yet NOW St. Valentine has been belittled into being about the cutesy, romantic notion of love. 

So in IRONY: A story set out to depict Romantic Love and EVIL instead shows Love for GOD and GRACE. And a Saint that exemplifies Love of GOD is instead affiliated with sappy, Romantic Love.

Old Speech -Funny Take on Hopelessness

Rummaging through old potential speeches I never gave and came across this beauty: 

Life is a lose-lose situation. You’re born, you get old, and then you die. Life is a series of one disappointing moment after another. You drop the ice cream you’ve been waiting all day to eat on the ground. You’re single on Valentine’s Day. Nobody ever gets that pony they always wanted as a child. You assign roles each week and people cancel. The world doesn’t end when the Mayans predict it will. Life is out to get us… 

And it starts when we’re young. The first thing life does is lure us into a false sense of idyllic nostalgia by giving us a childhood. Now when you initially reflect on your childhood you may be fooled into believing that those were happy days. Look again. Remember those nice home cooked meals at the end of the day that mom would prepare? Were they really that good all the time? 

For example, I can recall my mom’s enchiladas. I can remember how gross and spicy they were. I also remember not being able to leave the table until I ate it all. And then it would get cold. And I would get bored. And hungry. For an hour or two. 

And what about those classic TV shows that had you laughing and dancing around? You know who I remember? Barney. Big purple singing dinosaur. He seemed friendly enough. Then you know what happened? I found out dinosaurs were extinct and it was a guy in a costume and nobody at school thought Barney was cool. 

Then when you finally get the hang of being a kid, the teenage years hit. Suddenly nothing you liked is cool anymore. You have to garage sale off all your formerly prized possessions. Sorry Beanie Babies but it’s time for you to grow up. That’s just home life-school life gets even worse. 

You have to get up earlier. You have to be seen with your parents as they drive you to school until you learn how to drive in which case you have to try not to die as you get to school. Your work load increases. They no longer cover soft-ball subjects like naming the presidents. No. Now you’re in high school. It’s time to learn about Economics, Pre-calculus, the Holocaust, Shakespeare…Genetic Coding! It’s a high price to pay to be smarter than a 5th grader…

Then after high school you know what happens? High school part 2: College.
The disappointments continue downhill from there. Say goodbye to all those good, home-cooked meals. It’s Rice-A-Roni, Top Ramen, and Pop Tarts from here on out. What was that about finally being free and independent? You know what you do most freely and independently in college –taking exams. Getting up in the morning at 3am to finish that 20 page paper due in 5 hours. Being woken up in the middle of the night because the roommates next door just got back from an inspiring concert and they feel like blasting Kanye West through the halls to share the excitement with everyone. 

And then you finally escape and graduate to go on to pursue the fullest of your dreams and live life as you were always meant to in the career you’ve been planning for… oh wait… guess what? Recession. No jobs for you! And when you do finally get a job what do you have to look forward to? Coffee addiction, spreadsheets, and getting old and wrinkly. 

Be warned my friends…life will betray you. E tu life-e?
But people keep saying, “Yes –of course life is full of disappointments. But listen to the wisdom of philosophers and the Hikkus posted on Facebook. They will tell you how to find peace in life. And rainbows. And moonbeams. And Lucky Charms Cereal.”

Even if you were to gather up all the wisdom in the world and compile it into your brain, you know what it would ultimately lead to…death. Wisdom leads to death. I’m not saying it’s a direct cause, but there’s definitely a correlation there. 

In conclusion: Life is full of disappointments and there is no upside.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Feminist or Humanist

There's a debate raging now as there has been for a while about Feminism v. Humanism. 

Feminists say: Women are Systematically being abused, oppressed, and degraded BASED on their gender in not just our society but Globally

Humanists say: ONLY focusing on women is selfish and excludes other victims. For instance Rape victims can sometimes be male. 

Rape victims can also be children. And animals. So it actually goes beyond "Human" when you go for the human approach. It goes into: ALL living life should be respected and NOT abused or degraded.

Hence the reason I'm now calling myself a Spiritualist. Divinity is in ALL living things.

However if we took a look around the world Right Now and saw which Living Beings with Divinity Within Them were suffering the most -odds are it's NOT men. At this point between sex trafficking, rape, lower pay, domestic abuse, genital mutilation, rape being used as weapon in war... WOMEN seem to be having the most issues right now. Next on that list: Black People in General.

So saying you're a "Feminist" Doesn't mean you don't Care About Children, Nature, Rape Victims who are Men... It just means that right now you're tending to focus more on women's issues because right now in general women Are Having the Most Issues.

And the thing is, most women tend to be Inclusive by nature. Most women WANT children -especially young girls -to be included in the subheading of "Feminist". They also see Rape as a problem in itself and aren't going out of their way to "exclude" men from anything.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: It's not about what label you give yourself or anybody else gives you -It's about what you do and how it affects other people.

Last Day at Toastmasters

I'm going to be the Toastmaster on my last day of Toastmasters this Wednesday. I'm leaving the club for a while to focus on work and spiritual things. Here is the opening speech I'm going to give:

4 Years ago I joined Toastmasters. It wasn’t a choice. It was a necessity. 

I’ve seen people join public speaking for many reasons over the years: 

-Want to get ahead at work

-Out of work and want to do better at job interviews

-Want to learn how to speak English more clearly

-Want to learn how to network more and polish speaking ability 

My reason initially was to overcome “fear of public speaking”. But it was also the fear of connecting with people –especially in a group. 

But the irony is that the things I’ve ultimately gotten from Toastmasters have nothing to do with the reason I joined. 

#1 I never thought I’d make a group of people laugh at my jokes. Only close friends of mine ever told me I was funny. So when people actually laughed at my first speech it confused me. I was like, “Oh! I really am funny.” That’s the first thing you get from Toastmasters you don’t come here seeking outright: Finding out Who You Are. Not just who you suspect you are, but who other people verifiably confirm You Are. The Real You. The Hidden You. The Intended You. 

#2 I’d never thought I’d “engage an audience”. They tell you that’s what professional speakers do well. They don’t just talk to a group of people; they include and Lead a group of people in a discussion. They look people in the eye and say, “Hey I’m not just saying this for the sake of saying this –I’m saying this For You. I SEE You. I want you to Hear Me. Let’s engage in this topic like human beings concerned appreciating the same meaningful significance. 

#3 People. I hoped to get good at maybe talking to people. But had NO idea about the KINDS of people I’d meet. These are strong, warm, caring people. These are life-long friends. These are guides to help you find out things you weren’t even aware of that you needed to know. These are supporters who have your back and root for you silently every time you step in front of the lectern. 

#4 Criticism. Who wants criticism? Nobody! Nobody seeks out feedback of that nature. And I do mean criticism because whether you like it or not that’s the way feedback hits you sometimes –especially in the beginning. But to learn how to take those words and either use them to your advantage or NOT CARE either way because you are secure with who you are and what was said and most importantly Your Message was heard.

#5 Finding a Voice. Finding a Message. I had no voice. I had 22 years of built of message. But no Voice. No one to listen even if I did. And I found it. And the confidence to speak with it. And the courage to try out different ways of speaking with it. 

#6 Contribution. I never thought when I joined that I had something to give back. That there was something in me to Give to this group. I thought I was there to get –not to give. But then without trying I did. Not just as an officer supporting the behind-the-scenes of the club. But as a person arriving early helping to setup for the meeting. Meeting up with someone who needed help on a speech they were nervous about. Giving valuable insight into someone’s speech they just gave –not How they gave it, but How it made me feel when they did because it was that moving. You give back every day –whether you try or not. And you get every day in this club. 

·         The speeches

·         Seeing people evolve and break through invisible barriers

·         Enjoying the energy in the room and the humor 

Sometimes the only thing that got me up in the early morning hours to come to a meeting when I wasn’t even going to fill a role that day was the possibility of hearing someone say something I’d never heard anyone else say before about a topic I didn’t even know I was passionate about. You don’t find places like this every day. You are meant to be here for one reason or another. And the reason you joined is Not going to be the reason you stay. And what you thought you’d get out of this club isn’t even close to what this club will actually give to you and you will contribute back to the world.