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Imagine a room full of five year old children. Which child is in charge? Which child has authority to say who is better than whom? We as adults are very similar to these children.  We are all equal. Yet, we place judgment on others everyday.  We are quick to point out the faults of others.  Why? Are we so insecure that we need to bring down others in order to improve our own self-stature? We constantly compare the success of others to the failure of our own. We create the illusion of inequality that constitutes our discontent. Our perception is askew due to our fear that we are being left out. This indeed is the action of a five year old.

Simply put, I have no right to judge you. There is no rebuttal to this statement. We are all on the same rock floating through space. Our time on this rock is limited. I can find plenty of constructive things to do with my time. Judging is not one of them. 🙂

Improper imposition

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We all have standards we live up to.  These are the guidelines for meeting our own self-expectations. For most of us the foundation of these standards were instilled in us from our parents.

The problem with these expectations is that they are often imposed onto others. Self-expectation should remain as such. I have no right to impose my standards of living onto you. We have the freedom how to live each day. Parenting is the only exception to this.  But, we are not talking about parenting.

Always take the time to improve yourself. Do not force improvement onto others.  We all have our own path to take. Dictating to others how to live forces them to walk your path. Only one person should walk your path. Does this mean we should be alone?  Not at all. Everyone does not take the same steps when moving about a house. The paths from room to room may be similar, however, the placement of their feet may be quite different.

Critical Weight

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If you feel that I don’t have your best interest at heart, are you really going to listen to my criticism? More than likely the answer is no. Love is constructive not destructive. Yes, changes may need to be made that might bring a destructive appearance. However, it is the end results that matter. A garden is not  made without first tearing up the soil. With that in mind, how many times have we thought back to our childhood and remembered the lessons we neglected to listen to. If we had the foresight then to see why our parents said what they did, I’m sure our attitude would have been different.

The opinion of a stranger weighs less than the opinion of a friend. If you do have to throw criticism towards someone be professional, encouraging,  and ensure that they understand that you care about them. Never focus on the negative. Rather, focus on the bright side of the situation. Anyone can complain about the bad. It takes discipline to change that focus and constructively criticize someone in a manner that they feel better knowing that you took the time to express you concerns. We are all human. We demand to be treated as such. 🙂

Love is unconditional

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Just because I feel a certain way about a person does not mean they will feel that way towards me. The word relationship comes from the base word relate. Two people must be able to relate to each other, in a possitive manner, in order for there to be a constructive relationship. Even then there is no guarantee that love will coexist between the two. We must be willing to admit this fact. Love does not alway work the way that we want it to.

This is why it is said love is unconditional.  It is not reciprocated back to us due to our actions.  It is given back out of free will. Honestly, I would have it no other way 🙂

Love can build a bridge

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I have a friend who is like a brother to me.  When my wife and I were stationed in Norfolk he spent some time with us. I’m not going to say I’m the easiest person to live with. I do have my moments of not being a good host.  However, this guy had a way of making a bad situation hilarious.  His favorite thing to do when I got aggravated at him was spread his arms in a hugging fashion and sing the Judds song “Love can build a bridge” in a horrible off key manner. No matter how many times he did it I always seemed to join in singing and got over my aggrevation. To this day if I get upset or irritated, I sing that song to myself.

Love really does matter. No one wins from holding a grudge. Although it took me awhile to learn this, I’m glad I did.

Those that we like least

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I am not in favor of using the word “hate” when it comes to describing my emotions towards others.  Truth is I don’t hate individuals.  We are all capable of change. I have found that most people that I don’t like aren’t bad people. We just have different views. I have learnt to respect the views of others without expecting that respect in return. I will not demand respect. I will earn it. This mindset has allowed me to see eye to eye with a lot of people that I didn’t get along with.

Its OK to disagree. It is not OK to disrespect others because of their views or opinions.

We do not want world peace.

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We all feel as though life is unfair. “Why did we get the bad rap?” We focus on what others get and what we do not get. Our focus is our perception and reality is 100% perception. Everyone claims that they want world peace. This is a lie. We do not want world peace. We want to live comfortably for the rest of our lives. Notice that I did not say rich, or wealthy. Here is why. If I gave you a five gallon bucket crammed full of $100 bills, what would you do with it. Instantly most of us started to think of things to buy. You would exchange what I gave you for something that you wanted or needed. Therefore, we do not want money. Money only allows us to get what we want. The end product is what we want.

What would it feel like to live in world peace? More importantly, what would it take? We would need to be humble. No one could be better than any one else. We all would have to be considered equal. Our standards of living would have to change. We as a society would have to except differences. Media would have to set the example. What if media was a person? Would you associate with a person who focused on the negative in life? Would you agree with a person that described everyone by their skin color? Media is not a good example for us to follow. However, most of us hang on every word that we hear. We watch the news and get mad when a white man beats up a black man. We get angry when our schools force religion on our children. We watch drama then complain about drama being in our lives. Our focus is our perception. How much media are we absorbing in per day. How many Facebook memes call out “those people”? How many of us would scold our kids for talking like Twitter?

Less than 10% of any community volunteers to help; less than ten. Why is that? Why can we not set time aside for our community? The easiest volunteering that I do is marathons. I show up, set up tent, and hand out water. However, we are too busy. Our schedule is full; not too full to watch TV. If we think that is rest, then I have news. The brain is fully active when we watch TV. We are searching the plot and seeking out the twists. We are listening to what is being said, and digesting its message. When we watch TV, our brain is fully engaged. We are absorbing what we watch; news, drama, negativity, hate, and animosity. After absorbing this in, how much of it is being reflected back to those around us? If we truly want world peace, then we need to revise what we do and how we treat each other. This is why I stated that we do not want world peace. We want to live comfortably. What we want is our bills to be paid and the freedom to do what we want. We do not want to work. We work to pay our bills. We work to pay for our toys. In the end it comes down to how much do I want and how much do I need. We do not need that much. However, our want is a bottomless pit. How much money do we throw down that bottomless pit hoping to fill it? This is why life is unfair. This is why we see people getting while we do not. “Want” is a monster. “Want” can make any of us jealous. We want a lot. Are we going to be subservient to our want? Our actions will answer that question.

Perception or Reality?

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Reality is 100% perception. This small statement has held true through the test of time. If we believe our life is horrible, then it is. If we believe that we are the best, then we are. It doesn’t matter what others think, say, or do. The manner in which we perceive our reality drives how we react and interact. Have you ever taken a statement the wrong way? At the time the statement may have sounded bad or good, but later it was revealed that the statement was meant to be received in the opposite fashion.

I remember once, I had a 1983 Chevy truck with a short narrow bed. It was lifted and had 32″ tires. In Willow Grove PA, it stood out amongst the BMW’s and Lexus’. At a stoplight I had a gentleman lean out of the passenger side of the vehicle beside me, and shouted “Big truck little cockatoo!” Actually he stopped at the first syllable. I smiled and said “Thanks!”

I knew what he meant, but I also knew that that is something said out of envy. It’s said to those with exotic cars, big houses, big boats, In some aspect of the situation that gentleman displayed envy. That is something to be proud of. It would have been easy to get mad and try to defend my the size of my cockatoo. But why? In reality, we were two people at a stoplight, whose paths will never cross again. What would be the point of getting mad? It is healthier to find humor in every situation than to find offense.

Life is to short to go around taking everything in a negative manner. If someone says something to us and it hurt us, we owe it to them and ourselves to be honest and let them know how we felt (in a professional manner, of course). It is also important to understand that people may take what we say differently than we planned on them receiving it. This is where respecting each others feeling come in. We all have had different experiences in life. This allows for different views, and different opinions. If we take the time to understand where we all come from, it is easier to understand how a person may misinterpret what we say. We should take the time to get off of our “high horse”. Everyone is not against us. Everyone is not out to get us. Maybe, just maybe, everyone thinks we are out to get them. Question is, who is going to see the reality?

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always stay in a positive reality.

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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I went into work last Monday, started my morning routine, and noticed everyone was having a rough morning. Being the positive guy I am, I start questioning people about the long faces. Come to find out we had a member in our command commit suicide. Our command is small. Everyone interacts with everyone on a daily basis. We get to know more about each other than we really care to know. This man was a positive influence on a lot of people. If you needed cheering up, this was the guy to go to. Sadly, that is said about a lot of people who commit suicide. It’s as though they hide behind their smile. They don’t want their problems to be anyone else’s problem. It’s a sickness that eats us from the inside out.

September is suicide awareness month. We in the military have a suicide problem. The numbers are staggering. Although I don’t comprehend why someone would commit suicide, I do know that it’s a sickness. It can affect anyone at anytime. All it takes is the right event to take place and the pressure of the world increases to the point we no longer have hope. Hope is what gives us our fighting spirit. Hope says we can still make it. Lose hope, and we lose sight of our way out. Suicide becomes the only answer.

Less than .5 percent of America is in the military. Everyday our numbers are getting smaller. It’s bad enough we are losing brothers and sisters in the battlefield; why should we lose them to the silence of their home. There is a statistic that states 22 service members commit suicide a day. When will the number of suicides become acceptable? Of course the “answer” is 0 per day. How do we get there? It’s not like we can question everyone on a daily basis. “Do you feel like committing suicide today?” “No? OK carry on.” That’s not how this works.

Some are going to need a phone call, and others are going to need a text. However, no matter what it takes, we can all do our part. If depression is creeping in, do what you need to in order to get through it. Do not lose hope. We should never isolate ourselves. We would never want our family or friends to do that. It’s not easy to share our problems with others. Why? Because people usually don’t take the time to listen. They are quick to give Band-Aid advice. “Get over it.” is not a solution. It’s a “Quit bothering me with your problems.” Another reason we don’t share is because we don’t want our problems to be other’s problem. Sometimes it takes two to carry a load. We need to learn when we have too much on our plate. Sometimes we don’t have a lot on our plate, but we have carried that load for a long time and we feel stupid for asking for help. Imagine if we had a coffee cup and we held it out in front of us with our arm straight. How long could we hold it out there? When it gets too heavy, will we ask for help? It’s only a coffee cup. No matter the size, we should always be able to ask for help. We should also be willing to help; genuinely.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always be willing to ask for help.

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We look, but we do not see.

Why do people judge how others look? They never take the time to see the person they are looking at. They never see who that person really is. In a world full of hate and bitterness is it any wonder why we have so many walls built around us? When will we start taking the time to see each other? When will we take the time to see each others soul?

We listen, but we do not hear.

How many times have we found ourselves in a conversation that we really weren’t in? We were actually planning future events, or sorting out issue. Why was that person talking to us? What was the point of that conversation? It sounded like rambling. Life has a way of using us to help others. Often times people with needs find their way to me and I am forced to stop what I am doing and listen. It’s not always about me. I am not the center of the universe. There are times that others around me will need to get things off of their chest. Like it or not, I am here to help. We are all here to help. Imagine if no one helped you. You would have to build your own house, grow your own food, and raise your children alone. Thankfully, we are all here to help. It’s starts with hearing what others have to say.

We learn, but we do not understand

Once we start seeing and hearing information will start to pour in. We will learn a great deal about each other. At times we will learn too much about each other. This is where maturity and discernment come together. However, just because we have learnt a lot does not mean that we understand what we have learnt. Understanding takes comprehension. Take for example an automobile. We understand the concept of the automobile, but we do not comprehend the complexity. The same could be said about the people around us. Do we understand why a person does what they do? Did we take the time to comprehend the complexity of that person? Maybe we were satisfied with the concept of that person. Sounds shallow doesn’t it? We are the source of inspiration and drive for more people than we understand. People do look at us as role models. There are role models to replicate, and there are role model not to replicate. Which one are we? Maybe people are only seeing the concept of us?

We should never neglect ourselves for the sake of others. However, we should never neglect others for the sake of our pride. Take the time to learn about someone new. Who knows, you may be the only friend that they have. There will be times that you will not be able to listen to them. That’s what rescheduling is for; just make sure to follow up. We all can use an ear from time to time. Let’s make sure we’re lending one as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always take the time for others.