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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.

40+ (what I have found)

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Two things have been working against me; running 12+ miles per week and age.

I am one of the few that actually loves getting older. I love watching my white hairs grow in. Although most of my hair is still brown, the whites and greys will take over.  I have more laugh lines around my eyes. They accent my smile. I’m not as quick to temper. I’ve learnt that it’s important to assess the root of a situation. I have also learnt that having a good attitude is better for my health. I have become a source of positivity amongst my peers.

With each day that I wake up, I am getting older. Yes, I am slowing down, but I haven’t stopped. People around me have changed their attitude towards me as well. I have noticed the word “Sir” when I am addressed. With age comes others respect. I find myself watching what I do and say because I am placed as a role model. My muscles move slow. They don’t hurt, they just move slow. I have to stretch more in order to get my body ready for the day. I watch what I eat. It seems that 41 is the age that my metabolism finally slowed down a little. I monitor my weight everyday; along with my heartbeat and stress level. I have not cut junk food out of my diet. I do ,however, monitor my quantity of junk food. Rarely do I drink soda pop or sugar drinks. I love ice tea and water, but most of all coffee. Chicory coffee has become my favorite coffee. Upon doing some research I found that chicory coffee allows the body to absorb iron more efficiently. This means my recovery time after a long run is quicker. Trust me when I say it is. There are also immune system benefits to this coffee as well. None of this has been proven by modern medicine. Doctors of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were not idiots. A lot of what they discovered were written in books. Then came commercialization. Discoveries were not publicized as much. And now, I sound like a conspiracy theorist. I think that comes with age too. 🙂

I am far from hitting my prime. Mid-life for me will be late 50’s or early 60’s. I know, at this rate, I will be here on this rock for a good while. But, tomorrow is never promised. Yep, I’m getting older and slowing down. But, I haven’t stopped.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always enjoy getting older.

Silence

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Listen to silence.  There is a lot of power that is draw from silence. We have a chance to rethink about what we need and what we really need. We learn to communicate in a different fashion. There is a lot to learn from silence.

Within

As I set in silence, I often find my thought racing out of control. My thoughts are moving as a child scribbling with crayons. Then, I catch up to my thoughts. It feels like being in a car that is traveling 60mph but feels like 30mph. I am able to focus my thoughts, When I set in silence, everything slows down. That’s the perception, at least.

Communicating in silence is different too. I have learnt that there is more said with the body than with words. I have also learnt that my face, in a relax state, produces an ‘upset’ or ‘angry’ expression. This is my natural expression. It is not my natural state of mind. If I want to gesture to someone, I need to watch my facial expressions. Another interesting fact, I smile with my whole face. Not everyone does this. Not everyone is happy either, but they will fake it for the moment. A whole facial smile seems more genuine. That’s my opinion on it.

Outside

Silence has taught me a lot on how to interact with people. Sometimes, sitting in silence while someone rambles on is the best thing we can do for them. I have had conversations that only consisted of the other person talking their way through a situation. When they reach their conclusion, I get thanked for listening and they go on their merry way. I guess people just want to be heard. There is nothing wrong with that; to an extent.

Phones are a distraction. I have also felt my phone vibrate without having my phone on me. We are connected to our phones more than we realize. We take them everywhere, even to the bathroom. They are a distraction from serenity. We need serenity just as we need water and exercise.

Television is another distraction. We spend more than five hours a day staring at a monitor of some fashion. That has to have a negative effect on our eyes. How much time is wasted on watching mind numbing TV. What are we watching; drama, action, comedy? We are not allowing our minds to relax. We force our brains to be active from the time we get up until we go to bed. Is there any question as to why we are burnt out?

Unity

There has to be serenity in ourselves and our environment. We create our environment. I create my environment. This does not mean that I control everyone around me in order to create my utopia. This means that I manage my time, tools, and surroundings. If a person prevents me from having my serenity, then I stop associating with them. There are hundreds of people in this world. I can go to someone else. Stop. If you just questioned my use of the word ‘hundreds’, and replaced it with thousands, millions, or billions, then that’s my point. We have options. We just need the courage to utilize those options. We can find serenity in our daily lives. A wise man once said, ‘If you cannot set in silence for 20, then you need to set in silence for an hour.’

Thanks for taking the time to read, and my we always be able to put ourselves into ‘time-out’.

A child’s lesson on happiness.

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Be happy.

What if this was the only thing in life we had to do? Just be happy. This would mean we would not complain, gripe, grumble, moan, or gossip. We would not cause drama, nor would we participate in drama. We would simply enjoy life. Some people use medication or alcohol to reach this state of mind. What if we could live like this without medication or alcohol?

Addicted to pain.

Children are naturally happy. Why? What makes them enjoy life so much? I have witnessed two kids fighting and arguing and in five minutes playing and having the best time of their life together. How is this possible? Don’t they remember the fight that they just had? Of course they do. Unlike adults, children simply let go of negativity. They do not hold on to drama. They do not search for revenge or resolution. For them, the resolution lies in moving on.

We, as adults, often search for resolution. We want others to hurt as we did. We want to teach them a lesson. Obviously their parents didn’t teach them, someone needs to. Once we have taught them a lesson someone else comes around, and they need to be taught as well. We start looking at “what’s wrong” with people instead of what’s right. We find ourselves addicted to drama. We need to fix the problem. If there is no problem to fix then we are not needed. We need to be needed.

Outside looking in.

How many compliments do we give in one day? I’m talking about serious compliments; not the casual ones. How many times a day do we tell our spouse that we love them? Do we spend our time complaining about the idiots around us? Are we always in a rush? Do we have time for others? Do we feel that the world is against us?

Life is 100% perception. Our life is good or bad depending on how we see it. When we focus on the good, our life is good. When we focus on the bad, our life is bad. For the most part, children do not focus on the bad. Yes, they address it, but they move on as well. We would be wise to relearn this lesson. Life is too short to stay focused on the negativity.

So, what would it take to just be happy? What would allow us to focus on the “good in life”? Do not ask “why am I angry?” or “what makes me mad”. These questions focus on negativity. We should ask “what makes me happy”. We should fix us, before trying to fix others. Be happy. It’s just that simple.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always enjoy our perception of life.