The Missing Children

Most of us in America were shocked and horrified to learn of the awful tragedy in Conn. resulting in a number of young lives being struck down by a madman. As a personal tribute to the lives lost, I call this image “The Missing Children.” _DSC0437

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Wisdom for the Blogosphere

Today I only had one class to attend at UCM. It’s called, Writing Across the Media. The topic was “The Blogosphere.” The instructor, Professor Joe Moore, often lectures while engaging students which makes the class more enjoyable and less boring. The “Blog” is slang for “Log.” Questions arose such as, why is a blog important? What problems do you see with blogs and websites but the most prescient for me was, what good comes from blogs? This made me think. Sometimes college students think. Yes.

I consider myself a fairly private person. I am generally an optimistic and outgoing personality-type, however, my personal life tends to remain hidden from many who know me except my closest friends. This is going somewhere. Trust me. In a certain organization that I have been a member of now for many years, we join together at certain times to “share our experience, strength, and hope with each other” that we might solve our common problems (Some who read here will understand). The point is that there is simply no substitute for experience. In my nearly half-a-century (yes, I’m a non-traditional student) revolutions’ around the sun, I like to think that I have gained at least a nominal amount of knowledge about life. I have made a decision to share some of my personal experiences and knowledge with readers of jmorlife63. I have decided to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. So let’s get started, shall we?

I was 40 years old before I realized this one; I am NOT responsible for the way you Act, Think, or Feel.

This was a biggie for me. Really. Oftentimes I meandered through life thinking that somehow I was responsible for other peoples actions, thoughts or feelings. This is simply not true. If someone makes you act a certain way, think a certain way, or even hurts your feelings, who is at fault? It is only I. I can only allow this to happen if I decide to give that power to another person. For example, any power that someone has to piss me off? I simply give it back to them.

I can recall attending junior college in Oregon. I was working my ass off and attending school on a full time basis. My job was in mental healthcare. I worked with autistics, schizophrenics, and what I’ve always consider the most difficult, borderline personalities. As if this wasn’t stressful enough, I had some know-it-all co-worker (no education) constantly bashing my work skills and methods while often belittling the fact that I was attending college. I would dread going into work every morning because my co-worker Jim was causing me more stress than my mentally-ill client. One day he openly said, “Your just wasting your time going to school… all that crap your learning is BS.” Jim was always trying to push my buttons. Especially since I was the only person considered qualified or level-headed enough to work with this “one-on-one” mental client they had at that particular facility. The point is, I wanted to tell him what an ignorant SOB he was (which he was) but I never gave him that power over me. I replied to him in a calm but very firm tone, “Well thank you Jim. I certainly appreciate you making disparaging comments about my education.” Oddly enough it worked! I gave any power he had to piss me off right back to him! Jim was silenced.

Perhaps Jim was jealous of my accomplishments. Perhaps he bombed out of high school. Perhaps he tried higher education and couldn’t cut-the-mustard OR it’s entirely possible he was just an assh**le. It doesn’t matter.

I learned that I am NOT responsible for the way others Act, Think, or Feel. I AM responsible for the way I act, think, and feel. And after Jim shut his big trap? I felt mighty damn powerful. It works if you work it! Us Bloggers are smart peeps!!! 😉DSCF0708

“We” replaces “I”

Today on the news I heard that it was the “intelligence community” that provided US Ambassador Susan Rice with the lies she spread on Sunday morning talk shows following the Benghazi debacle. It’s not her fault the information was incorrect. It was somebody else. The community at large. Collectivism, community, we, “It takes a village,” sound familiar? These are all themes and narratives of the so-called progressive thinkers of our modern society. The individual is unimportant. “Yes we can.” The individual has for all practical purposes become secondary. When it comes to crime, who do these blame? The criminal? The victim? Oh! Yes, of course, it’s society. It’s everybody’s fault! This false premise has become prevalent in our culture. It goes without saying we need an intellectual awakening. Where are the great thinkers of our time? Can anyone communicate and break through the largely group-think mentality that seeks to destroy the individual?

A novelette was published in 1938. It discusses a society of the future. A society in which complete collectivism has been accepted. The story presents a man struggling with the word “I.” (Read and Think-jmorlife63)

“I am. I think. I will…”What must I say besides? These are the words. This is the answer. This- my body and spirit-this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction…I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars. 

I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man’s soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet.

I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.

I shall choose friends among men, but neither slaves nor masters. And I shall choose only such as please me, and them I shall love and respect, but neither command nor obey. And we shall join our hands when we wish, or walk alone when we so desire. For in the temple of his spirit, each man is alone. Let each man keep his temple untouched and undefiled. Then let him join hands with others if he wishes, but only beyond his holy threshold.

For the word “We” must never be spoken, save by one’s choice and as a second thought. This word must never be placed first within man’s soul, else it becomes a monster, the root of all the evils on earth, the root of man’s torture by men, and of an unspeakable lie.

The word “We” is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages.

What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?

But I am done with this creed of corruption.

I am done with the monster of “We,” the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.

This god, this one word:

“I.” (Rand,1938)

On Reason and Passion – Kahlil Gibran

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.
Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.
But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.
Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows — then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”
And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky — then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”
And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.