Transcendentalists

“A man in debt is so far a slave” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the early 1800s a philosophical movement took root in the Eastern United States. It began due to the disapproval against the intellectualism and spirituality during that time.

It’s characteristics were:

1) Self Reliance

2) A connection to nature

3) Free-thought

4) Nonconformity

5) Confidence

They believed:

To transcend the real world one must contemplate nature.

Everything is a reflection of God.

Instead of being a follower one was better off entertaining the idea of individualism and self-reliance.

True feelings and intuition were superior to book knowledge.

Instinct would give one a better understanding of God’s Spirit.

It was an American literary, political and philosophical movement. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about Transcendentalism in great depth. Other noted authors were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker.

Transcendentalists believed one should cut ties with organized religion and politics and become an independent thinker in order to achieve their best. It was also believed that organized religion and political parties led to the corruption of the purity of an individual.

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

However Transcendentalism relied heavily on an individual’s cognitive ability or intuition. It was thought that those trying to yield to conformity at the time, became unhappy and dissatisfied.

Is Transcendentalism still in existence today?

That is a good question. There are those that say yes and there are plenty of no votes. It obviously isn’t as popular as it was in the nineteenth century.

Simplicity can be seen by acts of individual kindness and honesty. The importance of nature has not faded through the years. It is alive and well in today’s world. The beauty of nature still inspires and awakens the spirit of many individuals. Self-reliance and confidence isn’t as prevalent as it used to be but still exists to some degree. As far as nonconformity it is pretty much nonexistent but can be found in the “preppers” and those who choose to sell everything and live off the grid and become self reliant.

If you would like to learn more about Transcendentalism I urge you to read Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Be kind to everyone and spread the love.

My Hiding Place

The river is my sanctuary. When I am sitting on a gravel bar at 3 in the morning, looking up at the stars I sometimes feel like I am the only person on earth.

As I sit there I listen to the soothing song of the crickets, tree frogs, and bull frogs and begin to meditate. I clear my mind of negativity. I feel a calmness around me. I don’t have much but I have this special place to come to and heal my mind, spirit and soul. A recharge of sorts.

As I sit there looking into the fire my mind begins to wander. I wonder if anyone else has camped here? Did they appreciate it? Did they relish the silence, or did the silence scare them?

Did anyone sit here and drink in the night sky filled with stars and are they as elated as I am when I see a star fall from the heavens?

The river is a mystical place for me. It’s a place where I can become one with Mother Nature.

There is so much life on the river.

The important part is I feel safe here. Even alone on a sandbar in the wee hours of the morning, in the dark, I am in my element, my safe place. Everyone should have a place like this to go to. It boosts your mental state and improves your peace of mind.

It can be a studio you do your art work in, a den where you put your inner thoughts on paper. It may be your quilting room or in a flower or vegetable garden. It may be on the back of your favorite equine. It is a safe place where you can have peace of mind and healing. It should be a calming place where you shed all the negativity that you have been carrying. Your place.

Feel free to tell us about your safe place in the “comments” section. It will be interesting to see the variety of hiding places used to get right with yourself and deal with the negativity of the world. A place to fill your heart, soul, spirit, and mind with love.

Social Media; the Good, Bad, and the Ugly

“The more social media we have, the more we think we are connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other.” – JR

Today as I was brush hogging pastures the topic of Social Media (SM) bounced around in my brain cells. How powerful is SM and how many people realize how powerful it is?

So many have the mentality that it must be true because I saw it on the internet. Personally I view the internet as a communication tool.

A bit in the horses mouth is a tool used by the rider to communicate to the horse. If used correctly it is a good thing but if used incorrectly it can hurt the horses mouth making it difficult to get the bit in the horses mouth the next time the rider wants to ride. This also applies to SM.

It is used to spread lies and some use it as a bullying tool. How do you stop it? That my friend is a $64 question.

I did a search on SM etiquette and at Moneycrashers.com I found an article written by Brian Martucci outlining what he thinks is proper etiquette.

1) Don’t mix business and pleasure.

2) Use caution posting and tagging photos.

3) Be self-centered in small doses.

4) Understand that your sense of humor

isn’t universal.

5) Don’t be reactive.

6) Avoid over-sharing.

7) Build a legacy for the future.

8). Don’t misrepresent yourself.

9). Don’t drink and tweet.

10). Understand each platform’s best

practices.

I was able to find some statistical data about Facebook.

1. 1.15 billion mobile daily active users.

2). 2.38 billion monthly active users.

3). 1.56 billion people log onto FB daily.

4). 1.74 billion mobile active users.

Ten million, on average, use the “Like” and share buttons.

307 million Europeans are on FB.

25 to 34 is the most common age demographic.

5 new profiles are created every second.

76% of women and 66% of males are FB users.

Highest traffic occurs midweek between 1pm to 3 pm.

83 million fake profiles.

300 million photo uploads per day.

20 minutes is the average time folks spend on FB.

Now let that all sink in.

SM brings old friends together and can destroy current friendships. Many people will say and post things that they would not have done face to face.

SM can be used for so many things and you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what is real news and fake news. Be careful how you use SM because it can come back and bite you in the arse. Stop, think about the consequences and use care before you hit that button.

True Friendship

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” Woodrow T Wilson

Friendship is the glue that binds people to each other. True friendship can bring happiness into one’s life.

Fair weather friends tend to give friendship a bad reputation. They cause heartbreak and create a stormy relationship.

“A friend is someone who understandS your past, believes in your future and accepts you just the way you are.” – Unknown

True friendship is when you both realize there are certain topics you have to avoid talking about.A silent understanding that sometimes you just have to agree to disagree. It’s respecting each other’s believes and ideologies so as not to jeopardize your friendship.

“The friendship that can cease has never been real.”- St. Jerome

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Life Mysteries

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” – Oscar Wilde

For those who don’t know me I retired from horseshoeing and took a job as a grounds keeper for 3 cemeteries located in Farmington, MO. As I go about cutting the grass I often wonder about the people buried there and what they were like when they were alive.

There was the body of a man that came into the mortuary. Very little information came with him. The funeral director tried their best to find family members but to no avail. All they basically knew was his birth date and death date and that he was married. The only option left for the funeral director was to bury him instead of cremation.

The owner of the mortuary wanted to find someone to say some words over him before he was lowered into his final resting place. So I volunteered for the job.

In putting together some words for a service my mind began to wonder about who he was. What did he do in life? Did he die alone? What kind of person was he? Did he have any family left? So many questions that I will never know the answer to.

The funeral was held the Thursday before Good Friday. I was pall bearer and minister and went back to cutting grass after the funeral. A worker for the vault company and two grave diggers were the other pall bearers. RIP! So much mystery and no answers.

The gentleman was lowered into the ground around 10:40 a.m.. l went back to cutting grass. Around noon I looked back and noticed an older lady standing at the grave. I started to go talk to her but then I realized she had her reasons and I respected that and kept cutting grass. After a few minutes she left. I still wonder who she was but was happy somebody who obviously knew him came to send him off. Life mysteries.

Unfathomable Determination

The rain has pretty much settled in for the night. I sit here with my eyes closed listening to the raindrops dancing on the tin roof creating a soothing symphony.

My mind focuses on those brave men and women, the pioneers, who settled the west. They had no idea of the challenges they would face. The only idea they had of where they were going was the tales they had in there minds put there by the adventurers who went before them.

There were stories of feast and famine. Massacres. Whole wagon trains who died and didn’t fulfill their dreams. Disease and prairie fires. Yet these people had a dream that so obsessed them they were willing to sacrifice anything and everything to follow their dream. That profound dedication my friends died with them and no longer exists in this country anymore.

I don’t know if you have ever been camping in the rain but I can tell you from experience it can be very miserable.

I sit here in the coziness of my cabin listening to the rain and I have a vision of men, women, and children huddled together under the rain fly of a wagon trying to get their nourishment so they will have the stamina to do another 10 to 20 miles beginning at dawn. One can only imagine the sore muscles they must have been nursing. Wondering how much further they have to travel. How many more river crossings and broken wagon wheels they will have to endure. Will it be their wagon that breaks this time? How many more of their possessions will they have to leave behind so they can lighten the load on the wagons so they can get them over the mountain?

With these things dancing through their minds it had to be difficult to sleep. Knowing all to well they needed to sleep so they could get the much needed rest to complete another leg of their journey.

The fingers of dawn ascend on their camp. The rain has stopped and the day promises sunshine to dry things out. They begin packing the wagons, hitching the teams and checking the wagons so they can start out once again. They have to battle the annoying suction created by the mud delivering another hardship for them to deal with.

Guts and grit kept them pushing toward their destination and failure was not an option. True representation of determination and faith. They not only needed faith in God. They had to have faith in those leading them and most of all faith in themselves. There were those who celebrated and those who endured heartbreak. So many died along those trails who never lost sight of their dream and died trying to bring their dream to reality.

People could learn a lot from these pioneers and use it in their lives to achieve their dreams. Don’t ever stop believing. They didn’t.

Spread the love and be kind to one another. It doesn’t cost you anything.

Really?

“Deserves it!  I daresay he does.  Many that live deserve death.  And some that die deserve life.  Can you give it to them?  Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.  For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” – J.R.R Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings,  #1)

Congressman Steve Scalise was shot in Virginia at baseball practice.  Now a video of his stance on gun control is being circulated.  I came across one comment that made me realize compassion is a thing of the past.  Sad thing is I know the person that made the remark.  Seems their opinion is that karma visited Scalise because he fought to protect ones rights to own and carry guns.

So using that as an example let me see, does that mean the store clerk who banned guns from his establishment gets shot and killed during a robbery that Karma is responsible because he banned guns from his store?

A young girl starts to leave the house and her dad sees how revealing her clothes are and tells her to go change.  She simply puts clothes over those and when she gets out of sight takes the other clothes off.  As she leaves the local Quick Shop a sick individual spots her in her incredibly short skirt and her bosom revealing top and ends up raping her.  Was Karma responsible for that because she didn’t listen to her father?

Then there was the case some years back of the gentleman who despised guns and was constantly fighting to end gun ownership and with the local gun range.  One night while he and his wife were asleep some thugs broke into their house and tied them up and tormented them for hours.  Then they untied his wife and took the husband and wife into the bedroom and the three goons took turns with his wife and made him watch.  When they were done they stabbed her to death and they thought they stabbed him to death however he survived.  Was this Karma showing him he shouldn’t be trying to stop gun ownership?

I hardly think that any of the above events were due to Karma and I would hope that if I ever insinuated that, I would only hope that someone would horsewhip me.  I hope we haven’t become that callused.

Sad thing is that I know the person who made the comment and they are good people and it is totally out of character for them.   I am in no way putting them down or trying to discredit them.  No doubt there were others that thought the same way.  I credit it to all the turmoil that was caused by the last election.  Emotions are running high.  We need to slow down and quit fueling the fire of hate and discontent in this country and make peace with each other and move on.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” –  Mother Teresa

Opinion : a view or judgement formed about something not necessarily based on facts or knowledge.  This is another word that I have been seeing thrown around a lot out there.  Yep you are entitled to your opinion however,…..wait for it………a little bit longer, ok you ready??????? SO AM I!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.  I had just one more thought, what if Trump is the work of Karma because liberals voted for Obama twice.  LOL!

 

Where Are We Headed?

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Balloon Glow at Engler Park in Farmington, MO

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer

The other night while I was responding to a post on the attack in the UK, I used the word “they” and I had some fanatic climb all over me and accuse me of being a bigot.  I asked for an explanation and his response was come on, you were referring to Muslims.  I told him I was referring to ISIS but didn’t name them because no one had taken credit  yet.  He says yeah right, cut the BS and just admit that you were referring to Muslims.  This man did not even know me and was putting words in my mouth.  He had to have issues to be that adamant that I meant Muslims when I told him I didn’t.  It shall remain a mystery to me.

A friend and I had been talking about the shortage of compassion in our world today.   We had a discussion about how did we get here and where are we headed.  After the conversation with the rude gentleman, I got to thinking about the conversation between my friend and I and it occurred to me that people like this are helping make compassion a thing of the past.  This man was so rude, a person would find it very hard to show him any compassion.

In 2013 there were 664,435 legal induced abortions in the US.  We are talking human lives.  That is over 1800 fetuses ripped daily from the wombs of their mothers.  I am in no way judging the people having the abortion because I feel it is their right, however 1800 a day?  Where is the compassion?  People in this country get more fired up over horse slaughter than they do abortions.  Our society has more compassion for animal lives than human.  How has this happened?

Compassion – sympathetic consciousness  of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. –  Merriam Webster

Our own congress has no compassion for our war veterans.  They gut their benefits then give money to refugees entering this country who have it better than our own veterans. That is just wrong on so many levels.  Even John McCain, former POW, doesn’t seem to have any compassion for our veterans.  Ten years ago Americans were very compassionate about our flag and our National Anthem.  I went to a rodeo tonight and I was saddened by the number of people who didn’t remove their hats and those that didn’t stand when a rider brought “Old Glory” into the arena.  I know they have that right but ten years ago it would have been 100% participation.  Why so much change all of a sudden?  Where are we headed?

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Balloon glow at Engler Park in Farmington, MO

Is the US destined to become a passionless country?  Our government wants to bring refugees into the country as our homeless veterans live in the streets along with other homeless people.  We have citizens at this moment that are so passionate about who they thought should be president that it is coming between friends and family.  Sad thing is that neither side has enough compassion to initiate a bill forcing them to put money back in social security that they stole and keep the government from using it for anything else. Murder statistics show us that every year our citizenry loses a little more compassion for human life every year.  When it comes to our elderly it seems compassion has left the building.  Financial crimes against the elderly seems to escalate every year.

I could go on but I think you know what I am saying.  Every year compassion becomes more and more an emotion of the past.  A relic.  Lost and forgotten.  I don’t know what your thoughts are I am afraid of what lies ahead for this great nation.  It seems that we have all kinds of compassion for the people of other countries but none for the people of the United States like the veterans and elderly.  Things have to change in this country and soon but it is going to take ‘us the people” to do it.

Thank you for reading.  Remember, don’t squat with your spurs on, share the love and be kind to one another,  God Bless you one and all.

Humanity RIP?

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Sunset in Bonne Terre, MO

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.  To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.” – Marie Curie

Have we built a better world?  Does the present generation value human life as much as we did 50 years ago?   Have we become a society of instant gratification?  Last but not least, are we improving as individuals and what is considered improvement?

A better world?  If we look at it from a technological point I would say that we have somewhat built a better world.  When I was a kid growing up I had the pleasure to be a part of the party line.  You just haven’t lived unless you have partook of the party line.  When the phone rang you had to  count the rings so you knew if it was a call for you or not.  Ours at the time was three ringy dingies.  We have come a long way for sure technically speaking.  There have been a lot of advancements in technology.  Advance in humanity not so much.

“If you truly believe in the value of life, you care about all of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society.” – Joni Eareckson Tada

Value of Human Life?  First of all how do you put a value on a life?  I have to admit that I am quite perplexed by the way young people seem to not value life as much as my friends and I did when we were their age.  Now before you call me all those juicy names I am not saying that everyone in that generation is like that.  There are exceptions to every rule.  I can not figure out what happened.  Bad parenting?  Should they have been taught that there are winners and losers and life isn’t always so good to you and…………..and…………….and just maybe they should have been taught what respect is.  Bullying seems to be a bigger problem than ever.  We had our share of bullying however social media has given these folks a heartless. vengeful vehicle of mass bullying and there are those who have even died from the abuse of it.

“Why are young adults so self-centered and always seeking instant gratification?  Because older adults, often positions of power, paint them that way.” – Raymond Arroyo

Instant gratification?  During my years of childhood folks would actually save up and pay cash.  What a novel idea.  My oh my!  Wonder what would  happen to credit card companies today if John Q Public started doing that?   Sad thing is that we stand back and let credit card companies set them up for failure when they are young adults just starting college.  Then our government does nothing to reign these companies in and keep them from preying on them.  They borrow money at 2 to 3 percent then when they get behind they charge late fees and jack the interest rate up to 26 percent.  Where is the humanity in taking advantage of these folks to increase their profits?

I don’t know that we have improved as individuals.  It seems every year that compassion and humanity is pushed to the back burner replaced by greed and personal gratification.  Our own government seems to lack in humanity.  They are fueled by greed which leads to corruption.  At this very moment they are playing with individual’s lives through health care.  Every time they pass one they exempt themselves from it.  They play favorites to their campaign supporters at the expense of the people they are supposed to represent.  They always manage to place the bulk of financial burden for their programs on the backs of the middle class.  They have robbed social security and they didn’t put a dime into it.  At this very moment their are families in my area who are trying to recover from floods 15 months apart.  After they gave the go ahead to build levees that has made the flooding worse their only answer to the problem is a buy out of property.  How do you buyout places like Valley Mount Ranch and Krause Farms that have been in the family since the 30s?  They don’t deserve this.  How about some real humanitarian efforts to help these families out?

Sorry for the rant but it seems that humanity is the thing of the past and has been replaced by greed.  Thanks for reading my blog.  I know it was a little long and I apologize.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love and Compassion

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them humanity cannot survive.”  – Dalai Lama

As I lay here listening to the hum of the fan in the window and the little peepers off in the distance serenading the night, my mind wanders back to the teen age years of my life.   It was a simple time.  Life was good.

School was much different because the parents didn’t blame the teacher for little Johnny’s behavior or grades.  The responsibility was placed squarely on the shoulders of little Johnny and he didn’t get a trophy unless he earned it.  “Earned it.”  Isn’t that quite a concept?  When did it all change?  For the life of me I can’t remember.  Why?  I was told one time by a child psychologist that it was done out of compassion for the losers.  Really?

Unlike today, kids could stay out past dark and not have to worry.  They could walk down to the local grocery and buy a gallon of milk and walk home without having to worry about being abducted.  Don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t a perfect world but there seemed to be a lot less crime then.  The real question is why?  Was it due to the way the news was reported or was there more love and compassion then?

From my personal experience I believe it was the latter.  People had more respect for life then.  Folks helped one another then instead of turning a cold shoulder and walking away.  They shared food, clothes or whatever they could.  Not everybody did but the majority of the people I knew did.

“Being loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

Something that I don’t see too much of these days is respect.  I am blown away by the way children talk to their parents.  They use words that they shouldn’t even have in their vocabulary.  Words that would make a sailor blush I tells ya.  See a lot more tantrums being thrown in the stores when the child doesn’t get what he/she wants.  This usually results in the child getting what he/she wants.  Sooooo is he/she going to throw a tantrum when they don’t get their way in the work force?

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer

Compassion according to Merriam Webster: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.  I am of the opinion that “true” compassion is hard to find in today’s society.  What about the donations that went out to the 9/11 victims you say?  Really?  Myself I really don’t think of that as compassion.  I felt it was more people expressing their patriotism than anything else.

Maybe I just expect too much out of people.  Maybe I am still caught up in the simplicity of life in the 60s and 70s.  I still have the vision of our family dinners where we actually talked to one another and asked how our day had been.  Compassion and love were abundant.  The world wasn’t perfect back then but it was far closer to perfection than it is now.  Maybe new technology was the trade off.  “Pappa tell me ’bout the good ole days.

Well thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.   Love one another and remember the feeling of compassion and don’t be afraid to show it.

Don’t squat with your spurs, be kind to one another and share the love.  God bless you one and all.

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