The Curse of Opinions

“Everyone has his or her own opinion and I welcome criticism. That’s why we have freedom of expression and that’s also what I stand for – but I won’t stand for insults.” – Ilkay Gundogan

Talk to the hand because the ears aren’t listening. This seems to be the mantra of today’s society. There use to be a time in this country when two people of different opinions could partake of a little spirited debate and walk away still friends. Not so much anymore. No such thing as peaceful debate. Instead insults and juvenile name calling is more the norm.

Everyone is different. We all have different likes and dislikes. Some people like summer some like winter. There are those that prefer more government and those that prefer less. They are opinions based upon a person’s thoughts and life experiences. It doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong.

The reality is everyone is going to have a difference of opinion. It’s a given and we as a society need to learn to accept it, learn to live with it and move on. We have to learn to agree to disagree.

“The only sin that we never forgive is a difference of opinions.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I watch with great sadness as friends and family turn their backs on each other because of their differences of opinions. I myself have been called stupid, ignorant, moron etc. because my opinion is different than theirs.

I won’t apologize for my opinions nor do I expect you to apologize for yours. I am entitled to my opinion and you yours.

I am not responsible for your happiness. I am only responsible for mine. What I am responsible for is to be kind to you and to respect your opinions. No insults or name calling and to love you as I love myself.

It is time for us to stop, take a deep breath, think about what we are doing and fix it. To bury our differences, embrace each other and seek harmony. We need to eliminate the hate that is running rampant in our society. Can it be done? I don’t know but I do know the world would be a much better place and certainly worth the effort.

Thoughts?

“Utopias are often only premature truths.” – Alphonse De Lamartine

There are those that think the inequities in our society can be easily solved through a utopian society or government. They believe Utopianism is necessary to improve the human condition. The focus of literary utopias consist of equality in economics, government and justice. It all sounds great but the reality is societies don’t have the same desires and because of this conflict it’s impossible to satisfy society as a whole. In a true utopia everyone lives in harmony.

Is a utopia achievable? In a perfect world, maybe? It would have to be a world void of the hunger for power, greed and emotions. As long as these three are alive and well I for one believe it is highly unlikely that a true utopia could ever exist.

Greater minds than mine through the years have debated if a true utopia could ever exist.

Theodor W Adorno writes: “None of the abstract concepts comes close to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.”

Facing Fear

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

At the end of Liberty Hollow, near the town named Fear, was a modest homestead occupied by a humble two room shack. Void of all the modern conveniences, electricity and running water. It backed up to a gentle slope of Freedom Mountain. Within the walls of this shack lived a mountain of a man, strong as an ox but as gentle as the falling snow.

He stayed to himself and lived a simple life. Lived off the land and never took more than what he needed to sustain his way of life.

Once a month he would venture into town to get supplies he couldn’t produce himself i.e., flour, lard, coffee and a plug or two of Days Work. Standing at 6’4” with his salt and pepper beard cascading to the middle of his chest, jet black hair resting on his shoulders and his chiseled physique made him quite intimidating to the towns people.

He was never violent, showed nothing but kindness and appeared happy, but the inhabitants of Fear were afraid of him. Was it the unknown that they feared? No one really knew anything about him. No one attempted to befriend him or get to know him. They would cross the street to avoid him. Fear was in control.

He was surrounded by mystery. He talked to the woodland creatures and doctored them when they were hurt. The “Keeper” of Mother Nature’s woodland creatures? They had no fear of him.

The inhabitants of the town of Fear thought he was possessed and added to their fear of him. This behavior wasn’t normal. It’s sad how when folks don’t understand something or somebody they are governed by fear.

Years went by with no change. One day he didn’t show up in town to pick up his supplies. Another month came and went and he was a no show. Town folk just assumed he died but their fear of him kept them from investigating.

Fear breeds rumors and it wasn’t long until rumors started circulating around town. Some said he died from a lonely heart, others said he went mad and took his own life and one rumor was that what possessed him transformed him into a coyote and is running wild in the wilderness to this day.

Some town folks recall one odd night when the coyotes became restless and their mournful howls could be heard throughout Liberty Hollow. It was as if they were mourning. The other woodland creatures seemed to go into hiding for a week. Had the “Keeper” of Mother Nature’s woodland creatures been called home? Fear kept the town’s people from ever knowing.

Never let fear rule your life. Always face your fears and put them behind you. You will be a better person for it. Facing fear not only changes your life it also encourages those around you to do the same. When we let fear control our lives we rob ourselves of peace, love, happiness and quality of life. Fear can be defeated but we have to do it ourselves, no one can do it for us. If just one person would have faced their fear of this man it could have turned the whole town around and there could have been a happy ending. After all the animals had no fear of him. They saw the good in him.

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

Dealing With Pain

Pain can change many things in a person’s life. It can have a big impact as to the outcome of your life.

“We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain ” – Alan Watts

Pain can be a gut wrenching experience. It can cause someone to give up and hope that death comes knocking on their door. It can turn one to drugs, alcohol, self mutilation. It can totally destroy your life if you let it. It’s in your hands as to whether you overcome it or fail. It’s not an easy road. The road is filled with jubilation, disappointment, setbacks, trials, tribulation, and heartbreak. Once you become determined and overcome the pain you will be rewarded by cruising down the road of jubilation.

“We can alleviate physical pain, but mental pain, grief, despair, depression, dementiais less accessible to treatment. It is connected to who we are – our personality, our character, our soul if you like.

People have many different ways that they cope with pain. It doesn’t matter how you handle it as long as your method is successful. If you find that you can’t do it by yourself then please don’t be afraid to seek help and get counseling. It doesn’t mean that your weak it means you are smart enough to understand that you can’t go it alone.

It can be pain caused from losing someone close to you to death. It can be a divorce or break up. Being bullied can cause unimaginable pain. They all have one thing in common. That is that you can overcome any one of them.

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.” – Charlie Chaplin

“Life is short. You have to be able to laugh at our pain or we never move on.” – Jeff Ross

We become a prisoner of pain until we learn to let go and move on with our lives. We have to refuse to hold on to pain while releasing fear and hurt. You can use this new energy to start a new chapter in your life instead of letting it hold you back.

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.

Kindness

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Kindness was alive and prevalent in the 50s and 60s, I think any way. Folks now days seem to have a bur under their saddle. There is so much hostility in the world. I don’t know if it is because their undies are too tight or maybe there is a lot more stress in the world today.

The good thing about kindness is it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s free and it can make such a difference in someone’s life including yours.

There are so many simple acts of kindness that we can perform also. Smile at someone, open the door for someone, compliment someone, or just say “hi” and ask them how they are doing.

You have 30 items in your cart and the person behind you has 1. Let them go ahead of you in line.

I know people can be rude. Always remember there may be a reason for their rudeness. A family member might have died, their spouse might have left them, or they might have been hit with a medical bill they can’t afford. There are all kinds of reasons, just remember that before you judge them.

I can remember when kindness abound in the farming communities. They always helped each other. Even they have changed. With a hay shortage some years back in Texas, farmers in other states took advantage of Texas farmers and was selling them hay at over inflated prices. There were some though who out of kindness just gave them the hay to feed their animals.

We as a society need to bring kindness back into the world in epidemic proportions. Set a goal of doing 3,10 or even more acts of kindness a day. Hate can be eradicated with love and kindness. Let’s make the rest of 2019 the “Year of Kindness”.

Remember to spread the love and be kind to one another.

One Tin Soldier

“Now the valley cried with anger, mount your horses draw your sword and they killed the mountain people so they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure, on the mountain dark and red.  Turned the stone and looked beneath it, Peace on Earth was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.  Do it in the name of Heaven, you can justify it in the end.  There won’t be any trumpets blowing come the judgement day.  On the bloody morning after…one tin soldier rides away.”

In 1969 the Canadian pop group, The Original Caste, recorded the song One Tin Soldier written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter.  It was during the Viet Nam war era and was considered by many an anti-war song.

Who was this “Tin Soldier”?  The message simply put is that human greed and violence is futile.

The Mountain people seem to be isolated from the rest of the world and dedicated to protecting the treasure that they coveted so dearly.  Did they believe they had a solution to the greed and hatred that was consuming the governments of the world buried underneath the rock?  Would it end the oppression of the weak?  Could the Valley people be representative of an affiliation with a Christian religion?  It’s possible that the “Tin Soldier” was a messenger from God whose job one day would be to bring judgement on those who had committed violent acts against others with the hope of bringing “Peace on Earth” to fruition?  The answers to these questions are entirely left up to the interpretation of the listener.

It’s clear the Valley people believed that “tons of gold” along with other riches were buried beneath the stone.  The Valley people wanted these treasures for their own (greed) and are unwilling to share the treasures with the Mountain people.  Upon the answer from the Mountain people, with our brothers we will share all the secrets of our mountain, all the riches buried there, the Valley people shouted mount your horses and draw your sword and they killed all the people on the mountain.  They turned the stone to find the treasure “Peace on earth”.  No gold.  No riches.

They declare war on the Mountain people and as they stand upon the mountain dark and red with the blood of the Mountain people they find the answer to all the inequities of the world, Peace on Earth.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I have no evidence that this is the message of Lambert and Potter.  It is merely nothing more than the interpretation of this listener.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love and to be kind to each other.

Is Mother Nature Trying to Tell Us Something?

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution.  What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” –Evo Morales

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The calm before the storm hit Monsanto Lake.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” – Willa Cather

It seems lately that Mother Nature has lost her mind.  Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other destruction has been in the news lately.

Ice and Snow in Florida- Early January brought snowflakes to the Florida panhandle for the first time since 1989 ( since 1885 if you are talking about January)

Snow in the Sahara- Algeria received 15 inches of snow.

Coldest April followed by hottest May

Four nor’easters in a row- Northeast US was hit with four winter storms in one month

Fires are destroying thousands of acres in California while parts of Hawaii battles with the destructive forces of a volcano.  What does it mean?  Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?  Is Mother Earth crying out for help?

tornado on body of water during golden hour

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

burn fog forest forest fire

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“It also called upon traditional people in the Four Directions to strengthen the healing ceremonies and asked people to heed the warnings of Mother Earth.” – Dennis Banks

Most folks are going to say I am crazy but I am a firm believer that Mother Nature is trying to warn us that unless we quit destroying Mother Earth things are only going to get worse.

We can’t keep pumping chemicals into our rivers and streams and air.  Mother Nature’s filtration system is getting plugged up.  Think of it as the air filter in your furnace.  It traps all the bad stuff that would hurt the furnace and when it gets full you take it out, throw it away and put in a new one.  Mother Nature can’t do that.

The only way we can help is to get our heads out of our asses and get serious about a plan to heal this planet.  Hell folks, according to Steven Solomon, author of “Water: The Epic Struggle For Wealth, Power and Civilization” , “Water is overtaking oil as our scarcest natural resource in the world.”  We need to desperately change our way of thinking.  We need to realize that we can’t keep depleting our resources without a plan to replenish them.  Trees have a big job in the ecosystem. Some countries are completely destroying the jungles and not replanting.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases and emit oxygen.  Don’t know if it is true or not but I once heard that one large tree can supply a day’s worth of oxygen for four people.  What happens if we keep cutting the trees without replanting and suddenly there aren’t enough plants to produce the amount of oxygen needed to sustain life on Mother Earth?

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I want everyone to think about something for a minute.  Yeah maybe I am crazy however, what if Mars once looked like Mother Earth.  Oceans, rivers, mountain streams, vast forest land, occupied by some greedy, uncaring inhabitants.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  Remember to spread the love.

 

It’s Your Life; Who’s In Charge

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“Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to.  We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be.  We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.” – David B Wirthlin

In the picture above the river represents your life and the dam represents control. Who/what controls your life.

Old cowboy saying, “A woman finds her a man she wants and says I can change him.  A cowboy finds a woman he wants and says I hope she never changes.”

So many things  can control your life and you may not even know.  Drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex can all become a control issue. Most of the time they are pretty obvious to your friends and family and garner a lot of attention sometimes resulting in one getting help.

There is one form of control that literally breaks my heart.  Low self esteem.  It can make you a prisoner in your own world.  Some people don’t even realize they have it.  If you were bullied in school, had abusive parents, always ridiculed and never complimented or parents that never interacted or did things with you, then you probably battle with low self esteem.  Good news  is that if you are, you don’t have to.  With the help of some family members, friends and YOU, YOU can heal yourself.

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These wildflowers are representative of a new beginning.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are one that suffers from low self esteem, to beat it you have to restore your self confidence.  You have to quit listening to others and believe in yourself.  You are somebody.  You are beautiful.  You are a good person.

It’s not gong to be an easy row to hoe.  You are going to have to be strong and unwavering.  Create yourself a negative free environment and begin a healing process.  Surround yourself with positive friends and family and seek out a good counselor.  All these people will be good for you.  Again I stress you have to believe in yourself and take control of your life.

For those of you that have an addiction, you will have to use a little different approach but you can get control of your life back.  Surround yourself with positive people and again, find yourself a good counselor.  Set realistic goals and don’t lose sight of them and don’t ever give up.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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