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Monday, December 26, 2011


Don't Be Afraid -- You Might Actually Win!

Last week I posted about the holidays.  Not to be partial to my own faith and stripe, but I'd like to go back to the historical description of the Chanukah story.  Pretty interesting tale, considering our friends in the Greek Orthodox community have never ONCE claimed that the story offended their ethnic heritage in any way.  One would think that during Chanukah, none of us would be able to set foot in Astoria, Queens, much less order any baklava.  Instead, it appears that they've sort of shrugged it off, and left us to enjoy our latkes in peace!  :)

But the reason I discuss it is because the Maccabees were not the favorites to win that war.  Not by a long shot.  Most of the Jewish population was loving the new Hellenstic ways, and wanted to be absorbed in them.  They had a much smaller force than the Greeks, and most likely lacked the same training that their soldiers had.

But the Maccabees were not afraid.  They knew only that they wanted to stay true to their faith and not permit further desecration of the Temple.  They might lose, but they also might actually win.

So should it be with us.  Do you have a shot to make a big change?  To win a big case?  To earn a big payday?  But is there a possibility it might not happen in spite of your effort?  Do it anyway!  If you've prepared for a possible loss, then there's no real cost involved.  But what if you WIN? 

It does happen, believe it or not.  It's just better if you believe.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Special Holiday Season Post!

Happy Holidays -- Please!

Sunday night, friends and neighbors!  Time to share with all some thoughts on the upcoming December holidays!

This month, those of us who were raised with a Judeo-Christian upbringing encounter the second of two occurrences in the year when two quasi-religious festivals that coincide chronologically, but represent different traditions, are celebrated.  That is to say, it's one of the rare occasions where Judeo- and -Christian are de-hyphenated and separated.

Let's review. 


Chanukah (also known as Hannukah, Hanukkah, Channukah, Chanukkah (Jodie how do you get the app for Hebrew letters again?), and the Festival of Lights) is celebrated by Jews to commemorate the events in the First Book of Maccabees.  Ironically, this book is not included in the Jewish Bible, which had already been canonized when these events took place, and is instead in the Apocrypha.

A Greek ruler, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, was given control over Jerusalem, desecrated the Holy Temple, attempted to completely suppress the practice of Judaism, and to completely Hellenize the population.  The sons of the High Priest, Mattathias, including Judah Maccabee, staged a military campaign against the Greeks to defend and protect the faith, emerged victorious, and rededicated the Temple (too bad they had to form an alliance with the Romans to get it done).  Legend says that there was not enough oil to light the lamps in the Temple for even one day, but after it had been re-dedicated, it lit the lamp for eight days instead. 

The theme of this holiday is to resist conformity, to refuse to be dominated by oppressors, and to be courageous.  It's celebrated by lighting the menorah eight nights in a row, giving & receiving presents, and eating latkes and applesauce (sometimes sour cream, that's my thing) and jelly donuts (what, no chocolate?).  All in all, not the major huge holiday that Passover is, but it's celebrated nonetheless, and the message is certainly not lost on this blogger!


Christmas celebrates the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ to Mary.  The two accounts of this occasion, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, indicate that the birth took place in a manger, which may or may not have been in the midst of farm animals.  It is the second-most important holiday in all Christian denominations, as the birth of this Son of G-D to a human mother is the first of several miracles that are said to reveal G-D's love to the world, and the foundation of all permutations of Christianity that would eventually follow.

(yes, some of them celebrate this holiday in January, but that's not important right now).

The celebration of these two holidays have given rise to a certain degree of awkwardness, that many have attempted to remedy by simply merging both holidays into a generic December/winter-solstice celebration to make sure nobody gets "offended" or left out, or made to feel disloyal in some way.  I can still remember songs being replaced from an elementary school's holiday concert for just that reason.  The terms used to describe an office party likewise become homgenized and genericized to avoid ruffling feathers.

Rather than continue in this politically correct mishmash, I propose a different approach -- celebrate the underlying MESSAGES of both holidays, and how they coincide, and not contradict!  They BOTH stand for NEW BEGINNINGS, and declarations of SELF-IDENTITY!


Just look at them:  Chanukah celebrates a new beginning for Judaism by removing a corrupting influence, despite the fact that most of the Jews actually wanted the corrupting influence to continue.  Christmas celebrates a new beginning because a savior and redeemer was born, half human and half diety, just ready to start one of the most influential lives ever lived.  Until he met the end of his human life in his early 30's, he would face an onslaught of corrupting influences, and inspire those around him to resist them without the need to take up arms.

Now that I've found and isolated the common thread between both festivals, what exactly am I planning to do with it?  Glad you asked . . . .

I am not suggesting that any of you dispense with family traditions, of course.  But my proposal would be to merge Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year's into a two-week nonsectarian festival of New Beginnings.  Is it any accident that both holidays are perched so perilously close to January 1st?  Let's make the timing work for us!

Let's go easy on the list of what you want to give/receive in terms of material gifts -- instead, make a list of new beginnings!  How will you cleanse the temple that is your life?  Will you restore it to the joy and peace you knew in childhood?  Will you remove negativity, obsessions, and old habits from your sanctuary and replace them with things worth venerating?

Or better yet, will this be a year to start a whole new life?  I mean from the ground up, from the beginning forward?  Can you get past everything that happened before that held you back and make this a Day One instead?

Not to toot my own horn, but I think we may have discovered the "true meaning" of the "holiday season" -- to start a new beginning!

Ummmm, yeaaaahhh Daaaave???  Isn't this what you already posted about for the Jewish New Year?

Ummmm, no it isn't.  Those posts were about forgiveness, while this one is simply about beginning again.  No requirement to atone here -- only a desire to start from Square One!
And while you're repeating "Seasons' Greetings," "Happy Holidays," and whatever other greetings gets tossed around for the next few weeks, let's put this one on for size:


May you and yours have a Happy New Beginning!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Post For The Office Xmas Party!

Office Party!

I've been speaking about holiday traditions that I'm not a fan of, but this week, I'd like to discuss a tradition that has stood the test of time for those of us in the white-collar realm: The Office Xmas Party!

For five (or more) days every week, we see our co-workers out of necessity, when questions need answers and deadlines must be met. When stress is on the rise, and the bottom line is primary, it's not always fun and games like it is at Dunder Mifflin, I assure you. We got cases to win, cases to resolve, and clients to keep happy!

But all that changes once a year at the holiday party! That's our chance to knock back a few! To socialize with our clientele in a relaxed and easygoing setting. To live, baby live! And for some of us, to "bust a move" with no fear of embarrassment or repercussions!

Little disappointed that the DJ neglected to introduce my jam, "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground, into the mix, but I still managed. Would have been fun to ruin the image and style that you're used to -- and one of these years they'll add a karaoke machine, and I'll bring the old stylings of Humpty (a/k/a Shock G) to life!

So without the rap/club equivalent of "They Call Him The Streak" being played, I went into my techno trance. Not enough to turn heads, thank goodness, but enough to keep the rhythm going for hours on end!

Yes, your fearless blogger needed to cut loose. And once every blue moon it's OK to do with my co-workers. I consider them my teammates, my compadres, my brothers and sisters in arms. Although some may consider me the guru of my own self-governing fiefdom, I look to many of them for advice, and am never disappointed. So this camaraderie should naturally ascend to the next level of partying just as hard as we work!

So it filled me with some holiday cheer. So much that the next morning, on only 6 hours of sleep, I ran a 6-kilometer race in Brooklyn at a pace of 7:30 per mile. Who says that you can't carb up on Coors Light?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Sunday night, all, you know what that means!

Careful How You Handle It!

Hey all --

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know that my link to a picture posted by a friend mine sort of says it all:  "Never sacrifice who you are just because someone else has a problem with it."

As we get closer to 2012, I can only hope that we all can abide by this all-too-simple rule of life.  When other people have problems with us simply being who we are, they lead us to a crossroads:  Should we admit that they know best, and that we're just simply subpar individuals who don't deserve respect?  Or should we refuse to let them beat us just because they have issues?

The sad fact is that no matter how nice we are, how friendly we are, how good-looking or popular we might be (if that's the case), or how wealthy and "on top of things" we are, not everyone will like us.  Even if you do nothing wrong at all, someone else may very well still have a problem with you, simply because they don't like you.

Guess what, that's their right.  Nobody is forcing you to love and worship people you don't like, so how can you expect them to shower you with love?  If they don't like you, that's their business.  Thing is, it's only their business -- don't buy into it!

Also, they need to realize that such dislike must also be tempered with respect.  That means they don't have the right to bash you, bully you, isolate you, defame you, or harass you.  If they are, you must set them straight and protect yourself.

That being said, as I've previously mentioned in this blog, we don't live in a comic book, or in a Sylvester Stallone movie.  We can't whip out a Jesse Ventura gun and kill them all when they screw with us.  Sometimes we have to use our heads first. 

It might be that if you stand your ground against some miscreant or gangster, and you don't keep your head, you might find yourself without money or a place to live.  If that's the case, you must either (a) temporarily take it on the chin, while actively finding a new source of income or a new home; or (b) be prepared to do without income or a home for an indefinite period of time, while continuing to find a better life. 

There are many of us out there who re-define the words "tough" and "resilient," and have no problem choosing choice (b).  However, common sense tells me that choice (a), despite the fact that it forces us to temporarily endure treatment we don't deserve, is the smarter choice to make.  This is because it prevents us from allowing our aggression to ruin the entire situation. 

And let's be objective:  As intolerable as bullying is, and always will be, life could still be worse.  You're not in a concentration camp, you haven't had limbs removed from your body, and you're not in jail.  Imagine how it would feel if you were in either of those messes!

At the very least, choice (a) gives you time to think:  Time to plan your next response, your next maneuver, and your next counterstrike.  And you can also plan for what the main character in "Quantum Leap" forever searched for:  the final leap home!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going soft on the bullies and thugs who try to siphon off our self-esteem and usurp our power.  I'm telling you all to be smart in your dealings with them.  If they have enough legitimate power to hurt you, no matter how right you are, then be careful.  You won't be sacrificing who you are by any means.  If anything, you'll be preserving your rights to continue being who you are, free from those who don't think anything's wrong with disrespecting you.  Just watch yourself to make sure that they, and not you, are on the receiving end of something unpleasant!

Feel free to comment, all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Post For The End Of The Year!

Last Mile Of The Year!

Bloggin' time, bloggin' time, across the U.S.A., bloggin' time, bloggin' time, yeah yeah yay!

Yes, people, it's Sunday night, and you know what that means!  There already was a post about Black Friday, which some of you all enjoyed, but that's not knocking me off track!

Our friends who braved late-night mob scenes and come home with their hard-won bounty, without spending too much booty, may be ready for the holiday season.  But are we as ready as they are?

I don't mean, have you bought all your presents yet.  I already said that can be done next week, if you're so inclined.  When I say ready, I don't mean whether you've gained all you need to gain.  I mean, have you gotten rid of everything you need to get rid of?

Have you gotten rid of the clothes that are too small to fit you?  Or, if you're a runner like me, have you gotten rid of the clothes that are too large to fit you?  Either donate them or chuck them.

Did you make good on all those New Years' Resolutions you made in January?  Or at least two of them?  Cross them off your list!

Was there a conflict with someone?  Is it no longer happening?  Are you still replaying it in your head, like you're in the team's projection room?  Time to dump it and make room for next year's episodes!

Are there friends on Facebook who ignore you?  Are there other people who IM or e-mail you when you don't have the time or the inclination to chat?  That's why some genius invented the Unfriend button, and some other genius invented the Block button -- toss 'em!

We're heading towards the finish line of 2011, people.  Like I said in an earlier entry, we don't need anyone or anything riding piggy back on our shoulders, weighing us down and planting negative and self-hating thoughts in our heads if we're running a race.  Lose the unnecessary baggage!  Throw it in the garbage!  You'll hit that finish line so fast you won't know you had it in you!!!  You don't need any of that crapola in 2012, so why hold onto it?

So here comes December, the last leg of this race -- make it a good one . . . and have a happy holiday season, no matter how you celebrate it!

Don't forget to comment!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving -- A Post About Thanksgiving and Black Friday!

Day And Night -- A Thanksgiving Post

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  A completely American holiday!  An old friend of mine on Facebook recently described how this day should be considered the perfect holiday:  no annoying music, nobody getting drunk, no exclusion based on religion, and the option of watching three football games featuring some of the best teams in the NFL!

I've commented in the past how Thanksgiving appeared to be evolving into a two-day holiday, following the lead set by Jews in the western hemisphere, who celebrated several holidays that had originally been celebrated as one day, for two.  However, it appears that the retail industry has taken advantage of this trend, to the point of infringing on the holiday itself.  Accordingly, this expected two-day holiday is splitting into two completely separate halves, and they couldn't be more different than day and night.

"Black Friday" has become the unofficial first shopping day of the Christmas/Holiday season.  When this term because part of our culture, there was the understanding that this would be the opportunity for all the aggressive early-bird types to buy all the gifts they needed for Chanukah/Christmas/Kwanzaa as soon as Thanksgiving was over, to avoid the last-minute insanity of buying gifts on Christmas Eve itself (those who celebrate Chanukah, an 8-day holiday, could argue that the gifts could be given on the last night, and not the first night, but that only delays and extends the last-minute insanity).

Most retail outlets would acknowledge these early birds by opening their stores early.  Maybe at 7am, maybe at 6 am.  That is to say, at dawn, or maybe a few minutes beforehand, on the morning of the day AFTER Thanksgiving.

So what do we now have this year?  Stores opening at 3 a.m.  Not good enough?  2 a.m.  Still not content to camp outside in tents until then?  Midnight at Target (tar-ZHAY)!  But now, thanks to Walmart, Best Buy, and Geek Squad, we have the final insult -- 10 pm on Thanksgiving ITSELF!

Employees had to put the kabosh on their own Thanksgiving dinner, and all the happiness that goes with it, for the sake of material things!  Early-bird types were now prepping to go to retail malls and outlets late at night, or in the "wee small hours of the morning," to grab the best deals they could off the shelves, with the knowledge that if they were not fast enough, someone else could yank it away from them.

Excuse me . . . is this not the same insanity that the idea of Black Friday was intended to prevent?  Shopping for presents at insane hours??  Whatever happened to the image of being thankful for what we've already been given -- have we rejected that so quickly to grab and snatch what we don't already have???

Even if Thanksgiving one day becomes a two-day holiday, let's please make it two days of Thanksgiving, and NOT Black Thursday And Friday.  Yes, it certainly is a tradition to give gifts to loved ones during the December celebrations that follow Thanksgiving, but it's not a life-or-death obligation!  Gift-giving is meant to make the holidays happier and more enjoyable, and not to usurp, overtake, or obliterate the true meaning of the holiday!

So my recommendation is this:  The day after Thanksgiving, if you don't have to work, use it as you would any other vacation day.  Sleep late!  If you want to make sure you're not forgetting to buy gifts for the loved ones in your life, wait until the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving.  If you can't wait that long, do it the SUNDAY after Thanksgiving!  The recipients of your gifts will (hopefully) be a thousand times more concerned with the thought that went into your choice of gift than the manner in which it was obtained (or how much it cost you).

As I said above, the tradition of gift-giving at this time of the year is meant to make the holidays happier and more enjoyable.  What you choose to give is not a measure of who you are as a person, and neither is the price of the gift you purchased.  However, there are still those who think of gift-giving as a mandatory requirement and a dollar-for-dollar obligation, and continue to use it as an excuse for demeaning tit-for-tat attitudes towards others.  As a result, the joy of gift-giving is sometimes ruined because it becomes something that is motivated less by caring and happiness, and more by a desire to appease someone else.  All I'll say on that subject is that those of us who choose to express our friendship, affection, and love for others through gifts are welcome to do so because they choose to give that way, not because some unseen force tells us we MUST purchase it at 2am to get the best dealnot because "everyone's doing it,"  not to make ourselves look good, and not so we can demand something from the recipient later!  It's a gift, not an obligation -- that means that the recipient is not required to reciprocate anything.  If they choose to do so, that's great -- but it's their decision to do so, and not yours!

In conclusion, let's remember that the message of Thanksgiving should temper the gift-giving season with a little wisdom.  We cannot be defined by gifts.  Gifts are important, but the people in your life matter a thousand times more than gifts do.  The fact that we have these people in our lives, and that they hopefully love us as much as we love them, is the greatest gift that there is, and it cannot be priced or put on sale like material objects.  If you really wanted to rush out there and snag all the gifts you could, I'm glad I didn't stop you.  However, life would be a little more balanced if we rushed out to be kind and respectful to others just as quickly and just as intently as we did when a corporate giant told us to buy something when we should have been sleeping.

DISCLAIMER:  The above post was not meant to impede or decry our capitalist system, to state that gifts should never be purchased, or to imply that anyone who looks forward to receiving gifts in December is wrong.  Any misperception of insults or besmirchings is entirely the responsibility of the reader of this message, and the author bears no responsibility for same.

For those who read and like this blog, I am thankful for you.  Just as I am already thankful for my health, my earnings, my family, and my friends, I am thankful for you.  Please keep reading, and don't be afraid to comment!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hey All -- A Running-Related Blog About Controlling Negative Thoughts!

Don't Hulk Out!

Of course, I'm not referring to the former WWF champion who told kids to "say their prayers and eat their vitamins," and threatened to have Hulkamania run wild on his opponents.  I mean that brainchild of Stan Lee who turned into a green-skinned giant whenever he got angry!

Lately I've been talking about things that should make us angry, specifically bullies and the enablers who keep them around.  The anger they inspire should manifest itself in action:  to set boundaries, to grow backbones, to reject and condemn those who (still) expect to get away with it, and to eliminate it from our lives.  But what if you're feeling anger for the same of anger, ranting for the sake of ranting, and hate for the sake of hate -- with no constructive purpose to use it for????

You're in trouble, that's what!

If you sit in a dark room by yourself, thinking only about things that make you angry, and don't do anything about it, you've introduced a parasite into your psyche.  You have injected a tapeworm into your brain and allowed it to eat away at everything that would otherwise be healthy and positive.  You have transformed your anger into resentment, which can kill you just like smoking or overeating can:  it's a disgusting habit that slowly erodes everything good -- the difference being that smoking and overeating destroy the body, while resentment destroys your mind, your soul, and your personality.

Psychologists describe resentment as the result of suppressed or repressed anger.  The only way to prevent resentment is to use it properly.  It is a weapon meant to be used from a position of strength to make needed changes.  It is not a crutch, it is not an excuse, and it is not permission for you to do or say things that hurt those who don't deserve it.  If you think it is, you're putting your own psyche through a meat-grinder!

So what if you're someplace where you can't get rid of it at the moment?  Keep thinking about it at that moment, you'll get distracted and sloppy, you'll lose your focus and your energy, and the source of your anger will (yet again) get off scot-free!

Being a long-distance runner, let me use the marathon as an example.  The marathon is the ultimate endurance exercise for your body and your mind.  You train your body by constant activity, putting it through the distance and time it will take to finish the rate.  You also train your mind for the same thing.  That means you visualize turning on your speed at Mile 18.  That means you think about friends or family who will call at your name and hold up big signs on the course!  And that means you DO NOT think about whether your time is too slow, whether you shut the oven off, whether you missed a deadline at work, or whether someone made you angry and you wish you could tell them off right then and there.  And if ANY of those thoughts are creeping into your head, scuffing your shoes, or slowing your stride, TURN THEM OFF, OR YOU'LL FIND YOURSELF LIMPING TO THE FINISH LINE TOMORROW WHILE EVERYONE ELSE HAS GONE HOME!

In other words, tell yourself to "stop," and then for the next minute or two, don't think about anything.  Maybe slow your pace to a jog while doing this, but whatever you need to do, get it out of your head.  You're running a marathon, and that's not a time to be carrying excess baggage.  Get your head in the race, and not up somewhere else!  ;)

If those malcontents and jabroni's knew that you were giving them a piggy-back ride to the finish line, they'd probably laugh out loud because they won (again)!  And if you're doing something else you like other than that, imagine how bad it would be giving them a free lunch, or a free hotel stay in your head.  Thinking about anyone or anything that makes you mad while you're trying to do something that you enjoy is ridiculous.  Once you're able to do something about it, you pull the trigger, but they don't get to have your thoughts when it's your time, and not them!

Don't misread me, I'm not saying that anger is better when it's repressed, far from it!  What I'm saying is that your anger must be controlled, harnessed, and dominated, because IT WORKS FOR YOU, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!  When it's the wrong time, turn it off.  When it's the right time, and you're using it the right way, then and only then, TURN IT ON AND GO DEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU decide when the anger comes out, and YOU decide when to keep it together.  Times when the source of your anger is not present and not causing you trouble, directly or indirectly, is when you keep it together.  Times that they are crossing a line, and they are talking trash, and they are expecting to perform yet another action without a consequence, DON'T HOLD BACK, MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When you're mature, you pick your battles and the times you fight them, and not the other way around.  It's your mind, it's your life, it's your manhood.  Show them all who's boss and make them do their jobs right!  You can't control all the gangsters in this world, but you can, and must, control you.

I'd like to thank two of my toughest critics for this one.  Please feel free to comment!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hey Guys -- During Halftime, Check Out This Week's Post!

Get Up and Go Deep!

Hey All!

We're continuing with our transition from righteous anger at those who've wronged us to satisfaction and self-actualization.  There are miles to go before we rest (ha ha, running humor), but let's get to it.

To expound a little bit on what I've said earlier, once the battle against those is finished (got attacked, responded within 24-hour statute of limitations, told them off, got respect), there's another stage to get past . . . not the just respect of others, but the respect of yourself!

When we have our minds focused on a conflict ahead of us, we think about how to beat our adversary logically and systematically, with just enough anger/fury/rage not to let them get away with anything.  That anger/fury/rage can sometimes mean the difference between a win and a loss, as long as you control the anger, and it doesn't control you.

So what happens when the battle is over?  If we lost, we might be angry with ourselves, and that's when we really get into trouble.  Our opponents can, and should, get angry with us and maybe smear us a little, if they expect to win.  We cannot, and MUST not, do that to ourselves!  We'll be giving our opponents free passes that they never even asked for!!!

As another blogger I've linked to likes to say that we should not be our own worst critics.  Rather, we should be our own biggest fans!  Check his blog at

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be objective about our weaknesses and mistakes, and that we shouldn't learn from them.  It means that we should be tough on our opponents, and gentle and forgiving with ourselves.  It means we don't whip ourselves like that albino monk in The DaVinci Code!  It means if we get knocked down, we don't smack ourselves in the head for letting it happen, chew ourselves out for being stupid, or think about how wrong we are.  It means WE GET UP!!!!

We've already learned that bullying is wrong and bullies should be punished -- but now that we've gotten up, and gotten past that, we keep going.  We get ready for what's next, stronger and wiser.  We aim our anger that way, not back this way!

And what, pray tell, do we do if there's actually not a fight in front of us?  No opponent to dismantle, no argument to refute, and no emperor to overthrow?  No argument to win, no besmircher to resmirch, and no jabroni to layeth the smacketh down upon?

Does it even happen that way????   YES, PEOPLE IT DOES MORE OFTEN THAN YOU THINK!  Not everything is a fight!

So what then?  You smile.  You laugh.  You tell jokes!  If you're like me, you do impressions too, because they're a riot!

You get your friends and have a rockin' good time!  You talk to your family and talk about everything that's going right, and save the depressing crapola for another time!  If you have someone special in your life, you show them that they're special because you know they're special, with prompting or reminders! 

And if you don't have someone special, and would like one, let it happen!  That doesn't mean going to clubs and showing off your Rico Suaveness if you're not comfortable doing so (if you are, don't let me stop you, but please!)  It means that you present yourself with confidence and respect in everything you do, even the way you get lunch from the deli or zip onto the subway before the doors close.  It means you don't throw hissy fits if the train is late or if people annoy you.  Just put your best foot forward without being a "desperado," as my sister calls guys who "desperately" need women, and you'll get one!  And once you get one, make it worth your while!

It's two very simple methods. During wartime, GET UP, and in peace, GO DEEP!

Feel free to comment, and let's go JETS!!!!

In fact, don't only comment, but give me a high sign and a vote of confidence.  I know I've got my regular readers out there, thank you very much, but unless someone hits the "like" button on Facebook, I've got no clue that my stuff is well received.  What would you like to read more of?  Is my shift from rebellion against abuse to living with self-respect a welcome one?  And more importantly, where are my young men and boys that I want to read this stuff?

Help a guy out -- thanks!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Congratulations to everyone who ran in the NYC Marathon today -- this one's fur you!

The Marathon Of Life: Don't Look Back, But Don't Move Too Fast

Today is the New York City Marathon.  The TV coverage may be ending to make room for football, but I know from experience that the race is still going strong.


This weekend, I visited a close friend of mine.  This person is a regular reader of my blog, and a fan.  However, she also belongs to that "we don't care" crowd I've been talking about recently -- those people who think that nobody should react to bullying, or even mention that it might have occurred if it happened more than two seconds ago.  Whenever they hear that someone's being wronged, their reaction is always "why are you obsessing over it, it doesn't bother me, let it go, you can't change people, who cares, etc., etc."

As you may have seen, I don't agree with this worldview in the slightest.  However, I have great respect for those who have this opinion, because they seem to be much happier and live much more satisfying lives.

During one of our many lively (but respectful) debates, she brought up an analogy that got me to step back and think a little bit.  She believed that when people talk about bullying, that they're fixated on something that happened in the past.  By way of analogy, she discussed the marathon.  She reminded me that I've run the marathon before, and that my goal was to come away with the fastest time that I could.  However, if I kept stopping along the way to say, "But this happened at Mile 2, and this happened at Mile 5, I forgot this and I forgot that," I'd come away with a very slow and unsatisfactory time.

She does have a point.  I certainly would never run a race that way.  Moreover, if I thought only about the past, and spent no time thinking about what was in front of me or which way I was going, I'd be stunted.  I'd be unable to move, unable to think, and unable to grow or learn in any way.

Earlier in this blog, I've discussed the 24-Hour Statute of Limitations.  Believe it or not, my friend's advice is completely congruent with that concept.  The 24-Hour Rule prevents us from looking backwards out of necessity.  It forces us to confront those who wrong us promptly, and forces us not to nurse grudges or hold onto unfinished business.  It's basically a "now or never" rule of dealing with life.

(of course, it is a 24-Hour rule, not a 24-Second rule, there is a small amount of time to deal with these things, but my point is, you don't hold onto it indefinitely)

But let me expound upon this rule a bit.  Life only goes in one direction, much like today's marathon.  You can't run it backwards or sideways.  If you have wounds from the past, you must let them heal, but once they've started healing, stop picking at them!  They'll get infected, and infect your outlook on life!

That being said, a top female runner in today's marathon taught us all a lesson about going too fast when you move forward. 


Right from the start of the race, she led.  I mean she put at least a mile between herself and the rest of the pack.  It was unreal!  But, as the sportscasters noticed, she got slower as she got closer to the finish line.  This allowed two other runners to close in on her, and for the both to pass her with one mile left!

Meanwhile, on the men's side, a pack of about 8 runners stuck close to each other until mile 20.  At that point, someone decided to break away from the pack and made the play for the finish line.  Since he had stayed patient, he had stored up enough energy to make it a 6-mile race more than a marathon!

My friend still has the idea that just forgetting about it solves all issues.  Only problem is, even if you do want to move on and get past things, you can't just sprint for it without a second thought. 

Maybe she can, because she's a real tough one.  But the rest of us, as a matter of fact, can't just let it go that fast.  Sometimes, our problems and feelings are so deeply ingrained, that it could take months or longer to just "let it go."  Sometimes people are not ready to just "get over it" cold turkey.  Maybe they shouldn't do it lickety-split if they're not ready to do so.  If they try it, the pain and hurt might catch up to them and beat them.

So how can we get past prior harms, and achieve the same level of satisfaction as our counterparts, if we're not at that level yet?  You go at your own pace, as long as you keep going.

Every day, reposition your thoughts and your attitude away from the horror stories of the past.  Focus them on what's in front of you and ahead of you.  If you have to take baby steps instead of giant steps, so be it.  Just don't stop moving forward.  If you start out doing it slowly, you'll eventually get faster, just like the men's winner of the marathon.  If you commit the unpardonable sin of "going out too fast," however, you might not have enough "juice" left for the end of the race to make it really count.


Today's marathon can teach us a lot about increasing or repairing our self-esteem.  Although I've blogged at length about the scourge of bullying and how we need to impose consequences against the offenders, the blog is intended for those who are being victimized now, and not in the past.  If someone wronged you long ago, you are responsible for healing your own pain, not for continuing to hurt yourself.  If you need to heal it slowly and easily, then that's what you do.  Give yourself a nice, comfortable pace, and then when you're ready to do so, start racing!  Just as long as you keep moving towards the finish line, and not back towards the starting line, you will win!


Please feel free to comment!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween One Day Early!

Halloween Costumes

Halloween, everyone's favorite pagan holiday!  Putting on costumes, bobbing for apples, telling ghost stories, nothing but fun!

So who will you be for Halloween?  Iron Man?  Green Lantern?  President Obama?  The Rock?

Chances are you'll want to be someone who's famous, or possibly infamous.  Someone colorful, happening, and hot!  Someone cool, snazzy, and jazzy!  Someone who can be the life of the party!

That's fun.

After that's over, and November begins, who will you be then?

Maybe you could be someone who deserves to be famous, and not infamous.  Maybe you could be someone who's colorful, happening, hot, cool, snazzy, jazzy, money, etc., you get the idea.

That is to say, instead of dressing up and pretending to be someone else, you could be yourself, and be happy about it.  Maybe put on your "costume" every morning before you go to work, etc., with a few generous repetitions of the Four Pillars to get you in the right frame of mind.  Same thing in the evening if you're about to have a night on the town. 

Even if it's just going to the office, or even just going out grocery shopping.  Put on your own costume and be yourself!

The sad thing is, my father tried to give me this piece of advice, to no avail, when I was young and learned that I had a talent for imitating other people's voices.  I was a regular Rich Little (and I sometimes still am).  Any voice I heard, I could duplicate.  And while he grew to appreciate this talent, he would sometimes let me know when he'd had his fill of it and ask me, "what does your voice sound like?  And when do we get to hear it?"

So now that I'm somewhat more mature, I save the many impressions for those who will most likely be impressed by them, but I also take the opportunity to speak with my voice, and put on my costume.

So to all my friends and loved ones, particularly those who will be taking children trick or treating, have a Happy and Safe Halloween.  But starting Tuesday, put the fake costumes away, and put on your real ones!

Feel free to comment!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sorry I Missed You All Last Week -- Here's The First of Two Entries!

Catching Up!

Sorry all, missed last week, but I'm still around.  I'll just have to give you all a double portion for Halloween, how's that sound?

Yes, as I said in my October 17 post, I'm trying to expand the content from not only ragging on bullies, predators, and punks-who-get-away-with-it (don't breathe a sigh of relief, gangsters, I'm not done with you yet), to basic self-improvement and self-empowerment.  In doing so, I referred to a group known as the "we don't care" crowd.

These people do not have the same desire that we, or I, have to stamp out bullying in all its forms.  Rather, they choose to let slings and attacks fall away like water off of a duck's back, and say things like "it doesn't bother me, why obsess over it, I can't change them, who cares," and so on and so forth.  A very prominent member of this group recognized her thoughts in this post and let me know she had read it, in a good-natured way!  :)

However, as I explained to her, I was not trying to bury the "we don't care" crowd.  Of course, I wasn't completely praising them either.  I was instead showing a certain amount of respect to them.  Although they don't know what it's like to have low self-esteem, and their way of thinking doesn't always help those who do, they seem to have found a secret that the rest of us have yet to uncover.

For some reason, our apathetic and impermeable friends do not feel pain from others' attacks.  This is in no small part because their self-esteem issues are inverse to ours:  they actually have some.  They already know that when people mouth off to them, that they're full of it, and don't know what they're talking about.   They already know that they cannot be turned into what bullies think of them because they don't grant the bullies any power.  They don't get offended by what the bullies say because, in their minds, whatever the bullies say to them is internally translated as, "I need to insult you because it's the only way to cope with my own shortcomings, and because I know I can't hold a candle to you."  Or maybe because those who try to bully them come off as so pathetic and nonthreatening to be perceived as comical.

That's really the key right there:  They don't grant the bullies any power!  When we have low self-esteem, it's only too easy to grant bullies power because we keep forgetting that we have our own!

Remember that you have just as much power as they do, if not more!  The "we don't care" crowd has been storing, conserving, and accumulating power while we've been draining ours.  We need to get up to speed and power up big time!

How you figure?  I refer you all once again to the Four Pillars:  I Exist, I Matter, I Belong, I Deserve.  The "we don't care" types already know this about themselves, and always have.  Since they don't need to have that general concept of self reinforced, this blog is not meant for their perusal.  It is we, the mere mortals of this realm, who need to be reminded of our own self-worth in order to reach the same level as our "with-it" and "together" compatriots.

But DON'T misunderstand me.  This does not negate everything else I've been talking about.  And, once again,  it does not let the bullies and gangsters of this world off the hook for their crimes and misdemeanors.  What I am saying is that with the Four Pillars, and their continuous repetition and reinforcement, you will be at a stronger vantage point to deal with the constant adversaries we all face.  Fight them by generating your own power, not by giving them more of their own to use!  And continue to fight them by seeking punishment and consequences for their misdeeds!

(but, but why?  If they don't bother you, why would you WANT to punish them?  Why do you care?)

That is still the one difference that remains between us and our resilient comrades:  WE know how the pain feels, and THEY never will.  It is not an issue that affects them, but it most definitely affects us.  This is why we must fight this battle on two fronts:  to promote and increase our own power, and to dismantle and cancel that of our adversaries.

And by the way, for some amazing anti-bullying advice, check out the anti-bully blog posted by Dr. Benjamin Leichtling: 

Feel free to comment, as always!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Morning Post -- Moving On To The Next Level.

Moving On To The Next Level

Good Morning Gents --

Fell asleep a bit early last night, so you've got a post early Monday morning instead.

A lot of my content has been focused on how bullies should be punished for their actions and their attitudes.  Don't worry, I'm not going soft on them anytime soon!
But let's say they all do get their just desserts:  They get fired, sued, arrested, beaten to a pulp, even executed, if the law requires.  What then?

Is it really over yet?  Wouldn't you like it to be?

Chances are, you're not willing to end it even when it's over.  Maybe the hurt, anger, pain, and resentment just keeps replaying itself in your mind.  Maybe you feel like killing the bully, burying him, digging him up, and killing him all over again.  When you do this, you're stuck.  You're not moving forward.  You're actually bullying yourself, because you're preventing the bully from being silenced.

The only times to deal with those attacking you are (a) before a confrontation happens, to make sure you're prepared, and (b) when it's actually occurring.  Dealing with it once it's all said and done, unless you're preparing for something that will happen shortly, doesn't help. 

Anyone remember that feeling after a big exam in school?  Oh man, I didn't write what I should have written!  Oh no, I should've added that additional thing!  What was I thinking?  That might be how it feels after the tormentor has left the arena and you're left with things you didn't say.  When that happens, you kick yourself thinking that you should've said this and that, etc.

What can you do with that thought?  NOTHING, but wallow in despair!  Keep thinking that, and you're practically slamming your fingers in a door again and again and again! 

I know why it happens, too.  Because we're probably used to people who get off on scolding, criticizing, and pointing out our mistakes for their own fun and self-gratification.  Youuuuuuuu did this wrong, youuuuuuu didn't get it right, youuuuuuuuuuuuu screwed up! (always with a smug little smile, too, don'tcha love that?)

No, actually, we don't love that.  So if Little Mr. or Miss Perfect isn't in the room with you looking down their noses at you, why should you pretend he or she is?  Do you actually want them to be around at that moment?  Is the experience just not complete without someone to rub your nose in it?  You miss it?

ERASE it.  If you left something out, file it away, LEARN from it, and MOVE ON.  Save it for next time, if it is one, but do not let them keep bullying you even when they're not.

There do exist people in this world who think you should let these things go two seconds after a bullying experience ends.  Just act like it never even happened.  "I just let it go/they never bother me/I don't "obsess" over that/I don't waste my time/she is who she is/ who cares/etc., etc."  These people live happier lives, have clear consciences, and are overall healthier.  They also have no clue how it feels to have low self-esteem or to be the victim of bullying, so it's way too easy for them to say all of the above.  They don't have obstacles to get over, so they can't understand that we actually do.  Although they are better off in certain ways, they only have it half right.

They are absolutely correct that you shouldn't waste time thinking about those who have done us wrong when there's nothing that can be done about it.  They are absolutely incorrect in saying you should "just ignore it" or "don't obsess over it" when it's clear and obvious that the problem doesn't go away when you "just ignore it," but it will if you don't ignore it. 

So how can we tell the difference?  As irritating and as judgmental as the "we don't care" crowd may sound, they really are better off than we are.  They may not know (or even care) how it feels to be hurt like that, but they do know how to move on from something once it's over. 

Just remember that "before is better."  Before a problem occurs, you can rehearse, prepare, get yourself ready.  After it happens, you can't.  Once it's over, you can learn lessons, and place yourself in the "before" position for next time.  You can't go back and alter what was already done.  Trying to do so will hurt you even worse than the bully wanted to hurt you.  Why give them a victory lap to run around your head?

AT MOST, go someplace where you know that nobody can hear you, and let out one or two choice words.  If that's not enough to get it out of your system, wait till you can do some push ups or sit ups, run it off, hit the weights, or get it out some other way.  Just DON'T turn into a seething pile of oozing hatred who can't stop thinking about how wronged you just were.  Anger is only effective from a position of strength, and turning that anger inward can only sap it.

And so, on this Monday morning, let's move to the next level.  We can use our anger to shut these bullies down, one way or another.  But once you're finished with that process, think about something else.

Feel free to comment!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Now That We've All Atoned, Let's Keep It Going!

Keeping It Going!

Well, my fast went well.  Not to boast or brag, but I was so focused on all those thoughts of forgiveness and self-improvement that I didn't even think about how I hadn't eaten. 

The trick, however, is consistency.  Same as many other promises we make in life, they sound so sincere and so heartfelt when we say them, but as time marches on, the desire to do them consistently fades and erodes.

Well, that's not how it's gonna be with me this year.  I've got plans, and I know I'll keep them.  My plan includes getting this blog exposed and monetized, making more time for my wife & my marriage, and continuing to get respect per the Four Pillars.  To put in the training time I need for my next marathon, even if that means doing it in the wee small hours of the morning.  Also, making more time for friends and having fun!  And maybe a few extra hours of sleep in my spare time . . . :)

So will it be with you, gentlemen.  If last year didn't cut it, why do the same thing all over again?  You sure won't get any different results than before.  You may have already apologized to G-D, to others, and yourself for your past misdeeds -- where will you go from here?

Hopefully, you'll do better.  Instead of falling into the same traps you did before, you'll think and you'll listen.  Instead of wringing your hands and flagellating yourself over mistakes you made in the past (or worrying if some other shmo will bring it up and use it against you), you'll emotionally detach yourself from it and use it as reference material.  Signposts, if you will, to point you in the right direction and away from the wrong direction.  You don't follow those signposts, you'll get far worse than a ticket!

Emotional detachment is the hard part, no doubt.  Especially if you've been bullied in the past, or some other trauma has come your way, it's hard not to have feelings and emotions tied to mistakes.  You probably got used to someone else beating you over the head with them so many times, you learned to expect it coming!  Well guess what:  you don't have that coming anymore.  You're not a little boy, scheduled to get punished just because you make mistakes.  You're a thinker, who learns from mistakes and knows not to repeat them.  No amount of bullying or punishment is needed to get you to become that -- you get that way all by yourself, through your own intellect and your own experience!  As long as you know this, there's no reason to be emotionally involved!

And by the way, even if you stick with that, you will still make mistakes.  The difference is, if you keep your head on straight and learn from your old mistakes, you'll end up making new mistakes.  And that's not really such a bad thing.  If anything, those are learning opportunities that you just didn't have last year!  The difference, you'll use those new mistakes as new learning opportunities, and not as lightning rods for more criticism and punishment, and if someone does start with you over it, you'll be able to not allow them to bring you down because of it.

So here we are, the first day of the rest of your life, as they say.  Now is your chance to start putting your new plans into effect.  All you have to do is do it again tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the day after that.  You get the idea . . . just don't do it now because it was a "special occasion" and never do it again.

Peace, everyone -- and to those celebrating Columbus Day, follow his example:  If you know you're right about something, never let anyone else deride you, threaten you, or throw you off your game.  You may not have discovered what you expected, but odds are what you do discover could be just as amazing, if not more!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Message of Forgiveness For The Ten Days of Awe.

The Days Of Awe


Some of you may be aware that last week was the Jewish New Year, and this coming weekend is the Day of Atonement.  This is the time of year when many devout Jews take into account their deeds and misdeeds, their successes and failures, and their strengths and weaknesses.  Many of you might not celebrate these holidays, but what I've got to say about it may be worth a read.

During the Ten Days of Awe, G-D is said to take into account each person's conduct throughout the prior year, and to decide what events he or she will experience as a result of that conduct.  It is implied that if we've done wrong, we may face a comeuppance.  However, the liturgy of these days states that "Prayer, Righteousness, and Repentance avert (or lessen, depending on the translation) the severe decree." 

You've seen me blog about misdeeds before.  The Four Principles tell us that we Exist, Matter, Belong, and Deserve, but they don't tell us that we're perfect.  Unless one of you is a divine super-being from another world, and chose not to enlighten me to this fact, then it's pretty obvious that we've all made mistakes this past year.  We've all opened our mouths and put our feet in them.  We've all forgotten things we should have remembered, and obsessed over things that were completely irrelevant, to our detriment.  We've all gotten too big for our britches and put our own desires over others' needs.  And we've all gotten so incensed in the heat of a disagreement, that we've done or said things that should not have been done or said.

The liturgy gives us a road map that might persuade the Almighty to grant us forgiveness:

PRAYER -- this can take many forms.  For those who are traditional, this could mean attending morning synagogue services and wearing tefillin as a "sign upon your hand and as frontlets between your eyes (see Deuteronomy Chapter 6)."  Or maybe going to church, mass, temple or mosque, and reciting the appropriate supplications seeking forgiveness.  Or maybe just finding a quiet park bench, overlooking a lake , and seeking a personal connection with G-D.

There's no one sure-fire request to make of the Holy One, but I would borrow the recommendation a good friend of mine once made.  Think of how it feels when you're with a good friend, you tell a joke, and your friend laughs.  If you can go to the park bench described above, and you can sense that a good friend is already there, listening to you, you may have already made the connection.  Depending on your surroundings, either out loud or silently, just ask for it.  Ask to be forgiven.  Admit that you're only limited, and did the wrong thing, and that you want another chance.  There can never be any assurance of what the outcome will be, but if you don't ask, it's guaranteed you won't get.

RIGHTEOUSNESS -- this is a concerted effort to do the opposite of whatever mistakes you made last year.  Did you zag when you should have zigged?  Zig and zig hard.  Did you forget too many details?  Plug some notes into your iPhone so you'll remember.  Did you chew out a subordinate at work?  PRAISE your subordinates and praise them well

Did you insult someone just because you thought they were weaker or dumber than you?  Make respect and honor your watchwords, because you won't get that many free passes to do that.  Not on my watch, anyway.

This part is separate from the prayer component because most of us don't need guidance to know right from wrong.  Most of the time, we just know.  Abraham knew that it was wrong to try to kill his son Isaac.  However, because he received a commandment from on high, and didn't know where He was going with it, Abraham didn't have the gumption to refuse.  Many of us have found ourselves in that predicament because someone "cool" wanted us to do something that wasn't.  Righteousness means standing up to those who would have you do the wrong thing, consequences be damned, and saying NO.

REPENTANCE -- this is the tough part.  This means admitting to someone other than G-D that you wronged them, and promising not to go that route again.  Only problem is, to borrow a cliche from several action movies, G-D forgives, but many people don't.  Some of them see repentance as a sign of weakness, and an invitation to browbeat, to upbraid, to rub salt in wounds, to take advantage, and to put you down in order to make themselves look more righteous than they really are.

Several of you have been reading my post from September 19, 2010 on New Day, entitled "The Fast He Wanted," which contains an even more concrete example of a refusal to forgive.  Here's the link, for those who haven't yet read it: 

This is where the 24-hour Statute of Limitations can be used as a buffer.  Chances are, the bastion of self-righteousness that you're now facing didn't tell you that you'd offended them until days, months, or weeks had passed.  This means that any claim they once had against you is waived.  This means that you do not need to feel guilty over what they perceive to have occurred, and you are under no obligation to apologize.  However, to comply with the three steps outlined above, and just because it's good to "be a mensch," you must still apologize if you know you've done wrong.

The 24-hour Statute of Limitations does not prevent you from repenting for your sins if you choose to do so.  It does, however, bar the allegedly aggrieved from attacking you further, because they didn't timely state their claim.  And if they do choose to attack you at a moment of contrition, any obligation you may have felt to apologize and make whole evaporates.  That's right.  Their claim was waived ab initio, you tried to make good on it anyway, and they tried to take advantage of your good nature to state a claim untimely.  People who do that are completely undeserving of repentance, and over time, they'll learn that the hard way.

As for those who were timely, but are less callous and more accepting, don't let them down.  REALLY make good on whatever ails them.  Don't just say you're sorry, show you're sorry.  By money, by deeds, by actions, whatever it is, make them whole.  Even if you can't completely make them whole, your efforts and your intentions will be golden, and they will respect you for it.  And they themselves will be golden by their choice to forgive!

The reading of the Prophets for the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah comes from Chapter 31 of the Book of Jeremiah.  In that passage, Israel is compared to Rachel weeping for her departed children, and G-D tells her to stop her weeping, because her work will be rewarded, and Israel will be forgiven for its sins.  The message, according to the rabbi I heard at synagogue, is that as long as you have performed Prayer, Righteousness, and Repentance, there's no need to keep begging and groveling for forgiveness.  G-D has already granted it to you.  It's OK to feel free now.

So let it be with you all.  Get it right with G-D, get it right with yourself, and ask to get it right with others.  Everything else should be a piece of cake!

A good holiday to those that observe.  And may those that don't take something good away from this week's entry.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bulllying -- Even More Expensive!

Bullying -- Even More Expensive!


Last week we talked about grudges and how unprofitable and taxing they are to maintain.  My solution was a 24-hour Statute of Limitations.  If you don't address your tormentors within 24 hours of their misdeeds, and your detractors don't address you, AND ONLY YOU, with their grievances, THE CLAIM IS WAIVED FOR ALL TIME.  This allows you to "scrimp and save" your psyche, because it automatically dismisses issues that have grown stale.

So now let's address how bullying itself can also be expensive.  Oh no, not for the victims . . . for the perpetrators!

Were you upbraided, downgraded, belittled or besmirched?  Did someone take an undeserved swipe at you?  Does someone think it's OK to shriek and scowl with you with impunity?  WAIT TILL THEY GET THE BILL.

That's right!  Provided, of course, that you commenced your claim against them within 24 hours of their misdeeds, THEY PAY YOUR DAMAGES!  Every time they run their mouth on you, it will cost them, and cost them, and cost them, until the wake up and realize that immaturity and arrogance does return a profit.  At least not for them, that is!

Here's my suggestion of a sliding scale:

(1)  Snarky remark:  $10.00

(2)  Biting someone's head off:  $20.00

(3)  Unfeeling dig:  $50.00

(4)  Overreacting to something that results in no damage just because you were "worried":  $100.00

(5)  Threats of violence or abandonment:  $500.00

(6)  Anything containing profanity:  $1,000.00


Now wait . . . even though this blog has received very few comments, I can already anticipate the battle cries of my worthiest opponents:

(A)  WHAT ABOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH?  I never said you should go to jail for verbal misdeeds.  You're "free" to say them -- you just don't get to say it for free!

(B)  HOW DARE YOU COMMIT EXTORTION!  Extortion?  Did I threaten to pop someone in the nose if they didn't pay?  Quite the opposite -- I'm demanding that someone pay if they pop someone in the nose!

(C)  I WON'T PAY ONE RED CENT!   If you actually consider me a friend, or better, and want to continue a relationship, you'll pay.  If you think you can maintain a relationship with anyone while abusing and bullying them without consequences, your life just got way more expensive.  Either hold your tongue, think before you speak, and behave like an adult, or you can pay for the privilege and sought-after honor of remaining a child in perpetuity!

(D)  WHAT ABOUT YOU?  SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR COMMENTS?  I, for one, have the discipline to refrain from making such comments.  Having been raised by two parents who NEVER permitted me to speak that way as a child, I am able to hold up my end of this bargain.  How about you?  And best of all, because I'm getting a payday from your lack of couth and class, there is no reason for me to get angry!

So how about it, punks?  Can you afford to be like this your whole life?  I think not.

DISCLAIMER:  The above was not meant to be seriously applied.  In fact, this was a fanciful attempt at humor.  Any offense perceived by the reader is SOLELY the responsibility of the reader, and not the author.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Sunday night, and you know what that means! Click the link, comment, like, follow, whatever!

Grudges -- Too Expensive!

Good Evening, Gentlemen!

Hope I didn't interrupt your Emmy Awards, or the Eagles/Falcons game for those of you in the Philly/South Jersey area.  Just talking about the generally unprofitable act of holding onto hate, resentment, anger, or unfinished business.

This is something yours truly has been guilty of most of his life.  So who better to tell you all about how much it hurts to keep it happening!

I've had records of holding onto grudges for as long as 10 years, depending on what happened that burnt my biscuits.  Insults, slights, etc. had ways of leaving marks on me that just wouldn't go away . . . in no small part because I wasn't actually trying to make them go away.  Not only do anger, rage, fury, and hate give us a rush, they also make us too comfortable.  As long as we have gripes and issues with other people, we can be less responsible.  We can point fat fingers at these other people (or our perceptions of them), and say that it's their fault, and ALL their fault, so we shouldn't have to do anything about it, no matter how long ago it happened!

Nice try fella.

I've instituted a rule that rejects that attitude whole-heartedly -- the 24-hour statute of limitations.  For those of us outside the legal profession, let me explain.  A statute of limitations is a law stating that civil lawsuits and criminal charges must be commenced in Court within a certain number of years after the alleged wrongdoing took place, otherwise the claim is barred.  For example, let's say you want to sue someone in New York for the neck and back injuries you sustained in that fender-bender -- better make sure suit is filed within three years after the date it happened, or you're done for!  File it too late, your lawsuit will most likely get what my sister used to call, "dissed and dismissed!"  Or at least, your attorney will get dissed, with a malpractice lawsuit and a call from the Grievance Committee!  DA's, you better make sure that perp gets arrested and processed within two years of the date he gave himself a five-finger discount from Duane Reade -- otherwise he's gone!

By comparison, I'm giving myself a 24-hour statute of limitations.  If someone wrongs me, be they family or co-worker, or even someone at the next table, if I don't bring it to their attention that they've done something wrong, I waive my claim.  So if I don't bring it up right then and there, it disappears.  No stewing, no post-morteming, no woulda/coulda/shoulda either (that's annoying)!  Move on, case closed, next case!

But I'm not going to be so selfish to only use it on myself.  It also applies to any wrongs that others think that I have committed.  Have I spoken out of turn?  Did I trample on some inside joke or family secret that I wasn't "allowed" to make light of?  Did I not show sufficient gratitude when I said "thank you" only once when a full genuflecting was required?  Or better yet, did I permit the faux pas of announcing that a certain self-appointed emperor or empress has no new clothes to speak of (and the ones he or she does have went out of style in the Nixon years?)

You got 24 hours on your claim with me.  And that means you tell me, and ONLY me.  Not an intermediary, not a friend, not a relative, but ME and ONLY me.  Not in a confrontational, biting, jabbing manner, either, because you forfeit any right to redress or restitution when you run your mouth.  If I am not told, within 24 hours of my transgression, that I have harmed anyone, my obligation to apologize, feel guilty, or take responsibility for such alleged action disappears.

You can e-mail me, Facebook me, Twitter me, call me, or even talk to me face-to-face.  I won't have an eager-beaver tone in my voice when I respond, I admit, but if I'm advised of my misstep timely and respectfully, I will take responsibility.

Or better yet, gee, I don't know . . . how about commenting?  Space right down here is reserved for just that purpose -- let's have at it!

By applying this cost-cutting measure, gentlemen, you've cut the fat from your portfolio.  You've sold your dog stocks before they really went downhill, and you've "scrimped and saved" your thoughts!  Now without holding onto resentment until infinity, you can deal with problems when they arrive, or possibly first thing the next day, and NOT when someone else is ill-prepared to deal with your complaining!

More importantly, it is the best defense in your arsenal against those who air dirty laundry, scrape open old wounds, and do everything in your power to cut you down when you're on the right track to success.  You Exist, You Matter, You Belong, and You Deserve -- and that means you don't have to get brought down by untimely claims!  If someone feels like bringing up an old gripe, or even an embarrassing story from days gone by, shut them down!  If they couldn't be bothered to bring this up when it was happening, them they get NO relief from it NOW!

For a specific example of what I'm talking about, read the entry entitled "The Fast He Wanted" on my New Day blog, published September 19, 2010.

Share the word, don't forget to comment, like, and follow! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later, America Still Grieves. Read and comment, please.

9/11/11 Ten Years Later

Part of this is a reprint from New Day's post from last year, but it's also updated.

At the time, I was working in-house for a no-fault insurance carrier on Wall Street. I was scheduled to attend two arbitrations in Huntington, Long Island. Physically, I was far removed from what was about to happen, but I still felt the impact.

Driving to Huntington on the Northern State Parkway, I decided to put on Howard Stern. At the time, he was still on 92.3 K-Rock, and not Sirius or XM Radio. Hadn't listened to him in some time, so I wanted a chuckle.

Howard was not joking that morning. He did let through a few asides about how frustrated he was that Pamela Anderson wouldn't hook up with him, but that was NOT the point of that morning's broadcast. People were calling in telling him that two planes had hit the WTC Twin Towers! Some had seen those planes passing overhead, some had seen the actual impact. I didn't understand what this all meant -- hadn't it already been 8 years since something happened to the World Trade Center?

Notwithstanding Howard's stature, I switched to the other stations on the radio -- surely this was either a rebroadcast of the 1993 bombing, or something entirely different. All other radio stations were reporting the same thing -- the Towers were hit, people were jumping out the windows, Muslim extremists were responsible. How the hell was this happening?!?!?!?

I made it to the first arbitration. The arbitrator had the TV news on, showing both towers in flames, yet we proceeded. Headed to the next one, my adversary was there, but the arbitrator was not.

After 20 minutes, she arrived, after pulling her daughter out of school. She explained to us both that she would not be able to adequately decide the arbitration and continued the case, exhorting us both to "go home and be with your families."

Before leaving, we briefly discussed what had just happened. Although it may be the work of terrorist, she said, it might have been an American, like Timothy McVeigh, who was behind this. I disagreed -- one week beforehand, Israel had pulled out of the World Counsel on Racism, and the US had followed suit. I opined that this was most likely the work of some Palestinian extremists who thought they could punish the US for our "Zionist" leanings. I said, "This was an act of war, nothing else. The US simply has to respond to this, or the rest of the world will think we're weak."

I called my Mom and my girlfriend (at the time) to let them know I was OK. Tried calling the office, but the calls wouldn't go through. I couldn't tell if I had to go into the office, but it seemed that just going home would be the best choice under the circumstances.

The traffic was heavier than normal on the parkways that day -- the State Troopers were out in full force. As I proceeded home, the Towers fell. Without the benefit of TV or Internet access (there were no Blackberries back then), I imagined them both falling down to one side, not collapsing in a stack. I began to fear that all of Wall Street had just been taken out.

I also got angry. I began to mutter under my breath, "Who did this? Who the ---- thought they could do this in our country?!?!?! Find them, kill them all, and let G-D sort them out!"

At the time, I still lived with my parents in Baldwin. My mother's birthday was that day, so as planned, we all had Carvel ice cream cake with my aunt, uncle, & grandmother as we watched CNN. By that time, in the evening, they had removed footage that rumored to show people in the West Bank dancing and selling candy, reveling in this lethal blow rendered by their would-be heroes. Damn them.

For the next week, there was no work. Mayor Giuliani had sealed off everything south of 14th Street in Manhattan, and that included my office. I did not know if I still had a job, or if my co-workers were safe.

Later, we learned that the husband of my mother's friend had perished during the attack. He was on the 90th floor of Tower One -- exactly the point of impact where the plane hit. We decided amongst ourselves that he never knew it happened, and we found solace in that thought. A week later, a memorial service was held in his honor at our synagogue -- it was jam-packed to the rafters.
In the following months, nobody hated anyone else. Total strangers would talk to each other on the subway as if there were no boundaries. A respect for the sanctity of life began to permeate everyone's thoughts and actions. At the same time, an enemy named Osama bin Laden, who had already claimed responsibility for the 1998 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, and the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, appeared to have been the central figure responsible for the attack. he would follow this up with video and audio tapes decrying perceived injustices against the Muslim world, that somehow justified this mass murder. He was being protected by the Taliban, an extremist religious party that bullied Afghanistan into submission, and was a leader in a gang known as Al-Qaeda.
In a more shocking turn of events, after the U.S. began its eventual attack of retaliation against Afghanistan, it was learned that one member of the Taliban was an American citizen named John Walker Lindh. America screamed for his head as a traitor, but he was instead convicted of a lesser sentence.
Looking back, it seemed like a cross between Pearl Harbor and JFK's assassination. Like those both events, 9/11 brought our country together in a time of shared pain, outrage, and chaos. Like both events, our country emerged stronger than before. Admittedly, it did not lead to victory in a just war, and did not serve to lionize the leader of our nation at that time. But it did remind us, the hard way, that life is short and fragile. It awakened us to the reality that others in this world are so easily swayed by inflammatory rhetoric, that they de-value human life. It made us more patriotic, more G-D-fearing, and more wary of who in the world seeks us well or harm.

Today, since 9/11 happened to have been on a weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the memorial service in lower Manhattan on TV.  It's hard not to get choked up or burst into tears not watching it -- it is more depressing than a Holocaust documentary with the theme from "Platoon" as the soundtrack.  The reaction I felt today was, "How MANY people died that day?  How MANY families were hurt by these terrorists?  How CAN they all heal, even ten years after?"

Unless we individually lost someone that day, we can't know.  We can only admire their resolve, including the numerous children who read the names of parents they'd lost, some of whom were only in infancy at the time. 

Since that time, there has been a small amount of closure with the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011.  However, this only led to mass hysteria and continued conspiracy theories.  All day long we've been waiting with baited breath over a terrorist attack that (as I predicted) never materialized.  Apparently, we forgot the healing words of our leaders in the months following September 11, 2001 -- STOP BEING AFRAID.  Go out and live as you normally would.  To do otherwise is what these gangstas WANT us to do!

The Four Pillars would not normally be needed for the last remaining superpower on the planet, but some segments of the population need it, so here goes:

THE UNITED STATES EXISTS.  We revolted against Britain to seek independence and freedom.  We grew from a weak confederation of loosely united colonies to be the strong UNITED country that we are.

THE UNITED STATES MATTERS.  No matter how much hate is hurled at us by other nations and cultures, we remain relevant in this world, no matter what they try to do to us.

THE UNITED STATES BELONGS.  The rest of this world must admit, no matter how begrudgingly, that we are needed.  To promote freedom and democracy, and to develop lacking nations into respectable countries -- if they don't want that help, it's their fault, and not ours. 

THE UNITED STATES DESERVES.  Other nations owe us respect, even if they wish they didn't.  Without the United States, the rest of the world would fall into the two extremes of dictatorship and anarchy, and democracy would become extinct.

We are the wealthiest country, we have the strongest army, and we have the fairest and justest government in the world.  Who are we to become self-hating, weak-willed people pleasers?  Because a bunch of gangstas hate us?!?!?!  LET them hate us.  LET them talk their pseudo religious trash.  LET them demonize us in their cheaply-made, amateurish videos.  Who the heck are they?

They're NOTHING.  Why give them power they don't deserve by being afraid?

And once again, my best wishes to the families of those who lost loved ones on that day, and of those first responders who met their deaths later from Ground Zero-related illnesses.  G-D bless the NYPD, the FDNY, and the PAPD.  G-D bless the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.  G-D bless New York and New Jersey, and the United States of America.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Post in Honor of Labor Day!
Don't forget to comment!

For Those Who Work Hard

Today is Labor Day.  Many of us had the day off from our usual occupations, to honor and respect the American worker.  Since I was one of them, I postponed this week's blog until now.

I'd like to say a few words about those who labor, and the respect they deserve.

There is a group of friends that I sorely miss.  They live in my hometown on Long Island, and they raise their families together, sharing good times and bad, and sometimes sharing profit and loss.  Had Hurricane Irene not rained on our parades, I would have sojourned out to the Island to wish Happy Birthday to my godson and his older brother, and to acknowledge that they will both become big brothers this winter.

When I think about hard work, the image of these boys' father pops into my head.  I have known him since we were both in the first grade.

When we were in high school, he played hard more than he worked hard.  If you knew him, you'd see he was a star.  Every guy wanted to be him, know him, or hang with him.  Every woman . . . he should be the one to finish that sentence, and not me.  :)  He was the coolest, the hippest, the funnest, and the savviest.  Point being, he brought good times with him everywhere he went, and elevated everything he touched. 

Since high school ended, this man's time to play hard also ended.  However, he replaced that effort with his capacity to work hard, which he has done ever since.  He is an expert electrician and cable installer. His knowledge requires him to traverse the entire tri-state area to wherever his work is needed, so he may support his family.  He also can handle every type of home improvement issue that suburban life can throw at a man.  And he never, and I mean never, complains about how difficult or uncomfortable it is.  In fact, even while working harder than he did as a teen, he still has that attitude that elevates everything he touches.  As a father of two, soon to be three, boys, this is the right example to emulate.

What does this mean for the rest of us?  Transference of attitude, I think.  Many of us get lazy and start complaining over our job conditions.  We tend to do so with no idea of how much worse it could be if our jobs were suddenly taken away from us, which does happen in this economy.  We are better off taking pride in the work we do and the profit it brings us.  If many of us worked the way my friend does, we might not think of it as easy.  He probably doesn't either.  You wouldn't know that, though, because he carries himself through his work as if he were still in high school.  Still laughing, cracking jokes, and showing grace under pressure when things were rough -- much the same way he did when confronted with an overzealous disciplinarian in the old academic days.  Maintaining this same posture towards adversity and difficulty is what sets him apart from other men, now and then. 

The Four Pillars tell us that we exist, matter, belong, and deserve.  They don't tell us that we are spoiled, or that effort is beneath us.  Although he's brought this attitude to work and fun long before yours truly typed out the Four Pillars, he's actually been applying them better than most people I know.  He makes himself an integral part of every project he's on, and earns respect on top of remuneration.  Such is the manner that each of us should approach our job and/or business, should we hope to succeed.

However, the spotlight does not only belong to him this week.  Although this blog is primarily meant to provide motivation for men and boys with low self-esteem, it has come to my attention that most of the people who follow this blog are female.  Not to pander or glad-hand, but in the interests of further increasing traffic, I'd like to show the example of a woman I know who works just as hard as this man, if not more.

She is a single mother of three daughters.  She was in a marriage that was not doing her family or herself any good.  She took the risk of not only ending the marriage, but also moving her family clear across the country for a better life.  This move required her to work, and to work hard once she arrived there.

This move required her to make sacrifices.  Life got less comfortable than it had been previously, and sacrifices had to be made that required her and her girls to give up the creature comforts they had previously enjoyed.  Despite it all, on she presses.

Not everyone in her family or circle of friends agreed with this decision. Some of them gave her a cold shoulder, and others reneged on promises made. Even with so much unfairness of things, she worked two jobs, or one with additional hours, so that her girls could have what passes for a normal life. She has also moved on from the remnants of her marriage to find love and respect from a man who recognizes her and loves her for who she is. She is now the modern-day embodiment of the protagonist of Bertolt Brecht's "Mother Courage and Her Children."

This woman has also used the Four Pillars without realizing it. Despite the fear, doubt, and rejection that came her way, she knows that she plays an indispensable role. She plays the primary caregiver role for her family, teaching her girls the values of self-reliance and discipline. She reminds them to learn from her example of the right choices to make and the mistakes to avoid. She teaches them that even if they may hate the decisions she makes, they are done out of love and concern first and foremost.

So let's all remember the American worker. If there were no blue-collar workers, we'd all be living in tents. If there were no white collar workers, we'd be living in anarchy. If there were no green-collar workers, our environment would be deadly. And if nobody worked, we couldn't live.

Have a good week getting back to work and school, all. And don't forget to comment, like, and follow on Facebook and Twitter!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sliiightly different post for the hurricane, peeps! Check it out and comment!

Surviving the Hurricane and Its Consequences!

Yes, peoples, the worst is over!

The Lady and I spent this weekend with family in higher ground, as we needed to evacuate where we live due to Hurricane Irene.  Thanks to my in-laws, as well as the lucky fact that we did not lose power, this storm was smooth sailing, rather than wild rapids!

But now that we've dispensed with the news of the day, I've started to realize that I've been concentrating too much on current events, and not enough on this blog's topic.  That's why you're now going to see a topic shift!

Anyone watch the show "Curb Your Enthusiasm?"  Larry David plays this hopeless guy who always gets yelled at, always gets stuck in sticky situations, and ALWAYS is made to bear responsibility for something that goes awry.  Anyone out there ever feel that way?

(you better believe I have)

Well, you need look no further than my earlier posts.  However, I'd like to expound on that theory tonight, since as long as men exist (and matter and belong and deserve), they will, REPEAT WILL, make mistakes.  How they deal with the mistakes, and their consequences, is not unlike the manner in which they survive hurricanes.  You can either deal with what has happened and resolve it, to the extent that it's resolvable.  Or you can get upset and cranky, and make it a thousand times worse!

Did you make a mistake?  Depends.  Do you have two arms?  Two legs?  Two eyes?  Two ears?  Do you exist, matter, belong, and deserve?  You better believe you do!  Accept it.  You cannot, and never will be perfect.  No matter how much self-esteem you are finally able to generate, no matter how successful you are, no matter how beloved you are, you will never, AND THE ROCK MEANS NEVER, be perfect, and you will never stop screwing up!!!!

Is someone giving you a problem with that mistake?  Oh boy, here comes trouble . . . .

"LOOK what you did!"  "How could you?"  "WTF?!?!!?"  "Are you stupid?"  "Are you deaf?"  "I should have just done it myself."  "You're pathetic!"

Hard words to hear.  But when you make a mistake, depending on how bad it is, someone will ALWAYS be saying something like this. 

It bears repeating that if you don't admit you're wrong when you really are, you're a sucker.  In fact, you are WORSE than all these gangsters and bullies I keep blogging about!  Even when they get shown cold hard evidence of what they've done, they either deny or act like they don't give a darn.  Un.  Ac.  Cept.  A.  Ble.

When you're wrong, ADMIT it and APOLOGIZE for it.  That doesn't mean that you grovel like a weakling or a slave, because that sends a signal of wounded prey.  It means that you speak honestly and sincerely, and detail that you were wrong, and that you would like to correct it.

If you can, fix the situation.  Once you make amends, IT'S OVER.  You do not bring up the subject again.  You just file it away and remind yourself, BE CAREFUL that you don't do this AGAIN.  Not because someone else is going to yell at you, not because you're going to be punished, and not because you won't get chocolate pudding for desert.  But because you are capable of LEARNING from mistakes, and because you MATTER and you DESERVE.

But now there's stage two:  what if the apology is not accepted?  What if the upbraiding continues?  Any of this sound familiar?

"I shouldn't have HAD to correct you!"  "Who cares if you're sorry?  You should never have done it in the first place!"  "I NEVER would have done that!"

Anyone who talks to you that way has crossed a line.  When you admit your faults and make amends, and they're too good to accept your apology, they're milking you for more than you owe.  There is NOTHING more that they deserve OTHER than an apology and possible restitution.  If that's their attitude, they are committing emotional extortion! 

You did something wrong, don't think you're getting exonerated from that.  However, if you've paid your debt for that misdeed, you are NOT entitled to disproportionate consequences.  After you've finished paying for that mistake, and they refuse to accept your apology because they're just too good fat that, walk away from them.  They are not worth your respect, your time, or your atonement.

Don't forget to comment, like, or follow!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thoughts For A Rainy Sunday -- Control and Disposition of Anger

Thoughts For A Rainy Sunday -- Control and Disposition of Anger

Hey Peeps --
Kept inside today for a rainy day.  Gave me time to think a few things over.

(1)  Anger Against Others.

I've talked a lot about improving self-esteem and cracking down on those who hurt it.  But as we've all tended to realize, yet not always wanted to admit, the person most responsible for our self esteem is OURSELVES.

Staying angry at people who've wronged us may initially feel like a tool of empowerment.  You can reinforce the fact that they did wrong and we did not, and that makes us feel like winners.  But if the anger stays, the winning feeling doesn't.  Instead, the anger eats away at you like a cancer, drains your energy, and leaves you feeling miserable and unlovable.

Trust me on this, I know.  When people wronged me in the past, going back as far as junior high school, I'd hold onto that anger for years, sometimes even a decade or two.  A name or a place would be just enough to trigger feelings of unfinished business and wrongs without consequences, and leave me in a funk I wouldn't wish on anyone.  And I'd feel sorry for those within earshot once I started my rants about how horrible they were, and how bad they were, and they don't even deserve to live in a homeless shelter, etc., etc. 

After I noticed that people who heard me do this would all, without fail, find ways to excuse themselves from the conversation, a relevation occurred:  When you're that angry for that long a period of time, people stop being sympathetic.  People stop caring.  People stop giving a darn, because it's unbearable to listen to you.  To use my sister's phrase, you've become a "desperado," who needs attention to continue being a victim, who just can't move on from whatever happened years before, and has stunted his own growth.

The secret I've learned was already in front of me, courtesy of my father's simple, almost Dao-ist wisdom.  When I'd go on one of these rants at the dinner table, he would patiently say, without the slightest trace of annoyance in his voice, "eat your dinner."  At the time, I'd get belligerent when he said this, because I thought he was trying to shut me up.  He certainly was, but he was trying to do it in a way that would teach me that the anger and rage I was feeling was not going to do me any good when a plate of my mother's cooking was sitting in front of me undigested.  Right at that moment, at dinner time, I couldn't travel back in time and suckerpunch the miscreant who'd aroused my ire, but I certainly good enjoy the meal instead.

Yes, the past happened, and we're all stuck with it.  But projecting it on others around you, who are actively engaged in the present moment, as you should be, does precious little to help things.  If you still have such an axe to grind, get a journal and write it out.  Or better yet, join "The Experience Project," or similar anonymous websites, and pour your heart out in a safe and comfortable environment.  Schedule permitting, go for a run (like me), lift some weights at the gym, or hit the heavy bag for a while.  If it's stuck in your system, then repair your own plumbing and remove it!

And once you're in that calm, chill, runner's high/euphoria state of mind, find a way to let it go.  It's not affecting you consciously, it's not costing you money, and it's not your obligation to seek revenge against them.  "Vengeance is Mine," saith the L-D . . .  because He's A LOT BETTER AT IT THAN YOU, and it doesn't make Him a nervous wreck to make it happen!  If what the gangsters or boneheads did to you them was as harmful and as treacherous as you feel it is, then good news -- they will, REPEAT WILL, get their well-deserved punishment when He thinks it's time, not when you do!!! 

And what if you're angry at someone right now, whom you know very well? Not so easy to let things go, but easier to change the game you're playing.  Get away from them for a while, do what I said in terms of getting it out of your system, and then deal with it calmly, the way my father reminded me to "eat my dinner."  Without being confrontational, explain what it is that made you angry, and ask for something better.  Chances are the other party may take advantage of your peaceful approach and start taking swipes and swings at you.  Don't fall for it!  They want to piss you off again, that's how they win!  Stand firm, and explain that what they did or said was wrong to you, and that they will need to cease and desist.

(2) Anger Towards Yourself.

This is even worse.  I can think of no better way to have a miserable life than to blame yourself for everything that happens, to continuously tell yourself that you're stupid and you just don't get it, and that you'll never be any good.  I don't care if you're in jail or if you're behind on child support, NONE of that is TRUE!  People can wag their tongues and diss you as much as they like, and you can just disregard it.  But if YOU do it, you're pushing yourself off a bridge.  You are the ONE person in the world who can NEVER talk trash about you!

Did you screw up?  Make a mistake?  Forget something?  Lose something?  Handle it this way:

Detach yourself emotionally from the situation, and research it as if it's data in an encyclopedia.  Look over the facts and ask some questions:  What did you do that could have been done better?  What mistakes did you make?  What flaws did you expose?  Once you've answered them, then without giving yourself the V-8 forehead slap (because you just detached yourself from your feelings), reprogram yourself to NOT make those same mistakes AGAIN!  Of course, that's not a guarantee that it will never happen again, but at least it will reduce the likelihood of reoccurrences. 

If you can see what you've done wrong, and the aggrieved party is still open to discussion, apologize for it.  Don't prostrate yourself on the floor, don't take a razor blade to your wrists, and don't flagellate yourself with a cilice -- the aggrieved party will either start disliking you even more, or start taking pleasure in the pain you're causing yourself.  Just admit you're wrong, apologize, and move on.  If they other person is mature enough, they'll accept your apology.  And if they can't, then screw them.  They're not royalty.  You can't do more than apologize, so if that's not enough, let them stew in their own anger and rage.

Whether you stay angry at others for too long, or you stay angry at yourself for more than a day, you're creating a situation of permanent victimhood.  Permanent victimhood means permanent childhood, because you'll never allow yourself to grow up if you stay angry.  Find a way to grow up and keep moving to the next stop on the route.

The Four Pillars remind us that we Exist, we Matter, we Belong, and we Deserve, but they don't state that we're perfect or that we're blameless.  They also don't say that the world is always evil and that we're always good.  They say that we are unique as individuals and that we have a right to be in this world, and to receive the respect that comes with being here.  Want to get that respect?  Control the anger and dispose of it when it is no longer nececessary.  Take responsibility for your wrongs, and move on.

And since it's almost 7PM on Sunday night, take my Dad's advice -- and eat your dinner!  :)

PS --- in the past couple of days, I've sent a few text messages that didn't quite sound as cute as I thought they did.  Internet/texting etiquette tells us that when someone responds to your message with the word "Nice," it doesn't mean "That was a nice thing to say, thank you," it means "I'll take that as a diss, you jerk."  So to those people I offended, I apologize.  I obviously didn't think clearly enough before I sent those messages, and I won't do that again.

THERE!  Moving on . . . .