Total Pageviews

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Most Unforgiven

Hey All - hope you had a nice weekend!

Recently, a heard a clergy-person's sermon about empathy for others, and the rejection of selfishness.  He questioned whether or not we care about the plight of those who lack what we have.  And he included whether anyone cares about inner city "ghetto" residents, or even prison inmates.

This is only an idea, nothing's been done yet, but that gave me food for thought.  I wrote some time ago about how those in poverty are living that way, and often stay that way, because of their mentality and attitude.  They feel stuck, powerless, and unable to move forward.  They turn to activities that give them momentary comfort and pleasure - hence the alcoholism, drug addiction, and unintended pregnancies - because they know only too well that the rest of their day is filled with regret, sorrow, and frustration.  You don't have to be a bleeding heart, a social justice warrior, or a tree-hugger to understand that these people are hurting, and that they see no end in sight.

What if I had some of my videos emailed and broadcast in homeless shelters and jails?  What if I gave them a message they could get into?  What if they found Emotional Maturity and could either (a) find a way to get off the street; or (b) rejoin society without the desire to commit crimes again?

Don't get it twisted, I'm not giving anyone handouts.  We've seen well-intentioned social programming fail, since there still are poor, and there still are criminals.  We've also seen this 99%/1% divisiveness, blaming those who are wealthy for the plight of the lower classes.  Neither one is right.

They do need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, no doubt about that.  But first things first, they need to start believing in themselves big time.  They need to know that they Exist, Matter, Belong, and Deserve.  They need to know that they are Bold and Bulletproof.  And then they need to learn enough discipline to master their emotions and expend their energy in the right direction.

Feedback would be appreciated, but by private message only.  This is something I'd like to make happen.




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Forgiveness - Giving and Receiving

Hey All - had the best weekend, period.  Message me why and I'll give you the low-down.

Every year, Judaism has the Ten Days of Awe.  It begins with Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the religious calendar, and ends with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  Custom states that at the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe, a celestial auditing commences, and all the living are evaluated as to their deeds and misdeeds.  At the end of those Ten Days, the auditing is concluded and everyone's fate is sealed.  Therefore, it's a custom to use this week and a half to be more self-aware, more reflective, and definitely more empathetic to others.

When I was a kid, the father of a friend of mine had a note hanging from the refrigerator with a magnet.  It stated that the six most important words in the English language were, "I Admit I Made A Mistake."  It felt good to read that, but I knew that making such a sincere admission wasn't always going to get me a pat on the head.  My experience with the authority figures at the time was that stating that you did something wrong, no matter how regretful or sincere you were about it, would get you very unpleasant consequences.  Not everyone knows this, but when you do this to kids enough times, you end up teaching them to lie - if they know that telling the truth will always mean something bad, then it shouldn't be a surprise when they just tell you what you want to hear.

Honestly, we could do so much better, as a society and as people, if apologies and forgiveness really meant something.  What if we were less willing to condemn, and more willing to understand?  What if we were less willing to deflect the blame, and more willing to accept responsibility?  What if being wrong, or mistaken, wasn't seen as the kiss of death, and was seen as simply being human?  And what if the desire to hold someone else's mistakes over their head permanently simply wasn't there?

If we're talking about criminal wrongdoing or fraudulent activity, that might be somewhat more complicated.  But just about everything else we do in life should be easily resolved with a simple apology and acceptance if those who make mistakes weren't made afraid to own them, and those who felt wronged weren't so adamant about holding grudges.

Of course, this may severely impact the legal community.  Then again, a less litigious society might be a more pleasant society.

(A)  Did you make a mistake?
    (1)  Admit it.
    (2)  Own it.
    (3)  Forgive yourself.
    (4)  After you've finished dealing with it, don't dwell on it.

(B)  Did somebody do you wrong?  And if so, did they accept responsibility?
   (1)  Accept it.
   (2)  Forgive them.
   (3)  Keep moving to the next issue.

This doesn't mean taking the hit for something that you didn't do.  It also doesn't mean that you have to let someone continue to do you wrong all the time.  But it does mean that if you did the wrong, there should be nothing preventing you from owning it, and if you were wrong, there should be no reason to hold grudges or seek retribution.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Use Your FIlter

Hey All - Sunday night, and you know what that means!

We have always been told not to let others' opinions of us affect us.  But we have also always been told that we should be open to criticism, accepting of new ideas, and not resist anything that contradicts what's "in our bubble."

Great, mixed messages.  Gotta love when they come our way.  How are we really supposed to know which way to go?

That's a trick question - we already do.

(1) In what manner is this opinion or "fact" being expressed?  Is it interrupting something you were already saying?  A catcall as you walk by someone?  Is it from someone hijacking, one-upping, or upstaging something you were already doing?  Shut 'em down.  You're dealing with a textbook example of a narcissist, and the only way to "fight" them is to not engage.

(2) Is it coming from someone who's earned your trust?  Is it in private, out of respect?  Is it focused more on help and/or friendship, and less on "I'm right and I'm smarter than you?"  Give it a listen, and listen good.  You don't really know everything.  So if there's something you can use that's being provided, accept it and say thank you!

As with all things, the key here is respect.  Bashing you in public and forcing an opinion on you is not respect, it's an attempt to subjugate and dominate in order to feed someone's ego.  Explaining things in private, with honesty, but not just for the sake of putting someone down, and explaining why they think it should be considered, then that is respect.

(Caveat - there is such a thing as stealth narcissists, who pretend to be your friend in order to manipulate you.  See, I don't only think in black & white)

We have in our minds a filter.  We can accept knowledge that is verified, solidified, trustworthy, and provided from credible sources, and use it to evolve and update our knowledge.  And we can reject unverified and unsolicited information from questionable sources that is not reliable and does nothing to update our knowledge.

But you have to understand this!  But you have to think like me because I'm right!  But you can't tell me that you still believe that!

Then stop trying to sell it.  Planting seeds is one thing, but anyone who forces their opinion on us needs to be removed.  We decide what to accept to update our knowledge, they don't.

In fact, that's one of the most powerful things we have over others:  Our choice whether to accept or reject their messages.  Some people simply cannot handle rejection, different perspectives, or adverse opinions.  They may or may honestly expect people to ask "how high?" when they say jump.  Merely saying "no" to them sets off alarms.

NARCISSIST SURVIVAL TIP:  When necessary, if they don't understand "no" after the nth time, just let them win.   Pretend they know it all, and they schooled us.  They obviously need the "win" more than we need to argue with them.  Then they'll be quiet and we can leave.


Sometimes you might have a message that others reject too.  If they're not interested, they're not interested.  Move on and don't beat a dead horse.




Night all.  Feel free to comment or PM me!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Respect All

Happy Sunday, All.  The temperature is still hot like we want it, but summer is slowly winding down.  For the meteorologists in the audience, we all know that summer does not end until the Autumnal Equinox on September 23, 2017.  However, the rest of us have gotten used to it ending prematurely on Labor Day, thanks to our friends in academia.

A lot of hot-button issues have popped up recently.  Racism.  Free Speech.  The Civil War.  Our President.  There has been non-stop, ad nauseum coverage of these issues on all networks, channels and frequencies.

I say that's enough of that.  Perhaps finding ways to resolve these issues might be better read.

(1)  Respect All.

We are all human.  Flesh and blood.  Heart and soul.  Thoughts and feelings.  On some level, all of us matter.  This includes every faith and stripe.

This does not necessarily mean that we must all love each other, as set forth below.  It does, however, mean that there is never a reason to hate anyone else.  We're all somebody, and we've all had experiences that others haven't.  We must accept that no matter what.

(2) Befriend Few.

Unfortunately, people judge us by the five people we're around the most.  It might not be fair, but it happens because our attitude, behavior, and conduct is heavily influenced by the five people we're around the most.

Some of us seem to be friends with just about everyone.  In one sense, this is a good thing, because you know how to say things people like to hear and do things people like to see.  It's also not the best thing because not everyone likes to see and hear the same things.  And even if we respect each other, that doesn't mean that we should all be friends - once more, it doesn't mean we hate them, it just means that we can't really be friends with everyone, despite appearances to the contrary.  Outside of the undergraduate academic setting, popularity is a ruse.

Moreover, being friends with everyone cheapens the value of a friendship.  Keeping a circle small, on the other hand, means that you might look to only befriend those who you can trust, and who can make you even better than you already are.

(3) Love One.

Not everyone is a fan of marriage, or even monogamy.  When we're young, we're often encouraged to play the field, and when we're single we are encouraged to meet as many potential mates as possible.  But in the end, it's our natural inclination as human beings to find that one person with whom we can share everything about our lives.  Yes, there is such a thing as divorce, since marriages are not always meant to last.  But there is also such a thing as a soul mate.

Once you find that soul mate, you do it right.  You don't violate the trust that's there.  You don't let disagreements become high-conflict sporting events.  You don't put your needs over the other's.  You make it a 50/50 equal partnership.  Nobody is the scrub, and nobody is on the pedestal.  You take the respect you show everyone else, and the friendship you grant to a chosen few, and you make it exponential.  You show that one person what nobody else gets, and you keep on doing it.


This just might be the most difficult thing to do.  Believe me, I know.  There are those who are not respectful.  There are bullies.  There are predators.  There are racists.  There are sexists.  There are those who think they're entitled when they aren't.  There are narcissists.  There are criminals.  There are pathological liars.  There are elitists.  There are people who try to minimize us, manipulate us, and fool us.

There are truly evil people in this world.  And when we hate them, we join them.

Unfortunately, we have triggers, and we have thresholds.  We still have that fight-or-flight reflex downloaded into our programming from the days of the Neanderthals.  We still feel compelled to fight fire with fire, and we still get a rush from our lizard brains when there seems to be a reason to engage in conflict.

We can acknowledge this.  And we can still, notwithstanding, control it.

We can romanticize "fighting fire with fire."  And we can also watch both sides burn to a crisp.
We can get our backs up, become militant, and smear everything the others stand for.  And we can also step back for a second, review our reactions, and realize that nothing we've done or said has made us any better than them.

We can also realize that we run the risk of letting them get under our skin when we react that way.  They want us to react.  They want to be the bad guy, because they think it actually makes them look good.  If we react in violence, we run the risk that they are better prepared for what we might use against them.  And even if we somehow overpower them with our kung-fu/UFC/smash-mouth moves we may have, we've really let them overpower us.  We have allowed them to dictate our responses to everything, permitted them to infect our well-being, and interfere with our logical reasoning.  We have accepted their way of might makes right, and we have allowed them to be our masters in that regard.

Contrary to popular opinion, we are a thousand times better off when we don't let that happen.  It's far better than you might think.

We may feel that American society is at a crossroads.  If that's true, there's actually a pretty good path to take instead of the others.




Feel free to react, comment, follow, or re-Tweet, within the bounds of respect.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Heart of Armor, Revisited

Hey All, it's about that time.

This weekend, I advanced my technology just a bit.  Well, more like I renewed a part of my technology that I hadn't discussed in a while.

Part of being emotionally mature means finding a way to deal with any and all negative thoughts.  Can we experience fear, pain, anxiety, anger, frustration, etc.?  Absolutely.  But we need to experience them without being ruled by them.

Years ago, I talked about a Heart of Armor.  That means there is a part of your mind/heart/soul that is completely, protected, insulated, and secure from the above negative emotions.  That means you don't think about that project at work when you're at the beach.  That also means you don't start immediately showing a mental rerun of bad stuff that happened just because you see or hear something that reminds you of it (that crap might work on Family Guy, but it doesn't work in your mind).

You might be aware of troubles and challenges - you kinda need to be - but there is a protected part of you that you never, ever, let those troubles and challenges affect.  If it's not in front of you that minute, you keep any thought of it in check.  If it is in front of you that minute, then handle it.  Regardless, you must keep those stress-causing, agita-inducing thoughts way out of your zone.

This way, you don't personalize or internalize the problems.  You don't make it all about you when it isn't.  And when it is all about you, you still don't let it immobilize, paralyze, or hurt you.

There is a difference between accepting responsibility for something, when you must, and hurting yourself.  When people know your weaknesses, they will try to make you feel like hurting yourself with no remorse and no regret.  It is our job, and only our job, to prevent this from happening at all costs.  Not just to protect us from them.  But also from ourselves.

When we can be aware of what is around us, good or bad, without being distracted or emotionally triggered by it, half the battle is won.  Our tormentors will realize that they're not getting the out-of-control reaction they wanted.  Our supporters will respect us more than otherwise.

"But I'm so passionate!"  "But I'm so outgoing!"  "But I'm just so badass I can't be contained!"

You may or may not be reading the wrong blog, friend.  Or more likely, you can use that passion with discipline and control.  That way you bring about positive results, and not just more and more debates and arguments.

More importantly, that way you don't get your buttons pushed.  You control your emotions, they don't control you.




Sunday, June 25, 2017

Of Pride And Celebration

Hey All.  Hope you're enjoying this first weekend of summer.  Kids out of school, teachers on vacation, both houses of Congress and many state and local legislatures ready to take a break.

This weekend is also being celebrated in many cities to acknowledge what we know as Pride - the celebration of acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

For generations, members of this community have faced discrimination, contempt, and bullying of extreme proportions.  It is encouraging to know that society has essentially opened its armed and accepted those with different sexual orientations than what was traditionally expected as the one and only way.  Laws are now in place that prevent discrimination against members of this community in all areas, including application for a marriage license.

For that, I congratulate this community.  You have come a long way, and you've earned it all.

However, with freedom, also comes responsibility.

When individuals are groups are discriminated against, marginalized, or hated in some way, it's very easy to play tit-for-tat.  It's very easy to demand that the pendulum be swung the other way hard.  It's very easy to demand revenge, very easy to demonize, and very easy to point a finger at someone else who seems "privileged" because they did not suffer the same adversity.  That's where we have a small problem.

The vast majority of those of us who are heterosexual have absolutely nothing against the LGBTQ community.  Speaking for myself, I know how amazing it feels to be in love with someone and be ready to marry them.  I am nobody to say that someone doesn't have that right simply because that love is aimed towards someone of the same gender.

Still, there is a minority that still has trouble accepting it.  They should accept it, as we have.  But forcing them to do so, or face civil or criminal penalties, is not the right way to solve that problem.

Part of Emotional Maturity means understanding that universal acceptance of who you are and what you say simply cannot happen.  Even if you achieve mass acclaim and overall acceptance, there will always be people who will not accept you, and nothing you, or I, or anyone else says will change that.

PERFECT EXAMPLE:  When I began this blog, and I wrote about the virtues of being a Bold Beta Male, and rejecting the idea that every man always be aggressive and abrasive, a particularly unfriendly critic told me that "the only people who are going to listen to you are gays."  I stayed silent.

As mean-spirited and below-the-belt as those judgments and comments can surely be, it is not our place to become triggered by them, to overreact to them, or to demonize those who deliver such statements, even if they most obviously deserve it.  It is also not our place to demand that they unscrew the top of their heads, remove their brains, and allow us to rewire them so they won't behave that way.  It's sometimes our problem that they act and think this way, but it's certainly not our fault.  Therefore, there is no reason for us to become offended, enraged, or outraged by this mentality - because it doesn't hurt us.

I could say the same about racism, sexism, or plain old bullying.  As long as there is something for you to be proud of, there will always be someone who opposes it.  It's simply there.

But the presence of a negative opinion in no way takes away anyone's right to Pride.  It doesn't invalidate you, or what you believe, or what you love.  It doesn't reduce you to dust.  And even if someone else's opinion of you is that unfavorable, it is only their perspective - which should never be yours.

So without rambling on too long, understand that not every single person in this world will accept that Pride.  But the vast, overwhelming majority of it does.  And that majority often includes the people who matter to us the most.  Be grateful for those who accept your Pride, and simply dismiss those who cannot, or will not.

And when I say dismiss, that's different from demonizing.  And it's also not the same as enabling them, or giving tacit approval.  It means remaining calm, unruffled, and not-triggered.  It also means erecting boundaries and removing those who are unable to respect them.  Leave the consequences to Our Mother Lady Karma, and keep your self-respect intact.





Sunday, June 18, 2017

Our Father

Hey All.  Hope all celebrating had a Happy Father's Day.

I know that I appreciate my dad immensely.  He'd be pretty humble about it, but much of what I post in the blog is an outgrowth of the life lessons he taught me.

But even more than my appreciation of him, is my appreciation of Him:  G-D the Father.

Now this isn't based on any religion in particular.  It's just an understanding that there is a supernatural being who has a completely rational expectation of us to recognize and fulfill our personal responsibilities.  Our Mother Lady Karma is the One who handles things we can't control, executes judgment against those who wrong us, and pardons us for our errors.  G-D the Father, however, has a very different role to play.

What He does is remind us of what we CAN control, and that we'd better handle it to the best of our abilities.  His message is, "I'm not going to do your job for you."  Should we get started and keep moving, He is very likely to provide assistance, and quite possibly rewards, along the way.  But if we don't work for it, He won't provide it.

Our Father G-D doesn't want us to give up trying after only a few attempts.  He wants us to get our hands dirty and fail again and again until there has to be some sort of success, great or small.  He wants us to rise above critics and nay-sayers, disable our triggers when they are not needed, and to be as disciplined as possible in our thoughts and actions.

He knows that we'll make mistakes.  Honestly, He expects them to happen.  And He also expects us to keep our emotional reactions to a minimum because they'll only get in the way.  Our Mother can kiss our skinned egos to make them better.  But Our Father wants us to heal them ourselves, because we can!

That doesn't mean He's mean or unforgiving.  If He were, He'd be convincing us all to jump off bridges and end it all.  Instead, He wants us to live, and live right.  He wants us to understand that every new day is another chance to get it right, and not to eternally punish ourselves for when we get it wrong.  He wants us to own The Four Pillars, and own them hard!

So, Friends & Neighbors, today I hope you told your fathers how much you appreciate them.  And every day going forward, I suggest we show appreciation to Our Father G-D by making ourselves even better.