Relationships

Why do happy relationships collapse?

When the Motivation to change  is greater than the motivation to remain. Yet too often the change occurs in favor of another person who turns out to be remarkably similar to the last.

I fear this may be how broken people happen… when they repeat the same mistakes in their choices.

If you find yourself happy, but still dissatisfied in some personal relationship, then let me leave you with this thought.

Relationships. Don’t hope for more than you have, when what you have is so good it can’t be bettered.
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Space.

Space is not something for which I feel a dire need.  Now bear in mind that space comes in two essential flavors.

Personal space, is the space around us into which we don’t like other people to intrude when they approach us.

Living space, is the space we consume for our living quarters, or our home.

You might be interested to know that the size of both types of space varies wildly about the world.  Countries in which land is in crucially short supply tend to place correspondingly small demands on both.  Those in which surface area is abundant tend to have bigger demands.

Let me stress the word again for emphasis. Demands.  Space is not a right, and after the minimum requirement, it is not a need.  It is a demand.

I was thinking about a living space variety just a few minutes ago as I shambled into our house.

We have so much, yet we need so little.

Our former neighbors, an immigrant family from India with two girls ages 7 and 9 recently moved into a bigger house.  The principle reason stated, was that they didn’t have enough “space”.  Their house next door, which is very similar in size to ours, is 2200 square feet (204.3 sq meters). The new home into which they just moved, is 3200 square feet (297.3 sq meters).

Let us look at this in perspective.

Not only are our two youngest children a lot older than theirs, which presumably means they demand more space, but our “grown-up” daughter and her boyfriend live about half-time in one of the rooms in our house.   Our house is so big that not only do we virtually never see Dannielle and her boyfriend, but we pretty much don’t even know they are here… Well, we do of course, but I’m sure you understand my meaning.

So let me leave you with this thought, for this day.

When is enough enough?

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Dreams

Why do so many fear their dreams?

I have read research that indicates people have more nightmares than they have dreams. Personally, I don’t believe it. Why? Because I am a people, and I remember as many of my dreams as I do my nightmares, indeed I probably remember more dreams than I do nightmares.

So how could the scientific research being done, be wrong?

Well, like so many types of research, I think it is only as good as the questions it asks. That is a major flaw isn’t it? If the researchers are asking the wrong questions, then how can they expect to get the right answers? Is scientific research really only as good as the questions it asks when it begins? Sadly, in many cases I think so. Why? Because of the way in which the research is currently undertaken.

Let me explain my thinking. Research is no longer done for its own sake.  Actually, I don’t know if research has ever been done for its own sake. Apparently no one can afford pure research. Research must be funded before it can really begin. This funding is often provided in the form of grants given in response to proposals that state specifically what the research hopes to uncover.

That is a poor state of affairs indeed. It bodes ill for such obvious reasons they should require no explanation. {Of course, I’ll address a couple of the most significant problems because if I don’t, then what would the point of this post be? :)  Read on, and find out.}

Primarily, and perhaps most importantly, research proposals must be written so as to attract funding. If a sponsor can’t be wooed with the explicitly stated goals of your desired research, then your research is unlikely to receive funding, which means it is unlikely to move forward.

Think about that, and you soon realize this inevitably means research attractive to wealthy sponsors is undertaken far more often than research for research’s own sake.

Think about that, and you soon realize research that can be converted back into money is far more attractive to wealthy sponsors that research which cannot. Why? Well, think about it… The principle interest of wealth, is its retention.

Secondarily, and perhaps equally as important as the already clarified “most important”, is the inescapable fact that all research projects have a lifespan. Why is this significant? Because once a researcher completes their current research project, though their project might be over, their life is not. Which means they must find another research project. Which means they must fund another research project. Amazing how a single letter can change the entire meaning of a complete sentence, isn’t it? Sooner or later everyone realizes that if you’re nice to people they are more likely to be nice to you. Which means that if your research is favorable to those who funded it, you have a better chance of returning to the funding honey/money pot for a second helping. Which means that if your research is not favorable to your funder… well, the funder you found won’t long be your funder, will they?

Both of these reasons inevitably result in biased research.

But how can science be biased, you ask? Easy, by focusing on the wrong questions. How can questions be wrong? Easy, when they lead to the answers someone wants.

And thus to the question with which I opened this post. Which I’ll now rephrase as, “Why do so many fear remembering their dreams?

To me, that is the real question. Why are so many so scared of remembering their dreams?

You see, I believe dreams are crucial to our well-being.

Indeed, I don’t simply believe that, I know it for an absolute fact. How do I know that? Well, firstly from my own experience, and secondly because some investigation has been done into this rather unprofitable area of research. Such research invariably finds that if animals are deprived of Rapid Eye Movement sleep for any significant time their performance significantly degrades.  And yes, contrary to popular belief, we humans are indeed animals. My own personal experience, on which I place at least equivalent weight to the scientific research, has shown me that not only does my performance degrade, but I also start suffering from signs of dementia in which I start becoming confused by waking dreams.

All said, I figure that if dreams are sufficiently important that our bodies literally enforce them on us, whether we’re awake or asleep, then they must be crucial to our well-being. I honestly don’t care what anyone says contrary to this – everything our bodies and minds do, is done for a reason. Nothing “just happens”.

Dreams are about reason. If we’re deprived of dreams, we lose not only our ability to reason, but reason itself. In other words, we go crazy.

I don’t doubt that for an instant.

What I don’t understand {Okay, okay… there is lots I don’t understand!} is why so little research is done into something so crucial to life itself. Sadly, I am fairly certain it isn’t because people aren’t interested.  No, I’m pretty sure it is because no one has figured out how to sell the concept of making money from other people’s dreams to those with the money to fund the research.

What a sad state of affairs for humanity! If money is not to be made, it doesn’t matter… Wrong.

Anyway, back to the opening, and subsequently modified, question of why so many are scared of their dreams.

Many, many reasons – not based on research, just on my thoughts. Some of these thoughts are further questions which I answer, however I encourage you to provide your own answers, and maybe even ask yourself additional questions.  Remember, the best questions always lead to another why, and often to another way.

Where do answers come from? From questions…

Do we awaken to nightmares more often than we do to dreams? I think most people do, but I don’t think this is because we have more nightmares than we have pleasant dreams. I think it is because most people are sufficiently scared by their nightmares that their body actually rouses them to wakefulness in order to flee. Terror is not a fun state of mind, but it is certainly sensational. Sure, some people tell themselves they enjoy being terrified, as witnessed by the popularity of horror movies and books, but I think what they are really enjoying is the sensations terror induces.

If the assumption that people wake to nightmares more often than to pleasant dreams is correct, then it is quite obvious why people would fear remembering their dreams.

However, this begs another question. Do we have nightmares more often than we have pleasant dreams? I don’t believe we do, however I do believe we fully awake to nightmares more often than we do to pleasant dreams. Why? Because when we feel ourselves awaking from a good dream, we are rewarded not by waking, but by lingering within the dream. I’m pretty certain the following statement is true… For us to remember our dreams, we must be awake.

Good news! We can remember our good dreams. All we need to do is learn to wake up as they are ending… Think how amazing that would be. Not only could we enjoy our dreams when we’re having them, but we could enjoy them forever by remembering them at will.

I know how to remember my dreams. I do it often. I will not tell.

What I don’t know, is how to ensure I will dream dreams worth remembering.

Why hasn’t research been done into this? I believe it is because no one knows how to make money from other people’s dreams. I believe it is because true happiness lies within more than without. Happiness is readily accessible in our dreams, if only we knew how to initiate and recall them. Happiness can’t be bought at any price, and price is what the funders of research are focused upon. Happy people don’t need things to make them happy, and the funders of research are more interested in things they can sell, than in dreams – which are free.

What do you believe?

~ Dreams ~
~
Inspiration,
dwells everywhere,
it is in our dreams,
and in the air,
it is the wind that blows
without,
and it is the air we breathe
within.
~

Though I won’t tell how I remember my dreams, I have told of my dreams. My work {to me Beltamar’s War is far more than merely a novel} is an example of my dreams. Malmaxa is a place where humanity is freed from the self-imposed constraints of survival, it is freed to live, and also to die. Malmaxa is my dream of a better humanity than that which now savages our Earth.

Soon, I’ll post a poem based on another type of dream. If you’re interested in reading it I recommend you subscribe to my blog using the option in the top right. Why? Because I usually refrain from posting my most passionate thoughts, and this poem is based on a dream of passion. Why do I so refrain? I certainly don’t refrain from passion, indeed passion rules my life. However, like everyone, I dread the harsh judgment of others. Perhaps, at its root, that is why people are so scared of remembering their dreams.  For, you see… In our dreams, is the only place we are ever truly free. True freedom, is scary.

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I know What, but not Why?

People are incredibly arrogant. They think that all they need do is shake their head in scorn at anything they don’t understand, or for which no scientific explanation exists, make some derisive comment, ignore their intuition, and their vision of a world in which they are in absolute control of their own destiny remains safe.

Which is precisely what many do when it comes to questions about the moon. That something so far away can have such a dramatic impact on the behavior of so many  simply boggles their minds. It casts a veil of doubt on their safe little view of reality. Sadly such close minded people are often able to impose their narrow minded thinking on their children.

The moon… it hovers overhead, held in place by a force scientists explained through the use of created mathematical formulae.  Gravity.

Yet no one truly understands what gravity actually is.

Forget about the apparent fact that gravity exists, and tell me why gravity exists.  You don’t need to tell me what gravity is, I know.  What I don’t know, is why gravity is.

Once you’ve accomplished that, which you’ll never manage, I’d like you to reconsider this imprecise sentence. You’ll notice an assertion about another non-specific, namely time itself.  Which will then become your next topic of research.

I’d really appreciate you explaining why Time is.  But in the matter of time, let me be the first to admit I don’t even know what it is, even though it still controls every aspect of my life.

Why?

Why did I write this post?  Because for the last few days I’ve been angry and miserable.  But I didn’t know why until someone called me on it.  On impulse, I looked up the current phase of the moon.  I know what I did, and what I found, but I still don’t know why.

I fear modern humanity has already lost more knowledge than it will ever gain.

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Is Love’s perfect measure, a Tootsie roll?

In the USA we celebrate two rather peculiar Holidays.

The first of these is called Halloween. The principle attraction of this holiday, at least for young children, is something called “Trick or Treat” – a fun time for both parents and children. Parents dress up their young children, then parade them around the neighborhood, proudly displaying their progeny for all to see. As for the kids, they get to be praised by all for simply being kids, but most importantly, they also get showered with free candy.

The second strange holiday is called Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that no one has yet managed to ruin through commercialization. Essentially, it is a pretty traditional family feast. In our household my wife has become such a masterful chef that everyone loves Thanksgiving. I don’t think I exaggerate in saying our family looks forward to Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. Indeed, I think even my wife enjoys working like a slave for the days leading up to the actual feast. She heaps our plates with fantastic foods, and we heap her with praise. A classic win-win situation :).

So, precisely what does any of this have to do with measuring love with a Tootsie roll? I’m getting there, impatient one.

Our oldest daughter lives in Athens, Ohio. This year Athens celebrated Halloween on the evening of October 27th. Eden, our almost five-year-old Granddaughter, scored in the candy sweepstakes. Later, while counting her stash of well-gotten gains, Eden found a Tootsie roll. Eden knows I love Tootsie rolls, so she turned to her mom and said, “I’ll save this for Granddad.” She then put it aside.

A month flies by.

This year Thanksgiving fell on the 24th November. Along with her mother, father, and baby sister, Eden arrived. After greeting each person individually, she arrived at me, kindly granted me a hug, {which she has been known to withhold,} then held out a tight clenched fist and said, “I brought something special for you, Granddad.”

I reached out my open hand, into which Eden dropped a warm and soft little Tootsie roll. I unwrapped it and ate it immediately. As I did she said, “I know you like them.”

I managed to assure her that I did before I had to turn away. Some troublesome gnats must have flown into my eyes.

How do you measure the length of love?

Usually, I don’t measure love at all, for Love truly is incomparable. However, a few days ago I found Love’s perfect measure, at least for that moment. A single, hand-melted Tootsie roll. Should you ever be so lucky.

Avidly look for love and you’ll find it, and often in the most surprising of places.

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A Butterfly’s Breath.

The breath of a butterfly changes the world.” I have no idea who first realized that truth, or who first formed it into words. When I heard the expression as a youngster, I questioned it with thoughts along these lines…

How can something no one can possibly see, do anything that affects me?
And if it doesn’t affect me, then how can it possibly change the world?

It took years for me to realize the errors in my thoughts. I erred by including the center of my universe in my thoughts. Namely, “me”.

The arrogance of youth…

There is no requirement for things to affect us to make them matter. The universe does not center about any individual, certainly not around me, and not around you either. Indeed some of the things that matter most don’t affect us at all. Some unethical company can dump toxic waste into a river on the other side of the world. My drinking water is still clean, so that doesn’t affect me. Some unscrupulous monster in the guise of human flesh can torture, rape, maim, and murder people deep in Darkest Africa. That doesn’t affect me! After all I don’t live in Africa anymore, I live in the safety of suburban America.

Only those deeds do matter.

We can remain completely unaware of something, and it will still change the world. That isn’t an opinion, it is an inescapable fact. Everything affects everything else. There is no ripple too small to change the world, and there is no ripple that ends until it has.

The world is the way the world is, but I don’t for a moment believe the world is the way it is meant to be.

Would I have the world be another way?

Yes, I would have humanity be just. However if anything changed the past, this would not be the present we occupy, would it? Would the present from a changed past have you here, reading this post at this precise moment in time? Would it have you with yours, and me with mine? A present from a changed past would have none of the things we hold most precious. In a present from a changed past, you and I would likely not exist at all.

A butterfly’s breath changes everything.

A present from a changed past would likely be as terrible as the present we’re already in, so best we stick with our present, and make no vain wishes to change our past. By “terrible”, I don’t mean for you or for me. After all, we’re in the comfort of wherever, reading or writing this on some computer screen, somewhere. We, you and I, have it vastly better than the overwhelming majority of humanity. Indeed, we have it pretty damn good. However that doesn’t make the world a good or just place, it only makes you and I unjustly privileged.

No, the world is most definitely not as it is meant to be.

But perhaps we are who we are meant to be. Though we cannot change the past, we can change the future…  Be the smallest ripple, and change the world. But please, change it for the better – not for the better of you and me, but the better for everything.

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Should family come first?

Today is Thanksgiving day.  Thanksgiving is a time of family, both for enjoying the company of your family, and for reflecting on its importance in your life.  It makes me ponder the apparently obvious question of whether family should come first?

For me family always has. My children hold an importance in my life I think they will only begin to comprehend when they have children of their own in their lives.

So, yes. Family comes first.

However that is only a partial bit of a greater truth. Another partial bit of truth is how we place the ones we love ahead of ourselves. And yet another bit of strictly personal truth {When is truth ever not personal?} is how I am biased against “first”, which is what this post is really about. Now be warned  I’m going to explore this matter at some length, so feel free to stop reading as soon as you get bored.

The initial thoughts that pop into my mind are that first requires there be a last. First turns things into a competition, and love should never be a competition. Not for children, who should never need to compete for their parents love. Not for parents, who should never love one child more than another. And not for people in love, who should never think their love is greater than that of those who love them.

Sadly, we often fail in all these instances.

Time for an admission – I really don’t like competition. Sure, when I was growing up competition was everywhere. I competed to gain an entry place into the High School I attended. I competed with every other student in my grade level for placement in the top class. I competed in sports, both team, and individual. The day scholars competed against the boarders. My school competed against others, both academically and in sports. I constantly competed against my own siblings, then we’d team together and compete against the neighbors. When I entered military service, I competed against other conscripts for officer selection training. In the School of Infantry we were split into teams that competed against each other. We also competed against the members of our own team, in order to remain in officer training. After our basic training we competed for the military units we wanted to serve in. Some competed for secure headquarters postings, and some competed to gain an active duty posting in the field of combat. I fell into the latter category.

And then shit hit the fan.

We started competing for our lives.

I am still alive.

So why do I not feel like a winner for surviving?  During the war I felt like I was, and yet my side lost.  To my first-hand knowledge, the Rhodesian Military never lost a battle, yet the insurgents won the war.  The victors write history, and the losers are soon forgotten. Years later might have been when I finally realized that in war the soldiers who do the fighting are never winners, regardless of the side on which they fight. The aftermath of war is not victorious soldiers and vanquished, faceless foes, it is victims, some of whom were once soldiers, who were once people.

Are there no winners in war?

Yes, there are winners in war.  They are the unscrupulous politicians.  They are the financiers who profit from other peoples’ deaths.  They are the manipulators calling the shots, while cowering behind the scenes. They are those who never lift a weapon in combat, yet speak loudest of Defense, Justice, and Liberty.  The winners in war are the liars and the thieves.

Mortal combat is the final competition.  Don’t mistakenly believe that combat is the ultimate competition, for ultimate has connotations of good, and there has never been, nor ever will there ever be, a good war.  Not ever, and nor ever.  Strong words?  Yes, but obviously not strong enough, since wars still ravage a humanity foolish enough to be easily manipulated by those who profit from death and misery.

Perhaps this post gives clues as to why I am so biased against “first”, even in the case of family.  You see, for me,  first connotates competition.

Competition…

Competition should for be for the joy of competing, not for mere survival.

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Does it really matter?

Everything matters.

Everything.

And often the little things we barely notice matter far more that the big.

When I was about 19 years old I broke the second and third metatarsals in my left foot. It took over six months for my foot to fully heal. It still aches sometimes. There is no comparison between the pain of an aching foot and that of an aching heart, however there is no doubt that they are both pain.

Did you know that taking pain medication has been shown to ease emotional pain? {Don’t misinterpret my saying that as an endorsement of taking pain medication to soothe a broken heart, it absolutely is not.}

I gleaned that fascinating tidbit of information from “Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior“, by Professor Mark Leary Ph.D. of Duke University. If you’re the least interested in psychology and the mysterious forces that make us do the seemingly inexplicable things we do you should take the time to listen to this course. It is simply outstanding.

While we can say we’ll forget yesterday, is that a wise thing to do? I think we might be better served by remembering how fragile emotions are, and how when we inadvertently hurt the ones we love, we invariably hurt ourselves as well. Perhaps that is the proof of what so many say, yet which I find so difficult to accept.  Namely, that we must care for ourself if we are to care for others too.

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Eden

This post is prompted in part by someone I follow on Twitter:-


In his review of my work, David mentions how he think Malmaxa is partly autobiographical. He is not far from the truth.  Perhaps this post will serve to illustrate what I mean by that.

My eldest daughter, Tamryn, has blessed us with two granddaughters. Tamryn’s oldest bears the name Eden. The “real” Eden is now five years old.  Eden is also one of the principle heroines in Beltamar’s War.

Tamryn really does not like Walmart. For non-Americans, Walmart is a super-giant general store with what many, myself included, consider to be highly questionable ethics and practices, particularly in relation to their labor-force.

Eden knows her mom doesn’t like Walmart. Eden, is smart.

Eden’s gran often spoils Eden by buying her inexpensive little toys from, shall we say “highly questionable” sources?

{Scene set.}

Eden and her mother are having a discussion during which Eden becomes emotional.  Eden uses the opportunity to say how she knows Walmart is a bad place, and then goes on to plaintively admit, “Sometimes gran takes me to Walmart, and I don’t like it!”

Isn’t it fascinating how children so desperately desire to please their parents?  At the age of five Eden displays this tendency, and yet she also uses such emotional opportunities to manipulate her mother into permitting her to retain the little gifts showered upon her by her paternal grandmother.

Something I find truly astounding is that I conceived the Eden of Malmaxa years before the real Eden, on which the Malmaxian Eden is based and to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, was born.

Circles and flows, where we come from, nobody knows…

The joy Eden brings us cannot be purchased at any price. Her mom has absolutely no idea how lucky she is to have such a wonderfully special child.

But then every child is very special. Every child is utterly unique. And every child deserves the chance to grow into who they will one day become. Even if who they will one day become, is someone they already were long before they were conceived.

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Artists’ Hands

The hand of of my youngest daughter, Julia. Her hand holds several pieces of origami art she created from sweet wrappers.  Julia’s hand partially covers my hand, which in its turn partially covers my first book, the cover of which is filled with artwork created by my hand, and which in its turn covers another form of art, the art form I personally hold most dear. Namely, ideas cast in those squiggly symbols we see as words.

Once Art begins, does it ever end?

Once Art begins, does it ever end?

So, in other words…

Art,
atop its artist’s hand,
atop its father’s hand,
atop the artwork of the
father’s hand…

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Racism.

You probably don’t realize it, but if you’re a normal person then you’re a victim of racism. Whether your skin is light, or dark, or anywhere in between doesn’t matter a bit, you’re already one of its victims.

So what is racism, anyway? In my opinion, racism is a manifestation of a particularly unpleasant, ugly trait – a trait called greed. Greed comes in many forms. There is greed for money, greed for power, greed for fame. If anything can be quantified, then there are greedy people who want it. Perhaps the essence of greed is how it invariably demands more than its fair share.

But if greed is only concerned with quantity, what does it have to do with race? The answer is simple. For anyone to get more than their share, others must get less.

This is the reason the greedy are interested in manipulating our perceptions of race. Who are the greedy? They aren’t the parents of normal people like you and me, they are those we never see, yet who subtlety influence our every thought. They are the purveyors of power. They are those who control the mass-media. They are those who decide which fashions we’ll follow, which music plays on the radio, which books we’ll read, which movies we’ll watch, which scandals outrage us and which we ignore, and ultimately it is the hidden purveyors of power that decide who we’ll blame.

You see racism isn’t really about race at all. Racism is about identifying suitable victims for society’s simmering anger.

Deep in our hearts we all know things are not as they should be. The evidence is everywhere, and although it is irrefutable, very few of us ever pay it heed. Why? Because the powers that be have distracted us from the truth with irrelevant lies. They have given us a victim to blame for the injustice in the world. They have pointed a finger at someone identifiably different and screamed, “It is their fault!

And we have listened.

Racism isn’t about race.

Racism is about having someone easy to identify, and easy to blame.

Racism is a lie that proclaims, “Things aren’t bad because of outrageous privilege for a miniscule minority, things are bad because ‘they’ want to take your job!” Racism, the lie, draws a breath and screams, “Things aren’t bad because 85 people have as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world, things are bad because ‘they’ are too lazy to work as hard as you!

Racism is nothing more than a distraction from the truth. The truth is that no variety of human is superior to any other. The truth is that no matter what color our skin, the blood that flows through our veins is red. The truth is that no human is any more human than any other. And the ultimate truth is that no human is ever any less.

Racism is not new. Racism did not come into existence with the advent of Television, or Radio, or Newspapers, or with any form of mass-media. Racism is as ancient as history. It has existed for as long as humans have had power over other humans. It exists because those in power have always known that to divide is to conquer.

Racism has never been about black versus white. It has never been about pale-skinned Christians versus dark-skinned Islamics. Racism has always been about greed. It has always been a lie designed to distract the average person with an easily identifiable scapegoat on which to heap blame.

If the powerful manage to convince enough people that those who are different from them are somehow less, then it is a trivial matter to extend that pseudo-logic to assert that if they are less, then it is just that we should get more. Unfortunately it turns out that though they do indeed get less, we never get more – the ones who get more are invariably the ones in power who originally perpetrated the lie.

Since time immemorial, the powerful have manipulated the citizenry by dehumanizing the people to be subjugated. People just don’t care as much about those they think are substantially different from themselves. People will ignore horrific deeds, provided those deeds are committed against others who are seen as “different”.

Race is probably the easiest difference to identify.

But here’s the kicker. Racism has never really about the differences between “them” and “us”. It has always been about the greed of those in power. Dehumanize them, then either kill them, enslave them, or imprison them. Once one of those objectives is accomplished, the powerful are free to take whatever they want. After all, the dead don’t need land, the enslaved don’t need goods, and the property of the imprisoned is subject to confiscation.

What is the correlation between race and greed? Nothing, but if the victims have a different color skin then dehumanizing them in the eyes of society is a trivial matter. Divide by emphasizing differences, then exploit.

Were Native American tribes massacred because their skin is darker? Or did the colonialists covet their land?

Were the Salem Witch Hunts really about witches? Or were they about people stealing by confiscating?

Did the Nazis murder millions of Jews because of their dark hair and skin? Or did the most powerful Nazis covet the accumulated wealth of the Jewish sector?

Does Israel maltreat the Palestinian People because they are Islamic Arabs? Or because a downtrodden people must worry about survival before they think about why they cannot own land in their homeland?

Why was the United States of America so shamefully reluctant to end slavery? Because black people are only three-fifths of white people? Or because wealthy slave owners wanted to continue exploiting poor slaves?

Racism has always been about exploiting others. While superficially it might seem to be about color, the equally ugly reality is that it is always about greed.

Racism subtlety proclaims that since they are obviously less than us, it is fair that they should get less than us. Racism subtlety proclaims that since they are beneath us, it is fair that they should have the jobs that are beneath us. Racism is not subtle.

There are enormously obvious errors in such thinking…

  • There is only one earth, and we are all its children.
  • There is no us and them, there is only we.

Regardless of skin color, the blood of every human is red. Let us never forget that, and let us never shed blood to preserve false differences that we must be taught exist.

Have you ever had a chance to watch toddlers of different races playing together? I have, and it is a beautiful thing. Toddlers are blissfully unaware of their differences. To toddlers, race is no more a barrier to friendship than language or gender. When, and why, do we teach our children that the color or their skin, or the shape of their genitals, or the gods of their parents choosing matters more than unity? Why do we propagate the lie that racism is, and has always been? Why do we teach our children to be intolerant of differences that are easily visible to every adult eye, yet which toddlers do not see? Why do we teach our children that the content of a person’s character is less important than the color of their skin? Why do we lie to our own children by following the hidden agendas of the purveyors of power?

Look into your heart, if you’re a racist you’ll soon find signs. If you do, then the people who taught you to become one are probably your parents. But don’t stop there. Ask yourself who taught the people who taught you. Once you know where the lie began, it becomes easy to see where the lie will end. With you. Now. At this very moment. Please don’t teach your children the color of their skin matters an iota.

I once said, “Without diversity is doom.” That statement holds true for all of nature. Humanity is part of nature.

Racism is an abomination no different from slavery. It is time humanity raised a collective voice of outrage and abolished it.

{PS. If you’d like to visit a world stripped bare of the trivialities that make humanity act so poorly, of which race is but one, you can – simply click this link and start reading now. It won’t cost you a dime, but it will cost you your time.}

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Texting.

~ Don’t ~

Never walk and text.
Walk, and breathe.
Walk, and see.
Walk, and talk.
Walk, and listen.
Walk, and touch.
But walk and text?
It stops all
the above.

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Feelings.

Is it even possible to feel, let alone love, the same way toward two separate people? Both intuitively and logically, I don’t think it is. No two people are the same. Nor are any two relationships the same.  So believing we can feel the exact same way toward any two individuals really doesn’t make sense.

Perhaps part of the problem is how we humans are so intent on measuring things?

Why do we try and quantify our feelings?

Though they sometimes feel burdensome, do feelings actually have weight? Though we assign feelings depth, is depth a measure by which we should compare our feelings for any two people?

We know the ones we love.  However measurements begin to fail when we attempt to determine those we love the most, and even worse, those we love the least.

Perhaps the truth is that love truly is incomparable?

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Blind Dates.

With virtually everyone we meet, we follow a certain path. In this blog post, I’m going to consider that path, which too often leads us nowhere.

First, our eyes scan. That takes a fraction of a second, sometimes it happens so fast our eyes don’t even need to move, a single retinal image is all that’s required for the instinctive processes to run. Within the next instant, or perhaps within the same moment, we have already cataloged and made our first judgment.

Interesting / Not Interesting / Perhaps / Definitely / WOW! / Yuck! / etc. etc. etc…

{This is a major reason I believe there will never be “artificial intelligence”. Computers have an option of two possibilities, thinking beings have options unrestricted by numbers.}

Once we’ve made that initial multifaceted categorization, it is very difficult for us to change it. We seldom even consider approaching, further investigating, or paying real attention to anyone who falls beneath a certain perceptive level. Likewise, for those who pass sight’s first momentary muster, we’re unwilling to discard them even when they prove themselves to hold no qualities we value, besides their looks.

Personally speaking, I have always been very strongly attracted to short, dark haired women. I’ve spent many hours wondering why and never been able to come up with any satisfactory reason. My mother is taller than average and has pale hair.  So much for Freud! {Who I have always considered to be a complete fraud. :)} Since I can’t explain this powerful physical preference logically, I think it might be somehow encoded into my psyche. However, there are self-taught exceptions to my encoded preferences. I’m fairly certain if you examine yours closely you’ll find you have similar exceptions. Here is an example. In high school I developed an enormous crush on my English Literature Teacher, who did not fit into my mysterious encoding for “should be short and dark haired”. As a student I had no choice but to spend time listening closely to everything she said.  This gave me a chance to learn what an amazing person she was. Ever since then, if a woman has a resemblance to Miss Earl I find them attractive. They get an instant pass.

Read back and you’ll see a lot of things have been visually processed, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of how our choices are made.  Anyway, all of this visual determination and categorization happens long before we’ve said a single word. Long before.

How sad is that?

How many wonderful relationships never even get a chance to start because one or the other person has already made a start / stop determination before a single word has been shared? Before a single pheromone has been delivered? Before a single lip has curled, either up or down? Before we actually know anything about their character, values, religious beliefs, or individual preferences – which are probably just as limiting as our own?

Love at first sight truly exists.

I know that for an absolute, unquestionable fact because it happened to me with my wife Suzanne. The key concept up until this point, is “sight”. Marketers know this, as evidenced by their use of attractive people in commercial advertising. {I wonder how many physically ugly politicians have ever been democratically elected?  Conversely, I wonder how many pretty people with horribly flawed characters have?}

I’m guessing the first criteria on-line dating sites use to narrow choices to potential dates, is a picture. Before on-line dating, many people met via something called “blind-dates”. I set up and went on a few of those myself. I can tell you the first real question asked was always “What do they look like?” Sure, we try might try and couch ourselves as not so shallow by leading in with something else, but the real make or break question was always about looks.

Humans are visual beings. Think about it logically and you have to agree this is simply undeniable. Now let me ask you something. Where does that leave people who are without the benefit of sight? I imagine that with the first enormous hurdle removed, of an image permitting or preventing further interaction, blind people are far more open to diversity. However I don’t know that, I’m just imagining it.

Have people without the gift of sight been given other gifts? I think so. Perhaps not limiting their friendships based on something as illusory as sight is one such gift?

When next we meet someone, let us all try to be blind. Let us impose an image we love over their visual form, then listen and let them reveal who they truly are inside – we might well be surprised.

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Destiny

The world, and everything within it moves in cycles. Every cycle impacts every other. We’ve just forgotten that truth.

Makers of our own destinies? Walkers on the preset paths of destiny might be more true.

Does the path of destiny meander? Who knows, but where it leads, there do I surely go.

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