Category Archives: Technical Ramblings

What Are We Marching For?

What in the hell is happening to America? Somewhere along the way, we stepped off the path of righteousness and just keep using our machetes to make a path to wherever the hell we’re heading. Lots of people including myself have problems with the direction that this country is heading. Some feel that we should have never left the 50′s (or maybe that’s the 30s onward), and they have made themselves known in politics around the world and now on our very streets.

A Nazi March in 2017 at UVA (courtesy: Hatewatch)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The war of words is loud, strong, and relentless online and off, with either side calling each other names for not agreeing with them. But lately the words have gained slicing edges that are doing real damage. Our politics is no longer about right or wrong, but about for and against. The words of our forefathers no longer mean anything in our souls, because our hearts don’t beat for the same reasons that our forefathers fought for. I guess that’s what happens when you only care about who wins with no thought about what you’re losing.

A big part of the problem is that this country will not have a public discourse on how we got here. Just like we never did when we were first setting this country up. I’ve been reading excerpts from the Radical Reader by Timothy Patrick McCarthy and John Campbell McMillan. It’s a valuable collection of personal writings from the leaders who made their marks upon this country from its birth to current times. I wish that this book had been available when I was in school as it is critical reading. The words of the original writers ring through with their hearts vibrating loudly for their causes, so that we understand the circumstances that drove them to action. And in the process we get a truer image of our country’s history from all perspectives, and not just for the call of patriotism.

No country has a clean history. Every country has sides that are fighting to be heard. We like to use the term “radical” as a slur, but fail to realize that those who accept this label wear it with pride for their cause. Perhaps if we looked at our leaps in advances in history, then we would realize that radical thoughts and acts are what pushed us forward into the great unknown. Much of what we enjoy today is directly responsible by radical thoughts and acts of our predecessors throughout history.

But as much as we gain, there is also so much to lose when we refuse to engage with thoughts and acts that endanger the greater good. I’ve supported a lot of organizations like the ACLU who stand up for free speech, but somewhere along the way we’ve lost sight of what that exactly means. The world is not just black or white.

It is critical that we be allowed to speak what’s in our hearts, but we also need to take responsibility when those words and actions cause a great harm. We need to talk about the dangers involved with free speech when it is not assisted with the lessons learned from all sides.  The legal world likes to claim that it is truly a blind and fair system, but so many cases over the years have little to do with fairness and more to do with cost. When does the true cost override the calculated costs that drive our current capitalistic world? When does the rule of law admit that is does not have all of the answers because so many participants are left out of the proceedings?

Here's one way to start the conversation (courtesy: teamreboot)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some things cannot and should not be accepted. Like the first image above which depicts the latest Nazi march in Charlottesville by those who sympathize with white supremacy and all that it stands for. We fought a global war to stop this violent rhetoric, and yet America did not remember the incalculable lesson. Equality does not mean much when there are tiers on which groups must stand that places everyone at different levels. Each new level added means that equality gets further and further away.

If we want to have this conversation, then we need to talk about both sides of the equation and why they are right and wrong. This violence is occurring because someone feels disrespected. But each someone also needs to realize that there are others who experience the disrespect in very divergent ways. Physical and verbal violence leave their marks on everyone, but most especially the victim who receives them. We’ve gone way past saying that everyone deserves a say when someone dies because of the altercation. Death is never the final solution. We should have learned this over and over again in wars at home and abroad. What is it going to take to wake up?

Anyone who advocates hate does so at their own risk. Because whatever you put out there will come back to you, and sometimes it will come back in volumes you never expected. Our leaders of our coumtry, both locally and nationally, have abdicated their positions as representatives for the people.  The conversation cannot be about making a law and expecting others to follow it without finding all risks involved . Each law you make negates the opportunity to fix the problem by applying bandages and tourniquets, but never healing the root cause.

Instead of expecting political and legal solutions, we need to deal with this on a national level with every person involved in the repair. We’ve run out of time to save democracy, because the image above and the actions of all those involved prove that democracy is gone (if it was ever really here). Political participants don’t want to see change, so long as they can beat the drum of their ideology.

But our country and every country out there is about more than ideology. They are about ALL living things, great and small, successfully co-existing and prospering equally. Anything else you hear from the system is just empty words as long as they are not paired with true action that tries to fix each and every problem our society faces.

What are we marching for? I guess it depends on how you see the images above in your own heart and soul.

I know that my soul has been crying out for answers that are nowhere to be seen or heard. Even those people who are fighting for change aren’t engaged as our world needs them to be. Forget about picking a side. The boat is flooding in on both sides and no one seems to be carrying a bucket.

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Once Again, Net Neutrality vs The System

And once again, we are back at the ropes. It seems like this is becoming a yearly (if not more frequent) occurrence, but it’s an important fight to champion. One one side, we have the titans of capitalism who espouse the absolute rightness of free market principles (which don’t even exist in reality). And on the other, we have all users of the Internet and its symbolism as the expression of freedom that we are losing more and more each day at the hands of said capitalistic system.

Internet Tolls will become common without Net Neutrality (courtesy: Imgur)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a fair fight, it would be principles against profit, but this has not been anywhere near a fair fight when the so-called titans of free market have their hands up the skirt of the system that defines what we citizens are allowed to do and have. How do you trust rules, laws, and agendas when their writings are full of loopholes resulting in the decimation of all that we hold dear? So, once again we have to fight for a free Internet that no longer resembles what it was created for, but has become so much more for all of humanity.

The Internet is not a reflection of the real world, but it is the world as it would exist without the interventions of those who seek order above all. Good or bad, it is what brings dreams into reality for so many people around the world, and without a free Internet, there would be no innovation. Innovation requires the minds of everyone and not just the free market itself. Creations are born from the fires of inspiration and not the hollow bellies of the profit machines.

We all have voices, and yet some of our voices are not heard over others who claim prominence simply because they paid for it. If paid voices are given more value to non-paid voices, then how can we claim a democratic system when the inequality is obvious by the available content?

I write because it is part of who I am. I choose not to allow advertising simply because it will change or even suppress my voice. Like it or not, the payer has expectations for the revenue. Their agenda gets precedence over my own thoughts because that is what a free market means to our current state of economics. But that is not what free market actually is. When another authority (say money) dictates what I can or cannot write about, then the market is no longer free from intervention. A free market means that anything can come into reality and its life will be dictated on whether it is liked and wanted by others. Even a single person supporting something gives it the ability to exist for others. While I write to express and clarify myself to both me and others, I have the freedom simply because I am not engaging in the market via its accepted rules. While I may not have exposure, I have existence which is all that I need at the moment.

In Internet terms, Net Neutrality is the free market of the digital content creators and not just the power of the ISPs. Both are needed in order for the Internet to exist, and one will wither without the other. The ISPs have captured the system and are trying to undo the ruling of the last FCC decision for Title II that said that the Internet is a public utility that will allow all content to move freely without interference.

It is a fight that is as old as money, as we are all supposed to have a voice that can be heard without preferential treatment. Now that makes it hard to hear all voices, but it also allows it all to stay out there so that we will hopefully find the one we want (and many more we never knew we needed). The new FCC under Pai is aiming to dismantle the freedom that was guaranteed under the previous administration, and only one member spoke for the wishes of the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fight is also embroiling Congress simply because everything is about politics, and no longer about the principles that we fought for in the past: equality, transparency, freedom, opportunity for all – you know all of the things that brought our nation into being as well as the Internet to mature into. Until we realize that life is more than the rule of law, everything will have to fought for because those free market supporters are now trying to sell everything as though it is theirs to sell. This is not the decision for Congress alone to make, much less the FCC panel or the titans of capitalism. This belongs to us all because we all made it into what it has become. It is bigger than the system. It is a reflection of humanity.

We’re so scared of the ugly that we don’t remember that it is just as necessary in order to recognize the beauty that also exists in the eye of the beholder. It’s the duality of life that allows us to learn and grow into proper humans who recognize that everything is about more than themselves. And that seems to be something that those in governance  and power have chosen to forget as they go about the daily rituals of upholding all that exists at the expense of what could be. Order must prevail, even if our system falls in the process, because a few got what they want at the expense of the rest. Or because a civilized citizenry cannot abide by chaos (or so they like to remind us on a daily basis). Kind of like the fight we’re having over every other aspect of our lives as shown in the daily news cycle, mainstream and fringe included.

So, here we go once again, until we all get involved to stop the daily vacillation that profit fans.

edit: and I forgot to add the most important message to pass along:

or normal, or whatever you want to be...on a free Internet

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Truth Can Hamper

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you only seek a side which is close to your truth, are you really seeing, hearing, or even contemplating anything other? Can all of these people who don’t agree with you really be wrong, and only you right? And must you see this as a personal assault against your point of view (which is personal to you, even if others identify with you)?

Truth can hamper real progress when it’s not the whole truth.

Compromise doesn’t mean that others do it, but not you. Compromise means that everyone gives a little to be as fair to as many as can be done. So much in this world misses this point, and we are living the results everywhere. Acceptance without question is not compromise, unless that acceptance has been won after everyone has been heard. That’s the point so many are making that’s not being heard.

Here’s another truth that won’t hamper:

 

 

 

 

 

We all have work to do, so shouldn’t we actually try doing it together? After all, this is our collective lives that are being affected, and not some simple game as the system like to portray itself. There’s much more at stake than just winning or losing. We’ve keep missing the point that humanity has always had more than two sides.

 

- thanks to Umair Haque for continuing to share his perspective to bring truth into the realm of reality.

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Hear Me…Understand Me

Can you hear me?

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What about now? And more importantly: Do you understand me?

 

What will it take for you to hear me? When will you stop to listen to what I mean, and not just to what I say?

Learning to converse (courtesy of the wondrously beautiful movie, Arrival)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watched the movie Arrival today, and have to say that I don’t remember the last time a movie spoke to the inner me so profoundly. The story line was so breathtakingly beautiful because of the depth of understanding and cooperation between the language professor, Louise, and the aliens. Both do not think linearly, and are not limited by the structures that society and our leaders impose upon us. Humans have the capacity to overcome these barriers through shared exchanges and a willingness to step outside of our normal experiences. That it does not happen frequently enough is evident from our current state of global affairs.

Words are the music in my soul, so it was inevitable that this movie would speak to me. Words are the air that I need to exist. Others use similar symphonies like music, color, lines, or texture to express themselves to the outside world. Without them, we only see black and white. And yet all of these things are no longer considered pertinent to the human equation of life. Who thought that this would be a good idea to eliminate them from our lives? Who thought that only linear forward thinking would allow us to successfully venture into our collective future? Who? Because those who made this decision shackled our creative future and tossed away the key. We need to find that key again to unlock not only our human potential, but also to ensure our very survival!

I feel as though I’ve been stuck in a frozen dimensionless plane in life for far too long. Any forward motion is accompanied by too many steps backwards. I look around and see people who talk, but do not stop to truly listen to the meaning behind the words. Their schedules require that expediency be the only answer to the process of living. So, everything outside of the accepted equation is not relevant.

But I also see so many people who are looking for a meaningful connection to facilitate the return of a soul to humanity. We connect momentarily during temporary gatherings, but we need something more that is perpetually sustained. How do we do this outside of the normal channels and organizations? Because clearly, the existing institutions and status quo are failing us spectacularly.

If the current groups will not hear us, then we need to find a different way of communicating. We need to use a different language. We need words that exist outside of structure. We need art…and music…and science…and texture…and life. But most of all we need access to all of these tools to recreate the rich fabric of humanity that once existed. We need to free them from the shackles of conformance.

Life does not conform; it adapts to its ever-changing environment. So, I’m reaching out to someone…anyone…to come talk to me. Mutually build a society from the ground up so that the ending of arrival can become a reality for humanity. Please hear me. Tell me where to meet you. I’m willing to take a step forward with you together towards a world that is in our dreams.

 

I’m sending a signal out to the world once again. Who will hear me and start the conversation? Who will offer more than what money can buy? I’m so tired of the superficial. I want depth back in my life. I know that others out there do as well. Do you understand what you’re hearing from my very soul?

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Words To Think About…F451…Faber

We’re all looking at books that we read in the past to make sense of the present. One that is being talked about is Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s been so long since I read it that I only remembered the sense of it, and not the details. I just changed that by re-reading it and got so much more out of it this time around, as I looked at it with new eyes.

1st edition cover of Farenheit 451 (courtesy: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s something that got to me, spoken by Mr. Faber, the retired English Professor:

Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward. I saw the way things were going, a long time back. I said nothing. I’m one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to the ‘guilty’, but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself. And when finally they set the structure to burn the books, using the firemen, I grunted a few times and subsided, for there were no others grunting or yelling with me, by then. Now, it’s too late.

Or how about this:

It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the ‘parlor family’ today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisions, but are not. No, no, it’s not books at all that you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

And finally:

The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parades roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all of the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money, or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing that you were headed for the shore.

Those are from the second part of the book, when Montag is starting to awaken from deep sleep. I had forgotten just how profound a book this is, and that even back in 1953, Bradbury was clearly seeing what we could become as we set down the path we’ve been stumbling down. Now, look at where we are, and admit that the destination is most definitely not the splendorous jewel of a future we were promised in all of those movies, novels, and national aspirations. Fear has us returning to our past to see if we can find the answer to wake up from this nightmare.

The question is: What will we do with the knowledge once we find it? How do we change what has been written in stone in our societies, so that we can reach a future that all of us want to be part of?

We’ve all been so worried about the one-named beasts that threaten to smother ourselves: censorship, racism, sexism, inequality, classism, dogmatism, materialism, and on and on and on…that we forget what we accomplish collectively that allows for books like this to appear. Now, it seems like these words to think about, by one man who had knowledge but lacked power, can restore the power of the collective to see a better future than the one we will be facing.

Read a classic book, and see what lesson you can bring to life. Heck, it doesn’t have to be a classic, as long as it speaks to your soul (not your ego). Share it over and over until you’ve breathed life back into it. Stoke one fire that isn’t meant to destroy but to create. It’s what we desperately need now.

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Standing Up

It’s going to be a rough time for everyone as the clashes come to light after days of darkness. But then sometimes, something enormous comes along that rights things, if only for a short moment. Just remember that the moment exists for much longer in our minds, hearts, and spirits.

How about something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

The Women's March 2017 (credit: @mwilner)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and how about some history

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When times are the darkest, there will be others who bear torches to see by.

…needed to be said

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Change?

Happy New Year everyone! May it be much brighter for all of us as a whole.

 

Is this the year where the norm of status quo will change, or will it be more of the same?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This quote by the Amazing Grace Hopper is a powerful reminder of how these words have shut down so much opportunity, simply because those who utter them refuse to see past the comfort and ease of status quo. It helps that the lady who uttered them was a computer scientist helping to push the envelope of programming during its infancy, as well as a Rear Admiral in the US Navy.

Well, we are indeed moving further into a time of profound change, or so many people like myself believe. Whether it is for good or bad depends on who the people leading the charge for change are, and what they manage to accomplish. Last year felt painful to many of us, possibly because those in charge kept uttering those words as though they were gospel. Well, many of those people are no longer at the forefront of society, simply because the quote above does ring true for far too many.

Change should always take into account the full history of what it’s impacting, to see if it is really necessary. 2016 was the year that proved to us that much of society and its institutions are not as they need to be to meet a positive future for mankind and the planet Earth.

What do you think? Can we make changes in the foundations of mankind so that a much better outcome for all can happen in 2017? Or will it be a continuation of the pain from 2016. Yes, it’s up to each and every one of us to take a step in a different direction so that we don’t always keep hoping that things will be different though we keep taking the same actions.

Fingers crossed, cuddle a rabbit to touch his feet (and keep it firmly attached so that he or she can continue to hop about happily), find a four-leaf clover that hasn’t mutated from some weird chemical we’re using…whatever it takes to get some luck to pull us up the cliff we are falling over.

btw…this is not a pessimistic thought, but the most positive of hopes. Don’t wait for others to change, but start the process for yourself. I am working at just that myself.

Things have not always been done this way. They’re just things that we’re used to doing without deep thought. Change? It might be just what the future of us as a whole wished for.

…just saying

 

Thanks again Reddit for sharing at the most perfect of times.

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The Bigger Picture…Gets Bigger

While I seriously detest politics, I understand that whether we like it or not, it is this part of establishment that controls our world. So, I wanted to have a brief talk about a subject that is really important, though not in the way that politicians and the media typically covers it.

Take a look at the image below. What do you see?

What the 2016 election really looks like so far (courtesy: NYT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every election frustrates people on all sides because they hear the winners claiming the right to decide simply because they are part of the majority. I always wonder exactly what their majority really looks like – what is the bigger picture. Well, it looks like the NY Times has answered my question about the 2016 primaries that were so hotly contested by all sides. The claims of winning by the majority have been so vocal, and they have taken that claim as a mandate to make all of the decisions for not just the country, but also the world. The term “national politics” carry little meaning in a globalized world. It should be termed “international” politics when a country as “powerful” as the United States is the subject. Yes, I am putting the word powerful in quotations because that is not my word .

This year, the Democrats and the Republicans, have both had contested elections because there was competition amongst a range of candidates. As usual, power was the deciding factor of the competition. Money did play a large part, but it was overpowered by connections and stage control.

Each convention had the largest stage to put on a play that tried to control the narrative of this election. The winner wanted the nation to believe that they alone spoke for the populace, because their voters allowed them to win their respective nomination. But when you see a picture like the one above, that narrative suddenly can be called into question.

  • “How can 9% of the votes become a mandate to make all of the rules for your party?
  • Is the fact that both parties are private, as well as their various supporting institutions, an unfair advantage simply because they can use the laws to their advantage for complete control?
  • How do we have a real conversation about what every person cares about, when the “majority” controls the national narrative?
  • How do the minority ever get their concerns heard if the majority is not interested about their issues?
  • When does the media take responsibility in their share of the narrative control that created a two-party system that does not represent every person in the country?
  • When can we question the rule of law, when it is clearly controlled by groups who have captured the system?
  • When can legal be questioned because it is detached from morality?
  • How does “business as usual” change when it is successfully confronted by an alternative approach that is supported by more people – many who cannot have a voice in the current system?
  • When do we recognize that the world is also captured by our actions and decisions, and that they rely on our responsibility to take the entire world into account? (Remember – globalization)

There are so many questions to ask, simply because of this one bigger picture. The NY Times has a further breakdown of those who did not participate in the primaries for a variety of reason. But none of them will be heard from because the majority does not speak for all of their concerns. The majority speaks for the picture that it wants to create. Hopefully, the NYT builds a story about this picture because it is an important one.

When the picture is of a country that once was, or maybe never had been, then how do we move to the future as we only look at the past? The vibrant promise of this country, and every other country out there, is the variety of people who make up the whole picture. Every person has their own background, their own lifestyle, and their own story. Every person is just a little different than the next person. But we only seem to look at similarities when we make an acquaintance because we want a common foundation to build on. When the common foundation doesn’t appear, then people tend to get nervous because they’re out of their comfort zone. When did comfort become the deciding factor for all rules in life? And when did we all decide that rules were the foundation for living life?

You’ve heard the phrase, “rules are meant to be broken“. It’s a pretty important concept because that is how progress (change) is made. Change is the way of life, as nothing about life is static. So, maybe now is the time to acknowledge that change is ahead and rules will not stop progress when it is being pushed by the future.

Only 9% of the population of the US voted for either the Democratic or Republican candidate. So, 91% of the voices are now held hostage by a minority. Somehow, their majority doesn’t look the same, does it?

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What Change Can Bring

edit: Wildcru is actually the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. I left out my most favorite word in the world, Research, which is the foundation of what I do. Shame on me. This organization deserves better than that!

 

We all remember the story of Cecil the Lion who was hunted for no purpose other than selfishly gracing someone’s mantle. I don’t presume to understand the mentality of those who hunt with no thought to the future of a species, or should I say all living species. Every move we make has a ripple effect, and our choices have to take in more than the present. This thoughtless action caused a global outcry that many understood, and many more ridiculed. Words like “Why worry about lions when humans are dying everyday?” or “How could you kill such a magnificent creature who was so loved?” competed in the midst of a conversation that never gets the full time that it deserves. Probably because we all realize that this conversation is about so much more than a lion. Perhaps the fact that it’s about the eventual outcome of humanity itself because we refuse to think below the surface is the reason why we are afraid to give it voice.

But out of tragedies can come triumphs when we realize what change can bring. These lion cubs are the direct result of Cecil’s life and his legacy. Read the Guardian story, Cecil the Lion’s Legacy: Death Brings New Hope to His Grandcubs if you want to see what a success story creates. It takes courage to stand against a tide of “why bother because nothing changes”. Wildcru (Wildlife Conservation Unit) is part of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology’s attempt to use scientific methodology to address the world’s conservation problems that threaten the natural world. Cecil’s story brought significant funds through donations to Wildcru that allowed a new way to protect our animal counterparts in the wild as they try to survive the frequent overreach of man’s hand.

And this is just one story from one organization which chooses to listen to its heartbeat instead of the profit beat that underpins humanity. People are looking for ways to make a difference. Wouldn’t it be incredible if we were given those all important links like this that will allow us to connect with the beat of our own heart and soul’s desire? What would you do if you had a choice that was more than what’s currently on offer? When presented with daily requirements to choose the “lesser evil”, wouldn’t it be life altering to be given the choice of the ultimate best for the entire planet instead of the blackhole-inducing “what’s in it for me”?

We are in another year of utter chaos that started with the voices of people who have been shouting for change all around the world. Every year those voices become more vocal as the group size increases and puts pressure to “business as usual”. It’s no longer possible to ignore the dreamers who want to create a better life that encompasses the planet and all on it. Those dreamers took us to the moon and beyond, and we still reap the daily benefits from what was created from the ephemeral spokes of what can be done when dreams become real.

What is normal is under attack precisely because it continues to ignore what change can bring. You can’t expect people to continue down a broken path that is littered with the wreckage of the shattered hope stomped out by those who want to limit the future. It’s all about control and those who have it. Why would they want change when they are at the pinnacle of their own possibility? Movies constantly remind us that fantasy and reality are only separated by the thinnest of walls. Today’s reality should make us push for fantasy, if only because the potential is so much more than what’s on offer now. The world today is a pretty crappy place in my opinion, and the opinion of millions more worldwide.

Chaos is scary, but the loss of all dreams should scare us more. Without dreams, there will be no more cubs like those who carry the legacy of Cecil in their very DNA. They are the embodiment of dreams that leap past the apathy that is suffocating the world. When the air runs out, it’s game over for us all. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you just care about something more than yourself. The rewards will surpass all those material things that will crumple with time and selfishness. Life always finds a way to survive. Whether we’re part of a more hopeful future is up to all of us together.

Let’s reach out and make dreams into reality. Just so that we can shut down those voices who have already given up on hope.

…just saying

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It’ll Take More Than Time

We look up to our superheroes because they have lessons to teach us. Some good and some bad, but all of it necessary. It’s amazing that we would have to look at an image drawn by the comic artist Wayne Boring back in the 1950′s to be reminded that little has changed since then. Probably because we humans need a lot of time to learn the important lessons – more time than we’d like when we want things to change.

Remember Tolerance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We really need to keep this in mind as we descend into the madness that is the world of politics. And this is what it all has in common no matter where you look around the world: INTOLERANCE and the ugliness that goes with it. Whether they are words or actions, the results leave a lasting mark on all that come in contact with it. If you question that observation, then ask anyone who has been the target of intolerance:

  • The family that hurts one of their own because that person acted against the family beliefs.
  • The kids who have been teased and abused because they look or act differently than us.
  • The fear that makes us say and do things that others consider inhumane.
  • The laws that are passed in order to “protect” the majority (read this as status quo) against change and the future.
  • The ignorant labels and caricatures that box all of us in, instead of allowing us the freedom to learn.
  • The actions by those with power who only believe in the rule of law at the cost of everyone’s rights and freedoms.
  • and on and on and on…

It took a conversation with one of my family to understand that time does indeed have a positive effect on how society progresses. When I was a teenager who had recently returned to the US after being away for so many years, I had to figure out ways to fit into a society that didn’t respect the breadth of my background (read this as race if you must). Years of answering the question, “What are you?” from people, questionnaires, check boxes, and officials without understanding why this is so important to them.  And to this day, I still have not come up with any answer that left me in peace.

Yesterday, I found out that someone important to me had a very different experience from my own. It was so much more promising than mine, made possible because others saw the world in a much more open-minded way. As I looked at her, I could see a more positive outlook than mine simply because she did not have to fight against the intolerance that I’d experienced. It also showed in the shock that I saw on her face as she heard me tell my stories. Wow, what a different a decade can make.

So, why are we moving backwards today around the world? Why is bigotry and every ugly “ism” ever created winning a war that continues to drag the soul of humanity down a black hole? Why are our leaders allowed to have time in the presses to spread words of intolerance simply because they want to stay on top in a world that has given them all they desire? And why do we have to listen to any of them simply because they won the luck of the draw, which had nothing to do with pulling themselves up by their bootstraps (as they keep telling us)?

Take a look again at that public message created by a man who saw the world much like those who understand that it is our differences that make us strong as a species. It is a really important viewpoint that affects how we behave towards one another. Go find others who have a similar message in our world today and help them spread it so that we can put a stop to all of the ugliness that is created by continued intolerance by so many around us.

This is why I despise the labels that we continue to press upon others, without getting to know them first. Not one of us is as one-dimensional as our image portrays – which can be easily manipulated to affect other views of us. We are made up of pages and pages of our own history that creates the person we are today, and who we are working to become.  So why would we accept whatever one-dimensional label some person or institution forces on us? It only matters if we choose let it happen.

We don’t have to be the world that our news and history books think we are. The change is in each and every one of our hands. This year being an election year is an important reminder, not because of your vote but because of your motivation to WANT something more positive for us all. Don’t let petty squabbles of individual topics force you to pick a side! Nothing in our world is just black and white, because there are also many shades of gray. All of these topics are issues that have connections to one another when we take the time to view the world with a wider vision. We are not simply living under rules of law, because we now see just how broken the rules have become. Listen to the protests around the world, and you’ll see that more people are no longer accepting life that only takes rules into account. The leaders are not the only ones with wise words. Look around you and see what their words have created to see the obvious.

Our lives will never be only about jobs, money, and power.  Your position in life cannot and should not define you, unless you let it. Those who place such importance on the shallow do not see the depth of the world. And if all you see and hear are what can be versus what is possible, then you’ve given up on dreams. Dreams become real when we choose to accept the challenge that life offers us, while ignoring the naysayers that tell you that what you want is impossible. As much as that phrase “Never give up, never surrender” annoys me, it is absolutely evident each time I’ve picked myself up off the ground and kept going.  So, thank you (I think) Galaxy Quest for advice that my hubby tells me all of the time.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that all of the conversations that we are FINALLY having today are very important to the future of humanity. It’s obvious how important they are because status quo and the system are trying to quiet down the discussions before they can take place, simply because they don’t want anything to change. Rules are not what is important, but questioning the rules is absolutely imperative if we want to learn, grow, and change all that is wrong. THAT is what makes history – everything else is just window dressing. Just remember that it’ll take more time than you expect, but all good things seems to require a lot of time and effort before they come to life. I for one think that the effort is worth it when you imagine the possibilities our future can hold.

…just saying

and thanks to Thurdbase for finding this important and oh so timely reminder!

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