I keep rewriting this because my emotions are in a jumble. The Charlie Hebdo massacre (there really is nothing else to call this) has hit me as hard as 9/11 did. Though the scale is different, the feeling is just as devastating. Sorrow…followed by an increasing anger has become a common theme for so many of us. Something has got to change.
It is just too early in this new year for these bad events to continue to escalate in the way that they always seem to. It’s especially hard because so many of these bad happenings all have a common foundation: the increasing loss of our freedoms. Whether it is by corporations, governments, or religious groups (or some individual who just wants to crush anyone), a majority of people are losing themselves at the expense of a status quo’s belief systems. And that is why this particular moment is resounding within me (and so many others).
Any creative person who values freedom during the creation process will feel this personally. Any attack on our ability to freely create (while hopefully respecting multiple perspectives) is tantamount to attacking us personally. If you don’t respect our right to our own opinion, then who knows what else you’ll disrespect or how far you’ll go to stop us? And that is why this latest attack is just one more in a series that aims at taking away our freedoms, one at a time. Or worse, take away our very lives, which aren’t yours to take.
We have to change the way that we interact with one another. We have to learn to respect the idea that ours isn’t the only way to do, think, or act. We have to realize that the world will only feel smaller if we’re all fighting to take our own piece of it, while screwing everyone else.
Beliefs are as abundant as they are diverse. There is no one right anything. Until each and every one of us truly understands this, we won’t have a different or better future.
Sorrow….followed by anger just isn’t any way to live.
Bruce McCandless untethered flight (courtesy: NASA)
Isn’t this view inspiring? Although most of us will never understand what this will feel like, we’re all looking for something that will change our perspective. We also hope that it won’t take something drastic to make us open our eyes and experience life as it’s meant to be felt.
We’ve spent the past few years (or longer) going through tough times, and realizing that those times are not equal for everyone. When we question whether the light will actually help or hurt us, we know that we’re not in a good place in our lives. So how do we make it better? That’s the question that we’re all asking one another, while we’re waiting for someone to give us the ultimate answer. Which is not 42 (though we still look to Douglas Adams to see if maybe it might be).
I’ve slowed down on my writings this year because the turning point for me still hasn’t been fully reached yet. And it won’t be until I finally take those steps onto the new path I am yearning for and need to take if I’m to really set my creativity free. I hope that you all have still found those creative inspirations that you need out there without the arrows that I toss out on occasion.
We’re still awaiting what 2015 will bring. The changes which have just now started to take shape will need a lot of help if they’re to grow in this new year. What will you do to change your perspective and perhaps the world? Here’s to hoping that whatever it is, it will fill you with joy and wonder. Much like this image of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II taking an untethered flight during STS-41-B feels like.
Only you can know how high you will fly. Have a Happy New Year!!!
All of the problems in this world seem to stem from one major flaw that we all have: we don’t want to listen to one another anymore. I’m not saying that it happens all of the time, but it happens at critical times that lead to major breakdown and heartbreak. Just look at the news and you’ll see examples from the top down to the very “bottom” of society. Yes, bottom is in quotes because it encompasses way more people than those on the top.
Frustrations? Don’t you see them all around you?
Religions bash one another and then go after those who question them.
Officials denigrate their opponents and then go after those who question them.
Institutions claim respect, but don’t reciprocate to those who question them.
Families try to support one another, but then lash out when another member questions them.
Children are ignored by adults because they are seen as too young to know any better, and then treat one another as adults have treated them.
Why do we have to live in this cycle of breakdown? At one time we knew that if something was broken, then you fix it and make it even better. But after seeing so much carnage, we don’t know where to start to fix the breaks because they’re everywhere.
One point of contention: Could we please stop saying that we are a nation of rules. It simply is not true. Rules are meant to be universally applied, not selectively. That’s why the frustration just keeps growing. When you are surrounded by a system that is full of excuses and exceptions, then it’s just not working! If you know this, then stop saying that rules count. They don’t until they apply equally to ALL. They especially don’t when they change to fit only certain convenient circumstances and are driven by the few who can make the rules. Rules shouldn’t be made by a select few, then expected to be followed by everyone else, unless those who make the rules are also going to follow them as they expect them to be followed….with no loopholes just for them!
Talking is good when we actually listen to the content and feelings behind the words we speak. Empty words from a podium mean nothing because they talk down and don’t talk with. Conversations must be a two-way street.
We all understand with the depths of our hearts that there is so much to fix. But we also know that the system is not equipped to make this happen without change. If you want to see change, then take a subject and see how far forward you can move it. Ignore the norms, because like rules, they are meant to be change to work with what the times require. Change brings with it new norms that are hopefully more balanced and acceptable. Make the world into the most inspirational hopes you carry.
Because there has got to be more to life than this…
Seriously, Norway is one of the most beautiful places in the world!!!
This image by elmofoto presented on Reddit is like shining lights into your brain. Every image I see of Norway makes me fall in love a little bit more. There was even a house hunter show that made me drool in envy. Perhaps I have some Viking blood in me that keeps drawing me to this land of enchantment? All I can say is that this image is the exclamation point to my dreams to go see this land of magic. If you have wanderlust, then follow it until you reach your desired destination. The world is a very large place and it’s full of wonders like this.
Just like my favorite motto from the Hobbit reminds me: Not all those who wander are lost. There is no way that experiencing something like this is anything but life-altering. And we could all do with more of that, don’t you think?
- Elmofoto, please keep sharing images like this with the rest of us. We need to reminder to live!
A belated congratulations to the amazing team at the European Space Agency (ESA) who have accomplished an incredible feat after 10 long years of travel to a speeding comet, 67P. To find out more about this historic moment, read the Guardian coverage on ESA’s Rosetta Space Probe or go visit ESA’s site to find out more about what they do.
As I mentioned before, our curiosity is our biggest motivation for exploring the unknown. No matter the difficulties and obstacles, we persevere through the peaks and valleys because we can only guess at what wonders the final destination might hold. All of the space agencies around the world have accomplished so many firsts that seeks to not only broaden human minds but also deepen our knowledge of the universe around us.
Find out more about our space programs and support these travelers who seek to go “where no man has gone before” (thank you Star Trek for putting stars in our eyes):
Space.com – read the latest astronomy and space news
The world feels like it’s broken to so many. That’s why we need to listen to those people who remind us to do what we love.
It’s really easy to do what is necessary. After rinsing and repeating, that life starts to seep into the deepest part of you, intertwining with your very bones. You feel tired because it saps all that makes you YOU. The reminders to chase your dreams make us angry because it’s not a real option to so many when every day life demands something much more insidious and destructive. We resent what we feel we cannot have. We are afraid to wake up to life. We are afraid to feel alive because we know how much it hurts when we lose something important to us.
The norm is wrapped up attractively because it knows that once we look deeper, we’ll find nothing. Nothing of consequence. Nothing lasting. Nothing awe-inspiring.
The awe-inspiring only occurs when you find something that moves you on the inside. For me it was flying and writing. For others, it is creating works of art. And on an on through the list of the interesting that seeks to find like minds. Minds that are willing to open up to the challenge of making something with your heart and soul.
Those reminders we’re told to ignore because it isn’t practical resound loudly in the normal world. Well, practicality has created the broken world that we now live in. Practicality seeks to numb us so that we won’t fight. Practicality means being servile to something destructive because it compromises our very essence. And each essence is so important to making the world vibrant and growing. Not by worshiping at the altar of tangible measurement, but by destroying that very altar if it seeks to control through fear and intimidation.
Creation means embracing what we fear so that we can smash what holds us back. So do what I do and surround yourself with things that are beautiful or ugly, just as long as they are things that make your heart stutter and your soul tremble. Those awakenings are what so many find so dangerous, because they know that shackles cannot bind those who still stand and pull against them with all of their might while reaching for freedom.
Display those reminders that move you so that you see them everyday. You need the reminder that it is not wrong to chase your dreams.
Whatever you do… love it with all of your might. What comes from this relationship just may help others around you who find it harder to hear the whispering of the soul.
This is what pushing the limits can result in: A discovery of a new world, unknown to all but a few.
The tragic loss of the Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and part of its crew is another harsh reminder that exploring the unknown will never be easy. Mainstream news and some of the public will try to cast doubts upon endeavors such as this, but they also disrespect all those actual attempts to conquer the unknown that humans have made throughout our history.
If someone hadn’t been curious about what’s on the other side of the ocean, then the “New World” would not have been found. If someone wasn’t curious about the biodiversity of the planet, then today’s science would not be around to help us chart our future. If curiosity was dampened, then we would have little to learn outside of our own limited understanding.
There is much to be said for encouraging curiosity, for it broadens our horizons so that events like the first moon walk by Neil Armstrong could be shared by all who watched. He wasn’t just part of a small crew walking upon a place not of this Earth. He was a representative for each and every one of us who wanted to explore the unknown and come out a better person for the experience. He is a member of a long list of people who helped each discovery mesh into our collective knowledge, building new creations with each new beam of light cast into the dark.
Our modern world exists because of those who ignore the “you must be crazy” outbursts that comes from status quo. Each discovery helped shape us, who in turn help shape the world as we know it. All that technology that makes life so easy is a direct result of every person who risks it all as they push the limits. We have to say thanks to every explorer for who we are as a civilization. Without the curiosity, we’d still be living in the dark ages. Without the yearning for more, we would never have seen or experienced anything close to this (THANK YOU NASA for helping to open our horizons):
Apollo 11 over Mare Smythii with Earth (courtesy of NASA)
So to all you naysayers, sorry but we’re going to continue to push the limits in honor of those who gave their all during every such endeavor. They are the ones who allow us to dream, and I for one thank each and every one of you brave souls!
The universe is a very big place, and every one of us has the opportunity to join the voyage of discovery. It just might help you discover yourself.
A tribute to the lost by Bruce MacKinnon of the Halifax Chronicle Herald
We all probably know a person who has served or is serving in the armed forces in our country. If you lived as a dependant of one of them, then you are intimately aware of the sacrifices they give on a daily basis. We also have memorials and holidays that pay tribute to their actions throughout human history. But do we really appreciate what they do if it doesn’t personally affect us in our daily lives?
Bruce MacKinnon of the Halifax Chronicle Herald created a powerful tribute to a fallen soldier whose life was cut short from senseless violence.
Most of violence is senseless in its fundamental action, but our response to these moments of violence should be full of sense. Our daily thoughts and actions need to honor those who choose a life that is not for the faint of heart for it is not an easy one. It shouldn’t only happen at monuments or on special holidays. That would be disrespectful to the hearts of the soldiers. It should continue every single day, towards every single person, so that those who serve do not ever serve in vain. The living and the dead are teaching us valuable lessons that should change society for the better. They knew best that wars are an ugly business and should never be the main foundation for the the living.
Remember what they do and just try to live up to their memories. Those memories can make us all better people.
p.s. and thank you very much to Bruce MacKinnon for making such a powerful reminder of the sacrifices that hurt the heart but strengthen the soul.
Our world seems to always be given only two choices, as though there is only ever the choice between right or wrong (though they look different depending on the angle that you are viewing them). We watch the news and it’s always about someone telling you to listen to them, or else! School forces the same lessons generation after generation without acknowledging the limitations that come from controlling information and tunnel-visioned education. Even those in charge insist that only they have the right answer. But who decided this?
Seriously, who died and made them (fill in any appropriate leadership title)?? If you’re like me, then you are most likely questioning the whole leadership structure in the world…no matter what sector, industry, institution, or whatever. There just are so few people in leadership positions that actually deserve the title or the power. How do we change this?
People’s Climate March 2014 (source: PBS and more from Guardian UK)
Scotland Referendum for Independence – look at the voter turnout!
These amazing instances are just a few of the global happenings by regular people who have had enough of what’s considered normal these days. Maybe there still isn’t a measurable difference from yesterday yet, but at least someone’s trying. It’s incredibly important because people are finally speaking up against what we’ve accepted for so long simply because someone from up high told us to do so. The top-down structure is coming down at an accelerated rate because it is causing more problems than it is solving. People are finally accepting that the bottom has just as many solutions that just haven’t been heard yet. Answers can be found all around us, and inside of each of us. Many times, these answers are not among the commonly accepted ones that have been passed down in perpetuity. That’s great because that is what inspiration is all about: the difference.
There are not only two possible options to our many diverse issues that are finally reaching sunlight. Most of us already know this, and either ignore the naysayers or bow to the norm. How much more you can swallow is probably dictating your own decisions and actions. What will you be doing once you finally realize that:
It’s perfectly alright to have an idea that is different from others. It’s up to you to prove your case to others that your idea merits attention.
It’s great to question the norm, because that’s the only way that we improve ourselves and our world.
It’s not necessary to capitulate to another’s demand if their demand doesn’t fit into your logic. Again, they have to prove to you that they are right.
Even those in charge can be wrong. It happens repeatedly (just watch the news).
History is history for a reason…it’s meant to teach us before we start to shape our future.
Nothing stays the same forever! That means that the world is wide open to your ideas as well as to mine. It’s up to us to move like those shown so that we each have a more promising future together.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been making the rounds, and doing an amazing job at bringing attention to ALS. But with so many problems out there, will we ever look at the undercurrents of society that brings many more problems with their supposed solution. We’ve all been told that we are a nation of law, but it’s not always so easy to see when it seems to depend on your station in life. We easily create laws, but never seem to think of repercussions that occur when we didn’t take a broad look when making a one-stop solution to an issue. And now people everywhere around the world are looking at the repercussions of one such tactic that has been taken by our respective goverments: militarization in the name of national security.
Orlando Jones wanted to get us to take another perspective when answering a call such as the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has been taken by people from all echelons of society – famous to regular everyday people. Orlando wanted to take the time to make a statement about the militarization of our supposed protective forces who now seem to stand against people who are exercising their rights as citizens (such as the right to protest against wrongs committed by society) – the very same people they have sworn to protect. Take a look at a powerful reinterpretation of the Ice Bucket Challenge, using something that is prevalent in the new actions of militarization:
Talk about a powerful message that has been experienced unequally by citizens within one nation’s society, multiplied by all of the nations in the world.
Every society has winners and losers. We have stories that are written about society at certain periods of time, and there is always one common denominator between all of the stories. The winners dictate how the losers should live. It never even dawns on them that the shoe can be switched in a single blink of an eye. Laws are not applied equally, because laws are created by winners who have control of how society functions.
When a government issues instructions that government officials can’t take a challenge because then it would look like the government is making a stand on a certain issue, then you know that the issue is probably a divisive one. The leaders know that if they take a side, then the one who isn’t supported will comment on their choice. It’s a no-win situation for them. When you’re only worried about your own personal standing, then I guess it would seem that way.
Certain social issues like inequality cross over many barriers and infect all aspects of life. Those who are in the winner’s circle won’t experience the negatives because they’ve designed the “game” of life so that the rules don’t impact them. But when you look at the entire population on this planet, there are a lot of people who are experiencing many negatives that fashion their very thoughts and actions. And when those actions become a trickle-down of bad laws that are tunnel-visioned, those on the outside peering in stand in a downpour of connected consequences from really bad decisions.
Sure, Lady Justice is shown to be blind, but the meaning of her blindness has been perverted over time. When morality comes with clauses, there is no longer true morality that embraces the uplifting forces of life. Laws become mere words that circle in loops that obstruct the true meaning of justice. Justice is not something only available to those who can afford it – it is something that we are all afforded as long as we seek it.
Here’s the real challenge as issued by Orlando Jones to all of the world. Will we finally restructure society so that “liberty and justice for all” isn’t just a pledge, but a promise to us all? Our Supreme Court building carries the words “Equal Justice Under Law”. How our society actually acts when those words are uttered is the true test as to whether we are still enlightened…or devolving into feudalism.
This is a valuable challenge that each of us need to take, for the betterment of mankind and possibly even its future. I’m willing to take it. How about you?
- thanks to Salon and Fusion for this important conversation
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** STOP CENSORSHIP! **
Our censorship fight with the US Congress is far from over, as they continue to attempt to break the Internet with legislations driven by crony capitalism in the US and abroad. Though SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) have been pulled back for now, more continue to follow them. Now, we have to contend with ACTA(more) and TPP(2), which are international attempts to censor and control the Internet for the sake of commerce. And if that's not enough, now there's CISPA (more).
Go to EFF.org to keep up with the legal news that impacts our world and its technology. The greed won't stop, so we have to stay vigilant as well. Especially now that lobbyists are admitting out loud that they expect to be rewarded for their "contributions": Read it on TorrentFreak
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I want to thank all of my visitors who are taking the time to leave such inspiring and thoughtful comments. I'm glad that I'm able to connect with so many of you through my writing. This blog is all about things that drive my creative inspirations, and all of you are part of that inspiration. So, thanks for your support. I look forward to getting to know you better throughout this creative journey.