Category Archives: My Open Mindedness

Vote on the Facts, not on the mud slinging.

I find myself extremely disturbed this morning.  This article that I write is an article about something that I despise, and it’s not the usual story I write about my cute little Cavachon Ubi.  I wish it was that kind of story.  I could make you laugh, cry, or at least smile and go “Awwwwww…”, as you look at the pictures of his cute little face.  Sorry, not today folks.

This article is about “Pa Pa Pa Politics.”  There, I said it.  I hate writing about this because to me, these days, politics is about a bunch of mud slinging.  Instead of candidates having character, being likable, and having a good plan for the country if they are elected, this upcoming election is about who’s campaign has done a better job of hiring people to write negative ads about the other candidate, and write them with such bias, and misrepresentation of facts that they make the other candidate look downright evil.

Case in point.  I recently watched an ad about a court case in 1975, where Hilary Clinton defended a 41 year old man who was accused of First Degree Rape of a 12 year old girl.  So what is the controversy?  Well, the ad states that Mrs. Clinton lied, suppressed evidence, laughed about the case when being interviewed about it, got the defendant off on 2 months time served, accused the 12 year old girl of wanting to be with an older man, and fantasizing about being raped, and so on…

Some of these facts are true, but they are taken so out of context, and so misrepresented, that anyone who would just watch the article and not check on the facts would consider Hilary Clinton to be the spawn of hell.

I decided to check the facts.  The links below are examples of the articles I read.  These articles do confirm some of the facts, but they also put them into perspective.  In fact, these articles go so far as to include additional damning, that if not checked, would further harm Mrs. Clinton’s character.

There are other articles out there which I also read.  Many of the articles were clearly  biased.  I tried to pick the ones that were simply checking facts.  I encourage you to please read the articles I have included here, but also to read any other articles you find about this court case, and the actions of Hilary Clinton and everyone involved in the court case, Please, do not just go by what this one flawed human is saying.  If you do, that is just as bad as watching the ad I saw, not checking the facts, and taking it at face value.  In fact, this is the whole point of this article that I am writing today.

Just a side note.  One of the articles I have included is from Snopes.  I recently heard a rumor that the CEO of Snopes was arrested on charges of fraud and corruption.  Come to find out that this was originally published by a website called “The People’s Cube”.  “The People’s Cube” is a website that publishes political humor and satire.  Hmm…

What I’m not going to do is summarize these articles for you.  I am not a journalist, and I won’t try to convince you that I have enough experience to be presenting this story from every angle.  Sorry people.  You will have to form your own opinion, based on the evidence.  I am only trying to convince you to look at the evidence.

Another item that I must speak of, is that this article is not a defense of Hilary Clinton.  It is an encouragement to look beyond these garbage, mud slinging ads, that have no relevance to the election before us.  I can’t make anyone do anything, but I’m fired up enough about this that I felt I needed to write it down.

Also, I am non-partisan.  I am not a registered Republican or Democrat.  To decide who to vote for, I look at the candidates, their plans, vs. their promises, their solutions rather than their complaints, and I look at what they have done politically in the past.  In the case of Trump, these will have to be extended to his business experience, because he has no political experience.  That does not mean he will make a bad president.

I watched the debate last night.  Without making judgments, I feel it was clear who was better prepared.  Not for the presidency, but for the debate.  Will this be the same in the next two debates?  Who knows.  But I would rather be making my decision of voting choice based on who I think will be able to carry the weight of this enormous responsibility.  The debates help with that, but they are not everything.

Again, I encourage you to make your choice of who to vote for, not because of sensationalist ads, but because you have done your research, and you truly believe that your candidate will do a better job in office.  When you see these negative ads, before you make a judgement, I encourage you to check the facts.  Scrutinize them!  You are making a very important decision based on what you believe to be true, so shouldn’t it be important to you to be absolutely sure that it is true?

Or, you could do no research and go with your gut feeling.  Sometimes it’s enough just to have faith.  Right?  Faith in God?  Perhaps, if you believe in God.  I’ll tell you what though.  Presidential candidates are not God.  Especially these two.  In fact, I sometimes say “Oh My God!  What has this world come to?”, while wondering if these are really the best two 3people out of 300,000,000 that we could come up with to be President of the United States.  It’s a competition of who we dislike less!

So that’s my rant for the moment.  The articles are here to read if you wish.  I wish I could figure out how to get the video I watched out of Facebook and onto my blog, but I struggled with that for about an hour and gave up.  I will ask the original poster if he would be willing to send me the video, or tell me where it is, and if successful I’ll post it at a later time, or as an amendment to this article.

Thanks for reading!


Rediscovering Ramen Noodles and Macaroni and Cheese

Being unemployed is very humbling, but it’s teaching me a lot about budgeting, and keeping my expenses in check.  I’ve had to cut way back in a lot of areas.  No vacation to Africa this year.  No more delivery pizza or Chinese food.  No more steak dinners at Outback.  Regular gas for me, even though my car performs better on premium.  I can survive turning the thermostat up a couple of degrees, even though I might sweat a little bit more.  Maybe I don’t need the water to be so hot in the shower, and the shower doesn’t need to be so long.  Generic prescriptions at Walmart are cheaper than the Giant Food or Rite Aid which are far more convenient.  Water out of the tap is just fine.  Bottled water is a luxury I just can’t afford right now.  Do I really need to rent a movie on Vudu for $5.99 or should I just watch one on Netflix which only costs me $8.00 per month.  Oh, and I certainly can’t forget about the Ramen Noodles and Macaroni and Cheese.

88 cents for 6 packs of Ramen noodles.  Can’t beat that price.  I can mix that with some pre-sliced chicken breast, and some spinach and mushrooms, and maybe some canned pees of black beans.  I don’t use the nasty flavor packets.  Just the plain noodles mixed with just about anything.  Macaroni and cheese mixed with some of these things are good too.  It’s amazing what you can discover, or in this case rediscover in the grocery store that is so inexpensive, and yet still very tasty.

What hurts me though is having to cut back on pet food as well.  No more Blue Buffalo.  There are other good foods that are not as expensive.  I asked the vet for advice on that one and other ways I could save.  The vet is being very nice and allowing me to email her when there is a problem to see if the problem can be resolved with free advice.  She is also giving me free supplements which my dog needs in her old age when she has them available.

I have a job interview on Monday.  I’m not going to try to predict how that will turn out, but even if I get the job and I wind up keeping it for a while, I’m still actually going to be grateful for this time in my life.  I’m learning once again how to be thrifty.  After all, there once was a time when I was making far less than I was making when I got laid off and I figured out how to survive.  In fact, I was living on less when my mortgage was higher, and I had a car payment which I don’t have right now.  I must have just forgotten about this time in my life at some point, but somehow I figured out a way to pay all of my bills, and eat and take care of pets on much less that I was making.  To find my way back to that time, I had to ask for help and wound up speaking with a financial counselor.  She helped me get my priorities straight, and figure out how to pay all of my bills, and still keep some money aside for an emergency.  My Dad helped me find this free service.  It’s amazing what happens when you ask for help.

Yeah, I think I’m going to be eating Ramen noodles and Macaroni and Cheese even after I get a job.  I’m learning some valuable lessons here about the importance of saving as much as you can for a rainy day or week or month or year.  I was saving money, but I could have been saving more just by making a few simple changes.  Maybe that’s why this happened.  Maybe this happened to teach me some humility and gratitude.  Maybe this happened so that I don’t take a job for granted.  Maybe this happened to help me to realize just how much I can tolerate and still have a positive attitude.  Everything happens for a reason.  I’ll never forget this time in my life, that’s for sure.  I can only control so much of what happens in my life.  Eating Ramen noodes and Macaroni and Cheese is certainly something that is under my control.

The Road To Gratitude

So it’s almost 10:00 on a Tuesday evening, and I’m not tired yet.  I don’t want to watch TV.  I don’t really have anything to do, hmmm…  Oh!  I haven’t written in my blog in a while.

I haven’t really been doing much of anything lately to be honest with you.  When some stuff happened in my life, I crawled into a shell, and ultimately wound up extremely depressed.

Now first, I want to warn you, because I’m about to talk about God.  Not the traditional God that many people think of.  I’m not a Christian, and even though I’m Jewish I still don’t believe that Jewish parts of the Bible are meant to be taken literally.  I’m not even talking about an all powerful, omnicient being, that guides our every day lives.  In fact, I’m not talking about anything predefined.  The word God is what we use to describe something that means different things to different people.  I’m going to use that word for brevity sake, but really what I mean is, higher power, and by that I mean anything that is more powerful than me.  Myself and a friend.  Together we are more powerful than me alone.  Myself and a group of friends.  Even better.  Myself and a group of friends and loving family members.  Or maybe it’s not people for you.  Maybe it is the God of the Bible.  The point is it doesn’t matter.  What I’m talking about is anything that you feel can help you when you need help, better than you can help yourself, or, anything that can help you help someone else better than you can help them yourself.  For the rest of this reading, God = hire power.

God has helped me a lot lately.  When I found myself in my depression, just wanting to stay in my hole and not deal with the situation I was going through, some very loving, caring people in my life gave me some help that I needed.  First, it was my family, and I didn’t really need to ask too hard for that help.  All I needed to do was pick up the phone and say, this is what is happening, and the help was offered.  My father and step-mother love me so unconditionally.  Sometimes I can be the biggest baby about things, and sometimes there are things I’m going through which they can’t possibly understand from my perspective, but they don’t care.  They just love, and they show it by doing as much as they possibly can, whenever they are able.

The problem is, they aren’t as able right now.  My step-mother just had knee replacement surgery, and my father is going to have a heart valve transplant sometime very soon.  But they were still there for me when I needed them, as much as they could be.  However, this time, during a crisis I was going through and I’m still going through they couldn’t offer as much as they’d like to be able to, and that meant I needed to grow up just a little bit.

That was very difficult for me at first.  I wanted more care than they were able to give, and I finally had to face that fact after a week of hell, and a trip to the emergency room because I thought something was horribly wrong with my stomach or abdomen, or I had some other major medical issue going on, only to be diagnosed with constipation.  That’s ok.  You can laugh. That shit really hurt man!

Then, quite frankly, I started to pray to my higher power.  Now, again, if I’m sitting in my living room saying, “God, please, I need your strength here!”, is anyone listening, or am I just affirming in my head, that I need help from something more than myself, and trying to work through how to get that help in my head.  The weirdness is not in the asking.  The weirdness is in the answers you get, and recognizing them.

At this point it was another family member who came through for me.  My aunt, who just lost her husband and my Uncle from cancer sent me an email one morning, asking me if I could help her with some computer problems.  I told her about my situation, and how debilitating it was for me, and that all I could offer was to keep in touch because I thought it would be good for the both of us.  I then asked her a question.  How is she coping?  Because she’s pretty depressed right now too.  She told me about how our grandmother used to make her make up her bed as soon as she got out of it, so she would at least have that to say she accomplished that day.  So for some reason, I got out of bed, I not only made my bed, but I finally changed the sheets, putting clean ones on, and then I put the dirty ones in the washing machine along with some other laundry I needed to do.  Then we chatted back and forth in email, and eventually she asked me a specific computer question, and it gave my mind something to do.

At first I just explained what it could be, and pushed it back on her.  But we kept chatting.  Then I decided to do some searching online, and I was able to at least partially find the answer to her problem and help her get it more under control.  I was still in a bad place, but my mindset had changed a bit.  Frankly, having something to do made me feel less depressed.  So we continued to chat, and I continued to pray.  I also had to make some very tough decisions about some things in my life which I will talk about in another post some time.

I started doing a few more, manageable tasks around the house.  More laundry, wash the dishes,  vacuum a little bit.  And then I allowed myself to take a break because I had accomplished some things that I needed to accomplish.

Another pretty much sleepless night went by, but I got up and took care of some things I needed do.  I went to a doctor’s appointment.  I had to take a cab there because of some other real (more than constipation) issues I’m dealing with right now, but I went.  I asked the doctor for help with some things and she went over and above to help me.  Certainly a higher power there.

Another sleepless night, still chatting with my aunt, still getting small, manageable tasks done, still praying.  By the way, my prayers were pretty simple.  “God, please help me to know what to do next.”

This time the answer came to make some phone calls, and I did.  I called very good friends.  That was today.  I had several phone conversations.  Then I got a ride to another doctor’s appointment from one of those friends.  Then I met my parents for lunch, and took care of some business that needed to be taken care of to make it easier for them to help me in ways that they could help me.  Then I met another person and took care of some more business that needed to get taken care of.  Then another friend picked me up, and we went to meet with some other friends.  I got home at about 8:30 after a very full day.  I made a few more phone calls.  And now I’m writing this.

Will I sleep tonight.  Who knows?  If my body needs sleep, I will sleep.  It will eventually come, but it sure will come a lot faster if I’m up and moving, and doing things and staying active.  By the way, I meantioned more phone calls.  Tomorrow is a very full day.  Thursday will have some activity in the evening, and I can always think about how to do more between now and then, and then make some more phone calls.  Oh, and I need to go grocery shopping.  Luckily the grocery store is in the same shopping center where my condo is.  I think I can manage a 3 block drive.  I was told so by one of my advocating friends..

So now it’s midnight.  I’m not really sleepy, but I’m tired, and that’s a good thing.  I have to deal with chronic pain, and managing that is tough because it adds to the depression causing the sleep issues which adds to the depression and yes I did mean to say depression three times.  But today was a good day.  I was up, and active, and tomorrow and the next day will be the same.

I’m certainly not out of the woods here.  I’ve got a lot more to do to get back into life.  Find a job for one, but I need to take care of myself first, and this one was a bit of a nose dive so I’ve still got some climbing to do, but I’m grateful, because I have help, from my higher power.  As long as I ask for it, and am able to recognize it when it is presented, it will always be there.  People, activity, things to think about.  They are keeping me sane, at least for now.


Mornings are difficult.  It’s not easy to wake up alone.  I suppose it’s better than waking up next to the wrong person, but sometimes I wonder.  Which is worse, lonliness being with the wrong person?  I suppose you could be lonely and be with the wrong person at the same time.  Right now for me, I don’t have to worry about that.  I just have to worry about getting out of bed, and that’s difficult lately.

I’m not sure when it started.  The depression that is.  I mean, I’m always depressed to some extent, but these days I’m on the verge of tears much of the time.  Plus I just feel sick, run down, stomach ache, nauseous, almost all of the time.  Having a bad back and having to take chronic meds for that probably doesn’t help.  But where has all of my energy gone?  I just want to sleep.  Having a job is a good thing, but I don’t want to go to work.  I don’t like being there.  I feel even sicker when I’m there.  I’m almost never hungry, but I force food down because I know I have to.  Yeah, full blown depression I guess.

The mornings are the worst.  I know I’ll feel better in the evening.  I know I’ll feel better after work, when I can relax a little bit.  But right now my stomach is in a knot, and I feel like throwing up.  I suppose I could pray.  In fact I think I will as soon as I’m done writing this.  Writing is a form of meditation for me, so maybe that’s what I needed to do this morning.  I needed to write this down and share it, and the answer has come that I need to pray.  I’m not a religious person by any means, but I don’t have to be to have a relationship with God.  If God is perfect, why would he care what religion I practice if any?  Yeah, I think I’ll pray.  Just for a minute before I go to work.  Maybe that will help get me through the day, maybe not.  It certainly can’t hurt.

I used to read this book of motivational thoughts every morning.  I stopped reading it a while back, but a few days ago I picked it back up again.  The thought for today is one day at a time.  It’s about setting a small goal, and accomplishing that goal, and feeling good at the end of the day that I’ve accomplished it.  Today I’ve already accomplished a small goal.  I’ve written this down, and shared it, and believe it or not between the time I typed “Mornings” and now, I’ve somehow typed myself into a whole different attitude.  I feel better.  So maybe the prayer I’ll say is “Thanks!”  Obviously something gave me the motivation to write this, and to accomplish this small goal before I left for work this morning.  And I feel better.  So thanks!  Whether it was God or something else.  Thanks!

Do I Look Like I Have Boobs In This Shirt?

Just writing this blog posting and sharing it with the world proves how brave I am.  It proves that I’m not a woosy boy, or a girly man, or feminine in any sort of way.  Just remember that when you are reading this.  Just remember what kind of person would put themselves out there and admit to this before you make judgements, or poke fun, or reply with the inevitable, “This explains a lot Larry!”  Just remember that only a true man would put this story out there for the world to see.  Only a true manly, man.

A while ago as I was complaining about my back pain recommended that I go to see a holistic doctor that he took an old girlfriend to see.  He spoke very highly of the practice, and said that even though they may not be able to help me with my back pain directly, they may be able to help me with my overall health.  I figured, what the heck.  It couldn’t hurt.

So I’m speaking to this doctor, and she’s asking me all kinds of questions about this and that, and sends me away with a bunch of supplements, and an order for some blood work to check some things that a normal doctor doesn’t generally check for.  One of these things was my testosterone level.  Now, before I go any further, I want you to know that my actual testosterone level has nothing at all to do with the outcome of this story, and why I decided to publish it for all the world to see.  My testosterone level is normal, or as normal as it’s going to be given the pain I fight on a daily basis, and some other things going on in my body.  All in all though, it’s perfectly fine.

I got the test results back, and I’m going through them, and I get to testosterone.  What was odd was that I didn’t see it being in a normal range.  I saw it being several times the highest level that is considered normal.  A few of the other numbers were slightly off, but my testosterone was off the charts on the positive end.  “Oh my God!”, I thought.  “I’m really, really sick!  What the heck is wrong with me?”  I was going back and forth between thinking that my parents forgot to tell me that I’m actually from the planet Krypton, to feeling very proud to be a man, and feeling sorry for all of the women out there that were missing out on my obviously ultra human abilities.  But in all honesty, I was extremely worried.  It would be one thing if it was slightly high.  But it wasn’t.  It was about 7 times the highest level in the normal range.

Thankfully I read the rest of the chart very carefully, and discovered the clerical error.  Apparenly, (and this is just a guess as to how it happened), someone saw my first name, which is really Laurence, and only saw the Lauren part.  That’s right.  According to this chart I am a woman, and all of the ranges on the chart were for that of a woman.

Ok, so now that I’m back to reality feeling a mix between disappointment and relief (I figured it would be something to brag about to both men and women), I needed to figure out what to do about it.  So what I did was to go to my coworker who referred me to this doctor and squeeze my “breasts” and ask him if I looked like I had boobs in this shirt.  I told him that apparently this wonderful doctor that he referred me to was somehow so confused that she read the results of my test, made comments on it, mailed it to me, and never once made any mention of the fact that my testosterone levels were way outside of the normal range, or that the results indicated that I was a woman which was why the testosterone levels were so outside of the normal range.  So when I saw her today, I had to play it up.  I asked each of the nurses and clerical people in the reception area (who all knew already what had happened), if they thought I looked like I had boobs in the shirt I was wearing, and had them all in tears as I explained to them that it was a relief to finally know what my problem was.  Walking around all of these years thinking I’m a man when I’m actually a woman can have severe psychological effects on a guy, ummm…  I mean….  ummm…  whatever I am. 

I also told the doctor that if I was going to accept the fact that I was a woman, I should probably start taking estrogen because I didn’t think my boobs were big enough, and I wanted to not have to shave anymore.  Then I had her in tears as I spurted out lines (no perverts I wasn’t spurting anything else because I can’t now that I’m a woman) from the old Saturday Night Live skit “Pat, the androgenous heterosexual”.  Remember that skit.  “Hey everyone, I have a date tonight!  Really Pat, what’s your date’s name?  Terry!  Hey everyone, it’s that time of the month again.  Really Pat, what time is that?  Bills!”

Yes today was fun.  Maybe a little bit too fun.  I do love to poke fun at myself and this was just too easy.  Luckily the lab that took my blood was able to correct the results, and I now have lab results with the correct ranges on them.  I’ve asked everyone with a copy of the bad lab results to please destroy them, but I think I’m going to keep my copy just because of the comical effect it will have when I show it to friends and relatives in the future.

So there you have it friends, family and complete strangers.  Go ahead, laugh at me, make your comments, and poke fun if you must.  Just please, don’t poke my breasts.  They are very tender right now and I’ll have to punch you if you try to touch them anyway.  Hands off!

Day by Day, Hour by Hour, Minute by Minute

Over the past 3 weeks or so I’ve been trying to write another blog entry about my struggle with pain.  I was going to write about how a second surgeon, this time from the premier spine center in the country told me that surgery would not be the best option for me right now because of my age, and the risk, and the likelyhood of little improvement.  Such a complicated back I have.  I just couldn’t find the motivation to write out the whole, drawn out story though, so that’s about all I’ll write about that.  Instead, I found some motivation to write today from an entirely different source.

I have a new job, and I’ve been struggling to overcome a hurdle where I feel comfortable with what I’m doing.  I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing for a number of years now, and this job, although somewhat related to the direction my career has been going, is really a whole new direction.  Finally, over the past couple of days I’ve been finding a comfort zone.  I’ve been starting to understand the process flow, where the work is coming from, and what to do with the work when I find it.  And then fate decided that it had different plans for me today.

A few days ago my team was told that we were absorbing some new responsibility from a different team, due to the downsizing of that team.  We were getting a new person on our team, and he was to crosstrain with us, as well as members of my team crosstraining with him.  Yesterday our new team member said he had something he wanted to show us, and asked us if we wanted to come over and take a look at what he was doing.  There were only two of us in the room at the time, and I was the only one who went over to take a look.  While over there I remarked about how nice the guy’s view was.  His cube was against the window, and outside the window was a lake where there were Geese and some other birds.  We discussed logistics, about how we were going to crosstrain when there really wasn’t any more room in our office, and there was only one open cube next to this guy, which was vacated by the person who was fired, which was why his team (or him because he was now on his own) was merging our team.  We couldn’t come up with a solution as to how the crosstraining would easily take place amongst all team members.

Well, today it became clear that what our manager really meant was that I was going to be crosstraining with this new team member and his responsibilities and this didn’t really include the rest of my team.  Not only that, but I was going to be moving into the cube next to this guy.  Now here’s something else I haven’t mentioned yet.  The office I’m in is closing shortly.  The other office is in downtown DC, which I am not excited about traveling to and from every day.  But our manager assured us that when this move happens, our team would be work exclusively from home.  So no worrying about having to travel downtown.  Well, now with these changes taking place, was that still going to be the case?

So how did I feel about all of this?  Well, I was at first a bit frustrated.  I had just started to get comfortable and suddenly the rug was pulled out from under me and I was now taking on completely different responsibilities.  I then started to worry that this happened because I wasn’t cutting it in my current position, and they saw that, and decided to move me to something else, maybe even to just give me busy work to do until I became the next downsizing victim.  The I started worrying about the working from home thing.  I’ve recently been looking for a new home, maybe a little further away from the city because I’ll have more space and it will be cheaper.  Would this sudden change mean that I’d have to be slogging it downtown every morning and I’d have to put my plans to move on hold?

I took everything off of my desk and stuffed it into a bag, and moved over to the cube next to my new teammate.  I looked at the cube, and noticed that I now had some privacy.  The walls of the cube were really high.  I then turned around, and remembered the window, which I was also right next to.  There were the geese, swimming in the lake.  Suddenly my fear just lifted.  Sometimes I try so hard to focus on the negative of a situation when that negative is completely imaginary because I had not bothered to substantiate one bit of my fear.  Maybe I’ll have the same deal with being able to work from home.  Maybe I’ll love this new job, and I’ll love the new responsibilities.  The thing is, I was living in the wreckage of the future, which many wise people in my life have cautioned me against, and I have in turned cautioned others against. 

Who knows what will happen tomorrow.  Today I have a nice cube with a view of a lake and geese.  So for this day, and this hour, and this minute, things are pretty good, and I’m going with that.

How To Be Truly Humble

Here’s a fortune cookie and an abstract thought for you all in one.

“True humility is the knowledge that one can never be truly humble.”

If you don’t understand that one, don’t fret.  I won’t be able to explain it to you so that you can feel the meaning of it in your heart in a few sentences in a blog.  It’s something I’ve come to understand over time, and I mean a lot of time.  I used to think humility is what you felt when you drank all night, made a fool out of yourself, and had to be told the next day what you did to make a fool out of yourself because you didn’t remember.  But people would give you that look.  You know the one I’m talking about.  Or maybe you don’t.  It was the look that said, “There he is!  That’s the guy that did that stuff last night!”  For someone like me who craves being the center of attention, it was certainly attention alright, but not exactly the attention I was looking for.  Still, it was attention.  And attention is attention.  So if that’s the only way you know how to get it, then that’s what you keep doing, over and over and over, until, well, it doesn’t work for you anymore.

Yep that was the kind of humility I knew.  The kind that kept landing me in the same place over and over, wondering why I kept winding up in that place.  It was a lack of balance, when you come right down to it.  I had no idea how to get the attention I so desperately needed in a less self-destructive manner.  So time after time I wound up humiliated.  The way I delt with it was to just not be around people anymore.  I decided that I needed to be alone for the rest of my life, and the way I was acting, I think a lot of people agreed with me.

Well, that didn’t work so well either.  Because then my only critic was me.  I was really hard on myself.  I still am.  But at least when I was with other people who were as self-centered as I was I had some camaraderie in our self-centerdness.  I eventually had to make some drastic changes in my life, and those changes have led me on the quest for perfect humility.  Wait?  Ummmm…  Like I said, if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.  Keep reading anyway.  It will all be OK.

Humility, as I’ve come to find out is something completely different than humiliation.  With most problems in life, as the one I was speaking about above, I lacked a sense of balance.  To quote a very good book, “I utterly lacked the ability to form a true partnership with another human being.”  Don’t go looking in your bible folks.  It’s a different good book.  If you don’t know what book, and you want to know what book, send me an email.  Anyway, it doesn’t really matter.  That was my problem.  I just didn’t know how to get along, with people, with work, with anything or anyone.  Not even plants.  I killed several of those.  Seriously.  “Ah, it can go a couple more days without water.  I know, because it’s a Chia Pet and I’m an expert.”  All of it came down to one simple, but extremely complex thing.  Humility.

To explain humility, or what it means to me, is easier to do with examples rather than just defining what the word means.  To me, humility means balance, which I’ve already eluded to.  I didn’t know balance.  I knew extremes.  I still know extremes.  I just don’t wander in their direction as often anymore, but I certainly know where they are.

Let’s take one extreme.  The person who only cares about themselves and their own problems.  Yeah, that was pretty much me for most of my life.  Still is sometimes.  Some would call this person selfish, self-centered, self-important, and pretentious.  They’d be right.  This person may at times pretend like they care, but they don’t.  Ultimately it’s all about them, and as long as things go the way they want them to they are perfectly happy.  This person utterly lacks humility.

Then there is the other extreme.  The person who cares nothing of themselves.  They are constantly serving others, doing what pleases others, putting their needs last.  Some would call this person selfless, other-centered, self-unimportant, and altruistic.  They’d be wrong.  That’s right.  You read that correctly.  THEY’D BE WRONG!  Now, I’m not saying this person doesn’t have good intentions most of the time, but so does the person at the other extreme.  The selfishness here is much more subtle, and I’m sure I’m going to get some hateful comments about this.  But at the extreme, this person can be an enabler, a codependant, and yes, I’m going to say it, selfish.  In fact, they could be even more selfish than the person at the other extreme.

How is this possible?  Because they are missing a huge part of the equation which comes with being able to form a true partnership with another human being.  They have forgotten that they are human, they have problems, they have needs, and that people love them.  Stay with me here, I’m not talking about everyone, just the extremes.  People in this state sometimes believe that the only way they can be loved is to be selfless, other-centered, self-unimportant and altruistic.  They forget that the people that love them want to be there for them, and feel a bond with them when they are being their for them.  They have utterly forgotten that a relationship goes both ways, they utterly lack humility.

So, before you stop reading and send a hateful comment, this is just a reminder that the person I was describing above was an extreme.  I was in no way saying it is bad under all circumstances to help others, to be there for others, to care for others, and to show others you love them through the actions that you take.  I’m just saying, sometimes it is your turn to receive, and when it is, be accepting of the help that is being offered to you.

So what is true humility?  It is balance.  It is the ability to be selfish and selfless at the same time.  It is the ability to understand that you don’t have all of the answers to life’s problems, but you do have some of the answers, and when you do have the answers you should share them.  It is the ability to know what answers you have and what answers you don’t have.  It is the ability to know when people want you to give them answers and when they don’t.  It is the ability to know when to ask for help, and when asking for help may be putting too much of a burden on a loved one.  It is the ability to know when to give and when to receive.  So who does this perfectly?  Raise your hand!  I don’t see any hands.  Well, probably because I’m sitting here typing this in an empty house at 11:15 PM on a Wednesday night, and the only ones that are looking at me are my cats, and they don’t have hands, they have paws.

I’ll bet nobody raised there hand though.  The reason for that is simple and the answer to my original question.  It is impossible to be truly humble.  Now I didn’t say it was impossible to be humble.  I said it was impossible to be truly humble.  To be humble, all you have to do is try.  All you have to do is admit when you are wrong, learn from your mistakes, and hopefully do better next time.  Humility is the knowledge of true humility and the quest for it, with the understanding that as a human being, you will never find it.

When you are living you life at one of the extremes, and you are finding yourself becoming more and more alone either because of the demands you are making on others or because you won’t allow people close enough to help you when you need it, you are not living a humble life.

When you are living your life at one of the extremes, and you are finding that you don’t need people because they always disappoint you, or you are trying so hard to hold on to them or serve them that you are giving more than you have to give at the risk of your own health and sanity, you are not living a humble life.

When your life is going in circles, and you keep winding up in the same place over and over, not knowing how you got there, think about humilty.  Think about the fact that you are human.  Then ask for guidance, because there is another way to live.  There is the way of humility, and forming true partnerships with many human beings, and if you are spiritual, with God as well.

Wow it’s late.  Time for bed.  Good night.

Who is God?

I’ll start this one off with an answer.  I don’t know!  To be able to know who God is, to know exactly who God is, is to be more than human.  We humans are not capable of understanding God.

I have an atheist follower of my blog.  I follow his blog as well.  His last posting stated that atheists do not believe God exists.  But for someone to believe something exists or doesn’t exist, there has to be a definition for that thing.  I would agree that he probably doesn’t believe the God of the Bible exists.  That’s a fair statement because it’s pretty clear who the God of the Bible is.  But God has such a different meaning to so many different people that it’s nearly impossible to say that one believes or disbelieves in every single one of those definitions for God.

For simplicity, let’s stick with the God of the Bible for a moment.  I can understand why one would doubt that God would cause a Great Flood, or part the Red Sea.  I can also understand why people living in the time these things happened would have no scientific explanation for these events, and for this reason, attribute them to God.  Today science has proven that a strong enough wind for a prolonged period of time over the Red Sea, near the Nile river, could have in fact, lowered the water level enough so that Moses and the slaves could have walked across.  Science also has many theories about the Great Flood, including that it was the result of the quick melting of the polar ice caps after the last ice age.  The truth is, scientifically, we are smarter today than we were when the Bible was written.  That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.  Many of the seemingly miraculous occurrences from the Bible could have actually occurred.  The question is, were they caused by God?  This is only one theory, and at the time it was the only theory that held any water, pun intended.  But today, there are many other theories.  And the thing is, they are ALL theories, including the God theory.

If you look at the Bible and it’s stories, many other cultures share the same stories, some dating back thousands of years before they supposedly occurred in the Bible.  Does this mean the Bible is wrong?  Who knows?  Maybe these things happened many times.  My points are these.

1) God, can be and is used to explain things that science cannot explain.
2) Many things have happened, are happening, and will happen that cannot be explained by science.
3) The theory that these things can be attributed to God is only one theory.

Many will say the Bible is a work of fiction.  To those people I would politely say that perhaps it is a work of the less informed.  Perhaps if we were to go back in time, and experience the occurrences in the Bible, we would be able to explain them with science.  However, this does not make the Bible a work of fiction.  In fact, it may very well be an accurate history book since it was written by people of the time.  Think about it this way.  If you lived in this time, and someone told you the Earth was spherical, you would have thought it preposterous.   If someone you knew said they were going to sail to the end of the Earth, and they never returned, you might have assumed that they had fallen off the edge of the Earth.  If you wrote a book about your friend and his adventures, you would have written that he sailed to the end of the Earth and must have fallen off, otherwise why would he never return.  Does this make your writing fiction?  No, it makes it a combination of your experience of your interaction with your friend, a lack of knowledge that the Earth is spherical, and an assumption based on your belief that the Earth is flat.  But you didn’t make it up.  You may have embellished a bit, but you certainly didn’t sit down and write a children’s story book which somehow got mistaken for history.

So what about God?  I am not a religious person, but I believe in God.  I do not believe in the God of the Bible, but instead I believe in a force that guides me down the right path.  I believe that God is both what can be explained by science, and what cannot.  I believe in an energy that cannot be seen or explained.  I believe this energy is much stronger when I am with other people.  I believe that when I am interacting with others, both those that agree with me and those that don’t, that this is when God is present.  I believe that the more I try to understand people, and the more I see the similarities between us, the closer I am to God.  I also believe that the more I isolate, or only hear and see what I want to, the further I am from God.  This is when I am taking my own, unguided path, and although I’d like to think I am the smartest person in the world, why should I not take guidance from those around me that I trust, and in turn, offer guidance to them.

I do not believe God parts the sea, or creates a great flood.  But I do believe there is a lot I don’t understand and never will.  Infinity for example.  You won’t believe how much time I’ve spent, and how far I’ve gone trying to understand that one, only to get closer and closer and closer to the answer without ever reaching it.  Math geeks applaud that last sentence.  Sure we can explain the theory of the parting of the Red Sea, or the Great Flood, and we can even explain the theory of infinity, but we are limiting ourselves to our current understanding, and our current capacity to understand.

It all goes back to being human.  Human beings simply do not have the capacity to understand everything.  Some choose to use God as the explanation for the things we can’t understand.  Others choose to explain these things with, well, I really don’t know actually.  What I would say to those people is, there is an explanation, not a void.  If you choose to not use the word God, because it is associated with the God of the Bible, then I’m with you.  But there is some explanation.  Even with all of the science and technology we have, and even with all of the explanations we have come up with, and even if some of these theories have been proven beyond a shadow of doubt, there is still a lack of explanation beyond the explanation.  There is still a curtain behind which may be the Wizard of Oz or further scientific discovery, or maybe it’s the God of the Bible after all.

My main point here is this.  Whatever you think you know, is limited by what you know.  Whatever you think you can explain is limited by what you can explain.  Whatever you think you don’t know and can’t explain is limitless.  It is your life.  Whether you choose to live it based on what you know and can explain is your choice.  The human race moves forward, however, when we choose to think about what we don’t know and what we can’t explain.  Fill your brain to capacity, and your children will have a bigger brain.  God is what provides an endless amount of knowledge, so that our brains can keep growing.

Sol Invictus

Scientists may think they know the reason for the extremely cold weather we are having, but their explanation is limited by their assumption that no external force is influencing things.  Polar Vortex they say.  I think that explains the why, but it leaves out the who. 

I know the truth, and the truth is this is a punishment from God.  It is a punishment from God for the millions of people worshiping a false idle these past holidays.  It is a punishment for the gross misinterpretation of who and what he really is, and the attempt to spread this blasphemy to all corners of the Earth.

That’s right, he is Sol Invictus, Pagan God of the Sun, and he brings Hell on Earth in the form of extreme cold to punish the non-believers who think they should be worshiping the Son of God rather than the God of the Sun.  He removes the warmth he provides, and yet stays out shining brightly so that you know it is he who is punishing you.

It is not too late to repent.  If you get down on you knees and pray to Sol Invictus, he will bring warmth back to the land.  But don’t expect instant gratification,  for it rarely comes.  Don’t expect immediately forgiveness for you sins, for his punishment has been set in motion, and it will not be until the beginning of the vernal equinox that you will fully feel his forgiveness.

Do not forget this lesson.  Remember it and teach your children about the identity of the one true God of the Sun. For it is he that makes life possible on this planet, and it is he that has the power to destroy all life on this planet by simply turning his back on you as you have done so to him.  His name is Sol Invictus.  Feel his wrath!


2014 All Over Again

Good morning, and happy new year to anyone naive enough to be reading this. I regret to inform you, but this is not a new year. 2014 has already occurred. Here is a list of significant events that happened in the year 2014.

1) All of the governments of all of the countries of the world got together on the newly discovered, unclaimed, neutral island of Humantopia and signed a world peace agreement. As a result, a new race of people was declared, and it was officially called the human race. A union of countries, which included most of the world was formed. It was known as the Human Union.

2) The Worldwide Hunger and Life Sustainment Fund was formed. People started to see each other as people, and those who had something to give realized that the greatest satisfactions in life come not from getting what you want, but from helping others. As a result, millions of volunteers went to thousands of places, and helped to provide education on farming and self-sustainment, as well as providing food, shelter, and clothing in the short term.

3) The Worldwide Medical Relief and Training Fund was established. Doctors who participated in the program went all over the world, treating the sick, and teaching them how to treat themselves and others. These doctors were compensated more than fairly for their efforts and were highly successful because they were allowed to make their own choices as to how to treat their patients. Health insurance companies slowly went out of business because there was no longer a need for them. The money once used to line the pockets of the corporate executives of these health insurance companies now went towards science, and scientists cured cancer and HIV, and many other deadly diseases.

4) The Worldwide Productivity and Employment Fund was established. Although capitalism still existed, taxes were restructured based on per capita household income, and most of the complexity was removed. The program became universally adopted throughout the Human Union. I’ve laid it out here before you,

a. The basic structure was a 4 tier income level assessment. Although terms like “poverty level”, “middle class”, and “upper class” were not used, I am using them here to avoid referring to income levels.

b. Those who’s per capita income were below poverty level paid no taxes. Those who’s per capita income was between poverty and middle class paid a 10% tax. Those between middle and upper class paid a 20% tax. Those above upper class paid a 40% tax.

c. The following tax deductions could be made, but they would not change your initial tax rate. Those who contributed between 0 and 5% of their income to any or all of the above funds would receive a 25% refund of their contribution amount in the following tax year. All money contributed over 5% and up to 10% of their income to one of the funds above would see a 50% refund of this amount in the following tax year. Any amount more than 10% and up to 20% of their income would see a 60% refund of this amount in the following tax year. And finally, any amount over 20% would see a 75% refund but for this you had to wait for two tax years.

d. There were other provisions for providing to other charitable organizations

As far as receiving services from these funds, they were available to everyone in unlimited quantity, but after a certain amount of use, tax deductions for contributing to these specific funds would be forfeit for that year.

With all of the human needs taken care of, there was time and money to concentrate on other areas, like energy. Hydrogen powered vehicles were perfected, and fueling stations were being installed in people’s garages everywhere. The cost of ownership was still high, but the advancement of electric drive, and hybrid technologies forced gas prices to 52 cents per gallon. Nations that had been our enemies were now working with us to develop new energy sources since the reduced need for oil forced them to reassess the long term viability of their economies.

A new emphasis on integration and education emerged. Old prejudices vanished as people of all different faiths and colors worked side by side, each bringing enrichment and diversity to the newly formed Human Union. Humantopia was officially named Capital of Earth, and it’s flag was a combination of all flags of all nations under the Human Union.

All weapons of mass destruction were destroyed, including those owned by the USA and what we had been calling the friendly nations. There was no need for weapons anymore, because we were all part of something bigger, and we were all in this together.

Towards the end of 2014, a new world had emerged. Although there were still differences and disputes, there was this overwhelming sense of hope for the future. The human race had finally realized that it’s evolution does not happen when we are looking for and finding ways to hurt each other and fear each other and protect ourselves from one another. Evolution happens when we are seeking to understand each other, and help each other, and teach each other and learn from each other, or at least, accept each other. We proved in 2014 that working together, we can accomplish far more than we ever could alone.

But here we are, and it’s Jan 1, 2014 all over again. Why? Well the ball didn’t drop. The ball in Times Square didn’t drop. It just hovered there, and people started to panic, and the millions of humans that showed up to celebrate our togetherness started to feel separate again. After all of the progress we made in 2014 it all went to shit when the ball didn’t drop. We spent so much money, and so much time trying to make this one event so perfect. We humans put all our eggs in one basket again. And when things didn’t go our way, we didn’t work together to try to resolve the problem, or just excuse it as unimportant, since after all, it’s just a ball. Instead we started to blame each other. We started to point the finger at our neighbors, and to argue over something so petty. We forgot the reason we were there, which was to celebrate our humanity and all of the progress we made towards making this world a safer and healthier, and more abundant world for our children. Instead we digressed, and lost every bit of progress we had made. We had forgotten that when we are trying to change ourselves, that we have to keep trying. We forgot that if we are not constantly trying to move in the right direction, that we are pulled in the wrong direction. We forgot that if we don’t learn from our mistakes of the past, and use those lessons to change our actions today and in the future, that we are doomed to repeat those mistakes, and that past, over and over and over.

So you as a human have a rare opportunity here. You may not agree with everything that happened in 2014, but at least our leaders were trying something and in my opinion, heading in the right direction. If you don’t agree, well now you know. But if you just complain about what you don’t like about this world, about your government, or about your neighbor, and you never try to understand the world, or your neighbor, and you never call your congressman, or vote for a different governor or president, well then you will remain exactly where you are. You will be doomed to the same life for the rest of your life, and you will never help the human race to evolve.

I’ve laid out the future for you, but the future is not set in stone. The choices you make help to influence the outcome.