Looking For Changes

•October 12, 2010 • 2 Comments

“Every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.  Therefore, we can predict his future only within the large framework of a statistical survey referring to a whole group; the individual personality, however, remains essentially unpredictable.  The basis for any predictions would be represented by biological, psychological or sociological conditions.  Yet one of the main features of human existence is the capacity to rise above such conditions, to grow beyond them.  Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary.” – Viktor E. Frankl

One must think about what it takes to create changes in others, too many people go through life believing they can change another human being.  They forget the necessary reason for anyone to change even a small thing about themselves is the desire to do so.  People have to want change in themselves for change to happen.  No one can change another person, no matter how bad you might want to.  It is one of the leading causes for relationships of any kind to fail.  People go into a relationship thinking if they change this or that, the person will now be perfect, believing they can change the other.  This change will only happen if the other person is excepting of the idea and wants to create change within themselves, this includes ourselves as well.  As much as we might want to, we should never seek to force change in another human being.  Instead if we seek to save the relationship, we should look for change in ourselves.  To seek out acceptance of who we are and who the other is.  When asking for change, one must have patience, and be willing to help with those changes, whether it is from someone else or from yourself.  Love, patience and understanding are the key components to all relationships.    And if there is not enough change or it is still something that you can not accept and have allowed the time, then it is time to seek happiness from other places.

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Realization of Who Controls My Happiness

•September 14, 2010 • 6 Comments

Compassion.  Forgiveness.   Letting go.  Love.

All words that carry so much weight and  meanings.  To have compassion for ourselves and others means that we have to learn to love ourselves first.  We must forgive ourselves before we can love and forgive others.  To forgive means we have to let go of the things weighing us down.  Letting go means loving yourself and others enough to forgive and move on from mistakes made in the past and those of the future.  Love means letting go of  all things, having compassion for all things and forgiving those that have hurt us, whether they ask for it or not.  Love means forgiving ourselves for allowing it to happen in the first place. 

These four things are probably part of the hardest things in life to learn and live by.  It is so much easier to run away from problems rather than stay and confront them.  It is so much easier to hate than to find a place for compassion, forgiveness, letting go and love in our hearts when someone has hurt us.  It is easier to blame ourselves and self-judge how we messed up than to hold compassion, forgiveness, letting go and love for ourselves.  Life would be so much easier for us all if we could learn to stop and think before saying harsh words to or about others.  Life would be so much easier if we would stop holding ourselves accountable for mistakes made without bad intentions.   This world is already a harsh enough place without us beating up and abusing ourselves and others in it.  If we can learn to forgive and let go of the past, we can find peace inside ourselves.  Finding peace means that we can help make the World a better place by not holding grudges and letting go.  Peace within ourselves means the end to fighting, wars and violence, whether it is just with ourselves or in the larger picture involving others.  Freedom from internal suffering means finding this peace through compassion, forgivness, letting go and love.

I am working on the hard task of learning to have compassion, forgiveness, letting go and love for myself.  I plan on stopping the useless thoughts of blame, suffering, what ifs and pain that is self-destructive because I refuse to let go of the bad things that have happened and move on from them.  I am learning to love myself and forgive myself for the things I feel I have done or allowed to happen because of my complacency.  I am learning compassion for myself and others, no matter what the situation.   I am no longer going to let the World cause me suffering because I allow it to hurt me.  The only one hurting me is me because I refuse to let things go and hold them inside wondering how I could have changed things and made them different.  The only thing I can control in this World is me and how I handle things.  Starting today,  I am going to forgive myself.  I am going to live and be happy.

New York Mosque: Good or Bad?

•August 30, 2010 • 6 Comments

I am torn by the conflict in myself after hearing the news that a group of Muslims want to build a mosque so close to the site of the World Trade Center bombing area.  The first thought that comes to mind, is the fact that this country was founded on freedom.  That freedom includes the right to for anyone to practice the religion of their choosing.  The next thought that comes to mind, is the fact that Muslims bombed the Trade Center and it just seems very insensitive of the people insisting on trying to place the building in that location.  It could be built in another location that shows more sensitivity to the families of people who lost lives in the bombing of the building.

The building of Park51 brings other issues and questions to mind.  What is the actual meaning of insisting on building in that exact location?  Where is the funding for the building coming from?  Is the going ahead with the building of this proposed structure going to cause more bloodshed?  I feel these are all important questions that should be thought carefully about before going ahead with the construction of the site.  I did a lot of research about the entire project, so I could weigh in on my thoughts of the answers to these questions with education, rather than base them on ignorance.

I studied up on the history of the Muslims and how their religious practices and ideas work.  After a lot of reading, I do believe like most other religions, Islam,  does not support the killing of innocents.  But I did find many disturbing facts about how they treat women and others in the name of their faith.  Also, as history shows, Muslims do have the habit of conquering areas and building mosques in those places.  But than again, so does other religions including Christianity. Is that what is happening here?  I do not know, but what I do know, while part of the Muslim population will just view this as a place to worship and congregate, there are others who will view it as the conquering of the infidels.  I also believe while their religion supports the injust treatment of women in their own country (which I do not agree with either, it is wrong to treat another human being so badly), they are asking to use the support of the United States Constitution to build their place of worship.  In the same light of faith and fairness, I believe they should also apply the same rules and support to the treatment of women.  It is after all, another right supported by the Constitution.

On the second question, of where is the money coming from?  I think and feel it would be in the best interests of everyone involved, if this building continues in the site as planned, they should be as transparent as possible.  They should show where every penny that goes to fund Park51 comes from.  My reasoning behind this is:  the Muslim World is saying this building is being done as a peaceful way of trying to bridge a gap between communities where harm was done in the name of religion.  If funding comes from other countries or groups that back and support the Muslim extremists in any way, than the building is not a symbol for peaceful bridging.  By being transparent and making sure the funding comes from peaceful sources, shows more faith to the community and the people of the United States, that they are sincere in their efforts to create a peaceful place of worship.  By hiding where the money is coming from opens the doors to more speculation and hatred. 

And finally my third question, is the building on this site going to create more bloodshed?  My feelings are it is going to bring out extremists from both sides and more blood is going to be lost over the name of Islam, ignorance, and whatever other reasons some are going to come up with.  There has been enough bloodshed when the Trade Towers were brought to the ground.  Muslim extremists are going to claim victory for the building of Park51 and bomb more people in the name of Islam over it.  Extremists on the other side are going to destroy mosques in more places than just this one and attempt to kill people to the attempts to make sure that the building is not built.  It appears from reading stories in the news,  this has already started.   No matter what side you are on, there is going to be more bloodshed if this building is built in that location. 

So why does this building have to go in this exact location?  Would it not be smarter, less costly ( in fact it could help reduce the risk of more lives lost), show more faith and sensitivity to build the building in another place?  Some say by not going ahead with building it, is giving in to the extremists on the other side.  Others say that building it, it just a sign of Muslims trying to show their domanacy on American soil after the bombing.  The majority of people in America do not support the building of Park51 on this location.  Why not as a sign of good faith and showing Americans that Muslims can be respectful and sensitive to the feelings of others, move the building to another location?    I do feel Muslims like any other religion and people have the right to worship and follow their own beliefs.  I do not feel they need to have this exact location.  I do not want to see or hear of anymore bloodshed over what has happened ten years ago.  It is time for everyone to forgive, get along, find a peaceful solution to this issue, and get back to fixing the more important things in this country.  And no matter what side you are on, please encourage peace and that no more bloodshed happen on American soil to be claimed in the name of religion.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park51

http://www.wowowow.com/pov/ground-zero-real-issue-behind-mosque-492612

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Islam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100823/ap_on_re_us/us_nyc_mosque

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/us/31mosque.html

Proof that Karma is Real

•August 22, 2010 • 2 Comments

Karma is the Buddhist belief that although humans have free will to pick and choose  their actions and way of life, there are consequences to those actions. 

If someone chooses to live well and make good decisions with their actions, karma will offer rewards.  By choosing to make bad decisions and choices in life, karma again rewards but this time with bad things.    Our actions in life can actually be thought of by Newton’s law of action:  “For every action there is a reaction.”  Karma works in this way to help the reaction phase of what you do in life.  It does not always have the reaction immediately but sometimes can take time and comes from a cumulative of actions and decisions made past and present.

There is a great example of karma at work, that has been in the news over the past year.  Tiger Woods!  The man with the golden touch at golf.  He had a great supportive  wife, two children, good health, talent, plenty of sponsors and endorsements, money, possessions, and pretty much was on top of the World.  He chose to take advantage of all that and partied it up, lying, cheating, and the whole works.  Now look at him, he is a broken man.  He lost the great family, the money, his health is in question, and his talent for golf is certainly not there right now.  Karma rewarded him while he was making good decisions, but the bad ones he made after he made it to the top of the World have sunk him.  I have rarely seen such a clear case of karma being so cut and dried in appearance. 

While no idea can be absolutely proven, when you look back over time you can pick out the people who have made it to some point of fame and see where karma rewards or takes away.  All actions have a reaction at some point, whether it be today or years from now.  Many people believe that heaven and hell are only obtained after we die, but heaven and hell is right here on earth and is what we make of our lives.  Our way of life, guaranteed  by the decisions and choices that we make.  Choose to live well and you reap the rewards.  Choose to live badly and pick a life of problems and issues.  I can hear some of you now saying well I live well and still bad things happen to me.  Bad things do happen to everyone, no matter the lifestyle choices you make.  We live in a World surrounded by other people, their decisions and choices are going to have effects on our lives as well.  Since we can not live in a box and control everything around us, we have to live with other’s decisions as well.  But the best that we can do is continue on by making the best decisions that we can for ourselves and hope for the best in the end.  Life is what we make of it!

Links:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma.htm

http://www.pgatour.com/players/00/87/93/

http://www.tmz.com/2010/02/19/live-tiger-woods-press-conference-pga-tour-video/

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/06/30/elin-nordegren-gets-m-custody-kids-exchange-silence-tiger-woods-divorce/

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/blog/devil_ball_golf/post/Tiger-Woods-continues-his-terrible-week-at-Fires?urn=golf-260926

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/news?slug=ap-ongolfwoodsworst

Are Our Children really getting an Education?

•August 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I get more amazed everyday at the lack of education that children today seem to be getting from our school systems.  It seems that math, reading, and writing have become things of the past.  Generation X was already suffering from lack of critical thinking and slipping in the abilities to do simple math without a calculator or spell without spell check.  Generation Y has taken it so much further!  High school students are being allowed to graduate without being able to read and writing and grammar skills are gone, we will not even get into math.  Schools now have plans to offer keyboarding classes to the grade school level students instead of teaching them to write.  Spell check is the accepted way to spell and calculators are now the norm.  I was talking to a seventh grade child about a month ago and he could not multiply 9 times 8 without using a calculator.  And critical thinking skills are a thing of the past.  Children are just being taught to accept everything without question. 

Whatever happened to students at least learning basic skills to get them through life?  Now it seems like sports are what schools push, which is sad considering most children are not that talented in the sports arena.  It is not saying that they are bad at them, it is just saying that the pro levels only accept the best, which is not what most children are.  The “No Child Left Behind” law is completely changing the education system.  First of all, the law does not make sense.  Everyone is different, which means they learn different, think different, and do things differently from anyone else.  By placing a law into effect that demands schools pass all children no matter what, leaves the school systems with little options.  They only teach what is going to be on the test, neglecting everything else, and dumb down the education that is offered, in order for everyone to be able to understand it and pass it.  Students today are not being offered a high education that challenges them, because the only thing that is expected of them, is to pass standardized tests.  Well what about the fact that everyone is different?  How does this play into standardized testing? 

It is already been proven time after time that the United States is falling behind other nations in education.  Of course you hear the naysayers claiming those numbers are just being taken from a select few.  But the truth of the matter is, the United States throws the second highest amount of money per student in the World into the education system and still the system claims that is does not have enough to teach its children properly.  And with all that money, our children are still getting a less than substandard education.   We are behind other nations in the education arena and that is only getting worse.  The only area that we are ahead is in the technology areas offered by our universities but is that going to be able to continue being students are not getting a quality education? 

Children today are lacking severely in good education.  Where are the parents in all this?  Why are they not expecting more and challenging their children more?  Children need to be challenged to stay motivated to learn.  Without the challenge it becomes boring, just something else that they “have” to do.  Children need inspiration and motivation to keep them on the learning track, instead of doing what just they have to, to get by.  I remember what school was like when I was there.  My teachers challenged me to learn more than what was offered in class.  My parents and grandparents encouraged me to do the best that I could and offered challenges to keep me learning outside of school.  Parents today do not seem to have any interest in what they children are learning, or not learning, just as long as they see a report card saying their child is passing his or her grade. 

Our children are not getting a good education and nothing is going to change that until enough people step up and decide that they do not want to continue raising their children to be stupid and instead encourage them to seek out their full potential.

Links:

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=1500338

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_9057473

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/13/national/main838207_page2.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-11-13-student-study_n.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-11-13-student-study_n.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Child_Left_Behind_Act

Life as a Smart Person

•July 30, 2010 • 1 Comment

Being smart is one of the hardest ways to live in life.  Everyone thinks that it is so much easier, but it is not.  Your brain never shuts down and you are always thinking of new topics or ways to try to change the World.  You try to find outlets for it and to find people who can put up with you.  But everyone always goes away in the end.  They do not know how to handle it.  A lot of it is because most people really do not care about much beyond their day-to-day life.  They do not strive to see the bigger picture of what the World could be like if people actually did care.  They think that anyone who does think outside the box is stupid and why should they care, because no one can change anything.  It is audacious to even try to make a difference.  People have stopped caring about much of anything in this World.  It has all become about greed, materialism, and what can someone else do for them.  They run in fear and ridicule anyone who actually does anything nice for them, without expecting anything in return.  They do not understand or even like people who think and act outside the box. 

Being smart and intuitive, is an even bigger curse.  You understand why people are feeling and acting the way they do.  But anything that you try to do or say only pushes them farther away from you.  They only tolerate being around you when you are keeping your mouth shut.  Once you open it and let out that you actually do understand and probably have a much deeper understanding of themselves than even they do, it is all over.  They run for the hills. 

 This used to be a world that used to pride itself on free thinkers and people who could come up with new ideas.  But no longer!  People are intimidated and seem to resent anyone that even shows any signs of intelligence that does not relate to what is on the TV or Youtube.   It is very frustrating and sad life, trying to fit in and live in a world where there is no place for you and where no one really wants you.  You try to get on the best you can, but inside you are dying from lack of stimulation, love and acceptance.  You just look for someone to want you, appreciate you, and love you just for who you are.  Just for once to be allowed to be YOU and for it to be ok, is the one wish that you have in life.  You are just looking for acceptance from somewhere.  That is what is like living with being a smart, intelligent person that has to live in a box to be excepted by society.

What is Family?

•July 15, 2010 • 2 Comments

The life and people around us is always changing.  It is a little like being in the ocean, things are always changing, things are always moving.  Family is the one constant that we can rely on to stay steady when everything else is constantly changing.

In my search to figure out what makes certain people family and others are not, I have found out that blood does not always play a role in the definition of family.  Someone does not need to be related to you, to love you, care about you and be there for you.  Family is the people who are there for you in the good times as well as the bad.  They are not the people who are only there when times are good and turn their backs on you when times are bad.  They are not the people that abandon you when they do not agree with something that you have said or done.  Instead they are the people who are willing to stand up and say, “Hey you screwed up” or “I don’t like that you said that.”  Family is the people who are willing to stand by your side and face the good and the bad stuff, catch you when you fall, pick you up, dust you off and tell you to try again.  Family is the people that you think of calling first when something great just happened or the one’s that you turn to at a time of need.  Family is the ones that want you to be who you are, you to be YOU and not hold you back.  Family celebrates your triumphs and cry over your failures.  Family is the people that really choose to know you and except your faults.  Family is the people that love you no matter what.