Don’t Make 2017 Another 2016

Another year is coming to an end. 2016 hasn’t been the best year for me, but I can’t complain because when I look around at the world, my problems are nothing compared to what other people have endured. If I died tomorrow I would die poor, but comfortable with a roof over my head and in safety. While I have watched safely from my home as other countries have been torn apart by war and terrorism. I watched refugees flee for their lives, entire cities under siege, their citizens starving. Occupations, murder, and destruction of historical monuments and relics.
And in my own country, I watched as hate speech increased. Anger spread and acts of violence became a common theme to see on the news every night. Everyone was on edge because of the elections, and still are afraid because we don’t know what the future will bring, we were divided and still are. 

The problems of 2016 aren’t going to go away just because a new year is coming. As much as I would like to snap my fingers and make it all better, I can’t. Each one of us is only responsible for ourselves and our own actions, and by the way we act we influence others. Let’s make a conscious effort this coming year to do our best to have respect for others and treat them the way we want to be treated, we are no better than anyone else. We don’t need another 2016. 

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The Paradox of Right and Wrong

I am a little confused, can somebody help me out? I believe violence is never the answer. I myself, detest violence. I am not one to anger quickly. People can say anything they like. But I believe in respect or at the very least, non aggressiveness, because defensive people are less likely to listen to you. Words are words to me, they don’t harm me at all, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whether I agree or not. Violence to me, is something you only use if you are in immediate, physical danger. Defending yourself or someone else is the only time I find violence acceptable.

So, there’s been a good deal of violence going on lately in America. A lot of it was likely here already, but with the internet and smartphones it is becoming more visible. Some of it seems to be new. Ordinary people who have simply been pushed to their limits, or who are afraid if they don’t act now, everything they value will be lost.

The thing is, although I don’t agree with violence, I do see the point being made. Should people sit back and peacefully allow their lives to be upended, changed, controlled, etc.? What is the threshold for action? When is it too late to act? When is it too early to act? And even if knowing all these, to whom is it acceptable for the actions to be made against? Only specific individuals who have or will harm you? Or to everyone who is connected to the ones who are guilty? Or to simply anyone who is around, if only to make a point? And does violence really make a point at all? And if so, who’s point is being made? Your own point, or is it making the case of those who caused you to become violent in the first place?

As I said, I don’t think violence is the answer. I believe violence only leads to more violence, peace leads to peace. But I also know that sometimes, the peaceful get trampled over, and the ones who do right lose out. It seems to me to be a paradox. So what is right in a situation like this, where we say no violence, yet without fighting we wouldn’t have freedoms or peace? Perhaps there is no right and no wrong. But if so, then nobody is right and nobody is wrong. Or could wrong sometimes be right, and right sometimes wrong? But I feel that right is always right, wrong is always wrong. And violence is wrong. But could I be wrong? If I’m wrong, then what is the measure of right and wrong? When does right cease being right and become wrong, and vice versa?

I am just trying to make sense of the violence because I don’t understand it. At the same time, I do understand it, and I am confused. People shouldn’t be violent. But people also shouldn’t be made to feel threatened enough to become violent. I don’t mean mass murder or school shooting violence, I do not believe anyone could even begin to justify that. I am referring to violence at the political rally’s, more specifically the Trump rallies. It seems to me Trump is nothing, except that with all the publicity that he gets from reactions of his nothingness, we feed the Trump monster. Without us feeding him he would be exactly what he is, nothing. Is feeding the Trump troll with his favorite foods, hate, violence and publicity, necessary to overcoming the Trump troll? Anyone’s thoughts on both sides of the coin are welcome.

Teenage Sensitivity

When my boys were little I just knew I had gotten it right having boys. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a woman, I love girls too. But having been a girl I knew that hormones and girls were not always fun. I figured that with my boys I had escaped the mood swings of teenage girls. Life, as always, gets the last laugh. And boy is life laughing.

My boys are good, they listen and behave for the most part. However, if someone had told me teenage boys were just as sensitive as teenage girls, I would have bet my life that it wasn’t so. And so I learned a valuable lesson, ALL teenagers go Jekyll and Hyde, and over hair at that.

If you have curly hair you know what I am talking about. You simply can’t use a brush on it, it has to be a comb or a pick. But if you’re 16 and the pick and comb can’t be found, it is just as big a deal as losing your car keys when you’re already late. After tearing the entire house apart searching, my son came to me in tears, horrified that he would have to use a brush (we don’t even own one). But don’t fear son, Mom knows what to do! Wet your hair and use your fingers… Never in a million years would I have guessed that this would be a situation that I encountered with my boys. Live and learn, boys are just as sensitive as girls. And be glad that it wasn’t a more serious problem, although it was definitely serious to him.

Shared from WordPress

This is shared from Longreads Blog. It’s not something easy to hear, but we need to be told. If we are going to do something about it we must first know about it. I knew about the iPhone but did not know about some of the others listed in the article. This is a long read, but you can’t lose by reading it, you can only gain knowledge. Hopefully you will join me in using this knowledge to end patronage of these products made by modern day slave labor. We cannot sit back and support these things any longer.

Your Phone Was Made By Slaves: A Primer on the Secret Economy – http://wp.me/p4KhvY-7IR

Smoke Free!

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I gave up smoking 2 weeks ago. I had tried before but always ended up starting again to save my family from the withdrawal emotions. It would have been easier to do if I could have been alone for a few weeks, but this time I found a sure-fire way to quit; quit when you’re sick. It’s not so hard to quit when you simply are too sick to even want to smoke. By the time I was feeling better the urge to smoke had passed. I hope this will help others who also want to quit but have a hard time. It might not work for everyone but it’s worth a try. Don’t stress it, just wait until you’re sick!

What Has Shaped Your Life?

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I am interested in learning more about how other people’s lives have shaped them. What defines you, as you? Religion, culture, life experiences, location, choices (good and bad), influences, anything that has brought you to be the person you are today. No matter who you are or where you are in the world, I would like to hear your stories and learn from you. I only ask that we please respect the people and stories posted here (assuming people post), everyone has a right to share their story, and we might just learn something we didn’t know before.

What has shaped your lives? Post away in the comment section.

Think For Yourselves And Succeed Where Others Fail

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Who is to blame for all the violence in America today, the people, the media, or the leaders? Definitely the people who do the violent acts, their guilt is evident. But who is responsible for the people? Ah, the leaders. We can’t always know the effects our words will have on others, but sometimes we can. Hateful words breed hate. A leader should be above hate. When the leaders who are looked up to and relied on for sound judgement, spew words that divide and incite anger, the end result is violence.

Leaders don’t come out and say, “Hurt, oppress, and kill people.” But darned if that’s not what is happening. Leaders (by way of the media) are instilling fear and hate in the people. Did the latest abortion clinic gunmen really think he was saving any lives by taking lives? Were the people at the Donald Trump rally really so threatened by one black man voicing his opinion? Do white supremacists really think they are making America safer by harassing, oppressing, and harming black people? Do Christians really think every Muslim is out to harm them? Do Muslims really think every Christian is against them? Do mass shooters (or anyone for that matter) really think that they have a right to take the lives of people who they don’t like, or disagree with? But these are the impressions being given by the media and our leaders. Words of hatred lead to violence.

People aren’t using their brains. They hear words of division and fall into a state of fear and hatred. Resorting to violence instead of using their minds and thinking for themselves. Don’t let the media tell you how to think. Don’t let leaders with their own agendas influence your decisions. Don’t let other people persuade you to do something against your conscience. If you have to harm another, it is wrong. It is as simple as that. No amount of reasoning will make it right. If violence is your answer, you are the problem.

Now, us regular people need to get our acts together, but our leaders do too. Instead of bickering back and forth over the issues that divide us, leaders should be working together to find acceptable solutions for the benefit of our citizens. Name calling, fear mongering, slander, and straight up hate will solve nothing. In fact it worsens it, and leads to more division and violence. Set an example leaders, be the role models that you should be.

IDOPAS- International Day of Peace and Safety

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What if for one day, just one day, everyone stopped fighting? What if we took a day for nothing but peace and safety? Not a holiday, but a day devoted to the goal that transcends all barriers between us. We all want peace and safety. We don’t all agree on the best way to achieve it, but it is still the end goal.

Enough shootings, enough bombings, enough murders, enough racism, enough war, and enough harm. Just stop. Even if for just one day, for the name of peace. Prove you can conquer it for a day. One day of being peaceful in the name of peace, is greater than all the previous days combined of doing harm in the name of peace. Help each other out. Be kind to strangers. Control your anger, harm no one. Speak only kind words. Do not participate in aggressive actions. From the least of us to the greatest. From leaders to the common person. From soldiers to civilians. In all nations and corners of the Earth, just stop.

You don’t have to love each other. You don’t have to agree with each other. You need only for one day have consideration for each other, in the name of peace. One day to show that we are not so different from each other, that we all share the goal of peace and safety. 364 days a year we have violence and hate, we should set aside for ourselves one day to be a beacon of what we strive for, amidst all the collective failures of the world.

We would do well to live every day like this day. But in a world where no day is like this, we must start somewhere. This day is not for others, it is for ourselves. Each and every one of us. We seek peace and safety, so let us make peace and safety. I name February 3, 2016, as the International Day of Peace and Safety, known henceforth as IDOPAS. Feb. 3, was chosen because it is 2 months from now, giving us all plenty of time to spread the word. So spread the word, everyone, whoever and wherever you are. On Feb. 3, take it upon yourselves to cause no harm, this is your day. If someone harms you, forgive them. If harsh words are spoken, ignore them. Be responsible for you on this day. Don’t put your life in danger, but as much as it is in you to forgive and ignore, do so, and harm no one. Maybe IDOPAS won’t catch on. Maybe it will. One thing is certain, one person will make a difference. Is that person you? Remember your day.

Thankful For Trees

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Thanksgiving is a day of reflection, to give thanks for what we have. In a world of insanity, I have my trees, and I am thankful for them. Thanks for trees? Yes. While spring and summer bring new growth, green grass, leaves, and flowers of all colors; fall brings its own shades of beauty in the dying world.

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To me trees represent the beauty of the world. A world without trees is a world without life. A life without beauty (inner beauty) is no life at all. While trees stand rooted and endure storms, droughts, seasons, and stages of life, they remain beautiful throughout it all. Trees don’t care who is sheltered beneath them, or who breathes in the oxygen they produce. They share their life with everyone.

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There are beautiful people, just as there are beautiful trees. The people who shine with inner beauty are few and far between. If only they numbered like the trees, how beautiful the world would be year round. Until that day, I have trees, and I am thankful for them. They are a reminder to be strong, and stay rooted no matter what life throws at us. And even when the insanity of the world comes, there is always a new season, bringing forth life from what seemed dead.

Fear

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Fear is at the heart of the world’s problems. Hatred, greed, and violence all have a root in fear. Fear has led people to do unspeakable things all throughout time. Fear of what you don’t understand. Fear of something different. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being exposed. Fear of not being in control. Fear of mediocrity. Fear of loss. Fear of harm. Fear of knowledge. Fear of consequences (real and imagined).

How do we fight an enemy that isn’t always seen? An enemy that exists in all of us? Very carefully. Always use caution in every aspect of life. Caution and fear are not the same. Caution is vigilance. Fear leads people around blindly. Caution preserves them and allows them to clearly and safely assess a situation.

Do not let fear turn us into the very thing we hate. Because if we ourselves can’t overcome it, how can we expect others to? If we see and understand fear for what it is, we should know better than to act in the same way. Fear is a subtle state. Those who in fear partake in acts/words of anger, violence, hatred, greed, do so in ignorance, and use values to justify it. But what value is this? It is the value of fear. But fear is a wanna-be value, isn’t it? And why should we be afraid? The world can do terrible things to us. Surely we can do terrible things to the world. Yet aren’t we the world, and it us?

Fear is counter-productive. Those who are too afraid to climb up out of a hole, will NEVER leave the hole. If doctors were too afraid of catching a disease to handle it to find a cure, what cure would we have? If people had been too afraid to stand up for their rights, what rights would we have? If we are afraid of fear, how will it ever be overcome? With caution, not putting ourselves in dangerous situations, but understanding the difference between acting rightly and acting wrongly. Understanding that all people are not the same. Knowing that it’s unfair to ask those who have been wronged (on all sides) to rise above their pain, but nonetheless the only way to truly heal. And knowing that those who continue to do harm cannot heal. By taking fear and confronting it, proving that it can’t undo you. If fear can undo you then you should be afraid.

Don’t let fear stop you from helping others, being kind, and getting to know others. Terrible things do happen. There are terrible people in the world. There always have been. Don’t let fear of them stop you from doing what is right. Don’t let fear cause you to overreact or make false speculations resulting in actions that harm or hinder another. Acts of kindness change hearts, and minds.

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The global issue of terror attacks and refugee resettlement is what is on my mind tonight, but I think the root and endgame of fear can be applied to most situations. My ancestors came here to America, from Russia, fleeing violence and famine. Very many families have come for similar reasons. How quickly we have forgotten the help that we received. It should not even be a question today of whether or not to help refugees in need. If we have to ask the question then fear is with us, and we know the end before it has begun. Don’t let fear undo us. We are a nation, and a world, of many people. If we don’t let fear control us, together we can do great things.

This is a link to a blog by anonymousoutsider, about fear and the importance of teaching our children to understand; and to not let fear define their future, or ours.
https://ananonymousoutsider.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/on-being-human-in-a-world-of-terror/