Enlightened Conflict

value ourselves as more than just an image

March 2nd, 2017

 

a-better-reality-false-hope

==============

 

“At the end of the day, we have to value ourselves as more than just an image.

 

 An image is just an image.

If you want more, look deeper within.

 

Are you a good friend? A kind companion?

How do you treat others?

 

Those are the things that are a better definition of beauty.’

 

—-

Sara Ramirez

 

===============

 

I imagine all of us want to be seen by everyone as ‘something.’

 

they must be giants fake lies right lifeTo me … this ‘something’ isn’t famous or with some high falutin’ title or rich … but rather be recognized characteristically as something.

And not something shallow … but something a little deeper that defines you.

 

I say that but reality is that the driving ‘something’ for us is far too often fairly innocuous … and, yeah, it will vary from person to person … but a shitload of us want to be seen as smart, or well rounded, or beautiful, or funny, or … well … pick your personal poison.

I could suggest that is kind of a shallow something.

Okay.

I will.

That is a shallow ‘something.’

 

And what makes that shallow worse is that by making that a fairly significant portion of how we choose to define ourselves we spend an inordinate amount of time & energy planning for ‘someday’ when that ‘something’ is played back to us as our defining characteristic.

uhm what did you say really

Uhm.

 

Well.

 

If you are not careful … someday stealthily sneaks up on you as ‘today … and then yesterday … and then day by day it just becomes your Life.

 

Unfortunately Life is not just an image.

Unfortunately Life is ultimately not that shallow.

 

Unfortunately you have to leave the shallow end of the pool at some point and venture into the deep end in order to find … well … value.

 

Despite what marketing & advertising & branding folk may suggest … image is not everything and image does not equal any meaningful value.

 

Image without substance is simply a façade … a mask.

And I can unequivocally state that the number of people who can maintain an entire life behind a mask is minuscule.it is extremely difficult to maintain that façade for an entire Life. It is like trying to play out an act … forever. Someone can do it for a while and fewer can figure out how to build the trappings which can hold the act together … but to hold all of that together for a Lifetime takes some luck, some clever skills, some bravado to appease the cynics & skeptics and, ultimately, some ability to keep the lack of substance out of the spotlight & questioning.

Suffice it to say … it takes a lot of work to wear a mask an entire Life.

 

intent help flaws self bestAnd maybe that is my larger point.

 

We all want to eventually be seen as ‘something.’

 

And we all would prefer that something be of value to those who recognize it and of value to our self-worth.

 

That means.

If you are not careful you can spend a significant portion of your Life chasing some definition … some ‘something’ you are recognized by … that has little or no real value to oneself.

 

By the way. I am not suggesting this is easy. Society encourages shallowness. It can do so in a variety of ways but the main way is simple – measurement.

The shallowest ‘somethings’ are easy to see, easy to assess and easy to measure versus either society standards or versus others.

 

The deepest ‘somethings’ … good, soul, character, integrity … shit like that … are difficult to measure and, frankly, the definition is earned over time and with consistent behavior. You cannot expect instant gratification … at least external gratification … if you pursue a ‘deeper something.’

 

Sigh.

 

Well.

 

Here is what I know:

 

“At the end of the day, we have to value ourselves as more than just an image.

 An image is just an image.

If you want more, look deeper within.

 

Image is just an image.

 

How about this.

 

Image is like masturbation.

 

A deeper something is like making love.hard to planyou are more

 

I tend to believe we all want more.

 

We all want that kind of self-value that is deeper.

We all want more than just an image.

 

It is a Life truth that Image is seductive.

 

The good news?

It is a Life truth that if you want more than image, and look deeper within for that ‘something’, you will find a better definition of yourself.

In this time, at this place, I will be defined

February 17th, 2017

 stand for what is right i will be defined now

============

“I endure.”

 

Lockhart

 

==============

 

“What we do in life will echo in eternity.”

 

Maximus (in Gladiator)

 

=================

 

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

 

Shakespeare

 

================

 

“The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

 

Howard Zinn

=============

 

So.

 

This topic has been on my mind for a while but I hadn’t figured out how to talk future-universe-view-space-open-thinkingabout it without being apocalyptic or overly dramatic.

 

I know it has been on my mind since Trump entered into our lives <when is the last time you had a conversation where he wasn’t mentioned?> and lately I have found myself placing tags on my posts like “enlightened reading” or “enlightened thinking” or “enlightened politics” or … well … I guess I have been thinking about enlightened a lot. But this doesn’t feel like an ‘enlightened issue.’

 

And then I had lunch with a good friend the other day and out of the blue he says “this feels like one of those times when years from now people will be asking you what you were doing … or not doing.”

 

Yeah.

 

It does.

 

This does feel like “a moment in the tide in the affairs of man.”

 

This does feel like a moment in which people will define themselves.

 

 

It does certainly feel like a time of angst. An ‘apocalypse’?  Certainly not.

 

Unrest and uneasiness and uncertainty? Absolutely yes.

take a stand america define

And, frankly, in times like these it is tempting to sit back … maybe, to be harsh, be lazy and fall back on our opinions and “what we believe” and mumble to ourselves, maybe bitch with our friends or just remain silent.

 

But this seems to be more a time … uhm … no … this is “a time” more than ever to … well … be defined.

 

Look around if you don’t believe me.

 

You can see it if you look hard enough that a shitload of people feel the same thing. You may get confused in thinking it is “whining democrats because they lost” or “establishment people afraid of losing their gravy train” or even simply “people afraid of change.”

 

It’s more than, and less than, that.

 

It’s the tide in the affairs of man.

 

And, yes, we can blame Trump for this defining moment time. But he is less relevant in this tide than you may think. He is simply riding the tide … and we are the many drops of water within the tide … the ebbs and flows and crests and furrows are ours to build and destroy.

 

Take note of what is happening.

People feel this is a defining moment.

 

I don’t care if it is Hannity who has attached himself to Trump to rise and fall with the man himself <and not an ideology>. He is all in.

 

never be silent stand up i will be definedI don’t care if it is Jake Tapper on CNN who appears to be attaching himself to truth & facts. He is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is Meryl Streep who has attached herself to celebrity moral authority. She is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is the millions who walked in a women’s march without any real reason other than it felt like they should. They want to be all in <on something>.

 

I don’t care if it is someone who fills out petitions and sends $5 to whatever organization possible. That person is all in on something.

 

I don’t care if it is a white nationalist who now attaches their feelings to real words said in public or statement clothing. That person is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is someone who has their senators on speed dial and calls them every morning during their commute to just leave a message with whatever is on their mind. That person is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is someone who attaches themselves to ‘deplorable’ without really knowing what embracing deplorable really means other than it permits them to make a statement. That person is all in.

 

I don’t care if it is someone like me … someone who hasn’t given a rat’s ass about politics up until now … who now writes pieces, posts almost every day and emails writings & thoughts to different people … from Mark Cuban to John Lewis to John Kasich … The National Review to The Guardian to CNN … hoping that someone somewhere will affect this tide of affairs of man.

 

I tend to believe we all feel the tide of affairs shifting.

And as we feel it a range of emotions surges … some excited riding the tide and many many others desperately, and helplessly, feeling like they are fighting a tide they don’t like or do not understand <and this where we see some angry people … as they feel helpless struggling in this tide of affairs>.

 

This is a defining moment.

 

And I think we all know that this moment is different.  In the past, maybe without truly consciously thinking about it, we recognize most moments actually create their definition … because, for the most part, they are all about creating something from nothing.

 

That is different than this moment.

 

In this moment, in this time and place, something is happening of which we have to create nothing … but rather shape it. And, in doing this shaping, we are actually building something within the moments we elect to stand up and define ourselves … well … building “us” … okay … maybe it is building “me or I.”

 

This moment is different because it demands that we take a whole bunch of seemingly meaningless little moments … almost unrecognizable … that have got us to where we are attitudinally, intellectually and physically … and stop and speak out in some way that will be meaningful to us for the rest of our lives.

 

And.

In this moment … I would suggest that this is not the time to define yourself by standing against something but rather standing up & for something. This is not the moment to be “anti” something but rather “pro” something.  ‘Anti’ suggests you can turn, or stem, the tide of affairs when the reality of ‘affairs of men’ would most likely suggest a tide is a tide and affairs will be affairs and by being ‘pro’ it may be possible to show which harbor the tide should enter. Don’t define by what you are against … define by what you are for.

 

That said.

now or_never_web_design_grandeI could suggest that for many of us this is a “now or never” time.

 

 

========

“Sometimes there is no next time, no time-outs, no second chances; sometimes it’s now or never.”

Alan Bennett

 

============

 

In the general tide of affairs of men there often seems to be unending line of second chances standing outside your door.

And then in the tide there comes a time when … well … you look outside one morning and all those second chances are gone to Starbucks.

 

Just gone.

 

And you are alone.

 

And you can’t play the next time card or ask the next second chance to come on in. or say … uhm … can you wait a minute? <until one of the second chances comes back from the bathroom>

 

Nope.

 

It’s now or never.

 

Life is looking right at people … right at you & me … and saying … ‘okay, what’s your call?’

speak the truth i will be defined stand up

And this is actually your judgment call and no one else’s.

 

This is your defining moment and your decision.

 

Life is not going to help you out on this one … Life isn’t going to lean in and whisper in your ear … “hey, just so you know, this is one of those no time out, no second chance, no next time moments.”

 

That is my job today.

 

My job today is to tell you what I believe is the truth … that while Life is typically extremely generous in giving time outs and second chances … this feels like a ‘now or never moment’.

 

===========

“attack everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.”

 

Douglas Adams

 

============

 

This is a daunting feeling.

 

Because while you may actually have done a gazillion things in your Life to prepare yourself for this ‘now or never moment’ … I seriously doubt anyone feels competent for this moment. It is slightly daunting to think this is a ‘now or never’ moment which will live with us for years to come.

 

Yeah.

It certainly feels slightly daunting to think that what you do will define you … for eternity.good people defined losses victories

 

Yeah.

 

On top of uncertainty or excitement or helplessness or a feeling of freedom to do & say what you have always wanted to do & say you are being asked to choose how you want to be defined.

 

The kind of thought that makes us think about choices and what we elect to do … because … well .., what we do echoes in eternity.

 

The Gladiator quote was perfect … it suggests that the way we live … and what we choose to do … not only affects our present … but also determines our eternity.

He suggests what we do in the present will affect not who we are and what will happen but also our future … beyond death.

 

He suggests that you … well … matter.

 

That your thoughts matter.

That your choices matter.

That your actions matter.

 

And not only within this moment.

But in the moments which end up in eternity.

 

Your life matters. What you do is up to you, but your life matters to the degree that you choose it to matter. Life means something … especially if you defiantly define who and what you are.

defy word defiance

Defiance is not easy.

 

It is much much easier to not push back, to not push yourself forward, but go along for the ride … wishing it were better than it seems to be.

 

 

Defiance is a choice.

 

And, I would remind everyone, that choice defines destiny … not chance.

 

If you are defiant, and push back, you are more likely to control the destiny of … well … your definition and how you will be defined.

 

And that is what today’s world feel like. a moment to be defined. A moment to be defiant with regard to who you are, what you believe and what you stand for.

It feels like you cannot be silent … and you have to choose.

 

Now.

I purposefully have tied “I will be defined” with an attitude … one of defiance.

I do so because of … well … Trump.

He has far too often been called a ‘disruptor.’ In businesses a disruptor is not one who creates & encourages chaos but rather one who ‘overturns conventional wisdom’ to take what exists and reshape it into a new way of doing things. A true disruptor envisions what can be <let’s call this ‘a plan’> and dismantles only that which encumbers in the here & now to enable the “what will be.” In the business world Trump is more often called ‘an agent of chaos.’ He is one of those managers who cannot tell the difference between chaos & doing — they are of equal in his mind. He holds up doing as proof of his value. A true disruptor holds up ‘what can be’ as proof of value.   Calling him a disruptor is an insult to the true disruptors.

 

This means, even more than ever, those who choose to stand in this time & place and define themselves will have to be defiant.

 

Defiance is standing still, standing strong, speaking out … amidst chaos.

This will not be about the one, or ones, who speak the loudest but the ones who speak the smartest and steadfastly. This will be about the ones who defiantly stand in the face of chaos and stubbornly defend what they believe and what is right.

And, in doing so, the country will be defined by who and what we coalesce around. The fragments <which are what some people will call “divisions”> will cluster until the cluster of that which is the country itself has spoken and defined itself. As a country … it is false to suggest we are divided … we are fragmented. There is a huge difference between those two thoughts. And it is actually within that difference in which Hope for something better resides.

 

Yes.

In this time, at this place, I do believe this country will be defined. And it will be defined by those who not just endure the moment, the tide of affairs of man, but rather the ones who stand up and say “this is how we will endure.”

 

You may be angry, you may feel helpless, you may feel excited … but whatever you feel it is because you are caught up in a unique tide in the affairs of man … i will be defined stand up speak outand you will be defined not because you endured but rather by how you endured.

 

My friend was right. This is a “moment.”

 

We will look back in time at this ‘moment’ and you will be defined by what you did do … or didn’t do.

 

Me? I have made my decision. In this time, at this place, I will be defined.

 

cover the universe with drawings we have lived

May 20th, 2016

 

 

 

=====

 

Each one of us, then, should speak of his roads, his crossroads, his roadside benches; each one of us should make a surveyor’s map of his lost fields and meadows. idea art creative draw life imagine

 

Thoreau said that he had a map of his fields engraved in his soul.

 

And Jean Wahl once wrote … [“] The frothing of the hedges / I keep deep inside me [“] … Thus we cover the universe with drawings we have lived.”

 

 

Gaston Bachelard

====

 

 

“You have to live a life to understand it.

Tourists just pass through.”

 

 

Prince

====

 

 

Well.

 

Let me give you a reason not only for living … but experiencing Life. And I don’t means “savoring Life” type trite bullshit. I mean experiencing what is going on around you and being aware, to participate in Life … and actually experience the realities of the here & now <and not divert your attention toward some imaginative “boy, I imagined something completely different than what is occurring”>.

 

Nor am I going to hijack any of that nutjob Eckhardt Tolle’s “live in the now” nonsense.

 

All I will suggest is that each experience, especially when you pay some attention to it, etches something in us.

 

Think of it like acquiring a tattoo.

And if you do accept the tattoo metaphor <or is that an analogy?> it seems to me you should take some care with what gets engraved upon you.

 

dance color cloud skirtWhy care?

 

While the fact Life is in constant movement and that can become incredibly tiring trying to dance with it  all day long … your dance partner, named either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ typically arrives without invitation. I would suggest more of us would be slightly more content if we didn’t focus on the fact our dance partner made us smile <lets assume that is “good”> or is a complete asshole <lets call that dance partner “bad”> but instead focus on the dance itself.

 

That, my friends, is experiencing Life.

 

The steps, the movement, that path and arc of the dance and the fields upon which our feet are placed in their movement.

 

 

Thoreau tells us ‘ he had the map of his fields engraved in his soul.’ That is … well … because he not only walked them but he saw and felt the steps as he placed them.

 

This is all about recognizing the value of being aware. And it is this perceptive appreciation of the time & place, past & present, permits us a healthy balance of reality and memory.

 

Even better?

 

This awareness actually permits us to embed the moments better in our heads.

This isn’t to say we will remember it correctly <because psychologically we suck at correctly & accurately remembering things> but rather the moments themselves are engraved upon us.

 

To be clear.

 

This ‘thing’ we embed is actually a reflection of the natural gap in our minds between the complexity of reality and our ability to experience the complexity.

What I mean by that is we tend to view reality heuristically. Therefore we don’t truly see reality but rather a simplified translation. Unfortunately … this simplified version naturally builds in some blind spots.

 

Now.

 

There is a whole bunch of psychological mumbo jumbo about ‘dimensions of recognition’ and ‘symbolic complementariness of the person’s first-hand life events/involvements’ but it is much easier for everyday schmucks like you and I to think of it in a linear fashion … any initial connective personal involvement in a moment begets some reflection <how it may relate to other moments> which inevitably creates some ongoing narrative in our head.

 

Aw.

Forget all the psychological stuff.

 

Simplistically … the map of our Life is engraved upon our minds if not our soul … assuming we actually are aware enough to experience the map as we traverse it. Our universe deserves to be covered with our drawings.

 

I am fairly sure a lot of people will read this and be shaking their heads going “I have great memories … I could cover my universe with drawings” … you aren’t telling me anything of value.

 

And you may be right. Absolutely. You may be.

 

But I would suggest that most people would actually end up papering their universe with someone else’s drawings of their experience … like taping postcards on the wall of everywhere you have been. That is not covering your universe with drawings of what you have lived.cage bird tattoo

 

Those are simply superficial surface expressions of real actual experience.

 

Let me go back to my tattoo metaphor.

 

If I were to get a tattoo on my soul I imagine, at least me, I would not choose a tattoo of a postcard but rather I would prefer choosing an expression of what I felt when I placed my feet where that postcard was. Don’t be a tourist with Life … live it.

 

That’s all I’m sayin’.

112 reasons why Life should be lived by Seussisms

March 3rd, 2016

suess why fit in stand out

————–

 

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

 

===

 

Dr. Seuss

 

 

—————–

 

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

 

==

 

Dr. Seuss

 

 

———————

 

 

It’s okay everyone … I am not going to actually list 112 reasons why Life should be lived through Dr. Seussisms.

 

be who you are  cat in hat suessYesterday would have been Dr. Seuss’s 112th birthday.

 

And I could guess I have read his words, quotes and thoughts way over 112 times.

 

And I will guess I will read those same words, quote and thoughts at least another 112 times in the years to come.

 

 

It may sound silly for a grown man to suggest he spends as much time as that implies I have spent pondering the words from children’s books.

 

In my defense I believe there have been hundreds of books written analyzing the philosophical underpinnings and morality messaging of what Dr. Seuss stories and words truly mean.

 

I am a much simpler guy.

 

I take the words at face value.

 

I accept that the world, and Life, offers us a shitload of complicated questions which we could dwell upon for hours … if we just didn’t want to accept that some answers are truly simple. As simple as Dr. Seuss answers.

 

 

Dr. Seuss, at its core, is about a strong sense of self, a belief you are master of your own actions <if not your own destiny>, that you are not any bigger, or smaller, than anyone else in terms of importance and that leading isn’t about popularity or the size of your following but rather by individual actions.

 

 

Me, being me, notices I just focused on actions as learnings.

 

Which makes it incumbent upon me to remind everyone that attitudes drive behavior. In other words if you remain true to yourself, your character, your moral compass, your integrity and sense of dignity and respect for any & all, you actions will be … well … truer than true.

 

————-

 

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

Dr. Seuss

 

—————-

 

 

And, lastly, I imagine I keep going back to Dr. Seuss words because time & time again the implication is that one individual’s actions can make a significant impact.

 

 

In other words … if I had the time and the interest <and the words> I would share 112 reasons why understanding yourself and getting comfortable with who & what you are … and believing that your actions matter <all your actions> is the key to living a Life of purpose. And, I imagine, a higher likelihood of a Life of happiness.

 

 

I do know that back in November 2015 I wrote something called “I want to save the world.”

 

suess save the world

In it I wrote this:

 

 

it may appear easier to just say “I need to focus on my own happiness” research has shown over and over again that our true happiness and self worth is attained when we aspire to being dynamic beyond our own purpose.

Here is a Life truth.

Life can suck if you let it.

And things will always remain sucky if you let it. You can either do something or not do something. And you can do some important things or you can do unimportant things.

That’s the gig. Simple as that.

 

 
Maybe I should have added … “you can save the world by being you and doing things that are a reflection of you.” I think if I had Dr. Seuss would have liked that post a little bit better.

 

 

In today’s big, complicated, messy world we can sometimes feel really really small. Maybe even insignificant in the grander scheme of things.

 

Are we insignificant in today’s world?

 

That is a complicated Life question many of us seek to answer.

 

 

And Dr. Seuss provides the simple answer:suess grinch cindy lou

 

 

========

 

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

 

Horton Hears a Who

====

 

 

I may yet write 112 reasons why Life should be lived by Seussisms. And if I do it may be one of the most important Life lesson posts I will ever write. But maybe, instead, I will suggest everyone read Dr. Seuss 112 times.

And many of the complicated Life questions we face will be answered more simply than you thought possible.

protesting for yourself

February 21st, 2016

saving yourself

=====

 

“It’s okay to care about yourself the most. It’s okay to do what’s healthy for YOU. When someone hits you, it’s okay to hit back and then ask them what the hell they expected.

It’s okay.

 

You are not obligated to sit there and smile and swallow every bit of shit everyone heaps on you. You are more than furniture, you’re more than window dressing, you’re not their shiny toy.

 

You’re human, and you have the right to say “That was shitty of you”.

You have a right to say “Let me feed that back to you; tell me, how does it taste?”

You have a right to protest your own mistreatment and set boundaries for respectful interactions.

 

The rest of the world doesn’t realize you have this right, and they will act offended and appalled when you exercise it, but it is yours.”

 

SonneillonV

 

=====

 

 

 

Let me begin with the controversial thought.

 

do it for yourself

It is okay to be selfish.

 

Particularly when it comes to who you are and what you believe and what you stand for.

 

 

Some people may suggest what I am discussing is having & maintaining conviction.

 

You can.

 

I will not.

 

 

I like to think of it as selfishly maintaining what is mine and no one else’s. And I kind of like being selfish in this case.

 

 

This also means you have a right to protect your selfish decision.

 

 

That may mean just as my opening quote says … “that was shitty of you” and not only do I protest … I refuse it.

“Keep your shit.”

 

Yeah.

 

 

It isn’t a popularity building type of thought I am sharing.

 

And I am certainly not suggesting it as something to do 24/7.

 

 

What I AM suggesting is you have a right to be selfish. On a variety of things but mostly with regard to self, character and beliefs <not opinions>.

 

 

And you do have a right to be selfish with regard to how people, and the world, treat your space, your thinking, your self and any character attacking interactions.

 

Maybe the reason I am purposefully using selfish is because it conveys clear, hard, well defined boundaries. And not a shell like boundary but rather a ‘cross this line’ type boundary.

 

 

Personally I believe we need to first and foremost teach young people what is important to have inside the boundaries and why a boundary is important.

 

 

Personally I believe we need to be a little less compromising when someone disrespectfully crosses our boundary.

 

 

Selfish is one of those harsh negative-implying words. But I would also suggest that in a sometimes harsh world you need to implement some harsh measures to insure you do not get treated harshly.

 

This type of selfishness is actually one of strength, one from strength … the strength of self.

 

And within this type of selfishness you have the power, the right, to protest mistreatment of your boundaries.

dont fool yourself reminder

Yeah.

 

Some people may be appalled by your push back, maybe some offended and maybe some don’t even believe you have the right.

 

They are wrong.

 

 

The world doesn’t demand you always ‘play nice’ when it hurts.

 

The world only encourages you to be respectful when you protest for yourself.

 

 

But you always … always … have the right to protest for yourself.  Any time with any one.

I want to save the world

November 13th, 2015

 

ok to only save one person world

===

a weheartit contributor

—————

 

 

Well.

 

I saw this the image I open with  weheartit as I was searching under ‘self development’ and it made me think one word … “awesome.”

 

Ok.

 
Two words.

fucking awesome arrow

 

Fucking awesome.

 

 

 

At some point in our lives pretty much all of us have had a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in us. Of course, that was before the world & Life beat it out of us and suggested that maybe we aim a little lower.

 

Ok.

 

 
A lot lower.

 

 

Well.

 

 

The world, and Life, was, and is, wrong. This is one of those things we should never have beaten out of us.

 

 

Let me repeat.

 

NEVER let it get beaten out of you.

 

 

Let me tell you why this may be one of the most important things we should pay attention to.

 

reality problem

There is no lack of problems in today’s world.

 

 

There is no lack of people who need saving.

 

 

There is no lack of ideas that need saving.

 

 

And let’s be clear … you do not need an “everything is fucked and we’re all going to die” attitude to see this.

 

 

It just is.

 

 

And while when you do ponder this it may appear easier to just say “I need to focus on my own happiness” … well … research has shown over and over again that our true happiness and self worth is attained when we aspire to being dynamic beyond our own purpose <be part of something bigger than just ‘me’>.

 

 

Look.

 

 

Here is a Life truth.

 

 

Life can suck if you let it.

 

And things will always remain sucky if you let it.

 

You can either do something or not do something. And you can do some important things or you can do unimportant things.

 

That’s the gig. Simple as that.

 

 

But here is what I can tell you for sure.

 

 

Doing something … and doing important things … gives meaning & purpose and all that Maslow stuff which makes you feel self-value. In other words … in a world that may suck or at least may appear to suck <and has some obvious sucky things about it> … if you choose to try and save the world in some way … well … you will not suck.

 

 

 

 

You don’t have to save the world all at once. You can start saving small … a penny at a time. All you gotta do is choose any frickin’ penny you see lying on the ground <that’s a bad metaphor for ‘some issue’ by the way>.

 

 

Just pick a problem and start saving the world one penny at a time. Before you know it you will have made a dollar difference … maybe more if you are really lucky.

 

 

Education, Jobs, Homelessness. Poverty. Domestic violence. Women’s rights. Mental health. Big Brothers/Sisters.

 

Heck.

 

Supporting ‘doing what is right.’

 

 

There are so many to choose from you cannot go wrong in saving the world … you can start saving at any time in fact.

 

 

Will you solve it?

 

Most likely not.

 

 

Will you contribute to the solution?

 

Yes.

 

 

Most importantly … will you make a difference? Yes.

 

 

Like small pebbles dropped in a pond the ripple reaches much much farther than you can see from where you stand.

 

 

And you know what?moral compass individual save

 

You will feel better about yourself. Even if you are only one penny richer at the end of the day … well … you are richer.

 

 

So maybe … rather than falling in love with yourself or seek to make yourself happy … you might do well to get to work on solving the problems that prevent the world from being truly exceptional.

 

 

By the way.

 

 

If along the way you are the only person you save … well … you have done good, kid.

giving yourself away … an unselfish view

February 22nd, 2015

saving someone drowning

——–

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

=

Dr. Seuss

——-

 

 

 

Well.

 

 

It occurred to me when rereading a January post “giving yourself away” < http://brucemctague.com/giving-yourself-away > that I had, with the best of intentions, shared a selfish perspective on giving yourself away. And that there is an unselfish perspective.

 

 

 

Yes.

 

There is unselfish giving yourself away. These are the people who simply help people, giving pieces of themselves away, because … well … that is what they do and who they are.

 

 

These people, the few, have a gift.

 

girl saving fire

 

I know of one for sure … probably a couple.

 

The gift is that they always seek to give a piece of themselves away if they see someone in pain, burdened by something, or just see a person needing to know that there is someone in the world who cares.

 

 

They do this regardless of the other person being friend or foe … known or unknown. They simply seek to … well … metaphorically … give a piece of themselves away to insure the other person has something good to hold on to when things look or feel bad.

 

 

What this means is … without trying to be the world to one person … they often end up being just that.

 

 

This is a gift.

 

 

It is a gift in that these people have an unending capacity to give themselves away.

 

 

I think in biology it is called regeneration. The body’s ability to give a piece away and have it regrow on the body. That is a gift these people have.

 

It is a gift because they never get exhausted giving themselves away piece by piece. It is a gift because they never lose enough of themselves to not have more pieces to give away.

 

 

“You will leave a little piece of yourself with everyone you imagine,” he said.

“You will get exhausted trying to give yourself away.”

noble infinite bits

————-

So.

Giving yourself away and never getting exhausted.

I think I will call this unselfish capacity.

 

 

It can be called unselfish because of something called “needs.”

 

We all have needs.

 

Needs, in the harshest light, pretty much stand in the spotlight of selfishness.

And, yet, the people with the gift I am speaking of seem to have such a huge unselfish capacity that their own needs seemed to get squeezed out of the selfish spotlight and are willing to stand to the side in the shadows.

 

That is a gift these people have.

 

 

There is another aspect of the unselfish capacity.

 

 

I will call it the ‘saving someone’ aspect.

 

 

My perspective on this one is mainly a business perspective.

 

When I managed groups and departments of people I loved picking up other managers ‘discards.’ The staff that they had given up on as too flawed or unmanageable. At that time, in my mind, no one wasn’t manageable. I believed as a manager I could ‘save anyone & everyone.’

 

But when I began managing companies and larger organizations I found I didn’t have the capacity to ‘save everyone.’ I became a harsher judge and jury with regard to staff.

 

 

I mention this because not too long ago I told a co-worker who was evaluating a potential hire, with some glaringly obvious cultural fit challenges, that ‘you can’t save everyone.’

He looked at me and said “I know … but why not try?”

 

The only answer I could give is that ‘if you give too much of yourself away in doing so you end up exhausted … or a shell of your former self having given too much of yourself away.’
Silly me.

 

 

 

I forgot that I am not everyone.

 

I had forgotten there are people with a gift … an unselfish capacity of which I do not have.

 

 

These people not only believe they can ‘save everyone’ but have the capacity to actually try to do so. That, my friends, is a gift.

 

 

 

Anyway.

 

 

The ‘giving yourself away unselfishly’ people.

 

 

The world needs these people.

 

We needed them in the past. We need them in the present. We will need them in the future.

 

 

dreams holow places empty peopleI imagine I owe an apology to these few gifted people for what I wrote in my original giving yourself away post.

 

 

Instead of apologizing I offer this post and the words you just read.

 

 

 

Giving yourself away is tricky.

 

And not everyone has the same capacity, or gift, to do it … and do it sincerely with no emotional baggage attached to the giving.

 

 

Appreciate the few who can.

giving yourself away … a selfish view

January 25th, 2015

not good enough trying

“You will leave a little piece of yourself with everyone you imagine,” he said.

“You will get exhausted trying to give yourself away.”

————-

“I wonder how much of what weighs me down is not mine to carry.”

=

Aditi

——————–

“I ruined myself for a lot of people that weren’t even worth it.”

=

Unknown

================

 

 

Ok.

 

 

I like every single one of the quotes I began with because they’re not blaming anyone else for their problems.

 

That said.

 

While this topic is mostly about ‘self’ … let me be clear … keeping yourself whole is one of the most difficult challenges in Life.

 

trying fucked it up

 

Why?

 

 

Well.

 

We all have a tendency to give little pieces of ourselves away … with good intentions <most of the time>.
And then there will be times you have a piece taken away.

 

 

 

Regardless.

 

 

If you are not careful not only do you get tired … but you have nothing left to give.

 

 

Oh.

 

And at exactly the same time you run the risk of accepting some shit from other people and end up having to carry it around <along with your own shit>. This shit is not only their problems or issues … but more dangerously … their perceptions and attitudes.

 

Uhm. The ‘what they believe’ type shit.

 

 

I will note here that other people’s thoughts, perceptions & attitudes can be the heaviest burden you can ever assume. So while you give yourself away piece by piece you are inevitably gathering up pieces of other people.

 

When things get completely out of balance this means you can actually be carrying around more of other people <and their wacky opinions> then your own.

 

 

Scary, huh?  Kind of makes you hesitate to give yourself away.

 

 

Ok.

 

Maybe this means I am talking about being selfish.

 

And actually finding a positive aspect of selfish.

 

 

Because, yes, there is a twinge of selfishness in deciding to not give yourself away.

 

I say that because there are always people wanting a piece of you.

 

 

Especially if you are worth a shit.

 

 

But even if you are not worth a shit … other people are always in need of something more than what they have … and will always seek to get what they need.

 

Sometimes this is meant with good intentions.

 

thinking trying to
Sometimes it clearly is with bad intentions.

 

Intentions or not … at all times … if you ‘play’ … you give yourself away.

 

 

 

 

What this means is that if you are not very very <very> careful … you can ruin yourself by giving yourself away. I say ‘very careful’ because it can happen piece by piece.

 

 

So ‘being careful’ brings me back to the selfish thought.

 

 

 

You have a right to set respectful boundaries.

 

 

You have a right to decide when to give something away, of yourself, and when not to.
You have a right to tell the world “I have nothing left to give.”

 

 

trying getting started

———-

“It’s okay to care about yourself the most.

It’s okay to do what’s healthy for YOU. When someone hits you, it’s okay to hit back and then ask them what the hell they expected.

It’s okay.

You are not obligated to sit there and smile and swallow every bit of shit everyone heaps on you.

You are more than furniture, you’re more than window dressing, you’re not their shiny toy.

You’re human, and you have the right to say “That was shitty of you”.

You have a right to say “Let me feed that back to you; tell me, how does it taste?”

You have a right to protest your own mistreatment and set boundaries for respectful interactions.

The rest of the world doesn’t realize you have this right, and they will act offended and appalled when you exercise it, but it is yours.”

=

SonneillonV

———

 

 

And maybe that is what not giving yourself comes down to.

 

 

The right to set your own boundaries … and rules for interaction.

 

 

Now.

 

This will confuse the world on occasion.

 

Why?

 

 

“The rest of the world doesn’t realize you have this right, and they will act offended and appalled when you exercise it, but it is yours.”

 

 

But you gotta do it or … well … you give yourself away.

 

 

Giving yourself away can be exhausting.

 

 

Giving yourself away does not always translate into ‘getting back something of equal value.’

 

Giving yourself away can ruin you.

 

 

Look.

 

 

In the end.

 

 

I am certainly not suggesting lack of compassion or not embracing a giving nature or even a belief that giving yourself away doesn’t have returns <actualization, esteem, gratification, etc.>.

 

 

However.trying human being

 

 

I am suggesting that if you give yourself way piece by piece to anyone and everyone who asks … well … you run the risk of no longer being whole. The essential parts that make up the whole have been given away.

 

 

 

I am suggesting that it is okay to be a little selfish, maybe self serving, when it comes to giving yourself away.

Enlightened Conflict