What is Your "Mask"?


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Mask”  by “The Daily Post.”

I have been reading the book “Every Crooked Path” by Steven James and in the book there are two things that have really grabbed my attention, one being that the criminals or bad guys in the story are wearing masks to conceal their identity at certain points throughout the story, and the other is that pretty much no one is who they seem to be at first glance. Steven James really does a great job of showing the meany layers to individual people. Anyway, it got me thinking about our own “masks” in our everyday lives. How many layers are there to who you really are underneath the “mask” or “masks” that you put on?

We all have our “masks” that we put on either at certain times or all the time. They are there so others will only see what we want them to see about us. If we are hurting due to the loss of a love one, but we don’t want others to see that we are hurting, we will put up a mask of being all right of being happy and so forth. Though a lot of times these “masks” that we wear are to show what others expect to or want to see about ourselves. The key thing to know is that these “masks” hide who we truly are not only from the world and people around us but even from ourselves.

You see, we can become so used to our “masks” and have on so much that we actually forget about them and are ourselves mistaken by them for our real selves. In fact the “masks” can if we are not carfull stop being masks and actually become who we are. Having “masks” is not all bad and could be a good thing for ourselves every now and then if they are used sparingly, they do not coverup to much of who we really are, and we do not forget that they are there.

So, what is your “mask?” How many layers are there to your mask and are you really aware of them all? Take a very good look at your self to find the answer. We all need to be aware of the “masks” that we wear.

We All live On Borrowed Time


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Borrowed” by “The Daily Post.”

Time, there is never enough of it least that is what I find. Never enough time to do what I need to do, and never enough time to relax when I do get things done. We all experience this, everyone does. Yet, at the same time, this fact has not been put properly into perspective. We all know that we struggle for time, yet we still take it for granted. Time is always moving against us it seems, but that need not be a negative.

When we don’t focus on the negative of there being limited time for us in the things we do; but instead focus on the positive, we realize that “you know what things aren’t really that bad.” Once we stop focusing on how much time do we actually have, but instead on the things that do get done or that we can do in that time frame, we realize that we actually can and often do get a whole lot done. A lot more than we feared we would when we were agonizing over the time.

In life, there is always going to be borrowed time, from the moment we are born to the moment we die. Yet, life is not about how much time we have in it, but about what we do with what we got. Every day, we as human beings seem to race against the clock to get as many things done as fast as possible before the day ends; when instead we need to focus on just what we are doing and how we do it.

Most importantly, when we actually realize that, in the grand theme of life we really are on borrowed time, it makes us no longer take it for granted, but to make every moment that we do have count; to mean something. Time is no longer just about getting as much done as possible, but about what gets done. In the end, that is what truly matters to us. Life is not about how much you do, but about what you do, this is true fro the everyday little thing as it is for the much more grand thing about what you do with your life, of what you leave behind. So the next time that you realize that you are on borrowed time, don’t agonize over it, but embrace it!

 

Real Not Fake Friends


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Fake” by “The Daily Post.”

There are a lot of fake things in the world. There is the fake product that only pretends it is the same as another. There is the fake piece of art or duplicate painting, this can be for ill or good depending on the who and why the duplicate was made, regardless it is a fake. However, you do not just find fakes in objects but in relationships too. More specifically, in friendships. Dictionary.com defines a friend in six ways.

I want to focus on the first and second, which is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard and the second, a person who gives assistance. Compare these two definitions to the sixth, which is a person associated with another as a contact on a social-media website. That right there is the difference between a real and a fake friend.

A friend, a “true friend” is not only someone who you can talk to and share experiences, but that will be there for you not only in the good times but the bad as well. He/she is your friend despite your many faults. This is not so with friends made of social media and the like. They befriend you because of the content and the looks of your profile page and what you post. But they don’t truly know you, or you them and as such cannot be relied on for anything.

A “true friend” will not abandon you in your time of need, but will be there for you even if it is just as a sounding board to get everything/something off of your chest. A fake friend i.e. the Facebook friend will befriend you one second and unfriend you the next. So that is another thing about the true friend, a lot more continuity and stability. Yes, you can lose  “true friends” from time to time, but that is usually due to factors such as you both outgrew each other, or you just grew out of touch due to moving away. Cases in which a lot of times you can reconnect years later and when you are friends, they can be counted on.

Not to say that all “friends” that you make in person are actually the healthy kind. No matter how you make or meet people, you need to be careful who you would call a “true friend.”Friendships no matter the form require more than just communication and “knowing.” Actually, not all forms of friendship are created equal, some friends you will trust with one thing that you would not trust with another. But you would never truly trust nor could a “friend” made on a social medial website.

So the next time you find yourself wanting to make more friends, don’t settle for the social media friend  but a real friend. One that will be there for you in the “thick and thin”, that will tell you when you have done something wrong as well as right. A real friend is also physically there for you and not just a number and words on your Facebook profile. The importance of this point cannot be understated! As human beings, we are social creatures that need contact with others that just isn’t filled by social media “friends.” 

 

The Disaster of American Politics


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Disaster” by “The Daily Post.”

Disaster, that pretty much sums up what politics in the United States of America have become. People both the politicians and the political lay person attack one another. No one can get along anymore and we cannot find qualified people to run for public office because they are afraid of the mud slinging and having their families brought into the mix.  Increasingly, at the local, state, and national level, the government cannot get anything done even on things that everyone agrees on because of the politicization of everything; not to mention the spread and growth of the bureaucracy.

Things have gotten so bad with regards, to running this country that both major political parties have produced unconventional candidates; we have either a self-proclaimed socialist in Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and on the Republican side, we have Donald Trump, which I am still not sure what and who he is other than being a, well a potential disaster. Yet, both of these men have and continue to draw huge crowds in support. To top it off, once we finally get to the general election for the Presidency of the United States, we may have the choice of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton which in my view is no choice at all, both are equally bad.

Actually, between both parties, of all four of the main candidates: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz, none are really good choices. All of this goes back to the point that America’s whole governing political system is in the dumps. Everyone knows it and are just getting more and more fed up and wanting to throw in the towel.  It is pretty much the reason behind the rise of the likes of Trump and Sanders.

Politics is a disaster, there is no question on that point, and they will continue to be so as long as the voters, that’s “We The People” continue to be disinterested voters. When one does vote, ones need to vote informed. Voters need to really know the who, what, when, and where of those candidates and positions that they are drawn to vote for.

We all must also realize that our elected officers and potential elected officers are just a reflection of ourselves and our broader society. If we want a productive and polite political process in the governing of this country, then we need to lead in that. The last few years and even few decades, we have not been that example for our politicians to follow. As long as the people continue to not show virtue, of their own and do not educate themselves on who and what they vote for than American politics will continue to be a disaster.

The founding fathers, indeed the founding generation of this great nation knew this well. There is the famous story of at the end of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention when walking out a woman came up to Benjamin Franklin and asked, “What have you given us, sir?” He answered, “A Republic ma’am, if you can keep it.” Well said Ben, and unfortunately, you were right, for we are about to lose it.

Let Your Life Be Full Of Giggles


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Giggle” by “The Daily Post.”

Life can and often is very difficult and challenging. It is full of time-consuming tasks and activities that can take their toll on anyone and everyone. But life can also be very fun and enjoyable if we let it. The problem lies in the fact that we need to welcome that fun, to let out that giggle so to speak.

The thing that makes life hard and tiring is not the repetitiveness of it all, it is not the long hours that we put in at the office or factory floor or overbooking our calendars. It is the fact that we can sometimes be a little too serious in all that we do. We get up in the mornings to get dressed, have breakfast, go to work or do what needs to be done that day, have dinner at the end of the day, perhaps watch a little news and read a book, take a shower and go to bed to get up the next day and do it again.

Oh sure, all of us probably have a few activities here and there to make our days more enjoyable such as having lunch with friends; going out for drinks after work and so on. But are we really taking the time to enjoy ourselves when we do such things and I mean really enjoying ourselves? Or are we still just going through the motions just to get through our days and what needs to be done. Having fun and throwing out a few giggles here and there needs to be more than just scheduling a little fun or relaxing times like we do everything else, by all means do so but there needs to be more. 

Life cannot be all seriousness, timetables, and keeping schedules, it needs meaning and enjoyment. You can get that meaning and enjoyment more if you just let out the giggles. What do I mean by letting out the giggles? It is really simple, learn to smile at friends and coworkers when on the job, make a joke or laugh at the ones they make. Throw just a touch of spontaneity into your busy schedule. By doing these little things you are more likely to do and enjoy the bigger things that you set aside to have fun.

I said it before and I will say it again because this does deserve some repetitiveness, and that is to have a giggle now and then. Take life as it is, full of fun and interesting things and events. Have a busy timetable with no time for fun, oh yes you do, if you just open your eyes to see it. Let it out, Let it out, let it out! Have fun and enjoy the day, I know I will!

Life Is Full Of The Misplaced


This is a response to the one word prompt “Misplaced” by “The Daily Post.”

In life, there is not one person who has not, nor will not at least once misplace something of some importance to them. Be it simple things such as one’s car keys or cell phone to more important items such as their relationship with others (love ones, family). Why do we have so many instances of misplaced items in our lives? I believe it is because we do not truly appreciate the things and people in our lives. It is sad, but unfortunately the truth.

In today’s world, the iPhone or any other smartphone has become someone’s whole life with all the information that can be and often is stored on it. Yet, we often take it for granted just how much we depend on it when we put it down in the kitchen or bathroom counter and go into the other room and end up forgetting where we placed it. Actually, misplacing something like your smartphone every now and then is to be expected since, although they are very important to our everyday lives, they are replaceable things. Misplacing these inanimate objects may cause temporally discomfort and inconvenience, but life will go on.

The things that really matter to us such as our family and loved ones, we tend to pay more attention to and are less likely to misplace them or forget about something relating to them. At the same time, this does indeed happen, (more often than we think or like) that we sometimes forget important dates of loved ones, such as birthdays and other important events. We can lose track of and become out of touch with loved ones. All of these things happen to us in relation to what truly matters to us despite the fact that we know what truly matters. 

I can only conclude that we misplace those things most important to us, such as loved ones because we mistakenly replace them for a time with those less important things such as smart phones, car keys, and even our jobs. This is a mistake of the highest order yet one that is unfortunately very common in today’s world. If we lose our iPhone, we can get a new one, the same with our car keys. If we lose our job, we may for a time have to tighten our financial belts, but we will in time find another job. But if we lose our loved ones, (wives, children, parents, brothers, and sisters) that kind of loss stays with us for the rest of our lives. 

Let me be clear about what I am talking about, when I say the loss of a loved one I do not mean by death, although that too is deeply profound and life changing, what I am talking about is the loss of connection, of knowing that loved one. This kind of loss is in some ways more devastating than the loss of a loved one through death. This is because the loss is a lot less noticeable and can take place over a period of time and then suddenly hits, most times when you realize what is happening or has happened it is too late to do anything to reconnect.

With the loss by death, while the loss remains with you, it does heal and get a litter better over time. You, at least, have the memories of the loved one and all of your experiences with them. This is not so with the loss of a misplaced loved one, for this kind of loss is not only always with you, it is ever cutting because what you have is the loss of potential memories and experiences.

So the next time you find that you have misplaced something like your iPhone or perhaps the report your boss asked for, ask yourself “Just how important is this for you in the big picture of life?” Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not but one needs to know put in their proper place just what really matters to them in life. This is in the end, the only true way to happy and full life. There is the misplaced and then there is the misplaced, which is more important to you?

His People


This is exactly what I have been needing the few times I myself get into theological debates with others about how best to serve Christ. The answer is simpler “who are the sheep? We are.” I would also add that we all are Christ’s brothers and sisters in him regardless of a few disagreements here and there. As long as we all believe in the trinity and Christ’s death and resurrection and the reason of such, then we, I think are good to get along and to follow Christ.