Taking A Vacation Reminds Us To Enjoy Life


Vacation #a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation, a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended, a period of exemption from work granted #to an employee

The Summer season has long been known as the time where most take time off from their work/jobs to take a “#vacation” with family and/or friends for a few days or a week or two. But why do we do so?

What do you mean why, we take a vacation to spend time with family, reconnect with friends, and recharge our minds and bodies form all the constant work and stress we get in jobs and daily grind of #life.”

Yes, we take a vacation for all of those reasons, but again why? What lies underneath the reasoning of all those reasons and definition of vacation above?

The answer, the fundamental reason why we take time out of our lives every or nearly every year is so we can actually #enjoy life and not just grind through it. We need vacations in our lives to remind #us that life is to be appreciated and not just plowed through. The reason we spend most of our daily lives “working our backs off” to earn a living is so we can actually take enjoyment in our lives.

As stated in the above reasons we also take vacations to rewind, reenergize, and restore ourselves from the daily grind of life, yet doing so helps us to better take enjoyment out of our daily lives year around not just on vacations. As some studies have shown vacations do help improve both our mental and physical health.

Our reconnecting with friends, spending more time bonding with family and other reasons given for vacations above are all by and through our reenergizing and restoring our minds and bodies and remembering to take enjoyment out of life. So this Summer if have not done so take a vacation with either family or friends or both, even if it is just for a couple of nights at the beach. No matter how big or small the vacation you take, you and your life will be better off. Take some time to enjoy life and have fun!

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Have you been on vacation yet or are you getting ready to? Where and what was/is it? All thoughts and viewpoints are welcomed and wanted here!

 

Why Hiding From A Problem Does Not Work?


For those who have to live with “Autism,” it can be and often is no matter how one deals with it #a difficult road to travel. Even for those who have seemed to have made something of themselves and “have a life” still have to deal with their autism every day of their lives. They did #not get over it or somehow “cure” themselves.

No, instead we have embraced our Autism as a part of who we are!

As I have shared in previous posts, I am currently diagnosed with “high functioning autism” which means, for the most part, I am able to function in the world regularly, but do face some difficulties when it comes socialization. These difficulties for me at least include picking up on social cues and focusing on others in social situations among a few other things.

I am currently at the point where in most situations, my autism #does not limit me as it once did because I recognize #why I have the difficulties that I do and can adjust myself and my life accordingly. Because I know of and acknowledge my autism, I know that it is not a curse, burden, etc.. but a gift.

Yes, because of my autism I have a lot more trouble communication and getting to know others than most people do; yet at the same time, I am more able to spot things in my environment that others may not or at least quicker than most do. I see connections easily. I am able to remember a whole lot of what for most people would be insignificant details #from past conversations and such. And though I have more trouble in recognizing social cues than most do, as a trade-off I believe, I am a little more empathic to other’s emotions than most other men are.

The thing is if I had not embraced my autism and acknowledged it I would most likely not have realized the benefits that I get because of my autism, but would only see the negatives associated with it. Because I would have just “seen” the negatives of my autism, and continued to have viewed it as a burden to do away with instead of working with it.

My autism is starting to really no longer be a “#problem” in my life because I no longer recognize it as such. I still have to deal with it, make no mistake, but it is no burden for me. This I believe is the key for not just an autistic person, but for anyone with a so-called “problem” no matter what it is. We need to stop seeing the “problems” life throws at us as burdens to be rid of, and more as challenges to #work with and around of.

I have embraced my “problem” as a part of who I am and as a blessing, not a curse; have you?

 

What are your thoughts and views on this topic? Please do share them all are welcomed and wanted. 

 

 

America Has Lost One Of Its Great Political Thinkers


Last Thursday, June 21, conservative writer, and #political columnist Charles Krauthammer passed away. The United States #has thus #lost #one #of #its most significant in political commentary and thought. Throughout his writing career Charles, although he most assuredly had conservative leanings, he was never shy about questioning when he saw the need, the conservative thinking at the time on any number of issues. He was the same way when at the beginning of his long career was more liberal leaning. Even in his most critical of opinions to either side of the political divide he was always fair and presented his case most thoughtfully and transparently possible.

I always loved listening to his thoughts and viewpoints on the networks and reading his columns, for me he was an inspiration for how to responsibly express and share one’s ideas and views on politics and what is going on in the world. I unfortunately never knew him but will always count it among my most remembered, enjoyable experiences in my life to have met him in person at a dinner a few years back before the I believe it was the 2013 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference).

Besides his excellent and well thought out views about events and such; what really has amazed and inspired me (and continues to do so) is his relaxed and joyful view on life. This despite or perhaps because of his being paralyzed early in his life and career. Whichever the case, he thus had developed and displayed throughout his whole life afterward a kind of joyful, easygoing attitude for dealing with everything life threw at him.

Charles wrote extensively on a variety of topics, most especially foreign affairs and in all of his views he never let his emotions rule him. His opinions were always not just well thought out, but meticulous and precise in detail. They were never it seemed to be rushed into being formed. He will most definitely be missed by those who follow the political process in the United States and pay attention to local, national, and world affairs/news. A huge gape in the intellectual opinions of political columnists has suddenly developed as a result of his passing. You will be missed, Charles Krauthammer!

The Importance Of Ceremony and Memorial Day


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

Earlier today (well yesterday), I went to a local #memorial #ceremony honoring all military servicemen #and women who gave their lives for this country, the United Staes and freedoms we enjoy in it. As well as the families and loved ones #of those who made said sacrifice. It was a very touching and moving ceremony; though just one of many taking place across the county today. Some with a little more prompt & circumstance than others, some with less, but all with profound meaning behind them.

There are times when ceremonies can get a little long winded and still, but that does not take away the #importance of having a ceremony service for essential things/events.  That is to pass down and remember to future generations. Ceremonies are times of reflection and contemplation. So too with ceremonies on Memorial #Day, and Memorial Day its self.

Memorial Day is not just a day to remember the sacrifice of those who died defending the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation, it is a day to honor them by celebrating their lives, sharing memories of them with others; no different than at funerals. This also helps with those who suffer in silence every day the loss of those great men and women we honor today. To all who served in the military of the United States and made the supreme sacrifice; we salute you!

Politics In The United States Has Become So De visive Because We Have Become “Infected” With Too Much “Passion” For Our Beliefs​!​


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

America is very divided these days when it comes to “#politics,” but that is no surprise to anybody now (unless you #have been under a rock). The political divide #has been going on #for years, and only increasing as it continues. There have been and are many explanations for this, but I won’t mention those here, except for “a Lack of dialog” (straight talking & listening). Some are right and some wrong, and some offer part of the explanation, but it is “a lack of dialog” that makes the most sense.

A lot of the more heard and discussed possible explanations, all offer only a part of how #we as a nation have gotten #so divided as we are now, including “a lack of dialog.” But underlining any and all possible explanations is that deep down we have “#too #much#passion for #our political #beliefs. For yes, one of the main problems causing our political divide is a “real honest lack” of dialog, there is a little more to it than that.

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Real dialog or conversation consists of two parts, talking and listening where everyone involved #in the conversation is able to contribute and the other/s being “active listeners.” The problem being is that even when there is an honest attempt at dialog, there is an “interference” preventing the active listening part of the conversation.

The listener/s are paying attention to the one doing the talking, but they are not indeed taking it in to “think/contemplate it. Which that is what talking is all about, sharing and presentation ideas and thoughts to others and everyone involved observing them as well as getting to know each other.

The interference is our passion for our beliefs getting in the way. This would mean we tend to have to much passion for our opinions if they are holding us back from having any consideration or just clear thought over anything that may seem counter to said beliefs. Having passion can be and often is an excellent thing to have, especially when it comes to a firmly held belief about something. It helps to motivate us and advocate for that belief and/or to act on it/them.

What Motivates You?

Yet, at the same time if our passions in anything, not just our beliefs start to hold us back from doing something or they cripple ourselves and society, then any good we get from them will be wade out. Passion like a lot of other things in life requires moderation; a little being good and too much not so good.

If we are going to stand a chance of bringing down the political divide amongst ourselves, then we need more dialog, getting to know each other, and understanding each other’s political views. But in order to have that we need to be aware of just how much passion we each are having for our political views and learn how to moderate that passion, just as we do for our other passions in life.

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share them; all are welcomed and wanted. 

I am an Inkling; Are You?


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

The word #inkling means to have a slight knowledge or suspicion. It was also the name of #an informal intellectual group of friends in the early 20th century, started by four author/writers being J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams. If #you don’t know of Lewis and Tolkien, you need to get out of your mom’s basement!

There were a few other members/associates of the group such as Lewis’s older brother, but the group mainly consisted of those four. They named themselves “Inklings” after there many meetups and informal group intellectual discussions.

If inkling means to have a slight knowledge or hint of something more, then a reason the  four authors perhaps named themselves as such could be that they believed that individually they did not know too much, but by coming together to share and discuss ideas, they actually did begin to gain a “slight knowledge about things/life in general; thus becoming “Inklings” in the knowing a little bit more about things then they would otherwise.

#Are you an “Inkling?” Do you have a group of friends/colleagues that meet to share ideas to gain a “slighter knowledge of things in this world?  Who are these people in this group of yours; or do you have more than one?

#I can think of more than a few small groups that I #am a part of and meet with regularly that would make me an “Inkling,” for I do consider my self to have a “slighter increase in knowledge of things after each and every discussion, that I would not have had without.

The four “original Inklings” before my time perhaps; but that does not make me and those in my groups any less an “Inkling.” We get the same benefits they did in their group discussions and learn things that we very well may not have without the group discussions just as they constantly did.  So too is it with you and anyone else who has an “Inkling” group.

So, do you have an “Inkling” group/s? If so, do you consider yourself an “Inkling;” why or why not? If you get a slight knowledge of things that you would not otherwise in your group discussions than that makes you an “Inkling.” Acknowledge that fact, embrace it; become a “member” of one of the well-known informal intellectual group of friends in history.

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share, all are welcomed and wanted. I want to know my “Fellow Inklings.”

More Political Division or Perhaps Unity In 2018?


The year of 2017 was an ugly, crazy year when it came to just how divided we as a nation and people became #in the United States. Most will not dispute that, although they will dispute the reasons for it. That right there is the deeper problem, as long as we keep blaming each other and not understanding each other, the divide will only get worse and grow until it destroys us.

Ok, so we all know and agree on what the problem is (extream #political divisiveness) if that is the case there is no need to blame the problem on anyone #or thing. Doing so will only aggravate the problem not solve it. The key to solving any problem is to first recognize that there is one and what it is; as said, that we have done.

So if the problem is that we as a nation just can’t agree on politics and governing, then the answer is not to create #more areas of disagreement and argument, but to create more areas of agreement and understanding. Despite just how divided we are, this is a whole lot easier then it may sound. It is not “brain science” (although we make it that with our stubbornness).

All that needs to be done is that we start to talk to each other, to understand each other. We need to connect and empathize with each other; to know that we all each have our own concerns, fears, and hopes for our lives, our communities, and our nation. By doing so we will then be able to find and see just all the many small ways we #perhaps do agree rather than just where we disagree. We will then be able to move forward in those areas that we agree on, and that in time will allow us to even tackle the issues we are in disagreement on.

Be forewarned that going this route will require a lot of patience, restraint, understanding, and it needs to be done at all levels of our society. It needs to be done in the family, the neighborhood, our churches/houses of worship and the broader community as well as in our political/governing institutions. It needs to be a truly grassroots movement from the very bottom to the very top.

This restoring understanding and seeing areas of agreements instead of areas of disagreement and not knowing each other is and can be achieved, but only if we all work towards this goal and do so every day both in our everyday lives and in our “political discourse.” But it can be done and must if our nation is to survive and thrive! So stop arguing and start understanding!

What are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share them. All are welcomed and wanted.

 

Jolliness Vs. Fake Jolliness


To all my readers, sorry for my absence lately, but life was keeping me busy and distracted.

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

Its that time of year, Christmas season is here at last; filled with good tidings and cheer, shopping galore, and celebrating the birth of Christ. There is just something in the air, during Christmas that brings out people’s “better side” and makes us all want to share the joy we feel with others. At least that’s what most of us feel regardless if one actually celebrates Christmas or not. But there is also, unfortunately, those who instead of being Jolly show a #fake #jolliness.

There is a difference between someone being joyful, and someone putting up a joyful mask. We all have in mind those without the “Christmas spirit,”   those “Christmas Scrooges” to describe those who just can’t or don’t want to be joyful and thus don’t like displays of joyfulness by others. But, there is also I believe a lot of people out there who I would call “fence sitters.”

These “fence sitters” are those who only partially recognize the “Christmas spirit” in the air, but are still focused on their own needs and wants instead of on others and those around them. They at least try to appear friendly and accommodating, but you don’t get the same joyfulness air from them that you would get from others who really are joyful and filled with the “Christmas spirit.”

They aren’t bad people or dishonest or anything like that; they just for some reason have not fully gotten into the spirit of the holidays, but I do think at some level they want to. It is these people, I truly think that need to experience the “sharing of joy” by joyful people this and every Christmas time. Merry Christmas everyone; Be Joyful to all!

What are your thoughts on this subject? Please do share; all thoughts and viewpoints are welcomed and wanted here.

 

 

 

To be “Mighty” and “Great;” What has made the United States a “Great” Nation?


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

According to Merriam Webster to #be #mighty is possessing might: powerful, to be accomplished or characterized by might, or to be #great or imposing size or extent. President Donald Trump both during his campaign for the presidency #and during said presidency so far #has championed a returning the #United #States of America to a “great” #nation once again and to make it “mighty” in its powers. My question is and has been for quite some time is #what does the President mean by “great” and or “powerful?” A lot of nations in today’s world can be considered “great” and or “powerful” so too can we look to the history of past nations/countries and empires that were certainly considered “great” and or “powerful.”

The thing is, to be “mighty” and or “great” is, can be, and does mean several things. Also “mightiness” and “greatness” do not necessarily go together and are certainly not the same thing. As said above to be “mighty” is to process great strength, in the case of nations usually either military strength, economic strength, or both. But for nations to be considered “great” historically refers to the impact they have had on the rest of the world and on future generations long after the country, nation, or empire in question is either gone or had waned in power and greatness.

“Greatness” requires not just “power” and “might” but unequal influence over all other nations and peoples. It requires the nation to be quite different from others in its values, outlook, behavior and so on. Greatness can be either “good” or “bad.” To improve upon or bring back to “greatness” the United States as President Trump says is his goal, is all well and good, but not if he is focusing just on the economic and military strength of the nation. One has to look at the underlying foundations of the culture of a nation for greatness. If one believes that the United States has been a “great” nation (as I do and still believe in the potential for greatness) one must answer how has it been “great” and what #made it so. How has the United States traditionally acted and behaved in response to the rest of the word and its self?

One must remember that what makes up a nation is its people, thus it is its people that can or can’t make a nation “great.” If it is the people that have made the United States “great” then it is the culture, morals, and beliefs of the people that matter in making and deciding “greatness.” In making a nation “great” its people will also decide the underlying character of that “greatness;” that is if that “greatness” is either “good” or “bad.” Will the “great nation” have an overall positive or negative impact on the world? This is the fundamental question that must be asked by someone trying to “return” a nation back to greatness; what was the underlying “character of that greatness in relation to the rest of the word, good or evil?

I believe that the United States is and has been a “great’ nation for some time. That ‘”greatness” is not reflected in the military or economic “might” of the United States, (though both are and have been considerable) those are more a byproduct of said “greatness” no, the “greatness” of  the United States is reflected in the people’s traditionally strong sense of belief in both the individual and the community and a willingness (indeed eagerness) to reach out and help those in need, and not just those they know but in a lot of cases complete and total strangers.

The United States, I sincerely believe has become a “great” nation also because it is and was founded on a certain set of ideas and principles, (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). In that regard, unlike other nations and countries who have either collapsed and or have been conquered; as long as there is but a few to carry on those ideals and principals, the “United States” is and will be “immortal and everlasting. (But only if the morals and beliefs that made it “great” remain.) One could say that to be “great” is to transcend and transform the “normal” human experience and existence.

So, if President Trump or anyone wants to “return” the United States to “greatness” they need to look at the people and culture, not the military and economy, though those are important, just not the “be all by all” that some may think they all. “Greatness” is more than strength! The United States has been a great nation because traditionally the United States has been “good!”

What are your views on this subject? Please do share, all thoughts and viewpoints are welcomed and wanted.

 

A Gathering of Friends; Helping out after Hurricane Harvey


When disaster strikes and you hear about it and see the effects on the news about all the hurt and heartache, and all the people and communities coming together and even though your emotions are triggered it still is not the same as seeing first hand without the lens #of #a television.  Being there in person and seeing up close the effects of the disaster just brings it to a whole other level and makes it real.

This is what happened to me over the weekend #after Hurrican #Harvey, in the Greater Houston Texas area. A couple who have been very good #friends with my family all my life was one of the countless many who had their house flooded. So I went down Friday and Saturday to help #out with cleaning up and moving their things to storage.

When I got down to the area and was driving through the neighborhood approaching the street my friend’s house was on; I was just amazed at seeing all the damage done by the flooding. Front yard after front yard was just filled with furniture and trash from the cleanups being done to the houses and both sides of the streets had cars lined up and parked with people going here and there like ants.

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Again seeing it all first hand was just so surreal and of putting things into perspective; yet at the same time witnessing the destructiveness and livelihood interrupted caused by “Harvey” I also learned of the unexpected blessings that can come out of such things. Blessings like friends, family, and neighbors coming together to help, and still finding time to enjoy life.

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The above has me in the middle.

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In the end, from time to time we will have devastating storms and natural disasters, and people will lose their homes and livelihoods and be left to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

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But as long as we all have friends and family to depend on, that’s all that matters. It is the coming of together of community in times of good and bad that make life worth living (even with all the crape) it throws at us.