The Importance of Values

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

We all have things that we value in life. The world is full of things of value. The key is the importance placed on that valuation and how one values something. Having value in life is important, but we need to know why we place value in something and is that value that we give a good thing or a bad thing. Putting a value, on something is nothing more than saying what is important to an individual or society. A lot of times this is our beliefs about the world and how we belong to it, and relate to it and others around us.

Our “values” is what makes a society and governs how people interact with one another. Because of this, the values that make a society or individual must be clear and well understood. For it is when what a society values are not understood or they become blurred with other competing values, that causes a society to break down.

Everybody has his/her own values and things that they put value into but in a society, the values of individuals have to, if not be the same, at least be similar and not conflict. Thus, one had to know what he/she put value in, to be a part of a society.

So what do you value and why? Do you know what your values are and understand them? If not, why?

My Vote For A Third Party Candidate Is Not A Vote For Hillary Clinton!

The 2016 Presidential election cycle has been the ugliest, most surprising and most difficult of any so far, at least in my voting lifetime. The two candidates for President of the United States are some of the worst we have ever seen. Both have very high unfavorables, and both have extreme character flaws. I still cannot decide which one is worst or will be worst if elected. Although, I do believe that both are and will be bad for the country just in their own different ways. Thus, I cannot and will not be voting for either Hillary Clinton or Donard Trump. Though I will still be voting both for the down ballot and the presidential one. Here’s the deal that does not mean that I am throwing my vote away and am defacto voting for Clinton, we as a country have to move away from the notion that there are only two choices in voting, and voting for a third is giving it to one of the two.

Here’s the thing for me, in my politics, I am very conservative. I cannot stand the thought of Hillary as President, I totally believe that she is wrong for the country and will take us on the wrong track. My principals and beliefs will not allow me to support her. However, this is also the case with Trump, while I can to a certain extent relate with him or his supporters, unlike with Hillary, again, my principles and beliefs will not allow me to vote for him. Nonetheless, those same principals and beliefs say that I have to vote for a candidate for president. Staying home or just voting for the down ballots is not an option for me; to me, voting is a right but it is also a duty. So I have to vote for the president, but cannot vote for either of the two major party candidates, that leaves a third party ticket.

The thing with this choice for me, and I suspect a lot of others is that there is this misconception that in our two party system, a vote for a third party in a two-party race is just throwing your vote away and allowing one of the two to more easily overcome the other. This is so not true, if one candidate was fated to win, he/she would win no matter how you vote. Two things here, one, in any political race no one is fated to win, and two, the belief that in any race there are only two choices, just because we have two major political parties is so overdone and just plain wrong. In fact, the issue is really a self-fulfilling prophesy, that only comes true because people believe it and thus act upon it.

Over this last weekend, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has come out saying that he would vote for Trump and in fact endorsed him. Yesterday, on the Glenn Beck radio show he defended his decision to do so by saying that Hillary Clinton was such an unbelievable choice and that Trump was the only thing that stood in the way of her and a “Supreme Court stacked with liberal judges and progressive opinions.” Ted Cruz in defense of his decision also said that “this is a binary choice.”

Again, the ideal that any Presidential election, let alone this one is a binary choice is just plain wrong. We almost always have more than two choices in our presidential elections. There is always another choice to vote for and still vote. Even if you have to decide to vote for just the down ballot, you can do so. But more importantly is that elections are not about choosing the lesser of “two evils” or  voting for a ” not this person.” No, voting is about choosing who you think is best for the position, and who you think best represents you and your concerns/values. We need to remove ourselves from this “us versus them” mentality in politics and the notion that “if you don’t vote for him you are by the default voting for her.”

This is not the case for me, I am not voting for either Clinton or Trump; I will in the end vote for who I think best represents my concerns/values. My choice will not be perfect, but then this is politics we are talking about, that does not exist. In the end, we all have to just make our best judgement calls and make do with what we have. But there is always another choice, America and I hope you take that to heart. 

Are You Radical?

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

In today’s world and society, to be or called radical does not come with great undertones. But what exactly is being radical? According to Merriam-Webster radical means to be very new and different from what is traditional or ordinary, very basic and important, or having extreme political or social views that are not shared by most people. Radical is all that and much more. To be radical to just be different, to think “outside the box” and to think things through, (critical thinking).

To be radical is neither good nor bad, but just is. It rather depends on the how and the way for the radical behavior that makes it good or bad. It is one’s reasons for being radical that matter, not the radicalness its self. The results of the radical behavior on the rest of society also matter. Do the radical beliefs and actions, in the long run, make our society as a whole better or worse? A very important point here is to note that it is not whether you believe your radical notions will improve society, but rather if they actually do, (the ends never justify the means).

Radical is nothing more than new ideas and new ways of thinking; whether those ideas be for good or ill, being radical does serve a very important purpose in society and the human race. This has always been the case, and will always be the case. Some of the most unspeakable evil acts in human history have been committed in the name of radical beliefs   (progress) yet so have some of the most beneficial acts and events have happened too in the name of so-called radical beliefs.

I speak of perhaps the idea that all humans are created equal in the name of God, or perhaps the economic ideas and improvements that lead to the Industrial Revolution; an event that has done more than anything else in human history to lift out of poverty and improve the human condition. Those two things I think most now would view as a net positive, but in the beginning were quite radical. 

So are you radical? Do you have believes that while are not excepted or popular with others, you nonetheless think will help improve society and the world in the long run? If so, what are they, and have you actually thought through whether or not they are good or bad or indeed even practical? Whether you are radical or not, remember it is the results that make your radicalness good or bad, so don’t be discourage by being called radical. History may just be on your side or it may absolutely tear you down.

Life Can Be Like A Cake

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

You know with all that life can and does offer us, both good and bad, individually and societally, I find it is often like a cake. In piticualar, it is like a cake with lots of frosting and very rich and sweet and just plain delicious that you see in the desert menue after a very good meal and you decide to indulge a little. Only afterwards, while you don’t regrate having the piece of cake, you to a little extent regrate having to deal with the consequences of having it.

Life in general and in a lot of things and ways is like that piece of cake. One sees potential beauty and attractiveness in life and pursues that attractiveness, only then to discover just what having/enjoying such will take and or mean for/from him/her. Like that piece of cake sometimes having something in life is totally worth the cost of it and sometimes it is not. Though I do find that for myself I will more easily accept the consequences and bear them of having that “piece of cake” if I am awhere of them before I have it.

That there is the key I think to getting through and enjoying all the things that life has to over one on his/her life. To be able to be aware of just what it takes to do so before “taking the plunge.” Life is beautiful, amazing, and exciting, but it is also often scary, troubling, and taxing. Knowing how to navigate between the two, to take the bad with the good, and the good with the bad makes all the difference in how one lives his/her life. It really is that simple, when you know what you are facing whether good or bad before you face it, you are more able to handle the process. It is all about being prepared andd knowing the “costs” before paying those “costs.”

So the next time you see that great looking piece of cake on the menue or anything else that looks very good on the service in life go for it. Just remember that there will be some short of cost for “taking that plunge.” By doing so you will be able better handle the “cost” when paying it and even decide if what you are after is worth it all or not. So go after that cake, and enjoy every last bite of it; as long as you know and are willing to pay the price. What kind of “cakes” have you had in life so far? Where they worth it?

Reaching For The Moon

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

When was the last time you or someone you knew reached for your/their “moon” and achieved something really great that was very fall out of reach? When was the last time the United States as a country, as a society reached for the “moon” again? That is, when has the goal of doing something, reset the bar for achievement? A problem that I see in today’s world is that hardly anyone is really trying to achieve big things anymore.

Oh sure things are still being made that change the world around them and new technology is coming out all the time now, but it’s not something really new, new.  The bar of success hardly moves higher anymore.  Going back to the original moon landing; when the United States as a nation set out to do so by a certain deadline and did do so, that changed the bar for success and greatness. It wasn’t that before great things were not ever done or achieved, just that the expectation of what could be done had changed.

We have not really seen that kind of “reaching for the moon” achievement in quite some time, at least I have not. This fact is not good for society in the long run because it is the bigger achievements in life that enable and encourage all other achievements. You don’t believe me, let’s go back to the Moon Landing and the rest of the Space Race during the Cold War. 

Think of all the technological breakthroughs for everyday life that resulted both from the original technology needed for the Moon landing and all other achievements in the Space Race and just humans going to space, as well as the emotional impact of said achivements. It was not so much the new technology and knowledge that resulted from such achievements but the emotional heigh that resulted that mattered. 

This here is key, for in life whether it is the individual or society as a whole, we all get the majority of our inspiration for new ideals from watching, seeing, and hearing about the success of other great ideals that turn into great achievements such as the moon landing. We as humans crave, no need to have inspiration to fuel our ideals, to motivate us. By seeing something very big and life changing be done that was once unthinkable, we are then challenged to do more. We then know what is possible if only we reach for it. It is only our admigenations and will or lack of such that hold us back. 

Again I am not saying that we as a society and as individuals are no longer making great strives and success in live in all its aspects, just that we have been living off of emotional high of past great succes for to long and that we are over do for a new boost in spirit. We need something that will once again reset the bar for succes, that will encourage us to do more and enchive more for not only ourselves but for the greater society. So if you have an idea go out and pursue it and perhaps one day it may very well turn into one of those life changing “great successes” that will change the world and enspire countless others to do the same. 

 

 

The Burdens We Carry

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

Everyone has their burdens; they are a fact of life that each one of us just has to deal with in our own ways depending on what kinds of burdens we do face. We all have baggage to carry throughout our lives, but these burdens need not be too heavy for us to carry. The burdens themselves are not what makes life difficult for us, but how we handle them. In fact, burdens can in a lot of ways be good for you, if only you allow them to be so.

When we have burdens it is because all the good things in life take a lot of effort to get to them. If you want to enjoy a nice hike in a park rather through the woods or up a mountain, you are going to have quite the workout/effort doing so. You may very well enjoy the experience in the end, but nonetheless, a lot of hard work. That is what burdens are; difficult journals of hardship to the “promise land” of what you want or need.

Just as trials and times of hardships in life can and often is character building, so too are our burdens. In fact, our burdens are what make our trials hard on us. Going back to my hiking up a mountain trail; that is the trial and the burden is the backpack on one’s back. What we carry may be dragging us down, but it is not stopping us, only we can stop ourselves. Burdens like trials come and go, but how we handle them stays with us for the rest of our lives.

It is like I said in one of my past posts “Let Life Flow.” “Life is not without challenges, and when you do have them, especially the loss of a loved one, remember that things happen for a reason and they will all turn out ok in the end; if you let them.” Our Burdens in life are what challenges us, they come and they go but they do not stay. No matter how hard or difficult your burdens are you will get through them and if you let them you will be better for it with what they leave behind.

To Crave Something

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

Why does one crave things in life? Merriam-Webster gives for its simple definition as to have a very strong desire for (something).  We desire things in life for a variety of reasons; because we like the object, we think it’s cool or pretty or because we think it will be very helpful in improving our lives at the time we desire the object/s. We also desire things that are needed not just wanted. To Crave something is neither good nor bad, but just is. Now, of course, it can be good and it can be bad in some instances, depending on the degree of desiring and what it causes us to do as a result.

As long as the craving that we have for something; does not turn into  coveting of other’s belongings, which then leads to stealing, harming, and even killing to get what one desires, I think craving is not such a bad thing. Indeed, craving can be good us, both individually and for society when it motivates us to do something as a result of said desiring. When we really want something that we crave it, it does us no good to just sit around and do nothing. No, we usually will get up off our asses and work towards getting what we desire. 

It is this type of hard work and motivation that springs from either really wanting something or needing it or both that has produced some of the greatest achievements of human civilization throughout history. The  telephone, television, the computer, air conditioning, and even running water; all of these are examples of what good can come from craving something if it leads to honest hard work and a determination to get what is desired.

Every great or small invention or innovation that has happened throughout history, every monument  ever built and every movement that has changed the course of human history has happened because of a craving/desire for something more, something different. Not all have been good, but a lot have. That is how craving something, if it is really strong and in your “bones” can be good if you pursue them.

So what are your desires? What do you crave?  Do you have one that just won’t leave you alone? Then get up and go pursue it, make it happen and just maybe you will change the world for the better. Remember not all cravings are bad, they aren’t necessarily good either. It all rather depends on what you do with your cravings and what results from them  that truly matter.

Are You A Coward?

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

Are you a coward, no seriously are you? And I am not talking about being afraid or scared or  anything of the such. Because we all are afraid of something in life, everyone gets scared sometimes. That is not what makes one a coward. Cowardice according to Merriam-Webster is fear that makes you unable to do what is right or expected: lack of courage. I would also add that cowardice is when fear drives you to do something you normally would not or is not expected of you.

To be a coward does not mean that you are afraid, but rather it means that you are letting your fear drive you and control you instead of you controlling the fear.  We all have fear, but that alone does not make us cowards, it is how we handle that fear that defines us. Why does the fireman run into a burning building to save a life? Does it mean that unlike you or me he is completely unafraid? No, not at all in fact I would wager that he is completely terrified, yet he goes in any way. He then shows that he has no cowardice in him because while he may have a lot of fear about running into the burning building, that fear does not control him nor stop him form doing so.

So once again I ask you, are you a coward or not? Do you control your fear or does it control you? Think of these questions the next time you find your self afraid or see someone being scared. Remember that fear does make a coward, but how one handles that fear does or does not. Fear is actually a good thing when managed rightly, for it can motivate us. It can drive us to go great things. But when it is not managed rightly it can also drives us to do terribly bad things as well. How do you manage your fear? Are you a coward?

Don't Be Glass

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

As you go about you life, what are you? Are you glass; that is are you pretty to look at but shatter real easily? This is a question that all of us needs to answer for ourselves in today’s society, where people are so concern with their image and the image of others. The way most people in today’s world are so focused on how they are perceived and perceive others leaves one only with a very thin outer layer that well may look pretty at first glance; does not take much to break. When this layer breaks because there is nothing of substance underneath, one’s whole life can come crashing down. It is never a good thing nor pretty.

This is because the thin layer that one has built up for themselves represents everything for them, there is nothing else. This is not the case when one has a firm foundation of what makes them, them underneath the layer of glass. Think  of the layer of glass as like one’s skin; without bones, muscles, and tissues and such there is nothing to support the skin. So to, is it with the glass of one’s life and personality.

It is one thing to have a glass outer shell to make everything look nice and put together, but only if everything actually is. When one focuses so much on building up and maintaining their glass shell, they become shallow and hollow beings with not much inside them. But when there actually is substance under the glass shell, the beauty is so much more profound. There actually is something there.

So what are you as a person, are you made of glass or is it just an outer shell with substance beneath that gives you depth in life? Are you just pretty to look at but not much else there or is there depth to you? Is there something more to you than just the glass outer shell? What ever it is you are, don’t be glass!

The Meaning Of Rebellion; Happy Birthday, America

As we celebrate our Independence day, this day for the 240th time since the 13 United States declared independence from Great Britain, we need to remember why one rebels. To remember that rebellion cannot be taken lightly. We humans, rebel for a lot of reasons, because we are oppressed or we see others being oppressed. We rebel because we may see injustice in the world. There are also different levels of rebellion at one’s disposal, there is the violent kind, the peaceful and passive kind. But whatever the form it takes, it should never be taken lightly.

Rebellion according to Merriam-Webster is either an attempt by a group of people to overturn or change a government, open opposition to a person or group of authority, or going against the rules or standards of society. All of that is correct in telling what the act of rebellion is. But that does not explain exactly why one rebels or when rebellion is called for and exactly what type of rebellion is called for. 

When the 13 colonies decided to break away from Great Britain they did so at great risk and  at first very reluctantly. Even when fighting started after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, at first they just wanted there grievances solved. For them rebellion was a last choice kind of thing. It was not at all taken lightly, the act of rebellion by the 13 original states. But that is the thing that we as Americans, as the inheritors of 13’s act of rebellion and fight for independence need to remember, that it was not an easy thing to decide to rebel, let alone succeeding in it.

When we celebrate our independence and all the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy in this great country, we also need to remember just all the original sacrifice and thought that went into making it all possible. But above all we also must remember that no matter the form it takes, the act of rebellion is an act of change. Thus those doing the act of rebellion must have a clear idea of what that change is to look like, less they come to regret the change.

To rebel against an authority because one sees an injustice being done is not enough, one needs to know how they would make things not only different but better. Rebellion is never good, what is good about some rebellions are the results of rebellion. In order to have good results, one needs a clear and reachable vision.

So remember, America as you celebrate your 240th birthday, just why you had rebelled in the first place. Ask yourself was it a good result. I say it was and because it was, if I had to I would rebel again to protect the results of the original act of rebellion by the 13 original United States of America. Happy Birthday America, Happy Independence Day!