(OK, I have written and erased this 3 times so far, let’s try again…)
Happiness, they say, is a state of mind. It is controlled internally. Many think that by achieving some goal, by buying some object, by doing some activity they can be truly happy. But “happy” lives within us all, those things just bring it out, often in shallow, fleeting ways. Happiness itself is a state of mind, one we can control. Or so they say.
Last year I heard of a blogging event named 1000 Voice Speak for Compassion. On a whim I decided to join. During the the couple of weeks leading up to the event I did a handful of posts and then a follow up after it was over. That was a year ago. In fact, yesterday it was exactly a year, the original event being held February 20, 2015. This little one off quickly became a monthly event. Including the posts for the first event I have put up over a dozen #1000Speak posts. Actually, including reminders, I have done 17 posts, 18 including this one.
In this year I’ve talked about huge celebrities (both in name and physical size) helping common people and about little, common people reaching out to those in pain. I’ve talked about love, empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, bullying, prisoners and our shared humanity. I’ve used ultra-aggressive drivers who are blissfully unaware that their aggression actually puts them behind, not ahead, as an analogy of how unaware we often are when we hurt others. I asked how we can make the world a better place, and if our tiny input can make a difference. I even posted a short story. You can search my site for #1000speak, though the I didn’t include it on first few d so you’ll miss them, though most of those show up in that recap post I mentioned.
Besides all of the exploration on my blog, I also read many other people’s take. Some were very eye opening. Some shocking. Others seemed to share my world view. I try to keep a very open mind and so learned a lot from each and every post I read, even those that seemed bitter or had vastly different experiences. Continue reading →
You’ll have to forgive me, this post isn’t really very good. You see, I so much want to participate in this month’s 1000 Voices Speak for compassion, which is about forgiveness this month, but I can’t narrow the topic down enough to make a normal sized book, let alone a blog post.
At first I wanted to start from the view point of religion, even though I make it a point to never discuss religion on my blog. You see, I once read that while some religions say God can forgive all sins, others say God can only forgive those transgressions against God’s own laws, that if we hurt somebody it lays heavy on our soul until we get the person who we hurt’s forgiveness. That’s a great angle. I mean, we can all prostrate ourselves in front of an infinitely powerful being, but can we for our neighbor? Our friend? Our enemy? This also gives the victim a lot of power. Continue reading →
Hey, thanks for reading this post! No, I really mean it, thank you. There are so many things you could be doing so it really means something to me that you are here. I know, I sometimes get bogged down in stats and see only raw numbers while forgetting that those numbers are really people; that the numbers represent thinking and feeling beings who have made the choice to spend some of their valuable time with me. So, Thank You!
We say “thank you” all of the time, but how often do we really mean it? When the clerk at the store gives you the receipt and says, “Have a good day”, do you really mean that “Thank you”? When you sign your work emails with a “thanks” (perhaps 90% of the emails I send and receive have that), are you truly grateful to the recipient?
I have written and deleted five posts for this month’s 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. Why? This month’s topic is very simple, love. Love, in many ways is the root of compassion. Without love, people would only help others for selfish reasons. For a person to have real compassion they need to feel for the others, that is they need empathy. But more than that, they need to love the other person. We recognize the shared bond, we understand that we are all brothers and sisters and that our wellbeing depends on the welfare of others. Through this love we can then hold our hand out in compassion. That is how love fits in the equation.
Simple, right? But is it?
We have used the word “love” in so many ways. Some use it to gain power over others or gain a type of “religious street creds”. Other people, with black and white thinking, use it to actually show what they hate. To some it has little meaning beyond “sex”. All of us use it very casually. “I love chocolate/pizza/that song/how you did your hair/snow/summer/autumn leaves/etc.” Continue reading →
I like to say that sentence. It has a lot of meaning. We’re all just human. I’ve had a handful of posts where this phrase was implied throughout. Usually I had the more positive meanings in mind.
I think the first meaning I usually talk about is our similarities. There is no such thing as race; it is a social and cultural construct. If space aliens came down, they’d talk about the dominant species of the planet coming in a variety of colors, but for the most part all being very similar. They would not speak of race, because race doesn’t exist, because we’re all just humans.
I’ve also implied that phrase when I’ve talked about people in different social positions. From the top scientist and politicians, the CEOs of the largest corporations down to the poorest of the poor, the least educated and the least powerful, we are the same. We have the same emotions, the same basic dreams. If those space aliens took samples of people from the top of the social pyramid and the bottom, they’d find only minuscule differences. Genetically we are very, very similar. We are all just humans.
Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I can get you nice strong French Roast, cup of tea or other beverage. As some of you may be able to tell by the graphic at the top, I am on Cape Cod this weekend. I’m sure some of you may be a little confused, but, in case you missed it, I have spruced up the place this last week. More about that later.
It’s been another busy week. Aren’t they all? There is work, doing stuff around the house and play. Yes, I take time to play, which for me means playing my musical instruments. After my recent studio rearrangement I have found my creativity rejuvenated and have been playing like mad. Well, like very happy, but at a manic pace. Continue reading →
I’ve been very depressed about our society lately. I don’t read Facebook often, but every time I open it I see some hateful statement. Meme’s that imply all African Americans are lazy people who “steal” hardworking people’s paychecks in the form of welfare and taxes. I see bitter hatred against Muslims. After the tragic shooting in South Carolina the other night I’ve seen posts saying that that it wasn’t an act of terrorism but a tragedy that the people in the bible study group weren’t all carrying assault weapons like they should have been. I’ve even heard presidential candidates calling the act of terror an “accident”.
Turning to the news I see that across the world those who have are shaking their fists at those who have not instead of reaching an open hand to help them. I’ve seen the hatreds spreading, dividing the world into a new cold war. I see the extreme violence of ISIS. I have read reports that most US law enforcement agencies, from the FBI to small town police forces, feel there is a huge threat posed by extreme right wing, anti-government and racist groups, which is perhaps the reason that every time there is violence by someone on the far right I see so much more hatred aimed at Muslims – there are people who want to us to take our eyes off of the real threat. I have seen that 97% of scientist believe climate change is caused by humans and yet over half of the people in the US don’t believe it, that the vast majority of money in the world is owned by people whose special interest is served by ensure there are no changes. I’ve seen reports by several groups of scientist that unless we make changes humans will become extinct within the next 100 years. Continue reading →
Over the winter I was very involved in the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion “blog movement”. Unfortunately I dropped out, only posting intermittently. Well, it is still alive and kicking with the next event scheduled for June 20. Continue reading →
I’m reading blog posts from someone I follow and find they are feeling really bad. I mean, really bad, not just a little down. It’s not too surprising since so many people blog as a kind of therapy. Of course reading the post makes me feel bad. I so much want to reach out, to touch them, to let them know someone is there. And trying to figure out what to say in the comments is awful. Saying, “Cheer up! Things will get better!” might be well meaning, but really isn’t helpful, yet saying, “I’m sorry, I wish it wasn’t so, but, I’m here for you, thought you might want to know” just seems so inadequate. Continue reading →