Monday, August 12, 2013

A Tale of Two Foster Homes

Imagine if you will two separate yet identical foster homes, both of which are completely self-sustaining, they both have complex water purifying systems, and a massive organic garden along with animals for food as well.  Everything is provided in abundance for everyone in the household so long as it is properly cared for.  Both homes house a variety of different races and religious beliefs, yet the parents have done a very good job of keeping the peace.  One day, the parents leave, telling the children that someday they will return.
                Let’s take a look at the first house, once the parents leave, they decide that they are going to neglect their responsibilities and just have fun, after all, the parents will be back soon and they will fix everything.  Instead of cleaning out the water purifier, they let it accumulate debris and rot.  Instead of caring for all the crops in the garden, they find a couple of different plants that grow the fastest and are easiest to harvest and decide to wipe out everything else to make room to plant more.  The monoculture system that they create is more easily susceptible to insect and rodents, leading to destruction of crops.  They then decide to begin using pesticide to deal with the insect infestation and to use chemical fertilizer to make the foods grow faster.  The chemicals are absorbed into the soil and into the food, eventually weakening those who eat it.  They soon begin to run out of food and water, and start fighting amongst one another about how to distribute the work that needs to be done.  They start to notice the differences in appearance and beliefs amongst them and begin to band together in separate groups.  The groups decide that there needs to be some kind of order, so they decide that they are going to have a vote to elect someone to put in charge.  Behind closed doors a select few tally the votes, and then put someone that they feel will do best in charge, disregarding the majority.  This “leader” begins to alienate the groups even more, pointing out flaws and traits of groups that are not his own.  The work begins to be unfairly distributed, some groups work much harder than others, yet they receive a fraction of the resources.  Gossip occurs and the “leader” begins to build on it, having his followers walk amongst the other groups and stir up trouble.  Eventually the groups begin to fight against one another while the “elite” group sits back and watches.  During these fights, crops are destroyed and sections of the house are damaged beyond repair, making less living space.  “Lesser” groups are forced to live outside and are given inadequate sustenance.  “Don’t worry” the "elite" group would assure everyone “someday the parents will come back and fix everything.”  The majority of the remaining crops are used to feed the farm animals so they can be slaughtered for meat for the “elite” group.  Soon all the others are too weak to do anything and are unable to go on, while the “elite” group hordes resources and luxuries, everyone else suffers.
                Now, let’s take a look at the second house.  The children do not know when the parents are going to be coming back, so they are constantly prepared.  They keep the house in the same order that it would be if the parents were there, they clean the water purifier, care for the crops and animals, and love one another just as the parents love them.  The work is distributed amongst everyone based on capabilities, everyone is eager to help and the rewards are also distributed, regardless of color or beliefs; after all, there is more than enough to go around.  Because there is an abundance of different crops in the garden, pests and rodents cannot easily adapt to eating just one type of plant and so are easier to prevent.  The animals are regarded as friends and are rarely used as food.  Instead they are used to help with the labor in the garden, as well as fertilizer for the crops.  They realized that milk from a cow and eggs from chickens can feed many people for many days, whereas if the animals are butchered they have a limited supply of meat.  The home flourishes, and with everyone working together, the work load is lighter and there is more time for enjoyment.
                So now I ask you, how does this story end?  Do the parents ever come back to save the first house from themselves?  What if our “parents” came back and saw what we have done to our “home”?  What would they think of us?  We have been given an enormous responsibility, and to put it blunt, we are screwing up.  It just may be time to start to think about this from a different perspective.  Will we continue to let the “elite” group tell us who to hate and what to believe?  Or are we going to care for our “home” and our brothers and sisters as if our “parents” were still here?  Will we love each other as our “parents” love us?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Humanity, Mother Nature's Wikipedia

Picture humanity as wikipedia, each person being an individual wikipedia page.  From birth we are in constant contact with other individuals, who each add something to our wikipedia page. There are people or organizations out there that intentionally add false information to our pages, though the information may have a small amount of validity, it is ultimately false.  Other people have had incorrect information on their pages for so long that they believe that it is true, and will often defend it to the death, this information is then passed on to their children and other people that they come into contact with.  It is up to us as individuals to constantly search through our own "wikipedia" pages and clear out information that doesn't work for us.  Form your own opinions, come to conclusions on your own.  If something works for you, great, add it to your page, if something doesn't work for you, omit it, there is no point having it on your page.  Sure people may call you a flake or a hypocrite if you are constantly changing your opinions and views, however, that's the beautify of being an individual.  We are meant to go through this life and come up with our own decisions, what works for me may or may not work for you, I'm certainly not going to tell you how to live your life.  I will continue to do my own research and come up with my own ideas and opinions, and in doing so, I will encourage others to do the same.  I will not judge others or belittle their ideas or beliefs because if I am free to believe what I want, who am I to say that someone else can't?  If you want freedom, give others their freedoms.  Even if you and I share different views or opinions, guess what...that's something that we have in common, that's why it's called sharing.  Instead of seeing what makes us all different, let's try to see what makes us the same.

Monday, July 1, 2013

"Living the Martial Way"

                The other day I began emailing a list of people who have inspired me, requesting their permission to use content from their work on my blog.  One such inspiration was Forrest E. Morgan, author of the book “Living the Martial Way:  A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think”.  Well, today he emailed me back, which is huge.  His book inspired me in so many ways, it has helped me further clear my mental chatter, change my outlook on life, change the way that I train, and my overall posture and physique in general.  Here was his response:

Dear Bradley,

Thank you for the kind words regarding Living the Martial Way.  I'm happy to hear you found it so helpful and inspiring.  You have my permission to quote the book and use information from it in your blog, provided, of course, that you cite it appropriately. I would be happy to take a look at what you've written so far.  I have to tell you in advance though, that you are correct in guessing I have a very busy schedule.  So it might take me a while to get back to you and my comments might be brief.

Good luck with your blog.

Best regards,

Forrest E. Morgan, Ph.D.
Senior Political Scientist
RAND Corporation
4570 Fifth Avenue, Suite 600
Pittsburgh, PA  15213

Now I’m not sure if any of you have tried contacting one of your heroes before, odds are if you did they didn’t respond or your mom wrote out a letter and gave it to you claiming they wrote you back.  This man could have disregarded my email entirely and looked the other way, or had some staff member write me back with a general response.  However, he personally took the time out of his day to write back to me and this means the world to me.  Actions like this speak very loudly for a person’s character this man is a true warrior.
All too often in today’s society we forget how much doing even the simplest thing for another person can affect them.  Like everything else in our world the opposite is also true, it’s simple physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Be nice to others, greet them with respect and a smile, and more often than not, you will receive the same in return.  Greet someone with attitude and you will get that same attitude back with few exceptions. 
It’s the people that can return attitude with love, kindness and respect for the other person’s space that are striving to make this world a better place.  Much love to everyone out there who gives expecting nothing in return, you are doing your part to reverse the damage that mankind has done.

You must be the change
you wish to see in the world.  Gandhi

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My View of the World

       This will be my last post of the day, NO, you have to wait.  In my opinion, and I cannot stress that enough, the world is the way that it is to force us into surrender, into accepting things for how they are.  To quote William Shakespeare:  "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."  No one can judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves, we are meant to make mistakes, that's how we learn things, in fact, if a lesson is learned, then it wasn't a mistake.  The same goes for evil...evil is only evil if it is not reconciled and learned from, we have not learned form any of the events in the world around us that are perceived as evil and so they continue to flourish.  If you do not like a situation, you have three different options.
A.  You can change the situation by voicing your opinion, and when done properly, without the ego getting involved, there is no need for feelings to be hurt. 
B.  If you are unable to change the situation you can quite simply walk away.
C.  There comes a time when neither of these options are available and there is absolutely nothing that you can do, during these times there is only one other option, to surrender fully to the situation at hand and accept it for what it is, anything else is insanity.   
       The definition of insanity is simply doing the same thing expecting a different result, now tell me that does not fit perfectly into every single complaint that we have.  Let’s say you have plans to go out to the park one day, you wake up, walk outside, and it starts to rain.  Now clearly you cannot exercise options A. or B. from above, you can voice your opinion all you want however guess what…the rain will still be there.  Of course you could leave, and go somewhere where there isn't rain.  However no amount of mental resistance or complaint is going to change what is, therefore, the mind is forced into surrendering to the fact that hey….it IS raining.
       If you take this approach to every aspect of life and resist nothing, I guarantee you that you will begin to feel happier and more at peace no matter what situation comes your way.  Now, do not misinterpret non-resistant for non-action, as I clearly stated earlier if there is an opportunity to change a situation without acting out egoicly, by all means…take it, when done correctly, there is no reason for feelings to get hurt, unless the other person’s ego takes what you say personally and assumes that you meant to insult them.   
       Non-resistance does not even necessarily mean non-violence; there are times when you may be forced to defend yourself, your honor, the ones you love, or others in need who are unable to defend themselves.  However, it is extremely important that you know what you are capable of and do not overstep your bounds, lest you end up in an 8x8 room the rest of your life.  Humility and confidence go hand in hand; a true warrior would not go out into the street and beat up on some random person any more than a grown man would strike a child just to show superiority.   
       These are acts of a coward and in no way acts of strength.  True strength is to know what you are capable of and show restraint, courtesy above all else shows true power.  If it comes down to it, meeting someone head on and settling your differences can be very noble, however, it is even more noble to accept the other person’s differences and simply allow them to be.   
       Everyone shares the same freedoms, regardless of where you live in the world or what race or religion you are.  There comes a time when your freedoms are going to impose on the freedoms of others, and this is what Americans are doing every single day.  We allow the rest of the world to suffer just so that we can have faster cars, fur coats, cheeseburgers and beautification products.  More on this to come later, when I know I have your attention.


            I would like to start with a few disclaimers; first off, I am in no way a professional writer.  In fact, aside from short emails and school work years ago, this will be the first time that I even attempt to write something.  I know that there are going to be grammatical errors or things that quite simply don’t make sense, so if you’re going to find something to flame or rage about, find something else because I’m sure it won’t be hard, haters gonna hate.  If an article truly upsets you or if you just plain don’t like it, go ahead and print it out and burn it if you feel it necessary, in fact, send me a video of it.
             Secondly, these are in no way original ideas.  With very few exceptions, there hasn’t been an original idea in decades, just taking aspects from one idea and splicing them into another.  This is especially true in the media.  If you are looking for “the answer” you’re reading the wrong article, please proceed to close the window and continue browsing the interwebs.  To loosely quote Adrian Brody from the movie “The Experiment”, I’m just regurgitating what people smarter than me have been saying for a long time.
             Lastly, if it seems like I am preaching to you or if I offend you in any way, it is your interpretation and in no way my intention.  That being said, here is my intention: I would like to take the knowledge that I have acquired through my research, which has drastically changed my state of consciousness, and pass it on to those who are willing to listen, or in this case, read.  If I am able to inspire even one person to change their lives for the better, then I have accomplished my goal, at this time, I couldn’t care less about any kind of funds or repayment for my effort, I am simply cataloging my thoughts.  If you have any criticism, praise or just want to discuss any of the topics further, feel free to let me know I would be happy to hear from you.  The best form of payment that I could receive is thanks, if this has helped you in any way shape or form, please let me know.