Are You As Honest With Yourself As You Think?

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Some of you have likely been called a “sheep” on the internet or have seen somebody else feel the wrath of such a word.  While I promote individual thinking that is not so black and white and I promote the intention behind people who strive to assist in bringing this sort of thinking out of others… it’s probable that none of us are even correctly equipped to do so.

Not only do I have an issue with the fact that mere HUMANS are the ones assessing the worth of fellow humans, but I also have an issue with the ones who seem to have no desire whatsoever in building up their community, instead, tearing it down piece by piece, adding to the disaster.  How are they doing this?  They do this by adding a dash of condescension, a sprinkle of sarcasm, and a pinch ad hominem.  To put it simply, you cannot instill these poisons to your approach if you want to do any good.  This poison will overcome the good cause you believe you’re spreading all around.  Who desires to lay their hands on something dipped in poison?    I think we all can admit that we have never been “won over” by such a silly approach, sheep or no sheep.

Not only is it pointless and poisonous that we’re so cynical with others instead of looking inside ourselves further, we have to realize that yes, there is such a thing as “sheep”, but then there are also many people who go through such extremes of being “different” JUST so they aren’t comparable to something familiar.  With either path you take, you are susceptible to losing yourself in the process.   Maybe instead of losing yourself though, what you could actually be doing is finding yourself.  There is such a fine line.  We should delve into this even further.

Us humans are quite fond of sniffing out certain traits of each other, certain mannerisms, certain personal tastes to use against each other, just so we can corral everybody into our tiny labeled compartments so that it “all makes sense”.  Does it sincerely make sense that they “do this because they like this” or that they “are this so they must be this” because those statements are truths within themselves or is it just that they make sense because you shaped them to fit in your narrow compartment?  Let’s use some examples that are a bit more clear, “you’re a democrat so you must be ___”, “you live in Mississippi so you must think ___”, “you listen to this music so you must lack in ___”.   The main point of one person labeling another fellow human being a “sheep” is to make it known that this person is “brainwashed”.  I have to admit, I consider most of America to be severely brainwashed by the media and society, but “brainwashed” is a term that is pretty shapeless and could be taken to many great lengths.  Can “brainwashed” truly be defined?

So, this begs the question, if you were diagnosed with amnesia, were put in a room full of many different styles of clothing and a radio with thousands of varying CD’s beside it, could you honestly vow that you would pick out the exact same style of clothing you’re wearing now or the same exact music you listen to now?  Would you even have the same standards or limits that you possess right now?  This is what I think of when someone uses such shapeless words with such hostility, with such negativity, it’s all so hopeless.  Yes, they are merely words, but what I’m truthfully concerned about here is the person behind hostile words, phrases with ill intentions, what kind of character they possess or the deliberate actions they take in this world.  On a more personal level, the level that ties us all together, how are YOU useful in this society?

“We blame society, but we are society.” – Anonymous.

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Don’t Gather Into The Coagulated Mass

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We might want to reconsider a common phrase of ours… okay, quite a few phrases of ours, but we’ll get to the rest eventually.  This specific one I’m tackling is overused usually around election time and has been phrased in various ways.  So, maybe we should tackle it as an idea rather than words because we all know how empty words can be.

I often witness someone puff on their cigar through a cheesy grin while they run their thumbs back and forth underneath their tattered suspenders as they say something along the lines of, “”Whoa! My political opinion just changed because of what you posted on Facebook” – said no one ever.”  This is a massive issue that needs addressed within ourselves.  You cannot gain true knowledge or wisdom without fully opening every vessel to your mind.  Where did we adopt this idea that we should filter before knowledge even looks our way?  Let’s soak up every perspective at least partially, prior to filtering it out and sweeping it under a rug.  Can you honestly say you can genuinely grow otherwise?

May I also bring to the surface that it seems that according to a couple studies, many of us are indeed moved in some way by our social circles when political issues are presented to us?  According to my research, it completely depends on the way the majority of us are approached.  One approach may lead us down a newly paved political road, while another approach will completely backfire as we psychologically cling onto our beliefs even tighter.  Either way can hold the exact same data or knowledge, but it’s all in the approach according to the Pew Research Center and the University of Michigan.  This does not infer that we have to be limited by even this much though if we as a human race continue working on ourselves

I believe an Unknown fellow laid it out best, “You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago.”

We can’t possibly believe that every single thought or idea outside of our own, even ones that we haven’t yet reached, is inherently wrong in every way.  I, along with many others throughout this world are walking proof that we can step out of our little black and white box, pat the prideful lint off of our sleeves, straighten the obnoxiously stubborn creases out of our trousers, and progress.  I have altered my views politically quite a few times when proven wrong or when I have been enlightened further.  I have also done some fine-tuning with my spiritual/religious beliefs within the past few years as well.  This is all okay, I came out alive, even more-so.

Yes, naturally, it would have to take a heck of a lot for me to let anything new in that doesn’t at least somewhat fit my belief system.  I have my priorities, and no human should be able to shake your priorities or your core.  There is a difference between cleaning and straightening up stitching and tears through re-upholstery compared to taking a sledgehammer to your roof, walls, flooring, & plumbing.  🙂

http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/09/04/politics-on-social-networking-sites/

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~nyhan/nyhan-reifler.pdf

World Hijab Day

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Muslim women wear hijab because they feel it pleases God/Allah, Christians(and other religions) are allowed to do things we feel pleases God, they should be allowed to in peace as well.

So, I went to the store alone wearing this(I tried to find the loosest clothing I had). I always say hi to a dozen random people(give or take a couple, haha) and give compliments every time I go out somewhere. It’s rare that I don’t get a “hello” back and this time only 1 out of 10 people replied with a greeting of any sort, the others turned away and said nothing. No, I’m not saying it was because I was wearing hijab, it most definitely could have been a coincidence, maybe I only said hello to extremely shy people today.  Haha.

I was walking along the front of the store after grabbing the few things I needed and it just so happened that the only open register that was empty was with a Middle-Eastern guy donning a beaming smile, LOL!  I was thinking, “Oh gosh, what if he says something to me in Arabic or another language I don’t understand, I’ll feel bad.”  Sure enough he greets me with “Assalaam Alaikum” in which my reply is supposed to be “Wa Alaikum assalaam” if you don’t want to be rude, but I knew I couldn’t pronounce it, I’m only familiar with a few phrases typed & familiar with when they’re said. LOL! SO, I replied, “Um, I, er, I’m not Muslim.” He just continued to stare at me as he was putting my groceries in bags. I elaborated, “Today is World Hijab Day and I’m supporting my friends. Many people see hijab as oppression & it’s a part of religious freedom.” Then he got all excited and agreed saying that if you choose it, it’s freedom.

He started talking about his Islamic background, his homeland, and how he is now a Pagan. Then he paused and said(even though I made it clear a moment ago, LOL), “So, how long have you been a convert?” I replied trying not to laugh, “Um, I’m not a convert, I’m not Muslim, I’m a Pentecostal Christian supporting my Muslim friends.” He looked a bit curious and confused and I continued to briefly talk about how I’m an admin to a Facebook group called “Children of Adam” and our goal is to have all religions come together in peace and understanding and to assist in eliminating stereotypes that the media likes to feed us.” He seemed very pleased once again, beaming. I swear it was like the sun was behind his teeth. LOL!  So yea, that was my experience today.  🙂

Here is a close-up photo of me & my Catholic friend who is also supporting World Hijab Day today.  

Is It Just America?

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Is it just Americans who are blinded by media?  Is it just Americans who are too caught up with their daily lives to realize what horror stories are developing around them?  I’m one to habitually seek knowledge of other cultures & religions, but I think this is something I could not truly know until I lived in other countries myself for a while.  Either way, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Why do I say this?  

Well, how informed are most of us Americans when it comes to the unpopular war or the real-life horror stories that aren’t so popular?  I’d say a large fraction of us are decently informed of what’s going on in Syria, but only when it comes to the basics.  I will get into that another day though.  Let’s just use one example for now that I believe most of us know next to nothing about because it deserves attention, Ukraine:

View image on Twitter

http://disinfo.com/2014/01/maybe-orwellian-text-message-governments-ever-sent/

What do we do about such a situation though?  America has the biggest international “Savior complex”. We feel we are the solution to every country’s problems, which is honestly too much to juggle, we can’t even take care of ourselves very well, but it’s also too difficult to just sit there & let it happen. Stuck between a rock & a hard place.  Maybe I think that we should never intervene whatsoever as a government.  What?  I didn’t say “should never intervene as America”?  

When “the American people” intervene, it is never just the American people.  It is always driven by our corrupt government that is getting itself & everyone else involved for less than honorable reasons.  What we should do instead is literally leave it to us American people to volunteer.  Is it not best for us individuals to volunteer in sending food packages & supportive letters to those protesting in Ukraine than for our government to intervene which will not only take attention, resources, & money away from the needy people in America but also add to America’s debt?  Sure, our government intervening would result in something more noticeable & in more efficient ways, but the question is, is it worth the damage it will do to us?  Is it truly in everyone’s best interests to let history repeat itself?  Maybe I’m partly talking out of my ass, maybe there are exceptions.  Let me rephrase that, I honestly believe there are always exceptions.  Where can the majority of us agree to draw the line on these exceptions?  

When the majority of us can settle on an answer to this is the day we will have the resources to make a great impact not only within ourselves but on the rest of the world.

So Many of Us Shifting The Blame

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http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/steve-safigan/2012051622128

One of my concerns is over this quote I’ve been seeing float around the internet frequently. It has its rounds where if one person shares it on Facebook or Pinterest, then several of their friends relate to it & share it as well. Every once in a while, this is one of the most popular quotes I see. Something is sorely wrong here.

Let’s begin by chewing on the fact that when many people find a statement with quotes around it, there’s this mindset that they ran into a golden idea. Quotations insist that their must be some sort of golden credibility or common sense to the statement right? How about if we place the quote on a pretty background, doesn’t this give the idea some official seal? What moves us to be so accepting of an idea that is decorated & merely seems powerful at the surface?

All that is necessary is wiping the glitter off the surface to expose something that will mildly improve one’s self. Even though it’s just a step to preventing grime from collecting on ourselves, this is more appealing than smearing the grime all over the ground we all walk on. The grime of these rotten ideas, insults to true knowledge & wisdom, are spread so thin on the ground we walk on every day by the media, corporations, & ourselves that we don’t even realize for quite some time that we were even walking on an unclean ground. Usually by the time we’re somewhat aware, the grime spreads to our legs, our hands, our eyes and mouth. We become blind & start spitting out some of the grime back onto the ground or even into other people’s faces until they obey or until our children learn to respect & appreciate it.

Oh, you might think this is an exaggeration. The thing is, ideas are one of the most powerful things a human being could hold. There is no such thing as a scanty idea, only ideas that have yet to be fully developed and implemented. We often underestimate how rapidly an idea we hold can either develop us into something monstrous or into something worth knowing in multiple aspects.

“Don’t get confused between my personality and my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.”, is no golden thought or idea. Neither your personality, nor your attitude have any relation at all with any other person. It’s an illusion, it’s an easy way to shift the weight. We need to cease this infatuation with what’s easy. The right thing is hardly ever within the vicinity of easy & this isn’t new. We should feel empowerment through kicking this grime off of our soles, not by shoving our foot, this grime, in other people’s faces & then puffing out our chests as we walk away while leaving a fragment of our integrity behind. I don’t need to tell any of you any of this though. All you have to do is take that extra step of wiping the coat of glitter off the grime yourself. 🙂

Burglars Who Took On FBI in 1971 Finally Surface

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Burglars Who Took On FBI in 1971 Finally Surface

“So on a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside.”

I feel this is rather brave & it was was almost as if I felt some weight lift off of their shoulders after reading this. I wonder how they have dealt with this in their head all these years, if they even ever gave it much thought afterwards.  Tell me what you guys think!  🙂