Donald Sterling Who?

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“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Apparently this Donald Sterling thing is pretty big right now. I don’t feel comfortable with such a bright spotlight being precisely adjusted onto a single individual. Though, I understand why racism itself is an issue, of course. In America, racism has diminished greatly in general thank goodness, but it still exists. I think we need to wear down the edges before attacking all the layers of the source. I think one of our issues as Americans or maybe humans all together as an entirety, is that many ideas are thrown out of proportion or exaggerated, either because we have trouble remembering that others have varying thinking processes and varying upbringings, or because we hear what we want to hear in order to propel our passionate mission against racism. Having a mission against racism is a great idea, but often our approaches are structured poorly and we focus too much on our own ways of perceiving and breaking thoughts and actions down.

There are many little underlying factors unaccounted for that are anthropological or psychological that are hardly touched, which is an article or blog post in itself. You can’t know all the layers of a person or all the layers of a person’s opinion unless you are them. This is basic elementary assessment, correct? Well that’s okay, a rotten foundation is the ultimate err in most life situations, but the awesome thing is that we can eventually rebuild these things better every time with the more introspection and practice we have. Speaking of factors unaccounted for, someone I know brought up statistics recently that prove that white people empathize with lighter-skinned people more than darker-skinned people. I think some people may be looking at this in the wrong angle, I’ve seen this brought up before on another website in the past and made the same conclusion.

First of all, let me add that this research does not at all prove that the average person is incapable of empathizing with those of the same skin color, but that it is simply easier to empathize with someone who has the same skin color as ourselves. This may be exaggerated into the most narrow ways, but people who are easily perceived to be more like ourselves in general, no matter how insignificant or obvious the characteristics, are easier to empathize with and relate to. This trickles down to more than just empathy as well, it’s natural for us to establish positive feelings of any sort to those who simply seem more like ourselves, nothing more. Hopefully we can put all that behind us now and continue chipping away at racism.

My opinion is that doing something as simple as using someone’s skin color, something you can’t even control, in a sentence with negative implications qualifies you as a racist, which is what Sterling did. Though, people like this need our love and patience the most. A friend of mine asked me if Sterling should have his position taken away from him and cease to be the manager of the L.A, Clippers. Well, there are lots of bad people in charge, everyone has flaws about them, everyone sins, so you might as well demote nearly everyone who is in charge of anything in my opinion. It depends on if he’s causing harm or not. If these are merely his opinions of certain people that just happened to be caught on tape because he was sharing with someone close to him, then it shouldn’t be blown up like this in the media. Many of us keep awful secrets to ourselves, people can go an entire lifetime knowing someone without knowing some of their friend’s or their leader’s awful truths. If he showed his blatant racism through actions, that would be a different story.

Donald Sterling is not racism. Racism is racism. Now, let’s keep focus on entire ideas or actions that threaten our lives, not on silly individuals. Let’s inform ourselves and educate peacefully. 🙂

Dealing With Such An Ugly Pair

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Assumption and judgement, what a pair.  You could say that I consider them ugly cousins.  These are a couple of darknesses that seep out of so many of us.  I’d be curious to corral 1,000 random people of the world and inquire of them what their own personal definition of hate is.  I’d imagine that a handful of them would give me such deep answers or perspectives from intriguing angles to the point of giving me goosebumps.  That would be such a highlight.  Though, I’d also imagine most people giving me their definition and then witnessing a glimmer of false pride in their eyes as if no such thing seeps from them in the least. 

Hearing me say that people shouldn’t look at being wrong as a bad thing might make some people raise an eyebrow, but I hope the lot of you would agree.  Being wrong translates into you having the option to wipe your slate clean.  Wiping the slate clean doesn’t have to be this wildly life-changing event.  We should be and can be willing to wipe our slates clean repeatedly in numerous compartments of our lives.  You can’t build a building by just setting one fully built down on level ground, it has to be built brick by brick.  It makes me wonder why such a simple idea is surpassed as often as it is.

 Hate is usually in the smallest actions, the shortest sentences. A few of those a day from millions of people, and what do you have? The source of humanity’s decay. There will never be any peace in this world unless you search within yourself, yank all those nasty hidden leeches out of you and burn them with your passion and determination.  No, not hand them on over to your enemies, burn them.  People that have been eaten away to a greater extent need even further consideration, even further reflection.  
🙂
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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.

Words Hold Immense Power Because Society Told You So

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You cannot tell someone how to aesthetically present themselves, you cannot tell someone how to use a word, you cannot tell anyone these things with any rationalization. It doesn’t matter what race you are, you do not have the right of any influence whatsoever. It doesn’t matter what culture you’re imbedded in, you can dress whatever style you please and use whatever label you so choose. People, you have the freedom to choose to be a good person and also choose to use words in harmless ways. What you put into a word is all that’s there, the rest is in the imagination. Do not let words have power over you or assume your words have power over others. Too many people are skiddish with words, words that some ancestor a thousand years ago made up or words random teenagers made up a couple decades ago.

Words are empty and a person has the right to instill their own personal angle into any word they please. Yes, I’m referring to words that are usually dubbed as potentially offensive, words that were whipped up by imperfect humans, or meanings & intentions that strangers strive to stuff your face with- acting as if you put it all there yourself. People either use their own interpretations of words for harmless fun or to think outside the box with good intentions. Yes, there are people out there who do it sarcastically or to troll, but we have no clue which ones. Why continue to strangle each other with words that are man-made? Why do we limit ourselves to this? Why can’t we turn our focus to the things that truly matter, people who hold for us that mysterious thing called love or life-threatening events in our country or other countries that are laughing at us behind our backs right now?

If you cut out letters of a word from a newspaper and scattered them on a desk, that word has no power, correct?  If you aligned these letters together to make sense, that word still holds no power.  If someone walks by, sees that word on the desk and reads it out loud, that word still holds no power.  Don’t ever let people who only see in black and white, who think only inside a small box that they have let society build for them, who live to sniff out every obscure crevice for a sign of potentially imperfect intentions tell you what actions to take or tell you specific ways you should be feeling through these words.

Know that only you know your true intentions, and that is all that will ever matter.

Understanding possible reasons for some seemingly hateful Christians

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“The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What troubles me & is difficult to admit for me since I believe in God is that from experience, the majority of people I come across who are filled with the most hate(seemingly) are people who call themselves Christians. It’s ironic & we need to fix it.  There could be many reasons why so much hate is in the atmosphere of my community & it’s not entirely the average individual Christian’s fault.  The media does a bang-up job in propelling negative stereotypes & being a major influence of what disunites humanity as a whole.

When it comes to mending something so crucial, or mending a mass, it’s always best to mend from the inside out.  If we don’t sincerely dig deep enough within ourselves, we’ll just continue recreating low-quality shells of ourselves.  We can be solid, intricately put together from nail, to frame, to roof, to plumbing, to furnishings.  We need this.  We ARE society.  Every single one of us is what’s wrong with society, just to varying degrees of error.  We don’t have to be Christian, Jewish, Atheist, or Muslim to do so, renewing the world through this.  Though, since my experience with a very large quantity of fellow Christians is how this post began, let’s analyze the possibilities of why my experience/opinion could have some solid truth to it.

The unique pressure.   Well, each of us are nowhere near perfect & we all have to deal with many sorts of pressures, but maybe the pressures on a Christian can be of a larger mass in certain aspects & not the sort of pressure non-believers or people with some other beliefs can really relate to which can weigh down the pressure even further.  We’ve all heard the cut & dry, “If you don’t accept God & Jesus into your heart, you will burn for all eternity.”.   I realize this can really give us Christians the overall feeling of doom, needing to perfect every facet of ourselves, & rushing to help save the souls of the ones we deeply care for by teaching the love of God.  Not many people in this world outside of certain communities have to fret about such an immense concept & the idea can really get to your head if you don’t approach things the right way & find peace through God.  This can lead to it all completely backfiring, causing chaos within us & emanating it into the atmosphere we share with everybody else.

Blurring the line between walking down a Godly path & acting exactly like God.  There is a difference between submersing yourself in a Godly atmosphere & then partaking in actions & thoughts that only God has a right to.  Yes, I’m speaking of being judgmental or condemning others.  It’s perfectly fine to notice a wrong in someone, a sin, & then steering away from it & praying for the person.  Heck, you can even walk right up to the person & explain why you are so uncomfortable, but be prepared if they are not ready to hear it & want nothing to do with what you believe or present to them.  This is where I notice many of us Christians not being able to let that go.  Sometimes we push & push(sometimes ending in frustration & name-calling) so much that they’re even more turned off by the idea of God & the Christian community than they were before you even started the conversation, or should I say CONVERTsation?  Haha.  😉  This is okay in one perspective, afterall, we’re just having great intentions & spreading God’s word, correct?  That’s not the problem though & this fact only nourishes the self instead of others.  The problem is the APPROACH itself, nothing more.

From what I recall of the Bible, when Jesus spread the word, he was very mild, approachable, humble, loving, peaceful, & understanding.  I often do not see a single one of these traits while a believer & non-believer are clashing in a conversation.  I’m sure God & Jesus also knew/know when a person is not ready to accept.  We are often told this all the time in church with receiving the gift of tongues for example, “You just have to be ready, it’s okay that you’re not ready yet, you will be ready soon.”.  Maybe we need to keep that in mind more when dealing with non-believers?

We’re so passionately devoted that we gush & overflow sometimes.   This is another example of a good thing & a no-so-good thing.  Being this way inspires ourselves & empowers ourselves.  In short, it makes us happy feeling God’s presence, being so thankful toward Him, & wanting the world to know how great He is.  Not only does this make US feel invigorated, but also those who relate to us in that way.  Imagine that you’re a teenage boy & have a best gal pal whose family is culturally-unique compared to what you’re used to & throws a big vivacious party for your gal pal all because she started her monthly for the first time & she wants you to come, of course.  Not only does her family celebrate her womanhood with such gaiety, they overdo it with all sorts of quirky games that have a theme loosely relating to her, um, event.  As a boy, you don’t really care about what is happening because in your mind this will never happen to you, it has nothing to do with you, it’s practically foreign.  You’re also an adolescent which in my point is representing the youth, the naivety, the seed that hasn’t sprouted.  The non-believer being the teenage boy, the believer being the teenage girl.

In other words, we can be very overwhelming which automatically turns certain people off obviously.  If that isn’t enough, if & when we witness someone commit a sin for the hundredth time while rolling around in their elation, we can end up projecting ourselves onto that person, as if they should fully know better.  When I say we’re “so passionately devoted”, I mean that we experience such great results in having a close relationship with God & doing things that make our Father happy, that when someone near us commits what we see as an atrocity, we can feel as if that person is in some way raining on our parade with their spit.  We are so used to our ways & know fully how good it can be, that we can see others as merely passing up the most amazing opportunity of their lives without even flinching, which can lead to some impulsive explosions from us.

Ok, so this information is nothing new for a lot of people.  My point here was simply to have this as a reminder for us all & having you guys see it through the tint of my lens specifically.  All of this just comes down to tolerance & working even harder at setting ourselves aside to let God take care of the details that are meant for Him alone.  Tolerance & love need to be more than just Band-Aids for us.  We as a human race(not just Christians) need to let tolerance & love mend us from the inside out till we are completely renewed.  With the help of God & our willingness to receive, absolutely anything is possible.  If you would like me to clear something up(maybe I worded something in an odd way that offended you or confused you), add to this post, or go further into detail with me with specific verses from the Bible, just type away in the comment section!   Thank you for letting me waste your time!  🙂