You Are Not A Tree…

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Too many of us lament that we can’t get jobs where we were born and raised. That seems especially true of the poorest areas of the country including Appalachia. Jobs just aren’t very plentiful there. The deep South is another example.  It would be nice is all areas of the country were full of gainful employment. But given our foundations in almost pure capitalism that will never happen.

On a side note, it is kinda ironic that the States that rail the most against socialism vote primarily with the GOP and are the ones that have the most citizens who depend on social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and such.  I know education levels enter into it but why don’t more of those folks just move to where there are more economic opportunities?  I have pondered that question for longer than I care to remember.

It does bug me to hear people complaining about this or that, especially when they could do something it.  Many times it really doesn’t take that much effort. I think that the major issue is their dogged resistance to change.  I and many others welcome the uncertainty associated with change as just part of progress, but others seem to be deathly afraid of it.

If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree

I couldn’t have said it better.

My Life Sucks…

I think there is a pretty fair part of the folks in this country who think their life sucks. They haven’t had a raise in umpteen years. They have to have someone to blame and that person is often those they see as getting the “breaks” in life.

2018-04-07_16-07-22.pngIt’s pretty hard for them to admit that for the most part “my life sucks because of me”. That reality just doesn’t sink for most of us.  They say they are stuck in an area with no good paying jobs but they never consider moving to a more prosperous area.  They say the only good jobs are those requiring an education but never consider the need to learn anything beyond what they presently know. It’s just too easy to blame others for their problems.  The morbidly obese guy says “poor me” and then consumes 6,000 calories per day and just doesn’t seem to see the connection.

Those of us who have had some success in life have for the most part worked to get it.  It wasn’t handed to us on a gold platter like it was for #CO3 and others like him. For us, the adversities in our life have reinforced our character. We did something to change our circumstances instead of just moaning about them.

I want to close this post with an anonymous quote:

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Quit blaming others for your circumstances in life. It is often just that simple.

 

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

For Good Men To Do Nothing..

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

slice8  I don’t necessarily call, at least yet, our current times evil but none the less the Edmund Burke quote above applies to where we are as a country. Too many of us decided to sit out the last election cycle and what we got is the result.  I certainly hope that this is a lesson learned and election participation increases dramatically in the coming years. We can no longer allow a radical fringe minority to choose our country’s leadership.

Good men doing nothing is basically the cause for much of the evil in the past. Hitler’s rise to power is a result of  Germans thinking that he will go away on his own.  But the stronger he got the less able they were to do anything about it.  I know many in that period who supported him say they were just stuck in the times but to me that is a pretty lame excuse much the same as those who now lament that they pulled the GOP lever the last time around.

How could people just ignore the fact that Hitler was exterminating millions in gas chambers in their backyard!! How could they do nothing!! But, there is a different lesson learned from those times and that is that we as a world have been in much deeper straights than we are presently. There are too many today who seemingly have given up that times will be better.  They have given up hope that we will continue striving to be a “Brother’s keeper” nation as Jesus demanded of us.  All we need to do is to look back at those times and then look to where Germany is today.  They are now the Europe’s leader and may someday be the world leader.

Don’t give up hope that things will get better. Instead as good men and women, rise up and do something about it. I will bookend this post with another famous quote and this one is from Gandhi.

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Making Sense of Change…

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When I came across the quote above I knew nothing of Alan W. Watts.  But, as usual I got on Wiki to learn more. This guy was quite a character in life.  It just seemed that once he was doing something for any extended period of time he got bored with it an moved on to something else. It seems he re-invented himself a dozen times in his 58 years of life.

Here is a quote from one of the reviewers of his autobiography In My Own Way on Amazon.

Early on, he set out to be an independent intellectual, constantly learning and living in his “own way.” He succeeded, in spite of the odds, on the terms that he set out for himself. This was deeply inspiring to me, and it turned out that despite the surface differences of interest, Alan Watts had a lot to say about the choices one makes in life and how to go about living.

I like to think of myself, rightly or not that I am also an independent intellectual who likes to live life on my own terms. But my life is nothing like his.  I spent thirty years in the corporate world as an engineer. I just didn’t have the courage to admit that I probably should have chosen another path.  By the time I realized that fact I deemed it too late to do anything about it.  I was happy to just serve out my time until I could draw a full pension (yeah I actually get a monthly check from my previous employer).  It was not until I walked away from that life that I discovered my true self.

The term retirement is to me an archaic word that doesn’t really apply to the third trimester of life. This period is more about opportunities than retiring from life.  As I just said I like to think of myself  living my “own way” but I was a late-bloomer in that regard.  I have a lot of catching up to do. 🙂  I have been in this mode for over fifteen years now and having a ball!

Living your “own way” meaning no longer just going with the flow.  It means taking the time to form your own opinions and then acting on them. No more just sitting back and whining. It often means going against the grain of other people’s norms. Living blue in a very red State I feel I am often going against the grain:

  • Where so much of our world, and especially our country, is living in fear I am stubbornly try to do the opposite. I will simply not give these terrorists the satisfaction of being afraid.
  • I see love where others, including my previous self, often see fear and sometimes even hate.
  • I see the words of Jesus as an action item list for my life and not just something that I hear in a pew on Sunday morning and then forget for the rest of the week.

Living your “own way” is not easy sometimes but it sure does give you more satisfaction…

I have an Alan Watts book now on my reading list. It will be interesting to learn more about him and probably myself in the process.

 

The 25%….

While 80 percent of mainline Protestant pastors see Pope Francis as a true Christian, only 58 percent of evangelical preachers agree.

Source: Do Pastors Trust Pope Francis on Theology? New Survey Reveals How Preachers Responded When Asked if the Pontiff Is a True Christian | TheBlaze.com

I am going to use the polling above as an example for this post but not its focus.  There just seems to be about 25% of the population on the extreme right fringes in the U.S. that are pretty much distrustful of everything and everyone else. It seems that they almost hate the other 75%.  Maybe they are just so stricken with fear that everyone is suspect of something they deem bad. They hate the change that is happening around them daily, especially when more potential adversaries are allowed to invade “their” country. I wonder just how many of this 25% are the same people in all the various scenarios? I imagine that the core is pretty high.

In poll shown above from evangelical pastors about 25% of them don’t think the Pope is a genuine Christian. They view him as either the anti-Christ or hopefully something a little less hateful. I know that there are several christian denominations who despise the leader of the Catholic church no matter who he is. I’m sure a large part of this negative response is from those particular groups.

What can we do to help this 25% of our population get over their fear of change and  almost everything else? That seems to be the fundamental question at hand.

  • Is there a way to convince them that change is not their bitter enemy?
  • Is there a way to show them that their “good old days” were not as good as they now imagine?
  • Is there a way to get them to love their neighbors, even those who might not be like them?
  • Is there a way to convince them that the money they pay in taxes is necessary in order to maintain an orderly and civil society?
  • Is there a way to get them to see that the income inequality occurring today is hurting our country?
  • Is there a way to get them to see a brighter future?
  • Is there a way to get the religious among them to see that their version is not totally right and all the others totally wrong?
  • Finally, is there a way to get them to be less fearful of almost everything?

This is a serious list of issues that plague too many in our country and will likely take years to even begin to improve. Until that time it is up to the rest of us to not allow this relatively small minority to take us down with their negative beliefs.  We need to understand and even empathize with their fears no matter how unreal they are but not be overcome by them.

I am That Wise Guy

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Some Resist Change; Some Embrace It….

2014-11-15_07-37-53“Quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with the strength of the Apple brand and how much merchants and customers love how easy the experience is. I’m not saying it’s changing the landscape overnight. But this has never happened with other mobile wallets.”-Denée Carrington, analyst, Forrester Research SOURCE: Apple Pay catches the attention of retail customers.

I have been personally reminded lately of just how adamantly some people resist change while others embrace it.  Some don’t accept even the simplest changes in their lives without serious complaints. The smallest changes can set them off.  And then there are others who are bored when nothing changes on a regular basis. They welcome change; they even embrace it.

Apple Pay will be one of those issues. It is a much simpler and more secure way of paying but it does require a change in how we do it. For that reason there will be some who rant against it. Apple Pay is just getting started down a long road of implementation. Only iPhone6 currently has the capability of using it so its coverage is somewhat limited right now. But as more and more people upgrade and more discover the ease of use of iPhones this payment method will move swiftly into the main stream.

I upgraded my iPhone last week. I had been using an iPhone 4 for three years now and was ready for the change. The new phone has some nice new features and some added capabilities for those of us who are deaf and the bigger screen is certainly welcomed for these old tired eyes. 🙂  One of the first things I did was to set up an Apple Pay account. Although I have not yet used it, it is ready to go.  I live in a small town with about the only retailer of any size being Walmart and since they are one of the ones who are currently resisting the change it might be a while before I use it on a daily basis.

The system Walmart and some others are promoting is better for the companies but not so much the customers so I kind of think  it will go the way of Betamax. For those of you who don’t know about Betamax look it up on Wiki. 🙂

Getting back to the title of this post, change is a serious topic for some of us. New technology by its very nature mandates constant change. Some, including me, consider that a good thing. There will always be that group of people who will continue to use their old flip phones if they even have a cell phone. Change is just so hard for them. That may also explain why some of us continue to support one political party who has abandoned anything helpful to us who are outside the 1% long ago. They hate change so they will stick with something even if it is more harmful than helpful. Change is hard stuff…