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Where I Stand.

January 4, 2011 Leave a comment

So there is an issue in Polk county! Some sheriff gave some churches some basketball hoops. And in good old American fashion, the Atheists of Florida, Inc decided to sue. Here’s the article that brought the issue to light for me – Atheists of Florida Take On Grady Judd: Where do you stand?

This is the specific kind of crap that is taking the magic out of America. Lets look past politics for a minute and look at the story. There were some hoops(pole and basket) in a jail. The sheriff removed those hoops and put them near or on church property in economically challenged areas. In places they knew would be safe and taken care of, where they would be used by people, voting tax paying people or the children of taxpayers.  For example, the physical location of one hoop was in the parking lot of a church and was open to all, for free. That sounds pretty swell to me.

But to the Atheists of Florida, Inc.  it became a right wing plot to use our hard earned taxes on frivolity. So they decided to do what now seems more American than apple pie, they started making noise about filing a lawsuit. They felt that it was a misappropriation of tax payer funding and felt a desire to prove it in court.

I think they are full of it. I think they want to be in the news and could care less who they hurt and what communities they affect. I think they are much more concerned about themselves then the actual impact on the communities that are being affected.

I also believe that the Atheists of Florida, Inc. general membership is unaware and uninvolved with this kind of crap. This doesn’t help anyone that considers themselves an atheist. We need understanding and togetherness not hate and divisiveness. Atheism per Wikipedia is in a broad sense the rejection of belief in the existence of deities, not the attack or limiting of charity for those that choose to believe or being against those that choose differently.

Where’s the common sense? What was the intent of the action? Was it to further the religious agenda of a few churches by providing them with basketball hoops or was it the easiest way to get the hoops to people that would use and appreciate them.  The sheriff did a good thing. He helped people. If it helps you sleep at night he helped tax payers. To me, he helped people and someone found a way to twist that around for a little branding opp.

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InjekTwit

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The vision for Injektwit was to enable businesses that didn’t have time or personnel to take advantage of Twitter to do so productively, easily and with minimal risk. A business, individual or organization could get set up on Injektwit in 5 minutes and start offering news and information in their specific area of expertise immediately.

Injektwit is great for Twitter newcomers but there are many tools and uses for the old hats as well. There is scheduled tweets, there is the easy to create countdown and a gamut of content creation options ranging from Biblical quotes to a day in history all which can be added to your twitter stream automatically or selectively.

Injektwit allows you to be you on twitter while it does the work.

Self Awareness

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

A twitter buddy of mine got me thinking about self awareness. Thanks @Daisyface1. She pondered “When does self awareness Happen?”

Unfortunately in our society today, we generally leave it up to happenstance. Self Awareness is not something that is heavily promoted.

To be self aware is to understand that the opinions we formulate, the emotions we have, and the ideas we birth are correlated to our current and past perceptions and situations. That as an individual entity we maintain likes and dislikes, prejudices and preferences based on where we have been and what we have been shown. Ideas, experiences, memories define who we are as an individual.  Awareness also brings a certain propensity for growth, most whom understand that they are simply a collection of reactions to experiences would want to experience as much as possible to enhance that collection.

It’s different for everyone, the “intensity” of awareness will vary greatly for each individual but at some point in life, tragedy will happen. Something totally out of control that couldn’t have been stopped will be the catalyst to self awareness. For some it happens when they are young and for some it happens in adulthood with a friend or parent dying. Once its known how little control we have questions start popping up and the wall of illusion starts crumbling. Some answer those questions with religion and spirituality while others will not be so fortunate. Often time the “transcendence” is  a messy one full of heart wrenchingly bad decisions as we try and figure out which way is up.

We set up this fantasy of expected perfection from our children ensuring they go through a traumatic uncovering of how imperfect the world really is. There has to be a balance in early life. We need parents that cheer for success but allow for failure. Ones that acknowledge strengths and weaknesses, and promote realistically looking at who we are, and why we feel and think the way we do. Teaching children to try and see both sides of self and others with honest eyes. Ensuring they understand that no one is perfect, and no one is terrible unless they choose to be. To help grasp that opinion is just a reflection of perception.

If we could do that for a generation or two the world would be a different place.

Just be Nice #1

November 15, 2010 1 comment

I get tired of being scared. I get tired of thinking the worst of people. But we are surrounded by negative news generated by a minority of the population. This tiny percentage of “meanies” really ruins it for the rest of us. I am sick of the negative crap in mass media. Its out there, it exists and we need to be aware of it but too often its taken, sensationalized and made profitable.

When someone offers a kindness sometimes we reject it out of fear of the ulterior motive.  We have become so jaded and so suspicious of niceness that we reject it, and then offend the offerer who may think twice before offering it again therefore diminishing the pool of people that will be nice.

That’s a finite resource. As we kill the desire to be kind to each other it is replaced with a suspicion and coldness. It gets old, all these jerks that take any action and twist and turn it around. It does no one any good and seems to exist solely to be antagonistic. The Facebook guy, he gave 100 million bones to New Jersey. The day after I saw tweets asking if it was for publicity, Trying to get press, what was his motive. I didnt see the words “thanks” very much. Why? Why the hell does it matter why he gave. If I am some ultra rich fella, and I see how some of this stuff gets turned around I have to wonder if I would still give. Whats wrong with saying “Wow, Thank you so much. We as a society appreciate you and what you have chosen to give.” and not condemn them. We want to promote kind acts, because if we don’t we end up killing kind acts and the world becomes a little harder each day.

Small acts have heavy impact as well. Think of it like this, You do a kindness for someone(opened the door, helped someone carry something, let someone in front of you in the car) , the person accepts your kindness repays you with gratitude and both of you go away feeling good. Maybe the next time the person you helped runs into someone in need they will act. And you feel like a stud for helping out reinforcing your desire to help again. You are spreading little kindness seeds for every kind act you do.

We can change the direction we are going in the way we relate to each other. It just takes a little time and resilience. But next time someone wants to be kind to you, accept it graciously and you will be doing the world a favor.

Bad decisions are better than No decisions at all.

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Often we would rather put off making a hard decision forever. Thats a mistake. In the face of a non decision you can not act. You spend a ton of time deliberating the pros and cons of said decision and what might happen and what may occur if you go this way or that. If you make the decision and it turns out to be the wrong one at least you can figure out what you need to do to remedy that choice. You also take control of the situation, taking action of some kind gives you a feeling of control and allows you to manage your life. That is not the case with a decision you choose not to face.

Inaction paralyzes us and make us feel weak and out of control and makes the people affected perceive us as weak and out of control.  Some times the problems are wrapped in complexity and layers that are impossible see all the angles. We may allow those complexities to excuse our inaction as we hope that the problem will self resolve. We spend to much time and emotional energy figuring out how to solve the problem to not act once we have our choices laid out.

Thats when the problem starts. Sometimes the choice we know to be best has some optional ramifications that we cant clearly determine so we keep putting it off. But by putting it off more energy is wasted stressing about what might happen then biting the bullet making the decision and reacting to the fallout be it good or bad. At least you can move forward and beyond that problem. The results of not making a choice need to be figured in as well.

I think you have to look at all the known facts of a the problem, figure out what the best and worse case scenario could be for each of your choices and then make a decision. Decisive action moves things forward regardless if they are bad. If you are human and you ever have choices to make you will make bad ones. True freedom comes when you can recognize that bad choices can be corrected. One of my main issues with nondecisions is sooner or later you are going to have to come to those cross roads and choose. At that time you will have to face the positives or negatives from the decision so I just dont see the logic in putting it off.

We know what we want to do to fix a problem. Late at night when everything is quite and the day is done that voice in your head thats telling you to make a choice is right.

This is not to advocate rash decisions, which are decisions that are made without all the facts or thinking through the effects but once you have the facts, and have mapped out the consequences don’t put it on the sideline.  Like Nike says-Just do it.

Don’t grow up too fast.

July 28, 2010 1 comment

I am scared. Really Scared.  A buddy of mine has a son that recieved a text from a girl asking “Where do you like doing it better, the bedroom or someplace else?”. The girl that sent the text was 13 years old. What the hell!!! I cant even tell you even tell you how jacked up that makes life. By 13 or 14 a boys hormones are raging so hard they are testing the lubricating properties of materials most women would find inconceivable. The one thing that stops boys from making woefully stupid mistakes is inaccessibility. The mighty moral wall that woman have can be tough to climb. unfortunately with each passing generation that wall has lowered and been held by fewer and fewer people. But now it feels non-existent. 13 years old should be an innocent time, adulthood comes to quickly and that innocence is lost forever.

I look at my little girl and cringe, fret and worry.

Everywhere I look it seems like the edge between childhood and adulthood gets a little fuzzier. Everything is pushing these kids to grow up so fast. The clothes that are peddled to them, the shows that they are bombarded with, its like hurry up become a adult as fast as you can.  So we take the accelerated aging, add in a portion of reduced morality and that’s how we get to the 13 year old girls that send texts like the above. And its cyclical, if that child has a child at 15 then that becomes the norm for the childs child. And it takes the exception to break the trend. It should be the other way around.

I am a Dad, I guess its normal for me to worry. But I was hoping to have to chase boys off at 15,16 or even later not at 13. 13 seems too young to me.

How do I love Thee

July 1, 2010 1 comment

In these cynical times I doubt many will read about love but I thought I would give it a shot.

I enjoy showing my wife how much I love her. It is not an altruistic action though because of the deliciously good feelings I get from making her happy. There is nothing better than being able to surprise Sarah with the little things in life that she likes even if she might not know she likes them. Walking around Publix grabbing something I think she might fancy to create a microsuprise for her. Its like a game, trying to find new and creative ways to show her that I love her.  Not just that I love her but why I love her.

I think that’s a huge distinction that gets overlooked. Why do we love the person we are in love with? Of course you have big reasons, yea they make me feel safe, they are present, they help pay the bills, hold a job,  doesn’t beat me- all of these worthy, but baseline. A partner really needs to provide those basics to be considered a partner. But more than that, what makes her unique, special to you. What are the things that only you know about her, and how do you celebrate those intimate details. How do you show everyday that she is appreciated for all the things that make her more than the mom, the daughter, the wife! How do you demonstrate that she is the person that you adore before all others. If the answer is I don’t and i don’t really care, it may be time to examine where you are and what you are doing.

The strength of the relationships we have in life forge us. They bring us happiness, fulfill us and ultimately define our success or failure in life. No one is happy without a relationship. That might be a relationship with a diety, a pet, imaginary friend Steve, sibling, parent or if you are really really lucky someone that loves you. Because that is the essence of all that is important in the time we have between life and death.

Its an honor to make the person that makes me feel special feel special. To be able to take care of the one that takes care of everyone else. But its easy for me, I have one huge thing in my corner. I am head over heels, stupidly, lustfully madly in love with Sarah. So its such a pleasure to be able to show her how I know her.

And don’t get me wrong, we aren’t the Cleavers we have heated engaged discussion about everything. But its respectful and fun, I enjoy being able to provide some form of intellectual stimulation to this mental giant. Just like every couple we have our off days. But once we recognize a bad day in the making we talk it out. I think because of our separation we have gotten very good at that. What might be a 8 hour fight we compress into a 20 min thing that we try and fully vet before moving on.

And it works. I am loved. I love. My life is good. I am happy. The only thing that causes me real grief is coming to an end soon.

Do you love like this? If you don’t, wouldn’t you want to?