RE: Failure in two areas…

Aloha Gang,
Well, I flunked my Harvard Exam by 1.8 points. But, I took it all from Memory, and almost four weeks after I finished all the modules, with no review. For that, I am pretty proud. Had I used the resources as they advised, well, I would have definitely passed. I wanted to see what I “KNEW”, and in that I succeeded. In real life though, no Grad School for me. LOL
That is the failure that was okay for me. I had fun, I did learn, and I know more than I did, not enough t pass a test, but , a heck of a lot more than I did. Plus, I got to read the Posts from lots, and lots, of wizards. So even though I failed the exam, I give the participation and connections a 100%!
The sad part. When I as doing my fast walk this morning, one of my friends drove her car up to me and waved me to stop. She asked me if I knew the guy with the shiny black muscle car? (Remember him? I wrote a little email about him asking me to join him for a soda a few days back) .
I said I knew of him…she said:
“He passed away last night.” She doesn’t know why, or the circumstances- but she will email me them when she finds out.
I thanked her. Then I continued my fast walk. Thinking about the two interactions, and two waves I had with that man. The first was when he asked me to share a soda. I was so wrapped up in accomplishing my goal of fast walking, I didn’t take him up on it.
You all know how I felt about that. I talked to Kathy, and all of you, and I told her- and you guys, if I meet him again, I am stopping for the soda, or at least water.
Just two days ago, he passed me coming out of our street – as he had two other times before, and all I did was wave. Well, two days ago, when he waved, I waved him to slow down- he stopped, and I said to him: “Next time I see you polishing your car, I will stop by.”
He said: “Stop by anytime. I have plenty of sodas. Diet.” And he laughed.
He beeped and drove off.
And that is the sum total of our interactions. I wonder, had I just stopped and chatted that first time- would I now be mourning a new friend’s passing? Instead of mourning a missed opportunity?
I guess, if you have a chance to talk with someone, even a stranger, take it. If you really like someone, and have always been “meaning too” give them a call, or a note, or an email…well, do it. Otherwise, like me, you will always wonder, what kind of sodas he had, and what would we have talked about.
I wish him well, in whatever place he is in now. His shiny car, sits in his driveway, and it is perfectly maintained. And its driver will never ride in it again.
Kevin the somber mood person, who is going for a long bike ride to clear his mind…

Sent from my iPad

RE: I wouldn’t want an empty chair…by Kevin Hughes

It is late at night, or early in the morning, depending on your viewpoint. I sit at the kitchen table reading a book and sipping my tea, across from me, a chair. Kathy’s chair. It is empty. She is sleeping, so it is a safe empty. I read a bit more, and I look up. The chair is empty, and it scares me. Then…I cry. How many people have to look at an empty chair? A chair that used to hold a life that was dear to them?
I have the rocker that my Mother used to rock in. It was filled with life and love when she rocked in it. She loved that rocker. I gave it to my daughter, when she got pregnant – the first time; she is pregnant again, and the rocker, well, it loves that feeling of family, of Mothers, and Grandmothers, and small infants…it belongs there, and it is no longer empty.
I look at the empty chair across from me, it is a simple wooden chair. A table meant for folks with a working class budget, but with a touch of style. Functional, pretty in a plain way. The kind of chair and table you might see for sale at a thrift store. We like it. Like a friend or family member, it has some rough edges, it can be uncomfortable after a few hours. Perfect. I look at her chair, and with my eyes open, she is there. The soft smile, the more than thirty years of overlapping memories that seem to layer her so that one minute she is 23 and slim, sexy, and bright. The next she is a young mother, and then a grandmother, with grace, elegance, joy…the glow of loving shining across her face.
I wouldn’t want to have an empty chair. Someday, mine will be the empty chair. For some reason, that does not bother me. I guess, because if it is your chair that is empty, you cannot look at the other chairs. Unless there is something next, and you sit at a different table, waiting for the empty chair to be filled.
Kevin Hughes

re: Sex and Love, well, they aren’t the same thing…

Very Rarely is there a movie which ends with two people saying: We only have a few moments left, lets make hot sweaty sex before we go.”  The biological drive to reproduce is really strong. It doesn’t really care about a sense of humor, or intelligence, or kindness, it wants to reproduce. Scientists have called this: the selfish gene. It is called that, because life just wants more life. Period. However we are humans, and we want more than sex, we want love, and comfort, and intimacy. So, what side of sexuality are we on? Animals, with no care or worry about the outcomes of sex? Or humans , who feel a baby should be a product of a loving relationship, and sex is a way to bond. There isn’t any real answer. In your life, you are going to want to have sex with a lot more folks than you are going to want to make love with. At the higher levels of love, sex isn’t even necessary, and can even get in the way. So how do we find balance? Modern techniques have allowed for folks to have casual sex without fear of bringing a baby into the world. The baby is the only one that doesn’t have a choice. People do. Alcohol, drugs, emotions, situations, and economics all drive , well, our sex drive. Love, very rarely does. When you throw our religious, or cultural conditioning into the mix, well moral judgements fly like arrows in a medieval battle. Negative words like, slut, and whore, and tramp, we label women with. Yet it is those same activities that we want women to be for us. Most of us, when young, picked up the real message about sex from our Churches: “Sex is dirty, disgusting, and immoral, save it for someone you love.”

Feminists have a ball (no pun intended) pointing out that almost all the negative words, only apply to women having sex outside the normal cultural boundaries. In fact, it has only been in the last few years that we have even acknowledged that women can enjoy their bodies, as much as we do. Pleasure is there for the taking. Yet, we have made men who have multiple partners , well, romantic figures, while we label a woman who likes men, well, all kinds of labels. It is a paradox. An enigma. A puzzle. Human sexuality is all bound up in so many rules, that the animal parts get twisted and frenzied trying to just be natural.

So, what’s love got to do with it? Everything. If you are in love, sex is a wonderful way to share, to bond, to become intimate. Truly intimate, to the point that when you are scared, or want to share your happiness, a single name pops into your mind. That is intimacy. Sex, is private. But, it can become intimate. As the old song goes : “…birds do it, bees do it, squirrels do it….even we do it!”  If you are having sex, stay safe from disease and unwanted pregnancy. If you are making love, well, keep it up! LOL

The person who can figure out sex in America, hasn’t been born yet. We live in a country, where we can show a soldier dying in real time, talking to his wife, and watch it over and over again for nothing more than prurient interest, a salve for our lack of empathy. Yet, if a wardrobe malfunction happens in the Super Bowl, to a Super star, millions of self righteous outraged folks scream about seeing a nipple. What a strange and terrifying message. Watching people die, and the agony and grief of their loved ones, helps pass our time, in real time, but a breast? God forbid we should see one of those, how disgusting.  I hope you have experienced good sex , and even great sex. I hope even more dearly, that you have experienced love, and hopefully, a great love. Most of us have only had a few true loves in our lives, in fact, you are lucky if you even found one true love, let alone lucky enough to have loved more than once. Sex, well, most of us have had several partners, and even more in our fantasies. Sexual fantasies have multiple players in them, over time. Love fantasies , well they have one. Your true love.

When you die, you will ask for those you Love, not for those you had hot sexy times with. Even if the one you love, is the one you had the best sex of your life with, at the end of it all, you just want to talk, to hold hands, to be near. Sex, gets in the way at the important moments. So have fun with sex, and enjoy it, realizing that it is just one aspect of your love, and not your love itself.  Smiles Kevin who has had both sex and love, and has more love than sex, and that is okay with me. By the way, I know lots of folks over sixty, who are tired of sex…period. Funnily enough, I once talked to a beautiful woman, who was only twenty two at the time, and she hates how sexy she looks. As she told me: “When you have a body and face like mine, you run into the Jessica Rabbit complex: “I am not bad, I am just drawn that way.” I am tired of never knowing if they even like me, or if it is just my body and face they want.” I think you can hear it in her statement, she is looking for love, not sex. If you can understand that, you are becoming fully human.  Humans fall in love. They always have. They always will. And love is no respecter of gender, age, or social rules. People fall in love, not clocks – so age is irrelevant, so is gender. If two people are in love, there is love. If they also have sex, so what? The cool thing about love, is it is so personal, that sometimes, only you and your true love exist, and sometimes it is even down to just one. LOL

re: The Story of Light… ( A short story)

It was a point of light. The first light to ever exist, for the Universe did not harbor “visible light” until that fatal moment when it had cooled enough to let light -be. The light was alone. There was no other light. None at all. Light, was alone. The first of its kind. Of any kind. It wanted to have other points of light, thousands of them, so many that Politicians in the future would use it as a reference. Whole books would be written about it, and even Religions founded on a single principle: “let there be light.” Alas, there was none. None but one. One lonely photon. Light, itself, wanted to see. It wanted other light, so it could see. Vision, after all, hadn’t been invented yet, nor things that could evolve, or even the process to evolve, hadn’t evolved yet. In the beginning, and that is where that phrase truly has meaning, in the beginning, there were few rules, few particles, and few of anything. Light knew that. It was the first of its kind. With no eyes to see with, how are things supposed to be visible, yet, Light was.

In the far future, light would snort derisively at a mutant form of life, called:biological, would claim vision as a “evolutionary adaptation.”  Light knew it was an invention, for it was he who invented it, so he could see! Light would snort, but not in the NOW it was experiencing. Later, the particle of Light would laugh heartily with a tinge of amazement as the biological mutant stream of life wrestled with the concept of time, which only worked in the world of observers. Light, was all Now. An infinite moment, with infinite mass, if you had to use acceleration to achieve the speed of light. Light did not. It was already there, now, and forever. Time had no claim on Light, in the comfortable quantum world in which it lived, crazy thoughts were normal, and Time was a concept with no value. Duration was not measured in time, but simply by the Light itself.

The piece of Light, did want more light to keep it company. Light did not, however, want the sloppy, messy, (and dangerous!) pathways to reproduce, that the biological mutant forms had chosen. So it simply willed more light out of itself. That simple act released all possible particles from the Quantum foam. Light raced with its new litter mates through the Universe. Marveling at the “Darkness” where it wasn’t, and the shadows where it was interrupted. The Universe had edge, color, and even shadow. Where light was not, the Biological Mutant life forms, had decided that dark, meant empty. Light was pleased when the biological stream of life finally dropped that assumption, and smiled at the concept of dark matter.  Light felt sorry for the biological mutant forms, that were limited to the visible Universe and its narrow band of radiation.

Light had its own challenges. Being limited by the rules that the biological mutant life forms had discovered: its speed, in this Universe, had a limit. So slow it seemed. Yet, Light was not born in this Universe , it was introduced to it by cooling.  Therefore Light existed in previous incarnations of Universes. To be fair to the biological mutant forms, light was not actually a particle at all, but a quanta of light, it couldn’t remember what it was before it became what it is, either. In that, Light and the Biological forms were connected. Unlike the biological forms of life though, Light , could…and did travel in its earlier existence, as well as its future now. Light confounded the few great thinkers in the biological mutant world with its strange quirks: super positions, simultaneity, quantum tunneling, and that spooky action at a distance. Worst of all,  it could inhabit that “spongy” place that didn’t exist in the “Real” world of the biological forms of life.  The quantum foam, a virtual soup, where nothing, is a necessary component of something. A universe with every thing taken out of it, including light, is still capable of producing everything in it, including Light.

That, is what the little piece of Light was counting on, when it made more of itself by willing into existence its companions by thinking: Let there be Light.

And there was.

By Kevin Hughes.

re: Just sitting there…

I was just sitting there, not really thinking, without a care. Oh, I had the sense of I , and me, because, well, I carry them most everywhere.

I wonder what it would be like to have been completely shaped by me? Without a culture, society, or even family. I wonder if I would even know that I, was I, or even me. The things you think when you are just sitting there.

I like the sound of laughter, I can hear it in my ear. I can also feel it in my soul, and sometimes, even in my heart. I don’t know if it sounds good because it feels good, or feels good, because it sound good. I like laughter, it comes in more dresses than a High School Prom.  I think of laughter when I am just sitting there.

I know a lot of people, some think they know me, and I am not sure that even I do. Yet, I am more certain that I know who they are- and how can that be true. Sit there for a while, just sit there, and you may wonder too.

Wonder is another thing I do when I am sitting there. Both kinds of wonder. First the Wonder, of a sky filled with stars, galaxies, and tiny points of light, so far back in time, that even my weak old eyes can see for at least a billion years, maybe more.

The second kind of wonder, is: who lives out there? What does it all mean” Is there a reason? I mean I wonder if my life meant anything except to the folks I knew. I wonder what it would be like to live on another planet. What would my body look like? Would I even have one? Would I be sitting some where – up there- just sitting there?

I wonder how we know what love is. I mean if you are just sitting there, you know if someone loves you, usually. You even know the different kinds of love that surround you, even when you are alone, just sitting there. Love is even cooler than laughter, because Love can make you act. It can make you do. It can make you alive. Laughter , especially if you are just sitting there, lets happiness in.

So, if you are just sitting there, how much of you is present? Or did you go for a quick trip to your past? Or maybe, you are in your future? Pretty nifty trick your mind can do, move through time, while just sitting there. Physicist can’t figure it out, and we do it standing still. Maybe you even lived your life over, or made it different in your memory. Maybe some folks were left out, and others left in, as you chose to remake what made you – you. All, while you were just sitting there.

Me, too. I think I will just sit here a while longer. Or, maybe I will shift a bit, and just sit over there. Ahhh…..

RE: Nothing in Stone- life is not a rock.

I wonder, where, oh where, did we get the idea that the way we live now, is the way we have to live forever, and ever more? Especially when we look around and can see that we don’t even use the same tools we did before. When is the last time you had to walk to a phone? And dial?  Phones aren’t fixed to a wall anymore, they are in your pocket, the same pocket with a smart phone, holds all the information in all the libraries in the world.

How many people you stay in constant contact with, live with you? Two? Four? Maybe seven, if you are lucky. How many are on your contact list? Your FACEBOOK page? Your Twitter account? Your social circle is giant sized compared to just 20 years ago. How many phone numbers have you memorized? Any?

How many checks have you written this month? Where and when do you watch movies? How many team sports do you play? Online or in real life? How much debt are you in? It might surprise you to know, that in 1959 – no one I knew was in debt. There were no credit cards- and if you didn’t have cash, you didn’t buy anything.

I knew exactly one kid, who came from a divorced home. One.  I only knew two families who had less than five kids. Blacks could not use rest areas on Highways, and Gays weren’t even mentioned. Today, African Americans, Latinos, and Gays, are just Americans for most folks- and have risen to power in every field of endeavor. Women, who numbered less than a few percent of the work force, and college students of the time – now outnumber men in sheer numbers of college students, and in most business arenas. Oh, to be sure, there is a long way to go for any “minority” group, but progress had definitely been made.

On an Individual level, we are living longer, healthier, and smarter, than ever before. So, why this line of thought we feed ourselves that we can’t change? That we are stuck? That we have done what we could with our lives. NO YOU HAVEN’T. You just bought into someone else’s dream killing belief system. It is your life. It has always been your life. You may have made commitments, and feel you have a duty to uphold- and maybe you do. Yet, if you think you can’t change them – you are wrong. It isn’t easy to change, and it sure isn’t easy on the folks around you- but you can become who you want to be.

You can share the journey, or make your own. You can give up your choices, which is a choice in and of itself. Change , as the saying goes – is inevitable – growth is optional. Take the options!  Can’t move to a warmer climate because what would your relatives do without you? Well, move to the warmer place- they will visit! Especially in winter. Want to play sports but your partner doesn’t want to? Play, and make sure they have a nice seat to watch. LOL  You do have to compromise some things to get along, but no where, no way, no when, do you have to compromise yourself.

When you die, only you go. Nobody else can die for you. So why not LIVE for you? No one else can live for you either.  Wishes, can become dreams, which can become goals, which can become reality. Of course, there are no guarantees, so, guess what? A dream can become a Nightmare- and a real one. Risk, is part of life, and managed risk is still risky. On the other hand, without risk, you shall never know what you might be, do, or meet. Grow, or stop. Or , if you are truly lucky, you have found your bliss and are contented- for now.  Move a pebble, and the stone falls…Life, is not a rock.

RE: Life isn’t fair…

Life isn’t fair.

Life isn’t wrong, or right, either. In fact, life just is.

You are the one supplying the meaning, or lack thereof- in your life.

Life, is worth living, and living well; for no other reason than you are alive. But how?

Here are some simple things I have figured out ; they may, or may not apply to you, and your situation. They will apply sometime or another in your life- in some way, or another. Ready?

1) Society will tell you who you are, or who you should be.

Do not listen.

2) Your parents and family will tell you who you should be, or who you are.

Do not listen (unless you know they are right!).

3) Your Church, or Faith, or Belief will tell you who you are, or who you should be.

Do not listen.

What? I know you are thinking: “Well then who do I listen to?”

Good question. I will offer three answers:

1) Listen to people who have done what you want to do, and either succeeded or failed at it. Never listen to those who haven’t done either. It is scary to try, and most folks won’t. So listen to experience, adapt what you can from their experiences, and then—- go do it your way!

2) Listen to “Experts”, but follow your own feelings. What do I mean? Okay, lets use Doctors for an example. In general, Doctors know bodies better than you do, especially diseased ones – because that is what they are trained to look for, respond to, and administer too. Ill health.

You, on the other hand, are not a number, you are you. I read a book by a guy who was almost killed in a car wreck- his recovery took more than Ten Years, and dozens of operations. Four different surgeons told him his pains in his replaced hips, and his skull, were psychosomatic. A fifth surgeon opened him up, and closed him right up- thinking the melting bone – was puss. It wasn’t.

Finally, a Sixth Doctor, who knew him from his original surgeries, said: ” You are not a complainer. You are not a wimp either. If you say something is bothering you- lets take a look. ”

It turns out, his body was growing way to much extra bone on the metal skull plate, and on both the replaced hips. No one had seen a case like his, because no one had ever lived with as many operations as he had. Doctors now know more about what happens in certain long term cases, and he is now relatively pain free. The Experts, were wrong- except for the one who actually listened to the patient. (In defense of Doctors – it does work both ways!)

3) Listen to you. Find your Bliss -as Old Joseph Campbell would say. Play with life, until you find meaning, or purpose, or interest. You are not here to live your parents life over, without their mistakes. You are not here to toe the line for a specific culture, or government, or society. You are not here to surrender your dreams to anyone. You are here to live your life.

It is almost always easier to fit in, than to find what fits. It is easy to find folks who tell you what you should weigh, what you should eat, what you should do with your life; and most of them won’t have followed their own advice. Saying things is easy, doing things, can be quite difficult.

Educate yourself, either formally, or informally, knowledge is power. It is also a way to learn from the journey’s of others. Don’t mistake Degrees- for knowledge, or success, although they can be both, or useful for both. Most successful business men, aren’t degreed. But, they are tremendously knowledgable about their particular niche.

As one famous Billionaire once said:

“It isn’t about smarts. I have more than a thousand Ph.D’s in my company, and they all work for me. I don’t have a degree. I do know what people want: simple, elegant, well designed, products that work.”

Find the life design that works for you. Make a plan, be flexible, and experiment until you find your path- then grow your passion to Master that path. Life won’t be fair, it will be rewarding!

Smiles, Kevin

 

RE: Some thoughts on Humanity.

What have we done with ourselves? Or should that be : What have we done to ourselves? Could either have been avoided? What in the world am I talking about?

I am talking about the trap we have put ourselves in. Where almost the entire world is trying to “go to work.” Not work they love. Not work they cherish. Not work they stand back and admire with satisfaction. Not work that adds meaning or knowledge to the library of Man. No, I am talking about work- work to stave off debt, or create the circle of debt that keeps most people busy chasing other people’s dreams – forever. Capitalism gone wild. Work- now defines us, and traps us.

My daughter once told me: “We live in bubbles, Dad. We go from our small bubble- home; get in our little bubble -car; then drive to our big bubble- work. Repeat until the bubble bursts.”

Just two centuries ago, mankind was on the verge of raising the whole of Civilization to a level called: The Enlightenment. The Enlightenment (in principal) was a purpose driven ideology. One in which: reason, knowledge, culture, passion, art, math, and even societies- could become the engine for advancement.

Liberty, justice, freedom, individuality, and the role of the group, or government- all were thought to be under the control of man. Beyond that, all were achievable goals of Man, if Man would but take the time to consider a path of action. If Man would consider his own needs, and not those of businesses, churches, or governments. Forming groups only for common issues- like clean water, sewage treatment, education, and the like.

What was envisioned – at least on paper; was the balance between making a living, and having a life. During the Enlightenment – they leaned heavily towards the latter. One’s existence should matter, and not only to you. One should wake up thrilled to seek the day, encouraged by what might transpire, or whom one might meet. Life should be filled with good food, good habits, good works, good sex, good companionship, with : wit, and charm, and intellect as the tools of social grace.

I see signs of this pattern struggling to surface again. Like a small dandelion trying to force its way up through concrete. People are reading/watching/participating in things like: The Secret, The Purpose Driven Life, Prosperity Ministries, Through the Wormhole, The TEDTalks, The Power of Now, Ishmael, The Tao of Physics, The Tiny House People, Reputation Economies, or using social media to change little things, or even regimes.

All of those things, are attempts to break the cycle of debt- which allows most developed nations to offer only jobs, not careers- to most of their populations. The need to work, versus the need to do a work. If one can break into that top 1% – you can then live like the Enlightened folks imagined. Where you spend your day, your way. Making yourself stronger, smarter, fitter, and more interesting. Where you form a group of friends who can do something bigger than themselves- and often do.

How much more would you be, if you had: a personal trainer, a chef, a tutor, and access to folks who know and are doing things of import? If you had the time each day, and the expert advice, and necessary equipment to follow up on dreams? Ever wonder why Movie Stars look so good? They have time, energy, and experts to guide them- since their days- are their days. They are not in a mind numbing job, or working 12 hour shifts to support a small family, or holding down more than one job a day.

No, they live Enlightened Lives- just like the Monarchs of old, and the celebrity tycoons of today; they have the time to devote to finding the best way to be who they were meant to be. Even at the little levels of Entertainment – we get some of these same gifts. When you do 8 shows a week, at a club on the road- and that is your paycheck. It gives you the majority of the day to read, to think, to get fit, or develop a hobby, or seek out creative folks; and many of us do.

Scientists at Universities get to do much the same thing; surround themselves with interesting, bright, and motivated people- and seek knowledge, or invention, or discovery.
Rich people, get to do the same thing- finding ways to use their wealth to enrich their lives – even, sometimes, the lives of others. Yet all those categories are small.

The mass of humanity does not have four hours a day to devote to anything other than work- job type work, not career, or passion type work. Hence, most of us don’t look like wealthy, healthy, passionate people. We look haggard, tired and worn out. The 22 century version of : “…life is brutal, short and nasty.” It doesn’t have to be. The system was invented, implemented and ruled by Man. We can change it. How? Someone much, much, much brighter than me will have to figure that out. I have some insights, some ideas, but not clear and defined enough to present.

I would like to see the ideas, and ideals of the Enlightenment resurface in a modern form. I think, with the web, and our new hive brain capacity; well, our days might encourage us to discover them, instead of making it through them. Live, love, laugh, grow, do good things, good deeds, and good works; find intelligent people, and have fun. That might be a system that truly breaks the bubbles!

RE: Blog- How to beat yourself up, and feel: small, worthless, hopeless.

” I shouldn’t have. I didn’t mean too. I failed. I am stupid. I am fat. I am ugly. I am…”

Sound familiar? Or, how about these:

“You owe me! You shouldn’t have done that! What were you thinking? You’re worthless. You will never amount to anything. This goes on your permanent record.”

If you spoke like this to another person , you would be accused of bullying. If you hold grudges and judgements against folks who have wronged you- you act as if that moment is frozen in time- leaving no room to move on.

In the legal world, there is a concept called: The Statue of Limitations. The reason for it is simple- you don’t think, act, or live like you did years ago. At 18 we all made mistakes, because we had no experience. The law recognized that. Most of us do all of the silly things that haunt us, or follow us, before age 30. Then, with experience and some life behind us, we drink a little less, work a little harder, and care a lot more. This is why your Dad, or Mom, seem to learn so much AFTER you move out on your own for a few years. When young mothers, or father’s become Dad’s and Moms; they often gain a new respect for their own Mom’s and Dad’s. Usually along the lines of : “How in the heck did they make it?”

In the current social climate- every sound you uttered , picture you took, or thought you put on your blog, becomes permanent. Why? Because manipulators, and cruel people- want to hold you accountable forever for wrongs you may have done them. They use shame, guilt, and “you owe me”, to keep you locked in a mistake. As if they had never been anything other than perfect. You cannot live without making mistakes.

As one of the homeless guys told the guy making a documentary on the homeless:

“Life is a story. I have a long story.”

Oh, yes, wise words there.

So how do you beat yourself up, and feel small , worthless, and hopeless?

Simple: Stay in your past. Never take a risk. Listen to people who weren’t there, and don’t know you. Let other folks tell you how you should live, and then beat yourself up when you don’t meet their imagined standards for you. I have seen people more than 200 pounds overweight, tell skinny people what to eat. I have seen broke people give financial advice. I have seen people who love people, kill their dreams. Never move on. Never forgive. Never forget. Stay angry -and upset -and confused. Surround yourself with folks who kick you when you are down, or even worse, hate you when you are up. Make yourself tiny, to prove to them they were right about you.

There is an alternative to this kind of life. Growth. Yep. Work on being a better you. Let the other folks go on their own journey. Want more experiences? Go out and get them. Work at a barn, taking care of horses. Volunteer at a Old folks home. Assist a coach in any sport, with a team from any age group. Ask around in your local government – find out if they can use some help. Go to your church, or better yet, go to many different churches. Once a month, eat at a culturally different restaurant, watch a foreign film. Listen to music. Take an Art class. A computer class. A history class. Talk to young people, if you are old, talk to old people if you are young. Smile more. laugh at yourself, and move on.

Learn to talk to yourself in the same manner and tone, you would talk to someone you really love and respect. Because you are worthy of both. I am willing to bet my blog, that most of the time you talk to yourself, there is a lack of love and respect. I would even bet that most of the time – when you talk to yourself, it is critical or demeaning. Loser, no will power, failure, no one could like me- are probably refrains familiar to you. Change that. You are you. You are not here to live someone else’s life over again , with fewer mistakes. You are here to build your life, and life gives many chances. As long as you are alive, no matter how long you live, you can start over again. Many have.

Presidents of the USA, have come from poverty, single parent homes, wounded war veterans, wealthy families, and crippling tragedies.

Nelson Mandella, became a President AFTER  20 years in Prison.

Grandma Moses, Hellen Keller, Judith Maizel, Rev. King, Dr. Schweitzer, the list is endless.

I just watched a TEDTalk, where a woman flunked out of college – twice. When she was 28 she went back to school, because a Dean believed in her, and thought she was ready for disciplined learning. Boy , was she! Two Ph.D’s later, she is the head of major committees in her disciplines. One of the best Brain Surgeons in the USA, was an illiterate migrant farm worker. He never spoke a word of English until he was 17 years old.  A bilingual White guy saw him work, and his native intelligence and told him:

“With a little effort, you could become a Supervisor. In fact, you could own this place someday.”

He did both.

Another migrant farm worker bought the ranch he worked on, and now, all of his former bosses work for him- and he raises the horses his fourth grade teacher told him were : “Pipe Dreams! Be realistic.” And gave him an “F” , for dreaming to big. She , by the way, lived long enough to realize how wrong she was.

So, what is stopping you? Been beating yourself up to much? Stop.

Remember this – if you made it this far. It is the real point of everything I have said so far:

Everyone who has ever lived, did what they did in life, in a single lifetime. The great, the small, and the in between – all had exactly one life to work with. You have yours. Live it.

 

The Guy who didn’t know anything, and the girl who sat next to him.

They were both C students. They met in High School, in home room. He was ordinary, just about average in every way – except one way- he would work harder to understand something than anybody else that anyone could name. Stubborn, persistant, filled with grit, most people used those words to describe him. In every other way he was stunningly unremarkable.

She was average, in just about every way. Cute, in that way that almost every 16 year old girl is, but no raving beauty. She was smart about people, she knew who to trust.  She was pretty good with details, and numbers. When she joined an organization of any kind, she inevitably ended up as the Secretary. That was fine with her. She was happy when all the numbers matched, or the “To Do” boxes were all checked. She wouldn’t stop until every last penny was accounted for.

Both of them liked each other, mostly for the feeling of solidness they felt in the other. Both of them could laugh at their misunderstanding. When he asked her what a Higgs Boson was- well she didn’t know. The decided to go ask the Physics teacher. When he explained that it was basically a sphere with no spatial dimensions and no internal structure that “gave” mass to other particles; well, they both laughed themselves silly.

It was okay not to know everything- they thought. Neither of them felt stupid, or not quite smart when they were around each other.  The second year that they were in college, he asked her to marry him. “Of course!” Was her answer. And that, was that.

Both graduated, both with  “C” averages.  They surprised everyone who knew them – because they didn’t go find a job. Nope. They opened a business. At first, they ran the business out of their garage.  Many a day went by, when they worked more than 18 hour days. Many a day went by, where once again- they weren’t able to take  a “draw” from the company. Choosing instead to put the money back into the company.

Two years later, they hired their first employee…she is still with them. Five years later, they bought their first building.  Over time, they found that “B” students worked out the best for their company. A students, thought they knew everything. C Students made great workers, but didn’t come up with many good ideas or programs. For them, B students were just perfect. Although many of them had only C averages, they looked for a certain kind of B student, one that got a B in the areas they needed.

Usually the B was given because the Professor didn’t think they were working hard enough and should have gotten an “A”. The real reason was the B student was always trying something a little different. So he failed more. Or she. They were the “B” students who came up with ideas that didn’t fit the mold of : “Spit back what we already told you.”

The guy who didn’t know anything, and the girl who sat next to him- made a heck of a life. By the end of it, buildings were named after them as were scholarships, and wings of children’s hospitals. They never thought they were special, they just thought they worked hard. They never thought they were smart, they knew they had a lot to learn. They never tried to show how much they had, or earned, or gave away.

Not bad for a guy who knew nothing, and the girl who sat next to him.

(This is a work of fiction, these people might exist, I am sure they do, however, I don’t know them personally. Only through glimpses and a collage of folks out there. So, don’t be surprised if you see a little of you, in any part of the story. )