Friday, January 14, 2011


What happened to manners? There seems to be a decided lack in manners anymore. I am sure there are many different reasons and things to blame, but one in particular came to mind today... technology.

Now, I know what you are thinking... you are thinking just what the hell am I talking about, well I will tell you.

Lets start with a simple one shall we. Holding doors open for people. It use to be common that when you entered a building you opened the door and if there was someone behind you it was held for them. If the gesture was truly generous perhaps the door was held for others to walk in first with you following. It seems so simple and yet I do not see it much anymore. I think technology is partly to blame. Who has to hold open doors anymore when they are automatically opened for you? Doesn't seem to matter what store you enter anymore, the doors slide open when you step in front of them, leaving you without worry for the next person to pass through. So what happens when you encounter a door that doesn't seem to have this magic touch? Well, if you are lucky enough not to walk into it with your head leading the way you might actually have to reach out your hand and pull it open. This is where the trouble begins. People are so use to not worrying about the next person they just let that door close without thinking about it. Leaving those people to fend for themselves.

Next... how about conversations. Private and professional both have suffered from the cell phone craze that has swept across this world. People talk so much on the phone they forget to talk to the person in front of them. The phone rings and people answer it, no matter what they might be doing. It become ingrained in people to answer a phone when it rings, and some people do not have the ability to say "hold on for a minute". Distinctly annoying. It is especially bad when it is a clerk in a store, someone who is more worried about the person who called than the one who took the time to actually show up in person. Not sure that it is the correct importance. I think I will just ignore the whole cell phone driver in general for now.

Hmm... one more perhaps?

Ever tried to talk to someone with an ipod connected to their brain? Nuff said.

In the words of George Carlin "Technology has given us these self important twits."

Now, I realize that these are not bad things. I have a cell phone and an ipod, and I know I appreciate not having to open a door when my hands are full. They are fun, useful, and sometimes necessary items, the trick is not to let them rule your actions to a point of indifference to other people.

A person who takes a phone call does not draw bad feelings from me if they do it politely. My cell phone saves on trips to town because people can call and let me know to pick up something, and I am sure my Ipod has saved lives at work for letting me be in my own world and not have to deal with some people. It is not a matter of the item, but what kind of attitude it leads to. Hold a door. Try having a conversation face to face. Listen to people once in a while.

Do you control your technology or does it control you?

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I wrote this some time ago, figured it was a good day to share it.

I have been chastised over the way I treat people. People look at my actions and shake their heads criticizing my choices without knowing why I would act the way I do. They just don’t understand. It is not that I treat people badly, quite the contrary, I am overly generous. Now don’t misunderstand this, I am not trying to brag or make myself into something I am not, I am simply trying to show why I do the things that strike me as being right.

Not long ago I was sitting in my SUV waiting for someone when a person approached my passenger door. It was summer and so the window was down, this man said hello and then proceeded to tell me his story. He and his family had come to town for a job, but it had fallen through. Now he needed money in order to get back home since he was out of gas and had no way of getting any. I gave him ten dollars and he thanked me and went on his way. As I tell my friends and family about what happened ninety five percent of them shake their heads at me. “You were had.” “He suckered you.” “Throwing your money away.” Many versions of these statements were given to me from many different sources.

Perhaps they were right. The man might have walked off knowing he now had money for liquor, drugs, or whatever else he chose to spend it on. He may not have had a wife, kids, job, or car. He may have suckered me. But I don’t care. That’s right… I do not care.

I would rather give ten dollars to someone who may be using me than to give nothing to someone who might need it. I am not naïve. I know there is a chance, or even a likelihood that the money went for something other than what was told to me, but I choose to have faith in people. I choose to think that someone might be in trouble and need help because I know that if I were in a situation where I needed something I would want someone to be willing to help me. It does not work like that always, I know, but I have faith. I have seen people give all of themselves for others and I have seen people take all for themselves from others. I choose to be one of the former.

What about you? Is it that hard to be generous? Or kind? Or good?

Some things should be done for others without asking for a return.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life Definitions

Passion - Find the things in your life that make you giddy. That make you a child again in your absolute joy in taking part in them.

Love - To have something or someone that it causes you to ache when parted and extreme joy when together.

Tranquility - A complete peace in both physical and emotion states.

Charity - To give of yourself with no thought of return.

Happiness - Something that lightens your spirit.

Hope - To know, even in darkest of hours, that times will be better. That possibilities abound.

Friendship - To have someone you love. Someone who understands. Someone who cares and who you care about beyond words.

Compassion - To feel emotion and pain for sorrows and trials that are not yours, to pick up others when they have fallen.

Would it not be good to define your life in such terms?

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Respect. Some people deserve it, some don't. How do you tell the difference? The ones who deserve respect are the ones that give it. It has nothing to do with authority, money, job, or any other type of status. If someone does not show respect they are not deserving of it.

It sounds so simple, but it is not. It is not simple because you will always run into people who think they deserve your respect even though they are not willing to give it in return. The idea that you are OWED something is hard for me to grasp. The world only owes you what you are willing to put into it. Why should someone treat you with respect if you are not willing to reciprocate?

Respect is decency. Pure and simple. It is not a matter of bowing down or feeling someone is better. It means treating them as equal human beings. Not everyone is at an equal job, education, or financial level some are higher and some are lower, but everyone is a human being and deserve decency and respect for that, as long as they are willing to show it too. I have the utmost respect for all people until they do something that proves me otherwise. I do not owe anyone more than that, and they do not owe me any more. It is not that hard to do, it just isnt.

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Gandhi

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Unwanted Things

"Welcome to the real world, where most of the time, things, don't go your fucking way." Gus - The Ref

Things don't always work out as planned or wanted. It may seem bad or painful at the time, but things like this can be viewed another way. They can be viewed as an opportunity.

Opportunity to experience something else, something beyond that which you wanted. Perhaps you will find something better. Perhaps there are things out there that you did not expect or know and are waiting. Things like that do happen.

It may also be an opportunity to find out who you are. Your strengths and your weaknesses. When something happens you did not want it challenges you to overcome, to adapt, and to examine how strong you really are. You may find that you have reserves of strength you did not know about, or you may find that things mattered more than you expected. These unexpected trials will cause you to look at yourself and come to a conclusion, what that conclusion is depends on you and the situation.

It is not a matter of survival, all situations can be tolerated and survived it is simply a matter of response and will. Even the darkest of moments can be overcome but it requires effort, strength, and time. Attitude is everything, if it is bad the more of the three are required, if the attitude is good it is less.

So... have a good attitude, take things as they come, make unwanted things challenges, and look for the good in all situations. Things aren't as bad as they seem sometimes, look at what you have, not what you have not. Even if you do not get what you want you may already have enough... more than enough... more than you could ever hope for... the best of something.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Something I wrote when I was in high school... I think. It was then or earlier not really sure, seems like a long time ago.
I have a notebook with all kinds of things like this. I happen to still like this one. For once I will be brave and actually post it.
A fool and a coward are much the same
They both shrink in the face of responsibility
The fool does so out of ignorance
The coward out of fear

A lover and a hero are much the same
They both risk for the possibility of reward
The lover for a moment of feeling
The hero for the sake of others
"The man is either mad, or making verses." Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) Book II Satire VII

Saturday, November 20, 2010


We all have the fires of passion within us. What we are passionate about is what separates us from each other. We all have that one thing that when we are a part of it we become truly alive inside. If we are lucky it is something that we can find someone who understands and is passionate about similar things. Our passions show who we truly are, for at the moment we partake in such actions we are no longer hiding ourselves. It is not a matter of being the way others would have us, all such pretenses are lost. We free ourselves in our obsession with what drives us, losing the worry of perception.

It matters not what puts that fire in your soul. Maybe it is reading or cards, or money or sex or sports or nature or helping others. The subject is of no importance to outsiders as long as it is important to you. The subject does not apply to everyone, just the passion does. As Ernest Hemingway says in For Whom the Bell Tolls "There's no one thing that's true. Its all true."

The danger in this fiery passion comes from those who do not understand it. Those who would try and undermine our choices and say that we are foolish or wrong for what we are doing. They act this way and say these things because they do not fully understand the way it feels to be totally encompassed by something. Perhaps they have not yet found what moves them. Perhaps they have forgotten it long ago. For whatever reason they cease to believe in such things and therefore call anyone who does foolish. It may seem to some that they are correct, but it is not so and it is folly to believe them.

If the passion harms no one...

If the only wound may be to some perceived dignity or ego...

If the passion is true and it pains one to ignore it...

...the true folly would be to cease being passionate.