Monthly Archives: November 2014

To boldly go where you never have before – 4 steps to achieving your dreams

It’s Morning! Mornings are exciting each morning brings a new day and a new day is exciting. To me a new day is like a the opening monologue of Star Trek.

Today a new frontier. These are the voyages of me. My 24 hour mission: to venture out and explore, to experience new and exciting things, to reach for my dreams, to boldly go where I never have before.

OK maybe that’s a little over the top but I think you get how exciting a new day to me.

I’m aware that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. That for some mornings brings no joy, no laughter, and no happiness. To some mornings are just the start of the insufferable march to the next day, existing today just to exist tomorrow.

But it wasn’t always like that; think back to childhood when we all had dreams, big dreams. Dreams that were once roadmaps to a bright and shiny future before we grew up and let reality, or at least what society told us was reality, get in the way. Reaching for the stars was child play they said. If you always have your head in the clouds dreaming you’ll never accomplish anything. Be practical, let go of those silly childhood dreams. That what we were told and most of believed it. But not all of us some of us asked a basic question. Is maintaining a joyless adult existence worth letting go of our childhood dreams? Let that question sink in for a moment, go ahead think about it, I’ll wait…

Ok if you said yes it’s worth letting go of my childhood dreams, you can stop reading I’ve got nothing for you. But if you said no, if you said life is too short to simply exist. I want to achieve my dreams, laugh, love and be as happy as I can possibly be along the way, well you should keep on reading.

The way I see it there are four simple steps you have to take in order to free yourself from the grey mundane world you currently reside in so that you can step into a world full of vibrant colors. You know the world I’m talking about, the one with the array of colors you used to draw as a child. The world you have always belonged in.

First and without question the most important step is belief. You have to believe in your dreams, you have to believe they can be accomplished but most of all you have to believe in you. Walk over to the nearest mirror and look at the person staring back at you. Do you believe that person has the power to change things in your life? To live out your dreams? To make your world a better place? If you can believe that you’ll be amazed at where you can go from there.

Step two is to make a plan. It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan it just has to be a plan. A plan to accomplish something you’ve wanted to accomplish for a while but you didn’t think was possible. You don’t have to get all the way there in one day; you just have to believe you will eventually get there. Don’t impose any limits on yourself. Your mind is the window through which you see the world and if you can see it happening it can!

Third remove all the negativity from around you. Evaluate those around you and determine who is emitting positive energy in your world. That positive energy can be in their guidance, friendship or love. Embrace them and move forward with them. The ones emitting negative energy? Discard them and move on. Understand that everyone cannot walk the path with you. Reaching for the stars is hard enough and there is no reason to be weighed down by those that bring only negativity to the table.

Finally, do not fear failure. Failure is only permanent to those who believe their potential has limits. You may fail in your initial attempts to unleash the potential trapped within you but if you do not fear that temporary stumble on your journey to greatness you will get there.

So there you have it four simple steps. Are you ready to embrace your dreams? Yes. Well then go venture out and explore, experience new and exciting things, reach for your dreams and boldly go where you have never been before. I’ll think you’ll like it when you get there.

 

An Interview with God

I have a friend who I occasionally get into some heated debates with about God, religion and faith.  During one of these debates he asked if God exist why is he so secretive.  Why doesn’t he just let us all know he exists so that the fighting and killing that takes place in his name would cease.  I told him it is because God’s existence is not for us to have tangible evidence of, though when you look around tangible evidence is everywhere, God’s existence to you is based on faith. His question however did make me wonder what if God did talk to us all directly today; What would we ask him? What would he reply? I thought about it some more and below is what I think an interview in today’s world with God might sound like.

Host:  Good Afternoon everyone thanks for tuning in to a very special broadcast our special guest today is none other than the creator himself – God. Welcome to the show.

God: Hello everyone.  Thanks for taking time out to listen in today, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve directly communicated with you but I felt that with the way things have been going lately on Earth now’s as good as time as ever to have a talk with you.

Host: Well we are very excited to have you here.  So let’s jump right in with the question everyone wants to know the answer to. The proverbial elephant in the room so to speak; Who got it right? Which religion is the correct one?

God: Jumped right in you did.  I am well aware that you’ve all been trying to find the answer to that question since well, almost the beginning of your time. Which religion is the right one? Whose god am I?  Whom do I favor? Very deep questions all and the answer you seek is actually a very simple one. May I have a drum roll please. The answer is, all and everyone.

Host: All and everyone? I think I speak for our listeners out there when I say I’m not really sure what you mean by that.

God:  I mean I did not create religion, I created you and in creating you I gave you the wonderful gifts of intellect and imagination. It is with those gifts that you created religion. I never cared how you chose to imagine me or what doctrines you chose to build your faith around.  No all I asked is that you treat each other with love, compassion and respect.  Sadly since the very beginning many of you have chosen not to that and even sadder you have chosen to use me as the reason for your destructive and violent actions.  For that I have been greatly saddened.

Host: But if that’s true why would you let us continue to travel down that path of destruction.

God: That was not my choice to make. Lest you forget I also blessed you with free will, the ability to live your lives as you saw fit.  Yes by allowing you to exist with free will there have been innocent souls who have perished and those they left behind have had to grieve.  However would you have found your existence to be more enjoyable if your life on Earth was scripted by me from the moment you were conceived to the moment you died? That nothing you did, no choice you made mattered? That you were simply actors in a play for my amusement?

Host: Well when you put it that way I guess not.

God: I didn’t think so.

Host: Let’s go back to something you said earlier that you were sadden by the acts of violence committed in your name.

God: Yes that is true.

Host: So over time has that sadness ever turned to hate? Have you ever regretted creating us?

God: You know how it is said I created you in my image.  Well that means a lot of things and to be honest we don’t have the time today to delve into what that fully means.  But with respect to your question let me give you an analogy.  A child is born to a mother and a father. They raise that child and instill in them what they believe to be guiding principles of right and wrong. The child grows and begins to develop their own identity and make decisions for themselves.  Decisions which are morally wrong, decisions which bring great harm to others.  The parents while horrified and saddened by the child’s actions at their core still love the child.  Their love for their child is unconditional. It is that unconditional love of their child that is but one of the many ways you are an image of me.  While I may be saddened by some of your decisions at my core I can never stop loving you, for you are all my children.

Host: What about those that question your very existence? That has to anger you a bit.

God: Well that very question presumes that I am vain and let me assure you I am not. If I was I would not having given you free will to decide for yourself if I do or do not exist.  If I was I would strike down with vengeance all who do not believe in me. Yet there are millions who walk among you today who do not believe. No, as I said earlier my only desire is that you love and treat each other with compassion.  If you need to believe in me to do so that is fine. If you do not believe in me but do so that is fine as well. But rest assured I take no satisfaction in the knowledge that you fully believe in me but show no love or compassion for your fellow human.

Host: What can we do to be better? How do we stop the hate?

God: Again that is not for me to say. Your destiny is yours and yours alone.  I have provided you, above all my other creations, intelligence and the ability to reason.  The power to communicate with each other and to create wondrous things. I have instilled with-in each of you the ability to be compassionate and the extremely powerful emotion of love.  Each of you are born with the guiding principles on what is right and wrong.  But it all comes back to free will, as humans you must want to walk in the light.  You must want to sacrifice some of your own personal wealth and happiness so that as a people you benefit as a whole.

Host: That won’t be easy.  We have never shown in our entire existence that we are capable of doing that.

God: It is because you have rejected the most basic concept.

Host: That is?

God: I created you as a people, one people.  Yes you may look different but that is but on the surface. You are all my children you are all the same.  When you are able to truly grasp that only then will you be able to love one another in the way that I truly had imagined you would.

Host: Maybe one day we will but we’ve come so far down the road I am afraid we never will be able to achieve that level of understanding and that must really sadden you.

God: It does but I have a great belief in you.  After all you are my children.  You may not be there today but you have so much potential that I know one day you will get there.  After all you have only been here but the blink of an eye. There is still much growing you have to do.

Host: Well it is comforting to know that you believe we have a chance.  I know you are busy and so we’ll end it there. Thank you for making this rare in person appearance we’ll try as a people to do better.

God: I know you will.

The Ferguson decision disappointing but predictable

I’m mad this morning.

Mad because yet again our justice system has turned a blind eye and refused to afford the African-American community even the opportunity to see justice served. Remember this was not a trial. This was not a case where guilt needed to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This was a Grand Jury proceeding and to bring an indictment in a Grand Jury proceeding one does not have to find guilt, only the probability that a crime was committed, that the accused person did it and that he/she should be tried in a court of law. Yet despite what appears clear to most – that there was the probability that a young unarmed man was gunned down without cause – this Grand Jury found otherwise. I have said it before and I’ll say it again I have the utmost respect for the men and women who each and every day protect and serve us as member of police departments around the country. But when an individual who is trusted with the power and authority of a police officer commits a crime there can be no debate, it is our moral and legal responsibility to hold that officer to the same standards of accountability, if not higher, as the standards we hold any ordinary citizen too for their actions.

Mad because once again the narrative this morning as FOX NEWS displayed across their screen is ANARCHY IN AMERICA – CHAOS IN FERGUSON. Make no mistake about it FOX there is anger and sadness but it is not only in Ferguson it is nation wide and yet we did not wake this morning to America in flames. Rather we wake as a country this morning mostly to the resigned acceptance that this decision while disappointing was predictable. Let’s be clear here the reaction in Ferguson was unfortunate and uncalled for, it will not bring back Michael Brown, it will not bring justice to his family nor will it be a catalyst for much-needed changes in the inherently flawed American justice system. But it is simple physics you can only keep a lid on a boiling pot for so long before it finally blows. You can not continue to tell a people over and over again for hundreds of years that your life and the lives of your loved ones are not as valuable as that of the next person simply because of the color of your skin.

Mad because while I have seen countless videos on YouTube of young white men interacting with police, refusing to show identification or state their name because they have constitutional rights. Young black men across America everyday live with the reality that a simple choice could cost them their lives,  a choice that wouldn’t have such an outcome had they been born a different color. An illegal turn, the wrong choice of clothes, walking in the wrong neighborhood, being seen with too many friends of color in one place.

Mad because this country still has to deal with the ignorance of racism and if you think it doesn’t, if you think Ferguson isn’t about race, go read an article on any website today about Ferguson then skim through the comments section at the bottom. After that read come back and let me know if you think racism is dead.

One of the main reasons America is great is its diversity and how that diversity has come together in one place to achieve great things. One of the main reasons America is flawed is the basic ignorance of those who refuse to acknowledge that fact

I’m mad this morning and in reality it’s because I’m sad.

Are you going to vote today? That’s a trick question right?

Someone asked me was I going to vote today?
Was I going to vote?
Is that a trick question?
Hell yes I’m going to vote!!

Because despite holding self evident the truth that all men are created equal the right to vote wasn’t something that was always made available to my people.

When it was made available It wasn’t something that was accepted by all people.

When steps were taken to ensure that we would be allowed to vote, the blood of many who came before me was shed at the hands of those who would oppose all, one of the most basic tenets on which this country was founded.

And even today there are those who would stand in my path to the election booth if they could

So am I going to vote today?

Hell yes I’m going to vote!!! And so should you.

Quick and I mean a quick history below.

1789 The United States of America holds its first presidential election.

1870 The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”.

1896 Louisiana passes “grandfather clauses” to keep former slaves and their descendants from voting. As a result, registered black voters drops from 44.8% in 1896 to 4.0% four years later. Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia follow Louisiana’s lead by enacting their own grandfather clauses.

In 1965 more than 500 non-violent civil rights marchers are attacked by law enforcement officers while attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand the need for African American voting rights.

1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law, permanently barring barriers to political participation by racial and ethnic minorities, prohibiting any election practice that denies the right to vote on account of race, and requiring jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval for changes in their election laws before they can take effect.