Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Out of control

Human beings are obsessed with control. Yet, from the beginning of our lives to the end, the real decisions are out of our hands. Existence goes where it will, and we are just along for the ride.

The desire for control is a desperate attempt at self-determination. It will suffocate our every endeavor. Life flows in one direction, and swimming against the current only leads to exhaustion.

Individuals are naturally different, so control is inherently artificial. Deciding something is real does not make it so. Any more than believing you can fly makes it safe to jump off a cliff.

Good things happen when you let go and let them grow. That which you control is dead on arrival. Just because it is moving, does not mean there is any life in it.

Some surprises are pleasant ones. Do not let determination stifle real achievement. Whether it was part of the plan or not, beauty is found where you least expect it.

The world turns without us, but we are the ones who give it meaning. If you have anything in a stranglehold, it cannot breathe freely. Burst the dam, and let it flow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The perfect gift

Christmas is a time for giving. We give of our time and resources to make the season bright. Let us not focus on the gift, but rather on the thought behind what was given.

First you must discern what a person wants, and what they do not yet possess. If you know them, you probably know what they like. The real question is whether they already have it.

Once you have determined the perfect gift, the task is to go about obtaining it. Finding a place that carries said item can be difficult. Thankfully, we have plenty of options for making our purchase.

Often, the gift will need to be shipped. This requires waiting for it to show up, and hoping it will be received in good condition. The earlier you begin the process, the less chances of disappointment.

Presents tend to require wrapping of some kind. So, you will need to obtain the appropriate supplies. Regardless of your skills, you need merely cover the gift to maintain the surprise.

It all comes down to the care you put in for the ones you care about. Giving is not about the price or the popularity of the item. The simplest offering can show the greatest consideration.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Beyond the ordinary

People float aimlessly through life, not knowing where they are going. How many set out on the journey only to lose themselves along the way? If you cannot take care of yourself, you cannot help anyone else.

It is easy to merely subsist, and just let the currents take you where they may. You might want to find your place in the machine, but it is cold and lifeless. How unnatural it is for the living to power what is not...

Being a person, means transcending the mere numbers. What makes you stand out from the crowd? If you care, the distinction will be made clear and your actions will prove it.

Humans are the least and the greatest of creatures. Since they can do better, the shame of failure rests squarely on them. We cannot escape the one staring back at us in the mirror.

To improve, one must take a long hard look. Do not shy away, or you will learn nothing. Honesty means confronting our demons, even when the face they wear is our own.

We have so much, and yet there is so much more we can do. This requires focusing on the task at hand, and setting out to achieve something beyond the ordinary. Do not drift about, set a course and determine to reach your destination.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


     Life is full of obstacles and we must overcome them. If things are going good, be wary: the storms will be coming. We do not prove ourselves when times are easy, but rather when they are hard. Sometimes the hardest thing is to just keep going.

     Perseverance is not the same as stubbornness. The latter would bang its head against a wall, while the former just finds another way. Real progress is not a straight line, for the terrain prevents such notions. Do what gets you closer to the goal with the least number of deviations.

     Losing everything is a real possibility. Nothing is guaranteed, so you must fight for what you have. But if your goal is to amass things, you are already on the wrong path.

     If the object is flawed, the journey is wasted. Many stumble along, obstinately pursuing the attainment of riches. When left unsatisfied, they fall into despair.

     Likewise, people seek adoration. To be sure, if someone adores you they expect to get something from it. Those who know you will not follow you around. The ones who love you will accept you with no thought of gain.

     Sometimes, the goal changes on the outside. The dream career turns out to be a nightmare and you need to start over. It will not be easy to get back on track. Failure is an option, and many will choose it. This is because beginning anew costs time and money. It will tax you physically and mentally. If you can be content, do so.

     Inside, things have not changed. The goal is always a means to an end. A better job means more money to do what you love. Status opens doors to reach a larger audience. You may need to do unpleasant things, but you should never do that which is violating. What does it profit to gain success at the loss of one's dignity?

     Life is best when we are doing what we love. We all have responsibilities, and we must live up to them. Sacrificing others for what you want is a violation of the highest order.

     Time is too precious to be wasted. Ask yourself if what you are doing is productive. If not, find something that is. When nothing good comes from it, then it is not worth doing.

     Inspiration comes in many forms, so do not be quick to dismiss anything. If it leads to action, you are not being idle. Books provoke ideas, and movies capture a feel. Games challenge, and music evokes emotion. When one is still, thoughts are clear; and sleep calms the frenzied mind.

     Maintain a steady pace, without being in a hurry. Haste will lay waste to all your hopes and dreams. Sloth brings everything to a screeching halt. Rush up a hill, and you will collapse from exhaustion. Lag behind and be left in the dust.

     To be better, we must do better. What a person says is not as important as what they do. Actions are life in motion. If you stop, then all is lost.

     In the end, blood, sweat and tears may be required. Climbing to the highest places is exhausting. Those spiritually weak need not apply. Stay on the ground where it is safer.

     If you cannot give up, you will either make it or perish in the trying. It is not shameful to fail if there is no way to win. Others might be inspired by your valiant attempt. No one may know your name, but your impact will be felt.

     Spiritual endeavors leave an indelible mark. Like a lighthouse, they show the way. Our lives might end in dust and ashes, but the spirit lives forever. What we do here, makes us who we are and what we always will be.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Flight or fight

Sometimes, life is a monster chasing you down. No matter how hard you run, you cannot get away. The mistake is to flee when it is time to fight.

It is natural to be afraid, but we must never let our fears rule us. They are tyrants out to crush all your hopes and dreams. Knock them down and continue on.

Do, and you will not have time to worry. The battle will require all of your focus. Failure can happen, so fight to ensure it does not.

There is no guarantee of victory, but do nothing and the outcome is assured. The most sure way to fail is to never try. It is much harder to hit a moving target.

Life takes advantage of the weak, but flees from the strong. The indomitable ones can turn the tables. Suddenly, the hunter becomes the hunted.

Pursue life with all haste. It may run, but there is nowhere to hide. And when it falls in an exhausted heap, your fears will be there with it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Running on fumes

Sometimes, you just need to keep going. Stopping is not an option, though you are running on fumes. It is in these moments you find out how resilient you really are.

Tapping into such reserves should not be taken lightly. You should only do so when it is truly needed. They must be available in case of emergency.

Be strong when it is necessary. Take a stand until you collapse. Running from adversity only means it will eventually find you in a weaker state.

If you care, you will do what is not easy. When the enemy is all around, you still will fight. This is not vanity, for there are hearts and souls at stake.

You fight for those that depend on you. Since they are in peril, you cannot back down. Spirit can overcome the weakness of flesh.

Only when the danger passes will you be able to rest. Take all the time you need to recover. The next threat is coming, and you must be ready.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Those who care

If someone does something for you, they are not owed anything... but they do deserve your thanks. If you help others expecting something in return, you are really just helping yourself. People do not deserve credit for doing what is in their best interest.

Those who are not thankful for what they have been given, should not be given anything. Ingratitude is a bad attitude. The entitled should be left to fend for themselves.

Things could be a lot worse, save for a select few who endure hardships for the sake of others. Their lives are an example of true courage in the face of danger. When you come back home, remember those who never will.

We have so much, yet take it for granted. These things were bought with blood, sweat and tears. If not appreciated, they can all be taken away.

Live free, or die trying. There are far too many who have chosen slavery for fear of putting forth an effort. The world is not a nice place, and is all too willing to welcome your surrender.

Be grateful for what you have, or suffer its inevitable loss. Nurture an attitude of gratitude, eschewing the selfishness that closes its eyes and stops its ears. Those who care will take a stand, and that makes all the difference.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mirror image

When you look into a mirror, what do you see? There is much to be gained from taking an honest look. Most people have trouble just facing themselves.

The eyes are the windows to success and failure. What you find there might give you pause. To turn away is to give up the fight, and give in to that which will bring you low.

Only by facing our fears, can they be faced down. Wickedness is afraid of the light and will flee from its warmth. If it loves the dark, let it languish there.

If you can be honest, then you can see. The clouds roll away when the truth is revealed. To close one's eyes, is to accept deceit. 

We live in a world of lies, surrounded by liars. It takes honesty to shine a light and pierce the dark. Only then can we see as we are seen.

Things are not always as they appear. Sometimes they are better, but more often worse. Words can deceive, but how you live reflects the heart.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quiet caring

Anyone can profess to care, but how many prove it? It is easy to set the mouth in motion, with nothing to back it up. It is not the talk but the walk that counts.

People will say anything, and perhaps believe it. But how few there are who demonstrate their beliefs without a single word. Their lives are there to tell the story.

Words have power, but without action they remain inert. Do something and let others do the talking. It does not need to be large and grandiose, there is much to be said for simple acts of kindness.

Those who wish to be seen show what they truly care about. When it is real, the cameras are not around. And no bill is received for services rendered.

The empty of heart desire praise. They seek validation, when only thanks is deserved. Do not strain your arm patting yourself on the back.

Good does not require an audience. What it does is because it cares. This secret love can fill the world, without anyone knowing whence it comes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wishes as horses

People get ideas that will change the world... and then it gets hard. Others do not recognize their brilliance, nor support their efforts. It is better to never begin, than to ever give up.

If you try to impress, you will become depressed. For it is not the idea, but what you do with it that counts. Without a vision, it is all just a dream.

Those who succeed talk less and do more. There is no obstacle which cannot be overcome. When the going gets tough, they just get tougher.

The thrill of accomplishment is in the struggle. Do not stop and do not back down. Every twist and turn must be a step closer to the goal.

There are moments when it will appear you are getting nowhere. But it is just the lay of the land. Imagine what lies beyond that hill.

A hungry heart can never be sated. It will not only dream, but put in the work. Turn wishes to horses and then you can ride.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Real horror

We enjoy horror because it is not real. The fake blood and special effects allow us to experience the intensity without anyone actually getting hurt. However, life can be more frightening than anything in the movies.

There are diseases that cause all manner of misery. Some conditions result in the loss of body parts. And you will most likely live through the ordeal.

When it comes to monsters, humanity has them in abundance. A beast does not delight in murder. However, a human being can rejoice in utter wickedness.

Pain comes in many forms. Whether by accident or intent, serious damage can be inflicted. And life becomes a living hell.

Appreciate what you have while you still have it. No one knows when their luck will run out. That which was given can so easily be taken.

To live in fear is among the most terrible of fates. We all know about what could happen, but it is pointless to dwell on it. Enjoy the unreal, and then get out and live before it is too late.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dreaming awake

When a dream comes true, it does not look the same. Reality is not so flamboyant, but has a gravity fantasy cannot match. Do you ever wonder what will be there when you wake up?

The goal can be met without a fanfare. The satisfaction of achievement is its own reward. That is what it means to do something real.

Do not expect others to understand. They will not know why you put spent so much time, and worked so hard. It is for you to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Those who wish to take, cannot appreciate what it took to make. They did not put in the effort, so they should not reap the benefits. Rather, they should be left to the substance of their contribution.

Though the world remains the same, something has changed. You have made better than what was. The day is brighter, and the steps lighter.

Dreams are the imaginings of the heart. This world is a canvas and the mediums varied. The full beauty will not be revealed until the work is done.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Unpleasant surprises

Life is full of unpleasant surprises. These actions are beyond our control. Still, the outcome is largely determined by our reaction.

When bad things happen, you could complain. This will do nothing to solve the matter, and causes unwanted frustration. Telling others will only result in them nodding their heads and tuning you out.

Instead, take an honest look at the situation. Determine if it can be salvaged or you should start over. When the end has been reached, begin anew.

Weigh the advantages and disadvantages before taking action. Often, it is not about what is right or wrong, but what will produce the best results. If your heart is flawed, the mind will rationalize.

Fear will be your worst adversary. Doing new things is a scary proposition. It is easier to go with what you know.

The world changes, though we wish it would not. That is why adaptation is so important. Either the current drags us under, or we learn to ride the waves.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Burning light

Caring is important, being nice is not. Fire warms, but it also burns. And it is a well-known fact evil cannot stand the heat.

People must reap what they have sown. If the light is blinding, they deserve to stumble. Wickedness cowers when good rears its head.

Meanness should never be arbitrary. For then, it is no longer deserved. It has devolved into taking one's frustrations out on anyone in sight.

There are monsters who will devour anyone foolish enough to show them kindness. Offer them your hand only to strike them down. They endanger all you hold dear.

Yet, they are helpless before the grinning good. Those who delight in bringing them low. The shadows are no refuge from the burning light.

Evil is proud, so it must fall. Because it is smug, its sorrow will be great. It does not deserve the treatment of a friend, but rather the fate of an enemy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Patient and persistent

Waiting is not a choice... it is a necessity. Things do not happen as swiftly as we would like. So, patience is essential to success.

This does not mean we should become idle. Rather, we must take steps necessary to achieve our objectives. Each day is a new opportunity.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. However, some obstacles cannot be plowed through. Instead, one must take the long way around.

Your goal may not change, but it could get away. Pursue it with all the resources at your disposal. It can flee, but it should not be allowed to escape.

Nothing worth doing is easy. Blood, sweat and tears might be required. Those who can stop, should do so before the going gets rough.

Life will never be fair. We must be patient and persistent to run down the prey. Only then, can we enjoy our well-deserved meal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Worthy and watchful

Those who would be trusted most prove themselves worthy. The surest way to arouse suspicion is to ask for trust. From then on, everything you do and say will be scrutinized.

Evil preys on the unsuspecting. It devours those who believe its lies. You should be wary of what sounds too good to be true.

There are many snakes in the grass. Though their words drip with honey, the poison lies hidden. Once they strike, it is already too late.

Trust invites problems, but paranoia creates them. Not everyone is out to get you. Just be careful of the ones who are.

Those worthy of being trusted will not ask for it. They simply care and the rest will follow.  But take heed, for trust is easily lost and rarely regained.

Pride sees safety when destruction is nigh. Those who lift themselves up will go down in shame. Be worthy and watchful: when all else fails, you will not.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Social creatures

Human beings wither in isolation. A social creature requires that social component to survive. Otherwise, they eventually just fade away.

Even if you do not like people, contact with them is still required to maintain one's sanity. It is a cruel fate to be consigned to one's own thoughts. You will lose touch with reality.

Having humans around is not enough. We all see plenty in our daily lives. But without any meaningful communication, one is simply lost in the crowd.

People do not make it easy to know them. This is because it is not safe to reveal who you truly are. They wind up as strangers who meet every now and then.

To open up is like spreading blood in shark-infested waters. The feeding frenzy shall commence. You will be lucky if even a shred of dignity remains.

It is a sad state of affairs that people cannot be themselves. Nevertheless, it is the world we live in. Until we learn to appreciate, it will be a lonely place indeed.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fake prospectors

With everything we know, there is so much we do not. Making decisions based on limited knowledge is like trying to guess what a puzzle is supposed to be when most of the pieces are missing. You will most likely be wrong.

Never be ashamed to admit you do not know something. Only those who are oblivious to the obvious have cause for shame. When the truth is staring you in the face, your eyes must be closed not to see.

People with agendas will claim knowledge which is suspect. Once you pull at the loose threads, the whole tapestry falls apart. Truth is not determined, it is discovered; it cannot be decided, merely demonstrated.

Be suspicious when somebody tries to sell you anything. Knowledge is power, thus claiming to know is an attempt at asserting power over others. Some are so good at this, they can have you convinced it was your idea.

People believe what they want. Then, they amass all manner of research to prove what they already believed. Common sense takes a back seat when there is money to be had and knowledge to be claimed.

Our world is full of fake prospectors tossing gold nuggets into the water and pretending to find them. Be not deceived, they have discovered nothing. Who can claim to be wise, if they reject the wisdom of the ages?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Active dreams

Dreams without action are mere fancies. They have no substance and go nowhere. It is only when they prompt us to do something that they have value.

It is important to dream big. However, it is also necessary to determine the steps needed to achieve your goal. Otherwise, the mountain will not get climbed.

Imagination can lead to realization, if you are willing to put in the work. Things are never as great as they appear in the mind. Be prepared to smooth off the rough edges, so the jewel can be revealed.

When we are young, we desire many things. Adults have the means to get what they want. However, responsibility dictates which methods are appropriate and those that are not.

All of your resources should be employed in any worthwhile endeavor. Hold nothing back, and you will have nothing to regret. Those who succeed, reach just a bit further.

Do not expect others to understand. They gave up a long time ago. Only what is real to you can become real: otherwise dreams wind up in the graveyard of discarded notions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Heart in motion

What a person truly loves is with them always. Age does not diminish desire, nor do physical limitations prevent the imagination. For when the body fails, the dream lives on.

If we refuse to recognize the weakness of flesh, we will be painfully reminded. A few days of limping about can restore a measure of sanity. Some skulls are thicker than others, so the pain must be greater.

Physical weakness can be overcome. A weak mind, however, cannot proceed past a certain point. Both body and mind require constant exercise to be at peak performance.

Feed your imagination and it will grow. Your perspectives will be sharper and your focus clearer. A heart in motion tends to keep going.

Understand the difference between fantasy and reality. It is the mental equivalent of knowing your limitations. Imagine a better world, and work to make it so.

Eyes that are open see much. Closing yourself in makes for a sheltered existence. Do not be a slave to circumstances: make them work for you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dust and ashes

People dream of a better world, and that is as far as it goes. This is a good thing, because their idea of better would only make things worse. Such notions are best left within, where they can do less harm.

Technology will not solve our problems. Look at the wondrous advances we have made, yet these issues still exist. The source of our misery is ourselves, and we cannot progress until we take an honest look at who we are.

Love is not the answer, for it so quickly turns to hate. And we sacrifice that which is most precious for that which fades away. Emptiness breeds further lack: we must fill our lives to save them.

To care is far better, and goes much deeper. It not only fills hearts but leads to fulfillment. The whole world could crash down, but that which you care about lives on.

All else is merely dust and ashes. Wicked men will destroy it, desiring to have it. If your wish is to take, then wishful thinking will lead to the worst of crimes.

When all is lost, those who care will remain. The fire will not consume them, rather it purifies. Lies fail in the light of truth, and the self-assured will find themselves stumbling through the wasteland they so desired.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Against the flow

Life is always trying to get you down. It may not be personal, since it tends to strike anyone it finds. If you are feeling good, enjoy it while you can.

We try to be happy, and this is best. Or else our lives will devolve into misery after misery. When getting out of bed becomes a drudgery, it is best to just stay put.

Staying upbeat is like swimming against the current. There is so much negativity you will be swept downstream. Nevertheless, we must fight with our all.

It is easy to focus on what is bad and entirely miss all the good. The latter are like precious gems: limited in quantity but the quality shines. And it makes the rest tolerable.

There is much to endure, and we must bear our burdens. No one can do it for us. Those who put their problems off on others are part of the problem.

Hardships try our patience, but we can overcome. Focus on what makes life worth living. The rest is just the dirt to be cleared away to  reveal the buried treasure.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Passing moments

Time is strange. It goes by slowly and quickly all at once. The childhood you thought would never end, soon comes to exist only in memory.

School days drag along until you can barely stand it. The tests are trying and the papers draining. There is fun to be had, but in smaller amounts.

And then, you grow up. Life becomes much harder, and there is no one to guide you along. The demands of work and daily survival outweigh the privileges of adulthood.

More is expected of grownups, but they are better prepared. A child stumbles, while an adult carefully makes their way past all the obstacles. And the struggle continues...

Cherish each moment before it passes. One day is not better or worse than another. Make the best of it all while the sun is shining.

Time does not fly, nor does it creep. The bored lack imagination. For the dreams of a child can reside in the heart of an adult who realizes the value of time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Knowing our world

People come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes it is for their sake and sometimes for ours. Each is an opportunity to make ourselves better.

Those who are good, are there for support. They encourage the discouraged and comfort the discomforted. The world is a brighter place for their presence.

The evil pose as challenges to be overcome. We learn what not to do and how not to be. Because they darken things, we must shine a light.

Most people are a combination of the two. Though they care, they will afflict you with their problems. Be a good example, by keeping your own house in order.

The world cannot be saved, but it should never be wasted. There are those whose very existence is not for their sake. They fade away once their purpose has been served.

You do not need to like someone to learn from them. Even the worst examples can teach the most valuable lessons. It is from unexpected encounters, that we come to know our world.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Proving grounds

We live for a brief moment, and then return to the dust. Life is nothing to be proud of. Instead, it must be endured.

This world is where we prove ourselves. Are we made of sterner stuff? So many merely wither on the vine.

When all is said and done, will you fail the test? Success is never guaranteed. If you are not willing to put in the work, the outcome is assured.

Self respect cannot be stolen. All deceivers will eventually be found out. Few things are worse than to be exposed as a fraud.

It is here that we decide who we will be. Everything depends on the choices we make. One must be better to deserve more.

Live like your life depends on it. Love like there is no tomorrow. Not a day is assured, so not a one should be wasted.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Houses and homes

There are a group of people you probably know better than you would like to: they are called family. Your parents raise you, and your siblings help knock off the rough edges. You may not always get along, but you will always share a bond.

Life is not so grand. A loving family can pick you up when you have fallen prey to the worst this world has to offer. No matter how far away you stray, there is something special about coming home.

If there is no love, then it is only a house: typically four walls, a ceiling and a floor. Empty hearts make empty hearths. Everything that enters through such a door dies a little bit each day.

Siblings do not always see eye to eye, and this is because there are different pairs of eyes. Regardless of any semblance, children are individuals. They will be what they will be, and any attempt to change this can only meet with dismal failure.

Good parents raise good children. The little ones learn from the example of those who are bigger. If the progeny strays, then it is the responsibility of their mother and father to set them back on the right path.

Naturally, human beings do not enter this world alone. Ideally, they do not live their lives in solitude. Family is a group of people together, facing all of life's problems and sharing all of its joys... together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A thankless task

Caring about people can be emotionally exhausting. Their indifference only makes it more difficult. Appreciation comes in small doses, and you must savor every bit.

It is easy to find those who do not care. Take a short walk, and you will trip over several. So, it is important to be one of the few who do.

This means doing things that are unpleasant. We must endure the inconvenience. For to do otherwise, makes us part of the problem.

Caring is a thankless task. But if done for praise, it is already invalidated. You must do it, expecting nothing in return.

Some will see and respond in kind. The evil are not worth bothering with. Leave them to the company of their apathy.

If the whole world cared, it would be a paradise. Learn a lesson from this: indifference sucks the life out of everything. Good nurtures the seeds to produce a bountiful crop.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The geyser within

Human beings are not meant to be alone. Long periods of isolation can cause serious mental difficulties. A social creature must have someone with which to socialize.

Sometimes we prefer our solitude, but this state of affairs cannot last. Once a person becomes isolated, they are like the single ember on the hearth. The fire will die, leaving ashes behind.

Many find themselves alone in a crowd. The number of people is irrelevant if there is no one to talk to. What does it matter to have water everywhere, if there is none to drink?

It does not require much time and effort to listen. You just stop talking: close your mouth and open your ears. Is also important to open your heart, or everything will go in one ear and out the other.

People desire to speak, even when they have nothing to say. The heart is a geyser which spews forth unbidden. Pay attention, and you might learn something.

Conversation goes both ways. Each person should have their say. Once the utterance is made, its worth can be decided.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Making an impression

Some people leave an indelible impression on your life. When they are gone, you cannot help but miss them. And the world is no longer as bright.

Think about how many have lived, and how few are remembered. Even less are revered. Those that are, cannot be forgotten.

Memories fade with the passing years. So, it is important to let our actions speak for us. What is done cannot be undone.

Many are famous in their own time. But the moment passes and they fall into obscurity. Eventually, even the name loses its meaning.

Those who care, tend to be remembered. Years turn simple acts of goodness into qualifications for sainthood. Though the person is gone, their spirit lives on.

We are mortal, so immortality can only come through the impact we have made. Is the world better or worse for your being here? Make it better, and you will be that much harder to forget.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Useless opinions

Tearing someone else down does not build you up. It merely shreds any sense of decency you thought you had. Those who indulge in such things stake their claim to the bottom of the barrel.

If a person disagrees with you, it does not make them the enemy. They have a different perspective, and you might be able to learn from it. At least you can see where they have been led astray.

Do not be quick to think you are right. People tend to extol their useless opinions. Be the first to question your beliefs, and you will be better prepared to defend them.

What most people think is usually wrong. Crowds have a tendency to muddle everything. Too many voices, and nothing can be heard.

Sometimes it is best to just stop talking. Silence is golden, especially when there is nothing nice to say. Listening is preferable to yelling any day.

A discussion becomes an argument when the topic gives way to the contending egos. If this continues, serious harm could be done. Better to let it go, before you speak the words you will regret.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sweet nothings

It is easy to deceive ourselves. If it sounds good, we believe it. That which fits our agenda is deemed to be best, and all else is left in the dust.

We claim many things, and fail to test their veracity. The outcome is not important, only the intentions. And so, we pave the road to our own destruction.

Before taking any path, consider where it leads. Looking past what you want is the best way to see. Rationalizing things makes them look shiny and new, but they are really just the same old evil.

We whisper sweet nothings into our own ears. The bigger the lie, the more desire to believe it. After all, to do otherwise would be to admit that we merely wished to consume on our lusts.

Oh, the heroes unsung who have painted up the most vile wickedness to resemble the greatest good! But when the colors run, all is revealed. And the result is monstrous, to say the least.

Honesty requires that we question ourselves most thoroughly. Scrutinize your doings, and why they were really done. For what we bury deepest, someone will eventually dig up.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


     Appreciation is a word often used, but not understood in any spiritual sense. It has nothing to do with opinion. Nor is it the same as appraisal. In the context in which I am using it, the term does not mean for the value of something to go up. It is not a ‘thing’ that I am concerned with, but a quality; and not just one, but all the qualities of an individual. In the appreciation of a person, only their qualities are considered.

     Humans are egotistical creatures. When they come into this world, they become accustomed to everything being about them. This is understandable, since they can do little or nothing for themselves. They are dependent on others and, consequently, come to feel as if the world revolves around them. But, as children grow, they learn to take care of themselves, and, once they are able to take care of their own needs, they can concern themselves with  those of others. These needs take many forms: there are the physical ones for food and water; mental ones for security and social interaction; and there are spiritual ones, chief among which would be the need to be appreciated.

     Perhaps it might seem a bit audacious to consider this as a need. After all, most people live their entire lives without this need being fulfilled. Every day is a plodding acceptance that one will never truly be appreciated. For human beings are incredibly self-centered. One cannot expect to be appreciated if they do not appreciate: and most people do not. Nevertheless, the desire is there within, starving amidst their contentment. A famine of the soul can be survived for many years. The soul does not shrivel and die easily, it tends to linger. However, once despair sets in, the end is nigh.

     Since most do not appreciate others, it is just that they are not appreciated. The devourer of man is indifference. Those who do not care do not deserve to be cared for. However, though compassion and appreciation are both essential spiritually, they are very different things. Those who care try to help others. But that does not mean they appreciate them. Their concern for the other person is always on the outside. And so, they stumble along not realizing what others need or even who they really are.

     Humans are great big bundles of opinions: likes and dislikes. They like this and do not like that. If they watch a movie, it must appeal to their interests. The value of music is in how it conforms to their desires. An entire genre or even a musical style will be rejected because it does not appeal to them. The appreciation of a thing recognizes the quality of the thing itself. The greater tragedy is that people use the same criteria in their dealings with each other.

     To like or not like someone should never be a value judgment. It should always be the appreciation of their qualities. There are people that are pleasant and those that are unpleasant. And there are certainly good and evil. But good and evil are never a matter of opinion. For one to reap what they have sown, and consequently to be judged, only they are considered. What is thought of a person is not an evaluation of them. Everyone has their opinion, but it should always be seen as a viewpoint and says nothing about the intrinsic quality of an individual.

     It is actually healthy to form positive opinions, and eschew negativity. If a person is unpleasant to your tastes, in most cases it is your selfish interests that are to blame. Human beings are all different: we think differently, speak differently, and act differently. No one’s intrinsic qualities are superior to those of another. And to truly appreciate someone, you must recognize those qualities for what they are. Set aside your likes and dislikes. They mean nothing, because that person is not you.

     In this way, good and evil can be clearly seen and not obscured by the vanity of opinion. Evil is that which does not care, or actively seeks to tear down for its own sake. Good builds up and nurtures for the sake of all. Anything done for others which has your face on it is immediately invalidated. Ultimately, you did it for yourself. That person was never the concern and, whether they might benefit from it or not, what was done was not good.

     People make it difficult to care for them. The entire history of man is a cycle of selfishness, with a few acts of caring that shine out like candles in the night. Humanity is better than it used to be, but will never be as good as it could. In order to improve, they would need to appreciate themselves and others.

     That is another key to the lack of appreciation for others: the lack of appreciation for oneself. As said, children are egotistical creatures. But this manifests in what they want and not in what they are. They do not recognize their own qualities, and thus, do not foster appreciation for the qualities of others. Adults are children who have grown up. There is very little difference in their spiritual makeup. For many, there is no difference: though they are able to take care of themselves, everything is still about them. And since their feelings are without depth, they do such a poor job taking care of themselves.

     For a person to see who they really are, they must be honest. People grow accustomed to their own ways. Everything is right in their eyes, and therefore, they can see nothing. All things must be judged on their own merits. So, it is necessary to recognize what is good and what is evil within. Pride sees itself as the greatest good, but it is false. For pride elevates based on its opinion of itself. It does not need to prove its claims. The selfish belief is enough. But this changes nothing in reality, it merely renders the individual spiritually blind. You must appreciate your own qualities, to truly see yourself. Or else, you make the same mistake of elevating opinion over spiritual substance.

     Once you are honest with yourself and can see what is good about you, the rest is evil. Get rid of it. Honesty has revealed it, and you need only to focus on its elimination. The difficulty lies in the fact that you have grown accustomed to it. And maybe even fond of it. Until you can be honest, you cannot appreciate yourself or others. Thus, your every opinion must be deemed false, and your likes and dislikes arbitrary.

     There is not a necessity to dislike one thing, because you like another. This is a fallacy, because neither thing is being judged on its own merits. Therefore, neither is being judged. Rather, the one thing appealed to you, and the other did not. Hence, the only concerns were those of self.

     If one can be honest with oneself, then they can appreciate themselves and have established the foundation to appreciate others. The next step is to be honest concerning the qualities of others. Since we are not the same, our opinions have no relevance in evaluating others. In the same way that we must be honest with ourselves, it is paramount to be honest in our judgment concerning others. Once separated from opinion, what a person likes reveals something about who they are. This reveals an intrinsic quality to be appreciated on its own merits.

     Without being able to appreciate someone, you cannot say you know that person. What you have is a picture you have drawn, and it very often looks nothing like them. Human beings spend their entire lives alone in a crowd. This is because they do not appreciate, and therefore, they are spiritually blind. What they say about each other is irrelevant, since it is all based on their arbitrary opinions. And what they do is merely their selfish desires put into action. And it all descends from what they think and feel, being the most useless things of all. For they do not appreciate, and thus, they indulge in the worst vanity of all: the exaltation of self.

Different people

To have friends, you must be friendly. People are drawn to those who care. The rest are left to themselves.

No two people are exactly alike. So, do not expect to agree on everything. Those who cannot appreciate, would be better left to the company of a mirror.

The differences between people are what they bring to the table. One can provide what the other lacks. In such a way, friends help each other grow.

Opinions are irrelevant, since everyone has them. Agree to disagree and avoid needless strife. Whether one is right or wrong has no bearing on their worth.

That is not to say friends do not argue. Spirited discussions are enjoyable, so long as we do not stick our feelings where they do not belong. When everything is personal, nothing can be communicated.

In the end, a friend just wants you to be there. Sometimes, they need to talk and you need to listen. It would be a miserable world, were we left to the voices in our heads.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Giving and receiving

Humans will readily sacrifice others for what they desire. This does not always involve the shedding of blood. But they have no qualms ravaging a soul.

The evil love sacrifice: it gives them power. And there will never be enough to sate their hunger. So, the world is filled with suffering.

Those who give their lives for others, have not given up on themselves. Someone was going to die, and they did what needed to be done. We remember them and mourn their passing.

Those who sacrifice others for the sake of desire have spread this wickedness both far and wide. Their victims' blood cries out against them. Should such receive as they have given, their end will be miserable indeed.

Our lives can be a blessing or a curse. It all depends on what we do with the time we have. We can build up or tear down.

No good deed goes unpunished, but that should not deter us. Evil thrives when the good do nothing. The trick is not to fall on your own sword: use it to make them fall.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Difficult decisions

Our lives are filled with difficult decisions. It is not always easy to know what is best. And where the feelings of others are involved, nothing can be taken lightly.

Some things are as simple as good and evil. Do not do that which falls into the latter. For the damage done will overpower any idealistic notions you had.

The hard choices come when you must do what is best, in spite of whose feelings might get hurt. Your intentions are not to cause harm, yet people's expectations take on a life of their own. One must make their apologies, while still proceeding in the right direction.

You are not responsible for the desires of others. So long as they are not sacrificed, all is well. Hurt feelings can heal, a wounded soul rarely does.

What is important is that they know you still care. This is communicated through actions, not words. Anyone can profess concern, just as they can claim to be enlightened.

Ultimately, all will be known. Pretending will only take you so far, before your house of cards comes tumbling down. What is best is never at another's expense.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Standing firm

Life is a fight and we must roll with the punches. Give as good as you get, but always look for an opening. You can win before they even knew what hit them.

Every day is a constant pummeling. We need to be tougher than that which assails us. If you can take a beating, you should be prepared to give one.

Evil is proud, and will leave itself open. That is when you strike: hard and fast, in a flurry of blows. It will actually walk right into them.

Those who cannot fight their own battles cannot fight for others. Strengthen the heart, and steel the resolve. Overcome your own adversities first.

Do not make the same mistakes. Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Let your adversary be the one to leave himself open.

Stand firm, though the hordes of hell assail you. Those who fall bear no shame. So long as they were knocked down and could not get back up.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vicious cycle

Evil resides in the heart, not in the deed. Anything can be a blessing if the motives are pure. However, with the wicked even their good is tainted.

Human beings are often slaves of desire. When you are willing to sacrifice others for what you want, that is evil. It is better to perish than to forsake even one.

Before you do anything, ask yourself if it will make things better. If no good comes from it, there was nothing good about it. Some things are better left undone.

Our world is full of darkness, because people do not care to light it up. We make excuses for everything and are responsible for nothing. This vicious cycle perpetuates itself in our young.

Will we raise yet another generation that does not care? Never paste your own face onto a good cause. For it will cease to be so, once it bears your name.

Cleanse yourself of self-righteousness. Abandon loud words for quiet deeds. If you are not making things better, you have already contributed to making them worse.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Eye of the beholder

There is nothing new except our perspectives. The materials are the same as they have always been. It is what we do with them that makes something truly original.

If it has never been done before, there might be a good reason. Maybe it was not a good idea to begin with. Sometimes it is best to stick with what works.

The infusion of heart breathes life into what was forsaken. A creative soul will see the potential and take matters into their own hands. Suddenly, that which was old is new again.

Our most sophisticated technology can be reduced to basic elements. The genius is not in the ingredients, but in the recipe. If you think it has all been done before, think again.

We reside on a mudball spinning through space. It is what we do here that makes a difference. Or, more appropriately, what we care to do.

The future is in the eye of the beholder. Our world will keep turning endlessly, going nowhere. Or we will envision better, and set out to make things better than they have ever been before.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Inspiration strikes

Inspiration strikes out of nowhere. A piece of music can set it off or a passage from a book; what is seen or that which is experienced. The creative mind is triggered and something begins to take shape.

The thing created often is nothing like the original. This is because you were inspired to do something else. That which influenced you was merely the catalyst to get the creative juices flowing.

Those who copy from others are not inspired. At least, not by any creative impulse. Their motivation tends to be the love of filthy lucre.

Sometimes the energies flow freely, and the work is swiftly completed. Other times, what is desired lies just out of reach. Effort will be required to achieve what was truly envisioned.

Since ideas can come from anywhere, it is best to immerse yourself in whatever stimulates your creativity. Read that which interests you, watch whatever intrigues you, listen to anything that grabs your attention. Any of these ingredients can spark the imagination.

Once the fire is started, it must be fed. This thing lives off your energy, and will be extinguished by its lack. Feed your imagination and let it grow to become something truly wondrous to behold.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


How can we know if what we are doing is good? Leaning on our own understanding, we will fall. It is important to take an honest look at oneself to learn the truth.

Making excuses is a sure sign there is a problem with what you are doing. People do not come up with reasons to do good. It is when they want to get away with something that they suddenly have a well-crafted argument.

Truth hurts, and there is much pain in being honest. It is humiliating to find ourselves in the wrong. Yet, it could be worse: we could keep walking around naked, believing we are clothed.

You cannot trust those who are quick to criticize. Often, they have nothing to show for all their advice. Only those who build well can provide valuable insight to others.

It comes down to honesty: why are you really doing something? Is it making things better or worse? If the latter, you must cease immediately before more damage is done.

Self-examination is an arduous process that never ends. But it is a necessary one. Honesty is the difference between a firm foundation, and building on a sinkhole that will eventually suck you in.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The best medicine

It is better to laugh than to cry. So when we are feeling down, we want to be cheered up. Left with our miseries, we will stay miserable.

There is no need to put on a happy face. Fake happiness is no more real than fake flowers. We must focus past our pain to find the joy.

Taking ourselves too seriously only makes us funnier. It is easy to think we suffer more than others. But it just looks worse through our eyes.

Some people have real problems. Their days are spent in fear, or wondering where the next meal will come from. We have so much, and it is taken for granted.

Laughter is healthy and refreshing as well. Smiling at our problems makes them seem much smaller. Do they really deserve the attention they get?

To laugh is still the best medicine. We live in a world quite lacking in cheer. But laughter is infectious: it starts with one and then the mirth spreads both far and wide.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rough and tough

I have diabetes. But most people have something they are dealing with. Our difficulties are not important, but rather how we overcome them.

When things get rough, it is easy to give up. Just crawl into your blanket fort and never come out. We must stand up to our trials, and face them down.

The going gets tough, and it will be hard to get going. To prove our worth, we must rise above. Let every step be ever forward.

No one has it easy. Our problems may not be the same, but everyone has some. Only ignorance believes otherwise.

It is better to give out than to give up. If your energy fails, you bear no shame. We are only held responsible for what we can do.

I have a deadly condition, but I am not dead yet. My every day is a testament to this. Life can knock me down, but there I will not remain.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rest easy

Sleep is not always restful. Tossing and turning gives little respite from the day. And fatigue slowly begins to set in...

With too little sleep, humans become irritable and forgetful. We need that nightly break to recharge. Insomnia is a slow voyage to an abysmal fate.

Too much sleep, and we are always tired. It is as if the body has become accustomed to doing nothing. As a result, it sinks into lethargy.

When we are unable to sleep, it is often because the mind is distracted. There is so much going on that it cannot surrender to the night. But you can only burn the candle at both ends for so long before it goes out.

Sleeping too much is usually a sign of apathy. There is nothing we wish to do, so our energy is lacking. Only the needs of the body can prompt one to action.

Rest comes easiest when the mind is at peace. Set aside your cares until the morrow. For in order to face its trials, we must renew our strength.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Voice of the soul

I am a writer, but also a musician. Stories focus on thoughts and ideas, whereas music is all about feelings. To perfectly capture a mood is the ultimate goal of a songwriter.

Songs are poetry set to music. Each verse is carefully constructed, so as to convey meaning while employing only the necessary words. Infuse this with feeling, and you have a work of art.

A song can tell a story, if all the right elements are in place. Stories can capture feelings, just as music does. The difference is in their focus.

Music has a beauty all its own. No words are needed to touch the soul and lift the spirit. Yet, when the voice is employed, the results are sublime.

What comes from the mouth is born in the heart.  When a person sings, they are giving voice to their soul. And that is why it moves us like nothing else.

Writers, singers and musicians draw from within, filling the world with their visions. Something is revealed in every word, note and chord. It is a symphony of prose, an adventure in verse: the melody and harmony that enriches us all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wear and tear

Life is full of wear and tear. It needs no assistance in pushing us to an early grave. So, it is vital that we do everything we can to safeguard our health.

Pain acts as a warning signal. It means there is a problem that must be addressed. If we wait, the damage may be irreparable.

Sometimes our health is taken, and there is nothing we can do. It is a terrible thing to lose the ability to move about freely and enjoy one's life. Just getting out of bed can be the hardest thing in the world.

If we cannot take care of ourselves, we cannot help anyone else. Human beings are made of spirit and flesh. The former cannot thrive while the latter deteriorates.

Diet and exercise are important. If there are problems, go see a doctor. Modern medicine is amazing, but it cannot treat what it does not know.

This is the skin we live in. It will not last forever, but it can go quite awhile. What we do now, determines just how long it goes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Something from nothing

Sometimes there is nothing to write about. And that is an interesting subject. Creativity is all about making something out of nothing.

Stories do not exist until someone writes them. The ideas come seemingly from the ether. And the juices start to flow.

Paintings begin with an empty canvas. Add color, and a work of art is born. This delight for the eyes did not exist before it was imagined.

Sculptures start as lumps of clay. Songs begin as a series of notes. No matter the medium, something is created to fill a void.

The materials themselves are inconsequential. Ink and paint are merely colored liquids. Notes are but sounds and clay is just another form of dirt.

An artist sees what no one else does. They pull substance from emptiness. There is a word to describe such an awesome ability: magic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What we want

When I was a child, I wanted to be a soldier, a policeman or a firefighter. My concern was not the job itself, but how it made me feel. Desire is raw interest channeled in one direction.

As I grew, my desires changed. In high school, I did not know what I wanted to be. But the clock was ticking on my indecisiveness.

In college, I started in Creative Writing. Then, I changed to music as my primary course of study. Financial realities finally set in, and I ended up with a two-year degree in Information Systems.

There is what we want to be, and then we decide what we will be. Harsh realities emerge and the dream changes form. But it still comes down to desire: how bad do you want it?

Once you have the education, you need to get a job. There are only so many available, so the competition can be rough. And sometimes, you must settle for what is available until you can get what is desired.

I know what I want: to be a professional writer. With several works to my credit, I just need time and opportunity. It is no longer about what I want, but how I plan to get it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Setting a course

There are many obstacles to achieving our dreams. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But reality is not so accommodating...

You cannot achieve anything without setting a goal. Then, you must take steps to reach it. This is where a great deal of mistakes are made, until finally the best path is found.

What you try first is likely to be the wrong way. But it is important to keep moving, and correct your course as you go along. To stop is to get nowhere.

Stubbornly following the path will not lead you to the destination. The genius is in determining how to progress despite the terrain. If it brings you closer to the goal, keep going.

We are often our own biggest obstacle. Pride will stumble into a dead end. Wisdom will realize the problem and take steps to overcome it.

Dreams are great motivators, but we must set a good course to be successful. Even then, things will get in our way. In the end, there is no substitute for sheer determination.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Two become one

Love is a thing of many splendors. But how quickly it turns to hate. You will do anything for that which you love, and anything to that which you despise.

Compassion and love are not the same. The former cares expecting nothing in return. The latter is always expecting something.

That is why love is transitory: by its nature it is conditional. If the one does not get what they want, the relationship can end. All that seemed so precious can be reduced to bitter memories.

I have seen love in its best form. Years could not separate the two, nor did death fully break the bond they shared. What makes it work is when the two become one.

Likewise, I have seen love at its worst. People have killed for it, and destroyed themselves for its lack. Again, the lack of commitment is usually the culprit.

Those who put themselves aside can love indefinitely. A lifetime is not long enough for them to share. They are a shining example of two individuals together becoming more than the sum of their parts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Making things better

There are things we must nurture and protect. They make us better people. And the world is a better place for it.

Honesty is something to be encouraged. We cannot improve what we refuse to see. Many are highly practiced in the art of self-deception.

Appreciation is also important. Recognize a person's strengths, and not just their weaknesses. Be the one who builds up instead of tearing down.

Consideration goes along with this. Be mindful of others. Your actions affect them, so make sure what you do is actually for the best.

Compassion is to be highly prized. Those who care for others should never find themselves forsaken. They cannot solve the world's problems, but they can be part of the solution.

Treat others the way you wish to be treated. It is an old saying, but the longevity is due to the soundness. A caring person makes everything better just by being who they are.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Good riddance

There are things we should get rid of. They will slow us down or even halt our progress. They give us nothing and spoil everything.

Pride is something to be rid of. It gives one an over-inflated sense of importance. And just like a balloon, to pop it just takes someone with a point.

Humility should also be discarded. If we do not extol our virtues, no one else will. The use of a bullhorn is not required, merely the honest statement of one's accomplishments.

Selfishness definitely belongs in the refuse pile. Focusing on yourself to the exclusion of others leads to all manner of wickedness. After all, who can judge a supreme being?

Conversely, selflessness can be just as evil. Those who do not care about themselves cannot care about others. And they so easily become the tools of those with agendas.

Indifference is the most dangerous of vices. It starts with not caring, but never ends there. Instead it regresses, until the semblance of humanity falls prey to the merest of whims.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The cycle of life

When we are born into this world, everything is about us. We cannot feed nor even care for ourselves, so others must do so. Some people never grow out of the egotism that results.

As they grow, children learn to do more. However, they are utterly unprepared for the world and require constant supervision. There are adults who need someone looking over their shoulder to be productive.

Adolescence brings about many changes, for now a human being is physically able to take care of themselves. Still, they are afflicted with a bad case of idealism since they have never had to make real decisions. This naivety persists for many, and they do not progress to become responsible individuals.

Reaching adulthood, humans now think they know everything. Experience teaches them the error of their ways. However, there are those out there who will never learn.

Once experience has its way, people become set in their ways. They have forgotten adaptation is necessary for survival. Many will perish, refusing to change.

Life is a cycle of good and bad: mistakes made and lessons learned. Those who know when to change and when to stand firm will progress and thrive. Others complain they were never given a chance, when they squandered every chance they had.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Doing and learning

There is no instruction manual for life. If one existed, it could not be relied upon. The only thing you can do is your best, and then learn from your mistakes.

Those who do not fail, do not try. Success is always just beyond our grasp. It takes that extra bit of effort to finally grab it.

Victory is fleeting. It is wise to be ready for the next challenge. And be prepared for the setbacks that are sure to come.

For all we know, we know very little. Life is always throwing us something else. Conceit reaches out and draws back a nub.

Discretion is necessary for survival. Realize you do not know everything. And understand what you do not know can kill you.

This is a crazy world. Sometimes it is all we can do to retain our sanity. It takes determination to silence the disquieted mind and calm the troubled heart.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Vital interests

Enthusiasm is infectious. It is the life's blood of a creative heart. Those who do what does not interest them often court failure.

Many there be who steal your thunder. Give them the chance and they will extinguish all light. The world is a dark place because they have a say.

What a person likes is not arbitrary. It reveals something about them. That which they really enjoy goes even deeper: to their very soul.

Everyone is different, so they are incapable of understanding. With so many opinionated individuals, it is a wonder they can agree on anything. Strife is born of a thirst for dominance.

Reckless enjoyment breeds chaos. Before you do anything, ask yourself if it will harm others. If not, then there is no harm in it.

Evil resides in the heart, not in the thoughts.  Instead they are the wicked fruit, born from a deeper place. Those who care will take care to sow only what they wish to reap.