Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Perils of Personal Responsibility

I was in my 30's when I realized that no one, but myself, is responsible for where I was the very second that I had that epiphany.  I didn't really like where I was at the time.  My mother always told me that "you are where you want to be" but at that point in my life I didn't really understand what she meant.  I do now and those words couldn't be more true.  The truth is, personal responsibility will carry you far or without it, bury you deep.

I learned early on as a young adult that my parents, no matter how great I thought they were, were not infallible and as with most people, they are just human beings, they make  mistakes and have shortcomings like everyone else, it was kin to finding out, there really isn't a santa clause or easter bunny.  They taught me that in order to go further in life, I had to be self reliant, independent, and to take on anything I would do with 110% effort and determination.   It wasn't enough to say you are an adult or independent, you had to actually BE independent.

Personal responsibility begins inside of us.  It starts by making the right choices, even though they may not always be easy choices.  One can only be responsible by making the right choices, and dealing with situations with the correct emotional response.  We must take responsibility for the circumstances that we create in the world around us.  That's not saying, I am perfect, I have made many major mistakes in my life, but I take every mistake I have ever made and learn from it, and I never ever make the same mistake twice.

To avoid making a choice is not being personally responsible.  Even if you choose not to choose, you have still made a choice, and it will never work out to your benefit.  If you ignore something, it will, no doubt, NOT go away.  We are gifted with free will.  We constantly make conscious choices every day and with those choices, come great responsibility.  When you follow the rules, life works; If you think you can get by with breaking the rules, you are only fooling yourself.

When you think that others are responsible for your bad decisions or someone else is responsible for where you are, or should solve the problems you have created because you are not personally responsible, You need to fix the way you are thinking.  You are your own problem.

People tend to think, especially when they are younger, that they have plenty of time to fix whatever bad decisions or choices they have made in their lives.  Truth is, you have no idea when you will be taken from this earth.  They waste time saying, "I'll do it tomorrow or next week, or next year" but that day never comes.  Change in attitude and critical thinking and personal responsibility need to happen RIGHT NOW.  Make the choice to make the change right now!

Another saying my mother used to tell me, which I also did not understand in my youth was, "What you do today (choices/actions) will affect you tomorrow".  Wow, I should have listened to that one.  If you make a bad decision or choice today, it could and usually does haunt you for years, sometimes decades later.  The truth is that true individual independance is the freedom from reaction and the ability to choose the actions and make the choices that will eventually positively affect your future and your life as a whole.

In ending, I just want to say how incredibly important it is to be self reliant, to be personally responsible for yourself.  It's not just about saying you are an adult and you can do what you want, it's about actually doing what is right, making the tough decisions even though you would rather not.  Its about owning up to the decisions that you made and dealing with the outcome of your decisions and knowing it was all your own doing and you really are the only one that can make it better.

Friday, May 11, 2018

In My Time of Dying...want nobody to mourn

The term "Family" is sometimes overused and under appreciated.

A few weeks back, a relative that I re-connected with on Facebook passed away.  But before he did, we had yet another argument on Facebook where I once again unfriended him (this has happened before but yet I try).  Apparently for the last time. 

It's been a few years now that I have also cut off a good portion of my family.  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.  We had been estranged for quite a while, probably the good portion of 20 years or so.  While I thought at first it was nice to reconnect, what I didn't know at the time was that these people, and myself, have changed since the days where we would have dinner every sunday at my grandmothers house.

Time and life circumstances change people or they keep them stagnant and blindly ignorant.  Life changed the person that I was, and the blinders that most people wear, made half my family blindly ignorant, closed minded and nasty people.   I would have liked to remain at least civil to some of them but the outcome of certain events just would not allow it to be so.

My life is no better or worse with or without them.  After all, it's been a good 20 or more years since I've seen or broke bread with any of them really.  I believe the last time the whole family was together was at my grandmothers funeral.  Which always makes me think, when she passed, the family crumbled.  Sad but true.  It happens to a lot of families.

Time changed me and the way that I view the world.  I wouldn't say that I have had a hard life, but I have always worked and paid my own way.  I've walked with the rich, drank with the poor and partied with the best of them.  I've seen harlem at 3am on a saturday night, people shot and the aftermath of suicide.  I have struggled with my own demons a few times in my life, but I've come out with a clean conscience on the other side.  I'm good with the person that I have become.  I have empathy and compassion for people who haven't been as lucky in life as I have.  I have kind words for those who need them, and harsh words for those who pretend to know my life.

I understand that not everyone will agree with me or what I have to say as I will not always
agree with what others have to say.  I try to make valid points when I have a conversation.  I don't claim to know everything, I hope that I will still be learning till the day I die.  Which brings me to the the point of this post.

When I am close to death, I don't want to have any loose ends, things that I should have done or wanted to say but never did.  I don't want to start fights with my (remaining) relatives thinking there will be time eventually to make up.  I want to live my life in the here and now.  I don't want to argue with people every chance I get or continuously harass people because I know they may not be in the same mind as me.   I can live with the differences as long as I'm not forced to hear about it every day.

I think the lessons I learned from this past circumstance are that Facebook not only brings people/friends/family together, it also tears them apart.  It's hard to hear the inflection in a person's voice when you are reading what they wrote not listening to what they say.  The other thing is, if you don't like what you are reading...just scroll on by, there is nothing saying you HAVE to comment on every post, especially if its family!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Have You Noticed?

Have you noticed that people seem to be mad all the time these day?  They are mad when they are driving; they are mad when they are in stores; they are mad when they are walking, working, talking.  WHY?

It's like everyone in this country is so worried about what someone else maybe getting, that they are not, they are mulling around in their brains constantly how unfair the world is to them.  Stop worrying about the other guy!

They are preoccupied by how many "likes" they get on their facebook or instagram posts.  As if the amount of "likes" is equal to the quality of life you are leading or is some kind of strange currency to evaluate your life.   Social Media will be the downfall of our society.  Sure it brings some people together, and is an ok marketing tool, but by and far it tears more relationships apart.

Why are people so outraged by the silliest of inconsequential things? At what point did everything become so offensive?  Why is it that people take every off handed comment as an insult or offensive?  People have a human right to their opinion, if you don't like it, walk away, change the channel or don't listen.  You don't have the right to stop them from voicing it.

People are so trapped inside of their own little bubbles, bouncing from one nasty little exchange to the other, they are so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to see the good and beauty around them.  Its true that when you smile, even when you force yourself to smile, it's hard to be angry.  Try it, its true.