Matthew Cudzilo R.I.P. 7/22/1942–09/24/2011

Times like these I remember the importance of each person that I have met as well as those I currently interact with. Times like these I remember to cherish each second of the day and both the good and bad the day may bring. Facing the fact we all are mortal and are only here for a very short moment in time makes one realize that a lot of things are not as important as one thinks and the things we take for granted are the most important of things to be thankful for.I learned a lot in life from Matt Cudzilo, I saw him more as a friend than a step father and a good Husband to my mother. He could be a tough adversary and then turn around and be your greatest advocate. He had a soul  of a warrior and a heart that was big as the moon. May his soul rest in peace and those he left behind learn to celebrate his life more so than mourn his death. I will always remember the fact how fortunate I was to have him as a part of my life.

Life is but a twinkle in the eye of time, so live each day to the fullest.
Raymond Barbier

Each day you wake up is but a gift and each night you lay down is a blessing.

IMG_1085  Each day you wake up is but a gift and each night you lay down is a blessing. Every person you meet can either become your friend or your enemy, so treat strangers with kindness. For you do not know what greatness may be within that stranger you greet or ignore. For every one of us are full of greatness in one way or another. We all have been blessed with our own unique gifts and talents. We should not let them go to waste, we should use them for  the enrichment  of both our life and the lives of others.

The trick is to find those god given talents or gifts, sometimes they are hidden well and other times they can be right under your nose. Usually they will be something you naturally enjoy and excel at but sometimes they are like a fixer upper and need a bit of tweaking before they become complete and fully developed. One of the biggest obstacles is modern day life, it can keep you so stressed and distracted that you unable to focus on what is important.This can keep one from seeing the goodness in life and the world along with keeping you so busy that you have no time to do anything beyond just surviving. Another obstacle is worry, worry does nothing but rob you of your present in order to steal away your tomorrow. Worry tends to fill your mind and take it over leaving no time for you to live or enjoy the moment your living in. You can become so overwhelmed by worry and your fears that they become the only thing you can even think of and focus on.

We need to learn to avoid worrying and how to put aside fear so we can have time to enjoy the blessings we have and the gift of life we have been given. Find happiness in the small things and in your family and/or friends. Respect yourself as well as others and seize the moment for it is only a temporary point in the time stream we live in. Each day you are alive is a gift and should be cherished as such. For there is never a guarantee that tomorrow will come.


Time waits for no one and no one can escape time.

Raymond Barbier.

Start looking at the world not only through our own eyes

006 Living in a society where there is no value to anything, where we want everything and want it yesterday. Sensations both old and new are the fuel and the faster we can get them the more we want them. Addicted to our senses and a slave to our need for stimuli we race forward without taking the time to truly enjoy the world around us. We leave friendships and loves behind us in search of the perfect life, we fall to the deception that is such a thing as a perfect life or a perfect relationship. Too much too fast and we are approaching either an overload or the tragic end to our fast past world. So quick to judge others but slow to see the imperfections in our own lives. We live our lives so quickly and so unaware of the happiness we could obtain as well as the beauty all around us.

Even the children are loosing their innocence way too early, imagination is becoming an extinct quality as well as the ability to see the world in its true majestic form. We allow politics, religions and philosophies to divide our world and keep us from reaching our true potential as a species. It is not our differences that makes us unstable or weak, it is our inability to use those differences as the strength they really are. Our ability to change, adapt and to exchange ideas makes us a very unique and wondrous species. Our lack of tolerance and our inability to truly see each other in a compassionate light leaves us in constant turmoil. We need to start looking at the world not only through our own eyes but through the eyes of others, we must start being more selfless in the way we think and live. Individuality is a good thing but not seeing the whole picture due to only perceiving things though our own eyes  is a path to eventual destruction. We must realize that our personal perception of the world around us is not the only true perception. Reality is the sum of every living creature’s perception of the physical universe.

We need to slow down and smell the flowers, behold the beauty of nature and enjoy the company we are blessed to keep. For if we keep on forging into the future like a speeding bullet we will eventually burn out. Stand as many but as one, seek out the truth of all things and live each day as it may be our last. Loving ourselves and all that is around us, fearing nothing but our own deception. Do right upon others and forgive those who are not wise enough to see the error in their ways. We also should remember to forgive our own short comings for we are all but human. But being human is a grand thing for we are children of the great creator. God gave us life and that in itself makes us special and unique. Each of us were given gifts and abilities, each different from the other but the same in their purpose. We mustn’t waste those gifts not take them for granted. We should use them for the good of mankind and share them with all life.

Very random thoughts that I feel needed to be shared. Right or Wrong they are here for you to read.
Raymond Barbier

Only god knows and only time can tell.

IMG_1078fb Where do we go from here? The world is suffering from earthquakes and extreme weather while there is civil unrest happening across the globe. Governments being toppled by both protests and warfare. The people want change from east to west and they starting to act upon their desires. Luckily here in the U.S. we can do it through political channels and also we can create change by utilizing all the media avenues available. The internet gives the people a power to express their concerns and to assemble as a political force like never before. So with all the sever weather, earthquakes and civil unrest in the world, where are we heading?

Seems we are at some kind of crossroads and which way we go depends on the choices the people in power make. With the fact oil is becoming less attractive as a fuel/energy source we desperately need to invest in alternative fuels and energy sources. Solar is the cleanest choice for energy though the current solar cells are still only capture a fraction of the sunlight’s energy. Still a viable energy source but the technology needs to be improved so we can capture higher percentages of the energy coming from the sun. Wind power works well but only when there is sufficient wind speed. Hydropower is the best out of the lot due to rivers are continuously flowing allowing for a constant energy source. This leads to the fact that batteries used to store energy also need to be improved so solar and wind power both can be good alternative energy sources.

The fact all three of the before mentioned power sources are renewable energy sources unlike oil, natural gas or coal they are the best bets for our future energy sources. We still face the problem of transportation and their use of combustible carbon based fuels. Besides the growing cost due to higher demand and that eventually the oil deposits will run dry, the toxic fumes the exhaust of such vehicles is harmful to both earth and the life that lives on it. The only alternatives at this time to petroleum-based fuels are Electric powered vehicles  or using natural gas, hydrogen or a synthetic fuel. Though I have heard of a compressed air powered vehicle being built-in the U.K.

If we survive the present problems in this world we just might figure a more efficient and less toxic or wasteful way to power our homes and  a better way to propel our vehicles. Maybe the civil unrest will bring  more of a positive change than a negative one. Only god knows and only time can tell.

Just a collection of random thoughts.
Raymond Barbier

Just some random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

p10104  Why is it so many people over seas dislikes western culture and the governmental powers of the western world? Well far as our culture, to a morality based religious culture the western culture would appear to be quite decadent and low in moral standards. Besides the cultural differences there is the past colonization of the middle east by the British and French. Even though all the colonies were dissolved and abandoned the resentment is still there. Then the long dislike between Islam and both Christians and Jewish faiths doesn’t make things any easier between the western and middle eastern powers. Sometimes I believe the west in general seems to interfere too much with the middle east and that keeps mistrust and hatred brewing.  A lot of the tension in the middle east is spawned from the constant debate of the Holy places in Israel. The fact that civilized people can not come to a fair way of sharing the Holy sites. The holy sites do not belong to one religion, they belong to all of God’s children be they Muslim, Jewish or even Christian.

After all we are all followers of the same god regardless the fact that the prophets we choose may be different or we may believe the messiah has already came once or not. Religion put aside there is the presence of military forces in middle eastern countries, even if they are invited by the governments or not they are seen as invaders by some in that region. Places like Iraq and Afghanistan may require our presence for a short while longer but the sooner we pull out and let the active governments stand on their own the better. The fear of a terrorist supporting government taking over or infiltrating the new governments in Iraq or Afghanistan is a waste of time. Regardless of how long you train and support the current governments the fact remains there will always be the risk they will turn terroristic or unfriendly after we leave. Our military presence isn’t going to make any difference on that fact. Plus with a about a decade of military and financial support, both Iraq and Afghanistan should be able to stand on their own by now.

Diplomacy should be the first priority for both the west and the middle eastern powers, both sides need to put their past differences aside for the good of our world. Trust can be earned on both sides if they are both willing to work at it and maybe sacrifice a few things along the way. Peace is always a possibility if both sides are truly willing to work for it. Just think how much money both sides would save and be able to apply to helping the people who are in need. All the money spent by governments and terrorist organizations to wage war could be used to build houses, schools and feed the hungry or heal the sick.

Just some random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

Raymond Barbier

To be stuck in such a vicious cycle

p10303 I have noticed a lot of people who go through life stuck in a vicious cycle of buying , using and wanting something more. It seems nobody can be satisfied with what they have, they want the newest and best of everything there is. Even when the newest isn’t necessarily better than what they already have. It doesn’t seem to stay just in the materialistic end of the spectrum, it is in every part of the modern psyche. From your house to your soul mate, nothing is ever good enough or there is greener grass on the other side of the fence. To be stuck in such a vicious cycle consumes your finances, energy and your happiness. The temporary gratification from the new wears off quickly leaving you wanting more. It seems modern society is addicted to consumerism and needs to reevaluate its priorities as well as its habits.

We need to revisit the ways of our grandparents and great grandparents, they lived their life in simplicity and only bought mostly only what they needed. They would buy a few luxuries but they knew happiness came from the people around them not trinkets or toys they can buy. There is nothing wrong with buying a few things you want but you should not be consumed with having every new version that comes out. Seems this generation and the generation growing up are stuck with the mentality that everything is disposable and replaceable. Shame is that this is not just limited to possessions, it also includes people in their lives. If a lover isn’t perfect just dump them and get a new one, if grandma is becoming a burden dump her into a rest home. If a friend becomes boring or disagrees with you toss them aside like a used tissue. This kind of mentality is corroding the core of society and eventually there will be nothing sacred or valuable in our world.

Family, friends and community should be the first priority for each one of us, keeping up with the Joneses or having the biggest and newest shouldn’t be a concern. For what makes lasting happiness is in the social groups we form and not in the trinkets we gather along the way. Since life is but a temporary state for all of us, we should live life in peace and loving one another instead of satisfying our selfish wants. I look at it in this way, I am not the only person or living creature on this planet. Thus I am not the center of the universe or even this planet. I share this world with so many and should enjoy the fact I have some great company here on earth. I will not always agree with them all, but I will always accept them as fellow travelers of this path called life.

Wrong or right, This is my 2 cents worth.

Raymond Barbier

You can not force a change on a society that is not ready

IMG_1077  Should we be in Afghanistan or Iraq? Afghanistan I believe was a necessary step in both retaliation for 9/11 and to reduce the abilities of the terrorist. Iraq on the other hand I believe was an Unnecessary war, the removal of the Iraqi government and military might left a vacuum of power in the region giving Iran a stronger position in the region. Regardless of what war was justified or not, it is time to bring our troops home and allow both countries stand on their own. Our military forces in the middle east is unwelcome by most if not all Arab nations, even the ones that say they welcome them. We must learn to have a foreign policy in the middle east that is less threatening.

I understand the position western countries take when it come to human rights and the fear of unstable nations achieving nuclear armament but our interference in the region is not going to stop the enviable only postpone it. So instead of trying to control the nuclear threat we should be concentrating on both the defense against the threat and the reduction of nuclear stockpiles globally. I have never understood the reason why any nation would want to possess such horrifying weapons of mass destruction. The thought anyone would want to kill that many innocent civilians . No religion, Nation or principle should be worth the death of so many.

We should learn to respect the right of each nation to rule their land as they wish, as seen the people in those countries eventually enact the changes necessary in the end. Of course change usually is painful and costly in the end, but the change is a necessary part of any society’s development. And you can not force a change on a society that is not ready, it’s a process that must happen on its own. The United States has a long way to go far as learning the above lessons and in creating a better relationship with middle eastern countries. Our reputation in the middle east is not a positive one and obviously we need to change our policies in order to improve that reputation.

I know I am no military strategist or foreign policy expert but I do know that our foreign policies are not working and usually using military force is not the best idea, because wars cost us in casualties and in money.

Just some thoughts this modern layman had. Right or wrong They are here to share.

Raymond Barbier

To them I ask to remember the children.

p10061  Extreme weather from one season to the next, tornadoes and hurricanes hitting us left and right. Earthquakes all across the globe, and record heat waves across America are signs that something is up with our world. Call it global warming, climate change or just solar flares, but face the fact that there is something going on that defiantly needs our attention. Governments and scientists need to stop living in denial of the fact that our world’s ecosystem is going to change and possibly not for the good . Call me an alarmist or a paranoid middle-aged man if you wish, but I rather look at the evidence before me than to live in denial of possibilities that are before us all. As the old saying goes, better safe than sorry and I believe that more than ever a change in how we humans impact this world we live in should be changed.

Relying on carbon based fuels that are not plentiful enough to sustain the needs of a growing world population. Toxic gases and chemicals that are being pumped into the atmosphere are destroying the ozone layer as well as contaminating the soil and drinking water.What kind of world are we leaving for our children and the children of the future? The shortage of oil, drinking water and food are setting the stage for a possible world war three. As a species we have proven that we can achieve miraculous feats when we work together on a common goal. We are quickly approaching a crossroad where we will have to choose to either continue down the road of denial and blindness or a path of awakening and global co-operation. Will greed and lust of power be the way of man or will the path be one of goodwill and  global unity. The global unity I am referring to is not one world government, it is the achievement of a collective effort between all nations to better our world and the tolerance if not acceptance of each others differences.

I believe we require the different nations as well as the different religions or philosophies to keep mankind diverse as well as strong. Diversity is what allowed mankind to survive and thrive up to this point. Without our diversity we would have been a drone like society that probably would not have survived this long. The crossroads are growing closer and soon we must set our priorities and face the costs of our choices. The children of today are the ones that will be the ones to face the results of our choices both good and bad. So I leave it in the hands of those who can make the choices and to them I ask to remember the children when they do.

Just my 2 cents worth, Right or wrong it is here for you to see
Raymond Barbier

Are you using a rake or an axe?

p10131There once was a man who had a tree that constantly dropped leaves on his lawn. Every day he would rake up all the leaves and debris in his yard. He really hated that tree, it ruined his perfect lawn each fall. For years he raked the leaves tirelessly every day during autumn. This was so until one day his neighbor saw him raking leaves while cursing the tree. The neighbor asked him why are you using a rake when you could simply use an axe to cut that tree down?

Are you using a rake when it comes to your life problems? Are you just cleaning up the symptoms and results of a bigger problem or are you using an axe to cut down the source of your problems? You can either use the rake and react to the problem or use the axe and act on the cause of the problem.

Just a silly thought I had, right or wrong it is mine to share

Raymond Barbier