We must refrain from action that may cause grief or harm


002  Why does society dictate that growing up and growing old means you have to stop being your true self? The fun-loving side of us and enjoyment of simple pleasures has to be put aside for the mature decision maker and hard-working citizen. Take away the parts of us that makes us individuals and that supports the creative, loving and compassionate sides of our nature. Is it because it is far easier to control someone who has little self-identity and is analytical without being imaginative? Though that is a good question I do not believe that is the case or hope it isn’t anyway. Though we may all be a part of the whole, we are also individuals and should experience life as who we were intended to be not what society says is socially acceptable. Of course we must refrain from action that may cause grief or harm to others and as long as we keep that in mind we should be who we truly are and care little about what society says is normal or acceptable. as long it isn’t illegal and if it doesn’t harm anyone than it is acceptable far as I am concerned. And far as the illegal things that you believe shouldn’t be against the law, either avoid them or become active in changing the law. That is the beauty of a democratic republic such as the united states. Any law can be changed or removed if enough people get behind it. It may take time to do such but if you really are behind the idea then its worth the time and effort.  Protesting and working within the system to create change is our governments and in our world is not only for the young. The older generation’s experience and temperance can enhance any cause or movement. No matter your age is, the welfare and the state of our world is a concern as well as your responsibility.

 

You are the same person now that you were when your were younger, just you have learned more and gained wisdom from your experiences along the way. The core of who and what you are is a constant and its only the filters you view the world around you with that has changed. Be who you truly are inside and cast aside your fears of not being accepted and/or liked. For there are those who don’t like you as well as those that will, that is just part of life. The only person you who must like you is you, because if you don’t like yourself it makes it harder for others to like you as well.

 

 

 

“The chains of illusion weaved by societies expectations bind your true potential and who you truly are.”

Raymond Barbier

Todays Young person is tomorrows Elderly.


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Why does it seem in America that the elderly are cast aside like an outdated iPad or unwanted pair of shoes? The elderly has so much wisdom from all the years of experience their long life has given them. They have so much to give and yet a lot of  people want to put them in rest homes and make it harder for them to have employment or a sense of purpose in life. Our Elderly is as much of a national resource if not treasure as our children are. We should show them great gratitude for the things they have done, accomplished and have lived to see in their lifetime. There are some older people who could survive in a disaster situation far better than a great part of the younger generation due to their knowledge and experience. Some are still around that lived during the depression, world war 2 and Korean war eras. They lived during times of economic struggle and learned to live off the land as well on a very limited finances. They lived without heat, air conditioning and sometimes even modern transportation. They were from the time in America that one had to have true grit to survive and a backbone to work or to find food. Not even our government seems to care about our elderly they always want to mess with Medicare, Medicaid and social security. I guess when you make the money that those in congress do you don’t have to worry about such things because your pretty well off. Just remember that those elderly people are fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters to someone out there and they have served society through out their lives. The deserve respect and have the right to dignity as well as a purpose in life. I know for the most part this is a younger persons world but if it wasn’t for the elderly we wouldn’t have the world we have or at least the achievements and technological advances anyway. The elderly are the ones they built this great nation and the many nations around the world. Some of the elderly could actually still help build the future world to come if we were to have the wisdom to allow them to take part.

 

 

 

“Todays Young person is tomorrows Elderly.”

Raymond Barbier

Mountains Near Evarts Kentucky 2-14-2012


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Photo of Mountains Near Harlan County Jail

What our definition of happiness is may differ


008 I am who and what I am, full of faults and shortcomings that I have learned to accept. I am no stud or intellectual giant but I have finer points that few ever see or notice. My uniqueness is something I treasure and will never hide from others. I used to be so concerned about what others thought of me, but I have learned that what they think about me is less important than what I think about myself. I have leaned to love me for who and what I am. Take me for what I am or do not take me at all, for I am the sum of all my experiences though life and the person I have become within. I am an ever changing and growing person and I embrace the fact I can and will make many mistakes along this path of life I walk. By accepting myself as is I also have learned to accept others for who and what they are. Not one person can be perfect nor can they be accepted and/or liked by everyone. I learned one of the greatest gifts one can give and receive (besides Love) is forgiveness. For forgiveness is one of those things that usually return to you 7 fold down the line. Just like Jesus taught us, we must love and forgive freely and not be swayed by anger or envy. Selfishness is one of the biggest enemies of being happy and living a full life. Selfishness keeps us from loving and forgiving others, it keeps our focus on ourselves and not on the world in full. We may be individuals but we are also a part of a huge family called humanity. We must learn to love and accept ourselves before we learn to love and accept those around us. Love is something that starts as a seed within and grows outward and so is all the other emotions related to it. To love yourself is not to be selfish it is to be selfless, for loving yourself leads to loving others and is a required first step towards happiness. There is always going to be someone you have a hard time liking but this does not mean you can not love them is a general sense. There have been many who I have not liked so much in my life but I still loved them as a human being.  Hate the sin not the sinner and love the person but not their faults or actions.

I am who I am and you are who you are, We are two unique people with different views but both of us want the same thing and that is to live a happy life. What our definition of happiness is may differ but we both still long for and strive towards that same goal. I pray and hope you will find that happiness as much as I hope I find mine.

Not one person is alike, yet we all desire to be happy.

Raymond Barbier

Beyond the trap of following the social ideals


newprofilepic  Low self-esteem seems to very common place in America now days, seems a good percentage of the population have little if no faith in themselves or their abilities. Some of this is created by the family environment during the early years of our social and personality development.  But it seems that he age of mass media has the greatest effect on our self image and in turn it affects our self-esteem. Being bombarded with unrealistic thin supermodel females and overly muscle-bound males would make any average man or woman feel inadequate or sub par. Too much focus has been on the physical and not enough on the actual mental and emotional side. What one looks like does not dictate who they are or what they can achieve in life. The truth is that what society considers beauty changes decade to decade. There was a time when a heavy-set woman with pale skin was considered  very sexy and tall thin men were the hot item on the market. Unfortunately we seem to always look to society to choose for us what is sexy or not. This creates a lot of self-image problems for the majority of us that are just average looking . Until either society gets real or we as individuals get beyond the trap of following the social ideals we are handed we will be dealing with a lot of low self-esteem.

The truth is each and every one of us have their own ideal of what we consider attractive and/or sexy.  Not all men like skinny model types or bombshells and not every woman wants a Weight lifter. In the end the physical beauty fades and only the personality and heart remains. So it seems we should be more concerned with what one is inside than what they look like on the outside. Though I believe we all are beautiful and that being sexy is more an attitude than a look. For god does not make ugly things, only mankind labels things as such. Is it possible that we judge others negatively in order to try to hide our own faults?

 

 

“If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence it is only because you have not taken care of the lawn you have.”

Raymond Barbier

we tend to forget about those we care about along the way


oldfamIn the hustle and bustle of our modern world we tend to forget about those we care about along the way. Have you called your mom, dad, siblings or old friends? Have you told your mate how much they mean to you and how much you love them today? Have you had any quality time with your children today? When is the last time you sat down at the kitchen table and had a family meal and converse with your family about what happened today? It is so easy to allow work, stress, TV time and the everyday routine get in the way of sharing your life and time with those you love.

 

Just some thoughts for today.

Raymond Barbier

Our welfare system is broken and inefficient


IMG_1077 I sit here listening to the rants and raves of our political leaders. Seems anything that benefits the common people its labeled communism or socialism but if it benefits the rich it is accepted with little objection. I agree we shouldn’t be a welfare state and that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to the welfare system in America. I see too many people taking advantage of food stamps, welfare and many other programs while so many who really need the help are denied any help. They wonder why our federal and state governments are in debt and seem to want to blame social security, Medicaid or Medicare. The elderly deserve those benefits since they paid into them all of their lives but yet I see so many who never work (and are perfectly able to) receive food stamps, housing, gas cards and welfare. Does this mean we should stop helping those who are really in need? I think not, I believe we need to investigate and monitor recipients at random to confirm they are not abusing the system.

What really bothers me is what a friend told me, he worked at a local grocery store and saw a woman who bought 250.00 dollars of a name brand soda with her food stamp card and she sold it to the small gas station down the road, when he called it in to the state he was told there was nothing they could do because its al hear say. More or less they didn’t care or didn’t want to bother doing anything about the food stamp fraud. Since then I have seen other people doing the same thing both buying with food stamps and selling the soda to a gas station (for half price) . There are so many ways they can take advantage of the food stamp system its just crazy that we don’t have a task force out there to stop such abuse.

Recently they at least passed a bill to allow random drug testing of food stamp recipients so at least they are trying to find ways to weed out some of the abuse of food stamp. Now don’t get me wrong I am a strong supporter of programs such as food stamps, government housing and welfare for those who truly need it and don’t abuse it. For “We the people” are the backbone of this great nation and we should take care of our needy, handicapped and elderly. If we look upon any social class, race, religious sect or individual as expendable or undeserving of the basic rights guaranteed by our constitution then we are not the great nation our founding fathers created. Our welfare system is broken and inefficient and needs an overhaul and definitely we need to find a way to make sure there is little to no abuse of the benefits it provides.

The only way we may find solutions to the current financial crises that our nation is when the republicans and democrats realize that compromise along with sacrifice is the only way to get things done. Until then we will see more and more people sink into poverty if not become jobless and homeless. Lucky for our politicians they have a guaranteed job and retirement along with a good health plan and a salary paid by all of us. I guess that’s one reason they seem to be apathetic and unconcerned about the urgency of the problems at hand. They all seem more worried about campaigning and playing politics than about trying to come up with solutions to the current problems before us as a nation.

 

 

Well enough ranting for now, Right or wrong that’s my 2 cents worth today.

Raymond Barbier

Change, acceptance and fear


003 Since the time we are born we sought out the approval of our family and peers, the path of life we choose to follow is heavily influenced by the opinions and attitudes of our family unit and our peers at school or work. Even though we are solitary beings in thought we tend to become attached to the ideals and values of those we are closest to. Of course we have our own personal spin on those values and ideas but the core of them were taken from the close circle of influence we have.  Good thing about human beings is they can change their core beliefs mid stream and change their direction if not their whole life path. Usually the older we get the less we look to others for approval and or acceptance and learn to be more independent in our views. Still the base core of the beliefs we had in our youth influences our lives. The dependence on the acceptance of a social group and or their approval can limit us from reaching our full potential . We wind up spending too much energy trying to make everyone around us happy as well as trying to gain their acceptance. A lot of us waste too much time trying to figure out why we are not accepted, liked or successful. We tend to believe  since we are not liked or accepted that we are either broken or something must be wrong with us. There is nothing wrong or broken within us, and usually we are more accepted and liked than we tend to perceive. Our fear and negative thoughts are blinding us to the truth that everyone is imperfect and that each one of us are both accepted and rejected by the world around us. Even the most popular people in society have those who dislike them and don’t accept them into their social groups.

I believe that we all must learn not to put so much time and energy into being accepted or liked and focus more on being the best person we can be. No matter what cards fate has dealt you in life you have the potential to be happy as well as the ability to change the things in your life that you don’t like.  Change of course is not an easy thing because the first thing you have to do is change your own mindset, you have to let go of the thoughts that make you believe your stuck or unable to progress beyond your current position in life. That is one of the hardest demons to wrestle with and usually it will not surrender easily. Once that is out of your way you just have to take the first step towards your new life. You will face obstacles and even have some set backs but you will make it to the destination if you keep determined. Self growth and self-improvement is a personal experience and there is no one out there other than yourself that can change the person you are or decide where your going in life. Others can only aid you or try to slow you down but that is all they are able to do. Don’t worry about acceptance and or social status, don’t make life too complicated and be true to yourself. Be who you are and shed the shackles of self-doubt and live for the moment as your true self.

 

 

 

 

The first step towards happiness is Self Acceptance.

Raymond Barbier

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