Life is like walking down a network of roads leading in a multitude of directions. We all want to choose the road that leads to a brighter future and a grand destination, but life is a fleeting thing and the trip eventually will come to an end. So the destination for our physical existence is all the same for each one of us, it is the end of life we will eventually find. That is when the next journey begins and from a religious standpoint, we should be prepared for that journey.
The Journey of life is the gift we have been given since birth, our chance to be an individual and share who we are with the world we live in. Of course, life is also our teacher as well, for this is much we need to learn along our journey. Navigating all the social situations, and relationships we have and finding out who we are is part of the process of life as well.
What we stand for, who we are, where we want to go, how we want to treat others, and how we live this life are some of the things we must decide along the way. Will we live life in fear or will we live life to the fullest, will we treat others with respect and love them unconditionally or will we be judgemental and cold towards others and embrace selfishness?
This life is yours to live and do as you desire, but remember there is a reaction to each action you take, so try your best to be a positive influence on the world and be compassionate towards others. Be forgiving and when you must judge do it with much compassion and love for how you judge others you too will be judged in the same manner along the way and in the end as well. Karma always has its day and what you sow you will surely reap down the road.
I wish you peace and blessing on your journey through life, I hope you will avoid the pitfalls of greed, envy, jealousy, and hate. I pray we all learn to walk the path of life in peace and with compassion and understanding for one another as well. Be good, Be yourself, and may you be a guiding light for others in these dark times.
In my lifetime I have witnessed many tremendous changes in society and the world we live in. I watched the telephone go from rotary dial to touch-tone and eventually to smartphones down the line. I watched computers go from gigantic room-sized units stacked across a wall to the size of a smartphone as well. Vynal records to 8-track tapes to cassette tapes, then to CDs, and eventually to digital formats such as MP3s.
Technology has come a long way since I was born way back in 1967, but it seems we still have a long way to go as a society. It seems we still are dealing with the same fears, prejudices, and division, some look the same some have just changed their outer appearance but they all are still there. Great visionaries such as Martin Luther King who dreamed of a world where we could live without judging one another due to our color, social status, or financial situation gave us hope to hold on to.
But we still hold on to labels, stereotypes, and the illusion that we all are so different we can not live together. We are all the same in the fact we want to be happy, and live life with enough abundance we never are in need or want. We all want our children to grow up and have happy productive lives without conflict or fear. Until we let go of the past and walk beside one another as equals into the future we will be trapped in this cycle of mistrust and fear. Learn from the past, don’t live in it, and carry the baggage from what was into what can and may be.
We face the problem of everyone thinking what they believe is the right way to live is the only way. As humans we all have been born with the right and ability to choose our own paths in life, no one has the right to dictate to another how to live, love, or worship. As long as the way you chose to live does not hinder or harm another then you have all the right in the world to live your life the way you desire.
Freedom of choice and free will are fundamental rights we are born with and should never be taken away from someone. Of course, with those rights, you have a great responsibility. Everything you do and say you are responsible for the outcome of said words and actions. Everything has some sort of reaction or consequence and you must face and accept responsibility for the outcomes.
If you disagree with how someone else lives their life you can express your disagreement but after that, you should accept the other person’s choices and respect their right to live by their choices. This is not condoning their actions, it is simply accepting they have the right to choose that path in life.
This is how my mother taught me in my childhood, she would tell me if I made a choice that she may have seen as wrong for me, or in general, she would simply point out the consequences for the action or choice and tell me to decide and face the music when it’s over. Usually, I would listen to her and choose correctly, sometimes I wouldn’t and I faced the consequences if not immediately, eventually down the line.
She never condemned me for my wrong choices nor did she condone them. She gave me the ability to choose for myself and that in itself was showing me respect as an individual human being. Luckily for a child, his or her parents have unconditional love and patience so it makes it easier to allow such mistakes to be made and let their child grow. Unfortunately, it seems much harder to have that compassionate and unconditional love for strangers and others in our lives.
If were to see each other as a family, distant relatives, or similar maybe we could learn to have more patience and show more compassion for one another. We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we may wind up dying together as fools to paraphrase Martin Luther king’s words of wisdom. We need to learn to put away those fears, wipe away the tears of past mistakes, and reach out to one another so we can build a happier future for our children and the future generations to come.
What is behind all this violence we have been witnessing on the news as of late? School shootings, Political unrest, and attacks on political figures and their family along with murders across the nation and the world? Why has it come down to violence and what can we do to bring things back to a more peaceful world are the questions I ask myself and everyone I talk with.
Some violence is fueled by political extremism but the majority I believe is done by individuals with either an unhappy life situation or someone with mental and/or emotional problems. There is also the financial inequity and inequality that plays into the mix as well. Seems many younger people are unhappy, depressed, or feel as if they are being oppressed and they tend to focus all that unhappiness and rage on a person or place that brought them some sort of traumatic experience such as being bullied, feeling left out, or unwanted.
Shooting up a school or university is not going to solve any problems and usually winds up ending the life of many innocent people along with the troubled individual committing the act of violence. I think they know it won’t solve their problem but they get to the point of desperation and just want to lash out and go down in a blaze of some sort of twisted glory or something. It is hard for others to really know what they were thinking and what motivation they may have had.
Seems that we need more focus on the mental and emotional well-being of our youth, if we focus on the problems they have in early life they may be better equipped to deal with problems in the future and that may help us avoid a good portion of the violent crimes committed by teenagers and very young adults. Far as guns are concerned I see no reason for a teenager to possess a military-grade weapon and I also feel that there should be some sort of mandatory training involved in possessing any military-style assault weapon.
We need to work on getting the divide between the extremely rich and the poor and making the minimum wage more of a living wage. Take it from someone who has worked the majority of his life making at or near the minimum wage, there is no way even at full-time hours one can live life at such wages without some other income or help. The question is do we increase the Minimum wage or do we find a way to lower the cost of living, either way, would solve a lot of the disparity out there and probably would help lower crime in general.
Politicians need to work on using less polarizing messaging to reach their base and stop being so partisan when governing. They are there to represent not only the party they are in but those that they serve in their state, regardless if those people are one party or another. Listen to the people, and do what they call for you to do above what the party you are affiliated with desires. Compromise with the opposing party when governing and finding common ground. This is what we the people pay you in congress to do.
Doesn’t matter what political party you are with, what religion you do or do not follow, your color, sex, or even sexual preference, or which sex you identify with, you are part of the people that those in congress are supposed to represent. We all are citizens, we all belong to this great nation we live in and no one is above another in our nation. We are supposed to be the beacon of light for the rest of the world and it’s time for us to get back to acting like it.
Put our differences aside, hold out our hand to our neighbor with no conditions and be the great people I know we all can be.
To love someone is to accept them as who they are, be there to help them if they need and accept their love and help in turn. Too many people think love is all about what they want in a relationship or how the other person should be. Love is more about what you can do for the other person, it’s more selfless than self-serving. Being in a relationship means being a partner not a boss or critic of the other person and learning to work together to make life better for you both.
Every person has faults and a negative side, and as long as the relationship isn’t abusive in nature you should work around those bad traits and try to help one another through them. Even an abusive relationship may have hope as long as it is not one that is intentional and severe, but I would avoid staying in an abusive relationship due to the risks involved to one or both parties.
People forget how fortunate they are to have a partner in life, and the easily forget how hard it is to stand alone for most of us out there. Being a person who spent up till about his 30s being alone, I do know how hard it is to face life alone, it may not be impossible, but it sure is nicer when you have someone by your side to help you through it and someone for you to help as well.
The Ego is one of the biggest roadblocks to a happy relationship, being stuck in that what about me, I want kind of mentality makes it hard to put your relationship first and your partner before yourself. If both sides follow the rule of putting the other before themselves in the end neither side will ever be without or be found lacking that which they need.
The ego, Self-centered mentality spawns in us as children, and in time it usually fades in most people, but some never outgrow that mentality and it makes it hard to have a good relationship for and with them. We all have a little of that selfish side in us, most of us learned how to put it in check for the most part.
Usually getting married and having children teaches most of us how to be more selfless, though not all of us are blessed with that fate, and some even who have been still don’t grasp the concept of putting those you love before yourself. I think we should just apply the golden rule to relationships, Treat your partner as you would love to have them treat you. If we all followed that rule in our love relationships and even in everyday ones, this world probably would be a much nicer place to live in.
Well, the concept is nice, and may just be an unrealistic hope of a dreamer, but one must keep hope in this world. Peace and blessings to you all
We all went through a rough few years with the pandemic, the Ukraine war, and with all the political polarization around us. Many of us stayed glued to the tv and computer screens etc. watching the news, opinion-based shows, and conspiracy-themed shows as well. Constantly being bombarded with information geared to either stir up fear, doubt, and/or anger.
Some of us became numb and indifferent to it all, and others got pulled into the madness of it all and not sure what is a fact, opinion, or what is lies. This has taken a toll on many people’s emotional and mental health to one degree or another. Proof of this is all the violence we are seeing now that is either political or fear-motivated.
As Americans we value freedom of speech, but when does freedom of speech reach the point it becomes pure out hate and fear-mongering? Well, that is the price of freedom of speech, we must allow even ideas that do not fit in our frame of what is correct in order to preserve the right for what we agree with to be presented.
But, just because you have the right to speak does not mean that you will not be met with opposing views, resistance and god forbid someone resorting to violence. The part people forget about a right, is with that right comes responsibility. What you say and do will have consequences, some that you may not forsee or even could prepare for. Reason why people need to cool down and think about what they say and do when things get so heated and polarized.
With all we have had to face in the last few years, we all could use a nice break from all the fear and anger. I myself have chosen to keep my news and opinion watching on tv and internet etc. down to a very minimum. I am returning to watching the world from my small bubble and enjoying nature, family and friends. It sure is nicer than getting all wrapped up in the stuff that is constantly thrown at me via tv and internet.
Politics and religion are topics that stir up many feelings in people, since they seem to be personal subjects most take to heart. I think it is fine if someone beleives different than I do. We all have the right to believe how we choose, and we should respect that right for others as well. In the end I will quote Dune “Fear is the mind killer” becuase it is very true. Fear keeps one from being able to think things through and move forward.
Half a year later, the violence continues. But for those who have not been directly affected by the events, this ongoing war and its casualties have been shifting to the periphery of many people’s attention.
This turning away makes sense.
Being attentive to realities like war is often painful, and people are not well-equipped to keep a sustained focus on ongoing or traumatic occurrences.
As the philosopher-psychologist William James asked, “Does not every sudden shock, appearance of a new object, or change in a sensation, create a real interruption?”
Ongoing tragic events, like the assault on Ukraine, can recede from people’s attention because many may feel overwhelmed, helpless or drawn to other urgent issues. This phenomenon is called “crisis fatigue.”
Roots of crisis fatigue
Malevolent actors and authoritarians like Putin are aware of public fatigue and use it to their advantage. “War fatigue is kicking in,” the Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, said. “Russia is playing on us getting tired. We must not fall into the trap.”
In a speech to marketing professionals in Cannes, France, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, asked them to keep the world focused on his country’s plight. “I’ll be honest with you – the end of this war and its circumstances depend on the world’s attention …,” he said. “Don’t let the world switch to something else!”
Unfortunately, many of us have already changed the channel. The tragic has become banal.
I became interested in the phenomenon of fatigue as a result of my scholarly research into moral attentiveness. This idea was articulated by the 20th-century French philosopher and social activist Simone Weil.
According to Weil, moral attention is the capacity to open ourselves up fully – intellectually, emotionally and even physically – to the realities that we encounter. She described such attention as vigilance, a suspension of our ego-driven frameworks and personal desires in favor of a Buddhist-like emptiness of mind. This mindset receives, raw and unfiltered, whatever is presented without avoidance or projection.
Not surprisingly, Weil found attention to be inseparable from compassion, or “suffering with” the other. There is no avoiding pain and anguish when one attends to the afflicted; hence, she wrote that “thought flies from affliction as promptly and irresistibly as an animal flies from death.”
The sensitivity involved in attending to crises can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, attention can put people in touch with the unvarnished lives of others so the afflicted are truly seen and heard. On the other, such openness can overwhelm many of us through vicarious trauma, as psychologists Lisa McCann and Laurie Pearlmanhave noted.
The difficulty of sustained focus on events like the war is due not only to the inherent fragility of moral attention, however. As cultural critics like Neil Postman, James Williams and Maggie Jackson have noted, the 24/7 news cycle is one of many pressures clamoring for our attention. Our smartphones and other technology with incessant communications – from trivial to apocalyptic – engineer environments to keep us perpetually distracted and disoriented.
Why audiences tune out
Aside from the threats to people’s attention posed by our distracting technologies and information overload, there is also the fact of crisis fatigue leading readers to consume less news.
This year, a Reuters Institute analysis showed that interest in news has decreased sharply across all markets, from 63% in 2017 to 51% in 2022, while a full 15% of Americans have disconnected from news coverage altogether.
According to the Reuters report, the reasons for this differ, in part, with political affiliation. Conservative voters tend to avoid the news because they deem it untrustworthy or biased, while liberal voters avoid news because of feelings of powerlessness and fatigue. Online news, with its perpetual drive to keep eyes trained on screens, is unwittingly undermining its own goals: to provide news and keep the public informed.
Taking a new tack
How might we recover a capacity for meaningful attention and responses amid incessant, disjointed and overwhelming news? Scholars have made a variety of recommendations, usually focused on reining in digital device usage. Beyond this, readers and journalists might consider the following:
Limiting the daily intake of news can help people become more attentive to particular issues of concern without feeling overwhelmed. Cultural theorist Yves Citton, in his book “The Ecology of Attention,” urges readers to “extract” themselves “from the hold of the alertness media regime.” According to him, the current media creates a state of “permanent alertness” through “crisis discourses, images of catastrophes, political scandals, and violent news items.” At the same time, reading long-form articles and essays can actually be a practice that helps with cultivating attentiveness.
Journalists can include more solutions-based stories that capture the possibility of change. Avenues for action can be offered to readers to counteract paralysis in the face of tragedy. Amanda Ripley, a former Time magazine journalist, notes that “stories that offer hope, agency, and dignity feel like breaking news right now, because we are so overwhelmed with the opposite.”
Weil, who was committed to the responsibility of moral attentiveness but did not romanticize tragedy, wrote, “Nothing is so beautiful and wonderful, nothing is so continually fresh and surprising, so full of sweet and perpetual ecstasy, as the good.”
Words can heal or they can hurt, how we use what we say can make a big difference in both our lives and the lives of others. How we act around others and how we treat them has a big impact on their lives and in the end, will come back around to impact our lives as well. Those living in the U.S. and similar countries where freedom of speech is celebrated are more likely to face hate and angry speech than in other countries. People take advantage of that right to free speech without realizing they also have to be responsible for the words they speak and the consequences of those words.
Politicians are one of the greatest abusers of the freedom of speech right in modern times. They will spout out whatever Rhetoric will motivate their political base to get the votes to either gain power or maintain it. Both republican and democrat parties have used such practices to sway public opinion and gain power in congress. But yet if the politicians only told the truth and debated about things respectfully, most people would probably not even pay the politicians much mind. Seems people are more likely to pay attention to politics as long as there is some sort of drama going on.
The sad part is that political rhetoric has gone to the extreme and acts of violence motivated by such rhetoric are becoming more commonplace. what is even worse is some political figures make light of the violence and joke about it. How can we as a nation face the world if we vote for people who have no care for the wellbeing of others into office? How can we overlook every fault and defect in a candidate just so we can get either a party in power or get one agenda through congress? Sad time for American politics and the American people.
We need to be responsible-minded when it comes to what we say and do, especially if we are in a position of influence. What our words and actions bring about down the line we are partial if not wholly responsible for. It is your life, your voice, and your choice of how to use the time you have on earth. You can choose to spend it doing for others and being kind or be one that is about only yourself. Either way, you are responsible for your actions and words.
There of course are those in congress that don’t go along with the rhetoric nor support it, to those I say stand up and get your voices heard. For sitting in silence is the equivalent of supporting the words and actions of those you disagree with. We need more Bi-Partisanship and less rhetoric in congress, regardless of what party you belong to, you are supposed to be there for all of the people that you represent, not the party you are affiliated with.
In the end, we need to remember there are real people out there that may be affected by our words and actions. Those people deserve the same respect as we ourselves desire and deserve as well. We must remember the golden rule of treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves. The question we must ask ourselves is whether would we like to be treated the way we are treating people in our lives or not.
Politicians not only represent us in government but they also represent us all to the world, how they act and what they say not only affect people here in our country, it also affects how other countries view our country and the people who live in it. One of the many reasons why we, the people they represent should care about what they say and do.
You must be logged in to post a comment.