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Open Mind?

When you ask me to have an open mind, what are you really asking?

Are you asking me to not be an obstructionist? One party has had the slowest rate of approval, and most open positions, for judicial and administrative appointments since the Civil War/Reconstruction Era. Post reconstruction (1881) was the last time a Supreme Court nominee had no action taken by the Senate.

Are you asking me to withhold judgement? Should I not judge a Party that has thousands of comments on record espousing hate and discrimination? 

Or, are you asking me to wait and act until after you have destroyed all I hold dear, and my children are physically or emotionally harmed because they are mixed? 

NEVER ON MY WATCH

I can and will oppose your hate filled, anachronistic and hurful platform. I will however, unlike many, never call into doubt your humanity becuase we disagree. If you really want to discuss open-mindedness moving forward, join me in recognizing those who disagree with you are equally human and American. Then, I am sure we can have a contructive conversation on our differences. 

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Broken or Just Bent?

As I continue to mend myself from some of my poor (and even good) choices I am amazed at the number of friends, family and acquantances that tell me they can’t change. Scientifically speaking this is patently untrue. Our brains are capable of amazing feats of change. In fact, they change everyday whether we ask them to or not!

In discussing this mindset, it has dawned on me that many of these humans feel they are broken. That somehow their “peculiar” action or mindset makes them outside the “norm”. Because of this they must be “broken” and therefore cannot change.

Now, it is possible to be “broken” and unrepairable from a mental stand point. What matters here is that this condition is pretty damn RARE! Humans can function in many forms of mental acuity and still not be broken. Broken means unfixable, unrepairable, unable to be mended. If this was truly the case for my many suffering human friends, then medication and counseling wold have NO discernible impact.

I submit dear reader, that the vast majority of people in our lives that believe they are broken are in fact just rather bent. Bent not against some unattainable societal norm, but against functioning as the best human they can. Bent can and should be mended. I want all humans in my life to strive to the best individual they can be, to unbend and reform as their better selves.

In this vein, I work with anyone who will listen to understand that when they think of themselves as broken, it is their mindset that locks them in place and makes change less than likely. When we think of ourselves as changeable, we can change.

Next time someone close to you says they are broken or cannot change, slow down and take the time to help them see they are still a whole human, one that simply needs to molded into a different form.

Do It, But Without Hate

Part of the divide we have in this country, is a stark difference of opinion in what is acceptable discourse. On both extremes, there is a believe that if your speech offends me, then it does not have a place in the discourse. This perspective, I believe, promotes a lack of understanding and demonization of our counterparts in opposition.

I say if you’re wondering if you should say it, Do It. As long as you’re not doing it with hate or to promote hate. This advice goes to my friends on the left and the right.

You don’t agree with immigration, great, it’s America, feel free to tell me that. However, don’t feel free to dehumanize immigrants and myself when I disagree with you. You think those that oppose immigration are wrong and close-minded, great, it’s America, feel free to tell me that. However, don’t feel free to belittle or dehumanize those with whom you disagree.

Also, if someone doesn’t want to discuss these things with you, don’t force the conversation on them. Free speech does not equal the right to force a conversation. Free-speech does equal the right to publicly express your thoughts on any topic without government interference. However, free-speech cannot be used to incite violence or purpose he used to share knowingly false information.

Why It Matters

In the last couple of years before she passed, my great grandmother was fond of telling stories of her youth. Most of her stories were funny and upbeat, or even if they were a little more somber, she made them funny. Every so often, however, she would share stories of her family being refused service, lodging, and any other form of discrimination you can think of. The key takeaway I had from the stories, was the fact that people saw her and her family as human first when they chose not to discriminate against our kind.

At this point, I’m sure a few readers are asking, why does this matter? What point are you trying to make?

As we struggle with discrimination, hate, and by us moving forward, we should always remember these things have a impacted all of our families at one time or another. Even if we’ve chosen to forget.

Most of Irish side of my family has never forgotten. And for those who have, shame on you. No one, for any reason, deserves to be not denied basic human civility, empathy and the capacity to do what’s best for their family.

I for one will not standby if I am witness to such inflammatory language or outright discrimination. Simply saying that people can be safe with us is not enough, we would make sure that they are safe anytime we are around. We nust be a barrier between those who have chosen the path of hate.

Never On My Watch (NOMW)

Days In Front

Tears are dried, sleep won

Focus now on future need

Hate each other, mutual ruin

As one country we bleed

Empathy for all, needed soon

No more will we cede

Strength of spirit, love human

Opposed to hate we lead 

Motivation

What motivates you? How much of that is tied up in how you view yourself and how you “think” others view you? How does this internal dialogue fuel or damp your motivation?

I find motivation in all the oddest places of late. Less in how I want to be viewed, or even view myself, and more in how I want to feel at the end of each day. Am I satisfied with what I accomplished? Equally as important am I satisfied with how I accomplished it?

Knowing I helped someone I don’t know, getting the dishes done, the smile on my children’s face when they are being goofy. These have all motivated me in the last 48 hours. 

Make sure your motivation is actually that, something thay drives you to improve and be satisfied with each, even on the bad ones when we take steps backwards. 

 

The View from Within

One would think it’s always cozy. I personally don’t know a quantum self who feels this way. Even the most level headed, successful person is wracked with negativity, self-loathing-doubt-hate. All of which cramp our mental living space and make the view rather cloudy.  

The typically cloudy weather with a sense of doubt, like fog in Newfoundland, is just the start. Our internal perspective is farcically inaccurate. From this masquerade we create our personal stories, stories which guide, or even dictate, each interaction with the world around us.  

Oh the stories we tell! It’s as if we were all born mentally Irish! I can be successful or a failure, happy or sad, kind or mean. I am author of my everyday tale, and can decide anytime to be protagonist or antogonist, hero or villain, royalty or peasantry. How we craft the tale begets our own filterpretation of reality.

Magically Say I, we have to have these stories. They matter! They create our sense of self-existence. We are nothing without them, yet they are nothing. How easy it should be to simply craft a new story. Yet, this is the paradox of creation. 

If we do not accept our stories as do-it-yourself and self-guided, we let our reality become fixed and constant. And the story begins to write us. When this happens we simply react to our world rather than designing our reactions.

We cannot control what happens around to us and others. What makes humans so brilliant and amazing, is that we can and do control how we react. Work on the view from within and we may all find a better view when we go out. 


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