Empathy – our only chance

Lies, Slander, and our Uncivil Discourse.

I am at a loss. I do not understand the hatred. I get mad at someone and then it is over. I do not hold a grudge. I may not trust them for a while, but I keep my mind, eyes, and heart open to the possibility that it was all a matter of misunderstanding.

Nevertheless, to outright hate, someone, a religion, a race because of their skin color or belief system is ignorant and frankly a waste of energy. To protest, go to meetings, print t-shirts, and let it affect your temperament, attitude is just not healthy and serves no one but your ego.

If we can try to put ourselves in the place of the perceived other maybe we have a chance. To call someone a word to incite violence, embarrass or shame someone is the vial and is the worst behavior. To sow lies and untruths about people without doing due diligence shows a low level of intelligence.

Where are the reason and logic and decorum and our civility in our discourse? Where, I ask you? It is a sign we are de-evolving instead of becoming enlightened beings we are reverting to animalistic behavior.

Empathy – is the key to stopping us from destroying everything we have worked so hard to create and enliven. We must be aware of our thoughts, words, and actions. We must think before we speak. The Buddha advised us to practice right speech. Is it kind, relevant and true? Then speak your truth and move the conversation in a positive direction and to a positive outcome.

So many exchanges that are occurring online and in person begin with – What About..? Meaning that instead of relevance, they are dredging up past mistakes. However, they are usually bringing something up that exhibits a bias, which is paramount to pointing a finger.

Dredging up a past example is usually not kind or truth because of the implied bias. Since everything is fake news and alternative facts, what are we to believe? Well, science and math tend not to lie, and can always be adjusted. Nevertheless, opinions, beliefs, and convictions are usually a sticky affair. Furthermore, the ego never wants to admit it is wrong.

So what do we do? Practice empathy is my advice. It is a start. If we can try to put ourselves in another’s place, walk in their shoes, see through their eyes, imagine what it would be like, etc… It is simple yet difficult. A lot of us are not used to doing this. We just are not. However, we can try, right?

We all experience the same difficulties but the details are different. If we can try to remember a time or an instant where we might have felt what the person before us may be experiencing then we all could be better off.

Ask yourself this one question before you raise your voice, lose your temper, or judge someone else – What if it was me? Then ask yourself another question – What would I have done? Keep asking questions this is how we learn.

If someone is acting erratically, then you can surmise that person is in trouble or is unwell and may need your help. Again, stop and ask yourself some questions. Show an interest in your, our fellow brother or sister.

Look at empathy as a muscle you never used before. You have to exhort some effort, extend that muscle. Then let it rest until you need it again. Just be mindful when it is needed. If you show kindness, it will be returned. If you smile at someone – don’t they usually smile back?





Fear & ignorance rule the day!

Mass Shootings, Russian Bots, Fake News, Reality Check…

It spins my head around when people say – They cannot ban assault rifles because what is next they will take away my handgun? Hello ASSAULT rifle – it is for killing people.

Apparently, people are stuck in this loop or bubble of willful ignorance. They will share and volunteer what confirms their beliefs and everything else is fake news. Confirmation bias is self-limiting. It will only allow those facts, alternative or otherwise, in to support your argument or point of view. Everything else is bunk, not true, or fake. How did we get here?

When you cannot believe that, the Russians meddled in our election because your person won. You find any detail that will support your argument that you should be able to have an assault rifle when children are being slaughtered in their classrooms. Perhaps the cable news channel that you watch supports all your biases. Listen to the tone and tenor of the social media or news that you consume and that gets you outraged. If it is snarky and bombast, they are feeding on your fear and your ignorance and your reluctance to open your mind and consider a dissenting view.

Everyone throws around – A Brave New World but odds are have not read it. I say please go get a copy and read it. Then read BNW revisited, it will open your eyes. If someone tells a lie long, enough it becomes a fact. People will believe it and not check to verify. They will chant the same odd chant without really knowing what it is meant by it, or its historical significance. Usually, if someone wants you to believe something erroneous they will blame the other person. School yard crap but it works.

All I am advising is that we verify what we read, hear and think. Do a gut check. The Truth will set us free if we have the will and the emotional maturity to accept it.



Trust but verify, accept and dignify

Trust is easy to lose and hard to earn. If it is not then we have a problem. You are more likely to be duped if you trust easily.  It is important that we ask questions and practice mindful awareness, as we trust our gut and our intuition.

Do not join the cause or join the mob. Alternatively, do not jump off the bridge because your friend did. Have your own mind. Practice clarity. Stand by your principles your values and your virtues. Yet keep an open mind. Be malleable about the details but be resolute about the mission.

Do you know anyone who always takes the side with the last person they talked to, or perhaps the person winning the argument? I used to be that way. I would be too flexible and fold like a cheap card table. Now I speak and live my truth.

My mantra is – cease to cherish your opinions, question your beliefs, and release your convictions. Do not lose sight of your vision. Or give up the mission. Do not get lost and lose track of where you are at and where you want to land. The dream must live on. Yet do not be rigid, fixed, steadfast, and non-yielding to new facts, information, and input.

It is important that we trust. However, we must do our homework and be curious, hungry and be willing to start over or scramble the pieces and see it a different way.

If we trust and someone or something let us down or turns out not to be true to their principles, we must accept it for what it is, our part in the scenario and responsibility in the endeavor hold our heads up and see it as a lesson and reboot and move on.

What we must trust is the truth and our part, heart and our experience and our reason in the process. Try to see the positive in the negative. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and be true to who we are.

Be kind, relevant, and truthful with your speech and clarify, testify and bring your best self and people will see your light and trust you and will accept you, and honor you in kind.





 Staying on the straight and narrow is hard.  Walking the crooked mile with no clear direction home very easy.  Moreover, it is sometimes more advantageous because we learn from our mistakes.  However, someone always pays the price and there is always collateral damage.

Take, for instance, unrequited love.  We all want to be loved and cherished.  Moreover, it is said that the heart wants what the heart wants.  Yes, but at what cost?  If one insinuates one into someone’s life without thought of the outcome for one’s own needs, wants or desires then love loses any sense of virtue.’  What if that person was married or in a committed relationship does one’s love, passion, feelings overrule the situational circumstances of all involved or concerned.

No, of course not.  That is where virtue comes into play.  Living a virtuous life in a confused world is hard enough without trying to bend the world to your will.  One must accept what is and try to refocus that energy to some other end for the greater good.  They say that “The Truly Great Things in Life Are Worth Waiting For.”  Things come to those who wait.  That patience is a virtue.  What is meant to be will be?  All that being said how does one who loves from afar and who are committed and determined not to say anything or let the cat out of the bag deal with this secret or truth?  As the song goes – You can’t always get what want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.”

Therefore, what does one need if they cannot get what they want?  How about being grateful that there are people in this world that are worthy of your love and respect.  Force negates growth.  My prime directive is to do no harm.  So one needs to be grateful and mindful of thoughts and feelings.  That powerful beautiful feeling in your chest let that expand to include everyone and everything.  If it is purely a carnal longing or fixation then virtue goes out the window.  Again, rechanneled energy will always find a purpose.  The life force that drives the libido could create a masterpiece and drive one’s creativity.  Prana, Chi, Ki, Ka, the life force that sustains us can be a conduit to enlightenment.  Love will find you in some form or another and possibly when you stop looking.  Your intent should be pure and purity like our states is a process.

Therefore, I believe that the virtuous life is, in fact, its own reward.  If the goal is the starting point when I begin each new day with gratitude in my heart, an open mind to any and all possibilities and just love and allow myself to be loved as I walk my path and live my truth and who knows perhaps my soul mate will walk through that door and ask me where I have been all her life?  And I will say, right here waiting for you my dear.



Consensus: a tapestry woven of common thread.

When we can agree and work, together for a common goal we have a consensus. The tie that binds is- understanding. What we understand we value.

If we value something, we are willing to put in the time and the energy it takes to get something done. We believe it is worth it. We can put aside our biases and our personal opinions and see the importance in the common good.

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.

Rollo May

Unity and Community is not made from whole cloth but is made up of separate yet equal parts that are stronger together than apart. When we are able to see ourselves in the eyes of someone else, we have a better sense of what the other person or culture presents. The same values and universal truths that we stand for.

Family, society, goodwill, loyalty are some of the values that we all hold dear. Somewhere in the middle, we can come together and agree on these and when we do, we can accomplish anything.

We all want the same things: love, peace and security. When we feel these and have these, we are more apt to see clearly and give eagerly to better the betterment of our collective humanity.



FAITH: Two Wings and a Prayer.

Eagles have wings. They fly high. With faith, they win super bowls. Whatever it takes to get us to our goals. Plan your work. Work your plan. Sometimes you have to jump and grow wings on the way down. Like when you lose a key player at a crucial time.

I am not a Christian. But, but I was moved after the Eagles won the super bowl and the coach and the quarterback and other players thanked God, and praised him and gave him (or her) the glory.

If they were Buddhist and practiced meditation and mindfulness, I would have been moved by that as well. Because to accomplish anything big or small you have to have faith.

Faith is belief without evidence. What is evident is the result. The result of hard work and perseverance. However, it helps if we have a way. We know the what – our goal. The how – plan your work and work your plan. You have to believe that what you are striving for is possible is possible. We have to try.

However, if the Eagles did lose the game. I am confident that because of their faith, their belief, the fact they gave everything they had and were grateful for the opportunity, that they would have been graceful losers, or non-winners.

The glory goes to the players, their god, and the people of Philadelphia. Go Birds! So many people expressed bittersweet expressions of joy that they were sorry that loved ones who had passed on were not there to see the game and enjoy the celebration. Nevertheless, because of their faith, they believed that they were with them in spirit and were watching from up high.

I am from Philly and have been waiting for the Iggles to win the big game for as long as I can remember. I take great pride that they did it and did it with such grace and dignity. Also, I am so happy for all my friends and fellow fans that our time has come.

I had faith that they would do it. Fly Eagles Fly – you are Angels. Great Job. Do not give up your faith.







Innocence – ReRemembered.

It is not the absence of quilt but the presence of truth.  A state of total awareness of virtue Incarnate.  Mindful of the appropriate thought, word and deed Innocence’s mission is to guide us not away from indignity but to grace.

To be vigilant for purity sake.  To seek the best possible outcome for the right reason.  To be fully aware, not naive whilst one seeks the righteous and the mighty all the time seeing things as they are not as we wish them to be. Exercising moral fortitude while navigating the troubling waters of man’s insufferable desires.

There are no such things as original sin.  So, we are free to be as innocent as the day we were born.  Purging all that is not the truth we can choose to be in a state of perpetual radiance.  Free from the negative thinking and biases of the material world we can be in this world but choose not to participate in the trivialities of small thinking and small actions.

If upon looking innocence you experience innocence and not a perversion of innocence you are standing in the light of a virtue.  If you look at innocence and you see something you want to possess or defile you are in danger of losing your mind.  Because a distortion of the truth is a toxin that infiltrates your very being and corrupts your essence.

If this happens you must seize the moment and take action.  Shine a light of truth on that which you are thinking, feeling before you act.  Innocence must be preserved at all cost.  Do not lose yourself in a base desire.  Try to access what you are experiencing and give it a name, then search you’re being for a feeling, then a thought, then a memory.  Be with it, but do not indulge in it.  Give yourself some distance from it.  Know that you are not the only person who has experienced such a thing… you are not alone.

But, it defines you how you move forward.  If it eats at you there is a cause for such an effect.  Do not succumb.  This is an exercise for growth.  Be grateful that it surfaced when it did and then deal with it.  Use it to make you a better person, a better citizen and a better steward of humanity.

Remember that you were innocence personified when you entered this world and strive earnestly to return to that state when you shed this mortal coil.