Awareness: 5 Lies We Are Told?

As I go through life, I hope to get through it with as little pain as possible – at least that’s the way I’ve experienced it.

I figure that one of our primary goals in life is to keep the body as comfortable as possible.  I go by the thinking that everything goes to its very basic – personal comfort.  We know we can’t get out of this life alive I’ve often wondered (I am a whyz-guy) about people’s motivations and the way in which we achieve our goals and plan our lives.  From these learnings, I’ve come to create certain truisms about people and life..

In this post, I focus on how we relate to each other and how we’ve been socially conditioned to believe certain ‘facts’ about life.  These are the kind of life facts that help us get along in life and keep ourselves safe and more assured.  We live by these because we’ve got nothing else, and we’ve heard these over and over and over again in our lives as truisms.


How I achieve it is based on everything I’ve ever experienced and learned throughout my life.  Some are personal life tests, some from my family, from the media, and from the social conditioning this North American culture (here in Toronto) provides us.  Over the life of this blog, I will come to discuss these issues in greater depth; but for now, I’d like to share with you some of my imaginings and illusions I’ve come to park in my belief system.

As everything else in my life, it doesn’t mean I am married to these beliefs; rather, they are just some thoughts I am ‘trying on’ in my thought patterns.  What I do is test them as often as possible.

Why do I call them lies, you ask?

How did I arrive at my musings?

On what do I base my suppositions? 

Hmmm.  Funny you should ask.

If you happened to venture to my page explaining my background (and what I think about myself, haha), you will find that I carry a philosophical background under the labels of Humanism and Existentialism.  I think of myself, in other words, as someone who loves people and dislikes social games.

I believe that we are responsible individuals who can take control of our lives,
and actually have complete control of its outcome.

That’s not to say many outside influences shape our thoughts and actions, but I do believe we can overcome those influences and challenges.  I think that we, as a specie, are very special individually and as a group.

Given these motivations, I tend to look to the positive as much as possible.  I’ve had enough challenges in my own life to have the opportunity to challenge and stretch myself countless times.  I could see life as a problem.  I dunno, but I figure it can’t be all that bad because I am still alive and kicking … and I needed a lot of help and love from others to get me here.

Along the way, I saw a lot of recurring events/nightmares coming up in people’s lives that didn’t make sense.  It wasn’t until I developed deeper relationships with others that I was able to make some kind of sense (at least to me) of this wonderful mystery called life.  It left and impression, that’s for sure!


So what I’m getting at is that I’ve probably ‘been there and done that’ as far as life experiences go and I’m blessed to have had the ability to survive it and tell.  Through these experiences (even in my limited knowledge) I’ve both conscious and unconsciously tested these lies – and I personally hold them to be true to my belief system (and not in any particular order).  What do you think?


The 5 BIGGEST Lies of Life

LIE # 1: The Strongest Survive

There was a time in our history of humankind where this was evident and true.  In those times, physical prowess is what got you what you wanted and needed.  As we’ve become more intelligent and created systems, processes, and events that make it easier on our physical lives, we no longer need physicality.

We’ve recorded too many instances over the last few millennium to doubt that brains make the difference.  Heck, the 19th and 20th centuries were a hotbed of inventions, thought, creativity, and advancement.  I figure we’ve been hanging on to an out-dated lie.

LIE # 2: Knowledge Is Power

This lie is a child of the demon above – and we have taken this lie to be something motivational.  Sadly, (the way I see it) I think we’ve gone too far with this one; and even more >> it is missing the real power and misleading us into thinking knowledge is actually power.

Give me a moment with this one, if you will.  First, I am not suggesting at all that one forgets about seeking knowledge.  Knowledge is important because it gives us awareness.  But still no power.

Think about it: How many people do you know that are very knowledgeable but are not very successful/powerful in their lives?  How much knowledge do governments and powerful organizations have and still mess up on a regular basis?  How often do you see people that rhyme off statistics and observations yet really don’t know what the heck is going on?  This is what I figure: 

Knowledge is only the FUEL –


 It doesn’t matter how much you know.  What we need to do is USE THE KNOWLEDGE so we can take action.  Our actions can be more effective with knowledge – but pity the soul who still lives in this lie.

LIE # 3: Trust is Earned

This is one of those lies that goes right over our heads.  We’ve seen it countless of times – someone breaks the sacred trust between them, and the victim of the broken trust states that people now have to earn his/her trust.  A lot of us live that mantra and really believe that trust is indeed earned. Yet, we fail to realize that trust is actually something that is automatically given to someone else.

We play head games with ourselves into thinking that there is a certain degree of mistrust, inevitably, we GIVE them our trust.  We have to or we would never get anything done.  That’s why we have contracts – to help us trust the other in business dealings.  It gives us a remedy (to sue) when the trust is broken; and as we know, a lot of weight is given to a WRITTEN agreement.

What actually happens is that we give the trust (sometimes reluctantly) and
expect the best outcome.

We sometimes shake on an agreement as a symbol
of showing each other that integrity in the agreement is based on trust.

When the trust is broken, we are heartbroken (and we express it in different ways) that someone would do that.  Then, in the heat of the pain, we declare that from now on, trust is earned – and that goes for everyone.

Sadly, we often go too far on this one.  If anything, it would be better for us to declare that the one particular individual has to re-earn the trust they broke.  It would be shameful to make it a blanket statement.

If we knowingly and willing gave everyone the trust we all deserve, we could possibly experience a shift in cooperation and community.  Just this acknowledgement can make a difference, as I have had the amazing times meeting a broad range of individuals who contributed so much to my experience of life.

LIE # 4: There Is NO Fear.

This lie has been one of my issues with the world because of it’s misuse.

In one way, there is a lot of truth in this statement.
Unfortunately, even though people use this mantra to empower themselves or others,
the true essence is missing.

It is not a saying to be played with any more than telling someone they are going to live to be 100 years old.  Yes indeed, it is possible, but unless you have all the facts and you are doing all the right things, then the possibility of achievement is limited.

And when it comes to fear, there is a lot of limited information given and not enough depth to the conversation.  So, if I may, allow me to expand on my philosophy on fear.
In empowerment training (like athletics), there is a belief that there is NO FEAR.  We are told that regardless of what people are saying, how you are feeling, and what is going on, you have nothing to fear in your drive to achieve your goal.  To their credit, the teaching advises us that we can overcome the fear – with the benefit of being c
ourageous.  And while this is a noble thought in assisting to raise someone’s ability, it only goes part of the way without fully explaining the depth of the teaching.

Without going into great detail, I suggest that we remind people that our beliefs about fear, courage, excitement, etc., are not based on reality.  Rather, we make up stories in our head about our feelings based on what is going on around us.  Here’s an example of what I mean.

The way I was able to eliminate fear completely when it came to performing publicly (not overcome – it never existed except for the first time) was to realize that I was letting a bodily feeling tell me how I should feel emotionally or psychologically.  So this is how it went:

I was around 8 years old and was studying piano music with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.  I guess I was pretty good (though I had no thought about it at the time) because soon after starting, I was playing in recitals and other public venues.As I said, it happened only the first time I ever performed.

I remember feeling my adrenalin rushing through my mid-section and working its way to my heart.  I was starting to breathe a little heavier and my legs became weak.  As I sat, I remember having thoughts of what those feelings meant.  Given my family, the first and most obvious answer was “fear” and “nervousness”.  I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way because I loved playing the piano (still do) – yet here I was – scared and nervous.

I can’t remember who said what and how it was implanted, but I arrived at a profound understanding about life.  I realized that I felt the very same way when I am practicing and playing music (singing too) at home or school.

I had the exact same bodily feelings – adrenalin, speeding heart, goose bumps, etc – when I was alive, excited, and experiencing full self-expression.  THE EXACT SAME FEELING – except my brain called it something different because I was doing something else.  Therefore, since the feeling is the same and just my thought about it was different, then I can change the thought about the feelings.

Instead of saying I was nervous when performing in front of a lot of people, I told myself I was actually excited about performing.  I still had the same feelings; but instead of feeling bad, I felt so much more excited that I often performed beyond my wildest imaginations.  Ever since, I never ever had any fear of performing (acting, singing, speaking, training, etc).  As a result, I never have to even think about fear because it is not a part of my being.

A couple of interesting thoughts on this.  First, for many years, I thought there was something wrong with me because I could manipulate my feelings about my motivations.  I thought I was doing something devious or mentally imbalanced because I didn’t think other people would do the same thing.  But I was addicted, so I pursued every interest I’ve ever had regardless.

The second thing to mention that this knowledge about fear has given me so many more enriching experiences and deeper relationships.  One example is my desire to always be in school or training of some kind.  If it interests me, I’ll try it out.  Because I am not afraid of failing, I always have great experiences with learning.

LIE # 5: The World has Truth (or Meaning)

In a way, this is tied in with the thoughts on Fear.  As I got older and learned more about life, I realized I wasn’t crazy (or really was!) because understanding that meaning is an individual thing with transient motivations depending on the individual, the culture, and family background.

     Of course, we know the world has no real meaning and definitely no single truth;
yet we will fight to the death to protect the meaning we have given.


Meaning and truth are a funny couple too.  It’s like a double-edged sword on human relationships.  Which one is worse: We give meaning to something and we create a truth to make a fit, or we create a truth and fit it with a meaning to validate it?

I guess there could be two ways of looking at the problem with truth and meaning.  The great philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, ”the thing is to find a truth which is true for me…”.  So given the world changes all the time making truth a constantly moving force, can we live with long-held truths passed down over time?

Secondly, given we know that some people are going to defend their truths and meaning to the mortal end, can we accept their belief systems as theirs?
Here’s a bonus:

Wind Blows

This is only my illusion about how science works here.  Since heat creates a vacuum in the atmosphere, cold air would be sucked into it creating an effect that feels like blowing.  It’s really wind sucking and not blowing.
Any thoughts?

Values & Beliefs: The Evil of Graham James’ Criminal Sentence

With the sentencing of the pedophile Graham James, is this an indication of the Canadian justice system not understanding the true effects of sexual abuse against boys?

At least to me, there seems to be a huge void within the official government system in coming to grips with the true reality of the effect of this kind of abuse – against anybody!

How this act of ignorance by the justice system is still allowed to continue is beyond me.  In all their history and education, do they not truly hear and feel the effects on victims when their stories are shared?  Do they not have information from medical and psychological experts that worked with victims?  Do they not have access to cold statistics from agencies that show the cost to society?

The government of Canada is not short of information and resources
to know
the evil and life-long negative effects this can have on a victim.

It cannot be avoided in this day and age of wide open communication and personal expression to realize we are only now beginning to see the victims come forward with stories of heinous acts perpetrated against them.  What’s becoming more evident, is that we are only starting to see the “tip of the iceberg” on how wide-spread this epidemic will spill into the everyday walking public.  And how does the justice system deal with it?

I know one thing for sure, every organization that works, or have worked with young people going back 40 to 50 years ago are certainly shaking in their boots right now as they desperately re-visit their pasts.  And sadly, I have no doubt (given the conversations I’ve personally had with victims of pedophiles), that there will be a lot of shocking (or maybe not) news of organizations who have either made the complaints go away or turned a blind eye to the “quiet whispers” within the ranks.

Sadly still, this will not be limited to boys.
I’m sure we will hear about girls’ groups and organizations as well.


But back to the sentencing.

I’ve tried to look at it from different angles so I could firmly get a grip on my emotional rationale.  (Isn’t that a contradiction in terms, eh?)  Anyways, I was wondering how the public and the Justice System would react to such heinous and evil acts were perpetrated by Graham James if the boys were abused in a different way.

Now, I am just looking at the effects any particular crime would have on a victim.  I’ve considered the vulnerability of the victims and how they would relate to my following made-up scenario victims.  I’ve chosen that particular type of victim because I personally believe the same types of vulnerability relate.  They only differ in that James’ victims have an emotional/psychological disability, whereas the victims in the story below, they are physical.


Would the sentence be different if the boy’s lives were destroyed by James from a criminal misdeed such as this:

As a trusted community leader wielding enormous and unquestioned power (a dream coach), James promises success to blind boys who live by his every directive and hang on his every word as if he was a god. But after their work, James chooses specific vulnerable individuals who are told they must secretly drink a questionable and disgusting muscle-enhancing cocktail – or no more chances at fulfilling their dreams. They simply cannot say no. “Besides”, they think, “it’s not hurting me, and James would never hurt a blind boy trying to reach his dreams”.

After many years of increasing problems, the boys find out the cocktail was not healthy; rather, it was a poison that slowly eats away the brain. James deliberately gave it to them – on purpose – without their regard – with false promises – all for his personal and diabolical satisfaction while knowing that some day those boys would be physically broken, struggling, and never be the same again.

Some time later, James finally gets caught and admits his heinous crimes. As a serial offender with many other blind victims now living in the same shame, guilt, and pain, the epidemic of poisoning blind kids becomes more known to the public (80,000+ in Canada at some estimates).

When James go in front of the judge for sentencing, he tells the judge he’s sorry that he destroyed lives, and families, and CHILDREN who are now walking around quietly suffering without end.


This is what I HEARD IN MY HEAD (that other voice), what Her Honour had to say on passing sentence (interchange the real and made-up events):

“Mr. James, I believe you are truly sorry. I don’t believe you have any more now-adult blind victims out there (out of the thousands you were in contact with) who were forced to drink your poison when they were just boys.  So I’m going to be lenient.

Mr James, while statistics show otherwise, I believe someone who poisons blind boys for their own personal satisfaction usually only does it once or twice.  I believe that after attending that short program on how to stop poisoning blind boys, you have convinced me that you are honest in being cured of wanting to poison any more blind boys. Your truthfulness calls for leniency.

Mr James, I don’t see any physical issues your victims are currently facing. We can’t see how their minds are still slowly being eaten away after decades.  They are walking around and running their lives.  The issues they face can be fixed after a short program (something like yours).And finally Mr. James, forget about how their families suffered all those years as the poison quietly ate away at the victim’s brains. They don’t look like they have been or currently are suffering in trying to deal with the horrible effects and how they manifest in the victim’s actions.  Besides, all families fight, have secrets, and shame issues.  So, I will go easy on you.

Therefore Mr. James, I will only sentence you to 2 years for the following 10 reasons:

  1. admitting your actions (only after you’ve been caught),

  2. feeling sorry (only after you ran out of legal options),

  3. abusing your immense power (and getting away with it your decades),

  4. inflicting life-long pain on your victims (from which they would never recover),

  5. hiding in another country to avoid detection (hoping people will ignore or forget),

  6. being nice and coming back (to save you from a longer sentence),

  7. deceit, lying, coercion, destroying trust (on thousands of kids and adults who believed in you 100% without question),

  8. forcing the victims to risk their identity and shame by having to come forward publicly,

  9. allowing me the opportunity to totally disregard the severe and devastating impact on the his many victims, and

  10. I don’t think this crime is that much of a big deal. They were only blind kids and you only poisoned them a few times many years ago.

I trust this meets with your plea bargain.


I know I am biased in my opinion when I compare these stories because I chose the scenario.  Personally, I believe vulnerable young people who are give their trust, innocence, power to an older and trusted individual, are ripe to sexual predators and pedophiles (whether against boys or girls).


Would you accept James’ actions if it was for poisoning instead of this type of crime (and hidden epidemic)?

After all, they provide the same result.