The Day My Life Changed Forever

It was after dinner, and everything was cleaned up.  The rest of the time for the evening was mine.

In my tiny attic bedroom, quiet, alone, and free from my 7 siblings, I sat in the middle of my bed with the oversized book across my folded legs.  I leaned over and stared at the full-colour pages glowing under the eerie beam of the small reading lamp.  The moment flushed warmth from my face; and then a large teardrop raced gravity to fall below perfectly into the middle of the bright yellow sun.

weather-supercell-by-Sean-Heavey“No way…” I whispered to nobody else.  And then – time actually felt like it stood still.  No sound, no smell, no breath – not even a thought.  I noticed myself looking around the room without moving my eyes.

Up to this point in my life, I have never experienced anything like this from reading information.  I had never read anything more baffling and completely life-rocking – except maybe from some passages in the Bible or health class.  I figure the only thing that would be worse, I thought to myself, was to actually hear someone tell me that what I was reading was true.  My world was immediately tossed like a leafy dinner salad with just the very possibility.  “…No way.”  I shook my head.

If there was something I thought for sure I knew, even at this tender age of 10 years old, is when I am being duped by adults.  After all, I’d already been abused in many ways and many times by every authority figure I ever trusted in my short life.  All of a sudden, I am reading a book that was putting into question THE last refuge in which I had placed myself to gain and maintain any kind of sanity and hope in my life. Now, it too, shattered?

(I know, I know.  It’s a little heavy thinking for a kid, right?  Yet, at the same time; my life was already tested from the abuses, foster homes, continual trauma, and my (first) medical near-death experience a few years earlier.  These things change a person – even at a young age – whether I knew it or not.)

***

As a little guy fast growing up to quickly (or ‘forced-up’ as little adults, how I always explained it), I was already gaining a reputation in my family, with friends, and within my close community as a “Whyz-Guy”.  I was very extroverted and loved being around people older than me.  With them, always wondering, asking questions, and always asking why gave them a feel-good moment.  I was so fearless back then (and it’s because I didn’t know any better), I would even stop strangers on the street (I still do), and ask them why – or how (my second favourite question).

(Check out my earlier post on “asking why” called: “Asking Why Without The Stress, and have a look at the “WhyzAss Creed”.)

Was it curiosity? Getting an understanding? Being nosey? A vice or addiction? Or maybe a psychological response to other issues?  I know now from an incident a few years earlier, I felt I lost my father’s trust.  So maybe I was trying to prove my worthiness to him.  Who knows?

All I know for sure, is that if something caught my attention – and it happened often, I had to know the answers.  I was, after all, having fun learning all this stuff too. I discovered that life is interesting and can be filled full of excitement all the time if we wanted it to be so. It is just up to ourselves.  I guess that is why I have been to so many schools, training programs, and educational experiences – to keep having the fun! (And just to let you know – I was never geeky or a ‘know-it-all’ towards anybody.)

So, back to the incident and it’s foreplay.  In response to my personal angst, I decided to create a plan for myself to protect me and help me get through these years of continual pain and trauma.  What I did was to I build these emotional and social walls around my world.  I designed a lifestyle for myself that gave me a sense of safety; and a lot of it had to do with a solitary lifestyle.  Not knowing so, but I am an introvert by nature already, so it wasn’t a big stretch for me to be comfortable with the aloneness.  (Where I had the problem was in the loneliness.)

I had already been exposed to too much of life.  For example, I was travelling (on public transit) downtown on my own six days a week and saw some of the darker sides of inner-city life and survival.  I already had my first near-death experience (as memorable now as it was 50 years ago). The emotional and physical abuses at home compounded the secret trauma I was already experiencing from several incidences of sexual abuse by several adults (of both genders) – and that really messed me up that I could tell nobody.

What made it so difficult was the contradictions I saw and experienced about life, family, love (yada-yada).  Because of my treatment by my parents, I had the privilege of seeing and hearing healthy ways of child-rearing and relationships; and I just couldn’t understand why I didn’t have the same kind of lifestyle in my upbringing.  “Why wasn’t my family nice?” “Why was I always afraid?” “Why is it different?”

In my plan, I decided to keep things pretty simple.

Other than escaping to my little cave in the attic (my bedroom) to draw, paint, and read; I also hung around two places outside the home: the local recreation centre – the place that saved my life and molded my ethics, morals, and values; and the library – the window of escape to anything I would ever want to know as a kid.  If there was another thing I was sure I knew – the recreation centre was safe, friendly, nurturing, and fun; and the library was a place where I can trust the information and the people who were responsible for it (the librarians).  I volunteered at both places often there and participated in a lot of great intellectual and personal growth games and challenges.  The library is where I got the book I was currently reading (and causing me great stress!).

As far as I could tell, it was a good plan.  I stayed out of sight like my parents wanted it.  I stayed out of trouble which my parents demanded.  I stayed in line and obeyed everyone.  I thought it was working (even with the acknowledged abuses) because I was getting through it day by day. (How do you eat an elephant? One spoonful at a time.)

At school, I tried my best and did well (much to my peril).  At church, I was an altar boy and went every day.  With recreation, I can always be found at the Rec Centre.  At home, I played the piano (Conservatory scholar), did my chores, and stayed away from controversy.  Alone, in my attic refuge, I usually listened to the hockey games on the radio while I drew, painted, and dreamed of better days.  It was just a matter of time.  I believed that because I was told often.  Patience.  Reward.  Penitence.  Humility.  These were all the things I could look forward to in my young life as I exercised the best logic in my daily habits.  And still …

***

So, here I was on this evening, under the dust of yet another crumbling psycho/social pillar that held my life together; I too, broke down, cried, and shook away certainty once again.

All I want is HOPE.  If there was anything I could count on, it was at least my future and it’s possibilities.  I knew enough from my varied learnings that at least I had some kind of control over that.  (Like I said, I had already seen and done too much; so my level of thinking was more survival-mode than anything else.)

Here I was – reading a book – and now even the possibility of future inner peace and happiness in my life was questioned.  I knew I wasn’t happy, and I wanted to be.  Was I placing my trust yet again in more lies and deceptions?  I felt my life sinking into the pit of misery.  But how could this be so?  All I had to do (according to adults) was to get a good education, go to church, raise a family, and lead a life of compassion towards others.  Now this was even being destroyed – and I put all my trust in this “plan”.

Never in a million years did I ever think that astronomy would be the defining wedge that would shape and direct my life for many years to come.

***

(More tomorrow. K)

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Touching Freedom: Discovering A Life With Purpose, part 3

What is Life like Without Purpose?

Bob drops himself down on the sofa and lets out a huge gut of air.  Collecting himself, he looks around: converter on his left, laptop on right, 2 cans of beer and some chips in arm’s reach, and his canine buddy – ole’ Smokey napping by his feet.

Bob grins and for a change (on a Sunday), he pauses for thought.

His mind drifts to a feeling of contentment.  He has it all, he figures – the kids are almost grown, work steady, mortgage is getting paid, and the wife puts up with his habits and complaints.  Yes, life good!

Then all of a sudden, the feeling disappears.  This time, his mind decides to go a little deeper into thought – and he remembers this process – his heart begins to race a little and in the slideshow of his life history, he runs through some past life events in his mind and thoughts (both enjoyable and disappointing).

A kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings emerge; and although Bob dislikes the moment, he continues to think even though he knows he actually has a choice in the matter.

He remembers back to the summer when he took a car apart and re-assembled it in his garage.  The feeling of satisfaction from learning and accomplishment gave him reason to feel happiness.

Bob remembers back to the economic recession a few years ago, and how a near-breakup of his family over money almost destroyed him.

And his mind skips back to the time when he showed his son (and having him understand) how the cylinders of a car engine worked, and almost crying from the experience.

He remembers his father telling him many years ago to be practical with his life and get a job with benefits and a pension.

“Here it is, Sunday,” He thinks to himself.  “I’m supposed to feel good on Sundays – I like football.”

Bob begins to wonder why he feels this way, and can feel himself being pulled deeper in thought.

As he feels a sense of desperation lurking and waiting to take over, Bob summons the strength to bring himself back to his front room and the pre-game show.  Bob blinks wide-eyed and gives out another long sigh.

Glad the moment is over, he grabs the converter and calls ole’ Smokey over for a loving scratch behind the ears.  As a can of beer pops open in his hand; Bob puts his feet up and settles in for another Sunday of sports entertainment, and in relief, puts these thoughts behind him once again.

— * —

Especially for those of us over 40, we all know the expression “mid-life crisis”.  We can all recognize it when someone else is having it – and we are scared, stupid, and wacko when we are in it ourselves.

All joking aside, this crisis we all seem to go through, is at a time when we look at our own life and ask questions like:

  • What have I accomplished in my life?

  • Is this all there is to life?

  • Am I doing all the wrong things?

  • Having I been missing the point all along – and now my life is wasted?

  • Should I be doing something different with my life?

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How Do We Know These Questions Exist?

We just have to look at the news and entertainment gossip to see how these personal questions are answered in our lives.  Look at the divorce rates?  Seen any over-50 wannabes re-living their youth by driving around in a sports car?  How about those Second Career night schools and mature-student college applications?  This is a normal part of being human, this being aware that we are humans with ability.

This forms part of the foundation of our Life Purpose.

There are many reasons why people go through this crisis – and it is not always limited to the over-40 crowd either.  Many people wander through their whole life living in this constant crisis.  Not knowing how and not able to confront this wall.  We’ll get into that in a future post when I discuss obstacles to living your Purpose..

Seeking our Life Purpose is the subconscious/unconscious act of going through that (not-so mid-life) crisis with the understanding that it will allow us to be happy and fulfilled (whatever that is, right?) when it is all said and done before we die.

This happens to people every day in every corner of the earth.  Some people call it a religious experience, or a voice in the head, or a force calling them … whatever.  Thing is, young and old, man and woman, and then and now; we have either felt something like it in our lives or we know someone who has felt or achieved it.  It doesn’t even have to be a major health crisis either.  There are as many reasons as there are people because everyone has a beautiful and unique gift to share from the expression of their Life Purpose.

Before I finally got it, I used to curse the world for punishing me for being a good guy, and always giving my best to everything and everyone – and still I had no joy or fulfillment in my life.  Of course, during those years, I didn’t know about my disabilities or the education from life introspection and social observation.

When I said in an earlier post about “blood, sweat, and tears” being a part of seeking Life Purpose, I wasn’t kidding.  In my case, I was blessed/cursed with having many talents, curiosities, and opportunities to use my self as a lab rat in this search.

During these years of searching, I felt as if there was a reason for my being here on this planet.

It wasn’t a religious or existential conviction; rather, it was a deep sense of being able to do something worthwhile with my short time life – so why not?  Besides, I thought it was better to get along with people rather than always fighting.

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Feelings We All Share

These feelings and type of experiences are not limited to just my life.  Our life “stories” are just as similar, just the names, people, and activities are different – but still the same.  It all comes down to the same basic questions and emotions we experience ourselves:

  • Feelings of emptiness, being lost, and unfulfillment

  • Always questioning our selves in our motivations, needs, and wants

  • There is something missing in our life – “is this all there is?”

  • We are secretly lonely (not even close loved ones may be aware)

  • Feeling like life is out of control

  • Envious of others when they have successes – especially when we intuitively recognize they are living their Life Purpose

  • Feel like we are always making the wrong decisions

  • There is lots of drama in our life

  • Begin to feel victimized (whether real or perceived)

  • Wondering if we really ARE just automatons (or robots) living out our time

These thoughts haunt many of us consciously, subconsciously, and/or unconsciously.  Regardless, it is usually present in our lives and forces us to wonder.

What is the “story” of your life?  Is your wonderings painful?  Are you enjoying the learning experience of your life?  Is it difficult?

In the next post, we will look at the great joy and benefit of Living A Life WITH Purpose.  See you next time.

Kevin

Touching Freedom: Discovering A Life With Purpose, part 2

Why Is It Important to have Life Purpose?

If I may make a first brief request before we begin; I’d like you to think about something:

  1. What was it like waking up this morning for you?  What did you do?  How did you feel? What was your state of mind?
  2. Now consider the same questions and think to the time(s) you had your greatest experiences.  What were your moments like then?
  3. How different were the 2 experiences?
  4. Which do you experience the most?

 Which would you prefer?

 ***

A quick reminder note:

Don’t believe anything I write, OK?  It’s NOT the truth.  These are just my assertions, opinions, and observations based on my personal experiences of life.
If I may suggest to you:  Try this stuff out.  Look at it and think about it.  It won’t hurt.  Use what you like (if anything), and throw the rest away.  Deal?

 —– : —–

Eternal Life

Having the opportunity to Discover our Life Purpose
(that’s always been lurking and poking itself in and out of our experiences) is

AN AWAKENING

after years of desperately feeling around in the dark
(like the scene played by Patty Duke in the movie about Helen Keller)

and appearing to go nowhere without understandable reason.

Always wondering “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME!”

 —– : —–

As expressed in my last post on “What is Purpose?”, I asserted that in our life when we get to express our Life Purpose (often or always – whether we know it or not), we experience a shift in our lives.  Do you wake up in the morning jumping out of bed declaring your excitement for getting the opportunity to go to work?  Do you feel like you will be off to work to make a difference in someone’s life?  Are you doing something that adds value to your life?  We give ourselves a reason to wake up in the morning.

We all do know the feeling of joy because we’ve all been there – I’d say probably up until we learn to walk.  After that age, life is rough because walking was just the first thing we had to learn – and we didn’t know that.

Okay, maybe a little harsh or off the wall; but the point is, the reality is that joy of waking is not always a joy for most of us – and it hasn’t been for a long, long time.

— : —

With Discovery Comes Understanding

The greatest feeling when discovering our Life Purpose is a magical experience; but getting the opportunity to live our Life Purpose is altogether on another plane: it’s just freakin’, fantastically amazing!  It’s like getting ECT (a hefty jolt of brain-zap); and all of a sudden someone turned on the lights (that we didn’t even know existed … though we had a feeling…) on our life.  Of course, being human; when the light went on for me – I made myself feel stupid and brilliant all at the same time.  (Is there an ailment that describes this, lol?)

The Best News

Anyone can feel this way (without the ECT, of course).  All it takes is just some personal conviction (not a conviction!), courage, and an emotional investment to live this kind of life.

Yes, it’s also difficult and easy to do all at the same time.  We’ll look at this in future posts.

The Disguise of Life Purpose

Here’s the most incredible thing I’ve noticed from the thousands of people I’ve known and met.  I’ve seen countless men and women from all walks of life nervously balancing the tightrope they call their life and expressing their Life Purpose – and almost every single one of them didn’t even know it.

When it’s pointed out to them (from many people) how great they were at what they did, it’s often just brushed off as ‘something I just happen to be good at’.  They don’t have an awareness for the gift they offer others.  For many, it’s just a personal hobby or interest that lives in the backburner of their life.

Yet the power of Purpose has no bias on who it chooses to affect or impact.  I’ve met personally irresponsibe people who’s lives got caught in the social disease of their circumstances; yet, they are the most genuine and passionate individuals when they are ‘in their element’ and expressing their Life Purpose.  Regardless of their life situation, such as poverty, mental health issues, or other outside interference of their social lives, there is always a look of love expressed in their eyes (their window to their living essence).

— : —

courtesy of Anne, Newfoundland.com

Why is it so important?

The main reason is because it gives our life (and existence) what we need and want from it.  Our health is emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically healthier.  Our body needs and deserves this.  And that’s a proven scientific fact in many areas of study.

Of course, with today’s lifestyles, it is easy to think we get everything from life we need and want already as life occurs.  Yet, you and I both know intimately that it may be possible what we think about and do with our time may be just distractions (TV, pub night, social media, addictions, etc.).  It helps us either to forget or forgive ourselves.

In a nutshell (greater detail in future posts), here are some examples of the amazing benefits of a Life with Purpose (and I kid you not!):

1 – We are Wealthier

Internal life benefit:

  • We do things better that creates value
  • We are willing to do “good work” with/for others
  • We share more
  • People want to give things to us
  • We spend less money on frivolous things

2 – Happier from the Self-Expression

 Internal and External life benefit:

  • We value the joy of doing what we love
  • We see beauty in everything
  • We see possibility in everything
  • Everything is experienced differently
  • We get a better perspective on our life

3 – People like to be with us

External life benefit:

  • We complain less about life
  • We like to be with others
  • People like to be with those that are happier instead of always complaining, etc.
  • We become good sources of ideas and solutions for problem solving
  • We become more empathetic to others’ situations
  • We don’t talk about or complain about others

4 – We are Healthier

 Internal life benefit:

  • We have less stress
  • We want to be healthier because we ‘have things to do’
  • We take care of ourselves
  • We understand the value of balance in our lives

5 – We feel valued (valuable)

Internal and External life benefit:

  • We feel like we are doing something of value
  • People are happier around us and share
  • People seek us out for advice
  • We love expressing ourselves as individuals

6 – We relate better with others

Internal and External life benefit:

  • We become better listeners
  • We are interested in others and what they are up to
  • We are more honest
  • We are non-judgmental
  • We like to laugh

— : —

 In the next post on “What is life like Without and With Purpose”, we will look at examples of what life actually looks and feels like when we are living a Life with Purpose – and of course, the other side of the coin with looking at what life is like for those of us who are still struggling with this dogged and elusive enigma.

Until next time,

Kevin

Nietzsche says about our life:

There is no truth, no meaning to life in the world that is relevant to you, except the truth that you yourself give your life.

… To give life a meaning:

that has been the grand endeavor of all that have preached ‘truth’;
for unless life is given a meaning it has none.

.

At this level, truth is not something that can be proved or disproved:

It is something which you determine upon, which, in the language of the old psychology, your will.

.

It is not something waiting to be discovered, (it is not) something to which you submit or at which you halt:

It is something you create, it is the expression of a particular kind of life and being which has, in you, ventured to assert itself.

.

Because each particular life and being needs a fortress within which to preserve and protect itself and from which to reach out …..

and truth (your meaning to life) is this fortress.

What To DO To Get Along With Everyone

Can you imagine enjoying a day where everything is going along as planned; people are being and doing things that don’t upset you; and you feel like a body of energy waiting to take on the next task.

While this sounds like one of those days you will remember for a long time, it is a day you can have each and every day you choose to have it so – and it is a choice for ONLY you to decide for yourself.

What I’ve written so far about Getting Along With Everyone is not about reaching for an impossible goal available only to the most serious.  What I’ve written is possible for you.  I say this with confidence because it happens to me every day.  Remember, I live with 4 debilitating disabilities with all the reasons to not bother even trying this stuff.

So, it is possible for you to Get Along With Everyone and live an exciting life of your choice. Just remember:

Why Do I Think This Will Work?

It is based on historically-accepted writing and teaching in philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology.  As a result, what I am saying here is nothing new.

The content concepts are ancient and respected – and have been sources of discussion throughout our existence as humankind.  All I am doing is just taking what was said or written and re-phrased it so that it makes more sense to us in the 21st Century.

Given the results throughout time from using the concepts and ideas, I have a little faith in the content and the power behind it.  But I can’t guarantee anything – I can only assert, opine, and propose.  But I do think this stuff works because it has for me for many years.

It Will Work Best If You Don’t Buy Into My Assertions

  • Believe nothing I’ve written or instructed – it is only drawn from my results in my life; so they are not totally reliable
  • Challenge EVERYTHING and be skeptical – you will create your own personal experiences filled with life-altering results that will ROCK YOUR WORLD!

Keep in mind these important notes:

  • This opportunity is NOT about being friends with everyone.  We can’t be friends with everyone.  This is about not having Anybody, any more, doing things that causes upsets in our lives.
  • It’s about, for example, seeing someone try to be a bully; and instead of getting angry and shutting down, you are compassionate about the pain the person is experiencing.  You can then be an opening for having a conversation and getting an understanding of the person better – if you choose.  That bully may be someone to avoid, but at least you won’t be upset any more.
  • It’s about all the tiny little conflicts that come into our lives all the time every single day of our lives, and being able to keep the significance in perspective.

______  .  ______

What You Need To Remember First Before You Can Begin To Get Along With Everyone?

This is where it’s easy to struggle with this concept (and possibility) and get sucked back into the trap of living the life we currently live every day.

It’s easy – because we are living in the middle of the Game of Life with relationship rules, personal habits, entrenched beliefs, social conditioning, etc. (The Game from which we want to become free).

Yet, because we are all in this same trap together at the same time – we can easily let life slide us back into that Game because EVERYONE plays by those rules.  And if we want to break free from those rules, we have to keep reminding ourselves – at least at the beginning – of the secret to Getting Along With Everyone.

__________________________________________________________________________

FEAR IS EVERYWHERE (and it’s not even real).

  • We are all afraid of some things
  • We may not even be aware of the instances or levels of Fear

We Train ourselves to react to people and incidents that keep us feeling Safe.

  • Because our fears are broad and plenty, we’ve faced them countless times
  • We plan our lives around avoiding the fears we hold inside.

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT:

We express ourselves (acting out) the only way we know how.

  • If yelling at others work (for example) so I don’t feel “less than” myself, then that’s what I would do to get what I want – to not feel this way.
  • If crying when I made a mistake works for me so I can feel secure in my job, then I will turn on the waterfalls.
  • WE ALL HAVE OUR SECRET WEAPONS to feel less Fear.

______  .  ______

What Will It Take To Get Along With Everyone?

We’ve heard the promises for years and years from someone like me who has a suggestion about making life easier.  We’ve also heard how it is SOOOO EASY to do (with little or no money down, lol); only to find out later that the work is more of a hassle than the end result.

I’m glad to share with you that other than remembering the 3 points above, that’s all there is to it.  Of course, there is a certain way of Being required in order for you to realize the full value of the exercise and the speed of results you seek.

Please allow me to make 3 assumptions about You before we go further.  It is these:

  1. You’ve already read the first 2 posts on this topic/series so you can understand what is actually taking place.
  2. You’ve most definitely read the posts on fear (– or you just won’t get it).
  3. You have made a personal commitment to truly and seriously Get Along With Others for all the RIGHT reasons (ie: NOT power and control).

I’ve made these assumptions because none of this information is understandable, relevant, or possible to try out unless you have done these things.  That was the hard work – now comes the easy stuff (at least it will be easy once you get started).

I compel you to honour these 3 things I am about to suggest – or this will be the downside:

OTHERWISE, IT WILL TAKE YOU 30 YEARS
OF TRIAL AND ERROR

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT THE SAME CONCLUSIONS
I SHARE WITH YOU TODAY.

.

Therefore, to save a lot of headaches and time, please take much care to:

Exercise Patience

  • Unless you have ability to take in the full concept of Fear right away, You will have to be patient with yourself.
  • You create great relationships and lifestyles OVER TIME and ONE PERSON AT A TIME
  • You will notice the changes in Your life through things with which You don’t have any relationship at all.
  • Don’t plan or expect something to happen or take place – just let it happen.

Practice Always

  • It took You Your whole lifetime to perfect the things that make You who You are today
  • Consider this exercise a “skill-builder” that needs reminding every day until it is a part of who You have become
  • Eventually, this will all become second-nature to You (better than a Habit).

Don’t Force Anything

  • JUST LISTEN – LISTEN – and LISTEN
  • It is going to be too easy to fall in a trap of giving advice or suggesting types of action
  • Let the relationships You (re-)develop to form organically and without pre-judgement.
  • The other person has no idea what is going on in your mind – so they don’t know you are “digging for love”.

______  .  ______

What Are Some Of The Things You Can Expect To Happen As You Learn How To Get Along With Everyone?

The suggestions I make below are from my own life experiences with literally thousands of people I’ve met in my life.

What Can Happen To You:

  • You will become more aware of what is going on around You
  • You will remember more things/conversations about others
  • You will become more generous
  • You will smile more and be angry less
  • You will become more intuitive about other’s feelings
  • You will pick better friends
  • You will become more compassionate (not sympathetic) towards others

What Can Happen To Others You Already Know:

  • They will start wondering what is wrong with You
  • Conversations will become awkward – but more profound
  • People who care will become closer; those who don’t will drift away from Your life
  • They will share more personal/intimate issues with You
  • They will want “Whatever It Is You Are On” (LMAO)

What Can Happen To Others (Strangers) You Don’t Know:

  • People will automatically become nicer
  • More strangers will speak to you from out of the blue
  • Small children and pets will become drawn to you
  • Ask you for your opinion or directions

What Will Most Likely Happen In Your World:

  • People will want to give You things
  • People will want from You (not Things)
  • Life Will Slow Down to YOUR pace
  • Gossip and Drama will become less relevant in Your daily life
  • Less Stress and More Laughter

______  .  ______

 

Finally, HERE IS THE SECRET

TO GETTING ALONG WITH EVERYONE:

What You DO To Get Along With Everyone:

It’s real easy and flowing with almost nothing to do.  Understanding Fear, and it’s role in our lives, is not difficult to undertake – so please don’t try and complicate anything.

Here we go; and this is what You can do to begin to Get Along With Everyone:

WRITE DOWN the 3 Main Points

  • Carry the paper with you always in a pocket You use often.
  • Just look at it (and nothing else) as often as you can each and every day.
  • The benefits you will receive will become more plentiful over time.

Treat It Like A Game and Experiment

  • Just watch how life occurs IN FEAR all around you and in everything.
  • Take mental notes of what you see and how you react to those occurrences.
  • Let the experience happen organically and accept what takes place – REMOVE ALL EXPECTATIONS!
  • As mentioned above – DON’T FORCE ANYTHING!

LET GO of Your OWN Fear

  • Remember, WE ALL live in fear, so understand how your own fears play in the relationship and can distort our initial impressions or feelings.
  • Look at your internal and external reactions to others – and DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF!
  • You are in control and have nothing to Fear – DON’T JUDGE OTHERS!
  • The beauty of this exercise BEGINS HERE (letting go of Fear) because you begin to operate your life out of Love and Understanding instead of Protecting and Hiding Out.

______  .  ______

The Subtle Power of Media Abuse?

The media is powerful – you know it – I know it – we all know it.

We know their power is established in doing their work with honesty, integrity, and the highest degree of professionalism.  They’ve fought for the right to hold that esteemed position; and as a result, we (the viewers/readers/listeners) have come to expect the media to live up to their responsibilities that come with being a part of the industry.

Because of the acknowledged MAJOR role media plays in our lives, our societies have developed “checks and balances” consisting of agreements, guidelines, and laws that ensure the media honours the privilege of their position in society.  It gives us, the public peace of mind in believing “Big Brother” is being watched.

Sadly, it appears that over time, the public has come to unrealistically trust and believe the media’s commitment to “the truth”.  Sadder still, recent events in the last few months have had me wonder whether the public has been duped into this false belief.

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Below, I list 4 examples of recent Media releases in the Toronto Canada market (within the last 3 months) that are at the very least, in very bad taste.  When you group the incidents together according to what they do (according to the ELM Test of Integrity), it appears to me to be almost heinous in the powerful abuses they exercise in their actions.

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1 – TSN:  The Sports Network – a national cable sports channel

What happened:

There was a between-period segment where a number of commentators discuss issues and games based on their hockey expertise.  The bit was about supportive relationship between a budding young hockey star and the coach of an NHL team. It was an inspiring and positive report.

After the segment, the hockey panel went on to remark on inappropriate relationships with young athletes.  Because of what the NHL coach said, the panel made an inference of child abuse by an NHL coach by joking and commenting on the coach’s remarks that he had a good relationship with the young hockey star.

They further joked about it and laughed to give the impression that it was acceptable to laugh about child abuse.

Can you see the possible media abuse when I apply the “ELM Test”?

Ethical: They crossed the line when they brought in the issue of inappropriate relationships with young athletes when it wasn’t necessary.

Legal: They may have caused a legal issue by using the NHL coach as the butt of their jokes about having inappropriate relationships with young athletes.

Moral: They minimized the seriousness of the issue of inappropriate relationships with young athletes by making jokes about the issue.

As a victim and survivor of a sports coach abuse when I was a boy, I was very upset with the segment and how it was twisted.  I wrote an email to them (mid-May), but I did not receive a response. I then wrote to another news outlet – they did not respond either.

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2 – CP24: CityPulse24 – Toronto local 24-hr all-news channel

What happened?

A “breaking-news” story came on the TV about two missing women. As is the standard protocol with news releases by the Toronto Police Service, they included information that could help identify the person that is missing.

The second woman broadcast included a description that seemed a bit odd.  Along with the usual information (height, weight, hair, etc), it included that the person was Persian. I wondered how someone would know how to identify a Persian, and if there was still a country named Persia.

After I did some research, I found out the name of Persia is no longer in use.  I also found out something else that actually scares me:

There was no Toronto Police media report about the missing person.

Actually, the media release didn’t happen until a few days later.

I wrote an email to CP24 asking where they got the reference to Persian, how it was part of the description, and it could be considered racist. They thanked me for my writing to them.

Can you see the possible media abuse when I apply the “ELM Test”?

Ethical: They crossed the line by adding something to the description that was never included in the first place. They manipulated hard news from the police.

Legal: How did they get the information from the Toronto Police Service? The official release wasn’t listed until a few days after the news first broke.

Moral: Was morally wrong to believe they can get away with misinformation.  There was no police report (yet the inference was so), and they intentionally made up information.

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3 – CTV: CTV News Toronto of national media network

What happened?

There was a new news host on the program this particular evening. He was doing quite well until he got flustered.  When that happened, it only got worse.

After the break, the host introduced the weather person; and unfortunately got her name wrong.  After an embarrassing chatter to recover, the host then went on to compliment her on her beauty and the connection to her work.

The weather person handled it very well, and they moved on.

Can you see the possible media abuse when I apply the “ELM Test”?

Ethical: Is it unethical to use something in poor taste (in this day and age) such as referring to a (co-worker and) woman’s beauty to recover.  What the heck was on his mind – and how did the weather person feel?

I didn’t find any other questions regarding this incident.  I was wondering how they would apologize or even if they felt there was something for which to apologize to the viewers.

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4 – Toronto Sun: local daily tabloid newspaper

What happened?

I was reading the local newspaper and came across a photograph that didn’t look right. After further research, I noticed the “photograph” (as it was credited) appeared to be manipulated by creating an image from several others.

What caught my interest in this particular issue is that I was under the understanding that publicly published images has certain royalties, required credits, and correct information of the image.  This image was listed as a photograph when it actually was not.

So, if they are willing to take liberties with something as minor as this; how many other instances has there been in the past?  Do they often pass of images as photographs (and thereby deceiving the reading public)?

Can you see the possible media abuse when I apply the “ELM Test”?

Ethical: It appears the image has bee manipulated and has falsely given the reader the impression the image was taken as a complete shot in one take.

Legal: Given the issues with royalties and credits, I have to wonder if the image was created from just his shots or did he use public domain issues?  How can the photographer claim any credit for something that isn’t an actual photograph?

Moral: I don’t know if there is a moral dilemma with this issue other than the photographer’s own feelings.  Knowing that he did not create a photograph and only created an “image”, how does he come to terms with himself with the appearance of a fraud he is perpetrating?

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In all of these incidents (as subtle as they are),

the players are all professionals;

they know the media rules and guidelines;

and yet, it appears they still chose to put their integrity

in jeopardy by not responding when questioned.

Our Individuality

Another post on Getting Along with Others is forthcoming.

Before I post, I wanted to upload this reminder from the recent post RELATIONSHIP: We CAN Get Along just to keep a concept fresh in our mind as we journey to the next conversation about practical tips on what we can actually DO to experience the shift in our relationships.

I decided to upload the 3 points below because, like the last entry on Fear, these are constant little reminders I keep in my head as I operate out in the world.

They are now second nature and I usually don’t even have to think about it anymore – with one exception:

When I get triggered from an incident,

I usually just have to give myself a little step back, breathe, and remember the following:

Individuality