Progress/Schmogress

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Forward or back?

One could argue going back is not a bad thing, although most would say forward is the only way. That’s progress.

Forward = Progress, Backwards = Failure

Is it really, though?

Some things might be better with progress, but it would seem to also create more to solve or resolve. Don’t you think?

We forget that some things, not all things, were actually easier just to feel content with. It didn’t require advancement. It was an acceptance of something good and held some ease for us because it was ingrained in us. That isn’t always a bad thing.

As much as I love progress and doing things better (and I really do!),  I’ve also found that development introduces a new level of “work” that has to be incorporated. It actually means adjusting in a way to what is easier but then requires more effort to be “aware.” It fills your mind to the point where you’re at a maximum state of involvement. Is that really progress? For me, it just means another challenge to balance.

It’s like we are more engaged in a way but not meaningfully. So I feel like simplification is distancing us from meaning. How then is this progress a good thing?

I, for one, would like to remain genuinely invested in this world.

What about you – how do you feel about progress?

Music And Balance

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I know that I have a need to let music embody me for enjoyment. It’s also a distraction for loneliness or wanting to feel nostalgic about a memory. And sometimes just headbanging intensely with a good AC/DC tune is good for the soul. There are quite a few artists that I like and for so many different reasons. My tastes run a wide berth, and across all time and genres.

Reflecting on my teenage years, I realize I used music quite heavily to navigate some of the emotional chaos in my life at that time. Shaking off the demons accompanied by music was quite cathartic for me then.  In my youth, whenever I required a release of pent up emotions, I’d turn on the record player. My go-to album was Genesis – A Trick of the Tail. I’d start by playing the song Ripples and let all the deep, sobbing emotions rise to the top as I simultaneously cried and sang out all the angst. A sort of purge, if you will. Next came A Trick of the Tail to set my mind on a path of a take-charge, purposeful freedom. Lastly, Los Endos to take all the heartfelt emotions which erupted with the first song, allowing them to build again into a fever pitch of strength and control. Feeling them explode with the crescendo of the song, emerging spent and empty, that was the goal and what saved me from going deeper inside. This was my process when living became all too much. It allowed me to escape from my own destruction. And kept me from being committed.

It’s interesting that I find peace and quiet are what I relish most being a grownup. But maybe tapping into such a focused release might do me some good in my older years too.

Purpose

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Sydney Sims

Pain is a part of life. Every one of us will experience or have to endure pain.

Minimizing pain requires knowledge, wisdom, action, and bandaids.
Alleviating pain requires living through it.
Eliminating pain requires no instances of infliction.

I think being pain-free only happens before and after we die.

Is our purpose in living only to just feel the least amount of pain?

Sex, Lies, and Ratings

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Maybe relationships should come with a rating system?

G                strangers
PG             acquaintances
PG-13       good friends
R                transitioning to another level of intimacy
NC-17       best friends or friends with benefits
X                committed in every way, hardcore relationships, trust is off
the charts, depth of knowledge of the person is almost symbiotic

Role Model

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Some people have said that they look up to me. Please don’t. I’m just as human as you are. I have failings. I have failed. But I keep moving forward. At times, it’s just small steps. Eventually, I get where I want to go. This works for me, helps to better me. It doesn’t make me out to be something special, just facilitates my self-improvement.

It’s something you can do too.

Hang Up The Belt, Please

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WikiMedia

Spanking children is wrong. Using force and inflicting pain to make a child understand something, no matter how it’s justified, is just abhorrent to me.

I can’t say that was always how I thought about the subject. But I’m glad my opinion has evolved, and I would never consider doing it again.

The idea that hurting a child intentionally, a miniature human you supposedly love, is the way to make them understand some lesson; well, it’s just stupid really. I feel that all it really teaches a child is that the people they love are capable of causing them pain. Might it deter a child from bad behavior? It’s entirely possible. But in my estimation and in published studies, it can also create a whole host of adjustment issues which appear later on down the line in the child’s life.

Add to any future emotional repercussions a child may have as an adult, the spanked child learns to repeat what was done to them in their childhood with the next generation. They will perpetuate the practice because they think it was normal. In reality, though, our society does not condone physical assault by adults on other adults. It’s simply not acceptable in our society. We actually put people in jail for that. But yet, spanking is a tradition which still remains to date. It makes no sense.

So maybe instead of just hitting our children into fearing their parent(s) and/or creating future spankers, let’s do things which would encourage the growth and development of a mature individual. That seems like a reasonable solution. Much better than a violent one.

Webster’s Rules

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Thanks – David Fitzgerald 

How ironic to receive this meme from a friend today! I’m chuckling still. 🙂

What needs to be said is that words have a specific meaning. This is why we have dictionaries. They remind us how to use words in their correct context. Does and can the definition of a word change over time? Of course. But if we are using a current definition of something then this is what informs us about the content while reading or guiding us, does it not?

Otherwise, isn’t deviating from the definition of a word to satisfy one’s own interpretation simply just making up something entirely new but still wanting to call it the same thing? It’s illogical, IMO, if we already have an established norm for sharing information.

Thoughts welcomed!

Leaving The Wild Behind

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Our DNA tells us we come from a past of leaning into our impulses. Where combats and aggression were a part of the natural order. It is an instinct to survive. We were animals; we still are. It’s how humans are classified – Kingdom – Animalia, Genus – Homo, Species – H. sapiens.

But we aren’t animalistic anymore. Or are we? How often have we run into people who treat others with a “You get what you get, deal with it?” , “Fight or die” or “Fuck you, I got mine?” operating mentality? Having evolved is the reason we seem to have a conscience and a brain. Doesn’t that mean we should treat each other better? I want to believe that the majority on this planet don’t give into their base animal instincts and behave reasonably acceptable in our society. But then I watch the news or review social media. It’s not pretty. And then I think about my behavior. How do I react to people and certain circumstances? I’d like to think I’m not stuck in that gear of just instinct. But if I’m honest, I have to say I do sometimes respond with some of that piss and vinegar.

When I reflect on who I want to be, my wish is to emulate and radiate loving, nurturing behavior all the time. But being the descendant of a long line of beings running on basic instinct means that I realize that it takes effort and a desire to feel opposite of my nature. Sometimes the motivation isn’t there. Especially not in the face of belligerence. My capacity for understanding tells me my initial reaction might be to behave like an animal but also that I can make a conscious decision to not give in to that instinct. It does, however, require a commitment on my part every time my instinctual reaction rears its ugly head. We may be animals, still, but being in possession of a brain which has progressed and is armed with a conscience, it should not predispose me to act animalistic. We are capable of rising above our natural tendencies. And we understand that. But we have to want to be more than what our past dictates.

You can only change what you know, right?

All Encompassing

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HK Photo Company – Unsplash

I recently read that the definition of love is liking, respecting and appreciating the authentic being of another. Aiding that person with cooperation during their life journey is another practice of loving someone. That sure sounds nice. But something that, on the surface, seems a little lacking when you think of how someone traditionally describes love. But let’s go with that for now.

Real friendships not only mean there are intense and deep feelings of like, respect and appreciation for each other but having real friends also means you enjoy that additional “I’ve got your back no matter what” mentality with them. Add to that, there is a level of honesty within that connection that occurs which you won’t find in connections more appropriately deemed acquaintances. Life would be harder for us if we didn’t have at least one of these kinds of friendship.

Intentional sexual connections can happen in isolated incidents, with fuck buddies or full-on committed relationships. Having these types of encounters are not only beneficial to us, but they are also enjoyable as well. Keep in mind, having any sexual encounter requires us to dictate what brings us pleasure in order for them to be satisfactory.

I’ve watched people talk about soulmates and “loving like I’ve never loved before” only to see it fizzle out fairly quickly. So were they either not in love, not friends or was it not understood that sex is fleeting and that in long term relationships without a committed effort, sex could become boring not understood to begin with? Of course, each relationship which comes to an end has many varied reasons for the demise but shouldn’t ones that we expect to be everlasting to have the qualities of love, real friendship, and sex?

And if we don’t have all these components as I mentioned above, why are we surprised that the relationships lacking one or more of them are possibly not as fulfilling as we’d like them to be?

I welcome your thoughts!