Saturday, August 30, 2003

Open Your Parachute

A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, a few words can also be worth a thousand words. I’m a believer in the K.I.S.S. concept, although many times find myself not following my own ideas or teachings. K.I.S.S. is an abbreviation for, “Keep it Simple Stupid”. Sometime keeping things simple can be very complicated.

Philosophy, for example, can be so complex that the mere thought of studying things will fry your brain. Yet philosophy, in some instances, can be summed up with simple statements. I submit to you that one such statement is one that I ran across years ago on the bottom of an email message.

“Your mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.” -- Matthias Ettrich

You see it’s the close-minded folks in our society that create most, if not all, of our problems. Close-minded people walk around complaining that the world somehow owes them something. You all have seen them everywhere. Standing in line in the DMV. Yelling at the ticket agent in the airport trying to get a refund on their non-refundable tickets. In traffic honking their horns as if this will somehow remove the wreck quicker five miles ahead of them. Or maybe they work with you every day and you have to listen to them complain about every single thing they can think of until you retire and escape.

These are the people who shoot the messenger. They’re the ones who beat the dogs and their children. And yes, they are even the ones who “go postal” at the drop of a hat. Some people are wrapped so tightly in their hatred and anger at society that they eventually snap under the pressure.

Where do these people go to find solace? How do they unwind, and release all of this pent up rage? Why they join groups of course.

If it’s a group of folks who are more civilized, and perhaps more wealthy, the groups can be things such as Boy Scouts, Mary Kay, Golf Clubs, and Unions. If they are athletic, or wish they were more athletic, the group may be something like Soccer, football, or the swim team. Where can you turn if you haven’t got money, or perhaps you’re just sick of all the other groups? You find a gang of people who are just as pissed as you, and start causing problems for other groups.

I’m not immune to this phenomenon. Scuba diving is my outlet, so I seek those who like to dive. At times I have also been a member of various sport groups, Boy Scouts, etc…

Sometimes, the groups help, sometimes they don’t. If you go to your particular group to unwind, and purge some of your rage into the comfort zone of your group, then the group idea is a good thing. On the other hand, if you go to your group to vent your anger and rage onto others, such as a gang or the KKK, then this is a poor group association.

Have you heard that you should choose your friends carefully? It’s true! Look around at your circle of friends. Do they do what you like, or are you just tagging along because it’s what you think is expected of you. I'll bet a large majority of you have not really taken a serious look at who you hang with?

I’m trying hard not to pick on the religious gangs in this writing, I tend to pick on them a lot, and I really am not a hostile person to their beliefs, just to their attitudes to those of us who do not believe as they do.

That being said, I’m always shocked at how many people go to church just in case this whole God thing turns out to be real. They are actually going to church, because they are afraid of what might happen to them if they don’t. Many folks I have spoken to reveal this same outlook. This is what I mean by a closed mind. Their parachute is wrapped so tight that they couldn’t open it even if they were plummeting to their death from 2000 feet!

My parachute is fully deployed, and I’m sailing blissfully through a clear blue sky!

I listen to all types of music, from Classical, to rap and everything in between. I study many different religions so that I can better understand the variety of beliefs that I may encounter in my daily life. I tip servers well, because even if the food sucked, many times the server was doing their best (not always), and they work hard for the tips. I never yell at the people stuck behind the counter at a thankless job. They get crap all day from the plummeting people, so I try to show them a smile as I float by.

When I get stuck in a traffic jam, I put on CD, or perhaps a book on CD, turn up the volume and enjoy the free time. I carry a book with me a lot as well, and if I have to wait for the dentist, I take out my book and get lost in an adventure. You may find me reading about alien abductions or Bigfoot (not necessarily believing in them). Sometimes my outlet is in the form of T.V. and movies. Some days I could be watching a National Geographic special, the news, or 7th Heaven. Movies I watch may be a “chick-flick”, a horror film, a cheesy sci-fi thriller, or you may find me having a good cry during a Disney film.

I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. Not because I have some hang up, but because it’s all bad for me. Anyone who has half a brain should realize that. Cuss words come out of my mouth way too often, and I need to work on that. I’m a junk food junkie, and my diet and weight are other areas due for an over haul. I know it, but I’m having a heck of a time trying to change. This is why if I know someone drinks, smokes, or does drugs, I feel sorry for them not being able to control themselves, I don’t preach to them (well, not much any way).

What’s the point of all of this rambling? It’s to get you to pull the ripcord on your chute! If you only listen to Country music, listen to a rock station for a month. If you are scared to not go to church, take the month reading about twenty other religions to see what they believe in (try to get out of your general religious focus. If you’re Christian, don’t just study various forms of Christianity. Read about Wicca, Buddha, Native Americans, etc…). If you are in a violent gang, try going to the YMCA and start playing basketball, instead of hanging with your buds. And the next time you get angry in traffic, or in a line, take a breath, and use the time to think pleasant thoughts such as going to your favorite place, or being with your favorite person.

I’d like to hear your comments on your own parachute trials. If you decide to pull your ripcord, I’d love to hear how your flight went!

Your chance is now. Stand up, hook up and jump out that door! Sail through the blue sky with me and feel the fresh air whistling on your face. And no matter what, keep that parachute open at all times!

Happy sailing,

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Commandments

I’m amused at Judge Roy Moore of Alabama crying about his monument to the Ten Commandments. It amazes me that a judge does not understand the fundamental basis for our government and its views on religion.

In fact, I often shake my head listening to Christians cry that their religion is being attacked, and that this is the work of atheists who are bent on destroying religion.

Hello? McFly [knock, knock, knock on the head] Wake the heck up! It’s the very same Constitution that has allowed Christianity to flourish over the years in this country. Not only can’t you erect a Christian-based monument at a courthouse, but you also cannot place a statue of Buddha, Satan, or a pentagram there!

Just take a step back and think people. If you don’t want to see other religious artifacts gracing a certain public facility, then the Christian artifacts cannot be there either. Sorry, but it’s what has made this country so great!

I’m so sick of hearing that this is the end of the world for you folks. That keeping religion out of public things such as courthouses and schools is the end of Christianity and this country. Are you so dang insecure that this scares you?

The goal of any religion, whether you want to believe it or not, is to recruit more members and keep those that you already have your claws into. The problem is, that mainstream churches, and organized religion, are slipping away. People are getting sick of the holier-then-thou attitudes, and they are no longer afraid of the dark. No longer do we require a fictional supreme being to provide guidance and protection.

This scares many Christians, because in reality it’s not that they are truly concerned for the well-being of others, it’s that their scared to death that their little religious gang safety blanket is becoming unraveled. They can’t accept that what they have dedicated their lives too, might have been the wrong choice, and if God doesn’t exist, what will they put their faith in to cope with the stress of day-to-day living? Who will hold their hands and tell them what to do? What will happen when they die? It can’t all be for nothing!

Have some sad news for you all. Our legal system was not from the Ten Commandments, nor Christianity. Most of it came along way before the Bible and its stories. The Constitution is in place to prevent you zealots from trying exactly what you are trying to do! See some of my other entries to explain that this country was not founded by Christianity! So stop saying that it was!

Here are a few more quotes just to annoy you some more.

“History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1813

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributors. Keep the church and state forever separated" -- Ulysses S. Grant, 1875

"The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be left high and impregnable." -- Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, 1947

Have a FREE day! Courtesy of your United States Government

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The Grim Reaper

What happens to us when we die? This could be a really short commentary because nobody really knows for sure.

Christians will be the first to stand up and proclaim you go to heaven to meet JC and the boys. Some believe you will reincarnate into another life form. Still others think we merely leave our bodies as wisps of vapor and float around until we are called upon again to inhabit another baby.

What do I think? For once, I’m not certain. Oh, I have some theories. Those that know me are well aware that there is little I don’t have an opinion on. To be perfectly honest with you, I have no clue what happens to us when we depart for the happy hunting ground.

I’d like to think there was some happy place where we all go and get to rule over our own planet, or get a harem of a hundred of virgins. Then reality creeps into the picture and I think that when we die, we just…well…die.

When I finally cease to be a burden to my family I want to be cremated. I think the Native Americans had the right idea. What sense does it make to get placed into a box and buried six feet underground? So that others can come and look at the headstone and cry on your birthday? How silly is that?

My mother is upset that I don’t want to be buried, but I hope I outlive her so she won’t be too upset over the fact that I won’t be taking up residence among the critters of the underworld. I’m talking worms and beetles, not demons or devils. Instead, I will be burnt to ash, and perhaps dumped into the ocean to have my remains placed back into nature. Even in death, I wish to be of some use. No need to hang onto my ashes in an urn forever. What good will I be doing in there?

When we die, I’m betting that our soul, life force, or whatever it’s called, leaves our bodies and goes back into the mix. The Force if you will. From there who knows where we’ll end up. It would be cool to be aware of cruising around without a physical body, but I think we sort of loose most of our realization that we are even alive. Would we still be alive then? Hmmm, I wonder?

I truly hope that when we die, we’re all cognizant of the fact and can all meet again and have a huge gathering of friendly vapors. Since we’re not sure, let’s all live for the now. Be friendly and nice to all you know and encounter. After all, you could be stuck with them for all eternity!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Freedom of Bondage

[This was a reply to an article by Bob Lonsberry (8-12-03) on his site about getting government to make marraiges be only between a man and a woman.]

Although I do not approve of the gay life style, life choice, or whatever. I do believe this is still a free country. I served over 20 years in the Air Force to make sure it stayed that way!

When we talk about fighting for our rights and freedoms this country provides each of us, you all are the first to raise the patriotic cheer.

If there is a group trying to exercise their right to utilize that freedom you jump on the hypocrite wagon.

Christianity is not the only religion/belief system in America! Anyone have a problem with that or care to state that it is? Go ahead and show your stupidity!

That being said, I think Christians have every right to state that marriage is indeed their doctrine, and as such should be only between a man and a woman. Marriage is, after all, a Christian belief.

On the other hand, gays, or any other non-Christian person should also have every right to be bonded in any such similar form as they wish, and should be able to receive the same governmental privileges as those who are married in the Christian way.

This is not the United States of Christians! And I for one am getting really sick and tired of hearing how if you're not Christian, then you must be lower then whale crap.

I have one simple question for you "Christians". Do you truly love your fellow man, and treat them as you would have them treat you?

Most of what I read on these comments every day from people who call themselves Christians are one of the reasons I don't call myself that any more.

Zealots and fanatics can be found everywhere. I believe there is a passage that says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

Go ahead, start flinging!

Sunday, August 03, 2003

The New Journal

As you can see, this is the first entry of this blog that does not have at the end that it was written at another time and place.

I have decided to host my own journal so that I could control its "look and feel" a bit more, and I also found one that would allow you, the reader, to comment on my words.

The thought of typing out here in cyberspace without getting any feedback just seemed wrong. After all, why should you be subject to read my opinions, which will certainly strike a nerve in many of you, without giving you the same opportunity to strike back?

Please make a small attempt to keep your comments constructive. People will be more inclined to read well thought out replies instead of short, "you suck" type of comments. If you disagree, let me know exactly why. If you agree, I'd like to know that too!

There are times when I feel alone in my viewpoint of life in general. To me, many of my observations are so basic, yet it seems that nobody else is looking through the same eyes as me. Every once in a while, when I have the ability to discuss some of these topics with others, I'm heartened to discover that I'm not alone at all. It's just that we have been bred for so long not to question some things and folks are downright terrified to even bring up the subjects!

How often are we told not to discuss religion, sex, and a whole smattering of other topics, for fear we may offend someone else? Schools even practice this attitude, which is downright scary to me.

Keep reading here and we'll just throw it all out on the table for everyone to see. Comment if you'd like. Don't be afraid to spill your opinions and feelings out in the open for everyone to share. Heck, I've pretty much stripped naked and bore my soul here for all to read. Scary? You bet! It's nice to get it all out in the open though.

Come on in and join me!