For those who are interested in my beliefs and WHY I believe this way, this page covers much of that. It is divided into sections for easier navigation. Simply click on the section title to open the section for reading.
We have a desire to be liked by others. Sometmes we can lose track of what is important to our own individuality when trying to get others to like us.
I want people to like me for who I am, not because I conform to their idea of who I should be. True friends respect each other and accept the good and the bad.
Realizing that we are not perfect is part of this. Others do not have to like EVERYTHING about me in order to like me and the same with my attitude in respect to my friends.
Think about the fact that you EXIST. Just the fact that we can experience life should be enough to drive us to do something, hopefully useful. You only get one shot (at least in this time period) so make it count!
Be proud of the good you do. Learn from your mistakes. Accept the times of humility. If you cannot respect yourself, nobody else will respect you either.
Reality says that you have to work to earn a living and support yourself, at least that is the proper way. This should start with children helping with family duties as they are able to.
Even so, work does not have to be thought of as a miserable experience. When I was little I used to sing, "Mop, mop, mop, etc" while mopping the floor. This might sound silly to some people, but it is a way to make a job be less dutiful and more enjoyable. It is common for me even today to be listening to music (sometimes singing along) while doing many routine household tasks.
Employment work can be positive also. You can choose a field that you enjoy and if your interests change you can switch to a different job.
I also focus on the satisfaction that I get from being able to make a positive impact on somebody elses day. I used to stock products at a store and each item I put out meant that somebody could come in and get what they needed. Simplistic, but true. The same applies to helping customers find items or assisting with problem solving.
If that is not enough for you, consider that your employer is PAYING you to do a job. I figure that if I had somebody working for me, I would expect them to earn what I pay, so I should do the same.
Even if the job does not produce tangible results it can still be rewarding work. Focus on the parts of the job you enjoy and that helps get through less enjoyable aspects. Your own attitude makes a world of difference.
Regardless of whether anybody else notices or mentions the quality of my work on a regular basis, I take a great deal of pride in knowing that I have lived up to my own standards or expectations. There are times that I do not meet them, but I know I am still giving my best effort when I can.
If there is no hope to enjoy the job, then it is probably time to leave and let somebody else take over who can be happy there.
I'm a pretty happy person and I have a pretty good sense of humor. I like to hear and tell jokes a lot. To me, humor is a great feeling.
My favorite humor is what I call situational humor. This is something funny in a situation or as the result of one. Many comic strips have this type of humor, which is probably why I like comics so much. I also enjoy some stand up comedians whose routines focus on humor not constantly revolving around sex or body function jokes.
Teasing (or making fun of) people is also a form of humor. However, I have a definite principal on teasing. As I see it, nobody is perfect and there are a lot of things we can not change. Some people are short, some skinny, some face challenged mobility, some are from different cultures or backgrounds, etc.
I used to be very short and had poor vision while in school. I did not like either of those situations but I had no control over the fact they existed. Therefore it is NOT funny and is NOT something to tease about. Because I do not know the cause of other peoples personal situations (height, weight, appearance, abitliy, etc), I do not believe it is right to tease them about these conditions."Bullying" to me is being critical of others for things out of their control OR being extreme (verbal or physical) in the activity. Teasing should not involve the things that a person has little or no control over.
Humor should be a positive thing, it means we are having a good time. There are plenty of ways to do it without being at the expense of somebody else.
There were times when I thought my mom had memorized the dictionary because she would be able to spell even difficult words correctly and give their definitions accurately without looking them up. I lost a lot of scrabble games while growing up. But there was an impact on me. I am not as good as my mom, but I try.
Communication is a wonderful tool. When we can accurately speak or write out what we are really trying to say, others are more apt to understand us.
When I was growing up, I was taught that "swear words" used to be called "expletives" used in the exclamatory sense. For example, if you hit your finger while hammering, you would shout out a swear word as an expletive to indicate the intense pain. If there is an acceptable use of a swear word, THAT was it.
It seems lately that swear words are used more commonly today. Sadly, they are out of place in a meaningful sentence. I could accept the words used as expletives, except there is often no reason for that in the frequent insertion of random usage. Often the same word is used for two completely different meanings in the sentence framework. NOT good communication skills!
I am not offended by the WORDS, just that they do
NOT add any useful context to what the speaker is
saying and in fact usually distract from it. Also
slang, speaking without using
these words makes the discussion shorter (due to
less words), clearer (less meaningless content),
I have had many people tell me that the reason they swear so much is because it was a part of the environment they grow up in. I grew up with cigarettes and alcohol all around me, yet I never took up smoking or drinking. Why? Because to me there was no advantage in doing it and I saw so much disadvantage by watching the people who did these things. Doing something because others do it is another subject for later, but I still firmly believe that people could learn NOT to abuse the English language so much if they would just analyze what they are saying and stick to what applies to their subject matter.
The opposite of inserting words with no value in
sentences is using the bare minimum of letters to
convey a thought. Sentences typed like the
following are appearing more and more:
r u gona c ur g/f 2nite?I can figure out what that means, but I can also figure out that they only saved 18 letters from the much better looking real sentence of
Are you gonna see your girlfriend tonight?
If folks are too lazy to write a real message, maybe they should try another hobby. If people just do not care that their public messages look so sloppy, then that is just sad.
I would like to also express displeasure with the trend of more words having a slang meaning in addition to the real English meaning. I am hearing more conversations with words that now indicate body parts or functions, drugs, etc. If people are too embarrassed to use the real words, maybe they should not even be talking about the subject matter that relates to these words. Please stop corrupting useful words for these purposes!
I was shocked and elated at what happened just three weeks before my high school graduation. One of my classmates who teased me a lot and made it a point to never have his friends see him near me, came over to me during a study break and asked me if I would like to come to the big senior party that weekend. I thanked him for the offer, but declined because I did not do those things. He quickly looked around and upon seeing nobody was close said to me, "I figured you would say no. But I wanted to offer and also tell you how much I respect what you stand for and being a good sport through all we have put you through. I wish you well in life." Yes, I wrote that down just minutes later. I could not believe that I got a huge and sincere compliment from him!
That was my first big experience with what a reputation does for someone. So often we do not know what others really feel deep down inside about us. Their outward show does not always reflect their true feeling. It was good to know that I reached somebody without even trying.
As long as I can remember, I have tried to live my life being me. I do not do things because others are doing them. As close as I have come to that is mimicking my brothers actions now and then, but I respected my brother so much that it just made sense.
During my working life, many people have mentioned their admiration of my work ethics and lifestyle. I honestly reply that I am just doing what I believe is right and it should not be all that uncommon. But I also believe that a persons reputation really DOES matter.
I have known for a long time that I am not perfect and as much as I would like to be it will probably not happen from here on out either. I demand a lot from myself but accept whatever I can give. In the same spirit, I can accept and tolerate far less than perfection from others even though I would like a sincere effort applied by people to do what is right.
Acceptance applies to things that cannot reasonably be changed. The alternative to accepting what will not change is a stress filled life. An example is a persons physical or background characteristics. Humans come in all sorts of colors, builds, nationalities, abilities, emotional and chemical states. If this fact cannot be accepted, a person will have a pretty miserable life.
Tolerance is acceptance of things that are not such a high priority that they need to change or that cannot change. Sometimes tolerance has certain limits such as time frames where then it becomes unacceptable. Because something is tolerated, this does not mean that an opinion cannot be voiced to call attention to it, if it could be changed.
Acceptance and tolerance does not mean that somebody has to accept everything without complaint. If a situation merits a voice of disapproval, one should be offered. However, it is better to do so only where either a change could occur or the opinion might lead to a change in the long term. There also needs to be a reasonable alternative.
In summary, accept people as they are in regards to what they cannot change. Tolerate what really should not matter to you or affect other people.
My resume correctly states that I do not smoke, consume alcohol, use any illegal drugs (and very few over the counter or prescription ones), or inhale vapors for an effect. The reaction is of disbelief that this is possible in todays society. In my case, it is reality.
Growing up, I saw what bad things smoking cigarettes can do. People would say how much they enjoy it, then walk away hacking and coughing. I kept thinking the good feeling they expressed getting had a much higher penalty than I would care to pay. Sadly, the truth for most is that they NEED this because of the additive properties on the body.
Later in life, I saw more alcohol consumption and the results of it. Again I was told that people enjoy drinking and many enjoy drinking to excess. If the throwing up afterward and horrible feeling the next day is not bad enough, not remembering all of the alleged "fun" would be a drawback to me. This does not even count the things some people do while under the influence of the alcohol. It does not sound to me like a real good time after all. For those who would say that alcohol consumption is a "victumless crime", PLEASE contact your local police or fire departments, marriage counselors, abuse centers, or psychiatrists to fill you in on how this is simply not reality!
I have never tried inhaling vapors or illegal drugs either for similar reasons to the alcohol paragraph above. There is a high price to pay for the effect. Even if I wanted to use illegal drugs, I do not think I would like having to go around in secret to buy them from people I do not know (or would not trust because they deal with selling illegal items). That just sets up a huge opening for them to take advantage of me. Again, the whole ordeal is really not worth whatever feeling drugs might supply.
I remember a lot of good times during my life so far. To name just a few; feelings of sheer excitement, awe of natures beauty, and being around people I like. These are honest natural feelings that do not carry a big penalty of the body rebelling. These are the feelings that I enjoy. If I can have a good time naturally, there is no reason to turn to substances that often result in a bad time too.
Although sex IS a natural body desire and function, I believe it is proper to wait until after marriage before doing it. Aside from all of the bad things that can happen as a result of sex (including unplanned children), I have another reason for abstinence. That is out of respect to the person I would eventually call my spouse. This is also why I believe that cheating on a spouse is wrong. It may not matter to a lot of people, but I have respect for others as well as for myself.
I was inspired to add this section while listening to a presidential candidate promising the country will be safe if they are elected. I cannot express in words how silly they look while doing that, but this small section will try. It goes beyond the campaign promises though.
Ever hear of a concept called "Stranger Danger". This is a program to teach children to fear anybody they do not know. OK, so it is not designed to do THAT, but it works that way. Do not speak to strangers because they can do you harm. Guess what, thousands of children are molested and abused each year by their immediate family, friends, or people they do know! In the meantime, children are being taught not to exchange greetings with people they encounter while walking down the sidewalk in the event that the person is in the very small category of those who would harm the child. Great program, huh.
My point being that we should not teach "branding" based on any given quality, be it a stranger, any nationality, appearance, etc. It prevents us from realizing that those not in the branded classification are still capable of doing us harm. Believe me, I am all for safety and security. But I live in reality which teaches me there is no such thing as a completely safe environment.
When did "common sense" stop being a good guide to activity. Teaching not to take candy or gifts from strangers (something actually ENCOURAGED on Halloween), not getting into cars, not helping strangers look for allegedly lost pets, etc is good. Using the instinct we are born with which makes us feel uncomfortable in certain situations is also good. Teaching how not to be friendly is NOT good. We already have enough of that.
Now a lot of employers do background checks prior to hiring. This is good. But a background check only reveals crimes a person was convicted of and NOT what a person WILL do in the future. Some people who have been convicted of horrible crimes have passed background checks before their crimes.
As adults, we now have the presidential candidates telling us they will keep us safe. Yeah, right. I have heard many stories that these promises were made after Pearl Harbor too, yet we found out in September 2001 that we really are not safe. Guess what, we still are not.
Not an isolated incident, a local bicyclist was riding in a bike lane, even wearing a helmet. He was struck from behind by a car which went into the bike lane. The impact threw the rider through the windshield of the car and he was killed. Terrorism is NOT our only threat. And you can never be completely safe even if you are doing all of the right things in the right places.
Yes, I am sad every time I hear somebody say it is the governments responsibility to protect us. We HAVE laws, people break them. Do not just take my word for it, next time you go somewhere, try counting the number of traffic law violations that occur during your trip....then consider that is a SMALL sample (small region and timeframe) of what goes on everywhere all of the time. SAFETY IS EVERYBODIES RESPONSIBILITY!
We do not need a false sense of security. We should not live in a constant state of fear either. Be smart, be informed, and use your instinct. Become reasonably safe and still be friendly to others. Do YOUR part and take action to get other people to do the same.
OK, so I do not have experience raising children except from my own view of how I was brought up and witnessing other parents and/or children. But that does not exclude me from having formed opinions on what I would teach my children. Mostly they follow all of my beliefs above, but these are worth mentioning.
First and foremost, I would communicate openly and honestly with my children. Kids have a lot of questions while growing up and they deserve answers that are accurate. These answers can vary in detail based upon the age of the child, but must remain truthful.
Lifestyle is now adapted to the family. The media is filled with stories about children being left alone at home or even in cars while the parents go off somewhere. Other people get sitters to watch the children very frequently. Many kids are not even supervised while the parents are in the house with them. Yes it is a lot of work to raise a child, but that is part of the responsibility which goes with having a baby. Deal with it.
I also believe in individuality. Teach the child, watch the child, and let the child be who they want to be. Parents need to give the child the knowledge to make informed choices. The child will make choices based upon what they believe and/or prove to themself. It is not a perfect process, but none of us are perfect.