Freedoms

“Freedom of action, freedom of expression. And that means the freedom to express your opinion, not the freedom to hurl crude insults at those who think differently, though these days some people don’t seem to know the difference. As far as I am concerned, that kind of abuse has nothing to do with freedom.”

From: “The Tulip Virus” by Danielle Hermans, translated from the Dutch language by David MacKay. Published in 2008 and translated in 2010.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way…every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom.”

Viktor Frankl

“Our lives begin to end
The moment we stay Silent
about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King

I am reminded of my freedoms and my inner voice reminds me that our freedoms mean nothing if we do not live freely. We are free to differ with each other but do it with respect, if not for the person, then at least for the right of that person to have a different opinion. When we differ, persuasion is the key to resolve the differences. And if persuasion based on rational (to you) arguements fail to convince then we must simply agree to disagree and move on to find common ground. Bullying and abuse of power only generates hard barriers, resentment and hatred.

I lived a life dedicated to making changes that would make life more equitable and fair for all. Obviously there is still lots to be done. But we always remained civil, peaceful and calm. And big changes happened. We did not let demagogues control us. Our minds remained free to adopt and live the lives we had the right to live. When we saw an injustice, we spoke up and took action.

Don’t complain and take no action. Speak up and persuade. Live and let live – and if possible, help others along the way. “We are not here to see through others, we are here to see each other through.” And finally, live well, love always and laugh out loud every day.

Love – Hate


Lord make me an instrument of your peace

Where there is hatred … let me sow love

Francis of Assisi

Another short one today. It really is a simple and yet vital. We humans are a social species that absolutely cannot survive without each other. Literally! Yet every day we see hatred being expressed and acted out against “others”. Others are humans that have what we want, or are different in looks and/or beliefs, or are keeping us from our beliefs and activities … and so on. You know what I am talking about.

So how do we address differences? Start by acknowledging them. Then look for commonalities. Focusing on the commonalities, find ways to help each other live your lives in peaceful pursuit of contentment and happiness. I wrote a bit about this some time ago in “Universal Guidelines to Live By“. Another item that puts forward how we can live together is “Everything In Life Is Negotiations-pamphlet1.

We can disagree vehemently with others but do not make it personal with trolling and personal attacks. Attack the issue and put your views forward in ways to convince. Don’t sow hatred or personal ridicule … sow love and personal acceptance.

Do what you can!

It is a world absolutely full of fearful problems that have the effect of putting many of us into a tailspin. Weather events are so much more than we are used to seeing. People are even more intolerant of each other than they have been. Social media has given a platform for idiots to attack the postings of others just to get noticed. It seems that we are falling down the rabbit hole of nuclear war between two peoples whose leaders are just plain out of touch with reality. All of that, and here I am espousing that we can be happy anyway.

How? No, we don’t just stick our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away. There are a couple of things that I would advocate. Look at what is happening that particularly concerns and/or scares you. If enough people did something in particular, could it change it for the better? Could enough people doing something at least make the situation you are concerned about liveable. Then just start working towards that end yourself and do what you can to get others to join you. Everything worthwhile started with just one person taking just one step followed by another.

What sorts of things can we do? Pick up that piece of garbage that some idiot dropped and left. Consider and do what you can to be ready for a severe weather or flood event that might cut power and shut down all services for a period of time. A water supply is essential along with foods that can be stored and eaten without access to power. Know your neighbors and develop friendships with them. Be supportive and caring regardless of differences.

What about the biggies? Climate change and nuclear annihilation? What can I do that can make a difference?

Let’s look at climate change first. As mentioned above, I can prepare for emergencies that can be caused by severe weather. But I can also reduce my impact on worsening stuff that contributes to speeding up and exacerbating climate change. Don’t bother arguing with deniers. Just reduce your carbon emissions. Reduce consumption of things that contribute to the destruction of rain forests and forests in general. Reduce consumption! Share.

Nuclear annihilation? Raise your voice wherever and when ever you can. Let our so-called leaders know know that “heck no – we won’t go” is real. Not appeasement but for sure not bombs. The Korean problem is a real tough one and I don’t have any answers. If we can collectively figure a way to ensure people can get unfiltered messages and news let’s do it. Start by unilaterally declaring peace. Get that to the people. Send huge supplies of food to the borders and offer to help deliver it to where it is needed. Include clothing and building supplies as needed. Show that we really do want to be at peace and helpful. No money – goods that no other country may buy for money.

Above all, do what you can do. Make it prt of your conversations with others to ask and encourage them to do the same or at least what they can do. Don’t obsess about the news. Live locally and do what you can. If we can all do that, we will certainly be happy anyway!😎

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

― John Lennon

A great quote shared by Stuart Anslow. Lennon had it so right even in his early years. The one thing we all desire, above all, or at the foundation of all, is to be happy. Where we get confused and off track is when we lose the meaning of what it is to be happy. We get lost in accumulating wealth, being “successful” and “doing good things” and making sure the rest of the world sees and understands how great we are. In short, we get lost in EGO.

You have, perhaps, read elsewhere in these posts that it is very useful (and important) to consider what you want the result of your action or words to be before doing or saying it. If it is to serve you by showing others how brilliant and “right” you are – that is EGO and is not destined to be a part of being happy. If it is to help and serve others in a non-selfagrandising way, that is a part of the voyage of happiness. Yes, happiness is a voyage, not a destination.

Think just a bit about some of the things we have done or are doing right now because we think that it will lead to happiness. Saving money for a trip. Working hard to gain that promotion or major sale. Writing an article to prove how right your viewpoint is. (Hmmm…) But don’t those sorts of things lead to happiness?

Sure, they probably lead to a happy moment or period of time. But we need to look a bit deeper. What is the motivation? Saving for that trip is hard and can be stressful. However, if the motivation is to go to that area and really get into the place you are voyaging through, the saving is easy and happy. If the promotion or big sale moves you further along on helping others, the effort becomes easy and it is all part of the voyage we call life. And it is part of living in a “happy” state. Writing is a whole other thing! 🙂

You have heard me say before, contentment in your everyday life is a key to being happy. In actuality, by contentment, I mean being grateful for what is in your life now. It does not mean that you cannot want to strive for “more”. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that you already have a great deal to be grateful for. Stay focused on what you have to be grateful for and absolutely do not give time thinking about what causes stress and feelings of inadequacy.

Yes, Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day!