The Thing about Cages

We don’t cage the animals, like livestock although we may fence them. Livestock are not considered a treat. It’s analogous to how we treat people. We cage the potentially fierce like lions, tigers, gorillas, sharks, killer whales, and other “majestic” species you can think of (the aforementioned are not equivalent to those in jail). It’s our own human limitations that make us want to limit the special among us. It’s our selfishness, fear, and insecurity that makes us want to capture them. Then view them in awe. It’s our selfishness wrapped in fear that makes us want to tame and keep these living beings hostage. We keep these animals from maintaining a balance and expressing their freedoms. Us humans foolishly, also ironically, believe that holding back is the best way to move forward. And we cage the greatest or special humans as well.

The most fierce of humans are kept in control–or caged. Not speaking to the dangerous of us that are in jail, but there are many people who found themselves in jail–innocently–as a way to keep them under control, see Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you are special, you better watch out. People will gang-up on you, and try to control you or cage you. People are rewarded for not being a treat to others’ egos or goal-reaching, even though they are supremely mediocre. So for those tigers of men who can out run, swim, climb, think, dedicate their passion to something, you must be careful. Be careful not to end up caged, while having your ability of expression which could manifest in awesome change for the world be stifled or shutdown.

We Are Dying for Motivation

Video

In an American where you can’t afford the basics like food, housing, clothing, healthcare, retirement, education (without paying for it forever), and the list goes on, you’ll find the market for great inspiration increases. Why keep pushing? Do you need to look into your child’s eyes? We’d kill for them–right?

Where opportunity is not knocking, or where chances to show your worth are thwarted by systemic problems of society like “who you know” being more value than “what you know,” killing the theory of merit, we’re left looking for inspiration to keep pushing against the odds.

Keep dreaming and keep working, America. Don’t quit in this increasingly difficult world to live with a decent foundation.

The power is within us.

Concept of God through Sports

I don’t have to look further than my athletic experience or other people participating in sports to help me understand bigger life conundrums or know that a “higher power” does exist. I know there to be a God/Gods/God-like-force in the universe and functioning this planet because of the miracles I’ve witness in watching sports and playing sports. As athletes, we are like living physics problems; we are also like artists. But, sometimes when art and science can’t fill that gap, we have to turn to something else. Thus, I found myself transfixed at times seeing or feeling the presence of God in what I was doing or watching in rarefied moments, because it was unexplainable without such. You could make the argument that “science just hasn’t come far enough yet.” But, we will never be able to explain our existence as it is, purpose, and all the questions that start with why.

My concept of God isn’t associated with any one religion, but more so a collection of many religions. God is availed everywhere as like an energy in the atmosphere, especially in times when science or probability leave us stupefied. For example: when that hockey, basketball, lacrosse, or billiard ball player makes a miraculous shot, that can’t be duplicated because of the perfect alignment of “the planets” if you will, to allow for that triumph for that team or person in that very moment, while simultaneously creating joy in others watching; and the associated pain for the opposition, to learn from that experience. Giving them the chance to bounce back and appreciate their next win or success (moral victory) more deeply. That has to be something greater than coincidence or luck or misfortune depending on which side of the equation you are on. People often time wonder why a God, would focus on sports. 1) I don’t think it is right to personify God; but 2) why wouldn’t God work in sports as with the rest of life since it is a part of life just the same; also 3) There is so much attention in the sports world, if God were to want to send a message, why wouldn’t “he/she/it” want to express their powers there? But again, God is something else that’s everywhere, all the time, drawing on our energy as we get it back from that energy.

God is that presence when two cars collide, but no one is injured, because of the occurrence as it unfolded allowed one or both people to defy the odds of incurring pain. God was there when the vehicles were being designed to be safer. There is video of a person being perfectly spit out of his car as it rolled over, landing him on his feet, with pure bewilderment on his face, as his car went on to get thrashed. (Wish I could find it to link it. But this is good enough.) God is that presence which allows a surgeon to have the focus, skill, and ingenuity to combine correctly to help save a life in the most delicate or intricate of situations. Or,  it’s where the Internal Medicine doctor that has been sleep deprived, is still able to go through the memory bank and combine that knowledge with a unique perspective to allow them to treat a ailing patient, ailing from a little known problem, as glorified in the television show House.

Sadly, car accidents, or when other less than fortunate events take place that have a tragic outcome also leave us questioning the presence or existence of God. “Why me?” we wonder with pain and agony. And I don’t know!

Even when I fail in the future, or when I have failed in the past; or experience other unfortunate occurrences, I know I have to remain steadfast in my work ethic, while hopeful, as I keep trying to create a time when things materialize as I dreamed them. If and when it happens, it is bigger than me or you, the individual, but a sum of effort, the procedure or steps taken, probability of success, and good fortune working in our favor. We can only take responsibility for so much when things go wrong just as when things manifest as desired.

In athletics, especially a team-sport, players and coaches analyze what could’ve been done better or differently, often times resulting in a player being held accountable. An awesome and most pure approach is that the team outcome is the accumulation of many events not to be blamed on one person; or allow one person to have all the glory. But, too often, we see players feeling the pressure or accepting the blame for a loss, when there were many players out there on the field or court. But what about when a player drops a pass only he could’ve caught to win the game, or miss a shot only he had the opportunity to make? It becomes very absolute then. Either it went well or it didn’t. Was it fear of failing or fear of success, lack of talent, or something bigger? But one thing is true: there is another time to get it right…unless that was the last. Hopefully we aren’t experiencing the last one, but you never know when it is or the next to last one. Just give it your all and be thankful for every experience. And understand that there are other venues for the expression of talent to create success or happiness.

In my estimation, Athletics are a microcosm of life in its entirety. And athletes have a very direct connection to the physical and incalculable energy that exists in the world. It’s why I love my sport of choice and was so sad when I didn’t have the opportunity to continue it at the highest level. But, I’ve found peace in that I can still play the game and still feel that connection.

Now, I’m moving forward with what I have learned from the game and those lessons have been priceless for me in the non-sport world. I also can better appreciate that there is something greater working its show too.

Insurance

Insurance has an interesting history of development through the years. The business of insurance as it has evolved to today should leave us with knowing we must change our outlook as a community and challenge the structures that exist as is. We can sort through the pros and cons, then deliberate further pertaining to what is actually a “pro” or “con” about insurance. Personally, the concept of insurance isn’t a 100% knockout-great idea.

Insurance requires a person to plan is such a way, that you create a safety net for foreseeable and unforeseen issues alike. That is incredibly smart. But, insurance also asks for you to bet against yourself. You pay money, in the event you “lose,” whatever that may be, so the loss won’t be as bad. That problem with that is: if you win, by not having anything go wrong, then you have just lost that money you paid. It puts you in between a  rock and a hard place. Looking a bit closer, you may see insurance as a nice communal pot, where the money of one payer or many payers that don’t need end up requiring any insurance benefits, goes to help the smaller percentage of those that do require the policies of the insurance plan to take effect. The cornerstone of insurance companies is that they believe customers will not need their services, which customers pay for, more than they believe customers will need them. It gets worse when the government mandates that everyone have insurance in order to drive, practice medicine (malpractice insurance), or live as it relates to healthcare.

There are pros and cons to government involvement. Disregarding those pros or cons, government involvement has led to mis-legislation and mis-regulation, which allows for the concept of the insurance business to be manipulated to a point where people can’t help people, which is really the main goal or purpose of this business. What does that mean? I mean, insurance companies are to dole out cash to people who provide services in order to help those injured or afflicted in some way, which their insurance is supposed to cover. Doctors, mechanics, lawyers, etc. cannot or chose not to perform certain necessary services, which may be well within their power, for another because they know they will not be recouped those “costs” by insurance companies based on “policies.”

Looking to the insurers, or insurance companies, which run a very profitable business, it is clear that the money making aspect has trumped and eclipsed the business purpose. Plus, the money generated has to pay operating costs of running the business, so it’s like a money cycle or pie. Those who manage the flow of the cycle or those cutting the pie, find elaborate ways to take more of the money as it flows by them, or cut a bigger slice of the pie (whatever analogy works best). Essentially, the insurance industry has become a great place for the greedy and selfish to get their glutenous desires quenched, but those are vices that don’t quell easily.

Where does this leave the individual? What is the little boy or girl to do? What is the father or mother to do? What is the man or woman to do?

We have to take ownership and responsibility for ourselves. And, hope that we have prepared for a day when we need the assistance of a mechanic or doctor or lawyer when that unfortunate time arises. We could wish that the money paid to an insurance company that is unused for our own needs, will somehow be allowed to come back to us, or reduce future costs for ourselves and our progeny. Some plans out there actually have policies like that in existence, but not enough. At the end of the day, I’m not worried about having the best insurance company, I’m worried about having the best health, driving skills, home care, and business practice to avoid having to deal with the insurance companies. I hope to remain fortunate no one breaks into my house, or that I don’t get hit or hit anyone with my car; that I remain healthy by staying illness and injury-free. I hope I live long enough and generate enough income to where I can leave something for those I leave behind on that day I die. All of the above is regardless of having insurance to cover me or not. This is my Do It Yourself speech in so many words.

On Earth

Hard pressed to
find a pretty dress that our mother can wear
But pressing harder to unscar that surface she wears
it’s been far too many years of our arrogance
we should fear it
not adhere to it
we are the feeble ones
I’m declaring it
that our actions lack perspective of nexus
to our own demise
it’s our selfishness

But it could be that our Mother can handle all that we do
and it could be that we’re just annoying
like in our terrible twos
Our mother will out live us all
and we’ll likely be the cause of our own downfall
and take others with us
hoping our time won’t go unnoticed in forever
from atoms we came
or dust
years spent pillaging and searching for lust
depleting all we can
not worried about the next man
we’ll be lined up together as sand
to the dust we return
dealing with a woman’s scorn

Maybe the lord’s or other bad fortune of the heavens
we should pray for benevolence
our mother spins hard in rotation
much is her flotation
and patience
let us learn from the world we’re in for all the clues are here
embrace it, take trips, and get there…
finding the why…

Here on Earth

 

Sport to Life

Coach Mike Preston once told me that I’ll never be as good as I can be, until I take it upon myself to put in the wok on my own. Mike Preston was my prep school basketball coach, who also accompanied me to my first college, as an Assistant Coach.

In college, I had to work on my jump shot accuracy and consistency. Over the years, a player will learn certain drills and believe in them blindly, as if that’s all a player can do to improve on those areas of their basketball game. That was me. I thought I was hard working and motivated–and I may have been compared to those closest to me, but I needed to do more. Bear in mind that there is always someone somewhere working. Getting better when you aren’t.

Working with this coach was an exercise in expanding my mind and approach to what it was to master a skill and become great. “It” has to come from within. A person will only be as good as they can be when they start making themselves take those 200 extra shots; or going to run; or hitting the library or writing without being told by an authority figure. It creates ability or skill, and confidence in yourself.

The greatest theories or innovations in art, philosophy, sports, and the like are not made or formed in a classroom or during a team regulated practice for the most part. The real discoveries of self-ability are found when doing one’s own experiments–although maybe based on classroom teachings, furthering the groundwork laid by individuals in a person’s environment.

I got exponentially better at basketball when I decided that I didn’t need a coach to put me through a workout. I found a way to challenge myself. As this relates to the rest of the world, I know that self-starters or those who go above and beyond the call of duty are those improving at the greatest rate of change.

Improvement is a core feature of living, in my estimation, such as adaptability is essential to survival. You can reference Darwin and other theorists of evolution if you feel otherwise.

I guess the teaching my parents gave me for being accountable or responsible for my own actions was driven home by a basketball coach, by seeing it applied in a more discrete venue. My room was never as clean as the time I wanted it clean. The same way my jump shot was never as accurate until I took it upon myself to never want to miss, or think every shot was going in the basket.

I found new ways to perfect shooting; or made new moves to help me get by a defender; or imagined making shots with a defender guarding me. When I was using my imagination the results were greater. I believe that is applicable to all things.

Being mindful that rules and laws set a baseline, the imagination in conjunction with hard work is here to expand that baseline; thus giving us more. Sports are a microcosm of life in general, but certainly as sports pertain to improvement.

Do a Sit in on this Shutdown!

snagged from the Huffington Post

snagged from the Huffington Post

It’s a shame that Congress has taken this step to estop the Affordable Care Act (worse known as Obamacare). Congress is debunking the theory that the cream of the crop rises to the top. Now, what’s more disgusting is what this says about us. It says that money drives everything for us. Federal workers will not get paid, therefore they will not be able to go to work. Aren’t there things that need to be done? Isn’t our government here to work for the people by the people–not trap us. But, I guess federal workers very well can’t just go in to the job because the costs of energy used to run certain buildings or the supplies used for doing jobs.

I still feel as if that is a cop out. Energy companies and property owners can’t take the hit, just to keep the wheels turning? The Feds not working will affect them too. The paper and ink that is used at federal agencies and departments have been paid for. Why does everything need to stop? But, it’s clear that we work for money and not for the people, which the federal government is supposed to do. Shouldn’t we be working for a purpose greater than money?

Congress is also sending another message: We wield the power. And, this may serve as a disincentive to ever vote a minority into power again. Or create a country-wide response where the majority will never be elected, as the population continues to shift.

Congress has used money as a mechanism to punish us. Well, we have to grow to become better than allowing money to control our actions. You can’t very well say “fuck money,” but there is more to life. We have purpose. Other people depend on the work you do. And, there are responsibilities that we should feel are greater to us than just a way to pay the mortgage. We shouldn’t be mad a Congress alone. Be mad at the fact we have allowed this to have so much power over us; and it’s something we created–money. We’re handcuffed by money and an absurdly high cost of living environment. We have to work.

Therefore, Federal Employees ought to rebel by going to work. They ought to not follow the instructions to close offices or federal land. Stand-up, rise up, fight, against the Shutdown by doing what it is you do everyday. Let this be our restaurant “sit-ins” of the 60’s. Have some gumption.

Finding Infinity

Infinity….
Infinity….
Your Quran, Bible, Zen and Torah….
Can’t explain the pain
Infinitely…pained by infinity
The Holy Trinity….
has yet to make sense of and make it make sense to me what it is that is…..
Infinity….

My mind can’t get beyond the pain or the grain…of sand on beach that is the Sun’s equivalence…
No truer sense of pain is my insignificance….
That floats through unremembered, unthought of, uncared for, and unnoticed…..
in infinity….
Infinitely Infinite infinity.

I Promise I’m Not Crazy or High…right now!

Movies are great, in that they provide insight into the emotions, feelings, perspective during the occurrence and combination of certain happenings. Movies are great barring the sensationalism, although they do speak to the requirement of luck in life (my randomness).

After seeing World War Z, ghost and other horror movies, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, all the MIB movies, and other world or life changing events shown in a one to two hour format, you get to thinking what would you do if that were to happen. Would I be the hero? The first causality? Or, a lucky island vacationer watching the news and praying to stay safe?

Me!? I can’t wait for Predators to show up or the Alien visitors, assuming they haven’t actually arrived and live among us like in MIB or plotting to take over like in The Faculty.

Why!? The Human Race is stagnant right now…for the most part, socially speaking. We need a mean ass wake up call. The only problem with that wake up call, if it were to happen right now, is that we would be SO unprepared. Our leaders!? Are failing to lead. But they can’t reasonably implement evacuation procedures without scaring the shit out us. We get rattled by new Stop light and speeding cameras. But seriously, our leaders are failing to lead because we still hate each other based on image; state or country lines that don’t actually exist, but in our minds and maps. We kill each other over “territory” or a “block” that we don’t own property on, if we can actually even own property. We focus on the importance of playing Monopoly, but with actual life and land.

Lastly, I really do recognize and appreciate how far we have come since the last century and recordation of human existence, although I take it for granted. We have a long ways to go, socially more than technologically. And, there is way more to be done technologically. Imagine if Christopher Columbus or Galileo magically got a chance to see what the world looked like today. Their minds would be blown walking on sidewalks, seeing cars, buildings, planes, trains, Flat screen tv’s, smartphones, how we dress, and more. Like, imagine what advances we’ll have in 50 years. I guess we need to keep pushing and FUTW.