Spreading Common Sense

Talking with a friend in college, those many years ago, I turned to him and said I disagree with any sort of politics (Actually, I probably used stronger words.).  We discussed this for a while, though I have little memory of the details, but we shared that once three people come together, politics enters (Not always, for with good friends, the talks are pretty much on the up and up.  But to some degree, even then.).

            Have you ever noticed that when two people are talking, there is a certain kind of tone and timber to the discussion, and if you’re close or good friends, quite a joy?  And depending upon how much time they have known each other, and how close they are, the talks can have a quality of great friendship.  An older relative once told me, if you ever have one friend, one you like to do anything together with good conversations, a best friend perhaps, where you can say anything, you are very lucky.  Well, in the above example, or with any of your good friends, have you also noticed what happens when a third person enters the conversation, more so if the third party has a different dynamic than the two?  A change occurs.

            And this is normal, for you’re “close” to one person, not so much with the other, or that relationship is different.  Or you don’t feel as open with the other person.  Or you don’t want the other person to see the side you share with one you’re very good friends.  Perhaps, the other one hasn’t yet shown who they really are, isn’t yet “open”, or doesn’t speak the same language.  The “close” conversations are saved for those on the “in” crowd, perhaps in a good way.  That’s trust.  Something that sometimes happens instantly, but more often takes time to develop.  And the time is well spent.  Lifetime friendships.  There when you need them. 

            But in life, there is another quality, or are other qualities.  People alter their behaviors, what they say, depending upon the crowd.  And the more complex society becomes, the more we see the above dynamics at play.  And there are reasons for this which I can only share one person’s perspective and only to some degree, for to really go into this would take volumes.

            In America, the best country ever to have become, starting on a great foothold, the men and women truly connected to the past, truly understanding tyranny, truly holding liberty precious, so much so that they would rather die free than ever have an over-riding entity provide personal security which they knew often ends up in tyranny, we see what happens when we forget those lessons.  They’re not on television except in older movies, they’re diluted in many educational books, and they not popular culture/language.  Today, we see what happens when the persuasions are to remove the past, remove the lessons, and dilute history, many changing the precious lessons.

            So, growing up with all these “special interests” that have nothing to do with constitutional freedom, break with our history, and trounce morality and traditions (good traditions like family, honesty, hard work, and reliability), we can have so many growing up distracted and lacking clarity.  In other words, so many don’t really know who they are.  Just read blogs.

            I see I could go on and on about this, so I’ll stop myself here.  Readers can peruse my previous articles and read so much elsewhere, perhaps old movies prior to the 60s helping.  But think about this.  Look at what we’re inundated with, from every corner, which then becomes the conversations, people programmed to think in certain terms, thoughts they never would have if left alone to live their lives, on their own merit, by their own hands.  From every corner, we see medical commercials and fears with suggestions for this drug, this treatment, these facilities, and all their solutions.  From every corner, we’re told about security, retirement, programs to help with this and that, and ways legal help can get us more, and sometimes encouraging us to do things we never would have considered when we were young.  But we have to get our own.  From every corner, we are constantly bombarded with “sex”, outrageous outfits, exercise this and that, diets this and that, and articles and commercials about me, me, me.   We’re constantly watching shows that are the lowest common denominator, lacking in any real substance, and people are buying into this.  Why?  Because it’s all around them, constantly talked about, like a kind of peer pressure to talk, behave, wear, pursue, and act in order to be part of society.  To belong.  But to belong to what?  Look at blogs.  So many about themselves, what they’re going through, how they see the world to feel significant, on every conceivable opinion.   People have completely lost touch with what our country was all about, what the founding fathers, patriots, and so many that began this country provided.  Yes, I’m sharing my views, but what I’m attempting isn’t about me, but to get others thinking for themselves, for I greatly miss when people weren’t so into themselves, but just went out and did their thing, had dreams, pursued responsibility and opportunities, and worked together for a truly common purpose. 

            As much as I can, I prefer to be the same wherever I am.  As I said to someone at church, if you know me in one place, you know me wherever I am.  That’s not entirely true, I know, because at work there’s a certain tone and timber in that environment, and one has to be conscious of social rules and work environment conduct as well as the different types of people.  However, even in that, I try to be as much myself as possible, but interestingly, I have found others uncomfortable in being completely themselves, and some, around me, want to walk away because they know, internally, what’s acceptable in today’s society, at work, and in their social groups.  Real talk isn’t popular.  Think seriously, see the causes and effects, know the answers, and you’re finding less and less people who want to dialogue. Why, some wonder (It could be the person orating is too serious or doesn’t know how to socialize and share conversations, but I’m talking about normal everyday conversations.).   Well, I think most people have been “trained” by society to talk in certain ways, to fit in, to speak what’s popular in a popular way.  When wearing pants down to the knees was starting, then becoming popular, I said to friends that we’re entering times when intelligence and real understanding was becoming unpopular.  We’re going to have a whole wave of society, “trained”, to think of “not thinking for yourself, as the way to be cool.  In other words, to not “see,” to not follow the rabbit trail of reason, was becoming more and more accepted.  And I can only say, this was in part planned, then encouraged by companies, the entertainment industry, and even places of work and many places of learning.  Many places were focusing on emotions rather than understanding.  If you thought for yourself, really thought for yourself, because you really wanted to understand, then you were on the out.  In part, I experienced this at a university.  While I had some good to great professors, I also had those who “hated” me for trying to understand.  And there was a growing climate of propaganda.  And I suppose, some of it is below the conscious level, for if what was happening was very conscious to people, they never would have bought into it.  So, these young men and women were learning to not learn, but learn information without real reflection.  You can talk as the professors wanted, but if you stood outside the box, with real insights, it often was not accepted.  You might even be seen as a trouble maker.  But our country was founded on freedom to think, discuss, argue, debate, and find real solutions.  But if the current trends are to keep us from seeking, making intelligence, a real education of self-research and pursuit of a real history, unpopular, then we are going to face being in the minority so to speak.  But we are not in the minority.  It’s just that most people don’t know how to wade through all this.  And as society grows under these influences, some never realizing what’s going on, thinking all this is normal for that’s what they’ve seen since infancy, their own parents unable to verbalize real understanding, cause and effects, and real solutions, what future have they?  But they’re there.  Since I follow the rabbit trail, I know who’s also following their own path of reason.

Seems most people are playing parts, putting on faces, and over time, have developed a way of being “acceptable” to the others within the construct of that work or other social environment.  And with time, more and more people will see this.  Why?  Because more and more are becoming frustrated with what they see.  And more and more are looking to find the causes.  And more and more parents are taking on the responsibility of preparing their own children for tomorrow.  And more and more truly seeking people are voicing their observations, on television, on the radio, in books and other literature, and in general society.  But it takes a seeking crowd to keep planting the seeds of clarity.  But they’re there.  I see them.  I talk with them.  Not as an orator.  Just supporting what they’re realizing so they know there are others and that they’re on the right path.

Going to the store, I saw a few kids outside the door.  I asked, how’s their year going to look.  They explained they’re being home schooled, will access online education, but also their parents are providing other lessons.  I instantly realized one boy, perhaps ten or twelve, had that aware quality.  So, I said, fantastic, but I had two words of advice.  While learning important lessons, truly learn the real history of our country including the constitution, and research and learn about work/career opportunities, more so what he’s interested in.  He said construction.  I gave a thumbs up.  Then said goodbye.  He was very appreciative.  You see?  Like Johnny Appleseed.  I don’t have to worry.  Just encourage others to think for themselves, and if they already are, to give a thumbs up.  They’re on their way. 

And I’ve encouraged older people who just went off the track for a time.  They were searching.  So we talked, and then I said have a great life.  They’re on their way.

            Which gets to the point.  I wonder if most people know who they are.  I wonder if many people are truly themselves.  When they are alone, by themselves, are they comfortable with their own company?  I know one neighbor who’s very comfortable in her own skin, whether she’s at work or staying at home to perform tasks online.   When the Covid thing happened and she did her work at home, she was very comfortable.  And every time I have ever seen her, talked with her, she’s the same person.  Then, there are some of my friends always the same wherever they are, but able to adjust and need be, perhaps at work, but life seems simple for them.   

            But then there’s politics.  What is politics?  When someone says “politics”, most people think of Congress and Washington.  Most people think of the corruption they see.  As I see it, bad politics are when people move outside honesty and natural living, speaking openly and honestly, and ready to discuss in a conscientious and understanding way.  Bad politics is when people have their own agendas, outside the realm of what is best, wanting something more than what is good, necessary, and common.  And many of them are so because they’ve been guided throughout their lives, given brownie buttons for saying what the puppet masters want them to say.  But a kind of politics is also when people know what is best, what is right, and realize they will have to conform to some degree to current environments, but they also are working towards changing others for better, through honesty, though they have to work at framing words and actions to bring others along.  So, there is good politics, which is honesty, and there is bad politics.

            So, when someone says I’m just saying what I believe, that it’s just true for me and not everyone, I know where that person is coming from.  No, I explain, what I’m saying is true.  It’s just a description of reality.  Like saying the sky is blue because it’s blue.  Or saying 4 + 3 = 7.  I’m just saying what is.  I’m telling how the cow ate the cabbage.  And if the other person doesn’t see this, then I know they’re either dishonest, confused, have puppet masters, or lost for a time.  And yes, in some places, it’s not acceptable to say 4 + 3 =7 and that’s the only answer.   Why?  There’s a very real reason, but I leave that for the readers to ponder.

            I have a habit, as many readers have and many readers know, of picking up clues when listening to others.  Within seconds, sometimes in an instant, the other person tells everyone where they’re coming from (I don’t know all about them, of course, but I know where they’re coming from in that moment.).  Sometimes, even before they say anything, like when they walk into a room.  As I told one coworker, I could see that coworker coming a mile away.  Their intentions, motivations, and reason for being is written all over them, and it’s not honest.  I didn’t quite put it in those words, but they still didn’t like it (because their sense of control is to make other people doubt themselves), but I was sharing I was the wrong person to play politics with, for that’s what that person was all about.  I might have to go along to get along, which is today’s norm, but I will see clearly what intentions are present.  Like others, I do what I have to do, but I don’t buy into it.  And where I can, real communication occurs.

            We all enter the world, probably as close to innocence as we’ll ever be.  However, most have to learn to “adapt” to get what they want, to have the friends and associations they want, and to have the opportunities they want.  In other words, they have to learn to play the game.  But what is the game and why play it?  Because otherwise you’ll be “outed.”  Depending upon your goals.  And as society is molded by those of “special interests,” trying to change other’s beliefs and behaviors, trying to change the foundations of this country, and that becomes all around, and we see more and more people giving up their understanding and common sense, the problems grow.  And many end up in psychologists’ offices, some taking meds, because they can’t see the forest for the trees.  All of their lives it’s been all around them, like a blanket covering their eyes, but they want to wake up, but they don’t know what being awake looks like.  And whenever they start to wake up, there’s so many trying to put the blanket back over their eyes, sometime “attacking” them for being insensitive or uncaring, which real caring is honesty. 

            That’s why I enjoyed the movie, “The Matrix”, so much, watching it over a dozen times.  When it first came out, I was astonished.  How was such a movie was ever allowed? Then, I realized, the entertainment industry didn’t figure most people would get much out of it other than being a sci-fi movie.  And though it accurately explained how coming into this world is being born with the blanket thrown over your eyes, inundated with propaganda and rhetoric from the beginning, and the table is set to prevent real living, I realized because most people don’t realize the blanket is there, or they look for solutions that aren’t the real solutions, and they go about from problem to problem, solution to solution, some blogging, others writing, filling the words with information that very few can sift through, that the makers would probably just create sequels that would put people back to sleep with more sci-fi movies that change what the first movie shared.  And that’s what happened.  I know of some fiction writers who told it like it is, then stopped doing that because their career would end, no one would publish their books or air their movies, and they had to change.

            But, going back to the previous discussion, the difficulty with politics is, to some degree, you may never really know who other people are.  For I have seen close friends change depending upon their circumstances.  One friend, after being married for a few years, would talk one way with us but dramatically change around his wife.  And at work, he was another person, completely.  Yet, while we were in college, he spoke openly about his opinions.  He still did, but he learned to play a sort of game depending upon situations.  And that’s his life.  That’s most people’s lives.  But it’s life as it wasn’t meant to be.

            If you ask me my opinion on any subject, I’ll tell you.  I might say, well, I don’t know enough so I’ll have to get back to you on that.  Or I’ll share what I know.  But I’ll also be listening to gather why you asked the question.  And in this, I’ll know where you’re coming from.   And if someone wants to be my friend, I won’t change.  Then, eventually, many walk away.  They like my clarity, but they grow uncomfortable because to really see, to lift the blanket and not talk like a teddy bear or popular beings, they will lose their other friendships.  They’re being trained not to see.  They can see, but not all the way.  For many, it has to be about caring, this movie, these problems, but never real solutions.

            I wonder how many readers would like to be themselves, respectfully, but know they have to play the “game” of life to make it.  Then we have the three types of people (as I understand Nate Shiransky to mean).  There are the completely honest, who manage life, but always are aware.  Some of them have always been completely honest, then finding careers in what they truly enjoyed and believed in.  Some take on the higher challenges of educating others, becoming lawyers to truly understand, and can negotiate the myriad of obstacles, reading and researching, and over time making real and positive differences.  But some of them have to double speak at times to get through life (Double speak, as I understand, is saying something you don’t believe but manage your conversations as need be.), and many are comfortable knowing what is necessary, but some find this difficult, so they choose jobs and careers where they can be around their own.  Some know what’s right, also double speak, but they’ve rationalized their behaviors and talk, doing what they need to do and also somehow convincing themselves that the borrowed beliefs have good points (I think many of this group, with time, suffer from stress and have health issues.), thinking that these other people off the path of understanding have points.  And so, they learn to cooperate, to stand the middle ground, but then, many of them never really have any answers so often have they compromised their values.  Then there are the true believers that believe what the strongest influences are, able to mimic and buy into whatever the overall popular ideas are, often to get ahead.  They suffer no difficulties in this and try to get honest people to change their behaviors to match.   They are absolutely certain of themselves, and will change their own opinions when the popular and current views become the “norm.”  They stand for nothing real.  But whatever they take on, to stay on top, even if it’s just in their own mind and to be popular with their friends and family, they are the leaders.  Like mists.  Just characters in a play.  But they’re serious about what they say their serious though they’ve never followed the rabbit down the trail of reason, or got off course long ago.

            I have a “friend” that’s like this.  We’re friends because we truly like one another, but we’re completely on opposite sides of the fence.  He/she will adjust his/her views depending upon what the “consensus” is, then become an authority on those views.  So, someone asks, why are we friends.  I don’t know.  But we like doing things together and talk about other things.  So, we have agreed to stay away from certain topics.   

            That’s the life we’re in.  So many seeing so many others going along with whatever is the current thinking, whether right or wrong, to survive.  Yet, what are they passing onto the next generation?  Their children, friends, and others won’t see a real person but one who mimics like a chameleon wherever they are.  So, children grow up without seeing clarity anywhere.  Then, some learn to follow.  Then there are the ones who see clearly and wonder, like some of us, what is going on?  And some of those grow up with incredible stress, but others follow the rabbit and are comfortable with themselves.  Life is a real lesson.

            So, the answer?  Think for yourself.  But be brave enough to question your own beliefs.  But if you’re honest, you’ll be willing to go through the discomfort, and valley of the unknown, and also know, with each step of the way, you’re changing things for the better.  For each person that wakes up and smells the roses, seeing cause and effects, seeing the propaganda and rhetoric for what it is, but realizing not to try to change everything all at once but each person does the little things in their little corner of life, makes that little difference for the positive, becoming examples others will appreciate, or some.  But it’s one step at a time, one day at a time, and over many years, more and more people realizing becomes the popular.  Popular to think for yourself. 

Life of Double Speak

A Quiet Audience

            Talking with a friend in college, those many years ago, I turned to him and said I disagree with politics.  We discussed this for a while, though I have little memory of the details, but we shared that once three people come together, politics enters (Not always, depending upon the friends.).

            Have you ever noticed that when two people are talking, there is a certain kind of tone and timber to the discussion?  And depending upon how much time they have known each other, and how close they are, the talks can have a quality of great friendship.  An older relative once told me, if you ever have one friend, one you like to do anything together with good conversations, a best friend perhaps, where you can say anything, you are very lucky.  Well, in the above example, or with any of your good friends, have you also noticed what happens when a third person enters the conversation, more so if the third party has a different dynamic than the two?  A change occurs.

            And this is normal, for you’re “close” to one person, not so much with the other, or that relationship is different.  Or you don’t feel as open with the other person.  Or you don’t want the other person to see the side you share with one you’re very good friends.  That’s saved for those on the “in” crowd, perhaps in a good way.  That’s trust.  Something that sometimes happens instantly, but more often takes time to develop.

            But in life, there is another quality, or are other qualities.  People alter their behaviors, what they say, depending upon the crowd.  And the more complex society becomes, the more we see the above dynamics at play.

            As much as I can, I prefer to be the same wherever I am.  As I said to someone at church, if you know me in one place, you know me wherever I am.  That’s not entirely true, I know, because at work there’s a certain tone and timber in that environment, and one has to be conscious of social rules and work environment conduct as well as the different types of people.  However, even in that, I try to be as much myself as possible, but interestingly, I have found others uncomfortable in being completely themselves.  Seems most people are playing parts, putting on faces, and over time, have developed a way of being “acceptable” to the others within the construct of that work or other social environment.

            Which gets to the point.  I wonder if most people know who they are.  I wonder if most people are truly themselves.  When they are alone, by themselves, are they comfortable with their own company?  I know one neighbor who’s very comfortable in her own skin, whether she’s at work or staying at home to perform tasks online.   When the Covid thing happened and she did her work at home, she was very comfortable.  And every time I have ever seen her, talked with her, she’s the same person.  Then, there are some of my friends always the same wherever they are, but able to adjust and need be, perhaps at work, but life seems simple for them.

            But then there’s politics.  What is politics?  When someone says “politics”, most people think of Congress and Washington.  As I see it, politics are when people move outside honesty and natural living, speaking openly and honestly, and ready to discuss in a conscientious and understanding way.  Politics is when people have their own agendas, outside the realm of what is best, wanting something more than what is good, necessary, and common.  But a kind of politics is also when people know what is best, what is right, and realize they will have to conform to some degree to current environments, but they also are working towards changing others for better, through honesty, though they have to work at framing words and actions to bring others along.  So, there is good politics, which is honesty, and there is bad politics.

            I have a habit, as many readers, of picking up clues when listening to others.  Within seconds, sometimes an instance, the other person tells everyone where they’re coming from.  Sometimes, even before they say anything, like when they walk into a room.  As I told one coworker, I could see that coworker coming a mile away.  Their intentions, motivations, and reason for being is written all over them.  I didn’t quite put it in those words, and they didn’t like it, but I was sharing I was the wrong person to play politics with, for that’s what that person was all about.  I might have to go along to get along, which is today’s norm, but I will see clearly what intentions are present. 

            We all enter the world, probably as close to innocence as we’ll ever be.  However, most have to learn to “adapt” to get what they want, to have the friends and associations they want, and to have the opportunities they want.  In other words, they have to learn to play the game.  But what is the game and why play it?  Because otherwise you’ll be “outed.”  Depending upon your goals.  And as society is molded by those of “special interests,” trying to change other’s beliefs and behaviors, and that becomes all around, and we see more and more people giving up their understanding and common sense, the problems grow.

            But the difficulty with politics is, to some degree, you may never really know who other people are.  For I have seen close friends change depending upon their circumstances.  One friend, after being married for a few years, would talk one way with us but dramatically change around his wife.  And at work, he was another person, completely.  Yet, while we were in college, he spoke openly about his opinions.  He still did, but he learned to play a sort of game depending upon situations.  And that’s life.  But it’s life as it wasn’t meant to be.

            If you ask me my opinion on any subject, I’ll tell you.  I might say, well, I don’t know enough so I’ll have to get back to you on that.  Or I’ll share what I know.  But I’ll also be listening to gather why you asked the question.  And in this, I’ll know where you’re coming from. 

            I wonder how many readers would like to be themselves, respectfully, but know they have to play the “game” of life to make it.  Then we have the three types of people (as I understand Nate Shiransky to mean).  There are the completely honest, who manage life, but always are aware.  Some of them have to double speak at times to get through life (Double speak, as I understand, is saying something you don’t believe but manage your conversations as need be.), and many are comfortable knowing what is necessary, but some find this difficult, so they choose jobs and careers where they can be around their own.  Some know what’s right, also double speak, but they’ve rationalized their behaviors and talk, doing what they need to do and also somehow convincing themselves that the borrowed beliefs have good points (I think many of this group, with time, suffer from stress and have health issues.).  Then there are the true believers that believe what the strongest influences are, able to mimic and buy into whatever the overall popular ideas are, often to get ahead.  They suffer no difficulties in this and try to get honest people to change their behaviors to match. 

            That’s the life we’re in.  So many seeing so many others going along with whatever is the current thinking, whether right or wrong, to survive.  Yet, what are they passing onto the next generation.  Their children, friends, and others won’t see a real person but one who mimics like a chameleon wherever they are.  So, children grow up without seeing clarity anywhere.  Then, some learn to follow.  Then there are the ones who see clearly and wonder, like some of us, what is going on.  And some of those grow up with incredible stress, but others follow the rabbit and are comfortable with themselves.  Life is a real lesson.

How Real Will Learning Become?

Imagine instructing a class for 5-6 hours a day, then imagine all of it online. As most people understand, once online, it’s forever online. Somewhere, some place, there is someone, some agency, with full access to each day, and even if it’s just floating out there, it’s there forever for people to view and yes, scrutinize. Every parent, every other teacher, every special interest, and every political organization will have access to all words spoken, including responses and interactions, as well as any visuals, perhaps of work. All of it. Forever.

The other day, we read an article of a man high up in a company being fired for something he said in the 1980’s, when politics and the social times were different. And even if he has since changed his views, to fit with today’s pc, his once said comments that, taken from a certain light, actually is conscientious and compassionate, as it doesn’t fit with today’s political correctness, he’s lost a career and probably won’t be hired any time soon. And this is a person with a stellar resume, tons of experience, a great attitude, and thoughtful of others.

So, the teachers going online, how safe will they feel having honest conversations with the students? And when students are not behaving or listening, how will the teacher respond, and will that response, the words used in teaching, and all the interactions stand the test of time in an era when political correctness can change daily. And if you’re not completely in-line with whatever way the wind blows, how will your career fare? A very real question will be, can you really teach beyond just narrating the text? For the best teachers I ever knew, whether while growing up, or when teaching classes, were the ones who supplemented lessons, created projects, had interactions with the students, sometimes drying a student’s eyes because they had a fight with a sibling, or even telling one to get back in their seat and leave the other kids alone, or just sharing stories to make lessons come alive. And what types of work will be acceptable for all people to see, for not all parents and agencies will agree. In other words, will classes be like one teacher could teach then entire grade level because all will have to say the same things?

As most teachers, good teachers, know. Teaching is a lot of work, constant communication, and often spontaneous reactions/interactions. And to have real learning, a teacher has to be open to thoughtful ideas, not suppressing good realizations, and encouraging spirited debates. How will this look for online teachers who know other teachers, their administrators, and higher ups will be watching? How will that look in the long run, even the short run?

Simple Answers in a Complex World

Much of recent articles, though simple, may seem like intellectual bias, though my writing was to appeal to something we all know, and knew innately from our youth.  I think, as we grow older, “the world” and all the “learning” and talks can educate many out of our natural born seeing.  And in this I’m going to share what I have shared with others, which for some, brought happy understanding and smiles.

            It starts like this.  During a history lesson (I think it had something to do with conflicts, but maybe about missions.), a young person shared that what they hoped for was world peace.  So, I asked the others, do you all think world peace is possible?  After they pondered, a couple said they did believe, especially the one who brought the topic forward. 

            So, I asked, does each and every one of them get along with their siblings?  Does each get along with all of their neighbors?  Do all the members of their families get along with their next door neighbors? 

            So, they pondered, some smiling, others more serious in contemplation.  “No,” was the unanimous reply.  And that’s where the discussion began.

            After some exchanging of views and shared examples, I began a short discussion (By the way.  This is not verbatim.  The meaning is about the topic, but words were different, taking consideration for different circumstances.).  I said, all the problems of the world begins with each and every one of us and within families, for the family is the framework of the rest of the world.  Our parents get married, then have children.  The parents work together, take care of one another, make money, putting a home over our heads, and raise the children, loving them, preparing them for their lives ahead, doing the best they can and know how in a complex world with all of its problems.  Along the way, they are the examples for the children and both guide and correct them.  I used a few examples like family camping, taking kids to little league and dance classes, and such, also having the kids take care of chores, each other, helping with homework, and more. 

            Now, I explained, if every family does this, if every mother and father takes care of their responsibilities, as best as they know how, are the examples of cooperation, facing up to injustice with patience, and are the arbiters of arguments between siblings, then the children grow up with a better balance and understanding on dealing with the world.  Of course, I explained as well, that perfection is very difficult because of problems of life.  Every family have their difficulties.  Could be the parents had trying times during their childhoods.  Could be they are doing their best but don’t have all the answers.  Could be problems in the neighborhood.  Could be a difficult boss at work.  Many things. 

            So, then the question is how each and every one of us deals with the difficulties of life.  When we meet up with a bully, how do we handle the situations?  When our brother or sister takes something of theirs, calls them names, argues, or otherwise, how do we react.  Do we remain angry, pointing to the errors of others to support our own mistakes?  For if we return in anger, what happens?  And if we remain angry, what will our reactions be to other people that display similar behaviors.  And how will we behave when we grow up?
            I explained a situation I witnessed in my youth.  In the home next door, there were four boys.  The eldest used to beat up on the smaller one.  Then, when another boy was growing up, he became the target of sibling rivalry.  All the way to the smallest, who surprisingly was the most patient of them all.  He didn’t react the way the others did.  Had he been like the other brothers, he probably would have then kicked the dog.  Why?  Because it has to go somewhere.  When people are angry, intimidated, bullied, the anger inside has to go somewhere or it tears the person up inside, hence people with emotional problems (This part I worded differently based upon the audience.).  That’s where the dog kicking comes in.  And of course, sometimes, the younger one gets stronger than beats up the older one, as I saw happen once.  To some degree, that’s probably good the younger one stood up for himself, but that youngest of brothers seemed to have it all figured out from the beginning. 

            So, from the siblings comes arguments with friends, fights on the school grounds, and sudden bouts of anger that seems to come from nowhere.  But the youngest boy, the one who could see his “brothers’” behaviors and not become like them, was almost always at peace.  It wasn’t that he was a coward.  Far be it from that.  He simply wasn’t angry, could endure the taunting, would speak up, but would also have the answers in each situation.  I think, with time, the older brothers left him alone, but respectfully.   Yes, as I see it, this youngest of brothers was as close to world peace as one might imagine.  But most aren’t like him.  Most people have to endure years of difficulties when some arrive at what that one boy had from the beginning. 

            So, millions and millions of people grow up seeing the problems of the world, wanting world peace, but can’t get along with their siblings, their neighbors, and people at work.  And even though they get along with people at work, they secretly are angry with some of their coworkers, boss, and customers, though they can’t show it because they’ll lose their jobs.  And then, at home, they argue with the neighbors, a friend, or someone else, sometimes getting into fights. 

            Then, some of these people become leaders of a company, a group, a country, and so forth.  And I asked, how do you think they’ll behave in those positions of higher authority?  Will they always be the example for how others should be?  And what of those who either can’t get along, don’t know how to get along, and have different beliefs about how things should be?  You see, it grows and grows and grows. 

            At this point, I could see some concerned looks.  So, I explained.  You see.  You can’t control everyone.   It’s not possible.  And you shouldn’t.  For then you would be a dictator.  For like the siblings who argue, they need those experiences to eventually realize that’s not the way.  Some learn earlier.  Some later.  Some never.  But we do the best we can.  But without the opportunities in life we can’t learn.  We have to go through whatever we have to go through to learn, when those little “ah haa” moments happen.  And for some, that can take a lifetime of “ah haaa” moments.  But that’s life.  But there has to be consequences, for consequences is often how young people learn.

            So, I asked, knowing this, how can we have world peace?  Well, we have to have good basic rules.  I pointed out how our class works.  I had only three basic rules, the purpose of which was to provide a foundation of behavior and educational requirements without overtly controlling everyone.  In my class, I was encouraging them to realize for themselves, work things out, help each other with lessons and projects, sometimes in teams, and I was the guide, sometimes more of a bystander monitoring.  I allowed discussions, disagreements, and efforts to cooperate.  Then used these situations to get them to realize what worked and what could be better.  And only if a student didn’t have a “stop” button, lacked self-control, stepped to far into the wrong, did I step in.  But not to completely control.  To discuss better ways of handling situations.  “You got angry because the other didn’t listen to you,” I might observe from the student’s view.  “Okay, what was it the other person said and was your intention to do your best, or were you also looking for an argument?  In other words, were you already angry, did you have a fight with your brother or other person before coming to class, and were you also looking for an argument?”  Yeah, life is like that.  But in this, they get to ponder and realize for themselves.  **By the way, a teacher friend of mine said they’re not allowed to talk to their students like this.  Apparently, they have guidelines that don’t include interactive efforts to solve problems.

            But who’s going to do that for them every step of their lives.  Eventually, they have to do it for themselves, without adult supervision, for then, how will they ever be the examples for others? 

            You see, I explained, a country needs a good foundation of principles like we have in class.  In the United States, we have a constitution, a framework, a set of rules and boundaries for all other rules.  But like the class, the rules are supposed to be fair and simple (as the constitution is), both protecting the innocent, punishing the wrongdoers, and supporting individual freedoms with responsibility. 

            But what happens if leaders don’t like freedom?  What if some leaders like to stir the pot, create division, don’t like the constitution as it was written (Like some kids don’t like my very simple rules, the ones we all agreed to at the start of the year.), because they never really grew up, matured, seeking to do what is right in their lives.  Their anger has to go somewhere?  And if they’re not willing to follow the basic rules, if they want to create division, and can get others to go along with them, what will that be like?  And we see it happening all the time in the news.  And like uncorrected children, they continue to berate those who do have real answers, because they want their way, have been bought out, or fear for their power and security, everything they weren’t supposed to do when they made their oath to the constitution.

            But the best we can have is good rules, a strong economy and military, and for each and every citizen to do their best.  For then, if we’re strong and stand up for what’s right, other tyrannical countries can’t take us over (They can only take us over from within if as a citizenry we’re not together on basic principles which is the constitution.).  But it’s more than this.  We can also support other countries attempting to become or stay free, have their own constitution, and have a good society.  And in this, we can help them stand up to bully countries, tyrannical countries, and others who wish to do them harm.  And when all freedom loving, responsible countries become the strongest, the rest of the world has to do better or at least leave us alone, for we have the strength of character and a military to protect.

            So world peace?  As we have seen, not possible.  But on the whole, for the best of situations, very possible.  So, for those wanting world peace, I suggested getting along with their siblings, school friends, and neighbors, and where problems occur, to find the best answers in each given situation.  And of course, there will still be struggles.  But even as I shared this, supporting all of my students, including the ones who said they want world peace, I could see the disagreement in some, including the ones who wanted world peace.   

            You see, the purpose of this article is to provide a framework, simplistic and real, for how the world works.  In our country, today, we have a lot of grown-ups that never grew up.  They’re still fighting their siblings.  Many are still gnashing at the teeth.  And many want to create problems for they are grow-ups who never grew up, still fighting the world, looking at decent people as the problem, trying to get their way.  And the problem is even bigger.  We have corrupt influences from other countries.  They came into our country, got into the entertainment industry, got into positions of political power, got into many corporations, got into medical and educational institutions, and coopted the minds of those weaker.  And because of them, their mind games, and those of our own country that never grew up, we have what we see today.  If you watch movies across the decades, you’ll notice a dramatic shift during the 60s.  And yes, people’s minds are molded by what they watch.  It explains so many of the problems we have today.  And finding a real journalist, one who really cares about the country, one who really understands the foundations of freedom and our constitution, one who believes in truth is like looking for a needle in a haystack or finding the one grain of sand (with a letter) on an entire beach.  A few are there, but they’re becoming extinct.  But among the citizens of this nation, there are many decent people, perhaps even a majority, though they have difficulty understanding how our nation got to where it is or seeing solutions.  You see, they weren’t taught from early how to follow the rabbit down the trail of reason.  They didn’t have, from early, a strong foundation in real history.

            I’ve shared just a little.  It’s for each person to think, realize, research, and like Johnny Apple seed, to plant seeds of understanding that might grow.  If you’re an example, you might never know what became of the seeds you planted.  But you don’t need to know.  You just educate by getting others to see, and they go on.  But the way you’ll know how all our positive efforts have fared is when the communication is better in the household, when you have better talks with friends, and over the years, when you see good things happen in the country.  And that gives the next generation a better chance at freedom, the removal of oppressive rules, and opportunities with responsibility.

Understanding Learning

I was reading a blog about education and ways of instruction that are meaningful.  Having taught for over two decades, I learned from the opportunities, from the difficulties, from the students, and simply, from the time passing.  Yes, even the times while not teaching.  And I discovered how important time away is to better instruction.  

            Let me step outside myself and look at it from this angle.  During the second stint in college (Some may remember.), I realized I could not (or would not) study twenty hours or more a week.  After working in various jobs, some with mostly my hands, I had sort of disengaged from academics, and preferred the “real world” and its applications.  I realized that in order to get my degree with good grades I would have to find “another way.”  But what that would look like remained to be seen.

            Little things.  Little understandings.  I remember learning that the brain had two hemispheres.  I also heard that we learn through all five senses.  And as I liked the physical, working with my hands, I knew I couldn’t be purely intellectual.  It just wouldn’t work.   

            To share a small part, I learned, to a small degree, how both hemisphere’s learned.   I also saw how I could engage all the senses, getting them to work together.  For instance, as I sat in class, listening to lectures, I also read the text (Yes, I discovered I could multi-task, but that motivated.).  I also took notes, drew pictures of what was being said, and later shared the learning with others (i.e. friends or classmates).  I was using my ears (listening to lectures), my eyes (reading and looking at the  pictures I drew), my sense of feel (again, my hands while writing or drawing, and where I could my nose and sense of taste (Let’s say, the chapter was about food.).  Sometimes, I would summarize chapter passages with brief recaps, in my own words (This is key:  rephrasing in one’s own words to engage understanding.), and with pictures so I could “see” what was being explained.  But there was something else alluded to above.

            I discovered the importance of the empty time.  What I mean is after school, while cycling, walking, exercising, or even grocery shopping, my mind would dwell.  I would see lessons in the real world.  I would make connections.  And I also realized, while I wasn’t studying, my mind would put things together.  I suppose, for me, that worked because I was looking for it.  I would say to myself, oh, how those people are talking relates to what I read.  Oh, the argument they’re having explains a part in the history text.  And I would also “see” relationships between classes, so what I learned in one reminded me of what I read in another.  In a sense, I was reviewing lessons in another class without thinking that way.  I realized that later.  But because of this “empty” time, I didn’t have to study after school, except a few minutes before tests.  And the empty time was crucial for real learning, not to just become programmed to memorize and get good grades.

            Even the horseback riding was positive.  For while I was enjoying the lessons, cleaning stalls afterwards, helping set up competitions, I might sometimes find myself thinking about class lessons.  What did this all do?  Honor roll.  Many times.  But for me, the grade was not the goal.  Real learning, understanding, was.  For I decided, if I had to learn, I was going to really learn, finding value in the real world.

            This is what I wrote in response to the other writer’s blog about education.  Our brains are like organic computers.  As I see it, our brains are like organic machines.  In a sense, it’s not intelligent.  Information in, information out.  Input output.  But what do we do with that information?  That’s the key.  And I realized why not all people should go to college.  I sometimes think I never should have gone.  But I used it to educate others to think for themselves. 

            You see, we can be taught anything.  But we’re also human.  We have souls.  And I firmly believe understanding is the key.  Or a key.  We’re not meant to blindly believe whatever is in texts, what the professor says, or what we learn.

            In the bible, our Lord says man does not live by bread alone but by every word from our Father in heaven.  I believe that was in response to someone encouraging Him to eat.  I had pondered upon that sentence.  What it meant.  I understood it more clearly today.

            As I understand, when we learn something, anything, what do we take from the learning?  Are we just being computers, following a set of directions, or do we see deeper meanings:  real meanings.  Do we have “ah haaa…” moments?   As I “see it”, we place a gap between ourselves and any learning.  We have a filter, or most of us do, and that filter separates rhetoric and propaganda from reality.  The reality is in our souls.  Our souls live from reality.  Reality is our bread of life.  It’s from above.  And we may not fully understand it, but the understanding brings life to learning.  It’s what enables to say, Oh, I see.

            Like the teacher who asks students how do you know 4 + 3 = 7?  One says, oh, because that’s what I was taught.  The other student says, well, I can see it is.  The second student gives the right or real answer.  And that’s how learning should be.  Students should be encouraged to “see” for themselves.  Oh, I see!  Yes.  Exactly.  And the eyes tell everything. 

            And this is why I have been a great supported of home school.  I was a public school teacher, but I probably taught more like a home school teacher than many of my contemporaries.  Do you see, I would ask the students?  Unfortunately, many of them have slowly lost the light.  They were learning, but they weren’t seeing.  Or they were seeing in a limited fashion.  I explained to them, if you understand what I’m saying, what I’m teaching, I mean, really understand, you will never have to learn it again.  You might need review to cement the skill, but you’ll always understand.  Even if you forget the lesson, and years pass, it will come back as soon as someone shares the teaching again.  Teach to understanding and the kids really get it, the understanding becomes a part of them, actually the understanding brings it out of them, and it’s like a joy.  It’s living knowledge.  Not intellectual or rhetoric. 

It All Started…

From the Beginning

                When I started blogging, I never knew how difficult it would be to raise awareness, getting more and more people to really think for themselves.  At the same time, I knew real conversations from a background of real experiences and education/research was always meaningful.  As I shared with a friend, it’s one person at a time.  For if one person understands, have those “ah haaa” moments, they then have conversations with others that are meaningful, one reader talking to friends, turning into other discussions.  The time is well worth.  For I have to remember all the people I’ve met along the road, the books I’ve spent reading, the research that opened my eyes, and the conversations over the years.  And I am grateful to those who opened my eyes, encouraging me to think for myself.  I’m so grateful to all the people in my life, and those of the past, even historical, that did much of the hard work, some braving the tyranny of their countries, believing in something far better. on it the world around, but also what the solutions entail.

                But it didn’t happen overnight.  Thankfully, in my youth, without realizing it, I wasn’t easily programmable (So many are.).  Actually, I was very naïve, so I didn’t understand much of what people said. I wasn’t sophisticated in intellectual mumbo jumbo. When we watched documentaries, when teachers discussed history, and when adults talked about current events, it all pretty much went over my head.  Later, I thought that was a kind of handicap.  Why, I thought, was I so slow to “get” things?  But later, I realized, I just wasn’t an intellectual.  This difficulty to understand was not the handicap I thought.  It was actually a blessing.  The only way I was going to learn anything was that I had to understand, it had to be real, and only time, experience, and real learning would open my eyes.  It had to make sense to me.  But not just within itself, but how explanations related to the real world, real experiences, and our own inner born common sense.

Though I went along as my friends, I had that questioning attitude.  Not rudeness or rebellion.  Just wondering.  Did I hear that right?  That doesn’t make sense.  Yes, I know the teacher taught that, but I don’t see the trail of reason.  Why should I accept anything because an “expert” said it, for how did that person earn the title of “expert”?  For whatever I learn, it has to make sense inside, have correlation to real life experiences, and not just come from intellectual double-speak.  For I also became aware, over the years, that sometimes what’s said has another motivation behind, even if we can’t put words to the music.  In other words, people agree with each other out of excitement and not calm discernment.  People agree with each other because it “seems cool” and they want to belong.  Many fear being on the “outside,” being seen as difficult, and simply don’t want to weather the storm of being outside the box, a box created by those wanting us to blindly accept.  I tried that for a time, but it never sat right. 

                As a teacher, I did not want to say anything that wasn’t real.  And when I explained something, or sought to convince the kids of something, I explained that it was okay for them to contemplate the truth of falseness of the statements.  I’m sharing my point of view, which I believe or know is right.  But if you guys don’t know it for yourselves, it’s still an opinion, for you are the ones who have to decide for yourselves.  Of course I added, while in my class, they have to follow my instructions, and it’s good for them to be respectful of adults, but I in no way want to stop them from contemplating.  Learn from me.  Learn from other teachers and adults.  And with time, if you’re patient, you can decide what is right and what needs questioning.  For I explained to them I never agreed with all of my teachers, in fact, saw serious errors in some of my college professors, but I learned, listened, and even the errors taught me something.  For I realized, if I know what someone says is wrong, or not complete, then I’ve learned something that showed me that.  And of course, I don’t know everything.  And I always welcomed a respectful student that challenged an opinion, always open to discussion.   That’s real education.  Getting others to see for themselves.  Getting them to verbalize what they see.  Then, real discussion can take place.  And hopefully, as they recognize this, as they grow up, they contemplate what is said and written.  That’s America.

                You see.  Even if someone agrees with me, if someone speaks the same language, supports what I believe, I don’t necessarily trust that person.  I am always looking to see where the person is coming from.  Just because they are my friend, colleague, or a person in a position of other authority, doesn’t make what they say correct.  It has to reflect the road I’ve taken.  And if I’m not sure, then I put it in the “not sure” column.  Are they in agreement with me because they “intellectually” believe, are they saying what they think I want to hear, are they trying to get on my good side, or is there another motivation for them speaking as they do, perhaps to have influence over others, creating followers.  Can’t do that with me.  If they really believe what they’re saying, then they’ll continue to move from those beliefs whether I, or any other person, follows.  They will continue to live a life of honesty even if it doesn’t translate into money, power, or influence.  I write these blogs whether there are many readers or not.  If a few read, better than none.

                But that’s not many politicians.  To agree with any politician, I want to know how they lived their life before they became a politician.  I want to know their track record.  I also listen carefully, looking to see where they’re coming from, for sometimes, they can have “ah haaa” moments, changing for the positive along the way.  There are politicians who realized, after many years, how wrong they used to be, and now have realized a better way.  One president, Mr. Ronald Reagan had those “ah haa” moments, and while in office, he helped end the Soviet Union, returned a love of America, and encouraged the many to be positive and look forward to the future.  Rhetoric and propaganda won’t convince me.  For I have known too many people that talk one way around me, another around others, and still another around people of different views.  If you change depending upon the crowd, then I have to wonder why.  There might be a reason, and it might be legitimate, as to keep a much needed job where you’re surrounded by those of opposing views, but I still have to ponder.  Who is this person really?  Socrates was the same wherever he went.  Whoever he sat with and talked. 

                You see, there are people trying to get into office, and they’ll say anything to get in, but they rely on the “people” to not do their homework and find out what they’re doing behind closed doors.  While they get elected, if they do, they’re planning on removing more and more of our freedoms, but we won’t know how it happened because 1) We’re tired of all the fluf, but to know is our responsibility, and 2) Many of us weren’t properly educated, so we don’t have the information from which to view them.  **That’s why, I think home schooling may provide a fantastic opportunity for endless education, opportunities to have a generation of kids and teens who really see, are curious, want to know, do the research on their own, with family and friends, and learn.

                We are living in very difficult times.  Many years ago, in a job, I had a couple of friends.  We talked the same.  We agreed on certain principles.   But when they were in position of gaining higher positions in work, having more authority and probably money, they changed.  And when certain circumstances came about, they became my enemies.  Wow!  I thought.  Did I ever know this person?  Of course, the answer was “no.”  And they probably don’t know themselves.  Their principles are only as good as whether they get money, influence, and opportunity.  Very sad.  But the friends I have that are the same, always, I know are my friends.  They’ll disagree with me if they truly disagree.

                And there’s more of that than ever before.  People speak one way around some people, a different way around others, their opinions and loyalty sold to the highest bidder.   And I’ve watched people change right before my eyes, and they don’t even know it’s happening.  You see, I think all their lives they’ve learned to follow the path of least resistance.  They don’t even realize that principles always remain the same.  And those principles are more important than gold.  And the even sadder thing is, if they have children, those kids will never really know them.  Like a parent who tells their children never to steal, yet takes a little here and there at work.  Or a person talks of honesty, but double speaks around others.  I knew a man who changed right before my eyes depending upon the people around.  Who is this person, I thought.  And when that man looked at me, I could see the criticism in his eyes, for I was looking with clear eyes.  I wasn’t in “the know.”  My principles weren’t for sale.  No, I’m not perfect.  But I see.  And that person did not like this.

                It can be a scary thing to some when they realize they “see.”  Because, then what do you do? When you start to understand, see beneath appearances and rhetoric, then ask questions, you know what will happen, if you really want to understand?  You might just start seeing more and more.  To the point you can’t turn it off.  Then, you go into life with eyes wide open.  And you can’t go back to sleep anymore.  You won’t be able to be “cool” by sounding like everyone else.  You’ll have friends.  But the friends you have will change depending upon your sincerity.  You’ll start to see the difficulties in others.  But also, you’ll start to realize your own struggles, for what do you do when you realize things aren’t as they should be, but also how to make things better, but that many others don’t see what you see?  You have to develop patience.  For when you have those “ah haa” moments, perhaps the others haven’t had those.  And you cannot force “ah haa.”  It’s individualistic. 

                I’ve been noticing this more of late.  I’ve wondered why some people take an instant dislike of me, even though I’m cordial, respectful, and like a good conversation.   I’m sure, some readers can relate.  But I say, don’t lose heart.  Each person has to walk whatever walk they walk, discover for themselves.  For those “used to be” friends I once had may one day be friends again.  But that’s for them to discover.  And there are those who go through whatever they have to go through, one day realizing their allegiance is sold to the highest bigger or strongest influence, then realize they can’t be that way anymore.  Many of them have lost their relationships with their children.  But one day, some get the trust back. 

                We see today, a lot of people walking about, worried and angry.  And many don’t even know why.  Some even “hate” decent people, those who won’t go along to get along, who are honest.  Why?  Because they’ve been conditioned, propagandized, and even “brainwashed” to believe a certain way.  Oh, that person doesn’t care about others or they would behave as we do.  Really?  You can see into the heart of another, just because of what they’re wearing or not wearing?  Have you really thought about what beliefs you follow?  Do you go along because everyone else follows a line of thinking, or do you follow the rabbit down the trail of reason, with real information, experience, and research?  Patiently.  For to give up your own understanding is to stop truly living.  Sometimes, the rebel is the one who can’t go along with propaganda and rhetoric.  Sometimes, the rebel is the one who “sees clearly,” but just doesn’t yet know how to handle the understanding

                The other day, I saw a small lady speak up to a much larger woman, saying she can’t talk to her as she did.  The other woman was chiding her for not going along with the rest of the crowd, saying she isn’t thoughtful of other’s health.  I’ve heard that from other people.  And that’s the method.  A constant message the pressures through our own good natures.  That creates the division.  So, I chatted with the smaller lady.  I explained I too must follow what I understand, not propaganda.  And when I talk with others, including our youth, I have to encourage them to think for themselves.  Yes, I do know the problems they might have as they grow older, but the younger they learn to think for themselves, the more time they have to adjust and know how to manage their own lives, perhaps finding a career with more like-minded people.  For a country remains free, responsible, and strong when the citizens think for themselves.  For when more and more people think for themselves, follow the rabbit of reason, honestly, they tend to make better decisions.  And they talk to others, get on the radio, write articles, design a magazine, write books, get on television, and express real understanding. 

                And here’s the thing.  We have to make common sense, real understanding, following the U.S. Constitution with understanding the principles, and debating both common and popular again.  Many people are afraid to stand out.  So, if real research, real talks, and living our lives by example raises awareness, then more and more people will widen their eyes, and it will become popular to be truly educated, truly curious, and following the rabbit down the trail of reason.

                When I was young, the more common thing was for fathers to get their sons and daughters to make better decisions.  They taught and explained some, but then left their children alone to make good decisions, chiding or punishing when they made poor decisions.  In this way, we learned that we had to use our heads.  We had to figure things out.  We weren’t allowed to wait for someone to tell us what to do.  We had to figure it out, and make the right choices.  That was very good.  Taught us to consider the consequences of our own actions. 

                One of my favorite sayings, though I didn’t think so at the time, was “Why don’t you use that head for something more than to hang your hat on?”  Nowadays, anything adults say to raise awareness is seen as bullying.  It’s not.  But there’s a reason why “they” don’t want us holding young people accountable for their decisions.  You’ll have to figure that one out.

                I was watching “Rambo” with Sylvester Stallone.   There’s this part of the movie where, while chasing Rambo, experiencing the difficulties of the chase and the demands of their bosses (and even the bosses), that these officers and volunteers start turning on each other.  I thought:  that’s it.  A whole group of men (in the movie), relating to all the people currently undergoing great stress.  Many have grown up with this regulation and that, and they keep growing.  You can’t do that.  You can’t say that.  You have to nod and smile when this is talked about.  You have to be part of the “we.”  Oh, we care.  We all feel this way.  We all think this way.  In order to be together, to care, we believe in that.  Do you?  Really?  Do you, as an individual, really believe what you say you believe, or are you afraid your real values will be shown and suddenly you will be on the “out”?  If you speak honestly, are you going to lose your job?  Well, why can’t you truly understand, and realize that that’s just necessary to feed your family and continue the career, at least, until you find a better job?  But that’s too difficult.

                Nate Shiransky explained it well.  He explained, in a sense, there are three types of people (Yes, I think that’s a little box thinking, but I think he’s generalizing.).  Regarding propaganda, there are the true believers.  They believe in the propaganda and rhetoric, and so become good little soldiers, following the “party” line, completely on board (I have things to say about this, but later.).  Then, there are the double-thinkers.  They have their own ideas, but they know they have to go along to get along, and so they might even convince themselves of the rightness of believing, making excuses.   They may think to themselves, I do this because, well, it seems mostly right, I get the point, so I’m on board though I do see a better way.  But I don’t want to rock the boat, and for the most part, the ideas are good (even if they aren’t).  Then there are those who see and cannot blindly believe.  They may have to “hide” who they are, what they really believe, but where they can, they find those like them who really understand, and I suppose, that’s how they get by.  But where they can, they work to change things for what’s truly better. 

                I think the second and third group have the most problems.  Depending on how much they realize, and whether they have enough hobbies and distractions, friends that make their life good, they know inwardly they’re compromising too much.  Stress.  Headaches.  Unhappiness.  And more.  Even diseases, for the body is affected by constant stress, to the point of heart attacks and other ailments.   I have known people, who had great stress in their careers, dying within two years before or after of retirement.  It ate them up alive.  Some even held on for the health benefits.  Really.  Working hard for health benefits and you probably won’t live many more years.  Find a job you enjoy, are in agreement with, even if benefits are less, and you’ll probably live longer.  To Thine Own Self Be True, President Ronald Reagan once said.

                But then, some people learn to realize, but not be filled with stress.  They know life is one day at a time, so they learn, understand, talk where they can, and keep their mouths shut where they just need to focus on the job.  Don’t have to always talk.  Some people are very much at peace, knowing times are difficult, and they change things, discuss, and are active where they can.  Then, they don’t have all those diseases.  Can’t change the world.  I’m just one person.  A reader is another.  But where we can, we do.  And if more and more people communicate, honestly, we begin to see more and more of that bright spirit of understanding. 

A Method Ancient

            The other day, flipping the channels, we came upon an old movie from the 50’s, and one of the subplots was of a young man who was considered a sissy, an old expression for those readers who have never heard.  His father wanted his son to fight, to show others he was tough, so they would stop making fun of him and the ladies would notice.   But it was just not in him.  He had other interests, but his father wanted to “man him up.”  But later in the show, when a young lady laughed about what some guys called him, he had had enough and went into a rage, grabbing a knife to do who knows what.  I had been paying attention for most of this show.

            That got me thinking, though it was just a movie, though sometimes, more so with older movies, life is reflected in the stories.  You see, in a sense, this young man was fine.  He had his interests.  He enjoyed learning and taking on challenges, being social, which in this movie, I think was realistic.  He had friends.  He just wasn’t like most of the other guys.

            But he didn’t have a close relationship with his father.  As I’ve seen before, the father talked with his son, but more at him than to him.  A gap separated the two.  The father was of the ways of the world, not really listening to his son.  And the reason he took his son out of “acting” classes and being part of plays was because of his own embarrassment, because he felt ashamed, and that he wanted his son to do what he saw as more manly.  Fight someone, his dad implored.

            He confided in a friend after his father took him out of acting, when people were making too many comments, when others teased him mercilessly.  He had followed his father’s advice, having been told by several sourced.  He said that in the past, everything was fine.  He had his interests.  Nobody was concerned.  And he went about life in his own way, part of a family, enjoying things, talking, but staying away from those very different from him.  For him, the other guys at his college were not like him, they were trying to be “he men”, so he looked for those as he (It may not be what some readers think.  This movie was from the 50s).   He found his friends in those of similar interests.

            But when all these “concerns” kept coming about, when his father and others sought to change him, when bullies teased him mercilessly, that’s when he started having problems.  Why, we imagine him thinking, are people trying to change him, to make him like others, to get him to “fit in” with the rest of the world, as the world, so he would be just like another in the crowd?  Why, we imagine him thinking, can’t he just be himself, do the things he enjoys, maybe find a career with his interests, and go about life as life happens?

            That brought back some memories.  We used to see these cartoons about a young man on a beach getting sand kicked in his face by bigger guys.   It was a kind of advertisement for building muscles, with the motivation being growing strong and doing to the bully what the bully did to you, beautiful girls then hanging on his arms.  After he had been working out for some time, he came back and faced his bully, pushing the other guy around.  The young ladies liked him.  But what the cartoon doesn’t show is all the problems that come with it. 

            So that’s why people work out?  To spend their entire lives in fear of bullies, then become one?  To get the women?   I know of small guys and woman who lead others.  They don’t have the physicality to “push” others around.  But they have something one can’t put a finger on and they lead others, often by example.  Think of Napolean.  Think of others you have known.  I know of a blind man who runs his own business.  Another has no arms, drives a sports car, and also runs his own business.  And more recently, you may have heard of a quadriplegic coaching a men’s high school football team.

            Then I remembered early in my youth getting picked on by a bigger guy, then doing that to someone about my size, perhaps a tad smaller, and I understood.  It’s like a dog eat dog world.  The older brother picks on the younger brother, who picks on the even younger brother, who kicks the dog.  Then the dog is the one walking around with his tail between its legs.  But with time, that dog might bite a smaller kid or another dog where it never would have before. 

            Why?  It’s called getting the monkey off one’s back.  The anger’s got to go somewhere.  If it stays inside, it has no expression, or isn’t realized for what it is, and I suppose that’s why we sometimes see “nice” people freaking out.  Oh, he’s not that way.  He’s a kind, thoughtful person, not at all like that.   We just need to get him on medication.  But what people don’t see is what’s been boiling up inside all those years, perhaps without clarity.

            As a teacher, I saw this from time to time.  One student, who had a slight handicap and wasn’t very athletic dealt with the teasing.  We encouraged him, discussed ways of dealing with bullies in class, and with time, he became more outspoken.  But a funny thing started happening.  He knew, his mother and I were on his side, and throughout one year, I would be there for him to face his bullies, find his voice, but also allow him the choice of facing alone.  As he became more confident, he started looking to talk back at people, goading them, his anger finding a voice.  In a sense, the bullying had transferred to him.  I’m pretty certain, had he been a strong and athletic person, he would have bullied others.  I suppose this had to happen so he could see it.  So we worked on that as well, and with time, he became more thoughtful, taking part in athletics where he could, and enjoying life. 

            But while watching this movie, I pondered upon these things.  As I grew up, I took on sports, playing football, working out, later taking martial arts, and took jobs that were challenging.  My friends and I had many hobbies.  Took flying and glider lessons to face the fear of heights.  

            While all these things were going on, I heard of a hockey player that never got into a fight in the rink.  He was one of the best ever to play the game.  He was tough.  We saw videos of major collisions.  But he never got into a brawl.  And he was respected.   You see, the other players saw the professional in him.  He wasn’t afraid, but he wasn’t looking for a brawl.  In a sense, he stood taller than the others, because he learned how not to become the effect of the cause.  He learned how not to be bullied so he wouldn’t feel the need to bully others.  How not be become a bully by reacting to bullies.  

            And then it hit me.  We’re not all “built” the same.  For some reasons, some people come out of the package ready to face anyone, or it’s trained into them by a parent or other significant adult.  Some will dive into a fight wherever they happen.  It’s just part of them.  And then there are those whose fathers or others get them fighting.  Like one time, I saw a father tell his son to go punch another kid who had made fun of another.  At school, I saw the same kid beat up another in the class, goading the other one, when the teacher stepped out for a moment.  The father was a big, strong guy, and his son played sports, but that wasn’t it.  [Now, for complete honesty, I have no problems with parents telling them, getting them into training, should a fight be necessary.].  I would always encourage anyone to stand up for themselves.  If necessary, get the first punch in, certainly if you’re protecting another being bullied.  And for those who don’t have the physical skillsets, there’s boxing, wrestling, and martial arts.  For as in the Karate Kid, you train so you don’t have to fight, but if you have to, you can defend yourself and others.   At least have a better chance. 

            Then there’s the Andy Griffith Show.  The father learned another kid was taking his son’s milk money.  So one day, while fishing with his son, he talked about a time when he himself was bullied, but that he faced the bigger guy, and actually won.  He had explained he wanted no trouble but wasn’t going to do what the bully wanted.  So, the son ended up facing his bully.  In this way, he learned not to be afraid of confrontation.

            But then, there is also sports:  football, soccer, baseball, wrestling, and anything else.  The benefit here is being physical, working as part of a team, taking on challenges, and facing confrontations.  But perhaps that’s not for everyone.  Some find it in acting classes, in band, in doing other things they enjoy.  For others, they find their own path, whatever that is.  In my classes, I’ve noticed most of the boys involved in athletics tend to be more confident, social, and face bullies.  The girls who took part in sports, dance, even one trying to start a business, and those just social, tend to be more outspoken.  Then there are others with different ways.  Even if they’re smaller, they don’t seem afraid.  And many of those have good relationships with their parents, which I think has much to do with positive self-esteem.  I suppose, the ones playing sports are used to the physical, so getting hurt doesn’t scare them.  The others, having good self-esteem in whatever they do, just don’t preoccupy themselves with worry.  And there are others with other things.  I’m trying not to create a box of answers, for I have some, but I’ve also seen things I don’t fully understand, but the others have their own way they don’t even put words to the music.  They just aren’t bullied. 

            But I still have to come back to the point.  What makes one person a fighter and another stay out?  Other than physical abilities?  For I’ve even seen big, strong guys stay away and avoid confrontations.  Some even are “bullied” by smaller guys, the smaller one using verbal tools.  And we’ve heard of men bullied by wives, even though they’re much bigger.  So, as I grew older, what did I do?  I observed.  I pondered. 

            Now, here is where I still ponder, but I think it’s worth the talk.  Anger. 

            When I was young and still learning, still growing up, and smaller than most of the other kids my age, not very athletic, slight of build, I could argue with the best of them. When I grew up, I saw childhood pictures and noticed, standing with my friends, I seemed to almost disappear next to them.  But I could argue and compete.  Siblings, friends, you betcha.  But when I faced someone who just seemed to “hate” me for no reason whatsoever, I became confused, for the person didn’t even know me.  And so, I looked to engender the “anger” I thought necessary to meet the problem.  Not always.  But in either case, I could not muster up the necessary energy to fight.  And if I did, the courage left me.   Why, I wondered?   And while growing up, this troubled me.  Why was it others fought whenever the occasion came, but I couldn’t?  At least with strangers?  Was I a coward?  Was I “chicken” as we used to call people?

            But I could play tackle football.  I could play tree tag, fall out of the tree, and climb right back up again.  I played every backyard sport there was.  I could fight with friends.  Later, in martial arts, they would have us fight one another.  Sometimes, I was too eager, or punched out of anger. In horseback riding, if I got thrown off a horse, I climbed right back again to ride, even if it threw me off again, one time thrown into a jump.  And if someone picked on me, though I did nothing to deserve, but didn’t return anger for anger, I would face.

            And that got me thinking.  I observed that.  Though I couldn’t quite put words to the music.  Still can’t.  But I can see it.

            When I was young, for whatever reason, I remember waking up at times and nothing made sense.  Like all reality left my mind.  Like nothing meant nothing.  But I saw something else that I cannot explain.   I once shared this with a pastor, one I trust, and he explained I must have had a lot of anger.  Hmmm?  Anger?  What had one to do with the other I wondered?  I thought anger was supposed to make you more determined.  But then I remembered my youth, the bullies, my insecurity, being smaller and frail of build, and the self-recrimination.   Trying to toughen myself up.  I guess there might have been a lot of anger.  I just never really thought about it until then, or later. 

            But others get angry and fight.  Then I realized.  It’s not the same for everyone.  And as we learned, and I observed over the years, bullies are often those who’ve been bullied themselves.  They become bullies because they’re a product of their environment.  In other words, they’re not themselves.  Doesn’t excuse what they do.  But I’ve found this to be the case in a variety of ways.  With secretaries, one seems to rise to bully the other secretaries.  In school, there always seems to be at least one teacher or administrator bullying others.  One seems to always rise, whether it’s at a construction yard, sports, or otherwise.   And I see those who are highly motivated, or seem so, but like their running away from something, unable to sit still and be happy with themselves. 

            I told this story to some friends.  In one school, there was this teacher was used to getting their way.  As I was new and confident, this teacher avoided me for a time.  But one day, came to employ anger and bullying tactics.  I looked at the teacher, surprised, observed the talking, and with a sense of humor, and asked if they were angry, for it was humorous to me.  “Are you angry,” I asked, amused.  That caused the other to back off, walk away, for I explained the ridiculousness of the tactic, for we should know how to talk with one another, aren’t we supposed the be the examples for the students? 

            You see, I don’t bully others.  Well, I’ve seen it in there, so I know what it is.   I saw the possibility when I was young.   Sometimes I see it as an adult.   I realized then, that if I had kept taking on sports, got big and strong, I might have become that bully to others.  Perhaps, I was fortunate not to have been born a big and strong guy, for who knows who I might have hurt, bullied, teased, and finding a sense of self-esteem and worth by taking it away from others.  A dog eat dog world. 

            That’s what I think this anger does, though I cannot still put my finger on it.  When I’ve looked at it, it doesn’t make sense.  But I think it comes from a reaction to others, creating problems.  An intense rage that builds if we don’t recognize it.  So, to teach others to physically fight their bullies might not be always the right answer, though I will always be supportive of any parent telling their kids to fight their bullies.  I also think it’s a good idea to get kids into self-defense classes, as preparation.  And sports is one way to deal with feelings and get energy out, on the way to learning how to deal with life.  Perhaps, while growing up, playing sports, getting into social clubs, going camping and fishing, taking gymnastics, or being in the debate club, or taking on any other hobby, even family time where young people know themselves, they learn the ways of the world and how not to be “altered” by the world.  Or maybe, just having time to grow up, pulled out of schools who don’t understand how to encourage our youth in the right way, which is most of them. 

            One other thing.  At one school, one of my friends was another teacher who had played a ton of sports and after school, would coach athletics.  Well, she had a son who was being picked on.  He was an athletic kid, but soft spoken.  She told him he had her permission to trounce the other kid.  But he had no interest.  A few of us talked.  She realized that what she was allowing him, giving him permission, was just not his way.   He wasn’t afraid.  It just wasn’t in him to become the bully in return.  I suppose, if it got bad enough, he would do what was necessary.   But then, he would be fighting in his time, when it was right.   I think he’s one of those people who don’t react as others.  Perhaps, by him learning what the other is trying to do, he’ll see it, and maybe he had started to, and just goes about his business.  But if he’s calm, what an example he will be to others.  You don’t have to play the bully’s game.

            Some people learn to ignore.  Others use humor or talk their way out of difficulties.  One kid I knew, who was smaller than the others, but fast, would punch or kick the other kid, then run.  But he wasn’t going to be bullied, for he had too much energy.  But not all are this way.  And that got me thinking.  Like the boy in my class with a small handicap.  I’m thankful he was in my class for two years.  That gave us time.  And I talked with his parents who kept getting him into sports.  Encouraged him.  With time, some of which I believe he discovered on his own, he stopped being angry.  I also created lessons and projects that were more engaging.  Talked with him from time to time.  And when anger left, he no longer was in turmoil, seeking arguments.  He didn’t have to anymore.   And he was getting respect from other kids.  But he could speak up for himself.  I was happy for him.    

            **Okay.  One more point.  I think what we’re seeing in the news these days are many people who are effects of causes.  Many of them have endured much at the hands of policy makers, those who use them like sheep, that they’re so frustrated they’re turning on each other.  But they don’t see the puppet masters, the one’s creating an environment of anger for their own reasons.  And they’re surrounded by other people who think tearing down statues and destroying/ruining property, attacking decent people, is a way for them to “fight back” and be heard.  And all the time, it’s the bully principle.  Instead of finding productive ways, they react. 

            But who’s gaining at their expense?  Who is goading them to act in such ways?

Out of Balance

            This article may encompass a variety of topics, and so readers may find it repeated on various sites and posts.   In the hope of encouraging readers, to support their common sense and hopes for a better tomorrow, we bring together anecdotes and real-life shared experiences, making connections when America was what the founding fathers worked so hard, even fighting was against tyranny, and what my friends and I enjoyed not too many decades ago. 

            As I get older, I grow more appreciative of my own childhood, though during those years, I complained like most children and teenagers.  Had I known what America would experience just a few decades later, I would have never complained with all the opportunities and friends I had, as well as growing up in a two parent home, all our needs met.  My complaints were about too much homework, bullies, not getting what I wanted, sibling rivalry, and on….  We went to school, unaware of any rhetoric, played outdoors, running the neighborhoods, and did anything we could imagine until we got in trouble at home.  Life was good.  Chores.  Neighborhood jobs.  Sports.  Family dinners.  Trips.  Whatever.

            Talking with my friends, one said he felt sorry for today’s youth.  I thought about what they face today.  Then, I agreed that what surround them today is outrageous.  In a sense, we wonder if they have any chance.  From the moment they awaken, they are surrounded by rhetoric, propaganda, motivational controls, progressive messaging, and demoralizing messaging.  Being of the technological age (computers, infinite channel television, smart phones laced with propaganda and demoralizing messaging, information at their fingertips, then sitting for hours where more messaging occurs, more time on computers), it seems they don’t stand a chance.  Many of their parents, if they have both or any (When we were growing up, two parent homes were the norm.  We rarely thought of broken homes.), are themselves a product of the “Matrix”:  a matrix of half-truths, lies, and persuasion.  So, their caring parents have to negotiate a life of what we’re seeing today.  They get it with the adults of the world. Many families get it with their friends.  They get it when they’re supposed to be learning.  To repeat, they get it on the internet, they get it on their smart phones, they get it at the movies, on Net Flix, and they get it everywhere else.  Then, to top it off, they become aware of the most degrading and defiling things in this world, which often can steal their innocence.   Far too early for sure.  No chance to grow up with that naïve way so important to growing up, to wondering, to dreaming, and to look forward to each day and a wide-eyed view of the decades ahead.  So they lose themselves, their own identity, an identity changed and molded by the ones creeping through the internet, smart phones, and television, then finding them in books.  And then, they are dealing with all we see today, a whole population that either don’t think for themselves or just goes along to get along, few speaking words of wisdom.   And because being themselves is too difficult, they find a way to “fit in,” then suffer guilt, bad dreams, and need medicines.

            Yes.  I firmly believe many people suffer internally because they can’t see the forest for the trees.  They are living a life of lies, propaganda, and redirected attention, seeing it all around them, and finding no spark of light on which to see hope.  It can be that dreary.  Where are the people who understand?  Where are the people who think clearly and see what I see?  Yes, I have heard similar type words from younger people.  I tried, to the best of my ability, to understand so they met one person, among others, that heard them. 

            Thankfully, there are parents that had “wise”, “thoughtful,” “innocent” parents, both staying together, having family times, and staying away from the internet and smart phones.  Yes, we still have a chance.  Because I believe, though many suffer and will suffer, people inherently want good.  Even if they make a ton of mistakes in their lives and have to learn the hard way.  Even if they have to fit in, behave as others to be cool, and toe the line of propaganda in order to find work.  The Matrix (Watch the movie if you haven’t already.  It’s metaphorical to real life.) has placed a curtain of lies, rhetoric, propaganda, demoralizing messaging, and misdirection all around them.  It’s made it so that we can’t even speak our minds in the public.  Certainly not at work.  And then having to nod as others, to speak the same language, to be another automaton without our own intuition.  America was founded upon the free exchange of ideas.  That’s how many of the problems the media keep complaining about were solved over the past decades.  And in those video games is more.  I played those in college for a time, but realized the problem, and so gave them all up.  Online chess or checkers maybe.   Those two games help with critical thinking, logic, and math. 

            Here is perhaps a very big problem within the others.  This one thing adds tremendous problems, for it’s all around, and often in disgusting, horrific plainness.  The constant sex messaging:  everywhere.  No chance to get away.  No chance to just dig under rocks, watch a caterpillar make a cocoon, or make believe about story books.  It invades every aspect of our lives.  These messages, commercials, shows, and explicit pictures all distort what is natural, supposed to be between a man and his wife, and rip apart people’s sensibilities and patience, stealing what isn’t theirs.  They make it so, that as people are defiled, they can’t look at each other with respect.  Having been corrupted, people grow up and find they can’t have a real relationship.  They can only find what passes for relationships with others going down the same lost path.   And many parents know, and do their best to keep it away from their children.  And thankfully, those parents help the next generation.

            I’ve stopped watching certain stations.   We could be watching a cool show, older shows, like Gilligan’s Island, Shrek, or even The Andy Griffith Show.  Then, on commercials are a slew of sex commercials, very explicit in talk, some even telling what they’re going to do.  Even when family shows are on!  And they do it so naturally, as if what they’re saying and telling is normal.  We can watching a very innocent commercial, then one of those come on.   A commercial about health.  Another about a new invention in garden care.  Then one of those.  It’s on the web.  It’s on the smart phone.  It’s in the people because so many have become changelings.   And mental illness is on the rise.  I told a friend this would happen.  And when many seek help, often they find the help from those who don’t support religion, don’t support traditional life, and won’t (because they can’t) speak plainly what might be best.  It’s all becoming progressive, which many don’t understand what that term actually means. 

            We are in a country in which all of our traditions, religious beliefs, and simplicity are under constant attack.  All the positive aspects that made this country of freedom and opportunity, a place their children could grow up with hope, where a man or woman’s limitations is only how much effort they’re willing to expend, are being attacked.  Make no mistake.  Things will get worse.  As a people lose their traditions, lose their original America identities, lose touch with morals (Morals are within our hearts.  They are a part of us:  who we are.  We’re born with understanding, morals, and a light of clarity which needs protection by parents.), they become like ships lost at sea, without a compass, without sight of land.  And the ones giving direction are also separated from traditional values, from a real American identity, and from their morals.  As I said to a friend, things have to get worse.  Unfortunately, it’s often the only way.   For until things get really bad, many don’t wake up.  People have to decide what’s important.  People have to decide what’s best for their children.  They have to stand for what’s right, for if they don’t the future generations will suffer greatly, more so than today.   So as they see things fall apart, jobs and careers being destroyed, the young suffering internally, many needing medicines to cope with life (We never saw any of that while growing up.), and our system of laws being turned upside down, they need to wake up.  They need to speak up.  They need to stand for something real.  Be real.  And vote for real wherever they can find them.   And as we wake up, vote for those who support the constitution, support our police, and support laws:  real laws, support traditions and morality, we will see those who have been attempting to place blindfolds over our eyes.  These un-American people will be frothing at the teeth.  They will be gnashing at the teeth.  They will be attacking.  They will call you every name in the book.  But that’s good.  Because they’re showing you who they are.  And that’s where you shine.  But it will be a struggle.  In patience.  It took years, even decades, to get where we are.  It will take time, time worth the effort, to bring honesty, simplicity, decency, and all that is good back to the fore.

            On blogs, we see so many people like ships lost at sea.  Many seem to want to write their life stories, to find relevance, to find meaning, to make a statement that brings them meaning.  Like blind mice.  And their answers?  And they group together.  Like the blind leading the blind.  No one has any wisdom.  No one shines a light.  Everyone is just surviving.  And in pain.   Well, many, perhaps most.   They need their drugs and drink.  They need their meds.  They need their distractions.  They need their “friends,” for when you’re lost, finding someone as lost is like finding someone who understands.  Together lost.  No one having any answers that last.  Some need to believe in atheism, because they’ve lost hope, many having been demoralized, then succumbed to outlandish behaviors and thoughts, many believing they can never be saved, and many seeing so many problems, which they use as reason to believe in nothing.  But some eventually, if they’ve seen enough, realize if there is bad in the world, then there must be good (One man told us the horrors of the world made him realize the good.  I liked that.).  But people keep looking for their “solutions” outside of where the real solutions are.  Sounds good today.  Tomorrow, all the problems return.  The controllers of the Matrix don’t ever want you to wake up.  They create the problems, then come to solve them.  They attack every real answer in the name of freedom.  They distort language.   In a sense, working together.  Not that they all know this.  Without their understanding, they actually think the false answers are the real answers.  Many don’t know any better, doing their best.  I’ve seen enough of this kind of thing to have woken up to it.   So where do I find my answers, as best as I can?  For I struggle as well.  But I’ve learned not to hang my hopes on any other person.  I have friends:  good friends and others.  I talk with a few people of wisdom.  And wherever I am, if I find someone on the searching path, we talk.  But we don’t completely depend upon each other.  We encourage then go about our own ways.  Reading good books.  Reading the bible.  Going to church now and then.  Researching.  Unplugging while camping, fishing, and doing other hobbies.  And not doubting what we understand, even if it’s not popular, even if it makes finding work more difficult.  Ronald Reagan once said it best, to his daughter:  To thine own self be true.   Each one of us is special.  Each one of us is meant for something good.  And there is much to hope for in a country where we still have the U.S. Constitution and freedom.  Opportunities abound.

            And setting aside any trash.  Getting the garbage out of the way. There is a very real reason why sex, sick sex, and outfits that reveal everything are everywhere (On television, in movies, on sit-coms, in commercials, on the web, on the smart phones the moment you turn it one, if you ever turn it off, in magazines, in books laced between all the decent ones, in ads, and in people who have bought into the matrix.).  Progressive messaging.  If you can demoralize a people, you control them.  Keep their minds occupied, keep them with their problems, keep them entertained with the lowest common denominator messaging, and then provide solutions that are more of the problems.   And when people are demoralized, they find themselves cut off from being their once innocent selves.  We often hear people say, they don’t know who they are.  They are trying to find themselves.  But often, they find themselves where the new identity takes them further away from who they once were.  Now, they’re ripe for the answers that will make them “feel good,” but actually worsens their problems.  Very intricate web of lies.  But if you wake up, even slowly, you’ll see it.  But don’t get angry or enraged.  Calmly understand.  Realize it took a long time to get here.  Yes, there are those who intended harm, then brainwashed and controlled others, getting their own kind into high places, creating regulations and controls over our lives.  Every step of the way.  But if you realize, remain calm.  Be happy and you’ll see.  Then start having conversations, encouraging others, reading the books that bring more understanding, learning about history:  real history.  Not what most of the media would have you believe.  The founding fathers were decent people.  Not perfect.  They had their own challenges of their times.  But they created a country where we’ve had the best chances at freedom and opportunities.  But the “haters” were always there, from the beginning, and slowly, they sought to return us to the dark ages.  And along the way, people from communist countries entered our institutions, our entertainment industries, in government agencies, and worked very hard to promote an anti-American agenda.  Slowly.  But steadily.  What these “haters” see as freedom is really slavery.  We are becoming enslaved by propaganda and infinite regulations. 

            The beauty is recognizing the problem is the solution, beginning the path closer to our American identity, which is real human identity. 

Relevance and Gravity

As a child, I was one of those kids always asking what happened.  You know.  “What happened?”  “Why did that happen?” And by the time anyone answered, I had to ask another question because something was happening while I asked.  Of course, my parents ignored these questions after the first two, for if I wanted to know, I had to pay attention.  This, with time and wanting to know, had the effect of really watching and listening:  if I wanted to know.  And with that came observations of all the problems with the movies.  Of course, with time, I learned to just enjoy movies.  To suspend criticisms.  Enjoy each movie for the entertainment it provided.  I’m sure my friends and family were grateful. 

            But I still recognized the problems in reality, like many, just didn’t say anything, maybe a chuckle, and enjoyed. 

            So, what is the point a reader might ask.  I’ve discovered most people don’t see the problems in reason.  For some reason, movie errors often bypasses reason, if they have much.  And many will “buy into” what the movies are promoting, sometimes in propaganda, and that becomes a framework of their beliefs.  Let anything slip into your consciousness without examination, accepting it because it “sounds” good and others believe, and you’ve forfeited your rights as an individual:  a rational, reasonable individual.  That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy movies.  I do.  And don’t focus on being critical.  But it’s there, in the background, while I focus on the entertainment.  I can enjoy a movie, even with the errors, taking it for what it is:  entertainment with the movie makers’ own reality.

Recently, we watched the movie “Gravity” with Sandra Bullock and that other cool guy.  The acting and special effects were fantastic.   The story was well-thought-out, editing was amazing, and we thoroughly enjoyed the suspense, drama, humor, and how the movie ended.  We cared for the characters.  We learned about their lives.  We hoped they would solve the problems.  We wanted to see how things would work out, and we were happy and sad, for one astronaut returned but the others had not. 

There’s just one thing (Others too, but didn’t focus on those, for this is a movie.  As I shared, we go with whatever reality the story writers decided upon.).  The debris that assaulted them and their space vessel:  the debris from an exploded space station or other from a long ways away.  Not only that, but that debris passed, orbited the Earth, and returned for a second visit. 

Do you know there are people saying that space pollution is a concern?  I actually predicted that idea would one day be promoted.  How did I know?  Because, I became aware that a disinformation campaign had been happening throughout my life, from many sources, for many reasons.  But once the idea of the Earth’s destruction because of man became a widely touted and accepted belief, even saying it’s a fact, I knew.  With all the problems in the world, why focus on that?  But, to some degree, that was a good realization, for then I also realized that while growing up, I may have accepted, without thinking, beliefs by unreliable sources, so I learned to question everything.  If I didn’t know, then I didn’t know.  If I wanted to know, then it was incumbent upon myself to do the hard work of observation, pondering, research, and more.  If I wanted to know.  And what I discovered was many of the adults in the world didn’t know, didn’t want to know, didn’t think disinformation was serious enough to warrant, or just didn’t pay attention.  **To some degree, this is true, but when movements are all around us, creating disinformation for reasons of “programming” people for ulterior motives that can have long-term effects, that’s when people must be aware.  And discuss.

Do you know how much water is in the ocean?  An incredible amount.   Try calculating the amount of water in the Gulf of Mexico alone, and remember, it rains and water enters from outside.   I know this will daunt some people, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.  If we took all the oil reserves in the world, all the oil in tankers, containers, and everywhere else, and just dumped it all right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it wouldn’t harm our planet.   It wouldn’t make an ecological dent.  Yes, animals would die.  Yes, it would take some time to clean up, and we should at that time do what we can to help.  But even if we did nothing, were completely irresponsible, all that oil would clean up on its own, albeit longer.  Do you know, in the Gulf of Mexico, when that underwater oil pipe explosion happened, and millions of gallons of oil were pouring into the waters, I said to my friend that will all clean up?  Yes, I said.  It’s sad that some animals will die, others suffer.  We would love things like that to never happen.  And we should be responsible to prevent such dangers.  But the world will not pass.  And guess what.  One day, when those “cleanup men” went out again to remove the waters of oil, they couldn’t find any.  Why?  It all disappeared.  In addition to being dispersed, tiny little organisms that had been feasting on oil which is always leaking into the ocean from underneath (millions of gallons leak into the ocean from beneath, naturally, for oil is a naturally occurring substance.  Naturally, those little organisms were having breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the oil, cleaning the ocean:  as they always have.   Imagine having a gallon jug of water and one drop of oil falls in.  I suspect that pipe explosion, in comparison to that one drop in a jug of water, was less in ratio.  Do the math if you will.

**Here’s something I grew up believing, then started questioning, while others simply accepted as truth.  We grew up being told dinosaurs are our oil reserves.  The science books we read said pretty much the same.  And since all the ancient creatures were long gone, there was a finite amount of oil.  But with time, I realized that if oil is once living organisms, and there are always living organisms on the Earth, then oil would be a continually resupplied substance:  naturally.  And, I suspected, there’s more to oil creation that we know.  And there are so many untapped areas of the Earth.  So why, I asked, were we told this?  And that led to many other observations, thinking, and research, which I encourage others to do for themselves. 

Should we try to be as clean as possible?  Yes.  But we cannot destroy the Earth.  It’s incredibly resilient.  Here’s one more thing, which I think is worth mentioning here, but I won’t go into much detail (I leave that to the reader to learn.).  It was said, over and over, by “experts” and others in positions of power, even the media, that pollution has been so bad that it’s (or very well might be) irreversible.  That it’s so bad, we’ve passed the point of no return.  The waters will flood the Earth within decades.  Our youth’s future is all but over.

Wow!  What a statement.  If it’s irreversible, then there’s nothing to do.   Just sit back, live it up, and go out with a bang.  But guess what?  Much has been done to reduce pollution, though some other countries continue business as usual.  But guess what?  Things are much, much better.  And when people stayed home, drove less, “they” said within that short time, the air was much cleaner?  Perhaps better than ever. 

Wow!  In such a short time?  I thought we were on a runaway visit with the end.  But it’s all better now.  But my friends and I already knew that, long ago, probably always.  The world is just too big and resilient.  Driving across states and desserts, flying over the Pacific, sailing on the ocean, then doing the caculations.  We knew.  Why doesn’t everybody else?

Now, after hearing so much about man destroying the Earth, that led to the comment I made to a friend.  They’re going to promote the idea of spatial pollution.  And then, they did.  This movie is just a Hollywood entertainment program, but with all the disinformation and propaganda out there, young people who haven’t been properly educated and don’t know how to think for themselves will buy into the movie.  For what does the entertainment industry do?  They put out movies good, bad, and in between.  But whatever is becoming popular to believe, whatever people are afraid, that they’ll make movies.  Because fear sells tickets.  Yes.  Whatever people are afraid of, whatever they’re angry about, even if it’s propaganda created, people will watch anything that supports.  And their fears override reason.  It seems to be human nature.  But if we’re calm, living our own lives, we don’t have to be led by fear and anger.

So, what’s the point, someone asks.   As earlier shared but is worth repeating, do the calculations.  Find for yourself at what altitude most space stations travel.  Then, imagine another space station, perhaps on the other side of the Earth, half way, even a quarter of the way around.   Then calculate the odds that the debris will ever come anywhere near Sandra Bullock’s space station.  We did the calculations.  The odds were so small as to be almost nonexistent. 

I’ll demonstrate on a smaller scale (Now, I’m just imagining, the scale is different, but I’m challenging people’s thinking.).  Imagine a piece of paper covering a football field.  At one end zone is a space station the size of a marble.  At the other end zone, another marble sized space station.  Now, imagine one marble exploding.  The debris of metal and other materials will be exploding outward.  And since there’s no air in space, or very little where they are, the debris will fly a long way, even around the world.  Some debris will go up, down, to the sides:  in every direction, which on a three-dimensional scale means thousands of direction.  That leaves little material going in any one direction over a very long distance.  What do you think of the chance of more than a particle, bolt, or piece of fabric making it from one marble to the other, or even going around the football field to come back again?   

That’s why space stations orbit the planet and satellites as well.   That’s why we are able to send men to the moon.  Because the chances of space debris hitting are so astronomically small as to warrant very little consideration.  And what about things flying through the solar system.  And we send men to the moon.  And we’re planning on Mars.  And space debris isn’t even in the conversations.

We greatly enjoyed the movie.  But this one aspect, though could happen, most won’t realize just how unlucky the two stars had to be, that in real life, this never would have given any pause.  And certainly not by the amount of debris.  For the further away the other space station, satellite, or whatever, the more the debris will spread, so by the time it reaches, at most a couple bolts and pieces of metal.  As said.

We are living in times of an incredible amount of disinformation.  We are living in times of great propaganda.  We are living in times where finding a real journalist is like looking for a life form that may have gone extinct.  We are living in a time where books give only partial truths, but inject language that leads to many false assumptions.  We are living in times when, at the book store, in areas labelled science and current events are filled with so much flawed information, emotions, and rhetoric, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know what to read. 

And then, we are surrounded by people listening to all the disinformation, many having grown up with it, that their reality is not reality.  Maybe just a feel-good story.  But a feel-good story based upon false information helps no one. 

            An answer?  Yes.  Think for yourself.  As one man said, question everything.  Be unafraid in questioning.  Go at your own pace of course.  But if you’re wanting to understand, then you might just be surprised to discover how much of what you know, or think you know, is based upon false, inaccurate, or misleading information.  But then, as you awaken to realizations, you see more and have those “ah haaa” moments we delight in.

            Now, many people don’t want to do the hard work.  Why?  Because it’s hard.  But there’s another reason.  Anger.  We don’t want to be angry.  Life is hard enough.  But one doesn’t have to be angry to realize.  I must admit, as I learned, I did get angry, realizing the incredible amount of distortion.  But then I realized, through reading, watching past shows, learning history, and more, disinformation has always been around.  As soon as any person wants something more than what’s right, disinformation.  **In other words, there’s really nothing new under the sun.  What we’re seeing and hearing today has been done for millennia, just the characters and methods have changes, technology used as well.  And the youth are not learning as they ought, but that’s subject for another article. 

            A friend told a really good story to make a point.  At Christmas time, the wife and mother always cut the ends of the ham off, which was the husband’s and grandfather’s favorite part (Mine too.).  One day, a relative asked the husband why she always cut the ends of the ham off.  Well, they talked, then asked the wife.  She explained that’s how they’ve always done it.  It was a tradition.  So they asked the grandmother.  Why, grandma, did you always cut the ends of the ham off every Christmas and Thanksgiving.  Oh, she said after thinking about it, the pot was too small. 

            Why are so many people afraid to question?  Why are so many people afraid to challenge “experts”?  Why are so many people too lazy to do the hard work, to do the research, to think for themselves, then challenge others’ thinking?  Why do we all live in fear, fear of things that are like shadows lacking no real substance?  In part, because it’s not cool.   If you question too much, you’re seen as “odd.”  You’re a trouble maker.  But how did we get conditioned to think of those questioning as trouble makers, odd, or too different? 

            Well, there are those who see things that are not there, live with conspiracy theories about everything.  They don’t help with the picture.  But I imagine those people, characters in  movies as well, are promoted to make anyone asking the serious questions as being “off.”  In other words, if you stand up against errors on a grand scale, you’re also facing all those people and organizations promoting false beliefs.  But as long as you’re just a tiny organisms, you don’t pose a concern for them.  It’s when you’re big, having great influence, perhaps leading something on a grand scale, making positive differences and waking people up, that you pose a great risk to “them.”  I’ll leave that to the reader to figure out.

            But make no bones.  I work.  I have hobbies.  We go to movies, read books, and whatever.  We don’t lose sleep over this stuff.  We just learn and share.  It takes a whole country, thinking for themselves, understanding, doing their own research.  But also being happy, knowing life has challenges and we do the best with what we have. But a consistency of honesty, unplugging from propaganda and rhetoric, reading books of real substance, having interesting talks and discussions.

Each Person is Another Possible Light

Let’s take an opportunity to discuss Plato’s Republic and Socrates.  Each person reading may get different perspectives, so I’ll take this opportunity to share one.  It’s an important observation, for Socrates put into words what so many observe every day, yet don’t put words to the music.  But I think it’s important for many to realize what they see, others see as well, just many never discuss. 

                From my understanding, Socrates was like many of his contemporaries, got married, had children, and served in the military.  By many standards, he was a brave person in that he didn’t shy away from the difficulties in life.  But he was also an observer, one who noticed things in life and human behavior, living by principle.  Certainly not a perfect man, as none of us are, but did what he thought right, even if it meant placing his life on the line.  In fact, according to one reading, before he ever set out questioning everyone, he had already stood up for principle, facing almost certain death, and only a change of power saved him, but as he explained, he would have maintained the import of his beliefs even if it meant death.  For that’s what he did.  Knowing he would probably be sentenced to death, he maintained the right, never knowing the authority would be replaced.

                Somewhere in his life, an oracle told him he was the wisest.  Realizing he was not the most intelligent of men, and certainly not the most experienced, he didn’t believe himself the wisest either.  For most of us consider wisdom something requiring education, intelligence, and experience, and time, and certainly others have experiences and education he did not.  So, he pondered upon the meaning. 

                Well, the best way to prove the opposite was to talk with people.  After all, if he found one person with more wisdom, someone who understood things on a more profound level, he could bring that person to the oracle and say, here’s one person wiser than myself.  I find that pretty thoughtful.  If a vision or dream came to me, and a message spoke that I was the most intelligent or otherwise, I would just go on with my life, knowing I was not, probably forgetting within days, for I know there are many more people far more intelligent than me.  But as he was in the habit of pondering, seeking to understand, he set out to bring meaning to what had been shared.

                So, he went about talking with people.  He talked with anyone others considered wise.  He talked with anyone who considered themselves wise.  He talked with anyone who seemed one involved in a “great” career, had vast experiences, or otherwise, believing this might be a person whom he could bring to the oracle.  For certainly, he thought, he was no better than anyone else, and others were his superior.  Perhaps then, the oracle would explain the meaning of the statement.

                What he discovered, according to the readings, was he met many people of various intelligence.  One person in a particular field might be considered “the best” in that field, as in horsemanship, teaching, or architecture, and therefore might have a type of wisdom superior to his own.  Another person might have human interactive experiences, perhaps a psychologist, being a person of the world, and therefore might have insights others do not have.  I certainly can say that for myself.  Though I’ve tried many jobs of various disciplines, have had many hobbies, wrote, had a career, the more I experienced and learned, the more I realized how little I do know.  And that others know things I may never for they have experiences and knowledge different from my own, and some are probably more than I’ll ever reach. 

                Well, what Socrates discovered was that what some people thought made them wise might not be anything worth bragging about or making them into anything superior to others.  Then there were those who truly had a lot of experiences, perhaps very good in a particular field or expertise, but it was their pride that took away what could have been wisdom.  Like a stumbling block.  And then there were those who purported to have all the answers, walked around like they were very wise, and these he showed them the error of their ways.  They spoke, people listened, maybe because they had influence, money, and power, and others sat at their feet so to speak. 

                Through questioning.  By asking questions.  He listened, but when he found an error, he asked about that.  I don’t think he ever intended insult, just conversed, seeking understanding, and the understanding itself shined a light on the subject.  If he thought something was an error, he asked questions, perhaps hoping the other could explain where he was misguided, and therefore proved the other was wiser. 

                Kind of like if a person believes global warming or climate change is a real problem and they have the answers we all need to hear.  Somehow, they have understanding, “see” clearly the problem, and have the answers for everyone.  That type of thinking I have found interesting, but also perplexing.  But I must say, I myself have fallen prey to that thinking.  Then, I thought, why do I need to see myself as having any wisdom?  Why do I feel the need to make a name for myself, to do anything that others will come to appreciate?  Is it not enough to live honestly, do what you think is right, take care of responsibilities, and leave the rest?  That when we die, if no one remembers us, if we fade in history, what does that matter?  That we lived honestly, appreciated the good things, worked hard, and did what was right for ourselves and others, shouldn’t that be a happy life?  And do we need to put words to the music.  For in seems to me, some of the happiest people never think about their accomplishments.  They just live and do as the day suggests.  Got bills and children to feed, go to work.  The car needs repairs and there’s not enough money, break out the manual.  Can help another understand better ways of doing a job, show.  And such. 

                And if you do well in life, and others appreciate, that’s good for them.  But the most honest people I know don’t bask in their own glory (Not glory as they see, but others putting them on for people seek to idolize.  That’s another thing I’ve found perplexing about human nature, or altered human nature.).  Why idolize?

                The danger Socrates faced, without considering early on, but realizing the trouble he was creating for himself, was pride.  He thought for himself.  He encourage others to think for themselves.  But if everyone starts to think for themselves, they won’t “need” the experts.   They won’t go to the few who purport to have all the answers.  They won’t sit at the feet of one who had always been considered wise.  They won’t need other people.

                Well, they’ll still listen, many will respect, but as people become more individuals, considering carefully what others say, they will also observe, learn, research, then discuss, challenge, and argue.  And this many feared.  Some teachers fear this.  I never.  I actually wanted the students, with respect, to learn, research, observe, and take part in opportunities, gaining understanding I don’t have.  Then share with the class.  Sometimes, a student understood something I had never considered, and I gave them credit for their insights.  And if some students went onto careers, doing great things, making more money than I, I could not be any happier.  For whatever their road is, that’s for them to travel.  They only “need” me until they don’t need me or others.  And while they learn from me, they make other discoveries.  It’s the dialogue, the exchange of information that I’m looking for, something that has been hindered in recent years, even decades. 

                So, when Socrates talked with everyone, many were “ticked off”, and wanted more than anything to put a stop to this man.  And when the youth began to see the “wise” as not so wise after all, and I suppose when they mimicked Socrates methods of questioning as many young people and teens will do when they see a true individual, they became more angered, some enraged.

                But this caused me to wonder.   Why are people so concerned with their status, with others’ thinking them as wise or important, that when one truly wise comes along, they want to tear him apart?  But the question brought the answer.  To some degree or another, almost all of us do that.  Perhaps out of insecurity.  We have to convince our boss we’re intelligent so they’ll keep us employed.  We need to talk cool, have some keen insights, and wear cool clothing so we’ll be noticed.   We need the neighbors to respect us, and that gives us a place in society:  a place of respect.  But also pride.  Somewhere along the way, we become prideful, then become angered when others show us our downsides.  That we’re not as wise as we once thought.  Or our wisdom is that which all can learn.  You see, anything I know others can know too.  I’m not that complicated. 

                What Socrates experienced was what had been going on all the time.  As long as he didn’t remove the cover hiding people’s lies to others and themselves, everyone would be okay, each taking themselves too seriously.  Each person happy in their perceived status, or bowing and scraping before those in power to get some privileges.  But the problems would still be there for many must continue to prove to themselves and others how special, wise, and important they are.  How significant they are.  To others and to themselves.  To also keep others under their thumb.  In other words, they’re not living honestly, day to day, just doing what is right before them.  You see yourself as the next amazing author, but you need to unclog the toilet.  That sort of thing.  

                But I pondered, where did this need for personal significance come from?  Were we born this way?  Or is society so fractured, that with time, people adopt beliefs because that’s all around them?  We see it on television, the internet, and everywhere else.  How else do you explain common outfits?  For whatever reason, as we grow older, we adopt certain behaviors and beliefs, but we don’t explain the mechanism that occurs in us that brings us to those behaviors and beliefs.  Perhaps to have a significant other, you have to adopt personality quirks and mannerisms that are socially acceptable.  In other words, exactly what is going on inside the mind of a person that takes on these beliefs and mannerisms that result in them ignoring what they saw in their youth but was not socially acceptable?  And why not honesty being socially acceptable?  What is going in the world that we find honesty difficult.  Or we have to package honesty in a socially acceptable way, which means not all honesty.  It’s a curiosity.

                But Socrates was straightforward, honest, and searching.  It didn’t matter to him if other’s questioned him.  He rather invited the talks.  But he wasn’t looking for his own wisdom.  If he discovered understandings others appreciated, he didn’t become wise in his own eyes, didn’t bow, but just went onto the next conversation or responsibility.  You see, he didn’t discover that he was the wisest.  He didn’t discover that he knew anything more than others.  What he discovered was a “flaw” in others that, though they knew a lot, because of that flaw, made them “less” wise in that they didn’t see their own blindfold.  Their pride, or errors in thinking, took what they knew and prevented further understanding.  Like having something, holding onto it, but afraid to let go for something better.  He was the wisest by default.  He was the wisest because he saw he knew little.  In other words, he didn’t place a blindfold over his own eyes by buying into any propaganda or rhetoric. 

                Yes, they wanted to kill him.  Whatever was growing inside them, the pride, the error in thinking, insecurity, being found out for not really knowing as much as they thought they did, or opening the eyes of their peers to see them as they truly are:  this they could not allow.  And for fear of keeping up the lies, to others and to themselves, they had to destroy him.  But they could never realize this was what they were doing.  They had to convince themselves and others that Socrates was a dangerous man, a disrespectful man, and was turning the children to error.  They explained, he was destroying the children.  Because they couldn’t have the children seeing the errors in the adults.  They have to respect the adults.  They have to look upon the “wise” and/or “accomplished” adults with respect and perhaps “awe.”  Or being seen as trouble makers.  But never could they allow that the children could see through them.  Reality was like “hell” to them.  Must destroy any openly honest person who won’t stop talking and educating others.  For their own reasoning.  And some did it on purpose.  Some know they’re deceiving the youth for their own secret motives.

                And Socrates, by living honestly, truly searching, could not abandon his ways.   He had lived a life.  He had served his country.  He had always been a searcher.  He realized things.  And each step of the way, he became more aware of understanding what was inside people that turned them against him.  But he also saw an awakening.  He saw young people, and others, appreciating his honesty, saying what they could not, but many beginning to speak from understanding.  And in this, he could not turn back.  He could not run, fleeing his country.  For if he backed down, what would be the message to others?  Many, even his friends, wanted him to back down, to apologize (but apologize for what?), for they loved him, never wanting to see their friend put to death.  But that was in part to their inability to really understand where Socrates was coming from (I don’t think Plato ever really understood Socrates.).  For they liked the talks, but they didn’t like the consequences.  They didn’t mind the persecution, but not if it meant the death of their friend.  They loved him.  But to convince him to back down from his core beliefs would be to change their friend.

                But, had be backed down, or left the country, what would the youth and others of that country have found?  That it’s okay to believe something, but only up to a point?   Then, many watching, seeing him back down, or running away, would go the ways of living lies.  It’s okay to have beliefs, but only up to a point.  But what Socrates was encouraging was simple honesty.  And he was destroyed for that.  What many don’t understand is simple honesty, more so if the person begins to influence the many, is a great danger to many of those in power, for how did many of them come to power except by deception, self-compromises, and lies. It’s a learned behavior.  But it’s also a corruption that happens in people when they start to embrace their own lies for their own purposes.   Back down enough, then you eventually get to a place you can’t speak honestly. 

                We live in difficult times.  It’s always been difficult.  Freedom comes with eternal vigilance.  But how we raise our children today will either bring freedom or the loss of it.  Without real searching hearts, talks at home, and working together, the America that became, the beauty of liberty, will become a thing of the past.  And you won’t even realize it unless you’re truly seeking.