Reactions

In my last post I made a comment on reactions. I know this is something that is difficult and not even close to being simple…but nevertheless it is important. The life that we are living is going to be filled with people who are put here to build and test our strength. The stupidity and the carelessness of others is out of our control and it is ultimately inevitable. No matter how good of a person we are or how selfless our actions are, we will never have complete control of the world that surrounds us. Whether is is nature or other people, some things are out of our control…and that is just life.One thing that we can control is the way we choose to live our lives and react to the good and bad things that happen.

Starting with the bad, I know at times life seems impossible, but we must fight like hell and carry on. We are powerful, resilient, and flexible beings. We are able to withstand great trauma and pressure…we have the ability to adapt to many different circumstances. Our bodies can utilize different systems and our parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous systems can change the way that our bodies function in order to survive. Survival is written in human DNA and survive is what we all must and will do.

When things go bad, it is okay to recognize that it is bad. Do not ignore the bad because that will lead to nothing good to come. Acknowledge the bad, even look yourself in the mirror and vocalize the bad to yourself. Feel the bad. Experience the bad. But then tell yourself that this bad is not forever. You have to realize that whatever has happened has happened. The past is tricky because although the past can effect the present, the past is ultimately the past and it can never be changed. I am going to say that again. The past can never and will never be changed. No matter what we do, no change will ever occur to the past. What can be changed is the future. We can better our mindset and try everything in our power to make this life a better one. I know it may sound silly, but you really do have to tell yourself that everything will be okay. Talk to yourself and be there for yourself, because if you are not there for yourself…why would the world? Even when the bad seems to be the end…you have to try and ease your reaction in a different direction. Once you start to focus on the way you react to things, you will notice that the anger, sadness, guilt, jealousy, and despair that you feel won’t last as long. If someone does something that would normally make you angry or if someone hurts you and makes you sad…you can feel that emotion, but work on feeling it for a shorter time. Life is too short to be clouded with negative emotions that ultimately only take their toll on the self.

Now for the good, each and every time something happens in your life that makes you smile or makes your eyes light up, thank the universe. Even if it is something as simple as hitting all green lights on your way home or getting eleven chicken nuggets when you ordered ten…smile because as cliche as it may sound, the little things in life are often the profound ones. You have to find joy in all things in life because this life we have only lasts for a set amount of time…and why live it with anything other than joy? Step outside and look around you. The sun is shining, there is that plentiful oxygen in the air, and the sky is blue. Even in the wake of a storm. The smell of oncoming rain fills your nasal cavity, the booming sound of thunder and lightning vibrates your tympanic membrane, and the breeze chills your skin. You are alive and you are feeling and experiencing the beautiful world around you. Once you start to feel joy in all the things that surround you, you will notice that joy will be abundant in comparison to despair.

Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Choose to be happy. It takes effort. So much effort. It will not come easy. You need to tell yourself that you are worth it and I’m telling you right now that you are worth it. You need to decide to react to things that have happened and that have yet to happen in a positive way. That test you are dreading? Stop dreading it. Thinking that, “I am going to fail,” “Nothing good will come,” “I should have studied more,” that will not change anything. Instead think, “I will do my best and the grade I receive is what I receive and it is not reflective on my ability or who I am as a person.” If you don’t get the best grade…accept it and move on. What is done is done. That relationship didn’t work out? Be sad about it if you may, but then realize that it happened for a reason and it cannot be undone. Heartbreak and sadness are inevitable, but happiness and joy are always possible. Some things may take longer to get over and to grow past…but as long as you tell yourself that you will see brighter days…keep on keeping on. Your reactions lead to actions which leads to changes in your life. Your reactions are very powerful. I want you to understand that as deeply as you can. We are all in this life together and we all experience hurt and trauma. You are never alone, so please never feel that way. You have the power to control the way you react, take charge of your life and commit yourself to yourself because you deserve that. Make your life beautiful despite the unavoidable evil that lurks in the dark depths of the universe. You have the choice, so choose you.

Anger

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I owe much of my growth to my break-up from several months ago. I experienced a large amount of anger and sadness for longer than I intended, but that experience made me a stronger person. I underwent a lot of self-reflection and I reached an all-time-low, which only prompted myself to work towards an all-time-high. While I was very sad, most of what I felt was anger. Even in other past experiences that have caused me emotional distress, I mostly felt anger. I was angry at the world for allowing such a thing to happen at me. I was angry at the person or thing for hurting me. I was angry at myself for allowing myself to hurt. I was constantly angry. I knew that I needed to change and I worked hard to reach that change…which is definitely easier said than done. I am still working on myself and I will be working on myself until my last breath. I would like to share my thought process on anger and how to be a less angry person.

It all starts with recognizing that you are angry. You need to be aware of yourself and of your feelings. You cannot deny anger. Even look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am angry. […] made me angry. I feel anger.” It sounds silly, but confronting yourself face-to-face is very powerful. When you recognize that you are angry, breathe in and absorb ALL of that anger and your angry thoughts for either one deep breath in or several breaths in and then when you exhale, release that anger until you feel a sense of calmness. Next you need to realize that anger never got anyone anywhere good. I met a wise man this past weekend on October 5th, 2019 at my close friend, Kavishka’s, “Dandiya Night,” and he told me something that stayed with me. He said that, “anger is self-punishment for the stupidity of others.” When you are angry, those emotions and the feelings you get hurt yourself. Yes, you may act on those emotions and do something to hurt another person, but that is separate issue because although you are completely responsible for your actions, others are also partially responsible for their reactions. We are focusing on you right now and the way your actions influence you.

How exactly is anger self-punishment? When you are angry you are filled with negative thoughts and energy. Those thoughts and energy control just about everything. If you have a negative thought that turns into a negative action, which turns into a negative response, which turns into a negative event, which creates a negative environment and so on and so forth. One small sliver of negativity has enough power to destroy the entire world and it is up to us, as individuals, to rid of that negativity. You have to turn the bad into good or else you will never survive. You have to realize that the past is over with and nothing will change it. You have to realize that the future is coming, but you cannot dwell on an event that hasn’t occurred. You have to set yourself in the present moment and tell yourself that you are where you are supposed to be. You have to tell yourself that everything is okay, because in all reality it is.

I know that people can really just piss us all off sometimes. And sometimes, even if we work on controlling anger, we can slip up and let it consume us for a little longer than it should. Stupidity, unfortunately, is inevitable; but, how we respond is completely up to us. It is a process that will take time. And this process isn’t a full circle, it is rather a wave that continues on forever, but the wavelengths between our negative reactions (the crests and troughs) get further and further apart. But if you commit yourself to yourself then you can have growth. Let people be mad. Let people be negative. But fight like hell to protect yourself from that negative energy. Don’t beat yourself up if you do slip-up because mistakes will happen, but if there is truly good intention that surrounds them, then that is okay. Take a few deep breaths in and out and just literally tell yourself, out loud, that everything will be okay. Tell yourself that you are stronger than this inconvenience. Tell yourself that you will get past this. Tell yourself that nothing and no one is worth anger that will only end up hurting you more than anyone else.

Once you begin this journey you will recognize a less angry life for yourself. You may even recognize good starting to come your way. Positive energy is like a bright light to a moth in a dark room. Attraction is strong and it starts off subtle and then all of a sudden you are surrounded by abundance. Take care of yourself. You are worth the effort. It only seems like a lot of effort at first, but then self-love just becomes leg-work the more you do it. Look in the mirror everyday and tell yourself that you are worth it because you are. You do not need to feel anger, your soul is far too beautiful to be surrounded by such an energy. Carry on with love and love will come.

Differences in the Experience with Slavery for Men and Women

*Facts based off of information in my personal notes from my HST 247 African American History class that I took at DePaul University in 2019.

Slavery in the United States was racist, there is simply no denying that fact; however, as if enslaving human beings based off the color of one’s skin was not inhumane and unjust enough, slave owners sought to invoke treacherous punishments on slaves based off their genders. Slavery was aimed to make the enslaved feel that blackness was a shameful quality, but the minds behind slavery were darker than just racism. The gendering of slavery intertwined with the blatant racism created an intersection filled with hate, pain, suffering, and pure ignorance of morality. Both women and men endured separate, yet also the same, hells in a world where their voices were silenced.

 Women faced certain challenges that men did not see as often because of the objectification that the women faced from the slave owners. The literature piece, Ar’n’t I a Woman?, addresses several problems that women faced, and most of these problems stemmed from socially constructed archetypes that were developed. One of these archetypes was that of “Jezebel” (White 29). This archetype was made so that black women would be viewed as promiscuous, intensely sexual beings. The origination of this image was produced when the whites first encountered black women in Africa (White 29). Not only did this stand as a negative label, the Jezebel archetype had direct influence on the African American women’s lives. Since society viewed black women as overly sexual beings, when women were raped by slave owners, the rape was excused (White 32). Black women were thought to have no purity, whereas white women were pure women who deserved complete respect. An escaped slave, Christopher Nichols, recalled that a master that he had would take women and throw them over a bench and rape that woman in front of everyone (White 33). The men would not show any mercy and overpower any woman that he wanted to. The men would whip the women and rape them in front of their mothers and fathers and if the women resisted, further punishment was had (White 35).

The sexual objectification of women was an experience that many women faced, and slave owners would use the sexuality of women in an advantageous way. Slave owners would rape women in order to increase the number of slaves on the plantation, because the children would take the status of the women. One instance in history was the case of Celia. Celia was a young girl who suffered from intense sexual abuse from her owner. Eventually Celia grew tired of the treatment she faced from her owner and killed him. This case was brought to court and the rape was recognized, but it was not found illegal because the court felt that Celia, as a black woman, had no purity to be taken away. Celia fit into the Jezebel archetype and the actions that were proceeded in court supported the archetype. Even though Jezebel was promiscuous and sexy, she was not worthy of the same life as a white woman. Jezebel may not have been whipped and put to field work, but she was living a horrid reality that was filled with rape, hate, oppression, and violence.

While some women were being shamed for sexuality, other women were having their sexuality taken away. It was the socially constructed archetype of the “Mammy” that did this (White 46). The Mammy archetype represented a loving and caring black woman that had no interest in any sexual activity. This woman cared heavily for the slave owners’ children but was still viewed as a slave. This Mammy was held to high expectations and was relied on to perform several tasks, in good time, regardless of any constraints. Mammy was the prized house-slave and was seen to be worthy and reliable (White 47). Susan Eppes, a slave owner, would converse with her Mammy every day and viewed her Mammy as a sort of children’s keeper (White 47). Mammy was thought to be very well respected, which in turn, made some believe that maybe slavery was not as bad as it seemed. No matter how much respect a slave owner could have for a slave, that person was still supporting the brutal system of slavery. Even though Mammy was this woman who could do it all, her value when compared to a white woman was nonexistent. Mammy was capable and did work efficiently, but Mammy was still not viewed to be as worthy as a white woman and was nonetheless property of the slave owners. The women who faced this label were made to think that the “respect” received from the owners was a good way to live and that they were lucky to be out of the field and away from the lashes of the whip.

While women were being sexualized by the slave owners, men were facing unimaginable punishments. Men felt that they were powerless because the whites would take sexual advantage of their wives, daughters, and mothers, but the men could not do anything to stop the terror (Black 100). In the African culture, a man is expected to care for his family, but under slavery this notion was nonexistent. Henry Bibb wrote a slave narrative and spoke on the several brutalities that he suffered. He, and other enslaved men, felt that a man had a right to his wife and a right to his children, but the slave owners stripped black men of those rights (Black 111). This narrative was completely honest, and he was up front with everything that he felt and experienced. He said that, “I must be a slave for life—suffer under the lash or die.” (Black 103). This was the reality for several slaves, especially those following the first-generation slaves. When a slave was born into slavery, the only life that was known was one of oppression, hate, and pain—there seemed to be no way out, except for death. Bibb suffered intense violence during his time at the Whitfield Plantation, especially when he had a failed attempt to escape. He recalled in his narrative that, “My clothing was ripped off and I was compelled to lie on the ground…four stakes were driven in the ground, to which my hands and feet were tied (Black 105).” He was then lashed from head to foot repeatedly, almost to death. Bibbs was unable to work for several days and was separated from his family for the rest of his time on the plantation. Bibbs held back the rage to retaliate, because fighting back meant death and he refused to face death (Black 106). This is what made male slaves feel emasculated and powerless, they had to be brutally abused in front of their peers and family, but there was nothing that could be done to stop it. His pride was stripped off him and beaten away with each lash and flog that he faced.

Sometimes slaves would fight back, such as the actions of Solomon Northup. Unlike Bibbs, Northup was born a free man and was captured and brought into slavery. This ignited a different type of anger within that Bibbs did not have. Northup brought a lot of insight to the truth of how brutal slavery was. He recalled that, “Twenty-five [lashes] are deemed a mere brush, inflicted, for instance…when a branch is broken in the field… (Black 108).” This recollection goes to show that slaves—men for the most part—would face brutal punishments even for the slightest of mistakes, like a broken branch. Even no mistakes could lead to punishment if the slave owner felt like it. The day that Northup decided to fight back and stand up to his slave owner, is a day that he regrets. He pushed his slave owner down, seized his whip, and struck him repeatedly (Black 109). The reason that he regrets this is because he knew that severe punishment would come, in fact, his slave owner attempted to hang him, but decided to stop so that Northup could live a life of increased fear and more pain.

This is only a pebble in an entire mountain of history. I encourage everyone to read history from certified, credible sources and to deepen your knowledge on subjects that weren’t taught enough in secondary school, or high school. This concerns all histories and subjects, not just that of the United States and slavery. History is very important and much of the present can be explained by history. Education is a gift and knowledge is power.

Texts Used:

Dismantling Black Manhood: Daniel P. Black

Out of the House of Bondage-The Transformation of the Plantation Household: Thavolia Glymph

Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South: Deborah Gray White

           

DRUGS. But not the ones you think.

When most people think about addicting drugs, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine come to mind. What people fail to recognize is that most of them pump highly addictive drugs into their systems every single day. These drugs are hidden behind the masks of trusted doctors and funded by the dirty hands of the government. In various […]

When most people think about addicting drugs, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine come to mind. What people fail to recognize is that most of them pump highly addictive drugs into their systems every single day. These drugs are hidden behind the masks of trusted doctors and funded by the dirty hands of the government. In various fields of the health industry, the fastest fix is usually sought out; but, faster does not always mean better.

Narcotics, or more commonly referred to as pain killers or opioids, are very deadly. New York Times reporter, Barry Meier, authored a book that focuses on the dangers of prescription pain medication titled, “A World of Hurt: Fixing Pain Medicine’s Biggest Mistake” (Parker-Pope 2013). Within this publication he visited the lives of people who have had both good and bad experiences with pain killers, most being bad. He found that pain killers helped patients a great deal with pain, and the patients were very satisfied; however, when the prescription came to an end, the patients experienced severe side effects (Parker-Pope 2013). Some of these being addiction, lowered hormone production, tiredness, and several other side effects—including death (Parker-Pope 2013). In fact, the number of deaths from painkillers is rising every year. Even the over-the-counter pain killers that many people take such as Tylenonl (Acetaminophen) at the slightest appearance of pain are not good for the body. These types of drugs do relieve pain in a safer manner than opioids, but that does not mean that they are any “better.” When used for a long period of time and when used frequently, these medications can and most likely will lead to kidney diseases/problems and liver diseases/problems. And also an increased risk of a myocardial infarction (heart attack), cerebrovascular accident (stroke), or hypertension (high blood pressure).

Pain killers are very addictive and are a serious problem, but what is the solution? Natural medicine. There have been various studies done on those experiencing chronic pain that investigate different forms of natural medicine to relieve that pain rather than using drugs. Such examples of pain relief include heat and cold therapy (Rodriguez 2014), meditation (Brody 2017), and chiropractic care. Heat therapy is widely accepted throughout the medical community to work on its own, but it is typically paired with drug-use which is not a necessary step (Rodriguez 2014). Heat therapy works because the heat helps relax the muscles and makes the body less tense, which in turn eases pain. Cold therapy is also used to lower inflammation and swelling in an injury, which will lead to less pain being felt (Rodriguez 2014). As for meditation, a scientific study took place that worked with participants experiencing chronic pain. Each subject worked on mindful meditation for two and a half years, and the results were spectacular. At the end of the study, each subject reported feeling less pain, feelings less anxiety in general, and having more acceptance of the pain that remained without the use of pain killers (la Cour, Petersen 2015).

Finally, chiropractic care can ease pain in patients through spinal manipulation. When the spine is misaligned, or subluxated, the entire body is thrown off-course and several symptoms can arise such as: stomach aches, acne, sore joints, lethargy and a tight neck. Realigning the spine allows for those symptoms to ease or even dissipate entirely because when the spine is in line, the body functions more regularly than when it is not. This is a pain management and better quality of life method that I can support, as myself and my family have been under chiropractic care since birth. Instead of pairing natural methods with drug-use, natural methods need to be paired with natural methods.

Since there are these issues that are flooding the United States, the question has not been answered as to why. Why would something so deadly be given out so carelessly? The answer is easy—efficiency. Narcotics are a quick fix that can relieve symptoms almost instantaneously. Money may appear to be the drive behind medicine for some, but in reality, the foundation of the problem is trying to find the fastest solution for a problem. The human body is a fragile, spectacular biological masterpiece, yet daily we treat it like it is worth nothing. Humans need to put in the time to assure that the body that is inhabited is healthy and functioning to its highest potential, and this all begins with natural medicine. Natural medicine is scary for some because natural medicine is different than what people are used to. Change is very scary for people, but sometimes change is what is needed. Narcotics are not the only element to exist in the world that can lead to pain relief, there are proven natural remedies that may take time and focus but living a longer and healthier life is worth the time. Do something good for the body, do something good for the soul—do natural medicine, and remember, nothing good comes fast.

Choose Love.

Love. The most powerful energy to exist in the world. Romantic love between a husband and wife, platonic love between two best friends, or the unconditional love from a pet—love surrounds all. Love can fix all the wrongs in the world. Real love is never selfish, if it draws negativity into the world it is not love, perhaps it is lust or desire. Everyone and everything is deserving of love, no matter the wrongdoings that an individual does. It must be remembered that if a person was shown complete love for the entire life lived, then the wrongdoing may not have occurred. Love is accepting the faults in a person, no matter how burdening those faults may seem. Love is physical as in respecting the gift of the body and the gift of the world with absolute caution and admiration. Love is mental as in love the self and regarding the self as a work of art, because the self is spectacular, and the occurrence of each person is almost impossible. Love is vocal as in acknowledging to others the love you have, whether that other be a human being, an animal, an insect or a favorite book. Recognizing love and declaring love is ever so powerful. Love should consume the soul for eternity because what other than love should be felt? Love can be felt even during the bad times. The loss of a loved one is heartbreaking, yet the chance that was had to love that person must be appreciated. Love is universal and the boundaries of love do not exist. There is no wrong love or unacceptable love.

Love is everywhere and there is no instance in which love is unable to appear, because if hate and anger are possible, then so is love. Manifest love internally and express love externally. The more love you allow to surround you, the more love you’ll notice in your life. Love the birds, the bees, the sky, the trees, and even love the materialistic things that you own. That is one beautiful thing about humans, we give things meaning. Your favorite baseball cap? Favorite pair of pants? Favorite coffee shop? Or even that necklace you wear everyday that your late grandmother gave you? Love it all. It is always said that material items mean nothing, but while they do not mean as much as connections between people, they do mean something. There is no shame in giving something meaning and simply loving it, that is what being human is all about. Everyday we buy cars, houses, go to school, eat at our favorite restaurant, even when we know that this life is not forever. Everyone knows that sooner or later, life will end and many think that everything we have done in our life means nothing–but that is not true. Make it your goal to love as much as you can. Touch others hearts. When you die, everything that you have touched lives on. Even love you show one person can impact another indirectly. Love is powerful and love is everlasting. Not feeling and showing love is a choice, but then that means that feeling and showing love is a choice. Choose love.

I love you.

Religion Shouldn’t Hurt

Jesus is the son of God–who is the creator of everything we know. When we die we rise to heaven or descend to hell. When one dies they continue the familiar route of samsara until they escape and reach nirvana. Truth is one, Brahman is truth and reality, the Vedas are the ultimate authority and one should strive to achieve dharma. What do all of these things have in common? They are all neither completely false nor absolutely true.

It is no secret that there are constant battles between people concerning many things, one of those being religion. In regions such as the United States, Sweden, and Denmark where religious freedom exists (YES THE UNITED STATES IS NOT THE ONLY COUNTRY WITH RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!!!), there is a daily power-struggle of “who is right and who is wrong.” Now, for those regions where following a religion is strictly required under the law, then it is expected to see less disagreement, as there are usually dire and deadly consequences for disobeying such a law. When tackling the issue of religious disagreements between citizens and governments within regions with religious freedom, it has to be known that religion is purely a belief–meaning that there is no wrongness to any religious belief. Even in countries without religious freedom this is so; however, it is a much more difficult situation to work through. The reason for a large number of disputes and constant quarreling over “whose religion is correct” is due to the fact that we tend to misconceive truth when we think of several commodities, one of those being religion. To the one that conceives, the belief holds great truth; however, for others, this may not be the case. This disagreement does not have to turn into a battle of wills, it is simply just a disagreement and one should have enough pride and respect to agree to disagree.

The comical part of the “battle of religions” is the widespread religious belief that one should respect others. Whether it be the Bible, the Torah, the Vedas or any sacred text there is one common theme that arises throughout them all: be altruistic. Another point in this argument is that, unless another person’s belief directly or indirectly harms someone, there is no fault or trouble with their actions. Yes, some religions use the slaughter of animals in ritualistic purpose and I am not saying that I am a animal hater or that I promote violence against animals, but unless every person fighting those religions has never eaten meat or an animal product a day in their life, they cannot really argue on such a topic. Religion and violence against animals are two different topics. Besides, if someone is so against animal violence then stop getting the vaccinations with aborted animal and human fetus cells. Don’t believe me? There are two links at the end, I ask that you check them out. If violence is such an issue, then why are the very religions that want to stop violence against animals promoting violence on our own species because they follow a different religion? Some people use religion to protect members of their own religion, but basically dehumanize someone if they are of a different religion. The desire to control is such an issue when it comes to religion and people are willing to do almost anything to brainwash people into following a singular set of religious principles. I don’t want to get politics involved into this, but that’d be like creating a law based off of what is said to be wrong or right in a sacred text that applies to a religion that everyone does not follow and forcing everyone to abide by that law (but a government wouldn’t do that…right?).

Having indifferent beliefs does not mean that you can’t enlighten others on your own personal beliefs. However, one must be careful when doing so, as it is quite easy to make something that is purely innocent sound inflicting and forceful; especially when it comes to beliefs. Many people enjoy telling others to follow their religion and oftentimes they try and make the person believe that that is the only belief they should hold. Instead of doing this, people need to just provide knowledge and a general understanding of the basic beliefs of the religion they follow and then if the listener feels as if those beliefs suit them, then they will ask for more information. This is why religions and their history need to get taught in school. The education is not to convert, the education is to enlighten. The more educated we are, the more we can understand others. And the more we understand others, the more we can grow to respect others and appreciate our differences. In fact, maybe we would grow to learn that all of these religions aren’t so different after all.

So how does this issue get fixed? Well, I am no societal mastermind that knows how to restore eternal peace in the world, but basically there are two options: open your mind to other beliefs, or just stop caring what other people do so much. Starting with the former way, if one just opens their mind and gains empathy and sees things from other points of view, the world would be a much better place. At first, other religious beliefs may sound absolutely crazy and obscene, but talk to people, do research and try and understand why people think that way–because there is going to be a reason. This doesn’t mean you have to convert, it just means that you understand. Now for the latter, it may sound wrongful to say that being ignorant can lead to a more peaceful world. The definition of ignorance has been destroyed much like religion itself. It is thought that ignorance breeds characteristics of pessimism and negativity, but that is false. Yes, ignorance can lead to the cultivation of such feelings and actions, but that is not always what occurs. Ignorance is bliss. By this, I mean that not having an outstanding concern for others’ beliefs and focusing on your own self is bliss. You are aware that other people follow other religions that may not align with yours, but that does not bother you. You simply do not know about other religions, so the presence of others that follow them does not bother you. The thing about this, though, is that people in places of power such as the government can’t really follow this mindset because it is their job to understand “their” people. If the ruler of a country based a law off of their own personal religion, not even considering the views of the people that reside in their country, then that doesn’t make them that good of a ruler does it?

At the end of the day, religion is merely a belief, and beliefs are not absolute truths; therefore one cannot simply hold disputes towards someone with different beliefs unless subsequent evidence provides facts that prove their personal beliefs to be an absolute truth. In a sense, all religions are true beliefs, as a belief cannot simply be false because there is no truth attached to it. I guess one could say that religious beliefs are both true and untrue. They are all neither completely false nor absolutely true.

Just respect everyone and accept that everyone is different. Try and get yourself some knowledge on others because you will soon realize that although we are all different, we will never be as different as we are similar.

Links:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6027112/

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf (FYI “MRC-5 human diploid cells” are cells from the lung tissue of an aborted male fetus and “bovine serum” is harvested from bovine fetuses taken from pregnant cows during slaughter.)

The Only Thing Fated is Life and Death

The question of free-will and a future that is set in stone is something I ponder every so often. Part of me wants to say that as humans, we never truly make any decisions and that everything is predetermined–but, then another part of me begs to differ. There are only two things that are most certainly fated for our lives: when we are born and when we die. Although this seems to be obvious, it is something I never really thought of until early September 2019 when I was reading a book titled, Gilgamesh. There was an excerpt from the book that read, “When the gods assemble, they decide your fate, they establish both life and death for you, but the time of death they do not reveal.” As a whole, this line touches on a lot of common philosophical themes. It says how life and death are fated and both are inevitable, but we can never know when death will arrive; which begins to beg the question of whether we live to die or we live to live. I have to say that I find myself following the latter.

For as far as most of us know, right now, we are only living one life. There may have been lives before the present and lives to be lived in the future, but right here and right now we are living this life. The philosophical question of whether we are actually here right now or in some other time/realm can be asked, but it is up to the individual to decide that they are here now and that now is real. I choose to decide that I am here and that I am real and I live my life accordingly. With that being said, what are we supposed to do with this so-called life that we are all living? My answer for that is anything.

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

I have to say that I was inspired to write on such a topic after watching various movies and TV series that surround both fictional and non-fictional stories that follow a sort of “rags-to-riches” story line. Some of these movies consist of: 42, Naruto, Lee Daniels: The Butler, Stand By Me, and Lean on Me. In each of these movies there is an individual or several individuals who did what many would believe was impossible. The thing that I have noticed in life is that many people get stuck into some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy mindset. Whether it be the child whose parents tell him he’s no good or the child who dreams to be an artist, but his parents make him feel like he needs to become a doctor, it is something I see too often. What many do not realize is that if there is something that you have a deep desire to accomplish in this world, then you can most certainly do it. Looking at the movies I mentioned that were based off of true-stories, what if Jackie Robinson in 42 would have given up because the majority of society thought he wasn’t worth anything? Life for African Americans would most likely be drastically different because his strength would not have broken down the barriers at a time when they needed broken down most. Or in Lee Daniels: The Butler, Cecil Gaines (inspired by the real person Eugene Allen) could have had no will to get off of the plantation and seek work. Instead he worked the best he could and earned a job as a butler in the White House and lived to see the day where an African American took office. That brings in Barack Obama, too, not many would have ever thought that an African American would be the president of a country that tortured, murdered, enslaved, and completely abused African Americans for over 200-years. Eugene Allen even said that, “There were so many things in America you just couldn’t do. You wouldn’t even dream that you could dream of a moment like this.” Even consider Sandeep Singh, the Indian field hockey player who was shot and was in a wheelchair for a year, only to come back a stronger player and tackle various records within the professional field hockey league (watch the movie Soorma). Anyone you can think of that had all the odds stacked against them–Helen Keller, Wilma Rudolph, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, and many that may not be recorded in history but have defied the odds and accomplished their goals–they are neither more nor less capable than you or I.

All of the aforementioned people are just ordinary people like you and I. Those are neither super-humans nor are they superior in any way. They were people with a goal and determination to reach the goal. My point of all of this is that the only person that can stop you from reaching your goal is you. Sometimes our goals don’t go as planned, but trust the process and TRUST that the universe did not give you this because you are due for something better. Sometimes what we want is not what we need. If there is something that you want with your entire self, then fight for it. Yes, manifesting growth brings growth, but you have to fight for it too. The Universe and the self work hand-in-hand. If you manifest the good energy, the Universe will attempt to align energies in a way that you can utilize and make good with; but, the key point is you have to utilize it because most things do not get handed to us. Of course there will be people who tell you that you can’t do it, but do you know what I have always said about such comments? “Fuck that.” Everyone that tries to bring you down, thank them, because they are only assisting in your growth. Nothing in the universe happens by mistake; yes, people make mistakes, but mistakes are a natural part of life and are all part of the overall process. Mistakes should never be used to define a person because one mistake in an entire lifetime of living is infinitesimal.

If there is one thing that I want you to get from this it is to go after all of your dreams and desires, as long as you go forth with regard for the greater good. Yes, what is wrong and right is a moral dilemma, but if you move forward with intentions to do right by many and not hurt others on your path to greatness, then I believe that can be considered good. I have seen so many people surround me that doubt themselves, myself included at times, and it breaks my heart. I have been around children who are labeled as “bad kids,” by adults and society and the kids believe it and live a life with no one telling them any different, and that breaks my soul. Do you know how they say there is no such thing as a bad dog, only a bad owner? The same goes for children. Yes, parents are not entirely to blame and there comes a point in time when we reach adulthood and have to make decisions on who we are by ourselves, but there is not an abundance of humans for no reason. We are here to help others and remind them that they are worth more than they think when they forget that. Humans are stronger together and they always will be. Love everyone. And help everyone grow and thrive.

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

I ask you to remember that you are worth more than any harsh words said to you. This may sound cliche, but anything you put your mind to you can accomplish. Be good to those around you. Support others dreams and if they reach them before you reach yours, celebrate. You are stronger than all the battles that you have survived. You are worthy of all that is good. You are worthy of peace. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of joy. You are worthy of happiness. You are worthy of life.

No one is in this life alone. True love will always conquer all.