Faith Has To Win Over Worry

Anxiety is worry and fear on steroids.


Some people have separation anxiety.


Others have social anxiety.


And then there is good ‘ol generalized anxiety.


It was fascinating-scary to learn that nearly 1 in 3 will have an anxiety disorder before the age of 18.


Despite all the abundance, affluence, advancement and technological progress, people are nevertheless more fearful about their present and futures. 


Perhaps like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when people weren’t able to satisfy their most basics physiological and safety needs, they didn’t know better to worry about everything else like whether they were truly loved, integrated, on the right track in life and fulfilled.  


These days, we have more money, time, and information to know that there is plenty to be anxious about. 


We know the most horrible stories of trauma, illness, death, corruption, disaster, terror, and war–it’s plastered on the news and Internet 24/7/365.


Moreover, our “friends” and connections are blabbing about it on the social networks day-in and -out.


We are aware of our mistakes and foibles in real time as feedback is given and received with both likes as well as open criticism, marginalization, and alienation at every turn we take.


You have to ask yourself–is it meant to help anyone or to degrade and destroy the others, the opposition, the ones we don’t like anymore. 


It’s not just trolls that can make your life miserable, but everyone from your bosses to your peers and social circle who give you pause with continuous reaction and footnote–much of it driven by alternative facts and fake other world self-serving reality.


Perhaps yesterday you were a genius and on top of the world, but then all of a sudden you’re low-life garbage.


Your self-worth and future are measured by likes and dislikes, connections and reactions by people who are driven by their own agendas, power, and biases. 


It’s not just local either. 


North Korea and Iran are tweeting about destroying the world and their latest rocket launches and WMD development. 


Tomorrow maybe the end of one or of many. 


There is truly plenty to worry about in society driven by selfishness, materialism, faithlessness and a moral vacuum where truly anything goes. 


Selflessness, meaning, morality, and faith have to win over all the reasons to be anxious. 


We know too much about the bad every day, and this can only be overcome by anchoring ourselves in the good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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The Fine Line Between Fantasy and Reality

So I’ve started to realize that there are at times a (very) thin line between fantasy and reality. 


In some cases, people hear some facts or some truth, and then in their mind, they concoct entire stories of fantasy or full-fledged conspiracy around it.


But more than that, the fantasy in their minds, because it starts with a real fact or two then becomes entirely perceived as reality itself. 


We saw plenty of this in the last election cycle and even today, with one political side or the other purchasing phony dossiers or making up stories about the opposition–and they may even have some underlying facts associated with it. 


But around these facts, entire scripts and stories are concocted through inductive reasoning or highly imaginative thinking, whether for example, of deep Russian conspiracies reminiscent of the era of McCarthyism or the Salem Witch Trails of yesteryear. 


Again, I’m not saying that nothing is there, but the question is whether there is real truth then to the whole conspiracy that has been drawn from fantastical minds of opposition agents, reporters, and others gainfully benefiting and perhaps running amuck with these grandiose versions of alternate reality?


What I am coming to believe is that it’s not so much that people are willfully making up these stories (although there can certainly be plenty of biases, exaggerations, and agendas at work as well), but that in their mind, they create these bombastic versions of what seems like truth to them and then they pawn it off and sell it to others who are only to happy to latch unto some juicy new gossip or theory of “what’s really going on.”


Similarly, some people who get very mad may actually take albeit a genuine fight with another person and pour layer upon layer of evil doings and manipulations on them until by the time their mind is done, the other person has become the devil themselves–and the fantasy for a short time seems like it is the reality–until such time that cooler heads prevail and reality replaces the mind’s fantasy or it’s ultimate fears. 


In short, there is a very fine line between fantasy and reality–our minds can get carried away with facts or notions of the moment and build those into full-fledged conspiracy theories of “who done it” and “why didn’t we see it all along.”


Certainly, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some very good pretenders out there who truly are doing very bad things and covering their tracks, and it’s for the gifted and detective minds out there to perceive those and prove them as being the greater reality.


But we have to be careful in accusing people–until such time that the facts are all there and the perception or fantasy of our mind’s eye is shown to be the reality indeed. 


We need good investigative journalism, excellent law enforcement and intelligence, and clarity of mind to know what’s real and what’s fake in life and in our fantastical minds. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Snatched From The Jaws Of A LARGE Shark

Shark

So this was a funny photo we took in Ft. Lauderdale. 


Right in the jaws of a very large shark…


Must’ve been a little what it felt like to be Jonah swallowed up by the big whale.


“Hey let me outta here…please!”


This whole thing reminded me of something I heard from a colleague.


At one time, he had said cautioningly, “You better dip your toe in the water, because there may very well be sharks in there.”


In other words, watch out from some {unscrupulous and dangerous} people–they have their own motives, hidden agendas, sources of power, and they may be VERY intense on getting what they want, so be careful–don’t get in their way (at least not directly). 


Hey, can’t you almost see the large, strong jaws–snapping, snapping, snapping. 


And the very important lesson here is that if you dare dip more than your toe in the shark-infested water, rest assured that you can lose a lot more than a foot. 


(Source Photo: The Blumenthals)

Shut Up, Pleez!

Microphone

Some people just don’t know when to turn down the volume or shut it off, altogether. 


Perhaps they don’t have enough to do, are craving attention, trying to make a name for themselves, are plain ‘ol destructive, or are simply acting the fool and looking for their next victim.


But they have to get into everyone else’s business, telling them how to do their jobs, taking over and hostage any meeting they can shove their way into with their private agendas, emailing everyone and their mother with their henpecking of the day, and demanding their needs are the priority and rises up over everyone elses–no matter whom or what else is going on. 


These people think they have an open mic and they are going to grab it, hold it, and never let it go. 


You beg them to stop, to control themselves, to work out their issues constructively, to give others a chance, to get in line, to let you do your job and they should do theirs, to get some situational and personal awareness, but rather than putting the mic down….


No, they see your calm and rationale requests for peace as squirming capitulation and the opportunity to hit you again and again. 


Everyone else has already given up and just won’t respond or even acknowledge the Chicken Little screaming over and over again “The sky is falling”–when it isn’t, and when so much important work is getting done by very hardworking and good people, who know how to act professionally. 


The kids nowadays say it straight up, “shut your pie hole!”


And that is really such a good idea. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Living In Fuzzyland

Genius
There was a very good piece in the New York Times by Steven Kurutz called “The ‘Kind of’ ‘Sort of’ Era”.



The point of which you can, kind of, figure out.



We sort of come across as if we don’t know what we are talking about.



It drives us crazy when our kids seem to constantly use that sort of language. 



We tell them to cut it out, but they, kind of, don’t listen.



So now the contagion has spread and adults (many of which are in powerful positions) have adapted this tentative language, and sort of feel better using it. 



Why?



Because either they really often dunno what the heck they are talking about or just want to score political points, and so it kind of makes sense.



What? you say–all the “Geenius” pundits, researchers, academics, government officials, big company bosses kind of don’t know? 



Ah yeah–we often discuss ad nauseam, throw in a few numbers or spurious “facts” and then sort of just make our best “guesstimate.”



Usually, it’s kind of like our gut, intuition, whims, politics, or personal agendas drive our approach or decisions as much as anything else.



This is reflected in what is often sort of wishy-washy deliberations and back and forth “decision-making.”



Most of the time the answers are obvious….



– Disease Management: Make an ebola quarantine. SAFEGUARD AMERICAN LIVES.



– Terrorism: Put “boots on the ground.” INEVITABLE.



– National Security: Cut a bad deal with longtime enemies building dangerous weapons of mass destruction. RIDICULOUS.



– Economy: Balance the budget for our children.  BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.



The list goes on and on…



Kurutz is right–we are uncertain about what we are saying and doing, and this is reflected in our “hedge-speak” and our one-foot-in tactics, getting us sort of nowhere as a country. 



I for one am fed up with this kind of/sort of stuff, and think we need to take a stand, speak the truth, make important decisions, and move forward from fuzzyland where we are now all living. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Draining Our Life Force

Corporate Agenda
Here’s a photo I snapped of one of the Fantastic Four (superheroes).



He’s telling the evil Galactus, who drains planets of their life’s energy, to “Stop!”



He yells at Galactus, “You have facilitated the Corporate Fascist Agenda long enough.”



I think we all know a Galactus (or two)!



In every company and agency…there are individuals that seem to literally suck the creativity, problem solving, and life force from the bowels of the organization. 



They complain incessantly, make excuses for their lack of support and contribution, erect obstacles to progress, and needlessly put down other people’s ideas and contributions.



These Galactuses facilitate their own or a corporate agenda–to raise their stature, power, and purse.



They can be–almost G-d like figures in the organization that are feared and cowed to–but in the long term it’s counterproductive to enslave humanity to them.



You can be like the Fantastic Four, who recognizes problem people and calls them out for bad behavior–you can be part of changing the culture from a BIG VILIAN negative to a SUPERHERO positive.



It starts, like in the comic–by identifying their personal agendas and bad behaviors and telling them to stop as well as by working with or around them to facilitate progress.



Galactus, you are finished! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shortsighted Government Is Selfish Politics

So I am at the pool today in Maryland.

This old man–looks about 100, yes really!–comes up to me and starts a conversation.

He says, you know what–my friend in California is 99-years old and he just got his driver’s license renewed–for 5 years!

Imagine that–can the State of California with confidence really issue a 5-year driver’s license to someone at that age and believe that both the drivers’ safety and public safety is provided for?

Yes, the problems at the Federal government level are ginormous–the national debt, the level of social entitlements, the “true” unemployment rate, the poverty level, our failing healthcare system, and more.

Still we cannot forget that some of the most important services that citizens get are at the State and Local levels of government–police, fire & rescue, transportation, community development, family planning, and more.

For government to function effectively–we need all levels to act rationally, responsibly, and with care for the people in mind–both short-term and long-term.

Issuing 5-year driver’s license to 99-year old individuals can have a devastating impact on someone family if that person loses control of their vehicle due to their physical or mental condition.

Similarly, issuing social entitlements (and they may indeed be needed) without a realistic plan for funding the system is irresponsible and can have a catastrophic impact to families around the nation when the system comes up short.

Government has to run with common sense–and stop setting up rules that are shortsighted and blind to the bigger picture.

Yes, people deserve to drive and to have medical care and so forth, but politicians should set up these systems, so that the people are really served, and not just their political agendas. 😉

(Source Video: Michelle Blumenthal)