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Posts Tagged ‘situations’

"The last of the human freedoms is to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances." -Victor Frankl

 

For anyone who has ever read this blog or my other blog, you know that freedom is a major theme for me. Often times I use the word Authentic Freedom because we all to often mix up what we believe is freedom to what freedom really is. Well I think Mr. Frankl got it right!

Freedom is a slippery thing and has many sides, but we still are the masters of it and we decide how we choose to use or abuse it or is some cases how we neglect it or abandon it. 

I have long been a believer in the you make your own destiny, we choose to react to situations in a way that will give us the outcome we desire. I have seen two people process the same information yet each will tell you a completely different story and will react to it in an almost predictable way. A negative person will always find the bad, the down in any situation and they will project that feeling in to the situation causing it to be a negative feeling or outcome. Were as a positive person will take a negative and turn it in to a positive, they will find the positive in any situation and project that emotion in to the situation causing a more positive outcome. It truly is in our control, I myself have seen it and have participated in it,as have we all.

So what makes one positive and one negative? Why would one choose to be negative? Well there are many reasons or theories:

  • Genetics
  • Hard wiring in the mind
  • Life experiences
  • Attention
  • Born that way
  • Just want to be

All are valid and I thing in some small ways all are true and all play a roll in it. And the same can be said for the positive person, all the same valid reasons are just as true for the positive person, what I think it comes down to is this. I choose to be positive or negative because from being one over the other I gain greater joy, greater pleaser. Yes the negative person gains joy from there negatives. If they did not they would not be negative. Just like a smoker gains pleasure from smoking, a negative person gains please from the negativeness of there life. They create it and nurture it, so they must enjoy it. Now some may be saying well that’s just silly, no one would choose to be negative, but really is it that silly of a concept? People choose to be whipped and chained up for sexual pleasure, and most of us would have to say that, that doesn’t sound like pleasure to us. But to them it is, to them it is a great pleasure the pain turns them on. If this is so, than it stands to reason that a negative person must gain pleasure from there negativeness or they would not be negative.

It is our choosing, our freedom to choose our response to anyone given situation. This freedom to determine our reaction is one of the greatest freedoms we have, it truly is an authentic freedom. We read about people in horrific situations, Nazi concentration camps, torture chambers and such, yet we also hear of the love they felt or offered or the sacrifice they gave and the positive out look on life they still maintained.

The film “I am David” is a perfect example of how our outlook on situations will determine the outcome of the situation. It tells the story of a young boy who, with the help of a prison guard, escapes from a concentration camp in Eastern Europe, and of his journey to Denmark. Along the way he meets interesting people and has many adventures. In this movie David has a very negative outlook on life, with valid reasons, and yet he is met with some very positive opportunities that turn negative, based on his projection unto them. In the film David grows, and as he does, his negativeness changes in to a more positiveness, causing the events in his life to become more positive. Yes I know its a film, but the concept is the same.

We control our outcome, we determine the reaction we choose to give to any given situation. Life is full of opportunities to see good or evil, positive or negative it’s in our power to see it as we please, it is our last freedom, one that no one can take form us.

Paul

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Gross National Happiness coverI just finished “Gross National Happiness” a book by Arthur C Brooks who also wrote “Who Really Cares” (also a great book to read). But back to the new book, Gross Domestic Happiness, this book looks at the national happiness of our country, what makes us happy and what doesn’t. It is a fascinating look at America and Americans, how we think and see event that help shape us.

Mr. Brooks uses research data, not his opinion to form his conclusions on who and what makes America happy. He delves in to politics and religion takes a look at race and economic situations and delivers the facts as they fall, not as he wishes them to be.

His argument is that the happier America is the better off we all are. A simple argument, but one that is all to often left  out of the policy making or the discussion of America and her future. Arthur lays down the facts, backs them up with the research and draws logical conclusions from them, often they are conclusions that he was not striving for, but the facts lead him to them. He is an author who is willing to place his own needs aside and allow the fact to lead him, and not his own predetermined outcome.

Arthur followed the same pattern in his first book, “Who Really Cares” allowing the facts to lead him, in truth we all can learn from him, we all should allow the facts to lead us, and not try to skew them to fit in to our own predetermined outlook.

All of us do it, in our faith life, our work life and dour political views. We vote Democrat or Republican not because we agree with the candidate, but because of the party they are with, we change faiths to find one that better fits us rather than us changing to fit the faith we live in a society that allows us to justify the means to achieves the ends.

In his books Arthur refused to allow his own political and religious views interfere with the facts, using raw data to formulate the outcomes he allowed the data to speak for itself.

The Happiness of America and each of us individually is extremely important to our economy, communities and national security. It plays a roll in diplomacy and helps elevate national tensions. This book, well in truth both books, should be required reading by all Americans, they both are books that will help focus our national and personal affairs on what is truly important.

For more information visit his website at http://www.arthurbrooks.net/index.html

 

Paul

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Can we help it? Often times we will say, or we will hear someone say “I can’t help it” or something along those lines. The excuse is an easy one, we take the responsibility off of ourselves and place it someone or something else.

We are becoming, and some would say we already are, a society of blamers a people who have no personal responsibility to anything or anyone, including themselves. Don’t believe me, just watch the news, read the paper or listen to people talk about their problems. Seldom will you hear someone say, “Man it’s all my doing, it’s all my fault”, but you will hear them say “If only so and so would have…” or “If I didn’t have bad luck, i would have no luck”

I know I have done that very thing, tried to find others to blame for my screw up, I look for an excuse for my failure, I seek out reasons why I didn’t do what I was suppose to do, any old reason will do from the dog ate my paper to I was feeling al little under the weather.

The reasons my be true, but most often than not we create the reasons to justify our actions or inactions. We allow our minds to create situations to facilitate our need to blame others. It is truly a remarkable ability of the human race, no other creation can do this, if a dog fails to go the the bathroom outside he can not state that he could not help it, he cannot blame the other dog in the  house.

So can we help it? Do we have the ability to take the blame head on? I think we do, but I also think that modern society has programmed us not to. The pop culture is one of blame, we are told from a very early age that it is everyone else’s responsibility or fault, not ours. We have to work counter to what the culture tells us, we have to start teaching our children to take responsibility and we have to no longer accept the “I can’t help it” mentality.

It wont be easy, but the results will be a household full of peace and understanding, one that takes responsibility for there own actions and allows for mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. Personal responsibility is a virtue we seem to have lost over time, like many virtues this one seems to be viewed as old fashion, out of date and just plan bad for the persons self image.

But what can be better for ones self image than personal responsibility? Pop culture has begun a sterilization of humanity, and if we do not stop it soon we will not be able to. We must teach our children and re-teach ourselves to take personal responsibility, once we have that back, other areas will fall in to line. We will not have as many teen drug issues, or pregnancies. Abortion rates will drop and kids will stay in school longer. We would have less violence and more acceptance. Personal responsibility is the key that will turn the lock on society, it will unlock the potential of society and allow the greatness that we are capable of to flow and flourish.

Can we help it? Yes we can, and we need to start at home, with ourselves and our families. there is no over night remedy, it will take time, but change starts at home, and from there it will grow to your community, and beyond.

 

Paul

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Today I had to practice keeping my anger under control, in fact that’s how I started my day. A part of my life currently is dealing with a bankruptcy, due to the failing of our store and helping other people out and getting taken advantage of. But that’s for a different blog. 

What happened this morning to start my day so well… My Jeep was repoed, now if it was expected I would be fine with it, but as part of my bankruptcy is the protection of the Jeep. So my anger quickly came to the forefront. Trust me it took all I have to hold it in check. I am currently working to get my Jeep back and continue on my way to repay all my debt. Yes, I am repaying it all, not all bankruptcy’s are the same, I will be paying off all my debt, the bankruptcy is just to protect me in situations like this. But it failed me, so far. With any luck I will have my Jeep back soon, if not I will be getting a new vehicle.

God finds ways to test us, or is it better to say, we find ways to test ourselves. It is up to me to keep my anger in check, God did not create the situation I am in, I did, God did not make me open up a Catholic/Christian book store, I did, God did not make me help out a family member nor did God make that family member abuse my kindness. God didn’t do any of that, but what God did was to be with me at all times, he offered His comfort and graces to me. And this morning I took them and held my anger at bay. It was hard, and to tell you the truth, I really wanted to let it all out, to use words that are not very nice, but I didn’t.

God has a funny way about Him, he finds the oddest moments to show His love. In the mist of a bankruptcy He chooses to show His grace to me, He chooses to send HIs calming love to me.  God seems to like to use situations like this to show his saving grace.

It seems God has a sense of humor, because I am sure someone finds this all funny, and others will find it justice, thinking I am trying to get out of paying my debt, but as I have stated, I will be repaying my debt 100%, I just need the help in restructuring it, allowing my time to pay it. In three years it will all be paid off, and I will continue along my way. So Ha Ha very funny does not apply here, it’s more like, well here we go again, yet another bump in the road.

I know that God is with me, and that is love and grace is always with me. And with His love I will make it, I will survive. I just hope with a little less bumps and a little less drama. I just want to get on with it, move on and enjoy life.

Now truth be told, I am enjoying life, and I am getting on with it, but I really would like to be done with all this, the stress is sometimes unbearable, and it makes it hard to keep an upbeat personality going. I am, by nature, an upbeat person, so to add this stress to my life is like adding an anchor to me, keeping me down, and this weight last for three years… As Charlie Brown would say UGGH! It is at times like this that I do feel like good old Charlie Brown, I feel like a BLOCK HEAD!

But I know that it will all be over one day, that soon I will be debt free and out of bankruptcy, but I am sure something will replace that, there seems to always be something going on in my life, death of a parent, taking in a youth and now bankruptcy, So what will it be next? I guess I will just have to wait…

Sometimes the excitement is just to much for me… NOT! Truth be told, I could use a little non-excitement in my life, it would be nice to know that noting is happening, that nothing is going wrong. But I am convinced that my life is not meant to be boring, that in to my life strife must come.

But in the end, I was proud of myself for keeping my cool this morning, I was pleased to know that all the bad words stayed in my head, and in the end this little life experience has taught me a life lesson, and for that I am thankful, but its still not funny!

Paul

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