Posts Tagged ‘society’

The Weapon of Love

People across the country are furious with our current state of affairs and how our government handles certain issues. Particularly for me, although I’m concerned with a number of things, I concentrate on equal rights for the GLBT community. It affects me deeply being a gay man in today’s society, and certain government officials are making it hard to feel like an equal citizen of the United States.

Recently, comedian Tracy Morgan performed an act in which he said he would stab his son if he ever told his dad he was gay. Immediately, the gay community took to the Internet and blasted Morgan for his outrageous comment, as they should. Tracy came back a few days later explaining he messed up and wanted to make it right by protesting with the gays at rallies and functions to promote equal rights.

Personally, I will believe it when I see it, but I am open to letting Morgan attend rallies to show support. Part of me understands he is a celebrity on a hit show whose ratings could rapidly decrease because of his obscene comment. However, I am optimistic in believing Tracy had a rude awakening and he isn’t wanting to simply “save face”, but he’s actually wanting to make it right.

My life has been riddled with mistakes I wish I could take back, but I learned from them. I learned to become a better person by realizing I am not always right in what I say and do. So, why can’t Tracy be given the same chance?

A recent advocate for GetEqual, a year old group doing tons of great work towards the fight for GLBT equality, claimed he was done with Tracy Morgan completely. The man made a horrible comment and the advocate wasn’t willing to forgive Tracy.

If we continue to push aside the people willing to learn and grow and become better people, the fight for equal rights will be hindered. Even if we win, we will not become better people by throwing these people aside. I grew up not being given a chance by the majority because they said I wasn’t equal. I will not do the same to someone wanting to change and grow and learn from their mistakes. I’d rather be the accepting, loving person I know that I am.

Of course, this brings me to a well-known saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” However, if we use love as our weapon and shield, we will show compassion and understanding towards those opposed to us. We will not become like them. We will be better and feel better about ourselves without feeling hurt by their actions. After all, haven’t any of us been there before: making mistakes and wanting to fix them?

Below, I am sharing a video of former KKK clan leader Johnny Lee Clary and his story about how one black man changed Johnny’s view simply by showing love. If he can change the heart of the KKK clan leader, who says we can’t do the same with those against us?


Born This Way

Today, in the Mandala, it spoke about the limitations religion and education place on our minds as children. Through our lives, starting with our parents, we learn to believe “we are not sufficient as we are” and we are not “whole”. Education and religion continue these falsehoods by generalizing the way children need to learn and grow in school and community.

We’re already born with the innate ability to create and learn and understand. Instead of nourishing this yearning for discovery, the outside world crushes it in schools and churches because that’s the way it was taught to previous generations. It crushes creativity and self-expression. Even when we have spiritual experiences, we do not recognize the potential we have within ourselves which has created the experience. We, instead, credit outside forces such as God, Buddha, or Muhammad.

To me, this is fascinating because I found myself doing a lot of the things the Mandala already suggested I do, such as following the moral compass within me instead of the religious morality we’re taught in churches or at home. If I learned morality from anywhere, it was based upon experiences I went through as a child being teased and bashed by other people for being “not good enough”. Immediately, I knew I never wanted anyone else to feel the way I did as a child, and I tried staying open and accepting towards others.

Education standards are set by the government. I understand that it’s hard for a teacher to create an entire lesson plan around each individual child. However, we’ve learned in various ways this is how it has to be done. For example, we talk about being visual or audial learners and what works best for each person. Eventually, we have to mold to the way material is presented for us to understand. Unfortunately, we’re not taught this until we grow older. This one-size-fits-all attitude towards education cripples our innate being’s growth.

As for religion, I can’t help reverting back to when Christianity first came to existence. Was religion really used as a way to keep people from realizing the true power within ourselves? If you look at the definition of Satanism, it isn’t the belief of Satan or worshipping Satan. Satanism also means “a form of worship which includes blasphemous or obscene parodies of Christian prayers, etc.” Blasphemy can be anything from “I don’t believe in God” to “I am God”. To believe we have the power to change our life and live it the way we want can be seen as blasphemous to Christian followers. After all, throughout history, we’re taught to follow the standards in the Bible in order for God to love us and allow us into Heaven. So, what happens when you decide to follow the moral compass instilled within you instead of the one planned out in the Bible?

It’s hard for me to write this without feeling like I’m bashing my friends and family, firm believers of the Bible and God. I’m not, honestly. Still, I’ve learned in my life that God hasn’t granted anything upon me. I’m the one who has given myself all the things I have, and I’m not going to knock that up to “God’s work” because it’s been a long, hard journey, as it should be for me to grow and learn. And if there is a God, I think he or she would want us to realize the potential and power we have within ourselves to control our lives and be happy.

The thing we need to do, the only way to be who it is we already are, is realizing we’re “born this way”. It isn’t something to be taught or learned. It simply has to be realized within ourselves.

Who am I?

Who am I?

This question burns in all of us constantly, practically on an everyday basis. As seniors graduating, we go off to college to go find ourselves. During emotional events, we take time out to do some soul-searching. I believe firmly on self-reflection because it allows us to look at ourselves in the present moment. However, I have to ask “What are we looking for?”

In the Mandala, you learn to live in the present moment. As a part of the learning process, people realize they are not who they believed themselves to be. For example, I am not simply a homosexual writer. I am a being, a person with life. With each moment, depending on the situation, I am something else. People might look at me and say I’m laidback. During most moments, I may be laidback. I do lose my temper, however, especially during times of duress. Can I be considered laidback then? No.

Emotions are fluid, like water, and they can be calm and gentle depending on the environment. However, place them in a hectic environment and you’ll get a typhoon of feelings. Everything feels up when it’s down, black when it’s white, so forth and so on.

We use emotions to reflect back on a moment in time, which is why it’s important to understand how they’re fluid. If we see ourselves as independent successful people but something happens to disprove this, we become threatened and broken down by the event. We lose our sense of purpose and reasoning. However, if we saw ourselves as beings full of possibilities and expectations, we wouldn’t become disgruntled by threats to our egos.

In writing this passage, I feel I may not explain it correctly. I highly suggest you look into the Mandala of Being by Dr. Richard Moss. It’s helped me become better in touch with myself this past year. I am ever-learning and growing, and I am okay with never being the same person all the time.

The Appreciation for the Mandala

I’ve started rereading the Mandala of Being today. Simply, in the introduction alone, I am bombarded with rich pieces of information needed to stay in the present moment. Thanks to understanding the principle behind the Mandala, I was able to see things in the text I hadn’t before during my first round of reading.

As children, we live constantly in the present, which is why experiences and feelings are powerful to us. At the time, we were inept at confronting pain and suffering or negative occurrences without positive influences on how to show us. Instead of staying in the moment, we allowed our minds to remove ourselves from the negative experiences, and we displaced ourselves from the present. The survival technique became engraved in our mindset, and we’ve lived this way ever since.

Do you feel unhappy with your life? Have you ever thought back to moments as a child and said to yourself “Why can’t I live like I did then?” You can, but you have to undo the processes set up by your brain to allow yourself to stay in the present moment. Unfortunately, this means the end to your self as you know it.

The Mandala threatens the very essence of people’s identities, especially those wanting to be successful. We have to ask ourselves “What is my definition of success?” Is it fortune or fame? For myself, I will be successful by simply doing what I love: writing. Thanks to the Internet, I publish my work onto a website or via Kindle for exposure. My voice can be heard by millions by popularizing it through social media and marketing. However, I’m concentrating on the feelings of wholeness I have after finishing a project, or maintaining one such as this blog. I stay in the present, and I let go of the future. I’m positive and I have dreams, but I don’t allow my mind to be consumed in these thoughts on events that may or may not come true.

This principle can be used for all avenues of life besides success: relationships, careers, education, health, and so on. It isn’t easy coming out of the fog, as I like to put it, and seeing life with new eyes. It can be scary and unnerving. It’s been so long since we’ve seen or experienced the world so vividly. However, I think it’s time to confront our fear and become a more complete person.

What You See

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. – Henry David Thoreau

Today’s Tiny Buddha talked about judging other people. In the article, the writer wanted everyone to not make any judgements for the rest of the day. Of course, it’s easier said than done. Still, judging doesn’t make the suffering go away; it doesn’t help the people we judge and it doesn’t make us feel any better in the long run.

So, why do we do it to ourselves? I think we need to concentrate on finding the beauty within ourselves and accepting the tiny flaws we have, body and mind. Once we can accept who we are, we can give love to the world. Remember back to my previous post on giving to receive? We have to be the vessels of love instead of finding someone to love us. Then, we will receive love.

There are ways to begin loving your body. Look in the mirror everyday and compliment yourself on something new. Stay away from make-up and clothing compliments. Try to notice the color of your eyes, the size of your lips, the curve of your nose. Find any small thing that makes you… well, you.

As for your personality, begin asking friends and family what they like about your personality. Tell them how you’re feeling about yourself, and you wanted their perspective. It helps hearing what people, whom you love and respect, have to say about you. Note: Yes, I firmly believe we shouldn’t rely on what people say about one’s self. We should simply live the life we want. However, this is an exercise which helped me out. Understand you aren’t looking for someone to make you feel better. At times, we only need someone’s outside perspective to see the beauty we have in ourselves.

Sometimes what you see in the mirror is worth more than words. Love yourself. There’s only one person like you in this world, and that makes you special. Cheesy, yet true!

Taking Responsibility

May 24, 2011 2 comments

Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos. – Doug Coupland

It nerves me when someone blames others for their errors or their way of life. Your mother, your brother, your friend, or a stranger cannot be blamed when you realize you are your own person who has control over their thoughts, feelings, and reactions. We are stronger than we realize, if only we would become more aware of this fact. I am not exempt from this unfortunate characteristic in modern day society. Deep down, I know when I blame someone else I am wrong. I cannot blame everyone for my failures.

We must become incredibly intune with ourselves to know when we’re blaming someone else though we were the one in control. It’s partly rewiring the way we think, and partly being more astute in how our brains comes up with the logic.

For example, when I moved in with my boyfriend, he pointed out that I make a lot of excuses. He called me on my bullshit every time. Of course, he had me questioning every little action, and it became quite annoying. Eventually, I began to see when I made excuses and I tried to find the true reason why. Then, I’d tell him the truth rather than the simple excuse.

We must be completely aware of ourselves and our logic. Why do we blame others? Are we really mad at ourselves and taking it out on someone else? It becomes a habit and a way of life, so it makes it harder to see. Simply self-reflect every once in a while. With time, you’ll stop blaming everyone else for your troubles and you’ll take responsibility. When you do this, you can see where you made your mistakes and you’ll be prompt to fix them.

The Power of Humanity

The ocean is drops of water coming together. – Desmond Tutu, I Am

At times, when I watch an inspiring movie, I feel the need to recreate the world and make it a better place. Within a small amount of time, I am overcome by the problems of the world and I eventually give up. Today, I watched I Am, a documentary that started out asking “What is wrong with the world?” and ended by telling us “what’s right with us to change it.” I encourage everyone to find the film and watch it as quickly as possible to feel inspired and hopeful about changing our current situation.

With changing the world, we have to realize and accept it takes only one action, one simple tiny thing. In doing so, it can set off an entire series of actions which can benefit the world as a whole. The quote above says it beautifully: society is the ocean and we are the droplets of water. If enough people begin doing one thing, eventually, society’s problems will be solved.

Do not question your actions for the sake of looking stupid. We have an innate, physical need to help our fellow man in times of crisis. Now, more than ever, we should tap into this integral part of ourselves to save humanity and shift the ideals of our current state of being.

What can you do to help save the world? It doesn’t have to be an “a-ha” moment. You don’t have to create a new foundation to solve the hunger crisis. Let it be simple. Start with tiny steps and eventually you’ll be running at full speed.