Tag Archives: Philosophy

Contemplating Divorce

6 Dec

I’ve been divorced for a few years now. It was brutal, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Fortunately I don’t have many regrets, I went down swinging.

People will tell you that staying together, “for the kids” is never a good idea. I understand the argument but I’ve lived it and my advice to you is this (as long as there aren’t any safety concerns or serious adultery issues) . . . what better reason is there?

It was hard at times there’s no denying that, but I’m grateful for the privilege. Once that window of opportunity shuts, there’s no going back.

If you’re still in the contemplative phase, here’s some tips from Psychologist and Author James Coleman from his book [IMPERFECT HARMONY]

*I will stop looking to my partner as a source of intimacy for now, and maybe forever more.

*I will grieve the loss of the marriage I thought I’d have, and stop bemoaning what I’m not getting from my partner.

*I will work hard to develop my life because that will be the best remedy for resisting my partner’s negative pull on me, or my destructive need of him or her.

*I will work to examine my counter-productive beliefs about marriage as being central to my happiness.

*I will work to keep the tone of my household calm and in control because that is what’s best for my children and me. While I don’t have control over my partner’s behavior, I have control over my own.

*I may have to accept that sex with my partner will be rare, non-existent, or less satisfying than I would like.

*I will give up my addiction to being right.

*I will stop hoping that my partner will change and will stop pushing him or her to change.

Regardless of whether or not you stay together, it’s not just about you anymore. You’re a parent, and that will never change.

Invest copious amounts of emotional capital in your children no matter what’s going on in that house. Just because you guys can’t get your act together doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your full and undivided attention. It’s not their fault.

They need us more than you may think.

Create memorable moments, one-on-one, with each of them. Look for things to praise them for, opportunities to talk and more importantly to listen.

They need a map, you’re it.

Click here to read more

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An Explanation for Expletives

5 Dec

As I was raising my kids, I was really careful about what kind of media I allowed in the house. When they’re small you worry about such things, their little minds are being shaped. I was okay with violence; I honestly don’t see a problem, especially raising boys, but profanity was off limits. They’ll eventually hear it all on the bus as they head off to school, but setting standards in the home is a crucial component to raising healthy adults.

As they get older they’ll struggle with it once in a while like most of us, especially during times of stress. Personally I think it makes you sound ignorant, and scripture warns against it.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

But to deny its existence in every day life, especially in this sin soaked culture, would be silly.

People are craving authentic. When I wrote, Boundless Devotion, I included some expletives within the dialog. Being a believer for the past thirty years, I’m certain that will marginalize some, but ultimately it’s a story of redemption.

There’s a, “method to the madness.”

I also included some heavy crime material so you may not want your first grader to read it, but I left the descriptive to the imagination. The protagonist and all of his allies are all duty bound and honorable, hence the title.

Here’s a portion of a speech I included from General Patten:

Be seated.

Men, all this stuff you hear about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of bullshit. Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best . . . etc etc.

Again, I don’t want to offend your conscience if you’re a brother or sister in Christ, but it’s a military crime Thriller. There is nothing willy nilly about it I did tons of research. It’s just where the journey took me . . . it was inescapable.

Read a sample here

Legacy of Tears

30 Nov

Looking around at all the foulness in the media lately, I was thinking of writing a book about the wickedness of the human heart. I even came up with a cool title for it, “Depth of Depravity.” However the more I pondered on the idea, I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin.

When I examine my own heart, it’s enough to scare anybody. I think that’s the case for most of us, but the dynamics have changed. Our eyes have adjusted to the darkness. We accept things as normal that should make us feel ashamed as a country; we’ve forgotten how to blush.

Overall Americans used to be on the same page in terms of morality. We enjoyed a, “community ethic.” where everybody knew the difference between right and wrong. Those days are over, which makes reading people a lot more challenging, and dangerous.

Nobody’s perfect, but ask those who know me and they’ll tell you, I’m one of the good guys. What about the other team?

If we’re truly honest with ourselves . . . goodness.

They used to say twenty or so years ago, that at any given moment there were at least a hundred serial killers walking around, living among us. I wonder what those numbers would look like today?

I’ve made many poor choices in my life, decisions that still affect me in many respects all these years later. Growing up in the chaos I was forced to call, “home” certainly didn’t help (long story). Nevertheless I took ownership of those choices, a skill sorely lacking in American culture. As a result I enjoy my freedom, I have a good relationship with my children, I’m relatively healthy, I have a roof over my head . . . there are consequences for good behavior as well as bad.

But my God what are we handing down to these kids?!

Braille — Changed Hearts

Change Musik New Video Release!

23 Nov

I’ve been an artist and a promoter of Christian hip hop for a while now, but I’ve been out of the game for a few years. I had a bit of success as an artist but my favorite roll betwixt the two has been promotion; pointing to cats who truly love our kids, that are creating excellence.

One such artist in particular here locally in middle Tennessee is a guy named David Manning and his group Change Musik.

I used to do outreach events. We’d have dancers, graffiti artists, free grocery and mixtape giveaways, music downloads, etc . . . but David is a barber by trade. He used to give free fades before his performance.

It spoke volumes to me.

His group just came out with a new video. I know, I know, “You’re just trying to promote.” True, but it goes deeper than that.

Our culture is veering out of control, mainly because our youth are craving authenticity.

Like my son says, “Keepin it real is a lifestyle.”

David Manning and Steven North are part of the solution.

Click here don’t kid yourself

Thanksgiving and the Bounty of Capitalism

23 Nov

Thanksgiving, good economic times or bad, is when we gather with our family and friends and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. It marks a remembrance of those early Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the uncharted ocean from Europe to make a new start in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is less appreciated is that Thanksgiving is also a celebration of the birth of free enterprise in America.

The English Puritans, who left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620, were not only escaping from religious persecution in their homeland. They also wanted to turn their backs on what they viewed as the materialistic and greedy corruption of the Old World.

In the New World, they wanted to erect a New Jerusalem that would not only be religiously devout, but be built on a new foundation of communal sharing and social altruism. Their goal was the communism of Plato’s Republic, in which all would work and share in common, knowing neither private property nor self-interested acquisitiveness.

What resulted is recorded in the journal of Governor William Bradford, the head of the colony. The colonists collectively cleared and worked land, but they brought forth neither the bountiful harvest they hoped for, nor did it create a spirit of shared and cheerful brotherhood.

The less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the fields, and were slow and easy in their labors. Knowing that they and their families were to receive an equal share of whatever the group produced, they saw little reason to be more diligent their efforts. The harder working among the colonists became resentful that their efforts would be redistributed to the more malingering members of the colony. Soon they, too, were coming late to work and were less energetic in the fields.

As Governor Bradford explained in his old English (though with the spelling modernized):

For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could their husbands brook it.

Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death. Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.

Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.

As Governor Bradford put it:

And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end . . .This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would alledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.

In Governor Bradford’s words:

By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.

Hard experience had taught the Plymouth colonists the fallacy and error in the ideas of that since the time of the ancient Greeks had promised paradise through collectivism rather than individualism. As Governor Bradford expressed it:

The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst the Godly and sober men, may well convince of the vanity and conceit of Plato’s and other ancients; — that the taking away of property, and bringing into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.

Was this realization that communism was incompatible with human nature and the prosperity of humanity to be despaired or be a cause for guilt? Not in Governor Bradford’s eyes. It was simply a matter of accepting that altruism and collectivism were inconsistent with the nature of man, and that human institutions should reflect the reality of man’s nature if he is to prosper. Said Governor Bradford:

Let none object this is man’s corruption, and nothing to the curse itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.

The desire to “spread the wealth” and for government to plan and regulate people’s lives is as old as the utopian fantasy in Plato’s Republic. The Pilgrim Fathers tried and soon realized its bankruptcy and failure as a way for men to live together in society.

They, instead, accepted man as he is: hardworking, productive, and innovative when allowed the liberty to follow his own interests in improving his own circumstances and those of his family. And even more, out of his industry result the quantities of useful goods that enable men to trade to their mutual benefit.

In the wilderness of the New World, the Plymouth Pilgrims had progressed from the false dream of communism to the sound realism of capitalism. At a time of economic uncertainty, it is worthwhile recalling this beginning of the American experiment and experience with freedom.

This is the lesson of the First Thanksgiving. This year, when we sit around our dining table with our family and friends, let us also remember that what we are really celebrating is the birth of free men and free enterprise in that New World of America.

The real meaning of Thanksgiving, in other words, is the triumph of capitalism over the failure of collectivism in all its forms.

Richard M Ebeling

Everything depends on perception

27 Jun

EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON PERCEPTION

Boldness obliterates obstacles

As your navigating through the marketing maze, there’s an important word to keep in mind that will either greatly increase your odds of becoming successful or doom you to failure coming out of the gate. It may seem kinda simple on the surface, but believe me it’s not. There are a lot of people trying to “keep it real” that don’t know the first thing about the term.

Human nature is such that if you’re not thinking objectively about this subject, you’ll get run over.

What I’m talking about is perception.

Your perception of yourself and your circumstances is what keeps you plowing through the obstacles that will inevitably pop up in front of you. Your prospects perception of you is what will either drive them to you, or drive them away.

If you perceive the obstacles as mountains to climb, it’ll drain your strength and desire. If your target market perceives you as timid, weak and desperate, they’ll run to get away from you. It’s embarrassing and uncomfortable to be around people like that.

People are drawn to strength, “perceived” or otherwise. Having an attitude of boldness and audacity will take you a lot farther than trying to get people to like you by avoiding conflict. I’m not talking about being overtly rude, all that does is compound the problem. I mean not being afraid speak your mind about an issue, not being fearful to confront conflict head on!

There’s a lot of folks out there who think that being overtly nice is a professional strength, it can be considered one and usually is, depending on the motive. It can also be perceived as being passive aggressive.

Respect, having consideration for someone else’s feelings or opinions is definitely a quality that is appreciated by most; but if it’s because of a deep seated fear of reprisal or a possibly fist fight, it translates to others who have no such fear. It’s the reason people get bullied.

I mentioned obstacles and mountains to climb, this is also a place most people just aren’t skilled at. When you were a little baby, you had to learn how to walk, how to talk and how to eat. As you got a little older you started getting comfortable talking about concepts, you started to realize you could communicate without even thinking about it! Then you started school. You had to figure out your place in the hierarchy of the social stratosphere, who to hangout with on the playground, who to steer clear of, what kind of girls thought you were cute etc. then came the hard part, learning how to write. I don’t know you; but I’m betting you graduated kindergarten, maybe even got through to the fifth grade! Amazing right? 😉

Obstacles can either be roadblocks or opportunities. If there’s an obstacle in your way, you have one of two choices. Pack up your toys, turn around and go home or speak to it boldly. If you see it as an opportunity to shine, as a way to harness energy, you’re chances or getting through it are increased exponentially.

Perception.

If you’re a fearful person, you have untapped potential you’re probably not aware of because you’ve kept it on tap. You’d be surprised what you’re capable of.

Let go of the past, cut loose the baggage of fear. Do something physical to represent your new decision. Get a pencil and a piece of paper, write out all your fears, go get a six pack of beer (even if you don’t drink), go out back and light a small fire. Read your list of fears out loud to yourself. As you say each one, mentally speak to your subconscious that you are the one that is in control not him (or her). When you’re done toss the list in the fire and watch it burn, even the embers, until the light is gone.

Now get up, mess up your hair, if you’re in a suit, loosen your tie, untuck your shirt, get a big handful of dirt (make sure it gets underneath your fingernails) and throw it on the fire.

Now go take a nice long, hot shower . . . you deserve it. If you have some beer left, give me a shout. 😉

Everything depends on perception

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Synopsis of the Subconscious

13 Jun

SUBCONSCIOUS MIND GAMES –

Give your plans some breathing room

When you finally decide to open up that business you’ve been talking about or go back to school for your degree, whatever, you need to get a running start, to create mental momentum. You’ve gotta get up ahead of your conscious mind. I know it sounds kind of crazy on the surface but hear me out.

Your brain is an amazing organ with multifaceted intent. There’s essentially three parts to it. The conscious mind, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. The conscious part is of course the one that you primarily use while you’re awake. It’s main function is to give you the ability to solve problems, formulate hypothesis and make choices, good or bad based on logic (perceived or otherwise) and rationale. The unconscious mind is systemic, physically speaking; in that it keeps your heart beating, it keeps your vital organs functioning, it causes you to pull your hand away from a hot surface so you don’t get burned, it doesn’t need your permission to do anything and it’s best to keep it that way.

You honestly don’t even need to think about it , it just does what it does.

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind sits nestled in between these two. Even when you sleep, it’s still wide awake. In fact the more tired you are consciously, the more alert the subconscious actually becomes. It sort of has a mind of its own which is why we need to be careful about what we allow it to ingest. If you allow your subconscious mind to do the driving, you’ll never get anything out of this life but a world of hurt.

You need to beat it into submission, or it’ll manhandle you.

Christians describe it as the battle between the “spirit and the the flesh”. You know what you “want” to do, what you know you “should” do; but the power to do it just isn’t there. It’s why we believe that we all need a “Savior” in order to get to heaven. We’re terrible at living life at peak capacity, being “righteous” practically speaking. In fact when you do become a Christian it gets harder. It’s Gods way of showing us who’s boss. 😉

I’m not talking some pseudo spiritual type of “name it claim it” think yourself into the future gobbledygook. I’m just talking about a common sense approach to getting where you want to go, the fastest way possible.

Anyway back to my point lol.

If you want to get the maximum result in your personal pursuits, it’s best to visualize yourself where you’d like to be first, to “Be there before you’re there”. Take your subconscious mind and throw it out ahead of you, mentally. It’ll wait trust me, your mind likes closure. You may be like, “Okay this dude has lost it now”, keep reading. What you’re doing is creating a sort of loop, like when you’re watching something on TV and then just when it starts to get really interesting you see that dreaded, “To Be Continued”. Your subconscious mind wants closure, it searches for it.

It’s the part of your “schema” that advertisers (as well as and many politicians) aim for, it’s the part where they know if they can get a foothold, they can literally change your behavior over an extended period of time.

Yes, your mind is powerful, more powerful than you may realize, a terrible thing to waste. If you’d like to get the best possible results in your future endeavors, whatever that looks like to you, “Be there before you’re there” and you’ll get there . . . faster.

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