The challenge is to write 500 words a day for 30 days to develop a habit of writing. Comments are welcomed.
Someone credited Einstein with saying: Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. In a world that strives for success, we tend to think of being successful as a value. So why would one of the smartest people in the world stress value over success? What he did was successful with his theory of relativity and all, but what value does it hold? I personally don’t know, but I do know it rocked the world of Physics, so it must hold value to the other scientist people.
The Webster dictionary defines Value as usefulness or importance and Success as the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame. So Einstein is saying that being useful is more important than wealth, respect, and/or fame. It is possible that there are wealthy people who do not give to charities or run philanthropic foundations nor have any value to society. They just use their money for themselves (not even for their children) and that is it. Citizen Kane comes to mind or the Kardashians.
A question now enters my thoughts, wouldn’t it be more practical to be successful first to become more valuable to others? But that is not what Einstein is saying, success is not a bad thing but the emphasis is on being “of value”. Then I recalled something that I read in Wallace Wattles’ The Science of Getting Rich: The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself.
How does one make the most of themselves? By being creative. Imagine the person that you want to be and then set in motion the steps to get there. In my case, I always imagined myself in some kind of leadership role but from where I was at the time it seemed hopeless. Something inside of me stated since you feel this is hopeless then what have you got to lose – nothing, so go for it. So I started putting a plan together that included going back and finishing college, stop the partying bar scene and become a better employee. Start paying attention to people who hold leadership and management positions. See what they are doing, read what they are reading, etc. and with a lot of hard work and trying to stay focused (I veered off the path a couple of times) I persevere. So for me striving to ” be of value” lead to me to success and I see why they called Einstein a genius.
This is actually Day 11. I’m going back and editing my earlier stuff. This one is about change and accepting responsibility for your own thoughts.
Don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up this challenge. I haven’t been writing everyday but I have been thinking about writing. I know not the same thing. Forgive myself and start again. That is the cool part of life. That’s the cool thing about God. Everyday I get to do it over again and again until I learn how to do it right. What is right?
The way I determine if something is right is making sure whatever I do is a blessing to myself and others at the same time. Sometimes doing the right thing is not easy or popular. Going along with the crowd is a lot easier because you or I do not have to be responsible for our thoughts or actions. Just blame it on society as a whole. That doesn’t seem right. Am I a individual? Aren’t I a person with her own feelings, thoughts, ideas, dreams, wishes, desires, passions? Heck yeah I am, so why be so hesitant in expressing them? Simple the need for outside validation. Sometimes validation from others is not a bad thing but it is also something I should not be so depended upon. For if I do, it is easy for me not to take responsibility for my own actions. It is so easy to blame or allow blame to be placed on others, then I don’t have to deal with rejection from my peers. I just allow them to make decisions for me and they will always be my friends and never leave me. This doesn’t sound like much of a life to me. It doesn’t even sound like a life. It’s sounds like a lie. Amazing how many people choose to “live” like that, depending on others for everything, where to live, what to wear, what to eat and drink, how to speak, and what words to speak. They don’t even have to think. Is this why drug and alcohol abuse is growing? Nothing else to do. Don’t want to do. Just be. I know I didn’t want this for my life, so I decided to think. Think about the future. Think about the past. Think about now. Think about how I really feel about things, some things, all things, everything and decided that this life is good. It is worth getting up and getting dress and participating in. And the best way to do that is to Think. To quote Aretha Franklin, think and let your mind be free. Free to come up with my own, very own reasons to live my life the way I choose to be. What I’ve learned from this is I have the power to change society to my way of being, thinking.
Scrolling thru my feed, I see there is a lot of discussion about the latest shootings. I tried to purposely stay out of it trying to get a positive vibe going that people are basically good, but I keep thinking about what if one day I get a call that one of my cousins, like Paul or Walt, was shot by the police for just getting his wallet out his pocket and what kind of world will my younger cousins like Joel & Jaylen will live in that they can no longer trust their fellow man, especially the police. I keep thinking about the kids at church, like Riley and Jonathan, and how we are teaching them that we are all the same in God’s eyes, but in reality we are not the same in the eyes of those who are sworn to protect and serve. I keep thinking how come it has escalated to this point? This has being going on for years (remember Rodney King in the ’90’s) and now it seems like “police shootings gone wild”. How to keep a positive spin on the latest shootings? Some will say to take it to God in prayer which is well and good but not enough. It is time to take action. It’s time to stop playing the “victim card”. As long as we act like victims we will be treated as such. We are no longer victims of the White man’s plan because now we make our own plans. Let’s show the world who we are truely. We as a race have proven we are capable of doing whatever we set our minds to. We’ve become CEOs, lawyers, doctors, astrophysics and even president. As Sabrina Thompson has said let’s start paying closer attention to the politicians and get more involved with the government. Let’s get back to getting involved with each other by becoming more involved in community and neighborhood events. Let take this fight from the streets and into the courtrooms and boardrooms. Let’s us show the community that we are not a physical threat but a force of change. Let’s stop shooting each other and the police officers and let’s start treating each other with respect, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness. Let’s start teaching each other how to get along with each other. Let’s keep the positive vibe going that people, even the police are basically good.
Now that I’m getting more comfortable with this challenge I can now work on focus and a good way to focus is to have a theme. Later on in this challenge ( about midway around day 15 or 16) I’ll work on development but right now the goal is to get into the habit of writing everyday, which I have not be doing but I am writing. So glancing at my notebook or should I say notebooks this one has caught my eye, it’s a quote from Emerson: Never say anything in writing you wouldn’t comfortably say in conversation. Isn’t this what writing is a conversation with your readers? Before the internet and social media, it was more of a one way conversation unless your readers purposely wrote you a letter stating their opinion, but I remember somewhere along the way one of my teachers stated when writing picture your audience. Who are you talking to and why? That is why at first I was skittish about writing. Who really wants to hear/read what I got to say? And do I really want people to hear/read what I got to say. Will they accept it? Will they criticise? Will they dismiss it? Will they think I am just insane? Then I learned that no matter what there will be people that will criticise, be dismissive, and plain old reject whatever opinion I may have and express, but that does not make me a bad person. Quite the opposite, it makes me me. It makes me interesting. It makes others wonder and feel a connection with me because at some point in their own lives or maybe now in the present they felt the same way. So maybe not a physical conversation but a psychic one going on between me and the author or me and the reader. But the thing is, claim your words whether they are spoken or written. Take pride in your thoughts and ideas. They are yours.
And life goes on. Didn’t really understand the meaning of that until a random series of events took place in my life. Yesterday a coworker who has been with the company for 24 years decides to quit. His reason for quitting was to be a stay at home dad and help take care of his recently widowed father, but what I noticed is what happen after this coworker said his good-byes and left, life went on. We went back to whatever it was we were working on and life went on. A few weeks ago I attended a funeral service for my uncle and what caught my attention then was after the funeral procession had made its way through the streets, traffic resumed as if nothing had happen and life went on. A few months earlier a woman was struck and killed while crossing the street in front of my house. I didn’t witness the accident but was diverted from the spot while the police were finishing up their investigation. Several blocks away from the crime scene, life goes on. Arriving back home several hours later it was like nothing happened, life continued on. In the case of my coworker in a few weeks it will be like he never worked there. For my uncle and the woman that has killed after a few weeks it was like they never existed. Makes me wonder why do the things I do if life goes on after I take (or expel) my last breath. Did I make a difference? Did I serve a purpose? Is this what life’s really all about? Life itself doesn’t stop, pause, or hesitates, it keeps going. So what is the point? Actually it is not a point but a dash. That dash that appears between the birth date and the death date, what that dash represents is what matters. The things I’ve done, the people I’ve met, the things I’ve accomplished. But more than that is the dash is a symbol of the present moment. How I am living life now. What am I experiencing now. Someone once said that as long as someone is thinking about you you have the ability to live forever. So whenever I think of my coworker or my uncle or the woman who was killed ( I never met her nor know what she looks like) they are still are a part of this life. They are a part of my dash. In fact, we are a part of each others dashes. So yeah, life does go on…for me because of them. Because of what they added to my dash.
Ok, so this is day 7 and I’m beginning to relax a little. Now to start focusing more and do a little editing. Hopefully start to come up with some rough drafts to develop. This weekend I traveled to Indianapolis to hear the Dalai Lama speak in person. It is something everyone should experience once during their time here on earth. One of the things he said still resonates with me and hopefully will continue to for a very long time. He said that all the world’s faiths carry the same basis: Love – Compassion – Forgiveness. No matter if you are Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, all our faiths are founded upon these three things. These three things are what we all strive for, to be loved, to feel compassion, and seek forgiveness so that we may feel love and compassion again. So why are we killing each other? Why is one religion better than the other? What happen that we have lost our compassion for one another? Throughout history wars have been fought in the name of God, but nothing really has improved. Did God really give his permission to kill in his name? Why would God do this? That does not sound right does it. If all the world’s faiths, religions carry the same basis wouldn’t that mean that somewhere back in the beginning there was only one religion – one faith -one God? And then the element of human ego had it is way. But not necessary ego but maybe free thought. No two people have the exact thought. Everyone has their own take on things and then a debate begins to boil and ego emerges instead of compromise. It could of happen something like, you are wrong and I’m right and everyone who thinks like me or wants to think like me let’s go over here and ignores those people over there that don’t think like us. And then over time we forget about those people over there and figure the rest of the world thinks like me until we encounter those people and discover they don’t think like me and how dare they don’t think like that. Well I think you get the picture. We can’t all think the same way. If we did then we would never learn anything nor would there be anything to learn. We would just be walking around like Zombies or something. That’s no way to live. But if you were thinking aren’t we all suppose to be compassionate, forgiving, and loving? Isn’t that thinking alike. I would have to say No. Our faith is based in compassion, love, and forgiveness. Our thoughts are fed by those things. We can still have individual independent thoughts which spring or grows from the basic three something like a planting 3 kinds of fruit trees next to each other. All three trees are planted in the same soil, receives the same amount of sun and water and yet able to produce fruit after their own kind without any competition, worry, distress that someone will like the other tree’s fruit better. And what is if that does happen, that people eat more from the apple tree than the cherry tree doesn’t make the cherry tree any less important. Remember that (especially me) just because someone doesn’t think like me doesn’t make them nor their thoughts any less important. Love my neighbor as much as I love myself. Treat everyone with compassion (life isn’t always easy) and have faith that God does know what He/She/It is doing.
Themes seem to be working for me. Seems like it is easier to come up with 500+ words when I have a topic. The topic today is …my friend, Hannah. Well not really about Hannah per se but what she has taught me about living life. Life from a Miniature Pinscher perspective. The first lesson she taught me was to try everything at least once and if you find something you enjoy, do it again. From this lesson I lost a pair of shoes, several book covers, and her wicker dog bed. Yes, she ate her bed, but I gained a new perspective on life; how do I know I will not like something until I try it. The next lesson is never turn down a challenge. Miniature Pinschers (Min Pins) do not know fear or if they do they don’t let it be known. My little girl has a very deceiving bark. It’s very deep. People who have heard her bark without seeing her first have ask if I have another dog (which I do but doesn’t bark as much as Hannah). They are amazed at her size and comment that they thought the dog they were hearing was twice her size. And because she is unaware of her size, she challenges dogs which are much bigger than she (Hannah weighs about 15 lbs and stands about 12ins). My lesson, you may win or you may lose but at least you tried. Next lesson, teach people how to spoil you. Min Pins are easily spoiled, like to be spoiled and know how to manipulate you into spoiling them. I had to learn how not to spoil Hannah and Hannah learned how to get me to spoil her. I think she won. From this lesson I am learning how to “teach” others how to treat me better by treating and respecting myself better. You know, lead by example. Jesus said to Love my neighbor as much as I love myself and when people see how much I respect and do for them, they will return the favor. The last lesson, create a life balance between food, sleep, and fun. Isn’t this what life is all about anyway.
Not 500 words this time but a good start of a rough draft.