Thursday, July 26, 2007

Blind Obedience

I'm going for the double header today, not because I've been slacking on writing - which I have, but I had a side thought while writing the last post that I wanted to explore some more...

Obedience is an interesting concept...

I attend religeous services on most weekends, and while sitting in a discussion group a few weeks ago, someone made the comments that sometimes they just need some obedience from their kids.

I remember being told while I was young that 'Obedience is the First Law of Heaven'

To be honest with you, I now find myself disagreeing with much of that, and let me explain why I feel this way...

What is obedience? It's the laying aside of logical thought to follow a direction given by someone else. It sounds like a great idea when your son won't clean his room, but what if you get a group of middle aged men, and you want them to fly planes into buildings - Not such a great concept any more now is it!!

While those are two examples might appear to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, when you get down to the 'nitty gritty' they are pretty much the same.

Looking back at my own life, obedience has very seldom served me well, and so I have a goal to raise children that are not obedient little robots.

Now before you start sending hate mail.... (although any response is appreciated!) Let me explain my position:

I would prefer my kids not smoke or drink, so I have 2 options.

1. I command them never to touch cigarettes or alcohol, and follow it up with a speech about how much it will dissapoint me if they do and how mad God will be with them.

2. I teach them about the dangers of tobacco and alcohol. I also try to instill in them a sense of responsibility, a knowledge that they are free to choose, education about addiction and the physiological effects of chemicals on the body, and then I trust them to make their own decisions.

I know if I was a kid, which one I would rather have, and to be honest, I think the second would likely be far more effective as well, not just with the specific topics, but with any similar related problems they might face.

I want to raise my kids so that they can think for themselves and aren't tied down because of fear that they might break one of my rules and that I might be dissapointed with them.

So in a nutshell, here is my parenting approach. You may agree or disagree, and you might even recognize some of the sources.

1. I'll teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.

2. Moderation in all things.

3. They are in charge of themselves and get to choose their own destiny.

I am sure the time will come that I may want to eat those words, but on the whole, if I can help my kids enter the world with a sense of responsibility and a direction in their lives, I think that is the greatest advantage that I can give them.

Fighting Words

I'm going to let my last blog sit a little longer...

But in the meantime, I'd like to comment on today's blog by Scott Adams, which is kind of along the same lines...

Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, and todays blog is entitled
Thing I used to know.

I thought he raised some very valuable points, and then I read through people's comments, and wanted to poke my eyes out...

I think we have all been programmed with fear. The more fear we have, the less we rely on ourselves, and the more we look to someone else for guidance. Scott Adams appears to have seen through this fear, while those 'robots' who commented are still shackled to theirs, and are displaying classic crab mentality...

Having read his blog, I am cynical as to whether the following story is true, but if not, it does illustrate something in our society.

If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket, they'll fight, however if one crab tries to climb out of the bucket, the others will all work together to make sure that it can't escape.

We are surrounded by violence everyday... I'm getting sick of seeing the glee in news reporters eyes everytime something tragic happens, The USA has the highest percentage of population in prison and the middle east appears to be headed towards Armageddon.

The problem is, anyone who tries to point out that we're screwed up as a society is labeled as naive and misinformed.

I think the world is changing though... It's time to escape the bucket.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wielding the Ultimate Power

It's taken a little longer than I had intended to get to this blog, but as they say "Better late than never"!!

Before you read this, I would highly recommend that you read my blog from a week or 2 back, entitle 'Who Are You'

If you read it when I wrote it, or are ignoring my advise to go back and read it... Let me give you the cliff notes version with a little extra commentary, so we can all get on the same page.

We're all here on earth... We are all the product of some higher power... We have a body which is somewhat limited... We have a soul which is infinite, both in terms of existence, but also in terms of potential.

We have the tools, rights and abilities to exercise complete control over ourselves. As some readers noted, which true, this last thing is extremely difficult.

To continue the saga, let's look at why this is difficult, and examine what in our civilization makes it so... This is a topic which can get a little philosophical, but well worth the increased mental exertion required to get it.

When my good friend walked me through these steps, he did so very slowly, and from my point of view in a very frustrating manner. His approach was to ask a question, and then let me figure out the answer. Interestingly enough, being told the answers does little if any good, however the process of trying to figure them out is what brings the real growth.

So here is question #1...

If we have this infinite potential, what methods are employed, and how is it that we appear to surrender control other people?

As you ponder that answer, I think back to a quote I heard by a philosopher of a few centuries back... Right now his name escapes me, but the essence of what he said was: "To find truth, you must be willing to question everything"

Some clues as you begin this journey... This is something that is present in every culture. While it is more apparent in some of the Islamic cultures, the most powerful way it is employed is likely in the US, and other Western States.

Feel free to write any comments as you think about this... I don't claim to have any or all of the answers, so hopefully this will be a source of growth for all of us... From what I have experienced though, the answer to this and subsequent questions will enable you with a freedom, the likes of which you have yet to experience.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Finally, A Good Reason for Iraq

I'm going to let yesterday's blog sit for a few more days before I continue with it. My inspiration today comes from a comment I heard on the radio yesterday... I know everyone's got opinions about the war in Iraq, and to be honest, my opinion has been on every side of this. Personally I don't like war, since I consider everyone on this planet to be part of something greater. I don't care if you are a Christian, an Atheist, Muslim, or whether you believe in Left or Right Wing politics. We're all hear to figure out something, and to help each other out. Inflicting suffering or death on another human does nothing to serve the greater good.

OK, I'll spare you my opinions on the war and why it is and isn't working. In a nutshell, I heard yesterday the first theory that actually makes sense. The show was the Glenn Beck show, and what I like about him, is even though I may disagree at times with his opinions, he presents them in a well prepared fashion, is prepared to aknowledge opposing views, and I think he is honest about everything.

Here is his view on the war in Iraq...

The problem isn't Irag, it's Iran. Now if we were to invade Iran, we would be in some serious trouble...They have one of the worlds largest armies, and without any direct provocation, they and most of the Islamic states in the region would come out against us. I'm not sure who would win such a conflict, I'd like to think we would, but when it comes down to it, with enormous body counts on both sides, no one really wins.

The only way to effect change in a way that benefits everyone, is to encourage the people of Iran to initiate it themselves. So the approach is this...

Take out the Taliban, because they are harboring Al Qaeda terrorists and are pretty much responsible for 9/11. I think we did well here, and from what I have read, Afganistan is starting to rebuild nicely.

Take out Saddam Hussein, using the excuse that he has weapons of mass destruction. Iran doesn't want a neighbor with nukes or chemical weapons, especially in light of their history with Irag, so they stay out of the fight, and so do most other nations.

The preferred end game here is that Iraq gets established as a solid nation based on a Constitution and Democratic processes. Iranian's look over the border, and say "Wait a second... How come they get freedom and we don't?" The masses rise up, regime change is effected, and the best part is, since they do it themselves, it is more likely to work.

Now I think we definitely need to change a few things about how we are fighting the war... For one, our soldiers aren't policemen, their are soldiers, and having to walk around the politically correct lines given them by the jackasses in Washington is just getting more and more of them killed. Let them do what they need to do. Secondly, Iraq used to be three countries... Britain joined them together into Iraq, and now we are trying to get 3 nations to co-exist, when their beliefs and feeling towards eachother are not ideal. I think we should investigate splitting them up again, giving each group the reins to their future, and let them get on with their lives.

But on the whole, while I have and will continue to point out the problems with the current administration, as well as the rest of corrupt politicians in Washington, I think that if this is their strategy, then they definitely need a hand for coming up with something good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Who are you?

I think I want to change the atmosphere of this blog a little...

I wanted it to be a positive influence, but I think it has tended to be a little negative over the last few weeks.

Let's try something and see if that can springboard into something that is really positive.
I would like to offer you a view of yourself, and I would like you to seriously consider it. When I have shared this in the past, it has been met with some resistance, but some of that may be due to poor delivery on my part, and the other is likely because these are things which might seem a little out of place in our current civilization.

Let's keep this short and simple... Who are you?

I would propose the following:
  1. You are the product of a creation by a divine source, however you would choose to describe that source.
  2. You have a soul that is not only infinite in existence, but infinite in potential.
  3. You have the right and ability to exercise complete control over yourself.

Think that over, post any comments you might have, and in my next couple of blogs, I would like to explore what we can then deduce, based on this foundation.

As I have explored it, it has blown my mind, and each time I revisit it, I am more and more astounded with what I am able to discover more.