Sunday, January 27, 2013

We can't change everything but that shouldn't get in the way of changing what we can,

Of all the possible outcomes in any situation only a few are probable and only one will actually happen.

Sometimes the outcome cannot be controlled like when a meteor falls on your head.

Sometimes the outcome can only be partially controlled like when two great teams meet in a championship.

Sometimes the outcome can be controlled by us to a very great exent like just about everything else that doesn't fall into one of the previous categories.

So don't spend time and energy on things you can't do anything about and don't let anything stop you from taking care of the things you can.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

We need to redefine mental-illness. Violent crimes are not normal behaviour of healthy people.

I have a hard time believing that "people without any mental-health problems at all" committ so much violent crime. More a question of redefining mental-health.
According to the National Journal "Researchers estimate that if mental illness could be eliminated as a factor in violent crime, the overall rate would be reduced by only 4 percent. That means 96 percent of violent crimes—defined by the FBI as murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults—are committed by people without any mental-health problems at all. Solutions that focus on reducing crimes by the mentally ill will make only a small dent in the nation’s rate of gun-related murders, ranging from mass killings to shootings that claim a single victim."

Friday, January 25, 2013

My "unvitation" to the White House.

This is an interesting approach to inviting people to your party. First you invite everyone you really want to come to your party. Then you make a list of all the people you don't want to come and send them an "unvitation". I received this lovely invitation to the Presidents inauguration in the mail. It was printed on beautiful paper and looked very official.  Then, just in case I had any illusion about actually being on the President’s guest list it said "This is a commemorative invitation, not an actual invitation". Thus I have invented a new word "the unvitation". :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jesus might say "What the hell where you thinking?"

Imagine if there really were a heaven and we all had to stand and be judged when we died.  I can just imagine many people who call themselves Christians standing before Jesus as he says:

“What the hell where you thinking?”

“ I asked you to turn the other cheek even to the point of sacrificing your own life, not to shoot all intruders with your M16”.

“I asked you to care for the sick and feed the hungry, not to sell your care and food to those who can pay and give the finger to everyone else”.

“I taught unconditional love, not hatred and bigotry”.

“I even asked you to love your enemies, not to use force to  impose your lifestyle on everyone who is different from you.”

“What really irks me is not that you behave so badly.  Human beings have been doing horrible things to each other since the beginning of time.  What really pisses me off is that you have done all this evil in my name!”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

From victim to champion

I met someone the other day who told me about her work situation. This woman is in a management position in a company and is part of the companies management team.  She told me that she was not happy with her situation because she didn't feel appreciated. She felt that her superiors and colleagues only criticized her work and didn't appreciate her talent.  She continued on for some time telling me in some detail about the incompetence of her superiors.  Listening to her I could not help but think that their may well be two sides to this story but I was not in a position to investigate the other side.  When she was finished describing the situation I asked her what she intended to do about it?  She then looked at me rather confused and said "I can't do anything about it!".  They are the ones who are all messed up.  I explained that it may well be that she was in a company full of incompetent under-achievers but if that was so they were not likely to have the knowledge or initiative to improve the situation, at least not without help.  So again the question was what she was goind to do about this situation. 

I told her that in most situations in life you only have three real alternatives:
1. Accept your environment as it is.
2. Change your environment.
3. Change environments.

If she was willing to accept things as they are then she should also accept that she is a part of the problem and that "bitching and complaining" wasn't going to help much.

If she was willing to try and improve things then bitching and complaining was ok since it helped her to understand and define the problem or problems as long as she didn't just get stuck there.  I have always said that "bitching and complaining" is a necessary phase in the creative process but it is a dangerous phase because if you get stuck there it can become destructive to you and your enviroment. 

If she was not willing to accept things as they are and did not feel willing or capable to change things for the better then she should move on to another job that suited her better.

We so often find ourselves in the role of the victim and in fairness sometimes we are victimized by other people or life events.  But when that happens we still have the power to steer our fate. We control the situation through our choice of thoughts and deeds.You are the champion of your fate!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Can guns really protect you from harm?

 The desire to defend yourself and your loved ones is a strong and healthy drive but like most of our survival instincts they have a tendency to become more emotional than rational.  The notion that a stranger enters our home, our school or our shopping center and injures or kills our families strikes real fear into our hearts making us feel as though we are not really safe anywhere.  I can identify with anyone’s urge to protect themself with all possible force in a situation like that.  But is the best solution that we all carry around firearms? If our intentions are to do everything we can to prevent our loved ones or ourselves from getting hurt or killed the answer is clearly no.

If we look at the source of violence that occurs in our society we can see that a significant portion of this violence is between criminals.  So the best thing we could do to protect ourselves is to not become a criminal and try not to associate with criminals. 

That being said bad guys do enter people’s homes and threaten, injure and/or kill them.  Wouldn’t my chances of survival or of protecting my family increase greatly if I had a gun?  To answer that question we need to think through the likely scenarios.  Generally these attackers do not give warning.  So in order to protect myself I would need to have my weapon easily accessible, never more than arms reach away and always loaded.  I would also need to be very skilled with my weapon and trained to keep a level head in highly stressful situations so I don’t accidently shoot the guy from FedEx or the neighbor kid. If in order to avoid accidents I kept my weapon locked up in a gun safe I would probably not have time to get it out and protect myself in the event of a real attack. 

Most people who are not themselves criminals and who are victims of violence are not attacked by strangers.  The vast majority of us who are or have ever been victims of violence were attacked by people we know, more often than not by someone in our own family.  The most likely threat of violence for children comes from their fathers and mothers not from strangers carrying guns into the schools. The chances that a child will be beaten, sexually abused or even killed by a family member are much higher than by a total stranger.  The risk for women of being beaten, raped or killed by someone close to them are significantly higher than the risk of becoming the victim of a total stranger. Sometimes moms, dads, husbands, wives and lovers flip out and when they do I hope for everyone’s sake that they don’t have an assault rifle in the closet.  I do not believe any of us want to have a pistol in our bathrobe just in case our spouse might want to kill us.

If you are not a criminal and you don’t abuse your wife and children then why not have a gun at home just in case?  I could suggest about 16,000 reasons.  That is the approximate number of accidental shootings in the USA every year.  If you are not shot by someone close to you on purpose you are still at greater risk of being shot by accident than of being shot by a stranger.    

I am not against guns. I enjoy hunting.  I even understand if some people enjoy recreational shooting.  I am against guns as a form of protection. I am against people carrying guns on their hips at the grocery store or sleeping with a gun on their nightstands.  I am also against civilians owning assault rifles with clips holding 30 rounds.