Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Celebration? or Delusion?

Like the rest of the world, on May 1, 2011, I witnessed the news on television that spread like wildfire about Osama bin Laden's death. And like many in the world, I sat transfixed in front of my television and computer, watching as thousands upon thousands of people descending into the streets shouting, screaming, cheering, being extremely giddy and gleeful at the news of this man's death. It was by all accounts, a celebration of this killing - a victory. Unfortunately, it equally left me with a disturbing vision, like a scene right of the movie Animal House, of how we as a people viewed celebrations and more so, what we deemed to hold as a value.

Just 48 hours before, I sat equally transfixed watching the British royal wedding, watching how millions of people lined the streets cheering, happy at this beautiful occasion. After all, marriage is beautiful thing, right? 24 hours later, even more millions of people surrounded the Vatican and more in Poland, in order to elevate a now long-dead Pope to Saintdom. Another celebration, but for a different reason, different value.

I was left contemplating as to why we as a human race who typically approaches death as somber, approached this one with strong revelry and treated it as a personal victory, rather than yet another loss of life. What is the message that is really being given here? We state that we value life as a whole, but then turn around and judge it on the basis of behaviour. Yes, Osama bin Laden was the cause of many lives lost, many lives turned upside down for those left behind, and was the prime instigator of shifting consciousnessness and awareness that we had never had prior to that September 11 day.  I witnessed like so many, that events of that morning, and watched as the shock and horror, and ultimate sorrow unfolded, and how it forever altered our view of life, people and stability as we had ever known it to be.

And yet based on that, I see life as still - life. Whether your actions are deemed destructive, or whether they are of the good and positive, it remains the fact that, life is still -- life. What is the mixed message that we as a people put out when we mourn the loss of the people who died defending the country, but we revel in the death of the enemy itself, while at the same time proclaiming loud and clear that we value and try to preserve life at all costs. Clearly, that is not the case, and clearly, the rules break when we shift our sights onto 'eye for an eye'.

I have to wonder whether we really have progressed at all in our consciousness. I also have to wonder whether we really have learned anything at all, especially within this last decade. All I know is that what I really witnessed on that May 1 evening practically brought me back to now-ancient times where people were hunted down, possibly killed and stringing them up on a pole for the whole town to view and mock. Wow, I seem to vaguely recall that near-same scenario about 2011 years ago, in the Bible.

I really don't care to see dead bodies wrapped in sheets buried at sea, pictures of blood-stained rooms, nor do I need to see a snapshot of a dead guy's face, just to prove to that big inflated human ego that an 'eye for an eye' has really been carried out. To prove something of course, so we can justify why it's okay to see this is a victory and celebrate that victory. And in that moment on May 1, we showed as a nation what we perceived our real value to be - that the 'eye for an eye' got elevated beyond the sanctity of life, no matter whose it is.  Get Freakin' Real!

And that folks is what, in my mind, makes this 'celebration' a delusion. My hope is that one day we just might all come to that awareness, and pop that balloon of delusion. Only then, can we actually have cause for a real celebration.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Avoidance ... Procrastination What's the Difference?

So here I am, sitting trying to do my taxes. It's tax season here - in fact I'm supposed to filing all my stuff in exactly 38 hrs. Instead, you are catching me blogging. I guess blogging in this moment is somehow much more interesting that doing taxes. And pondering why it's much more interesting and attractive than crunching numbers, finding receipts, filling out tedious paperwork, is even more attractive that. I can just see it now telling the revenue offices why I was late filling my return, because I spent my time starting out my sunny window pondering an interesting ponderable. Hmm... I don't think that would fly very well from those people who sit daily in tight light cubicles not really seeing the light of day for at least eight hours of it.

But hey, back to my procrasination! Or is it? Maybe I'm just avoiding something. Am I really avoiding or am I procrastinating? What is the difference? Is there really a difference? Well as I venture down my deep road of ponderability, I have to ask myself if I were really avoiding something here, what is it truly that I am avoiding, and why? It is been my experience and working as a life coach with many people who suffer from this often painful malady, that we avoid not because something may be difficult, tedious, painful, fearful, or some other adjective, but that we believe it is so. Yes, let's Get Freakin' Real! now. It's the belief behind it that is the real culprit. It's more often that intangible, sometimes elusive feeling that runs silently in the background of our inner being. So what's my elusive feeling you wonder? Well if I really dig deep here, doing taxes just feels boring, not fun. Blogging is much more fun. So I'm really avoiding the feeling of "not fun". Feelings - now there's something for a future blog. But I'm so not going there right now, because hey, that would be avoiding right? or procrastinating?

So what about that little thing called procrastination? Am I procrastinating? I would certainly say so. I'm not doing something that someone else that I have never met i.e. the taxman, says, I should be doing and have completed by a certain deadline, or else I pay the penalty police. I read somewhere that in order for behaviour to be classified as procrastination, it must be counterproductive, needless, and delaying. Hmm. Let's see, doing my taxes - needless? Certainly. But that's just my opinion. Counterproductive? Well, yes, I would say so. But that's a matter of perspective. Right now blogging is much more productive to me than doing taxes. And hey, who really in their right mind actually wants to pay tax? Delaying? Now that's where I think this falls under avoidance. If I choose to behave in a way that simply delays something else from happening which of course, I am right now, then it's simply that - a choice.

The way I see it is this. Avoiding means that I'm really skirting around the feeling or belief around what it is that I need or should be doing. Procrastinating is just the art of not doing or perhaps doing! something that I believe that needs to or should be happening but isn't. On other other hand, I could just hours and hours needlessly debating this, being counterproductive by avoiding doing my taxes which really aren't fun for me at all, and delaying the inevitable - the fact that I have to report to some faceless person sitting in a cubicle in a concrete building far far away, that I have to pay them money.

Avoidance? Procrastination? You be the judge. Because after all, I guess that's really what the difference is after all. That and ... the fact that I now have 37 hrs left. Tick ... tick ... tick ...

Monday, December 22, 2008

What More do we Need?

Well this is it. My first blog. And my first blog post. December 22, 2008 is truly the day when I start, or should I say, re-start to state my opinions on the quirkiness of human behaviour. Okay, so maybe I can just really do this in public - gee what was it really like before 'blog' became a household term, and a socially acceptable way to voice your opinions without thinking that you could too much flack about it.

But I digress. It seems fitting that for my first post I would comment on a something that keeps cropping up everywhere in our society. And seeing that Christmas is right around the corner, the aspect of 'needing' is very prominent. Need ... it is an interesting word ... with many connotations. Over the past several days, I have heard many people use it - I 'need' to cook my Christmas dinner (OK, not bad, but acceptable), I 'need' to please everyone (OK, hang on a minute here), I 'need' to have that cup of coffee (do you?) I 'need' to have 5000 friends on Facebook, so please add me [I don't know you from a hole in the ground, but hey, add me anyway] (now really, do you REALLY 'need' to have 5000 strangers that you can call friends, just because you are hung up on a number?) Get Freakin' Real!

We choose our vocabulary with great interest, much of which we don't think about when we use it. Need is a word that denotes something of necessity and lack, has a demand attached to it, and has an unhappiness or dissatisfaction for something connected to it. Need is judgment word. Needing something means that underneath it all, there is a belief that something does not exist or is missing.

In my opinion, there are few things in life that we really truly 'need'. We need shelter, and food and water to survive or else our bodies will not function - umm ... that's really about it. Everything else - we want, we choose to have, not have, do, or get. That's it. And I'm sure you are chomping at the bit right now as you read this, sputtering, 'but, but, what about money, love, abundance, self-esteem, affection, respect - I need those!" Well, yes, those are all important things ... but they are truly not 'needs', and especially not 'needs' that others can or will fulfil. If you feel that you really need these things, then you believe inside of yourself that you lack it. Typically though we look outside of ourselves to find that 'thing' that will fulfil the need: we look to others to change their behaviours, or supply us with something that make us 'feel' more needed (but doesn't get rid of the need).

The bottom line here is this: most 'needs' are not really needs. They are wants, desires, and also choices that we make or can make, whether we are aware of them or not. We want 5000 friends on Facebook because that feeds into an ego belief that the more friends we have the better off we will be. We choose to cook Christmas dinner for umpteen people and get angry and resentful in the process of doing it, because somewhere there is an inner belief that says 'if I don't, someone will not approve or be happy with me', so I better do it even if it makes me unhappy and crabby".

Here's a thought: what if we actually changed that word 'need' and called it for what it really was? What if we actually thought about what we said - would this really make a difference in our perspectives, and actions?

What if we showed ourselves respect, instead of 'thinking' we 'need' it from others? What if we showed ourselves that we can love ourselves, instead of demanding the others show or prove it to us? What if we chose to feel grateful and abundant within ourselves without asking other people to tell us directly?

And hey, what if you really didn't NEED anything at all - because everything inside of you already existed to draw on - love, abundance, yes money, and all the resources and tools to use, respect, etc..? Chew on that one for a while.

I don't know about you all - but after all of that, I think I really need a Vente, No-Foam, Half-Calf, Soy, Caramel Macchiato with Chocolate Sprinkles.