What are Words For?

 

“Talk is cheap. Words are plentiful. Deeds are precious.” — H. Ross Perot

“He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak” Laozi from the Tao Te Ching

I have been listening recently to some old classic songs and one of them has glued itself to my mind – “Words” by Missing Persons.

They sing the lyrics:

“What are words for when no one listens anymore
What are words for when no one listens
What are words for when no one listens it’s no use talkin at all
Do you hear me
Do you care
Do you hear me
Do you care
Tell me what are words for”
 
I have spent a good amount of time the last 5-6 years  by myself in public places which has afforded me the opportunity to listen to all the conversations going on around me. I did not necessarily want to hear them but unable to shut out all the noise close to me. I stayed at a hotel a few weeks ago and watched a table of three sisters at breakfast. One of them seemed to do all the talking and one looked to be bored listening while the other one seemed to be listening out of courtesy. Or I have camped next to a family of five that spoke horribly to each other and ruined their camping trip as they yelled at each other. We live in a world of constant information, technology, education, and media types of all formats which all leads to – SENSELESS, SELF-SERVING WORDS. Facts have become something that is no longer relevant while the media, politicians, and religion throw out all types of scare tactics lined with falsehoods. Using words for fear-mongering, hate, and self-serving expediency has become the norm.
 
Marital relationships are on the decline and as I read the top reasons for marriage failure almost all them can be attributed to their communication patterns and inability to communicate effectively. In a lot of cases it points to the inability to stop, think through what they are going to say, and come back with what is necessary, respectful, and effective. In my life I have been one in the past to “fly off at the cuff” when it comes to my emotions while constantly reacting to the people around me. Believe me from experience, this is not a effective way for dealing with the world and people in it. It has caused me a lot of confusion, angst, and relational issues. In my job as a sales manager, I spend a great deal of time communicating with my salespeople and clients with emails and speech. I have had a tendency to write or say the first thing on my mind which for me is coming from a place of emotions and not from a place of logic and reason.  I have learned over the years to stop, breath, reread many times, and think through my forthcoming conversations. This way I can normally condense my words, make them more applicable for the situation, and logically, tactfully correspond with those around me.
 
I believe the best way to be able to correspond with the world around us in a compassionate, effective, and respectful way is to literally unplug from the world for periods of time. It is the ability to be with oneself in silence and solitude to look within for one’s spirit. The Moody Blues has a wonderful song called “The Voice” that says:
 
“And how many words have I got to say?
And how many times will it be this way?
With your arms around the future and your back up against the past.
You’re already falling it’s calling you on to face the music.
And the song that is coming through.
You’re already falling the one that it’s calling is you.”
 
How many of us take the time to hear this calling, to look deep within, and know who you truly are. This I believe is the source of deep wisdom and understanding from which springs forth use of words as they were initially meant to be. All the great spiritual leaders of the past spent time in solitude before they met with the masses and afterwards to refresh their emotional, mental, and physical reserves. How can one communicate effectively when they themselves are in turmoil, chaos, and exhausted There is a saying in the 12 steps groups that one has trouble dealing and communicating with the world around them if they are too hungry, Angry, Lonely, and/or Tired – “H.A.L.T.
 
Political elections and politics in general is the best example of the use of words in a very demeaning, demonizing way. We use to be a nation where words were used for the benefit of all but in the political atmosphere today, words have become so depreciated that they no longer mean anything at all.  Americans stayed glued to  politician’s and media’s every word as if it were all a cardinal fact.  Even words between nations have lost any meaning with pacts and treaties being broken all the time. The United States has become a nation of words that spew hate, separation, and just plain meanness all born a great deal from our current political  atmosphere.
 
Religion in modern society is long on words and very short of action.  There seems to be a big effort on saving someone else versus genuinely caring for another person in the here and now. Words of fear and manipulation are used ceaselessly by religion to “control” the masses. If anyone doubts this they need to look no further than the Spanish Inquisitions, the Salem Witchcraft, and words spouted by the terrorist communities around the world. Why did people throng to Jesus?  Simply because he was full of compassionate action and short of words. One of the greatest speeches on love was the Sermon on the Mount which was short and very precise followed by a life that mirrored the words he spoke. Jesus had a way of communicating directly and lovingly without a lot of words. He spent a great deal of time healing and feeding the masses around him. Yet the Pharisees and Sadducee’s spent most of their time speaking as well as writing words of condemnation and  back-bending rules. In today churches, we see a massive decline in the United States with church attendance.  Could it be there is a lot of talk and not the actions of compassion that Jesus put forth that actually drew the throngs to him? Could it actually be the duty of mankind not to work on saving another person, which is not even a healthy attribute in a relationship, but simply to love and be there for them?
 
I would just throw out there notice your conversations this week, the emails you send,  and the speech constantly plowing through your mind. Are they a stream of emotional reactions that cause distress or thought-out communication that projects love and compassion? I believe we must get to the point with our words where we can show  constant love in our speech at work, personal relationships, and strangers we come into contact everyday. It may be a word of comfort or a smile to someone who whose “tank” is empty or just to listen without speaking to someone who is hurting.
 
I also find that as words become more important and useful to me that I tune-out the communications around me that use them cheaply and without thought. This includes the media, relationships that are toxic, conversations that ramble on and on without any substance. Our life is short and to spend it on numb-minding communication is such a waste. I have never wasted time in nature alone simply listening to the sounds around me and the voice within.
 
Should we speak with others? Absolutely, but with words that are necessary, respectful, and, compassionate to those we communicate with.
 
I had the pleasure today to hike at Eisenhower State Park in Texas after a week of turmoil at work and just life itself. It all dissipated as I listened to the wind, the water crashing against the cliffs, and the chatter of the birds. Hopefully you can find the time to spend alone in whatever way refreshes your reserves whether that be a hike in nature, a smooth, relaxing bath, or just enjoying some time in your favorite chair with no outside noise.  
 
Mindfulness this week is asking us do we actually know what we saying when  speaking words?

CHARITY

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Charity is a very necessary part of our world. Ever since the beginning of time there has been those who have that have given to those who do not. Without charity the world would evolve into chaos and destruction. Charity helps feeds the poor, takes the homeless off the street, rescues human trafficking victims, helps with the incredible physical suffering many people experience in life from bodily sicknesses, etc. I will never deny the need for charity worked organizations but my purpose in this writing is to explore and expose how some people profit off these non-profits with enormous CEO salaries and how one might better give of their money and resources.

I was brought up in a very conservative Christian setting with talk of a god who is watching us 24/7 and judging our every action. It was from this environment that I was indoctrinated about tithing and giving back to god at a tenth of what I made.  I vividly remember a well-paid pastor once say that god still loves those who do not tithe but just finds it harder to. I use to worry intensively about this idea of giving back to god what is his and what is really a tenth. There are whole books written outlining tithing and what their perception of what god wants from us. It has been a evolving concept for me from a shameful giving to one today where I think on my own and have my own ideas of what tithing or better called healthy charity giving is really all about.

I do feel the need to give and want to out of what has been blessed to me. I went from tithing to the church to giving to non-profits that primarily helped with children around the world. I did that for years and years never really doing much research into where my money was really going and who was getting it. I just assumed that if it was a well-known charity, they were trustworthy and accountable. Though I will say most charities do publish their financial statements, but there are pages on top of pages that a non-financial person could never decipher. As I began to investigate these organizations, especially the ones I gave to, I found exorbitant CEO salaries. I will not call any out by name, but many notorious charities are paying large 6 to 7 digit figures to their CEO’s. CharityWatch is a accountability program for non-profits that has some great information on it and was really surprised by the ones I was giving to had good-sized CEO salaries. Here is a interesting web page from CharityWatch on the highest paid non-profit CEO’s salaries and some of these are well-known organizations:

https://www.charitywatch.org/top-charity-salaries

I make a modest income from hard work like the average person and have chosen to give to these organizations without adequate research. Some may not have a problem with this declaring  they need really “good people” to run these organizations, and this is what it takes to attract people to run these organizations. The “good” people to me are the teachers, the firefighters, the hard-working people who go in every day and earn a modest income trying to keep up with the cost of everything versus what they make. Many like myself then turn around and give their hard-earned money to these non-profits thinking it is mainly going to those in need and not into high-paid salaries to run these non-profits. Sure, they should be paid a commensurate rate for a non-profit but with the idea of what is feasible for a organization that is reaching out to help others. We have all heard for “a dollar a day” we can feed a starving person then how many more, if we paid reasonable CEO non-profit salaries, could we feed – thousands more? The extra money going into the pockets of these few individuals could feed and clothe as well as rescue thousands of people. There should be limits and regulations set forth to the amount CEO’s salaries/bonuses of charities (and also companies but that is for another blog) can make but capitalists yell that there should be no limit, the more the merrier while money is taken out of the “field” to line the pockets of CEO’s. This is a crime against humanity and should not be tolerated. Yet in our societies today we have learned to not think on our own and accept what is handed to us, myself included.

I have decided to stop my monetary giving and start my own charity work. In the town I live in as in most, there are numerous homeless and street people all around. I have decided on the first of the month to go to my local dollar store and buy numerous amounts of toiletries as well as items that people need to make it in life. Then I will make a trip to my local Salvation Army that houses some of the homeless and deliver these articles that will go directly to those who need it. Sure, it will take more time, effort, and energy than paying some charity on auto draft while the CEO is living rather well but the items are getting directly to the person in need. I will say that I have stuck to the CEO’s salaries but within these organizations there are others making amazing salaries and bonuses. I am not saying what I have decided to do is for someone else but hopefully it will prompt others to research the non-profit they are giving to through work or personally. I have come a long way from giving out of shame to a god to having the ability to question and make my own decisions about where my financial charity goes. Until non-profit CEO salaries are regulated and reasonable, I will continue my monthly trip to the local Salvation Army as long as I can and am able.

 

Let me know your thoughts and maybe other ideas other than giving money to charities that would be an better alternative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Living with the “Leeches” – Taking Back your own Power and Spirit

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“Because you are confused, you seek out a teacher. You go to him to give you a way of life, to clarify your own confusion, to find truth. You choose your guru because you are confused, and you hope he will give you what you ask. That is, you choose a guru who will satisfy your demand; you choose according to the gratification he will give you, and your choice is dependent on your gratification. You do not choose a guru who says, “Depend on yourself; you choose him according to your prejudices. So, since you choose your guru according to the gratification he gives you, you are not seeking truth but a way out of confusion, and the way out of confusion is mistakenly called truth…

You cannot find truth through anybody else. How can you? Surely, truth is not something static; it has no fixed abode; it is not an end, a goal. On the contrary, it is living, dynamic, alert, alive. How can it be an end?”

J. Krishnamurti, First Talk in Rajahmundry 1949

 

WE all want to be Happy, Healthy, and live at Peace as well as discover some truth about who we are and our existence. From that has developed numerous religions, political schemes, gurus, self-help organizations, philosophies, and numerous creeds as well as what many are called “absolute truths.” From that are birthed endless politicians, gurus, teachers, and businesses that claim they all have the secret formula for your Happiness, Health, and Peace normally at a price. Yet, their whole created lifestyle depends upon our existence and funneling of funds into their coffers.  For them,  IT all depends on our inability to see ourselves as enough and that we were born without the necessary “equipment” to fulfill our destiny in our lives so we turn to others.

In the United States we see this exemplified in the politics of insanity that currently exist. We pay, pay, pay to the coffers of the government all the while hoping that they become our savior. The politicians strive off our fear – our fear of insecurity and that we won’t be Happy, Healthy, and at Peace unless they step in  to secure it for us all the  while demanding we pay more and more for it. The current slogan is “Make America Great Again” and that  unless we make the rest of the world pay their dues, we will live in a state of fear and gloom. . There is not one person or a group of people who will give us the security we so desperately seek for. People today are glued to their televisions, newspapers, and audio reports to see what is the next major news bombshell which is EXACTLY what the political “leeches” want and strive for. They tap into our fears, curious minds, and  doomsday mentalities since these are a key component in sustaining their lifestyle at the level they are accustomed to. Isn’t is great that some politicians have been using public funds, your’s and my hard-earned money, to make pay-offs for their infidelties? Or to wage bloodhsed around the world in the name of peace with the tax dollars we have sweated and worked for.

A quick note on other’s  – WE will never, ever be able to obtain our security at the expense of another’s insecurity, turning our eyes from those who only seek the same thing we do – Happiness, Health,and Peace.

I have also been reading of a guru that in the past many people followed and sought after until he fell from his perch with scandals and illegal activities. Yet many people gave everything they had materially to his organization while the upper echelon of the group lived rather well. We see this over and over while  there is not one religious/spiritual group, guru, politician, or individual that is exempt from such downfalls and maybe need to  say from their “humanness”.

What makes us or manipulates us into such odd behavior of turning over our power and literally our souls to others? Is it such a desperate attempt at Happiness, Health, and Peace that we are willing to give ourselves over to anything that promises it to us and will lead us there? And what does these individuals possess or have acquired that we don’t? Who actually leads us to the ever-sought Promise Land?

At age 55, I finally come to the realization that no one else can tell me what I need to do, be, or strive for. I do believe that books can help give us various ideas and “pointers” and at time in our lives we may need counseling over a particular situation or crisis, but in the long run a good counselor or adviser who has no vested interest in your finances will simply point out the obvious that you have within already. What is interesting is each one of  these individuals have their own set of “issues” and humanness that they  are trying to deal with. I am the only one who has been with “me” my whole existence and knows what lies inside. It is also good to hear of other’s experiences but with the strong idea that we are ultimately the only ones that hold the key to our destiny. The true search for self-awareness and soul-searching does take a lot of hard work and solitude so many see it much easier spending years and vast amounts of finances looking for someone else to do the work for them giving one instant Happiness, Health, and Peace.

Carl Jung spoke of an idea called “Universal Consciousness”,  a stream in the Universe where all ideas and thoughts flow and we ALL have access to it. There is no one left out from it’s vast wisdom and experiences while a great benefit from tapping into it cost nothing financially or materially nothingaccess but does require time and effort on one’s part. Even some revered great spiritual leaders  talked of our divinity and our innate spiritual possibilities – Buddha talked about the idea that we are all Buddhas, Jesus Christ talked about us all beings gods. I believe the “Great Awakening” will be when humankind as a whole finally realizes our own worthiness and potential within as well as everyone’s dormant potential within. The world then will not need gurus, humongous multi-million dollar buildings that are empty except for Sundays and Wednesday nights, political saviors that promise us limitless Happiness, Health, and Peace.

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

Gautama Buddha

I myself have spent countless hours, tens of thousand of dollar, and loss of serenity pursuing these numerous individuals and groups as well as believing that there is some politician who can save us all. Yet, I am exhausted myself from it all and have made a decision it is time to spend the time and effort to look within. I have chosen to secure my space in solitude/silence, do the “work”, and spend enormous amounts of time in Nature to find the “voice within”. Possibly in the final anayalsis I will assuredly discover that I am my own guru  and only then will I obtain the elusive, true state  of Happiness, Health, and Peace. How about you and when do you begin – today?

 

WE ARE ALL GOOD ENOUGH AND HAVE ENOUGH!