I Am Human

This is who we are as humanity. This is what matters most. Regardless of who you are, where you are, or what you do, treat others as you treat yourself whenever possible.

I am white

I am black

I am hispanic

I am asian

I am indigenous

I am Christian

I am Muslim

I am Jew

I am Buddhist

I am Hindu

I am Sikh

I am a pagan

I am a believer

I am an atheist

I am straight

I am gay

I am lesbian

I am bisexual

I am transgender

I am queer

I am asexual

I am intersexual

I am rich

I am poor

I am tall

I am short

I am thin

I am curvy

I am hairy

I am bald

I am old

I am young

I am single

I am married

I am a father

I am a mother

I am a son

I am a daughter

I am ___________

I am human

Then Freedom Will Ring

We are not united

But rather divided

By the Putin puppet placed to destroy us

Today there’s no celebrating

The birth of a nation

But rather the mourning of watching it die.

Death fueled by racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and babies in cages.

Alienation of allies while propping up enemies.

No swamp draining making the country great

But rather filling up with sludge full of hate.

It’s not time to debate

It’s time to be irate

Stand up

Speak out

Before it’s too late.

It’s high time in our evolution

To start a new revolution

Break the chains of oppression

Bring in real love in succession

Remove those who harm us

And those trying to destroy us

Impeach the traitors top to bottom

We sure as hell do not want them

No more corporate greed

No more ICE deportees

Not more sexist decrees

Let’s stand up from taking a knee

Against the prejudice

Against the hate

Against the corporate state

Then freedom will ring

More Than This

Our lives were made for more than this

For more than material things

For more than competitiveness

For more than working jobs that drain our souls while giving our earnings to others who’ve made us sell ours to them.

For more than all of this.

We were made to love, not hate.

To share, not horde

To make peace, not war

To coexist, not build walls

To understand and to be understood

To respect and be respected

Yes, our lives were made for more than how we live them.

So, why don’t we strive harder to live for how we were made rather than for what we’ve become?

Things I Learned From Running

Things I learned from running

Runners primary competition is themselves. It’s not like grade school where the last one to finish is ridiculed. Sure, there are jackweeds out there who will, but by and large runners tend to pull for one another. It’s about PR or PB, not trophies. (Personal record or Personal best, for non-runners).

I recall more times than not when I’d be slugging along at my usual slow pace and other runners would pass me and give me words of encouragement and support. The running group I was part of was fantastic for this as there was always someone there at our finish to give a high five and words of encouragement. This camaraderie meant a great deal to a big guy like me who was already self-conscious about myself and running.

Runners are an eclectic bunch. There are not many things runners keep from one another. Discussions can range from actual running to nutrition to bodily functions to just life in general. There are some amusing discussions such as underwear choice (or lack thereof) and trying to locate a place to relieve oneself during a long run with no facilities present. Part of the eclecticism is also ages and body types. There are runners from all age ranges and body types. All share a common bond of running that goes beyond class, age, gender, body type, and other labels we place on ourselves.

Running is a spiritual act. The very act of getting outdoors, urban or rural, is getting in touch with nature and even whatever cosmic deity one believes in. I recall running along a favourite path and seeing deer or chipmunks or other wildlife, hearing birds, and the sound of the nearby river. Stopping just to take in the views along my run. Sometimes I ran with music, but others were just the sounds of nature and my own feet plodding along. One cannot help but feel the hand and pulse of the Creator in moments like that. The sky becoming light while going along a pathway with the colours changing from dark to light. A run in the Autumn with the crisp leaves and air surrounding you. A cold winter run where the sound of your footsteps is muffled by the snow, except for the occasional sound made when you run through fresh snow that has a light frozen top to it.

That’s life, man.

Humans not human capital

An issue that weighs on my mind has to do with how many corporations view the people who work for them. Far too many seem to see employees as “human capital” rather than people. What I mean by that is that the corporate hierarchy sees the people working at the lower level as simply a living piece of machinery that’s easily disposed with should she or he not perform to the company expectations. With such a view, when an employee struggles with work or work-life balance issues, then the company simply terminates the employee’s employment with a mindset of there will be another person to take their place. This creates an atmosphere at work that breeds not only lack of company loyalty in employees, but also one of distrust of management and psychological anxiety.

People are not disposable. They are fellow human beings who likely need a job or simply a break to make ends meet. Companies who treat employees as disposable may make great profits, but at what cost? Is it really worth making a profit on the backs of people without caring about them? I often wonder how corporate hierarchy can become so callous towards the people who work under them. Sure, there are incentives many of these places give to employees, such as time off rewards or bonuses for referring other people to work there, but how much does that really reward the company more than the employees? Most do not consider that aspect of the matter.

Sure, companies cannot be expected to cover all the social needs of their employees. Yet, compassion should drive any actions taken toward the employees of a company. It takes creativity sometimes, but what’s wrong with that? It can even take looking at situations on a person by person basis and creating a more innovative approach to solving problems in the workplace. Again, aside from time, what’s wrong with that? Shouldn’t the focus be on more than profit? As odd as it may sound, might not profits be increased by thinking more outside the box and treating people who work for these companies at every level as valued individuals? I think it can. Beyond that, I think it must for companies to be in existence in today’s and the future’s society.

Think about it.

This isn’t winning

Families torn apart within the country.

Children separated from parents at the border.

Immigration agents on buses asking for papers.

Blacks and Hispanic people being profiled and worse.

Women being discriminated against in various ways.

First Nations being treated worse and more treaties broken.

Establishment of a Religious Task Force by the DOJ.

Russian interference in the government.

Press being called the enemy.

The country’s highest levels of law being ridiculed and called unreliable.

Rising White Supremacy movements.

The harassment and harm to the people in the LGBT+ community.

Alienating our allies and stature in the world plummeting.

The environment being polluted more again.

And yet this is “winning”?

Be A Gentleman, not a boy

Enough with the whole “boys will be boys” excuse when it comes to sexual assault being dismissed. It’s not “boys will be boys”, it’s predators will be predators.

Kavanaugh and others like him are nothing more than predators who are supported by other predators when they use the excuse of “boys will be boys” or “it’s just locker room talk” or “she was asking for it.”

Many of us grew up with those type of asshats, you know, the guys who were popular, fairly good looking, or who had an over supply of testosterone within their bodies. Some were the stereotypical jocks, others not so much, but still they were the type of guy most of the rest of us guys somewhat envied because girls looked at them rather than us.

See, most of us knew they were predators. We knew that when they’d hurt a girl that we’d be the one the girl might run to for comfort and consolation. We were the “but you’re more like a brother to me” type guys. We were also the ones to sit there and listen and never try to take advantage of the girl or the situation. We may have internally desperately wanted the girl to wake up and see us as more than just a friend, but we refused to act on it because we valued the girl’s friendship.

We were also the type who, if we were blessed enough to find a girl who wanted to be more than friends, that we would listen to her. If our relationship furthered into a more sexual nature, we were the type of guy to stop if she said stop and, if she didn’t say stop, we were the type of guy who would ask if she was certain and if she was ready sometimes even through the entire course of whatever we were doing. Then, afterwards, we never gossiped about it. We respected both the girl and ourselves by not revealing or bragging about it afterwards.

I know there were and still are more guys like us and feel we must speak out against the predatory guys, now probably more than ever.

We know that “no means no” and “stop means stop”.

We know that if a female is not crystal clear with us then we must ask.

We know that if a female is drunk or otherwise incapacitated that we make certain she is safe and never take advantage of her in any way, shape, or form.

The predators call us derogatory names.

I call us gentlemen or simply real men.

#DefendWomenWhenTheySpeakUp

#MenCanBeFeminists

#NotAllMenArePredators

#HoldMenAndAllPredatorsAccountable

An Affront to Humanity

He’s mocked someone with a physical disability.

He’s mocked a survivor of a sexual assault.

He’s mocked elected officials from both sides of the aisle, including a war veteran and former POW.

He’s mocked our veterans and the families of soldiers who have died.

He’s mocked or ridiculed a vast number of folks while expressing admiration for despots and dictators.

All that is horrible in itself.

However, that there are folks out there that still support him even to the extent of laughing at his mockery and/or ignoring his admiration for despots, is even more troubling as it reflects on the character of those individuals as well.

In their ignoring or support, they are saying that they are just as horrible as he is.

Sure, I know there are more of us who are offended and incensed at his behaviour. It’s just that we need to be more vocal against him and those who support him, whether they be members of his own party or our neighbors, friends, or family members.

It’s gone beyond politics.

It’s gone to being an affront to our humanity.

Dangerous Times

Dangerous Times

Things need said that most people don’t want to hear, particularly about the state of the USA right now. Actually, better put would be the DSA, as in Divided States of America. Since January 2017, particularly, January 20, 2017, the country has been divided like such not seen since the 1800s. The rift is getting even larger the longer Dolt 45 is in office and the GOP is in power.

The rift is not simply a liberal versus conservative one. It is a racial one. It is a religious one. It is an economic one. It is an educational one. One can even go as far to say it is a moral one.

America was founded with an ideal of equality for all people. Sure, at the actual founding, the likely view was wealthy, white, male landowners. However, up until a year ago, it came to include women, children, people of all religions and races, and people of all economic classes.

The election of 2016 bought a radical and dangerous change to the USA. A candidate who pandered to a racist, xenophobic, and populist agenda somehow won the Electoral College. While it is likely due to heavy interference from Russia, it brought out an element of American society that most people hoped had gone away. That element is the ultra-conservative, nationalist, white supremacist, racist one. A dangerous turn that the world has seen before in the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and other dictators.

Now, many who voted for Dolt 45 will claim they are not racist. After all, they have friends who are not white.

They’ll claim they are not homophobic, because they have friends who are part of the LGBTQIA community.

They’ll claim they love all people, yet say they want refugees and immigrants—ones much like their own ancestors—to be denied entry into the country or be deported from it.

They’ll even claim to be religious or for religious freedom, but what they fail to say is that their parameters for that religious freedom must be their own narrow interpretation of it.

They say they want people to work for a living, yet many of them don’t. Some even have the audacity to live off the kindness of the same people they villify. Those liberals, they say.

Those who support Dolt 45 and his party are nothing more than accomplices in the crimes against their fellow countrymen and humanity that are being perpetrated by the current Administration. In their hearts, all they are about is that the “mean black guy” who wanted equality for all and a healthy relationship with other countries is no longer in office and the woman who won the popular vote isn’t in office because of her emails.

They are nothing more than people like those who stood silent while Hitler and the Nazis took over Germany in the 1930s. Even those who survived The Holocaust agree. They are seeing history repeat itself. They have and do continue to warn us, but very few seem to be listening.

These are very dangerous times and they look to get more dangerous for humankind both in the USA and out of it.

Yet One More: A poem for Parkland et al

Yet One More

Yet one more shooting
Followed by more thoughts and prayers
To be followed by more rhetoric
With no action anywhere.

Blame guns
Blame the politicians
Blame the NRA
Blame the parents
Blame the system
Blame and blame away.

Refuse to speak of it
Refuse to see the cause
Refuse to take an action
Refuse to take a pause.

Say we need more God
Say we need more guns
Say we need more safety
Say we need more done.

Our words, they hold no meaning
Our words fall empty at our feet
Our words are simply worthless
Our words, they have no meat.

More lives lost through inaction
More lives lost whilst we debate
More lives lost through no reaction
How many more must meet that fate?

We must awaken once again
When tomorrow’s sun breaks the plane
We must rise up and do something now
Or be forced to mourn again.