The Wall You Build

My friend came to see me one day and he was in a very disturbed state.

“I feel terrible so much of the time, I never seem to get on top of things. I’m so negative about everything.”

He was sweating.

“It’s your thoughts, probably, that are weighing you down,” I said, “What thoughts do you think about all day?”

He started wringing his hands.

“Well, when I get up in the morning, I think:

“It’s going to be another one of those days! Nothing ever goes right for me. I worry all day about EVERYTHING!”

“What if I invited you to my BBQ? Would that make you happy?”

“I’m not good with people, I freeze up in a group. I’m bad at conversation,” my friend mumbled.

“So, I can see you don’t feel good about yourself.”

“Sometimes I wish I’d never been born!”

I shook my head and said”

“My friend, you’re building a negative wall around yourself.”

“What’s this WALL business?”

“You are continually telling yourself negative things and your subconscious mind is picking it up. You are directing your subconscious to make you become the person you constantly describe, which is a negative, downbeat person.”

“So, what do I do to change?”

He looked so forlorn. I had to perk him up.

“Well buddy, you start to build a NEW WALL. A POSITIVE ONE!”

He looked at me unbelievingly.

“To change your ways, you will have to change the words of your self-talk.”

“How? What do I say?”

“I will tell you some positive self-talk to repeat to yourself constantly. If you do this, you will build a new wall. Say to yourself:

‘I will NOT worry, it is self-destructive thinking. I’m in control of my thinking and I will think only those thoughts which are positive and fulfill the best in me.”

“I choose to view my world in the bright, healthy light of optimism and self-assurance.”

“I control my thoughts. No thought can dwell in my mind without my permission.”

My friend smiled.

“I think I get it, I’ll start thinking good thoughts immediately.”

I shook his hand and said:

“Good for you and happy WALL BUILDING!”

Love, The Complex Emotion

Love is usually thought of as a positive emotion, but it has its bad side: It can lead to jealousy, anger, and it doesn’t always work out. Love can be an obsession and people can be cruel to the ones they love!

We “love” everything! People love their car. They love their dog or cat! They love pizza and beer! We love our country and finally we love our partner.

Confusing isn’t it?

Love is an engagement with the world. Love is a story and there are many stories about love, the most popular is Romeo and Juliet, but that ended in death!

A favorite story comes from a classic tale. In ancient times, human beings were different looking than they are now. They were big round bodies with two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two heads. They would bounce around the world full of joy. But they were arrogant and the gods didn’t like this. So, they split the beings in two. Now, these beings were like us, with one head, two arms, and two legs. But we were not complete. So, we needed to find and reconnect with our other half. This was the origin of love. You had to find the right person to fit together with, your soul mate!

Quite a story, isn’t it?

But to fit together takes time, work and adjustment. Sometimes you become too dependent on your loved one for your identity and that can be detrimental!

There is an element of choice with the emotion of love. You might have an initial attraction toward someone but a lot of the time things do not work out.

The choice comes into play when you meet a person, then you choose to go out with them, then get serious, and finally, you choose to say, “I love you”. There’s the BOMB!

So, love is a process, a series of many choices.

Some people say relationships are “made in heaven”, many are NOT! You need to make the decision to do everything you can to make the relationship WORK!

I will leave you with this:

LOVE QUICKENS ALL THE SENSES—EXCEPT COMMON SENSE!

Grief, What’s It All About?

I lost my father, mother, and wife, all traumatic events. But, the grief was different in each case. Everyone grieves differently, for different reasons.

My different reactions to the three deaths:

My Dad’s death—I was fifteen years old. Of course I was shocked but I also felt abandoned. I needed my Dad at fifteen! I was angry that I had lost my adolescent guide. A selfish reaction of a kid!

My Mother’s death—I was thirty-two years old. I felt very sad that my mom was gone. I was now an orphan! But my mother was sick (diabetes complications), so it was merciful that she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

My Wife’s death—My wife was fifty-seven years old, so was I. She died of cancer and it took her quick. I felt it was so unfair because she was looking forward to retirement. I felt lots of anxiety about the future without my wife. Many things were left unsaid also. Guilt feelings overwhelmed me because I was still alive and she wasn’t.

But I did survive these sad times. Time is the healer!

***

One of the most interesting features of grief, which sets it off from other emotions, is that it’s not only appropriate but also obligatory!

It’s appropriate to grieve, in fact, if you lost someone close to you and didn’t grieve, people and yourself would wonder what’s wrong with you! It’s obligatory in the sense that it is something you ought to do, it is required by custom! You ought to feel the pain of the loss!

Anger and denial are also part of the grieving process. Emotions usually have to do with some sort of desire. But what is the desire in grief? What you want in grief is IMPOSSIBLE! It’s a strange emotion, this grief, because what you want is for the person who has died to come back!

Grief triggers off many thoughts, some pleasurable, such as thinking of you life with the deceased, some morbid!

Grief reminds us of our own mortality. This sparks off the fear of your own death. But the philosophers tell us, “Death is Nothing”. No pleasures and no experiences. These you had when you were alive.

So, it’s BIRTH—LIFE—DEATH. Enjoy and be creative and productive in between! So, we are NOT afraid of death, which is nothingness. We are afraid of the process of dying, which includes sickness, pain and degeneration. There is a social side to all of this also, you don’t want to leave family and friends.

But grief can have a joyful side too. It can be a celebration of the lost loved one, and also, a happiness at being ALIVE!

So, in the end, you do gain, in the sense that you appreciate the time you have been together and you appreciate what it is to be ALIVE!

IT’S ALL IN THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS!

Why Be A Writer?

Because you have to think of your feet, your identity, and if you’re lucky, you will have a beautiful woman as a MUSE!

What inspired me to write? That question was posed to me on my seventieth birthday. Fifty years ago I had a problem with my feet, my identity, and how I was going to get inspiration for my novels.

The questions that haunted me were: Who am I? Where am I going? Do I belong? Why do my feet ache so much?

What is a MUSE? It’s the seat of your creativity, personified in a beautiful woman!

Oh, that’s all in your mind!

Yes, it is in your mind, the MUSE is your subconscious mind talking to you!

When I was eighteen and fresh out of high school, I got a job in a factory moving material from machine to machine. I was always on my feet and they HURT!

I learned one thing from this job. It was hard on my feet and mine were FLAT!

So, my life’s work would have to be something that wouldn’t give me aching feet. This was one part of the inspiration.

The second part was when I went to a book signing at a bookstore. The writer was very successful. This was his fourth blockbuster novel.

I asked him about his typical workday. He would arise, have a bit of breakfast, and write until noon. Then he and his friends would go fishing and sip tall cool ones on his cabin cruiser. On days that he didn’t feel like fishing, he would write until noon and then go and sit in an outdoor café with his friends and sip tall cool ones!

This, I thought, was a sensible way to earn a living. So, I’ll become a writer and answer my identity questions.

Who am I? I’m a writer.

Where am I going? I’m going to sit down and write and save my feet.

Do I belong? Yes, I will have many friends that write until noon and then sip tall cool ones.

As a writer, I will have a MUSE that gives me inspiration.

Then the writer said something that took me aback!

He told me that he stood up to noon everyday writing. He liked to have his typewriter on the mantel and he typed while standing.

Well, this sounded grueling to me and it certainly wouldn’t do my fallen arches any good.

“Why stand and not sit to write?”

He said he had hemorrhoids and they hurt when he sat!

Well, I did set out to become a writer. I’ve never achieved that writer’s success, but the job has never given me aching feet because I sat down to write.

I have been compared to that writer. Well, sort of. My readers tell me that I’m a real pain in the whatcha-ma-callit!!!

My Much Loved Place In Chicago

When I revisited my hometown of Chicago after a long absence, there were two places I had to revisit. One was the beautiful Buckingham Fountain, and the other one was Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

I went to this baseball ground many times as a boy and a man. I always had a fabulous time there. Every time I go back it brings memories of my youth.

Wrigley Field is one of baseball’s oldest parks, built in 1914 as a 14,000 seat park. It is beautiful with ivy growing on the outfield walls. It seats over 41,000 now, after many years of adding seats. It was named Wrigley Field after the chewing gum man who bought the club in 1920.

One of its distinctive features is a hand-operated scoreboard, which is 30 feet by 75 feet. In this electronic age, Wrigley Field remains one of baseball’s most old-fashioned parks.

I can remember going to the park, one day, with my friends when I was 10 years old. We would take our baseball mitts just in case a foul ball came our way. At the “Seventh Inning Stretch” everyone gets on their feet and sings, `’Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. It’s a great atmosphere!

I remember one incident vividly. After the game, kids would wait for an hour or so for the players to come out of the dressing room and we would get autographs of our heroes.

Well, this particular time, we caught up with Hank Sauer, a big home run hitter at the time. He was the first player to hit three homers in one game off of the same pitcher!

My friend and I went up to him and he was like a giant compared to us. We probably looked like a couple of waifs!

“Will you sign our scorecards and shake our hands, please?” I said, timidly.

He looked down at us and said, “Lets see your hands.”

We turned our hands palms up.

He looked and said, “They’re too dirty!” Then he walked away.

That remark left us standing there with our mouths open!

Needless to say, we changed our allegiance to a more affable player. This memory still makes me smile today.

So whenever I get back to the “Windy City”, I have to see a ballgame at good old Wrigley Field.

Two Views on The Meaning of Life

Pessimist Views on the Meaning of Life:

Life is Meaningless.

Life is a Struggle.

Life is Absurd.

Life is a long struggle in the Dark.

Life is a predicament that precedes Death.

You’re born, and you don’t know Why.

You’re here, and you don’t know Why.

You Die, and you don’t want to.

The result is you’re a Loser.

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Optimist Views on the Meaning of Life:

Life is to be Enjoyed.

We create our own Meaning of Life.

We are here to seek Wisdom and to be Productive.

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, this is the only Meaning of Life.

Life is what you make it.

You get up in the morning and you go to bed at night. In between you try to be happy.

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Don’t we all have a mixture of these views at different times of our lives?

Our response to these views determine the principles by which we live as well as our goals and priorities in life.

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What did you say to yourself at 20 -30 years old?

“What did I learn today?

Why don’t I do the things I know I should be doing?

You should be getting your butt kicked by you boss once in a while.

You need to be pushed to your limits.

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What did you say to yourself at 40 –60 years old?

Time is NOT a limitless commodity. Finish what you start and don’t procrastinate.

Should I be focused on today or tomorrow? Life is a balance of knowing when to enjoy the moment vs. when to plant the seeds for tomorrow.

What did I learn today?

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What did you say to yourself when you were old, 65+?

What’s left to accomplish?

You need a hobby, a passion (mine is writing).

What did I learn today?

You’re always learning or should be.

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THE MEANING OF LIFE

I hope you come to your own conclusions on this ETERNAL QUESTION.

Closed Or Open Borders?

CLOSE THE OPEN BORDERS AND START VETING THE NEWCOMERS

FROM THE EU.

BRITIAN IS FULL UP!!!

Excess immigration is clogging up the country!

  1. The NHS is creaking under the burden.
  2. Our culture is being diluted.
  3. Schools are bursting. No places for new students.
  4. Modes of transportation are clogged.
  5. The Welfare System is becoming a free hand out system to people who never contribute.
  6. Housing shorages.
  7. Tens of thousands of new homes will be built on Green Field land to accommodate the ever increasing population. The countryside is diminishing!
  8. With open borders there is a Security risk! Who is coming in?

Criminals, Terrorists, Human Traffickers?

***

 

 

By the time Cameron and the conservatives give us a referendum in two years, another 500,000 people will be here!

The faster we close the borders the better.

The tolerance of the British people is being severely stretched!

We must vet the people coming in and once they are in they must integrate and want to integrate and not stand on the fringes of society.

 

HOW CAN WE CLOSE THE BORDERS AND VET THE PEOPLE COMING IN?

WE HAVE TO LEAVE THE EU!!!

AND THEN INSTALL A AUSTRALIAN POINT SYSTEM FOR VETING.

If we had the Australian Point System in place last year, a bare 27,000 people would have qualified to come into the UK, instead of the 250,000 that came in!

How does it work? You accumulate points on the answers to questions:

  1. Do you speak good English?
  2. How many years in employment do you have?
  3. What skills do you have?
  4. Education?
  5. Are you in good health?
  6. Have some kind of medical insurance.

You can’t claim benefits of any kind until you’ve been here and paid into the system for at least 3 years.

 

If Switzerland , who doesn’t belong to the EU, can control their borders and trade freely and profitably with Europe, so can we!!!

 

THE UK IS BETTER OFF OUT OF THE EU!

If the UK left:

Trade would be curtailed with the EU.

Myth- The EU would always trade with it’s biggest trading customer

Moreover, the Lisbon Treaty stipulates that the EU must make a trade agreement with a country which leaves the EU.

 

Britain would suffer in its relationship with the rest of the world.

Myth- Britain’s best trading relationships are NOT within the EU.

They are outside the EU- with the US and Norway, Switzerland the Commonwealth.

The largest investor in the UK is NOT an EU country, but the US!

 

EU membership has been a detriment to the British economy-fishing-farming- excessive red tape and restrictions on business.

If Britain left the EU, it would still have substantial power in the world.

It belongs to the G20 and the G8 and has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Britain lies at the heart of the 54 Commonwealth nations.

Of course Britain would have power—it’s the 4th richest nation in the world!

One of the main advantages of leaving the EU is we would have control of our borders!

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS VITAL QUESTION?

 

There is NO justification to add a 250,000 population city to the UK every year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLOSED OR OPEN BORDERS

THE CONCLUSION:

  1. Because of Globalization-the movement of people is essential in today’s world, because International business depends on an international labor force and the ability for people to move around the world.

When people move across borders, goods are produced on location- when not, production is outsourced.

  1. THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE NEEDS TO BE BETTER MANAGED!
  2. People migrate to receive an education and training, to perform services, to find employment, to flee life-threatening situations and to provide themselves hope and opportunity.—This is a good thing!
  3. Much of migration today is UNREGULATED. Criminal smuggling and trafficking are increasing.
  4. When governments lose control of migration Xenophobia and racism flourish. Xenophobia- a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.
  5. Open borders could lead to a massive influx of people from the third world. This is a bad thing!
  6. The ultimate goal is NOT to prevent mobility but to BETTER MANAGE it for the benefit of all.

My Friend Finds His Muse

My best friend, Tom, likes my stories and he thinks I’m a good writer. He has heard me talk many times about my muse. So, naturally, with Tom’s super curiosity, he wanted to know about the muse.

“Is it like a fairy at the end of the garden?” He asks.

“Not exactly.”

Tom looked excited.

“The muse originates from Greek mythology. The Greek God Zeus had nine daughters called Muses.”

“Nine daughters, he must have been inspired!” Smiled Tom.

“Yes he was, and these muses represented the arts and they were supposed to inspire us to be creative.”

Tom had a dreamy expression on his face.

“I have a vision of my muse. She has long flowing blond hair and a beautiful body. She is wiping my brow and feeding me grapes.”

“Does she inspire you, Tom?”

“Oh yes, she does inspire me.”

“Now, Tom, you’re getting to know a little about Muses.”

“I want to know more.”

“Well, I know when my muse is around because I feel a change in the energy in the room. My muse has such an influence on me that I just tingle with creativity.”

“Holy Cow, Dave, that must be quite a spiritual feeling.”

“Yes, it is very spiritual.”

“What is a muse like?”

“Well, she is a strong woman who knows what she wants. She wants to inspire creativity in people. She has an urge to create and experience life to the fullest.”

“Sounds good to me,” Tom’s eyes were glistening.

“Are you going to start a writing career, Tom?”

“Maybe. Now, how do you keep the muse to stick around?”

“Well, you have to feed her!”

“What!”

“That’s right, she needs food.”

“What kind of food does she like?”

“In our lifetime we stuff ourselves with sights and sounds, smells and tastes, textures of different people, events large and small. All this data goes into our subconscious. These are the stuff that feeds the muse, and the muse grows.”

“That’s very interesting.”

“To feed your muse, you must always be hungry for life’s experiences.”

“How do you handle a muse?”

“Very delicately. If held too lightly, the muse will fly away. If held too tightly, the muse will die.”

“How can I make sure she won’t leave me?”

“There are no guarantees, but if you observe as you live everyday, noting the world around you, and read voraciously, she will not leave you. There will be times, however, when you might have to meditate when she strays afar.”

“Does a muse have to be a person?”

“My dear Tom, it can be anything that inspires you.”

“Then I know who my muse is.’

“Who is that?”

“My bitch Labrador, Aphrodite, her love and inspiration are unconditional.”

Well, like Tom always says:

“Different Strokes For Different Folks!”

Writer Dave’s New Novel

Available on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

“THE BECOMING”

Dave Winston lived and loved. He didn’t want much from life. Tormented by the hostile world he found himself in, he did not see what he was becoming. Living with a painful affliction and a lifetime of depression, paranoia and mood swings, Dave tries to overcome his demons and the frightening situations he finds himself in.

 

Dealing with a world that conspires in his misfortune, Dave searches for that measure of peace we all seek but seldom find. Sometimes what you become, at different stages of your life, is NOT what you wanted!

Turning Avocation Into Vocation

 

To be happy and content, you need to have a reason for your existence. An avocation can help give you this reason. Avocation is different from vocation in that it’s an occasional occupation that fills your spare time enjoyably. It is a choice, made by you, of some activity that gives you a sense of purpose and meaning plus a direction in your life. Your avocation brings you a sense of self-importance, self-respect and the feeling of belonging to the whole of society.

 

Sometimes our vocations bog us down in endless routine and don’t give us much self-esteem. Avocations can help regain a favorable opinion of ourselves. You feel good about yourself because you are engaging in an activity that you have a burning desire for. It supplies you with ego food!

 

In many instances an avocation can turn into a vocation, especially after retirement. For example, a person doing woodworking finds that the items made fetch a good price, and it flowers into a small business. Or someone writing short stories or novels, finds there is a market for their brand of fiction. The opportunities for profit are there for many avocations enthusiastically followed.

 

The idea of avocation turning into vocation becomes very important in the middle years. Between the ages of 50 through 65, you need to devote some time to avocation preparation. You need to develop an interest over which you could exercise complete control. An activity where no one can sack you or give you orders. The preparation and eventual accomplishment of this avocation will guard against deteriorating mentally and physically later in life.

 

Having an enjoyable avocation can also combat middle-aged cynicism. This malady is a disillusionment with life and a lack of faith. The hopes and ideals of youth may not have been fulfilled completely. So, in these middle years, you need to re-evaluate your goals and keep them realistic and achievable. Hopefully, the establishment of an avocation will come out of this re-evaluation and faith in life will be renewed.

 

Life requires growth, and through your vital interest you will gain personal growth and well-being. You will move forward and enjoy your present moments, which are the essence of life.

 

We all need an interest which gives us a sense of purpose and meaning. It’s a very personal thing. Some find it in woodworking, others in writing or in many other endeavors. This feeling comes from within, and when you have it, you feel happy and content. I, myself, feel personally satisfied in writing this article.

 

So, get busy and get that interesting avocation that can be turned into a vocation. Take that step now to fulfillment and a reason for your existence.