Monday, September 25, 2017

Take A Knee

Benjamin Franklin once said, ~Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.~ The first Amendment. Without a doubt, the right to free speech is considered 1 of the 5 basic freedoms of rights guaranteed to we the people in order to express it in a verbal and/or nonverbal way. Essentially, the right to freely expressing a powerful and not to mention controversial message concerning the decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem involving the man who initially started it last year Colin Kaepernick. For it truly has been a highly heated and much debated discussion indeed in which it has certainly garnered tremendous amount of attention to say least to the point where an individual's patriotism is being called into question.

Let me ask you this question pertaining to the decision by a number of NFL players and most recently a MLB player in not standing when the national anthem is played, has your opinion been positive, negative, or somewhere in between? True, there has been mostly a negative backlash deeming the rebellious act of protesting while down on one knee can be from a certain point of view labeled unpatriotic. Why? In a number of individual's eyes it spits in the face, in a manner of speaking, of all that is good and what has been freely given provided by those who swore a patriotic oath to protect those freedoms so much so their own lives were give up in doing so. Thinking about it further, those aforementioned men and women of the armed forces who are far more deserving of respect knowing full well what they have been/are enduring on a professional and personal level.

As I said before, there has been mostly a negative backlash deeming the rebellious act of protesting while down on one knee can be from a certain point of view labeled unpatriotic. However, on the flipside, the reason for kneeling is bringing to light social injustices in regards to racism and police brutality among the African American community that have constantly being going on for years. Granted, the topic has been brought up countless times in the past and even though they've become the proverbial hot button topic they've gradually faded or should I say set aside for much more important matters whatever it may be at the time. Of course, one could argue the fact that it's a seemingly repetitive cycle that has yet to be broken and even though its right in front of our eyes we as a nation have not fully open our eyes in properly handling such a touchy subject matter.

For the question can be asked, if you could come up with a compromise or some sort of solution of sorts to deal with what some have viewed as being disrespectful to the American Flag what would it be? I think its safe to say in order for a compromise or solution of sorts to happen their must be open dialogue to where the 2 or 3 sides are speaking with and actually listening to each other instead angrily of at/over each other. Thinking about it further, one possible proposal is having athletes, singers, etc. pay up a substantial portion of their salary to a charity of their choosing every time they make the decision to kneel so that way they're in a way giving to a cause while their standing up for theirs, so to speak. Unfortunately, the possible proposal may not solve anything and at the same time it's a potential starting off point for a meeting of the minds in a more respectful way.

In retrospect, I will always stand when the national anthem plays because I am the son of a retired military veteran who severed in the United Stated Navy and in turn his country proud for many years. Personally speaking, it's an honor and privilege to stand knowing my father proudly served/honored a flag that provided with him so much despite having so little coming from the Philippines. Oftentimes, we forget this great country is based on the ideals of being able to have the freedom to say/do/choose knowing that in certain countries they don't have that afforded right. Sadly, those rights in certain countries are taken away and punishable by death when it comes to their own laws. In the end, what it primarily comes down to is choice and if you choose to make a statement you're wholeheartedly standing up for then by all means take a knee; but don't do it because it's simply a popular trend you want to take part in.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Iron Heart

Game of Thrones character Robb Stark once said, ~Love's now always wise, I've learned. It can lead us to great folly, but we follow our hearts...wherever they take us.~ If you think about it, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones and matters of the heart are synonymous with each other in a such a way there can be a sense of immense victory, as well as tragedy along with everything in between within the fictitious world of fire and ice. For it's a seemingly epic world where intense battles are fought in regards to utter heartbreak, confusion, betrayal, death, trust, faith, honor, and most definitely name. Oftentimes, you fight with everything you have to win and other times it's an all out losing battle altogether where the odds are so overwhelming you have no chance whatsoever like the Battle Of The Bastards just outside the gates of Winterfell. True, it's a difficult decision indeed to not always know whether or not the fight will be worth it unless you're actually in the battle itself. Thinking about it further, when you're living the single life you try to metaphorically conquer/restore those previously mentioned in hope of one day uniting/establishing all 7 Kingdoms in your own heart with one's unknown King/Queen ruling by your side, so to speak.

As I said before, when you're living the single life you try to conquer/restore those previously mentioned above in hope of one day uniting/establishing all 7 Kingdoms in your own heart with one's unknown King/Queen ruling by your side, so to speak. Granted, even though its considered a work of mere fiction it can become reality with the right guy/girl in question. Yet, there are times while fighting the intense battles that are quite certainly deeply personal in a mental, emotional, and not to mention physical way you can come to a point where you end up telling yourself, others close to/around you, or being told you know nothing like Ygritte tells Jon Snow from seasons 2-4. In any case, it's those metaphorical relationship scars that you receive in the field of battle otherwise known as the dating scene hopefully help you gain significant perspective and clarity so much so you'll be more rather than less in the know. Hey, it's a constant learning experience as you put yourself out there knowing there will be times where you'll be faced with cold, hard truths and hopefully you don't end up meeting your "demise" by an arrow straight through the heart from behind like Ygritte in the battle of Castle Black.

Without a doubt, there are times when suffering and dealing with utter heartbreak it can feel as if you've been stabbed several times with a knife in the heart as did Jon Snow by 4 members of the Night Watch at Castle Black. Essentially, you've in a sense died because of the treacherous betrayal of being cheated on whereby leaving you humiliated and feeling absolutely exposed like Cersci Lannister walking the street of King's Landing by order of the High Sparrow. Essentially, the feeling of being "naked" and fully exposed leaves you completely vulnerable as you metaphorically walk the street of your own heart. While doing so the quintessential crowd of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are angrily yelling as your conscience rings a bell repeating the word "shame" right behind you, in a manner of speaking, whereby making it a truly brutal/tortuous experience for yourself to say the least. What it primarily comes down to is being able to come back from death with help from your own red witch Melisandre representing your best buds/gal pals by your side who'll always be there to help/encourage you to move past the humiliation then forward to grow stronger in every sense of the word.

Let me ask you this question to you single ladies, if you could mix together character traits of the guys of GoT and create your future best friend what would they be? If I'd fair to guess it'd be the responsible leadership of Ned Stark, insightful wisdom of Tyrion Lannister, informative nature of Varys, and pure innocence of Jon Snow's honesty in wanting to do the right thing. Jamie Lannister's sense of honor and not to mention handsome features along with the sarcastically dark, humorous bad boy mentality of Bronn make for some potentially attractive qualities. The skilled hands of Gendry, Grey Worm's strong sense of duty, and the unwavering determination of Podrick Payne make a admirable combo. In addition, the passionate Wildling Warrior like spirit of Tormund Giantsbane, no nonsense, straight forward bluntness of The Hound, and the untamed, charismatic fierceness of Khal Drago gives off a quirky albeit confident strength. Of course, the keen foresight of Bran intertwined with the protective nature of Hodor along with the mixture of Samwell Tarly's sensitivity and the loyalty of Davos Seaworth sprinkled in with the loving devotion of Jorah Mormont make for one guy who is seemingly perfect. However, the question is does he exist?

In retrospect, the proverbial throne of love/true is quite certainly what those living the single life such as myself want to find ourselves sitting on, especially with someone truly special by our side. Yet, be careful and avoid encountering any Littlefinger/King Joffrey/Ramsay Bolton type individuals who have their own scheming, entitled, and/or morbidly twisted ulterior motives with incredibly bad intentions in mind. Truth be told, it would be far better to simply handle bad past relationships by commanding Drogon to engulf those aforementioned individual types in fire wouldn't you say? Unfortunately, it's not always the case as a number of people have sadly turned into no one exuding a cold, emotionless White Walker on the inside after struggling to fight beyond the wall for their efforts in experiencing their dreams of a strong, worthwhile relationship. Hey, you just have to attain that inner Sansa like graceful strength with a happily flirtatious sprinkle of Margaery Tyrell along with an added pinch of Oleanna Tyrell sassiness swirling in some kickass Arya and a gallantly stoic Brienne medium to balance it all out. Ultimately, for those seeking a Theon like redemption regarding true happiness you'll have it as it just a matter of being patient. In the end, never let yourself have an impenetrable iron heart mindset because someday you'll find yourself standing in front of/encountering someone who may very well be your prince/princess that was promised.

Friday, August 25, 2017

This Is 40

Arthur Schopenhauer once said, ~The first 40 years of life gives us the text. The next 30 supply the commentary.~ Without a doubt, turning 40 is considered an absolute milestone that it not only has its perks, but at the same time there are countless jokes associated with it as well. In any case, when it comes to reaching the quintessential 40th year of age plateau you're provided with detailed, as well as firsthand accounts of an individual's personal experiences. For its a truly interesting situation indeed finally reaching a point of adulthood that quite literally sneaks up on you. Yet, like our predecessors before us who have reached then surpassed the 4 decade mark were we've hopefully gained insightful wisdom pertaining to life experiences to where we're able to express what has been mentally noted down over the years.

As I said before, when it comes to reaching the quintessential 40th year of age plateau you're provided with detailed, as well as firsthand accounts of an individual's personal experiences. When I was your age. Essentially, those 5 words are in all intense and purposes the springboard of nostalgic reminiscing to our peers and not to mention the younger generation who are either willing or unwilling to listen in order to learn from our life lessons thus far. In other words, helpful advice in not repeating the same mistakes in hopes of a forging a positively present path toward the flourishing future. Thinking about it further, its those life lesions we've mentally noted down over the years to where there's a Morgan Freeman stylized commentary happening like with his character Red in the movie The Shawshank Redemption.

If you think about it, being able to reach a seemingly pivotal age that is the number 40 having the voice of Morgan Freeman automatically kick in would certainly be an added bonus in growing older and wiser. True, life would become considerably be more entertaining if you suddenly heard Morgan Freeman in your head commentating from the moment you woke up in the morning till you close your eyes to go to sleep. I think it would be safe to say having his voice in your head giving opinions and observational views is by far more soothing instead of your own inner voice. It's an inner voice who can be very irritating, annoying, and will never shut up no matter how hard you try so much so it drives you completely insane. Hey, at least with having Freeman being the voice in your head the daily commentary will sound significantly more epic don't you think?

Let me ask you this question to those who are 40 or reaching particular stage well past their 40's, what sort of commentary do you freely express that you sticky by no matter what? Personally speaking, I was born in 1977 and because of that I grew up in the era of the 80's where I dare say with utmost confidence it had the best music not unlike the music being played today. Of course, this may be my inner "get off my lawn" commentary as it pertains to the music industry today and how it doesn't hold up to the music and artists of the 80's. Phil Collins, Hall and Oates, Prince, David Bowie, Kenny Loggins, The King Of Pop Michael Jackson, etc. are the quintessential standard bearers who wrote, produced, and/or performed legendary songs that will never be duplicated due to longevity and how they've continually stood the test of time.

Today is my 40th birthday and I will be celebrating it by participating in some fun indoor skydiving. In retrospect, you don't realize how much you've done and been able to accomplished in the 1st 40 years of your life because it feels like it went by in just a blink of an eye. However, it's within the first 40 years of my life I've laughed, cried, and everything in between all the while giving glory to God as he watches over me. I've failed and then triumphed on metaphorical road to finally graduating college after nearly a decade of trying. Skydived twice. I gained new friends while letting go of others. I've said a bittersweet, tearful farewell to my best friend. I became an uncle to 3 awesome kids who I love dearly. Ultimately, I've met Stan Lee and I consider myself a lucky geek, which I can now cross off my bucket list. Plus, so much more. In the end, I will look at my face in the mirror on August 25, 2017 and hopefully my inner Morgan Freeman voice begins narrating by saying the following 3 words: This is 40.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Oh Captain! My Captain!

Robin Williams' Dead Poet Society character John Keating once said, ~To quote from Whitman, 'O me! O life! Of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?' Answer: That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?~ If you think about it, the powerful play that is life itself gives each one of the us the opportunity to most definitely contribute a verse that is deemed meaningful and so impactful it lingers on for years to come. For it's a verse or verses that certainly have different variations indeed as we all try to eloquently put into our own poetic words, which can be quite difficult at times to convey. So, what verse/verses have you been contributing for your life thus far?

Without a doubt, for a number of people they've contributed the verse of adventure in which the goal of fulfilling dreams involving various recreational activities both planned and unplanned is considered to be poetry that's constantly in motion, so to speak. In other words, the call of the open road and/or having your passport stamped. A poet such as Henry Van Dyke can truly be appreciated by any avid adventurer as it pertains to his poem "Life". Essentially, its deeply soulful embarking on the quest to go to wherever the journey leads you and no matter what happens you take nothing for granted knowing full well it leaves you hopefully wanting more. What it primarily comes down to is having the persistence in not allowing any obstacles to hinder you from writing your own adventurous verse or verses to proudly reflect back on.

As I said before, every person's verse or verses of life has different variations in trying to eloquently put it into our own poetic words, which can be quite difficult at times to convey. Thinking about it further, the verse/verses of utter heartbreak is a subject totally familiar and relatable that for certain individuals it's what he/she unfortunately solely focuses on. True, one can have a Sylvia Plath poetic mindset where there is a seemingly constant mental, as well as emotional chaos brewing within their heart and mind like in Plath's classic poem "Mad Girl's Love Song". Sadly, when it comes to the possibility of being able to rewrite the verses of sadness to happiness it's a considerably difficult hard task to undertake due to the fact that their dark and dreary outlook concerning love/true love will never come to fruition.

Let me ask you this question in regards to the friendships you share, how would you so eloquently put in verse/verses in being able to be great friend as it pertains to your best buds/gal pals? Gillian Jones captures the essence of true friendship in the verses of his poem "A Friend". In summary, it basically lists all the wonderful qualities about her friend Ian. Yet, at the same time she also reminds the reader through a particular verse that even though you've established a strong bond it has the potential to be lost. You see, we all have in all intense and purposes a golden friendship where it should be a more give than take type situation. However, if its more take than give the friendship loses it's shiny golden luster, in a manner of speaking. Hey, how many of you can freely say they have a purely golden relationships despite experiencing moments of losing the shiny luster?

On August 11th, 2014 Robin Williams passed away leaving a meaningful and not to mention deeply impactful verses that were shared on and off the screen. Of course, it's been 3 years since his unfortunate passing and yet the verses he has conveyed still make a significant impact so much so it makes any person who grew up watching him tear up or even cry for that matter. Ultimately, the powerful plays of life has given you a stage or in this case a desk to stand up on and articulate whatever verse in the form of art, music, dance, etc. What will you say? What's your message? Will it be heard? Will it linger and make a lasting impact. Will it even be remembered? All good questions. In the end, give credit to the person who helped you express those verses as you stand on your metaphorical desk and say with a proud smile on your face the following 4 words: Oh Captain! My Captain!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Stacked

Someone once said, ~Love really is like the game of Jenga: a tower built with individual pieces that can build up or break down. It's in a constant state of motion and change. Sometimes they move just in the right spot to give more strength while others are considered to be the weak link. One wrong move topples your efforts and it's game over.~ In a sense, Jenga and love/true love are synonymous with each other in such a way that there is a quintessential build up of the individual Jenga blocks known as one's own thoughts, feelings, and/or emotions. For it can most definitely be an incredibly heart pounding situation indeed in choosing and then carefully placing one on top of another the aforementioned blocks where you want them to go without having it all suddenly collapse in front of you, so to speak.

If you think about it, when you're facing your "opponent" who you're potentially interested in you first start out having fun and at times take some surprising calculated risks. In other words, taking time for making seemingly harmless moves in the form of friendly banter and flirting in order to set the proverbial tone. A tone where you start out with a seemingly steady hand or in this case a steady heart. In any case, a person can certainly anticipate and adapt to whatever moves that are initially placed in the game of Jenga knowing full well it's all in fun in the beginning. However, what can't be anticipated and adapted to are the unpredictable thoughts feelings, and/or emotions becoming absolutely real that it leaves you second guessing yourself as the potential relationship possibly moves further along.

As I said before, Jenga and love/true love are synonymous with each other in such a way that there is a quintessential build up of the individual Jenga blocks known as one own thoughts, feelings, and/or emotions. The aforementioned 3 blocks are constantly in motion and changing spots whereby making the experience itself truly challenging. Thinking about it further, they're also a representation of trust, faith, honesty, hope, respect, patience, understanding, commitment, communication, etc. that are considered to be strong instead of weak blocks of support. Women, more of than not, want that type of support in which it runs personally, mentally, as well as emotionally deep to the point where it hopefully creates a shared solid balance in every sense of the word.

Without a doubt, when you find yourself lacking the solid balance of block support in regards to matters of the heart involving past painful heartbreak it's quite difficult to fill in the empty gaps, in a manner of speaking. You see, the empty gaps I'm referring to represent doubt, anger, fear, hatred, worry, confusion, frustration, bitterness, utter contempt, disappointment, etc. that make it much harder to in all intense and purposes carefully slide in a block of strong support in hopes of gradually establishing a worthwhile relationship. Hey, it's only natural to be highly guarded when there is even the slightest possibility of a certain guy/girl coming into your life who has their own unique way of replacing/filling in the empty gaps of the Jenga tower of your heart. So, does this describe anyone in particular for you?

In retrospect, one of the main things associated with Jenga is stability and that's what those living the single life like myself want as it pertains to true happiness. Sadly, not too many people have that level of personal, mental, emotional, and not to mention spiritual stability in which if shaken to its core the blocks of strong support you're given will never completely fall over. Granted, it may teeter from time to time causing you to hold your breath; but as long as you and your future forever best friend share a level of commitment in playing all the way though, in a manner of speaking, then you've been able build up something together far greater than you could possibly imagine. In the end, don't ever think the odds within the empty gaps of your heart are constantly being stacked against you and there aren't any more moves to make because you may actually be looking at it with only one point of view.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

On Your Left (800th Yodaism)

Someone once said, ~When I run after what I think I want my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who grasp it.~ If you think about it, for those living the single life such as myself it can seem as if we're running in the metaphorical sense towards and trying to reach that quintessential finish line otherwise known as love/true love. A finish line that even though you patiently haven't been able to reach yet others have. For it can most definitely be a mentally and emotionally exhausting situation indeed in willing yourself to keep running, so to speak, knowing full well there are times where you just want to give up entirely.

Without a doubt, there comes a point when you're living the single life it can seems as if you're metaphorically running towards and trying to reach the quintessential finish line otherwise known as love/true love. True, there's an innate feeling of strong, hopeful determination along with a positive attitude and not to mention outlook concerning matters of your own heart in the very beginning. Thinking about it further, one's initial game plan is to run a nice, steady pace at fist, in a manner of speaking, to the point where patience sets in as all your focus is put at what is in front of you instead of behind and/or either side of you. Essentially, once you achieve the sustainability of focus you'll potentially reach a runner's high of sorts in the form of a guy/girl who is considered to be your forever running buddy.

As I said before, just like running there is a same feeling of exhaustion when it involves matters of the heart that deal more so mentally and emotionally than physically. True, when experiencing the painfully stinging and burning sensation of past heartbreak/relationship issues it can truly affect whether or not you want to keep running or stop and just give up entirely. Oftentimes, what or should I say who breaks one's sheer focus/concentration are the people you find passing you who have seemingly achieved their runner's high whereby causing you to become gradually unfocused mentally to where it in turn makes a deeply negative emotional impact. Unfortunately, it's a deeply negative impact that has you completely freaking out because your sheer focus is suddenly turned everywhere else instead of where it should have been all along, which is straight ahead the whole time.

Let me ask you this question to those living the single life, how many of you are still continuing to run towards as it pertains to true happiness. Here's another question. How many of you are close to giving up or quite possibly given up entirely? It's a sad state of affairs when an individual makes the unfortunate decision to stop running altogether regarding the notion of ever falling in love. Granted, the reasons may be valid but the excuses of never running again is simply a mental and emotional obstacle to keep you from moving forward. You see, those mental and emotional obstacles are in a way ankle weights that slow you down every time excuses are made. What it primarily comes down to is not focusing on other people who are running around you and focusing on the run you're presently on whereby freeing yourself from the ankle weights of fear, doubt, frustration, anger, etc.

Chris Evan's Marvel character Captain America said, ~Patience. Sometimes patience is the key to victory. Sometimes it leads to very little and it seems like it's not worth it. And you wonder why you waited so long for something so disappointing.~ In retrospect, don't let your past disappointments and impatience get the better of you as it will certainly hinder your run in hopes of falling in love someday. Hey, allow your own heart to focus on what's in front of you rather than what's behind you. Of course, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll encounter your aforementioned running buddy. You see, what it does mean is run at your own time, speed, and pace all the while having some fun in the process. In the end, when you're patiently focused on your own run and at the same time having fun you'll find yourself finally hearing in a Captain America passing Sam Wilson/Falcon way the following three words: on your left.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Heart Less Traveled

John Mark Green once said, ~Each person's grief has it's own fingerprint. Each journey of sorrow has a unique map. Hearts will heal in their own timetable. Never presume to know how others should deal with their pain.~ Without a doubt, the human heart can oftentimes be considered a representation of a road map that has been marked in regards to locations of the past, present, and possible future concerning true happiness. For its a road map that has most definitely experienced its fair share of mental/emotional/physical wear and tear. Thinking about it further, when you find yourself metaphorically unfolding and looking over one's own proverbial road map it can certainly be quite a journey in every sense of the word in seeing where, as well as how far your heart has traveled or is traveling to.

As I said before, the human heart can oftentimes be considered a representation of a road map that has been marked in regards to locations of the past, present, and possible future concerning true happiness. It's truly a though provoking situation indeed in a deeply metaphorical way to unfold your own heart in order to look over your personally journey you've taken so far regarding matters of the heart. True, there's certainly a sense of history when it comes to the past locations marked down involving relationships that have either been memorable or led you to absolutely nowhere. Essentially, it's that sense of history in which it can either cause you to express a smile of appreciation or a cringe of regret during a moment of reflection.

If you think about it, a road map and the human heart are synonymous with each other in such a way they both experience their fair share of mental/emotional/physical wear and tear. In the words, it's similar to a road map in how a person's heart can be folded/unfolded so many times over it can in a sense get to a point where it becomes faded, torn/ripped apart, written on, cried over, crumpled up, thrown away, etc. after experiencing the pangs of utter heartbreak. Unfortunately, it can be considerably difficult for any person to take it out, unfold it, and stand there questioning whether or not to mark a potential location of interest. Hey, even though it's risky what you'll potentially receive is a whole new road map that will hopefully withstand the wear and tear.

Let me ask this question to those living the single life, how many of you have permanently folded your heart and stored it away in the quintessential glove compartment of your soul never to be taken out again because of bad past relationships? I think it's safe to say there are a number of people who haven't opened their aforementioned glove compartment for quite some time because the thought of even taking it out and maybe opening up brings out the feels in a negative way. Of course, there may very well be a reason in one day wanting to take your heart out of the glove compartment and dust it off because he/she is gradually bringing out the positive feels within you. What it primarily comes down to is taking time and having utmost patience all the while mapping out the exact location back to your own heart.

Someone said, ~True navigation begins in the human heart. Its the most important map of all.~ In retrospect, the human heart is a complicated road map to navigate to say the least leaving you frustrated and not to mention totally confused trying to figure out, in a manner of speaking. Of course, finding the quickest and easiest way to the intended destination otherwise known as love/true love may sound simple enough; but there won't be any meaning when you do end up getting there. Ultimately, the times of getting lost, facing dead ends, experiencing wrong turns, asking for directions or whatever the case may be pertaining to your own heart will be worth it someday soon. In the end, if there is willingness in wanting to challenge yourself in getting to the destination that is your forever best friend instead of the easy route then I bid you safe journey as you make the decision to retrieve, dust off, unfold, and inevitably take the heart less traveled.