Hate Is a Pointless Emotion

Conrad Veidt, Favorite Quote Friday

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is a part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.

~Hermann Hesse

Welcome to another edition of Favorite Quote Friday, everyone.  I know, I was supposed to get rid of this weekly post and give it its own blog, but I’ve changed my mind.  I decided to keep it and change the picture I use for it. (Which is of my German flavor of the month Conrad Veidt, by the way.)

Today’s quote comes from another German, Hermann Hesse, who, like Veidt, was married to a Jewish woman and fiercely opposed the Nazis.

Do you agree with what he said?  Do you think that if you hate another person, then there must be something inside yourself that is loathsome?

What he said makes sense.  Hate is a pointless emotion.  It does not change anything in a situation, or life in general. All it does is cause misery and destruction.  The Nazis hated Jews, Occultists, Socialists, and everyone else they deemed a political suspect.  All that hate and cold-blooded murder accomplished nothing.

They hated people for who they were and what they looked like.  Hitler wanted people to believe that the more than six million Jews he murdered were inferior to the rest of the human race in some way.  However, the Jews have shown the world again and again what geniuses they are in every field imaginable.  Is there anything they cannot do?  That does not smack of inferiority to me.

The real issue is what Hesse was talking about when he said that our hatred for others stemmed from something inside ourselves:  Hitler hated the Jews’ supposed inferiority, but even tiny amount of research will show that there is no inferiority.  The problem was that Hitler was ashamed of his own inferiority.  He failed as a military leader, an artist, and most everything else he set out to do, so instead of just accepting the fact that he was a loser, he went on a genocidal rampage.

Hate is destructive and ugly.  It does nothing but stop progress and make us look like jerks.

Instead of focusing on the people and things we hate, we should instead focus on the people and things we love.  Passion can move mountains.  It can build cities, cure diseases, and invent any number of things that help move society forward.

So if you are wasting your time hating another person, it is not too late to stop.  The hatred you feel is not worth all the stress, ulcers, and wrinkles you are giving yourself…is it?


Sometimes We Have to Shed People from Our Lives

English: A Bully Free Zone sign - School in Be...

A Bully Free Zone sign – School in Berea, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I had to vent about a jerk who insulted me and my intelligence.  I do not like venting on this blog, I like to keep things positive as much as I possibly can, but he made me mad and I do not believe in keeping things bottled up.  I thought it would be a good lesson in bullying by showing how dumb bullies can look when they go off on people for no reason.

It should also be a good lesson in how we should not let crazy people and their crazy ideas about us hurt our progress in life or bring us down to their level.

When faced with a particularly nasty person, you can do one of two things.  You can:

A.) Let them rant and rave like a loony

People will see them acting like a nut and it will reflect poorly on them and gain more sympathy for you.

B.) Walk away from that person, leaving them to cuss and scream to themselves

The moment someone starts cussing and screaming at you, just walk away.  This is probably the preferable option of the two, and it is much easier to do if the person is fighting with you online.  Modern technology makes it easy for you to ignore horrible people.

Regardless of when and where the bully is, one thing is perfectly clear:  you do not have to put up with their bullying.  As Hottentots reader and commenter Jessica Crooks said yesterday, “Sometimes we have to shed people from our lives.”

Never let the bully have the upper hand in a situation.  Do yourself a favor and stop all association with them if it is possible…and most of the time it is possible.

If you are in school and someone is picking on you, please tell someone in authority—a parent, a counselor, a teacher, a member of the clergy.  Do not think that you have to deal with this on your own.   There are people who can and will help you before a situation gets out of hand.

If you are an adult in an abusive relationship, call the authorities and go to a safe place.  Do not allow anyone to yell at you or put their hands on you.  You are a human being and deserve to be treated like one.

It is time to wake up and realize that abuse, whether it is physical or mental—or both—is not normal and should be handled before it’s too late.  There are too many instances of school shootings occurring because the shooter was allegedly bullied and too many men and women winding up dead because they stay in abusive relationships.  This needs to stop.  Now.  There is no excuse for harassment and violence.

Take any steps necessary to get rid of all your toxic relationships and develop new ones that will enrich your life and make you whole again.  Remember, folks, you choose your own path in life and choose the people who will go down that path with you.  You cannot blame anyone other than yourself if you do not choose wisely.

I do not care if the negative person is your parent or some other family member or your next door neighbor, you do not have to put up with them.  Sever all ties with them and begin to heal.

You Should Learn from Other People’s Mistakes

There’s an old Latin proverb that goes, “A wise man learns by the mistakes of others, a fool by his own.”  This probably seems absurd to most people in this society because we are taught from a very young age to learn from our own mistakes.  But is it really all that absurd?

Have you ever really learned anything from your own mistakes?  Now be honest with yourself.  Have you?  Probably not.  Whenever you do or say something you wish you hadn’t, you say, “Well I’ll never do (or say) that again!”  And what do you do?  Yep.  You do it all over again.  Repeatedly.  Unconsciously expecting different results each time.

Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

~Albert Einstein

Einstein was right (as usual), it is insane to keep doing something over and over again and expecting different results.  So why are you doing it?  You are not learning anything.  You are not growing as a person.  You are just continuing a vicious cycle that is not doing you or anyone else any good.

Stop trying to learn from your own mistakes. It ain’t gonna happen, my friend.  We seem to be completely incapable of seeing ourselves for who we truly are anyway.  Most of the time other people tell us who we are and what we really are.  When people come to us and tell us our flaws, we should listen and we should do what they suggest doing to correct it.

Instead, you should learn and grow through other people’s mistakes, just like the Latin proverb says.  When you watch the news and see how foolish people look, you should make a mental note that you never be like that guy (or gal).  When someone is being a real ass to you or to someone else, remember it and vow to have a better attitude than they do.

Other people can teach us a lot more about ourselves than any amount of solitary soul-searching.

Live Life Like a Little Kid Does


Aria making fire fairies with her magic wand

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a six-year-old girl’s birthday party.  Everything was super girly—pink and purple decorations, a huge Hello Kitty cake, laughing little girls running and skipping around the house.  The day before that, she had another party (on her actual birthday), a theme party where everyone came dressed up as a fairy princess.

I enjoy studying people and their reactions to certain situations, so at this party, I observed how the little girl—who is my cousin’s daughter, Aria, by the way—and her friends played with one another and their general reactions to things.

As I pointed out in a post back in July, there are many lessons we can learn from children.  They can teach us how to think and behave in almost every situation in life.  And today’s post is going to expand upon that, and I hope that you will begin to life your life like a little kid does.   At the very least it will be good for your mental health.

Be grateful for everything in your life, even the smallest things

At yesterday’s party, Aria opened a mountain of gifts.  She got everything from new coats (one of cousin Angie’s gifts) and those bizarre lalaloopsy dolls to an airbrush tattoo kit (another gift from cousin Angie).  Surrounded by a load of expensive gifts, I was not surprised when she became instantly attached to a little stuffed dog she got from her uncle.  Aria has always had a knack for appreciating the small things in life.

I hope that she keeps up this attitude as she grows older.  And I think we should all begin to appreciate the smallest things in life.

You may not think you have a lot of things going on for you, whether it’s looks, money, clothes, whatever.  But do you have a job?  How about food to eat or a roof over your head?  Even if you do not have all those things, you still have air to breathe, your health…and hope.  Be grateful for those things.

Make friends wherever you go

Little Aria has charisma.  She can make friends wherever she goes—at the park, at the supermarket, just walking down the street.  And from the start, she considers everyone she meets a “friend.” She makes no enemies.

If everyone had that attitude, we would be one step closer to world peace, don’t you think?

The next time you are out and about, stop and say hi to someone passing you on the street, or nod at smile at the person standing next to you on a subway platform and engage them in conversation.  Do not concern yourself with thoughts about whether you sound or look foolish,  or if that person looks like someone you want to talk with.  Be open and be friendly.  And do not judge a book by its cover.

Set aside some time for play

Puppy Dance

Aria demonstrating her “Puppy Dance” at the park

When we become adults, sometimes we forget about playing and having fun. We should stop doing that.  We should revert back to childhood for at least twenty minutes each day and play.  Seriously.  Just go outside and skip and laugh; bring some sidewalk chalk or bubbles with you and act like a kid again.

You didn’t think I actually meant playing like a little kid, did you?  You thought I was going to talk about going to bars, dancing, and doing all the “play” that adults engage in.  Nope.  I meant what I said.  Play like a child.

Grab your spouse or best friends and start a game of tag or hopscotch, or hide and go seek.

If you are highly stressed from work or some other aspect of your life, taking that twenty-minute break to go back to a childhood game does wonders for you.  Trust me.

What other things can a person do to live life like a little kid does?  Do you have any suggestions?  Please leave a comment below and let me know what sort of things you would do or have done.

Who or What Is Really in Control of Your Day?

favorite quote

Either you run the day or the day runs you

~Jim Rohn

The above quote  from Jim Rohn is something I need to remember—it’s something we all probably need to remember, is it not?  If we do not take control of our days and make things happen, we cannot expect things to go our way, can we?

So who or what is really in control of your day?

Do you wake up in the morning and decide that it is going to be a good day, and that you are going to do everything you have on your agenda?  Or do you just “go with the flow” and take life as it comes?  If you lean more toward the latter, are you really getting everything you want out of life?  If you are, good for you!  If you are not, perhaps it is time you start with a plan…and stick to it.

It all begins with positive thinking

English: Think positive

Think positive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something positive can happen during even the worst situations you can imagine.  For instance, if you are in a car accident and you lose use of your limbs (or lose your limbs completely), but you still have your life, you should be grateful.  You can still wake up and see the sun shine for at least one more day.  You still have the opportunity to make a difference in the world, even if it is a small one.

All you have to do is find the proverbial silver lining.

The next time you are faced with a difficult situation, do your best to think positive thoughts.  You will be surprised at what a difference positive thinking can make in a negative situation.

It is all up to YOU

If you are simply waiting for something good to happen, you are going to be waiting for a mighty long time, my friend.  Once you dream up something, you have to put those thoughts into action.  Nobody else is going to do it for you.  It is all up to you.

And if you want things to run smoothly, you have to put those actions into a manageable plan.   Sure, there are some things you can do impulsively, but overall, it is better to plan out your life.  I learned from years of experience that careful planning goes a long way.

And remember the late Jim Rohn’s words:  Either you run the day or the day runs you.

YOU are in the driver’s seat in life.  Do not let anyone or anything control the wheel for you.

Do You Support State Sponsored Murder?

Electric chair

Electric chair (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

Ladies and gentlemen, once upon a time I fully supported the death penalty here in the United States.  I thought that executions were a just and necessary punishment for people who committed murder.  In fact, I thought that we had gone too soft when we got rid of the electric chair, public hangings, the guillotine, the firing squad, etc.  There was not any punishment too cruel and unusual for me when it came to cold-blooded murder.

My mind began to change about the death penalty once I started doing some research.  There is no way of knowing how many innocent people this country has put to death.  I’d venture to say well into the thousands in just the past 100 years, but I cannot back up those figures with real evidence.  There is, however, real evidence of people who spent the better part of their lives on death row finally being released because they were finally able to prove their innocence.  141 people in 26 states have been exonerated and released from prison since 1973, with an average of 5 exonerations per year since 2000.

That number might not seem like a lot to you, but it does to me.  Yes, people who have been murdered deserve justice. Their murderer deserves to be punished.  I would like to emphasize that last point:  a victim’s murderer deserves to be punished—not the guy that cops picked up during a hurried investigation.  That guy and the guy who actually did the murder are not always the same person.

If we are going to execute someone, we had better make damn sure that it is the person who is actually guilty of the crime they are accused of committing.  And until we can do that with certainty, the death penalty should be suspended in all states.

English: Total number of executions carried ou...

Total number of executions carried out in the USA up to 2010.  Source of data:http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions-united-states Death Penalty Information Center – Executions in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But even if we started catching every guilty person who has run and ducked from the law, is the death penalty really effective to prevent crime?  Is it really a deterrent?  It doesn’t seem to be.

I live in one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and someone (or many someones) is murdered here every day.  Our prisons are overflowing.  The people who go out and kill are obviously not deterred by that fact, are they?  They know the consequences of the crimes they are committing and they commit them anyway.

Once can safely assume that the death penalty is not a deterrent.  In fact, some malicious jerks out there are probably willing to wager that they will never get caught, that some innocent person will be put on death row in their place.  It happens all the time, doesn’t it?

Since our justice system is not perfect at catching the bad guy and possibly putting a needle into an innocent person’s arm, the death penalty, to me, is nothing more than state sponsored murder.  And again, it should be suspended until we know that all people on death row are guilty.  I do not ever see that happening.  Police work is too focused on getting people behind bars and not doing a proper investigation to make sure they have the right person or people.

Are you for or against the death penalty?  Are you like me, a person who has concluded that it is nothing more than state sponsored murder, or do you feel that it is effective in preventing crime and bringing justice to grieving families?  Sound off in the comments below.

It Is Time To Face Your Fears Head-On

English: Trúður

A scary freekin’ clown…making me think that my irrational fear isn’t so irrational. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are anything like me, you more than likely have an absurdly long list of irrational fears.  (I hope you are nothing like me because I am completely ridiculous!)

Here is my top five list of irrational fears:

1. Clowns

This one is one of the more rational irrational fears.  When one considers clowns that go by the names of Pennywise and John Wayne Gacy, it does not seem too ridiculous to have a fear of clowns, does it?

2. Puppets

Have you ever been to a Punch show?  If not, it’s all about a drunken puppet named Punch who beats the ever-living crap out of his wife Judy.  It’s a centuries old show geared toward children, believe it or not.  Punch and Judy were the first experience I had with puppets as a young child, and it made me deathly afraid of them.

3. Elevators

I absolutely refuse to get on an elevator by myself because I have a crippling fear of them.  I have repeated nightmares about being by myself on an elevator and it suddenly gets stuck, or the cable snaps, sending me to my death.  I have thankfully never been stuck on an elevator in reality, but that is because I tend to avoid them at all costs.

4.  Dead People

Good old necrophobia.  I absolutely hate going to funerals and I make dang sure I am never left alone with the corpse when I cannot get out of going.  I’m afraid that the corpse could spring up and grab me at any moment.

Don’t laugh.  It has happened, you know.  Way back in December 1918, when my granddad was all of nine years old, his grandmother died in a fire.  During her wake she grabbed his arm and they had to break her fingers to release him.  I’m glad my family was kind enough to tell me this as a young child because it caused a lifetime of nightmares and nervous fits.  Who doesn’t want that?  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

5.  Semi Trucks

I hate being near one of these things on the street as a pedestrian or a driver.  Every time I see one I become extremely nervous and hope that it does not overturn and crush me.  I even become nervous seeing one of them roll down my street while I am safe inside my apartment.  I try to avoid them as much as possible—needless to say I don’t get on the highway very much.

Since it is Face Your Fears Day, I have decided to face many of my fears head-on and laugh about how silly I have been all these years.   Thankfully I do not have an opportunity to face my fear of dead people, clowns, or puppets at the moment, but I will be out and about and likely facing some semis and elevators.  I don’t know how I am going to approach the semi situation, but I WILL be getting on elevators all by myself today.  I hope I don’t have a nervous breakdown….

What are some of your fears?  Are they as irrational as mine are?  Are you going to take the opportunity to finally get over how silly it all is once and for all?   If you do, please let me know how it works out for you by leaving a comment below!

Tell Them They Matter Before It’s Too Late

You matter.

You matter. (Photo credit: Im Kelsi)

Ladies and gentlemen, no one can really predict the future.  Psychics and mediums are things that happen in Hollywood and late night infomercials on television.  Magician Harry Houdini regularly went to séances to bust phonies who suckered grieving people out of their money and valuable time.

Scam artists like Kenny Kingston and Sylvia Browne do not really see dead people standing around you, waiting to give you a message from the great beyond.  And I don’t know about you, but the idea that a bunch of dead people are always standing there staring at me gives me the freekin’ willies, my babies.  I do not want to know that grandpa always has his eye on me. Go play poker with Jesus, gramps, and leave me alone!

Long story short, once someone is gone, they are gone.  They are not going to spend eternity trying to get a message to you.  Dead folks have better things to do…such as playing footsie with critters in the soil. (more…)

Out with the Bad and In with the Good

favorite quote

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

~Mark Twain

Happy Friday to all!  It’s time for another edition of Favorite Quote Friday, a weekly series dedicated to motivational and inspirational quotes from a variety of sources.   This is one of my favorite days to post on this blog and I hope that it is one of your favorite days to read it!

Mark Twain photo portrait.

Mark Twain photo portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s quote comes from world-famous author and humorist Mark Twain.  Mark was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in the tiny town of Florida, Missouri (it’s so tiny its current population is zero), and grew up in nearby Hannibal, Missouri.  Today he is most famous for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  But if you come up here to Missouri and take a day trip to Hannibal, you will find that we know him as something more than just a published author and funny guy.  He was also pilot of a steamboat that went up and down the muddy Mississippi.  If you go to Hannibal and take a ride on the steamboat, they will tell you all about it. (more…)

A Real Girl Made of Plastic

In nearly every magazine you pick up or website you go to, you see celebrities who have been nipped, tucked, sucked, lifted, and injected with chemicals.  They shell out thousands upon thousands of dollars to make themselves look better or recapture their faded youth…only to wind up looking like something at a circus sideshow.

Joan Rivers has made a career out of her addiction to going under the knife.  The recently deceased Phyllis Diller admitted to having work done on her face more than a few times.  Poor Barry Manilow can’t even form a smile on his lips because his gigantic cheekbones and chin implants will not allow it.  And check out this photograph of Suzanne Somers from early last year.  I would not have recognized her if it had not been for my friend Steven telling that is who it is.  Sure she’s aged, but the work she has had done is quite obvious. (more…)

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