I wanted to use this moment to express a few thoughts that have been floating around in my mind. In recent weeks, I have come to realize that I have actually found some good friends who are not just there during the good times. I have been given a great amount of good things in my life, but friends have been limited in number. The friends that I have held dear have been great and long-lasting. It was their influence on me that helped change some of my unsavory qualities. I still struggle with tendencies of less-than-positive view and a slight trend toward narcissism. Of course, I like to think that all of us have a moment or two where we are self-centered and self-serving. All of this is coming into the light as I settle into a new job and new responsibilities. I am the new guy again.
Confidence in one’s abilities is not always a bad thing in those moments when it must be used to defend a position or offer a suggestion. I am often finding myself pulling back from speaking like a know-it-all. A great talent is not always appreciated and some resent it. This brought me to realize that perhaps there was a better way to handle such a situation.
As I stated in a previous blog, I was going to begin reading a few books. A couple did not grab me immediately, so they were put to the side for a time. To be honest, reading a novel, for me, is something that fits into the right time in life. So, I moved through a few books and found that I was back to reading the Game of Thrones, which I had put off. At first glance, the writing was skilled with developing great twists of intrigue and characters. I felt that it was lacking a great amount of description to the world that I was used to. However, I have found it to be enjoyable, and I continue to read.
Back to my point about handling a situation with some humility and grace so resentment is not borne by others, I found that one particular character in the book to have a similar situation. The bastard Jon Snow, who comes from his father’s house with training and skill with the sword, enters into the service of a fighting troop who protects the realm from the forces beyond the Wall. It is a harsh life and they are sworn off a life of family. As Jon enters the training, it is very clear that he is capable of defending himself and defeating his classmates in large groups. However, he is isolated by those that he has defeated and embarrassed. It becomes even harder as the trainer brings his own ridicule into the situation.
It is at this moment that Jon is given some advice that perhaps he should remove that haughty nature from his confidence. It is this quality that the other recruits and instructors are resenting in Jon. I don’t think that I would have puzzled it out as well as Jon, but he turned from beating his classmates to teaching them with the skills that he has. He goes from loner to a distinct leader of the recruits to the point that they follow him, even against the wishes of the instructor.
In this, I considered the new position that I was placed in at my new job and remembered the true leadership that is found in being a mentor while being the leader. I have used this technique in the past, but it has been some time since it was on my mind. It has drawn me from the darkness that I often faced during the last few months.
It was inspired by a novel, enhanced by friends, and used by a person seeking to become a better part of this world. I count those here that read and follow me as part of that support. When I was lost, all of you were there for me. My thanks to all.
By the way, my frequency may not increase entirely as the job levels off and the coming of the great month of November. November holds a few things that should be excellent. It is the month of NaMoWriMo and I will be making my second attempt to writing a novel of 50,000 words in a month. Last year, I finished the novel in January, so I am trying for a better run this time. I will likely update the blog as I can.
Also, my wedding anniversary comes toward the end of the month and it will be eighteen years, so it will be exciting. So, for now, I need to catch up on my favorite blogs and enjoy what all of you are writing.
I offer greetings once again from my part of the world. I also offer a few apologies to those expecting a bit more frequency to my writing over the last month. The decrease was due to the new job that I took at the first of October, and it ended up being an extreme change to my regular writing schedule. Much to my chagrin, it placed my entire life on hold into a two week start without a day off. However, in this particular job, I have some time where I can ponder the world around me. It has recharged a few matters.
I am quite fortunate to have this time off because I am afraid that I might have been swallowed the overwhelming political onslaught that comes with election season. Presidential debates and crazed statements from down ticket candidates would have challenged the constitution of any body in these times. I was able to keep up with my focus, which is policy questions, and I was able to separate the vitriolic statements coming from both sides. It left little doubt on the choice for my vote.
Now I feel that I have spoken many times on the rights of women’s issues including the rights-stripping laws that are being written in the states. The removal of funding to social programs including Planned Parenthood floats in the political ether as if it is a grand solution to the problems of the country. However, such a trend of thinking will do nothing more than strip away the basic help that women desperately need to prevent long-term health issues. In this issue blooms a core belief that dances around the hypocrisy dwelling in the country. That belief is the misleading or denial of information to the public at large.
The strong support that once held this country whole was the proper education for its citizenry. Publicly funded education became the cornerstone that led us to the forefront of advanced nations. It became a tool that brought knowledge and education to those that before never had such a chance. The masses became intelligent people who could participate in the democratic process which remains at the core of our country. No longer did we cling to the bits of information trickled down to us by our feudal overlords, but we rose up and fought for the rights to have a voice. That voice would have held no chance of success if it was not informed to defend itself. With a properly educated voice, an individual has a chance to create a life filled with the pursuit of happiness. The spirit of the United States grew on the people who rose above their station and challenged the world to be a place filled with enlightened citizens.
As public education became available, the shackles of the feudal overlords sloughed off and the average citizen contributed with greater efficiency. Our productivity exploded as the labor forces were skilled and the administrators were able to direct with further competency. We were better as a nation. Now, we are entering a freefall of this structure as it is losing its support. The reasons are given, but it is due to the movement that wishes to turn inward and conserve resources for projects that are beneficial to a few. It is a feeling that no one should benefit from the hard work except those that earned it. The sense of community in a progressive manner is being overshadowed by this movement…and it is killing the soul of America.
With the movements of removing information from the public, our country is losing its way. It comes in the form of diluting the public education system into a privatized system in order for a directed ideology to be taught or from the public having their choices in elections being blocked or blanketed by the oceans of money. We are not some group of simpletons who need to be directed like mindless drones. We should be educated and informed so we can offer a proper support to the government that acts for the people. With such an education, we might be able to bring the corrupt to be accountable for their wrongs to the country.
Reflect on the choices before you in the coming days and don’t just choose because it is what some news outlet tells you. Don’t pick the candidate that is forced on you by some peer or social group. Step into the booth and vote for the one that serve the people and not rule the masses.
Much can be said about the “firsts” in our lives. Some of them are as sweet as the first taste of chocolate. Others are sour as the cringing feeling of being embarrassed for the first time. Nothing can change that moment as a thin slice of innocence falls away and the maturity of experience shines through. We all learn from our “firsts” experiences and grow with them.
Tonight, I had a first in my life that might sound a little strange. At my age, most have experienced their first concert. A live show can be exciting, thrilling, and quite unexpected. However, many people have their first taste of this experience as a teenage or even in their twenties. I, somehow, waited until I was nearly forty to go to a concert and feel my way through the music. I know that my reasons for never going to any such event, but tonight, I had a chance to break that mold.
A friend of mine had an extra ticket to see an excellent cover band called the Australian Pink Floyd or Aussie Floyd for short. It was a large concert hall in Mesa, AZ and the music was intoxicating. After years of listening to Pink Floyd on the radio or CDs, I was truly impressed at the spirit of the original music and how close this band came to the exact nature of the songs. That is a credit to the musicians and their respect for the original band and its music. It was a superior experience.
As I sat down to listen and watch, my first feelings were the rippling effects of the sounds pounding out from the speakers. In those moments, it grew from the vibrations of the air until it was a low rumble of the ground below. I was swallowed by sounds of the instruments as each note captured me. The vocals drew me into the embrace coming from the arms of each song.
I do not say this to simply be descriptive of the music, the talented musicians, or the original sounds of Pink Floyd through this excellent proxy. I want to mark this moment as a chance to open myself to more of the feelings. I want to be free to open myself to the world around me. It is time for me to embrace the freedom that comes with life. I have sheltered myself from the fun and exciting activities of the world. It is a matter of choice and the reasons are fading and thinned by years of unnecessary needs to please others. I want to express myself.
In my mature days, I realize that with this new direction that I can’t just run wild and forget myself. I just simply think that my time in this world has been missing the joy that comes with fun activities. This is a little different from a midlife crisis. I do not wish to be wild to prove my youth as the age piles up. I just want to break free from the restraints set by those before me. It may even give me a chance to find something new.
So, find a way to reach your goals and enjoy life. There is no need to accept the old belief that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Break that and have some cake.