Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kiss It

Most of us don’t have the time or interest to read long blog articles so I make it a point to kiss it (keep it short and simple). I hope this is short enough.

With the discussions over refugees’ desperate attempts to find a safe haven in Europe and other developed countries, my own opinion on this issue was slanted heavily towards compassion when I recently had to pack for what might have been an emergency trip.

I took the opportunity as an exercise to ask myself what I would take with me should I find myself being forced to leave home abruptly not knowing exactly where I was going and for how long. It took just a few seconds to register that wherever I go, I have to take my body and my mind. Those two things are not an option to leave behind. :)

Very quickly I noted that I would prioritize the things that I need to stay safe, healthy, productive, progressive and expressive. I stuffed a carry-on backpack with important travel and identity documents, charge cards, journal, notepads, pens, vitamin supplements, first aid, medicine, bathroom things, hand sanitizers, mosquito repellent and a change of clothes. I also included my laptop, tablet, camera, battery chargers, batteries, and cables. An external hard disk and data sticks made their way into the “priority” backpack as well. (I am aware not all of these things would be prioritized by war refugees. They probably would prioritize lots of food, water, blankets and sleeping bags. I was packing for a trip; I was not packing as a refugee would.)

I looked around the house and asked myself what else I would be missing if for some reason I was not able to return to my house where all my “stuff” is kept. I decided that I would have to keep safe all my original song lyrics with chords plus the extra external hard disk and extra backup data sticks that store my original works in progress. That was it. (My creative babies are obviously my soul’s expression.) My dogs are my children/companions. I would leave them to friends if I had to make a trip but if I were leaving the country as a refugee and couldn’t bring them along with me, that would be a potentially mental-breakdown-type of decision to make. 

I realized what people mean when they say one is not rich until we have something that money cannot buy. I was okay with having to leave behind everything that money could buy but I was not comfortable with leaving my two dogs behind. Even if I had good friends to leave them in relatively good hands to, to leave them in a scenario where they would have to fend for themselves, in a country that has a majority of dog haters? I would go insane. So I was happy to see that my neighbor – a refugee from the Ukraine – brought her little dog with her. I don’t know how she managed that (money was obviously not a problem) and I was impressed with that particular human being. First, she came with her partner and dog; later other members of the family joined them.

I thought of the other refugees; in the Ukraine and other parts of the world. Imagine having to leave everything behind and taking with them their old relatives and/or young children. Imagine leaving everything you know and have behind for the unknown. It’s impossible to fathom. And that’s why we have to feel compassion for the refugees. True, they seem to be mostly of a particular background and faith and they seem to end up in places that are predominantly of more liberal beliefs and practices. True, in present times, integration is an overwhelming challenge. I mean, in previous times, there were no terrorists of the present scale. So yes, these are different times and I understand both sides of the fence on this issue.

I am aware some people think it’s a good idea to fight evil with evil. If you are an inherently good person/soul, you will lose to the inherently evil people/souls if you try to play them at their game. You just won’t have the depth of evil in you to draw from to do better than others who are used by the evil forces and who have a bottomless well of evil to draw from. The good camp wouldn’t be able to match evil acts for evil acts and would be playing the game to the evil camp’s strength. Eventually, the good camp will be outplayed and consumed by the evil as well. If you are a good person/soul, your strength is in your goodness. You have to play to your own strengths. The evil person can’t be good and the evil person can’t do the good things that you can. You have to draw from the well of goodness which is not accessible to the evil camp. Goodness won’t feed the evil; goodness will starve the evil. You can’t fight darkness with more darkness. The whole planet will then be consumed by darkness. You can only fight darkness with light.

Regulars of this blog are aware I’m open to connecting with people “my kind of weird.” When I look at some if not all of the friends I have, they don’t measure up to my “kind of weird” either because while all my close friends are on the kind and compassionate side, they are lacking in the other qualities that qualify them as “my kind of weird.” Though they come closest hence they have been with me on my life path for decades.

The people I speak of acknowledge that while they are kind and compassionate, they seem to lack the qualities to become successful in education and personal finance; mainly because they did not prioritize education and personal finance. I was similar to them in this way as they were a great influence on me during my developing phase. I now find myself thinking perhaps we lacked the “intelligence” to appreciate the importance of education and finance in this three-dimensional world.

I have been with them for decades for a reason. We must be at a fundamental level, birds of the same feathers for us to have been close friends for so many decades. I like to say that I was so stupid for so long that I feel I have no more credit left for stupidity and have no choice but to be smart from here onward. :)
 I like to say to my friends: Yo, listen up. We have been so stupid for so long, we have exceeded our stupidity quota. No one has the right to be as stupid as we were and expect to survive in this dog eat dog world.

It’s as if when someone is being kind, the brain switches into “stupid” mode. And when someone applies intelligence to a situation, it’s as if the “kindness” mode has to be switched off. It’s almost as if the quality of kindness develops at the expense of intelligence and vice versa. In Chinese, there is a saying: “When we want to help, we talk heart (sentiment). When we don’t want to help, we talk head (reason).”

I’ve been told that in a particular developed country, it’s been said: “Kindness is the mark of a loser.” Yikes. Who wants to be a loser? Do we want to be kind? Sure. Compassionate? Why not? Kindness and compassion attract good karma and who doesn’t want good karma? Even if one doesn’t believe in the concept of karma, one should want to be good because virtue is its own reward. But do we want to be poor? I don’t know anyone who wants to be poor.

In the words of Garth Brooks: “You aren’t wealthy until you have something that money can’t buy.” So, kind people are kind of wealthy? Helping others is a kind of art form. One has to get the balance right or else become a charity case as well in no time at all. What is the point of doing so much charity that we become a charity case ourselves?

“Healthy boundaries aren't walls or barbed wire fences. They are gates, portals that we selectively open when it is healthy to do so. Sometimes we have to wall others off - to heal, to get a taste of what it feels like to be protected - but eventually we come into a sacred balance. Here, we make conscious decisions as to when to open, when to close. I think of it as the art of selective attachment. Rather than responding from a patterned place - too open or too closed - we look at each situation on its own merits. We keep the gate closed, when it is unsafe to open it. We unlatch the gate, if there is a healthy basis for connection. Healthy boundaries are situation specific, evolving and clarifying as we grow.”Jeff Brown, Author.

The situation is like this. When we die, we leave everything behind. We only get to take what we inherently are. Call it soul, spirit, energy, consciousness, whatever you want. Those of us who believe in many lifetimes, get that we have to prioritize the quality of our souls/consciousness since that is what we bring with us lifetime after lifetime after lifetime.

Those who believe in a ‘Heaven’ or a ‘Hell’ after they die have to chalk up enough ‘credit’ to get to heaven. I’m not comfortable with the belief system that it doesn’t matter whether a believer in a personified God is good or bad. The belief stipulates as long as you believe in your God that will get you to your Heaven even if you are a bad person and do bad things during your time on Earth.

Atheists are mostly scorned upon and feared because most people think that Atheists have no fear of “Judgment Day” so they have no incentive to be good and to do good deeds. Actually, there are Atheists who do good deeds simply because it’s the right thing for humans to help each other and to be kind to the animals. Kindness and compassion feel right to them and they appreciate that virtue is its own reward. They don’t do good things to get “blessings” or “good karma.” Not that there’s anything wrong with doing good things to get blessings and good karma. Whatever your beliefs, just be good and do good deeds. Someone said: Whenever in doubt as to what is the right thing to do, just do the kind thing. Then, you will always be doing the right thing for kindness is never the wrong thing.