You Can Learn to Live With Your Humiliations

It is probably the most uncomfortable feeling we can ever experience. We dread any situation in which it might occur. There are many times that we avoid something entirely because we so afraid it might happen that we become physically sick at the thought of it. It comes in many forms, and we deal with it on a regular basis, even if if we have the option not to. When it comes to myriad emotions we experience in our lives, few things are worse than being humiliated.

For many, the fear of public speaking stems from this very emotion. The idea of getting up in front of a large group of people and saying or doing something that makes us look stupid is a terrifying prospect. This is a normal fear that is not unwarranted because the danger is very real. Even if you are highly prepared, a single mistake can ruin the entire deal. Anything that is very public that goes wrong is a visible and quantifiable blow to our self image.

Even something as physically removed as this blog imparts a certain fair of humiliation. I have chosen to use an alias for this forum because I prefer to maintain a certain level of anonymity, but there is still a fear of someone pointing out some flaw in my posts that would lead to an uncomfortable feeling. My desire to create a reputable brand is under constant pressure from a desire to avoid public embarrassment, even if it’s just for my blog and not me personally.

But what about the other forms of humiliation that are more private? There are many things in our lives that are just as humiliating that we deal with in a much less dramatic way. These are the things in our lives that we are forced to live with because our situations demand it. We usually have a choice to suffer through the humiliation, but because of our circumstances we elect to live through it because the other choice would be far worse.

For myself, the biggest example of this is my work life. For most of my time in the work force, I have been required to do things that I find degrading because they either weren’t part of my original employment agreement, or were tasks of personal servitude that I had to put up with because I needed my job. These sorts of things continue to this day and are one of the primary reasons I started this blog. In my desire to escape from traditional employment relationships, I hope to turn this into my own self-employment opportunity. Until that happens, however, I will be forced to live with the daily humiliation of being at the beck and call of an employer who sees me as nothing more than a servant.

I am certainly not the only person who deals with this issue. We all have situations in our lives that are privately humiliating. People in our lives impose upon us for something they want or need, and to keep our situation from getting worse we choose to submit to those things. Though we understand that the cost of that humiliation is typically less than the cost of the alternative, we can’t help but be upset by the fact that we had to feel that way in the first place.

How do we deal with the effects of this private hell we sometimes have to live with? Part of is is recognizing it for what it is. Our natural reaction is to become angry, and it’s ok to feel that way at first, but at some point we have to look at what is happening to us and recognize the objective facts about the situation. When we look at the cost of each option and realize that we chose the least of all evils by accepting that feeling, it becomes easier to live with.

Another part of it is finding ways to be hopeful for the future. If you can start positioning yourself to get out of the situation, it become a bit easier to live with it because you know there is a definite end to it at some point in the near future. Rather than just living with it and risking your attitude degrading to the point that things just blow up, start looking for other opportunities. Even the search itself can make you feel better, even if you aren’t finding success in it.

Lastly, get support from friends and family. They may not be able to fix the situation for you, but just sharing your issues can be very helpful. I tend to be a loner and hold my issues inside, but when I’m able to share my problems with my partner I usually feel much better. A burden shared makes the weight feel so much lighter. It takes little to hear someone else’s problems, but it makes all the difference to them.

How do you deal with humiliation? What areas of your life do you regularly experience this emotion? Are there things you can do to make your situation better today? If we can learn to understand this feeling better and integrate it into our makeup, we can have a much happier life, even if our circumstances aren’t getting any better. Share your story with others and let us share the burdens together.

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No Vaccine for Me Please

I try not to publish too many articles at one time in the hopes that I can build up a small library of posts that I can count on to cover those days when I’m not inspired to write anything. However, today seems to be one of those days where certain topics feel very time sensitive and placing an issue at the back of the list seems like too little, too late. Today is one of those days where there are several issues that are critically important that need to be addressed, so I am including this third article in my publishing for today because it is so urgent to me.

Our country has moved to a very scary place for those of us who detest government intervention in our personal lives. The global scare of a disease that turned out to not be nearly as scary as everyone anticipated it would be has transformed a people who love freedom of choice into a nation of sheep who simply do what they’re told. After a year of being locked down, we no longer question what our government officials are laying out in law. We simply obey.

I watched a video that was shared on Facebook that lays out everything we all fear about government overreach. Laws that start treating people differently based on whether they receive the vaccine or not are already starting to surface in countries overseas, and are well on their way to becoming a reality here. We are in danger of being permanently locked down based on submission to a rule stating that we are required to put a foreign substance into our body regardless of whether or not we want it.

Vaccine passports are now being proposed to ensure that anyone who travels has received the required injections. People are writing about this like it is some sort of revolutionary and amazing thing and we should all be excited that we’re going to be allowed to move around again. All I can see is a direct comparison to the communist Soviet Union, where you were only allowed to move around if you had the proper papers. We clearly have not learned from the past and are on the verge of repeating the mistakes that led to millions of death under oppressive government.

When in our country have we ever accepted restrictions on our freedom to move around America? The sad part is that people are all too willing to simply submit to such things because we are so tired of the lockdowns that we will accept any condition just to feel like we have a small portion of the freedom we used to. Our first mistake was submitting to the lockdowns in the first place. This next mistake might be the point of no return. Once the government has the authority to dictate who can move based solely on submission to their control, we have no further basis for arguing against future restrictions.

I for one will not submit to this new vaccine. First and foremost, the entire thing was rushed beyond any reasonable time frame. The average vaccine takes between 5 and 10 years to make its way through the proper development channels. The COVID-19 vaccine took less than a year to develop and begin rolling out. To say that this truncated time table is astonishing is an understatement.

The time frame has been written off as due to a new technique in vaccine development. The new mRNA process for the development of drugs is a promising new technology that will likely lead to amazing pharmaceutical advances in the years to come. I will not deny that science can do amazing things for us as we improve our ability to bring healing to the masses. But the truth is that I’ve never heard of vaccines developed this way before, and until these types of vaccines go through the proper procedures like the previous versions did, I have no reason to trust them.

The second reason is that there are some pretty severe side effects that come along with the vaccine, not the least of which are fever, nausea and general muscle pain. The symptoms of the actual disease itself include fever, nausea and general muscle pain. It seems pretty insane to me to submit to a vaccine that produces the side effects that the disease itself causes, especially if you’re of an age where the most severe symptoms are highly unlikely to be present.

Finally, it all comes back to the principle of the matter regarding my freedom to choose how I live my life. The government should not have any right to dictate what I put in my body. Vaccination has always been a choice in this country, and has never been a condition for being able to go where we want. I’ve never had to show vaccination papers to drive across the country or go into a store or participate in an official function. If a person wants to take the vaccine in the hopes of protecting themselves from the disease, that is their choice, but I should always be free to take whatever risks I deem necessary to live the life I want to live.

I have a lot of fear going into the next phase of our nation. We are rapidly abandoning the principles that made our nation great because we have become so timid and afraid of everything that we are trading our rights for a false sense of security. The public at large has fallen into the same trap that so many before became victims of: the nanny state. As we hand over more of our lives to people who only care for their own level of control, it is only a matter of time before we look up one day and realize it’s far too late to stop it.

It might already be.

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Protests Are No Longer Relevant

At the time of writing this post, there are protests being held against the recent rash of violent behavior against Asian Americans. This is certainly a noble cause for people to stand up for, and it is our tradition as Americans to get out onto the streets to make our voices heard in opposition to things that are happening that we disagree with. Protests have been a visible part of our society all the way back to the Revolutionary War, and it will be until the sun sets on our great nation.

In the past, the people marched in huge numbers on issues critical to the progress of our nation. Women marched for voting rights. Martin Luther King Jr. led a nationwide movement for equal rights for all Americans. The protests during the Vietnam War played a large part in getting us out of that war and our troops back home. All of these were important issues that became important to the American public as a whole, and they became turning points for our nation.

Unfortunately, though, we have reached a point where protests simply aren’t as relevant as they used to be. The events listed above were systemic problems with our government that could only be addressed by having attention brought to it and the politicians being forced to do something about it through public pressure. They required passionate people to get on the street to bring attention to the nation so the laws could be changed to right a systemic wrong.

The recent violence against Asian Americans is a terrible thing and needs to be stopped, but it is very difficult to pay much attention to the protests surrounding it. There hasn’t been a systemic problem for Asian Americans in our country for a very long time, and this recent rash of discrimination is a result of world events, not an underlying hatred of people from that part of the world by our citizens. Yes, the people doing the violence probably feel that way, but the public at large doesn’t.

We have a terrible tendency to react rather than respond to events in our world. The problem with this is that we end up having a protest over every issue that bothers us, and this leads to protest after protest until individual issues become two second afterthoughts. Protests should be reserved for oppressive, long standing injustices that pervade American life as a whole, not single events. Marching for individual, single issues reduces the value of the protest and turns it into a mundane thing that no one pays attention to.

How often do you really pay attention when you read or hear about a protest? I get as far as the headline for the news article before I shake my head and move on. I’m just not interested in reading about it. It doesn’t move my heart. There are so many protests that one just blends into another. People end up wasting their time hoping to move Americans who just can’t be moved anymore because we are so bombarded with other people’s opinions that we just don’t care. Our hearts have been turned to stone by a barrage of discontent.

We need to get back to a state of mind where protests are about fixing the problems of our government. Fixating on temporary issues and marching on it might make us feel good, but it doesn’t get anything done and it just wastes a lot of time. For things like Asian hate crimes, we already have laws on the books for that and it is up to our law enforcement, not the public, to address these issues. The people who hate aren’t going to be affected by marching in the street, and the rest of us have seen far too many protests for yours to be important to us. We already care about your issue, and protests just aren’t rare enough anymore to be special.

What do you think about protests? Do we need to march for everything that upsets us, or should we be focusing on major issues? How do you feel when you read about a protest, even if it’s about an issue you care about? The American protest is part of the bedrock of our nation, and it is critically important for affecting change in our politics, but great care must be taken to make sure we’re marching for the right cause.

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When Are We Old Enough to Decide?

As a father, one of the scariest things that is going on in our modern society is this new push to allow children to make their own decisions about life altering changes. We have reached the point where grown adults are somehow completely oblivious to the fact that they are proposing some of the most dangerous ideas that have ever been conceived, all because they want to cram their ideology down our throats. It may not be far in the future when we become oppressed by the law for trying to uphold traditional values.

The spark for this particular article is the recent trend toward allowing children to decide what gender they want to be. This isn’t much of a problem all by itself, except that parents in some parts of the world are now being forced to allow their children to make decisions about their bodies that are irreversible. Instead of the argument being to allow children to express themselves how they want, we are being told that we need to physically alter them to match that expression.

I can imagine few things more horrible than what our children are going through today. It isn’t enough that they have to live with the confusing changes that their bodies are going through naturally all on their own, but now they have to deal with this impossible choice being presented to them to decide for themselves who they’re going to be for the rest of their lives before they’ve even learned anything about themselves at all. Our brains aren’t fully developed until well into our twenties, but we are now allowing children who are only a few years old to make a complex decision with an undeveloped mind.

There can be no logical justification for this attitude amongst the extreme left. This is fanatical ideology pushed to the limit. The fact is that less than one percent of our population truly identifies as transgender, but we are pushing an agenda that allows many more children to indulge in something that will be devastating to them later in life. These people don’t care about the children; all they care about is advancing their own position. The suffering that will inevitably result from these truly evil policies is immaterial to people who only care about their specific issue. It’s all collateral.

The scary part is that some government are now putting people in jail simply for speaking out against their children starting to physical transition to another gender. In British Columbia, Robert Hoogland was jailed for refusing to call his daughter by her “preferred pronoun”. As any good father would do, he is trying to protect his child from these dangerous ideas, yet the government has usurped his rights as a parent and stepped in to force an extremist ideology. How any parent can accept this is beyond me, and with so many of us in the world it boggles the mind how this sort of thing is allowed to happen.

Of course, it isn’t really that confusing when you think about it. Like most things in our lives, we are solely focused on what we have going on and struggle to really care about anything until it comes to our doorstep. The problem is that by then it is too late. Once it has become prevalent enough to affect the average citizen, it has become far too established to reverse it. Our inability to pull ourselves out of our own lives and look at what is going on around us is what will bring about our downfall.

As parents, we have to start taking a closer look at what these radical people are doing around us. Even if you agree with some of their viewpoints, we need to start prioritizing our families over these individuals who want to upend our society to suit their own selfish desires. Allowing radical ideologues to run around forcing people to bend to their way of thinking is extremely dangerous, and if we wait until it starts affecting us then we have no one to blame but ourselves. No one wants a fight, but it has come to that.

What do you think about children deciding the rest of their lives? Are they ready to make such decisions, or is something else behind this push? How would you feel if your child wanted to change themselves and you had no voice? We have to be extremely careful about how we move forward with issues such as this. Sometimes change isn’t a good thing, and we have to know where the line is. We need to look long and hard at what we are doing to prevent disaster in the future.

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Do Women Deserve Equal Pay in Every Career?

One of the hottest topics for quite a long time now has been what feminist groups call the “gender pay gap“. If you’ve had a pulse for the last thirty years or so, you’ve certainly heard of it. The argument has been that women typically receive a lower average salary than men in the same jobs, and many groups on the left want to change the situation to make sure women get paid the same as men for the same job title. It sounds very noble, but is it fair?

The biggest problem with statistical data is that, unless you’re willing to spend hours and hours researching on your own, you have to accept the narrative being provided by the person using the data to justify their position. This means that if they have an ulterior motive and are using the data in a dishonest way to support their opinion, you have no way of knowing unless you check it out for yourself. Virtually no one has that kind of time, so we just take their word for it.

Where we run into trouble with the gender pay gap is the way the pay disparity is perceived by the public. There truly is a pay disparity between men and women; no reasonable person is arguing that point. Women on average make around 80% less than men. This is a hard fact that we can’t really argue against, and the statistic is the first line of defense for feminists arguing that we need to upend the system to fix it.

The dishonest part about that statistic is that it doesn’t take into account the reasons behind that pay disparity. Women have a range of circumstances that affect their ability to provide value to a business enterprise. Many women have a strong desire to focus on family over career, leading to fewer hours in the workplace compared to men. Pregnancy has a huge effect on the salaries of women, as many prefer to take an extended break from work following the birth of their children. Many women simply want to have a traditional relationship where the man makes the money and she runs the household. Personal preference plays a large role.

The reality is that in many careers, women make more than men. The choice of career has a large impact on the potential to make money, and in fields where male attributes are not an advantage, women typically do better. This is one of the reasons why single statistics can be so misleading, because while on average men make more than women, there are myriad cases where men are actually at a disadvantage in the workplace.

Even in careers where men and women are doing exactly the same thing, however, there are arguments against women receiving just as much compensation as the men. In sports, for example, women make far less for performing the same tasks and putting in the same effort. This seems to be an unjust situation caused by greedy employers, but when you take a look at the next layer down, it becomes clear that the problem isn’t with the team owners; it’s with the fans.

Men’s sports generate more money than women’s by a huge margin. Fans just aren’t as interested in watching women participate in the same activities as men. There are several reasons for this, but it primarily comes down to the fact that men are physically more powerful than women and the sports tend to have a lot more shock value because of it. Watching a seven foot tall man slam a basketball into the hoop is simply far more exciting to watch than a less than six foot woman tossing it up. Tennis has less of a gap, but the power behind the male’s racket pushes the game to a different level than the women.

We can see that the simple statistic that men make more than women for the same job isn’t quite as simple as it looks on the surface. Most people won’t take the time to even consider other variables, much less look into the situation with any detail. Flashy headlines have become the basis for our political decision making, and the media no longer does its job of keeping us informed of the facts. We are now solely responsible for looking past the obfuscation of dishonest political interests and looking at these things objectively.

So the question becomes: what do we do about the gender pay gap? It is unfair, or is there more at work here than the people who would benefit from the changes want us to know about? When we peel the onion back as far as possible, we start to realize that the impetus for this push for equal pay is less about things being fair, and more about those people pushing for it getting something out of it. We have reached a tipping point in our society where honor is less important than profit, and most of the political pushing we see today has a reward for the pushers somewhere down the road. It is difficult to trust such people.

How do you feel about the disparity in pay between the genders? Have you experienced a truly unfair situation, or is it just something you hear about? We need to take a hard look at this topic before making decisions about it, because moving forward with only partial information always leads to terrible unforeseen consequences. If we can set aside the hype and get down to the bare facts, we have a much better chance of creating the kind of world we want to live in.

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We Have a Lack of Leadership in America

Yesterday’s presidential press conference was so painful to watch that I simply couldn’t get through it. The aimless and doddering mumbling of the 78 year old Commander in Chief dragged on interminably, and in the end it was just too uncomfortable to sit through. It is a scary thing to think that a man who is clearly struggling just to get through a typical discussion with the media is in charge of the most powerful military the world has ever seen.

I wish I could say this is a new thing, but I felt the same way about President Trump nearly every time he took the stage. It wasn’t cognitive disability in that case, but a clear inability to speak in a way that provided inspiration to anyone who wasn’t a radical conservative. I couldn’t watch any of his interactions either because he was so ridiculous that all I could do was shake my head and move on to something else. Perception is reality, and while he may have gotten things done that I agreed with, I could never take him seriously.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised by anything that is going on in our government today. We are suffering from an extreme lack of viable leadership in our younger generations. Rather than strong, powerful figures rising up from the ranks to take the reins of the nation, we are forced to turn to eighty year old men who should be entering retirement, not leading the free world. How can the world have any respect for us at all when the face we put forward can’t even get through a one hour press conference?

I have been making comparisons in my articles between America and the ancient Roman Empire, primarily because I see how the path they went down so long ago has been forgotten and we are stumbling down that road ourselves. Too many of us no longer have pride in our nation, and we don’t care enough to really think about who we are electing to public office. It is an inconvenience to us to actually do a little research into the people on the ballot, so we vaguely pay attention to a corrupt media and vote for whoever they talk about the most.

The result of all this is that it is the person who gets the most money who makes it into the White House. Virtue no longer means anything at all. When the people funding the campaigns can pay for positive media coverage, those people who aren’t willing to stoop down and take money from these sorts of people never stand a chance. I’m not saying that Trump was necessarily virtuous, but the only reason he got as far as he did was because he is independently wealthy. Had he not had access to the resources he does, he would never have made it past the first Republican primary.

As long as the average American continues to ignore the political process, we will continue down this death spiral that is “pay for play” government. Our Constitution provides us with the means to make sweeping changes by simply putting a mark down on a piece of paper, but we have become far too lazy even for that. The idea of rising up and actively calling for the heads of our leadership seems a bridge too far when we can’t even get people into the polling places.

We have a serious lack of leadership in our country, and it is we who are lacking. As a democratic republic, we are the bosses. We are the leaders. It is incumbent upon us to put in the effort to steer our own nation. Relying on the people in charge leads to exactly the problems we have today. If we choose to blissfully put our faith in others to do what is best for us, we have no right to complain when our country shifts from a free nation to an oppressive one.

This is an extra post that I didn’t have on the schedule, but as has happened a couple of times before, I feel so strongly on this issue that I wanted to add it to the blog immediately. I urge you to take a moment to share this message with everyone that you can. This isn’t one of those agree and move on issues. We have a dire need to start getting people to pull their heads up out of the weeds of their lives and take a good look around. You don’t even have to share this article; write your own post on your social media or blog or whatever means you have. Our nation is worth saving, but we have to put in the effort.

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How Do You Control Your Anger?

Like many of my posts, the impetus for writing today comes from something that happened this morning. A task was dropped in my lap that is not only not part of my job, but also requires a great deal of physical labor that is not part of my job description. This has happened several times in the past, and I implemented a system to mitigate most of the physical labor part, but still the people I work with didn’t care enough to bother with it and just did what was convenient for them.

I tend to be a very angry person when I get frustrated. My initial reaction to any situation I don’t like is to have that surge of blood in my veins and a desire to shout at whoever or whatever is making me upset. In my younger days, this feeling resulted in things like broken keyboards and even a hole in the wall once. But now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve learned to control this rage even though I still feel it just as strongly inside.

This is one of the hallmarks of wisdom. When you are young, you aren’t able to see more than just what is happening in front of you. The consequences of life haven’t set in on you yet and you don’t truly understand how your actions might have lasting consequences. Luckily for us, our time of youth has a lot more room for error and those mistakes we make early on tend to be forgiven a lot easier than later in life.

So, like I’ve learned to do over the years, I will complete this task assigned to me, not because I have no choice, but because refusing to do it would make me much worse off than I am right now. Sometimes we have to just accept the things we can’t change and just push through it. We would like to think that the right thing should always happen, but as we age and gain more experience we start to understand that life just happens.

How do we do this? The reality is that you have to incorporate discipline as part of your cognitive makeup. There is no easy out when it comes to dealing with your anger. You learn it slowly over time, with each occurrence of anger taking less and less time to get over until you finally get to the point where it still might bother you, but you don’t allow your emotions to control your behavior. This is one of those things where hard work is required. There is no other way.

One of the things that I’ve learned along the way that I want to pass on to those of you who read this blog is that unless you get extremely lucky and win the lottery or something, everything good in your life is going to require effort on your part. We wish it could just be handed to us, but that isn’t the way it works. The reality is that anything we’re given isn’t nearly as appreciated as something that we’ve earned, and emotional development is the same way.

The good thing is that as you work on yourself in one area, that disciplines branches out into the other areas of your life that you struggle with. Simply working on yourself provides compounding results. As you work on discipline, you are not only learning to control your anger, but you are also working on perseverance, patience, and several other aspects of yourself that probably need attention. Of the many things you can put your effort into, self improvement provides the highest return on investment.

How do you feel about anger? Do you just blow up at people, or have you learned to control it? Have you changed over the years, or do you still react like you did when you were younger? Learning to control our emotions is a critical part of being an adult, and once we can learn to do that we stand a much better chance of reaching the other goals in our lives. Anger can be a huge roadblock, but with a little practice and discipline we can overcome it.

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Life Altering Changes Can Be a Good Thing

As I’ve intimated in the past, I have a couple of huge life changes happening this year. For privacy, I won’t lay those out specifically, but one regards my family and the other regards my career. Both are objectively negative occurrences that I haven’t been looking forward to, and now that they’re starting to happen, I am struggling to cope with the uncertainty that is now my future. My world is changing in a huge way, and the challenge for this year is learning to cope with the new normal.

One of the things I’m trying to learn from all of this is that there is usually some sort of good thing that comes out of changes like these. We will never like when something happens that forces us to change direction in an unwanted way, but many times these alterations to our lives come with some unexpected benefits. The amazing thing about life is that even if you know what is going to happen, you never really know what is going to happen.

The career aspect of this year is terrifying to me, not because I’m afraid of not being able to find work, but because I am afraid of being forced to take yet another job that doesn’t advance my personal agenda. I stated before that I’m hoping to find a way to make mobile income so I can live the alternative lifestyle I’ve been dreaming of for some time now, and this forced end to my current employment could shove me right back into another job that holds me back from my plans. My fear is less about making money and more about the existential problem of living my best life.

The other big part of my life that is changing will likely have many things I don’t like, but also some things that will likely be better. Because it is family related I won’t go into them here, but I can see how some things will be better for everyone involved because of the changes that are being mad today. I still don’t like it, and a part of me hopes for something to come along to stop it, but since I know there isn’t anything I can do about it, I’m trying to find the positives.

These are the sorts of things that people deal with every day. They are life altering events for us, but events of this magnitude are happening all the time. When they happen to us, they seem like impossible hurdles to overcome, but when we think about it in the bigger picture, it becomes clear that no matter how difficult it seems to be, the fact that so many people deal with these things the same as we do can help us to realize that we’re going to make it through to the other side just fine. If they can do it, we can too.

Knowing this doesn’t mean that it will be any easier, however. Our emotions are intensely personal and no situation is exactly the same. There are many people going through things that are far worse than what my issues are, and they have a harder path ahead of them. Whatever our situation is, it won’t be something that we can think our way into making it less painful to live through. All we can do is find ways to strengthen our armor against the challenges we face.

This blog has been divided between various different topics ranging from politics to philosophy to self help, and I find that by far the ones that mean the most to me are these articles where I reflect on ideas that are meant to help not only you, the reader, but also myself. I don’t believe that any of the articles I’ve posted so far contain anything that you didn’t already know before you read them, but sometimes hearing it in a different way can help us to understand it more fully, or in a way we didn’t consider before. I certainly feel that writing it all down has helped me to solidify my perspective on topics such as this.

As I look to these major changes in my life, I’m trying to see the good things that could come out of them. My hope is that my upcoming unemployment situation will lead to something that allows me to move into a career that gives me the freedom that I so desperately desire. The family changes might lead to a better life for those involved, and maybe even a better relationship as we are forced to figure things out. Perhaps the good will simply be the emotional growth that comes from dealing with such a big challenge. Whatever it is, I hope I recognize it when I see it.

How do you feel about change? Are you excited when it happens, or do you feel anxiety? What kinds of changes have you experienced that you thought were going to be negative, but turned out to have unexpected benefits? Learning to look at the future with a positive lens can help us make the transition from one phase of life to the next in a much easier way, and might be the difference between the change being bad or good. It is up to us to make it happen.

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Should We Make Washington D.C. a State?

There has been a push in recent months to have our nation’s capital redefined as its own state. Our nation was set up to allow the addition of new states from the very beginning, and serious thought is being given to the idea that this federal district should be given this new status. There are several compelling reasons to approve such a change, but there are also many reasons why this is not a good idea.

First, our nation’s capital is supposed to be a place that is apart from the other states. Our federal system is supposed to be a safeguard for enforcement of Constitutional laws and as an impartial mediator between the states. If D.C. becomes a state itself, this important distinction will be lost as the new state begins to participate in our system of government as an equal player rather than a separate entity.

Second, the reasons behind the push to do this aren’t exactly pure. It is well known that the population in the capital leans heavily to the left, and the true reason this is being proposed has nothing to do with “right to govern” or “taxes” or the other many arguments being made. The impetus for this change is mostly about the desire for the Democratic party to add electoral votes to their side of the election process. It is understandable that they want to do this, but does that desire add up to justifying removing the impartiality the capital is supposed to embody?

Third, there are other territories of the United States that have been rejected many times for statehood. This has primarily been because they haven’t reached what Congress considers the minimum population to become established as a state. There is of course the electoral votes issue, but that varies between which territory is being discussed. Not all US territories lean left. All that said, it would be highly unfair to admit D.C. as its own state while leaving the territories hanging out to dry.

Fourth, if we allow D.C. to become its own state based solely on the citizens’ desire to make the change, then other movements to break up states based on political affiliation will have much more room to become viable. Washington D.C. was originally part of Virginia and Maryland, but land was set aside to establish the capital as a separate entity. If we are going to say that the capital should be a state, then the original law dividing that land should be abolished and the land should revert to the individual states prior to any vote on the issue. To do otherwise would be unfair to other areas of the country whose desire to break off into their own states has been resisted by the states to which they currently belong.

Lastly, if we are to retain our appearance as the most prestigious nation in the world, it is important to have a place in our country that is viewed as a separate, federal entity to our allies and enemies. The power of Washington D.C. around the globe is partly due to the fact that it is viewed as separate from the rest of the states. As a federal district, it has the clout to be the focal point of the world as the spearhead of our nation. As a state, it is simply another place in America.

It is possible to come up with more reasons for or against this idea, but the issues listed here seem compelling to me as reasons why we should leave the United States capital the way it is. If we arbitrarily start changing things out of political convenience, we open a Pandora’s Box of issues further down the road that we may not be prepared for. It is important to consider all aspects of the changes we want to make before committing to them, as the unintended consequences of our decisions can have devastating effects.

What do you think of this movement? Should D.C. be its own state, or should it be a distinct entity? What are the pros and cons of the idea? There are many arguments for and against, but we must think long and hard about making this change. The wrong choice could lead to serious problems, and we have enough of those already.

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Separation of Church and State

We tend to forget about many of the basic principles that our country was founded on all those years ago. As we live our lives and form our perceptions of not only the people around us, but the government to which we submit to, we place our own ideologies on top of what the original intent behind our nations set of laws. It is critical for us to revisit the discussion surrounding the establishment of our nation so we can remember the true intent behind why our laws were written the way they were.

One of the biggest contentious issues in the last fifty years has been religion in our public system. For most of our nation’s existence, Christianity has been at the forefront of our public consciousness and a strong part of our leaders’ upbringing. If they were not active members of the faith, they were almost always brought up in households that were. People today like to conveniently forget that our country was established mostly by Protestant settlers looking for a place to practice their religious duties free from oppression.

On the other hand, we can’t ignore the verbiage that was included in the Constitution from the very beginning. It was made very clear that the people establishing this nation wanted to make it a place where the citizens could practice their own individual religions and still participate in our system of government, regardless of what that religion might be. It was clear that even though many of the founders were Christians, the objective was to create a nation that had no official religion.

There have been many objections in recent years against the advance of other religions in our country, or even the lack of religion. As society moves toward an ever diverse mix of different people with different ideas, traditional Americans fear what that will mean for them. When our citizenry was mostly the same, we never worried about how other beliefs might affect our lives. It wasn’t a problem to have school led prayers or to have Christian icons placed on public property. We all thought the same way, so why would it bother anyone?

Today, however, our country is increasingly shifting away from a Christian majority to a more diverse mixture of ideologies. While we certainly still make up a majority of the population, atheists and agnostics make up more than twenty percent of our nation, with other religions adding a few percent more on top of that. That’s more than 80 million Americans. With so many people with so many differing faiths, it is no longer tenable to cling to the idea that our religion should take priority over anyone else when it comes to our system of government.

It is important to remember that while our faith requires us to personally live by certain rules, it does not require us to force our ideology or morality onto other people. Denigrating our leadership because they don’t hold our personal viewpoints does not help move our nation forward. It simply creates deeper divisions as we continue trying to push our own agendas rather than working together toward compromises we can all live with.

If we are called to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves“, part of that means accepting that the people around us will not always agree with the way we see things, and it is not for us to force them to. If we are going to live in a nation that values freedom in all things, including religion, then we have to accept the things that come along with that which may be problematic to our faith. We share this planet with billions of other individuals, and we’re not going to agree on many things. If we truly trust in God, then we must focus on love and rather than control.

We can compromise on matters of government without compromising on our faith. If we continue trying to maintain our hold on the public sector, then we have no leg to stand later on should the balance swing in the other direction and other groups wish to impose their own viewpoints on us. If we want to continue having a place to freely be Christians, it behooves us not to make enemies of the people we live with.

Stand firm in your ideals and argue for your faith, but before you become upset that Christian values are no longer at the forefront of our government, remember that it was our founding fathers who first set us down this path. It just took two hundred years for us to get here. As we move forward into the future, we will only become more diverse, and if we want to continue being the greatest nation in the world, we have to learn to incorporate more than just our own ways.

How do you feel about religion in our government? Should it have a voice, or is it important to minimize its influence? Where is the line between respecting religion and incorporating it into law? If we can remember how the founders of the country thought as they drew up the Constitution, we might have a more harmonious frame of mind when we enter into political discussion of the issue.

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