Sunday, December 6, 2015

Do you believe that people can change?

Yes I do really. Just not always with the immediacy we’re expecting and some people really don’t change at all. It's kind of why I call myself an adaptive realist. Anyway, Some people get set or comfortable in their routine because it’s what they have developed from consist experience and to do anything different is an uncomfortable change (and you know how much people like visible change. *sarcasm*). Yet-those unchanging special cases aside- with patience and a bit of tolerence a person can observe people changing all the time. It’s called aging, growth, health, changing environment or social circles, or anything that normally shapes us over time in behavior.
As a person lives life how they experience it and continue to learn from it, they contine to change. This overtime change creates a natural hypocrisy. Anything we say or believe now, if we learn from a change or new experience, we may decide to do differently. As a result, we contradict our earlier beliefs and actions. Change is inevitable if we are learning. Hypocrisy is inevitable because of change but in a frustrating but healthy way.
It’s when we choose to stop learning and stop understanding that we grow too comfortable in our ways and take a standard or assuming approach to a changing world, that we fall into a unhealthy hypocrisy. We see and want the benefits of a natural change but do actions the opposite of what would support those benefits being created. That hypocrisy breeds unhealthy conflict when we choose to stop learning, stop seeking understanding, and grow too comfortable in our current ways. We stop changing. Pride in our knowledge takes over instead of wisdom through constant improvement of application. We lose the opportunity and benefits of wisdom- The application of better understanding that brings benefits.
So do people change? Yes they do, but you have to stick around to see it and that takes patience and some tolerance for the difficult moments. A lot of people dont have that patience so they may believe change to be impossible but “As iron sharpens iron so does one person to another.”
It takes a lot of time and energy for some people to change. Sometimes apart and we miss seeing the change but that may be necessary for some cases willing to learn. My disclaimer is– again–that not all people change though. To say they all do would be standardizing the human condition. Something life won’t let you do–but people will try to standardize. I know I've changed though and that's all I can account for...I constantly put myself under construction as are we all.

Pardon any grammar mistakes. Feel free to message me any changes. I'm working on that.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A smoking gun in the non-smoking section

So my Alma Mater  put out a study looking at the relationship between issued Concealed Handgun Licenses and crime rate. The verdict? No effect at all. The result of the study, as I understood, implies that the mass ownership of guns does not entirely affect the rate of which crime happens. At the same time, CHLs are part of policy and thus challenge the effectiveness of current gun laws. This had me curious in light of the recent shooting in Oregon, Chicago crime rate, and ongoing gun control debates.

It is clear that something has to be done but what my mind toggles with is more the question of what kind of policy change and what kind of community change must happen (most likely both simultaneous) to effectively reduce or respond quickly to such incidents as the past few church and school shootings. Prior to this blog, I’ve had many discussions about gun rights, gun laws, and related topics with both sides of the fence. Both, have their points and relative narrow views but there seems to be something missing more than the obvious problem of refusing to see eye to eye on an issue.

I don’t own a gun but I do understand the right to do so, which requires a great deal of accountability, self control, education, and respect. I also kind of believe that some people have the capacity to own a gun and others not so much but will obtain one anyway but that raises the question of how do we determine who should? I’ve played devil’s advocate to both extremes just to test the arguments and ideas. It has been most interesting. In the end, I keep finding myself at the same idea saying all we can do is “prepare for the idiot in the room.” which my mother hates hearing from me.

I think about my recent trip to Germany where I learned that you can still own a gun but few do and the process is very cumbersome (understandably) and also requires an annual psych evaluation (which I support). I search that for possible applications. It’s a very different mindset in Germany compared to the U.S. Anyway, I’m really trying to find a multi-layered solution rather than the redundant typical approach of one sided and one note solutions rushed out that repeatedly seem to fail and become repetitive rhetoric.

Hmm what to do? What fits best? How to get people relatively on similar pages despite different circumstances.

At the same time–I’m looking at the nature of the beast that inspires these shootings and that hits close to home for me and seems like the source of all this.

What are your thoughts and solutions? Do they incorporate elements from the different perspectives respectfully?

Friday, July 10, 2015

We're similar but different. Accept it, get over it, and make the most of it.

As a concept, I'm the type who prefers to have a team consisting of a thief, a Samaritan, a hard worker, a slacker, male, female, all of the above, strangely competing faiths, difference cultures, a cat, a dog, a duck, and random rock for a team than a group of like minded copies. I can change if the situation requires but that's just my preference. Yes, they will probably clash and offend each other from time to time, due to differences, but as long as they're respectful in coexistence, then I'm cool.Thick skins, equanimity, and patience is a requirement. Otherwise, you have high ideals about coexistence especially if you believe all have the right to an opinion (ever changing with the wind).

So show me who you are as of today so that I know what and who I'm dealing with today because I'm not going to assume about you because we all have something to offer. I expect people to change in their own ways with time and experiences so why not make the most of it and figure out how to make the pieces work Differences tap into capacity, while similarities tap more the momentum or force behind progress. I like capacity; it creates potential. If you can get differences to get on the same page then lets throw a party because watch the magic happen. . Plus, the differences usually acts as checks and balances---headaches when they occur--but checks and balances. The latter assuming someone doesn't get to carried away--then that is when standards come in. Respect and responsibility; Those are what I care about more.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

To want or not to want? Just admit you're interested.

I have noticed that an exceptionally large number of people are quick to validate themselves, advocate against, and become defensive against things (that their actions suggest otherwise) they are interested in having or experiencing. A lot of this is probably due to stigma, fear, or societal pressure for norms. It's a strange form of hypocrisy we all bare. People, in my opinion, should just admit and embrace that they have interest, desires, goals that conflict with other interest or with current actions. Doing the latter, provides relief to the brain because we live with strict palettes or taste in some things and wide palettes for other things. This is called being human. What am I talking about? I'll give you the following examples:

Examples 1:If you are interested in eating something but it conflicts with your health goals. Don't demonize your interest saying, "I would never eat that because it's not healthy!" when you know part of you wants to try it or has a irrational hunger for it. Why lie? it's easier to just say, "I know this food is not healthy and I want to eat it, but I have other goals that conflict with eating it. I really want to reach that goal--so no." It's a humility that brings peace of mind and clarity to a healthy and normal contradiction of living in this world.

Example 2: You want a relationship or something a product of it but you rebuke the interest like a federal offense because of pressures of the world. Don't discredit someone advocating else for having it or wanting you to have it (especially if you have interest in it at some point in the future) if they ask you about it now days. Unless you truly don't want a relationship (ever [subject to change with time]), wouldn't it just be easier to admit that you are interested in it (and it may or may not happen) but just not at this moment or you don't see anyone that inspires you to want to go down that path yet. At the same time, those pressuring probably should ease up and let the cards fall where they may with a few suggestions only as needed. People are stubborn here on both sides.

Instead, we have the singles club activist and the relationship advocates fighting with each other over something that isn't bad, not exactly for everyone, or not on the same schedule. We vary as people and that is a fact of life. We are similar but different. Why fight about that? Just be truthful of the broadness of our lifestyles (even if not concrete) instead of slapping each other with our strong bias or personal experienced expertise. I mean, we can speak to each other why it works for us (and they may take interest or not) but we should not spend a whole lot of time shouting at each other over sides.

The habit of picking sides makes enemies we don't need and a lot of unnecessary,speaking only from my own experiences. It's better to be honest with ourselves about ourselves and understand that we have contradictions and we should not deny them. Humility goes a long way. I can talk about many more things we deny to ourselves that we want or are interested in but this is enough.

Anyway, this is all brain chatter. I see good people bump heads in a strange form of denial unidentified by our natural hypocrisy---life.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A life to a life. Is it a discussion or a pissing contest?

I stand by my words when I say, "If you want to see the maturity of a person, then observe how they handle information."  You will learn quickly the current capacity of that person and a bit more. When we talk to each other (no matter the level of communication) we are only communicating the information and experiences we know up to that point. We are presenting only a part of the overall spectrum as an individual. So discussion --to me--is like doing an active version of putting together a giant puzzle rather than a battle ground of good vs evil or right versus wrong. Discussion requires an attentive and leveled mindset geared towards putting the pieces or parts together. A lot of metaphors? I know, but bare with me.

Information is more powerful than money and like nuclear energy in the hands of the average individual. It takes a good understanding and level of self-control to establish a wisdom that makes something useful and good with information. Otherwise, it just creates extensive problems. Yet, I hear people say, "We are in discussion", or (and my favorite) "we need to have these discussions." regarding serious matters. It's a funny thing to me when you see how people handle information on the day to day and make these discussions futile. I fall into this as well at times when I don't pay attention. What do I mean? When we present our current knowledge, we often speak from a personalized standard expectation or idealistic image of others. At the same time, we talk as if we know people are variable but seldom do we truly embrace that idea that not everyone is like us or like the ideals and expectations in our head. That with variability,we all have varying strengths and limitations to who we are and what we know as an individual. Instead, we present our understandings and project them or ourselves on to others and often condescension and further offense ensues for our strength and opinions as we begin to speak more led by our passion and deviate from the structure of a actual discussion. At this point, we've lost self-control and are more hazardous to ever gaining anything. When this becomes a possibility, we must turn conscious and tap the brakes on ourselves a bit.

While exchanging our understandings with hopes for clarity and resources, sometimes what we know (in our individual scope and limitation) gets the best of us and we stop becoming receptive to information. Our goal shouldn't be to conquer and insult the other. To hold a discussion, you have to have self-control. Otherwise, we easily slip into giant pissing contest and trying to play king of the hill and kick down the next person for different ideas and methods. We have to not only be mindful towards and police the person across from us but conscious and mindful of ourselves. People can get the best of us and we ourselves can definitely get the best of us or counter what we intend to do.

Our intents can be wonderful and inspirational but people have a funny way of doing the right thing the wrong way. Leading influences for derailed efforts are normally ego, emotions, bad tact, and lack of knowledge or experience. An example is when we get carried away by how we feel or our emotions tugged at in a conversation. I'm not denouncing emotions or feelings, they do have their place in discussions but they too require checks and balances. If one isn't careful, they get carried away and are more destructive to the discussion doing things such as insulting, degrading, becoming overbearing, excessive in blaming, and--in the worst cases--they just give up and walk away or run the other off the table (carried off by emotion). What stands to be gained there? I learned that from a gunny. It's bad enough that (in the harder discussions) often people are quick to look for an escape. Any type of escape they can find such as a name, the tiniest detail to change subjects, or blatant distraction. To someone aiming for progress--It's like fishing or talking someone off a ledge. I sincerely hope this changes. There is much to be gained. For all the good I hear people protest for, advocate for, and dream of--I hope they grasp the fundamental concept of the importance of maintaining a steady exchange with the person across from them rather than invalidate them and taking swings. It's important to understand the person across from us and what we both put on the table to see what we truly have in our hands to use and deal with rather then operating off one piece of a puzzle. At the end of the day, I do expect people to be human but my optimism towards developed wisdom lives as I occasionally come across people who do and can hold a useful exchange. We will agree, agree to disagree, or disagree but we will have something useful out of our exchange.
Discussions are eye level. Any other height would mean we are talking down to someone or talking to ourselves. 

It's important to understand the person across from us. Well, at least to me. We must be ourselves but mindful of those we hope to learn from or educate. We present a piece of a larger puzzle to each other everyday and that is a gift regardless of how it is wrapped or delivered. Make the most of it.
Oh, and telling someone "they'll never understand"---does not help either. It kind of defeats the purpose and any chance of progress.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

LEARN FEST BEGINS--AGAIN! Enlighten or fade away!

There is a lot for me to say for what is going on right now, but I'll try my best to keep this short.

Three weeks ago, marks the beginning of my yearly learning binge. I find myself almost at my happiest when this time comes around. I try to learn new things, challenge everything, deconstruct what I know, re-learn and re-think things all as a means to update myself for personal growth never wanting a closed mind. It's no hidden secret that I'm always seeking to do things better whether it be work or just at being a person in general. Fortunately this keeps up with this years theme (My annual substitution for a new years resolution) of "Mobility and maintenance."

Did I use those quotations right? I don't know. I'm revisiting grammar as well. There was a time where I wrote a lot of poetry and prose and stories from the imagination. You could say that the workforce and being forced to write investigations and reports have oppressed such a talent and maybe even crippled it. Books such as Elements of Style and Comma Sense have been very useful in my relearning.

Added to my learning binge is my more aggressive pursuit to improve on my Spanish and close the gap. The gap is that I can hear it and understand a good bit of conversational spanish, but can't exactly speak it that well. This would definitely come in handy on my job in public health and at a lot social events I find myself engaging. As practice I use pimsleur audio and hold the occassional conversation with coworkers willing to correct and teach me. I've also been reading and taking pointers from the book titled Fluent Forever.  Here is to goals!

For leisure I am reading the The Martian. Books containing witty characters never bore me as does the many ways one can tell a story of being resourceful in a troubling situation. I encourage you to read it. As a matter of fact, read it before the Matt Damon led movie comes out soon. For comparison? Hell no--that makes many a judgemental prick destroying the movie experience that runs on different rules. Don't read with intents of later comparison but more for the enriching of the experience. Little added treasure details.

For the more physical part of my life I have been doing a little bit of the following; Weight lifting, parkour, yoga, Arnis, running, meditating, and a little dancing. Yes I do dance speaking as a former B-boy (but I can't say former because--lets be honest-- I still got it).

I've also been  in intense assessment, research, and thinking on some things but that is for another blog. I've ranted enough and am signing off. I hope to eventually start adding pictures and video as a peek into my progress. A lot is happening in my life and thoughts so stick around. Have a good night or day reader! Live long and kick butt.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A return to the blog world

Yes, I have returned to the blog world, more for my own learning and development. Maybe it can benefit someone else but I use this tool with myself in mind for my own strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses are not bad. Weaknesses are just great things on pending development.

 I am writing this blog in hopes to sort my thoughts and experiences and make the most of them. I always aim to "Know thyself" while embracing that "all I know, is that I know nothing" and it drives me to learn more, but I am a learning addict with a thirst to understand. The latter drives me to take on the convenient and the inconvenient with "rolled sleeves" whether agreeable or disagreeable to those around me.

 From my starts as a naive optimistic charitable kid with a target on his back, to a adaptive realist as a means of survival and progress-- I have always wanted to do better and it pushes me towards self-mastery in hopes to better serve my purpose in quality of life. Though my methods can get strange and my experiences less than common to where I am, this is just the world in my observation and the questions I have in mind.

I've explored many rabbit holes and have difficulty explaining what I find. Maybe, with time and practice, I may get it right. At some point, I used to think that something was wrong with the limbic region of my brain influential to motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. I know what I experienced but could never articulate it--heck, often I still can not articulate what I know. I wasn't the fastest kid mentally but with time, changing methods, and consistent practice I developed a faster but not perfect process. We'll see...

Next Blog: The rules of the adaptive realist (applied to myself)