Life is pain

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“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” William Goldman

I’m not a big fan of “positive thinking.” Yes, it’s important that we love ourselves, that we try to see all that is good and worthy of gratitude in us and others. I believe in seeing the light in others and offering them the support they need to better themselves.

But I also know that it is extremely important that we be realistic about what is what and who is who.

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Too far apart

many“There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them. People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs. Most of them, I’ll never get a chance to meet. Most of them, I don’t know how they look like, what’s the thing they want most in this world, or what is it that they’re afraid of… most of them are perfect strangers to me.

Yet, simply by writing these words with these strangers in my mind, having the certainty that my words will reach them, they become a little bit more than strangers. They become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of life’s greatest achievements. Continue reading

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How Being A Nomad Ruined My Normal Life

While writing this article, I was on an 18-hour train to New Brunswick for another two weeks of travel. Today is August 21, 2016. Ten years ago, on August 21, 2006, I had just landed in the USA to start my first overseas adventure. I decided to travel on this day again, to celebrate my anniversary of 10 years of living and traveling abroad. For me, there is no better way to celebrate an adventure than to go on another adventure.

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LESSON FROM THE CHAMP

theartofbecomingawildflower

August 4, 1974.

Traveling by automobile I left Columbus, Ohio – destination Deer Lake, Pennsylvania.

Twenty miles north of Reading, Deer Lake was the location of the training camp for Muhammad Ali, heavyweight boxer and, at that time, former champion.

Just a few weeks earlier, during a television interview, Ali invited all his fans to come up and watch him train for his next fight.

Arriving at the camp early Monday morning, I felt like I’d been knocked out when a member of Ali’s entourage told me where he was. I had left Columbus to go to Deer Lake at the same time the champ left Deer Lake to go to Columbus. He was scheduled to return the next day.

Before sunrise, I was back at the camp. The timing was perfect. Ali was just completing a six-mile training run. I was the first fan to greet him that day…

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#00144: Stay in the Middle – Part 1

10000 posts

Humility. Humbleness. Steadfastness.
Writing is a wonderful experience.
Stay in the middle.
Do you understand what I’m trying to say?
Cravings are normal.
Believing that cravings are a sign of failure is an extreme.
Acting out on your cravings is also an extreme.
Stay in the middle.
Self-criticism is normal.
Too much of it, however, and you’ll end up losing hope in yourself.
Too little, on the other hand, and you’ll end up losing yourself.
Stay in the middle.
Anger.
You are an angry person.
For now, it doesn’t matter why you get angry so easily.
Accept that it is what is and keep it under control.
Come back to the present and observe how everything is nothing. 
Assuming you have any talents or strengths, you must utilize them for something beyond yourself.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve been told over the years.
What they see is but a reflection of…

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The cage

“People only get really interesting when they start to rattle the bars of their cages.” – Alain de Botton
They say irony is the song of a bird who has learned to love its cage.

They also say that none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who believe themselves to be free.

We all live in a cage. We all perceive the world around us as limiting. The bars of the cage are all the people who tell us to be realistic, to be this or that, to aim lower, to please others.

To make one compromise after another.

People who tell us that we’ll never make it.

I say, rattle the bars.

Fight against the urge to settle for less than you deserve.

Truly believe in yourself and your abilities.

You are descended from warriors.

You can conquer the world. Your world. You can do whatever the hell you want.

You are free.

You are powerful beyond measure.

More powerful than those who try to stop you from achieving your dreams.

Dream big. Try. Fail. Fail again.

You are an unstoppable force.

Nothing and no one can destroy you.

Rattle the bars of your cage. Challenge what you think as impossible.

Impossible is just a big word used by those who have come to love their cages.

Redwood Summer Chapter 7

Robert Kirkendall

Jason and Christine sat upon a small stand of wooden bleachers and watched her nephew’s little league baseball game along with Christine’s sister, brother in law, brother, brother’s girlfriend, niece and nephew.  Other families and groups of friends sat amongst the bleachers or on folding lawn chairs on either side of the cyclone fenced backstop that surrounded the back of the baseball diamond.  Ten and eleven year old children dotted the the gravelly dirt infield and the patchy, uneven green grass covering the outfield.  The high summer sun shone above from a cloudless sky.  Past the field heat waves shimmered up from the blacktop and blurred the images of the drab, rectangular school buildings in the far ground.

Christine’s nephew, Tommy, crossed the white chalk foul outline at the side of the diamond and advanced to the batter’s box with bat in hand.  “All right, Tommy, let’s go!” Christine and…

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ELEANOR AND MY THUMB

theartofbecomingawildflower

“Birthdays are good for you.

The more you have the longer you live.”

Anonymous

October 11, 1951

The United States was fighting in the Korean War.

Harry Truman was President.

The price of gasoline was 19 cents a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 16 cents.

In Columbus, Ohio – Harold and Evelyn Snider were having their third son, Jerry.

That’s me.

My father was a truck driver, my mother a housewife.

     *          *          *

October 11, 1884

The United States wasn’t fighting anyone

Chester Arthur was President.

Cars were not yet the major mode of transportation.

Most bread was baked at home.

And in New York City Eleanor Roosevelt was born.

Her parents, Elliott and Anna, were American Socialites (money, power, and influence.)

*          *         *

I share a birthday with Eleanor Roosevelt.

And what’s so special about that?

Although she died in 1962, Eleanor has never…

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