The First Greatest Mystery of All Time: Is There a God?  Yes – No – Maybe

Is there a God?  Of course there is.  I am God. 

I am everything.  I am everywhere.  I am eternity.  I am chaos and I am order.  I am love and I am hate.  I am the beginning and I am the end.  I am all things to everyone.  But I am not the God of the Jews.  I am not the God of the Christians.  I am not the God of the Muslims.  I am not the God of the pagans or of the Atheists, or of the Buddhists, or of the Hindus or of the Agnostics.  I am no one’s God.  No one knows who I am.  I am in the mind of everyone but each creates me in their own image.  The Gods that man knows bear no resemblance to me.  where-is-god-suffering

While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.  — Maya Angelou

I am not the God of the Jews.  The Jews think they are the chosen people.  Who chose them?  Not I! Why should I choose one people over another?  I did not ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son.  What need I for a sacrifice?  If I wanted a sacrifice, I could sacrifice the entire human race. What need I for pigs or idols?  I did not talk to Moses.  Moses was talking to himself.  I do not command nor do I care.  I am neither a vengeful God nor a kind God.  Those are human gods.  I surpass all concepts or ideology that humans create.  What is evil to humans may be good to me. What is love to humans may be evil to me.  I am all concepts.  I am the infinity of concepts.  god is faithful

“God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be.  Follow always that great law.  Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.”  — Marcus Garvey  God is Good

I am not the God of the Christians.  Why would I have only one son?  If I want a son, I could have a million sons.  Why would I create humans in my image?  I have no image.  I am everything.  I have created the sky and the sea in my image. I have created the trees and the deserts in my image. I have created all living things in my image. Death and life are my image.  I need no one to worship me nor do I care if the entire human race worships me.  Who gave Christians any special privileges with me?  What do I care about Christians?  You pray to your saints who are hypocrites. You dare to kill in my name!  Kill in your own name and don’t insult me with your wars and murders!

“When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why God? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, There’s just something about you that pisses me off.”  — Stephen King  god-is-in-control_t_nv

I am not the God of the Muslims.  I did not speak to Mohammed.  I do not tell anyone to wage holy wars in my name.  I do not care if you worship one God or many Gods.  One or many is all the same to me.  I have no prophets.  No one speaks for me or writes for me.  You pursue your petty grievances and you kill in the name of Allah.  Who is Allah?  I know him not.  I have no name.  Your Jihads and Holy Wars are only holy to you.  I care not for any Holiness.  I care not more for Muslims than I do for Christians or Jews or Atheists.  Holiness is an excuse you use to cover your greed and petty desires.

“God has no religion.” — Mahatma Gandhi  god is love

I am not the God of the Atheists or the God of the Agnostics.  I am not science nor am I comprehensible to man.  I am the unknown and the unknowable.  No scientists or seers will ever be able to understand what I am.  I am continually changing and yet I remain the same.  I am subject to no laws.  I make all laws and I break all laws.  Whatever is will forever change and whatever is not will forever remain the same.  I am all planets and all universes.  I am the black holes and the exploding nebulae.  I am the sun and the moon.  I am neither expanding nor contracting.  I am the everything in the universe and the nothing between the stars

“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, but God declared: “Go down again – I dwell among the people.”  — John Henry Newman  God-is-1280x800-3d

Who am I?  I did not create man in my image.  Man created me in his image.  Do not worship me. I care not for your worship.  Do not do good deeds in my name. I care not for your good deeds.  Do not call upon me for help and guidance.  I guide not and I help not.  I do not destroy and I do not create.   I do not love and I do not hate.  I exist and my existence has no meaning to me.  The meaning you give me is your own meaning.  Go beyond meaning and you will understand me.  Go beyond love and hate and you will understand me.  Go beyond fear and courage and you will understand me.  Go beyond living and dying and you will understand me.

I’ve always believed in a higher power. You can call it God, you can call it Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Allah, I don’t care. I really believe we are all a part of God.Olivia Hussey

Time for Questions:

Does God Exist?  Who is God?  Do you really need a god?  Why?  What if God did not exist?

Life is just beginning.

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Charles Bukowski

 

Solving the 12 Greatest Mysteries of All Time

My next 12 blogs will explore the greatest mysteries of all time.  Each week I will select one of the 12 greatest mysteries of all time and explore it to see if we can find an answer to it.  The list of mysteries we will investigate include the following: world-of-mysteries

  1. Is there a God?
  2. Is there other sentient life in the universe?
  3. Is there life after death?
  4. Can we defeat death and achieve immortality?
  5. Where are the tombs of Genghis Khan, Buddha, Alexander the Great, Jesus and Attila the Hun?
  6. Who killed the Lindbergh baby, the Black Dahlia, Nicole Simpson and Jon Ramsey Benet
  7. Will humanity destroy itself?
  8. What is the purpose and meaning of life?
  9. What is life?
  10. Do weapons prevent or create violence?
  11. Where is the Arc of the Covenant?
  12. Can we solve all the mysteries of existence?

Before we start examining each of these mysteries, we need to define not just what makes a mystery but what makes a great mystery.  A simple mystery can be defined as:

  • The condition or quality of being secret, strange, or difficult to explain
  • A person or thing whose identity or nature is puzzling or unknown

(From http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/mystery )

GodHowever, I am not merely concerned with mysteries here, but “Great” mysteries.  Mysteries surround us every day and make our lives interesting.  They preserve us from boredom and provide mountains of speculation for idle minds to ponder. Without mysteries, life would be bland and boring.  Mysteries are the spice of life.  They are the salt and pepper of existence.  Hardly a day goes by that we are not confounded and confused by yet another mystery.  If I were to list all the mysteries we encounter each day, it would number in the thousands.  But “Great” mysteries that is another story!  They are fewer and much more enigmatic.  To be a “Great” mystery, I submit a mystery must meet the following six characteristics:

  1. It is still unsolved
  2. The mystery has perplexed humans for hundreds if not thousands of years
  3. The mystery is still of great importance to the human race
  4. A universal desire or curiosity exists to solve the mystery
  5. There is high ambiguity concerning facts and issues
  6. Solving the mystery appears to be beyond the ability of science to answer or resolve

I submit that my list of the 12 greatest mysteries of all time meets the above six criteria.  Thus, I deem each of these as worthy of our time and energy.  Each week, I will review the existing evidence and like Sherlock Holmes will provide an objective and unbiased analysis of deductive reasoning to help shred the mystery.   Together we will unlock the secrets and pull back the cloaks of invisibility that have prevented us from finding the keys to each mystery.  (Listen to the Raven Song by Wendy Rule from her Album)  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But we will go beyond Sherlock Holmes and employ inductive as well as deductive reasoning to each mystery.   We will surpass the great Sherlock Holmes himself, since Sherlock Holmes was like a one handed boxer.  He only knew how to use deductive reasoning.  His power came from his unprecedented ability and skills in applying such reasoning to the mysteries that he confronted.  Nevertheless, he totally ignored the skills and tools that inductive reasoning could have provided.  With inductive reasoning, Sherlock would have been fighting with two hands instead of one.

Deductive reasoning happens when a researcher works from the more general information to the more specific.  Inductive reasoning works the opposite way, moving from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories.  Two examples may help to explain the difference:

An example of a deductive argument:

  1. All men are mortal.
  2. Socrates is a man.
  3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

An example of an inductive argument:

  1. The average male is taller than 26 inches
  2. John is the name of a male
  3. Most Johns will be taller than 26 inches

In deduction we move from general observations to specific conclusions, from “all” men to one man, namely Socrates.  In induction, we go from specific observations, namely the “average” height of a male to generalizations about the “average” height of all males named John.

immortalityOne method is not better than another method.  By using both methods, we have a more powerful set of tools with which to attack the greatest mysteries of existence.  I will make the argument that unless we can adequately administer both sets of tools to these problems, we have no chance of solving them.

“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.” ― Arthur Conan DoyleThe Sign of Four

Join me in the next 12 weeks, as we contemplate, reflect, dissect, analyze, study, scrutinize and deconstruct the greatest mysteries of the universe.  Where greater minds have gone, we will go.  Where more stupendous intellects have thought, we will rethink.  Where geniuses have dithered and faltered, we too will hesitate and disagree.  In the end though, the mountain will be a mountain again and you will come to see the answer and secrets of existence that once stood invisible before you.  I promise your life will never be the same again for undertaking this journey.  Death-is-not-the-greatest-loss-in-life

But a word or two of caution:

This journey or quest requires “Intellectual Courage.”  This is the rarest form of thinking and contemplation.  Few people ever use it.  It is the exact opposite of “Invincible Ignorance.”  Intellectual courage requires a person who can:

  •  Flaunt convention
  • Withstand the indignation and slander of friends
  • Eschew tradition
  • Regard all knowledge as ephemeral and transient
  • Remain skeptical of scientific evidence
  • Laugh at the egoism of “Experts”
  • Think openly about all religious beliefs and concepts
  • Disdain all premises of “Invincible Ignorance”
  • Believe in at least three contradictions at the same time
  • Never accept never

If you think that you have these abilities, you are welcome to go on this journey with me.  Together we will look for the answers to the Greatest Mysteries of all time.  If you feel that you do not have these abilities, it is not too late to turn back.  Better to abort the mission now then to find out later that you are in over your head.  Many a person who thought they had intellectual courage fell victim to the Charybdis and Scylla of Certainty and Conviction.  Only those with Intellectual courage can afford to have their world views become chaotic and uncertain.  My mother used to say that “ignorance is bliss.”  So it is for many people but not for the Intellectual Hero.  mystery

Time for Questions:

 Do you have enough mysteries in your life?  Are you courageous enough to challenge convention?  Can you stand in the face of criticism and intolerance?  What are your greatest mysteries?  How do you think we should go about solving these 12 mysteries?  What if we do?

Life is just beginning.  (Have you ever wondered what this meant?) Perhaps my poem will explain.

No, no, no cheating

No, no, no swearing

No, no, no losing

No, no, no stealing

No, no, no lying

No, no, no praying

No, no, no meaning

No, no, no crying

No, no, no dying

No, no, no mourning

No, no, no ending. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingratitude:  How it destroys our minds and hearts and souls. 

One of the things that I think most of us try to do is make sense out of the senseless.  To do this, we apply various types of reasoning.  From economic to political to psychological explanations, we attempt to fashion a purpose or logic for the senseless that helps us to see some logic to seemingly random and violent actions.  Religious people use the term sin to cover many such acts.  Some say it is the work of the devil.  Psychologists use terms like paranoid schizophrenic or sociopath to convey some idea as to motive and underlying rationale.  More practical minded people look to motives like revenge, money, jealousy etc.

I have heard that Bertrand Russell said that fear was the main motive for all evil that is done.  This has a great deal of merit to it as an rally5underlying or foundation problem to explain many senseless acts of violence and mayhem.  We can see pictures today of people screaming at immigrants to go home and realize that many of these raging mobs are driven by fear.  Fear of job loss, fear of economic uncertainty, fear of being displaced and fear of strangers.

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” — Bertrand Russell

Another explagreed1024x768nation I have heard deals with greed.  It has been said that “Greed is not the worst of all sins, but it is the gateway to all others.”    Reflecting on this comment provides some very interesting insights.  For instance, why does anyone steal?  They want more than they have, ergo greed.  Why does anyone kill?  Typical answers would include:  To get more land, ergo greed; to get more money, ergo greed; to get something they want, ergo greed.  The more I thought about greed as an explanation, the more I could see it being a key cornerstone to almost all acts of violence and terror.  I was content to accept this underlying explanation until a few weeks ago when I attended my annual retreat.

This year at my retreat, it was noted that Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits had said that “Ingratitude” was the basis of all sin.

“Ignatius thought that a particular type of ignorance was at the root of sin. The deadliest sin, he said, is ingratitude. It is “the cause, beginning, and origin of all evils and sins.” If you asked a hundred people to name the sin that’s the origin of all evils, I’ll bet none of them would say ingratitude. They would say pride or disobedience or greed or anger. The idea that we sin because we’re not sufficiently aware of God’s goodness probably wouldn’t occur to too many people.” —  Jim Manney

I have to agree with Mr. Manney.  I had never thought of ingratitude as being a sin never mind the root of all evil.  I decided that this would be a good thing to reflect on.  Thus, for several weeks now I have been turning this idea over in my mind.  The more I think about it, the more I can see the validity in its premise.  Even more basic than fear or greed is the underlying ingratitude that starts the whole ball rolling.

tv_online_advertisingWe wake up feeling inadequate because we don’t have enough.  We look at our neighbor’s house and we become dissatisfied with our house.  We look at clothes that are in the malls and are not satisfied with our own clothes.  We look at cars, other people, other things like position, attention, status, respect and we grow more and more dissatisfied with what we have.  The TV ads surround us with our worthlessness unless we get more and more and more stuff.  Wants become needs.  We are smitten with greed and lust for these other things that we need and now must have.  We think that somehow we will be the person we want to be if we can only have more.  Our ingratitude for what we have now becomes greediness.  We become consumed by a desire to get these things we think will complete our lives.

As time goes by, the greed turns to fear.  What if someone else gets them first?  What if these new immigrants get the job that I wanted?  What if there is not enough to go around?  The fear drives an endless series of what ifs that can and eventually does turn to hate and violence.  Look at the crowds on the border screaming “go home” to the refugees looking for asylum and sanctuary.  These are people for whom ingratitude has turned to greed and greed has turned to fear and now fear has become hate.

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

I began to think about what I most wanted when I was a child.   It was mainly simple things.  I wanted freedom from fear.  I wanted to be liked and admired by others.  I wanted someone who cared about me.  I wanted to see hummingbirds in a garden each day.  I wanted to see Morning Glories blooming with their wonderful blue petals.  I left home at 18 to join the military.  Back then, I did not know what I wanted. I thought getting out of my house would help me find the freedom I needed to complete myself.  I felt inadequate but I did not know why or how or what would make me feel better.  Thus, began a lifelong search for myself.

Like many otherSuccess-is-liking-yourself-liking-what-you-do-and-liking-how-you-do-it.s before me, I thought getting success would be the key to feeling complete.  Success meant fame, fortune and admiration from the masses.  I would have money to roll in.  I would have girlfriends too numerous and beautiful to count.  I would have crowds thronging to hear my every utterance.   The path to success was uncertain but the laurels and rewards were  assured if only I could find the right stair way.  I looked everywhere.  I read everything.  I talked to everyone.  Success would come with hard work.  Success took risks.  Success was not an overnight phenomenon.  I needed to get an education first.  I needed to save my money.  I needed to invest.  Everything I did was still not enough.  I was not a success.

IMG_0745 (2)Yesterday morning, I walked outside and saw a beautiful blue Morning Glory on my back fence.  As I walked around the back of our house, I saw a small little hummingbird that was drinking at one of our feeders. I watched him for about five minutes and took the pictures you see here of the flower and small little hummingbird.  Inside my house, my wife Karen was still soundly asleep.  A better person and wife I could not want.  I have food in the refrigerator and a warm comfortable bed in a nice house to rest and sleep in.  My last medical report states that my cancer has been completely removed and there were no signs that it had spread.  Today, when I went out, I had two Morning Glories blooming.

I have disagreements with many people. I disagree with those who are prejudiced and racist. I disagree with those who think we cannot help others from other countries. I disagree with those who think that military action is the best response to world problems.  I disagree with those who think that we should not share and help others who are less fortunate in this country.  I disagree with those who are so certain that there is only one viewpoint and credo for existence.  I disagree with those who think that compromise is a sign of weakness.  I disagree with those who think that success is the secret to happiness.  (Please take a minute to listen to the Gratitude Song by Nichole Nordeman, it will bring joy to your heart)

I have finally realized that Loyola was right.  If I am not happy, if I am not successful, if I am not wealthy, it is because I am not grateful hummingbirdfor what I have.  I have what I need.  I may not have what I want, but what I want will never make me happy or give true meaning to my life.  Perhaps my life is best defined by the Morning Glories and hummingbirds.  It has only taken me 60 or so years to see that I am surrounded by the things and people that I truly need in my life.  I spent years looking everywhere for success and happiness and they were right in my own backyard.

One further confession I need to make. I backslide quite often.  I still have pangs of worthlessness and inadequacy.  If I were younger, I might succumb to these feelings and go skydiving, mountain climbing or some other form of glory seeking.  Maybe that is the good thing about age.  It no longer seems worth the effort to pursue glory.  Time to go visit the Morning Glories and maybe see a hummingbird.

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there….then I never really lost it to begin with.  –– Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz

Time for Questions:

What are you most grateful for today?  When was the last time you expressed your gratitude to someone you care about?  How often do you stop to think about how much you have to be grateful for?  Are you grateful for the things that really matter in your life?  What if you took time each day to be more grateful for your life?  What are you most ungrateful for?  How can you get rid of your ingratitude?

Life is just beginning. 

 

 

Why do we need all those damn Disabled people anyway?

disabled people

I just found out this morning (11-16-15) that my best friend Brian Rogers committed suicide yesterday at 3:30 PM.  He drove out to the home that he loved so much and had to sell due to his disability and shot himself.  I want to re-post this blog in his honor.  Brian reviewed and gave me input on this blog and was very proud of it. The title might sound insulting so I encourage you to read it. You will find out what a remarkable man Brian was and how much he loved life.  

Gimps, retards, morons, cripples, idiots, loony toons, wackos, everywhere you look we are surrounded by them these days.  Whatever happened to the good old days when you could walk down Main Street without having to look at some retard?  And to make matters worse, they are destroying our health care system.  All that tax money we waste on these losers who have never worked a day in their lives.  I think Hitler had the right idea:  Euthanasia.   Get rid of them and save the world for those of us who are productive citizens.  Do you know where Hitler got his ideas from?  Right here in America.  We started the whole idea of euthanasia to create a pure White All American Race of hard working honest loyal and patriotic citizens.  Citizens who could eat apple pie with two hands!  Citizens who could play real baseball and not some weak water downed handicapped version for gimps!  Citizens who could put in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay!  (Social Movement for School Song by Pilot Speed)

The “Nazi euthanasia campaign” of mass murder gathered momentum on 14 January 1940 when the “handicapped” were killed with gas vans and killing centers, eventually leading to the deaths of 70,000 adult Germans.   Professor Robert Jay Lifton, author of The Nazi Doctors and a leading authority on the T4 program, contrasts this program with what he considers to be a genuine euthanasia.  He explains that the Nazi version of “euthanasia” was based on the work of Adolf Jost, who published The Right to Death in 1895. Lifton writes: “Jost argued that control over the death of the individual must ultimately belong to the social organism, the state.  This concept is in direct opposition to the Anglo-American concept of euthanasia, which emphasizes the individual’s ‘right to die’ or ‘right to death’ or ‘right to his or her own death,’ as the ultimate human claim.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia#Early_euthanasia_movement_in_the_United_States

What happened was that Hitler had the courage of his convictions and back here in the USA, we balked at the idea of killing people for the good of the country.  Think of the money and expenses and problems that Hitler’s ideas could have solved!  Think of the productivity improvements that a Master Race of Americans would have created!  Well, at least we don’t have to pay these gimps minimum wage.  Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act authorizes employers, after receiving a certificate from the Wage and Hour Division, to pay special minimum wages – wages less than the Federal minimum wage – to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed.

Workers with developmental disabilities, including persons with significant support needs, are dependable and reliable workers. In several major studies (Kregel, Parent, & West, 1994; Kregel & Unger, 1993; Shafer et al., 1987; Shafer et al., 1988) over 900 supervisors and employers were asked to rate the work performance of persons with disabilities in comparison to workers in similar jobs who did not have any identified disabilities. Workers with disabilities were rated higher than their non-disabled counterparts on a number of factors, including attendance, arriving to work and returning from breaks on time, accepting authority, and being accepted by the public.  Why It Pays to Hire Workers with Developmental Disabilities —  by John Kregel

Hell, you can’t trust all these stupid studies done by these bleeding heart liberals.  They would say anything to protect a few gimps.  What if they can be productive disabled logo for webworkers?  What if they do work as hard as or even harder than “normal” people?  They still take up much of our hard earned tax dollars for their health problems.  They are a big drain on our already overtaxed healthcare system.   Look at it this way, if we did not have to pay for medical care for the disabled, we would have a lot more money to spend on those of us who need medical care for legitimate reasons like: Smoking, alcoholism, obesity and gunshot wounds.  Heck, I can’t even get up close to the emergency room in the hospital when my buddy accidently shoots me, because I don’t have a handicapped parking sticker.  Too many stores have too many places for the disabled.  If we had less disabled, costs of handicapped parking signs would drop precipitously.   Did I mention the costs of legitimate medical care for the veterans fighting to protect Americans in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq? These guys deserve the medical care since they are doing productive work and not trying to weasel out by claiming some weird medical problem.

A 2014 study by the private American foundation The Commonwealth Fund found that although the U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world, it ranks last on most dimensions of performance when compared with AustraliaCanadaFranceGermanythe Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The study found that the United States failed to achieve better outcomes than other countries, and is last or near last in terms of access, efficiency and equity. Study data came from an international surveys of patients and primary care physicians, as well as information on health care outcomes from The Commonwealth Fund, the World Health Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Disabled ad_Faye adWow, I guess this means they must have less retards and cripples in these other countries or are they implying that mismanagement and inefficiency are the true causes of high health care costs in the USA?  Well, you know those Europeans; most of them are commies and socialists.   The real issue is that most of these so-called disabled people are actually treated very well by the more abled body in this country.  They shouldn’t complaint about the privileges and treatments they get from the rest of us.  Just to test this theory out, I decided to talk to a disabled friend of mine and see what he thinks.    I asked him how he feels about the treatment that disabled people get and particularly the treatment he gets as a disabled person.   Here is what my friend Brian Rogers said:

“I will add that our desire is simply inclusion in the mainstream of society.  They evaluate us as differently-abled with great skills and a history of a great work commitment to our nation, but only in times of war. We are the only minority that does not discriminate; you can enter our group in a heartbeat.  We are strong in number. The American Medical Association states there are 43 million Americans with disabilities.  Our failure to be fully integrated into society is our own. We did not capitalize on the American’s with Disabilities Act of July 26, 1990.  We did not have leaders like our brothers and sisters in the civil rights movement of the 60’s.  We should have learned and developed our leadership from within the Disability Rights Movement.  If the disabled community had more leadership and control of our services and programs, everyone would have been better off.  We must take the “dis” out of disability.”

IMG_0733“People don’t understand discrimination until they have tasted the bitterness.  My barriers are mostly attitudinal, not concrete and steel. Barrier free environments improve everyone’s life, not just people with physical disabilities.  People ask me what I would like to do.  I would just like to go into a grocery store and buy a loaf of bread, without drawing unwanted attention.  Did you notice when we went to lunch the other day?  The server talked only to you.  She avoided looking at me or saying a word to me.  That happens all the time.”

I was somewhat shocked when Brian mentioned to me the lunch situation.  I had not even noticed it.  It is easy to notice your own problems but much more difficult to be aware of the problems that face other people.  It would be easy to dismiss Brian as an anomaly or a unique case unless you knew Brian.  I have had several friends who were disabled including:  Billy Golfus, Jeff Bangsberg and Brian Rogers.  They have all been unique individuals.  I have not known one of them to be content taking handouts or sitting on their butts expecting other people to do things for them.  In fact, they have done more than the average person I know to help others and to remain independent despite their disabilities.  (Everyone is Differently Abled Song)

I have been friends with Brian Rogers for over 5 years now.  Four or five times a week at the Frederic Library and often at his house we meet to discuss politics and other assorted subjects.  Brian has traveled a good deal of America, has met several presidents, ran major university programs and later in his life supported himself by becoming a Grant Writer.  Brian was Volunteer of the Year in Frederic in 1990 and has written numerous grants that have benefited his community.  From funding for the Frederic Library to computers for schools, when Brian sees a need he takes it as challenge to help others.  Having faced Cerebral Palsy all his life and now into his later sixties, Brian remains independent and pays his own way.  He is proud that he has never been on unemployment a day in his life. There are not many “abled” bodied people who could make that claim.

Every time I talk to Brian he is full of ideas that could help other disabled as well as other “abled” people.  He is currently working on zippers and clothing to help who-cares-about-disabled-people-26755-1300415261-4protect disabled people from falls.   He recently proposed a grant to help men facing aging and dealing with the transition from an active to an inactive lifestyle.  Yesterday morning Brian fell and bruised himself rather badly.  Walking is not and has never been easy for Brian.  I have noticed that Brian has had many falls over the years and sometimes it seems to me that with age they are getting more painful and more harmful.  Nevertheless, Brian goes out every day and navigates a world with numerous barriers and obstacles that many of us take for granted.  He remains positive and optimistic about life and his ability to make a difference in the world.  Brian says, we are all disabled by one problem or another.

How many people do you know who do not have some type of medical condition that impairs their functioning?  Disability is not a disease.  It is a fact of life that as Brian states can happen to any us in a heartbeat.  It is an inevitability that will embrace every one of us as we age and grow older.

(Please take time to listen to both of the songs I have posted on Disabilities.  They are visual as well as auditory treats.)

Time for Questions:

Do you make time to help others?  Do you help those who are less abled than you are?  If you are disabled, do you still try to remain positive about life?  Do you try to make a difference in the world not just for abled bodied people but for all people?  Do you speak out against discrimination towards people who are disabled?   Do you speak out against people who denigrate and disparage disabled people with names like gimps and retards?

Life is just beginning.

Gradatim by Josiah Gilbert Holland (1872)

Heaven is not reached at a single bound;

But we build the ladder by which we rise

From the lowly earth, to the vaulted skies,

And we mount to its summit round by round.

I count this thing to be grandly true:

That a noble deed is a step toward God,

Lifting the soul from the common clod

To a purer air and a broader view.

We rise by the things that are under feet;

By what we have mastered of good and gain;

By the pride deposed and the passion slain,

And the vanquished ills that we hourly meet.

We hope, we aspire, we resolve, we trust,

When the morning calls us to life and light,

But our hearts grow weary, and, ere the night,

Our lives are trailing the sordid dust.

We hope, we resolve, we aspire, we pray,

And we think that we mount the air on wings

Beyond the recall of sensual things,

While our feet still cling to the heavy clay.

Wings for the angels, but feet for men!

We may borrow the wings to find the way—

We may hope, and resolve, and aspire, and pray;

But our feet must rise, or we fall again.

Only in dreams is a ladder thrown

From the weary earth to the sapphire walls;

But the dreams depart, and the vision falls,

And the sleeper wakes on his pillow of stone.

Heaven is not reached at a single bound;

But we build the ladder by which we rise

From the lowly earth, to the vaulted skies,

And we mount to its summit, round by round.

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