Rules of Engagement

I am fascinated by the human mind; what we choose to believe, what we agree and disagree on, what makes us different, what makes us the same. I am constantly studying, questioning, and wondering.  Because of that, I started this blog. I wanted to connect with others who I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to connect and engage with in everyday life. This allows me to see their perspective on an issue or topic and maybe learn a little more about what makes them tick. By reading this blog it gives you the reader an insight into me as well.

I am not out to change minds. If you do change your mind, then I consider that a result of our dialogue and your learning or accepting something you may not have perhaps considered before. I’m not going to crow about it or say I told you so. We’re not in Kindergarten and this is a safe place to express whatever thoughts come to mind, mine and yours.

I feel like I have said this before, but with the increase in traffic and new followers, it would seem it bears repeating. The rules around here are simple – this is not a place for bullying, derogatory or inflammatory speech, or disrespect. That will not be tolerated. If you wish to engage in discussion, conversation, and occasional frivolity, I encourage you to do so.

Thank you for reading and look for more content coming soon.

NaNoWriMo Winner, Now What?

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner

For those following along, the month of November was National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. The goal was to write 50,000 in a month. It was to be a rough draft of something, not necessarily something ready for publication at the end of the month.

This was my fourth year participating, and while what I wrote this year was more a cathartic experiment than an actual story, I successfully wrote 50,814 words. It took shutting up my inner editor, who has a nasty habit of popping up at the most inconvenient times, and a lot of time spent in front of the computer, but I did it. What will become of those 50,000 words remains to be seen. But for now I can say, the experiment was a success and I’m back to working on my regular project that I hope to have done by spring.

Stay tuned, more to come on that later; once it’s made it past the second draft stage and I figure out how exactly to end the story.

Pass It On

This morning while shopping at my local grocery store, I encountered an employee who was the epitome of how we all should be acting these days. What he did wasn’t a grand display or over the top gesture that caught my attention, it was simply a “good morning” and a genuine smile that you could tell that it began from within him and radiated out to the world. That was it. We had no other interaction, other than my returning the smile and reply of “good morning” to him as well. But in that brief moment, it was a ray of sunshine, in a rather normal day of running mundane errands.

Such a simple thing changed my outlook for the day. I, in turn, greeted everyone else that I came in contact with in the store in that same manner. Expecting nothing in return, just passing along a simple greeting and a smile. And you know what, everyone I met, did the same.

Imagine what the world be like if we chose to practice such simple acts of kindness every day.

Chicken Fingers or Spaghetti?

After watching, reading, and talking with others over the past days I am left with one question. Well more than one, but this one is front and center on my mind right now.

Why can’t we have different beliefs? Do we have to agree on everything? If we disagree on something, why is what you believe right and what I believe wrong?

My sixteen-year-old daughter and I were having a conversation the other night and she came up with this analogy. I thought it was very insightful and addresses this question in a non-political, non-religious way.

She said, “I thought about this when I was eight years old and we were out for dinner somewhere. I wanted to order chicken fingers because I like chicken fingers. I saw someone else order spaghetti and I wondered why did they do that? Why didn’t they order chicken fingers? Because chicken fingers are so much better than spaghetti.”

She went on to say, “I couldn’t understand why someone would choose something other than chicken fingers. But then again maybe they were craving spaghetti all day and so that’s what they ordered. But how could they possibly like something different? I thought about this for a very long time. It made me wonder, were they right and I was wrong? Or was I right and they were wrong? Eventually, I realized everyone has different tastes and that’s okay.”

Side note – she has since moved on from her love of chicken fingers to expand her palate to enjoy many other foods, including spaghetti.

But it brings me back to the question I hope you will take the time to consider and share your answer.

Why can’t we have different beliefs, opinions, views, and still get along?