Tag Archives: depression

The Stranger and The Memory

We all have our moments of joy, of doubt, of sadness and tears.  We all have our talents, our limitations, and our challenges.  There is commonality in our lives and yet we are all individuals, unique and complex.

Behold the strangers as you pass by, there is little you know about them.  Their lives are a mystery, perhaps shattered like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered across the table waiting to find connections.  You pass, never knowing the burdens, challenges, or obstacles they carry within their soul like a weight upon their back.

Life is not always easy, for some the challenges are not apparent, they are devils within the depth of their inner soul.  They are the burdens of life, covered and hidden from the outside world, known only to thy self.

It is hard to understand the unknown, and more difficult to appreciate the shoes within which the stranger walks, if you have never known the path by which they trod.  Look upon thy stranger as a friend, a fellow member of humanity, for you are their stranger.

What does the stranger see in you as they pass?  Are you just another stranger from the dark unknown or a sudden moment of comfort with a smile on your face or a warm greeting of “good morning”?

Open your heart with compassion, empathy and concern for the unknown stranger and find within yourself an inner warmth.  Take the time to assist a stranger faced with an obvious challenge and you will feel inner warmth for you have made the world a better place.

For some, life is not easy, but your response to the unknown world of another can make a world of difference in their life.  You may never know how you contribute to the comfort or challenge of another but they will know.

You will make memories today, what they are is largely up to you.  Your compassion, patience, and tolerance can be a world of difference in the life of another, don’t let them walk alone in darkness bring them some hope and light, give them a memorable moment.  Share your love for humanity, the world will be a better place.



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Be Careful What You Wish For

President Barack Obama

Barack Obama

When it comes to evaluating gun violence and death in the United States, opinions begin to unify around the belief we have more than a civilized society should. While America may be more divided now by race and politics more than at any other time since World War II we remain unified in our rejection of violence within our society.

Our common refrain is peace on earth, goodwill to man, our approach to obtain such a vision is as diverse as it is elusive. Our desire as noble and honorable it may be can be misdirected and detrimental to our goal.

Recently President Obama addressed the nation to offer his view on gun violence and his thoughts as to how to address the issue. His personal frustration with Congress and the voice from the “people’s house” he vocalized his thinking and actions. Much of what he said, related to the issue of gun control in some form.

Too often solutions to problems are a smoke screen to further an agenda more than to solve the problem. Sometimes the solutions bring more difficulty than the original problem. Sometimes our desire to address a problem is so strong it overrides our judgement and fogs our thinking. This could be just one of those times.

The President wants the Department of Health and Human Services “to remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information about people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons.” On the surface this sounds like a reasonable wish, but be careful what you wish for. The object is to limit access to guns for people challenged by mental illness, not to discourage those same folks that need help from seeking treatment.

Many times minor problems be they mental or physical start with small issues that if treated early can prevent more serious issues at a later time. When we discourage early treatment for mental illness it is easy to draw the conclusion that we exacerbate the problem and increase the odds of a more serious consequence at a later date.

For example if we consider the treatment of depression as a reason to prohibit the possession of a firearm we greatly reduce the number of people allowed to have a firearm but we also provide an reverse incentive to seeking treatment for even a minor issue. The mere treatment for mental illness does not make a person a maniacal psychopath on the edge of violent eruption to harm themselves or others. It is precisely that type of thinking that has created a bias and reluctance for people to seek the help they may so rightly need.

Before you jump on the bandwagon to address gun violence by stigmatizing the treatment of mental illness, let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let us be careful what we wish for, let us not move forward with thinking fogged by politics or hidden agendas.

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Look In The Mirror and Start Your Engine

Mirror 32a

There are times in all our lives when we feel defeated, overwhelmed or beaten. Take heart, have strength and know that this is normal. Within you is the strength rise up, to fight back, to once again overcome all that has caused this feeling of loss. It is time to change the negative to positive.

Nothing is stronger than the human spirit, when unleashed you have the power to to take back your dignity from those that may have put you down. You have the power to conquer the fears that have immobilized your being. You have, within your being the strength to rise above the current situation and prove to the world you are the person you want to be.

There is a time when you must take back the power you have granted to others, a power or position they have abused and now bring fear, negativity or stress into your life. They are not the person you believed in, trusted or wished they were, but you have the ability to change what is happening.

If you are determined, you shall not be stopped, overwhelmed or defeated, you shall march down a road toward personal renewal. A road of recovery for some, a road to growth for others, it will not be an easy road; you will find small hills and valleys. Ultimately you will continue the climb until you have reached a vista, opening your eyes to a panoramic view of opportunity.

There is an old Scottish ballad that describes the journey and battles you will face, “I may be wounded but I am not slain. I’ll lay me down and rest for a while and then I’ll fight again.” It is clear the road will have obstacles but it is equally clear you have the inner strength to win the fight.

Nothing will change without a motivating force, wishing for change will not work, waiting for change will not work, and doing nothing should not be an option. In life it is easy to do nothing, it is easy to avoid change, and it is wasteful to go another day without doing something to improve where you are or where you want to be.

It does not matter if the problems seem in surmountable nothing is impossible; it can be your job, your home life, your friends or your government. Your have the power, the strength and the skills to do something to bring about change. These attributes are all within you, the biggest obstacle you have is in your mind.

It is time to overcome your fears, after all fear is only False Evidence Appearing Real. You have nothing to fear unless you remain stagnant, unless you do nothing then and only then will you guarantee to yourself change will not come. Your world can be a better place if you are active in it; if you take control of the direction you are headed.

If you don’t like the direction you are headed, it is up to YOU to take some action. To depend on hope and change brought to you by others is a road to dependency and lower self-worth. Now is your time, and this is your place to move on down the road knowing you are in control of your direction and destiny.

Every journey starts with one step, every marathon is completed with a single step at time, there are no shortcuts and victory goes to those willing to pay the price. You may have stalled or even run out of gas but now is the time to restart your engine. What are you waiting for, rise up, get moving, go forth and start your journey. As they say at the Indy 500, “Ladies and gentlemen, START YOUR ENGINES!”.

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