Waves of Change

The theme of water has been reoccurring for the last 48 hours or so and I just can’t shake it. It is appearing everywhere in all facets of my informational existence.

Surf the wave.

Ride the wave.

“A drop of water does not know it is part of a raging river.”

Reoccurring – on and on in incredible succession – Why?

 

The world is changing. Simple as that.

Everything is changing – somethings for the better, but most – in my opinion – are not.

TED staffers are updating their blog with all the speeches from TED Global 2012. I have to admit to wanting to do little else today, but flip through each email as it comes in – only I can’t. The real job that I begged the cosmos for is calling me to my tasks and thankfully I do it.

Thing is though that I want to watch and share it with you all.

One of their first posts this morning was from Jason Silva. His discussion is on Radical Openess. How the formation of your thoughts and ideas assists in the evolution of the species.

I couldn’t help but be transfixed by this thought. How each of us and the depth (or lack) of our thoughts determines our next step on a global scale.

I don’t have anyone really to discuss this with that won’t look at me like I am crazy, so I will hope for a form of dialogue here.

I have often thought that life in a turn of the 19th century agrarian community would be easier. You would wake up, do your chores, live your little life in the space you know and this would continue day in and day out forever.

Seems dull but you would know what to expect – and you would know how to do this.

About 100 years ago thinkers and doers started to depend on their imaginations more than the limitations of their existence and the world started to change. We as a species didn’t physically evolve, but metaphysically we have changed dramatically. The species began to grow more dependant on brains than on bodies.

The species began living longer.

In turn, we started thinking for tomorrow instead of thinking for today.

The species over the last 100 years has witnessed giant leaps of knowledge and consciousness.

I remember learning about the Renaissance in school and the magic that seems to exude from the time. People made radical leaps in knowledge and consciousness.

To which I believe we are in the midst of our own renaissance. Our own bit of magic.

If we allow ourselves to grow.

I say if because many people are still living life as a drone to the propaganda presented to them instead of thinking for themselves.

If we think for ourselves we form ideas and opinions and we eventually must find other people to discuss these opinions and ideas.

Everything is the result of an idea.

A thought.

An opinion.

The holocaust was a bad idea.

The space race was a good idea.

Securing your home is a good idea.

Creating security so tight within a nation that it makes it impossible to believe this is still a democratic nation is a bad idea.

Someone somewhere thought of each thing in existence today.

Electricity was a magician’s trick. I like having the ability to see at night without squinting in candlelight.

Personal computers were a fanciful idea until someone with the knowledge and passion to make one came along.

I think the theme I am supposed to be recognizing is this…I am one voice in a million trying to consciously evolve into a new way of thinking.

I am but one droplet in a river of change.

One voice in a million hoping and thinking and evolving for the future of us all.

What are you? Who are you? Are you becoming more evolved? Are you listening to everything around you?

Do you allow yourself quiet moments in your day to think about everything?

If you don’t even consider your effect on the world around you perhaps now is a good time to think about it. What could you do that may not seem like a big thing, but could your first drop into the river of change?

 

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What is your relationship to passion?

A fellow blogger of mine recently gave me +K as a relationship blogger…which I guess I sort of am – I just didn’t think anyone else noticed.

Lately though I have been pondering our relationship to passion.

I am a passionate person.

I am passionate about EVERYTHING, but mainly I am passionate about our interpersonal relationships. How do we interact with each other? How do we get on? Why are we doing some of the things we are doing…these are questions I silently ask myself everyday.

People confound me. Which I guess is why I question human nature so much.

It is in continuing to watch and interact that my passion is sustained. I constantly ask people why they did something and wonder about their thought process to get from idea to fruition. Whether the end result was what they expected or not, and what could they have done differently to get their desired result.

I was recently discussing a dissertation with a work friend of mine and his passion for the topic is waning. It’s not that he doesn’t care about his chosen topic, but while he was waiting for department approval life happened.

That’s the problem with passion sometimes. Life happens and we adjust.

Our passions change.

What can we do about it?

I think we have to feed our passion. To keep something alive and real to us we have to continue to read, write, experience and discuss with like-minded individuals.

In months past I was involved in discussions on TED.com that I am extremely passionate about, but life has happened, and I am not equally passionate about doing a great job at my new job. (Which by all accounts I am. :)) It’s not that I don’t want to continue doing those things, but I would rather spend the few minutes I have every now and then sharing with you all.

Life happens.

I’ve started using Twitter as a tool to keep up on topics that I find interesting. For the first few years the service was available I scoffed at it and didn’t sign up. I thought it was mostly for idiots to follow celebrities on and I just didn’t care about that. But lately…Twitter has become my news source. My article reading source. My writers source. My muse.

Many ideas that I scribble about in the wee hours are from Twitter.

Today – think about this – what is your relationship to passion? How do you feed it? Are there things that you could be doing to get you excited again?

I bet the answer is right under your radar.

Image from Bing. If the owner/creator finds this image here – let me know I will link it.

Take Ownership

There is a problem rampant in the world.

Refusal to take ownership.

I run across it daily in my professional life. People refuse to take ownership of their actions.

“I didn’t do that.”

“I can’t do that.”

 “It is the company.”

“It isn’t me, it’s the business.”

I always want to shout through the phone or through the office.

I run across this in my private life. People who refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions. Always blaming it on the next person never on themselves.

I am a take responsibility kind of person.

I take ownership of the projects, work, and information provided to me by my company. I consider that the most important function of my job. Knowing what or how or who needs what.

I have been this way in my personal life also. I don’t have the attitude that my circumstances aren’t based as a result of every decision I have made to date.

Life is a result of every choice made each and every day.

Take ownership of your reality.

Your professional life is the result of the choices you make day in and day out.

Take ownership of this!

The other night I watched “The Iron Lady,” the movie about Margaret Thatcher, and I started thinking to myself about the lack of leaders who take ownership. Do we have a strong leader out there like her? I am too young to know if she took ownership of her failures in life before she was out of the public eye, but the film made it appear as though she did.

Do we have some person who has made choice after choice to do what is best, even if it’s not what’s easy?

Do we have leaders who take ownership of not only their triumphs but of their failures?

As a politician Mrs. Thatcher made the choices to serve her country before herself or her family. It made her relationships difficult, but look at the mark she left on the world.

Right now what do we know of the men running for the highest office in our land?

We know that one…they do not take ownership of their failures.

Like most politicians they gladly own their successes but how often have they said, “This was my choice. I did this. I’m sorry for the result, but it seemed like the best option at the time.”

Never.

At least not to my knowledge.

Maybe they do in the quiet confines of their offices, but they pay people to spin the story.

A good PR person can be worth their weight in gold if the problem is of their own doing.

Pay the media and they will do or say whatever you want them to. Befriend them and shower them with gifts. It may not be the ethical approach but it gets you the results you need.

Why is it so hard for people to say – “I messed up”?

I messed up and there is nothing that can be done about it except try to accept and learn from the failure.

I know why too. I know the answer to this question.

Because people are afraid of failure. They would rather lay blame elsewhere than accept failure for their poor decisions.

But like I said I am a person who takes ownership, to my detriment I assure you on many occasions.

Professionally I have only been fired from one job. Why?

I accepted responsibility for a mistake made by several because I should have seen it. I should have recognized it. It didn’t matter that it was in my training period with the company and the export forwarder from China sent me the wrong information. It also didn’t matter that my trainer and our supervisor were both actively involved in the shipments. What mattered is that I had three typos on a shipment release and it cost the company money.

But you want know something? I’m okay with this. I learned a lesson about trust and leadership. (Not to mention double and triple checking my work.)

What did I learn about leadership?

I learned that people make mistakes and you shouldn’t judge their future based on one mistake. A true leader looks at the potential.

I learned that you should take ownership of your choices – no matter the result. A true leader knows that they will make good and bad choices and accepts it.

I learned that in a corporate environment you can’t trust your coworkers when they feel you are competition. They would just as soon throw you under the bus than admit their own faults.

We all have faults. We are human. We are not expected to be perfect nor can we be perfect. If you set that as your expectation you will fail every time.

Rather set your expectations on ownership. Can you effect change or results in any given situation based simply on the choices you make?

If the answer is yes, then do it.

If the answer is no, then find someone who can and let it be theirs.

We can’t all end hunger or feed nations, but we can accept that we can do our part.

I think it is time for our leaders to accept ownership of the condition of the nation, the successes and the failures.

I think it’s time for citizens to accept their circumstances.

Regardless of what is happening you can change them.

I changed mine.

If I can change mine – you can change yours.

All it takes is making the choice.

One of the Oldest Professions

I started this post weeks ago with a different intent, but now, I have a more wholesome approach to one of the Oldest Professions.

How many of you have ever been a waiter or a waitress? Anyone? Most of us at some point have done this particular job. Do you remember how hard it was?

I have been a waitress at two different restaurants in my life. At the moment, I am waiting tables…but I don’t remember it being this hard! OH MY GOODNESS!

So, this is a piece on remembering to tip your waiters and bartenders and why…although I had planned on something more along the lines of a courtesan or concubine or mistress. That too is an old profession…just as old as marriage. So…like I said…much more wholesome.

On March 7, I started waiting tables again. I am working at the big, little restaurant on the bay and wow…am I in pain!

Once upon a time when I was 20 years old and working at this same restaurant. We would hire someone over 30 and I would laugh when they couldn’t keep up and smile on command.

<insert expletive> this is HARD!

Now I know why these women were huffing and puffing and their ankles were caving in!

Ouch!

Needless to say I am eating my words from my 20 year old self and I would like to smack the B—-. Only she is me and self abuse I teach against…although I think I am losing that argument as well every time I arrive at work. My schedule generally goes like this…

Clock in

Clean

Take a table

Finish what ever I was cleaning

Take another table

Run, table, run, table, table, run, etc…

For 6 to 9 hours a day…at least the 9 hours is expected (eventually) and after 9 shifts of 7 hours I ache! Places I didn’t remember I had ache! (If my physical therapist knew she would be beating me with her stretching belts!) My legs got a little shaky by Saturday afternoon and I nearly toppled a tray full of drinks on a table full of senior citizens! I saved it though…and felt better about myself about that. Yay me!!

One week in and I had renewed vigor in my job search. (Just so you know.) I have been on four interviews this week! Finally the economy really does look like it is picking up and it’s evidenced in the job banks! Thank you God! Just in time!

Anywho…I also forgot the pettiness of some people. I have been playing (working) with grown ups for far too long so petty people infuriate me. For those who have never waited tables before…allow me to enlighten you.

We have side work.

By that I mean we do menial tasks at $3.35 an hour until they are complete AFTER our shifts.

What do I mean by pettiness?

“She didn’t roll enough silverware.” “She tried to help the new guy when she is new herself.” “Don’t touch that!” “Blah, blah, blah…”

Pettiness people. If you are old enough to serve a drink you are old enough to not fight over bull shit. I am certain there is a more G rated term for that…but it is in fact bull shit…because it smells of such a substance.

I think I have posted before that my body is damaged and apparently no one I know reads my posts…so I am left to reexplain the trials of myself since having children. I feel a bit like a lazy chubby girl, but there are in fact medical reasons for everything, thus I have been angry with myself as much as others with higher expectations…because my 20 year old self would definitely be making fun of me.

Please – for the love of God – remember to tip your bartenders and waitstaff. Here is why…

1) They might have families they are supporting.

2) Someone around the corner from your table may be poking at their ego and stamina and it is reflecting in how they are dealing with you. I know you are thinking the wait person should be able to rise above this, but some times they really just want to go to the back and cry.

3) If you have been there for an hour remember what you expect to get paid for and then remember that you have been serviced for an hour. Not had to lift a finger (okay mostly not had to lift a finger.) every thing is delivered to you…at least meet the waiter half way…give them a five spot. I think they at least deserve that.

4) If you don’t want to leave a tip, don’t go to a full service restaurant allowing the waiter/waitress to respond to your beck and call, and then leave them with nothing. Just don’t do that. It’s bad karma. Bad ju ju…just skip the full service restaurant. Head out to a place where you can order your own food and pick it up at the window.

All that being said, I have made pretty good money even if most of it has gone to the care of children while I am working. If I didn’t have that expense we would be peachy keen. But I do…because I had kids…because I was married to an a–hole. (That’s another post.)

I feel the need to insert a song here…Everlast…Getting By.

Today (or maybe tomorrow) I am making a guest appearance at CommuniCATE CLICK HERE  to link and read about blogging and depression. It’s interesting stuff. Perhaps you to will want to blog and share and learn how to be a better you.

Flirting is a Lost Art

I think the inability of recent generations to wait until the right moment is a disservice to oursleves. Flirting really doesn’t exist anymore. Say you see someone. You decide you want to meet this particular someone. You walk over and just start chatting. There’s no build up, there’s no considering them. You aren’t even trying to catch their eye to see if they are interested. I think it’s generally an antiseptic approach with base information.

Getting asked on a date by someone my own age generally goes like this…

“Hi, I’m Ted.”

“Hi Ted. I’m Meg.”

“Want to get a drink?”

“Sure”

“Why not Sky Bar tonight at 9.”

“Okay.”

“Okay, see you then.”

That is not a fun conversation! That is not playful! That’s nerves. That’s irritation. That’s like instant messaging…just spoken. It lacks anything that makes a girl even want to try.

I want to be flirted with. I think most people want to be flirted with. Make each other know you are seriously interested in them, then strike up a conversation for a minute. Women want to be wooed. Get to know something about us and let us learn something about you.

I know this is going to sound like the utmost in cheese…but I must say share.

I remember being 15 sitting at Chelsea’s Pub at Lakeline Mall in Austin, and turning bright red when my friend’s mom tried to teach us how to flirt. As we waited for our salads and fried cheese sticks my sister and my friend started giggling. My friend’s mom asked us what was going on and I told her that the other two had spotted a cute guy a few tables away.

She took that as an opportunity to critic our skills.

We had none.

She was apparently an expert in flirting…an old school expert. She sat in the middle of that restaurant smiling, winking, and waving. Capturing a guy’s attention…not a real guy mind you. She already had a man’s attention. Her husband’s and he wasn’t there!

She looked at the three of us and said…you have to learn to flirt.

My tom boy attitude was to throw my head back and laugh…like flirting would work! Bahahaha!

My sister giggled.

Our friend burst out laughing and then screamed, “Mom NOOOOO!”

She just gave us a knowing smile. She said you need to catch their glance. See if they notice. Give them a little smile and go back to whatever it is you’re doing. Look up again and see if you get eye contact…and so on and so forth until one of you waves.

Gotta give a guy an invitation in her scenario. Most these days guys don’t care if you have given them an invitation or not. You can glare at them at they think you are pretending you’re a kid punching the person you like because you want their attention. Truthfully I don’t think that punching someone is a sign of endearment outside of elementary school.

Old school flirting. Huh? Maybe she was right.

This is just not how it is done anymore…should it be done this way?

YES. Oh my goodness yes.

(Yet another window into my little life.)

I had never done the old school flirt tactics I learned on that spring day 16 years ago until yesterday. By no means did I even remember what my friends mom told us until he was walking away and I was left with the giggles.

Now, I am laughing at myself…because really…ugh!

I caught a guy staring at me through the window at Starbucks. I wondered if my hair was standing on end, anything obvious that would make someone stand there and stare, smiling like a goofy school boy.

Um…not that I could tell and I wasn’t going to scuttle off to check. A girl likes a little attention sometimes.

So, I continued to write my post on buying local. You may have noticed that it is dramatically shorter than anything else that I have written lately and that is because of this guy.

Let’s call him McSteamy. Why McSteamy? He looks like the character from Grey’s Anatomy. He is freaking hot.

I was so distracted I couldn’t concentrate on what I was trying to write…and I don’t even know his name.

As I settled in and began my post I had all kinds of wonderful things I wanted to say about freshness and cost effectiveness and taxes, and then I felt eyes boring into the side of my skull. I look up and this lovely man just smiles. Big, broad, goofy smile like I know him and he knows me and all my secrets.

I turn red, look back at my computer screen and try to not giggle.

As I sighed, I thanked God he was standing outside.

He just stands there peering through the window watching me try to type. And I do mean try…I kept writing a word here and there, but really this was impossible to do with someone I didn’t know staring at me. I gave up. I texted my friend Sim and she laughed at me. She knows I am more than a little self-conscious and while I am confident, I am still shaky on my looks.

Sim told me to give myself a little credit. So again I sigh, regroup and to type again.

Feeling eyes I look up, I smile this time…ever so subtly and go back to what I am doing.

Every time I look up from my “work” I see him just looking in watching me. This wildly handsome dude is checking me (in my gym clothes and tennis shoes) out. I had crazy hair…it was windy, but I really didn’t care (to that point.)

He came in and got another coffee. I looked the other way and continued to type. I opened Facebook and looked for a distraction…nothing. Facebook really isn’t as exciting as it was when I was working and there was nothing else to do. I think I can feel him staring at my back while he is getting his coffee and going back out to the crowd of men playing chess.

I didn’t look back. That would have been way too silly, even for me. He had a great voice though…deep and manly. I smile to myself and for the first time in nearly an hour I can get more written on my post.

In a not so subtle act of insanity…because what else could it be…he finally sits down to play chess with an old man. He sits so that when he’s not looking at his chess pieces he’s looking at me.

Ugh! What am I going to do!? I consider for a second packing up and going to my neighborhood Starbucks and trying again…but I couldn’t do that. I need a day like this every few hundred. A little confidence booster, you know?

He’s playing chess…concentrating on his move, talking the old man, drinking coffee and looking very nice and kind.

Yep, I’m the one staring now. He’s tall, over 6 foot and broad-shouldered. He looks strong and well-built. Looked so relaxed in a navy pull over, jeans, and loafers. (I’m a sucker for a guy NOT wearing athletic shoes.)
Strong jaw line with the “just enough” facial hair thing…like McSteamy, only dark…and his eyes are sort of piercing, brilliant blue.

After another few hours of the staring, smiling, googly eyes I finally got my post done. He finished his game of chess. He said bye to his friends and walked away. He looking over again just as I was looking up and waved…the silly finger wave. Gets in his truck and as slow as possible drives away staring at me.

I laughed…out loud. I got stares from everyone sitting near me.

I thought my lessons on flirting all those years ago.

Flirting is a lost art…but with men of a certain age…it’s alive and well.

What’s one dumb thing you used to believe in?

This week Danielle LaPorte is asking: What’s one Dumb thing that you used to believe in?

Part three in the Burning Question Series.

I’m not sure if I want to rant or continue with the psycho babble of late.

Perhaps a combination?

To answer the question I think the dumbest thing I ever believed in was emotionally “Fakin’ it til I make it.”

To be honest with myself that is just what I do. I know. I plaster a smile on my face, speak when spoken to, and try to make as few waves as possible. I keep the reality of what I would like to say bottled up because I might hurt someone’s feelings.

This is me? This was the old me? Maybe she is still there, somewhere, hiding until presented with an uncomfortable situation.

I have made concerted direct efforts to change from this docile phantom into a passionate, educated being fully aware of her emotions.

Why?

I realized the illness surrounding me, permeating every relationship and choice I made.

I grew a back bone and learned one simple phrase. “That doesn’t work for me.”

You aren’t telling the other person that their feelings are flat-out wrong, you’re just admitting to them that it doesn’t resonate well within your mind, your spirit, you. You are leaving it up to them to make their own mistakes.

This one small phrase has changed me.

Look around yourself, your friends, your life, the world. What do you see?

Me? I see illness. I see brokenness. I see people putting on a good show because they think that it’s what we need to be a happy, productive society.

But how many of us are really happy?

How many of us are really that productive?

What do you produce that works for not only your selfish purpose but could impact the rest of us?

We don’t all have to have a global impact though…so what are you choosing that is making a difference in the lives of your loved ones?

We have the good choices versus bad choices discussion seemingly every day at our house lately. I believe that people are good. What we make though are the choices to be/do good or to be/do bad. Right now my son struggles with rash behaviors. He will do something impulsively and know immediately that it was a wrong choice. He will say I don’t know why I do it, but we all know.

He’s made a choice.

Consciously or subconsciously I do know…but he chose to dump the carton of milk on his friends lunch tray. He chose to hold scissors up to a kids head and pretend to cut it. He is having to deal with the consequences of his choices.

Looking around at my community I think of BP, Transocean Offshore, and (was it Halliburton?)

BP is a big company here in Houston, so is Transocean, and well…Halliburton is big anywhere. They employ a lot of local folks. They employ a lot of folks I know. They offer incredible benefits. They give great bonus’ and incentives. As far as employers go they are so big because they offer a great package. They offer the things individuals need to create a life for themselves.

Obviously I am getting to the oil spill from 2010.

Somewhere along the way from the time they planted that platform in the Gulf of Mexico until the day it exploded there were individual choices made that impacted the end result. Fix this, don’t fix that. Lowest bidder here, less than satisfactory work done there. Over the course of the lifetime of the platform each of the companies that had a hand in it failed to make the best choices possible.

11 men lost their lives, thousands of men became unemployed from the resulting spill and restrictions placed on offshore drilling.

The ecosystem of the Gulf is still recovering. Millions of barrels, perhaps billions of barrels of oil were projected into this body of water that I love. All from ill-fated choices.

What of our planet?

What choices are the leaders of this world making that have a lasting impact?

Are these good or bad? Do they do things of their own determination or are they just a puppet system for a secret society?

There is supposed to be a flow of information from the masses up to the leadership. We are told from a young age that our leaders are acting in our best interests, but as we age many of us don’t believe this is the case. What will the consequence of this be?

As a society we are fakin’ it and trying to look like we are makin’ it.

This is not a good choice.

This is a bad choice.

 We need to embrace ourselves, our lives, and our choices. We need to know what turns us on. We need passion. We need to know what we want in the world, not what we want out of it.

 We need to believe that our choices will have an impact.

We need to take the steps necessary to right wrongs. To make the world better for all.

To listen. To evolve. To choose.

Happiness, faith, peace, love, unity, confidence, passion.

Pulled from somewhere off Facebook last week.

Fly

Click the photo for a link to the lovely blog I pulled this photo from 🙂

Today I am at the edge…preparing to fly.

I have steadied my gaze and readied my mind.

Today I am leaping…into the unknown,

I am hoping and praying for each of my boys.

Today I am leaving…the dulldrums are done!

I am running and jumping for joy all alone.

Today I am whole…ever constant in God.

I have thought and I’ve pondered with each little nod.

Today I am happy…He’s answering my prayers.

Can’t you see?!

I have an ending today and a new beginning, just me.

Love, hope, peace, joy, and home

I’m flying

I’m singing

I’m praising the Lord.

~Written by: Meg

—————–

It doesn’t rhyme much, but I am not much of a rhyming poet. I have never written a poem for you all, so I thought I would change that up today.

Today is my last day at the most boring job ever. I will miss it. I will miss the freedom of hours upon hours of time to think and to write. I have spent the last seven months plugging away at this little blog, and joining blog groups and reading wonderful blogs. I have made some fabulous bloggy friends and I can’t wait to see what is next.

I feel like I am jumping of a cliff, but instead of falling into the depths below, I feel I am soaring high above in the clouds. Like an eagle or pheonix, graceful in their flight. Giant wings spread, looking around, I see the world below and my home on a rock. Back to the Llano Estacado with me…a giant rock in the middle of Texas.

I’m hoping for the excitement that I am sure is to come…the butterflies in my belly tell me it’s there. Waiting and coming when the time is just right.

I rest in the hands of God, His will for me is all I can do. I pray ceaselessly to hear the right voice. Discerning His choice for me and my life is not easy. I wonder if He offers me things here where I am to tempt me to stay somewhere I have known so much pain.

There was a sermon at church last Sunday that said you won’t grow if you don’t allow yourself to root. What if your roots were transplaneted and they want to go home? I can fully understand what the pastor was saying, but some trees died when they are transplanted. I know I have not been what I could be in the last ten years here in this place. I have longed for home since the day I got here, and kicked myself everytime I haven’t moved back when I had the chance.

Sometimes a chance is nothing more than a whisper…sometimes these chances are solid in form and life. I can’t wait. I am excited. I am ready to take flight.

I am ready to get back on track, to swoop and to soar to the highest of lifes.

What are you doing for yourself in this year’s fearless challenge? Are you challenging yourself to live the highest life possible? Creating change for yourself? Or simply creating!?

“Create yourself a great day!”

Now be good boys and girls and Share

I have been trying to think of a way to explain and humanize the information on ACTA for you all. As to what it means to the average citizen…how it will affect our lives.

I must admit it is hard.

I am a blogger. I post my opinions on life. I post my opinions on politics. I post my opinions on the government and civil liberties. Occasionally I have shared music videos and speeches. I have posted photographs that accentuate the point I am trying to make. I don’t fill the page with images, I see no point in that. I am not a photographer, I am a writer.

I write utilizing my first amendment rights to freedom of speech and press.

I consider it a wonderfully fun part of my day, this sharing process that occurs with you all.

Some posts I think of me talking to a shrink, that’s really what this blog started out as…a place to put my thoughts. Other posts are more like news articles sort of the content of the last weeks or content on the occupy movement. I have commentaries on how I perceived the Houston branch of the Occupy movement, my life over the course of the last year, and how we can effectively change the world. I wrote – not so long ago – about the Human Project. I plan to write on the Venus Project and more from TED.

Acccording to the Freshly Pressed home page there are  445,814 bloggers on WordPress alone. There are dozens of free blog hosting sites, not to mention the sites that own their domain, and have a blog to share content with you all.

Imagine all of them disappearing.

Last Wednesday’s SOPA/PIPA protest was just a taste of the changes that would be made.

Here’s the thing though…that legistlation is going to be resubmitted and reworked and attached as riders to other bills until it is passed.

UNLESS WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

When I think of or hear the word Treaty I think of war. There is a treaty signed to end most wars. So…I Googled the word “treaty,” and if you can imagine it Google gave me the Wikipedia link first!

SOPA/PIPA for shame! ACTA be damned! (Haha)

Anyway, Wikipedia defines a treaty as “an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an (international) agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all of these forms of agreements are, under international law, equally considered treaties and the rules are the same.[1] Treaties can be loosely compared to contracts: both are means of willing parties assuming obligations among themselves, and a party to either that fails to live up to their obligations can be held liable under international law.”

I know when I worked with contracts that if a contractor did not live up to the contract that they were in default and we dealt with the company accordingly. Sometimes in court, sometimes in words, either way we made sure to have the partner company make good on their contract. Only one service contract I know wasn’t honored and that contract was terminated.

This makes me wonder what will happen if the U.S. Trade Representative and the IIPA is unable to convince the majority of the Congress to vote for a bill that would dissolve the use of freedom of expression, speech and press. Simply because we are now able to share content through a medium like the Internet.

ACTA is a treaty after all, it’s important to know what that means.

Share…is that a bad word? My five-year old thinks so…he has toys, but now he also has a little brother. His brother is growing up and wants to play with his toys too. He didn’t pay for them, but they are there and he wants to use them. I have to teach a lesson in sharing every morning and evening to my five-year old. He had a monopoly on the toys for five years, but now he does not.

He is angry about it, but it has to be done. He has to learn this to be able to socialize properly.

The five-year old is a whiz at utilizing the Internet. He can download, upload, and I think he has even shared videos on my Facebook page. He redesigns my Droid homepage on my phone every chance he gets. He can’t wait to be able to have a computer of his own to play with and create on.

The treaty the U.S. government has signed with other nations effectively ends this right. This thing that my son can’t wait to do is dying because someone in Hollywood who used to dream this way as a child says no you can’t do that anymore (at least not without giving me my dues.) What would the world be like if Steve Jobs or Steven Spielberg hadn’t had dreams of grandeur as children?

Original content is their argument. What original has come out of Hollywood in the last few years? Really?!

Everything is recycled, reproduced, reused, and we are on our fourth and fifth installments of some movie enterprises.

I don’t care to see another Marvel comic book made into a movie! If I wanted to watch a comic I would actually go to the comic book store and buy one!

Original content…really?!

Are we at war over the Internet? Are we choosing our sides as we share?

The anonymous hackers that are bringing their message to the nations that support ACTA believe we are.

The government is behaving in a manner which says you are guilty until proven innocent, and the only time I have witnessed that stance is in wartime.

I have been raised to believe that the Bill of Rights is something I can depend on that will allow me the freedoms I need to be a fruitful member of society. I should be able to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” I should be able to speak out against a bill, a charter, or a treaty; and not be keyworded into being an enemy of the state. The wording of the Patriot Act is perfectly clear and even if the Supreme Court has declared some line items unconstitutional, by speaking about changing the world as we know it, I am siding with the dissidence. Whether I agree with how they are doing it or not I do agree with the groups at Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Congress, Occupy the Courts, and all the other protests.

Humanity is at a precipice.

We are at a point in history that decides our next evolutionary marker.

Are we going to allow our governments to put an end to things like open-sourcing and sharing of ideas? Are we going to allow a few men at the top to tell us that they are right and we are wrong and we are not allowed to have an opinion much less voice it in a digital media that can be shared?

Are we sheep?

My favorite quote from Einstein is, “In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep.”

I am not a sheep, and I don’t even pretend to be immaculate. I feel sorry for those who do. I try to live right, but if that means to some I am living wrong, that is not my karma.

Sharing and speaking and gathering to protest is the right thing to do right now.

We are at a point when we either follow or create a new path.

We can live as previous generations extolling the high moral standards of the immoral or we can be a generation of exacting change.

Choose wisely.

John Lennon was way ahead of his time, but that's what makes him eternal.

The Morning After

The world looked a little brighter this morning. My apartment was clean. My kids were bathing. I even woke up at 6 am without the alarm! Shocking!

Yesterday was a great day. I disabled Facebook and joined the WordPress censorship blackout. I spent the day listening to TED talks and joining various debates and conversations. I took a test for a job that I have applied for and I have no idea if I did a good job or not, but working the math muscles that I haven’t used since I was 12 was fun! (I took the hard math classes in school. Simple fractions and word problems I haven’t done since 1992!)

What was so great about yesterday? 18 Senators revoked their support for the “Stop Online Piracy Act” and the “Protect IP Act” – this is amazing. Not only that but somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.5 million people signed petitions to let their voice be heard.

I watched the speech of Clay Shirky at TED yesterday as he explained the dangers of SOPA. Here it is for you to watch.

I watched the Mikko Hypponen speech on the three tyes of online attacks. Stay informed…watch this…

I also watched the video of Larry Lessig from 2007 that covers the topic “Laws that choke creativity”

As well as another speech from Clay Shirky from 2005. Facebook wasn’t even out to the masses yet, it was still a MySpace world. The differences between collaboration and institutions.

These were amazing speeches that covered pretty much this topic.

                “The world is changing, as it changes so must we. We are connected now more than ever before and as time passes we will continue to grow closer together. We must adjust our way of doing things and learn new methods. We must share our research and information and not hoard it. There was a time with idea sharing was difficult, but that is not now.”

Also I watched the UH Professor Brene Brown’s speech on Wholeheartedness. That’s a speech that would make you feel alive…or at least recharge your batteries. Her original research was on human connection. The internal workings that make us human. What is it about us that makes us different from every other species on the planet? We experience vulnerability. It is as we recognize our vulnerability that we are able to take the next step into wholehearted.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that wholehearted is how I live. Heck if you have been reading this blog long enough you know that. I encourage you to look within yourselves and find that place at which you can live with your entire heart.

Yesterday was a great day by all accounts and today is the morning after. I have courageously decided to hand in notice this afternoon…I’m without livable apartment or permanent childcare at the moment and life has reached the tipping point. Either realize my potential or stay here and stagnate and watch the courage to live disappear. Today is going to be a great day. Enjoy it!

When I grow up…

The other day I wrote a very long piece about finally feeling the need to realize my full potential. I think I wrote something like it a while ago, but I just kept rambling and didn’t stop myself. It gets far too quiet at work during the day and my thoughts…they run away with my fingers and what you get is something endless.

For all 1200 words or so I sounded like I don’t have a purpose, a mission, but I do! You may have guessed along the way that I am a passionate person. My enthusiasm for certain topics is well…unrivaled. (yet)  

Today I am on fire…and it is sort of related to my future and the future of women everywhere. Watch This: (and I do realize that it looks a bit like porn from the image, but I assure you it is not.)

The quote at the beginning is one I hadn’t heard before, but the realization of its truth is something that I know all to well.

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~Alice Walker, Author

The video focus’ on women and how we seem to be retrograding our ability to gain in power positions that can affect the quality of life for all. We have not gained any seats in Congress, we are witnessing women the image of women in the media devolving, and a woman’s aging translates to being “tired and haggard.”

Each of the lines on Secretary Clinton’s face were earned. She has had a hard life, as a lawyer and politicians wife, then as a politician herself, and now as a Secretary of State during an era with two ongoing wars. Let’s not even discuss Former President Clinton’s philandering. To call a woman of such worth haggard is disgraceful. I may not enjoy any agreement with the woman’s politics, but the quality of her worth is not to be questioned.

Why do we do this? Why do we tear women apart who don’t look like the norm but could have such an impact on our world? What is it that makes the media think we can’t see the grace in aging? What makes the concept so hard to understand?!

Some of my favorite afternoons were spent listening to old women talk. I grew up in a retirement community with my grandparents and I have such great respect for the older generations. It is a respect that I hope I can teach to my children. They have witnessed so much of the invention and change in the last century, and to ignore them would be a disservice to ourselves.

When I grow up, I hope that I can look back and hear people say that because of my passion for the cause of Human Rights, Women’s Rights, Peace, and Giving Children a hand up in life that, I am haggard. I will earn each line. I will be a voice for the voiceless. I know that there are many who live as Alice Walker describes, but I will live as Alice Walker lives. Vibrant display of words and actions that bring equality of rights to people, women, children and I hope that eventually this can be what I do full-time.

For now, I am satisfied with working hard, writing a little each day, raising children who are aware, and volunteering. I’m hoping to be allowed to assist with TEDxHouston this year, and I am going to start my non-profit. I may not be able to do everything I want to do RIGHT NOW. BUT I know that eventually I will do everything that I need to do.

Find your passion and reach for your dreams. Have a fantastic weekend. 🙂