Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘Choices’

Protection agencies…6 pictures

Industry, Pollution, Smog, Sunrise

We have the EPA (environmental Protection Agency), animal protection agencies, safe houses, child protection agencies and a million other PROTECTION GROUPS.  We have sanctuaries, and grassroots groups trying to save this or that.  We have laws to protect beings and things, when the only thing everyone needs to be protected from, is US.

WE set up protection agencies to protect us from ourselves.  If that alone doesn’t tell you that something is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WRONG with us as a species, then I don’t know what will.

We are CONSTANTLY trying to fix what we ourselves constantly break.

War, Soldiers, Parachutes, ParatroopersGarbage, Waste Container, Waste

Model, Beautiful, Portrait, Face

Fist, Aggression, Abuse

People, Child, Portrait, Girl, Poor


We are responsible for the suffering and destruction that is all around us.  None of this has to exist.  We allow it to exist.  We have been brainwashed into believing that this IS the way the world is.  It’s doesn’t have to be this way.  We MAKE IT THIS WAY.  The world can be anyway we want it to be and violence, hunger, suffering, inequality and destruction is simply the path the rich have chosen and reinforced for their own benefit.  The path we have been led down.  I think it’s time to reevaluate our choices, before we’re the only things left…and won’t that be fun…for the few minutes we last.

Extinction Rebellion, Climate Change

Every time a man beats or rapes a woman, or child, it’s his choice.  Every time a hunter kills someone, it’s his choice.  Every time a greedy government kills the people, or let’s them starve, it’s the government’s choice.  Every time  soldier’s die, or are destroyed in war, it’s the choice of the men who sit safely in their offices.  Every time we clear-cut a forest, it’s a choice. Every time you eat an animal, it’s your choice.  Life is all about choices.  We need to make different choices, if we want a different world.

We say we love our children.  I’m not sure that’s true.  If we loved our children, wouldn’t we fight to have clean air, so they could breathe?  Wouldn’t we fight to stop the violence, so they could live and not be bullied, killed on the street, or in a war?  Wouldn’t we fight to stop men from beating women and children.  Wouldn’t we stop deforestation, the extinction of animals, the destruction of beauty…for our children?  I don’t see how we can have it both ways.  How many kids are on inhalers today?  How many kids are sickly because of the environment they live in?  How many kids are hungry and brutalized by their parents, relatives, priests, teachers, strangers, neighbors?  How many animals are tortured, killed for food and sport?  Do we love our children enough to change the way the world is run?  We need to ask ourselves that question.  We don’t teach kindness, we teach them violence.

Having said all of that. I don’t think anything will change.  We’re like a rock rolling downhill, picking up speed, and nothing can stop it.  We have become desensitized to the violence around us.  Our kids are surrounded by violence in games, on television, and in film.  They don’t even see it, so they aren’t shocked when it becomes real in their lives.  Kids are on drugs and killing themselves.  They are depressed and lost.  We’re living in our heads and on line.  Nature is something out there and no longer part of our true environment, at least for many.   It’s no longer quiet.  Kids are on their phones constantly, Relationships are on line.  The world is becoming less real. Regular people are no longer in the loop.  Decisions about our lives are made by others.  Legalized drugs, work for our masters.  It’s easier to manipulate people who are eating boxes of cereal and don’t care what happens next.

And yet, if you look closely, acts of kindness are taking place.  It’s just that those acts, while helpful to those involved, can’t stop the onslaught of all the things that are happening around us.

It used to be that employers were lucky to have good employees.  Now people are lucky to have jobs, so they can be abused by their employers because they are unappreciated and being fired is always a threat.  Dissatisfaction is normal because people have less and less control/power over their own lives.  You’re LUCKY if you have this or that, in a world of ABUNDANCE, because we are being fed a lie of scarcity.  People are lined up to take your job, so there’s no sense of security or appreciation for many workers, who are asked to do more and more all the time because they are LUCKY TO HAVE ANY JOB AT ALL.  Threats don’t make for happy workers.  People can’t live on minimum wage, voted on by wealthy people who vote their own raises.  Everything is out of balance.  More and more people are becoming powerless over their own lives.

They don’t ever teach you how to bring about change, in school.  They teach you how to obey and if you aren’t good at that, you’re in detention, or kicked out and labeled.  They only want good kids who follow the status quo and don’t bother the rich white guys who are brain washing and conditioning them.    But that’s a story, for another day.

Meanwhile, we can be lulled into a false sense of happiness because it’s spring and maybe the sun will come out.  Seeing the sun is a special treat, for people who live in Chicago.  But body counts also go up, as violence escalates in the heat and longer days.  Still, we all look forward to a short break from winter.  Living here is also a choice.



Hiding, Boy, Girl, Child, Young, Box

some people
spend their time
allowing themselves
only a tiny peek
into their own lives
they never get to see
the big picture
to take in what the world
has to offer
they never learn
how to fly

What if…

smiley illustration

what IF
all the atoms
coming at us
from the SUN
but we just can see them
because they are too
what IF
we COULD see them
would people
become happier
would they SMILE more often
or would the effect wear off
like it does with
and no one would care
any longer
because that’s what happens in life
we become
to pretty much
and then
we either go searching for
to FULFILL our
for excitement
or we SINK into
and forget
how it FEELS
to jump up and down
and become
with something
that sets us on
life can be
it can be hard
to keep the FIRE going
but acceptance
is like falling into
where it’s really dark
where the
never shines
so there’s no hope at all
that we’ll ever get to see the
smiley faces
on atoms

Choices…a poem

we get to spend our lives
in different ways
depending on where we
came from
depending on what we’ve
been taught
depending on
who we are
there is no right or wrong
things just are
we get to CHOOSE
from what we see around us
not many surfers in Chicago
no ocean
no surf
no sun
no anything
surf boards don’t sell here
environment is everything
when it comes to choices
that’s why we’re all different
we just have to remember
that we would be
like the people we see
if we came from where they did
and vice versa
and we need to remember
that our earliest environments
stay with us
even if we leave them
later in life


Okay, so…

Ya know, people often expect “other” people to “change.”  The people who expect others to change never seem to think about changing themselves.  Why is that? Do they think they are perfect and everyone else is on the wrong track?  You have to admit that it’s a strange phenomena.  We’re all different, driven by different things.  We are each unique…that’s the whole point, isn’t it?  We aren’t coming off a factory line, each of us the same wind-up doll.

Our differences can drive us crazy.  Our differences make us act differently and see things in different ways.  I’m not only talking about the conditioning and brainwashing we’ve each had, I’m talking about our innate personalities.  We are who we are.  We are programmed to be what we are and there’s no getting around it. We can control it, when we have to.  I mean it’s unlikely that someone will stand on their desk at work and start belting out show tunes, even though he has the desire to do so.  The person can usually wait until he’s in his car, or at home, but a singer is a singer, even if he can’t sing.

We argue and don’t like people who can’t understand what we’re saying, when what we’re saying is so CLEAR to us.  The other person feels the same way, hence the argument.  We choose our friends because we “get” each other, which just means we think alike a lot of the time.

When the differences are too big people can become enemies.

The thing is:  it’s difficult to put up with the differences between us, especially when the issues are important to us.  There is no common ground.  There is no way to make things okay.  And expecting either person to change is a joke.  Divorce happens for just those reasons…not agreeing on things.  We don’t, or can’t, give in.  It’s asking too much. It’s a stand off that can end everything.

Too many people don’t understand that they can’t MAKE another person be someone they would like them to be, anymore than that person can remake THEM.  Parents do it all the time, even to their adult children.  It’s as if no one can leave anyone else alone.  That’s why people leave and don’t come back.  That’s why so called friendships end, marriages end, and people quit their jobs.  We are constantly moving around trying to find like-minded people.  People want to be understood.  People want to be around others who think they way they do, so their buttons are always being pushed and they don’t feel exhausted all the time.   Energy vampires are real.

Anyway, I’ve listened to people for a long time and nothing ever changes.  People don’t seem to stop driving each other crazy.  I’m amazed that so many put up with it, but they do, and it takes a huge toll on their lives.  It also forces them to lie and feel resentful.  A lot of people can’t walk away.  Guilt, or whatever, keeps them in the ring, keeps them fighting.

I pretty much reverse everything.  If someone tells me something, I ask them to do the opposite.  They don’t like that.  Those people think they’re always right about what other people should do, but no one is supposed to tell them to change or do things differently.

I think being alive, in this place, is being crammed onto a torture chamber, that’s open to the outside.  I mean, we can’t escape, there’s no reason to put us in cells.  We’re stuck here until we die.  And all people do, while they’re here, is try and find a place that’s away from the daily pin pricks.  Parents and children, bosses, students, teachers, cops, our demented government…sucking all of us dry.  It never ends.   So we seek those places of calm and like mindedness where we can, even if it’s in a mosh pit.

I don’t think it has to do with acceptance, that comes naturally when like-minded people get together.   I think it has to do with people understanding each other.  That’s all most of us really want…just to be understood.

The things we believe divide us.  They always will.  At least as long as civilization continues as it is.  Teaching hate and violence.  As long as those things exist, there is no common ground for all people.  People get pushed to the edge and sometimes they explode, because they can’t find a place to exist as they are.  Sometimes they just kill themselves, because they can’t find any way to stay here, where no on understands them.

Governments starve and kill people.   People are suspicious of others, divided by training and hateful ideas put into our society by others who would keep us separate.   It’s a lot to overcome and we have to be able to see that we’ve been played to begin with.  People are looking for safe places.  Places where agreements come easy and others are working for the same ends.  Equality is like that.  Equality is the right to exit equal to everyone else.  We don’t have that.  Not even a little.

People continue to try and change others for “their” own good.  And it might seem that way to the people who are trying to change others, but it would be better if they simply changed themselves and accepted the others for who they truly were.  If they can’t do that, they may have to leave.  Leaving is better than torturing the others they want to make into someone other people.

None of us knows what anyone else needs or wants.  No one really knows who anyone else is.  If people don’t like someone, they can walk away.  That’s the best solution for all parties involved.  If that seems impossible, they might want to find a different way to look at themselves and leave everyone else alone.  People might also want to think about the “excuses,” they make, so they can continue their crusade to make other people different.

If you see a problem, with someone, address it.  If the person tells you to stop.  Do that…stop.

Post script

Up until a month ago, I had a really good friend.  We’ve been through years and years of things together and saw each other at least once a week and talked on the phone sometimes twice a day and we texted each other as well.

Last month, on the way to lunch, she told me she voted for the moron.  My body got ice cold and I watched her die right in front of me.  All those years of friendship disappeared and she meant nothing to me.  I dropped her off and will never speak to her again.  She voted against everything I stand for and everything I’ve been fighting for my entire life.  We can’t be friends.  Ever.  There’s nothing to talk about.  There’s no common ground. That’s the way life is.  There is no trying.  There is no way to make anything better.  She betrayed every woman alive and there’s no coming back from that.  She knew, when she got out of the car, that I was gone.  We’ve been best friends most of our lives.  She knows when I leave.

A short, short, story…Choices

“Mr. Fitzgerald,” said the clerk, waving him toward the chair in front of her desk, her black hair pulled back into a tight, black, bun, held in place by her glowing halo.  “So, you’re going back,” she muttered, dragging a stack of folders toward her.  “It looks as if you can be a great writer, but if you marry a woman named…Zelda,” she said, leafing through a stack of papers, your life won’t be all that it could be.  We foresee drunkenness, drunken rages, fights, uh, metal illness, ballet, hospitalization, Paris and…”

“Do you see anything good?” said Fitzgerald, running his fingers through his hair.  “I don’t want a repeat of last time.”

“Depends on what you consider to be good, I guess.  I mean you’ll be kind of famous and you’ll be remembered forever, maybe lon..ger,” she said turning over a page, biting her lip. “You’ll attend fabulous parties, travel, have money, not have money, meet the most amazing people, but I’d warn you stay away from someone named Ernest, not a nice guy, can’t be trusted, and he’ll attack you behind your back.  If you go for Zelda, you’ll have…uh, one child, a girl.  If you go the other way you’ll still be famous but your writing will be completely different and so will your entire life.  That life will be calm, dedicated to your craft and peaceful. You’ll be very important, very wealthy and you will have three children, two boys and a girl.  Oh, and look at this,” she said, smiling.  “You’ll live fifteen years longer.   Life with Zelda, on the other hand, will be filled with passion, insanity, parties, drinking, fighting, fast cars, fast music, fast living, depressions, joy, excitement, writing…”

Scott stood up.  “Do you have a last name and an address for Zelda?”



Picture from Pixabay

Animals are not ours to hunt, capture, train, use for entertainment, kill, eat, experiment on, wear, or profit from. They are living beings with complex lives and emotions.  They have a right to live, a right to be free from our insanity.

Wearing the skin of an animal, eating their flesh, is to be responsible for their suffering and death.  Those are all choices each of us has to make.  There are alternatives to all of those things.  By not eating and wearing them, by not sitting on them in our cars and living rooms, by not paying to see them dance, we can end their suffering. We can teach that compassion and respect for others, to our children.  Those things are not taught in schools or churches because there’s money to be made from their torture, fear and suffering.  People are taught not to think about the conscious and beautiful animal they are actually eating, wearing, or sitting upon.  We are raised to ignore those things.  But we can reeducate ourselves.  We can make different choices…choices that will lead to the end of Factory Farms, torture, suffering and death for other beings who share this space with us.  We all have to make those choices everyday.

People in other countries eat dogs.   We don’t eat our dogs in America because we have been taught to see them as friends, family and our loving companions.  They sleep with us, go on trips with us and they play games with us.  It seems natural to treat our dogs with love and respect because that’s the way we were raised.  We have been taught to eat and use other animals, to disregard their feelings, their right to live free and happy lives.  We have been taught to eat and wear them and use them as we wish.  Everything we do and the way we think…has been taught to us.  We have been conditioned to disregard the fact that the things we do, cause fear, suffering and death.  We have been conditioned to ignore the terrible things that happen because we don’t think about impact our choices have on other beings. The  people who eat their dogs were taught to believe that eating their dogs was okay.  We were taught that it was wrong.  Well, maybe it’s time to think about the fact that slaughtering and eating other animals is wrong as well.  If we can begin to change our belief system, we can change the way the world thinks about the beauty of animals and the important part they all play in the ecology of the planet and our lives.  Eating animals is not healthy for human beings.  It’s not healthy for the earth and it’s certainly not healthy for the animals who are being killed, eaten and worn.

It’s just something to think about.



Choice, choices, choices….

Playing with my rubber stamps…

Peggy, Melba and Lois…


Picture from: Pinterest

Peggy, Melba and Lois were best friends who did everything together. They had a reputation for being tough and un-lady like.  They smoked, drank and stayed out all night. Peggy was a writer, Melba was a musician, Lois was a painter and all of them could sing.   When they felt like it, they sang in bars and concert halls to ‘standing room only’ crowds.   They had open invitations from places all over the city, places owned by people who begged them to sing.  But the women liked to travel and show other women that not everyone had to get married, settle down and have a bunch of kids.  They still laughed about the time Lois thought she was in love with a man named Gerald.  Peggy and Melba never said a word about him, they just handed her a list of three hundred and twelve things she would be giving up if she ran off with him.   It’s not that Gerald wasn’t a nice person, it’s just that he wanted Lois to stop traveling and stop singing.  He also said that painting was for amusement and not to be mistaken for a career.  Once he said those things, Lois pushed him out the door and all three of them took a trip to Florida and played golf for a few weeks.

The three women had relationships with men, on and off, they just didn’t let them get in the way of their friendship or in the way of their dreams.  They were, after all, quite independent, since their clothing line was amazingly successful.  Women loved their relaxed and comfortable garments, which were sold under their personal label, TRIPLE THREAT.

Some women were afraid of Peggy, Melba and Lois, seeing them as dangerous deviants, rather than as the free spirits they actually were, but that’s often the way people see those who don’t follow the rules laid down for them by others.  Most males were threatened by them, and felt they outrageous and uncontrollable.  Men held onto their wives and daughters whenever the three women were around, as if their joy might be caught by the other women in the room.

“Don’t you EVER be like those girls,” whispered a man to his daughter, tugging her by her arm.  “Those are bad women.”

“Why are they bad?  I rather like them,” said the daughter.  “I wish I had a tie and pants to wear, then I could run and climb trees like Robert.”

Peggy overheard the conversation and sauntered over to the pair.  “Oh, honey,” she said, taking a drag on her cigarette, “you can do so much more than run and climb trees when you are wearing pants.”

The girl’s father was furious, his face was flaming red, his hands balled into fists and he stood there sputtering in his fury.

“You see how silly men are.  Look how hysterical your father is over a lovely pair of pants.  Remember this and if you ever decide to find a man, be sure he is nothing like your father, or you will be told what to do for the rest of your life.”

“Thank you,” said the little girl, curtseying, ever so slightly.

“And never bend your knee to anyone.  Never bow down or kneel to a single person because no one will ever be any better than you are.”

“I’ll remember,” said the girl, staring up at her.  “I promise.”

“Carolyn,” hissed her father.  “Come here now!”

“Yes, father,” she said, waving at Peggy.

The women remained roll models for their entire lives, their look and their choices going in and out of fashion for some, but never for them.  Carolyn, the child Peggy met while with her father, began working for them when she was eighteen.  After a while she was put in charge of their flagship clothing store in New York City.  Peggy, Melba and Lois spent their final years in Paris, enjoying all the city had to offer.  They sang, were desired by men and women alike and had the time of their lives.  Melba always said, there are no bad days when you’re living your dream, and that sentiment was added to their clothing label.




I know where I’d sit…


Picture from:  Pinterest

We get to choose…everyday.

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