Monthly Archives: March 2014

Marriage: Mutual Admiration, Respect, and Romantic Love

I believe that there are three very important elements which must be present in order for a marriage to work: mutual admiration, respect and romantic love.  Shared values can support mutual admiration and respect.   I also believe married couples ought to be best friends.  In addition to their romantic, physical love for each other, they should also genuinely like each other.

I’ve spoken with many long-time married couples—some married fifty-plus years—who are still happy with their union.  A lot of them say, “You have to work at it.”  So, perhaps, relationships can progress even when mutual admiration, respect and romantic love do not occur at the same time, if both partners are committed and very willing to work at it, in order to firmly develop all of these elements.

The road to a joyful, fruitful, meaningful, purposeful, enduring and everlasting loving marriage is not without bumps along the way.  Both partners should keep fit in mind, body and their “little piece of God” in order to maintain their mutual respect, admiration and romantic love.  That often requires self-discipline and delayed gratification.

The wisdom-associated values about which I have often written can deepen each individual’s character and help a marriage to flourish.  However, the negative values of selfishness, hate, revenge, greed and envy can negatively impact a person’s relationships.  Therefore, working on eliminating these from your life will benefit yourself and your loved ones, particularly your spouse (or future spouse).

An Ambitious Calling

Both President Reagan and Gandhi were ambitious, and I am, too.  I seek to be a pathfinder toward heaven on earth.  It may involve political endeavors within the Republican Party and/or a path more like Gandhi.

The world is full of ambitious people of all degrees.  All seek freedom and liberty.  Read “The Case for Democracy.”  Life is not a straight line, up or down or sideways.  It is full of twists and turns, and all sorts of challenges and obstacles.

The goal is The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  This is simply said – yet difficult to apply throughout and consistently.  Nonetheless, it is critical to reach toward Heaven on Earth.

Almighty God loves each of us and all of us with an enduring, steadfast love.  This enormous presence is within us, too – in our mind, body and “little piece of God.”

We each have an important role to play in this inevitable and loving march toward Heaven on Earth.  I wish and hope to be a pathfinder for others.  Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote quite eloquently what I have in mind, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

I hope and pray that I will leave a trail that many can see and have the freedom and wisdom to decide for themselves whether to follow my trail.  The essence of life is to seek truth and wisdom within oneself and others – to be kind to oneself and others.

God marches with us, in us, and for us.  Recognizing God in our values is good, but more importantly, God should be present in our behavior. God cares deeply about each of us and all of us, as well as how we treat ourselves and everyone else.  My God is not judgmental.  My God has led us from very brutal, barbaric times to our 21stcentury.  Of course, there is still much to do.

I believe sometimes the hard way is the best way.  What do I mean by that?  Suffering can and oftentimes leads to wisdom and a more balanced, purposeful life.

As I wrote before, we each have an important role – to be kind to ourselves and others.  This involves things that are difficult, self-discipline and delayed gratification.  Kindness is not only a momentary phenomenon, but one of short-term, mid-term and long-term tenacity.

Perfection is not an attribute of us humans – certainly including me.  But I do try and so must you.  The wisdom-associated values of Copthorne MacDonald are essential on our quest toward Heaven on Earth – empathy, truth, honesty, justice, cooperation, peace, compassion, universal well-being, creativity and general knowledge.  This is a march, not a dance or an easy reach.  At the same time – continually, moment to moment – we must reject Copthorne MacDonald’s negative values – selfishness, hate, revenge, envy and greed.

I go back to the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love – Sweet Love.”  Perhaps it’s a song that is dated, but to me it’s timeless – ready for prime time now and in the future.

 

Wise Innovation–a key to the path toward Heaven on Earth

We are in The Innovation Age as clearly seen in technology.  As humans, we must change, too, in all our entities, groups, governments, and religions.  At the same time we must seek the wisdom-associated values and go about ridding ourselves of the negative values (See Copthorne MacDonald’s essay, “The Centrality of Wisdom,” in How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth.

The reality is that life itself is a process of change with many “bumps” in the road.  I had so many severe bumps from 1963 onward.  But, despite the pain along the way, there’s no question that I am much wiser than if my life had been success after success.  That certainly doesn’t mean that I want to go down in defeat.  Quite the opposite, I have important words to impart.  I deeply want to be a recognized and serious pathfinder toward Heaven on Earth.

A world full of robust, stable, prosperous democracies will be a peaceful world, and I fully intend to do what I can to promote that result.  A free, prosperous world will go about solving so many goals: ecological, harmony, health, spiritual harmony, racial harmony, and moral purpose and meaning.  It’s not a matter of possibility.  It’s definitely a matter of will—individually, and nation by nation.

Dedication of everyone from spiritual leaders to public servants to everyone else is essential to this awesome and wonderful undertaking of the ages, the dream of a heaven on earth, which I definitely believe was predestined by Almighty God from our creation.

Non-violence is part of the puzzle, even the abolishment of capital punishment.  Restorative justice, particularly for non-violent criminals, is so much better than revenge.  Non-violence is also crucial in the replacement of authoritative governments with democracies.  Revenge shouldn’t be foremost.  Freedom and democracy are too necessary that backward looking shouldn’t overshadow the opportunity of liberty and freedom.

When I write about prosperity, I am not glorifying materialism or consumerism.  It is just that financial literacy should be taught at all levels of education and serve to stabilize economies worldwide.  That, in turn, helps employment or self-employment or business formation or business growth, a very healthy situation, especially if we are altruistic.

 

The Importance of Fair, Just, and Lawful Democracies

Think of the two “democratic” leaders who are crucial to continued peace in Europe.  President Putin has had opponents poisoned and has impeded free press and freedoms in Russia.  And then consider our own President Obama.  He overtly used the IRS to persecute Tea Party opponents during the election year, 2012, and beyond.  And he had the gall to announce that he was going to use a pen and phone to govern–I would say violate our constitution.
    So now we have these two leaders at a crossroads in international law and Ukrainian sovereignty.  This is not the way to reach toward heaven on earth.  Constitutions and laws matter.  As one of our wise founders, President John Adams, stated, “A government of laws, and not of men.”
    I am concerned that the lack of wisdom and goodwill will eventually lead to military actions in Europe, something that the United States gave much blood and treasure to avoid, and which President Reagan, as well as President H. W. Bush, worked adroitly to avoid.
    Long-term peace and prosperity in Europe must be the goal of these flawed leaders.  There are seven billion people on our planet to consider.  Selfish, emotional and lawless acts must be avoided by all.

Overcoming Internalized Stigma

I have for some time written and spoken about my “internalized stigma.”  That concept could also be applied to race and religion, for all sorts of people, from the caste system in India to poor people globally.

It’s a matter of low self-esteem due to society’s view of you, or more pertinently, your own view of yourself through that eternal prism.  This also pertains to gender, appearance, and so many human qualities.

What is the solution to these external factors which are then internalized?  Some of these difficult stigmas can be overcome if one by one, million by million, billion by billion, we come to realize through faith that each of us and all of us have a “little piece of God” since the dawn of humankind.

Since 1963 I have lived with and eventually overcome the internalized stigma of bipolar disorder, and whatever other mental difficulties I received through my environment.  My experience was that building genuine self-esteem with humility and without arrogance was no easy task with mental illness.  I suspect this would be the same for others, whether they are overcoming stigmas associated with gender, race, religion and other human conditions.

We humans tend to label people far too quickly.  The reality of it is that we are much more alike than we are different.  I believe one essential key to overcome humankind’s toughest problems is to reach out globally to invoke a faith that each of us and all of us have a “little piece of God.”  Thus, we must be kind to ourselves and all others, including those that don’t fit our perceptions of “our kind of people.”  After all, we are all God’s children and we should not judge others with bias and prejudice, especially from appearances alone.

Government and charities can help in terms of health and education.  But only business can solve the world’s poverty, especially for the 2.7 billion people who are living on $2 or less per day.  Gandhi stated that “violence begets violence.”  I fully agree.  The reverse is true, too, as I have written:  “Kindness begets kindness.”

I want to be, and it is my calling to be, a pathfinder toward Heaven on Earth, whether that involves being a public servant or serving like Gandhi did.  That will be up to others to assess.  I thank God for the opportunity to serve in whatever I am lead.

An Optimist’s View of the Role of Humanity

The role of each of us and all of us is to take an honest, deep, continuing look within and without to all, for the betterment of ourselves, others, and the world.  This individual feat is not a one-time event.  It is part of our life journey, hopefully and prayerfully, eventually resulting in personal wisdom, a wonderful example and influence from others and steps toward Heaven on Earth.

Our planet is inhabited by humans, and what they do, one by one, million by million, billion by billion, has an enormous effect on our present and future.

In the 21st century knowledge, jobs, and people will be critical.  Unskilled jobs, worldwide, will be harder and harder to measure up to these knowledge and people-skill jobs; the good news is that I believe entrepreneurship, knowledge, and people-skill jobs can flourish and become more and more purposeful, meaningful, and appreciated.

Life is like a road, full of potholes, twists, curves, and upward and downward challenges.  There is a mystery about it beyond human understanding.  It is a matter of faith in our God-created mind, body and “little piece of God” and Almighty God.  But the fact that life is a mystery and difficult at times doesn’t mean we should “give up” seeking our calling(s) by God.  Throughout our lives our calling(s) will change, but love is the focus for it all.  Why?  Because God is Love.

We must not blame life or become victims.  We must rise up and try, try, and try to maximize our potential—for ourselves, others and God.

The reality is not that life is easy or even should be easy.  The goal of all of us is to maximize our potential, and the core of that struggle is love and faith—faith in God, ourselves and others.  Never give up to suicide, crime, or any other unworthy activity.  Of course, we are all human and imperfect in ourselves.  But we should try, try, and try to reach toward love, and eventually Heaven on Earth.

How do we do this?  Our spiritual leaders—globally for loving religions—are an important key.  These religions must emphasize that what we say and do is of primary importance, followed by our values, and then our beliefs.  I believe that too often religions tend to overemphasize beliefs to the detriment of values, but most importantly, also to the detriment of teaching the importance of what we say and do.

Each of us and all of us has a magnificent role to play in this global drama.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but a world full of stable, robust, and prosperous nations would be a world of permanent peace, but that’s not all.  Prosperity breeds prosperity, especially with the wonderful very real and positive force of globalization.  I am speaking of free, fair trade which will allow miracles to happen, especially in the poorer, developing nations of our world.  But it will benefit us all as we reach toward Heaven on Earth.

None of us is perfect.  But truth and wisdom are goals that we should seek, day by day, month by month, year by year.

I am an optimist at heart.

 

From Hurting…To Helping

We must transform the world from people hurting people to people helping people, whether one is speaking of nations, corporations, other human entities or individuals.  There is an innate sense within us that seeks to help.  Let’s see that part of us reign—one by one, million by million, billion by billion.

There is no question that each of us and all of us have an enormous role to play in that inevitable march toward Heaven on Earth, which will include peace and security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, gender harmony, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony and health as well as moral purpose and meaning.

The road ahead probably won’t be easy.  But it will be enormously rewarding to everyone on our planet.

God is with us.  Who can really believe that we can’t succeed?  The world is getting smaller and smaller as globalization and technology march forward.  Let us adopt the wisdom-associated values of Copthorne MacDonald and shun the negative values he identified.

First, we must strive to say and do the right thing.  My belief is that God cares about this most.  We should live “The Golden Rule.”  Second, we must cultivate the values referred to above.  Third, beliefs that support these values and behavior must be respected and adopted one by one as each person’s whole being sees fit.

After a long spiritual journey, I now describe myself as spiritual, but not religious.  At the same time, I find so much truth, wisdom and values within the loving great religions of the world.  There is no question in my mind that the spiritual leaders of the great loving religions are all-important in our march toward Heaven on Earth.

Election 2014: A Call to Action!

I read an incisive article about the last 100 years in Argentina, in The Economist, February 15 – 21, 2014.  The conclusion was that the century of bad government really hurt the country. The past five years—with the Obama Administration, Democratic dominance from 2008 through 2009 in the House and Senate, resulting in Obamacare, and the Democratic Senate until at least the 2014 elections—have been horrendous for our nation. Our national debt is over $17 trillion and our entitlements are unsustainable.

There are two basic reasons that I am a Republican: their propensity for good government and their tendency toward fiscal conservatism, at least in comparison to most Democrats.  In my opinion, Democratic candidates tend to look on themselves as “folk heroes” rather than prudent public servants which more clearly defines Republicans.

President Reagan led the world away from “collectivism” in the forms of Communism and Socialism.  He’s that one who converted me into a Republican.  Not only did President Reagan do so much to win the Cold War, with informed and well-advised fiscal policies of lower taxes and regulations, he ignited a 25-year period of growth in our nation.  These free market policies were copied around the world—even in China—with dramatically positive results.

Collectivism breeds a lower productivity, which in turn hurts so many people.  Obamacare is a misguided attempt at universal coverage in healthcare, though I agree with the ultimate goal.  Just not the method.  When one party, especially the Democrats, ram through an ominous bill without proper vetting by both parties, it leads to enormous mistakes.

Demonizing Republicans has been President Obama’s special talent, even to the point of “winning” reelection.  The deeds that President Obama committed to attain his reelection were absolutely astounding, including the use of the IRS to harass conservative groups, and eighty visits to Ohio as he campaigned throughout his first term (without much attention at all to governing).  Of course, he really wasn’t and isn’t capable, wise and honest, three attributes of public servants who count for good.

The future is all we have ahead of us.  This year—2014—is an election year for the House and Senate.  It is absolutely crucial to elect a Republican Senate and a strong Republican House to combat President Obama’s pen and phone, not to mention a mainstream media that is absolutely just plain derelict in their reporting of the Obama Administration.

As voters we must attempt to be wise, capable and honest in carrying out that vital function in our democracy.  In the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections, I sincerely believe the Republican candidates were clearly more wise, capable and competent than President Obama and Vice President Biden.  That’s my honest opinion.

We just don’t want to go the way of Argentina, because if we keep heading and voting for Democrats, we—our nation—will go the way of Detroit (with its long Democratic governments).

Having experienced, capable, honest and wise leaders is so important for democracies all over the planet.  When corruption and incompetence creep in, it can and does have the same sort of difficulties as non-democracies.  And a mainstream media that doesn’t do its duty of honestly reporting such weaknesses compounds the problems immensely.

A Heaven on Earth is not created by incapable, dishonest, unwise leaders.