Yesterday I drove out to Palm Springs where, en route, I have to drive on the I-10 freeway through the Loma Linda/Redlands area where the shooting took place only a handful of days before. I had missed my time when I should have left the L.A. area by about 30 minutes which made a normally 2.5-hour trip into a 4.5-hour trip. So, by the time I passed through the area, it was dark. And I noticed a lone man waving a large American flag from an overpass that was near the shooting, standing in the cold to honor wearing a coat and gloves to honor those who had fallen to senseless violence only a short time ago.
What a sad state our nation and our entire world is going through right now. It makes me wonder: "What the f*** is going on? Where have we lost our innocence??"
When I listen to Trump speak about blowing people up and ending this madness, I can't help but to be on his side for a change. Usually counteracting violence with more violence isn't part of my overall psyche but, unfortunately, with these ISIS characters we're dealing with, as my dad used to say when we were kids, "Some people need to be dealt with using the pain method." Sometimes there's no other way. As in this case, clearly.
I used to watch the Andy Griffith Show, believe it or not. I was fascinated with these black and white shows including the Twilight Zone, I Love Lucy and others. One Andy Griffith episode was about Barney Fife getting all riled up about something or another and saying, "You fight fire with fire, right Andy?" And Andy would say, "No, you fight fire with a hose."
Sorry, Andy. With this, you fight fire with bigger fire ultimately to put it all out...maybe like you would if you had a super large hose.
I don't know. I wish I had the answers to everything but I don't. I just have a feeling that this all means it's about to get worse. Changing who we have in office may or may not make things better. Blowing people up in faraway lands may help. I don't know what will work. Maybe the answer is in the book The Art of War...except I never read it. Never had the need to. Maybe I do now.
I had this really heavy emotional episode the night of the shooting in San Bernardino. It wasn't a normal "depressive episode" or PMS or anything I had ever felt before. It was like this heavy global sadness...like the whole world is uneasy, insecure, fearful and sad in this mass conscious feeling. I tend to be sensitive to these types of feelings and I was out of control with emotion for a couple of hours.
I remember watching a Bill Maher (Real Time on HBO) episode where he was joking about how ridiculous Americans were getting about this ISIS terror thing..."As if they'll be standing in line to buy the next iPhone and ISIS will take their heads off with a knife." Or something to that effect. Haha. Not so funny anymore, is it? Seems like the joke is becoming a reality. Even worse, we're actually getting used this new reality which started with our shock and grief over 9/11 when our country officially lost its innocence to terrorism and terrorist attacks.
So...what does all this mean for YOU, my dear friend?
It means to be aware, just like you'd look over your shoulder as you walk to your parked car in a dark parking garage at midnight...be aware. After all, to you and your well-being, it doesn't matter much who is targeting you -- whether it's the weirdo creep-oid, the guy who wants to rip off your wallet and take all your money at knife-point, or if it's now the new threat of the psychopath with a bomb strapped to his torso -- the end result for you could all be the same. There's just a new safety threat is all. A new type of psycho to add to the long list that we have to be aware of.
Does this mean that you should live in a perpetual state of panic? Should you be expecting the worst? Should you assume that the next time you walk into your grocery store for your weekly shopping trip that some gun-happy/trigger-happy Middle Eastern religious fanatic will come in with an AK-47 to blow your head off? I'd hope not, as the chances are pretty low. I'd say dying in a car crash, mathematically, would probably be higher odds, and that's even if you only travel once every other day by car.
Don't live in fear. Just be aware. Exercise risk/reward ratios at all times. Staying home for the holidays instead of flying to Turkey? Probably a better idea. Deciding to become a "sandwich artist" at Subway instead of becoming an overseas war photojournalist as a career change? Probably better if you want to live longer, even though the pay sucks. And also take this into consideration: when you're time's up, it's up. And you'll be taken off this earth anyway when it's your time regardless of the "delivery" of your type of "extermination" here on earth. Because living in fear, well...sucks. Immensely. And there's no real reason for it aside from the replay on the news over and over again to give you reasons as to why you need to stay afraid.
Staying in fear means that "they" have control over you now. It gives those who have the power over us more leverage. Guns for everyone...and I mean absolutely everyone? Sure, we'd say! Closer scrutiny of phone calls, emails, wire transfers, and even tracking where you go -- and I mean everywhere you go -- through your cell phone? Absolutely, we'd agree! Computer chip "scanning devices" for your eyeballs to make sure you're not "one of them"? Absolutely, where do I sign up?! After all, it's all in the best safety for "us," right? (Yeah...right.)
As a marketer and entrepreneur, the best copywriting teachers will tell you that the most powerful motivating factor in advertising is using FEAR. It's not greed or vanity or exclusivity (which are the other motivators, in that particular order). It's fear. Fear is what makes us buy things or buy into things. Fear is what controls us. Just be aware of what's happening as an outsider looking in so you have better control over your life and the decisions that you make for yourself and your loved ones.
As terrible and bad as things seem to be getting, grieving right after something traumatic just happens is always the worst period of time. With time, healing can occur. The problem these days is that we are exposed to more evil that's happening more often due to the media and global access to information that we didn't have 100 years ago. Then more exposure gives people who aren't mentally all there or who want to create harm for others (or both) ideas in what they can do to cause more damage by the media information they are given.
With this...it's only going to get worse. Much worse.
What does this means for you? Watch less television. Become less connected to news outlets. Focus more on yourself, your family, and how you can do better as a person, especially when it comes to the society that you are in contact with. Be nice to people, hold doors open, say kind things. Do what you can do, even on a small scale. Believe it or not, it all makes a difference because if everybody who isn't a crack-pot psychopath acts with kindness, it can change the world since there are a whole hell of a lot more of US than there is of THEM.
One more thing; even if you aren't big into prayer or aren't a religious person, just send out a silent prayer to everyone who is part of the "struggle" in today's world (which is many of us; and no, the "struggle" doesn't have to be about economics or being in a war-torn country but it can just simply be having a very heavy heart with no hope). Send out blessings, peace, and harmony. The universe does respond to these bits of energy and even more so when more people do it.
See you at the top!
P.S. Click here to watch that Money Funnel video if you haven't already. This is definitely on your "things to do" list for this weekend. Why? Especially in all this mess of misery, pain, and grief? Because it proves to you that you have more control over your future than you think, even if you think you don't right now. This video will prove it to you. Besides, life is too short to be sad for too long, even when you think it's justified. ;-)