Truth or Facade

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How important is what others think of us? How far do people go to be liked? Is fitting in important? Does being alone really mean being lonely?

I’m not a philosopher, but I have been witness to many a peculiar human act. As a species we truly seek the company of others. Sometimes we wear a proverbial mask that portrays  us similar to those around us, even if on our own we would not act the same. Sit and observe a group of teenagers at a mall if you don’t believe me.

I have seen people get haircuts, etc to blend in. Get tattoos because others did. Buy a certain brand or type of clothing. Why do we do this? I don’t need to look like, act like, or dress like someone else to love myself. Yet at times I feel I have done just that.As if I needed their approval to be okay. I AM OKAY! Just the way I am.

Not everyone wants to grow a portion of their own food. I do. Not everyone wants to spend solitary moments in nature. I do. Not everyone wants to continually learn new things. I do do.

Do I want to fit into society? Of course I do. But at what cost? I don’t want to quit being me just to be accepted by someone else. As Popeye said, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”

I am not perfect. I have flaws. But I can look in the mirror and respect the man I see. I served my country. I give an honest day’s work. My life is not a facade. I am a simple man leading a simple life.

If GOD provides me another chance at romance I’ll give it a try.But until then I’d rather be alone and happy than be in a relationship where I sacrifice my happiness for that of someone else.

Enough rambling for one night. But it feels good to finally write again.

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Where I find PEACE

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FGCU Campus waterway

Most of my life I’ve been here in SW Florida. I’ve never been too far from water. I grew up in a family of commercial fishermen. I was taught to respect our environment. Now, as a not so young man, I find that Nature nurtures. When I’ve had a bad day, or hell a bad week, I find Peace just observing GOD’s creation.

Something as simple as feeding the squirrels in my back yard can somehow ease my stress. Putting the canoe into the water just after daybreak, smelling the fresh air, feeling the light breeze,  being alone with my thoughts can temporarily transport me out of the everyday hustle and bustle. Picking a fresh tomato, cuke, or pepper from my small garden provides a satisfaction that couldn’t be matched by purchasing a bushel of each at the market.

There have been times I’ve cussed the rain, complained its too hot, bitched about mosquitoes, but I always return to Happiness when I accept that I’m just one small part of a very grand design. Without the rain, crops don’t grow. Without the sunshine, nothing on earth would survive. As for mosquitoes, they’re food for bats and other creatures.

I can’t paint one perfect picture of nature with my mere words. Many talented writers have come before me giving us wonderful works describing their experiences. Photojournalist have given us pictures of nature in almost every possible situation. For me, one minute spent in Nature, is worth a hundred seeing it through an others eyes.

Next time you’re feeling blue try visiting a local park or conservatory. I’m thankful for the protection my home provides from the elements, but those elements are what make Earth the only viable location for human life.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

Procrastination

Procrastination has been my enemy for most of my life. Rather than doing, I wait. Why can’t I just make up my mind and take action?  I know I’m not alone in this battle. I believe many others are reluctant to commit themselves without some period of indecision.

What are we waiting for? What are depriving ourselves of by waiting? Is our lack of action hurting others? Are we being selfish? Can we stop?

Some decisions do need to be carefully considered before we commit. Some things cannot be undone. Mistakes will be made. Our choices affect not only ourselves, but often include those around us. Realizing which decisions to make quickly versus those we should weigh all options can be daunting.

Indecision is simply deciding to put off our decision.

Today I decided to accept the task of free-writing for 20 minutes. Even if no one else reads my post, I chose to write.

I believe we all have something to contribute. Waiting around for that perfect moment might mean never taking action. I believe if each of us take even the smallest of actions we can create major changes. Let’s feed the hungry by showing them how to grow their own food. Let’s reduce our dependance on fossil fuels by trying alternative sources like solar. Let’s show gratitude for what we have and quit complaining about what we lack.

Today, look in the mirror and ask “What am I waiting for?” Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, today I choose to act.

Have a BLESSED day!

Baby Steps

GE DIGITAL CAMERAEllie May is the newest addition to my family. She was formerly known as Baby Girl at the pound where I got her. She dug up most of my garden her first week here. Rather than punish her I added more fencing. She was just doing what came natural. Now we are both learning how to interact with each other in ways that are mutually beneficial. Baby steps towards a lifelong friendship.

After making efforts to keep her out of the garden, I spent more time doing what she likes, mostly play-fighting and fetch. I also expanded my garden on the other side of the fence. I added two more raised beds, each with more tasty and nourishing plants. Baby steps on my way to sustainability.

Tomorrow I plan to visit my parents and work in Dad’s garden. His is much larger than mine, but last year he lost almost all of his plants to pests. Pickle-worm destroyed multiple types of squash, melons and cucumbers. The use of raised beds may reduce the damage from these pests. The pigs, coons and armadillos  are a different story. Another Baby step towards self sufficiency.

I hope someday to reach a state of complete self reliance, until then I’ll keep taking Baby steps.

Who is really going “GREEN”? And who is “GREEN-WASHING” their products?

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Everyday we hear companies brag about their efforts to save our planet for future generations. Still, everyday rainforests are wiped-out, waterways polluted beyond levels safe for consumption, habitats destroyed! For what? The almighty Dollar!

We are being mislead by corporate America, and our government, to such an extent that many of us don’t even know who the bad guy is anymore. GMOs must be labeled as such in most of the world. In the U.S. companies spend Billions to fight labeling initiatives. If the public knew what was really in their food they may change their buying habits and corporate America would be unhappy. That’s why lobbyists are willing to support campaigns of those who agree to vote against legislation that would require clarity regarding food contents. Large corporations spend Billions on advertisements to persuade voters that GMOs are safe, and therefore don’t need to be included on food labels. The question for me is “Why is it more cost efficient to buy the votes than to simply label the products?” Which is answered by the reality of what we don’t know is vital to their bottom line.

Rather than producing food in ways that are safe and natural, food is produced with hormones and steroids to reduce time to market, and increase profit margins. “In chemicals we Trust!” By the way, “Our packaging material is made using 1% recycled material!”, hurray for us.

The primary “Selling point” for GMOs has always been that they would “put an end to world hunger.” I truthfully believe we could better serve our fellow humans and all other creatures on this planet by teaching the hungry how to grow their own naturally sustainable crops instead of providing them with handouts of genetically modified versions of what nature intended. And, as hunger becomes more prevalent here in the U.S. , fewer people have access to food high in nutritional value, and the end result is higher healthcare costs.

When possible, buy local products, support small businesses, and avoid GMOs as best you can. Without mandated labels to expose foods that contain GMOs we all play a game of roulette. If you can grow any of your own food you might find a real connection to nature, at worst you’ll have spent quality time away from the world where everything requires electricity.

Be safe and GOD bless.

Earth Day 2013

What does Earth Day mean to you?

One thing it means to me is that calendars remind people how precious our planet is. Sadly, most never look at a calendar anymore.

I look at my calendar nearly every day, but that doesn’t mean I am in touch with the importance of each and every day!

This past week we saw a bombing at a National Iconic Event, an explosion at a fertilizer plant, and mail threats upon our government. We are no longer a nation with a melting pot of individuals working for a common good. We lost our innocence long ago, it’s time to focus on getting back on track. America and the world need to embrace nature and all it has to offer. Respect our planet, all its inhabitants, and once and for all denounce violence.The idea of removing hate from the people of this planet is probably far-fetched, but at one point so were space travel, cell phones, roadside bombs.

Plant something, thank a farmer, thank a vet, thank a soldier, thank a first responder, thank a neighbor, but please don’t take your good fortune for granted. America is not perfect, but there is still no where I’d rather be. I served and I’d serve again if it became necessary. I told my country it had my commitment up to, and if necessary, including my life. Now more than ever America and the world need people who will commit to the causes of peaceful co-existence and sustainability.Image