Sunday, December 24, 2017

Continual Life Scarring

The last time that I posted, I was in Lima. I left shortly thereafter in October because it was too cold. I ended up in Barranco, Colombia. God, I remember nothing of being in this city except for bank records, hahaha!! It must have been a say or do nothing city. I moved on to Bucaramanga, Colombia where the temperature is 80 degrees every day and I love it.

However, I was hospitalized for shortness of breath and had the worst experience of my life in this hospital. I was in an induced coma and the things they did are unmentionable and violation of any number of human rights. I am recounting my experience to the Embassy for an investigation from and for multiple perspectives and reasons. ANOTHER SCAR!!


One does not get through life without scars

And pain, as well

Some scars are larger and more noticeable than others

Others are very ugly

They are reminders of life’s experiences

A scar is not an injury, but rather a healing and indicative of an injury

Physically, scars are areas of fibrous tissue (fibrosis) that replace normal skin after injury

Scars can also be spiritual, emotional, and mental

Things do break, including hearts

Many of us have scars from a painful past

Some scars cause deep regret

Others elicit gratefulness

Nevertheless, all scars tell a story

Some persons wear their scars like red badges of courage

Others make every effort to hide them

Scars tell us to forget the past, move on and to keep moving       

Thursday, November 2, 2017

To Do or Not To Do


Is, often, seen as a negative human behavior

But every human being needs, occasionally, to splurge

It is the subconscious reminding us that

Money is not life’s ultimate possession

And at some point in life, everyone realizing…

I brought nothing into this world and I am leaving with nothing


To spend money freely or extravagantly

Of course, there are those who fight this natural urge

And remind us that the money could be used for more

Prudent, judicious and wise expenditures

But splurging is indeed a momentary cleansing

From the monotonous, sameness and daily routine of life and its sameness

It does the mind, body and soul good

In a world of consistent oppression and stress

Every human being needs to splurge, occasionally

A true and deserved splurge is

Natural and extremely therapeutic 

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Unexpected vs A Surprise

The Unexpected Touches and Enriches the Soul

The unexpected is meant to do just that

With the unforeseen, unanticipated, unpredicted, unlooked-for, sudden, abrupt, 

It is more than just a surprise, defined as

Shock bolt from the blue, bombshell, revelation, rude awakening, eye-opener,

The synonyms for both words are similar and overlap

But an expectation connotes an event or happening that

Touches the core of man and his spirituality

The unexpected is not always good, for life is about

The good and the bad

But we all cherish a good unexpected event

Just to reverse to the expected…

An expectant mother is waiting for a baby that is a miracle

It is much rather like a dream (sometimes, fantasy) come true

Miracles are not the usual occurrences

So they are pretty much unexpected

The unexpected    has   a sense of mystery surrounding it


Some people necessarily expect things from others

Without a reason or rationale

As if other people and the world owe them things…

A guaranteed disappointment

The world and others owe us nothing

Intrinsically, life owes no one anything

Good unexpected gifts need to be truly appreciated

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Evolving World of Technology

Yesterday, I became, more than usual, frustrated with

An ever evolving technological world

We have lost and continue to lose so much of our humanity

Each day!

Our sensibilities and sensitivities are becoming more dull

Tragedies, nonsense killings are just everyday occurrences

We have learned to expect them

I first started to recognize this trend when

AT&T and Verizon included

Caller ID, call is waiting, call missed      

This was one way in which technology grabbed us all at once

They replaced the live operators with automated voices

We learned to push a series of push buttons before getting to

A human being (after insisting with an automated voice)

 Not to mention that our humanity is a gift

And it cannot be matched with anything superior to it, in the universe

Let’s not overlook the days of the elevator operators

Guaranteeing that unnecessary buttons are not pushed

There is no argument that the world is becoming more robotic like

We are growing in numbers and we are replacing ourselves

And, often at times, when human to human contact is really needed        

We are becoming entrenched more and more into technology each day

With each new innovation coming at us at an enormous rate of speed

Artificial intelligence is dominating our world

And no matter how marvelous and brilliant it is

It will never equate with the magnitude of

The Spirit of Man

Our realm of pure emotions, and spiritualities

And yet we create things that are greater than us

The word, artificial, speaks volumes itself

Every action, especially the actions of mankind, has a necessary reaction

Slippery slopes are what we call the negative reactions in technology

Some slippery slopes have even caused death

There is always a need to have a meaningful and moral dialogue between

Scientists, philosophers, ethicists, men of religion, scholars, LAYMEN

To weigh out the pros and cons that may come with the innovations of


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mother Time

Time, friend or foe?

Time is the mother of us all

And treating each of us as individuals

In truly diverse ways

My mother just turned 90 and jogs every day

Some persons die in utero

Time is eternal

Time (and space) unknowable

We cannot control it or what it does to us

It ages us with discernible effects

We can only minimize the effects of time to a certain extent

It just marches on and on and on, REGARDLESS

We shall never know its beginning 

Or its end

And we live within it

Just amazing and awesome!!

If the world operated on a true utilitarian basis

Finding happiness for the most people

There still would be the poor

The afflicted, disabled, pariahs, human misery, etc.

Many, for whom time has not been that kind

Time is greater than all of these phenomena

We cannot touch taste, see, smell or hear time

The five senses of the sensory nervous system

But we certainly do feel the effects of time

But not time itself

We can feel it in our aging bodies

Time is associated with other such phenomenon as

Space, eternity, limitless, immeasurability, etc.

Its extent can never be known

Science can only give partial answers

Time has some responsibility

For the misery of mankind

And the happenstance in life

Friday, October 20, 2017

Telling a Lie to Tell Save a Life, Part 2

The difference between the moral theory of Kant and Mills is best illustrated by the anecdotal story of the criminal killer wanting to kill an innocent victim. 

John Stuart Mills

Many philosophers believe Mills is correct about

Telling a lie to the killer who wants to kill an innocent victim

As being a morally correct behavior 

Instead of the categorical imperative being  the first principle (Kant) ,

Utility is the first principle in Mills  ethical theory

(The doctrine that an action is right insofar as it promotes happiness, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct)

Both recognize intermediate moral rules

Kant calls them "duties" and Mills, "subordinate principles".

Not to lie, to be beneficent, not to steal, not to deprive others of liberty, etc.

Mills asserts that the good of the moral life is pleasure (happiness)

The bad of moral life is pain and unhappiness

Mill believes that consequences (end results) of an action determine morality

Teleological (teleology) is the philosophical theory that prioritizes consequences

Kant’s corresponding theory is deontology (deontological)

It prioritizes duty or obligation or rule In Utilitarianism

Mill, in promoting happiness as the end result of good moral action,

Actions will be right as much as they promote the general happiness

Ergo, actions are evaluated morally based upon their consequences,

Not the actual act itself

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Telling a Lie to Save a Life

I am a student of philosophy and really appreciate Kant. I love the phrasing of his Categorical Imperative and only wished that it really worked. I never really understood Kant’s connection between reason, will and duty. However, I just read a paper by Greg Ganssle, renowned university professor. I now understand.

Kant, Reason, Will and Duty

A good friend has taken refuge in your basement

An evil murderer is at your front door and

Wants to kill her

He tells you

I must know the truth, please tell me the truth

Is she here?

Do you tell the truth and say, yes she is here?

Or do you lie and say, no, she is not here

If you tell the truth, he kills her

If you lie, you save a life

Perhaps the greatest moral good
Kant claims that one is always morally obliged to tell the truth

Others claim that, sometimes, one has a moral responsibility to lie
To protect a friend who is innocent from the criminal who is evil

To be truthful (honest) in all declarations is a sacred and unconditionally commanding law of reason that admits of no expediency (including philanthropic or lifesaving expediency) whatsoever...

Kant believes that reason was designed to influence the will

To produce a will that is not merely good, as a means to further some end

But is good in itself

Rational beings are able to will the good and the bad

Infinite desires, the least of all, happiness

But how does reason produce a good will?

Kant gives no detailed response for this important reality

He moves on to duty

Duty, like a good will, holds

First place in estimating the total moral worth of our actions

Duties to others recognized by Kant correspond to the subordinate principles

 Not to lie, to be beneficent, not to steal, not to deprive others of liberty, etc.

Rational beings use reason to derive duty

When actions are done out of duty as determined by reason

They promote the development of a good will, per se

When we act out of duty, we so not to achieve some purpose of the will

For example, happiness


Isolation brings to mind awful images of complete loneliness

Which can be an end state of life

It is used as punishment in many criminal institutions

And by other disciplinarians, as a way to correct bad behavior

Mothers and teachers call it time out

A withdrawal of love

Go to your room and, no electronics nor items of enjoyment

Or stand in the corner and face the wall

I just conjured up Dr. Benjamin Spock (60-70s) and his often deleterious

Theories and findings on child rearing

They only worked in certain socio-economic groups

All disciplinarian methods have some untoward effect

There can never be a panacea method of discipline

Individualizing treatment seems more appropriate

Imposed isolation certainly has deleterious effects

As immoral and sometimes, criminal

Time Out is

Sometimes, known as a love withdrawing technique,

 Has had its share of woe

The immediate goal of isolation is punishment and

Providing time for self-evaluation and reflection

But isolation can yield good things as well, 

It doesn’t always have to be punishment

Self-isolation can be used as a moment of deeper reflection

Isolation from family and friends and possessions

A period of some self-imposed deprivation

Some denial of the will         

To better understand life in its rawness and


To become unity with

Mind, Body and Soul

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Telling the Truth to Children

A Peruvian friend has a problem telling his 11 year old daughter that he smokes weed. She smelled it in the car and asked him if he smoked mota, (marijuana). In Latin America, family is supreme and parents are rather protective of their children. The values of the country are conservative, to say the least.  He asked for my opinion. I shuddered at giving a response in such a delicate situation. But the reality of the truth struck me so very hard, that I expressed to him this idea, Always Tell the Truth

Telling the truth to ones children

Is probably the most important thing that a

Parent can do for his or her child

After a moment of deeper reflection

I responded

Tell your child the truth at all times

She will respect you

And your word always

The truth survives everything, including death

Why not teach children truth, so freeing and so permanent?

There is a way to tell the truth to children

In ways that they comprehend and respect

Children are naturally curious

And will learn the truth one day, nevertheless


The basis for the knowledge, wisdom and understanding

Of Life

Lies distort life, being, and what is true

And  have destroyed many lives             

And do no good, whatsoever

The truth sets us free, to live freely and fully

Nothing more important in life than the truth

Children need to know the truth

As a matter of fact, we all need to know the truth

Respect comes from truth

His daughter will always respect his word

For a man’s word is his bond

And his bond is his word

Aged family secrets don’t help either

Decision Making

For many of us

Pondering and waiting to make the final decision

One of life’s great dilemmas       

With so many other good options to consider

Options that are also heavily weighted

In the entire scope of things

There must be a truly more correct decision

And choice!

Somehow, a comfortable answer comes

Often at crunch times

At the intersection of life, where a decision must be made

Acceptance of one or more negative consequence is necessary

For no decision is perfect                                                                   

Decision making on the important matters of life

Can be a tortuous process, but

Satisfaction, relief and relief of mind should be an end product

A first consideration should be degree of happiness obtained

In the process of choosing, one must also think of the other

Otherness is very important in having a

Meaningful life

Making good decisions in life is very important

We often wait and ponder and wait and ponder…….

The final decision or answer to come

And it does

We, often, make wrong decisions with the best of intention

And what disappointment, but

They teach us about life

The greatest phenomenon ever in total existence!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Middle Children

Middle Children

Don’t necessarily recognize they are middle children growing up

They just do what they do, as children

Considered to be neglected, resentful, have no drive, have a negative outlook, etc.

 A birth order syndrome, a Stanford University Study, called

“Middle Child Syndrome”, 

I am a middle child

And the study is not complete

I am a middle child and represent none of their findings

I am the youngest of two older brothers

And the oldest of three sisters

So, I and my oldest sister are the middle children

We were like twins in many respects

Learning to balance things well

We had a special love for each other

Understanding things and, especially,

The dynamics of a family, including

The issues of the two older brothers

And the needs of the two younger sisters

Psychologists have said different things about

Middle children, but one that might be true is

They become more independent                

To think outside the box, feel less pressure to conform

And are more empathetic

A Smiling Heart

A Smiling Heart

Is a reality for most humans

The heart of hearts, the heart within hearts

It is indeed the vehicle of passage for

Good things

Pleasant things

A smiling heart

Affects every part of humans

It is a sense of well being

A sign of hope

A smiling heart

Speaks to one's self and human dignity

The heart does not always smile

But when it does

Appreciate it

A Wonderful Life Experience

Backpacking is one of the great adventures in life

Seeing the world on a low budget

Staying in hostels

That can house more than 20 beds in a single dorm room

One can pay as little as $5 a night in certain countries

And benefit from diverse creature comforts, such as

Kitchen, laundry service, free Wi-Fi, TV in central room, etc

But, one must be prepared for the worst occurrences

And to move on, starting anew

Immediately, no time for brooding

From losing passports, credit and debit cards, lost lodging

The loss of “some privacy

The torture of daily life

Sometimes, tumultuous events

But the experience of backpacking is ineffable

Most of all meeting

Different persons from across the world

Cultures, ways of thinking, different ways of being in the world

A backpacker is usually prepared, from within, to meet the challenges

And from the positive and encouraging emotional and mental input

From other backpackers

To mend things as quickly, as possible,

Is a wonderful moment in life

Meeting other similarly minded individuals

There is a brotherhood among backpackers

“There are others who share my dream”

Of seeing and experiencing the world

My ultimate sorrow is not

Seeing again many wonderful people 

That I have met while backpacking 

Remember the Time

Choreography is genius

Human beings, coming together,  as a unit

Synchronicity in dance

How daring an activity

To coordinate one's every emotion and being with another


Yes, it is possible in life to have such unity

In matters of much greater human importance

Choreography in dance videos is absolutely amazing

The timing for change of each movement is incredible

It is often mesmerizing and joyful

To see such a real and actual phenomenon

Michael Jackson’s video, “Remember the Time”

Is a must see for me, everyday

Thriller is the best music video of all times

But I am so affected by the story and

Choreography of his video

Remember the Times”

Human Beings as "Reasons"

I am the reason for many things

You are the reason for many things….

Reasons for many of the good things in life

A reason is usually thought of as

a philosophical or theological idea

A mental process

A rational thought

An idea

A thing

But humans are incarnation of reason

A reason "to be"

Humans are the force (reason) behind many things

Sometimes the outcome of the reason is evil

Humans, as the intervening force

Representing ideas, behaviors and outcomes

Capable of affecting the lives of others

And the world in which we live

One doesn’t have to be center stage 

Or the center of world affairs

But operating in the sphere of your influence

It could just be affecting a single person in a single way

In the best possible way of "being a reason"

To be the best incarnation of reason

Is highly desirable

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Learning to Receive

Learning to Receive

Is a packed idea with many caveats

In a seemingly, take take world

So many considerations to be made for the problem

Past experiences may play a great part

Receiving is not always an easily learned behavior for

Some people

There are those that have difficulty in receiving

And coincidentally, takers don’t have a problem with receiving

Givers usually have the problem

And, often, express it with such phrases as

“You didn’t have to do that”

“I can’t accept it”                                                           

“Why did you do that?”

Denial of the goodness of others wanting to share

The good thoughts, intentions and behavior of many

A simple heart-felt “thank you”

Is all that’s need,

Having a problem receiving from others

Has less to do with feelings of unworthiness,                                          

Many times, it is humility exposing itself

A moral and great virtue of extreme importance

Humility is the way

But a sense of learning to be thankful and grateful

Is indeed, of great importance In life

A simple, “thank you” is all that is needed

Understanding that sometimes, the simple things in life

Can be complicated

TO RECEIVE is one of the gifts of life

To be appreciated and respected

Gifted or Talented

Talented or Gifted

There is a difference between the two

And often, very distinct

Here, I speak in terms of gifted and talented persons                                                                   d

A gift is bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient

Or without its being earned

A talent is a special ability that allows someone to do something well

Talents can be taught and learned, as most things

There are many talented people in the world

But gifted persons are a rarity

Gifts come from a higher source

Gifts are both, natural and spiritual

Stevie Wonder is a gift                                                  

Another example is Michael Jackson

Chris Brown gave a wonderful tribute to Michael Jackson

He did a marvelous job

Chris is truly talented and knows his craft well

But, Michael Jackson was gifted

And never another one, like him, to come any time soon

A gifted person is extraordinary

The person is the gift

The gift is the person

Gifts cannot be taught by academic institutions

A gift cannot be explained by a scientific theory

Gifts are synonymous with genius, synonymous with miracles

Two Kinds of People

 There are two kinds of people in the world

The givers and the takers

A giver can never be a taker

A taker can never be a giver

They are two different kinds of people

No matter the veneer, the shadow, perspective, pretense or  behavior

Inwardly, they can never be the same

Such a very strange phenomenon in life

That there is no in-between state for this

One of the more distinct dichotomies of life

And yet, we all have given and taken in life

Givers are “empathetic” by nature

It’s about disposition

Without being judgmental

A giver will give his last

A giver gives when it hurts

Sometimes, the care for others is

At times, more worthy an action and behavior

The world would not exist with givers

Takers thrill at receiving from others

A taker would probably not give his last

Takers are probably followers of

Thomas Hobbes, English Philosopher

And one of the founders of modern philosophy

And his law of “self-preservation”

Self-preservation is everyone's fundamental natural instinct

Self-preservation is the first law of nature

Friday, October 13, 2017

Inspired by Pharrell Williams and "Happy"

Happiness, the perfect state of life

To be happy is life attained

Happiness is Truth

No intolerable pain, grief or other circumstance

Just free to be one’s self

To recognize all of one’s blessing

Being OK with the world

Friends and foe, alike

Are examples of being happy

Even though we equate other things with happiness

Genuine happiness is cultivated, within, by the individual

Money and material possessions don’t necessarily equate with happiness

They can be taken by others

Happiness is an innate possession

That thrives on



Human Dignity

Human Pride

Human Self Respect

Including respect from others

Should never be sacrificed, sold, taken, devalued, destroyed, etc.

At any cost, including human acts

It is innate and not created by man

It can neither be created nor destroyed

The attempt to destroy it has been attempted

Many times by immoral men

It is like a type of energy

Beyond the forces of ordinary men of science, philosophy and

Great men of knowledge, wisdom and understanding

Human Dignity

Human Pride

Human Self Respect

Are the bases for life

They are spirit

Without the three or the combination

Or singular meaning

One becomes less of a sentient being

Less of a natural being in the world

And less of what was intended

They give purpose for “being”

Being can never be destroyed

Or minimized by other beings

It is meant to be respected by

All other human beings

The Difference Between The Two

Pride and Proud

To have pride, as in self-respect, is necessary for

Being in the world with human dignity

The other extreme in being proud

As in being arrogant or

Having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of

One’s self or one's importance,

Is vanity, negative and immoral

Conversely, to take pride in one’s life, behavior, attitude and ethics

Is highly desired

Pride in one’s family, friends, work and play

Is necessary for the moral life

The line between being morally proud

And immorally proud is thin

Interestingly, some morally proud persons are often seen as arrogant

But, fighting for one's pride can be very hard work,

As we live in a world where human rights is

A consistent and persistent problem

Sometimes, over exaggerated pride in one’s self has

Been contorted

Standards, that were, once inappropriate and biased

Have been dismantled for newer perceptions of personal and moral pride

Discernment of the two is a great quality to have