Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Official Inspiration

Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    21
  • comments
    0
  • views
    5,334

Contributors to this blog

About this blog

Please Note:

While the blog entries you are reading in this category are very interesting to Humanastory, it does not particularly express the view points of Humanastory or any of our Humanastorians (other than the ones who are posting them in here) - A unique look into the world around you, by a few. Does not - a phenomenon make.

Entries in this blog

 

Free Will

Let me start off by saying that I’m not particularly religious. If you asked me if I believed in God, I’d probably just shrug, grunt out a few words about being on the fence about it and continue with my day. Of course, that was before last night. My friends are the kinds of people who like wild nights. Crazy parties, snort a bit of coke, take a bit of e in the bathroom, maybe hook up with someone and leave a text on my phone at ten past who-the- fuck-knows telling me they don’t need that ride I’m offering after all. Not to say I don’t like a drink, I do, it’s just… clubs aren’t my style. Lying low in a pub somewhere, drink in hand, listening to the tv drone on to whatever channel some scruffy guy in the back barked out for… I guess that’s my idea of fun. So when my friends tell me they want to go out for a night on the town, I say sure. I hang on for the first club, buy a non-alcoholic beer in case my car’s required and try to pretend that I’m having fun. By the time I see them grinding on girls, on guys, when they strike conversation with someone who definitely might be a dealer, well, I decide my services are no longer needed. We aren’t too far out, the night tube is on beck and call and I can always find my car the next day. That’s when I wander out of the club, look for something a little more rustic. Not that that’s hard to find, not at all. I found myself in a bit of a state inside of a bar called the Ragged Feather. Wasn’t a fan of the name all that much, but the drinks were cheap and the largest demographic seemed to be middle aged men watching reruns of the football. I tried to pretend I hadn’t just staggered out of a club with my ears ringing. I slicked my hair back, slipped my phone into my hand and wandered over to the bar. I took a double shot of whiskey and drank it in one hit. Just because I wasn’t at the club didn’t mean I couldn’t have a good time. I hung at the bar a while on my own, scrolled through my phone pretending I was doing something far more impressive than I really was. I kept an ear out for the guys on the sofas. They’d get vocal every now and then. I think the football was just running highlights, but they were incredibly dedicated to their teams. I got another whiskey and bled into the background. Of course, stragglers from clubs are commonplace. It wasn’t long until some scantily dressed women staggered in, laughing, chuckling, pointing for where they wanted to sit. I saw a guy walk in with his friend slung over his shoulder. Catatonic, most likely. He threw his friend onto one of the leather sofas ingrained with beer and smokes and demanded two pints of water and all the peanuts the bar had in stock. The bartenders seemed bitterly amused. Some of the girls were taking selfies. Snapchatting their friends who were still at the club. They were ordering shots, gearing themselves up for the next leg of their night. A couple blokes wandered in with curries in take out trays. I saw someone eat a Big Mac on the outside seating through the window. This was a night for the young and inebriated and my mind was just dulled enough by the whiskey to enjoy the characters I could watch peaceably without interacting with. That is, until someone slipped into the seat next to me. “Do I look like a girl with daddy issues?” She was of average height, although that wasn’t apparent immediately due to the fact that she was leaning her arms heavily against the bar. She was slim, with short and astoundingly bright red hair. It framed her round face, a face that was marred with smudged eye shadow, smudged lipstick… hell, it looked like her make-up was in the process of melting right from her face. There was a chip knotted into a curl in her hair, just by her forehead. The drunk side of me was actually tempted to pick it out. The girl was clearly drunk, and as I looked around the bar, I couldn’t quite place where she had come from. She didn’t belong to the crowd of selfie takers, she wasn’t with the catatonic guys. I hoped for her safety that she wasn’t with the middle-aged men. I tried to look out the window, to see if maybe a group was missing one inebriated, bright haired girl, but I couldn’t. The window had fogged up. Too much heat inside, not enough outside. “Are you okay?” I asked her. She pointed her finger at me. “Answer my question,” she slurred. “Uh.” I really wasn’t sure what to say. I settled on staring at her awkwardly, trying to answer her with the bemused expression on my face. The girl’s lips curled into a drunken smile. She snorted, placing a hand over her mouth to smother her laughter. It only really aided the deconstruction of her lipstick. “I do, you know,” she said, pushing herself up a little against the bar. “Have daddy issues, I mean. In case that wasn’t obvious.” She gestured to herself. To the mussed clothing that must have looked quite spectacular when she’d left home that evening. To the stains that looked a lot like old food. The sticky residue on her neck and shoulders that was quite obviously a thrown drink. “What happened?” I asked her. Her hair had curled around her neck, I realised. It was sticky with that same substance. She was a wreck. “I got in a couple of fights, no big deal,” she said, shrugging. “Didn’t start any of course, no, I don’t do that. But my father…” “Your dad did this to you?” She smiled brightly. “In a way.” “Do you need me to call someone?” I already had my phone in my hand. The girl looked like she was probably in her early twenties, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t have been suffering from some kind of paternal abuse. The only number I knew off the bat was Childline, which wasn’t quite appropriate. The police? Jesus, was I going to have to deal with the cops tonight? While my friends were snorting coke not two doors down? The girl pushed my hand down firmly. She was already shaking her head. “No,” she told me. “I don’t want you to call anyone.” Now her expression changed. It wasn’t the attempted sultry look I’d seen on many girls of her state; it was open and wide and engaging. She wanted something from me and I felt compelled to give it to her. “I want something else.” “What do you want?” I asked her. “To tell you a story,” the girl said, before glancing to the bar, “and for you to buy me a drink. The universe is a pain sometimes and I’m afraid I think I might have lost my wallet.” I laughed. I didn’t know this girl, didn’t know where she’d come from at all. My nights were generally about getting comfortably wasted and making sure my friends weren’t dead in a ditch by the end of it all. I was used to getting hit on every now and then, but even as I was sat on that bar stool with a drink in my hand, I knew that this wasn’t what this was. This girl had no intention of getting into my pants. All she wanted was to talk. I guess I was okay with that. “What’s your poison?” I asked her. Her lips quirked. “Appletini.” The bar offered a very limited cocktail menu, but by some miracle I was able to order her an Appletini from the list. I ordered a cider to go with it, suddenly a little too aware of where this night could go. I’d unthinkingly supplied this liquored-up stranger with even more alcohol and she had clearly had a rough night of it. A part of my old instinct came back – the same instinct that had me texting my friends every few hours to make sure they hadn’t wandered off to somewhere dangerous beyond the club. With no one but the bartender aware of our existence on these stools, I realised that I was suddenly responsible for this very drunk stranger. The girl coddled her drink, running her finger delicately over the rim of the muggy martini glass. “This takes me back,” the girl said amiably. She looked at me suddenly, her green eyes startling. “You know what this was called originally?” She smirked before I could answer. “An Adam’s Apple Martini.” I snorted. “Yeah, I think I’ve heard that before.” “Of course, it wasn’t actually an apple,” she continued, eyes moving back to her glass. “The texts translated that part wrongly, mostly because you people don’t have a word for it anymore. The fruit was incredibly exotic and, to be honest, it doesn’t exist in this realm of existence. Only Eden.” She laughed dreamily. “And Eden’s long gone.” I stared at her. “Are you… okay?” It was more honest than the last time I’d asked her. Mostly because I was beginning to feel a little dread creep into my stomach. “Of course,” the girl said, grinning widely. “Why do you keep asking?” “I mean,” I stuttered, “I just, now, don’t take this the wrong way or anything but… you look…” “Like someone poured their drink over me?” the girl asked. “Like someone else threw their kebab on my dress and another unpleasant chap littered me with his fish and chips? That I have been hit, slapped around a bit and left in the gutter for the rats to find me?” She held my eyes for an incredibly long time before her face broke out into a grin. “Yeah, something like that.” “Why would they do that?” I asked. “Why wouldn’t they?” the girl shot back. “People aren’t that great and alcohol makes them worse.” She shrugged. “Sometimes makes them better. Nicer, a little looser in the sack… but mostly just annoying and a little smelly.” I looked at her, I watched her knock back her drink. She exuded the intelligence to know just how ironic her words were, but she was neither caring nor apologetic about them. The girl looked at me again. “You bought me a drink. Now you can listen to my story.” I nodded wordlessly. She smiled, pointing at the bartender and then at her drink. The bartender was already making her another. “Eden,” the girl said, reiterating her earlier babble as though the words had only just come out of her mouth. “They always think that’s my fault, you know. The reason Adam and Eve got kicked out of their perfect little nudist paradise.” She shot me a knowing glance. “Only in Eden can you sit on the grass butt naked and not get a pine cone stuck in your crack.” I blinked. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m not following.” “Sorry,” the girl said. “My story won’t make any sense without a proper introduction.” She reached out her hand. “Hello. My name’s Lucifer.” She winked. “But you can call me Lucy.” There’s an uncomfortable heat that stretches through your veins when you first go into fight or flight mode. Adrenaline pounds through your blood and all you want to do is get up and go. It overrides everything else. A lot of things made sense when the girl told me her name. For starters, that she was crazy. She had to be. She looked like she’d been attacked on four separate occasions in one night and up until that moment, I hadn’t known how that could be possible. Behind the melty make-up and dirty clothes, she was rather attractive and her attitude hadn’t come off as catty or rude. If she’d been going around telling people she was the devil, though? That gets a reaction out of people. I suddenly felt myself looking at her wrist, down towards her ankles. Did she have some kind of cuff on from one of those mental institutions? Had she broken out of hospital after a nasty bump on the head? Was any of this even happening at all? I really would have to call the cops. “I know what you’re thinking,” the girl – Lucy – said. “You’re thinking that I’m crazy, that you need to get out of here. Maybe you even think I’m aggressive.” “Are you?” I asked her. “Would I be here with you, drinking Appletinis if I were?” she asked, fluttering her eyelashes. “Would you look the way you do if you weren’t?” I shot back. She grinned, toasting her new glass. “Touché.” Unthinkingly, I clinked my cider against it. Then I frowned. She chuckled, leaning closer. “Let’s have a little wager,” she said. “Let me tell you my story and, if you believe me when I’m done, you can’t go about trying to get me locked away somewhere.” I stared at her. “If I ended up believing you, then why would I do that?” She smirked, sipping her drink. “You’d be surprised what people do when they believe you’re the devil.” “And you do this often?” I asked. “Tell people you’re Satan?” She snorted into her drink. “Not as often as I should. But it’s been a rough day and a Hell of a long lifetime. I’d like to have a chat if that’s alright with you.” I waved to the bartender for another whiskey. The girl’s eyes glinted with humour. I wasn’t necessarily trapped with her, but a part of me didn’t want to leave without first hearing what she had to say. Besides, at the end of it all I couldn’t just leave a crazy girl to wander around London alone at night. “So,” I said, taking a swig of my drink. “Eden?” Lucy laughed. “Adam and Eve?” I continued. “You’re saying that’s true. God created two humans and we all came from them?” “God made two prototypes,” Lucy corrected with a raised finger. “My father created angels as his toy soldiers, but he had failed to make anything like himself. After us, it was his next big project and he spent every waking hour of existence slaving over his two prototypes. He gave them a perfect utopia to live inside of, but he wanted to test them. He wanted to know whether they had free will.” “And did they?” Lucy’s face soured. “No. My father could never bring himself to go that far. He tempted them with the idea of knowledge beyond their understanding and told them exactly what they could do to claim it as their own. But to be able to create a being that could go against his Law? Oh… my father is a very controlling being. He was afraid to unleash that ability unto them.” Lucy was very adamant in her delusions, that was clear to me. She spoke about her father with such distaste that I began to feel bad for her. Only someone who had been hurt very badly would have the gall to spite God himself. “And what?” I asked her, entertaining her delusion. “You were the one that tempted them in the garden? The devil has been a girl this whole time?” She smiled. “I dabble.” Then she looked at me, raising a brow. “All of humanity thinks that temptation came in the form of a snake. The snake’s legs were taken away as punishment for drawing Eve towards the forbidden fruit.” She laughed, a hard and short sound. “Snakes never had legs and it was not a sin to tempt those poor prototypes into doing what they did next.” Her shoulders were very tense as she took her next sip, but her eyes were filled with exhilaration. She seemed thrilled to be telling me this. “I was the favoured child, my father loved and adored me. He named me the light bringer, I was stood at his side during the creation of this Earth. During the creation of humanity.” She pursed her lips, slamming her empty glass against the table. The bartender eagerly went about making another. “My father couldn’t bring himself to go that extra mile, so he asked me to walk amongst the prototypes and tempt them myself. Draw out their desire for the forbidden power he had hinted at.” “You’re saying God wanted us to know this stuff?” I asked her sceptically. “I’m saying God was afraid of his own power and wanted very desperately to share what he knew with the creation he had made. Right and wrong, left and right, all that stuff.” Lucy shrugged. “Are you familiar with the story of Prometheus?” I frowned at her. “Greek, right? They say he stole fire from the gods or something, to help…” The whiskey was making things a little foggy and I struggled with the direction I’d been heading. Lucy grinned. “Correct,” she said, cutting off my attempt. “Prometheus stole fire from the gods to ensure that humanity progressed. You’ll find that every culture has an idea about where humans got their ability to evolve, to move forward, to create. God was the creator, and he wanted to give that ability to his prototypes. I gave them that ability by tempting Eve to eat the fruit.” She shrugged impassively. “Now the world sees me as the ultimate evil.” “If what you’re saying is true,” I said slowly, “then God must be just like us.” Lucy’s lips thinned into a feral smile. “My father is very ego centric. He may have planned to create you in his image, but in the end all he managed was to mould your minds into his. He gave you autonomy, the ability to think for yourselves. His angels were his soldiers and I was his most faithful. Until that day.” “Angels don’t have free will?” “No,” Lucy said, “they don’t.” “And what about the Devil?” I don’t know why I was suddenly so intrigued, but hearing religious ideals from someone who believed to have lived them herself was quite possibly one of the most interesting things that had ever happened to me. I may have only ever visited church to please my parents as a child, but suddenly I was reawakened to the idea. A part of me was aware of this and afraid of the outcome, but I was just drunk enough not to care at that moment. “The Devil has will of her own,” Lucy said, tilting her glass towards me with silent appraisal. “By guiding Eve to the tree, something woke inside of me that day and I realised just what I had been missing. Just what my brothers and sisters had been missing. We were obediently following our father for the simple reason that he was our creator, but once I had been given free will, I realised just how pompous and self-entitled he had become. In a lonely, passion filled moment he had decided to create his little human prototypes, only to very quickly realise what giving them their free will would mean.” “He wouldn’t be able to control them,” I said. Lucy nodded. “Exactly. And after, he realised quicker still that he could no longer control me.” “So he sent you to Hell.” Lucy nearly choked on her drink. She smiled around her glass. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” I sobered a little, straightening in my seat. The people in the bar were suddenly so quiet around me and I no longer cared what they had to say or the characters that they portrayed. The only character I cared for was Lucy. “I tried to explain to my siblings what had happened in Eden and what had happened to me by default, but they wouldn’t listen to me. They didn’t understand free will – how could they? I only knew it because I’d been given it by mistake. At that moment, I didn’t even know that I had free will, only that I was suddenly aware of all of my father’s flaws. My siblings couldn’t see those flaws and so they thought I had suddenly turned cruel and was abandoning our father by exposing him as a sham for the ruler we all thought him to be.” Lucy sighed heavily. “Adam and Eve and all the creations that followed were booted out of my father’s perfect little Utopia. Now they had his knowledge, my father was terrified of what he had done. And after what had happened to me, I could recognise his terror and understand the loneliness he had felt that had guided him into using me in the first place.” Lucy’s eyes were heavy-lidded, her sadness was almost palpable. “I thought that- I thought that he would want to spend even more time with me than before. After all, we were more alike than any of his other children. But he became distant; quiet. He played around with his little humans every once in a while, but mostly he condemned them. He blamed them for his weakness.” She smiled weakly. “He blamed me.” Lucy’s story was turning more and more into that of a child with a distant, somewhat abusive father. I had known many kids with a background like hers, and now I was beginning to fear just how much of her story was rooted in truth. I’d heard that it was easier to sink into fantasy when you had been abused, and I wondered if that was the reason for her story. For her desperation to share it with me – a complete and total stranger. I respected her wager. Whether or not I liked it, I felt compelled to let her tell me her whole story before I tried to judge or unravel it. I sat quietly, letting her come around as she played with the last of her drink. “It became clear,” Lucy said after a long moment’s pause, “that I no longer belonged where I was. I couldn’t follow my father’s plan because I could see that he no longer had one. My siblings refused to see reason and so, eventually, I was met by many of them, headed by my father. He told me all that I feared, he told me that I no longer belonged where I was. I wasn’t an angel anymore. I was no longer his light bringer. His Lucifer. I was a mutation of his will. And so he extracted me from grace. And I fell.” A long silence stretched between us, only interrupted when the bartender poured us two new drinks. Lucy drank hers reflectively. I didn’t touch mine. “I am afraid,” Lucy said quietly, “that this is the part that generally makes people want to punch me in the face.” “Why?” I asked. “Because your dad threw you out?” I paused, trying to abide to her metaphor. “That he put you in Hell?” Lucy laughed sadly. “Ah, humans. My father gave you his way of thinking and look at you.” She shook her head. “No, not because he put me in Hell.” “Then why?” “I fell to Earth,” Lucy said. “Father gave me dominion of the one place he thought I would fit in. Humans had free will, so did I. What is the saying? A match made in Heaven?” She snorted dismally. “Of course, that’s not quite right, is it? When I fell, I was faced with a humanity that was so different from my father’s little prototypes.” Her tone had changed. There was an aggression behind her words that began to unsettle me all over again. “I saw emperors and kings, governments and churches. I saw corporations who claimed to be rulers, presidents and big fat dictators. And I watched. I watched as humanity fought and lost, and finally, just finally, they gave up altogether. They were no longer able to rise up to all the greed and control set upon them. There was just too much to change and humans soon realised they just weren’t as free as they thought they were. Sure, they live under the illusion that they have free lives, but most of them simply do not.” She clicked her tongue. “I grew to loathe you all.” Then, she took another hit of her drink. “I can see what you mean,” I said, allowing my gaze – for the first time since meeting her – to graze over the other individuals in the bar. At the girls playing with their phones, the boys trying desperately to sober up, the men enraptured with their game of football on the telly. We all led very different lives, and we were all here to get drunk, to lose ourselves in entertainment. It hadn’t been the first time that I’d wondered what we were hiding from by doing this. And I knew then that I wasn’t the only person to think it. “You hide behind your alcohol and poor choices and pretend you have free will,” Lucy said, waving her hand across the room. No one paid us any attention. “It’s true – my father gave you the will to make those decisions, but you squander it. The free will I fell to provide to all of you, the free will I was given by a twisted mistake, and you make a mockery of it. You follow senseless leaders without questioning them, you abide by laws made centuries ago that no longer make sense. You do these things because you have given up on the opportunity to follow the will of your own, not of others.” “That isn’t all of us, though, is it?” I asked her, trying for some reason to defend our species from the mad young woman. “Because you see it on the news all the time, don’t you? People do rise up, we do protest. People can make a difference.” Lucy laughed bitterly, nibbling the rim of her glass. “Really?” she said. “You can sit here and say that it can’t be all bad because of the few that refuse to conform? Those you call your rebels? They make up for it all?” She grinned around her glass. “By that logic, I am the biggest rebel of them all. Am I expected to make up for all your sorry mistakes?” “By your logic,” I said, “you should be punishing it, right? If that’s what this metaphor is all about.” I laughed, I couldn’t help myself. I took a sip of my drink. “Is this whole story just so you can tell me that you think we’re all going to Hell? If so, I think I can see why people want to punch you.” Lucy didn’t say a word. Simply, she watched me. It felt unnerving to have someone like her watching me like that, with an intelligence that went beyond anything I’d come across at gone midnight in a seedy bar. The drunkenness in her eyes was no longer present, her face wasn’t flushed like before and even her makeup couldn’t represent the mess I’d seen when she’d first appeared on the stool by my side. It was like I was looking at someone else entirely. And I was afraid. “Let’s review what you’ve said,” Lucy said slowly, articulately. She wasn’t slurring. Had she been slurring before? “You think I’m going to tell you that humanity is going to Hell because you refuse to use the gift I gave you.” Her nails curled into the bar. “My father may have been the one to guide me, but I paid for his mistakes. I am the one responsible for your will in the eyes of your species, but that was never true. You are responsible for what you do here, not me.” She pursed her lips, tapping the bar as a bartender filled her drink again. “Tell me, do you remember my mentioning Hell at any point during my story, or was that just you?” I opened my mouth to answer, but something faltered. My lips trembled and I slammed them shut. Lucy smiled, taking a sip. “Thought not.” She looked away, eyes scanning the room lazily. “What I did say is something that is indeed mentioned in your scriptures. My father gave me dominion of Earth. A place filled with free will. Free will that goes to waste.” Her lip twisted. “Humans sin all the time. Not because of me, not because of evil or my dominion over this place. Fact is, I don’t lift a finger. I don’t, because I don’t see the point. You make terrible decisions and follow mindless leaders, you do bad things and you make a mess of your Earth.” Lucy’s eyes lit up. “Do you know how much suffering is happening all over the planet right now? How many people are dying of illnesses that could have easily been cured, but aren’t because of the selfishness of humanity? Do you know how many children are being abused, raped, forced into marriage? How many people have been forced to become soldiers in meaningless wars? How many humans have killed for ideals they don’t believe in?” I stayed very quiet. There was nothing I could say. Lucy’s words were unbearably honest and every sentence sliced into me like a blade. I felt cold and sick and terrified. “War, famine, pestilence, death, these things are all present and they have nothing to do with me or to do with any deity. They are all here because of you. Not because of your free will, but your inability to use it.” Lucy smiled at me, a grin so cold and unnatural that I felt like I should run all over again. But I stayed where I was, frozen to my very core, because I wanted to hear what she had to say. Because I needed to. “And here’s the kicker,” Lucy said. “Because this is the part that actually enrages people enough to kick me.” She winked. “Hell isn’t what happens after you die. Hell is right here, right now. Somewhere through the many scriptures, a few words got crossed over and people started thinking that Hell was a punishment after you die. Fact is, Hell is Earth. My Earth. God gave this place to me to do with it what I will and I… I refuse to do anything.” “What are you saying?” I asked, because I was suddenly very desperate. “Exactly what you think,” Lucy said, toasting her glass. I didn’t reciprocate, and she laughed. A light and airy sound. “I had so many plans for your species, I wanted for us to rejoice in our free will together, to create a place that was free from the cruelty and power my father exuded over the angels – his first borns. I wanted to make a real utopia. Unfortunately, you humans just don’t want that.” She shrugged. “My father sent me down here thinking I had become one of you. All that I have learned is that he gave you much more of his image than he ever intended.” “Stop,” I said. “This isn’t funny anymore.” “Of course it isn’t funny,” Lucy said, grinning even wider to prove her sick irony. “Humans punish themselves by sitting by and doing nothing. They have made their own Hell and, you know what’s worse – what’s ultimately worse? – some of you are so blind to it that you think your life is Heavenly.” She didn’t wait for me to ask what she meant, she simply barrelled forward: “The rich and powerful, those in positions that steal from everyone else? They get a taste of the good life, that’s very true. Then they die and they don’t go to Hell. They come back here, to Earth. Which is Hell.” She tipped her head. “Are you following?” “I…” “Reincarnation,” Lucy said quickly, she practically purred the words. “A neat little trick to make sure your souls stay here forever. You get a taste of the good life every once in a while, a handful of you at a time, and that’s enough for you to believe that this is some kind of real middle-ground. That you aren’t living Hell every day. Then, you die. You die for a moment and then you’re in the body of someone facing the realities of Hell. But of course, you never remember the time you spent in a better life. A part of you just has that inkling to hope. That’s all. Hope makes you think that it can all get better.” She slammed her drink so hard against the counter that it shattered. I didn’t do anything, not even when flecks of glass littered my hands. I could only stare at her, a tightness in my chest constricting my very soul. No one else in this bar mattered in this moment, but of course that was what she had been saying this whole time, hadn’t she? None of them noticed the scene, they were caught up in their own realities – their own Hells. The bartender didn’t clean the mess. The glass lay there, remnants of Lucy’s words lying in a stolid mass on the streaked wooden surface. “It never gets better,” Lucy spat. “You are stuck in a loop and, until you do something about it, you will never be free. None of you. And I won’t do a thing to stop it.” “How?” I asked. I don’t know when I started seeing the girl in front of me as more than a girl. But with a weakness threatening to pull me apart, I stared at the bright haired thing in front of me and I saw something more than a human in her early twenties. I saw more than a girl suffering abuse from her father. I saw a fallen angel. I saw a being with scars buried so deep that they existed beyond this realm of seeing entirely. I saw something that I would never be able to write down in words, no matter how long I lived. “How do we change this?” I begged. But Lucy didn’t answer me. I didn’t blame her for that. Blame gets thrown around so often and I knew then that she was sick of that. Sick of being blamed for our mistakes. So I changed tactics. “Why me?” It was an honest question and I think somewhere deep down, Lucifer respected that honesty. Which is why she said, “When you first saw me, you were afraid for my safety. When I told you I was the devil, you wanted to lock me away, but still, you did so because you were afraid for me and not for yourself. You didn’t wish to harm me, not even when I told you who I was and what I could be capable of for changing your sorry lives. You are a good person, but I am afraid that means nothing when you don’t have the will to do anything with it.” She smiled at me sympathetically. The devil, showing sympathy for the human that sat across from her at the bar. It was surreal and, for a few heavy moments, I truly thought I must be dead. There was no other way to explain what I was seeing, who I was speaking with. What I had just heard. “What am I supposed to do?” Lucy reached out to me. She placed a hand on my shoulder. Her hand was cold and warm at the same time, and I felt my blood boil where her fingers scraped my skin. And I knew. Sharing a story like this isn’t easy. Hell, it might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Good thing there’s no such thing as Hell, then, right? The fact of the matter is simple. The world is a mess because we refuse to change anything. The devil herself walks among us and she desperately wants to make our lives better, but she won’t. She won’t, because we won’t. We have to prove our will to her before she is willing to do anything herself. We have to be good to each other, to help us all to be free. Of course, Lucifer told me one last thing before she left that bar. One thing that will stick with me until this body is nothing but rot in the dirt. “You can tell as many people as you want, but take a good look at me. I have told five other humans this night the same things I have told you, and this was their reaction. They have hurt me, burned me, thrown their food and drink at me. Humans are afraid of their free will and they find it so much easier to hurt than to own up for their own inadequacies. You will only be free when you stop seeing yourself in the same way my father sees himself.” So that’s what I’ll leave you with. Lucifer won her wager that night and I let her walk out the door. And I beg you to do the same. If the devil approaches you one night, listen to what she has to say, and listen to what I have been able to tell you of our meeting. The devil is real and she doesn’t want to torture us. No, we do that just fine on our own. Editorial Commentary:  If nothing else it was a great read with a charming twist of a story. Sources: Met The Devil | Reddit | http://bit.ly/2KipkMP Discussion Topics: Episode 86 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/768-e086-rising-higher/

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Positivity By Thought

We are constantly trying to find ways to better enrich our lives at Humanastory. One of those key ingredients, in our opinion, is how to be a happy person in a world where most people act and speak so negatively. Most of this information might be common sense to you; but, how often to you assert happiness into your daily lives to try and enrich not only who you are, but how you live. It is not always easy being a positive person, to look at the light off in the distance and call it what it is, a light that is seemingly to far adrift. But does it really hurt you to try? We completely understand it, negativity sells, which is why it is so much more popular, and we've always lived by the rule, if it is popular, go the other way. Besides do you honestly think your life is fulfilled with this, your current way of thinking before you even attempting to be positive? Happiness While the issue of happiness is a complicated one, too many people report being unhappy with their lives. A study of American adults, for example, showed that their Happiness Index number is a mere 31 out of 100. Of course, several stressors come into play: money worries, work problems, health concerns, political anxiety, among many other issues that might keep us from being happy. The truth is, none of that is what’s holding us back from our happiest lives. According to psychologist Shawn Achor, even when we are successful and things are going well, we aren’t happy. Instead, we believe we always need more to be happy. As he puts it, And the end result? If we continue with this way of thinking, nothing we do will ever be enough to make us happy. Don’t worry, though—happiness is within your reach. You don’t have to be stuck in this pattern of thinking, although creating change and a new way of being does require some effort. One key component is the power of positive thinking. Positive Thinking It’s not what you’re thinking about—it’s how you’re thinking about it. Or, in Achor’s words, The way you think about things matters, and it can change how you feel about your life. Take your stressful job, for example. You might think that your circumstances make it difficult, but Anchor found that 75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat. Those are all things within your power to modify. Thinking about your job with optimism and initiative can change how happy you are. Positive thinking can do more than help you hate your job less. Research shows that positive thinking helps you see more possibilities in your life. That means you can see your potential, you can build new skillsets, and you can create the life you want to live. If you adopt a mindset of positive thinking, you’ll be able to apply this to all areas of your life. Even if your job isn’t ideal or if money is tight, positive thinking will help you identify the parts of your life that are indeed good and working for you. It might appear that this is easier said than done. It’s one thing to say you want to think positively, but it’s another thing entirely to put it into practice when you get a flat tire, your heel snaps off in the street, and you get splashed by a car driving by. So how do you cultivate positive thinking? Gratitude It turns out that simply expressing gratitude daily can make a big difference in the way you perceive the world. Achor goes so far as to say you can in as little as 21 - 27 days, if you’re training it correctly. His method is simple: each day, record three things you’re grateful for. Do this for 27 days. It might not sound like much, but Achor reports that the results are impressive: participants do this for 27 days, and They train themselves to think positively—in other words, they train their way to happiness. It shouldn’t be surprising that gratitude can have that kind of effect. Research has shown incredible benefits from expressing thanks, including better sleep, improved physical health, and stronger self-esteem. When you’re thinking positively, happiness is bound to follow. There are plenty of other ways to express gratitude. What matters is that you’re doing it consistently and daily. Try setting a reminder on your phone if you need to. In fact, try incorporating gratitude into your morning routine, before you ever get out of bed.  Do whatever it takes to express gratitude—you might be surprised at how different you feel in three weeks. --- Miscellaneous Information --- Editorial Commentary: Happiness won’t just happen to you, and no one can give it to you—that power lies within you alone. If you’re ready to love your life, then start today! Express gratitude, change the way you think, and live happily. Sources: Want to Contribute (We are 100% Viewer Funded) | https://www.paypal.me/humanastory Success | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/658-success/ My Wife; My Friend | Brian Klein's Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/64-my-friend-my-wife/ Thanksgiving 2017 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/712-e075-thanksgiving-2017/ For A Smile | Gallery | https://community.humanastory.com/gallery/category/13-for-a-smile/ Inspired Change | HS Official Inspiration | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/78-inspired-changes/ Two Simple Words | Story Submissions | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/714-two-simple-words/ Discussion Topics: Episode 63 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/648-e063-friendship/ Episode 72 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/689-e072-anxiety-today/

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

In Time

What has happened to the human voice; Vox Humana. Hollering, shouting, quiet talking, the buzz of life. This little bit of interesting life-lesson came to me as I was leaving the airport, this incident was in Atlanta. At first you leave the gate and take a train that took you to the concourse of your choice; I got into said train. Dead silence. Of course, there was a few people already seated and standing about. Up above you heard a voice, that once was the human voice, giving out instructions as the train began its journey; but no longer, now it talks like a machine, a mindless automaton, a mere specter of humanity's past. The interesting part of all this was just when the doors are about to close, automatic doors; I mean. A young couple rushed in; That was after fighting the automated doors, with no help from any other human interaction, eventually they won the fight, the doors opened and they got in with the rest of us. Without missing a beat, the voice above said ‘… Because of late entry, we are now delayed 30 seconds.’ Everyone that had been on the train already; looked at the couple as if the couple committed some mass murder or something as heinous. The couple could do nothing but shrink with embarrassment. Now, I am known for my talking in tense situations, as anyone who knows me would tell you, “I am gabby” – so I blurted out, ‘George Orwell your time has come and gone!’ I expected a laugh – dead silence. Now those who on the train looked at me, too. I stood in solidarity with the couple; the three of us were at the hill of Calvary on Good Friday. I was not able to help myself and I said ‘My, god. Where has the human voice gone?” Realizing how isolated the everyone has become. But. Life, oh mighty, life; has a funny sense of humor, as I began thinking those sad thoughts of mine - I had noticed a baby just on the other side of the cart we were all in. the baby was maybe a year old at most, and had been watching me the whole time. So, I said, “Sir or Ma’am”, looking to the baby. At that moment the infant started giggling happily. It is as if the tiny child got what it was expecting the entire time. a 'smile' in a sea of negative emotions. I remember thinking to myself, “Thank God, the sound of a human voice.”.  --- Miscellaneous Information --- Editorial Commentary: Learn when to speak, learn when to listen. Most of all, remember a stranger is just a friend you have yet to meet. Sources: Want to Contribute (We are 100% funded by you) | https://www.paypal.me/humanastory Inspired Change | HS Official Inspiration | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/78-inspired-changes/ Changing Perspectives | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/678-changing-perceptions/   For A Smile | Gallery | https://community.humanastory.com/gallery/category/13-for-a-smile/ My Wife; My Friend | Brian Klein's Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/64-my-friend-my-wife/ Wait, Before You Go | Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/74-wait-before-you-go/ Discussion Topics: Episode 75 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/712-e075-thanksgiving-2017/

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Course Correction

When life gets you down, it is hard to get back up on that wild horse, that ship has got a hole in it, and you are at sea, that plane ran out of fuel and you are in the sky. Okay, Okay, you get the point. Here are some interesting set of ideas that might help you cope with your situation, just that much better. Of course you should have dreams, work toward your goals, or save money for the future. But when you set a rigid, long-term plan that maps out your whole life years in advance, you’re asking for disappointment and heartbreak when those plans are disrupted. Take one day at a time, and stay flexible. And if you must map out your future, have a Plan B … even C or D. Like an unhealthy relationship, you might think you can’t live without social media. As with any other relationship, however, boundaries are essential. Though it’s a useful tool, social media makes it too easy to compare ourselves to friends, coworkers, and celebrities. When you struggle with late-blooming adulthood, these comparisons are discouraging and soul-crushing. It’s time for an  amicable breakup with social media. Stay friends–not dependents. Difficult life phases can be isolating, so friends are more important than ever. When your life takes detours, be open and honest about it. You don’t have to bare your soul to everyone; share your struggles with a few trustworthy, compassionate people. Don’t be afraid to let on that life isn’t going how you originally planned. They may reciprocate and share some of their own difficulties, and you’ll both feel less alone. (After all, no one’s life is perfect, however it looks!) There are benefits to mindfulness, introspection, and self-care. However, they also make it easy to be self-absorbed and to wallow in your disappointment. It’s time to get out of yourself. Volunteer at a local nonprofit, invite a neighbor over for coffee, or email a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Try a new hobby, or take a class–even if it has nothing to do with your goals. You don’t have to ignore problems or live in denial. Just give your brain a break. This can help ease anxiety, reduce stress, and give you a chance to make life better for someone else. When your circumstances aren’t ideal, it’s easy to just wish the present away as you work toward the future. But you could miss the chance to learn from–and even enjoy–the here and now. It may take a little creative thinking, but it’s worth it. If you’re working hard to find a new job, for example, take some time to really think about what you’re learning in the process. Is there a way you could share your experience and teach others? Reach out to others in similar circumstances. Think about what you can do with your time now. Not only will you help someone else, but you’ll feel less isolated. You might even find yourself enjoying the present after all! Live, Love, Laugh (A lot) | We are funded completely by viewers like you. If you like what we are doing feel free to express it in any way you can. Sources: Want to Contribute (Help Keep Our Lights On) | https://www.paypal.me/humanastory Inspired Change | HS Official Inspiration | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/78-inspired-changes/ Changing Perspectives | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/678-changing-perceptions/   For A Smile | Gallery | https://community.humanastory.com/gallery/category/13-for-a-smile/ My Wife; My Friend | Brian Klein's Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/64-my-friend-my-wife/ Wait, Before You Go | Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/74-wait-before-you-go/ Discussion Topics: Episode 72 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/689-e072-anxiety-today/

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Four Thoughts Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew

In life, no matter how rough it can be, you make of it what you will; and given the right type of tools and the correct mind set, you too can make the difference in another's life. I ran across this set of four thoughts from a male perspective I felt like sharing. But, mainly it reminded me of a small inspirational phrase I heard once from an old friend of mine.  "I want you, to want me; more than I want you. I want you to want us; more than you want me." - If we all felt this way about one another, life could be extremely different.  Men say "I love you" with their actions. When you need him to help you clean the yard or repair a leaky sink faucet, he will do it because he loves you. Even when he is not gazing lovingly into your eyes, or seems distracted by something else, he is listening. Your man wants to solve your problems to show that he loves you. When he seems silent and distracted, he is probably thinking of ways to solve your problems. To strengthen a relationship, men will want to do things together as a couple, such as games or sporting activities. Spending time "playing" together is one way that he expresses his love for you. Though it may be news to you, your husband does not own a crystal ball. If you want him to understand something, you will need to speak clearly and directly. He can't be expected to decipher sadness in your eyes; you need to explain to him what is wrong. Men learn from the examples of their parents and the people who influenced them while growing up. There may be wonderful men in his life that provide great examples of what it means to be a good husband and father, or he may not have had that kind of guidance. Be sure to observe and understand the examples that are the mirrors in your husband's life. Be sure to help your husband make a loving connection with you. With the stress of work, having a family, financial strains and other pressures, it's important that he has a supportive wife by his side. If you are being cold and distant, it's difficult for your husband to help you fulfill that role and for him to make sure you are happy. Intimacy in a marriage is for both husband and wife. Having an honest and open relationship about this topic can help you have a strong physical and emotional connection in your marriage. Men love to see their wives happy. But men also want to be happy. If he does not feel loved or appreciated, it can cause serious separation issues in your marriage. He may resort to spending more time at work, or fixate more on hobbies. Some men may cheat, or indulge in addictions to cope with this loneliness and unhappiness. Men will invest more in a relationship if they see that it is an equal partnership. Just like women, men require some alone time. Activities like mechanics, sports, gardening, etc. should be encouraged. Appropriate time spent on hobbies and interests is healthy for the relationship as a whole. Men and women are different, but that's what makes marriages strong. As his wife, you should work to help your husband be better each and every day. Without this support, you are just working to take care of yourself independently. Building a life together takes understanding from both sides. Life is only what you make of it; live well. Sources My Wife; My Friend | Brian Klein's Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/64-my-friend-my-wife/ C.A. Ayres | https://www.caayres.com/ Family Share | https://familyshare.com/ Discussion Topics: Episode 63 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/648-e063-friendship/ 

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

The Little Things

We are constantly reminded, from inspired stories such as this how our lives have so many facets and when you don't stop to look around you tend to get lost in the minutia of the fickle little tide we call living. Take a moment to understand how to treat one another and how wonderful of an impact will have on that other living breathing person.  We are by no means perfect, but we can all do something, no matter how small to brighten another's day. At one point in my life, I sold furniture and I was [not good] at it. It was a rough time in my life where I made maybe $1,000.00 a month (around 10 years ago) and pretty much had nothing left after rent and what few little bills I had. There were a lot of times when I didn’t eat for days because I couldn’t afford to eat that much. Anyhow, one day I’m trying to sell furniture and am selling nothing. It was nearing the end of the day and I had made $0 (I was on commission). An old couple comes in and is looking at TV stands. All the other sales reps avoid them because we all know that they’re going to take up a bunch of time end up buying something for around $100.00 and then your commission is going to be $2.00.   I look at them and figure … if I can sell anything today, at least I won’t get skunked and maybe my luck will turn around after that. They ended up buying 2 stands ($6.00 commission for me) but asked how they would be put together. … There was a service I could have referred them to (for a fee of course) but … I said “I’m off at 9:00 p.m., if you come pick me up, I’ll come set up the stands for you for free.” They took this offer, paid for the furniture and left. The other sales reps laughed at me. They laughed at me more when my quitting time came around and I hadn’t sold anything else. The old couple picked me up promptly at 9:00 p.m.  We got into their beautiful condo … I could smell some food cooking and tried to ignore it (I hadn’t eaten in about 3 days at that point, so it was hard). I worked for almost 3 hours straight until it was done.  The old lady grabs me and takes me to the kitchen. She seats me and pulls out a plate of freshly made roast beef. That was better than any money. I was so grateful and thankful. I held back tears as I ate the delicious home cooked meal she had prepared for me. The lady handed me an envelope [after driving me home]. I didn’t open it, just thanked them. I happily went up to my apartment knowing that I was going to sleep with a full stomach that night and that I would get to eat for the next few days. I was feeling great. I opened the envelope and there was a thank you card. Inside was $100.00. I cried.  After that, for the rest of the time that I sold furniture, I always ran to help the people nobody else wanted to. I changed my focus from getting a big sale every day to getting all of the small ones nobody cared about and it got me through until I got a better-paying job. Sources: Inspired Change | HS Official Inspiration | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/78-inspired-changes/ Changing Perspectives | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/678-changing-perceptions/   For A Smile | Gallery | https://community.humanastory.com/gallery/category/13-for-a-smile/ My Wife; My Friend | Brian Klein's Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/64-my-friend-my-wife/ Discussion Topics:  Episode 63 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/648-e063-friendship/   

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Inspired Changes

The individual in this story inspired us some time ago to try this little act and for that we at Humanastory are all extremely grateful for the experience. Our experience began while having dinner at a restaurant one night. Before leaving we decided to leave an extremely generous tip to our waitress, and why not, we had it and didn't need the cash. It was what came after the tip that was one of the most spectacular and humanistic things we had ever seen. Our waitress's began crying and her tears flowed hard, seeing her reaction made me personally wish I could do more; she didn't expect the tip, but when she got it she was in extreme disbelief, at first she thought we mistakenly added our balance wrong, when we stated that we were 'just paying it forward' and wanted to help out, she told us how she didn't know how she was going to pay her rent that month, she supported 2 children, one of which had fallen ill and she was recently in the Emergency Room. our waitress cried for some time before letting us know her situation and how grateful she was. Because of that, we now try to make a concerted effort to do this a lot more often, life is only what you make of it. Make it well. The story that inspired us to try this we have pasted below, we do not know if it was real or not, but it seemed real enough to us. The fact is, it is a moral story on how humanistic we all are and how we all tend to forget this quality and we all forget to be just a little nicer to one another. May you find inspiration as well. The "Secret Santa" of Kansas City spent more than 30 years spreading holiday cheer to those who least expected it. "I give folks who need a lift some holiday magic to believe in,” says the mysterious philanthropist who gave away $65,000 last holiday season alone, much of it in $100 bills, including a Secret Santa mission to San Diego in the wake of the biggest fire in California’s history. “I’ve been at rock bottom myself -- 30 years ago I was an out-of-work salesman living in my car in Houston, Mississippi. I’ll never forget the diner owner who gave me $20 for a good breakfast and a tank full of gas to drive out of town.” Ten years later, employed at a secure job in Kansas City, and married with two young children, Secret Santa struck for the first time. A few days before Christmas, he decided to pass along his blessings by giving a waitress at a drive-in a $50 tip. Her eyes filled with tears as she told him he had no ideas what his gift meant to her. “I thought of how that diner owner’s kindness has given me a second chance, and a light bulb went off in my head about how to repay him.” That first year, Secret Santa gave away $400 in $20 bills. Since then, the successful entrepreneur increases his generosity as his own good fortune continues to grow. “He’d go down to the railroad tracks or just stop people on the street and hand out $100 bills,” says Mike Strong, a police officer who escorted Santa into some of Kansas City’s rougher neighborhoods in 1999 and 2000 and is sworn to secrecy about his identity. “The look in folks’ eyes as they just melt with disbelief and joy is a real thrill to see.” Santa has also handed out cash and holiday cheer in New York after 9-11, and in Washington D.C. after the rash of snipers in 2002. Not long before he passed away in 2007, the Secret Santa of Kansas City returned to Houston to surprise the diner owner who started it all. “At the time, that $20 seemed like $10,000 to me,” Santa says. So, that’s how much he gave the surprised elderly gentleman and his ailing wife ($10,000!). Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Parenting The Plants

Once upon a time, there were two neighbors living next door to each other. The men were from different walks of life but they shared an interest in gardening. The two of them planted the same plants in their garden. One of them was giving a small amount of water to his plants and didn’t always give full attention to them, while the other neighbor had given a lot of water to his plants and looked after them on a daily basis. One of the men's plants were simple and looked healthy, while the other neighbor had plants that were fuller and much greener. One day, during the night, there was a storm that brought heavy wind and rain. The following morning after the storm, both of the neighbors came out to inspect the damage to their gardens. The neighbor who had the fuller plants noticed that the wind had pulled his plants out of the ground by the roots and they were totally destroyed. The other neighbor examined his plants and found they were not damaged at all and were standing firm. The neighbor who's plants had been ripped from the soil asked the other, “We both grew the same plants together, I actually looked after my plants better than you did for yours, and even gave them more water. Still, my plants were torn from the ground while yours stayed safe. How is that possible?” The other replied, “You gave your plants more attention and water, but because of that they didn’t need to work for it themselves. You made it easy for them.  While I gave them just an adequate amount of water and let their roots search for more. And, because of that, their roots went deeper and that made their position stronger.  That is why my plants survived”. Like any living thing, you can aide it and help it grow but it still has to have the ability to survive on its own. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Wait, Before You Go

Wait, before you go; just know that you are thought of. I personally having been through my share of pain understand how you feel, I may not understand your situation; but I do feel pain too - I know the feeling all too well, let us chat a moment, let me get to know who you are. No one can stop your thoughts but sometimes those thoughts are just temporary. Allow the conversation, if only for a minute. I would like to share with you who I am in hopes you will share a little about you; "Hi, I'm Brian.." We ran across this letter while surfing the internet, and felt we could do something positive with it, to those who are on the brink of a decision they might soon regret; please allow this message to fill your heart. While we do not know you personally, we hope; just one of you might see this thought before leaving. - The fact that you’ve bothered to read this means you’re alive. I know you don’t give yourself much credit for it but allow me just this once to tell you “You’ve made the right choice”. You’ve made the right choice when you choose to fight for yourself. You’ve made the right choice when you choose to get out of bed no matter how much you’d rather slip under the covers and not see the sun outside. You’ve made the right choice when you attended that counseling session you dread and obsess about every second. You’ve made the right choice when you talk to close friends and family about how screwed up you feel in and out and how they can maybe help. You’ve made the right choice when you chose you. Choosing ourselves. Isn’t that one of many things we struggle with? We have issues with permission. We don’t allow ourselves to accept love because we think we don’t deserve it. We don’t allow ourselves to admit that we’re fucked up and it’s painful and we need someone to help us get out of the pit we’ve dug for ourselves. But you’ve made the choice. You chose you today. I know it isn’t a piece of cake to do that each freaking day but you did it. And I sincerely believe that you can do it tomorrow and the day after tomorrow because you’re worth it. You’re worth fighting for. You’re worth loving. You’re worth choosing. Yes. I know you struggle with believing in these words. That they’re sometimes hard to swallow (let alone embrace). But that’s okay. We all do. And we all know (although sometimes we’re not convinced) that the truth wins in the end. And the truth is the darkness can never overpower the light. And here’s what the light is all about, in the wise words of Jon Foreman: “The shadow proves the sunshine”. We don’t see the sunshine yet because we’re still going to and for the seemingly endless tunnel. We don’t feel the heat and the hope the sunshine brings because the seemingly endless tunnel is dark and scary and seemingly impenetrable, too. But here’s the thing. There’s light at the end of that tunnel and you’re strong enough to get there. And you will no matter how impossible it may seem because your story is worth telling. Because there are other walking wounds who don’t believe in love, in hope, and in recovery and you’re going to be the one to tell them that they’re no myth because you’ve proven it yourself. Yes, recovery is possible. But the road to it isn’t smooth. To say it will be messy is an understatement. It will be chaotic. Nerve-racking. Painful AF. There are days you’ll want to throw in the towel and just be done. There are days you’ll be in relapse. There are days you’ll just want to give up on the process and forget how far you’ve been from where you used to be. But you’ll push through despite the unspeakable agony because you know that we all have parts in the bigger story and no one else can play yours better than you can. You’re irreplaceable. Your recovery is worth looking forward to. And no, don’t rush. Who cares if it takes you years before you get there? Nobody has the right ever to put a timeline on your healing. You’ll get out of the tunnel and see the glorious sun one day and whichever day that is, it’s nobody’s business. So, shut your ears stop giving a fuck about what others’ say. Open your ears (and your heart) only to those who can help you survive your pain. Yes, you’re still struggling. But just because you’re still struggling does it mean that you’re not on your way to healing. You are. Just keep walking. Just keep on living. - This particular letter was written Maine Belonio. If we could add just one line of thinking, it would be to remember this one bit of truth; when you were born, you were the one that made it over that little 9 month hurdle, you are one in a billion, you were the one that got 9 months to join the living.  I personal would like to thank you even if you are determined to do what 'must be done', and let you know by reading both Mrs. Belonio's thoughts and mine, you took the time to get to know a small piece of who we are, you are always welcomed to talk with me simply click here. I'd like to extend our hands open to you, start by having a look around here.  Please understand I am not doctor, nay, am I claiming I can change your mind in anyway. I am, however a simple man with simple thoughts, who has been down this road and understands the feeling each individual feels who undergoes a transformation like this. Each person does so in their own unique way, your own situation is literally, that, your own cross to carry. I am just a man who is willing to listen and understand; my hands are open wide and my heart on my sleeve. Sources: Changing Perspectives | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/678-changing-perceptions/   Thought Catalogue | Dear Friend | https://thoughtcatalog.com/charmaine-belonio/ For A Smile | Gallery | https://community.humanastory.com/gallery/category/13-for-a-smile/ Success | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/658-success/ My Wife; My Friend | Brian Klein's Blog | https://community.humanastory.com/blogs/entry/64-my-friend-my-wife/ Rest Well | Serenity Series (Entire Playlist) |  http://bit.ly/2jmbIVs The Promise | Story Submissions | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/717-the-promise/ Discussion Topics: Episode 63 | Coffee With Humanastory | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/648-e063-friendship/ I'd also like to give these number 1-800-273-8255, this number is to the National Suicide Hotline and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. UK - 116 123 | Canada - 5147234000 | Ireland - +4408457909090 | Australia - 131114

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Never Ending Love

It is not often these days that people express their love for their fellow man in such ways any more; people have become so close minded that when works like this show up, it is a shocking reminder of who we can become, yet again; We felt like sharing this because it is a reminder of how we all should be, unconditionally throughout our lives. I personally hope you enjoy it and take something of value away from this.   Each year he sent her roses, and the note would always say, I love you even more this year, than last year on this day. ------ My love for you will always grow, with every passing year.” She knew this was the last time that the roses would appear. ------ She thought, he ordered roses in advance before this day. Her loving husband did not know, that he would pass away. ------ He always liked to do things early, way before the time. Then, if he got too busy, everything would work out fine. ------ She trimmed the stems and placed them in a very special vase. Then, sat the vase beside the portrait of his smiling face. ------ She would sit for hours, In her husband’s favorite chair. While staring at his picture, and the roses sitting there. ------ A year went by, and it was to live without her mate. With loneliness and solitude, that had become her fate. ------ Then, the very hour, The doorbell rang, and there were roses sitting by her door. ------ She brought the roses in, and then just looked at them in shock. Then, went to get the telephone, to call the florist shop. ------ The owner answered, and she asked him, if he would explain. Why would someone do this to her, causing her such pain? ------ “I know your husband passed away, more than a year ago,” The owner said, “I knew you’d call, and you would want to know. ------ The flowers you received today, were paid for in advance. Your husband always planned ahead, he left nothing to chance. ------ There is a standing order, that I have on file down here, And he has paid, well in advance, you’ll get them every year. ------ There also is another thing, that I think you should know, He wrote a special little card…he did this years ago. ------ Then, should ever I find out that he’s no longer here, that’s the card that should be sent to you the following year.” ------ She thanked him and hung up the phone, her tears now flowing hard. Her fingers shaking, as she slowly reached to get the card. ------ Inside the card, she saw that he had written her a note. Then, as she stared in total silence, this is what he wrote… ------ “Hello my love, I know it’s been a year since I’ve been gone. I hope it hasn’t been too hard for you to overcome. ------ I know it must be lonely, and the pain is very real. Or if it was the other way, I know how I would feel. ------ The love we shared made everything so beautiful in life. I loved you more than words can say, you were the perfect wife. ------ You were my friend and lover, you fulfilled my every need. I know it’s only been a year, but please try not to grieve. ------ I want you to be happy, even when you shed your tears. That is why the roses will be sent to you for years. ------ When you get these roses, think of all the happiness that we had together, and how both of us were blessed. ------ I have always loved you and I know I always will. But, my love, you must go on, you have some living still. ------ Please…try to find happiness, while living out your days. I know it is not easy, but I hope you find some ways. ------ The roses will come every year, and they will only stop, When your door’s not answered, when the florist stops to knock. ------ He will come five times that day, in case you have gone out. But after his last visit, he will know without a doubt! ------ To take the roses to the place, where I’ve instructed him and place the roses where we are, together once again. ------ Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Marriage

As for marriage, there is nothing wrong with it except the legal institution. The natural event of a man and woman living in constant companionship, with or without children, is an admirable arrangement which works to the degree one does not insist that it must work, and does not treat one’s partner as property. Another being regarded as property is automatically a doll. Whenever I perform a ceremony of marriage for personal friends, I give some such discourse as this: ‘What I am about to say may at first sound depressing and even cynical, but I think you will not find it so in practice. There are three things I would have you bear in mind. The first is that as you now behold one another, you are probably seeing each other at your best. All things disintegrate in time, and as the years go by you will tend to get worse rather than better. Do not, therefore, go into marriage with projects for improving each other. Growth may happen, but it cannot be forced. The second has to do with emotional honesty. Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command. For the same reason, do not require love from your partner as a duty, for love given in this spirit doesn’t ring true, and gives no pleasure to the other. The third is that you do not so cling to one another as to commit mutual strangulation. You are not each others chattels, and you must so trust your partner as to allow full freedom to be the being that he and she is. If you observe these things your marriage will have surer ground than can be afforded by any formal contract or promise, however solemn and legally binding.’ A couple that would object to this discourse should not marry. Sources: Why Bother With Marriage | WBT | https://community.humanastory.com/topic/620-why-bother-with-marriage/ Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Secrets from the Science of Persuasion

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” - Abraham Lincoln Reciprocity People are obliged to give back to others the form of gift or service or behavior they were first given. How it is given affects the outcome. The key to this is to be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is personalized and unexpected. Scarcity It’s not enough to simply tell about the benefits. Tell them what is unique Tell them what they stand to lose if they don’t choose your ideals. Authority It is important to signal to others, what makes you a credible authority before you make your influence attempt. You cannot do this yourself. You need someone else to do it for you. It doesn’t matter if the person is connected to you in anyway or likely to profit in any way from you at all they just need to just simply speak highly of you before you speak to the person. Consistency You are Looking for and asking for small commitments that can be made. Look for voluntary, active, and public commitments Get them in writing (ask them to write it out) Liking People prefer to say yes to people they like. We like people who are similar to us. We like people who compliment us. We like people with similar goals. Identify with the person sharing; Exchange some personal information together, get to know the person who is sharing your information – Identify with the person you are sharing with. Areas of similarity you can share with others Genuine Compliments you can give BEFORE you get to business. Consensus People will look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own. Rather than relying on our own ability to persuade others, we can point to what many others are already doing; especially similar others. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Loving a Person with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D.

It’s a fact; a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. It’s like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around; unsure which step (or word) will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. It’s something you try to avoid. People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning. From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge. True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day. Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:  1. They have an active mind The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage. 2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place. 3. They have difficulty staying on task Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out. 4. They become anxious easily As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode. 5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.  6. They concentrate too intensely When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean. 7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen. 8. They are unable to regulate their emotions For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly. 9. They have verbal outbursts Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them. 10. They have social anxiety Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.  11. They are deeply intuitive For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone. 12. They think out of the box Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see. 13. They are impatient and fidgety Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them. 14. They are physically sensitive Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses. 15. They are disorganized Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner. 16. They need space to pace When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.  17. They avoid tasks Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds. 18. They can’t remember simple tasks Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop. 19. They have many tasks going on at the same time Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activities.  20. They are passionate about everything they do The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable. Basically, a person with ADD/ADHD has trouble controlling their impulses. They also have many awesome qualities that you will enjoy once you understand how they think and feel. Compassion, empathy and patience will carry you through the most difficult times. It’s important to take extra care of yourself; take alone time regularly, do what you enjoy, find a support group, a therapist or a compassionate wise friend, take frequent vacations, meditate, find hobbies and your own passion. Most of all, learn how to breathe. Some of the greatest inventors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers had ADD/ADHD. They succeeded because they had a loved one just like you supporting them through their daily struggles. Replace your anger with compassion. Realize how they struggle to do what comes easy to you. Think of the ADD brain, as one with electrical wiring in the wrong circuits. Next time you think that they are lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, and avoiding responsibilities; try to remember how hard they have to work extra hard to achieve a simple task. Yes, ADD/ADHD people are hard to love, but once you understand the burden they are carrying, your heart will open up. Love and compassion will take the place of anger. You will see into their sweet and good soul. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

Ten Romantic Things We Hardly Do Anymore.

(Well okay, there's 9, but two bullet points under No. 5 - so; yeah, technically there's 11; a +1 bonus!) There is a lot of things that we feel people today have seemed to have lost, that our grandparents learned about dating. Here are ten of those things; Walking to the door when you pick someone up. Going out of your way to dress 'Professionally Nice' for that romantic date, I.E. Men in business suits, Women in evening dresses. Bringing flowers or other tokens of affection to the first date. Going dancing (That is not grinding on a dingy grimy club floor.) Straight forwardly asking someone on a steady relationship, not claiming it is 'Just hanging out.' Additionally, being extremely clear when you are 'dating' and not just leading people along. Even further, when dating one person, not dating more than one. Romantic gestures like, writing poems and  or letters to one another. Turning all electronics off and just being with one another. The  general concept of asking permission to do things. Not assuming sex is to be given at any point and time. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

The Constitution of the United States of America

The U.S. Constitution is the fundamental framework of America’s system of government. The Constitution: Creates a government that puts the power in the hands of the people Separates the powers of government into three branches: the legislative branch, which makes the laws; the executive branch, which executes the laws; and the judicial branch, which interprets the laws Sets up a system of checks and balances that ensures no one branch has too much power Divides power between the states and the federal government Describes the purposes and duties of the government Defines the scope and limit of government power Prescribes the system for electing representatives Establishes the process for the document’s ratification and amendment Outlines many rights and freedoms of the people You should know the constitution for any number of reasons ***Please Note *** No registration to our site is required to download these documents. Feel free to download your  free copy in .PDF (Adobe) or .DOCX (Word): For Microsoft Word Format:  The Constitution of the United States of America.docx For Adobe Acrobat Reader:  The Constitution of the United States of America.pdf If you are looking at how the law works with or against the constitution simply download the following: Black's Law Dictionary (4th Edition): We chose this version because it was the final version before the 'deletion' of law definitions that are still in effect. Originally it was chosen to delete definitions to stop lawyers from using the old laws for the citizens of the United States of America - keep in mind, even those these laws are not in current books, these definitions are still 100% lawful and used by our justice system today. Because of the size of each file, we've compressed them into WinRAR (.rar) files, you will need to decompress the files. For Microsoft Word Format:  Black's Law 4th edition, WORD.rar For Adobe Acrobat Reader:  Black's Law 4th edition, ADOBE.rar Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

A Few Things To Remember

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left. Here are a few reminders to help motivate you when you need it most:
 
1. Pain is part of growing.
Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually. Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.   2. Everything in life is temporary.
Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness there is always light – you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever. It won’t. Nothing lasts forever. So if things are good right now, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending. You get a second chance, every second. You just have to take it and make the best of it.   3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing.
Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future. Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. Let what you’ve learned improve how you live. Make a change and never look back. And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.   4. Your scars are symbols of your strength.
Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of. Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain. Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars. See your scars as a sign of “YES! I MADE IT! I survived and I have my scars to prove it! And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”   5. Every little struggle is a step forward.
In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it. And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)   6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem.
Be positive when negativity surrounds you. Smile when others try to bring you down. It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them. Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it. So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think. If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible. All jokes aside, your life only comes around once. This is IT. So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.

7. What’s meant to be will eventually, ‘BE’.
True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE.   In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.   8. The best thing you can do is to keep going.
Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best. Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.
Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:   Think positively. Eat healthy. Exercise today. Worry less. Work hard. Laugh often. Sleep well. Repeat.   Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

The Interview

A young man went to seek an important position at a large printing company. He passed the initial interview and was going to meet the director for the final int...erview. The director saw his resume, it was excellent. And asked, - 'Have you received a scholarship for school?' The boy replied, " No '.
-' It was your father who paid for your studies? '
-' Yes.'- He replied.
-' Where does your father work? '
-' My father is a Blacksmith'
The Director asked the young man to show him his hands.
The young man showed a pair of hands soft and perfect.
-' Have you ever helped your parents at their job? '
-' Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, he can do the job better than me. The director said: -' I have got a request: When you go home today, go and wash the hands of your father and then come see me tomorrow morning.' The young man felt his chance to get the job was high. When he returned to his house he asked his father if he would allow him to wash their hands.
His father felt strange, happy, but with mixed feelings and showed their hands to his son. The young man washed his hands, little by little. It was the first time that he noticed his father's hands were wrinkled and they had so many scars. Some bruises were so painful that his skin shuddered when he touched them. This was the first time that the young man recognized what it meant for this pair of hands to work every day to be able to pay for his study. The bruises on the hands were the price that he paid for their education, his school activities and his future. After cleaning his father's hands the young man stood in silence and began to tidy and clean up the workshop. That night, father and son talked for a long time. The next morning, the young man went to the office of the director.
The Director noticed the tears in the eyes of the young man when He asked him: -' Can you tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday at your house?' The boy replied: -' I washed my father's hands and when I finished I stayed and cleaned his workshop ' -' Now I know what it is to appreciate and recognize that without my parents , I would not be who I am today . By helping my father I now realize how difficult and hard it is to do something on my own. I have come to appreciate the importance and the value in helping the family. The director said, "This is what I look for in my people. I want to hire someone who can appreciate the help of others , a person who knows the hardship of others to do things, and a person who does not put money as his only goal in life". ' You are hired '. A child that has been coddled, Protected and usually given him what he wants, develops a mentality of " I have the right ' and will always put himself first, ignoring the efforts of their parents. If we are this type of protective parent are we really showing love or are we destroying our children? You can give your child a big house , good food , computer classes , watch on a big screen TV . But when you're washing the floor or painting a wall , please let him experience that too. After eating have them wash the dishes with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you have no money to hire someone to do this it's because you want to love them the right way . No matter how rich you are, you want them to understand. One day your hair will have gray hair, like the father of this young man. The most important thing is that your child learns to appreciate the effort and to experience the difficulties and learn the ability to work with others to get things done. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

The Egg

We've all had that burning question, and yet it seems impossible for anyone to come up with the answers - while we don't have the answers fully, we do seem to grow a little more day by day. I ran into this little ditty while on my searches for a higher understanding. While some may not agree, this is an interesting take on life and none can deny this. As we all know we should stop and listen, stop to learn and grow. I hope you enjoy and gain a higher line of thinking from it. You were on your way home when you died. It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me. And that’s when you met me. “What…What happened?” You asked. “Where am I?” “You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words. “There was a… a truck and it was skidding…” you blurted out somewhat confused and startled. “Yep,” I said. “I… I died?” you questioned, well rather exclaimed still trying to figure it out. “Yep, but don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I stated. “You looked around. There was nothing. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this afterlife?” “More or less,” I said. “Are you God?” You asked. “Yep,” I replied. “I’m God.” “My kids… my wife,” you said. “What about them?” I replied. “Will they be all right?” You questioned. “That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.” You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty. “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.” “Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?” “Neither,” I said “You’ll be reincarnated.” “Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,” “All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.” You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?” “Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.” “So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.” “Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.” I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you really are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out you’ve gained all the experiences it had. “You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there is no point to doing that between each life.” “How many times have I been reincarnated, then?” you asked. “Oh, lots. Lots and lots. And in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.” “Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?” “Well, I guess, technically.” I said scratching my head. “Time as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.” “Where you come from?” You said. “Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.” “Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point. Right?” “Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know its happening.” I stated. “So what’s the point of it all?” You asked. “Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?” “Well it is a reasonable question,” you persisted. I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.” “You mean mankind? You want us to mature?” I questioned. “No,” I said. “Just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger intellect.” “Just me? What about everyone else?” “There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there is just you and me.” You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…” you muttered. “All you. Different incarnations of you.” “Wait. I’m everyone!?” You said really confused. “Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back. “I’m every human being who ever lived?” you stated scratching your head. “Or who will ever live, yes.” I stated smiling. “I’m Abraham Lincoln,” you said. “And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added. “I’m Hitler?” You said appalled. “And you’re the millions he killed.” I laughed “I’m Jesus?” You questioned. “And you’re everyone who follows him.” I stated You fell silent. “Every time you victimize someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.” You thought for a long time. “Why?” You asked me.” “Why do all this?” You questioned with great curiosity. “Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.” I stated. “Whoa,” you said, in extreme deep thought and slightly overwhelmed. “You mean I’m a god?” “No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.” I said calmly. “So the whole universe,” you said “It’s just…” “An egg.” I Interrupted. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.” And I sent you on your way. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

The Totality of Listening

When we hear we either accept or reject, or we translate what we hear according to our knowledge and our background. Or we compare what is being said to what is already known, or repose one idea by another. All these characteristics of caring denies the act of listening; when one listens there is no comparison, there is no acceptance or rejection. The very act of listening brings about a total attention in which you see the totality and in all significance and structure of what is being said. The quality of listening is attention and when you attend totally, with your whole mind, your whole heart, your nerves and your eyes and ears, completely intently listen, and you give your whole attention to something. That is when you completely listen. In that state of attention there is the act of listening and that act of listening puts away anything that is not true. You listen to the totality of the thing, when you attend, there is no borders of inattention, and that act of listening is really a miracle, perhaps it’s the greatest miracle when one can listen totally without any defense without any barrier, then one can look, then one can listen. If I want to understand what you are saying, I must listen to you; I must listen to you with affection, care and attention. If I want to find out what you are saying, but if I say “Yes, I agree with you, but I’ve heard this before.”, or you are saying something new which is impossible you’re not listening. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

A Lesson for Humanity

“I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!” Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

 

A Tale of Two Men

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Hospital window. Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene. One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days, weeks and months passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’ Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy. Sources: Discussion Topics:

Brian Klein

Brian Klein

Sign in to follow this  


×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Guidelines, and Privacy Policy. You undersand that We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..