Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Golden Rule (Part Two)

Treat others how you want to be treated
 – The Golden Rule

As important as the “Golden Rule” is, it cannot be put to practical use without some preliminary steps taken to ensure the effectiveness of this lifestyle. In order to be treated in the manner we wish, it is key to first ALLOW ourselves to be treated that way. I believe that a different variation of the above phrase is just as important (if not more) in the pursuit of a prosperous life:

Treat YOURSELF how you want others to treat YOU!

Would you want your friends, family members, spouses, BF/GF, teachers, or others, to never FORGIVE you if you screwed up?  Never THINK about you? Would you want them to never BELIEVE in or CARE about you? Never TRUST or LOVE you? Never TALK to you?


If not, then why do that to yourself?

We cannot possibly expect others to treat us a certain way if we don’t treat ourselves that way.

This fundamental concept is what will set the tone for how others act towards us. By taking the lead and acting first, we are allowing our desire to be treated properly come into fruition.  We can make it a reality - It all starts with us.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Golden Rule (Part One)

“Treat others how you want to be treated”

 For thousands of years, this well-known phrase has been a point of departure for many people wishing to live a prosperous life. I do not know the origins of the phrase itself but variations of this “rule” can be found in the scriptures of many religions and ways of life including Christianity and Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Other variations of the phrase, with the same concept, can be found in Judaism, Confucianism, and Islam. For others, it is a simple and effective way to live life.

How does it work? It may seem simple and self-explanatory; however I believe that this philosophy is a more complex system than what meets the eye. 

First and foremost, when someone chooses to practice this way of life they are identifying how they want others to act towards them. This, too, may seem simple but not everybody thinks about how they want to be treated. For example, some people absentmindedly expect the best and for everything to work harmoniously as if everybody else is in-tune with their desires and schedules. Only when they are harmed or things don’t go their way, do they identify that they don’t wish to be treated that way.

How you act towards others (for better or worse) subconsciously lets them know how they should treat you. In a healthy social situation, people mirror the actions of others. A smile is reciprocated with a smile and people can sense your comfort level and can feel that way around you. The opposite is also true. If someone acts obnoxious to a stranger, chances are they will be treated the same unless the other person is kinder, more dominant, or just ignores them. While this may only be true on a short-term level, it can be very important as we develop friendships and relationships. As they grow in time, the connections that we have with others are greatly effected by how WE act towards them.

I recently had a conversation with someone and it slightly troubled me. The topic was respect and during our dialogue he said:

“It’s easy, man. If they respect me, I’ll respect them. It’s simple as that.”

I found it intriguing that he was waiting to be respected before he would give anybody respect. Perhaps he should try making his wishes a reality by taking initiative and doing it first. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” As Gandhi so eloquently put it. He should be proactive and not wait for others to initiate respect. He shouldn’t expect it to just come to him.

The same is true for us. Don’t EXPECT others to be kind or caring to you as if it is your rite. Rather, set the tone and make it known how you want others to act towards you. Be an example and take the lead by showing others how to properly treat people.         

Thursday, August 23, 2012


“The unexamined life is not worth living.”      -Socrates

Have you ever had the feeling that you are right and everybody else is wrong? Or, despite the fact that nobody believes it, you are certain that you saw, heard, felt, or experienced something?

There are approximately 7,000,000,000 people in the world and everybody thinks that they are right. This phenomenon is not new and it is a natural (healthy) occurrence to hold our individual beliefs, thoughts, and priorities as important truths.

Our beliefs are the craft of our own unique knowledge, perceptions, and experiences. We are proud of our views and often stand up for them. They are dear to us and sometimes, it’s all we have.

Occasionally, our values may clash with the philosophies of others. As close as our beliefs are to us, they may start to crumble in the face of opposition. We may not be as comfortable or confident in what we believe in, when we are bombarded with inquiries that question what we hold to be true.

The key is to be confident in your search. Some people may try and persuade or intimidate you to accept their beliefs or put you down for yours. I believe that those people aren’t confident in their own philosophies. Rarely is someone so sure of their truth that they want to share it with the world and help them “see the Light”. (It is a rarity but not unheard of.) Rather, when the aforementioned canaries get everyone to believe what they want they feel more comfortable with their thinking.

Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC), the famous and influential Greek philosopher, was all too familiar with opposition. In fact, he died refusing to retract his words. Socrates was labeled as “impious” and was charged with blaspheming local gods of the city and corrupting the youth of Athens, Greece with his philosophical musings. Socrates was then convicted by a majority of 501 jurors and was sentenced to death by poison. While the world lost a scholar to a nation’s blindness and fear of revolutionary thought, Socrates emerged, posthumously, as one of the most influential philosophers of all time.

Perhaps we need not be as adamant and stubborn, when faced with death, due to opposition of our ideas. Maybe we do. Irrespective, in today’s day and age, (assuming you are not living under some dictator’s regime) you have the freedom to choose and formulate your own opinions. This doesn't mean that we should be close-minded and dogmatic. If you come across an answer that destroys your question or learn something new and want to incorporate it into your belief, then so be it. That’s how you had formulated your previous notions.

Our intuitive talents play a remarkable role in our lives. They are something that nobody can minimize and often they hold our most honest beliefs. Be brave and bold when it comes to your personal philosophies. They are part of you. Don’t be too open and never be too closed. If you set realistic goals, you are bound to find what you are searching for.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just Keep Going

“You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you've climbed a mountain.” 
― Tom Hiddleston

Sometimes, we can't see how far we have come and how much our triumphant accomplishments have effected ourselves and those around us. We feel that we have nothing to be proud of and those venomous feelings of insecurity and low self-worth start to creep in.

Just Keep Going. 

A wise man once told me: "Never forget where you have come from and where you are going."

When you remember a time when things were really dreadful and you then snap back to reality, it gives you a unique perspective of how far away YOU have distanced yourself from that negativity. How much things have changed. 

Just Keep Going.

For better or worse, things always change - there is no neutral in life. If you feel neutral, chances are you're heading down. So, keep going! 

Just know that your positive atmosphere is setting the tone for others to be themselves and pursue their dreams. People recognize your confidence and they feel secure around you. Whether or not you acknowledge it, you are a leader - a beacon of light. 

You have every right to be damn proud of yourself. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

"I'm Sorry"

Sometimes, we screw up. Sometimes, we hurt others. Sometimes, we're just wrong.

When we do, it sucks for both parties. Nobody likes to be wronged or harmed by another and little can compare to the terrible feeling when WE are to blame. 

When we were young, most of us were taught the importance of saying "I'm Sorry" if we harmed someone else. It's proper and sensitive and it is the right thing to do.

WHY? Does a simple phrase make the pain go away? Surely not.

"I'm Sorry" is more than just an apologetic cliche, it's a formal acknowledgment that you are taking responsibility for your actions. It means that you are not ignoring or blocking out the fact that you made a mistake. It's recognizing how powerful we really are (for better or worse) and not letting our egos deceive us into thinking that we are perfect. 

When we make a mistake it's important not to just brush it off. It takes a certain maturity and confidence to admit to others (and yourself!) that you were wrong. In the end, it only makes us stronger.

When we harm a loved one, the terrible feeling that we are the cause of another's pain is increased ten-fold. However, when you have the courage to acknowledge the fact that you were wrong and apologize - it brings you closer to your loved one. You have had a growing experience together. 

Learn from your mistakes and take responsibility not only for the good you have accomplished but also the bad. Love yourself unconditionally and don't be afraid to admit to yourself that you were wrong. And NEVER be afraid to say "I'M SORRY!!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What Do I Have To Complain About?

I was on the train the other day and I wasn’t in the greatest of moods. I had a lot on my mind. At the next stop, a homeless man stepped on the train and took a seat directly across from me. At first, I didn’t make note of him. I just kept thinking about my personal life, responsibilities and lacks, and plans for the near future. As I was mulling around and lost in my mind, I lifted my head up and took a long look at the homeless man in front of me. His shoes were tattered and his clothing crumpled. He had wild hair and the skin on his hands was cracked and peeling. He was a small, broken, man

“What do I have to complain about?” I thought to myself. “Look at THIS guy.”

I tried to imagine what his life was like and put my problems up against his. He probably doesn’t have a home for shelter and to grow in. He probably doesn’t have much family to consult and find love in. I assumed he didn’t have a job or very many friends, or a lot of excitement in his life. He may even be battling an illness or a drug addiction.

“What do I have to complain about?”

There I was, sitting on a subway, on the way to work. I had just come from my brother’s apartment and had a meal and a shower before I left. My problems were not the lack of basic necessities such as food, shelter, money, or family and friends, like they were for the homeless man. Mine were frustrations of everyday privileges and gifts not playing out how I had liked them to. The fear of TOO MUCH responsibility, tremendous lacks and needs not fulfilled, and confusion and lack of clarity regarding the abundance that I have in my life.

“What do I have to complain about?”

And then something really strange happened. My stop was next so I gathered all my belongings together and stood up. I had forgotten that my ipod was on my lap (I do this ALL the time!) and it fell along with the earphones, onto the floor.

While my ipod was mid-air, right before it hit the ground, a man came into my train through a door that connects the cars. Just as the doors were slamming shut, my ipod’s headphones landed directly in between the closing doors, and severed them in half!

The whole ordeal took less than 4 seconds. While it was an unavoidable bummer that my headphones broke, but it was a pretty spectacular chain of events.

Then I remembered the homeless man. My ipod’s headphones were replaceable and they were an accessory to a gift (worth hundreds of dollars) that I received from a family member…

“What do I have to complain about?”

It’s important to take inventory and always be grateful for the abundance we have in our lives. Don’t take the basic and easily overlooked necessities in life for granted. View yourself from afar and truly acknowledge the beauty you have in your life.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Photo Credits: Sparks of David Photography 

We are all unique in our own special way. Be bold and show the world who you REALLY are.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Moon and The Eyes

His Eyes were wide
Like a full Moon
They hid the gloom
And the rushing tide
They lit up bright
Like a full Moon at night
Illuminating the way
For a positive day
A gateway to the Soul
Yet the Doors are closed
A woman with a key
To complete him whole
Like the sun and the Moon
He thought they were a team
But then he woke up
It was all a Dream

(The above poem is meant to be read twice as it portrays a cycle.)

The cycles in our lives can be compared to the cycle of the Moon. Sometimes, the Moon is full and we are bright and glowing and everything in life is Harmony and gold.

Other days it’s half Light, half dark, as the Moon has reached its “first quarter”. Some days, the quality of life is just a tiny sliver of silvery Light in a dark sky or a “Crescent Moon”. 

When the Moon reaches the end of a cycle it is not visible at all. This is called a “Dark Moon” and we have all experienced this day in regard to our lives.
When The Light is not visible, at whatever point in the cycle, it has not completely disappeared. We all have the ability to generate “Light” by focusing on what we have and the positive we have accomplished. We can choose to look at the love that is present around us and choose to reach out and access it. We can CHOOSE to recognize the abundance we all have in our lives.

Close your Eyes and find the light within yourself. Build on it and let it fully encompass your mind and body. After all, the Moon is just a reflection of the Sun. The Sun’s Light is never extinguished; it is simply the Earth and Moon that rotates…