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When we see a crime, we separate it out in to the perpetrator and the victim.  I don’t think that is an accurate separation.  There are no perpetrators, there are only people who have been hurt,who don’t know how to deal with it.  The little boy that sees his friends with toys that he can’t afford that become a thief.  The kid who is beat up and joins a gang for protection.  The awkward teenager that is rejected, often brutally by girls and resorts to chemical persuasion.  The girl that is constantly harassed by men, and rejects one of them brutally because he is awkward and doesn’t know how to get to know her.

I think we have a deep seeded need for there to be evil in the world, something visible that we can fight.  “Good guys” and “Bad guys”  but people just aren’t like that.

Doing Well

Still having a lot of issues coming up lately, mostly with the kids, and that part will always be a struggle now that we are no longer together.   I’ve decided that I’m going to start marking some of my old posts as private, I don’t think that they’ll be really helpful for anyone else going through a similiar situation, and I don’t want them to define me.   I recently read an article about catharsis not actually being all that helpful in us learning to deal with emotions, so I think I’m going to try to start focusing on the future, and what I want to create with my life, rather than on what I lost in the past.

I his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill discusses the idea of creating a boardroom of imaginary counselors, the people, alive and dead, that would would most like to model our lives after, and gain insight and advice from.  I’ve thought about this for years, and lately I’ve taken to studying some of the people I most admire.  Here is the beginnings of my list.  I’ll flesh it out more as I continue studying.   Right now I’m reading a biography of Franklin, as well as many of his own works.

Benjamin Franklin, A master of industry and frugality.  Quick wit, recognizing the power of the printed and spoken word, especially when used subtly.   An extraordinary networker, that brought both people and nations together.  He recognized the power of combining both civic duty and professional gain.

Albert Einstein Brilliant mind, non-conformist, an amazing mix of spirituality and science.

Thomas Jefferson Our only scientist president.

Richard Feynman Ever curious, always questioning, “What do you care what other people think?” Always funny.

Mahatma Ghandi, steadfastly standing up for what is right without violence

Buddha

Lao Tzu

Dalai Lama The only person on this list I have had to opportunity to hear speak.

Napoleon, Perhaps one of the greatest leaders of men ever.

Other people that I have or intend to study that don’t quite make this list:

Jesus

Nietzche

Sun Tzu

Warren Buffet

Jimmy Buffet

UPDATE 9 March 2012

Since I made this post, I have read books on/by Gandhi, Einstein, Ben Franklin, Feynman, Jimmy Buffet and I’m adding Theodore Roosevelt to the list, I’ve made it 2/3 of the way through his 3 part biography.  Not only one of the most interesting people I’ve read about, but also one of the best written biographies I’ve ever read.

Windows and Blogs

I think it is important to realize that when you read someone’s blog, you are peering through a window in to their life.  You are not seeing their entire life.  It’s like peering through someone’s bedroom window and concluding all they do is have sex and sleep.  Or looking in to the kitchen and concluding all they do is eat.   These blogs only show a portion of our life, so before jumping to conclusions, please keep that in mind.

I finished reading Breakfast with Buddha last night.  The wordsmithing is fantastic, especially if you like intricate descriptions of food.  The beginning and especially the ending were a bit weak in my opinion.  The story starts out with a typical upper middle class man who is tricked by his sister in to taking a road trip with a Rinpoche.  There is a lot of discussion of the similiarities between all the major religions, and the Rinpoche describes himself as belonging to all of them if you ask.  Most of the lessons that he provides during the trip should be fairly familiar to anyone that has studied Buddhism.   That portion of the book I really enjoyed, and I do think I picked up a few tidbits from it.   There are two that stuck out to me.  Otto, the main character asks what is the meaning of life, and Rinpoche picks up some dirt and dumps it in to his water glass and stirs it up.  Later on he goes on to explain that this is like life, the more bad things we do, the more the dirt gets stirred up, and the more cloudy our mind becomes.  As we start making positive choices, our mind begins to clear, and we can begin to see clearly.

The second one, which had more personal meaning to me at the moment, he took a petal from a flower and placed it on the table, and put a tea cup over it.  He explained that the pedal is the inner being that exists within all of us, but that we all build up this armor (the tea cup) that prevents others from seeing that, we do that through being hurt, and developing attachments.  So when you see someone doing something out of anger, or malice, what you are seeing is the armor, and in some cases that armor is very thick.  As Buddhists, we need to focus on the inner petal, even if we can’t see it.

Hatred

In this world, hatred is never conquered with hatred. Among human kind, violence is never stopped by counter violence, injuries can never be healed by revenge and retaliation. The only way is reconciliation, letting go, and forgiveness.

–Buddha

Something to think about, both in my family life and the world at large.

Lead vs control

CC made a comment a while back that I need to control everyone around me.  I don’t think that is accurate, at the moment, the only person I want to control is Bridget, and even that I don’t think would qualify as a “need”.  I do think that I need to be a leader, not in every situation, but often.   Being a leader isn’t necessarily about control.  It’s about helping and guiding others, it’s about being trusted.  Yeah, there is a certain amount of choice that goes along with it.

In dancing, someone has to lead, and as long as the dance is fun, the exact order of the moves doesn’t matter.  When the other partner does not not trust you to make the “correct” choice, and starts trying to lead as well, everything falls apart.  Yeah, there may have been some messed up moves, maybe a missed step or two, but you still have to let them lead, or find a new partner.  If you try to lead when that isn’t your role, neither partner is going to end up enjoying the dance.  If that is the person you want to dance with, then you need to just go with the flow, accept the mistakes, and trust.  Your trust will help them become a better dancer, and leader.

I do think that in my relationships, I need to be the leader, or it just needs to be a casual thing on the side.