Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's just the Right Thing to do.

Raised in an extremely conservative household, I come with a lot of backstory and frame of reference for what I "should" do in life.  As I have aged (sometimes not a welcome concept), my opinions have changed.  I have always had opinions and not all of them popular or welcome but they have always been mine.  As an adult, husband, father, employee, and neighbor amongst other things I see that my actions, words, and beliefs have an impact on those around me.

Personally, that is a scary recognition.  I have always wanted to be the one to make the decisions but feel reserved because of the ramifications that come with being the person who pushes the button.  Over the past few years, it is more apparent that if I don't push the button then no one else may.  Therefore, I am officially volunteering as the button pusher! lol  

What does that really mean? Well, sometimes it's as simple as the office product commercials tell me it is, easy. This doesn't have anything to do with being a non-conformist or trend setter but rather doing right by me.  

Negotiate and compromise have become bad words.  People make self-promoting statements regarding their unwillingness to bend/change or compromise who they are and for what they stand.  I can sympathize with the personal conviction and desire to stick to something at all costs.  These concepts/beliefs are paramount when navigating the world where everyone seems only vested in their own best interest. 

However, in groups that function best as a whole vs. individually as pieces, these methods must be observed in moderation.  The current political stalemate is a prime example; if I can get what I want without yielding on anything I believe strongly about then I'm in.  This is an ineffective and counter intuitive position because the outcome will always be the same...nothing.  No one ever wants to constantly be the giver in a relationship and likewise no one should ever be a habitual taker.  As a society, we compromise all the time; when navigating traffic, picking government officials, and even choosing where to eat when our favorite place is packed.  I'll admit that not all of those decisions carry equal weight and for that sound thought should be given to those with the ability to significantly impact our lives. 

What about love?  Historically, it was forbidden to marry outside one's class or "kind". The theme that people should be free to choose who they love has been echoed throughout movies, books, and music.  And for the most part, these stories/tales are well received.  So why is it not so in real life?

I have a difficult time understanding the negative consequences of allowing others to make their own choices.  For example, I recognize the controversy surrounding the current topics of gun control, marijuana legalization, and abortion.  Either allowing or banning any of these has complicated consequences that should be discussed and debated.  Unrestricting marriage does not belong with them.  These are people that want to pursue their dreams in ways that currently aren't allowed or universally protected. What someone else chooses to do or not do does not compromise my beliefs.  There should be no negotiation on their feelings.  In the end, it's just the right thing to do.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I like to move it, move it!

I believe that music is one of the strongest forces that exists.  Music has been a part of human existence for longer than records date.  The right melody has the power to calm, excite, motivate, and soothe you.  The interesting thing is that not everyone likes the same genre(s) of music.  Even within the same kind of music, one artist or even a particular song may not ‘speak’ to you the way it does to someone else.  But nevertheless the power is there.  Messages sung transform the words from script to magic. 

I’ve liked a lot of music in my life covering most genres (sorry Country still no love here).  And over the years, I’ve collected my arsenal of favorites.  There are tracks that get me moving and pumped for whatever is coming my way.  Those that I turn to when times are tough or I’m feeling down and discouraged.  There are the ‘feel good’ songs that I can never tire of and there are those that truly touch me deep down inside.  Those are the power songs.  The ones that not only influence your emotions but motivate you to do something.  I feel that for me, these songs tend to have themes of self-empowerment.  They tell me to be who I am, act how I feel, use my voice, and stand for what I believe.  These songs come to me from artists as varied as Rage Against the Machine, INXS, the Cranberries, Mackelmore, and Enya.  I hate to conform just for conformity’s sake.  Every action takes an effort; make them count…for you.