Tag Archives: humanity

A New York State of Mind; Street-Wise-Taking Kindness For Weakness

Today I want to talk to you about kindness and the all too common idea that it is somehow connected to weakness. What do you think makes people feel that kindness and weakness are connected in the first place? If you were strolling down the street smiling at passersby in your home town would they smile back? Or would they look at you with suspicion? Would they mark you as an easy target? I think all of these possibilities and many more are true depending on where you are and who it is your smiling toward. Factors such as the respective characteristics of the two individuals passing each other can also play a vital role in how the event is perceived. How old are the two? What sex are they? Do they come from the same culture? Is it apparent what religion they practice? So many variables!

Artist Alexis Diaz, Image Source:streetartlondon.uk
Artist Alexis Diaz, Image Source:streetartlondon.uk

I grew up in the suburbs on the south shore of Long Island. Long Island suburbs are much different then the suburbs in the rest of the country (or so I’ve been in told). I think it has something to do with us being on an island where all major roads lead straight into New York City. As you move westward toward the city the hustle and bustle increases dramatically. The population expands until you find yourself smack dab in Chinatown packed in like sardines. So being a Long Islander requires us to  be part-time suburbanites and part-time city slickers. Our lives have us moving seamlessly from one environment to the other as if native to both. You’re probably asking yourself right about now what this could possibly have to do with taking kindness for weakness… so I’ll get right to it!

Artists; Anna Wintour & Karl Lagerfeld Image Source; http-::www.loveantoinette.com:street-art-spotted-back-home-in-new-york:
Artists; Anna Wintour & Karl Lagerfeld
Image Source; http-::www.loveantoinette.com:street-art-spotted-back-home-in-new-york:

Culturally Long Island has plenty of diversity. Each culture has its own stance on kindness. Living on Long Island you meet all sorts of people and it is easy to see how different peoples views often are. I’ve had friends whose parents taught them to be emotionally cold and intellectually calculating. They where taught to be tough and aggressive while reserving any show of affection, even a small kindness, to a limited few. I’ve also met people who have learned (through the instruction of others) to exploit the kindness in anyone and everyone  for their personal gain. I know of people who will keep testing the boundaries of someone’s kindness and generosity until a line in the sand is drawn.  This perspective; that everyone and everything is a resource to be culled, is indicative of a life of limited resources and desperation. It grows out of the human drive to survive and thrive no matter what the odds.

The 5 Pointz Building in Long Island City Image Source; http-::www.elegran.com:blog:2013:7:taking-a-peek-into-gotham-citys-graffiti-history
The 5 Pointz Building in Long Island City
Image Source; http-::www.elegran.com:blog:2013:7:taking-a-peek-into-gotham-citys-graffiti-history

This type of behavior is commonplace here in New York. Especially in the economically depressed sections. Parents and elder relatives teach the next generation to exploit every opportunity for personal gain.

Our worldview is formed according to our experiences. In an environment with less resources competition is commonplace. This worldview, that we must compete for scraps and be constantly on defense in a hostile environment, justifies the kinds of thoughts and behaviors that center around the exploitation of others (especially those who exhibit kindness and are deemed; ‘easy targets’). Being street smart in New York is often synonymous with an understanding and acceptance of this skewed worldview.

Image Source: http-::www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com:features:10-most-dangerous-gangs-in-america
Image Source: http-::www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com:features:10-most-dangerous-gangs-in-america

I have chosen to acknowledge that many possess such a worldview- but I will never accept it as my own.

When the world is viewed as a cold dark place with potential threats all around, we can either become victims or perpetrators. If we believe absolutely that the world and everything in it is hostile then we have no remorse in acting hostile and aggressive.

In a dog eat dog world aggression is preferable to being eaten. Unfortunately this skewed worldview is a self-reinforcing cycle of aggression, victimization, and back to aggression. We all share in the cycle as we pass from victim to justified aggressor and back again to victim.

Artist: Banksy, with overnight guards in photo Image Source: http-nypost.com20131022banksy-ghetto-for-life-piece-has-overnight-watchdogs
Artist: Banksy, with overnight guards in photo
Image Source: http-nypost.com20131022banksy-ghetto-for-life-piece-has-overnight-watchdogs

Children who grow up in tough neighborhoods that are infested with this worldview are at first the unwitting victims. They enter the world, as all children do, looking to love and live only to be easy marks for the older kids who’ve been indoctrinated into this perceived reality of the world. The traumas they face become the very reasons they believe in a worldview that promotes the very same thoughts and behaviors that led to their victimization in the first place. Round and round it goes.

The Godfather I-III (1972-1990) Francis Ford Coppola
The Godfather I-III (1972-1990) Francis Ford Coppola

Believing kindness is weakness is a direct result of a skewed worldview. Weakness is seen as an ignorance to the way things really are. Words like naive and stupid are used to describe a kind person. A street smart mind will rationalize ways to exploit kindness for personal gain. This is happening everywhere and all the time across the world wherever resources are scarce (and many places they are not but the worldview is promoted). In the western world the mind-scape of humanity is being manipulated through mass media outlets to believe in a worldview that aligns with this false reality and contradicts the true nature of humanity. Just listen to popular song lyrics or follow along the storyline in an HBO series.

The Gangs Of Los Angeles Photography by Robert Yager Image Source: www.sobadsogood.com
The Gangs Of Los Angeles Photography by Robert Yager
Image Source: www.sobadsogood.com

I am a very generous person with a compassionate heart. I have learned to give freely or not to give it all. This is not to say that I allow myself to be taken advantage of. If someone asks of me and I give only to be asked again and again I have no shame in saying no. I also have no shame in explaining to them that when I give it is a choice, not a requirement. And I think that is the difference between kindness with actual weakness and kindness without. Kindness is not a requirement but a choice.

Wise Guy Way Street Sign from Amazon @ http://amzn.to/1GEbi5a
Wise Guy Way Street Sign from Amazon @ http://amzn.to/1GEbi5a

If we approach life feeling that we must be kind in all circumstances we will inevitably be taken advantage of. There will always be those out there who will test the boundaries. If there are no boundaries we will be over run. That doesn’t mean that we cannot choose to be kind to everyone we meet. We can keep ourselves from subscribing to a destructive worldview while treating others kindly as long as we are aware that there are those out there looking to take advantage of our kindness. Be strong, be safe, and be kind to everyone you meet- but never allow them to exploit you.

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The Illuminati Have Failed

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I am not the most avid conspiracy theorist out there. I see many of the issues that exist in todays world as having a less centralized root cause. Not that conspiracies do not exist! Of course they do. People plot and manipulate and contrive ways to reach their desired ends. Sometimes a large group of like minded individuals connect, and the conspiracy is birthed. More often though, I believe the issues that begin us all on paths that lead away from a fulfilling and peaceful existence and towards something more sinister- are systemic, and they arise out of a lack of awareness that leaves us vulnerable to deception. 

By-Petar-Milošević-Own-work-CC-BY-SA-4.0-http-creativecommons.orglicensesby-sa4.0-via-Wikimedia-Commons.jpg
By-Petar-Milošević-Own-work-CC-BY-SA-4.0-http-creativecommons.orglicensesby-sa4.0-via-Wikimedia-Commons.jpg

Awareness moves infinitely in two main directions. We can become more aware of ourselves and the depth of being that is our essence, and we can also become outwardly aware of all that exists outside of our physical bodies. We are all becoming more aware, at least on a grand scale, and that awareness is enriching and motivating us toward acts that are in alignment with our essential nature. Things like compassion and peace are on the rise. The generation that is rising up as I write these words are shouting for peace and for compassion across the board. The Illuminati have failed.

By Hubertl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
By Hubertl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

The love and empathy that flows from every human heart cannot be plugged. We will all eventually learn that we cannot betray the core of our beings and escape suffering. That will be the day that the deception is left with nowhere else to hide. War mongering will not be accepted as it will be exposed for what it is, a way to inflict pain and suffering in exchange for gains. War literally transfers wealth via the torment, pain, oppression, and often death of human beings. War is never justified. The aggressor is always wrong. Defending ones own life is never wrong either. The blanket of blame that is cast across a whole nation or state is done so in order to justify the action of war, yet every time war is declared it is done so due to the actions of the aggressors that make up a minuscule amount of the population. We must always defend, but against only those who are guilty. Those who are guilty have an explicit part in carrying out an action. To many of us are learning the truth. The Illuminati have failed.

By Livioandronico2013 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
By Livioandronico2013 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Platforms like YouTube and Google+ and Twitter have connected us all in ways never before possible. We can speak openly and at length with every conceivable type of person. The bias and prejudice that used to exist was largely due to our lack of understanding of the group that was being misunderstood and vilified. Every day we can pop out our smart devices and connect with a person from Persia, India, Russia, Africa, South America, Canada- and communicate directly on anything we choose. The divisive ideologies that promote hatred and bias cannot stand in the wake of all this communication. Ignorance is quickly becoming a thing of the past. We are all much more alike than we ever realized. The illuminati have failed.

By Crisco 1492 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
By Crisco 1492 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg

The days where “Divide and Conquer!” was on the lips of the powerful, who sought to gain more and more as we ignorantly remained unaware and unable to enact change, are over. Keep connecting. Keep sharing and living. Keep learning to love and appreciate your fellow man and woman wherever they may be. The Illuminati truly have failed.

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