S.C.A.R.S. / BLOG

29 Jun 2015

“Hate” we use the term so often

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“Hate”or “Haters” – words I hear being thrown around a lot in today’s world.  It’s so often evoked when speaking of people that disagree with someone’s position on an issue, their life style, decisions or point of view.

It is what seems to me to be a potentially dangerous and divisive rhetoric in our country, that is not only paralyzing our government but creating “lines in the sand” all across our country. We’re losing the ability or should I say the “willingness” to have a dialogue and in the end perhaps agree to disagree or more importantly, compromise and reach a solution best for everyone – without any anger, animosity or hatred.

While there are certainly individuals and groups that may behave in a hateful way and spout hateful rhetoric, that should be spoken out against, we must be careful not to include everyone in these generalizations.

It is easy to find these “extremists” (on the right and left, liberal and conservative, religious and secular, across all the “races” and genders or whatever other label you choose to place on someone) on any side of any issue, that use anger, fear and even hatred to rally people to their cause.

On the other hand it seems to me that there are many people that embrace a certain ideology or worldview over another but at the same time are tolerant, open and even loving to those that they “disagree” with.  Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we have to be enemies or “hate” one another!

Each individual has a point of view based on his or her own personal lifetime of experiences.  People are not irrational individuals that wake up one day and simply decide to take up a position on an issue.  Society, family, economics, education, religious background, experiences (both good and tragic), heritage and community all play a factor in bringing someone to where they are today.   There is a story to everyone’s life that has brought each of us to our conclusions, beliefs and “understanding” of the world.  

When we simply discount another’s opinion (because we in our vast wisdom do not agree) without listening and trying to understand, it invalidates and devalues their life and all that it has been.  Perhaps some compassion and understanding from all of us would go a long way. Don’t assume someone is hateful just because they don’t agree with you or looks at something through a different perspective.

If we make an effort to understand one another, realize we’re all on a journey together, we might just find we have more in common than we do differences.  In the process we might just find someone willing to listen to us and love us in spite of our “differences” and perhaps we will be able to do the same in return? 

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries, without them humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama

30 Jan 2015

Refuse to Drown – the book by founder Tim Kreider is on sale!

$2.99 – that’s the SPECIAL OFFER! Now through February 3rd, in celebration of the one year anniversary of our launch, you are able to buy Refuse to Drown in either Kindle or Nook formats for only $2.99. Click on Refuse to Drown below to purchase on Kindle now…

http://www.amazon.com/Refuse-Drown-Tim-Kreider-ebook/dp/B00HNCXLMC/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1422654104

What others are saying… 5 STARS! – “Refuse to Drown is”

“Riveting”
“Thought provoking”
“Heartfelt”
“Amazingly written”
“A difficult, important story”
“Tragic yet inspiring”
“Painful But Articulate
“A very well written, emotional book that everyone should read”
“Inspiring”
“Hope”

Please share this post and pass it on to others! With your help we can make the next year even better than the first!
Blessings,

Tim

29 Nov 2013

Thanks, Dads

To all the fathers out there, we’ll never be perfect but if we are simply their for our children and families it goes a long way.  You have the opportunity to make the difference in the lives of your children.  There is no more important opportunity in our lives than that of being the best father we can be.  You’re Not Alone!

A Real Father

It’s not so common anymore
to have a dad who’s really there,
who is the provider for his family,
who comes home every night,
whose predictability
creates a sense of stability and security
in his household.
Your routine may not seem valuable to you,
but it’s worth a lot to me.
I’m thankful that I can depend on you
to always be you–
a real father,
responsible, trustworthy,
and a great role model.
I’ve learned a lot of good things
from watching you.
Thanks, Dad.

By Joanna Fuchs

29 Nov 2013

The company you keep…

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What do the people we hang out with say about us?  Do they reinforce who we want to be and where we want to go?

The people we spend our time with will greatly influence our attitudes and actions.  They can either lift us up or pull us down.  Thus, one of the most important decisions we make in life is who we include in our cluster of friends.

Kids, this is why your parents care so much about who you hang out with.  This isn’t only a concern for the young, it is just as important for adults/parents.  It doesn’t matter if we are young or old, who we surround ourselves with has a great influence on our lives.

So often we question: Why aren’t our lives going the way we want?  Why do we have a “bad attitude”?  Why do we seem to get into situations we regret? and so on.  One of the first things we should do is take an honest look at the people we spend most of our time with.  What are the “attitudes” and “values” of these individuals?  There is a good chance they could be reinforcing the behaviors creating our issues.

If we want to excel in an area, it doesn’t matter if you want to be an artist, an athlete, a business entrepreneur, a college student, have a successful marriage or just simply want to have a positive attitude toward life, we must surround ourselves with people that have the same values or have already accomplished what we want.

It’s unlikely we’ll do well in school if we surround ourselves with people that don’t care about their education and don’t value learning.  If we hang out with people that party we’ll be drawn into the party scene.  If we are having troubles with relationships / marriage we shouldn’t spend all our time talking to others in unhappy/failing relationships, they’ll simply reinforce our unhappiness.  If those we spend the most time with constantly complain and find fault with others we’ll be drawn into that dialog  and there goes our attitude!

The opposite is also true.  We must seek out people that will lift us up, who want from life what we want, who have accomplished what we want to do.  They are examples we can learn from and will provide support//inspiration /motivation to pursue our goals.  They understand what we want to do and why.

This can be a painful change to make.  We may be comfortable in these relationships and more importantly, care deeply for the people.  Unfortunately, if we are part of a group that has embraced a lifestyle contrary to what we want it is almost impossible for us as individuals, to change the direction of the group.  So, if we want to make a change, we’ll need to do it ourselves by seeking out individuals who support what we want from life.

This doesn’t mean that we must “abandon” all of our existing friends.  As we begin to change our attitudes, the individuals in our old group may not be interested in our new direction and will likely become more distant.  This may be painful for us,  but it is the natural pattern of personal growth.  Often people only come into our lives for a season.

This also doesn’t mean that we never associate with others that are “outside” of our core values and goals.  We can have many different relationships and be a positive example for others.  The key is that our most significant relationships be supportive of the path we want to take in life.  These relationships call us up when we need it and will keep us focused in the direction of our goals.

You’re Not Alone!

Tim

29 Nov 2013

We all make mistakes…

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We all make mistakes.  Those around us make mistakes.  We hurt each other.  We let each other down.  Parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends, co workers, family and others all hurt us at one time or another.

What do with do with it?  Do we get angry?  Hold on to the hurt?  Do we talk about it and work through it or do we refuse to forgive and decide to stay angry?  When we hurt another do we sincerely apologize?  If someone apologizes to us, do we accept it?  Each of us needs to be big enough to do both.  There will be a time when every one of us needs to apologize for something we’ve done and when we need to forgive some one for what they have done.  Far too many individuals, families and relationships suffer from a refusal to apologize and to forgive.

Is our anger worth all that we lose?  We don’t only damage the relationship with the person we refuse to forgive but we damage ourselves.  Anger is like a poison that slowly eats away at us.  When we harbor anger towards another it takes away part of our joy in life.

When I think of all the relationships where: an apology has not been given or accepted, anger is clung to over a “wrong” committed years ago, pride is put before love and anger is preferred over forgiveness, my heart aches.

So much lost… for what… pride, fear, anger, guilt… let it go… whatever it is… we all need to… Doesn’t your heart ache too?

Today, let’s think about all of the people that have hurt us, that we are still angry with and that we have hurt.  It doesn’t matter if it is because of something that took place 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago.  Let’s make the decision, today, do we need to forgive or apologize and then do it.

You’re Not Alone!

Tim

29 Nov 2013

Your Attitude, Your Decision!

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It’s so easy to take what others say and do and make it our own.

A friend has a bad attitude and complains all the time.  Maybe it’s about school, work, another person or just in general.  Do we join them and adopt the same bad attitude?

Someone cuts us off in traffic and road rage sets in.  Perhaps someone treats us rudely and it completely changes our mood.  Things don’t go well at school, work or at home and we let it bring us down.  Do situations like these affect how we feel and treat others?

Our attitude is one of the single most important things we can control in this world.  It isn’t an accident that one of the largest section of quotes on the Also-Me web site is the “attitude” section.  (see the “Hungry For Words” tab at www.also-me.org )  It is that important! Our lives are greatly dictated by our attitude and it is “our” attitude we own it and we are responsible for it, good or bad!

“The mind is like a fertile garden. It will grow anything you wish to plant – beautiful flowers or weeds… Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”  Bruce Lee –  What are you planting?

We do not have control over anything else in this world: not our family, friends, class mates, strangers we meet, the weather nor what others say or do.  None of it is within our control.  When I first realized this it was a rather frightening thought.  “I am helpless to control anything.”  “I’m at the mercy of everyone else.”  But after I thought about it,  I realized that I have a lot of control  over the most important things in my life!

What I am able to control is what I say, think, do and believe.  This is more important than any other influence in my life.  It is my choice.  How I react to a situation is up to me.  You have the same ability and control.  Don’t give in to a negative attitude.  Don’t let others influence your happiness.   Make the decision today to take control of your attitude.  Your attitude is contagious … is it worth catching?

Your Not Alone!

Tim

29 Nov 2013

Respect – You get what you give!

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People don’t respect me!   People don’t listen to me!  No one understands me!  Do you respect and listen to others?  Do you take the time to understand others?  Respect, listening and understanding are a two way street.
This goes for all of our relationships.  Whether it is our peers, our parents, our children or anyone else with whom we have interaction.  Today I’d like to briefly discuss parents and teens.
If we want someone to respect us, listen to us and help us we must be willing to do the same in return.  Parents, you want your teens to respect you and listen to you but are you willing to do this for them?  Teens, it is the same for you.  You want your parents to respect you and listen to you , but are you willing to do it for your parents?
Appreciation for what others do is a great start.  Understanding or at least considering what the other person has to deal with goes a long way towards appreciating them.
Teens, think of all the things your parents may be doing for you: perhaps they pay for your activities, cell phone, computer, parties with friends, give you a home, food, and clothing.  Your parents not only provide all of this for you, but must provide for themselves.  They likely work a large part of their day and are responsible for all the work involved with providing a home for the family.  There is a lot of pressure on your parents surrounding their money and time.  They have a limited amount of both.  Making sure they have enough for everyone can be very stressful.  Your parents are people too (I know this may be hard to believe:) and they have bad days.  They may have a short fuse or be distracted and it has nothing to do with you.  This doesn’t make it right , but if you are aware of this you may be a little more understanding of your parents.  When is the last time you sincerely asked your parents:  “How was your day?  Whats going on with you? ” What would your world be like if everything your parents provided was gone tomorrow?  Just some things to think about.
Parents, your kids don’t have it that easy either.  They have many social, peer and school pressures pulling them in numerous and often conflicting directions.  The messages they are receiving from music, TV, friends and the world may often fly in the face of what you are telling them or what you believe is the right thing.  If they are nearing the end of their high school career there are the pressures of what to do after graduation: college, being on their own, becoming a more independent individual.  It is a lot to deal with.  So, they may have some bad days and need some understanding.
Do you speak to each other in a way that you want people to speak to you?  Do you apologize if you’ve said or done something that has hurt another person?  You want this kind of respect shown toward you so you should do the same for others.
Teens, I believe that you are capable of a lot more.  We so often want to make excuses for you because of the “difficult” teen years.  They are difficult, but you can handle them.  It isn’t easy, but you can do it.  Parents, be parents, not best friends.  Life is difficult and you have many challenges every day.  However, your kids need you to be parents.  They may not like it  but they do need to be parented and one day they will appreciate it.
Start today!  Respect each other, listen to one another and make the effort to understand what others are dealing with.  It will create a greater appreciation for those around us and they will know – You’re Not Alone!
29 Nov 2013

Entertainment?

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So often I hear about confrontations between parents and their teens about video games, movies, TV shows and music.  The parents are always telling their kids not to watch or listen to certain things.  However, this is for everyone, these rules shouldn’t only apply to the teens.

During a conversation about this issue, where we were debating the merits / effects of watching and listening to certain material I was asked the following question.  ‘If someone was being raped in your living room would you watch it for entertainment?”

At first I was shocked at the question, but almost immediately it made me consider what we watch for entertainment in a completely different light.  Now, I know some of you are going to say, c’mon Tim, it isn’t real, it’s only a movie, a video game and TV show or a song, get over it already!

In some capacity I would agree with you, BUT in today’s world the violence, sex and situations are becoming more real, graphic and frequent all the time.  Before we know it we can be exposed to a non stop stream of negative images: animation, TV shows, movies, music, video games and the news all provide an almost limitless source of these influences.  I’m not saying there is never any merit in watching something the contains violence or other potentially disturbing situations.  It is a reality of the world we live in.  However, the questions to ask yourself are: why are you watching it, what is entertaining you and how will it affect you?

Do you realize that once we see an image or hear something we cannot erase it from our minds.  It is there, it has made a foot print in our minds.  Seeing / hearing something once may not leave a lasting impact, like footprints in the sand, the one set of tracks may fade and eventually be barely noticeable (if you’re lucky).  However, if you continually expose yourself to violent, sexual or other disturbing materials the foot prints they leave behind will become like a well worn path.  No longer will they easily fade from your mind but instead will leave a path easy for you to find and follow.

Watching and listening to violent, sexual or other negative things DOES affect your attitude.  The negative influences are so continuous it makes the behavior more acceptable.  It doesn’t matter if it is: a show where friends and family constantly disrespect each other; a song with violence or sexual content or violent movies and video games.  Don’t believe that because it isn’t “real” that it won’t affect you.  The more you watch and listen to something the more acceptable it becomes to you.  Garbage in…garbage out.
Here’s something to think about.
Why is this entertainment?  Killing for the sake of killing.  Being rude, mean and disrespectful to each other.  Watching images of violence and gore.  Would it be entertainment for you to sit in your living room and have these things really happening to real people right in front of you?   Parents, if you wouldn’t let your kids watch it why are you watching it?  Kids, if it were real, would you think it is funny, acceptable or the right thing?

You’re Not Alone!

Tim

29 Nov 2013

Super Possibilities!

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$1,000,000,000 ($1 BILLION)!  A conservative estimate of what will be spent on ticket sales, corporate advertising and  other activities during the super bowl.

I bring this up because last night we were having dinner with some dear friends and the topic came up regarding of how much money is spent on sporting events, entertainment and paid to the athletes and entertainers, but yet so many of our schools, communities and other organizations just don’t seem to have enough resources.

These salaries and incomes would not be possible without the support of millions of people, so it seems the public is okay with all of the money going to these enterprises.  After all, without us it wouldn’t be possible.

Unfortunately, at the end of the conversation we concluded that this is just the way it is.  Well, before bed I was watching the news for the next day’s weather and there happened to be a report regarding the super bowl: ticket prices and the price being paid for a 30 second ad during the super bowl.  It got me thinking about our conversation and how this weekend is the ultimate example of what we had been discussing.  It stuck with me and my mind has been preoccupied with it ever since.

It’s too early to be sure what the average price for a ticket to the game will be, but let’s assume $3000 (yes it looks like it will somewhere in that range) and the cost of a 30 second ad is $3,000,000 ($3 MILLION for 30 seconds!).  So 95,000 people at the game and 36 ads during the 3 hour game and you have $393,000,000 spent on just tickets and national advertising.  This figure doesn’t include costs to travel to the game, lodging, concession sales at the game, team logo items (jerseys etc.), parties around the country and special events being held.  Last year an estimated 106,000,000 million people watched the super bowl.  If there was an average of just $5 spent per person on food, drink, travel and other items this is another $530,000,000!  So, a conservative estimate of money spent this weekend is $923,000,000!  That right, that’s almost a BILLION dollars, conservatively!  It’s not just an incredible investment of money.  What about the time involved?  If 108 million people spend just 3 hours watching the game that’s 324,000,000 hours in one day!  This doesn’t count travel time, pre and post game activities or the time spent on preparation for the game (millions of additional hours we won’t even consider).

So, you might ask, why am I telling you all this?  What’s the point?  Well, if we as a nation can spend this amount of money on a football game, why are so many needs not met?  Where do our priorities really lie?  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m going to a super bowl party and will be watching the game too.  But if we are able to spend this amount of time and money one day a year for a football game, why can we not find the same time and money for something positive?  I know a lot of us already give our time and money (including some of the companies that advertise on Sunday).  The question is how difficult would it really be to do a lot more?  What would happen if there was the same amount of hype and excitement over helping others!?  What could be accomplished with an additional BILLION dollars ($1,000.000,000) and 324,000,000 volunteer hours if they were dedicated to helping others?  Think about it, how difficult has it been to find the time and money for super bowl Sunday?  It really is about our priorities and what we value.

This isn’t meant to make anyone feel bad about watching the game, supporting their favorite team or going to a party.  I’m doing all the same things.  But if we are able to find the extra time and money for this,  can we not do the same thing in helping others?  I realize organizing a super volunteer day wouldn’t be nearly as popular, but just think, what if?  Wouldn’t that be an amazing day?  It could be life changing for so many (not just those being helped but for everyone helping!).  Even if we spread out the time and money throughout the year it would be 887,000 additional volunteer hours a day and $2,739,000 a day!  We often ask why the world isn’t different?  Well, one thing I know for sure, it isn’t because it lacks the possibility to be different.

Let’s start with our own lives and begin to make the difference.  Wouldn’t it be great if some day we have a super volunteer Sunday just as successful as super bowl Sunday?!  Enjoy the game.

You’re Not Alone!

Tim

29 Nov 2013

Selfishness!

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Selfishness – devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

We struggle with why there is so much pain in the world?  Why do people hurt us?  Why do we hurt others?

So often it stems from selfishness.  What we want is the most important thing.  We deserve it.  We should have it.  It isn’t fair that someone else has more than we do.  If we just had more or something different we’d be happy.  I deserve to be happy and no one has the right to keep me from what I want.  Unfortunately, acting out of selfishness will never make us “happy”.  The “happiness” it brings is only temporary.  It’s an illusion that traps us.  We will never experience true happiness at the cost of another.

It’s time we take a look at ourselves and the decisions we make.  Nearly every one of the negative parts of our lives can be traced to one thing in one form or another… selfishness!  It may be our own selfishness or the selfishness of another.

Why do we want, want, want…?  It isn’t only about money and material things.  It can be about what we do with our time.  Do we share it with others or do we make it all about ourselves?  What about our family?  Do we want to keep them to ourselves or share them with others?  Many of us, myself included,  come from broken families where there are step parents, ex spouses, extended families and friends.  We need to “share” our loved ones.  By being selfish we put what we want in front of the welfare of others.

This carries over into our careers, relationships and families.  There is nothing wrong with wanting something or doing things for ourselves.  However, when we lose perspective of its “importance” we need to look a long hard honest look at ourselves.  Why is it that we want something so much?  Is it really important?  Whom are we going to hurt?  Where can we give to others?  How can we treat others the way we want to be treated?  What can we do to share a little happiness?

If we looked at others and put them in front of our own desires how different would the world be?  The world, our country, our cities and our families would be so different.  If we would simply take selfishness and turn it upside down and instead practice “excessive giving”, what a world we would have!

Put selfishness in the trash bin where it belongs!  Begin a movement of “excessive giving”.  We all have something we can give or share with others:  it may be as simply as a kind word; perhaps it is money, our time, our talents or some small random act of kindness.  Whatever it is, we all have the ability to “give excessively”.  So, let’s do it and change our lives!

“The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.
” Lao Tzu

You’re Not Alone!

Tim