Dr Martin Luther King Jr

This man’s beliefs, his fight, serve as another reminder that only people matter, not things, and certainly not ego. Only humanity.

As a child I recall learning that this man was a great leader for black rights in America. As a child I did not understand the full role which Dr King encompassed. As an adult I re-visited the history. I read Dr Kings work, and it changed me.

It turns out that Dr King was not a “black rights leader” as I understood him to be as a child, he was a civil rights leader. In his time, it was black America that was being repressed and segregated. If Dr King were alive today he’d still be fighting that fight, Ah, but I have no doubt he’d be also fighting for woman’s rights, LBGTQ rights, and Muslim rights.

You see, Dr King was not driven by his love for black America, or a hate for white America, but driven by a love for ALL of humanity. And through this love his method of fighting was passive resistance. Passive resistance is a method I believe in very deeply. It is a method of resistance that must stem from love, not hate. It requires great strength of character. And more importantly, it requires that we put our cause, our purpose, before ourselves. Let me repeat that. It requires that we but our cause before ourselves. THAT is what makes a leader. It is also the reason we haven’t seen any in a very long time. A leader is willing to sacrifice all for their cause/purpose.

Dr King writes and speaks often of the three types of love: Eros (erotic), Philos (interpersonal relationships), and Agape (a much broader spiritual love that is not focused on any specific person). Actually he speaks really only of Agape love, which is the truest love there is. It is an unconditional love. It is a divine love for God (and God’s laws) and all of humanity. It is a love that doesn’t segregate or judge. I believe that it goes without saying that Agape asserts one of my favorite laws of logic, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

So with Agape, self sacrifice to meet a greater end is implied. It is this love that is missing in the world today. Violence of any kind, serves only to hurt this kind of love. One can not inflict harm on another, and do it in the name of Agape love.

As I said before, passive resistance requires a great strength of character. Passive resistance requires that one stand firm in their ground like a mighty oak without actually engaging the enemy. To be non-violent even in when violence is being done to us. To get knocked down, stand back up again, look the enemy in the face and say “I’m not going anywhere …… you move.” THAT IS STRENGTH. Human instinct tells us to meet violence with violence. That’s just letting hate get the best of us. There is absolutely nothing strong about just giving in to our instinct. There are no winners when violence is met with violence, and the only thing that onlookers learn is that we must destroy the enemy to get what we want. That somehow we have needs more important than human life. Nothing is more important than human life, not even freedom.

Also, passive resistance has a way of exposing the wrongful party for ALL onlookers to see. When the conflicting parties literally physically display that one party is fueled by hate, and the other by love, it becomes a no-brainer who the righteous party is.

Passive resistance worked then, and it will work now. But it is a method that requires great sacrifice. We must find it in our hearts to have Agape love.

Dr King was also a believer in making a difference in business America (now corporate America), by exercising the strength of our dollar. By that, I mean a good old fashion boycott. If we want to take the power away from the power elite, stop giving them our money. Instead spend our money within our class, local small businesses. Remember, there are a lot more of us then there are of them, we can be self reliant. They however, cannot.

I have read many works of Dr King, but my favorite is this one:

Letter from Birmingham Jail

I will end with one of my favorite of Dr King’s quotes:

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Happy Martin Luther King Jr day.

ASMR – For Connection, Positive Affirmation, and Relaxation.

Way back in October 2018 I suffered from insomnia for a short period. Insomnia brought on by anxiety. During this period I did many things to get through this ugly phase, including medication, meditation, Yoga, acupuncture, ASMR, and lifestyle changing/purging. ALL of these things helped. It was ASMR however, that intrigued me the most. Up until that point I had never even heard of ASMR.

For those of you who don’t know, ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. A very complex name for a very simple meaning …… or at least a simple result. ASMR is a way to use sensation (usually through sound, but can also be through touch) to create a feeling of calming, pleasure, and tingling. This sensation starts in/on a persons head, and then spreads down to the rest of the body. ASMR is traditionally administered through sounds. Quiet sounds. The most common sounds used for this are whispers, gentle brushing, tapping, scratching.

I received ASMR through YouTube videos. I would listen to these ASMR artists whisper, and make gentle sound effects with their hands, and it would just lull me to a relaxed state. In time I would fall asleep to them. In the calm and relaxed state leading up to sleep, a connection can be made with the artist. Albeit, the connection is one sided, but one who is susceptible to ASMR can’t deny that there is an intimacy there. Through this experience I learned one undeniable truth: When people are calm and relaxed, if you whisper to them, they are open to listening.

So I have decided to try my hand in ASMRASMR is a wonderful platform in which I can deliver my message of Minimalism. As it is, the simplicity of it lends itself to this lifestyle. There is nothing more value added, than making a connection with people. That, plus creating sensation makes for a wonderful experience; those of you who have read my posts before, know how I feel about sensation. I offer connection, sensation, positive affirmation, AND I will be giving my minimalist mantra’s during the videos I’ll be making.

The link to my first ASMR video on YouTube is HERE.

Or you can view the video below.

Give more of ourselves for the holidays

The best we can give someone, anyone, is ourselves, our time, our effort, and our company. We feel better when we give more of ourselves; we grow. We grow, and we influence growth in others.

With that being said I recommend that this holiday season we give more of ourselves to those we love.  Spend time with family and friends that we have not given much attention to in quite some time. Re-secure relationships that have gotten stale due to separation perhaps.

Furthermore, we should be giving more of our time and effort to those less fortunate than us. The poor, the hungry, the homeless, the neglected, the addicted, the disabled. THIS is what the spirit of the Holidays is really all about anyway, Isn’t it? Reaching out and making sure everyone has more joy, more hope, and maybe even a new beginning.

Likelihood is, there is a local  soup kitchen, coat drive, food drive, or some other  volunteer program of a similar variety in our community. I urge that we reach out to these and ask how we can help.  Lets not merely settle for making a donation of money or stuff, but instead donate our time and effort. This is how we make a difference. Not only in others, but in ourselves.

We should all be doing our part to make the world a kinder, better place.

Holiday Shopping

This holiday season I challenge you to make a cheerful effort for gift giving, by gifting smart and from the heart:

  • Give more of yourself and less material possessions.
  • Gift in experiences.
  • Avoid the corporate chains and online retailers (Amazon, Ebay, and such), and support local businesses. The best effort we can do is to support our community.
  • Take calculated chances with the gifts you give. There is no fun or growth in staying safe. Mom doesn’t need another pair of socks,  just like the ones you got her last year. And if they don’t like your gift, it was worth a shot; they’re just grateful for the thought and effort anyway.
  • Give a playful gift. One that all parties can enjoy right there during the holiday party.
  • Gift something absurd, and completely ridiculous just for a laugh. How’s THAT for an experience?
  • Don’t just make the family gathering an experience, make the gift shopping an experience too. Go into strange “mom and pops” stores you would normally never go into, with absolutely no plan of purchase at all. You might be surprised at what might catch your eye. This is where the “calculated risk” will likely come into play.

Make holiday shopping fun again, and don’t take it too seriously. Make it playful. This is a time for joy, and we don’t have to prove anything.