And In Other News.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connect the Dots.”

I live in a small rural community in West Central Minnesota. Usually, not much happens for exciting news. Although, we have had our share of sad news over the past few years because people don’t know  how to act and/or react to things any longer and they take their anger issues into their own hands. Yes, even in middle of nowhere rural Minnesota these things happen. Luckily, this is not one of these news stories.

I was going through my newsfeed on Facebook yesterday when a Minnesota television station had posted a story about an incident in a Target store in California. They are unsure of who or how it was done, but in the store someone had hacked into the store PA system and began playing the soundtrack of a pornographic film. According to my source they said this was not the first incident of this kind in California either. 

I find this interesting not because of the nature of the incident or the sad truth that there was children present who truly did not need to hear such things. I find it interesting because it blows my mind that someone would stoop to a level to think this was funny, or even original! PA systems have been hacked before. Entire networks have been hacked. 

One of my favorite films is Angelina Jolie’s first film Hackers from 1995 when the Internet as far as public use was still in its infancy. Their motto in the film was ‘Hack The Planet’. The main character of the film caused 1307 computers to crash at once causing a company to lose millions of dollars! He was 11 years old and was sentenced to never touch a computer or phone until his 18th birthday! 

So, you are probably wondering, how does all this relate to me? Well, I have experience in the media and I have experience with sound systems. No, I was not involved in the Target incidents, but I do currently work for Target’s main competitor, Walmart. 

I find the correlation of events, the hacking of a pornographic soundtrack and the dramatic dip in Walmart stock a day later quite compelling. Don’t you? 

What can we learn from this? When one of us loses, we all lose. Why does there have to be those who are out to harm others? Whether it be the poisoning of people’s minds or the loss of great income (which affected all of Walmart’s stock holders). These things affect a large number of people in negative ways. 

I truly wish we could live in a world where humanity would all realize ‘we are all in the same boat and rowing in the same ocean!’ Why do some people think it is funny, or their duty to see others drown? It’s a phrase that was said in 1993 during the riots in L.A., ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ 

Maybe the media is part of the problem. To my readers in other countries, does your media sensationalize harm and hate and bad things happening to others? It sure seems like it does here in The United States. I said it in a previous post, it sure doesn’t seem like we are united any longer. I wonder if we ever can be as a nation and God-willing as a world? Would you be willing to put aside any differences you may have with others and seek a world of Peace and Harmony? 

The Path We Choose.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Just a Dream.”

In front of me are three doors. I have no idea where each one will lead, so I choose the middle. Door Number 2, Please! I figure going down the middle is the path least chosen. Slowly I approach the door and reach forward to the door handle. I being to slowly turn it clockwise. Creeeeeeeeeeeek, is the sound the door makes as I slowly maneuver my wheelchair forward and push open the door. Inside the room is empty. It is nothingness. All black. All dark. With a thought of light, it illuminates to show a room with a man sitting in a chair. “Come in” he says. I enter the room.

“Welcome to your choice” he states in a monotone, deep voice. “In here, you are at the beginning. This room is the beginning of a blank slate.” “But, what if I had chosen another door?” I questioned. “Another door would have led you somewhere else, but you are here and here is where you shall begin.” “Begin what?” I questioned again.

“Your journey, my son.” “But, what about every moment that has led up til now? Don’t those moments count as the beginning any longer?” “not anymore. You have begun a journey down the rabbit hole. From here on, you will never be the same. This experience alone has changed you. You just don’t know it yet.”

“Okay. I am changed. So, now what? What do I do from here?” I asked nervously. “You continue on, but how you continue on is up to you. You are in a room that you decided upon from three doors. In front of you, in this very room, you will see three more doors. Which will you choose?” “Does it matter?” I asked.

“Why yes, it matters, if you want to continue down this path.” Says the man in the chair. “which door will continue me down this path?” “so many questions” The man stated. “You just have to choose and on that path, you shall be.” “So, the door I choose doesn’t matter?” I said inquisitively.
“what only matters,” said the man in the chair, “is that you make your choice and you follow it no matter what.” “No matter what door you choose, you will be lead somewhere. That door could lead to great joys, or it could lead to absolute terrors. But, the choice, is only up to you.”

“You see,” he continued, “Too many people make a choice and then they want to back out, because the choice they made seems too difficult. It seems like it will cause too much pain and the human species doesn’t like pain. They want things to be easy. Little do they know, nothing in life is easy. No matter what door you choose, there will be hardships and there will be great times of joy! The door, matters not.”

So, with that wisdom bestowed upon me I chose the door to the right this time and entered another room. Once again, a man in a chair was there to guide me. This time, I looked at the man, winked and smiled, and asked for a coin. With a flip of the coin I chose, once again, the door in the middle and walked into the next room. Sure, there were times I made a choice of a room that brought me great sorrow, but each time, I made a choice and I dealt with it. Too often, we wish to modify the outcomes of our choices and we make choices that impact others in a negative way. My advice, don’t do that!

Think before you act. No matter what door you choose, your life will go on until it no longer does. But each and every choice you make will have its consequences that you will have to deal with, maybe at that moment and maybe later down the road. Life is hard. Life is full of choices. Every Single Day life has choices. Make them wisely. And when the time comes to help your fellow human beings, DO IT! We are all in this together. Every single door you choose has someone else already in the room. They may be there to impart knowledge on to your next choice, or they may be there because they need some assistance from you. Take them with you and grow together. The entire point of every one of our journeys can be summed up in one word– Relationships. We are here to relate and you cannot do that by passing by every single person you ever meet. The path we choose not only impacts ourselves, but it impacts others as we come in contact with them. So, choose wisely. The ultimate question you need to ask during this journey is what will you do? Everything, Anything or Nothing? The choice is yours.

No Path Uncharted.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Alma Mater.”

Dear Students of Montevideo Senior High,

You are embarking upon a great and arduous journey. A journey that some of you won’t make it more than a few more years (I hope I am wrong, but statistics say I am not). A journey that will take some of you the next eighty plus years. You currently have plans. I am here to tell you, those plans will probably change. You may go to college. You may fail out of college (I did a couple times). You may get married (again, I did, twice). You may have kids. You may not do any of these things.

Life can throw surprises at you that you never saw coming. Maybe you will contract a disease. Maybe you will cure a disease. The key is, no matter what, stand firm in your beliefs and your resolve to fight through whatever comes. This life is ravaged with battles and you will have your scars. Do not let them define you!

There are those who say this life is what we make it. I say, life is a surprise. Take it as it comes in all its glorious forms and make the most of every opportunity you can. You never know when your opportunities will be up. You never know when, after years and years, an opportunity will reemerge in a different form than you originally considered. The only regret most people have is the opportunities they didn’t take. So, jump on board with anything that presents itself.

Make relationships. This is one key. You never know who will end up being your most important support in this life and we all need support. Make those relationships now and keep them through life. I am amazed that I still have a few friends that I have known since KINDERGARTEN!! For me, that is a long long time. Make those relationships and keep them, but that will take weeding in your garden of friends. Some have to be thrown out so others can grow.

Finally, in all things, HAVE FUN! I know 18 year olds who feel old and worn down. I know 60-70 year olds who feel as young as high schoolers or college students. You are only as old as you feel, so hold on to your youth as long as possible and have fun! If it is not fun, its time to seek out new things. The journey will continue.

Sometimes the journey will move forward, sometimes it will move backward. Just keep it moving. You never know what is around the next bend in the journey. Through it all, keep your attitude positive. It will help you in the long run to not be so negative about anything. Work Hard. Play Hard. Give when you can. I promise, it will come back in a good way for you.

This is the advice I wish someone had given me in high school. Pay no attention to groups, or cliques. Those who are only seeking popularity will be the most unpopular within ten years. Those who seek genuine friendships will be friends for a lifetime. Stay the course and fight your battles until the bitter end. You will be great! But, it is up to you to be EXTRAORDINARY!

Meant To Be There, Or Not.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Zone.”

I used to be a radio broadcaster. I was a weekend part-timer for a local station ten years ago. Sadly, I graduated from college and needed to find a deeper level of employment with a pay grade that could cover my upcoming college loan payments. So, with deep regret and still regret to this day, I left. I knew I was born to be a radio broadcaster and I gave up the one opportunity I had. Momentary laps in judgement and one I will never get back to do over.

When I was on the air at the radio station there were times, many for me, where it just flowed. I knew what I was going to say before I even said it. I came up with clever ramps to songs and my timing? It needed a little work, but it was better than most could be just out of the gate. God called me to do this thing and I was zoned in every time I did it! There were times that I would sing along with the songs, there were times I would sing while taking meter readings. I was good at what I did and I knew it and it made me happy. So, why did I let it go? GREED!

Of course, we could look at this from the flip side of things. If I was truly meant to be there and I left, why am I not back there after ten years? If you love something let it go, if it comes back it was meant to be, right? Well, I guess this thing was not meant to be, but when I was doing it, I was always in the zone.

What is your zone? Are you there now? Are you working toward it? Let me give you some final advice before I sign off of this post. When you find your zone, PROTECT IT! YOU ARE THE LINEBACKER OF YOUR ZONE, NO ONE ELSE IS! DO NOT GET DISTRACTED BY OTHER THINGS WHEN YOU ARE IN YOUR ZONE! STAY THERE! FIGHT THROUGH THE LITTLE THINGS AND THE LITTLE THINGS WILL BECOME BIGGER OPPORTUNITIES! If you let it go, it may never come back, so stay in the zone.

In The Zone2