The End Game!

The Real Deal

None of us are likely to get out of this alive! The value of our lives certainly includes more than what we take…and finds us eternally attached to what we leave behind. In a time where personal expression is at an all-time premium, contributions to the greater good seem lost in translation.

The digital revolution has failed to connect us to the larger world and instead has made us more tribal. When we have to meet the criteria of sameness, to fit in, inclusion seems problematic. Deference is the thread that reveals our humanity.

Pain and suffering along with pleasure and euphoria shape the lens we look through…and sets the boundaries for the way we interpret life events. We want more or less of what we have already had.

If we haven’t changed a major position in our thinking in the last few years it might speak to the stagnation of our own growth. Speaking louder with increased emotion does not of itself indicate we have gained more clarity. I ask a simple question:



Self-evaluation offers the opportunity to legitimize authenticity. We are able to determine not only what we want but, why we want it. My desire to be “right” is not for dominance but rather for sharing. To actually cause more peace and harmony among my fellow sojourners.

As the push to make everyone identical increases in intensity I consider the loss of built-in beauty intentionally designed in our makeup. Life can be described as a floating mass of thoughts, unimportant until claimed. Once ownership of thoughts is harnessed an agenda gets established. Followers are secured when the cause is commercialized.

How we define ourselves is our path of destiny. Violence, force, and coercion are hopeless to bring us together. Blame lacks urgency and prevents us from being taken seriously. Heck, even we can’t take ourselves seriously when we know we aren’t being responsible for the attitudes we promote.

The Finished Product

Corruption is the thing we are all complicit in. Selfishness, greed, the compulsion to dominate still has no probability of making crooked systems straight. If we stay the course we are now on…what will change?

The deep-dive into the conflicts within offers the only hope for change we can believe in. The constructs of human frailty have sabotaged our highest potential. The need for less rhetoric and more substantive processes are in high demand. The killing of each other has never killed bad ideas.

As I get closer to the end of my life I’m more uncertain of the world my grandchildren will inherit than I was a decade ago. The atmosphere is charged with an uneasy, undetermined inevitability. As those who like to play god and those who like to hate god continue to duke-it-out in the streets I sense the denial of our best selves.

Only when we treat ourselves like we are someone we really care about will we be able to properly care for one another!








The sun was shining and I owned the day. It seemed like it had been months since the rays of life broke through the relentless overcast sky. Gloomy disappeared behind the victory of my solar-powered personality. This is how I live my best life.


I’ve been ready to take my big screen TV and toss it out the window. The barrage of negativity often wears thin on my brow. I’m developing lines of despair on my forehead. Isn’t there any good news to report? Can’t we find something positive to talk about? It’s not the challenges we face that discourages me, it’s the non-stop hate that gets distributed like perishables with an expiration date.


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Gotcha! seems like a job requirement. He said this… she tweeted that… they did this back in 1807. The pride in which garbage is shuffled from one program to another leaves the mind looking for an exit. I hate to be the bearer of critical thinking but identifying human beings as human beings is not a feat of excellence. The most uneducated and inexperienced among us can find success in this arena.


Diversity as the pinnacle of enlightenment is failing the test of nobility. Special interests, which is usually code for corruption, is a flagrant activity without progress. If the best that we can do is replace an excluded group by creating another excluded group… defending the rights of the less fortunate by violating the rights of those you decide are too fortunate is not progress. It’s rearranging deficits and nothing more.

If we are against hate we cannot use hate… not even against those we believe are haters. How can this be such a mystery? If we want inclusion we cannot use exclusion to achieve it. If we demand free speech we cannot protest speakers. What we stand against, obviously, does not explain what we stand for.

I stand for equality, liberty, and justice for all. I want to stand beside you if these things are important to you too. But, if you become the thing(s) you are protesting you force me to step away from you. Against my deepest desire, I might add. To demand respect by being disrespectful doesn’t work. Civility is the best evidence of mutual respect. A lack of civility is the best evidence of manipulation… the attempt to inflict your will on others.

For others

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I’m under no illusions about how dangerous our world is or the necessity to defend ourselves from outside forces who wish to annihilate America. Terrorism, in my opinion, is not our greatest threat. What we are doing to ourselves is the thing that has my attention. Manufactured and synthetic fear has brought about a level of self-centeredness that has loosed a self-righteousness used to justify widespread vitriol.

A recognition of the inherent value in every human life is the proper response to the prevailing chaos. This is our highest intention. The religion of political correctness has backfired because at its very core is the denial of choice; the most fundamental right of every human being.

Our liberal and conservative agendas have shaken our foundations because both platforms have occupied sacred space as though we have no other options. Politics must be policed as any other institution. We have temporarily lost our way. We can hack our way back to well-being if we will commit to love as the center of all we demand.

Love remains the supreme weapon to destroy our emptiness and restore our collective reverence for sharing life!

Tell me what you think!

BOOK: If Only I Had A Dad

TV Show “Rick on Life”





Pay Attention Tau Zero flickr

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My uncle Tony was more like a big brother than an uncle. I was about 13 years old when he joined the Marines. I made a decision to follow his path. As soon as I was old enough I would join too. I was sixteen and a half when I completed my paperwork. I had to wait until I was 17 so my mother could sign for me. Then I could get a physical and be sworn in. On January 12, my birthday, mom signed. On the 13th I passed the physical, was sworn in. On the 14th I flew to The Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. On the 15th I was sure I had made a mistake.

Everyone had been so nice. Helping me. Being patient with me. I walked the terminal and found my way to the designated area where I was met by a military representative. Others joined us there and we were loaded on a bus to be transported to the base. I was excited and apprehensive. When we arrived we were given instructions on how to exit the bus and what to do next. I took notice of a serious change in attitude. The good guys disappeared.

BootCamp Cpl Caitlin Brink flickr

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The people barking out orders were not nice. They addressed us men as ladies and sweethearts. Sarcastically, I might add. Some of the guys weren’t moving fast enough to suits these men wearing Smokey Bear Hats. So, they surrounded some of the men shouting in their face and ears. I didn’t like it. Not at all. I had the feeling I had been misled. This didn’t look like the time of my life. Even my uncle Tony, who was no longer on active duty, didn’t tell me about all this. I was having a Private Benjamin moment. Those Drill Instructors got my attention.


Perhaps nothing says more about us than what we give our attention to. From cultural distinctions to our funny bones we are diverse. Serious issues, such as faith or politics, keep some engulfed while others could care less. Some expect to earn what they get and others expect everything for free. Selfishness and generosity vie for our attention. One thing I’ve observed about happy people is, they give attention to things of substance!

This business about “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” has a lot of play in it. Sometimes we are just too impatient with difference. But, indifference carries its own poison. My journey into the military was a defining moment. Lesson number one became very clear; don’t run from anything, always be running toward something. I got away from many things I wanted to get away from, but, I landed squarely in some things I didn’t want. Some things I didn’t know enough about to know I didn’t want them.


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The addendum to lesson one is; Knowing what you don’t want is one thing. Knowing what you do want is another. Hate gets terrible gas milage. Burns up precious energy and requires constant attention. Dissatisfaction drains vibrancy. It’s deceitfully occupying and the pay is horrible.

I have things that make me feel alive. Things that excite me. Make me want to jump out of bed in the morning. I want more of those things. The things that give me life are the things I’m paying attention too.

What has your attention?