I have a friend that sometimes annoys the hell out of me when she says:
“That person is such a follower, they’re not a leader, they just do what ever that other guy wants. They can’t think for themselves.”
The names have been removed to protect the innocent.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before and sometimes I even question myself and wonder where I fall in this scenario. Am I a leader? Or a follower? Do I just take orders and advice blindly, or do I put some thought into it first? Most recently, while pondering the cracks in my ceiling before falling asleep, (okay there are none, but it sets a mood) I realized it’s beneficial to be a little bit of both. We should know when it’s best for us to let our inner leader shine and take command, and know when to let someone else do the driving, be the follower we need to be, and learn a thing or two. Sometimes we might even realize that we’re following to a point that we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves, and that’s not a good thing. When we do that, we give up a part of who we are, a slice of our identity, a hand it over to someone that may or may not know what’s in our best interest. That sort of following can be seen in many areas of society, most notably in religious organizations and political affiliations.
A little over a week ago, my friend and co-worker Nzinga told me he was listening to a podcast and thought I’d be really good at doing one myself. He even took it a step further and said he had this “strong urge” to tell me. Of course this pushed all my spiritual buttons about diving timing and law of attraction, so I just had to do it. It’s not too far a reach from my other hobby, video production, so I’m pretty familiar with the editing, software, hardware, etc. associated with putting something like this together. It was just a matter of slightly shifting my perspective. Less than a week after the conversation, I was recording my first podcast, the energy behind the idea had gained so much momentum, I wanted to do it before I convinced myself it was a bad idea. So I took the leap and didn’t look back… yet.
Turns out no one is immune to the sting of cyber crimes according to representatives from the North Pole who reported a massive data breach on Tuesday. Hackers have reportedly stolen personal information from over 1.5 billion children around the world in what elves described as “naughty” behavior. The attack, thought to have originated in China, sought to gain marketing information obtained from millions of letters to Santa, regarding children’s preferences on a variety of toys, most of which are made there. “It’s very disturbing” said Mrs. Claus, before offering reporters hot chocolate and cookies, “children have a right to privacy also.”
I was looking for parking the other day at the local grocery store and immediately located a middle aged man, with just a few groceries, loading his vehicle. This was probably the most simple and mundane of tasks, not requiring much effort since the amount of plastic bags he had in his cart was probably fewer than twelve. Yet he seemed to relish in the idea that I was anxiously waiting for him to finish and leave so I could park my car. Clearly he was in control and he milked the opportunity… so much so that another person came, loaded their vehicle and left before this guy finished. I ended up taking that spot instead, with some level of satisfaction that the guy with control issues never got to achieve a power-play orgasm. Clearly he would have climaxed while backing out ever so slowly, suddenly stopping for traffic that wasn’t there. Still, I was completely pissed off at this obvious and pathetic need to control.
I’m sure it’s happened to you before. You get home after a nice date with a handsome guy, he looked just like his pics online, so that’s a plus right out of the gate. Sex was pretty much a slam dunk so he’s definitely getting a second try and you’re actually looking forward to it. You get the usual text message accompanied by some cute emoji…
“tonight was really great, thanks for being so cool.”
You smile and drift off to sleep as you contemplate how dating really isn’t that bad after all.
The next morning you wake to the familiar routine of shutting off the alarm on your phone, oversleeping, and suddenly realizing you’re late for work. As you rush to get yourself together and out the door, you notice you have a text message on your phone which must be from the office reminding you of a meeting you’re late for. In what has become a very automatic set of movements for your fingers, you navigate immediately to your texts and retrieve the poorly timed piece of information…
Life wasn’t easy when I was in my late teens. I was 17 and completely lost. I was sleeping all day and awake only at night, a soon to be high-school dropout fighting depression and the realization that I was gay. Therapy was gradually helping me out, but there were many days when the thought of living life as gay man would churn my stomach. Those days were extra dark, mostly spent staring at the ceiling, contemplating the best way to end my life. Sometimes I’d be on the phone well into the night and early morning, talking to one of the few friends I had. Unfortunately, she was also suicidal and shared a very dark place. Instead of lifting each other up, we’d compare notes on the best and least painful ways of making it all go away. My mom picked up the phone once and overheard the conversation. Unable to process what was going on in my life, she started yelling at me… screaming… words of desperation… saying I was “sick” and then she broke down crying. Mom was fighting her own demons, trying the best to raise us without our father around, while her youngest son, her baby, was slipping through her fingers before her eyes.
I’ve only been on Facebook for a short amount of time relative to most, a couple of months has gone by since I made the leap into this digital equivalent of humans in herds. I administer content management systems at work (ECM), so the least thing I needed was a personalized version. Then my blog came along and I gave into the temptation of having a platform to share my articles. While during my first week on Facebook, I was amazed by this unified form of consciousness I seemed to be observing, I quickly became aware of a darker side to this mass method of communication. Unlike social interactions in the flesh, people feel free to act or react in ways that they wouldn’t do so in public. I used to teach an orientation class at work on cyber manners, back when this new thing called the Internet became a tool for business. It was then that I was first introduced to the analogy of people acting the same way online, as they do in their cars, especially during incidents of road rage. The comparison was made of someone getting in front of you in the movie line, to if they did the same action in their car while driving. In the later example, you might scream and yell at the person, shoot them the bird and hold your hand down on the horn. While if you acted the same way face to face, you’d probably scare the shit out of everyone around you and might even get arrested.
You never know in life who you’ll cross paths with. The Universe has a way of surprising us at times, with the most far reaching of possibilities, and making them a reality. When it happens you’re often dumbfounded, contemplating the finite details and cosmic planning that went into creating this introduction, a clear orchestration of some intelligence beyond our own. Such is my story of how I recently met Brett Butler, and the most emotional, enjoyable, funny and validating hour of conversation I’ve had in recent memory. To say this made an enormous impact on me would be an understatement, which can make it difficult to put into words, but I’ll do my best to share my experience of the best psychic reading I’ve ever had.
Humans do really stupid things. It really is a miracle that we’re all still here on this planet, going about our lives, raising families, when we must make at least ten stupid mistakes a day. They can be really obvious at times, like people running red lights, texting while driving and parents not watching kids… all examples of the more traditional stupid choices the fully conscious and aware make on a regular basis. Then there’s the unexpected, but fully preventable accidents which make TV shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos, such a hit. You know, the program that gives us permission to laugh and take pleasure in the pain, suffering and embarrassment of others. While an extremely successful concept for ABC, it does offer the viewer a chance to learn from someone else’s follies. In this same spirit, I thought I’d share a mistake I made, which led to the very bizarre and painful experience of literally tearing my bicep muscle off the bone. It’s really something you don’t want to try at home.