Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The John and Margaret Thomas Community Endowment Fund

A few months ago, I began a stint on the board of a community project, that I believe, has potential for many great things.

The John and Margaret Thomas Community Endowment Fund is a foundation that brings community awareness through the differing aspects of worldly cultures.

So far, the Foundation has given grants to several Colorado cultural groups, and has itself, been a part of several gatherings in the Colorado area.

And each year, in addition to grant giving, we have helped to host the Aurora Arts Festival bringing in the likes of world renowned Nigerian drummer and dancer Baba Joda; a poets and writers gathering; a mime troupe; a Samoan musical group, and much more!

We look forward to the international festivals this year, along with bridging the cultural gap by bringing events into public awareness.

However, like most endowments and foundations, we rely on donations, so that we may in turn give back to the community. If you feel like you can donate, or know someone that would, please visit the web site and click on the 'Donations' tab.

The John and Margaret Thomas Community Endowment Fund can be found by clicking the link under the "links" portion of this site.

Celebrate diversity, as much as possible ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given

Namaste and Slainte

2nd Amendment

The 2nd Amendment.

If you believe in the 2nd Amendment as a right for the commonwealth, rather than the sole of the military, you've never been on the receiving end of a gun - if you had, your views would change from the wanton need to kill if a gun was handy via means of "protection", to savoring life when it is about to be shot out from underneath. The Constitution was written under the pretense of war, at a time where wartime measures required guns to fight a gun-toting invading force. In my faith and beliefs, killing is not necessary EVER.

What benefit is there to give everyone a gun? If no one had a gun, what reason would there be for protection? It is ONLY through escalation that guns are needed. If weaponry didn't exist, what would fuel the fervent warrior? The fact that there is EASY access to harmful machines, only fuels those bent on harm. Take away the access, and there will be a decrease in harmful situations penned on an outside source, being guns. There will always be something else to take its place, but shouldn’t there also be a choice of whether or not to take up such a violent act?

If one is given a gun, there is no choice - only one action. If one were to say "I have a gun, but choose not to use it - except only in defence..."; defence of what? Shooting or be shot? The choice becomes kill or be killed? There is death on someone's hands no matter how you view it. Why would anyone choose death, over life? There is always another underlying factor involved, for the use of a weapon. Root out the evil beneath the folds of weaponry, and one will find solace in knowing that there even lies a choice without guns and subsequent killing.

I’ve been mugged because someone wanted my coat. And because I chose to use my mind as a means to fend off the attacker, I was shot because of it. I regret nothing - I have no blood on my hands.

I’ve seen someone shoot themselves, with alcohol and other drugs involved. Had there not been a gun around, he’d still be with us today. Maybe he would have died from a drug overdose, but at least his brains wouldn’t be on the wall of his basement. His nickname was “Brooklyn”.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest minds ever to grace American soil, was pro-gun. He is quoted in his Commonplace Book as saying the following:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

Except Jefferson only copied it from an Italian man named Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana, who is considered one of the founding pioneers in the field of criminology, and a philosphical/politician contempory of Jefferson, and author of a treatise of one of the basis of our Constitution, “On Crimes and Punishments”. There is one great difference between the two men: Jefferson used the quote as an end to the means, meaning he was for everyone having a gun so that everyone would be equal in the face of danger. Bonesana actually meant it as a means to and end, as he was fervently opposed to torture and an advocate of criminal reform.

I, much like Bonesana, tend to side with humanism on this subject in that there is now more than ever a sense of urgency at unjust suffering. Utilitarianism works to a point, then the argument begins on which state of moral happiness is best for the greater good – I tend to side with the happiness that is not blowing someone’s brains out, simply because one has access to a gun and is happy about using it at any given point, for any given reason.

I can only say that you will value life to the fullest, knowing that it can be taken in an instant. Diseases can leave a person withering years after diagnosed. Even though I've had my share of medical unfortunates, I cannot speak of that. However, I can speak of being on the receiving end of cowardice ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yin and Yang

(Originally written: September 28, 2006)

So, just when I thought there were no more sane people left in the world, (except of course for the people reading this blog ;-), four things happened today that put thing into perspective.

Being a practictioner of eastern philosphy and faith, there is a belief that everything that happens is counter-balanced by something good/evil, or right/wrong, or bad/good, or dark/light.

Today, I took my grandmother out for some errands. We first went to get our hair cuts. On the way, we were rudely ousted of a handi-cap parking space by some high school punk getting his lunch - which then turned into having a few choice words with me about the way I drive like a handicap. I wanted to slap that kid ... but, I digress ... Circling around to the other side, we find a space that in essence would be just as close as the other one would have been.

As I was struggling to get my grandma out of the car, (she was having sort of a tough day), a couple were returning from Subway with their meals. I told them that I would be a while and that they should go ahead. I was taken aback when the heavily tattooed scary looking man told me, "No, man. You have the right of way. Take all the time you need ... do you need some help ..." I finally got my grandma out of the car, and as we were walking by the man, I said, "Sorry for the delay," to which he replied. "You didn't delay us at all. You two have a great day." That made my day right there.

We made our way to Wal-Mart next. It's difficult pushing a wheelchair, and pulling a big cart at the same time, so what we usually do is go around the store and she tells me what to get. I leave her in the wheel chair parked by the front registers while I go and get the stuff. It sounds mean, but she likes watching all the people come and go and has a good time, so she says. So, I come back with a cart full of stuff, go and wheel her back to the register. The gal checking us out says, "You know, me and the other clerks have been keeping an eye on your grandma. We've gone over to chat with her, just to keep her company, until you came back." I almost cried right there (coupled with the incident earlier with the burly tattooed man). Anyone who knows me, knows that loyalty is my number one - especially to my family.

Done with Wal-Mart we decide to go to Quizno's for lunch. We used to go to Quizno's once a week, when she was able. We hadn't been there for a while, so it sounded like a good plan. We order our sandwiches, and my grandma wanted to use her card, so I hand the card to the manager and proceed to sign for it. She stops me of course, stating the card doesn't belong to me and that I can't sign. I tell her that it's my grandma's card and that she can't sign for it. The clerk gets mad and says "I don't care, you can't sign it ... blah, blah, blah. ..." I finally get a tad ticked and tell her that I have power of attourney and that I'd be glad to call my lawyer so that I can pay for my $14 meal. I told her that there was no way in hell that she was going to get my blind and deaf grandma with palsey to sign for the meal! The clerk finally let it go ...

Moral of the story: Two good acts, Two bad acts. They cancel each other out to bring balance. For every good act, there is a bad one to counter it - and vice versa. Pay attention next time something good or bad happens, because there will always be the opposite to cancel it out and bring a balance.

I love my grandma. And I love this world with all the yin and yang ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Illegal Immigration - Problem Solved?

You know I was thinking - with Colorado able to close all four borders in a single day due to massive snow, why can't we do the same for the Mexico border?

I mean, granted it took a blizzard and several feet of snow, but hell we have snow machines at all of the major ski resorts!

I figure it like this - take a steel pipe with several holes, jam one into the ground every 20ft, and pour water into the pipes. Every 50ft or so you plug up a snow machine and freeze the water that's in the pipes. Now we have frozen ground, and they can't dig underground.

So now that we have all the snow machines hooked up, we start making blizzard type conditions. Turn all the machines onto high. Hook all the machines up to windmills, use the air from the machines to turn the windmills - and bingo, a recurrent air stream.

So, where do we get the water - well, we get the water by aquaducting it from the surrounding rivers. With the snow being able to melt, it'll gently repurify the land, creating a more moist environment, and causing the wind pattens to shift to a more humid and moist enviromoment, causing more rainfall in the weather. (Based only on minor and ammatuer calculations ...)

Also, by aquaducting the water, we'd be able to use the small electrical currents found in water to keep power in the windmills, thus keeping the snow machines active.

Also, also, we shouldn't forget solar panels during the day, so everything can keep working during the nights.

So, we have pipes to keep the ground solid and frozen, snow machines to detur visibility, and power generated by nature.

What do you all think? Maybe won't be able to take care of the problems totally, but at least it's a good start ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Musical Turning Points

Where to begin. I thought maybe I should write a little something about a couple of significant life events – events that people ask me about every once in a while.

Music. Wow, where to start. It's a huge portion of my life – this will be a rather large blog, unfortunately. Hopefully it'll be worth it.

The first musical turning point in my life was when I was 13 (thirteen). I was walking home from a friend's house. It was about 8PM and I was only about 2 blocks from home, when this guy comes out of the shadows. At this time, I was listening to a walkman full blast, "Megadeth Peace Sells…But, Who's Buying". In my coat pocket I had another walkman packed, and a few other 'metal' tapes. Anyway, I couldn't hear the guy at first – my walkman was blaring – so I just kept walking. I finally heard something behind me, turned around and came face to face with a black man. (Later learned he was 14, so not really a man.)

He kept asking me for my coat, and I kept asking him if he was cold – probably shouldn't have said that. But anyway, we started fighting, I got him down then he got up really fast. He had knocked my glasses off, and of course I was bleeding from my mouth due to those damn crappy braces. I couldn't see what he was doing at first, but when I turned to face him again he had pulled out a gun. I still couldn't see much without my glasses, but I did hear a van pull up and someone yell "Just giv'em yer coat!!" I thought this was the end for sure – how many more guns did they have inside the van, was my only thought.

I told him once more that I wasn't giving him my coat, or the music cassettes that were inside it. I also told him one more time that he should get his own coat if it were that important for him and his "friends" to have. Had I not been in Tae Kwon Do at the time, I never would have been able to get my knee up in time. He was aiming at my mid-section, I saw his finger twitch, and I happened to block the shot with my knee instead. So, I staggered back, and he ran off to the van because a car was coming down the street. I tried to run after the van to get a plate number, but found that I couldn't walk and stumbled forward onto the snowy pavement. Later learned, it was all for a gang initiation. (Only reason I remember the name of the album was because the tape was ruined, and I remember asking the ambulance driver if he could save my cassette.)

The second turning point in my life was when I was 20. I had lived several years since getting shot as being fairly racist, and delving into the "black arts" and listening to as much death and skinhead metal I could get my hands on. (I had hair down to my ass, during that time ;-) I had such hatred toward everyone, really, not just blacks, any non-white person at that time.

One evening, a show came on PBS and my dad ushered me in. He told me to sit and watch these guys. He said that it was music from Ireland, and that these guys had been around forever. I listened for about 5 minutes, stormed out the room, and mumbled something about hating my dad for making me sit there. As I was leaving the room, he said that he had bought tickets for their upcoming show. Now, I was even more upset.

We get downtown to the Paramount the night of the show, and we sat only a few rows back from the stage. (Great seats, by the way.) The show starts, and I am trying to keep my mind as closed as possible. But, something happens when listening to these old, Irish guys playing their music – it was lively, and I remember thinking that some of the stuff was just as fast as some of the death metal music – most importantly, it was fun. The Irish step-dancers were dizzyingly fast. There was one instrument that caught my eye however – an Irish drum called the bodhran – pronounced 'bow-rawn'. I ended up having a great time.

The very next day, I went to the barber and cut all my hair off; threw away most of my death and goth clothes; bought a whole new wardrobe to look as much like an Irish country gent that I could; had my dad take me to the Swallow Hill folk shop and bought my first bodhran.

The name of the band was The Chieftains. In fact, the highlight of my musical career thus far has been the one time that I got the chance to play my bodhran on stage with them at one of their shows.

There are a few points I wish to make:

I forgave the guy who shot me a long time ago. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here today to enjoy everyone I've met along the way. One of my best friends now, is black. My good friend that passed away a few years ago, was black. More importantly, I would never have had the chance to listen to the Chieftains.

The Chieftains opened the part of my mind that was closed. Over the last 10 years, I've bought music from all over the world: Asia, India, Morocco, the Middle East, the whole of the African country, Scandinavia, Iceland, Russia, France, Mexico, South America – I have a rather large world music collection. And not just from the rest of the world, America has its share of music genres that I never would have otherwise listened to, if not for The Chieftains concert. (Subsequently, I have tasted cuisine from all over the world, as well.)

I do not now, nor have I ever, believed in a god, Christian or otherwise. It wasn't "god" that saved me – it was the music. Music literally saved my life twice. God didn't speak through the music. If you believe in god, that's fine, but save the god complex for yourself, if it makes you feel better. I guess one could say that music is my god, since that's what I choose to believe.

I will never EVER again have a myopic view, nor a dogmatic approach to music, or the world around me. My advice is to TRY EVERYTHING. You may or may not find yourself liking something that you wouldn't have, otherwise.

I tend to choke up a little, because I'm fairly sensitive when these subjects come up - but I will never stop answering people's questions about them. They are turning points in my life that, literally, saved my life. It's also why I want to slap people sometimes to get it through their head that there is more to life, via the world, than just one genre of music. Incorporate as much as you can, and you'll find so many new musical endeavors behind the closed doors.

Trust me – who would have ever thought when I was into death metal that I would be playing in an Irish folk / pipes and drums band, playing a couple rock cover songs?? Exactly.

I am writing this because it has been 10 years to the date that I saw my first Chieftains concert. I will never ever forget what they did for me and my life.

It is also 16 years since being shot. I will never ever forget that night, either.

Both events have been for the better.

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Perfection vs. Imperfection

It's been my lot in life to analyze everything, no matter the situation; no matter the person, place, or thing. In that regard, I recently started taking a class involving cognitive therapy in comparison with Buddhism - it's interesting to me how modern science and common sense can meld into basically the same thought process. At the very bottom are a few remarks regarding this process.

On with the blog! I have recently come to a conclusion that true perfection, lies in being imperfect.

What do I mean. "Things are the way they are, because that's the way things are." Wrap your mind around that one, if you can - (I'm still trying to figure it out... ) - moreover, things sometimes work, or things work only half-way, or things partially work out to the way we planned.

But, here's the thing - the part that worked out for the better is the part that counters the part that didn't work out at all. The good is really great, the bad is indifferent, (not worse), only because it's the balancing point of taking things as they come, because that's the way things are.

Being imperfect is the only consistant notion there is, therefore, in my opinion, being imperfect is the most perfect thing we have in the world.

It's also my opinion then, that taking the good in things is the only way to go.

"All good fate, to those who wait - that which comes will be great, and that which does not, will not matter." (Can't remember where I heard that quote, but it's stuck with me for many, many years...)

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Parable of People

I've spent 15 years of study in philosophy, sociology and psychology. Truth be told, many of our problems that we have with people, in general, could be solved if we were to just take a step back. (As always, these are just my opinions expressed through my own experiences.)

Here, within this blog, lies the parable of people.

It's Ok to take a step back and say, "So what".

Continuing to interact with someone that brings you pain, displeasure, misery, and every other synonym will only bring you the same in return. Misery begets misery, and that's as blunt as I can tell it.

Ignorance is bliss to most people who intentionally bring pain to someone. However, ignoring the 'painbringer' all together is the greatest weapon we wield. Out of sight, out of mind. Even when children are involved. As gruff as the subject of children is to most people, we all hope that we could instill in them some kind of moral grounding that they in turn won't turn out to be a 'painbringer'. If for whatever reason the child goes to live with the 'painbringer', don't fret, because there is still the notion of talking to them in the future, and discussing life.

Sometimes, the hardest thing for a person to do is walk away from the ones they love, or think they love, the most. Love can sometimes be the greatest inhibitor of letting things go.

Ignoring the 'painbringer', and concentrating on a specific issue will bring about fair trade, if one so wishes. The training of the mind is a long and difficult process, but once achieved it is the greatest accomplishment one could ever hope to have – who wouldn't want a mind of clear thought and free thinking?

"Most of our cognitive thoughts are random and are thus subjected to the Chaos Theory. Even the smallest variations or deviations from our initial line of thought will inevitably produce an altered conclusion than our initial thought. This variance is called the Butterfly Effect." – Edward Lorenz-

A metaphor I've used before goes something like this: If someone has been burned in the fires of life, they have a chance to heal. We can't heal them directly; they have to want to themselves. We can only offer salves, (opinions), and ointments (viewpoints), but ultimately if the person who was burned doesn't want to be helped, then it is no longer in our hands.

A cognitive way of thinking can alleviate whatever ill-mannered thoughts are racing through one's mind in the present state, not because of something that happened in the past - you can't change the past, but you can shape the future. You either do something or you don't, and by doing or not doing, so one freely accepts any and all consequences, without thinking beforehand what those consequences are. Every action has its own reaction, and in turn, we react to reactions. We take those consequences as they come, not before they get here – otherwise nothing is accomplished.

For example:

1) A helping hand gets bitten; it in turn, begets pain, begets misery, begets depression, begets ill health, and begets a life long in discomfort. In this instance, it isn't healthy to keep going in a cyclical state of misery – this is the time to let everything pertaining to this particular subject lay to rest.

2) A helping hand is received through a need to want to change; it in turn, begets happiness, and begets a more meaningful life. In this instance, it is ok to want to continue to help.

And we always have a choice of stepping back and saying "Forget it, and forget you." Just walk away, because inevitably nothing is going to be accomplished by flogging an already dead horse.

The biggest rut we can leave ourselves in, is not knowing when to let an issue go.

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Trials of Fate

I am not a believer of religion. I don't practice idolatry. I am a believer of ideology. Fate is the idea that the future is predetermined through a set course of events - beginning with our past.

One must never lose focus on the present. The past is what determines our present, and the present is what determines our future. Fate is the course of events leading up to the future. I believe in fate so much, that it actually blinded me in the present.

It is also said, through The Fates of Greek mythology, that the negativity of life stems from not living. We pretend to want something, when in all actuality we need something else. When we go for the want instead of the need, the shortcomings of life rear their ugly head. This aspect is still a part of fate, but it shows the paradox between living life for you and living life for the want - happiness VS. misery - both following the path of the same fate.

"Human beings have an almost unlimited capacity for self-delusion. We can justify any amount of sadness if it fits our own particular standard of reality ... we are passive victims, consuming our own fears."
- Martin Greenwald-

I wrote in an earlier blog that we sometimes don't know when to give up the things we love the most, because we are temporarily blinded from events in the present. I was hypocritical of my own statement, stemming from the above quote, about myself and those around me. I allowed myself to be consumed into the blackness of smarm and self-delusion.

I had forgot about the impermanence of everything in the world. Self-imposed limitations are deafening to the core of true happiness - true happiness can only be attained from within. From within, to without - not the other way around.

It's fate that things begin, and it's fate that things end. Fate begins and ends exactly the way it is supposed to, and we gain knowledge from everything and everyone along the way.

Pain sometimes gets the better of our emotions, for it is the easiest to feel, acknowledge, and express. We sometimes say things that we do not mean in the true sense of its context - I'm guilty of it, as we all have been at some point. But, pain is a shroud that can easily be lifted by thinking inward every now and again to collect and organize thoughts.

Lifes learning experiences are, in point of fact, experienced in many different ways and in many forms of light. And through which, we measure fate from knowledge and how we ultimately live life. And life itself continues on through it's many trials.

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Moral Provocation

""PROVOCATION - The act of inciting another to do something.""

Recently, it's been brought to my attention that I may have contradicted some of my beliefs, and I feel some sort of explanation might be in order. Someone I met over the weekend prompted me to write this blog ...

It's easy for me to say that it goes against my beliefs or my convictions to say that something is "none of my business" or that "I don't care" - it's not that I don't care about a person or what they are having to go through, but I don't care enough to have issues taken upon whatever problem it may be. The issue then becomes something else entirely at that point - that point being, if something is continuously brought up then I take it upon myself to oblige a stand on moral grounding.

Keeping in mind, of course, that the other individual is telling something that doesn't need to be said - oft times repeatedly. Things that should be kept private should never be told to anyone.

The only example of this I can give is that when someone is publicly defaming another individual, I feel it my moral obligation to say something. It oft times does nothing to sway the other persons self-delusional mindset, however, another voice combating ill spoken words is morally justified, in that it shows that more than one person thinks what they are saying is wrong.

Still, oft times more than the before mentioned, it is no one in the direct parties that are making voices heard - rather, the voices of those around the parties involved that continue to lash out upon old wounds.

So, to reiterate to the beginning of this blog:

I don't care, until it becomes apparent that myself or one my friends is in direct need of logical reasoning rhetoric, that would otherwise inhibit said friend or self from moving past whatever the circumstance.

It's none of my business, until it is apparent that sides have to be chosen, and boundry lines drawn.

Morality, Civility, and Ethics are not taught in school anymore - they should be. One has to live moral convictions, not just read a book about them ...

There is a fine line between right and wrong, however, the line is thick between intelligence and wisdom ...

That being said, in all my years of learning and living a thought process based on convictions I hold as true moral, civil, and ethical grounding, I have contradicted nothing ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Hoping vs. Doing

Too often authors write simple-minded solutions to complex questions; sometimes material comes along that acts more along the lines of a crutch, rather than learning to deal with everyday life head-on. True, there is bad stuff in the world, but there is lots of good as well.

But, there are authors that use lofty folderol creating disingenuous hype to catch the unsuspecting minds of people searching for an immediate answer. Scientific data has the power to befuddle the mind. More often than not it empowers cant beliefs against hard data. The hard data I refer to at this particular time is the power of words – not the ideals behind them so much, but how words are actually used - more about that toward the end.

Hoping that someone will do something you want done for the sake of being less disenchanted with everyone is an unenforceable rule. In other words, it would be no different than me hoping they outlaw guns forever, so that I wouldn't have to keep looking over my shoulder every time I'm out for a walk and hope I don't get shot again. I have no convoluted definition of blind forgiveness in the face of hard realties – only this: Forgiving is not the same as forgetting and being shot and flat lining is something I won't soon forget. In this instance, forgiving someone who doesn't want to be forgived is pointless.

Thoughts are oft times vocally redundant – it is a natural coping mechanism that humans utilize. This is not to be confused with a smugly complacent thought process, over indulged with self-delusion.

What I respect about myself is this: free inquiry, instead of judgment; pragmatic, instead of dogmatic convictions. Usually, more often than not, people are surrounded by people that freely offer help of some kind; usually appreciated, but not needed. Moreover, respect is taken when respect is given.

These are all topics that Robert J Gula (RIP) covers in his many books. One must be able to discern between certain words and their usage, in order to make thoughts and free thinking plausible. His books contain no serpentine political or religious doctrines mixed with education, as most Ivy League scholars tend to mix in. Rather, to-the-point and matter-of-fact ways to reorganize words into phrasing of ideals end every day communication, for better understanding of the world and the people that live in it.

I own four of his books that I read at least once a year.

You may be surprised how the reorganization of words can benefit almost anything and everything in daily life.

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Back to Spirituality

William James is a philosopher and early pioneer of defining pragmatism. One of his favorite sayings was the word "attending". The word is actually used as a saying in that we as individuals do not tend the needs of others, but attend through hearing, or listening in a certain way that we would be willing to sacrifice our own views to attend the views of others - so that we can know a person just a little better.

"Moving toward the place where we fit does not exclude efforts to shape the place toward which we are heading so that it will fit us. Spirituality is neither "conservative" nor "liberal", active nor passive, whatever those labels may connote.

Knowing how another human being lives and functions on the inside - how he or she handles the vicissitudes of life, copes with it's joys and frustrations, faces critical choices, meets failure and defeat as well as challenge and success - is what enables us to feel prepared for life.

It is the availability of appropriate individuals with whom we can identify, indviduals who also permit us to do so, which quiets the inner yearning of the need for preparedness, for external model that may serve as an internal guide for the self.

William James's "strenuous mood" is the opposite of the "easygoing mood" and the attitude of "I don't care." It is a positive attitude of care - care for oneself, one's family, the wider community, and possible future communities which may extend beyond the limits of one's individual life. The strenuous mood entails a personal identification of one's self with a wider range of people and communities, both present and future. It involves heightening one's sympathies and overcoming what James called that "certain blindness" in human beings which makes it difficult for us to appreciate and respect the inner meaning of another's experience.

But if we would listen, we must also tell; and if we would tell our stories, we need places where we can tell and listen. In this mutuality between telling and listening, between speaking and hearing, lies the deepest spiritual significance of mutual-aid and self-help groups. Those wrestling with spiritual dilemmas do not need answers but presence - permission to confront the delemma and struggle with it aloud.

Thus, if an essential component of spirituality is attending - listening - it is also a human truth that we are able to listen only when we know that in time, we will be able to tell our own story. And when we are able to tell our stories ... we learn respect for other peoples stories and for their need to tell them. The practice of telling stories gives birth to good listeners.

The world has always needed good listeners, for only good listeners are truthful tellers. Good listening involves the surrender of a self-centered view of the world ..."

~Don S. Browning - Pluralism and Personality~
~James Hillman - Selected Writings~

It's a lot to digest, however ...

Hopefully the above will shed a little light of where I've been coming from, in terms of thought process and how I view people and the world. An inquiry is not the same as judgment - one asks something about a person, while the other pushes them away. The two should never be confused with each other. In order to get to know a person, one must first inquire - but only through humility, the rejection of all attempts to control, can we truly be good listeners ...

"We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically."
~Christopher Hitchens~

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Social Justice

"All virtue is summed up in dealing justly. It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered. He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god."

"One of the gods came down to ask the Buddha: "There's an inner tangle and an outer tangle. This generation is entangled in a tangle. Who will untangle this tangle of tangles?" "Those established in morality and meditation," replied the Master, "untangle the tangle."
~Jata Sutta~

A Sutta is an entry, or an exchange of thought between the one who asked a question and the Buddha. - So Jata asked a question of Buddha, and the Sutta was the outcome. Buddha preaches social compassion, not individualism - from within, goes out.

I thought it prevalent to write a little something about morality only because I think people today have forgotten the true meaning. One must first recognize the difference between secular and social morality. I will write about only social morality, as it has been defined through the century's collectively through basic principle. I am not religious, therefore cannot write about what I think is an acceptable form of secular morality – especially considering the fact that there are too many religions and belief systems to go into at this time.

First we must look to the systematic study of morality, which is ethics. To an extent, everything we do is subject to interpretation - including morality. Taking things out of context, acting in a way juxtaposed to either acting or not acting in another way is a form of moral particularism (Jonathan Dancy) – picking morals where people see fit - but not necessarily morality for the betterment, or the holism of any given circumstance which are two things that society thrives upon to live. (Aristotle)

Given that statement of how morality functions in social holism, we can conclude to the following ethical and moral social stance; the betterment of a group of people, instead of an individual; large scale social events and conditions; the individual finds identity within a whole society; finding individual identity within a group means that the individual is ready to give up, or sacrifice, individualism for the betterment of a symbiotic social relationship. (Emile Durkheim)

Also given these statements, (not taken out of original context), social morality based upon actions affecting a group of people are defined as more than an individual view of how things are, and how a group of people define what is right and just by how we respect our peers through what is behaviorally acceptable as a whole. (Alfred Adler)

Morally wrong actions are sometimes necessary to achieve morally right outcomes. Actions can only be considered morally right or wrong by virtue of the morality of the outcome. (Plato) The subsequent virtue is then based upon consequentialism, or the value of an action derived solely from the value of its consequences. (Niccolo Machiavelli)

Violations of social moral etiquette include public disgrace; public defamation; mindful unrest; and slanderous canards. Snobbism, lacking in virtue, is the adoption of superficial mannerisms of an in-group, in the interests of social advancement rather than a concern for others, or conspicuous consumption. (Thorsten Veblen)

So, the conclusion I can gather is this: if something stemming from a canard has affected an entire group, rather than an individual, is it then not morally just to stand up for the virtue of society as a whole, rather than taking the subservient role of a self-centered belief that the only thing that matters is the individual?

Unfortunately, we live in a society – not individual seclusion.

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Fall Backs

As we amble through life, why not thrive to live as many aspects it has to offer?

Why shorten our capacity for life, by not incorporating as many virtues this world has to offer?

To taste as many worldly cuisines as possible ...

To hear as much diverse music as possible ...

To meet and great the myriad of souls the world has living in it ...

Can anyone tell me why one would limit themselves to one microscopic drop in a worldy bucket? What possible joy is there in the myopicy of self-dissolutionment? Why would anyone separate the self from the world and think inward, instead of reach outward?

If my favorite rock band is not playing on a weekend, I have an Irish band to fall back on ... If my favorite Irish band is not playing, I have a jazz club to fall back on ... If the jazz club is too crowded, I have a blues club downtown to fall back on ... I've never complained on not having anywhere to go.

If my favorite pizza joint is too crowded, I have my middle-eastern restaurant to fall back on ... If the "gyros king" feels too heavy, I have my favorite sushi restaurant to fall back on ... If I'm not in the mood for sushi, I have a local Irish pub for great pub style food to fall back on ... I've never complained on not having anything to eat and drink.

Within each club, bar, and restaurant there is as diverse a clientele as the various forms of music and styles of cuisine ... the ambiance of such is lost, while the mind is closed ...

I am never bored. I never rely so heavily upon one thing that all else fades away into non-existence ... possibly because I shed my armor of prejudice long ago, and opened my eyes to what is actually there ...

There are some things that I've read, that I have yet to experience ... but, there are many more things that I have experienced because of what I have learned through world cultural rhetoric ... words justify a means to meaning ... density are in those few, who have not relished in the givings of the vastness of cultural identity ...

At some point, it is inevitable the safety net will be cut, and what then will you have to fall back on? ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Grammer 101

Computer Tools - Spell Checker

I have a spelling checker
I disk covered four my PC
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea
My checker tolled me sew
Eye ran this poem threw it.
Your sure real glad two no.
Its very polished in its weigh,
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a blessing.
It freese yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when aye rime.

Each frays comes posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore wee rote with checkers
Hour spelling was inn deck line,
Butt now when wee dew have a laps,
Wee are not maid too wine.
And now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
There are know faults in awl this peace,
Of nun eye am a wear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaws are knot aloud.

That's why eye brake in two averse
Cuz Eye dew want too please.
Sow glad eye yam that aye did bye
This soft wear four pea seas.
~Author Unknown~

Computers are only as smart as their makers and users ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Grammer 202

21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn:

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.

3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4. We must polish the Polish furniture.

5. He could lead if he could get the lead out.

6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8. A bass was painted on the bass drum.

9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10. I did not object to the object.

11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13. They were too close to the door to close it.

14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16. To help with planting, a farmer taught his sow to sow.

17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18. After a number of injections by the dentist, my jaw got number.

19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests, based on a certain subject.

21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

These words are not to be confused with "homonym", which are two words that sound the same, but spelled different; i.e. 'sail' and 'sale' ... (Partially with the exception of 6 ...)

The words listed above actually have no word to describe them, oddly enough, but the term "homograph" has been loosely defined as "the" word to describe words spelled the same, but with different meanings and different pronunciations and/or syllable emphasis ...

The majority of the English vernacular comes from other worldly languages ... the "homograph" is also used to describe certain English words that mean something totally different in the other languages; i.e. 'pet' in French means 'to fart', or 'trance' in Spanish means 'critical moment' ...

Although not a "homograph", my personal favorite is "Your door is ajar." ...

No wonder President Bush has such a hard time with the language ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Unattainable Wish

I don't think I'm alone in saying that everyone has wished that they could have a thing, or a person, or an idea. Some would call that envy, or vain and useless wishes. Freud has stated such; Buddha as well ...

On some points I agree, some I do not ...

What I would agree with is the envious nature we most of the time wish toward someone with a material possession that we also crave ... material possessions can be replaced at any time, at any place ... and material possessions are always being upgraded, so it then becomes a voracious one-upmanship - or gluttonous envy ...

Wishing for an idea is a lame excuse, in my opinion, for the laziness of one's own thinking ... with all the resources we have at our fingertips, there is no excuse for coming up with original ideas ... progression has always been based on something that was always there, but molded and re-cast, and essentially upgraded ...

Wishing for people, in my opinion, again, is the lack of trying, or thrusting one's self into a position that that one wished for person is in ... most commonly would be people in the entertainment industry ... I give this example, because the most wished for thing is money ... do, or do not - don't wish ...

What I would disagree with is the fate tied to that one unattainable ... when fate, enters the picture it supercedes all things that can be upgraded, or something that we must have, and gives into something that we can't have ... and by 'can't', I mean something that we must allow ourselves to give into by letting the unknown take its course ...

Recently, an unattainble has shed new light... the dark of doing the right thing or doing what feels right, based on my belief and faith in the fates, has cast a shadow of doubt over this new light ...

My feelings for this unattainable have never wavered, since its introduction a few years ago ... I have since become mired by the choice of furthering something that has grown into something that very few people have, or exploring a new avenue and potentially destroying that good thing ... that good thing being an uncanny and a marvelously truthful and sturdy friendship ... almost soul-mate qualities in a friendship, rather than a relationship of love ...

What I wish for is not a person, thing, or an idea ... all of those could be by-products, in due time ...

My wish is for that unattainable choice to become more clear ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Real Eyes

I was an only child.

While I was growing up, I was constantly surrounded by adults and consistantly bombarded with adult vernacular that would later be ingrained 'till this very day. I was always surrounded by politicians, (because my mom volunteered with a lot of good ones), family members were always much older, (with the exception of the KC cousins ) ...

When I was in 1st grade, I was reading at 7th grade level. In elementary school, I used to read the dictionary for fun. In 6th grade I had the option of taking AP English, but turned it down because I didn't want to be peer ridiculed - thus beginning the 10 year span of hiding my true self. 80% of our learning comes from outside of school surroundings.

I think the lexicon I was subconsciously being taught is why I failed so terribly at math, while I excelled in English and the arts.

It has also been of the subconsious mind to build a barrier of ego, as a defense mechanism for being attacked, or the perception of being wrong in any way, shape, or form.

I defended myself not with physical prowess, but of verbal dexterity. I had the mind to do it. There were always times where I had to fight with my fists, living in a not so great area of town, but it was much more engaging, to me, to do it with my mind.

I had a rather lengthy discussion with a friend of mine the other night night. Just like the military teaches a person to kill, but not to shut it off - I've learned to learn, but haven't been able to shut it off - ruining friendships along the way ...

If being me, the way I was raised and the way that I've learned, has a detrimental affect on the people around me, so be it - that's not for me to decide. People are free to make up their own minds about what their perception consists of. To me, if everything I've learned is not to be expressed, it has all been for naught ...

"Curb yourself, because now isn't the time."

In my cognitive philsophical thought process, there is no right, nor wrong time to express knowledge - it is the present time ...

I've never claimed that I was smarter than anyone else - there is always someone that knows something that another person does not - being smart bears no semblance on the true self, therefore nulling anyone that says they are smarter than anyone else ...

It is a pre-conceived notion, however, because I like to talk, (sometimes too much), that I am automatically smarter than anyone that I come across because I happen to know things that others sometimes do not - and to that notion, I take great offence ...

There will always be something that someone else knows that you do not ... therefore, being "smarter" than someone is a fallacy ...

Just as a person doesn't wish to be corrected on something, it is just as injurious to tell someone that their knowledge is not needed ...

The search has commensed to find a new plug for a knowledge outlet ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Roads to Knowledge - Books Part 1

I have in my possession a couple books that I would bet my life on.

The first one, "Roads to Knowledge, Edited by William Allan Neilson."

I have a first and a second edition of this second book. The first edition in 1932 sported 12 sections of knowledge, the second in 1937 expounded on that with 15:

*The Fine Arts
*Biological Science
*The Classics
*Modern Languages
*The Study of Literature
*Sociology and the Study of the Modern World

Written by fifteen of the USA's best in their respective field, these fifteen were, at the time, areas of study thought to be the ones worth learning as a whole. Each chapter has an ending of a listing of books pertaining to each field. I remember fondly of how my late grandfather had knowledge in each of these fields of study.

Not like today where the USA has slipped in basically every modicum of study, these areas were taught even in the primary levels, within a certain degree - I work at an elementary school, and I can tell you that one would be hard pressed to find the same kind of learning going on nowadays, as eighty years ago.

One might say that times were different back then, so these areas were needed, or, that these areas were more prevelant with the times in which the book was written. Perhaps.

Or, perhaps by looking at the modern world's interpretation of which country's are at the top of which list, the US isn't presently near the top on any of them. Check the statistics from eighty years ago, and you'll find the US heading almost every list.

Granted this book was written in the midst of 'The Great Depression', I think that the USA's turn toward capitalism came from the very heart of the Depression, so that the US economy would never again falter. Capitalism made us power hungry for the jobs with the most revenue - not attributed to the way a person thinks, but how a single person with power could rule over a broken mind - broken from a depression, and broken from a world war.

All a ruling entity has to do is supplant that all is good, while sub-consciously directing us with fear for control, exacting us in the direction that they want us to go, instead of thinking for our selves.

Makes me think what would have happened to capitalism had the depression not happened ... and it must not happen again, but we are heading into a recession now as I type this ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Static Grey

Our world is crumbling at a faster rate than ever before. Our over population of the world has forced great catastrophes in order to ensure human survival. With over 6 billion people on the planet, the Earth's symbient resources are fading away.

We are killing animals at an alarming rate, severing their rate of reproduction. We then make farms to compensate, and others claim that that is too detrimental to the animals well being.

We sell our own domestic products to the rest of the world at the highest price possible. The rest of the world does too, to us, thus causing world poverty. The capital gain goes in the pockets of the wealthy that are in charge of the country.

We are deforesting millions of acres every year, for housing that we can't build fast enough. Thousands of species of plant and animal become extinct every year - some even with the benefits needed to produce quality medicines.

We are purging the earth for fuel needed to run material possessions, emitting greenhouse gases. The temperature of the planet is rising about a degree a year, with the help of the gases and the population.

Walstreet has effectively brokered and sold the US to the rest of the world, causing out-sourcing, fall of domestic economy. We've raised taxes to compensate for the national debt toll, thus furthering people into debt, stirring the pot of our own domestic housing problem. There's no shortage of housing, but there's now a shortage of monetary gain for the people to actually maintain a household.

Multi-billions of dollars have been spent on a war to kill people who don't stand for the same beliefs as us - Rome and Germany have done the same thing. I support the troops, I don't support the purpose. All those billions of dollars have been taken away from the funding of education, healthcare, alternative fuels, USAF, INS, FDA, CDC, the list goes on and on and on.

The morale of the world is dwindling, causing hatred to breed over the most trivial of circumstances. We hurt and maim for no other reason than the want of it - there doesn't have to be an excuse anymore.

Politicians have re-shaped the true meaning of the founding of this country, and deformed it into something horrifically absurd. But, just remember: politicians are elected by the people, to do the work of the strongest voice of the people.

For most of us, there has been too much static in the world. We turn a blind eye to the comfort of our notion of 'out of sight, out of mind'. I am divided between Democrat and Republican - both share notions of what need to be done to turn things around.

The upcoming presidential election will be extremely crucial to our state of being, not just as a country, but to the whole of the world - and I can't endorse any of them because of their seemingly one-sided views ...

The champions of the earth are few and far between, are over-worked, and under compensated ... if we all chose something to stand up and believe in, we would make a world of difference ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Dear Dr. Laura

""Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.""

Long have I studied and read the bible. I grew up in a church. But, I grew out of it as soon as I found and learned that the world has much more to offer than pedantic details about how a faith of religion should be defended. It is my belief that if something that is deemed "good for all" should have to be defended by a continuous moral contradiction of people to which the book is a symbol of protection, then it is best to move on and find something else to have faith in.

Not to mention that more people have died in the name of religion, ever, than for any other purpose ... simply because a "book" told them to ...

More people have been rendered inadequate to inhabit the earth simply because a "book" said they were ...

A "book" that has more refutable details to proof that anything ever actually happened, NOT by word of mouth of a God through the hand of a human ... not to mention that it was a group of HUMANS that decided which books were actually "supposed" to belong in the Bible, while others were deemed inadequate (one purportedly written by a woman, and one by a black man ...)

Innocuous vs. unacceptable? That is a vacuous statement made by the Vatican, in answer to Biblical contradictions ... Unacceptable indeed ...

I am neither Athiest nor Agnostic, but I do not believe in idol worship for faith based religion for exactly this reason (this letter and hundreds of contradictions in print and via Vatican word of mouth) ...

It is not just limited to the Christian bible, but all idolized religions ... it is not religion I dislike, rather how it is used and to what ends ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

Mother's Day Meal

Nothing was too good on Mother's Day this year...

I decided to pull out some stops on an old classic and give it a little extra kick.

Egg's Benedict. But, seriously, it was a little more than that!

Fresh Crab, Egg's Benedict in a Black Truffle Sauce

1/2 cup Rosemary Cabra Romero
1/2 cup Caciotta Al Tarfino w/ Black Truffles
3 slices of a small round artisan bread
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tblsp butter
2 tblsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup claw crab meat
2 medium potatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1/4 cup onion1 clove garlic
3 eggs
fresh: chives, dill, lemongrass
paprika, salt

Sauté potatoes (however you want them cut, bite size pieces work best for plating) with 1/8 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, pinch of salt, dill and lemongrass for about 10 minutes. Cube the bell pepper and add along with the onion and garlic. Continue sauté until onion becomes slightly translucent. Let simmer on low until ready to plate. Add salt to taste. (Could also replace potato with sweet potato.)

Bechamel Sauce: Heat 2 tblsp butter until a little bubbly. Add flour in increments until blended. (Note: Beginning stage will look clumpy, but whisk vigourously until rue sauce is completed - you DO NOT want pockets of flour in a sauce.) Slowly add milk, and whisk until creamy. (Requires a lot of whisking power.) Add all cheese and leave on low heat to melt. Add more milk for thinner sauce, or less milk for thicker sauce. (Can also add some heavy cream to make a more rich sauce, but not recommended replacing milk with cream.)

Prepare 3 sunny side up eggs in a pan with remaining butter. No need to salt or spice eggs.
Toast the bread in the oven until toasted to desired texture. (Note: The more toasted the bread, the harder it is to cut.) Place the bread in the center of the plate. Take some of the crab and place it on top of the slice of bread. (The more crab, the more better.) Next, place the egg on top of the crab meat. Take your potato mixture and place around bread and egg (outside of plate).

Now it's time to add the sauce - start from the center and work your way out and around the plate. Finish with a light dusting of paprika and garnish with the chives.

Serves 3, with a cook and prepare time of about 45 minutes.

All ingredients found at Whole Foods. Upgraded take on a classic protein and starch dish. And the best thing about it is that all ingredients can be replaced with something else of desired taste and texture. (With the exception of the flour. I don't know another way to make rue without flour...) Bread can be replaced with freshly made rice cakes, or potato pancakes. Happy Eating and Yummy Yummy!

Respect is taken, when respect is given...

Namaste and Slainte

Best Friends

I have two "best friends". They are the best, and are so labeled, because they are completely opposite of each other and oft times to me and my way of thinking.

They are both unique and eclectic in their cogniscant way, that every nuance of a thought process can be defined as bringing balance and giving an even keel to me and how I live and think.

Ben is the one I've known since 1st grade. As we've aged, we've come to differ on almost every subject. This is not in spite of each other as people, but how we were raised and how we have studied and opened our minds to what else is out there and grasped our attentiveness. The longevity of our friendship has been based on something more than political or religious differences. I like to think that our fervor for still calling each other a friend is that we've also shared many experiences that are of a human nature, transcending anything construed by a controlling body. I've stood by his bedside when it looked grim for him needing a liver transplant. He stood by my bedside after I was mugged and shot. He shared personal experiences with my grandparents, and likewise I with his grandmother. We've each attended parties thrown for jobs well done in our professions, or when something big happened in our lives that was cause for celebration. Though we may not converse as much as either one of us might like, life has taken up time in our lives to get the things done that need be, however, life cannot separate something that will be a good and true thing for ages to come ...

Dawn is the opposite of me, but exactly the same. She is a black female, whereas I am a white male. The yin and yang should be apparent immediately! We think the same on almost every subject. To scrutinize what we don't have in common would be too miniscule to actually be counted. We can finish each others' sentances and know exactly what the other is thinking when conversation proves that we disagree with something being said. We are both highly opiniated, but we keep our opines in check by giving each other 'the look'. But, again, we share things of a human nature that only the feelings from within can explain ...

The point is quite simple for my writing about two people that I care deeply for: they are two of the best people anyone could ask for - so different, yet the same in that we come full circle in our lives. Some things are best left to mystery, for to second guess any of them would condemn the living friendship.

I would give them the shirt off my back, and, I would gladly give my life for either of them.

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte