(Reader: Peter W) Self Reflection Time: The Judgment of Ourselves



Reader Post | By Peter W

The Judgment of Ourselves…An open Memorial Day letter to my children…

Hi My Children!  

We are in a position where a review of learning points is necessary to help paint a more complete picture of intentions and expectations.  God’s plan for humanity is boundless.  Whereas, Human improvement plans and efforts are discrete and require constant effort, focus, and re-focus.  Cultivating aspiration, skill, and willingness to work is vital for positive effects within human development plans.

Much that has happened across millennia will reveal in time; some won’t initially because it’s a lot to absorb.  However, I am hopeful those carrying the mantle will disclose what is as time passes and at an easily understandable rate for all.  

At this point, I want to provide extended comments more comprehensively that may help you develop perspective.  


Quality of your life starts with your attitude in any given situation.  A positive attitude manifests positive life energy; a negative attitude generates negative energy.  If you are predominantly negative by nature or surround yourself with mostly negative people, your quality of life will reflect.  It’s just that simple.  Remember: Be Positive is the underlying force of your life.




Surround yourself with mature people of perspective who add to rather than subtract from your life’s experience and focus.  Those who feed off your positive energy and efforts demonstrate they’re not ready to contribute; thus, they need more time and reflection to improve themselves to contribute meaningfully.  Choose your mate(s), choose your fate; it’s that simple.

Fundamentally, if you strip away all sources of support, the quality of your life in any given situation originates from your mind, will, and attitude.  Control your mind, and you control your will and your mood.  Everything else you manifest is subordinate to the strength of the unity alignment between your mind and heart; your body’s capabilities follow the power of this alignment.


Focus on half-full over half-empty in any given situation.  Rather than focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you DO have.  And be grateful for what you’ve got; many you may encounter are far less fortunate because they don’t know what, where, and how to start.  Instruction won’t help the less fortunate until they are ready to discover and receive new information to inform their perspective; be mindful, when ready, they will ask and appreciate your perspective, not before.  By the fact that you are reading, you are already at a point down the right path.


In a battlefield situation, if I could only have one set of information provided, I would want that information to be a truthful and accurate inventory of what I DO have on hand available for my use.  An effective response is only possible by knowing what is available to employ in the fight.





God, the Creator, provided our ancestors with the resources to build, and our ancestors did the best they could with what they had within themselves.  God and our family love you and, as such, provide you with the very foundation of love in which you stand.  

Be grateful for what you’ve got; you stand in love wherever you go.   True love isn’t bought but freely given; otherwise, it is a transaction with known/unknown costs attached.


Professionals build from their strengths and account for what they don’t have (weaknesses); an amateur ignores what they have and makes from what they don’t have.  

When you build a house with lasting effect, you must first start with a strong foundation; you can’t make a strong foundation if you don’t know: the land on which you build, the skill of the builders, the resources available, the season, the build plan, and your availability.  We create from what strengths are on hand at that moment.  One cannot guarantee anything but their current efforts and will to achieve.


You do the best you can.  I do the best I can.  Mom does the best she can.  Your siblings do the best they can.  And everyone outside the house does their best with what they know and know how to do.  We are all limited by our self-developed character, competence, capability, decision-making, and good judgment.  Our self-development is ongoing and never-ending, so improvement is a daily effort.  

You can usually tell who is progressing in self-development and who is not when interacting with them.  Those making self-development progress tend to be more understanding and not quick to comment on other people’s shortfalls because they are well aware of and working on improving their shortfalls.  Those who are NOT making the kind of self-progress they desire, are not self-aware or are in denial tend to make quick, thoughtless comments pointing out shortfalls in others.  

Everyone, to some degree, is aware of their shortcomings/shortfalls; pointing out other people’s shortfalls doesn’t help them become more aware or be better, nor does it make you a better person or professional.  No amount of rationalization will change this reality.  

Now, whether they acknowledge or accept their shortfalls is another story.  Helping people envision a “better them” can provide a more significant catalyst for improvement than pointing out a shortfall.  Asking them (and yourself) what could they (you) have done better changes focus on improvement rather than focusing on where they fell.  WHERE someone falls or that they fell is less productive than focusing on the task at hand and building from natural talents and strengths.    Focusing on strengths development within natural skills that an individual presently possesses is a strategy that creates from what an individual already has rather than what they don’t have, and this is a way to anchor on solid ground rather than wishful thinking.





Every day is an opportunity to embrace life — which is 90% how we react to it and 10% what happens to us in our life.  We can NEVER be better than what our mind envisions, our will enables, and our attitude allows.  It has been my experience that IF people see others improving but are unable to see a better self, then they tend to get frustrated with themselves and act negatively; they lack acceptance of what is going on around them…that they are not keeping up with the pack; thus, the negative attitude anchored in their situation and projected to the world.  When timed right and focused on the “situation at hand” or your deficiencies, dry humor initiated by yourself is often an excellent tool to help re-focus yourself and those around you on what’s important.


We are all from God, the Creator; in short and in a sense, we are all God’s children; thus, God is within all of us.  God allowed us to become limitless by the Spirit he created.  God provided you with this opportunity of his love for each of us.  Time is relevant only to our present manifestation.   We are all much older than our imagination and this manifestation.  We are here (in existence) by the will of God, the Creator; both in our eternal Spirit and the bodies we presently enjoy.   Not everyone receives God’s opportunity; be mindful that you are here with us; we are your family; there are many, many, many who are not here with us.


Initially, our Spirit formed from a small “sample” of God’s collective Spirit.  Some name God’s collective Spirit (from which yours originates) as “Source;” and refer to your Spirit’s origin as the basis by which we are all connected to God, the Creator.  Others refer to this collective Spirit as “the Wholly Spirit” or its disguised label of “Holy Spirit;” still, others refer to this vast “collective” as the “Soul” of the universe.  God, the Creator’s, collective Spirit is like water; an ocean that ebbs and flows across the universe with tides, currents, waves, and weather; it is unbounded by conception and difficult for many to understand.  

To be more precise, this collective Spirit that originates from God, the Creator, is the “Water of Life.” In brief, that authentic voice inside every human develops and derives from God’s singular collective Spirit that is as vast and flowing as the great oceans of our world.  Over millennia, many voices were weakened and hijacked by others.  Literally and metaphorically, the great oceans of our world are teaming with living water and energy that has power beyond comprehension, ebbing and flowing, mixing and diluting.  God created your human Spirit (that authentic voice inside you) in a similar way that one would scoop a glass of water from the vast ocean collective that occupies this planet.


Typically, when a human child is born, a “spirit” or “soul” joins with their body (their meat suit).  This process established a mutually supportive relationship; the child’s body would possess the ability to improve through its spirit/soul to connect, develop and receive guidance from God’s collective Spirit, and the child’s soul would receive an opportunity to mature and develop.  Be mindful that souls (pure energy) cannot grow and develop without sensory inputs.  In theory, this works when the body and soul cooperatively work together.  It doesn’t end well if the soul (in competition with the body) feels the body is like a straight jacket, nor does it end well when an external entity divides the soul from the body (“divide and conquer”) to manipulate the body for their self-centered or nefarious reasons.

We have been in a control loop for a relatively long time; most people are unaware that many of their programmed thoughts about themselves are irrational and negatively affect how individuals behave in essential relationships and situations.  Accordingly, these thoughts lead to negative emotions and cause people to engage in self-destructive behaviors.




While specific life events may contribute, the root of most faced problems originates from an individual’s faulty and irrational belief system.  Because our “source” code has “free will” programmed into our core language, humans can challenge and change their irrational beliefs; if the affected individual is willing to do the work required, many are not ready.  Letting go of negative thoughts and replacing them with positive impressions enables one to accept themselves and others.


Demons and Angels (DNA) — God, the Creator, gave us the ability and potential to be either a demon, an angel, or something in between; the differentiation is about how polluted a spirit is.  If the soul is toxic, it could classify as a “Demon,” and, walking to the right of the spectrum, if the soul is near pure, you’re talking about “Angels.” I am neither a Demon nor  Angel.  I am pleased to be your father.  

Ironically, I have discovered that Demons are lazy and primarily derive their powers from a honed ability to control external sources (fear within the masses) because doing the internal work to build organic strength requires them to acknowledge their weaknesses; internally, they are void or weak of character and require cunning to exploit the fears and weaknesses of others.  In truth, they are powerless in the presence of people with great internal strength and self-reliance.  In contrast, Angels derive their powers from the strength of their connection to God and the grit they developed over millennia; they gain greater strength through internal mastery of their mind and helping others to achieve potential in God’s plan for humanity (our species).  Most people are somewhere in between.

Character is your body’s outward presentation of your Spirit.  Decades ago, people would label something as “mean-spirited” to control the behaviors they disapproved of.  For example, I recall overhearing one individual characterize another’s words as “mean-spirited.” The term “mean” was often used to describe situational behaviors.  People restrained from labeling others as “bad” people; that was a label you had to earn.  In today’s vernacular, the word “bad” is liberally used to characterize people, as if to say that one situation is enough to represent an entire spirit’s manifestation forever adequately.  Labeling is a method of control that weak souls use.

The most impressive people I have had the privilege to communicate with were warriors and prisoners of war, all battle-hardened followers of stoicism and its well-known philosophers.  After about twenty years in their profession, they all started reading and practicing the teachings and suggestions of stoic philosophers.  Thus, if you start early (now), you’ll have a leg up and be hitting your stride around the ten years mark.  Some benefits of stoic teachings are the focus, self-discipline, habits of self-control, and discernment; these are all activities anchored in the mind.  These benefits represent the foundation on which consciousness evolves and a clean heart depends.  

Your mind and consciousness choose their path for your life’s present journey.  There are only three states: You are on the ascent, you are on a plateau, or you are on the descent.  Spiritualists teach about removing distractions (daily focused clarity) to shape the Spirit.  Stoics teach about adding capability (daily focused practice) to shape the soul.  

These are competence (thinking) activities to educate the mind to develop and present self-control.  Behavior practice is one method to shape one’s personality and Spirit.  If your Spirit is intentionally positive, you will present positive and good behaviors to those around you through your outward character.  If your soul is on a neutral or negative course, then you are susceptible to manipulation by others around you.  Finally, if your Spirit is predominantly negative, you will present harmful and destructive behaviors through your outward character presentation toward others.  Thus, humans often mimic the types of characters they allow to surround themselves.  Decide the character you aspire to be and then behave as that character would; surround yourself with mates that desire similarly.

Will stems from the accumulated focus on an intention.  Your aspirational will is a “self-licking ice cream,” meaning that you build more momentum and strength of will by focusing more and more on your intentions which leads to more decisive aspirational choices, which lead to more concentration on those intentions, which feeds your aspirational will, and so on.  The warning here is that if ill intentions temper your will, those Demons could be coming out; it’s always best to keep the Demons and Angels in check.  Balance keeps all anchored in reality.

Subjects in rational emotive behavior therapy may inform your perspective.  Here’s a link:





We have one defined task of our Spirit: to develop and be our best selves because God has a plan for and role for our species in the greater universe.  We cannot be our best selves without self-development through interaction with our world and others and acceptance of our aspirational self.  After all, how can we interact with other species in the universe if we can’t interact with our species?  We are all Life students, students of our life’s journey; some are further along than others; others are around the bend behind us, and some are pausing their journey.  Life’s journey is not a personal marathon, although it may seem that way.  The time we receive in our present manifestation (union between Spirit and body) is the opportunity that God, the Creator, gives each of us to develop that Spirit, to be the example and show the way through doing, presenting the expected standards of behavior and performance.  

We present to others what is doable and the results of such actions.  In performing what is right and good, we show our example to assist all aspiring good characters in our midst to be their best selves.  If someone in your midst displays less than good character, then you know they have more road to travel before arriving where they need to be…” miles to go before they sleep;” it’s best to hold one’s tongue than to point out a character shortfall in others; especially true for one’s family, being the example provides positive proof that achievement is possible.  

From the helpfulness perspective, one should consider pulling a fellow aside and talking to them when they fail to meet the standards to find out what they perceive to be roadblocks and help connect them to the resources they need to succeed; it is up to them to make an effort and to improve.  Be mindful that many want the result but are unwilling or unable (lack will or skill) to do what is ethically needed to accomplish the task at hand.  As a leader, a large portion of our job is to remove the excuses for deficient performance; without excuses, one can focus on performing the task at hand or discovering a way to do so.  In short, “There ain’t nothing to it but to do it!” Note that I indicated removing excuses and not necessarily obstacles; overcoming obstacles tempers the willpower to achieve.

As indicated previously, we compete with ourselves and cooperate with others.  Collectively, if each human endeavored to achieve maximum potential, then, as a species, we would have achieved greatness beyond expectation.  It has taken centuries and centuries for our species to be.  Centuries in seconds.   What limits us is our skill, will, and attitude; our abilities to focus on the task at hand; our inherently developed self-control mechanisms, our efforts; and, of course, our attitude in any given situation.


It is important to note that until we reach our full potential, all of us are on “probation” with God, the Creator.  By “probation,” I mean God reserves the right to disestablish a polluted spirit.  Interestingly, if your body and Spirit (soul) have built a strong relationship, it is hard for external entities to influence them.  Your soul often manifests to you as that internal voice providing you counsel.  And for many, the voice in their head directs them to act without fully understanding the consequences of their actions.  

Suppose your soul becomes extremely polluted (toxic, negatively influencing you to focus on things that weaken you).  In that case, God has and can cast souls back into his collective Spirit because the solution for pollution is always dilution.  It is a privilege to have a soul within oneself that can provide seasoned, ethical counsel, providing the individual with the gut feeling that something feels proper.  Not all entities in the universe have the kind of soul a human may receive.  We are fortunate that God chose our species as his children.  

Your Spirit is your counselor who can also provide answers if you ask.  Your Spirit connects to the greater collective, which is, in fact, a part of God, the Creator.  Without a spirit, this vessel that is our body cannot handle the storms and tempests of life; thus, our body will self-eliminate through early expiration, degradation, or results of poor judgment. 





Our bodies have abilities far exceeding our present understanding.  Fables often provide some perspective.   During the early years of the Chin dynasty, two brothers lived near Jeou Lien Mountain, Pu Zon Hsien of Fu Chien province.  Ever since their early youth, the bigger and stronger older brother bullied the younger, weaker brother.  Rarely did a day pass that did not see the older brother intimidate, the younger.  This situation was especially made worse by the death of their father.

When the father died, he split his land in half and gave an equal portion to each brother.  But the older brother, not fearing the authority of his father anymore, decided to take away his weaker brother’s rightful inheritance.  To take away anyone’s land was, at that time, a great tragedy because a person’s whole livelihood depended on the amount of land he had to cultivate.  Every day the older brother took a little land away from his brother; after a few months, the younger brother found that he had no more land left.  Utterly discouraged, he departed.

For weeks the younger brother attempted to regain his land by bargaining, asking relatives to interfere, and seeking help from the authorities; all of the methods failed.  Finally, the younger brother concluded that he had to build up his body while learning martial arts.  Only violence could force his brother to give back his inheritance.  To achieve this, the younger brother sought out the greatest of all martial schools – the Shaolin Temple.  Fortunately, there was a local division of the famous Shaolin Temple.

Upon entering the temple, he sought the master of the Shaolin monks to ask for martial training.  “Master,” he said humbly, “I have come to the Shaolin Temple to ask a great favor from you.”

“Ask, and I shall attempt to honor your request,” replied the master.

“With your permission, I will gather water, plow the land, scrub the temple walls, and cook meals in the great kitchen if you teach me martial arts.”

“But why do you wish to learn?”

“So I can get my rightful inheritance back from my brother.  He has taken all the land my father left for me.  I tried every peaceful path to get it back.  Now, only violence is the answer.”

Without hesitation, the master answered, “Yes.”

Word soon spread about the younger brother and his request.  Many people who heard the story wondered at the reasoning of the master; some people could not believe that a Shaolin monk would teach someone martial arts with the intention of purposeful violence.  But those who understood the ways and habits of the Shaolin monks knew that the younger brother would get a valuable lesson from his training.




To begin training the younger brother, the master found a small young willow tree and asked the brother to jump over the tree while holding a newborn calf, which was a present to the younger brother from the master.  The younger brother performed this task daily, jumping over the same willow tree while holding the same calf.  As time passed, the quick-growing willow became taller, and the calf grew into a larger and heavier cow.  After three years of this task, the younger brother could pick up the cow with his hands and jump the tall willow tree in a single bound.

After the third year, the younger brother soon became impatient with this task and went to see the master.  “Master, for three years, I have been jumping over the willow with the cow, and I still haven’t learned the fighting techniques.  When will I begin to learn these things?”

The master, with a smile on his face, answered, “Young man, your training is now over.  You now possess the ability to get back your rightful inheritance.  Take the cow that you have been training with and go back to your land and start plowing it.”

“But,” the brother replied, “what will I do when my older brother comes to force me out?”

“Pick up the cow and run toward your brother,” answered the master.

The younger brother was utterly shocked by this statement.  He pleaded with the master, but the master insisted he could now accomplish his original goal.  The younger brother left the Shaolin Temple very disappointed.  But still, he decided to do what the monk advised.  He hoped his brother had changed in the three years since his absence.

The younger brother soon arrived home and began immediately to plow the land with the cow with which he had practiced for three years.  The older brother quickly appeared and said, “Brother, do you think you can get your land back?  Never!  Now get off this land before I beat you.” The younger brother immediately picked up his cow and ran towards his brother.  The older brother was so amazed and shocked at this feat that he ran away and never returned.  The younger brother, at last, regained his rightful inheritance and more – his dignity and respect.

Imaginative stories like this one point out a moral, teaching students the meaning of the Shaolin spirit.  This story, in particular, stresses two significant issues.  First, Kung Fu is meant only for self-defense, not premeditated violence against others.  The younger brother eventually got what he wanted without violence.  

Recall there are only three reasons to take a life: in defense of safety, security, or survival.  Going outside these limitations cannot be justified before God.  We protect and develop what is God’s, referring to humanity; all God’s children, even the imperfect ones.  Safeguarding and developing provide equal opportunity to all.  It is up to each individual to demonstrate their worthiness before God.

Second, the story points out that learning Kung Fu requires patience and constant repetition or practice.  To spend three years mastering his technique, the younger brother needed patience.  Added to this was the need to constantly practice.  But in showing the constant practice that the younger brother performed, the story also revealed that progressive resistance is required.  Over time, the student must have greater and greater resistance to overcome.  Each day that the younger brother practiced, the height of the willow grew, and the cow’s weight increased by a small amount.  By slowly going to higher stages, the younger brother achieved his goal.




“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” — Confucius.

“The great thing, and the hard thing, is to stick to things when you have outlived the first interest and not yet got the second, which comes with mastery.” — Janet Erskine Stuart.

For perspective, some martial students practiced sufficiently to earn mastery.  They could put their hands through solid granite stone, leap to the roof of multi-story dwellings, and lift incredible weights many times greater than humanly possible.   These point-in-time demonstrations showed the exceptional capabilities of man, and achievement required focused, dedicated, daily practice on the aspired/desired behavior and task at hand.  One wise man stated, “If you want to be, stop thinking about what you could or could have done; just BE the positive one you aspire to.” 

We are connected to God, the Creator, by our existence and our soul.  We remain connected and strengthen our connection to God, the Creator, through our efforts toward harnessing our thoughts, words, actions, and legacy for the benefit of humanity.

Our only limitations are self-limitation and self-control.  Society’s control mechanisms teach the populace about guilt (assumed responsibility), shame (presumed responsibility), and blame (projected responsibility) to keep the masses under control.  When an individual perceives they lack the skill/will to keep up with others, their “self-esteem” / “self-valuation” / “self-confidence” will trigger active and then filter what information their gates (i.e., senses) provide.  Feelings related to guilt, shame, or blame may enter their mind, and a decision of acceptance or rejection will follow.   

Acceptance of self and the reality around them today depends on external information sources such as television or social media that engage many for hours.  “Keeping up with the Kardashians” is the modern version of the syndrome taught in my youth…” Keeping up with the Jones.” Big corporations sell their products best when they project a want onto the population rather than listen to the needs of their customer audience, producing what the customers need.  Do you need that next pair of Jordans (shoes) when you can only wear one at a time?  The Navy SEALs I’ve known taught me, “Two is One, and, One is None.” A reasonable number is two; a primary and a backup.  Best to keep reality and self-acceptance in mind as you interact with other people.  No one will try to improve themselves or others around them if they lack the SKILL & WILL.  

If the individual has the “will,” insufficient skills can remedy with outside assistance.  A deficient “will” can only rectify through one’s internal drive; that’s on the individual.  You cannot be better until you want / desire to be better, and then it is about will and skill development.  Be mindful that if a person desires but lacks the aspirational will, they won’t allow productive action to happen as they project guilt/shame/blame to prevent positive progress.  In that case, it is best to accept (who and where that individual is on their self-development ladder) and then move on until they are ready to rejoin the effort, their internal soul-searching could take years.  Be respectful; keep in contact if you see their potential, but move on with your actions as they’re not ready to positively contribute to the overall effort; that’s OK; everyone can only build from what they have and where they are in their lives.  They are not your boat anchor; you are your boat anchor.  Best speed requires your anchor to be appropriately housed in your boat, vice dragging or fowling on the bottom.

Our lives are manifested experiments, not guaranteed outcomes.  Memories, lessons learned, emotions, what we know and learn, and what we brought from before all shape our Spirit.

Good spirits attract good.  New souls often place with positive families.  Sometimes new souls are placed with negative families to help provide opportunities to reform in the presence of innocence (God’s manifested dilution effort to assist the family’s spirits).

Negative spirits attract and build weakness.  Why do they need spells, magic, and other secret knowledge and information to manifest strength?  If they strengthened themselves, there would be no one who would stand against them.  Thus, Evil surrounds itself with weakness and seeks to use the strengths of others for their nefarious motives.  Could this be viewed as “lazy,” and why our ancestors negatively viewed laziness manifested before them?

Weakness views individual strength as brutal and not as easy as collective manipulation of the powers of others.


If the goal of Evil is to manifest fear to manipulate and then control, the “eyes” have it.  Eyes window to the soul.  In movies, Evil often presents as Red glowing eyes in the pitch black of night.  “Lucifer,” as described in various texts, presents a bipolar interesting, violent character that refuses to accept what is given to them by God.


Humans are emotional creatures.  Memory is a function of emotional impressions.  Emotional maturity (e.g., an expansive library of experienced emotions) is valuable to possess and demonstrate.  Strongly experienced emotional impressions create either lasting positive or negative memories.  Emotional maturity impacts the emotional impressions that you process.  Be careful what emotional impressions you embrace/hold onto.  


Speaking from my own personal experiences, PTSD-afflicted people tend to embrace (grab on for dear life) those overwhelming negative emotional impressions they experienced; they tend to parade those experiences to others as a means to make sense of their emotional impression so they can move on.  Some PTSD-afflicted won’t allow themselves to move on because they refuse to accept the outcome of the event generating their experience; others won’t allow themselves to move on because of the attention such PTSD status affords.   Again, people do their best with what they have and know.

Over three decades, I engaged in enough operations and war to build a broad library of experiences.  How many combat soldiers whose vision of becoming an Audie Murphy super soldier (their vision of self-esteem) smashed when they had a negative combat-zone experience and failed to take the appropriate action on time, contributing to one of their fellow soldiers paying the bill for them?  Self-pity and guilt are difficult for some who believe their self-importance self-talk propaganda.  

We are only as crucial as the quality and quantity of our contribution to the success of our mission.   Our core mission is God’s plan for humanity, which starts with getting ourselves squared away, then our family, and then our communities.


Be mindful that everyone has both family and professional missions to fulfill.   Your family and its future are “why,” and your profession is “how” you provide for that future.  When you get older and wiser, you’ll see that family and profession are the same because the common anchor point is YOU!  Be the example for YOU and all that would follow you.  People (including family) follow those they trust, their character, competence, capability, and sound judgment; others especially follow / desire to associate with those individuals who demonstrate (at least) mastery of these four areas and perhaps a little more.  Be mindful that these are my words and my experiences as a committed student of self-development.

I wanted to see and experience the world to improve my perspective and judgment.  I worked on my character, competence, and capability along the way.  As I have said, I initially held myself to a very high standard.  Your grandparents (my parents) forged my will; I never bowed in fear.  Your Grandfather fully embraced the theory of “spare the rod, spoil the child.” I found the more confident that I appeared, the more I was “disciplined;” inside and outside the home.   Key people in the community (i.e., some teachers, Boy Scout leaders, businessmen, etc.) feared confident and deliberate others.  

My elementary school teacher (~5th Grade) informed my mother that I had “the mind of a criminal…because he is deliberate in all that he does.” My position on topics and issues was crystal clear to me, and I knew or quickly figured out what I wanted in all faced situations.  This teacher was a scout leader of another boy scout troop (different than my boy scout troop).  To my knowledge, and, unfortunately, the teacher’s son never made it to Eagle Scout; as I recall, he stopped at Star Scout.  Interestingly, this young man (the teacher’s son) was building a life-sized backyard tunnel modeled after the one in the movie “The Great Escape” with lead actor Steve McQueen, where American and British Prisoners of war (POWs) were trying to escape from a WWII Nazi POW camp.  

I wonder if this boy’s tunnel was a manifestation of an envisioned attempt to escape his family.  I don’t know.  I recall thinking it was odd that a young man would have such an activity in his suburban backyard.  His father (my 5th-grade teacher) appeared unhappy that his son lacked the internal drive, and yet he was vocally critical of me for the aspirational drive that I displayed in Boy Scouts and School.  He avoided me when I made Eagle Scout.  I can only assess that this family was not internally cooperating (I don’t recall meeting the mother/wife); the family appeared to be going in circles and treading on the same patch of water.  Their story is typical; the family seemed to lack focus, a plan, skill and will, good judgment, and a clear way for individual character development.  Character development is a lifetime effort; it doesn’t stop when you become an adult; becoming an adult is only the beginning of your genuine character development.  Good people wallowing in their pit of despair and embracing what doesn’t help them will never end well.   


A key lesson to learn is to never embrace ill will by and for another person.  It never ends well when you do.  Be positive or neutral.  Having a negative outlook on another person’s shortfalls leads to embracing ill will for that person.  I encourage you to start positive with them, and if they prove they have a ways to go in their character, then take a neutral perspective, saying that people do the best they can with what they have and know.

Do I harbor ill will towards anyone?  No, I don’t; people do their best with what they have.  I believe that if you take action / fail to take action in your area of responsibility, then you own the result; accountability is the bedrock of a fair and just system of management and leadership.  I want to point out that to inflict more misery on others INTENTIONALLY is, by definition, ill-will, and ill-will manifested through action is always EVIL.  Thus, to intentionally inflict more suffering on others is EVIL.  

What if others demonstrate ill will toward you?  Is it OK to respond in like?  I can’t answer that for you because being positive or negative are free-will choices that God, the Creator, gave all humans.  I can say that responding in like means following the other person’s example; you are letting them lead you to a conclusive response.  I cut my path; I make my own decisions and assume total responsibility and accountability for my chosen path/position on what situations, issues, problems, etc., lay before me.  I don’t respond in like; I respond with what is appropriate given the situation, task, people, circumstances, and environment involved.  If you allow yourself to get emotionally influenced by other people’s ill will towards you, then they can effectively program and control you.  Your attitude is a gauge for your frustration/acceptance level; regulate your attitude, and you can manage your frustration/acceptance towards your situation; similarly, holding your frustration/approval towards your case can allow you to control your attitude.


The filters you cultivate on the gates of your information paths (i.e., sensory inputs: eyes, ears, intuition, etc.) capture and project the emotional impression you perceive as you navigate the world.  Be careful, assuming that your filters are always good-to-go or never need an upgrade.  Life is change.  We are constantly building on our lessons and tools of the past to negotiate each present and future day successfully.   Again, you’ll never be better than what your mind envisions, will enable, and attitude allows.


There’s a well-accepted Native American story about a Grandfather sharing wisdom with his grandson that illustrates this point.  For some, the story’s main point is trite, but for many, the main point provides a sea change.  Below is the version that I know.

While mentoring his grandson about life, a Grandfather said, “There is a Great War for humanity that lay inside each human heart.” He said,” The Great War continues today in the many hearts around us.” He continued, “I have sat at many council fires to discuss tribal matters and I have been a part of many war councils that decided the fate of our tribe.”  

He continued, “A fight continues inside of me,” he said to his grandson.  “It’s a terrible fight, between two wolves.  One wolf is evil – he is full of ill-will, rage, jealousy, arrogance, greed, sorrow, regret, lies, laziness, and self-pity.”

He continued, “The other wolf is good – he is filled with love, acceptance, joy, peace, generosity, truth, empathy, courage, humility, and faith.  This fight exists inside the hearts of everyone, including you.”

The grandson reflected briefly and asked, “Which wolf wins?”

The Grandfather replied, “It depends.  Most believe it is the one you feed, but” They can both win if you feed them right.”

“If you starve one wolf, the other will have all the power.  The starved wolf will be filled with hatred and jealousy and become ravenous, resentful, and refuse to accept his situation.  He will fight endlessly, hiding around every corner and waiting for your lowered defenses and then attack.  “

“But, if I feed both, at the right time and in the right way, they both will live side-by-side in harmony.  The Great War for humanity will be no more.  In the war’s place will be serenity and inner peace.  And where there’s peace, there is wisdom.  God’s goal is for humanity to respect this balance of life, for when you live in balance, you can serve the Great Spirit within. When you put an end to the battle inside, you live in freedom everyday (LIFE).”

I could go on, but this is enough for now.  It is time to think and self-reflect.  Your time is coming; prepare before you get there.  The fate of our family and humanity depends on your preparations.

Have my words got your attention?  You be the Judge.



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