Time is a River Lost that Cannot be Touched Again

by Anonymous


I love this story. Lay down what's bothering you, breathe in the fresh air and read to this story.

Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life. As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Apparently, I'm still lost....it's a man thing.

Pinocchio & How Victimhood Creates Tyranny

by Chris Campbell


In putting together the upcoming book, “99 Things Every Millennial Man Should Know,” I’ve (re-)learned some important lessons.

One of them, weird as it sounds, has to do with Pinocchio. And the incredibly profound messages hidden beneath the surface… one of which is how victimhood turns you into a braying jackass.

But I’ll get to that in a moment.

99 Things is a compendium of powerhouse contributors imparting wisdom.

The underlying theme is answering the Call to Adventure (the “call” to your life’s purpose) and how to survive and thrive through your own “Hero’s Journey” (and, no less, the awesome power of archetypes).

A great explainer video on the Hero’s Journey

The book, since its inception, has taken on a life of its own. 

In large part because of my newfound “tribe” of people who are just as excited about, and emotionally invested in, the project as I am.

One contributor, Noble Brown (AKA, @Sociopathlete on Twitter), for example, who wrote an excellent piece for the book, called “Engineer the Future”, wrote this…

(Yes, I’m “@StoicGoatFarmer” on Twitter — which, I have found, used wisely, is a great tool. If you “do Twitter,” let’s connect.)

Two lessons here.

One, the power of the ask. It’s cliche, but I think it’s easy to forget: You never know until you ask.

Out of ten supremely bold asks, nine will probably say no or never respond, but that one yes will change everything.

(In the ask, however, increase your chances by providing unmistakable value to them.  As opposed to, “Please do this for me.” James Altucher is a master of this and has simple ways to get started.)

Second, which is tied to this: Whatever you’re doing, you don’t have to go at it alone. 

Left unchecked, I easily fall into a wildly ineffective “Hercules Complex”… this assumption I should shoulder all of the burden of big projects, lest it lose its meaning.

But working with, and building a tribe of great people in the process, is so much more satisfying.

(I plan to go into more detail on this book, and how I’m putting it together, in the private Choose Yourself Publishing Circle…  It’s one great part of Altucher’s self-publishing course, of which I’m leaning on to write this book. If interested in finally crossing “write a book” off your bucket list, come… join us.)

Tonight, I’ll attempt another BIG ask… Jordan Peterson. I’m suiting up and seeing him speak in Cincinnati this evening. 

His lectures have had a remarkable effect on me, especially his Jungian analysis of… this might sound weird… Pinocchio.

(Had I understood all of this earlier, as I described yesterday, I might not have been such a Hellion growing up… in a misguided pursuit of “fitting in.”)

The film Pinocchio is considered by many to be Walt Disney’s greatest achievement.

Superficially, the storyline is easy enough to understand. It’s about going from a puppet to an authentic individual. One who tells the truth, listens to one’s own conscience, and is capable of taking responsibility for one’s own life.

Pinocchio, you might recall, was brought to life by a blue fairy (the “anima,” as described by Jungians).

The fairy told him he could become a real boy if he proved himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish.”

Blue Fairy: You must learn to choose between right and wrong. 

Pinocchio: Right and wrong? But how will I know? 

Jiminy Cricket: (watching) How’ll he know! 

The Blue Fairy: (to Pinocchio) Your conscience will tell you. 

Pinocchio: What are conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: What are conscience! I’ll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today… 

Pinocchio: Are you my conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: Who, me?

(Spoiler Alert: The cricket, as it happens, is Pinocchio’s conscience, a good, but imperfect tramp who “bugs” him throughout the movie to do the right thing.)

Going deeper, the overarching message unfolds: The best way to live your life is orient yourself toward the highest good you’re capable of imagining (represented by Geppetto, the woodcarver, wishing upon a star).

Why? Because the capacity for it to come to fruition exists. Not only that, the act of aiming there will open you up to forces which can help you — ones in which wouldn’t otherwise be available to serve you.

What is the highest aim?

To become a fully developed, authentic human being. One who isn’t a marionette. One whose strings are not whipped around by undeveloped (evil) forces of the world.

The Road to Tyranny

At one point in the movie, Pinocchio is convinced by two petty criminals — the fox and the cat — that he is a mere victim of the world. That the world is his enemy. They then lead him to Pleasure Island, a place where all his desires can be fulfilled.

There, boys can smoke, drink, fight, destroy stuff and act like heathens.

Pinocchio and Jiminy discover, however, Pleasure Island is a trap, run by masked goons dressed in black.

With enough badness under the boys’ belts (perhaps literally and figuratively), the boys lose their voices and turn into braying jackasses (donkeys), and are sold as slaves to work in the mines.

The superficial lessons of the overall story are evident:

1. Peer pressure can lead you astray.

2. Growth can emerge from pain.

3. Idle hands do the Devil’s work.

Going deeper, however, the underlying themes present in the book and film are awesome for a mere “children’s story”… 

– Telling the truth will ultimately make your life easier, and taking the seemingly easy route, by lying, has consequences (the more he lied, the more his nose grew and the more complicated his life became)…
– People-pleasing does little more than turn you into a puppet, you give up your own individuality to appease them (when Pinocchio fell under the thumb of Stromboli and became an unearned celebrity he became a slave to Stromboli and the crowd)…

– You have free will not to listen to your conscience (as Pinocchio doesn’t at first) and your conscience is not omnipotent, it is capable of making mistakes (as Jiminy did). The more you listen and learn from your mistakes, however, the more both of you mature and begin to understand the true difference between right and wrong. (Pinocchio and Jiminy grow stronger as the storyline progresses).

And, very apropos to current times… 

– Be wary of those who would have you believe you are a victim. Those who claim to be solely looking out for the oppressed are often on the hunt for unearned power. (Marxist professors come to mind).

– Accepting yourself as a victim, furthermore, will cause you to lose your voice and, perhaps, in the case of Pinocchio and the boys on Pleasure Island, transform you into a braying jackass.

– Great forces will emerge to help you when you aim for your highest good. You don’t have to go at it alone.

– Finally, one of the highest aims is to rescue the old structures from collapse, and reinvigorate them anew. To keep the torch alive and save what is worth saving. Otherwise, all will fall into chaos.

Pinocchio, in the end, is said to represent Geppetto’s ego and persona (how you interact with the external world and mask you wear for it).

Left undeveloped, it’ll remain a young puppet, a slave to the whims of the outside world.

In the end, Geppetto comes to terms with this “inner child” (also giving a nod to the incredible importance of fatherhood — the “outer child”)…

And, ultimately, they save one another.

Geppetto, by giving Pinocchio form and careful attention, and Pinocchio by swimming into the ocean (unconscious) and saving him from the Belly of the Whale (the archetypal Underworld of Chaos).

At the end, Geppetto, though he’s an old man, becomes young in spirit.

And the old structures worth saving in himself (and the world) are given new life, salvaged from total destruction and created anew.

I will tell Millennial Men this.





Published under Creative commons here.

Today's Bible Lesson

by Anonymous


In today’s world with President Trump getting hit daily I decided a little Bible Lesson might be
appropriate. Remember what Jesus said: 'Goats on the left, sheep on the right' (Matthew 25:33).

Jesus also told Peter that if he wanted to catch fish do it from the right side of the boat He did and filled the boat with fish.

John 21:6 (NIV) ... He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

 Origin of Left & Right..

I have often wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left".

By chance I stumbled upon thisverse in the Bible: Ecclesiastes10:2 (NIV) - "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left."

Thus saith the Lord.

Amen

It surely can't get any simpler than that.

Spelling Lesson: The last four letters in American......... I Can

The last four letters in Republican:....... I Can

The last four letters in Democrats:....... Rats

End of lesson! ...Test to follow on November 6, 2018.

Remember, November 2018 is to be set aside as Rodent Removal month.  

Please share this Bible Lesson with all your friends and email buddies to help achieve that
goal.

Never grow a wishbone where a backbone ought to be.


[Story] How to Make a Gangster Weep

by Chris Campbell


[You’ll have to excuse today’s profanity-laced missive. I will tell the story — which occurred last Friday night — as it happened, in all its intensity.]

We watched as the man stood at the end of the road, in a victory stance, announcing his next conquest.

“You hear me!? I want to fight!”

His t-shirt was missing, revealing tattoos on every inch of his skin up to his neck as he growled through the shadows.

He stomped toward us, fists clenched.

I was sitting down on the stoop. He walked up and stuck his face in mine and shouted more profanity-laced threats.

Two minutes later, he was on the ground, weeping like a lost child in Wal-Mart.

I’ll tell you what happened — and how I made him cry in a bush — in a moment.

Last Friday night, I learned the second lesson of 99 Things Every Millennial Man Should Know (a book I’m putting together in 90 days using James Altucher’s The Choose Yourself Guide to Self-Publishing)… 

99 Things is a compendium of powerhouses (heavyweight boxer Ed Latimore, “Gentleman Mystic” Billy Red Horse, kung fu master and mentalist Jonathan Pritchard, and much more) imparting their wisdom.

Hours before I was to leave for C.J. Midlam’s house (self-published author of The Windows Around, we spoke of last week), I received the second chapter to 99 Things, written by Kung-Fu master Jonathan Pritchard (see below).

It was about self-defense through de-escalation of violence.

I read it, appreciated its approach, then left for the long drive to Dayton to hang out with C.J. at Germanfest.

Little did I know, the very tactics described in Pritchard’s piece would potentially save my life.

C.J. and I started at a bar, Dayton Beer Co., and downed a couple beers. 

Soon, we found ourselves downtown, gulping down Jager Bombs (hey, as they say, when in Rome). Then another bar, called “Therapy,” a truly God-forsaken place, in which we had a gin and tonic and I silently vowed never to return. And then, we headed to C.J.’s home.

It was a nice night, we agreed. We relaxed outside on the stoop, under a soon-to-be midnight moon.

As we talked, a man rounded a dark corner down the street, heaving like a wild banshee.

His body flailed as he stormed through, kicking up dust and debris like a bull in heat. His shirt was missing. His pants, drooping. Tattooed from neck to toe.

He was the “bad guy in the dark alley” your mother warned you about.

He raised his arms up like he’d just finished a marathon, stopped, and yelled, “I want to FIGHT somebody! F*CK!”

We took a look around and a realization crept up our spines from our inner-bellies. It was just us on this lonesome street. So, naturally, he headed in our direction. “Well, this should be interesting,” C.J. said.  “Yep,” I said.

“What’s up, bitch?” the breathy man said, one hand on his belt. I was still sitting on the stoop. An easy target, a sitting duck.

He ran up, stuck his face in mine, and said “What’s up? What you want? Huh!?”

Pritchard’s piece popped in my mind. Time to put it into action.

It must’ve been the Jagermeister in my veins, but I was irrationally placid. Cool as a cucumber.

I said, “Hey, it’s OK.”

He stuck his face closer.

His breath was hot. It stunk of an ancient rage.

My ego almost grabbed me…

There was a loud moment inside my head where I screamed the obvious: “Get out of my face.”

But I didn’t say it. Instead, I tried something else, “Look, you’re a good person,” I said.

Like that weird alien in that Steven Spielberg movie, I reached up and touched his heart with my index finger.

“Here,” I said. “Right here.”

And, you know what, I meant it. I felt it.

It was genuine. I was in the moment. I was with this man, not against him. Not judging him. I felt what’s best described, although the term is lacking, as compassion.

And, some. blessing. how. it worked.  First, he whimpered.  Then, he staggered back and crumpled like a cheap suit.

He fell into a bush and began to weep. I tried to help him up, but his bones had melted into his skin. He slumped to the ground like a bowl of Jello.

This grown man, tattooed from head to toe, possibly gunning for a night gig at MS-13, transformed into a toddler. He didn’t want to fight. He just wanted someone to love him. Be his friend. Tell him everything would be OK. Touch his heart. Teach him how to walk.

“I have no friends!” he shouted. “I want friends,” he cried.

A dark figure emerged from whence he came. A female figure. It approached as C.J. and I hoisted the man on our shoulders.

It was his mother.  “Come on! The cops are looking for you,” she said. “Thank you boys so much. Thank you. Thank you.”

“I love you mom,” he said. “Try to walk, honey,” she said.

We tried to walk with him for a bit, but it proved more difficult than anticipated.

He goose-stepped all over the street. He would extend his left leg in front of me, on his right, and would do the same with his right to C.J. on the left.

We finally carried him, leaving his legs to drag behind. His pants began to loosen, and then dropped right down to his ankles. Cojones exposed, flapping in the breeze.

His mistake that morning to meet the day au naturale was the first of many, it appeared.

“Uh,” C.J. said, “Hey, Mom. This is a job for Mom.”

“Oh, no,” she said, looking back.

We rounded the corner, that blasted corner that started this whole thing, and dropped him in the backseat of his mom’s Buick. We did our good deed for the night, and might have avoided being stabbed.

So, yes, please pay heed. And recognize nothing, not even violence, is inevitable.



Published under a creative commons license here.

The White House Fence

by Anonymous


Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House.
 
One is from Chicago, another is from Kentucky, and the third is from New Orleans.All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.
 
The New Orleans contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil.
 
"Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $9,000. That's $4,000 for materials, $4,000 for my crew and $1,000 profit for me."
 
The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $7,000. That's $3,000 for materials, $3,000 for my crew and $1,000 profit for me."
 
The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, "$27,000."
 
The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys. How did you come up with such a high figure?”
 
"The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$10,000 for me, $10,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Kentucky to fix the fence."
 
"Done!" replies the government official.
 
And that, my friends, is how the Government Stimulus plan worked.
 
Remember... Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
 
"I love my country, it's the government I'm afraid of!"