This never ends. By Dave R. Otey

This will never end. The hate based on color, on entitlement, on size and shape, height, weight, clothing styles, hair styles, choice of spiritual faith, mental capabilities and more.  Someone somewhere is chosen to be a scapegoat for the lacks and/ or failures of others. There seems to be a world wide need to have some group to point to and say, “You are the reason my life is in the pits. You are the fault of the pains and terrors I face. You are the cause holding me back from the life of perfection and life of purity in wealth, joy and happiness I must have.”

Slowly, in different places and at different times there are laws made to control the hate, to push back the line, to make freedoms increase for all. But it will never go away. Hate will always find a place to go, always find some weak willed minds and greedy hearts to infect. That is a reality forever existing, and all I need to do is be aware that I stay in tune with my own feelings and my own ”moments” when I might want to blame someone else for any reason for something that is MY responsibility.

I do not worry about the world falling apart. Every puzzle has cracks. None of the pieces are one hundred percent fitting. Challenges happen every day, big or small. Challenges mean changes and we DO have some control over the changes in our lives by how we respond to the challenges we face. Understanding where the challenges come from is a necessary beginning to knowing which steps to take for separating from a  painful situation or how to change the conditions and circumstances that make up the situation.  In my training as a volunteer for CASA–Court Appointed Special Advocate for children– we learned 5 Conflict Resolution Strategies that I say as part of a personal growth drill every day. Avoid, Compete, Harmonize, Compromise, Collaborate. This is the list from weakest strategy to strongest. Sometimes none of them work, and in that case the best action is to MOVE away from the person or place where all the pain is pooling.

I know and understand prejudice, bias, whatever other names label this divisive mindset.  I understand it is wise of me to be careful, if I have to drive through certain places or if I get lost and find myself in an OBVIOUS environment I don’t instantly fit in with. I am wise enough to know how to walk and talk and how to make a peaceful physical presence. I am friendly with everyone but sometimes and in some places it is best to just stay quiet and do whatever business you have to do and leave. In some places, if locals notice you definitely are not from around their area, you might be approached by a helpful person or by someone targeting you for money or a game.

I am sixty years old. I thought and believed naively for a long time that my generation got to see the end of the serious physical attacks of prejudice. Sure, life has become better with more open doors for unity and harmony and climbing up a social and economic and political ladder for personal and community success. But I see now that history changes not so much in ”final” points reached. It changes more in ”steps” slowly walked in  a state of extreme caution, making certain the step is solid and cannot slip back before going on to the next step.  Some places will not allow advanced steps beyond a certain point so the people who want the advanced steps must move to the places that do allow it.  Crazy, nutty world.

The most peacefully integrated arena in the whole world–still not 100% perfect within itself either but higher than anywhere else–is the arena of creative arts. The arts exist for all humankind. There one can express the thoughts, feelings, dreams, horrors, tragedies, pains, pleasures; every human experience and plea, and know there is an audience who gains comfort and understanding and sometimes courage and empowerment from what is seen, felt and hear and tasted in the arena of art. It also has its dangers to watch out for, if someone is offended. But life still goes on.

The greatest power each of us possess is to make sure the hatred ends within each of our own spirits and souls, ends within our own homes, our own neighborhoods, our own towns, our own family reunions, anyplace and everyplace we stand to talk and act.  Be the peaceful and understanding person where we are.   End.

Lessons my Alzheimer mom taught me. Dave Otey 9-2014

In June of this year I published the piece ‘My Disappearing Mom’, describing her’s and our  ordeal with Alzheimer. I still have thoughts about all that took place emotional in our family and this article contains more depth of how to deal with Alzheimer should you become involved with this disease in your family.

9-2014. More to consider on the emotional side of Alzheimer.
To see a parent ‘’lose it’’ mentally is really tough. Regardless how experienced and older in life we get, we are still connected in mind and sprint to our parents. It’s normal to get the thought, “uh,oh. I’m next. This is going to happen to me.” Then we start calculating the difference in our age and the parent’s age and we figure the number that we see as how many years left before the mental files flip. Natural but not accurate. Genetics is a cue to what we might have copied and shared within our related systems, but not necessarily definite. Lifestyle can and does affect different outcomes for most people related. So, to be the best care giver and loving relative of every connection, it’s best to focus on giving your energy, time and creativity to the happiness and well being of your affected family member.

When I realized what had happened to mom, part of me wanted to stay away from her from embarrassment at her behavior, and partly because of how I was being required by the situation to give her support in her times of helplessness. Then I would feel shame for having those negative judgmental thoughts.
The disease changed our relationship in terms of not only what we couldn’t share but of what we also had to share. There really was no choice here. Not if I wanted to maintain my own self-respect as a son, as a man of honor and as an example to my own children.
My life was also being invaded in a different way. My own thoughts about the meaning of daily accomplishments and the connections of the love and sharing in life we have would be changed by this experience. I’d be forced to think about things I would never choose for focus on my own.
Every person attached to the family member who becomes a victim is partially owned for a time by this disease. Alzheimer demands an audience by the surprises in script and direction it creates in the victim’s mind.
It is shocking to realize how much of our world—most of it, in fact—is real as determined by our mental perceptions, by our own definitions/interpretations and whoever else’s definitions/interpretations we accept.
The world of facts that affects our decisions the most are not the basic science facts of heat, cold, hard, soft, animal kingdom, plant kingdom, etc.
Who we are and what we become, what we attach ourselves to, what we commit ourselves to is affected by the ‘’reasons’’ we accept, make up, believe in from various resources and shape ourselves into becoming. It is ‘’that person’’, that package of identity that is shaken up when the files get shifted.
When the time zones and geographical areas of the mind mix into different blends of reality inside the mind, those new “scenes” create different ‘’people’’ whose voices and personalities we may or may not recognize. We will hear stories that didn’t happen at all, or we will hear stories mixed together in such outrageous ways we want to scream out, “NO!. That’s not the way it happened!.” But we have to stay silent and not refute anything because the family member speaking really does see and hear and believe the new and mixed stories from their minds. THEY HAVE NO CHOICE. But you do. You decide how to respond, how to make conversation, how to ‘’let it go’’, how to ‘’be a part of the show’’, especially how to ‘’spend time in the twilight zone’’ and think of it as simply a playhouse production for therapy. Use your imagination in your own controlling way the way the disease is using your relative’s imagination for it’s own purposes.     End

Waking Up. By David Reid Otey September 2014

I love waking up. Not just every morning when I open my eyes after the long energizing nap of the night. But all those other times, too. When I wake up to the right answers that took a little more time to seek. When I wake up to fact that I can change something I thought was set in stone. When I wake up to who and what I really have in my life by taking a closer look beyond the clutter of being too busy.

I wake up through other’s thoughts when I listen to what they say without interrupting them. I wake up when I read or hear of the tragic results of someone else’s battle with depression. I wake up when an elderly man who does simple magic shows tells me he dove into it after a friend died of bone cancer without ever trying for or realizing his dream of  gold mining.

I woke up when Anthony Robbins said, ”try this”. I woke up when the voices of Jim Rohn, Mel Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Zig Ziglar, Marie Forleo, Daniel Pink, Jon Acuff, David Allen, Micheal J. Gelb, Susan Jeffers, Thom Rutledge and a team of other authors and speakers gave me the ideas and encouragement I sought.

I was shaken awake at times when my mom became ensnared by Alzheimer’s, and when my dad’s paranoid schizophrenia overtook his outlook on life and shut down the hopes of him ever playing his violin for the public in philharmonic orchestras ever again.  When an art teacher coming back to school from lunch leaned down at the wrong moment to fetch something from the floorboard of his car and ran a stop sign to enter the terminal path of an oncoming semi trailer truck, I woke up.  When my school where I work cancelled a day to have a teacher’s funeral at the school, and all of us teachers were present at the funeral and then to help seat and serve the family for their meal in the school, I woke up.

I woke up when my kids were born and I held them.  I wake up every single day I see my grand children. I wake up when I try, when I listen, when I contribute, when I hope and dream and wonder. I think that is what life is meant to be. We are born to wake up to creation, to love and joy, to peace and wonder, to the gifts we have within us that are meant to be discovered, developed and shared  for the connection and for the good of all people. I believe in God because there has to be a source of all this wonder and that source has to wake us all up for the best of anything and everything to be accomplished. What will you wake up to today ?         The end for now. 🙂

KEYS By David R. Otey

Keys can be physical keys to push into locks, or groups of notes on a piano top. They are main points in a lecture or book, or a main speaker in a convention. “The keep point is…”, the speaker says, meaning the “one thing” that will get you blessed. Keys open the box of understanding. Key stones hold the arch together, pressure coming from both side,  meeting in the center, leaning from each side on a key stone which becomes the strongest stone-maybe. Keys are the dots of a dot to dot, the border pieces of a puzzle, the spices in a meal, the hooks of songs, the sight, sound, taste, smell or touch that inspires an idea or an action toward a major decision that sparks a major shift in one’s life. Trust is a key. Loyalty is a key. devotion is a key. Faith is a key. Hope, love, patience, honesty, one more chance–these are all keys. Keys open opportunities, connect to the next step of a forward journey, give light in dark moments, become landmarks of confidence and security. People are keys to each other. The key people in your life are dependable, forgiving to a reasonable degree and the greatest support group for your personal growth and survival in life.  For every dream there is a key to connect you. So keep dreaming and keep growing.