The Mirror: Just Look at Yourself

The Mirror

This blog is meant to be a place of positivism and open mindedness. I enjoy bringing an unencumbered and positive messages to anyone who reads from many topics which include technology, politics, social studies, and other areas of interest, however, sometimes I feel it is necessary to reach into the dark side of humanity to discover hidden truth’s about us. This article is about human nature, not anyone in particular. Also, realizing I am not being original or very clever in pointing out what I consider to be flaws in humanity, I am fully aware of my short comings and my negativity is mostly my own reflections of my short comings being projected out onto the reader. I am not a professional practitioner of psychology or sociology so please do not think I believe my words are solution for every last person, please also do not imagine me to being coy with my words in this article.

As we descend into this challenging article, I want to recognize old and wise words which say that it is our flaws which make us who we are the most as we strive to be a more perfect human being. This is not an attempt to wish failure upon anyone but rather an attempt to get my reader to look deeply into themselves at some things that perhaps are not comfortable dealing with. Speaking for myself, one of my biggest flaws as a person is an inherent inability to handle harsh yet constructive criticism. When met with this challenge from another, I recoil in horror to a shyness from which I find it difficult to recover. The first thoughts in my mind when met with this are typically of a very negative nature, not giving he or she the benefit of doubt and imagining the worst possible thing about them. Coming to the point, this flaw of mine is being remedied more and more every time I converse with someone who is challenging me. If not for my willingness to look my situation right in the hairy eye ball and accepting who I am, I would not know what I want to become. I would not realize there are many paths out of this situation. Which brings me to what I consider one of the most detestable and tragic flaws of humanity on a collected scale. The unwillingness to admit imperfection.

In earlier articles I wrote of bullies and how I deal with them. Offering solutions for how to deal with a bully is one thing, but now I have to turn the tables on the idea and consider the possibility of being a bully of sorts myself. Not only myself but others who may feel they have been treated unfairly by a bully in their lives for it is well known that the meanest of bullies get that way from being bullied themselves and could not find it within themselves to face their flaws and stand up for who and what they are. The real tragedy of this is that the solution eluded them because of an unwillingness to simply admit to their flaws. Every human being has limits, which are yours? What an important yet poignant question to have to ask yourself. However poignant it may be, it is akin to setting a broken bone or pulling a rotted tooth. The pain is extreme, yet must be done in order to bring healing into the realm of possibility. This to me appears to be a fact as solid as the ground we walk upon, but again, I am no professional.

Are we born to live with this propensity? Does everyone suffer this as consequence of living and breathing? Or do we learn it through systematic psychological abuse through social interactions and entertainment designed to lower our sense of self? Are we as a species doomed to live in perpetuity with this unwillingness to look directly into the mirror and see our flaws? How deep does the matter go? Is it something humans are just naturally adherent to or do we learn it as I posed before? Difficult questions demanding lengthy and in depth answers and I shall attempt to discover some satisfactory answers as this article continues. In the spirit of this article and keeping consistent with the message of these words, I shall look deep into this rabbit hole and attempt to bring out the treasure at the bottom. In order to address this further I want to take a look at society as a collective hive mind for a while and share my feelings about our world, harsh as those feelings may be, please try to read between the lines.

I am well aware a great many of you out there will not read these words, you had already moved on before even finishing the first paragraph for a various reasons and that to me is perfectly fine. However, I struggle to find a reason other than mere avoidance of the truth for why you wouldn’t be interested in this topic. When breaching this topic with others around me I hear many reasons, I’m too busy, I have kids to worry about, I’m too tired, etc, etc. While everyone has a right to avoid this, I urge you to imagine how much less busy, tired, and worried you would be if you discovered how much happier you would be accepting yourself for who you are.  There are enough people out there who fit this description for it to be safe for me to put them in a group. I realize I am taking great liberty in labeling here, for which I will make no apology because I too fit into this group at times as I’ve described my flaws and am willing to admit my laziness in dealing with them at times. Coming to point, put in mind the amount of people who surround you at this very moment who not only fit into this group, but give meaning to it’s very existence.

I am describing a mass scale delusion of vanity and perfection, the likes of which bring about unspeakable tragedy. The bigger question to me then is of scale. Are the leaders of our communities, cities, counties, states, and nations members of this group as well? I would bet on it which is the precise reason of breaching this subject in the first place. This brings us to the incredible difficulty of solution since it is on an individual basis remedy is found, how is society to ever over come? The prospect of perpetuity of this egocentric attitude is more than alarming, it is nightmarish in it’s complexity. It’s remedy eludes me at every turn and burns a hole in my heart and mind when I discover just how few of us living are even willing to ask a single solitary question of ourselves, much less on the larger scale of society. I believe it is that which we dare not speak or think of which leads to war and many other tragic events from which we are further scarred and damaged.

I see this whole process culminating in the quest in some men and women’s hearts to force their views on others through government regulation and force. Why is it that in the quest for peace, we lose focus of what that means and give a monopoly of power and force to just a few among us to force others to behave the way we would see fit? We live in a world where in one situation it is totally wrong to force anyone to do anything yet, if you create a law out of that idea, it is perfectly fine and accepted when people are beaten, tortured, jailed, and sometimes murdered for behaving even a little bit outside the realm of The Law. To me, there is nothing more ugly than the fact that while government does provide some legitimate services, the price for those services is human life. The price is losing your humanity and honesty because you would rather pay your taxes and have bully cops order people around, yet leave you alone when it’s your turn to be confronted by this ugly brute of a system. It’s not right and this needs to change if humanity is to survive and reach into the universe. If it does not change, I am afraid we will be stuck on this old rock for good and die with it as a species. We would never make it among the stars in our current situation and mind set. We would quickly find something to make us strive for even more power and domination over others. We are bullies, each and every one of us and to those few out there who I know for sure are not, I thank you for giving me hope that perhaps one day, on this tiny little rock we call home, our species will know peace amongst one another. Underneath all that bigotry, intolerance, racism, and hatred is a heart of gold. The question is, what does it take to crack off the ugly crust which covers it?

Scott D. Vogler

Head down, Lights Out, Lock the Door.

HeadDown

All through history we can find examples of the two types of people I’m going to talk about. For the purposes of this article, there are two types of people, those who bury their head in the sand and those who keep their head on a swivel. In my eyes, it is very tragic that so many choose to stay ignorant. Some people are simply ignorant due to lack of information perhaps because of their living situation. However, I find that people in this situation are not the kind of people I’m trying to refer to here. Ignorance is not bliss to these people, it just so happens that they have not been exposed to certain information. The types of people I’m talking about are those who have been exposed to information, yet, choose to live in a fantasy world.  Like in Plato’s Allegory of The Cave, out of the four prisoners, only one escaped and was willing to leave the cave and the puppet show behind. The others willingly stayed behind and chose to live as a slave and in the fantasy world.

I’m not sure if there is a precise enough word for individuals who live as if they are invulnerable to new information, but there is a popular slang term being used a lot, “sheeple”. I don’t want to delve into ad hominem or name calling, so while it would be easier to just label these kinds of people, I feel it’s more responsible and educational to fully describe them rather than relying on a single blanket word like “sheeple”. In order to do so, I’ll share personal situations from my life to help define these kinds of people without a blanket label. In my life, I have attempted to wake several people up and in doing so have lost friends, family, and relationships along the way. It is frightening to me that some people cannot handle the truth. It reminds me of the story 1984, 2+2=5. People want 2+2 to equal 5 because the delusion is apparently easier to deal with. I have had people literally melt down and cry simply because I challenged their politics, people have literally screamed at me for suggesting they were mistaken, and worst of all have shunned me from their life for pointing out what I believe in.  I always make sure to tell these people, that when or if they decide we don’t have to be enemies over a disagreement, to come talk to me again. So far, not one person has stepped back into my life. I just hope they realize it was they who chose not to be around me anymore, that I miss them greatly, and I am deeply concerned for their well-being after choosing to live the lie. Some people cannot be helped because they do not want to be helped. Keep in mind, this is the majority of people around me. Also, just as a reminder, this has little to do with personal politics. I am not attempting to claim superiority over anyone but I am suggesting that some people need to open up their hearts and minds.

In contrast there are also people who simply cannot stand not knowing. I like to count myself in with this crowd, but it’s not so easy to crowd these kinds of people in either. So again, I’m going to avoid using single terms like “awake” or “enlightened” because of what comes with the seeking of knowledge and new information. This means my truth may contradict another persons truth. This leads to conversation, debate, and argument which gives further definition and substance to ideas. This will also lead to experimentation, which is probably the most important aspect to all of this. Guesses are a start, but no matter how smart, good-looking, or social someone is, a guess is inferior to experimentation. These kinds of people are not afraid of being wrong. To me, it seems like those who are truly seeking knowledge and understanding are happy to learn when they are wrong and enjoy having been corrected. This shows me a great deal more maturity in contrast to those who choose to remain ignorant to the world around them. This doesn’t mean these types of people are superior or better than anyone else, what it does mean though is that they are more willing to broaden their hearts and minds to encompass something greater than themselves.

I feel the need to consistently reiterate the point about one not being “better” than the other. As I have grown and learned more about myself and the world around me, I have come to find that sometimes people are very awake and aware but it will not seem like it at first until you really get to know them. This goes back to being open-minded, patient, compassionate, and kind to others around you. I believe there is a very specific reason why some people keep their head down, yet, have a tremendous amount of knowledge and wisdom. The reason I am referring to is bullying.

Bullying is a large part, in my view, of why people keep their head down and stay out of the conversation. It causes people to avoid confrontation and to fear rejection of their ideas. While I believe there is help for these folks, have a bit of tough love for them. What kind of excuse is that? If that’s what your excuse is I can’t help but imagine that you are less interested in learning and more interested in pushing a certain agenda. While I may be wrong in saying that, there is an old saying, “You can’t help others until you’re able to help yourself.” This, in my opinion, is exactly right, especially in this article. If you have an idea about reality and you share it with others who might have some constructive criticism and you react negatively to it, you are a perfect example of someone who would rather stay ignorant. The point here is keeping your mind open. Perhaps your ideas are sound and beneficial, however, closing off to everyone around you just because they see it a little differently is not helping you or anyone. In fact, this kind of attitude only serves to discredit your ideas if you are unwilling to even listen to a different angle. The danger in behaving this way is that you may begin to feel you are just superior to others, that you know something they do not, therefore, should be able to tell them how to think and feel. The danger here is you becoming authoritarian in your social life. Or perhaps you completely seclude yourself from everyone around you. Either way, this is no way to live in my opinion. I wish I could help you see another way.

I don’t know of any one solution to this dilemma, perhaps some suggestions from my heart will help. You will never convince someone through force or coercion so step number one is to forget about treating people this way. Many many people have experienced being bullied and we’ve all seen the effects of this so straight away, just forget about being a bully. I realize the temptation, however, know the results are not genuine. People will say a lot when under pressure just to fit in. I want real understanding not a belief brought about by some sort of abuse or brainwashing. I think one of the keys to do this is patients. If you have information about something and have experimented with it and know in your heart and mind that it’s true, then you need to stand strong with those ideas. People who disagree with you may or may not have valid points to make, so instead of reacting negatively to this, keep your ears open. You have to set the example in order to convince others, so take it upon yourself to become a very good listener. This avoids bullying in two ways, firstly, by listening to someone else’s ideas, you yourself are less likely to be a bully and in turn, you’re negating reasons for the other person to bully you. If confronted with a bully, do not cower in fear of them, but also, do not react aggressively or violently towards them. Instead, see it for the opportunity it is to improve yourself and perhaps improve them along with you. Results are what you put into any given situation or dilemma. Ignoring reality and blaming others isn’t going to do one solitary bit of good for you or anyone else around you. This is merely a suggestion to everyone to learn how to put aside petty disagreements and work a lot harder towards real solutions that work in the real world.

In closing this article, I just want to point out that I believe humanity is wonderful. I have a very optimistic outlook when I think about the future and it’s because so many wonderful people have taken it upon themselves to live and be who they are. These people inspire me to grow and learn and become a better human being. I have a girlfriend, who for the life of me, would not be with me if I hadn’t chosen the life I’ve chosen to live. She’s not into all of these things like I am, but that does not make her the type of person with her head down, lights out, and door locked. I sometimes try to see the world through her eyes and I have to tell you, it’s amazing to ponder. In the end, it’s not about whether or not she agree’s with me on everything or listens to the same information I listen to. It doesn’t matter if she can’t stand some of the music I love or some of the things I say every day. What matters is, she is who she is and she lives that way every single day. She communicates what she see’s and feel’s with me and it helps me grow into a better person. I only hope I provide the same kind of experience for her in turn because to me, she’s worth every drop of blood I have.  She keeps her head on a swivel and learns something new every single day, things I could really care less about, until she shows me how important it really is. This is what I’m talking about, people from vastly different perspectives can learn, grown, and achieve with one another simply by being open to new ideas and suggestions. That to me, is vastly superior to purposefully living a lie. Not that those people are evil, but they sure are missing out and I for one wish to do something about it.

Thank you for reading! I am more than open to suggestions, criticism, and new ideas. Please comment below and let me know what you think!

Scott D. Vogler

Bullies & Self-Defense: Standing up for yourself and others.

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I think everyone has been bullied, even bullies get bullied it seems in this world. Perhaps that’s just poetic justice, but I think there’s a better approach to this situation that doesn’t require being a bully to stop a bully. Inspired by the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” 

I will be speaking largely from experience because I want to leave it up to you to decide if what’s happened to me constitutes as bullying. Also, how I grew into someone who learned how to deal with bullies. Again, this worked for me, but I do not want you to believe I am trying to convince you that what I have to say is a cure-all when it comes to bullying. My WordPress articles are designed to share experiences and ask big questions of my readers in a hope that inspires solution in their lives. Any and all criticism is welcomed and encouraged, my comments section sure could use the hits too!

When I was 10 years old, Phillip, a friend of mine and I were at a little league game catching foul balls and home-runs, much like all the other kids. It was always fun to rough house with my friends and run as fast as we could to be first to get the ball. Simple, childish, blissfully ignorant fun. After catching a few and returning enough of them, they let my friend Phillip keep one of the balls which we then started to throw back and forth. Eventually, the ball rolled into the area the bully of this story was playing with his friend. It’s not important how he looked or how old or what he was wearing or doing, what’s important here is the idea that exist in people’s mind that they can control you with force and coercion. To a large degree this is true, however, the reality is that a peaceful situation is vastly superior to a situation involving violence. The idea of non-aggression for all intensive purposes is the ideal situation to be in. Bullies on the other hand do not seem to catch on to this really simple notion that we should not hit, take, or lie to others around us in order to get what we want.

Moving on with the story, Phillip asked for his ball back and the bully of course said no. My friend said please and the bully got in his face and intimidated him into giving the ball up. I remember this being one of the first times in my life I felt like I was standing up for something good and noble. So I approached the bully and held out my hand to get the ball back for my friend. This must have driven the bully nuts because he clobbered me with the ball over the top of my eyebrow  and then punched me a few times for good measure. I was immediately knocked out but the bully dropped the ball and kicked dirt in my face before walking away. So we got the ball back and I went home where my mother flew off the handle and called the police. Looking back, this is one of those times when I feel the police did a really good job in handling the situation and is part of the silver lining that is statist society. Apologies were in order, no charges were pressed, and my friend had his base-ball.

I look at this story with a bit of shame, because of how differently I would handle the situation now days. At 10 years old it had not occurred to me that there are vastly superior ways to help everyone in the situation get what they want without violence taking place. I should not have been so pretentious with the bully and respected his age and size advantage. Also, not being trained to defend myself, I would have chosen to speak more wisely and reason with the bully in a way that appealed to his lighter side if he had one at all that is. I believe in this approach because any escalation towards violence is a bad thing. The bully is doing plenty of that work so it is up to you, the victim, to provide opportunities for peaceful negotiations and reasoning to take place. I believe it is possible to come out of these situations with a new friend even! All because you had the knowledge and ability to provide the platform for this to take place.

What I just described is my second line of defense from bullying. The first being avoidance of violence. This is merely a pre-caution one takes in their lives to avoid potential violence by choosing not to interact with those engaging in aggressive and violent behavior towards others. Meaning, if you can, run away! Not that this is always possible, but we’ll get to that in a moment. In my story, the bully got a baseball from my friend. While it is wrong of him to steal anything at all, your health and well-being are more important than any material thing like a baseball. Looking back, Phillip and I should have simply walked away and had fun doing something else. However, as I just said, this will not always be possible. My next story will illustrate an example when logic, reasoning, rules, and escape are impossible.

This has suddenly become a controversial topic as of late. Though I am confused as to why, I think I have a small understanding of why someone would be against the use of force in self-defense. In my own situation, I was at a party with friends and one of the younger guys at this party had something to prove. Younger, but much larger and stronger than myself. He started pushing me around so I tried to make my exit, but the second I turned around he pushed me to the ground and began kicking me relentlessly. I knew right then that if I didn’t react to this violence swiftly that I would end up in the hospital. Once you see or fall victim to violent behavior, it is typical to feel adrenaline pumping through your veins. I felt nothing but righteous indignation as I rose to me feet. I have never had martial arts training of any kind, but it all happened so suddenly and swiftly. I believe self-defense is a natural part of life for most if not all life.

The reaction to protect yourself from violence is not something that anyone or anything can take away from you. It is a choice to fight back or lay down and take a beating, unfortunately, a lot of times, bully’s hurt people for really selfish and illogical reasons. I did not hurt the boy, I got on top of him and pushed my forearm into his throat and applied enough pressure to pin him down. After several seconds I let off of him because I knew I did not want to hurt him. I held him down until finally he stopped struggling and asked him continuously if he was willing stop and talk. This experience left a big impact on me because it proved to me that self-defense does not have to be the blood and guts some would have you believe it is. Self preservation can be done in a very peaceful way that provides a large stage on which peaceful events can take place. This even involves taking preventative measures which bring people together just to increase standard of living so that there is even less potential for violence.

To sum up, bullying is a part of the human experience. It is when an individual miss understands the word freedom and takes it to an extreme where logic and reality do not apply to them. They are under the impression that it is perfectly okay for them to treat you like this because they believe you to be inferior to them. Either that or they feel so terrible about themselves that the only way they can feel accomplished is by wrecking someone else’s day. In either case, there are plenty of measures we as individuals can take to avoid, reason with, and even physically defend yourself from bullies.

Please comment below, I am interested in hearing other people’s opinions on these subjects including criticism. 

Don’t forget to rate please! Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

 
Scott D. Vogler

Exploring: Micro-Organisms & Nano-Technology

MicroONano

Exploring My Curiosity and Expanding My Ideas. 

The reason I am blogging on this topic is to seek advice. I am very interested in this, however, cannot seem to help the fact that I almost fall asleep every time I try to research it. I am seeking advice from those in the medical field for their opinions on how best to learn about the important issues surrounding micro-organisms.

I have an idea about reality that humanity will lead itself to a semi-utopian society through the use of technology. I believe we will be able to introduce nano-bots into our bodies which will analyze and manipulate the fauna of life that lives within us to work for us instead of against us. I believe we can find a way to use genetics to create artificial life forms, which like Virus’s copy itself into our genetic code and in contrast to a virus, benefits our over all health greatly. I do not have a plethora of knowledge on this subject but I am very interested in learning more about how bacteria breed, survive, what kills them, what helps them thrive, and many other issues surrounding micro-organisms.

Right now my understanding of micro-organisms is infantile at best. I understand that some are very harmful and some are benign in nature and are also a vital part of our eco-system. I’m not sure I am asking the right questions, but I can’t help but imagine a world in which we use technology to help scientist run test to nullify the harmful aspects these micro-organisms. Even using them to enhance our health in creative ways. Of course I am no scientist, however, I have found that science is open to asking questions with a big paint brush.

I know that depending on the type, some forms of bacteria can live on an inanimate object for hours, if not weeks while others have an average life span of about 20 minutes. What happens to a single bacteria over its life time that gives it it’s purpose for existing? What function and micro-function does a single bacteria serve and how will humanity adapt to any threats these life forms may pose as result of co-existing in reality? I’ll answer this way, it appears to me that these ancient life forms have been around much longer than we have and that underestimating their destructive impact upon us is akin to stuffing your head directly into the sand. I have a personal philosophy of Non-Aggression which I apply to all life forms. Could we not use technology to both give harmful bacteria what it wants, while nullifying any negative impacts they might have upon us? Could technology of this magnitude also enhance our bodies by injecting beneficial genetic coding directly into our DNA and cellular structures? I believe we can achieve balance in nature through the use of solid philosophy and even more solid science to increase the harmony and prosperity of all life in the world and eventually into the universe around us.

To me, the triumph of science is the ability to make acute observations of broad ideas and dissecting every aspect of those ideas which eventually, after accumulating more knowledge based on experiments, a more accurate understanding of those ideas and the ability to implement those ideas in everyday life. I am here because I believe science allows big ideas from small people to become a reality. I am on a computer right now after all, thanks to scientist who brought about the technological revolution. I am able to send my article directly to everyone around the world to anyone who has access to it. It is my hope that my questions are addressed even if not directly to me. If I have even an indirect input on a positive result then I am happy to reach only one person with my articles.

Thank you for reading.

 
Scott D. Vogler

Please respond however you feel necessary, this post will always be open for discussion so long as I have access to it. 🙂