Some of the best times in my life were spent just across the street from my childhood home. There was both compassion and unbridled discipline that lived there.
Also, a fireman. Life is hard, and we have our own stories of forgiving the fireman.
Most of the stories I hear about the man, come from those who share their experience. My stories of the man, come from my time spent under his authority, wisdom, and care. While all are valid, these are the stories I know.
Without dragging skeletons out from other people’s closets, I will share one story.
This is not a victim story. There are no demons being drug out into the light for closer examination.
Just stories. They are all true (which makes some people uncomfortable).
My childhood friend lived in that home across the way.
During a time when front doors remained unlocked, and when lightning bugs were killed without any thought of the Buddha. When people had not traded their souls for wealth, and children were allowed the space to breathe.
Say what you like, but mine was the last of the generations unaffected by the mass density of information… both true and untrue. I could help both the older and the younger generations understand each other. I suspect the older folks are too old and the younger folks are uninterested.
That is only because I have given up, and not because of anything they did. Most likely it will work out with or without my gems of wisdom. Those gems, by the way, are only collections gathered from others.
What of the belt?
It was used in the home across the road as a disciplinary device. Even a time or two it was used on me.
Now that is not fair to a child. Period.
In some ways, it is not fair to those who wield such power over young and growing minds. Yet here I am, always learning and always teaching and always learning and always teaching.
At the same instance, there is good in the bad, and bad in the good.
Realities and Forgiving the Fireman
Though I am unsure which national network had the campaign, there used to be a slogan broadcast as, “the more you know.” Perhaps it was NBC… the peacock. In this day and age, you choose any reality you like.
One thing is for certain, if you are wise, you should find the good in the bad, and the bad in the good.
With algorithms, SEO, marketing campaigns, and even the ability to predict behavior through data mining, we are more the masters of our destinies than any point in history.
We are also more subject to manipulation.
We just are. I actually do know stuff.
Most of my knowledge comes from hearing stories for 50 plus years, and other understandings come from my continued education. That continued education is not accredited, and I have no certificate of completion, because it was never an issue of proving that I knew “stuff”.
Are we motivated or manipulated?
This seems to be the question.
Please do not settle for one explanation of social media on Netflix.
It is not a good idea in life and it is not a good idea in general.
Life is for you, even though Facebook is a powerhouse in technology. Even if Twitter is cashing in. Even if Google changes its search results for different areas in the world.
First be grateful. Second be aware.
If I were to offer any advice at all, it would be compassion.
The algorithms are definitely out of control, and Elon Musk was right about artificial intelligence. What Mr. Musk may or may not realize is that AI (artificial intelligence) has no interest in killing humanity. We have done that well on our own for centuries.
My advice would be to generate a separate AI platform to combat the ones now in use and let them battle it out. That may sound strange from a guy that cannot keep himself out of a mental facility.
At the very least, a guy that is as happy in a facility, as he is in his living room.
Give me a Sharpie marker and pudding pop, and I am able to do my job anywhere.
You may have noticed there was only one story about the fireman.
That is by design.
When I made a commitment to change the world, one smile at a time, I decided there was little room for blame, shame, and what is now known as cancel culture. Love has brought me this far, and wherever I am bound, love will carry me there also.
As it goes with most truth tellers, my sanity has recently been called into question.
The process of “proving” takes time. Once you are labeled as insane, insanity becomes your ally.
It sort of relieves the pressure a bit.
Since there is neither a way to prove or prove sanity, insanity gives you permission to explore innovative and thought provoking ideas. The less attached to ego I become, the more freedom I find.
Not only in the mind, but in the liberties of which I am able to take advantage, in that teaching and learning thing described earlier.
Also, there are plenty of opportunities for jokes.
I like the jokes. I also like the idea of forgiving the fireman.
For me, there is no real forgiveness. God does things for his purpose and at some point the mystery of it all seems sufficient for me.
When I find myself alive in this moment, I find myself with all I need, or I would not be alive in this moment.
Should another offend, it really is my gift to absorb the negativity.
However, in the teaching game, there should be an illusion of offense. By that I mean, if a person feels like they have offended you, most likely it is that they did something that might offend them.
To pretend that it meant something to you, and that it hurt, and allows you to offer grace and offer some needed illusion of control.
One of my friends in Virginia advises us to, “left lane that shit, and move on.”
He is an old hippie that drove over the road for years.
Peace comes from knowing that we allow others the opportunity and freedom to exist in ways in which they are comfortable.
Forgiving the Fireman
In forgiving those who raised us, we forgive ourselves.
We all have “stuff”. We all know “stuff”.
That “stuff” might be different, but ultimately, the lessons are the same.
We are all doing the best, with what we were given emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Someone once said that sainthood is also a temptation.
I am equal to you. You are equal to me. We exist in the same time and space in whatever dream this may be.
Jesus is a forgiver, Krishna is a warrior.
Paramahansa Yogananda would suggest we need both.
The fireman taught me that over a cigarette and a drink long before I ever read words written by Yogananda.
We might choose the blaming of the fireman. I choose the forgiving of the fireman.
This is the key to unlocking mysteries.
Take care of each other.