Perpetuating Differences in the Great American melting pot

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Have you ever looked at old census records? Researched your ancestry? Have you ever noticed how ethnic classifications have changed over the years?

In my own geneology research, I discovered some of my relatives game from Prussia. When some demographics collection form asks me to fill in my ethnicity/race, there is no box to check that says, “Prussian-American.” Prussia no longer exists, and I am willing to bet many Americans today could not even tell you where Prussia was. So, dutifully, I check the box for Caucasian. I suppose Caucasian is now my identity. Can they at least give me the option to say mutt? I have so many different cultures in my heritage, I really am… a mutt. When it comes to preserving our heritage, which of my 15 different heritages do I preserve and celebrate? There is no day for white American mutt. Have white people lost our identity? There is no white American mutt heritage month. Is my heritage less important?

I don’t see it that way. I am an American, I was born in the United States after 1776. I can trace the ships that came from Europe to America. My ancestors were not revolutionaries and they were not Native Americans. My ancestors came to the States in search of the Great American melting pot. A place where it isn’t supposed to matter where you came from or what you believed in. They came in search of prosperity and a dream. I can piece things together, through the years they travelled, history and census records, but really, what is the point? They came. I am an American! I was born in the United States and I can trace my ancestry back to the 1800’s in this country. If I had never done the research, I wouldn’t even know what part of Europe I came from, frankly, family tales have it wrong, the proof is in the documents.

My point is this, does it really matter where my ancestors came from? I was born here. Sixth or Seventh generation… it really doesn’t matter. In our current politically charged culture, overly sensitive of our differences, we have lost sight of the fact that all of us are Americans. Many of us don’t even know our true ancestry. We are Americans. We were born in this country, we live here, we work here, we vote here, we raise our children here.. we are all Americans. Does it really matter anymore from where our ships sailed, two, three or more generations ago?

By perpetuating racial and ethnic classification, are we only perpetuating our differences? We add more and more categories, yet our blood lines are getting more and more diluted. After seven generations, can I really claim anything other than, American? We continue adding heritage celebrations: African American Heritage month, Asian American heritage month, Mexican American Heritage month… Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that we can celebrate our differences, but we spend so much time recognizing them, pointing them out, celebrating them… we forget that the majority of us are multi-generational Americans. We have more in common than we have different.

In order for us to be a true melting pot, don’t we actually have to melt first? Why is assimilation such a bad thing? The more we celebrate our differences, hold so tightly to our traditions, the more we perpetuate our own racism. When we all start to recognize one another as Americans, regardless of how many generations ago we arrived, we are Americans. Our blood lines are diluted. It’s part of evolution. If there truly were only two humans on this earth, we all came from the same place. Isn’t it time we start celebrating our similarities? We are a mixed race, we are Americans. Generations ago, mixed race meant Germans and Irish or French and Italian. More and more we continue to dilute our blood lines, White and Black, Black and Hispanic, Hispanic and Black, Asian and White, the list goes on, the categories get broader. Several generations from now, the world will be brown, as we further grow as a global society and become one human race.

The more we celebrate our differences, the more attention we draw to them. History has shown, time and again, differences cause hate and hate causes war. We have the technology to end the human race… yet we continue to celebrate and perpetuate our differences.

In order to fulfill the dream of ancestors, the American Dream, we truly need to believe that all men are created equal.  Isn’t it a mistake to continue pointing out our differences? Heritage and Culture are the things of our ancestors… isn’t it time we start celebrating what makes us the same?

We are all on this one earth together, it is our responsibility to take care of it, yet we continue allowing our differences to destroy it.

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I want my guy to be a surfer

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I want my guy to be a surfer

The kind of guy up before dawn to catch some waves before his nine to five

He greets the sunset with a calm mind, dancing with the waves, one with the wind

He prepares his daily battle plan while paddling

Solves all the worlds problems as he tackles each wave

He carries his calm sunset resolve to the boardroom, effortlessly anticipating challenges, winning friends, making shit happen

He ends his day in the same way, sunset…surf

Relinquishing the stresses of his day on the surf board before he comes home

He is passionate yet calm

Intelligent yet meek

He sleeps like a baby,  not a care in the world

Tomorrow, he will do it all again.

Music’s impact on the soul

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Have you ever noticed how music affects your mood? We can enhance our mood and change it, just by listening to music. We set mood music all the time, using sing the phrase, “let me set the mood,” in concert with  (pun intended) putting on some tunes. The intent behind that is much deeper than lies on the surface.

When we are sad and we need a good cathartic cry, we play sad songs. When we are ready to move on from the tears, we listen to to empowering music. We have rally tunes and angry songs, uplifting classics and solemn hymns. Music moves us. The best tunes make us feel something. Lyrics nothing more than prose to enhance a mood, couple it with the perfect instrumental and we are moved to tears, anger, outrage, love.

But, it goes deeper,  it can describe the current of a culture, a nation, a world. Patriotic songs during times of national strife, politically charged musical demonstrations, a cry for peace.

Want insight into the minds of our youth? Listen to the underbelly message in their music. Is it one of love? Peace?war? Hatred?

What are we singing? Are we setting our own mood? Are we empowering ourselves or keeping ourselves down? Are we in love or lust? Do we respect ourselves, our women, our public servants? Are we perpetuating racism? Teaching our sons to dispect women? Are we teaching our daughters to twirk or get an education?

When I think through times in history and compare that to a musical history timeline, the music of a population can be very telling…

While driving home one day, I was listening to my “angry” Playlist, drumming on the steering wheel, strumming the chords of my gears..it occurred to me how much of an aggressive driver I had become. I realized I was particularly more aggressive that day, I was agitated and irritated. I don’t recall if I was having a particularly bad day. But, on a whim, I flipped to my beach Playlist, filled with happy, love life, chill out tunes. I literally felt my shoulders relax, my grip loosen and slowly, my mood change. I felt lighter, happier, more relaxed.

I have since tried this experiment over and over, changing moods, enhancing moods with the switch of a dial. It works every single time.

Imagine what impact we could have in our lives, in our world if we just paid attention to how we feed our minds.

What’s on your playlist?

Did Marcus Aurelius write the serenity prayer?

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As you may know, I have always loved the serenity prayer, I use it to keep me on course, when my kids here me say it, they think I’m doing witchcraft, lol. I have been known to known to mumble it under my breath, when I’m trying to maintain my composure, secure my calm resolve, serenity.

Recently, while reading a book about Marcus Aurelius, I came across this quote attributed to him.

Objective judgment, now at this very moment.

Unselfish action, now at this very moment.

Willing acceptances now, at this very moment- of all external events.

That’s all you need.

Add some religion, or relinquishment of power and add some prose…

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference

In Marcus’s version, the power was his, as if he was solidifying his own resolve, or commanding the universe grant him with it.

In the prayer, the anonymous author is asking God to give him these things.

Ancient stoic,  anonymous saint or a recovering alcoholic, whomever coined the words, the message is the same.

Time and experience have taught me, only I have the ability to suck up life and let go of control of others. I no longer ask God for these things, rather remind myself that I already have them.

Serenity, courage, wisdom.

The choice is always mine.

Write your Sad times in the Sand

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I love this idea, to write your sad times in the sand and your good times in stone.

How often do we do just the opposite? With red ink, we mark our lives with all the negativity, anger, sadness and we use pencil to mention the good things.

I was sitting on the beach yesterday when it occurred to me that I could write anything in the sand and watch it wash away with the tide.

I was angry, struggling with a difficult situation at work, ruminating over a problem at home, trying to meditate, but my mind was fighting against the quiet. I find anger and pain do not usually go away quietly for me, surely there must be a way to get it out and get on with my life.

So, I grabbed a stick and I wrote some rather nasty things my mind was looping over, like a scratched record. Just as I wrote them, a rogue wave washed them away… I visualized the salty wave cleansing my problem, taking it away from me, giving it to the universe to solve, it is now out of my hands.

Truth was, it has ALWAYS been out of my hands, but that little ritual on the beach somehow restored my ability to let it go, give it over to my version of a higher power.

I imagined the vastness of the ocean and the strength of the current, much more powerful than I. I imagined the ocean taking my problem from me and spitting back a solution with the next wave. It took a wave or two for the words to be completely gone from the sand, but, in a matter of moments, that small ritual made me feel better. Each wave, leaving less of my anger and pain behind for the world to see, until it was gone.

I fell into a fantastic meditation after letting go of the things that were occupying my mind. Such a simple ritual; writing down my negativities and imagining the powerful universe taking my problem from me; it made me feel lighter, it was easier to rest my mind.

Now I know the whole idea of meditation is to quiet the mind, but, what works for me in meditation is that when I stop trying to force the answers, the answers come to me… unprovoked. By freeing up my mind from the negative thoughts that prevailed, the solutions to my worries came effortlessly.

I think this will be part of my process from now on… writing my worries, my angers, my fears and my tears into the sand and letting the universe take them over, wash them away for me. I suppose the next step is just as important, “writing the good times in stone.” This comes with gratitude and practice and I will get to it, for now, I am just happy to see my problems wash away with the tide.

What do you do to quiet your mind?

Don’t Date a man who reads

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This is not my post, it is a post by fellow blogger,: Cammi Pham. It is a wonderful post, I just had to share it! You can read the original post on her blog by clicking on the post title below.

Don’t Date a Man Who Reads

BY CAMMI PHAM

Don’t date a man who reads. He will be interesting. Your romantic dates will be like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Your late night conversation will take hours to end. He will throw ideas and expect you to bounce something back. Brain exercises are not for the lazies.

Don’t date a man who reads. He is fine spending time on his own. He can entertain himself for hours with or without you. A Brief History of Time might be your worst enemy. You might wonder if he is having an affair with Emma or Jane Eyre. You will always have to share his time with books. And, when you work late, he won’t get upset; books will keep him company.

Don’t date a man who reads. He is hard to please. Ideas and imagination are the fuel to his brain. You will chase the knowledge and become a better version of yourself. He might want to teach you How To Win Friends And Influence People.

Don’t date a man who reads. He is intelligent. Smart people know to invest in themselves. You will have to keep up and be more than just a pretty face. Beauty fades. Intelligence will show you the road From Here to Eternity. He will turn you from Good to Great.

Don’t date a man who reads. He will listen to your thoughts and dreams. He won’t let you sit still; he will make you chase them. It cannot be harder than The Journey To The West. He will tell you that your only limit is you.

Don’t date a man who reads. He will Think And Grow Rich. He knows reading is always a bargain. He will borrow thousands of people’s brains to turn his vision into reality. The Richest Man In Babylon will be put to shame.

Don’t date a man who reads. He is a critical thinker. He has seen different opinions through thousands of pages. Reading teaches him great analytical skills. Every little challenge will have a strategy session from The Art Of War. If you have a tough decision, he might have the solution. And you will have to learn to accept help from others.

Don’t date a man who reads. He has a sense of perspective. He knows his problems will never be harder than the people in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Don’t date a man who reads. He will always want to try new things. He will always try to get more out of life. For him, life is like an adventure like Around The World In Eighty Days. He will teach you how to Choose Yourself.

Don’t date a man who reads. His inner child is more alive. The Age of Innocence will never come to an end. His curiosity and creativity will survive through school. And he won’t stop asking questions to find The Art Of Happiness.

Don’t date a man who reads. He can be empathetic. He is used to putting himself in every character’s shoes. He will be there to pick you up when you fall. He knows Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life.

Don’t date a man who reads. He will like to challenge you like A Call To The Wild. He will give you book suggestions that will drive you crazy. He will push you hard to grow, and to share the journey with him. Nothing will be nice and smooth like a bed of roses. But the more you open your mind, the more things you will discover. And the more you read, the more you will realize you know nothing. And you won’t be able to stop chasing new ideas.

Don’t date a man who reads. You will have a hard time reading him. The key to his heart lies below thousands of books. You will have to read things you don’t like. You will read things that will make you cry. You will read things that make you comfortable. That is part of every relationship. It will take real effort to meet his Great Expectations.

Don’t date a man who reads. Because he is a storyteller. Everything through his eyes will look magical. One day he might tell your children The Greatest Story Never Told.


Never date a man who reads. He is dangerous. Even if he looks like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you will always find him sexy.

You might never leave him. Because every moment is like a new story in A Thousand And One Nights.

He will be smart enough to see your value. He will treat you like A Little Princess. One day he might tell you that your Love Story was Right From The Beginning.

What do you think?

View story at Medium.com

Driving with my head out the window


I love watching dogs ride in cars. We just adopted a new dog and took her for a ride to the north shore to see if she likes the water.Her name is lulu.

I watched lulu hanging her head out the window. Like every other happy dog, her tongue wagging in the wind, She was excited by everything she saw, mesmerized by everything. I started thinking maybe, in some ways, dogs are more evolved than we are. Could man’s best friend be trying to teach us something?

Ever notice how dogs live in the moment? Like babies, they enjoy this moment, right here. They don’t worry about the past they don’t worry about the future they just want to live in this moment right here!

I think we often take for granted living in the moment. We walk around worrying about our to-do lists, or who’s thinking what about us, who were impressing who were not. We fret about our past wondering what could have been, we lose sight of this moment right here. We spend so much damn time in other places, lost in time, we lose sight of this this beautiful moment. We can make this moment whatever we choose we have the power to make this moment be anything.

Yet we lament about our pasts and fret about our futures, losing sight of the only time and space we actually have control over, this one.

Time is something we can’t get back, when the moment passes, it’s gone, we never get a second chance at this moment right here.

Watching Lulu hanging her head out the window, feeling the wind on her face, he paws, clinging to the window, her hind claws digging in my leg, I realize she is terrified, yet she continues..determined to drink every last drop from this moment. I decide to be more fearless, to work harder at being present. Life can change tomorrow, the past is gone, all we really have is this moment.

I opened my sun roof and stood on my car seat, hanging my torso out the roof, it feels exhilarating, scary, and yet amazing. I raise my hands above my head, unbundled my hair and for that moment, I just let loose, no worries, no frets, just sure bliss of enjoying the moment. It was spontaneous, it was amazing. I realized right then, life is too short, drink every drop of it, savor it, share it with someone special, but don’t waste any more of it wondering what could be. Get out there and make it what you want, just for this one moment, and then, I will worry about the next one when it comes.

Life is beautiful, hang your head out the window, kiss some frogs, dig your toes in the sand and enjoy it. You can never get back this moment, this one right here, make it count, make it a memory, do something you love, with someone you love. Laugh, cry, dance in the rain, just make it special, make it yours. Wag your tail, lap at the air, holler at nothing, just because you can.

My favorite spot

This is my favorite spot on the island right now, it’s a quiet public access spot that opens to a Sandy cliff overlooking the ocean. It’s in a residential spot, no big open beach area for many to gather upon, just a small shoreline immediately below the cliff.

I like it here because there are no crowds. I can sit quietly and watch the sunset, lulled into a tranquil meditation as the waves crest and crash, crest and crash.

The sun lingers here just a little bit longer, in Hawaii, the sunset seems just a little gentler than other places I have lived .

The roosters crow at sunset, I didn’t know that before, there cackle sounds like a chant to me, bidding adieu to the day before settling in

I sleep better on nights when I have spent the evening here, my melatonin synching perfectly, my body to the sun, my mind clear and rested, I drift into deep restful Rem, now waking until dawn

This is my place of reflection, my place to quiet my mind and reconnect to the earth as the waves, the sky and I, become one

Why men love dogs

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Ever wonder why some men have such an incredible bond with their dog?

Here’s what I think:

Dogs are loyal. Loyalty is important to a man, it ranks right up there with respect. For that matter, a trained dog is very respectful to its owner.

The dog is appreciative , no matter what, pups are grateful for any amount of attention they get… they don’t complain, they don’t nag.

Dogs are ready in a moment’s notice. Ready to hit the beach, hop on a ride to nowhere, hike, run, hunt… they are just happy to be with their man.

They listen without judgement at least none that we see, they are always ready with a kiss to cheer, console or celebrate, always in tune with his moods.

Dogs are quick to forgive, fiercly protective, spontaneous, happy, eager, fun…sound familiar? ever read a guys online dating profile?

No pressure, just spontaneous fun, always happy, never judgemental, quiet, loyal, respectful, unconditional love…

Want to know how your gut will treat you? Pay attention to how he treats his dog! It’s likely that pup is giving him everything he wants in a mate  (okay, almost everything)… how does he treat his best friend? There may be clues to how he will treat you…