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We’ve all heard the equality vs. equity argument by now haven’t we? Yeah, no? Well the long and short of it is that equality is the granting of the same thing to everyone, the same opportunities, the same supplies, the same aid, and so on and so forth. Equality is meant to make everyone feel better because they’re getting equal treatment and are being treated in an equal manner.

But in a world where many people aren’t made equal this doesn’t quite cut it.

As you can see from the picture above equality doesn’t help when the circumstances between people are different. We don’t always see it, but a lot of us are born with privileges and abilities that others don’t have and aren’t made privy to due to one reason or another. It could be physical or it could be according to status or simple geographical location but not everyone is given a fair shot in this world due to one reason or another. This is why so many people clamber for equity instead of equality.

To some it might seem as though those that are being given equity are being given an unfair advantage, but in order to push this thought away it is necessary to be up front and honest with ourselves about the advantages we have over others that make equity necessary. It might seem unfair that they need added help, but in the same regard it is unfair if they don’t receive it.

Equity can foster resentment in both those that receive it and those that don’t.

Some people that desperately need equity for one reason or another will gladly deny it simply because they don’t want to be seen as a pity case, while others will accept it largely because they know getting by without it will only make life harder than it’s already been. Those that don’t get it and don’t need it however are quite mixed in their feelings towards equity as some regard it as taking pity on those that don’t want it while others believe that those that are disadvantaged in any way should simply work harder at life. This might seem like a rather careless statement, and it is when it’s made, but it is one that those with said disadvantages might echo a time or two.

Equity is in fact needed at times, but it is a manner of helping others, not showing pity upon them. In that respect however it is also noted that those with disadvantages are not always ‘brave’ or ‘inspirational’ for taking the equity offered to them by others, as many will acknowledge that they simply wish to have the same life experience as others and might need a helping hand now and again.

Equity is more about giving everyone an equal chance at life, not giving people an advantage over anyone else.


Father and Son Kill Black Bear and Her Cubs

Killing a bear is seen by many to be needless unless there’s a true and present danger that is presented by the bear to any humans in the area. This story however is something that would argue the fact that some human beings are simply detestable in how they go about composing themselves in the wild.

To stand up to rampaging bear that means to do harm to a person is one thing, but to shoot and kill a mother bear and her cubs is something that no hunter should ever claim pride in. Unfortunately this is what happened on Esther Island in the Prince William Sound when Owen Renner and his father Andrew were noticed by a motion-activated camera executing a mother bear and her newborn cubs. The pair didn’t know that the mother and her cubs were currently under observation and that their actions and their words were being recorded.

For the one case that gets noticed however there are typically more that go by the wayside since this occurrence is not always done in the open where people can see and take note. In any case it is a disgusting act that cost the lives of several animals that were doing no harm to anyone and were treated as sport by the two perpetrators. Worse than this however is that the elder Renner bagged up the cubs and then falsified a report saying that he didn’t know how many bears there were when it was pretty obvious from the footage that they were attempting to cover this up.

They did manage to see the tracking collar on the bear and instead of fessing up to what they did they skinned the bear, took the collar, and disposed of the cubs’ bodies elsewhere. They then made the claim that they shot the bear somewhere else and hadn’t seen any cubs.

Hunters, true hunters, don’t do this. Hunting is used as a means of killing for food and unfortunately killing for sport, but any hunter worth their rifle would not target a mother and her young in this manner and then lie about it to get away with it. Not only were the kills highly illegal, they were unethical in a way that demands justice be done in some manner given that the diabolical nature of it indicates a very devious mindset on the part of the Renner’s.

If they’re sorry now it’s because they got caught, as it’s obvious they weren’t sorry when they did it.

What It’s Like to be an American


What’s it like to be an American? Well, that kind of depends on who you ask. There are so many of us out there that think that this is a great nation while there are others that claim that it’s one of the worst in the world. Some of us are extremely tolerant and others would gladly stand at the borders of our country telling immigrants to go home. Some of us are ashamed of how the others in this country are acting while others might try reminding us that America was indeed founded on a lot of different things, but there are few to be proud of in this day and age.

Being an American is sometimes very confusing since our history is filled with inconsistencies that, like any other nation, depends on the point of view. It is a great nation in many regards, but it is also fraught with controversy that has never quite gone away and is still very much alive in this day and age since our current political landscape is anything but completely stable.

Being an American is not as simple as it sounds.

Some people would gladly apologize, as Americans, for how our country has treated many others and for the current POTUS and the craziness that he’s introduced to the world in the guise of a world leader. However apologizing for our leadership and for the fact that some among us have decided to represent the country in a most unwanted fashion is not the responsibility of the nation, but of those that have committed such acts. If a country is to be held responsible for those that practice such negative habits within its borders then there are few countries that would be able to claim innocence. The USA is in fact not perfect, but it is the home we’re born to and the home that has given us what we have to this day. Defending it is easy, but explaining away those that embarrass the country is exceedingly difficult.

Being a human being is easier than being an American.

Go on and try to dispute this, because being a human being in this day and age is still a difficult proposition for some as the idea of treating another person with respect seems to be an unknown concept for some. Americans have been looked down upon for the treatment they’ve given others and have bestowed upon other nations, this is very true. But again, the country is still filled with those that would rather treat their fellow human being like a person, not a number or an enemy simply because of the country they come from.

‘Real Americans’ are proud to admit that they are ‘real people’.

This means that ‘real Americans’ are those that treat others with respect, practice humility when it’s necessary, and are able to get along with their global neighbors as much as is humanly possible. It’s true that other nations don’t want to get along, that they will war with the US before extending a hand in friendship, and that’s understood. But a real American will know when to defend themselves and when to lower their weapons and talk before jumping to rash decisions that can lead the world into another conflict such as those that have occurred in the past.

Being a real American means standing up when you have to to defend your family, home, and country, but knowing when to stand down and realize your place in the world as a rational, thinking being.

Everyone’s Got An Angle


It’s rare to find someone that doesn’t want something from those around them and won’t do anything they can to get it. In this world that seems to be how things work though, and while it might seem to come with overwhelmingly negative connotations, there are some positives to it as well. Everyone has their own angle on what they want and how to get it, but it’s how they go about getting it that makes the difference. The long, hard way to get things is preferred by some since it builds character, brings wisdom and experience, and despite being harder, allows a person to feel good about what they’ve done for themselves and for others. The short, quick way to what a person wants often involves a lot of shortcuts and the necessity of harming those that don’t deserve it.

Everyone wants something in this world even if it’s just to see the next day, but how we go about getting it is something that you might want to think about each and every time you decide on how to obtain what it is you seek.

Getting what you want might isn’t always easy.

It all depends on what it is that you want. If it’s easily obtained then there’s little to no stress and no reason to really step over people to get it. For instance the average person wants to wake up, get through their day with as little trouble as possible, and then go home and enjoy their evening. For some this pretty easy while for others it’s a struggle just to get from one hour to the next. How we go about finding and getting what we want is all about how we react to the challenges that are set in our path.

Of course life isn’t easy, it was never meant to be no matter what’s been said. The act of living is a labor sometimes and quite honestly it can be a pain. But it’s worth it because of the moments we work for, the moments we earn, and the moments that remind us that out of all the hard times and struggle there are those moments that are fun, peaceful, and more than worth the effort. Life isn’t easy, but the moments in which you find happiness that’s been earned make it worthwhile.

Those that have an angle aren’t always the villain, but they’re not always benevolent either.

Some people aren’t content enough with life to let it grant them what they work for and are daring enough to find an angle that will allow them to not only get ahead that much quicker, but circumvent a good deal of life in the process. The only problem with this is that they generally have to undercut a great many people on their way up, meaning that they have to step on or backstab a good number of folks to get what they want. While this is unfortunately quite common in humanity and even lauded as one of the greatest ways to gain notoriety, it’s still something that comes as a rather cruel and malicious act that is somehow swept under the table at times when an individual attains what they want and is thus called ‘heroic’, ‘inspirational’, and even ‘brave’ for having the courage to stand up for their convictions and do what was necessary.

In short, we tend to overlook those that actually work for their place in the world and glorify those that willfully harm others in an attempt to become known.

We all have an angle in life when it comes to getting what we want, but those that use the means at their disposal to help others are often far better than those that will use such means to find their way forward while stepping on the backs of those that are in their way.

Are Integrity and Honor Outdated Concepts?


Such words don’t seem to mean much to some people these days as they’re easily traded for what we can get in the here and now. Honor is a fancy word to some that doesn’t much more than to say that you’d go without feeding your family or yourself rather than cut a corner or two and get things done. Integrity is about the same way, it’s easy to say you have it, but it’s hard to live a hard life and keep it rather than sacrifice a bit of it in order to get ahead.

It’s a sad state when people think that sacrificing either one is a good idea, but surviving in today’s world seems to come at the expense of who we are as people.

These concepts are outdated to those that have never truly known them.

That might seem like an erroneous statement, but to be quite honest a person that states that honor is a pretty word that means nothing has likely never known the meaning of the word in the first place. Honor is more or less the kind of respect that one has for themselves, for others, and will never sacrifice unless there is absolutely no choice. Honor is not something a person can strip from another person, it’s something that only the person that has it can ever give up. The kind of respect that creates an honorable person is the kind that there seems to be too little of in this day and age. It is the ability to keep one’s word, to make promises and hold yourself to them, to be upstanding amidst those that are not, and above all to show respect to oneself and to others without fail.

Integrity is the ability to do the right thing when being observed or when no one is around. It’s remaining honest, dignified, and above all true to yourself regarding your principles at all times. Far too often people are willing to simply give up on their own moral standing and do what is simple rather than what is needed. There are many cases in which people will cite the fact that life is hard, that it is cruel, and that it is unfair to those that stand up for what they believe in.

Welcome to world. It’s not perfect, and neither are we, but standing up for yourself and your principles is still important. Giving up on either is essentially giving up on yourself and all those that believe in you.

There are always going to be circumstances that will test the boundaries of honor and integrity.

Doing the right thing isn’t always doing the right thing. What this means is that the boundaries of your honor and your integrity will both be tested in life and will force you to make a choice as to where you stand based on those ideals you follow and what you know to be right and just as a human being.

A person can possibly keep both their honor and their integrity and still be seen to be in the wrong, so long as they’re holding to their own ideals.

Be Kind, Don’t Be a Doormat

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Some people are kind, some people are warm and caring, open, and ready to help anyone at a moment’s notice. That’s the epitome of being a decent human being. But the completion of such an existence is to not allow people to walk on you without pause. Optimists will strive to see the good in everything while pessimists will note the worst in everyone and thing. The balance however is important to humanity simply because it doesn’t do to live a life looking at just the bad or pleasant aspects. One must find a way to be kind but remain firm, and be accepting yet fair.

Being kind is not a sign of weakness.

Those that grow to believe that kindness, mercy, and acceptance are signs of weakness are typically those that were never offered such emotional amenities while growing up, or have been taken advantage of too many times and have turned cold to the world. Kindness is a choice that people make, it is not prerequisite to being human, yet it is also not a sign of a deficient spirit. In essence, kindness is the chance we give to others to show that they are worth something, not just our time or our effort, but something far more valuable than what they believe.

There is a time to be kind however and there is a time to be cruel. “I must be cruel to be kind” is an old saying that some don’t care for, but still carries great weight if you truly think on it. Acts of cruelty are often seen as inherently negative as they are typically carried out in a fashion that harms another or makes life increasingly difficult. Yet cruelty is a relative term at times, as kindness can be seen as a cruelty to those that don’t know what to do with it. “Killing you with kindness” is a strange saying that also leads towards negative connotations, but only insofar as the person that is receiving such kindness can perceive.

Being a doormat is a choice.

No one signs up to be a doormat for others as it’s not an enviable position even for the most penitent of individuals. A doormat will gladly suffer the abuse, the burdens, and the depredations of others in an effort to show that they are compliant, friendly, and willing to help anyone with absolutely anything they need. Unfortunately this means that they will willingly give up as much as is possible without putting up so much as a struggle. Some might call this being humble, pious, or even pacifistic, but in truth it is allowing yourself to become the stepping stone for others without the benefit of the respect that might come with such an action.

As I said, no one just decides to be a doormat, but they do choose to not fight back, eschewing the right to become irritated or frustrated enough with those that continually take and never give back. The argument of course is that such individuals don’t know how to fight back and wouldn’t if they could. But the counter is that they still deserve the same respect that every human being is capable of receiving.

There’s no need to be the kind of person that simply allows people to walk all over them, but there’s also no need for a person to become unkind when dealing with their fellow human beings. How we react to the way that others treat us is always a choice, and is almost always dependent upon how we’re treated in turn.

Be friendly, be warm, be kind. But don’t let people take that for weakness.

On That Day (part VII)



Seattle, WA

May 17th, 2021

Only a couple of months before I received the message from Katie I’d about given up. Despite no longer being a smuggler and a bottom-feeder as I’d come to think of myself I was still a hopeless case that couldn’t get over the guilt of Karl and the idea that I didn’t deserve the chance at a good life. But I hadn’t gone so far as to throw myself off a bridge yet or cut my own throat for a number of reasons, but only one of them that even came close to explaining why I’m here now.


For all that I thought so little of myself, and for all that I figured it was better for me to die, I hadn’t yet given up all hope. I was still fairly sure that there was something I was still here for, otherwise I would have been a corpse in the ground a long time ago. Or maybe I’d be lost at sea or left in a ditch somewhere waiting to be discovered by a hiker or vagrant, who knows. All I know is that as low as I’d gotten, and I was back to the street, feeding myself out of trash cans and looking every day for the freshest stuff that got tossed out, I hadn’t yet decided that it was time to check out.

I picked myself up again on hope though. I was still wracked with guilt and wouldn’t let it go, but I picked myself up again and became a day laborer, much as I’ve done to this point. I just got hired on to a construction company a few months back, after I got the message. How she got my number I’ll never know, especially since I bought a prepaid phone from a nearby Verizon store and have been paying for my minutes ever since. The only calls and texts I get are from work, and those have been few and far in between since I do my best to show up on time and never give them a reason to can me.

I’ve got a small place that’s more like a closet now, but it’s mine. I’ve even got a couple of buddies I hang out with after work sometimes, and it’s all good. But I still keep things pretty close to the chest, and because of that I still don’t know how she found me.

It kind of worries me to be honest, even though I don’t want it to.

(to be continued)

No Such Thing (part VII)



Astoria, OR

February 19th, 2019

The shout was from Alan, and it had come from upstairs. Her mind went into hyper-parent mode without hesitation though she had no idea why she should feel afraid of anything in her home. Her sons had both called to her in such a manner when they’d been younger, usually to show her something that they thought was simply phenomenal, such as the first time they’d had a bowel movement in the toilet or a spider that had crawled out of the attic. But this sounded different, as though Alan was afraid of something, or he’d seen something so terrifying that he didn’t know what to do.

The only time he’d sounded like that was when he’d been confronted by a doberman that had lived down the street several years back. Thankfully the dog had turned out be quite harmless and very friendly, but her heart had skipped a beat then just as it did now. She was making her way around the divider wall and into the living room, aiming for the staircase, when she heard a resounding slam from outside, the metallic sound telling her that it was the large workshed her husband had just had to have.


This time it was Caden screaming for her, and unlike his younger brother Caden wasn’t one to panic. She felt her heart knock harder in her chest as Alan called for her again, followed quickly by Caden. And then she saw it.

In the middle of the room, right where she should have noticed it several moments ago, was an apparition of sorts that defied her logical and rational way of thinking, the translucence of the thing startling her as she realized she could almost see right through it. Garbed in some shimmering white garment the woman, for she could see the apparition’s face, was both lovely and horrible all at once, the cold, penetrating eyes staring at her from a face that might have been carved from stone had the features not seemed so soft.

“Choose,” the ghostly woman said, raising both hands to point, one towards the stairs, and the other towards the back yard, where Caden was still screaming for her. Dimly she could still hear Aiden screaming and Alan yelling for her, though at the moment it was all she could do to meet the cold, unwavering stare of the dreaded thing in her living room.

“W-what?” she breathed, barely able to stammer the word out.

The ghost frowned, her eyes becoming darker with each passing second as she glided forward, not stepping, not seeming to jar in any way with each inch she gained, but smoothly transitioning from one point to the next. Her heartbeat was so quick and so hard at that point that she was amazed that it hadn’t seized up yet from fear. But she stood her ground as the apparition came within a few inches of her, the air around them both seeming to freeze as a plume of vapor came from her quivering lips.

“Choose!” hissed the ghost, her dark eyes boring into her own as she felt that any moment she would simply faint. But she couldn’t, not while her children needed her. This thing, this creature, would not be left alone with her kids.

But what could she possibly do?

(to be continued)

If It Doesn’t Kill You….


You’ve heard that saying right? If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. Some people would disagree with that quite vehemently really, especially in a physical sense, but also in an emotional and psychological one. This is the kind of saying that tough, hardened people that don’t allow themselves to feel pain and have never been through a debilitating injury or psychological battering might say. Because to be honest it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but it also weakens a person that can’t handle the pressure of whatever “it” is.

In the literal sense, the thing that doesn’t kill you still makes you weaker.

A boulder landing on the lower half of your body won’t make you stronger, nor will getting into a car accident. In fact any physical act that breaks you down will only make your body weaker simply because that’s how the human body works. Once we’re broken we don’t come back to full strength unless a miracle happens or we happen to be taking part in a scifi movie where they can rebuild a person better than before. In the real world if something doesn’t kill you then it tends to at least leave a scar and a trace of weakness behind simply because it broke you down in a way.

Psychologically-speaking what doesn’t kill you will still have a better chance of making you weaker than leaving you stronger. In a sense whatever ‘it’ is will seek to destroy, not build. But what’s left behind when all is said and done is what will have to make the decision to stand up again and regain whatever strength is possible, or lie down and accept defeat. This is how we grow ‘stronger’ again, by denying our own demise.

You grow strong again by your own hand.

The tragedy that occurs before you decide to regain your strength is a catalyst to be sure, but it also stands alone as its own incident, apart from the determination that will be needed to regain one’s strength and confidence. In effect a tragedy will only ever tear someone down, though it will still be credited as a turning point in a person’s life when they decided to say ‘enough’ and take control of their life once again. It’s confusing really because with some folks it takes a tragic moment when they lose just about everything to do this, while at any point before the tragedy they could have been doing something different for a long, long time.

That which does not kill us doesn’t make us stronger, it simply opens our eyes to the moments we’ve willingly missed.

When You’re Working Too Much


Occasionally you’ve got to take time to play, relax, or just sit back from your desk or your job, wherever it might be, and take a breath. We work to provide for ourselves, our families, and to earn the life that we want, but in the process we tend to give up a lot of that life to the job. There’s no need to be bitter or resentful about it though since we did choose the life and we did tend to choose the job that we want, or at least something that we can stomach since it pays well enough.

Those that didn’t, well, it might be time to think about a new line of work. But the whole idea of work is that you get to earn enough to do what you want with life when it’s your time. Unfortunately a lot of people these days tend to occupy that free time with more work since the cost of living in some areas has gone up to such ridiculous heights that just paying the rent or the mortgage is enough to break a person’s paycheck each month and leave little left for bills and other amenities that are needed.

People have to eat after all, and it’s nice to do that in a home that has electricity. But what price does all that work exact on a person? Well, here’s a few things it affects, and likely they’re things that people have already come to realize for years upon years before now.

So why do we still do it?

Working too long and too hard can affect your health in a negative way.

Just like an engine in danger of overheating, the body needs to rest time and again in order to cool down so that it doesn’t wear out. Our bodies are only geared to take so much in a 24-hour period and working for nearly two-thirds of that is simply insane. People do it though, pushing through 12-hour days to take a double shift when allowed in order to earn that bigger paycheck. Then people wonder why they don’t feel well after too many double-shifts and begin to experience fatigue, sickness, and a general feeling of being worn out for no good reason days after the fact.

Your body needs rest in between periods of physical and even mental activity. This is a part of why work days are geared the way they are and why employers are legally obliged to create different shifts, so that their workers will be able to come back refreshed and not burned-out husks ready to collapse at any moment.

Too many hours spent away from home can put a strain on relationships.

Be it a significant other, spouse, or kids, the time you spend at work is time spent away from those that care about you. This is hard to argue however since the time you spend at work is typically spent trying to earn a better life and the funds that are needed to survive and to get ahead in life. But unless you’re needing to work three jobs or more just to survive then you might need to dial it back and find an alternative to working the long, grueling hours that keep you away from those that care about you and depend on you.

Kids suffer worse than adults since they don’t fully understand when they’re younger just why mommy or daddy spend so much time away from home. Added to that is the fact that by the time you get home the kids are either in bed or you’re too worn out to do much of anything. Kids need a lot of attention, as do those in your life that are there for you, so working too hard might be a means to an end, but it’s also a good way to put undue stress on the relationships you have with others.

Again, that one is hard to argue since without working it’s hard to support those you care about.