Monday, August 29, 2011

Being a friend...

One thing about life that I’ve noticed is that it takes years to build something, then often only a second or two to completely destroy it. This is true on for so many different aspects of our lives. Many people spent years building a retirement fund, only to have the economy crash and it all disappear before their eyes. Some people build homes, then a disaster takes it all away. Many people spend years forging what seems to be an unbreakable friendship, only to have one moment take it all away. It doesn’t seem fair right? How so many good things can be undone by one thing? For the people that lost their retirement funds, they can reinvest and hopefully work back out of it. For the people that lose a home, hopefully there is an insurance policy that will kick in and help them rebuild. For the people that have a friendship ruined, well if they are extremely lucky they have a friend that is a good enough person to let them try and make it up to them.

Many times throughout my life I have made someone mad, yet I’ve never had a friendship truly ruined. I have been blessed with some of the greatest people anyone could ever ask for as friends. But the problem is, I never should have had to hope those friends were gracious enough to let me back in. As I thought about is blog post for a while before writing it I wasn’t entirely sure what to say. I mean I knew I wanted to write it to apologize to everyone, and point out my screw ups while trying to truly show how special these people are for not just forgetting about me all together. But how can you show someone’s heart through writing without saying names? And how can I recount all the times I have come so close to screwing up with simple words? I realized that there is simply no way this blog could ever truly fulfill its purpose because I am not capable of putting these sentiments into words.

One underlying theme in all of my screw ups with friends however is trust. Trust is one of those things I mentioned in the first paragraph. It takes years to build, and one fleeting second to lose. However, there is no insurance policy, or often times even the opportunity to work out of a lost trust. If trust is lost, everything is lost. This presents a major problem for me, because I NEVER trust people. I am one of the most untrusting people in the entire world, and I always assume that people should prove to me that they deserve to be trusted. Then once they prove it, they should prove it again. And again. And again. When in all reality, I should trust people way sooner than I do. I am the one that shouldn’t be trusted usually. Very rarely have I had a friend break my trust, yet all too often I break theirs. Many times I have had the chance to just trust someone, but instead I require proof and it turns out badly. For instance, one of my friends recently was out with a group of people. I knew my friend was capable of taking care of themselves, I knew that they were responsible and didn’t need me to take care of them. However, I didn’t trust in them to make the right decisions. I thought that there was no way a good choice would be made if I wasn’t there to help them make it. Instead of letting them be the person I knew they would be, I insisted on checking in and smothering them, all under the pretense of being a good friend. A good friend? Ha that’s a joke right there, if I were half the friend I thought I was I wouldn’t have had to check on them, I would have just trusted them. Unfortunately for me, that little mistake might have cost me one of my most cherished friendships.

Why is it so hard for me to just believe in people? Have I been let down one too many times? Have people too many times not lived up to the expectations I have of them? The answer is no. The people I am friends with have never let me down, and always live up to way beyond the expectations. The simple truth of the matter is, I am a terrible friend. I have all of these amazing people in my life, and I always, without a doubt, 100% of the time, let them down. I am the one that shouldn’t be trusted. I am the one that people should have to look out for and make sure I don’t screw things up with them. I practically need a life manager to run my daily affairs and conversations so that I can keep friends. Yet for some reason they never leave me.

So I know at this point you are all wandering what exactly I am writing about. Is it about ruining bank accounts, homes burning to the ground, insurance policies, ruining friendships or what exactly? Why did I just write 870 words without giving you a purpose for this blog? That’s because this blog was written as an apology. It’s an apology to all the people that I have let down. It’s an apology to the people that I haven’t trusted when I should have. It’s an apology to the people that I am going to let down in the future. But most importantly it’s an apology to my friends for not being the type of person that I am capable of being, and for not being the friend that I should be. It’s often times been said that friends and family are the most important things in life, and I truly believe that. Therefore, I’m going to work on being the friend that others are to me. I’m going to put the same amount of trust in them that they put in me, it should strengthen our friendships and make me a better person. After awhile, I’ll be able to look at this life and know that I am putting in the same amount I am getting out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it was scarcely worth his while

To waste old violin, but held it up with a smile

Some people know me as a state officer, others know me as the kid who never applied himself much, some know me as the son of two wonderful parents, one of the many Norwoods, and some know me as a hell raising college student. But regardless of whom you know me as; the one that that holds true is that I have always known the way to make everything in my life fall back into place. From time to time we all get a little bogged down in life, and we all need a helping hand.

“What am I bidden, good folks?” he cried.

“Who’ll start the bidding for me? A dollar, a dollar, then, two? Two! Only two?

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; going for three….”

There are so many things today that can get a person down. The economy sucks, unemployment is at one of the all time highs, and for many people there is always too much month at the end of the money. On top of all of those things crime is up 60% in most of America, and we are fighting wars in multiple countries. It makes a person wonder how much of a mess the human race can possibly turn this world into.

But no, from the back , a grey-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low, said:

“What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once; three thousand twice;

And going and gone.” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand, what changed its worth?”

I believe that in life everyone has a rock to lean on. Some people have a spiritual rock, others have a person that they can always lean on. But when the going gets tough there is that one thing. Lately I have been feeling a little out of sorts. I am no longer the state officer, no longer a kid who doesn’t apply himself, at times wonder if I’m letting my parents down, and other times hope I’m not shaming the family name. I’ve been raising a little too much hell as a college student, and not keeping my life in order like I should be on a daily basis. I’m not saying that I am doing anything terrible by any means, but for a kid who has been told he is destined to make something of himself by everyone his entire life, well am I living up to those expectations? Most of the time; I can honestly say, no I’m not. I haven’t been applying myself as much as I could, when I’ve had chances to lead, I’ve followed. When I had a chance to stand up and be recognized I’ve crouched in the corner and hoped no one saw me. I’ve had the chance to dance to my own tune, but instead waited for the band to play something I was more comfortable with.

Swift came the reply;
“The touch of the MASTERS HAND!”

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

A mess of potage, a glass of wine,

A game- and he travels on.

He is going once, going twice,

He’s going and almost gone.

But the Master comes and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought

By the Touch of the Master’s Hand.

I know where my rock lies, the parents who raised me, the family who accepts me, the friends who are behind me, and most importantly, the God who looks after me is my rock. I can raise a little hell, get out of line, worry too much, and cause some people to gray a little early, but at the end of the day I know that I am just like the old violin. I may be written off as some cheap piece of junk, but before the bidding stops the touch of the Master’s Hand will show my true worth. After the Touch of the Master’s hand, it’ll be easy to say, “So this is life?”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why not me, Why not now?

Do you ever want something but aren’t sure whether or not you deserve it? Maybe you feel like someone else needs it more or wants it more, and therefore deserves it more. Well I know that I have often times felt that way, but no longer think that anyone should feel that way. I heard a pastor give a sermon a few Sundays ago talking about how the time is now, and I truly believe that. I don’t want to make this a sermon though, so I’ll give my version of what he said with minimal biblical references.

So what makes someone worthy or deserving of something that they want? Better yet, what makes someone not deserve what they want? In this country, aren’t we all entitled to the pursuit of happiness? Very wise men thought that the pursuit of happiness was important enough to write it into the Declaration of Independence as one of the sovereign rights that all men hold. So once again I ask you, what makes someone not deserve it?

Does someone not deserve something because they messed up somehow? If that’s the case then many people that have had huge impacts on the world. Take for instance former President George W. Bush, he was arrested a time or so when he was a young man, yet he went on and led the greatest nation in the world. Or how about some of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, many of them practiced slavery, so does that make them undeserving of being influential? Does President Bush’s arrest make him unworthy of being President? Or how about I throw in a biblical reference since this post was inspired by a blog, before he was blinded on the road to Damascus Paul was known as Saul, and he persecuted Christians. But obviously his transgressions didn’t make him unworthy of salvation because he went on to write thirteen of the books in the New Testament. What I’m trying to say is that people make mistakes, but those mistakes don’t make them undeserving of things that they want. If someone can persecute Christians, then go on to become a great Christian and leader in the church himself, than anyone can recover from a mistake and get what they want.

Maybe someone doesn’t deserve something because there is someone that deserves it more? Well on this I say BS. Who decides who is the most deserving of the things that we want in this life? How do you compare two peoples worthiness? The last time I checked there isn’t a rubric to compare lives too. I personally believe that there is no way to tell someone that they aren’t worthy, simply because everyone is worthy and deserves whatever it is in life that they want. They just have to want it bad enough.

Getting what you want is all about wanting it bad enough. The history books aren’t filled with people that sort of wanted something, they are filled with people that have a passion for something and are willing to risk everything.

Take this story for example, in Alabama a young lady was born to a carpenter and a teacher, who later divorced and left the girl to live with only her mother. After attending several rural Alabama schools, she entered a vocational school where she was forced to drop out at an early age to care for her mother and grandmother as they became ill. The young lady finally finished high school at a time when less than 7% of her demographic had a high school diploma. This girl, from such humble beginnings later went on to become one of the most respected and well known leaders in the Civil Rights movement, see this lady was Rosa Parks. Now did Rosa Parks not deserve to sit at the front of the bus with the white people? Of course she did, all men were created equal according to our Declaration of Independence. The difference in Mrs. Parks and the rest of the population at that time is that she wanted something bad enough to risk everything, and she knew that she deserved it.

Not everyone is going to be a civil rights activist that goes on to receive the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom, but everyone is capable of getting what they want out of life if they try hard enough. Rosa Parks wanted something and she went for it, just like we should do with anything that we take on in life today. We should put our whole hearts and minds behind our tasks, and if necessary risk everything to get it. The level of desire we have is the how worthy and deserving we are of something. From now on don’t say “Can I have what I want,” instead say “I want it now.” Instead of saying why should I have it, say why shouldn’t I have it?Instead of saying why should it be me, ask people why it shouldn't be you! See we all deserve all that life has to offer, and we are all capable of getting it, we just have to want it bad enough. From now on let’s not settle for anything less than what we dream of. It’s ours for the taking, we just have to want it bad enough to reach out and grab it! Don’t wait any longer, because life has an expiration date. This is life, and in this life the time is now. Now is the time to have everything you ever wanted, just reach out and grab it!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Supporting Actors...

Supporting actors, backup vocals, wingmen, second string sports players, what do all of these people have in common? Well all too often these people are some of the greatest talents in the world, yet they never get the chance to really shine and let the world know what they are made of. It happens all the time, the starring actor or the starting player gets so much attention that the people around them never get the chance to. Many times people wonder how someone could miss that obvious talent when it was right in front of their face, but I have learned that in life the hardest things to see are the most obvious ones.
Now all of you know that I am not athletic, I can’t sing, I don’t act, and I’m not a coach, so why does missing talent that’s obvious matter to me? Let’s change the scenario and talk about missing opportunities and missing chances that are right in front of you. It makes perfect sense now right? How often do we pass up something that is right there? How often does someone not take the chance and see what happens because they don’t recognize that the chance is there to take?
I guess I should just go ahead and be blunt with what I am talking about, I am talking about the relationships that people miss out on because they never realize what they have sitting right in front of them oftentimes. How many times do you see people that you think would be absolutely perfect for each other, only to be told “Oh we’re just friends.” Or how many times have you been interested in someone to be told “Well we have those friendship barriers separating us.”? This is one thing that I will not understand no matter how long I live. Friends tell each other stuff all the time and friends get to know each other better than anyone else knows them. Friends get so close that they know what the other person is thinking almost before they even think it, and they would be perfect to date each other, yet they never do because of those friendship barriers. Someone please leave me a comment explaining to me why you can tell your deepest darkest secrets to someone, yet not want to date them because of friendship barriers? I simply do not understand this. It has always been, and will always be, my belief that your significant other should be your best friend. But apparently I am alone in this thinking, otherwise there wouldn’t be friend zones would there? By definition a friend is “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” Doesn’t that sound like someone you would want to be in a relationship with? Don’t you want someone that is concerned with your personal regard? I know I do.
I say all of this because there are several times in my life when I have been on both sides of this fence, and consequently I feel that I have missed some really good opportunities. But then again, those people have usually gone on to find really good relationships so maybe I was supposed to pass on that and let them go find other things that were better for them. Maybe that’s how all friendships are, maybe your best friend really does fit you well, but you pass on them to let them go find something else. It certainly doesn’t hurt anyone if they find a relationship they become happy in. The more I think about it perhaps it is a best friends job to be there to support someone, even though you could almost certainly make their life easier if you dated them instead of giving advice about their other significant other.
At the University of Southern California, Matt Cassel sat the bench and never started a single football game, yet now he is a Pro Bowl quarterback in the NFL. Mariah Carey, who was the world’s best selling recording artist in the 1990’s, was once a backup singer. Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, and Jack Nicholson were all supporting actors at one point in their careers. And at one point every husband or wife was a best friend. At times it’s hard to imagine that a best friend isn’t the best person for a relationship with someone, yet then we realize that maybe it just isn’t time for that to happen yet. Perhaps that best friend just needs a few more supporting roles before they take the spotlight, perhaps they need to be Scottie Pippen for a few more years before Michael Jordan is more of who they are. Being second string, a backup artist, or even the best friend isn’t necessarily as bad as it seems like sometimes. When we all look at life we want to be the star, and we want to be the one with the girl, but sometimes being the best friend is life at the moment. If we give things time then we will eventually break through those friendship barriers. If we are really lucky then we may one day have a relationship with someone who can also be our best friends. Things always work out the way they are supposed to, it just takes the good sense to not rush them. So I make it my vow to play the supporting role as long as I need to. I will not try to rush into the spotlight, and I will not even mind being the best friend instead of the boyfriend anymore. This is just a simple thing that I think will help my life become simpler! Until next time, keep your heads up, wait for things to develop and be a friend to someone!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The ugly side of humanity...

There is something wrong with me. A serious condition that there is no cure for that I know of. It’s eating me alive, and I am powerless to stop it. While no doctor can ever give me a diagnosis for this, and there is no medicine or treatments that I can have for it, it is just as deadly as any other medical condition. In fact, not only is it a disease, but it’s a sin. Not just any sin however, it’s one of the seven deadly sins. See I have a bad case of jealousy.

Jealousy, envy, resentfulness, all of these words apply to my condition. (And while their definitions might not technically be the same I am going to use the three interchangeably in this post.) See these three things have a grip on my life, and it terrifies me. I have always been a little bit of a jealous person, but it usually only applied to when someone could perform a task better than I could, in which case I would just work harder and use that jealousy as a driving force to better myself. I did that often in school, I took someone being better than me as a slight on myself, and I would get really jealous of someone that was better than me, which is probably one of the reasons I was fairly successful at whatever I wanted to do in school. But not that jealousy is spilling over into other facets of my life, like into relationships with friends. No longer am I only jealous of a person who is able to beat me at something but I am jealous of people that have things I want, I am becoming envious.

My jealousy was not that big of a deal to me honestly; I just thought of it as a competitive spirit and left it alone. However, now that it has morphed itself into envy I am scared of it. I often times find this envy as the driving force behind me doing things. It’s becoming where I do things just to satisfy that envy and not because I want to. It’s turning me into a really bad person, and a terrible friend. For instance, I have this friend who is in a relationship that is going really well for them. I on the other hand am not in a relationship, but I want to be. Instead of being happy for my friend, I am so envious and jealous that I sometimes try to undermine their happiness. I throw sarcastic remarks at them all the time, and threaten our friendship just because they have something going well for them that I don’t. This envy and jealousy is ugly, but my life is beginning to revolve around the ugly side of me.

This past weekend I spent time at the lake with my family. While at the lake I encountered a man that had his own demons that he was fighting. Well actually he wasn’t fighting them anymore, he had succumbed to them. He was an alcoholic. One morning we were cooking breakfast at about 8:00 and we spotted him walking around with a beer in his hand. At 8:00! Later on in the weekend we were all sitting around and we began to talk to him and ask him some questions about his drinking. We asked him when the last time that he stopped drinking was, and he honestly had no idea. So then we asked him what he did when he was at work, and he told us that he drank on the way to work, during his lunch break, and then on the way home from work. Tell me, what kind of a life is that? Without his alcohol he can’t function anymore. His life revolves around the ugly side of him.

For me it’s jealousy. For the man I saw while camping, it is alcoholism. For some its vanity, drug abuse, self confidence issues, or maybe just general hatefulness, but we all have something that wants to grab control of our lives. I have made a conscious decision in the past few days to work on my jealousy issue so that I can make that ugly side of me go dormant and not show itself. I pray that all of you reading this will take the initiative to work on your own problem like I have, and not let it control you like the man I saw while camping. None of us are perfect and none of us ever will be, and honestly that is what makes life beautiful, but there is such a fine in between the beauty of imperfections and the ugliness of that imperfection seizing control of your life. Let’s all work on our problems together, talk to a friend if you need to, but let’s stop them where that are. Let’s make a vow to each other to never let them control us, and then we can all live in the beauty of imperfection rather than on the ugly side of humanity…

Thursday, May 19, 2011

If we want to change the world...

Before we can change the world, we must first change ourselves.

Let’s be honest with each other, we as humans are very reserved by nature. We lie to ourselves, and the world to keep the reservation intact. We pretend to be things that we aren’t. We envision ourselves the way we want to be perceived, not the way we really are. We would rather keep everyone at an arm’s length so we don’t let ourselves become vulnerable. I am probably the worlds worst when it comes to this. My best friends often tell me that they are confused on a regular basis because of the things I do. So this worried me, if my best friends didn’t know me, then who did? Did I even know myself? Had this persona that I put on taken over my life? Was the real me trapped inside myself? More importantly why was I not showing everyone who I really was?

After the last post I had a few people say that it didn’t fit me, well actually it fits me well. The problem was that with the alternative personality that I was showing them it didn’t fit. But if this blog is going to be successful I need to be honest not only with myself, but with others as well. I am going to have to open up and let people into places that I have never wanted anyone. I have to let them inside my true self, where I am most vulnerable, where I can gain the most or lose everything. It’s a risky gamble for me, but it’s one that I have to take.

Here goes nothing. The first thing that people need to know about me is that my sarcasm is real. The sarcasm that I constantly throw around is who I am. That is as “Layton” as it gets. What people don’t know though is that I often feel bad for being so condescending and rude in my sarcasm. Why do I keep it up then you might ask? Well I’ve found that by being sarcastic I can often times make myself feel better, and I can make others laugh. I know its pathetic right? I tear other people down just to get a laugh and some self gratification? But I do. I feel accepted when people are laughing with me, and I feel superior when I can make a sarcastic remark that points out something stupid someone else has said. I suppose it’s a pride thing. So why do I even point this out if it’s me? I mean you can’t change who you are right? Well wrong. I believe that anyone can consciously make the decision to go against nature and rewrite who they are as a person if it’s for the right reasons. I know that I need to change, because it’s not fair to make others feel like they are being chastised for saying things. From now on, I vow to take others feelings into consideration before I go off and make that sarcastic remark.

The next thing that people need to know about me is that even though I act like I don’t, I really believe in this whole love thing. I have fought this feeling more than anything else in my life. I never wanted to be that type of person who was a hopeless romantic and wore their feelings on their sleeves for all to see. So I kept it all bundled up, and I blamed it on a girl who once hurt me. But it wasn’t her fault, truth be known I had hidden it so well she never knew she hurt me. I took the thing that binds so many people together, love, and tried to cast it as far away from me as I possibly could. I knew that if I didn’t keep a very tight rein on it then I would be hurt numerous times. But you know what? I was hurt anyways; the only difference was that I couldn’t share it with anyone. I had told everyone that I didn’t believe in love. I had told people that I would never fall for anyone; it just wasn’t who I was. Actually, I met several fantastic girls, but I was too reserved. I pushed them away because I was afraid I would end up hurt if I kept them close. That left me as little more than an empty shell. I had all of these feelings that I was throwing away and not letting the people who needed to see them know that they were there. Slowly but surely I really was becoming this person who didn’t believe in love, a person who was hard on the inside and wasn’t capable of having any type of meaningful relationship. It led me down a path that I am not at all proud of. So what do I do now? Well hopefully I will once again meet someone that I am interested in, and when that happens I will not be afraid to let them know how I feel. In order to gain the most, I will make myself the most vulnerable. I may end up crushed, but at the same time something beautiful may come from it.

I never wanted to be this honest with anyone. There might be two people in the entire world that knew these things about me. Some may have suspected them, but no one really knew. How could they? I had lied to everyone, including myself. I kept these parts of myself locked way down deep, in the depths of me that I could barely even access. But I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. I had to be truthful with everyone. I encourage everyone to let the truth shine through. Tell your friends things about you that they have never been told before, let someone into your shell. This world needs change. It needs to be reformed, and now our generation is tasked with bringing about that change. But if we want to change the world, then we must first change ourselves. Until next time be truthful, open, and vulnerable. We can truly make this a better world to live in, and make it more enjoyable to look around and say “So this is life?”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Let's think about this...

So this is life? All of this madness is supposed to be the thing we cherish more than anything? Could the world be anymore crazy right now? I’m not sure anything short of it falling off its axis and colliding headfirst into Mars could make it crazier. But, oh well, I mean this is life. It’s literally what we live for, or at least what we live. I suppose we just adjust to whatever happens, and then hope that we never have to really question what the consequences may be.

For anyone that knows me, you know that I question most things in life. You also know that very rarely do I take what people say and not try to argue the point. Do I always think that people are wrong? Of course not, I just simply like to hear the reasoning behind the way people think. So this is the first installment of my new blog, “So this is Life?”, where I will regularly challenge things taken for granted, and encourage you to think about things and form your own opinions as well.

Recently we all heard the news the Osama Bin Laden (OBL) had been killed, a great day for America right? Well right and wrong. I was truly impressed with the show of Patriotism this news brought out, however the fact that a man lost his life to bring us together was disturbing to me. As Patriots shouldn’t we rejoice everyday that we are alive and in the United States of America? Shouldn’t we be more excited when blood isn’t being spilled than when we engage in firefights that result in not only OBL but also many others being killed? Why do we as Americans only choose to stand together and be united as Patriots when someone is killed? Think about it, how many times have we all come together as a country and truly been on one page and of one mindset other than when someone has been killed? It’s sick in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I am as loyal to this country as the next person, I just don’t think that someone’s life should have to end before we all decide to be united.

Our pledge of allegiance says, “One nation under God, indivisible…,” but that’s not true. In fact that may be one of the more blatant lies I have ever heard. We are probably the most divided country in the entire world. Think about it, we are divided along the lines of ethnicity, gender, income, residency, religion, careers, and even things as trivial as which football or baseball team we cheer for. It makes me think that we should rewrite that line in the pledge to say “One nation under God, divided by all…,” but we know that will never happen. Because to do that would mean that we admit we have a problem, and if there is one thing America will not do it is admit we have a problem. For the most part, I am happy with the way that America functions, yet to be so arrogant and to act like we never make mistakes, is that smart? What type of message does that send to others around the world? Does that sponsor civility, and peace among nations, or does this refusal to admit mistakes spawn ill feelings towards us? I am not saying that America regularly makes mistakes by any means, but when we do, shouldn’t we admit it? It’s something to think about.

I also noticed another trend when all of the news on OBL surfaced, and that was the insane way that people react to other cultures and religions. One of the principles that the United State of America was founded upon was religious freedom. Yet how freely do we let others practice their religion? If we see a group of Muslim men walking around, how often do we automatically assume that they are plotting to blow up something? How often do we assume that all Hispanic people are here illegally? How are African-Americans portrayed? Really, how are most other cultures accepted? Perhaps our lack of acceptance towards cultures makes us uncultured?

We think that Christianity is the only true religion and everyone else is a radical of some kind. But aren’t many of the other religions older than Christianity? I believe so. Therefore people must have had no religion before the coming of Christ, because we as good red blooded Americans know that Christianity is the only true religion. Everything else isn’t real, it’s all a hoax and dangerous. I agree that radical extremist are dangerous, but aren’t radicals in my own religion, Christianity, just as dangerous as a Muslim radical? I think so. It seems funny to me how these things work. During the days of Christ people were persecuted against, and often times even killed for believing in a new religion. Now the new religion is persecuting others, and demanding that they be killed for practicing their beliefs. I guess the cycle has come full circle.

I guess that through the OBL news I have come to a better realization on life. I now see just how narrow minded the citizens of these United States of America can be. I now see how stupid and ignorant these people can be. I now see how I was often wrong in the past. So perhaps I too am a sick person, because it took the death of a person for me to realize these things. A man, regardless of your thoughts on him, had to die before I started challenging the way I had always thought. Now I am challenging myself, and all who read this to not let that happen again. We need to constantly broaden our horizons, think a little deeper, talk a little softer, and be more United. Never again should we wait until someone dies to come together. I hope and pray every single day that we can fix these problems that are staring us in the face, but until then I suppose we will keep living in these United (yet divided) States of America and pretending we aren’t flawed when we know we are. Racism, prejudices, ignorance, all of these things exist, and it makes me ask “So this is Life?” Until next time, let’s not just settle for this being life, but let’s make this life better.