Category Archives: Guest Writer

Shooting To Kill

Dan May

By DAN MAY

When I served in the US Air Force, I took an M-16 automatic rifle with me to my job. Every day. I carried multiple magazines filled with 30-round banana clips, which afforded me the capability of firing off 120 rounds in mere seconds. A few simple squeezes of a finger. And how many times was I called on to use that capability?

Zero. Zip. Nada.

Not one single time did I fire off that gun in the line of duty. It’s a dangerous weapon. And so now, thinking back to that, I for the life of me cannot come up with one single reasonable scenario in which I would need to use that weapon in my day to day life. It’s not for hunting, it’s not for sport. It has one purpose and one purpose only.

To kill people.

And the idea that that dangerous weapon that has no reason for being in anyone’s hands who isn’t in uniform defending the country, is a frightening and deadly thought. As we have just witnessed. Measures need to be taken to prevent this from being in the hands of ANYONE, much less available to mentally unstable individuals.

And yet it is.

If you want to own a gun, go right ahead. You can have as many hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols, muskets, etc., as your heart desires. But I think we should put a number on the amount of these military type weapons one person can own. And I’ve come up with that amount. And I think it’s the perfect amount. The reasonable amount. The necessary amount.

Zero. Zip. Nada.

Dear Deity …

 

Stan Horwitz

By STAN HORWITZ

PHILADELPHIA — This morning, I woke up to the horrible news about the mass shooting in Las Vegas. They’re saying that at least 50 people perished and at least 200 people were injured by the sniper while attending a country music festival at the Mandalay Bay.

My condolences to the victims and injured and their friends and family. Not enough thanks can be given to all the heroes who helped take out the shooter and stop him from doing even more harm. Bravery like that is a rare trait.

I saw that my state’s own senator Pat Toomey offered his prayers to the victims, their friends and families. Other politicians are no doubt doing the same. How nice of them to offer prayers at this tragic time in our history.

Maybe instead of Toomey and his fellow senators and President Trump just offering useless prayers to the dead and their survivors, they actually do something real to fix this problem of violence in our country. These mass shootings seem to be growing in frequency and body counts. Prayer isn’t helping. I doubt it hurts, but it obviously isn’t helpful either.

Here’s my prayer: Dear Deity who knows all blah, blah, blah and who presumably saw this tragedy blah blah blah coming yet did nothing blah blah blah to prevent it, blah, please blah blah let those shooting blah blah blah victims blah blah blah go to your blah blah Candy Land.

If I did believe in the power of prayer, I would pray every day to the God in which I believe to stop the violence from occurring in the first place.

But what do I know?

March Was About Human Rights

dani

By Danielle Niemuth

I’ve seen quite a few women using the hash tag #notmymarch and proclaiming that they don’t need feminism. First of all, let’s clear up some definitions.

1. misogyny: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women
2. misandry: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men
3. feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

People often equate feminism with misandry and “bra-burning”. By definition, feminism is for the promotion of equality in the sexes (this would mean it’s against “man hating”, BTW). Now, I think we can all agree that there are physical and mental differences between men and women. So this is when we need to remember that “equal” doesn’t mean “the same”.

A lot of folks want to simplify the Women’s March down to abortion and birth control, but that’s not what it’s about. You can agree or disagree with either of those topics until you’re blue in the face. Are there women and men at the March who support keeping birth control and abortions legal? Yes. Do you need to agree with that in order for this to be your March? Absolutely not.

The March is about human rights. And guess what? #womensrightsarehumanrights. The rights of the LGBT community are human rights. The rights of the disabled, both physically and mentally, are human rights.

Maybe you’ve never felt personally victimized by “the patriarchy” or society as a whole, and I hope that you never do. I hope you’re never the victim of sexual assault, much less one that results in a pregnancy you don’t want. I hope neither you nor your loved ones become disabled and need to rely on government assistance just to get by. I hope that you can continue to live in a blissful world where all of your rights are legally still your rights.

A lot of the posts about #notmymarch use their current rights as reasons for not needing feminism. We have the right to birth control, the right to own a gun, the right to work, the right to an education, the right to vote. But do you know how we, as women, got those rights? We didn’t get them because the government just one day decided to gift them to us. We got them because of women who marched. Maybe those rights will never be taken away, but maybe they will. So I hate to break it to you, but whether or not you agree with topics like abortion or think you don’t need feminism, #thisISyourmarch.

It’s Only A Mistake If …

mistake

By ALISA LEVIN

Inner Peace Playground

We all make mistakes. Most of us don’t like making mistakes, but it’s something that we all do. Despite attempts to move forward, backward steps are a normal part of life. Mistakes are our chance to reassess our goals and to think about where we have temporarily landed. With introspection you have a newfound chance to assess where you have landed and to come up with a revised way of getting where you want to go.

Since mistakes are a regular and expected part of growth, it’s important that you don’t stay stuck in the mistake. In fact, why call it a mistake when a shift in perception could view it as a lesson? Learn, learn some more and then move forward. Lessons come when we least expect them and growth ultimately becomes the perfect reward.

Permit mistakes to be your teacher. Allow the lessons that mistakes teach you to be your springboard to learning. Accepting that mistakes are just lessons in disguise offers you wonderful opportunities for serenity with personal growth at the core. Namaste

We all make mistakes. Most of us don’t like making mistakes, but it’s something that we all do. Despite attempts to move forward, backward steps are a normal part of life. Mistakes are our chance to reassess our goals and to think about where we have temporarily landed. With introspection you have a newfound chance to assess where you have landed and to come up with a revised way of getting where you want to go.

Since mistakes are a regular and expected part of growth, it’s important that you don’t stay stuck in the mistake. In fact, why call it a mistake when a shift in perception could view it as a lesson? Learn, learn some more and then move forward. Lessons come when we least expect them and growth ultimately becomes the perfect reward.

Permit mistakes to be your teacher. Allow the lessons that mistakes teach you to be your springboard to learning. Accepting that mistakes are just lessons in disguise offers you wonderful opportunities for serenity with personal growth at the core. Namaste

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In Search Of: Serenity

IPP2

By ALISA LEVIN

INNER PEACE PLAYGROUND — We have all heard the saying, “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.” Nevertheless, it’s something that most people do. Even those that do not like drama or chaos still find that they feed the demons in their head when it comes to certain things. It is easy to worry and to find things to fret about. Life can be tough, which makes it all that more important to not make it tougher.

With progress and innovation, success in many ways causes stress in others. In the same vein, having fears and concerns over the lack of good things that are going on also can cause an enormous amount of anxiety. Medical issues, aging, parenting, work, pain, grief, finances, relationships…..the list can go on and on. The important thing though is to remember to breathe and to truly grasp the concept that fear, anxiety or obsessively thinking about something doesn’t change it…..and it most certainly doesn’t change it for the better.

At any given time, the best thing that you can do is to breathe, relax through whatever is going on, to find gratitude in what you can and to believe that all will work out for your highest good. Serenity comes when you find peace in the unexpected moments and appreciate the molehills while making gratitude the sunshine that finds its way through to you.

Find and join the group Inner Peace Playground on Facebook.

Imagining Peace

IPP2

By ALISA LEVIN

INNER PEACE PLAYGROUND — Too often we wait for “just the right moment.” We go through life waiting and waiting. We tend to think that someday everything will just fall into place and we wait on that ultimate happiness, while throwing away the present moment. We’ve been conditioned to believe that when we find the “right” job, we find the “right” partner, we lose the weight, we get enough sun, we have the right friends, we have the dream car, when we can go faster, when things slow down, etc., that we THEN will have things “right” and as a result, feel at peace. We live in an illusion of peace being just beyond our reach, rather than by creating peace here and now.

While the world unravels with the most recent of tragic events and reeks of a lack of peace, you still can find peace from within. Most folks look for peace from the outside and as a result, they live without the inner peace that is readily available to them.

In memory of all who lost their lives because the world as a whole does not know peace, today is the day to have peace and to make peace with yourself. You, in all of your totality, hold the key to your happiness. Now is the future you waited for and now is the time to free yourself of the illusion of peace being just beyond your own horizon. Instead of putting off all that you want in life, breathe deeply, allow self love to embody you and embrace inner peace today.

The amazing thing is that once you are at peace with yourself, all of those other things that seemed so important will comfortably fall into place. You living in peace changes the vibration of the universe. Yes, you’re that powerful.

Embrace this moment, find peace within yourself and then share that with others. I promise you that when you do, you’ll feel the world change in the most wonderful of ways.

Please visit Inner Peace Playground on Facebook

 

Leave It Behind

IPP1

It’s amazing how easy it is to look back and wonder “what if.” Looking back and honestly assessing your personal history can be helpful if you use the information correctly. The danger is that many people look at the past and then allow their mind to magically and falsely change history.

Comparatively, while looking back may be a necessary part of the growing process, it’s important to keep your eyes and your focus on moving forward. Going backwards cannot be an option. No matter how tempting walking backwards and trying to change the past may be, it can’t be done and offers nothing but pain and false hope. You deserve better.

You are on a journey and your life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to be for you. One day at a time as the road continues to unfold for you, your mission is to enjoy it, move forward and continue to grow.

Allow the past to stay in the past. Allow The truth of your history to be a template from which you learn in order to have an even brighter future. Make the most of this very moment and allow yourself the freedom to fully be present. Release the past and embrace the moment to set sail on the most beautiful of futures. The best is yet to come.

-Alisa Levin (Inner Peace Playground/Facebook)