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Posts Tagged ‘Life’


Lots of people make geneology a hobby. Some have long-lived family members who can tell stories of familial ancestors and to some extent fill in gaps where documentation is scant.

Our family isn’t much like that. I think we accept life for what it is and live the best we can in the here and now—sometimes that’s really all any of us can do.

But to satisfy a passing curiosity I looked up what my last name meant (and to see what history I could find in it), as well as what my first name meant. The results were intriguing.

Nicklaus apparently means “Victory of the people.” While I’m not sure how many other names share this meaning I choose to embrace as a moniker of wholly American virtue, at least in the context of our nation’s birth.

My first name apparently means “God’s peace.” No pressure there, right?

If you’d like to know more about me (moreso than simply my name) then pay a visit to my spiffed up website avomnia.com. The About Me page is new and different from the ‘about me’ on this blog.

What does your name mean?

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It’s bigger than you think. It’s imperfect, violent, opportunistic, corrupt, rancorous, deceptive, cheating.

The world won’t watch your back—it’s waiting for you to turn yours and face away; that’s when it prefers to strike, like a lion, tensed and coiled like a spring, waiting in the tall grass where you can’t see him. It seems unfair and cowardly, doesn’t it?

But Nature can often be methodically vicious, many times the purpose behind being ‘hunted’ is, unbeknownst to you, to be helped. I know—try telling that to the slaughtered gazelle. But predators will frequently cull sick animals from the herd leaving the healthier ones to live. If you’re slow, inattentive, or weak your odds of being brought down go up.

So what can you do? What possible defense do any of us have against such affliction? Your first and most solid defense is to know yourself: strength and weakness, sorrow and comfort. Any obstacle, any invasion upon your character can be minimized, even thwarted, if you arm yourself accordingly.

Accept certain truths and disavow the disparaging lies which Fear will set upon your shoulders. Fear will gather strength as you get older. Recognize the distinction between fear and stupidity. If you can learn to master Fear—a daunting challenge to be sure—then a great many hurdles will crumble before you. The latter can be utterly avoided through observation and insight. It is one thing to make a decision based on fear, which is natural. To found a decision upon dullness of mind goes beyond imprudence—it can be mortal to you or others around you.

Short of injury or death, Fear has no power whatsoever. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inaugural speech stated “We have nothing to fear but Fear itself,” continuing “ (the) nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat and advance.” Giving in to being scared can be a healthy defense mechanism, but can also be a detriment to your true potential.

Second, know your enemy at least as well as yourself—physical or ethereal. This requires constant vigilance, an enduring, relentless state of observation of all waking matters both from without and within. Remain aware until you come to mortal rest.

And never forfeit your belief in miracles. Both of you are the embodiment of the word; as are we all.

These things are gravely important, assuredly, but so are a great many others; mark, and remember well all of them. But with each breath, each laugh, each tear, know this, too: you possess, right now, all the tools and support you require to walk with your head high and heart strong.

You are gifted with intelligence, a passion for knowledge which will serve you well. Pursue every interest, nurture your dreams, and never accept everything you are told as the truth. Question everything! Mendacity is a self-serving, back-stabbing beast, and He will feast upon your humiliation and rob you of the confidence you so dearly earned if you let him.

Also remember that it is impossible to learn anything while talking.

Honor and respect your mother; her love for you is unconditional and profound in its depth. Disagreements are inevitable—and necessary—if you are to ever understand the unique thread that immortally entwines you to one another. A mother understands what her child cannot say.

No longer are you the small children we remember you to be, although they will forever reside inside you. They must. For the next few years that little girl and little boy inside is trying to come to terms with the emerging young woman and man; they’re not going to see eye-to-eye. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will maturity come overnight.

It matters not what others claim to see—what matters is the truth. Believe it true that you are, increasingly so, remarkable, vibrant, promising youths.

Take to heart the lessons taught to you—beyond any doubt you will frequently not like them, but in their seeming one-sidedness is a gift, much like Pandora was given by the gods of Olympus . . . a gift which you must train before attempting to harness. Life isn’t about avoiding struggles, in many cases it’s about overcoming them, hopefully with poise and grace. Doing so is how you achieve self-respect—and the respect of others.

Do not misjudge wisdom for knowledge, nor fearlessness for courage. I cannot possibly define the differences for you, but you must inherently understand that while they are compatible in essence, in practice they are mutually exclusive. You will learn wisdom and develop courage, though at costs you don’t yet comprehend. Still, make no mistake . . . their value is beyond price.

You are a constituency of one. Your choices are, by and large, yours and nobody else’s. You will make flawed, even grossly incorrect choices and decisions; own them, and be accountable for them. Guess what—we all make mistakes. It’s okay to do so, but learn from them, don’t dwell on them; there is only one perfect being, so keep moving forward. Resolve yourself to this difficult task and it will imbue you with justifiable power and moral respect.

Finally, and of least importance, do not confuse me for a sage or wise man, for I have been, at times, both fooled and foolish, to the point of confounding sobriety. I have stumbled more often than walked, and fell on my face enough times to leave profound scars. I have allowed dreams to silently steal away years. As a result I have gained a grace symptomatic of human imperfection.

Take account of everything around you. Realize just how far you have come and what role you play. Do so with humility, not hubris, with compassion, not selfish ardor.

Believe in yourself, because if you don’t no one else will.

Everything in your young world seems chaotic and unyielding. Every adult seems hell bent on restraining you from those things you want. I assure you the contrary is true.

We, your parents and counsels, will look to people like you to lead us when our time is due, to exert the best of gathered wisdom, rightful justice, and the heart to do the right thing even in the face of adversity. We will look to you to lead us not as the person the world wants you to be, rather the person we know you truly are.

Most Sincerely,

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renandstimpy
A blogging friend** of mine posted a piece about friends and posed the question “How long do friendships last?” I read through all the comments and noticed one striking common denominator—they all had someone in their lives they’ve known since childhood. Typically this one person is the one they refer to as their most cherised, inseparable friend.

She also made the excellent point that people use the word “friend” far too loosely. In most cases the people they refer to as “firends” are really only acquaintances. I’d take it one step further and say that many people you work with everyday may not necessarily be your “friends,” rather your colleagues or peers.

I had very close friends in school, and yet even throughout my stay in the education system there were kids who floated in and out of my life. To this day there is not a single friend from school with whom I remain in close contact with. We contact one another at Christmas, and maybe once in a while throughout the year, but that’s about it. I’m not certain if that’s a male trait or if it’s just me. That’s not to say I don’t value their friendship, it just isn’t a deep part of my life. I miss it, yes, but I retain memories of each one. Memories which hopefully will never be lost.

I steadfastly believe that people come in and out of our lives for reasons we don’t understand at the time. I know I’ve learned things from people whom I haven’t had contact with for many, many years . . . and perhaps won’t ever again. But they gave me a gift, and for that I am grateful. I’m sure I’ve done the same for others.

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. ~ Mark Twain

I don’t recall if I’ve used that quote before, but it’s absolutely appropriate. I will become old, and perhaps wise, and with both assuredly will come griefs and joys. I’m a touch too reticent and guarded and as a result I have precious few true friends . . . but they remain precisely that.

**‘acquaintance’ seemed a little too removed in this context.

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