WE ARE ALL FIGHTING A BATTLE

We are all fighting a battle, a battle doesn’t always involve physical weapons that can-do harm to others visually. However, just like physical battles, the aggressor can inflict damage to their opponent and sometimes just as in physical combat the harm done can be irreparable even if the victim survives. But there is a distinction between the harm done in a physical and mental battle. In physical battle, The damages, scars and the consequence of the scars are visibly noticeable but in mental battles lost these scars aren’t as visible. There is another distinction between physical and mental battles and that’s the mind, in physical battles many efforts may be applied to fix the damage, but the damage sometimes can handicap the victim permanently. However, in mental battles, there is something that could be used to weave those injuries obtained in battle and allow the victim to still function fully. We will talk about this later but first, let us be clear on what in the world am I talking about. In life just like in combat, there is a reason to engage with our opponent. Sometimes the reasons are good and sometimes the reasons are bad and sometimes we realize that if we had offered our opponent a truce, they would have gladly accepted it rather than engage in combat with us. we later realize the consequences of combat can very dire and hard to fix afterward. It is a good idea to work the issue that is causing the fight in your mind than to keep fighting. The issue maybe with an individual or created by certain negative experiences, or sometimes yourself. And a truce may be the best way to resolve the conflict.

Are physical battles the same as the one we fight in our personal and interpersonal lives? In a way, because they have similar components. In combat, both opponents have weapons and their weapons are made up of certain characteristics. A weapon can be used for defending, attacking, counterattacking or setting a trap for our opponent. (keep in mind that sometimes our opponent isn’t always someone else). In our lives, we have similar weapons. We lie to protect; we engage in a verbal fight as a means of attacking or to defend ourselves. We object to love as a means of defending ourselves. We put off certain conversations because we are afraid it can be used to attack us. We are selectively open with our family and our relationships because we fear judgment. We don’t seek counsel because of what it may reveal about us but no warrior no matter how brave can go on a battle for a long period of time with too many injuries. He or She must get treatment in other to continue. And in our lives, we must engage in the fight/treatment in other to continue. The difference between our lives and combat is the more we engage in a healthy fashion the closer we come to a truce. As promised, we will now revisit the reasons we battle. There are reasons for going in battle, in world war 2 the German rise to power against Europe was sparked by years of oppression by those surrounding Germany, Germany having no choice decided to rise and fight and in doing so hurt those around them. Germany needed someone to blame for its trouble however Germany reaction led to catastrophic actions with grave consequences. Now our lives may not be this extreme where we are oppressed by essentially everyone around us and we feel the need to do them harm. However, some of us in our journey have experienced hurt from those around us and have caused us to point at something as the reason for our demise. We could be pointing at our spouses, children, environment, relationships, and society. While these factors might very well be the reasons for our demise, we must recognize that we can battle our way to a better place, and this starts with the mind.

Poverty: A state of condition or mind?

Poverty: By my understanding is the lack of a medium of exchange that allows you to have the ability to comfortably provide for yourself and those you care for.
Book definition: state of being poor, the state of being inferior in quality, insufficient in amount.
This is not to be mistaken for being broke which is just a temporary lack of money and isn’t the same as Poverty.
The basis of this writing would be to explore if poverty is a state of condition; an external measurable state or a state of the Mind an internal  state that can’t be measured easily.
Before I jump into this topic I think we must understand that kids and teenagers cannot be a part of this equation in any way because if they fall into any one of these categories of poverty its usually not a fault of theirs so for context, we’re talking more about adults here.
The basis of this work would be trying to see if poverty is a state of condition or a state of mind. while it may be safe to say that factors such as birthplace, environments, lack of opportunities, and resources are factors driven by condition and not the mind, it’s also safe to say that a poor state of mind can lead to or keep someone poor; likewise, a transformation from poverty almost always begins in the mind.
Now we must be careful not equate poverty to happiness because there are necessities and luxuries that the wealthy possess and the poor do not, however, there are those who lack these necessities and luxuries and are internally happier than the wealthy.
It would be safe to say that the state of being poor; not having the money and resources to provide comfortably for yourself and those you love can lead to the believe that you are poor, and this type of thinking can condition your mind permanently or temporarily and within this conditioning your state of being poor becomes more than just a state of condition but also a state of the mind. To be clear we’re not talking about someone who is Wealthy by Society standards but likes the clarity of mind to enjoy it that can also be a poor state of mind but that is not what we are talking about we’re talking about someone who is poor by societal standards by the definitions above. So, what will we Define as a poor state of condition in the West? Because we aren’t as poverty-stricken as a lot of Nations that exist today. given my experience, I will say someone living below the defined poverty line in the united states is well off than someone who is not in the top ten percent earning category in a third world country. Although a lower middle-income family of four making 40k or less has an economic advantage over ¾ of the world’s population they are still defined as poor in America. We can draw to this conclusion because if we factor in their cost of living expenses we may find out that the homemaker can’t comfortably provide for their loved ones and themselves and this is where debt comes in and ends up pusher them further into poverty than away from it. And these conditions become more dangerous because when you weigh their assets against their liabilities they can’t afford anything of luxury and usually can’t afford for anything to go wrong. Now I am not saying those who fall under the defined poverty line can’t meet their needs without going into debt, they indeed can and that usually comes at a cost I hope to write on later. So, my conclusion would be because the state of being poor can be easily measured, it seems to be the dominant ideal we grab onto in our society. Athough a poor state of mind can’t easily be measured, it’s also a huge factor driven by poverty and can prolong poverty, so it gets dismissed easily, however, both conditions are very much interlocked in most cases.
So, poverty is a state of condition and can also be a state of mind. When someone has a condition that impacts them negatively, it usually takes a toll on them mentally, whether or not they choose to share that condition. Poverty in a conditional form usually affects those who are in it mentally and this can hurt their relationships with self and love ones. They feel like they have failed in life and can’t do more for the ones they care for, this is a very disheartening feeling sometimes they feel their love ones can’t understand and may look down on them, and while they may never share this emotion with their love one’s these emotions build in them and causes a rift. This is one side effect of poverty. Other times self-pride may kick in which can be harmful and lead to certain detrimental habits like drinking, willful ignorance, abuse, neglect, and lack of the type of humility that makes someone who is poor look rich in “actions” (servitude, humbleness, a kind approach etc.) amongst their peers. Let say we understand some of the causes of poverty which includes environment, bad habits, lack of resources, unique opportunities, debt, pride etch given that these conditions can lead to poverty then it will be safe to say that opposite conditions such as better environment, good habits, availability of resources, opportunities, being debt free, a humble relationship with money can all lead to someone stepping out of poverty or never getting into it in the first place, something to consider when looking at or dealing with poverty.
“If success builds upon success and discipline builds upon discipline” then it save to say that failure can build upon failure and bad habits can build upon bad habit so poverty can build upon poverty unless someone is affected by one of the factors above or there is change in the mind of the individual and this where the mind becomes very relevant because even if all the opportunities above are present but one can’t seem to embrace it or utilize it properly due to their poor state of thinking then they can’t get out of poverty however its rare someone gets affected by all those positive factors and still remain poor in the event this happens then it becomes necessary for their mind to be reprogrammed not like a computer of course! But they must reach a point of climax in their mind where they say enough is enough and that starts in the mind and eventually leads to a state out of poverty.
In our western society, we may have a poor definition of success and this is because we fail to realize that poor relationships and habits with money usually keep people poor.
We know  people don’t desire or strive to be poor, but there are so many people living in poverty? There are many sources that point to habits, environment, conditions, lack of opportunities but I will like to point out that people are just living and making the decisions that allow them to sustain their lives and although they know they are poor by definition, they can’t really grasp that sense of thinking as to why they are poor and how they can get out of it. There are too many factors created by the worries of life that blinds them from truly seeing a way out and I would argue its when something takes them away from the day to day and allows them to think outside of just paying bills do they really begin to take the first step out of poverty and unfortunately majority of the population in the west cannot tap into the mind that allows them to recreate the framework that can push them out if poverty, They are usually and rightfully focus on the daily demands of life which prevent them from creating the habit which will, in turn, create the resources, environment, unique opportunities that can lead them out of poverty and that thought process usually begins internally. One may be born into poverty, and their environment may play a key role in their outcome, but their habits and way of thinking will play a bigger role in whether they stay poor or not.

Why sheepdogs are relevant

 

A sheepdog by simple definition means someone who protects the sheep from the wolves or a certain group of people who watch over the rest of the people; In a way a watchman. A sheepdog can be anyone who truly cares about another and is willing to take action to show that care. A sheepdog can’t be careless. A sheepdog can be me or you or our neighbor, a sheepdog is one who serves and preside. One who serves could simply be mistaken for a sheep but one who serves and watches over his kindred is no sheep at all: many of the best people we come across are people who serve whether it be in the military, police, fire department, rescue and charity organizations, missionaries, givers, volunteers, and local and civil community watchmen. A sheepdog can be one who thinks walking for miles to fetch water from the stream like we did in the old days and still do in a lot of underdeveloped areas around the world and chooses to fix it by digging a well closer to the homes of his/her community, that individual is a sheepdog. He/she watches their neighbors walk for miles just for water and ask the question how can i provide value and a better way for my community to not suffer so he/she digs a well now all can fetch from it and the community is served. He saves his community from the possible danger of long water travels and improve their life’s while asking nothing in return. The shopkeeper who looks at a young man with no sense of direction and say to himself, perhaps I will help this young man, I will pay him little to sweep my floors and offer him some groceries while offering him a sense of self-worth and direction: such action, such compassion, such leadership make one a sheepdog, while the noble doer may not know it, he is saved a young man’s life and possibly shaped his future, he is thought him about work and the payoff associated with it, he is thought him a valuable skill one he can’t survive and thrive without. While sweeping floors the young man may learn about the flow of business, the day to day operation, communication, diversity. Skills we all need such service to mankind is what our society needs today. One who stands and say I will not let evil and harm come to the innocent, so he finds a way to preserve the life of the innocent. A sheepdog can be who stands out among wolves (bad leaders) and say although everyone around me is corrupt I will not join in, but rather I will serve my people in integrity. One who is who aware of his surroundings and see where its failing and say to himself how can I transform my environment and he/she realizes that that starts by transforming his/herself. A sheepdog is brave, courageous, steadfast, aware and willing but most importantly a sheepdog is humble and understand to do what it takes to make a difference he must start with himself and absorb good character traits and habits than can be cultivated and build upon.
HISTORY IS FILLED WITH FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS PEOPLE WHO DISPLAYED ACTS OF A SHEEPDOG.
Martin Luther king: yes, he understood blacks were no longer slaves but blacks still suffered systematically and lacked basic human right such as the right to vote, partake and hold public offices and gained access to all society had to offer, MLK put his life on the line to fight for a cause and in the end blacks did in fact gained those rights, he stood as a line between the oppressor (wolves) and the oppressed (sheep).
Nelson Mandela: spend twenty years in prison for fighting against apathy but in the end, he did accomplish bringing an end to the apartheid movement in south Africa. He saw the wrong in his community and had the bravery and courage to take a stand and most importantly he was willing to take a stand towards bringing a positive outcome for his people and had to sacrifice a portion if his life.
Maximilian Kolbe: kept on taking in Jewish and polish refugees until he was sent to a concentration camp and even in the concentration camp, he volunteered to take the place of a condemned man, he gave his life for his brother showing great courage, faith, strength and dignity, such character is one a SHEEPDOG bears.
Winston Churchill: inspired the Brits to fight against Germany and not make a deal with Hitler, he saw no negotiation with a ruthless genocidal power-hungry Hitler and understood there will be a cost for his decision but in the end although the Brits paid a heavy price to hold off Nazi Germany  in the end the British came out on top and were never overtaken by Germany.
Dave Ramsey: he may not be one we think of when we use the term sheepdog, but he fits right into that category, he has seen the negative impact debt and financial mishaps have brought to people’s life’s and said enough is enough first to himself and second to the American people and stepped in to provide a solution, a way to save people and help them. He is changed generations and save people and families from pain and suffering.
Emmeline Parkhurst: led suffrage movement in the UK, she was imprisoned many times for her actions in the fight for women’s right, but she never gave up, she fought bravely for what she believed in and although her country didn’t grant women full rights when she wanted, she still change the motive of her movement to support England and encourage her supporters to come together and helped the country in world war 1 after the war she turned her attention back to the fight for women’s right. “”We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.”
Joan of Arc: a woman who led the French army in battle against the English, even though it was uncommon for women to lead armies during that era, she stood up bravely and showed great courage and leadership and won the respect of her comrades, her action and courage showed the type of character a sheepdog ought to possess.
Edith Cavell: she helped allied soldiers escape; she was eventually killed for her action but said “patriotism isn’t enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone” the ultimate act of a sheepdog, a selfless act and showing no grudge at the end for a job well done with no earthly rewards.
Socrates: Greek philosopher who was willing to die for his beliefs, although he lost his life he basically shaped western philosophy and thinking. A sheepdog  strongly holds firm to what he believes and its positive impact it can bring to this world, I believe this is what Socrates held on to.
Martin Niemoller: opposed the Nazi ideology and its influence on the church, he was imprisoned for this until liberation, he understood Hitler ideology was dangerous and will not let the church go with it, he was one of the few church leaders who stood up to Hitler and said no to German/Nazi ideals in his churches.

 

Today in our society we are at a very interesting time in where half the world experience peace and the other half doesn’t, where ten percent of the world population live comfortably and have a surplus and the rest of the world doesn’t and it’s not a lack of abundance for there is enough resources to go around but rather an act of selfishness, we live in a society where the common man isn’t valued anymore neither is character held high but rather the status of an individual or the label of the company he/she works for, we live in a society where we see rights abused daily, leaders become more corrupt and less engaged with the people, we live where we choose to divide rather than unite, we live in society where we don’t value the wisdom of the elderly who have lived the test of time and show us the knowledge of the ages. This begs to ask the question; is there a shortage of sheepdog?

Why best of me?

I am just a young man who is on this journey called life and as I continue to live and  learn, i have come to a realization of some truths about life. our life is mostly affected by four areas; self, health, relationships and wealth and if there is deficiency in one of these areas life tends to look a little unsatisfactory, but while some may put wealth high on that list I think one ought to be careful because if you are deficient in the other areas and have wealth you might as well be poor because you will be besides material possessions. So, I am on a journey to find out how to be efficient in all four areas and I am inviting you to join me on that journey and I hope along the way I can be off value as you are on your journey or vice versa. I look forward to sharing what I learn along the way and hope it can help you become the best version of yourself!