Gay?

In the past I’ve wondered if I was bisexual or gay.

I’m not the most masculine man.

I’m kind of effeminate.

I like cross-stitch.

I’ve sewn and done crochet.

I know I’m not gay, though, because I’m very attracted to women.

In the past I’ve accidentally downloaded gay porn.

“Phil, how did you ‘accidentally’ download gay porn?”

At the time I used LimeWire to download videos.  I had to rely on file names to tell what I was downloading.  Some of those file names were lies.

The feelings I got from watching gay porn were revulsion and nausea.  So I know I’m not bisexual.

I’m not trying to say anything negative about anyone who is gay or bisexual.

I just know that’s not who I am.

Learning

Teach children to speak.

To read.

To write.

Teach them how to think.

NOT what to think.

Teach them to think critically.

Teach them to ask questions.

Show them how to find answers to their questions.

Nurture their curiosity.

Offer them help when they need it.

Then, for heaven’s sake, get out of their way.

I’m not saying they should be allowed to spend all day on social media.  Or playing video games.

Give them supervision.  Make sure they’re learning something.

Make sure they know the skills they’ll actually need as an adult.

Give them the resources they need.

Don’t force them to memorize a bunch of facts, regurgitate them onto a test, then never use them again.

Help them find their talents and grow them.

Let them run around and play when they need to.  They’ll focus better afterwards.

Don’t turn learning into drudgery.

Someone who loves learning will become a lifelong learner and make a great contribution to the world.

Someone who hates learning will become a dullard who never picks up a book again after they finish school.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking isn’t taught in elementary schools.
 
It isn’t taught in secondary schools, either.
 
Students may learn it in college.  After having “Don’t Question Authority” shoved down their throats for over a decade.
 
Assuming they’re ever taught it at all…
 
I’ll define critical thinking for those never learned. It means not assuming everything they hear is gospel truth.
 
Consider who’s speaking.  What do you know about them?
 
Are they trustworthy?
 
What biases do they have?
 
Where did they get their information?
 
Is there other information out there which contradicts the information they’re giving you?
 
Are there any logical fallacies in their argument?
 
Ask whatever questions you can think of.
 
Do your own research.
 
Too many people think “being informed” means being spoon fed stories by some talking heads on TV.
 
They don’t question what they hear if they consider the “news” organization “trustworthy.”
 
They accept everything coming from the network as truth.
 
Too many people will accept what a government official says without question.
 
Maybe not if it’s an elected representative.
 
But if it’s someone from the FDA.  The CDC.  The USDA.  Everything they say must be true and unbiased.
 
Listened to and followed without question.
 
Who died and made them God?

I’m secretive

“People will make fun of me for the music I like.”

“I’m a disgusting porn addict.  If anyone finds out they’ll know how disgusting I am.”

“If anyone finds out I believe in conspiracies they’ll think I’m crazy.  No one will ever want to talk to me again.”

These are just a few examples of thoughts I’ve had.

I’m afraid of ridicule.

Of rejection.

Of confrontation.

So I hide the things I think people won’t like.

I’m trying do undo that now.

Forcing myself to disclose things I think people won’t like.

Maybe I will lose some friends.  I hope not.

But maybe some friendships will grow stronger.

Maybe I’ll gain some friends, too.

Why do you think what you think?

Your thoughts are not you.

Your thoughts may not even originate from you.

Thoughts come and go.

Some are bad.  “I want to hurt/kill/rape that person!”  Don’t be hard on yourself because of them.

Some are good.  “I want to save the world!”  Don’t take too much credit for those.  😉

Some thoughts we hold on to.  We label those our ideas.  Our beliefs.

Some people cling to their ideas without questioning whether those ideas help them or hurt them.

Some people share their ideas.

Some to control others.

Some to improve the world.

What is reality?

Everyone has their own model of realty.  It consists of their ideas and expectations.

This model is always different from reality.

The closer your model gets to reality, the closer your results will be to your expectations.

Some people think they know everything.

They won’t listen to anyone else’s ideas.

They end up frustrated because they don’t get the results they want.

Diversity of ideas is a good thing.  Someone else’s idea may be more realistic than your own.

Don’t try to fit in with the crowd.  The crowd is usually wrong.

When no one is willing to say so, that’s not good for anyone.

Do YOUR best

Your best is not the same as anyone else’s best.

Someone else’s best may be better.

It may be worse.

Doesn’t matter.

Today’s best may be better then yesterday’s best.

It may not.

As long as it’s the best you can do right now, it’s enough.

YOU are enough.

Stop being so hard on yourself.

None Dare Call it Conspiracy

A couple of years ago I liked a Facebook page.

I’ve liked TONS of Facebook pages.

But this one is different.

It’s called Awaken to Our Awful Situation.

For those not familiar, it’s a reference to a Book of Mormon prophecy about the Last Days:

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

– Ether 8:24

I assumed it was an LDS page about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and events leading up to it.

Eventually I figured out it was a conspiracy page.

I wanted nothing to do with any of that.

Later another page I followed shared a post from Awaken to Our Awful Situation.  It was a clip from a talk given in General Conference by Ezra Taft Benson in 1972.

Ezra Taft Benson was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1989 to 1994.  Like every other President of the Church, members sustain him as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and as the official spokesman for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on Earth.

He had also held a high government office.  President Eisenhower appointed him Secretary of Agriculture, where he served from 1953 to 1961.  If any General Authority had worldly qualifications to know what goes on at the highest level of the Federal Government of the United States of America, it’s him.

And along this line, I would highly recommend to you a new book entitled None Dare Call it Conspiracy by Gary Allen.

– Ezra Taft Benson

I found an online copy of None Dare Call it Conspiracy.  It had some editing issues, to say the least, making it hard to read.  I only made it halfway through the book, but it was enough to convince me.

After that I liked the Awaken to Our Awful Situation page again.

That’s not to say I believe every conspiracy theory.

I still believe Neil Armstrong and several other men walked on the moon.

I don’t think Paul McCartney died in 1966.

I don’t think Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ.

But I am suspicious of anything a government, especially the Federal Government, tries to make us do “for our own good.”