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WolfDreamer

WolfDreamer Pushes Back

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It's time to shit or get off the pot.

 

If you're familiar with Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art, you know about Resistance. It is any force (real or imaginary) that tries to halt progress. Pressfield applies it mostly to any creative endeavor, but I'm beginning to see that Resistance is not exclusive to creativity; it attacks any attempt for self-improvement. It comes in many forms: excuses, procrastination, addictions, bad habits, laziness, negativity, blame, bitterness, and many others. It can even come in the form of friends or family members who are holding you back from that next step towards greatness.

 

I've faced my share of Resistance, and it's time to push back. Most of it has been self-imposed because while I like to consider myself adventurous, I admit to some pretty serious character flaws that hold me back. So, it's time to stand up to Resistance and make some real progress. I'll try to lay out some goals below that should help keep me motivated.

 

Goals:

  • 0430-0445 wakeup Monday-Friday
  • Say the Lord's Prayer and a more personal prayer upon waking.
  • Organize my morning using the 20/20/20 method: 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of scripture reading/meditation, 20 minutes learning something (reading, listening to a podcast, watching informative videos, etc.)
  • Work on my book every single day for at least 20 minutes.
  • Read books that expand my knowledge and/or expectations, books that challenge me either personally or intellectually (bonus if it does both).
  • Run at least three days a week.
  • Work on the new house (even if Mom's not ready or isn't able to help).
  • Stop eating garbage; eat real food that doesn't have a long ingredients list and isn't heavily processed.
  • Call my father at least once a week.

 

There you have it. Simple, but important goals. No theme, just shit that I need to get done.

 

 

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8 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

Work on my book every single day for at least 20 minutes.

Did I miss this before? What book?

 

The rest looks good as per usual. Here to see you get back in the swing of things.

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13 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

Work on the new house

What does this entail?

 

 

 

Need that ruffage.

12 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

following to offer fiber so you don't have to get off the pot

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10 hours ago, annyshay said:

Did I miss this before? What book?

 

I started it a few years ago and kind of abandoned it. I'm ready to get back to it.

 

5 hours ago, Teros said:

What does this entail?

 

My parents moved into my grandpa's house after he passed away, and we are moving into their old house. So, some remodeling, replacing water lines, upgrading the electrical system, tearing out the old carpets, re-papering, tearing out and replacing a water-damaged section of wall... but first my parents need to get all of their shit out. Papaw's house was fully furnished, so they don't "need" anything, but my mom says she wants to go through it all to see if there is anything she wants to keep. I can't do most of the remodeling until their stuff is out.

 

18 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Following to offer fiber so you don't have to get off the pot. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=19f5b51a5d13daac4261724c4d

 

4 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

Here to offer some spiritual lentils. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=19f5b51a5d13dbeb4642636b41

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Self improvement is a form of creativity. It’s taking the materials you have to work with now, and using/changing them into something else.  I like to think of my life as a work of art in progress. I’m always learning new techniques and finding ways to shape it into the image I aspire to. As such, Pressfield’s Resistance concept is totally applicable. (I also love that book.)

 

Good luck on your goals! 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Ann of Vries said:

Self improvement is a form of creativity. It’s taking the materials you have to work with now, and using/changing them into something else.

 

giphy.gif

 

Seriously, though, thank you. That's a really inspiring thought. I have told people before that I am a "work in progress."

 

Permit me to hit you all with some quick life updates.

 

For those who don't know me well, here is a quick refresher. You can skip it if you've been with me for a while:

Spoiler

I am married (19 years last week) with four daughters (two biological, two adopted). I am a high school Language Arts teacher, and I teach for a university collaborative program, which means I am located on a university campus, but I work with high school students who are taking university level courses. I love books, movies, music, theater, the outdoors. A few years ago I picked up running as a regular workout, and recently I have shifted to mostly trail running. I also work part-time at a movie theater and do odd jobs for my mentor, an 84 year old retired school administrator who is still a residential building contractor. I'm average height and weight, with a slightly above-average IQ. I'm an Enneagram 7w6 (sometimes 2w3), and I'm a Myers-Briggs ENFP.  I identify as a Christian, although I am on a journey right now of really trying to figure out what that means in our present culture, but I still read scripture and pray/meditate daily.

 

So now that my intro is out of the way, some quick updates:

  • Last week, the family and I (which also included my mother-in-law, three nieces, and my nephew) took a vacation to Cherry Grove Beach, which is far north of Myrtle Beach, almost to the border of SC/NC. I love this area because it is less crowded, and the beach ends at an inlet where the ocean meets House Creek. Every time we stay there, I get up early and run from our condo to the inlet. One year, I was brave enough to swim across House Creek near its mouth; the swim across wasn't so bad, but the swim back was a struggle, and I haven't attempted it since. This year, I ran 5k total the first morning, running from our condo to the inlet and then back, past our condo all the way to the pier about a mile from our condo. Two days later, I ran to the inlet, back to the pier, under the pier, and along the beach until I decided to leave the beach and run the road. When I got out there, I realized I was about two miles from our condo and had already run 3.5 miles. I decided to continue on and by the time I returned to our condo I had run 6.5 miles.
  • While perusing Google Maps, I found a wildlife preserve less than a mile from our condo. Originally, my plan was to go run the trails that are located there, but I decided to check it out first. I'm glad I did. The preserve is located along an estuary of House Creek. There were fiddler crabs scurrying all along the trail and all over the muddy sections of the marsh. It was beautiful, and if I had been running I might have missed (or even trampled on) many of the crabs. I could hear them scurrying in the thicket and see them darting along the trail and back into small holes. I also saw an American bittern and a swallow-tailed kite (which are both new sights for me; I only know what they are because I looked them up).
  • I wish I could say my diet was good during my vacation, but it was not. Not at all. But, we all make mistakes, right?
  • The second night of our trip, my mother-in-law fell out of bed and broke her hip. We had to call 911 and have her taken to the nearest hospital, which luckily was only about 7 minutes away from our condo. For the rest of the trip, my wife made a few visits and took some of the kids to visit her. She had to have surgery, and then she was admitted to a physical rehab center across from the hospital. My wife drove back down there a few days ago, and my mil should be discharged tomorrow.
  • Tuesday of this week, I accidentally ran 11.5 miles. I misread the trail signs and ended up deeper in than I expected. There were three different arrows to follow: red, yellow, and blue. I though they marked three different trails, so I decided in order to keep from getting lost I would stick to the red trail because it was the "main" trail. Well, it turns out the main trail is the entire circuit, which totals 18 miles. The yellow trail markers are shortcuts. I realized this after I had completed 8 miles of the main trail and finally decided to take another look at the trail map. From then on, I took every shortcut I came to, and when I finished I had covered 11.5 miles of trail in just under 3 hours.
  • Yesterday, I cleaned half of my mentor's chicken coop. I only cleaned half because it hasn't been cleaned in some time, and it took me two hours to clean as much as I did. I had to shovel heaps of chicken shit, straw, and mud into buckets, carry them out of the coop, and dump them in a pile just outside of the coop. I lost count of how many buckets-full I carried, but my arms were burning after two hours.
  • This morning, I helped my mentor load thirty buckets of gravel into the bed of his truck and then emptied half of them into the footer for the next house he is building. I also drove to the stables where I used to work cleaning stalls and spent some time with some horses. I love horses, even though it's been years since I have ridden one.
  • I am currently reading James Baldwin's Go Tell it On the Mountain; it is a challenging but beautifully written book.
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I forgot to mention something:

 

Monday I made some homemade soup with bone broth, grass-fed hamburger, peas, carrots, tomatoes, black beans, spinach, mushrooms, and garlic with a dash of Himalayan salt and pepper. It is delicious, and there is still some left even after three meals of it.

 

I can cook when I have time + ingredients.

 

I was a bit disappointed earlier today. I dropped our puppy off at 10:30 this morning for a grooming appointment, and the plan was to go to Sky Zone, which is right up the road from the groomers, but alas it did not open until noon, and my daughter had a doctor appointment at 1:00. This Sky Zone has been there for about three years, and I haven't been yet. I need to make that a priority.

 

 

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4 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:
  • Yesterday, I cleaned half of my mentor's chicken coop. I only cleaned half because it hasn't been cleaned in some time, and it took me two hours to clean as much as I did. I had to shovel heaps of chicken shit, straw, and mud into buckets, carry them out of the coop, and dump them in a pile just outside of the coop. I lost count of how many buckets-full I carried, but my arms were burning after two hours.
  • This morning, I helped my mentor load thirty buckets of gravel into the bed of his truck and then emptied half of them into the footer for the next house he is building.

Man, I wish I was your mentor ;) 

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If you're Facebook friends with me, you've already seen this:

 

I don't use the terms "mandatory," "required," or "essential" lightly, but right now I will say with confidence that the film I Am Not Your Negro is mandatory, required, and essential viewing for all Americans.

 

 

On a related note, the father of a high school friend said to me yesterday that since I am a friend of his daughter's, "I will refrain from expressing my level of respect for 'Educators'. Especially those whom attempt to indoctrinate our children in the Liberal propaganda," all because I was indicating (on Facebook, not in my classroom) that systemic racism in America is proven by statistics and data as evidenced by the education system and the legal system.

 

I'm not trying to stir things up. But when your eyes have been opened to some really bothersome things, it's difficult to stay silent about it.

 

Some people just aren't ready to be unplugged from the Matrix.

 

giphy.gif

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4 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

If you're Facebook friends with me, you've already seen this:

 

I don't use the terms "mandatory," "required," or "essential" lightly, but right now I will say with confidence that the film I Am Not Your Negro is mandatory, required, and essential viewing for all Americans.

 

 

On a related note, the father of a high school friend said to me yesterday that since I am a friend of his daughter's, "I will refrain from expressing my level of respect for 'Educators'. Especially those whom attempt to indoctrinate our children in the Liberal propaganda," all because I was indicating (on Facebook, not in my classroom) that systemic racism in America is proven by statistics and data as evidenced by the education system and the legal system.

 

I'm not trying to stir things up. But when your eyes have been opened to some really bothersome things, it's difficult to stay silent about it.

 

Some people just aren't ready to be unplugged from the Matrix.

 

giphy.gif

 

I think teachers and educators have to be careful on certain issues.  The ones we have that are debatable. 

 

BUT. Teachers have a moral and ethical obligation to fight indoctrination of hatred, the spread of demonstrable falsehoods, and to help kids understand that things aren’t already perfect. Our country was designed with the tools to fix things that are wrong, adapt to change, and it is imperative that we use them. 

 

Silence. Always. Harms. Victims. And it enables oppressors. 

 

A child looks to teachers as their first important non-family authorities. The first government and cultural authorities. And if a teacher enables others to hurt them, it destroys faith in our systems. Democracy and market economies do not work without faith in them and in each other. 

 

I didn’t know about this but we will be watching it. Thank you. We need good teachers like you around our kids. 

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11 minutes ago, Sciread77 said:

Thank you. We need good teachers like you around our kids.

 

Thank you. I mostly want my students to know how to ask questions and not take everything the see and hear at face value, to look deeper into issues and see what's really going on so they can make their own decisions about controversial issues. I want them to recognize when they are being conned or duped or manipulated by partial truths. I especially want them to know when they are being excluded or when things are being hidden from them because it amazes me how little young people know these days about what is really going on in the world. I teach 16-18 year olds, and it genuinely terrifies me sometimes that they are close to or old enough to vote.

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3 minutes ago, WolfDreamer said:

 

Thank you. I mostly want my students to know how to ask questions and not take everything the see and hear at face value, to look deeper into issues and see what's really going on so they can make their own decisions about controversial issues. I want them to recognize when they are being conned or duped or manipulated by partial truths. I especially want them to know when they are being excluded or when things are being hidden from them because it amazes me how little young people know these days about what is really going on in the world. I teach 16-18 year olds, and it genuinely terrifies me sometimes that they are close to or old enough to vote.

 

That’s what they need. Question everything. It makes our jobs as adults supervising them and raising them more difficult, sure. But it also readies them to join our ranks and become functional members of our society. The easy way is definitely a bad way in this case. 

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Today was a pretty chill day. I helped my mentor pour a concrete footer. If you're not familiar with home construction terminology, the footer is part of the foundation. Then I mowed my yard as well as the new house and ate lunch at my mom's. She was at work, but I talked with my stepfather for a little bit. When I got home, I took a half-hour power nap. The rest of the evening was mostly uneventful until my wife and youngest daughter finally got home after bringing my mother-in-law back home from SC. She is doing well, just still in a little pain. She will finish rehab in an outpatient center near where she lives.

 

Tomorrow will be a little busier: working with my mentor to set up and lay cinderblock tomorrow morning, going running at Valley Park with a friend (he wants to aim for 5 miles), probably grabbing coffee from Bridge Cafe and Bistro, taking another power nap, and then I work tomorrow evening at the movie theater. I may also call my father tomorrow.

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Week 1 Day 1 (Monday):

  • 0430 wakeup
  • said the Lord's prayer, as well as a more personal prayer
  • went back to sleep until 0530 because I had to pick my daughter up at 2am the night before and had only slept four hours
  • read a devotional on YouVersion
  • read a bit of The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard; notable quote -- "In the shambles of fragmented assurances from the past, our longing for goodness and rightness and acceptance--and orientation--makes us cling to bumper slogans, body graffiti, and gift shop nostrums that in our profound upside-down-ness somehow seem deep but in fact make no sense."
  • did not work out because:
  • worked with my mentor mixing mortar and carrying and laying about 35 cinderblock; trust me, that's a workout.
  • did not work on my book
  • texted my mom about the house; she doesn't seem willing to take the steps to find storage for her stuff. I'm thinking I may have to just box stuff up and carry it to her house until she does. That will likely cause some dispute, but if I wait much longer I will not have the free time to work on the house once school starts.
  • breakfast: homemade "Bulletproof" coffee (coffee, Kerrygold butter, coconut oil), maple and brown sugar Powerful oatmeallunch: Moroccan empanada by Sweet Earth, chicken teriyaki with vegetables (cabbage, carrots, peas), dinner: I took my wife out to dinner at Red Lobster; We had the lobster artichoke dip as an appetizer, and ordered the lobster Southwest-style tacos and dragon broccoli. I'll admit I ate way too many cheddar biscuits, but Red Lobster is a rare treat for us, so I decided to indulge.
  • haven't called my father yet.
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Well, I am not going to consider it a coincidence that Steve Kamb posted an article today about a 20 minute bodyweight workout. The post is for beginners, but the fact that it is 20 minutes and that there is a big picture of Lego Yoda right at the top of the post just seems to serendipitous to ignore.

 

A little back story: It was Yoda who helped me quit smoking. Yes, I used to smoke. I started when I was a teenager, around 13-14 years old. Once my relationship with my wife shifted from dating to engagement, I decided to quit. But for a while, I was hanging on to them and saying things to people like, "I'm trying to quit smoking." I was watching Empire Strikes Back for like the thousandth time with a friend, and as soon as Yoda said:

 

giphy.gif

 

I looked at my friend and said, "Shit. That's it. I'm done with cigarettes." I quit cold turkey after that. The only other time I picked up a cigarette was after our first daughter was born and my wife hemorrhaged badly; she recovered, but I was outside the hospital about to have a nervous breakdown (which generally happens to me after the stress is over), and my mother-in-law asked me if I needed a cigarette. I accepted, and that was the last I ever smoked.

 

So, seeing a pic of Yoda in an article about a 20 minute workout is just enough to remind me of my goal. Just 20 minutes. I think I'll refer to Darebee as I have before to get a variety of workouts rather than the same thing every day.

 

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On 6/26/2019 at 4:57 PM, WolfDreamer said:

but my mom says she wants to go through it all to see if there is anything she wants to keep. I can't do most of the remodeling until their stuff is out.

Similar situation with my sister wanting to 'eventually go through it' even though it's been months now and has done nothing.  I consolidated all of the stuff into one room and now that room is marked dead to me until my sister gets her shit together and cleans it out.  I don''t know how much stuff you have, but is something like this doable?

 

On 6/27/2019 at 1:51 PM, WolfDreamer said:

I accidentally ran 11.5 miles. I misread the trail signs and ended up deeper in than I expected. There were three different arrows to follow: red, yellow, and blue. I though they marked three different trails, so I decided in order to keep from getting lost I would stick to the red trail because it was the "main" trail. Well, it turns out the main trail is the entire circuit, which totals 18 miles

I would have made the same mistake. 

 

On 6/27/2019 at 5:20 PM, WolfDreamer said:

Sky Zone

???

 

On 6/27/2019 at 10:40 PM, Sciread77 said:

think teachers and educators have to be careful on certain issues.  The ones we have that are debatable. 

 

BUT. Teachers have a moral and ethical obligation to fight indoctrination of hatred, the spread of demonstrable falsehoods, and to help kids understand that things aren’t already perfect. Our country was designed with the tools to fix things that are wrong, adapt to change, and it is imperative that we use them. 

 

Image result for the only thing good people have to do to let evil win

 

 

On 6/27/2019 at 11:01 PM, WolfDreamer said:

I mostly want my students to know how to ask questions and not take everything the see and hear at face value, to look deeper into issues and see what's really going on so they can make their own decisions about controversial issues. I want them to recognize when they are being conned or duped or manipulated by partial truths.

 

You want critical thinking - something that doesn't want to be taught anymore.

 

 

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I love that Yoda is your Inspirational Guide.  You can accomplish so much with a Yoda mindset.  Also, congrats on maintaining your smoke-free lifestyle! Quitting an addictive substance is no small thing. 

 

You are getting a LOT of work done, and it’s really amazing. And yeah, definitely the work you’re doing with your mentor is a workout. Fer Sure.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Teros said:

is something like this doable?

 

There will be five of us living in the house, and we pretty much need every room; plus, it's a lot of shit (including furniture). What frustrates me most is that my grandpa has been dead for almost two years, and they have lived in his house for a little over a year. A year!

 

My mentor tells me often that he plans to thank me for all my hard work by building us a house if he lives long enough. He says he's "scheming" to figure out the best way. There actually might be a chance this could happen within the next year or so. A couple who live in a home that used to be his mother's is moving out once they get their new house finished. His plan is to buy that house back from them and build us a new one in the lot next to it.

 

4 hours ago, Teros said:

I would have made the same mistake.

 

Thank you. That makes me feel less foolish.

 

4 hours ago, Teros said:

???

 

Sorry. Thought everyone would be familiar with Sky Zone. It's basically a trampoline park, but there are also obstacle courses and climbing walls. Here's their website.

 

4 hours ago, Teros said:

Image result for the only thing good people have to do to let evil win

 

indifference1.jpg

 

4 hours ago, Teros said:

You want critical thinking - something that doesn't want to be taught anymore.

 

Agreed. And I can't figure out if it's because it's more difficult to teach or because it might be very impactful and actually make a difference in the world... maybe both?

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38 minutes ago, Snarkyfishguts said:

I love that Yoda is your Inspirational Guide.  You can accomplish so much with a Yoda mindset.  Also, congrats on maintaining your smoke-free lifestyle! Quitting an addictive substance is no small thing. 

 

You are getting a LOT of work done, and it’s really amazing. And yeah, definitely the work you’re doing with your mentor is a workout. Fer Sure.

 

 

 

Thank you. I'm glad you're following along.

 

 

Week 1 Day 2 (Tuesday):

  • 0430 wakeup
  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer
  • joined a Bible devotional on Youversion that one of my friends invited me do and read it
  • read a few pages of Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • worked with my mentor laying cinderblock; the concrete footer was a little low in one spot, so it was much more difficult to lay the block accurately. I also had to mix two wheel barrows of mortar and stock 70 cinderblock for the next course.
  • did not work on my book. :(
  • ran 4.2 miles with my buddy Rick on the trails at Ridenour Lake; I rolled my ankle around mile 2, which really slowed me down but didn't stop me.
  • no progress on the new house
  • breakfast: homemade Bulletproof coffee, oatmeal, lunch: leftover chicken teriyaki with vegetables, dinner: curry chicken, carrots, cabbage.
  • have not called my father yet; if you've followed me for a while, you understand why this is difficult.
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I have "re"-discovered Deadwood. I just finished the first season (again), and I love it more now than I did when it was first released 15 years ago (hard to believe it's been that long). The movie was released last month on HBO, and I'm trying to get through the series again before I watch it. In fact, I'm not sure I ever finished the entire series.

 

Al Swearengen is without a doubt Ian McShane's best performance. He presents us with a character who is obviously not a good man, but he cannot betray his affection for several of the people of Deadwood. McShane is phenomenal at striking that balance of ruthless and yet on rare occasion soft-hearted. Those of you who follow me already how I'm a fan of Timothy Olyphant; he brings a unique confidence and presence to every role he takes on, including as the villain in the otherwise God-awful movie Live Free or Die Hard. In fact, the entire cast of Deadwood is pretty damn talented. Olyphant does really well as Seth Bullock, a man who believes in goodness and honor but also rides that fine line between being a good man and the need to be a vicious man in order to enforce goodness and honor. 

 

My favorite character, though, is definitely Doc Cochran. It is a testament to both pure talent and hard work that the same actor who plays Doc (Brad Dourif) was also Wormtongue from LOTR and the voice of Chucky. This is my favorite scene of his from Season 1 (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT)

 

Spoiler

 

 

I may start Season 2 soon, or I may wait. I'm not sure yet. I also think the show has rekindled my love of Westerns, so I have my copy of Lonesome Dove (the book) at the ready once I finish Go Tell It on the Mountain.

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On 7/3/2019 at 8:01 PM, WolfDreamer said:

 

indifference1.jpg

Digging that.

 

On 7/3/2019 at 8:01 PM, WolfDreamer said:

Agreed. And I can't figure out if it's because it's more difficult to teach or because it might be very impactful and actually make a difference in the world... maybe both?

 

The later.  It wouldn't be harder - it's the whole concept of preventative maintenance.  Shouldn't we have free health care so when someone has an infection in their arm, they can get it treated without any issues? No, let's instead wait until it spreads and then costs 20x more to amputate the arm.  In any case, preventative maintenance is the cheaper and easier option.  Society's elite doesn't want society to be happy and healthy.  Those things mean that they will then not be simply in survival-mode: they will be trying to thrive.  And thriving means competition.  It means threatening the way the world works - so it's easier to keep people oppressed, stupid, sickly, and bickering with each other instead of empowering people to achieve their full potential and bring about progress.

 

Image result for but i have bills to pay oppression

 

 

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8 hours ago, Teros said:

It means threatening the way the world works - so it's easier to keep people oppressed, stupid, sickly, and bickering with each other instead of empowering people to achieve their full potential and bring about progress.

 

Damn, that's powerful, depressing, and very true.

 

8 hours ago, Teros said:

Image result for but i have bills to pay oppression

 

oppression-quotes2.jpg

 

 

Week 1 Day 3 (Wednesday):

  • 0430 wakeup
  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer
  • read a devotional on YouVersion
  • a heavy storm came through, so we weren't able to lay block, but I worked with my mentor after the storm setting block up for the next three courses, so I carried and set about 70 block. I also offloaded 18 buckets of sand from his truck.
  • read a few more pages of Go Tell It on the Mountain; Baldwin is one of the best writers I have ever read, without a doubt.
  • worked on my book for 20 minutes; if anyone wants to know what it's about, I'd be happy to share.
  • breakfast: a Jimmy Dean microwavable meal with turkey sausage, egg, and cheese; I added salsa. lunch: ravioli, dinner: chicken enchiladas
  • haven't called my father yet.
Edited by WolfDreamer
realized I wrote "Jimmy Dead" instead of "Jimmy Dean" (which sounds cool but probably not as delicious)
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