Saturday, July 23, 2016

I Don't Pray for Money

"I don't pray for money. I pray for wisdom. I would rather have one honest dollar and wisdom than $1 million and no wisdom. Without wisdom, I probably would lose the $1 million and my life. With wisdom, I can build a fortune and a happy life."
--Michael Hooper 7-13-2016

"We can hope for a better tomorrow, but we have only today to make our dreams come true," said Michael Hooper, July 3, 2016.

"Nature Creates Homes"
--Michael Hooper, July 7, 2016

Guns Take Away Our Freedom

The common thinking about guns is they protect us from our enemies and ensure our freedom and safety. This is a fallacy. A truly responsible gun owner -- a person on alert -- is actually missing out on life. Why? Because a person carrying a gun must have a hyper-consciousness, a super awareness, to sense the enemy and shoot to kill if the situation requires it. If you are the least bit unaware, you might get shot yourself, or someone might take your gun from you and use it against you. Achieving a state of hyper consciousness requires tremendous commitment and devotion to safety. Why does this limit your freedom? Because if you are spending all your time managing your gun and thinking of ways to use it against your enemy, you are not enjoying the moment. You are at a rock concert, you are thinking about your gun and how to use it. Can you truly enjoy the moment with a revolver in your pants? Some people are comfortable with a gun, but get too comfortable with your gun, its value goes down substantially. Now people are willing to take the risk and responsibility of owning and carrying a gun. This step increases fear. The higher number of guns in circulation, the higher levels of fear and distrust. Cops fear black people are going to kill them even though their fear is often misplaced. As a result, cops have shot black people who are no threat at all. There is multiple cases of this happening. The end result is more distrust. Black people are protesting, rightfully so, to stop the cops from shooting them. Black lives do matter. All lives matter. Regardless of race, all peoples in America are under a threat that didn't exist 30 years ago. We have a mass shooting in America every day. Escalating violence has led to more gun ownership, and therefore more fear. I know someone who said he was worried his shotgun and revolver would not be sufficient to fight off 15 people invading his house. So he acquired an AR15. But is there a real threat of 15 people coming into your house? I don't think so. Burglaries usually don't involve more than two people. But my friend's fear is driving him to purchase yet more weaponry. I am willing to take the risk of not owning a gun. First of all I don't want the responsibility of owning a gun. I have children and young nieces and a nephew. I eliminate the risk of accidental shooting by having no gun in my house. There is too much access to guns. In many homicides and accidental shootings, if there had been no gun, there would have been no death. No gun, no death. Without a gun, I am free to absorb the moment, free to look at the concert and enjoy the show, free to listen to a conversation and follow it with real sincerity. The highest compliment you can pay a person is giving your ear, fully listening to their words and feelings and reassuring them you can empathize and understand. But if there is too much noise and fear in and around your brain, you can't pay attention, you are too busy worried about killing the enemy. The enemy lives in our brains. The enemy is fear. Fear is a weed that can't be killed with more guns. I don't feel safer when a person carries a semi-automatic weapon into the grocery store. Only greater understanding and higher levels of trust will produce peace. The gun limits that. Freedom is the ability to live without fear and restraint, the ability to look at a person in the eye and see humanity and share life as a divine gift, to breathe the same air and know that we are humans together. Let us find a way to stop guns from being the barrier to freedom and shared humanity. Let us live freely without restraint, with the hope to move forward in the direction of our dreams of a safe and viable community, nation and world. Put down your guns. Peace can be had, if we all work together to achieve this goal.