What my writing means to me.

I recently accepted a project from an overseas client that now in hindsight I regret. I was asked to write 5/ 500 word articles, which isn’t bad, and the pay rate was decent also. The problem I had was the subject of the articles, at first I was hesitant in taking the project, but being a writer as exciting as it is, is also a challenge when work gets thin.

What was the subject? Escort services… Myself personally, I’ve never used one. So at the time in my ignorance of what the majority of escorts actually do, and the need to gain the business of a new client; I took on the project. After all, how bad could it be? Imagine my horror at what I soon discovered… These ladies weren’t simply just model beautiful women serving as eye-candy for businessmen and tourists, in reality they were no more than glorified prostitutes. I know, your probably thinking how that could be possible, best of all legal.

Two articles into the job my conscious had taken enough of a blow, and I quit working on it. I was disgusted beyond belief, and I remembered something Jeff Goins wrote, I think every writer, or anyone who enjoys reading should take a look:

http://goinswriter.com/why-i-write/

What writing really meant to him. I also thought to myself, is my writing really worth this? Beyond it being one of many means to support myself, didn’t it start as a beloved form of expression. Stories I enjoyed creating, historical events that inspired me.

More than that, to use that to support something I was against morally and spiritually would have been a waste of that gift. I have two beautiful, and intelligent daughters; a mother and sister… I couldn’t imagine seeing them in that position. What man could? I’ll never think of taking another project even similar to that. As a writer, it’s not worth my time regardless of what I’m offered. My writing means more to me than that.

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Tips to a child safe Internet

 

 

 

 

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Perhaps the scariest, yet most often used thing accessed by our children is the Internet. It can be used from a myriad of sources from desktops and laptops, to tablets, and game consoles. With more readily available sources to the Internet and its dangers, isn’t it reasonable we should make it safer?

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

In our family the adults always remind the kids when they go outside to play ‘Watch out for stranger danger’, meaning if an adult they didn’t know was all of a sudden nice; they shouldn’t talk to them but come home. This is also true with their interactions online, and in order to keep a more watchful eye on your child’s online usage, it’s always been a good rule to restrict its use to central parts of the home. There are other ways to increase better Internet safety habits, here are a few I’ve researched and use for my children:

• Web filtering – This is probably the most effective and used method of keeping your children safe from online predators, and unsuitable material. It can be applied to most devices, and with such apps as K9 Web browser, which also offers a host of other applications such as youtube filtering.

• Monitoring social networks – Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites that your child may use should be monitored closely, it’s place where predators even prey on other adults.

• Monitoring your own viewing habits – This pretty much goes without saying, but often times we as adults overlook just how important clearing our web browser and maintaining it against questionable material is. It’s always a good rule to log out of social media, email, and other accounts when we are done. Not only does it decrease the chances of having valuable information stolen, but also checks against you child having access to material that may come up because of a mis-typed search term or web address.


Making the internet a safe and fun learning tool.

Despite all the dangers, and precautions that may come with allowing your child to use the Internet. It can also be a fun learning tool, that can make learning more of an enjoyable experience. Here are a few sites that are not only kid friendly, but also fun!

https://www.abcmouse.com

http://www.coolmath.com/

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/

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To get a job, write your story instead of a resume

Ahmad:

I loved reading this article so much I thought I’d post it here to share. With so many people still out of work, and scrambling for a ‘a job’, and still feeling like something’s missing. It begs the question, are you working for a purpose, or is working your purpose?

Originally posted on Quartz:

I am 61 years old and I have been doing paid work since I was 16. I’ve been a grocery clerk, camp counselor, film projectionist, sound man, light man, cameraman, freight loader, computer programmer, teacher, operations research analyst, manager, salesman, writer, consultant, and for the last 30 years I’ve been a securities trader and hedge fund manager.

Yet I have only once gotten work by answering an ad. Even then I was turned down at first, but it led to a different job six months later after I established a relationship with the hiring manager who had first said no. And I’ve never been asked for a resume until after I received an offer, and then only because HR always needs something to put in their files.  I haven’t needed a resume to get work because my resume doesn’t reveal my work. I am my work, and to know my…

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Sometimes it’s better to just pick up a good book…

 I found myself channel surfing frantically this previous weekend, bored and exhausted at finding anything that would hold my attention longer than 30 minutes. After sometime of flipping channels, I just turned it off, and looked around my room for something to entertain my mind with, and my eyes settled on my book shelf. While I don’t have a very large variety of books, I do have interesting ones, and I picked one I hadn’t read in a while.

 Needless to say, I found it more enjoyable than staring at the television wishing commercials never existed. Here’s an interesting fact most people know, but we seldom take the time out to reflect upon. The average American, (yes the average…) spends 34 hours a week watching television. This includes digital devices which connects a person to youtube where they can even catch up on missed episodes of their favorite show, or more amateur forms of entertainment that have become popular. Not that I’m totally against Television, and other similar forms of entertainment, rather moderation is key. It can be a great learning tool, but passive at best. There’s very little intellectual stimulation between what’s being viewed, and the viewer. In other words your not required to think, and use critical thinking as much as you would reading a book.

The book I chose to read ‘Images of Organization’ by Gareth Morgan was replete with side notes and comments I made, highlighter marks on points I liked, gave my own personal commentary on, or didn’t agree with and wrote why in the margins. Trying doing that with your television screen or digital device (Please don’t do that! ha ha).

 

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An animal’s right to humane slaughter

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  Funny story, when I worked as a beef processor for Tyson’s fresh meat. On one particular day  as my ex wife dropped me off to work, my children who decided to come along for the ride asked, “Daddy, where are the cows going?”. Without really thinking about it  (or how they would react) I explained to them where we get our meat from that we buy in stores. My youngest daughter, Humble ( at the time was 4) felt so horrible for those oppressed cows, she literally refused to eat any kind of beef. Any attempt to get her to eat beef ended in frustration for us. Humble made her stance clear, ‘Cows were friends, not food!’. At first we were interested… even impressed by Humbles’ stance on what she believed, and supported her feelings. Even children as young as Humble can express their value on life.  Squish a bug they mistake as a pet, and watch the disastrous effect.

As a couple of days turned into a couple of weeks, we worried. We then began to introduce more sources of protein, other than beef; such as turkey, catfish (which she loves to eat to this day), and increased the amount of chicken we ate. Living in Texas at the time, where fields of cows were plenty, Humble admired them for their beauty, as adults we take it for granted and simply see them as sources of food. In this there is a lesson in how we treat animals, even those we use for food.

Islam teaches animals, yes, even the ones we eat have certain rights. They have the right of having a gentle death, which conventional methods of slaughter are lacking in. I try my best to eat Halaal, or kosher meat it can be expensive depending on where you buy it. However, it is worth it. It is the least cruel of slaughter methods I’ve personally witnessed, and from my own experience in beef processing the cleanest. As conventional slaughter doesn’t guarantee the animal dies painlessly as possible, and under severe duress which actually can affect the quality of the meat.

For information on issues concerning animal slaughter practices I decided to include some interesting links. I hope you enjoy them.

http://halalforhealth.com/index.html

http://www.sustainabletable.org/274/animal-welfare

… this last one is about cows milk, but felt it is also appropriate to include because it deals with raising healthier cows.

http://www.thelotustrust.org/ahimsa.html

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The Power of Imagination

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to what we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know.” – Albert Einstien

When I was young my favorite heros to dress up as were The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joe, and of course a police officer or detective. I spend hours putting together whatever came close to a similar costume look, and play away!

I often watch my own children thinking back to those wonderful childhood years where I was the hero (or villain, depending on my mood) of my own story. Now imagination takes on a whole different perspective for me as an adult. Funny thing I realized is that most adults I know, don’t have much in the way of imagination that is on par with that of a child’s. What makes a child’s imagination so different? Often times it’s doubtless, and full of confidence. The child, whether he/she is pretending to be a doctor, police officer, or superhero is sure in every action in their play. If a doubt ever arises about something beyond what they know, they either ask an adult, or make it up as they go.

Of course in the adult world we can’t practically make things up in our jobs, or businesses and expect it to work, however our imagination tunes us into strengths we sometimes over look and realize we had all along. Self-confidence, perseverance, and to use our minds to affect the world around us. It has the ability to allow us to see past certain obstacles, and allow us to forge goals and the means to attain them. I think back to some of my personal role models who while having very little to work with accomplished great things.

Frederick Douglass remains at the top of my list, even by modern day standards. Any man that can educate himself in the grips of physical human slavery, not only has courage; but the imagination to put it into service. And with that imagination Frederick Douglass became a hero, for every person believing in freedom.

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My son and daughters’ dance video

 

This video was made 5 years ago by my ex-wife, my son Chad, and my daughter Humble.

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