New YouTube Videos – “Selective Mutism” and “Dealing with Artistic Rejection”

This week I decided to cover two topics that I still struggle with somewhat on a regular basis. The first video deals with selective mutism, which is often associated with Asperger’s Syndrome or other kinds of high-functioning autism. I discuss in the video how mutism affected me personally, especially in regards to school, work, anxiety and bullying.

The second video talks about dealing with the inevitable criticism or rejection that comes when you are employed in any kind of creative field (such as writing, art, music, etc.) I give some suggestions for how I have learned to deal with rejection and not take it so personally.

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you really like the videos by commenting here or on YouTube. I am also open to suggestions for future topics!

Are You a Nowhere Man? All About Biases

The Beatles "Nowhere Man"

The Beatles “Nowhere Man”

I’ve said before that I think some of the best poetry snippets can be found in song lyrics. Not every musician or group writes great or even above-average lyrics, but when they do, I like to dissect the songs and really think about them. One song I have always felt a strong kinship with is “Nowhere Man” by The Beatles. I’m not sure many people really stop to think about the song as far as philosophy goes, but I find it full of a kind of zen-like wisdom.

I think perhaps my favorite lines from the song are:

“He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see”

Do you know anyone like that? I know I sure do. I know people who are seemingly intelligent and caring, but are hopelessly blind to certain truths because they either don’t want to see them or because their minds are biased to a point where they can not see anything that doesn’t align with their personal beliefs. Even scientific studies have found this to be true…that our personal beliefs can affect our ability to see things clearly or even figure out simple problems.

When I used to be a foster parent, we had a class we had to take every so often that talked about how deeply bias affects us and the decisions we make, even when we are small children. A child who is biased to believe the world is cruel and unfair (from past neglect or abuse) will make their personal reality fit that view, even if their belief is not the current truth. They will see everything that they experience from that biased point of view and nothing will change their mind unless that bias changes.

I find that fascinating from a psychological point of view and have thought often of what that means when applied to human nature in general. Sometimes it rather discourages me because I understand that many people will choose to be blind or can’t help being blind to seemingly obvious truths no matter how much evidence they are given or how easily their beliefs could be disproven using logic and scientific reason. This makes me want to scream and shout in frustration sometimes. It also makes me worry about what biases I have in place that I don’t even notice. I guess the song was right when it asked, “isn’t he a bit like you and me?”

New YouTube Videos – “The Healing Power of Music” and “Poetry Elitists”

Hello everybody! This week for my vlog videos, I explored the healing and comforting abilities of music from a personal perspective and discussed the danger of “poetry elitism” among literary or academic circles.

In the first video, I talk about what kind of music moves me personally and list some of the musicians who have most influenced me over the years (it is only a partial list though, I could go on about music for a long, long time).

In the second video, I talk about the dangers of being a “poetry elitist”, especially when it comes to encouraging or influencing young and developing poets.

New YouTube Videos – “Is Everyone an Agnostic?” and “Behind the Scenes of My Foster Care Book”

This week I have two vlog YouTube videos to share again.

The first is about an interesting theory I heard recently stating that perhaps everyone is really an agnostic to some degree when it comes to religion. This idea made me think about all the implications if that were true.

The second video is a “behind the scenes” look into my popular book about foster care entitled “From Both Sides”. In this vlog I discuss the inspiration behind the book and share a few short excerpts.

I hope you will check out both videos! Feel free to comment on either video and let me know what you think. You can also suggest future topics if there is something you would like to see me talk about.

Political Posturing and Endless Arguing Do No Good

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As I watch the massive amount of political posturing and relentless fighting come across my Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages daily, I get sick of all the mudslinging, unfair attacks and hateful commentary that accomplish absolutely nothing. I’m not saying that it is wrong to have political ideas and feelings or to stand up for what you believe, but when both sides become so rigid that they won’t work together at all, everyone suffers in a multitude of ways.

When I see all the pointless arguing and hateful vendettas waged by certain politicians and their followers on both sides, I often think of a poem I wrote a while ago and included in my last book “Searching for the Truth“. I would like to share it here in hopes that people begin to keep the bigger picture in mind and not get bogged down with every ridiculous detail or distracted by every political tantrum.

Labels

The labels we give ourselves –
Democrat, Republican,
conservative, liberal –
why do we let these
names
fool us
into believing
that’s all we are?

The truth is
we need each other
like it
or not.

Left to ourselves
and those of our kind,
we lose balance
and perspective.

We forget

that there’s a whole world
outside
of our own narrow view.
A world of trouble,
a world of tragedy.
A world that
desperately
needs our help.

A world
that doesn’t benefit at all
from another pointless debate.

Two New YouTube Videos – Asperger’s Stereotypes and Dealing with the Suicide of a Loved One

Normally I try to only share one of my YouTube video blogs here a week, but today I wanted to share two of them because I feel that both subjects are very important.

The first video deals with a couple common stereotypes related to Asperger’s Syndrome and why those stereotypes annoy me personally.

The other video is a personal look at dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s death by suicide. This subject has been going through my mind a lot lately due to the upcoming 3rd anniversary of my sister’s death.

I hope you find these videos interesting and useful. If you haven’t already subscribed to me on YouTube, please consider doing so that way you won’t miss any of the videos I make!

New YouTube Video – “Behind the Scenes of My Newest Book Release – “Searching for the Truth”

In my latest YouTube vlog, I gave some personal information about what inspired my most recent book release, “Searching for the Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by Our Inner Worlds”. I also read aloud a couple of the shorter poems from the book and explained why they meant so much to me. I hope you will check it out!