Categories
short stories

Suicide, the selfish way out

One thing that can’t be forgiven is suicide. This is the ultimate selfish end to everyone that loves you. You have taken every aspect of good and forced heartache into all that know you. This is a heartache that does not go away. It is a stain on all of your loved ones. When someone dies in an accident, tragedy, or from natural causes, there is a time of mourning, but as time goes by the healing will begin for the loved ones. When someone takes their own life, the healing cannot and will not ever be there for the loved ones. There will be a hurt that will never ease in any way.

Lady stepping off ledge

People will look into the life of a suicide and say things that try to make sense of it. Well, he or she had a lot of problems. He or she was a very sad person. He or she needed help and couldn’t find it. These are responses of the living trying to find any kind of peace for themselves. Actually, none of these reasons warrant the taking of your life and I will tell you why. If you open your eyes and look around, there is always someone that has it worse than you, and they are making things work. These people will live a miserable life if they have to, just so they don’t bring the pain to others. These people will also find the solution to their problems. They will gain strength in their struggles and will see how much better off they are for the hardships they have been through. Those who soldiered on will see how selfish, weak and cowardly those that take their own lives are.

Support group with one female hugging another

I want you to know right now, there is help. Don’t give up! Don’t force the pain you are feeling onto others because you are having a hard time. Seek help now! Don’t wait until tomorrow. You know where you are with your feelings. You may not think that there is anybody that cares for you, but you are dead wrong. Furthermore, you are reading an article right now of someone who cares. There are also others reading this and want to help you. We may not know your name, but we care and are willing to listen to you. I am willing to talk with you and get to know you. I will listen to your problems and help you see a different way.

Give me and others a chance before you do something that you can’t take back or be forgiven for. You can respond to this post or contact me directly at joinme@readcsi.com. If you wish to be even more private, let me know, and I will be more than happy to give you my personal email. I truly believe that you can change your way of thinking and see a better future. If you are a teenager or someone who would like to hear a new perspective through a teenager’s eyes, I suggest checking out my daughter’s site. I am so proud of her and her friend reaching out to other teenagers to help with the hurt so many are going through. You can find them on Instagram @brettzoid. If anyone reading this post would like to add their thoughts, I welcome you to reply below. Together we can make a difference and help someone in need.

Writing on blackboard "Here To Help"

If you have read any of my post before, you will notice that I try to end my post with a small sentence that really hits home with not only myself but with others as well. I will end this here, and I will keep an eye on my email for your thoughts and questions. I look forward to talking with you. Take care, think of others as well as yourself and remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
Blog posts

Living and life

It is true that we must labor to make a living, but what are you doing to make a life? I’m not talking about having children, I’m talking about your life. Going to work at a job you don’t like will make you a living but not necessarily a life. You need to enjoy what you do for a living to have a good and fruitful life. You can have a job that you dislike and still enjoy it with the right frame of mind.

Mechanic working on car
Keep a joyful life even while making a living

Most people don’t realize the difference between just living and life. One hundred percent of us are in the living sector but what percent can actually say they have a good and fruitful life? Many go to work forty or more hours a week to make that all important living that pays the bills and puts food on the table. Maybe seventy percent of these people make it to retirement age. Once retired, possibly twenty-five percent of those retired have the means and physical ability to enjoy the remainder of their lives. That’s not very high in my point of view. Besides, why do we need to get to sixty-five or older to have that life we so much desire? Why can’t we have true meaning before we get old?

So what makes a good life? Some are content with the nine to five jobs, going home to see the family and for a home cooked meal. Three or four hours of enjoyment, then off to bed. The best thing we can think about is the weekend or maybe the week or two of vacation once a year. Of course the family vacation takes away the savings we have, which later will hurt us when we are ready to finally retire. Some have retirement money through their jobs like the 401k or maybe the company will pitch in if you spend thirty years with them. By the time you reach this all important age, you find out the retirement money isn’t really as much as you planned. It really looked good on paper, but when you start paying for things you want to do, you find out it’s never enough.

Man carrying a woman piggyback
Don’t wait till retirement, enjoy life now

I know it sounds like I’m being down hearted about this living versus life, but I’m going to bring a light to this right now. You can make a living and have a good life everyday once you set your mind to it. This has nothing to do with money. This my friends has everything to do with your mindset. You have to learn how to enjoy life even when things are at their worst. If you are of the mindset of just putting in your time till retirement to have a life, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get. You will not find true joy until you receive that gold watch for thirty years of hard labor. And sometimes, once we arrive at that time, we find out how fast time has gone and how much joy we have missed. Worse of all, maybe our bodies aren’t in the shape we planned on when we get there. This would really put a kink in our plans.

Retired husband and wife looking off into the world with morning coffee
Retirement is happiest if you enjoy life before

To have a good life from beginning to end, we must determine to live every day to it’s fullest. Then once we hit that all important time to finally retire, we can look back and see that we had a good life all along and didn’t miss the joy that came with it. When you wake up in the morning, and every morning from now on, decide to have the positive outlook instead of the grind it out negative way. I will guarantee, if you follow my advice, even the worst day can be a good day.

My friends, this may not make sense to you right now, but if you try the positive outlook for one month, every single day, you will feel the joy that you so desire and deserve. Don’t wait to get old to have a life. Start today and enjoy the time you have. We never know how long we truly have. Don’t wait to enjoy life. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
Funny True Stories short stories

Monsoon driving in a Haulage Truck

Teaching monsoon driving in a open pit copper mine

I have been a teacher, not in the traditional sense, but I have taught in many of my occupations. This is about one of those teaching experiences that maybe went not quite as expected.

First off, let me explain something about haulage trucks and rain. These are two entities that are polar opposites. When the rains come to the mines, one thing is true, all haul truck drivers are in for an adventure. While the rain keeps pouring from the sky, haul trucks drive just fine, but when the rain stops and the dirt on the road becomes more like clay, it is like driving on ice. There is no feeling like sliding down the road in a machine the size of your house with no true control. Just as one tops the hill and is ready to head down the other side, the driver tenses up, especially in the buttocks’ region. There were many times I thought I might actually have to call out mine rescue to remove the seat from my butt. After about six months or so, it becomes more of a game than a total fear of life ending drama.

Monsoon clouds

There are still times, no matter how many years you drive one of these big machines, that you will have that scare put back into you. Here in Arizona, where I drove in the mines, we have a monsoon season every year. Sometimes the monsoons aren’t too bad, other times they are downright fierce. This instance is during one of the bad ones.

I trained a lot of haul truck drivers during my time working in the copper mines. Almost all drivers taught, but I taught more than the average amount. I’m not sure if it was because of my ability to talk to almost anyone and find out what works best for them, or maybe I just had a death wish. Some trainees would get behind the wheel and scare the trainers. I only had this happen to me one time in twenty years teaching to drive these trucks. I may and probably will write about that time in the future. This post however will be about the teacher scaring the student.

Whenever we got some new drivers in the mine, one thing we always told them, was if they made it through the monsoon season, they would be alright as long as they wanted to do this job. Once every couple of years. It seemed like we would get a new batch of students during the monsoons. This was the times the students truly got thrown directly into the fire. Learning to drive a haulage truck in the worst possible circumstance is very difficult, not only for the students, but for the trainers as well.

One day at work I was told that I would be training John, (truth be known, I can’t remember his name. This was many years ago). The rains had been bad for a week or so and the mine roads were a complete mess. John was excited to get started. He told me that he had driven many types of equipment, but never in a mine setting or anything as large as a haul truck. I explained how the rains affected the trucks and how bad the roads were right now. It didn’t seem to phase him. Maybe this guy will do alright, I thought. I have, and still do believe, the only way to learn to drive one of these monsters is to get behind the wheel and do it. I never allowed a trainee to just ride around all shift watching me drive. The first day it’s ok to ride and watch for half a shift, but after that, it’s time for the student to drive. This day was the exception.

I believe there were thirteen students that showed up that day. All the driver’s that would have trainees with them, including myself, decided, the students would just ride today. This was going to be a suck your seat up the butt kind of day. If the students didn’t quit today just by riding, then maybe they would make it through training. When the experienced drivers were worried, then I could just imagine what the students were going through. These poor trainees were going to have the ride of their lives and didn’t even have to buy a ticket!

Open pit copper mine

The first half of the shift was a circus. Drive up the hill, slide down the hill, and hope you didn’t hit anything. The bosses all parked their pickups at the top of the mine to watch what was happening below. There was no way in the world they were going to be on the road with us, doing everything we could to keep from playing bumper cars! I was doing fairly well keeping my truck out of the ditch, which was quite the challenge. I told John once that it was his turn to drive, and his eyes got huge until I said that I was just kidding. With a sigh of relief, he said under his breath, “Oh, thank God!” I laughed and told him that even I wasn’t that big of a jerk.

Maybe six hours into our shift, one of the shovels went down, and they had to start another one up. This wasn’t that big of a deal except, the road to the shovel hadn’t been worked on all day and I knew it was going to be extremely slick. The rains were turning on and off all day, keeping the roads in terrible condition. This road hadn’t been worked on today by road crew because they had their hands busy with all the other roads. Dispatch told me to let them know the condition of the road, so they knew whether they needed to pull someone to work on it. I knew It was going to be bad, but I didn’t know it was going to be that bad.

I stopped at the top of the hill, looking down the other side, and told John, this is going to be the best ride in the park today. John let out a small groan, which is what I would’ve done if he weren’t here with me. I have to keep up good appearances for the student, I thought to myself. Slowly we started down the hill. I knew it was going to be slick. I knew we were going to slide. Furthermore, I knew that my butt would try to eat my seat. Furthermore, I also knew that I had a trainee in the seat next to me, and I had to play it cool, so I didn’t scare him into quitting on his first day. What I didn’t know was how awful it was going to be and how hard it would be to keep my cool for John’s sake.

We started down with a small slide toward the driver’s side. This soon turned into a very large slide. One thing kept popping in my mind, stay cool for John’s sake. So I started explaining what I was doing to keep us on the road and out of the ditch. I explained every turn of the steering wheel, how much brake pressure I was using and how to watch what the road was telling me with the dips and potholes we were navigating over and around. I explained these things all the way down the hill towards the shovel we were heading for. Furthermore, I even told John that was the shovel as we passed the shovel, still sliding for another three hundred yards on the flat and heading towards the berm! The truck came to rest about fifty feet from the berm. I locked the parking break and took a deep breath. John looked as pale as a ghost, and I wasn’t sure that I didn’t as well.

Mine shovel with bucket on the ground and man standing out front

Over the radio came a familiar voice of my ole buddy Pat, who was running the shovel. With a small laugh, Pat said, “Hey Billy, the shovel is over here, come on over and get loaded.” I answered back, “John and I are going to step out for a small break and clean our shorts out first!” I smiled at John to let him know everything was okay. Truth be told, even though I had to play it cool for John, my heart was running about ten times faster than I was letting on. I asked, “Are you okay, John?” He said, “I didn’t mind the sliding and all, but I guess what bothered me was how you explained what you were doing as we were coming down the hill.” I answered, “What do you mean? I just wanted you to get the idea of what I was doing to keep us out of the ditch.” He said, “Ya, but you were looking at me the whole time!” John, I said, “Actually, I was looking at the road, it just happened to be out of your window!” This did not sit well with John, as his pale white took on a light shade of green. Maybe that was not what he wanted to hear, but it was the truth.

We got through the rest of the shift without incident, and I assured John that today was not normal and tomorrow would be better. He shook my hand and thanked me for everything. The next day came and as my shift was beginning soon, I asked my boss where John was. The supervisor told me he was one of the five students that quit today. Well I hated to see John go, but it let me know that he probably wasn’t right for this job anyway.  Yes, it was extreme conditions, but that is part of the job.

We all have our limitations. As for John, I hope he found a great career outside the mines. I’m not sure if he just didn’t have the stomach for the job, or if maybe he was just smarter than the rest of us that continued with this line of work. Sometimes you just have to find the right place in life for you. Oh, just to set the record straight, I only lost one other student during training in the mines, and he was the one that scared me, whom I talked about earlier.

Take care, enjoy what you do and remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
Blog posts short stories

Doubt your Doubts

      This, my friends, is going to be fun to write. I get excited every time I think about the concept I will be teaching today. Everything yesterday, today and in the future deals with two basic concepts, positive and negative. No matter what it is we deal with in life, we are still creatures of these two thought patterns. If you are a positive person, then this post will help you with those minimal times of doubt. If you are a negative person…. well you need to read this post over and over again. Hopefully, you will gain a positive outlook on your life and those around you.

Lady with arms folded showing doubt

      Doubt comes no matter who you are or in what circumstances you are dealing with in life. Even the most positive person will allow doubt to creep in, sometimes even unnoticed. Why do we doubt things and even ourselves at times? Doubt can be considered as that extra sense that can cause all kinds of havoc. Some suggest that our sixth sense is one that lets us know that something is about to happen or something may not be right. Doubt will hang on to this sixth sense like an ugly little monster that just wants to destroy what you are doing in life. So what is this creepy thing we call doubt? The definition of doubt is; To be undecided about; to lack confidence in; to disbelieve, to question.
Synonyms: distrust, mistrust. So basically put, this is negatively in its purest form.

      If you are in a situation where this ugly little thing called doubt is getting involved, there is a problem with the situation or with you. At this point, you must be honest with yourself and decide if the situation, or you are at fault. Sometimes this can be real tricky because your mind will mess with you and create more doubt. So what are we to do to resolve this problem? You have to ask yourself some questions to decide whether doubt is a warning connected to that sixth sense or is it worry, lack of confidence or just plain fear. Here are some questions to ask yourself. Do the facts line up? Am I working with a positive attitude, or am I lurking into the dark shadows of negativity? Am I dealing with a positive or negative person? Have I done this before and did it work? Do I believe in myself? Am I over thinking the situation or process?

Lady with arms folded on desk in deep thought

      Once you have answered these questions that you have presented yourself, you can allow the true magic to happen. The magic isn’t magic at all, but it will feel like it. Here we go! You must doubt your doubts! That’s right. If you doubt your doubts, then you can remove all doubt. You can now make a positive choice whether to go through with it or not. You have officially removed the negativity that led to the doubt in the first place.

      Always keep in mind that a person who lives with doubt can never accomplish anything of value. These are the naysayers that believe nothing good can come of anything. These are the negative people I spoke about. These people will go through life just bouncing along with no goals. You can set all the goals you want, but living in doubt means you will never accomplish any of said goals.

       How can a concept so simple be so hard to learn? It’s not hard to learn at all, my friends. I just gave you the formula to positive thinking. If you find yourself dealing with a negative person (doubter), you better take warning. These people are toxic to you if you follow their direction. Instead, do what you say you can do instead of folding up camp because they said you can’t. Once you have done it, maybe, just maybe, you can take the doubt out of the doubter and help change a negative person to a positive one.

Lady with a smile talking in bullhorn

      This world runs on eighty percent negative and twenty percent positive.  It’s the twenty percent that keeps the world creating new and wonderful things. It’s the eighty percent that slow down progress. Don’t be part of the eighty. Stand tall with the twenty! I sure hope I got my point across. I picked this idea up from a wise man and ran with it in my own way to help explain to you, my readers, in the simplest way I know how. Don’t forget to doubt your doubts to remove all doubt. As always, take care and remember, we are all in this together.

Categories
Blog posts

We must continue maturing

As a male, the number one reason to get into trouble, especially during our teen years, is to impress a female. So this would draw the question, why are teen girls drawn to the bad boys? This can be explained within the “boring rule”. The good boys are boring, where the boys who get into trouble bring excitement, even though, they also bring trouble to those who hang around them.

Young adult mail with handcuffs on

As we get into our twenties, things change. Most young women start figuring out that the bad boys will not be able or willing to do what it takes to get them what they want out of life. Young men still want to go out and be crazy but young women want the males to grow up and become family men, taking care of them and giving them the finer things in life. Things like a family, a nice house and enough money to take vacations every year are very important as a female starts into her twenties.

Here is where the times are becoming hard for the boys/men. Males are expected to act a certain way to attract females in their teenage years, just to see these same girls end up with the boring boys later in life. The so called boring boys are the ones working to get good grades and ultimately end up with the good jobs which later turn into what girls want as they become young women.

Young girl sitting down and Young woman kneeling

It is very true that girls mature faster than boys usually.  There are always the stand outs of course. There are males that mature quickly, usually because they are forced to. It could be a death of their father or older brother that makes them step up much quicker in life. Military is also a great way to learn how to grow up quickly. On the other hand, there are girls that refuse to grow up because they have fallen into the wrong crowd or something happened to them at a younger age. Drugs can also play a major role in this along with abuse in the family.

I have noticed that the gap in mature rate between males and females have started to close up in recent years. This is due to changes in society. The whole fabric of human existence seems like it has been torn and it’s very sad to see. Alot of girls are slowing down their mature rate and alot of boys are no longer maturing at all. Why do you think this is happening more today then in years before? I believe it has become socially acceptable. We are no longer holding young adults to the higher standards we once did.

Unless we bring back some “old school thought” into our society, I believe we will see more and more problems as we go forward. It is okay and a good thing to have our fun time, but there is a time to step up and take responsibility for our actions. The more times we give our society a pass on these responsibilities, the fewer people that will actually mature at a time that is needed. Where will we be when there are no more mature adults? Not in a good place my friends.

Teach your children the responsibilities of there actions as they grow into young adults and let’s keep society with both kids and grownups and not just kids trying to figure things out without any adults to look up to. Take care out there and Remember, we are all in this together.

Dumbing down society

Does it seem like we are trying so hard to make an easier life for humanity, we are actually hurting ourselves? If this holds true then how and why? One case may show part of the reason is we are deep into the electronic age or robotics age, if you will. The starting of a child’s life now and for the rest of his or her life is and will revolve around electronic devices including robotics.

Two girls sitting on a bench,  both with cell phones
Gotta have that phone on always, right?

Are you old enough to remember, as a teenager or younger, going around the neighborhood, looking to make money doing odd jobs? I remember cutting grass, hauling hay and even working on cars, before I was old enough for high school. This is the way we used to do things but look around now and tell me how many of these children are out trying to make a buck. How many times has a youngster knocked on your door and asked to mow your lawn? Even the young girls are no longer asking to help clean up your yard or house for a few dollars. I believe this all stems from taking away from our children not only a need for these jobs but a want.

Children are having their “learn how to grow up phase” taken away from them. And we as a society are teaching our children to be lazy and not worry about taking care of business when they do become adults. So where have we gotten with all these new technologies? I believe we have actually started dumbing down society. Of course your five year old can run a computer but if we were to lose electricity for a month, how many people today could survive? We still need to teach our children basic skills that have nothing to do with an electronic device or they will be lost if something does happen.

Different kinds of electronics being used to teach
What happened to teaching something other than how to use electronics in school?

If you have kids in school today, the first thing you may notice is the tablet or laptop they are using in school now. That in itself is fine but for doing all their work on one is just crazy. We are teaching our children not only to depend on electronic devices for everything but also showing them how so many people are losing their jobs to robots. So many industries no longer need people to run them. If people are needed, it is fewer and fewer. The grocery store may have ten registers but only three need employees because the customers themselves are running the other seven.

When was the last time your children played a game that didn’t include a electronic device? I believe in all the technology that we are so proud of and continue to make better, but at the same time we are destroying the society that we should be worried about. Technology is like anything else, too much is a problem and we most definitely have a problem.

So if this is a problem, how do we fix it? First we have to limit the time our children use electronics especially cell phones. Almost anything that can be done on the internet, can now be done in the palm of your hand. But children are losing out on this great world of ours. Anything and everything includes a cell phone today. Even going camping or fishing, the young ones as well as adults have their cell phones running all the time. This would be fine if it was incase of a problem so you could call someone for help, but that’s not why they take them. The main reason is to have your nose stuck in it talking to friends online or worse to people you don’t even know. If for some reason the camping trip is in a place where the cell phone doesn’t have service, do we leave them in the car? Of course not, then is when the off-line games come in. Did you catch any fish on your trip? No but I beat level twenty-five on slam dunk chocolate mania! Really sad it has come to this.

R2-D2 from Star Wars
R2-D2 is ready to take your job

Another problem is with the adults helping their company build systems that ultimately take their own jobs away. The company that you helped build is doing great while you are out looking for a new place of employment. Jobs have never been so hard to find. Even the burger joints are getting to where they only need one fifth of the work force they once needed. So how do we put an end to this problem. I don’t think there is a quick fix but demanding more and more for the employees is not helping the situation.

Unions are great in one way and bad in other ways. They help the employees get good pay and good benefits. They also tend to push farther then they should. The companies are figuring out with fewer people to pay, the more profit they make. Companies are going more and more to robotics to take away the need of paying for health insurance, higher minimum wages and retirements. Machines have no need for these things and they also don’t call off sick. Win win for the company and if you like it or not, the reason companies are in business is to make money.

Pile of one hundred dollar bills
Higher minimum wages will ultimately break you

There has to be a middle ground that we can come to. People are pushing harder and harder for an easier life with electronics and ultimately, we are pushing ourselves into the poor house. We no longer teach our children to make it without electronics. We no longer realize the harder we push for more and more money for the same amount of work is causing us to be replaced. The machines are truly taking over and humans are at fault. Let’s back the clock up and teach our children along with learning for ourselves how to live without all the electronics. Like I said before, technology is great but too much will destroy society itself. Let’s take a step back into old school thought. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.