“Ornaments” -A Poem About Choices

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“Ornaments” page 1 of 2 -An original poem typecast by Luke Austin Daugherty. Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved on words and photograph. This poem was typed on a Royal Mercury

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“Ornaments” page 2 of 2 -An original poem typecast by Luke Austin Daugherty. Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved on words and photograph. This poem was typed on a Royal Mercury

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar!:) Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke

LAD Online Tipjar!

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Watch the World Burn (A Poem)

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“Watch the World Burn” -an original poem by Luke Austin Daugherty. Copyright: 2015 picture and words, all rights reserved. No use without the permission of the author.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my posts. -Luke

Florida Lawmakers Make Feeding Homeless Illegal- 90 Year Old Man Arrested

Ricky Bobby's response to  Fort Lauderdale, Florida lawmakers.

Ricky Bobby’s response to Fort Lauderdale, Florida lawmakers.

Due to new laws against “food sharing” in  Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a 90 year old man has been arrested for serving food to the homeless in a public park. Please read the following link for more information:

Local Florida News Article on Arrest of 90 Year Old Man for Feeding Homeless

I have read lots of recent posts on social media decrying this law and the actions of police in arresting Arnold Abbott merely for serving food to hungry people. It is good that people are outraged. This is an issue that ANYONE should be passionate about.

When I was a Christian believer for many years, I thought it was important to help the less fortunate and I did what I could. I’m an atheist now and I believe in helping the homeless just as much as ever and do it when I can. Just two weeks ago, I invited a homeless man to have lunch with me in Indianapolis. We both had a good time and ended up with full stomachs. I suppose if I did the same thing in a public park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I may have ended up in jail.

Helping other people is a human value, regardless of the accompanying ideology. Because of that truth, I assert that any lawmakers who, by force of law, would stand in the way of humans helping less fortunate humans are behaving in an inhumane fashion. If they happen to be Christians, they are an offense to the teachings of Jesus. If they are secular, then they are an offense to the values and practices that have allowed our species to move forward across the many centuries due to mutual help and working together for the benefit of the group. If they find themselves in another dogmatic camp, they are likely in error of those teachings as well. I have done a fair amount of study on various religions, and I have yet to find a verse in any sacred text that says, “When ye find people homeless and hungry, do your best to screw them over.”

Regardless of our own personal dogma, we should stand in unity against such lawmakers as these, ridicule them publicly, and ignore their foolish laws. They are against humanity. They are against mercy. They are against love. Enough said. No further argument required. And to relevant law officers involved, you have no obligation to enforce these wretched laws. Your duty is to protect the people in your jurisdiction, homed or homeless, and not to oppress them.

Please visit my site below for some related tips on encouraging others on a daily basis:

The Butterfly Flutter Project

And this link for a story about a homeless man who shared his beautiful song on a public piano:

Homeless Man Shares His Beautiful Melody on Piano- A Lesson on Humility and Compassion (Video)

The Whisper

Humanity is as the surface of a vast pond

Being visibly stirred and moved by the actions of individuals

As one passerby casually tossed a stone in, then walked away

I saw that the ripples continued long after he was there to behold them

Going this way and that

Expanding in influence from the place where they began

 

So my friend

Find the largest and best stone you can

And cast it purposefully into the pond

Let its ripples roll to affect

And to be affected by those of others

Throw it high, throw it hard

So that even after your tenure at the pond is over

Still its ripples will roll

And even in death

Your life will whisper

What you yelled

While your lungs still owned breath

 

Remind yourself today

That this will not be forever

Your transient and brief pilgrimage on the lively side of earth’s soil is short

And the length of its precarious song, uncertain

Yet, while you live, make yourself at home

Do your worst to do your best

 

In the eons that came before you

Nothing of you was known

But for now, you are

And when it comes that you are not

Let not the latter condition of things

Be as the state of the former

When nothing of you had ever been whispered

Leave not this world in an underwhelmed state

Or indifferent and unmoved at your remembrance

 

As surely as you are here now

You will not be in one hundred years

Do not hide your face from that fact

Or be afraid to face it

This is the common story of billions who have passed

It will be for the billions who live now

And for billions more who will be born

 

Every one of us is not but the whisper of the century to come

Let us treat the world kindly while we live

So it will whisper kindly of us

When we have turned to dust

 

Copyright 2013-Luke Austin Daugherty

Smile. Things Are Getting Better…Really.

"Smiley Face" art by my daughter Lydia Daugherty

“Smiley Face” art by my daughter Lydia Daugherty

It’s easy to get bummed out about life; especially when your own isn’t going so smooth. But, there are legitimate reasons to be encouraged about things in general. As a human species, we are actually making real headway in some important areas.

From unintended pregnancies and absolute poverty, to overall violence and murder, statistics are improving. Since the numbers in these stats represent humans, the stats really mean something. The “macro view” of life today is a bit sunnier than it used to be.

I first took notice to some of these trends last year when exploring Dr. Steven Pinker’s work on violence and murder rates across the span of recorded human history. Not only have the rates of violence and murder gone down over the centuries as a whole, there have been some noticeable declines in the last half century.  If you’d like to see a condensed presentation of his work in the area of violence, please view his TED Talk, “The Surprising Decline in Violence,” in the link at the bottom. He has also done other extensive talks and writing on the subject.

After seeing a very recent video on some other improvements in the world from John Green, “GOOD NEWS: 14 Reasons 2014 May Be the Best Year Ever,” I decided to share some of the good news with my readers. He briefly covers some good related data in the video below.

Is there still plenty of room for humanity to improve? Sure. Do many people still suffer preventable ills and injustices? Of course they do. Are there still areas of the world where tragedy is the present norm? Yes. So, we still have much room for progress and there are lots of opportunities to make a difference.

For some though, I know there is a resistance to such assertions of global improvement. I have gotten some ideological “push back” in personal conversations from people who actually believe and/or hope things are getting worse on the large scale. I’ve also run across the same thing on social networking in some cases. In relation to these anecdotal experiences, I’d like to offer two possible reasons for the denial of human progress.

First, we humans tend to have a very myopic view of “life” in general. We project our own experiences onto the masses, unable to see things from the perspective of others. Such a self-regulated scope can have negative implications in two distinct ways: 1. if we “have it good” and are very optimistic in general, we can forget that many others don’t get along so well and/or may be suffering in ways that we could help alleviate. 2. If our own life is rough, we can be depressed about life in general and not realize that things are better for many others and can get better for us as well. That pessimism can create an infinite loop of negativity and a feeling of situational impotence in life.

The second reason is something I’d like to introduce. I have not seen this formally referred to before, so I’ll name it myself. I’ll call it an, “Apocalyptic Bias.” I have seen this bias at work personally in the lives of others and my own life in years past. For those that embrace the fundamental “end times” doctrines of some major religions or some cults, there is a tacit need for things to be getting worse. A particular holy book, prophet, or god said things would be declining, so they are. Also, when there is a deep cognitive desire for a forthcoming “salvation” to rescue one from the mundaneness of life, things must get worse before they get better. Any data that does not jive with such a worldview must be retooled, ignored, or spun in a way that fits the apocalyptic paradigm.

To allow that the overall picture of humanity is improving is to admit you are wrong theologically or that you might not be in the “chosen generation” to experience the Apocalypse, Rapture, etc. Either scenario makes for a potentially long, boring life working and paying taxes for decades before a natural death whisks you away from the lively side of this terrestrial plane.  Such a life is definitely not as exciting as parting skies, raining fire, demonic locusts, and angelic trumpets sounding.

All that said some important things are getting better. Why? There are multiple causes. Many people are helping others and improving their own selves as well. The world is getting smaller, so it’s easier for individuals and groups to have a global impact. Also, with the instantaneous dissemination of information via the internet, people around the world have access to positive ideas that they were not exposed to even a decade ago. Many who have only known backward and repressive dogmas in the past are being enlightened by the arts, superior ideologies, and science. More than ever, humans are empowered to write their own story or edit the one they were written into.

So my fellow homosapiens, turn those frowns upside down…

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ramBFRt1Uzk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUhA6fjgnLY