99 SECONDS WITH NEIL EPISODE 2 : FREEDOM TO BE LOCAL

In which we explore how our greatest fear can be our greatest weapon in eliminating fear and creating a sense of community.

Also, in which a random golden retriever walks on during filming.

CLICK HERE TO SEE EPISODE 2

FREEDOM TO BE LOCAL

Here is a picture of the local July 4th celebration in West Allis Wisconsin, where I live. I believe the group is called ‘The dancing Grannies’. I think it is awesome that seniors continue to be active and it was even better to hear people applaud and cheer for them as they went by. In this country July 4th is celebrated as Independence Day, or the day in which this country began its self-rule.

Here is me enjoying the parade with my mother and her husband. I had such a good time and do not remember enjoying a parade that much since I was a child. It got me thinking about individual freedoms we either take for granted or choose not to take advantage of. Such as who we share our time with. Ideally, this picture would have included my lovely Margie, not only would that have added to the joy I was feeling, it would have added beauty to the picture as well. Alas, she was not able to join us due to prior obligations. I could have watched the parade by myself, or even with any of the great friends I ran into. I chose to watch it with my mother because lately we have been going for walks in nature and sharing some great conversation and fun times. The freedom of who to spend your time with is a very important one to exercise.

Here are pictures of the food truck and the tasty treats that I enjoyed from it. Do you realize how many more options we have when it comes to what we eat? Only 100 years ago small local grocery stores carried a handful of options. Now, we have stores that have thousands of items to choose from. Some from halfway around the world! We can choose to eat healthy or we can choose to eat…well…pizza. Even when cooking at home recipes and even videos guiding us through how to make exotic dishes are at our fingertips.

These are pictures of the party they held at a local park after the parade. There were things to eat as you saw in the above paragraph, as well as a band, children’s games and beverages. This brought up one of the most important freedoms of all. In a world that has headlines dominated by terrorism, racism, hate and violence, a lot of people are afraid to walk the street. Sadly, that is exactly what those committing violent crimes wish for. It is my belief that one of the best ways to combat a world that seems filled with division is to get out and meet your neighbors. Holiday celebrations are a perfect place to do so. On this day I met great neighbors such as Kristin, the mayor of our fine city, my neighbor Dan and lots of others. Do yourself a favor. As you are enjoying that hamburger, sweet corn or even that frosty beverage, take a second to introduce yourself to neighbors. If you happen to see Margie and me out enjoying the holidays, feel free to introduce yourself to us.

FREEDOM

Today is July 4th.  If you live here in the United States it is a day we celebrate our freedom as a country.  That is not what this post is about though.  No I am talking about a universal freedom.  A freedom that we all have.  One that is in the possession of everyone whether you live in Brazil, Greenland, Egypt or California.  This freedom, however, is seldom pursued or even used by most of us.  What is this freedom I speak of?  It is our freedom of mind, freedom of thought and freedom of feeling.  There are many people who let circumstances control their minds.  “Well I would be happy if only this political party wasn’t in”.  They let things they read, words other people say, political ideology, beliefs of the masses dictate what happens inside their own heads.  Sure it stings when someone says or does something mean or vindictive to us.  Remember, we cannot control circumstances.  As the saying goes “What people say and do to us is their business.  How we react to it is ours”  Like liberty and freedoms on a national level, personal liberty is an aspiration to be fought for at all costs.  We have been told how to think, how and what to feel since we were young.  It is our duty to decide what we believe and what thoughts we will allow to rule our daily thinking.  It is time to begin the struggle for mental and spiritual independence from negative and limiting thoughts and beliefs.  For no country can be free, no people can be free if first their minds are not free.