Once you meant the world to me I could taste you on my lips Feel you in my heart How beautiful things were at the start Somewhere along the way I got lost Little did I know the cost I didn’t recognize myself anymore You said to me where did he go The man I used to adore The man who was full of life and so much more He’s still here but now he lies broken on the floor A remnant of the person he was before I’m tired of fighting and don’t want to do this anymore The flame is dying as I close this door I’m sorry but I can’t love you anymore So I’ll be moving on soon I’m sad I couldn’t keep my promise to give you the moon


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The dark night has finally come to pass Bringing forth the blessings of a new dawn at last Ever moving forward Further from the past The essence of light warming my soul Still there are so many things I want to know My path is wrought with twists and turns The light getting brighter but it never burns Through my trials there is so much I have learned Listen not to the mind But what the heart yearns Robin Gilstrap

Weathering the Storm

I don’t know what part of the country you may live in but I live in a small town in rural South Carolina. Up until yesterday we have had torrential rain since last Friday. Needless to say it was not a pleasant past four days. However, the sun was back out in full force yesterday morning. This made me think of somethings I’ve been going through in my life lately. Situations and circumstances in our lives aren’t permanent by any means. Life can change in a split second. Mine was a slowly progressive slip into a very dark place. I’m still not where I want to be, but at least now there’s some light where for awhile there was only dark. Things will get better eventually. I’ve noticed a vast difference in improvement in my thinking and perspective of my current situation. I’m seeing the positive in the negative for the first time in many years, and have come to realize this storm to shall pass. It’s a lesson in life, albeit very painful but important. Like the rain we just had, it to will pass and better days will abound. It’s not always easy to remain optimistic and positive when life throws so much shit at you, but you have to make the best of the worst. Things do turn around. It may not happen when you want it to, but things do get better. Everything happens for a reason in this life. You have to go through trials and tests that only make you stronger. If your life is anything like mine, when it rains it pours. However the sun always comes back out. It never rains forever. Everything is temporary in this life. Everything. So always remember no matter how bad things get, eventually they will get better. Never give up. 

The High Side of Low Living

The High Side of Low Life Living
Recently I’ve found myself at the lowest point I’ve ever been in my life. I don’t blame anyone but myself for where I landed at this moment in my life. That in its self is a positive aspect compared to how I used to think, and my view of life. I realize now how much I have taken for granted during my life. My loss has allowed me to really take a good look at myself and accept my choices.Pain has been my greatest teacher of life’s most valuable lessons. I am grateful for what I have and the ability through all of this to find who I am.In the past I’ve let bullshit and material things define my sense of self worth. What a crock of shit. Our actions and how we treat other people and what we do to make a difference in this world are what really matter the most. Things don’t define us either. I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to fill this empty void inside of me with things, to no avail. What I was seeking has been inside me all along. I am the key to my happiness. Not someone else.I have the choice to be happy with what I have or I can bitch, moan, complain, and blame everybody and everything. We all make choices in life. Some are good and some just suck, but you have to deal with it. Life is like the ocean. Sometimes it ebbs, other times it flows. Change is the only constant in life. That I know for sure. Just like you are born, you work, pay taxes all of your life, and then you die. It’s what you do in between that matters the most. The small seemingly insignificant things are what matter the most. Waking up every morning knowing you have another day. Time is our most precious asset, yet most abused. For unlike other things, once it’s gone it’s gone. There is no getting it back. No matter how much money you may have you can’t buy back time. Yesterday is gone forever. A fleeting memory. Live in the moment and just be. Be thankful for what you have and live each day like it is your last. Wring it for everything it’s worth. After all we aren’t promised tomorrow.

And What’s Next? A piece I wrote back in 1992 about the New Russian Common Wealth.

“And What happens Next?”, a combined effort by Tom Masland, Fred Coleman, and Anne Underwood is just as stated, an effort, poorly researched and lacking in expert opinion. The article is based solely on opinion, and although they may seem correct in assuming that the Soviet Union was nothing more than a shell toward the end of its existence, they proceed to make assumptions, or as they refer “a guide”, to potential hotspots.

The price crisis which includes an increase in price on “everything but bread, salt, gas, coal and a handful of other staples,” Is obvious, yet confusing, due to the handful of numbers which are given on how much the prices will actually increase. Will the prices double, as stated by Yeltsin’s chief economic advisor; quadruple, as assumed by the former economics minister; or multiply by a factor of twenty-five, as predicted by the Soviet newspaper? The author then jumps from price increases to food lines leaving one in a limbo between the inconclusiveness of the figures and how it is affecting the war veterans of the Afghan-Soviet conflict.

The authors then continue with pointing out how the lack of crucial medical supplies will leave the New Common Wealth “vulnerable to viral infections and disorders due to poor sanitation” as stated by Vladimir Markaryants, chairman of the public medical funds responsible for hospital supplies. Yet, Masland, Coleman, and Underwood appear to have no reliable source for making the statement that “hospitals short of syringes reuse them and have become a major source of AIDS.” However realistic it may seem, it seems to have been pulled from an overactive imagination.

Finally the paragraph ends by stating that in the countryside, there is no medical care. This is a very interesting point and adds a dramatic climax to the paragraph, yet the authors chose not to elaborate and provide a proposed solution to the crisis.

The most interesting point to the article comes with the section on power failure and provides the reader with a clear insight into the energy problem the Commonwealth faces. The statements appear to be based on fact, not opinion as seen in the discussion of the fuel shortage which has caused the national airline, Aeroflot, to shut down many routes. The reader feels sympathetic for the Commonwealth when the authors state that “the most chilling threat of all is wide spread shortage of heating oil for homes.” This is a very profound point, yet once again they fail to elaborate.

Lastly, questions arise concerning the constitutional crisis. The authors state that the same elements which originally broke up the Soviet Union will cause the breakup of the Commonwealth. They assume that the commonwealth “Would be powerless to intervene: it has no budget, no government structure, no right to compel any republic to do anything” against Yeltsin’s reforms. I feel that this is a premature statement in that the Commonwealth is too new and has not been given the chance to prove itself. The article, in my view, lacked any convincing evidence and was based solely on the author’s negative assumptions.

Works Cited

Underwoood, T. M. (1192, January 6). And What Happens Next? Newsweek, p. 17.

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Philosophy in Business

As I am rather a newbie to the business world in general, I am however no stranger to ancient Philosophy and how it can be applied to business practices in use today. Other than Socrates and most all of the Ancient Greek philosophers, I am also a student of the studies of the Far East. Since I am a former soldier I read and studied extensively Sun Tzus ‘ Art of War. Not only does it encompass aspects that can be applied to ones daily life, these principles can be applied effectively in a business sense. If Sun were alive today I’m sure he would have well surpassed someone such as, lets say Bill Gates in assets due to his sheer brilliance and understanding of tactics, lets face it, the modern business world is a battlefield of sorts any way. Companies and corporations already use some these tactics covered by Sun. Corporate espionage is nothing new and has gone on for centuries. It’s having that leverage over the competition that puts you and yours at the forefront. Knowledge and information is key in so many different aspects. These same principles are used everyday in marketing strategy. It’s what sets you apart from the competition. If you can provide a service or product far superior to your competition, you’ve already won half the battle. Knowing when and what battles to fight is also a key factor . Some days it’s better to walk away and seek another day and time that will prove to be more beneficial in the long run. In other words sometimes you have to be able to see the whole picture to know where you need to go. Just food for thought from a beginning entrepreneur and new blogger.

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