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Good Morning My Confidants

It's Monday and there's a whole week ahead of us.

So, what does that mean?

Well, I won't speak for everyone, but what it means for me is that I have choices.

I can look at the coming week with Dread, or I can look at the coming week with Hope.

I'm going to look at this particular week with lots and lots of Hope.

There have been weeks in my life where that was far, far easier said than done. When so much was piled up on me, and my support system was weak or far away, and my "enemies" close at hand, and being positive and having hope wasn't easy at all. In fact, there for a while I folded completely, and let the Randys in my life win.

"Randys" you may ask?

For those who've known me for a long time, you know that for many years I worked at a place that was soul-sucking and dream-crushing. It devastated me. It didn't help that some people would say that I should be grateful that I had a job.

And at the forefront of this dark time was a man who was my team leader. He was downright malicious, and supervisors and managers AND Human Resources would do nothing about him. I never gave name to him publicly because I had no idea if it was the sort of thing that could give ME into trouble with my job or not. And while I didn't like the job, I needed (or had convinced myself that I did) the benefits it provided.

But now? Now I call this terrible person out before the Universe.

His name was Randy. And I don't give him a last name because we all have a Randy.

Randy is not intelligent.

Randy once asked me if I had ever read a book by Michael Veli. I told him I didn't know who that was. He was astonished and asked me what the hell kind of reader I was if I had never heard of Michael Veli. He told everybody in the department. He was really enjoying his moment. Finally, in front of a group of people, still publicly humiliating me, he revealed that the name of the book Mr. Veli wrong was The Art of War.

My mouth fell open. Then I started to laugh. I tried not to because I knew the revenge he would take, but I couldn't stop. And finally I asked, "Are you talking about Machiavelli?"

There was a sudden silence. And then everyone started laughing. They weren't laughing at me.

And yes, Randy did take revenge on me.

But it was worth it. And it was also inwardly worth it because for ever person who was a part of it, they were pretending they knew who Michael Veli was, and they were part of the joke.

It is perhaps cruel to publicly point out how....under intelligent he is. However, as I was starting to tell you, Randy was cruel (from what I have heard, it still is). Very very cruel. He delighted in hurting other people. He would start giggling when he caused harm to others. Randy was the bully of bullies.

I think perhaps, growing up, that he was picked on? I know there was someone that he worshiped who pretty much didn't care if he lived or died, and he spent a lot of his life trying to prove himself to her. That could probably make you mean.

And his lack of intelligence probably got him made fun of. He did not read very well at all.

Did I mention yet that Randy was a big guy? In my writer's imagination I picture that at some point he had this huge growth spurt and was suddenly much bigger than his tormentors and he turned the tables on them and made life hell for everyone.

But there is the real problem.

For everyone. Whether they were cruel to him or not. That he was taking revenge on all humankind for what had been done to him.

Randy at one time was very handsome, and as I said, he was tall, and many a woman, and a few men, were known to practically swoon over him. He would use this to bed many a woman, but he would usually do I politely say this? He would usually pick a woman that had rarely if ever been flirted with.

It worked every time.

And then, when he tired of her, or worse, when she tired of him, he would publicly mock her. Say cruel, cruel things. There were women who would quit because they didn't want to be seen because of how humiliated they were.

And Human Resources did nothing.

And why the hell am I telling this story? Especially after starting with a meme of this really handsome guy drinking coffee?

This is why....

We all have choices. Randy had choices. He once said to me that he did not get even, he got more even. I asked him why. I told him he didn't have to do that. He didn't need to get even. He could let it go. Hurting others was not a good thing. He could rise above. He could be a shocking example to everyone about how he was the "better man."

He looked at me astonished. For about five seconds I could see the wheels turning inside his head. I could see that he was actually entertaining my idea. And then his eyes narrowed and turned as hard and cold as steel. And he laughed.

Randy had choices. He could have proved himself to be better, he could have risen above. Sadly, in that very moment, he chose not to.

Many years ago I was in a relationship with someone. We should have broken up long, long before we did. In fact, halfway through he tried to break up with me and I begged him not to leave. In retrospect that was such a stupid thing to do. My life turned to hell after that.


Finally, I built up enough self-esteem to end the relationship. And when people asked me why we broke up, I kept all my reasons to myself. The reasons were my own and were nobody else's business. I chose not to air my dirty laundry, even if I felt that most of the dirtying was something that I had not done.

But I knew enough to know that I had done my fair share.

He, however, let everybody know what a "horrible" person I was. I don't know exactly to this day what was said, but I imagine he got pretty nasty.

And then guess what happened? Even though I told all our mutual friends, and at that time in my life there were a ton of them, that they as I was concerned there was no reason for them to choose between us, pretty much everybody chose me. Even some of the friends that he brought into the relationship.


I've made some bad choices in my life. Although, making those bad choices, did wind up helping me become the man I am today. And as much as the following sentence has become a joke....

"I like me."

I made bad mistakes, paid for them, and then chose not to become bitter about them, or take revenge, but instead to evaluate myself, and chose to rise above. To be a better man. To listen to those who gave me constructive criticism, out of love, and take advice.

For me it took also seeking out, reading, and learning about various spiritual paths. That taught me so much. I was able to evaluate for myself what I wanted to embrace in these teachings, and what did not work for me. I was able to see where I had caused harm in the world, harm to others. Usually this was caused by my ignorance, and waking up to that ignorance made me a better man. And I learned to look for Silver Linings.

It was not easy. It was not easy at all.

But it got easier. And I chose to surround myself with like-minded people. People who also wanted to wake up. People who also wanted to embrace a lifestyle of being good to others. To cherish all that we have. To look at the bright side. To remember to be grateful for all that we do have. And therefore, every time I stumbled, there was somebody to reach out and take my hand.

"You can do it, Ben."

I am so thrilled that I am pulling myself out of one of the darkest times in my life. Individually many of the "things" weren't so bad, but piled on top of each other and on top of each other and on top of each other--at a time where I was not able to be around like-minded people that would help me when I stumbled--it got really bad.

But a year and a half ago something major happened. Something that allowed me the chance to breathe. Something that allowed me the ability to finally start taking the reins again. Something that allowed me to remember that I am the captain of my own ship charting my own voyage.

And I did it. There was a Mount Everest ahead of me that needed to be climbed but as a wise man once said, "The longest journey begins with a single step."

Today is Monday. There is a week stretching out ahead of me. I have choices. I can look at them with Dread, or I can look at them with Hope.

So first, evaluate!

I know that when I think positively, it has a positive effect on my heart, my emotions, and even my body.

I know that it's going to be a beautiful week here in Kansas City. It is 42° as I write this, and the weatherman says "it's supposed" to get as high as 78°. For Ben, that's a blessing beyond blessings as I don't deal with the cold because it sucks the very energy out of me.

It's going to be sunny today, and at least for a little while I'm going sit in it. Sunlight provides vitamin D which in turn boosts mood.

Tonight, we are having dinner with one of our best friends, and tomorrow night, dinner with another of one of our best friends.

Thursday is the second day of this new class that I'm taking that's going to be remarkable.

RBear has the next three days off so I'll be able to be with him.

Wow! That is a heck of a lot to be grateful for!

I'm choosing to look at this week with Hope. And to start my days with a smile. Yesterday morning at the beginning of church a lady I admire a lot, spoke about the benefits of beginning our day with a smile. How that reminded us of all the things that's good in our lives. I loved the idea and I'm starting my day and my week off with a smile.

I make a resolution that every time I see something online that's negative or cruel or hurtful or mean I'm just going to scroll on by, even if it's a comment on one of my very own posts. Because that person made a choice, and I can make another choice.

This morning, I want to challenge everyone to remember that they have choices. And that no matter how bad your life may be right now, you still have choices.

Drink your coffee and grab Monday by the beans!

Smile. Force it if you have to. I won't go into the medical benefits they've discovered about what smiling does for us. Look for funny memes. Look for cute pictures of whatever kind of pet you think is wonderful. Look up jokes online. If you can, watch a favorite comedy movie or sitcom. Laugh.

There is healing power in humor.

I leave you with this joke....

Why do cows wear bells?

Because their horns don't work!! 🤣🤣🤣

Hey, I didn't necessarily say it was a great joke.

Tell me a better one?

I hope your day and your week is filled with wonder and Hope.


BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas

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Feb 26

To remember we have choices is to remember we have power in our lives.

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Beautifully said!


From Marj 😁 Choices. Yes I've made a few. And some I have to keep remaking as the world wears on me and I backslide.

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I totally understand!


Feb 26

We have a million choices in a week and I ,too, prefer to take the positive, higher, path.. Have a happy week!!😁

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