March 5th, 2006

Moving the Dial

In our hands daily is a transistor radio that is attached to our minds. We move the dial back and forth to find the desired station to permeate through the speakers. From one end to the other we choose what information is eventually transmitted into our minds. The choices that we make can be influenced by our opinions, Faith, hobbies, drama, and humor. We have our finger on that dial and we move it constantly to search for what we want to listen to.

Though we have the radio in our hands, responsibility of how we use it comes with the turf. While we want freedom to choose whatever we want, those choices can greatly influence our lives. Across the radio dial are multiple stations that transmit 24 hours a day….and those stations are there to develop a following of like-minded people. We all have our favorite television shows, and radio shows, and those favorites do reflect who we are. No one knows this better than the advertising community…..the commercials on the stations cater to a certain demographic that they believe will purchase and embrace their product.

As we get older, we become more selective of our stations….and eventually we settle on one, two, or three personal favorites. In many cases, we settle into these choices and waver little. The young, on the other hand (kids and teenagers) are more open to suggestion, and in quite a few cases have been known to spin the dial like a wheel, just for the fun of it. The young are quite susceptible to influence…more so than the older demographics. As long as we hold the radio, what plays through the speakers is up to us. If we don’t like a station, we turn it off…if we enjoy it, we can play it 24 hours a day. With that in mind, any complaints must rest at our doorstep. Influence is everywhere….what is influential to us personally is up to us.

The Beatles influenced multiple generations…still, once in a while it is quite easy to run into someone who will tell you point blank that they never liked them, and never enjoyed their music. While many listened to all the Beatle records, some just changed the channel. Music programmers have said on numerous occasions that even a bad song, if it’s played enough, people will start to like it……hmmmmm……I wonder what that means.

So check out that radio…pick a station or two…the hills are alive with the sound of more than music.

Touch the dial,

Jennifer Avalon
© 2006 Jennifer Avalon

February 20th, 2006

Either Here or There

We tend to spend much time during the week examining why we make the choices we do, and where they lead us. There has to be a reason for why things go right, and why they go wrong. Choices, decisions, contemplations and dilemmas circle around us daily, until we all reach a point when we say we are either “Here, or There.”

What do I mean? Well here it goes: We either believe that there is a God, or we don’t….plain and simple. Yet, in many cases, that simple decision sends us off in a direction that will determine almost all the events that will engulf our lives. If we believe in God, then every single decision that we make must not only bring us in alignment with that belief, but also closer to God. If God exists, and is responsible for all that we see here and feel, then that belief must flow through every cell in our bodies. The alignment with that Divinity will solve most, if not all, of our problems. I am not talking about showing up for Church, or House of Worship, for lip-service on Sunday, I am talking about actually allowing the influence and alignment with God to be with you all week. True Believers know this.

If we don’t believe in God, then whether we know it or not, we develop our own alternative belief system. If we eliminate the presence of God, we then have to seek out and acknowledge that something else or someone else is in play. While believing that God does not exist, we are left more or less with one entity running the show…..Man. Mankind calls the shots.

Suppose you invite the truly religious leaders of the world to a party, and one by one you ask, “What does God mean to you?” Over and over again you would probably hear statements like, “God is my source for peace of mind,” “God wants us to progress as a human family,” and, “God is the Light and our Salvation.” Is the purpose for man to contemplate that there is something greater than himself? Or is man’s purpose to reach the answer that he or she is the center of their own universe?

For those who believe in God, it can sometimes be quite a hard road to hoe. Doubts, indecision, being criticized, being judged on your Faith. In the belief of God, and of its defense, this all comes with the turf. While at the same time, this belief can also bring peace of mind, tranquility, acceptance of Life after death, a reason and plan for one’s existence. For those who do not believe in God, they too have their road to hoe. The mysteries of life haunt all of us….how we solve them individually is up to us. For me, nature holds one of the most profound keys… long as the sun rises in the morning, and sets in the evening, someone has created a miracle.

Thanks be to God,
Jennifer Avalon

© 2006 Jennifer Avalon

February 5th, 2006

Saints and Sinners

Although I am a Christian, I always try to look inside, look around, to the future, and to the past, to understand why I am here, and what it is I am to learn. That involves being honest with myself, and passing along that which I have found baffling. I truly believe that each generation of mankind has to evolve and become better, in order for the world to move forward and survive. Over two thousand years ago Jesus Christ walked the earth, and left behind an incredible collection of thoughts, beliefs, and miracles. The Prophets of the Old Testament also left their wisdom for us to become better spiritual beings. Other religions, too, have contributed their share to the human library. Yet, isn’t it strange…with all this knowledge that has been recited, over and over again, we as a planet are still but a blink away from extinction. Have the Words of the Heavens fallen on generations of deaf ears? or are we the society that is supposed to wake up?

Through wars, natural catastrophes, scandals, and holocausts, man was supposed to learn from his mistakes and never repeat them. Yet today if one was to look around at the state of our planet, one would be hard-pressed to understand why the Holy Books that are close to our fingers, have been pushed so far away. The purpose of mankind was supposed to be to climb the spiritual staircase to bring us closer to God. Over time, the gap between Heaven and earth was supposed to close…yet today, it seems wider. We seem, as a society, to be obsessed with the physical….the latest gadget, or car, the so-called “flavor of the month,”….while our spirits seem to have been placed on the back-burner, hoping one day to find the time to get to them. Two thousand years on from Christ, we have placed a man on the moon, developed “wonder drugs,” scaled the walls of invention, and oh yes,….we have created enough nuclear warheads to destroy our planet many times over. A real Christ-like solution to our problems.

Every day I read about another wonderful person who contributes large sums of money to a worthy cause, or a good soul who does a good deed to change the life of someone in need. Through the ages, there are books filled with these types of individuals. Wonderful examples of humanity. Yet over the centuries, what has overall stopped us from climbing that spiritual staircase? There are always those that do….those that figure it out. Still, there are so many who starve the soul, for an ounce of gold. Saints and Sinners…all occupying the same space. I heard tonight on the evening news that 97% of Americans say they believe in God….interesting….
So folks, I think the mantel has been passed to us, every citizen of the world….it is all of our turn to try to turn the corner towards enlightenment. It can be done….but in the nuclear age, it MUST be done. If man was truly made in the image of God, it is time for man to hold up the mirror.
keep climbing the staircase,

love, Jennifer Avalon

© 2006 Jennifer Avalon

January 22nd, 2006

Master P.

One of the popular shows on television right now is “Dancing With The Stars,” on the ABC network. For those who have not seen it, the series scenario is matching a professional dancer with a celebrity. They then compete against each other as couples. The dancing couples each cater to a different demographic…some for the young, some for the old. Three judges critique their performances, and the other half of the scoring is based upon the amount of people in the viewing audience who call in to vote for their favorite couple. Each week a different dance is assigned and each couple is judged on their performance. For me, the real unusual star of the show is a rapper who goes by the name of “Master P.”

Why “Master P.” you may ask? Because he has told everyone that he is going to participate in the competition on his own terms. Dancing shoes? not for Master P.! He has stubbornly said to the judges that he only dances in his lucky basketball shoes. He says he is there to represent the “hood,” his hometown posse, who seem to support him loyally. Master P. is no twinkle toes on the dance floor…in fact, he comes across as a lumbering jack, practically with two left feet….still, he appeared to give it his all, under his own terms. Of course, this infuriates the judges and perhaps even some of the viewing audience. Yet, for the past three weeks Master P. has surprised many by not being eliminated from the competition. This past week one judge even said to Master P. that he thought he and the show should, “Part ways.” This made Master P. furious, but ironically when audience voting tabulations were made, Master P. was still in the game.

For me, if Master P. had no idea how to dance, or didn’t have the talent or finesse to tackle the moves, I would admire his gusto and bravery to attempt the moves. That changed this week when a scene on the show revealed that Master P. is a wizard on the basketball court. The segment showed that not only can Master P. shoot hoops half a court away, he can also do it with his back turned. The man is an extraordinary athlete…then how come that finesse and talent is not being transferred to the dance floor? It begins to appear that Master P. is choosing not to see the connection between basketball and dancing…how many times have we seen basketball players dance with the ball around the court? Still, he is able to receive more than enough audience votes to keep him fully in the competition. It appeared that one of the judges was willing to look over Master P.’s shortcomings, in believing that he may not have been that talented….but when he saw him come alive on the basketball court, his sympathy went out the window.

I believe Master P. is still in the competition because he has a loyal fan base, the ingredients of hidden potential, a competitor who is competing on his own terms, and a person who shows a different angle to the intricacies of ballroom dancing. Tell me, when was the last time you got to see a rapper ballroom dancing on national television? We can say what we want about Master P., but one things for sure, he’s got spunk! Some are loving every move…while others…. he is driving them crazy! As long as Master P. stays in the competition, the element of surprise will always be in play.

All the world’s a stage,
Jennifer Avalon

© 2006 Jennifer Avalon

January 8th, 2006

Stuck in the Mud

If life is truly one huge highway, then we can be sure that the highway will cover all kinds of terrain. Hopefully, a long road that will have it’s share of hills and valleys. As long as we’re moving, regardless of time and speed, we are heading somewhere…the problems arise when we get sidetracked, confused, or simply stuck in the mud.

Each year I’m always surprised at the amount of people that I run into who seem to have, sadly, given up their dreams and just pass time doing the mundane, and without realizing it, given up. For some reason along the road of life they have decided that their dream is over, and it’s senseless to continue to try to reach their goals. On the human highway, they have guided their car off the road and into the mud. Once there, rather than try to get back on the road, they have decided to turn off the engine, and wait. All of our lives have value…no dream or goal is too big, and when we decide to quit, we give notice to ourselves and to others that we are just going to sit around and mark the time, until we die….finito. Doom and gloom, but that is what happens.

I will share with you a story that I think I have mentioned before. Natalie Wood, before she passed away, went to Russia to film a documentary on the people of the Soviet Union. At the time, Communism was in full play. As she went about the country, what started to strike her was that she noticed the people under thirty years old seemed alert and energetic, while after thirty, year by year people got heavy, and developed addictions to different types of substances, mostly alcohol. She came to the conclusion that in Russia, at that time, dreams died at the age of thirty. When I was back in my teens, I used to often go over to a particular friend’s house, and one day I noticed that her father was very sad. I said to my friend’s mother, “What’s wrong with your husband?” She said, “Jennifer, today he turned forty years old, and he realized that there are many things he will not be able to accomplish.” My friend’s father, I kid you not, was devastated at turning forty, and realizing that many of his dreams had not been accomplished by that age…so, I guess he was deciding to just give up…not being aware that perhaps these dreams and goals could still be realized, at fifty, sixty, or well beyond. Unfortunately, as we drive along the human highway, there are quite a few vehicles stuck in the mud.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been stuck in the mud a couple of times. I just decided not to stay there….I got out of my car, found a couple of two by fours, stuck them under the back wheels, rocked the car back and forth, hit the gas, and never looked back! I refused to believe that there was no hope at getting back on the road. If one is stuck in the mud, someone can stop by to give you a hand….just make sure that their intentions are good. Each one of us is unique….and our goals and dreams are priceless. As long as we aim realistically, we can succeed. While there are those who never venture again out of the mud, there are far more who have learned to press onward. The mud can be a curse, or a blessing…how we handle it, we decide.

Onward and upward,

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2006 Jennifer Avalon

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