Quote of the Day, April 20, 2014: “Why do you search for the living, among the dead?”

I wrote this this morning, as a letter to a friend of mine who is in prison. Today’s quote of the day overtook me somehow today and it made me think of him and I had to write him but looking back at the letter now, 12 hours later, it seems an informal but fitting expression of what the quote means to me. I will say that some of the language is very informal, although I’ve changed it so as to not be offensive. I am usually the first to say that anyone who uses some of the baser words in our vernacular simply do not have a large enough vocabulary to express themselves in a more accurate and more appropriate manner, and yet in this instance, I stand corrected, in that I feel as though the words I used fit exactly the spirit of what I was trying to say and what I was feeling at the time. The letter continues as follows……

[Friend},

It’s Easter Sunday. I just got home from playing piano for the 8 o’clock service at church and I’m eating and helping Felicia get the kids ready for the 10:30 service where I’ll have to play again. Denzel is now 10 days old. It’s incredible how he’s already changing, and has the face of a little boy instead of the scrunched up wrinkly face of a new born. I’m typing today because, frankly it’s faster and I can get a lot more down before my fingers cramp up, which I don’t want since I’ll have to play later today ha.

I felt compelled to write to you today because as I was driving back home, I kept singing Amazing Grace, some crazy runny gospel version I had heard as a kid. Made me think of my dad, as it usually does, but then it made me think of you, and of me. On April 26 my dad will have been dead for 9 years now. I think I’m over it but every once in a while something reminds me that I’m never quite over it, but merely distract myself with other things so I won’t have to think about it. And then I was thinking about you, and how you’re in prison and can’t be with [your wife and kids], and just how it feels like everything is just messed up. And that no matter what kind of moral code we impose on ourselves, what kind of legislation is passed, whatever, we can’t escape the fact that life is messed up, people screw up and screw us over, relationships bloom and fade, and people die and leave us. Life is screwed up.

But then today is Easter. I’ve known what Easter is about since I was a little kid and never doubted its truth. But have you ever known something was true but never felt it before? And only when you finally feel it do you know the difference. Well I sat in my truck and thought of all these things and sang to myself, and suddenly it hit me, Yes life is jacked up and there’s no way to fix it. And yes going to church and following the rules is a good thing and all that but that’s not why Jesus came to earth in the form of a man. He came to redeem us. To say yes life is jacked up, and no, no matter what you do you can’t fix it all, rules or no rules it’s not going to work. And yes there is suffering in this life, TONS of INTENSE suffering. But no our cries do not fall upon deaf ears and our cries for salvation do move God’s heart. Not salvation from some future hell-type afterlife that will engulf us in flames after the grave, although we don’t want that surely. But salvation from the crap of this life as well, freedom from those who wish to harm us and, more importantly, from the harm we cause ourselves. He says, “yes you’ve got problems, you’ve got baggage, you’ve got [crap], and it’s too heavy for you. There are days when you feel like its so heavy you’ll collapse under the weight and won’t be able to go on, and surely there will be a day when you will not be able to go on because it is so heavy.” But God says, “I’m strong enough to carry it for you, and I will carry it for you. I love you.” And then because we are so intrenched in our crap and our bondage to our own suffering, we out right killed him, for how dare he be such a tease as to bring up the serious matter of saving us from our mess, when surely nobody really can. We’ve tried it all before. So they killed him and that was that. And he was dead and the crap and the baggage and the suffering went on, business as usual. But then three days later something happened. He died, and was buried. I mean death is the biggest problem, the heaviest load of crap that we have in this life to deal with, and it’s above all things, IRREVERSIBLE. And Jesus died. And was dead. For a while. Three days is a while to be dead. But then he comes back to life. He picks up the heaviest of our baggage, the biggest load Satan and the crap of this life have to offer, and he says, “Is that all you got?” And then he says, “Come on, follow me. If I can carry this, the heaviest of loads and come back stronger than ever, how much more can I handle the baggage that you come with. I love you and it will be ok. Trust me and I will see you through. And one day I will wipe away every tear.”

All that was going on in my head. That that guy actually fricken DIED, and he actually fricken CAME BACK TO LIFE and then says that if you trust in me I will take care of you too. I just started balling in my car. I didn’t get out because I didn’t want [my son] to see me like that but idk man. Today is a good day. Yes I’m at home with my kids, and you’re in captivity, away from those you love, but for both of us, not so much because of what he did on the cross, but because of what he did after, because of this day, when he beat back all that suffering had to offer and came back for us, because of that, today is a good day for both you and me, and [your wife, and [my wife], and your dad, and mine, for [your kids and for mine], for your [brother] and for mine, and all of us.

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Quote of the Day, April 2, 2014:”A serpent will always seek his desires because of pride, but seek them through cowardice, both behaviors betraying the fact that the individual does not live in reality.”

Those who follow the lead of the snake will always make decisions in the same manner, out of the motives of pride and cowardice. We always tend to think of cowardice as the draft dodger or the one that won’t speak up in the meeting. We always tend to think of pride as the kid who won’t shake hands with the opposing team after a hard fought loss. We are right. But we are also wrong in that it’s almost much simpler, yet much more conniving than that. Both are simply a detachment from the truth, plain and simple.

Pride is an inability to see reality as it is. None of us can see reality in its entirety and therefore we all have a level of pride within us. Understanding reality entails a lot of things, but one of those is understanding your station in the world, how high up or low down you truly are. Part of the human condition is the natural desire for superiority and supremacy. An awareness of reality, usually attained though a mix of experience and revelation, helps keep that natural tendency at bay. Without this awareness, our baser side has room to grow. For this reason the farther and farther a person gets from reality, the more those on the outside recognize it as a greater and greater pride. Someone suffering from a profound disconnect from the way things truly are, even on a clinical level, almost always leans toward viewing themselves as having more and more importance, while those on the outside see them slipping farther and farther into delusion.

Cowardice is also and inability to see reality. Now on the face of things, it seems just the opposite. That perhaps bravery would be the inability to accept the reality of your own mortality and perhaps certain types of foolhardy bravery may be, but cowardice is in itself an inability to see that God loves us and loves what is right. If God loves us and what is right then he will defend us when we do what is right. In the face of eternity, even if we die in the process, God will come to the aid of those who love his ways and obey his commands. When we don’t believe that he will defend us, we become cowards and have to devise our own strategies to save our own hides.

This is why the serpent behaves as he does and this is why those who follow in his ‘footsteps’ can be seen a mile away. They will always seek their desires because of pride, but seek them through cowardice, both behaviors betraying the fact that that individual does not live in reality. He cannot remain consistent, even in his own mind. The serpent will always believe his own hype but he will always act out his lowness. He will seek to assert himself over the strong, but always through the route of overtaking the weak. Never head on. His pride will compel him to desire the seat of honor, but his cowardice will only allow him to take it when the master is away and there are only the children there to speak up. His pride will compel him to demand what is “rightfully” his, his cowardice will wait until the dead of night to sneak and take it. His pride will tell him to sit on the throne of God, but his cowardice makes him wait until no one is looking so he can sneak into a garden to displace the thing God loves.

He who follows the serpent never wins. He can’t. He cant even grasp the basics of reality, how could he ever hope to truly effect it?

Quote of the Day, March 9, 2014: “Don’t seek gain, seek growth.” (Extended Version)

This quote comes from my pastor, but it harkens back to a conversation I had two weeks ago with another gentleman about what the trouble is with our society and business, and in particular, with Christians and business. It all stemmed from him speaking about how when he first had kids he found an interest in finding out what the best way to educate them would be. He started out looking for a concise definition that he could accept for the word “eduction.” Education is something that we speak about all the time in our society. Our politicians talk about it and how they are going to fund this school and that set of teachers, and all in the sake of education, but they never really speak about what education is or what it’s for. Our parents want us to get a good education, and our teachers push us to get good grades and go higher and higher in our education but it’s still never quite defined for us. Is an education literally that piece of paper they give you at the end stating that now you have an education? Does it mean you can recite poetry and recall obscure battles and what dates the occurred. The definition that this man said he finally settled on after years of search was this: (Paraphrase) Education is preparing someone to respond to and engage with the world in an appropriate manner. I can guarantee that is a paraphrase although I’m doing my best to recall his exact words. I do believe the ones I’ve chosen speak to the heart of what he said though. He found that the idea behind education was teaching a young person that there is a big world out there with all kinds of ideas, and tools, and facts, and dangers and wonders and that person will need the intellectual and emotional tools to be able to interact with that world in a way that is #1 beneficial to them, and #2 should be beneficial to those they are interacting with.

Now in today’s day and age we usually harp on education for one thing and one thing only. Yes sure we pretend that you should get a good education so that you are a well-rounded person, or a productive member of society or something of that lofty and idealised nature, but the real reason people say get a good education because they believe that is the way to make money, and money is how you get what you want and need in this world. It is true that without some kind of education, you definitely will not have what you want, nor what you need in terms of money or much of any other type of success. But that education does not need to come from a class room. It can come from what has become far too much of a cliche for me to use without blushing; “the streets.” It can from from wisdom passed on from your parents. Or it can come from an institution set up for the purpose of educating young (or old) people. It can come from many types of places but the reality is that if you don’t learn how to engage with the world in a manner that correlates with what you want, which usually means giving someone what they want first, then you will not make it, nor will you make anything better.

How this carried over into business, and therefore connects with the quote is this. He said that whether all of us like it or not, and whether the other half of us believe it’s still the case or not, the fact remains that our society is heavily Christianized. This means that while there are plenty of us that do not subscribe to Christianity, or even subscribe to a deity at all for that matter, the culture we find ourselves in has been created and sustained by Christian peoples for the last several hundred years. Whether you think of it as lasting influence or baggage, the fact remains that the majority of our ideals are Christian ideals. This is on a subconscious level and wont’ easily be taken from us as a culture, though on the conscious level we may seek to attain these ideals in what appear to be radically secularised ways. For example, both our political parties seek to help the poor and the needy. One party simply thinks that the other is going about it the wrong way. One says the only way to help is to teach people to help themselves. The other says the only way to help people is to sort of do it for them in a way. Independent of which one is right and which one is wrong, both  take for granted that it is a good thing to help the needy and they get their reasoning in the first place from their shared Christian cultural ideals. If we didn’t have these ideals then we would be having debates on whether is was right or not to help the needy in the first place. Aside from being taken over by a culture that has radically different religious roots we will never see a debate on whether taking care of the poor and needy is a good thing or not in North America or Western Europe. We will however debate on how  to get this done, but never whether it should be done. Christianity teaches that those who are strong should take care of and make accommodations for those who are weak. Christianity teaches that those who have plenty should take care of those who are in need. Those are the givens in our society at a subconscious level, whether there are many other cultures who teach that those who are weak should show deference to those who are strong. This is why men hold doors for women, slavery of minority ethnic groups is outlawed, and children can’t work until they are 16. The confusion comes in when they play out on a day to day basis and we can see that we still have some maturing to do as a society. One place where we seem to have gotten confused, as a people, and as a still subconsciously Christian people is in business.

Business has become a dangerous word because it’s a slippery slope toward the word Big business which is certainly a curse word. And if big business is a curse word then ‘profits’ must be one of the most vulgar of all. In short this is because our subconscious religious heritage teaches us that there is more to life than what can be seen or touched. That is to say that there is not only more to our existence than material world but that there are things that actually supersede the material world. And all that money can buy are material things. It also teaches us that those who place too much importance on the material, at the expense of putting importance on the immaterial are fools and can lead to wickedness. And to top it all off, we have a directive to take care of the needy, and we almost always think of the needy in terms of material resources. There are plenty out there who ignore this religious and cultural directive to the point of doing the exact opposite and actually oppressing the needy. Because our culture is rather duplicitous at the moment, being intent on freeing our conscious behavior from the tyrannical shackles of Christianity and religion, but being forever subconsciously tied to it, we start to lose track of why  we believe some things are right and somethings are wrong, but still have an innate drive to carry out those rights and avoid those wrongs. When this confusion sets in, as it has for some time our society grows more and more politically chaotic and culturally schizophrenic. Instead of the potential oppressor being kept in check so as to never fall into the temptation of using his strength for ill, he becomes the very oppressed himself, in an effort to combat the ill dreamed up in a nightmare of one of the potentially oppressed, to give the oppressor a taste of his own medicine, a medicine that he hasn’t even necessarily concocted yet. Like a doctor sues book where fictional creatures are getting stars tattooed and then removed on them so fast that nobody can quite tell who the original perpetrator was, or if there ever was one, we take what is good, but has potential for evil, and then do that evil to them in the name of what is good, convoluting both entirely. Over time this develops not only a natural hatred for those with strength, any kind of strength really, which allows for many different kinds of people to fall into the category of being loathed by a confused society that is grappling with an innate sense of right, without acknowledging its source: corporations, men, whites, the rich, the religious majority, the educated, those with white collar jobs, the banking industry, the oil industry, attractive people, tall people, popular kids in school, whoever. If they have power, even if they aren’t wielding it, even if it’s only perceived power, because we’ve kept our ideals but thrown out the ‘manual’ so to speak, they are suspect and probably got that power from doing something bad.

Business and profits are no exception. The idea behind profits though, is that in the truest sense of the word, it does not mean gain, which is n excess of wealth, of fat really. And admittedly so, it has become that to many of us. When profit becomes gain, the acquisition of more and more, the consumption of more than is sufficient, then they are tainted and not only seen as greedy or distasteful by our fellow man (usually because of his own greed and jealousy) but it also goes against how God wants us to profit. That is because it is hard to gain in the sense of acquisition without taking form others. The true sense of the word profit is to grow. When we succeed in business or in any other part of life, we often retain excess with which we use to grow the good we are already doing. Success in business finds the growth of not only the business but the customer and the laborers as well. That is why the demonization of business and profit is understandable, seeing as we are culturally too confused to recognize good strength being used well versus ill-gotten strength being used poorly, and the fact that there are plenty out there who would prove this demonization to be justified with the way they conduct themselves. But this demonization is ultimately incorrect because it cannot recognize the need for and the command to grow as being contrasted against, but equally important to our command to take care of the needy. Growth strengthens those involved, while gain decays.

In business it is always better to focus on growth rather than gain. A child that ‘gains’ retains fat that is of little use to him and often slows him down. Aside from genetic reasons this often happens because of a sort of gluttony or a greed with food or the wrong types of food which ultimately makes the child weaker and weaker. A child who grows is eating the right kinds and the right amounts of food allowing him to get stronger and grow and do even more things as he approaches adulthood.

A business have profit, presumably because they are providing a service or a product that others need. They are not only providing this to people but doing it in an organized fashion that is dependable for their customers. This is a good thing and this good earns them profits. Some heads of companies take more and more of these profits and squander them on frivolities or keeping up with the business owner down the street. This luxury will eventually turn into fat because it is neither a wise nor helpful way to use those profits. But a company may also use those profits to do the good they are already doing, but more of it, or better. This is growth which in turn helps even more people on the outside but strengthens the company on the inside. Growth and change for the better is always a good thing. Acquiring for the sake of having more and more is not and usually leaves us with less or in a weakened state in the end. That’s simple enough.

Quote of the Day, December 3, 2013: “We apologize, collectively, for anyone who may have hurt you or wounded you in the name of a God they obviously needed more time getting to know, they had no right to do that, and we pray for the healing of those wounds.”

I read this quote as the tag out line of a blog that was posted on a friends Facebook. The blog was by a devout non-Christian who became one a few years back and is explaining that she now gets what all the hub bub is about. While I like that article, that’s not what intrigued me about this quote. The quote itself was intriguing because I’ve simply never heard that, now famous, apology put in those particular terms. As a “word” guy it struck me.

 

It’s an age-old complaint that so many wrong and hurtful things have been done by Christians, in the name of God. Which of course invalidates anything a Christian may ever say about anything right? Much in the same way that perhaps the fact that our country doesn’t always do the absolute, 100% perfectly right thing by people across the globe or its own citizens sometimes invalidates it as a sovereign nation right? Ok without being too sarcastic, I will mention that my personal favorite is that go-to phrase that otherwise very thoughtful and intelligent people often think makes Christianity completely tumble at the mere utterance, “What about the Crusades?”

 

Ok now that that is done, the part that I found intriguing was this phrase: “…in the name of  a God they obviously needed more time getting to know.” I’ve never heard it put that way. I suspect its because it was written by a relatively new Christian and they haven’t yet gotten the jargon down yet so they use things like synonyms to get their points across instead of the same list of approved sayings and phrases. I love it. Because that is the point. God is the all-knowing, all-loving, perfect one. He’s the one that can do it right. We Christians can’t quite do it right. That’s the whole point. We know we can’t do it right and we admit we need help. God is many things, but one of those this is a personality whom we get to know over time. The more we get to know him, just like a friend, the more we can accurately represent him. This doesn’t happen over night. This doesn’t happen in a mad passion of zealotry. It takes time.

 

So the people that go around apologizing for God all the time, as if He’s like your toddler who’s going through a rebellious stage and whom you love but he’s embarrassing you at your bosses Christmas party, that’s not where it’s at. God is the perfect one. We are the ones who are not perfect. It’s to be expected that humans will hurt each other and screw up. If there is an apology to be made, it’s not for God, but for the people who claim to know him so much that they ‘don’t screw up anymore’ and use his name to hurt other people and to do wrong when they don’t necessarily know what they are talking about.

This is a link to the original article the quote is from

Quote of the Day, November 12, 2013: “Sometimes you need to burn bridges in hopes that they can be rebuilt better and stronger than before.”

 

Guest Writer: Christina Beyler    

Burning a bridge can mean so many things but I want to focus on burning the bridge of a friend. Misunderstood anger, frustration, an argument, growing up and moving on can all lead to burning bridges. Burning a bridge is not as bad as it sounds not all the time. It’s cutting the ties off of someone that you may still care for but an event has occurred that has caused the “boat to rock,” for instance, an argument or a misunderstanding. Sometimes when people are so stubborn and something gets out of hand it might just be better for the two parties to stop and walk away. I have a particular friend that this pertains to. I love her dearly but growing up we had our issues. We have been friends for about 18 years and through those years we were not always the best of friends. In fact, we were not friends at times. Stupid fights and hormones will do it every time. We would have our time apart but would grow so much during this period we have always come back to each other as stronger friends and less stupid. I may not hear from her or see her everyday, but I know she’s there when I need her and vice versa. No maybe you care for this person but have been put into a position (willing) where you have become the “bad guy.” Friends confide with each other. Tell each other whatever problems they may be having at that time. A friend, should give support, offer advice and a shoulder to cry on right? Well, sometimes one person is the friend, and the other party may not like the things being said or just doesn’t understand. I have been in this position more than once. And everytime I tell myself never again, but what are you supposed to do when your friend comes to you crying? It almost always ends with burning a bridge, unless there is some compromise, but that’s rare. Sometimes it is good to walk away before the bridge burns to where it cannot be rebuilt. It’s only natural when you have a feeling of rocky waters to question the quality of your friendship. One key factor; trust. If there is no trust it might be better to move on and hope that the friendship (bridge) can be rebuilt stronger. Unfortunately, sometimes the bridge cannot be rebuilt but I feel that is a sign that that person does not need to participate in your life.

Quote of the Day, September 24, 2013: “If you want to find truth then don’t trust yourself, that is to say don’t think to yourself that you know how the world works.”

This is a brilliant quote that I find applicable to myself in my own life.

Believe it or not, it comes from a skeptical scientist who is investigating the phenomenon of spontaneous human combustion on a Netflix show I was watching. He’s a bit of a nerd but stands out in that most of the scientists interviewed on the show are either these establishment authoritarians or these faith for the sake of being different cavaliers. He admits that he is a skeptic but he says that while his current understanding of how flame and the human body works leads him to be very doubtful that such a phenomenon exists, he must keep an open mind and examine the facts and go where the evidence leads him.

(For those of you who don’t know, Spontaneous Human Combustion if a term used to describe a mysterious form of death that is still not fully understood. It has never been witnessed by anyone who has ever survived, but it is characterized by the remains of bodies, usually the elderly, discovered in their homes, completely chard, leaving only the extremities of the legs behind. Usually the entire room is left untouched as if nothing happened, but the immediate surrounding of the incident are burned severely, seeming to rule out the occurrence of a ‘normal’ house fire. It’s as if the person suddenly and spontaneously burst into flames, leaving nothing but ashes of clothing and human remains.)

In the show he ends up being the only guy that doesn’t really get egg on his face. The, oh so sure of themselves, scientists try to conduct experiments to prove the invalidity of SHC but their experiments all go wrong and make them look like fools. The fringe scientists try to do the same and end up looking more like they simply want to believe than anything else.

They say that learning about history is much like jumping into a conversation midway that you weren’t there for in the beginning and won’t be there for the end either. And when you think about it, although we do have the potential to become quite learned and wise in our 70 some odd years on earth, in the scope of how long the world has been around, and how long people have been inventing and discovering, how long stars have been burning and cells have been dividing, what little we pick up during our brief time that we are allowed to engage in the conversation is quite small. Now like I said, there are many things we can learn, and many things we will contribute as well. There are even things that will be revealed to us despite our veiled view of the world. All that being said, we are still quite arrogant and foolish to pretend as though we know everything there is to know about a subject, no matter how small or limited the subject seems to be. It’s origins are too far back for us to reach, and its destiny is beyond the horizon of our vision. Even having studied something for your entire life does not mean you understand all the laws. Usually the more learned a person is in a subject, the more they will tell you just how much to don’t understand about it. And ironically, the less someone knows about a subject the more they will appear confident that they know it all.

But there in lies the heart of the quote for today. Scientists, Journalists, Theologians, just to name a few, are what we might call: Professional Truth Seekers. And that goes for the rest of us as well. We all seem to assert in one way or the other that we want to seek truth, and that we view it as noble and courageous to do so. But this quote is a warning to us all, that even in our elite Professional Truth Seeker classes we have two kinds of people. Those who truly live up to the name, and those who quite possibly deserve another name: Professional Self Seekers. The warning is that while being a scientist implies searching unbiasedly for the truth, the fact of the matter is that even a scientist is still human. And humans, by nature are self-seeking and self-promoting, and our egos are more into self-preservation than soul-searching. We come up with ideas about the world, and instead of earnestly seeking to prove that idea correct, we end up seeking to prove ourselves correct. While this is a close cousin, it has been met with great humiliation and tragedy throughout history. Being right becomes our aim, instead of finding the truth and so in turn, in stead of being set free we become slaves. Thinks of the problems with the psuedo-science we get shoved down our throats, or the disgust we have with journalism and politics, or our disillusionment with the church. All come from men and women, taking their eyes off the prize, and turning them inward. And once your ego gets a taste of the glory of being RIGHT, instead of the discovery of what is right, it takes more than a 12 step program to reverse the course, and whole societies get dragged down to the depths faster than if a millstone was tethered to our necks. For we pass on as truth, what we in our hearts know is not. For what? For the sake of appearing and feeling right today? When we know that even if it takes 10, 20, 100 years, the glory next to our names will be amended in the history books to reflect not one of genius and innovation but one of hubris and detriment. If you get too stuck on the idea that you know the truth, then you get blinded by your own self and will surely miss the truth though, it’s staring you in the face.

To fain a full knowledge of even ones self, let alone things outside of one’s self, is but only to prove one’s ignorance…every time. But that’s ok. The joy and beauty is that we do not know it all, but there is one who does and who allows us to know and grasp what we need to know in our day to push the story ahead.

With Nothing Less Than What You Started: Chapter 1, Excerpt 1

………..Yet we find ourselves, after thousands of years, in an historical position in which women seem poised to usurp men in nearly every area of esteemed modern life (while they are wary to let alone the lower realms of society such as sexual deviance and violent temperaments, championed areas of society in which they quite generously allow men to keep as their sole possessions, at least as far as public perception goes.)

The west, as we have grown accustomed to doing for nearly the last 2000 years, has set the trend once again, this time in the feminization of the global culture. Sure there are pockets of resistance, the Middle East for example or possibly China, but even they are beginning to learn that as mighty as the arm of orthodoxy and tradition is, it is still no match for the dainty seductivity of American, and (arrogantly) therefore popular, culture and the subconscious politics it plays in minds around the world.

Now to the disappointment of both my ‘feminazi’ and ‘masculinist’(yes I know you’re out there) readers, pointing out and discussing the historicity of the emerging era of female privilege that we find ourselves in is not what I intend to do in this book. I will do so nonetheless so much in that it advances my discussion of the modern Christian man’s need to evolve socially if he wants to find a date in this world. Women have always been said to be the ultimate (temporal) mystery but as I’ve lived the past 24 years of my life in the ‘cradle of modern society’, California, I’ve noticed a widening gap in the disparagement between men and women. It is as if our culture, as advanced as it claims to be, is reverting back to the Freudian past in which a few men had more women than they knew what to do with, while the rest had to kill somebody just to get one. Unlike back then however, it’s not necessarily the lion of a guy with the biggest biceps, but the biggest brains who can command the attention of the pride. Don’t get me wrong, an NBA contract or a custom Lamborghini never hurt any guy’s chances, but lets face it, the odds of you fighting off thousands of screaming female fans as you leave from work only to find a mailbox full of bras when you get home is nothing to take to Vegas, even Reno.

The name of the game in the information age, as it almost always secretly has been, is knowledge. Aristotle himself is famous for (among a few other things) saying that, “Knowledge is Power.” He was right, in a sense. Knowledge is power as long as that knowledge is applied toward the cultivation of wisdom. This might not make much sense right now, but raw knowledge about women will only get you about as far as the character Chip from the movie Hitch. To become an Alex Hitchens however, one must have relational wisdom, a skill more than an intellectual possession, one that is slowly developed and modified again and again over years of experience and contemplative assessment by the attentive man or woman. As a man, with the sheer fact that you’ve invested, even a small amount of time, in developing relational wisdom, you’ll not only reap benefits from nearly all corners of your life whether it be in business or academics, but you’ll be miles ahead of the rest of the male population when it comes to getting the attention of even the most untouchable of female. In fact, that is the goal of this book, to not only convince you that you have a viable shot, but break down the game plan for the average guy who has his sights set on the anything but average girl……………

…………….Not all of us can be as fortunate as Luke, the author destined to pen down the idea that one should “love others as one loves oneself.” We cannot all have the forethought of Socrates, knowing that even thousands of years later the “unexamined life [would still not be] worth living.” Most of us are lucky if we discover even one or two truths about our own time and place, let alone develop an idea that still rocks the landscape of ages yet unborn, and even then it is only by the grace of God that we stumble upon any truth at all. It is with this understanding that I humbly and seriously, delve into the world of arrogance and humor in an effort that I may help you and in turn help myself, understand a little bit more about the fairest of the fair, that we all may someday sleep softly beside the beauty we chose not the beauty we settled on.