Don’t Take Anyone For Granted. Not Even Yourself

Sometimes we take things for granted. Items, people, health. Then suddenly it is gone and we have none of it. Our friend goes, we find we are unable to do something, we fall ill.

Then we see what we have lost and wonder how we will cope with what we had before but is now gone.

That is when we have to learn again, and this time, hopefully, the lesson leaves a mark on us we don’t forget. We don’t take the friendship for granted, we look at it as a two-way street. We find another version of the item we lost and put it to better use. We learn to live with our new abilities while refraining from calling them disabilities.

Speak to your friends. Let them know how much you care.

Look after the items. Keep them safe.

Look after yourself. It is the only you that you have.

Smile.

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What Songs Have Meaning For You?

There are songs that stay with us over the years, over the decades and across the turn of the century for those us old enough to remember the nineties. Some stay with us because we like them, some because we hate them, and some because they hold a special meaning for us.

Some of these make us remember the good times, and some bring hurt and pain every time we listen to them. As I was listening “What Have You Done” by Within Temptation (featuring Keith Caputo), I started thinking about songs that make me remember smiles and pains. So I thought I would compile a list of songs that held a significant meaning in one way or another for me.

Football’s Coming Home – Five Lions
This was in the charts twice. Once in May 1996, and once in June 1998. Both at the time my children were born.

Not Afraid – Eminem
When I moved in with someone who turned out to be completely the opposite of who I fell for, I needed something to keep me going while I tried to find a way to get my kids and myself out of that situation.

Angels – Within Temptation
In the same situation as above, with the woman I moved in with, this song explains exactly how I felt, and how I felt she saw me.

Because of You – Kelly Clarkson
When I split from the mother of my children, I felt I would never find love again. I was too afraid to give myself to someone fully for fear of being shredded again. I did get over this fear long enough to fall for someone. Only to get shredded.

I Get Knocked Down – Chubbawumba
“I get knocked down, I get up again, Ain’t nothin’ gonna keep me down” Explains the meaning behind this one and why it holds a place for me.

Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
This was my wedding song. The first dance I had after getting married in 1995.

All I Need – Within Temptation
I went to see these in concert with my then wife, and we had what I felt was the best time until I found out she didn’t enjoy it that much at all.

Stand My Ground – Within Temptation
No matter what happens, there will always be someone to take up the mantle of something. Whether it be hope, love, life, or whatever. I will stand my ground.

Coward of the County – Kenny Rogers
I chose this one by Kenny Rogers although I could have chosen any by him. When I was a lad, I used to hide in my room and listen to the tapes and records (vinyl disks you put on a turntable and needle would go in the grooves and play the music out of speakers) of Kenny Rogers in the hopes of hiding from everything and everyone.

Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
This reminded me that there are people worse off than me.

Streets Of London – Ralph McTell
The people who are forgotten. This always makes me think of the people sleeping in shop doorways. Those who have lost everything. I can only hope they get at least some of it back.

Cats In The Cradle – Ugly Kid Joe version
After hearing this song, I vowed I would never have my kids ending up like this and seeing me as someone never there for them.

These are a few that hold a special meaning to me for one reason or another. There are others which hold more private reasons for good or ill, from the highest point to the lowest of the low points where I felt there was no hope. (And there is always, always hope even if you don’t see it at the time).

So what songs hold a meaning for you?

Why Always The Hate?

I was watching some YouTube videos the other day, and it is shocking the amount of hate that comes in the way of comments. Rather than accept that people have an opinion and that’s what makes humanity diverse and a good race able to adapt and get along.

One was a trailer for a game. Some people didn’t like the game, others did. Rather than “I don’t like this game, so I’m going to leave it“, the response is “This game is the worst thing ever and anyone who likes it is just a stupid little child“, and the response from people who like the game is “how dare you say anything bad about this game! You should go off and drop dead“.

There are comments of “The introduction movie isn’t how the game is, people should sue the company for false advertising“.

All games have a cinematic trailer for the game that is not actual in-game footage. Some people will say that a space simulator is wrong because of the sound of guns in space, but will play Call of Duty or something like that and get headshots without having to take in the Coriolis effect. (This is the curve of the earth and takes into account the drop of the bullet on its way to the target due to the angle and the wind factor and magnetism of the planet).

Some people will complain that a Call of Duty game is not realistic as you can get shot in the arm and just hide to feel better, while playing a driving game, ram something at over 200mph and just back up and drive off.

Everyone likes different things. The same with films. Just because someone doesn’t like the Transformers films doesn’t mean no one else is allowed to like them.

I don’t like the Transformers films – I’ll buy them for my son though. I’m not good at fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. It doesn’t make them the worst games ever.

Just because I can’t do headshots on Call of Duty, Battlefield, Overwatch or games like that, it doesn’t mean the controls are all wrong and the company should do something about it, It just means I’m not that good at them.

People need to see that their opinion is not the only one that matters in this world. There are other people who feel and think differently.

Whatever happened to “Whatever floats your boat” or “Hate that game, let me know when you’ve finished“.

There is too much hate and confrontation in the world now. Everyone needs a chill pill and a time out in the naughty corner. It’s time for acceptance, not dissension. It’s time for smiles, not snarls. It’s time for community, not hate.

We have enough of that with the leaders of countries without the rest of the people sinking to their levels.

Free speech, not hate speech.

Forbidden Lovers

Unique in their difference
Disparate in their likeness
Legions moved, carried by wing
Opposed to the wingless, walking below

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The walking, armed with spear and stone
The flying, with rocks of fire
Ready to send the other home
To rest atop a funeral pyre

The war they fought, never ending
How it started, neither knew
Both sides tarried, never bending
Never remembering why they slew

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As is the normal in a war
Something remarkable oft takes place
As killing the other becomes a chore
Slaughtering, never seeing the face

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Until one time, a life depended
A woman’s life begins to fade
The man who finds her, hate rescinded
He finds her ‘midst a bloodied glade

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Back to health, he heals her wounds
She looks into his soulful eyes
Her heart starts singing loving tunes
She steals a kiss, then off she flies

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Now he tries to end the war
Saying they fight for no good reason
They say they’ve heard it all before
And sentence him to death for Treason

She tells her lords to think things over
Asks if they remember why they die
Her questions make them sit up, sober
They see the love inside her eye

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A truce is called before the others
They soon find out silence is golden
And now they see forbidden lovers
And to them, their lives beholden

A senseless war cost millions of lives
Fought with sticks and bombs and spears and guns
The deaths of many husbands, wives
Brothers, sisters, daughters sons.

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And so a peace reigns through the land
With grateful children, fathers, mothers.
As two walk out, hand in hand
The war was stopped by forbidden lovers.

© A Forbes 2017