Bradford Speaks, CEO & Founder of Bradford Speaks Life Management is a Life & Relationship Architect/Coach & Youth Speaker. Inspirational Injections with Bradford Speaks are published weekly to a growing 350 plus subscribers. Messages range from enlightening, to inspiring, thought-provoking, to humorous, and some very personal. Visit http://www.bradfordspeakslife.com today to to sign up and receive your weekly Injection of Inspiration!
Yes, you read the headline correctly! If you haven’t heard this breaking news already, earlier this week the American sports world was delivered what many might call a juggernaut, and it had nothing to do with the Winter Olympics going on in Sochi right now, an athlete being caught with or using illegal drugs, or catching a domestic violence case. Not at all! This story revolves around one brave young man named Michael Sam, who has made the decision to stand ‘out’ and be the spokesman for a nation, perhaps the globe. Michael Sam, a student, football player and star defensive end at the University of Missouri, is entering the NFL draft this March and has openly admitted to being gay. He is one hell of a football player, and according to sources close to the University’s athletic department, a very good guy, friend, and teammate. Shouldn’t this be all that really matters? That an individual can offer the talent and skill set to help your team win a championship? Well, not in our society…not today, not yet, anyway. Sure, there have been many other gay and/or lesbian athletes that have been open about their non-conventional (according to modern mainstream society) sexual preferences. What makes this situation so different, however, is the enormously expansive global reach of the National Football League’s brand. American football is close to eclipsing soccer as the most watched sport around the the world. This means that many other cultures and nations will be touched by the acceptance and/or rejection of his openness by other players, coaches, fans, and even distant sports observers. Also, the violent nature of football and it being known as “a man’s man game” since its inception. This is one of the games, along with boxing, extreme fighting, and other violent sports that I’m sure thought it would forever exclude gays. Well, think again!
This is the future of humanity, like it or not. It is the direction toward which we have been headed for centuries, if not millennia. Apparently, Sam shared the news of his sexual orientation with his coaches and teammates earlier during the 2013-2014 football season, and it was well-received with no drama following as far as we know. In fact, he went on to garner All-American and All-SEC honors and was instrumental in leading his team to an incredible 12-2 season and an impressive win in the Cotton Bowl. I give the media and the NFL a lot credit for having done a pretty decent job of exploring this story from many angles, controlling the way this touchy subject has been communicated and commented about so far. I won’t go as far as saying their reasons for making it such a newsworthy topic have not been self-serving to some degree, but this is history in the making and surely worth talking about.
Two points I want to make in this post:
1) All professional football players were once college players. A college football MUST play at least two seasons of college football before becoming eligible to enter the NFL draft. So my thought is that if college teammates (a portion of whom will make up the professional ranks) can accept this about a teammate and still go on to achieve a high level of success in one of the most competitive football conferences in the nation, what is so different about the NFL? Essentially it’s the same players. There is so much for the NFL to learn from the way the University of Missouri.
2) We…meaning (we) humans…are evolving – We have always been evolving. We can’t be completely clear of the beginnings of this evolution, but we can be very clear that it is an ongoing process. All of life is evolving – plants, animals, the make-up of our environment, which forces all else to evolve for survival. All of it is evolving; it always has and seemingly always will. Even the Cosmos itself is continually changing, pushing against itself, expanding and creating greater distance between planetary worlds. Nothing stays the same, nothing! Biblical scholars have it wrong with their interpretation of the scripture, “Jesus (or GOD) is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” This is true, but often misinterpreted. What it really means is that Jesus/GOD is change/evolution and that is what does not change, that is the constant. In other words, the part about the Divine that is the same, is that it is ALWAYS changing, expanding, evolving. Nothing is ever stagnant…nothing!
So truth be told, we all should have seen this coming. The Gay Rights Movement is moving with more momentum than any other movement since the Civil Rights. This fight isn’t quite the same, but it certainly doesn’t lack any fervor. Legislation has taken form to support same sex marriages/families and the lifestyle in general, therefore reshaping the way our society perceives things pertaining to homosexuality. More celebrities are being open about their sexuality; children are being honest with their parents about it at younger and younger ages; movies, television and advertisers have been shining it into our minds through those screens for decades now. So what did we think would eventually happen? And it isn’t like homosexuality hasn’t always been, because it has – it had only been forced to live within the shadows until now. All of these elements together have changed the way in which we view and feel about this topic, which has subsequently created the gateway for it to flow freely and take center stage just as it has. What we are seeing happen before us was unavoidable, and why would we want to avoid anything that is obviously natural for so many. If we are paying close and conscious attention to how this is unfolding, it should cause each of us take very close account of how we view our inner and outer worlds. Like a computer resisting an upgrade, we will either accept the upgrade or become obsolete and irrelevant; those are the choices. Remember, what we resist only persists, and grows stronger and stronger.
In closing, I don’t know if the NFL is ‘ready’ to have openly gay players on its teams and sharing locker rooms with a majority straight players’ roster, but this is where are going, and have been for quite some time now. So they’d better get ready. It’s time for NFL owners, execs, and players to really buckle up those chin straps, because for some it’s going to be a turbulent ride. Kudos and thank you to Michael Sam for his bravery in pushing this envelope forward. I wish you and all gay athletes the greatest level of success and fulfillment or all your hopes, dreams and endeavors. I salute you!
Love Is All There Is…
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Please don’t be thrown by the title and click away. The title is intended to be an attention grabber, because I really want you to listen to what I am sharing. I assure you that the content is good, or at the very least, thought-provoking. This is one of the realist articles I have written to date, and it sums up everything-about everything-about everything, in a single thought – We Don’t Know Shit! So, what do I mean by this? I will explain soon enough. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the thoughts/ideas that I will convey here. It isn’t even a matter of opinion to be debated, but a matter of fact. It is the only fact that we can be certain of, in fact.
People who know and exchange dialogue with me about deep topics on a regular basis, or even those who come in contact with me briefly and we happen to engage in philosophical-type discussions regarding life, death, humanity, existence itself, religion or spirituality, have all heard me state this very same phrase – “WE DON’T KNOW SHIT!” And really, we don’t. How do I know this to be true? Well, it is the only truth there is when you really stop to think about it. And you know it too, but you just haven’t accepted it yet. I finally have, and I am at peace with it. If you are honest with yourself I know you will agree. I have accepted that what I believe is because I have chosen to believe it, not because I have to, or because I know it is truth and I should. All I know is that it is truth for me – and again, only because I have chosen to make it so. It has nothing to do with any connection to some greater truth. I AM that greater truth that is One with The Greatest Truth – no separation. Whatever it is, I am a part of it and it of me; whether it is what we call ‘GOD’, or something that is far more undefinable. I quickly digress, however; remember, I don’t know shit, either!
This ‘We Don’t Know Shit‘ phrase often rises up from the very depths of my Being and most often out of my mouth when discussing religious or spiritual topics with others – those things beyond the physical. But even when we scale it way, way down – macro to micro – it actually applies to every single thing we think we know. Even to things that seem so definite and assured, such as science and mathematics. This “knowledge” is known, interpreted, and understood only according to our own human perspective, a perspective that I feel is vastly limited; it is only a fractional sliver of that which is unknown to us.
Most of this “knowledge” we claim to have, has been acquired from (or passed down to us by) those who’ve come and gone before us – our predecessors. There is some value in this, but it is all subject to scrutinization for finding self resonance. This is a very important point because the brief extent of our lives offers a very limited window for understanding, or even contemplating, questions like:
- Who and what are we? Humans? Are we sure?
- Why are we here?
- How do we get here other than through a woman’s womb?
- How does all that we eventually become, begin inside of a single cell?
- Who or what is behind the mystery of life?
- What happens to me when it is over?
I would imagine that much of what has been given to us was also passed down to those who are giving it to us, with of course a little embellishment of their own sprinkled in. Right? I mean, surely we cannot be so naive to believe that the stories we have been given are all 100% factual. Storytelling is a huge part of the fabric of our history, culture and heritage, even dating back to ancient times. Human Beings are highly creative creatures, and it appears that they are by nature, storytellers. And nothing makes a story better told than mystery and drama. We all love a good mystery! Think about it…how do television executives know that plugging in a commercial break precisely at the height of the discovery of another clue to a looming mystery, or just as an important crease in a drama-filled story begins to unfold, is the best way to keep you “tuned in”? They know how to keep viewers holding on, waiting to hear the next piece of the story. Because they know that suspense lures its viewers in and keeps them engaged. So viewers run to the restroom, grab a quick snack, check the dinner in the oven, (or pause the DVR) and rush to plop back down in front of television just as the 120 seconds of commercials has elapsed. All great stories are told in this very same manner. It is the art of intriguing interest, manipulating human emotions, and deepening the connection to the story. So, to believe that any story we have been – or are in the process of being told – is 100% true, accurate, or infallible, is completely naive. Not to question these stories, or to take them too seriously, is also unintelligent. It is a blind and bumbling walk into ignorance – and no matter what you have been told, ignorance is NOT bliss. Even though we are all ignorant. It sounds contradictory, I know. But life itself is a big, organized, contradiction. Can’t you see the dynamics within this interesting dichotomy I am attempting to paint here for you? This work of art clearly depicts that NOTHING is true, yet at the very same time, everything is – but true only to the individual experiencing it; who has chosen to make it true, thereby making it their reality.
It is pretty obvious to me that something of far greater Intelligence is at work behind the scenes of everything we see, feel, hear, touch, taste, and experience in our Universe, as well as what we do not see; but what that Intelligence is, I SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW! Some could argue that there is no such thing as an “unseen”, and they are right – for themselves. I personally believe there is much more to this all than meets the eye. Since the beginning of time (whenever that was), this question has left humans dumbfounded and perplexed. And time – what is time anyways? The way humans track and perceive time has even changed throughout history; calendars have changed; the number of days in a particular month and year have changed. Changed by whom, you ask? By men, that’s whom. The Infinite does not deal in concepts of time. Eg: Once upon a time, each of the twelve months only had 28 days – 30 or 31 days were unheard of. The rotation of the Earth on its own axis has shifted, which therefore affects how we perceive its 365 revolutions around the sun, making what we call a “year”. Time used to be tied strictly to the planetary movements, which it still is for the most part. So we don’t even know what time is. Every time we think we know something, we soon find out that – We Don’t Know Shit! Einstein argued with his Theory of Relativity that the time and space continuum is illusory, that these are just concepts of physicality and don’t really exist in the True Universe at large. Some ancient spiritual teachings even claim that the sole purpose of Time and Space is to slow down (or create) chronological time as we now experience it, so that we can experience it. They claim that the speed at which our planet is spinning is what allows physical matter to form and exist in the solidity that our minds perceive it in. So you see, it is all about perception, and how one person perceives can vary greatly from how another perceives. This would explain, in a nutshell, the multitude of beliefs that blanket our planet today.
This all boils down to a few mildly profound and complexly simple points; when we approach and comprehend life in the following way, we can avoid much self-inflicted suffering and finally begin to heal of ourselves as a creation:
1) Accept the fact that YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT - relax, it’s OK.
2) Accept the fact that what you think you know, was given to you.
3) Consciously choose to believe whatever you wish, and accept the fact that it is a choice – no more, no less.
That’s it – it’s really that simple. Though billions take comfort in the belief that there is a Supreme Being at the head of all of this; there is really no evidence that this Supreme Being actually exists – whether in this Universe, in other Universes, in higher planes and dimensions of existence, within us, in parallel Universes, behind this curtain of obscurity hiding all we think we know and what we don’t accept that we do not know. Well, yup, as I see it, all of the above are True, and it is all embodied in one form/non-form, and that form/non-form is Love. Love-Is-All-There-Is. I’m just being real and honest with you and with myself. But what do I know….Not-Shit!
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