Life Lessons

Want to drastically lower the rates of crime, mental health problems, and physical health problems across the country and the world?

Create a course on LIFE at every grade level that teaches kids how to handle stress in healthy ways, how to communicate effectively, the role nutrition and physical activity play in mood and health, and how to manage money.

It is the easiest, least expensive, and most far-reaching solution to most of the biggest problems we face–because schools are the one place to reach entire generations at the same time.

If enough people contacted school boards and lawmakers, things would change.

A.R. Knight

Is Kindness Strength?

“If you ever think soft isn’t strong, look at what water did to the Grand Canyon.” – A.R. Knight

Never mistake your kindness for weakness.

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Make a Wish…

This cement impression reminded me of dandelion seeds, blowing in the wind. May the solid foundation of belief in yourself give wings to all of your dreams…

Photo: A.R. Knight

(The photo was sharp in the preview but not in the final upload. Still, I like the idea, so I’m keeping it here.)

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Why Do People Lie?

No one likes being lied to, but it’s a reality of life. I have found the more you understand why people do what they do, the less influence they have over you.

Human beings are wired to feel pain, suffering, and fear in the face of rejection. From the standpoint of history, we couldn’t survive without other people–we needed them, or we would die. To be cast out of our social circle spelled instant doom. Though we are light-years ahead of our ancestors in terms of technological advancements, we are still operating with the same hardware. We still feel the same need to stay connected to others in order to survive.

But our survival agendas don’t always match up with someone else’s and vice-versa, because we have all had different life experiences. One person may feel a strong need for protection, while another may be trying to fill a constant void. Without the know-how to feel these things without an external influence, we seek what we know does work to temporarily ease our pain and fear–alcohol, food, shopping, gambling, smoking, drugs, attention, sex, affairs, and/or illegal activities, etc.

And then we lie when confronted about it…so we don’t get rejected for trying to meet a need we don’t know how to fulfill without the help of an external influence(s).

The irony is lying is often the biggest factor in relationships not working out–but not in the way people think.

Every lie a person tells is a barrier they place between them and the person they are lying to.

A thousand lies = a thousand barriers.

Think about that. When people engage in romantic relationships, the evening often ends with clothes off. Skin-to-skin contact. Genuine emotional intimacy ends the same way…with heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul contact. Just like you shed physical layers of clothes to get close physically, you shed layers of internal barriers and defenses to get close emotionally.

But how can you ever get close to someone emotionally if there are literally a thousand unseen barriers between the two of you–if one or both of you are wearing an emotional suit of armor?

This is why serious betrayals are so hard to overcome. Even if a person is forgiven, all the barriers/walls the person who lied has up are still there. Others can forgive them endlessly, but until they actually remove those barriers, they will most likely repeat the same behaviors over and over again because…

Living behind a thousand barriers is suffocating and lonely.

How can you tell? Look at the behavior. People who feel suffocated look for freedom, and those who feel lonely look for distractions from a variety of sources.

We are all guilty of this. We have all done something in excess, because we were trying to distract ourselves from ourselves.

In the end, the biggest lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves, and they are the root cause of every bad relationship we have ever gotten into or stayed in.

Do any of these feel familiar?

“He / She will change.”
“I’m not enough.”
“I can’t protect myself.”
“I can’t be alone.”
“I can’t open up to someone.”
“I don’t deserve happiness.”
“I’m not worthy.”
“I’m broken.”

The one person you can always change is you. The most important thing you can do is consistently make better choices than you did the day before–and do that every day.

Remember these words always:

You ARE enough.

You CAN protect yourself.

You ARE never alone.

You ARE brave and always have a voice.

You DESERVE happiness.

You ARE worthy.

You ARE whole.


©2019 A.R. Knight

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