Greetings all and happy weekend!
As some of you may know, I’ve dabbled in the film industry under the stage name “Michael Mercy.” A few years ago I wrote, directed and co-starred in an inspirational film called “Acuity,” a term you may have seen pop up in some of my writings.
After many requests from viewers of my online movie discussion show, Armchair Directors, I’ve decided to break it out of the vault, dust if off, and put it up on our Youtube channel for all the world to see.
Many of the themes of my writings are present in the film, so I think readers here will enjoy it. Themes of courage, gratitude, living in the moment and not allowing others to influence our emotions.
Thanks for watching, enjoy the show and by all means share the link with your friends and family if you feel the message will have meaning for them as well.
You can watch Acuity online here.
Notice the little things,
Miro (Michael Mercy)
“Common sense is not so common.”― Voltaire
Common sense should be renamed
Because it is so rare
“Common’s” not a word I’d use
‘Cause many do not care
“Sense” in this case is used to
Describe a person’s grasp
On simple truths but most folks simply
Scoff or whine or gasp
It makes “sense” to not poison your
Body with chemicals
And yet there’s many with no sense
When the nicotine pulls
It makes “sense” to not get upset
Over things that don’t matter
And yet there are so many who
Allow their peace to shatter
It makes “sense” to push our bodies
To their physical verge
And yet there there are so many who
Go to buffets and splurge
And consume countless calories
Without the sense they can’t
Possibly use them all up
Instead, on couch they plant
Their lazy butts and watch TV
Consume, consume, consume
And never have the sense to see
Creation’s how you bloom
Creating healthy body, mind
Creating iron will
Doing work required and
Employing sense and skill
Common sense does not exist
This I know for a fact
If it did, I’d have more mentors
Who’ve had great impact
Instead I just have a handful
Who have uncommon sense
Their influence on me has been
Uncommon and immense
Resulting in the warrior poet
That you see now
1-in-100 who always
Keeps his intense vow
To not be influenced by weak
And selfish cowards who
Allow their “common sense” to blind them
From all that is true
From all that’s challenging, invigorating
It’s these difficult things that lead
To strong mind and physique
The Hotter the Forge, The Stronger the Sword
The sword’s a symbol of great strength
As well as elegance
The blade can withstand great duress
If its metal is dense
Although the final sword is sleek
And smooth with mirror shine
It wasn’t always free of dents
Or a perfect straight line
The steel within its blade was not
Always so strong and stout
The path that the sword must take is
Not the most pleasant route
The raw, weak metal’s placed inside
A forge of blazing heat
And if that wasn’t bad enough
The swordsmith starts to beat
Upon the raw material
With hammer, unrelenting
Battering and pummeling
And shaping, reinventing
Stoking fire even hotter
Making the steel glow
Into the reinforced blade
That we have come to know
Every time its folded and
Is hammered out once more
Makes the blade even stronger
Down to its deepest core
Every centigrade of heat
That the forge does increase
Unlocks dormant potential
And more strength does release
We all are blades within the forge
And life is our swordsmith
Strength without an intense heat
Is no more than a myth
Just like the blade, you cannot form
Unless the fire’s stoked
Unless the hammer’s brought down hard
And your true strength’s evoked
A common response I hear from people is “Everyone else is doing it” or words to that affect, as if the fact that other people being dishonest, lazy, selfish, aloof or inconsiderate legitimizes their behavior.
For people who defend themselves by saying “others are doing it” or “others aren’t going the extra mile so why should I?” I would encourage those people to take a long, hard, close look at the examples they’re using as their defense. Are those people who are doing it too exceptional? Are they impeccable? Are they driven? Are they selfless? Do they think for themselves and blaze their own trail, or are they just a sheep following the herd, and by their actions, influencing others to follow as well?
When someone says “Well that other person is doing it,” I believe a Warrior responds by saying, “Who is that other person? Describe them to me. Tell them how passionate they are. Tell me how fearless they are. Describe to me their limits and how close they push themselves to reaching and even surpassing those limits.”
People should be more picky about who they pattern themselves after. Proximity alone is not a good enough reason to emulate another person, so take a step back, get some distance, and take a wider view of “who else is doing it.”
I don’t smoke.
It’s a personal choice I’ve made. I decided long ago that the cost wasn’t relative to what you get out of it, and what you get out of it isn’t actually beneficial. It degenerates you. It makes you less than you are and less than what you could potentially be. I’ve watched people who smoke closely and have taken note of their heavy breathing whenever they’re required to do something physical. Their accelerated aging due to the smoke turning their skin leathery. And I’ve paid close attention to their constant, never-ending and never-satisfied enjoyment that comes from smoking. They get the shakes, “need a smoke,” light up, burn through one, and think they feel better, only to repeat the whole process again the next time the chemical deficiency in their brain that was caused by smoking in the first place kicks in.
I disagree with smoking and the lack of self-discipline that’s exhibited by smokers who think they don’t have a choice. Unlike many unhealthy habits that only affect the user, smoking affects everyone around the smoker, even people who make the choice to not smoke. I have to look at countless cigarette butts on the ground, thrown there by absented-minded, aloof smokers who think it doesn’t matter. When they do this, I remember that I’m a Warrior. I speak up and let them know I don’t smoke. I’ve witnessed their choice, and make my own choice clear to them, because unfortunately, many smokers are completely oblivious to the choices of other people.
When someone lights up around me, I make it clear to them as well that I don’t smoke. If they ask, “Does this bother you?” I respond with, “Yes, it does. It bothers me that you don’t recognize your own potential for strength and self-discipline. It bothers me that you take the easy path whenever your cravings kick in. It bother me that you place so much of your own joy in a tiny, overpriced, tobacco and nicotine-filled cigarette instead of trying harder. I don’t smoke. Put it out.”
This message is about smoking and smoking alone. Many smokers will feel defensive and try to change the subject. They often try to shift the topic onto something else in hopes of exposing the rare non-smoker who speaks up as a hypocrite. As a Warrior, I refuse to fall for those subject-changing tactics just as much as I refuse to breathe in a smoker’s cigarette smoke or smell their rank, disgusting odor. As a Warrior, I am focused and don’t fall prey to the deceptive tactics of a wounded ego. And as a Warrior, I’m not squeamish when it comes to waging war. Not with myself, and not with other people.
I don’t smoke. And when I say that, I mean that definitively. I don’t buy cigarettes, I don’t put them in my mouth, I don’t light them up, and I don’t stand beside people who make those choices that I’ve deemed to be self-destructive, as well as destructive to others and the environment as well. I don’t actively seek out smokers like some kind of health-nut vigilante, but when they cross my path and enter my sphere of influence, as a Warrior, I know my duty isn’t to stand by quietly and try not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I am a Warrior. I am a killer of feelings, because I understand that emotions such as those felt by a smoker being told to put out their cigarette come solely from the ego, which is incapable of empathy for the non-smoker. I deliver my message not with anger and frustration but with adamence and focus because I understand how often the smoker will misinterpret it as judging the doer, not the deed. I don’t smoke because I’ve come to realize just how steeped in the selfish-ego an act like smoking is, and as a Warrior, I’ve sworn a life-long war with the ego.
For smokers who want to feel better, I issue this challenge; do something that doesn’t put at risk the health of people around you or the environment to make yourself feel better. Do something that doesn’t support greedy, unethical corporations who overcharge you and treat you merely as a fool and a slave (and yes, even those “cheap smokes” you get at the Native reserves are still overpriced, you’re still just literally burning your money). Go for a run. Read a book. Meditate. Garden. Write something. Paint. CREATE and do something that strengthens you and makes you grow as a person. Smoking doesn’t bring us closer to fulfilling our potential. It drags us farther away. And don’t say, “But it’s so hard!” CHALLENGES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. That’s why when they’re conquered, they have such a feeling of fulfillment.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it,