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Dance battles to solve the world’s problems

18 Mar

Destiny ensured I was an average dancer because if I was an amazing dancer, I would solve all my problems with dance battles. I’m not kidding.

Out of coffee at work? Dance battle. New arrangement at the grocery store? Dance battle. Argument with my husband? Dance… Well, you get the idea.

This is my dream. And since this would plague the lives of those around me, the world chose not to bestow me with those powers. Super disappointing.

The only thing more disappointing is not being able to sing. I am a rock star in my heart. You’re welcome. If I thought I was a rock star anywhere else, the universe would suffer.

Despite the fact I would not win a dance battle, I do think it would be interesting to use them to solve the world’s problems.

This always works out well in dance movies. I LOVE dance movies. I watched a ton this weekend. You can blame them for this post.

But seriously, people. More dance battles.

Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)

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What do we do when we can’t stand people?

13 Mar

Sometimes there are people in life who don’t like you. I find this all the time. People aren’t real thrilled with me, and I completely get that. We will never be BFFs. That’s okay.

(I try to tell myself it’s okay.)

The more difficult thing for me is when I don’t like someone. This seriously rarely happens. There are two people I can think of right now that I actively dislike. Sure, when I was younger the list was much longer, but most of that angst? I’m so over it.

Consider me lazy.

I don’t like wasting energy on actively disliking people.

Grass, Grass is greener on the other side, Kinley Baker, Romance Author

Sometimes disliking people is like telling grass: I don’t like your face.

However, some people I just don’t get.

A situation like this happened:

Take Reid, a handsome, deadly Warrior with a vulnerable center. (We’re using him as an example because he’s the hero from the book I just turned in.) I LOVE Reid. We get along totally well.

Unfortunately, he has this friend named George. (We’re using this name because I don’t know anyone named George and I’m 90% sure I’ve never named a character that.)

I seriously dislike George.

I can’t tell you anything specific about why, but I just don’t get him AT ALL.

Yet Reid insists on being one of his best friends.

I LOVE Reid. I CAN’T STAND George.

The selfish part of me wants Reid to explain himself. If he can’t offer a rational explanation for his acceptance of George, maybe I don’t love Reid as much as I thought. Maybe he’s not the best judge of character.

I’ve told Reid a lot of secrets. I don’t know how to break up with him without offending my heroine. She doesn’t want to live without him or something, which, at the moment, I find completely inconvenient all around.

So Reid and I are in this awkward point in our relationship. We both know something’s wrong. I don’t really want to tell him the truth. All this disliking makes me feel like a bad person. Admitting these words out loud means I can never take them back. Reid will know I’m not as nice as I claim to be.

Then I have this epiphany. Reid chose me as a friend, too. Sure it started out as an author/character relationship, but through this process we’ve formed something meaningful.

Here I am thinking Reid is a bad judge of character, when HE CHOSE ME.

*ponders this further*

I start to realize that if Reid set his bar higher, I might not make the cut.

*the crowd gasps*

I know. Basically, I’m spending all this active energy thinking negative thoughts about someone, and they’re probably a better person than I am. They’re probably just living their life and trying to do good where they can.

I hate that moment of, holy heels, I’m the problem. Have you ever experienced that? You’re like I HATE YOU, WORLD. I HATE YOU, BROKEN COMPUTER. I HATE YOU, BLAH BLAH BLAH (*insert your demon*).

Once your temper cools off, you realize you’re the one who spilled water on the computer. It’s really probably not the inanimate object’s fault. No one is there to monitor you though, so you raise an angry fist and spit curses anyway.

Come on, admit it. You’ve cursed inanimate objects before and then it ended up being user error.

George is not out mugging civilians or committing assault. He’s just bumbling along (I’m sorry. I couldn’t stop myself from using the word bumbling).

This is an example of how there’s multiple sides to every story. We’re not going to understand everyone, and sometimes people will rub us the wrong way. It’s our responsibility to funnel that annoyance into something positive.

Can we all be thankful for characters who are smarter than the author?

Reid totally taught me a valuable lesson, and even though I’ll probably forget with the next annoyance right around the corner, at least I’m a little better person today.

At least I caught myself from placing the blame in the wrong corner. If I can catch myself today, maybe I can catch myself next week. Hopefully, I’ll form a more positive pattern.

At the end of the day, I can’t change idiots, but I can change how I respond to them. Not that George is an idiot… *coughs*

There I go falling back into my old ways!

I am channeling this into something positive… I am channeling… I am channeling…

Did you see what George just—?!

*exasperated sigh*

Well. Good thing I don’t claim to be perfect. 😉

Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)

Fighting ignorance with compassion rather than anger

25 Feb

The world is full of a lot of pain. Deep rivets of fire in the very fiber of our being. Festering wounds full of so much agony, nearly anything can trigger the flashback to what harmed us.

Everyone has something that carves out their gut, every single time they’re reminded.

At least, I’m assuming so. I know I’ve got my wounds. My regrets. My pain.

I imagine that’s what causes so much anger. Every time we encounter something that dives under our skin, it’s so hard to control those emotions boiling right below the surface.

It’s so hard to think when all we can do is react. Everything inside us is too raw. With the internet and Twitter at our fingertips, the easiest thing to do is lash out.

We’ve all been there, our fingers hesitating over our keyboard or phone keypad. We’re quivering we’re so angry, so hurt, so outraged. We can barely contain the bile that wants to vomit out of our throat.

Yet we don’t see it as negative. We see it as positive because we are right. We are good. We are fighting for equality. We are fighting for safety. We are fighting for World Peace.

In our passion: we shout, we rage, we hurt.

In our need to rebel against the words spoken, we create a backlash all our own.

With anger, there is harm.

No matter what side of the battle we fight for, none of us are without responsibility.

A heavy way to start. But believe it or not, this is another one of those hopelessly optimistic posts.

We all carry our burdens. Some of us better than others. There are some days I lose the battle to fear and regret.

But I dream of a world that fights ignorance with compassion rather than anger.

The reason I dream this is because I grew up in a relatively small town. I was coddled in ways I couldn’t comprehend until adulthood. That is the very meaning of being coddled. You’re so engrossed in your own safety you don’t even recognize the possible threats.

Now, that’s not to say my town didn’t have its troubles. We had our losses, our own sorrows, our pain. Maybe not on the scale of the big city, but it was there, nonetheless.

If I offend you, it’s not because I want to. It’s because I’m not educated enough to understand why that particular subject would hurt you.

As much as I’ve tried to expand my horizons, I will always be constricted by my upbringing. I will always be a product of my past.

Unless I throw myself into the middle of nowhere and build myself up from scratch, I will never comprehend what that’s like. As educational as that promises to be, we can’t ignore that we’ve established responsibilities in this world.

Just because we aren’t throwing ourselves into a new environment to learn, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to grow. With the internet, the gateway is open.

Enlighten me. I am here to learn. The barriers are down, and I don’t have to travel halfway around the world to read about someone living there.

The world is valuable because of its diversity. But there is so much diversity that it’s impossible to relate to everyone. It’s impossible not to offend someone.

As the internet, we should come together as a community, but respect we’re all different.

There are people in the world who live to offend others. Although it might be naïve, I sincerely doubt the average person spends the time required to be that offensive.

A lot of what hits the news nowadays is thoughtless words founded on lacking education.

Just because someone believes something that hurts someone doesn’t mean they’re passionate about those beliefs. It doesn’t mean they aren’t sympathetic to your plight. It doesn’t mean they’ll never see your truth. It might simply be they’ve never been exposed to your beliefs.

I dream of a world that fights ignorance with education rather than anger.

There is already too much antagonism, too much pain. Even if we’re trying to do the right thing, let us not add to the burden. Let’s not allow the wound to fester.

Some people are stuck in their ways. They don’t know the definition of equality because they qualify it with their own beliefs.

Equality has no qualifications.

Those people might never change.

The leaders of hurtful groups are yelling the loudest, but that doesn’t mean everyone they represent is the same.

Show us the story of your journey. Show us the journey of your plight. We might decree one thing and justify it because of our upbringing.

But if you show me an emotionally charged editorial on the opposite side of an argument, I will be moved. You will change my heart, my thoughts, and my worldview.

There are people who will never be swayed, never be moved. Don’t believe that’s everyone. Don’t believe words mean nothing. They’re the most powerful tool of all.

Speak your truth. Some people will rage, but others will listen.

Let’s stop allowing the loudest voices to win us over. Let’s listen to the whisper of compassion.

Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)

Confessions of a Tantrum Thrower: Day One

30 Jan

(Prefunk Background: When I went to school we called partying before an event prefunking. I have no idea why, or at least, I didn’t until I looked online five minutes ago. But sometimes I will want to preface posts. So this will be called the prefunk. You’re asking why… I have no answer.)

Onto the…

Prefunk (As a side note, I keep typing that VERY WRONG… I even Googled it wrong, and in case anyone looking at my browser history is wondering… that was an accident.):

You’ll notice there is no picture to this post. That is because I imagined a conversation in which I would ask for my husband’s help. I thought it would go something like this:

Me: Will you pretend to throw a tantrum so I can take a picture?
Husband: No.
Me: Will you take a picture of me pretending to throw a tantrum?
Husband: No.

Oh *SNAP!*

Then the conversation actually went like this…

Me: Will you pretend to throw a tantrum so I can take a picture?
Husband: No.
Me: Will you take a picture of me pretending to throw a tantrum?
Husband: No.

So I win! But I also lose… because there is no picture. So use your imagination.

*STOMPS FOOT*… *LOOKS PETULANT*

The actual blog (Ya’ll are like… finally):

***

Confessions of a Tantrum Thrower Day: Day One

I lied to you gals and guys. In this very recent post, in fact. In my post about world peace, I wrote these words:

“When you just want to sink down on the floor like you haven’t since you were four and throwing a tantrum. All energy melted from your bones and defeat triumphing…”

I have a confession.

I still throw tantrums.

There, I said it.

In my first post I insinuated that I’m mature and adult, and that’s just a big, huge lie. In fact, the last time I melted to the floor in a display of major tantrum-dom I was twenty-something and it was three weeks ago.

I don’t know why exactly that I can’t express myself in a healthy way. I just never learned to cope, and it comes out in foot stomps and floor melting.

I KNOW. It’s really ridiculous and destroys my credibility. But I felt like a big liar as soon as I posted that, and I didn’t think my last post was a good place for this confession.

Confessing I still throw tantrums probably drains my credibility. But when I went through Kristen Lamb’s blogging class and decided to figure out who I am, I promised myself I wouldn’t lie or exaggerate for the sake of this blog.

Now, occasionally something might slip through on accident. For the most part, I promise to be honest with you, readers. You’re all I have. *cues violins*

But seriously, I’m honored you read and visit. I won’t throw tantrums on the blog, or at least, I’ll try not to…

Why? Because tantrums are private. Obviously.

And I leave those strictly for my husband. He’s so lucky. I know you’re all thinking that. I tell him that EVERY DAY.

Kidding. Most days I just look at him and think… Why are you still here? Haaa. That reveals so much more about me than I ever wanted you to know. *melts down to the floor*

Anyway, so I throw tantrums in real life. Yep. I don’t even have an interactive question to add to that.

Tune in Friday to see why tantrum throwing is okay. No really, I have proof. I dare you not to laugh at the video I have planned. I dare you!

And if you find yourself relating to this post, I wouldn’t mind you admitting so in the comments. You know, so I don’t feel like a loser.

Or nod along in silence. You don’t have to make any confessions out loud right now. It might be too soon. Just remember, we’re in this together.

No pressure… Just saying. 🙂

-Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)

A Ridiculously Optimistic Resolution for the Pageant Dream of “World Peace”

28 Jan
Peace, Kinley Baker, Romance Author

“Pardon My Nails” by Kinley Baker

Pageant Queens get a bad rap for wanting world peace, but I’ve always secretly wished for the same thing. (And my street cred crumbles) Hear me out…

Seeing questions that ask what we hope for in 2013 on Twitter makes me restless. I want to write “Peace. Safety. Love. For everyone.”

But then I’ll be pegged as the ridiculously optimistic fool.

I ache seeing these news articles where innocent lives are taken and people are victimized in cultures that sanction the abuse.

I want to stomp and shout and SCREAM… at the top of my LUNGS. I want to YELL until I lose my voice that… IT’S NOT FAIR.

That these people deserve peace and safety and love.

Everyone does.

I can’t stand to see these stories because my heart aches for these strangers.

Everyone deserves to have their husband teach them to make breakfast while listening to John Mayer on a Saturday morning while the dog stares on from the living room, wondering what the heck the wife is doing in the kitchen. This just happened to me, and I can’t even express how safe and loved and treasured I felt in those keen, simple moments.

The world deserves peace.

But I don’t have the power to dispense it.

And I feel SO FRUSTRATED. There is nothing I can do to change or save or help the world. I am one voice in a sea of billions.

Who do I think I am? I am only one.

Well, the people who helped the world and went down in history were also one voice. One person. One challenger. One naïve, hopelessly optimistic individual who I have to believe… believed in world peace.

I hope one day we live in a world that’s equal. An impossible dream. A hopeless affliction of core deep optimism.

I want to change the freaking world. I want to make it fair. Do you hear me world?! Do you?!

I’m tired of your wrath.

I’m tired… Of aching and hurting. But more so… exhausted for the people who actually live these horrible events.

We are emotional individuals. We can sometimes inflict more harm on ourselves than others can.

There are people who are hurting SO MUCH. I want to take away the pain. I want to gather it close until it gains so much pressure that it explodes into tiny pieces and finally disappears.

I have no weapons. I have no super powers. I only have words and a voice, and a very small reach. It’s not enough.

Is it enough?

It doesn’t feel like enough.

These are just words. No action.

Words mean nothing. They help no one.

Maybe that’s not true. Words give power to voices. A voice might be the most powerful human instrument of all.

SPEAK. LISTEN. LEARN.

Be thoughtful. Be compassionate. Care.

My hope for 2013 is that the world won’t be so f-ed up. My name is Kinley Baker and if you asked me what I’d hope for, I’ll freaking say… WORLD PEACE.

It’s not silly. It’s not frivolous. It might be ridiculously optimistic.

But it’s not wrong… to hope for a world that’s equal. A world that’s fair. A world that’s safe.

If we stop believing in those things, we’re lost. We have voices that are meant to be used.

This frustration bleeds through my veins. Itches under my skin. Ignites the fiery passion of all that is BEING PISSED OFF.

Have you ever felt that anger? That injustice? That absolute hopelessness?

When you just want to sink down on the floor like you haven’t since you were four and throwing a tantrum. All energy melted from your bones and defeat triumphing. You concede…

World, you’ve won. I can’t take anymore…

Death. Loss. Suffering. Abuse. Assault. Innocence taken.

I can’t take… anymore.

Please. My parents always taught me to be polite. Please, World.

I know there would be no good without evil. But give good a little fire power, will ya? Show us we’re not ridiculous, optimistic, naive, guileless, innocent fools for believing in world peace.

I’m not tall enough to be a pageant queen, and you saw my lacking nails in the above picture (Sorry about that), but I absolutely refuse from this day forward to apologize for wanting world peace.

I challenge you not to apologize. That when people ask: “What’s the one thing the world needs more than anything else?”

Your answer is: Peace. *cue pageant wave*

I want world peace AND I’m a wannabe badass. Deal with the contradictions.

The world isn’t good or bad. But we have a voice the world doesn’t. Let’s use it to spread some good. Don’t we all need it?

You do… I know you do… Because you read to this point of this post.

Now, what are we going to do about it? Well, I’m going to start this blog. This is my first post and heavier than I envisioned starting with, but there you go. I thought it was appropriate (not that appropriateness is my strong suit).

Tune in Wednesday for a confession so ridiculous you will probably laugh or maybe even relate.

Until then, Kristen Lamb showed me an amazing story I want to share with you all. One that might help you when you’re feeling frustrated.

The Starfish Story

I know it’s asking a lot for you to read more since this post is much longer than I plan going forward, but The Starfish Story really hit close to home.

All we can do is throw one starfish at a time. I vow to do the same to the best of my ability.

And welcome! I am ridiculously thrilled to meet your acquaintance.

-Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)