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PHIL'S PHILOSOPHY By: D.P Kinkade Contributions by: Taylor & Drake Kinkade

DON'T START NONE - How many of you have heard or said a phrase similar to this one, “don't start nothing and there won't be nothing”? Most of the time the “nothing” we are referring to, is trouble of some sort. Usually you are in a situation where trouble, often involving violence, has the potential to escalate and you are either issuing or hearing a statement which affirms that it does not have to go in that direction. Most people of reasonable intelligence and even some social aspirations, do not often willingly or casually enter into contentious engagements which will likely offer little benefit, so this shorthand version of negotiation, despite obvious grammatical errors, (don't and nothing are two negatives which cancel out each other) is often enough to prevent intensification of trouble.

Now, this kind of trouble only involves the reciprocal kind, the kind where you are interactive with someone else and the party which issues the statement, is cluing the other party's involved in the altercation, into the fact that the option of peace is all up to them. To tell you the truth I kind of sway toward the notion that this is really a pretty good motto to follow in just about every circumstance. Whether it be individuals or larger groups, right on up to nations. “If you don't start any trouble or violence then you do not have to worry about aggression reigning,” should be a fundamental principle when dealing with others, in my estimation. On the other hand, if you do start something with malicious intent, then be assured, we, will defend, quite vigorously.

There are times when trouble seems to find you, no matter how benevolent and altruistic you are.The lack of open and sincere communication has been the cause of all kinds of havoc throughout the history of the articulated word. People jumping to conclusions, listening to gossip or half-truths or believing someone just had ill intentions and not bothering to consult with them, has caused feelings to be hurt, reputations ruined, characters smeared, friendships ended, divorce, serious fights and even wars. The willingness to engage in serious and reciprocal communication with both an open mind and an open heart could alleviate a lot of trouble in this world.

Trouble may also find you in the form of calamity that could not be foreseen. Serious illness, loss of loved ones deeply relied on, loss of income through no fault of your own, or sometimes just downright vitriol just for being born at a certain place or of a certain race, or perhaps betrayal, by someone you trust, can lead to cynicism and despair, if we let it but that is not inevitable we have a choice.

There are other situations where if we “don't start none, there won't be none!” If we don't offer a meal to the hungry they will remain unfed. If we don't bother to listen when a heart is breaking, it will remain unhealed. If we refuse to stand up for the rights of all to be treated with respect, regardless of race, gender, age or difference from us, they will lead a life without dignity, a fate no one deserves. If we let beauty go by unappreciated such as a mountain stream or an old growth forest, beauty may disappear from the earth altogether. If we see a way to reach a child not being educated by tradition yet we cling more tightly to tradition than the child; genius may disappear from the world. If we don't reach out and listen to hearts desperate to be heard; a chance to  change the very fabric of the universe; will pass us by. In situations like this and countless more, we can't just accept “don't do nothing” because nothing is not what we are designed for. We are meant to transform ourselves and the world around us!

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