Top 10 Things I Learned In My Years On Facebook or How Many “Friends” Can I Lose In One Post?

FYI: There were 3001 when I posted this. LOL

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“Live and learn.”

Conservatively, I estimate I “invested” 1400 hours of my life into Facebook over the past four years which is 500 hours more than it took to produce my book. Let that sink in a moment. I have dwelled on this for some time now. It is because of this significant amount of time that I did not just delete my Facebook account when the final straw arrived. I was close though. For better or worse, there is a legacy we leave behind on Facebook for our “friends”, if not the general public. However, if you posted as I did in a willy-nilly devil-may-care sort of way, you will spend days trying to clean it all up in order to leave a “best of” collection of posts worth scrolling before saying your final farewell. Be prepared for Facebook to “limit” your profile and page(s), a.k.a. putting you in Facebook jail, when you attempt such radical changes.

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1) Some people are not who they claim to be.

I am not talking about authors writing under pen names - which is absolutely necessary to avoid harassment - I am talking about people with multiple online personas. Don’t make the mistake of PROJECTING your level of integrity or values, a.k.a. honesty, discretion, and honour onto people you meet. It will bite you every time.

You can protect yourself by using a free deep web search at: pipl.com.

If aliases appear, search each one. If you know multiple locations where they have lived, search each city by each alias. It could take a while to compile all the data, and you should prepare yourself as the results can be nothing less than staggering. Look for, and even search, relatives, known associates, and phone numbers to confirm the site has not made an error. There are pay sites starting from $2.00 that generate a full report including criminal activities. You might want to consider one of these if you are in deep with someone you met online. May your god be kind with what you find.

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2) Don’t be naïve.

If you look up naïve in the dictionary, I’m sure you will see my picture there. I viewed joining the author communities on social media as an opportunity to connect with bright, engaging, open-minded seekers of wisdom . . . kindred spirits who would share thoughts as pen pals would, only using modern technology. Overall, nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, you will encounter a few worthwhile decent types, but in a game where we count followers in the thousands, they represent a minuscule percentage.

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3) “Haste makes waste.”

I remember being excited about making “friends” on Facebook when I first started out. So excited in fact, I would send friend requests to anyone who had the words author or writer on their profile. Back then, the prevailing theory suggested the key to success was a numbers game; the one with the biggest following would get a publishing deal. People were actually buying followers 10,000 at a time. I didn’t buy into this. I viewed social media as a popularity contest which does not translate into book sales ─ the equivalent to putting flyers in your neighbor’s mailboxes. I have yet to see data which is convincing enough to see it any other way. If I knew better, I would have cultivated relationships with influencers, readers of my genre, publishers, publicists, agents, reviewers, and bloggers ─ all the people I did not have as “friends” but who might have made a difference to the success achieved by my book. Had I known then what I know now, my friends list would look very different than it does today.

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4) Cocaine would have been a better choice.

If you are going to choose an addiction, social media is the worst possible choice. THERE IS NO HIGH, and the more time you spend on social media the less happy you become. Anyone who has read my book, knows I am anti-escapist regardless of whether the high is produced naturally or artificially. Regular cocaine users know the drug has a diminishing return. The high is never as good as the first time they tried it unless they increase the quantity used; and the more they use, the more frequent their cravings become until it affects their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hypocrite. I let my demons out for an occasional stroll, but I pick my poisons carefully to ensure that none take charge of my life. Social media hooks us on being connected and never being alone. It is dangerous because humans must be alone in order to think, learn, and grow. Social media stagnates the mind and, Facebook at least, seems bent on depressing the populace. Endless distractions thwart creativity and productivity. If you: feel obligated to post on social media; look in regularly for comments on posts; have never turned off Messenger or notifications or your device, then you should pick different poisons for a while until you get a handle on the monkey on your back.

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5) I kept my promise.

I used my Facebook profile page as a playground where I could share multiple aspects of my personality. This allowed me a place to vent . . . and vent I did; or more correctly, am continuing to do here in what will become my last post to Facebook. Early on I promised the real me would be on display at all times to my “friends”. The people on my friends list did not get an artificial construct or watered down perfect illusion of who I am. Nope, they got the full Monte, or at least as much Monte as Facebook would allow. My inner bad boy posted what little nudity Facebook community standards would tolerate for two reasons: Firstly, I am a rebel who sees freedoms dying faster than the planet is losing species; and secondly, nothing in the world is more beautiful to me than the female form. I shared my sense of humour as well, even when I knew it might be crossing someone’s line every now and then. I also shared my philosophies, and those from others which resonated within me, in what I now see as a futile effort to awaken the sleeping oblivious sheeple. The proof is in the likes. There were next to none. Recently, I wanted to find out if I was out of Facebook jail so I posted: ‘Somebody, anybody, tell me if you can see me.’ This post got more attention than a year’s worth of meaningful posts, and at the same time, it made a sad statement on the superficiality of the average Facebook user.

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6) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

As an author, I should have divided my time equally between Goodreads, twitter, and Facebook because Goodreads has proven itself to put your books in front of readers, and unlike Facebook, you can reach out to everyone and anyone on twitter. Time is the one thing you can never get more of and it does not allow do-overs. Spend yours wisely.

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7) Nazi hamsters! WTF?

Fuckerberg, and the Nazis in the shadows behind him, are using facebook for data collection on each and every one of us, as are most of the major corporations in Silicon Valley. The difference is Facebook knows far more about us than Google, and possibly even the makers of our devices and the companies that supply operating systems as long as they do not breach their published privacy policies which most have already been caught doing. Facebook considers EVERYTHING you share to be their property. This includes Messenger. Yup, your selfies and home-made porn videos are all sitting in a data farm somewhere and you can never truly delete them. They lured us away from My Space with the promise of something better. A promise which was never kept right from the beginning. Their endless adjustments to the algorithm, have severely limited our outreach to readers while they stayed busy categorizing and compartmentalizing us into something reminiscent of a box filled with hamsters where everyone is climbing all over each other. Good luck. I’m out.

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8) Let’s see Facebook for what it is: a societal manipulation site.

That doesn’t have the same innocuous ring to it as social media site, does it. In my time on Facebook, I have been appalled by posts in my News Feed ranging from animal cruelty to the shooting of an unarmed man by police, with a far too great number of others in between. Were they fake news as with the Trumpeter’s election campaigners who mysteriously showed up only to disappear shortly after the election? We can never know. What is clear however, is we are affected, influenced, and manipulated by what we see and hear in all forms of media. Worst of all, we become desensitized to atrocious human behavior and I believe this is NO ACCIDENT; but where they are intentionally herding the minds of the sheeple. When three billion users worldwide have been programmed to no longer give a shit about life, the world can easily fall into anarchy. On that day, the frightened sheeple will willingly turn over the last of their freedoms for safety. The single biggest difference between other forms of media and Facebook is there are no restrictions placed on what Facebook is allowed to broadcast. Facebook can do what they want with the get-out-of-jail-free-card of being a social media platform not responsible for the content created by users. There is no Editor In Chief to hold accountable for what is thrust before our eyes. Facebook’s new take on morality is not for me. It shouldn’t be for you either.

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9) Some people make it bearable.

If I look at my years on Facebook as I would my life, there are some parallels. I have a few regrets but there was also a great deal of laughter. There were a handful of people who made the time spent on Facebook almost seem worthwhile. I hope they keep in touch. There were also some standouts who stepped up when it really mattered, and they have my deepest gratitude.

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10) Facebook is what you make of it.

If you are just an individual who wants to keep tabs on people you already know in the real world, or if you want to find people you have lost touch with, then have at it while being VERY cautious of what you post or message to people. Keep your circle small and be wary of people you have not met in person when they send you a friend request. If you have the misfortune of being a writer who is following conventional wisdom, a.k.a. forced kicking and screaming into the social media spotlight as I was, then things will be tougher. Absorb and retain the previous 1800 words and I will leave you with the immortal words of my favorite Zen master: ‘Mind what you have learned; save you it can.’ – Yoda.

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Rationalizations: What To Do When The Internet Is Down

First thing this morning my neighbor sent a text to inform me the Internet is still down, but they claim to be working on it. Apparently a major cable was cut last evening leaving our entire area without service.

Thanks for the update., I thought to myself as I ran my morning self-diagnostics to see if I was fully functional before getting out of bed. I worked out yesterday so you never know. Out of HABIT I turned on my computer anyway and headed to the coffee-maker.

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As I stood in the kitchen waiting for The Nectar Of Awakening (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL), I pondered the importance of the Internet to him because he is a well-to-do guy who loves his toys. His home is run by Google and he likes his fully-automated lifestyle, and I don’t think he likes it when I speak of the potential for abuse of the users privacy. He only has his phone now. All that is good in his life has perished. Perhaps this is why he sent this out of character early text which woke me from some badly needed sleep.

Coffee in hand, I sat down on the couch and drank the entire over-sized first mug while staring blankly at the Windows start up screen. The only thought I can recall during this semi-conscious period was: They chose a nice shade of blue.

What will I do this morning? Maybe go for a walk? Too cold. Read? Eyes still too sleepy and brain not receptive to input. Write something? There it is. But what? We’ll wing it.

Anyone who reads my crap knows of my contempt for the Internet and my fervent belief that it is a mind control weapon employed against the oblivious masses in the final stages of our enslavement. Yet, it has also become a part of my ROUTINE to have my coffee while scrolling twitter and chatting with online friends.

It was not always this way. I remember having a satisfying life before all this book writing nonsense took over.

Here is an example of RATIONALIZATIONS running wild:

I RATIONALIZED this CHANGE IN MY BEHAVIOR by TELLING MYSELF this was necessary to launch and promote my book. I further RATIONALIZED I should continue promoting my work beyond the one year period I had originally planned for as there were still occasional requests for interviews and the like coming in. I continued my RATIONALIZATION to stay on social media because we were entering the peak selling season. That’s no time to quit. My latest RATIONALIZATION, after almost four years since I first appeared on social media, is I now have a handful of people whose words and thoughts I enjoy. It would be wrong to abandon them.

Or would it?

A flaw in my thinking just made itself known on mug three. I am PROJECTING my character traits onto them; people I have never met. I ass-u-me they share my values: morality; ethics; scruples; sense of decency etc., when in truth, I really have little hard evidence to support the mental picture of them I have created in my mind. It is hard enough to discover the TRUE NATURE of people we meet in real life, without compounding the problem by believing what we see or are told through an electronic medium.

Recent─all too public events─began with provocative hurtful posts which I could have been spared from seeing. I retaliated. That was wrong. The enraged are not in touch with rational thought. Things escalated from there into a tangled mess of unimagined proportions. If you witnessed any of it, my apologies. I now have first-hand knowledge of the gossips, spies, stalkers, trolls, and double agents we have all heard about when chatting about facebook dramas.

I am disgusted on many levels by many things, but mostly for allowing myself to be temporarily lowered into The Pit Of The Petty (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL) where the worst parts of humanity reside.

Unchecked RATIONALIZATIONS can lead to DEMONIZATION or even DELUSION.

I am only guilty of the first two. I plead temporary insanity. I have and continue to work hard to be fully conscious and self-aware, and I pride myself on my ability to stay grounded in reality. This heightens your powers of perception so you can see things for what they are, and not how you would like them to be. However, this trait will not be considered endearing to anyone who lives in a fantasy world of imagined futures. Normally, I am so good at this people have called me a mind reader, or suggested I have them under surveillance, or even that I can predict the future. In truth, once you have really explored WHO YOU ARE and wrestled your demons into submission─with only occasional escape attempts─you are given a gift of heightened sensitivity which is composed mostly of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Some call this being loving or caring; I just call them good people.

Humans like to think of themselves as complex creatures when in fact most human behavior is transparent and predictable to the few of us who bother to know ourselves. Once you know the best and worst you are capable of, and even though your self-control can slip at times, you can make shockingly accurate assessments of people as well as predictions of behavior and consequences.

To the superficial and narcissistic, life will always be a mysterious sequence of tragic events. They create petty RATIONALIZATIONS of their abhorrent behavior with statements like: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” or “We are only human.” or “They told me to do it.”. . .

Every single one of the seven billion souls on this planet are capable of moving beyond this most basic form of existence. I sincerely hope the readers of this will be some of those who do.

This was the second time I became embroiled in a facebook drama. There won’t be a third. Farewell facebook friends and followers. It was quite an experience which I can no longer RATIONALIZE.

Keep in touch by email if you like.

My Current Attitude Towards Facebook and Other Pointless Endeavours Summed Up in a Single Photo.

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I love Iron Man and many of the other Marvel films.

The appeal is obvious—aside from wishing we were genius billionaire philanthropists—there are times when we wish we could take matters into our own hands; to be a lone gun-slinger, dispensing our own brand of justice or seeking retribution. Alas, until “civilization” slides a little farther into the abyss, or we have nothing left to lose, we must  settle for watching others wreak vengeance in film and video games; living vicariously through them. But oh how we wish sometimes. . .

Have a great Monday.

The only way to get over your fear of what is out there is to look at it, learn about it, and then do something about it.

77x bubble

 

Greatest Hits Volume 1: Thoughts for Thinkers & Seekers

Put a tweet in your kid’s lunchbox.

They tell me young people will only read memes or short posts of 500 words or less so I decided to give them a “best of” package of last year’s tweets. Please feel free to share any which stir something within you.
1x ignorence

4x phil

5x giving

6x books

7x humans

9x behaviour

10x insight

11x change

12x truths

14x dangers

15x lies

16x teaching

18x learning

19x truth

22x control

23x therapy

24x growth

25x role models

26x self

27x happiness

28x collective

29x readers

30x big brother

31x news

32x self

33x touch others

34x library bookstore

36x polarization

37x positivity

38x change edu

39x politics media

40x reading empathy

42x narcisists

43x happiness self

44x grounded

45x facts

46x internet influence

47x internet freedom

48x social media

49x obliviousness

51x change evil

52x active

53x political corr

54x edu

56x earth

57x open minds

58x happiness

59x knowledge expectations

61x self control

63x patterns

67x reading

68x awareness

71x knowledge happiness

72x self

Blog 10.2: I am salmon. Hear me gurgle?

What if awareness and obliviousness is the same thing?

Why do I persist in swimming against the current?

This is part two.

My study of people led me to become slightly detached socially. I would prefer to sit on the outside looking in so as not to influence the outcome of the experiment that I was observing. While I had, and have the ability to mix and mingle with the best of them, my preference is to watch others make the attempt. It is far more entertaining. Live social interaction between young men and women in clubs was at the top of my list. A room filled to bursting with horny people and yet only a very few leave with someone. Two attractive people lock eyes; one musters up enough nerve to approach the other; one says something stupid and then they part- not to make the effort again that night.

There is a paradigm in psychology that states:

“People with the highest IQ’s are the most prone to substance abuse. They abuse alcohol or drugs to come down to the level of the rest of humanity in an effort to better fit in.”

Is it possible that all the alcoholics and drug users that I encounter are the pinnacle of human development? As a youngster, I was told that I possessed a genius level IQ. I rarely drink and never do any type of drug. Could it be that the substance abusers are so far above me intellectually, that I cannot comprehend their thought processes? Perhaps I have had it all wrong throughout my entire life. Maybe I am the “dim bulb” on the tree struggling to understand humanity without the necessary smarts to comprehend that which is right in front of me. It would explain much.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

IT IS SIMPLER to follow your glands and have a child at an early age; be a slave to your job in order to pay the bills and get divorced ten years later only to do it again with someone else. You will never have idle hands and your brain will reorganize itself to the life you have chosen. Most of the inhabitants of the planet choose this for themselves and that is why they nest and attempt to hide from the outside world usually without success. They romanticize their relationships: spouses, pets and children- picturing themselves surrounded by loving creatures and people in their golden years without ever acknowledging the realities of their choices until it is too late. This is why old ladies are found dead with their corpses eaten by their pets.

IT IS BETTER to live obliviously. Regrets will not surface until middle or old age, if at all. You look back and wonder if you could have done more with your life, had you only chosen differently. You will live, die and will be forgotten like billions before without leaving a timeless legacy.

The young well-educated people that could change the world end up too busy to make a difference. They genuinely embrace being oblivious. I hope they like the oblivion that they are helping to quickly push humanity toward.

I push awareness in a world that is content to be oblivious.

I push knowledge in a world that is content to be misinformed.

I push tolerance in an intolerant world.

I push change in a world that is resistant to it.

I push rationality on the irrational.

I push for abstinence in a world of full of addicts.

I push for responsibility in an irresponsible world.

I push being scrupulous in an unscrupulous world.

I push spiritual health in a world that has stopped believing.

I push physical health in a world that likes to eat drug soaked fat.

I push mental health to people that are intent on doing crazy things.

I push emotional health to people with an endless capacity for self-doubt and self-pity.

I push for excellence in a world that strives for mediocrity.

I push humor in a world that often does not get the joke.

Perhaps it is time I started PULLING.

Is the Dalai Lama aware or just oblivious because of his meditative serene environment?

Are any of the sciences aware or are they oblivious because of the singular vantage point of their discipline?

Is the family guy who is a good husband and father oblivious or is he aware that he is doing what he was meant to do- always swimming downstream?

I am a flawed human as all humans seem to be. I pose questions looking for answers and am rarely surprised by the facts when they are published. I genuinely hope that I will have learned all the requisite lessons in this life so I do not have to come back here again. I appreciate the fleeting bits of love, joy, goodness, laughter, happiness and SERENITY that come my way, but overall, this place is no fun. If there is a higher plane of existence, I hope I am ready to be allowed in.

If Earth and this plane of existence were a vacation destination, I would rate it one star in a five star rating system.

I am incapable of following the words of Reinhold Niebuhr. Instead, I remain the UNWISE one who cannot ACCEPT that mankind must go obliviously into oblivion. I will continue to swim upstream in the hope that I can influence a select few to go out and change the world before the human race reaches its point of no return.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how “INTO EACH LIFE A LITTLE RAIN MUST FALL.”

I wrote this on a dismal rainy day.

I am fine.

Really; I am.

I know this reads like a suicide note. {He wrote- laughing out loud.}

Writing a blog is a better way of venting than getting drunk and having a domestic; which, should you not be aware of the statistics, is the number one call to the police across the planet on a daily basis.

I promise to write the next one on a glorious sunny summer day after getting laid just to continue the experiment with a different set of controls.

See you next week.

E. A.

P. S. Does anyone have a morally loose woman that you could refer?

Blog 10.1: I am salmon. Hear me gurgle?

What if awareness and obliviousness is the same thing?

Why do I persist in swimming against the current?

There are some words that I recently posted on my Facebook page as a reminder to myself that I am obviously not as wise as I would like to think.

“God, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.”

Known by some as “The Serenity Prayer”, these wonderful words were written by a theologian named Reinhold Niebuhr.

This brings me to my first problem. I CANNOT ACCEPT THAT I CANNOT CHANGE THINGS! Nothing remains the same. Change is a part of nature. Evolution and entropy prove this. Everything is in a state of change- except it seems… us.

Being aware sucks!

In my next life I am shooting for oblivious.

My personal hell was created partially by choices and partially by genetics.

The choice part is that I maintain perpetual hope for humanity. As such, I have EXPECTATIONS for humans that are almost never met and still, I continue to “fight the good fight”. I do not know why. It is my nature. Someone once said (and it may have been me):

“If you do not have ANY expectations, then people will not let you down.”

I believe the underlying message here is that you must be self-reliant, self-assured, self-aware etc. These are good “self” words- not on the same list with self-obsessed or selfish. This brings me to my next problem: I believe that one individual cannot change the world- it will take a massive team effort that will force us to EXPECT things from others once again. It is a paradox.

I was born with the ability to learn and retain both useful knowledge and the ridiculously trivial. A short time ago, I was in my car with a friend talking about The Monkeys’ song I’m a Believer when to my amazement, I discovered that I could remember the names of all four members of that band and the instruments they played after more than forty years. This from a middle-aged guy who regularly walks into a room and does not remember what prompted him to be there. I am inquisitive by nature- endlessly asking questions and thirsting for knowledge. The human brain is fascinating.

“Youth is wasted on the young.”

School was too easy for me. I found it incredibly boring so I rarely went; yet somehow I managed to just scrape through. My sister by comparison, worked incredibly hard for her average grades and I could not understand why she found learning difficult. It seems that as intellectually capable as I was, I was not that AWARE. I ASSUMED that every human had it as easy as I did. This is yet another character flaw that I would carry throughout my young life.

In my teens and early twenties I lived to party. Sex, drugs, alcohol and Rock & Roll music were my regular escape from reality- a reality that I am all too aware of now.

At twenty-five, I had to clean up my act, cut my hair and put on a business suit to work with many people that were consummate professionals and who, on the surface at least, appeared to be my intellectual equals. Almost all had a University degree of some kind so I LEAPT TO THE CONCLUSION that they were intelligent people. I did begin to notice that they frequently “dropped the ball” through, what I ASSUMED was, inefficiency or a lack of vision, planning and organization. I could see patterns emerging that would lead to problems for them- both professionally and personally but for some reason they did not seem to see these indicators until things reached the crisis point.

I was aware of a law in physics that states:

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

I was applying this to the humans I met. They would take action without considering the possible outcomes and this is how I became an inadvertent student of human nature- always wondering why. It was at this point in my life that I began in earnest to study people.

Pre-destination?

In no time I was becoming keenly aware of the actions and reactions of others while remaining completely OBLIVIOUS of the fact that I too had a program that I was executing. I would remain that way until my early forties when I would finally get around an exploration of self. I discovered I had PATTERNS of my own.

The various academic disciplines all have different view-points about how our being is developed. Psychologists and sociologists believe that initially, we are but a blank slate and we learn our behavioural patterns as we mature. Geneticists and the brain sciences see us as little more than the sum of our genetic and chemical health. Theologians believe that the soul is placed in a human by a deity. Spiritualists believe that we are part of something bigger- a cosmic being if you will. Not one of these disciplines has unlocked the truth of the human mind and they have been at it for hundreds of years. The truth is most likely an amalgam of all of them.

The CONSEQUENCES of my own actions and the associated reactions allowed me to write a book and change career paths in mid-life. (“The jury is still out” as to whether or not that brave move will pay off.) Did I lead my life according to a plan that was programmed into my being just so I would arrive at this point- supplying the world with a book that encourages readers to become more aware? I hope not; as this makes me feel used, manipulated and diminished- little more than a character in a “SIM” game- just entertainment for some advanced intelligence, the universe or whatever.

Reincarnation and or karma:

Somewhere along the line and I know not where, I picked up a personal philosophy that I will share. We are here to learn lessons. We will continue to return to this existence until we learn those lessons. I have had many precognitive events in my life to date that suggest:

1) that I have lived these events before.

2) that I have a disorder that makes me believe I have seen these events in advance.

3) that I have subconsciously imagined ALL the possible outcomes of my actions and when in a semi-conscious state, occasionally glimpse them- later my conscious mind interprets them as actual memories.

I am good with 1 or 3.

Blogus interruptus… continued next week.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as a global need for AWARENESS.

Have a good week and take notice of something going on in the world around you.

E. A.