C.M. HalsteadC.M. Halstead

By C.M. Halstead

Grow As The World Shrinks

Can’t we all just get along? No seriously, can’t we? I mean, the clique phrase from the hippies of the 1960’s does have some value to it.
Is this version of survival of the fittest that we have been living under the guise of actually an outdated piece of evolution? How about the fear-based belief system the movie ‘The Croods’ does a great job providing us an example of showing this to us? The father figure’s fear based, survival driven, lifestyle almost ended the family. If it weren’t for a newer more adaptable type of thought system, they would’ve perished. When do we know when it is time to adapt a new way of being, a new way of thinking?
The world is smaller than it was 50 years ago, 100 years ago, an infinitely smaller than 200 years ago. (If you are into The Tripper Series, you may notice this background theme) In this shrinking of the world, due to the increase in technology, it is possible to share resources and information instantly. It also makes it unnecessary for the world sharing of resources. Sure, those in North America still have to trade for bananas if they want them. But due to technological advances we no longer “need” to go to the middle east for oil, although we still chose to do so!
We have other types of technology that can do the job of the one created 100 years ago, yet we still choose to use this outdated combustion engine due to a fear of change, and a failure to adapt. This inability to grow and change is the leading cause of failure in many of the words elite organizations, including Kodak, the City of Detroit, and any recruit in Marine Corps basic training. Kodak was so engrained in film that they lost the race when the rest of the world switched to digital technology for their day-to-day camera use, Detroit’s auto industry grew into a monster that became so influential they refused to change with the changing world and did themselves in, and any recruit in MCRD who does not adapt their thinking to a do all, take all, mission-first attitude will not grow to be a Marine.
So what is it as a species that prevents us from moving on, and continue living in past belief systems? Is the obesity of America due to the great depression, where food was so scarce that you “must eat everything on your plate because you don’t know where more food will come from”?
I think one of the few smartest adaptions us humans have had in the last 50 years or so was the “Cold War” as it is known in the USA. The USA and Russia had the thought, “Hey we can blow all of you up, and you can blow all of us up, so let us just do our own things and mostly leave each other alone.” This “Cold War” was one of the best uses of technology to date! Instead of killing off thousands of each other in a costly war, we threatened each other a lot and killed off a few spies here and there. Can you imagine if the two “super powers” went at it with all their money, resources, and human lives?
If you look at human history and either side of any conflict, you will see that humans have been killing each other off for survival and competition reasons for as long as we have existed. We have exploited each other and killed each other to survive.
Well, I think instead of just surviving, it is time for us to excel. How about you? Are you ready to step forward from an old way of thinking and into a new one?
Perhaps if we were to work together to build a sustainable country and maybe even world, we could slowly unlearn or adapt our minds to their basic forms, slowly turn the earliest adaptations of our brains (the part some call the reptilian brain) from fight/flight/freeze to excel/grow/adapt.
What? OMG? Did he say that! How dare he… if you are thinking this, which thought process are you using?
Are you ready to work together to build a sustainable country that utilizes all of its internal resources to grow your nation or do you believe you need something that only can be found elsewhere?
Are you prepared to use solar power in the southwest, and hydropower in the Northwest. Instead of having one way of producing energy, have the ones that are sustainable in each area being the primary producers! We are headed that way in some areas. Solar and wind farms are cropping up in the more progressive areas of the U.S.
In other areas of the U.S., they are actually outlawing progressive and sustainable technology! What part of the reptilian brain is active here? Why are they afraid to adapt to a new way of being and thinking and instead forcing others to live a destructive lifestyle. . .how does this make logical sense?
So lets pull this in a little closer to home, from a country level, to a personal level.
How do I as an individual switch my thought processes from survival mode (fight/flight/freeze) to a mode that will allow me to excel? How do I build a sustainable lifestyle for me on my level? Proper diet and exercise instead of sugar and couch? Hanging out with people that build me up instead of tear me down? Do what I love for a living, instead of what I do for money? All three are great examples of things that are self-destructive instead of self-sustaining. It is wired in our old brain to sabotage ourselves for some crazy reason. Just about every human I have ever met (including the one writing this) has some form of self-destructive behavior. It is up to me, the individual to look at myself with no-filter in order to step through this destructive behavior. Although first, I must step through the self-destructive part of denial. The part that keeps me down and doesn’t not allow me to adapt, overcome and excel. That which I truly and utterly deserve.
So it appears that I must first learn to get along with myself before I can learn to get along with others. A great question to ask yourself and others is: What is hurting in you that makes you need to hurt me? A question to be said to anyone who is exhibiting behavior to cause you harm, a thief, a bully, the person in the mirror. Ask the question, you will be surprised at the reaction, especially with the one you look at in the mirror.

By C.M. Halstead

The Broccoli Incident

The woman enters the diner, a predacious manner about her. Scanning the room, she seeks the object of her desire. Not finding anyone to seat her in an instant, she makes a move for a booth.
A waitress exits the kitchen, “Hello!” she greets the woman.
The woman halfway to her chosen booth glances at the waitress and points at it while taking the last few steps and plopping herself down.
The waitress obliges.
“Hello.” The waitress says, handing the woman a menu, “Welcome, can I get you something to drink?”
“Just water.” The woman says, never looking up. She opens the menu and leans into it, scanning robotically she peruses the options, as the waitress saunters away.
A busker comes by and drops off the water; she is unfazed and continues scanning the single flip menu, encased in its protective covering it protests each flip, clinging to her suction cup fingers every time. Insistent in its incessant persistence, Fffft, Fffft, Fffft. Not once is it flipped without the sound, Fffft, Fffft. . .Fffft.
The waitress reappears.
“Are you ready to order?” she asks
“Yes. I’d like to order a side of broccoli, I need a pound and a half of it, so better make it four orders. And it needs to be deep fried, but not too deep fried, only two minutes, you don’t want to overcook it. I also want, what are your steamed veggies today?”
“Carrots, squash and cauliflower.” The waitress says.
“Ok, I’ll take three, no better make it four, orders of that as well. I need a pound and a half of vegetables. But don’t deep fry the carrots, squash and cauliflower.”
“Bring all of it together, make sure it is a pound and a half, I need a pound and a half of vegetables, but don’t overcook the broccoli, deep fry it, but only for two minutes. You don’t want to overcook it.” The woman says. Matter-a-fact and as if she has done this before, she gives her order to a T, knowing it will be carried out.
A few minutes later the waitress walks by, two plates heavy in her hands, one piled high with deep-fried broccoli, the other with steamed vegetables. There has to be about five pounds of cooked vegetables headed the woman’s way!
The woman sits up, leans back and makes room for the waitress to put the heavy plates down in front of her.
“That looks about right.” she says.
“Anything else?” the waitress asks.
A slight nod of the woman’s head. She is already engrossed in her vegetables. She turns her head to look at the piled plate of broccoli from every angle. She repeats the process with the pile of steamed veggies.
Leaning in she takes a big sniff of her treasure, the smell of deep fried broccoli fills the diner, its essence creeps into everywhere, yet she still has to lean in, in order to breathe deep into it. Everyone else’s noses turn up in disgust, the smell of deep fried green turns their stomachs hungry for meat. It is all you can eat rib night after all.
Satisfied, the visual and olfactory inspections over, the woman picks up a fork. Stabbing the broccoli like a determined frogger, the split fork pronging the object of desire as if life depends on it.
Long before the stench leaves the air, the woman has completed her mission, devouring the vegetables on her plate. When the waitress returns to her table exactly two minutes after dropping off the veggies, she is surprised to see them all gone.
“Wow, you were hungry!” Amazed at how quickly this customer consumed one and a half pounds of fiber, the part of waitress’s brain that remembers high school math calculates to itself the average consumption rate and is impressed.
The woman is becoming more and more efficient every day.

Grow As The World Shrinks
The Broccoli Incident