Say “No” to Hate


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“Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, play hard, take chances, give everything, and have no regrets. Life is too short to be anything but happy!” – Unknown

Just the other day, I went online to research urological treatment options for cats and I came across a vet med site where other cat owners shared their advice and experiences. As I read down the endless list of back-and-forth comments,  I was appalled.  A subject as benign as “cats with bladder issues” unleashed a barrage of hateful commentary. Rather than giving constructive advice, empathy or encouragement, there were nasty comments like “You gave your cat that medication? You’re an idiot and an irresponsible cat owner!”  And that was one of the nicer comments. These people didn’t even know each other, but were quick to pass judgment – all behind the shield of anonymity, of course.

It never ceases to amaze me how many haters there are out there. Blogs and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn seem to be a breeding ground for these angry people, emboldened by the name “Anonymous.”  Amazingly, I’ve only had one hater comment on this blog – since its inception in October 2011.  I never published the comment, because my policy is to never give a hater any public platform to spew their hate.  Criticism is fine. Venom is not. Sarcasm and dark humor is okay. Crass and ignorant commentary is not okay.

Apparently, hate is not relegated to social media.  Just look at the ridiculous nastiness and vulgarity displayed during the recent GOP presidential debates. Opportunistic presidential nominees are feeding off the anger of  a nation, as the world watches with amazement and disgust.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being angry.  But when anger becomes rage and gives birth to a population of serial haters, then we’ve got a problem, folks. Anger, when properly channeled, can bring about positive change.  Rage is a different animal altogether.  It just festers. It becomes malignant.

The fact of the matter is, Life is too short.

Who in their right mind would choose rage and hate over happiness and love?  Yes, I said “choose.”  It’s all about choice.

Say “No” to hate.  It simply takes up too much energy.  It gives you frown lines and makes you bitter.  It’s like a dark, murky cloud that follows you around everywhere.

I firmly believe that a positive attitude attracts good energy.  So, I say “Yes” to love.  And I’d rather have a face riddled with laugh lines, than frown lines – any day.


Heather  (not “Anonymous”)

A Coffee Shop is Not Just a Coffee Shop


In cities across America, coffee shops have become a mecca for professionals to gather in one place and share experiences, intel, advice and networking opportunities.  Most of those guys and gals sitting at the corner table, intently working on their computer while nursing a cup of coffee for three+ hours…  are  educated people just trying to do their work or drum up some lucrative business in an economic market that has been challenging at best.  The real estate development folks refer to these coffee shops as “third places,” an extension to one’s living room.

It’s true, a coffee shop is not just a coffee shop anymore.  Many an interesting character can be seen frequenting these “offices” …   a lot of wisdom, gathered in one room.

Coffee Shop Jive

“It took him only fifteen minutes to walk to the coffee shop. It was hot and humid, but he was used to it.  The Panama hat that he wore shielded him from the sun, which was a good thing. He opened the door and was greeted by a blast of frosty air. “The staff always keeps the air conditioning on way too high,” he muttered to himself.  His favorite seat by the window was thankfully empty, so he strode over and placed his computer bag down.

Looking around, he noticed all the regulars. There were students, architects, retailers, some mellow reggae musicians, a poet and a few homeless veterans who had a lot of interesting stories to tell. Everyone usually stayed there for at least three or four hours, nursing their one cup of coffee and nibbling on a pastry. Money was still very tight for most people. The coffee shop was over-priced, but the customers enjoyed the music. The ambiance was nice.

He remarked to himself that he hadn’t seen some of his old buddies and colleagues for a long, long time.  2013 sure looked and felt a hell of a lot different from 2006.  A lifetime ago. Back then, they were all starting to feel the pinch of a tanking economy. One by one, his friends dropped out of the consulting scene. A few went bankrupt. Some divorced. Others had left the state and even the country. A few had died. There were several guys who seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth. He decided to check his LinkedIn, to see if they had made any status updates.

He fired up his computer and, after an annoying few minutes, was able to sign on to his LinkedIn.  “The Wi-Fi is really slow in this coffee shop,” he mumbled. He clicked on some of his connections and what he read made him throw his head back and laugh out loud. One of his engineering friends wrote, under “Current Job:” … “Something Entirely Different.” 

As he scrolled down, he noticed that most of them were doing something entirely different. And he was no exception. That’s the nature of the beast. When the economy tanks and stays tanked for such a long time, you either sink or swim. You hope for the best, but plan for the worst.  It’s called Plan B. The interesting thing is that sometimes “Plan B” turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.

He started moving his leg to the music. It was an old reggae song by Frighty & Colonel Mite.  The title, Life (Is What You Make It).”š

(PS: Seriously, this was truly the actual song that was playing!) 

Excerpt/vignette “Coffee Shop Jive” (pp. 104-105) from Casualties of the (Recession) Depression. Copyright © 2013 by Heather Joan Marinos. All Rights Reserved.

HFHFrom Aug 14-Sept 7, purchase a copy of  Casualties of the (Recession) Depression, and for every $20 book purchased directly from me, through my website, I will be donating $5 from the proceeds of each book sale to either: Feeding America (US), Action Against Hunger (Canada), or The World Food Programme (Global). The purchaser chooses one of the three. As I’ve stated before and clearly state on my website, this promotion does not apply to books purchased from third party distributors, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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