In my life one thing that I think most of my friends would agree upon is that I'm stubborn and opinionated. Just a fact of my life as one would have it. The thing that might surprise them is how I've actually mellowed over the years. There was a time when I wanted anyone who crossed me to pay. I didn't really care how, just so they paid. I didn't care if it meant loss of their money or possessions. Whatever worked. Cold and callus as it appears to me now it is just the way it was. I suppose a lot of people get that way if angry or hurt though. Once provoked they see it as a you've hurt me so I want you to hurt type of scenario. What would surprise most people to know is that I don't feel that way anymore. I get angry. I strike out sometimes. What I don't want is for any ill harm or harsh burdens to befall the person no matter what they do to me. That can be a tough one as a union steward or anything else. Sometimes no matter how hard we wish for resolution with out an ill fated verdict befalling someone, it just can't happen. It's something the old me would have little problem with. The me that is here now struggles with the issues that I deserve to be treated with respect. I deserve to not have to be stressed out at the hands of another. Yet part of me would take it if it meant not having someone fired. Not having to see someone else in pain. I don't know when it happened. I don't know when I started caring about the pains and problems of people I know nothing about or even people who are not kind to me. I use to be someone who fed on conflict. Fed on the fight for the sake of what I felt was right. I still do to some degree; however, I must admit I prefer a more quiet resolution to things now. I prefer to find a peaceful coexistance that works for both myself and the other party. That isn't always possible though. Sometimes no matter how badly we want the peaceful resolve, it can't be there. It can't happen that way. Sometimes we have to stand up and say enough is enough and it's not getting better. Sometimes we are out of chances and options. Sometimes backed into a corner with no way out. Don't get me wrong. My fight is still there. I came to terms with the fact a long time ago that if it comes down to me or someone trying to kill me, I could take their life. I don't know if I would even think twice about it. The thing is I would have regret and remorse even if in self defense. I somehow don't think the old me would have. So many changes I have been through in the past few years I don't think I saw it coming. I'm happy about it though. I think it makes me a little more human. I always admired my mother because she held no ill will towards anyone. Those of you who know her, know that is the truth. She's one of those people who would litterally give you every single thing she owns if you needed it or even just asked for it. I always looked at her and saw so little of myself in her, but now I'm thinking I found some of her kindness and warmth. It's sappy at best I suppose but I really do want everyone happy. I want peace. I want no hunger out there for anyone. I want the dream I suppose. Sometimes I can't help in this life but wonder why that can't be. I suppose it's because as human beings we get enthralled in our own needs and sometimes don't see the needs of others. Then again I also suppose there are a lot of sometimes in life statements one could make though aren't there?