Life Lessons…

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THINGS I LEARNED IN LIFE

Accept what is… Let go of what was… and have faith in God… for what will be…

Quiet people… aren’t the only ones who don’t have much to say…

Love is a verb… not a noun… !!!

Tight shoes don’t make your feet look THAT much smaller… Vanity isn’t worth the pain.

No one is an expert on you… except you.

There is ALWAYS another way of looking at anything.

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I Believe:

That it takes years to build up trust… and only seconds to destroy it.

That it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

That you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that… you’d better know something.

That you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do but to the best you can do.

That it’s not what happens to people that are important… It’s what they do about what happens.

That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

That no matter how thin you slice it… there are always two sides.

That it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

That it’s a lot easier to react than it is to think.

That you should always leave loved ones with loving words… It may be the last time you see them.

That you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

That we are responsible for what we do… no matter how we feel.

That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

That regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first… the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

That heroes are the people who do what has to be done… when it needs to be done… regardless of the consequences.

That learning to forgive takes practice.

That there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.

That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

That sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry… but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

That true friendship continues to grow… even over the longest distance… Same goes for true love.

That just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to… doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have…

That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had… and what you’ve learned from them… and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

That you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish… Few things are more humiliating… and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

That no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

That it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others… Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

That no matter how bad your heart is broken… life doesn’t stop for your grief.

That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are… but we are responsible for who we become.

That sometimes when my friends fight… I’m forced to choose sides even when I don’t want to.

That just because two people argue… it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other… And just because they don’t argue… it doesn’t mean they do.

That sometimes you have to separate the individual… from some of their actions.

That we don’t have to change friends… if we understand that friends change.

That you shouldn’t always be so eager to find out a secret… It could change your life forever.

That two people can look at the exact same thing… and see something totally different.

That no matter how you try to protect your children… they will eventually get hurt… and you will hurt in the process.

That there are many ways of falling and staying in love.

That no matter the consequences… those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.

That no matter how many friends you have… there will still be times… when you will feel lonely and lost…

That your life can be changed in a matter of moments… by people who don’t even know you.

That even when you think you have no more to give… when a friend or loved one cries out to you… you will find the strength to help.

That writing… as well as talking… can ease emotional pains…

That the paradigm we live in is not all that is offered to us.

That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

That the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.

That although the word “love” can have many different meanings… it loses value when overused.

That it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.

That you cannot make someone love you… All you can do is be someone who can be loved… The rest is up to them.

That no matter how much I care… some people just don’t care back.

 

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Been thinking a lot lately… about some of the things I believe:

I believe it is never right to use the truth unkindly…
I believe there are some things worth dying for…
but few worth killing for…
I believe it really isn’t so important to be right… if someone else is made to feel… wrong…
I believe we could have loved the people we have loved… better…
I believe we can disagree without making either one of us… a bad person…
I believe that letting go of something or someone… frees up space for something or someone new… and often better…
I believe even a single act of kindness… can begin to change the world…
I believe the two most powerful words we might ever speak… could be… “I’m Sorry”…
I believe the greatest need we have is for love… and love is also our greatest loss.

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I have learned so much from Muffin and Cesar… my American Cocker Spaniels… they live exclusively in the moment… They are not troubled by unhappy memories of the past… nor do they spend the day worrying about some distant future… their needs are simple… shelter…food… water… and love and attention from me… They ask for nothing more than to be allowed to occupy time and space in my life expecting only that those basic needs be met… in return, they offer unconditional love… They never criticize how I look or dress… They respect my privacy when I need it… and they are always willing to share affection and attention with me at any moment… They don’t harbor grudges… nor do they know anger and resentment… when they do something wrong and they know I am upset… They get this “I’m sorry” look in their eyes and come over to me looking for acceptance… and who could deny them… They are content with their lives… feel no pressure to achieve success… to gain wealth… or celebrity… unlike those of us who struggle with those foolish concerns… They awake each morning… satisfied that their few needs will be met and that at the end of the day they can curl up next to someone they love… seeking only to be loved in return… I have learned so much from Cesar and Muffin.

 

Thoughts…

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One of the most difficult decisions we have to make in life… whether it is about a job… a relationship… or a dream… is when to try harder… or when to just walk away…

There are some people… who radiate so much love… you feel grateful… they share the same world with you…

If someone asked you to list all the things that you love… how long would it take your name to appear on the list…?

We can’t always avoid all the negative people in our lives… Just think though… If you had $1,000 dollars and someone took $5 dollars from you… you might be angry for a moment… but it would not ruin your entire day… There are 1440 minutes in a day… don’t let someone’s 5 minutes of negativity… ruin the more than 1400 other minutes you have left to enjoy…

The strongest people… are not only the ones who struggle with public battles… they are often the ones who are struggling with private battles… we know nothing about…

To the world… you may be just one person… but to those who love you… you may be one of the most important people in the world… Today would be a good day… to tell some of them… you feel the same way about them…

One of the best ways… to get a clue to someone’s character… is to listen to what they say… about other people… behind their backs…

Sometimes we still have to remind ourselves consciously… not to be overly affected by the opinions of others…. The ability to let go of our need to be liked… even if it sometimes requires a titanic struggle… is one of the greatest changes we can make in our lives…

Some say… what you “think”… is more important than what you “feel”… but I believe that “feelings” are more real and more powerful… Our thoughts can be manipulated… but our feelings are more likely to be grounded in truth… Never deny feelings… The mind… is a creation of the world… it can only perceive what it can embrace and understand… but the heart… the soul… knows otherwise… If indeed… “the future has an ancient heart”…it is the soul that knows the future… because it is rooted in ancient understanding…

I hear often… that loving or caring for someone can sometimes be painful… I think… Loving and caring is not what hurts… they are beautiful and generous emotions… but they must be offered without a requirement… that we get the same amount of love and caring in return… What hurts is not the love we share… but the unsatisfied expectations we have of an “equal” return… It may seem unfair… but real love asks nothing in return…. If we can learn to give love without “expecting” a return… perhaps we can stop the “hurting”…

The struggle to be yourself… to be who you really are… does not end with insights gained by knowing yourself through introspection… The struggle only ends… when life presents you with opportunities to demonstrate by your actions… who you really are… Until you begin “speaking” and “acting”… in a way that says “This is who I am”… you will continue to be misunderstood…

The human heart has a weakness… it can cause you to ignore common sense… and it can lead you to believe what you “hope” is true… when deep down… you “know” it is not..

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Going along with what the crowd thinks… has only one real benefit… it relieves you of the terrible burden… of thinking for yourself…

Don’t change who you are because someone doesn’t like you… You might spoil it for that person… who will come along… and love you just the way you are…

It seems to me… the best and most reasonable solution to almost every problem… is always the one… that is the kindest and most compassionate…

I will never understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity… nor will I ever understand why some women fall in love with idiots…

Never rely solely… on “telling” someone that you love them… the words alone are meaningless… unless you wouldn’t need to say it… for them to know…

Telling someone you will love them forever… is an empty promise… Forever does not exist… and I don’t think anything lasts forever… You should love them… for as long as you have them… for as long as you can… You should love them every moment of every day… because you don’t have forever…

Whatever you have planned for today… wherever you have to go… I wish only that my prayer for your success… gets there in the same moment that you do… have a great day…

Never play with the feelings of others… When you play games with someone… you may win the game… but you will certainly lose that person…

In the game of love there can be two losers… you and me… or one winner… us!

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Acceptance… means that we can be who we are… just as we are… and though there may be… a need for growth and improvement… we are not forced to do more than our best… we do not have to be someone we are not!.. It means that the people who say they care about us… give us a feeling of self-respect… a feeling that we are worthwhile… They make us feel… they are happy that we are… who we are… and that we are welcome to be ourselves…

Spring… I love this time of year… life is reasserting itself… It is a time of rebirth…Easter celebrates the risen Christ…and our world steps out of winter… Maybe… for some… God had them meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one… so that when they finally meet the right person… they will know how to be grateful for that gift… Maybe we have to make a few wrong choices in order to see the right ones more clearly… but now we can start anew… it is time to dream whatever you want to dream… go where you want to go… be what you want to be… because you have only one life and one chance… to do all the things you want to do…. Let’s get busy…

Regardless of how powerful the attraction in a new relationship may be… the initial excitement will fade… and there had better be something else… something more lasting… to take its place…

I’ve learned… that sometimes… it’s not “what” you have in your life… but “who” you have in your life… that matters most…

There is no failure in life… or in love…. except in no longer trying…

Whenever you think of yourself as inadequate… incomplete… weak in some way… You are being influenced by what is called the “scarcity principle”… and it affects all of us…. When we believe that something is missing in us… that we are not attractive enough… not smart enough… not desirable enough… we tend then to look for those missing things in others… For that reason… we often fall in love with others seeking what we feel we lack in ourselves… There can be no greater mistake than that… for real love is incapable of asking for anything… love wants to give… not receive… but if we feel incomplete… unimportant… we try to enhance our lives… by seeking external approval… external possessions… and external “love”… but the “You” that God created… isn’t incomplete… and “needs” nothing… You are already complete… safe… loved… and loving… you only need to look for opportunities to share what you have… not get something more… No one else can complete you… God has already done that…

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book-190034_640Nothing steals the flavor… of my favorite food… like missing someone I loved…

The math says… one plus one… equals two… then why does one minus you… equal emptiness…

Sometimes… missing one special person… makes me feel like the whole world… is suddenly empty…

The shortest journey… is the one you share… with good company…

Nothing can change your world… like the collision of your heart… with someone else’s…

The best protection against hurting others… is remembering how it felt… when someone hurt you…

Sometimes… the one you want most in your life… is just waiting for a clear invitation…

I have always been pretty good at making a friend of strangers… but not always so good… at making a friend… of someone I loved…

There is no “something”… that will ever mean as much… as a special “someone”…

A real relationship is one… you both worked on … understand… and play by the same ground rules.

Lust is easy… it can be involuntary and meaningless… love is hard… you have to find it… and work at it.

Real friends… know when it’s wise to understand… that some things… never happened.

You miss the one you love… when you are apart… not because you live in their world… but their world… lives in you.

In the end… who among us is not willing… to be a little less right… to be a little less lonely…

Selfish expectations… are the rust of a relationship…

Some of the best advice on how to have a successful relationship is… “Don’t be afraid to be the one… who loves the most…”

Being alone… is not such a bad place to be… especially… when it is the alternative to distrust… and unhappiness.

I think… in any really successful relationship… Love… barely makes the top 5… Honesty… loyalty… trust… and communication… all may be more important…

Don’t confuse comfort… with happiness…!!!

Simply opposing what you think is wrong… is a waste of energy… working for what you think is right… is what creates change.

I have learned the most in my lifetime… not from those who “told” me how to live… but from those who simply lived a good life… so that I could “see” how it was to be done…

Making a necessary life change can be hard… what’s even harder is… Regret…!!!

Be careful… not to fall in love with the moment… and think you’re in love with the person.

Real friends are not the ones who make your problems disappear… they are the ones… who won’t disappear… when problems do appear.

One of the most difficult decisions we have to make in life… Whether it is a job… a relationship… or a dream… Is when to try harder… or when to just walk away.

It is only on the darkest nights… that we can best see the stars.

Looking Back…

John

Each December 14th… I celebrate another birthday… Many times I have been asked what it is like to reach this age… Here are my thoughts:

First, the alternative to growing old… is dying young… never an attractive choice to me…
I feel so blessed… to have lived long enough… to often be the oldest person in the room… to have the wrinkles… produced by years of smiles and laughter… and the frowns of sorrow and disappointment recorded comfortably on my face… Yes, I wonder who that old guy is… the one I see in my bathroom mirror each morning… But being able to see that image is so much better… than the realization that many others I have known… died… before they could grow comfortable in their own wrinkled skins… It was especially sad when some grew old… even before they grew up…
I now find it is easier to say what I think… because I care less about criticism from other people… I censor what I say less often… and I don’t question myself as much anymore… I’ve granted myself the right to be wrong sometimes… to speak my mind no matter what… to laugh at my mistakes… and to realize that it is not my job to change the world… or what anyone else thinks… I rely on the kindness of others to pretend I am making sense… even when I may not be…
I am free to sing along to those tunes of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s I heard when I was young… I still know the words… I still remember when movies were 20 cents… gas just 21 cents a gallon… a loaf of bread was a dime…a dozen eggs just 64 cents… A time when my neighborhood was filled with people I knew… and neighbors looked out for each other… which made it safe on the streets for us kids… When respect for others was a practice not just a promise… I’ve come to believe… even if irrationally… for me those were the good old days…
I am also free to shed a tear over lost opportunities… lost friendships… and lost loves… because shedding tears does not define my manhood… my character and integrity are much better measures… I no longer trouble myself when life changes direction on me… there are few things that are meant to last forever anyway… I know now that I will never let the child in me die… and I accept that God shakes things up… when He wants me to see life with new eyes…
I now understand that not everything I have learned… nor every experience I have had… is worth remembering… but I have no trouble remembering the important things… Best of all…I will always remember the thousands of happy moments I have shared with people I loved…
As I’ve aged… I’ve become kinder to myself… and to others… I have become my own best friend… I have learned to tell quickly… the good from the bad… the right from the wrong and I have finally come to a place where I do not “suffer fools easily…” and I place too much value on the real friendships I have made… to regret any not made… I know that I will never understand the complaints I hear… from too many people… about too many other people… We all judge each other too often and too harshly sometimes… I feel blessed that my very best friends… without fail have always been fantastic men and women… and I have been doubly blessed… to have met and loved… the most wonderful, loving, special women …
Over the years… my heart has been broken at times… how could it not be when evil sometimes seemed to have won the day… when fairness and justice seemed to have gotten lost… when someone I loved suffered… or when my children hurt for some reason… When I reflect on my life as a parent and friend… I realize I could have done so much better… especially when I disappointed someone I loved… or when a heartfelt love… ended… But broken hearts… are what give us strength… and understanding… and compassion… A heart never broken has been kept in isolation… it is sterile… and unused and has never really known the joy of having loved… or of being loved…
The loss of loved ones that comes with living a long life… is the hardest part of getting older… It is difficult to overcome the feeling… that you are being left behind by your generation… The loss of friends and family are among the things that hurt the most… but you learn to miss them and still go on… you also begin to realize the incredible contribution… they have all made to who you are… parents and siblings… friends and associates… and you thank God for placing them in your life… even if only for a time…
So, if you are interested… I embrace the blessing of getting older… I pray that my mistakes have been… or will be forgiven… and that the trajectory of my life has been a good one… I pretty much like the person I am… though I am still working on some things… I know I am not going to live forever… but while I am here… I will not waste time regretting what might have been… or worrying too much… about what might be…I will approach each new waypoint like this birthday… with the excitement of a new opportunity to love life… one still full of the potential for a grand adventure… or a new challenge to my thinking… Finally, each morning when I arise… I will ignore the tweaks and twinges in my joints… and remember to thank God… first for the beautiful life He has given me so far… and for the generous gift… of another day…

“I Quit…!!!”

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I am hereby officially tendering my
resignation as an adult… I have decided
I want to go back to the responsibilities
of an 8 year-old…
I want to go to McDonald’s… and 
think that it’s a four star restaurant…
I want to lie in the grass… and make animals out of the clouds that pass overhead…
I want to think M&Ms are better than money because I can eat them…
I want to run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s afternoon…
I want to return to a time when life was simple; When all I knew were colors, multiplication tables, and baseball batting averages… but that didn’t bother me… because I didn’t know how much more I didn’t know… and I didn’t care…
All I knew was to be happy… because I was blissfully unaware of all the things that should have made me worried or upset…
I want to think the world is fair again… That folks are honest and good…
I want to believe that anything is possible… I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life… and be wildly excited by the little things…
I want to live simply again… I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news… how to survive more days in the month… than there is money in the bank… doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones…
I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word… truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow…
So… here’s my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my list of magazine subscriptions… I am officially resigning from adulthood…
And if anybody wants to discuss this further… you’ll have to catch me first, cause…
“Tag! you’re it.”

It Occurs to Me…

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It seems to me:

We must acknowledge… the balance the Universe insists on… and be thankful.

We must appreciate… the love others share with us… and be grateful.

We must acknowledge… the sacrifice our forebears… have made for us… and know how blessed we are.

We must be able… to look at… all the violence and anger around us… and know it cannot enter our hearts… unless we let it.

We must understand… that the pain caused… by others… was not really personal… they are merely living their lives… the best they can.

We must learn… it is impossible… to seek pleasure through the body… and not expect… to sometimes feel pain.

We should know… the world we perceive… is only a dream…. what we see often reflects… only our own internal frame of reference… the dominant ideas… wishes… and emotions in our minds.

We should understand… that God so loves us all… that He need not forgive us… because He has never condemned us.

First strive to understand… then ask to be understood…

When someone complains to you that life is hard… Ask… “Compared to what?”

Worse than breaking a promise… is trying to stay true to a promise… someone else broke… long ago…

It may seem easier… to build a lie… that gets you through the day… than to face the truth that haunts you through the night…

A rule of thumb:… Never put yourself in a position… to be harmed by the truth…

Why is it?… no matter how bad our memory is… we can always remember… the things we wish we could forget…

Nothing makes us look more ridiculous… than the pretense… that we are something… we are not…

We are all going to make our share of mistakes… so stop blaming yourself for being human…

The thief thinks everyone steals.. the cheat thinks everyone cheats… the liar thinks everyone lies… the untrustworthy expects everyone else to be unworthy of trust… People will tell you who they really are… if you pay attention to what they say about others…

Finally… we should take a moment… each day… to appreciate… that no matter how difficult life may be… each new breath we take… is a blessing from God.

Stuff to Think About…

13906870_10201959289180205_8467175992813957855_nEach of us has our torments…

Memories… born of past wrongs and hurts…

That hound and harass us…

We hear the echoes of their voices…

As they whisper during the night…

And we know all their names…

For we were there when they were born…

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The most worrisome thing about political candidates… is not what they say they know… but what they refuse to admit… they don’t know…

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Sharing happiness with a loved one… doubles the happiness… sharing sorrow with a loved one… cuts the sorrow in half…

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“Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people…

a heart that forgives the worst…

a mind that forgets the bad…

and a soul that never loses faith in God…”

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Wisdom teaches us… to be “grateful”… when life is good… and to be “graceful”… in times of trouble…

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The only way… to find meaning in life…. is to create it yourself… It’s not hiding somewhere in a dark place… no mystery needs to be unlocked to find it… searching the world will not unveil it… It is a poem you must compose… it is a song you must sing…, it is a dance you must dance… it is an empty vessel you must fill… Life will have… whatever meaning you give it… and it is never too late to start…

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Why… after ten people have said I look good… do I get bummed out… by the one person who says I look tired…???

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I am trying to learn… to appreciate the value of a passerby’s smile… or friendly hello… since I rarely know anything about what is going on in their lives… what sorrows… losses… or worries they are carrying… I want to appreciate how hard it may have been for them… to create that smile… or in spite of their troubles… how deep they had to dig… to come up with that friendly “hello”…

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When will we realize what we all want most… is acceptance of who we are… and that does not require that you deny our defects and weaknesses… true acceptance… asks only… that we not be valued less because we are imperfect… In a rose… we see God’s perfect work… In us… we see His “work in progress”…The most secure feeling you can have… is to be in a relationship with someone… who knows who you are… and will love you for being you… in that kind of acceptance… lives real love…

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I believe… that those of us… who have lived through difficult and painful times… are stronger than we may think… no matter how bad things might have been back then… we survived… and with God’s help… we can do it again…

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Too many people I know… would not keep food long past it’s expiration date… but they don’t apply that same rule… to their relationships…

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If you have lost someone…you never thought you would lose… perhaps you can still find someone… you never thought you would find…

Stupid News…

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Paul Torrance of Kansas, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, then released on bail on condition that he not drive, arrived late to his first court hearing, absentmindedly explaining to the judge that he had trouble finding a parking space.

 In London, two burglars were arrested for breaking into an office complex.   The wife of one of the burglars quickly hired the firm of Wyman & Wylie to represent the robbers. Not a good move though… it was the offices of Wyman and Wylie that the men had tried to rob…..

 Cascade County, Montana Sheriff John Strandell, thought he had heard it all, until he stopped Ray Lutz, who was doing 104 mph in a 45 mph zone…. Lutz said he had just had the truck washed and he was speeding just to dry it off…..

 An art thief made off with a $385,000 Ming platter from a Tokyo museum but unfortunately dropped the 600-year-old masterpiece on the street as he tried to put it in his trunk.

 Someone recently proposed that prison inmates pay state and local taxes on all purchases at the prison commissary. The idea brought in $520,000 dollars in the first year, but it cost the state 1.5 million dollars to hire a staff for each prison to administer the program.

 Duane Babcock, hailed a taxi in Portland, Oregon recently and went to a Bank of America branch which he entered and robbed while the cabbie waited outside…. The cabbie, unaware of the robbery then drove Babcock away afterward….witnesses identified the taxi, but when questioned by police , the cabbie could not identify the passenger and was no help to police investigating the robbery…. until a week later when a man called for a taxi the cabbie recognized him as the same guy who had called for a cab the day the bank was robbed…. this time he paid attention and called police when he dropped the man off…

A Christchurch [New Zealand] hairdresser was concerned that the behavior of her client seemed a little odd, especially as they were alone in the Salon late in the evening. When his hand began making a rhythmic up and down motion under cover of the ‘cape’ she brained him with a handy hair dryer, and managed to render him temporarily unconscious. She called the police who arrived impressively fast, before the pervert regained consciousness. The cape was thrown back to reveal the pair of glasses he’d been cleaning.

 What’s up with drug dealers nowadays? Police stopped an old 1975 van on I-95 recently just outside of Woodbridge, Va. The van was rusted out, severely dented, literally falling apart and trailing so much smoke behind that police had to pull them over… Inside, officers found $1.5 million dollars in drugs and several thousand dollars in cash….   These guys couldn’t afford a better van???…

Santa Clara County set up a 15 member task force to study the reasons for low voter turnout in elections… The committee has been studying the matter for 4 years and still has not filed a report… in fact, they haven’t had enough people at a meeting in 3 years to form a quorum….

 Down in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Jimmy Eason took a cab to a downtown location where he pulled a stick-up… then used the same, unsuspecting cabbie to make his getaway… Several blocks away, Jimmy jumped out of the cab and fled on foot,…. Without paying the fare…. The cabby, chased the fare-beater for several blocks attracting the attention of local police who caught and arrested Eason who, by the way had $120,000 dollars from the robbery on his person… by the way, the cab fare only came to $8.00…

 Police in Coventry, England pulled a narcotics raid at an apartment building… Nine officers squeezed into an elevator going to the 7th floor… the overloaded elevator got stuck between floors, but their shouts attracted the attention of several men who were leaving the building…. But unfortunately they did not go for help…. Yep, they were the drug dealers the police were on their way to bust…