Tangibility is dust, intangibility is life

Sometimes I wonder if humanity has strayed away from its natural self. It seems as if the crucial intangible elements that were the original essence of humanity have been pushed aside to make room for the focus and importance we place on a material kind of value. As a whole, the importance of things like honesty, love, respect, faith, honor, and selflessness seems to be overshadowed by the desire to be our own number ones.

We would never survive if the value of the intangible diminished completely. It is only the intangible that will last, everything else is dust. When we find ourselves getting frustrated and so involved in the items we own and the objects we use, we should pause to remember that in the end, these things mean nothing. They break, they wear out, they expire, they get replaced.

I was having this conversation with my friend the other day, and we had an epiphany. What if our focus changed to creating something tangible only so that we could use it to share an intangible feeling, idea, or meaning? Our first thought was, of course, Music.

Music is an intangible series or pattern of sounds that are manipulated to evoke certain emotions and inspire certain kinds of thoughts in a listener. That seems to be its most common use currently, but it has been known to be used for many other reasons: battle calls, warnings to nearby villages, and other forms of communication. Music is unique to each listener because the effect it has on one person, might be the opposite on another. Probably the greatest part about music, is that anyone can create it even in its most base form. Either way, sometime back in history someone had a feeling and decided to hum. Someone came up with the idea to tie animal skin over a hollowed log and beat it with sticks in different rhythms. Someone discovered that different levels of water in a glass could create a musical scale to make songs. Someone crafted a stringed instrument in a similar manner to work the way our guitars do today. I don’t know which came first, in what order, by whom, or from where, but I do know this intangible feeling people have inside of them drives them to want to share it. Humanity has created all sorts of instruments to share those feelings.

No matter how much scientific understanding or knowledge, fame, monetary wealth, or success you can obtain, it will never touch the happiness or replace the peace of heart and mind that you can receive from something intangible. These intangible things are indispensable to our truest sense of humanity.

- SD

Some Things I Learned About Love…

Love isn’t just some feeling that comes and goes away like the flu.
Love is constant; a way of living in regards to another person.
Love has the power to make it through the most difficult situations.
Love has the self-control to think carefully before acting out of fierce emotion.
Love has the perseverance to never give up.
Love has the selflessness to do what’s right for someone else, instead of defending your own “rights.”
Love sacrifices even when it’s at its reserves.
Love has the patience to bear the hard, separated silences instead of insisting on its own timing for resolution.

There is a man in my life who has made me desire to love better, stronger and more than before. Choosing to love him the right way has redefined what I used to believe love was. Instead of it being this back and forth motion of affection, it’s become something that’s painful at times and challenging at many. Having the strength to love during the difficult times is something I don’t remember ever doing before, except with my family. But it doesn’t end there… overcoming these challenges is what makes love so rewarding and magnificent. It’s like a muscle that wears and tears as you work it out, eventually becoming stronger as it rebuilds. Love is exactly like that. If you quit and walk away, I guarantee you, your love will never get stronger. You have to endure the hardships along with the good times to gain this beautiful gift God has blessed us with.

I can only attribute my ability to love better to the LORD. His love pours into me until it overflows and this is the love I give out. Even when my humanity is weak, burdened and hollow, I can be restored over and over again to continue to love more and love right.

I am truly thankful for the past life-changing 4 years, 1 month, 3 weeks and 1 day… and I pray for more and more to come. To the guy who unintentionally made me realize I have some serious work to do, I am so grateful. I am under construction and the building is beginning to shape up nicely. :)

- SDS

Fake it ’til You Make it Through

When you struggle with social anxiety or low self esteem and you’re interacting with others, usually you’re the only one who is thinking negatively about yourself. People might see you as shy but that’s usually as far as it goes. These kinds of feelings come from within and they usually don’t stem from the feelings and views of others.

A good way to help take the internal negativity off yourself is by focusing on doing good things for others. Doing things to help, encourage and inspire others helps establish a selfless attitude and perspective within yourself. Finding joy in doing good for someone else is one of the best ways to help overcome the negative focus on yourself. I’m not saying completely neglect your feelings, but sometimes taking action for the sake of taking action produces great results, rather than sitting at rock bottom.

- SDS

Everything Coming Undone

The Future is like a ball of yarn you spent all your past carefully wrapping together but then all of a sudden this evil cat called Life decides to unravel the threads in an excruciatingly unexpected manner that drives you insane because you’re simultaneously trying to put the ball back into shape because you’ve spent your whole past building this ball but that annoying brat of a cat keeps messing with it until you just get tangled up in it and now you can’t tell the colours from the rest and you can’t see clearly because the strings keep clouding your eyes and all you can do is stand in painful confusion wondering where to begin to put the ball back together again and if that’s even possible and how long it will take and how long do you wait for that obnoxious cat to stop playing with the yarn!

- SD

A Lesson on Self Control

I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.
– Publilius Syrus

They say you should live with no regrets but I think that’s inconsiderate.

Regret is necessary to helping us face our mistakes, accept our actions hurt our image and others, apologize and make a fully conscious effort to never repeat the same mistake again.

It’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you. A lack of self control can make you act in ways that really hurt people. Insecurity and negative thinking are difficult to control but if you don’t stop yourself, think about what you’re about to say and get a handle on it, you could make things worse.

If there’s one piece of advice I could give you today, it’s to practice self control. You can do this by:

- Refusing yourself of things you crave, especially if it displeases or hurts someone
– Choosing not to act based on impulse but to think it over first or sleep on it
– Considering how your actions could affect the recipient and whether they would be able to handle it
– Seeing the big picture: Stepping outside of yourself and analyzing the situation to get a full perspective of what the problem is and what the best way to act (or not act) would be.

There are many other ways to practice self control but it is a very important thing we should strive for, for the sake of ourselves (prevent regret and be confident when we do make decisions and actions), and for the sake of the people in our lives (protect them from harm, consider them as more important than ourselves, understand their perspective before pressuring them to deal with things your way.)

We should make a conscious effort not to strike out based on emotional impulses. Thinking before acting. You can’t control how you feel but you can control what you do about it. Lesson duly learned.

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

- Proverbs 16:32

- Sarah

Double Feature First Impressions: Lucy and Hercules

My first impression: disappointed.

Lucy had a great concept but a poor delivery. Kudos to the amazing CGI but the plot was thin, bland and simplistic. I didn’t need to use my imagination or any thought to figure out what was happening. It was all handed to me but it wasn’t sold right. I didn’t buy into the story at all so it didn’t impact me.

Hercules was a joke. Literally. The trailer made it seem like it was going to be some epic retelling of his story but instead it was a tornado of awkward, forced jokes. I couldn’t even follow the plot because the writing was from a whole other time period. It was like a half modernized version of the story… it was just plain weird. It would be a really serious scene and then one character would throw in a one-liner and the whole audience (except me) would laugh. I looked around, “Am I in the right theatre? I thought this was Hercules, not a sit-com.”

So if you saw the trailers and had something better in mind, you won’t get it. You’re not going to get what you were advertised.

Second Impression: not bad!

I went to see Hercules again and I had a much better experience! It’s amazing how the audience’s reaction alone can change a whole cinematic experience. This crowd was older, more mature and I was in a bigger theatre. The previous one had jocks and teenagers, much smaller space. A small few laughed at the comedic lines of the film, but their quietness allowed the film to affect me in the way the director must’ve intended. I get it now! I actually enjoyed it this time around.

Work For Your Dreams, Get Paid Later

It’s better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left? – Jim Carrey

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far this year is that you can experience real joy when you have to work hard for something without getting something back for it. I know what you’re thinking — you need money to survive. But until you’ve had the opportunity to be a part of something that helps others even if it means you don’t benefit financially from it… until you’ve had that experience, you won’t truly understand what I mean.

I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of several internships and free work projects. Admittedly, some of them burned me out and left me passionless and tired, but others made me feel so fulfilled that I couldn’t part with them. It might be due to the fact that I work with such awesome people on these projects and it might be because they allow me to do the jobs I want to do in a positive environment. Whatever the list of reasons may be, I feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in participating. It gives me purpose and drive, constantly reinforces and builds my skills, allows me to network with all kinds of great people, and looks great on my resume.

The principle of giving without expecting anything in return really applies to me right now, more than it ever has before. There’s something wrong with this Western view that we deserve things. We deserve our rights and we deserve to be paid and we deserve to be happy. Truth is, we don’t deserve anything. We’re given a life and we’re responsible for how we spend the time we’re given. There are consequences to how we choose to live, but that is our choice. In my opinion, it’s better to live life earning good things, not expecting to get them out of a misguided sense that we deserve them.