Monday, January 31, 2011

Revolution

As I write this, the country of Egypt is mired in turmoil. Men and women are pouring into the streets demanding that their president/dictator Hosni Mubarak leave office. Inspired by the removal of the dictator of their neighbouring country Tunisa, the Egyptians are up in arms, pushing forward, and not willing to take no for an answer. Hosni Mubarak has tried several things, from disconnecting Egypt from the internet to deploying the army, which apparently severely backfired seeing as how all men in Egypt are required to serve some time in the military, making the army more or less and extension of the people. It looks as if Mubarak will have to leave his office before the week is through. It looks good for the people of Egypt. It seems that their revolution has been successful.

Only, to think that their revolution is over, would be a fatal error. The revolution has just begun. We like to think flashy, attention attracting protests and the emotion and violence that accompany it is what revolting is all about, and sure, that is part of a revolution, but it's not the whole thing. It's like a fire. The violence and emotion is the spark that starts it all, but it's not the flame. Just because Mubarak would be ousted doesn't mean that Egypt will be all honky-dory by the end of the month. Without a leader, it is very possible that the country could desend into chaos, the likes of which would be far worse than what is happening now. Or even worse, the person who replaces Hosni Mubarak could a worse dictator than he is. All you need to do is look at the French Revolution to know that a revolution by the people could end up worse for the people.

In a few weeks the situation on Egypt is going to quiet down and we're all going to look away and think that it's all over. But it won't be, and that's when Egypt is going to need us the most, to make sure that their last state isn't worse than their first (I have used the word 'worse' way too many times in this post).

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Killing Joke

I recently started reading comics and though I've been a fan of the random superhero for the majority of my youth, I have sound something quite different in comics. For one, the idea that comics were written for children is a fallacy. The kid of stuff that goes on between those glossy magazine covers shouldn't be touched by children with a ten-foot pole. Comics are made for teens and up. Also the stories are just made of guys in tight suits fighting villains with superpowers. Some books contain great rhetoric and some rather deep themes.

For example, one rather popular Batman comic, The Killing Joke was written in 1988. In this comic, The Joker kidnaps Commissioner Gordon and attempts to drive him mad by showing him graphic pictures of his daughter, whom the The Joker had shot and stripped. This is inter-spaced by flashbacks of The Joker's origins, from a struggling comedian to a criminal psychopath. The Commissioner retains his sanity long enough for Batman to rescue him. While Batman is pursuing the Joker through a demented fun house, the Joker recites to him what has become known as "The Killing Joke":

"So I see you received the free ticket I sent you. I'm glad. I did so want you to be here. You see, it doesn't matter if you catch me and send me back to the asylum. Gordon's been driven mad. I've proved my point! I've demonstrated that there is no difference between me and everyone else. All it takes is just one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. Why else would you dress up like a flying rat!? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else!! Only you won't admit it. You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that's there's some point to all this struggling. God, you make me want to puke!! I mean, what is it with you? What made you what made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that I bet. Something like that. Something like that, happened to me. I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes I remember it another. If I'm going to have past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!! Hahaha!! My point is, I went crazy when I when I saw what a black awful joke the world was. I went crazy as a coot! I admit it. Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent. You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we've come close to World War Three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last World War? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed it's war debt creditors. Telegraph poles!!! It's all a joke!! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for, it's all a monstrous demented gag. So why can't you see the funny side!? Why aren't you laughing?"

At the end Batman captures The Joker and offers him a chance of psychological help. The Joker responds with another joke before bursting out laughing. Batman stares at him for a second and then bursts out laughing as well, implying that Batman is in fact as insane as The Joker, but handles it differently.

And I read this, I couldn't help but wonder if The Joker was really crazy. We look at people and think, "I'll never become like that," or "How horrible! What did they do to get like that." And sometimes, all it really took was just one bad day. I have my family and my friends, people who love me and people I love. They are what keep me together, what keep me sane. What would I do if it were all taken away from me in an instant, would I be able to stay sane. Would I be able to survive just "one bad day"? I'd like to say that I would, that I'm strong enough to survive, but the truth is, I honestly don't know.

So please, never look down on others who may seem to not have lived up to any sort of expectation. Sometimes the only thing that stands between you and them, is one bad day.




Friday, January 28, 2011

Never Write Alone

Today, I met up with some of the IVCF members, so that they could have an idea of the script and what exactly the play was supposed to entail. I must admit that I was rather proud of this play. It was the first one that I had ever written. My friend Elizabeth had recommended a special program to me for writing media, and I had pretty professional looking manuscript. I had shaped the characters with my own hands and created them in my mind. This was to be my crowning glory. This would be my play and everyone, would be amazed at how awesome it was.

I must admit, I was a bit proud of my creation, but what else could I be? I had done something that I had never done before, and I had succeeded. And so, brimming with pride and confidence, I presented my manuscript. The others weren't even a minute into reading it before they began suggesting changes. Changes!? This was my play! My creation! My child! What right do you have changing it? What right do you have walking into my perfectly ordered world and turning it all topsy turvy? I was mad. Not mad enough to show it, but I felt insulted. They didn't think that I was good enough to write a play.

It was in that moment that I remembered something that made me feel foolish. I remember listening to John Green, a young adult novel writer that I look up to. He said that many people would assume that a novel is written by just one person and reflects only that person's ideas. Then he showed a list of several people who some way or the other, adjusted his first book, to make it into the award winner that it was today. It was then I realized that no writer is an island. We all get our inspiration from somewhere and from people. They may not have come up with the idea or done all the writing, but without their input, we would never get anywhere.

Before I knew it, I was accepting the advice from my friends, and getting excited as I imagined their ideas. Maybe when this is all said and done, my name may go down as the playwright, but it would have been written by many many other people as well. I don't roll solo.

I don't write alone.

P.S. Yesterday, in all my procrastination, I didn't realize that I had hit 100 blog posts!! Yay!!! I hope that there would be many more where that came from.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Well...Umm

This was supposed to be an actual post, but due to the high level of procrastination that I displayed throughout the week, I am currently trying to finish something that should already be done, and as a such, I am unable to write a proper post. I feel quite foolish indeed. I figured I should still post something so that I don't slouch into the habit of missing posts like I did during vacation time, (though admittedly, my life is a lot more boring during vacation time, which kinda makes not want to post). I'm really sorry and there will be a proper post tomorrow. Bye!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doubt

I have a confession to make. I have doubts. About God. Not about whether something is what God wants me to do or not. I mean I doubt the very concept of God, of Christianity, of religion. I may be the Bible Study coordinator and I may have been a Christian for most of my life, but that doesn't mean that I'm always 100% sure of what I believe. Every time I read something about submitting yourself to God, there's a little voice in the back of my head that says "What if you're being a slave to a god that doesn't even exist?' Every time I think or hear about depending on God to supply all of your needs, I think "Why am I depending on something that I'm not even sure is there?" I wonder time and time again, whether or not I'm just being a blithering idiot.

I used to think that this was a bad thing. That I was a bad Christian because I had doubts about my religion. I used to think that maybe I wasn't even Christian because a real Christian doesn't question God. They obey, without thinking or asking anything, because that's what all good children of God do, right? I felt as if there was something wrong with me.

But the more thought about it, the more I saw that this wasn't a bad thing, or something that I shouldn't be doing. I, in fact, came to see it as being something healthy. If God wanted us to mindlessly agree with Him at all times, then He probably wouldn't have given us free will. I came to realize, that if I never doubted or questioned anything, I would never learn. I would be blindly trudging a path only because it was the only path that I knew. Doubt helps us grow. It helps us learn, and most of all, it gives us faith. If there was nothing to doubt, then there wouldn't be anything to have faith in. I'll never be 100% absolutely sure about God, but I guess that's the way it's supposed to be.

It's ok to doubt, just as long as it doesn't overpower you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memory

I'm still struggling to master the piece that I'm supposed to play on the guitar by tomorrow. I've gotten pretty good but I still need to iron out some kinks. I know that to most people it's be pretty obvious, but the more I practice, the better I get. It becomes automatic. My fingers fall on the strings at the same time, all in the exact position that they are supposed to be, while the other hand strums exactly when it's supposed to. They say it's called muscle memory, that if you practice a particular movement over and over again, your body remembers it and does it without you thinking. Needless to say, even though it's pretty common place, I'm pretty amazed by it.

And while playing the guitar and thinking about muscle memory, my thoughts led me to thinking about actual memory. The thoughts of things gone. They're more than just thoughts, pictures in you head. When you remember something, you remember everything about it. The way you felt, what you were thinking at the time, and even small things like scents and tastes. The most wonderful and the tragic of things remain with you as if you were expreiencing them all over again. You feel as if no time has passed at all, that you were back there when it all happened. God may not have allowed us to travel through time, but we have a pretty good substitute. Our memories are all we ever truly have. Keep them close. Each and every one of them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

First Day

My first day back out to school, was, well not what I expected. About 5 minutes before the very first class of the day, there was a power outage in the room where the class was supposed to be. The lecturer, who is pretty much the demi-god of engineering, said that there was nothing he could do about it and in such case we should "go home and drink" to use his exact words. So I spent the majority of the morning wasting time at my grandma's house playing with my 3 year old cousin, because my actual home is way to far away to go to and then get back in time for my next class.

As it turns out, I should have probably went home seeing as how the next class was supposed to be 2 hours long, but only lasted 20 minutes. If this serves as the mold for the rest of the semester, well, this is going to be a crappy semester. But mostly likely it won't so that's good. The last class of the day was the only one that actually had some substance to it, but by then I was far more concerned with the fact that in a few minutes we'd be able to leave school and see sunlight, which is something I haven't been able to do for quite a while.

I've always liked the first day of a new semester, being able to meet old friends and catch up with them. Make new friends and get to know them. And of course the chaos that comes with being in your twenties. I might as well enjoy the semester while it's still fun.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Last Day

Tomorrow, I begin the second half of my sophomore year in university. The last 5 weeks of vacation has come and gone and as much as I look forward to school tomorrow I can't help but look back and get and look at how my vacation was, and imagine exactly how I could make it better.

For one, I'd probably have tried to get up earlier. I love waking up and looking at the sunrise and smelling the fresh air...but I absolutely hate going to bed early. Even when I try to do I end up just lying their just staring up at the ceiling and I end up falling asleep pretty much the same time I would have if I had just decided to stay up normally, and now that I'm going back out to school, I'm going to be awaken every morning by my alarm which sound like a rooster crowing. If you ever see me strangling a rooster, now you know why. Another thing I pretty much regret was spend two weeks of my vacation watching Ghost in the Shell. I mean, it was pretty good, but I felt as if I could have spent my time doing something better, like...and this is my guilty confession...finishing my novel. Yes, I am yet to finish my novel and I haven't written a single word of it all vacation. Way to be a novelist. Hopefully be able to finish it during the semester. I always find time to do things other than my school work during the semester.

But my vacation wasn't all that bad. For the first time I was able to write a play and experience the new challenges that come with it. I got down with my guitar practice and now I'm scheduled to play in public on Wednesday. Yeah, it's only at church, but its still a long way from strumming in my bedroom. And most importantly, I got to spend time with two of my best friends who I don't see very often. All in all, I wouldn't say it was the best vacation, but it was pretty good.

And now, here comes school. Oh joy. /sarcasm.

I do really which sarcasm would work better over the internet.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Too Serious

I think that I try to be too serious at times. To serious with people, too serious with life, too serious with my blog. I try to find life lessons in everything. There's always a reason why someone does something, and there's always a lesson to be learnt. Life is a giant school from which we graduate from in a coffin. I ignore the lighter side of things. Sure they are what makes us happy and what makes living worthwhile, but there are always more important things to talk about, important things to learn so that we could be better people and make a better tomorrow. Sometimes, I think that I just forget about today. I forget to laugh. I forget to impart joy to others in my writing. I forget that sometimes the lesson learnt is that there are times where the lesson isn't all that important. So from today forward, I'm making a decision. I'd stop trying to be serious all the time. I'll be more happy, more free, more funny. Because sometimes, it's just the thing to do.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Play Writing

Hey everyone. The main reason why I haven't posted in the last couple days is that I got caught up in writing a play for a production that the I.V.C.F is going to have in March. Today, I sort of finished a horribly cobbled together version of a first draft and let me tell you, play writing is hard. Novel writing may present its own challenge, but writing a play is a completely and totally different thing.

Now, you're probably thinking the exact same thing that I was thinking before I started writing this play. Writing a play shouldn't be much different from writing a story right? All you have to do is pretty much write a story, take the dialogue and put the characters name in front of it with a colon and then voilĂ ! You have a play. When, no. That's not how it works at all. For example, say you have character that does has pretty dangerous habit, say jumping up and down off of furniture. Pretty simple to write into a story, right? If the guy falls, then he just has to get back up again. In a play however, seeing as how the guy is real, when he falls, there's just a chance that he won't just get back up. He may actually get hurt. When you're writing a play, you need to keep in mind at all times that this is being written for a real flesh and blood person to act out. You need to write you story within the realms of human abilities.

Another problem I ran into is interpretation. Say you want to give some history on a person. In story, you just pretty much write it in.

"Cassie went to a pre-school a little way from her home. She didn't remember much, but she remember the feeling of the cold air blowing against her cheeks."

Pretty simple, right? Now try putting that into a play. You pretty much can't convey that unless one of the characters say that. Now what about a page long flashback description. You may end up having to write an entirely new scene which has the possibility of coming across as boring to your audience. You just can't write down your ideas. You need to write them in a way that the audience would understand exactly what you're saying and you risk looking weird or stupid.

There are a bunch of other challenges that come with writing plays, but I think I filled my quota of literary whinny for the day. As the day draws nearer for prop purchasing and casting auditions and all that, I can't help but feel nervous. I've never done a play that's going to be performed before the students of the campus. But its something new and I'd never refuse an opportunity to do something like this. It's a new type of writing and it'll help my artistic side grow. And maybe, I'll learn something new about myself in the process.




See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Digital Connectivity

Facebook boast some 500 million users and and counting. Twitter has around 145 million users and other networking sites boast of large numbers. Though these may seem common place in today's world, it truly staggering if we step back and look at those numbers. Over half a billion people all use one central website which allows them to connect to each other. There has been no other time in history when the world has been connected in such a wide scale.

Stats say that 1 in 13 people in the world use Facebook. They have to opportunity to find old friends that they haven't seen for years, speak with family they would never speak to normally, see pictures they couldn't access otherwise, and foster a sense of harmony by playing games with their friends, (and yes, this does work). Even the adding of random people, whether it be for apps or maybe just because you happen to like their profile picture can result in long lasting friendships. I can tell you from experience that a person I added on Facebook who I didn't know, changed my life forever and they still are. Without Facebook, I think my life would be in a very different and most likely more boring place.

But can Facebook connectivity replace real life connectivity? True, real life offers far less options, but can ({) ever replace a real hug when you really need one? And what exactly would happen if these networking sites crashed or something happened that didn't allow us to use it again. What if we couldn't Skype? Would all those connections be for naught? Would they die along with these sites? And what about things like Facebook and Twitter addiction, a negative side effect that affects the lives of those around us?

While all these questions may have more complicated answers than they at first appear to, one thing is clear: digital connections can never replace real life connections. However, the question of whether real life connections are better than digital connections are as the Buddhist say, a question wrongly asked. They can't replace each other and neither is better than the other. They do very different things and have different methods of delivery, but in the end, they still bring us closer. We are closer because of the digital era, and it is because we can experience both digital and non-digital connections simultaneously.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Science And Faith

Having loved science since I could remember, and see as how I'm currently studying engineering, I spend a great deal of my time looking up the latest science has to offer and admiring how we as a civilization push forward and break barriers. Also, being a Christian, I also spend a significant amount of time on religious things, drawing closer to God, and watching how good will and morality in Christians bring about a better world for everyone. It has long been argued that these two things, science and faith, cannot exist side by side. But I think, that like the difference between science and art, we tend to make that gap bigger than it really is.

Lets take the science side. The extremists' on this side major claim as to why religion is bad and not to be regarded alongside science is that science more or less disproves many things that religion claims is true. For example, today I came across and article about a 34,000 year old bacteria found in California. I saw one person say that now the Young Earth creationist had nothing to say to this discovery since it clearly disproves their belief that God created the world between 6 to 10 thousand years ago. Here's the problem with that statement. No one believes in Young Earth creationism without believing in a religion, namely Christianity. And seeing as how Christianity concerns talking snakes, parting seas and resurrection from the dead, it's pretty safe to say that everything in religion isn't based on science. Yes there are parts that agree with some scientific theories and some parts that can be reasoned out, but not everything can be. Religion is at least part supernatural and the supernatural is based on faith. I believe in Young Earth creationism solely because of my religion. Religion aside, I believe that theistic evolution is the most plausible scientific theory.

And the religious side, people claim that everything that science finds that does sum up exactly to the Bible is wrong and sometimes even claim that their discoveries are tricks from the Devil, which to be honest with you is quite stupid. If it weren't for scientific discoveries, I wouldn't be here typing this. In fact we would be able to do a lot of things. Many of the discoveries that are claimed to be of the Devil are what we live off of today. Science is as accurate as humanity can get to finding answers to the questions around them. Science is based on observation and application and is therefore physical. It cannot and will not measure the supernatural, and if science doesn't match up with the Bible, it doesn't mean that science is wrong. That's just not what science is for.

I guess the real problem with both sides is assuming that they are right and only they are right. They fear that admitting that the other side is right would make them look wrong or weak. It's not true. Science and religion play an extremely large part in or civilization and if they were to work in harmony, I am very sure that we would have far greater achievements and a far better world. Try to be more open-minded. You'll find that you'll learn a lot without having to give up what you believe. And is the scientific maestro Albert Einstien once said:

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Science and faith should go together. Just like the "The Script" album shows.



See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Violence is Never Ok

The news of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords attempted assassination has been flying around all over the inter-webs. I usually don't concern myself with politics, but it's hard to ignore something of this magnitude that no doubt has cause worldwide ripples. The true tragedy of the whole thing is the six people who were innocent bystanders that were killed, including a 9 year old child. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, is to have shot at her due to the answer to a nihilistic question that he had asked her 3 years ago, though they are not exactly sure if that was the motivation behind his attack. What ever it was, there was a difference in the belief difference wide enough that Mr. Loughner deemed wide enough to warrant the use of extreme measures.

The world in which we live is made of a myriad of people, and as numerous as the people are, so are their beliefs. No two people share the exact same beliefs. You may meet people who believe many of the same things that you believe but you can never assure that they would agree with you 100% of the time. Now, usually this differences in belief are so small that we don't recognize them. However, there are those wide enough to cause conflict. There are times when people see it fit to insult and trample upon the things we hold dear or promote the very things that we are against. It hurts and pains us so badly that it seems as if we have no choice but to strike out and stop them. Well here's some advice for the next time you feel like that: Don't do it. No matter what the difference in belief is, lashing out never solves anything and invariably makes the situation worse.

Take Mr. Loughner for example. Let's say, for the sake of argument that he had some really good points in what he believed that could lead to a better tomorrow. He could have started group discussions at school. He could have written a book or a manifesto of some sort. He could have made himself heard through more traditional and legal channels and before he knew it, gathered as following and been able to tell the world what he needed to say. But does any of that matter now? No. Because every time someone hears his name, they won't think about the idea he had or how he could have impacted the world. They'd think about the life of an innocent 9 year old, with bright ambitions whose life was tragically cut short. It doesn't matter what good he could have done. Nothing would ever cover the evil that he has committed.

There are many ways to express ourselves and the internet gives us the opportunity to do so on a worldwide basis. But whenever we do something evil and claim that it was in the name of good, we defeat any good purpose that we made have had. Jared Lee Loughner lost his battle the moment he pulled that trigger. There is nothing ever important enough or good enough to warrant hurting others. If we could all bring our beliefs to the world wide table with less violent means, we could work together to form a brighter future. And maybe our 9 year olds could live to attain whatever beautiful dreams that their hearts desire.

R.I.P Christina Taylor Green. A bright light extinguished far too soon.





Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Potter's Hands

We all tend to admire hand-crafted objects, such as pottery more than mass produced ones that are fashioned by machines. There is something beautiful and intricate about these pieces that make them stand out from others. Potters go through several stages of crafting so as to make sure that the piece that they have made fits the idea that they have in their minds to become the perfect vessel or a beautiful ornament.

Needless to say no potter is perfect. No one gets the piece that they want on the first try. So if the potter realizes during the molding of the clay, he'll smash it, knead the clay back again that start all over. To someone watching him, it may seem they had made the perfect piece, and it would seem foolish to them that the potter would destroy it to start again. But the potter knows that clay, he knows how he wants to mold it, and he knows that he can bring out the beauty and perfection in it that makes people gape at it in awe.

Imagine if the clay could talk the the potter, what do you think it'd say. "Hey, I know you may think you know what's best for me, but I think that I'm just fine that way I am. Breaking is painful and messy and I'd prefer not to do that again." And imagine if the potter agreed with him, and let the clay go. It'd probably be nothing more than an unremarkable piece, with half the beauty it could have had, a piece that no one would even think about looking at twice, deluded into thinking that he's the best.

We'd think that the clay was stupid. We do everything would can to be perfect and beautiful and have the best life we can, so surely we'd go through a couple breakings. But the truth is, more times than often we are just like that clay. Sometimes God wants to mold us into something greater than what we want to be, and to do that sometimes He has to break us. We don't like being broken though, and we view it as a bad thing, not as an opportunity to become a better us. Ans sometimes, when confronted by the idea of radical change, we choose another option, one that doesn't involve us changing our entire lives. We fail to see the whole picture and fail to understand that the destruction of this life would lead to the construction of another.

And perhaps you don't believe a God exists (I don't judge, but I'd advise you look into that.) There are things in your life that you are afraid to do because you can't see that outcome. You choose to play it safe and you never achieve the best that you can. You need to shake off the mediocrity that holds you back and take a risk. I'm not saying that it's not going to hurt. In fact, more likely that not it is going to hurt. But you'll invariably become a better person because of it. Don't fight the potter's hands. They are what make us the best we can be.




See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

An Eye For An Eye

It has come to my attention that many people see it fit to respond to unsavory interpersonal relationships by mimicking the attitude of the person who caused the the incident in the first place. In less flowery English terms, you do to someone the exact same thing that someone did to you. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. And despite the fact that many people claim not to agree with that statement, their actions speak differently.

Now may people attribute "An eye for an eye" to Christian teachings as the phrase originates from the Bible. Let me clear that up before we move on. The verses in the Bible that mentions this verse invariably refer to the actions of the law, not interpersonal disputes. Meaning that if you took someone's eye, the law reserved the right to take your eye. And even then the meaning is misconstrued. Judaic law never actually maimed someone for injuring another. Most punishment came in monetary form, so better understanding would be that the law reserved the right to punish you equivalent to your crime.

Glad that's over with. As I was saying before, I see this a lot lately. From simply observing my friends, to the political conflicts of world leaders, to random internet forums. Passive resistance isn't all the rage these days, and everyone wants to respond to force with force. We assume that if we could beat down our opponents to the point where they can't fight back, we'd win.

But I want to ask you this: Then what exactly is the point of winning. You'd just have become what you're fighting against. Sure someone did something to you, but you'll just become exactly who they are if do what they do. Like I usually ask : Who's more stupid? The idiot or the guy who's copying the idiot? If you really want to win out in a conflict, do exactly the opposite of what your opponent. Shame them with their own behaviour show them that you could rise above petty squabbles. You don't have to do anything at all. Their own actions with condemn them. If you and others around the world would do this, I can safely say that we'd have a more peaceful world.

See you tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Your Body Is You

I've often heard the phrase "It's what on the inside that counts." I must say that I do indeed agree with that statement. Many of us spend unnecessary time in front of the mirror fussing over appearance so for the sole purpose of impressing those we come in contact with. We spend hundreds of dollars buying makeup and clothing to make ourselves appear more fashionable. So much time and money is spent on this that sometimes we forget all the important things that cannot be seen at first glance like personality and friendliness. We judge people without knowing them and sometimes miss out on the most important thing about that person. We forget about what's on the inside.

But then people take it to the extreme. They start talking about how the mind takes priority over the body. So they spend hours studying and education, neglecting to eat properly, sleep properly or exercise properly. They purposely dress stupidly and neglect basic things like combing their hair or ironing their clothes claiming that they shouldn't be judged on how they look but who they are, along with a bunch of other crazy things.

I think that sometimes when it comes to philosophy, our bodies get a bad rap. Sure we spend a lot more time fixated on our bodies than we are supposed to, but that doesn't mean that it's not as important the mind/soul. Everything we see, feel, hear, taste, smell, is because of our bodies and it's from these outward stimuli that our minds can build thoughts and idea. Everything that goes on on the inside, every thought or feeling that we've ever had is because of the we interact with the world, and every interaction passes through the filter of our bodies. It's how we interact with each other. We shouldn't judge people solely on their outward appearance, but it's not as if we can see someone's soul. Our bodies are all we have when it comes to interacting with others (until telepathy is discovered of course).

So please, don't assume that your body takes second place to your soul. What is on the inside does count, but what's on the outside matters as well. So today, do something good for your body that your mind probably thinks is whack. Dance like crazy. Workout like there's no tomorrow. Dress up. Pamper yourself necessarily. You may feel weird doing it, but your body would love you for it. And every time someone tells you something like, "The body doesn't matter, but it's what inside that counts", remind them that without an outside, there'd no inside.

See you tomorrow!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Unstoppable

Today, I ended up on an impromptu lime with my friends ('lime' being a Trinidadian slang word for 'a social event with friends') at the mall. We decided to go see "Unstoppable" which I thought was a pretty good movie. Apparently some of my friends didn't like the idea of a movie based around stopping a train using brakes. For those of you who don't know, or who have never seen the movie, it's about Denzel Washington and Chris Pine (Captain Kirk from the new Star Trek) trying a stop a runaway train that's carrying hazardous material. All in all, its a pretty good movie, and I recommend it if your looking for something to go watch.

Now, apparently the movie is "based on a true story", the 'true story' being that of the CSX 8888 incident. According to Wikipedia article on the incident, the producers of the movie actually used a great deal of the actual happening of the incident and incorporated it into the movie, from the job experience of the people who stopped the train to the chemical that was being transported. However, the whole Denzel jumping train cars at nearly 70 mph thing, yeah, that was made up.

Like any good thriller there were points in the movie that had you on the edge of your seat, wondering if your beloved protagonist were going to survive the perils thrown at them. It's easy to forget that you're watching a movie and get caught up in the action on the screen. But there's always something in the back of my mind that reminds me that despite the fact that the characters may be in trouble, the actors face no real danger. When the director yells "CUT!" everything for them would revert back to being normal.

And that got me thinking: what about the real life people who stopped the train? They had no script to follow and they had no assurance of a happy ending. For them, the danger was real and imminent. And yet, if it had not been for a Hollywood production of the incident, I would have never known of the brave men who risked their lives to save thousands of people. While everyone will remember the names Denzel Washington and Chris Pine but probably only a handful of people will remember theirs. Yet if they hadn't done what they had done, there would have been the lost of many many lives. I guess that their job, though less known, was all the more important.

Sometimes, we struggle hard and we overcome what may have seemed to insurmountable problems and won great victories. And even after that, it may seem that people don't really care about how much effort and sacrifice you put into you struggle and flock to someone who probably did something less difficult but more flashy. Don't feel discouraged and don't belittle your achievements. What you do could be far more important than they'll ever know, and as long as you know that, there's no need to worry. You may not be Denzel, but I'm pretty sure that you'll do greater things that stop a runaway train.

See you tomorrow!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Resoultions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! *confetti*

Well with the first day of the year quickly coming to a close, (I swear, time really doesn't like us if it keeps running away like that), it's time for me to partake in an age old ritual that comes with the dawning of every new year: New Year Resolutions.

Now recently, I've found that many people are against the entire New Year Resolution idea, and they have some valid points. Our New Year Resolutions are usually unrealistic, and they are things that we never do, or can't do for very long. But I don't think that those are reasons to not make them. Sure, we could all do with setting more realistic goals for ourselves, it's the truly unrealistic things that take us out of out comfort zone. Sure, we may not be able to do it, but just the exprience of trying to do something makes us grow. For example, let's say that I made a New Year Resolution to jog a mile everyday. I do it for the first 3 weeks and then I stop. Most people would say that that was a failed resolution, but in my book it isn't. That's 3 more weeks of running than I would have if I didn't. And who knows, maybe you'll be able to actually do it. I made resolution last year to write a novel. And guess what? I DID! So here are my resolutions for this year

1) Resume archery practice : I used to practice archery and I was pretty good at it before I stopped for reasons I cannot recall. I figure it's time I start back.

2) Jog often: My crappy engineering timetable may hamper this, but I figure I should exercise more regularly

3) Write TWO novels: Hey, I'm never going to get anywhere if I don't try to outdo myself.

4) Spend less time on Facebook: FOR REAL!!! I'll stop short of disabling it completely because I need it to administrate my Bible study, get info for school from friends, and post daily links.

5) Make a YouTube vlog: I figure that I spend enough time watching vloggers on YouTube, I feel that I should start my own. Not full time, but at least a couple of videos for the year.

6) Learn to draw anime: Just because.

7) Get and maintain a GPA over 3.0: Because that's always good.

8) Write a song: Despite my writing ability, I've never been able to write a song. I'm going to challenge myself to do that this year.

9) Maintain this blog: It's very easy for me to lapse into laziness and stop blogging. I really hope I can avoid that.

Hopefully, I accomplish all of these goals. What are your New Years Resolutions?

See you tomorrow!!

P.S : it appears that I am not the only engineer who blogs. My friend Mitera who's in Mechanical Engineering, has a blog called Surrender and Be Free, where she posts little philosophical tit-bits for time to time. You should check it out.