The next discussion will be a little late due tomy time being eaten up by a trip back home. It will be out sometime between Wednesday and Saturday.
Sorry for the delay! :[
UPDATE 11/14/07: And oh no... MY FLASH PEOGRAM IS GLITCHING!!!!
>>>>>>Hello, once again, my dear readers. Another week, another discussion! I do hope you all have been looking for ways to serve others, no matter how highly you may think of yourself. This week's discussion has to do with caring. Please, read. I spent the whole week thinking about and writing this one.<<<<<<<
Caring about something means everything. A person wishes to be cared for, it means that people appreciate their existence. Any amount of or type of caring will yield positive results. Within a community, caring is what keeps everything together. Now, caring comes in both positive and negative contexts. From gratitude to utter hate even, caring will always be better than not having any feeling towards someone. Unfortunately, "I don't care" is becoming a common phrase. Most unfortunately, some people mean it.
The greatest form of caring is, of course, love. You can love an object, of course, but love of people is more substantial. I can certainly love my computer, bur I receive no love back from it. Even the most advanced artificial intelligence will never feel love, for it contains no living spirit (it is called science FICTION for a reason). So really, loving the inanimate is not really fruitful. Yes, loving another human is the greatest love of all (Those of you who are religious, it is even more substantial to love God, for He always loves everyone). Now, there is no set standard for when love becomes love. Loving even the tiniest bit still contains that bright fire which most warms our hearts. Every person is called to love their friends, their family, and everyone around them. The first two seem easy enough. While you may feel awkward telling a friend you love them, you still feel that way. True friendship is a sign of mutual love. Saying you love your family is only natural. Whether it is your brother, sister, parent, grandparent, cousin, aunt or uncle, love always runs between family members. Therefore, the unloving family is a most sad one.
Now, this last one is the most unusual one. One would be right to say that their neighbor has done great wrong against them, and so deserves no love from said offended person. However, this is where a great amount of humility comes into play (so read my former discussion if you haven't already!). It is so much easier to hold a grudge than to love the one whom the grudge is directed towards. When you are humble enough to say "I will love all even those who offend me," you will have shown the greatest love of all. This "Omni love" is Godly; very few people will ever attain it in their lives. When you have the strength to turn even to someone who has done a great evil to you and truly say you love them, I will bow and try to get you canonized a saint!
Another great form of love is love in marriage. When one looks at a married couple that truly is filled with love for one another, it gives that person a feeling of calm. That love is the best there can be. Out of love for one another, the married couple brings forth children, and in turn loves the fruit of their loving. Marriage is the love that brings forth more love. When parents love their children, it is loving a part of themselves. When you love your child, therefore, you love yourself. What makes the married love even more amazing is that they aren't a part of each other when they meet. The two people meet, "hit it off," and begin a deeper relationship. When you are committed to staying in a relationship for the rest of your life, the truest love possible blooms, for you have taken a person outside yourself and made them a part of your life, your being, and your soul.
The converse must be observed. Hate is a truly dreadful emotion. I have had the displeasure of experiencing it on only one or two occasions, but those were enough. It fills your being with a certain haze, blocking out all good feelings and good will. One can only imagine the anguish that the one who hates without end feels. Always depressed by their displeasure with mankind, they can do nothing but ponder furiously on how to exact vengeance. Some have turned to war to try and settle their hate with another nation, group of people, or even individual. And the worst part about it is that hate breeds more hate! Unfortunately, there are those who take pleasure in their hate. With a strange satisfaction, they watch those they despise, creating more reasons to hate, some of which are unfounded. It is an endless cycle. Most depressing it is, for hate never rests. Love is clearly the better emotion.
Now, what is the worst condition of caring? It is neither love nor hate. Love is all that is good, while hate is nothing but evil. One is much better than the other. Love breeds pleasure, hate breeds violence. SO what is the worst of all, if not one of these two? The worst is the lack of either. When you stop caring for someone or something, you are attempting to cut yourself off from the subject of your displeasure. With a lack of love or hate for the uncared for something or someone, there is no chance for making the relationship better. The worst-case scenario of apathy, for this is what we are speaking of, is suicide. Consider the following poem, "To Santa Claus and Little Sisters." I invite you to read the whole thing carefully:
on yellow paper, with green lines, he wrote a
poem and called it "Chops"
because that was the name of his dog and
that's what it was all about,
and the teacher gave him an "A"
and a gold star
and his mother hung it on the kitchen door and
read it to all his aunts.
That was the year his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair, and Father
Tracey took them to the zoo
and let them sing on the bus,
and his father and mother kissed a lot
and the girl around the corner sent him a
Christmas card signed with a
row of kisses
and his father always tucked him in at night
and he was always there to do it.
on white paper, with blue lines, he wrote
and he called it "Autumn"
because that was the name of the season
and that's what it was about
and the teacher gave him an "A"
and told him to write more clearly
and his mother didn't hang it on the kitchen
door because the door had
just been painted.
That was the year that his sister got glasses
with black frames and thick lenses
and the kids told him why his mother and
father kissed a lot
and that Father Tracy smoked cigars and left
the butts on the pews
and the girl round the corner laughed when he
went to see Santa Claus
and his father stopped tucking him in at bed
at night and got mad when he
cried for him to.
on paper torn from his notebook, he wrote
and he called it "Question Marked Innocence"
because that was the name of his grief and
that's what it was all about
and the professor gave him an "A"
and a strange and steady look
and his mother never hung it in the kitchen
door because he never let her see it.
That was the year he found his sister necking
in the back room
and his parents never kissed or even smiled
and he forgot the end of the Apostles Creed
and Father Tracey
and the girl around the corner wore too much
and made him cough
when he kissed her, but he kissed her anyway
at 3am he tucked himself in bed, his father
he tried another poem on the back of a pack
and called it absolutely nothing, because that's
what it was all about
and he gave himself an "A"
and a slash on each damp wrist
and hung it on the bathroom door because
he couldn't reach the kitchen.
This poem by an anonymous teenager about a year before his suicide clearly proves the point. What is the trend? What do we see happening as the boy in this poem gets older? Distancing occurs, things are forgotten, people die, and innocence is lost. The mother and father lose interest in each other, and never even smile. The connection that the boy had with his sister declines as she becomes more and more free spirited and rebellious. He disconnects, and even does not care about himself, looking for anything to make him feel wanted. Eventually, when there is nothing he truly cares for anymore, the young man commits suicide, taking his life and future and throwing it into the mysterious unknown of zero possibility. Even if he hated the things around him, he would have tried to make them better and kept on living.
Therefore, I urge two things of you this week. Love all. Loving is the ultimate cure-all. If the whole world loved one another, we would have no troubles. If you find yourself unable to love something, at least keep some sense of feeling for it. Apathy is the worst policy. It leads down a road darker than hate.
>>>>>>Well, that ends number four! This came out later than I wanted, but work was piling up (along with stress) here at college. I hope you enjoyed this, and see you next week!<<<<<<<
>>>>>>>Once again, another week gone by! I hope you all have been good. Here is my newest discussion. Please bear with me, this one was tough. Deepest thanks to those reading!
Humility is one of qualities found in great men and women. People like Gandhi and Mother Teresa have been effective in what they pursued while still keeping a low personal profile. They served others, and by doing so became extremely powerful. How is this? By being humble, we can not only get respect, but help others in the process.
The adjective "humble" reads as such: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive (Webster.com). Does this not contain one of the seven deadly sins? Pride... what can help in the right amount, but can be destructive in extreme cases. Example: a person has pride. When someone HAS pride, we look favorably on them. That person is secure in who they are, they respect themselves and (hopefully) those around them. When a person is proud: this wording is often used in a different sense. When a person is excessively proud in themselves, they become high-minded. This person will be arrogant, believing themselves to be better than others, perhaps because of some achievement or their social status. The proud person demeans the existence of those around them. This is a horrible trait. All humans deserve a standard level of respect which only THEY can blemish. The proud person purposely stamps on that level, making this seem higher in his/her own mind. Being excessively proud covers all the other synonyms found in this definition. The worst these people can do is brag they are humble when they are obviously not. The worst thing a humble person can do is become holier-than-thou about being humble and become proud themselves. These, and all proud people, should be looked upon as wretched and self-absorbed.
What then, of being humble? What is the correct way to act and feel when you are of humble heart? Answering these questions is awkward, as being humble is a state reached simply by being that: humble. How then, to describe this... Yes. This is the way. In order to be humble, you must become subservient to those around you. In serving others, you will find that your ego is dampened to an appropriate level.
And how do we become subservient? The word itself should be enough to describe the process. We must devote ourselves to helping those in need and putting our personal wants in perspective. Your actions, as well, will show how much you value those around you. For example, what is more pleasing; somebody holding the door for you or barely jerking it wide enough for themselves to enter, let alone you? The obvious answer is the former, someone holding the door for you. You pass by, thanking them. Maybe you look back and see the person hold the door for a few more people. In that action, the person holding the door humbled his or her self by putting other's needs before their own. Conversely, the individual barely creating a crack in the door will not seem like a kind person to you (not judging others is divine, judging, even against your will, is human). The latter individual only cared for what comes next for them. Be the person who holds the door.
But what, you ask, of those who have power? Do they not have a right to being first in everything? Yes, those who have power do hold a station higher than the common person. They have been given authority, and so must be respected greatly. However, I even would tell those people to be humble. What is easier, a serf bowing to his king or the king bowing to the serf? Oh, that king who humbles himself to serve that serf's needs is greatest above all other kings! All rulers should be like that person. A subject serves their master, this is the natural course of events. But the master serving the slave? Extraordinary, my dear readers, extraordinary. That king is truly humble. If you have power, it is better throw it all away and live among the lowest of the low than to use it to oppress those who are not as privileged.
One of the best ways to express humility is through forgiving and asking for forgiveness. Just as the Lord's Prayer goes: "...Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." It is quite easy to hold a grudge, especially one with good reasons for being angry. But, this is not something to do or encourage. After all, how bad does it feel to know someone despises you for something? This often creates anger towards the grudge-holder for holding the grudge, creating another emotional burden. Perhaps you want to defend your pride, saying "this one has harmed me! Why should I seek their penance when I can use this against them in a harmful way?" or even worse: "Why should I feel sorry for harming another?" Seeking to mend what is harming both people requires great humility on both ends. When one goes to the other, they must be willing to admit they did wrong. Only pointing out the harm the other person has done will increase tension. No matter which side you are from, the harmer or harmed, continuing strife is no good. By seeking forgiveness, you will be saying: "I throw myself down at your feet. Can we not be reconciled?" Even more difficult is the one who is being asked for forgiveness. They must be able to put the past behind them and admit wrong on their end as well. The greatest forgiveness you can give is saying: "I forgive you, and hope you will forgive my actions towards you as well. Now, stand! And embrace me as you would family!" Bowing the head in humility is harder than raising the chin pompously.
Oh, but of course this must be addressed. While you make yourself subservient, also remember your personal value as a human, as well as any authority you have. Don't be so much a servant that you make yourself into a fool! Keeping your dignity intact is not the same as being high-minded. Being in control of who you are at all times is essential to being humble. Mother Teresa and Gandhi both asserted their authority when needed, did they not? And yet they still lived as servants to those around them. And even the wisest king must sometimes be strict in order to keep order intact. Be yourself, no matter how much you lower yourself. Identity is often the greatest treasure.
And so, my dear readers, I leave you for another week. I will answer your questions in due course. In the meantime, here is my conclusion. It is better to be humble, then to own all riches. It is better to be humble, then to hold yourself high. It is better to be humble, then to demean those around you. Yes, it is better to be humble, as humility is royalty just as pride is Hyde.
May God bless you all.
>>>>>Phew! I must say, that was a challenge. I went through it about five times, and still don't feel all that great about it. I may add more in new posts. Any mistakes are, of course, my own. I will address all questions and comments.
NEW FEATURE!!! If you leave a comment of PM telling me so, I will send you a PM with the link to my newest discussion when it comes out.
>>>>If anyone has actually been waiting for this... which I doubt... sorry it took me more than a week.
Something many people do not do is look inward. This could be a voluntary action, or something forced in order to concentrate on one's outward image. It is something people do eventually, though. This inward inspection, whether it starts as a glance and escalates or becomes full-fledged automatically, WILL occur in a sensible person's life.
This can be something dreadfully hard to accept. Why should I look inward? Can't I just be happy with the way I project my persona to others? No, this is a plea for continuing ignorance, WANTING to stay in the dark. After all, ignorance is bliss, yeah? No, this is a foolish thought. When one is ignorant, they need not care for what goes on around them. While this seems dandy, not caring is the worst thing you can do. But I shall save that for another discussion. Right now, looking INWARD and not OUTWARD is the important thing.
As I said and will discuss further at another time, it is foolish to wish ignorance of what goes on around you. This implies you do not care for others, and want to stay in your own little bubble. And yet, what if what you do is never care about what is inside that bubble? Not caring for yourself is a terrible thing; you lose your sense of personal value. It is even worse than hating yourself; because even then that indicates that you wish to recover from what ails your soul. Not caring to look inward and discover yourself puts you at risk of throwing yourself into situations that do not benefit you in any future.
And so, we look inward. The process is a tough one. While some people may find it like flipping a switch and saying: "Ah! so THAT'S what is in here!", others will see their inner self in a fit of despair-rent self-realization, like a curtain being ripped from bottom to top, revealing a room full of sick, mistreated patients. The less trained doctor will not be ready to take care of them, and it may turn him away from ever wanting to heal again. To avoid this doctor's fate, we must be well-prepared to look inward. One step is finding a steady cornerstone to lay your foundation on. That is to say, have something or someone that always brings you happiness to think of. If you meet something dreadful in you, this foundation will keep you going. The next thing is to be prepared to find that dreadful something. If you meet it, you need to keep in mind that you are a human, and that creature lurking in your heart can be banished. Thus can we be sure to keep sanity while we look inward.
Another important step is to become humble. If you see yourself as being a good person, more righteous than others around you, in fact, you must not become high-headed. While this is quite a happy thing, and is certainly nothing to be upset about, it may make you into a person that people will avoid, calling you a know-it-all and a holier-than-though jerk. Keep your wits about you, acting like and believing you are better than others is a far greater sin than thinking you are, perhaps, lesser than others. By lesser, I do not assert that you are a worse person. By lesser, I mean that you think as the humble do, in an almost subservient way, while still maintaining equal footing with others.
Large, LARGE part of looking inward is finding your limitations. The folly of the younger generation is the sense of immortality we seem to exude. Be buff up our egos, and just say that it won't happen to us. We'll see tomorrow, no matter what. This is another foolish thought!! Loom inward, and find your limitations! If nothing else, come out with a better sense of what you can and cannot do. The saddest part of watching another falsely proclaim their inability to be hurt by their choices is seeing them die due to their choices.
Thus, I implore you to look inward. It is a part of maturing. Even if what you find seems nasty, don't let it get you down! In fact, be joyful! You faced yourself! You are now a braver person for it, far braver than those who put on a façade and intimidate others with what is up front in the shop of their souls. Keep your treasure in back, along with all your flash and glamour. The person who can surprise others with a deep shop will surprise others more than the one who's shop is superficial. You have looked inward, and know what is best for you. Go into the world, knowing your limitations, and you will not be disappointed. You have looked inward, and now can see what is best for you and your future.
May God Bless all of you.
Well, I still have more than 28,000 characters left. I won't use them. Be good now, and tune in about a week from now for anoher discussion. I'll announce the subjet soon.
PS: If you are somehow offended by the "God Bless" part, don't be. Think of it instead as my way of saying "Best Wishes to you."
Also, this pic isn'tthe way I wanted it to be. I'll try and fix it.
In the modern day world, the source of happiness is taking a sad course downward. Not downward as in it's impossible to fill. If anything, it's more and more EASY to fill. The world is becoming excessivly material. Obsessed with the things we have, living in the moment has become the basis of what Pope John Paul II named the "Generation of Death."
While I grew up in Grade School, I was no very well liked. Even while this was quite obvious, I did have a few friends. Not all of them are still friends today, but that is beside the point. We're in diffrent colleges now. I developed the ability not to care about what my peers did, just the peers themselves. Due to that, I became more of an original person than many who claim originality and sneer at those who are so simila to others. It is the same concept as "Love the sinner, Hate the sin."
While we were kids, the "sin" and "sinner" part were not as apparant. aybe one of us went home crying in third grade because another kid was mean to us, maybe we got a black eye in fifth. After a few years at Catholic school, I turned my focus away from myself and toward the general good and what would be beneficial in the long run.
However, that is not how many people think. Most of the teens, and adults as well, want things for themselves. It may not be what they "need," but it is something that makes them feel good for the time they get it. If you get that thing, life is good. "As long as you are happy now" is something I hear often. What clothes are in style now? I personally don't know or care. Why spend a few hindred dollars of my money o clothes that are "IN" now if they're just going to be "out" in a few hours' time?
Consider the iPod. How many kinds of them exist now? I recently received one as a gift, and it is fun to have. But how often does a new one come out? And how often is anyone happy with theirs? If they have the recources, they will always buy the hottest model when it's hot out of the factory. Those who don't have the money for the new one will spend up money that could be saved for the future or on something more fucional just so they'll feel "up to date." I can undestand getting a video iPod if you make things like flashes. It would be nice to be able to say: "hey! check this out, it's my newest animation, Pizza Eater!" and just shove the headphones on my audience. However, reserving the newest model as soon as it's announced, especially if yours is already just as good, is simply unintelligent.
This living in the moment can be dangerous not just to your wallet but to your life. As I said above, people will often do what makes them happy NOW, not considering the concequeces later. Why is excessive drinking (especially when your GOAL is to become drunk) so appealing? It makes you feel good? I knew a guy (no names) who had a sister that had to get her stomach pumped. Very embarissing, not to mention the fact that it nearly killed her. Doing drugs? Marijuana, despite the so-called "safety" when compared to smoking cigarettes, still has side affects. The smoke sticks in your brain and reduces your mind's speed. Try getting a job when your new boss is putting you through a rigrous Q&A.
One thing that is the quintessence of this argument is the issue of Abortion. How does this process go? First, you fool around. Sure, it may be fun now. Got one life, right? live it to the fullest! Two, you're pregnant. Oh no... my boyfriend (if you had one) is leaving me, and my parents are so embarissed they're considering disowning me. Three! Abortion time! Well, I guess this is the rigt choice. It's my body, after all. Who's going to tell me how to treat it? Once this is over, life will be good again. Fourth, and most omitted, guilt sets in. Oh, no. Ohhhhhh, no. I did what I thought would help me, now I'm always feeling guilty about what I did. It's always on my mind. Should I go to therapy? I should have been smarter! If everyone was smart from the first, they would save sex for marriage and the procreation of children.
So is living in the moment so great? When your grades fail and you're all ou of money, I wouldn't think so. You have to be less material and superficial. By stopping and thinking "will I regret this," you may very well save yourself from a future of emotional trauma and constant bankruptsy.
>>>Thanks for reading! Please post what you think. The future posts on my thoughts will be more thought-out, trust me. Now, discuss, discuss! And live!<<<
Starting next week, I will be posting my own ides about things on our world here in my userpage. I'm hoping to inspire a few people and make a few others flinch. Just note, in case you care about reading these in the future, that I will often come from a Catholic standpoint. Not that I will atttack people for their beliefs (because that is thouroughly NON-Cathlic), but being a Roman Catholic is the biggest part of my life.
I hope to see you next week!
I'm going to lay off Wesley and Izak II because of a lack of voice actors (and vocie recording software). So untill I get my microphone and CoolEdit stuff back, I'm gonna start a whole new project.
I'm sure you want to know what it is, so I've included a picture here that might help to explain it.
Here's a background for everyone to enjoy while I toil away on Wesley and Izak II.