Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On finding yourself

I don't think it's easy to find oneself.

You won't wake up one morning and say, "Wow, I think I know who I am today." Well, you might - nothing's impossible, but I highly doubt it.

Finding yourself is really a realization of your worth as an individual. Of the things that make you who you are, that make your quirkiness, your personality, your looks something to be proud of. Actually, more than that. Finding yourself is the realization that you are complete by yourself. That with or without one individual, you are valuable the way you are.

And I think that it's a process. It's something that, perhaps is lost and found along the road of life's challenge. Some days, we're high on life. Others, we feel more alone than ever before. And yet, all of this is part of the process of realization of what makes us tick and what makes us tock.

And to add even more to this, I think part of finding yourself is finding God, in whom all value is rooted. From his hands, all things were created and without Him, nothing would have been made that is made. And if we realize that God's created us for a purpose in this life, then perhaps we can find that value as an individual.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wishing Time Would Stop for A Moment

It's crazy how people spend but a moment on Earth. They come, they go, and then life goes on. Time doesn't slow down to let you say goodbye. It doesn't stop to let you mourn. It passes, and all you can hope is that in that moment that expands from birth to death, you were able to love and be loved. That perhaps you held a place in someone's heart.

It's so hard to say goodbye. You never expect that perhaps the last time you see someone could be your last. Yet it's even harder to know that your words and actions are the last someone will hear and see - to say goodbye, a real goodbye, is perhaps the most difficult task in the world.

I wish time would stop for just a moment.

Friday, March 25, 2011

On the Pain of Loss

Right now, I am sitting on a couch, curled up, listening to Bon Iver, and thinking about my grandpa. I've been crying on and off the past few days trying to deal with the fact that at any moment, my parents will call and let me know that the terminal cancer that has spread throughout his body has taken him. Death is the most difficult of things to deal with - it's an ending, and an ending to something beautiful. The short amount of time you get to spend with someone on Earth is over, and you are left with this feeling of emptiness and sadness.

More than that, I think about my family, about my step-grandma, and my extended family and wonder how they're feeling, wishing I could be with them instead of at the other end of the country, away from their hugs and unable to share with their tears. There's something about sharing in a person's sadness and working through difficulties together that gives one some hope that the empty space will be filled - although perhaps not completely.

I guess that's the difficult part about loving people. The more love you pour into them, the more painful it is when they're no longer here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On Rationality

I've heard it said many a time that the best choice is a rational one. A person does simple cost - benefit analysis to make the best decision, no emotions included. Just simple decision-making.

Let me use a few examples. Prison is a great one to start with. A person commits a crime. What should we do? Put him in prison. Rational choice. Keep him away from society, benefit to society, cost to him.

Second example. Do we dam a river, or do we leave it alone? There's benefit to society by acquiring clean energy, and the cost is small to nature. Creatures can adapt.

Now. Let's just pretend that emotions are equally valid in decision-making. Let's go through those examples one more time.

Crime. The person who committed the crime is actually a person. They have a history, they have a family. They probably need to understand what they did was wrong, and WHY it was wrong. Yet, instead of working these things out, we throw them away into some prison cell with like-minded criminals in the hopes that our person gets better. Great idea Einstein. I'd like to see it actually work.

The Aboriginal community used to take criminals and victims and sit them down together amongst a community and with the victim and resolve their disputes. They wouldn't let either party leave until the dispute had been resolved, the criminal repented of her or his actions and showed genuine sadness for what he or she had done. It focused on the relational level of the crime, rather than on justice. Rather than dishing out punishments for what had been done, it emphasized restoring the hurt and the damage that the crime caused, and ultimately finding repentance from the criminal and resolving her or his inner problems that led them to the action.

Second situation. We have a river that is free, that represents the untouched beauty of nature. Something that is free of the social constructs of man, and rather, is pure... wildness. Like the world as it is supposed to be. We've ignored these emotions in our interactions with nature. In our strive to pursue the rational decision, we've left out the emotional attachment that people feel to the woods, to the river, to nature inn its pure untouched state. This is IMPORTANT!

Don't forget that emotions mean something. God gave them to us for a reason. Sometimes the most irrational thing to do is to forget about them. Decisions only make sense when we incorporate this very human part of ourselves into decisions.

Some might say it's an extension of male patriarchy to discount more feminine emotions and dictate what counts as valid in decision-making. I guess... well, I guess it's up to you to decide! Either way, we have a problem of the dominant view of decision-making as non-emotional. Let's change our own views first.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Laughing With, By Regina Spektor

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God
When they're starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one's laughing at God
When it's gotten real late and their kid's not back from the party yet

No one laughs at God
When their airplane starts to uncontrollably shake
No one's laughing at God
When they see the one they love hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they're mistaken

No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one's laughing at God
When there's a famine or fire or flood

But God could be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God themed joke or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they're 'bout to choke

God could be funny
When told he'll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious, ha ha.