Monday, August 9, 2010

Love: The Core of Humanity

Over the past couple of weeks, I've reflected on a couple topics: 1) What do I need in order to enjoy and find beauty in life?; 2) As humans, who are we at our core?

Some people enjoy life by having that particularly fast vehicle to give them an adrenaline rush or status, or living life in the club scene, or just physically looking the best. So what do I need in order to enjoy and find beauty in life? My times out mountain biking have evoked an answer to this question deeply rooted within me. I find complete peace when I'm outdoors. I find rest and even sometimes stand in awe at how beautiful this world is; and how it was prepared for us all to enjoy. Having two wheels to take me through the dirt trails is just a bonus. It's out in God's creation where I know who I am. It's where everything comes into focus. It's where I realize who I am at my core and what we all share in common, whether or not everyone admits it; and that thing in common is love.

Everyone was born with the essential need and gift to love. Just the other week my landlords and I had to put their dog to sleep. It was an emotional time for them, and a time for me to support them. I've only been living in their house for a few weeks, which isn't much time to really emotionally connect with someone. But as we were in the room at the clinic, my landlord was just in tears, full of tears. It didn't matter who was in the room, or if crying would be embarrassing. What really mattered was the love for his dog. I could totally relate to what he was going through, having gone through the same thing myself about 10 years before with my dog. After reflecting on the whole experience, I realized two things: 1) Everyone has the ability to love and 2) (As a dear friend pointed out) How big God made our hearts. Our ability to love totally blows me away...even the ability to love an animal.

This thing, love, is the common thread that we all share as humans. It's what surfaces in me when I'm out in God's creation. It's what living is all about. And it's what we were made to do. Where do you find rest? What brings you peace? And where do you find this wonderful gift of love?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thought For The Day #2

People are so much more similar than we think. We just handle our life's experiences a little differently.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thought For The Day #1

I'm learning how important it is for someone to remain consistant and not to let inconsistant people change that.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Boxes, Boats, and Thank-you's

These past couple of weeks have provoked a people observation, well more of a question, which is "Where are the 'thank-you's'" and "Where are the people who don't ignore someone for doing showing kindess"? And I am totally not talking about the over-the-top-you're-obsessing-over-me-with-what-you-call-'kindess', (which is a whole-nother world of person/person interaction and pshycology).

I understand a lot to do with how we interact is how we were raised (Though I do know that someone can break through bad influences). A few questions surround this, given how I was raised, for instance: Is a simple 'thank you' beginning to be too much for which to ask? Am I expecting too much as a word from someone to affirm gratitude or that I did something that encouraged someone? Is this thinking also known as selfishness? I realize that by posting this, I am revealing an insecurity; possibly...and/or...yes. But I believe that this topic is something that has become too far and in between for me to leave unexploited.

People make my day when they say thank you; that's just how much it means to me. It's an encouragement and an affirmation. I'm saddened that we don't say thank you enough to people. Don't get me wrong, I do hear it and other compliments throughout the week, and it's wonderful (this 'thank-you's' for you). But I've recognized for a while that it seems that we have become more cold, and it breaks my heart (And of course, I am holding myself accountable also). Throughout the week I ask myself, "Is there anyone who is living outside of the cold 'norm-box?'" This seems like a lot of finger pointing, but my finger points at me too. How am I living outside of the box? What am I bringing to the table that someone else values? Believe me, I try daily to walk a mile in another's shoes, but it doesn't seem like it makes a difference. Huh..."it doesn't seem..."

So here's what trips me out: So obviously what I value differs from what another person values. So I ask, what do people value? What makes people's days, these days? But by not hearing 'thank you' says: "It doesn't mean anything to me." With this reaction (not being recognized or thanked by someone), we stop going out-of-our-way for people. And when someone does go out of his/her way, the other person is simply out-of-practice recognizing that person's efforts. Also, thinking "It doesn't mean anything to that person" creates an assumption or judgement. So if the only reason that I show kindess is because it pleases God, then it shouldn't matter that I hear recognition from someone, right? I'll regroup here.

I know that the world isn't peaches and cream, but we as humans all need recognition and affirmation, it's in our nature; in our nature (along with other things, positive and negative). It's easy to let "believing in someone," "loving someone," and "doing something for someone out of love," become "being let down by someone because he/she didn't say thank-you." Sure this can all be interpreted as simple minded thinking, or perfect world thinking, and is something that I struggle with; but we're all in the same boat. I'm sure we'd all like to hear "thank-you" more. So honestly, let's thank each other. Let's affirm each other. Let's encourage each other. Let's show kindness towards one another. Let's uplift each other. Let's show love for one another. Which all encourages me to say: How great would that effect our lives.

This is just a different perspective, that's all. It's coming from someone who took a second, who's day was uplifted by the beauty of creation and potential in people. It's coming from someone who was sippin' on some Casi Cielo outside while the sun warmed up San Jose, who thought, "There seriously has to be more to life than this." "Get me the heck out of this box!" "Show me the potential." And..."We were made to live for so much more."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Done with finals for this semester. These past four months of work and school have left me numb. I'm very much done with the whole full time school/full time work schedule. Although it pays the bills, I keep losing my personality later in the semester as I turn on "survival mode" due to stress. I'm gonna talk with my manager about only working full closing 8 hr shifts Thursday-Saturday as a barista. This way, I will not have to work on school nights, not have the stress of a shift, and (most importantly) have enough time to devote to practicing and schoolwork. There's so much more behind all this, but is more personal than what I'd like to post. I hope that the adjustments I will make will be beneficial to my school journey and career.

Monday, December 14, 2009

As P.O.D. Would Say, "Welcome To Hard Times"

It is interesting how much stress individuals can take. We each have our own breaking limit; and over this past month, I've reached and passed mine. This has been easier to get through this with the love and support of my family, but nevertheless is still difficult. It's also interesting how much of stress or difficulty we are willing to let others see. "What will people say?" is something that I briefly covered in my last post. Like I said before, I don't live my life based around others' opinions. But the occasional struggle lays in, "Is the example I'm living, reflect my beliefs, and more importantly, who Jesus is?"

I'm not proud of it, but I don't always do the right thing. Sometimes this is all that is needed to show that someone is going through a difficult time. It's best to sieze an opportunity when someone seems a little jaded, to show him/her more love and acceptance. This may be simply done through a kind action (opening a door for someone, or 'comping' his/her drink) or by saying "Let me know how I can help." I was shown two of these today; thank you Tomas and Chris. It may be all that is needed to shine a little light into his/her valley. This is something that I will also try to practice...when I get out of my valley.

So if this isn't "wearing my emotions on my sleeve," I don't know what is...haha.

This all shows how important to love people really is...inspite of difficulties they are having. We don't really know someone's full story, however joyful or difficult it may be. The important thing is to show love to people, no matter what they are going through.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This Response Needed To Be Addressed

Some time ago, Cameron, a blogger responded to my Halloween post. I have not checked my responses for a while because I have been busy with my studies. After reading his response, I was also prompted to respond. Cameron's response is the following paragraph; and my response is below his. These thoughts are very important to me. Thank you for reading.

Cameron's Response:
"I think its a bit unfair to judge someone based on a Halloween costume. To say that a person didn't receive enough love and attention as a child is a bit harsh. Assuming that the parents did not do a good job of raising him/her, and saying you can do better, is pretty self righteous. It's you're opinion and you're entitled to it, but c'mon. Really?! You saw someone's costume and thought to yourself, there is something wrong with her. First of all, its Halloween. One day a year to let loose, be or WEAR something you normally wouldn't. To assume someone does not have self respect based on what they wore once, on the one day to do it, is just plain ignorant. Its not right to judge people, especially if its based on something superficial. If one day you have a daughter, I hope that you teach her that its not how you look or how other look at you that matters. Its how she sees herself that does. And if you have a son, teach him that just because a girl dresses a certain way, it does not mean she is a certain way.I do think you are right about Jesus loving and showing them kindness. But, I also think that blogging about how she has no self respect, and how your future daughter will by wearing the appropriate Halloween costume is not the same. I'm basically saying, stop passing judgement on others before you get to know them. I could come on here and say that 2 guys talking about how they don't like seeing girls in skimpy clothing is just gay...but that would not be very fair of me, would it?"

My Response:
You bring up some interesting perspectives Cameron. I will keep my points brief throughout this response; but I will explain my reasoning so that any future misinterpretations will be avoided. Firstly, I would like to explain that my original post was not at all bashing young women for what they wear. I was not angry when I posted my reflections, instead saddened. By your tone, I am sorry that you feel so offended, I’m sure not offended. Like you said, it is just an opinion. I am keeping your response on my blog because it is something on which others, too, can reflect.
To begin, although the implication is evident, I was focused more on how I am going to raise my children and not how this young lady was raised. With respect, your conclusion and assumption that I think I can do better raising a child is inaccurate and irrelevant. Most children, when ignored or unloved, grow up pursuing other means of attention; and if looks or showing off their body bring that attention, so be it. If looks do not bring attention, then other means will. (Please keep in mind, I am not saying that unloved children are “doomed,” I have hope for anyone).
I apologize if this is too adult for some readers, but going into a coffee shop wearing a slightly see through costume without undergarments is very inappropriate, and is to what I was referring in my blog. Just because Halloween is one day out of the year to “let loose,” it doesn’t mean that all rules of social etiquette are out the door. Sure, Halloween can be fun with costumes and such, but when someone dresses like this, it steps outside of the “fun” mindset and enters into a completely different realm of communication and psychology.
I think some women have much more potential than they think they do. Some women, and by no means all, feel like they need to compensate for this with a need for attention in other areas: i.e. their looks, body, or the showing off of the two in a promiscuous manner.
As ignorant as you accuse me of being, I think most people would agree that this act would not only raise a few eye brows, but also communicate much of how this young lady thinks of herself. I agree with you, it is not right to judge people. I am not saying that she is a horrible person; I do not know her. I know her only by what she communicated through her inappropriate choice of attire. Approximately eighty percent of communication is non-verbal.
I also agree with you when you said, “…it’s not how you look or how others look at you that matters, it is how you see yourself that does.” Well put. I certainly do not base my life on what people think of me. But again, what else is a young lady who dresses like this telling others? It communicates very much; in fact too much for the purposes of this entry.
I am not here to argue; I am here to discuss. I am going to refrain from posting any words of retaliation because “come backs” do absolutely no good for my purpose here. That being said, I will simply ignore the last sentence in your prior response.

The purpose of this entry can be summed up in two sentences:
1) Some young women need to know that they are worth so much more than “just a body.”
2) And honestly, if there was one thing that I could have said to the young lady of whom I speak, it would be, “You are a person who is worth so much more than just a physical shell, and I hope that you can see and believe that someday.”