Thursday, February 9, 2012

beau·ti·ful: adjective, excellent of its kind

        While walking through a mall in the heart of Chicago I was enamored by all the displays... The colors, the lights, the art… Anything to get the crowd’s attention. It was amazing to see some of the extremes that retailers would go to just to reach a possible audience and draw them in to the store. With media and advertising there is a simple cycle: anything that people find interesting, the media uses, and anything the media portrays, people find interesting. Soon enough we find ourselves captivated by the ideas that are being fed to us and it's no surprise that those ideas are slowly molding today's standard for beauty.

        I can't tell you how many times I have heard a young girl say to me "I need to lose weight", and the thoughts running through my head go something like this, "lose weight? I almost can't see her when she turns sideways because she is so thin!” Yet somehow these girls have it in their head that they need to be as thin as a pencil in order to appear beautiful. It breaks my heart because this is the cause of so many eating disorders, an effort to be beautiful. The problem is today's standard for beauty in society is so fake that it is unattainable, and a sense of hopelessness is introduced to those of us trying to be our best.

        I would like to uncover a little bit of truth behind the thousands of images that are being pounded into our heads telling us what we should look like. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes before these images even reach a magazine or a billboard. Take a look at how fake they really are… 

        Dare to be different, set your own standards for beauty. 
        On a semi-related side note, check these guys out ---> They are a pretty awesome band! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"What else?"...

         I often find myself fighting the mundane every time I slow down enough from work and school to have a moment to relax. It is almost as if I intentionally flood my life with chaos in order to avoid the question "What else?", because for me it is so easy to forget. Sure life is great when everything is happy and well, but what about when things go wrong? What is the point then? Even when things are going great, in the back of every human's mind lingers the haunting question "What else?".  There is really only one answer, just one, but this answer changes everything. It changes the world. Blaise Pascal puts the answer to one of the most popular questions in the world into a beautifully written, brutally true sentence: "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus." 

        With that said, I would like to share a video that was shared with the junior high students at my church. I was impressed with the way it tackles the definition of religion and Christianity. I would like to say that the video is a paraphrase of scripture and at some points paraphrases quite liberally, but explains the difference between religion and Jesus very well in a way that is easy to understand. Take a few minutes to listen to what this guy has to say, it's worth it. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine"

        We've all done it. That little piece of information that we just can't keep to ourselves somehow slips into another person's care, even though it was not our "secret" to share in the first place. The fact is that it's just so easy to fill conversations with bits and pieces about other people's lives instead of taking the time and thought to compose an original piece about our own. 

        What's the big deal? First off and most importantly if someone confides in you, we should all have the courtesy to keep their trust and zip our lips. Aside from the obvious reason of maintaining a good character, there is also the factor of distortion. Have you ever played a game of telephone with a circle of kids younger than ten? It gets quite intense. It generally goes something like this: Some sweet, innocent little girl whispers "chocolate sundae with sprinkles on top" to whoever is beside her, that person then relays the decadent dessert to the next eager ear. This continues around a circle of giggly and carefree children until it reaches the end where everyone awaits the result of the game only to find that somewhere along the line the delicious ice cream had been turned into "monkey butt". Now either someone got bored with the original story or there were some serious miss-communication issues going on. My point is any story, once it is told by a number of different people, starts to have its own variations and soon becomes a personal rendition written by whoever is passing it on at the time. Taking a little here, adding a little there, turning it into something people WANT to hear instead of what it started as. 

        The problem now is there are two (best case scenario) different stories, countless ears waiting to find out what happens next, and one disgruntled star. So gossip is human, it's a simple fact. It is something that happens regardless, but I would like to suggest that it is easy enough to control. We often overlook the severity of the damage it can cause and just go on our merry way taking part in the festivities, but what if you were on the other end of it all? What if it had started with YOUR "secret" and escalated into a soap opera that was being shared with your entire school/community. 

        I would like to propose a challenge. Nobody can stop gossip altogether but one person can really put a dent in it and send it hurdling backwards. If you find yourself in a situation where you are about to tell somebody a story that isn't your's to tell, all you have to do is stop talking. It's simple really. If you aren't sure whether you should say something or not, don't say it at all. No worries, my challenge is fun if you like sharpies! So here is what you are going to do: Find a permanent marker (or a few) and write "word check" on one of your hands. Why? As a reminder to check your words BEFORE they leave your mouth and to stop the contagious spreading of gossip. Have fun with it! Write it in big, bold letters or decorate the words with your favorite colors, the brighter the better. If someone asks you about it great! You can tell them what you are doing and maybe get them thinking about watching their words too. Even if only ONE person takes part in this challenge and prevents just ONE rumor, this post was well worth it. Ready? On your mark, get set, go! 

        P.S. If you want to know where the term "I heard it through the grapevine" originated take a look at this page one stop english. So I thought it really had something to do with grapes... 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Death of My Own Procrastination

        After almost 3 weeks of break and boredom I finally achieved one of my goals before going back to school, to do SOMETHING. This blog is the result of my determination to end laziness and yet my room is still a mess... I guess I have selective motivation issues. Ok, so that can be my next goal that may or may not get done in the following week but that is beside the point. I decided to create a blog so I can share things that will hopefully make other people smile, like any random videos I come across, or songs that made my day a little bit better, or as my URL suggests thoughts that keep me up at night that are just to important to be kept to myself. 

        So as my first post I would like to share a video of a song called You Are My Joy by The David Crowder Band, it is basically my life's motto. If you are able to go and check out some of their other songs, these guys are awesome!

David Crowder Band

I hope you enjoy it along with the future content in this blog :)