Tag Archives: Human

Internet Forums…

At this moment, I am watching a few educational videos online. Earlier, I read a few newspaper articles about human rights issues, cultural traditions, and racism. I like to skim through different mediums of information, and I actually prefer articles that are clearly biased. When authors claim to be stating objective facts, I roll my eyes and bite my lip. I like people who are savvy enough to admit their own faults and who recognize the lens through which they are looking at a particular circumstance. I enjoy reading information written by those who are clearly well-researched, clear, and who believe in something and stick to it throughout.

That being said, I am concerned. No, not about sensationalist journalism or about one-sided publications. I am concerned about the general population. Reading the comments beneath news articles, videos, and essays – I am deeply disappointed in what people say, how they say it, and how little they know about the world they inhabit. There is so much hate – for both the innocent and the guilty. There is so little empathy – for humans who, by no fault or little fault of their own, are struggling. At first, I read these comments and start vigorously typing responses. But I soon realize that I cannot possible reply to the hundreds of hurtful, mean, ignorant remarks. Moreover, I cannot change the thoughts of these people. My anger subsides, and I close my laptop and take a few deep breathes.

People feel safe online – they can bully, say unacceptable things, and they can choose to not reply to reasonable refutations to their statements. Although people have the ability to research whatever they please, they tend to do so mindlessly and without any sort of critical reflection on their sources. Furthermore, instead of attacking ideas, they attack the people who hold the ideas – which is completely useless for the purposes of intelligent discussion.

So I am concerned – about the opinions of certain members of the internet community, the lack of logic applied to arguments, the atrocious use of grammar.

 

“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance.” – Gian Carlo Menotti

 

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A dear friend, dearly confused.

A friend of mine is getting married to a man that has not treated her well in the past. I’m fairly certain that she’s marrying him because he has money. I’m sure she has decided to get married because her younger sister got married a year ago, and she feels like she is going to be forever alone. Countless times, I told her that she would find someone wonderful. I tell her that she was young, beautiful, and a sweetheart. I want to see her happy, but she wants to be wanted by a man.

It breaks my heart, really. She has grown up in a patriarchal culture, where a woman’s worth is determined by when she gets married, to whom, and how many children she has and is able to raise well. I know that culture, and I am always telling these girls that they are valuable not because of who they marry, but because they are human.

I saw her Facebook status today, and it’s a quote that translates to something like this:
“Happiness to a girl is to become a beautiful bride, a beloved wife, and a happy mother.”

My heart dropped. No, no, no, no. Happiness to a girl is being the best she can be. Happiness to a girl is becoming a woman who is intelligent, confident, and strong. This girl is in her twenties, and she believes her life will become better by being a bride, a wife, a mother. I’m not saying those things are not wonderful,  I’m sure being a princess on your wedding day is fun, being in a loving relationship is wonderful, and being a mother is a one-of-a-kind experience. I’m sure it’s great, but that’s not the point. 

I believe that happiness for humans in general is not found in relationships. Happiness is a personal endeavor, it’s about being comfortable in your skin and with your life. Happiness is about learning, loving, just being. 

It saddens me to think that my friend believes that her worth and her happiness is defined by her marital status. It saddens me to see a young life’s journey determined by culture. It just makes me so darn sad to see her make this choice, not because she really wants to be with him “forever,” but because she believes that this is what her whole life culminates to. 

My dear friend, is so dearly confused. 


Thoughts on Forgiveness.

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” – Confucius 

I came across this quote on Tumblr – a website I love, but one that has never encouraged me to write. I sat alone in my cold, dark room thinking about forgiveness and revenge. I have always been a proponent of forgiving, learning, and moving on. But this idea of “revenge” has always sparked some curiosity in my being. Growing up, I was always told to not seek revenge, because it leads to a cycle of injury and retaliation. Nonetheless, a little voice in my head still occasionally screams “Get him back! You can do this and this and this….They’ll know exactly how you feel. Ohh, you can teach them!” Does this make me a bad person? I don’t think so. We’re only human. But there’s a reason that society and most religions teach forgiveness – because it is what we need to live with ourselves and others in a world that is constantly pushing us to our limits.

Revenge is not a solution. It doesn’t make anybody feel good in the long run. It fractures friendships, breaks hearts, and paves the way to feelings of guilt, depression, and pain. Revenge is a symbol of the lack of self-control, and it arises out of our inability to accept the fact that everybody makes mistakes.

“To err is human, to forgive – divine.”  – Alexander Pope

So I encourage you, dear reader, to forgive. Not to pretend that nothing is wrong, not to hug the person that has hurt you, not to forget. I encourage you to forgive – because that’s the only way to save yourself from being hurt by the same betrayal more than once. Forgiveness is the only way to move on – with peace, serenity, and self-confidence. Forgiveness is the only way out of painful thoughts and situations – it frees your mind and stitches up the tears within your heart. Forgiveness provides us with the ability to think clearly – to make rational choices about what comes next.

“Forgiving and being forgiven are two names for the same thing. The important thing is that a discord has been resolved.”  ~ C.S. Lewis


The Loss of Intelligent Conversation.

I guess the way to get a million followers is to write about exciting things that the majority of bloggers/blog readers find either witty, funny, and/or insightful.
These posts should also probably include a disproportionate amount of photographs, a few words, and probably a numbered list of some sort. Also, pure entertainment should be the primary goal of every post. Nobody really likes to talk about things that matter, because they are so afraid of disagreement and debate. Everyone is afraid to hurt everyone else’s feelings, and “attack” everyone else’s beliefs. The internet is known to be this great source of knowledge and a significant manifestation of progress.  But oh my God, when did we become so shallow? When did moral relativism and dismissal of this idea of “truth” become so widely accepted.  Don’t we care about our beliefs? Don’t we care about the values of others? What’s the point of believing in anything, if we go around saying things like: “We’ll never know the truth, so we might as well drop this argument”? Sure, it’s fine to believe in different things, and sure, we may never know the answers to many of our questions. But by rejecting the existence of truth, aren’t we also dismissing our own personal beliefs?

Personal beliefs are sensitive issues, but by no means are belief systems the only topics of shallow discourse online. Let’s take celebrity Twitter accounts. A celebrity says something offensive [I’m sure you can think of many of these occurrences, and therefore I won’t list names] about either politics, socio-economic issues, a TV show, another celebrity, etc.  and fans go nuts. Social media sites have brought celebrities closer to their fans, but have also forced the people involved to put on facades. Celebrities who say things the majority of people do not like later apologize or have to have some big-time interview explaining why they said what they said. The problem, though, is not in these celebrities. It’s in the fans. Why are fans constantly criticizing successful human beings? Why must these humans beings think and talk in such a way as to not offend anybody? Why do we expect public figures to be “better” than regular citizens? We want to see these stars as real life people, but we really hate when they aren’t perfect and say things that we don’t like. But most importantly, why are we so afraid of allowing people to voice the things they truly think, regardless of whether or not we think their opinions are correct? Why are we so sensitive?

There are many people out there who have world views that you and I may find to be absolutely ridiculous, yet it is ignorant to silence them: because they exist.
And when views exist they have power, regardless of whether or not they adhere to our standards.

Why are we so afraid of our own thoughts?
Why do we fear our own humanity?


I am not broken.

My heart has slightly cracked, but it’s a new kind of sadness.
The kind that twists my brain in knots and covers my skin in goosebumps.
But from this pain I know: I am not broken.

I am not the first nor the last to be lied to.
I am not the only human being that has been disappointed by someone dear to me.
I am not the only girl who has lost trust in something once so beautiful, something I once held very close to my heart.

But from this pain I have learned a lesson.
No: I will not harden my feelings, I will neither refuse to love nor trust.
I will always and forever favor burdensome truth over ignorance and lies.
I will not hate or injure or retaliate.

I will forgive.
Or rather, I will learn to forgive.
I am taking this as a life lesson on patience and love and kindness and forgiveness.
I cannot forget, but I refuse to let this one moment redefine someone I once treasured.

And from all of this I have learned the following lessons for myself and my relationships:

Do not disappoint and disrespect those who value your presence in their life.
Constantly forgive, but also realize when your forgiveness has been taken for granted…and if it has – still forgive, but walk away.
Allow your heart and mind to reach a compromise – following only one or the other is never a bright idea.
Do not ever allow this world and its people to make your heart cold, your temper hot, your walls high.
Love, always love. Regardless.


Loneliness – a personal reflection.

Loneliness does not only arise from a lack of social interactions,
It is not merely a feeling of solitude and emptiness,
It is  not a condition that another human being can eradicate for us.

Loneliness comes from within.
It’s something like: emotional isolation, a deficiency in self motivation, and the presence of negative energy.
Loneliness does not require the physical state of being alone.

Loneliness is the effect.
It is caused by unhealthy levels of self-criticism, denial, and fear.
Constant evaluation and reevaluation of self-worth based on societal standards.
The denial of one’s own desires and needs in order to conform and strive to some imagined definition of success.
The irrational fear of being judged and betrayed prevents the construction of real, honest, healthy relationships.

The solution?
I do not know.
Perhaps to set fears aside, to open up to people regardless of where that may lead, to strive for individual goals and define success for oneself, to love oneself, to live and interact in this world in such a way that ignites a thrill for living, loving, and creating one’s own happiness.
What is there to lose?

My solution?
The One and Only – Jesus Christ and his perfect will for me.