Happy MLK Jr. Day!
Happy MLK Jr. Day!
“Cultures of domination rely on the cultivation of fear as a way to ensure obedience. In our society we make much of love and say little about fear. Yet we are all terribly afraid most of the time. As a culture we are obsessed with the notion of safety. Yet we do not question why we live in states of extreme anxiety and dread. Fear is the primary force upholding structures of domination. It promotes the desire for separation, the desire not to be known. When we are taught that safety lies always with sameness, then difference, of any kind, will appear as a threat. When we choose to love we choose to move against fear–against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect–to find ourselves in the other.”
— All About Love, bell hooks, pp. 93
Hi again. It’s been a while since I lasted posted something to this blog. While I have missed writing and sharing, the time away has been much needed and necessary.
In the long absence I have since discovered new ways of thinking, perspectives, and opinions to which others hold fast. It is no surprise that people often cannot see their own bias and stubbornness in believing that their way is the only true way.
To be able to doubt, to question, and to evaluate are perhaps some of the most valuable skills that one can have in determining how to live one’s life. You might not agree with some people on certain issues, but the fact that you don’t agree does not give you the right to write that individual off as being “dissenting” and “wrong.”
In this country’s climate today, to do such a thing is to divide and “other” the people who are probably hurting just as much as “we” are.
Let me clarify here that this is not an angry rant about some personal encounter. This is, perhaps, more of a preface to how this blog is going to be structured around the topics that I usually discuss such as: art, human rights, and poetry. However, this blog is also going to include: current events, social justice issues, and an un-censored expression of my life.
To further illuminate this last point, I believe there is a fine line between what is defined as being cautious and inauthentic. To this, I say that I have been quiet to the point of being fake. Seeing as how the future is tied into the actions of the present, my public pledge is to be myself and to hopefully show others that it is okay to be that way, for not many are capable of doing so.
I hope Easter weekend went well for everyone and that no matter what religion or tradition you follow, that there is time for rest and reflection on the week.
Have a good day 🙂
Big thanks to Riley on her blog Smiles No Matter, for nominating us (yeah, you guys too). She’s super talented and always full of ideas and creative ways to improve and balance one’s life. Check her blog out in the link above!
As always, I want to thank all of you who follow me and give me feedback. I love to hear from you guys and it makes the job of picking my brain seem worth it. Just kidding, using words and media to communicate the importance of change, integrity, humanity, and justice is the main goal here, and I cannot thank you guys enough for supporting the cause. On to the questions!
Alright, these are the bloggers I have nominated for being inspirational, funny, and creative. Keep up the good work guys!
Here are my questions!
1. Who is your favourite poet? (if it’s no one, an author or book)
2. You have 30 minutes to decide whether or not you will take part in an experiment that guarantees future happiness and success overnight. If you choose not to, you will end up in the same circumstance of happiness, it’ll just take 10 more years. What do you do?
3. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?
4. What is something that you do, or can do that makes you feel happy and at peace inside?
5. When was the last time you received a compliment that made your day better?
6. If you had to learn a language, what would it be?
7. What is one really good movie you saw this summer?
8. What kind of music do you like to listen to?
9. What does happiness mean to you? (super simple, don’t worry about covering everything on this one)
What does it mean to matter? Does it have to be in relation to someone else? Or is it something that can be determined inherent within all of us?
To these questions, I am unsure of the ultimate answer. However, it has always been prevalent to me that the question bears more weight than the answer itself. So, what does it mean to matter to oneself? To others?
To illustrate this question and to hopefully find an answer I have a story. It’s probably going to sound a little strange, but hang in there. It goes like this:
I observe a lot of things. Not like a scientist because I literally suck at science and math but small things like the way sunlight hits the trees on the front quad at school, the energy of chatter rising and falling among friends, and given and made first impressions.In the long summer hours filled with nothing but my own memories and daydreams, I thought about all the people I met in only one year. There is one I can recall quite clearly:
I was on my way to a Spanish conversation class with a friend even though I didn’t really need to be there. Then, all of a sudden there was this girl waving at us. She knew my friend but she was also
smiling at me! She waves hello. Shit. I don’t know her but she knows me. Her hair is this fantastic color and the freckles on her cheeks reflect the fallen Autumn leaves littered on the sidewalk; they look like stars.
What do I do? She asks a question that I don’t remember anymore but it was probably a normal standard question. And I respond with something about a beached whale…real cool, I know.But she doesn’t seem offended. Instead, tilting her head up to the sky, she laughs. It blends with the orange and violet undertones of the sky and the leaves and the trees and the sun. Ok, it’s time now, and I ask for her name.
“Meryn,” she says.
“Ok I’ll remember that.” And I never forgot.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk with her much after that. I wish one day to be that full of the present invention of joy and happiness as Meryn seemed to be on that one fading afternoon. Whatever she may have been truly feeling I’ll never know, but I’m know that I’m grateful for being able to meet her.
I sent this story to Meryn herself before I published this and while I felt a little strange in doing so, I also felt it to very important that she knew about it. Perhaps it is the fact that she isn’t going to return to school next year. I mean, we interact with the people in our lives on an everyday basis thinking about the ways the people in our relationships mean to us.But what of the people we don’t know so well? Do they or even should they mean anything to us? We never talked much, Meryn and I, but she made a lasting impressing on me. So to answer this question that I asked at the beginning: What does it mean to matter?
Even though I didn’t know Meryn very well, I’m still going to miss her. I guess you could say she mattered to me, and to me this answers the question. Your worth or anyone else’s cannot be measured. Not by the amount of friends you have or the number of Christmas cards you get or how many people sit with you in the dining hall.
I’ve attended funerals where I don’t really know the person who died, but she still had an impact on my life and the hundred other people at the service. Why do we wait? While a person’s worth cannot be measured, you, me, us need to be reminded every now and then that we are appreciated, wanted, and valued. And for all intents and purposes, I take no shame or loss of pride in letting Meryn or anyone else know.
Where this starts, then, is within yourself. Self-respect, self-worth, and self-value. While I wish that Meryn would be staying at school, the fact is that she’s not. She’s leaving and for that I commend her. Recently I said goodbye to an institution that I valued for many years because I thought I could mean something to it. I never did. I’m not mad or angry at the people who couldn’t even remember my name after five years. But I am a little angry at myself. Why? Because I believed that if I gave them my services, my personality, and my time, my worth in their eyes might increase.
Here’s the thing though: Self-depreciation cannot be traded for appreciation. It’s a false system of belief. I’m not saying to just give up on a job or an internship, but know yourself and don’t lose hope that your current situation is as good as it’s going to get. For me, my memory of meeting Meryn is a reminder to never take life too seriously and to be yourself, because there are going to be those really great people who will accept you for who you are. And once you realize your worth, others will begin to notice too. Just remember to give back and let the people around you know how much they mean to you! 🙂
Ok, so this was something that’s been weighing on my mind. Not to leave on a somber or wistful note, here’s some Calvin and Hobbs
“Harsh words can destroy friendship. Since happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others, if we destroy friendships, we undermine one of the very conditions of happiness itself.”
~ H.H. the Dalai Lama
Music, Film and Life
Stories about the South Asian experience, Hinduism/religion, mental health, and just life.
Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.
Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
travel through my eyes
Read our Mission. Find out how you can help us adopt James.
My Blog is my Drug
Positive Attitude In Life Could Change Your Life
Stories from the Streets
A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.
Historic preservation, coffee, community + pink flamingos
A place to talk about the past, present and thoughts of the future