Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Faith In Humanity.

On the car ride home last weekend I was pretty quiet and pensive, but in a good way. My brother was quiet too. We killed the time by randomly asking eachother, "What are you thinking about?" when it got quiet for too long. It was kind of refreshing and honest.
At one point I replied to him, "I think people should do what they want." I think. Mostly. Because I believe people are inherently good. I believe people know somewhere deep in their hearts and minds what 'good' is, how to do good in the world, and ultimately that doing good brings joy into their lives. In the end, people want joy for the long-term. So if people want joy, then people should do what they want. One of my favorite quotes by Abraham Lincoln--"When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion." Just do what you believe to be good. As long as you are honest.
When I do as I want, my mind is clear. I am in a present frame of mind. I act. I speak honestly. I am happy. Those around me are happy. blah blah blah blah blah.
When I do not as I want, I am sad. My mind is riddled with worries of the past and future. I underachieve. I try to please people despite my needs, which then ends in displeasure to those people whom I was trying to please. And it might end well in the short-term, but I think we can only lie to ourselves for so long a time until it takes a toll on us. I think when you act, it must root from an honest place or else it will not bring you genuine joy. (Disclaimer: sometimes we do not always know from where we act, and I believe that is okay as long as you learn later).

After explaining all that to my brother, he said something that struck me. "You place too much faith in people."
How much faith is too much faith? I think the world's people could do with a little more faith in themselves and others. I had a grade school teacher that started all of his classes by saying something along the lines of 'you all have my respect until you do something to lose it.' When someone puts that much faith in you, the average person tends to live up to it. When someone has no faith in you, the average person will live down to it. Not having faith in someone is like saying, "I don't think you are good enough." And when you have such a defeatist attitude, why should anyone want to even try to prove you wrong if not out of stubbornness? I got better shit to do than waste my time trying to convince someone I'm good enough for them.
Sure, I've gotten into a lot of trouble with my faith in humanity. I've been hurt before. I've looked like a fool before. I've been embarrassed before. And I hope to continue on that path, because my faith in humanity has also brought a lot of beautiful, incredible people into my life--great people that have taught me lessons and helped me grow into myself.

"Every flower got a right to be bloomin'
Stay human
All the freaky people make the beauty of the world."
--Michael Franti....You simply must listen to this song

I guess for now I'm pretty content bein freaky. It's a beautiful world out there with lots of people that are all beautiful in their own ways. Every flower's got a right to be bloomin, every human's got a right to be human. If you are interested in real stories of real people, I find The Moth podcast to be really refreshing. It brings me back down to Earth every morning over coffee.

Stay human. You are enough in my eyes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Day At a Time

I recently had a groundbreaking 'revelation' in my realization that life should be lived one day at a time. One day at a time, one moment at a time, one stage at a time, one something at a time. Pick a time frame appropriate for the task at hand. I have been acutely aware of the wandering of my mind from present to past to future, and so I have been better able to control that wandering. I have been able to lead my mind to pleasant and present thoughts. Dwelling in the past often brings me thoughts of embarrassment or wishful thinking to change things already done; and dreaming of the future often brings me unnecessarily anxious thoughts of anticipation or fear or whatever. All of those emotions based in past and future I find to be generally unpleasant ones as they are typically falsified by embellishment of the creative imagination. I prefer truth in life, generally--if you can find beauty and joy in truth as opposed to bleak sadness or other emotions. I don't need to falsify life's happenings.
By living in a present time frame, I find my happiness has been much more constant and steady. I have fewer ups and downs, and definitely less downs. When I do live in the past or future, I do so with some sense of awareness. I am cautious when I think outside the present moment. Living in the present has led me to take action. Actions really do speak louder than words (more on this in my next post). I spend more time really doing what I want, and doing what I want typically brings me happiness. You can have all the brains in the world, but it's what you do with them that matters.
So know what you want, and do what you want. It's okay to not always know what you want though. If you don't know what you want, make your time frame smaller. If you don't know what you want for your career, focus on what you want for the year ahead. If you don't know what your goals are for the year, limit yourself to thinking about what you want for the month or what you want for one day. Do this for each activity in your life--your career, your projects, your weight loss, your thinking. Just choose a time frame that feels doable and appropriate. If its not doable, you won't do it. Duh. Eventually, you will live in the moment and see clearly all the choices before you at every second. When you are aware of those choices, you are better able to act in a way that will bring you happiness.

"I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor." --D.H. Lawrence

Here is a webpage with some quotes I like about past, present, and future.

Now quit thinking about this crap and go shred some oranges! One day at a time.