Piccsy found a pretty powerful image:
Belonging to the world sounds pretty wonderful. What do you think?
Piccsy found a pretty powerful image:
Belonging to the world sounds pretty wonderful. What do you think?
The world is coming apart at the seams. No matter where you look, the stitches that have held together the fabric of society are being stretched to their extreme, seconds away from breaking. Our trek through civilization has been circuitous, at one moment repressed until life reaches a turn that leads to freedom, only to revert once more towards oppressive propriety. There are many circumstances that lead to these moments and they are all tied to connecting with our humanity.
We are free when we accept who we are, but can easily be co-opted when a stray thought shackles us with belief. Oh no, there is nothing wrong with belief when it is tempered with hard-earned knowledge. The type of knowledge that is paid for through one’s own blood, sweat, and tears. The kind that rips off the rosy-colored glasses that skew our vision. Remember when you were a child and was told not to touch the flame? What did you do? You looked at the adult talking to you, and waited until they turned away for just a moment. And in that moment, you were confronted with the biggest temptation of your young life: accepting the warning or learning for yourself. Most of us touched the flame and writhed in painful agony while we were mindlessly scolded for our action. But even at that age, we knew that understanding came from personal experience.
As we got older, the need for personal experience was supplanted by rote learning. Schools, books, newspapers, sermons, seminars…all geared to take away that drive to understand. It made being an adult easier when the bad things kept repeating: job loss, divorce, loss of faith, incarceration, disease, and even death. There was no need to feel the emptiness that replaced a childhood full of wonder.
The skin of civilization is getting thinner and thinner because we fail to experience anything worthwhile. Excuses built upon decades of pressurizing guilt have stripped us of the ability to learn through experience. Those excuses come in the form of one-dimensional religions, blind laws, and false courtesies that masquerade as polite society. But humanity has little to do with a polite society because it is always made messy because of individuality that pokes hole in the fragile fabric.
We’ve grown whenever one of those infrequent fringe lessons steers civilization one step closer to responsible maturity. Those outliers were the stray threads that ruined the perfect lines of a false social masquerade. These martyrs are hunted to the edge of time by jackals that stood as the true false guardians of this masquerade. These false guardians are easy to spot simply because they all sound the same, look the same, and act despicably the same. Nothing is too much sacrifice when the good of polite society is at stake.
This polite society revolves in every avenue of our lives, and is too focused on propriety to notice that the foundations of civilizations aren’t as stable as they intended. And when cracks form, those who stand apart can finally get a chance to be heard. Protests may seem futile. Contacting your representatives may seem useless. Volunteering may not make a dent on the list of needs that keep growing. But every moment that sees one more person connecting, talking, and learning through experience, then one more layer thickens the skin of civilization. It creates a heartier protection that allows us to take another step forward towards a light that feeds the urge for real knowledge.
Keep feeding that urge for knowledge.
p.s. If you’ve been following the unveiling of global digital surveillance and the saga of Edward Snowden, then you’re probably feeling as angry as I am. So many countries have used his important act as a PR opportunity to tout their own superior thinking with seeming little thought to the circumstances of one lone man who must feel like he’s standing alone against the world. It’s becoming disgusting to witness. This is the outer face that polite society is putting on as they uphold their own selfish goals. All I can think is what HORRID examples these leaders are, and how stupid we were in allow them on those pedestals. There are a lot of people who are enraged at these imposters who claim to be leaders. Check out Umair Haque’s latest to hear more.
We have forgotten our roots and today is a good day to remember how America came into being. Our country was built upon the ultimate protest that split us from our former mother country. Any pride that we feel about our country, our armed forces, our democracy came from this action that is built upon many lost lives. Lives of people who believed in the foundation that is written into our founding documents. We’re now in a moment of time that is repeating what we fought in the late 1700s. Except this time it is happening from within.
If we want to feel any pride for our foundations of democracy, then we need to stand up for our belief that democracy is for ALL. This needs to happen more often, all across the country:
If we love truly our country, then we need to engage in protecting it from all who seek to harm our very foundation of existence. Those foundations have been weakened because they are built upon the past and have ignored the future. Countries like Brazil, Egypt, and Turkey are the latest in the global community that are reminding us of what a true democracy looks like. It’s not just about voting, or serving, or reciting a pledge of allegiance. It’s also about remembering that democracy is about a true collaboration that seeks to build, and not destroy. What is it going to take to remember what our ancestors did when they were in our shoes?
Thought for the day: Bravery.
What images comes to mind when you think about bravery? This:
How about this unforgettable image?
Or how about this historic event happening in Egypt right now?
Considering that we’re about to celebrate the American Independence Day, maybe we need to define what exactly we consider bravery to be. We’re used to heroes being bigger than life figures who fight the good fight against the heinous enemies. Heroes = GOOD. Enemies = BAD. But lately, the image of good and bad are being turned on their heads in very significant ways simply because heroes and enemies can no longer be easily depicted.
Our news tries to get us to rally at parades and public gatherings with little thought on dissecting where we’re at TODAY. Our actions of yesteryear cannot continue to control our ideas for tomorrow. Especially when so many people are suffering right now because of the selfish actions from those who are supposed to be our heroes. It’s clear that we continue to operate on an antiquated idea that bravery is all about machismo and fortitude. It needs to be about more than a depiction that’s straight out of a Hollywood script.
We forget that there are a lot of brave souls who are never recognized for their heroic and selfless efforts, because they choose to stay in the shadows. There have been many stories of people who wish to stand up for the greater good, sometimes at great risk to themselves. If we refuse to look at the long term consequences of their actions because they impact the norm that we consider acceptable, then we’re missing the new, better definition for bravery. One that doesn’t tout the individual action, but proudly discusses the positive opportunities that come from those who selflessly give so that we all have a better life.
So when we think about the 4th of July this year, we should really consider just what we are proud of. Nationalism, ideology, beliefs can be very powerful reasons for our actions and thoughts. But when they only benefit the few at the expense of…well, everyone else, then we are celebrating the wrong image of bravery. All brave actions should be respected and remembered. There are so few good, brave people left for us to look up to. We need more, especially in the form of those who choose to be leaders. If your beliefs are selfish and one-dimensional, then please, don’t apply to the position. We already have too many of you to remove from the crumbling pedestals that you place yourselves on.
Isn’t this magical?
This mural was commissioned by the Ustron Library in Poland and depicts the famous Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin. When the Ustron Library went through renovations in 2011, they decided to do the outside as well as in. Take a look at some more images from the Breaking News website that talks more about the planning that went into this masterpiece.
Magic really does happen in the most unlikely of places, but you’ll usually find it when you run into someone who still knows how important dreaming is. Would love to see this in person! And now I need to go back out there and find some more magical art being shared out there in the open.
- another Reddit find that lead to more investigation
We all look around us everyday and wonder what our purpose of life is. We clock in to our jobs, log on, and click away like busy beavers building a dam. And sometimes we miss that the water level behind that structure we’re so focused on is affecting the surroundings in a really bad way. But when we open our eyes to the details around us, we notice that there are signs all around that might help trigger an internal answer to that all important question: What am I meant to do?
This man decided that doing his job that he was hired to do was not good enough, or sufficient in answering the suffering all around him. So he changed his life calling to helping those in need on a daily basis. It takes a special kind of courage to leave behind comfort in order to deal with hardships, but it’s clear that those who do find a new kind of happiness that keeps growing because its fed by that all important ingredient: LOVE.
Not all of us will ever have this kind of courage to upend our lives. But, sometimes, kindness starts with a single small step that leads to bigger examples of selflessness. Here we have just such an example to follow. What a beautiful soul he has!
- thanks to CNN and Reddit for this wonderful person to follow
When a remake is done with as much originality as Walk Off The Earth brings, then you know that your ears are in for a treat. Needless to say, their version of I Knew You Were Trouble is a thing of wonder (but then, everything they’ve touched has been as brilliant as diamonds)! And I just found out that their debut CD is out – I AM SO THERE!
This really is what originality brings. When you can grab hold of a concept and make it yours, then the magic is endless.
Strolling through Reddit-land as I’m wont to do, I came across a very powerful short, Ce Que Les Muslamans Vous Cachent, done by Détournage. With all of the limited and tunnel-visioned information we receive by not researching more than a few venues for news, it’s no wonder that most people have such skewed ideas about groups like Muslims. This short turns those thoughts on its heads by forcing us to confront old tired stereotypes that rarely fit any large percentage of a group. Even the bad ones’ histories started for a personal reason and created a personality type that we obsess over with single labels that could never encompass their totality.
And how could it when we are all individuals who shape our experiences and backgrounds in personal ways that don’t duplicate en large? Following one-dimensional ideology without understanding the depths of individuality is like assuming that all fish in the ocean are sharks (answer: they’re not).
Follow the advice given by Coup De Filet – Think for Yourself! A large part of the world clearly needs to remember the age of enlightenment.
A much-needed thought for the day (at least for me): Persist
If you’re having a tough time at the moment, just remember the quote above. Every time you make it past a tough day, you should realize that you successfully passed the rough times that life threw at you. Every step forward is another step towards your future. And you’re the one making it happen.
- and check out more quotes at Great Minds Quotes for a word of encouragement
So, the global repercussions of the Snowden’s revelations on NSA actions on the world are finally starting up the type of conversation that we should have been having decades ago. We are finding out that there are few people left to trust at the upper echelons of society, and it is frightening. But what is worse is the words and actions that are coming out from the individual countries regarding civil rights, morality, and responsibility in a global society. Take two petitions requesting support for Edward Snowden (one from the US and one a global petition). Notice anything?
The petition numbers were taken on Wednesday, but they show a clear image of the apathy that exists within the country versus the outcry that is being heard around the world. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the Internet and the global voice that is sounding from it, most of us who fervently want change would still be losing our minds at the ever-increasing apathy. Day after day, our institutions show that they are not even remotely capable of running society. When you compare them to social media’s voice, it’s easy to see the divergence of progress between status quo and the outliers.
Are you sick of this comment: Why bother? Nothing will change.
And worst of all is the continued insistence that we need to trust our democracies and cast a vote to make change happen. Change will only happen when our foundations progress into the 21st century, and we quit blindly trusting a justice that has gone down a dark and selfish path. Fortunately, the voices of the outliers are strong and becoming bigger. Trust is earned, and the status quo has a long way to go to gain the trust that it always assumed it deserved. We are no longer nations co-existing in a single world. We are finally a single world that is blending at the deepest levels of society, wanting to be seen as one: humanity. We need to kick apathy aside in our countries and CARE about the world we’re creating. Because some major ideals we used to have are now being shaken to their very core. Do YOU care?