Category Archives: Life

Find truth and love one another

Be forewarned this is a long post and for those of you who don’t care to read what I say then
 
TL:DR – seek for truth, love one another
 
I know this post will probably fall on deaf ears but I’ve sat back and watched as my entire feed over the course of the past year has devolved into a “He Said She Said” of politics and beliefs.
 
Whether you’re a conservative, a liberal, or a pacifist in the whole political spectrum (generally not as outspoken as the other two groups 😉), one common thing I’ve seen is “my news/social media outlet has supported my beliefs and claims and as such, I’ll use my new found knowledge to make fun of my opponents”. Why is this our go to method of sharing information? I understand the desire to inform other people, but why do we so often do it in a way that antagonizes those with differing opinions than our own?
 
Why are we so quick to take the first piece of “information” that we find and throw it out as absolute truth without delving deeper finding sources outside of our bias sources?
 
“In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” Truth comes not only from one biased source. Truth is undeniable and unchanging. We live in a world where people are struggling to differentiate between truth and lies. Where we’re being enticed by the masses to think one way and then fight for that regardless of any new information being presented to us that may go against our system of beliefs. We’re comfortable in our acceptance that our views cannot be wrong in any way shape or form. We lavish at the idea that we’re not the only ones that believe X, Y, Z.
 
I’m probably being too idealistic to believe that my friends here on Facebook and in real life are smarter than that. To believe that you’re incapable of “justifiable hate”. I often see things like, “no I don’t hate the people who have opposing views”, only to be followed with posts that mock those who believe contrary to that person’s belief system “look how ignorant they are, they missed this incredibly specific thing being said (omitting the fact it may or may not have been taken out of context) that supports my views and I have no need to hear the opposition because of their aforementioned ignorance”.
 
I understand that people want to fight for injustices, help those that are suffering, and clearing up and exposing truths. I too want these things to come to fruition. I don’t feel that making antagonizing posts from biased media outlets that support your views are the way to go. I don’t have a solution, I just am a simple man with a hope that we can have greater love one to another.
 
Whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not, his teachings ring true for people to have more compassion and love. He taught “Ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” and that “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. If we only spent as much time loving each other as we did loving our own sense of pride, how much greater might the world be.
 
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. You might oppose what I have to say and I’m fine with that. Everyone has an opinion and I respect that. We will most likely have differing opinions depending on the topic being discussed, and that’s understandable. I don’t expect everyone to think like I do, nor do I want everyone to (that’s Satan’s desire). I do want people to be more civil when it comes to hot topics of discussion, even open to the idea that they might be wrong. That’s all…
 
Again, thank you for taking the time out of your life to read this. Let go of any pride or anger that may reside inside of you and go on your way.
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Falling in love is an act of faith

I’ve been discussing relationships and romance with one of my friends who is having a hard time reconciling her fear of dating or rather having an attraction to someone. I thought I’d want to share my thoughts on how I found love and why I think that falling in love is to an effect, an act of faith. Often times faith is necessary when you’re uncertain of something but you have, for lack of a better term, a gut feeling about something.

First of all, one of the main reasons that leads me to believe that faith is essential to relationships is whenever emotions are involved it leaves you very vulnerable and that is a scary thing. You’re uncertain about how the other party feels about you, whether you’re investing your time and efforts in a fruitless endeavor or the beginnings of a magical journey with another person. But you might be asking yourself, what’s your point? I think to better understand where I’m coming from I’m using a broader definition of faith than one might think. Faith is one of the strongest motivating factors for people to act and move forward with any circumstance. If we didn’t believe that our actions would have a positive outcome or impact on our lives for the better, I believe that most people would not choose to act. We ascertain educations on the faith that it will help lead to an employable career. We work with the faith that our employers will pay us a wage worth our efforts. None of the aforementioned scenarios are guaranteed but the outcomes we expect will most likely happen. We know this because we have experienced similar in the past or others we know have had positive outcomes related to similar actions. So our faith is much like a motivation to act based on our understandings of the way things work in society. I also feel that our faith is found inherently from within as a gift from God to help us move forward in life.

As a fairly religious person, I feel that faith is indeed a gift from God or a higher power if you don’t ascribe to God (a debate for another time). This gift along with the gift of our agency are some of the greatest tools we have to succeed in life. How I use my faith is something I struggle with all the time, but not in the way you might think (I’m clearly a conventionally non-conventional type of person). I struggle with knowing and acting on inspirations that come into my life. Faith as defined in the bible in Hebrews 11:1 states that  “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Like I’ve stated before a lot of the things we do or aspire to do in life aren’t guarantees but highly probable situations. My biggest struggle is that I want things to be ideal before I act, and that’s not how faith works. Faith requires that we act on informed decisions, that we move when we don’t know the end result but have an idea of the end goal. To relate this back to the original topic, in relationships (I’m going to generalize here) we want to find someone to be our companion, someone to spend our time with, someone to understand us, and someone who we can be comfortable with to the point that we let our walls an inhibitions down.

That’s the end goal, for me, my faith has always been an essential part of my ability to have successes in relationships. I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and my faith has helped me to understand that successes and failures help get me through those plans. In dating, it’s inevitable that there will be times where things just work and it will be great, and other times where you’ll experience devastating rejections and bouts with loneliness, but through it all my faith has helped me see that all these experiences do help me to grow as an individual. Faith gave me the courage to ask girls out that I never thought I had a chance with, it helped me to enjoy my life while I was single, building relationships and friendships that I still enjoy to this day, and my faith helped me to find the woman who eventually would become my wife. Am I saying that if you have faith you’ll be successful in relationships? No that’s not my point at all. What I am saying is that faith does give you strength to leave your comfort zone, to fall in love, to leave yourself vulnerable to rejections, because it’s through faith that you’ll understand that pain and heartache are experiences that we can grow from. While rejection, the feelings of inadequacy, and other negative feelings may come during early stages of courtship and dating (I am that traditional that I’m still calling it courtship), those feelings are nothing compared to the feelings of regret, inaction of not having gone after someone, or the feelings of not telling someone how you truly felt when you had the chance.

Let’s face it, dating is scary and being rejected is even scarier, but as Jesus taught in Matthew 19:26, “with God all things are possible”. So if you ask me why I think faith and relationships go hand in hand, I’ll say that life IS scary, rejection in relationships ARE things that no one wants to experience, but faith that God has something good in store for me are worth all the pains, sufferings, and heartaches that happen. Once we find the good in among the negative, then we’ll see that our faith was not fruitless, and understand that “with God all things are possible”.

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Is it worth it?

I’ve been quite obsessed lately about determining the value of things, whether it be monetary materialistic things like groceries, clothing, or cameras, to investments of time like education, improvement of artistic crafts, or other ways I spend my time. Is this a fruitless waste of time? Probably, so why not just experience life as the cliche so often is referred, “live life to its fullest” and not worry about worth and value?

I think that one of the reasons why I’m so obsessed about all these things is that in my pursuit of “living life to its fullest”, I want to live my optimal life, as far as I am able to. But this obsession with value, leads me to some negative thoughts at times, and I feel as if maybe I’m not living my life or using my time in a way that is valuable or worth it. If I feel my life could be better why do I not change my circumstances, learn a trade, practice my talents and skills, or seek to improve my life through consistent work and learning? Maybe in my thoughts I do not give value to that which should be of worth. I’m losing sight of the long term goals and I’m seeking for temporary enjoyment or short term fulfillment. Does short term fulfillment inherently mean that you must give up on your long term goals? Or can short term goals lead to the long term ones? No I’m not saying you must choose one over the other because there may be many short term goals that can lead to your long term desired outcome for whatever you’re seeking to do. I just seem to be going in every different direction at the same time and much like the dialogue between Alice and Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland which goes,

Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”
The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

My circumstance is a result of my not really having a clear direction in which I seek to head. I worry too much about failure. In that worry, I lose out on opportunity, I miss chances or opportunities to succeed, and I end up investing/spending/wasting my time doing things that ultimately are of no worth or are fruitless. Yet, I continue to do so. Why? Because some of these things bring me short term happiness. Is it worth it? In the end I think any way you choose to spend your time is worth it for everything which we do will ultimately help us learn and grow, one way or another. We learn through success, and we also learn through failure. I may continue to fail for another period of time, but maybe one day I’ll learn my lesson and find ways to find worth in my life. For now, I feel this investment of time in writing this post was worth it to me.

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Small Milestones to help me keep going

I have a problem with being consistent with my posts, and well most things to be honest. Although, I have big ambitions, I don’t always and mostly never follow through with my plans. I’ve realized that most of my downfalls can be attributed to the fact that I always become so engrossed in my huge ideas that I lose sight of the small steps and little accomplishments I have made to progressing to my goals. I also feel hopeless when my ultimate goals are so far away from where I am that I just shut down. One thing I’ve decided to do to continue towards achieving my goals and not giving up is to not only celebrate the small milestones, but to also remember that I need to keep taking small baby steps forward even when I tumble and fall backwards in my progression. I logged on to this blog tonight originally to post something but I didn’t really have anything in mind. As I looked through the analytics of the paltry handful of visitors I have (I really appreciate you all! I fall into the trap that social media and the internet brings of likes and shares meaning popularity), I noticed a notification “You’ve received 100 likes on your blog”. For some this might not seem like a lot, but for me at that particular moment, it gave me an immense feeling of elation and gratitude for all those who browse random blogs and have found something of worth or value in this one. My musings are more often than not streams of consciousness that I rarely edit if ever, maybe a word here or there, but that happens on the fly. So I don’t usually see any meaning in what I write, and I’ve stated this before, this blog is mostly for me to have a space where I just muse to myself. I do appreciate all of you people who do take the time to read, like, comment and share (although I don’t think many people share this). I gives me hope that maybe, I am making a difference in the lives of strangers (albeit a really small insignificant one probably). I’ll never know the impact I have on others, or whether I even have any impact on people at all. Maybe that’s how life is supposed to be, just go about doing good, regardless of whether or not you make a difference in the world. Go about chasing your dreams despite any negative thoughts you may come across. Move forward with the belief that you’re being honest to yourself and your God (should you choose to believe in a higher power). As long as you keep taking small steps, celebrating the little milestones, never stopping your journey forward towards whatever drives you and your passions.

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Finding inspiration and staying motivated

I’m sure I’ve written on this subject before but I can’t recall specifically when, so I’ll write on it again as I feel that this is something I should do or else I won’t do it at all. Over the past little while I’ve been struggling with motivation and I feel that all my accomplishments or things I’ve created in the last year or two have been very much uninspired, especially when I compare it to how I felt about my work in the past. I struggle a lot with being consistent and I feel that’s a big part of being motivated. Maintaining consistency seems to be an attribute that all successful people have. I say it’s an attribute because it doesn’t seem that consistency is possessed by the general population, or maybe it is. Some people just have positive habits of consistency like persistence, hard work, etc. Others possess negative habits of consistency like procrastination, laziness, etc.

I think that my struggles have been leaning towards the former as I don’t feel like I am productive and it impacts my confidence. Like most negative habits, it starts slowly but snowballs out of control leading to things like lack of confidence or depression and the like.

One thing that I have noticed that has helped me is to act on a thought, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be, as soon as you can. Or if you can’t act on it right away, write it down, to be completed once you are capable of doing so. This is one of the reasons why I’m doing this blog post right now, as it was a thought of mine to do, as a means to help me work towards doing more productive things in my life.

Motivation can be from outside factors like family, friends, work, etc. But I find that the strongest most lasting motivational factors must come from within. It is a strength that pushes you forward, to keep going when things get hard, and to never give up despite the outward appearance of a situation. Being motivated also is linked with inspiration, as the more motivated a person is in accomplishing something, causing more thoughts to flow freely sparking the creative side of their mind to come up with solutions to problems at hand. This all is probably nonsense and menial ramblings of an uninspired person. My hopes are that this leads me to find what motivated and inspired me in the past so I can bring myself out of this slump and or rut I feel that I’m in. So that I can once again create more freely with confidence and feel that sense of accomplishment that helped me to maintain confidence, motivation and inspiration in my life endeavors.

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Being gracious in all things

I’ve noticed in the past several weeks leading up to and following the election in the United States, two things that I’ve found to be quite ironic as an outcome of the election.

The first idea, being that there have been a large portion of people on either side of the debate prior to the election have called for civility and to put an end to ignorant name calling if their supported candidate won.

Prior to the election, many Democratic supporters of Hillary would suggest that people shouldn’t vote for Donald Trump because he is a racist, sexual predator, whose methods of garnering support have come from name calling and defaming his opponents among other things. These same supporters also suggested that should Hillary win, Trump supporters should graciously accept the result and not protest in response to the outcome, as Trump admittedly stated that did he not win the election, he would have sought to contest the results of the vote.

Conversely, Trump supporters would suggest that people shouldn’t vote for Hillary because she was a murderer, a thief, a liar and was the epitome of evil. Likewise, I believe they felt the same things as the Democrats believing that should their candidate win the election, they should bow out gracefully.

The second idea comes as a result of Donald Trump winning the future presidency. All the calls for civility, name calling have been for naught, and division in the united states have seemed to not only continued but possibly escalated.

There were violent and destructive riots and protests by many who opposed a Trump presidency. These people were in protest out of fear that they felt would come as a result of a presidential candidate that ran a campaign that focused on some racial tensions that have come out of the war in the middle east. Liberal news outlets reported hate crimes that targeted visible minorities and immigrants. People were physically and verbally attacked for their religious beliefs, and the colour of their skin. Fear among these communities were rising as these reports flooded out over social media. These same people called those who voted for Trump ignorant, stupid and a plethora of other names with negative impact.

On the other side of the spectrum, those who supported Trump were excited to say the least, but the decorum that they called for pre-election was still nowhere to be found. They called for civility among the Clinton supporters, and asked that the name calling and mud flinging stop. They felt justified in their decision as their candidate of choice won. However, they did not exhibit any form of graciousness as they did exactly what they sought the the other side to stop doing. Thousands of posts on social media are vilifying those who supported Clinton, calling them ignorant, unintelligent, cry babies for not “graciously” accepting their defeat. The irony here is that there is need to be gracious not only in defeat but in victory as well.

I admit at the beginning of this post I had a clear direction of where I wanted to go with this, but as I’ve been writing and have begun to think through my points, the more directions I want to take this. So I’ll, try my best to sum up why I started this post to begin with.

There are  high tensions due in part to Liberal and Conservative media outlets. People go to the respective news source looking not for truth, or opinions that oppose their views but to find affirmation of what they already believe. They find exactly that in all the “articles” they read from their respective media outlets. The “truth” they want to find is all there in black and white. What many fail to see beyond this truth is that there are people involved. So wrapped up in being right, that people fail to see the reasoning behind all the protests, name calling and lack of civility. Millions of liberal/democrats are hurt and afraid and they want to know that their world will be safe, but they don’t get that sense of security from the conservative/republican side. All they have gotten were things like “suck it up, you lost”, “protests show your intelligence” and other hurtful things that have fueled their actions. Many conservatives now have a sense of pride from winning, but in doing so have over looked the fact that the other side is experiencing these feelings of hurt, fear and sadness.

While I can only offer what I would suggest to be a call for more graciousness and civility in all things, I doubt my influence or audience would be wide enough to make a change. People will continue to be persecuted for their beliefs, called ignorant for what they feel they know, and vilified for standing up for their own good. This makes me as an individual sad for our collective existence of humanity.While I know this article does not represent all democrats/republicans, or liberals/conservatives, it does represent the loudest voice among those same groups. While they may be the minority, sitting back and allowing these things to happen is (although cliche to say so) just as bad as saying them yourself. We need to remember that there are people out there who need love, who need to feel safe, who need to know that their opinions aren’t ignored and heard. While we may disagree with what the other side said, we need to be civil in how we listen to each other, how we work with one another, so that we may move forward in building up a future we can all be proud of.

I’m probably too idealistic in thinking this, but I will do my best to listen to those who need someone to listen to and spread as much love as I can within my area of influence.

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Life Away From Home

It’s been over half a year since I last blogged so here’s a quick-ish update, since I last wrote, I moved from Toronto to Edmonton and well here’s the rest of the update.

In the past month or so, I’ve been living away from home for pretty much the first time in life. While this may not seem like a big deal for many, for me this was a really big step. My decision to move was made quickly but something I was thinking about for a long time. As the move happened, my excitement rose. I was in a place with new things to explore and experience. I had a job interview for a job prospect that seemed great and exciting. I had settled into my new place and everything was going well. Two weeks in and things were moving along smoothly. Now having had a lot of ups and downs in my life, I’ve noticed one constant being that if things are going well things will inevitably go wrong.

I’ll start with work, or lack thereof. I got a job with an organization that does fundraising for non-profit organizations. My role was specifically “fundraiser”, pretty straight forward, nothing too complicated just ask people to donate. Seems easy enough right? Not really. I’m not quite sure this is the case. If you ever wanted a job where you feel ignored, invisible, and definitely overlooked, this is the job for you. The booth where I work is positioned in front of a Jack Jones store, and I swear it’s the most interesting store in the mall. The reason why I say that is because whenever people walk by my booth at the mall, they see us and then get entranced by Jack Jones. Their eyes just get fixated on to that store, as if it has them locked in a hypnotic trance and they can’t look away from it or they’d die. I’ll probably write more but back to my original reason for writing about work is as followed.

Just as soon as I started working, my campaign coordinator came up to me the second day on the job and told me that the hours would be limited as they would be losing part of their campaign at my specific location. This was an unexpected setback but I was still optimistic about this job.

I have been very blessed to have girlfriend who has been very supportive of me in everything that I’ve been going through, but it seems like I’ve been getting dumped on by life. About 3 weeks ago, I was subjected to the most intense pain I’ve ever had in my life. After struggling to find help, I eventually got to the hospital and was diagnosed with kidney stones. Also another story to be told there in another post.

Life away from home has not been the bed of roses I had expected and I am hopeful that things will get better because that’s what always happens for the protagonist in any story right? In my narrative I am the protagonist but maybe my perspective on things are skewed and I’m actually the anti-hero or even antagonist meant to suffer to get through the story that is my life. Who knows, but I do feel more inspired to blog more, so lets see how long this lasts.

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