Friday, November 21, 2014

Music Mayhem

It has been a while since I have done a music dump but there is a lot of interesting music out there and sometimes I happen upon it when I am studying or a friend posts some sweet lyrics online. Either way, here is just a few different songs that I lately have found to be pretty awesome when I am studying or just driving around town. The last one is pretty cool at least to me because when I went to Japan, I went and had breakfast at that fish market and it is was an experience and it was super busy:

1. I Have Made Mistakes by The Oh Hello's

2. Youth by Daughter

3. Bloom by The Paper Kites

4. Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men

5. Stay The Night by Zedd ft. Hayley Williams

6. Rather Be by Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne

7. Steal My Girl by One Direction


8. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rarity Among Men

I like to follow a site called Elite Daily on Facebook. The articles posted on this site deal with a bunch of random goodness in a variety of forms. The most recent article I found interesting was entitled, "They're Not All That Bad: 5 Rare Types of Men You'd Be Lucky To Meet." To my pleasant surprise, I possessed all 5 rare qualities. Let me share the list:

1. The Man Who Is Not Shallow

This man is looking for something beyond looks. This man notices a woman with depth, drive, layers and character. Of course, it's important to be attracted to someone, but a man who is not shallow is a man who won't forget all about you the moment he meets a gorgeous bombshell.

Although many men claim they place a higher importance on personality than they do looks, at the end of the day, they're choosing the woman who was the most stunning in the looks department. It's not your problem, though.

It can take several years for a man to come to terms with what is truly important in a woman, and until he comes to that realization on his own, he'll be swimming in the shallow end. Eventually, when diving into the shallow end of the pool results in nothing but bruises and scrapes, he'll test the waters of the deep end.

2. The Direct Man

This man is a rare breed. He is direct, and if he likes you, he tells you. Similarly, if he's not into you, he tells you right away instead of wasting your time by procrastinating to avoid an uncomfortable conversation.

If there is something you're doing that is bothering him, the direct man is honest instead of giving you the cold shoulder. The direct man has the strength of character required to be forthcoming instead of nonchalant.

3. The Man With Follow-Through

Follow-through is a very important character trait. Women will immediately notice whether or not a man possesses this quality.

If there is no discrepancy between his words and his actions, he possesses follow-through. For example, if he says he wants to see you and follows through with those words by planning a date with you, he is the type of man who follows through on his words with the appropriate actions.

He keeps the momentum going and does not drag his feet when it comes to asking you out on a second or third date.

4. The Man Who Wears His Heart On His Sleeve

This man is not afraid of rejection. Even if there are some risks to telling you how he feels about you (like the chance of awkwardness, embarrassment or rejection), he doesn't care. He wears his heart on his sleeve and tells you how much he likes you and why.

He doesn't play it cool in an attempt to appeal to you more, or participate in any other dating games. Just like the direct man, this man does not play games.

5. The Man Who Sees You

This man is always present when he's with you. He takes the time to get to know you; he is engaged in the conversation and appreciates all the layers that make you special.

He notices the little things that set you apart from other women, the things you thought nobody noticed. His ability to truly see you and set you apart from others is what makes him so special.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Giver

One of the things I like to do is watch movies and analyze them. Socially I do this with people too but it isn't quite as acceptable. It is part of me that I can't really turn off even though I have tried. I am always trying to understand things, see connections and parallels and find ways to learn and apply principles to my daily life and my interactions. I watched "The Giver" last night and it really helped me to understand a few things different things about relationships.

When we are first introduced to The Giver, we are told that the world has been changed. Society lives in communities with family units but the difference is that differences aren't allowed. The community has gotten rid of classifications of winners, losers, popularity and fame because people don't want to be different as much as they want to fit in. People need sameness. So in an attempt to create a sense of order and as a way to enforce this, the community created a set of rules or standards.

People within the community are assigned clothes. There are no secrets and people are not allowed to lie. They are required to take their daily injections. They are assigned to family units. They are not allowed to touch people outside their family unit. Apologies are expected and automatic pleasantries that don't mean anything. And as you grow up you form friendships but things change when you leave childhood and you do what you are assigned to do or fulfill a role in the community. You are expected to obey these rules. However, not everyone does.

When people do not obey the rules or are not seen as if they will conform, they are released to elsewhere. Most commonly people are released when they are old and retire or when they are an uncertain and are babies that do not conform well to their family units. Again, this system creates a feeling of control, order in our lives, and work life and family life that function in consistent schedules. One of the things I have learned recently from another film, a documentary, was that happiness is 50% genetics which determines where our normal emotional state, 10% results of our situational environment and 40% choice. It is spontaneity and variety in our lives that we choose that can cause us to have feelings of happiness. In this world of sameness, the roles created a system where everyone provided value or a sense of purpose.

One of these roles was the receiver of memory. It was a role held by two individuals at a time. The more experienced receiver was to train and pass on the memories of the past to help provide wisdom that would help society to solve problems or issues that they faced without having to experience the emotional tides in our history. Society as a whole was protected from certain memories that are erased with the morning injections because they were part of a balance between good and bad. They took away things that caused pain and pleasure... Color, love, race, death, murder, and war. As the new receiver of memories, Jonas, is in his training he wants to share the memories he receives with his friends from his childhood. He also sees the wisdom in the elders choice when he first receives the memories of the pains of war. He wants to return to his childhood of scraped knees and games than to ever return to that nightmare.

I can see how we use these ideas even in real life when it comes to soldiers. War is such a painful and traumatizing experience that the only way we can train humans to kill other humans is to take out the human element. We dehumanize our enemies and turn them into an ideal or a faceless enemy. It puts them in opposition to the group and isolates them.

Once Jonas has learned about death and war and murder, he becomes more aware of the reason why the community uses precise language. He is shown a memory of the people being again released to elsewhere. Releasing people is murder by people without an understanding of death. If they can't feel it then they were capable to release the young and the old based on small metrics to death. They hadn't eliminated murder. They had brought it home. They simply called it by a different name.

Precise language was the key in limiting the way people could feel. They were allowed to be anxious, disappointed, in pain, brave, unhappy, fine, feel loss, worry, joy, pride, dissatisfaction, indignant and rebellious. But what was life if you could not feel? Why come back at the end of the day to a dwelling when you could come back to a home? The reason is that feelings are fleeting and emotions are primal and they linger. It created a disconnect so this kind of society could exist.

You would not have a name until you were accepted into a family and you lost your name once you were released. You only had a first name because that was as different as you were allowed to become. You weren't allowed a name until that point because up to that point you didn't have an identity. You weren't connected to your family unit more than what was necessary. This was the way the elders protected their community because of what they knew. They knew what emotions were but that isn't the same as knowing how that emotion feels.

Emotions are deeper than feelings. There are painful emotions like fear, envy, hate, jealousy, nervousness, resentfulness, confusion and death but the opposite exists too with beauty, curiosity, dancing, laughter, joy, music and love. Music is something that you can't see with your eyes but you feel deep inside you like faith. Faith is feeling beyond like the wind - something you can feel but cannot see. These emotions that were taken from people make life complete and the more you have the more you want. It is what gives you courage and strength to do what is right even when you have to fight for it or when you have to stand alone. The greatest emotion of all is love.

Love is something you feel for someone else that your mind can't explain and won't go away no matter how hard you try. You wish to share the good things with someone you love, you think about them all the time and you are willing to risk pain to love them. And even though love can turn into passion and contempt, if we believe and have faith and hope, love can be the most beautiful part of life and can give meaning to life. The society in this story is made up of people much like the world around us, living in fear of real intimacy and residing in the shadows and echoes of what once made us real.

 There are people who I know that want to dehumanize relationships. They want the physical feelings of love without intimately knowing their partner. They want the pleasure without the future pain when that person leaves either by choice or in death. People want friendships filled with moments of fun while refusing the potential of relationships in the future. By making these stipulations, they remove any accountability of emotions that come to the other person through mutually shared experiences. They can get the companionship they want without the responsibility of any possible pain or having to put others first.

I know that I need to live more in the moment. I need to analyze less. I need to stop trying to anticipate and push towards relationships. My relationships will only last if they grow naturally step by step. Those steps take time and we need to be patient and in those situations we often do have to wait and persuade and love people who are at all points along this path. But we also have to love unconditionally and without expectation. We need to love and we need to give. These are but a few of the reasons why the old receiver of memory is known as The Giver.