Enticement

Mar 24th, 2012 7:03:00pm

The following is an extract from the book Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. It is what provided the inspiration for this particular column and may resound within you almost as much as it did within myself.

“…Now, look, since when did you think being good meant being happy?”

“Since always.”

“Since now learn otherwise. Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smiles, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he’s covering up. He’s had his fun and he’s guilty. And men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors and smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit our appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others, and look to wonder if he didn’t just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt and sin, why, often that’s your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it and sometimes break in two. I’ve known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it’s thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him and sometimes wilts his spine. He can’t let himself alone, won’t lift himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.

“Oh, it would be lovely if you could just be fine, act fine, not think of it all the time. But it’s hard, right? with the last piece of lemon cake waiting in the icebox, middle of the night, not yours, but you lie awake in a hot sweat for it, eh? do I need tell you? Or, a hot spring day, noon, and there you are chained to your school desk and away off there goes the river, cool and fresh over the rock-fall. Boys can hear clear water like that miles away. So, minute by minute, hour by hour, a lifetime, it never ends, never stops, you got the choice this second, now this next, and the next after that, be good, be bad, that’s what the clock ticks, that’s what it says in the ticks. Run swim, or stay hot, run eat or lie hungry. So you stay, but once stayed, Will, you know the secret, don’t you? don’t think of the river again. Or the cake. Because if you do, you’ll go crazy. Add up all the rivers never swum in, cakes never eaten, and by the time you get my age, Will, it’s a lot missed out on. But then you console yourself, thinking, the more times in, the more times possibly drowned, or choked on lemon frosting. But then, through play dumb cowardice, I guess, maybe you hold off from too much, wait, play it safe.

“Look at me: married at thirty-nine, Will, thirty-nine! But I was so busy wrestling myself two falls out of three, I figured I couldn’t marry until I had licked myself good and forever. Too late, I found you can’t wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else…”

 

Who doesn’t relate to this at some point or another? The struggle between being good and being bad. The temptation that lies in the promise of a thrill, a high, instant gratification as opposed to deprivation and the knowledge you did the right thing. Knowledge that – whether you choose to admit it or not – most often offers little comfort. After all, we are creatures of want, and we want it now. We seek comfort, happiness, good feelings, short as we may know they’ll last.

Rules. Rules. Rules. Rebellion. Rebellion. Rebellion. What will you choose? Why? When? Just once, or over and over again? Temptation licking its lips at the promise of another victim. But are you a victim or a willing participant? Do you choose to eat the cake or lay in a hot sweat, reminding yourself, “It’s not yours”?

Then, the greater question. Does eating it really make you bad? One slice. When is doing the wrong thing actually the right thing? We all know (unless you’re a hermit) that some rules are more for control and out of fear than for the betterment of mankind. We also know that sometimes, a little risk, a little bit of being “bad”, might end up being the best time you’ve ever had. A memory to last your entire lifetime. Or it may end up being a horrible mistake you regret. Then again, don’t people say that one’s greatest regrets are the things you didn’t do, try, experience?

Is there a line between it all? Because I still haven’t found it. Or perhaps my over-thinking it has made the line blurred beyond recognition. Maybe you’re meant to go with your gut instinct on these things. Then again, how do you tell the difference between instinct, base recklessness, and fear?

It gets so very tiring to be good all the time. The reliable one. The trustworthy one. The one you roll your eyes at the thought of them ever doing anything “bad”. Temptation is a beast that never tires, never surrenders, and can worm its way into every aspect of life. The longer one fights it, it seems, the stronger it gets, and the more exhausted and frustrated you get. The downward spiral is scary. There’s always the fear that giving in to Temptation once makes you more vulnerable to attack another time. It does, really, especially if trying something that’s known to be addictive. Once you’ve had a taste, just a taste… You find yourself longing for more.

What is right and what is easy? Why can’t the right thing be easy for once? Why is it that our “dark” side feels more dominant than our light? The eternal battle. How do you know which side to give in to in what situation? There is always risk, yes, but how do you figure out what is worth that risk and what isn’t?

Perhaps there is no clear cut answer. Maybe there really isn’t a line. Simply grey areas that everyone has to find on their own, depending on their own personalities, their own lives, their own beasts of Temptation.

Magical Pages

Aug 20th, 2010 1:56:00am

I love to read. It’s one of my most favourite things to do. No, scratch that. It is my most favourite thing to do. The beauty of the written word, its power and ability to change lives, to create, to destroy, to bring to life and surface things one would not have been able to imagine otherwise; it’s a remarkable thing. Words have impact.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

I hate that line. Words do hurt. They can stab you where you least expect it. They have a greater effect than the originator of that line could have possibly imagined. Words can discourage and demolish, just as they can inspire and motivate.

Books are my source of pleasure. In them is where I seek those glorious words I have so much respect and admiration for. Books are where I find my escape.

That is why it saddens me, seeing all the new software for reading books digitally. Actually no, not reading books digitally, simply: reading digitally. I don’t consider a book a book, unless you can feel it, see it, smell it, turn its pages, open it with excitement and anticipation, and close it regretfully when it is over.

There are advantages to the software, yes. No need to carry a heavy weight. Cheaper because money that would otherwise be spent on printing and cover designing and illustrations is saved. Hey, no paper cuts! No fire hazards. No wastage of paper either therefore making it a greener option.

But is it really a wastage of paper? Is the excitement of holding a book in your hands, either a fresh copy or one that’s in tatters from being read so often because of words that comfort you in their familiarity, no matter how much things have changed around you, is it really to be replaced with what would be to me a duller version of the feeling when you download something new to read?

To me, books aren’t a heavy weight or a paper-cut risk. They are real. You can run your fingers over the printed words, that slight scratch beneath your fingertips: the unique feel of paper. You can gaze at beautiful covers, while deciding whether or not to begin or continue, or to save the pleasure for a later time. You can take them down from your bookshelf and dust them off years later, to read to your friends, or children, or grandchildren your favourite lines.

They are comforting, books are.

There is comfort in opening a book. It’s like opening a door to a new place. You don’t know exactly what you’re going to find, but you’re eager to find out. And as you turn each page, sinking further into what you’re reading, all you see is what the writer has laid out for you. The lightness of the page and the darkness of the printed word are easily a front. A disguise. Hiding beneath it a glorious world of opportunity, of history, of tales of old and the creativity of the new. I don’t feel that reading from a laptop. The glare of the monitor and the sheer… coldness, interfere, reminding me that I am here, in the real world, sitting at my laptop reading things that could never be or already have been and shall not be again.

There is comfort in closing a book at the finish. A sadness, yes, for you feel almost like you’ve lost a friend, as the saying goes. However, there is the comfort in the finality. You know it’s over and now you are free to think, to ponder over what you’ve read as the back cover stares up at you, confirming its ending.

Books are warm. They are tender portals into all new planes, taking you gently by the hand and leading you down endless paths. They trap memories within their pages, so that every time you open that one book you’re taken back to the feelings and places you were at the time you first read it.

Technology has taken over a lot of things. It has made things easier and cheaper on one front, and harder and more expensive on another, but it has taken over. I just hope it doesn’t take over this as well, despite showing signs of it.

I truly believe it could never match up to all those feelings a lovely printed manuscript, with beautiful jackets that enclose magical pages, provokes.

Stream of Consciousness…

[Original post date unknown]

“It’s funny how things change.”

A cliche statement, but only because of how often it is used. One situation, status, quickly morphing into something completely unlike itself. It happens all too often, proving that Life, Fate, Circumstance… they are the true masters of happenings.

Do they toss a coin? Close their eyes and point?

No. Can’t be. Far too cunning. Far too much irony. Too much.. everything, for it to be a random thing, left to their friend: Chance.

They like spontaneity. Being unpredictable. Though sometimes they give clues to prepare you for what they have in store. Chance plays her part well, here. It is her element. Deciding whether or not you spot them.

They play carefully, strike suddenly. For the better here, for the worse there.

A game? No.

An art? Perhaps.

And undeniable fact. A truth that cannot be ignored. That is the true nature of this.

Change. Funny how it happens.

Funny how things change.

But not funny at all.

It is, after all, the only constant. It happens too often.

With cruelty. With kindness.

Alternating. Coming in all at once.

Good with bad. With more good.

So many possibilities. A choice you make and their plan alters instantly.

Funny? Not funny.

Beautiful. All kinds.

Even while lamenting now, in the end, when it’s over, when every feeling has been disconnected and discarded, it is seen, in it’s truest form. Beautiful. 
It passes. It all passes.
Beautiful.
 When you have overcome. Seen your strength. Your power. Beautiful.
When you make the choices that trigger their kindness. Beautiful.
When, at the end of it, you finally know who you are: Beautiful.

Yet still we say: “Funny how things change.”

No. Breathe. Breathe and whisper, “I am where I am meant to be. It shall pass.”

Change. Funny.

This was written on a whim. Straight from my thoughts, not a single word changed or rephrased. Although the paragraphing has been, as it was originally written line by line. I don’t know where it came from, but here it is.

Secrecy

Aug 25th, 2010 1:45:00am

This is [WordPress]. Over one billion posts by people from all walks of life. Some people blog purely to share the beautiful things they find. Some people blog for publicity (yes, we have celebrities on here too, although I’m sure they’re not all just doing it for that).

Some people blog to unleash their creativity upon the masses, hoping that someone out there will appreciate their work. And then, there are the people who blog for themselves. Who use [WP] as a journal for their thoughts, their feelings and their experiences. Things they want to let out.

I’ve heard people scoff and say, when for example they ask someone for their blog link, “If you don’t want people to read it then why are you posting it all over the internet for the world to see?”

The fact is it’s the people who are actually in our lives, people who we either don’t want them to know about our experiences, or are actually involved in them, they’re the ones we don’t want to read it. It’s a sort of relief, sharing a bit of yourself to complete strangers. They can’t judge you (although many, many will, unfortunately) because they don’t know you. They can’t force their own beliefs and judgements and opinions upon you, because they’re not in your lives, so their effect is limited. I’m not underestimating the power of words, but still. Being judged online by a complete stranger is different being judged by someone who is actually involved in your life.

There are so many people in the world. And it’s comforting sharing it with someone who can maybe relate to it, maybe offer a perspective the people in our lives can’t, maybe discover that they’re not as alone as they thought.  There’s also a sort of freedom. It’s like it’s now out there and it isn’t gnawing at you anymore, and you can breathe easier knowing that no matter what, it’s out there now. You can delete it anytime you want, but for now, it’s released.

I had a personal blog once. I deleted it ages ago, for several reasons, but I still remember that feeling of relief once I got things off my chest and just tossed it out for the world (okay, my followers, none of whom I had known in real life) to see. It was wonderful. It was therapy.

Here’s the opposite. It’s slightly masochistic, I suppose, but also comforting in a way. Holding back and keeping quiet. Not only because you don’t know how to word it in the first place, but because it’s familiar in its safety. No one knows. It’s like your little secret, hidden and only explored at the times where there’s no activity to distract you, outwardly appearing to be staring at the ceiling, while poking and prodding and pondering and wondering on the inside. It’s almost fun, seeing how far you can go before you snap and tell someone, do something, say something, release it, share it.

How many of you have done this? Either before getting a blog, or still, now, today, this very moment perhaps, clutching to your heart something you can’t bring yourself to release, either not knowing what it is, or knowing and keeping it close regardless? A dark secret that keeps you up at night, maybe, or a feeling you just can’t describe? Something you want to speak out loud, but just can’t? I’d like to know. What are you not saying?

Your secret’s safe with me.

The Wisdom of Youth

Jul 18th, 2010 12:43:00am

When I was 11, I wrote a story. The plot and writing were quite terrible, really, but back then it was my pride and joy. A plain single-lined notebook was its home, in my best handwriting at the time, and a little picture was carefully drawn at the end of each chapter. I wrote in it whenever I could, excited as I watched the story unfold beneath my own hand, coming to life on the pages. And when I finished it, I was oh-so-proud and couldn’t wait to show it off.

The point of that little snippet? Well, read that last line again: “…I finished it…” It was the first and last time I did.

I have written since, of course. Stories of all kinds but all with one thing in common: they put the “short” in “short stories”, some even being no more than a few paragraphs long. And I have started stories. Stories that I hoped to convert to novels, or at least to something longer than my usual writing. However, I have always surrendered just a few chapters in, and have yet to recapture the enthusiasm I had felt more than 6 years ago…

This, I attribute to growing up.

When we are young, our lives are more filled with wonder. There is more joy in every new discovery, more imagination in every aspect of life. Ordinary concrete floors are rivers of lava. Trees are mountains to climb high and plant one’s flag in victory. Cardboard boxes are trains, cars, castles or forts. And almost everything we do is an adventure. It’s exciting.

When we grow up, however, many of us lose that. The real world reveals itself to us in all its harshness and cold reality, and the exuberant times of our youth fade away as we take on more responsibility, more duties, more activities better suited to our age. Our excitement about life disappears, or does not last for long, as doubts, procrastination and people bringing you back down to earth interfere.

Why is that? Why is it that when we grow, we lose faith in innocence and fall into the trap so many people before us have? Cynicism, negativity, lack of enthusiasm and just sticking to the things you have to do rather than that which makes you happy. Or abandoning the path you had once so gladly taken as faith gives way to doubt, and “reality” calls you back from your dreams.

Let me tell you something. It took me three days just to get this far in this column. Three days ago I started it. Two days ago I started it again. And since then I have written no more than a few lines. In fact, what I have been writing now, which started from the last two lines of the fifth paragraph, is the longest thus far that I have committed myself to it. I started it gladly, excited to be writing again. But, inevitably, it faded away.

Now that I am writing, I can feel a glimmer of what had got me starting this column in the first place, but not as strong as during those first few lines, and apparently not strong enough to get me back to writing it whenever I have to stop. Ironic, considering the topic, but simultaneously helpful in making my point.

Not everyone loses it. That feeling of stimulation and thrill that used to be our driving force. They cherish it and keep it close, because they know that kids’ attitude about life is something to be retained, not something to grow out of. It is wiser than how most teenagers and adults act now. And if it is combined with the enhanced wisdom and knowledge that comes to us as we grow, the possibilities of what we can accomplish are endless, simply because we believe it, and we have the determination and knowledge to achieve it.

I wish I knew where that notebook had gone. I wish I had kept it safer, to remind me of how I felt when writing that story, when finishing it. Of how passionate and enthusiastic I was.

The energy, exuberance, excitement of childhood…

I miss it.

Creativity… What is it?

Jun 21st, 2010 11:38:00pm

I’m serious. Have you ever thought about it? First of all, what makes “Creativity” and “Logic” two so distinctly separate things, even though they seem to come from the same place: the mind? What makes us think of the former as something vibrant and colourful, while at the same time evoking the image of cold, reasoned calculations for the latter?

Let’s look at them one at time:

Logic: “a particular method of reasoning or argumentation” or “reason or sound judgment, as in utterances or actions”.

I know not if it’s just me but that sounds… Boring. Necessary, of course. It’s always necessary to have one’s wits about them, and to be able to make a sound decision you will not later regret. However – and again, I present to you my opinion alone – logic has such a lacklustre sound to it. It deals with facts and well-stated theories alone. No room for the new and un-experimented, only the old and the sure.

It feels, to me, that logic has not an open mind. It is comfortable with that with which it is familiar. Things that are tangible. It sees only what is right in front of it. A cup is a cup. A painting with nothing but blue splotches (ANT154 by Yves Klein) is exactly as it looks: like a child had fun with blue paint. There’s no looking deeper because logic believes there is no need to. It is what it is simply because. If it deigns to ask why, it is only because it knows there were a series of steps, each equally logical and sensible, that led to the result.

Again, I have nothing against it. Logic is necessary, lest we find ourselves in a number of probably horrid situations. Logic tells us it’s stupid to touch a hot plate with our bare hands. Logic tells us it’s dangerous to walk alone down an isolated-looking alleyway in the middle of the night. Logic tells us that it’s best to pay off one credit card first before applying for another. Or, more logically, not to get a credit card at all.

Logic deals with the facts as they come, processes them, and produces an answer.

Then comes creativity…

From the very name we can see the difference between it and logic. Creativity: “Having the ability or power to create” or “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.”

Logic uses facts that have probably been around for eons. Creativity creates new ones.
That’s what it is. It is the new. Creativity is spontaneous, exciting, always different. Even if it employs old ideas, it puts a new spin on it. Creativity is the ability, the power, the talent, the gift, to make something out of seemingly nothing. Sure, you have the tools. A painter has the canvas, the easel, the paint and brushes. A writer has the pen and paper. A sculptor has the chisel and material of his choice (stone, wood, metal…). Those are your tools, yes. But what you use them for, what you create with them, that is from scratch. From nothing but a thought.

“Thought.” Gives the impression that both creativity and logic come from the mind, do they not?

Where are all your facts processed?

The mind.

Where do all your thoughts come from?

Yes, the mind.

You are forgetting something, though. What makes the painter paint, the writer write, and the sculptor sculpt? It’s hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort and – to employ that old phrase – blood, sweat and tears.

The answer is passion.

When someone is passionate about something, they pursue it. If they don’t, they certainly should. Creativity in a field comes from the passion for that field. The excitement of thinking up the new. The pride in staring at your finished work, knowing there is no other like it, nor will there ever be, because it is yours. Your idea, your effort that made it happen. Your hands made it come to be.

So where does that passion come from?

The heart.

Logic and Creativity are two complete opposites, but both necessary for survival. Without Logic our ability to think for ourselves is pointless. Without Creativity we would never move forward or evolve.

Without Logic we lose what distinguishes us from the animals out in the wild.

Without Creativity we lose what makes us human.

Think about it.

Not A ‘Nobody’

Feb 22nd, 2010 2:33:00am

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.

With this quote echoing in my ears, there have been times when I have wished to give up the art of writing completely. After all, by all accounts, I have yet to ‘live’. I have not done anything in the least bit extraordinary; I have not accomplished anything impressive; I have not conquered nor invented; I have not travelled to foreign, exotic lands, and I have done nothing that I can later say with pride was completely mad. By my own admission, my life is mundane, routine, boring and mediocre at best.

There are days when I reflect upon the years I have spent alive and feel utterly despondent at how things seem to be moving. And then I am filled with despair at my condition, feeling I might never really do anything significant with my life. The differences and changes I want to make to the world may never be should I continue to lead my life the way I do. And I will admit, in those moments, I feel useless, pathetic, and that my fading way would go unnoticed, without a single missing thread from the fabric of the universe. Who would notice? Who would care? I have done nothing. I am nobody.

But when I dare reveal this feeling to the people in my life, I am catapulted into the list of things I have done for them or to them, knowingly or otherwise. I am told of the difference I have made in their lives. I am told that my passing from this world would indeed be noticed, by them and my presence missed with every fibre of their being. Though I have yet to truly believe that I could have such an effect on anyone, it makes me think.

There are times when we believe that no one cares for us. That we have done nothing worthy of that care we all so desperately desire. We believe ourselves to be burdens rather than blessings, unable to wrap our minds around the fact that we may actually have made an impact on someone.

It’s sad. To think of all those who have no idea of their effect, going through their lives feeling they have not done anything to be noted for. Not really.

But as my loved ones constantly remind me, during my days of depression, everyone, no matter how insignificant their lives may seem to them, have in some way influenced another, or one day will.

A smile to a stranger, a kind word to someone in tears, a touch, a single action, done in sincerity and genuineness and love, these have a more profound effect than any of us realise. It is like a ripple in a pond. One deed, or perhaps many, creates a ripple, whether we know it or not. Even those who go through their lives doing the same thing everyday have also changed someone or something, somewhere, somehow.

Never doubt the ability you have to influence. Never doubt your ability to make a change, be it small or grand. Never think that it goes unnoticed. Someone always sees, and even if they do not know the person responsible, smile to yourself simply because even if you are never recognised, you have done something that created a ripple.

Most importantly, however…

Never doubt that you will always mean something to someone. Even if it is only a single soul. Even if you have yet to see it. Someone does care. Always.

Rebellion

Feb 8th, 2010 2:28:00am

It is said that our biggest regrets are not the things we did, but the things we didn’t do. The risks we didn’t take. The words we never spoke.

Almost every single one of my regrets in life so far have been just that. The things I didn’t do.

Believe that? Me. A teenager. By all laws of nature, I should be wild, impulsive. I should be out there doing crazy things and getting into trouble. That’s the image of most teenagers today, right?

Just. Another. Assumption.

There are many teenagers out there who have no desire to break the rules; no desire to cross the boundaries they are set. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, either. I despise it when they are called “goody-two-shoes” and “cowards” and other such names. They are brave enough not to do anything simply because everyone else is, and there is nothing cowardly about that. It is their choice. Their right.

I am not one of them.

I follow the rules alright. I keep away from most of the bad stuff. I don’t give in if someone encourages me to do something I am not at all comfortable about. But here’s the twist: I don’t want to. I don’t want to stubbornly say no. I don’t want to follow the rules. Not because of pressure from others. Not because of the names I may be called. Simply because.. I want to taste it. The freedom that  comes with not being so rigid all the time. I have myself chained to an invisible wall, always stopping myself from doing things that, while I deny the desire, I really want to do. Always. Holding. Back.

How many of you are out there? How many of you have wanted to try something so bad, but held back? How many of you have wanted to say something to someone? A confession? Or something that might save them, or make them mad, or unfortunately have to hurt them? How many of you held back too?

Humans are strange, fickle, hypocritical creatures. There are those who encourage you to break the rules. To break the confines of society and carve your own path. There are those who tell you to simply be yourself, and no one has the right to judge you for it. And then, sometimes those very same people tell you, when you actually take their advice, that it’s not right. That the rules are there for a reason. That it’s better to follow those on the “right” path. That society expects you to behave in a certain way and you must meet those expectations.

Granted, some rules are there for a reason. They go without saying. There are things you simply don’t do. Things that are simply stupid and dangerous for either you or the people around.

But have you noticed? Every great man and woman in this world, living or dead, made their difference by breaking those damn rules. Those shackles humans place on the minds, hearts, and feelings of the people.

I admire most rebels. I do. Because they don’t care about what society thinks of them. They take the risks they feel are worth it. If they get hurt, or get in trouble, then so be it. Those are the consequences. They experience. They live. They say what they need to, they do what they want to. And I know for a fact that most of those who try to squash them do it more out of duty than desire to curb their activities. Because they know that they are the people who are going to change the world. Those who dare to make a difference now. To step out of their comfort zone every once in a while. The daring ones.

Many a time I have had the chance to say things I’ve always wanted to. To do things I’ve always wanted to experience. To taste, to feel, to try the new and forsake the boring old.
And almost each time, I held myself back. I am the controller of my chains, yet I can not find the courage to break them.

Fear controls me, and I know it. Which is why I offer you this advice, readers: I know too well the bitterness of regretting the things not done. I know the heartache, the wondering, the analysing, the inner berating and rebuking, the “What if’s” and the “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s”.

Have courage. Have faith. Take those risks you were and are afraid to take. Break the rules every now and then, as long as they are rules worth breaking. Speak. Do what makes you truly happy.

Break the chain. Carve your path. Live.

Know that you are the ones who will make all the difference.

Know that while I know that I’ll never be able to break my own chains, and while there may be others like me who can’t do it either, we forever admire you, and perhaps envy you as well.

Don’t hold back.

Putting A Label On It

Jan 31st, 2010 12:55:00am

“I am a goth. I am an emo. I am a jock, a geek, a joker. I am the preppy cheerleader and the intellectual bookworm. I am every label in the book, therefore I am nothing. Did you know that a virus can imitate the shape of the cell it’s in, so the white blood cells don’t recognize it? In that respect, I am a virus.”

That is the slightly edited first paragraph of something I once wrote on an online writing website, for a contest which required you to describe yourself.

To many – or probably even all – of those reading this, it may seem that I am a victim of some sort of multiple personality disorder. I assure you I am not, though word over the Internet is hard to be proven truthful. I do not have multiple personalities, simply many facets of the same one, which I choose to display as the situation demands.
Sound strange?

Not to me, nor to anyone else who possesses the same… talent, for lack of a better term.
In truth, I believe we all have different aspects of ourselves hidden within ourselves somewhere. The only problem is the never-ending human need to place labels on every single thing, feature and characteristic. In some ways, this need has proven useful. It is because of this need that we know a bird is a bird, a whale is a mammal, as are we. But where should the line be drawn, and have we already crossed it?

It is labels, and the associating preconceived assumptions that come with them, that has curbed the human ability to simply be. We are limited by what we are told we can or cannot do, who we can and cannot become, because of how we predominantly act. It is this predominance that apparently affects who we are to people. It is this predominance that sets the standards for people’s expectations and judgements. And those are what suppress our ability to be anything we want to. It is why some dumb jocks will only ever be dumb jocks. It is why some criminals, despite whatever desire they once had to change, remain criminals. It is why cheerleaders, no matter how intelligent some of them may be, will always automatically be assumed to be dumb, ditsy, and overly-cheerful.

Who are we, as humans, to judge other humans based on what we think we see? What gives us the right? Who is to say that young girl stealing money is stealing it for drugs? What if she has a family who can’t provide for themselves? Who is to say that druggie you see stoned there isn’t doing it to “fit in” or “be cool”? What if it’s the only escape they feel they have from the hardships life has thrown at them?

And, more importantly, who is to say that is all they can ever be?

We give names. We assign qualities to those names. They stick, through the tides of time. And until people become open-minded enough to the fact that they can be more than what society expects of them, those names will always be attributed to certain characteristics, and that is all that will ever be seen.

People have changed. People have turned their lives around. People have proved society wrong, despite the hurdles they may have had to, and probably did, face. And this is not because they altered their personality. It is not because they became “new people”.
It is because they had it in them all along, and went searching for it.

We all have the ability to be whomsoever we choose, no matter how hard that choice may be. Do not let the labels of man define who you are.

Acceptance

Jan 1st, 2010 3:17:00am

People fear pain. Sounds like a stupid thing to say, doesn’t it? “Of course people fear pain! It isn’t exactly the most pleasant feeling in the world!” is what I’m betting your reactions are like at that statement.

What if I told you that you shouldn’t fear it?

Going the right way for a kick aren’t I?

The best way to explain myself is with an example. Most people who find out they have contracted some fatal disease, start living their life the way they want. Before then, they had just bogged down to what was expected of them, living day to day, maybe even paycheck to paycheck. Then they realise.. Life’s almost over, and they just go for all those things they hadn’t before. If they’re going to die anyways, then they may as well go down with a bang.

Here is the thing people don’t actually realise: We are all dying. Every day we live is a day closer to our own demise. The ones I mentioned above simply had it slapped in their faces, and were given an estimated time-limit.

But that does not mean we should forget that just because they were actually given theirs, that we are all not on a time-limit. Life is fleeting.

And pain is a part of it.

Pain is an inevitable occurrence. Whether you are the cause or the victim, it happens. There is no one and nothing that will not hurt you at one point or another, intentional or otherwise, and that works both ways. This is a fact that everyone must accept, in order to truly live.

We go through life afraid of pain, dreading it, doing everything we can to avoid it. But it’s going to happen no matter which road and which path you take. So why not take the one you wanted to in the first place?

Once that acceptance has been reached.. Once you’ve reached that point where you realise that it is a cemented fact of life, you will realise that freedom is at your fingertips. There will be no need to fear doing anything you’ve ever wanted to do, because you know that there can only be two outcomes, success or failure, and you fear none of them. This is not to say you go around intentionally hurting people then saying it’s just life. I mean that when, due to circumstances beyond your control, you do hurt someone, even though you will and should feel bad, do not make it the tragedy of your life. Apologise sincerely, hope they forgive, and the both of you move on as before.

If you fear failure, you will never taste success. If you fear success, all you will ever know is failure.

But if you fear pain.. You won’t even bother trying.

And therein lies the error.

Accept pain. Embrace it, immerse yourself in it, feeling every sting, bruise and break when it happens. Then.. Let go. Accept that it has occured; accept that it’s over; accept that though you will probably hurt again, there are good times to come as well. That things can only get better from that point.

Feel everything completely, and then let go.

Your heart heals faster. You appreciate the happy moments better. And life becomes increasingly easier.

There will be moments of despair. I promise you this. However, acceptance is key. Even if there are some things you can’t let go of, can’t forget, can’t move on from, accept the situation as is.

And from there, you’ll start living life to it’s fullest, time-limit and all.