Better Than Me

As a Christian I know I’m not perfect,

Nor shall I ever be.

I am trying however; striving to be better,

And not better than anyone else,

Just better than me.

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Knowings

I will be proud the day I graduate and then the next day I will set forth to swim in possibilities. I will have learned at the end of this journey that there is more journey and there is more to be learned. I don’t know what I don’t know and I will continue to learn so that I will know what I don’t know. I do not wish to be stagnate in my knowing’s and therefore I will press on and on and uncover every stone and push through every shadow as to learn truth.

Is it Wise to be Right?

There’s a difference between being right and being wise. The first by itself is desolate, no one to listen or care. The second has acquired an audience because wisdom is attained not from being right but by listening, only then will people care about what you have to say.

Shouldn’t the main point of being right not be about self satisfaction, but about reaching as many people as possible for what’s right and good?

If you want people to listen to you, try not to come off as someone who knows it all and is trying to win a battle with their elaborate and war planned words. Try being kind by listening to others and then being tactful with your words as to reach people, not to beat them in a debate.

People will care about your opinion if you show that you care about theirs.

Revision Your Life

I had to do a revision on a paper recently and I don’t like doing them because I believe I do well enough on the first attempt and I’m just too lazy to bother with it any more than is necessary to get a good grade. This time round however it was required for class; my professor forced my hand…

While doing what I was told, I noticed a few things that I could move around and change. I also noticed something important, a connection between writing a good paper and making a good life. I realized that revisions for papers also work in people’s lives.

If your life is unreadable; if the message is muddled based on your arrangement or development, there’s no rule that you can’t prioritize certain elements and move them around so it suits you better. The same goes for removing sentences or paragraphs you once thought were important. Sometimes for a paper to work well, you have to put in, organize and take out things that don’t work anymore.

Writing a well organized paper is the same way we should live our life. We should have a purpose, we should be organized, we should prioritize what’s important to us and we should stay away from things or people that clutter or distract us from our purpose.

Just as I made a revision on my paper and made the message emerge from the muddle, I discovered a new way of living my life. I want my existence to mean something and for people to understand my purpose; I don’t want my readers to be lost or confused when reading me. As a writer and a person, I must make my presence known in a way that my mission is clear and I am not held back by the ways of this cynical world.

You Have Been Served

“Not to be served, but to serve”, a mission that has been handed down from God Himself. Based on the two readings, “The Drum Major Instinct” by Martin Luther King Jr. and “The Lovers of the Poor” by Gwendolyn Brooks, I believe that this mission to serve others is about humility; making others more important than the desires of your own heart. This mission is to humble thyself and put others before thyself. The Bible says in Matthew 20:16 that those who desire or believe themselves to be first in line for rewards, will be the last to receive them and that the ones who are lowly and believe themselves not worthy will be the ones first in line for rewards. I believe this was what Martin Luther King Jr. was saying with his sermon, that like James and John, we all desire to gain the rewards of this life, especially when we think we deserve it, but the point is that those who really deserve it are those who humble themselves and admit that none of us are truly worthy. When we all believe that there is more we can do and also do it without seeking rewards, that’s when the blessings occur.

The Drum Major Instinct teaches me that while it is natural to believe we deserve praise and recognition for things we’ve done, we mustn’t get cocky and believe we should be above or ahead of anyone else; we mustn’t be selfish. The Lovers of the Poor had a different feel to it but it was along the same lines of humbling oneself to help others. It was basically telling us that we must not judge others based on how they look or the status they keep. It was about helping people who appear to be on a lower status than you. The Bible says in Matthew 25:40 that what we do for the least of these, basically other people, is what we have done for the King. That doesn’t mean we will always be in a situation to help the downtrodden, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help people when we perceive that someone could benefit from our service.

I believe serving is letting go of yourself for a moment and opening up to the possibility of others. When we stop focusing on our own lives, we can find peace in helping others with their lives. Serving is humbling oneself and doing what needs to be done to accomplish a sense of self that is worthy to be recognized because you did something for someone else. The only difference is that once you have served someone else, it becomes less about yourself and more about the world. I will not serve to be thanked, but serve to do a good, that’s all the reward I seek.

Living Stories

Literary Narrative for class: I got a 95! 

Stories are my life. I breathe in stories as if they were my oxygen, and exhale words of my own to express the feelings and emotions I get from taking them in. Stories help me relate to the world in a way that’s not totally inside the world, but as a wallflower, observing the intricacies of human life, without hardly touching them. I am of the kind who prefers the living of life vicariously through stories, because in a way, stories are life, told in the perspective of a narrator, a person looking inside the snow globe and perceiving all the complex features of what humans consider, every day life. I enjoy observing common day life and contemplating on what I’ve seen and what it could possibly mean. As I begin to possibly understand what I see, I try to write down my thoughts in a way that makes sense. I do not write words because I know the answers, I write words as a way to try to get to the answers. The stories in my life, the ones I hold dear, are the ones that inspire and encourage me to be a better writer, a writer that seeks truth instead of declaring that I already know everything, which I am far from ever claiming.

Stories take many forms, that of text, speech, movies and television, art, music, dance and many more. Whatever it takes to get a message across, in whatever form, is considered a story, and they are all equally enthralling. As to the forms of stories I read, I am frequently reading texts that open one’s mind to all the possibilities that nature has to offer. I enjoy texts that inspire and prove that truth prevails. I enjoy texts that express that sometimes, life isn’t all black and white and that there is a medium ground where people must learn to acknowledge that there is goodness and badness in everyone. The stories I often read tend to have meanings behind the surface that the one reading it must try to uncover for themselves, which is a lot like art, discovering what the artist meant and what it may mean to you. I specifically enjoy science fiction stories, ones that open your mind to multifarious life styles and predicaments. These stories help people understand that there is more to life and more answers to our difficulties than just fighting and destroying everything in our path. I love the works of Plato and Socrates and I love the story of Frankenstein. I particularly enjoy crime and mystery novels, especially the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories has especially opened my eyes to the possibility of writing as my future.

Reading opens a whole new world, a gateway into new realities that are often more pleasant than our own circumstances, whether the lives of the inhabitants of the stories believe so themselves or not. Reading is a way to enter into a new life and explore new possibilities and broaden one’s horizon. These are the circumstances as to why I read. When I read my own stories, ones I’m not made to for class, I often find that I have to wait to be in the right atmosphere and mood before I begin. If I am in a busy area or time in my life, then I discover that I don’t read as much. I never read my favorite stories when I am bored. That is a big no no in my philosophy of reading. My sister wonders why, because she would say that reading will solve my boredom, which is probably often times true, however, I do not desire to open my favorite book because I am so bored that it will have to do. There are times that I do not touch a book because I know I won’t pay it the attention that its due and that is just not acceptable. The only time I read my favorite stories, is when I want to go on an adventure, one that does not spur from the feeling of boredom but the feeling of readiness to get up and explore.

Many aspects of reading appeal to my sense of adventure when reading a book. I find that if there is an intriguing character, whether fictional or factual, they will always be of interest to me. I enjoy critical thinking and trying to figure out how a story I’m reading relates to the world I’m living in. I often enjoy works of Plato because the situations he described in the past, are still relevant to this day. Socrates was an incredible man who influenced many with his words of wisdom. Wisdom and words of inspiration and encouragement appeal to me as a reader, so words from the Bible help me greatly as well. I use many various kinds of texts to try and figure out the world I’m living in and the best texts are ones that challenge the status quo, which is why I loved reading the Hunger Games. What turns me off as a reader is quite simple and to the point. I do not like to read a whole mess of details about the location I’m in in the story. If the writer is good enough, they will never have to have several paragraphs to explain every detail of a room. I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for this very reason. Sherlock Holmes is known as the greatest literary detective of all time due to his deduction skills and profound logic and wisdom. That being said, one who has not read the stories might think that there is a lot of details describing every little thing, as to get in the mind of the great detective, this would be false. What I love about these stories is that they are written in such a way that does not boggle your head with useless facts, the common place things that have nothing to do with the case. Instead, a point that Sherlock makes himself many times, is that the simplest fact, the thing most often overlooked, is most often the point that solves the crime or mystery. Of course, there is always a description of people and rooms, but only enough to give you a picture in your own mind and you can fill in the blanks yourself if you need to.

As I sit down and get comfy, as I am about to read a story, I put on my thinking cap, the ones we were told to put on in elementary school as to get the students prepared to think. The issue with many people today, is that they don’t think in a broad space, only a narrow one that holds just their own beliefs. I become an observer when I read, which is what I do in reality, however this is by far more enjoyable. I like to observe a situation and imagine myself in that space and wonder how I would react to whatever is going on. I like to acknowledge that a person, in reality or in my stories, has tread a long path to get where they are, and that I don’t know exactly how they feel, but that I can try to understand how I would feel in that moment. As I read, I become that of a friend and protector of my favorite characters, though if I was discussing the book with someone, I would acknowledge the characters faults as well as their great accomplishments. The best characters after all, are the ones who have the scars of their past to remind them to do better today.

When reading, I pick up different pieces of my soul that have been scattered in different stories long ago. When I read something new and it resonates with me, I know that it was meant for me. My own values and beliefs gives me a starting point when I’m reading something. I will always have a shade of my beliefs with me, no matter where I go or what I do, however, I can pick up new aspects of life and values and beliefs from other places. No matter what, when I am reading or doing anything, I am searching for truth. Truth is not malleable and it doesn’t change from person to person or culture to culture. I believe there is one truth to be found and whether a different culture has a bit of it, or a different religion has a bit of it, they must be found and fit together like a puzzle piece, as to discover the ultimate truth. When reading or writing, I use these truths that I have found from all over creation, and share it through words. I value the truth in other peoples writing, which is something I hope people value in mine.

As a person who wishes to spread truth to many, I’m hoping as a tutor I will be able to awaken possibilities in others so that they can begin the journey to find truth as well. Being a tutor will hopefully energize my writing as well as theirs, for I hope to teach my students to think critically and question what they think about the world. I want them to make sense of the world through their writing. I want them to understand that learning is a process of discovering how to think and not what to think. Though the ultimate goal is finding truth, the journey there will be incredible because it will open their eyes to different possibilities and awaken that sleeping child within all of us, the one that used to dream and wonder. I realize it can also be a rough journey; an advantageous journey never did come without complications. I know I won’t be perfect and I may not always be able to help, however, my purpose is about helping them to help themselves. The main goal is to get them to think about different cultures and perspectives and themselves. The main goal of writing is to seek truth and I’m hoping to engage the students into thinking more profoundly than they ever have. The ocean is the limit, and considering the depths of the ocean has not been fully explored yet, Id say that our limits are abound.

Persecuted for Your Beliefs?

Maybe it’s not about what they’ve done, but how we’re reacting to it. It’s about them, not us. What we say or do, by reacting in such a manner, it defines us, not them. If they push the barriers and we scream and yell, it only proves to them what they already believed. If we sit down together in peace, it will prove to them and us that we believe what we claim. Our job is to be an example of love, not to coerce others into conformity. We must act like we know what it feels like to be judged and persecuted for our beliefs…

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