We can talk at length about good intentions, but it’s our reactions that put our habits on display. Reactions are fueled by conditioning. Good conditioned responses result in good choices. Poor conditioned responses result in poor choices. Life, people and moments will sometimes be unkind – our habits will surface in these moments, either in the same manner or in opposition to how we are treated.
Smiling when life is good is equivalent to a shopping spree when we have a little extra money in the bank. It’s nice, but neither are a measure of true wealth. Wealth is defined as “an abundance of valuable possessions or money.” However, the most valuable “possessions” are not material; they are “things” such as integrity, courage, reason, choice, kindness, compassion, and empathy. A smile is a wonderful asset, and holds even greater value when possessed and proudly displayed by those looking up from the ground.
Make time for old friends when the common goal is to make new memories. Draw upon your history to share a quick smile and to consider the skins you’ve shed. Longing for the past is a sure sign that you’re still trying to become the person you were.
I’m in a restaurant. At a large round table off in the corner I see a goth, a jock, a nerd, a priest, a rabbi, a drag queen, a cowboy, a lawyer, a politician, a philosopher, a psychologist, a blind woman, a deaf child, a hippie, a hipster, a disabled veteran, a black teenager, a police officer, a musician, and a biker all sitting together. Who is the most judgmental person in this scenario?
Based on the information provided: it’s me! Why? Because other than using my eyes I have no other data than my perception. My perception is not a truth. I have not heard anyone speak. I am an unreliable narrator in this scenario. Based on the 20 descriptors given, you may have even found yourself beginning to make assumptions about how the people mentioned might behave. You may even be assuming that there were 20 people at this table, ignoring the fact that one person alone may be accounting for multiple attributes.
However, we know nothing about their character. Our eyes may foolishly believe we know these people, and if we allow our sight alone to be judge and jury before any actions or behaviors are presented, we are doing no one, ourselves included, any justice in this scenario. Actions and behaviors determine the nature of one’s character: not a uniform.
DISCLAIMER: Quasi END GAME spoiler
Sometime it’s difficult to determine when to continue pursuing something and when to decide to pursue something else. Where is the line between “giving up” and “not giving in”? When a medic is performing CPR, when do they know when to continue to revive someone and when to call it? This is something I pondered after seeing Avengers: End Game over the weekend. It comes down to determining the “snap” moment. That’s the line! Post-snap, there’s reason to believe a course can be corrected: There’s still hope. Pre-snap is a lost cause.
Life is all about what happens moment-to-moment. Truth is found in knowing the meaning in those moments: either as they unfold or upon reflection. Discovering the truth and refusing to acknowledge it is the same as trying to raise the dead.
The human brain is roughly 15 centimeters long and weighs between 1300 – 1400 grams (3 – 4 pounds). Considering how expansive thoughts can be, that’s quite a small space. Physically, not many would fear someone throwing their weight around if it were only 4-pounds to fend off. Mentally though, many cower at the thought of how much damage the mind is truly capable of dealing. A single thought can be a deathblow. There would be no such thing as suicide if this weren’t true.
When we think of outer space, that’s quite an immense space to ponder. So vast in fact that beyond outer space lies “deep space,” which is difficult to fathom. Size is relative. As Yoda said, “Judge me by my size do you?” What we’re capable of depends greatly on our perspective. We can see size as a literal framework of our perceived limitations, or as just a casing. We all share two things in common: We are human and we are earthlings. In both statements, insignificance and connection can be found and felt equally. It’s the same feeling we get when we look to the stars.
What do The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Ramones, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Nirvana all share in common? Well, for starters, anyone reading this has probably heard of these bands. Secondly, they are an example of some of the world’s most influential bands that shaped music through multiple generations. Another, less talked about fact, is that when all of these bands released their debut albums, they were basically children. Paul McCartney was 21 when Twist & Shout was released in 1963. Robert Plant was 21 when Led Zeppelin was released in 1969. Joey Ramone was 26 when Ramones was released in 1977. James Hetfield was 20 when Kill ‘Em All came out in 1981. Axl Rose was 25 when Appetite for Destruction was released in 1987. Kurt Cobain was 24 when Nevermind came out in 1991 (22 when Bleach was released).
There are obviously more bands that can be listed here, but these bands serve as a humbling snapshot. Some of these bands and artists are still going and continue to put out music today, and this point is intended with no disrespect to their current music. If you’re in your twenties right now, you may not feel like a child, but give it twenty years. The purpose is to highlight how the music and lyrics that speak to us daily on such profound levels are often the creative products of incredibly young minds. Perspective is reflecting on mileage over time.