Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When A Scorpion Stings Your Hand...

There once was a hindu holy man who saw a scorpion floundering around in the water. He decided to save it by stretching out his finger. But the scorpion stung him. The man still tried to get the scorpion out of the water, but the scorpion stung him again. A man nearby told him to stop saving the scorpion that kept stinging him. But the holy man said, "It is the nature of the scorpion to sting. It is my nature to love. Why should I give up my nature to love just because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting?"

It should be our nature to love regardless of who we are, regardless of what has been done to us. Its hard, I know. Trust me. People are always going to sting you. They are going to rip into your character. They are going to be the ones in the platform telling you that your views are wrong. They are going to be in the pulpits pointing fingers in judgment. They are going to be the ones who hold your whole race responsible for the actions of one person. But that doesn't give you the right to despise. Hate for those who hate is still hate. In spite of those who may sting you, remain in what you know to be your nature, love.

- Stephen Christian (singer of Anberlin and Anchor & Braille)

[I found this to be incredibly sobering and optimistic, hope you will too]


Friday, October 23, 2009

The Machine

Has anyone ever stopped to think about the state of the society we live in? What is valued versus what is considered insignificant and trivial is a good example of our society's priorities. Most people are, in some way, plugged into "the machine"; a system that dictates their way of life. They work 9-5, come home to the house they can barely afford, sit in their lazy-boy and let cable television wash over them. They are not only enabling but perpetuating society's state of lethargic ignorance. Thinking for yourself is considered a waste of energy. Why do it when society's brand of intellect and information is handed out "to go" and can be found in your weekly issue of People magazine. We are living in an ego driven society that celebrates fame, lacks ambiguity and is incapable of deep sustained attention with no discontinuity between life and art. It's easier to conform and be a sheep guised in ignorance for fear of being singled out or considered "different". It's okay to be yourself as long as you fit the mold. Individuality comes off an assembly line. Originality is pre-fabricated and mass produced. These days adulthood is a continuation of high school. The fear to fit in and be accepted is unavoidable. It's apparent when television advertises weight loss without having to lift a finger. That is our country at it's finest. We want the reward, skip the work we want the results. We run to the nearest plastic surgeon to erase what we hate about ourselves. What is considered "beautiful" is currently starving itself to be just that.

Society tells us to get good grades, go to college, and whore ourselves to a career that affords us the luxury of not being "affected". Success is the opiate that fills our lungs and clouds our judgment. It convinces us that we are worthy of praise because we beat the system, in actuality, we just fell prey to it. There is no reason to create music, art or be exceptional unless there is a pot of gold at the end of the road, waiting to paralyze the very abilities that brought us to it. We are under the impression we're untouchable. We think it's a bad day if we forget our grocery list, completely ignoring what's going on around us. We sit in our lofty buildings and offices high above the skyline of humanity until a plane crashes into it and the sobering reality of our world sets in.

Humanity is slowly shutting down. We're always plugged in or connected to something, part of the machine, but the more we plug in the less human we become. We are all guilty at some point in our lives of jumping on the band wagon society pulls around for us. It's humanistic to want to feel a part of something, to disappear into the collective, but the moment we forfeit our ability to think and create is the moment we surrender the very thing that makes us human. Knowledge is power. Be informed.


"It is not until we have lost everything that we are able to do anything." - Tyler Durden