Because it cannot be bought, love is the rarest commodity in the world.
How can we get it, then? Where do we get the solutions to our problems?
In Albert Camus’ last university lecture, he put it beautifully:

"I believe...that it is awakened, revived, nourished by
millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day
negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. As a result,
there shines forth fleetingly the ever threatened truth that each and
every man, on the foundations of his own sufferings and joys,
builds for them all."
The solutions have to come from each of us, the very people
who need them. We all need love, so we all must give it.
This is the drive behind my efforts. I wish to spend my life serving
the people of our world, and to continually improve the way I serve it.

☺ ♥ ☺ ♥ ☺ ♥ ☺ ♥ ☺
My posts will be about anything and everything relating to life.
From funny to serious, a school paper to my current thoughts,
yesterday's happenings to tomorrow's hopes, all sorts of reads.
I encourage you to come often!

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Music Moves In Mysterious Ways
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Give and Then Give

Give and then give posted her personality type that, that's not a type) derived from her website. I thought that was pretty neat; I wanted to check it out!

Now, I'm not a fan at all of Zodiac horoscopes, silly MySpace bulletins, or chain mail that tell you that you are exactly the same as everybody who has the same color eyes, birth month, favorite color, or car as you do. However, bases their analysis on what YOU have written on your blog. They have pre-written descriptions. Nevertheless, the description they shot back to me was strangely accurate:

"The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living."

The slash-throughs represent what I don't quit e agree with. I am a friend of many words. The problem is that I don't brainstorm before I post on here. I should, but I don't. I get an idea and I get so excited that I just want to write it and post it. The problem is I often forget to write down many, many things, or as I am writing I think of more and more and I can't organize it enough to stick them all in. It's a bad habit, especially for a future English teacher lol. I'll work on it.

I wouldn't say that I carry the world's "worries" on my shoulders, because I don't like the word "worry". Worrying says that you are irrational. If I was "worrying" about something, that would mean that I see a problem and want to fix it, but cannot see what I can do about it. The rational thing to do would be to try and figure out just what I can do. If I find that I indeed cannot do a thing about it, at least at this particular point in time, then I would stop fussing over it. I would not forget about it, but worrying will only waste time and energy and frustrate the worrier. Chances are, though, that if a worrier stops and thinks about what a possible solution is, they will be able to do at least something about it. They, alone, may not be able to solve the problem, but then most important problems are not solved by a single one of us.

Finally, I slashed "above what they do for a living". Now, I DO agree with it, but I felt that it needed further explanation. I plan on leading a very meaningful career. I won't begin influencing and being influenced once I get clock out, and why should I? Now, I know that many people are not so quite as free to be so picky. I only wish that those "in power"(we are really in power) wouldn't create the illusion that we have to find work, any work or we'll die. I wish they would quit exploiting us, but then, I also wish that the masses would quit allowing themselves to be exploited. If it came down to it, though, any one person is more important to me than a job, or food, or clothing, or shelter.

About the image: The phrase at the bottom of it says a great deal: "Live and then give". It would be even better, though, if it was "Give and then give". It is absolutely wonderful if you are an organ donor. I am one, too. It is not, however, enough. It would seem odd to me if a person live in total disregard for those around him, but chose to donate his organs once he or she died. While we are living, we can also give to the living. While we are living we can save lives with our living words and actions. Once we are dead, then we can save lives with our dead-person words and actions(quotes, memories, pictures & organs).

Related posts: Prioritize Your Passion, Best Day of My Life, How Much Is Enough?, "What the world needs now is love..."

Does your online life reflect your real physical and mental self? If no, what are you going to do about it? If yes, does your real physical and mental self reflect truth? Do you save lives?

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Best Day of My Life!!

We are here to serve each other Okay it wasn't the best day of my life, but it was pretty darn wonderful. The only thing that has irritated me today is why I don't do this whenever I can! It's so incredibly fulfilling, satisfying, joyous, and beautiful! How can a person not praise the Ruler of this Earth out loud?!! I still can't quite grasp how wonderful I feel. I guess you're wondering what made the day so amazing(and it's hardly even over yet!):

Okay so I got up at 9:30. This is fairly late, but I still got so much done for others. Boy, God motivated me today! We got 4 or 5 inches overnight, and every time it snows I help a couple of older ladies who cannot shovel their driveways. I don't shovel the driveways though, I bring my snow blower :]. I still need shovels here and there though. So I went over to Mrs. Cox's house first. Mrs. Cox is such a kind lady. She loves to talk, and she's alone; so, I have to shut the snow blower down every time she comes out to take a peak at my work(really she wants to chat until she gets cold again). It's so nice. She's wise, and I can listen, nod and murmur in agreement, and put in my two cents here and there. She'll call me an angel a few times and shuffle back in(she has major back problems). Sometimes though, it's cute, she'll take her shovel and feebly move a few flakes around until I tell her she should let me do that.

I need to introduce Mrs. Cox's neighbor. She lives in a little, one-story duplex with a driveway which she shares with the other tenant. This driveway is tiny: Two car widths wide and two and a half car lengths long in front of two, side-by-side, one-car garages. Her neighbor is also older, but still very capable of snow blowing her own half of the driveway. The thing is, the neighbor doesn't have a snow blower. She often asks Mrs. Cox for hers, but when she uses it she only snow blows her half. Naturally, this doesn't sit well with Deloris Cox. Recently, Deloris told the neighbor that she couldn't use her snow blower(I hadn't come along yet; but i came that same day).

I received Deloris' information and called her to tell her I could clear her driveway free of charge. She was ecstatic and I went right over(she only lives about 10 miles away). I got there and the very irritated Mrs. Cox told me what had happened. Later, when she saw me doing the entire driveway, she asked me why i was doing hers(she is still a very kind lady, she was just insulted and angry). I told her that I just thought it was the right thing to do. I could tell that she agreed, but hesitantly said "Well, okay". So i finished up and went home.

A couple days later I was back, she was snowbound again and couldn't even get to her mailbox(If I was lonely and in my house all day the mail would be a pretty big deal to me too). So, once again I cleared the whole driveway. This time, though, the neighbor's middle-aged kids showed up just as I finished. I smiled and greeted them, wondering if they knew of the dispute. They smiled back(sheepishly :]) and went inside. A few times went by, and a couple of times I couldn't do the neighbor's half because cars were parked in it. Then i wasn't there for a couple of weeks. Mrs. Cox thought I went back in school and didn't call me for help. Also, there wasn't an especially large snowfall, so I thought that maybe she didn't call because she didn't need it, so I didn't call(shame on me).

Anyway, I went over today and saw plenty of snow on the little driveway. The wind was blowing across the driveways so that I needed to start on Mrs. Cox's side. I was about 15 minutes into the job when the neighbor began shouting at me. "Blow it the other way! What are you doing? Blow it the other way!" She had a very angry look on her face. I looked up, pulled down my scarf, and said "Oh I'll do your side too, don't worr-" She yelled, "Well I can't afford to pay you, blow it the other way!" before I could finish. I said "You don't have to pay me anything"(of course I wasn't charging Mrs. Cox either). She had hardly let me finish when she repeated "I can't afford pa--oh...", and walked back inside. Boy, I tell ya, I smiled so big inside. Not because I won a battle or anything, but I could tell how bad she immediately felt. It was wonderful! I smiled and was even happier to do her side, too.

Luckily, my technique brought me over to her side before her 4 grand kids hopped off of a school bus(I was surprised they had school). I watched them gazing at the pure, beautifully white snow and then stomping in the parts I hadn't done yet. They were ushered in by their grandmother. Once they were inside she came up to me to apologize about yelling. I just felt so happy. I was so glad she felt better; I could tell that she did. She even told me that if she could afford to pay me she would. I was touched, and all the more happy! I finished up that drive so quick after that! I even did the road in front of their house! I said bye to Mrs. Cox and drove off with a huge bubble of joy inside of me. I couldn't help but yell inside my car! "Woooooo! I love you God!" I slid around a couple of corners and out of the subdivision, on my way to my next errand.

I wasn't going to Mr.s Briggs' house, I'm doing her's tomorrow. I needed to stop by Wal-Mart for some deodorant and razors, so I headed over there. I had a huge smile on my face (I couldn't help it) and said "Hey!" towards everyone and only smiled bigger when they smiled back! I was walking so fast, hardly able to control myself.

I was driving towards my next destination when I realized I wasn't even a mile from my Aunt and Uncle's house. I turned onto their street in just a few moments and was super glad to find the driveway void of cars, but full of snow! 3 of their 4 kids are at their Universities, my Aunt was teaching at the moment, my Uncle was working, and the 4th kid was also at school. I hopped out, pulled the snow blower out of the trunk and whisked around the driveway, sidewalk, and front step. I kept imagining the look on their faces when they would pull in tonight! They would be overjoyed that they didn't have to come home from work and do it(their driveway isn't huge, but it's not tiny). I gathered up my things and drove off, silently wishing that they wouldn't pass me on an early trip home or something.

Next I headed to Waubonsee, the community college I attend, to pick up some books and supplies from the bookstore for my brother. I received a generous scholarship from AT&T, whom my dad works for. The scholarship is good for tuition and/or other school-related costs. I got all of my books($400+) and then got my brother the 5 subject notebook and 2 folders he asked for. I then proceeded to pick out 2 more folders, 4 Lefty notebooks(he's left-handed), and a nice black portfolio(he's a business major), and 4 sweet .05 mechanical pencils(the ones with the super good, twisty erasers that last forever). I was so excited!! I couldn't wait to see his face! The total was $500+ and I still have a couple hundred more on the scholarship(it's $750 per semester)! So if he or a friend needs anything, I can get it for them!

Then I stopped by the gas station, filled up the car(it was empty) and made sure the gas can I had in the trunk and the snow blower were topped off and headed on home to write this! In a few moments I'm heading to the bank to cash all sorts of bills and coins that I raised for the local food pantry(which reminds me, a family I know wrote a $100 check and put it in the bottle. I also know that they CANNOT afford that. I'll have to thank them in person. I'm excited about that too.)! Then I'm going to take all of this energy and go to open gym(we're getting ready for the upcoming alumni basketball tournament) and have a heck of a lot of fun! What a day!!! Oh it feels so wonderful to help other people!

I know a lot of this sounds like I'm just proud to be doing these things, but it's not that. And I want to share this on here to show others just how amazing it is. What I have to do now is continue this behavior, make it a habit. Volunteer, people! If you do already, keep it up! Help others, even if it's just snow removal for those unable to do it. You would not believe how grateful these ladies are. They feel so unsafe not being able to get out, and nobody helps them! there are young and able neighbors all around them who just don't get the job done. Mrs. Briggs often mentions how she has grown to hate the snow. That is so sad! I can't blame her, but God didn't make snow to be a nuisance! He made it to give the season of Jesus' birth a pure, clean, beautiful look. Plus, these lonely ladies have company every time I help them out. And I love being with them! It's so wonderful.

There are so many opportunities to show love to others. As I have said in other posts, everybody could use extra love in their lives, so we MUST give it! It is hardly a sacrifice! I never feel this incredible looking after myself all day! No matter how well I do on a test or how much money I make in a day, I NEVER feel like this! I want to encourage you all to go out and do things. Anything. When I got up at 9:30 I was feeling a little selfish(I hadn't gotten into bed until about 4AM, my fault anyway). But I knew that I really wanted to help out. And now look where I am! Make the initial sacrifice, and you'll get back a million times more.
Luke 6:31
"Do unto others as you would have them do for you."
Luke 6:38
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap."

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How Much Is Enough?

Inspired by/copied from Waving or Drowning?
Let us grow to be old, wise, and loving like the Giving Tree
Get The Giving Tree At
or read it in video on
"And so the boy gathered her apples...
cut off her branches...
cut down her trunk...
and the tree was happy...
'I have nothing left to give...I am sorry...
[But] an old stump is good for sitting and resting.
come, boy, sit down.
Sit down and rest.'
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy."

How can we know if we are giving enough? C.S. Lewis has the perfect answer to this universal question:

"I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am
afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other
words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc. is
up to the standard among those with the same income as our own, we are
probably giving away too little…. There ought to be things we should
like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures exclude them."
- C.S. Lewis -

On the other side of the coin, how can we know if we are giving too much? Oh that's simple: it's impossible to give too much. Unless of course you think Jesus, the epitome of love, gave too much. The work of loving others is never finished, and why would we want it to be? How in the world would we be fulfilled if we could not love others? If we all were perfect, we would be like God, Himself. So, since we're not, we all need love all of the time, and God sure wants to see us dole it out. So if none of us are perfect, and the job of loving sacrifice is never done, then how can we ever give too much of anything?

It is humbling to consider whether or not I give enough. I have to admit that I do not. I know, I just said that nobody ever can; so, I also have to admit that I hardly TRY hard enough. That is the real question. Whether or not we TRY too much.

Are people in need around you? Could you do a little more of something, anything, to help them out?

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Monday, January 12, 2009

"What the world needs now is love..."

We Are All Connected A recent post on Notes to Self has called to mind (although it should always be there) the fact that love heals everything. Love even keeps things from needing healing. Love does everything we want it to, when you and I show it, at least. If we don't we had better hope that others are, or we'll be about smooshed pretty quickly. What I'm saying is that if people aren't helping other people, if there are no relationships in which we can lean on others (literally or figuratively), then what do we have? Kids have to lean on parents, friends, grandparents, teachers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers. Parents have to lean on spouses, parents, friends, coworkers, teachers, babysitters, mail deliverers. And each group named has to lean on a million others.

(If you have your sound up, "Give Me Your Eyes" on my playlist would go great with this post. Of course, "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers does too, but that's not on my playlist lol.)

Unfortunately, not everyone has enough people to lean on. In fact almost nobody does. The world isn't perfect, but you know what, all that means is that we have work to do. People out there need to be picked up. Yeah I know, YOU need help too. "Who's gonna pick me up," you're probably thinking. Well, if you're thinking that, you probably don't have enough love in your life. How does it feel? I guarantee that once we all start worrying about others, we'll find that the loads and loads of problems we once had seem like nothing. Probably because they're mostly gone.

We'll always have problems; nobody is perfect. Together, however, is the only way we'll ever be even close to perfect. I think we all can admit that we can't do everything on our own. So, if you were standing in a room with me and everyone else, and everybody admitted at the same time that we need help, wouldn't you want to help the people next to you?

Plus, there's always the God who sent Mr. Jesus who never stopped talking about love. We can always lean on him; I think he knows a thing or two that might help.

Love is where it's at, right?

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Big Misunderstanding and BIG TIME Exploitation

Ignorance is emptiness I was on Yahoo! Answers when I saw the question: "Why do people often blame the poor for their own plight?" I answered it; I like answering meaningful question. Or I should say, I like answering questions(some aren't, in themselves, meaningful) with meaningful answers. My answer was relatively simple. By that I mean, I did not cover all that could be discussed in an answer to that question. However, I think it is adequate:

"I witness this phenomenon as well. Really, they just don't understand. They don't understand what it is like to be unavoidably thrown into an unfortunate situation. Because it hasn't happened to them, they assume that they could easily avoid it. They just have no idea. I'm sure there are some people who had plenty of control over their life, but the vast majority of those living hard lives have been put in that position by our greed and profit driven, capitalistic society. Especially our health care system.

I highly recommend the movie SICKO. It depicts just how greedy the protectors of our health care system are. Most Americans have no idea. They accept the system as normal, when it it inhumane and socially unacceptable.

Similarly unfortunate events occur outside of our borders to do the same thing to citizens of other countries. In nearly every unavoidable case, it has probably been because of some form of greed(for money, power, etc.).

The solution: American citizens need to be educated on just what the wealthy people who run our country (not just the congressmen and President) are doing to its people. Capitalism is about a few getting rich, and for what? What we need is a system not centered on ripping people off. Free education, universal health care, etc."

Here is a link to the question itself. The answer above me is actually a great example of what many people think. Why do people...?

What do you think about people living in unfortunate situations? It is always their fault? Is it usually their fault? Again, I strongly recommend SICKO for anybody, regardless of your view on this. The book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins also sheds a great deal of light on the true America.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All over the place with this one.

We Are All Connected I want to talk about something that I disagree with. I sometimes hear somebody talk about forcing themselves to do what is "right". They talk about self-discipline, constantly reminding themselves that they shouldn't do something. This can work, but usually it doesn't. In my opinion, it works when we have already (and remind our self often)learned that it is the "right" thing. What I mean is, if we don't know WHY something is right and that we need to be doing it, it will be increasingly difficult to tell ourselves to do that thing. It is the same way for making oneself not do something that is "wrong". If I don't have enough reasons (either learned by myself, another person, or the Holy Spirit) not to do something, I'll eventually do it.

For example, I start dating a girl, and my mom tells me not to go into her room, it's inappropriate. Okay, that's fine, right? I grew up having a general feeling that certain things are right and wrong without having to really know why. My mom is telling me that this certain thing is wrong and I trust her judgment, therefore, it must be wrong. Now, let's say my girlfriend had a much smaller house than I do. It's not small, but smaller, and designed differently. Their kitchen, dining room, and living room are all combined into one very large room. The rest of the rooms are bedrooms, bathrooms, a laundry room, and storage (my house has many rooms to be in). When her sister or brother is using the T.V. in the living room, we can sit at the dinner table or at the kitchen counter. Or...we can go into her room (she has a T.V. and a computer in there). Now, here's the other thing. Let's say my girlfriend and I are adamant on not doing anything sexual until we are married. Well, that sounds like a tall order, but we were going to do it (although, our reasons for that decisions were similarly non-existent; we just knew that we should wait). However, at this particular time(the beginning of the relationship), I did not associate not going into her room as being inappropriate for any particular reasons, let alone helping us to stay away from sexual activity.

I had disobeyed my mom on many occasions and gone into Sammy's room before, but I often felt convicted about it, and would go on periods of abstaining from doing so. At the same time, I began to notice that it was far, far easier to do things like make out and touch each other in her room. It was not until Sammy and I became addicted to sexual acts(although never sex) for me to realize why my mom told me not to go into her room. Needless to say, we failed at our goal of purity. It very soon became a rule that I not go in there under any circumstances.

Since then, that rule has been broken and reinstated dozens of times. We are over being addicted, and we have better balanced our relationship. However, each "time" causes me to yearn more and more for sex. After 25 months together today, we are DEFINITELY not having sex until our wedding night. I mean, if we KNOW we are going to get married, can't we just wait? And if we don't KNOW, which we don't we just think we probably will, then why risk it with someone other than our future spouse? So, we will abstain from sex until we are married, yet I feel an increasing want to do it now. This is sufficient to keep me out of her room (at least for most of the time). If only my mom had warned me with a WHY, instead of a simple command.

NOW, the it is about self-discipline. I have to remind myself of the real reason why my mom told me not to go into her room. I have to remind myself that it is important. I even have to remind myself WHY it is important.

Do you have any idea what I am saying? Because I am tired, and I hardly do.

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