Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why Write a Blog?

                I’m guessing that anyone who is reading this blog might wonder why I am writing it. Why should I waste my time posting something that people are most likely not going to read? Shouldn’t I be doing something more productive?
                The answer to the first question is “because it’s a good thing to do.” It doesn’t matter so much that other people read it as much as I write it. If I don’t write this ideas or observations, then how can people read it? It doesn’t matter if only one person looks at these as much as it gets that one person to think about something good and might inspire him or her to do something good. It’s almost like in Saving Private Ryan where the commander is saying, “This guy better find a cure or something” when they are sacrificing so much to save one man. I can put in a lot of effort, but if some person can take that effort and do something remarkable, then wouldn’t that be worth it?
So why write them? I can speak these ideas to different people if I wanted to spread my thoughts. The problem with that is it only relies on word of mouth and that someone doesn’t forget. By having a source, people can refer to other people where the idea is talked about.
At the same time, writing a blog isn’t just for anyone, but also myself. There have been a few times when I have talked to people where I refer to my own writings to recall how I thought of a point. Sometimes the answer surprises me and I think I was mistaken. Other times, I see the logic and can make a valid argument. By writing these posts, I am helping myself. I am analyzing things and, later on, can reexamine them after more experiences. That is something productive and why I write a blog.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sins of the Father

Do we deserve to be rewarded or punished for the actions of our ancestors? The simple answer would be no, but it is a complicated idea. One of the reasons for this is the culture of a Legacy.
Why in the world should what my father did to or for someone else affect me? Those were his actions, his choices, not mine. We are different people. For these reasons, we shouldn’t, especially as we grow into a more and more individualistic world. However, part of the world is still group based, and that is where we can begin to see why there is a problem.
Even in an Individualistic nation like America, you can hear people say, “Be careful of what you do, because you are representing us.” That representation means, your actions somehow reflect someone else’s. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is how someone else would act, just watch voters rage about their congressman. The idea still falls in for family because of the idea of a family name. Because the family name is something you associate yourself with, you represent a family, and therefore other members, including heirs.
Another reason for the family thing is that there is a higher connection. You can watch family members yell at each other for every little thing and appear like they are mortal enemies. At the same time, you know you can count them to help each other when the need comes. Sure, as the family gets weaker, this becomes scarcer, but it still exists.
Yet, I feel like the biggest cause is one of tradition that we are just in the middle of transitioning. It used to be that children took on their father’s work. Very rarely would you hear about a son who took a different path. The son of a blacksmith inherited the trade. This was the effect of Legacy. You were not your father, but you picked up where he stopped and kept it going, whether improving or not.
To be fair, this was necessary. It was the simplest method of perfecting a trade that could not be done in a simple lifetime. It took smiths generations and varying circumstances before they developed stronger and better metals. In the very old days, when life was short, and change was slow, generations would certainly been needed to progress.
As for favors, there comes that interesting predicament when a man performs a kind deed, maybe even life changing or saving, but dies before he can be repaid. As the child inherits the legacy, he is the logical choice as to whom to repay the favor. Also, back then, the child was still more likely to follow his father’s example in work and deeds. The “splitting image of his father” would be the perfect representation. But with the good, comes the bad and this is how I think we got this idea of the Sins of the Father

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Lonely Strangers

               Over the course of time, I’ve seen some strange things, but the irony comes when it deals with strangers. Why is it that we act so shy around strangers? I’ve seen it on the train where people won’t sit just because there is someone in the seat next to it. I’ve seen it where people will change seats once a row becomes available. I’ve also seen it where if someone does try to be friendly, other people freak out. What is wrong here? Humans are meant to be a part of society and depend on others. Why should interaction be a taboo thing unless they are friends? How else do you make friends without being strangers first?
               Does the problem come from comfort zone? We were all trained to be careful around strangers. That is a good rule, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to act like they don’t exist. If there is someone bad, then ask for help. At least there are still Good Samaritans who will help a stranger in need.
                What do you say then? You don’t need to give out deep personal information. You can talk about the weather, or even gas prices. If the person says they don’t want to talk, then so be it. Just because they don’t want to talk, doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly.

Monday, January 7, 2013


          I have come to the conclusion that masks are a core part of life. I see them all around. I saw it at home this past break where even I wore one. I saw when I went to school where people seem to paint smiles on their faces yet scowl underneath. Some wear a mask even though we don’t realize it. I come back to school and a lot of people are about as friendly as the first few weeks of school. I really don’t think all of them are sincere, especially since I know how things end up a few weeks later now.
It’s weird. I can see that most of us have masks. Some more layered than others; some with too many to count. It is rare that we completely act in accordance to how we want to when we are with others. We often act according to the expectations or bias of the crowd. The peer-pressure instills fear in our hearts and so weakens our will when we need to act in a manner not supported by the crowd. It happens many a time that privately, one may seem like a good friend, but out in public or with one of his her group of friends, they may insult or not even acknowledge you.
But why do we wear these kinds of masks if they are not good? I think it’s because of fear and sometimes even self preservation. As we are growing up and until we reach the stage where we no longer need the masks, we need them. We need them to protect the bit of good and desire to be better. We fear that if we reveal who are entirely, it will be opposed and attacked, not supported nor changed for the better. At least this is what we convince ourselves of thinking. But there is a limit to which we can divert from our personality without starting to become that which we do not wish to become. It also is the case that since we have yet to have obtained the maturity we need that we are still malleable. We can be formed to act in various ways. We often take parts of these various identities we assume to form the being that we call "ourself".
There is a point, however, where we are on the wrong track to maturity and so need someone else to help fix it. And so, we cannot completely dispose of our masks until we come to find that which we need to become. For the mask gives us access to groups that may in fact help us in the end. It is not always the case that peer-pressure is bad. There are good groups out there that inspire virtue instead of malice. It is for our own good that we seek these groups out and work with them. However, since there are wolves out there ready to pounce on whoever they can find, we need to hide ourselves for protection. And even after we find who we need to be, we cannot be free of these masks. Instead we should adopt another one.
The mask I speak of this time is more physical and not so psychological. One that can hide your identity as a whole. For a physical mask is that instrument by which we show our true selves, feelings, beliefs, and actions without fear. It is not what hides our identity but instead reveals who we are inside. The best example of this would be Batman in which Bruce Wayne is said to be the mask. However, because we live our lives with a multitude of "masks", we are not recognized by our true deeds. At this point, we need that mask. For even if we know who we need to become, we are still malleable and easily formed one way or another. It is often the case that change for the better is hindered by those who know who we "are" and not who we want to become. In order to fully mature, we must separate from them at this stage and return after we have finally come to no longer need the mask (these are the times when we go out on those "find yourself" journeys of which college could be for those prepared). For it is after we can discard the mask, that we have grown up and are ready to face whatever opposition there may be toward virtue and maturity and so be a good man or woman.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Value of your Life part 1

     Did you know that if you were to die, there would be many people sad? Did you know if you never existed, there would be so many people who would never have had the joys they gained from knowing you? Did you know if you never existed, the good things some people did would not have happened?
     I realize these things after seeing the chain of my own actions. I went somewhere, saw a pretty girl, sat by her the entire time without saying much of a word. After we were finished with our stuff, we chatted on the road and went our separate ways.
     Later that week, I heard about an event, and from our little chat, I figured she might be there. So I told my roommate I was going, and he then exclaimed he was thinking about going but forgot about it. I think you can see where this is going so I don't need to say any more. Just by being somewhere, you can be the last straw that causes something to happen.
    Another case is I was in my room, then I decided I wanted to do something active. I went towards the library and then halfway there, shifted to go do something else first. When I finally arrived at the library, I ran into a Ukrainian man and invited him to a group thing that was going to happen later that night. He showed up, and gave some interesting insights and ideas. All in a chain reaction.
    I guess I start to notice these things the more I pay attention to plot details in stories. After all, those are the famous cases that something only comes about because of all the little things that happened. Of course, in real life, this still happens. There are many cases where I contemplate doing something, but it is only because of one more thing that I end up doing it, and it can be as simple as the idea that nice girl might be there, because she exists.