Thursday, September 22, 2011

Misconception: Young People

I was just admiring myself in the new dress I bought today (original price: $70. Price I bought it at: $11. Never buy things at full price) and I started paying attention to the fun layers. It has a solid white underneath with a transparent pattern on top of it. This seems to be a pretty popular fashion sometimes, when someone is looking for a more flowy or spring-like dress. Somehow, it has more dimension and makes the article of clothing appear more flowing.

Unfortunately, this reminded me of an irritating incident I had with a skirt in the past. I had received this skirt from a family friend who had taken a mission trip to Thailand, and she brought it back for me. The transparent layer on top shined a bright pink with small silver ribbons woven into the pattern, and it reached down to around my knees. Underneath the solid fabric abided by the school rules, coming down to around my fingertips. I had no fears of bending over, because it was just a good skirt. Pink wasn't my favorite color, but I had come to terms with the fact that I looked good in it. Anyway, I received many compliments, and I had deemed it a really fun skirt that showed that I was a responsible young cutesy girl with a sense of culture (even though the people who know me best understand that I'm a bit lazy, and too sarcastic to be considered cutesy).

Well, I had happened to wear this fantastic skirt to school one day in Junior High School. Although our bus had to stop off at the Middle School because the tornado sirens were sounding and we needed to take shelter, I felt confident. I was a gorgeous fifteen-year-old in a culturally diverse skirt that made me feel like I was a fairy princess or something. Sadly my confidence did not last long. Some old lady inspected my skirt as I was walking in and she said "How inappropriate!" as if my underwear were visible or something so scandalous.

I just walked past like nothing had happened, but my pride steamed with frustration. To this day, I do not know if she simply didn't see the solid part underneath the skirt, or if she was just an old fart and thought that anything with transparent fabric made you a [insert offensive term beginning with "W"]. Either way, I felt offended. She had made an assumption based off of my age, most likely.

People make stereotypes all the time. Old people about young people and the other way around; races; genders... its okay to some extent - after all, how would you categorize your thoughts without them? But at the same time, you can't assume that each one you meet is going to be that way and you can't say "Kids these days" and you can't say "Old people always do this" because they don't necessarily. I especially dislike "Kids these days". Its people who think like that who create "Kids these days" because the kids want to be as different as they possibly can from the old people who say it.

So anyway, I know that seemed a little bit random. But I suppose the point is: don't judge anything without all of the facts. The likelihood is anyway, that you will never have all of the facts, so any judgements you make are better left open for change.

Unfortunately, the following image best describes the layering on the skirt. The transparent part came down only to my knees, as I originally described, and it was pink. Not black. Every picture I could find was black -_- maybe someday I'll find a picture of me in the skirt if I have one. I have nothing against black - I mean, ninjas wear black... how could you go wrong? - but this just looks... frumpy somehow? But you get the idea.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The World When Everyone Magically Gets Along

My personal belief is that the world will never be perfect. Not unless God intervenes, anyway, and he will have a lot of intervening to do when that time comes. But lets just say all of the sudden, that everyone got along. What would happen in the world? What would happen if we all loved each other? Totally unrealistic, but its an interesting thing to think about.

Would we solve poverty? If everyone got along, there really wouldn't be a need for money. Just stuff that we currently spend our money on. We would just each put in our due effort, like communism, and we would get back everything we needed and everything we wanted because people would just give stuff away. No one would worry about what they needed because they know that the people around them will provide for them. This also means we'd probably go about revamping undeveloped countries to the best of our abilities. Everyone would learn of their talents and use them to the best of their abilities and their parents would stop worrying about if their dreams will make them enough money to survive and be "happy".

So yes, I think we would solve poverty. But what would the previous criminals do? Well we all get along now, including good people with criminals and criminals with good people, making them good people now too. So we would probably just forgive them and they would go find a decent trade that was actually good for them and for other people.

What would bankers do? Well you'd probably be in charge of keeping track of things or something. Who knows. I don't know any bankers personally, but I'm sure each one is different enough to where they'd find another good trade. There would still be things needing care for other than money that might still be good things for them to do. Its kind of nice how everyone has more than one talent.

What about strippers and people like that? I don't really know.

What would we do throughout the day? Well kids would enjoy going to hang out with their adult friends and learning about all sorts of new and exciting things and adults would enjoy teaching them. Kids would find their interests and be able to focus whole-heartedly on them, and not stress about the things they aren't meant for, while at the same time, probably learning the basics from their friends. They would get as much energy out as they needed and their parents would spend enough time with them. Everyone would go to sleep without insomnia because there is no longer anything to worry about.

Adults would wake up in the morning and chat with their families around breakfast, get out of the door because there's nothing to sleep through now. They would have their kids off to go do whatever their kids needed to do, with adult supervision and their friends. The adults would go off to enjoy whatever it is they love to do. If they're really bad about it, they'll find out because no one will want their gifts and some good friend will probably tell them. Then they will find what they were truly meant for and they'll go for it. They could even go to school with the kids. And then they'll go out and do that, trade and give and receive. At night it would always be a party because there would always be something to celebrate I'd think. And we'd gladly give our services to those who need them. Then the people receiving the services would be appreciative and return the favor once they're on their feet. No one would starve, no one would take advantage of other people, no one would hate, no one would fight, and everyone would love....

Hmmm... I think I just described what Heaven is supposed to be like. The best part is, everyone would understand everything that happened in the past, so they wouldn't be robots and they would know what it meant. I'm just saying... if everyone made the decision to love, there would be a big change in the world. And I don't see why if a large group of people even, made an effort to love, there wouldn't be a big change. Not this big (I think thats possible without God), but big enough to make it grow. I hope people get together somewhere to start this for real, and I hope they're crazy enough to promote it, because if I had more of a voice in the world, I'd go all out with this thought. Media is my enemy. My word would be diluted among all the other noise.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Wise, the Knowledgeable, and the Intelligent

I just was thinking about the differences between intelligence, knowledge and wisdom. People confuse the three frequently (though less often than joy and happiness, which are also completely different).

Two main points I wanted to say:

1) Intelligence is the tool to soak up knowledge, and wisdom is the ability to use it well. *Knowledge is like the image a painter is trying to paint. You can see it there, but that is all. Knowledgeable people have all of the facts. Whether it was difficult for them to gain them is beside the point. They simply know things that they gathered from elsewhere. A person without knowledge is naive.
*Intelligence is the ability to process, put together and interpret the information. Everyone has some degree of intelligence that allows them to process most kinds of knowledge, and people who may be considered less intelligent just don't always get things. Personally, I believe you can be intelligent in one way, like in art or in science, while being incompetent in another. The more things a person is intelligent in increases his overall intelligence more, but if you think of autism, for instance, they may be intelligent in one specific aspect, and not understand other things very well. But that doesn't make them unintelligent, it just means their poker chips are stacked more in one place. Back to the painter analogy, here the painter can conceptualize their painting, and understand what they are doing, though they haven't begun to put their brush to the canvas just yet. Intelligent people may or may not know much. This is the more biological portion. An intelligent person has the ability to gather knowledge more quickly than someone who is less so. A person without intelligence is stupid.
*Wisdom is the action of using intelligence or knowledge. On the painter analogy, this is the ability to use the tools you have to actually put the picture you want on the canvas. With a lot of knowledge and intelligence and very little wisdom, the painter will end up with a product that resembles a five-year-old's watercolor project. You can gather all of the information you would like, but wisdom is needed to execute anything actually needed to be done with it. A person without wisdom is idiotic.

Of course, without knowledge, a wise person would have trouble executing anything, because they do not have enough information to know what they should convey. On that same note, wisdom without intelligence is difficult for similar reasons. It is hard to gain the knowledge needed without the intelligence. With all of that together... you can't blame a wise person for anything. If they were wise enough to research, and simply couldn't find information then they deserve forgiveness because they did the best they could.

2) Sometimes the intelligent have to be wise enough to set aside skepticism if they are to gain more knowledge.
A lot of smart people I see going the route of the skeptic in order to be either safe or lazy. This is a lack of wisdom on their part. There are times when it is good to hold back, but sometimes you just have to risk things to learn anything. If say, you are told to eat a new certain type of food. You know that you like one type of food far more, but you are told you would probably like this one. I would assume you probably wouldn't try the new food because you are wise enough to know you like the older one. On the flip side of that, if you are skeptical of the new food, and you are told you would like it more than what you have, and what you have is good but isn't really all that special, you would be more inclined to try the new food. But it is a risk to try new foods. you might not like it, or you might get sick. However, you will learn of a new food you like or of a new food you do not like in the taste test. Sometimes it is good to set aside your previous beliefs and attempt something new, or something you have not done in a long time.
Another way to think about it is with your beliefs. You have to really experience a community before you can make any judgements on their behavior, but a person who has gained knowledge from others and who has not risked it for themselves has little room to speak compared to the community itself. You have to take risks to learn sometimes.

My main point with all of this is just to say, don't confuse the three, and don't forget that while they all compliment each other well, wisdom is the only way you can really get what you want! Even with less of the other two, you make the decision to be wise and it is the only thing that can assist you to do your best.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The End

I was just thinking about the different types of endings out there. I have come up with four different endings to movies, books and other types of stories.

1. The Happily Ever After
This is the typical Disney fairy tale ending where the good guys rejoice, the bad guys are upset and may or may not be punished. But bad guys are always out of the picture by the end of these, and then all of the good characters have not only solved the main problem, but every other problem is solved in the process. Anti-heroes or people who were bad and turned good also have happy endings. This is usually found in children's stories and chick flicks, and I personally have no problem with it as long as it is done properly.
Example 1: Disney's Snow White. The step mother dies, Prince Charming finds Snow White and presumably marries her and grants royal protection for the dwarves' mining industry. The wild animals are happy that no one will be asking them to clean house for them again.
Example 2: Confessions of a Shopaholic. Girl and guy get together, they get married, they live happily ever after and she has the kind of job she wants and is no longer in debt. She even gets her green scarf back.

2. The Realistic Happy Ending
This one is not quite as happy as the first. In this one, something may be lost, however, the goals of the main character(s) are still carried out in full, and everyone is left content with the ending nonetheless. This is a more adult ending than the first, and usually used more when guy movies need a happy ending. Some romantic stories may have this, but not comedies. Sometimes a children's story might have it if it dares. Action and Science fiction may go more for this style to add a certain level of depth. This is the type of ending that seems sad until you think about it from the character's points of view, and you realize everyone is actually happy.
Example 1: The Notebook. The old couple dies, but they're happy and she remembers before she dies.
Example 2: The Lion King. Mufasa definitely died and is no longer around, and the land is dead, but now Simba is in power and can fix it. Scar is dead.

3. The Bittersweet Ending
Obviously sad things happen here, but no one is entirely happy in the end. They achieve the goal, but they lose important things in the process. This is a more realistic version of a tragedy. Personally, I don't think anyone's life ends up that bad unless you haven't finished the story. But in a bittersweet ending, while the main character may die, or lose something invaluable like a lover, they finish what they intended no matter the cost. A lot of the deeper, more meaningful stories end like this.
Example 1: The Matrix. Neo dies, but the world is saved.
Example 2: The Bible. God gets beaten while living as a human. He loses a lot of people he loves. Lots of traitors, lots of greed, lots of murder, lots of hunger etc. In the end still, he ends up with the people who love him back and his goal is achieved. Humans are brought back to him and now we understand what it means to love. Or at least a hint.
Example 3: Death Note. Light dies and it makes one sad, but at least the world is saved (considering Light was a bad person, despite being the main character)
Example 4: Code Geass. Lelouch pretends to be an evil dictator so everyone will be united against him, then has Suzaku, his best friend come and kill him as a masked hero, so everyone would be united with him. So Lelouch dies, but he saves Japan and Brittania so they get along.

4. The Tragic Ending
In this, everything is lost. Perhaps people die or perhaps they don't. It doesn't matter. The goal is not achieved and never can be. The good guys have lost everything. Its possible the bad guys have also. Everyone learned a lesson but everything is lost so it doesn't even matter.
Example 1: Planet of the Apes. Nuff said.
Example 2: I honestly can't think of another depressing movie because I don't watch them very often!