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Archive for the ‘deep thoughts’ Category

Great quote on change, copyright reform

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

“It is time we recall what the nation learned 75 years ago: The remedy to a failed war is not to wage an ever more violent war; it is to sue for peace.”

– Lawrence Lessig

From a great article on copyright reform, “Prosecuting Online File Sharing Turns A Generation Criminal

A time for giving & what that means to me

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

The year end holiday festivities are upon us, and you always hear that ‘Christmas is a time for giving’, and of course because you have to exchange gifts, lots of giving goes on… But I always think it’s a little sad that the idea of St. Nick giving to those who had nothing to cheer their hearts (not because they got stuff, but because someone showed caring and compassion) has become something that is more materialistic.
Don’t get me wrong, I think gift giving is fantastic, I just usually prefer to do it when I feel like it or find the right thing for a person…

But I feel to truly be giving in the sense of the word that inspired the first Christmas, a lot of change has to happen, not only in society but in the heart of individuals. It seems this is very difficult for most of us, especially in the west as we live in a selfish society. We’re absorbed with ourselves, and taught from an early age that we need to not only do things that will benefit ourselves, but that everything we need in life comes from us (A rapidly growing and dangerous new age idea that seems to be causing a generation of confused ego obsessed individuals).
This has caused a lot of unhappiness, as it has been scientifically proven that giving makes one happier than being selfish (Youngsteadt). Luckily people are starting to learn about these ideas, and how dangerous ego is to happiness, and I hope it creates a shift from the unhealthy attitude that has spread the world in recent generations.

China and other countries in Asia seem to think differently about this. That is because they are more of a culture of service. They’re used to serving, giving and and working hard, and it is just a way of life that has been learned from a young age.

Indian Women Service project
So then if we want to define giving, we need to establish the true meaning of giving, because just giving money to help those who are in need is a temporary band-aid fix, and that has been proven for over 30 years with the results of the persistent problems in Africa as well as North America that have been fed large amounts of money. Giving in this way doesn’t solve the root of the problem of need. I believe the root of the problem of need is due to greed that creates an imbalance. I believe that this tendency towards greed is eliminated by becoming an individual of service to humanity in ones daily life.

In defining giving then, the solution to the root of the problem comes back to the attitudes of individuals. In order to truly be giving people, and not just at a certain time of the year, at a young age, people need to get used to the idea of being of service to others, to society, to humanity, by accepting that it is a normal part of their life.

One of the few organization I know that seems to be truly helping to do this through effective methods that will have long term results worldwide is the Baha’i communities around the world, especially in the last 10 years. Since the 1970’s, when they proved such programs effective in Columbia, Baha’i’s have committed to this idea of giving by becoming of service, starting with the needs of their local community. Because the numbers are still small, the results are subtle, but still effective.
There are countless examples of the effect of giving through service in this way, here are a few:

Systematic service training showing results worldwide

Ugandand project doesn’t stop at literacy

Baha’i Youth program in Italy gives hope

Poverty Eradication

So this year, if you really, truly want to give, become an individual of service, and give the ultimate gift of all! Join one of the many Baha’i programs that are training individuals to do this in your local neighborhood.
It is likely to make you feel happier, and make your life feel more meaningful!

I decided to 9 years ago, and it is been a very fulfilling and enlightening experience for me.

I hope this post hasn’t come across as overly idealistic or preachy, but when you’ve seen real solutions to the problems of the world first hand, it’s hard not to share them.

Thanks for reading, and have a great holiday season!

another cool photo

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

People seemed to like the last photo I posted, so here is another I shot this October in California, and this time, it comes with a deep spiritual quote, because that’s the kind of thing this photo evokes:

Light In Trees, Bosch Baha\'i school, Santa Cruz California

Light In Trees, Bosch Baha’i School, Santa Cruz California

“Just as the material sun shines over the earth and causes the growth and development of material organisms, so also, through the Divine Manifestation, the Sun of Truth shines upon the world of heart and soul, and educates the thoughts, morals and characters of men.”

– Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

cool photo

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Burning sunset outside studio from camera phone
Burning sunset outside the studio, shot with the camera phone.

Has fear made you the walking dead?

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Many who know me know I have no problem taking risks, and strongly stating my opinions and beliefs. In fact, right now i’m taking one of the biggest risks I ever have with a new venture that I’ll be blogging about in detail soon…

That’s mainly because I feel that if you have to live on this insane, corrupt, self obsessed planet, you have to make the most out of it, and live it to it’s fullest. Not because this is ‘it’, far from it! This life is just to get us warmed up and prepared for the worlds beyond. I take risks because as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, if you live life in fear, your not really living at all, your already dead:

“I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.
You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid.
You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety.
And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
You died when you refused to stand up for right.
You died when you refused to stand up for truth.
You died when you refused to stand up for justice.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From the sermon “But, If Not” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on November 5, 1967.

Becoming someone I’m not

Friday, August 8th, 2008

This is a more personal post, something I shy away from on this blog. I had to create a new category for it. Will be interesting to see if it becomes published material…

Over the years, as I have explored new ideas and learned hard lessons, it is painfully evident that I am becoming someone I’m not, very different from who I feel I used to be, who I really am. It’s something I’m really wrestling with amongst many other challenges in my life. But what defines who we really are? We’re constantly bombarded with people encouraging us to ‘be who we are’ and ‘be true to yourself’, ‘don’t take crap from anyone’, but I think that these ideas can be a hindrance to personal progress and development.

But I’m still very torn about this idea. I know the changes I’ve made in my life and regarding who I am have made a huge difference in my relationships with others, and my work and goals. It’s a very positive thing. But humans find change very difficult, and I’m no exception. The hardest part about this process is that I feel I am losing many of the things I have always felt defined me as a person, my brutal honesty and affinity with reality, my anti establishment, counter culture, non conformist rebelliousness, and my taste in many things that are unpopular to say the least, especially music. These are traits that are slowly diminishing as a result of my becoming an upstanding, exemplary individual.

But when those things hurt others who are sensitive deeply, and destroy precious relationships, and hold you back from realising your true potential, that’s where I feel motivated to ‘be who I am truly meant to be’, the person I hope I am becoming.

There’s a great rock song by Linkin Park ‘What I’ve Done’ that I posted about here on this subject.
I love the line in those lyrics, ” I’ll face myself, To cross out what I’ve become, Erase myself, And let go of what I’ve done”

Who knows if who we think we are is really who we were meant to be? We are total victims of our environment and upbringing, totally influenced by the world, as my favorite quote reveals. Does the end result really represent our true selves? I have come to the realisation that in the transformation that has been happening over the last 10 years or so, and will continue for another 10 or more, that in order to live to my full potential, and be who I am meant to be, I have had to unlearn many things from my past, in order to accept new ideas and be who I truly am, the person I am meant to be.

It seems in order to do that, I’m just going to have to somehow become detached from the things I ‘was’.

Check back with me in 10 years and I’ll let you know how it’s going.