POWER

Hey guys!

[storytime] So on Monday, I was driving to get lunch and there was this highway patrol car in front of me and it was a red light so I stopped behind this car. The light was taking a while since there was a lot of traffic (it was lunchtime) and the patrol car ran the red light. Now, I know that there are exceptions to traffic laws for police and law enforcement when there’s an emergency; but, there was no visible reason-from what I could see- to run the light other than impatience. There was no one speeding because of the high traffic, no car crash, no fire, etc. So, it was a really mind-boggling experience.

Now, I don’t know if it was legal of the person to run that light. I don’t know traffic laws in regards to law enforcement but, it didn’t seem that legal to me. Does anyone know?

So that story was a precursor to the main topic of this post.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

We all know that once given power, people change. Some become arrogant. Some make rash decisions. It’s in our nature. I am a huge bibliophile, I love books, I love stories. I love reading about people. An author is good when they are able to fully capture the vulnerability and rawness of being human. A lot of books I read are in the fantasy/mystery genres and its in those books where I’ve learned half of what I know about people. People who are given any kind of power often misuse it-that’s a fact (misuse is subjective I agree). But, the actions they take, are often not ‘good.’

Power corrupts, but how it corrupts is different for everybody. Someone who is in law enforcement-they are given power to make sure that the law is obeyed. This given power has them believing they are the law-and that’s corruption of their character. But this is a generalized example, obviously there are exceptions. Not everyone realizes their own power, and some who do-they realize the danger and their potential. Fame and influence is a power, some don’t realize the potential of that and those that do, they recognize the potential profit and future success that is possible or they choose to use that influence to help others. Any young person in this day and age will recognize the power of media and technology. It’s all about perspective-how you see the world.

(I had this whole post planned but it all went out of the window as soon as I started typing-I get lost in my own head sometimes.)

Advertisements

OWN IT

I had always fallen victim to the so-called ‘blame game.’ There are times when I found that it was just so much easier to blame someone else for my lack of success when I know logically it really wasn’t anyone else’s fault that they got the opportunity to do something that I wanted to do. This sense of entitlement is something I fell victim to maybe in middle school and I realized when I started high school that things were different. I opened my eyes to the truth.

Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for his speeches and advice for success. One thing that he’s said recently struck a cord with me, he says,

“But when you take control of your at bat. When you put it all on yourself. When it’s your fault. And your wins. When you own it. That’s when it starts happening.”

I thought it was really important to share this because I totally believe its true. I may not have lived for a very long time-but even I know that if you want to be successful you have to take control of your life-not only by owning up to whatever you’ve done with your life so far, but also knowing that despite whatever talent you think you have-it won’t be enough. Yes, hard work and opportunity is important. But, I also feel like you can’t really get anywhere if you don’t know people. The mentality of masses as a whole and how society is going to react. We will always have exceptions to opinions, its understanding the majority that gives insight to general mentality. I think its important to know people. How they think, how they react. How will they react to whatever content you put out? How will you appeal to them if they were your fans? Stuff like that doesn’t seem important but it is.

For example, if I wanted to become a best-selling author one day, then I would not only need to write something that will appeal to a specific demographic but I would also need to gauge possible reactions to the release so that I can be prepared to respond.

If I wanted to be a car saleswoman than I would need to understand people on a more physical level-body reactions, I’d need to be persuasive. I would need to understand people on a fundamental level.

Any job that one might have-will involve dealing with all kinds of people, how is subjective but in principle the message is the same.

I’m only 17, but others… well let’s just say they’ve only got one life and they should be squeezing the hell out of whatever they’ve got left.

FAITH

I think it’s important that we all have some sort of belief system in our lives. A moral guide in times where our judgement isn’t all that clear. Belief system(s) as in religion, superstitions, family + cultural traditions, etc.

I personally have always believed in both good and bad karma as well as believed in fate, so I guess if I had to label myself as something it would be as agnostic-but that doesn’t seem to be too accurate.

And it has an impact on the way I behave. I can’t remember a time in my life where I hadn’t tried to give change to a homeless person when I had the opportunity and the means to do so. I’m plagued with the idea that somehow karma is it’s own deity and I earn good karma when I do good deeds and the reverse with bad deeds.

I believe in fate and the idea of crossroads, that we’re fated to make the decisions that we do and ultimately it is our will and our sense of self that predetermines our decisions and therefore our fate. That fate is an entity that can ultimately see our true self and make accurate predictions of our possible choices and the outcomes of such choices. I think of fate as a gardener of a large collection of trees. Each life is a tree and fate prunes off the branches of “what ifs.” At least, that’s the best way I can explain it, my mind is a mess of tangles and I probably will never be able to fully articulate my thoughts on how fate works, at least in my perception of it.

Dan Brown’s latest book Origins which has probably offended quite a number of people for it’s bashing of Catholicism and Christianity has an interesting lesson near the ending of the novel. Aside from the obvious warning against the creation of AIs with the ability to think for itself, the protagonist after contemplating the discovery that disproved most religions’ origin stories-he realizes that a world ruled by just science is cold and heartless. That sure maybe the origin stories of ‘there was nothing and then there was something’ are not too believable, but religion provides an important role in any culture. It mainly acts as a moral guide for most of us.

And, a lot of us are skeptics, that we need cold hard proof to believe in something-but the problem with that is, once you have proof, it isn’t just believing anymore, its also knowing. You might ask, well why is that a problem? Because to take ideas like religion and to believe in them truly and wholly is something much greater-its faith. Faith is not to be taken lightly-it is a powerful motivator and source of wonder. I’m not trying to bash science-because it is a truly wonderful thing that it has done for humanity, it has made our lives easier, we live longer, we are capable of feats we were once unable to accomplish, we can do so many things with science. But they say that part of being human is not only our physical bodies and intellectual minds, but it is also our ability to express emotions. We are compassionate creatures, capable of empathy, happiness, rage, all these different emotions and all that comes with it. But it is our belief systems that direct these emotions. We experience guilt when our belief systems tell us we have done something wrong. We experience rage when our belief systems tell us that its okay to be angry when we have been ‘wronged.’ There are some who claim to be atheist and will ask how it works to be atheist and still have morals, and I would say that their morals would be a result of their experiences and what they have taken from the culture they live in. And, I would also claim that most cultures have a dominant religion that has been accepted. So take what you will from that.

To this day, I wonder how I could have possibly developed such strong feeling on this topic but I must say that not a lot of people have opinions on why we have belief systems-just that we have them and that not everyone has the same one.