Stop. Go. Fast. Slow.

Everything is moving too fast
Everything needs to slow down

Make it stop
Bring an end

Everything is taking forever.
Everything needs to speed up

Make it go
Time to start

Doing everything and nothing
Going so fast and so slow

Time
The one clock we can’t stop.

Life
Go out and live it.

Authors Note: Work in progress, feedback requested

New Era

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” -Cyril Connolly

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’d know that I try to update at least once a month. It started out as a once a week ordeal and then quickly turned into a once a month blog. Often these blog post would be dated in the last few days of the month just to barely get posted before the month was up. Well you may have noticed there is no post for July 2010. So what happened, well I failed.

Failed, what do I mean I’ve failed? I think sometimes it’s easy to forget the driving force that causes our actions. If you go back to my first blog post you’ll see that I started this blog to be a personal diary, a place to share thoughts. Alas, here we are four years later this blog seems to have become a place where I try force my thought out of my head and on the page.

The problem is not that I have nothing to say or don’t know how to say it. It’s this lack of motivation that prevents it from being said. I don’t know what the future holds for this blog but I fully intend to continue to write from my heart. I still hope to write once a month, if not more, but the days of force blogging are over.

The new era has begun.

I am not a Brand.

“People matter. This includes you. Stop trying to sell everything about yourself to everyone. Don’t just hammer away and repeat and talk at people — talk TO people.” – Maureen Johnson

With keeping with my New Year resolution I’ve been reading more. In my reading I came across an article written by Maureen Johnson entitled “Manifesto: I Am Not a Brand.” She writes about how often on the Internet people feel that they have to brand themselves to get their message out. She writes her thoughts from a social networking point of view.

This got me thinking how in other areas of life people will turn themselves into brands. Think Steve Jobs and you think Apple, think Bill Gates and you think Microsoft think pop music and you may think of Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson or Brittany Spears, the list could go on for sports, TV, movies many people spend their lives to get noticed, rich/and or famous. Myself, I refuse to sell out to become a brand. I strive to be an individual who is out to create a better world who listens and cares about others not someone who is out to have the loudest voice.

Listen Up

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

Maybe it is because I’m shy. Maybe it is that I find it interesting to hear what people have to say. Possibly it is for a reason that I have yet to think of. Yet, the fact remains that I’ve always liked to listen.

I find that I learn more from listening to others than speaking. That’s not to say I refuse to speak or that I don’t form my own opinions. It is to say, however that I think there is something great to be gained from listening to others. Especially if we don’t agree. The views of others can challenge our own in a way that helps us grow. I step back here to say that I’m not talking about arguing or debating those are things in which I don’t particularly enjoy. I do believe that we can enjoy listening and maintain conversations with people without always having to be right.

I think you’ll find that people love it when they realize you care or will listen to what they have to say. So my challenge to you is to have the courage to listen.

What do you think? Write it in the comments and I’ll listen.

Loosing Teeth

“…you know what it feels like when all your teeth are falling out really slowly and you don’t realize and then you notice that, well, they’re really far apart. And then one day… you don’t have any teeth anymore.” — Carol, Where the Wild Things Are

I recently re-watched the Spike Jonze film Where the Wild Things Are based off the Maurice Sendak book.  I picked up on things I missed, forgot, or didn’t touch me the first time. One of these moments is the quote from Carol above.

Relationships are something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately. It has become apparent that oftentimes people who I was once good friends with slowly drift out of my life. This doesn’t make then (or me) bad people, it just means our lives are going in separate directions. The analogy of teeth falling out is dead on. One by one situations, distance, schooling, work or many other things get in the way. These things can be thought of as loosing a tooth until one day you realize all your teeth are gone, or to follow the analogy, a relationship has been lost.

So what can be done to prevent this? I don’t know. For me it has come down to picking the relationships which I wish to maintain (and in which I believe are mutually maintained) and not looking back. Part of growing up has been learning that some people will come and go from life. Some I’m happy to see leave, others I miss, some stick around though anything, yet others come and go as life allows. I am thankful for all the people who have been in my life and the things I’ve learned from each of them. I look forward to both new and old friendships thought the rest of my life.

What about you? What’s your advice or thoughts on relationships, Where the Wild Things Are, life in general? Let me know in the comments.

Unity Not Uniformity

I tend to try to stay away from writing about controversial topics on this blog.  I have, however, recently been thinking a lot about religion and society and wanted to share these thoughts with all of you.

Why is it we let religion separate us instead of bring us closer together?  I’ve spent some time reading various theological debates and I always end up thinking people tend to spend way too much time trying to prove they are “right.” I remember the first time I heard the phrase “can we just agree to disagree” I was probably in about 5th grade and unsure what the phrase meant at the time. Time went on which brings us to today where I am fully aware of what it means.

I’m not one to think that everyone always has to get along all the time. Sure, utopia would be nice but a reality? Hardly.  I do believe that as Christians, believers of Christ we are called to a higher standard. I am outraged by the lack of love and basic respect I see, hear, and receive first hand from Christians.  Even among my own friends and family. It saddens me to think how many denominations, sectors, and divisions the evangelical church has. Each impacting followers in its own views. Often pushing people further away from Christ instead of closer.

Think for a minute what could be accomplished if we can love unconditionally as Christ loves us. If we truly focused our energy on the common goals of Christ. Focusing on the unity of Christ and not the uniformity of religion.  (Granted, we would first have to agree on what these “common goals” are which is where this whole problem started.) I just would like to urge you next time you feel the need to be right or argue your religious views to take a step back and look at yourself. Think, “am I fighting for unity or uniformity?”

Thoughts On Love

It’s no secret that today, February 14th, is Valentine’s Day. I have to be honest; I’m not a big fan of Hallmark holidays. Society telling us what love is and what we need to do to show it. Roses, candy, cards, and fancy dinners are naturally the only way to show someone you love them, right?

Wrong. I’ll admit gifts are fun to give and receive and are a way to show love. However, they aren’t the only and might the best way though. We’ve all heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”, I believe this wholeheartedly.  Using the same logic we could say, “Love is more than gifts, cards, flowers, etc”.  Let’s back up, I don’t these things are necessarily bad or wrong. Maybe we should start by defining love.

What a loaded question, “What is love?” People have been trying since the dawn of time to define love. According to dictionary.com there are over 20 definitions for the word “love”. It’s both a noun and a verb. These are not including biblical, theological, pop culture and societal definitions of love. To me there are many types of love.  We love everything from intimate objects to being in love and maintaining intimate relationships.  Love is something that everyone longs for and needs.

One of my favorite ways to look at love is to take a look at the Bibles take on love. By looking at 1st Corinthians 13 we learn that without love we are nothing. Not just the intimate type either. I would like to challenge you to show a partner, a friend, a stranger, the world love. Let’s go beyond flowers and gifts and let our acts of love be known not only on Valentine’s Day but every day.

Have you shown your love lately? Tell me in the comments.