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Archive for the category “Philosophy”

Corporate Crackdown

So, some of you out there might be aware of my job as a lab technician for a company that deals with oil and gas. You might also be aware of my sense of duality that keeps me flip flopping back and forth like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Today one of the big wigs came in to give a speech about what was going on in the company concerning our location and the future plans and vaguely how they would affect us. To be fair, this needs to be done badly as we have been greatly mismanaged since the beginning and this had led to several financial and structural blunders. That being said, there is still a voice deep down inside of me that is holding an anarchy sign and wearing an eight inch green, spiked Mohawk and protesting vehemently.

In reality I want to be a well rounded adult and have the nurturing structure that keeps me tightly in bounds and steadily progressing toward a whimpering retirement in which I sit at home for the remainder of my years cutting out coupons for creams and complaining about the modern generation. That is to say, I want to want that because its boring and the path of least resistance. It would be very easy if this were my outlook. Unfortunately, the screaming anarchist punk in me (lets call him Rex because it sounds more rebellious than Quincy or Leopold) resists this with every turn. I’d say for every 80% that I agree with structural reform there is a 20% that I want to tear it all down and burn it to the ground.

I’m really not sure if I’ll ever be able to fully appreciate and capitulate to the gods of business. It might be my curse to be one foot in and one foot out for the rest of eternity. It’s quite ironic, however, that I am seen as a “company man” who has “drank the kool-aid” and this has earned me acclaim and will probably earn me a spot among the pantheon of business moguls here at some point. The real question is if I will look back at my progression will I be disappointed that I gave in and became part of the establishment and suddenly decide to tear it apart from the inside out, or will I (more likely) just become a tool; a cog in the corporate wheel.

Looking back this is kind of an uncharacteristic piece of literary work for me, but I’ll post it anyway…because the man can’t keep me down! ūüėČ

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Ken-ichi

A buddy of mine suggested some anime for me and also gave me a hard drive filled with them. I know, you’re probably thinking that I’m a geek for watching anime. You’re not wrong…but there is more to it.

The thing that I really like about Japanese anime is that if you find the right one, it really expresses the beauty and simplicity of the Japanese culture. You may have to sift through hours of cartoon boobs and upskirts¬†to find it, but it’s there.

The thing I’ve most learned through watching anime is that the Japanese idolize chivalry. Men being courageous and standing up for what they believe in, respect, love for your family, helping others, and perseverance are really evident in a lot of the anime I’ve seen. These values alone make it worth watching for me.

My wife gets mad at me when I have these shows on and my kids are in the room. She wants me to, “Put something more educational on like Wonderpets¬†or Pets.TV.” I have to object though. Any show that emphasizes the afore-mentioned values is good for my kids to watch.

I’ve been so impressed by the genre that it’s caused me to think about doing a few things in my own life that I’ve seen while watching. I’m not going to go into those, but it basically involves improving my way of life. And don’t get me wrong, I watch and read adult material. But honestly, I’d rather watch “Kenichi”¬†or “Capeta”¬†than “Everybody Loves Raymond” or “House”. After watching anime with such innocence and high moral values its hard to go back to TV trash with needless drama and shallowness.

It’s a Crazy, Crazy Reality Out There

So, I came to a shocking realization today. My goal some time ago was to go against the grain and dive into the world of philosophy, art, literature, etc. Today, I took a look around and all I’m seeing are people doing the same thing.

Now, I’m not sure if this is because the world in which I’m diving into has fully engulfed me and I have lost all my objectivity because the walls are painted in that which I seek to define or if people in general are just moving toward that area.

I’d like to believe that my generation is just taking over and that we are peering into the beginning of a new age, but I’m thinking I might just be fooling myself. Or perhaps it is the older age that is trying to veil my environment with what they seek to accomplish. Maybe their media outlets are barraging my senses with a false reality. Or better yet…maybe I never had a reality in the first place and its just¬† a fractured mirror residing in the void of my mind.

I might have just blown someone’s mind back there. Let me reel it in…If this is the dawning of a new age and our world is becoming one that is ensnared by art, beauty, music, and free-thinking, I am in complete bliss. That is all that I ever wished for the world. If it’s just my imagination…then I guess I’ll surround myself with disillusion until I die. I’d rather flourish in an alternate reality than coexist in one I don’t enjoy.

Perhaps that was a bit pessimistic and pedantic of me. After all, in the end it all boils down to the simple statement “It is what it is”.

The Winter of 2003

I have to get something off my chest. This post is going to be a little bit dark and dramatic but then it will end brighter and more illuminated. So, if you find yourself heftily trudging through it, don’t lose heart.

I was sitting alone in my car in front of Wal-Mart. The snow was coming down in blankets and the dimly lit store let me know that it was closed. Yes, Wal-Mart, the one place I thought was open year round, was closed on Christmas day. Today, I wasn’t just here for shopping. This day was probably the single most melancholy day I’ve had in my entire life.

I was thousands of miles away from my family, in Saratoga Springs, NY. My best friend (or what I thought was my best friend) had told my current girlfriend about a week prior that I had cheated on her while I was stationed in Charleston. I should have been sympathetic, but instead I was filled with a deep rage for everyone in my household. Not only had I been betrayed (seemingly), but they invited her to stay. I had nowhere to go, so every moment at home meant discomfort. I sat in my room thinking only destructive thoughts.

When I first came up to Wal-Mart I had planned to buy a gun to kill the one that turned my life upside down, my roommate. My thoughts of murder quickly subsided. I wasn’t a murderer after all and he was doing what he thought was right, even if he was doing it for the wrong reasons. My thoughts then turned another direction. I was there to purchase a gun that would end my cruel misery. The bullet would sever my ties to this reality and rapture me from this life.

Now Wal-Mart denied me of my end. I couldn’t even kill myself. Sure I could have done it several other ways, but the pain of slitting my wrist or hanging myself wasn’t appealing. In truth, I don’t think I would have gone through with it. I’m not entirely sure, as it was a moment of immense emotional turmoil for me, but looking back I don’t think I had what it takes. I’m very, very glad.

I suffered through about another year or two of feeling sorry for myself before I was finally able to pull out of the muck I had gotten stuck in. Today, I have a wife that is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, two gorgeous wonderful daughters and a life that isn’t perfect, but I’m sure at least some would envy.

This trial taught me many things. Sometimes our emotions let our perspective distort reality into something it is not. Sure, my living conditions were tough and my heart was distraught (no more than hers I imagine), but compared to the happiness and condition I live in now, it was a small price to pay.

It also taught me that selfishness never goes unrewarded. In the end, karma will find you.

The point of writing this is to say that whatever you are going through now, no matter how bad you think it is, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The best part about bad times is that they are the low point. If you find yourself in a low point be sure that it can only get better and that you have the strength to drag yourself through it.

I can honestly say that the residual emotion is still there. I still reflect back on those days (as I am doing now), but more with a sense of understanding. I understand what I did was wrong, why my heart was not in the right place, and how far I have come from the person I used to be. Sure I still have problems. I will always be flawed, but trying to overcome my flaws is what counts. It’s true what they say, time does heal all wounds. I wear the scars of those wounds like a badge of courage and perseverance. For my darkest and most cowardly days reciprocate into my most righteous and brave triumphs.

Me Revealed

The title portrays an inkling that I’m going to be talking about myself. While the internal events I’m going to be liberating are centered around me, I think they apply to all of us. Sure, you might not share some of my traits, but I bet you’ll share at least one. Maybe there is a trait that you have that I don’t. Anyway, this is me. I’m laying it all out for everyone to see.

I am passionately and sometimes obsessively focused on random interests. I will literally spend every waking hour of a week thinking about these things. If my mind tries to stray to something else, it will just be brought right back. You would think that this would lead to great works of literature, music, scientific breakthrough, etc. The problem is that my passion must bear and equally massive foe; my lack of gumption. I burn so brightly that I blind those around me but as quickly as I am illuminated, I fizzle out. Fortunately, I will move on to the next interest, but I always have this unfulfilled feeling. Like I have fractured my life into thousands of shards over time. I wish I could stick with things. I really do. Maybe if I trained myself enough I could, but then I also feel that it goes against the nature of who I am. Most likely, that is why I like blogging, short stories, poems and things. I can do each of these in short spurts that don’t allow me to get bored or tired of the subject.

The list of things I have started and not completed is as follows:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Wood Carving

Painting

Book Writing

Miniature Modeling

P90X

Bike Riding

Programming

3D Modeling

Pipe Smoking

Board Game Creation

Beer Tasting Vlog

Travel Vlog

Guitar

Piano

I’m sure there are several more things to add to this list, but I don’t have all day to think of my past failed attempts at perseverance. But this is just one trait. How about another one?

I am sometimes overly opinionated. I form these opinions of what I think are sound logic, but more times than not I come back to these a year later and my opinion has changed. My issue with this in the past has been that I would openly voice my opinions to people and sometimes it would really irritate them. I’m getting a lot better about doing things like that, though. I guess the main reason that I feel this is a flaw is that my opinions kind of serve as a buffer between what I hear or see and what I understand. I try to keep an open mind about things, but sometimes I find myself biased because of some event that has taken place. I think it’s hard to look at things completely objectively. Even when you think you are, there are times when a hidden agenda is lurking in the midst.

I am quick to react. If I hear something that upsets me, I will automatically go on the defensive. This is something I’ve been working on recently. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had something happen at work and I put my walls up. Funny enough, if I let myself sit and think about it, a few minutes later I will have a completely different reaction. What I do now is to try to give myself time to think and only respond after I have carefully though it out. There is definitely some difficulty in trying not to react. My reaction is impulsive. Trying to stop a speeding bullet is sometimes easier said than done.

I spend money like it’s going out of style. As soon as my direct deposit hits the bank, I start thinking of things to spend it on. A lot of justification happens in this phase. I set a limit on the price of items, I tell myself that money is just paper and I should spend it because happiness is more important (completely delusional I know…), and I look at it as a source that I have to stretch until my next paycheck. What I should be doing is taking a small amount out and saving it where I can’t touch it. I should be…but I’m not. I mean, I have a 401K and some stocks. But I need to put aside some money for car repairs, emergency bills, etc. I actually think I’ll do this next paycheck.

Okay. Time to stop being so hard on myself. Lets list some good things.

People. I believe in people. Not so much on an individual level ( although I do in a lot of cases) , but on a grand scale scenario. I believe that we will constantly progress to make changes to better our future. That’s not saying that we won’t have setbacks and bodies of people working against us, but our ability to see where we need to be going as a while is, I believe, a greatly undervalued aspect of our species.

I believe that there is something more out there than just the physical world we see. Some people may think of this as a flaw rather than a positive character trait, but I think my ability to still believe in this is a great advantage. There are lots of unknowns out there. I have seen things I can’t explain, although several have tried to reason it out. I think logic and reason have their place, but I also think that when we look at life and existence as a whole using our own logic to understand something that is so vastly bigger than ourselves is faulty logic in itself.

I like to help people. I think it’s our responsibility as humans to lend a helping hand to humans and animals. I see too many people looking the other way when they see people in trouble. That mentality of “It’s not my problem. I’m staying out of it.” is a poor excuse for cowardice. I don’t stick my nose in other people’s problems unless someone is in danger, needs assistance, or it would just be nice to lend my help. I hold the door for ladies, I put the change in my console in the cup of the guy on the corner, I let people go first at stop signs, and I will always smile and say hello when I pass people in the hall a work. That’s just who I am.

Creativity and ingenuity are some of my greatest features. I use them to my advantage in all things I do. I once liked to think that I was the smartest person on the planet. I know that’s not reality now, but I also know that I am competent. That is enough for me. The creativity and ingenuity are icing on the cake.

I’m a good father and husband. I really am. I might sound full of myself, but it’s true. I love my two girls and would do anything for them. They always come first. As far as my wife is concerned, I think about how she feels, I do thinks to make her life easier, and I always let her know how beautiful and unique she is. My family is the greatest asset I have in this world. I invest most of what I have in them because they are more than worth it.

I see beauty and awe in ordinary mundane things. I hope I never lose this. I can look around at something I’ve seen every day and suddenly see it in a different light that turns it into a magnificent artwork. Some of my most brilliant revelations have been on the macroscopic level: ants on a caterpillar, flowers, etc.

So there it is folks…me. It’s not everything, but I think I’ve taken a large chunk out at least. There are a lot of things I need to work on like everyone, but at this point in my life I’ve learned to accept myself for who I am. In the areas where I am inadequate, I’ll try to get better or I’ll just have to come to terms with it. I’m no rock star, Olympian, or billionaire entrepreneur, but I think what I am is enough to be proud of. I hope one day I leave this world better than it was when I came in. That’s all I really aspire to. If we all had the same aspiration, I think we might be looking at a good future for our kids and grand kids.

Goin’ Fishing: The Baited Article

Frowny Face. I just finished publishing this article only to have it consumed by the universe, never to be seen again. Just know that it was the most amazing article ever written. Nothing previously written or that ever will be written could compare to my expose on fishing…now I have to settle for this second article, which is like it’s redneck cousin. Sigh…

There is something magical about fishing. I like to wake up while it’s still dark out and drive down to a jetty somewhere before the sun can have a chance to heat up the water. I cast in my line and, by the time I’ve caught my first fish, the sunrise is gleaming off its shiny scales.

I know a lot of people who don’t like fishing. Actually, I know a lot of people who just don’t like the outdoors in general. They somehow think that they are too good for getting their hands dirty. I’ve got news for those people. There may come a day or a disaster that causes each person to be able to fend for themselves. This means knowing how to forage for food, water, hunt, fish, and stay warm and dry. If, and I know this is a big if, you are ever in a situation like that, your lack of understanding of the outside world and how to utilize it will be your own demise. I find it infinitely more intelligent to learn these skills, even if it’s just reading it on the internet, but hopefully actually getting some hands-on experience.

Of course there are others who love the outdoors, but think of hunting and fishing as evil. Many of them propose that we do not hunt or fish and instead just buy food from the market or that we simply stop eating meat all together. If you’ve read any of my earlier articles you’ll know that I am all for human evolution. But evolution takes a long time. Depriving your body of meat, which contrary to what others will have you think is not only part of vital functioning but is also the reason your body is evolved like it is, is not the answer. Don’t misunderstand. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, I am not insulting your lifestyle. I would like nothing more than for you to stuff yourselves with cabbage until you’re blue in the face. What I’m saying is that in my opinion (and backed by scientific evidence), we are omnivores and our bodies rely on the ingestion of meat. With that said, the most important thing that a hunter or fisherman can do is have a respect for the environment and the creatures in it. They deserve to live in the world just as much as you. Every time I fish, I do so with the utmost respect for the fish, the environment, and the regulations that govern.

Going back to the supermarket, as I’ve heard a lot of people confused as to why I would fish when I could just go buy it at the store. I don’t know where these fish are coming from. I don’t know the conditions they lived in, the processing, or their diet. Going down to the ocean and throwing my line out, I get a peace of mind that can’t be replaced by a “manager’s special” sale. I know where my fish are coming from, I know what they are eating, and I am the only one who processes them before I eat.

If I haven’t won you over concerning fishing, it’s okay. To be honest there are some downsides. For one, there is the smell of the bait you’re using and the sliminess of it on your hands. Personally, it doesn’t bother me, but I know a lot of women (hopefully) will say it’s “icky”. Also, there are the sunburns. If you like to stay out and fish for half a day or more like I do, sun screen is very important. I used to think I was too macho for it until I burned so bad I looked like a robot when I walked. Touche’ Sun. Touche.

In any case, even if you don’t appreciate the art of fishing, at least try to learn some basic outdoor survival skills and try to take a walk outside every now and then. I know it’s hard to put down your iPad and do something that involves the word “outside”, but it will be fun. I promise.

Earth: Whirling Ball of Death or Beautiful Life-giving Planet?

The nature of the Earth is a beautiful and cruel one. From space it casts a Van Gogh like imagery, but on its surface something all together more chaotic.

Creatures scurry about, battling its elements and each other for resources.  Like baby piglets, they fight to suckle at the tit and yet, there is beauty in the struggle for survival. It drives every creature. Through the vast millennial cycles its inhabitants have killed their brothers and aided their neighbors all in the name of survival.

It’s not just the creatures and the resources that cause chaos. The Earth is a giant ball of magma wrapped in a crunchy shell. The shell moves about and causes lava to spit forth and the surface to tremble and crack, which in turn causes structures to collapse and the sea to consume its inhabitants.

From the individual perspective, it’s hard to grasp the continual cycle of death and rebirth. We are perpetually going through this cycle every second of every day. We make up this illusion of what life is and place priorities on daily events to distract ourselves, but in reality there is a purely primal nature. We live in a cauldron of life consuming and life-giving chaos, which is constantly churning and forever chastising the beings that surrogate to it. Despite this nature, we must weigh it against the gift of life. If the gift of life wasn’t worth it, we would just fade into the annals of time and forgo the gauntlet of fury. This must mean that on the grand scale of things life outweighs chaos, death, and hardship. In that respect, the one who is not living his life to the fullest is not only cheating himself, but blashpemes the countless beings that have gone before him to ensure his place in the world. Those who do not live life to the fullest, surely are better off without it.

 

Beauty and the Beach

I journeyed to the beach with my daughter this weekend. We first cast out reels from a pier, where she caught her first fish. Then we rode across the ferry to Bolivar Peninsula, where she admiringly gazed across the ocean at the ships and the dolphins swimming in their wake. Last, we swam at the seawall and built sand castles adorned with seashell windows and seaweed flags.

Joyfully, I watched as she would dig a hole near the ocean, just within reach of the most courageous waves. As a wave would come, she would try to keep the water from filling it, throwing her body on top. Her efforts were valiant, but fruitless, however it was her spirit that captivated me; her infinite determination against all odds.

She frolicked and ran into the ocean until at the last moment, she would feel less impervious to a larger wave and would dash back to shore, screaming with delight.

Many people have written about seeing the world through a child’s eyes, and it’s easy to see why. I think to understand even further, you must have a child with whose eyes you can see through. The love you have for that child, translates into a deeper need to understand their desires and hope that all their wishes come true.

As I stood on the bank, pink bag full of clothes in hand, I couldn’t help but smile at her interactions with the world and the innocence that accompanied it. The world is not an innocent place. It never will be. It is our perspective and aloofness to the troubles of the world that make it a better place, not its absence.

In truth, I don’t think you can create tranquility out of a catastrophic event like the “Big Bang”. The pure chaotic essence is a ballet between creation and destruction that is still manifesting itself today. The beauty of the universe is not in its lack of “ugliness” but it’s coexistence of opposing forces. The magnificent part about that is if you understand how to see the beauty, you will learn how to transcend all the illusions of pain, suffering, and evil.

I hear of a lot of people searching for truth. I think the real truth, the key to real happiness in the world, lies within every one of us already. It’s something we vaguely know, something that dances around the peripherals of our vision. All things in life are beautiful because they exist harmoniously. It is only in the separation and individual extraction with subsequent analysis that we lost sight of it.

To see beauty we must first let go of it. Beauty is too often defined by the lack of itself; for example, a rose among the weeds, or a planet in the void of space. Real beauty, in my opinion, encompasses the weeds and the void. It is the balance between all things, not individual things intrinsically. In this understanding, both sides of the coin must exist for the effect to work. You cannot have one without the other.

Perhaps, this same effect is the reason we never seem to be satisfied. Our misunderstanding of what true beauty is leads us to obtain the individual instead of the constituency of the pair. This leads only to its eventual loss of significance and resulting search for something to fill the void.

Beautiful Blasphemy: The Ideology of Reasoning

I really didn’t want to write this. I promise. However, the need for me to write out into words what I was thinking was just too great. So here it goes…

I grew up in a Christian household. It wasn’t like an episode of “Seventh Heaven”, so don’t get the wrong image. My father and mother are both pot-heads and my dad was not only addicted to several things, but would use my mother for a punching bag at times. I’m sure I’m not alone. This isn’t about my issues growing up though, it’s about how this propelled me through life.

I went to church every Sunday, summer Christian camps, my dad was a “Royal Rangers” leader, and I had a Bible which I would highlight as if I were going to win an award for it. Through middle school and high school I was on the fringes of the radical Christian clubs in school, more of an outsider looking in. Finally, when I was in the Navy, I hit what I would call the peak of my Christianity. I would debate with fellow Christians, bind demons, swear off evil, and preach to anyone who would listen. Eventually, this lead me to enter a Bible college to become a minister, which lasted all of a few weeks.

Ironically, it was while reading Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ“, directly following Kenneth Miller’s “Finding Darwin’s God“, that I, for the first time, started questioning what I believe. I had never even thought to ask myself why. It was just something engrained in me since childhood. An inherent truth, or so I thought.

So, these two books addressed different, but very important, issues. One addressed and argument that backed Jesus as Christ, or the living embodiment of God. The other was a wonderfully accomplished ballet between evolution and Christianity. The latter actually came first, but I was satisfied with Miller’s thesis that evolution and Christianity do not have to conflict, despite the fact that theologians disagree. It was Strobel’s book that shook me. Actually, it wasn’t something he set out to accomplish. His goal was to argue the case for Christ. There was a story in the book about a preacher who was now an Atheist. Oddly enough, it was the preacher’s loss of faith and how he went about questioning his own beliefs that made the most impact. What I realized was that I had doubts that were sitting at the edge of my mind, waiting to be addressed.

I first went into a state of shock that lead me to scrap all beliefs, so stripped my ideology down to nothing and started with the basics. Descartes statement, “I think, therefore I am.” was the basis and entirety of my belief system at this point. I knew I existed. Step one, check.

For the next couple of years I experimented with different things: Shamanism, spirit guides, Buddhism, etc. Atheism never attracted me because I do not believe we live in a Godless universe. I knew I believed in God. The choice to believe comes simply from preference. I prefer to believe that the universe has a God. God may be the entirety of our spirits, it may be one external being, it may be all matter, but I acknowledge God exists. Step two, check.

I haven’t really narrowed anything down at this point; I exist, God exists. I even played around with the thought that I was God and that everything around me was an invention of my mind. An egocentric and semi-nihilistic approach that didn’t go too far. About this time, I started taking out things I didn’t like.

Organized religion left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, specifically because it had forced me to shove its doctrine down people’s throats my whole life. As a matter of fact, the Bible and it’s conflicting stories were also called into question.

It wasn’t just the Bible I had a problem with, it was all religious texts that claimed to be the “word of God”. “If God really wanted us to have a message, why wouldn’t he have just created the message specifically imbedded in us?”, I thought. Then I realized that he had. Our perspective of right and wrong are blueprints for that exact knowledge. A self-writing and discovering message that instructs every decision we make, every day. I now had a functioning knowledge of how I thought God communicated his will to us.Step three, check. FYI, I say he for comforts sake. For all I know God could be an omnipotent hamster with laser beam eyes.

With this knowledge I also needed to know what I was supposed to do. Do I just keep my thoughts to myself and go about my life, being satisfied that I, mighty Kenneth, have solved the puzzle of the universe or do I do something, tell someone? I decided that I probably should do something. What would God want me to do? Well, if God cares about his creations he would probably want me to care about them too, take care of them even. Now I had a purpose, help my fellow humans and take care of all God’s creations. I could do a lot of things in this realm, in fact this gave me a foundation for a set of principles.Step four, checkola.

Lets skip forward a little bit to yesterday. There I was, sitting next to my wife at Grace Point Church, feeling utterly confident about my core values and beliefs. I know, you’re wondering why I was in church with what I said earlier. Truth be told, my wife wants to get my daughters into a daycare there so she wanted to see what it was all about, plus despite personal beliefs I think that bringing my family to a place that enforces moral values is a good thing. It’s bigger than just me. Anyway, there I was, sitting in a horribly padded chair listening to a stranger when he started talking about how religion is horrible and how it caused people to be lead astray. Then he tells me about how everything that God did is past and that it is futile to try to fight evil and repent because it’s already done; we won.

This guy, Don Keathley, just threw me for a loop. A preacher who says religion is crap and doesn’t want me to spend my time beating myself up and fighting evil? This may not be news to you, but it certainly was to me. I decided at that moment that I would stick around, maybe go back on Sundays. If he wasn’t forcing religion and brimstone down my throat, maybe I would like it.

I’m going to warn you now. There isn’t some grand conclusion to this. I’m not going to blow your mind. I’m just a guy looking for answers, talking to himself. What I will tell you is that I’m probably never going to agree that any religious text is anything more than good values, parables, and suggestions. Also, I will probably¬† never be able to conclude that there is a person who is the physical manifestation of God. However, I have come to one truth that is profound to me. I don’t need to agree with anyone, I don’t need to express my agreement/disagreement with anyone, and I will always question everything. There will be no blind leaps of faith. If I think something is improbable, I will not simply forfeit my logic to faith. If I did that, it would be blasphemy to my own beliefs. Okay, that’s more than one. Sue me.

If you’re a Christian, you’ll probably pity my conclusion. If you’re an Atheist, I lost you at the existence of God. I think there might be those few out there though that think like I do. They’ll never be satisfied in solid definitions with no logic but are perfectly willing to capitulate that there is something out there greater than ourselves.

See, I told you. No mind-blowing, world-altering, holistic truth. In the end, I have only my reasoning, my morality, and my choices. As far as the burning in hell goes, if God (or anyone really) were the kind of being that required me to believe without doubt or burn forever, he doesn’t deserve my belief or my praise. Why would a creator give you logic and reasoning and tell you not to use them? Additionally, being a father I could never ask my child to make that choice or face that consequence. It would be unjust and a little insane. I refuse to believe that our reality all boils down to such cruelty. If you do, I completely respect that. I don’t want to hear about it, but I respect it. You don’t owe me anything, but whoever you are, just use your own reason and heart to guide you. Don’t go blindly through the world accepting the thoughts of other men and living in their eventualities.

 

 

 

Procrastination: A Method for Success

You might be a little confused at the title. Is he saying that procrastination can be used as a method for success? Yes, yes I am. Let me tell you why.

Procrastination has received a bad reputation. Rightly so. The definition of the word means to delay something of a high priority, specifically with something of a lower priority. How could anything that leads you to neglect important things be viable? Oh ye of little faith…let me play devil’s advocate a bit and then I’ll bring it in for the conclusion.

Why do people shirk their responsibilities? Good question, I’m glad you asked.

Most people put off things because they are difficult, frustrating, emotionally or mentally draining, and even because their curiosity is insurmountable and, as a side effect, end up losing track of time. This leads to three possible outcomes, the first being the rarest: you procrastinate briefly and have plenty of time to complete the priority, you procrastinate and you are pressed for time to complete the priority, and you procrastinate and you never complete the priority or complete it late.

Given these circumstances, it’s easy to see why procrastination is frowned upon, but I’m here to tell you about the positive affects of procrastination and how it can be used, beneficially, to improve your chances of success. I am not saying to start procrastinating. I’m saying that if you already procrastinate, this can help you.

Why does procrastination even exist? Procrastination is your mind’s way of dealing with stress, actually. It’s a natural defense mechanism. When you feel something is eminently stressful, your mind creates multiple channels to avoid those situations. Now, eventually, you will have to deal with most of them, but there is a message your mind is telling you that needs to be heeded; reduce your stress.

The real issue with the existence of procrastination is in the activities which you participate. To combat this you have to first make a list of productive activities. Productive activities could include learning a subject that would be relevant to your job or your daily life such as programming, gardening, new tools/software, etc. Please do not sit at your computer and surf the net all day for clothing, gossip, and Facebook updates. If you sit down and write a list out, selecting from it in time of need will be a great supplement to your skills in all areas.You could also pick smaller tasks at work or home with less priority to add to the list, although a completely stress free topic would be more helpful.

Additionally, it is important not to go over your time limits. Being late or non-existent will definitely not score you any points at work and will probably get you fired. Doing so at home will upset family members and cause relationship trouble. First, identify the deadline of the priority. Next, identify how long it will take you to complete the activity. Multiply the estimated length by two, subtract the time from the deadline and that is the line you do not want to cross.

I know there are still people reading this right now, thinking how ignorant it is to develop a method for using procrastination. To this I pose a question. Is it not more ignorant to continue to struggle with a natural brain function than to manipulate it to your advantage? Some people will struggle with procrastination all their lives, spending frivolous hours needlessly. It’s fine for those of you with self-discipline and restfulness enough to never procrastinate. For those others who will never quit, why not at least find out how you can use it to your advantage. I, personally, have an extremely overactive mind. My mind is so restless and wanders to a magnitude that¬† to not procrastinate would feel intrusive. I honestly feel that if I am not answering questions that my impulsive mind proposes, that I am doing myself a disservice. Curiosity and the inability to let things lie dormant are the reason for most advances in science, philosophy, and biology.

I hope that you never miss a deadline, but also I hope that your curiosity is never quenched, your vigor in learning never subsides, and that you learn to utilize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. This article itself was written in the name of procrastination, forged in the fires of inquisitiveness. Adapt and overcome comrades. Adapt and overcome.

 

 

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