Wednesday, March 30, 2011

twenty three.

In today's society, information is available to us at every turn, whether it's by using our smart phones or simply typing our questions into the numerous search engines that are available. While these amazing resources that have been afforded us are extremely useful, they oftentimes limit our actual educational stimulation. With the convenience of having an answer to nearly any question with a simple few swipes of your finger or clicks of a mouse, we have become so reliant upon these external sources that we aren't truly learning the information for ourselves. As novelist Anatole France so beautifully wrote: “An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't.” 

There is no doubt that these resources are incredibly useful. For the true knowledge seeker, a few hours spent typing in question after question on any internet search engine can provide to be quite worthwhile. However, how many of us use these devices simply as methods of convenience, rather than actual mental stimulation? In order to occupy our full mental capacity and truly learn more than just the cursory glance that will be forgotten on a whim, we must be fully invested in the pursuit of knowledge.

In order to fully grasp the concept of searching out intelligence, we must first admit that we don't know nearly as much as we think we do. We must stop relying upon our dear friend Google to answer our questions for us, and accept that a simple “I don't know” will usually suffice. It is within the human nature to have faults, and if we can respect the fact that we are not omniscient creatures, we can then become the scholars we hope to become. By first recognizing the difference between what we know and what we hope to know, we then become more susceptible to what we are able to learn.

It is in the practice of gaining knowledge that we become better suited to be more effective inhabitants of this earth. It is the true addition of intelligence that gives us the power to further understand not only ourselves, but the world around us. When we more fully appreciate the opportunities that have been provided to us, we have taken the first step toward true learning. As Russian playwright Anton Chekhov said, “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” May we all take those words to heart and put into practice the things we know, and who knows – perhaps we will find that we actually do know more than we let ourselves believe.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

twenty two.

For 'tis not enough to have good faculties, but the principal is, to apply them well. The greatest Souls are as capable of the greatest Vices, as of the most eminent Vertues: And those who move but very slowly, may advance much farther, if they always follow the right way; then those who run and straggle from it.

From as early as Aesop's Fables, we've heard the story of the tortoise and the hare. The idea of "slow and steady wins the race." We live in a fast paced world. A world so fast that customers have been driven to an almost maniacal rage if their ever-so-precious iced venti dirty chai latte isn't in their hands within five minutes. A world where catching a red light is almost surely a sign of the Apocalypse.

It is this world that we must conquer. Go to bed half an hour earlier than normal. Wake up even earlier. Make breakfast. Leave for work an extra ten minutes early. Allow the person that's inevitably late for work to merge in front of you. Do things the right way, instead of simply settling for the easier, rushed alternative.

It's amazing how much happier we can become if we would simply break from our scrambled schedules every once in a while. Find time to read that book you've been delaying. Pick up that guitar you got for your 16th birthday and learn how to play. Give your dog a break from the "wake, feed, sleep, feed, sleep, repeat" daily pattern by taking it to the dog park. Don't think. Don't rush. Just do.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

twenty one.

It was the best of times; it was the end of times.

The school councilor was clueless 'cause I never skipped classes. Perfect attendance. Imperfect accents. Speech impediments they could never really fix and I faked bad eyesight so I could wear glasses. Considered doing something that could cripple me...wanted a wheelchair, wanted the sympathy...

It was the best of times; it was the end of times.

Have you ever stopped and considered the value of friends? Now, I'm not talking "Oh yeah, So-and-so is my friend" type friends. I'm talking true, legitimate friends. Friends that would do anything for you. The type of friends that know exactly what you mean without having to say anything. I am grateful for this.

I've never considered myself a social outcast. Sure, there have been great highs and seemingly earth shattering lows, but when it boils down to it, I've always had a good support system. Unfortunately, that's not how everyone views it. There are people who don't have the type of support I'm sure a lot of us feel. There are people who don't have anyone they can even consider a friend.

These are the people that inspire me.

These are the people that show me that no matter how hard I feel life is, there's always a silver lining. There's always a brighter side to my shortsighted frustration, my foolish humiliation. No matter how merciless our ongoing predicaments may seem, we can take solace in the fact that there are individuals out there who have felt more than we may ever feel. There are people who understand our "pain", and then some...and they still manage to keep themselves positive.

Next time you're thinking about how tough things are, I encourage you to imagine yourself as the person who might have penned the italicized portion of this post.

It is the best of times; it is the end of times.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Neon, neon...who knows how long she can go before she burns away.

When you hear the word fire, you most likely hear of it in a negative context. Often times a relationship will die because it's "lost the fire" that it once had. Many people use the phrase "burnt out" as a scapegoat for lacking the imagination to keep that ever elusive fire burning. It's looked at as something that has to be maintained, rather than something that should be nourished.

I see it differently.

When I hear the word fire, I hear it as a call. A call to live with fire. To live with passion. I want to accept the challenge to ignite myself, metaphorically. Spark an introspective revolution. Fan the embers of what could be, and accept the flames that come. Without a chance of being burned, what are we living for?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


...And you held us in your city lights, when our eyes had lost the stars. And we made our peace with lonely nights, and you healed our broken hearts.

There's something that happens during the night. Something almost unquantifiable, yet it's so visceral that you can't understand why you don't know what it is. Night is more than just a lack of light. More than a period of time in which the sun rests its eyes. It's a time for inspiration. Contemplation. Illumination of artistic creation. Though the nightlife may rage on, it's the time when the dreamers take flight.

So take flight.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Put yourself in this situation: sitting at a stoplight, windows down. Listening to the hushed sounds of a piano, while still able to hear the immense silence that encompasses the world around you.

In the late hours of the night, a place that sees so much commotion and traffic in the daylight seems to stop. Not just shut down for the night, but actually be paused. Do you know the sound of silence? It's like seeing the whole world in a freeze frame, if even for one moment. It's where the only sound you can hear is the residual ringing from the constant berating your ears have taken during the day.

Change setting: The feel of the road rolling beneath you. The sound of wind rushing past your windows. The smell of the crisp night air surrounding.

Do you know the sound of silence?

Friday, April 2, 2010


"Time heals all, gives life, kindles fires, burns souls. No longer cold, alive again, my soul comes to life and paints the world."

I close my eyes, and immerse myself into a sea of tranquility. No, not the distinguishing mark on the moon, but rather a sea of tranquil thoughts. An ocean of hope, making waves of aspirations. Swells of ambition. Tides of resolution. These are the moments that I feel connected to life. The moments where I sit and feel everything I am and everything I can be. The moments where I feel the affirmation that this is what life is about. Growth. Progress. Realization. The arrival of what you want into to who you are.

I am alive, and my soul has come to life and is painting the world.