Thursday, April 26, 2012

Angles, Lines and A Million Questions...

     There are so many different ways to look at the things that we experience in life. One person may be diagnosed with a terminal illness and all they can see is their death sentence, but another person who was handed the same diagnosis may feel like everything happens for a reason and they are going to live each moment they have left - positively. Some may think it's important to speak their mind while others think it's better to keep their controversial opinions to themselves. Some tell others that it's wrong to do this or that, but later on down the line - they do the very thing they warned others not to do. It's life - it's very gray and yet shouldn't it be black and white? Shouldn't it be cut and dry? No questioning about what is right? How is it that we all have a different (even if it's only slightly different) sense of what is right or wrong?
     Well, the basic reason we're all different is because we come from different backgrounds and everything we are has trickled down from our past generations. The younger generation is made up of all the people who came before them, but they are also on the cutting edge of the future. Old and new ways of doing things are molded into one. Each generation progresses and new opinions are formed as new issues and new ways of doing things arise.
     So my basic predicament is how does one ever find peace with everyone? A second question to that would be - are we meant to be at peace with everyone? I think that my idyllic and hopeful soul clings tight to the lyrics of John Lennon's "Imagine," and believes it is a possibility... to have a peaceful world. To truly want the best for everyone instead of thinking so often about oneself - what a wonderful dream. Still, there is much work to do to even be on the cusp of such a way of life. The older generations are set in the ways of the land that were set in stone hundreds of years ago. Their stance is: "That's the way it has been done and so it shall continue." The younger generations are finding loopholes and faults in the systems created in a very different time then we're living in now. Changing the system is not meant as a disrespectful thought, but as a way to progress and best benefit the people as a whole. Fine lines are brought to the surface. Who is right? Does there have to be a right group or a wrong group? How do we all come to an agreement to create a happy society?
     So many angles and lines. Because we come from so many different backgrounds, we have formulated very different ways of looking at the very same thing. If every encounter in life was like a brain storming session then we'd be able to talk it out and come to some consensus, but in everyday life pride and tempers take hold before the thought of "coming to an agreement," is ever presented as an option. "If you don't think like me - then you're an enemy," is very much the law of the land. Politicians and political parties segregate and then you throw religion or money in the mix and everyone has the answer; and not just any answer - the right answer. 
      So, what is my point? Well, it's hard to have a firm point when it comes to people because we are so unique. Each person is made up of their experiences and their own pretenses. They have been shaped and have chosen to be who they are today. But did they really choose it? You know how it is said that if you want to be truly happy, you must choose to be. It is said that you have all the power to be any way you want to be. Well, that presents another question - are you solely in control of your feelings or can you blame others for the way you feel? I know I'm just full of questions today, but it's tricky. This line between responsible and affected by your surroundings or childhood can become a slippery slope. Let's take a harsh example - a serial killer. Say he/she was a bright and sunny baby and maybe even a warm and loving young child. It has been proven that as a result of their home environment, a child can become morbid and cold. Perhaps the parents are to blame for how their child turned out. Still, the parents didn't hand them a knife and instruct them to go killing people. That's the choice of the adult son/daughter, right? Another example, a child of a divorced family is emotionally juvenile and remains that way once she/he reaches adulthood. As an adult, they are choosing to be distant in relationships or wary of marriage. So can it really be said that the scars of divorce are ailing this person? All these instances are very gray and not black and white at all. Of course, at some point in your life, if you want to become a well rounded and purpose-filled person - you will have to make the choice to do so. Blame cannot hold you back forever. No matter how often we hear from society that you are the sum of your experiences. 
     There's an angle to everything. Who you support politically. What God you believe in. Which baseball team you cheer for. What you think of the Kardashians. What line of clothing you prefer. If you're set in what you think it all means and you judge or discount a person or their opinion because of your own views then aren't you seeing the world through your angle? As I look around there are very few open minded people. Most want to tell you what works and that their way is the only way. If they were told they can't do something, it must mean that you can't either. It would hurt their pride to say you might achieve what they cannot. That's a very selfish, one-sided way to live. Being open to possibilities and to different ways of life and different perspectives is such a liberating thing. Society begs us to have a stance though - each and every day. What do you like? Who are you following? Are you liberal or republican? It's a very defining population. We want to know what you are and that's it. If you claim to be one way and change your mind 3 years later, you're ridiculed and made a mockery of. If we all allowed each other to evolve and grow while accepting changes and lessons learned, we may find ourselves a little bit closer to a peaceful society. 
     I'm a fan of kindness. I think it is so very important to show love to everyone you can. To shower people with bright words and shinning smiles is so powerful and creates such a positive space for everyone to feel comfortable in. There is a fine line in the kind spectrum though. Those who are unkind should still find that you are a kind person. If you are living by that method and wanting to love and give light to all the spirits and souls you pass by - then shouldn't you in fact be kind to those who aren't? This is why many are rarely compared to the likes of Mother Theresa. She was so kind to everyone - no matter what they said or did. She held her pride, pain and self away from it. When you, a kind soul, wants to show unkindness to someone, it's because they've hurt you. They've scarred your pride or broken your heart. That is when they need your kindness the most. They need you to "Kill them with kindness," as the saying goes, because they are lacking compassion and the sensibility to be nice. Unfortunately, we're human and we bruise far too easily to instantly forgive the hurtful words. The fine line of practicing kindness and disliking someone for being unkind rattles me everyday. You have to try and suppress your ties to their words or actions and just smile and press the "Mute" button. Don't listen - just smile. Don't worry - I realize how much easier said than done that truly is. All we can do is our best. 
     Along the kindness avenue, we all must realize how much our tone and choice of words matter. It is so easy to say, "You got us lost again!"in an angered tone as you and a friend are driving down a deserted highway, but is that what you should say? Probably not. If you want to be treated well and with respect - you must show it. The best way to handle a situation like that would be to ask, "Have we gotten lost?" and then maybe aide them in finding a map or looking for a place to turn around. We, as humans, are so very hard on ourselves. We are already beating ourselves up about the mistake that we made that is going to make us late. So, when you use anger or an annoyed tone, just imagine that you're putting on a pair of boxing gloves and you want to show us how to really hit hard. Yes, just imagine that you're watching us get slapped around, but apparently that's not enough - we need the big guns to really give it to us good. We want to feel even smaller. Kindness is not only in your actions - it's found in your tone and in the words you say. So important to be mindful of everything that leaves your lips. Your words are your billboard. They show what you have to offer - make them count and ensure that they represent you correctly.
     So much about life is rushing at me and making me think and feel more than I have ever before. All these contradictions in life make it very hard to feel sound, to feel consistent and complete. I suppose that when I reach later years it will get easier because I am aware of all these traits and views right now. I'm expressing them and working through them so that I can be a more kind, open, and strong human being. We are all here for a reason and sometimes I feel that these thoughts are put in my head to ramble on and on - in hopes of touching someone else. I also know that my ramblings on paper help me to heal my soul and lighten my spirit. 

May you ache to be kind. 
May you love to listen. 
May you delight more in the journey than what you find. 
May you see someone you've been missin'. 
May you know the beauty that lies within you is real. 
May you never be without a hug. 
May you never take for granted, what you feel. 
May you always feel loved. 

~ Jennie Camile