Yep, here Santa, where do you live? Now Santa, tell me the numbers for the next Lotto draw, too! Tell me, Santa, how do you know what everyone did all day? Does that not get boring? Watching millions upon millions of people brushing their teeth? Scraping gum off their shoes? Santa, srsly, do you delegate much? Why do you even bother with us? What happens when people stop believing in you? Will you no longer give them presents? Does it hurt you if someone stops believing in you? Who invented you? Or were you just always there? If someone gets a gift they don’t like and I get one I don’t like, can’t you get us both in touch? Or swap it around? That would be much better! Where do your little helpers come from? Have they always been around? When people die, do they still get gifts? Oh, and Santa, while you are at it, please pass these questions on to God so He can answer them, too, as a Christmas gift.
…but I’m gonna go with both. Jane Eyre for instance was an amazing read, as was Crime and Punishment. I so dived into the time and under the persons skin. During holidays as a kid I would read a book a day, soon working my way up to American Psycho, which I hid reading on the tube. Didn’t want anyone to think I am a psycho.
Now I am reading The Firm, on McKinsey. And The no asshole rule. Both thoroughly entertaining. When ripping the plastic sealing of my New Yorker subscription, I am equally devouring articles on the judicial system in Chicago as I enjoy reading fiction by Theroux. While reading immense amounts of philosophical material during my studies I would gorge on trashy mags on the side. I would consider most of the stories featured in there pure fiction, yet they were incredibly entertaining.
Maybe Sherlock Holmes exemplifies this best: based on a real character, involving scientific findings and wrapped up in a riveting story, yep, perfect. Much like CSI, and, here I am, having to bite the bullet after all this, that really, I am the target group for pretty average tv. nothing hipsterish about admitting to liking CSI. Oh, would it count if I said I did it before it was cool? In fact, no, I hated it when it was cool, even before that. Model-like investigators turned me off. Now, ten years later, I have succumbed. Too much realism in a show turns me off. Life is realistic enough. I unashamedly choose The good Wife over SILKS any day.
I love filters and subtle lightning and bleached teeth. Gosh, I am so superficial. Now, would I want Romanowitsch to have a tom-cruise-smile? I highly doubt that. Tricky… Ok, here goes: reading I like fiction as much as facts, watching it, I need a combination of both held together by a good veneer of glossy superficial aesthetics, just for mere escapism. Yep, glad the Bible kinda stems from times pre-tv, so I never have to bemoan Abrahams yellow teeth, I guess.
Currently watching house of cards, my whole world is slowly collapsing like a house of cards would. Politics, too much politics is not a good thing, yet, it seems, it can never be avoided. The question is always how to orchestrate several individual wills. As soon as you take a breath on planet earth, you have a will, one that will necessarily be other than that of others and at times much at odds with the will of others. Self interest is brilliantly depicted by the show, and it can just never be entirely avoided. The cynic is he who is not even given over to the ideal that solely peoples ideas motivate them into action.
It is easy to single out one person on the grounds of acting on selfish motives alone. Yet truly no one is exempt from that. I have often pondered the fact that Jesus said in the garden, shortly before His arrest that not His will but the Fathers will be done. Are we not to imagine that, since they are both part of the trinity, and the one thing marking common identity is a common will, that Jesus should have the Fathers will from the get-go? Why is He shown to be in a dilemma here, having to choose between two distinct entities?
Then it occurred to me. Jesus is fully human besides being God, and part of being human means to have been given that will to survive. I know that Jesus eventually gives into the Fathers will, yet it is not a merging of the wills. He does not say “I now will what You will.” He in fact decides against His own will. I glean from that that part of being human is wanting to survive. Politics shows these many manifold wills in their different varieties. Yet it is impossible on this planet to overcome that expression of a selfish will entirely.
Now touching upon a very fragile subject, suicide, for it seems as though in it the selfish expression of surviving has been disabled. No, it has not. Schopenhauer addresses this and decides it in favour of something he calls the universal will. I won’t do that. I have deliberated to take my own life several years back and I know there is really nothing simple about such considerations. Yet, at the very depth of it, it remains as much an expression of selfishness as the will to survive does which shows itself in for instance, a humans drive to eat.
It is shocking to me, yet also somewhat deliberating. No human being alive is entirely free from selfishness. Politics depicts that aspect of man. I believe we can, maybe at times, perform acts of true selflessness, but it would be dangerous to give ourselves over to the idea that there exist individuals or organization purely for altruistic reasons. The God I serve is said to have died for others, yet He had to trump His will with something else, Another’s will. He is the only human being in history to have ever lived a selfless life ending in a selfless death since He had His will overcome by the will of another and for the good of all.
I have at times imagined other people to fall into that category and I got deeply hurt. So the truth derived from Dr.House’s notion, that everybody is selfish, is hurtful, yet it is a short awakening instead of a continuous disappointment which would follow if one were to continue to live in a lie. I feel I have grown up over the summer. Nothing is as it seems, and I will spare you the details on the grounds that it may make me look paranoid. Where ever people get together there is a multitude of selfish wills that will be orchestrated.
And quite frankly, church is no different. The fact that at times good comes out of it is a true miracle, something really indicating the existence of a good God. Being too idealistic is not a good thing. Being realistic can operate with as much optimism, only it is standing on solid ground. Don’t build on a pile of sand, even if the sand is made of ideals. And even if the pile is the height of Mount Everest. Build your house on a rock instead, something unchangeable. It suffices to have one rock to build your house on. Go and make sure you have the right one. Nuff said.
Things that take excessive amounts of time really bug me. Those things that could be achieved in a much easier way, if only anyone ever stopped to think about it. Right now I am sending out applications, which all require of me to send in all types of documents with it. Meanwhile, I am still required to fill in minutely small fields on their websites with terrible drop down menues wanting to know what country, out of the 160 on offer, I come from. Waste of time for my understanding.
All good and proper to include all countries of the world in order to not appear prejudiced, yet pointless when I am asked age and sex one line further down. How many times have I filled out these stupid online application forms, going back in time years and years trying to recall what month of the year I officially finished this or that, and when I started that and the other. What a waste of time, for does it really matter whether it was November or October?
In fact, it does. I finished my Bachelor degree in London officially on the 31 July, the new school year in Germany starting on the 1 September. The Governments guideline allows for there to be exactly one month in between finishing one and starting another in order to qualify for a grant. The girl in the student help office suggested her own form of optimization: just alter the document. I would call it fraud, but hey…
So, instead of optimization I chose honesty, and it came with a hefty five figure price tag, as I now had to pay for the entire education myself. I guess, at times some other things bug me even more: how being honest can be oh so costly. It looks as though fairness and honesty is considered trash at times. Not only in my little case, elsewhere too. I guess truth is an employee that is too easily let go off. It too often looks as though the bad guys are winning at this… I guess that is really what bugs me more than anything.
Ideally, if someone is to give me criticism, it comes from a heart of concern. As soon as selfish motives get tangled up in it, the mentoring can immediately become muddy. Gosh, for all I know it would take a God to mentor and teach humans, someone who knows everything about them and can actually intervene at crucial times. Someone who you don’t have to let in on all the ity bitty details of your situation. Like, you know, someone like a Superteacher. Hm, too funny He was actually referred to as Rabbi. Strange that those others are known as Disciples, in other words students. Looks like I found my Superteacher.
Yes, I know, I know, I do not want to marry the person I am going to be friends with. Yet I have had my share of people betraying me over the years, and, quite frankly, a friend who disappears at the first sign of conflict is no friend at all.
Some years ago I had come to the end of the road in regards to friends. It is a curious thing, being close to people. Due to my story I had come in contact with many people over the eyars and I somewhat had reached the point of not wanting any more.
Plus, the no-bullsh*t aspect of my personality always allowed for a certain amount of sincerity when it came to having friends. So we were friends, sharing stuff. Yes, and, moving yet again, I would loose touch with them, and had just in general reached that point of wanting no friends.
I know I walked into church almost ten years ago with the thought stuck in my head, “I am not here to make any friends”, and, though it was a terribly friendly church, no one approached me for the first few months.
After a while I somehow met someone who became somewhat of a friend. She would take interest in my well being and was incredibly encouraging. This meant the world to me. Soon we were facing the situation that we actually went to another country to help start a church there, which was ace.
Yes, indeed, I am rambling, but this link got me started on talking about friends. As there were only a few people in a fairly new city, we deliberated the idea of moving into a flat share. I told her back then, “I can’t handle yet another bad friendship, so, either warts and all, or not at all”, and she agreed on just that condition.
It was only one year later that things started turning really sour. It was the most horrid and hurtful thing that unfolded for the next six month. The other girl in the flat share began turning against me and other people too I noticed began to shun me.
The last day of us living together she accused me of having stolen some cash, even though I merely hid it since she had forgotten to close the door properly. I had left the house and had hid the cash under a book by the entrance.
As I returned I saw her stone cold sitting outside in the van. Running after me, supposedly wanting to catch me in the act, she stood, wanting to see what I would do next. The whole idea seemed so strange to me and it took me a while to realize that she in fact accused me of having taken the money.
It was such a betrayal. Without a word she just stood there, piercing me with her eyes and I was startled, noticing that she supposedly really imagined that I had taken the money from her. I lifted the book, the money appeared and she ripped it off the shelf and ran out, fuming.
Dear Lord, what gave her the right to fume? She had just accused me of stealing from her. Afterwards I would see her living it up in her new place with her new BF, and it killed me. As we continued having church, I would inevitably run into her over and over again.
It nearly killed me, honestly. Her reason for moving out was spelled out in the following way. “You make me sick”, where the words she felt inclined to tell me. Now, years after, I never once heard her utter even the slightest form of apology.
It took me years and years to recover, and, only some days ago literally, I realized that the world is not fair, that bad things do happen and a belief in God will not stop them from taking place. After all, both her and I were believers, trusting an almighty God.
My first BF about 25 years ago accused me of causing her anorexia. She went from bestie to not even answering my phone calls. In between no one knew where she was and if she indeed was dead, as she had escaped from the ambulance car.
I highly doubt at 12 years of age I really was to be blamed for her illness, especially since we had only known each other for a good two years. She never once apologized for her behaviour, either. Instead, she is an incredibly successful business woman.
These two things do make me wonder where justice is in this world. I know, they are relatively small in comparison to real injustices, yet they hit close to home, so, how can this happen without there being justice?
The other girl, too, gets to do exactly what she always wanted to do, she is being recognized in church as an important member, regularly receiving praise and mention for her outstanding character.
I really wonder how this can be, but, after many years of deliberating it I have come to a conclusion: The world has sufficient things that will cause me to question the goodness of God. I always wondered about the following:
What does the thieve come to steal? And I finally know: not things, not friends, not reputation or dreams or even people. No, faith. Since faith is of more value than Gold. In every situation life throws at me, the attempt is at destroying my faith in God.
It looks to me as though He allowed this to happen and in turn even rewards her for her bad behaviour. In reality though, it is my choice to allow this, comparatively minute thing, to destroy the most precious thing I hold: My faith in God.
So, in ending I can say, I guess there is One who says to me “For richer or for poorer” and that is more precious than Gold and of more value than five million friends saying this in unison. Ok, rant over, back to work.
The whole idea of conveying to someone who I am in four minutes would be akin to the scene in the following video in which Madonna is stamping over someones dinner table in laquered boots: Highly inappropriate. In reality, it usually takes even less time to be stuck in someone’s imagination as this, that or the other. First impressions and all that. Some may conclude from me posting this video that I have loose morals.
To forgive someone seventy seven times is a notion which strongly pushes against the idea of someone just being that someone. “They just can’t help it. A tiger can’t change it’s stripes. People don’t change. Yadi-yadi-yada”, goes the usual talk. And here in forgiveness we have an idea so outrageously standing up against such deeply held beliefs it startles.
People can change. the plasticity of the brain is a strong argument for this. Of course certain things are a kind of given, something even more startling. Your place of birth, for instance. Yet Subject to change is a sign on everyone’s forehead. As long as your heart beats tic-toc tic-toc, you too can change. It is our own experience telling us otherwise, witnessing against us.
We would like to express our feelings yet we can’t. We would like to be less angry, more caring, more ambitious, more concerned, more focused, less intimidating, more enticing, less abusive etc etc, yet we can not seem to be doing this. Why should we grant others this privilege we ourselves don’t seem to enjoy? Letting someone off the hook in essence says, “You can change, maybe one day you will be different”.
Constantly forgiving others may very well train you to keep the notion alive that change is possible. Further, you may be surprised at times. Further still, it breeds that notion that change, in fact, may be available to you, too. And, may I suggest, if change just won’t show that you consider the hint, the whiff of a Saviour? A Saviour saves us, yet in my case, most of the time from myself, even if that is not the full, but only partial truth.
My dad, a studied Mathematician said to me, “Mathematicians really are just lazy people. They are always looking for the simplest way to solve a problem.” Reductionism is a trait I greatly admire. So much so that I noticed my husband in class due to the fact of what he didn’t say. His motto in life is similar to that of a Mathematician. Only that he vehemently denies being one. Again, one of these traits I greatly admire.
Being very much in love is a frightening thing. Applying reductionism to the field of love is very tempting. “It’s only hormones”, some claim, or “Sexual attraction fades, you will not make this last”, or the usual “Men can not be faithful”. All of these things attempt to simplify a subject which otherwise deems to daunting to approach. I understand that.
Yet boiling someone down to their market value when it comes to love is ridiculous and illogical. There is no formula to make it work. No, I am getting somewhere with this, don’t worry. Being brief is very productive and pragmatic. It helps cut through the bull at times and can show that one has understood the gist of something. Like practising your musical scales.
However, those are merely practiced in order to apply them to something much bigger eventually, some fine sonata for instance. Applying precision to a grand symphony, marvellous. Some things call for the notion of endlessness. A yearning desire for eternity. “I will always love you” is a cry of the heart trying to express something for which there really is no formula to be found, for it feels to be endless, unlike any formula.
It is akin to the truth and grace found in Christ. One operating with laser like precision, the other offering oceans full of boundless cover-ups. “Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.” Grace is the one-upper. It is that all elusive something always outrunning the other. That is why Christ is no formula. Believe in Christ is no codex to be followed, can not be reduced to just a certain behaviour.
And just like any other human, mathematician or not, can not be put in more simplified version. Probably that is the reason why two humans relating to each other can also not be put in a box. And those clauses and formulas of a covenant relationship? I guess they serve to help one another along in those nebulous times when the ocean just feels that terribly deep and daunting.
I am not a big baby kinda girl. There are girls around that want nothing more for their life than having a baby. I am not one of them, and for a fact never have been. Never!
I never cooed over babys, never thought they smelled good, never wanted to hold those tiny hands, in fact, at some point in my life I did think of them as nothing more than a nuisance. Yes, I will make enemies saying that, but it is the truth.
But hear me out. So baby’s are not something I aspired to have. I was one, sure, and I find that most people who are outspoken against children (“They are noisy, messy, drooling, etc”) tend to forget their own history of babyness. So, I know I once depended entirely on someones goodwill to get me through the day.
One of my pet hates are so called self made millionaires. I always wonder how on earth they cleaned their own diaper before they were even one year of age? But, jokes aside, baby’s are necessary for society and necessarily depend on society to tend for them and protect them. In other words set aside their own agenda for the good of another.
Well, here is what happened to me that changed my take on baby’s. Firstly, I saw my husband around baby’s. And let me tell you, he is absolutely adorable. Everything I lack in kindness he more than makes up for it. See, that is one of the reasons I did not want to have a child. I did not want it to grow up hating it’s own mummy. Well, now I can rest assured that even if that were to happen, it would grow up loving it’s daddy.
Yes, love changes everything. Now I want to give my husband a child, for I know he would be blessed by it more than anything. Now, before you put me down as a cold hearted b*tch, there were reasons for not wanting my child to hate me. I just could not imagine another way. Guess I knew first hand what that meant… Anyways, the second aspect that changed my view on baby’s was my brother having one.
Now for the first time I could experience first hand what geneticist know for a long time: how common genes can form an incredibly strong bond between human beings. Some go as far as arguing for any kind of altruism on that basis. I do not. but seeing this little one made me realize how strong an emotion he in fact did invoke in me. For the first time I actually cooed over a baby.
Now, where is this going? I guess what I am wanting to say that were I too meet my parents now or one of my siblings, I guess genetics would play a huge role in my interaction with them. In fact, there are cases where brothers and sisters do not know of their common bond and well, their friendliness goes a little too far. Just saying…
Equally though, there is never as much hatred as amongst family. Yes, sad but true. So, genetics can not be the be all and end all to the altruism story. Families, after all, are marked by several things: common origin, common language, common space and time. And now, looke here who uses this strong word for family in another context: yep, my favourite subject will be raised yet again.
We are referred to as the family of God. To be honest, by the time this statement was made, patriarchy was still very strong, and going against your family akin to a crime. I guess it has to do with those genes again. Genes just form this incredibly strong bond. However, it can compromise the gene pool to the extend that, well, it ain’t pretty after only a few generations. It is necessary for their to be an interference from the outside.
I love the fact that the basis of a common source is very strong and fundamental, so saying we are children of God is the essence of égalité fraternité. It concocts a context within which equally strong bonds can be formed amongst otherwise alien tribes. I believe speaking of the family of God and creating enclaves all around the world has done great benefits for the gene pool of the society as a whole.
Bu hey, please don’t take my word for it. I am no geneticist. I ain’t heavy, I’m your brother.