I’m a Serve-ivor

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Volleyball. A simple game, but for my family: Not so much. I get a real kick out of how bad we can be at this game, but it is still something that we all can enjoy.

Now I woke up this morning without a clue to that we were going to spend hours playing this game while I should have been doing my stacks of homework, but at times you have to drop the silly responsibilities that can wait and do something that’s unexpected so you can have a story to tell later. This principle is a funny one, and it’s one that I try to use often. It’s not a sign of irresponsibility because I still will do my homework and whatever else has to be done, but now I’m going to do it with a smile on my face and another memory I didn’t expect to have. In a leadership role it’s entirely okay to take a break and have some fun for a change, as long as you still have time finish your goals (even if it is petty homework). People can get so caught up in getting something finished and having it done as soon as possible and continuing to stress about it until it’s finished. Chill.. It will get done. Do not miss out on a memorable opportunity. If it isn’t too extreme; Go ahead. If you have time; Do it. It’ll be worth it In the End. Trust me, you will not regret it.

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Who Does Your Dog See You As?

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Personality Shining Through

This is my dog: Karlie. The happiest, most genuinely affectionate dog I’ve ever met, and that’s definitely not a biased opinion. She has not a mean bone in her body and the only time she barks is when you tell her to. Now, I was walking around the house the other night, deeply trying to figure out what topic to write about and here comes ole Karlie. Hopping herself onto the couch and laying herself next to me, begging to be pet. It really got me thinking.. How does your dog actually see you?

As for most people, we put a lot of thought into how people see us, what people think of us, and how can we improve our outward image. I believe it’s common and natural to care about what others think of us, but it often truly gets the best of us, and that’s exactly what we were hoping to show: The Best of Us. If given time for that subconscious thought to become a conscious habit, we will begin to measure our self worth by other’s opinions. I don’t believe that’s how it should be, we should not think like that. Our self worth should be of utmost importance. If you ever begin to see yourself in this thought process, ask yourself some questions. How much importance to they have in my life, and Should their opinion matter? I think this thought process is motivated by our semi-selfish means, and myself am guilty of having selfish habits. It is a natural trait all living beings have. But instead of looking for approval of others, just imagine what your dog thinks of you. Most dogs have genuine love for their companions. They do not care about how you look, they don’t judge, and they don’t reject your attention (unlike cats). We often reject their attention when we have no reason not to. I am guilty of that one, and it’s another exhibit of a selfish trait.

You are your dog’s favorite companion, brother, and friend.

Now imagine if we felt that way about ourselves. I think we would be truly happy people, and would begin to shed that happiness to others around us. I also believe that we should spend a lot of time in our lives slightly undoing all the natural not-so-good humanistic qualities we all have (ie. Selfishness). If we removed selfishness and judgement, we ourselves could potentially see ourselves like our dog see’s us as. We would be truly happy people. We cannot determine our self worth by the mistakes and sins we commit. We do not need to look at what we’ve done wrong in life, but what we’ve done correctly. This Perspective on things is a stepping stone to feeling joy. True joy is unlike happiness. Joy is more inward, and seeing yourself as how your dog see’s you is a great way to experience true joy. Another one of those traits I believe make it all worth it In the End. So how do you see yourself?

Looking for Happiness? It’s Already Here

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Happiness. Unlike love, happiness is an emotion. Something individuals seek out to find and to cling on to. Happiness is subjective: meaning its particular to each person, but it all brings out the same outcome. Being happy. Some people seek happiness through hobbies, careers, and education. And primarily, other individuals seek happiness through other people. As a teenager, this trait is very prevalent. Someone needs another persons approval and attention to be content, and ultimately it ends in disappointment. As a teen, I catch myself in these situations often, but I swiftly remove myself from them. Individuals my age emphasize the need for a relationship, or constantly change their appearance or demeanor to find acceptance through other people. This frequently leads to individuals ending up in unfortunate situations and becoming friends with the wrong people. Nothing good comes out of looking for happiness and acceptance in others.

The key to happiness is seeking it through yourself. Learn to be independent and not interdependent. Love others, love everyone, but do not expect love in return. That’s the dependency on others. Do not expect anything in return.

Transitioning from interdependency to loving yourself is not and easy task, but you can start by asking yourself these questions:

1. Who do you love the most? Friends? Family? Keep them in mind.

2. Think about the heartfelt things for these people. Do you love them? How much? What would you do for them? What about them makes you happy?

3. Now, you would most likely tell these things to those individuals in which you love, but I want you to take all those words of affirmation, and turn them towards others, not those particular people, but everyone who needs it, even towards yourself.

I define love as unselfish, loyal, having benevolent concern for another, and having affection based on admiration. Use these words, reach out to others, show them the love and expect nothing in return. Actively go out and ease the sadness and suffering of others, for then you will find joy and happiness within yourself.

The best way to do this is through volunteering and through missions. Give as much as you can. Glorify God and show willingness and character in your community. We as individuals can do much, more than you can expect. Simple acts and words of kindness have a positive effect on others and yourself. Many people need company, and by God give it. Show affection, in any way possible. Expect more of yourself, and you will give more. Look outward, give outward, do everything outward, never inward. You will change lives, and ultimately change your own. It’s what gives life purpose, it’s what’s makes life worth it In The End.

Where is the Love? Integrity, Faith, and Morality

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Integrity. “The process of doing what you feel is right when no other person is watching.”

Integrity, the primary virtue that is derived directly from religious connotations. As a child, I was given awards for this particular act numerous times, and in Elementary school I had absolutely no clue what this virtue meant. As time progressed and life lessons be learned, I began to understand the importance of this word and if taken seriously, will ultimately mold you into a better person over time with little effort. It’s magic, and its derived from any form of spiritual beliefs.

When we review history from the beginning of human existence to its present form. It is evident that war and prejudgment are quite common throughout the years. Whether religious, national, or racial. There’s sadly been some type of bias as to who is higher than another on the totem pole. Sadly, religion sometimes plays a huge role as to which is better. The one structure made to bring fellowship and agreement often brings warfare and bloodshed. As we all know this isn’t the institution’s fault, it’s just the cripple of the beings that run it being part of the flesh. Religion is the basis of love and justice, but the bonds of love between citizens and their God is far larger than the love for one’s country. Patriotism.

This patriotic bond is the cause of turmoil, and to me is the opposite of what Jesus taught us to be, and us as nations lack integrity and are filled with indifferences in which we are intolerable of, and in turn make us intolerable of each other as individuals. The real bond of integrity is religion in character, for religion indicates the oneness of the world of humanity. Religion serves the world of morality. Religion purifies the heart. Religion impels men to achieve higher actions. It just never plays out in religious favor as our own selfish demeanor engulfs the moral aspect for whatever reason.

All foundations of religion: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, etc. imply the same foundation. All are based on reality. All are based in moral context. All suggest similar tellings on how we came to be. Yet each one disputes with another. This is troubling to me, and shows the human like qualities of prejudicism once again. If such foundations suggest and procure the same virtues, why are we so quick to deny their views on morality? I’m not talking about specifics on how we were created, or other cultural differences, I’m speaking primarily on morals. Why are we so quick to shut them down when our foundation believes similar? Who am I to say they are wrong and I am right? Why is there such suspicion and prejudgment? Why do we not reach out to others that show no spiritual interest at all (such as Atheism) instead of attacking one another? That is my question. I see hatred in this world, frequently through religious institutions, and all I have to say is, “Where is the Love?” that we ever so dearly preach about? I’m ever so grateful to be in a church that sees that importance, but Where is the Love in everyone else?

Mistakes and Fate

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Yesterday I missed class purely out of laziness on my part. I decided to just not go, but my mother and I went to Tulsa, a smaller city in Oklahoma and had some much needed bonding. It was great, but I came to school today and for the FIRST time this year, I had no idea what we were learning in class. These algorithms and postulates pasted all over the boards were introduced the day before and I had missed all of it. I sat there. Completely lost, and refused to ask questions in order not to slow down the rest of the class. I was afraid to make a mistake. This got me thinking. Why do we resent and try to avoid our mistakes? Is it a social thing? Do we believe that we are going to be judged and put down because of it? Is it a window into our own insecurities? I do not know, but I do know we do not need to avoid our mistakes. Our mistakes are what mold us into who we are. Mistakes are something we should use in order to build upon our own character and say, “That’s something I don’t need to do again.” It’s something we should embrace and appreciate. Everything we do is a result of the choices we make, and us as humans tend to want to blame it on other things, and I am all too guilty for this one. We blame our bad decisions on anything except that it was our own intention. Such as the loss of our parents, or on a past relationship gone wrong, or your stressful job. When honestly we are responsible for every decision we make. Period. No one controls our fate except for ourselves. We choose our own destiny. Sounds so cliché, but its true. It takes a complete mental change within ourselves to realize that our decisions, mistakes, and choices are what make us, “us.” God decided that these predicaments were made for us as people, for us to endure and conquer. That they are there for a reason, to make us stronger, to show us a door to something new, or anything that his heart desires us to see. And that’s absolutely amazing. He always continues to astonish me. He is something worth pursuing, and that’s definitely something/someone worth it In the End.

Introduction

As my first post I figure I’d start with a personal experience I had today. I sat at lunch with a group of my ‘friends’ when a particular person they don’t like walked to our table with a signature page for a kid that was paralyzed the day before. I thought this was a great thing to do, anything to lift the spirits of someone who just realized he will never be able to walk again, but Instead of being polite and rejecting the nice offer, they made it extremely uncomfortable for the girl. They snickered and laughed, and one kid even stood up and said “they had to leave.” I took the initiative to stand up for the girl, and told them that sometimes things need to be let go. I instantly got spoken rudely to and told that “They couldn’t deal with me,” solely because I stood up for the girl and myself. It got me thinking about how when individual beings get together, they can be really hostile to anyone they have a mutual disagreement with. I notice these little flaws every day. Individuals get caught up in the fantasy of being better than someone else or just caught up in trying to be “cool” that they don’t realize how mean they can be to other people, and I’m sadly a part of that group. Simple communication between people is a great virtue. In order for people to have a sense of belonging they ultimately decide to show their dominance by extraditing inferiors. I don’t like that. If these flaws do not get fixed, they increasingly get worse. My role model/ pastor told me this week that water always flows to the lowest point, and I could not agree more. I catch myself acquiring some of these unwanted traits sometimes and it’s startling. Humans need to show compassion to anyone that will listen. You never know what a person might be going through. Sometimes even just listening to someone can give them the drive to overcome whatever obstacle is in their way. But not even taking the initiative to be polite to someone and instead being completely rude to them is not the way to go. God says love thy neighbors. God says love your enemies, and people neglect to listen to that when it desperately needs attention. I maybe can’t change them, but I can make sure I can change myself, and I guess that’s what matters in the end.