The Designs of Humanity

Sometimes I think about who we are.

Sirens

In a city we’re surrounded by noise. This noise comes from construction, neighbors, and advertisements, but mostly from the roads. One of the most distinguishable and recognizable sounds in the city is the sound of a police siren.

Police sirens tell us something upon blaring throughout the streets—somewhere, something’s gone wrong. We get used to the noise, and figure that with a city so large, it only makes sense that bad things happen on a fairly regular basis.

But the sirens also mean something else. When something goes wrong, a solution doesn’t usually present itself. Instead we have developed a system that tells us not only that something’s gone wrong, but that someone is going to take care of it. Since we know that this meaning is also attached, we tolerate the obnoxious sound the siren makes, and we even pull our vehicles over to the side of the road, paying homage to the system.

The question I pose is this: for what occasion do you make noise? Are you more inclined to speak up when something’s gone wrong, or when you want to be part of the solution?

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Filed under: communication, helping, hurting, noise, signals, silence

Mind-stripping

It is my latest epiphany that the only thing worth living for is giving. Allow me to exemplify this with a little tale.

One night I awoke from my slumber to a voice in the next room. I quickly remembered that my grandfather was sleeping in the next room for a few nights while recovering from medical difficulties. At first it was hard to make out what he was saying, but I soon realized that he was talking to no one but himself, even in his dreams. He became more audible as he continued, mumbling phrases like “music was my life… I used to be so great at it. And now I can’t even play my instruments.” He continued on, his mind dealing with other things he’s lost with his age. “I used to play tennis every day, and now I can barely hold a racket.” I was aghast with the thought that someday I too will be in his position.

What will I say in my sleep? What things will my subconscious take upon itself to unload from my mind as I waste away in my sleep?

Then it hit me. The only things that my subconscious will never have to handle in such a way are those things which I’ve given away. What things in life are so important that we really need to attend to more than giving? After all, we’ll all grow old, and all our joys will be stripped from us… save for one—observing the fruits of our efforts in generosity.

Filed under: change, comfort, decisions, dream, friendship, generosity, helping, importance, interaction, loneliness, losing, loss, priorities, sleep, Uncategorized

Batteries

Batteries are interesting things. We put them in brand new, and then we forget about them until they die. Really they only get attention at the beginnings of their lives and at the ends. What about all the batteries that outlast us? Has it ever crossed your mind that when you put a battery in an appliance it may very well live after you’re dead? All those clocks ticking, cell phones ringing, and lights glowing will still tick, ring, and glow without you. It’s astounding what changes you can make in the world around you with such little effort. They’re changes that may seem small now, but maybe later they’ll be big to someone else—perhaps even after you’re gone. So, what sorts of things do you put batteries into?

Filed under: batteries, change, creativity, growth, helping, hurting, hypothetical, interaction, living, making a difference, metaphor, opportunity, priorities

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