The Designs of Humanity

Sometimes I think about who we are.

Underwood

So, for Christmas, my awesometastic brother hunted down an original Underwood typewriter for me. It took me a little while to get around to finding a new ribbon for it, but it’s a sweet coffee table piece now. I usually just leave paper in it for people to write stories on when killing time. It seems to have been a hit so far.

Evidently it’s the same model of typewriter that Jack Kerouac used, and that was featured in the movie Slacker being thrown off a bridge.

It’s a fun step back in time to have this around—to realize that this used to be the main way of typing professional documents. It’s so easy to make a mistake, or to let the carriage slip. I can only imagine what it would have been like to type a term paper.

Filed under: living, printing, type

Sleep to Dream

Life is too short to ever decide that you don’t have enough energy to do that which is at hand. If you live by this, it will be quite rare that you find a person who is not willing to let you sleep. In this is discovered the secret to rest: If one lives in such a way as to invoke a good night’s sleep, his/her mind will also be rested—even throughout the storm that is his/her waking hours. We were not made to sleep in order to live but rather the opposite—living to sleep. And to sleep deeply after living accordingly is more satisfying than even the most revered of pleasures in this life.

The sleeper by whom life is fully lived can only be rewarded by the greatest of impossibilities. For in the same way that one should live to sleep, one should also sleep to dream. And for one who fully appreciates the idea of living to sleep, the prospect of continued life in the form of wondrous dreams becomes appealing.

In light of this, the purpose of dreams becomes clear. To dream the impossible is to continue living when the bounds of reality have halted one’s experiences. In this way one can grow to appreciate the impossible, because it is an opportunity to continue living when little or no other venues exist to do so.

Filed under: adventure, dream, impossible, living, opportunity, rest, sleep, Uncategorized

Rise

The other day I was thinking about hardships. Everyone knows they happen. Sometimes they’re nasty, sometimes deadly, and sometimes they’re just downright inconvenient. But what makes the difference? Well… right now I could go into the whole “severity of discomfort” spiel, but I won’t. Discomfort, while sometimes physical, is many times just a mental construct. When something wretched comes along, what makes it so wretched? Most of the time it’s just our own brains worrying. If the president of the United States were shot tomorrow, would there really be a good reason for me to panic? Would there really even be a good reason to stop doing what I was doing at the time?

Humans seem to think that getting angry, frustrated, or worried are good and natural responses to misfortune. They’re only partly right. Getting angry, frustrated, and worried are natural responses, but they are not good. Take a look at some of the wisest figures to ever grace our history books. Ghandi is considered one of the wisest people who ever walked the sphere. What was his response to misfortune? What about Mother Theresa? Same story.

The truth is, getting angry only makes you more angry, and worrying is just silly. Morgan Freeman—playing God—delivered it very well in Evan Almighty (which surpassed my expectations…):

”When someone prays for patience, do you think God makes them patient or does He give them an opportunity to learn patience? When someone asks for courage, does God simply make them courageous or does he give them an opportunity to be brave? When someone prays for their family to be closer, does God just do it or does he give them an opportunity to spend time together?“

When something bad happens, isn’t it just a chance to rise above the challenge where others would break down? If we can break our minds from the mold of anger, just look at the doors we open.

Filed under: anger, change, conditioning, decisions, fear, growth, independence, learning, living, loss, misfortune, opportunity, priorities, strength, trauma

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