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One Odd Man

Flooding Out Opinions

Some people make me wonder a bit.  It’s just really interesting to see someone complain about the wrongs of others when they do absolutely nothing to fix the so called “problem”.  The most they will do is go outside from the comfort of their homes and protest in the streets, using only their feet and their lungs.

Now, you may know what kind of people I’m talking about.  Social Justice Warriors (well, less warrior-like and more attuned to a Nazi. So, SJN’s?), people who feel entitled to call out anyone who seems to do something politically incorrect.  It isn’t really what they are fighting for, so to speak, that drives me crazy.  Some of their ideas are admittedly important matters to look into, but most of the time it’s just a bunch of nonsense that’s solely based on their feelings as an individual.  It’s more of the way they are going about and solving the issue.  They only complain and demand for a solution rather than create one for themselves.

People are just being to sensitive to any sort of comment.  You can literally compliment someone and they will take it as if you just shot their grand-mama.  It goes through a great range of topics.  Either through art, culture, race, basically anything.  Someone could even get offended by how a cookie is made, given that some of the more culturally “natural” ingredients are mixed in with that of an American one.

Think of it like this: a flash flood decimates a city.  Gov. officials start coming in and directing a rescue/reconstruction unit to help out with the victims.  Rather than working along with the helpers, the residents start to criticize the helpers for not doing anything to prevent the flood.  They complain about how nothing was done to ensure that there wouldn’t be a flood when the idea of doing so hasn’t even popped up in the resident’s heads until then.  And it isn’t so much that their homes were demolished that they’re angry, they just feel angry because a flood happened and they weren’t protected from such a catastrophe.

Sounds familiar?  Well, it should.  There are people going around town speaking out against this and that.  And when they are presented with a solution to solve it, they aren’t satisfied at all and hunt for something else to criticize.  It’s as if they want the problems to continue so they can have something to feel special about.  And, it really isn’t their fault.  There are many instances where people feel insecure about themselves because they see how successful other people are.  And, when they feel that they cannot make themselves just as skilled, they turn to sympathy to get that quick “pat-of-sympathy”.  Either way, they should still do something to flood out that feeling themselves rather than criticize others for that general reason.

 

 

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To Play is To Learn

BAM!

I feel my rear end rail into the railing as I poorly attempted to execute a parkour trick properly.  I look up and see my friends giggling as I struggle to get up.  Rather than turn red with embarrassment, however, I start to chuckle along with them; in the meantime rubbing off the ache in my bottom.

It felt really nice, too.  To not worry about making a mistake and looking like a boob.  Usually, I would freeze and up look around in anxiety to see if anyone saw my boo-boo.  There would be an awkward moment of eye contact before stiffly shuffling away.

And because of that, I had third thoughts about going out to practice parkour.  The fear of having everyone know how ungraceful I can be pulls me away from ever improving.  I’m partially at fault here, letting something so small affect me in a huge way.  But, it’s also how I was raised which caused me to think this way.  A lot of people believe that the best way to learn is to make things harder than what you’re usually, to prepare you “for the worst”, to make sure that you can handle tons of stress whenever necessary.

All of that sounds like it would work, on paper that is.  And it does, to some extent.  Actual training and skill-increasing would need that sort of practice.  But, in terms of a learning curve, it would be best if people are more relaxed and more acceptable to the mistakes they make.  Because in reality, all that really matters is that you understand the concept you’re learning, not memorizing.  Think about it like this: you could memorize all the equations you want and have them in your hand at the ready.  Because of that, you’re able to whip out an equation for the situation at hand.  BUT.  There is a point in time where no matter what equation you use, you’re not able to solve the current problem.

I’ve gone through that route before.  One time, I was doing a quiz in my algebra 2 trig. days and all I’ve done for studying was “memorizing” the equations and which ones worked for which problems.  It worked, for a short period of time until it came to the algebraic part.  I just couldn’t understand how to do the problems for the fact that I focused on only memorizing, not understanding.  And when the quizzes came back, I felt like the dumbest person on Earth.

Now, take a look at the learning curve of video games.  It usually would take people less than a day to figure out the mechanics of the game.  You can argue that there “isn’t really much to memorize, so of course it’s easier to learn.”  Ah, but you forget, my good man.  The main focus of the tutorial phase of a game isn’t to help the player memorize the mechanics, it is more to understand how it works.  Now, when a player makes a mistake, of course they won’t feel happy about it.  But, they won’t feel discouraged about it and give up all together.  Rather, the mistakes are what motivate them to become better and eventually beat the game.

Of course, the real world isn’t a game where you can make as many mistakes as you want.  But, that doesn’t mean we can’t create situations similar to a tutorial stage.  Think of athletes and their daily practices.  They aren’t just to make you feel exhausted at every point of the day.  You go through those practices to make sure that you learn from the mistakes you make during that practice.  It would go from something like kicking a ball to kicking it a certain way to achieve an advantage for your team.

So, what does that mean for everyone else?  Not everyone is a gamer, and not a lot of people want to go through the same training athletes go through.  That then leaves us with academics.  Growing up, my peers and I have grown up being punished for not performing well on a test or quiz; or even the class in general.  It then gives us a fear of failing, of making mistakes, of looking like a fool.

That’s what I realized as I fell on my bum on the Global School Play Day.  I shouldn’t be afraid to fail, to make mistakes, to look like a fool.  ‘Cause the real fool is the one who does not learn from his mistakes.

Picture Source: http://jonasdero.deviantart.com/art/Summer-Time-215933689

Power

Power.  What usually comes to mind upon hearing that word?  A king sitting on his mighty throne, or muscular individual perched on a throne of the less-fortunate?  Or, perhaps a combination of the two?  Either way, power isn’t something that special people possess.  Every one of us has potential in various forms.  However, how we maintain that power decides overall how “powerful” we really are.

Parent’s, for instance, generally have authority over their children.  Because of this, children see them as oppressive and demanding.  Ironically, these sorts of parents are more loving than others (most of the time).  These parents can control their power to put their children in tip-top shape.  Parents like that of Pjua and Ajay, however, have little care for their own.  Literally, the children were sold for a measly $30, all because they couldn’t control their alcohol addiction.  You see, their parents did have power of some sorts.  However, they did not even try to touch it, harming children who could’ve had the potential to become something great.  Now they’re probably working as a slave of sorts, not being able to live an actual childhood just because their parents couldn’t live without a sip of whisky.

Still, it is necessary for elders to guide the young rather than claim authority over them.  As an illustration, Charles was forced into a Uganda rebel group at the young age of 8.  It’s ironic, isn’t it?  Adults strive to grow yet they still have childish minds.  What I mean by this is that when children feel oppressed, they want to feel a sort of jurisdiction themselves.  Thus, they find something that’s easily “controllable” for them to boss around.  In this case, Uganda rebels feel more dominant by putting the young in the front lines of the battlefield.  To make matters worse, neither the children or the adults know the proper techniques of the battlefield, leading to all sorts of casualties.  They could have easily controlled their power to become stronger themselves rather than relying on the young, but they must’ve lost control to the point where they were incompetent themselves.

Children aren’t the only victims of maltreatment.  Many young (and sometimes even old) adults have countlessly been forced into something they did not sign up for.  People are so eager to gain “power” that they would use even the life of multiple human beings to get there.  Vannark prum was, unfortunately, duped by such people.  Prum simply wanted to find money to support his future family.  On the other hand, a human trafficker wanted some quick cash, and Prum was an easy target.  Thus, the caring husband was enslaved, even going so far as to being charged as an illegal immigrant when trying to bring forth the true crime of the situation.  Here, the police aren’t able to control their power.  They did have a part in Prum’s enslavement, meaning they let the power of money get to them.  It’s is really sad to think about.  A task force originally made to oppose corruption is corrupted themselves, all because they couldn’t control themselves from being greedy.

The point I’m trying to make is that people don’t really try to control and manifest the power that they have.  People like dictators and human traffickers let their power go rampant to satisfy their own needs without a thought for the people around them.  However, the people who don’t use their power end up overrun by something else.  So, it is very important to realize that you have power and to carefully cultivate it.  Just like how Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Detail

As I was working on a drawing for a Spanish project, there was this constant nagging at the back of my head.  “Not enough detail, NOT enough detail, NOT ENOUGH DETAIL!!”.  And then, another uninvited guest chimes in. “Too.  Much.  Detail.”  And for the next 3 or so hours was full of stress and anxiety.  But, in the end, it actually looks pretty decent.  Small mistakes aside, the project doesn’t look half bad.

Small Trains of Thoughts

Lonely

I don’t like this feeling.  It’s so… empty.  There’s no feeling of comfort or sadness anywhere.  It’s just, neutral.  And it kind of sucks.  You can’t cry out all of your anxieties nor excitedly share all of your interests.  It’s just me.  Not that I’m the center of the universe but, it just feels like I’m just existing, not living.  There, but not really noticeable. I just want to be alone with someone, not with myself.

Not Enough Time

So here’s how the day will go: Wake up, brush le teeth, eat, and rest for a bit.  Then I’m going to draw and be creative throughout the day.  After, I’ll binge watch that anime I’ve been meaning to montage for quite the time now.  Oh, I gotta leave time to play some games that I haven’t been playing for the past few months or so.  Yeaaah, I got time.

Oh wait.  I got schoolwork to do. *sigh* If only I had time.

Only A Dream

My my, what’s this?  I never knew I could do backflips before!  Dude, this feels awesome!  I have a job?  I have a JOB!  Sweet!  It’s not even that tedious!  I can do what I always wanted to do for a living!  Hey, this feels suspicious.  I don’t remember being this smart before.  Whatever, let’s just roll with it.  This, actually feels quite nice.  Maybe a little too nice, but whatever.  I’m happy, that’s all that matters.  Wait, what’s that buzzing sound?

Ah, right.  Of course.  T’was only a dream.

 

Tripping

You just tripped over your feet and landed awkwardly (and painfully) on the ground.  There’s a small pain somewhere on your body (you can’t really tell,because it all happened so fast) that really just bugs the snot out of you.  Someone you know starts walking close and (hopefully) appears to come to help you up onto your feet.  Instead, you feel another sharp pain (this time on your face) and see yourself parallel to the world.  It’s barely audible, but you can hear your “acquaintance” nagging at you for being so clumsy.  And, you can’t really help but feel so dumb.

And that’s just how some parents can be.  My own (and hopefully quite a few others) aren’t like that (as much), but when it does happen, it can hurt much more than a slap on the face.  Of course, you could say “oh, no one would get angry at someone for doing something so small as tripping”.  Well, then why would you yell at someone who has made a small mistake like, I don’t know, getting a semi-decent grade on the test, by just taking a break from studying for a huge test the next day, or by just being plain clumsy as well?  No doubt when people make mistakes larger than these, it’s reasonable to be a tad bit annoyed.  But when things can be easily fixed (like grades *wink wink nudge nudge*), it’s unreasonable to make the person feel worse than they already feel.

Just like tripping, you should help people up and encourage them to keep walking rather than put them in even more pain than they need.

Sketch It Saturday – Studying

Oh shoite.  There’s a test tomorrow.  It’s 10:00 at night and I haven’t even started on homework yet.  Millions of things raced in my mind as I tried to plan out how I should study without having to sacrifice homework for it.  I skimmed through Physics, pushed off Spanish for tomorrow, and dove right into studying for Pre-calculus.  At first, the main focus was to cram as many important details as possible.  But, then something interesting caught my by the brain.  I noticed some patterns and started to immerse myself into the numbers.  Everything else seemed irrelevant except for those irrational polynomials.  And then, after about a solid hour, I asked myself, why was I doing these equations again?

OH WAIT. There’s a test tomorrow.

So I proceeded to stress more about the info of the test than the actual patterns.

Now that I look back it, though, it’s pretty interesting as to why I stopped studying the way I did; and it made me think why people studied in the first place.  It wasn’t just to get grades for a college.  And it surely wasn’t just because they had to either.  It was solely because something interesting caught their eye, which pushed them to learn even more about it.  And that, children, is what education nowadays have kind of thrown out the window.  Because grades are of “great importance”, studying is seen more of a tool rather than an actual activity.  Isn’t that why schools were made, though?  To study the unknown, not your ranking?

*Small side note I apologize for the unfinished drawing but I was afraid that I wasn’t going to get this by Saturday night because it would feel weird to post this on a Sunday.  Hope ya’ll understand*

 

Tune In Tuesday – Nujabes: Imaginary Folklore

When you want to just chill out with a combo of hip hop and jazz, I would recommend listening to one of Nujabes’s works, specifically starting out with Nujabes – Imaginary Folklore.  Honestly, it’s a song that I would listen to when I want to just kick back and relax with.

Fire of Life

When you look at fire, what do you generally think of? How much of a safety hazard it is? How bright it is? Do you feel more anxious the closer you get to it? If so, then you most likely feel the same way about life.

It’s common sense that fires need to be fed constantly in order to keep going. If the fire is neglected, then it will no doubt go out before you know it. This kindled fire is akin to life: if you neglect to do anything beyond your limitations, you’ll just end up with a short life filled with absolutely nothing. Sure, you’ve “lived a life” and became “successful”, but what does it really mean to be successful? Does it mean that you have done something you wanted, or is it just gaining something that most people don’t have?

People usually believe that having lots of money makes them successful, but is that really true? Yes, your bills are paid but does that mean your desires are paid for as well? It’s just baffling to see someone work at a job only for the money and not the experience.
Coming back to the fire analogy, why did you start a fire? Was it to outshine other infernos built around you? Or was it to give warmth not only to you, but to those around you that you deeply care about? Reasons for living (and keeping the embers going) are important, because they help us strive for near-impossible goals. When our ancestors created warmth from a few sparks, they had the desire to live another day and see to it that their children did as well. Today, it’s not as intense, but we do things because we want to. Singers breathe all their feelings out because they wish to express what they have experienced in a way that sends chills down our backs.

Now, upon building a fire, there is a responsibility to it. What you do with your fire is your choice. It shouldn’t be uncontrollable to the extent that it could cause harm to those around you. In life, what you do affects others as well. You could either join with the other flames of life to create one huge, warm bonfire or clash with them to make an uncontrollable burning monster that could burn someone into a crisp.

Responsibilities shouldn’t stop you from doing anything, however. Being too scared to start a fire could lead to some difficulties. For instance, say that you are camping out on a cold night. The group you’re with wishes to build a fire, but all of you are too scared to start a fire for fear of making a mistake. What happens? You don’t die, but you spend one uncomfortable night huddling up against each other searching for warmth. The main point is, don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Sure, you accidentally burn someone. But you have the power to control how bad the burn will be. A small lick of the flame won’t kill them. It hurts, sure, but it’s just something they got to push through. Life will do the same. It will lick you with it’s searing tongue, which, of course, won’t feel so hot. You should plow through it, though, for it will be worth it.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Take care of your life like you take care of fire. Both of them are extremely important to you. Neglecting to watch over neither of them will lead to quite some problems. And it’s okay if you mess them up, there’s always countless opportunities to keep them going and going until it’s actually time to put the fire out. When, you ask? Well, that’s for you to decide.

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