Coexist

By now, even those of you living under a rock should have heard of the Coexist campaign. If you haven’t, you may have seen their logo as a bumper sticker or a button or something. Usually, it looks something like this: I’ve been seeing a lot of these stickers around, and I decided to check it out today. It’s a pretty noble concept. This, the most simplified version of the logo, only shows the symbols of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (in that order). There are a lot of different versions that people have made themselves.

I rather like this one. I’m not sure why. It’s just…different. Islam, Hindu, Judaism, peace, Taoism/Confucianism, Christianity.

This one is also very common for bumper stickers. Islam, peace, male/female, Judaism, Wicca/Pagan/Bah’ai (my apologies if I spelled that wrong), Taoism/Confucianism.

This one has the explanations underneath, but they might be a little hard to read. Islam, Buddhism, Science, Judaism, Paganism, Wiccan, Christian. I like how this one shows how science and religion can coexist as well as regular religions. They don’t have to be two completely separate entities in our lives. I’ll get more into that later.

Very similar to the previous one, but it switches Pagan and Buddhism.

As you can see, they’re all a little different, but they all carry the same message. Religious (and scientific) peace and tolerance. But what if we took it into more than just religion? What if we could have every part of our lives in coexistance?

Science and religion.

Mathematics and art.

Nature and technology.

The past and the future.

Hell, maybe even Microsoft and Apple.

…No, not Microsoft and Apple. Some healthy competition is good. Even if it results in gladiatorial fights to the death.

But, really.  Why shouldn’t we?  Peace and balance are good.  Equilibrium.  Homeostasis.  It’s all good stuff.  And now I sound like a hippie naming off drugs.  Damn.

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Another Philosophical Tangent

Oh my, here I go again.  I was checking James Owen’s blog today.  http://coppervale.livejournal.com/  Why?  Because I’m an Internet addict, but that’s a tale for another post.  I see he’d made another memorable post yesterday.  I’ll paste it in here:

“There’s a metaphor that I’ve assembled (in bits and pieces) from several friends and mentors, which I call The Synchronicity Freeway.

The Synchronicity Freeway is very, very central to my life, and how I live it.

Things happen the way they are supposed to, guided (or driven, or whatever word fits here for you – many do), and it’s not our job to try to work out every little detail along the way – because we can’t see everything. Not even a fraction of everything.

A mentor once described his version of the SF as riding in a car that he had no control over. He didn’t control the speed, the direction, or the destination. His job, he said, was just to keep the windshield clear.

Inspiration; spirit; the universe; God; whatever you want to call it, I believe there is something greater than us that we can tune into as we move through our lives. And it can be done (sometimes) as well by not focusing or pressing for a solution or direction or stability of any kind – but by simply being receptive. By accepting, calmly, even subconsciously, that something more appropriate is in the offing.

By, basically, keeping the windshield clear.

I’ve had as many positive things in my life happen by NOT doing things as by actively seeking them; and more by NOT struggling against the bad things that have happened – but instead letting them flow over me, confident in the fact that The Synchronicity Freeway moves as it moves, and I’ll see what I need to see. As long as I keep the windshield clear.”

I’ve never thought of it that way, but it makes sense.  Just keep looking forward and keep a vigilant eye and things won’t catch you by surprise.  Too often, we let ourselves get distracted, or we spend too much time looking back at the past.  I know I’m particularly susceptible to the latter.  Maybe it’s time to just face things as they come.

Learn

I’m going to add something to my Live, Laugh, Love post from yesterday. Hopefully, this one won’t be as long-winded.

Learn:

This is a big world. It’s getting smaller by the day. Everyday, we discover new things, meet new people, come up with new ideas, and slowly decrease what’s unknown about our world. And even with all this going on, there’s still so much that we, individually, don’t know. We have all these excellent opportunities, and we just pass them up. I’ve never been able to do that. I’ve always wanted to know new things. I’ve never understood the mentality of those who didn’t. It just doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t you want to know more about the world, the people in it, and what goes on around you?

The attitude of ignorance present in so many people needs to stop. We need to take it upon ourselves to teach ourselves what we’re interested in, if no one else will. We’re not going to be told what to be interested in, of course, and our interests vary greatly from person to person. That’s why some people enjoy school and some don’t. I’ve always liked it because I can be interested in just about anything.

We have so many amazing resources at our fingertips. Books and the Internet are the first that come to mind, obviously. Never ever underestimate the information held within your local library. You’d be surprised at what you might find hidden deep within the shelves you’ve never explored before. And Google. I can see why Google has it’s own freaking religion. It’s incredible. You can search for anything that could possibly come to your mind and find thousands, if not millions, of results taking you to websites with what you want to learn about.

Learning isn’t all about reading books and articles. That type of learning isn’t good for everyone. Get out there and talk to people. Ask questions. Try things and experiment. We learn more from our own mistakes than we ever could from someone else’s.

Go out and learn something new. I promise it won’t hurt.

Live, Laugh, Love

Isn’t that like Abercrombie and Fitch’s motto or something?  Scary.  But, on with the post.

Live:

I am an optimist.  I am cynical, sarcastic, and blunt, but I am an optimist.  I believe that there is good inside people.  It may be buried deep down, but it’s there.  I, for the most part, believe in a philosophy of “live and let live” and “before all else, do no harm.”  It works pretty well.  I can honestly say I’ve had few regrets thus far in life, most of them negligible.

There is power in a positive attitude.  “Always look on the bright side of life” sounds way too cheesy, but I’ll use it anyways.  There’s power in negative attitude as well.  Dwell on the worst case scenario, and things will only go downhill.

There is always hope.  No matter how desperate things may seem, hope will always be there.  Even when things are at their absolute worst, hope doesn’t leave.

Live life with as few regrets as possible.  Yes, something may seem like a bad decision after the fact.  You know how you deal with that?  “Never regret something that once made you happy.”  Trust me, it works.  If anything, if only for the shortest of moments, made you smile, don’t regret it.  Because that smile is worth so much.  You have no idea how much it can mean to someone when you so much as smile at them.

If a simple gesture has so much power, imagine what we can do.  We can’t even begin to comprehend the influence we can have on the people around us.  We don’t even realize that we have this miraculous effect on even ourselves.

Hell, even our body language can have a positive or negative effect on our attitude.  http://www.bodylanguageexpert.co.uk/ChangeBodyLanguageChangeAttitude.html  Give it a try.  You’ll be surprised at how well it works.  If we can alter our own moods (healthily and without medication), then just think of what we can do for others.

In today’s world, with the horribly depressing news and instant updates on exactly what’s going down the shitter, it’s hard to maintain on honestly positive outlook.  Sometimes, all we can see are the bad things in our lives, and this is a perfectly natural reaction.  It’s a release.  But then what we have to do is look around at the absolutely brilliant things going on around us everyday.  We pass by so many miracles without even a second glance.  Right now, there’s someone being born.  Right now, a new medical discovery is being made.  Right now, two people are falling in love.  Right now, thousands of people are showing someone that they care.  Right now, something is being found that no one ever expected.  Right now, someone’s getting married.  Right now, a song that could change people’s lives is being written.  Right now, someone is discovering their beliefs.  Right now, someone’s life is being saved.  Right now, the next Da Vinci or Picasso is making their masterpiece.  Right now, you could be doing something amazing.  Right now, billions of people are breathing in sync with you.

Think on that for a second.  Billions of people.  All across the world.  And we all have something in common – we all want nothing more than to be happy in our lives.

Laugh:

Laughter is the very best medicine.  Having a good time in life is important.  We need our friends and our families to brighten the darkest of times.  Laughter is contagious.  If one person laughs, then more are likely to join them.  One laugh can be the difference between a bad day and a good one.  And I think we’d all prefer more good days to bad ones.  We are blessed with so much without realizing it.  A beautiful sunny day can be the best blessing of all, yet we spend so many of them worrying ourselves, concerned with things that are out of our hands.  Sometimes, we just need to let loose and laugh.  Laugh with joy at the beautiful things surrounding us.  Laugh with our friends at memories of a good time.  Laugh just for the hell of it.  We seldom realize just how many good days we’re given.  And even if it seems like today’s not going to be one of them, we have the power to change that.  If we notice one of our friends having a bad day, we have the power to cheer them up, to make them laugh or even just smile.  That’s magical if you think about it.

Once you start to see this way, you start to wonder why people need drugs, self-mutilation, or cruelty towards others to make themselves feel good.  It doesn’t seem right.  Because you have a conscious, and with that, we won’t be able to feel like we’re good people if we do that.  And we do need to feel like we’re good people.  It can almost be considered a selfish desire, but it’s a human one.  We need reassurance from others that we’re doing the right thing.  A smile, a laugh, a hug, can all express this perfectly.  We want to be assured that everything will be okay.

There are so many things we can do to show others that we care.  Yet we rarely take the time to do so.  Words aren’t needed.  All it takes is one simple gesture to make things seem a little brighter than they were before.

For the scientific half of this, did you know that hugging increases the body’s endorphins, relieving us of pain and stress?  Endorphins are an important chemical.  They act like morphine produced in your brain (pituitary gland to be specific), giving you the feel of a natural high, without the addictiveness of drugs or cutting. http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/diet-fitness/endorphins-101-your-guide-natural-euphoria.html  There you go.  Ten natural ways to boost your endorphin output and make you just feel good all around.  Try it.  Another good chemical to reintroduce to your body is adrenaline.  Obviously, too much of this one is bad, but there’s nothing quite like a good thrill to get you excited and smiling again.  Adrenaline is made in your adrenal glands, right above the kidneys, and is the “fight or flight” hormone.  So take that risk.  Life is boring without taking chances, after all.

Love:

This is the big one.  Love.  It’s so important that we love, purely and entirely, with all our hearts.  That we find someone we can trust and have faith in until our dying day.  And not just romantic love, either, though by no means am I belittling it’s power.  Friendly love, love for our families, love for our fellow man, love for the Earth, and just love in general is probably the most fantasized about, scorned, desired, romanticized emotion we have.  Do you know why that is?  No, there wasn’t a convention when time began and you didn’t just miss the memo.  It’s because it is, plain and simple, what we were meant to feel.  It’s so grand and immense that we can’t contain it like other emotions.  Love needs to be shown and expressed, however you choose to do so.  If you don’t want to show it, too bad.  It’ll find a way, whether you like it or not.

Love is not just love.  I know, it doesn’t quite make sense when phrased like that.  Let me explain.  Love branches out into more emotions.  Respect, joy, awe, devotion.  All can stem from love.  That’s powerful.  That’s big.

Love can influence us towards other emotions.  Elated and cross in turns, slowed down or hyperactive.  That can have a big influence on the rest of our lives.  It’s that amazing.  Humans have an incredible capacity for love.  It’s…it’s huge.  There’s no other way to describe it.  We can love so much, love with all our hearts, and by all means we should.

No one can be alone forever.  At least, not without becoming a sociopath.  We are meant to be in packs, groups, subcultures.  We need our friends and our families.  We can’t stand alone.  And even if we could, why would we want to?  There are amazing people in this world, and with the Internet we can meet them, befriend them, and learn from them.  There’s people everywhere.  Which means there’s love everywhere.

And there is.  Love can be found in anyone.  Even those who’ve never felt it.  Even those who never want to feel it.  It’s still there.  Love is always there.  And it always will be.

I’m a romantic.  I believe in love above all else.  As if you couldn’t already tell.  And without love, friendship, or companionship, we can’t be all that we can.  No man is a tower, we’re not meant to stand alone.  We need our people, and they need us.

We’re all in this world together.  Let’s make everything of it that we can.

Oh, the stupidity!

Or, rather more accurately, the inanity.  No, for once it’s not a typo.  Inanity.  Not insanity.

Have you ever noticed that people make completely obvious statements all the time?  Seriously.  Today in school, at the end of the day, there was a Twister mat in the hallway.  No, I don’t know why.  But as I walked past it, I heard someone say “That’s a Twister mat.”  No shit, Sherlock.  In Biology, we were given notes on our new topic.  Right at the top of the page was the huge heading “EVOLUTION”.  The girl next to me says “We’re learning about evolution now, aren’t we?”  Congratulations, you know how to read.  I’ve even caught myself making such statements.

Why do we feel the need to do this?  Why do we point out the obvious nigh on constantly?  It gets rather annoying after a while.