Do Dreams Come True?

Only one way to find out, I guess...

Perfectionism and Familiarity
You know how certain phenomena like calligraphy requires the discarding of an entire work when one minor error occurs? It occurred to me lately that maybe this is why people seem to focus on misfortune and vices and fail to notice all the blessings and awesomeness in their lives. I do not know if the calligraphy system was appropriate, but it is not appropriate for appreciating (or failing to appreciate) the good things in our lives.

When someone or something makes an impression on us, it may be easy/natural to think the same of the person or thing in question even after enough time has passed for that person or thing to change. For example, do you know someone that was a jerk years ago? It is possible that person has wised up since then, so don't be quick to assume that person is still less than decent. This phenomenon is one of the ugly sides of human nature. Lately, I realized it could be linked to affinity for familiarity -- people who prefer the familiar to the unknown and do not easiliy adapt to change may possibly be more prone to not forgiving past mistakes. Of course, this is just a thought on my part -- not by any means a scienfitic fact.

Soonest, Easiest Priorities and Mindless Omissions
Supposedly, people prioritize what they want most. However, it occurred to me that perhaps we prioritize lesser desires that are easier and/or would take less time to achieve. For example, a student wants to visit another country more than anything, but prioritizes finishing an assignment that has been bothering her even though having the assignment out of the way isn't as great a desire as visiting the country, which would take more time and resources. In this example, the student has the assignment on her mind rather than her lifelong dream of visiting the foreign country.

You know how some people might say something like "this cannot possibly get any worse" despite how obvious it is that the situation could be worse? Maybe, people are prone to such jaded intolerance because they keep possibilities too horrible to think about out of their minds. When we omit unbearable situations from our thoughts, we make it easier to get upset about things that might seem relatively trivial to others.

Thinking Positively
Do you find it easy to complain or otherwise feel upset about bad things in your life? Is it more difficult to think of good things and be thankful for them (or at least less natural)? As many bad things as there may be, it actually isn't that tough to think of good things if you put your mind to it;) As long as you aren't in constant pain or misery, there is something good in your life for which you can be thankful (even if it's no more than respite from suffering). Instead of dwelling on bad things, or things that upset you, take a little time and effort (it's not that much, believe me ;) ) to think of the good things in your life, and be thankful for them -- never take them for granted ;)

Good and Bad World
We live in a world where good things happen. We live in a world where bad things happen. We humans living in this world experience good things and bad things. Some of us tend to complain about the bad things, and neglect to give as much attention to the good things. How many realize that this sends the message that the good things we fail to appreciate must not be good enough; and therefore, might as well not have happened? How sad our flawed human nature essentially encourages bad things by failing to be thankful for the good things.

In a world such as this where unreasonable injustice and unbearable suffering are possible, the most important thing in life is for those capable of experiencing suffering to avoid it as much as possible. One of the ugliest parts of this world is that innocent people sometimes suffer for the wrongdoings of others. As infuriating as this is, it is honestly counterproductive to be quick to ask who is to blame instead of being quick to ask how the problem can be resolved as ethically as possible. Calling or considering someone an idiot or asshole is a thoughtless, impulsive blanket judgment that oversimplifies how an individual can and ought to be viewed -- even a decent person has moments of unadmirable character, judgment, action, or decision-making. Who is to say such "idiots" or "assholes" can't improve to become decent people? This is why the death penalty isn't (and shouldn't be) enacted more often ;) Everyone makes mistakes; everyone can use a second chance ;)

Taken for Granted
How many people thoughtlessly assume that life skills/events like parenting are no big deal and will just fall into place when the time comes? I wonder just how many have done this only to make mistakes (such as abuse) that end up significantly impacting the children, perhaps to the point of the latter comitting crimes. With all the problems, bad decisions and judgment, foolish actions, etc. in this messed up world, I wonder how much is to blame on bad parenting. I don't know, maybe this supposition has no substance or foundation; perhaps, it is nothing more than speculation as I have not thoroughly researched statistics or anything. Even so, it is good to keep in mind not to take one's future for granted, or feel that everyone is entitled to becoming a parent, a driver, etc. when such "rights" potentially infringe on the rights of others (children, other drivers who never asked to encounter bad drivers, innocent people misfortunate enough to encounter foolish, unethical people, etc.). Perhaps, parenting, driving, and maybe other activities to which people feel they have "the right" in which to partake should have more restrictions since allowing a wrong choice seems to practically guarantee at least a few will make that wrong choice unfortunately... You know, since it seems adults often fail to exhibit maturity and sound judgment, perhaps humans cannot be entrusted with total liberty... Then again, if we had total liberty, crimes such as murder would not be illegal...

Narrowed Music Player
Finally, I can log back into this freaking site<_< It seems trying to download too many of those large files was a mistake -- I failed to consider that there were still like six days until the bandwidth resetT_T The 24th episode of Samurai Champloo has an interesting quote: "Only hope can give rise to the emotion we call despair, but it is nearly impossible for a man to try to live without hope, so I guess that leaves man no choice, but to walk around with despair as his companion." Unfortunately, I had a horrible day balancing yesterday, failing an 11 in one of the Valex packs (one of the first five I think) and quitting out of one of the crossover spectrum 11's I believe (one of the 130-BPM ones) :( I was so tempted to get A Bird Story, but I suppose I ought not let my obsessive-compulsive nature get the best of me and Mom's finances...

Okay, I checked my body-fat percentage again around 4:30pm. I registered the same for the male settings (didn't bother checking the others, checking those more than once, or trying a height other than 5'11).

How to Deal with Misfortune
Misfortune in our lives is practially unavoidable (sadly). Don't create more misfortune by letting yourself get too upset about it ;)

Overrated Vengeance
Have you ever known anyone (including yourself) that has wished for a wrongdoer to get what was coming to him/her? It is understandable and perhaps natural to feel this way. However, when one gives enough thought, one can see that vindictively wishing punishment, harm, misfortune, or ill-will on a criminal or troublemaker is in fact malicious, faithless, lazy, and indicative of personal weakness.

Everyone has the potential to repent, reform, and improve in judgment, character, and ethics -- this is why killing even a criminal is illegal. If someone were to commit a crime or otherwise unethical act, wronging at least one person in some way or another, but were to then realize her/his wrong and subsequently undergo a change of heart, is there really any point in punishing such a person now that s/he has learned her/his lesson? After all, punishment was originally intended to influence behavior -- introducing an unpleasant stimulus when an undesirable behavior is exhibited in order to build an association of an undesirable outcome (the stimulus) with the behavior, thereby discouraging the subject from exhibiting the behavior further. Punishment is meant to teach a lesson -- if the punished fails to learn and realize the error of her/his ways, then the punishment fails to accomplish its intention, and is serves nothing more than treating the subject meanly at this point. If a despicable criminal were to experience amnesia, forgetting all her/his evil desires, the amnesiac criminal would effectively become a virtually blank slate, and could possibly be molded into a better person (until her/his memories return). What if there were a way to permanently erase the memories of all criminals? All the bad people in the world could be taught to be good people!

Have you ever considered this: why wish wrongdoers would get what they deserve when you can wish they change for the better without consequence? By wishing ill will towards wrongdoers instead of wishing them to repent, we show that we have no faith in their ability to learn from their mistakes and improve, that we are too lazy to exert the effort to change our naturally vindictive mindset into one of good will and help wrongdoers repent, and that we are too weak to deal with the damage that has been dealt to us. Yes, it is easy to do this -- I am not immune to it, and have been quite guilty of it; I don't even blame anyone who does it -- but it is in all honesty malicious. Instead of wishing for a jerk to die, why not wish her/him to be a better person? Both wishes entail the cessation of the jerk's unethical actions, but one is without destructive, derogatory malice. What if all negative, evil, derogatory thoughts feed the evil that is present in this world like in Gene Luan Yang's "Animals Crackers" or Kyousuke's Motomi's "QQ Sweeper"? Perhaps, learning not to hold malice or ill will towards anyone or anything -- even those who have wronged us -- is the key to purity of heart... Instead of grudging against someone, or responding to a wrongdoer with hostility, perhaps forgiveness, a prayer or wish for reformation, and a kind, compassionate response would do more good -- have more faith in people to learn from their mistakes ;)

Why You Should Be Thankful
You know how people always say we should be thankful for what we have even when our current circumstances seem lousy? Do you ever find it difficult to feel thankful? If you need help getting started, try this: be thankful for the fact that good things have happened and will continute to happen in your life. After all, it's not as if nothing ever good has happened to you, or that you have somehow lost the ability to experience anything good ever again. As long as this is so, there is always hope ;)


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