I often find myself thinking about the future, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It is interesting that everyone has an idea of how the future looks, but we rarely ever consider the extreme changes that could occur between the present and the future. I understand that nobody wants to think about the bad, and that our wishes for the future are often only positive, but change is not always bad. The fact of the matter is things change, and we can never correctly predict tomorrow from the vantage point we stand on today. The human’s ability to plan and visualize for the future is rare, but flawed. Many animals can store up resources for later, and even remember where they left these resources but none have as intricate a thought process about the future as humans do. The flaw in our ability to plan comes with the fact that we don’t plan well for what we don’t expect, but if everything was expected, there would be no benefit to planning. It is important to plan, but the most important thing is to remember that things change. What was normal yesterday is now no longer in existence, so it seems like we may have to work on adaptation rather than on planning since we can not perceive the future. In order to properly plan for the future we have to learn to accept change and to expect the unexpected. I will continue to plan for and think about the future even though my plans and thoughts may be only a past dream when the future actually comes around.
Younger siblings are great, as kids they are playmates and living action figures, but as adults they can be somewhat annoying at times. I am speaking as a middle child, I know how it feels to be a younger sibling as well as an older one. I don’t necessarily hang out with my older siblings often, but when I am around them I kind of expect them to give me stuff, or pay for me, and as an older sibling I don’t mind doing any of that for the younger ones. It is almost as if we are conditioned to always treat the “babies” like babies even when they are older and doing pretty well for themselves. As a younger sibling, I respect the older ones and use them as a reference, I remember their mistakes and I ask them for advice, even though I rarely heed their advice. I am sure my younger siblings don’t listen to me either, but it is always a treat when they ask me for advice so I can see how their situation ends up when they ignore it. Older siblings can be seen as extra parents who often happen to be more lenient, you can speak to them about more than you feel you can speak to a parent about, and you can expect a more practical approach to life’s many issues. A younger sibling is like a “practice child,” it is almost as if you have a hand in raising them, but are less liable for the mistakes they make. I have the joy of being a middle child, and while there are many negative things said about this birth position, I am happy that I have a chance to take a step back and interact with my family in the many complex ways that are only possible when you are born in the middle.
A birthday is that wonderful day that comes once a year, a day that we have been conditioned to feel prideful for our successful completion of another year of life. I love birthdays, they are a day in the year in which you can make a complete stranger feel important by simply wishing them a happy birthday. Today is my birthday, and while this year has not quite lived up to my expectations, I am extremely grateful for the life that I have, and that I get to enjoy another year. Birthdays are a great time to celebrate with family and friends, but sometimes birthdays make us start thinking of the many tasks we have set for ourselves to compete by a certain age. I have to admit, I am nowhere near where I thought I would be 10 years ago, but I have experienced and grown far more than I would have ever imagined. It is useless to sit and think if the “should have beens” in life because there are too many variables to our existence, and we can not change the past. Each new year gives new chances to set new goals and complete old ones, this year I am going to make sure that I leave no stone unturned as I march on to my goals and approach my next birthday. It feels good to be a year older, I am going to relax today and prepare for the inevitable celebrations of tonight.
Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
It is regularly said that nobody knows what tomorrow holds, and it is true that tomorrow is not promised, but we still live each day with the blissful ignorance to what may come next. This quote addresses the notion that The author would still go on with life even if he knew the fate of the planet was set in stone. Often times people are given bad news, and instead of trying to solve a problem they fall apart, but this quote is about staying grounded no matter what tomorrow may bring. Things can fall apart from day to day, but if and when things are put back together what is left from yesterday to enjoy? In this quote, Luther was talking about keeping things in perspective, no matter what tomorrow holds. I equate his planting an apple tree statement to any menial task that can be done on a day to day basis. I certainly wouldn’t be thinking of planting a tree or putting money away for savings when I know the world is ending, but in the chance that the world is still standing the next day, I would be glad I finished those tasks. The most basic theme to this quote is to live today, and prepare for tomorrow, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra apple tree.
I was recently searching through my old things in storage and I made quite a few interesting finds. Aside from the pop culture relics that are my old clothes, I found some toys and video games I used to enjoy. The things I found reminded me of a simpler time, a time when there wasn’t so much regulation on what was actually sold in stores. When I was a child everything was marketed to us, we had toy guns, candy cigarettes, and countless questionable role models. Looking back on life as a child in the 90s, as unsafe as it seemed, it was generally safer than it is today. I know the Internet is a huge part of the problem today, but I just don’t see how playing with certain toys could have adversely affected my growth. One of the toys I found was an action figure of the Marvel character, Punisher, and while I have fond memories of innocently playing with that action figure, I now know that Punisher was basically just a killer, who only targeted bad guys. Knowing what I know now, I would never willingly purchase some of the toys I once played with for my children, but the problem is that new toys and gadgets are being built everyday and they are probably twice as harmful as anything ever sold in the past. There are always studies decrying newly released toys and entertainment devices, but in my opinion, there is never enough time to accurately determine the toxicity of the items in question before they are replaced with the next batch. I would say that my generation turned out relatively well in spite of all the dangerous toys and games, and I believe that no mater what marketing schemes we were exposed to as children, it is our upbringing that ultimately defines our future life choices. As long as parents take an active role in every aspect of their child’s life, I’m sure the kids will turn out just fine.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have heard this quote several times before, it is often recited in graduation speeches to eager students ready to take on the world, but it is never really explained. Most people would love to set out on a new path and built their own trail, but the thing is, building a trail is difficult and doing it without the right tools or training is just plain stressful. I agree that it is much more rewarding to build your own path, and have the satisfaction of knowing that everyone else is following your lead, but many people don’t realize that there is a learning curve to getting it right. Whenever you set out on a new path it is wise to take note of the advice of those who have gone before you. Learning from the mistakes of others is not exactly taking their path, it is just working their experiences into another approach. What most people don’t realize is the fact that avoiding the mistakes of others is beneficial to time management, anytime I have known the mistakes of another I worked around these mistakes, effectively giving myself time to make my own while still keeping on a solid pace. I like this quote but if I had to tell graduating seniors one thing about setting out on their own trail, it would be to never disregard the counsel of those who have gone before them. It is always awesome to achieve great things but there are no bonus points for doing it all by yourself.
Dads get a pretty bad rap nowadays, I understand that there are many bad men who leave women with their children, but Father’s Day is not for them. Father’s Day is for real fathers, the guys who know who their children are. I just had to start with that because, over the past few years, I have seen postings over social media belittling Father’s Day due to the fact that some mothers raise their children alone. I respect single mothers and know they work very hard but today is for the fathers, the ones who do their job. The job of a father is an interesting one, especially in humans, a father is tasked with teaching their son to be a man, and also with teaching their daughter what a man is. In most species on this planet fatherhood is just a means to proliferate the species, but with humans fatherhood is more than just the physical act of producing progeny, it is also about rearing them correctly. Fatherhood is a difficult job, yet many men have taken up this task and done magnificently, so I would like to salute my dad and the great dads out there who have worked hard and raised generations of children aspiring to follow in their footsteps.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 as it is commonly known, is a huge annual fair and trade show that focuses on video gaming. Over the past few years my interest in this event has waned as my priorities have shifted, but from time to time I like to check in to see what good old Nintendo has in store for their fans. Every year during this event, the major video game companies hold key note speeches in which they show off their newest gadgets and demo their newest software. I’d like to say that the excitement for this event is at the same level as it has always been, but it is clear that the world of gaming has shifted from the way it was in the past. Today’s most popular video games are usually played on mobile phones and tablet devices, and since these mobile games are free, they have a larger following than traditional console games. Console gaming is quickly becoming extinct due to the high price of both hardware and software, and the lack of direct developer support that is seen on mobile gaming platforms. This year’s E3, at least to this observer, seems to be crucial to the future of home video game consoles. The rising cost of game development and the poor customer demand for consoles has made video games unappealing to former “gamers” and unprofitable to many companies. In this year’s event many companies have turned to independent developers in order to push their hardware, but it seems like these companies are trying too hard to emulate the success of mobile gaming. Mobile games are easy to pick up, and drop at anytime, and that is a feature that today’s massive consoles will never be able to copy. I believe that game creation is an art akin to making a movie, instead of going cheaper I hope to see major game companies release monumental games. I used to love playing games that had a great story and larger than life visuals, and I feel that in order for consoles to stay relevant they must return to high priced production, hopefully it would be a gamble that pays off and reignites interest in the hobby of gaming.
“I remember when I was younger,” that is a phrase people will use multiple times during their life, I used to think I would always be “in the loop.” I knew what clothes to wear, and what was considered cool. I used to have a notion that I would never get old, and that I would always understand what is being said when “hip terms” are being used, but sadly age has hit me like a lightning bolt, and to be honest I’m not all that sad about it. Today, as I was speaking with my younger brother, I found that I had to ask him about the meanings of some of the slang terms being used today. As few as five years ago, I was under the impression that I would always know the meanings of these nonsensical terms, but as I have grown I have found that they are unnecessary to living my daily life. Slang terms are words used to describe a situation or an individual, that have been created by children due to their ease of use. Slang can also be used as a method to fit in with one’s peers, and show solidarity as a group. I have no use for slang in my everyday life, because I don’t really find myself in situations where it is standard vernacular, and I could always just ask a younger sibling or cousin about the meaning. Today I gathered a realization of just how much people can change in a very short time. Growing up does not mean you are no longer “cool,” it just means that priorities change, and what was once considered notable knowledge has gone away along with the toys and the stickers.