Every once in a while, my friends and I get into random conversations, and most recently we got into a discussion about what we would choose as our top three most desirable super powers. Whenever super powers are discussed, it seems like most people are quick to choose the powers of Superman, powers like flight, super strength, and super speed, but I think those are pretty cliché and things would probably get boring quickly. If I honestly had the choice of three powers, I would choose the ability to control time, invincibility, and probably super strength. I always felt like, if super powers were real and if I was given the ability, I would use my super human talents to help others. It would probably be easier to be a villain, but I think I would have too much of a guilty conscience to be able to freely use abilities for evil purposes. The powers I chose were kind of a mixed bag, but the answers a person gives to the question of what abilities they would choose, can tell a lot about their character. Now, there is nothing scientific about this assumption, I just believe that there are some abilities that can only be used for personal gain or betterment. Abilities like mind control probably could be useful in helping others, but I’m certain that most people would use that ability to get whatever they want, before even trying to figure out how it can help others. I don’t base my decision to be friends with a person on their answers to this playful query, but I would say it is a fun question to ask others, just to see if you can get a glimpse into who they are from their answers. Humans in general are pretty transparent, no matter what we try to hide, it ends up showing through in our actions or behaviors. Try asking friends this super power question, you may not be so surprised with their answers.
Every once in a while I like to think about how I met the people I consider friends and acquaintances. William Butler Yeats, a famous Irish poet, once wrote, “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met,” I love that quote because it perfectly represents any relationship before an acquaintance is made. I met a few interesting people this weekend, and as I sit and reminisce about the fun times I shared with my new friends, I am brought to the memory of first running into these “strangers.” I have blogged before about first impressions and their importance, but during everyday outings little attention is generally given to first impressions. Most people notice small things about others wherever they go, but overall I don’t believe people are always putting their best foot forward at every landing. A routine trip to the supermarket doesn’t often lead to meeting people but a simple conversation in any setting can trump a first impression. The most important step in meeting anyone is speaking to or interacting with the person, there doesn’t even need to be a formal introduction since, I honestly think that is a waste of time, but anything can turn into a lifelong relationship. It is too often an occurrence that people allow their own biases and preconceived notions to have control over their interactions with others, and many friendships never begin because of these cases. The best way to meet people and make friends is to converse, you may not become friends with everyone, but you will surely never miss out on some great conversations.
I am going on an extended weekend trip and I started thinking about what I should pack in my bag. I have never been that great at packing a bag, so I decided I would take the lessons I’ve learned in my past packing mistakes and give a list of tips for packing a bag.
For starters know the climate of your destination, when you are going to a summer setting don’t pack a sweater or a coat. Don’t even wear a coat if you are going to a warm climate, when you get to an arid region, there is nothing worse than having to walk around with your coat in your hand, even if it is only for a little while.
Pack for your activities, I know that this is simple enough but most people do not plan accordingly for trips. The best advice I can give for packing is to make sure you pack for activities you will enjoy doing, being prepared is the key to effective packing and it saves money not having to buy what you left at home.
My last tip is to keep things you don’t need to a minimum, often times when doing last minute packing I have been guilty of putting too much of what I don’t need into the bag. Over packing wastes space, and leads to missing the important things. The best solution for the problem of over packing is to make a list of what you need for the trip, and leave out the things that you can simply purchase at a low price. I used these tips in packing my bag and I must say, I’ve never done a better job at it. Just abiding by these three easy tips will make any future trip much easier and a lot less stressful.
I love writing, and I have said before in this blog that it just might be my favorite hobby. I especially love creative writing since it is a fantastic avenue for expression and a path to creating my own world on a page. Creative writing gives me full control over every aspect of my stories, so I can make a dog talk or a penguin fly if it progresses the story. I don’t write because I am uncomfortable with how the world is, I write because I love to share a contrasting view from how things actually are in the world. Most of the things I write outside of this blog are works of fiction, I especially enjoy writing children’s stories, because children are still learning how the world works and stories geared towards them can have a more carefree tone while still sharing a serious message. I personally think it is easier to explain some of the more complex themes of life through stories told to children. Even before writing was widely used to tell tales, spoken fables and ancient proverbs were told to children in order to teach them important lessons in life. I like to condense as many important themes as a can into a story made for children because it may be a child’s only chance to form an understanding of the issues they will face in life. Writing is important, it is more than just a hobby or a subject taken in school, writing is a perfect way to share knowledge and express emotion. I may be repeating something I said on an earlier blog, but writing is necessary for the future and I would love to see a renewal of interest in reading in future generations.
I think the Internet may have killed the hobby of collecting. Since the dawn of the Internet people have been trying to digitize everything, from currency to medical records everything seems to have a digital copy or equivalent. There was once an era when music CDs, movies, and comic books held value for a considerable amount of time, but today they are vastly devalued by the existence of digital versions. The digital revolution, though convenient to the consumer, does have its casualties, and they are mainly in the form of collectables. The value of collectable items has seen a sharp decrease due to the rise of digital downloads, and it is not because of a lack of demand for these items but an over saturation of their availability. There was once a time when people would have to search thrift stores and garage sales for their childhood favorites, but today they can just download it and enjoy appeasing their nostalgia from home, and at a considerable discount. Most items that were ever dubbed “collector’s items” are now just valuable to collectors, they are now only sought after by hobbyists looking to complete a collection, so they are no longer as valuable as they once were. The Internet makes many things easy for everyday people, but it also teaches a lesson to those looking to make money from their old trinkets. The lesson is that all new technology will inevitably bring change, but not all change is good for business.
Nothing ruins a good day like getting into a car accident. Today I got into a small fender bender, but since it was my first accident in all of my years of driving, it was pretty traumatic. I am glad nobody was hurt, and the damage was minimal, but just getting into an accident is very annoying. Dealing with insurance is one thing, but when you constantly run scenarios in your mind in which things could have turned out differently, it starts to really be a bother. I have blogged before about regret, and today was a real life example of how a small mistake can really effect your mood, even when you are not at fault. The part of a mistake or car accident that really nags is the thought that it could have been worst. I am thankful that there were no injuries, and that those terrible variables that could have lead to a more serious event where not in place, but I am still a bit upset over the situation. I guess the moral of the day is just to be thankful, any bad day could have always been worse. I will just have to learn from my mistakes, and be more careful while driving in the future.
One of my favorite animated movies is The Prince of Egypt, this movie is based on the biblical story of Moses, his birth, and how he was used to free the Israelites from Egypt. The Prince of Egypt is a fantastic movie full of musical scores and a compelling story, as it traces the exploits of Moses in a way that is easy to follow for children and adults alike. This movie, while not completely biblical, is possibly the best adaptation of the story I have seen in years as it ditches the Hollywood style of romanticization for a more humble and heartfelt approach of telling the story. The story of Moses has seen many different cinematic releases, most famously in 1956 with Charlton Heston playing Moses in The Ten Commandments, but few are as effective at showing the moral of the story as The Prince of Egypt. The recent film, Exodus, made an attempt to retell the story in a more modern dramatic fashion but in my opinion the director completely missed the point. In Exodus, Moses was portrayed more as an unstable barbarian than as an unlikely leader, the way Moses was portrayed somewhat cheapened the gravity of what he did in the story. While the Exodus movie is good, when taken as purely an action movie, it fails to effectively tell the story of The Exodus, as it chooses action of storyline. The Prince of Egypt is a great film for the family and a splendid example of story telling via animation. I definitely recommend the movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it. It is a great family film and viewers of all ages will find themselves singing along with the catchy tunes for weeks.
It doesn’t take much to be kind to another person, but often times it seems as though kindness has become a chore. It might just be due to the busyness of city life, but I rarely see people being legitimately kind to one another. Kindness is not just a way of treating another individual, kindness is also an overall disposition of pleasantry marked by a jovial attitude towards others. Many people consider acts of kindness to be grand gestures that are outside of normal interaction, but I would say an act of kindness could be something as small as saying hello with an authentic happy mood. Living in the city, I have noticed that the general attitude is stoic in nature, it is not until I visited smaller towns or other countries that I run into genuinely kind individuals. There was once a time when I believed that it was impossible to be kind in certain places, but I have since learned that kindness is effective in any situation, and the addition of kindness to even the most stressful circumstances works to alleviate the pressure of the situation. Kindness is necessary for any society to thrive, but it is a trait that must be learned. In order for humanity to thrive, we must foster true kindness in the next generation. Kindness is an infectious positive attitude that is independent of culture, gender, or ethnicity, hopefully all people can learn the benefits of kindness and choose to live peaceably with one another.
The commercialization of flying cars is a scary thought, with development of these vehicles quickly increasing, it is a foregone conclusion that one day Mr. Everyman will be able to get his hands on one of these dangerous flying machines. I know that commercial production of the flying car is most likely at least five years away, and it will take plenty of regulations and licensing to get these cars into the hands of the public, but just knowing these cars may someday be common modes of transportation is a bit chilling. Judging from the way people drive these days, I couldn’t fathom a rollout of flying cars going without a hitch. Road rage is a huge problem and with people shooting and ramming into one another over small disagreements it is hard to imagine what they would do with the ability to take these quarrels to the skies. Aside from road or air rage, flying cars would be hard to secure, I remember seeing a video of a child who stole his mother’s car to go on a joyride, this car ended up smashing into several parked cars, but if it was a flying car the damages would have been catastrophic. I can think of situations in which having a flying car would be quite favorable, but the overall problem with having these machines sold to the masses is the dangers they would cause to the public. I know flying cars are coming, and just based on the physics of the machines, we won’t be seeing any Jetsons like intersections for a while, I just hope every safety measure is put in place to make sure the vehicles are operated properly and intelligently when they finally get to market.
“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.