Category Archives: Philosophy

Thou Shalt Not Gloat

For it doth annoyeth me.

Gloating is one of the many, many irritating qualities that mankind possesses. It is one of my many, many pet peeves. (Yes, I have a lot. People just tick me off on a regular basis because of a) thoughtlessness b) outright selfishness or c) not raised right.) Gloating is unattractive and speaks ill of your character. Gloating to me means that you are reveling in the misfortune or defeat of another. It is not precisely ethically wrong, but it is wrong on a personal, I-want-you-to-leave-me-the-heck-alone. It really is a major turn off for me.

That’s why it irks me to no end when people whoop and holler when their politicial adversaries falter and fall. It isn’t just the gloating (whenever I write that word, I see Rush Limbaugh’s fat bloated face in my mind.)–it is the disturbing notion that they are celebrating the downfall of people that are working for us and doing what they see is in our best interest.

Let’s face it: if our leaders do not succeed in turning our country around, we will all pay the price. So instead of glorying at humbling them, why don’t we try working with them? Why don’t we roll up our own sleeves and get to work? Instead of munching on our chemical laden snack treats and letting pop culture shows like Entertainment Tonight rot our brains and take away our determination.

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Does the Internet Cause Depression?

I think it exacerbates depression.

I was reading this post–Deb is an awesome writer!–and it got me to thinking. Not just about the woman that still loves her ex, even though she half-heartedly denies it, but about the internet and how it can make depression worse.

My conclusion: Depression and excessive computer usage is Not a Good Combination. When people start isolating themselves because of depression, they turn to other outlets to fulfill their social needs. Especially chat rooms. Hell, even WoW (and my former outlet for fun and social events—play by email roleplaying) can seemingly fill the need.

I say seemingly because an online life—is ultimately empty. At the end of the day, there will be nothing to show for it. Sure, people do fall in love and get married, form some friendships for life, but 99% of cyber life is unreal. It’s hard to connect to reality when someone is lost in the “Matrix”. It’s easy to feel safe and secure…and to think that the basic human need for like-minded company is being met. It’s easy to pretend that online friends are real friends. Online, you can be and say what you want. No worrying over looks.

It’s seductive, the online life. It really is. But, taken to extremes and it is the only social outlet a person has, it is unhealthy because it distorts what life is about. Growing. Learning. Physical contact with other–hugging, sharing a beer or a tear. The kind of living one can only share in close proximity.

I can say all this because I was afraid to “live life” out loud. I lived my life exclusively for my online time for a long period of time. Yes, maybe that made me what some would call a loser. But, I ripped that capital L from my forehead, starting talking to others, and now I see that real life is so much more precious than my internet identity.

Live and love life, I say.

 

Evolution, Bless My Soul

Put all excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable. —Zig Ziglar

It’s true. The power to change our own lives is rooted in our own psychology. Some people use the crutch of religion to initiate change, good for them, but all we have to do is muster up the gumption to do it.

I guess I’ve always been intrigued by the story of the garden of Eden. I’m sure most people are acquainted with it; a story about a man, his lady and the taboo cookie jar apple. Now, I’m not sure how many of my readers are parents, but how logical would it be for a parent to put a forbidden object in reach of their children?

My thought is that God would want us to eat it, but He wanted it to be our choice. He wanted us to evolve and not be satisfied with the status quo. (My other thought regarding this isn’t as charitable and makes me think God is a cruel being.) Eve ate the apple out of a desire to improve herself, whereas Adam just ate it to appease her.

My belief is that we were created, but we also were given the capability to evolve. I don’t think one belief necessarily excludes the other. Honestly, we have been evolving through the centuries. Our height has increased, our longetivity has increased, our capacity for learning has increased.

Evolution and creationism theories can co-exist and complement each other. I hope no one is so narrow-minded that they would outright refuse to see that one can fill the gaps in the other’s theory.

Val’s Advice Column

Tagline: Take my advice or I’ll send ya to Valhalla!

Now, onto the advise that will help you smite foes deal with people.

Dear Val,

My boss is annoying. She keeps looking over my shoulder to see what I’m doing. I’m afraid that she’s going to catch me playing World of Warcraft one of these days.

Hopelessly Addicted to WoW.

Dear HAW,

Ahhhh…you have finally tapped into mankind’s most primal urge…the urge to fight. I say use this rediscovered urge to smite your boss upside her head. Once you have conquered the dragon boss, stand on your desk and roar in triumph.

Dear Vally,

I have a problem with asserting myself. I am so shy, I stutter when I am talking to people I’ve just met. Could you help please?

Wuss

Dear Wuss,

Come to my boot camp for lily livered ladies! That’s not a request, Wuss, that’s an order! I will turn your weak hemming and hawing wreck into a woman that knows what she wants and will reach out and grab it. Seize the bull called life by the horns!

What you need, Wuss, is intensive training on how to step up and not let people walk all over you. I guarantee you after three weeks of being under MY tutelage, you will be a force to be reckoned with.

Remember, you are woman so give the world a ball bustin’ roar!

(Any questions? Ask and I’ll answer them next Monday.)

A Tale of Two Families

I know of no completely different families than the ones I’m about to relate to you in this post. One is conventional….the other would be condemned by neo-cons everywhere. I guess I’ll do the conventional one first.

Family 1#

My sister and her now deceased husband. It hurts to say this, but what remains of their family is extremely destructive and dysfunctional. My nephew is ok, gets good grades and stays out of trouble. My eighteen year old niece runs wild, sleeps around a lot, and has trouble already with the human papillomavirus. She has stolen a car, done juvie countless times, and does drugs. She doesn’t care about anything it seems. I’ve tried to reach out to her but .. All she has done is lie and steal from me. The girl is extremely manipulative and I don’t particularly care for her.

I know. She’s my own flesh, but I can not stand her.

Her mother, my half-sister, is much the same way. Although she’s less self destructive and has found religion. (Rolls eyes) Maybe it’s true.

My dead brother-in-law always treated me nice, but the drugs he and my sister took, the cheating on her (she cheated on him too) led to his eventual diagnosis of being positive for HIV. She’s HIV positive too.

All I can do is send them my thoughts, though I wish those two women weren’t related to me.

Family 2#

I have a gay co-worker that has just now managed to adopt his partner’s fifteen year old granddaughter. Together, they make a good family–I‘ve seen them. They go to church. They are strict with her. They make sure she gets the best education possible. And guess what? They hate drugs and orgies.

She loves them back. She’s *gasp* not gay or promiscuous. She’s well behaved and respectful. I noticed a WWJD bracelet, so I assumed that she has faith, and seems very well adjusted to life.

She is much healthier in all the ways that count than my hellion niece.

So what makes a family functional? It certainly isn’t one man and one woman, as evidenced by my examples. It isn’t the “gays” that are ruining the institution of marriage; it is the “straights”. It takes more than a license to bind people as a family; it takes love and dedication.

Judge Not…You know the rest

Judge not

We all judge.  We all judge on first impressions.  We all evaluate. People are evaluating my skills as a writer and a thinker right now.  I’m guilty
of this and I’m sure I’ve put off many a person with my wild and crazy hair, jello like butt and stammering sarcastic words. Slightly insecure
with a withering tongue. Yup, that’s me.

I could care less about most people think of me.  Maybe I intentionally make myself look like that to sort of filter through the human muck to find the gold nuggets of real humanity.

Yeah, I have to say I judge whether or not I want to get to know someone. I take the time to get a good assessment on their character, and if they are someone who lacks integrity… Back into the sea with the rest of the fish they go.  If they like appearance over substance, they are most definitely gone.  Maybe I’ll quit releasing them back into the wild, so to speak, and spend more time with them…

I tend to expect people to have the same strength that I do, the same level of compassion for others.  I’m coming to think I may be assessing people too harshly, because we all have different things to offer up.  We all have different kinds of strength and it is unfair for me to compare anyone else to my standards.
Read the rest of this entry

Sometimes, I feel like I’m a pseudo-intellectual, and not quite up to pondering the heavy philosophical stuff. I expect a lot out of myself when
it comes to constructing thoughts and concepts. There are times when I do not communicate effectively, when I just ‘shut’ down and stammer all over myself.  There are times I doubt if I have any abilities, and there are times when I rage at myself because of the hurt that my thoughtless actions have caused others.

I still have a moderate/severe fear of crowds, l have debilitating panic attacks and still pull out my hair on occasion.   I wake up (this is a rare
occurance now) from nightmares no woman one should have.

Yet, with all my weaknesses, I can turn them into strengths by using them to reach out and relate to others.  Maybe my purpose in life is to share my problems, to let people know they don’t have to “go it” alone.  I’ve been searching for a purpose ever since I can remember, although I remained unaware of it for a long time.

Maybe, if I help others, I will find some peace of mind in return. What does this mean?  I’m not positive.  Perhaps I’ll end up as a nun or a licensed counselor. (I think it’s possible to be both, actually.)  I wouldn’t mind being a mom if the right man came along, but it all depends on which way I’m being directed to.

Ch-ch-changes!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.–Gandhi

That is probably one of my favorite quotes, because it is so true. Change begins inside oneself and as change is intregrated fully, it becomes visible to other people. Kindness and positivity attract people like a lodestone. If I feel good, then the people around me will feel good. Read the rest of this entry

New research show patients deemed brain-dead might still be conscious

Now that’s a thought to scare me. (Ever since I watched that one Tales from the Crypt episode where a doctor thinks he’s watching his own autospy… Scared the beejebus out of me.) Actually, though, that’s one of mankind’s basic fears: the fear of being prematurely considered dead and put in the ground.

So how do we then determine who is dead and who is alive? When do compassion, mercy and doing what is right meet together?

I don’t believe in suicide. It’s wasteful and hurts so many more people in the long run. I’m not even advocating euthanasia. BUT we, as people, need to learn the difference between clinging to someone who is just the shell of the person they had been and suffering needlessly from the person who can recover and live a fruitful life.

It is only my opinion, but I believe it becomes unethical to keep someone alive when there is no hope for any sort of positive outcome, when they are in a permanent vegetative state, when they need machines to keep them alive for a long period of time.

People have a hard time letting go. Letting go of problems, letting go of worries, letting go of the people they love. I’ve found out that’s what most of life’s lessons are about: simply letting go.