Priorities? Priorities.

Helping others has always been one of the top priorities of church communities.

Through charity work and cooperation with other institutions the sense of being a community is sort of accomplished and gives more meaning to what it is to become a human rather than just sitting through hours of seminars and lectures. GCF South Metro, my family’s home church, is not exempted from charity work.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve stayed long enough to witness GCF’s biggest efforts in charity work but it’s fair enough to say that I’m updated every time we go back to church. GCF doesn’t simply stop in one community, that’s the biggest thing about this church. They spread to different places in order to spread the word of God and along with these activities, the church assesses the needs of the community members and how compatible it is with the capabilities of the church. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming to see such huge efforts towards reaching every single community that is available but this is what’s amazing about this church’s pledge to faith and service.

However, a church cannot be perfect.

It is true that GCF has reached a thousand souls by the word of God, education, food, and other necessities but we could not fully be assured whether or not these actions are completely compatible with the community they’re serving. There is still a lot of room for improvement and that is actually a good thing. It is difficult to believe that there is one institution out there that could perfect their programs and completely be compatible with their chosen communities. GCF South Metro’s efforts towards the greater good could compensate for this imperfection and so can the will of other institutions/churches.

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Diary of a college student: Decisions in life

my drawing of hansel and gretel (anime form)

my drawing of hansel and gretel (anime form)

Decisions? Decions.

but I don’t really know what to prioritize.

Ever since we were children, we’ve already been put in different situations that will force us to make decisions for ourselves. At first it will be as simple as picking which favorite treat we will eat, then it will escalate to which clothes we will wear for the day, what things we should bring for school, what course to take, and then it will escalate more and more until we completely lose track of all the things we’ve decided on. Of course, we can’t avoid the fact that we will make decisions out of haste and thus result to a catastrophic mess up of priorities which will result to a domino effect. Considering the fact that as humans we are bound to make mistakes, it is important to at least figure out the things which are important and things that can wait a little longer.

First of all, family comes first before anything else because they are technically our backbone. They are our most concrete form of bond and

my wonderful cousin during my debut

my wonderful cousins during my debut

without them we’re almost at lost. Other things such as faith, love, loyalty, and all other values will be learned and acquired through this basic unit of the community. Sometimes it will be difficult to figure things out due to complication between the bonds but nevertheless, the fruit of one’s labor will not go to waste. The values that are learned within the family will be transferred to various people such as friends, teachers, co. workers, bosses, and a lot of other people. These lessons will be one person’s guide outline on what things should be put to the top priority and what things should be placed on the latter scale. Though personally, I don’t really want to pressure myself into quick decisions such as “when will I get married? oh, probably when I’m near 30…” because in all honesty, thinking about these things will lead to serious tension. It’s good to have a goal but torturing yourself in order to answer the questions of society will lead to nothing but self-destruction. It’s important to meditate and think clearly.

me and my thesismates as student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy from Harry Potter

me and my thesismates as student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy from Harry Potter

not having the answer right away isn’t always a bad thing.

giving yourself time will not kill anyone.

It’s important to know yourself first before deciding or making a goal.

People will always right beside you when you decide on things and your closest friends and family will support you no matter what. There are times where you want to escape reality and that is okay but remember that at one point you have to go back and face the truth.

Make sure that you’re doing this not for someone else but for yourself

…because truth be told, once you step into the world…

you step out alone.

The 50 Things You Need To Do For A Relationship To Last

Thought Catalog

ShutterstockShutterstock

Relationships are tough. Marriage is a tough bitch. And it’s certainly not for everyone. As a lawyer, I have handled a few divorces. Thank goodness there is such an alternative for people trapped in horrible circumstances. But if you’re inclined to weather sickness and health, richer and poorer — and even if you’ve just met the person with whom you want to be in a longterm romance — bring a short memory and a long sense of humor. You’re gonna need it.

1. Burn your blueprint.

Rid yourself of whatever fantasies you harbor about the bliss of coupled life. They’re not helping. There is no script, so don’t be disappointed when your fairytale gets hijacked.

2. Forgive.

Didn’t Jesus say something about forgiving someone not just seven times but seventy times seven? That would be 490 times….which should last you through your first 6 months. Jesus underestimated because, remember, he…

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10 Confessions From An Introvert

Thought Catalog

Gianni CumboGianni Cumbo

Fellow introverts: It’s ok to be reserved, but don’t use that as an excuse for becoming a hermit. Extroverts: Let us be. Not everyone can be a social butterfly like you.

1. I hate the stigma attached to the word “introvert.”

That means a weird, socially awkward person we all want to avoid. To me, an “introvert” is someone who is selective about who they surround themselves with. It’s someone who is comfortable with being by themselves without feeling insecure. We value quality over quantity.

2. I love meeting new people, but only if you approach me first.

If I have to make the first move, it’ll most likely never happen. I’m silently imagining every possible thing that could go wrong and by the time I work up enough courage to do it, I’ve thoroughly freaked you out by constantly glancing your way and you’ve already sprinted for…

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Guilty voice

Expression.
TS high school
The only way, we as humans, communicate and understand each other… is also the very thing that can tear us apart.
Personally, I’m a girl filled with emotions but would rather keep those expressions of fear, love and happiness inside because of the fear of being judged and misunderstood. I’m very sensitive about the feelings of other people and this has went on for the longest time already. However, there are times that one must break down and express their extreme emotions in a certain way. Some people would opt to shout it out or drink their emotions away with bottles of beer or vodka; there are some people who are more artistic and would rather write poems, draw landscapes or people, paint abstract manifestations of their complicated emotions. These different ways of venting and expressing are the very things that separates us from other people and are one of the core foundations of being an “individual”.

It’s so nice to be able to express yourself freely because the burden of having to suffer intense emotions and problems all on your own is quite a heavy death sentence on someone. “No man is an island” is what we always say to those people who would desperately try to shut themselves from the world in an attempt to heal. However, I have noticed that we aren’t truly free as they say… or as Jean-Paul Sarte would say. We are condemned to this “Freedom” we oh-so-love to call… this freedom which has a heavy responsibility that comes with it; the responsibility of having to answer for our actions.

In a recent experience, I have used my “freedom of speech and expression” in the undying popular social network that we are all guilty of having an account in. I made a simple joke… a joke that is not meant to be taken too seriously. If you have ever heard of “the-most-annoying-people-in-the-internet”, I guess I’ve been labeled as that for a simple status. You see, a teenager cannot help but comment about his or her own “love life” because in the most obvious reason, it’s one of the young adults’ anxiety. It is also one of the most interesting topic because we are unsure of the outcomes and there’s always a chance that things might go the potential couple’s way, so why not talk about such things? In my case, I’ve become the undying consultant when it comes to life and love and personally, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing… until I realized I didn’t actually have a love life of my own.

we are doomed to forever experience suffering... as long we live.

we are doomed to forever experience suffering… as long we live.

…So I joked about it.
bad idea.

My male friends didn’t take that joke too lightly. One of them said there are more things to focus on rather than love life, the other said if I’m going to post about negatives I should give up on the idea and the other one made a snide sarcastic comment on this social network encouraging people to post about love life again. Well, I just wanted someone mature to talk to… someone who would understand… but apparently I won’t get the chance that night. I will not deny the truth their opinions contain but I could not help but feel judged for such a simple thing. The first one is like a slap to my face telling me that I am too involved in trivial matters, the second one denied me of my freedom to express negative emotions (should humans always be happy all the time? can we not express our disappointment at all?) and the last one was just too involved in the internet. He probably sides with the people who think that expressive people are annoying. (well, we’ll never truly know)

This event is a perfect example of “cursed to be free”

As a result of my will to express myself freely due to my “freedom”, I had to answer to the consequences of my actions which is the three comments from the friends whom I thought would understand me. My fear came true, I was misinterpreted, judged and looked down to. This is probably not a new case in the modern age of the internet, which makes it all the more heart-breaking. It’s so easy for everyone to judge our expression without hesitation nor consideration for what the person might be going through. Our way of expressing ourselves now has to fit the norm of the internet; we should not be part of “the-most-annoying-people-in-the-internet” because if we act the way they do… we are bound to be forever condemned and ostracized.

 

A consequence which no one is deserving of.

 

To be human

Japan and China colored

-the personification of Japan and China as illustrated by Hideki Himaruya from the anime Hetalia: Axis Powers

We’ve lived our lives for a long as we can remember, meekly following the life that is suggested and constructed by the society and little by little we learn how to accept things without question. However, there will always come a time when injustice, confusion and curiosity will find its way into our minds and hearts and urge us to question… “What does it really mean to be called a human in the first place?”.

We are told from the very beginning that we are human but as children, naturally, we will never question our parents of what it really means to be a human or “What defines a human?”, we just simply swallow the fact that we are what they said we are and the creatures that talk, walk and look like us are the same beings. This issue became good roots for philosophical questions and I find that Existentialists are one of the most, should I say, advisable sources in order to get a clear idea on what the terms “existence”, “human”, “consciousness” means.

According to Jean-Paul Sarte, a world renowned philosopher who is commonly dubbed as the father of Existentialist philosophy, suggested that it is hard to simply put your belief on one side for there are grey areas into which “humans” fall into.

Being-in-itself and being-for-itself have mutually exclusive characteristics and yet we (human reality) are entities that combine both, which is the ontological root of our ambiguity. The in-itself is solid, self-identical, passive and inert. It simply “is.” The for-itself is fluid, nonself-identical, and dynamic. It is the internal negation or ‘nihilation’ of the in-itself, on which it depends. Viewed more concretely, this duality is cast as ‘facticity’ and “transcendence.” The “givens” of our situation such as our language, our environment, our previous choices and our very selves in their function as in-itself constitute our facticity. As conscious individuals, we transcend (surpass) this facticity in what constitutes our “situation.” In other words, we are always beings “in situation,” but the precise mixture of transcendence and facticity that forms any situation remains indeterminable, at least while we are engaged in it (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2009)

There’s also another philosopher by the name of Descartes who argues that human existence is known through consciousness and questioning. “I think therefore I am” which hints a separation of the mind and the body. It’s true that we can define ourselves because of our unique logic but who are we to say that other living creatures do not think like us? And what do we call those people who can’t think for themselves like the people with mental incapability? They look human, talk or sound like human, they came from humans! …but with this rule, is it safe to say that they aren’t human?

we are left to think about our existence but sometimes it drags us down because the truth is bigger than us

we are left to think about our existence but sometimes it drags us down because the truth is bigger than us

I, personally, go for the belief of Sarte because I believe that one cannot just simplify such a big concept as “being human”. Perhaps this belief of mine is influenced by the “heresy of paraphrase” that were used by scholars in the art of literature, which happens to be a field (according to the new critics) that focuses on life and humanity itself. A lot of factors are needed in order to create a one big human and simply stating consciousness or aesthetics alone can prove our being human is entirely a difficult stand to grasp. Again, I would use the new critics’ concept “organic unity”, which states that all of the factors which make up a good literature such as irony, paradox, etc. (in this case we use experience, consciousness, aesthetics) all bundles up together to form one story (or one human) as a whole without anything sticking out like a sore thumb.

Related to my earlier discussion, another question comes into mind”What separates us from a resemblance of a human?”

If I was asked “What do you mean by resemblance of a human?”, well the answer is simple. I’m talking about androids or robots designed to be very human-like to the point of confusion but it’s not only androids, animals with a distinct logic as similar to ours are also in question (such as dolphins and perhaps the monkeys in some way). I’m having difficulty about this topic but I think the proper way to analyze this is through Existentialism and Personalism.

Personalism in the broader sense does not consider the person as the object of an original intuition, nor does it conceive of philosophical research as beginning with an analysis of immediate personal experience and its context. Rather, in the scope of a general metaphysics the person manifests his singular value and essential role. Thus the person occupies the central place in philosophical discourse, but this discourse is not reduced to an explicitation or development of an original intuition of the person. The person does not justify metaphysics but rather metaphysics justifies the person and his various operations. Instead of constituting an autonomous metaphysics, personalism in the broader sense offers an anthropological-ontological shift in perspective within an existing metaphysics and draws out the ethical consequences of this shift. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2009)

In the anime adaptation of Time of Eve (イヴの時間 Eve no Jikan), androids were thought to be emotionless and simply follows their master’s orders because “they were made to serve”. However, a cafe called Time of Eve was able to blur the distinction between human and robots by means of eliminating the android’s ring or halo above their heads (which is their way of identification). What is was surprising is that the robots which were thought to have no personality actually had one. Of course this story is only fictional but it also makes the audience think “what separates us from these things we made to look like us?”. Personalism’s stand is that we are defined by our personality and that a higher power, metaphysics, is what influences and dictates our being. I haven’t really heard of androids or animals with a “personality” so perhaps this sort of belief is true but of course this is still open for further study and discussion.

All in all, it is really up to us to decide on what to believe on. We have certain paradigms which will help us think and evaluate our thoughts but it does not entirely mean that we have to sink into extremes that will have a bad effect on us. Humans are distinguished through their experience, personality, aesthetics, faith or religion, consciousness, logic and power. I firmly believe that we are not completely human without these factors. One characteristic cannot stand for itself for what is consciousness without form? what is form with personality? what is logic without faith or belief? all of these must have “organic unity” in order for us to be human.

note: the media that were used here belongs to me (except for the last picture of Akiko from Eve no Jikan) 🙂

Reference: http://plato.stanford.edu/

The Owl’s creation story

if man was made to believe in something solid
they first have to make out something that will hold their sanity
a unifying belief that will answer the unanswerable question
and from there, more stories will come forward…

just like the Owl’s creation story.The Great Owl

If the world turned back time, it would look dull… dim and lifeless. There would be no skies, no puffy clouds, and no flowing waters for there is only nothingness. Within the deafening realm of the unknown lived a creature comparable to a giant owl whose eyes bulge with different colors of light and dark shades, its wings dominated with the rich color of brown and black while its gentle face was covered with snow colored feathers that formed a shape of a heart. The owl lived for so long and thought that life was rather lonely and it sought a different world. From its loneliness came life…

The giant owl flapped its wings with much force and instantly, the blanket of black colored space swirled in chorus with the deafening sounds of what could be compared to shrills, screams, songs of sirens, laughter, love songs and finally a soft sob. From the owl’s breath and feathers formed a man with silky white hair, wings growing out from both sides of his head. His eyes had the color of deep crimson with black pupils, almost white colored skin clothed him… he was a man opposite of the darkness that shrouded the empty space and from this the owl smiled.
The man lived with the Owl for quite some time and with this, he acquired knowledge which fascinated him so much. The man was later named Alexei, a name which the Owl presented as his main purpose in life. “Man’s defender?” Alexei questioned with much confusion. “What is this man you speak of father? I was not taught of such things” he continued as he floated around, looking at the endless space as if the answer was there. The great Owl simply laughed at Alexei’s innocence “Do you not know yourself, child? Go and venture out…. soon you will see and feel your answer” and with this, the Owl left Alexei to think for himself.

Alexei moved around the empty space and thought about what his father said. “Man? Myself? All of this is very confusing” he thought to himself as he rested his tired body on a lump of cold black space. Sighing, Alexei gave up on the tiresome task of finding out what this man is  all about. He lifted his arm and saw that there were sparkles and bright stones upon his skin. Alexei thought of it odd since it has never increased this much before so he tried to remove it my moving his arm in different directions. “Ah! Please stop!” pleaded a voice from a near distance. Alexei stumbled and looked around for the foreign voice “W-who goes there!?” he stuttered

“Please don’t be afraid. I have come from you, did I not?” the voice answered and soon enough a pair of light brown eyes appeared from the blanket of black space. “I don’t even know that I made you…” Alexei answered in a soft embarrassed tone as he saw a very beautiful figure form right in front of him.  This creature was like him but at the same time not like him. It had beautiful long hair that blends perfectly well with the space, body perfectly shaped with the color of light mud. It was the first female.

Alexei presented the new creature to the Owl and from there she was named Sophie. “…for you will show my son what ‘man’ is…”

It took little time for the two to grow close to each other. Alexei has decorated Sophie’s hair with sparkling ornament and jewels that we now know as the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies. Sophie looked wonderfully beautiful but she was sad for there is something missing. Wisdom, she says needs to be continuously created and passed on or else she will suffer for eternity. Troubled by Sophie’s predicament, Alexei approached the Owl and asked for proper guidance. “Your wife is full of wisdom and beauty… but not everything is given to her for the half of it is with you. Accept her wisdom and you shall know what to do… for it is engraved in you…. your very purpose. Combine two things that seem opposite. Watch and learn how they move and create a different world.”

Alexei listened to his father’s words and recalled the Owl’s idea about “man”. Taking Sophie, he had encouraged her of this idea about “man” and quickly the two thought of what this “man” should be like. They have created a blue and green colored gem which took the form of a sphere. They arranged a lot of things within this gem, washing out those that are imperfect in the process until they have finally perfected what they call a man. They were overwhelmed with great joy as they saw what they called sons and daughters become fruitful. However, they are saddened that they cannot interact with them since doing so would fill man with too much wisdom and enlightenment that they will be destroyed where they stand.

Man was imperfect and filled with doubts. They have progressed so much yet they are still unsatisfied with the lack of knowledge of where they Dull landscapecame from. They have question the skies, every tree and every living thing about existence and this only made their sadness worse. They’ve created religion and acquired the knowledge of the existence of three gods yet it was never enough. They searched for power, they transformed and ruled over the world like it was their own creation. Evil formed and this broke the heart of the two parent gods who wanted nothing but goodness and harmony within the realm of the humans. With the Owl’s guidance, they gave obstacles and life lessons through the subtlety of nature. Therefore, man was finally divided in belief… Earth was not uniform…

…yet life still existed.

and life will go on.

note: This story was created for a philosophy class and all that is included in this post did not harm any copyright for everything here was made by me. This creation story may have some similarities to other stories but it is not my intention to copy any of them.