Ignorance is not Bliss

The world in which we live is a very fascinating world. People live vicariously through the fabric of their emotions, intellect and experiences. Ignorance is by definition not knowing something and what which we don’t know, can really hurt us. However, our very own ignorance comes from many sources.

For instance, human beings get a sense of value from the things recognized or not recognized to be familiar. We naturally tend to seek fulfillment, avoid meaninglessness, sadness and conflict in our lives.
As if by default, we are inclined to increase this need of self-fulfillment through our senses and multiply our possessions. We could become selfish and foolish at times, in our private quest for completion.

Society must ask if our human path to fullness is only valid through these means: self gratification and possession multiplication. Can we ever be fully satisfied with our material possessions? These are some questions that touch on the core of our lives, especially if this matter is one of importance and significance.

Another one of the reasons for a lack of self-awareness is that we tend to shield our biases, consciously or unconsciously, even when evidence falls in on the other side of our opinion. We conform and succumb to the society at large. Our ability to distinguish this one-sidedness will make us stronger individuals, even when we disagree on socio-political or even religious points of view, sometimes is ok to disagree.

The most important tool in preventing ignorance is intentionality. Often times, when people lapse into ignorance is when we slip into laziness. Contrary to popular belief, alienating ourselves from the media, the world, our family or religion will not enable us to combat ignorance. Ignorance still exists in a vacuum; however ignorance still remains a possibility.

If we develop a critical mindset and give ourselves to analysis, then a motivation to learn will grow into knowledge – which is the opposite of ignorance. If we complacently watch whatever happens in our television, then we might become enslaved with whatever happens in the other side of the tube. If I develop a technical mindset regarding the intricacies by which I view media (framing, cinematography, lighting, presentation, plot, etc) then that frame of mind develops into something that I am actively involved, instead of something to be passive about.

The same goes for participating in a religious setting, If I idly sit and engulf my mind without engaging my critical thinking apparatus, then the experience becomes as stagnant as last night’s weather news. Preventing ignorance goes way beyond collecting a bunch of facts from x, y or z subjects. Preventing ignorance has a lot to do with engaging reason and intellect.

My mom always told me “he who does not know, is like he who does not see” and what a great point that is, If we dont know something, is like not seeing it, until it hits us. Ignorance could be bliss, but knowledge is power. We must wield to knowledge to experience the fullness of its power before intentionally using our minds. Having said that, in the times of the Bible, King Solomon, who was one of the kings with the most wisdom throughout the land, stressed his proverbs with encouragement that knowledge, understanding and wisdom are as gold and silver.

Therefore knowledge, understanding and wisdom will shield the simple-mindedness from ignorance and keep us in the path to truth. True self-fulfillment does not come from material possessions alone, but from a knowledge that provides meaning, in a life lived with intentionality.

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Staying true to yourself

I am not watching the news anymore. I have heard this expression over and over again. The reason? Too much negativity out there: wars, unemployment in mass scale, drugs & violence going rampant in the world, people mistreating animals, children, women & elderly, and countless more negativity going on.

All of this negativity can make it challenging for us to remain positive towards life. In fact, when people approach us, we respond somewhat negative wondering what are peoples’ true motivations. We can become quite cynical about life and only choosing to open ourselves to specific individuals.

Furthermore, you can walk into a mall, a store a café place, open your Internet and pretend nobody is around you. If you see something that is funny or interesting you try to play it nice and nonchalant you M(r)(s). cool you.

I am going so far as to say, some of you may be asking back: what’s the purpose of being nice just for being nice? It’s not going to pay my bills, it’s not going to land me a better job, and it’s not going to give me a nice award. I am going to let you answer yourself that one question. However, I want to take you on a journey so pack your bags and come with me.

Most of us are in search of genuine and trusting relationships. When was the last time you made a new friend? People are so concerned about their fragile egos that they can’t simply open up either for fear of embarrassment or just because they are too good for other people.

Burning question: Aren’t you tired of superficial relationships where all you talk is about the whether and “safe” topics with people? Do you want to communicate with other people in more honest and intimate levels with people that could be total strangers?

We are simply too busy fostering materialism in our life, wanting to have the latest fashion, toys and other commodities and we are forgetting communicating with people at a level that is beneath the surface. Beneath talking about sports and weather. You might say: You don’t understand, I am naturally shy or simply I am NOT interested in people anymore. I am so disappointed at the human race right now and sometimes I want to take a space jet and move to Mars.

Before you start packing your bags there is another solution, you can begin to form good relationships with people. Who knows? You might find your new best friend in a complete stranger! With a few exceptions, most everybody is like you and me.

In my humble opinion, I have found people who are shy, very interesting. I am not going to give you a list of 5 things you can do to build rapport, win friends and influence people. Just be your wonderful self. Don’t be interesting, just be interested, materialism is not going to improve your quality of life, but people will.

Unless you work for a secret government facility, a good secret to succeed at work is improving your communication skills. You can treat people like they were your friends and not some strangers from a faraway land. It is funny to me that a stranger to you might be someone else’s best friend. Staying true to yourself can be challenging at times, but at the end of the day, its all going to be worth it.

Mind Hacking

You are a successful {insert your profession/social status here}. As such, people admire you for your good grades; business ventures, heroic last-minute victories and they can see the result of your creativity plastered in music, art or life. You feel motivated, on top of the world and invincible. “Life happens” you know what that means, the work of your hands fail, you put your reputation on the line and now your name is not worth much, at least to those who despise you and chose to believe the lies about you.

You keep re-living the embarrassing moment, over and over again and yet you keep coming with the same question. What are some places where I can attach conditions of self-worth?  Where is my self-worth in light of my flaws, my shortcomings, and perhaps mistakes of others that ended up costing my precious name, realizations and victories?

Sometimes we can become discouraged, and perhaps function ineffectively in life because of our mistaken beliefs, our faulty values and our goals that we never achieved. Stop for a minute and think self-love equals self-worth. Love yourself! You are totally worth it.

As a computer guy a term comes to memory “hacking”. Your mind is the control center where you process the events that happen in real life, your feelings and your interpretations of the event. By the way, here is a secret. Do you happen to know why women (in general) remember more than men? It is because it is scientifically proven that when you attach a memory to an emotion, you can forever sear it in your memory.

So you need to hack the control center and remove the self-defeating programming. This program runs in the background with all the other programs and it keeps updating as the day goes by. When this program is successful you end up believing that nobody really cares about you. You end up being too critical of yourself expecting absolute perfection and therefore you reject people before they have a chance to reject you. Sound familiar?

Here is the worst part. If you don’t counter-attack this program your new behavior will shape your perception. Therefore you need to change your behavior. Engage in actions that will directly deal with your problem: for instance, do things that feel good like sports, go shopping, go dancing, snap out of it.

The most important thing is that you can set up goals that are clear, concrete and that makes sense in order to be successful. Talking about it may feel good, but doing something about it is even better. A hallmark of true success is when you reach your goals, whichever they are, as long as they lead you in a positive direction.

Now don’t be a noob and give me a comment will ya? 😉

So, when are you getting married?  Or when are you two “lovebirds” having children?

Do you find yourself dreading family holiday get-togethers because you are going to find a similar question? I find it all too common!  When I ask many of my friends what they are doing for the holidays, they automatically roll their eyes and then sigh.

More than likely, family get-togethers go like this: All the ladies in the family stress about it for a year because they have to talk to each other about what they are bringing and wearing. They get together around the kitchen and start sharing and cooking together while keeping an eye on the children that are either running around or playing video games. If they tell their husband to keep a watchful eye on the kids, he says yes but quickly forgets because hey, the game is on….

Lets face it, you don’t like “the other” children, every year they have the same temper tantrum.  It doesn’t matter what you are going to wear, either you gained weight, lost weight or look even better than last year, you wait for the snide comment, followed by a jab in the back by a snarky relative or in-law.

It’s all fun and games until someone asks “Hey, Joe, can you pass the bread?” followed by “what do you think about [politicians name] said on the news about money?” Oh my goodness! I feel like I should yell “INCOMING!” and then duck… Rewind three minutes before Joe passed the bread, did you noticed he’s been sneezing all night? Congratulations! You just got his cold (okay, a little overdramatic over-here but you get my drift).

So here is my question: if we complain so much about the family get-togethers, why do we keep going to them? By the way, “I don’t have a choice” is not an excuse, so don’t even try it.  Here is the problem, lower your expectations, why do you keep expecting it to be different when you KNOW that you know, it is not going to be different?

Secondly, go with an attitude that you can only fix yourself. Focus on having the best attitude you can have. Don’t try to fix little miss Bella’s 13-year old boyfriend of 2 weeks, why?  because, you are a highly capable individual and you will be productive in life. Remove yourself from the power struggles and try to have dinner. Don’t be an antisocial. If you are visiting someone’s house as a guest, try to limit your television watching experience to the minimum. Right after the game, who says you can’t play a board game or turn the Wii?.

Annoying Holiday