Survival of Fittest-er- all of us

First of all, I extend my utter most apologies for not updating in God knows how long. What’s worse is, I’m writing at the moment, not with a current theme or topic in mind but out of obligation. 
Ah, obligation… that word that reminds us that we have responsibilities. That other people depends on us or something we have to offer. Oh, what’s that? You have no responsibilities? No one really depends on you?
Lets take a second to analyse that concept. A lot of us live very selfish lives. “It’s all about me” right? It’s a “Dog eat dog” world, and you’re just looking out for yourselves and your loved ones. After all, it’s the way nature works..  survival of the fittest and all that.
Well, I disagree with that philosophy. I believe that the fact we can-if we choose to be- totally selfless and self sacrificing is what separates us from all the other animals.
Now back to the subject of obligations, as a human being, a universal duty you share with the rest of the species is your duty to the other. An ethicist, Immanuel Kant wrote about the concept of duty and it’s applications to a person’s search for a purpose. Another philosopher, Emmanuel (yes, I noticed the share a first name) Levinas went on to talk about a person’s responsibility to the other and the “face”-how simply seeing a person’s face can make a huge impact on ones conscience. Now I just threw at you two watered down major views on ethics; what I simply want you to get out of that Mambo jambo is that it’s our job to Take care of the less fortunate. It’s sad we don’t think like that. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is when celebrities are applauded for their “charity work” while they live in an arbitrarily grandiose home and all the bells and whistles that come with It. Don’t talk to me about the 1 million dollars you gave to charity-which, lets be honest, was probably due to the tax breaks you’ll get and the good publicity- when you spend millions on a wedding for a marriage that only lasts 72 days-yes I’m looking at you Kim Kardashian. It’s actually disgusting to watch. 
Now, I’ll stop myself before this ranty  part gets out of hand. So, I bet some of  you are thinking something along the lines of “Natalie, you’re being unreasonable. They worked for their money-we all do- we should be able to spend it, achieved the American dream and all that.” 
Well, this brings me back to my original point, we all live selfish existences. Why is our life goals directly on getting a good job for ME. Finding MY true love. Getting MYSELF a good home, etc. Not to say that those are bad things, they’re great… if that’s what we truly want. But it’s not. Don’t lie, you want more. You don’t want a comfortable home, you want a mansion. A good economy care, no, a sports one or whatever. We are so consumed with us, we forget-or try to- the other. Why is it such a big deal to bring 2 cans of food to school for the poor families in your community. Or to pay $2-two Freaking bucks- for dress down day. Or why do we do Just the bare minimum. We need to move away from this culture of self and to us-or as Mark Kielburger would say, ME to WE. This is where our humanity lies. Not in a fat bank account or in the empty rooms of a house to big for your family, but in the face of your neighbour-even if that neighbour is In a hut in Namibia.
So let’s quit with this survival of the fittest nonsense, and move to the survival of all of us. 🙂

Song of the Post: We are the World by Michael Jackson (Cliche, I know)
 Quote of the Post:  “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.” and “When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time” 
― Rick Warren

Advertisements

Happiness for Sale

What does it mean to be happy?
Is it smiling and laughing all the time?
Is it having dozens of friends?
Is it owning hundreds of things?
Everyone’s always saying, “money can’t buy happiness,” so why do all the pictures of rich people have smiles and the ones of poor kids in Africa have tears?
I don’t want to be happy.
That’s a weird statement, probably one you wouldn’t expect me to say, but here it is –I don’t want to be happy. Why? Well, let me just clarify what I mean by being happy:
Happiness is an emotion –temporary
Happiness is a series of chemical reactions in your brain –temporary
Happiness can be changed easily by circumstances –temporary
Happiness is temporary
Do you see where I’m going with this? Every day, we are bombarded with images of happiness and products that can give us that so called euphoria –but they don’t work. Sure, getting a new pair of shoes can make me happy for a while, then I have an argument with my dad and then suddenly –it’s gone.
What do things have to be with being happy anyways? I live in a place where we’re all supposed to be happy because we have everything, as far as food and things go; yet in North America, the third leading cause of death in teens is suicide. That’s a crazy statistic. If we have so much, then why are we all so sad?
I, personally, have had the opportunity to see the ‘other side of the world’ many times, and the picture I get there is completely different. Yes, there’s poverty and all that. People have next to nothing –but they are some of the happiest people I have ever met. I would meet a kid who doesn’t even own a pair of pants yet still shows off his toothy grin in a smile every time I saw him. How is that contrast even possible? It doesn’t make any sense.
Going back to my original statement, “I don’t want to be happy.” I neglected to say the second part, “I want to find joy.” Now you may be thinking, “What’s the difference? It’s simple really:
Happiness is temporary, joy is permanent.
Happiness is an emotion, joy is a lifestyle
How do you even achieve joy? Well, I’ve found that the first way is by choosing to be happy, despite the bad days, sad days and mad days –that came out way cheesier than I intended. Joy is choosing to be content. Now I must clarify, contentment is not complacency. Being complacent is choosing to be a doormat and not doing anything to change that, just accepting your fate in an almost bitter nature. Being content is knowing your circumstance and accepting it, while still allowing a possibility to grow.
The next step on the ‘road to joy’ is the elimination of self on the brain. When one is depressed, sad, etc, it’s often due to them concentrating on themselves and their problems and flaws. Have you ever done that thing where you sit by yourself, alone in your room and contemplate your existence?  Next thing you know, you’re rocking on the floor in fetal position, crying in despair. I feel that when we get out of that habit on thing of ourselves and focus more on others, that feeling despair goes. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually happiest when I’m helping others. Volunteering could possibly be the best form of therapy. This is not to say that it’s easy. I would be lying if I told you that you could switch on a button and be content and generous and happy. It’s a process, but it’s one you have to force yourself to start.
Anyway, this went on a lot longer than I wanted it to go –again. I should probably apologize for taking long to update as well, life’s been getting in the way. I’ll just leave you with my new found philosophy:

I don’t want to be happy, I want to find joy.
Natz
Song of the Post:  All Star By Smash Mouth

Quote of the Post: “Be content because that makes you automatically awesome.” –Quote developed by my friend, Miriam R., and I