The Value of life

So the hashtag “pray to end abortion” was trending on Twitter today. I’ve always been very passionate about the subject, so naturally, I checked out people’s tweets to see the varying opinions. Reading people tweets made me angry, and then frustrated and then plain sad… disappointed. Now, to clarify my personal stance on the subject, I’m pro-life. 

Now let’s cue the so called feminist beliefs about how I’m not respecting a woman’s choice, it’s her body, yada yada yada. I’m sorry if that sounds insensitive but that’s just a load of bull. However, will defend myself against this point because otherwise, you’ll just right me off as another brainwashed conservative (which, honestly, I don’t think I’m conservative in most of my beliefs, but that’s another story). Back time feminism. The reason people give to why a woman should have control over her own body is because if she’s having this unplanned baby, she’s ruining her life. I heard many pro choice people say how we reduce women to baby bearing vessels when we’re all like they must have that baby! I’m response, “what?” Isn’t the fact that a woman’s life could be destroyed because she had a baby just a reflection of how anti feminist our society is. Why can’t someone be a mother and a career woman? Why must our culture shun single women instead of help them? And, why should someone who had sex-knowing that there is a possibility of getting pregnant-be allowed to erase that mistake so easily. Again, I’m sorry if that sound insensitive, but you kind of made your bed, now you have to sleep in it-no pun intended. If I slacked around in school and ended up never going to post secondary or getting a good job and all that, it’s my own fault. There’s no way to erase it, no get out of jail free card, and quite frankly, this part of the argument just annoys me because there is no real substance to it.

Now I know what you’re going to say next, what if she was raped? It’s funny how that’s always the argument even though you know that not all abortionists are rape victims. Nevertheless, it’s a valid point. My response is simple: why should an innocent infant have to suffer the consequences of his/her father’s actions. People are protesting against North Korea’s 3 generation punishment law and here are we practicing a variation of it. 


Now, here comes the part I’m most passionate about, defending the rights of the unborn itself. The thing that angers me the most is when people say it’s not a baby. As if it’s not human. As if its DNA is that of a -Irk-a fish and it randomly becomes a human after it’s born (or 3rd trimester, depending on the people). It’s human! granted it’s at a different stage of development, but it’s still human! How it’s age or where it currently occupying changing that. How is the value of life determined by a detail as meaningless as that. Is my life more valuable than my sister’s because I’m at a higher stage of development? After all, I’ve gone through puberty, she hasn’t. That’s absurd, right?! Exactly! So how is that any different? And don’t give me that crap of it being part of a woman’s body. Yes, the mother is holding the body and they are connected physically but the baby is not part of it. I’m all for a woman being allowed to do what she wants with her life but it’s not HER life she’s affecting, it’s her unborn child!
Ok, I lied. It is hers to. My last, point I guess, that I want  To leave you with is the lie that people give women about abortion. That it’s easy and that it’s not That  big of a deal. First of all, that’s a sick ideology. Secondly, uh… no. Abortion affects the mother emotionally forever. Every woman I’ve met who’s had one(and I’ve volunteered at help centers for pregnant single women) regrets it. Their conscience is forever plagued.
Now, surprisingly, I’m not saying we should revoke the law. I’d rather girls get it at a hospital or clinic with the right facilities instead of a dingy basement so they don’t die as well. If someone wants an abortion, they’re going to find a way. What I am saying is we need to educate people on the true implications of it. So I ask you, “How much do you value life?

Well, ok, I’m done with my rant. Sorry, about that.
Song of the post: “Lucy” by Skillet
Quote of the post: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” –Dr. Seuss. (I know he was’t specifically talking about this but it applies non the less)


“How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (before you say it was his niece that said that, I did the research, she said it was something HE told her)

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

Re-evaluating Imagination

I don’t think I’m going to do the whole Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy—well, maybe her—with my kids… if I have any. You must be flabbergasted at that statement. Why would I deprive my future kids of their childhood? Well, why would I encourage some fantasy to my kids that I’m just going destroy and devastate them later on in life? I know that sounds weird—like I’m talking in terms of an adult not a kid, but I never believed in Santa or the Easter Bunny. Nobody told me they weren’t real, I just was a logical child about stuff like that. The only one that got me was the tooth fairy because ‘she’ visited me at a friend’s house and it baffled me how even when I wasn’t home, I still got money.
However, I still had a great childhood. In a way, knowing that it was my parents who put those presents under the tree or hid the chocolate eggs at Easter was better. I mean, even when times were hard and I knew my parents were struggling financially, there would still be gifts on the best day of the year. You can’t help but feel loved. I mean if I wanted say—an iPad—for Christmas, but my parents couldn’t afford it but they get me a bunch of clothes and smaller gifts instead, you know how much they care and the gifts mean so much more. If I believed in Santa, I would feel terrible because…c’mon, it’s SANTA, he’s loaded, where’s my iPad? Being a child, I would be so broken hearted, maybe even throw a tantrum. It’s just not worth the supposed ‘magic’ of believing.
Why should I believe in a mythical creature anyway? What is this magic you speak of? So I believe in a fat old man and his little helpers, or a bunny that somehow has loads of eggs to give—where does he even get the eggs from? He’s like some master thief or something—I digress. Is the magic of the holidays what they represent? Christmas and the gift God gave us, Easter and the Sacrifice He made? Why don’t we encourage this part of the holidays? Why isn’t generosity—‘tis better to give than to receive—, love, joy, thankfulness, etc promoted instead?
Anyway, back to my childhood. I was a happy child. I grew up normally. I know I said I was logical and all, but I also had an imagination. Remember pretending the ground was lava—I still do that—or building a fort/cave thingy-ma-bob out of pillows and couch cushions? That was my thing! I remember pretending to be a spy, a princess, a mum, an animal with my friends. I loved the game of make-believe. I need to be LIED to by my parents in order to have a great childhood.
The long and short of it is, I’m pretend Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, etc are real. I’ll tell them about it, I mean, they still have to watch great movies like The Santa Claus; Elf; Rise of the Guardians, etc, but just for fun, for enjoyment.
Or maybe I’m being overly logical.
Quote of the Post: Imagination is more important than knowledge… Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.—Albert Einstein

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

Soul Searching Encounter

Hello people of the internet. So, I know it’s been a while since my last update, mainly because I’m a major procrastinator. In this post, I’m going to do something a little bit different. In my Writer’s Craft class, we have this exercise where we get a couple minutes of free writing in which my teacher gives us a topic and we write whatever comes to mind. Unfiltered thoughts and expression. I’d like to share with you my latest one which turned out a lot better than I expected. It was one of those bursts of inspiration that couldn’t stop flowing. So here it is- keep in mind this is unedited and uncensored (there is no inappropriateness, just my thoughts are kind of all over the place)

The topic was “A chance encounter which changes a person’s life”

Have you ever walked in a crowd and still felt so alone? Even when you’re with your friends, you sometimes feel isolated. Have you ever considered though, “maybe it’s my own fault? Maybe the only reason I feel lonely is because I’m not opening up to people”
Opening up to people is hard though, when you know them- when you value their friendship. Maybe they will think you’re weird, maybe you’ll lose that relationship. Sometimes, the best way to open up and get all that’s bothering you off your chest is by talking about it to a stranger. With this, you have nothing to lose, so why not?

So you go, into the world looking for a onetime confidante. A friendship only meant to last a moment. You find yourself in a park on the other side of town; one you have never visited. There is a solitary bench under an oak tree already changing colours for fall. You sit.

Another person sits next to you. You don’t look up to see who it is. You don’t even know if it is a man or woman. You start to speak. “Can I talk to you” you say, “just about what’s going on with me right now?”

The person doesn’t speak, but makes no move so you take that as an approval.

You begin to tell your story. Where you were born, your family-whom you feel are weird, your beliefs –that you’re unsure of, your plans for the future-which scare you. You confide with this stranger about your problems and your fears, your dreams and your interest, even your secrets that only you know. You even tell them what you had for breakfast this morning.

You tell them the story of you.

All through it, not a word is spoken by this unknown individual. No reaction is made, whether positive or negative. They simply listen. They simply accept.

You, comfortable in this atmosphere of accepting facts as they are, have a chance to stop on contemplate the last few moments. You’ve never had a chance to really lay yourself right out there. By telling this stranger about you, you’ve also explained part of you to yourself. For the first time, you feel like you can understand yourself just a little bit more.

You inhale, taking a deep breath as your eyes close instinctively. You feel a strange sense of peace, as if a burden has been lifted off you. You realize one has, for the first time, you were completely honest with yourself. 

You exhale.

You tell the stranger thank you. You and the hidden person get up and head in opposite directions. Your paths never intertwine again.

You are content with this fact.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So that’s it. I honestly don’t know what to make about this journal yet for some weird reason, I felt it was something worth sharing.

Song of the Post: Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
Quote of the Post: “We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Other Kind of Bad Person

I think I truly have lost hope for humanity. 

Yesterday was a perfect example of this. There’s this girl in my school, she a sweet girl but admittedly, a little (ok, quite) weird and can get pretty annoying at times. She always comes up to me and says “hi, how are you” and I usually just say “hi” back, because, that’s what you do- You are nice to people, even when they make you uncomfortable. Continuing with the story of yesterday, she came up to me as I was getting stuff out of my locker and greeted me. We talked for a bit then  I started to walk off while she went and said hi to another boy who was passing us. She tapped his shoulder to gain his attention and how did he react? He exclaimed, “Ew, get away from me,” and ran off. The girl, she maintained her smile and walked away before I could do anything. I can honestly say I admire her though, for keeping her chin up despite everything. The boy? He walked off to his friend and told her what had happened. His exact words were “(girl’s name) just touched me.” I expected the friend to be like, “So, what’s the big deal?” or something along those lines, but she replied, “That’s disgusting, you should put hand sanitizer on that or something.” I was disgusted at their behavior. Yes, I acknowledge the girl makes many people uncomfortable, but that doesn’t make her any less of a human. She is a human being! 

I was so outraged then I realized- I did nothing about it. All I did was tell my friends what happened and we all gasped at the inhumane actions of the people but what good is that? It’s like that scene in Mean Girls when Janis says  “There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.”Well, she right (technically the screenwriter who wrote Mean Girls is right but you know what I mean). What good is complaining about how awful our world, our society, and do nothing about it. I tried making excuses for myself to why I didn’t do anything like “She had already left” “I don’t even know those kids” “I had to go, my friend’s were waiting for me” but they are just that, excuses, each one more stupid than the rest. I’ve realized, I was no better than they were.

We all watched those cheesy anti-bulling videos that were probably done in the eighties where there’s the victim, the bully and the bystander. They are usually so boring and terribly done that we all tune it out, but there is some truth to it. I’ve come to believe that the person who holds the most power in these scenarios is the bystander. It’s not the victim, for obvious reasons, and while it may seem like it’s the bully, it’s not. Chances are, the bully’s just another child who’s hurting. The bystander is the one who can turn the situation in two directions, do nothing and let the cycle continue or try and change things. Even if you don’t change the bully’s mind, by simply standing up for them, you’ve already impacted the victim’s life.

I didn’t intend for this post to be an anti-bullying rant. Actually, I was planning for it to be a whole thing about pop culture and why stupid thing get popular, etc. Somehow this happened instead and I think that it did for a reason. Maybe you’re reading this and tomorrow, you’ll have the opportunity to be the bystander and make a difference (ok, I’m sorry for this cliché). As for me? I’m gonna have a talk with a certain two people in my school tomorrow, lucky for me, their locker’s are near mine. 😉 

Song of the Post: Hero by Superchick
Quote[s] of the Post: (all by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”


 “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Introduction to Confusion

As a teenager living in a post modern society, one thing you are never lacking in is opinions. Everybody is ready to give you their view and ‘knowledge’ on that topic that they’ve only read a tweet about and obviously are now experts on. As I start my last year of high school, this misguided advice has only grown exponentially which has done everything but help me. I, like many seniors, have been struggling with anxiety over my future this last few weeks and I’ve only been back in school for two! This uneasiness and confusion is only fueled by the constant thoughts of the adults with good intentions but cliche and unhelpful advice. How have I been coping with this constant state of internal turmoil? By taking it one day at a time-distracting myself with everyday tasks and chores- which incidentally, is yet another cliche. A cliche that works so I think it should, at least, be given some credit.
On the topic of distractions, a subject that has been on captivating my mind recently is love. I attend a public Catholic high school in Ontario (Which is basically public school with a mandatory religion class each year). In my religion class, we’ve been studying ethics and, more specifically, love and it’s relation to us as human beings. Love has always been something that has bothered me; mostly because of its inaccurate and skewed portrayal in media and our society in general. Love is that gooey feeling you feel for that cute guy you’ve known for a month according to most romantic comedies. You can’t help it, it just happens. 
It’s not. 
First of all, let me establish that the previous definition of love is in fact one of infatuation or -dare I say- simply lust. Love is something so much more. Love is not just a emotion because emotions are just chemicals in our brain reacting in different ways-purely physical. Love involves both the human body and spirit. It is a choice. A choice to put your own feelings, comforts, and self behind someone else (be that a significant other, child, or friend). The complete surrendering of self. That is why the whole ‘love at first sight’ is a load of baloney. Yes, I acknowledge those couples who say they just ‘knew’ when they first met but from a more objective standpoint, I believe that sure, they might have liked each other (infatuation) at first sight but love… that grew in later. The best words I can use to summarize this is a quote from Deus Caritas Est by Pope Benedict XVI which says :

“Love is indeed ‘ecstasy’, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation self-giving…”

Love is selfless, so selfless in fact that true love only wishes for the happiness of the other, even when that love is not reciprocated. I believe this is one of the reasons for the increase in divorces in the last couple of decades. People are so consumed with the gooey feeling stage of a relationship, they don’t ever develop the true selfless love stage and when things take a turn for the worse, they are ill-equipped to cope. This is also why love is one of the most overused and misused words of today. This is also why there are so many Taylor Swift songs (sorry, I had to).  I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking I’m just a kid (17 years old if you were wondering) what do I know about love. I will not claim to be an expert or even to have experienced it (maybe once I came close but that’s a story for another day). However, don’t they say truth comes ‘from the mouths of babes’ or something along those lines. All I ask is that you take what I’ve written into consideration.

This post took a more philosophical turn than I expected and I should mention that not every post will be like this. I plan for this blog to be almost a journal of my thoughts and current state of mind which sometimes may be something  light or something with more substance. 
That is all for now, thank you for reading
Natalie 
Song of the Post: Man Who Won’t Be Moved by The Script
Quote of the Post: (Another one from Deus Caritas Est) “It is part of love’s growth towards higher levels and inward purification that it now seeks to become definitive, and it does so in a twofold sense: both in the sense of exclusivity… and in the sense of being ‘forever'”