Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A little more Shakespeare

My sister told me yesterday that the average American has an 800 word vocabulary. How sad is that? The average Harvard Professor has a 10,000 word vocabulary. Shakespeare had a 30,000 word vocabulary, many of which he probably invented. I don't want to present this as complete fact because I don't know where her humanities professor got this information. But the idea remains in tact. This, along with other pieces of information I have gathered about Shakespeare, has only deepened my admiration for him.

My interest in Shakespeare sparked when I saw Macbeth last March. In the play Macbeth starts out as a good man who slowly becomes something terrible one poor choice at a time. One despicable decision is only the beginning of a chain of bad choices until they gradually transform him into something he never meant to become. His first dirty deed was killing the King. A main protagonist in the play, Macduff, suspects Macbeth of regicide and intends to set things right. (This is a very watered-down version). After a series of events Macbeth goes to Macduff's house and murders his family. When Macduff enters the scene and finds his family dead and this is the dialogue that ensues:

Malcolm: Dispute it like a man.
Macduff: I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man:

Malcolm, I think in an attempt to offer some sort of comfort to Macduff, encourages him to avenge himself, which he does end up doing. But first, he chooses to feel the pain and let it soak in. The less courageous action would be to suppress those feelings and to let your anger control you (as Macbeth did). He takes the more "manly" route in my perspective. Malcolm says to dispute it LIKE a man and Macduff says he must feel it is AS a man.

From my very limited knowledge of this play (please, corrections or insights are welcome) I find that feeling emotion is a main theme. A person who does not heed their emotions is not stable. But, a person who lets their emotions have their say is he who will overcome and continue on. For example, let's say you want to get to a certain destination and the only way to get there is to cross a bridge that overpasses a VERY deep ravine. That is very scary to you, so instead of taking the bridge you turn left and follow the ridge looking for a alternate solution.  You don't find one. Then, you walk back to the bridge, still too scary. So you try the other side, hoping that you'll find anything easier than the bridge. Again, there is nothing. The only way to get to your destination is by taking that bridge even though it frightens you. That is how feeling emotion is. You may not like it, it could be really difficult to bear or frighten you, but it is the only way to get where you need to go.

We are here to learn from our own experience and if we choose not to feel the pain or sorrow that comes from some experiences we also choose not to feel the immense joy that follows from others.

This brings up a huge issue about what feelings are good to feel and what feelings we should not entertain, but that is a whole different discussion that I would love to have someday if anyone is interested.

I could say so much more about this play, but I should probably read it first. This is one aspect of the play that really moved me and I wrote this with a little bit of help from online resources.

P.S. I may or may not have use a thesaurus once or twice while writing this post.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Here's a question

Can a person be too open? Isn't honesty a virtue? Ok so that's two questions. I have been thinking this morning about getting to know people. Can you be too open about your feelings?

Let me clarify something before I go on. When I ask this I'm not talking about TMI (too much information) moments like when someone gives you intimate details about their bodily functions (which I actually may be guilty of) or things of a similar nature. I do think that you can be too open about that stuff. You have to know (conocer not saber) your audience before you start dishing out that kind of information.

What I want to know is that when you are getting to know someone, can you be too open? Can you be too honest? Can you give too much of yourself away? Isn't it a criteria on everyone's list to find a friend that loves you for who you really are?

My brother insists that people are intrigued by a little bit of mystery. I think he is right. People who don't share a lot create this mysteriousness about them that can be quite captivating. I can tell you all right now, that I do not play the mystery card.

Do you think that being too open is a turn off? Maybe, like most things, it depends on the person and the situation. I don't believe that there is one right way for anything.

I am really interested to know what you all think about this. What say ye?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A good thing

You know what is a good thing? This phrase:

"All's well that ends well."

It is the title of a play written by Shakespeare. Last semester I went to see a friend play Lady Macbeth at BYU-Idaho and realized how interesting Shakespeare is. He understands human emotions and articulates the so well. It was then that I answered the question that people often ask at get-to-know-you activities, "If you could meet any person dead or alive, who would it be?" And I know now that I would promptly say, William Shakespeare. He must be so fascinating. I would love to listen to his perspective on life and the world around us.

Now, back to the phrase. I find that it rings so true in our lives. All IS well that ends well. I can get caught up in all of my mistakes and dwell on them so much that I feel like very little good can come from me. But, I think it's all part of the journey to the "end." The end might be a marathon, learning a language, a big test, learning a song on an instrument, anything. Along the way we make so many errors and we can get to the point where we think that we can't do it because of all the mistakes we made. But, if we keep trying and want it bad enough, we will get to the "end" and finish the race or pass the test. And in the end, "all's well that ends well." And the mistakes were just opportunities to learn something and be better for it.

Now a little tribute to Shakespeare:

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

"Nothing can come of nothing.

"They do not love that do not show their love."

"Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Accidents? I think not.

I was going to say that lately I've been thinking about where to take my life, but then I realized that is something I think about constantly so really I should use the word daily. On a daily basis I wonder what I should be doing with my life. I wonder if I should be trying harder to meet people or what should I do for my internship. Should I move out of my house? Should I buy a car? Should I try to get a second job? So many things to think about. At church yesterday a profound thought came to me and I believe that it is true. Here it goes:
(don't be jealous of my amazing art work)

So, life is like this line. The flat part represents everyday life. Most days are just normal days with nothing really big going on. The raised parts represent the good times. The extra special awesome times like getting married, having a baby, getting a really good job, and so forth. The lowered parts represents the hard times like disappointments in a relationship or in a a job, deaths, any sort of trial.

You will notice that the majority of this line (our life) is filled with a flat line (or normal days). In these days we get to choose where it will lead us. Our everyday choices and actions will reflect our desires and personal will. We direct our path.

The ups and downs are a little bit different because I believe they are put into our lives by God to bless us. The downs are blessings just like the ups are. We can learn so much from our trials, that is what they are intended for. But I believe that in the moments where the line moves up or down that God has put his hands a little more firmly on the steering wheel to direct our path. I know that God is always a part of what goes on in our lives, even on the normal days. But, the ups and downs are times when God makes manifest his hand in our lives and puts us where we need to be. Most of our days we choose. We can do what we want with our lives, that is a gift that God has given to us. However, sometimes God will take a little more action in our lives to keep us on the right path.

This is something important to me because I feel like right now I am in a "flat" part of my life. There are so many options to choose from and it really is just up to me what I choose to do. I can save up for a car. I can do my internship in another country. I could move out and meet new people. That is the beauty of free agency, we can do whatever we want. And you all know that "I do what I want."

To prove my point. Today I heard two stories that back me up. I have a friend who told me about her friend (sounds sketchy but it's real) who went to the MTC and had a heartattack. As a result he couldn't go on a mission because he was too much of a liability to the church because they didn't know what had caused it. That to me is one of those moments where God took control and put this person where he was supposed to be. He hasn't had any problems since and the doctors could not explain it. My explanation is that God stepped in and directed his path.

Another is my friend's brother went up to Alaska with his buddies to work for the summer. 4 days after he got there he fell off his bike and had to go back home for surgery and he cannot go back because he has to do physical therapy three times a week. God knows where we should be and no matter what choices we make, he will make sure that we are in the right place at the right time if we are doing the things we should be and keeping ourselves worthy of that help.

My point being, do what you want to do. Do what is right and things will fall into place when they should. Sometimes we are so caught up in what to do next that we don't enjoy the moment we are in. Heavenly Father knows what we need and will place events, people, and experiences in our lives when we need them. Control what you can and don't worry about what you can't.

"Be of good cheer, for I will lead you along." (D&C 78:18)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I do what I want

This is my new philosophy in life. It's a pretty good one. It has been working out for me so far.

It's not that I submit to the natural woman inside of me or that I have completely surrendered to my natural instincts. It is however, a statement of liberation and contentment.

"I do what I want." Is a declaration to all people announcing that you don't conform to the rules that society has made for you. It pertains to all aspects and realms of life. It takes away the "limitations" one has because of gender, social status, financial situation, occupation, race, whatever.

I'm sure you can find many ways to apply this idea, but let me give you one example. Dating. There are so many unspoken rules in dating. Too many. It is ridiculous. Why should a boy wait a few days before calling a girl after working so hard to get her number? To let her know that he isn't really THAT interested? Maybe he doesn't want to "scare" her? Then why did you get her number in the first place?  It's "the game" that prevents people from being who they are and doing what they think is right.

"The game" consists of people trying really hard to be something that they are not and to do things that they wouldn't normally do to try to impress someone. A common strategy in "the game" is to over-analyze every action and thought until you have thought of so many options and angles that you become discouraged because you don't know which one to take. From there you have lost your natural self and you become a puppet to the nonsensical rules that society has made about dating.

So, this is where "I do what I want" becomes a life-changing mantra. I don't do what society wants me to do. I don't try to follow popular standards that many blindly follow. If I want to do something and it's not going to be harmful to anyone else, I'm going to do it. If you want someone to love you for who you are, then be who you are. Don't look at your friend who goes on a lot of dates and try to become her because you are not her. Don't try to be "that guy" that all the girls want because you aren't him. Don't plan your every move or rehearse your every word. Just be yourself and DO WHAT YOU WANT. Someone out there will love that and you won't have to keep up any appearances.

So, to the world at large I say, do what you want. You won't regret it. If you want to call someone, call them. If you want to talk to someone, talk to them. If you want to apply for the job, apply for it. If you want to die your hair hot pink, do it. You hold the joy stick in your own life.

 A quote by our beloved President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“I would like to suggest to you that you ‘grab life by the horns’ and do not let life grab you by the horns. You take control of your lives. … Do not let life control you. … Take charge. Rise to the divinity that is within you.”

Also, an inspirational video I saw in my marketing class:

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