Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Finding my Faith

My personal faith has undergone several metamorphoses in my somewhat short life, which I’ve covered here before. In about the first 10 years of my life, if you asked me what my faith was I would’ve told you that I was Anglican. I didn’t really believe in that particular creed per se but it was the church I prayed at because my mother went there. When my mum changed belief to Seventh Day Adventist, I changed with her. I recognized the truth in their doctrine and beliefs but I refused to be baptized because that would mean that I believed, and I didn’t. I recognized that I didn’t have enough faith in God to do so, if I had gotten baptized at that time it would have been just to please my mum.

Throughout that phase in my life I recognized the good work that the Church does and the good in most of their teachings. I knew that when I had kids I would have them attend church and even though I didn’t fully believe in the faith I would still tithe faithfully and give to the church’s causes.

Then my laptop got stolen, and in what seemed to me be a miracle I got it back. Suddenly the faith was there, I believed that it was through God’s hand it was returned and I felt it was the right time to get baptized. My faith was strong for a number of months but that changed. I stuck to the lifestyle I had adapted at my baptism, for example I didn’t drink at all but then it was to prove to myself something rather than it being about faith.

Now I’m at a point where may beliefs have evolved further. I think the best way to describe where I am is spiritual. I don’t know if I can say that I subscribe to a faith but I still believe there’s a God out there. I don’t think there’s any way the world as it is now just came to be by random choice, just like there is nothing beautiful man has done in this world without conscious thought so it is with all existence.

I believe that as the high known intelligence in the universe we are closest to God’s own image. Therefore, I think, and believe that God’s nature is more like our own or rather that our nature is more like his. Not necessarily perfect, but mostly benevolent. I guess that sometimes he wouldn’t just care what happens to his creations.

I came to this decision just by comparing the lives of my mum and dad. I won’t go into what is happening in their lives because I don’t feel right putting it out there yet. Maybe one day.

There’s a quote about religion from comedian Eddie Griffin that I’d like to share with you, “People say that Jesus is the messenger, and others Mohammed, but I say forget the messenger; did you get the message? Do unto others as you’d like done to you”

My dad said something to my sister the other day that simultaneously made me crack up and think. They were having a discussion about the power of prayer when my dad said, “If you don’t know what 2+2 is no amount of praying will change that fact.”

I don’t come to this decision lightly or without much thought. This may be the final evolution of my faith, I stay like this for the rest of my life, or it may be just another stage and I’ll be back here telling you all how and what has changed. What I do know is this, for now I live by my own faith and spirituality by my own values and morality. Peace!!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Through the Crystal Ball

I have read a lot of books in my life so far, more than most people will read in their lives. It's something I'm quite proud of, and I also love doing it. Books allow you to visit worlds unseen, experience the lives of other people, and learn from their experience and wisdom without ever having to leave your couch. They are the window to people's souls and a reflection of their conscience.

I'm of the opinion that if people read as much and as widely as I do, they'd be more open minded and unprejudiced. They'd see that the experiences of all human beings share a common thread and the same emotions as them.

This post is not about the beauty and wonderment of books – though I ought to do one – it’s more about my tendency to describe myself using some of the descriptions in books, because sometimes you just find the right words to something you were feeling or experiencing that you couldn't put into words on your own.

I've always wanted to do a post on how I see myself. If you've been following my blog for some time you already can tell a thing or two, or a lot more depending on how perceptive you are, about me and my self-image. What you may not know is, that image is all part of a master plan that I have in my head. I won't tell you what the plan is but I will tell you how I came up with it or rather how I see it, and I'll use a description that Sidney Sheldon used, because it's so apt.

He once described a character who was coming up in the world, the character would look in the mirror and not see his reflection but an image of himself as he wanted it to be in a number of years. It's the same thing with me, when I'm looking in the mirror I don't always see my good looking reflection but an image of myself in 10 years. I then look on that image and think on what it would take to achieve that and then work towards it.

If he's fit it means that I hit the gym. If he's knowledgeable then I read and listen to gain that knowledge and wisdom. If he's rich... not sure how exactly I'm working towards this yet but I'm in campus so that's at least a step in the right direction. I'm hoping the knowledge and experience I gain there will help me towards this.

I think this is great way to look at yourself especially if you're feeling down or sad. You look in the mirror and see, not what you are now, but what you'll be and feel, in the future when your plans come together.

I'd like to hear how you see yourself, the methods you use to gaze into the future and how you're working to getting there. Leave a response in the comments or drop me an email. I always respond...eventually :). Peace!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ambulating with Confidence

Have you ever taken a conscious notice of the way you walk? It is the opinion of one of my friends that I walk in a manner that suggests I own the world, while another tells me I walk as if I were surveying my domain.

The manner in which I choose to walk is very specific: eyes to the horizon, shoulders back, and my back in an upright position. I like to think that I give off the vibe that everyone should make way for me. I also walk kind of slowly; never in a rush to get anywhere.

When I was about 13 or 14 years old, I read an article that said all confident people walk with their heads held high, not hiding their faces, and ready to face the world. So I said to myself, “ I'm confident; why don’t I walk like that?” Thus, from that day henceforth I stopped walking looking down and raised my head.

I'm like that. Whenever I want to change something about myself, I simply say to myself, “This needs to change,” and it changes. I realize that it’s not that easy for everyone else, and as I've grown older it has become far more challenging, but still much easier than for most people.

I like to think looking up is the best way to walk. While looking down at the road will enable you to see the obstacles that are just about to come at you, and avoid them, you’ll be unable to see far off obstacles and might be unable to avoid them effectively. You won’t be able to see and appreciate the environment you’re in. Same thing with life, you concentrate so much on your current problems that you don’t see anything past them; either other problems you may face later, or the beauty around you. And what is the point of living life without beauty?

So the next time you're up and about walking, try to take notice whether you have a particular style and what it might say about you. Peace!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Awesomeness of Google

This is my tribute to the greatness that is Google; a company I love and want to work for one day because they’re such an integral part of my internet experience. Some I’d like to outline the reasons for my adoration of Google.

The Search Engine
Firstly (and obviously) is the search engine. This is the core part of their business; bringing in over 90% of their revenue despite several efforts to diversify. It has helped me research assignments, blog posts and find cool stuff on the internet. If I want to find something online I ask Google first before anything else and since I’ve been using it as me (meaning logged in) for over 6 years now, it almost always knows what I’m asking for and delivers it first.

The Browser
Secondly is the Chrome browser. I use it on Windows and when I pop over to Linux, it’s right there, with all my preferences and apps installed. It is my central starting point online and the apps on it are awesome, especially if you already use Google for everything. It just works and works well.

 The Feeder
Google Reader is up next; this beautiful, beautiful app. I started using it just after I left high school as I was discovering twitter and blogs. I needed a way to keep track of blogs and websites I constantly read, and there it was ready for me. I have several feeds I keep track of there. It ensures I never miss anything too interesting. I’d be half as knowledgeable as I am without it. Unfortunately, they’re shutting it down in July. Not that it’ll help a lot but you could sign the online petition here to try and make Google not kill Reader.

The Mobile OS
Another part of the Google experience I appreciate is Android. Though I’ve never used the platform extensively (Nokia fan boy here), I like the fact that it’s giving Apple a run for its money. Also I’ve seen and used the Nexus 4 and it is beyond awesome!!!! That is the best way to experience android by the way, as Google intended it to be.

The Videos
Then there’s YouTube of course! I could stop there and you’d know what I’m talking about. However, I won’t. From interesting channels like Ray William Johnson’s Equals Three, a commentary on viral videos; to
previews of upcoming movies, YouTube has several billion hours of content and I’ve gotten lost on it for hours, jumping from one video to the next. Through Vevo, they have music videos galore and that makes it a prime discovery channel for me. Also, it’s provided a platform for artists to get out their content, connect with their fans and get discovered.

The Blogging Experience
Also without Google, this blog wouldn’t exist. It is being hosted on their Blogger platform. I’ve tried using Wordpress before and a few other blogging platforms, however, they didn’t work for me. I found them difficult to use and I couldn’t find anything on them. Blogger has made things incredibly easy and it’s the platform I’d recommend for all beginners. I could move platforms easy but Google just makes things neat and simple for me.

The Fight for Neutrality
Finally, and perhaps most important, Google fights for the things I care for. I’m a huge fan of net neutrality and so is Google. They’re involved in several court battles on the subject and lobby actively for it. Now it is in their best business interest for the net to remain neutral but it seems to me they, more than even other internet companies, fight hardest and loudest for it. They’re also fans of online freedom of speech and the right to information. It’s always bothered me that for some reason Governments don’t feel that the freedoms we enjoy offline don’t extend online. Google fights for their users and publish lists and stuff of all the requests they get to give user information and to take down content. For this and all the activist type work they do I love them.

There are many reasons to love Google and these are just my top reasons. They’re a great company, and I hope to one day to emulate their example in my own company (hopefully it’ll be as big or bigger). I’d love to hear your reasons for loving Google (or any internet company for that matter) in the comments below. Peace!!!