Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Puzzle Can Build Itself...

I do an awful job of just going with the flow. It's pretty much the reason why my aspirations to drop out of high school and be a hippie fell through. That and I like being... clean. And I'm way too introverted.

Yeah. Never a pragmatic idea in retrospect. Oh well. I digress.

I'm a man (boy... guy... dude... male) that likes to be in control of his life at all times. So I'm usually pretty disappointed because outside of my own actions I have control over diddly squat. Yes, it is very frustrating, thanks for asking.

I learn a lot in college (and the learning is very heavy on the musical side), but I pride myself in what I learn outside of lectures, rehearsals, and lessons. The things that I learn about myself as a person just by living day to day. And my latest epiphany is that sometimes you just have to let go of the reigns and let life take you where it intends to take you.

Like I said, I'm a control freak. This lesson has been hard for me to come to terms with. I don't trust easily and fate is definitely not excluded from that. I still am not 100% comfortable with the idea of just letting things go. I've used a puzzle as an analogy before on a post about how great it feels to fit in without having to force the pieces to fit together.

Now I want to use a puzzle again in a different way. If my life is a puzzle maybe sometimes it's healthy for me to not even try and put it together. The purpose of a puzzle is to put the pieces together so that they make a picture that's printed on the box the puzzle came in. What if my life doesn't have a box? What if the pieces were just dumped out in front of me? No picture conveniently printed on a box for me to look at. No corner or edge pieces to set up a framework with. Just a jumble of pieces that may or may not turn into some vivid beautiful picture.

I'm not a visual artist. I can't draw or sculpt or any of that cool stuff. Not even my handwriting is aesthetically pleasing. So what if I just don't build the puzzle? What if, instead of siting down and stressing over what piece goes where, I just let the hustle and bustle of life shift the pieces around for however long I walk the planet?

Unorthodox? Undeniably so. Impractical? Maybe. But I study music and psychology. I'm the definition of impractical.

So why sit down and worry about things that might be outside of my realm of control?

Why not let the puzzle build itself?

Maybe it's okay to not always be in control.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I Can't Outlaw Fedoras...

I should just warn a lot of you now: If you are a highly religious individual that lives their life strictly by some religious doctrine and also happen to be a way right leaning conservative this post is likely to upset you and I'm not going to apologize.

I'm not a highly religious person. Tried going to church for about a year and a half. Didn't really feel exactly what I felt they expected me to. Not their fault, not mine either. To each his or her own.

I have nothing against religion (for the most part) and a large number of the moral codes that it stands for.

The 10 Commandments? Great. You shouldn't murder or steal. Coveting is bad for your emotional stability. Honor your mother and father? Yeah, do it. They put you on this planet, dammit, and they probably have plotted how to take you off (okay maybe that's just my mother).

Here's the thing though. Gandhi once said "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." I agree, somewhat. I like the Christian's idea of who Christ was and, historically speaking (at least to my limited knowledge), his non-supernatural acts seem to have been legitimate. If he walked on water great. If he healed a blind man and turned water into wine even better. Those things hold no relevance to the point I'm trying to get across. 

I disagree with Gandhi on his second sentence, "I do not like your Christians." Most (all?) of my closest friends identify as Christian and they're the greatest people I have ever met ever. They're people that, in one way or another, I aspire to be like as a human being. Loving, loyal, humble, honest, selfless, and accepting. I can describe all of them with those words with 110% confidence and there is probably an innumerable number of Christian people who fit into this same category, and that's great. If there's one thing I took away from the time I spent in church it's that God is, ultimately, love. And this belief is supported by their belief that man is inherently sinful and imperfect so God sacrificed his only son (which was also Himself? I'm hazy on that part) so that we could, after life on Earth, have the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. 

The third sentence really resonates with me though. "They are so unlike your Christ." Wasn't Jesus the one who spent time amongst harlots and other sinners? The people that some of his followers are speak out against?

What I want to talk about is how people are using religion as a means to oppress the minority.

And yes, that is what some (not all) people are doing in the "name of God." I won't hear arguments against it. Westboro Baptist Church (just pointing out an extreme) is real and what they do is undeniable. 

Of course the  forefront of this issue is the legality of gay marriage (with abortion at an arguably close second). But I don't want to focus on abortion.

I haven't taken a government class since 2012 but last I checked the United States of America is not a theocracy and therefore, logically speaking, should not be passing laws that use religious scripture or ideology as a basis for its justification. 

If you don't like that? That's too damn bad. Go live in Iran or Vatican City. Their law making processes might adhere to your tastes more. 

So now I pose the simple question "Why?" Why is a book (or books, ideally) playing any part in the argumentation against whether or not someone can marry somebody of the same sex or something else that a person practicing a religion doesn't agree with? I think fedoras and Crocs are stupid and tacky. You don't see me trying to pass a law that outlaws fedoras and Crocs.  

People call it unnatural. So is an almost-20-year-old man's love for Spongebob Squarepants and Power Rangers. Sorry, you can't do anything to change that. Spongebob is the man, man.

Some people say that gay marriage ruins the sanctity of marriage, but I would argue that Rush Limbaugh's four very heterosexual marriages have single handedly ruined the sanctity of marriage (with Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian getting the assist) without needing any assistance from the gay population, but I don't hear anybody bitching about him.

The fact of the matter is that your religious beliefs shouldn't affect how somebody else lives their life. Don't like gay marriage? Don't get married to someone that's the same sex as you. Problem solved.

But please don't use a religious book as your arguments against other people doing it. Marriage came around before your religion as a means of obtaining social status and no religion is supposed to play a part in the governing of this country ("supposed to" being the key part of that phrase. But hey, I can dream). 

Again, this isn't me "hating" or "preaching against" Christianity. There's a lot of things I think Christians support and exemplify that, if practiced by society as a whole, would better the world.  Hate me if you want, but if what I wrote changes your opinion of me I think that speaks more for your character than it does for mine.

Have a great day everyone!

-- Tyler