Musings on choices, fate, and death

Do our decisions affect others or just how they affect us? Or do our decisions lead to, or avoid collisions of fate, or do we collide anyway but our decisions just change the impact the intertwined fate has on our lives?
Do we even have a choice, and if we do, could we change fate by making different choices? How would knowing the full outcome change the decisions we make? Do we perhaps make decisions too hastily without thinking of all the repercussions? Yes, fate, decisions, and future outcomes are like an intricate chess game, but are we too impatient when making decisions? Did we go from making wise decisions after careful deliberation, to a game of speed chess where we rely on instinct? Would we be more effective in making a positive future with positive outcomes if we pause, meditate, and deeply consider our decisions have on our futures and the future of others?
Or do we just delay the inevitable fate we all face, or perhaps just play into the hands of destiny?
Would things have been different if other decisions were made? If you reach out and get to know someone (as opposed to making the opposite decision), would they have been with you and have done something different at the time when they should have died; by making that decision to get to know them, you would have changed the outcome? Or is the line drawn and their death imminent, and your original decision only means that they are no longer a stranger and that you will now be mourning their death?

Dalai Lama Wisdom – something to think about

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:

Man.

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.

Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future.

He lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.

Real Beauty

Your real beauty is what is seen when you choose not to be beautiful to the world.

The beauty of your eyes mean nothing if those eyes cannot see the plight of others.

Your gorgeous smile is tainted by the words of hate, pride and gossip you speak.

Your defined chest is unattractive when the heart beating underneath is cold and selfish.

Your washboard abs mean nothing when the stomach underneath never understood the pain of other’s hunger.

Your beautiful legs are like plain concrete pylons if you choose not to walk a path with someone.

Your perfectly manicured hands are only smooth and comforting once you’ve helped someone up.

Your real beauty is what is seen when you choose not to be beautiful to the world.

Waiting for me to be me, us to be us

Every time you say that you need someone, every time you say that you are lonely, I want to open my mouth and say that I am here for you, that I want to be that person.
But I am not ready to be that person for you. I am still trying to figure out if I am the right person for me. I am still battling with my identity, who I am, I don’t know yet.
I don’t know if I am ready to commit, as much as I really want to. I don’t want to hurt you and break your heart. I want to be 100% certain that I can be with you as the person I am, and not the person I think I may be.
Once all those obstacles are gone we can run together freely, not even looking around us. Free to get lost in each other’s eyes, ignoring the world of delusion around us.

Here’s praise to the people who…

To the people who stop at stop signs and red traffic lights, who stay within the speed limit, not drive in the emergency lane, not drive while intoxicated, and follow the rules of the road. To those who do these things not because they are afraid of being caught, but because they are the right things to do.

To the people who, when they miss their turn-off, rather drive on, turn around at the next road, come back, and take the turn-off, instead of cutting across three lanes of traffic and yellow hazard lines, closely missing other drivers who patiently plan and execute their travels. To these people who value the safety of others no matter how late they’ll be for their meeting.

To the people who pay their television licenses without complaint, who don’t bribe policemen and other officials, who don’t lie on their tax return (especially when telling the truth that you didn’t really do all the kilometers you had to to benefit from your travel allowance). To these people who face the consequences of their wrong-doings, and not shy away from their responsibilities.

To the people who don’t make a noise in the office, and to those who don’t interrupt someone while they seem to be concentrating on something complicated or difficult. To the people who apologise in time that they will not be able to attend a meeting, and those who don’t schedule unnecessary meetings. Those who clean up after themselves in the office toilets (accidents do happen), and those who don’t leave their used cutlery, crockery, and left-over canteen food outside after lunch, and not leave their dirty paper cups and glasses lying around. To those who fill up the paper cup dispenser after using the last cup at the water cooler, and to those who replace the water bottle after using the last water at the water cooler. To the people who respect their colleagues.

To those who study harder when they fail a subject, and not blame the teacher or others for their failure. To those who realise that they are the only ones who can guarantee success in their lives, and not try and get a piece of the pie baked by hard working self-sacrificing people. To the people who do it by working hard and doing it for themselves.

To those who respect the rest of their neighbours by not playing loud music late at night or early mornings.

To those who still let ladies walk first, and open the door for them.

To those who clean up and throw away their papers, bottles, food packaging, left-over food, and napkins after having a meal in a park, and to those who don’t throw their rubbish out the window of their moving car.

To those who don’t abuse their hosts’ generosity when taken out for a meal.

To those who still value table manners, and not talk with food in your mouth.

To those who still address respected and older people as sir or ma’am.

To those who would give up their seat in a heartbeat for an elderly person, disabled person, or any lady (pregnant or not).

To those who still say please and thank you.

To those who know that “no” is also an answer.

To those who listen first and not interrupt someone.

To those who keep quiet and not talk during a movie, play, opera, or ballet.

To those who try to get to know someone, ignoring their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class, or history.

To those who don’t judge a person on appearance.

To those who would give their R50 to a hungry homeless person, just because they don’t have anything smaller, and don’t make the excuse of not having change.

To those who face the music when they have done something wrong, and not try to shift the blame.

To those who forget their pride and admit that they need help, so that many more can benefit and be helped.

To those who believe in turning the other cheek, and not escalate things by seeking revenge.

To those who are not afraid to discipline their children.

To those who would say sorry and apologise.

To those who forgive. Repeatedly.

To those who seek peace.

Doing the right thing when no-one is looking is called integrity.

To all these people, much respect.

Sunscreen Challenge – You know what to do

On this day in 1997, the words that were immortalised by Baz Luhrmann “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” are 14 years old.

The original article appeared in the Chicago Tribune entitled, “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”.

The author, Mary Schmich set out to write a fictitious graduation speech. “Most of us, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns”.

She invited her readership to do the same, 14-years later we take up that mantle and the #sunscreenchallenge was born.

Each blogger spent 1-hour creating a graduation speech. Essentially, it’s the advice that they’d pass onto school leavers today based on their own life experience.

If you’ve enjoyed the blog – please RT the post, include the #sunscreenchallenge tag and find other blog posts using this hashtag.

You know what to do

When I left school I didn’t really know what to do with my life. All my friends started jobs or studied further, and the pressure was on to pay rent, get a car, and get on with my life.  So I did what anyone in my situation would do: I started doing what I was good at.  I got a job in IT.

It was great, because all my tasks were easy, and I never really had huge challenges to overcome. The pay was good too, and I was well on my way in life.

Then I got stuck in a rut. I realised that I am repeating the same things over and over in my professional life, and that I deal with the same things again and again. The stress is horrendous, and I barely have time for anything else.  I began to think of where I went wrong, and then it hit me: I chose to do with my life what was easy, and I chose to do something to get money.

By making a mistake with that crucial decision earlier on in life, I am stuck in a job I don’t really like that much, and I am used to the great income. But having a good salary and not being happy at your job isn’t a great situation to be in. No amount of money can buy happiness.

I just need to add that we can’t always make the right decisions, because we never know what may happen in the future. That which may be the right decision now, may turn out to be a mistake only much later on in life.  Life is amazing at how it shapes and changes us, and we never know how our lives will change next month, next week, or even tomorrow.

The important thing to remember is that society’s pressures and norms won’t always be what you need in life.  If the great artist Michaelangelo bowed to the pressures of society, the Sistine Chapel would have been wall-papered 🙂

I realised that I bowed to the pressures of society; get a job, get a car, get a house, get going! In this process I never listened to my heart, and I did something which was easy at the time. Something which is making it very difficult for me to change my life now. By making the easy decision at the time, and by making the decision so that I would comply with society’s pressures, I have made the wrong decision for me. My life was now wall-papered, and didn’t have the frescoes and paintings I could have had.

If I took my time and really thought about what I really wanted to do with my life, I would have made the right decision earlier on, even though it may have been harder, or even though it may not have yielded the same income.  The sad thing is that I realised this even a few years ago, but at that time my quality of life overruled any complaints from my heart, and I wasn’t willing to make a change. That was another mistake.

Some people make great money doing what comes naturally and which is easy. Look at Donald Trump for instance. He loves doing business, and he is clearly very good at it.  Sometimes people really strike it lucky by doing that which comes naturally and that which is easy, and they make great money from it.  Heck, I did for quite some time.  The key thing is that you listen to your heart when making such important decisions, or when you re-evaluate your life.  Do what you want to do, and do what you enjoy. Don’t do that which is easy just for the sake of making everyone else happy. Sometimes you must make the difficult decision to reap happiness later on in life.

You live for you! Go on, listen to your heart, you know what to do!

If you found this post interesting, helpful, or just plain great :), you can visit more Sunscreen Challenge posts by browsing to the following blogs:

@bainser http://www.bainser.com/
@chrisgolds http://www.achapcalledchris.blogspot.com
@donkeycolm http://thesearethethoughts-c.blogspot.com/
@guy_interruptd http://www.sexdrugssausagerolls.wordpress.com/
@astrotour2010 http://davidault.blogspot.com
@lucasowen85 http://lucasowen85.wordpress.com
@mjryandaly http://markryandaly.com/
@stitch_85 http://someonewicked.posterous.com/
@windsorbuoy http://www.windsorboy.com/
@baxfail http://baxfail.wordpress.com/

Your Calling

Thinkers cannot stop thinking, lovers cannot stop loving, time cannot stop running, and the Earth cannot stop turning.
It is all as it should be, everything in its place. There is a fine balance which is kept in place by us doing what we need to do, and being who we are meant to be.
Great joy, blessing, peace, and comfort to the ones who do not shy away from their purpose and their calling.
They are the blessed martyrs.