Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's all in your head!

Tonight I was thinking about my religion class as I glanced through my scriptures. A little sidenote that I had written caught my eye. It said something about the brain being the real offender to God, not your actual physical body, because the brain and your thinking controls your body.

I started to think about other things, like computers. Hold on, this really isn't all that random. Computers can be a really good thing with all that we are able to accomplish on them. They are one of the most amazing tools. Yet, through a wrong choice, a computer can become a terrible thing. It can become a pornography channel for a child molester, a stalking tool for a hitman, or something else just as awful.

TV is the same. It can be educational, informative, and relaxing. Or it can be a box that is spewing crap out all over the place.

Your body fits into this category, too. It is a wonderful, beautiful, amazing things that can do so much good. Or you can desecrate it or harm others with it. It depends on the choices you make.

The destiny of all of these things hinges on the choices you make--with your brain. When we have our thinking aligned with Heavenly Father's will, that's when we can be the best we can be and do the most good. So it's all in your head! Use it wisely!

This blog seems to be where I always go when I "wax philosophical," as my math teacher puts it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Song of hope

I like the sound of birds. They make me think of spring mornings and long summer evenings. I love it when, at the end of winter, the birds start chirping again.

I am listening to some birds right now. It's kind of stormy and really windy, but they are still chirping. Sometimes it gets so stormy they can't keep singing--like when that brief blizzard went through an hour ago. But as soon as they can, they start singing again. They don't seem to give up. They just seem so hopeful.

That's a good example for people. I wish that I were that way, that I kept singing the song of hope even when it was hard, and even if I couldn't, that I would start right back up as soon as I could.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A world of niches

As I studied for my mass media class today, I read about how magazines are being demassified. They are aimed at smaller and smaller slices of audiences so that advertisers can better aim products at audiences.

The really interesting thing is that advertisers use demassified magazines to try to aim products to create a niche that people want to be associated with. People love to put themselves and others in categories. Advertisers play on that. If you wear this or listen to this, you fit in this category.

I recognize this in myself. I've recognized this before, but I didn't know that ad agencies used it so effectively against me. I love horses and the horse world. I like country music, Wrangler clothes, horse books, magazines, movies, and gifts. These all make me feel part of some special group that others associate me with by these things.

Or when I am in my journalist mode, I like to read newspapers, political science books, history books, and human interest stories. I like media and controversy.

What an interesting concept that we like to be part of a bigger group. It's almost like the herd instinct, but at a more sophisticated level.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A dragon heart?

I just watched Dragonheart. It was really good. But the one thing that struck me to the core was the dragon telling someone that he'd had to wait until man wouldn't make the same mistake he had--to let tyranny live on.

It struck me because we have let it go on. I'm sure that phrase was meant to be poignant. I'm sure almost anybody would be willing to fight tyranny and make the world a better place. But why do we let the root of tyranny live on, even in our own hearts?

The dragon defeated tyranny by giving his life. He didn't win by battling. It's a good metaphor for us.

The root of tyranny is selfishness. What are we doing about that? About the only thing to do is strive to live more unselfishly every day and teach those around us to do the same. Like the dragon, we should give up our life every day in the battle against selfishness. It's much harder than actually fighting a battle.

Can I do it? Can I have a dragon heart, too?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


"Be careful about feeling entitled!" my math teacher, Brother Rich, warned us one day.

Some of the students in the class had been complaining about the secretary's harshness in grading our homework. Brother Rich agreed with us, and was offering us some extra credit work to make up those lost points. But he warned us not to start feeling entitled to all kinds of extra credit.

In reality, we don't deserve much, like the Book of Mormon teaches in Mosiah. Too often students feel entitled to better grades than they really worked for. An attitude like this can cause all sorts of problems.

Bro. Rich pointed out how an attitude of entitlement has brought down our economy. People are living far beyond their means because they feel like they deserve more than they have. People take what isn't theirs because they feel entitled to it. Example: Bernard Madoff, who made off with a lot of money that didn't belong to him. This is the very attitude, Bro. Rich told us, that has ruined our economy.

I was struck by this "lecture" and the way Obama is approaching the situation. Obama wants to spend money to save us all because we deserve to be saved. We don't deserve to suffer. I was struck by the difference between the principle that, if lived by, would always save us from such trouble, and Obama's spending more money to pull us out of our own hole, yet only digging the hole deeper.

Beware of feeling entitled!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dancing Blues

Last Saturday I went to a dance with two of my roommates. First we went to ballroom dancing, and then we went to latin dancing. I had a lot of fun at first. I only had three dances the whole night, one in particular that was great fun. One was a pity dance because I was sitting on the sidelines for so long. Another one was a guy who didn't care which one of us three danced with him.

However, my roommates both got asked over and over. They are both really cute and really good dancers. I didn't mind at first. It didn't bother me. But towards the end, I found myself alone more and more often. When my roommate left me again, I couldn't help but feel left out and overlooked.

I began to think. I was pretty content with just three dances--maybe even just one. But for some reason, when I realized that I wasn't getting as many dances as my roommates, I started to feel left out. That is so strange. It wasn't until I compared my situation to someone else's that I had a problem.

Now I wonder. . . why is that so? Is it just natural for me to feel that way? Or is it pride? C.S. Lewis said something to the effect that pride is having to have more than others. I'm pretty sure I would have been fine if I'd had more dances than my roommates. I would have felt sorry for them, but I wouldn't have felt so down.

I thought it was a revealing moment for me. I guess I need to grow up and not compare myself with others. I didn't know so many people at the dances as they did, and I'm really tall. That makes a world of difference. It doesn't mean that I'm not worth something.

I have it figured out in my head. Now I've got to make my beliefs consistent with it, so that my actions and feelings are what they should be.