The Void

We all have one don’t we, that metaphorical hole which we fill with something or another to make us feel whole. Its substance unique to the individual as, of course, everyone has different priorities. The putty, if you will, could be anything from socializing and shmoozing, shopping, family, religion, health and fitness, etc.

So where exactly am I going with this seeing that the above paragraph is ridiculously obvious? Well, what happens when it’s barren? When life is void of meaning? It’s dismal to think about the idea if yours is filled to the brim with nothing but positive things, but for some people this is their reality. So is this when people turn to scrupulous activities and become self-destructive? I mean, it’s undeniable that many negative outcomes to such a bleak outlook on life exist. For instance, a prime example would be the unfortunate and deadly, last-ditch-attempt-to-make-the-world-a-better-place suicide. So this begs the question, shouldn’t there be more effective safety nets installed in any given society that helps these said people? There are so many factors which can deprive someone of a full void like, for example, losing their job. So does that mean that we, as a collective, are responsible for these people? That the government should be more active in helping those who risk severe depression? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that our society has installed a plethora of groups specific to treating those that fall into self destructive habits. But, are they as effective as we think?

Thoughts?

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With all these questions swirling about, it would have been nice if I were qualified to research further into this… maybe a major in sociology wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.

Suits, Ties, and Higher Education

I’ve been watching Suits after some extreme nudging from those around me and I’m not going to lie, it’s an amazing show. I mean, what’s not to love! The music is great, the characters are believable, and the fashion is incredible… but it’s the premise of the show that really got to me. Mike Ross, one of the main characters, never went to Harvard and yet he landed an associate position with an extremely popular corporate lawyer Harvey Specter all because of his wit and his gift of memorizing and understanding everything he reads. Aka, he gets a chance to make a lot of money without the education to back him up. But, of course, this is illegal. VERY illegal.

*lightbulb*

This got me thinking about real life. There are brilliant people like Mike Ross out there and yet, they don’t reach their full potential because they lack the higher education. It’s a bold statement to say, but unfortunately it is true. They say that this is the era for opportunities which are readily available to all those who seek it… but is it really? Higher education is expensive and with the economy in such bad shape, why should people spend so much money on degree after degree when the promise of a lucrative job available upon graduation is non-existent? Furthermore, for some families, scrounging up the money for higher education seems like a burden, so some people are deprived of the vital support and funds.

Granted that there are some fields where higher education is needed like, for instance, the medical field. Personally, I would feel a whole lot better being treated by someone who has their credentials. But in that being said, getting the essential education shouldn’t be so hard. Solution? What if obtaining higher education wasn’t so expensive? What if it were, dare I say, free? I’m sure you’d agree with me when I say that that would tap into a wealth of brilliant, disadvantaged people. Then, this would truly be the era of opportunities.

Propelling Michael Phelps

Right now I’m watching a news broadcast on the jaw dropping (and not in a good way) results of Michael Phelps’ 400 IM event in the London 2012 Olympics; the same prodigy athlete who dominated swimming in the 2008 Olympics. Now when I say dominated, I mean won by a ridiculous amount of time, every single time. It really was a genuine treat to witness such mind-numbing, perpetually achieved victories. But oh how the tides have turned. According to the article “London 2012: Michael Phelps admits he swam a ‘crappy race’ vs. Ryan Lochte” in the National Post, Lochte beat Phelps by 4 seconds in the 400 IM event. Yikes!

Now back to the broadcast. The anchors and specialists were not only talking about how disappointed fans must have been, but also touched on the reason as to why the disappointment was so intense. Ever since that picture of Phelps smoking marijuana surfaced, his career and reputation took a nosedive. They went on to state that the North American culture is to “propel people on a pedestal too quickly”, thus causing an intense negative reaction when they fail to meet our standards…

To me, this sounds all too familiar as I did write about a similar subject in a previous post of mine called The Plight that is Teaching. Needless to say, I could not stop grinning as I witnessed this theme weaving its way through this broadcast and how it was taken one step further. In my post, I had talked about how we tend to do this to our teachers, but of course this can be applied to our idols whether they are celebrities or teachers.

To be honest, I think we need to keep things in perspective and not put our idols through ridiculous standards. Once we realize that they are indeed human beings as well, we don’t risk suffering needless, severe blow to our psyche.

The Process

As a woman who dabbles in the arts, I’ve grown accustom to ugly beginnings when I start a new painting/drawing/sketch/etc. Nothing will ever look complete unless I take the time to finish it, to truly lose myself to the colours, shapes, shades, patterns, and lines that I see. This morning, I definitely lost myself to my artwork. I started it about two days before and I kept taking pictures each time I stopped working on it. It was really interesting to see how it evolved from start to finish… and this got me thinking about the process behind completing anything, whether it’s artwork, homework, projects, etc. Some processes provide instant gratification as the time taken till completion is short. However, some take longer than others.

In that being said, it all boils down to patience and determination if we fall into a long process. The idea of giving up can easily creep in when results aren’t apparent. Heck, I’ve been known to stop half way through a painting and start a new concept because I don’t get how to get a specific texture translated into my work.

So here’s the deal, should we only pursue the processes which will only provide instant gratification to be happy, or should we tackle both the quick processes and the ones that will bear fruit later on? Which ones do you seek out?

©Farrah Merza: The rough sketch, the beginning.
©Farrah Merza: I stopped here for the night
©Farrah Merza: Resumed in the morning and then took a break
©Farrah Merza: The second break of the day today
©Farrah Merza: The End, the finished artwork. See how the picture kept changing? It was definitely very gratifying when done even though it took a couple days to complete it.

Rain

Rain!
Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Right now, I’m listening to the rain. As each rain drop falls from the sky and splashes on the ground, a melodic sound echos through the air. That, and coupled with the sound of gentle wind chimes and waves just enrich the audio experience.

Confused?

I’m listening to ambient music courtesy of an app on my iPhone because I miss the rain. The weather has been teasing us Canadians with the promise of rain to cool us off from the intense heat and humidity we’ve been condemned to this summer. Unfortunately, it hasn’t properly rained in what feels like ages and this, my friends, is highly problematic. Why? We risk a severe drought. Already the grass is shrivelled and burnt. And let’s not forget the flowers that can’t stand the direct rays of the afternoon sun, as they have been roasted alive.

It gets worse.

On the news, the anchors and specialists were talking about the drought affecting food prices and ultimately the economy (unfortunately, I can’t remember the direct source). How? The crops aren’t surviving, which means that food prices are going to increase because the supply is dwindling. Now, the economy is already taking a nose dive so people are already pinching their pockets. But with the expected increase in grocery bills, people will think twice about breaking the bank over gourmet foods. Less spending = bad for the economy. Now this is based on the drought in the US, but it will take a toll on those countries which US exports to. Clearly I’m just grazing the surface on this impending crisis, so by all means, research into this problem further.

Talk about consequences.

 

 

 

Accessibility

“…we believe that everyone can have access to yoga and everyone can walk into a Moksha studio and know right away that they belong – all religions, body types, injured bodies, all political views…”

– Moksha Yoga

A beautiful and idealistic notion isn’t it, to include everyone regardless of their differences. To have that one sanctuary void of judgement, a place to find internal peace and a strong sense of community.

This increasingly strong Moksha subculture has taken root in the Western world despite being around for centuries. Why? Because of this promise of inclusivity. The Western world is a conglomerate, a heterogenous mix of differences all bombarding each other. There are different institutions and facilities based on strong diasporas, but has anyone thought of an attainable union? Now, that goes without saying that there are institutions in the public sphere aimed at embracing differences, but I have never come across a pure place of union – of different people with different religions, political views, etc – like a Moksha studio. Granted, I’ve never tried to search for places like this. I just only happened to stumble on Moksha because I wanted to try hot yoga. But, needless to say, places with this ideology are much needed, especially in an increasingly hostile environment towards differences.

Intoxicating in the promise of sheer bliss, this – dare I say – social movement is taking the Western world by storm. With all the scrupulous activities, global conflicts, and hectic lifestyles, environments like that of a Moksha studio is seemingly the white knight we all need, the white knight that is accessible to all who seek out the peace and belonging they desire.

©Farrah Merza: The Buddha statue that, upon entering the Moksha studio, you first see. Peaceful isn’t it.

The Quote from a Dream

“We have the right to exist, but do we when we hinder others”

– Me, in a dream

Where do I even begin? What did I even mean “to exist”? Maybe the brief context behind this revelation is due.

I said this to a man who was having a conversation with someone else while a speaker was talking to the crowd. I was arguing with him about why he should be quiet. Then, he argued that we all have the right to exist, which brought me to retort with this quote. He smirked and fell silent.

Maybe I meant to exist in a space surrounded by others. If so, should we be in that space if we are “crab-bucketing” those said people? Hindering them, mentally or physically?

Or was I indirectly speaking about the collective and our right to exist on our humble host, the earth? We are indeed choking it, destroying parts of it like a virus. Sorry to splash you with the cold hard reality, but we are the most resourceful virus without the proper immune system to destroy us. That has been my mindset as of late, reflecting on the proper metaphor to describe humanity’s destructive nature.

The vagueness of this dream is stifling, however this quote leaves a gigantic abyss where you can fill with your own thoughts. To exist or not to exist while being a hindrance? That is the question.

The Few

In the name of “The Few”, the worst atrocities can be committed. They twist themselves into the roots of humanity like a weed, slowly choking our trees we’ve so lovingly planted (reference to blog post: Toast to the New Year). And, if The Few deem it necessary, The Many’s reputation is forever tarnished, as they peel it off like skin.

What makes The Few so powerful enough to taint the rest? That any bad news can spell T.H.E. E.N.D.? Perhaps it is humanity’s flaw that we regard the negative more important than the positive? If so, can we ever overcome that flaw?
 
… thoughts to ponder I suppose… 
 
 

Little bits from everywhere