We are leashed by societal norms, defined by our willingness to conform, but limited only by our imagination.
At that shameful stage in the development of our criticism, literary abuse would overstep all limits of decorum; literature itself was a totally extraneous matter in critical articles: they were pure invective, a vulgar battle of vulgar jokes, double-entendres, the most vicious calumnies and offensive constructions. It goes without saying, that in this inglorious battle, the only winners were those who had nothing to lose as far as their good name was concerned. My friends and I were totally deluded. We imagined ourselves engaged in the subtle philosophical disputes of the portico or the academy, or at least the drawing room. In actual fact we were slumming it.
On the other hand, we can all call to mind the case of seeing the same thing many times over and over. Everyone has had the experience of having their impression of a particular object change depending upon their feelings or conditions at a given moment. This is because the object is seen under the influence of the mental state of that moment. Of course, at the time when we are looking at something, we are generally not aware of the way our feelings are being protected into the situation.Seen in this way, our so-called cognition, or the action of discerning the meaning of things as they are perceived by us, is never in any case a perception of the external world exactly as it is, but rather a world that can only be apprehended via its interface with our present mental state. In other words, it is nothing other than our own mind that constructs things and determines their content. This is the meaning of "consciousness-only," or "nothing but the transformations of consciousness." And, if we turn this around, we ourselves are nothing other than things that dwell in a world defined by the limits of that which is knowable by the functions of our own mind.
So far as we know, the tiny fragments of the universe embodied in man are the only centers of thought and responsibility in the visible world. If that be so, the appearance of the human mind has been so far the ultimate stage in the awakening of the world; and all that has gone before, the striving of myriad centers that have taken the risks of living and believing, seem to have all been pursuing, along rival lines, the aim now achieved by us up to this point. They are all akin to us, for all these centers - those which led up to our own existence and the far more numerous others which produced different lines of which many are extinct - may be seen engaged in the same endeavor towards ultimate liberation. We may envisage then a cosmic field which called forth all these centers by offering them a short-lived, limited, hazardous opportunity for making some progress of their own towards an unthinkable consummation. And that is also, I believe, how a Christian is placed when worshiping God.
If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we willalmost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by theloving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joythan sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God'sgoodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in thenext life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allowour burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be moreblessings than burdens--even if some days it doesn't seem so. Jesussaid, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have itmore abundantly." Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours andalways will be.
Beauty is merely defined by the very core of one's soul, which then and only then outlines one's outside features, reflecting beyond the body. With every line representing who you are. The wrinkles around the eyes from laughing so hard, the callus on ones hands from giving, the scars on one body from "living", the curve of ones mouth from the words their speaking, the lines on one's for curiosity their building. Truth is we all hold our own definition of beauty, it's that simple.
We should teach our kids that they're blessing and not a burden and that they're valuable beyond what they can imagine - in God's eyes, in the world's eyes - that they're purpose is so important to fulfill and it's gonna make a difference in the world. And they're the only ones that can make the difference that they can make, in the way that they can make it. That's why we all have different fingerprints. And I feel like the message is not clear enough. It's not clear because they go to school and they get challenged and they're bombarded with the idea that abortion is okay, that we can just go ahead and, you know, if we're not ready to have a kid we can just take care of that problem. But kids are not a problem, they're not a mistake, they're not a burden. They're blessing from God and that's what we don't understand. My mom was sixteen when she had me and we both almost died, I was a second kid, she had my brother when she was fifteen. And we both almost died and the doctors told her to abort me and I think that a lot of people gave her that advice. So when I grew up I think I had a sense of being a burden. And I think a lot of kids actually have that sense.
At this point we can finally see what's really at stake in our peculiar habit of defining ourselves simultaneously as master and slave, reduplicating the most brutal aspects of the ancient household in our very concept of ourselves, as masters of our freedoms, or as owners of our very selves. It is the only way that we can imagine ourselves as completely isolated beings. There is a direct line from the new Roman conception of liberty – not as the ability to form mutual relationships with others, but as the kind of absolute power of "use and abuse" over the conquered chattel who make up the bulk of a wealthy Roman man's household – to the strange fantasies of liberal philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, and Smith, about the origins of human society in some collection of thirty- or forty-year-old males who seem to have sprung from the earth fully formed, then have to decide whether to kill each other or begin to swap beaver pelts.
Do we not see the influence we have when we say we believe in one thing, but our children see us living something else? Do we not realize how little we encourage our children to actually decide what they believe, declare what they believe, and then live by it? Whether it’s religion, politics, sports, or societal norms. It is not our place to tell our kids what to think. It is our place to teach our kids to think correctly. If we do this, we need have no fear of what they will decide for themselves and how strongly they’ll stand behind it. A man will follow his own convictions to his death, but he’ll only follow another man’s convictions until he steps in manure.