"Words without poetry lack passion; words without passion lack persuasion; words without persuasion lack power."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Emotions: Immaturity or Treasure?

Addressing concepts of human emotion: Should we transcend emotion to benefit a situation? Are emotions viewed as ignorance?

     Remember the phrases "big girls don't cry" or "men don't cry?" These phrases and similar ones seem to inadvertently shape cultures view on emotions. Many of us grow up thinking it's bad to be upset and that we are not allowed to be emotional about situations we encounter. Over the course of my life, I have noticed that emotions are commonly stifled rather than dealt with. When I really dissected this concept, I came up with contradicting ideas.   

     I believe emotion naturally occurs within human beings and cannot be stifled. We are human. Even if a situation is viewed from the appropriate point of view, emotions will follow. I would venture to say that emotion is not ignorant nor evil, but rather beautiful and beneficial if the actions following the emotion are rightly accomplished. I do not ever want to transcend emotion. I want to instead achieve discernment and self-control, so my actions may be thoughtful and pleasing to my heavenly father. Life without emotion would be dull and without lesson.

     "Men owe the grandeur of their their lives to tremendous difficulties." -Charles Spurgeon

     I feel many people attempt to avoid emotion because they believe it is negative, largely due to their past experiences. Experiences of people, including themselves, reacting negatively out of their given emotion. Instead of learning from the beauty of their emotion, people try to cancel it out, which worsens the problem over time.

     I believe the key is what you do with the emotion. What does it lead to? It is good to be slow to anger, but if it does occur, the lesson is in how you deal with it. Do you cause harm out of your anger, or do you squelch your pride and love instead by putting the other person above your own selfish emotion. Example: lets say you inflict harm on others because of anger...your new objective is to learn from it. Realize it is wrong and apply it to your life. The same concept can be applied to an array of different emotions.

     However, I do not believe all anger, jealousy and other emotions are always negative- sometimes these emotions can be appropriate. This is evidence that perhaps emotions are not evil at the origin, but it is instead the fallen nature of this world that sours our convictions. Most every good thing outside of God is broken- even our emotion.

     "There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul."  -Arnold Bennett. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prerequisites for Creativity

Recently I have found myself lacking in inspiration and passion for activities I am normally  incredibly inspired and passionate about.

I love so many things, one of which is creating. To create life-oriented circumstances through the mediums of writing, dance, canvas, music... and the list continues. Creating is how I express, teach, illustrate, love, relate and so often is my therapy. I even describe it as "just breathing" to demonstrate its necessity to my heart.

I have realized that in order for me to complete these things, I must be inspired at least enough to pick up the pen or turn on the music.

The thing is, even my inspiration has a prerequisite. If my heart is not inspired by the Inspir-er Himself,  I cannot even complete things that are so close to my heart.

When I cannot complete these things, I feel hollow and unsure when living life in most all ways. I lack intentionality because of this.

In order for this series of events to take place, I must simply look to Him and trust him. 

I am thankful to identify this entire process so I may troubleshoot these situations in the future. However, I must point out that inspiration comes in many ways and I believe it is unreasonable to expect a similar sensation all of the time. Sometimes I have to do life without feeling like I am spurred on to do so.

Inspire-er>Inspiration>Creativity>Breathing>Pure heart, good conscience, sincere faith.
Without this sequence, all things are strained.(1 Tim 1:5-7)

I encourage you to seek your inspiration. Seek you inspire-er. You may just find your hope and purpose in life.

I apologize for the lack of posts this last month. I am excited to say I will be posting once or twice a week for the summer months.

Next post: Emotions.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Wise Man Loves Truth, Reproof

I love Journalism.
I love working at the Patriot Talon.

     I enjoy these things because I am passionate about justice, truth and people. The untainted mission behind the art of journalism requires these elements in order to function properly and efficiently. Within the heartbeat of journalists lies the responsibility to deliver truth, shine light on injustice committed in government, administrations or communities, and also to tell the stories of real people; stories that would potentially never be heard. Journalists seek to give voice to the otherwise voiceless.

     However, sometimes the truth is not flattering, or a movement that evokes pride. Sometimes, the truth is ugly and offensive.

     My Patriot Talon co-worker and friend Andy Taylor made a great point concerning truth in his most recent blog post:
"Some say that truth is relative and that it means something different to everyone. But while the truth may be debated, it should not be attacked," Taylor said.
     We recently published an editorial driven by our desire for truth and justice, because we believe the student voice is something worth fighting for. Through various circumstances described in the editorial, we believe our first amendment rights are being tampered with. The issue at hand is much, much larger than the termination of a  specific adviser that many do not favor.

     Taylor relayed in his posting that we did not want to commandeer the front page of the paper with this pressing issue, because many of the other stories published deserved great attention as well, but because of the circumstances we deemed the content worthy.  

      Many negative comments condemning the quality of our content and publication as a whole, leave us confused.

     It appears students who are unhappy with the editorial want to see only stories that promote a positive image for the University, which cancels out a main element of our function as journalists.

      The reaction from the student body leaves us beat-up, but also grateful.

     We are grateful for the corrections for a couple reasons: We are thankful that the student body, and whoever else, is engaging on a topic that matters. We also welcome correction because we can benefit from the feedback, and benefit from simply enduring the reproof although we cannot respond or defend ourselves.

Perhaps the students are forgetting we are students too.
I, we, will remain obligated to honesty.
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