Idealism, Life, Philosophy

Run Away…

Sometimes, it seems like our issues come from nowhere. They’re these gigantic tremors that lay in wait underneath the ground. And, at any given moment they will erupt forth and attempt to drag us down into the pits of despair. We didn’t know this was a big deal to us until something triggered our emotional response. For instance, you’ve told your Significant Other that you don’t care about material things or silly greeting card holidays. You truly believe that until.. “Hm… apparently I do care about V. Day. WHY DIDN’T YOU GET ME A CARD AT LEAST?!?”

Tremors was one of the first movies to kinda freak me out!

YOU COULDN’T SHELL OUT THE CHANGE FOR ONE ROSE?Tremors was one of the first movies to kinda freak me out! 

Sometimes, our issues are right out in the open like a big gross pimple. Whether those be mental issues, social biases, pet peeves. They’re the blighted parts of ourselves  that we can’t seem to hide very effectively.

I'm a closet racist! A raaaacyyyyyst! ;-)

I’m a closet racist! A raaaacyyyyyst! 😉

We have these problems and they manifest themselves any random way they will. Whether it be at bed late at night keeping you from getting any decent sleep or during grandma’s 80th birthday dinner. These things require attention and must be dealt with with tact and understanding. How do we reconcile the beautiful parts of ourselves with the ugly parts?

Yargh!

Um… Maybe some people just don’t. 

How can Brandon the pacifist reconcile himself with Brandon the revenge seeker? And yes, I do say reconcile because I don’t believe Brandon the revenge seeker is evil. I think the way in which he goes about things is wrong, but that is also the part of me that fights for what I believe in. The pacifist Brandon is a little too chill. I need both parts to function as a fully formed human. However, I will not be the most effective person I can be unless both sides are functioning PROPERLY. In other words, the passive pacifist needs to shake hands with the motivated menace to come up with a mutually beneficial way of solving problems.

Life is just a great balancing act.  I’m really trying to find mine. I fail a lot. But, I feel like I win a lot too! 🙂

Keep trying to find yours!

Even when some of us seem to have it all figured out...

Even when some of us seem to have it all figured out…

Much Love,

-Brandon Holly-

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Idealism, Life, Philosophy

Attention

To what do you pay attention? I pay attention to my physiological urges (eat, sleep, sex, breathe, poop, etc), my loved ones, political news, tech news, music, exercising trends, and the list could go on and on.

But, the thing I pay attention to most of all, is what I’m doing to make the world a better place. As it turns out, my blog is aptly named. The thing is, I pay attention to it so much that I don’t understand how it seems that others do not. Not that I feel like I’m more aware or enlightened by any means, I just have this overinflated sense of empathy and it just makes life much more stressful.

For instance, earlier today, I saw a terrible car accident. Four cars were involved in a pile up and it didn’t look horrifying…

It wasn’t THIS bad.

But, it was still pretty bad. Paramedics were rushing to the scene. I later expressed to my lady companion (girlfriend just sounds too immature) that stuff like that can really ruin my day. She informed me that what I had witnessed was indeed terrible, but it shouldn’t ruin my entire day.

Which is true. It shouldn’t.

I could just send a prayer or positive thoughts their way and be thankful that I’m still safe. However, I don’t. I do those things, but then I still can’t help but feel every emotion I’d feel in that situation. The thoughts make my stomach turn and I get stressed and feel bad for quite a long time.

Having an overinflated sense of empathy means you’re probably a people pleaser as well  (something I mentioned I’m working on in an earlier post) and it kills you inside to have someone feel disappointed in you.

It’s this trait that makes me feel bipolar at times.

Driving on the highway an impatient selfish PRICK will cut me off and I’ll be upset for one moment and the very next moment I feel bad and think thoughts like..

“What if his wife’s having a baby?”
“What if her husband’s sick?”
“What if that person just had a really bad day?”

And I sympathize and stop being upset in the very same instance.

But…

What if they’re just a jerk?

Well.. what if they ARE just a jerk? I say, “so what?”

You see having a lot of empathy means your attention tends to be externally focused. How can I make the world a better place? How can I help people? How can I help the environment? How does one stay happy while simultaneously making the world happy.

The problem with this is, you can’t figure out why others’ attentions aren’t similarly focused. Thus, when you’re taken advantage of it hurts… A LOT. I suppose it hurts regardless of who you are, but when you’re always thinking of others it just feels unjust.

And here it is, the problem with being empathetic all of the time and spending your attentions trying to make things better is…

You ALSO end up with an overinflated sense of…  entitlement.

This is NOT how the wild rumpus starts!!!

You see, when YOUR attention is outward most of the time and you realize someone else’s attention isn’t. It hurts when you’re overlooked. Because YOU’D never overlook anyone. It hurts when someone is inconsiderate. Because YOU’RE not that inconsiderate.

The problem is, it FEELS like people are being inordinately rude towards you. When in reality, they’re just treating you like they treat everyone else.

I guess I’d just like to find my balance. How can I be idealistic and realistic at the same time? And is it any use being an idealist in a world that’s…

not.

Hmm…

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

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Uncategorized

I’ll Miss Them

(I know, I know it’s Saturday NOT Friday. SUE ME!)

Yesterday was my last day as a Shipper/Receiver for a big department store. I’m not going to say the name of this store, but I will tell you that their spokesperson is a very popular lesbian and that for some reason that really upsets some people.

Pictured: Ms. The Generous .... You see that CLEARLY guilty face?? THIS is why we can't have freedom!

Anyway, I had a little going away party thing and during that party I realized something- I’m going to genuinely miss those people. In just four months, I honestly grew to care about them and I’m assuming from all of the insults I received regarding my departure, that I will be missed as well. Yes, this makes it hard for me to leave, but it also brings me a sense of joy. I love how connected we all are to each other. Humans need other humans, we symbiotically feed off of each other.

and we ALL know, symbiosis is SEXY...

We can also do terrible TERRIBLE things to one another. Why do we get so angry when someone doesn’t think the way we do? Why do we feel the need to hurt each other. Why do we lie, steal, kill, and destroy ourselves? We hurt the very beings that give us life and make life worth living! We know that together we can produce AMAZING things! We know that when we’re unified we can accomplish miracles!

*****n' magnets, how do THEY work?

I know this post is kind of mushy and I know I’m not really saying anything new. However, I suppose I just wanted to say that I love people. We’re fun and despite all of the pain we can end up causing each other. Remember this, without you, life would be boring. Thus, let’s learn to love one another, because I believe that the destruction of the human race isn’t going to be external. Listen to the wise words of Conspiracy Keanu…

Uh oh...

Alright, everyone. Stay classy and see you on Monday!

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

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Life, peace corps

Brandon and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

My first day back at school was boring, but I thought that day 2 would be better. Not so much.

I woke up this morning sweaty and tired. I did not get much sleep because the power had been out since yesterday morning. It is never under 90 Fahrenheit here in The Phillies, so a loss of power generally means a loss of motivation to do anything. However, in the main part of the city there was power. That fact motivated me to get out of the house. I needed to clean myself but no electricity means no water. I didn’t have time to go out to the pump, so I wet a handkerchief with alcohol and rubbed it all over myself to feel somewhat clean. I put everything I needed in my bag and got myself out of the door.

I forgot to readjust my bike seat, so my groin and butt were in a little pain, but nothing too bad. I made it across the bridge and down the street. I was tired because I hadn’t eaten since noon the day before. I was attempting to motivate myself to keep moving . . . then, my pedal broke off. I looked down to notice that part of the reason it was so difficult to pedal was because I had a semi-flat tire. I get off and push my bike. I try to hitch a ride, but everyone is full of passengers. I walk my bike all the way to the city. I am devastatingly tired.

I finally find a ride for the last little stretch. I tell him to take me near to where I need to go. He doesn’t take me. He says he can’t get there, but I have lived in this town for 7 months now. You can pull right up to where I need to be, but he refuses. I’m out P15 and am stuck walking my bike up to the shop. The shop is still closed. I then walk my bike all the way to work. I am looked at funny and laughed at. A tired sweaty foreigner pushing rather than riding his bike is apparently very amusing.

I get in to my office. I sit down. I turn on the fan. Thank G-d for electricity. I sit down for about 30 minutes. I use the time to situate myself and to try to organize things. I am extremely hot, but I am thankful for the fan. Then, of course, the power goes out. I want to punch something or scream or do anything to rid me of the boiling frustration that has become my day. However, I am at school and I must compose myself.

I then get a call. I answer. My dog was hit by a car. I tell my girlfriend that everything will be ok. She is hysterical, but I don’t have a bad feeling about the situation, so I’m sure things we’ll turn out alright. I try to just take a nap. I need to rest and my co-teacher understands and lets me skip our class today.

I start sweating. I begin to stink. I need to get out. I decide to go have my bike fixed. I do. I am happy! Things are ok! I then notice my tire is completely flat. It’s ok. I’ll just go to the gas station. They have free air there, right? Yes! Yes they do! I walk up briskly and am redirected back to school because the air doesn’t work when the power is out. I walk back to school. Sweaty, smelly, and defeated. I sit down for ten minutes and decide to just cut my losses. I go home.

I walk and walk and finally find a trike that will take me and my bike home. He notices my predicament and takes advantage of the situation by overcharging me. I am too tired and hot to fight with him. I just give him the money and hope that karma will take care of the rest. I get home and realize I forgot the power cord for my friend’s laptop at school. I can’t just leave it there. I want to cry. During the ride I think about what it must have looked like when my dog was hit and my eyes begin to water. I quickly compose myself as to not confuse the driver. I shell out even more money to get back to school to retrieve the cord.

I get it. I come back home. I am delighted! The power is back on! I attempt to call my girlfriend to make sure everything is ok with the puppy. She calls me back. He is brain dead and will be put to sleep if he doesn’t show any positive signs soon. She tells me that even though his lungs and heart are fine he had significant brain trauma. She tells me that it will be very expensive to keep him on the “puppy life-support” and that he will have to be put down. I want to tell her to keep him alive whatever it takes, but I know that it is not practical. She says she’ll wait, but things aren’t looking good.

I then remember my own money problems and the fact that I don’t eat breakfast or dinner to try to save my money. I then remember my parent’s money situation and how it isn’t so hot right now. I then remember how their situation is stretching their relationship thin and how THAT isn’t great either. I then think about how NOTHING is going right and about how I have a million pimples because of this heat and that I have absolutely NO control of ANYTHING and I just want to scream!!!

And that’s where the revelation happens. Control. It is an illusion. We pretend as if we have control. We don’t. Nothing is within your control. Everything you hold dear can be gone in a flash. Nothing is permanent and nothing is promised. Humans are weak. There is an oil spill that we can’t seem to CONTROL. There are terrorist groups out there that we can’t seem to CONTROL. There are liberal and conservative talking heads that we can’t seem to CONTROL. There are natural disasters happening every day that we can’t seem to CONTROL. We cannot control anything and it drives us mad!

Buddha says that the only thing worth controlling is yourself. Christ tells us that those who realize they are not in control have peace. One of the main tenants of Hinduism is being able to control your own mind.

I am beginning to learn that true control is to be able to control yourself. Nothing else in this world is controllable.

I surrender. I can’t change any of my situations, but I can control how I feel about them. I can control who I become after them. I can try to grow rather than stagnate. I can move forward rather than look back. I can hope. I can pray. I can dream.

I feel like my summary should be. I had an awful, terrible, disgusting day . . . Then my dog died.

Fox McCloud the Corgi

I will miss him. Rest In Peace little guy.

This day was not fun, but I learned something. I’m still not happy. I am very far from it, but I can get through this. I know I can.

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

p.s. – Sorry for the depressing post.

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Idealism

We Can Be The Ones To Dream This Bright

I was thinking about who I am. I hope to never be able to answer that question. At least not completely. I believe that if I ever think I know who I am while still on planet earth, where every sense is merely an electrical impulse translated by the highly advanced CPU I carry around in my head, I have ceased to grow. My spirit has left and I am merely a shell. A hunk of flesh. Life is like water. Moveable, changeable, capricious, and ultimately beautiful because of these traits.

I suppose that is why I honestly believe that things can be different. That’s why I believe life here on planet earth need not be ruled by modern caste-systems.

There is something better than Capitalism; a system that encourages a certain disregard for your fellow man. There is something better than Socialism; a system that encourages a certain degree of laziness. There is something better than Race; a system that encourages a you and me mentality instead of a “we” mentality. There is something better than Organized Religion*; a system that encourages militancy and anger. There is something better than War. There is something better.

They say my generation is generally optimistic. I like that. So listen up, generation! “All my life I’ve been waiting for, I’ve been praying for for the people to say that, ‘we don’t wanna fight no more’ there’ll be no more wars and our children will play . . . one day” – Matisyahu

One step at a time. Whether the step is as small as a one dollar donation to a charity or as big as starting a grassroots movement. Whether the step is as small as holding a sign or as big as becoming a martyr** Whether the step is as small as a beer summit or as big as a million man march. Each step is significant.

One love, people.

Hope

Sorry about the hippie-ish post today. Just got inspired for some reason.

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

*Organized Religion does not mean I mean G-d or any form of spirituality should be disregarded. In fact, I encourage an embracing of these things, but not to the point of I am right and your are wrong. I have flippantly and seriously studied religions and they all seem to point to the same conclusions. A friend once told me that if there is absolute truth then there can only be one. There cannot be many. (In other words, only one religion can be right) However, I was falling asleep one night and thought of this. The answer to the problem 2+2 can be 4, four, IV, apat, cuatro, etc. The point of this is to illustrate that even though I am EXPRESSING the answer several different ways they are all true and correct.

**I AM IN NO WAY ENDORSING GETTING YOURSELF KILLED!!!

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peace corps

My Friend Bob

Warning: If you do not have a facebook account the videos won’t be accessible to you. For that, I am truly sorry. I offer you this. It hits at the heart of the matter, it just happens to have an internet focus.

I was inspired to make this blog post and pay the trike fare of some fellow human beings because . . .

I have a friend named Bob. He did this.

He was inspired to do that because . . .

He watched a video of guy doing this.

Now, what will you do?

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

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