Nature’s Spirit

When the majority of people in our country are questioned about belief, they reach for a book. This book was not written by them, but these people are convinced that it was written for them. They use this book an escape route, a way to vindicate themselves for their actions.

I do not agree with this.

But it is not my place to judge them for this belief.

That is the beauty of belief. It is a mostly solitary action, its strength based on the amount of trust you place in whatever faith you find yourself using to guide you. It’s keeping a certain mindset about a thing even if someone has a perfect, rock-solid argument against it. It’s more than opinion-it’s a doctrine that comforts you when all else fails. A doctrine that creates in you a hope that fills the doubt in your mind.

Some people reach for a book.

I open a window.

Our generation is going through an extremely difficult time. As we grow older, we are witnessing our world fall apart. As our technology develops, our resources and our environment diminish. As we live vicariously through our screens, the world around us is dying.

Hope is the thing that can save us. If we lose hope in the world, eventually, we will lose hope in ourselves. Hope is knowing that no matter how broken you feel, you have the strength, whether through personal strength or through the aid of others, to put yourself together again. It can take the form of anything in the world. It’s blinking away the lasting effects of the night and watching color return to the sky with the arrival of the sunrise.  It’s walking through the woods on one day, noticing the uniform green throughout, and then walking along the same path only a few days later, surrounding by the colorful buds that accompany spring. It’s the feeling of perpetual motion that envelops you while the wind spirals the fallen leaves into new life as they fly across the ground.

It is too late to hope that the world will right itself. But as we work to save what little of the natural world as we can, we have the ability to hope that our actions will make the needed difference. What other choice do we have?

The Labyrinth of Life

On his deathbed, Simon Bolivar, to the public’s knowledge, used his final breaths to ask “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” In context, these words were spoken as a realization that his struggles were coming to an end.  However, looking at these final words as the question they are, we are left with a much deeper idea.  Throughout many times in our lives, we will find ourselves in a maze, attempting to find the way out.  We will think we are on a certain path, but one wrong turn will leave us in a strange new place, with once-comforting faces turned unfamiliar and cold. Many will try to turn back, finding the way blocked, but will still devote much needed time in a useless attempt to find their way back to the path they were on before. Fewer people will see this change and will stop, halting all progress through their lives. The hardest thing to do, quite possibly, is to continue on, using the new path to create a shortcut to whatever destination we find ourselves needing to reach.

Why is following a new path so difficult for us? Is it the unfamiliar surroundings? Is it the loss of our comfort zones?  We may have convinced ourselves that we know the way out of life’s labyrinth, but who is to say the path we were on was the right one? A common saying goes along the lines of “It’s not the destination that matters, but the path that takes you there.”

This is where faith comes in. Faith in what’s ahead. Faith in what you can’t control. Because that is essentially what faith is.

Faith is when you decide to fill the missing piece of yourself with the belief in something greater than yourself. It’s making a connection with a force you can’t control and allowing it to mean something to you as an individual. It’s putting complete trust in the path you are taking, because whether or not the road you take is the right one, you have your faith in whatever doctrine speaks to you the most to guide and support you.

The labyrinth may not even have an exit. But it doesn’t need to. The journey through the endless crossroads and sudden stops is enough adventure for a lifetime. We just have to find the faith and courage to live as if our mindless wander through the world is the path we are supposed to be on.

The Choice to Have A Choice

Growing up, my siblings and I had a lot of freedom.  As long as we made great grades, did our work, and stayed out of trouble, how we decided to live our life was our own choice.  We could believe what we wanted, make our own life choices, and hang out with whoever we chose.  So it makes sense that the four of us are unbelievably different from each other.  Yet, even with this freedom and our many differences, we all ended up coming out mostly alright.  Our religious beliefs range from atheist to Universalist Christian.  Our morals range similarly.  It is easy to see that we grew up with different choices, different ideas instilled in us.  I believe that each and every person has a chance to have their own choices and opinions, just like our parents raised us to do.

I believe in choice.  I myself have made the choice to have a certain religion, certain morals, and a certain way of life.  I have come to the realization that others may have made different choices.  And while these choices may not be similar to my own, I have also realized that I have no right, according to my morals, to say that these decisions are wrong.  Each person acts and lives in what they think is right.  I have no bearing on others’ mindsets, and they have little influence on mine.  Where does it say that we can’t live peacefully?  As long as their lifestyles don’t endanger others, they should have the choice to live that way.

I have made the choice to believe in God.  I am a Christian, trying to do my best to live in the way of my beliefs.  The core of these beliefs is to love everyone I meet, not to judge others, and to live by the way of the Holy Bible.  I believe in doing what I believe is right, in choosing my beliefs and showing them through my actions.

I have made the choice to believe that no one is perfect.  I know I am nowhere near this unreachable objective so many people wish to find. Yet, I don’t mind the way I am, because I have a different outlook on life that may seem strange to an outsider’s eyes.  The choices I make, the choices everyone makes, may not seem like the right one, but I make my choices work for me. I rejoice in life itself, because life is such a rare gift.  But, with such an amazing, short adventure, what time do I have to worry about what others choose to do?  I believe in living MY life.  If I live happily, follow my beliefs, and care for others as my God does, I should not have the time or need to tell other people how they should live their lives.  And in my mind, no one else should have that want either.

Choice.  The decision to live and how. 

This I believe.

A question was raised, “What does it mean to be inspired by God?”

The circle of adults all thought for a moment.

One softly answered, “Allowing God to speak through you.”

The others hummed their approval and nodded in unison.

A young girl sits in their midst, old enough to understand, but too young to contradict.

Her mind races in silence, screaming at the ignorance surrounding her.

The purpose of the adults were to question the Word, to find the meaning in the scripture.

But their questions are shallow, and their answers anchored against the very thing they question.

They think they accomplish something, stepping outside of the norm to gain knowledge.

The young girl took it much further.

They questioned the history, the authors; she questioned the message, the meaning.

They asked, “Who put the text together?”

She silently begged, “What does this mean for our culture?”

They reduced their worship to a simple, “Live as inspired by God.”

She thinks only of “Live as inspired by love.”

Whether that is because of God, or because of her heart,

for through love comes passion, and through passion comes meaning.

 

We, as the youth of our country, must learn to find our own way in the world left to us. We must break free of the lessons drilled into our young minds. We cannot rely on the previous generation to teach us the way we must live, for the world changes each moment, and no one knows what the future will hold. Whether through religion, morality, education, or apathy, we must find our own means to find reason in our lives. If we live through love, passion, and empathy, we have a chance to create our own culture, one that fits the state of our world, and not the remnants of the world our society once knew. Do not allow the words of history to dictate the way you live today.

History should be remembered, not relived.

We create our own history, and the chance to write it is now.

We cannot wait-there is no reason to.

We may be the future, but more importantly, we are the present.

A Message to the Public

We do not put up a fight,

we do not stand against your ignorance.

We simply use words to express what life has bluntly thrown our way.

We create stories and rhythms that fall short of describing our lives.

We let our souls flow into the pages,

because our souls are the only part of our bodies we have full control over.

We implant seedlings of curiosity into the minds of the youth,

hoping those seeds will sprout into the metaphorical tree of knowledge.

We yearn for the unknowable, and seek what we do not understand.

We look to the skies and see not a god, but a hope of something more.

We look below us and see not hell, but the foundation of the future.

Time and time again, we witness words being used to fuel hatred and suffering,

so we do the only thing we can-we use them to repair what was broken and build new life.

Whispered words, muttered melodies, silent songs,

some of us grow quieter because you refuse to hear us.

But they say the quietest people have the loudest minds,

and the time for silence is over, the time for honesty has arrived.

It is not up to you to choose our words, but it is up to you to choose our message.

Do we simply write to fulfill some vague need to be heard?

Or do we serve the greater purpose of guiding our generation into honesty and knowledge?

Choose wisely, for your choice impacts only what you care deeply about: yourself.

We do not care-we have completed our job when our pen lifts from the paper.

-Written by one who is tired of being misunderstood-she doesn’t care anymore

Reviving a Revolution of the Mind

From the condemned breaths of our predecessors, we give new life to the world, and add our own stories to the patterns of humanity.  We forgo our places in “souvenir history” and truly carve a place for ourselves in the infinite circle that we define as life.  The revived revolution for our most basic of defined rights as Americans-the freedom of expression through speech and writing.  Breaching the conformity of educational values and instilling ideas of self-creation in the next generation.

This is what we strive for.

-Written by a writer who lost her soul and is still searching for it

Winter is Magic

There is something magical in that crisp air that turns your breath to steam, leaving visible proof of your life.  Walking in the cold for no reason other than to feel the rush of warmth through your body when you go back inside.  Having a perfectly reasonable explanation for wrapping yourself in a cocoon of blankets.  Drinking hot chocolate and burning your mouth because you couldn’t wait for the sweet nectar to cool.  Staring out at the gray sky and hoping for snow-the gentle softness that covers everything in a pure, unifying sheet.  The upbeat sounds of Christmas music wherever you go.  Wearing warm, baggy clothes and not feeling bad about it.  Embracing the cold and all the while looking forward to spring.  There is no doubt-winter is magic.