Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lust and Appreciation

There is a difference, you know?

As I ponder my recently growing fascination with Korean films, (OK, specifically with Jang Hyuk. Google him!), I had to face up to which I've been feeling....lust or appreciation? Hmm?

I can admit he does remind me of one of my first young crushes, Bruce Lee.

My husband knows all about my viewing of almost every movie or television drama or reality show in which Jang Hyuk has appeared. Hubby's not worried. Should I be insulted?

Nah! He knows he has my heart. He knows I'm faithful. He knows I'm in this marriage for eternity. Mostly, he knows I have no chance of ever meeting this person IN person. No worries.

"Hyukkie" (as he's known by adoring fans) is Korean. He is a major star there. Let's say, like Brad Pitt to Americans.

It's been interesting to note his older work compared to his more current acting and see the growth, the maturity, and the improvement. There are a lot of women, myself included, who look at his body and think, "nice". Alright, it's more than nice. He's got the chiseled features, physical attributes, and fine acting skills. He's the whole package. That is something to be appreciated. (Or as we used to say in Chicago, he's all that AND a bag of chips AND a Coke and Snickers!)

In reality shows and interviews found, I see he's also a really nice man. Apparently, he is an intelligent warm person who loves being a family with his wife and children. He is responsible and kind to others treating everyone well. He, also, has a sense of humor about himself, which is always a good thing. He's calm and humble about his skills and treats everyone with respect. He's nearing 40 years old now but acts with women half his age. He's nearing 40 and can beat anyone half his age in physical contests due to his Jeet Kune Do training. He's nearing 40 and is in better condition than many half his age. The man can do push-ups on ONE THUMB for Heaven's sake! He is taking good care of himself.

The King of "Side-Eye"

That being said, it's easy to see why many follow his moves so closely. I will only say that his films and dramas have been worth the watch and I encourage others to do so. (Recommendation? Deep-rooted Tree, The Slave Hunters, The Client, Tazza, Iris 2, Thank You, Robber, The Flu, Fated to Love You....I could go on. A few of these are on Netflix or Amazon.)

We should all remember that in each film, in each photo, on each website, in each club, on each walk down the street, we will always see someone that is attractive in a way that we can either lust after or appreciate. Are we mature enough in our journey to know the difference and to, consciously and often with great difficulty, choose one or the other?

We are human and we are weak. So, we may not make the cut on one day. We have the freedom to think either way and need the strength to choose the right path. Is it enough to think, "This is someone's wife, husband, child, sister, or brother" to make the 'shift' in thought? How about, "This is MY brother or sister in this World"? Use whatever it takes. But use it. For your own sake.

If the line is ever crossed when I start to feel anything other than appreciation, I'll return to Confession and ask God's forgiveness for coveting, as well. Right now, I pray for him and his family, for him to become a Saint (that'll knock the Lust right outta ya!), and for myself to simply appreciate what God created like a landscape or sunset. We all deserve that type of appreciation.

Reboot Challenge? Ask yourself looking at pictures or people, which are you experiencing today? Honestly.

Reboot Challenge #2? Think of how would that person feel if they knew with which eyes you were viewing them. Creeped out or flattered?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Home for Every Child

There should be a home for every child but not just any home.

Children are a gift from God that deserve a loving home and should be treated as gifts.

I read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran when I was 12. I don't say that to brag, only that it made an impact on how I viewed my daughter, later.
On Children
 Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He l
oves also the bow that is stable.
They deserve a home with parents or guardians that love them and show it through their actions. Their actions, I said, not toys and games.

Children are not toys that parents can sit aside when they get bored with them or bothered by them once they can walk and talk back.

Children deserve more than just a home that feeds and clothes them and tosses money and cell phones at them.

Children need a home that they feel safe within it and safe talking with the adults there. They ask a lot of questions that should be answered if they are to grow properly.

Children need a home that doesn't have to include a 50" inch television but people who are interested in what the have to say about their day and their fears and thoughts.

Children need reassurance that their lives are stable.

Children need a home where they are comfortable and can sleep at night and dream the dreams of the innocent.

Children deserve a home where they are not expected to be the 'adult', forced into parent roles, and worrying about adult problems and adults over-sharing their business around them. In other words, there should be no one 'dumping' on them.

Children need a home that allows them to hit each stage of their development, not missing a step, so they are emotionally ready for maturity when it comes. I read that the human brain isn't fully matured until 25! We send 18 year olds out into the world with the thought they are 'done', like a baked cake!

Children deserve to feel freedom but have rules and discipline (Not hitting!). The original meaning is to teach, to train, to give instruction (Read: Disciple). Discipline the word began to include 'punish' during the 14th Century. But that's another post.

Children need a home where adults will show them a good, responsible, kind way to live their lives as they grow and encourage them in tasks that will help them later in life and able to love others.

Children need a home that is serious about education and morality, the keys to the rest of their lives.

Children deserve to feel protected from the World and its issues.

And if, God forbid, a serious problem exists in their lives, Children deserve to get the professional attention to help them through it or it stays with them the rest of their lives. We all know that adult or are that adult.

Children deserve to be children for as long as they can be.

Right now there are kids in countries afraid to sleep because of terrorists, unable to play outside because of gang violence, hungry in starving countries, submitted to the stress of their parents trying to earn a dollar or pay the electric bill because they spent money on gambling or hair or the man or woman in their lives, exposing their children to man after man after man or woman after woman, earning a great living but ignoring the children's emotional needs, giving children TMI (too much information) about their lives and troubles and past, making children stress over school with no help at home, pushing children to excel without a loving reason why, neglecting their children for an addiction, allowing them to be sexually abused, allowing their children to run the show in the home, otherwise, to make all the decisions parents should be making, not communicating with them on a personal level at all, leaving them to care for all the children even when they are home, ignoring their spiritual needs and safety and emotions and need for love, and beating them as you wouldn't a dog on the street, as it's said.

Is that any way for sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself to live?

Reboot Challenge? Hug a child today. Speak gentle kind words to one. One of them really needs it.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Everybody's Lookin' for Something

I've always liked that line of Annie Lennox's song.

I like it because it is so true, even if the rest of the song is pretty negative, i.e. some of them want to use you.

Now, what everyone looks for varies, exists, doesn't, is unique, is collective, is superficial, selfish, charitable, or soulful. That is what raises the fascination in me for others walking around this rock with me.

There has been no official data collected for this blog, only my observations. My Mom tells me I pay too much attention to others. She also worries that I 'give' too much. Little does she know, that I behave as if I'm an alien on this planet talking to many inhabitants and studying, if you will, behaviors and responses. (Ooh...that doesn't sound weird, at all!)

I observe all from tones of voices, facial expressions, body movements, what's said and what is not said, how smiles reach eyes or if they don't. I look at hands, posture, gaits, and willingness to connect with strangers. It's amazing what you can tell in a public place as mundane as a grocery store.

"I knew you were late because you were somewhere talking to somebody", I hear my mother's voice in my head.

Not everyone gets it.

If you look carefully, people tell their story without even realizing they are doing it. Our lives are written everywhere on us (past and present). It can be in what we chose to wear, or not wear that day. It can be in whether our eyes are willing to meet another's or if we suddenly find our feet interesting enough to keep our eyes downcast (unless it's a cultural mannerism). Are we fearful? Are we ill? Are we healthy? Are we helpful? Do we need help? Are we avoiding asking? Are we lying? Are we lying to others or to ourselves?

Watch, look, listen. It's taken many years to build this form of communication and I, intentionally, first look into the eyes, if they allow it. The eyes are, as said, the windows to the Soul. Are the draperies wrinkled with laugh lines or do people smile with more of a grimace that doesn't reach the upper two-thirds of their face?

I make sure I am not only reflecting what one is showing me but what I want to show to them. I make short comments and ask questions that don't require a simple Yes or No. We love to talk about ourselves. Not to make anyone paranoid, but we talk sometimes and divulge information we weren't intending to, especially to a stranger. How else are we to get to know and trust one another without that kind of interaction? We can't.

I'm proud of my brothers and sisters who see I mean them no harm. I'm not being manipulative, just curious. Rarely, have I actually had someone turn away without a connection of some kind. I've never felt fear of being harmed when I'm moved to approach a person. If I was not in the best of moods, I was the one that felt something or someone was missing from the day. It was Me.

It was Me not caring.

With every gift and blessing I've been given, I have no right, and no desire, to ignore others. If I sense a lie, I forgive and move on to something else. As I've said before, I pick my battles and there is no use walking through this world with a chip on my shoulder waiting for another human being to knock it off. I refuse to give anyone else that sort of control over my day, my feelings, or my life.

It's also said that if you want to know the truth, ask a child. That's why I love being around children. If they feel safe and loved, they have joyous laughs, belly-laughs! They run and sing and play and don't care how they look! They will stop to see if a friend is hurting. They hug. They are as open and honest as we should be as adults. They are more fun and relaxed.

I like to think that if we could keep more of that in us as adults, there would be fewer disputes about flags, race, nationality, money, land, violence, those who prey on the weak, those who con others, feel envy, mental and emotional illnesses, abuses, stresses and lies (Well, only about who ate the cookies!).

Reboot Challenge? Live like a kid today, loving, open, honest, kind and fearless! Note what you get back from others.