The eyes and mind of sensibility.

It's time to bring rationality back into style.


Flagging the Ban: An Undivided Nation

The American flag continues to stand proudly at the UC Irvine campus.  Photo by Logic Meets Reason.

The American flag continues to stand proudly at the UC Irvine campus. Photo by Logic Meets Reason.

The University of California at Irvine has garnered media attention recently after six students proposed a legislation that would remove the American flag from the student government lobby. Although the executive office has vetoed the legislation, there is a slim chance the ban can still take effect.

These students were elected as student body representatives and they were relied upon to echo the voices of all their classmates as they embarked in various decision-making tasks throughout each of their terms. However, the concept of “representing the people” soon dissipated as they used their higher standing to accomplish goals outside the moral realm and popular demand.

I am an alumnus of UC Irvine and a proud Anteater. My four years at the university are ones that I would never take back. My undergraduate life was spent on a campus that did not represent extremist views. Instead our academic environment embraced all cultures, political affiliations, and personal beliefs. Students had the freedom to express themselves through organizing clubs, writing articles in the school newspaper, and even through radio broadcast. I never felt like a minority among my peers and I knew that despite our differences, we shared one common bond…. The love for our school and an appreciation for the country we reside in.

Fast forward to present day and six outliers in the UC Irvine community chose to threaten the existence of our nation’s flag. It was a movement that disappointed alumni, shocked the nation, and tarnished the image of the university.

I sat back in my chair reading the headlines baffled and confused as to why anyone living in the United States would find Old Glory offensive. I read the proposed legislation, struggling to comprehend the author’s rationale in creating a “culturally inclusive space” and describing flags as “weapons for nationalism.” I further learned that prior to the written legislation, unknown individual(s) took down the flag from the student government lobby and placed it in the Vice President’s office to indicate “discomfort” with its presence. This act lead to the subsequent efforts to pass the legislation.

I pride myself in being American because this nation has given me the privilege to live a righteous life since the day I was born. It has honored its promises to me as a citizen that my rights and beliefs will forever be guarded by the protections written within the Constitution. This country has provided me with an abundance of opportunities and I find it my responsibility to honor, respect, and pledge my allegiance to the stars and stripes of my land.

There is a tremendous amount of irony blanketing this situation at UC Irvine. Every young adult has the capacity to choose where he or she can obtain a higher education. When you select a public American institution to receive your undergraduate degree, you are choosing this country to support your personal endeavors. You have selected this society, this lifestyle, this culture, and this government to spend the next four years of your life with. Yes, with that choice to stay in the United States comes your right to freely express yourself. However, when a person exercises the rights bestowed to them with the intent to return the favor in degradation, hypocrisy comes into the limelight.

The world is a treasure chest unlocked and accessible to everyone. Every country has a different philosophy and governmental structure to offer. To those dissatisfied with America, I offer you everywhere else and perhaps you’ll find a country more habitable and suited to your tastes. In the meantime, as long as you maintain residency in my home I ask you respect my lifestyle and my décor.

Americans have valued the concept of this nation being a “melting pot.” We have humbly accepted the reality that people choose America, but do not necessarily agree with everything it stands for. These differing beliefs are palatable and we swallow our pride because we are a nation of great diversity. We respect those that refuse to pledge to our flag, we understand that some prefer not to use the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and we try our best to accommodate those that may have not fully grasped the English language. Our nation is consistently evolving working to recognize all citizens and give each inhabitant a chance to achieve the American dream.

The United States flag is one of the most significant representations of this country. Men and women have sacrificed their lives for the entire population so that current and future generations can live with the freedom they so rightfully deserve. The red, white, and blue stares back at us with the ultimate compassion for our wellbeing. It will pass no judgment on who you are or where you came from. It flies with the wind, teaching us the value in working together as a unit. Standing high and tall all throughout this nation you can never avoid its prominence within our society.

Throughout this entire flag fiasco, I spent a great deal of time reading American’s reactions to the proposal. I discovered that each individual put aside his or her political differences. The dividing line suddenly disappeared and everyone banded together to defend the flag. All of us, whether immigrants or born citizens, have a unique relationship with our country. Yet, no matter how different our stories are, we share a unified loyalty to defend the things we honor and ultimately radiate patriotism. The moment our flag is threatened, we see society act upon what the stars and stripes represent: Standing together…. one indivisible nation.


We Grow Indoors

A blogger’s challenge rests on the ability to consistently develop new topics that will ignite a passion to translate a new idea into eye-catching words.

When it comes to the management of my blog site, I rely heavily on quality and less on quantity.  I’d rather publish work in long intervals that provides an impactful response, than throwing meaningless content back to back.

After months and months attempting to seek my next big topic, the idea came to me, ironically all thanks to Facebook.

Staring at the glaring white and blue screen of my profile page, my fingers voluntarily decided to type in my status box the following thought:

“Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions our youth face today is whether they should post their picture on Instagram with filter or use multiple pictures with Frametastic. Twitter a status or Facebook it. Use their cell phone, tablet, or laptop for Internet use. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer when I had to choose between my bicycle, razor scooter, or Barbie dolls…”

There was very little optimism that I would receive high-acclaim or support for the status and, indeed, my instincts proved me right.  Out of the 478 friends (a number way below the norm of 1,000 friends) on my list, only three liked the status.

The lack of reactivity that night merely proved that both our younger and older generations are guilty of making those same decisions as stated above.  No one would dare support a thought that reflects and denounces their own actions.  At least I had the audacity to pinpoint a societal flaw, which I myself commit at times.

It is evident that we live life aware of the fact that we will be subjected to the world’s transformative process.  We change, our atmosphere changes, and the way we react with our environment changes as well.

However, entering the 21st century, society, throughout the years, has gradually lost its eagerness and patience to embrace their lives with an active mindset.  These days the majority of us function with such passivity and the culprit partly at fault for this is the progression of technology.

Before I proceed, let’s make note that technology has been an incredible asset to our world.  Whether it’s for medicinal purposes or relaying information (such as a blog), the tools that technology has given birth to provide us the unique privilege of living a blissful lifestyle.

Yet, what is one’s gain is another’s loss.  The rise of technology has gradually diminished the enthusiasm to run, jump, skip, and play.  It’s as if we were all flowers who have genetically evolved from needing sunlight to survive to now relying on shade.

Have you driven through the streets of your neighborhood lately?  Do you see a group of kids riding bikes or playing basketball?  Yeah, me neither.  Walk by any chalk art on a driveway or sidewalk?  Haven’t seen any either.

I remember when parents would kill to live near a cul-de-sac just so their children could play outside safely.  My childhood was on an enclosed street where I would have my friends waiting on our driveway for me to come home so I could play (mind you I was born in 1990, so this wasn’t too long ago).  Nowadays that mentality is practically nonexistent.

Recall the days when kids would beg and plead their parents for a skateboard, a trampoline, or even Skip It (Google it if it’s before your time)?  For those that lived in the era of Barbie dolls and action figures, quality of these products has decreased while the focus has leaned towards technological developments.  It’s a disappointing sight to watch your five-year-old cousin play with Barbie dolls made entirely of cheap plastic, enlarged heads, and exaggerated makeup.  If you’re like me and have kept your old school Barbie dolls, don’t even think about throwing them away.  You’ll thank yourself when you have children and want them to be influenced by dolls that possess natural beauty.

Remember when pumping air in your bike tires or handball was a common task?  Have you seen someone use an air pump lately?  Nor have I.  That’s probably because bikes are collecting dust in garages while watching two kids play handball against a wall would be a miraculous discovery.

It is evident that technology has encouraged lethargy and sluggishness. No more VHS tapes to rewind, no more putting a CD in your Walkman, no more blowing off dust on your Nintendo cartridge, no more taking film to get developed, and the list goes on and on.

Agreed, we have become more efficient and timesaving thanks to modernization.  However, what is lost is the sentimentality and meaningfulness that our daily activities used to have.

What about those days when you would make family trips to the Virgin Record Store to buy the newest CDs that were released?  Now everyone is one their own laptop buying their songs on iTunes.

How about going to Costco and before shopping you would visit the packages of developed photos?  It was an exciting scavenger hunt finding your name while an urge of anticipation hits wanting to see how the photos turned out.  Now we scroll through pictures as opposed to grabbing the photo and moving it to the back of the stack.

Or how about board games?  Parcheesi, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes, Clue, Perfection, Ask Zandar, Don’t Wake Daddy, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Gator Golf?  Oh that’s right, we have Angry Birds… how enthralling.

Are we seeing the trend here?  What used to be an opportunity to build interpersonal relationships, gain a sensation of tangibility, and make the effort to interact with the world has now disappeared.  Most of the activities we indulge in are face to screen, alone, and on our bed or couch.

There is an addiction to technology and as with all obsessive disorders there lies severe consequences.  Personalities are monotonous; individuals are more distant, avoiding confrontation, and eventually the only satisfaction is staying enclosed committing the venomous act.

The realism of this lifestyle downgrade is that reformation is impossible.  These technological tools will always be on our counters, at our desks, and lying beside us.  Who wouldn’t be tempted to have access to the world in their hands?

Unfortunately, we can’t close down iTunes and reopen record stores or ban digital cameras and bring back film.  Just like our world spins in one direction, our society progresses, it does not regress.

Nonetheless, most of us have overlooked the significance that lie behind traditions that we were accustomed to over 12 years ago.  Especially for those of us that have not settled down and established our own families, it is vital that we influence our children in a way that promotes extroversion and not introversion.  The more our generation reconnects with our childhood upbringing, the greater the chance we have to encourage our future generations to grow up outside with the world and not isolated indoors.

2011 Revealed The Green-Eyed Monster

I always consider January as one of the most reflective out of the twelve months.  For the beginning days of the New Year, an individual is inclined to look back to the previous year and accumulate all the lessons learned as well as all the revelations encountered.  After considering all the occurrences of the past year in that person’s life, they begin to set a new goal for themselves or, more commonly known, a New Years Resolution.

Setting a resolution doesn’t necessarily need to be a physical or active transformation in your life such as losing weight, quitting smoking, making more money etc.  On the contrary, a New Year’s Resolution can be a change in the way you think or the way you want to perceive the world in the upcoming months.  Essentially, a New Year’s goal can be geared towards transforming yourself mentally and intellectually.

Needless to say, 2012 proves to set the tone for this intellectual transformation.  2011 was, overall, another remarkable year that has now come and gone; however, it has brought to my attention a valuable life lesson that I plan to take with me into the New Year… avoid the Green-Eyed Monster.

My parents are never hesitant to speak their mind, which I’ve always appreciated throughout my upbringing.  One of the most valuable lessons I obtained from their teachings was discussing the different types of individuals that I will be subjected to as I enter the real world.  They were quick to advise that the worst type of human being to encounter is a jealous and envious one.

Being young at the time of this discussion, I was living a phantasmal world where I truly believed that once you enter adulthood, no such quality exists in an individual.  We grow up, we become professionals, we mind our own business.  But let’s be logical and reasonable here folks.

One of the most grotesque, vicious, and shameful characteristics any individual can possess is that of envy towards another person.  It is deemed a heartless act that cannot be easily pardoned.  Possessing jealousy is not just a sentiment that someone withholds; an individual can also act upon it.  They can manipulate others into believing falsities about you and attempt to indirectly sabotage you in any way they can.  While some live life through rose-colored glasses, others see through green.  Their eyes only see the best quality in a person in the worst way.  Hence why I dub these individuals as the Green-Eyed Monsters.

Unfortunately, for us humans, a Green-Eyed Monster is not easily identifiable.  For the initial meet and greet, you are exposed to an artificial persona.  Friendly, kind, and courteous, you can expect the whole package.  It isn’t until your relationship blossoms into a strengthening friendship that the transformative phase begins.  This is their tactic.  They spend time with you and coax you into talking about your successes as they gain your trust.  They thrive on the positive aspects of your life that you share with them, the personality traits that make people want to hang out with you, and the physical qualities that make others attracted to you.

“You’re great!”  “You’re fantastic!”  “That’s incredible!”  “Amazing job!”  They’ll respond, cringing inside as they flash a big smile.  Appreciative for having such a supportive friend, you move forward, oblivious to the consequences that are ahead.

It may take days, it may take months, it may even take years until this person exposes his or her inner self.  Nonetheless, the big reveal will come.

No matter what action they commit against you, the deed is done.  A simple apology will not suffice (that is if they even have the courage to apologize to your face), you must acknowledge that this was a voluntary act and they had a choice.  They chose to behave maliciously against you.  Is this the kind of friend you want?

As much as you feel the urge to mend the situation, a jealous individual cannot revert back to normality.  Nobody can change another person, only they can change themselves.  A person of that quality does not deserve the opportunity to enjoy the company of a decent human being.  Having you as a friend is a privilege, not a right.

For those that possess envious qualities, they need to realize how villainous of a trait he or she has.  Their unattractive character will push everyone away and they are only left with themselves to idolize.  People who are like this may either have familial issues, image issues, or even self-esteem issues. They then take their inner aggression out on others who are content and live successful lives with confidence.  They commit social brutality towards others while bringing the unnecessary drama to come out and play.

Irrespective, as heartbreaking as their lives may be, nobody forced them to act this way.  If you are a functioning member of society and have been taught right versus wrong, then you have the full-fledged capability of controlling the choices that are made.  There are no excuses and no exceptions.  Grow up.

Being subjected to a Green-Eyed Monster might place a temporary strain in your social life, but we must take these challenging moments as a lesson to live by.  Instances like these enable us to understand that meeting an individual of such high caliber is one of many treasure hunts we are given in life.  The good people are out there, just trust fate to be the map that will guide you in the right path.

And thus, after years “truly believing” that we outgrow juvenile behavior, 2011 proved me wrong.  I invite you all to rethink your resolutions for this year.  Commit to the ones already made, but consider including an intellectual resolution.  A goal you can set to positively transform the way you think about others and maybe even yourself.  Think about the way you’ve been treated, the way you want to be treated, and how you want to treat others for the New Year.  A change in your attitude as well as how you perceive others may just be the trick to bypassing those Green-Eyed Monsters out there.

Boundless Writing

The best way to describe the act of writing is to identify it as an art form.  Each word is a color on a palette, a piece to a puzzle, a stroke with a brush that unites to form a masterpiece: a sentence.

Writing is such a unique form of expression.  People use it as a creative output, while others use it to transcribe their pictorial thoughts into words and some just find it the best way to communicate with others.

In school, no matter what grade level you’re in or what your major is in college, we are all subjected and required to expand our writing abilities.  This is the time in our lives when we learn how to properly write a thesis sentence, know how to organize our body paragraphs, and write a valid conclusion at the end.

In college, we are further taught to compose an acceptable research paper with the same elements (intro, body, and conclusion) with the addition of a bibliography or works cited page to finish off the twelve-page product.

If you decide to pursue journalism, on the other hand, you might just learn how to structure an article that is not only intriguing to read, but is physically appealing to the eye.  After all, you want your article to stand out next to all the other black letters on the gray newspaper page!

The purpose of attaining an education is to learn structure.  To comprehend a set of rules to later test yourself to see if you can apply them properly.  Although we are taught to follow a basic writing structure, is writing really a form of expression that should have set boundaries?

Writing is not solely based on the words being read.  It is also dependent on the way you present those words to your audience.  If everyone were to follow the step by step structural procedure that is instilled upon us, pieces of literature will not only be disinteresting, but possibly predictable.  The arrangement of the paragraphs and the order in which you put them is just as important as the intricate language you develop within your writing.

For example, does the end of the story ideally have to be placed within the last few pages of your piece?  Of course not!  There are plenty of works that have introduced the conclusion in the beginning to develop a different kind of effect to their readers.

If this post is directed to disregard writing structure, then the conclusion can be drawn that our educational system is pointless.  This is an incorrect assumption.  Obtaining an education is extremely vital and it is the structure that we are exposed to in our academic world that prepares us for a successful outcome in the future.  While our educational system is geared towards subjecting us to structural elements and assuring that we use them appropriately, there is, however, no guarantee that all of us will mimic that structure when we apply them to the real world.

A student’s subjection to the basic structure in writing can be considered a foundational element, a quantity of information that is just enough to prepare you for your independent career.  It seems that the intended purpose of school is to instruct on the basics of the specific field of study in writing that we pursue.

Graduating from school is mere proof that you have understood the main structure of the writing field and are fully capable of contributing to society with your writing in an aesthetic and knowledgeable matter.

As previously mentioned, the writing structure that is taught opens a door that enables us to take those basics and transform them into our own unique style.

Plato (yes, another philosophical reference) has discussed his own issue with the concept of writing.  He advocated the use of conversing as far superior to the method of writing.  He believed that the use of letter writing to convey ones own thoughts and opinions would be misleading to the recipient of the letter.  He noted that writing in itself was prone to misinterpretation.  His preference of conversing and live interaction between two people, he believed, allowed for clarification and a more direct way of getting ones perspectives understood the way they are intended to be understood.

Yet, what is diversity if not to have differing viewpoints and interpretations?  I was in my local coffee shop not too long ago and I overheard a conversation between two women who were discussing and correcting a book that one of them was writing.  The writer of the book had described her characters bangs and the other woman thought that the description was worded awkwardly.  They were both discussing how they would have described an individual’s bangs.  The woman critiquing was pushing for a change that would eventually result in words written in her own perspective and not the author’s.  Why should the woman’s physical details of HER character have to be changed just because one person believed that someone’s description of bangs did not satisfy their own standards?

Why does everything have to have one solidified answer?  As well acclaimed as Plato is, I can’t seem to agree with his idea of writing.  We need to have contrasting opinions in our society.  We need to ignite discussion and share how we perceive what we see.  If you think bangs hang above the eyebrows rather than dangle, then that’s the way you see it and so be it.  Readers will be exposed to your way of thinking, while formulating their own ideas as well.  If we all understood what everyone was saying, then what do we have left to talk about?

The same goes with writing structure.  Be open minded about the basic structure being presented in school just as the book writer listened to her critic, but take advantage of your creative freedom when you are fully educated in the structure.  Writing is boundless, it’s an art form, it’s a way to share with the world your perceptions, your unique way of thinking, your stylistic choices and most importantly your innovation.

The Scales of Life

Mottos are the slogans to our life.  They advertise the direction we plan to live our lives by, whether it be a representation of the morals we believe in or the elements that we find important in order to move in a successful direction for the future.

A way to determine what motto we closely associate ourselves with is by listening to the advice we provide to others.

In a recent outing with a close friend of mine, we discussed the difference between an individual’s public and private life.  She asked my viewpoint on the distinction, and where I would personally draw the line between information about my personal life that I share with others versus the information that I prefer to keep to myself.  I explained to her that the best thing you can do in life is to maintain balance.

As I explained to her this perspective, I realized that the idea of “balance” is something I not only use as an advisory tool, but also a theory that I firmly stand by.

When considering the concept of balance, I told my friend that we cannot fanaticize over one specific extreme; being public or being private.  If we are too private, our social abilities go astray and our communication with the exterior world is nearly impossible.  Being overtly private does not enable an individual to find commonalities with others or seek the diverse opinions from people when needed.  For those that choose to be explicit and public with their life, they are prone to pushing people away.  Friends or even relatives may feel discomfort with the type of information you share or they feel that you put too much reliance on them for their counseling rather than seeking the answers to your personal problems on your own.

If we cannot choose one over the other, the next best option is to combine both into one balanced proportion.  We have the ability to share certain experiences and life troubles with the people we most rely on for their advice, while establishing a sense of independence by preserving the aspects of our life that should remain private and seeking resolutions on our own.  People will not see you as needy nor will they see you as a conceited know-it-all.

The idea of balance dates back to Aristotelian times.  The famous philosopher Aristotle had once presented the idea of “means.”  To summarize, a mean is ideally the philosophical term for balance.  For Aristotle, you must have the mean of the two extremes in order to properly represent a specific quality.  Choosing one side over the other would result in total chaos.

I appreciate the idea of balance because it can fit into almost any kind of situation or dilemma.

Being a student in the world of academia, there comes a time where we have to establish our priorities.  As a general rule, an individual’s education should always be a top priority.  However, at times, we see those students that are always hidden behind a textbook trapped in the learning realm, and then there are those who prefer setting the homework aside as they embrace a carefree lifestyle.  Neither option is an acceptable one.

Balance is the equivalent of well roundedness.  In the educational field, every student should strive to be academically savvy and socially involved.  It is not only important to focus on your studies and aim for the high grade, but it is also equally important to get involved in extracurricular activities while creating unforgettable memories with friends.  As soon as you begin your first year in high school, that is not only the time when your grades count the most, but it is also when the most important years of your life socially occur.  This continues into your college years as well.

Even prospective colleges, whether undergraduate or graduate, anticipate that students balance their academics and extracurricular activities. A student may have an outstanding 4.0 GPA, but if they fail to show social involvement within their school, an admissions board will not be able to identify whether you possess leadership abilities, social skills, or even a goal-driven attitude.  On the other hand, you may be able to prove your involvement, but if you cannot excel academically, then it is difficult to show whether or not you can handle the rigorous material that you will be subjected to if accepted.

The list goes on and on.  Whether it be your love life, your professional life, or even the food you chose to eat, the theory of balance should always come into consideration.

Think about it, remember the 2004 documentary entitled “Supersize Me” where Morgan Spurlock ate McDonalds every single day?  It seemed that whoever saw the film, found McDonalds unappealing after watching Spurlock gain an excessive amount of weight and suffer a number of health obstacles.

However, what people don’t realize is that this documentary focused on one extreme; living solely off of food from McDonalds.  Even if Spurlock ate at Burger King, In and Out, or Carl’s Jr. every day, the result would be the same.  It is the consequence of choosing an extreme.  We must all remember that moderation is key.

The theory of balance is a valuable and essential tool that should be added to the life survival guide.  Inexplicitly, our society takes advantage of the versatility of the idea behind balance.  Whether it be Aristotle’s theory of means within philosophy, the symbolic scales held by the lady of justice within law, or the effects of food within our system scientifically, it all leads to the consideration of equalizing two extremes.

In the end, each of us should consider living our lives based on this Aristotelian concept.  Not only should you take into account the idea of balance when making decisions or providing advice to someone, but also, think about the motto you stand by.  The slogan that represents the way you choose to live your life.  There is no right or wrong answer.  You know what is best for you.  Stand by what you feel will provide you the best life possible.  Subject people to your unique perspective, and be open to accepting the viewpoints of others.  A motto represents you, but it can also inspire others.  It does two jobs in one.  It’s balanced out.

The Willpower Diet

In the hierarchy of attraction, both men and women can agree that it is the external appearance that overpowers any other trait a human possesses.  For women our eyes hunger for the seductive appearance of a debonair Casanova, while the men double take when they encounter a gussied up, model-like babe with a tight dress and high-heels.  Essentially, the journey of establishing a first impression begins with how the eyes perceive human externalities.  That’s when the pressure comes in.

An individual’s image is a powerful tool within our society.  A good image benefits you professionally and personally.  It’s unfortunate, but you’re eyes always get the last word.

Even more specifically, a person’s weight is sensitive to a person’s image.  Every morning the first thing we come face to face with is our own reflection in the bathroom mirror.  For some, they spend a few moments in their day analyzing their entire body: turning side to side, pinching how much fat they have on their stomach, and looking at the “work” that needs to be done for their body to be considered “top notch.”

Then you open your closet and seek the best set of clothes that are not only in style, but can successfully cover up the protruding fat that you do not want anyone to know about.  But even then, you go out into the world with low self-esteem and discomfort, because you know that at this moment in your life you are failing to meet society’s standards of beauty.

There are always those moments in your life when you realize a lifestyle change has to be made.  When you go shopping you pick a stack of clothes hoping they will make superb fits, but truth be told none of them make the cut.  The unwanted clothes are put aside.  It’s just you and your tearful reflection once again.  You cry in your room because no one has asked you on a date.  You look at pictures of yourself on Facebook and you can’t stand looking at yourself next to all your “in shape” friends.

You’ve had those moments of motivation, dieting, buying a gym membership, and you start off very diligent in your routine.  However, whether it be temptation to stay in bed Saturday morning or splurge on dinner Thursday night, there is never an end to what you started.

My family has always advocated the use of “willpower.”  To seek what you want you must possess the ability to encourage yourself to improve the quality of your life.  It’s a term that you don’t hear very often and ideally its significance is extremely powerful that it has the capability to transform an individual in a positive direction.

Most of us don’t recognize when we have willpower.  With dieting, people assume that it is the recommended food that initiates the weight loss, but in fact, it is you tolerating the recommended food for a long period of time that allows you to have the results you want.  It’s not the weight lifting or the cardio that you do, but instead, the amount of pressure you put on yourself to burn what you want lost.  It’s you being able to stand on the scale every morning and face the facts about your weight.  If you don’t have the willpower to even look at the numbers on a daily basis, you won’t acknowledge the predicament you may be in.

In the end, it’s not about the dieting or the exercising.  Those are tools that are used for weight loss.  Instead, it is how you use those tools to make a difference in yourself.  You can stand on the treadmill and walk 2 MPH and you can eat a stick of celery one day and a cheeseburger the next, but that would entail that you are not using your tools wisely.  If you motivate yourself to jog on the treadmill and plug your nose as you eat a bland stick of celery every day, that’s when your willpower has just kicked in.

At the end of the weight loss tunnel, that’s when you truly realize how much of an impact your image has had, before and after.

The good-looking guy or girl in high school runs into you after a few years not seeing you.  They never gave you the time of day before, and now they can’t seem to stop smiling and looking at the new you.  Your friends and family have nothing but “ooo’s” and “awe’s” when they see your new appearance.  Just walking at the grocery store you notice that more attention is given to you than ever before.  Most importantly, the stores you could never go into, you now have full access to.  You can finally take more than leave behind.

As flattering as this may all be, remember why you entered this journey in the first place.  You built the willpower in order to make yourself feel happy, not pleasing the eyes of the people around you.  Think about this the next time you consider losing weight.  Every decision you make is based upon satisfying you, not to please other people.  Willpower is a personal development and so is weight loss.

When you enter a good position in your life, keep it stable.  Willpower is always within you; it never goes away.  It’s just a matter of when and how you will activate it to do its job to enable you to reach your goals.  You will know exactly when you’ve reached that stability when you can finally walk the streets knowing “I’m proud to be who I am.”  When you can finally smile at a good-looking guy or girl, knowing that there’s at least a small percentage that they find you attractive.  When you can enter a store and ask if they have a smaller size.  When you can look at the mirror every morning and know that today and everyday is going to be an outstanding day.

The uniqueness of our society is based upon the diversity that we are subjected to everyday.  What makes our world beautiful are the differences the lie upon us.  Some people are proud and happy with their body type whether it be curvy or stick and bone, but for those that aren’t, a crying session in your room is not going to solve your problems.  Life is a precious gift that was given to all of us; don’t let your personal obstacles prevent you from enjoying it.  As I told my friend, “The best gift the world could ever receive is getting to know you.”

Friends Grow on Trees. Pick Wisely.

They always say that college is the best four years of your life.  It’s where you’ll meet your life long friends and create unforgettable memories.  As we build these powerful friendships, whether in school or in life, we must always tune in to our rational thinking and assure ourselves that the friends we chose define what a friend means to us.

The educational atmosphere is a portal to a social realm where we are constantly constructing in our minds ways we can simply belong.  Essentially, by day we think with our minds, and by night we seek with our hearts.

It’s difficult to function at a university unless you attain access to some social capabilities.

For some they feel pressured and seek a quick fix by finding the first group of friends that will accept them.  The consequences speak for themselves.  Yes, you have what appears to be a friend, but you don’t have what is defined as a friend.  They’ll mistreat you once, twice, three times and more, but you’ll just keep excusing their actions, because after all, everyone makes mistakes.  Rational thought is impeded by our thirst for acceptance.

For others, they simply just let nature take its course, allowing destiny to unite them with the group they belong to.  They’ll get to know them, spend some time with them, and find the commonalities that may exist between the two of them.  You go through a process; you discover what you cherish most about that friend and if they will be that positive impact you’ll need in the future.  These people are more likely to have those friendships that are worth the time, are valuable, and will, in the end, last forever.

This might sound somewhat cliché to most of you, but what we don’t realize is that this cliché analysis blossoms into the main problem that exists within our generation… We don’t think before we act.

And it amazes me.  Why aren’t people seeking friends with good and decent qualities?  Or better yet, why do people stop searching for friends after they have nestled into a group of their own?

In one of my classes this past year we learned about how our society is living in a fast paced environment.  Everyone is reliant on technology to give us answers in the quickest way possible disrupting our independent thinking.  I feel that this is what our generation has come to.  We pick the first set of people that accept us, and we skip the entire process of getting to know someone.  You want to know how people on Facebook get thousands of friends?  There’s your answer.  They don’t care about how they met you, who you are, or what you do, they just know that they did meet you, and the easiest way to classify you as a friend is by connecting through Facebook.  Accepting a friend online gives you that quick answer that you’ve been looking for to this question: Are we friends?

We always look at the exteriors.  Just because some guy likes to drink, and that girl is a risk taker, doesn’t mean they’ll make a great friend.

This week I’ve had a lot of time to think, and consider the kinds of actions that our generation takes in this world in regards to friendships.  It’s disappointing to see that those that possess the qualities of a good friend get left behind, while the deceivers excel socially.  However, when we reach those times when our head is down, you have to lift it back up and tell yourself… They’re the ones missing out.

Having these encounters has made me a stronger person and a wiser picker out of the friend tree.

A person should have zero tolerance for anyone that disrespects them, because you know that you have worked extremely hard to be the best friend you can be.  You certainly don’t deserve that kind of treatment.  You have to have the “if you’re nice to me I’m nice to you,” attitude and it’s the time when it becomes a one-way street that you should close your lane down.  You should always stand your ground.

It is only natural to feel some form of upset, but this cannot be a long lasting effect.  A betrayer has done its job when it leaves their victims scarred.  You can’t let someone dominate you like this.  Strength must accumulate to allow you to carry on with your life and join society once again, continuing the search for your true friends.  When they see your happiness without them, they know they’ve failed.

The thoughtless acts of our generation can further be associated with boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.  Everyone is so accustomed to finding the easy bait that everyone else who is worth dating is avoided. But that’s another topic we’ll discuss at another time.

It’s an unfortunate circumstance when no one is willing to take the time and effort to do the right thing, benefiting them in the long run.  Instead they do the wrong thing, which only satisfies their needs in the short run.  What a smart move.

The point that I’m trying to make is, that we all need to take a moment in our lives and assess the relationships we have.  Are your friends treating you right?  Are you treating your friends right?  Be honest with yourself.

Some people don’t value the importance of a friendship.  What people don’t understand is that friends are the people that will be surrounding your life, they will characterize who you are, and they will be the ones you rely on for support when you need it.  Think for yourself; don’t let easy accessibility get in your way of finding good quality people in your life.  Most importantly, don’t let one person’s cruel decisions destroy you.  Things happen for a reason, and if that person was not meant to be in your life, then that means there’s a better person out there waiting to meet the best friend they’ll ever have.