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Category Archives: Misc.

A little question on labels…

So, I answered an invitation to fill out a Nielsen survey, which I usually don’t do; but, this time I did.  No major problems with the survey itself.  But I filled in the comment section at the end, which I almost never do, even in the rare moments when I actually do fill out a survey.  But I have this issue with being labeled and I don’t like labeling others.  I think stereotypes are dumb.  I love people, regardless of color.  (Seriously, I heard one of my favorite Indian actors differentiate between himself and “white people” and I honestly, I suppose ignorantly, surprised!  When I do notice color, I don’t think of it as a negative.)  I know I probably fall into the trap of judging people far more than I realize, but it isn’t something I like doing.

I don’t mind someone asking about me.  I would love to discuss what I believe, and hear what others believe in return.  I don’t even need to try to convert anyone.  (I know, how ’bout that!)  On my end, it could just be about sharing, understanding, and knowing someone better.  I honestly believe knowing about someone else, even if he or she is different or believes differently, makes me stronger, helps me know him or her better, and helps me love others more I appreciate the differences.  It doesn’t threaten what I know, or what I believe. 

So, my question: Why ask someone to self-identify (lifestyle, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or faith)  if the person or organization asking isn’t willing to accept his or her own self-identification at face value regarding what he or she believes about said self?  Lifestyle, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and faith: this survey asked me to share all these aspects of myself.  I could be hetero-, bi-, lesbian, trans-, undecided, “I don’t know”, or “I prefer not to answer” about sex.  Very open and accepting.  This survey asked my religious affiliation,  but I didn’t exactly fit into the prescribed selections.  I left this comment at the end of the survey:

“I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly referred to as being “Mormon” or “LDS”.  As the name of my Christian denomination clearly states, I am a Christian.  I wish others realized that.  When I found (in this survey) that my church isn’t listed as a Christian denomination, I nearly selected Christian-other; then I saw MORMON down the list.
Whether other people know about my religion, or believe I am a Christian, the question in this survey clearly seeks for clarity on my self-identification.  I am a self-identified Christian, and an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  (The term Latter-Day Saints simply means modern-day followers or disciples of Jesus Christ, as it is His church.)”

It isn’t a big deal maybe, and I’m not bent out of shape; but this is a moment to clarify.  Someone asked me to self-identify.  Should I just choose a selection and be happy I “sort of” fit in one?  There wasn’t an option to select two…

Now, I know not everyone is religious.  Not everyone wants to belong to my church.  Not everyone is Christian.  Not everyone believes in a God or Gods.  I get it.  (I have family members, whom I love and respect, who are emphatically atheist, including one who went online seeking “ordination” to the order of some flying spaghetti monster.)   I have no choice but to accept them as the amazing people they are because I love them.  I cross that out and take it back.  That phrase implies I accept under duress.  I choose to accept the differences between us because they are important to me.  People are more than their politics and religious affiliation.  I do accept their choices and who they say they are.  That is the reality in which they live.  It doesn’t have to be a “him or me”, “us-vs.-them” situation.  It is just a difference in the space between us.  And, it doesn’t have to consume a relationship!

So, I get to choose my own too.  If it is politically acceptable to identify as they do, it is for me too.  I’m not about to tell my friend he’s “not really gay”; I’m not about to tell my family members which political party to support; and, not even the Nielsen survey (whether intentional or not) can tell me I’m not a Christian.  I am not trying to pick a fight- honestly, I’m not.  I am not stating superiority.  Just stating my reality.  That is the reality in which I live and no one will ever get to know me, all of me, while insisting I am not what I say I am.

What would the world be like if we could accept, respect, and love each other at face value?  Build on the things we all have in common and cherish how we find unity?  What would it be like to value what each of us has that is different for the richness, variety, and depth it offers?  What would it be like to know I am known, really known for all my good. quirky, and not-so-great humanness, and still be acceptable as a friend, family member, neighbor?  After all, if we were all the same, we would have nothing to appreciate, nothing to learn, no way to grow or change!  Our choices, preferences, personalities, our agency in every aspect of life, depend on variety and opposition.  I want to embrace them, whether I choose them for myself or not, because all these differences offer me experience. options, and what I do with them personally is what matters most to me.

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Winter Romance, part 2

Hi, again!

I am beginning to make some progress on my Christmas projects.  In past years, I’ve been well under way by mid-October; however, being in school full-time and juggling my fabulous kiddles has made “projecting” (as my big brother calls it) a little more challenging this time around.  I am bound and determined to sneak in whatever I can, especially in pursuit of romance.

I have always adored the idea of hanging mistletoe or kissing balls- how fun and romantic!  Right now I am feeling a little too frugal to spend $3 or 4 on dried mistle toe because, in my opinion, they do not store well from year-to-year.  I want the experience without the broken little bits ending up in the bottom of my ornament storage boxes, and, without having to buy them new each year.  I was excited when I found someone else’s brilliant idea on Pinterest (I love, love, love Pinterest!) and decided to try making felt mistletoe.  You can find the link to a pattern on my Pinterest Christmas Holiday Craft and Decor board or @ http://www.stayathomeartist.com/2010/12/make-your-own-mistletoe-tutorial.html.  So, here is one of my little bunches- still a work in progress:

I downloaded the pattern and reduced it because I wanted my mistletoe sized more like the real thing.  I used a dark green craft felt I picked up at Walmart for 20 cents a sheet, although I think it would be lovely to make some in the future with some great felted wool; if I find the right color sweater at a thrift store.  I repurposed the ribbon  from something I worked on last year, and the little glass pearl beads were only $1.30 at the craft store.  I have plenty of them left over for something else wonderful, too!  So, all in all, for less than $2.00 (including tax) I made a few of these.  I may try repositioning the felt layers to make them a little longer and more spindly, but I thought this was cute.  Now I am giddy with excitement over the idea of hanging these up!  I think I’ll use some clear thread, so they hand down without seeming too weighted.  Doesn’t something like this put you in the mindframe for some sparking?  Now, if I can just convince my three adorable daughters not to torment their big brothers about kisses too much….Well, until my next idea comes along,

Steve Jobs- replay

I posted a comment on this a few months ago, but I think its worth another view.  What an inspiring life.  I hope this link blesses someone looking for a spark of something.  Condolences and prayers to Mr. Job’s loved ones.

Friendship

I have a few random thoughts I want to spend a couple additional moments musing over, so I am taking advantage of the blog for a moment.  One of the discussions I had with my children today was about friendship, and relationships in general.  I read with them from 1 Samuel Ch. 20 about the friendship between David and Jonathan.  What trust, love, and loyalty there was between them.  That took  me to my next thought I wanted to share with them about charity= the pure love of Christ.  Sometimes pure love is difficult to achieve, but I thought about that quote from the Upanishad again- see myself in all men and all men in myself, then I will lose all fear.  During a recent re-viewing of one of my favorite Bollywood romances I enjoyed the concept in another way.  In discussions of romantic love, the characters remarked that they had fallen in love after seeing God in the other person.  I think these philosophies are all linked.  Like David and Jonathan, I will naturally want to give more for someone whom I love as much as my own soul.  Something that could seem like a grand sacrifice becomes a negligible inconvenience when the care behind the action is great.  What would happen in my home, in my peace, in my soul, if I saw not only myself but my God- his nature, his majesty, his virtues- in every person?  How may my spirit soften toward those for whom I feel little understanding or with whom I perceive little common ground?  I think this goes far beyond a mental comprehension of the nature of every human being a child of God.  My prayer is to actually see it for myself, to have a witness and then be a witness of their nature.  I am hungry for this experience.  I challenged my children to make this a matter of prayer regarding every relationship they have in their lives.  I am excited to begin a new length of  this journey I share with my family- my whole human family.  I am humbled to share the world with you!  Thank you for being here now, today!  Make it a great day!  Huge hugs!  🙂 -Shoshannah

Culture

Maybe I am affected by the weather; I am not certain.  I am experiencing a huge need for relaxation and uplifting experiences these days.  My family signed up for a Netflix trial in January, and I love the opportunity to experience some new films!  For the past several years, I have not spent much time at all on entertainment.  I have a difficult time finding films and music I like and that reflect and strengthen my morals.  I have had the opportunity to re-watch some old Bollywood favorites and make some new ones, which has been my favorite aspect of Netflix so far.

I love Bollywood films!  If you have never taken an opportunity to experience a Bollywood film, I highly recommend it!  This experience requires focus because subtitles will give the translation, usually from Hindi, however most Bollywood films are very theatrical and musical.  The songs are filled with romance and poetry, and some are very funny or moving.  I find Hindi films generally very clean, which I appreciate.  Swearing or immorality are quite rare from my experience with the genre.  I love it!

If anyone is game, here are a few of my favorites:

Rab ne bana di jodi- True love, romance, music, humor.  I give this one five stars!

My Name is Khan- This movie has everything!  Morals, a cause, romance, grief, healing, joy, humor.  I give this my highest recommendation.  Good with older teens, but not for young children.  Adult preview to decide.

Pyaar Impossible- Very sweet, funny romance.  Five stars.

Veer-Zaara- Wow!  Real romance; true hearts.  Five stars.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge- Sweet Romance, good morals.  This one is older and does not have the high-tech feel to it that some films have; the main characters start out immature,  very worth the journey.  Four 1/2 stars.

Chance Pe Dance- light-hearted; School of Rock meets So You Think You Can Dance

Jodhaa Akbar- Historical epic again, music, romance, poetry, with some battle and intrigue.  Great story!  Five stars- even my 8 and 12 year olds watched this and they were enthralled, in spite of the translation necessary. Five stars.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham-The family relationships in this story are so sweet!  Some of the best talent in the world worked on this film!  I love it!  Five stars.

Mohabaatein- One tragedy does not mean life is over.  This is a sweet, sweet story!  Five stars.

The great thing about these films is that if you happen to be a member of Netflix, these are all available online or on DVD.  Unlimited viewing:  I love it!

24 February, 2011 22:05

I found this print on sugardoodle.com’s download page. Isn’t it wonderful? I love, love, love it!  I am planning on printing this out for one of my children’s walls.  It will brighten things up a bit, don’t you think?

On my way to another transition

I am facing another round of finals this week; praying I can continue on earning good marks.  Yes, I am a perfectionist who constantly grumbles at herself for every tenth or hundredth point lost on any assignment.  Yes, I want to preserve my GPA.  More importantly, I want to make the effort in this journey worthwhile.  I cannot think of losing time in this LifeSchool.  I know, overly intense….I am an idealist. 

Today I tackled one of the few remaining assignments for my Critical and Creative Thinking course.  Interesting course.  The assignment was to look up several commencement speeches and analyze the message and delivery of the favorite one.  What a task!  I found a few with stunning titles and I believe I will spend a few minutes a day for a month or so proverbially sitting at the feet of these successful and inspiring people.  The first I viewed through a youtube link from Stanford University.  Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple and Pixar, gave this speech in 2005.  His message was wonderful and held perspective that was profound and beautiful.  The second speech, give to the MIT graduates of 2001 was titled, Galileo and the search for truth, by Daniel S. Goldin, a rocket scientist with NASA. 

I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to take a breather from the heavy moments, the to-do lists, and the dreaded “shoulds” in my life and breathe in inspiration, time with my children whom I adore, and enjoy the “uplifts” (as my psych text calls them) that balance out all the day-to-day doldrums and hassles. 

I am grateful for lifelong learning, scripture study, prayer, meditation, and this wonderful world I get to live in as my LifeSchool dorm.

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