Social Media Mess

5 Jun

I’ve had many conversations about social media. We know that it’s a mess. When abused, it carries lasting repercussions, to the point of ruining one’s career. What happened to us?

When I was a kid in school, we were taught the value of the written word. We studied how the written word was a monumental step in human progress. Then we learned how vital it was to print words. History is in our grasp today — because of the written word – because of the record.

We used to write our feelings in our diaries. Those who didn’t have journals or diaries (like me), we wrote it on a piece of paper, then burned it, buried it, whatever – to make sure it was hidden from people’s inquisitive eyes. I remember writing things that bothered me, things I hated, complaints about my parents, all things swirling around my adolescent mind. I needed to write them down. I needed to sort them out, take a step back, and evaluate what was happening in my mind. And in a moment of empowerment, we burned those notes… not because they weren’t important. In fact, just the opposite. They were so important, so close to our hearts, that the world did not deserve to know those details. The world was not good enough, not ready enough, not worthy enough to know our deepest thoughts.

Today is very opposite.

We have adolescents who spout off hatred on their twitter accounts without bothering to think about what they’re saying. They don’t even have the life experience or exposure to speak on such matters like racism, yet, they more than willingly blast their unfiltered thoughts into the twitter-verse. We have “journalists” now who, instead of carrying out their due diligence in writing and fact checking, quickly jot their thoughts down and send it out so easily for the world to digest. What happened to critical thought and research? What happened to editing and vetting, to make sure what you said was true? They treat twitter like it’s their research notepad or napkin, and the world receives it as if it were published news items.

I think that’s where it goes wrong. We have removed that filter, the editor in chief, the copywriters, the people who make sure our research is correct. Instead of going through the paces of making sure what you wrote was factual – we just broadcast our thoughts for the world to digest. Even News agencies now. Instead of going through the proper protocols of researching and fact checking, they just regurgitate useless information.

I wonder how history will judge our generation. What history will be told? Will wikipedia be the source of information? Will books or newspapers be the history that survives? Will it be twitter? One day, will our future grandchildren simply research what our tweets were concerning world issues. What a scary thought. Let’s put value back in the written word. Let’s make sure what we say really matters. And in the case when something is too precious and too important to us, then let’s write it down on a piece of paper…. then burn it.

Protection

29 Aug

My apologies.

I have not been keeping up this blog as I promised to. I’m not even going to use the “it’s hard being a first time parent” card – not yet anyways, I’ll save that for later.

I guess it’s time for some updating. Rylee is a little over 2 months old now. Her last weigh in was at 11lbs and 6.5oz. She’s growing quite nicely, a little chunky even J. But there’s nothing wrong with a little junk in the trunk.

The biggest transition during this period is her ever changing schedule. We had one night when she slept for a solid 8 hours. But other than that,  she’s been sleeping 4-5 hours through the night. And just when you think you’ve got her figured out, she’ll throw you for a loop and sleep for 18 hours through the day.

One of the biggest fears we have right now (like many parents) are immunizations. If you do any “research” (I put that in quotations because google doesn’t necessarily count as viable research) on the internet, you will treat yourself to horror stories after horror stories about children and immunizations. There’s a school of thought out there that attributes autism to MMR vaccinations. There’s a whole lot of data, articles, and personal stories out there.

Be careful.

My suggestion to parents out there that are having trouble deciding what to do is be careful. I’m not going to tell you what to decide on one side or the other, I’ll just share our thought process in our decision in this matter.

We have booked Rylee’s vaccinations for next week. How did we get to that point? Well, after talking to our doctor, we realized a few things. First of all, Autism has roots in genetics. We are a little more equipped when it comes to this because Sally is a Special Education Assistant who works with kids with autism – of all spectrums. When it comes to information, she’s “all up in it”. Secondly, even though there are horror stories out there, we have no scientific, measurable, identifiable evidence that would lead us to confidently say, “vaccinations cause autism”.  It is too much of an unknown connection, whereas we definitely know that meningitis causes brain damage, or that polio cause debilitating damage to the muscles, or that mumps can lead to other major diseases. So would you risk the unknown for what you do know will harm your child? Some may ask (including myself), “why do I need to vaccinate against sexually transmitted diseases like Hep. C?” First of all, some of those diseases like Hep C can be transmitted from parent to child, as well as unsanitary environments. Secondly, our cultural landscape and our population is getting more and more diverse. We are encountering peoples from all over the world who have backgrounds that involve war torn, disease savaged countries. The truth is, these viruses and diseases don’t care about borders or what country it is, and we are exposed to these unknowingly.

Now, having said all of that, our decision actually finally came to out this: (caution: religious content) Rylee is a gift to us. No matter how much we love her, there is someone you loves her more. No matter how much we want to protect her, there’s someone who is more capable to do so. No matter how much I want to be the best father she deserves, she has a Heavenly Father who is unfailing. She is not ours.  We have been charged to protect her with all of our resources (we believe that involves immunizations) but ultimately she is protected by someone else.

So good luck parents. I wish you all the best when deciding for your children. Please don’t be absent the decisions being made for the safety of your children. Be present, be equipped, and be educated in all those matters.

Cautiously Excited.

25 Oct

Recently we found out some great news. It’s the kind of news that would warrant the best, most exciting, most exuberant celebrations. News that would evoke elation, and just the utmost excitement. The kind of news that would fill a man’s empty heart.

But because of our past sadness, I couldn’t react that way. Instead, we were cautiously excited.

I had to ask myself, and God, “Is this what heartbreak does?” Does heartbreak cause us to miss out on joyful events? Does it cause us to think twice before fully investing our hearts into whatever great thing is suppose to happen? Does it cause us to guard our hearts more closely, to keep it from further heart break?

I had to look at my own heart. Is this the kind of person I want to be? Someone who is always guarded. I realized that this may not be the kind of person I want to be, but this is the kind of person I have become.

I asked God if this is what He wanted from me. You know those rhetorical question (I guess all questions to God are rhetorical) you ask God that are really not for Him, but they’re actually a way for us to express ourselves? Yeah, I had a bunch of those. Like, “Is this what faith is suppose to display? Is this what going through a storm should feel like? Aren’t suppose to be stronger than this because of the trials I just went through?”

But no. I’m afraid that if I show any form of joy, that God will want to take that away. I’m afraid that if let my heart go, my hopes and dreams will be crushed into a million pieces. What kind of life is this? Is this abundant living? No. Just a life left scarred from the storms.

Do You Like You?

26 Jun

In my recent struggles and frustrations, I have been reflecting on many aspects of my own life. I came to this conclusion – I don’t like me. I don’t like the person I’ve become.

Maybe its because, somewhere out there, I believe there’s a better version of me. Someone who has adventure in his life. Someone who  lives with passion. Someone who has drive in his life. It’s a sad moment when a man must face his reality. No dreams, no lofty ideas, no imaginations, no better versions of ourselves. Just the stale, the mundane, the awful reality of what we see in the mirror. No glorious plans for the future, no goals, no taste.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we let people change us. We let the people we love, change us into a person more palatable to them. We give up some freedoms, some choices. Sometimes, we kill our own goals, so that the people we love can be happy with us.

But what if, in all that giving up and having someone love us, we end up hating ourselves? What if we end up losing our dreams, our passions? What if we don’t like the man we’ve become?

Well…. we die. To others, we function, like robots we go on with their idea of “living”. But in us, in our heart of hearts, we have died. We have lost the things the excite us, things that give us reasons to hope and breathe. We die.

So that’s what will happen — this guy that I wish I could be – the guy that goes surfing whenever he gets a chance, the guy that climbs mountains, the guy that jumps out of helicopters to snowboard down a mountain, the guy that builds and restores vintage bikes and rides with an unyielding smile on his face —

choice.

21 Jun

I wonder if I had not known God, or if I had not met Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my Saviour as a teenager, would I still choose Him today?

I took a long look at my life as a 29 year old. I’ve got a good job that’s promising and is leading me into better positions. I’ve got a great wife who loves and cares for me. If I were not a Christian now, if I knew nothing of God and Jesus Christ, if I knew nothing about Christianity, would I still choose to be a Christian today?

I’m not stating the Christianity is the proponent of all my downfalls in life. I’m not saying that it is the reason I have success in the places I do have success. Christianity is my identity right now, but is it what makes me – me? My likes and dislikes, my demeanor, my humour, my fears…

I guess I’m asking myself, if I would still chose a relationship with Jesus Christ? I wish I could know Him with the innocence of a new believer. I wish my vision of Him wouldn’t be marred by the pain and suffering in my heart. I wish I could meet Him again, as a friend, and not as my judge. I wish I could be introduced to Him as the Giver of life and peace, not the Master Puppeteer of my life. Is there a way to know Him that way? Can I simply forget the baggage in my past? Can I forget the hurts and unfulfilled promises in my life? Can I just know Him, as the Comforter, my refuge, my shield, and my strength? He is all those things, I know. But I cannot help but feel the pain I’ve endured, when I feel He is silent towards me.

The Bitter Wave.

12 Jun

Needless to say, I’m still stewing in bitterness.

I feel so small and insignificant, compared to God’s plan and purpose. I imagine His plan to be a gigantic wave with tremendous force. You know what happens when you stand in front of a wave? You get knocked down, and hurt. But then the wave just disappears, and all remnants of that wave just disappear back into the ocean. And then another wave comes.

I feel powerless against His will. I feel His decision is made, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve found favour or you are cursed in His sight. It doesn’t matter if you are His child or not. You still get knocked over. You still get hurt. You still pick yourself back up and wait for the next wave.  And since He isn’t in the business of answering questions, we’re left to wonder. We’re left to question why such heartache would be pleasing to Him. And we are left in silence.

Yes, I know it will all make sense in the end, but, it hurts now – doesn’t that count for anything? Doesn’t my pain mean anything to Him? Doesn’t this broken heart move Him to do anything?

Yea, in silence I wait. For what? I’m not sure as of yet. At this point, the thing I’m sure of is that I am not OK with this. I will not accept this as good. I will never look back and say that this was a good thing that happened to me. How could it be? I understand now why people dwell in bitterness. It is because, in this great scheme, where we are useless and powerless pawns, bitterness is one decision we can actually make for ourselves. It is an action we can hold on to. It is a tangible handle on a situation that seems uncontrollable. We become bitter because at least it gives us a sense of choice in the matter.

Broken.

7 Jun

So I thought I’d never write another post on this blog again. Turns out, there’s a writer within me after all. I’ve been looking for another outlet to spill these thoughts swirling in my head. I kept trying to convince myself that it was unnecessary. However, I realized that writing sometimes isn’t for the benefit of an audience, but for the writer himself. I’m posting because of me.

I need to write something.

These last few weeks have been the worst weeks of my entire life. Even having survived a near fatal accident a few years ago, broken bones don’t hurt as much as the brokeness of the heart.

Miscarriage.

It went from exhiliration to sorrow. Shocking, how so much joy can disappear so quickly. How that,  whatever sadness there may be, it just gets swallowed up by greater and deeper sadness.

Sad.

That word is funny to me. It seems juvenile, like when you’re sad when you didn’t get to play the game you wanted. But truthfully, “sad” is a word to silence all words. You can throw around any terminology you want i.e. depressed, unhappy – none of those words carry the same coldness, the darkness, the loneliness of the word “sad”.

The world seems cold and lonely to me. It feels colourless. I feel like whatever motivation or direction I had in my life, it’s all been taken away from me. Desire, gone. I have never felt this magnitude of sadness in my life. I have never wept as I wept.