Irrationally Happy. 83 to go…

Are there things that make you irrationally happy? I most certainly do

This song:

http://youtu.be/FeDCk1Ygm8A
This song:

http://youtu.be/ppYb0djJyMg
Any time that A Very Potter Musical comes on my iPod.
When Meesh texts me.
Sunshine.
When my brother Jonathan calls me.
Vanilla coke.
The colors of fall.
The movie The Lorax.
Whenever the VlogBrothers release a new video.
When people comment on or like my blog posts.
This song:

http://youtu.be/XbQgQBF6tOE
Chocolate milk.
Long Skype dates.
Looking at pictures of me and my friends.
Singing harmony.
Finding a new favorite song.
Reading really good poetry.
Driving with the windows down.
Driving stick shift.
Hugs from someone who is your perfect hugging height.
Walking in the sun.
Breathing.
Wasting time with people who make me laugh.
Big sweaters.
When I know someone loves me back.
Snapchats of the beautiful Meera.
Whenever anything from Newsies comes on my iPod.
Wearing maxi skirts.
When my friends call me.
Late night talks with my roommate.
Sappy love songs.
Libraries.
Really good pizza.
Taking notes in my favorite pen.
Getting letters in the mail.
This song:

http://youtu.be/cON3qGI6NTI
The smell of wood smoke.
Watching New Girl.
Tea in my TARDIS mug.
Singing.
Playing the piano.
Friendship.
Compliments from strangers.
Really good books.

I love a lot of things and I’m really happy about my life right now.

Mission of the Day- Tell me all of the things that make you irrationally happy. Don’t be afraid to be repetitive. I know that I was.

Love you!

Abby

The finest human quality. 84 to go…

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love the VlogBrothers. I love their videos and their causes and all of the things they do. I love the community of Nerdfighteria. John’s books have forever changed my life. So I’m going to do something that I almost never do, I’m going to disagree with them.

I agree more with John than I do with Hank. I think that there are many animals who have the ability to be curious. Curiosity killed the cat, didn’t it? But I would argue that there are also animals that have the ability to collaborate. Bees work together to build hives, ants work together to collect food, elephants work together to protect the young, lions work together to hunt. True, they do not collaborate in the formation of art and beautiful things the way humans do, but animals understand the need for collaboration to survive and build and grow.

I think Hank has a point about love and the negative things that come of it, but I would argue that love is the finest of human traits. Love is entirely human in nature.

There are animals which suffer so much for their offspring. Look at penguins. They freeze and they starve and they march hundreds of miles just to ensure that their genome survives the test of time. Now, I’m not a parent, but I know what it feels like to love someone so deeply that you would suffer for them. There aren’t many people in this world that I would die for, but there are a couple. My little siblings, a few friends and some siblings of my friends.

I get it, not everyone loves in healthy ways. Love can lead to control and envy and anger and abuse, but there is so much good love in the world.

The thing that’s truly incredible about love is the human capacity to love people even when it doesn’t benefit us. We continue to love people even as they hurt us and fail and let us down and make mistakes. Humans have the ability to be entirely selfless in their love for one another. That’s what makes us different from animals. Love isn’t about surviving or passing on our genes or being the best or moving forward or about instincts. I don’t know what love IS about, but I know it isn’t about those things.

I wrote another post about this a while ago. Check it out here. I still agree with myself from then.

Question of the Day- What IS love about? What is it about to you? Leave me a comment. Your comments always brighten my days.

Love you!

Abby

What is the value of a human life? 194 to go…

How much is a human life worth? This is a question I’ve been pondering. I watched a VlogBrothers video about the value of life today and it has gotten me thinking.

You can measure value in how much someone could work to earn money. How much they could sell their body parts for. How much they would be worth as raw chemicals (carbon, calcium…) How much it costs to buy a slave. How much they own. They’re net impact on the planet. There seems to be no end to the way we calculate human value.

I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. -John Green, Looking for Alaska

I believe this. You can look at someone’s physical body, the DNA that made them up, the books they read, the friends they had, the stories they told, the music they read, the memories they made, the education they had, the childhood they had and you can still not know them. We are so much greater than the things that make us up.

There is something within us that is unknowable. Something that we can all see, but can never understand. That is why we have value as individuals. Because there is something that makes us 100% unique. Something that is ours and ours alone. Something that we seek to express and understand. This thing, our soul is what makes us different from one another but also makes us the same.

My dad and I were discussing this and he said to me “If our lives are worth what people will pay, then what about Jesus?” That’s something I need to think about…

Mission of the Day- Think about what gives human life its value.

Love you!

Abby

Play-Doh and creating myself. 294 to go…

I saw this brilliant YouTube video by Hank Green that is sure to make you think.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=fGmAekTPD5c&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DfGmAekTPD5c%26feature%3Dyoutu.be

So, that has gotten me thinking. I once had a long discussion with a friend of mine and he said to me that my morals cannot come from other people. They have to be from yourself. However, I disagree. I don’t think that you can just adopt other people’s morals (by morals I mean The List of Things I Believe) but your morals are influenced by your life. The books I’ve read, the music I’ve listened to, the YouTube videos I’ve watched, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, the experiences I’ve had, the lessons I’ve learned, the feelings I’ve felt. All of it makes me who I am and shapes what I believe.

There is a theory, Tabula rasa, that was formulated by John Locke that essentially says that all humans are born as blank slates, neither good nor bad, and are created from there. I agree with a good bit of that theory. I believe that all humans are evil by nature. That’s just the way sin has made us. But I believe that we start out a little bit like a big ball of white Play-Doh with three drops of food coloring on it. A red one on one side, a blue one on another and a yellow one on the last side. We all have colors that make us unique, but once you start kneading that Play-Doh the colors start to become really unique.

The colors swirl and mix and move all over the ball. It is our kneading process: our parents, our childhood, the country we grew up in, the books we read, the tv we watched, the friends we had, the people we met and the places we went that kneaded us into what we are. That’s why we all look so different.

My brother, Jonathan, and I have had a lot of the same experiences in our lives, but we don’t look exactly the same. Because it doesn’t matter how hard you try, you can never knead two different  balls of Play-Doh with food coloring on it the exact same way and get the same product in the end. However, Jon and I look much more alike (and I don’t mean physically) than Justin Bieber and I do, or even my mom and I do.

I’m not saying that life just man handles us until we turn into one large, brown mass of Play-Doh (although it feels like it does) we get to decide some of what makes you. You’re choices make you.

I don’t know how to conclude this. I’m tired. And we both know how that goes.

Love you!

Abby

Day 335

Today is Ester Day.

If you’re not a Nerdfighter (which is a horrible thing to not be) then I shall explain it to you. The VlogBrothers met a girl named Ester who had cancer, Ester really moved the Nerdfighter community along and so John Green decided that all of Nerdfighteria should celebrate her birthday each year. And Ester said that she wants her birthday to be a day about living your friends and family, not another Valentine’s Day, but a day to express your love for the people you don’t always tell that you love. Then Hank proceeded to make a brilliant video above it which you have to watch.

There are lots of things about this that I like, but there are two in particular that I would like to highlight.

1. The Olympics only have value because we give them value. Things are valuable because we determine that they are. Diamonds are valuable because they’re pretty, they’re rare and because people like them. And to be determined valuable, most things need at least two of those qualities. There are plenty of pretty things with little value: sea shells, sunsets, orange leaves, fields of dandylions, smiles. But the most important quality is that something is either desirable or necessary. That’s why computers, cars, athletes, and actors are so valuable.

It occurred to me that this is the same with fame. I was watching a VlogBrothers video once and the question “Why are the Kardashians famous?” Was posed. Then the point followed “We determine what/who is famous by what we put our time, energy, money and emotions into.” And a heck of a lit of people are investing that in the Kardashians. Why so tabloids publish news about Kristen Stewart’s relationship with that vampire kid? Because people are buying those tabloids and tweeting about it or discussing it or putting some amount of energy into it. We have that power, and we kinda suck at using it properly.

2. Much of our value comes from the things we love and the people who love us back. I think that it is a valid point, but you have to read it a little closer than that. I would say that the value a person feels that their life has is directly proportional to how much they love things. Not “I love TacoBell!” Or “I love Ben Rector!” (no matter how true it is) or even “I love Looking for Alaska!” The real value comes in “I love people!” “I love kids!” “I love God!” “I love this cause.” And more. When love becomes directed toward things that are real and when that love takes action in the right direction. That is when love gives our lives value.

And then he also said that the people who love us give our lives value. I think that quite honestly there is only one person’s love that actually gives our lives value, and that’s God. Sure, we feel that we have more value when we are loved in return by the people we love, but their love has no direct influence on the value of our existence. Plenty of people have found nothing but rejection and distaste from a majority of their peers, but their lives had value nonetheless because they were loved by He who created them.

Random Fact of the Day- The word crush is also a noun which can be defined as “a crowd of people pressed closely together, especially in an enclosed space.”

Mission of the Day- Tell someone you love (in a non-romantic fashion) that you love them.

I love you!

Abby

Day 270

Love. What is love? Tonight at youth group I had a long talk with my middle school girls about love and the meaning of the word.

We use the word to describe everything. I love the VlogBrothers! I love Josh Hutcherson! I love Ron Weasley! I love the color yellow! I love Ben Rector (ok, this one is true. It is love)! I love Vanilla Coke! And the list goes on. We “love” lots of useless, inatimate objects and people who will never be aware of our existence. The more we use the word “love” the more we cheapen the word.

Love is something created to be pure and special. Shared between two people who have a special relationship: mother and child, two best friends, brother and sister, husband and wife. But on top of that w are to love humans. Love does not being fond of someone, it means having their best interest in mind. So I challenged my girls to try something for a week. I told them to watch how much they use the word “love” and choose to use it carefully. Love is a special thing. If you wore your prom dress to school everyday it wouldn’t be special anymore (in fact, it would just be weird)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ecVtw4NbQC8

I thought that this was an incredibly interesting video. I really enjoy the work of John Green (look at me choosing to not use the word love) and I happen to think he is fabulous. I’m also really  attached to the idea of being adventuresome. Something about this just really made me long to go on an adventure. “Such things remind us in a scary but seductive way of our own temporariness.” Scary right? We’re so quick to come to an end. It sounds morbid, but it’s fascinating.

Random Fact of the Day- January 16th is national nothing day. First un-celebrated in 1973.

Mission of the day- think about how you use the word love.Think about it seriously.

Love you!

Abby

Day 269

I love when people I love love each other.

For example: Some of my favorite Youtubers are Charlie McDonnell and the Vlogbrothers. And they love each other! Charlie and Wheezy Waiter, Julian Smith and Rhett & Link, Alex Day and Charlie. I just love that these people who I love also love each other. I love Ben Rector, (I’m sure you know that) Matt Wertz and Steve Moakler AND THEY ALL LOVE EACH OTHER! GAH!  Or when I have two friends and find out that they know each other and love each other (I mean love in that they think that the other person is as cool as I think they are, if you know what I mean.)

I’ve started a list of weird things that I love:

#1) Walking to my car in dress pants, high heels, with a folder under my arm and keys in my hand.

I won’t give you the entire list now, but as they come to my mind.

I’ve been thinking about growing up. The Year Of The Dancing Queen. A year of being 17. It’s my favorite age thus far, but I’m not sure if it’s my favorite year. I love being older, and having responsibility, and driving, and having a job. I feel mature (crazy right?) and responsible. But I’m not sure I’m ready to be older yet.

I like to write (I’m sure you’re aware of this.) So I write a blog and keep a journal, but I also have a Book of Thoughts. The kind of girl I am means I’m always a couple days behind in my journal, so I use my journal as a record of my actions. I write in my Book of Thoughts when ever I have a thought. So whether I’m sitting in class, church or at lunch I write down whatever is on my mind and then put a date next to it.

One thing that continues to come up in my book of thoughts (besides the usual GUYS, Life, Stuff) is the idea of “Follow Your Heart” NO!! DON’T DO IT! Gosh, if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: my heart is incredibly stupid. It makes me want things and do things that just make no sense when thinking rationally. And sometimes my brain is stupid as well. So that is something I’ve been putting my mind to. Just letting my heart say what it has to say and then trying to be reasonable.

Random Fact of the Day- A Chameleon Circuit is what causes a TARDIS to blend in to its surrounding.

Mission of the Day- Do something weird that you love.