buzzcut season.

And nothing’s wrong when nothing’s true
I live in a hologram with you.

-Lorde, Buzzcut Season.

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I keep trying to picture this world in other times.  I only have music, books, journals, and what I can pull from history to tell me what life was like before this era.  As I mentioned in my last post, the Hollywood version of Noah’s story depicted what looked like the end of the world, what I would expect to be the last straw before humanity wipes itself out.

Oh, right…that’s what happened.  By the hand of God.  He restarted the planet.

Sometimes I get scared in thinking it’s really not that far off.  I’m not scared so much for the world coming to an end since fretting won’t help anyone, I’m more scared by people and how they can be so ruthless.  Survival of the fittest and competition is one thing, but not in a world where we currently have the means to provide for our global population.  We’re just not distributing it properly and neglecting immorality and inequity.

I like to imagine 100 years ago, with more moral people and less egocentrism.

I like to imagine 500 years ago, with increasing humility and simplicity in a positive sense.

I like to imagine…but it’s hard to imagine.  I mean, was there ever a time when people really were all good and perfect and they didn’t stray from living in harmony?  It seems so unlikely…and I’m not sure what sets off in the first guy’s head to do evil, but it sure sends around a chain reaction.

Explosions on TV, and all the girls with heads inside a dream…

All of the chaos we see around the world.  All of the people wanting to turn a blind eye and take up the lives of rich, well-dressed, fine-dining celebrities….

The men up on the news, they try to tell us all that we will lose…

But what is this pressure we feel?  To outrun the chaos and arm ourselves with riches?  And then the downtrodden feeling that only a select few are entitled to those privileges…

But you see, THAT is the HOLOGRAM.

It’s so easy to see the bad.  The good only ever seems to shine if it’s pure good, but bad taints it.  Because NOT EVERYONE is trying to obtain those things.  In fact, who really wants it anyway?  When you know that happiness comes from having a certain list of things that make you safe, sound, and comfortable, how many of your lists would honestly need materialistic things?

The media sure wants us to believe that.  And the media plagues the TV with horrible scenes.  If it can’t cause the audience to shed a tear or gasp, it’s probably not going to make enough of an impact to get whatever feedback quota or credit it desires for that given day.

So WHAT IS the hologram??

The hologram is not seeing life for what it is.  The celebrities live in a hologram because their lives consist of artificiality.

Now we live beside the pool, where everything is good….
It’s so easy in this blue, where everything is good….

Play along (make-believe it’s hyper real)…

And I’ll never go home again.

The hologram is living in that artificial life, or living in the ordinary life and not seeing the simple things that make it taste, feel, be, the things that make it real and NOT that artificial life.

We ride the bus with our knees pulled in…
I shut my eyes to the song that plays.
Sometimes this has a hot, sweet taste.

Cola with the burnt-out taste
I’m the one you tell your fears to
There will never be enough of us

But it’s not just rejecting the hoity-toity life or embracing the simple one, it’s also about seeing the good in something overshadowed by the worse.  Like how shocked I have been at times to realize how many people actually careabout finding peace and accepting people and who go out of theirs ways to help.

Anyway, just a thought.  And I really like that song.

 

the company you keep.

“Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.  Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.” -Proverbs 4:14-15 NIV

“For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” -2 Timothy 2:2-5 NASB

I don’t care if you don’t believe in the Torah/Bible/God; scripture can offer some really good advice if you know how to read it.  For example, in this quote from Timothy, take “God” as a symbol for living peacefully and good.  It provides the same meaning and is certainly applicable to any faith or faithlessness.

How did I get these quotes?  Well, I Googled quotes that could demonstrate the idea of “the company you keep”.  And these were my favorites.

Today, I became (yet again) a victim of online bullying.  It was a rash, brash, offhand, unprecedented comment from an uninformed, unimportant individual.  In the past, I would have blown up over it.  I would have sobbed, raged, replied, and probably done a lot of things I would have regretted later.  But that was me before I started paying attention to these kinds of things.  That was me before I began thinking about the company I keep.

It made me realize the company I choose to keep does not behave like this person.
Meaning he meant nothing to me and he couldn’t hurt me.
Meaning he doesn’t know the truth but the people who matter do.
Meaning I don’t keep his company because he is not considerate, respectful, classy, and of good sportsmanship.
But the company I do keep is all of these things.

In thinking of the company I keep and who I want to be, I debated my options.  I could delete the comment and move forward.  But maybe this person was making a point?  Maybe I had overlooked something that had evoked his reaction in the first place.

Aha – indeed, I had.  I realized he was either being completely tactless and cutting me down without reason, or his tactlessness arose from a misunderstanding in what I was saying.  And yes, this was all about hockey.

First, I chose to leave the comment.  I didn’t reply.  I won’t reply.  It’s not worth it, and it exposes his lack of anything human.  And it makes me look better in the meantime.

Second, I e-mailed the captain of the team.  I thanked her for her candor, congratulated her team for their season, then made her aware of the situation in case someone else might have taken what was said in the wrong way.  I know I didn’t have to do it, but I felt like it is good to clean things up and it can’t hurt nipping a potential problem in the bud.  It also gave me a chance to explain why I left the one team for another: sportsmanship.

The comment that was left and a teammate’s supportive, subsequent reaction to that comment were the perfect parallels to the situation.  It showed how my old team lacked the sportsmanship and respect I craved and how I gained so much more in those fields and others by switching teams.

It reminded me of this past Sunday when I spent time with a friend.  I’ve gotten along swimmingly with his whole family and realized there’s a reason for that.  Kind of like there’s a reason why I can throw my closest friends from all over the world in a room together for the first time…and they love each other.

We always tend to migrate towards the same kinds of people.  And I’ve been trying increasingly harder to base my “kind” of person off of his/her character.  His/her goodness.  His/her positivity.  Even though I haven’t always been the most positive person, it’s amazing how letting go of a little negativity and surrounding yourself with good people will really change your outlook on life.

You really can change your life by the company you keep and surrounding yourself with good things.

As the quote above from Proverbs tells us, don’t be tempted by that evil path.  Just because others act one way does not justify your reaction in their footsteps.  You have to own what you do and you are responsible for the consequences.  Every step you make should be towards the kind of person you want to be, no matter how big or small that step is.

And this person’s bullying is exactly what Timothy’s quote is describing: This person may have been reacting from a misunderstanding, but it was still completely uncalled for, demonstrates his lack of good character, and proves that he is insecure about another’s accomplishments.  He had to cut me down for my pride in the wonderful people I have discovered on my new team and by the honors I’ve received for being a part of their society.  Clearly, I have a LOT that he lacks.  And he doesn’t like it.

While I can’t change him and it’s not my responsibility to try, I can just hope to lead by example and to continue supporting my teammates, choosing better, and maintaining a close watch over the company that I keep.