Infinity Wars–2

There will still be spoilers, but if you read the last post,  you probably don’t care or you’ve already seen it, so we should be good.

So clearly there were a lot of deaths to talk about in this movie. My first question is if they were all necessary?

thr heartbreaking ones wee definitely Gamorrah’s, Spiderman’s, and Vision’s. Even if like me you never liked Vision, it was still pretty sad to see Scarlett Witch first kill him and then watch him die again  thanks to Thanos. That does make it seem meaningless.

But Thanos sacrificing Gamorra in order to get the soul stone that was both repulsive and emotional. Though personally, I don’t think she’s dead. I think she’s in a coma, because a fall like that shouldn’t have killed someone so enhanced, plus the whole thing felt like a cop-out of sorts. And there was that vision of her he had at the end, I think the Soul Stone has Gamorra in some sort of suspended animation. (Ask your nerd friends if you don’t know what that is, it’s a comic thing.)

Gamorra is so coming back, so it wasn’t so bad with her. And Spiderman too. Vision, probably.

But do their deaths add anything to this movie?

Spiderman’s? Not really. It adds to Tony Stark’s many issues to watch his yong protegee dissolve,a long with a bunch of other people. But it doesn’t have a lot to do with the movie’s themes.

But with the other two I have more to say. An ongoing theme in this movie was sacrifice. Thanos wants to sacrifice half of all the life in the universe just so the other half can go on to survive and thrive. he claims that when he did this, with Gamorra’s help, the planets went on to be lush and people no longer starved.

I guess Thanos has never heard that we actually have enough food for everyone on this planet, we just do not distribute it. Killing half the people is more likely to make that worse, not better. Collapsing civilization as we know it will cause more starvation as people struggle to put their systems back together. I don’t know what fantasy world Thanos is living in…one of his own device it seems. Since he can alter reality.

however, if he could alter reality, why not turn all the garbage dumps in the universe inot farms? Why not make the landscapes more fertile? Get rid of the Sahara? That’s just on Earth, but you can imagine in this world it would apply to all the inhabited planets.

Thanos is gong to live forever anyway, if he was so benevolent, he could have worked something out that wouldn’t have thrown off the balance of the universe.

It’s laughable that he blames his won planet for rejecting him, sure Thanos, that’s why the gravity and orbit was off, it had nothing to do with messing with the forces of nature. Just keep telling yourself that.

Now it doesn’t take much thinking to see the inherent problems with Thanos’es solution, but my beef with  this movie was that it’s more thinking than any of the good guys did.

In what is becoming the predictable Marvel fashion, no one in this movie had a good counter argument for Thanos. Gamorra clearly thinks what he is doing is wrong, but she only calls it murder, she does not go farther into it. Are we just meant to assume that murder makes it wrong?

And I would agree that murder is wrong, and this kind of genocide is insanely evil, but I would not just say that. I would have a reason for it.

I only know Murder is wrong becuase I know that God is life, I know that we are made in His Image, and that he forbids murder and it is never a good idea to disobey God. Because His rules govern the universe. That would be what I would say to Thanos.

But when Thanos is laying out his whole twisted philosophy, all our supposedly brilliant heroes can do is stare stupidly at him in horror, and then say they’re going to stop him. Well great, but why? So far we see no reason to think he’s wrong…other than it seems an overly complicated solutions compared to just rearranging things so there would be more resources.

Thanos’es philosophy matches that of many people in the real world, which as I said to my family, is the really carry thing about him. That he’s big purple, and powerful isn’t a problem, its that he represents real ideology.

Even scarier is that lots of people think that we are over populated. They don’t even question it. It’s not actually true. Our cities are over crowded, but the world itself still has plenty of room. Plus people are dying everyday, all the time. We kill each other so much, we don’t need some big bad guy to do it for us. We have enough of those already.

Vision tells Ultron he is on the side of life, and that is all the Avengers can seem to come up with in this movie. Never, ever, let people die.

Ironically, Vision is the first to realize that death can be necessary. Thanos is right about that, but murder is not. Self Sacrifice is not the same thing at all, to lay down your life for your friends or the greater good, that’s a noble thing to do. No one should disparage that. Gamorra tries to do this, and to his credit, Peter Quill was going to do as she asked and kill her before Thanos got the information out of her, but Thanos stopped him.

Captain America is so hesitant to let anyone die, at least since the Winter Soldier, or Ultron. Which is silly. He’s a soldier, he should understand the necessity of sacrifice to stop evil.

Then Gamorra herself fails when she sees Nebula being tortured. Now, I give her a bit more leeway since it’s just terrible to watch that, worse than a quick death scene. But then Quill later blows their chance to depower Thanos when he finds out Gamorra is dead…and Nebula didn’t whack him over the head because…?

yeah, there are some issues I have. Thanos makes his sacrifice, I agree that he didn’t really love Gamorra, but he thought he did. What he considers love, of course it was never going to be her if it came before her and the stone.

The Dr. Strange says he will sacrifice Tony ad Spiderman to protect the stone, and he doesn’t. Perhaps he has his own reasons for that, but it seems the movie is saying that the Avengers cannot let people die or else they would not be the Avengers.

That’s…stupid.

You have go consider stakes. It is not evil to let someone sacrifice themselves in a war, especially not if the whole galaxy is at stake and they can help.

There is simply no point in risking your lives as often as the Avengers do if you are not prepared to let someone lose it if they have to. You cannot live dangerously and fear death.

I am not saying we should be heartless and not care. I think on the contrary we care more when someone goes out nobly, and there is some meaning in it. Better that then the pointless carnage at the end of this film.

See, if three, or four people had laid down their lives willingly, half of the population would have been spared. Think about that.

Yet again we wonder who our real heroes are, if they cannot even make that kind of sacrifice.

Whosoever seeks to save his life shall lose it, an whoever loses it for My Sake and the Kingdom’s shall find it.

Jesus said that. And I think it fits. Int eh end if a few good guys had died for the sake of all, then more good guys would have survived.

Hopefully the second movie will clear all this up. Because life does not have true value unless it valued but  not so much that it cannot be given up.

Until next time–Natasha.

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Just Finish or Finish Well?

Sorry I haven’t posted a lot lately, schoolwork is keeping me busy.

Still it’s a lot of fun. I gave my first real speech this week. I got a B, so it wasn’t too bad. My Teacher said we ranged for A’s to F’s.

I am not about measuring self esteem by grades. Though I will say some people did not work on theirs;

I wonder why students procrastinate. I do it too, though I try not to. I always here students saying this after a not so stellar assignment. “I should have practiced” or “I should have worked on it more but I didn’t.” Or they just resignedly say they’re done with it and they don’t care what grade they get.

It’s like we just want to finish more than we want to finish well.

All us students have something to prove. We want to prove that we can make it. We can ace this college thing. We won’t have to retake the class. Though some of us will.

It’s amazing how cavalier people can be about their grades. They miss class when they feel overwhelmed.

Heck, I didn’t miss class when I had a headache all throughout it. I paid good money for this, and gosh darn it I’m going to keep my grades up.

Which hasn’t been all that hard, by the way. College Professor want to give you A’s so a lot of grading is based on you being there.

Which may seem stupid, because it should be how well you’re learning, not how much time you’re spending in class, but it’s what they get paid for.

I think it’s easier then actually expecting us to understand it all right away. But classmates keep disappearing, never to return. Even the ones who seemed the most into the class. If you’re a student right now reading this, you have likely been seeing the same thing. Or you’ve been doing it *gasp.

Students seem to have a defiant/flippant attitude. They complain about how hard the assignments are. They really aren’t.

While I question the methods used to teach speech as really being necessary to an effective speech, they aren’t really all that hard. Just time consuming and frustrating when you still do it wrong.

The average student is taking multiple classes anyway. Professors tend to hand out assignments like theirs is the only class you’re taking. Reality Check: some people take three or four. (Hi.)

But the greater fault is with the students who don’t take initiative. One classmate told me he’s not even through the third section of our workbook, as a class we’re in the fourth, and we were supposed to be almost in the fifth by now, since we’re behind.

I am trying to get ahead just so I’ll finish the darn thing, others aren’t even keeping up with the new and slowed down schedule.

Clearly they don’t care that much. Why are they even still there?

If we all have something to prove, why aren’t we proving it?

The trouble is, college feels like extended high-school for a lot o young people. Some of them just graduated last year, like me.

Unlike me, many don’t already have a career goal in mind. And they don’t use the counseling services to make a plan.

They go to school because it’s what they know how to do. They are used to the environment. I wonder if they will feel lost when they get out. A lot of older adults are there too, are they returning? Or did they never attend college?

If it’s the first, could it be that school just feels right tot hem.

The world is my classroom. College is fun for me because the inflow of new ideas is constant. And my classes cover diverse subjects in a nutshell. I find this environment stimulating, My classmates think my favorite class is the worst, just because the’r always work involved.

I think “Well, the professor wants us to actually use this time well.”

I guess I am a true academic. a rare breed among kids my age. I am easy for my teachers to like because I put effort into learning. Not always my A-game, I am not perfect. But I do try.

And it turns out, just being there and giving some effort, even when it’s not 100%, goes a long way toward success. Of course I always try to do the best I can do in the moment, even if the moment is not my best one. Get it?

I am not saying everyone has to be like me. But I am saying that my passion for learning is something everyone should have. Losing curiosity is a step toward losing your soul.

And if everyone had curiosity, they would put more effort into success. A few classes failed is not the end of the world. So long as you realize your mistake and learn from it.

I think that’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Loud and Proud?

This is not going to be easy to write.

My ever prolific English Class tackled religion this past week. And how two people were driven away from the church by the thing known as a move of the Spirit. The crying, the shouting, the running around, the jumping up and down. The experience that is baffling to anyone watching it.

And someone in my class even said they gave up on church because of seeing that and not wanting to be that way.

If you are not sure what I’m talking about, then it will be hard to explain it. You really have to see it for yourself. People “get happy” as it is sometimes called.

In the Bible if anyone had a reaction like that it was the Spirit of the Lord coming upon them. Interestingly enough, in the New Testament no record is given of people jumping or running or crying or rolling around on the floor, though the Old Testament has some wild stories about that.

And it’s a staple of Revivals to have that happen.

But it can freak people out.

And I should know, it used to freak me out too, and if I’m honest it still puzzles me on occasion.

I am not a demonstrative person. I might get loud, maybe jump a little on my toes, but I’ve never been so overtaken by God that I behave wildly.

I don’t think it’s bad for that to happen, certainly the people it happens to enjoy it. For them it’s a release, a way to clear their emotions from all the stress of life, a way to feel closer to God.

The Church tends to view these spiritual experiences as more holy, and signifying someone is closer to God, versus the people who sit quietly or at most raise their hands and sing.

While people outside the church tend to view this as us getting overexcited, or perhaps being out of our mind, or just weird. At any rate, it’s nothing they want a part of.

But why?

I do sympathize with the no Christian a bit. That kind of behavior would freak me out normally. It can look an awful lot like crazy behavior. But it only comes on in church. During worship usually. I don’t hear about it happening in someone’s private life. Which is perhaps why people decide the church is the problem. Believe in God sure, but those people are weird…

Well, we are weird, I admit. Any people group is going to be wired to the people not in it, and even to other in it who just don’t jibe with their style. I feel a bit out of place at the Nigerian Church that my dad loves because I don’t get it. My dad doesn’t like the style of where I go. But doctrinally, the two churches are almost he same. So the question is, why is the way we worship such a devise issue for us and for Non-Christians who investigate?

I need to be fair. First of all, I do not by any means think that people have to get excited in the loud and energetic way in order to worship God. My favorite way to worship is in private, not so loud. I do enjoy is corporately too. If that really is an obstacle to someone, then going to a church that isn’t like that is no sin.

On the other hand, one thing that Christians who worship in this way tend to understand is that Worship is not really about our control.

At bottom, being wierded out by God moving in what seems like ridiculous or crazy ways is saying that you know better than God what is appropriate. It is also saying that the world gets to measure how sane it is to act in a given way. Why should the world decide this?

People filled with the spirit aren’t going and committing mass murders, or hurting other people, or filled with rage, not truly crazy behavior.

The reason it’s hated is that is is foreign. Even to other Christians. Every Christian is called to be holy (set apart) from the world. People who are acting crazy and don’t care are clearly not concerned about the world’s opinion of them.

God is not going to make sense to us all the time. So it would follow naturally that the way we worship is not always going to seem sensible even to us. As the people it happens to, they don’t get it either.

But I submit that you don’t always need to get it to know it.

And that applies to the many people who don’t experience this. We are not lesser as Christians. The folks who “get happy” are not always the most spiritual in their everyday lives. In fact, often that is the case. Maybe they need it more because of that.

God connects with people however He can, and for some that is quiet, for others it is loud.

I submit that God Himself doesn’t really care so long as the connection is real and true. Why would one little person jumping up and down discomfit God? Why would one person not doing that give Him pause?

What does give Him pause is genuine heartfelt worship, which means not feeling inferior to your fellow believers nor taking pride in being more holy than they. It means giving up control one way or the other. admitting you can’t control whether your worship loud or quiet. Just so long as you worship.

Everyone has their gift, be it small or large, and they can bring that. That’s all that God requires.

And if it’s all that we require of each other, we wills top comparing ourselves. That’s just not important.

Those are my thoughts, until next time–Natasha.

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

Who’s excited about Infinity Wars?

I am not as enthused as I was, Marvel is burning me out. I am a DC person at heart.

With that in mind this week I checked yet another Marvel movie, and another DC movie off my “yet to see” list.

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

They could not be more different stories. One refusing to take anything seriously, the other taking itself perhaps a bit too seriously. No one in Man of Steel developed a sense of humor till the last few minutes of the film. Which proves how desperately the franchise needed the Flash. You go Barry, save the DCU.

Comic relief doesn’t have to be as plentiful as in Marvel, but it is a staple of superhero movies and for a good reason The franchise cannot be taken too seriously, or it falls apart, people nitpick. With the advent of the Dark Knight, and Iron Man, fans have gone to a whole new level of criticizing or worshiping their heroes, but the disappearance of real humor is a telltale sign that we may be forgetting these are just stories.

I know I know, this coming from the person who wrote about relationship goals based on superheros.

Well that’s the point, only a fictional relationship could possible be evaluated without the humanity of he two people getting in the way. They might have flaws, but it will never bug you as much if the person isn’t real, and you can look past it. Learning to do that with your real spouse/significant other is a lot harder, but it’s important.

With that said, did I then love Deadpool?

Heck no. I kept an open mind, I’d heard it was awesome. And though the R-rated material was not enjoyable to me, it wasn’t what killed it.

Fans, you may not want to read the following:

Deadpool was lazy. The writing was lazy. Cussing can be used creatively to emphasize someone’s personality, or the kind of stress they are under, but Deadpool substituted cussing fr a  personality.

I know nothing about what this guy likes or dislikes beyond a few superficial facts But all Marvel characters (except Spiderman and Antman and Thor) suffer from that syndrome, so it wouldn’t ruin him, I suppose.

I also love Ryan Reynolds, for the record, and there were a few moments when his natural comedic gifting came out, but only a few.

Deadpool is vulgar, gross, sick, but not without some good qualities as a person. He really loves his girl, for whatever reason, I guess they are two of a kind. He really tries to do what’s best for her.

The movie was turning into Beastly for a while. Then we go back to R-rated violence and humor.

But Deadpool is still a weak character. Though he makes fun of Marvel tropes, he relies on them for us to even like him. Otherwise, why would we? Remove the Fourth wall breaking, and naughty mouth that makes us all feel like big boys for watching, and you are left with the most average or even sub-par superhuman I’ve ever seen. (Maybe Titan from Megamind has him beat.) I mean, what does he even do that makes him likable? He saves his girlfriend, but if I want to watch gun-slinging violent damsel in distress movie, there’s a few dozen westerns that would beat this out, especially for dialogue.

No, I’m sorry, saving the girl can’t justify everything.

Most of our superheroes are getting high kill rates, and Deadpool embracing that is not helping anything. It’s not a good thing.

Let me tackle Man of Steel now.

I admit I liked this movie okay. It was better than Deadpool. It is chronically serious. All DC movies have been except for Suicide Squad. It’s their style, love it or hate it. I don’t love it exactly, I need to laugh every now and then Superman, but I do appreciate DC trying to put some real morality in it. And that they do not treat moral decisions as something to joke about.

Because right and wrong is not a joke, and cannot be settled on a joke.

I won’t be saying anything new if I say that Superman seeking religious advice is unique, and humble. Superman has always been a humble and they kept that in the movie. They also kept Lois Lane’s conscience, which was nice. I miss her sarcasm but Amy Addams has never been the type of actress to sell that character, so I guess it can’t be helped. She still did a good job of nailing Lois’es reckless, meddling side.

Pa Kent was the worst part though. Ugh. Talk about the anti Uncle Ben. And Pa Kent used to be more likable.

Krypton was never something I cared to see more of, in the comics I got tired of gong back to it. It was too idealized. Too perfect.

The movie touched on the arrogance of such a world, but the thing about planned parenthood, was unnecessary and felt too much like the Matrix. (Yet another lesson about messing with DNA, geneticists, I hope you’re listening.)

But in the end Superman is a sympathetic character. We feel bad for him. True the guy tends to make the same face most of the time, but I think it’s the script’s fault. Most of his scenes are serious, he kind of has to make that face. And he does lighten up a few times.

The comparison of superman to god is a running theme. but Superman himself knows he’d not a god. To have god-like powers without god-like wisdom is to be only a monster. Like Zod. Unless you humbly submit to the higher call of Good, and then you are a hero.

So as imperfect as Superman is, at least he gets that. he’s learning. DC characters all seem to be learning and rowing. And I am looking forward tow hat they come up with in the future. But Deadpool and the rest of the snappy but empty characters, they might get people laughing, but will they ever get them thinking?

I can’t say, but I don’t see it so far, so here’s to the Flawed but Learning people!

–Natasha.

The appalling comment section.

I’ve been re-watching Justice League episodes in this past week. But unfortunately I have to use public internet to get these episodes. The comment section under this stuff is unbelievable.

Comment sections don’t represent the best of people anyway, but they do represent a lot of what passes for humor and reasonable assumptions nowadays.

Whenever you watch something you think about the reactions of the people around you.

I enjoy certain shoes only when I watch them with my siblings, I don’t enjoy a lot of things if I watch them with my mom, but I do with my dad. When I’m with my peers…usually I’m the one spoiling it for them to be honest. Sorry.

So what happens when the people I’m watching it with are a bunch of you-tubers?

The sex jokes.

Both heterosexual and homosexual jokes are all over superhero material.

Someone actually said, I kid you not, that one male super missed this other one when he supposedly died, so that made both of them slightly gay.

I’m not sure how someone can be slightly gay. I think they meant that any and all positive feelings or expressions of emotion between two male characters has to be gay. Because clearly, no man would ever like another man or care about him, unless he was gay.

Right?

This is the line of thinking that says all those men who had deep relationships in history, they were secretly gay.

I think this logic would then say that our modern soldiers who develop deep friendships over the hardships of being in the military, they are all gay. All of them.

Really?

Last I checked gay didn’t mean a man shows any emotion at all. It means he shows a bizarre amount of sexually associated emotion…oh, that’s right, sexual association can now be anything.

Think about it. If someone on TV just stares at someone for a little longer than usual, it’s sexual. Any compliment becomes flirting. Honest admiration becomes infatuation.

I can’t even admire someone now? I have to have a crush on them to have a legit reason to like them?

Same thing with girls. If a girl has a heart to heart chat with another girl, and (gasp) hugs her or touches her at all, it’s now a lesbian moment.

Some girls are more touchy then others, women tend to touch each other more then men do. Women tend to touch men more them men touch them, in non romantic ways. Heck, women touch ourselves more if you go by nervous habits. Women play with their hair, bite nails, do all sorts of things like that, I see them doing it more then men do.

I hate that when I feel admiration or affection for another girl, I now have to question it. Or no, I don’t have to. I suppose no one is pointing a finger at me and saying “Is that sexual?” but when thew hole culture is constantly pointing its finger, doesn’t that affect all of us?

We all feel this pressure to conform to the ideas of the culture.

I have said before I consider homosexuality to be a sin. I have received surprisingly no back lash for that. But what I haven’t said is that I think just about every young person now has asked themselves if they are homosexual.

And the sad thing is, the culture keeps saying that all feelings that might be interpreted as homosexual are the truest feelings. That even if you have had many feelings of attraction toward the opposite sex, the truest you would be the homosexual version.

Leaving aside moral implications for a second, can I ask why we should assume that feelings that lead to humans not reproducing more humans would be considered the most natural? How does nature, what tells us to reproduce, now no longer want us to?

Why, I would ask, do people have reproductive parts only for one gender (most of us) if we are meant to be able to be happy without the other. We can’t continue our race with just women or just men.

Or, if we can, then we should ask ourselves why we were designed for heterosexual life in the first place?

But what about relationships between the same gender. Do they always have to be sexual to be emotional?

I am not even sure physical touch is the dividing line here. I’ve talked about before how physical touch is simply a need humans have, whenever we care about someone. whether they are old, young, man, or woman.

The idea that you cannot even miss someone’s company without is being a sign of romantic love…I…I can’t even…so if my grandpa dies and I miss him…

I won’t even finish that thought. you get the point.

And by the by, being uninterested in romantic relationships with the opposite sex does not make you homosexual. You could simply not desire sex period. Which isn’t unnatural by the way. Most people do, but if someone has not inclination to live a married life, then they have no reason to have sexual desires. (Most people still do, but for some the emotional desire for marriage preludes physical desire.)

Sex is about function as well as pleasure, most pleasures have a purpose. Food tastes good because you need to eat it. You can’t separate those two.  You can enjoy tastes even when you aren’t hungry, but if you were never hungry, you would never learn to like food. Simple.

I question sex that has no useful function beyond pleasure, and I mean overall. In any other context, such as rape, child molestation, or porn, that kind of sexual pleasure is admitted to be wrong…by some cultures.

We have chosen to justify homosexuality. Not because it makes sense, but because we wanted to. There’s no logic behind it. Studies won’t back it up.

The irrationality of homosexuality is what makes it so easy to agree with for everyone under a certain age. Even Christians, who’s beliefs should directly contradict it. But if something has no logic beyond “They love each other” then how can it be refuted?

Easily, but it would require too much thinking. The media isn’t going to ask the tough questions, the rest of us are too scared…

Why are we scared anyway? So what if people say we’re bigoted? I guess it’s true.

I am predisposed to think homosexuality is unnatural and wrong… but the question I put to you is, why shouldn’t I be?

What exactly has it done for our society? It is pushing our science forward? (finding ways to change people’s gender is not moving forward, it’s not discovering new things.) Is it making us kinder?

It is making it easier to be gay, getting praised for your sexual orientation, heck, who wouldn’t want free praise.

And it is free. It doesn’t matter how bullied they are still, no one should get kudos for sexual orientation. Anymore than they should for their skin color. It has nothing to do with excellence. Or nobility. Or even creativity often enough.

People have been bullied for needing glasses, that doesn’t make wearing glasses brave.

 

Why homosexuality is now smiled upon and read into everything, I really don’t know. Honestly I think there’s a lot of broken people out there who turn to it because it’s easier than pushing through the pain of heterosexual relationships. Goodness knows it’s harder to be with the opposite sex. We don’t understand each other.

But if it’s harder, it’s also more rewarding to figure it  out. Marriage is an accomplishment. I don’t believe gay marriage is anything more than sexualized friendship. The reason being, it often doesn’t last and it’s still easier to get along with the same sex.

Do I think my writing this will change anything?

Yes. It changes me. Maybe I need to be reminded of what I believe.

And I don’t care if someone hates me for it. At least I know what I believe is real when it’s against what everyone says.

Believer and Pain.

You may have heard that song by Imagine Dragons, “Believer.”

I am not a huge fan of Imagine Dragons, but I still want to give them a shout out for having the band name I would want to have if I was in it. I freaking love the name Imagine Dragons.

But their music is a little to heavy metal/pop for me.

However, I’ve heard this song, who hasn’t of a certain age? And since I actually watch lyric videos to find out what a song is about, I watched one for it and found out the song is about something a bit unusual.

It’s become typical to have, pardon the word, bad-ass songs. (I really want a clean equivalent of that word to use.) The “in your face” song.

I like some of them. And this song is technically in that category, but it has a profound twist. The song is about pain. The pain, as the words say, making you a believer.

People love this song. In the past the idea of pain being what made you a believer would have seemed problematic to me. I’m a huge believer in beauty being an inspiration, love being motivation, and peace being what gets you through.

Yet, in the past few months, my most constant companion has been PAIN.

What does a dreamer like me do when pain seems to be taking over their life. For weeks I didn’t want to write or even read, or think about all the stuff I wanted to do with my life, because how could I do it? I felt crippled by something that was mostly in my head.

Now this song didn’t bring me any great revelation. But it has made some people decide to keep going, and I read one person decided not to kill themselves after hearing it.

And I can say it’s because the song is true.

The words “My life, my love, my God, they came from pain.” I don’ think it means pain makes any of those things, but it’s a honest realization that without pain we’ll never know if those things are real.

To be honest with you guys, I haven’t seen a flat out miracle in a long time. I haven’t seen the things that make people think Christians are doing LSD. ( we aren’t.) I haven’t seen a miraculous healing in a long time. And I’ve never seen happen to me.

Like I said, I’m a dreamer. I believe in all those things. Call me crazy. There are things in this world that cannot be explained away.

yet I still have no personal evidence.

And what do you do with that when you’re suffering for months for seemingly no reason.

I admit freely I got pretty mad at God over it. I gave him a piece of my mind. But in the end I always come back to Him. I guess you could say I’m addicted.

It’s rough too when people get tired of hearing you complain about what you’re going through. And the only response I got from God was “trust Me.”

You Christians who read this, you ever wonder why you trust God? What He’s done to make you so confident?

I have.

Yet, I began to notice there was a miracle taking place in my life. I was being plagued by fears about how I was feeling, and anxiety. Then gradually that changed. I started to be less afraid. I have a low pain tolerance, and do not handle it well, but now I was pushing on through it. Moving on with my life. Drawing closer to God.

And oddly enough, I came to see that pain can be a gift. It’s not one anyone wants to keep. (I would hope.) I wouldn’t take it. But if it comes, and you accept that, then it is a gift.

Pain jolts you out of your stupor that the distractions of this world can put you into.

I know Christians who ware waiting for the next revival, the next breakthrough, the next movement of God. I think they don’t realize that they are waiting for pain.

Because pain is a part of creating life in this world. from childbirth to starting a business or becoming a professional athlete, it’s going to hurt.

Pain sucks, and no mistake. I don’t enjoy it. But I know it’s necessary. I still wish it wasn’t when I’m feeling it, but looking back I don’t want to change it.

Pain can indeed make you a believer, because you don’t know where you believe till you’ve been through the fire, the rain, and all that.

Sometimes the miracle is not being saved from suffering, but in seeing yourself changed by it.

So, good for Imagine Dragons. They hit something profound.

Until next time–Natasha.

Are Millennials nice?

Let’s talk about millenials again.

This blog is directed partially ot them anyway, and I think we get a bad rap. Not that I don’t have my furstrations with people in my general age range. (Which is getting close to 20, yikes!)

I’ve always observed the people around me to be fairly nice most of the time. So when I started school, I wondered if my sheltered christian bubble would burst.

But so far it hasn’t. I’ve been blessed to be in classes with nice teachers and seemingly nice students. n fact I almost think it’s a God thing.

I know not all people are nice. I would not be shocked to run into some not nice ones. yet I usually don’t. Everywhere I go, on the bus, in school, to the store, people show little considerations of each other. They maybe don’t bend over backwards to help, but they will be decent. Move out of the way for someone in a wheelchair, help someone else understand their homework, be willing to cheer people on even if they are the competition, and scoot over so you can fit on a crowded bus. All real examples.

In one of my classes a fellow who people either jokingly or seriously said was racist because he is wary of black guys since getting mugged by one covered for the black student who couldn’t make it to class. They seem to be on good terms.

Now I know the whole racist thing is not always a serious remark, but that’ kind of my point. Instead of being oversensitive about it, they ignored it.

I don’t know how any of these people I’ve mentioned are int heir personal lives. Sometimes it’s easier to be polite to strangers..always it’s easier. I get that.

But since it’s complained about a lot that folks just aren’t nice or considerate anymore, and millennials are especially selfish and spoiled, I have to wonder, are we wrong about this?

We should at least consider it. I know this can be more of a Western thing, and all my viewers who hail from the Eastern countries may know a very different story about their young people, but I think in Europe at least this problem is the same. Why?

My guess is that Millennials and down are still lacking a moral compass, but good manners is something just about every parent tries to enforce at some point, and it can be our only nod to some general standard of behavior. Our only way to feel like good people.

And whatever our bad boy/girl songs say, we like to feel like good people.

Frequently at my college the young men hold the door open for both girls and each other. (No favoritism right.) In an age where chivalry is disappearing maybe some of it is coming back in. maybe they just feel they should.

I hold the door open for both guys and girls too. I say it’s whoever gets there at the right time. It would be weird to stand there and wait for someone else to do it. I’m not that committed to making the point.

Maybe I’m lucky, or maybe good places attract people like me who are seeking good environments. Not because I can’t handle worse, but because who purposely puts themselves into a negative environment unless it’s to fix it? Not many people.

I have wondered if occasionally it is my influence that causes this, but I have o proof of that. It’s a nice thought, but it might give one person too much credit.

Still, have we been misrepresented?

Millennials and down are spoiled, it’s true. And our biggest flaw is not an unwillingness to work, or to work hard, but to work consistently. We are a microwave generation. I don’t think that’s our fault exactly, but it is something we need to challenge ourselves to rise above.

It’s not, I believe after observing us more, that we don’t care about people. I think we actually care about more people in a small way than many generations before us. On thing we can’t ignore is that tragedy is happening all the time, and we aren’t all desensitized to it.

But all this caring in a small way has left us unable to handle caring in a large way. We don’t know how to act when an opportuintiy to change someone else’s life comes along. I doubt we recognize that opportunity when we see it.

We can be nice to almost everyone, but truly honest with no one. We can get out of the way for others, but not put ourselves in harm’s way for them.

Why is this?

Because we aren’t made to believe we can or should do those things. We are raised to avoid danger, trouble, confrontation, and discomfort. Conflict is the worst enemy now, not evil. Many young people believe certain evils are fine just so long as you don’t fight over them.

That’s pathetic, but it’s not the young person’s fault. They’ve been taught that fighting is wrong. It’s not.

The way to save this generation is to let them grow up. We keep coddling them. They can handle more. I believe it. They just need to be pushed out of the nest. yes, they will fail at first because they aren’t prepared, but I think we have plenty of stories about people adapting to their circumstances to back up the idea that Millennials will learn.

If they don’t, that’s on them. But we should not let them get away with not trying.

We don’t need to write books for or about young people and their problems, we need to tell them to write the books. They need to make the movies. They need to create the jobs. We need to get out of their way.

Yes, I know that what they’ve been taught is not good. But I see no end to it until they have had time to try and fail and realize there’s more to success in life than they know. When that happens they’ll need us to help them figure out how to fix it. but no do it for them.

That’s my thought on it, until next time–Natasha.

Upgrading kids.

“College is a waste of Time and Money.” is the ironically titled essay I had to read for last week’s classes. I was almost convinced to drop out of the college.

That was a joke obviously. But let’s be serious, is this opinion valid?

The Essayist thinks that if you’re only going out of a sense of obligation, or because you think it’s just what you do after high school, then it is a waste for you.

I do question, as a born and bred homeschooler, how effective institutional education is.

One of the points the essayist brought up is that college is like an extended adolescence for many kids. They aren’t ready to face the world, so they go to school, school is familiar.

That’s so sad, especially when I think how kids used to be raring to get done with school and enter the world at large to make a place in it.

As this essayist or one of the others I read observed, the world just doesn’t seem to have a place for these college kids. They go to college in the hopes that they will find a place afterward. When they are more useful.

I can’t say I blame them. How many kids know how to work?

I don’t blame the kids, by the way, most of them would have been happy to learn a skill if we just stressed it’s relevance, they don’t want to waste their time learning stuff they’ll never use.

When I briefly worked retail they taught me organization, but that was about it. I just needed to be fast and efficient. Which I wasn’t.

We were talking in class about how businesses see workers as liabilities now, not assets. With a few exceptions. So if you screw up, you’re out.

Which explained to me why I got fired. It didn’t matter to them whether I was honest or more dependable, I was just too slow. (Speed takes practice to build up.) Instead of being an asset they could train, I was just a liability.

After all, machines do it better and you don’t have to teach them.

But when we like our machines more than our people, what motivates us to train kids in hardworking jobs?

The great irony of electronics is that they are sucked up by Millennials and younger, even while they bite them in the rear by making those very age groups less necessary and less of a priority to businesses and organizations.

We don’t know much except for how to organize and drive forklifts and run computers.

I’d rather do a real day’s work so long as it was for something good. Some people have said I’m a hard worker, some people say I’m slow. Some people say this younger generation is lazy and indolent, others say we’re full of energy.

I think it’s a matter of perspective. One thing we aren’t is dependable. It hasn’t sunk in to us that there are things that have to be committed to all the way if they’re going to work out. Unfortunately, even schools tend to coddle students, all those second chances and programs to help them get by with less effort.

I’m all for helping someone who really needs it, but our methods don’t seem to working.

One thing people tell me is that I am stubborn. Or determined, to put it more nicely. They usually say it about how I pursue the things of God. But a positive side effect is that determination spreads to all areas of your life. I was not always a persistent worker, but I’ve changed a lot since becoming a Christian, because now I have a a reason to pursue goals.

I had a reason. So I changed. Sometimes either you upgrade, or you shut down.

And kids don’t have a reason to upgrade, so they shut down.

After all, do they really feel like society needs them? Do most kids feel like their family needs them?

I had a alteration in my perspective after my family moved and I realized that my parents really needed me to be more responsible, and my siblings needed me to be strong and able to help them. I was the bridge between the two.

Because parents tend to shield their kids from responsibility so the kids won’t worry, the kids feel they have nothing to offer. When was the last time you heard a kid talk about being necessary to something. They probably wouldn’t have used that word, but it would have been implied in their tone.

Before the past 50-60 years happened, kids were absolute necessary, even from the age of 6, to their families. They represented difficulties, but once they got older the parents needed them to help with chores, with the business, or with keeping house so the parents could work.

You see prosperity is meant to grow as your family grows. Ideally your business starts small but by the time your kids are old enough to help it’s gotten too big for you to handle. And then from family you get community as you bring in outside workers also.

It used to be that way. But things have inflated too much.

Still, we need our young people. Moms would not be so overwhelmed if they taught their older kids to help more and let them be responsible for stuff. Maybe we can’t let them work jobs (though child labor is only a bad thing when it is excessive, a few hours of it never hurt any kid as long as they were doing something they could handle) but we can let them help us.

There are always going to be mishaps. But adults forget their car keys, leave their phones as home, and lose paper work. Should we judge kids if they knock stuff over or do something wrong because we didn’t explain it to them?

Kids may not like working at first because we’ve taught them they shouldn’t have to do it. But once they get used to the idea, nothing is more rewarding for them then feeling they helped mom or dad do something difficult.

That’s a feeling I think young people shouldn’t be robbed of.

Until next time–Natasha.

How women dress (modesty.)

I couldn’t get into this in my previous post, but I briefly mentioned a discussion in my English Class about how women dress.

Deep breath.

I’ve grown up going to youth group, so I must have heard this discussion at least a dozen times, usually once or twice every six months is when it comes up.

Every time, there were some girls who got really bent out of shape about it. Even offended. And the same thing happened in class. A few women, particularly the oldest one in our class, were in favor of having certain standards, shall we say; and one girl was getting a bee in her bonnet about being held to different standards than men.

If I want to not wear a shirt, or not wear a bra under my shirt, why shouldn’t I be able to; was her argument, a man doesn’t have to do that.

Um…how can I put this? A man doesn’t have a…reason to wear those things for decency’s sake.

To me the issue is really quite simple. Modesty depends on what you’ve got to work with. And wearing revealing clothes also depends on that, often enough.

I don’t wish to make men or women reading this uncomfortable, if you’re sensitive, and I am one of those folks; but I have to be honest too about this issue.

The real problem women seem to have, at least I’ve never yet heard a man complain that it’s not fair that we ask him to dress respectably, is that they have to deal with men gazing at them lustfully, and men do not have this problem.

Well, I don’t know about that. But I think it goes deeper, women also resent the idea that men can tell them to do anything, including how to dress; and then they get iffy even if other women are telling them.

After all shouldn’t girls be able to express themselves however they want?

If I was to be glib, I would say I’d rather not express myself then have me ogle me. And I’ve yet to catch one doing it, thank you very much.

But it’s not that simple is it?

And girls who resent this, do have a point. It’s not fair that women have to worry about it so much. It’s not fair that we have to worry about being raped, or have creepy remarks being made about us, and all sorts of stuff. Statistically, I think women are the victims of more violent cries then men are, though it depends on where you live.

It’s not right that we have to think about all this. My whole bus stop incident was one that I was prepared for, I’d thought about how I would handle it when something like that happened to me. But just the fact hat I knew it would happen and had to be prepared, is pretty sad.

Please men, please be shaking your heads and saying “Wow, that is terrible.”

I hope to God I never get assaulted, but 1 in 3 women are, or is that just the successfully assaulted ones? The attempted assaults could raise the number higher.

And if I’m in a dangerous spot, I hope that I have a good man around to protect me. Because the fact is, few women get assaulted when they have a man around them. In fact, kidnappers and assaulters will purposely target girls who they can tell don’t have a good Dad. Even losers in schools who pick up chicks and use them though they don’t assault them will go for the fatherless.

And I notice it’s the fatherless women who tend to have the most issue with how they dress.

We can talk about rights all day long. We can wish men didn’t lust. We can wish, quite frankly, that women didn’t lust. Don’t tell me any girl over 18 who likes men at all has never ogled one herself. Double standard much?

But the reality is, people lust. People are messed up.

And as I said, I believe there are really good men out there. And good women. I’m truly sorry if it’s never been your experience to meet one. But it’s not too late.

The point is, as I said in my class, do you play with matches in front of an arsonist? Do you drink in front of an alcoholic? Do you do drugs in front of a junkie?

Some people do, they are called being part of the problem. And people who don’t do, but don’t try to help their loved ones who are doing it are called enablers.

Not all men are enslaved to lust, not everyone does drugs. But if you know that someone has a weakness for something and you utterly disregard that by what you talk about, do, or dress like around them, you share the responsibility.

Sorry if I’m insulting your freedom, but explain to me where you get off?

“But Natasha, it’s my body, I can do what I want.”

Honestly, I’ve heard youth leaders try to be delicate and gentle about it, and it goes right over the girls heads. They turn up their teenage noses and stick out their chins and say “I have the right to dress however I want.”

Well, you have the right to jump off a bridge too, but don’t blame us for you broken bones.

But let me back off from laying down the law. I’m risking losing you guys by being too passionate.

I have felt like it was unfair too. I went through that phase.

It’s not all the girls fault. Whether we can blame men for checking us out if we dress that way, I can’t say, but we can blame them for acting on it.

I’d like to end this with another college story.

The other week I went to an event but couldn’t find the building for a good 45 minutes. (New student troubles.) I asked a few different people for help and they couldn’t tell me. But one young man decided to help me find it. He walked me form one end of central campus to the other. At first I was concerned since it was a total stranger, and not that many people were about. But he never was anything but courteous and respectful. a true gentlemen. He stayed with me until we finally found it, then left me outside the room.

I haven’t seen him since, And I doubt I will since we have different class schedules, but he made my evening a lot pleasanter even if I was stressed out. And later I realized he probably escorted me because there was an assault on or by our campus not that long ago. And I was alone.

I think I would have been fine, but that doesn’t change that I appreciated the consideration.

Which is why I say for one fellow who might have been wanting to use me, I’ve had a dozen who wanted to help me.

I think how men view women is shaped a lot by how women view themselves. If you dress like a sex symbol, don’t BS me that you view yourself any differently. If you dress like a princess, you think of yourself as a princess.

You cannot give off mixed signals and expect to be treated with consideration. Most men will not try anything on a girl they can plainly see wouldn’t go for it. Those who will are the reason we need good men around us.

And that is that.

That’s all I’ve got to say about it, until next time–Natasha.

Attempted Pick up at the Bus Stop.

College and life have a way of intertwining.

I had the most bizarre thing happen to me yesterday, as you know i take the bus to school most days, and so far nothing really strange has happened to me. But yesterday it was finally my turn to get the weirdo-trying- to-pick-up-a-chick experience.

I don’t do face reveals for safety reasons on this blog, so you’ll have to take my word for it that I’m a pretty attractive young woman, but I do not look like the type of person who’s an easy pick up. In fact up till now, I’ve never been asked out or really flirted with (as far as i could tell at the time anyway.)

And I can’t be particularly flattered by this fellow, since he tried the same line on me that I heard him use on a more abrupt girl in the other seat.

I’ve been around homeless people enough times to spot the type. Maybe you know it, they seem lucid and aware of their surroundings, but they aren’t quite all there. I’m sure it’s because a lot of them are on drugs, but there’s still a difference between them and other addicts. Maybe it’s the loss of regular human contact.

This fellow was just a little out of it, so I decided rather then immediately tell him to buzz off, I would do it easily. Anyway it was a public place and there wasn’t much he could do.

After a lot of flattery, and some strangely deep life advice, he came to the point rather subtly by saying he’d like to visit me.

That was when I tactfully told him that I don’t get picked up by guys I just met.–Not adding “Besides, you’re homeless, probably a smoker (I could smell cigarettes), and a little loopy.”

I guess he’s not in it for the long haul because he rather disappointedly got up and bid farewell pretty abruptly. SO much for liking girls for their mind.

I could have freaked out over this, but I figured I was pretty safe since he didn’t get on the bus with me, so I just thought it was funny. Every woman goes through this at one point, at least if you use public transportation and are fairly easy to look at. (Even if you aren’t I’m not sure it makes a difference with some predators.)

But what made the whole thing wierder was I heard someone at my school talking about what sounded like a similar incident, and I wondered if she was at the bus stop too.

Then to top it off, in my English/ junior critical thinking class we got on the subject of men and women, and how women dress, and how women don’t feel safe on campus. And also how men have tried to keep women down for centuries.

And I rolled my eyes.

I get that sexism is and was a huge problem even in America, but from where I stand, it is just stupid for an American, or even Western European woman to complain about it.

Maybe we have a few difficulties (a fact I would put up for debate still) but we have nothing to complain about. We have no reason to rail against men in general just because some of them are jerks.

I get that women have been burned a lot, unfortunately, I also think that woman burn each other plenty of the time. And behind every overbearing man there was a woman who at some point refused to stand up to him, don’t tell me any man is born a bully and a sexist anymore than any girl is, they have to learn it. And Women, mothers especially, have some responsibility for that.

Some of the men I know who seem to have a prejudice against females had unstable mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives, or other women who scarred them.

I don’t say that any rapist or abuser gets a pass just because he had a bad mother, but I do say he could have been taught differently at some point, though often fathers are more to blame then mothers for that.

Blaming men alone for how women have been treated is kind of stupid, every time there is an oppressor, it is because the oppressed let it happen. Yes, there can be force involved, but force can never contain intellect or heart forever, unless they allow it to.

Which is great, because it means women have some say in how they are treated. Imagine that!

Using my bus stop experience, I could either say that men are predators, and if I were a man it would never have happened.

Well maybe it wouldn’t have happened with that guy in particular, but nowadays men aren’t really any safer then women when it comes to these sorts of things. I can blame men for this, maybe with some justification, they are a big part of the problem.

Or I can be real.

For this one guy who was a weirdo, I’ve had many men treat me with respect, even if without interest. I have had the pleasure of knowing some guys actually like talking to me for my personality, and not my appearance, and I also know that they still appreciate my appearance. Which is fine by me. Am I going to pretend I don’t like a nice looking man? No. That would be stupid.

I don’t need a man to give me permission to play on their field, because I never think about it. If I want to do something, and it’s fitting, and I’m able, then I’m going to do it, I don’t care what they think. And they don’t seem interested in judging me for it. I’ve fought boys before in good fun, I never heard that “but you’re a girl line.” And if I did, I’d probably crush them.

As I say to my sister, I can like sparkles and swords at the same time, I’ll put sparkles on my sword if I want. (not really, it would be impractical, but if I wanted to I would) I’ll wear a tiara with my armor, and I’ll watch superhero movies and chick flicks if I want to.

Not because I have something to prove; but because that’s me. I like being a girl, I don’t think it limits what I have to like or dislike. From make-up to machetes, I can have an interest.

I like boys too, not just from a romantic perspective, but as people. I get something from their company I never get from girls, I never will.

Excuse me if I’m not afraid of men. I’m not naive, I know some of them are bad. So what? Some women are bad too, and I’ve probably had more negative experiences with them then with men.

This is the kind of thinking that scares my dad, because he worries about me. But it’s a waste of time. you cannot guarantee someone a life free from uncomfortable or even dangerous situations, all you can do is prepare them for it.

And I feel fairly well prepared.

Until nest time–Natasha.