Sunday, December 9, 2012

Say it, learn it, live it.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 
Philippians 4:13


"Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind, than on outward circumstances."
Benjamin Franklin

A dream is a wish your heart makes

After all, Disney isn't their generation, it's mine. The little girls I watch after school beg me to put in a movie on half days. Seeing their shelf-full of classics, "How about The Little Mermaid?" says I. "No, we want to watch the new Katy Perry tour movie."

In my opinion, a lot of the classics came out in the 90's and early 2000's, which would have put me at a prime age for Disney to captivate me with their stories. I was about three when I saw my first movie in a real theater. It was Hercules, and I was hooked.

Disney movies literally can make my day. If Aladdin is on ABC family, you know what I'm doing that night. When I go to my dad's house a couple days every week, I expect there to be a stack of library movies with the Disney logo right front and center on each disc. I still remember all the words to the songs, and you bet your lunch money I sing along, loud and proud.   

Sadly, I fear that some recent Disney movies would have Walt rolling over in his grave. Only select few have played on my heart-strings just as they did when I was a kid. The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled, were done in the spirit of the great princess movies before them. Tip of my hat to the fine people that got that right.

The classics, the movies that took a little more effort than an all-star cast and extremely high budget production department, are the ones that I'm referring too. These movies are meant to be seen as inspirational, exciting, and beautiful stories, told for a greater purpose.
By looking at "the moral of the story" of one of my favorites, perhaps we can establish why these movies are so beloved.

Be kind, have faith, and your dreams will come true.
If there ever were a greater message, I've yet to find one. Though she is not the most adored princess by spiteful feminists, (seeing how she had to find a man to sweep her off her feet before her life really began), Cinderella is an inspiration, and I think they're all just jealous. She is a beautiful character, she is patient, and selfless, and she sings the most exquisite song, "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes."

"No matter how your heart is grieving, if you just keep on believing, the dream that you wish, will come true." 

The Little Mermaid taught me to never give up.  Pocahontas told me to accept those who are different than me. Mulan said that anyone can be a hero. Beauty and the Beast proved that beauty is truly found from within.
The list goes on and on.

In my eyes, it's plain to see that these movies are more than entertainment, they have guided my opinions about how I should treat others, and in turn, how I should demand respect for myself. Some could say that they're just silly kids movies, but honestly, I don't think that these people have taken the time to understand the outstanding messages that these movies withhold.

Disney, I will forever be a fan, and to all you haters, Hakuna Matata.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I'm eighteen, I'm an adult, I can do what I want. I can get a tattoo. I can pierce my body. I can go bungee jumping, I can skydive. I can change my name, I can buy fireworks.
I don't have to ask my mom if I can do any of these things. I can just go out and do them.

I can buy tobacco products, I can gamble. I can go to a strip club, I can buy porn. I can serve alcohol.

I can be convicted as an adult and go to real adult jail. I can sue someone and be sued. I can buy a lottery ticket. I can purchase a hotel room, I can get a loan. I can drive at any time.

With a license I can carry a weapon.
I can enlist in the military. I can vote.
I can buy those moronic devises off of info-mercials. 

I can legally do all of these "adult" things. However, the way I feel about my personal freedom or my sense of self-sufficiency hasn't changed in the slightest. What this list feels like is exactly what it is, a list. Applying it to my life is proving to be difficult, because I don't picture myself any different at all.

I still have little to no adult responsibilities, I live rent free, I don't pay for insurance, I still hug my parents before going to bed. As a matter of fact I feel younger, just the other day I had a Disney movie day with my dad. Call it a mid-life crisis. 

I've cleared my own path and made choices for myself for some time now, long before the state labeled me as an adult. But I was looking forward to the added responsibility of this title; however, now that I have it, it has lost its appeal.
Now, when I screw up, I'm no longer a child, and I should know better. I don't want to be seen as incompetent or misunderstood by my fellow adults. I should know how to do adult things like change a tire, claim my taxes, or manage my bank account. But the truth is, I still need help.

Maybe in August, when I finally start college, I'll feel like I need less help. Maybe I'll feel more like an adult. After all I'll be living on my own, paying my own way (mostly.) Because I can, maybe I'll eat cake for breakfast every day, or pull all-nighters with my friends. I think that that final sense of freedom, the feeling that I am in complete control of my life, will be my indication of adulthood. Not the fact that I can smoke, or vote, or whatever it may be. Those things are what I am told makes me an adult.

In my opinion, most of that list, (aside from the obviously commendable items, such as military enrollment or voting) should not be labeled "adult" perks but childish mistakes. Before I go and tattoo "I <3 Johnny" on my arm or triple pierce my eyebrow, maybe it would be smart to consider the long term consequences. Like the fact that both of those things will not look appealing within the next thirty years. A lot of students who are just turning 18 aren't thinking about how much of a regret this could potentially be.

Even though this uneventful "landmark" of turning 18 has been somewhat of a letdown, after all is said and done, I know that only I can determine what sets me apart among student my age. Because I am an adult, I will make the grown up decision of resisting the urge to do some of the things on that list just because "I can." 

1 Corinthians 2:6 
"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing."

2 Corinthians 1:12
"Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace."

"A Hope in the Unseen"

In the book, “A Hope in the Unseen,” The main character Cedric Jennings is constantly ridiculed for his love of knowledge. His goals and ambitions are seen as arrogant, and he is left to be an outcast.
At Ballou High School, it’s not “popular” or even socially acceptable to be smart. Intelligence is left at the bottom of the list of most desirable qualities. However, at my high school, that concept is exactly the opposite. 

For his achievements in learning, he would receive awards; countless t-shirts, medals, and certificates. He would be an AP scholar, on the honor roll, an IA assessments top 1% member. His fellow students wouldn’t look down on him for these accomplishments, we would hold him in high regard and strive to be more like him.  

However, perhaps Cedric would only be considered “a brain” at his school. Most likely, Kennedy has a more rigorous and challenging class selection than Cedric’s school, which would put him closer to the middle of the pack, considering all of the academically talented students we already have. 

But to compare his social experience at Ballou to what it would be like at Kennedy, all I can say is that high school is still high school. If Cedric would continue to isolate himself and see himself as better than his classmates, then who’s to say he wouldn’t be bullied here? Not for his intelligence, but for his attitude. From what I know about my classmates, (and myself) a know-it-all is about as annoying as it gets. We’re all just trying to make it through and do our best here; we don’t appreciate those who look down upon those that should be treated as equals.