15 January 2009

Danger in Choice- The Giver by Lois Lowry

Imagine yourself in a world were you need make no choices; a world where everything is decided for you. You have no worries, nothing to hide, you have no choice but to follow the rules and everyone takes care of each other. This is Jonas's world. A utopia, you may think? Absolutely not. In The Giver by Lois Lowery, Jonas is about to enter his twelfth year and receive his assignment, as everyone does as a Twelve. After a dramatic ceremony, he becomes the Receiver of his community. He trains with The Giver, receiving memories of how emotions and life was in the past when people had the power to choose. He discovers elements like colors, snow, and other every day things for us that we rarely even think twice about. Jonas thought being able to live with love was a dangerous way to live, and he was right. But he also knew it was the right way to live. Jonas most certainly made the accurate choice by bravely leaving his community and traveling to Elsewhere. Jonas's world is not a utopia, by leaving he stood for what was difficult, but right, and he also took in the affirmative and negative effects of love.
Although not having to have the burden of making choices all the time may seem like a marvelous way to live, it isn't exactly what it seems. If we have no trial, we really do not have happiness either. On the back of The Giver, the synopsis states, "Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices." Sure, this world sounds perfect, as a utopia. No choices, to war, fear or pain. But with no war, fear and pain, there isn't exactly any peace, comfort or euphoria either. Without having both love and hate, we do not know the difference between the two. Therefore, we don't have love, which means we have no feelings. Is this what is considered a utopia; utterly no feelings or emotions at all?
Enduring the pain and love was difficult for Jonas, but this isn't the dilemma. The real predicament is that leaving is what was right. Everyone in the community is given an assignment of the town leader's choosing. They are asked to fulfill their duty to the very best of their ability. When Jonas was given the assignment of The Receiver, he was given a set of rules. Jonas was allowed to ask questions, and was asked to serve his community. After being given all of the memories of emotions, and then experiencing the procedure of release, it struck him that the way they were living was not the way to live. Jonas needed to travel to Elsewhere because it was part of his duty as being The Receiver. Love is a very dangerous thing to have in our lives, but danger is the risk we take to have it. How precious it is to those who have it because it is so dangerous and rare to find true love. Sometimes we may think we love someone, but it isn't true love. Sometimes we score and sometimes we miss. Being randomly paired up, as in The Giver, seems like a great solution because we need not go through all that pain just to find love. But without the hit-and-miss, there is no adventure. Without rejection, there is no adrenaline. If you don't know what you do not love, because you haven't gone on the journey, then how will you ever know what you really do love?
Jonas definitely made the correct choice by leaving his community and traveling to Elsewhere seeking people living with love and agency. While Jonas's world seems like a utopia, having no choices or true emotions is not the way to live. Jonas showed bravery by going out of his comfort zone, breaking the rules as no one does, simply a scandalous act, to stand up for what was right. Love most certainly comes with a high price, but in the end, it is worth it, having love and emotions. You may think the tranquil community Jonas lives in is the perfect place to be. But there is no difference between love and hate if we do not persist of both.

09 January 2009

Life is like a book. . .

Life is like a book, there is a beginning we are exuberant to start, but an end we fear will come all too quickly. Every page comes with its own surprises, and we are eager to turn each one. Every book is unique, has a protagonist and an antagonist, and has a different ending; happily ever after or not. Every chapter’s title gives us the slightest taste of what’s approaching, but we never really know what’s going to happen until we are brave enough to read each word.
Sometimes we may not know what some of the words mean, or the writing style we are given is confusing, but we must be patient and evaluate on what’s happened. Who knows? Maybe everything will fall into place later on.
In the electrifying, astonishing novel of my life, I am on an unknown journey to conquer an unknown enemy, and return to an unknown place; a utopia. As I proceed on my journey, I explore new things and enjoy each page as it comes. I sample different experiences, some pleasurable and congenial, others excruciatingly boring. But it was on this peculiar chapter of my novel, where I found that little key. Like a person that at first looks like every other one in the endless crowd, but later grows to stand by you at all times, ready to catch you when you fall; that little key friend that you can always depend on. This is the friend that never fails you, the one you can fall back on whenever you need it. This key is your major support system, the key to get you through the day. Now that you have the key, the novel becomes slightly predictable, the pleasing kind of predictable, the kind were you can plan ahead, and have a game plan for the rest of the book, but infuriatingly enough, only a microscopic bit predictable.
This key to me is writing.
Writing is my best friend in the entire world because there are endless words you can use to describe just precisely how you are feeling. If you are aggravated, or blissful; full of despair or excited beyond content. When you are utterly saturated with emotion and all you can do is attempt to put it into words. Paper is about a million times more understanding than people, because it will eternally be patient and faithful to you. It’s always ready to listen, it is delightfully amicable. It's never selfish and always ready to hear a story, no matter how hyperbolized it may be.
Of course, I must keep reading this book, no matter how long or short it may be. There is no bookmark, there is no pause button; it’s just one on-going read-a-thon. And no matter how difficult those pages become to bear, if the story makes my cry my eyes out because of one intricate paragraph of life; I must go on and keep my foundation of faith firm and grounded.
I have an unfathomable, burning, carnivorous passion in my heart that burns like a bonfire. It is not only that I enjoy writing, or want to do it; I need to write. There is no ocean which could put out my fire, it is ceaselessly ablaze. Writing is my whole life now, nearly as important as my lungs which allow me to intake oxygen or the veins which pump blood to my heart. Writing is the friend that will endure to the end with me, the end of this book, even if the only words at the end of the book read “To be continued. . . “

05 January 2009

Stockings with Souls

Today I've seen two marvelous beings. They are so grand and they shout for themselves. They are spontaneous and different, but are most certainly the greatest two knee-highs you've ever laid eyes on. They smile back at you when you take only one glance at them. The majestic purple shows mystery and wonder. It is the color of question and adventure, adrenaline and excitement. And then, complementing the violet perfectly, comes the brave, black and grey argyle. The argyle inspires us to stand up for what we believe in, go against the crowd to pursue in your dreams. Of course, it is different and impulsive,  but is completely consummates the outfit. The outfit expresses the person, exciting but professional. Unexpected, but flawless. These are stockings with souls.

01 January 2009

It's A Brand New Year!

Here it is folks- a clean slate, a fresh start. It's January 1, 2009, and it never will be again. Every single day is unique, and you have a chance to do what needs to be done in the world. Make this year your year to make a difference. No, you don't need to organize a whole big charity deal, or wait for one to come along. You can simply start with the people your see every day. Maybe you can create a more peaceful relationship with your siblings. Think of it as if you are on the same team. You are in this together, two heads are beter than one. Or maybe its that kid in school who doesn't get talked to much, or isn't really "in the loop." I know you've heard this thousands of times, but make this time different. Yes, you KNOW what needs to be done. You KNOW you need to go out of your comfort zone to help someone feel like they have friends. But just because we know these things, doesn't mean that that's enough. Go out TODAY and serve. Whatever it may be, no matter how big or small, make a difference this year.