Friday, February 26, 2010


I recently went to my favorite museum, the Museum of Natural History. I've been there many times before, but it is such a huge place, with new exhibits presented year-round. When visiting, I'm usually able to find new sections I have yet to explore, with plenty of tidbits of knowledge to learn about.

There was a hallway decorated with photographs of different types of birds in the section, "On Feathered Wings: Birds in Flight." The photos were so sharp and it was almost as if the birds were right there with me! I especially liked one shot of a snowy owl with her wings outstretched while flying towards the camera. I could see right into her eyes, and it seemed as though I could tell she had a sweet disposition. Maybe this was not only a snapshot of the owl flying, but also a brief reflection of her spirit. All of the birds in the exhibit seemed to show personality, and I gravitated toward studying each photo in order to try and get a glimpse of the subject's identity behind the lens of the camera.

I also enjoyed checking out the Africa and Asia sections. I think I had walked through this hall before, but this time the displays of instruments really resonated with me. It was amazing to see how the drums, bongos, and guitar like instruments were so consistent with what we have today. I liked discovering how the placement of the cords, the hollowed out centers, and the tuning pegs of the guitars were all so similar to what they are today. It certainly shows that even early on in human culture, we had an innate desire to express ourselves and be creative.

It was almost as interesting observing the other people walking through the museum. There was mainly a mix of families and tourists, and I noticed the interaction between them. Sometimes, there was one member of the family who played the role of tour guide. They would do their best to explain and interpret the displays and clearly enjoyed sharing their knowledge. On the other hand, some people walked together, but were silent while taking in the exhibits. There were also a couple of examples where kids would run around and investigate things on their own and cause some mischief. Then their parents would demand that they stop. I can understand a parent's desire to positively influence their children. But it made me think about what the children might believe when they continually hear "no" or "stop it" without any discussion. It doesn't give them the freedom to discover and explore things on their own. This may not only influence their behavior inside the museum, but also their development and maturation in the future.

It was fun to visit the museum and learn more about nature and culture through the exhibitions. But it was also intriguing to observe a small cross section of the other people there, which inadvertently provided a special exhibit all on its own.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Where did laughter come from? Throughout human history was laughter an important part of surviving? Would cavemen laugh along with each other to help make a rough day of hunting and gathering seem like a distant past?

How does a baby know if something is funny? It seems as though they are laughing and smiling as much as they are crying. What are they so happy about? I think they are in tune with living in the present and enjoying life in its most simplest form. Babies observe, react, and share their feelings. What more can a person hope to do? When life is broken down to its most elemental parts, we find out how similar we all are. Sometimes, all we want is to smile inside and radiate it out.

Most sincere laughs are stunningly beautiful. The mouth starts closed and calm. Then the smile breaks free and leads the way to reveal our teeth. One might think this would be threatening, but instead an honest smile is inviting. In the next step, the laugher’s mouth opens wide with a strong breath that supports an incredible and jubilant force. What is this sound? And why would the human body want to make such a noise? We show our teeth, gather energy, and then release a booming form of expression. And yet, we spectators do not fear, nor do we see the laugh as an act of aggression. Instead, we empathize with the laugher, and often times impulsively join in. We are brought to a place with no cares or worries. Where boundaries disappear, thoughts vanish, and all that remains is joy. At this point, we just are.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


What is success measured by? Is it the work you do and the type of accomplishments on your resume? Is it having a loving family with strong, unwavering relationships? Is it getting out of bed in the morning? Or maybe it could be, not being afraid of failure and the difficulty of pursuing of your dreams?

There seems to be more questions than answers when it comes to success. Even if one accomplishes all their goals in every way, would their life be a complete success? Or perhaps, success is having a complete life. Maybe, all it takes is moving. Moving along to the beat of your own drum, down the road you choose, and the streams you decide to swim in. Maybe success is simply being proud of who you are, no matter what you've done or how it compares to any type of measurement. Measuring success piles on the criteria to which you criticize and judge yourself.

Then again, this criteria and overall push can help you feed off ambition's hunger and allow you to reach high goals. This is once again creating a type movement we all uncontrollably long for, because without motion (physically, emotionally or spiritually) we may become stagnant within a bubble of emptiness.

But can one trust this hunger to succeed, and implicitly let it decide our lives? No. Instead, you can acknowledge it as a part of your life's path. This allows you to discover that you, yourself, have the power to create your own success. It becomes clear that success can be anything, because it is defined by you. Then, success is simply living your life.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nice To Meet You

I've found that introductions often times seem to be pre-scripted. We ask the same usual questions in order to try and get a feel for this new person. What do you do? Where are you from? What brings you here? And when these mundane questions are emptied out of the tank, and the routine is over, we usually just part ways.

However, there are certain occasions where the conversation does not end there, and we enter the early stages of a great friendship. This is rare, but when these moments find us, a new person in our lives somehow opens up the world. We feel connected and assured that we are not alone. There are others who think, feel, and act like us!

I remember one time this happened to me in college. I was in a film production class, and we were put into groups of four to create a video. I met up with the three others to discuss our project. Once we began, I discovered that another guy and I had a lot of the same ideas. We could not stop laughing and joked around while also brainstorming with the rest of the group. I felt as though we had not only met before, but had also always been friends.

This happens when two people are on the same wavelength and frequency. There is an instinctual connection that feels very natural and comfortable. I believe the main ingredient in this phenomenon is
sense of humor. In a way, I think our personality is defined by what we find funny and how it filters through our perception of life. Humor centers us within a world of chaos. It brings us together, and its laughter opens the gateway to life's main purpose. When everything is reduced to its lowest common denominator, we discover how we all just really want the same thing - to laugh and have fun.