meaningful-to-live

How Couchsurfers Say Thank You

Last week we asked Couchsurfers how they thank their hosts and this is what they had to say:

“A big hug!”
Evelyn K.

“I just bought mine some toilet paper. She was overjoyed!”
- Rachel K.

“We almost always cook an Indonesian dish, if time permits.”
- Michael D.

“We write Chinese Calligraphy to our host!”
- Pan P.

“Host them back??”
- Hani I.

“I gave one of this to each host, is nice to know they are all around Europe now.”
- Shatan B.

“I show my magic trick to my host and if they want to learn the trick, I teaching them.”
- Yacho K.

“Meaningful candle: Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much and Dream Always.”
- Paula K.

“I’ve cooked several times my favorite special food from south of Germany everywhere in the world it’s called Spätzle.”
- Gabriel S.

“I always have a gift for my hosts, I try to give something they will like, you can tell a lot about a person from their profile or when you stay with them, i like to keep it personal and not something I’ve bought ten of.”
- Alana W.

“Give them some chilean postcard/souvenir and cook something for them.”
- Ambrosio C.

“I make hot pepper popcorn.”
Bonnie C.

“We left notes, I illustrated them and my boyfriend wrote a nice verse or a poem about our stay, or anything nice that we wanted to say to our wonderful hosts.”
- Anni C.

“Polish Vodka..!”
- Thom P.

“My favorite way to thank my Couchsurfing host is to host them at Burningman in return! I’ve done this for two hosts from Europe so far and it’s extremely gratifying to share that experience together.”
- Colleen S.

“Smile.”
- Erdem K.

Learn more on the blog and by going on a Couchsurfing adventure yourself!

I LOVE how Bonnie just came out and said that she is putting her self first for ONCE.

AND in EVERY scene they had together she called out Damon on EVERYTHING, including his treatment of her trust/friendship, his BS with elderado and the cure, and the INTIMACY of how well she knows him as she acknowledged how MEANINGFUL their time was living through HELL together.

AND THAT MAGIC?? lmao she flicked him away from her like a gnat after he tried to put his hands on her, and wasn’t even as upset about it as she was about his other actions! And the best part of that scene was that at the end of it she didn’t get her point across to Damon by threatening him or anything, she did what she always does and gave him a CHOICE after making hundreds of valid points about how idiotic he was being AND SHE GOT THROUGH TO HIM, TO THE POINT WHERE HE TUCKED AWAY HIS MASSIVE SENSE OF PRIDE AND CONCEDED BEFORE WALKING AWAY.

WHEN IS THE LAST TIME ANYONE HAS EVER GOTTEN AN ANGRY/DESPERATE DAMON TO WALK AWAY WITH OUT ANY CONSEQUENCES???

This was SUCH a beautiful episode for SO many reasons, I just can’t!

Even Enzo didn’t piss me off as much as usual now that he’s actually becoming relevant again.

And Caroline actually made me cry! Plus she FINALLY  has her humanity back on! (tho i will miss her on-point snarks about elevator)

This is one of the best eps that didn’t involve Kai that we’ve gotten in a while.

Atheism actually makes my life more meaningful. Those who claim that atheists live meaningless lives are purely declaring their own ignorance.  As an atheist, I understand, appreciate, and fully respect that believing in God gives many people’s lives more meaning. But for myself, I have never considered our minuscule presence on this tiny corner of the universe to be of so much greater importance to survive as the planets and stars vanish, and numerous living organism die out. Atheism, and not believing in an afterlife, has made my life even more meaningful. There is no need for me to believe that I will live for an eternity in order to have a meaningful life. In fact, knowing how this short life will come and go, I take part in enjoying it to the fullest, and experiencing all that can bring meaning to it. Each day of my life is filled with even more meaning, because I realize how precious every single day is! Every day, I strive to learn more, to help others, to take part in anything and everything that brings me pleasure without harming others, to give love and care, and at the end of the day, I close my eyes in soothing manner, with a tranquil feel knowing how meaningful this day was! Surely, when people claim that atheism makes life meaningless, one can only presume that such assertions are manifested out for their own hubris and ignorance. In reality, my life is not only full of meaning, but atheism allows me to give it even more meaning and joy. 

@Cluster-of-cute-ocs

Swords? Do they have power? Or does the power comes from something else? Something much more meaningful? Something that lives deep inside everyone’s soul? That’s what Mark used think. That’s what he believe, that true power and strength doesn’t come from a legendary sword or weapon. It comes from one’s own heart and soul!

But that was then and this is now. Now he’s lying on the ground. His clothes torn to ribbons. His body wounded and bleeding, he could taste and smell the iron within in his blood. Before the darkness took him he saw someone coming closer. Whether or not if it was the man who defeated him he couldn’t tell.

But when all hope was gone after what seems to be hours of nothingness and darkness Mark open his eyes finding himself lying in a bed. Blood soak bandages cover his burning wounds. But the memories searing in his mind of the fight.

Mark a traveling warrior came face to face of pure evil….A criminal name Wrath. Mark was such a fool to believe that he and his friend Leo could defeat such a man. Wrath took them on and toyed with them. All he could do was to watch as Wrath took him and Leo out…Mark felt so pathetic to actually believe that he could take him down. The sting of defeat still echoes deeply in his heart like the final blow that Wrath left him with before leaving him to die.

But wait what happen to his friend….What happen to Leo? Mark suddenly jump up opening up some of his wounds again. His eyes looked over the room before the pain caught up with him. It was so serve and caught him by surprise he made a yelp of pain before falling down onto the floor double over in pain. That’s when the door opens.

Consider Yourself a Tourist

‘Within less that fifty years, I Tenzin Gyatso, the Buddhist monk, will be no more than a memory. Indeed, it is doubtful whether a single person reading these words will be alive a century from now. Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well. Therefore, if when our final day comes we are able to look back and see that we have lived full, productive, and meaningful lives, that will at least be some comfort. If we cannot, we may be very sad. But which of these we experience is up to us.

The best way to ensure that when we approach death we do so without remorse is to ensure that in the present moment we conduct ourselves responsibly and with compassion for others. Actually, this is in our own interest, and not just because it will benefit us in the future. As we have seen, compassion is one of the principal things that make our lives meaningful. It is the source of all lasting happiness and joy. And it is the foundation of a good heart, the heart of one who acts out of a desire to help others. Through kindness, through affection, through honesty, through truth and justice toward all others we ensure our own benefit. This is not a matter of complicated theorizing. It is a matter of common sense. There is no denying that consideration of others is worthwhile. There is no denying that our happiness is inextricably bound up with the happiness of others. There is no denying that if society suffers, we ourselves suffer. Nor is there any denying that the more our hearts and minds are afflicted with ill-will, the more miserable we become. Thus we can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion.

This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine, or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others, and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.

Why, then, if it is so simple to be happy, do we find it so hard? Unfortunately, though most of us think of ourselves as compassionate, we tend to ignore these commonsense truths. We neglect to confront our negative thoughts and emotions. Unlike the farmer who follows the seasons and does not hesitate to cultivate the land when the moment comes, we waste so much of our time in meaningless activity. We feel deep regret over trivial matters like losing money while keeping from doing what is genuinely important without the slightest feeling of remorse. Instead of rejoicing in the opportunity we have to contribute to others’ well-being, we merely take our pleasures where we can. We shrink from considering others on the grounds that we are too busy. We run right and left, making calculations and telephone calls and thinking this would be better than that. We do one thing but worry that if something else comes along we had better do another. But in this we engage only in the coarsest and most elementary levels of the human spirit. Moreover, by being inattentive to the needs of others, inevitably we end up harming them. We think ourselves very clever, but how do we use our abilities? All too often we use them to deceive our neighbors, to take advantage of them and better ourselves at their expense. And when things do not work out, full of self-righteousness, we blame them for our difficulties.

Yet lasting satisfaction cannot be derived from the acquisition of objects. No matter how many friends we acquire, they cannot make us happy. And indulgence in sensual pleasure is nothing but a gateway to suffering. It is like honey smeared along the cutting edge of a sword. Of course, that is not to say that we should despise our bodies. On the contrary, we cannot be of help to others without a body. But we need to avoid extremes which can lead to harm.

In focusing on the mundane, what is essential remains hidden from us. Of course, if we could be truly happy doing so, then it would be entirely reasonable to live like this. Yet we cannot. At best, we get through life without too much trouble. But then when problems assail us, as they must, we are unprepared. We find that we cannot cope. We are left despairing and unhappy.

Therefore, with my two hands joined, I appeal to you the reader to ensure that you make the rest of your life as meaningful as possible. Do this by engaging in spiritual practice if you can. As I hope I have made clear, there is nothing mysterious about this. It consists in nothing more than acting out of concern for others. And providing you undertake this practice sincerely and with persistence, little by little, step by step you will gradually be able to reorder your habits and attitudes so that you think less about your own narrow concerns and more of others’. In doing so, you will find that you enjoy peace and happiness for yourself.

Relinquish your envy, let go of your desire to triumph over others. Instead, try to benefit them. With kindness, with courage, and confident that in doing so you are sure to meet with success, welcome others with a smile. Be straightforward. And try to be impartial. Treat everyone as if they were a close friend. I say this neither as Dalai Lama nor as someone who has special powers or ability. Of these I have none. I speak as a human being: one who, like yourself, wishes to be happy and not suffer.

If you cannot. for whatever reason, be of help to others, at least don’t harm them. Consider yourself a tourist. Think of the world as it is seen from space, so small and insignificant yet so beautiful. Could there really be anything to be gained from harming others during our stay here? Is it not preferable, and more reasonable, to relax and enjoy ourselves quietly, just as if we were visiting a different neighborhood? Therefore, if in the midst of your enjoyment of the world you have a moment, try yo help in however small a way those who are downtrodden and those who, for whatever reason, cannot or do not help themselves. Try not to turn away from those whose appearance is disturbing, from the ragged and unwell. Try never to think of them as inferior to yourself. If you ca, try not to even think of yourself as better than the humblest beggar. You will look the same in your grave.

To close with, I would like to share a short prayer which gives me great inspiration in my quest to benefit others:

May I become at all times, both now and forever

A protector for those without protection

A guide for those who have lost their way

A ship for those with oceans to cross

A bridge for those with rivers to cross

A sanctuary for those in danger

A lamp for those without light

A place of refuge for those who lack shelter

And a servant to all in need.’

- Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium.

Movieblob claims that the motivation for supporting GG is merely a result of “existential panic at the likely impending candidacy of the first serious female candidate for president (Hillary Clinton)”

Damn Bob, you got me. I mean, i don’t live in America, so this election means very little to me and will most likely not effect my life in any meaningful way and i live in Ireland which had exclusively female presidents from 1990-2011 and it never bothered me in the slightest (though to be fair this office is not a very important one in Ireland, i just found it amusing). But despite all of this, the possibility that she might get elected in over a year from now (over 2 years from when GG began) really bothers me for some reason.

And i decided that the best way to express my anxiety is to support a consumer revolt against unethical video game journalism.

That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it Bob?

“We kept Amethyst...”

I would like to defend this statement.

Things we know:

1. Garnet has future vision.

2. Garnet is a gem of few words, and not really one for jokes.

3. Garnet is essentially a sybil/truth-teller type of character, but is not always literal.

4. Energy cannot be destroyed.

5. Steven is half human.

Things we can assume:

1. Lion and Rose Quartz share a deep connection, as evidenced by the secret dimension in Lion’s mane.

2. Also obvious, Lion is pink and has a super impressive mane.

3. Lion is very protective of Steven.

4. If Steven is half-human, half gem that other gem half energy had to go somewhere.

I believe Garnet understands that Lion is a part of Rose and is important, and will be a deep and meaningful part of their lives.

And that’s also how Garnet feels about Amethyst.

I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— 

Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Rings

     Out of all the books I’ve ever read there are a few quotes from Tolkien that have completely changed my world view, or at least pulled something out that I knew all along but never put in words. I can’t really explain how much they mean to me but unlike many other things I have read these words are a part of my moral code. I thought I would share them with you because they mean so much to me.
     This first quote is from chapter two of The Fellowship of the Rings. I don’t know why but Gandalf’s words in this chapter stuck with me more than anything in the whole trilogy. The whole chapter is Gandalf and Frodo discussing the ring and Gollum. This first one is about Frodo wishing that the finding of the ring, and the need to bring it to Mordor had not happened during his time. But this quote applies so far beyond Frodo’s situation that I have adapted it into a sort of motto.
     What Gandalf says is so universal, this could easily apply to any person or any generation. It fills me with hope when facing all of our world’s problems, from global warming, mass extinction, poverty, hunger, slavery, violations of human rights, growing population that will soon go beyond the world’s carrying capacity, terrorists/extremists and trash islands made of plastic that humans throw out so rashly. These things are terrifying. It is beyond worrying that so many just want to push these problems aside, to blatantly disregard or deny sound evidence, just so they can continue on as we have for centuries. So this quote gives me hope, that no matter what has come before, no matter the limits of the effects of my actions, I have to make decisions. We have to make decisions and to the best of our ability we have to face the problems that we experience. It means so much to me when I get overwhelmed and depressed about all the things I cannot fix and encourages me to do what I can, even if I can’t fix anything.
     I hope you too can appreciate the meaning in this quote and I hope that it “May be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” (yes I did just sneak another quote in there, deal with it)

800 Followers.

Yup. We’ve came a long way from when I first hit 100. Nah that’s a little too dramatic. I only started this blog last year. But nonetheless this is very significant to me. There are 800 of you! That’s insane!

I want to thank you guys individually but I don’t get the time to lately. I hope everyone is reading this. I hope you know that what you may not realise you’re doing, is making my life more meaningful. I lived a life lacking of identity and I’ve always felt invisible. Knowing that there are so many of you following me, being involved with your… well… blog life constantly reminds me that I exist. Because sometimes I don’t even know if I’m here. Not just on Tumblr but in real life. I hope you don’t understand how I feel because I know how terrible it feels. If you do, just know that’s you’re not alone in this.

To my long-time followers and to my new followers, thank you for becoming a part of who I am. I am Shy and there’s nothing else that makes me happy other than to know that what I do is making you smile. I wish I could meet all of you and give hugs all day long and talk about stuff and laugh about it. Hopefully, I get to connect with you all one day. Until then, stay with me. Stick by me. Let me know if you’re sad and I’ll link you something funny. Tell me what made you so happy that day and I’ll be happy with you. I’ll do whatever I can. We’re already friends, that’s if you’re comfortable with that.

Thanks, again, for being here. You as a community mean so much to me.

Have a fine day!

Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.
—  Unknown
Live Review - Sufjan Steven's @ Philadelphia’s Academy of Music - 4/10

I didn’t think it was possible. How could Sufjan Steven’s take Carrie & Lowell — the most intimate, fragile, and emotionally devastating album of the decade and translate it to an equally meaningful live setting? To put it bluntly, Carrie & Lowell is not a fun album. It’s quiet, subdued, lo-fi, depressing, and deeply personal; all qualities that could make for a dull 90 minutes seated concert. Consider also this: the best moments on Carrie & Lowell stem from the nuances; the air conditioner in the background of “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross,” the breath of exhalation after “John the Beloved,” or the Hospice-esque ambient outro to “Blue Bucket of Gold.” There’s no way he could possibly make up for the loss of these delicate, yet highly important aspects, right? Boy, was I wrong.

On Friday, April 10th, I attended one of the most powerful concerts of my entire life at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, PA. Joined by my family and friends (8 of us total), I bore witness to a rare brand of Sufjan Stevens. At this concert, there were no Christmas Unicorns, no wire-laser costumes, no angel wings, no dancing, no joking, and no smiling. It was just Sufjan, donned in a black t-shirt with a gorgeous stained-window displaying photographs of his childhood and pretty colors in the background. It was him, with the help of a few others, playing acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, light drums, and some other fancy pedals that made some overwhelmingly beautiful ambient noise. It was him, stripped of all irony, autotune, and festivity, singing about the life and death of his mother Carrie.

Without hesitation, Sufjan come out and immediately played through all of Carrie & Lowell, except for “Blue Bucket of Gold,” which he saved for the end. While the songs carried the same emotional force as the album versions, they were significantly updated for the live setting, with an added emphasis on post-rock ambiance. Real drums were added to most songs, as well as electric guitar and some warm, atmospheric sounds. “Should’ve Known Better” received the peppiest upgrade, as electronic beats and drums were added in the background, not too dissimilar of those heard on Age of Adz. Other songs however, were kept exactly the same, and these were perhaps the most affecting. “John My Beloved” paralyzed the audience with its singular piano note and heartfelt lyricism, such as: “I love you more than the world can contain it its lonely and ramshackle head.” “Fourth of July” had everybody contemplating their own mortality as Sufjan whispered “we’re all gonna die” at least fifteen times, while the song gently faded out with gorgeous ambient noise. The best Carrie & Lowell song of the evening though was “Blue Bucket of Gold,” the last song he played before the encore. After a gentle rendition of the song, Sufjan and friends created a wall of sound that was, for lack of a better word, profound. Intense drumming mixed with glimmering guitars, electronic niceties, and pedal boards all created a lengthy moment of complete devastation. For what seemed like five minutes of post-rock instrumentation, I sat motionless, paralyzed by the bellowing noise and gorgeous mixing of the sonic and visual landscape. When it was over, they left the stage and even when they returned a few minutes later, I still hadn’t recovered.

Besides Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan threw in some obvious crowd-pleasers that fit in perfectly with the somber tone of the evening. “The Dress Looks Nice on You,” and “To Be Alone with You” satisfied Seven Swans fans, whereas “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” and “Owl and the Tanager” had me overcome with so much catharsis that I nearly fell off the balcony (the Academy of Music is steep, omg). I was so happy they played “Gacy” that I hardly had time to process how sad I was supposed to feel. Two minutes later, it was over, and a joyous rendition of “Chicago” brought the evening to a close.

Whether he is dancing around with angel wings or throwing inflatable unicorns in the crowd, Sufjan Steven’s always seems to achieve his vision. With his warm presence and zen-like philosophies, he creates a very safe space for those around him. Together, in a sold-out theater of strangers, his music seemed to transform all of us, even just for a moment. Half-way through the show, Sufjan delivered a riveting sermon on life, death, and grief (edit: listen to the speech here!). In summary, death doesn’t need to be something we hide from, or avoid talking about. Instead, we must face it’s inevitability, and come to terms with its many manifestations in our daily lives. For life is a gift, and we must cherish this gift while we have it. Like Sufjan has done for his late mother, let’s preserve the memories of those that have passed, and when it is our own turn to pass, let us die with dignity.

Realisation Today

Life’s too short to not be happy.

Bullies? They’re not worth your time, stop worrying about them. They are mean people who obviously are insecure about themselves and make themselves feel better by bringing other people down. Just ignore them. Don’t stoop to their level.

Parents? If they don’t accept you for you, screw them. They can either learn to love you for the unique little snowflake that you are or they can watch as you take the world by storm without their help.

School? As much as I hate school, I’ve learned that you can get through it with the help of friends. Their jokes always make the days go quicker.

Friends? Now these people, these people are the ones that will stand by you through thick and thin. They will never question your intentions if you’re trying to help them and they will do literally anything to help you, too. Never let these people go. Ever. 

Now, I want you to do whatever you want to do to be happy. If going to school in a fucking giraffe onesie will make you happy, then you go to school in a fucking giraffe onesie. If making flower-crowns will make you happy, go make some flower-crowns. If watching endless Tyler Oakley or Dan & Phil videos makes you happy, then watch them! 

Don’t give a shit about what people think. So what if they think what you’re doing to be happy in life is stupid or pointless? It’s your fucking life. Go live it.