The first aspect of God’s love we must understand is that it is unconditional or uninfluenced. This means that there is nothing about the objects of God’s love that prompt Him or motivate Him to love them.

While we love people for reasons or conditions, God loves freely and spontaneously without conditions. He doesn’t love us cause we are cute or have money, or because we lived perfectly or did something right or pray everyday. He loves us because it’s His will to do so.

—  Lecrae, The Overflow Devo

Dump Your Toxic Friends

You Are The Sum of The People You Hang Out With

In the US, we tend to suffer under the myth of the Intrepid Individual. We like to assume that we’re all self-made men and women. We see ourselves islands of self-reliance in a sea of conformity, shaped by our own wills, uninfluenced by the world around us. We know exactly who we are and why we are and why we feel the way we feel. We don’t respond to peer pressure, we’re uninfluenced by marketing; we’re too smart and strong-willed for that.

Except as appealing as that idea is, it’s not true. In fact, our environment affects us far more than we realize, and that is especially true when it comes to the people you surround yourself with. There’s a quote you see tossed around a lot – especially in business circles – by Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the 5 people spend the most time with.” What this means is that the people you associate with directly affect who are and how you behave, even if you’re not aware of it.

Attitudes and beliefs are contagious after all, and the ones you spend the most time with are the ones that you’re going to absorb. That means you need to choose your social circle carefully, because letting toxic friends into your life can change your life for the worse.

Your social circle, after all, is supposed to be a source of happiness, support and healthy validation. Good friends help prop you up when you’re down, help you celebrate your successes, mourn your losses with you, cheer you on and – ideally – help you pick up the pieces when you’ve fucked up.

…plus the occasional “you kinda had to be there” photo on Facebook.

Toxic friends, on the other hand ruin your self-esteem and leave you feeling lower than a snake’s ass in a drainage ditch. They drain the life from you and leave you feeling miserable – especially about yourself and the things you love. Toxic friends will convince you that you are the problem. They’ll reinforce every self-limiting belief you have and encourage the worst sides of you… and more often than not, they’ll deliberately hold you back.

They’re the friends who will try to convince someone who’s quit drinking to fall off the wagon or a happily committed friend to ditch their relationship. After all, why would they want to give up on their favorite punching bag? Who else is going provide them with validation? Who can they inflict their drama on? Toxic people can’t abuse somebody someone with self-esteem and healthy boundaries, so it’s important to them to make sure that you never develop any.

Also worth remembering: toxic friends are the ones who will hold you hostage to their perpetual drama. If you don’t play along, they’ll imply any number of bad things that could happen to them (or that they’ll do) and insist that it’ll be your fault that it happened.

Random knowledge: The Sentinelese

The number of indigenous people worldwide who remain largely or totally uninfluenced by outsiders is quite small and has declined significantly over the last few decades. Among these few, pretty unambiguously the most isolated people on the planet are the tribe known as the Sentinelese, natives of the 18,000-acre North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands in the eastern Bay of Bengal, where they have lived undisturbed as a paleolithic culture for more than 60,000 years. 

The Sentinelese are of African heritage and are quite short-statured, unlike the Asian indigenous peoples of the nearby Nicobar Islands. Their presence on North Sentinel is believed to date from an early wave of human migration out of Africa, at about the same time Melanesia and Australia were first populated. In recent centuries they have been sporadically contacted by European colonists (Marco Polo knew of them), the Japanese military, and Indian anthropologists, but they have reacted to all such overtures with violent hostility and are fiercely protective of their island. 

Keep reading

A gaze from nowhere

Is it possible to be neutral? Recent events have renewed the urgency of this question. In America, for example, racially-charged killings by police sparked a public outcry, the reportage of which was spun uniquely by each source of news. Impartiality seemed impossible: even to attempt it was, in its own way, to take a stance. Moreover, feminism’s attacks on privilege have suggested that one’s circumstances—financial, physical, social or otherwise—necessarily color one’s perspective, which belies all claims to neutrality. And the critique of the male gaze in media, a project begun 40 years ago by Laura Mulvey, continues to uncover the hidden biases of the authorial eye. Particular gazes, in other words, increasingly seem to underlie everything once thought “objective” and universal.

A popular visualization of the rational mind is that of the view from nowhere: a purely logical, disinterested gaze uninfluenced by local or “subjective” biases. Supposedly a philosopher or scientist or journalist can, by pushing aside partisan concerns, gain the authority of this neutral view. If neutrality does not exist, if every gaze is partisan, then claims of neutrality are falsehoods designed to undermine rival gazes, rival worldviews. The legitimacy of science, philosophy, history, mathematics and human rights—indeed, even the concept of “fact”—is called into question. According to defenders of a gaze from nowhere, simpleminded and self-refuting relativism results. But the dichotomy between neutrality and relativism is peculiarly modern.

Keep reading

Dear Anti-Feminist!

-Educate yourselves
-read history
-open your eyes to the things around you
-be aware
-remember who gave you your basic human rights
-objectively fact check your position
- make up your own unbiased opinion uninfluenced by the males around you or the negative social stereotypes surrounding feminism

I know its really weird like ?? I don’t understand where they got that it would be abusive ??? Like, the only point in time i can see them ever actually being together is in college when alex was uninfluenced so its really unlikely it would be abusive ?? It really surprised me actually, im kinda used to people doing a lot of non/dubcon stuff w/ Masky & sometimes hoody involved, but ive never really seen it done with jaylex because like you said it has potential to be really cute

I’m really torn right now… Part of me wants to message him to ask him if he really met all that he said. Now that we’re both not agitated, I think he can probably answer honestly, and if it’s still the case that he thinks I’m ignorant and not worthy of hanging out with him anymore, I feel like it will be easier for me to let go because it will (hopefully) be a straight answer, uninfluenced by anger… I just need to kick this feeling of loss somehow.

On the other hand, what if it only makes things worse? I’m depressed enough about the situation as it is… Should I really go back to the person who caused all of this? Especially after only a week following the incident… Should I just wait it out, no matter how much it hurts, and wait for this to die?

I just don’t know anymore… I just feel like shit and want this to be over. And no, I don’t want to go back on my anti-depressants if I can help it, especially over something so stupid…

I have literally never read a Lieumon fic before and I’ve only seen 1, count em, ONE piece of Lieumon fan art, so everything I’m coming up with for this is 100% uninfluenced by any other AUs or headcanons. Which isn’t to say it won’t be similar, because I’m sure it will be similar to plenty. 

This is fun. :D

But I probably won’t get to finish it until like after 10 - I’ve gotta head out for orchestra rehearsal in a few minutes, ewwwww. 

A Baby's Eyes

What lives within a baby’s eyes?

Wonder, confusion, surprise?

Twinkling stars of essence,


Those bright little eyes

Searching the skies—

Surfing on imaginative

Boards fueled by power cosmic.

What lives within a baby’s eyes?

Things that we no longer realize

Are dear.

A baby’s eyes are clear.

A baby’s eyes don’t veer

Away from the truth.

A baby’s eyes are pure,

Full of youth

And unbridled curiosity.

A baby’s eyes contain a flame

That becomes dormant in older age;

A flame that we should rekindle again.

The child is the father of man,

Once understanding what

Man must understand again,

After the degenerative

Loss of his natural intuitiveness.

A baby’s eyes are uninfluenced

By society’s environmental pollutants.

A baby’s eyes contain the blueprint

For achieving unparalleled bliss.

A baby’s eyes should be prized

As a symbol of all that we should strive

To be.

A baby’s eyes inspire me
To be …


Still tryin to convince us some more
Pretendin your raw that’s what you need a minister for” (Gang Starr - Skills)

“The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators … They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens.

– William Sumner, former Chair of the Political and Social Science Department, Yale University, Folkways: A study of the sociological importance of usages, manners, customs, mores, and morals. 1907. pg. 633


I read the messages in my spam folder. For the past two years I have collected those texts that address me in an emotional tone. I started to group these messages into different appeals: help, need, and trust. The works above belong to the latter category.

I don’t only read spam messages, but also, out of curiosity, respond to them. These communications follow a set pattern that is largely uninfluenced by my contributions. What it comes down to is the request of my bank details. There is something eerie about talking to someone who wants to steal money from you. On the other hand the robotic, clumsily translated language provides comic relief.

This extensive reading of spam has altered my perception of e-mail communication, blurring the line between my inbox and my spam folder. The two are sometimes too similar, the spammers too familiar when copying our ways. (Not that the sentences in the above works leave much room for doubt.) The attempts at emotional manipulation in spam are familiar enough from real sentiments delivered to the inbox. And formulaic salutations and sign-offs like “How are you” and “yours sincerely,” or even “Thanks,” do not further differentiate between spam folder and inbox. The blabber of spam—like automatic phone operators and other sorts of artificial intelligence—gets entangled with our real attempts at authentic communication.

Trust Me is also about materializing, though it is here, again, presented in digital form. These sentences—painted in acrylic on cling film—stuck with me. To extract them from their hidden place, I needed to find a form that would link them to their origin, in their worthlessness as in their fragility.

- Trust Me,  Fabienne Hess

I want to run around the world at night. I want to wander into someone’s bathtub and talk about everything. I want to kiss every friend to show them just how much I love them. I want to meet people uninfluenced by society, and experience nature with them. I want to laugh and dance with people. I want to swoop through forests and over mountains. I want to jump into a hidden pond and float next to someone, holding their hand. I want to love people, I want to live.