Introductions to Meditations

Hello World –

Please allow a brief introduction:

I have bought into a contract of sorts, specifying that I will go above and beyond a required curriculum to produce a certain number of requisites. One of such – written by yours truly – states that I will contribute a blog post 3-4 times per week, discussing a passage of my choosing from a book of my choosing. The idea of this format is that in reconnecting with the same passage throughout the week, I will be able to view it with a slightly different lens.

Therefore, I will be using this blog as both a means of expressing myself through the work of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, as well as an attempt at achieving Grade-A Status in the Spirituality, Character, and Service class at Warner Pacific College – as per it’s syllabus stipulations. That being said, I’m excited to participate.

Let us begin.

“Everything that happens is as simple and familiar as the rose to spring, the fruit in summer: disease, death, blasphemy, conspiracy…everything that makes stupid people happy or angry.”

I remember the first time I was able to control my temper. I was around the age of 14 or 15, and had been struggling with anger problems for a number of years. In childish fits of rage, I would punch holes in the walls of my bedroom. I bought posters of tigers, baseball stars, movies – not because I wanted them, but to cover up the gaping displays of the shame I hoped to keep secret.

There came a turning point. One day I looked at myself in the mirror, looked at the perpetual wounds on my knuckles. I saw my shaking, bruised hands. I imagined a future version of myself, with a wife and sons and daughters. I wondered what kind of person would marry a man who beat the walls of his house because he couldn’t overcome his own inward struggles. I thought about a son watching the role model he called Dad lash out at invisible nothings. What kind of a man would he become?

It is important to not immediately react emotionally. Do not misunderstand me; one must be a good judge and steward of when the situation calls for immediate action, and when the situation calls for emotional reaction. Rarely does ones life benefit from the two occurring simultaneously.

When we let ourselves be overtaken by the torrent of our emotional current, the most insignificant slight can be all it takes to set us off. By leading with our emotions, we yield the ability to act with reason, and give ourselves willing to  “…everything that makes stupid people happy or angry.”

More to come.

– Justin

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2 thoughts on “Introductions to Meditations

  1. Well, I’m pretty amazed by this: a teenager thinking so thoughtfully about what kind of person he is becoming and taking steps to change that! As amazing as it is, it is also profound. The exercise of thoughtful reflection and self control–probably a description of what it means to be human? Here are my actions and here are the consequences (hidden behind posters) and here am I in the mirror (classic metaphor, rich with paradox)–is this all there is? Reminded me of a moment in my own life–actually several moments when, embarrassed by my own behavior, I asked, “Is this really who I want to be?” Oddly enough, one of those moments happened just this past Thursday night…. ah well: a work in progress.

    • I am interested to hear about such moments in other peoples lives, if you feel the desire to share! I have suspected that this is a continual work in progress, and I am glad that you have confirmed that for me.

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