Utility or Friendly Façade?

Gift-cards, pleasant as they may seem, are one of the more hotly debated topics when it comes to gift-giving. While some argue that they are impersonal and don't truly profess one's kinship to the receiver, others claim that they are just as personal as an actual gift.

Well I am bringing a third opinion to the table. From a utilitarian perspective, gift-cards serve little to no purpose at all. They are simply a substitute for the ugly alternative called money. Money seems to me to be the most impersonal gift out there. While none of us are going to complain when we receive cash as a present, there lacks a personal signature when we give money. There is nothing about a fifty-dollar bill that reminds us of grandmother. These Federal Reserve notes are the same impersonal means with which we go about our day to day lives, exchanging it with strangers for the goods that we desire. Gift-cards are simply money in disguise. They serve the exact same purpose, except for your potential locations at which you can buy things has been severely narrowed down. How thoughtful.


Strands of Voices

Life is meant to be a series of pocket-sized dances, rhythmic pulsations flowing in and out of one individual to the next. We were created to be social creatures, every person being a vein in the circulatory system of this planet. We thrive when we find our rhythm because it means less change. These habitual tendencies are often formed when we are with our friends. One could say that when we spend time with a person we are matching their beat or tempo.

As we leisurely stroll down the crowded streets side by side, I notice that our tempos are matched when my right leg advances down the sidewalk at the same time as her left leg carries her. Meanwhile, our voices synchronize and as we converse they weave in and out of each other like a strand of DNA, reciprocating as one unified sound and ultimately giving life to the other.


Hindsight Spectacles

Lately I have been journaling everyday, and as I imagine my 30-year old self flipping through these records of my teenage life I can't help but wonder what will really matter when I am that old and can look back in hindsight. Will the 20/20 perspective of my past be a remorseful experience or an encouraging and pleasant hobby? What will be of interest when I reflect back on these golden years? I am starting to get the feeling that the exact details of what my teenage life consists of will be less important than what my life is about. 

This same vein of thought was present in the mind of the professor at a Brook's Institute workshop I attended who often would encourage us to take pictures about things and not necessarily of things. In other words, that which is implied often times packs a greater punch than that which is explicitly brought out into the open. The word of and the word about are inherently and necessarily quite different in their connotations. In most sentences, the former precedes a material or physical object or place. The word about on the other hand is often tied with a thought, or a feeling, or even a person. 

Do you think about things or do you think of things?



when words fade and things come alive.
When the destructive analysis of the day is done, and
all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.
When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry