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Grab your spangly feather boa and your rainbow flag; it's pride season!
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Many places around the world have already celebrated pride this year, with many events taking place in the UK over the next month. Belfast Pride takes place this weekend and for the first time in a couple of years I'll be attending. There is an almost carnival atmosphere with some great events lined up every year and it never fails to disappoint on an entertainment level, but pride never fails to cleft me in twain; and here is why.
I have a major issue with the name of the event: Pride. Remember when you were younger, and you'd mention a recent achievement and that one sarcastic person would retort, 'What do you want? A parade?' This is very much how I feel about pride events. What do we have to be proud of? I'm not proud of the fact I'm gay, but that doesn't mean I'm ashamed. What it means is that I don't consider my sexual orientation to be a defining feature of my personality. It almost feels like we're flaunting our innate homosexuality at everyone else going, 'Hey, hey you! See me? See all these colors? I'm different from you. My people are so special we need an annual parade!' To me that isn't pride, that's arrogance. We should be remembering the years of hardship people had to endure to allow us the freedoms and rights we have now. We should be continuing our fight for the rights we don't yet have. We should not be ogling at semi-naked men dressed as angels and disco balls atop ridiculous floats and treating the day like a mini-festival. When it comes down to a basic level, we are no different than anyone else, so please stop pretending we are.
If the suffragettes marched today, do you think they would do so out of vanity? or the promise of some mediocre Gaga tribute at the end? Of course not. They marched to make change, it seems pride parades these days march to get laid, or at least drunk. I'm not saying do away with pride. I'm saying lets refocus and actually use it to get our voice heard further, to bring about change. If we're gonna be proud about something, why can it not be something actually worth being proud about?
This is my first entry written in English. I'm doing this as a way of improving my writing skills, so please forgive any language inaccuracies and errors!
This past year I have been working with this framework, Symfony2, in a large-scale project involving several high-end technologies. We chose to use this framework to develop our base code because the team already had an expert PHP and other framework experiences. After a year of writing a lot of the code that the application currently uses, I can't help but write some personal thoughts about it.
Much has been said about this great framework. It is now safe to say that Symfony2 is the best PHP framework out there, for many reasons. I find the next the most important ones:
One of the things I realized after reviewing many frameworks is that they lack excellence. This is just a reflect of the real-world PHP programming scene: most of the developers out there lacks excellence too. If you think about it, the PHP framework scene just respond to what kind of developers make use of the language.
Yesterday the exhibit team from the NC Museum of History met at Historic Stagville in Durham as part of the planning of the Stagville: Black & White photo exhibit, which opens in March 2014.
Meditation has a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. My interest in it as a religious/spiritual activity due to an intense fear of dying (assuming the possibility of the permanent extinction of consciousness), and a belief that the practice of zazen can lead to a direct experience ('enlightenment'/satori) which would overcome that fear of death. There is an element of faith in all of that, although Buddhist literature is full of inspirational descriptions of enlightenment experiences (starting with that of the Buddha's), providing a basis for that faith.
I believe that meditation is the most important activity we can undertake. The following quotes are my touchstones for that belief:
"To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe."
Those who try zazen even once Wipe away beginning-less crimes. Where are all the dark paths then? The Pure Land itself is near."
Very Beautiful and Cute Kids - Reciting Holy Quran
the austere lords fiercely come by
down to your knees, they’re worth your eye
oh fine spirits, white visions that save
immanent impressions, sovereigns are grave
high souls in bliss, risen to heaven
I am big into nutrition right now. I may or may not be depending on how great my craving for cookies is in the next couple of months (seriously, I have less nutritional discipline than a Biggest Loser contestant without extreme external-monitoring) but for right now I'm big into nutrition.
Each day I eat a balance of proteins and fiber, less carbs (gotta look good for bikini season) and plenty of water. It wasn't until I was enjoying one of my colorful meals with my paramour that I considered: what if the food pyramid could be applied to our time budget?
I often speak about priorities here on CFiST but today I'd like to give you a tool to make that concept a reality. So even though Time Pyramid would make an awesome 80's sci-fi title, in this context I'd like to harken back to the now retired food pyramid.
Start by considering all the different activities you do during the day. For example, my list would look like the following:
Growing up in the church I learned to "Love Jesus", but I never loved Jesus. I only loved the idea of everlasting life and he was the way to get it. Books like Ecclesiastes in the bible are the cause of such confusion. Jesus came to bring heaven to earth through love and grace, while Soloman(The writer of Ecclesiastes) sets his sights on heaven and dares to say that life on the Earth is utterly meaningless. This is an Old Testament Philosophy and must be treated as such. The minute we start confusing the context we start getting side tracked and loose sight of our true purpose. To love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as yourself(What Jesus said were the two greatest commandments).
Now we are trapped in thinking that heaven is what we aim for and the way to get their is by believing that Jesus died to take away the sins of the world which will allow us to get into heaven. And the only way for the magic to work is to "believe in it". It's a very logical way of thinking. It's input and output; yes or no. Their is no gray area because Americans are western and westerners believe in set rules and systematic paths.
But Jesus never taught that. He never told you that the way to get to heaven was to believe in him dying for you, he said the way was to be like him. Love others unconditionally, love God, and show grace and mercy to the oppressed. Period.
People asked jesus all the time how to get into heaven, and he always diverted their attention back to Love. When everyone of his followers wanted rules and guarantees, he was giving out strict orders to Love each other.
The modern church is incredibly concerned with being "saved" and "saving others" but jesus was only concerned with "love" and "loving others". So no more tracts, no more alter calls, and no more mind games. Just teaching Christ-like love through demonstration.
One of the things I should really learn is how to prioritize. Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by all the things I want to do/ learn. Right now I want to learn how to code, I want to push a affiliate-project, I want to start my own business, I want to travel more, I want to learn spanish, I want to spend time with my girlfriend, I want to spend time with my friends, I want to blog on a regular basis, I want to start with sports again ... and besides I work in a Startup which is also really timeconsuming.
I think having goals is a good thing but right now I have so many of them that I dont proceed in any of them...