Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I've grown concerned with the lack of human interaction that plagues this society. Just because it is easy to do everything while sitting alone on a coach, does not mean you should. Where are the kids on the street listening to music on a boombox while enjoying each others company? Where are those who go to the record store not just to buy music, but to discuss it and be with people who are like-minded. As we become more and more dependent on the technology and unabashed lazy behavior we can only expect the deterioration of the things we hold dear. Things that are meant to be a means to end are being used as the life force of our social existence. All I can say is this behavior will leave us with nothing but a cheap and shallow existence in the end. To those who choose to fight it and walk the path less traveled, I salute I salute you.
Friday, January 27, 2012
It seems to me that two divisive ideologies seem to be floating around the intellectual, religious, and secular worlds. While some approach this two ideas in sensible ways, others seem to solely rely on one when the other makes more sense. In a political and academic world people seem to be always stating things to be absolutely true or not true. In a a melodramatic fashion if you will. Just like in the classic film Birth of a Nation, people who are evil to a particular group a represented in a very specific matter. In the film, the detestable villains are the raging black population. In our political landscape we label them fascists, communists, or anti-american. My question is: Has our academic and political environment made it so we simply cannot see both sides of the argument? Is our modern education and current upbringing making us into simple black and white thinkers?
Recently, I have read a few articles stating the need of more studies of the humanities in our current education. As I watch the world progress I seem to agree with that insight. Questions that concern humanities and the arts often do not have definitive answers. Many students take advantage of this in the humanities courses they are offered and put as little effort as possible into these courses. Although the student may achieve the grade they want, they are only cheating themselves. A serious study of the humanities allow students to see from multiple angles. Every book, song, or piece of art can have multiple meanings to multiple people. Each has the right to that opinion and none of them are necessarily right. Simple put, people simply think differently about certain topics.
Melodrama has become more and more an accurate description of politics. There are clear lines to many on who are the villains and who are the heroes. I must ask the question: Is this an accurate description of what is actually happening? Or has our academic and social culture simply reinforced that this is how it should be. I wonder if people spent less time watching television (where ninety nine percent of the time we are presented ideas and people in a black in white fashion) and more time studying works that do not clearly define right and wrong, if we would become better critical thinkers.
Lastly, although I do believe the search for objective things are important in life (I study science and do believe in an objective God), the subjective should not be ignored. To coexist we must perceive each other without preconceived notions of what a person has to believe in order to be acceptable to our standards.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Recently I had the experience of going to an Orthodox cathedral to celebrate Easter. I, not being a member of their faith, found to be absolutely enchanting in some ways. Although I do not believe these rituals I could find common ground in the service and got something out of it for myself. I myself was a missionary in the Romania Bucharest mission. There I was able to meet many Orthodox Church members and learn about their traditions. I feel this has greatly affected my ability to respect their services. In many ways, I am able to strengthen my own believes through this respect of what they believe. I am able to adopt in my own life the things that I agree with in their faith.
There is much diversity in the world today. Within my own family reside people of varying moral standards and beliefs. While still being able to make decisions for my own life, I have been able to meet and understand cultures that are not my own through these people. I feel indebted to these experiences because they help me see the world through different eyes. These alternative perspectives, though not completely lining up with my own belief system, strengthen my own beliefs in a positive manner.
Life is great because of the diverse circumstances we all get to interact with people. All people have worth and often times the outside appearance is the most fake, non-worthwhile part of our being. If someone judged some people I know by the way they look or present themselves in public, they would miss out on the best parts of that person. I include myself in this group of people. I often times exude a false pretentiousness that really does not accurately display my perspective of the world. I only hope that as time goes on, I can become comfortable enough with myself to show more and more of my true self to the people around me. The Jake scene in public is the most pitiful part of myself and its important to me to change that.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
So I just got back from a jazz show that was quite inspiring. I love how alive jazz music is. The dynamics and feel is completely changeable by the people in the group. Really keeps you on your toes and requires a lot of teamwork to pull it off well. I feel that my life has a lot of the same properties. The people around you can either inspire or push you away from where you are headed. It is very easy to trick yourself into thinking that you are doing the correct things in life. For me, it is very easy to find myself pursuing something I don’t really want because of outside influence. For example, I find myself wanting to go out and pick up girls that are hot just to show I can, but in all honesty, those girls will not make me happy. This is the easy way out. When you go looking for love, no matter how attractive or cool you are, it is very difficult to find what you are looking for. Finding someone that matches your personality and with whom you can share your true self with, is hard and takes much emotional energy. Attractiveness and other shallow things cannot be used as a crutch in this pursuit. When all the smoke and mirrors come down and serious commitment is involved, those things become pluses and not the centerpiece of the relationship. After having a few conversations with a few close friends, I’ve realized that in many situations I have deceived myself into thinking I was doing correct things when really I was taking the easy way out. The truth is, the easy way out with art, friends, and romantic interests is cheap and trite. Any true meaning that can be developed requires commitment. Whether its helping a friend with a photo shoot (while awkwardly staring into a friend’s eyes faking that your in love but cant help but laugh the whole time(Mandy you’re the best!)), doing a the 40th take on one song you just cant get right, or calling a friend just to make sure they are doing alright, putting your heart and time into something is essential. When I do fall in the trap of lacking commitment, I’ve been left wondering what I was doing with my life. The people who truly are passionate and push to be what they want without reserve inspire me everyday to do the same. To Matt, Nate and Koga: thanks for showing me again what beautiful things can be made with hard work and commitment.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
This past week I went camping with a bunch of friends and did a lot of hiking. Needless to say I had a lot of time to think about my life and where I’m heading. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to present my real self to the world. I really hate when I let a situation control the way I act. Especially, when I leave my natural character behind to form a person contradicts my inner most beliefs. Talk about cognitive dissonance. It’s a war with myself every single day. Even though I fail a lot of the time, I feel that the battle is always worth it.
In the past few months I feel like I have become more comfortable with expressing emotions and needs (something that I have always been scared of doing). Through going through undesirable experiences, my whole perspective on human suffering has changed. I used to feel that people could control what happened to them in their lives. Or that by approaching a situation with a certain attitude people could feel good all of the time, but these things are not necessarily true. The fact is, sometimes you can do all you can do and still feel completely lost and sad. I think by personally experiencing these feelings, I have much more empathy for the person who is struggling.
We all struggle and hide our sadness, but how much better would our friendships be if they were open. I feel that if I was not able to reach out to my friends in my time of need things in my life could have become really bad. My recent experiences have taught me to be open and know its ok to feel sad and conflicted sometimes. For me this realization was life changing. Its funny, we can have people who have been around us for years and not trust them with our feelings and weaknesses. If we cant trust our friends with our feelings, why are they our friends? I learned that part of being honest with yourself and others is to admit when things are not alright. For me this is the biggest battle in my life and I struggle with it every day. To my true friends, publicly I thank you for the many long phone calls and love. Those things have made a huge difference in my life. Anyways, I’m getting off my soapbox and moving on the other aspects of my life.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
This blog is an act of passion. I see, feel, and think things that I want to share with those that want to hear it. I feel like much of the world today lacks this attribute. Your favorite music, movies, and memories were all sparked by passion of some sort. Fear is the antithesis of passion. I see all sorts of people that I am in contact with making fear based decisions. They’re scared of getting judged or what people who are close to them will think. Listen, if we are going to keep making our lives worth living we have to avoid fearing things. Much of the world has become transparent with no substance. In today’s world to believe in something is suicide. If you state what you actually think, you are scrutinized by the general public.
Case and point: I am Jake Burch. I am Mormon. I believe God exists and Joseph Smith is a prophet. I back up the things the leaders of the church say, even though I don’t understand all of it. I believe how to correctly use condoms should be taught in public schools and abstinence should be taught and reinforced in the home. (I am ready to defend any of these and why at any point in time so talk to me about it if you have questions). These are all true statements about my beliefs. The first reaction to these is to either agree or attack my opinion. The fact is, by a saying these things, I deliberately define myself instead of waiting for others to do so. I do not remain ambiguous. This is an intro to my blog. Be forewarned that it will be filled with my opinions, beliefs, and personal life philosophy. I will not wait for you or anyone else to define my person. I alone will take the responsibility to do so. Here will be posted the feelings of my heart about God, the world, my own personal turmoil. There will be happy moments and sad. I promise not to pretend. The purpose of this blog is to state my view of the world as I see it.
With deep regards