Things that blow my mind about humanity

Sometimes, when things are tedious and saddening and gray, it’s nice to remember all the amazing  things about the Earth.

Like how the water you drank this morning has traversed the oceans and rivers and lakes and glaciers of this planet since it was created. Like how a snowflake you caught on your tongue floated down from a cloud and happened, by chance, to land right in front of you. Like how the Earth itself was created out of stardust, out of outer-space travelers, out of chance and luck. Like how life rose from particles to cells to fish to humans, and how those humans grew to conquer the elements, to flirt with the edges of their understanding and broaden their horizons.

I hate the Ancient Aliens TV show for many reasons, of which this is the most prominent. Why don’t we give our species any credit? Can’t we take credit for being the sole species to imagine, design, and build the pyramids? To create vessels that can transport us through land, sea, and air at remarkable speeds? Can’t we be proud of our species for all it has accomplished? For landing on the moon?

Yes, acknowledging the badness of our species is important, but so is acknowledging the goodness. Humans are amazing. We work together to create things we never could alone. We are amazing thinkers, creators, inventors.

When you’re feeling discouraged, try to remember: it was a group of humans no more special than you that invented photography, and that painted the Sistine Chapel, and that built every monument in the world. Aliens didn’t do that. WE did that.

It’s easy to forget. To take things for granted. To focus on the negative. To see yourself as separate from the thinkers and the doers. But you’re not. You have a universe of potential humming in your fingertips. When that potential is used for good, you become amazing.

If you’re inside, align your vision for a moment so you can’t see any windows. Almost everything in your sight was created by other humans.

I find that inspiring.

Every Worthy Act Is Difficult. Ascent Is Always Difficult. Descent Is Easy and Often Slippery – Mahatma Gandhi

Check out my post on TheSeeds4Life:

I am on the Seeds 4 Life!

It Does Not Matter Where You Are Coming From. All That Matters Is Where You Are Going.

Check out my guest post on the Seeds 4 Life:

It Does Not Matter Where You Are Coming From. All That Matters Is Where You Are Going – Brian Tracy

If you think you can’t draw…

I recently saw a TED talk by Graham Shaw called “Why people believe they can’t draw – and how to prove they can.” I have always doodled in my margins, and have always wanted to be able to draw, so I took the time to watch his talk. And now I can do this!IMG_3613.JPGIMG_3612.JPGIMG_3611.JPGIMG_3607.JPG

He ended the talk saying that many people just say to themselves, I can’t draw, and that’s that. People accept this about themselves, but it’s not true. Anyone can learn to draw like this. He then said to imagine—what else do we think we can’t do? What boundaries have we put up for ourselves that we think we can’t break down?

It really made me think. My mom insists she kills every plant she’s ever owned. My dad says he could never concentrate long enough to finish reading a full book. My musical-prodigy boyfriend has given up playing violin several times because he “just can’t” figure out how to use a bow. I’ve given up learning three different languages so far, because I swear it’s just not how my brain works.

But…what if none of that is true?

What if our kindergarten teachers were right, and we can do anything we set our minds to? If it only took a fifteen minute TED talk to get me to draw adequately, are these other problems just as easily solvable? Is learning really just about having an open mind?

Drawing is unique in that it’s something we tend to assume people either “can” or “cannot” do. It’s not really something you learn. Same with singing, dancing, writing…but of course that’s not true, there are lessons and schools for all these things. Why do we limit ourselves so arbitrarily?

I highly suggest watching this video, linked here:

It just may change everything.