Posts tagged musings

Oh the Web We Weave–A Look at Strength

We’ve all done it. You’re walking down the street, minding your own business, when all of the sudden…BAM! You walk into a spider web. The spider is nowhere in sight but its craftsmanship is now eerily present in your hair and mouth. Despite a valiant attempt to gracefully remove the sticky webs from crevices, you find yourself spitting uncontrollably to make sure  it is, in fact, all gone. Who would think such a small animal could produce such a  nuisance with these nearly invisible strands?

Those tiny strands of spider silk pack a powerful punch, and not just in your mouth. Did you know that pound for pound spider silk  has six times the strength of steel? It is so tough it could stop bullets. Those silky strands are three-times tougher than the Kevlar in a bulletproof vest. Scientists are now exploring ways to use spider silk to repair human ligaments and replacement human tendons. As arguably  the strongest natural fiber, spider webs present endless possibilities to strengthen the world in which we live.

All these possibilities are present in a nearly invisible substance thinner than a human hair that usually goes unnoticed. It begs the question, what other hidden strengths around us are going unnoticed? What have you seen in your life as obstacles or annoyances that could be used to strengthen your perspective or enrich your life?

If something as small as a spider carries the strength of bulletproof vests inside of it, what unassuming strength do you carry inside of you that could protect the world?

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” -Mother Teresa

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Well thats Amusing…

During this holiday season, I had the blessing of an extraordinary amount of free time.  At the beginning of my break, I had grandiose plans for what I would accomplish—give all my childhood clothes to charity, take a day trip to Philly for some cheese steak, complete a 2011 Vision Board, journal every day, visit with all my childhood friends, blog everyday, catch a show in New York, feed orphans in Somalia, run for President and…well, you get the picture. Now as I reflect on the past few weeks, I realize they amount to little more than hours of C list movies and an absurd amount of time admiring photos albums of people I couldn’t care less about on facebook, with a few interruptions to share an irreplaceable laugh with friends and family. Now if I was some big movie buff with a strategic list of must-sees, it might be different. But I am definitely not a cinematic fanatic and I watched some TERRIBLE movies. For example, why I spent two hours of my life that I can NEVER get back watching a horror movie about a woman who has manhood-devouring teeth in her vagina is COMPLETELY BEYOND ME. But it was amusing at the time and so I surrendered to its mind numbing allure and watched—attentively.

The word amusing is an interesting one. At its root is the word “muse,” which means to think, to dream. Its prefix, “a,” means without, not, or lacking. So to be “amused” literally means not to think, not to dream, to divert your attention, to do the OPPOSITE of using your mind in a productive way. Its mind blowing to think about much of our lives is spent in the mindless state of amusement. If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, stats show you are spending about 8 ½ hours a week on facebook. Do the math and you will find that at the end of the year, the better portion of a month (17 days) is spent checking newsfeeds and stalking people through photo albums.

Its amazing what one can accomplished when time is invested instead of merely spent. In a mere 8 days, the crew of Apollo 11 completed their historic walk on the moon. In 14 days you could drive across the entire continental United States… twice, and if you have a lead foot maybe even three times. In half a month, people have seen the top of the world by ascending Mt. Everest. And in just 17 days, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.

In 2011, I want to join the ranks of Everest climbers, astronauts, and Thomas Jefferson by using every ounce of the gift of today to scale up the impact of my tomorrows. Resolution: I committed to eliminate the “a” from my “amusements” so that each moment is invested, not spent.  How much time could you gain by taking the “a” from your “amusement?” Are you spending your time on a-musement or investing it well through your musing?

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