Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Food For Thought

What kind of a Christian are you?  Are you sugary and sweet but without substance?  Do you have lots of spiritual and moral fibre, but with a few rough edges?  Or are you a porridge person?  Lord, keep us from being too shallow and sweet and too rough around the edges.  Keep us also from being like porridge--thick dull, and hard to stir.  Make us like corn flakes--always prepared and ready to serve.

                                --Taken from an Actual Church Bulletin

Enough said.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why is it weak to say No?

As part of preparing to be baptized, and of thinking about religion and life in a deeper, sustained way, an opinion that I've had for a while has come to the surface. 

I don't understand why a lot of people have a negative view of others who try to control what movies, music, and other media they consume.  These people are "weak", or "wimpy". 

I wonder why people think of it this way.  Isn't it just the opposite?  The easiest thing to do is to go with the flow, and just watch whatever people are watching.  The harder thing is to keep in mind what you want to carry with you, and control what media you take in.

Just a thought.

Monday, February 11, 2008

You Don't Ever Need to be Bored

If you are born in Canada, the USA, or another equally developed country, have won the genetic lottery and have no serious physical or mental ailments, and take good care of yourself, you are entitled to some 29,000 days of life when you are born. That figure may be slightly different for women, and, of course, your individual results will vary.

What are you going to do with all that time? Well, you'll likely spend about 9062.5 days of it sleeping, or trying to. You'll spend at least 1200 days of it watching television, if you're average (and I've taken the lower figures.) So, if you subtract thsoes two figures, you have 18,737.5 days. Now, if you're working for a living, working eight hour days five days a week from age 35 until early retirement will set you back 2600 days, and so we now have 16137.5.

Depending on your point of view, that's either quite a lot of time, or almost none at all. The point I'm trying to make here is that life is short. It's too short for regrets. Learn what you need to, make amends, and move on. It's too short to simply "be bored." Don't surf the internet endlessly, or lie there in moping. Do something. Go out for coffee with a firend, or if you have no friends, work at making some. Don't excercise just for the sake of it. Make it social, or, if you need your morning run, listen to an audiobook or a talk while you're doing it. Read and learn like crazy. Never stop doing that.

Pick up a hobby. Work at it like mad. Who knows, you may even end up making some money from it, and if you work really hard, you may even be able to make it your job! Never give up. Instead, ask yourself when you're in a good mood whether what you're doing is worth it to you, and, should you decide it is, then continue at it and perservere, even when you may later have to force yourself.

Writer Napolean Hill wrote a very famous book, entitled The Seventeen Keys to Success. To write the book, he interviewed hundreds of highly successful people in order to find out what makes someone successful. What he found was that successful people will do something even when they don't want to do it at that particular moment, because they know that it will pay off in the long run. For example, a musician probably does not like practicing every day. He does it anyways.

You can do whatever you want to do. But you may (indeed, you likely will) have to work very hard.

Hop to it. Life is ticking. As dramatic as it sounds, it's very true.

Note: Please don't assume I've got everything worked out in this respect. I'm writing this article for me as much as anyone else.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


I'm beginning more fully to realize a simple truth: if you persevere, and have intense focus on something, in almost all cases you can achieve it. But the focus you need can be intense.

One of the people I look up to in this area is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here is a guy who grew up Austria. He knew no English. But he had dreams of becoming an actor. He knew what he wanted to do, what his dream was, from a very young age. When he was 15, he paid a visit to a gym, and discovered the art of weight lifting. Then he had an idea. He thought that bodybuilding might just be his ticket to America, and so, for five years, he spent an average of 5-6 hours a day lifting weights. He won the Mr. Universe award in Europe, and then he moved to America, and won the American equivalent, several years in a row.

However, dispite his success, Hollywood didn't want him. But he persevered, and eight years after arrving in the United States, he had already made his first million. In order to become a good actor, however, he realized he had to put more effort in, and so he switched his main focus to acting, this time spending 6 hours or so a day working on his acting skills.

His insane amount of focus paid off. Today, his films have grossed over 2 billion, and he is one of the best actors in Hollywood, as well as being Governor of California.

What can we learn from this? I think it is as simple as realizing that if you want to do something, focus on it. In fact, if you want to be the best, you should focus on it to a fault. Don't give up your friends and family, but focus on what you want to do, even to the point where they notice, and even wonder what is wrong with you. Of course, this kind of focus is not necessary in order to achieve moderate success. But you can be entirely successful in what you want to do, you can rise to the top. Just focus.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Today I am performing a comedy routine on Germany as part of the NCI Talent Show. Here is a video of it.

If this doesn't work, click here for the web version.

Here is a translation of the beginning: "Hello people. I have a bit of fear that you will not understand me. But perhaps that is fine. Then I can talk about my favorite subject: girls. I think Canadian girls are prettier than German girls. German girls are a little bigger and not as slim, but Canadian girls are always pretty."

A note: The beginning of this presentation is only a joke, like the rest of it is. I don't actually think German girls are ugly!

Chirstmas holiday is starting! I hope you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What I Want to Do with my Life, and some Reasoning.

I hear it at least once a week. The question has become something of a drumbeat in my head over the past half-year. "What are you going to do with your life?" "What are your plans?" "Where are you going?" "What are you doing?" These questions are asked by people for a valid reason: I am in Grade 12, and the time has indeed come when I need to think about these questions, and decide what I would like to do after school. But asking about my entire life is asking an impossible question. Up until now, I would have answered that I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I can't see where I am going to be in twenty years. I just don't know. What I have always had was interests. At a very young age, I took to writing. I have received several awards for my writing, and some adults have noticed it and talked to me about it. That is a talent. I also love acting. I believe I am talented there as well. I don't mind being in front of a large number of people, when many people would. That is a talent. That is a gift. I like music. I like to make music. That is also a talent, a gift. It is quite obvious that I am an arts type of person. But, from the opposite side, I also like computer programming, and computers in general. So what should I do with my life?

I have obviously been thinking a lot about this question over the past weeks and months. And I have made a decision, a subtle decision that I only became aware of this past week. I want to be an actor. I want to be a writer. I want to be a musician. I want to be a comedian. I want to be a poet. And I enjoy computers, and would like to be a computer programmer.

So what will I be? Where will I go?

My answer is that I will follow each and every one of these careers. I will do it all. I don't plan on having a long-term job, and if I do, it will be in computer programming. But it is my hope that these things, or a combination of them, will provide me with enough money that I can live. I will quite possibly never be rich. It is hard to be rich when you are in the arts. People don't like paying for ideas. I will, however, be enjoying my life every step of the way.

Isn't that more important than money?

The question I have been asked, and have often asked myself is, why are these jobs important? Why is a comedian important? Why is a writer important? Why is a musician important?

And I answer myself almost every time: what could possibly be more important than influencing, and bettering the lives of people?

I could better the lives of people in many ways. For instance, if I were to become a electrician, I would better peoples lives by solving electrical problems in their homes, in businesses, in cities. That job would be very useful. If I were to become an engineer, I could build a bridge that could help millions of people get from point A to point B. In an indirect way, I would be influencing those millions of people.

So why the arts? Why can't I influence people through a job that is sure to bring in cash?

My answer is that it is not enough for me to help people in these scientific ways. I want to help and influence people by nourishing their souls. I want to communicate to people in such a deep way that their lives are changed for the experience.

People say that being a comedian is a low job. I ask, why? Depression is, according to the UN, the single most common disease in the world. If I am making people laugh, helping people who may be troubled to, for a few moments at least, forget about their problems and love life again, why is that not the most important thing in the world?

The same goes for the rest. If I can help people to see a situation a different way through fiction, poetry, or music, if I can lift up their souls by helping them explore a part of themselves that is above this world, then that is the most important thing I could ever possibly do.

And so, after school I am almost certain I will go into university on an arts/theatre program. I will persue computer programming through smaller courses, or self-study. I may never be rich material-wise, but I will be doing what I believe I was put on this earth to do.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Future

I wrote a poem a few days back that I thought I'd post. In an odd sort of way, I'm kind of proud of it. In writing and posting it, I'm in no way trying to cast blame on anyone. I'm just thinking out loud. I wrote thi s after watching a movie which I hated. As I was watching it, this came to mind.

The Future
We love entertainment,
Sexual humor, incest, rape.
We love watching people
Get shot right on tape.
We are the young. We are the future.

Movie ratings are falling,
We're desensitized.
If you don't like killing,
You're not fully realized.
We are the young. We are the future.

We don't like waiting,
We don't like containment.
We'll take pornography
Over long-time commitment.
We are the young. We are the future.

We are good people,
No, really, we are.
We're youthful. We're healthy.
We're begging for more.
We are the young. We are the future.

What will the future look like?

--David Klippenstein, 2007