Monday, March 29, 2010

In other news...

I've decided my blog needs a makeover. It is ugly and boring and needs help. Watch for new developments.

Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me....

So...I've been thinking about respect lately. What is it? And why is it important, especially in relationships?
In an incredibly cliche but effective move, let's see what our good friend Noah Webster has to say.

Respect:
  • Esteem for or the sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.
  • Deference to a right, privilege, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges.
  • To hold in esteem or honor.
  • To show regard or consideration for.
These aren't all the definitions, but these are the ones I felt were relevant. To me, respect has a broad spectrum of meanings. I think to respect someone means to recognize their worth as a human being, to strive to see their good qualities, and to outwardly manifest your esteem for them. I think it means granting people the rights they deserve as human beings: the right to a voice, to Christlike love, to a fair hearing, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think it means recognizing that people deserve to be treated fairly and kindly.
In my family, respect has always been a huge deal. I think one of the reasons my parents have such an exemplary marriage is because my dad respects my mom. I can't recall him ever saying a rude, derogatory, or condescending word to her in my life, even in jest. He treats her like a queen. Growing up, we all knew that the surest way to get Dad mad at us was to talk back to Mom or to disrespect her in any way.
A lot of the fights I used to get into with my dad centered around respect. I was never quite sure what my dad meant when, after I had brattily "just stated my opinion," he told me I was being disrespectful. Now I think I understand. Not only did I show disrespect for his position as a parent and authority figure, I disrespected him as a person. I treated him unkindly, and acted as if his opinion held no value for me. I failed to esteem his worth both as someone in authority and as a human being.
I think respect is one of the most important traits required for a healthy relationship. I don't want to spend my life with someone who talks down to me, treats me unkindly, ignores my wishes, or fails to view me as a valuable person. I think, in a relationship where mutual respect exists, each person will sincerely listen to the other's opinion, and then after listening, take it seriously. They will try to see their partner's point of view, and work to fulfill their wishes, rather than writing their opinions off as inexperience, ignorance or stupidity. Those in a healthy relationship will try to build each other up and focus on the positive, rather than using insults and derogatory language. Even in joking, put-downs can indicate a lack of respect between two people.
I know I still have a long way to go in respecting other people. I'm not the greatest listener (as any one who's been repeatedly interrupted by me can attest to). I'm extremely sarcastic and tend to communicate affection through putdowns. (You know I love you if I constantly call you fat or stupid). I know that I can't demand respect from those I associate with unless I give them that kind of respect as well. So that's my new goal. To treat people like the children of God they are. To recognize the value of each person I meet, to take their opinions seriously, and to treat them kindly instead of putting them down.
Because, you know...all they're askin' for...is a little respect.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I don't care what it does to me

Hm....I love life. I love that I can go to a Shakespeare play for 2 dollars, with my best roommate ever. I love enjoying innovative ways of presenting age old words, and I love that I can be sucked into a story penned 400 years ago as if it were happening to my close friends.
I love life for those moments when you're sitting in your seat. watching actors on a stage dance to one of your favorite songs, and all of the sudden, one of the actors is standing next to you, hand extended, and soon, you're on the stage, dancing, singing, smiling, and laughing...one hand clasped by a character from Shakespeare, the other held by your beloved friend.
And..."I love love. I love being in love. I don't care what it does to me."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I just never thought you'd take revenge on me this way....

Dear Chacos,
I'm sorry. I know I've only worn you once since October. I know I usually wear you regularly throughout the winter. Call me a wimp, call me unfaithful, call me forgetful.
But I thought you'd be happy that I finally thought of you. It's been so warm the last couple of days that I missed you, and decided to finally pull you out and put you on today. As I rode my bike to campus, my feet felt so free, and yet so secure. You always make me feel so good, Chacos.
And then, after class, I stepped outside to a blizzard. My feet would have frozen, had a handsome gentleman not given me a ride home.
Point taken, Chacos.
Karissa
P.S. (I didn't know you could control the weather. Man, there's really nothing you Chacos can't do, is there?)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Hole in the Wall

Why is it so hard for me to talk about how I'm really feeling? Why do I have such a hard time letting people in? Or...some people at least. And at some levels. I feel like to a certain extent, I'm a pretty open person. I'm all right with sharing my surface feelings, and even most below-the-surface feelings, goals, dreams and thoughts, with my close friends. But then, after a certain extent, I put up a wall. NOBODY gets past that wall. Ever.
Except...what if I let someone..not..get past the wall but...maybe look through a tiny hole worn into the wall? And what if they understood what they saw and wanted to see more?
If that happened....part of me would want to make the hole in the wall bigger, let them see more, just so I could know they understood, so I wouldn't have to try so hard to keep it secret.
But...a big part of me would want to hurry and block up the wall, and maybe make the rest of the wall even stronger so no more holes would get worn into it.
Because...what if this person liked what they saw behind my wall, and I let them keep looking, and the hole got bigger and bigger until they finally climbed through?
That would be terrible. A disaster. (....would it? says the other part of me)
Or what if they push against the wall so hard that it weakens and crumbles and nothing else stands to protect me?
What if the wall is what gives me shape, and once it falls down, I'll trickle out everywhere, dissipate, and eventually vanish?
What if by sharing myself, I run out of "me" to share?