Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Trouble With Being Virtuous (Part 1)

Upon reflection of this post's title you are most likely to think, "What's wrong with being virtuous?" In fact my treatise is focused on the phrase "trouble with being" and not so much the word "virtuous."

Integrity, honesty, charity, humility and the like are universally accepted as correct and right. It is not my intention to challenge in any way their rightness. My thoughts are on the processes of becoming these virtues. One might be tempted to say, "All you need do is discipline the creature and bend it through iron will and then you will have these virtues." However, a stick bug, though it may through sheer determination, focus and camouflage have the appearance of a stick, it is still an insect. So it is with us. We do not become something simply out of sheer force of will.

You become something by giving yourself over to it. Living for it. Each breath you take echoes an aching desire to become it. You learn to love and cherish it. Not despise it, struggle with it, and force yourself to fit the pre-conceived mold. You learn about it, understand it, and yes, you work at doing the virtue to learn how it feels to be the virtue without actually being the virtue.

Just because I show charity in one small moment to a less-fortunate person, does not mean I am suddenly charit-able. If I readily accept rebuke or learn from anothers' hand for a short period of time does not mean I am humble. An act of patience does not mean in all instances I am patient. By learning, loving, and employing the virtue, over time you begin to become the virtue.

The ironic thing is, once you begin to become the virtue your are striving to live you don't notice any difference. It is who you are. Ingrained in you and written upon the fleshy tablets of your heart. If one were to admiringly point out your patience, you would openly say, "Oh no, not me, I have a long way to go." Knowing of course perfect patience, in this life, is not possible. And that only through trial and error, love for the virtue, and continued application, have you become a small partaker of the virtue, such that those around you take notice.

This now brings us to the trouble with being virtuous. Firstly, as we begin to become the virtue we seek we don't notice any difference for it is our homeostatic state. The virtue begins to become second nature to us, much like a fish in water. The other problem we ask ourselves is this. If the virtue is right, and if there is a God who wants us to become these virtues, why are they not then simply handed to us for the asking? Shouldn't we be able to drive up to Virtues-R-Us hand pick the very best, in true sincerity of heart, of course, and then be able to live these virtues openly to bless all mankind?

If all the world were just one virtue. Honesty. Imagine all the corrupt business owners, liars, fraud committers, schemers, stealers and the like instantly disappearing in favor of a more delightful being. One who is honest in ALL aspects and walks of life. Why then are we not simply blessed with these virtues in order to live in greater peace and harmony with each other?

This is part one in a two part article. Your comments and insight are not only welcomed, but greatly encouraged. What do you think?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mormons Carve out Niche in Facebook

Mormons are carving out their own cultural niche within Facebook. Later this week Pete Warden will release an abundance of Social Media analytics information to the public. Among this will be information about how Mormons interact with each other on Facebook.

An example of what will be said..."In the Mormon-influenced areas of Utah and Eastern Idaho, the most popular Fan pages are The Book of Mormon, Glen Beck and the vampire book Twilight, which was authored by a Mormon."...

Although there is a higher concentration of members in this region, I think this says alot about how Mormons as a whole have readily adopted social media as a communication device. Hopefully this will also dispel the myth which says Mormons don't use technology.

To read the whole article Click here. You will need to scroll about half way down the article to where the colored map is and then you will see the above mentioned quote.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Second Pregnant "Man" is Really a He-She

A man is pregnant with a baby. That is really weird. Personally, I feel that is wrong, but then they throw in the mix this man, Scott, was originally born a female named Jessica. The pregnant man, Scott, has a mate named Thomas, also born a female, now man. And now they are having a baby together...

Here is the story from MSN. Second Pregnant Man - MSN Reports

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why You Shouldn't Buy your Music From I-tunes

Dear Apple,

This really isn't a question, only a complaint from a usually satisfied customer. When the rest of the country realizes we are in a recession and they're handing out deals and special offers to help battered consumers and the unemployed, you, Apple, raise the average price on a majority of your songs from $.99 to $1.29 Sure you package it all nice and say, "But you're getting all this extra digital artwork!" When you know as well as us that A) We don't care about digital artwork, B) We only look at it once and then put it in a long forgotten folder on our computer, IF we look at it at all and C) You don't give us a "Comes with Digital Artwork" Option. The artwork is forced upon us if we want the music.

For the few of us who are striving to still be honest about how we purchase music and not pirate it, you, Apple, are making it more and more tempting by raising your prices in a down market and economy. You simply use the, "extra content" ploy as an act and justification for charging us more money per song when 9/10 times we don't want the extra content. Thank goodness there is still Amazon and other, more understanding companies out there. Maybe you are doing this just to give yourselves hefty bonuses at years end?

Until you lower your prices I will be buying my music from your competitors. Plus, I will be posting this on my blog and Facebook and I am very actively involved in both so quite a few people will see this. It's your choice Apple, you can either be more understanding and give us the option for the "extra content" or watch as your customers go to your competitors in order to avoid paying higher premiums for music.

Sincerely waiting for a change,

Chris Shumate

My Beef with Apple and Itunes

Why are all of Apple's Itunes songs $1.29?? They were all .99 cents for the longest time, and now that we are in a recession you bump UP your prices?? Aren't we all struggling enough? Shouldn't you do your part to help ease the economic burden? Or are you all having a nice time in your cushy offices laughing as you throw back martinis and saying, "ITunes has enough demand, let's go ahead and raise the prices so we can give ourselves hefty bonuses next year."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reminiscing about the Past

As you go through life you realize you've met a lot of people. Made a few good friends, and you wished you would have become friends with a lot of your acquaintences. At least that's how I feel.

Now that I am back in Washington, I realize how much my friends have shaped my life over the last several years. I'm glad to be back in Washington, but there is something that I am going to miss because I won't see my Idaho friends for a while.

I guess that's just how life works. We meet people, make friends, hang out for the short time our paths intersect and then move on to the next stage of life. Ideally, I'd like for all of my friends and me to just hang out in this never-ending fun zone where we'd all have everything we want and need and we'd do stuff together. Oh well. I guess that will just have to wait for another time!

I have other plans and opportunities. I don't think it's bad to look back on the past and appreciate it, (and even miss it a little), but to try and constantly relive or dwell on the past, hinders your future growth and potential. Appreciate the past, don't stay stuck in it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big News with Social Media Endorsement!

FTC cracking down on bloggers, social media - Kingsport Times-News Online Big News (aka click here!)

Gone are the days of Ashton Kutcher or Ryan Seacrest throwing a quick shout-out to Ke$ha or David Archuleta!