Match Up: Good versus…Great?

Good and great.

These are two words that can be used interchangeably in describing people, events and things. I have often thought that “great” is in many ways better than just being “good”. For example, when  asked about a particularly pleasing experience, one could say that it wasn’t just good. Instead one can describe it as something that was rather great.

Same words, right? Only, the latter seems to carry much more weight — in a higher degree of “goodness” if you may.

But my simple understanding of both of these terms was somewhat changed when I read how Mr. Ollivander described Lord Voldemort in the wand choosing scene in Harry Potter.

Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember…. I think we must expect great things from you, Mr Potter…. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great.

Suddenly, these two words no longer felt like proper synonyms of one another. I mean, can something really be great and not be good at the same time?

Apparently, the answer is yes.

Growing up, I thought that in order for one to be successful (whatever that means for each person), one must also be “great”. Excellence has always been the aim, hence being merely “good” would not really suffice. As I meet people with varying levels of successes and accomplishments, the difference between all things good and great seems to widen all the more. This is not to say that most great people are far from being good, or the other way around. I was just struck by how different these words mean when describing an individual.

Greatness, despite its obvious relativity,  is often easier to gauge while goodness, in its truest form, is far more difficult to define. In an effort to make personal changes in attaining both of these description, one cannot help but compare the roads that lead to each of such attribute.

Winston Churchill once said that “great and good are seldom the same man”.

I wonder if this is really true.

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Merci 2013, On y va 2014!

20132013 has been a really amazing year for me. It is so amazing that even the word ‘amazing’ sounds too puny and insufficient for such a blessed year. I think crazy good is a more fitting description. There isn’t any competition really between this year and the coming one. But since life, after all, is more about improvements and “unlocking” the next level of achievement, I had to think long and hard on how I can make 2014 even more spectacular.

The idea came to me in one of the posts shared by my friends. Even the way I came across this thought seems most apt considering how great the contributions are of my friends in making 2013 a smashing success. I cannot remember the exact words, but it talks about the things we pray for and the one who hears them all.

Basically, what I got from it was that I was actually asking for too little from Him. It was a bit of a head scratcher for me at first to tell you honestly. I have thought (and have been told) all along that He knows what is inside our hearts and minds even before we speak of it. Also, I am already of the opinion that compared to what others have, I am already blessed beyond what I have imagined. So to ask for more just seems awfully ungrateful, selfish even.

I have not been a very demanding person. Truly, I am not. You can ask my relatives, ninong and ninang, and my parents even^^. I think I am one of those who find pleasure in the little thing precisely because the things I need have already been provided for.

“Ask and you shall receive”

I hear this often in mass and in religion class. However, I never really thought much about it until now. Not that I do not believe these words. I just simply am not a fan of asking. Asking for more than what I already have makes me feel a bit ungrateful, which is something that I would not want to be.

You see, asking is not a very simple thing. This is not to say that I do not want things. I DO want and wish for certain things. I just don’t ask for many of them. To ask puts one in a vulnerable position because the feeling of satisfaction, happiness and contentment rely on receiving the thing you’ve asked for. At some point, because of this belief, I have grown a bit scared and weary about asking because of the possibility of getting hurt, rejected, or worse, disappointed. I am not just referring to the things I pray for but also of the little things I wish from the people around me. I guess most of the time, I am just too afraid to ask.

To ask requires courage, and faith to the one who hears our hearts desire.

This year, I am determined to be less afraid.

To ask and not just settle.

To make my wishes known to the world despite the possibility of failure and disappointments…and to be accepting and gracious if and when things does not come my way.

I will be more trusting and more open to the people who has been silently making my little wishes come true.

Most importantly, I will make an effort to strengthen my most important, and much neglected relationship. For a God as BIG and as powerful as Him, perhaps I was asking for so little. The greater things that was planned for me may just have been a prayer away. I am happy to be reminded that it was never just about my worthiness, rather it was a matter of Him loving me unconditionally.

I guess I’ve had it all wrong; all I had to do was ask.

2014 is just an hour away. Although I lost some very dear things (Daks most especially) this year, I am missing 2013 already; I will always look back at this year with much fondness.

Thank you 2013 and everyone who made it great.

2014, I am so ready for you :)

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My Yearlong Christmas

I’ve been staring at my Christmas presents since Monday. I really want to rip the wrapping papers apart but I made a promise to my sister to open them on the 30th with the kids.  I got most of my gifts last week so this past days have been a very long marshmallow test for […]

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InstaGood Mornings :)

There is no formula for a Good Morning but… Sometimes I like my morning to be a bit sugary, Sometimes I like it with lots of chocolate, But basically, I like my mornings sweet :) ————————— Visit this Week’s Photo Challenge for more morning goodness.

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Reading among Other Things

Read 12 books or more…and write about it. This is number 3 on my 2013 goals. The first part is not too difficult to do but  writing about the things that I’ve read can be a bit tricky. I could have easily written “make a book review” but I opted to be more vague about it. […]

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Lines, Patterns and Homo sapiens

Lines. Straight, bent, crooked, curved. Alone, they often do not really hold any real significance. But when lines are stretched, bunched together, weaved, inter-laced, crossed, and/or cut, they suddenly create a new pattern, effectively creating a new life of its own.

Very much like humans. 

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Sleep My Little Lion

Just a word of caution: this post is again about my cat. My very dead cat. It has been a month already since he died. I still catch myself calling him for whatever. When people ask me about him, I don’t feel so emotional anymore. Or so I thought. I was watching TV the other […]

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The Sea

Pagudpud

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Just imagine an afternoon spent immersed in a book under a tree with that view.
That right there, is bliss.

For see more “Seas”, check out this week’s Photo Challenge :)

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Carefree Moments

Daks04 edit no blur

Carefree. I would hazard a guess that for this photo challenge, I will be seeing some jump shots, vacation pictures and lots of childhood snapshots.  What these scenarios have in common is that feeling of freedom from worry and the opportunity to just be. But I don’t really need to look at my old pictures to remind me of a carefree way of living. Once I get home from work or school, that lazy indolent look that my animal friends give me is enough to remind me of what living in a carefree world mean. My pets  do not need to fight for food in the street or worry about sleeping in cold and wet pavement in a rainy Sunday evening.  They most certainly do not worry about monthly bills, deadlines and paperwork. Seeing them lounge so peacefully on my bed has caused me some moments of envy and comfort.

Of all my pets, Daks,  in particular, provides this wordless comfort.  I know I shouldn’t be playing favorites but when you’ve known someone, (even if that someone is NOT of the same species) for ten years plus, it’s really just unavoidable.  

Exactly ten days ago, Sadako, or Daks as we fondly called him became completely free of care, pain or worry. He was also freed from life. As I look at his pictures, I can’t help but smile at how this tiny creature gave us so much love, joy and comfort. He is probably in the most “care-free” environment now but I still wish that he was with us.

Thank you for both the carefree moments and the crazy times. We will surely miss you Daks :’(

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Happy with Harry :)

Masterpiece is this week’s Photo Challenge. And not surprisingly for those who know me personally, I chose JK Rowling’s Harry Potte seriesr. I already wrote a post on this topic the same day last year and it has been a subject on some of my other blog entries. On my post, Harry Potter: A Love […]

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Masterpiece for Me

You can find them in a theater, a street wall, on a really old church scaffold. They can be a building, or an entire city. Some made by man, and all that is Nature. Some of them can move you to tears. Some will inspire you to dream. Some you won’t ever care for.

But if you’re lucky and you stick to it, one can even be dedicated to you…

Harry Potter

:)

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Not a flattering picture of a great series, but please don’t just a book(s) by a poorly taken photo of its paperbacks. Hopefully you can find better “Masterpiece ” photos here.

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One Year Flying

I know it was around July, but I didn’t exactly mark the date on my calendar. I was actually hoping WordPress would send me a notification, a little confetti shower of sorts. It took a comment from Ishaiya on one of my older post for me to be reminded of the actual date of the anniversary of my first post.

(Pause for some cheers and confetti^^)

This isn’t my first attempt at blogging. The first blog that I had was a french-inspired blog where I mostly put things related to…surprise, surprise (!)…the french language. With some previous posts under my belt, this technically does not mark my one year in WordPress; however,  I felt the things between last year and today is enough reason to celebrate.

I find it a bit surreal that a year had already gone by and that now, sitting in my bed, I am now writing an anniversary blog post. (Another pause for some cheers and confetti:) ). A couple of months ago, I envisioned that I would be writing a very impassioned piece on the joy of writing, the wonders of the blogosphere, and other sweet stuff to mark this occasion. But to tell you honestly, after a long day at work, I am not feeling very impassioned at the moment. But do not despair, I am not about to write a sappy, whiny post on my blog anniversary. This momentous (O_0) event just made me a little pensive, that’s all.

To feel a bit tired of writing is not exactly an unusual feeling (especially when the real world is getting in the way). Looking back at my experience with my first blog, I now see, that the fact that I am still writing this despite not feeling very motivated is what kept me from maintaining my little space in the internet.

With my old blog, I thought that the main problem that I would be having is the lack of topic to write about. In retrospect, I find this a bit silly considering the number of topic one can relate to french, the study of language, France, culture and other similar themes. That can also be an occasional problem from me, Daily Prompts, weekly challenges and other people’s input do help in this department.

So what was the difference with this page?

Two things: GOAL and a COMMITMENT to that goal. Since this is my anniversary blog post, (more cheers and confetti!) I hope you would indulge me to expound on those two things.

First is my goal.

For flyforicarus, I only have one: To have at least 5 posts per month.

You might ask, “Why 5?”. Well, why not. I am not really sure of the answer myself . But I guess since my first month only had 5 posts, I made it a goal to at least maintain that figure. What I am sure of is that it was never really about the actual value of the number. It could have been a 4 or a 10 (good thing it was not 10 ^^). The important thing here is to have a clear target that is realistic.

“Achievable goals are the first step to self improvement” – JK Rowling

I would admit that having a stat info to look at every now and then can be a good motivator. However, of all of the numbers in my stat, the one thing that I truly care about is the number of post I make in a month. Racking up on the number of likes, comments and follows gave me a happy feeling especially in the beginning. But these numbers are not numbers that I should obsess about. For one, these numbers are also dependent on the quantity and quality of my post. Instead of focusing on the result of my work, I decided to concentrate on the things that I can actually control.

More post = more materials for people to read = higher possibility of more likes/ comment = more happiness :) :)

Next on my list is my commitment to the goal.

I had a particular month when I was so busy  that I didn’t even bother to check my page until the last few weeks. I think I needed two more post to meet the goal. I was not in the mood to write anything and was making lots of excuse like, “maybe I can just stick with 3 post, then I will write 7 the next month” or, ” I wrote more than 5 last months, so by the  law of averages, I’ve already met my quota.“, etc… They were not works of art but I still managed to meet my quota despite all that bargaining. That made me feel quite pleased.

All in all, this whole blogging thing had been a great way for me to unload some ideas that I would just normally keep to myself. The experience had reiterated some of the values that I already know but do not consciously practice in real life. It has also made me appreciate writing, although it didn’t care much for it before. I feel really proud and happy that I was able to write some of the stuff I wrote here and was glad of the decision to start this whole thing. I don’t know if it’s just narcissism or if other bloggers feel the same as well.

Aside from the sense of accomplishment that I get every time I click the “Publish”  button, I get this inexplicable excitement whenever I see that that notification box light up. The conversations that I’ve had with some of the people here at the WP community has been the best part of the experience for me. Conversations that I would not have thought possible, from sharing our views regarding a mythical character to cats, books, social issues, more stories about cats– I just feel so blessed to have chanced upon some of these amazing people.

For the next year my goal is to read and interact with other people more. Considering that some of the most stimulating conversations I had came from people across the country and the globe, this new goal would be a great way for me to expand my horizon and to broaden my perspective on  a lot of issues. I think 5 comments or likes per week would be a manageable goal for me. Now all I have to do is to strengthen my commitment to this goal.

Finally, I would like to thank all those who liked, commented, followed and read what I wrote here most especially to those who keep on coming back. I hope I can talk to you again soon.  <3

Hugs and cheers,

Arianne

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Fresh Eyes

You, that they no longer adore, For they say you were once serene, pristine and beautiful. But to the eyes of one who is new, Your leaves are just as green, and your skies are just as blue. Pity that they missed to see, The beauty of this city. —————————————– Took these pictures in Baguio City when […]

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A Little Like Lovin’

golden hour

Have you ever seen a sunset,

Gently kiss the sea?

Well, that’s a little like lovin’

Yeah, yeah it’s true.

Well it’s a little like

Love, love, love,

A little lovin’ you.

~The Cascades

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I think this line from The Cascade’s song is very accurate.

It’s hard picking a picture for this week’s Photo Challenge because sunsets and sunrises are truly photo-worthy :)

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Writings on the Wall: Nurturing the Seeds

Like or Unlike it, Facebook’s presence in the cyber society is undeniable. Asked a question of whether it is a bane or a boon, I think it goes both ways. But ultimately, the answer lies with who uses it.

Just like other media form, we are constantly being exposed to various information and ideas in Facebook. Last Month, I decided to make a string of post called Writings on the Wall where I plan to write things that were inspired by what I see on my newsfeed. Basically, these are things shared by my friends and possibly, pages that I follow. Not all of these ideas are exactly positive or negative but they are interesting enough to evoke thought and emotion. Unlike my previous Facebook-inspired post, this one is just from a short quote that I liked.

“What a child doesn’t receive, he can seldom later give.” (more…)

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