Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Influxed with the weight of a new language, my mind supplicates me to allow expression in the old. When you stop using your arm, it gets weaker, and less capable—less apt to act quickly. But nonetheless it will be overcome with an itch to move, to be used, to strengthen again. Forward of this day I won’t cease to let my mind dabble and swagger as it attempts to flex its old English strength, once set aside, now commencing a new flourish again.

In spanish we have the verb SER and the verb ESTAR. Both mean 'to be', but SER is much more permanant, and ESTAR more temporary. Conjugated in the third person plural, they read like so: SON and ESTAN. To say 'They are american' something that they are integrally, you use the verb SER, like this: 'SON americanos". To say "They are tired", something that will pass with a bit of sleep, you use the verb ESTAR, like this: 'ESTAN cansados'.

The point of that short spanish lesson was to tell you that there are people who ESTAN felices, or who ARE happy, and there are people who SON felices, still said ARE happy. Note the difference.

My days here have caused me to realize that part of life is the happiness found therein. We decide how important, or rather, how prevalent this part is. To complain of its lack is to announce incapability to take choice, or rather control, over one’s own emotions. A great friend here taught me that we are constantly presented with a choice: to exist happily, or to exist sorrowfully. It’s nothing more than that. A simple choice determines our demeanor, and it is ours to make, with help from God. If we only elect the route of the joyful, if we could constantly retain a force left within us to choose happiness over sorrow, if we never lost the hope that is that choice, we should never lose the happiness that keeps old women laughing, unjustly jailed men smiling, and abused children loving.


Blogger Paul said...

how dare you post after such an extended hiatus?
your crimes are indeed ghastly, but your post has some value.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Analog said...

que bueno que blogger funciona otra vez, y que bueno que eres feliz :D.

I do agree that to "ser" feliz is a choice that we must make, and I've also found that often this happiness can only be found by clinging to God in hope, and not allowing ourselves to be dragged down by Satan and his despair.

7:01 PM  
Blogger jonas said...

I am going to start making fun of your "argentinian" characteristics right away. Yo espero que tengas un buen año alli en argentina.

4:56 PM  
Blogger barry said...

Viktor Frankel claims that our ultimate drive in life is a search for meaning--even or perhaps espcially in suffering. Frankel honed this theory in a Nazi concentration camp and survived because of it. I'm not sure that joy is the ultimate, but it certainly plays a part. Paul might say it's necessary but not sufficient.
Don't get me wrong. In a sense, we should be joyful in all seasons. If you tell me that joy is that state of being in which we are constantly living in the triumph of our savior's love, then perhaps I agree.
Even more bluntly, joy is a result--not a source--of meaning.

10:35 AM  
Blogger maxx said...

thats the reason i said that happiness is only a part of our life. i agree with frankel when he says that a happy life without meaning is rather incomplete, but a discontented life with a strong meaning is no more complete than the first. and of course, yes, i do claim that our only and ultimate source of joy/contentment/happines (i really do use all those to mean the same thing) is God and the life(in the physical AND eternal or spiritual sense) and victory He offers us daily. please read again what i posted with that in mind, perhaps you will easier understand the meaning.

8:24 AM  
Blogger barry said...

If happiness = ultimate meaning, then we agree. Otherwise, give me meaning every time. Most people don't equate the word "happy" to mean ultimate meaning. For instance, Frankel was profoundly unhappy in the concentration camps, but still had a sense of meaning.

Meaning + happiness = good life?


Meaning = life. Happiness may be a product of meaning, but not in every circumstance.

12:51 PM  
Blogger barry said...

I read your post again, and I think this difference is mainly semantic. I'm making a philosophical distinction that isn't in your post, (a distinction that is, neverthless, important to consider).

No hard feelings mate

12:55 PM  
Blogger maxx said...

never hard feelings my friend! i agree that semantics is what had us. for some reason, i automatically do equate meaning with happiness. not equate exactly, but for me they coencide. when i find a reason, a cause, then i find gusto in my life, because i can live FOR something rather than just meander without a purpose. imagine if i was writing a letter to my mother, it would have a purpose, and therefore i would enjoy writing it because of the purpose it had, and i would do it with what capacity i had to make it such a good letter. but if i was writing a letter to no one, what joy would it have? in saying this, yes, 'happiness' is in a sense a byproduct, and for me, a very present one.
by the way, prepare the way, i'm coming home.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I just read your post again.

now that finals are over, my mind is more able to appreciate your verbal skills (Petra's explanations of the spanish helped too)

thanks for your thoughts. I shall try to remember them. I hope you do too.

4:33 AM  
Blogger barry said...

Scientific exactitude in philosophical inquiry isn't absolutly neccessary to qualify clear-headed thinking. Besides, your post wasn't specifically philosophical anyway. All the same, I hold to my distinctions.

5:10 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home