Tag Archives: philosophy

Glasses Off: 4 Uplifting and Helpful Sites

With all the negativity and drama that spreads around the Internet all the time, I find myself wanting happier (or at least more positive) things to read and learn from. Thankfully, there are other people who think like me and have made the following sites:

Videos and short blurbs about things that are either happy or important to learn.

Inspiring news…we can all use a dose of good news and happy things to read!

These articles may not ALWAYS be happy, but they will generally be very helpful. 🙂

Who knew that lifehacks could encompass bettering ourselves?

Glasses Off: 4 Thought-Provoking Sites

Sometimes I get awfully tired of seeing the same news and “shocking” stuff regurgitated all over the Internet. Sometimes, I just want something new and nourishing, something to actively learn rather than something just to read and forget. For those times, I look to the following four sites:

Comics That Say Something
Subtle wisdom in visual form…really awesome!

Little text wisdom blurbs you can browse through.

Longer articles/essays on various subjects–bet you can guess why I like this one, LOL

All kinds of shows and topics, from scientific discoveries to art history, with a common thread of making you think.

What IS Creativity, Anyway?

I’ve written a lot of articles on this little blog about creativity and creative pursuits. But I got to thinking one day, as I was writing, working on websites, humming my own music, and otherwise engaged in the process of creativity; I wondered, “I know I create all the time–I’ve done it since I was a kid. But WHY? What IS creativity, anyway?”

Creativity is one of the slipperiest words I’ve ever tried to define. I have such an intrinsic knowledge of it–creativity is, quite simply, in everything I do. But describing exactly what that impulse is and why I choose to pursue it is VERY difficult. Nevertheless, here are the definitions and descriptions I have come up with:

Creativity: The Desire to Make Something that’s Needed

One part of my creativity stems from seeing a need for something out in the world, and wanting to apply my talents to that need. I started making super-informative fansites back in the early 2000s because I had seen a string of cookie-cutter “fan” sites whose content was all copied and pasted from each other; I felt that our fan communities needed something better, something more in-depth, and so I took it upon myself to create the kind of site I was looking for.

My writing also falls into that category–when I write something, it’s partially because I have not seen a piece of writing like it before. I write stories and poems in part because the tales and emotions contained within me filter through my experiences and my mindset, creating something unique and yet still relatable (well, most of the time, LOL).

Creativity: The Urge to Nurture Something into Being

Another part of creativity is the almost-primal urge to just MAKE something, something that’s just yours, born of your mind. In that way, it seems like procreation; you’re affirming that your brain cells, your mind, your SOUL is alive with every word you write, every brushstroke you paint, every note you strike. I experience this with every art form I work with, from singing in choirs to writing my novel and my music, from creating websites to even making my own crafts. Everything I make has my own stamp on it; every idea in my head needs effort from me to come out, and that effort is joyful because it has MEANING and I can actually focus on it. Creativity literally gives meaning to things that might not have much meaning otherwise.

Creativity: The Need to Show Others Your Original Self

Lastly, I believe creativity is about self-expression–not just expression of the self’s effort or expression of the self’s needs, but about explaining what kind of person I am. Much of my music flows from this idea; each melody and each lyric is strained and purified through my perceptions, and when I play my original songs I am literally baring a piece of my internal world, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Especially these days when so much is negative in our world, a good-sized dollop of creativity seems like a needed taste of hope–it’s a way of saying “Hey, I’m over here–I’m a person too, with loves and needs and dreams.” (Sometimes, especially early on, I used my creativity to ask whether I was a good enough person or not; now, I use my creativity to show how I’m good enough. It works both ways.)

Are There Other Explanations of Creativity? You Tell Me!

These are my own personal definitions of creativity, but I’m just one creative person speaking from one mindset–what are your definitions? Tell me in the comments!

Songs to Make You Think

One of the things I love most about being a songwriter is that I can write songs that make people think. I can raise awareness about issues, I can talk about my own personal struggles, and I can even champion a cause with my voice and my piano.

Many, many songwriters have done the same over the years (and centuries!), often with amazing results. Here is just an itty-bitty teeny-tiny cross-section of songs that have made people think, reason, and change their views over the years:

Another Day in Paradise – Phil Collins

About how we can all too easily miss the signs that someone else is in need.

Allentown – Billy Joel

Describing the consequences of job loss and falling economy in Allentown.

Soldier in the Rain – England Dan and John Ford Coley

About a soldier who comes home from war, only to feel that his old life is closed off to him.

Imagine – John Lennon

About revisualizing the world’s boundaries (in personal, religious, and social ways)–even if you don’t end up adopting the mindset.

Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks

About conflict and forgiveness (or being too mad to forgive), both for the specific political situation the band faced as well as in general.

Dirty Laundry – Don Henley

About the increasing sensationalism in the media, and the public’s increasing hunger for it.

Hurricane – 30 Seconds to Mars

Asks a good question: “Would you kill to prove you’re right?” Describes the “hurricane” of conflicting opinions/factions we all live in today, and the desire to just hide from them all “underground.”

Jesus, Friend of Sinners – Casting Crowns

About the modern church (and the historical church, too) and all the human sins we let pass for “standing up for God”. Also teaches what “loving like Jesus” really means.

The Needle and the Damage Done – Neil Young

About drug addiction and the pain/heartbreak it brings.

HOPE (feat. Faith Evans) – Twista

About maintaining hope in the face of tragedy, whether personal or social.

American Pie – Don McLean

Does this song even NEED an introduction? …NAAAH!

One Day (feat. Akon) – Matisyahu

About the gritty reality of our modern life, contrasted with the dream of worldwide peace.

Hypnotize – System of a Down

About social protest and society’s attempt to cover it up or silence it…and how it affects even those who think they have no stake in the issues.

Find The Cost of Freedom – Crosby Stills Nash and Young

Short but poignant song about war’s real cost.

Alyssa Lies – Jason Michael Carroll

About child abuse and how it affects others who see the evidence.

Hotel California – The Eagles

Describing the bleakness and hollowness of the California drug scene in the ’70s.

The Trees – Rush

About political unrest and ideological clashes.

Ohio – Crosby Stills Nash and Young

About protesting the Kent State shootings in 1970.

The Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson

About social and political awareness, and how the impulse to make positive change begins with each individual person.

Home – Phillip Phillips

About belonging, and having a home to return to.