Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. 

Charles R. Swindoll

How do we learn to filter out the bad?

For a majority of the time, we can’t help but react to bad news from around the world. Shootings, bombings and the like: it’s bad for the soul. I don’t like it, and I don’t think you do too. But how should we react?

We can spend time letting it overwhelm us: Spend the rest of the day thinking about it, how it could have been avoided, who to blame, and other things.

We can spend the whole day thinking of what-ifs, but not the what-nows: What things are happening around us now, things within our reach. That you’re still breathing, and that your friends and family are doing just fine, and that you can still make memories with them. We have to learn how to be grateful for the things around us even if all the bad shit is happening around the world.

So, the bad news that comes to us should only serve as a reminder for gratitude and nothing more. It’s bad for the soul if it floods us with negativity.

Some people find ways to cope through alternative means:

Creativity differs according to each individual.
Either way, how we express ourselves can be scary at times. No matter how creative we can get, there will always be jabs at us.
Some people find this overwhelming, and choose to conform their creativity to acceptable levels. Others go the opposite direction: they strive to improve their craft.
This post is about the latter, and how a movie reminds us of just how creative we can truly be. That is, creativity through other people.

The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. -Gertrude Stein

The concept of expression is a strange one. It differs with each individual.
We are free to do whatever we want.
Write what we want, dance, play: live a life however we want.
While some may be able to express themselves better through painting, others express themselves better on the rugby field, speaking on stage, or performing complex calculations for experiments.
All of these are expressions of the inner character: We share what we are most passionate about through expression.
But, were we taught to express ourselves? Do we have the freedom to do this around the world?
It is fun to express: we learn as we grow older that we have this need to do so.
We want to prove that we are the best artists. We want to shout that we are the best in our fields: Talking with the right people, by expressing humility and grace. Showing we want to learn more, by expressing a willingness to be a student of life.
How was it taught in education?

I was afraid to share my secrets.
Here we are at the usual coffee shop near Town Hall, and my friend asks me.
“Could you tell me what’s wrong?”
I couldn’t. I didn’t want to be seen as weak.
I bottle my problems up so that I don’t bother others. Yet, I felt his sympathy.
“Well…”

15 minutes of silence after, I told him.
I didn’t want him to know, but I was at a loss. No one was there to help me. I couldn’t make sense of the thoughts in my head. I didn’t want my best friend to see me in such a poor state.
Have you ever had a time when you were uncomfortable with sharing something due to who you are?
It could be this notion I have in my head. Whatever my problems were, it doesn’t seem right to share. He might be uncomfortable hearing about it. He may judge me.
He won’t. He’s my friend. I know him that well.
Yet, I felt unattracted to the idea. I am at my ugliest when I’m most vulnerable.
When I realized that, I started crying. He already had his hand on my shoulder.
He knew I was suffering. We all need help sometimes.

People are golden to me.
They can be unrefined, found in the deepest of mines. Some are greater in quality than others. In order to put a value to it though, a piece of gold must be refined by human hands.
I came to this realization earlier this year as I was going through a hard time. A mental breakdown, questioning my own purpose in life. No one had the answer to my question.
Calling a friend that night though, saved me.