“What kinda guy would I be?”

I remember saying this years ago, “What kinda guy would I be, if I was in this for the _______?” and I’d finish it with something that other people would normally give to others but not to me, i.e. gratitude, appreciation, or even just a plain “Thank you”.

Life took a rather funnier perspective each time I said it, it gave me a sense of humility and strength at the same time. I’m stronger because I didn’t need the recognition, and I’m humbled with the idea that I did the good deed simply out of nature. Heh, signs of a good man, maybe… Maybe, if I acted enough like a good man, or thought enough like a good man, I’ll be a good man? The sort of “fake it until you make it” sense.

You know, it’s strange to think that there are times when I’m not the good man, when I’m the one who needs help, or advice. Granted, I’m human and am expected to make mistakes and whatnot, but I often wonder what could cause me to no longer see through this perspective.

I’ve always liked this perspective, this ideal, this concept that I don’t need reciprocation of anything from anyone else, that ‘virtue is its own reward’ and that solidified the idea that I could possibly be a chivalrous man in this world. 

It comes with a fantastic yet subtle feeling, but it has always been able to take me with the gentlest of touches, like a child’s hand on one’s face; frail, soft and borderline innocent. Yet, it’s something I’ll instinctively reach for when it’s there, almost as if I don’t want it to fall. 

Ha ha ha, what is this? This is one of the strangest things to have crossed my path, if I were to call it anything, I’d call it: A Reminder.

A reminder that no matter what I’m faced with, virtue is always a choice, even if it’s at the end. A reminder that good people always do the right thing, regardless of the cost. A reminder that there’s still a chance that I can also be one of the good guys. 

I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’m constantly searching ways to prevent these incidents and improve myself, in multiple levels of my life, maybe this is my path to trying to be a good man in this world. Heh, what kind of a guy would I be, if I didn’t try to be the best guy that I can be?


Running myself ragged

During these last couple of days, I’ve found myself staring at a blank “Add New Post” screen. I’m wanting to post something new, and yet, nothing compelling comes to mind. When I think about what’s happened during those same days, I’ve realized that these are the same days where I’ve been driving around, doing errands and essentially, coming home tired.

It’s a bit ironic, I don’t have a paying job, yet my time is often swallowed up by doing what seems like random things, yet these things, eat up my days. It’s not even the same thing twice.

I suppose I should count my blessings that there aren’t too many complex things going on right now to drain me mentally, yet, I’ve found myself, just… unable to think about anything deeply.

Which is rather odd for an odd person like me…

But there are things that require some good amount of mental power, but what I’m referring to, was thinking recreationally. Reflecting on things or events in my usual manner, I’ve got nothing… or maybe nothing too significant has happened lately… or maybe I’m just not seeing it… Interesting… Perhaps my being physically tired has taken a toll on my ability to see things from another perspective.

In either case, I really can’t think of anything at the moment to write about… Heh… Ha ha ha… Oh well…


I remember getting a test back, I got an 89%, only one of my friends who got this score, compliments all around, I’m feeling good about myself, I go home with my head held high.

My Father comes home, he asks about my test, I smile as I show him my 89%, he looks at the paper, then me, then the paper again, and he says, “Ahhh?! Why couldn’t you get 90%” “Oh, well the test was pretty hard.” I reply. “¡Taras! Why didn’t you get 90?” followed up with a hit on the back of my head. “Ow! It was hard!” I say. “Ahhh…” he utters as he goes about his lunch.

“A dose of adversity is often as needful as a dose of medicine.” This particular phrase is the embodiment of the above memory as well as all others similar to it… usually the ones when my Father would hit me on the back of my head, followed by the classic, “¡Taras!

It was all in a lovingly matter, mind you. I’m not sure whether or not he would thought as far as having such conversations would cause me to be humbled or to inspired to be a better person… in either case, it worked. Whenever I’m met with compliments, I take it with as much modesty or humility as possible. It has been integrated into my mind, to not let any personal victory get to my head, to not be prideful nor arrogant.

It was interesting having someone in my life who would constantly, although playfully, call me an idiot when a majority of people call me a genius, is a wonderful balance to my mentality. When someone is constantly praised, without being knocked down in any sense of the word, will cause someone to be arrogant, over-confident, vain.

Every story about a valiant Knight, or a Grand Martial Arts Master has parts in them, when they’ve met their match, when they’ve failed to meet a goal, when they’ve lost. They learn a valuable lesson. Failure, Defeat, Humility in its rawest form. Painful, however, it is what stays with us the most, that’s why the most vivid memories are the most embarrassing.

It’s essentially balance. In my case, being constantly praised for being a genius, will have nothing but negative effects on both my personality and mind. Granted, I’m no genius, I’ve done my fair share of stupid mistakes, simply because I wasn’t smart enough, and you see, I’m able to not only recognize it, but accept it as a part of who I am, as a part of my own past and as a part of what’s going to happen in the future, as much as I wouldn’t want it to be, I’m going to eventually trip over myself, choke on air or water, and laugh at vulgar and oftentimes inappropriate jokes.

In Mexican bonds, we tend to address each other lovingly with a name that’s the opposite of ones highest trait or quality. Using myself as the example, my brothers would mainly call me an idiot or something that resembled stupid, however my Father always stuck with Taras which was something like “dumbass” because my greatest quality was that I was constantly in school and studying and getting a higher education than my brothers. I believe it’s something along the same lines as a Boy named Sue, you bring someone down, to help them realize that they have to fight to get higher and higher in life.

Life has always been about balance, one can see this in every and nearly any aspect of anything! Chess, Call of Duty, all forms of war: Offense and Defense; Yoga, Martial arts: Balance of mind and body and spirit; even science has balance, Physics: Every action has an equal and opposing reaction, Biology: Homeostasis, Chemistry: all chemical reactions react until they reach stabilization; even Mythology and Religion: the world is created, Life happens, then it is destroyed, Yin and Yang.

Balance is what keeps us from being too far to one extreme, from feeling out of place, out of order, and allowing us to become good people, because everyone needs a middle ground of both, strength and gentleness, of tradition and free-thinking, of confidence and and humility otherwise, people would be of one extreme and too much of one side without the other to balance it out leads to disaster, too much confidence results in arrogance, vanity or just plain stupidity, too much humility leads to cowardice, fear of the world, and Living Wallpaper status.

I think by him calling me an idiot all these years, it made me respect and love him more, it opened my eyes to the experiences others are facing in their lives, especially my own Father, who was working so hard.

Perspective is never a bad thing to have. To see the world from high up and from down below, from Gray to every color in the world, from the eyes of a child to the eyes of the elderly, perspective helps us find balance in the most interesting of ways.