The Selfish Humanity of Man…

So I decided I would be a bum today and went and finally caught a showing Spiderman 3 over at the Hoffman Center in Alexandria, VA.

Needless to say I was definitely amazed at the quality of the film.  Sure there were parts that I was somewhat dismayed by (Peter walking around town being “all that”), however the meaning behind the movie was what hit the most.  I think the two phrases that stuck out in my mind were

  • “A man needs to put his wife before himself.”
  • “Whatever comes our way, whatever battle we have raging inside us, we always have a choice. My friend Harry taught me that. He chose to be the best of himself. It’s the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what’s right.”

The first is primarily just a reminder of the selfish nature that we have as human beings – especially as we are under the age of 30.  I know, you could call me crazy, but there’s a transformation that I’ve seen in friends and family that has occurred when they hit that age for some reason.  I myself am definitely selfish at times and the only thing that I can figure to do is shutup and listen to what someone else has to say rather than trying to make it my story and me that is the center of attention.  Hopefully the right young lass will realize that someday that I’m listening. (crap there I go making it about me again ;))

The other quote is something that definitely hits me because I know in this crazy dog eat dog world that we live in that there are several opportunities where we don’t necessarily do what’s right, but we figure that it’s the best choice because it’s good for us.  The selfish humanity of man wants the best for himself, however it’s not always doing something for ourselves which will be the best decision.

To conclude, I go back to a previous post regarding Captain Joshua T. Byers.  He would have appreciated this movie for the action part of it, but I feel that he would have also appreciated the recognition of man’s selfish humanity, reminding us that it is not us that we server, but Christ.  May we keep our azimuth correctly pointed and our pace properly established.

In honor of those that have given it all…

Today is Memorial Day. A day that I think very few truly understand. They look forward to it as the day that the pools open, the barbecues, the trips to the beach. They do not think of it as the day that we fall to our knees and mourn the loss of those that have so valiantly given their lives up, so that we might live.

Most people wonder why I wear a bracelet… am I diabetic, do I have a medic alert, is it a magnetic bracelet to feel better… the questions come but there is only one answer.

It is to remember and honor one American and brother in Christ that had his life taken away so quickly and without warning nearly four years ago. Captain Joshua T. Byers lost his life due to an IED exploding under his vehicle in a convoy, outside the city of Ramadi on the fateful day of July 23, 2003.

Though he was not my own flesh and blood brother, he was the best friend of my brother which made him basically kin to me. He and my brother were interchangeable. Hearing the news from my sister in law the night of the 23rd, watching my brother grieve, grieving with my brother was a realization that life is so incredibly precious.

I will continue to wear my bracelet to remind myself of the life of Josh Byers, a man of principle and of sound faith, hoping to measure up to his reputation. It was said of Josh, that throughout his life, he kept his pace count and his azimuth, measuring his steps by the Word of God, and keeping his direction by fixing his eyes on Jesus Christ.

The next time that you feel as though you have been slighted, as though you have been wronged. Stop and remember for a moment those that have laid down their lives, remember those that are continuing to work to free people in other lands and put things in perspective.

RRLRLR LLRLRL

For those of you that are wondering what exactly RRLRLR is, it’s an inverted double paradiddle, right hand lead. For those of you that are wondering what I just said, that’s fine, I would expect that considering I don’t think that the paradiddle is something that every American is intimately familiar with the way that rudimentally trained percussionists are.

So why the inverted double paradiddle? This weekend I decided it was time to break out my REELFEEL and a pair of sticks and brush my chops up (translation: I got my practice pad out, a pair of drum sticks and worked on regaining speed, agility and endurance doing rudiments). Needless to say, I popped some ear plugs in to reduce the echo of the room and played for about two hours straight on Saturday afternoon, working through the 26 standard rudiments and some non-standard ones that I just felt like doing, playing through cadences from my marching band days and working a few new ones based on some hip hop beats from music I’ve been listening to recently.

When it was all said and done, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of stress reduction and some sore forearms from all the diddles (that’s where you play two or more strokes in a single bounce for things like the paradiddle, flamadiddle, cheeses, etc.).

So what’s this mean? I pity my neighbors when I crank up a Yamaha Sforzando marching snare… or maybe some tenor action…