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Eternal Optimist: The ARK Philosophy

Updated on January 7, 2013

The Glass Half Full...

Most people who know me know that I always try to look at the bright side even in the saddest situations you can always learn and grow. As humans, it is our job I believe to learn and grow so we can pass that on to our kids. Children learn a lot from just watching the behaviors of adults whether they be verbal or non-verbal cues. My lesson I am stressing to people and to my self this year is the idea of A.R.K.

The Philosophy of A.R.K

There are hundreds of movies that share this concept and have inspired me all my life to give a little of myself to someone else. Pay it Forward, Seven Pounds, Hardball, Man Without a Face, and Millions are a few of my favorite movies that present this topic well. What is A.R.K.? Well let me explain, the acronym stands for Act of Random Kindness. Oh I see now you understand what I am talking about. I know most people on a daily basis try to do this and whether you know it or not you probably do this everyday from simply opening the door for someone or saying hi to a random stranger or giving a dollar or food to a homeless person. Random acts of kindness are infectious once they get started and can blossom into something beautiful. The hope is if you help one person that person will do something for someone else and so on. You may think the one act doesn't mean much but because of your kindness you have touch many lives by teaching someone else A.R.K.

Do you believe in A.R.K?

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Butterfly Effect: Paying it Forward

"It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world." Chaos Theory

Great movies to look at are Pay it Forward and Butterfly Effect. Both movies explain that the smallest act whether good or bad will affect the person or persons that follow it. The hope for me this year is to pass the word to as many people as possible about A.R.K. so in the larger effort we can spark a change in our society form empathetic to sympathetic or maybe both would be ideal. My attitude at this point in my life is to realize that the person I can help whether it is in my power or not is a reflection of me. What I mean is that any situation at anytime can happen to anyone so why not help that person because that person could be you? This to me will not only change the person you are helping but also help the helper to understand the world better be more open to the world. I'm not saying that this article will change the world but if it inspires you to change the world around you and me then I have changed someone's world for the better. I care about everyone whether I know you or not that is what an eternal optimist to me is. Like I said, even the smallest act of kindness can make someone's world better maybe not forever but for a moment they may not of had otherwise. Even a small act can grow in size and scope and inspire more people to get involved.

Who inspires you to pay it forward?

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Science, Religion and the Modern World

I chose to see the beauty in the world and the learn from the ugly. There is beauty in every situation no matter how horrible. I am not saying that kids being killed or wars being waged are great but unless we learn from these situations we cannot help to prevent history from repeating itself. The quote I most remember is,"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." We should always remember and never forget. In our darkest moments, it was ordinary people who stepped forward and took it upon themselves to stand up and defend what they believe is right. That ordinary act made these people extraordinary.

The reason I titled this section this is because we are influenced without knowing it by our environment through subliminal messages. We learn as children what empathy and sympathy is, what appropriate and inappropriate behavior is and how to socialize with people. Throughout our adolescent and adult lives, we continue to learn about the world and where we fit in the world. Science teaches us to be logical, religion teaches us to be compassion (I use the word loosely), and the modern world teaches us where we have evolved as a society.

The last influences our opinions and actions a lot, but maybe not enough. We are all observers of the world and need to see the world for what it is and how it should be. Without realizing each individual will leave a mark whether good or bad. It is in the moment of decision that we effect the outcome. An act of kindness whether we do it consciously or not will not just affect us but the people involved and maybe the world. So I submit that let the world influence the perception of the world, but analyze how the perception can be changed or made better. In that you will find your on A.R.K.

Operation Sculpt the World

As the title says, the world in itself is evolving everyday so I challenge you to change or improve your world and someone else's by using the A.R.K. Philosophy. You have the power to change your world and mold it into what you want it to be. Something as simple as a hug, hand shake, or saying hello can mean the world to someone whether you know it or not. The world is a beautiful place even with all the nastiness that happens on a daily basis that to me means my glass is half full. I encourage you to spread the word and get as many people involved with committing acts of random kindness. The pay off is a better life for everyone and a better outlook for the world.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. -Helen Keller

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that! -Rocky Balboa

What does A.R.K. mean to you? What will you do?

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