Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Five Love Languages

[Photo: 9 roses of my love by Quarrion]

Take a moment to think about what makes you feel loved and appreciated. What must be present in your closest relationships in order for you to be content and happy? Do you love to receive compliments? Do you enjoy receiving large and small tokens of apprecitaion? Do you crave spending quality time with your loved ones?

Now think about how you express your heartfelt emotions to others. Does it mirror the manner in which you enjoy love to be communicated to you? Most of us typically express our love in the manner we wish it to be expressed to us. However, have you ever considered that what makes others feel loved is not the same as what makes you feel loved? Have you struggled in relationships where you devoted great efforts to expressing your heartfelt feelings, but the other person found it difficult to understand and experience your emotions? Perhaps the reason for the miscommunication was that you were speaking a language the other person could not understand -- that is, perhaps you were speaking in an unfamiliar love language.

In the book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman asserts that people express and recieve love in different manners. Chapman claims that love is typically expressed in five ways he titles the "love languages":

  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch

While each of us most likely expresses our feelings via a mixture of some or all of the love languages, we each have a primary language with which we most identify. Our primary love language is the one that, when spoken to us, triggers feelings of love and appreciation. Our primary love language is also a reflection of the manner in which we express our own emotions to others.

Consider what happens when two people with different primary love languages try to foster a relationship with each other. Emotional expressions will most likely result in many miscommunications and misunderstandings, as each person's expressions of love cannot be fully understood by the other. For example, if my partner's primary love language is acts of servie and I continually buy him gifts as expressions of my love, I am not communicating my feelings in a manner he can fully understand and relate. If I do not perform acts of service for him on a regular basis, he will feel that I do not tend to his emotional needs (despite the fact that I think I am -- can you imagine the arguments that will ensue?).

When we are not capable of speaking our loved one's primary love language -- consciously or not -- the risk is great that our loved one will not know and experience the depth of our feelings. In these situations, if the dynamics at play are not carefully examined and modified, both parties will eventually feel emotionally exhausted, unloved and unappreciated. The relationship will be poisoned slowly over time as each person begins to withdraw from the other. However, by taking the time and effort to learn our loved one's primary love language, we can begin to modify our behavior in order to prevent emotional stagnation from occuring. In my previous example, my partner might experience my love more fully if I cooked dinner or helped out around the house instead of buying him presents.

The concepts presented in Chapman's book are very insightful and eye opening. The principles can be applied to all relationships in our lives, romantic or platonic (in particular, parent-child relationships). Taking the time to determine your own primary love language and that of those important to you, will afford your relationships a new dimension.

Be sure to express your primary love language to your loved ones -- we can't expect others to guess our needs -- and be sure to identify the primary love language of those close to you. You may have to learn to speak one or more of the love languages with a new proficiency, but your efforts will be well worth the challenge. You will more effectively receive and experience love and appreciation, and you will be able to return the favor to those you love!

What makes you feel loved and appreciated? Which is your primary love language?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blog Tenant

[Photo by bozette]

This week's blog tenant is bozette from Pictures From My World. She maintains a photoblog with pictures featuring a variety of subjects including many breathtaking photos of animals and natural wonders -- as you can see from the photo at the left which was selected from her sight! Be sure to click on her thumbnail in the side bar and pay her a visit!

Welcome, bozette!


[Photo: Autobiography 1 by Bisi Rider]


by Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006


[Photo by Angela]

Friday, September 22, 2006


[Photo: For Duane by Knuddelbacke]

I recently read a snippet in Discover magazine about a Tokyo University geneticist, Shinya Yamanaka, that has recently developed a chemical cocktail enabling the conversion of normal adult cells into an immortal stem cells. The resulting cells have the capability of living forever and morphing into any type of organ or tissue needing replacement in a sick or aging body.

Currently, the procedure only works a small percentage of the time and the effectiveness for human cells is still being determined. However, this story demonstrates that science's visionaries are working towards the time when home-grown stem cells can be implanted into sick patients in order to cure a variety of diseases.

Reading about this type of research makes me terribly uncomfortable. I can't pinpoint the exact reason why, but my gut reaction is that it is unnatural and unethical. I feel like we are tampering with the circle of life. Do we really want to witness the day when you can purchase a replacement heart or kidney in the supermarket along with your morning paper? Do we want to keep going and going like the energizer bunny? And we think the earth is overpopulated now!

What do you think our world would be like if humans were virtually disease free? Is it prudent and ethical to strive to create an immortal being? Would you choose to live "forever" if you had the choice?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jesus Camp

Have you heard about the new documentary called Jesus Camp? I hadn't until I ran across an article about it on the Rudicus Report. Take a look at the movie's trailer here -- you won't believe what you see.

Did you watch it? If not be sure to go back and view it. I won't describe it in detail as I feel that it speaks volumes on its own. The official website of the movie describes the camp's purpose as a place to train children (some as young as 6) to become "dedicated Christian soldiers in God's army" in order to "take back America for Christ." God's army? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Conveniently, this topic fits in with my recent posts regarding religious tolerance -- and somehow, I don't believe that these folks would be in favor of it! The reviews of the movie cited on Wikipedia indicate that the messages of the camp include the evils of homosexuality, the lunacy of evolution, and the necessity of prayer in school. I almost fell off my chair when I read that the movie even contains scenes of kids praying to a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush!

To be fair, it must be noted that those featured in the film are mostly likely a small group of fundamentalists and do not represent the views of the vast majority of evangelical Christians. However, it is not difficult for me to believe that many Americans would embrace their messages of righteousness, intolerance, prejudice and fear if presented in a less extreme form. Evidence that this is true has been more than apparent in recent political debates -- same sex marriage, intelligent design versus evolution, abortion rights, stem cell research. Our country is in danger of diverging down a dangerous path if we are not vigilant and proactive. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure that our law makers do not perpetuate policy and societal standards which promote intolerance, prejudice, and stupidity nor take away our independence and freedom of belief and thought.

We can build our own army utilizing love, compassion, and reason as our weapons! Serve as an example of acceptance and tolerance in your own corner of the world. Act out of love, not fear. Stay abreast of current events. Do your research and VOTE.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Blog Tenant

I am excited to announce that our new blog tenant is the Rudicus Report! Be sure to pay the site a visit by clicking on the thumbnail image in the side bar. The author's description of his intended purpose of the site is the following:
I started this blog on Election Day 2004 when I saw President Bush inexplicably get re-elected. Since then it has gone through many changes and is now armed with the mission of helping all world citizens think critically about their world, their government, their religion and their society.

By shining the light of reason on these parts of our world we can peel back the layers of propaganda, misdriection, misinformation, spin and outright lies so we can see the truth and THEN we can make our decisions.

The author writes poignant articles and raises thought provoking questions on a number of topics including religion, government and politics, critical thinking and society. Be sure to visit, comment profusely and say that Bold Contemplations sent you!


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Religious Diversity

[Photo: one goal diversity by shankargallery]

Today is the day that I have the honor of guest blogging at Unknowing Mind regarding religious diversity. Below are the comments I posted on the site, but be sure to visit UM to read the thoughts of the other two guest bloggers! Feel free to comment here or particpate in the discussion on UM.


I believe that throughout history, distinct groups of people developed the concept of god and religion in order to provide a means for explaining and understanding life’s unanswerable questions and events – historical and natural – which seemed to be out of human control. As I see it, traditional religion is indeed the “opium of the masses.” Each individual religion is the narration of a particular culture’s myth -- its interpretation of history as shaped and molded over numerous generations in response to changes in the culture’s circumstance. For this reason, it is obvious why numerous religious schools naturally developed throughout history in lieu of a single global religion.

We continue to utilize the concepts of religion and god in similar manners today. Religion is the glue that holds many people’s lives together. It continues to provide answers (albeit some arguably outdated) to many of life’s most unanswerable questions. What is the meaning of life? Why must we experience trials and tribulations? What happens when we die? Religion also continues to provide principles and tenets (again, some arguably outdated) by which a person should abide in order to live a “good” life – one that would make their god proud. Some people are extremely religious during good times and bad, while others only embrace religion in times of emotional distress and need. Religion gives many a sense of purpose in life and provides the motivation that many need to live by the golden rule (who wants to suffer eternal damnation?). Given the extremely personal nature of the emotional needs that religion addresses, many people today search for the one (or none) that they most identify with. It is for this reason that I feel that religious diversity is important as it allows everyone to find the “truth” that they feel most comfortable calling their own. Actively identifying with a religion tends to provide a sense of purpose and belonging to the believer.

Personally, I don’t believe that one must embrace a particular religion in order to live a purposeful and fulfilling life – in my opinion, a sense of spirituality is much more important. Historical events (perhaps purposefully) have perpetuated the need of humans to search outside themselves for explanations of life’s events and to provide motivation to treat their fellow inhabitants of the earth with respect. As long as this continues to be true, religious diversity will be important as it will allow the needs of diverse masses to be met. However, history as well as current events have proven that religious diversity can have just as many negative implications as positive ones.

The numerous labels we continually impose on ourselves only serve to divide humanity. History has proven that humans are masters at using the differences among its members to segregate and divide itself, to perpetuate hate and prejudice. Many of the out-dated teachings of the traditional religions add fuel to this fire. The majority of wars, past and present, are rooted in religious differences and the world’s current events indicate that this trend will not end any time soon. Therefore, I believe that in order for humanity to survive and thrive, we must begin to shed out-dated traditional religions and move toward acceptance of religions and schools of thought which strive to work towards the common good of all humanity and all earth’s creatures, in addition to re-connecting humanity by celebrating and embracing our differences.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006


[Photo: Eye-catcher by cobalt123]

On Sunday, I will be guest blogging on the Unknowing Mind while Mike is on vacation. I will be joined in guest blogging duties by Jon of Jesusfollowers Journal and Sojourner of A Pagan Sojourn. We will each give our esponse to the following questions: How do you feel about religious diversity? Is diversity important or would a single, or no, religion be more beneficial for our world today? I will post a link once the essays are posted. Be sure to check it out and to chime in on the conversation!

As a precursor, I thought I would open a similar question for discussion here.

Does traditional religion have a purpose in today's world?
Why or why not?

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


[Photo: Dreams... by carf]

Yesterday I was forced to come to a realization about myself that I found quite upsetting. I realized that I take for granted the good things I have in my life -- people, opportunities, relationships -- everything. I realized that I have devoted little effort to nurturing my relationships with people I care about, instead assuming that they will always be there and the relationship will always remain strong. I realized that I am selfish in the sense that I tend to focus on my own needs, ignoring that a successful relationship must meet the needs of both parties via mutual give and take. If this balance is upset, the relationship will suffer and, in extreme situations, end.

Why do many of us tend to wake up from this fog only when something we hold dear is removed from our lives? Why is it so easy for us to take the good things for granted but dwell on the bad? We feel blind sided when we lose something or someone we cherish and/or love. However, looking back at the events leading up to the loss we are often able to recognize signs and warnings that, at the time of their occurrence, we did not acknowledge or chose to ignore. Perhaps we weren't emotionally capable of dealing with the underlying issues at the time the symptoms appeared. Perhaps we were trying to repel the forces that were nudging us out of our comfort zones.

In the end, we are filled with loss and regret. Some may theorize that everything happens for a reason, and that every situation brings a lesson to be learned. But how many of us really learn the lesson? And how many us return to blissful ignorance until loss presents itself again?


Finally, I'd like to ask everyone to keep genderist of haiku of the id in your thoughts and prayers as she continues her fight against thyoid cancer. Visit her site to leave her some encouragement and sunshine!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


[Photo: Fall Leaf Fractal by Steiner62]

Over the past few days, I haven't been very motivated, or inspired, to write. Therfore, I thought I'd throw out the following question while I re-energize:

What is something that you enjoy doing that would probably surprise many of the people that think they know you well? 1

1Selected from The Conversation Piece 2.

Blog Tenant

I am excited to mention a new feature of Bold Contemplations! You may have noticed a new section on the side bar -- the 'tenant' section. This area will feature a blog which has rented the space for the week. My goal is to highlight blogs which I think are of interest to Bold Contemplation's readers.

Our first tenant is the blog, Modern Humanist. The following is a description of the site taken from the 'about' section of the blog:

Here you will find news, ideas, information and insights on the world. It’s life through the eyes of modern humanist philosophy. Modern Humanist is not only for humanists and freethinkers but for anyone interested in reason, exploration and understanding. Think for yourself and enjoy your life.
I am not very familair with humanist principles, but the synopsis offered here has piqued my interest. I believe many of you will find yourselves in agreement with the principles listed here, and may enjoy learning more about the humanist perspective by reading the site.

Therefore, be sure to visit and say that Angela sent you!



[Photo: ...New Year by bpc]

A couple questions to lighten the mood and offer those who may be shy about posting a chance to introduce themselves!

What do you enjoy about reading blogs?

What are some of your favorite blogs?

The blogs I regularly read are listed in the 'blogs of interest' section. Homo escapeons, who writes the blog of the same name, wrote a great post on September 5 [which I can't directly link to :( ], titled "We are all Stars," in which he discusses how blogs have allowed so-called "ordinary" people to demonstrate fantastic abilities. You should definitely visit his site and give it a read. It's a great post!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Never Forget

September 11, 2001

World Trade Center by ronallan

whatreallyhappened by Paolo Attivissimo

Shanksville, PA 2 by ArchangelVer1

Never Forget

Feel free to use the comments to articulate your thoughts and reflections

Thursday, September 07, 2006


[Photo: prejudices by qvark]

I take public transportation to and from work each day. In particular, I take a train that runs from Chicago's Midway Airport to downtown. On the way home today, there was a man on the train who was clearly on his way to the airport. He brought attention to himself because was lugging a pretty big load: a laptop computer case, a medium sized piece of rolling luggage and an odd looking thermos-like container. Normally, I don't pay much attention to people toting all this stuff, as the train's destination is the airport. However, this person was different than the traveller I see on a day-to-day basis.

He wasn't caucasian. He wasn't African American. He wasn't Hispanic. He appeared to have been Arab. And he was wearing a turban. His nationality, coupled with his baggage, descended on my conscience in a flurry of apprehension and nervousness. A number of disturbing questions ran through my mind. Does he have a bomb? Is he going to blow up the train? Does he have liquid explosives in his thermos-like container? He was sitting very close to me. Should I change my seat?

Once I realized how ridiculous my thoughts were, my fear turned to shame. I was ashamed because this wasn't the first time that I jumped to similar snap judgements about how a stranger might affect my safety. How could I allow myself to buy into all the preconcieved notions and stereotypes created by current world events? How could I allow myself to make such harmful assumptions about someone when the probability of them being true are miniscule?

The government always tells us to be watchful and vigilant. To be aware of things that seem out of the ordinary. But how can we do this without allowing ourselves to be victims of preconcieved notions and prejudices? How can we be proactive in preventing potential disastrous events without making assumptions about the character and nature of the strangers we come in contact with?

I think we are teetering on the edge of a slippery slope. With the probablility steadily increasing that smaller scale terrorist attacks will begin to take place on our own soil, we are flirting with another type of disaster as well. Is our society strong enough to ward off acceptance of additional reasons to fear our neighbors because they have a different skin color, wear non-western clothing, have different religious beliefs? History suggests not. The potential of becoming even more divided, nationally and globally, is very real, despite all our advanced technology and weapons.

I am embarassed to even publish this post. The thoughts and feelings I expressed go against everything that I like to tell myself that I am about. But I must acknowledge them because they are real for me. I know they stem from a fear of the unknown and intangible. And I don't think it is a stretch to assume that many others feel similarly. Have you had similar experiences?

How can we be vigilant, but yet accepting and objective? How do we keep ourselves from reacting out of fear when we are facing such a formidable foe? How do we accept that we must let events that are out of our control unfold organically?

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006


[Photo: Fractal World by Serendigity]

If you could know, without a shadow of a doubt, the answer to one (or more) question, what question would you want answered?1

The question that I would want answered is, "What is the meaning/purpose of life?" I think knowing the answer would definitely clear up many other questions that I have! :)

1Selected from The Conversation Piece 2.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Personal Accountability

[Photo: Fire Chief Teddy Bear by WiredAfterMidnight]

One of the top stories in Chicago's local news this weekend was the death of six children in an apartment fire. The family was impoverished and had been living without electricity since the spring. Apparently they had been using candles as a light source -- it is suspected that one of these candles sparked the fire. No evidence of smoke detectors was found in the apartment. The apartment had three rooms, and served as the living space for nine children and a married couple. Eight of the children were the couple's offspring -- I believe the couple had ten children in all, two of which did not reside in the apartment. The six children that perished ranged in age from 3 to 14.

My first reaction to these types of stories is grief and sadness -- all the obviously related social and economic themes also run through my mind. However, these emotions of sympathy quickly turn to anger and confusion once the facts of the situation register. Why were 11 people living in a 3 room apartment? Did the owner of the building know about the crowded conditions? Aren't there governmental agencies whose purpose is to enforce the related laws and regulations? If the family didn't have electricity, did they have water? Food?

One might argue that the family was poor, and therefore had no other option. I heard on the radio that the family may not have wanted many to know that they did not have electrcity out of fear that DCFS would take their children away. I have a hard time fully empathising with the parents. They obviously were not capable of providing quality, safe living conditions for their children. Why did they have 10 children? Did they not know after the 4th, 5th or 6th that they could not provide an adequate quality of life? Were they not educated in the means of birth control? Did they not use birth control because of religious beliefs (this is my theory, and not necessarily fact)? Does the use of birth control displease God more than bringing children into the world under impoverished and cramped conditions? Does it displease God more than children succumbing to a fiery death not of their own making? Did they believe that faith alone was enough to raise 10 children?

I do realize that these situations are multi-faceted and complex. I consider myself a humanitarian and do not wish to sound insensitive, but I simply do not understand the lack of responsibilty, and thought processes, of people who chose to bring so many children into the world when their life circusmtances do not make it a winning situation for any party involved.

As a society, we must bear the burden of people who do not want to be, or for whatever reason cannot be, sexually responsible (yes, even when you are married). Are religious teachings banning birth control harmful to those that follow religious doctrine unconditionally? What role should government play in these situations? If the family cannot provide for the children, should they be taken away? How many children are too many? If we are of a faith that bans birth control, what responsility do we have to ensure that we can care for the children we do bring into this world?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin


I am quite shocked and saddened that the famed Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, was killed today. He appeared to have been a very charismatic man who devoted his life to raising awareness of conservation issues. He apparently died doing what he loved. Hopefully his family will continue to carry on his very important legacy.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


[Picture: She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not by Oolong]

The topic of this post was suggested by Mike of Unknowing Mind. He was curious to know your thoughts on the following:

Do you believe there's only one person who is "right" (as in significant other) for everyone?

Growing up, I always believed that the answer to this question was "yes." Probably as a result of watching too many movies and too much TV. It was actually quite a stressful and distressing prospect. What if I don't realize that he is the "one" when I meet him? What if I over sleep and our paths don't cross as "planned"? What if he lives on the other side of the world? I would be destined to live my life alone!

I now believe that there are many people who are "right" for each of us. And I believe that we meet many of these people throughout our lives. Our life choices and circumstances dictate how few, or how many, of these people we explore relationships with. Our long term relationships are products of conscious decisions to commit ourselves to a certain person. How strong and successful these relationships are, depends on the amount of effort we dedicate to keeping the relationship open and honest so that it continues to meet the needs of both parties involved. While in committed relationships, we will meet other people who are "right" for us -- people we are mentally, emotionally and physically attracted to. These attractions do not necessarily indicate that there is something awry in our current relationship. Whether these new "attractions" lead to anything more, is the result of a decision on our part to honor, or dishonor, our current relationship committment. I believe that the specific people we do pursue long term relationships with are determined by timing and life decisions -- what our life circumstances are at the time that we meet that person, in addition to whether or not we are mentally and emotionally open to the possibility of a relationship at that time.

I can ramble on and on about this subject, but I hope I explained my opinion somewhat clearly. Some books I found enlightening on the topic are: The Road Less Travelled, The Five Love Languages, The Mastery of Love.

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