Sunday, March 11, 2012

The All Important Thing I Forgot: The Reason Behind my Blog's Name

Wow, have I totally messed up on writing this post on time. Right when I began this blog I promised one of my first posts would explain why I've chosen this title, and months later I've almost totally forgotten. Well, let's remedy that right now.

As of current I don't consider myself to be a giant in terms of moral stature and ability, but with dedication to self-improvement I hope to reach that height someday. The reason why I've chosen this title is to denote the substance of this blog, its focus self-improvement in all areas of life to make one a better and better person, to reach that one point in life one actually does become a giant. And to become a giant one needs to perform the actions that composes the greatness one wishes to embody.

My favorite saying, which guides the crux of my life, is "A giant is as a giant does," which was spoken by Rod Serling at the end of a Twilight Zone episode, The Last Night of a Disc Jockey. It's not my favorite episode, but it did contain my favorite moral.

It stars a horse-rider -- a disc jockey -- who has gotten kicked out of his career for violating the rules too many times, and in his dismay he mopes around his hotel room that evening. Being so distraught, his subconscious, in a mystical sense, starts speaking to him and offers to grant him a wish he could use to redeem himself. His wish is to be "big," and this mystical force grants it literally by over tripling his size, making him nearly too large to fit in his room. Having attained his wish, the jockey then spends most the the rest of the episode gleefully contemplating all the good things that will happen to him due to his size.

But soon things go downhill. When he calls a girl on the phone for a date, using his newfound size as his hook, he's baffled as to why she's unimpressed and continues to refuse to go out with him. He then gets a call from the jockey club informing him that they'll give him a final chance to redeem himself and allow him to resume his riding. The jockey celebrates his chance briefly, only to mocked by the mystical force inside of him, which then makes him increase in size a second time, this time making him actually hit the ceiling. It finally dawns on the jockey that his size is too much -- that he'll be unable to go through doorways, sit on a horse, wear his jockey clothes. . . he ruined his life because he was more concerned with his physical bigness rather than how big he is as a person. As he has an explosive tantrum and tears up the room, Rod Serling then goes on to explain that it is not the appearance of a man that makes him who he is, but rather the substance of his actions. To be great, he needs to do great things.

"A giant is as a giant does."

I loved that quote from the first moment I heard it. Truthfully, obsessions with appearances has been a dominating problem in my life, one that nearly destroyed me and my happiness. There have even been times in which I've seen people be willing to sacrifice their life in a moment just so they wouldn't have to endure the embarrassment of appearing a certain way in front of others. Almost all the people I grew up around were obsessed with appearance to the point that they cared nothing about the substance behind those appearances, and were perfectly fine with faking and decorating everything without worrying about what things truly are.

They're more worried about sounding smart than actually being smart. They're more worried about smiling and looking happy rather than actually being happy. They're more worried about making sure they're doing what their neighbors are doing rather than focusing on doing their own thing. Simply put, they're more worried about appearing and looking certain ways to people, rather than actually trying to be that way.

They're just like the jockey who was more concerned with being physically big, rather than big in morality and competence.

And I've seen the dismal results. Ruined lives, unhappy relationships, mental disorders, wasted careers, financial destruction. . . By trying so hard to just keep up appearances they have ended up committing spiritual suicide. And that's been a horrific problem in my life up until now. These people care little to nothing what their beings are actually composed of.

That's why that saying speaks so strongly to me: It denotes that whoever you are, it is the content of your actions that ultimately makes you who you are, not what those actions happen to appear as, or how people happen to see them. The content is what it is, and that's that.

After seeing so many people emotionally mangle themselves and their lives by merely trying to look a certain way to others, I want to dedicate my life being a certain way. I want the whole of my being to be judged by the substance of what I do, and how consistently I do it: That's who I'll be as a human being. To achieve the happiness and greatness that's possible to me, I'm going to concentrate on the actions and behaviors that contain the right substance to lead me to that height, not what just happens to look good to others, what will gain me popularity, what will be the path of least resistance, or whatever.

As such, I've decided that the best title for this blog, seeing how centered around self-improvement it is, is *A Giant Doing.* Because a giant is as a giant does.  

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