Within You Without You

Perhaps to get over this looming sense of entitlement we must first realize how little we mean to the world and how much we can mean to each other. For if not for you and me, life would be different. I can change someone’s life with a smile, but to change mother Earth is to harm it. We are merely a creature living on her, to be disposed of in a flash hurricane or a big quake. As they say, life’s too short to be a dick, and despite only living once (contrary to my belief as a Buddhist) you only live once too. The decisions we make, interactions we have, things we say may echo in eternity or fade out into the great nether. So which do you want to be? Someone who is always remembered, or someone people dream to forget. Ultimately you decide. But in the words of The Beatles: “Every one of us is all we need.”

Top 5 things to do in SUNNY Vancouver

I live in Vancouver, and always have, and I like to think I have a decent grasp of what to do and where to go for a sunny summer day in Vancouver, as I know we get too few to let slip. Having done many things in Vancouver on sunny days, it is really hard to narrow down to a top 5 list, however, this is what I think is a good start if nothing else.

1. TRIP TO STANLEY PARK

This park is one of the most amazing parks in the world, and it is in our own backyards. Visit the Aquarium if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the abundance of aquatic animal life will intrigue them for hours upon hours. Are you a young couple looking for a way to enjoy the sunny weather together? Go for a nice walk through the park or along the seawall. This walk allows for great views of the mountains, the city skyline, or the vast ocean, take a rest along the way and just enjoy the view and hold each other tight (Enjoy the moment!).

Aquarium website link: http://www.vanaqua.org/

Stanley Park link: http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/stanley/

2. VISIT GROUSE

Grouse is a great place to check out during the summer time. There are many great shows going on, and many great trails to walk along, and once again, this location is great for young couples. Once again you can enjoy nice views of Vancouver city atop the mountain. Are you a thrill seeker? Go Ziplining between two peaks. If you are looking for a nice challenge, help yourself to the notorious Grouse Grind. Top it all off with a lumber jack show to see some amazing talent at work.

Grouse Mountain Link: http://www.grousemountain.com/

3. ENGLISH BAY

Just want to relax? Take a trip to English Bay! This is a central location in beautiful Vancouver, and has a great beach. This area is great for a day on the town with the girls. Bask in the heat of the suns rays, but be sure to use sunscreen! I hear the Boathouse in this location is top of the line and has some great service despite being under pressure from so many orders. I also hear the Cactus Club nearby is a great alternative as well!

4. BARD ON THE BEACH

Check out the great acting at Bard on the Beach. This event has some great talent as well, and hosts the best representations of Shakespeare plays I have ever seen. Take a date to this event, and I guarentee a great night. After the show, take your sweetheart for a walk around the park. Not looking to date? That’s okay too! This event is for everyone, and certainly rivals a trip to the movie theater. Take your kids for some entertaining education! But be sure to give your support to the actors and crew!

Bard on the Beach Link: http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

5. ART GALLERY

Need a break from the sun and a great way to cool off during your guilty shopping spree? Take a break and enjoy some fantastic art. Our Vacouver art gallery is in a central location, surrounded by some great shopping centers, and should not be overlooked. The art Gallery gets some amazing exhibits from across the world.

Vancouver art Gallery link: http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/index.html

Credit Crisis.

In this day and age you are seen as a different entity if you do not have a credit card. But in the current economic state, I wonder why this still remains the case. Since credit cards came to be, they have been seen as a status symbol, ‘all the rich and powerful people have them so does that mean I can be rich and powerful if I have this piece of plastic?’ is something that might have been going through the mind of many people worldwide when credit cards were introduced to the world. Almost everyone I know my age has one, and almost all of them regret it. Not only that, it is BECAUSE of credit that we are in the economic crisis we are in today. People didn’t seem to understand that credit, though it is an invisible currency, it has real repercussions. This adds even more interest rates, where they charge extra to people who don’t even have the money. What does anybody get out of this situation? Well… I suppose bankruptcy, foreclosures, and ultimately the death of the American dream. To me the American Dream is the idea of a society where you can be what you want, and do what you want however you want, so long as you are not hurting yourself or others in the process. Ultimate freedom. The United States was founded on such beliefs, was it not? This is a universal ideal, freedom. What does freedom mean in a world with an invisible currency? Well, it simply does not exist. When people can be weighed down by invisible chains, they will never grow, though you cannot see the chains, it does not mean they are any less heavy. Credit can, and has destroyed new businesses, and businesses that have been around for a long time.  Just like the housing market, it pulled the proverbial carpet from under everyone’s feet, but very few were left standing.

Credit cards can come in handy from time to time. Perhaps your getting paid tomorrow but you have no money to eat tonight, just put it on the card and pay it off when you get paid. Perhaps your in college (like myself) and you need your text books but you can’t pay for all of them at the start of the semester. Put it on the card and pay for half one paycheque and half the next. In these ways, in precautionary ways, credit cards excel. I believe every student should have one, just in case of an emergency, and anyone who attends college knows from day one that these emergencies happen often. I applied for a credit card once, only to get declined. I didn’t understand because my credit rating was amazing, I have never missed a bill in my life, my whole family has a great track record. When I put more thought into it, I decided I didn’t really need one at the time, I’m sort of glad I didn’t re-apply. Though I am a student, I like the challenge of balancing paycheques. Also, scholarship money helps too.

Before, when, for example, a new film maker wanted to break out, he would borrow money. Maybe not just from one source, but likely a bank was involved at some time. Banks would give out loans, and add interest rates on the loan based on how much was borrowed, and how long it takes to pay it back. Credit cards are based on this ideal. Cheap, and easily accessible loaning of money, or credit. This seems innocent enough, only when everyone has these loaning devices, even the unemployed and the welfare lifers, something is wrong. Why are credit card companies loaning money to people who simply do not have it? Because they can charge interest? Perhaps they missed the lesson in grade 3 where anything multiplied by zero is still zero. In this case, you can’t go zero to hero either. As King Lear said in Act one to his daughter “Nothing will come of nothing”. All the current system of credit does before giving the cards out is they check the applicants current credit rating. For most people, it’s all downhill from there. Put yourself in debt, allow that debt to get additional charges on it, and watch yourself paying bill after bill for the rest of your life, not able to go anywhere because you had to have all those things that nobody needs. Maybe your wife goes shopping from time to time and spends a few hundred dollars, maybe you wanted a nice sports car. Capitalism is only a destructive force when you become careless enough to let it. Don’t be so hasty to point that finger, because it is all your fault.