Double-Vision: Are You Seeing Things When You See Twins?

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Tammy & Liesel

Tammy & Liesel

Getting It Right At School
The first time I witnessed twins was at high school. It really was a new world for me. The major challenge I kept trying to break past was, how to tell the difference between them! My friends, Liesel and Tammy, were a lot of fun. They were almost always together and everyone in their grade (they were 10 when I was 8) knew exactly who they wanted to talk to. As I got to know them (their classmates and friends) I found out that their friends in the lower grades also happened to have no problem telling them apart. This frustrated me because I really wanted to know who was who. Everyone made it sound as though it were a piece of cake. I decided enough was enough, went to one of them (Liesel), established a decent relationship and asked her how I could always and easily know when it was her I was talking to. I previously learned from everyone else but I wanted to confirm what they said. It was kind of funny and weird having to greet Liesel when she and Tammy walked together. Now, at the time Tammy had a fringe and Liesel did not. That made life easy. They are both married now so I will refer to them as the Former Rundell Twins.

Tia & Tamera

Tia & Tamera

TV Twins
I remember some of my favourite TV shows I used to see when I was in primary school. Ones like That’s So Raven along with other Nickelodeon shows really made my day. For some reason truly unknown to me, I had a particular fascination for Tia & Tamera. Actually today, admittedly, I still enjoy their shows. I believe there is certain realness they bring in every episode. It transcends script and to some degree reveals a certain level of transparency. They definitely bring you the real deal. Twins or not, everyone relates to small silly mistakes made at the wrong times. Wrong messages sent to the wrong person. Saying the wrong thing at an interview or  to a prominent person after working so hard to say and do the right thing in front of them in a desperate attempt to give a good first impression!

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Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, as I remember them

As for the Olsen Twins I have no clue what they are like. They were sort of figures that kept popping in and out of parts of my childhood. I would see something about them-whether it were an article or image-understand it, then move on as though I saw nothing. At other times I saw Red Carpet moments, and I think those were the “Flashy” encounters I had. Apart from their twin nature and popularity, I generally knew nothing about them. Why do they feature here, then? They do so because they play a part in stirring up the curiosity I have always had about twins ever since I laid eyes on the first pair.

It Is The Same Difference
I always hated it with a a passion when anyone said that. Here in Africa, namely Zimbabwe, some, not most people have a terrible habit of saying that. It is an interesting oxymoronic statement, that creates a circumstance where I hear the deafening silence of their defence, that keeps them falsely true. It was a difference, nonetheless, that led me to a resolve I have run with to this day-to find out what that difference is. The indirect search brought me to very good friends of mine, the Fortunato Twins. Meeting them caused a situation where I began speculating the possibility of all twins having nicknames that are unique to them. They enjoy stating with great pride the fact they are, “Twinzies.” They market it as though it were a product, vocally display it as though it were a label and embrace it as though it were their life motto. In many ways it kind of is, a “Life Trademark,” if you will, that expresses everything they do and embodies everything they are.

It got me wondering if there is a certain similarity with all twins in that there is something unique to each one that is described by a nickname, as if to say they were a “different make.” What I loved most about them, though, is that they were un-identical twins. That made them the first twins I could tell apart with absolutely no problem! Sadly I must admit, that was not the case the first time I witnessed them. They tell their story about their background and present life, along with anything and everything that makes them the Twinzies they are, right here.

Abigail & Gabrielle

Abigail & Gabrielle

Ever Met Pen-Pal Twins?
A very popular figure here on WordPress, she speaks of her journey of self-discovery. She truly is a very down to earth person. I love how she expresses every bit of her thoughts about what you write. When she comments on your posts, she is 100% honest about how she feels and what she thinks about what you said. Such genuine authenticity is fortunately not so rare. It can still be challenging to find them but at least the search will not be drastic. Her name is Nyasha, although on her blog she is commonly known as Sherline. Together with her sister, Sharon, they call themselves, “Twinnies.”

My friend happened to meet some other twins whilst he was blogging away. This was awesome because they were a part of his community and I later found out that they were a part of mine too, not necessarily because we were connected through him. We commented on each other’s posts and followed each other and it was fun getting to know them. Here you have my pen-pal twins, only because I have never met them in real life:

Sharon & Nyasha

Sharon & Nyasha

Gabrielle Angel

Gabrielle Angel

Autumn Sunshine

Autumn Sunshine

Fitness Twins
How awesome is it to see twins workout together? I would really love to see that in real life. I think I came close this one day. We were taking a holiday I believe in South Africa and met visitors from the States. They did mention that they were going to go for a run but I cannot fully remember whether or not they actually did, and if they did, whether they did so on a day our family planned something at the time they were going to go for the run! My guess? The latter. I recently saw a video of twins working out. I thought that was great. These guys can motivate anyone to go the gym, not just twins. Meet the Harrison Twins:

Were there ever any twins in the Bible?

Of course there were! It actually does not make sense to have twins in the 21st Century without introducing them way back in the first century.

Jacob and Esau – the obvious ones, sons of Isaac and Rebecca, are the first twins mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 25:19-28). The story of Jacob is told in Genesis 25:19-37:36 and 42:1-50:3. The story of Esau is found in Genesis 25:19-28:9, 32:1 -33:20, and 35:27-36:43. From Jacob the twelve tribes of Israel descended. Esau became the father of the Edomites (Genesis 36:19,43; Obadiah 1:6; Malachi 1:2-3).

Ephraim and Manasseh –The Bible does not directly state that the two sons of Joseph and Asenath were twins, but there is good reason to believe they were. First, Genesis mentions they were both born “before the year of famine came” (Genesis 41:50). Second, two conceptions are not mentioned in the text. Third, if they are twins they fit nicely into the pattern seen in the lives of Isaac and Judah: both their younger twins inherited the birthright, just as the younger Ephraim was blessed first by Jacob (Genesis 48:19). Jacob promised that both Ephraim and Manasseh would become patriarchs of a multitude, which began a traditional blessing said in Israel: “God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh” (Genesis 48:20).

You can have a look at Thomas the disciple, who was called “The Twin,” because that is what his name means, except we have no idea who his twin is (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). His surname was Didymus (John 11:16; 20:24; 21:2), meaning “double,” or “twofold.” Castor and Pollux sons of Greek gods mentioned in Acts 28:11, and maybe Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-2. I am not too sure about the last one though.

What Some Twins Love To Do

You get Fashion Twins 

Amber & Gabrielle Mancino

Amber & Gabrielle Mancino

 Adventure Twins

French Twins with the Fortunato Twins

French Twins with the Fortunato Twins

  Wrestling Twins

Nicole & Brianna Bella

Nicole & Brianna Bella

 Singing Twins

The Royce Twins are Gabriel and Michael Saalfield

The Royce Twins are Gabriel and Michael Saalfield

 Dancing Twins

Laurent  & Larry Les

Laurent & Larry Les

Acrobat Twins

Sam & Teagan Rybka

Sam & Teagan Rybka

StandupComedyTwins

Justin & Chris Nelson

Justin & Chris Nelson

Talk about living life together! This takes brother and sisterhood to the next level! Of course, I would like to believe that it is easier for same sex twins to do stuff together than opposite sex twins (fraternal twins- also refers to non-identical same sex twins). I have seen that is virtually, if not literally, impossible for fraternal (opposite sex) twins to be identical. What I mean when I say, “cannot do stuff together” as far as opposite sex twins are concerned, I mean the deep stuff. Talking girl/guy stuff and relating to each other from a gender perspective.

When I think about all of the above, with the way they do what they do best-and quite possibly love to do-together, I can only imagine what that should and would be like for triplets, quadruplets and other multiples. One thing I would really love to see, whether on TV or real life, is a singing competition with a quartet (the gender arrangement does not matter) going against quadruplets.

My Twin Journey
Yes I know, it looks and sounds weird saying that because I am not a twin, however, twins and multiples do not realize that they take the rest of us through a journey too. You know who you want to talk to, but you do not know if the person you are looking at is the one. As I mentioned earlier that I determined within myself to find out the differences between twins and/or multiples. I mean the literal differences not the figurative expression of arguments and contention taking place. Having spent a lot of time with the Fortunato Twins and catching up on more of their lives on their blog, I came to pick out quite a number of differences, although they seemed to be unique to them, meaning that they did not occur as a result of them being twins, implying that it happens to all twins. I then began to understand how to interact with both of them, as individuals and as twins, allowing me to celebrate their differences and embrace their similarities. This is the angle to which I approach all twins. I cannot say the same for multiples because I have never spent time with some.

A lot of the best moments I have had with twins is making them say the same thing at the same time. You have no idea how hard that is. It often happens indirectly, especially when it is not my intention. I also love how they can think similarly and differently at the same tine when they are not together, denoting times when you speak to them individually about 5 minutes apart, paying careful attention the way they express themselves. I make crazy experiments, but that is where my conclusion to find differences comes from.

I know beyond shadow of doubt what everyone can identify with, twin, multiple, or not: comparison. I detest with a passion-whether talking about a light matter, such as behaviour, or a serious one like career paths-being compared to my brothers and vice-versa. Admittedly it is kind of fun comparing twins and multiples to their complete other. In the end, when I spend time with twins and God-willing multiples, the major difference I want to know is what helps me tell them apart with ease. 

The Kind Of Impact That Comes From Indirect Compliments

Iron sharpens Iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose]. Proverbs 27:17

A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life, but wilful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Why not just be straight?
That’s a really good question. A lot of people have had some experiences that I have numbered down to a few suggestions:

a) It is very possible that the recipient may feel like their being hit on. This is obviously the case with a man complimenting a woman or boy complimenting a girl. Now I use the term, “being hit on,” very loosely because there sometimes can be no avoiding the special treatment when it comes to ulterior motives, meaning you are suddenly King Of The Hill or Queen B when your ears get tickled with affirmative terms. In such cases it will not matter which gender is complimenting which.

a-ii) The giver’s body language compromising them so that no matter how innocent the intent is or may appear to be, they dig themselves a hole the second they utter the first word. Their tone of voice, facial expression, and hand gestures are the main culprits responsible for their disaster.

b) The recipient’s insecurity resulting from emotional and psychological manipulation in and from the past. This is very much related to the conclusive point I made in my first proposition. When the recipient is made to feel really good about whatever has been spoken about them, they feel obliged to repay the favor with an action. This is a process that could easily take a long time to fulfil because of its sensitive nature, meaning how easy it is to sniff out deceit. The more the recipient lowers their guard, the greater the chances are of exploiting them. The worst is when they feel compelled to return the favor, kind of like an equivalent exchange deal: you do for me what I do for you.

I know part (b) may be a bit extreme but it was the only example I could think of as far as understanding why some people find it hard to receive compliments, or become self-conscious. I wanted to paint a picture that made enough sense to at least have an idea as to what the emotional and psychological background, and ultimately, the reason (for negative reception) could be. Now I am no psychologist but I like to imagine the possibilities for certain things happening and why, in this case, it is more effective to give indirect compliments.

My Experience
I grew up having been dissed every day close to my whole school life. As a result of that whenever people did say nice things about me, it was quite hard to receive. For me it was because I was less comfortable with direct kindness, I contribute that to the direct harshness I received. I was too soft spoken to diss back. I could not think quick enough to come up with a better come back than what was dished at me.
Thinking over the years about why I did not like it when someone complimented me, I linked it back to my love language. I knew it was not words, and that is what I concluded for a very, very long time in my life. Then what happened to me happened to others from my angle. I hated the fact that sometimes my compliments were not always received regardless of the fact that I had no ulterior motives. Shallow expressions of gratitude, especially those brought from passive smiles gave me the heads up. I experimented with certain words and realized the impact each one had on an individual. Being  a guy, it mattered a lot how I complimented girls. Needless to say my experiments proved successful particularly when I considered, location (public or private), my relationship with the individual, the type of compliment, personality (if stranger or acquaintance), environment (lively or laid back), and the timing of my compliment.

What is it like now?
I am not a robot if that is what you are thinking. Of course I love it every time someone says something nice about what I do. Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation go well together, so for me the best compliment you can give has to be about something I have achieved successfully, whether small or great. It obviously cannot be sarcastic because I will see through that. That is the best direct compliment to give me otherwise let me overhear you or hear from others that you have been saying nice things about me., or just keep quiet and not mention a word if you do not have anything nice to say.

Worth Testing It Out
What have you got to lose? After all, your efforts have been in vain, right? Might as well get what you have never had (a positive reaction) by doing what you have never done (give an indirect compliment). See what happens. Another neat thing to do is be partially cryptic about other people’s thoughts towards the person: I heard you’re skilled with social media or my favourite They say you’re skilled with social media. Of course that will stir curiosity to which you can eventually lead them back to you. Some direct compliments that work too are the self-degrading kinds. I hate those because of two reasons 1) I have a high self-esteem and 2) I am an optimist. I would very seldom say:

i) I wish I was as amazing at (the activity) as you are
ii) If I was half as proficient at this as you are

I would much rather say: I love how great you are at editing. It reminds me of how awesome I am with sound. 

I have begun growing in receiving positive feedback. I now respond by saying, “Confirm? Glad you noticed.”Essentially giving positive feedback about someone is much more helpful than telling the person directly. Your words will sink deep into their heart and resonate with their soul. It may change the perspective they had of themselves and help them see the other side of the coin. A side they never would otherwise have seen or known of, had it not been for you to turn them to it.
Just talk about them positively to everyone and the news will eventually reach their ears. Convince people to think the same way so that you can avert suspicion of ulterior motives.

Your Place in the Virtual Revolution

tsizzles:

A different outlook to blogging in general. Something to think about concerning how it cannot and should not be taken for granted, especially when it comes to reaching a mass audience.

Originally posted on A Holistic Journey:

This post is for parents, bloggers, Facebookers, anyone who’s stuck a foot out on Cyberland. In our talk about belonging, we seemed to think in terms of the social Haves and Have-nots. Many of you spoke of the self-consciousness of often feeling on the fringe. Some shared you were too fat or too this or too that to fit in, others that you never even figured out why you always seemed to find yourself on the outside. I wanted to bring to attention something that’s as right in your face as the computer or phone screen in front of you. The Internet has given every one of us the power to lead. It has made us all insiders.

It’s a new day, a global Do-It-Yourself culture everyone with online access is privy to. YouTube alone is an open platform where anyone can catapult himself into stardom and not hurt himself…

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A Plethora of Passwords

tsizzles:

Very interesting and new perspective on passwords. Not just your typical advice for stronger and better passwords but links and info on more effective online security.

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

There are a number of irritating things experts insist you must do for your own good: eat nine servings of veggies a day; maintain a diverse retirement portfolio; check your transmission fluid every month. Most of us ignore a lot of this advice, because there’s no end to it, and our lives are complicated enough.

Photo by Kit

Photo by Kit

As a habitual good advice ignorer myself, I realize that when I tell you I’m here today to talk about passwords, you’ll want to tune me out. But wait! Good password hygiene is more important than flipping your mattress.

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Stunned By An Act Of Kindness

Earlier today while taking a lunch break from serving at the cafe at our church, a very interesting event took place. I had served a table with a very big order, gave it to my coworker who then came back to confirm the bill. When I was done I was told that the bill for my table (made up of 4 ladies) was taken care of. I went to clear my table only to be asked for the bill. My coworker made them aware of the situation and all they could do was look at each other with wide eyes, open mouth, and hand to the chest in complete shock. In my mind my coworker gave them the bill, but what actually transpired is two people from a different table having paid for them.

What am I thinking?

I learned never to take for granted the small things you do. I am willing to bet that one or more of the ladies at my table had done something for someone else earlier that day or week (and thus sowing a seed) and that the harvest of their actions was what they were partaking of. This event actually reminds me of what I learned during my time in Bible school. When you sow your seed of positive actions and good deeds, you could get a mushroom blessing, because it takes a day to grow mushroom. Another kind of seed you may possibly plant is a maize seed which means a 3-to-5-month blessing. The other type of seed you could sow is a mustard seed which takes around 40 years to grow!

Seeing what you have always missed

Mushroom blessings are everyday blessings. Random acts of kindness amongst other things that you may receive or give circulate through each day of our lives. Things can always be worse. No matter how bad we have it, we really do not have anything to complain about. I thought, especially after having seen the movie Pay It Forward some time ago, that it would be a good idea to be a miracle to someone and have them do the same to a few others. I hope it works out well.

Help along the way
If you have experienced any form of random act of kindness, whether you give or receive it, please to tell your storyI would love to know more about how to get started and recognize the opportunity when it presents itself, and do what I can to make someone else’s day better simply because I was there.

Other things to ponder
Lidiya- 10 Small Acts Of Kindness That Will Make A Big Difference
Tim- Blank Fridays: Helping Hands
Sokane- Strength Of Kindness
Michelle Mangold- One Simple Act
Kibilds- Day 73: The Gift Of Given Gitfs

Denying God Through Self-Glorification

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For a long time I have wondered what the passage in Proverbs 6 meant. Here it is:

Proverbs 6:17

These six things the Lord hates, yea, seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Self-glorification first of all is a very serious matter. With me included, many Christians have been sucked and deceived into thinking that the ultimate desire or purpose on earth is to excel above everyone else in any given field. That is what the world conforms to. We are not to do that (Romans 12:2). This world’s ways are fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs. This is the case especially with regards to ethical and moral issues which heavily impact existential and philosophical lessons passed onto younger generations. Their understanding of life, the meaning of life, finding themselves and their purpose will be heavily thwarted.

In essence being better than everyone is the final goal of every human existence as far as the worldly standard is concerned. You are born to be great in a sophisticated and praised field in the world. This is what Christians have been taught to believe as well. It is not about being the best you can be and improving on that to the point where you’re maintaining excellence, but about being the best in general and overall. What is the point of the best? It is so that not only can prominent colleges seek you out, but companies and various highly respected individuals as well which results in putting you on a pedestal. Everyone praises you. Then what happens? Your parents, perhaps teachers and friends brag about you in front of their peers, whether that’s direct or indirect.

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A Possible Second Battle

In the Bible there is only one thing that serves as the number one contender against God: Mammon. It is wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion. It is the only other thing that Jesus acknowledged as master in this world besides God. Hence why He said:

No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

Now self-glorification is probably another master that the world gets mastered by. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best. One need not aim to excel above everyone else, but only to excel above one’s own capacity to succeed. If in the process that allows you to rise above everyone else, great, as long as it is not the motive. There are a number of problems that come with self-glorification:

  1. You do not seek to glorify God first.
  2. It can possibly create an identity crisis. You do not know who you are in Christ (and maybe not fully, if you do) and therefore seek validation of yourself from others.
  3. It creates narcissism. Self-obsession can be really bad.

 

This all started in the Garden of Eden. After God created everything and pronounced it good, that included Adam and Eve. Now the Perfect World in which they lived was one that ensured that everything they did was good because it was the only thing they knew. When Eve was deceived self-glorification was born because she was led to believe that not only was she deprived of high status (because she was to be like God) but now good was not the only thing she knew anymore. This time being good came at the struggle of not allowing evil to creep in. In another case, listen to what God told the Israelites:

Deut 8:12-14, 17

Lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them,

13 And when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all you have is multiplied,

14 Then your [minds and] hearts be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,

 17 And beware lest you say in your [mind and] heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.

Hezekiah, who wrote Proverbs 25-30, talked about the importance of having just enough which is the sufficient amount of all necessities. Nothing more and nothing less.

Proverbs 30:7-9

Two things have I asked of You [O Lord]; deny them not to me before I die:

Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,

Lest I be full and deny You and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor and steal, and so profane the name of my God.

One of the key things a commentary said about Agur is that he so wisely prayed for a middle state, that he might be kept at a distance from temptations.

Jesus rebuked a man who trusted his security in his riches and predicted a life of luxury (only) for himself:

Luke 12:19-21

And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many good things laid up, [enough] for many years. Take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself merrily.

20 But God said to him, You fool! This very night they [the messengers of God] will demand your soul of you; and all the things that you have prepared, whose will they be?

21 So it is with the one who continues to lay up and hoard possessions for himself and is not rich [in his relation] to God [this is how he fares].

I put a lot of thought into this. It reminds me of what Solomon said concerning the pointlessness of working so hard to build your empire, only to find that one with less wisdom than you would take over and not properly manage all that you have worked so hard to build (Ecc 2:18-21)

What about Cain?

God wanted Cain to be successful just as much as Abel. He did not ask if Cain was to be more successful than his brother, He only asked that if he did well then he was to be accepted:

Gen 4:6-7

And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?

7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.

Conclusion
I believe God would love for us to be good husbands/wives and parents to our children. Excelling above someone else is not really, at the end of the day, a goal worthy of pursuing. Rather being the best person you were created to be and can be (and if that in turn allows you to be much better than someone else-well done) so that His glory may manifest in all that you do, along with benefiting and improving other people’s lives.