Tag Archives: opinion

Paper

What would we do without it? Even in this time of ultra- modern technology paper is still indispensable, especially in the western society where people prefer to use it in the little room to clean what needs to be clean instead of just using the more hygienic alternative- water. Don’t get on your high horse so fast because I am not on mine either. I am just telling the simple fact and the simple truth. Don’t look for meaning behind it. I have my own stock of kitchen rolls in the garage too, something which is unthinkable where I came from. We air dry dishes and only have one dish cloth and one rag to clean every surface. Now, I have boxes and boxes of paper hankies for my chronic sinusitis and ongoing allergies. And I still prefer good old fashioned books than E-books and still holding on to little notebooks and post it notes to record my old school thoughts.

I used to have a collection of expensive multi-colored stationery which I hardly use. I bought them because I like the way they look, feel and smell. Reminds me of the beginning of the school year when I was young and my oldest sister shopped school supplies for me and my siblings. Those were the happiest times in my life. Going to school was so important to us the worst punishment my parents could inflict on us was to make us stay at home on school days to clean the house. Corporal punishment was preferable than missing a day of school. 

I don’t know if our modern technology has a positive effect on deforestation or it’s the other way around. I hope those stories about sustainable forests is not just a myth. I love paper and its various forms but not in the cost of the environment. As of now, we are experiencing a heat wave for two consecutive weeks now it is forbidden by our government to even water our own gardens and fill pools so our kids could swim. And it looks like it will continue towards the next week for the time being. Record shows that the number of days with highest temperature in history have increased double in the last couple of years. I wonder how long those unbelievers could deny the reality of global warming.

Here I am getting side tracked again. Do you think living without paper is possible in the near future? Or is it like asking if we could exist without the existence of plastic and God knows what other engineered products we think indispensable to our lifestyle and survival.

I’m off now to have a few seconds under the shower to cool off. I guess the government will not fine me for trying to still alive. They don’t keep track of what I’m doing anyway. Or they will arrest me for sitting here typing this article butt-naked (or it is buck-naked?) Anyway, I’m out of here and maybe see you later. (P.S. It’s too hot to edit. You know what I mean)

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To The Beautiful Woman Who Is Striving To Be Skinny

I see you everywhere.

You’re on my Facebook, posting selfies of your latest workout as sweat drips from your brow, words like dying, puking, exhausting are hash-tagged underneath.

Punishment.

My Instagram is filled with pictures of you, sporting your Lorna Jane as you burn away the calories of the cake you shouldn’t have eaten, but were too weak to resist.

Penance.

You sit opposite me, order your salad, no dressing, and berate yourself for being a kilogram heavier this week.

Self-loathing.

You are fraught with comparison, with how short you fall next to the mothers at the playground you’ll never be as fit as, the group of women at the gym you’ll never be as strong as, the bodies in the magazines you’ll never be as sexy as. You beat yourself up. Promise that tomorrow you’ll eat less and work out more. No excuses, no matter what. Push yourself, purge yourself, pressure yourself.

I was once like you. I obsessed over the number on the scale, lived by punishment or reward, survived on protein shakes, and applauded myself for staying under 1,000 calories a day. I worked out, no matter what. No matter how tired my body was, no matter how run down, exhausted, or unwell. I worked out until I almost threw up, head over my knees, rebuking myself with slogans. Go hard or go home. Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going. Excuses are for people who don’t want it bad enough. I pushed past the pain and worked out when my muscles were fatigued, when my body screamed for me to stop, when I injured my knee, my shoulder, until I eventually tore a disc in my back.

And that changed everything.

In an instant, I could no longer work out. My world ended. There was no worse fate that could have happened to me. I laid on my stomach for a month, unable to do anything. I cried with frustration, beat myself up with failure, drowned in self-hatred. I feared. I feared getting left behind, losing all the work I had put into my body. I feared people thinking I was lazy or weak. But mostly, I feared getting fat. Because in my eyes, that was the ultimate failure.

And so before my body was healed, I started to work out again. Each time would see me back where I’d started, in pain, on the floor, unable to walk. I did this for months until I just no longer could. Until I had to listen to my body, to surrender to what it needed. Rest. Recovery time. Gentle walks. Stretching. Yoga.

No more sweat-pouring, fat-burning, muscle-aching workouts.

At first it killed me, this surrendering. It yelled defeat, poked and prodded into my deepest places of insecurity and challenged my self-worth to the core; I was more bound in my body image than I realised. It’s subtle, the infiltration of what we are programmed to believe is beauty—we don’t realise the way it creeps into us, the way we yield to society’s standards even when we think we are immune to them.

Eventually, it became easier to surrender, easier to let go of the demands I had placed on myself to look a certain way. I stopped seeking my value in the number on the scale and found it instead in my mind, my heart, my character, and my contribution to the world. I shed lies, so many lies, of what I had come to believe beauty should be. I realised I had nothing to prove to anyone. Every day, I practiced kindness and spoke to myself the way I would speak to any other woman.

Beautiful woman, who you are, right now in this moment, is perfect.

I know you don’t believe me. I know you fill your head with your prerequisites of beauty. A flatter tummy. Toned arms. Size 10. Lose another five kilograms.

But I understand now.

Beauty isn’t measured in centimetres, my dear.

And the moment you understand will be the moment you find freedom.

You’ll begin to exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it. You’ll eat food that brings you life and health because your body craves nourishment, not deprivation. You’ll run in the sunshine because it brings you joy, not because you’ve earned punishment. You’ll let go of striving, of negativity, of guilt and frustration and failure.

But mostly, you’ll come to realise how beautiful you really are. How strong, how brave, how kind, how intelligent, how clever, how funny, how generous, how thoughtful. How much you love. Not how much you weigh.

Beautiful woman, stop.

Stop striving to be skinny, as if that’s the only measure of your worth.

Instead, strive to change the perception of beauty, the lies we have been told.

Strive to empower women, our daughters, through the truth of their worth.

Strive to see how beautiful you really are, right now, exactly in this moment.

And then watch the world become more beautiful, because of you.

Author: Kathy Parker

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Volume

Does size matter?

I bet there are more answers than one.

And all of them can be right.

Or wrong according to preference.

I heard a long time ago that when it comes to a certain matter it is not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean. Before, I would have contest it but experience taught me that it is indeed so. Is it important? Up to a certain degree it is. But not enough to rock a solid foundation.

What about our recent bench mark on beauty? The thinner the better? Thigh gaps and all?

Let’s talk about possessions.

Bigger houses bigger cars bigger balance in bank accounts

How about goals?  Not Citius, Altius, Fortius but Altus, Grandis, Immanis or it is Ingens, Bumelia, Magnus?

Just give me real, lasting and cozy. Harmonious, respectful, loyal and trustworthy. Quality over quantity. That’s good enough for me.

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Daily Prompt

Why Becoming An Interesting Person Is No Longer Interesting To me

I don’t care that you’ve been around the world, I want to know what you’ve experienced in those places that has shaped you into the beautiful human who you are now.

What are you passionate about and how does it show up in what you do?

I was asked this by someone I met the other day.

I found it to be one of the more interesting questions I’ve been asked recently.

Generally, when I meet people at conferences, events or social gatherings I’m asked one of two questions:

“What do you do?”

“Where are you from?”

These two questions feel forced, canned and certainly not interesting.

So when someone asks me, “What are you passionate about and how does that show up with what you do?” I’m intrigued.

Well, intrigued and slightly stumped.

I knew that I could answer this in a number of ways, so I wasn’t yet sure of what I wanted to say.

I had to really think and feel into what I wanted to share with this human who I had just met.

You see, most introduction questions attempt to put us into a metaphorical box—but her question did the opposite.

I certainly wasn’t thinking, “Is she going to judge or stereotype me based on what I do?”

I was relieved. And her question opened up the conversation into a deeper understanding of how we can create more awesome and meaningful relationships.

This leads to an (interesting) discussion about being interested versus being interesting.

But first, I’m curious: do people generally feel more connected with someone when they’re talking about themselves (no matter how cool their world is or isn’t) or when they’re asking you questions about yourself that they actually want to know the answers to?

For me, it’s the latter. I love when people ask me questions that really get me to think and feel.

Not, “What do you do?” or “Where are you from?” questions, but questions that make stop and really consider the answers.

These questions don’t have to be fancy, but meaningful and connective.

Asking these questions is something I try to do whenever I’m getting to know someone else.

Most of us have been conditioned to believe that in order to become “cool” or interesting, we must be interesting — travel the world, own a business, live an unconventional life or do significant things.

This, however, is not the case.

In fact, the more I make relationships about myself or all the “cool” things that I’ve done, the more off-putting I become to others.

Ever hear someone brag and talk about all the places that they’ve been? Someone who doesn’t share this information with the intention of orienting the listener to another culture, but rather as something that makes the speaker feel significant or better in some way?

I’ve certainly experienced this and have tried to not be “that guy,” at times.

Being interesting is exhausting and it puts a lot of pressure on ourselves to keep up with an image that we think we need to be for people to like us.

Personally, I don’t care that you’ve been around the world. I want to know what you’ve experienced in those places that has shaped you into the beautiful human who you are now.

I don’t care that you’re about to sell one of your businesses for millions of dollars—I’d rather know why you started it to begin with.

I don’t care that you’ve written a NY Times best seller, but I do want to feel what you had to sacrifice to get to that achievement.

I want to know who you are, not where you’re from.

I don’t care what you do, unless you share it in a way that allows me to experience more of who you are.

So, I’ll do my best to not ask you questions that rob you of the opportunity to share how wonderfully human you are.

Will you do the same?

Be interested in an interesting way.

Ask better questions.

Listen—really listen—and watch a world of opportunities open up for you like you never expected.

Not because you wanted them to, but just because you decided to be interested in an interesting way.

Relephant

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Timely

We are a generation that replaces, that doesn’t repair, that doesn’t try, because we are busy in the race of life. We are too cool, too rigid, with “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, and we are too confident that, we can find other people who will be so much better than these stupid people who once were an inseparable part of our life. We break up on text messages, we end friendships by a whatsapp message followed by un-friending, unfollowing on every social media portal. I mean, seriously? Texts, the most fucked up form of communication that only and solely causes confusion and communication gaps!

I am not saying, keep chasing, keep running behind that person, but at least give it one shot? Drop them a text, place a call, and talk, try to figure it out. I know it’s easy to find yourself new cool chaps to hang out with, go grab a drink with, and dance the weekend away, but don’t you think for all the times you people were there for each other when no one else was, do you think you’ll be able to find someone; who you’ll run to when your heart is breaking, who you’ll run to when you need to approach that guy you’ve been crushing since forever, someone who you want to share every tiny detail of your day, who you run to when you need those arms to heal you, who you’ll call when you have no words to explain what’s happening in your head and heart. I think, “your person” should be given one chance, what you shared should be given one chance. The numerous emotions, memories, etc deserve one chance?

-by Divyar Rikhari

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Pause

I always want to be by and with myself for a pretty long time. I needed to do that. I think everyone that I know has wanted to do that or needed to do that at some point. I think when you spend enough time alone, when it’s quiet around you and you don’t open your mouth for a few days, parts of your brain rest. I think when we’re out there in the world and we have to talk to people, we edit ourselves. We have to act a little bit. As honest as we may be as humans, when we’re among people we’re all kind of wearing masks. Constantly concentrating on how to react to the people around us. And I think when we’re alone for a long enough time, we can feel a lot more peace, more like our(real)selves.

(Originally said by Bon Giver but I tweaked it a bit. Okay a lot)

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I Will Never Be A Well- Behaved Woman

by Janne Robinson

I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms.

I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds.

I would rather live in a hammock on a beach for six months, and write like my soul means it.

I would rather be horribly broke at times, than married to a job because a mortgage payment has my ass on a hook.

I would rather own moments, than investments.

I would rather eat alone, than sit with women who bore me at “Wives’ Night.”

I would rather swim naked with bioluminescence, have it fall like fireflies from my hair, my breasts, my back.

I would rather do handstands naked in the moonlight when no one’s watching than pick bridesmaid dresses.

I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church.

I would rather learn from life than rack up debt, in a desk.

I would rather drink the ocean, again and again—celebrate being madly alive.

I would rather my love be defined by love itself, and nothing more or less.

I don’t need a ring on my finger to prove that I am in love.

I would rather take the chicken bus, than spend useless money in safe gated communities. Sit beside a goat, listen to raggaeton and eat green mango with sugar in a plastic bag sold from the woman who harasses the bus each time it stops.

I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent.

I do not need to own a piece of earth with some wood on top of it—to feel successful. No one truly owns the land, anyway—we just think we do.

My savings account has diddly to do with my richness.

I would rather sprawl my single ass out like a lioness each morning and enjoy each corner of my empty bed.

I will take a job I love and freedom over a pension, any day.

 

I will not work and work and work to live when my body is old and I am tired.

Stocks are for people who get boners from money.

Not everyone should have kids, and my eggs aren’t expiring.

I will not drink the societal Kool-Aid on a bus, nor will I drink it on a train.

Not on a plane, with a goat, in the rain, in the dark, in a tree, with a fox, in a box!

I will not jump through societies’ hoops and red tape, the treasure hunt in the rat race we chase.

If we must have milestones—mine will be measured by how much joy I have collected at the end of each day and how often in this life I have truly, deeply, opened.

Seek, see, love, do.

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Daily Prompt

Finding The One

Is it really that difficult to find someone? The answer probably is no, it isn’t. This planet of ours is crawling with all sorts of possibilities. It is so easy to think that all one has to do is to walk out there and choose.

But when I look at statistics and listen to people, read blogs of singles on dating sites and hear their experiences, I can only conclude that finding a partner is almost next to impossible.

Sometimes, it amazes me to see pictures of lovely independent capable seems intelligent enough ladies who are available but having difficulties finding their significant others. And on few occasions, I had opportunities to talk to these women in real life and I was completely baffled by the fact that most of them are:  for the lack of a better word I would say__ a good catch?  They have a lot to offer to potentials lovers, so why on earth they are still singles? What’s wrong with these women? Why they cannot find suitable partners?

Oh, I know about choosy, picky, high standard women because I am  one myself.

But I’m talking about ladies who have ordinary demands and sober enough expectations, the ones who are willing to make compromises in exchange for real feelings and long lasting relationships. I’m talking about girls who are girlfriends and wife materials, the uncomplicated sweet simple caring undemanding kind, not some bitchy lunatic gypsy weirdo who is very much attach to her personal freedom like me. The ones who are supposed to be what every man is looking for, but seems doesn’t want. Why? 

Or I am supposed to be asking what is the matter with the men instead? (yes I know, every coin has two sides) Perhaps meeting someone is indeed easy, but the chance of finding the right person might be a little bit more complicated than I originally thought, and if the new found relationship is going to work, stand the test of time and will end up in happily ever after is a completely different story altogether. 

I am nowhere near expert on this topic, not only for the lack of interest but also for the lack of experience. I don’t know what makes the men ticks and I don’t care either. I don’t give a damn if they stay or go faithful or not or if they fancy me or never look at me,  they can do whatever they wish as long as they don’t bother me much and not fooling me behind my back, it is good enough for me. There are a lot of things I rather do than keep busy analyzing how their minds work. But it’s just me. I don’t know about others.

Perhaps they’re trying too hard, looking constantly over their shoulders, too conscious and too focus finding  the right person? Maybe enjoying life and making the most of being single while waiting is the right approach, I don’t know…  

There are billions of people on this planet, there bound to be one someone for each single person out there? Which brings us back to the root of the problem… where is the one?

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Goddesses and Martians

Roaming this planet long enough, observing and absorbing life, devouring whatever reading materials I can put my hands on, I have seen a lot of cases and read so many articles about the differences between opposite sex; mostly written by women who are trying to figure out/intellectualize/analyse men whom they claim are from Mars and themselves from Venus and I think to myself: C’mon people, those are dead planets.

Though we are all born and bred here on earth and not in some distant galaxy (I know the reference to Venus and Mars is just a figure of speech) we are all different whether it is male or female. Heck, even siblings who had shared the same background, upbringing and genetic make up become two completely different individuals when they grow up. What is more with two strangers who have met for the first time…  The truth is we can never know for sure what makes men tick and vice-versa; they are also clueless when it comes to us women. So, why not cherish the difference and let them be.

It is impossible to figure out another human being, whether it is a woman or a man; they will stay when they want to stay, leave you when they feel like it, lie, cheat and deceive if given a chance and respect and love you if they think you deserve to be treated that way.

But one can stand on ones head, cry bucket of tears, practice emotional blackmail, crawl on the floor and bark, do your best and give him/her everything you own if s/he is not really  into you, s/he will disappear sooner or later. Remember that.

Like my father used to say: you can put someone inside a chest and throw away the key if that somebody really wants to escape that person will find some Houdini maneuvers to get out. In short: if there is a will, there is a way.

Trying to dissect why men (or women) do certain things is a lost cause and a waste of energy. For one thing, John is not Peter and Peter is not Paul; one rule cannot be apply for every male (or female) and besides people constantly evolved, circumstances change and so does feelings. One cannot simply say men do these unexplainable (to women) things because they are from Mars (figure of speech or not) and we react emotionally etc to whatever they do because we are from Venus.

Bad things happen sometimes to unsuspecting people. That’s the way of the world and that will always be whether we spend so much time thinking about the hows and the whys and read tons of (self-help) books and articles hoping it will give us some clue on how to solve the puzzle or not. 

Instead of making ourselves crazy figuring out men and their mystical ways, why not devote our time understanding ourselves and change our ways for the better so, we don’t need another human being to lean or depend on and we don’t have to define ourselves through them. In that manner we can become whole and complete without help from others especially the opposite sex. So, when they say goodbye we will not be left hurt broken and miserable, whining about this and that blaming what happened to some theoretical myth about inhabitants of the dead planets we have read or heard somewhere and adapted it as ours to give us excuses when the time comes, and do it all over again the first opportunity we got. We need to be able to stand strong alone before we can be any use to anybody. No one but us can change ourselves. Anything outside that is beyond our control. We have to stop thinking that we can change another human being. The changes have to come from within.

If you’re in love (or think you are) savor the moment and do not spook yourselves fantasizing all doomed scenarios and don’t confuse yourself asking why this and that, does he loves me or not, would he leave me or not, is he having somebody else or not. Don’t worry you will find it soon enough maybe even sooner than you think because you see nothing last forever and the only constant in this world is changes. What you have to do for the meantime (and for crying out loud) is enjoy the magic while it lasts.

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Expectation

With expectation comes disillusions and disappointments that’s why so many relationships failed because of unrealistic assumptions and wrong presumptions, high hopes and strong beliefs in fairy tales outcome. Expectation is the mother of all frustration. If you go through life without expecting anything everything good that will happen will be a pleasant surprise and an unexpected bonus. I’ve read somewhere that a wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect and that’s the beauty of life you never know what’s around the corner so cherish the moment and don’t expect something. 

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Heard

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I can think a lot of things and situations associated with this by now famous phrase. Not only about the actual sound but anything that has something to do with perception. Is it the reason why more and more people are becoming materialistic and superficial? It reminds me of the conversation I had with my brother-in-law a while back about a microwave oven. He asked me if I had one back home (I don’t know if the question was triggered by the fact that if I’m on vacation not only I travel light but allow me to directly quote our neighbor, she said: “You don’t look like someone who is living in the land of milk and honey.”) and I answered yes, I have and he said:

“What is the use of having things when no one see them.”  

Me: I’m not sure I understand.

Him: To verify if it is indeed the truth.

I think what he meant is: What is the use of having beautiful -wow factor -it -branded- things that show you made it if there is no one there to impress. (The objects of sense exist only when they are perceived.) Do we have to own status items to show/feel that we if not better are as good as the rest? Do we have to wave flags to get notice or belong to any tribe? If it is so why no one hear our protest against everything we are not agreed about but continue to happen? Why despite of rallies, social media rants, violent protests, violence in general and hyped media attentions no one seems to hear what the majority of people are now shouting on the streets?  

“Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.”

Are our sights perception enhanced overtime but to counterbalance it we become deaf? How come we hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest? After selective memory selective amnesia we now have selective hearing as well? Things become only a reality if there is a witness. How come no one take global warming seriously? I saw a documentary yesterday about Bangladesh. There is a place there that is losing two kilometers of land each month to the water because of global warming. Does anybody (except for people there who are directly affected) worry about the seriousness of the fact? I doubt it.

Can something exist without being perceived? What is it to say that it exists when such an existence is unknown?”

Ha! I bet it means: It only counts if it is human beings that are able to perceive it. It doesn’t matter if it is there for thousands of years and have seen by other animals and insects, as long as no human behold the sight of it, it remains nonexistent. 

“To be is to be perceived.”

Fuel to the fire to become more shallow, more image and status driven, more materialistic and less compassionate. People only take notice of you when you rise from mediocrity and become big. No wonder those who often made it are the ones without scruples. The end justify the means. Doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you reached the top you made it, you are now visible. That’s the end line, that’s the goal, to be seen or otherwise there is no use existing.

What is the difference between what something is, and how it appears?”

The difference between perception of an object and how an object really is- is appearance of course. That’s why most people are obsessed with self-image/mental image which is seldom in accordance with reality. The truth is we don’t really know how others perceive us. How we think they see us is based on how we see ourselves. You will be surprise how wrong we are on guessing how others truly view, judge and value us. Having said that let me state also that the majority judge others by appearance. Go to high end stores dress up like normal people and you will understand what I mean. So, perhaps we can’t blame others on focusing too much on outward appearance. But then again… it is a never ending circle.

“22 Appearances are one’s own mind. From the beginning, mind’s nature is free from the extremes of elaboration. Knowing this, not to engage the mind in subject-object duality is the bodhisattva’s practice.”

Allow me to leave you with these thoughts I found online while searching for the meaning of whatever I was searching…

One day the monks at Huang-mei monastery were instructed to write a stanza in order that their master Hung-jen might decide who would inherit the dharma throne. All of the monks assumed that a certain senior disciple Shen-hsui would win and thus didn’t even bother writing stanzas. Shen-hsui assumed he would win too, and wrote the following stanza on the monastery wall:

The body is a Bodhi tree,
the mind a standing mirror bright.
At all times polish it diligently,
and let no dust alight.

Due to the danger surrounding him if he were to openly challenge the senior monk Shen-hsui, Hui-neng went out one night while it was completely dark and wrote the following stanza in secret:

Bodhi originally has no tree.
The bright mirror also has no stand.
Fundamentally there is not a single thing.
Where could dust arise?

Later, master Hung-jen saw this stanza and reaffirmed that he who had written it had indeed opened his mind’s eye. Finding it was Hui-neng, master Hung-jen then gave Hui-neng the secret dharma teachings of their lineage, which Hui-neng says completely opened his mind, and gave the young Hui-neng the dharma robe and stick, symbolizing his status as Patriarch of the lineage. Hui-neng started the Sudden School which taught that Mind is realized instantaneously while Shen-hsui started the Gradual School which taught, similar to his stanza above, a sort of dust-wiping meditation. Zen today embodies Hui-neng’s Sudden School style. (source: Wikipedia)

Great isn’t it?

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Daily Prompt