September 5, 2017

The Sun The Moon and Taking Things for Granted

I just read a Chinese parable another day. It says an old man was asked which one is more important, the Sun or the Moon. The old man thought for a long while and answered "the Moon".
"Why?"
"Because the Moon shines in the night when we especially need it; the Sun shine in the day when it's already light."

I found it inspiring. Taking thing for granted seems to be a major disposition of humans. Yesterday I read another article on facebook, about a 104 year-old Japanese doctor's health advices. While I appreciated most of them, one advice struck me hard: "Energy does not come from sleeping a lot or eating well, it comes from feeling good" Well, I hope the doctor did not mean literally (or maybe the translation wasn't accurate due to the confusion of Japanese language?), because the fact in front of me is that if we don't eat and sleep but just feeling good, we die, and die with horrible feeling. As simple as that.

To be specific humans' energy does come from foods. Sleep doesn't provide energy but the importance of it is also crucial to our health.

Since I lived with chronic health problem for ages, I found, people - of course include me - tend to take physical health for granted. We apprise our mental power so much to an extend that some people literally believe feeling good is all we need to live well. The belief in our mental power is also out of proportion. During Chinese cultural revolution, a famous slogan was "The field produces as much crops as people want." Nowaday a popular phrase goes "There are nothing you can't do but only what you can't imagine." Such beliefs go on and on and it is called positive thinking and it's panacea for all diseases and fuel for all ambitions.

Why people so insist the importance of our mental energy? I suppose the reason is exactly the same as that old man who says the Moon is more important than the Sun, that is: like the Sun, foods and sleep are there almost EVERYDAY, so we ignore the benefit of them, forgot that if we don't have them there will be no chance for our mental power exercise.

The the Chinese article that cites the parable story above also talks about mother's love, another thing that many people take it for granted. Yes, I believe physical health is like mother's love, we only realize it's importance when we lose it.

The Moon Shines in the night, brings us romantic imagination and fascination, so and so, but it's the Sun who stays there day and light, provides the most important elements for our existence, which made all those romantic stuff possible. Yet, when we enjoy these "luxuries", we think those are all it's about and don't give credit to something that's more essential. Why? I don't know but I suppose that shortsightedness is the flaws we humans are born with.

September 3, 2017

Thomas Hardy vs. Charles Dickens

I became a Hardy's fan recently, but not yet Dickens', though both of them focused on human tragedy. I wonder why?
Just read some comparison of these two online and I got clues. It says that the characters of Dickens are mostly typical types from the overall population of the time, and the cause of their tragedies are mostly social problems. On the other hands, hardy's characters are mostly more peculiar and the cause of their tragedies are mostly their own personality flaws, or fate.
Thus I may say that the misery in Dickens' work is more transient and in Hardy's more perpetual? I suppose that the systems of societies change over time, but human nature stays forever as long as human race exist (though this should be not taken absolutely, because some social issues remain long term, and human nature also evolves).
Nonetheless, I found Hardy's world is far more fascinating than Dickens'.  

April 24, 2017

Loss of Innocence

Having a job like teaching art for children, I have a "privilege" to be with younger generations, which made me happy because I am type of persons who don't like to deal with the complication of adults. However, I also occasionally witness some changes - from immaturity to maturity, form simplicity to complication. Most of these changes are pleasant because they are in good ways, however, I realized recently one of my students turned out to be someone whom I would dislike, if she were an adult.

She was only 5 when she came to my studio. She was so pure and pretty, and had passion for drawing or painting. But recently, at the mere age of 10, she is somebody else, totally different from 5 years ago. She became pretentious, often manipulative (even abusive sometime) toward classmates. And her attitude constantly changes depend on whom she is dealing with. She no longer talk spontaneously, every word she speaks out was prepared carefully in her little brain. To put it simply, she acts like a little politician.

I occasionally recall when she was little (though she is still little), feel a little sad about it. How wonderful if human beings can just stay pure and innocence like that 5 year-old girl, who used to tell me that I was her best friend?

November 2, 2016

Spread Love, Not Hatred.

Yesterday, I went to public library to vote. In voting room I saw a teenager working there who looked familiar. So I asked her:"Do I know you somewhere?" "Maybe", she said, with a voice of boy. Instantly I realized her face looked identical to a student I taught long time ago, so I gave her a hint:"I teach art." "I was in your art classes." "R****!" I called out her name, though with low voice. She gently nodded.

I found, not only her hair was short, her voice was also totally changed. So I thought that she must be going through sex change. However, after we talked a little, I hurried to finish my voting business, then said goodbye to her.

On the way back I talked about this with my girlfriend, who was driving. She said I might be a little imprudent by mentioning HIS previous name, because he might not want to people know about it. I agreed. I also thought, after all these years, he was still a teenager, going through sex change he must suffer both physically and mentally, and my reaction of meeting him seemed a bit "cold". So I told my girlfriend that I wanted go back to give him a hug. Instantly, she turned the wheel around.

Back in voting room I walked directly to him and said:"I came back because I owe you a hug." He broke into a wholehearted smiled and we hugged, during which I told him that I was proud of him. Then we exchanged some more words and I said goodbye again.

Long time ago I read Ellen Degeneres' mother's biography Love, Ellen, in which she wrote about the moment when Ellen confessed to her about her lesbian secret. Her reaction was giving her daughter a hug, because what jumped in her mind first, was that her daughter had been suffering. I could never forget this detail of the book, because it made such a striking contrast with many of those parents who ditched their gay children.

I do not have children, but I am proud of what I did yesterday.

Yes, let's spread LOVE, not hatred.

August 2, 2016

Ideas

New ideas
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A sign of narrow mindedness is to defend ideas. Ideas are made to discuss, not to defend.

April 14, 2016

Tantra - physical vs spiritual

Based on online definition:
Look at these spiritual beings!
"Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means 'woven together.' Hindu and Buddhist meditation practitioners use sexual union as a metaphor for weaving together the physical and the spiritual: weaving man to woman, and humanity to the divine. The purpose is to become one with God."
Oh please, give me a break! Admit it, it's just physical! There might be some emotional and spiritual touch but, sex is sex. I think the spiritual part that was put in this kind of practice is far fetched, and it only shows humans' lack of confidence in pursuing physical pleasure.
And I think there's tons of other ways to pursue our mental/spiritual needs. Non-sexual meditation can be at least one example. And I do think sexual activities is the last one on the list.
Am I miss something?

April 13, 2016

Intelligence & Wisdom

English: Venn diagrams can be used to classify...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tolerance is the highest level of intelligence, love is the highest level of wisdom.

March 14, 2016

Intelligence vs. Smartness

Intelligence Failure
Intelligence Failure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It takes great intelligence to know that we ultimately know nothing, so it's not a surprise that this world is full of "smart" people who think we know everything.

Ignorance

English: The alternate Barnstar - for the figh...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Never underestimate the power of ignorance. It can do great harm, disregard the so called "good intention".

Reason to Love

Another one for valentines day 'True Love' On ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Being loved is never the reason to love. Love is. And it's the only reason.

February 18, 2016

Unconditional Love and Self-esteem - A Psychological Study of Child Abuse Victims' Emotional Journey

unconditional.
unconditional. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We all need love. This is because that love make us feel connected to others, and this connection eases, or even eliminates our biggest fear: loneliness. Thus love becomes the greatest – sometime the only - reason for us to live.

But, unfortunately, love from others are not entirely secure. It comes and goes without warning and it's not within our controls. This is because love from others usually is “conditional”, which means it happens only if we possess certain conditions, such as physical beauty, wealth, social status, etc. So without these conditions, we are in danger of losing love. But, if one possesses a type of love that is “unconditional”, he/she would feel the most secure in his/her life, because this love is provided regardless how he/she is, and stays with him/her as long as he/she lives. 

So where does unconditional love come from? I found that they mostly come from two sources: 1, parents; 2, one's own.

February 6, 2016

Individualism vs Generalization

Individualism doesn't necessarily mean to ignore the collective or general differences between groups, such as races, cultures, nations, etc., but only means to refuse to use them as guide to treat each individual.

January 12, 2016

"No I Can't" and by Saying That, I Know I Am One of the Most Positive Persons on The Earth

English: Think positive
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Yes I can!", or "No, I can't", seem to be the signs of positive and negative personality for most people to identify. Over stated? Just look at those overwhelmingly "liked" facebook posts, we get idea.

Long ago I told a by-then friend of mine that "I can't do" something due to my critical illness (oh yes I was all time ill for over a decade - a decade of NEGATIVENESS!), he had to lecture me by "kindly" saying: "Mei, I don't like to hear you say you can't", as if I said that just by a willful "choice" - another concept worshiped by freewill addicted culture. Without his explanation I knew why he said that, because it was my upbeat personality that drew him to me, so naturally my constant remarks of "I can't" really did not reflect his impression of me. Obviously we had "problem" with communication and friendship died soon after.

December 20, 2015

Physical Vs. Mental

It's so strange that it takes a person like me, who naturally doesn't enjoy much physical pleasure, to believe that the physical part of life is more essential, more decisive, thus more important than the mental part among our whole life existence. Most people don't realize this simply because they take their good physical health for granted.

November 19, 2015

Belief

Faith Happens
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Faith/belief should only be the guide of our acts, not our understanding of universe.

November 6, 2015

From Ignorance To Stupidity

English: Bust of Socrates in the Vatican Museum
English: Bust of Socrates in the Vatican Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We are all ignorant in some ways but not all stupid. So what's the "line" divides stupid and wise? Socrates put it quite brilliantly over 2 thousands ago, but let me add something to it so it can cover both ends: those who admit our ignorance are wise, those who don't stupid.

November 2, 2015

Defending Weakness

It seems (to me) that in most cases, to ignore the obvious only serves one purpose - to defend our weakness.




November 1, 2015

Apology & Evolvement

Those who do not apologize will not evolve.

October 20, 2015

Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Tragedy Unavoidable?

(spoilers)

Just finished reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the first Thomas Hardy I've ever read, will not be the last for sure. I wonder what made me to neglect this literature classic for so long. I watched movie "Tess" when I was a teenager, it somehow didn't strike me as hard as "Jane Eyre" or some other films adapted from literature masterpieces. Recently, for some obscure reasons I picked up the original book, found myself immediately drawn into the story.

There's not much I could say about this book that is not been already said by others. Tess - an astonishingly beautiful peasant girl, a "fine creature", yet unbelievably selfless even downtrodden, tries relentlessly to make a better life for her family and herself, ends up being hanged. Not even that, none of the miserable happenings befall her is her fault, but she endures them all nonetheless. The tragedy is simply beyond anyone can bare. Her ultimate sacrifice seems avoidable, as I myself already composed a dozen of different endings, however, I have to admit, what she does at the end - murdering Alec d'Urbervilles is completely understandable under context. Basically, Thomas Hardy just created a flawless tragedy, let his readers continue to moan for her heroine for centuries.

October 17, 2015

Science And Industry - Problems Or Solution?

English: Smokestacks from a wartime production...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Those who think science and industry are culprits for humans' misery in modern time just because of pollution and deadly weapons, forgot how miserably humans lived prior to industrial revolution, forgot that it was due to science and industry we could afford today's overloaded population. Sure, pollution and deadly weapons are bad, but unfortunately by getting rid of science and industry will certainly not solve the problem, instead, better science and industry will do. And of course, as population and science grow, new problems will be created. So to keep creating problems and to keep solving them, this seems to be a vicious cycle in which we humans are doomed, unless we stop our desire to live life.