Full Accountablility


Close an eye or
Turn one blind
Filter out and summarize
Normal natural inevitable
Like the way vision and attention works
Like the way neurons refresh and
Some information gets left behind.

Conveniently forget.
Let it go.

In the big scheme of things
It’s easier to say, ‘Well, it doesn’t really matter.’
‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’
‘No one will know.’
‘No one will remember by tomorrow.’
And just breeze by
Imaginary blinders on
Carelessly skipping, knocking, stepping
While carefully avoiding eye contact.

Live in the moment, in the present, what’s past is past.
There’s that twinge of guilt, which you crush, and say
I can’t be devoting all my timemoneyeffort to that
Even if I think it’s a good cause or is the right thing to do
It’s a small thing
It doesn’t make a difference
I have other commitments.

Besides
Everyone else does what I’m doing
This is socially acceptable.
I’m doing fine.
It’s not me
Not my job
Not my problem
Not my responsibility
I’ll mind my own business
Do my own thing.

“If you know it’s wrong, why do you still do it?”
I demand of those in my charge.
“If you know this is what you should do,
and you know why you should do it,
why don’t you do it?”
Easy questions, not so easy answers.
Easy to say, easy to think, less easy to do.

But why?
Perhaps it’s just a habit, living carelessly.
Carelessly, thoughtlessly, lazily.
Just a habit.
Perhaps we can break that habit.

It’s kind of true that in the larger scheme of things
A lot of it doesn’t seem to matter
People forget, don’t notice
No one really knows or cares or remembers
You can get by with doing the minimum.
Work smart, ignore the inconsequential.
Relax; y so serious?

Yet every action has its reaction
And every reaction a subsequent reaction
Chain reactions
And every word you say and thing you do
Has the potential
To uplift or cut someone else down
To help make the world a better place
Or not.

Your lack of action seems inconsequential
Only because you neglect
To compare it with
what it could be.

Religion’s got the right idea;
You’re always, all the time
Everywhere and everywhen
Fully accountable to god.
Fully. Accountable.
To someone who will notice and will and can call you out on it.

Let’s be fully accountable to ourselves.
Break that habit.

Let’s go.

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We all have super powers!


Inspiring article and a great reminder of how powerful little things can be. :)

Take a read, it’s not long :) “How to use your super powers for good

Then, like magic, my morning changed.

“Hi! You must be Peter. Welcome!” Lisa*, the receptionist, sang as she opened the door. She smiled, and then looked worried. “Why did you come up in the freight?”

I explained my morning and she frowned empathetically. “I’m so sorry, That’s terrible. Here, let me take your bike.”

I could have cried from happiness. In one second, Lisa turned my emotions around, from the negative spiral of anger, frustration, and despair to the positive spiral of relief, appreciation, and happiness.

And that’s when I realized: We all have super powers.

– Peter Bregman

We all have super powers!! Use yours for GOOD!! HAVE YOU MADE SOMEONE SMILE TODAY??? 8D 8D 8D

… okay, that’s probably going from buoyant and upbeat into maniacal and scary territory. XD

But seriously. As long as you have life, and as long as you have hope, you have the power. You have the power to change yourself, change your life, and affect those around. An oft repeated sentiment: if you want to change the world, you’ve got to start with yourself.

So as long as you have yourself, you have the power to change the world. :)

Not simply in terms of cheering someone else up, but for anything and everything! The actions of people count, and you’re a person. Your actions count. The beach is made out of individual grains of sand.

You can save the world. :)

Stop taking sides


Stop taking sides, we’re all in this together.

When I taught philosophy, I began the course by walking into the room after the students were seated and announcing, “We are now going to play musical chairs.” The only further instruction was, “Please arrange your chairs and get ready to play.”

No student ever asked why. Ever. And no student ever asked how to play.
They knew the rules as surely as they knew hide-and-seek.
Always the same response– the students enthusiastically arranged the chairs in a line with the seats alternating directions, then stood encircling the row of chairs. Read, ready, ready!
All I had to do was punch up “Stars and Stripes Forever” on the tape machine, and the students marched around the chairs. Mind you, these were seniors in high school. They hadn’t played musical chairs since second grade. But they still knew how, and jumped into the game without heisitation. Musical chairs! All right!
After removing a few chairs, I stopped the music. There was a mad scramble for the remaining chairs. Those without chairs were stunned. They knew how this game worked–music stops, get a chair– how could they not have a chair so soon? They had “how dumb can I be?” written on their faces.

Too bad. But they were losers. Out. Over against the wall. Only a game.
Music continues, students march around, chairs removed, STOP!
Students go crazy trying to get a chair this time.
As the game goes on, the quest for chairs turn serious. Then rough.
Girls are not going to fight jocks for chairs. Losers to the wall.
Down to two members of the wrestling team, who are willing to push, knee, kick or bite to be the last person in a chair. This is war! STOP! And by jerking the chair out from under his opponent, one guy slams down into the last chair– a look of triumph on his face– hands raised high with forefingers signaling NUMBER ONE, NUMBER ONE.

The last student in the last chair always acted as if the class admired him and his accomplishment. He got the CHAIR! “I’m a WINNER!” Wrong.
Those losers lined up against the wall thought he was a jerk.
Admiration? Hardly. Contempt is what they felt.
This was not a game. Games were supposed to be fun.
This got too serious too fast– like high school life– and real life.
Did they want to play again? A few of the jocks did. But not the rest of the class. It all came back to them now. Big deal.

I insisted. Play one more time. With one rule change. Musical chairs as before, but this time, if you don’t have a chair, sit down in someone’s lap. Everybody stays in the game– it’s only a matter of where you sit.
The students are thinking– well…OK.

Chairs are reset. Students stand ready. Music starts and they march. Chairs are removed. STOP! There is a pause in the action. The students are really thinking it over now. (Do I want a chair to myself? Do I want to sit on someone’s lap or have someone sit in mine? And who?) The class gets seated, but the mood has changed. There is laughter– giggling. When the game begins again, there is a change of pace. Who’s in a hurry?
When the number of chairs is sufficiently reduced to force two to a chair, a dimension of grace enters in as the role of sittee or sitter is clarified– “Oh, no, please, after you.” Some advance planning is evident as the opportunity to sit in the lap of a particular person is anticipated.
As the game continues, and more and more people must share one chair, a kind of gymnastic dance form develops. It becomes a group accomplishment to get everybody branched out onto knees. Students with organisational skills come to the fore– it’s a people puzzle to solve now — “big people on the bottom first– put your arms around him — sit back– easy, easy.”

When there is one chair left, the class laughs and shouts in delight as they all manage to use one chair for support now that they know the weight can be evenly distributed. Almost always, if they tumbled over, they’d get up and try again until everyone was sitting down. A triumphant moment for all, teacher included.

The only person who had a hard time with this paradigm shift was the guy who won the first time under the old rules. He lost his bearings–didn’t know what winning was now.

As a final step to the process, I would tell the class we would push on one more round. “The music will play, you will march, and I will take away the last chair. When the music stops, you will all sit down in a lap.
“Can’t be done,” they say.
“Yes, it can,” say I.
So once more they marched and stopped–what now?
“Everyone stand in a perfect circle
“All turn sideways in place, as if you were going to walk together in a circle.
“Take a single step into the middle so as to have a tight circle now, with each person in the group bellyside to backside with the person ahead of them
“Place your hands on the hips of the person in front of you.
“On the count of three, very carefully guide the person onto your knees at the same time as you very carefully sit down on the knees of the person behind you.
“Ready. One. Two. Three. Sit.”
They all sat. No chair.

I have played the chair game in this way with many groups of many ages in varied settings. The experience is always the same. It’s a problem of sharing diminishing resources. This really isn’t kid stuff. And the question raised by musical chairs is always the same:
Is it always to be a winners-losers world, or can we keep everyone in the game?
Do we still have what it takes to find a better way?

– Robert Fulghum, “Maybe (Maybe Not)” (1993)

Stop taking sides, we’re all in this together.

In the process of re-learning and re-internalising a value I’ve always believed in.

Gandhi: Merely human. But also so much more.


I just finished watching the 3-hour, 1982 biographical film ‘Gandhi’.

Reading about Gandhi and watching that film really leaves one awe-struck. And inspired, so inspired. You’re just speechless that a person like that can really exist, especially in a world like ours. Yet… it also finds me in two minds about him and his beliefs.

There’s this part of me — the cynical, jaded part; the part that likes to think itself a realist — that thinks, are you for real? Sure, his message is inspiring but… is that really the best way to do things? Maybe some things are worth fighting for. Maybe if they had fought–physically fought– in the right way, it wouldn’t have taken so long to achieve their goals. And maybe the factors for such methods just happened to be right in those situations…maybe trying to bring them elsewhere– the holocaust for example– would have resulted in even worse harm and atrocities! I mean, you can’t stand up for your principles by saying ‘I’m willing to die for this cause!’ when that’s exactly what the enemy wants? Hitler wasn’t interested in keeping Jews oppressed, he just wanted them exterminated!

And… it just seems naive to think you can have no conflict all the time. Fighting seems so… ingrained. People seem primed to fight, especially in the face of injustice. Wouldn’t it seem wiser? more practical? to take that fact into consideration and work around it or try to prevent it rather than just tell them not to fight and expect them to obey?

He also has this quote about how history reads like it’s all fighting, but in reality fights are just interruptions from peace. Its just that only the fights tend to get recorded. In truth, peace is the default.

Yet too often, it really seems the other way around. That conflict is a core part of us and our society. Just the way the world works.

The parts depicting the riots and beatings and killings made me feel all that. And I cried at how evil man can be and wondered how those people could live with themselves.

Still, the idealistic part of me really wants to believe it. It echos his sentiment that love and truth always wins out in the end. It argues that it’s not this kind of thinking that’s too idealistic, it’s the world that’s too cynical and jaded. If everyone could see the truth in such statements and lived their life by them… it would work

And still, he’s only human. He has no magic answers. He just sticks to the simple truths that he does know.

“There is no such thing as “Gandhism,” and I do not want to leave any sect after me. I do not claim to have originated any new principle or doctrine. I have simply tried in my own way to apply the eternal truths to our daily life and problems…The opinions I have formed and the conclusions I have arrived at are not final. I may change them tomorrow. I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

Regardless of what you think of his methods, you have to respect and admire him for being able to stay so true to his principles and not lose hope in love and truth. How did he do it? How did he not get angry, discouraged and jaded at the stupidity and evilness of men? He saw it all first hand and he never lost hope.

Hears to hoping that I, and all of us, can be just a little bit more like him. The world could be a much better place.

We have nothing to lose


If my views are wrong, I have nothing to lose in everything to gain in further searching for the truth.

If my views are right, I have nothing to lose and much to gain in further refining, strengthening and deepening my understanding of my views and the reason why people think otherwise.

If your belief is wrong, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain in searching and finding out more.
If your belief is right, you have nothing to lose and much to gain in clarifying the details, confirming your position and understanding why people hold different views.

Perhaps you could say, the devil is a master deceiver; what if one strong in faith starts to question, and ends up deceived? …what’s to convince you you AREN’T being deceived right now?

Don’t assume what you think or know is necessarily the truth. Don’t be afraid to discard old ideas if new (and valid) information becomes available. Be open and always searching. What do you have to lose?

All easier said than done, so don’t stop trying.

Unconditional Love


I love you
No matter what you say or do.
I love you
Even if you don’t want to receive it.

Your love is not mine to have,
not mine to demand or pled or beg for.
Your attentions are not mine to vie for
to capture and hold down.
Your actions aren’t mine to control,
Your decisions aren’t mine to make.
Even your heart was never mine,
and you were never mine either.

These things aren’t for possessing.
These things can’t be possessed.
If you feel otherwise, it is but an illusion,
That will be shattered eventually.

These things,
They are meant for giving.

Like a song sung,
A poem, or dance,
Or a breeze felt,
Or even the sun on your skin.
Given freely
For you to receive, enjoy,
appreciate, cherish

but not to possess.

My love is mine to give
And I hope I’ll give it freely
My love is mine to give
and you can’t take that away from me.