I had an online conversation with this guy who’s currently living in Vietnam and felt extremely frustrated. Normally I’d ignore these things on FB but lately I feel like I have to challenge people and point out their ignorance. He posted a food picture of rice, piece of fish, tofu, and bits of greens with a caption that says, (translated) “This food is nasty. Why would someone eat this?” To which I said, “People in Vietnam eat this everyday. Is it nasty or do they eat to live and not live to eat?” And he responded that the production line staff eats this and they do not complain but everyone in the office refuses to eat it. I was outraged by his inane comment, unwillingness to even see the problem with what he just said. After going back and forth, he said I live to eat. I live my life and you live yours. Then I conceded because he’s just not the right person to engage in a conversation about income inequality.
I recently joined Instagram and I, myself, am guilty of participating in this “foodie” culture. I find the need to eat healthy, “organic” food that is well-prepared and indulge myself bc life’s too short to eat terrible food, right? Yet, I feel this sense of guilt knowing that most people in the world cannot afford to eat and live like this. It makes me feel so pretentious.
I had a discussion with my friend awhile back about that show, Oliver’s Food Revolution? I know we’ve talked about it before. How he came in to the neighborhoods and they had negative reactions towards him and what he was doing because they were used to living life in a certain way. I thought of maybe allocating funds to subsidize organic produce, instead of relying on corn or wheat. To which my friend reminded me of that show and how it’s important to educate people first. But are people not aware of these things? Is it enough to know but because of habits, we should continue the status quo?
People at school often accuse me of judging them and their ideas. Based on my reactions to some of their comments, I can sound pretty dismissive. I don’t mean to be. I want to relate to these people who know that the sensible thing to do is to make money and put yourself in a financially independent place so you have the liberty to help those less fortunate. I agree with their end goals if that’s the real intention but I find everything in between so problematic. People can’t just wait around for you until you’ve reached a point where you feel that philanthropy is appropriate.
Because, in the meantime people are thinking about everything you described below. That people will be fine and if not, that’s their own problem. I don’t know the solution because we’re delaying any progress by being in school.
I read Ender’s Game. You should if you’d like but l’ll just ruin the ending for you. The movie’s coming out soon anyways.. There’s a war between the human race and these bugs. A young boy chosen as commander has to learn to think like them in order to defeat them. At the end you learn that it’s been a huge misunderstanding between the two sides. The “buggers” as they’re called came to earth and were surprised to find there were sentient beings out there like them. But they only communicated in thoughts to each other and could not express to the humans why they were there. So there were these wars, known as the First and Second Invasions. It was interesting bc only the boy realized this after he wiped out all the buggers. But the queen left him a message (through construction of different structures) to say they understood why the humans did what they did but that they hoped the humans could now learn who they were as a species.
Okay, that was a long way for me to say how can we understand the other side? How can we really bridge the existence of these competing ideas, or maybe they can coexist?
Please advise. I’m feeling extremely discouraged. There’s more for me to say but this is quite lengthy as is. As always, I hope you’re doing well and ready to venture into the next adventure of your life.
I was always under the impression that my dad left me when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I realized it was a lot more complicated than that. For most of my life, I had the fear of people leaving me because I felt the void of my dad not being there. As a defense mechanism, I wanted to leave people before they had a chance to get rid of me. On the one hand, I desperately want to hang on to them. On the other, I can’t wait to get rid of the person because I don’t want to feel that sense of attachment anymore. This explains a lot of my relationships with people or maybe I just try to make it relevant.
I find myself at that crossroad now. I’m forever looking for a reason to let someone go. I want that detachment.
Life is too short to be unhappy. During these past couple of weeks, there’s been a lot to be sad about. With finals coming up, it’s even harder to focus on doing what I need to do when all I can think about are the things going on around me. I’ve been trying to be optimistic but every day it’s a struggle when all I want to do is crawl into a ball. Lucky for me, I count my blessings by appreciating the moments I share with people.
Example 1. One day, I was extremely upset about how the past couple of days had been going. It seemed as if nothing was going right and I couldn’t do anything about it. I decided to go run with my friend because running always makes me feel better. Before we ran, my friend said, “Let’s not talk about anything depressing. This is going to be a happy run.” I thought, I don’t know if I can do that. I was so bogged down with all these thoughts. She could tell I was troubled by this proposition because I was looking so pensive. I wanted to tell her about my friend who had passed away and how my friends were fighting and that they were taking it out on me… and she just looked at me and said, “No depressing stories.” I smiled and nodded. We had a nice run where we talked about the weather and boats, what we were like as kids, nature… It was really fun. The day ended on a very good note. I was no longer weighted down by all the things that had been bothering me. Sometimes in life, that’s all you need - to just not talk about it.
Example 2. I was in the middle of an argument with a friend and it was extremely upsetting. It had already been an exhausting day and I didn’t know what else I could say to make the situation better. We left dinner with the tension still between us. I knew we weren’t comfortable ending it like that, so we went into CVS. I decided to tell her a funny story because I saw cranberry juice. We ended up walking around the store for a long time sharing funny stories about our pasts. When the laughter died down, she said, “I’m really glad we’re friends.” It made me feel so much better. Granted the problem wasn’t resolved but sometimes it doesn’t have to be. It’s more important to me to be reminded of why I’m friends with someone than to settle whether something is right or wrong. Imagine if we lived in a world isolated from all of its complications. You know those claw machine games? Pull yourself out of that mess and allow yourself to be suspended above everything. Wouldn’t life just be easier that way, to continue pulling yourself out of the chaos?
Example 3. I keep reminding myself of all the good things. I look at myself in the mirror and realize that I’m young and healthy. I am so grateful for that.
For me, the root of the meaning of life is finding happiness because it’s so elusive. For ages, philosophers, thinkers, spiritual leaders, humanity has come to realize that regardless of how you get there it’s about the perception of happiness from the individual. Happiness comes from within and in order to live a happy life it takes practice. I’m learning and practicing happiness everyday.
Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go