Earth Day — 1 out of 365 Days to Save Earth

earth_half_destroyed.jpgToday is supposedly Earth Day, but I am not a big fan of these specially designated days. Shall I mention Hallmark holidays?

This does not mean that I do not understand the meanings of them or that I do not celebrate special occassions. I love to have the opportunity to spend time with friends on birthdays and holidays. I also do my best to act in ways to show people how much I care and appreciate them.

Raising the awareness of the population to care for Earth is of course a positive thing. The reason I do not like these “special days” is because they show such fakeness. Though I do not want to generalize too much, but what generally happens inside and outside of the special days during the year is…

We spend 1 day saving Earth and the other 364 days not caring, if not unearthing (destroying), it.
We spend 1 day showing our love and making the other person feel important and the other 364 days overlooking him or her.
We spend 1 day being thankful to family and friends and the other 364 ignoring, if not being angry and frustrated, at each other.

The list of holidays goes on.

This kind of manner resembles that of people display for their new year resolution. Let alone how we spend a crap load of money on gifts on people while the most important thing is having and building the connection among us. It is something called relationship. Gifts are nice, and especially nice if they are thoughtful, but they are still not THE point. Relationship does not build on gifts.

Having special days are fine, but do not forget to do the same in the other 364 days in the year.

Originally posted 2008-04-23 17:41:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Impermanence of Things

Buddhism has a lot of good suggestions for us to conduct our life. Now, I would not call myself a Buddhist, but just that I learned and found many of their concepts practical.

Impermanence is one of the pillar concept in Buddhism.

Why do we worry? Because we expect things to be as we think they should be. And often, we expect things to be the same as they are now, that they will last forever (namely, the good things). Intuitively, we know that cannot be if we stop denying it. When we deny impermanence, we make thousands of plans and let worry take over our life.

The next moment can never be the same as this moment. Things are always changing, whether they are visible to the eyes (or scientific means) or not. Not just the outer world, even our cells are constantly dying and being remade every second.

Yet, we seem to think that we are changing only when things change according to our measures and parameters. It’s as if we consider time flows because the clocks we make is ticking. Rather than the other way around.

Change is inevitable. Therefore, the notion of “we need to change” is off the point. Rather, the question we should ask is, “How do we want to change?”, both on a personal level and on a wider, cultural, societal level.

Another good question to ask now is, “Are we trying to change the outter world just so that we don’t have to change?” I am suggesting that, could some of what we are doing now be a demonstration of resistance to change masqueraded as desire to change?

“Change the world around us for us, but we are not going to change.”

Food for thought.

Here’s the practicality of understanding a bit about impermanence… Just as the good things will come and go, like water brushing by a rock in a stream, so do the bad things come and go. With this realization, we can fully enjoy the moment with good things and not hold on, and we can learn from the moment with bad things and let go. As such, we can take things lightly and enjoy and be in the moments of life.

Ultimately on an individual level, the inevitable impermanence is death. Thus, it really sucks that death has become such a taboo topic in modern days. It is a good thing to contemplate about death. “How do I want to die?” Meaning, and the key is, “What inner state do I want to have when I am leaving this world?” When one is about to die, that’s probably the last and only thing that matters. So…

How do we change to achieve such the inner state we want to be in before death?

Whatever the answer you find, it is a good idea that whatever the answer is, is what dictates your action.

For me, it is peace. Can I find peace underlying everything that I do?

What do you think about impermanence?
What is your answer?

Originally posted 2009-08-17 00:28:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Proper Posture for Health

I talked about learning “better” breathing before. Closely relating to that, posture is almost equally important for our daily lives and health. Actually, getting the breathing down will depend on having better posture. Several factors together prompted me and helped me to fix my own postures: back pain from sitting in office (major), gym’ing, playing piano, and singing. Not only will better postures improve our health and make us feel better in general, with better posture, there will certainly be improvement in all activities/exercise.

By no means am I an health expert, but here are some pointers that I follow personally and have great results:

  • Spread and relax the shoulders so they’re slightly angle downward
  • Arms on the side of the body
  • Straighten up the neck and tuck the chin in, so the head does not stick forward
  • Push the sternum outward slightly so the rib cage is opened

These last 4 will help you not to slouch.

  • Don’t lock the knees while standing
  • Spreading your legs to shoulder width apart while standing
  • Feet pointed forward, not diagonally. To allow the hips to relax and consequently, the spine also
  • While sitting at a desk or in front of computer, maintain a straight back do not lean your body forward or backward
  • Relax muscles around the buttocks when sitting
  • Balance the weight of the body more towards the balls of the feet instead of the heels

These last 6 steps will help to reduce the strain on th back tremendously.

  • Finally, together with everything, try to feel and monitor the body so you know when your body is tense and try to relax. Deep breathing will help to do that. Drinking more water will also help.

Those are the things I do, and I am noticing how it has helped me in everything. It’s the fundamental in all the things we do, be it piano, dancing, working out, singing, basketball. Fix and improve your posture, then keep it consistently to live a better life :)

Originally posted 2007-04-16 22:05:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

U.S. Government is a Great Employer

I never thought U.S. government can be such great and well-rounded employer, who takes care of the employees’ every need. It puts all tight-wad corporates to shame.

If you are a government employee and you…

  • Need to find your soul mate?
    Swipe your government credit card for online dating service.
  • Want to fill your musical void on commute or at work?
    Swipe your government credit card for an iPod.
  • Need help to afford a shelter?
    Write government credit-card checks to your landlord or roommate.
  • Desire to please your partner behind the bedroom door?
    Swipe your government credit card for some sexy lingerie.
  • Have the sudden urge for fine dining and dessert?
    Swipe your government credit card for the 3-course luxurious meal at a 5-star restaurant, and a super-duper-mega-Himalayas-sized sundae served in a 24-karat gold-plated swimming pool.

It’s nice to see our tax money being used for good cause.

Highlights from the article:

  • GAO: Federal employees charged millions to government credit/debit cards
  • The charges include: Internet dating services, iPods, expensive clothing, lingerie
  • The audit also found agencies could not account for nearly $2 million worth of items
  • Nearly half of transactions made in the 2006 fiscal year were improper

Originally posted 2008-04-09 14:44:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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