June 30, 2012

Es kommt wie es kommen muss

Vielleicht haben wir uns überschätzt
Gehofft, dass aus den Differenzen Liebe wächst
Doch ich weiß nicht ob das reicht
Wieviel Zeit uns noch bleibt
Es kommt wie es kommen muss
Doch wenn es sein muss, kämpf' ich bis zum Schluss
Wir haben uns überschätzt
Wir haben gehofft, dass aus Differenzen noch Liebe wächst
Wir haben befürchtet das irgendwann alles kommt wie es muss
Und doch kämpfen wir beide noch bis zum Schluss

Keiner will die Konsequenzen tragen und das ist das Dilemma
So wird mit jedem Gespräch unsere Gnadenfrist verlängert
Und immer wieder beteuert das sich jetzt Vieles ändert
Immer wieder neue Versuche die dann im Alten enden
Denn nach der Zeit, sind die Rollen verteilt
Wir wollen die Muster ignorieren, doch sie explodieren bei der Kleinigkeit
Und das ist so ermüdend
Wir haben versucht zueinander zu finden, fanden jedoch nur das wir uns selbst belügen
Warscheinlich haben wir es von Anfang an schon gewusst
Wir sind zu verschieden, dass man für jeden Frieden erstmal kämpfen muss
Wie Paradox ist das?
Wobei doch eigentlich Liebe für mich die Zuflucht sein soll wo ich Waffen fallen lass'

Und natürlich seh ich das Schöne und bisher überwiegt es
Gott weiß ich lieb dich und halt fest egal wie schwer die Kritik ist
Doch auch ich habe begrenzte Kräfte, es gleitet aus meinen Händen
Versuch meine Emotionen noch zu kontrollieren und verdräng
Ich will Chancen geben, nochmal und nochmal wir haben es verdient
Es wär katastrophal im Streit und Affekt diesen Strich zu ziehen
Ich kann nicht mehr länger kämpfen, ich kann nich mehr länger stehen
Und ich kann nichts mehr für uns tun, wir zwei werden untergehen

June 6, 2012

Why we hold on to the past

I remember, once I couldn't find an answer to a retort passed by a friend, when I asked him why he kept rewinding painful memories and kept holding on to past hurts.
He answered,"You're crazy. I'm not holding on! Which human being wants to hurt themselves?"
That is a very good question.

Since I am lucky enough to have an acute memory loss and ever dying brain cells, I don't really reminisce about the past often. But I know many people who just won't let go, even though they know for sure that those past memories hurt. I never understand why they consciously prefer to hold on to the pain.

Today I found the answer.

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. - Thich Nhat Hanh


50 Questions that will free your mind

I found this article a few days ago and thought that this is really cool. Some questions I cant answer yet. Not at the moment. Maybe as I grow more mature and adapt to life changes, the time will come when I can answer them. 
Maybe you could try answering these Qs honestly as well :) Just to reflect.

These questions have no right or wrong answers
Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?   
Hm. 21. Seriously. I dont feel the pressure of settling down soon, I still love to travel, play hard, and to be free to enjoy life.  Unlike other people of my true age  

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
the latter. I've failed a couple of times, but never regretted the failures. At least I've tried. 

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Maybe because we dont really realize how short life is. Youth is always wasted on stuffs that dont matter, isnt it

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
I think until this point I'm still saying more than doing.  

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
Dogmatic religions and hatred they've caused

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
The kind that forces me to keep thinking and evolving.

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
I'm not 100% sure yet as I just started doing this. But I can say, atm I do believe in what Im doing.

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I wouldnt spend so much time worrying about other people's plans and opinion about me since a very young age. Hm, but when we were young, we would think 40 years is a very long time and would still waste our youth, haha.

9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
I control how I react to things that happened to me

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Hell if I know the answer to this. Dont even know the definition of what is right and what is wrong.

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
I speak up for my friend. Always did, to the extent that some of my friends said jokingly,"Look, she's trying to be Jesus again." xD

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never let people define who you are and what you're worth. 

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
Sure will

14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
Yes. Business moves by seafood chain restaurant D'Cost for example

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I do not whine and wallow in pain

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
We're all different. It's the same the other way around as well.  

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What's holding you back?
Living in France :D Work n family responsibilities

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Yes. And I'm trying my best to let go 

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
France. No specific reason, I just want to. haha 

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
Hehe. Guilty. I know it doesnt make it go any faster, but patience is not my middle name. 

21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
Joyful simpleton lah. Ignorance is bliss.  

22. Why are you, you?
Actually Im not Zen enough to understand this Q. But I guess because of the choices I made, the falls and risks I took.

23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
I try my best  

24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
the 2nd one

25. What are you most grateful for?
my dad who taught me all about a healthy mind 

26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
Lose all old memories. What are old memories for anyway? 

27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
I dont know about others. But for me, No. Seeing is believing.  
"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Nor because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." Buddha

28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
Yes, it is called a self fulfilling prophecy. haha. The more I'm afraid of something, the sooner it happens. Unconsciously I was doing everything to make it come true by being paranoid. 

29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
Nop. I am lucky to have short and long term memory loss :p  

30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
Don't remember.  

31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
Dancing freely to the samba music in the park with dear friends, sun on my face and beer on my hand.   

32. If not now, then when?

33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?  
Yes. I miss that time 

35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
The so called religious people twist everything up. Thinking that they're whichever god's representatives to judge and punish those who don't embrace the same dogma. 

36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
Nop. There's always a grey zone.  

37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
If by quitting you mean retire, no. If taking a break for a few months then yes.  

38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
more work please.  

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
Today? Unfortunately yes 

40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? 
last week

41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
my family

42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?  

43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive : merely breathing, existing. 
Truly living : we face and do those things we fear, get out of our comfort zones, listen to our inner child, living the up and down of life and embracing change

44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
When there's only me to be responsible to 

45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Mistake hurts. We're afraid of the pain, not the lesson itself

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
Cant remember. The mind is too jumbled up :(

48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
Happiness, be it mine or other's. And yes :)

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
You mean, the event that happened? Possibly yes. It was kinda special ;)

50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
Mine !!

June 1, 2012

Good intention is not good enough

Out of nowhere an acquaintance, with whom I didn't keep in touch with for more than 10 years, texted me and told me that she's organizing a fundraising for the children in a garbage disposal slum area and asked me if I could donate. I declined.

Let me explain my refusal.

1. Fund transparency

When I asked to see the proposal, the event's run down, transparency's statement, she told me that she didn't have any.
She said that it was a personal initiative, not under a legal organization. 
Me: "Yes, it doesn't matter if it's personal or organized, how do we know that the money goes where it's supposed to go when there's no report?"
She: "I will explain personally to the donators what we will buy for the children with the money. It's based on trust really. Thank God our donators trust me."
Me: "Do the donators know you personally?
She: "Yes."
Me: "If I may say something, you can post about this event on a website or blog with the run down, fund transparency etc so the donators can see where the money goes to. I will help you spreading the words to my friends. Who knows, you might reach more hands."
She: "No, it's too bothersome. Our project is based on good intention and trust. And like I said, it's a personal thing, not organizational."

Honestly, sometimes good intention is not enough. We have to prepare the next steps, system and strategies. I mean, it's not that I don't trust her or anything but I certainly would like to minimize the risk that the money goes to wrong place. Ok, some people can say,"I donate with good intention. Where the money goes isn't my problem and it's God they have to answer to anyway." Not me though. I won't support good intentioned ignorance who might ends up in corruption. It's like donating clothes through charity boxes. I'm not generalizing all charity boxes, but do you know that some of those clothes ended up getting sold  for high prices somewhere and some children in third world countries are forced into slave labor to sort out the clothes piles. And stuffs that can't be worn will be simply dumped in some rivers. I watched a candid documentary on this a few years ago.

And I think we need to think about the beneficiary in the causes we're supporting. In this case,she needs to think more about the children. If she wants to help more, then it's essential for her to reach more donating hands. With her current system, all she'll reach is her inner circle. What about me and my friends, who might support her cause if she makes the extra effort for transparency.

I'm saying this from my own experience. I used to conduct a fundraising as well. The first few days I could only reach my close friends.. But since I wrote a blog, published the event's run down and donator's name, I got much more donation pouring in. My friends did help with the word spreading, but what made these people I didn't know personally wanted to donate? A student organization from Berlin did donate for my cause as well because they could have a follow up. By my simply creating a blog, people could personally cross check if the money went to the right place.And who benefited from this? The children I wanted to support.

I know I have a skeptic untrusting character. But I'm not the only one, I believe.
I dont' think she would make a good marketing manager :) According to the marketing principals, if you want to sell a product, you have to think about which market segment you're aiming for and prepare the correct strategies to earn their trust.

2. Personal credibility

Ok, maybe this is just me. If Bill Gates asked me to donate for his cause, I would probably do it without doubting what he wanted to do with the money. After all, he didn't need to corrupt my 20 dollars, did he?
As far as I know, this acquaintance of mine is by no mean a financially well off person. Not trying to degrade her or anything. But this information kinda made me double think in wanting to donate. Call me a bad negative thinking person, but I don't trust my money in the hands of people who have the big possibilities to corrupt it based on daily necessities. Let me explain using an extreme case.
 If I want to give out 100 USD for a certain beggar, I won't give the money to his beggar neighbor. Not that this neighbor is a bad person, but there's a big possibility that he desperately needs the money for his kid's food.
In a twisted way, this is called Branding. I used to attend a lecture about product branding. I learned that a credible person is very important to the image of a certain product, which is why many adv companies use positive public figures to promote their products. Even after a product's negative image, it's very important for the public to associate the product with a credible figure in the re-branding effort.

Seriously, I never mean to judge a person by his/her financial background.. But in this case, maybe I'm not as egalitarian as I thought I was, maybe it's the habit of my job that forces me to think about financial profit etc, but the blatant truth is she is not credible enough.