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doing the right thing

A fellow blogger, who also happens to be a really good friend of mine, shared this on Facebook a few minutes ago. I thought it was a story worth telling so here I am on my blog, writing about it.

Photo from Brent Tzu’s facebook account

Meet 98 year old Dobri Dobrev, a man who lost his hearing in the second world war. Every day he walks 10 kilometers from his village in his homemade clothes and leather shoes to the city of Sofia, where he spends the day begging for money.

Though a well known fixture around several of the city’s churches, known for his prostrations of thanks to all donors, it was only recently discovered that he has donated every penny he has collected — over 40,000 euros — towards the restoration of decaying Bulgarian monasteries and the utility bills of orphanages, living instead off his monthly state pension of 80 euros.

Sometimes you just know you’re doing the right thing even when no one else affirms it.

Because we live in a world where meritocracy is the rule of thumb, we forget the greatest contributions that we make to society, to people we hardly know are the things we do out of selflessness and utter disregard for social image. Here is a man who may have little financially and in material possessions but he chose to live a life that still cares about others. I’m not encouraging the rest of the world to crowd the streets and beg for money they can donate rather I’m hoping I can convince you to care. 

Our gestures don’t have to be big. They don’t have to change the world. We at least have to care enough to move towards a gesture, an action, a vision that involves making other people’s lives easier than they are now. This has a very special place in my heart because I’ve done humanitarian work since I was 13 and I’ve loved every minute of it. Because I love it so much, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my birthday, the 18th of this month, with my dad on a gift giving mission. It will be my little contribution to world.

I hope one day helping others out will be a part of everyone’s habit, something they do not as a burden but a vocation even when there are no cameras snapping, no cover stories and no obvious reciprocity other than fulfillment.

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depressing, or not

It’s mildly depressing to think that everything that is has to fall apart. What takes a lifetime for us to build, years from now there may not even be a single trace of .

Civilizations- Persian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman and Egyptian- were all great, built from the ground up. They were powerful and controlled the world in their days but they crumbled and yielded to other more advanced societies. My adorable pillow, my comfort and imaginary shoulder to cry on, now tattered and old. Friendships I put all my heart, time and effort into, they’ve come and gone. Granted some things still remain, but they too will fall apart, vanish into nothingness. Even I, when I pass, I am no more.

That’s discouraging right? Not most people’s cup of tea.

But knowing me, I see an up side. If things will pass, they’ll be gone in the morning, won’t you have more reasons to look at now? You see the problem with our generation is that we’re too busy looking forward, what we build, what we’ll own, how our lives will be like in the future. We, more often than we’re willing to admit, are never truly present. We always think we’ll have tomorrow to enjoy everything. But what if tomorrow everything fell apart? There’s nothing more to look forward to. Wouldn’t you wish you lived more?

You have the rest of your life to live in the future, better live in the now. If tomorrow doesn’t come, you’ll have today to be happy about.

what Cinderella should have done

Why was Cinderella so helpless?

From where I stand, her problem was never that she was forced to serve her evil step mother and her two step sisters. What’s odd and quite frankly irritating is that she chose to hide and miserably clean the house when she could go out and find her happiness.

We choose the life we live.

Granted some of us are more blessed than others. She has better hair. He’s smarter than I am. They’re richer and more famous and obviously more talented. That’s life.

What are you gonna do about it?

It’s your choice. You can willow in your pain and continue to sweep the floors while your step sisters live life and meet the prince or you can do the brave thing, the hard thing. Stand on your two feet and walk out into the world.

I know it may have taken a lot of confidence for Cinderella to finally trade her raggedy dress for that head turning ball gown. But as I’ve learned, confidence is not something you’re born with. You learn exude to it. So go on, practice on that confident stride and show the world what you’re made of.

Harsh as it may be at first, you will learn to walk then run to wherever you are the happiest.

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Stop hiding, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Unlike Cinderella, you don’t need a fairy godmother. You can wave your own magic wand and be the person you’ve always wanted to be. It matters less if that’s a princess living in a castle on top of a hill or a published author who travels the world. You want to be happy? Go make it happen.

In the end, you’ll get your version of a happily ever after.

Only, this time, you made it happen. 

my superman dream

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We all have that Superman dream, that consuming sometimes suffocating vision of ourselves.

You know in your gut that’s all you wanna be and all you wanna have but you feel that saying it, pursuing it and living it is way out of your means or far from the expectations already set in front of you.

It would be easier to remain Clark Kent, pragmatic, reliable and plain rather than be the risky, over the top super hero you’ve always wanted to be.

Your dream betrays your reality. 

I’ve been there. God help me, there are days when I think I still am. On those rare, depressing days, I imagine myself already living my dream. It’s not to escape reality but just to remind myself that maybe in an alternate space or time or dimension, I’m already a humanitarian or a published author or a gallery owner or a world traveler or maybe all those. 

It reminds me that I can be whoever I want to be regardless of norms, expectations and standards. I can take a risk because it’s my life, my happiness to risk. I wish one day everyone will have the courage to do the same because we all deserve to realize our Superman dream.

Love is without guarantees

Love is without guarantees.

They say that love is one of the many endeavors of man which isn’t calculated or rationalized. It’s more than a feeling; it’s an iniative fuelled by human will. Because it isn’t with reason that we love, we cannot justify why we have it or why we’ve lost it. It simply happens and when it does we say that it was never guaranteed to work or last anyway.

But then I ask, “What guarantee are you looking for anyway?”  

The security that he will not find another

A vow that you will live in eternal bliss

A promise that you’ll wake up everyday knowing it will never end

If that is what you believe guarantees in love are then you are right, there are none.

As for me, I find love provides a different guarantee, one which is more personal- more for the self than for the partner or your relationship with him. Love warrants humanity, that moment of absolute vulnerability you are willing to take to be with another. It assures you of an experience that transforms you or at the very least, reveals to you your deeper, more unguarded self.

When you are in the a happier stages of a relationship, one depicted in romcoms and chick flicks, you realize you can be happy and that you deserve it. Even when you lose him, you continue to find happiness for yourself because you’ve discovered how uplifting and empowering it is.

In the darker pre and post break up stages, you feel pain and learn to deal with it. It does not matter how, through beer, parties, writing, painting, eating or ranting, as long as you acquire that resilience we all need to get ahead in life.

You’ve won, not that it ever was a competition.

Love may not last. It may not be entirely of bliss or with one guy but it comes with a guarantee. You will learn and you will grow and you will have at least loved. Isn’t that takeaway enough?

here’s to GAY RIGHTS

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Ad by Stonewall, a gay rights campaign group

I am not shy nor reluctant about my stand on gay rights. I believe that respect is due to this sector as they pursue and demand for the rights they so rightfully deserve.

Most critics would say that destruction of traditional morals start when we accept changes that do not agree with the norm. I do think, however, that we, as rational human beings, should be capable of assessing which of these beliefs are worth keeping and which are fossilized errors worth reviewing. Once, women were accorded with much lesser rights than men. This fosters the then accepted patriarchal idealism. Men are better. Men rule. Men are important therefore we women have no say in matters that are as important as men. We can’t vote, have political inclinations, be sexually satisfied or be powerful in the workplace as these offend the rights and in my opinion the ego  of pre-gender equality men.

Gay rights are human rights.

Today, we support feminism and its consequences like affirmative action in the workplace and shared responsibilities at home. Society accepts that although men and women have different niches and functions in the society, they are to be considered equal and therefore, awarded the same rights and ability to pursue them. The errors of the past were corrected by a more progressive and open-minded community of individuals who are not afraid of deviating from a set of accepted norms to find better ways of looking at things, ones which are fairer and more respectful of our shared humanity.

The same principle applies to offering the same level of respect for the orientation of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community. Beliefs and traditions are time-bound and should continue to progress as the humanity that abides by it also progresses. Although I do not wish to offend the traditional moral institutions and lobbyist groups which believe in eternal damnation for this sector, I hope that you recognize that the respect you require of us in terms of honoring tradition is the same respect required of you for the change in society that supports gay rights.

We have seen the effects of bullying gays into becoming something else, not respecting them and stripping them of their rights to be with their partners. It’s never going to get better. The mudslinging and hate will continue unless the we decide that it ends now, unless we promise to foster respect despite our opposing beliefs. We can agree to disagree, refuse each others belief without the hate and obvious disregard for the other’s dignity.

Some people are gay.Get over it. 

As for the population of this world who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and everything in between, hang in there. Change comes with opposing views, thesis and anti thesis. Sooner than later, more people will realize that you guys, like women, also deserve to be treated respectfully, equally and humanely. Until that time, know that you have at least one supporter right here who promises to press on and support you.

more books

When I wake up in the morning, my books are neatly stacked on the shelf right beside my bed. With the exception of the one I read right before I fell asleep, I make sure every single one is in order.

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Promising right? YEY me!

Don’t get your hopes up, this how it looks like tonight.

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It’s a mess, I know but I just got some new books and I decided to take out the ones I haven’t read yet and those I haven’t gone back to in a while.  I’m sure I’ll finish them in a couple of weeks so I am now hunting down more books to read. Any suggestions?