I always consider myself as a spiritual person but never as a religious person. I believe in God, in The Creator and I believe there’s a greater power above us all. I don’t really need a religion for that. Yes, I am a Catholic but I never want to rule my life with “rules of God” made by men. I think religion delivers a big possibility of misleading people into having blind faith. However, having said all these, I still respect them. I respect both religions and religious people. I think religions can definitely act as a medium for people to improve their spiritual life and provide people with a more organized way to praise their God. There’s nothing wrong with sending prayers. I send prayers to Mother Mary. I respect religion. But I think we’re making too big of a fuss out of it, and we let it control both our intelligence and our rationality.
Blind faith is something I despise a whole lot. Blind faith or faith without substance is very dangerous. At worst, it leads to extremism and bloodshed. At best, it is an opium people will turn to to escape their real problems. I think it’s really lame if people send prayers like, “God, please bless me with happiness.”or “God, please forgive my sins.” Seriously? I will be pissed off if I were God. And don’t you dare say, “God is never angry.” That will just prove my point on blind faith. Blind faith leads people into becoming passive mortals who are not taking responsibilities for their actions. We are responsible for our own doing and for what happens in our lives. There’s no way to turn to God just because you’re having a hellish day or just because you want to be happy. You need to get on your feet and make the most of your life. You need to find out the reason why you’re here at the first place and actually make some people’s lives better with your existence. Don’t ask for happiness. Create happiness. And think for yourself instead of using God as a scapegoat for whatever happens in your life. The way I see it is: God gives you a brain. Use it.
That’s why I never get it when people say “I love God.” Do you really believe you love something that you can’t see and you can’t touch? You sure it’s not just a reassuring thought you create in your mind so you will be ‘saved’ when you die? Many religious people claim they love God and follow all the rules obediently. Subsequently, that’s all they do. Obeying the rules. Well, I have been in love before. Love is not just a feeling. There’s responsibility attached to it. I believe that when you love someone, you try to love everything he or she loves and accept those things as a part of your life. So if God loves the people, and if you love God, why should you spend your whole time obeying the rules? You don’t love God by obeying the rules. You are doing it out of fear. Out of fear that you won’t be saved after you die and all those other things. If you love God, you should be out there, loving the people. That’s the point. And you should do it, you should love other people because that’s the right thing to do, not only because you want to be put in heaven or collect good deeds to save your own ass when you die.
At this point, some of you might ask me: Do I believe in faith? I do. I have faith in lots of other things. I have faith in humankind and humanity. I believe that humans are capable to do beyond their imagination, be it bad or good. I believe men can go great lengths to create a better world if they want and I believe they can also do the unimaginable bad things. I believe people can come out from their greatest sorrows and conquer their greatest fear if they want to. Now, many view faith as something unquestionable. I partially agree. Faith doesn’t come with reasons. You just believe in something and you can’t really explain it. But to me, doubt is an inseparable part of faith. To truly have faith, you have to doubt first. You have to challenge your faith; constantly beat it with questions as far as your intelligence allows. If it prevails, then it is really yours. To me, doubting my faith with my intelligence is my way to strengthen it. To me, doubting my religion is my way to connect more deeply to the divine power in my life.
I am a pencil that He uses to write stories of life with.
I am somebody, and I better do my job as best as I could.
Written by: Nicole Melita
Finished: Friday, February 19, 2010
Credits: Wikipedia, BBC Knowledge, YouTube, Google Images
I flipped over the TV channels today and stumbled upon a very interesting program. It was about savant syndrome. I am so interested in this discussion that I just have to retell what I saw.
According to Wikipedia, savant syndrome, often abbreviated as savantism, is a less popular medical diagnosis and one that is often desribed as a rare condition in which persons with developmental disorders (including autism spectrum disorders) have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance that are in contrast with the individual’s overall limitations. In my personal words, savant syndrome is a special condition in which mentally underdeveloped people who are not able to communicate with outer world, and often trapped inside their own, possess extraordinary and unexplainable gifts of talent.
Derek Paravicini is a blind English autistic savant who lives in Surrey, England. He was born prematurely and became blind due to one of treatments he received during his first weeks in neonatal caring unit. Later on, he developed autism because the same treatment resulted in his severe learning disability. Since the age of two, he has begun playing the piano. He has absolute pitch and can repeat whatever he listens to on the piano. When he was a kid, he once listened to Cats’ Memory song played on the radio and just a second after the song was finished, he replayed it flawlessly. Some studies about his brain say that this ability was mainly caused by his autism, but it is believed that his blindness plays a great part, too. The part of his brain that originally should be used for lighting and visual detection could have been acting as an extra auditory ability. Derek is able to, with great deal of precision and accuracy, detect and recognize the exact notes that hit his ears, not just one but multiple notes. He can distinguish the notes and play them all at once.
Stephen Wiltshire is another savant living with autism diagnosis. He was born in England and known for his ability to draw a landscape after only seeing it once. Stephen was mute when he was a child and developed autism. But after being sent to a school, he began to express himself towards his drawings. He started drawing imaginary landscapes and post-events sceneries like earthquake aftermaths. One of his greatest breakthrough was when an interested medical team brought him on a helicopter and flew him above the city of London. He took a glance of everything, the buildings, the tiny houses, the bridge, the river, the landmarks, everything. Then soon after he was back on land, he began his drawing. He started with a rough sketch then soon, he began to work on the details. His pen never left the paper. He drew everything he saw precisely and without undoing any lines. Not even a single one. His brain works like a camera. It captures every details and later on, Stephen will be able to accurately redraw every details stored in his brain. An interesting thing about Stephen is that he is not good with numbers. When faced with abstract forms of mathematical problems such as twenty minus two or ten plus four, he cannot understand it. But if he sees a building with around 145 windows, he will draw precisely 145 windows.
This is his most famous London drawing (drawn after a brief look from a helicopter). He drew of all the famous London landmarks, complete with the other 200 buildings.
This interesting phenomenon is what inspired the movie Rain Man. In this movie, Dustin Hoffman played as Raymond, an autistic man with excellent talent with numbers. A box of matches was ripped open, and all the matches were scattered on the floor. Immediately, in just a matter of seconds, Raymond could tell the exact amount of the matches on the floor. He kept repeating the number. “Two hundreds and forty-six,” he said. His brother didn’t believe it and shrugged it off. He told Raymond that it was a close guess and prepared to leave when the waitress who dropped the box called him back and told him, “He was right. There were four left in the box and the box says there’s total of 250 matches inside.” Dustin Hoffman stayed with several savants to learn about their behaviors closely and blend into Raymond’s character. He found himself unable to return to his normal self after the movie was finished, and had to put himself in a rehab in order to step out of his autistic role.
It is hypnotizing to see such gifts and we, the ordinary people, cannot understand how their brains work and how they can perform such great skills in different areas. I am totally in awe when finding out about these people few hours ago. Supreme brilliance often exists in areas of music, mathematics and art. It is often acquired through patience and extensive learning process. Yet, these savants can do it. They are mentally underdeveloped but yet they possess extraordinary expertise in mastering music notes, visual images and complicated numbers.
As ordinary people, we learn to categorize things. This is a car, these are children playing on a swing, the car is going at a slow speed, et cetera. We see things and put them in boxes, leaving out the other details that we think are unnecessary or unimportant. When Stephen finished his London drawing, he showed it to the medical teams. He pointed out several less dominating landmarks and the team members found themselves remembering the buildings he mentioned. It means that the memory did enter their mind, before they subconsciously discarded them, or labeled them as “unnecessary”. As far as our consciousness and awareness allow, we categorize everything. A study believes that actually, our brain orginally captures everything, but it is impossible to categorize everything. If we are able to cut or exile a memory, we will automatically do it.
But these savants aren’t able to do that. They are often confused by their surroundings. Their lack of ability to communicate and express themselves makes it harder for them to understand their surroundings. They experience everything in unedited version. It’s like they don’t have an edit button to go through things and label them. So, they take everything in. Stephen sees all the details that actually are noticed by our eyes, too, but his brain isn’t able to discard any piece of information. He remembers everything because he wasn’t able to decide which to remember and which not. Same thing goes to Derek. When he listens to a musical piece, he doesn’t only hear the top notes like most of us do. Every sound a guitar string makes, every notes a piano key plays, Derek just listens to everything played in a musical piece. It is frightening to know that each one of us actually possess the same ability like them. Some scientists are determined to learn how to be savants.
I personally think it is ridiculous. I believe that the brain works mysteriously, although often it is still can be explained. I think it can be true that somehow our brains has the ability to work like the savants’, but that doesn’t mean that they will work like theirs. Derek Paravicini understands that his condition will only allow him to be a perfect parrot, and never a creative musician. But he begins to improvise his play, and sets a certain way of playing that differs him from other pianists. He now plays mostly in staccato, and finishes with a grand improvised ending. If his brain knows only how to imitate, how on earth can he improvise and choose a pattern of playing the piano? Stephen goes to London Art School and learns how to paint and uses colors. If his brain can only interpret the visual images his eyes have received, and reproduce the exact same things in drawing, how can he accept new things and blend it into his architectural paintings?
I prefer to think that it may be true that their damaged brains enhanced their extraordinary talents, but the gifts were already there from the beginning. They have somehow unexplainable ability to absorb details in a way most people can’t, and communicate those mental storages in the only way they know how: music or drawings or numbers. These are true natural gifts that must be nurtured and praised, and not a mere medical coincidence.
Here’s a better question: does anyone believe in love at first sight? I, for one, do not. There is only lust at the first sight or the instant immediate attraction. You might be interested in how he looks or how he carries himself. You might adore his smile or you feel uneasy in the stomach when you hear the sound of his laugh. You might be amazed at how well-dressed he is or wonder how good his hands will feel when they get tangled up with yours. Everyone has experienced that feeling at one point or another; the feeling of instant attraction or connection. But that isn’t love.
People often say, “I knew we’d be together forever from the moment we met.” Usually those people are in commercials for eHarmony or Match.com, posing against a white background while some old R&B song serenades them. (Why is it always a white background? Why not put them in a field of flowers, or anything that doesn’t bring to mind what people see after a near-death experience?)
This sort of thinking, that you fell in love the moment you laid eyes on the person, is what I like to call revisionist history. The person thinks back to the first time they met their boyfriend/wife/girlfriend/husband, and all they can remember is instantly falling head over heels in love. Therefore, they must have felt that way from the moment their beloved crossed their field of vision. In actuality, “I am in love with this person” is probably not the first thing that crossed their mind.
That said, I am enough of a romantic to believe that instant attraction and sparks do occur. I’ve certainly felt it. There is nothing better than the feeling of meeting someone, and instantly having a goosebumps-but-in-your-stomach connection. Besides, learning about another person takes time, and loving them — really loving them, not just infatuation — comes only from learning who a person is and what they are about. There’s just no way to do that in two days or even two months. And you’re talking about first sight? It’s ridiculous.
I think it takes years to really know someone, to see how they act and react in different situations and reveal their true character. You might think you’re in love after two days, but what you mean is that you like the person and enjoys their company so far. But are you in love? Hell to N-O. Love has to be earned. Love takes time. Love isn’t something that can just…
Oh, hello, turkey sandwich. I didn’t see you there, all well dressed with nice provolone cheese, lettuce, heirloom tomato, and cucumbers on hearty French country bread. I must say, and I don’t usually say this to anyone, but I think this is love at first sight.
1. Your Smile
Does it seem sweet and genuine? Does it seem awkward and forced? Does it seem like you ate a sesame-seed and parsley salad for lunch based on what’s lodged between every single one of your teeth?
2. Your Hair
Guys have no idea what split ends are. But they do look to see if your hair looks 1. soft and 2. as though it would smell good. So all you have to do is: apply some conditioner and wash it every so often. That’s all guys ask.
3. Your Cleavage
Newsflash: Dudes like to look at your chest. Now, that’s not to say they think all women should unbutton their shirts to their bellybuttons at funerals. But they will notice how you’re showing off what you’ve got. No guys skip the chest. They always check the chest and how good they are.
4. Your Makeup
If you’re wearing so much makeup that it looks like you’ve painted an entirely new face on top of your actual face, guys will wonder if you’re trying to cover up some bizarre deformation—or if you’re Gotham City’s most dangerous criminal mastermind.
5. Your Skin
You know that blemish you’ve been obsessing over all day because it’s so huge? Chances are guys won’t even notice. What will they notice? If you look like a jaundiced Oompa-Loompa because of overenthusiastic tanning.
6. Your Bag
Are all women who haul around big purses—in other words, cavernous rucksacks stuffed full of old receipts, emergency sweaters, and half-used bottles of hand sanitizer—high maintenance? Maybe not. But guys will go ahead and assume they are anyway.
Well, this is a good piece of information. I have pretty nice hair and smile. And I don’t wear excessive make-up.
Care to confirm, guys?
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that will never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is the perfection in my son Shay? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God’s perfection?”
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish, and stilled by the piercing query. “I believe,” the father answered, “that, when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child.”
He then told the following story about his son Shay:
One afternoon Shay and his father walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, “Do you think they will let me play?”
Shay’s father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But he also understood that his son’s being chosen to play would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. He approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shay could play.
The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said “We are losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team, and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.”
Shay’s father was ecstatic as Shay smiled broadly. Shay was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the bottom of the eighth inning Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning they scored again. Now they had two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base.
Shay was the batter up. Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved up a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay should at least be able to make contact.
The first pitch came, and Shay swung clumsily and missed. One of Shay’s teammates came up to Shay, and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher, waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay and his teammate swung at the ball, and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out, and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond the first baseman’s reach.
Everyone started yelling, “Shay, run to first; run to first.” Never in his life had Shay run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide‑eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball.
He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman, who would tag out Shay, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head.
Everyone yelled, “Run to second; run to second.” Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home.
As Shay reached second base, the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, “Run to third.”
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shay, run home!”
Shay ran home, stepped on home plate, and all eighteen boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero because he had just hit a grand slam and won the game for his team.
“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “those eighteen boys reached the level of God’s perfection.”
Like many women, I have trouble accepting compliments. Part of my resistance is linked to matters of modesty: I want the world to see that I love myself, but don’t want the world to believe that I LOOOOOOOOOVE myself. I have a tough time figuring out when I appear healthily proud of my innate hotness, and when I’m coming off as a self-absorbed weenie. It’s a fine line, ya know?
And then, of course, there’s the disbelief factor. Seriously? You think I have great smile? You love this dress on me? You’re probably just making conversation. Or being polite. Or maybe you just got back from an eye appointment and your pupils are the size of hubcaps and EVERYTHING looks sparkly to you. I want to believe people when they say nice things about me—my style, my looks, my talents—but doubt often eclipses acceptance.
I work at it, though. I actively practice both accepting compliments and giving them. When my internal naysayer yammers, I drown her out with reminders that compliments are verbal gifts. Doubting them is both rude and ridiculous. After all, why would a person go out of her way to remark aloud on something if she didn’t truly find it pleasing?
Deflecting compliments from friends and strangers carries the risk of slight insult. Doubting the people who likes me hurts them. Especially if it’s someone that likes you. You know. And, my dears, that simply won’t do.
Now some of you are in relationships; some aren’t. But I’m telling you right now: Regardless of relationship status, when a man says that you have sexy hips or fabulous personality or beautiful smile, you’ve got to believe him.
Here are three important reasons to accept the compliments.
1. Taste is a very real phenomenon. Just as people have preferences for certain types of food and clothing and music, people have preferences for certain types of personalities. Just because YOU don’t love certain part of yourself, doesn’t mean your man can’t go crazy for them. Give him some credit for knowing what he likes most.
2. Compliments are gifts. You may struggle to love your own body every day—as so many women do, myself included. What better reason to soak up those adoring words? Think of any compliments that your loved one gives you as glimpses of yourself from his perspective. And revel in them.
3. You’ve gotta trust the man. As you’ve no doubt heard ad nauseum, trust is a pillar of all successful relationships. Refusing a compliment from your man reveals a lack of trust. You don’t trust him to be honest with you, you don’t trust him to judge what is beautiful, you don’t trust him to say something genuinely nice about you without harboring an ulterior motive. He might feel these and any number of other doubts when you brush him off.
I know it’s hard, but work at it. I do. When he compliments you, thank him for being so sweet. When he sings his praises, let that desire and adoration radiate through you. When you’re shining and he exclaims out loud, “You are beautiful.”, don’t you dare say, “Oh, stop it.”
Instead, say, “Gracias, baby!”
Every July, I will repost a blog entry I wrote in 2007. This blog post holds a very special meaning. It is about a man I met on July 2007. A man who apparently had touched my life in such a way, I can never forget everything about him. His voice, his smile, his words, his hug, and his love. He will be an eternal part of my life and this is my tribute for him. This year would be exactly three years after our encounter.
This is based on my real life experience, one I rarely tell people about.
I feel lucky that I’ve got the chance to know some nice people around the world. I’ve come to realize that there are so many things I’ve yet to see and so many lessons I’ve yet to learn. Meeting these people from all around the world opens my eyes to the unknown treasures. As one once said, “What’s life without a little bit risk?” Life is a chance you have to take on. It’s short. And you can only have it once. If we don’t do what we want to right now, how do we know that the same opportunity will present itself twice in our life? This is not only about learning and trying new things. This is also about opening your heart to accept and get to know new people.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
How true. Sometimes, we spend the whole time judging everyone we meet and we simply overlook their unique characteristics and forget to love them. In every person, there is the bright and the dark side. There’s a good side and the evil side. What matters is which side we choose to act on. Of course, nobody’s perfect. It is difficult to see all the goodness in every person and love them anyway. Why is it difficult? Because what meets the eyes often are the negative side of a person. By noticing their weakest points, we gain the feeling of being stronger and more powerful. We would feel we are better. It’s sad how we should secure ourselves with such a way. Isn’t it better if we meet all the great people in the world and learn from them? Even, we can learn from every person, not just the great ones.
I met Tony in Milan, Italy, two years ago. The encounter left a deep impression on me. At that time, I was in the middle of a shopping spree program designed by my tour guide. Of course, my family and I couldn’t afford the stuffs. All the shops lining neatly were branded shops such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc,. Therefore, we decided to switch to all nation’s hang-out place, McDonalds. That was where I met him. When we walked into the restaurant, the place was very crowded. After sifting through the tables, we (my mother, my sister and I) found an empty table with a cup of coffee half full on it. I thought someone had left the table and whoever that person must’ve decided to leave the coffee, so we sat down. Not long after, there was a Western guy who came over and told us that the coffee was his. He then took the cup and was about to leave when I suddenly felt uneasy. I knew there was nowhere else to sit. I then told him that he should take my seat but he refused my offer. I insisted before he reluctantly accepted my offer. We sat down without talking to each other for few minutes. Then I felt a sudden urge to smile at him. It was the simplest gesture on earth but at that time, it wasn’t easy for me to do. I didn’t grow up in a friendly neighborhood/society where everyone smiles at strangers easily. But I did it anyway, and boy, aren’t I glad I did it. He returned my smile with a much more friendly smile and we got to talking. My mother, being a sensitive and negative person she is, didn’t seem to like the idea of me getting involved in a conversation with a stranger. I knew she was eager to interrupt me but she was rather helpless since she couldn’t speak any English. She only eyed me stiffly from where she sat but I couldn’t care less about her. Tony had this soothing calm voice that reflected a glimpse of playfulness and he immediately had my undivided attention. We were sitting rather closely and since I wasn’t really confident on my listening skill, I leaned towards him to hear his every words and I think this was another reason why my mother would love to drag me out of the store.
I was grateful having met Tony that day, I still am and I will always be, because he told me how I had brightened up his day. He told me that he was from New York and he visited Italy to live with his brother for few months. There would be someone who would come from New York to join him. He said he’d been hanging around the city for three weeks and always ending up at McDonalds. He would sit alone, watching people come and go while sipping his hot coffee. When I asked him what he did for a living, he took out an old picture of his. He was a wedding dress designer and the picture showed a very good-looking, well-cut, friendly, and lively young man dressed in suit. We had a great casual talk, until I asked him why he chose to spend his times rather meaninglessly in Italy. I wondered why he didn’t visit somewhere more exciting or do something more challenging. It was when I asked the question that he unbuttoned his shirt and showed me a lump on his chest. He told me, he only had 3 more months to live. And the last thing he wanted would be wasting time traveling from one point to another. The time spent on the journey themselves was too precious. It didn’t matter where he was, or who he spent time with. It was rather a confusing concept for me to digest. I asked him how he could feel satisfied spending 3 weeks sitting alone with bad coffee at McDonalds? He then told me that he was never alone. He saw a lot of people. Tourists walked by, all happy and glowing. People were laughing and enjoying the times of their lives. They looked so blissfully happy, he could share their happiness and felt happy too. I was rather speechless. It was before I was about to tell him how I didn’t believe him when I saw his old wrinkled face and I realized, he wasn’t telling a lie. Tony said, “I don’t need people feeling sorry for me because I’m about to die. I’m happy when someone came over and said hi.” I only smiled to his words. He continued, “If I make someone’s life easier only by offering him or her a seat, it’s really enough. The little things matter.”
I almost cried. And I am the last person on Earth who would or could cry in public. Not only was I touched by his words but the way he said it, it was so… simple. And peaceful. He was beaming so I held my tears back. I couldn’t offend him in such a way. I listened to him, relenting to speak more than necessary and letting him touch my soul. During those 20 minutes, he told me so many things. At last, we finished the conversation and he stood up. He offered to buy me some ice cream. I told him it was supposed to be on me but he only laughed at me. He then had this playful spark in his eyes when he told me that I would make the perfect daughter one can ask for. He regretted the fact I couldn’t be his daughter and he offered me to go back to NY with him and marry his youngest son, Richard. He went on promoting his son, telling me how he was a handsome (not as handsome as he was when he was young, though, he said) and successful 29-year-old lawyer. I didn’t know what to say. I asked him why he could even think of joking about something like that. His face was serious when he replied me, “I’ve prepared some stuffs for Richard’s brothers and sisters, but he’s the only one whom I haven’t prepared anything for. So, why not a nice girl from him? You are beautiful, very nice, and you would make the perfect gift.”
I didn’t accept compliments daily. But I’ve received compliments for sure. As a human, there were some people who hated me and some who loved me. But never ever, in my 19 years of life, I felt so beautiful and appreciated. I felt like I’ve done something very good. I was… what I felt was pure joy and gratitude. I barely did nothing for him. What I did was merely… sitting down and talking to him. I really felt like I was the most beautiful woman at that time and I did cry. I hugged him and told him, “I’d really love to do that. I’d love to go New York and marry your son. Thank you. But now, I gotta go because my tour guide is calling me over there.” Tony kissed both of my cheeks and smiled, “Thanks for accepting the offer. Have a safe trip and enjoy your holiday.”
Enjoy your holiday.
These three cliche words have always been meaningless to me, I always took them for granted. I never thought how a cup of coffee could brighten up both of our days so much. I came to a realization that we would never, never know when we’d meet someone really special. Someone so special, he or she would leave such a deep impression in our heart. I would never find out that Tony was in need of a friend to talk to or that he would die in few months’ time, had I decided not to offer him my seat. I couldn’t imagine what I would’ve missed had I been as grumpy, negative and suspicious as my mother. I probably would only sit beside Tony with a stinky face and did nothing. I learned a lesson that day. A little smile can start something worthwhile. So, be nice to everybody. Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one leaves you without being happier. And it could be anyone. Not only someone you meet on vacation but probably someone you sitting next to you on the bus to work this morning.
If today I haven’t said my prayer, I will do it now. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to meet Tony. We came from different worlds, different parts of the Earth, different races and different generations. Different backgrounds and different paths of life. But still, we met. I hope he’s happy wherever he is right now. And I hope Richard had received his gift from his father.
Written on 21 July 2008, dedicated to Tony Morgan.
Dear Girlfriend, I’m sorry for startling you this morning. I know how it looked. You have every right to be creeped out. I probably would be. It’s just that I woke up before you. Got up and ate some Cocoa Krispies in a coffee mug. Then turned on the television and watched someone from that party yell at someone from the other party (people who wear make-up for a living really have no right to be so angry). Then I got back into bed and… stared at you. Which is what I was doing when you woke up. You were not pleased. I apologize. Let me just clear the air a little. No, I’m not a troll. I was not trying to steal your breath. No, I’m not a serial killer sizing up whether I could make a baseball mitt from your face. No, I’m not a potential stalker. If you dump me, you will not catch me on my knees, licking your apartment doorknob and sobbing and muttering “WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME?” This is not something I do frequently. I mean, if I were a vampire like Edward Cullen, I imagine I’d stare at you while you slept because vampires don’t sleep. If this were the 24th Century, and I was a robot bro like Data, I’d also probably spend most of time watching you sleep. Studying your fascinating human ways. But I am human. And, again, yes, when you woke up, I was watching you sleep. I couldn’t help myself. You were glowing. Not the proverbial deer hypnotized by the headlights of a car racing towards it. It was more like… awe. How could a goon like me be laying next to such a quiet miracle of a woman? Milky skin, soft lips, and divine curves? For that moment, your breath was the universe’s metronome. And all I could think was “Jeez, am a lucky bastard or what?” There are fleeting moments in a man’s life when he is blessed with a certain clarity. When he can clearly see what is valuable in life. He’ll try to reach out and grab it, but it’s just fistfuls of sunbeams. All he can do is stare and quietly thank God or Vishnu or Zeus or sheer, stupid luck, that he gets to at least warm his grizzled face with its light. I love you. You were my personal sunrise this morning; thanks for the tan. That said, it won’t happen again. I’ll just watch rage-bots in suits on the picture box and slurp choco-noms until you wake up. Love,
I’m sorry for startling you this morning. I know how it looked. You have every right to be creeped out. I probably would be. It’s just that I woke up before you. Got up and ate some Cocoa Krispies in a coffee mug. Then turned on the television and watched someone from that party yell at someone from the other party (people who wear make-up for a living really have no right to be so angry). Then I got back into bed and… stared at you. Which is what I was doing when you woke up. You were not pleased. I apologize.
Let me just clear the air a little. No, I’m not a troll. I was not trying to steal your breath. No, I’m not a serial killer sizing up whether I could make a baseball mitt from your face. No, I’m not a potential stalker. If you dump me, you will not catch me on my knees, licking your apartment doorknob and sobbing and muttering “WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME?” This is not something I do frequently. I mean, if I were a vampire like Edward Cullen, I imagine I’d stare at you while you slept because vampires don’t sleep. If this were the 24th Century, and I was a robot bro like Data, I’d also probably spend most of time watching you sleep. Studying your fascinating human ways.
But I am human. And, again, yes, when you woke up, I was watching you sleep. I couldn’t help myself. You were glowing. Not the proverbial deer hypnotized by the headlights of a car racing towards it. It was more like… awe. How could a goon like me be laying next to such a quiet miracle of a woman? Milky skin, soft lips, and divine curves? For that moment, your breath was the universe’s metronome. And all I could think was “Jeez, am a lucky bastard or what?” There are fleeting moments in a man’s life when he is blessed with a certain clarity. When he can clearly see what is valuable in life. He’ll try to reach out and grab it, but it’s just fistfuls of sunbeams. All he can do is stare and quietly thank God or Vishnu or Zeus or sheer, stupid luck, that he gets to at least warm his grizzled face with its light. I love you. You were my personal sunrise this morning; thanks for the tan.
That said, it won’t happen again. I’ll just watch rage-bots in suits on the picture box and slurp choco-noms until you wake up.
I’m not special. I’m just like everybody else. I don’t deserve a prize or attention for trying to do the right things in life, which as far as I can tell is what average people do. Average people share French fries, blankets, and hugs. Normal, everyday, average human beings follow certain rules. At night, use the buddy system. He who smelt it, dealt it. You break it, you fix it. Average people make mistakes. They try. They fail. They try. They fail again. They try. And if they win, they don’t walk around the playground showing off their gold star. The full spectrum of human emotion passes through average people like a rainbow colonic.
It’s not easy being human. Those runty princes and princesses who think they’re special are at a disadvantage. They are not special. They’re just like you and me. Insecure. Hopeful. A blemish here, a doubt there. A heart that’s a secret lock box of whispers and giggles. Those swaggering aristocrats are just as full of fear and joy as the rest of us. In the summer, they are stinky. In the winter, they might wear their socks two days in a row.
Which is the best reason to just be yourself. And why not? Even those people who think they’re the love child of Zeus and a unicorn are just being themselves. Usually, those people behave like they’re special and are therefore easy to avoid. Avoid them! And start looking for average people just like you. They’re out there, and they’re probably looking for you too.
Be average. But don’t be a coward. Bravely be just you. Don’t feel gorgeous? On days where I feel fat or dumpy or just unlovable, you know what I do? I don’t wait for life to make me feel anymore gross than I already feel. I take the fight to life. I go out. I buy a nice shirt. I avoid mirrors or reflective surfaces. I hang out with other average friends, and laugh, and try to go to bed with a smile. Then I wake up and do it all over again. I fail. I try. I win. I fail.
Being average is hard work.
…to consider driving with the windows down an effective hair-drying method.
…to talk about the weather when all else fails. It’s universal; everybody cares.
…to bury the price tag in the bin.
…if the erotic appeal of toe-sucking utterly baffles you.
…to be kind of afraid of whatever is lurking in the kiddies’ pool.
…to tell him you’ll need more than a drawer at his place. Some counter space in the bathroom, room in the wardrobe and a spot for straighteners, please. Thank you.
…to smile and nod, rather than saying “Pardon?” for the third time.
…to be secretly relieved when it’s not sunny, because you can justify staying in bed. All day long.
…if your five-year-old cookery book has never been opened.
…to make him carry your bags even though they’re not that heavy.
…if you have an irrational fear of being crushed by the ticket barriers at the train station or the elevator doors.
…to re-apply your lipgloss when someone pulls out a camera, but still act ‘candid’.
(Courtesy of Glamour)