Look Into Ourselves and Care for Others (about Virginia Tech shooting)

The days have gone, and we all know about the Virgina Tech shooting. Now we are asking ourselves, “How do we deal with the tragedy?”

Here’s my interpretation and observation. The event is a tragedy by itself, and no doubt each and everyone of us are saddened by it to different levels depending on how closely we are related to the event.

But you know what? I am saddened. I am VERY saddened, and troubled. TRULY! Not by the tragedy itself, but by a bigger tragedy the way I see it.

Glancing over many the media coverage about the event, I have a tough time accepting the topics of the coverage. It just seems to me that people are just pointing fingers, blaming any fact/person (gun-seller, video game, movie…) they can lay their eyes/hands on, or just having their own political agenda (eg. school safey, security, gun control…).

Instead, I would like us to pause and take the chance to ask ourselves some questions and look into ourselves. I tried to find some articles, online discussion, etc. that’s similar to what I propose here, but to no avail… If only we can stop pointing fingers for a moment and think? That maybe Seung-Hui Cho would not have done so if he was shown some caring and kindness along the way he was growing up. How could he ever get so angry? Maybe a few sincere simple words were all he needed… like in one of the last scenes in American Beauty, where Mena Suvari asked Kevin Spacey “How are you?” and meant it.

He has come from Korea with his family and appeared to have lived a very modest life style. Two things come to mind – the difficulty of adjusting to a completely new country and environment, which I myself has experienced and can relate to and plus the difficulty of living perhaps a more modest life. On top of those, who knows what kind of treatment his family received and himself received in school in a younger age. And then there’s also the treatment and condition amongst his family. I think if they look into his history, they can most likely find something starting from there. (they probably have already but who want such boring story anyways) These are speculations, but whatever his experience was… all together have turned him into such a lonely soul… so isolated, so lonely and it hurts so bad…

The problem with this approach is that it requires us to stop blaming others and take the blame ourselves, that “we are bad ‘friends’ (quote and quote)”, “we are bad parents”, “we are not kind enough”, or even “we don’t really give a damn about other people anymore”. It is obvious that no one would want to admit to those, and it is pretty hard to swallow. Therefore, we people are more prone to take the easy way out by pointing fingers.

The problem is that if we just blame other people and things, we fail to accept the flaws in us and try to correct. I propose that we are to consistently evaluate ourselves and to pay attention if we’re showing kindness to others. We are all human beings living under the same sky, on the same earth, breathing the same air, so I think it’s fair to all of us to spend effort to reach out to others when they need it. And also communicate to people, among family, and I mean “real” communication. Throw away the sexiem, racism, discrimination, skin color difference, sexual orientation diversity, religious bias, age gap, principle difference… all that crap and stop alienating ourselves among ourselves. Show kindness and love, shed some light on others, care, and most importantly, these should all come from the heart and that we really mean them.

I would like to ask us all to stop and think about this for a moment. It gives me bigger chill that none of us seem to think like this… Let’s end “this” tragedy…

PS. I sincerely wish I have a better way to scream to the world about this.

Originally posted 2007-04-18 15:25:49. 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

You Don’t Want to be Warren Buffet

I saw an interview on CNBC yesterday featuring Warren Buffet. It is the first time I see him live even though I have read quite a bit about him. He gave me the impression of being as wise as his words and also a no-BS kind of guy. Just compare him to other financial analysts or talk hosts, it is not hard to see why. His answers cut right to the chase and don’t beat around the bush with jargons that leave people confused.

Known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, Warren is also a noted philanthropist. Nonetheless, there are criticism out there about him being hypocritical in terms of making business decisions in the cost of being philanthropic. They maybe true, and a capitalist he may be. Whether the criticism is true or not, he appears a man who knows his priorities, and at 75-year-old, he has one heck of a clear mind. That’s my humble opinion, and I have respect for him in these regards.

Being one of the richest man on earth, no doubt someone wants to be him. Perhaps you think so yourself. I feel like I want to be him too! However, this leads me to think that when someone says that he wants to be somebody, he doesn’t really want to be that person per se. He means that he wants only a particular aspect of that person’s life. So when someone says that he wants to be Warren Buffet, he probably means that he wants to be rich like Warren Buffet. All the other stuff that comes with his life? Probably not so much, because let’s take the extra step and think…

Do I want to go through some grind your teeth kind of hard work involved in his success?
Can I deal with the many uncomfortable occasions that Warren put himself in but did so knowingly anyways? (I don’t know what the occasion are but I am sure there are plenty.)
Am I ready to make the changes neccessary and keep learning to get to where Warren is today?
Do I even want to make business-critical decisions that affect billions of dollars on daily basis like Warren?
Will I enjoy managing business like Warren?

I will leave it up to you to ponder those questions. We need to see beyond the glamour of a succesful person and see the effort and hard work involved in the success.

The fact is, we can always learn from other successful people, and we should. It is also a wonderful thing to have a role model or idol to imitate and to get motivated about. Those are very positive things. But you don’t just want to be someone else. You want to be the best of yourself, and you should be the best of yourself. Do your best to improve yourself everyday and perhaps you will even surpass your role model or idol, in your own unique kind of ways.

Originally posted 2008-04-07 22:38:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

HSBC whooping 6% saving…and the catch?

So the online saving rate war is back! HSBC is now offering 6% APY until April 30th 2007 but…there’s always a catch.

This deal only works on so-called “new” money which is basically any money you deposit between Jan 29-April 30. So in the end, I’d say you will only make a few extra bucks (in the sub-100k category) if you already have a 5% saving account somewhere. Especially since it’s only a 3 months deal from now. And then also due to the slow transaction time that will cause a loss of interest return on the days between money is moved and then there’s taxation. And if you have 100k+? You probably should be think about putting some of that money into funds/stocks portfolio anyways (or buy a house, do something w/ them plz) and won’t have 100k+ in saving :P

So I would say it’s not worth it, for the little gain and the hassle. Again, HSBC has very slow transaction from personal experience. It’s just another strategy to draw some new money/customers.

Originally posted 2007-01-28 03:50:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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