Time and Man

Man created time, and then let time mastered him.
- Kin

Originally posted 2011-02-23 23:47:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Happy New Year, and Screw New Year Resolution

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!

It is that time of the year again, when everyone talks about new year resolution. So will I, but perhaps you are thinking, “Why did he say ‘Screw New Year Resolution’?”

Well, new year resolution… is just that, new year resolution. Once new year is over, so is the resolution. Oh, yet another demonstration of the short-term mentality that people have these days. Short-term like how people temporarily become nice to their partners for a special day or go on extreme diet to look thin for an occasional event. Now if you are already nice to your partner and become extra nice to them… that’s a different and good story.

At new year’s time, people formulate their new year resolution and carry them out for perhaps, a day, a week, a month… MAYBE couple months. Some people don’t even last a day. Let’s be totally honest because we can see that in people around us and maybe you are one of them. Don’t kid yourself.

Therefore, can we please stop talking about new year resolution? Please? While we are at it, let us forget about birthday resolution, and whatever special day resolution there maybe. If you must wait for these “special” days to make changes, I say you may as well forget it because it will not last. Honestly.

You can start by thinking what you want your life to be.
Envinsion who you want to be.
Think of the legacy you want to leave behind when you die.
Don’t let identities, labels, and egos drive you.
Don’t let fear stops you.
Don’t let the “impossibles” stop you.
Don’t let “what everyone else does” stops you.
Don’t wait for the “special” day to start changing.
Be responsible for yourself.
Start changing NOW.
Stop taking the path of least resistence.
Stay in the moment and make the choices necessary.

It is important to know where you want to go so you will go in the right direction, but do not lost sight of the moment and do not stop paying attention to each step because such attention and awareness of the moment, you have lose yourself.

If you are not already doing what you need or want to do according to your values, it is time to ask why. Why weren’t you already doing it? Why weren’t you already doing it the years before? What is holding you back? Do you know what you want? Do you know your values? Have you figured out your priorities in life?

Screw new year resolution. Now go change yourself for what you want for the rest of your life while staying aware and staying flexible.

Originally posted 2009-01-01 00:15:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Excess in Our Society, Now is the Shedding Time

A friend sent me link about a new Sony Vaio laptop.

The world’s lightest 8″ notebook, the 1.4-pound VAIO® P Series Lifestyle PC does more than you could imagine–with impeccable style. Email at the airport, IM from the park, or just show it off when you want some attention.

Honestly, who really needs a laptop that is 1.4lb that is mega-expensive? What the F is a person gonna use it for? Throw it like a baseball? It’s not big enough to read and browse and work on it comfortably. It’s not small enough like smart phones, with resembling functions, for you to carry around. If you have trouble carrying around a 4 to 5 lb of very portable laptop, may I say you have a physical condition called weak, and by that I mean, weaker than a 5-year-old.

So in the end, it is all about the last comment — just show it off when you want some attention — that which appeals to the emotional side of consumers. And people will fall for it too, as we have come to adopt the consumeristic lifestyle, which boomed in the past decades. Just maybe less peope will fall for it now, but such things like this laptop are the reflections of the excess in our society.

The lavish lifestyle of the super-rich.
The giant house that’s too big even for a family, let alone just a couple.
The big house that parents insist to buy because they have… TWO kids.
The ultra mega-pixel digital camera, when common users won’t even have practical usage of pictures from a 4MP camera.
The pick-up and SUVs for just-in-case big items.
Uh… Hummer!
Fancy gym memberships that 85% (or whatever large amount) of the people don’t use.
The obsessive of saving this and that, or war on this and that, while each individual has trouble taking care of the self, mastering the self.
Talk shows, reality TVs, game shows.
The amount of lawsuits, blaming, victimizing the self.

And the biggest reflection of excess is… the unhealthiness, both physical and mental, of the general population. Just look at obesity, many terminal illness, depression, people going hay-wired, rising health care cost, general uncaring-ness of each other… I believe are all reflections of the same thing.

The excessive excess we have reflects a general lacking inside. Something is amiss which causes us to be so materialistic, even though it is all about looking inside yourself. Since nobody does that, they never fulfill the lack and continue to chase materials, in the form of money, in the form of a successful career, in the form of owning things. Thus the excess. All the while, without looking at yourself and taking care of the self first, people’s physical and mental condition deteriorate because they only know to chase materials. Thus all the physiological and mental illness.

So until each individual learns to take care of the self and learns to look within rather than without, and thereby shedding the excess, our problems will always be re-occurring, if only in different forms. Look at the past 3000 years. Humans hadn’t really changed. If anything, I think we are in worse shape than ever, despite the entrepreneurship, despite technology, despite all the knowledge and information we possess now.

Originally posted 2009-01-16 01:44:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Housing Crisis, Woe and Pain to be Felt by Everyone

I talk a lot about the economy here. But let me join the party and share my take on the current situation today. Oink! ^(oo)^

Everything is connected. That applies to our economic system. That is exactly why this dreadful housing crisis’ pain will and have to be felt by everyone. Allow me to explain.

It is easy for us — ranging from the lower and middle class to the less-than-filthy-rich class — to blame the government, the banks, the Wall Street, the Madison Street, the CEOs, or the monkeys who picked their stocks… so on and so forth. But it is foolish to play this blaming game. None of this would have happened if not everyone participated.

Greed. If we must identify one cause for the problem, greed it can be. It is not one single entity that leads us to today’s problem, but the greed that is in everyone’s mind. Who knows, if I had the money and power and was in the right place, I could have been part of any of the following… But alas, I was only a simple student couple years ago, so I missed all the fun.

Government / Fed

Their lack of oversight for the indulgence in this “free market” and the prolonged period of dirt cheap rate encourage much greedy behaviors by the following people…

CEOs

They are consumed by greed when they see how much compensation and bonus they can get by indulging in this short-term burst of high return. They are smart, intelligent individuals — definitely no fools — so they probably foresaw or at least had the intuition of what is to happen if they jump into the subprime and CDOs party. Yet, they could not resist and allow their companies and subordinates to partake. Honestly speaking, I think some of them, if not most, did not really care because they will walk away with a crap amount of money in a short period of time anyways.

Banks and Investment Firms

The only reason CDOs of the subprime mortgages ever existed is the banks insatiable hunger for greater profit. They lend the money out for a set rate of return as mortgage interests paid by the borrowers. That make them money already but that is not enough, apparently. Expanding in the subprime sector already increase risk exposure… but they further complicates the problem when they turned around and created CDOs for trading for even MORE profits, long-term or not. More profits mean bigger bonus and paychecks. One thing leads to another. Subprime mortgages and CDOs lead to other fancy financial products and ways to make money. Some collected fees up-front for processing… Some provided the insurance for them… And who knows what else. I don’t know all the details, but all these things together exacerbated the situation further.

Investors

Above I talked about banks and investment firms wanting more money for themselves (I-bankers, hedge fund managers, loan agents…), they also have major incentive to boost the rate of return in order to attract investors… actually, more like, just their money. They probably do not care if the client is a zombie if he has millions. Anyays… what the firms did was simply feeding the market what the investors demand. With demand there is supply. Simple as that. So, investors helped to feed into this circle of greed through their desire and demand for more and quicker gain of money.

Common People

The commond people here mean people who bought the houses. Specifically, these are people who bought houses they cannot afford. They buy into the fancy ways of financing through ARMs, interest-only, and what not. There would not be such a big subprime market (problem) if the people see the reality and stay grounded and buy a house only if they can afford to.

Everything is connected

I described above how everyone played a role to lead to the current dilemma. Together, all of us have indulged in irresponsible behaviors for too long to try to satisfy the desire for wealth and materials that can never be fulfilled, and that is why, before things get better, we will all feel the pain. The crisis is the manifestation of our greed.

Such sizeable greed demonstrates people’s lack of awareness. People joined the parade to get what they want, and only what they want. They are each in it for themselves. This crisis, as serious as it is, only came about because nobody cares much about each other, or the big picture. I think that is the most fundamental problem these days. People just don’t care that much about each other, truthfully. Heck, some do not even care about themselves. That is the source of many problems we are facing today. They are not aware. They do not see how everything is connected.

Solution?

I am not here to offer a solution. I do not have one, nor do I think there is one big fix-all solution. I simply offer my observation. I think there will be a lot of pain to be felt, and everyone has to feel it because this is a crisis caused by everyone and again. The only solution I perceive is for each of us take full responsibility for the self. I think if we do that, things will come together and we will naturally have more harmoney in the country all around. Being responsible, not blaming, continuing to learn, and always growing are the best things each of us can do.

About the bail out

I don’t know if the bailout bill should be passed. I don’t know what future it means for taxpayers whether it is passed. Either way, we will be going through a period of pain, correction, and learning for everyone.

However, I am in awe by how quickly people reject it because the conclusion is that “taxpayers will have to pay for it”. The truth is, by not passing the bill, we are still going to pay for it. Our 401k and portfolio could be down the drain for a long long time. In fact, after yesterday, some people who out-right rejected the bail out bill may be having second thoughts after checking their 401k and portfolio. To continue to describe the ripple effect…

Banks will lay off people left and right because they do not have the cash for payroll. Companes big and small will not be able to borrow money to sustain their business, which further increases job loss. Employees who got laid off will not be able to pay their bills and mortgages, and thus more foreclosures. Without jobs and money, we cannot buy things and the business will suffer further loss. Without credits, we cannot buy things, probably for the better, but it also means students cannot get loans to pay for school and familes cannot get mortgages to afford a home even though they can afford the payment.

You see, everything is connected. Wall Street and Main Street… I do not think it is one against the other. Hence, we need to accept the situation and make the best possible move together. Sadly, I am uncertain if the people, the officials, and hence, the government is capable for a suave maneuver out of this. There is too much blaming going on. A bumpy ride is inevitable. It is a matter of HOW bumpy.

For now, even though this last bail out bill was rejected. My prediction is that one way or another, sooner or later, the Congress will pass a revised or some other version of a bail out plan. It may take a few more 800-pt drops to push it through the Congress though.

Now is certainly an interesting time to be alive to witness what is going on.

Originally posted 2008-09-30 23:31:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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