Friday, 16 December 2011

TIme is of the essence

The time and space paradigm is such a funny thing. 

For some relationships, time and space have (almost) zero effect. There are some people in your life where it doesn’t matter how much time has passed between the two of you, that when you do see each other, it’s like no time has passed at all. That’s not to say that your relationship is stagnate; space allowed you both to grow as individuals, and it may not have necessarily been in the same direction but for some reason - even though you two weren’t exactly the same as the day you first met- things have stayed the same. Time has treated it like fine wine- the older it gets, the better it gets; even if you don’t drink from that bottle every day.

There are some relationships, however, where time does serious damage. They may call on feeling neglected if you haven’t seen them in several weeks; claiming no effort was made on your part despite talking to them on a daily basis. So (physical) absence has not made the heart grow fonder in this case. In fact the more time invested has lead to more arguments. Why is that? Surely spending more time engaging with these kinds of relationships are meant to help you ‘get to know’ a person better? Time has treated it like a bottle of Pepsi – if you don’t keep a tight lid on it, air gets in and after a couple of hours, it goes flat. But if you tightened the lid properly every time you drank from it, it would still have that fizz. It’s extra tricky because you like to drink it more frequently since it is a fun drink.  But if you were to consume it on a daily basis, it would be bad for you and could affect your health and overall well being.

Why can’t all relationships be like a big bottle of water? (I’m getting the feeling that I’m just really, really dehydrated as I’m writing this; I have no idea why I’m using drinks as my examples. But they seem to be fitting, so I’ll go with it.) Cool, refreshing, and while no, you wouldn’t solely like to drink it every day due to lack of variety in flavoring, if you did consume it on a daily basis it would not do any damage to you or your health. Time has no effect on it- you can leave it in the bottle for months/years or leave the lid loose but it would still taste the same. There are different brands of water available but if you really look at it- it’s still the exact same product. When you go without water for a long time, you tend to appreciate it more when you get to drink it, and you guzzle it down.

Perhaps these are all best consumed in rotation and moderation so that you get the right balance in life. The key here is to remember the different effects these people have on you so that you can handle yourself properly if you are ever faced with excess exposure; this way you get the best results even in the worst situations. 

Drinks anyone? 


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Leopards don't change their spots...or do they?

 It's a funny thing. For businesses, change and innovation go hand in hand. Changing things up leads to new ways of dealing with problems and innovation ensues. Everyone wins. For society, not so much.

When someone we know has hurt us/ done wrong in the past, we do one of two things: 1) forgive and forget or 2) ditch them and move on. Then we piece our lives back together (making modifications where necessary to deal the misdemeanor) and life goes on.

Then BAM. Out of nowhere, they return and we're faced with the dilemma: have they changed? or will history just repeat itself? then we're reminded of the old adage "leopards don't change their spots" and we're reluctant to readmit them back into our lives. But then we want to be the bigger person and to not hold grudges and so we consider letting them back in. SO.. what to do? 

Are those who believe the old phrase just more cynical? or just realistic? 

Are those who are willing to give the wrongdoer the benefit of the doubt and (give them a chance to show that they have indeed changed their ways)- are they just more hopeful? or just want to believe the best? foolish even?

Maybe it depends on how you look at it. 

People will always make mistakes. Some mistakes will be bigger than others. Its all part of being human.  But all mistakes - big or small - are lessons which help us grow. If you learn from them, that is. And when you learn from them, it is only natural that you want to make things right (and to be forgiven) with the unfortunate person who had to get hurt in order for you to learn. 

For example, if you were cooking and burnt your friend's kitchen down. They got mad, you had a fight...yada yada yada... then you went away, learned how to cook properly and you went to make things right with your friend. They forgive you (or so it seems) and you tell them that you want to cook in their kitchen again and they turn around and say no- since you burnt it down the last time- despite you telling them that you had changed: you had learned your lesson and now you know what to do and what not to do. 

As the cynic- you can understand their position on this. They may have forgiven for the previous time but they also learned a lesson: to never let you near their kitchen again. Which is understandable. It would appear foolish on their part to let you go back there again.  

But as the wrongdoer- it's a bit cutting that they had such little faith in you. They didn't believe that you were capable of changing. It's a bit disheartening, and makes you wonder what was the point of learning how to cook if the only person you aimed to show that you had changed, didn't believe that you had changed at all? They didn't even give you the chance. And what's worse is that they keep reminding you of the mistake that you made.

(This is starting to make the cynic appear really really mean-totally not my intention; just giving the other side of the coin)

Is forgiveness really forgiveness when it's only limited? Forgiving someone-but only to a certain extent? 

Is it this attitude in the cynics that has spurred the attitude within the wrongdoers of "why should I try and change? You don't think I can since you keep reminding me of my error" and thus reinforced the idea of "leopards don't change their spots?" A self-fulfilling prophecy?

Do we say "But they've changed!"  only about the people who we really want to see the changes in? The ones we really want to believe the best in? and that "they'll never change" about those who we are adamant that they never will? 

Change isn't something to be feared or shied away from nor should it be doubted when present. When a business changes things around- they hope for the better. They put all their energies into making it work. Believing the best outcomes will come about from the changes. The positive belief that change has made new, innovative ideas possible for them and helped the company grow. If society implemented this kind of positive thinking towards change more often, growth would occur organically and perhaps reduce cynicism.

Leopards don't change their spots... or do they?


Monday, 15 August 2011

We all have one thing in common- that we are all different.

I just read a book by Jodi Piccoult called "House Rules". It's a tale about a young teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome who finds himself on trial after being accused for the murder of his social skills tutor. One word: Amazing. It raises the issue of what it is like to be different in contemporary society; not just for the one who is 'different' but for the family members of that person too.

Different. Odd. Quirky.

Why are these words considered to be bad?

When someone acts in a way that is not considered 'normal' by society, we automatically judge them; we cannot help it.

Is it the archaic societal views that are so heavily embedded into us that it has become our natural default thinking?

We don't mean to, and we have made exceptions for some differences. Ebony and Ivory can now live together in harmony, after many years of oppressive separation. There are some people with quirks- I know someone who gets random chills regardless of the room temperature- and no one bats an eyelid. But its odd isn't it? So why does nobody take notice of these eccentricities yet someone with Autism or Bipolar is feared?

why do we fear what is 'different'?  why do we fear change?

Last Saturday, I was shopping in the city with a friend when we came across a rally- people advocating for the legalization of gay marriage. This prompted a discussion between my friend and I. I admired their determination and pondered why the government was so resistant to grant them this right. My friend said that maybe it was because being in a same-sex marriage was still perceived to be 'unnatural' by some of the world to which I quickly retorted that I was fairly sure that it feels quite natural to them.

I questioned that why could we make exceptions to accept some as they are, but not others? She said that people fear change because they don't know what the outcomes will be.

That is true to some extent- we can not predict with absolute certainty what will be the outcome of all decisions and changes made; but we can start by being more open minded and accepting. This can be done through being more informed about the issues we fear.

Psychology theories have shown that prejudice and fear can be reduced when knowledge is gained. Knowing provides a deeper understanding; which in turn leads to more informed decisions and opinions people form about issues which initially made them feel uneasy and subsequently reducing their fears of what is 'different'.

This is not limited to those with mental illness; this includes homosexuals, asylum seekers; all those who are isolated from nuerotypical (read: 'normal') society because they are 'different' to what societal norms dictate.

As a multicultural nation, our strength should be in diversity- All kinds not just the selective traits that we want to tolerate. 

Difference is nothing to be feared. It is easy to put someone into a category.. but just one final thought:

How would you feel if you were the one who was 'different'?


Sunday, 7 August 2011

the importance of being (insert name here)..

Juliet Capulet once pondered: "what is in a name? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet." Although I do get that she was really just looking for loopholes for her star- crossed lover, I think she was overlooking a few things.

Does it change the substance of the product or being? Does it add something of value? Or does it do just the opposite?  

 Juliet reasons that if Romeo wasn't called Romeo and wasn't a Montague, he would still be the same guy. So the name really doesn't mean much and it's okay to love him. While that is true, she misses the fact that if Romeo wasn't called Romeo Montague but, say George Invisible, they could've lived happily every after. After all, he's still the same guy, right? Just less tragic. 

So what is in a name?

A name helps us recognize a person or product's reputation.  It creates awareness of their existence and acts as a  promise between the named and namers; that when you hear that name- you know what to expect. Names need to be carefully selected, cultivated and properly maintained because whilst they can be the strongest asset one can have; a wrongly given label can be just as damaging. Whether we admit to it or not, names - good and bad - affect how we see and what we think of commodities/people/businesses. 

I live in a city where everyone almost knows everyone. You could go to a party thinking that you only know that host and when you get there, you discover someone who knows someone that you know.  Creating a name for yourself here would not be terribly difficult as news travels fast. However, if you were ever unfortunate enough to be labelled with a bad name, the news would still travel just as quickly. Actually, that's not true. It would travel faster. Bad news seems always seems to travel faster than good news. Why is that so?  A good brand name is just like trust: it takes years to build but only seconds for it to be destroyed.  On the same token, a bad name is hard to bounce from and turn it around to be good. 

So what is in a name?

Is a name what you make of it? Do you take a word and then make something great for it? Or dos  you find a word which you feel embodies the greatness you wish to achieve?


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Short Gorgeous Bubbles...

Hi. I'm Marie. I'm 21. I'm random.

Oh my god. That was a nightmare to write. Those three sentences took me an hour to write. How sad. I was told that my first entry should be just an entry about me and what my blog will be about. Okay, so about me. And that's where I got stuck. Usually, I'm a chatterbox (which is ironic considering I didn't start talking until I was 4 years old and now I can't find the mute button) but this simple task made me go totally  blank.  So I enlisted in the help of my friends. I sent a text message to a handful of friends asking "If you could describe me in 1 word, what would it be?" One friend said "bubbly", another said "smiley", a few said "unique and random". One particularly nice friend made my day and said "gorgeous" and one was brutally honest and said "short" (For the record, I am 153cm, which isn't that bad. Right?)

After getting such positive feedback, I wondered why was it so hard to admit that I had amiable qualities? It's quite easy when describing someone else; but why is it when it comes to describing one's self it's too hard? Is it from fear of sounding vain? Or was it due to lack of confidence?

I found that my writer's block stemmed from fear that my own perception of self might not be congruent with how others perceived me. So, instead of denying it, I decided to embrace it  and viola! Writer's block =  gone!

So here are some things you should know about me:
~ I like Turkish Delights.
~ I think yellow is a happy color. Anything that's yellow, is happy.
~ I love lilies. Soft pink ones are the nicest.
~One of my favorite colors is blue.  
~ I like to read. 
~ My mother is Filipino and my father is Italian and I speak both languages.
~ I hate mushrooms.

So that's me.

so until some new random thing happens,

- Marie

OH and if you were wondering where the title of my blog originates from- It was a childhood nickname given to me by my mother and my father's family. Since this blog will be about me and random things I think or experience, I figured a random yet endearing nickname seemed only fitting. :-)