December 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?
I’m a day late on this prompt, but maybe that’s a good thing, because this morning in the WSJ I saw a short article on the Chinese dissident-artist Ai Weiwei. A couple of his quotes there are:
“During my detention, they kept asking me: Ai Weiwei, what is the reason you have become like this today? My answer is: First, I refuse to forget. My parents, my family, their whole generation and my generation all paid a great deal in the struggle for freedom of speech. Many people died just because of one sentence or even one word. Somebody has to take responsibility for that.”—Der Spiegel, Nov. 21, 2011
“Choices after waking up: To be true or to lie? To take action or be brainwashed? To be free or be jailed?”—Twitter, Sept. 4, 2009
I have it easy and don’t have to fight against something like the powerful Chinese Communist government. I don’t need to feel guilty about that, because I had no control over where I was born, but reading this article did sting. I compared it to my usual first thoughts in the morning: What’s in my email inbox? What is there for breakfast?
December 28, 2012 § 1 Comment
Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?
It would be a statue of a cocoon.
The last couple of years were the scariest of my life, fortunately not for health reasons. But in every other way, yes.
I had to get out of a situation that was untenable and go live in a place that turned out to be a cocoon (the apartment of my dreams). I realized that while I was there and knew I couldn’t stay indefinitely–wherever I went next. So I found the strength to leave the comfort when it was time.
Things are very good now, and it was only in the last few weeks that I realized spending time in that cocoon was not an act of cowardice. That’s where caterpillars have to go to turn into butterflies.
That sounds a little too “precious,” but it occurred to me that that’s what happened: I changed into something better while I was inside it, and now I look at the whole experience differently.
December 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I saw this on the Kahaha Wahine blog: http://kahahawahine.wordpress.com/ and decided to try it.
The challenge for the first day is: what are five ways to win my heart?
These are the first five that came to mind–the most important to me.
- Be considerate of others
- Have empathy
- Have a sense of humor and be willing to act silly sometimes
- Be passionate about something
- Be motivated to learn and develop new skills
December 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Question: What was my best or worst job interview?
As they say, now I can laugh about this. About a year ago I had an interview with this big company that I really thought I could do well at. Learn new things, move up, and all that. It was in a part of town that I knew, and where I knew the roads did confusing things like change names and turn into pretzels.
I left early to allow myself time to deal with that, and still got on the wrong road. Highway, actually. The kind you can’t just turn around on because there are no traffic lights and few exits.
As soon as I realized what I’d done I started yelling NO! NO! and it was a nightmare come to life. I still made it to the place on time–barely–but was a little rattled and didn’t take the time to compose my thoughts before going in. It didn’t go well, and I didn’t get the job.
The only good thing about this was that it showed me the worst case (driving) scenario could actually happen and life would still go on.
Things that could happen are scarier than things that do.
(got this from the Swift Expression blog. My thanks to Tilda Swift for ideas that make it easier to get started. http://tfaswift.com/2012/12/25/just-do-it-part-1/)
December 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
What will I be thinking on my deathbed?
This one doesn’t sound like the “fun” I planned for this blog, but this was a daily prompt and worth thinking about.
First of all, I hope I get a deathbed. If I die in an accident or disaster I won’t have time to think, for better or worse.
I also hope I’m asleep when I die.
Maybe I’ll change my mind about both of these things. It will depend on the circumstances (am I alone, in pain, surrounded by loved ones, etc).
As the cliche goes, I won’t be thinking about work with a small w. Or if I am it won’t be very charitable. I’d like to be thinking about my Work–what I did with my skills and time on earth that was meaningful to me and hopefully others. What was my purpose and did I fulfill it?
But before that I’ll be thinking about people. Maybe no time for anything else at that point. We are social creatures, and we are who we are in context so my experiences with the people in my life will be on my mind. Were we good to each other? Forgiving? Did I pass on to others what I learned while I was here?
How about the choices I made?
I’ll also be thinking about what comes next. Not sure what my beliefs will be then, since they’ve changed before. Unless I’m afraid of dying, I might think “rest, at last.” I don’t want it to come soon, though.
December 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If you could wake up tomorrow and find that one thing had changed about the world, what would you have that one thing be?
It would be for women everywhere to have power, for gender relations to be balanced. If this happened, so many other things would also change for the better:
- less female infanticide and abortions. Girls would be allowed to be born and live and contribute
- that would mean better economic development, with women allowed to leave the house and work, go to school without being poisoned or attacked with acid or forced to work while their brothers get an education
- this would lead to smaller families, with women able to say no to sex or use contraception. This would also help development and the health of the women and children
- less rape, especially in war zones
- less war, possibly. Not because women are better or inherently more peaceful. But they have less testosterone and are less aggressive