The Natural Order

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Ever wonder about how you fit in the big scheme of things?  Like the coronavirus pandemic that is plaguing us, what can we do about it?  Or more specifically what can you,  me, or anyone do? What’s your role in all these?

A daunting task just thinking about it.  I called it, “figuring out our place in the natural order.”  Basically, everything has its place.  They do not happen by chance.  It’s the natural order.  And it is up to us to figure out where do we fit in.

On the approach to his 78th birthday, Parker Palmer offers up his six life’s learning which are insightful to the task I seek.  And his six lessons (- and my two cents) are as follows:

  1. Withering into the truth through self discovery – no magic formula nor shortcuts
  2. Poetry as a form of personal therapy – leveraging others’ wisdom & observations
  3. Saying “enough” to things that’s not serving – focus through life experiences
  4. Caring for and learning from the younger generations – continuity of life
  5. “What do I want to give myself to?” – re-purposing with abundance mindset
  6. Making the life worth dying for – executing to the natural order

Source: Withering Into the Truth | On Being

Have you found your place in the natural order?

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Re-open Schools?

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Should the schools be re-open? The answer is unequivocally yes. But the real question is not whether the schools be re-opened but when?

The same applies to businesses, communities, and other areas of public interests. Given no vaccine or therapeutic available in the foreseeable future, how can public places be open safely?  The decision at hand is really a risk management process during the outbreak.

And the White House in conjunction with the CDC has published the guidelines on what criteria are considered safe for individuals, employers, and vulnerable population during each of the phases. Prudent to follow these guidelines and not rush into re-opening.

Unfortunately, Mr. Trump does not follow prudent advice. He wants the schools re-opened in the fall (he believes it will help his standing in the November presidential election). Similar mistake were made on the states’ reopening. Many of which are now halting that decision due to resurgence of the infected cases.

Arne Duncan, the former secretary of education under President Barack Obama, characterized it best about Mr. Trump’s style: “threatening people, bullying them, lying doesn’t stop the virus from spreading.”  If only Mr. Trump would listen.

Do you think your state and local governments are ready to reopen the schools?

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Reblog: “Hope is a choice” 

Every time I read the news, I couldn’t help but get a little depressed.

As Krista Tippett, host of the NPR’s On-Being, pointed out that “Journalism, the way it came down to us from the 20th century, is absolutely focused, utterly and completely, on what is catastrophic, corrupt, and failing.”

But, journalistic reporting is never the full story. Human story is intricate, complex and varies depending on perspective. To find healing, it is up to us to exercise our hope muscle and make it a conscious choice. An essential part in our struggle for happiness.

Source: Hope is a choice ‹ Mindfulbalance —

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“I Am Happy For You”

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I am happy for you is a phrase conveyed to someone who is a recipient of something good. Five simple words, if only they are genuine. Otherwise, the sentence really means I pretend to be happy for you.

Why the distinction? At times, the all too familiar question of how come it didn’t happen to me fills our heads.  Or may be our social conditioning has us being polite and not revealing our true feelings. 

Best be true to our words.  For anything else, our authenticity diminishes.

What would you say when you are not happy for the person?

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America Is Sick

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This past weekend was one of the more subdued Fourth of July holidays I can remember.  A few firecrackers here and there marked the occasion. Most folks I know opted to stay in than venturing out to face the wrath of the coronavirus.  All good.

Except, social distancing does not feel like it’s achieving the purpose of “flatten the curve.” Cases of infection continue to rise. News of irresponsible acts make the self sacrifice seems futile. Sooner or later, melancholy will begin to set in.

What worse is the temperature has been hitting above ninety degree Fahrenheit around Washington DC. Besides the occasional afternoon thunders, the whole area has been eerily quite.  An ominous sign that America is sick and will be for a while.

According to Thomas Paine, “these are the time that try men’s soul.”  Given up is not an option for the alternative is worse.

What are you doing to keep a healthy mind and body?

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Week In Review – 5 Jul 2020

Is the Coronavirus (or rather our response to it) stressing you out? Well, you’re not alone.  65% American believe the COVID-19 pandemic is getting worse, not better.  And this is after Mr. Trump declared it a national emergency almost four months ago.

The country is going through a lot during this outbreak: record unemployment, rising tension in race relation, restricted personal liberty, and banned from traveling to Europe.  All meanwhile under the helm of a rogue president – Mr. Donald Trump.

So is there really anything to celebrate on this Fourth of July?  Shelley Sackier’s story underlies the wisdom of seeing simplicity on the far side of complexity.  Despite how difficult it feels, we just have to get through the chaos to appreciate the blessing.

Stay safe & have a nice week!

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My Fourth Of July Run

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Forgot my sandals this morning.  By the time I turned around to go home and retrieved them, the temperature was already hitting 80 degree Fahrenheit.  “It is going to be a hot one,” I said to myself.  Better grab a bottle of water for the 10 mile run.

My running partner was going shirtless. Good on him.  Somehow he always manages to keep his body in decent shape.  In comparison, it made me slightly conscious about the love handle around my waist.  Better keep my tank top where it belonged – on my torso.

The trail was well attended. Understandably, folks are getting cabin fever.  They want to get out and get some fresh air. Plus, what better way to finding our roots than getting in touch with nature?  Better keep my eyes peeled for etiquette and social distancing.

Toward the last mile, my partner sped up, and I slowed down.  My bottled water tasted warm but encouraging: time to finish my run with a couple of strides.  It is Fourth of July.  Happy Birthday, America!

How did you celebrate the Independence Day?

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Happy Fourth of July?

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Not according to the Yahoo News/YouGov poll today.

A pessimistic mood prevails across the country (62%) as we heading into the holiday. Opinions are trending worse:  65% says the COVID-19 is getting worse. 64% on race relation, 61% on economy, and 60% on American’s standing in the world.

A gloomy picture, to say the least, as we celebrate the country’s birthday.  But there is a silver lining out of the survey: while most respondents are unsure about what will happen in the future, they still hold trust in the politicians to do what’s right.

This social trust in democracy, along with a fundamental optimism on the American spirit, is what I cherish on this Fourth of July.  Because that is what we need to return America to “the shining city on a hill.”

How do you feel about America’s future?

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Hoarding USA

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Hoarding during emergency albeit legal (except for resale) is selfish, shameful and wrong.  Public outrages toward those hoarding toilet papers and hand sanitizers during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is a case in point.

What about the US government’s hoarding of Remdisivir, the only drug approved so far to treat the COVID-19?  Alex Azar, US Secretary of Health and Human Services justified it as “to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it.”

Sounds wonderful, right?  What does that say about people elsewhere who are in need of the treatment? Granted the number of infected cases is still going up in the US, but so is the irresponsible parties. Are we becoming the ugly American once again?

Just because we can does not mean we should.

Do you agree with the HHS Secretary?

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Enough Time?

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What would you do if you have all the time in the world?  An hypothetical question that feels more real now-a-day while staying at home in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For me, here are some possibilities:

(1) Get enough sleep.  Sounds trivial.  But given how irregular my sleep patterns are, being able to sleep through the night soundly is a luxury. Plus, everything is better with a good night of sleep.

(2) Take time reading.  Whether online or old fashion paper, taking my time in absorbing information is out of practice for me.  Too much fire hose treatment in the past  has conditioned me to speed reading, skimming, or cramming.  An old habit of mine that is hard to break.

(3) Learn a skill or a language.  Something useful but new. Something that I can apply in earnest and feel accomplished in return.

(4) Write more. Not necessary more in quantity but quality. Writing allows me to express myself in a way that reflect my thinking and to connect with other like-minded folks.

(5) Practice more yoga and meditation. This one is checked off.  I have been practicing yoga and meditation daily during the outbreak.  And I am happy to say the effort is well worth it.

What would you do if you had enough time?

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