How Is Your Lens?

Can you see clearly? By lens, I don’t mean spectacles.  Allow me to explain.

First, let’s try this quiz: “We are a nation of immigrants” – is that good? is that bad? or neither?  The answer depends on your “lens”.  Xenophobia is just another name for racism.  No judgement.  Just an illustration of the point, “how you see shapes what you see.

Moreover, our lens enables and disables us to see at the same time (like fish don’t see the water they are in).  That is until one realizes the lens is the problem – a filter of the reality.  Racism in America is old news.  Why has it been perpetuating? Is it because the lens we are using?

“But we need our lens to see” as some would object.  Yes, that is true.  In fact, the process starts from birth and continues through death.  But  if we want to see the whole picture, we need to understand that our perception is lens dependent and change it as necessary.

So, how is your lens?

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Family Time

Family members look out for one another.

Regardless if they are physically apart or together.

Quality time and laughter they shared.

Last a lifetime as long as they cared.

So, treasure those family time that matter.

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What is Fear?

Negative emotions can be described as any feeling which causes us to be miserable and sad.  They are inevitable part of human experiences. But our popular culture tends to view negative emotions as weaknesses and shy away from addressing them.

I on the other hand believe the negative emotions should be examined for the purpose of seeking to understand and possibly embracing them as positive values.  So here is one of them.

What is fear?

Seems what drives fear is PAIN, physical, psychological, or both.  In the “reality of fear” below, it is natural to supplement every situation with the claim at the end, “that is going to hurt!”

But if we actually go through it and realize that such is not the case or at least not as bad bad as we thought, the fear will vanish.  Don’t you remember this is how we learnt to overcome the fear of needle in the doctor’s office or the fear of falling from riding a bicycle.

In other words, face the fear.

Image result for reality of fear


What is your worst fear?

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The Suffering Continues

Last night, 22 people lost their lives while attending a concert in Manchester, England. A terrorist suicide bomber detonated an Improvised Explosive Device as concert goers were leaving the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of the concert. More than 50 people were injured including children.

Trying to make sense out of the terrorist act is difficult.  Official in Greater Manchester is still investigating whether this was an act by a lone wolf or organized attack as claimed by the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Regardless, the impact is the same – lost of lives and limbs including children.

But the harm inflicted by taking someone’s life away, innocent people no less, is ultimate. And the casualties are irreparable.  Motivations aside, if fear is the goal of the perpetrator(s), they shall never win as explained by this father to his son after the Paris bombing.

Echoing what I wrote, ” the world we live in is not perfect . . . the pain and suffering wake us up to our senses. ”  We will fight back by being in solidarity and not afraid.

I stand with the people of Great Britain.  What about you?

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Keeping Eyes On The Prize

Say you have figured out what is important, your big rock or whatever the metaphor may be.  Keeping focus on it is however not always easy.  Because what’s important often takes a tumble to the trivial of daily life.  Why?

It’s easy to get distracted.  Can happen to anyone: emerging crises, fire drills, urgent phone calls, bills or simply fatigue.  Like the musical Les Miserables “I dreamed a dream” has it, life can be quite cruel and unpredictable.

Of course, when you take your eyes off, there goes the dream. So what can we do to increase our odds of success?

Here are my suggestions: One, make sure your prize is indeed yours.  Only we can decide what is important to us.  Not someone else.  Not your parents, bosses, or whomever. This way you can make the reason personal, tangible, and imperative.

Two, make a habit to check in with self to verify that what we deemed important is still our priority.  Yes, things can change, so are life situations. Good to re calibrate and be flexible while keeping eyes on the prize.

Three, make your prize a daily reminder.  Use it to bring self back on track if needed. Like a guidepost to help us get to where we need to be.  It will be the assuring compass when going gets rough.

There is no prize if we don’t try.  What else can help? 

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Week In Review – 21 May 2017

Not sure if fiasco is the right descriptor for Washington.  But ever since the election in last November, I have been fatigued by the negative fallouts.  It is not in keeping with my direction in life.  So I have decided it’s time for me to take a political detox.

Even though politics is the main event here, there are still plenty of worthwhile topics I like to indulge myself with. Environmental issues for one is such an example.  And for sure this is just my goodbye to the business of politics temporarily.

Like in any pursuit of interests, how much investment, pace, and return are delicate balances.  And no consideration is complete without context.  Nothing operates in the vacuum.

Have a great week.

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The Challenge of Seeking to Understand?

Here is the scenario: wife asks husband, “do you know what I mean?”  And he says, “Yes honey, I understand it perfectly.”  The husband is not lying, but he isn’t telling the whole truth either.

You see, understanding someone is not an exact science.  Because it’s impossible to get into another person’s head.  No matter what, the outcome is never perfect nor complete. The best one can hope for is a close approximation of the speaker’s intent.

So, the husband is put in a precarious situation.  What could he do to improve his odds of getting dinner tonight?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t get frustrated in trying for a perfect understanding, it does not exist
  • Instead, focus on not only the words but also the speaker’s intent and feelings
  • Respond in a way to make the other person feels understood

How could the husband improve his answer so his wife would feel more understood?


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Art vs Science

Art and science are like the two bookends of the humanity scale.  One can study to get a degree in bachelor of arts or bachelor of science.  Which one is more important?

Science is straightforward.  Clear in its goals and approach, the study of science involves observable and repeatable facts. Everything is in back and white.  You can argue about the limitations in sciences, the unknowns, but the argument is evidence based. It is objective.

Art on the other hand is subjective. It is based on human creativity with standards of measure more fluid than the science.  Art flows seamlessly, covering all the nooks and crannies which captures our imaginations, hopes, emotions. It is where we find perfection.

I used to rank science over art.  The former seemed more coveted while the later more mushy, touchy-feely.   “The fact speaks for itself” had an authoritative and definitive appeal. It just sounded smart.

Now older and grayer, I realize that while the sciences have propelled our world forward, it is the arts that continue to feed our souls.  Our yearnings, inspirations, despairs, can not be adequately addressed by automation or algorithm.  But music, poetry, and other fine arts can.

After all the world is not all black and white.  So while preferring science, I bow down to art.

Which one do you favor? Art or Science?

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Heat Wave Or Global Warming?

Current Temperatures


What is interesting about this national temperature map is that Washington DC is warmer than most other parts of the country.  Yes, give me all the “hot-air” jokes now, but I couldn’t help but think maybe this has something to do with the global warming.

And the answer is yes.  According to the Natural Resources Defense  Council, the climate change (i.e. the greenhouse effect) is definitely attributing to the heat waves across the globe. For instance, the forecast high temperature in Zabol, Iran (the most polluted city in the world) is 101 degree Fahrenheit and climbing despite its similar latitude to U.S. East Coast.

Now here is the good news. We can all help to reduce our carbon footprints by conserving energy in a few simple steps as suggested in the NRDC site. And shooting the politicians is NOT necessary nor recommended.

How do you stay cool in the heat?

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What’s New & Interesting?

Even though routines can provide a degree of familiarity and comfort, the sameness after awhile becomes flat.  Boredom sets in. And motivation wanes.  At least that’s how I perceive the current state of affair in Washington.

Hence, the question what’s new & interesting?

I have been getting bored with all the drama in Washington (such is the risk of being close proximity to the nation’s capital).  Too much hypes and spins.  Reminiscent of the election campaigns last year.  Politicians are robbing people’s attention.  So much so, it is pushing me to the point of fatigue.

So I am taking a sabbatical from the political news (a self-imposed exile if you will).  The spin, the finger pointing, and the innuendos will continue, but I am getting off this merry-go-round.  Plenty of inspiring subjects I rather engage instead of letting the politics dragging me down.

What’s new & interesting with you?

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