For What Do I Run?

San Juan PR, running trail, Jan 2023

 

It’s no secret that I run for my health. That’s my answer, plain and simple. To that end, having fun along the way definitely adds to it.  And, I would add exploration as part of that fun to spice up my run.

Recently I explored such a trail in San Juan, Peurto Rico. It is called Parque Lineal Río Bayamón. I ran from Metro San Juan where I stayed north until it touches the ocean – The Atlantic Ocean. See the picture I took above. For a round trip of 10 miles. 

Not only the trail has controlled (but free) access through staffed entrances, it was nicely maintained with rest stops along the route. One can stop to use the facilities, buy water or coffee, enjoy the view. Saw many family activities as well.

Another nice feature of this trail is that it has separate lanes for bicyclists and pedestrians to avoid accident or collision. If you plan to give the trail a try just note the last two miles before the ocean are without facilities services.

Got any fav run you like to share?

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Week In Review – 22 Jan 023

Besides being the Lunar New Year, today is also the climax of the San Sebastian Street Festival, the largest party in Puerto Rico (SanSe 2023). So if you’re in a festive mood, here are two reasons to celebrate.

On top of that, the past Monday was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. A national holiday that always reminds me to gauge how much social  progress we’ve made and how well are the people being served in terms of good governance.

Spoiler alert, not so well. We ranked 24th out of 168 countries on the Social Progress Index, last among the industrialized nations. If this bursted the bubble for you, it says we have work to do and still far from MLK’s vision.

On a personal front, I have started my travel for the new year. Once again, I am yearning to stretch my comfort zone and search for that sense of adventure.

Stay safe & have a nice week

 

 

 

 

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On Good Governance

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When visiting Washington DC, three buildings stand out symbolizing the US Government: the Congress, White House, and Supreme Court. They represent the physical embodiment of the Legislative, Executive, and the Judicial Branches.

To a large degree, Washington DC is about the business of government. Not a day goes by without news on the trifecta filling the air. Regardless your opinion on how well the government functions, we shall be grateful for the US Constitution – the overarching principle governing not only the federal, but also state and local governments.

If the Congress, White House and Supreme Court are the bodies, the Constitution is the soul. Not only for the government but for the collective us all. The last part is important.

Because when our government is underperforming, our people are not happy, or anything else for that matter, we have the right, being a republic, to petition the government “peaceably” in redressing our grievances.

Just thought it’s worth repeating.

How well do you think the government is serving us?

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Night Critters

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In and around my neighborhood, noise is not an issue. No ambulances, fire engines, night owls. A quiet neighborhood during the day and even more so at night. Occasionally, a fox in heat may shrill for a while, but that is rare. I suppose I live in a peaceful section of the town. Even so, I get insomniac at times.

The scenario changes when I travel elsewhere. All kinds of sound like a kaleidoscope filled the night. In the city, the most common noise besides the traffics is the sound of sirens from emergency vehicles, piercing through the darkness. On the countryside, there are critters I can’t see nor name making symphonic sounds throughout the night.

The funny thing is this: I sleep better and more soundly while traveling than I do at home. Sure, I may be more tired on the road, have fewer distractions to keep me awake, or have less choice/ space to seek out alternatives. Whatever the reason may be, the night critters and I seem to get along just fine.

What kinds of night critters have you experienced?

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Sense Of Adventure On Travel

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Every travel to foreign destinations is an adventure. Without the comfort of local knowledge, our normal safety net is left dangling. Something possibly go wrong contributes to that sense of adventure. It is part of the deal. Otherwise, might as well stay home.

What possibly could go wrong? Let’s see: flight delay, missing luggage, and getting lost are three common scenarios. It’s the  unknown that challenges our comfort zone and ability to deal with obstacles. Hopefully in a measured fashion. So we  maintain our sense of adventure and not get stressed out.

My own travel experience suggests that plan all you can, but when the unexpected happens, be vulnerable. Invariably, challenges will be met, problems will get solved, and missing items will reunited (or not). Often with the good grace and generosity from complete strangers.

That last part in my view is the secret of travel – whenever happens, it warms my heart, restores my faith in people, and enables me to further my sense of adventure the next time.

What is your preferred sense of adventure about travel?

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Best Country On Earth?

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Who does not want to live in the best country on earth? But what is the best? How does one define it? 

Sure, gross domestic product (GDP) and unemployment rate have traditionally measured how well a country is doing economically. But when it comes to how well the citizens are being served, these two indexes are not it.

In fact, the top two world economies (US and China) are ranked No. 24 and 100 (respectively) among the 168 countries in the 2021 social progress index. The US ranked the lowest among its comparable industrialized nations while China is ranked behind Ghana.

Surprised by the ranking? Let’s check our our pride and leave the nationalism. The US maybe the strongest in economy and military, but look at how we are handling the Covid pandemic after three years and over one million plus casualties.

In comparison, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, the top 3 countries, have 4,571, 8,431; and 7,982 casualties respectively. Not that I will move to the Scandinavia. No offense. Merely offering a gut check on how our government is performing and what we should prioritize.  

How would you measure good governance?

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A Drum Major For Justice

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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., below are his own words about his legacy, shared prophetically two months before his assassination on April 4, 1968. Source: Wikipedia.

On February 4, 1968, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, in speaking about how he wished to be remembered after his death, King stated:

I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.

I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.

Words of an American iconic leader. Enjoy.

How would you like to be remembered?

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On MLK Day 2023

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In our seemingly divisive and fragmented society, Martin Luther King, Jr., the celebrated  civil rights leader and activist, stood out as a role model and beacon of hope for America’s future. Why?

Not because his gift of oration, nor his life dedicated to civil rights, or the landmark changes resulted from his efforts (Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights of 1965, and Fair Housing Act of 1968), but the power of his faith, action, and impact that have shaped so many lives since.

King’s faith on what’ve been embedded in our Constitution reminds us that much work still remain. Equal justice for all sounds great but rings hollow for the underprivileged and neglected. His action through peaceful/ nonviolence resistance preserves the sanctity of the ideals set forth by our Founders.

And most profoundly, MLK’s impact will be eternal presumedly carried through his words, deeds, and role modeling.  Much are still to be achieved. Our daily news is a living proof of such. And after some five decades, you can still hear MLK the drum major cheering us on from the beyond. 

How is your MLK Day?

 

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Week In Review – 15 Jan 2023

California, the Golden State, is experiencing the results of climate changes: first extreme droughts and now extreme floods. It’s governor has declared a state of emergency to deal with the effect of the damages. As tragic as these events were, a separate incident, on the opposite side the country, involved a 6 year old taking a gun to school and shot his teacher.

Needless to say, 2023 is having a rough start for some, and it’s only the second week. But regardless, life goes on. No sense to wallow in self-pity or blaming others. We can always choose to moving on with our lives and seeking more productive way forward.

The same maybe true for the US House of Representatives with the Republican in the majority. How will they govern? The country is facing many challenges: three years of Covid pandemic, layoffs triggered by inflation, and Russian’s relentless assaults on Ukraine. The last thing we need is a gridlocked Congress.

Stay safe & have a nice week

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Changing Nature Of Work

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Eight years into my retirement, three of which were under the Covid, I watch with amazement how the nature of work has changedw.  

In my time and  parlance, work is, a four letter word (nothing derogatory), to get the job done. That is part of being a professional. Get the job done and being paid for the work. Pretty straightforward. 

Then came the Covid pandemic. Two common terms separating the workforce are working from home and in-person work. According to the Time magazine 30% paid work were done from home (WFH) at the end of 2022, and that trend will continue through this year.

Some other terms of interest developed from this period are great resignation, quiet quitting, quiet hiring, and layoff. The last term certainly is nothing new. But the speed and amount of layoffs are extraordinary particularly in the tech and banking industries.

Why the layoffs? Social contagion or copycatting says Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor at Stanford. And the layoffs come with one important caviar that they kill people. Because “the stress layoffs create takes a devastating toll on behavioral and physical health and increases mortality and morbidity substantially.”

Work has always entailed stress: meeting deadline, budget, conflict resolution, politics. But when the overall environment is frivolous and void of compassion, one may have to take the nature of work differently.

Have you noticed any changes in your work?

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