Don’t Stay Hungry, Don’t Stay Foolish: Quitting The Rat Race #8

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

These are the last words of the last issue of the Whole Earth Catalogue published by Stewart Brand and his team. Steve Jobs used it in his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.

Stay Hungry: means don’t be too easily satisfied or grow too comfortable; do not feel content with what you have already achieved but always feel hungry to do more and more.

It’s a widespread & widely accepted myth that staying dissatisfied with the status quo is a way to make progress & improve your-self. It is assumed that only hungry, dissatisfied people can move forward in life. I disagree with this point of view. Staying Hungry is just another method to stay stuck in the rat race, that cycle of consumerism & over-work!! Wisdom lies in Accepting the present moment in totality, being absolutely satisfied with the way things are, no struggling, only peace.  Being grateful for the bounties of the present means being satiated & not perpetually hungry. Staying hungry is a recipe for perpetual dissatisfaction. Always wanting more, we become like a hungry ghost, a creature with a big mouth, a narrow neck, and a big belly, who is always hungry and can never get enough.

If we want serenity we should focus on the present moment & not scatter our attention on imaginary future.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future but to live in the present moment

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. 
Buddha

Nothing ever gets anywhere.  The earth keeps turning round and gets nowhere.  The moment is the only thing that counts.  ~Jean Cocteau

Forever is composed of nows.  ~Emily Dickinson

A small child has no ambitions, he has no desires. He is so absorbed in the moment — a bird on the wing catches his eye so totally; just a butterfly, its beautiful colors, and he is enchanted; the rainbow in the sky… and he cannot conceive that there can be anything more significant, richer than this rainbow. And the night full of stars, stars beyond stars….

Innocence is rich, it is full, it is pure. Ignorance is poor, it is a beggar — it wants this, it wants that, it wants to be knowledgeable, it wants to be respectable, it wants to be wealthy, it wants to be powerful. Ignorance moves on the path of desire. Innocence is a state of desirelessness. ~Osho

…acceptance, total acceptance, means no desire. Desire arises out of nonacceptance. You cannot accept a certain situation, so desire arises. You live in a hut and you cannot accept it; this is too much for the ego, you want a palace – then you are a poor man, but not because you live in a hut, no. In huts, emperors have lived. Buddha has lived under a tree, and he was not a poor man. You cannot find a richer man anywhere. No, your hut doesn’t make you poor. The moment you desire the palace you are a poor man. And you are not poor because others are living in palaces, you are poor because the desire to live in the palace creates a comparison with the hut. You become envious. You are poor.~Osho

Whenever there is discontent, there is poverty; whenever there is no discontent, you are rich. And you have such riches that no thief can steal them; you have such riches, no government can take them by taxation; you have riches which cannot be taken away from you in any way. You have a fort for your being, unbreakable, impenetrable.

It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis.  ~Margaret Bonnano

Enlightenment is the realization that we have only the present moment to live. The next moment is not certain — it may come, it may not come. In fact, the tomorrow never comes. It is always arriving and arriving, but never arrives. And the mind lives in the tomorrows… and life is possible only in the present.~Osho

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.  ~Alan Watts

Today is you own. Tomorrow perchance may never come by Swami Sivananda

When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future.  When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.  ~Author Unknown

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.  We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.  ~Dale Carnegie

Pile up too many tomorrows and you’ll find that you’ve collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays.  ~The Music Man

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October 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Current Events, Happiness, Hmm..., Inspiration, My lifestyle, My Values, Osho, Philosophy, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom. 3 comments.

Quitting the Rat Race #7: Lessons from the Mexican Fisherman

Perhaps everyone has heard the story of the Mexican Fisherman. The Mexican Fisherman is the hero of the people who are out of rat race.

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senior.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senior, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senior?”

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senior? Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

The Mexican Fisherman represents the spirit & essence of people who have quit the Rat Race. While other people are  like the American Businessman who is busy acquiring money & things & is planning to rest & relax later, a day which might come or not come. The Mexican Fisherman is happy in the present, the American Businessman is chasing happiness in the elusive future.

 “Man…sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” ~The Dalai Lama (when asked what surprises him the most about humanity)

October 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Consumerism, Happiness, Hmm..., Humor, Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Slacker-Sutras, Slacking, Teaching Stories, Wisdom. 7 comments.

Quitting the Rat Race #6: Watching the Wheels Go Round n Round!!!

John Lennon rehearses Give Peace A Chance by R...

Image via Wikipedia

‘Watching Wheels Go Round & Round’ by John Lennon is my new Anthem , like Lennon I too love to watch Wheels go round n round & watching shadows on walls which means basically doing nothing much, living at the speed of life!! So as I’ve mentioned before too, I’ve chosen to be a Homemaker after having a wonderful career for 10 odd years & I am enjoying this life to the hilt. The other day I was chatting with an old pal & he said he was ‘disappointed in me’ ‘cos I had let myself go n lost the zeal for life!!! I was surprised to hear this ‘cos I am actually happier now, my zeal is very much there, now that zeal is focused on other things like practicing simplicity, frugality, embracing the slow pace of life, clarifying my thought processes, eating healthy & exploring fashion, some things for which I didn’t just have time when I was busy with a career. But obviously most people just can’t understand that this way of life could make people not just ordinary Happy but deliriously Happy! People imagine Happiness means only climbing the ladder of career success & buying bigger n more n more expensive things … incidentally the same friend is about to buy a third SUV!!! I mean I can’t understand people buying one SUV but third, that’s ridiculous beyond imagination (..so perhaps I don’t understand them n they don’t understand me!!)

“I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while they claim to be just on the point of attaining happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu

Enuff said…now off to Lalaland humming the great lyrics of great song!!! John Lennon reflects my state of mind uncannily

Watching The Wheel go round & round

People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I’m o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you’re not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I’m lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don’t you miss the big time boy you’re no longer on the ball

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

Ah, people asking questions lost in confusion
Well I tell them there’s no problem, only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind
I tell them there’s no hurry
I’m just sitting here doing time

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go

October 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Inspiration, Meaning of Life, Music, My lifestyle, My Values, Philosophy, Quitting the Rat Race, Quotations, Reflections/Musings, Slacker-Sutras, Slacking, Wisdom, You tube. 2 comments.

Thank Goodness ‘La Tomatina’ India was banned but what about these??


Recently  some people were crazy enough to announce ‘La Tomatina’  festival (as a hangover from the movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi dobara)  in India (a la Spain) where you are supposed to have loads of fun by hurling tomatoes at each other (now how this is fun, beats me totally). There was a lot of indignation & furore over this & Thank goodness there was timely intervention & the madness was put to an end before it started.

I came across several status updates on Face Book appealing to ban it

‘Please boycott the ‘La Tomatina’ festival to be held in palace grounds in Blore. This could actually be used to feed those 5.6 million children who die of malnutrition every year. Spain does it because they grow excess tomatoes and dont know what to do with it. We certainly cannot afford such an indulgence. If you agree, please post it on your FB status

While I agree with this stand there are many thinking errors in the above statement.

Error #1: Spain can afford it: Wastage is never justified. As long as resources on this planet are limited, we can’t claim a right to waste on the pretext of having excess. To me La, Tomatina in Spain is equally obnoxious.

Error #2: But then again we do it all the time. We have swimming pools while many people don’t have access to Drinking water. Then by corollary swimming pools should be banned. We spend so much on fashion when people are forced to wear rags or even nothing. We eat delicacies when so many people have to sleep hungry. Think twice before wasting anything. Not only such glaring wastages but everything adds up, think about it.

Error #3: Playing Holi is also wasting resources. don’t feel less guilty just because you are throwing colors instead of tomatoes. The resources that go into making those colors can be utilized for growing tomatoes. This is the basic principle of Economics. Resources have alternative uses. & each economy has to answer how many guns & how much butter it has to produce. Because the resources (In terms of land, labor, capital & entrepreneurship) are limited there is a trade off between the two. More the guns, lesser the butter & vice versa. So if you stop wasting the colors, the resources used in producing them can be used to grow more tomatoes. & we are not even considering the wastage of water here. 

Think before wasting. Each wastage adds up. each wastage counts

September 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Consumerism, Hmm..., Reflections/Musings, Wisdom. 1 comment.

Things I am Grateful For

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”~Oprah Winfrey

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~Epictetus

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  ~Cynthia Ozick

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.  ~Aldous Huxley

  1. My Upbringing- which was solidly rooted in values, though my parents had enough money but we were never spoilt. We had to work to get the things we wanted apart from the basics. That might not have seemed so great at that time but I realize the value of such training in my growing years. It is coming handy throughout my life.

  2. My parents: They gave me absolute freedom to do whatever I wished to do without ever pressurizing me to pursue a certain career.

  3. A supportive hubby who shares chores with me.

  4. Hubby & me sharing common basic values.

  5. Hubby’s secure Job.

  6. Not having to worry about Medical emergencies. Hubby’s job takes care of it.

  7. Hubby bringing me Bed Tea every morning.

  8. A Spouse who truly appreciates & values me.

  9. Hubby being a great cook.

  10. Finding so much happiness & peace in married life after a bad marriage.

  11. Our friend chakri who introduced us. I call him our cupid.

  12. My successful career stint. Making a living doing what I love.

  13. My students: I learnt as much from them as I taught them. I had a wonderful, enriching experience interacting with young minds.

  14. My kick ass attitude which makes the best of all situations eventually.

  15. Friends with whom I can share my innermost thoughts & deepest secrets. With whom I shared fun moments & all my woes. Who always had faith in me & time for me, even when I was at my Worst.

  16. My wonderful online friends, some of whom I’ve not even met but the bond is still precious n valuable as ‘real’ friendship.

  17. Traveling to so many places.

  18. Digital camera: I just love photography & it’s a breeze with digi cams.

  19. Clarity: I am grateful for having worked out my core values & understanding what makes me truly happy.

  20. Understanding myself: I have really worked out what I want in life & have the ability & strength to go after them. I’ve rarely if ever succumbed to social/peer pressure.

  21. Self love: I am my Best friend n biggest cheer leader & admirer.

  22. My footloose & carefree lifestyle. Not being stuck with kids.

  23. Internet: I just dunno how we ever managed before the advent of the net.

  24. My Laptop.

  25. My Blog: It helps me to air my opinions whenever it strikes my fancy.

  26. Blogs out there: I can spend hours & hours exploring various interesting topics & point of view.

  27. Internet Forums: I learnt a lot on various topics from these forums. I explored various themes that were important to me at various times like being child free, introversion, body acceptance, voluntary simplicity, Feminism et al. These forums help me connect with likeminded souls.

  28. Osho: He’s the Kick ass Guru who helped me clarify my thoughts n figure out my values.

  29. My schooling: Our Principal was a great lady who had a different vision for education. She made us really bold & smart.

  30. Great Teachers like Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay, Lin Yutang, Tom Hodgkinson, Vernon Howard, Guy Finley, Byron Katie, Wayne dyer, Marci Schimoff & Many many more who have helped my journey towards peace & calm.

  31. Never having the need to keep up with Joneses. I’ve always been happy with leading my life the way I want without comparing myself with others. Gives me lots of peace of mind.

  32. Simplicity: I’ve embraced voluntary simplicity which leads to saving money & enables us to lead a clutter free life which adds to our peace of my mind.

  33. Not being addicted to anything.

  34. My love for solitude: Not always needing people around me to feel secure/entertained enables me to be happy anywhere anytime.

  35. Having loads of time for myself: To read, think, reflect & clarify my values.

  36. My tough times: Though it may be clichéd to say this but it is amply true that those bad time really taught me, made me strong & appreciate all the good stuff.

  37. Friends who stood by me during my tough times, who let me express my woes infinite times, who never lost faith in me & who helped me stand up again after going through some big tragedies in life.

  38. Gaining self esteem after difficult teenage years which really sucked for me.

  39. People who are kind enough to appreciate my blogs & pictures @ FB.

  40. Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera, Alain De Botton & all the wonderful writers of fiction.

  41. Books: I can spend any amount of time absorbed in the wonderful world of books. As long as there are books I am sure I will never be bored.

  42. My good Height: which not only adds to my personality but also lets me gain weight without it showing too much.

  43. My skin: which has recovered quite well after teenage acne & sunburns.

  44. My fabulous Dressing & fashion/style sense.

  45. Having the flexibility to adjust & go with the flow. Somehow I never get addicted to luxuries & find it easy to cut back. I like both splurging & saving as & when the circumstances in life demand.

  46. My wonderful family & esp my nieces who are the apple of my eyes. Esp Risha with whom I shared two wonderful years of my life.

  47. The freedom to go on holidays every year.

  48. Moving every two years: Though it may have it’s downsides but I just love the complete change in lifestyle. Each place has it’s own charm/flavor. Life is never dull/boring/predictable.

  49. Movies like  Groundhog Day which have entertained me & make me think.

  50. Wonderful Domestic Help: can’t ever thank enough to people who smooth my life.

  51. Our own Home: Takes off another worry from my head about the future.

  52. My sense of Humor.

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September 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Lists, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom. 6 comments.

The Aim of Education is not just to Enable one to earn money

Yesterday during a chat one of my old time chums who is also currently a homemaker was lamenting the fact that she is just sitting at home despite being educated. I am also in the same boat as her (not working outside home that is), only  I’ve taken even more academic & professional degrees. But I don’t think our education is ‘wasted’ merely because we are not earning money…the purpose of education is to make us holistic human being capable of thinking independently, making decisions rationally & meet the challenges of life maturely.

Recently I came across an article ‘ What should an educated person know’ by Josh Kaufman of ‘Personal MBA‘ fame. He has listed the skill sets of an educated person by various institutions…the lists are pretty remarkable. The one that particularly resonated with me is the one by George Wyth college

George Wyth College’s list of skills that make an “educated person”:

  1. The ability to understand human nature and lead accordingly.

  2. The ability to identify needed personal traits and turn them into habits.

  3. The ability to establish, maintain, and improve lasting relationships.

  4. The ability to keep one’s life in proper balance.

  5. The ability to discern truth and error regardless of the source or the delivery.

  6. The ability to discern true from right.

  7. The ability and discipline to do right.

  8. The ability and discipline to constantly improve.

& Josh Kaufman’s own list list of “Core Human Skills”:

  1. Information-Assimilation – how to find, consume, and comprehend information and identify what’s most important in the face of a problem or challenge.

  2. Writing – how to communicate thoughts and ideas in written form clearly and concisely.

  3. Speaking – how to communicate thoughts and ideas to others clearly, concisely, and with confidence.

  4. Mathematics – how to accurately use concepts from arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics to analyze and solve common problems.

  5. Decision-Making – how to identify critical issues, prioritize, focus energy/effort, recognize fallacies, avoid common errors, and handle ambiguity.

  6. Rapport – how to interact with other people in a way that encourages them to like, trust, and respect you.

  7. Conflict-Resolution – how to anticipate potential sources of conflict and resolve disagreements when they occur.

  8. Scenario-Generation – how to create, clarify, evaluate, and communicate a possible future scenario that assists in decision-making, either for yourself or another person.

  9. Planning – how to identify the necessary next steps to achieve an objective, account for dependencies, and prepare for the unknown and inevitable change via the use of contingencies.

  10. Self-Awareness – how to accurately perceive and influence your own internal states and emotions, including effective management of limited energy, willpower, and focus.

  11. Interrelation – how to recognize, understand, and make use of key features of systems and relationships, including cause-and-effect, second and third-order effects, constraints, and feedback loops.

  12. Skill Acquisition – how to go about learning a desired skill in a way that results in competence by finding and utilizing available resources, deconstructing complex processes, and actively experimenting with potential approaches.

These lists also support my point of view that education is not merely for making us earn money but to live a rich n fruitful life with aplomb, equanimity, grace, panache n passion.

September 2, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Hmm..., Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Reflections/Musings, Wish List. 1 comment.

I Love my ‘Boring’ Life

Yesterday I was chatting with an acquaintance & he happened to ask me about my routine to which I quite honestly replied that it includes ‘cooking, cleaning, reading, spending time on the internet, cooking some more, talking on the phone with mom n few friends sporadically,  & spending some quiet time with hubby’ …then he wanted to know if I had any local friends..though I am a reasonably friendly person, I never go out n actively seek friends..I make friends when I bump into somebody like minded n that sure is happening lesser n lesser these days..the reason is simple , like Henry David Thoreau I find no companion as companionable as solitude. I just love spending time with myself, engaged in my own thoughts. I was telling these things very matter of factly & suddenly he remarked ‘Ritu, you sound bored!’ & I was quite dumbfounded ‘cos I’m having a pretty good time in my life & all the stuff that I do is pretty exciting to me…in fact I can’t wait to get up n get started with my ‘routine’…I’ve never been bored in life…only boring people get bored..though my day might sound dull to people whose idea of having a good time is equated with having loads of people around, partying, going to clubs n general thrill n excitement seeking…yup to those people my slow n almost Zen like like life might sound boring…but this is what I choose…this is what makes me happy..this kind of peace is what I’ve been seeking & now have luckily managed to have in life…achieving this ‘boring’ lifestyle’ is my major success in life…I don’t want/ intend to be a super woman who can manage both home n career n children n goodness only knows what else..I want to spend my time peacefully, intentionally, deliberately, mindfully, slowly…I want to spend my time n days in sweet contemplation n general lazing around…slowly pottering around doing a bit of work interspersed with ample resting n recuperating time..this is the life I choose…if it seems boring to the rest of the world…too bad!!!

” Boredom exists only when you don”t enjoy doing nothing”!!!

September 2, 2011. Tags: , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Rambling, Reflections/Musings, Schizoid, Slacking. 4 comments.

A 100% Perfect Love Story:On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning by Haruki Murakami

Japanese writer Haruki Murakami

Image via Wikipedia

‘On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful morning’ is one of my most favorite short stories by one of my most favorite authors, Haruki Murakami. The story tells us that we don’t fall in love with people who are beautiful as in being Ms or Mr Universe but with people who are beautiful to Us (there’s a quote which goes like this: Do I love her because she is beautiful or is she beautiful because I love her??)…they might not be 100% perfect (Beautifully Imperfect) but they are 100% perfect for us anyways. Sometimes we cross paths with them but things don’t go further because maybe we don’t muster the courage to express our feelings & the moments pass us by forever or mabe  we have to let them go because perhaps the timing is not right…but there are lucky few who meet their 100% perfect partners & have their own happily ever after…some people wait for a 100% perfect person to arrive in their life but they fail to appreciate the simple truth that there is no such thing as perfection in life only what is good (/perfect) for us.  As this joke goes:

A friend asked a gentleman how it is that he never married? Replied the gentleman, ” Well, i guess I just never met the right woman … I guess I’ve been looking for the perfect girl.”
“Oh, come on now,” said the friend, ” Surely you have met at least one girl that you wanted to marry.”
“Yes, there was one girl… once. I guess she was the one perfect girl.. the only perfect girl I really ever met. She was just the right everything … I really mean that she was the perfect girl for me.”
“Well, why didn’t you marry her,” asked the friend. “She was looking for the perfect man” he said.

Perhaps this Gentleman has not yet realized the wisdom : ‘ Don’t love the one who is beautiful to the world; Love the one who makes your world Beautiful’

Okay enough said…this enthralling story begins with magical words:

‘One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl. Tell you the truth, she’s not that good-looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn’t young, either – must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl,” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert. ‘

 

You can read the story here:

http://www.mat.upm.es/~jcm/murakami-perfect.html

or better still watch it right here:


 

I Hope you enjoy this beautiful story as much as I do 🙂

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April 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Book Review, Books, Hmm..., Meaning of Life, Reading, Reflections/Musings, Uncategorized. 3 comments.

A Meme about Me Me & Me (Whackjob)

I’ve been Tagged by Sunil of I blog therefore I am. Thanks Sunil for creating this fun Tag & giving me one more excuse of launching forth on my favorite topic: Me, I and Myself. It was fun doing this Tag & I look forward to many more.

1. If you could go back in time to relive one moment, what would it be?
Ummm honestly no moment…I don’t want to relive any moment ever ‘cos I believe I really do live each moment to the fullest, the good, the bad, the ugly…if I’m ever sad I’m sad in totality, I cry my eyes dry but once I’m done that episode is over for me, no trace of sadness remains…same goes for the happy moments…so I just want to be in the Present Moment. 

2. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
No change each moment has contributed to make me what I am today & I’m honestly very happy with what I’ve become.

3. What movie or TV character you think you resemble most in personality?

~Howard Roark from Fountainhead -tends to be much more interested in what he’s doing than in anybody else’s opinion of what he’s doing. He’s not the part of the crowd but stands majestically alone. An individualist in the truest sense of the word. A man who does things his own way n never anything to please others.He is never out there to win a popularity contest. He is his own man and lives by his own rules. He refuses to join any fraternity. He is not anti-social so much as asocial. He never learned the process of thinking about other people. Nor does he care to. He achieves his top values: self-esteem, happiness, pride, Independence, Egoism, and Achievement.

~Scarlett O’Hara (from Gone with the Wind) was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm.
Scarlet couldn’t stand any conversation for more than 5 minutes where she was not the center of attention.

~Rudy Baylor from Rainmaker–Maintained his wry sense of humor when almost anything that could go wrong goes wrong.& then rose like a Phoenix. Always has a rich internal dialogue going on. In the most mundane/pathetic situation his mind keeps him entertained.

4. What movie or TV character would you really like to be like?

Same as in 3 above

5. If you could push one person in the whole world off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?
None, live n let live…believe in the theory of Karma…each will meet his/her rewards/punishment as per their karma without me getting in their way.

6. Name one habit you want to change in yourself.
Being online the first thing in morning….I seriously want to cut down on my online time. Every night I decide I’d focus on my other tasks the next day, every morning I swich on the net before brushing my teeth L…my world will slip seriously out of control if I don’t change this soon.

7. Describe yourself in one word.
One word is too little n too difficult…but okay lemme give it a shot…ummm okay in word DIVA…lolz…I really do live life Queen size

8. Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word.

Sunil : is a ‘Thinker, philosopher, writer, reader, guitarist, filmmaker, & a biker’…I’ve recently discovered his blog & already loving it. I especially enjoy the subtle humor & wisdom that is always there in  his writing. Movie reviews on his blog are also worth checking out.

9. Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence.

~To express my thoughts & perspectives on the several issues that interest me

 ~to expand my self awareness;

~to clarify my values & philosophy of life;

~to record my intellectual & emotional journey;

~To meet & Interact with like minded people

10. Name at least 3 people to send this meme to then inform them.

Irfanudin

Akash Walia

Vikram Karve

Ashish Gorde

You might also enjoy:

About Me | My Thoughts | FAQs | Still More | My Personal Swot Analysis

My Movie reviews | My Book Reviews | Ritu: The Uber Slacker | My Lifestyle 

 

 

April 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Blogs, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Quiz, Reflections/Musings. 6 comments.

Zen & the Art of Being A Happy Home-Maker

Young Housewife, Oil on canvas. The Russian Mu...

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After being a person whose life revolved around a career, I got married to an Air-Force officer whose work involves frequent postings to obscure places where career opportunities are not easy to come by. So I’ve been a home-maker for the past 1.5 years & surrounded by many women who are in similar situation. What I find is most of these women are reluctant, frustrated home-makers, getting bored & just biding time till they can join the work force again. But for me home making has been an exciting adventure. As I see it the world is divided into two types of housewives: The Happy Housewife & the reluctant Housewife. The former is a rare tribe while the world is full of the later.

 Some of the phrases that I hear frequently against being a homemaker & my counter thoughts:

 #1. It’s so boring/ you must be getting bored staying at home: Well not really. For me staying at home  is actually more exciting than going out for work. Good Riddance to the Rat Race. For one it has given me an opportunity to explore my myriad hobbies & interest in depth. It gives me time to think my thoughts & form indepth opinions about the things that matter to me. I find time to take long walks with my i pod for company. I listen to music while making lunch & doing chores. I mean this is a real luxury: to spend one’s day as one wants.

 #2 You are wasting your Talent: I’m like hellooo is making money the only use of one’s talents??  As someone remarked “I can’t afford to waste my time making money”. This holds good for me. With loads of time I’m able to express my talents (whatever little talent I have that is) in various ways through blogging, photography, etc. True this doesn’t earn me a penny. But the joy & satisfaction that I get more than makes up for the money I don’t earn. After all what is money but a means to an end of achieving happiness?? If I achieve that end by bypassing the conventional mean, so much better. I really loved the way in Victorain Novels as soon as a guy landed in some money by way of inheritence etc. he immediately gave up a career & settled into a life of peaceful leisure pursuing the finer things in life.

#3.  Not having your own money sucks (Some women have told me they feel uncomfortable     asking their spouses for money): For me it doesn’t ‘cos

a)    I regard hubby’s money as my own. As we see it, a successful partnership has many aspects n the partners can contribute in several ways. While he takes care of the bread n the butter, I enrich the relationship by spending my time exploring & finding: great & meaningful movies for us to watch together & I later analyze & review them in depth; beautiful books for us to read; Amazing places for us to visit & so on…& yeah of course while he brings the food (so to say) ,I cook it n put it on the table. For us neither of the work is more or less important & me not bringing money home doesn’t make our relationship unbalanced or skewed.

b)   A penny saved is penny earned. Over the years I’ve adopted voluntary simplicity & instead of finding joy in stuff & excitement of a so-called high life we find it more in spending time peacefully pursuing calm hobbies like reading, photography, watching movies, blogging etc.

Also see:

About Me

My Thoughts | FAQs | Still More

My Personal Swot Analysis

My Movie reviews

My Book Reviews

Ritu: The Uber Slacker

Favorite Book Characters

My Lifestyle

 

March 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Inspiration, Marriage, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Rambling, Reflections/Musings, Simplicity, Wisdom. 10 comments.

7 Khoon Maaf

You get married & discover your patner is jealous & possessive?? What do you do??-Try sorting out your problems? Seek marriage counseling? Get a Divorce & move on?? Nope, none of the above…you murder your spouse, justify the murder because he deserved it, get married again, discover another fault in the  new spouse, murder him & keep getting married & keep on murdering!!!

This is what  Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes (Priyanka Chopra) who gets married 6 times & kills her 6 husbands does in 7 khoon Maaf, apparently ‘cos all her husbands have ‘faults’  /are inconvenient in Susanna’s scheme of things. The 1st , Major Edwin Rodrigues (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is way too jealous n possessive, 2nd , Jimmy  (John Abraham) lies, cheats & is a drug addict, third, the poet Wasiullah (Irffan Pathan) is a sadist who is into violence in sex, Fourth, the Russian Vronsky  is two timing her, Fifth’s  (Keemat Lal –Anu Kapoor) fault is he uses Viagra!!!  Sixth, Madhusudan Tarafdar(Nasirrudin Shah)  is trying to kill her to get hold of her property. Very compelling reasons for murder!! Not only she murders them but gets away with the murders easily without raising a stink. In most cases the reasons for the murder is rather frivolous…helloooo hasn’t she heard of  ‘Divorce’& moving on in life??!!!

But apparently killing seems to be her choice of settling major & minor inconviniences in her life, as is revealed is a scene where her old faithful servant recounts an episode from her childhood where she was hounded by a dog on her way to school, instead of changing her route, she chooses to kill the dog!!

To me the premise of the movie itself is beyond stupid, so I just could’nt enjoy the movie despite good performances by the cast. The movie was a major disappointment after being much awaited, what with it being based on a novella by Ruskin Bond , a Visha Bhardwaj movie & performance by Priyanka Chopra n others.

One more inanity is Susanna’s assertion that every woman wants to murder her husband at one time or another but doesn’t do so because of children !!! Marriages work & the most ridiculous of all these is the marriage to Jesus & the scene where Jesus comes swirling. Anyways who’s khoon is the seventh in 7 khoon maaf?? It’s never clear..is she implying that she killed her identity n old self??

The only thing I like about the movie is the ‘Darling’ song(Inspired/lifed from/ based on the Russian song ‘Kalinka’) which I have on a Repeat in my Ipod.

Other Movie Reviews on my blog:

Dhobi Ghat  13 conversations about one thing  Bruce Almighty 

 What About Bob  Forrest Gump  Bheja Fry  Ground Hog Day 

 The Pursuit of Happyness  The Bucket List  Peepli Live  3 Idiots

February 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Hmm..., Marriage, Movies, Reflections/Musings. 2 comments.

My plans for 2011

As this New Year has kicked in I have many fresh plans which I’m raring to pursue with zeal…I prefer to call them plans instead of resolutions because I believe plans are more flexible n fun…Resolutions sound rather rigid.

~ To embrace Minimalism: Minimalism is a lifestyle that aspires to live with less stuff & hence with less clutter, less debt, less carbon footprint, less work to earn more money to buy useless stuff, more freedom, more leisure, more fun, more joy. I’ve always been attracted by the minimalist lifestyle, Voluntary simplicity & frugality (Minimalism & frugality are a natural choice for me n not some sort of sacrifice because I’ve never been a part of the rat race or keeping up with the Joneses or the Joshis mentality), but somehow I continued to buy stuff without pausing to think whether or not I need it. I mean I’ve never been a shopoholic or been in debt but somehow I used to keep buying clothes, junk jewelery & makeup. More than I’d ever need for at least 5 more years. The more I thought about it the more I realized that mindless stuff accumulation is not making me happy. This year I finally decided to take a plunge. I’ve been reading a lot of minimalist blogs out here & they have been a big source of inspiration. There are folks who are living with only 100 things (A Guy Named Dave), living with 75 things (Everett Bogue), living with 50 things (Leo Babauta), living without any money (Daniel Suelo). But since I’m a beginner I plan to take baby steps for now. I’m starting with a simple manageable Project for this year. I plan to discard at least 1 thing everyday for each day in 2011 a la 365 things less & do Compacting that is not buying any stuff barring groceries n absolute necessities.

~ Start New Blogs: I’ve been writing this blog for 5 years or so & it has become kind of cluttered…I’ve been wring movie reviews, books reviews, Buddhism, child freedom, Travelogues, my thoughts, raves n rants. This year I pan to start new dedicated and focused blogs on Minimalism, Simplicity & Frugality; Buddhism; Quotes, Inspiration and Wisdom; Books & Reading; Movies; Fat Acceptance and Healthy lifestyle; Aging and Death (Yup you read it right Death)…These blogs will help me to share my thoughts n learnings on these topics that I am passionate about and help me gain new insights fellow bloggers.

~ Do loads n loads n loads of reading: Reading has always been my #1 Passion but somehow didn’t do as much reading as I would have loved to do in 2010. In 2011 I intend to rekindle my affair with reading. Incidentally of late I’ve a insomaniac, which is rather surprising as hitherto I used to be a very heavy sleeper, anyhoo I intend take full advantage of my insomnia n double my reading. I’m planning to read 200-300 books this year (I’m not sure of the exact number because blogs dme from reading books)

~ This year I intend to give a pass to the usual resolutions of losing weights, stop procrastinating, having a clean room,  blah blah blah……

Related Articles

January 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Blogs, Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal. 1 comment.

My Thought on Things things that Make Me Think!!!

#1 Money: I value money for what it is, A Medium of Exchange & the stuff with which we buy things that make our life comfortable but I’ve seen many a lives ruined by money, not only as in having loads of money will increase the probability of theft/robbery/your kin being kidnapped etc, but also people ruining their lives worrying over money matters (even when none of those scary incidents happen actually) (not that it is money’s fault but then money seems to do this to most folks). I mean people having sufficient money losing sleep over some money lost in stock market for example is actually hilarious if we think about it.  (I wouldn’t worry about money matters till the time I’ve enough for food n shelter, rest of the stuff is negotiable i.e. I’ll indulge in them if I have money n let go if funds are lacking). Money beyond a certain level is more of a tension rather than joy. Then one has to spend substantial time n thoughts over preserving n increasing it & I personally consider it time wasted. I’d rather spend all that time doing something that enriches my soul like reading/ writing; enjoying the finer things rather than thinking over money matters. I believe in earning a decent amount n then using it all to buy things that please one. Saving for imaginary future emergencies doesn’t quite make sense in my scheme of things. & slogging too hard to make wads of money n then blowing it all to buy luxuries to show off to others is also foolish in my books. Moreover the happiness that some people claim to get from things that money can buy is fleeting & not so fulfilling, ‘cos real happiness comes from within n not generated by external things or circumstances.


Most people seem to have forgotten the fact that money is just a means to an end & started worshiping money for its own sake & rather than spending it find more pleasure in hoarding more n more of it.Several researches have conclusively proved that Lottery winners return to their previous level of happiness after five years. But this hasn’t stopped many from the pursuit of more n more money. As someone jokingly remarked “All I need is a chance to prove that money doesn’t buy happiness.”!!!

A Research carried at Princeton University reveals In looking toward the future, women who concentrated much of their thinking on financial matters were much less likely to be happy with their lives. And, contrary to expectations, many of those with such worries had plenty of money by conventional standards, she said, suggesting that there is more at play in obtaining peace of mind than simply having cash. Conversely, those who didn’t fixate on finances like retirement savings, tuition for college or simply making ends meet, reported being the happiest of the group. (somehow I knew all this instinctively & though I’m from Finance background & been teaching Finance for ages I just hate wasting my time on thinking about money…I’ve always spent what I’ve earned on books, music, Net, clothes, Travel, Gadgets & saved only an itsy bitsy amount…somehow worrying over future is not a part of my DNA…I have no aspirations for what I want to buy 5/10 years later…things will work out the way they are meant to.)

Some quotes that reflect my views on money are:

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it. G.K. Chesterton

~Possessions Possess.

~A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to live without. Thoreau

~A good mind possesses a kingdom: a great fortune is a great slavery. ~seneca

~Money doesn’t always bring happiness. People with $10 million are no happier than people with $9 million

It’s Official Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

#2 Ageing: In a world that is obsessed with youth, I seem to be an odd person out: I’m actually looking forward to grow old. (I not only read ‘Harmony’: a magazine for elderly but find it very interesting too!!) I like myself more now at 35 than I did at 16. I know myself more, I’m surer of my own thoughts n feelings…I just loooooooooooove being older n mature n smarter. I don’t understand the attitude of people feeling very proud ‘cos they are young; my sis in law often brags she’s 10 yrs younger than me as if that is some achievement or badge of honor n what’s with so many women who are supposed to lie about their ages to seem younger than they are, WTF?? Some quotes on ageing that reflect my attitude:

A person’s age is something impressive, it sums up his/her life:  maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.  A person’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Youth is a disease from which we all recover.  ~Dorothy Fulheim

#3 Death: While I’m not looking forward to death like I’m looking forward to growing old, I’m quite okay with death n dying (I’m not really afraid of dying as many are). I accept it as a part of the natural process of life on this planet. In fact death is what makes life worth living & exhilarating. I don’t understand people who want to live forever. The ultimate mystery of death makes life thrilling. Life is exciting because we have finite time here. I believe in rebirth/reincarnation, so I don’t view death as an end but only a transition/transformation.

#4 Karwa Chauth: is an annual ritual where married women Fast (don’t eat food one whole day) for the long life of their Husbands. It is celebrated with gusto n pride in North India. In my not so humble opinion nothing could be more stupid. There are two reasons for my assertion. Number one the concept itself is illogical. There is no cause n effect relationship here. How could one person not eating prolong the life of another?? If women truly believe that fasting one day in a year can increase lives of husbands then probably they should fast for a week or so to make their husbands live forever!!!

Second & more important reason is that this ritual subjugates & demeans women’s status in the society. Women touch the feet of husbands & eat food late night after seeing the moon n touching husband’s feet!!! For all this they get a gift from the hubby!!! Some women claim that now this is an egalitarian festival ‘cos some hubbies fast for their wives too, but I guess that’s doubly stupid ‘cos two stupid things done together don’t make it a right thing.

The whole thing is stupid, ridiculous, shocking & demeaning for women. But they seem very smug n happy about it. A well adjusted slave is the greatest enemy if freedom.

 

November 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, Meaning of Life, MEMEME, My lifestyle, My Values, Personal, Quotations, Simplicity, Uncategorized, Wisdom. 6 comments.

Ruminations of a Child Free woman

~ I am 35 year old

~who has known since forever known that she doesn’t want any kids (Voluntarily childfree/ childfree by choice)

~I love my child free lifestyle. I love having total control over my time & my ability to do what I please whenever I please without having to adjust my schedule or priorities around children. I love spending uninterrupted Adult time with my spouse. I like the fact that I don’t have to be worried sick about another person’s future & thus enjoy my own present. (some people told me that after a certain point one just starts living for their children…what a scary thought…I live for my own sake, I celebrate myself & I want to keep it that way)I love having fun & changing nappies or feeding to a child who spits more than she swallows is certainly not my idea of fun.

~ I get sick up to my neck of people telling me that I’d change my mind/ I’d regret my choice…in fact this constant sermonizing is what triggered me to write n share this

~I don’t hate other people’s kid (okay I dislike them when they throw things around my house n spit food on my carpet & behave in general like brats). In fact I adore my niece to bits. (To this people tell me ‘other people’s children can’t be your own’…not to worry I’m not trying to make her my own as in counting her to be there for me when I’m old or anything…I adore her ‘cos she’s adorable n that’s it).

~Contrary to what people assume ‘I’m never gonna change my mind on this one’ & ‘I’m sure I’m not gonna regret my choice either’.

~ I’m from India. Here the concept of ‘child free’ seems to be totally unheard of. In fact to this date I’ve not met any woman/ couple who are voluntarily childfree. The childless couples I know have either adopted or considering adoption.

~People just don’t understand the difference between childless n childfree. Many good intentioned souls suggest I go for adoption. Heck I don’t want any kids. Mine or adopted. Period.

~ Incidentally my mom n my hubby don’t have any concerns on me being childfree but others have their own ideas including the poor incomplete moi theory.

~The only downside of being child-free is that some how it seems to upset n offend most people with children & the diatribe they almost dutifully launch into. They almost consider it their duty to try n convince me to ‘see sense’ n rethink my decision!!!! Though I’m sure their intentions are good but their advice is unnecessary. I’ve made my choice with my heart n mind & I am capable of choosing what’s right for me.

~ Once a woman I’d just met asked me ‘in which class your kids are studying?’ Note the wordings, not ‘do you have kids?’…it’s just assumed everyone has kids….when I told her I don’t have any, she said “I’m sorry”!!!!! I had to assure her ‘but I’m not sorry…infact I’m very happy’… she looked very confused 😀

~Another ‘classic’ reason given to me to have children is ‘that it strengthens a relationship/marriage’…what bull?? In my not so humble opinion, a relationship which depends primarily on the two people involved is stronger than one which depends on third person to strengthen it or hold it together.

~Now to answer the most serious ‘Allegation’ against child-free folks that we are selfish (‘cos we don’t think the way rest of you do )

’ Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.’

~Just as you don’t understand my choice to be child free I don’t understand your need to breed but I let you just be who you are with all your good n bad choices without asking you to explain or defend them & I expect you to do the same. Not too much to ask for, is it??

~Most of the people I admire are childfree—Ayn Rand, Howard Roark, Osho, Scarlett-o-Hara

~Happy Child free Day to all the cool child-free folks.

(Also See: Revisiting Child Freedom)

June 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . child-free, Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, MEMEME, My lifestyle, Rant, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom. 36 comments.

Trying to grasp the nuances of free-will vs determinism: an e-conversation

One of my favorite ‘activities’ is philosophizing or pondering over the imponderables–the favorite topic being ‘is our life governed by free-will (we are the shapers of our circumstances) or determinism (we are just living out a pre-determined destiny like actors playing a particular role in the movie called our life)’…I was idly thinking about this since yday for no particular reason when I chanced upon this quote posted by a friend on his FB status message : ‘the people that get on in this world are the people that get up & look for the circumstances they want; and if they can’t find them ,.. they make them.’ I decided this was my opportunity to clarify some of my notions on karma-fate-destiny-luck-freewill-determinism through some discussion…n I’m posting the conversation that followed

Me: That takes us to the debate of free will vs destiny…which has been on my mind lately

X: ‘destiny’ a tag we attach along the way or on the conclusion of certain events which one believes has been ordained by the higher order .

Me: Ah so do you believe we can shape all our circumstances?? I think at least some events in our life we have no control over…for instance death of near n dear which can change our circumstances forever…these fall in the realm of destiny

Y: Very relevant  Its because of this destiny determined life attitude that we have a laid back way of living. Wait for Kismat or blame Kismat. We dont attept to create condusive circumstances. Death and life are the two things out of our hands rest can either be managed or PERCIEVED differently.

X: The only destiny we’re all aware of is our own mortality . The ‘when we get there’ is left to circumstances over which we have little control .And again the loss of a dear one or even ones own life can change the equations of life around us & our near ones .
The destiny we desire is based on our wants and perceptions of a good life. We HAVE to apply ourselves to the attainment of such . Destiny like religion is merely a layer of insulation in ones mind .

Me: You may be right n that’s what all of us like to think n that’s also a part of positive thinking charade but what we think as free will or shaping our circumstances might be an illusion…we may philosophize n articulate but truth is truth even if we believe something else…I believe in a combination of free will n destiny…i developed a very crude analogy for it..it’s like if you are given ‘Baingan’ you can either make baingan ka bharta or baingan ki sabzi  you can’t make aloo ki sabzi out of it (determinism or lack of free-will)…but you can make the bharta tasty or ruin its taste (element of free will here)…sounds funny but it’s serious stuff man!!!

Y: Well.there are two ways of living.
One to succumb and take whatever is in our destiny,whine and mope or make the most of it, the best bharta (yummm,throw n sme rice ‘n papad too plz)
The “positive thinking charade” as you put it is a way to feel proactive and to survive. To feel we have a “say” in our lives.
Of course our “puppet” strings are yanked about by that master player, but the world would stop functioning if we didnt believe that we can “make circumstances”.
Its the best way to live 🙂

Me: next to doing nothing I love philosophizing the most hehe…I’m glad you warmed up to my baigan ka bharta analogy ‘cos when i told my hubby about it this morning he said it was the worst analogy he has ever heard in life :D….I am in agreement with you…I also try to live my life ‘As if I am in control’..to give an example from my life when my 1st marriage failed within few days I refused to be miserable…caught hold of life by its reins with chutzpah n panache..maintained a positive attitude n in due course met my now hubby n am a very smug n proud homemaker..so on one level i can say I shaped my circumstances but what if all of this was pre-determined aka destiny?? I like to wonder!!!

Y: More power to you, girl…you REACTED to what was DOLED out to you,in doing so you SHAPED your circumstances.Your personal density was more…
Also people who “behave” like they are in control accord such dignity to the human form. Then their responses are dignified too.

Me: X thanks for posting this quote which triggered the entire conversation…I was planning to do a blog post on free will vs determination this very morning n ‘synchro-destiny’ made you put up this quote hehe…my thoughts have shaped up a lil bit more after the discussion though i continue to maintain that nothing can be said conclusively on this topic.

October 24, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Hmm..., Meaning of Life, My Values, Rambling, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom. 1 comment.

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