Today, i’ve come to realize we’re sort of all the same in the way we think and process our experiences. From the little memories we think we’ve forgotten, to the faults we find in others and subconsciously respond to, or NOT respond to in our own quirky way. Somehow, we’re all counting our neighbor’s faults and paying little attention to ours.
I learnt of something called “Record Collection” this week. I had taken a job related assessment and this “Record Collection” index was part of the evaluation. The aim of the assessment was to have a low score in the “Record collection” index, along with some other risk pointing flags like; Need for approval, Control of emotions (aka emotional maturity) and Money weakness. I ended up with a relatively high score (which by the way was a huge Red Flag) in my Record Collection index.
Now you would think this is a good thing right? like the more you’re able to remember every tiny detail or experience, the better you would be at making apt decisions, right? But not according to this assessment, and not for the purpose of the assessment. Certain choices and/or positions require the ability to be “Selectively and whole heartedly forgetful”.
Not to bug you down with unnecessary jargon, i’ll cut down to the chase and explain what this index means and what scoring a high figure meant for me. Dr. Roger Birkman was the first to postulate that for each of us, our choices, reactions, likes, dislikes and everyday behavior is pretty much set in stone, except we experience a life changing ordeal like, losing a loved one, coming close to death etc.. Thus, we can pretty much expect the same response from the same person when put in a specific situation.
The “Record collection index” relates to how our minds gather and store information as we experience different events. For example, when someone tells us No over and over again, our minds will subconsciously store those rejections till we get to a point where we resent that person, or resent our experience of having to ask for something. My scoring a high figure in this index pointed to the fact that i will always remember every experience of being told “NO”, and eventually i would resent being in a position of “having to ask” or being in a position of “expectation”.
This assessment got me thinking of how over the years i’ve lost a couple of friends, and how i never really thought much of my choices and/or attitude influencing other people’s choices. For example, a couple of years ago, i had a friend i really liked. We met in new york and we hit it off like birds of a feather. We loved doing the same things and pretty much did almost everything together. But there was something she didn’t like about me. I’m a really picky person. I’m picky with food, friends, everything. I didn’t realize how much this part of me affected her till it was too late. She would choose a restaurant, and because of my picky nature, i would end up eating little to nothing. I thought the food tasted terrible. She, on the other hand, thought the food was good and i was being rude and condescending. Eventually, she cut me out of her life and never responded to any of my attempts to be in contact with her.
I remember her today because i found out she’s in switzerland doing great things, and even though I’m doing great by myself, i sometimes wonder what we could have created if we teamed up as friends.
The experience from this assessment also made me aware of my choices to forget certain friends. I realized i don’t do very well with rejection. I like to think i take things with a grain of salt, but the truth is, unlike everybody else i REMEMBER every single NO you tell me. I’m generally a very forgetful person. I forget my wedding anniversary, what i had for breakfast, even my daughter’s birthday :(. But sadly for some strange reason I’ll never forget every NO you tell me. 1 too many ‘NOs’ turns you from a close friend to a “Fiend”. Unfortunately, i don’t know how to fix this part of me, but i guess there’s still room to grow.
Hopefully time will tell if this is truly a weakness or a strength. or if there’s any salvation for this thing called ‘Human Relations’.
Or maybe like they say “What is meant to be will be”
If you know how to be selectively and whole heartedly forgetful please do share 🙂
We are all alike
All of us together
We crave the bad
Yet act the good
I hear her voice
The old lady
And wonders when it all ends
Her eyes are set on other worlds
Not visible to the young ones
She looks on with anticipation
Thinking any moment now
The aches and pain
Hopefully will cease
Hopefully would be gone
She closes her eyes
And makes a wish upon death
I hear her screams
The little child
Whose mother is nowhere to be found
And the monster above her
Is devoid of a conscience
A demon in daylight
An animal with opportunity
Opportunity to prey
Slowly her screams become whimpers
The pain slowly tears through her innocent nerves
Sucking the little life out her
I hear her gasp for her last breath
Her tiny heart stops
I hear his cries for help
The young man
Beaten to a pulp
His face, bloody and broken
His flesh, slowly burning
He’s burnt to death
For reasons he knows not why
The pain is numbing
Soon it’s over
And all he remembers is
“Where is my helper
My faith is lost”
I feel his aching heart
The old man
Whose lover is no more
He longs to be with her
The loneliness is heart wrenching
There’s no one to take away the pain
No one to call home
Her absence hurts more than a million knives
I hear her
The woman who’s lost her child
Her pain is more than she can bear
Her heart bleeds blue
None can comfort her
I see you
I see your pain
It’s my burden
I see you
I see your inability to be perceptive
I see you’ve gone cold
I see your heart’s rid itself of passion
I see you and I wonder why
This is my burden
This is my curse
This is my pain
Hope in a hopeless age
Love in a loveless aeon
Passion in a brutal world
Chaos is my solace
My heart still wanders
Still! Who can lift a wanderer’s curse
I once told a friend; “History is repetitive and to know where one stands in the timeline of events, is to know one’s own destiny”. My dear friend could barely understand what in the world i was talking about. Unfortunately, its hard to put these words into perspective for everyone, but i will try to explain these words throughout the body of this post.
First of, let me point out that whenever i write, be it poetry, a blog or a short story, it’s usually based on an emotion I’m feeling in that very moment, however fleeting it may be. Anger, pain, melancholy, sadness or remorse. Sadly i never seem to be able to write when I’m happy. Wether this is a good thing or a bad thing, only time and soon-to-be history will tell.
Today the emotion is that of anger mixed with disappointment, grief and maybe a little bit of melancholy, all because I observed someone use the Scripture as a tool for making someone else feel terrible and worthless. Wether this was done on purpose, out of spite or out of ignorance I cannot tell. But I cant help but notice how something that is meant as a tool for good can so easily over time become a weapon for Evil and ignorance.
Unfortunately, we are a forgetful species, and like hamsters, we’re stuck in the repetitive evils of past generations. Today we fight for freedom of religion, and we cling to the premise that; our founding father’s conquered these lands that we may be free to serve God whichever way we want as free Men. Yet we criticize, chastise and demonize those who do not serve GOD the way we want them to. We seem to have forgotten 2 key facts. The fact that the founding fathers fought for their independence from England to flee 1) a Church that dictated how one must worship GOD and 2) a theocratic government that laid exorbitant taxes on the weak, needy and poor.
We forget that once upon a time under the roman empire, christianity was a capital offense and the early disciples (who by the way were devout jews NOT Apostates) laid their lives not for the founding of a new ‘Religion’, but for the establishment of GOD’s purpose and promises on the face of the earth.
When we speak, we forget history. We forget Greece and Hellenism, Rome and the likes of Nero, Caligula and the imperial cult. We forget the dark ages, the reformation, the black plague and the puritans. The Spanish inquisitions and the cold wars. We forget and make little to no attempt to remember.
Perhaps we are a doomed species. Perhaps it’s the way it is, because this is the way it should be. Maybe ignorance is destined to be our burden! Then again, maybe we are consciously ignorant that evolution may be perfected in our weaknesses and judgement is justified when executed on us. Even then, surely the stench of our ignorance is strong enough to quicken our feeble minds and selfish hearts.
All the same, this is not to say there aren’t a few good men. And maybe, just maybe it’s the few good ones that make it all worthwhile. As the sages say; GOD will allow the world to continue existing as long as there are 36 Tzadikim Nistarim (Righteous People). Yet, it’s hard to sit back and watch an hypocritical and self-absorbed generation relive the ‘sins of the fathers’.
That being said, I’m no judge, neither have I been ordained a judge and this is nothing more than ramblings. Ramblings that I hope leads you to introspection. Ramblings that I hope leads you to break out of a circle of ignorance. Simply because you owe it to yourself and to everyone around you.
The Recurring phrase this weekend was “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting change is foolish”. Scripture reading is Matt 9:17- neither do men put new wine in old wine skins, lest the wine skin bursts and the wine is destroyed. Instead they put new wine in new wine skin and both are preserved.
This passage even though I’ve read it over a hundred times has suddenly come alive to me.
Thinking outside the box. Repenting of your old thought process is the key to the change you seek. Question is; how does one revamp one’s thought process. Meditation? Self awareness? Understanding “this is how I think so therefore I must think differently” regarding this particular situation?
To know oneself is to find salvation. Introspection is the key to change. Taking responsibility and not playing the victim, and constantly playing the defensive.
I understand it’s not always easy to think outside the box, especially when certain foreign or new ideas seem illogical. This is the primary reason Change always seems like a daunting task to accomplish. We seem to be a very complacent specie. We get comfortable in pre-existing traditions and view anything new or foreign as ‘evil’. But the key to thinking outside the box is to search through the pages of history. Your thought process is not isolated to your generation. Prior generations have made the same mistakes, thought the same way and rejected change. To what end?
My point today I guess is; never think anything is impossible. Dare to believe that ‘Cows can jump over the moon’ and you’ll find yourself getting a cow over the moon… Creativity comes from your ability to see things differently not from your ability to see things the way everyone else sees things.
I would die a thousand deaths
And Cross a million oceans
For the kisses of his lips
I would fight a dozen legions
Skip through 10,000 aeons
Take on all of Rameses’ Army
Just to find my way back to him
But I’m lost
Lost in time and space
My heart searches for my love
To find him Is to find me
To find me is to find him
But where do I search
When life is a bottomless wormhole
He’s my soul
He’s my breath
He’s that special moment I find bliss.
He’s my life
He’s my lover
He’s my pain
Then again, he’s my illusion
And fiction never tasted better
Today I sit and ponder.
Life seems to change
Yet everything remains the same
It’s funny how time flies
and things appear to be different with every generation
But everything is the same
Just the same evil masked in a new costume.
All the people, all their thoughts
The Chaos, the Hatred
The greed, the love for life
The need to prove one’s self right
It goes on and on
From generation to generation
Nothing really changes
Evil is reborn with a new name & a new face
They say there are no mistakes and we are our mistakes
and in every beginning
There is an end
In unity there is chaos
Just as white light is made up of many colors
So humanity is made up of diverse people
If reality is a collection of varying Perceptions.
Why do we all collectively delude ourselves?
Its 10.45pm, the weather is perfect and the night sky is absolutely gorgeous. We’ve just had chinese take-out for dinner. I pick up my fortune cookie and read what it says; “Make a wish on the next star for good luck the next day”. I smile and gather the kids, get a pair of binoculars and the telescope. The kids are excited. It’s always fun to go star-gazing. Its past their bed time, but I’m feeling a little relaxed tonight, so i guess 10 mins or more of gazing at the stars wouldn’t do much harm. We head outside and start watching the beautiful night sky as the stars twinkle with so much breathtaking radiance. Suddenly we spot a shooting star and i ask my 5-year-old to quickly make a wish. He’s ecstatic and quickly says; “I wish we had loads and loads of money”. I smiled at him and asked; “why would you wish for that baby?”, he replies with; “well if we had loads and loads of money, you wouldn’t have to work all the time and you would spend time having lots of fun with me. Suddenly i realized, my baby is all grown and I’m not sure how i missed it all. He was right. I wasn’t spending as much time as i wanted to with my babies. they were all growing so fast and as much as i want to be with them, I’m not always with them, even when I’m with them, I’m never really completely with them, cos my mind is constantly focused on some project I’m working on.
Somehow I had become a workaholic, and i don’t remember how it all started, but i still remember the simpler days. The days when i had nothing but i was content and happy. I was in love and my boyfriend and i had just moved into the big city with nothing but big dreams. We had nothing but an air bed at home to lay our heads on when we got home. We had no furnitures, no stove, cooking utensils or carpet on our floor. Just disposable paper plates for food and an air bed to sleep at night. We would lay up almost all night having a laugh about the state of our lives. Then he would kiss me and promise “It won’t always be this way, i promise”. i would smile and reply: “I know baby”.
That was 7 years ago. But it feels like it was 50 years ago. We now made all the money we stayed up all night dreaming about. Successful careers we wanted so bad back then. This was what we wanted right? i mean surely that was the plan. But it’s now 11.30pm on a sunday night and my once romantic boyfriend now husband is out and i have no idea where he is.
My thoughts are quickly interrupted by my second child asking for help with the toothpaste to brush her teeth. It was time for their nightly routine. All three of my kids line up in the bathroom, toothbrush in hand, pajamas on and ready to brush their teeth. When they’re done, they all come up to me, smile and ask; “Is it clean mummy?”. My usual reply would be; “hmmm, lets take a look… hmmm, looks good to me”. They would all smile, while i escorted them to their bedroom. Then tuck them in and read a bed-time story. We would say a prayer and each one of them would give and receive a goodnight kiss and cuddle. Somehow i longed for their nightly routine. It’s weird how that’s the only bonding time i seem to have with them these days.
As soon as the kids were sweetly snuggled in bed and fast asleep, i headed back to my work computer, but this time it was hard to stay focused. I kept hearing my son’s voice in my head. “Maybe if you had loads and loads of money, you would spend more time with us mummy”. I looked at my desk, there was so much to do, i had just gotten a promotion 2 weeks ago, and i do love my job but i’m definitely not a workaholic. At least i’m sure i’m not. So what’s happening? i thought to myself. I shrugged the feeling of pain and loneliness that was now starting to build up and tried to get some work done, but all i could think of was; how my life was now so different.
It’s now 12.50am and I’d manage to get a few projects partially completed. I hear the door knob turn. My husband is back, so i walk over to the living room and greet him with “hey baby”. “Hey” he replies. “Want some dinner?” i ask. “Nah thanks I’m good” he replies. I can tell he’s not in the mood to chat as he walks into his bedroom and closes the door behind him. Once again, that feeling of loneliness and pain starts to well up. I’m at the brink of tears and I’m not sure why. So i go after him into his bedroom (yes we have separate bedrooms like two old couples). I sit on the bed beside him and ask; “Do you remember the days when we would sit up all night and laugh?” he replies with: “yep! why?” “Nothing. Just wondered if we can go back to those days again” i say. “well we can’t go back, cos we both have, work kids and responsibilities to deal with, so if you don’t mind, i’ll like to sleep now, thank you” he mutters with a half sleepy voice. I give him a kiss on the forehead and say “goodnight baby”.
I fight the tears and tell myself its ok. It could be worse. it’s just another day with a perfect stranger that was once my lover..