Saturday, January 31, 2009

About Gays and Trans

It is interesting to see how often we damn things that we can’t understand or not try to understand as unacceptable. Our society seems to love prosecuting people for just being who they are. Many just can’t seem to accept people just being different.

In this article, I will attempt to show how different are they from the conventional view.

Firstly, I feel that there is a need to define the difference between gays and trans. Gay refers to homosexual which can be used for both male and female. In the nutshell, gays are comfortable to be in the body which they are born with whereas trans (transsexual and transvestite) are people who feel that they are born in the wrong gender. So please don’t go on assuming all gay wants to go for a sex change. It just shows how stereotyping you really are.

Like most of us, I was brought up in an environment where we condemn gays and trans. At that time, I would feel disgusted at the presence of sissy, wondering what’s wrong with their mind. Loved to talk bad about butches (female who dress like male) and joking about gays having a good time in army since they get to see free porn. Enjoyed making Changi a sightseeing spot as there are trans for display. Purposely hurting feminine male friends with sarcasm and wishing them to change for the better. Yeah, I had been through that. It is a firm belief that guys should act like guys and girls should act like girls (I just realized that Malaysia actually banned tomboys with the same reason -_-). When I recall those days now, I can’t help but find my behavior childish and arrogant.

Who is to decide how guys or girls should act ?_?. Science has already shown that all of us have both male and female hormones. As a matter of fact, we are born female in the first place, before the male hormones start to develop. So why must female wear skirts while males wear pants. We are of both sexes.

From young, we are bought up in the way that the society wants us to be. Only girls can have Barbie while boys play with transformers. Girls stay at home playing music, while boys go for outdoor games. It is all predetermined by humans. Not by God nor the Universe. If God gives you free will, why will it want to control your choice of doing what you want? Why can't it just control your mind to not think otherwise.

Loving the same gender is a preference. Just like some people who like their mate to be slim while the others like them to be plump. Some like tall while some like petite. Some wants their mate to be beautiful while the others shrug of it. It is just a preference. Why condemn it? It is like condemning a guy looking for a girlfriend with long hair. You may not like it but you won’t condemn him for liking it. Everyone has their choice.

They just don’t feel anything for the opposite sex. It is just like I won’t feel excited looking at a naked guy, gays and trans feel the same. They don’t feel anything towards opposite sex. My gay friend actually commented that even if Fiona Xie stands naked in front of him, he will not feel anything. Forcing them to like the opposite sex is like asking you to have sex with someone of your same gender. If you are a male, try kissing a male friend. If you can't entertain the thought, stop forcing them in the same way.

They are not diseased. I often wonder why many people act as if they are carrying a virus. I remembered that asked my mum on her view on gays, she stated that it is a sickness. How ridiculous isn’t it? But in reality, I believe many of us will think like my mum too, hoping that there is a cure for it. Religions condemn them saying that it is a sin and medical condemn them by saying homosexual has higher chance of AIDS. It reminds me of the days where women were burnt just because they worshiped a different God. Now we have a society condemning gays and trans just because they have different preference.

They are not hungry ghosts
. It is funny to see some people assume that gays and trans will chase after everyone of their gender if they see them. Oh please… Please don’t assume that they have the same habit as you. They are actually selective… and in fact, some are very selective. They don’t go “You’re a guy then I want you!” ....

They are stronger and braver than many of us. They dare to accept their uniqueness and they have the courage to go for what they believe in. There is a movie called Beautiful Boxer which is based on true story. It is about a transsexual who went into Thai Boxing to earn money to become a woman. It is a great show about courage in achieving what you want.

Embracing femininity is not a weakness
. It is an old and stupid thinking that masculinity is more superior... The world won't be in its current state if the rulers, the corporations, the politicians and us had embraced our feminine side and showed more compassion, kindness, love, listening ear... These are what a truly powerful being should possess.

They are also human. Like you and I, they have feelings too. They want to be loved, to be hug, to be cared for and to be treated just like any other human beings. They are not freaks. They are just like us, trying to live in this world. Some of us (even friends) like to joke about their sexuality which can be very hurtful. Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Think in their shoes.

It is sad to see that there are so much pressure from the society to the gays and the trans. They have to hide their affairs and their preference from the public and their love ones. Some have to be in a relationship of opposite sex to avoid unnecessary mutter from people around them. Which eventually causes pain for both parties. In dictionary, gay also means having or showing a merry, lively mood. Why can’t we just let them happy about their choices?

Lets try to see them as humans like everyone of us who just have a different preference. Love them for who they are. They are really wonderful people who are born in a suppressed world.

Meet Your Meat

video


Choose consciously ^_^

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Relationship pitfalls

I am lucky to be in a 3 year relationship with Niki which is the most amazing experience I ever had in my life. It is a relationship that is loving and offering us tremendous growth. I am glad that it is her as I believe if it is any other; it may not be as fulfilling as this. Thank you baby for being in my life. It has been hell lot of fun. ^o^

I will like to share problems which we faced along the path and I believe these are the main 3 pitfalls which will cause a relationship to fail. It took us a lot of time sharing our feelings and understanding each other to get out of it. I believe that it is crucial for people in relationship to be aware of them as many fail not knowing why.

Dishonesty
Trust will be lost if one of the parties lied in regardless of what reasons. Please do not start giving me excuses that there are moments which you definitely have to lie. It is seriously bullshit in my sense. It is a lie not matter good or bad. Everyone has the right to know the truth even if they are unable to accept it at the moment. How can one expect to maintain a relationship if the trust element is broken. It is the same as having a business relationship. If given a choice, will you actually want to work with someone that has lied to you before? And believe me, once started, there will be a second and a third and a fourth as we loved to justify ourselves. What is a white lie and what is not? Who draws the line except the one who makes them?

The best is to tell the truth about everything. If two are to get together, I believe that there should not be any skeleton hidden in the closet. To me it is just too tiring and difficult to keep on deceiving. To cover one lie, one will need another. It is just never ending.

Expectation
Ah… one that created hell for lots of couples. Examples like expecting the person to be there, do this for you, change for you and even die for you as a proof for their love for you. My friends… this is insanity. Expectation at best only brings agony to both the expector and the one being expected. When the other can’t fulfill the expectation, you will start assuming they don’t love you enough.

Everyone has their own language of love. Some may be physical, while others may be gift-giving. It is just different expression. Real Love is actually about taking the other totally for who they are.

Wake up! Love is not about expectation. Love is unconditional. Expectation makes love conditional which is nothing more than a manipulation. Love is about accepting the person as who they are totally. No requirements. Nothings need to be done. I often wonder why two persons get into a relationship expecting the other to change. Is it because they don’t know each other in the first place? Or is it because they think they can change the other to their liking. Isn’t it easier if they just find one that fits all their criteria…. Why makes life so hard for each other.

It is only though unconditional love which one can really grow. It is also where you start to be gladful of their being. How wonderfully unique and cute they are. Without expectation, everyday is a surprise when they do something for you. ^_^
Here is a beautiful story about love.

Judging using past experience

A lot of misunderstanding arises when one party uses past experience to assume how the other party will react now. This is nothing further than the truth. We are all changing. A person can change within 1 year, 1 month or even 1 day. Most of us are constantly learning and growing.

Pre-assumption will prevent one from seeing the real reason. How can I expect to see blue if I had already put on a pair of red lens? I had once assumed Niki to be angry due to jealously of me going to meet other girls due to past history. But she was actually unhappy as she had planned to spend the holiday with me. How different is the underlying reason between the two.

So please don’t be like me. Please avoid using past history to assume reaction. Assume makes an ASS of U n ME. It is best to clarify the reason and no lens on. Believe me, it will be an enriching experience.


That’s all for now folks. Wish you well in your relationships.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beware of Milk

Like many other people, I was brought up believing that drinking cow milk is good for our bones and body. Daily industry actually claims that having 3 glasses of milk per day will strengthen our bones and keep osteoporosis away. Look at all the commercials on dairy products in the past and now, all of them tell us that it has calcium and nutritional value that is essential for our health. This belief is so deeply instilled in my parents and most people that even though my brother was allergic to milk, he was served milk nevertheless since it supposes to help him grow.

I remembered days where I had 1 litre of milk almost everyday, thinking that I will become stronger and taller. It is also said having a cup of milk before sleeping helps in sleeping. When the truth came banging in my face during 2004, my reaction was of aghast. It was a magical moment for me at that time, something you believed so strong in for more than 20 years becoming nothing but a fluke of the marketing gimmicks.

Animals produce milk for their off-springs.

Humans for humans, cows and sheep for their calves, dogs for their puppies, cats for kittens, sows for their piglets and the list goes on. Come to think of it, we don't see puppies going for milk of a cat, neither do we see cattle going for the milk of sheep. It is because the nutritional contents are the same species. Humans are the only kind of animal that drinks other species milk. Why is it ok to drink the milk of cow but not of pig, this is one absurd point which I can't comprehend. Humans are also the only species that continue to drink milk even in adulthood. Other animals have already outgrown the need of milk after 1 year or so.

Milk is full of impurities and poisons

Cows are given hormones injections to produce more milk. However, hormones injections result into health complications for the cows in which they are also injected with large amount of antibiotics. Please don't forget to include the pesticides and fertilizers which they took when they ate their feeds. So you get a drink which is filled with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and fertilizers. Not quite as healthy as we thought, don't you think? If you are interested for more information, you can read them here.

Milk does not prevent osteoporosis
On contrary to public belief, milk actually speeds up osteoporosis. Apparently, calcium and animal protein does not work well together. Animal protein actually speed up the loss of calcium as it makes your blood acidic and your body react by neutralizing it with calcium from your bones. So we actually pass out the calcium through our urinal system. Furthermore, absorption of calcium can only happen with the presence of magnesium which milk contains only a tiny amount. There are studies from Harvard Medical schools which shown that women who consumed the most calcium from dairy products broke more bones than those that did not.

There are other calcium alternatives other than animal milk
Many people are unaware that they can actually get calcium from non dairy products. We can get them from beans, broccoli, tofu, grain and green leafy vegetables.


Hope that this helps you in your health and give you a glimpse of what companies will do to earn profits. Tobacco industry had done it once when they claimed that smoking was actually good for health. We now have the dairy industry doing the same gimmick. Be a lookout on what is advertised from the media. Don't take them word by word. Like Mad Eye Moody always say “Constant Vigilance!”

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Uniqueness - Leo Buscaglia

There is a story by Leo Buscaglia that beautifully illustrates our uniqueness.


The animals got together in the forest one day and decided to start a school. There was a rabbit, a bird, a squirrel, a fish and an eel, and they formed a Board of Education. The rabbit insisted that running be in the curriculum. The bird insisted that flying be in the curriculum. The fish insisted that swimming be in the curriculum, and the squirrel insisted that swimming be in the curriculum. They put all of these things together and wrote a Curriculum Guide. Then they insisted that all of the animals to take all of the subjects.

Although the rabbit was getting an A in running, perpendicular tree climbing was a real problem for him; he kept falling over backwards. Pretty soon he got to be sort of brain damaged, and he couldn’t run anymore. He found that instead of making an A in running, he was making C and, of course, he always made an F in perpendicular climbing. The bird was really beautiful at flying, but when it came to burrowing in the ground, he couldn’t do so well. He kept breaking his beak and wings. Pretty soon he was making a C in flying as well as an F in burrowing, and he had a hellava time with perpendicular tree climbing.

The moral of the story is that the person who was valedictorian of the class was a mentally retarded eel who did everything in a halfway fashion. But the educators were all happy because everybody was taking all the subjects, and it was called a broad-based education.


So please embrace your oneness, your uniqueness and do not conform to something just because others want you to be (the mentally retarded eel). Be you.

The story links to our current education system also. Please don’t assume that if you don’t do well in one subject or two subjects you are a failure for life. You are the genius in your own field.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Am I?

I am not Andrewson Tan. That is just my name and my identity.

I am not just male and female. That is just my sex. It does not entail who am I.

I am not this physique which is 175 cm and 60 kg. I am not the label that is tall, short, skinny, fat.

I am not Chinese. There is just my race and my skin color. It does not determine who I am.

I am not my history and experience. Those are just my experiences I had in this lifetime. How can I be them since I can be different now as appear from 1 day ago.

I am not my thoughts. How can I be aware of them if I am them. They are just rattling of the mind.

I am the awareness, the consciousness that is observing all these happening. I am what I choose to be. I am the silent observer.

Fear of Darkness

It is scary to realize that how conditioned I am towards the fear of darkness when I went for my run this morning at 5.30am.

It is intriguing to see the amount of negative thoughts that ran through my mind just because I perceived darkness in my surrounding. During my run, I started to imagine stray dogs attacking me from the dark. (somehow in my reality dogs come out in dark and are broader when there are no lights.... wonder where i get this ridiculous assumption from) Fear of running into ghosts. Fear of meeting hooligans that is going to rob or beat me. Fear of snakes that may come out from the grasses. Fear of stepping on snails and animals on the path during to darkness. It actually makes me wanted to turn back and just run on the jogging path which is away from nature and seemingly safer. By entertaining the thoughts, it actually increased my heartbeat and warily looking around.
Just a small tree standing in the darkness will make me jump as I imagine it to be a man or something. It reminds me of the days in the nature where I am all tense up if I hear a twig snap, imagining it to be a beast moving about. All these imaginations don't happen when I jog with sunlight.

Why did these happen? Where and when did I cultivated these habits of ridiculous thinking that makes me worry for nothing? Firstly, it maybe in our gene that we inherently fear the unknown. Being in the unknown will freak most of us out. For example, going on stage to make a speech is an unknown territory to many people. You won't know how people will react to your speech. Which makes fear public speaking actually the greatest fear above the fear of death.

Secondly, I believe is our upbringing. I remembered the days where I was taught that if I dont go to bed early, monster will attack me in the darkness. Indians (dark people) will abduct me if I am not behaving nice or go out to play alone. Ghost will pull my legs if I go swimming in the dark and many more dark based fear.

Then comes the television. All the ghosts and Pontianak which will appear in the dark. The news that keep focusing on people getting attacked at night. TV programmes that always show bad people only do their evildoings at night etc etc etc.

With all these wonderful education we are getting, how can we not fear darkness which is totally unnecessary. If i had bowed to my fear just now, I would not have the great time I had just now. Because that I don't entertain the thoughts eventually, nothing happens at all.

Try facing darkness. You may love the silent and serenity like I do. ^o^

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Early Riser – 30 days trial

Today I started my 30 days trial as an early riser which involved waking up everyday at 5.30am. I will just wake up and go for a run and then mediate for 45 minutes or so.

I guess many people will find this absurd haha. I understand and frankly speaking I will too if someone told me about it 1 year ago. I will say “CRAZY!! Can sleep don’t sleep.”

So what is with the change? Hmmm…. For many reasons which I enjoy. Firstly, I seem to get most of my ideas running in the morning. I enjoy my train of thoughts especially during my jog and it gets me doing stuffs which I will usually delay. Secondly, I love the breeze and the quietness at these weeps hours. It is totally different from midnight where there are likely to have some hooligans or gangs prowling around. I can have the entire silent to myself when I mediate. Thirdly, it makes me sleep at 10ish which is said to be the best timing for sleeping as it is where your rejuvenation rate reaches its highest. I guess that explains why on large late sleeper usually seems to have poorer skin and temper conditions.

So let’s go!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

That’s the way it is - From my lecturer

Here is a joke about company policy which my lecturer shared with me. It is applicable to many aspects of our life. ^_^


10 monkeys are put into a cage. Inside the cage, a bunch of bananas is hanging on a string and a set of stairs was placed under it. Before long, a monkey goes to the stairs and starts to climb towards the bananas. As soon as he touches the stairs, all of the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt and faces with the same result -- and all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, any monkey that tries to climb the stairs, will be beaten up by the other monkeys as they do not want to be spray.

Eventually one monkey is removed from the cage and is replaced with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wonders why no one is trying to get it. He attempts to climb the stairs and to his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, another of the original ten monkeys is replaced by a new monkey. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Not knowing why he is joining the beating but feeling glad that he is not the target this time round.

Likewise, the third original monkey was replaced with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know, that's the way it has always been done around here.

And that, my friends, is how a belief comes into place. Look at company policy, commercials, movies, superstitions, religion belief, culture belief…. No one asked why and just blindly accepted what they were told to believe in. Because That’s the way it is.

How to sleep well

Sleeping well seems to be a problem for some people. I was one of them in the past. The after effects are black eyes patch, easily irritable, tiredness, bad breath, aches, heavy headed and many others. It happens especially during the times when something big or serious that is going to happen the next day. For example, before an exam, going to new places, going on a date….

What is the reason behind it? I believe the main issue is due to the unnecessary amount of effort that we made to fall asleep. Sleeping is not about doing something. It is all about not doing anything. The motion of trying to fall asleep is actually the culprit keeping us awake. You may say that “But I have to sleep! Tomorrow is an important day for me!”. Yes, I understand, but I will like to say that this is where things go wrong.

In the action of trying to sleep, many activities run through our mind. Such as reminding ourselves of the importance sleeping well now to face tomorrow’s event and what may happen if I don’t get adequate sleep now. At best, it will only makes us feel unrest as we start to blame yourself and body for not being able to quiet down, while not knowing that it is the motion of thinking that is keeping us awake. Then you start to feel itchiness all over your body which is actually a sign of unrest, start turning here and there and eventually woke up feeling pissed. I even know people who go to bed expecting that they are not going to sleep well (Insomnia).

So how do you sleep? The formula is to just lie down and relax. Focus on your breathing and just clear your mind. It is actually like meditation. Many of us thought that we need to ‘sleep’ to recover our body. That is not true. Our body will recover by just staying in inactivity. You don’t need to sleep to rest.

For example, I was unable to fall asleep yesterday. Probably due to me messing up my own sleeping patterns as I had been sleeping at 2 am for past 2 days. As a result, I was pretty awake for the whole night. In the past, I would have been irritated and try to force myself to sleep. But this time, I assure myself that my body will recover without me “sleeping”. All I need to do is to lie down and relax. Focus of my breathing and be aware of what is going through my mind and clear them. In the end, I woke up at 5 am and feeling afresh which I sit on the motion and went down for a morning jog. It is an amazing experience. ^_^

Hope you will find it useful

P.S. For better effect, stop watching television at least 1 hour before you sleep as the scenes usually stay on in our mind and it will inhibit our sleep

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How banks use your savings

Was in a microeconomic class for this 4 days. The lecturer is amazing. He is a very dynamic person who just love to be himself. There is a lot that he had shared with us and I will like to share this on the blog.

Have you wonder how banks use your money and why did the banks in America collapse?

Here is the formula. All banks have a reserve ratio which is usually 10-15%. What does this mean?

It means, for every $1.00 you saved in the bank, they will only keep $0.10 in their bank! The rest are used by them to lend out with much higher interest and for their own investment. So it is to say your $0.90 are out there somewhere which they use for their own profits. Yes, this is what they do to your money. It makes one ponder how come the interest which they pay back to us is so bloody tiny. 0.25% -_-

This is the reason why the people in US is unable to take back their money as it is not there in the first place. All you see on your bank book is just a figure with no physical existence of the cash.

So why did the banks in America collapse? It is said that during the 2007 real estate boom, banks start to lend money to sub prime borrowers (people who does not have good credit). They thought that they will be able to make profits since the economy is so good at that time. Then came the real estate crash which left many of the debtors unable to pay back.
As a result, banks are unable to pay back to the people since there is only 10% of what is saved in the bank to begin with.

Interesting? haha to me it makes me think twice to invest in bank again. No wonder banks are so profitable.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dealing with Adversity - Dr Wayne

This is an interesting tale from the book "Inspiration" by Dr Wayne regarding how to deal with adversity when they arise in your life


Carrots, Eggs, and Coffee


A young woman complained to her mother about the hardships and difficulties in her life. She didn't know how she was going to continue and wanted to give up. The young woman said, "I'm tired of fighting and struggling. It seems that as soon as one problem is solved, a new one appears." In response, her mother took her to the kitchen and filled three pots with water, placing each on the stove over a high flame.

Soon the water came to boil. In the first pot she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about 20 mins, she turned off the burners. The mother then fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She removed the eggs and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she said, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the daughter replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After peeling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich flavor.

The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, Mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity, boiling water, and each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile, its thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior, but after the boiling water, its inside became hardened. But the ground coffee beans were unique-after they were in the boiling water, they'd changed the water itself.

The message? Be the coffee beans. Change your adversity into something wonderful that shape your world.

End of 2nd week as Vegetarian

Its been 2 weeks since I started vegetarianism and it is actually not hard at all. I don't feel deprivation nor lack of choices. Choices of food are so much simpler also. Just find something without meat whenever I step into a dining place. It will even spark your creativity as you start to think of ways to make dishes without meat and make it taste better than with meat. Yesterday I had tried making a vegetarian Ba Gu Teh and Niki was so pleased with the dish. Next dish on my list is Vegetarian green curry ^o^

Just within 2 weeks, I can even see positive changes happening to me and my family. First thing which is noticeable is the increased amount of vegetables my parents are taking nowadays. In the past, we will normally have 2 meat dishes and 1 vegetable. But now, we have 2 vegetables and a small portion of meat on the dining table. In my action to change my diet, I had also influenced them to eat healthier too. Interesting isn't it?

Secondly, I found out that my awareness is getting stronger. As you can see from my past blog, I did not force my parents to cook vegetarian food for me. So normally, they will continue to cook the normal dishes with meat and I will just avoid the meat. One day we had fish head curry for dinner. They had prepared lots of vegetables in the curry for me. When I started to have the vegetables from that curry, I smell a very strong stench from the curry. Apparently, this has been the similar smell that I had been taking all along when I have fish head curry. It is the strong seafood stench. The only difference is that in the past I had convinced myself that enduring and ignoring the stench is the right thing to do. Which I had been doing so many times that I had subconsciously accept the smell the way it is. However, when I start to listen to my senses, it is just feels not right and overpowering for me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lessons from Family - Wayne Dyer

From his book "Inspiration- Your Ultimate Calling", Dr Wayne wrote the following,

As I readied myself to make the shift from an exclusively spiritual being in the world of particles in 1939, I had the following conversation with the Creative Intelligence I'll call God

God: What would you like to accomplish on this journey you're about to undertake

Me: I'd like to teach self-reliance, compassion, and forgiveness

God: Are you certain this is what you wish to dedicate this lifetime to?

Me: Yes. I can see the need even more clearly now.

God: Well, then, I think we'd better put your little ass into a series of foster homes and have you stay there for a decade or so, where you'll learn to experience relying upon yourself. And we'll remove your parents so that you won't be dissuaded from your mission

Me: I accept that. But what about my parents? Who will best facilitate my life's purpose?

God: You can select Melvin Lyle Dyer as your father. A prisoner, an alcoholic, and a thief, he'll abandon you as a baby and never show up in your life. You'll first practice hating him and seeking revenge, but you'll ultimately forgive him, long after he's left his body. This act of forgiveness will be the single-most important event of your life. It will put you on the path that you're signing up for.

Me: And my mother?


God: Take Hazel Dyer, Lyle’s wife. Her compassion for all of her children will give you an example to follow. She’ll steadfastly work herself to the bone to reunite you and your brothers after ten years or so of her own suffering.


Me: Isn’t it an awfully cruel fate for my father?


God: Not at all. He signed up for this 25 years ago. He dedicated his entire lifetime to teach one of his children the lesson of forgiveness – a noble gesture, wouldn’t you say? And your mother is here to show you how true compassion shows up every day. Now get down there and participate in becoming a particle.

End


If one is to adopt the mindset that one is responsible for whatever that has happened in his/her life, what lessons or experience were you asking for when you were born in your current family?


From my dad, I had learn to give my girlfriend the freedom of doing what she wants and being who she is. I had learn not to use violence in the mid of anger. I had learn not to adopt favoritism and to put family first. I had also learn from him that smoking, gambling and drinking are both bad for self and the family.


As for my mum, I had learn to be responsible for my own life and stop blaming others for it. I had learn how to cook and do household work. I had learn not to take superstitious seriously. I had learn not to do things in the way just because others say it is the right thing to do. And I had also learn to start doing what I love now or else in time to come, I will regret and felt miserable.



Thank you Dad.. Thank you Mum.. Thank you for being such wonderful beings and dedicating your life to teach me these. Thank you for being my parents ^_^


How about you? What valuable lessons had your parents gave you? Had you thank them yet?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Birds of the same feather flock together

If the above old saying is true, what kind of bird will you want to be and attract?

An Eagle? - One that envision far and does swift strike
A Swan? - Elegant on surface but peddle hard beneath the water
A Peacock? - Beautiful on the surface but poisonous within
A Dodo? - Unable to adapt to evolution and face extinction
An Ostrich? - Run and hide at the fastest speed when faced with perceived dangers
A Vulture? - Living on the remains and the dead
A Chicken? - Live in containment and keep doing what one was asked to

Personally I choose to be a Phoenix 不死鳥. Rebirth when destroyed.

What will you choose?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Greatest obstacles in becoming a Vegetarian

In this article, I am going to share on what are the main obstacles we may face and ways to overcoming them.


Effort needed
One of the main obstacles is the lifetime changes involved and the discipline that is needed to become a vegetarian. We are often afraid that whether we are able to stick to the decision. No one likes to fail and feel like a loser.

The solution? A 30 days vegetarian trial. Just try it for 30 days and get back to the old eating method if you don't feel like it. With this 30 days, you will eventually get a feel of what it takes to be a vegetarian and usually you will able to experience the benefits by then. Anyway, it is just 30 days. It will pass regardless whether you do anything or not.


Value Association
Another challenge which you will face is the your value association between meat and vegetables. In our society, most of us place a higher value on meat than vegetables. For example, you may not mind paying $16 for a Australian Ribeye Steak at Botak Jones but a Vegalicious Burger for $13 at Green Room Cafe, may make you cried out “Its so expensive!”.


Negative associations on vegetarianism
Around us, many people have the belief that vegetarian is for religion or people who are trying to reduce their sins. One personal example is my girlfriend's mum's reaction to my conversion into vegetarian. She asked my girlfriend if I had done anything wrong recently. ^o^ Interesting isn't it? As you can see, there are so many negative associations with being vegetarian.

So how to overcome them? Firstly, one has to work on how they associate price with things. For example, guys may find girls incredibly stupid for spending more than $500 on that Prada bag. On the other hand, girls will think guys are super childish for spending more than $500 on that game station set. Its all about value association.

Think about what you are paying for and the values you are getting when you are deciding to buy the dish. Are you paying for their cooking skills, creativity, preparation work, ingredients and the health benefits. Or are you paying for the so called 'class', the saturated fats and the convention belief that meat should worth this price. Personally now, when I look at the price of a steak, I get disgusted by the fact that I am paying them for killing the cow.... Yucks.

Try watching this video, give it some thoughts and let it run through when you decided to have meat on your plate again. If you have decided to eat on, by all means go ahead and I respect your decision. The important thing here is being conscious of what is happening and make a decision on it. Choosing to be ignorant will only hinder one's growth.


Protein Myth
Many of us (including me) are also taught to believe that we are unable to get the necessary amount of protein from vegetables alone. It is nothing but a myth. This shows how ill-informed we are in this society and what the marketing gimmick has made us believed. You can easy get protein from nuts, beans, grains, seeds and in vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and many more... So have fun with your vegetables and fruits, there is no need to fear of protein deficiency.


Support
Don't expect your family to give you the all out support just because you feel that it is the right thing to do. Actually, one should be ready to expect most resistance from your closest family members and friends if you are going to becoming a vegetarian.

Why is that so? Reason being that they will most probably perceive this as a dangerous symptom that usually scare human race. Changes. Many of us are highly afraid and resistant to it without knowing. Your family members and close friends thought that this may threaten their current lifestyle (what to cook, where to go for family dinner etc) and the world they used to know.

The scariest thing is the thought that you may want them to change with you. That will be extremely horrifying. Especially if you go on telling them why they should change, why ain't they changing, how wrong are they... They will definitely resist the idea as we do not like to feel wrong or be made to do anything. This may not be the right time for them now.

So how do you reduce the resistance and even get them to support you? First, you have to convince yourself if you ready want to go on this path. You have to show determination and resolute. If you can't believe yourself, who will believe you? Tell them that you will like to try vegetarian trial for just 1 month to see the result. Also inform them that there is no changes needed in their cooking ways. They can continue to cook the vegetables with prawns or meat but please reduce dishes which are mainly meat based as you will not be eating them. Of course, it will be best if you are able to cook on your own.

As for your friends, meet them for dinner in places where there is variety of food. Don't force them to eat vegetarian with you. Everyone has their right on their choice of dietary ways. If they start to discourage you or chide at you, you may want to think again on having them as friends. If they can't even support you in this, it is a lousy friendship you are having there.

Lastly, lookout for groups who are of the likewise mind. Join vegetarian communities, forums, check out on cds, anything that can support you along the way.


So these are my take on the obstacles and hope it will help you if you thought of going on the dietary path that is not of the mainstream. Good luck and have fun ^_^.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Am Vegetarian

Today is my third day as a vegetarian. From the dictionary, vegetarian is someone who does not or do not believe in eating meat, fish and fowl.

Why do I want to be a vegetarian? There are several compelling reasons which can be divided into for self, for environment and for compassion.


For Self

I remember reading on comparative articles that humans are more a herbivorous than a omnivorous or carnivorous. The articles compared human’s body structure such as teeth, strength of jaw, size of intestines and etc against the other species. I also find that I am naturally disgusted with the smell of raw meat and blood. I always have a unsettled feeling in my stomach especially when I have a meal with lots of meat.


In the past, I was conditioned to believe it to be normal. But as I started to listen more to what my body is telling me, this feeling is definitely not normal. Imagine sinking your teeth into a life cow or chicken and tear it out … Errr…. Not as tasteful after all isn’t it? At times I looked at our pet dog and wonder what if one day we humans were to treat it as food also.. It sadden and upset my stomach immediately.


So for health and natural reasons, I decided to be vegetarian for good. It is also said that vegetarians supposedly live longer, less prone to major health problems, have more energy etc. Look at Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Anthony Robbins and Steve Pavlina, they are people whom I will like to emulate. So for me, its too good a deal to give up.


It is also interesting to know that even though the amount of pesticides and fertilizers on vegetables and fruits that we ate are regulated by the government, the ones eaten by the animals are not. So the equation goes, animals eat crops rich in chemicals and human eat animals rich in chemicals…hmmm.... *Yummy.


If you are then thinking fishes are ok, think again. They are the least regulation meat in the world. Out from the sea, into the port and woah la, you have your seafood cuisine. With all the man made pollution in the sea currently, I guess it is safe to say that they are not so safe to eat after all.


For Environment

Large hectare of trees and ecosystems are destroyed every year to provide lands to grow crop for the animals which we are consuming. It is said that 16 pounds of grain is needed to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh! All that plant food could be used much more efficiently if it was fed to people directly. Think about all the hungry people in the world.


While the factory farming are destroying our lands, commercial fishing are destroying our marine system. Commercial fishing boats indiscriminately pull as many fish as they can out of the sea, leaving ecological devastation and the bodies of non-target animals in their wake. Do you know that, they just throw away the non-targeted animals? This is what I called by extreme wastage, I think all fishing industries should go for a course on environment friendliness.


There are also many other factors such as fecal pollution and global warming caused by the meat industries. The facts can be found on www.goveg.com if you care to find out.


For Compassion

The last reason is compassion to animals and all other living beings. Ever wonder why most of the times we ain't allow to visit slaughter farms or choose not to go there? It is because of the cruelty and bloodshed involved in there. We want to eat meat, but we do not want to know how meat comes to our dining table… It is what I called self-deceiving prophecy? If one have watched the documentaries such as Earth from Above and Meet your Meat, you will see how cruel can human be when it is towards animal when they are looking at profit gains.


In the movie, The Corporation, milk cows are referred as production units and injected with hormones and antibiotics to increase their milk production capabilities. So by not eating meat and drinking milk, I am actually saving not just the animals directly involved on my plates but also the animals who’s environment is being destroyed to provide land to farm the meat I am eating.


So far those that I had listed pretty explains why I go into vegetarian. Please understand that I am not converting you into one. What I am doing here is just to share what is happening out there and my piece of thought. As Steve always says, "Live consciously"