Tag Archives: human

Post-Freedom

Sometimes by working too much, we forget the things that matter the most

  1. Family & Friends
  2. Mother Nature
  3. The Community

This is my first official “short-film” that I did, with the help of my famiy, for the Possible Future’s Film Contest. Hope you enjoy it!! And if you do, don’t forget to vote for it by clicking the link below.

www.possiblefuturesfilmcontest.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Conflict, Culture

READ u DUMB@SS

Im sorry… not really. Wanna see how small you are?

  • If the human race = 1
  • You = 0.00000000014285 (thats 9 zeros)
And as you read this article, that number will only keep getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. (due to the rising world population)

Which leads 2-2 questions…

  1. How can I stand out?
  2. How to make lots of $$$?

WARNING – this is not a Facebook trip, or Twitter frenzy, or Gossip toilet. This is LIFE. If you are not in a “thinking” mood, close this article NOW. Skimmers not welcome.

——————————————-

How can I stand out? Is it by being different? Nope, unless you want to end up all ____ing crazy like Gaga. To stand out you have to BE yourself, and to BE yourself you have to ACCEPT yourself (not cover yourself in rotting beef )

STEP #1 – ACCEPT

For better or worse, you are not white… or maybe you are. You dont have a Colgate smile… or maybe you do. Curly hair, crow’s feet, wrinkle valleys… these are all part of  YOU. I wish… don’t wish, accept. I don’t like… don’t reject, embrace. Accept yourself 100 %. Not 80%. A hundred percent. By accepting your external looks, you achieve inner peace. I’m at peace with my body, are you?

STEP # 2 –  SMILE

Smiling is the universal human sign of happiness. A light that shines constantly when we are kids, but starts to grow dim as we get older. Nobody tells us to smile less, yet for some reason, the older we get – the less we choose to smile. Jesus once said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for it is to those who are childlike that the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs.”

And while having a good sense of humor helps, it is not a requirement to be happy. Being compassionate and helping others, is a great way to cultivate smiles. Acknowledging the beauty that sorrounds us (trees, stars, sunsets, animals, life, love, family) is another path to smiling. Curving those lips more often, also has its health benefits.  Smiling is the perfect drug (free & healthy) : )

STEP # 3 – SOCIALIZE

When you accept yourself, you are confident. When you smile, your happiness attract others towards you. When you are confident, happy and attractivethe social world becomes your own “sandbox”. A place of limitless possibilities and connections waiting to happen.

The most important part of socializing, is being able to “listen”. In a frenzied society where everyone screams and wants to be heard, very very very few people have the ability to actually shut up and listen. And like any other art, the art of listening requires practice. (for starters, avoid “filling in” words or interrupting others in mid-sentence) A master listener not only hears the message, but also understands the messenger.

Another way to “stand out”, is to literally STAND OUT. A straight body posture shows confidence and good hygiene demonstrates you are disciplined/caring. Speaking loud and clear, denotes that you are person worth hearing. But these are just details… and NO, having 5,000 Facebook friends doesn’t count as socializing. Go out there and socialize in the real world.

How can I stand out?

  1. By being an ASS ( accepting , smiling , socializing )
  2. By turning U into Ü

————————————————————————————————–

Stay tuned, for next week’s – How to make lots of $$$?

2 Comments

Filed under Inspiration

The Aztec way of Life

Aztec, a +1000 page book, is the culmination of 12 years of historical research by its author Gary Jennings. First published in 1980, the book narrates the adventures of Mixtli, an aztec native, before & after the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in Mexico. The book serves as a window into a distant time, into an Aztec Empire capable of great beauty and cruelty. But most of all, Aztec demonstrate the unique philosophy of life and way of living of the aztec people.

Tenochtlitan - The Capital of the Aztec Empire

Aztec reminds of us of a time  where everyone believed in “fate”, a place where men coexisted peacefully with nature,  and a society in which money wasn’t the most important thing in the world.

Every time a aztec baby was born, his umbilical cord was cut off. If the baby was a girl, the umbilical cord would be wrapped around a piece of wood and buried under the house. (this should help the girl develop good household skills – the aztecs would say) If the baby was a boy, the umbilical cord would be wrapped around a small wooden shield and given to a warrior. The warrior would then proceed to bury the “shield” in a battlefield. (according to aztec tradition, this would give the boy the courage he needed to be a great warrior) This piece of buried umbilical cord was referred to as an aztec’s “tonali” or fate. The common aztec believe that their human fate was tied to their “tonali” and the will of the gods.

Like many ancient cultures, the aztec’s religion was deeply interwined with the elements of nature. The aztec gods manifested their will through meteorological and astrological acts. Just like the early Christians, the aztecs believed that man and nature where subject to the direct power and intervention of the God(s). But unlike the Europeans of the time who disdained nature, destroyed countless forests and abused of the Earth’s resources; the aztecs lived sorrounded by nature.

Unlike in today’s capitalistic society, money wasn’t  everything in the aztec world. As there was no official currency, the aztec’s often traded using gold powder, copper chunks, jade rocks, and chocolate beans. Honor, prestige, war and power – were more imporant than money. And the aztec tradesmen were members of a guild, known as the Pochteca, and always traded in the name and for the well-being of their Empire. (And unlike those working at Wall Street, these ancient traders would have never allowed their greed to destroy their nation)

And finally... the topic of human sacrifice

Why did the aztecs perform human sacrifices?

According to Aztec folkore, the world and its human inhabitants has been destroyed four times. The first time the entire human population was devoured by jaguars. The second time, destroyed by tornadoes and hurricanes. The third time, by a rain of fire. And finally, by a massive flood like Noah’s (but without survivors). According to aztec religion, these four destructions were sent by the gods because they were not pleased. The gods demanded a more constant supply of human blood, or else they would grow thirsty and destroy. From the aztec point of view, being sacrificied was an honor: they were giving their life for a good cause. Protecting the human race from further divine destruction.

Henceforth the problem: how can you sustain an Empire that constantly requires war prisioners for sacrifice?

The answer is easy: make “fake” wars. During times of peace, the six central Aztec nations would wage their own war simulation, called “Florid Wars”. Every year, 3 Aztecs nations would face off against the other 3 Aztec nations in an open field. The objective of these “Florid Wars” was not to kill the enemy, but to disable and capture prisoners. These “fake” wars would last several days, until all of the generals decided they had captured enough prisioners. Each army would then return to their own nation and commit massive “Florid Sacrifices”. And the gods were pleased.

MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK

Yes, at your age you expect a lot. You can go in any direction you choose. You can go alone or with company. Your companions might travel with you a short or long distance. But at the end of your life, no matter how full your wanderings and days have been, you must learn what everybody eventually learns […] No man has ever lived more than one life, which he himself as choosen and for the most part lived alone.

I believe that memories are the only treasure that humans can ever hope of owning forever.

We had wasted love, which is the most unforgettable waste of all. Time and love are the only two things in the world that one can’t buy, only spend.

4 Comments

Filed under Books, History

Tears and Bob Marley

40 YEARS, 10 days ago a Legend was born.

Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley died of melonoma at the Miami University Hospital the morning of May 11, 1981. After 8 months of unsuccesfully fighting the disease at a German clinic, Bob Marley had arrived at the Miami Airport the day before. Having accepted death, Marley´s last wish was to pass away in his native island of Jamaica. His last words to his son Ziggy — ¨Money can’t buy life¨.

The legendary reggae singer is best known for happy, cheerful songs such as ¨One Love¨ , ¨I Shot the Sheriff¨, ¨Three Little Birds¨, and countless others. As part of my tribute to his music, instead of focusing on the rebel and legend known by all, I wish show a part of Bob Marley known by few.

Here is a list of litttle-known Bob Marley songs. They are sad songs from a deep soul. Its their profound sadness and reflection that gives them strength. The best way to truly understand an artist, or any person for that matter, is by knowing them in both joy and pain. In moments of happiness and sorrow. Here are the tears Bob Marley shed for love.

Send me that Lovewatch?v=0n7mjIZl3c8

Chances Arewatch?v=y49zZhNMIEk

Johnny Waswatch?v=ZMbgM8O5TjI

There She Goeswatch?v=91Fym1x2k3A

Cry To Mewatch?v=lfaprIMuUmo

High Tide or Low Tidewatch?v=0qvJE_edLxA

She’s Gonewatch?v=DMkasTMiJBI

And here is a personal favorite of mine. While it doesn’t stand out instrumentally, the words more than make up for it.

Thank You Lordwatch?v=voPE1GaKTjU

R.I.P BOB MARLEY

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration

A Spark in the Middle East

A wildfire has spread across the Middle East and Northern Africa. The flames of protest have raged on and now engulf over 15 countries. The smoke rising from the cities of Benghazi and Tripoli saturate the diplomatic airwaves. Two governments have been overthrown. And a third one is tittering on the brink of collapse.

But we all know this. We have seen the news reporters babbling non-stop in their usual fashion. What few of us know though is… how did the massive protests start? Literally, what spark ignited this whole conflict?

The spark of a Bic Lighter.

That´s right. All it took for these protests to erupt was a lighter, two cans of paint thinner and a man with nothing to lose. A single man, Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire and inspired millions to rebel.


Through out history, man has often fought for freedom.
But are we, modern Westerners, willing to die for it?

—- Here is a scenario —-

Imagine you were Mohamed Bouazizi. Now suppose an angel came forth to you Bible-style and told you ¨Set yourself on fire, and your whole country shall be free¨. Would you be willing set yourself on fire, and like Mohamed Bouazizi, suffer the most painful death imaginable?

We, Westerners often label muslims as ¨radicals¨.
While we, on the other hand, are ¨rational¨.

Well. Here is what a rational Mohamed Bouazizi would have done: He would have appealed the confiscation of his property to a corrupt government, only to be ignored. Facing amounting debts, he would have fallen into a depression. Tired of living, and thinking life is pointless, Mohamed would have OD´ed himself on Aspirins. No massive protests in Tunisia and elsewhere. End of story.

Morale of the story: one can´t always be rational when facing injustice, corruption or tyranny. When something isn´t right, it´s the citizens job to change it. To take action. The Founding Fathers were viewed as radicals by the British Empire. The First French Republic was viewed as radical by the rest of the European countries.

Black - Revolution ------ Green/Tan - Major Protests

It is this radical ¨muslim¨ spirit, steaming from necessity and lack of freedom, which has overthrown both the Egyptian and Tunisian governments.

We in first-world countries on the other hand:

  • have food on our tables
  • have a decent amount of freedom
  • and thus, no need for radical spirit

The radical spirit in US and European citizens has been dormant since the end of WWII. Instead of radical, we act more “rationally”. This rational spirit is good for government stability, but taken to the extreme can lead to a conformist society.
And a conformist society is bad. Conformity stalls economic development, limits professional creativity and helps incompetent politicians (GWB) rise to power.

We, as free people, have to make sure we never lose our radical spirit. We must retain our ability to stand up and march radically against any threat to our basic human rights. We must defend our freedom of speech. And to those who say “one man can’t make a difference”.

Tell that to Ghandi.
Tell that to Martin Luther King.
Tell that to Mohamed Bouazizi.

1 Comment

Filed under Conflict

Meaning of Life in the XXI Century

Exisitencialism, emptyness, constant boredom… all signs of the XXI century man struggling to find a meaning to his life. A struggle for meaning that only seems to be getting harder decade after decade, generation after generation. Capitalism tells us its money, Goverment tells us its work, Religion tells us its God, Hollywood tells us its pleasure… the list of meanings goes on and on… and so does the number of people that feel their existence is meaningless, that they have no control over their lives.

But what if there was a a way to find meaning to our lives… what if the reason we are not finding that meaning is because we are not looking in the right places. Here is where Viktor Frankl’s theory of logotherapy comes in. Frankl was a jew with a loving family, a prominent career as psicologist/neurologist, a pregnant wife and unpublished book. Then came 1942. His family was put on a train. His dad died in his arms. His mother was sent to the gas chambers. His wife was forced to abortion and sent to another camp.  His unpublished book was ripped to shreds. Everything he loved… gone in the blink of an eye.

So there he was standing in front of Auschwitz’s electric fence. With every right to want jump… end his life… escape the suffering. But right then, another prisoner touched his shoulder and said “Don’t, wait till to tomorrow”. And thus he waited. Waited 3 years in 3 different concentration camps before finally being liberated in 1945. What keep him alive? His willingness to reunite with his wife and rewrite his lost book.

His experiences in the camps taught him a lot about the human being. It showed him that even in the most miserable, inhuman conditions where a people were reduced to numbers: humans retained the ability to choose. Even in Auschwitz, prisoners could still to retain some dignity. “The pigs were unmasked. And so were the saints. Hunger revealed them” It’s this experience and his own professional formation that motivated Frankl to elaborate his theory of logotherapy.

Don't stop looking...

Logotherapy  focuses on the meaning of life and man´s search for that meaning. Not an abstract/universal meaning that applies for all, but rather, a concrete personal meaning that life holds for everyone. Instead of dwelling in the past, logotherapy encourages us to look at the future. A personal meaning that has to found in the world outside, not inside.

According to Frankl there a 3 different ways of discovering/carrying out the meaning of life:

1. Meaning of  action: having a goal, a mission in life. Wanting to write, create or achieve something that one can later look at and be genuinely proud of.

2. Meaning of love: being able to accept and love that which sorrounds you. Being able to enjoy nature, art, company, friends and family.

3. Meaning of suffering: when one faces an inescapable destiny (terminal disease, death), life offers one the opportunity of carrying out a supreme value: accepting the suffering. Valor resides not in the suffering itself, but in the attitude in which one faces that suffering. By accepting the challenge of suffering, life maintains its meaning to the last instant, all the way to the very end.

Frankl admits that the our meaning of life can change with the passing of time, but the important thing its that never ceases to exist. In summary, what his experience in the concentration camp taught him was this: “The human being is not just an object among’st objects; things determine other things, but men, at the last instance, determines himself.”

Even Nietzsche, a devout existencialist, once said: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”. The trick is in finding that “why”.

Quoting the last words of  Viktor Frankl’s short book Man’s Search for Meaning (which I highly recommend)

“We have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s prayer or the Shema Yisreal on his lips”

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Culture, Inspiration