Monday, February 23, 2015

Love Padlocks Around the World and Its Controversy

If you are unfamiliar with love locks please go to this link and read up on them: Background Information on Love Locks and their meaning! 

The history of love padlocks dates back at least 100 years to a melancholy Serbian tale of World War I, with an attribution for the bridge Most Ljubavi (lit. the Bridge of Love) in spa town of Vrnjačka Banja.[2] A local schoolmistress named Nada, who was from Vrnjačka Banja, fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja. After they committed to each other Relja went to war in Greece where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu. As a consequence, Relja and Nada broke off their engagement. Nada never recovered from that devastating blow, and after some time she died due to heartbreak from her unfortunate love. As young women from Vrnjačka Banja wanted to protect their own loves, they started writing down their names, with the names of their loved ones, on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet.[3][4]In rest of Europe, love padlocks started appearing in the early 2000s.[5] The reasons love padlocks started to appear vary between locations and in many instances are unclear. However, in Rome, the ritual of affixing love padlocks to the bridge Ponte Milvio can be attributed to the 2006 book I Want You by Italian author Federico Moccia, who made a film adaptation in 2007.[6][7]
When I first became aware of love locks was when I saw them in some music videos I came across on youtube, I found the idea of attaching locks to doors, bridges and other places to be quite creative and I always wondered why and how it started. I wasn't aware it was such a huge tradition nor had such a heartbreaking history as the quoted section above. However, I came across this topic again yesterday while I was watching a new music video and just had to find out. Because the music video was so sweet and sad at the same time, I had to know the whole story of these locks.

The historical significance behind love locks is tear jerking and how generations after them chose to express and turn it into a bigger tradition is even more inspiring and notable to me. I am so happy to see so many people believe that their love is unbreakable. Who wants their love to be breakable right? Everyone wishes for their love to last for a long time even if they died the lock they left on a bridge will remain.

I believe these locks signify that there is love that does not break in the world and to have faith that you will one day find an unbreakable love yourself. I wish to visit one of these locations someday and read all the names on each lock and dates and see if there is one that is at least decades old. That would be really sweet to see. I hope one day I can go there with my other half and attach our own lock to the collection of happy couples in the world. I do wonder if it's was a heat of a moment decision to put a lock on after a first date or if they knew they wanted to spend their lives with this person for a lifetime.

However, the sad thing is the government sees these kind of acts as vandalism and loitering. I can see how it is vandalism and loitering but this is such a creative and artistic tradition that doesn't really bother anyone in my opinion. Why should it be seen similar to something like graffiti? They want their love for someone to be known to the world and encourage young and old to not give up in believing in love regardless of how old, is that wrong? As a result, many locks have been taken off of many places around the world because it was said to cause rust on bridges, problems to the infrastructures, and even forbidden in some countries! All I can say is the people will find another way and place to hang them in the public.

I think this is a very cute idea and as a writer, I feel I get so much inspiration from seeing these amazing photos and places that still have these locks. I would want to read what some of those say! There are wishing wells and wishing trees all around the world and they haven't be seen as loitering or vandalism so why should this? Those bridges are made for transportation and for the convince of traveling for people so technically it belongs to the people right? This should be a culture that is allowed around the world and not seen as vandalism. This is a violation of freedom of space, will, thought, and expression!

Who agrees?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Forget and Forgive

I sometimes feel that those who waste time holding a grudge against someone you love and care for or don't care for is a pointless thing to do. I could go on and on with the list of possible people you hold a grudge to who probably don't even give a crap of how you feel or if you are holding a grudge. Life is too short to hate someone and even shorter to hold a grudge for someone they did like ten years or three months ago. If you truly love someone or care for that person who caused you such intense pain for you to hold a grudge or a strong negative feeling towards them, you would choose to forget and forgive. Because if you really do still care for them or even have a shred of love and care for them left, you would find love triumphs over your grudge against them. 

Many would say that it is easier said than done but not entirely impossible. You just need a big enough heart to forget what happened and be willing to let go of what happened. It's not the end of the world because it could happen again with a different person. Yes, forgetting what happened isn't easy because you suffered a great pain and emotional trauma but think of what reason the other party had and why they did it at that time. Be in their shoes. Don't only think of yourself. 

If you only think of yourself, you are only mentally and emotionally torturing yourself while the other party may not even be aware that you are bearing such a deep grudge against them when it may have been a simple matter or complicated depending on the nature of the incident. If you are unwilling to forgive and forget, then you are only hindering your own movement towards a better future. Your stubbornness in choosing to keep remembering what happened will eat you up and you would probably do crazy acts that will have severe consequences. 

Don't most major religions teach us to forgive and forget? To accept others for all they are and most importantly to accept yourself? This is the only way you can move forward and when you see those that hurt you again, you can be able to say: 'let's start fresh from page one.' Nothing is impossible as long as you are willing to let go of your own stubbornness of your grudge and willing to forget the pain you suffered. Don't see it as pain you suffered but choose to see it as a lesson learned and an experience that made you stronger. :) So please practice forgive and forget each day. 

Take a moment to think about this sometimes. Do you really detest and hate them that much? Is it a grudge that cannot be forgiven and forgotten? Are you willing to use so much time and energy to resent them for years on end? Everyone can be forgiven for anything no matter how horrible it was. The problem is if you are willing to give them a second chance and willing to start afresh no matter what they did. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Goat

Check this link if you aren't too familiar with what exactly goes on for Asian families on this amazing holiday:  Chinese New Year Traditions and Background Info  ! 

It's that time of year again for asians all around the world. It's Chinese New Year!!! This year is the year of the sheep as you can see! I loved Chinese New Year very much because my culture is something I am very proud of and respect. There are other reasons I love this celebration and that is because it's a chance to get together with family, enjoy good food and really celebrate our traditions and morals. 

Younger generations would probably say that they love this holiday because of the time they get off from work and all the lucky money they get from those that are married. I will never forget the excitement in opening those red envelopes and seeing how much money you got. It's similar to christmas for many. 

So I hope everyone who is celebrating the Chinese New Year to enjoy it to the fullest this year, to make many great memories, resolutions, and wishes for this new year! I am very tired going on with three hours of sleep in the last 24 hours. Please remind me to never blog when I am in such a state.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rowdy Young Generation!

Rowdy young generation of teens that I witnessed on the 147 northbound bus from downtown Chicago on Valentine’s Day this year. I’ve always managed to keep an open mind regarding high school kids because I’ve been in their shoes. I was never the outgoing and loud nor a troublemaker during my school years, but I was aware of how out of control high school kids may be.

A friend once told me that the younger generation holds so much promise nowadays, and they are daring and brimming with fiery passion about new ideas to break through traditional and old views and ideas. I thought about what he said back then and it did make sense. There are good high school kids out there but it only takes a few rotten apples to ruin the whole batch. I see high school kids as people who have not yet experienced enough of life and too overly fearless and do stupid things. I feel that in their eyes they believe they have all the right in the world and freedom to do whatever it is they desire once out of adult supervision. That is where the trouble starts.

As stereotypical as this may sound, what do high school teens know about the hardships of everyday life adults go through, the scars and experiences adults bear all the way through life? High school teens only see themselves and their own ways of enjoyment, as this is factual because my cousin is this way. I envy them and also wish they would mature faster. Life is not up to them. Life will push them down and wound them even if they feel it’s unlikely. Things are not always as easy as they think nor is their way of thinking the ‘only right way’.

I digress so my apologies. What happened on Valentine’s Day was a group of teens got on the bus, loud and out of control there were both boys and girls. During the ride back up north, the teens would not stop hopping and climbing on and off the elevated step located at the center of bus. They kept popping their gum nonstop and talking about pointless things. None of them would settle down and just hold onto the spot where they were standing. They kept popping their gums loudly and everyone on the bus was irritated and tired already so hearing that all the way back for me at least was very agitating. They were so focused on themselves that they didn't care or consider if it was bothering anyone.

There was no sense of self control from them nor worry about how they were portraying themselves in public. I feel this is a good and bad thing to an adult to see teens with such energy and life is of course great and may even arouse envy in them. I do miss my teen years where I could be as care and worry free as them though it wasn’t too carefree or burden free but there was no pressure of responsibility in my memory at least.

When the bus got off the highway, one of the teen girls bumped into a man who was standing behind her causing him to nearly hit his head on the pole. He was not playing around and turned around and said: ‘So having to listen to you popping your gum all the way back wasn’t enough but now you have to bump into me too?’ Boy- I was impressed because he had spoken for everyone who was fed up with this rowdy group. The girl and her friends just backed away so fast and silently away from him like lost puppies. It does take someone to set these rowdy teens in place. I still do believe there are good teens but the majority I’ve seen on social media and on buses and trains only scream out to me that they have no sense of self-control, which is sad.

Teens are so full of life, so full of freedom, has such a vast lack of self-control, and self-centered that reminds adults of how it was to be so young. They are too reckless and inexperienced and when life smacks them in the face one day real good...forcing them to change...I wonder how it will be like then. 

I understand teens want to let loose on weekends but do think about where you are and about how you’re appearing to others in public and exercise more self-control. This also begs a bigger question of nature versus nurture and concerns of who teens hang out with nowadays. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day !

I recently came across an interesting tweet on twitter yet it disappeared for some reason even though I saved it. It was very good but I was unable to find it again but I remember it faintly and so I will do my best to improvise on what I remember from that tweet!

Basically the prompt was where does love come from? Does it come from the heart or your feelings or something completely different? What does love mean to this generation? What does love mean to you? I feel this is one of those questions where it’s repetitive but offers so much diversity in the answers you can receive. It’s exciting to hear what others think so please comment if interested!

As I always do for my posts, I’ll offer my answer and thoughts on the questions that were brought up earlier. I do believe that love comes from the heart. The heart is a mysterious organ and many ancient civilizations believed that emotions are born from the heart and all we feel is born from there. The heart is the holder of the long list of emotions we all experience in our life long journey.

Let’s think of why that makes sense. Because every time we are aroused by a desire, it starts in the mind but if your heart is not into it then there is no point. The mind is only the logical and rational component of our human frame. The heart is the one that sparks up that fiery passion and desires that serves as the throttle for so many things. The heart triggers the fiery determination to not give up. The heart and mind must coexist each other, one starts the idea and the other adds the enthusiasm and passion to the act to make us more driven by it.

I’ve done a lot of lurking around social media sites and apps before getting ready to answer this question of what love means to this generation. I feel that everyone is different but for many teens in high school I feel love is more based on physical appearances and sexuality than what lies inside a person. Teens tend to go for the hot girls with the great butts and big chests. Not giving much care to personality wise as long as they have similar topics. It’s understandable and not a bad thing but kind of insubstantial and they’re young so it’s understandable. I go on social media sites and there are many posts that go: ‘guy with the navy blue shirt in the lunchroom, you’re so hot!’ It’s so bold of girls to do that on social media risking that that guy may find out but probably not. I feel the majority is so bold in stating this complements in hopes of starting a relationship with them. I envy these youngsters for being so bold and brave. I think that’s what love means to many in this generation. There are some who aren’t as bold and tend to like someone from afar. Everyone is different but if you like someone then go for it. The bottom line is I feel everyone just dreads the feeling of being alone and loneliness. They want someone to share the ups and downs of life with.

As for me, I’ve always been evasive in love and I have had my share of rough patches. I’ve refused to even think about relationships for a long time but the loneliness has been irritating me. I can be bold if the other party is not. Because it shoves me to be the initiative, I guess it’s a challenge but also a chance for me to practice being more open than waiting for others to make the first move. I’ve always had rotten luck in love. I digress too much.

I think love for me is finding someone who knows what you’re thinking without saying anything. Someone who understands you better than you understand yourself and it’s the same the other way around. Someone who is there through the good and bad times and doesn’t abandon you even if everyone does. Someone who can make you laugh even when you’re crying is the most precious, someone who is willing to listen to you rant endlessly and you are willing to listen to them as well. There is mutual respect and an undying, unfading affection between two people is the sweetest thing ever, gentle and calm.

As you grow older- I feel you don't care less about looks but you don't place it as the first thing you look at either. You look at personality and inner beauty more. 

What are your thoughts and opinions on these questions? Please feel free to share and have a sweet valentine’s day regardless if you are spending it with someone or spending it with a pizza and Netflix. Just remember that your friends love you and your family loves you and your other half loves you and you are never alone!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Social Media is a Two-Sided Blade

The power of social media has really amazed over the course of a decade. I am an 80’s baby and while that may seem insignificant to many. It means a lot to how slowly I’ve come to get used to all the social media apps and sites out there today. I have always been a book person and journal person and never really reached out to computers until I entered elementary school. Computers seemed like a completely new world to me then and I mostly used computers for homework and typing. I still remember Xanga and MySpace. Those were very popular during my high school years.

I am sure many during their teen years back around my era created facebooks, myspaces, and xangas but never looked after them once accounts were made. My Facebook remained untouched mostly throughout high school until I entered college and was told of networking and how social networks helped with getting to know people. However, we have to be careful of the people we meet and be able to tell who are scammers, hackers, and troublemakers.

I find it amazing yet also funny how much social networks have dominated our culture and been the best chance to land a good job, meet people who may be able to get you a job, and let your name be known to the world. However, it also depends on how we use social networks. Some use it for fun as a hobby and a personal space on the net where they can share their most inner thoughts. Some use it for career opportunities.

It offers so much for professionals yet can ruin the life of teens in less than a blink of an eye. How about that thirteen year old boy that got killed over a Facebook post? How about all that cyber bullying that is still going around on the internet that so many parents don’t know about and kids refuse to tell their families about? Social media is a powerful tool but can also be the best way to kill someone.

Social media is a great tool but everyone has to be careful of what their posting and not to let certain things affect them. Don’t see everything as such a big deal as the saying goes: ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’  If only people were able to do it than just recite that saying more often, I guess everything is easier said than done. Because each of our upbringings is different, the way we interpret and handle matters are different.

Be careful of what you say on social media networks. Don’t fight over Facebook with people who you don’t know what they are capable of. I would advice youngsters to use social media too much or be too addicted to them. You guys should certainly sped more time in your studies and reading to expand your horizons.

Social media was created for people to be able to connect with family, to find people they’ve lost contact with, to find potential jobs and employers, to meet new friends, and so forth. It was not created for people to attack each other nor to cause death. It is sad the good and harm that can come from such a powerful tool.

I am a traditionalist to a certain degree and if it was not for me to be able to widen my network and let my writing and voice be heard and read…I would not want to be on so many social networks. That’s the downside of being a writer. We will go unnoticed if we don’t put our work out there and let our voices be heard. It’s a sad truth but one I’ve come to accept. I don’t go crazy over updating statuses or posting revealing photos of myself. I just post whatever is memorable or something I want to share with the public.

How I wish being a writer was as easy as it used to be—in the ancient eras. The competition may have been no less difficult but at least there would be a bigger probability of being published.  Social media is indeed a two sided blade.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Childhood Memories- Do You Guys Remember These?

Do you guys still remember these two bad boys?

I don't know about you guys but these two items were what accompanied me in times of boredom and when I didn't have anything to satisfy my urges for a snack. My aunt would have a set of play-doh one of her kids bought for her to keep around whenever her grandchildren or I came over to visit. I remember playing with play-doh in her basement on hot summer days when I was around nine or ten years old. It was very entertaining for me. I would spend hours molding the clay into hamburgers and human figures. It kept me busy for hours and very fun.

I would choose to play with play-doh than play with a computer or electronic devicce any day and if I someday do have kids. I would rather they play with play-doh than electronic devices. I want them to experience what I went through and to learn to be creative, work with their hands, and communicate with family than face a lifeless electronic device all day.

This Fruit Stripe gum is the first gum I'd ever had as a kid. I will never forget my astonishment at how one little piece of candy could have so many colors and flavors packed in it. And to come across it suddenly in a store is even more rare. I thought it had gone extinct. Haha. I still remember whenever we went to the store, I would call the gum, 'zebra gum!' because it really does look like a colorful zebra. Life is full of different flavors as well: one moment things are sour, another sweet, one moment bland, another spicy. This gum showed me that and will always bring back memories of my childhood.

Anyways- I thought these two items were extinct but it's good to know that they are both around and still popular among children and the public which is always a pleasure to know.