Monday, August 17, 2015

Response to: Chicago Tribune Writer Goes Under Fire For Wishing for Hurricane Katrina For Chicago


When I read about what a Chicago Tribune writer wrote of how they wished for a Hurricane Katrina for Chicago, the first reaction that hit me was: ‘what is wrong with you?’ I found the column and read it and felt that I understood what she was trying to convey. Her intentions throughout the piece expressed desire and hope for reform and a new beginning for Chicago. However, the way they went about expressing it aroused a lot of shock and offended many Katrina victims.

I think the piece was enormously focused on hoping for reform not only for Chicago despite it being focused on Chicago but addressed to the entire country. There is corruption everywhere and reform is desperately needed. I don’t blame the writer for writing such a piece because they believe that only with a fast, hard, and deadly physical disaster would opened people’s eyes and wake them up from their own self-centered fantasizes and lifestyles. However, because of how it was worded at some parts…it didn’t have the type of effect I am sure the writer wanted it to have and it backfired. That is why I feel the most powerful people in the world isn’t a doctor, nor lawyer, but a writer. Why a writer? Because words can cut deeper than fear than diseases itself, a pen has the power to lift a person and their noble acts up or it can ruin someone into the deepest pits of hell.

Whenever, I read, see, or hear about wildfires, horrible earthquakes, shootings, deaths, floods, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, I pray for those who lost homes, their lives, but I also pray that it never happens where I live. As selfish as that sounds, but who wants to experience those horrible near death experiences, terrifying forces of nature?  Who doesn’t want their home to stand peaceful and not suffer any horrible natural disasters? I’ve never experienced earthquakes or hurricanes or any of the sort, but I have lost loved ones and experienced the pain and suffering of losing something. That feeling is horrible and I don’t want to experience it again even though that is only wishful thinking. That is why I said I understood the writer for wishing for a hurricane for Chicago because sometimes only experiencing a horrible loss and going through something devastating is the only way to open the eyes of the city, of politicians, of people and make them grow and change.

Ever since the beginning of the very first government system on the earth, social reform always occurs when the government has deep roots of corruption, when the cries of the people are too loud to ignore any longer, when corruption is so obvious that it can no longer be overlooked but it all comes from the heart of the people if they are willing to make changes. In history, horrible floods, droughts, and quakes brought people together and voices became so loud, suffering so horrifying, and images so terrifying that forced the government to change to a better state such as offering relief of taxes, aiding in supplies, and so forth.

My aunt used to say that you have to fall hard in order to know what must be changed as a person but over the years—I started to feel that way about the country too. They all have to suffer some sort of loss or fall in order to know what must be changed or improved for the wellbeing of the entire, city, state, and country. I am not wishing for a hurricane or a horrible disaster to occur in every state. However, I listen to news each day and there’s fires, deaths, floods, everywhere, everyday, so isn’t that already forcing the country to change little by little as small as it may be? I may be wrong so please correct me if I am.

I just feel we don’t need a huge hurricane or earthquake to force the government to reform. These daily events, daily disasters around the counter, daily protests, the voices of disapproval from civilians on all social media platforms, should be more than enough to encourage reform. That’s just me. I don’t know how big of an event is needed to force the hands of politicians’ to take the initiative and start reformation. Yes, I understand reforms are scary and difficult. Reforms may take years to plan out, months to put down on paper and ease into action but it has to be done. Of course there may be protests and disapproval from some people, but we should see it as a way to take back the plan and fix the way we go about reform.

I feel people just have a lack of faith in the government now though for reformation. Because although the United States is the richest and most progressed country, it has never been able to get anything done, everything is just a big heap of tangled strings and knots. And that is why the writer from Chicago Tribune wrote the piece wishing for a Hurricane Katrina. I don’t know. These are all just my assumptions and I shall make no more.

Please feel free to discuss and leave comments.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Prayers To Tianjin

The explosion in Tianjin is an image of hell on earth when I saw the news report on TV this morning. Fires are still burning and death rates and injuries are still rising from what I read from a newspaper a few days before. It's a devastating event and heartbreaking to see though it's thousands of miles away. My mom has always been concerned about her home country and this news only devastated her. 

I remember I was in seventh grade when 9/11 happened while I was in class. The images on the television screen and the reports made me feel like my soul was sucked out of my body. My immediate thought back then was immediately on the children of those victims and families. Losing loved ones is never easy and especially due to disasters caused by others or natural causes. I remembered everyone in the school was so shocked and saddened by the news. Our principal asked all the students to write letters that would be sent to the families of those that lost their lives that day. They were all heroes. 

I don't know if it's possible to send letters of condolences to Tianjin and my Chinese letter writing skills aren't the best, so I'll send my prayers and condolences here. Those who know me well...know I'm an only kid and my father passed away when I was only two, my first grandma at 8 and second at 11, and my beloved aunt at 25. The pain and horror of losing loved ones is never easy to deal with or overcome especially if it's sudden. I'd never gotten over anyone of those that left me. It has always hung over my life like a shadow and a reminder of how difficult and cruel life can be. How it likes to test and force us to grow. 

I want to tell all those families that have lost loved ones in this horrible event to know that those who've left us are never truly gone. They are among us though we cannot see or touch them. They will be watching over you selflessly until you've gotten back onto your feet and able to move forward. They never wanted to leave you so suddenly and unpredictably. Their love will always be with you and in your hearts. Never forget their love for you, never forget what they taught you and the marks they left on your life. Carry that love, those lessons, those memories with pride and live the way they want you to live. As I've learned over the years, turn pain and sadness into strength and become a much stronger person and carry on their spirit and will. 

I gives my prayers and wishes to Tianjin hoping that the fires and explosions  will come to an end quickly before anymore innocent lives are lost. I gives my condolences and love  to those who've lost loved ones and hope that one day- they will find the strength to keep fighting. That the sun will rise even after the darkest night. There will be light at the end of that dark tunnel of pain, grief, and loss. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Thoughts on Game of Thrones Book Series

I recently attempted to read the monster-sized series, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I am a huge fan of the series on HBO and could not longer resist the urge to give the books another attempt.

Martin’s writing style and prose flow is amazing and the way he chose to dedicate separate chapters for the major characters is amazing. Its clean and organized and gives me a taste of each character’s inner thoughts, inner worlds, and portrays who they really are rather than basing it on dialogue and scenes. It flows but at the same time I feel that there is a little lack of exposition and way too much dialogue. You hardcore fans may want to bite my head off but that’s how I feel though I am only on the second book. I have been told too much exposition is not good and at the same time too little is also a bad thing. In my own writing, I tend to use too much exposition and I feel at times that that’s true but exposition is just necessary at times to me.

I have read many reviews on the book series and felt that some don’t like the way the chapters are separate, jumping back and forth between the viewpoints of characters. If I had to describe this type of style, it would be omniscient but in different chapters to keep characters’ thoughts organized. It’s very powerful and effectively used in the books. However, I must say that I don’t like reading about some characters and at times I want to skip them but afraid to miss something important.

Some of the characters I enjoy reading the most is Bran, Catelyn, Jon, Ayra, Sansa, Tyrion, Dany, and I think that’s it. I would want to see a few chapters of Cersei or Jamie Lannister. I am not saying the other characters aren’t interesting but it sort of throws the reader off when you have Theon or another character have chapters and it just takes the suspense away and leaves the reader feeling irritated.

When I first started reading the series, it reminded me of Three Kingdoms of Romance and Condor Heroes because both books and historical documentaries had a very long list of characters and several settings that switched back and forth. At times it was slow and at times it was fast and at times it was so intense and dramatic that it left a mark. It’s an enjoyable read and insightful especially for my writing but it’s not an easy read!

My friend said I even read Harry Potter so this shouldn’t be too hard! We shall see!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How Much Education Is Enough?

How much education is enough? There is not one education system in the world that doesn’t have at least one flaw. There is also not one education in the world that does leave one in years of debt. Society demands education for everyone up to high school so everyone may be educated properly and be literate. I am not saying education is a bad thing and this is neither my main point. I digress so forgive me.

I am sure everyone hates school for one reason or another if it isn’t hate then it must be irritation or wariness they feel at some point. When young, we don’t understand why we must go to school and why we must sit here for hours listening to the teacher drone. When we grow old enough to understand why, we start to question how much education is sufficient enough for us to move through this life. I always wondered that myself. I cannot speak for anyone else but ever since I was a child I questioned how much education is enough for one person. I think about how in history, many great men, women were self-educated and required only a minimal of ten years of less of educating from a governess, their own parents, or their own studying.

In history going back thousands of years if we may, doctors or physicians they were called only had to find an acclaimed doctor in the region and become their disciple, and they would be taught all that was required to save the lives of others. Doctors, scholars, military men, recorded endless knowledge and that knowledge of men down so the next generation can learn from them. That’s the type of society I find admirable and fascinating if I were able to live in such a time. It was a rapid way of learning and you either understood it or not. There was no one to go through books with you slowly, it all relied on your own self-discipline and mindset.

Back on topic- I feel going up to high school is more than enough for education. I’ve felt many of the things in high school didn’t differ that much from my last two or three years of middle school. By the time you finish high school, you already hold more than enough knowledge, common sense, and a strong foundation. You already have the skill and knowledge of math, history, English, music, art, etc. If you wanted become a doctor, lawyer, or whatever field, there are a ton of reference books, old textbooks online, how-to-books, that can supply you with more than enough knowledge.

The problem I feel is that with the power of technology and all the distractions of society right now so different from history. Young people get easily distracted or lose interest if they are not forced to sit in a classroom environment or they don’t feel obligated to finish educating themselves and let it drag out. While if you are forced to take college courses, you are under the pressure to pass them or it’s a waste of money.

Some of us just need that pressure and fear in order to get a degree done which is sad. But I strongly believe there is no occupation that cannot be self-taught. There is no occupation that requires you to get a degree in order to be skilled in it. Sadly, society requires you to have a degree (a proof that you are qualified/certified for the job), which is just unnecessary.

I speak from my own experience as a writer and given I majored in creative writing. I wouldn’t say it was a complete waste of time in college. I met good people and got some good feedback from peers about my writing that helped perfect my style. However, other than that I felt some courses were unnecessary and a waste of time and money. As a writer, most of what I learned by the time I finished high school was enough. The letter I wrote to the 9/11 families in elementary school got praised and aroused attention from even the school principle. I had already even gotten two pieces of poetry published in my high school literary journal. What I already knew and what I picked up from through books and reading was more than enough.

A degree is nothing more than a fancy paper that stands as evidence that you completed it and certified. Is that piece of paper really that important? I can say there is someone out there with a high school diploma who is able to do an even better job than that with a degree if they self-taught themselves on the exact same things.

There are resources everywhere, people willing to give advice and help everywhere. You just reach out and hopefully you will find. The problem with professionals now is that many have huge egos are unwilling to offer advice and help many of the times to strangers and people who have no stand in society whatsoever. Where has the nature of extending out a helpful hand gone in many of us?

College is not needed and only leaves you in debt if you relied on financial aid or loans to get through how many years of school you went through. As like myself, I am still trying to pay off loans from school. I sometimes ask myself what was the point when I knew I was already sufficient enough with the knowledge and skilled I held.

I emphasize that I am not trying to persuade people to not go and get a degree. Do as you please for I merely stated my own opinion.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ego and Nature

The simplest way to define ego is but with one sentence. Our ego is the sense of our own values and importance.  In religious terms it can also mean as the false sense of self as separate from others and God. In other words ego in my opinion is also how much confidence one holds and the way they hold themselves around others. Ever since I was made aware of Freudian thoughts in school, I fell in love in Freud’s findings and theories of psychoanalysis such as the ego diagram he created of people.

People are all self-centered and think of themselves too highly at some point in their lives. It can be when they finally acquired that college degree, become some acclaimed lawyer, doctor, or reached an executive position in some major company.  However, I feel this doesn’t always happen during adulthood but also as children such as if a child is born into a fairly well off family or the heir to millions or a company their parents are CEOs of. The comfortable environment and circumstances they live in just fills them to the overfilling point of high self-confidence, huge egos, and see no one but themselves. When people attain a certain amount of fortune, power, authority, adequate lifestyle, they eventually allow their egos to take over their good judgment and forget how they once were or those who are not as fortunate. 

Fortune gives birth to greed. Power gives birth to ambition. Authority gives birth to confidence. Intelligence gives birth to concede. All this factors brew one’s ego sometimes without their awareness and sometimes they are aware and yet still choose to continue on that path because their ego encourages that they are doing the right thing and it makes them feel good!

Having a huge ego is not a bad thing. However, I feel that if you’re ego becomes so huge that you can ignore the cries for help from others, see the kindness of others as a plot to gain something, to think of yourselves higher than those who are less accomplished, to see no one but your own wants and desires, to believe that your opinions are right and others are wrong, to refuse to listen and accept the advice of others, then I ask how are you still considered a human? If your ego is so huge, that when you see a helpless animal or homeless people on the street yet do nothing. When you see an elderly person having trouble and refuse to help. Then what kind of person are you?

My aunt once told me to never think too highly of myself regardless of how smart I am or how acclaimed I may become. Because you may be high and mighty, but never forget there is another mountain that is higher than yours. You cannot turn a blind eye or underestimate those who are lesser than you in accomplishments or where they are in life. There are things to learn from them. Do not think because you are professional worker in a big firm or company that you are the best. Sometimes there is someone who is better than you in terms of personality trait, morality, dignity, and intelligence yet just were less fortunate and didn’t have the necessary finance to go to college. Keep an open heart and mind. Many things are able to be self-taught and don’t require a degree, any subject can be self-taught other than science and law fields. I don’t believe there is any subject in the world that can’t be self-taught; however, that is a topic for another day.

Many people believe they are not apart of nature and are greater than animals. I feel that is wrong because we evolved from monkeys through millions of years. How can we say that we are separate from nature? How can we claim we are any different from a dog of cat? We desire a good home, we desire to keep our stomachs full, we desire to be happy, we desire to be praised and loved, we desire to have children and we fight with others. How different is that from animals?

I have like literally no ego. I never think of myself greater, better, or higher than anyone. Even if given with authority and leadership, I’ve never spoken to anyone in a tone or manner that makes them seem any less or lower than I. Everyone is equal to me regardless of high or low positions. I love animals and feel most comfortable with nature. Nature is enormous and limitless compared to one person standing in the opened face of nature before them.

Please leave comments or discussion topics!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Why I like historical series more than modern ones

I’ve always had a liking for period dramas more than modern ones for some reason. Maybe it may be the first television series I was introduced to as a child were historical dramas about ancient china such as: Art of War, Three kingdoms of Romance, The Golden Era of Tang, etc. I grew a huge love for the conspiracies, plots, the amped storyline and danger around every corner and the battle of intelligence and wits and the power of silence and inner worlds of those historical figures. Most of though—I loved the chivalry men lived by and the virtue women protected and the intelligence men and women alike held. The love that was not selfish but selfless, honor and dignity that meant more than their own lives.

I am not saying I don’t love modern series like: Criminal Minds, Bones, Law and Order, NCIS, CSI, Hannibal, Blacklist, Game of Thrones, Dexter, House of Cards, Supernatural, and shows like that. I love suspenseful and gruesome shows but that’s all I like. I don’t give much care to comedy or other genres. I did love Friends, Charmed, and Everybody loves Raymond. Those are my old classic favorites. 

There has always been an air of elegance and sophistication about period dramas that I’ve always loved and their clothing and way they speak on television and in novels. History is just so serious and so amped and complicated that it just makes me thirst for more. I love picking apart the details and watch and read about the battle of wits and the dark secrets court officers hide and the power struggle. It seems so realistic and mirrors how modern society is in big companies and governments.

Some may say period dramas, historical documentaries are boring but I love watching those and reading about them. History is a crucial part of us and if we don’t know history then history is doomed to repeat itself as it already is with how the stately affairs across the country are right now and beyond. I also love the infrastructures of historical dramas and I love horse riding so period dramas have a special place in my heart.

Women are skilled in the arts of mothering, chess, music, art, books, handiwork, and cooking. While men were skilled in books, military tactics, self-defense, art, music, chess, building, and had hearts only for progression and lived by chivalry. How I wish such a way of living were possible now, to be able to ride under an open sky with a companion and share each other’s poetry, wits, and compose music together.

Not only those points but also I felt that people back then cared and valued bonds that they shared much more than people do now.

About modern dramas- I don’t much favor them unless they are similar to the ones I’ve mentioned above because some of them are very sexual and I am not comfortable with that. Women throw themselves at men recklessly and love seems to be a rollercoaster like ride rather than remaining devoted to one man. The same thing goes around for men alike.

And that’s the end of that! Many may argue and disagree with my view so feel free to discuss or comment. :)