From the category archives:

this i believe

The fifty people that were murdered in Orlando were our people. They’re not just “those people”. They’re you and me. I can see many thinking, “Why should I care? I am not gay. My children are not gay. I don’t know any gay people.”

Gay rights are human rights.

When you implicitly condone violence perpetrated against one group, you’re aiding violence that WILL affect you one day in the future in some shape or form.

Add your name. Sign the petition.

ban assault weapons

 

Thoughts and prayers haven’t worked. We need to protect the most beautiful thing about this country – diversity and tolerance (relative to many places around the world, for example, where I came from. I understand it’s not perfect here in the US). I’d love to believe that love wins but this tragedy did not happen in a vacuum. There’s been a disconcerting trend of backlash against LGBT (along with backlashes against POC and women). Just like racism did not die with the election of an African American POTUS, hatred (What’s in the fabric of our collective psyche to cause so many to hate complete strangers so much?) against the LGBT community did not lessen after the passing of marriage equality laws.

Sign the petition. Make a difference.

And one more thing:

Love will only win if we make our voice heard with VOTES. VOTE in the next election to remove all the elected officials supporting (i.e. not banning) easy access to assault weapons. That’s one message that will get their attention.

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popular travel quote that disturbs me

 

Dear Internet, please stop sharing, re-posting, re-tweeting, liking, +’ing, quotes about travel that do not check privileges inherently associated with the ability to pick up and go.

I love travel. I enjoy travel. Heck, I focus in the travel product area at work. But I also understand that the ability to travel is a privilege. It implies wealth (or at least disposable income), ability and confidence to find hospitality (say you have no money but you want to rely on the kindness of strangers – I’m going to assume that this works a lot better for a white male in most parts of the world), physical capability, lack of restrictions of responsibilities for another human being, and more. That’s why quotes like this bother me to no end. It’s as if we’re accusing those who can’t travel (for one reason or another) of lack of imagination, of an inability to aspire for more in life.

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“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” — Margaret Atwood

I came across a helpful, objective, step by step analysis of “Reverse [Fill in the blank]ism” complaints and the fallacy in those complaints. Often in the call for “compassion”, for understanding, for listening to the other side, these writings fall into the category of apologist-ic argument which, imo, set us back to the starting point – “So, you are saying that nobody sets out to hate anybody. Case closed. Business as usual then?”

Read “The Distress of the Privileged” on The Weekly Sift if you’ve been frustrated with the recent public discourse of invisible privileges and the commandeering of it by the privileged: Ferguson & all the future and past police shootings of unarmed black men, white privilege, Jon Stewart’s now famous intense schooling of Bill O’Reilly, G-A-M-E-R-G-A-T-E, sexism everywhere you look, etc. etc. If you are ever tongued-tied when confronted with “we should listen to the other side”. If you ever experience, with acute pang in your chest, l‘esprit de l’escalier. If you ever want to scream but you can’t really because “what difference then are we from the other side.”

“As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others.”

“Confronting this distress is tricky, because neither acceptance nor rejection is quite right. The distress is usually very real, so rejecting it outright just marks you as closed-minded and unsympathetic. It never works to ask others for empathy without offering it back to them.”

“[F]irmness together with understanding”, the author suggests, may be the middle path that will move us forward.

“… my straight-white-male sunburn can’t be allowed to compete on equal terms with your heart attack. To me, it may seem fair to flip a coin for the first available ambulance, but it really isn’t. Don’t try to tell me my burn doesn’t hurt, but don’t consent to the coin-flip.” [Emphasis mine]

 

 

 

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The Optimistic Perspective from a Cynic

April 15, 2013 this i believe

Something horrific happened in Boston, to Boston, to people who congregated in that resilient city for the annual Boston Marathon. Two explosive devices went off near the finish line when many were getting close to accomplish what was one of the most impressive feats, running in and finishing a marathon. There were a lot of footages and […]

9 comments

Rain Drops on Roses

January 28, 2013 this i believe

One of my favorite movies, as cliche as a cliche can be, is indeed The Sound of Music. I often thought to myself, “I should start a list of ‘My Favorite Things’ just so I could remember the little things in life, the fleeting moments, the silly indulgences, that make the sun shine, that remind […]

7 comments

:-)

November 7, 2012 a picture is worth a thousand words

My parents taught me well: never gloat. Never rub it in. So I will simply put these up with no comments added.             Now… In case you are worried that we are all going to get a big head and become complacent and start subscribing to this false belief of […]

12 comments

How to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims beyond Red Cross

November 5, 2012 this i believe

It’s always better late than never, right? Confession: I did not realize how massive the impact Hurricane Sandy had on the lives of people in New York City and New Jersey until I came across the pictures.     In my ignorance, I had thought in the very beginning, “How bad could it be? This […]

1 comment

Let’s make it official

May 9, 2012 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

Today, on May 9, 2012, for the first time in history, the President of United States publicly announced that he supports same-sex marriage. [Let’s not overlook the fact though that he also said each state gets to decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage or not… But still…] What makes it such a groundbreaking moment in […]

10 comments

Jumping on the Kony 2012 wagon, no, off, no, on, no…

March 7, 2012 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

Unless you live under a rock, or you are my husband, by now you must have seen (or chosen to skip) this video, KONY 2012 (video at the bottom of this post for all you under-the-rock-dwellers), and it is possible you are already tired of “hearing” about it on your Facebook or Twitter (or even, dare […]

17 comments

How to show your kid what the 80s is about. The hard way.

March 4, 2012 no manual for parenting

By taking them to the exhibit dedicated to the 1980s at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, of course!   I am kidding on the square, seeing how this is a hard glance back at the 1980s with a critical eye: feminism, gender politics, race politics, AIDES, political upheavals in the Latin America, Disappeared, Reaganism, […]

28 comments