Soul Pancake

Other than Button Poetry, and Tedx, I’ve been watching a lot of videos of Soul Pancake. They make videos that talk about philosophy, culture and  art. Soul Pancake tries to answer deep life questions but the videos are light-hearted.  Here are some of my favorites so far in Soul Pancake.

The Single Life

I was smiling the entire time I was watching this video. For the people who don’t know why they are single, watch this.

 Have a Little Faith – Reunion

During this episode,  Soul Pancake invited two Mormons, two Baha’is, one Jewish person, a Quaker, a Muslim and one Baptist on the show. The group discussion is very pleasant.   Listening to these different religions in one room will strengthen whatever you believe in.

 Holding  a Human Heart

Whether you are thinking of heart as a real heart or as a metaphor, this interview with the heart surgeon gives so many insights.

 

Stop

This is my rant to many rants. How ironic!

There is so much wickedness, bitterness in this world. Do your part to save the world by  not adding another problem. We do not need a  lot of rants, bad words, or trivial complaints. Of course, we need  to practice critical thought and discernment but there is a proper place and time for everything.

I hate ‘hate.’  Being pessimistic over a lot of things is not making the world a better place to live. Before you rant and before you critique, ask yourself: What will I gain and what will people gain out of it? Am I making the world  a better place to live?

I’m still pessimistic especially when my bratty self wants to come out.  We are a work in progress.

Here are some of my bad habits I want to unlearn.

Stop questioning people’s kindness
We always read news on corruption and crime. We have our personal stories of betrayal and trust issues.  It is hard to identify who are genuinely good. Sometimes, I ask: Is this person good to me because s/he wants something from me? Is this person nice only on the surface? Is this person building a charity to help or to improve his/her image? But who are we to judge a person’s intentions or motives? We can’t surely say what they want to get in return.  If we haven’t proved such judgement or claim is right, it is wise to give people an opportunity to do good before we shut our doors.

maleficent

Stop stealing people’s happiness
In other words, don’t be such a killjoy.  If someone is so happy over a chocolate bar, comics, soap opera, TV series, Justin Bieber, One Direction, chick flick, zombie movies, let that person be. People have different tastes and interests. We don’t have to like what others like to live peacefully. In fact, we can like one another without sharing the same interests or backgrounds . Let and let live.

Stop finding answers
You don’t have to know everything. It’s human nature that we want to make sense of the world but you do not need to have an answer for every life question. It is physically and emotionally draining to answer why does this have to happen to me? No explanation will ever be enough for life’s uncertainties. On what life does not entitle you to know, you let it go.

what happened

Stop glorifying busy
I’ve posted this twice but I think  this should be a constant reminder. We define productivity by the number of tasks we have in a day or by the number of roles we play but we should always put premium on quality or quantity. Being busy is not worth bragging and a lame excuse for not having time for yourself, and loved ones and time to rest. If you put your heart and soul into one activity in a day, consider yourself productive. And if you can’t comply all your to-do list, forgive yourself.

busy

Stop looking for things you don’t have
While ambitions and aspiration give motivation and meaning in life, too much thinking of what you do not have is a mental torture.

Stop looking at other people’s flaws
People have good and bad side. We always have a choice to magnify which side we want to see in people. I try not to judge someone’s value based on their shortcomings or their mistakes. It does not mean he is not a good student, he is not a good son. It does not mean he does not have a good temper, he is not generous. Ideally, we want people to be consistently good but reality tells us that people have different shades of goodness.

Stop talking negatively about yourself
Venting out your frustration about yourself is cathartic. It’s true that sometimes we just want to fish compliments. Every human being according to Maslow has this need for acceptance and affirmation. And sometimes we want a cheerleader or someone who can empathize. But too much negative talk about yourself can be damaging. I realize the more I talk negatively about myself, the more I remember the negative feelings I have for myself.  Hence, it prolongs agony and self-loathing. We can be very self-absorbed that we fail to notice that some people have more needs and failures but they choose not to see themselves as worthless.

Stop using What-if phrases
The what-if phrases are poisoning our minds. But then again, let go of what you cannot change.

Stop spreading the idea that men are polygamous by nature
We’ve heard a lot of real life stories of men having many women. It is happening but I will never buy the idea that it’s natural for men to have two women or more. It is not a call of nature. It is deviance. And spreading this idea that it’s so normal for men encourages more men to be like one. I simply don’t like it because it’s gender biased.

polygamy

Stop complaining
I am very guilty of this. I love to complain. When I’m bored, I want to argue. We like to complain because it’s also cathartic. Ranting may help us unload our stress and anxiety but you’ll never know you might be passing stress to your listeners. Be sensitive to others. As painful as this may sound but not everybody likes to listen to your problems or even world problems.

14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

Philippians 2:14-16

 

I know complete abstinence from these bad habits is easier said than done but we can change our mindset gradually. Maybe we can have a quota for bad words, negative words, criticisms, gossips in a day or make sure pleasant words outnumber negative vibes.

Introvert in Denial

I always want to have me-time
me-time

After going through a long period of identity crisis, I finally know who I am. As I grow old, I get to know myself better. The more people I get to know, the more I get to know myself. And it is a revelation for me to know that I am an introvert. This is not how I would want to describe myself ten years ago. But real life situations have brought me to this self-diagnosis. Yes, I am an introvert. I am just in denial.

 Here are some of my introvert signs

  • When people give their first impression about me, they always say I’m quiet.
  • I develop social anxiety when I’m joining a new group.
  • I always talk to myself.  This is why I find it necessary to own a blog. This is also the reason why my writings are lengthy.
  • I always want to have me-time. People don’t understand this but I am very much satisfied shopping by myself, eating by myself.
  • It is easier for me to be lonely (or at least people see me lonely. I’m alone but it does not mean I’m lonely) than to be with someone I have to make so many adjustments. Loneliness is better than stress.
  • You can hear these lines from me in real life: “I need to find myself” “I need space” “I just want to be alone.”
  • I value privacy. I share almost every highlight of my life online, Hence, I’m not comfortable with people who are nosy enough to ask me things that I don’t share in Facebook, Instagram, or my blog. If I don’t share it online, it means I’m not also willing to share it offline.
  • I am not a fan of big parties, big group. I prefer small and intimate conversations.
  • I have a hard time to start and sustain conversation with people (1) who are pretentious, (2)  share nothing in common. “Don’t you think how boring people can talk. Making smart with their words again, well I’m bored“- Lorde
  • I dream of traveling alone.

It is hard for me to admit that I am an introvert. For one reason, our society has a culture bias towards extroverts. The student who always raises his hand for graded recitation is the smartest kid in class. The person who is assertive and aggressive gets a high position in an organization. The cheerleader is popular in school while the girl who reads a lot may not be recognized in yearbooks. The people who are quiet are perceived boring and the people who are noisy are perceived interesting.

Thanks to the talk of Susan Cain – The Power of Introverts. I learn to appreciate my introvert qualities. She said that teachers often think that the ideal student is an extrovert but introverts are in fact knowledgeable. Sometimes, the students who excel in exams are the quiet ones. When it comes to leadership, think about the world’s major religions. Moses, Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad have been to the wilderness. They meditate and contemplate. They have moments of solitude. And according to Cain, solitude is a crucial ingredient for creativity. And I’ll never forget what she said:

“Groups famously follow the opinion of the most dominant or the most charismatic person in the room even though there is a zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

I believe in her cause to let introverts be themselves and I support her call for action: to stop the madness for constant group work and to go to the wilderness and be like Buddha.

This is just one side of me but it tells a lot of my introversion. To my closest friends, it might be slightly different. I might be described someone rowdy, talkative, and frank. There is a wide spectrum between introvert and extrovert. I just wish wherever I am in that spectrum, the environment welcomes my personality without bias.

If you are an introvert, I highly recommend to watch Susan Cain’s  TED talk on The Power of Introverts.