“Truth or dare?” Thomas Jefferson asked, his eyes searching the faces of everyone else in the room.
“Sounds good,” Angelica Schuyler said, shrugging.
James Madison looked at the ground and hoped he wouldn’t be picked.
Thomas raised his voice, gathering all the high school students to the living room. “We’re gonna play something now.”
“What?” Aaron Burr asked, interest sparking in his eyes.
Thomas scanned the room to make sure everyone was there. His eyes rested on James’s bent head and he made a note of that. “Truth or dare,” he announced.
Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens looked sideways at each other, both without the other noticing.
Eliza Schuyler found her girlfriend, Maria Reynolds, and squeezed her hand. “We can bow out of this one and just watch. I personally don’t need to reveal my feelings to anyone except you.”
Maria smiled before leaning over and tenderly kissing Eliza.
Hercules Mulligan was already bored with this party, but he perked up at the mention of a game. “I’m in.”
Marquis de Lafayette nodded in agreement.
Thomas made sure everyone was in the room before turning to James and asking, “Truth or dare, James?”
James felt himself beginning to blush but held it back. Truth might mean that he’d have to confess about something personal, but dare meant that he’d have to do something stupid or be scorned as a chicken for who knows how long.
Truth was the better option.
“Truth,” James responded, his voice almost shaking but not quite. Only Thomas caught it.
Suggestions rang out from all over the room, the various high schoolers debating the pros and cons of each question.
“Who do you have a crush on?”
“No, that might be me, and I don’t want to know.”
“Have you kissed anyone in this room?”
“That’s a good one, we should ask that for every truth.”
“Do you want to kiss anyone in this room?”
“What’s your opinion on birds?”
“How is that a deeply personal and embarrassing question? Birds? Really?”
“Hey, it can reveal some deep personal values!”
“Who’s your favorite teacher and why?”
“Again, not that embarrassing or anything.”
“Have you ever gotten drunk?”
“Of course not, he’s sixteen. None of us have gotten drunk.”
“Do you have some sort of strange hobby?”
“Ask yourself that, weirdo.”
In spite of himself, James smiled. His friends might not be perfect. Thomas and Alex might argue constantly, Aaron might never tell anyone anything, Angelica may be stubborn, John might get too passionate about civil rights (to the point where he refused to go to any classes and spend the whole week strutting through the halls yelling various slogans), Eliza might be timid, Lafayette might slip back into French sometimes, Hercules might snap if anyone insulted his sewing, Maria might be overly strong sometimes, but they were the best friends James could ask for.
Finally, Thomas settled on a question. “Have you kissed anyone in this room?”
James was very relieved. “No.”
“Do you want to kiss anyone in this room?” someone shouted out.
“No follow-up questions,” Angelica said.
James let out a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding.
Thomas scanned the circle again. “Alex!” he called out. “Truth or dare?”
Alex blinked twice, his mind scrambling crazily. He was usually the guy to take a dare and complete it, no matter how stupid or far-fetched it was. But seeing as it was Thomas Jefferson deciding what the dare would be, he decided to go with truth instead.
Suggestions rang out again, and Thomas waited till everyone quieted down. “Do you have a crush on anyone in this room?”
Alex swallowed hard, not sure whether to lie his way out or simply tell the truth. He didn’t have to answer honestly, since it was only a party game, but a part of him wanted his crush to know.
“John,” he whispered.
“I didn’t hear that,” Hercules said from the opposite side of the room.
Alex cleared his throat and tried again. “John. John Laurens.”
Silence, crystal-clear and full of secrets, hung over the room.
Alex buried his face in his hands, not wanting to look up and see John’s expression.
Everyone held their breath.
John’s voice was flat and held no emotion, and Alex felt like he was on the verge of tears.
“Nope,” he answered as nonchalantly as he could.
“No, I mean, you must be kidding, because, because, because–”
“You don’t?” Alex asked, peeking up.
“I like you too.”
Someone whistled, and someone else laughed lightly.
“Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” A chant started up, and John and Alex looked at each other, grinning sheepishly.
Eliza watched them amusedly. “They’d be a good couple,” she mused to Maria, who nodded in agreement.
Alex and John did kiss, with everyone cheering them on. Alex slipped his hand into John’s and John happily held it. “Be my boyfriend?” Alex asked hesitantly, and John nodded, squeezing Alex’s hand.
“Aaron, truth or dare?” Thomas asked.
Everyone laughed at this, and laughed even more when Aaron responded, “Truth.”
“What’s your favorite animal and why?”
“That’s an easy one!” someone called out.
“A cat,” Aaron said.
“They’re soft and will sit with you away from people for hours on end.”
Lafayette rolled his eyes but smiled. It was the typical Aaron Burr response to anything.
Eliza rolled her eyes.
“Truth or dare?” Thomas asked.
“I’m just watching,” Eliza said.
“Oh, come on,” more than one person complained.
“Nope,” Eliza stated firmly. “There’s only one person in this room that I’ll tell deeply personal stuff to–” she cut her eyes at Maria “–and I’ve already told her everything.”
“Stop being so ridiculously sweet, Liz, you’re making me blush,” Maria said, smiling nonetheless and leaning in for a kiss.
The game continued on.
“Lafayette, how about you?” Thomas asked. “Truth or dare?”
“Truth,” the French high schooler decided.
“Have you ever kissed anyone in this room?” Thomas asked.
“No, but I’m about to,” Lafayette responded, leaning over towards Hercules. Hercules was surprised for only a split second.
“Wow,” James muttered in spite of himself, watching the two kiss. “That’s, what, two new relationships from one game?”
“It could be three,” Thomas replied quietly, and James’s heart practically stopped.
“Do you mean…?” he started, unable to finish the thought.
James looked at the ground, and Thomas sighed.
“Angelica? Truth or dare?” he asked, the usual sparkle missing from his voice.
“Dare,” she replied.
“That’s less fun,” someone complained.
Angelica tossed her hair over one shoulder. “Too bad.”
“Climb onto the roof,” someone suggested, and Thomas snatched it right up.
“Climb onto the roof,” he challenged.
Angelica walked outside without another word. Everyone else quickly got up and followed to see her somehow making her way onto the porch roof. She stood and turned when she was up, a hint of satisfaction in her eyes.
“Now get down,” Thomas called, laughing.
Angelica sprung down lightly, tucking, rolling, and then standing without even a grass stain.
She led the way back inside.
Thomas and James were together at the end of the crowd. James couldn’t look Thomas in the eye, and he heard Thomas make a noise of frustration before forcefully stopping James.
“I like you,” Thomas confessed quietly.
“I like you too,” James mumbled. Thomas gave him a victory smile before tipping James’s chin upwards.
When their lips met, it was like an explosion was taking place in James’s stomach, and he was happier than he’d ever been.
Peggy Schuyler, arriving quite late to the party, clapped in the entryway behind them.
James and Thomas broke apart, grinning.
Three new relationships had been formed.
The group continued to laugh and joke as the night went on, and they were all happy in this little golden bubble of peace in the world.
Likes are appreciated, reblogs are even better, and constructive criticism and nice comments are the best (even if it’s just AOSUIHDFWIRW:O)
One of my last medical school interviews was a good ole fashioned stress interview. The guy was a plastic surgeon who had a reputation for terrorizing interviewees, and he definitely delivered. As a follow-up to a very heated debate as to whether healthcare should be a right or a privilege, I was thrown into a catastrophic accident clinical scenario where I was forced to triage healthcare. As I went through my imaginary patient load, I was forced to either treat or triage each case, having only a nurse and secretary to lighten the load. There were no “right” decisions, just shades of gray, but the interviewer played devil’s advocate to every choice I made. I suppose this was to underline his point that, while healthcare for all is great in theory, it will still involve some degree of allocating limited medical resources to people.
About halfway through the scenario, I was given a patient who had a fixable injury. The only problem was that the surgery he required would take six hours and had to be performed immediately. I still had four additional patients to treat/triage. After attempting to transfer the patient to another facility or allow my nurse to provide a temporizing measure, I eventually had to admit defeat and triage the guy. I was forced to inform this patient that he was going to die, even as “my patient” pleaded for his life. It was pretty much awful. I don’t even remember what I said, but I’m sure I tripped and stumbled over my words like an idiot.
Before we moved over to the next patient, I told my interviewer that I’d send my secretary to the dying patient’s bedside. Thinking I was still trying to save the patient, the interviewer scoffed and taunted me, saying “there’s nothing your secretary can do to help him now.”
I replied: “yes, but no one deserves to die alone.”
For the first (and last) time in the interview, my interviewer was visibly caught off-guard and fumbled for words to retaliate.
As the start of intern years gets closer, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the kind of doctor I want to be. I’ve had lots of great examples of brilliant clinicians and gifted teachers. And while I value both of those characteristics, above all else I hope to retain a basic kindness and that idealistic ability to always remember I’m dealing with people instead of cases.
Principals: If you lose good teachers from your building at the end of this year, then you are screwing up. Principals, If people are leaving a profession that no one enters without passion, that no one enters expecting to be easy, you are not doing your job. Principals, every teacher that walks away from the kids in your your building and is thinking of your face is your fault.
It’s budget time for schools, which means the beginning of perennially awful time of year that teachers lose jobs and schools lose teachers. For whatever reason, budget time this year feels like a particularly brutal bloodbath, and it sucks.
It sucks. At a time a year when almost nothing feels like enough, we get told we’re somehow going to start getting by with less. At a time of year full of sacrifice, just rounding into the time where we start to see some our work pay off, we start to learn how different next year will be, we start to learn we won’t get to come back, or that too many other people won’t be there. It sucks.
So budgets and cuts are a thing, but not the thing I’m most worried about. What I’m really and truly disturbed by is the wave of teachers who have had enough, with their building or their boss or with the hours or with the kids. What I’m worried about is all the teachers who leave. Except for all those who really are sick of kids (bye Felicia), we are, as schools and as a system, losing teachers we need, losing teachers that could or would be better with more or different something, and you know what? It’s not their fault, and it matters, it matters, it really really matters when good teachers leave.
Principals (and just like I use “teachers” to mean everyone who works with kids, I’ll use “principals” here to mean everyone who is supposed to be supporting teachers), the number of teachers you keep year to year says something about you. I know you’d like not to believe that, I know your job is easier if you ignore it, but teachers matter, and keeping them around is your job. When you lose good teachers, it’s on you.
It’s not a bad time to mention that I think my principal is pretty awesome, and my assistant principal too, and all the other leadery people in my building. I like my building, and I believe in the work we’re doing. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t write this as a piece, I would write this as an email. Many many years, I’ve written this as an email. Many years in a row, around this time, “please care about your staff, please do something for them, please help them stay.”
Because here’s what happens. Teachers are messy because people are messy. It would be easier (and also cheaper) if teachers didn’t matter that much, if implementing systems and curriculum packages mattered a lot more. So, we, schools and districts and whoever pulls the big levers levels above us, ignore teachers as much as we can.
It’s a handy system, because look:
Hi everyone, we have this wonderful, innovative Whatever. Everyone has to use Whatever, and use Whatever in this way, so that everyone is the same and every classroom is the same because that is for some reason important. If Whatever works, it’s because we’re smart. If it doesn’t work, it’s because teachers didn’t implement it correctly, those damn teachers. If teachers leave, that’s ok, we’ll hire other teachers, and Whatever will still be there, so everything will be fine. Also, Whatever gives us tons of numbers and numbers and numbers that we can use to say all sorts of stuff about how great Whatever is doing. Whatever.
This model is compelling for lots of obvious reasons. You get to pretend you’re in control of what a whole bunch of messy humans all day, and when things go wrong it is hardly ever your fault. Also, you have to do very little worry about how anyone is feeling.
It’s too bad, really, that both children and adults are both kinds of humans, and humans don’t work like that.
Because really, the work we need from you is this:
Hi everyone, first of all, let me say “thank you for all that you do,” because apparently it’s, like, a required thing to say to teachers all the time, but then also let me specifically mention things you have done and how I’ve noticed you doing them and tell you why I appreciate them. Then, I will spend, I dunno… at least half the amount of time I spend looking for things you do wrong actually supporting and encouraging the things you do well. Also, let me find time to listen to you, like actually listen, to what your day is like and what your students need, because here’s the thing I totally understand: Everything I do all day should matter to you in your classroom, because the work of any school and any district should be focused exclusively on what is best for the kids we are teaching, and should be focused on those kids, and should understand that those kids and their needs change from building to building, from room to room, from day to day. Because of this, we should value and support and encourage and inspire and recognize and push and protect the people doing the most direct version of the work.
When our teachers are good, we should reward them. When our teachers speak up we should listen. When our teachers are tired we should help them. When we have teachers that connect with our students, that value our families, that have earned the respect of their colleagues, we should do everything, we should do anything, to keep them. Otherwise, we aren’t doing our jobs.
I was asked to speak about “Seven Tips for a Happy Life,” but I had a hard time narrowing the tips down to just seven! Actually there are many more, and hopefully as you live with mindfulness, wisdom and compassion, you’ll become aware of the others too.
1. LIVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY
Many of us go through life being extremely attached to what other people think of us. Most of us try to look good and try to make others think positively of us. We spend a lot of our time just trying to be what we think others think we should be, and this makes us crazy because everybody expects us to be something different. Besides, what is our motivation when we try to be what we think others think we should be? Are we acting with sincerity, or are we trying to be people-pleasers? Are we simply putting on a good show so that other people will say good things about us?
We can act and create personal images, and other people may even believe that we are what we pretend to be. However, that does not have any real meaning in our lives because we are the ones who have to live with ourselves. We know when we’ve been phoney and even though others may praise us for the persona we’ve created, that doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves. Inside we know we’re being fake. We’re much happier when we are sincere and feel comfortable with who we are.
Being a hypocrite does not work because the karmic results of our actions depend on our intention. Our motivation is the key that determines whether what we do is meaningful and beneficial. Even if we look like we’re very kind and considerate, when our motivation is just to get people to like us, our actions aren’t truly kind. Why so? It is because our motivation is concerned with our own popularity, not with benefiting others. On the other hand, we may act with a genuinely kind motivation but people misinterpret our actions and get upset. In this case, we don’t need to doubt ourselves because our intention was good, even though we may need to learn to be more skilful in our actions.
Furthermore, we want to learn to derive happiness from doing the action, not from receiving others’ praise afterwards. For example, in spiritual practice we want to train our minds to take delight in giving. When we take delight in giving, then regardless of where we are and who we give to, we feel happy. It does not matter whether the other person says thank you or not, because our happiness does not come from the recognition we receive but from the deed of giving.
2. REFLECT ON YOUR MOTIVATION AND CULTIVATE AN EXPANSIVE MOTIVATION
We should constantly reflect on our motivations. Some of the questions we can ask ourselves include:
• What is the thought motivating what I’m about to say or do? Is there the intention to harm someone? Or is there the intention to benefit others? Am I doing things to impress others or out of peer pressure?
• Am I doing something for my own self-gain, or am I doing something out of genuine care for other living beings? Or it is a mix?
• Am I trying to do what other people think I should do, or am I really in touch with myself and know what is best for me to do?
• In discerning what I feel is best for me to do, am I operating out of attachment or anger, or am I operating out of kindness and wisdom?
Besides the process of looking inside and seeing what our motivation is, we can also consciously cultivate a more expansive motivation. An expansive motivation is one that aspires for the benefit and welfare of other living beings. Caring about others does not mean we neglect ourselves or make ourselves suffer. Self-respect is important, but we want to go beyond self-indulgent motivations and see that all living beings are interdependent. Our actions affect others, and because we see that everyone wants happiness and wants to avoid suffering as intensely as we do, we care about the effects of our words and deeds on others.
Most people tend to be quite self-centred, so our initial motivation is not always for the welfare of other living beings. Especially when we refer to ALL living beings, which include the ones we cannot stand! So we need to stretch our mind and our motivation.
In order to cultivate an expansive motivation, such as the motivation to become a fully awakened Buddha, we will need to learn what a Buddha is, how it is possible for us to become a Buddha, what are the steps of the path for becoming a Buddha, and what benefits do we bring to ourselves and others by becoming a Buddha. The more we understand these things, the more expansive our motivation will grow and shine within us.
3. SET WISE PRIORITIES
One of the most important activities in our life is to set good priorities; to know what in life is most important to us. We have received so much conditioning throughout our lives that it takes some time to discern for ourselves what we think is valuable. Our parents teach us to value X, Y and Z; our teachers encourage us to think A, B and C. Advertising tells us who we should be and what we should look like. All the time, we are getting messages about who we should be, what we should do and what we should have. But how often do we ever think about whether we really want to be, do, or have those things? How often do we ever think about what actually nourishes our hearts in a truly joyful, vibrant and beautiful way?
We want to live; we want to be vibrant! We do not want to live on auto-pilot, like a push-button robot that operates on others’ commands. We have dreams and aspirations. We want to choose what we do in life because we have passion for that activity or field. What is your passion? How do you want to contribute? What is your unique talent or ability, and how can you use it to make a difference in the lives of others?
When we set wise priorities, we will choose activities that are for the long-term benefit of ourselves and others. When I need to make a decision, I use a particular set of criteria to evaluate which direction to take. First, I consider, “Which situation is most conducive for me to keep good ethical conduct?” I want to make sure I don’t hurt others or myself, and keeping good ethical conduct is important for that.
If we sincerely try to live an ethical life, even though we do not make as much money or have as nice a house as the next person, when we go to bed at night, we feel peaceful. Our mind is calm and free from self-doubt and self-loathing. That inner peace is worth more than anything else we could ever have. Plus, no one else can take our inner peace away from us.
Second, I examine, “Which situation will enable me to be of greatest benefit to other living beings in the long term?” Since another one of my priorities is benefiting others, I evaluate the various options in front of me to discern which one will enable me to do that. Which situation will make it easier for me to cultivate a kind, compassionate and altruistic attitude?
Sometimes our priorities are not what others think they should be. In such a situation, if our priorities are not selfish and they are for the long-term benefit of ourselves and others, then even if other people do not like what we are doing, it really does not matter because we know we are living in a good way. We are confident within ourselves that our priorities will lead to the long-term benefit of others.
4. KEEPING OURSELVES BALANCED
To keep ourselves balanced on a day-to-day basis, we first need to maintain good health. This means we need to eat well, have sufficient sleep and regular exercise. We also need to engage in activities that nourish us. Spending time with people we care about nourishes us. In my observation, what most people really want is connection with other living beings. Take the time to be with your family and with people you care about. Cultivate the friendships of people who have good values, people who you can learn from, and people who will be good role models for you.
Nowadays people walking down the street are all looking at their cellphones, colliding with real human beings while texting people who are not there. Sometimes we need to turn off our technology and tune in to the real living human beings who are surrounding us. So much of our communication is through non-verbal cues — our body language, how we move our hands, how we sit, what we do with our eyes, the tone of our voice, the volume of our voice. Yet many children and young adults now are growing up without being sensitive to those kinds of things because they are hardly ever around real living people. They are always in their two-by-four universe, texting on their phones.
To be balanced human beings, we also need time alone, without our phones and computers. It is so helpful, not to mention relaxing, to sit and read an inspiring book and think about life. We don’t have to always be doing or making something. We also need some time to be with our friends. We need to nourish our body as well as our mind. We need to do things we enjoy, such as engaging in hobbies or playing sports. We should be careful not to waste the time in our precious human life on the computer, iPad, iPhone etc.
5. BEFRIEND YOURSELF
Sometimes when we are alone, we have thoughts such as “Oh, I am a failure! I cannot do anything right! I’m worthless, no wonder nobody loves me!” This low self-esteem is one of our biggest hindrances on the path to full awakening. We live with ourselves 24/7 but we do not even know who we are and how to be our own friend. We constantly judge ourselves using standards that we’ve never examined to determine if they are realistic or not. We compare ourselves with others and always come out losers.
None of us are perfect; we all have faults. That is normal and we do not need to berate ourselves for our faults or think that we are our faults. Our self-image is exaggerated because we don’t really know who we are. We need to learn to be our own friend and accept ourselves, “Yes, I have faults and I’m working on them, and yes, I have many good qualities, abilities and talents too. I’m a worthwhile person because I have the Buddha-nature, the potential to become a fully awakened Buddha. Even now, I can contribute to others’ well-being.”
Meditation and the study of Buddhist teachings will help us become friends with ourselves. To overcome low selfesteem, we should contemplate our precious human life and Buddha-nature. Doing so enables us to understand that the fundamental nature of our mind is pure and undefiled. The nature of our mind is like the wide open sky — totally spacious and free. Mental afflictions such as ignorance, anger, attachment, pride, jealousy, laziness, confusion, conceit and so on are like clouds in the sky. When the clouds are in the sky, we cannot see the clear, open, wide and spacious nature of the sky. The sky is still there, it is just hidden from our view at that time. Similarly, sometimes we might become discouraged or confused, but all those emotions and thoughts are not who we are. They are like the clouds in the sky. The pure nature of our mind is still there. It is temporarily hidden, and when the wind of wisdom and compassion comes and blows the cloud-like disturbing emotions away, we see the wide open, free sky.
Take some time each day to sit quietly and do a spiritual practice. To do a daily meditation practice, learn the Buddha’s teachings and spend some time alone each day reflecting on your life. Observe your thoughts and learn to discern realistic and beneficial ones from unrealistic and harmful ones. Understand how your thoughts created your emotions. Give yourself some space to accept and appreciate yourself for who you are. You don’t need to be the perfect, number one whatever type-of-person-you-think-you-should-be. You can relax and be you, with all the complexities of the sentient being you are.
Then you can tap into your potential and unlock all sorts of doors to help you understand yourself. The Buddha taught many techniques for overcoming disturbing emotions, transforming negative thoughts and removing wrong views. You can learn these and learn how to apply them to your mind, how to work with your own mind so that it becomes clearer and calmer, how to open your heart in kindness towards yourself as well as towards others. In the process of doing this, you will become your own friend.
6. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME
Nowadays we think everything is about us. There’s even a magazine called “Self” and another one called “Me.” We buy products named “iPhones” and “iPads”, and from the time we are little kids the advertising industry conditions us to always search for the most pleasure, prestige, possessions, popularity and so forth. We have this idea that it is all about me! My pleasure and pain are more important than anyone else’s.
Think about what makes you upset. When your friends get criticised, you usually don’t get upset, but when somebody says the same words of criticism to you, it becomes a big deal. Similarly, when your neighbour’s child fails his spelling test, it doesn’t bother you, but when your child fails his spelling test, it is a catastrophe! Our mind gets incredibly upset by anything that happens to us or is related to us. We see everything in the world through the narrow periscope of “Me, I, My, and Mine”. Why is it a narrow periscope? Because there are over seven billion people on this planet and we think we are the most important. It would be really good if we can chill a little bit and have as one of our slogans — “It is not all about me”.
This self-centredness causes us so much misery. When we suffer from fear, anxiety and worry, it is because we are paying too much attention to ourselves in a very unhealthy way. Nothing has happened, but we sit there thinking, “What if this happens? What if that happens?” when in reality, nothing has happened. Experiencing fear, anxiety and worry is definitely suffering, and the source of this suffering is our self-preoccupation.
Our self-centred thought is not who we are. It is not an inherent part of us; it is something added on to the pure nature of our mind and it can be eliminated. Initially we may be afraid to let go of our self-preoccupation, “If I don’t hold myself first and foremost, I will fall behind. People will take advantage of me. I won’t be a success.” But when we examine these fears, we see that they are not true; the world isn’t going to crash if we release our self-centredness and open our hearts to care about others. We can still be successful without being so selfpreoccupied, and we’ll be a lot happier too. For example, if we reach out and help others — friends, strangers, and enemies — they’ll be a lot nicer to us, and our own lives will be happier.
7. CULTIVATE A KIND HEART
As a corollary to “It is not all about me”, we want to cultivate kindness. To do this, we reflect on the benefit we have received from so many people and animals too. When we contemplate the kindness of other living beings, we see that we can benefit from whatever somebody does if we know how to think about it properly. Even if somebody is harming us, we can see it as kindness, because by putting us in a difficult position, they are challenging us and helping us to grow. They are helping us to find qualities and resources within ourselves that we did not know we had, making us stronger.
It is easy to think of the kindness of our family and friends, but what about the kindness of strangers? Actually we receive benefit from so many people we do not know. When we look around, everything we use comes due to the kindness of others — the construction workers who built the building, the farmers who grew the vegetables, the electricians, plumbers, secretaries and so forth all play important roles that enable society to run smoothly.
For example, I was once in a city where all the garbage collectors were on strike. That really helped me to see the kindness of the garbage collectors, so now I stop and thank them for their work when I walk down the street.
We benefit from all the different kinds of work that others do. All the people we see around us – on the bus, on the subway, in the stores — are the people who are making the things we use and doing the services we benefit from on a day-to-day basis. Hence, when looking at the people around us, let’s consider their kindness and the benefit we’ve received from them. In turn, let’s regard them with eyes of kindness, and with awareness of how dependent we are on others just to stay alive, let’s reach out and be kind to them in return.
If you have a kind heart, you will be honest in your business dealings because you care about the welfare of your clients and customers. You know that if you lie to them or cheat them, they will not trust you and will not do business with you again in the future. In addition, they will tell others about your unscrupulous actions. However, if you help your clients and customers, they will trust and have confidence in you. You will have good relationships with them that will last for many years and will be mutually beneficial.
When cultivating kindness, we should also learn to be trustworthy. When somebody tells you something in confidence, keep it in confidence. When you make a promise, do your best to keep the promise. We have to look beyond our own immediate gratification and learn how to be a good friend. Consider, “How can I be a good friend? What do I need to do and stop doing in order to be a good friend to others?” As we all want to have friends, let us make ourselves good friends to other people.
Please take some time and think about these seven tips. Don’t simply rush off to the next activity, but apply these tips to your life. Imagine thinking or acting according to them. What would that look like? How would you feel? Seeing the benefits of implementing these tips in your life will inspire you to do so. As you do this, you will experience the benefits in both your mental state and your relationships with others. You will enjoy greater mental peace, more satisfaction and deeper connection with others.
Come back to these tips over time. Read this every so often to remind yourself to live without hypocrisy, reflect on your motivation and cultivate an expansive motivation, set wise priorities, keep yourself balanced, befriend yourself, and realise that “it’s not all about me” and cultivate a kind heart.
About why INFPs aren’t always pure and sometimes downright dangerous
I usually don’t post anything about MBTI on this blog, but there’s something I really need to get off my chest about INFP.
I’m INFP myself, and what I hate the most is that we’re mostly portrayed as kind, daydreaming beings, too good for this world, too pure. No. We aren’t.
Our dominant Fi means we’re lead by our own ethical agenda and our corresponding emotions - in a lot of cases, this makes us understanding, peaceful, and mindful of others because we believe that’s the right thing to do. We are perceived as Good Beings™ because society values compassion.
But remember, it’s because we believe in this agenda, and made it our very core.
In bed after a 6 hour shift at the store, practicing some Katakana. Once I close my eyes I will be dead to the world for like 12 hours.
@nkbstudies April Study Challenge
21 (Sa) What are some of your subject-specific study tips?
My subjects are Englisch and norms and values (which is a lot like philosophy).
Generally, you have to know how to speak, read and write as a foreign language learner - it’s no good to have read the book that was required if you a) did not understand it and b) won’t be able to talk/write about it.
The best way to work on your expression in a foreign language is to read and talk. So READ READ READ all you can. I started off with loooooots of fanfiction, those are free btw ;)
Norms & Values:
Do your reading.
When you want to remember who said what (especially when you are dealing with a wide range of authors/philosophers/writers) make a list; Write down the author’s name and one or two key words from his/her text. By remembering the author together with one key words you’ll trigger whatever this keyword is connected to.
what planets are in retrograde and how do they affect things?
Rite Now Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn are in Retrograde. All planets in retrograde are moving backward in the sky and appear closer to the Earth in their orbit then any other time. This effects makes the planets “soul traits” enter our conscious thinking for consideration.
Mercury retrograde is the most famous of all retrogrades and goes this way three times a year. Since Mercury represents the mind, thinking, communication and everyday matters it’s retrograde period hits home very closely for everyone. Mercury rules the local community and has a massive impact on everyday life. Indecision is a big problem with retrograde; peoples minds tend to vacillate a lot more and solid choices are hard to come by.
Since things during retrograde are under consideration and review, any kind of contracts can be a problem…People may change minds, back out; look for ways out. Lots of frustration. Anything that involves communication is effected so it’s a hard period to take anyone for their word; ESPECIALLY when it comes to making deals which Mercury rules over. E-mails, texts, blogs…all of this stuff is prone to issues…For example i closed a browser mid e-mail before it finished sending…only to find out it was saved as a draft and never sent.
Jupiter Retrograde makes personal considerations of the higher abstract thinking variety come to the international consciousness. Peoples beliefs are challenged during this time. Religious affiliations, morals, politics, military campaigns…these kinds of things tend to come during retrograde Jupiter. On a personal level it’s usually about challenging one’s teachers…contemplating the value of information they have received and ideas assimilated. It’s a period sometimes we go a bit backward personally to fill in our belief system puzzle. Sometimes things with the law even into question…binding contracts and ceremony..Like maybe someone will finalize a divorce at this time because Jupiter rules the marriage contract.
Saturn retrograde makes you mull over the direction your life is taking in the world. It makes for looking closely at failures and shortcoming and inquiring personal responsibility for being where we want to be in life. If you’ve been ignoring goals you set yourself, here is a time they are going to come into focus. If it’s a karmic goal; well then it’s going to literally be forced somehow in someway. If it’s a personal ambitious goal then internally it will be on your mind a lot.
Sagittarius Sun - Aquarius Moon - Gemini Rising - INFJ
You are a lively, open-minded person, who loves to wander and discover. It seems like you have a special insight into what the future holds for you and you believe strongly that you can always start from the beginning with a new sunrise. That is why your aspirations focus on the days to come and not on the moments lying in the future. You experience every moment with curiosity and enthusiasm and your friends can always be sure that being with you is totally unpredictable. Although you are very tolerant and kind, others may perceive you as impatient and inconsiderate because there is a kind of rare restlessness about you. You often feel like you have no time to deal with the people who can not keep up with your pace because you move so incredibly fast. Beside a strong urge for freedom, you possess ambition and drive and once something sparks your interest, no one can stop you from going after what you want. You often come across as inquisitive and you are especially good with words, telling great stories to those who want to listen. There is a deep-rooted desire to understand how people and the world work stirring inside of you but you rarely ever finish your projects due to the fast pace with which you move. What you really want to do, is making the world a better place with small or big gestures. You are sensitive towards others feelings and thoughts and value them like they are your own. When someone needs a helping hand or a comforting shoulder to cry on, you will definitely be there because you often sense how others feel before they even know themselves. You want your life to have meaning, achieving it by creating something that can also be valued by the generations to come. You are teacher and student at the same time, giving so much insight and wisdom to the world but also striving to learn something new every day.
Episode VI Yoda to Luke: “…the last of the Jedi will you be.”
The Force Awakens: “Luke Skywalker, the Last Jedi”
Jedi: Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
Kanan: (Is afraid that he will fail Ezra because he wasn’t fully trained) (Is afraid to use his real name) (Was afraid to be a Jedi for a long time) (Still somewhat afraid to completely trust the Force after he lost his sight)
Jedi: Attachment and possession are forbidden.
Kanan: (loves Hera) (owns a blaster and a bag of belongings in A New Dawn )
Jedi: Avoid the dark side
Kanan: (values Bendu as his teacher, a creature between Dark and Light) (tries to save the Grand Inquisitor who returns to grant him the rank of Jedi Knight despite turning to the dark side in life) (also is indirectly taught by the Grand Inquisitor, Maul, and the other inquisitors) (has a student who uses the dark side sometimes)
Also Kanan: (is worried but never tells Ezra explicitly to stop using the dark side) (also never calls Ezra evil even when Ezra does use the dark side, only tells him not to act out of emotion and a warning) “Do you know how dangerous this path is?”
Jedi: wiped out during order 66
Kanan: considers Caleb Dume to be another life, a life that was over.
“Caleb, the little Jedi cut off before his date with destiny. His career as a galaxy saving superhero stunted. He couldn’t believe now that he had ever been that person…that boy was a nobody…a never was…” (A New Dawn)
I love how people are like “don’t raise the minimum wage, no handouts, you’re paid according to your “function” and the value of your skills.”. Because its like…if they were “unskilled” and they weren’t valuable, why is it that you need them for your everyday staples, and why is it that you can’t do it all yourself? I’ve had people who will show up on Black Friday, and stand in a line all the way out to the curb, tell me that the cashiers who have to be there (Instead of spending that time with their own families) shouldn’t be able to afford basic necessities and shouldn’t have benefits. And of course wealthy people are exempt, they can grow up with no marketable skills, inherit their jobs, and refuse to contribute to their community, but they should get paid as much as they feel entitled to.
And if they really were all about “value” than why is it that soldiers, infrastructure workers, sanitation, and teachers aren’t paid more? Why is it that designers are expected to work “for experience” when we wouldn’t have *anything* we have if it weren’t for them?
Folks are all about “no handouts” but they seem to think other people are put on this earth to serve them for next to nothing.
hello everyone, another post! we are going to put up a masterlist soon, and damn there is a lot of Mingyu going on, so this will be the last one in a while. :) the lovely anon who requested this, here it is! :D i hope you like it.
-admin kate x
warning: there will be daddy kink and dirty talk people so if you aren’t comfortable at all with daddy kink and the such, then this is not for you. :) leave while you still can! :D it’s up to you, sorry if it gets boring, i did my best! :>>
I was when I was a child, until now, that I refuse to escape from reality, that I’ve accepted to see its beauty. I was awakened and I love this world. My music is very hazy, dreamy, so I compensate with raw lyrics rooted in everyday life. I don’t deceive. I was raised with traditional values, but since then my life hasn’t been very orthodox. I’ve always listened to my instinct, followed a complex but personal route. The only values that I keep and claim are honesty and integrity. At school, teachers quickly understood. I was free, they let me learn by myself, in my rhythm. I’ve always lived like this, in my head, asking me questions without answers. And I was afraid: of making music, of not achieving my goals.
*wakes up every morning remembering that my school administration, teachers, and classmates valued my life significantly less than others to a point where i was put in danger regularly and not offered help when it was desperately needed*
ITS NTO AFFECTING ME THAT BADDLY
Can you imagine Sirius Black taking Muggle Studies?
-Him signing up for the class originally just to spite his parents but secretly because he was super curious about muggle culture
-Soon he actually started to like the class but he would never admit that because Sirius “Bad Boy” Black would never admit to actually enjoying a class
-He wasn’t very good at pretending
-He turned in all of his assignments on time, was not only always on time but he was always the first and last student in the room because he wanted to ask the teacher more questions he even did extra credit
-Buying books about muggle culture that weren’t even required for the class
-Pitching field trips to Dumbledore that involved going to muggle villages but always being shot down and getting extremely angry because the Muggle Studies department didn’t have enough funs
-DON’T YOU DARE INSULT THE MUGGLE STUDIES TEACHER IF YOU EVEN SLIGHTLY VALUE YOUR LIFE
- A conversation heard between Sirius and Remus: “I mean it’s an okay class but you know, whatever.” “Padfoot, do you remember that time that you were talking about how fantastic Muggle Studies was and someone overheard and said the class sucked and so did the teacher and you put them in a hospital for over a week.” “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
-Sirius being so full of questions about muggles that he wrote to the Muggle Studies teacher over holiday
-Him planning to be a Muggle Studies teacher after he graduates
-Sirius just having an extensive love of everything having to do with Muggle Studies
Feel free to add onto this because I really want to talk about Sirius Black taking Muggle Studies