Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Home

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Restroom encounters and the ASS-U-ME lesson!

We pass by so many people every single day. We don't pay attention to them. Everyone has a story behind. And every story has much wisdom and many lessons to it.

And we usually keep to ourselves. We don't explore people. We think it's intruding. But the reality is, in most cases, people won't mind a friendly approach and a few questions. We are designed to be social. God created people to co-exist. To enjoy sharing and being together. To help each other. To learn from each other.

Recently I had a small experience that got me thinking about all that. Someone I meet a few times a week in the restroom. His office is in the same floor. I always pass by his quiet office and wonder what kind of business does he do under this "web services" title. I'd even say to myself, this office looks like they're not doing any business in this tough economy. I even went on wondering why won't the owner just have a home office and save a few thousands a month in useless rent. He doesn't seem to be making any money any anyway!

I was wrong! I remembered what a friend taught me once, a lesson that was passed to her by one of her school teachers. The lesson is simple, and it goes like this: "ASSUME... makes an ASS of U and ME!!!". What a genius remark!

I met him as usual. We say hi and hello, how are you and how's it going. Fine thank you. Blah blah blah! But that day I just was in the mood for some real questions:
- How's business going?
- Actually it's going very well.
- Wow, really! So you do web services? What's that exactly?
- We shoot videos for companies that wish to have some Youtube presence.
- So you shoot the videos in the office?
- Yes. And we're trying to expand and add some space to the office. It's become too small.

Wow! How wrong was I. I assumed things by what I see from outside! I was feeling sad for this company and wishing they just save the rent and move to a home office instead, telling myself I'd do this smart move if I was in their place! Why worry about an expensive Chicago downtown location when you can create your web sites from home!

But I knew better after this short conversation! Their web services didn't include making websites at all! And they were expanding their office, far from thinking about moving to a home office and save the rent! I also learned that Youtube is creating new business opportunities. But most importantly, I learned not to judge anything when we look from the outside!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Diagnosing TBA: The BUY Addiction

We buy stuff all the time. Some people have to buy something every single day, if not an item then at least a cup of coffee! They're not living if they're not entering into a store and spending some money.

Exercise: Count how many days a week go without buying anything, anywhere. If you buy something almost every day, or can't go out without buying something, then you know you're dealing with TBA!

Don't you think that I am immune to that! Hey, if I write about some problem, it's likely that I do or did experience it at some point!

Buying addiction is a serious problem in richer societies. It disturbs our inner balance as individuals as well as our global balance as a human community sharing one Earth.

We can see this global imbalance manifest in different ways:

1. Waste and surplus for some, starvation for many.

The rich societies that consume most of the resources contribute to a moral imbalance, which is a manifestation of injustice and selfishness. When food and cloths are thrown away in one part of the world, while hundreds of millions of humans can hardly eat, dress and find adequate shelter, something is grossly wrong.

Humans are meant to be one family with acceptable variations in wealth, but with a universal standard of dignity and availability of human needs for all, which our Earth naturally provides, if it wasn't for the shameful greed and selfishness of some.

2. In order to buy more and cheap, the poor have to accept labor slavery.

Because money seems to be the God of an overwhelming number of businesses, they don't see a problem meeting the needs of buyers for more and cheap by moving to poor countries where they can have labor camps. Humans who work most of their waking hours, in very poor conditions, for a pay that will barely help them survive. This imbalance is simply expressed in the fact that a worker could be paid in a week what we spend on a lunch for one!

All for the sake of us going into the store and buying a gadget that we might not use and didn't need in the first place, or for us to be able to buy 5 t-shirts instead of just one. Wow, what a progress, we can have all those t-shirts and shoes in all the different colors. Boy hadn't our life become much better with that!!!

3. More of the things that we don't need end up creating mountais of toxic trash, and heavily polluted Earth.

Because people buy things they don't need, they end up getting rid of them. In the worse manner possible: throwing them in the trash. Our addiction to keep buying stuff that we don't need lead to factories producing more unnecessary stuff. Because they want to make them cheap, they use toxic material that will keep the cost low. Then this satanic cycle end with landfills full of toxic waste that no one really knows why it was even created to start with.

We lost, the buyers. We lost money and inner peace. They lost, the workers. They lost their life and energy to the factories. It lost, our Earth, and our future. It became full of toxic waste. The only ones who gained are the businesses, only a minority. Are those guys worth all those losses and suffering?!!