Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

The Human Race

War is despicable! Seeing war refugees fleeing their homes and leaving behind some of their love ones is truly heart wrenching.

While Europe deserves the loudest applause and praise for helping the Ukrainians, I cannot help but feel a bit upset over the whole thing. I did not see that level of sympathy, effort nor awareness when it was war refugees from Syria, Afghanistan or Sudan. And this is because of one face-slapping fact, the Ukrainians are similar to most Europeans, they are white and Christians! It is not crime, helping your own people. But, it upsets a person like me, a person who has a specific racial identity on my freaking face! A person whom now realise that I can be welcomed or turned away based on what I look like. How freaking depressing…

But heck, after a few days of simmering over this confusing unfairness, I came to a realization and conclusion about us coloured people, we have not evolved to the level of helping our own kind. Think about it, have you ever seen large scale help efforts amongst the Asians, the Africans, the Arabs? Hell no, those elites are quite content in keeping the majority of their people stupid and/or poor, so that they shall have full control and remain in power for as long as possible. Yep, now I am upset about that.

Yet, history has proven that the one race method does not work. It never will…

In my wildest dreams, humankind will one day be traversing amongst the stars. But until that day, let us not forget that the ENTIRE human race are on the one and only Space Ship Earth.

Food & Drinks, Human Nature

Pancakes, Beef Stew & White Bread

On Saturday, I made pancakes. D and I had that for lunch. Later in the evening, we had beef stew and fries for dinner.

Sunday, D went to buy a loaf of white bread. White bread sandwiches for the next few days. Yum!

Yep, we were eating nice things this weekend. One should never stop enjoying the good and simple things.

Human Nature, Movies, Books & TV Shows, Simplify

Saturday Errand Walk

This Saturday morning, I stopped at the library to return and borrow a couple of books. Then, I strolled to the bank to get some cash because it is good to have a healthy getaway stash… 😉

Lastly, I went to the grocery store to purchase some discounted items I wanted. Normally, I avoid the weekend crowds at grocery stores. But today, I made an exception.

Special times call for special measures.

Belgium, Human Nature

Wat Helpt

Als vloeken helpt, dan vloek je maar.
Maak herrie, stennis en misbaar.
Scheld schel en luid je goudvis uit
en schreeuw je scherven bij elkaar.

Als bidden helpt, bid dan gerust.
Als het je troost of sterkt of sust.
Of vraag om raad. Als Hij bestaat
dan is het goed, maar ‘t is geen must.

Als huilen helpt, ga dan je gang.
Het is niet niks en het duurt lang.
Het kan geen kwaad als het niet gaat.
Het mag gezien zijn, wees niet bang.

Als praten helpt, bel me dan op
en steek van wal, hals over kop
en van de hak weer op de tak
of zachtjes sluipend uit je slop.

Als lopen helpt, vertrek meteen.
Zeer doelgericht of nergens heen.
Het hoeft niet snel, al mag dat wel.
Met verre vrienden of alleen.

Als zwijgen helpt, wees dan maar stil
en duik – als dat is wat je wil –
een tijdje weg van pijn en pech
– als je weer opduikt, geef een gil.

Als lachen helpt, ken ik een grap
of val dolkomisch van de trap.
Denk aan je kat die keer in bad
of aan het Belgisch staatsmanschap.

Als dansen helpt, is er muziek.
Als breien helpt, dan hou je steek.
Als boos zijn helpt, geef ik kritiek.
Als bakken helpt, let there be cake.
Als yoga helpt, wees fluks en zen.
Als slapen helpt, stop ik je in.
Als schrijven helpt, scherp dan je pen.
Als poetsen helpt, welaan: begin!

Je voelt je murw en overstelpt
en snakt naar stranden, wit geschelpt…
Hou vol. Vat moed. Want het komt goed.
Doe ondertussen maar
wat helpt.

~Stijn De Paepe (18/08/1979 – 22/02/2022)

Health, Human Nature

Civilized Conversations

Maintaining ongoing conversations and relationships requires time and energy – from both ends. Not everyone has the ability to keep up with a civilized conversation all the time. If you have years of practice and experience in sustaining decent long term relationships, you may count your blessings.

Belgium, Human Nature, Travels

Garden Centre Outing

This afternoon, D and I went to a garden centre with his parents. I only had potting soil and maybe some outdoor pots on my shopping list, but ended up with four pots in total. In addition to that, we also got two indoor plants, candies and a bag of Japanese rice cracker mix. 😛

Maybe it is just me… but visiting garden centres seem to be legitimate fun outings this part of the world.

Human Nature, Quotes, Simplify

Comparing Lives

Grandma always said that we should not compare ourselves to others. 人比人比死人, literally means that you can compare yourself to death!

Online, the quote goes 人比人气死人, 比上不足, 比下有余. This loosely translates to “Comparison creates frustrations, not enough to compare up, too much to compare down.”.

Nevertheless, it is only human nature that we constantly compare ourselves with those around us. We compare age, fitness, looks, intelligence, careers, health, wealth and the list goes on endlessly…

Even so, I have yet to find myself wanting to live someone else’s life. Often, I come across people who are wealthy but sickly, intelligent but bitter, beautiful but depressed, young but lonely.

In my case, I am the sole owner of my life. It is all up to myself on how I want it be.

Human Nature, Simplify

Joy Is…

Yesterday, I cycled to De Gavers to meet up with an ex-classmate from integration class many years ago.

We had a nice long chat while wandering about the lake area, visiting interesting spots which are not usually known to most visitors. I realised that I know stuff and sounded very much like a local. 😀

A bike ride (on my own) to my favourite lake. Meeting a friend. A pot of honey. Nature at my doorstep. Drinking a beer with D. Joy comes in many shapes and sizes.

Flashbacks, Human Nature

Vulcan Ears

Despite being half a century old, and having experienced life on three countries, I do not have any major regrets in life. Lucky me, I guess. 🙂

During my last two years in the US, I sometimes joined a group of Zappos developers, going to movies and events together in the Sin City area. When asked if I would go to the Star Trek Convention at the Hilton, I told them that I have work and asked one of them to buy me a pair of wearable Vulcan ears.

After all these years, I have no recollection whatsoever of the design project I was working on then. I also do not have the wearable Vulcan ears I wanted, because no one came across any. When I think about it now, that would be my one teeny tiny regret in life. Not going to the Star Trek Convention with the boys. Classic…

A life without regrets is impossible. And probably quite boring. But the lesson here is: Live! Make the best of what you have in front of you, here and at this very moment!

Health, Human Nature, Simplify

Blue Zones

Wikipedia has a well documented explanation regarding Blue Zones. In short, the people in all five zones adhere to the following lifestyle trades:

  • Family – put ahead of other concerns
  • Less smoking
  • Semi-vegetarianism – the majority of food consumed is derived from plants
  • Constant moderate physical activity – an inseparable part of life
  • Social engagement – people of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities
  • Legumes – commonly consumed

While diet, exercise and social well being are essential roles in our ageing process, the psychological aspect should not be ignored.

My take is simple. When I start worrying about my age, I just remind myself that I have already gotten a good head start on people much younger than me. Heck, I am done with schools. Have read hundreds of books. Learned six languages. I have driven, flown, and have seen many wonderful and weird places in this world. I have tasted all sorts of food and like most of them! Most importantly, I am still here. I am breathing, aware and still curious as hell. The path ahead is open and my ikigai is intact and strong.