Needing people

Alfred Grupstra - Mouth Wide Open

I think we do need people to succeed – Arnold Schwarzenegger is right (There’s no such thing: self-made man, motivational video).

On another hand, I don’t agree when people claim “Look, I made you do X, it’s due to me, you need to thank me for this”. I have some memories with people telling me: “Look, Olivian did this due to me”. I don’t think that’s fair.

So, it goes both ways:

  • You need people in order to succeed.
  • People, when they influence you, only do this to a degree: if you take an action, you do so only to a degree influenced by others, you have some influence yourself.

Citește mai departeNeeding people

Paying for school

Conspiracy of Cartographers - Granite School, Wyoming

There’s a bit of debate in Romania whether people should contribute to the finances of a school.

We have a thing in Romania called  “fondul clasei” (classroom fund), which is funded by parent’s money and helps with minor improvements in education.

There are two big arguments:

  • This money should be permitted, as some people want to help the school.
  • This money should not be allowed, as it forces poor students to contribute, and, when they can’t do so, bad things happen.

My view on this is that the first argument is a false one – you don’t need everyone in a classroom to contribute with money. If you are doing OK with money, and wish that your child has a good education, no one stops you from writing a check which would help.

On another hand, poor students might have issues with paying for school. Do this in the long run with big numbers, and some pupils will leave school due to this reason, or, much more likely, they’ll have a poor experience in school.

In my opinion, if education should be universal, then, in that case, you shouldn’t force people to pay for it.

There are lots of dilemmas like “Is the current school education system the best one?” or “Should school be mandatory and free?”, but they’re for another talk.

For the current talk, I think that people shouldn’t be forced to pay for school education.

I have some memories from my own education with such contributions, and none of them are nice. I would prefer they wouldn’t exist.

The question has a wrong answer – “people want to help the school!”. Well, nobody stops you. On another hand, paying for school makes some people skip education, and I don’t think that’s right.

Citește mai departePaying for school

Hard lessons

Guido Klumpe - Dark tunnel

I think the biggest growth moments in my life came after realizing a hard, harsh, annoying, tough truth.

It’s not pleasant to see the naked emperor, to face your ugly fears, to fight your inner demons, to pick up the sword.

Yet, this is where growth comes from.

To keep ruminating things, to relive bad moments, to look at you in a mirror which doesn’t hide faults – now, that’s difficult.

But after the darkness, there’s light.

Citește mai departeHard lessons

Piesă de teatru – Cum să pierzi totul într-o zi?

Bilete Cum să pierzi totul într-o zi? - 2 iul, ora 19:30 - Teatrul de Vara Mihai Eminescu -

Am văzut Cum să pierzi totul într-o zi.

Câteva idei:

  • Limbaj simplu, ușor de urmărit.
  • Extrem de amuzantă, în top 5 piese pe care le-am văzut vreodată (clasice, non-improvizație).
  • Decor simplu, dar folosit inteligent și eficace.
  • Distribuție importantă.
  • Cam grobian, dar nu m-a deranjat.

Distributia: Silviu Biriș, Magda Catone, Ozana Barabancea, Razvan Oprea/ Pavel Barsan, Ana Odagiu, Natalia Dragomir, Victor Vurtejanu, Radița Roșu
Scenografia: Simona Marcu
Adaptare a regizorului Razvan Oprea

Citește mai departePiesă de teatru – Cum să pierzi totul într-o zi?

Persons helping the church and volunteers within NGOs

John - Volunteer Celebration

There are some people helping with administrative and logistic things around the church, people who offer their time to help with daily tasks.

Some people might envy those persons for being, all the time, close to God.

On another hand, if you carefully look at the situation you might notice that while they’re always busy doing something, they rarely if ever have time to properly listen and pray in the church.

So close, no matter how far.

Same with NGOs.

I know people who dedicate their lives to helping others.

While that’s nice and noble, there are other ways in which you can have an even bigger impact – for example, getting resources doing other activities, and helping society with those resources.

I think working in an NGO is one of the noblest things one can do for others.

Still, there are even better solutions.

Note – I start here with the assumption that all things are equal: one has the same motivation working for an NGO as doing other tasks. If this isn’t the thing, one’s mileage might vary. This is not career advice, it’s just a thought on a possible solution for improving things. At times, my solution might fail.

Citește mai departePersons helping the church and volunteers within NGOs

Despre Doi tineri din Verona de William Shakespeare (Teatrul de Stat Constanța)

Can Pac Swire - Shakespeare & Co. (Original) with Fire and Fury

Am văzut la Teatrul de Stat Constanța piesa “Doi tineri din Verona” de William Shakespeare.

Câteva idei:

  • Vizual, nu țin minte să fi văzut în România un spectacol mai frumos. În orice caz, e sigur undeva în top 5, probabil top 3, foarte posibil pe locul 1 în tot ce am văzut.
  • Ca în multe alte spectacole de Marele Will, am avut dificultăți în a înțelege ce se întâmplă, care sunt replicile, ce se spune.
  • Am problema asta cu teatrul, în general – unele replici vin foarte rapid, nu doar că par nenaturale, dar nu apuci să procesezi ce se spune. Iar dacă e vorba de o replică în versuri, cu rime, cu ordine a cuvintelor în frază atipică, dacă spui toate astea rapid, nu se înțelege mare lucru.
  • M-am cam plictisit. E legat și de faptul că nu am înțeles mare lucru.
  • Aș fi vrut să găsesc online lista melodiilor folosite în piesă. Pe pagina oficială a piesei nu le găsesc.

Citește mai departeDespre Doi tineri din Verona de William Shakespeare (Teatrul de Stat Constanța)

Schindler’s list: I didn’t do enough! You did so much!

dr. Alexandru Pesamosca

I have a great deal of respect towards dr. Alexandru Pesamosca (deceased) and dr. Niculina Bratu (see this, in Romanian »).

Both of these people pretty much sacrificed their lives to the well of others.

It reminds of a scene in Schindler’s list (1993):

– I didn’t do enough!

– You did so much!

Think of it – there are/were people in this world who lived, mostly, for others’ good. That’s impressive!

Citește mai departeSchindler’s list: I didn’t do enough! You did so much!

Praise the praiser

Ed - 1928 Bentley Speed 6

Once, at my grandparents’ house in Buzău, I was sent into the village. I came back running, to overhear a conversation between my grandfather and my grandmother: “Olivian is a hardworking person. Wherever you send him, he goes.”

My grandfather didn’t use to say too many good things to my face. But when he made that confession to my grandmother, I knew he meant it.

Another memory is with a rather critical teacher from the 8th grade, who, at least for a moment, I managed to impress.

I think people should say more good things one to another.

The only exception I can think of are monks, who prefer not to be praised.

Praising makes the world better, in my opinion.

I still think of moments when someone told something good about me, it feeds me, it’s a validation I need. I’m trying not to depend on this, but it happens naturally.

Also, don’t fake it. If you don’t mean praising, I wouldn’t do it. Say the truth, don’t just say things.

But if you focus on “What could I say good about this person?”, most likely you’ll come up with something.

Citește mai departePraise the praiser

Things that matter

Elena Penkova - In the woods

I like this quote:

The only three things that matter:

  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Purpose

(via Mike Crittenden »)

It reminds me of:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

(John 14:6 NIV)

Here, relationships = truth, health = life, purpose = the way.

In the article quoted above, there are also priorities. Is there anything more important to you than those things? If so, is this a rational step?

I think there are multiple levels in life, and in some way or another, you fail to some degree on all of these. But, at the end of the day, you can do your best to achieve these goals, and it might be good for you.

Citește mai departeThings that matter