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.

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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.

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Testing hardware – keyboard, chair

Niklas Wikström - Sharing Is Caring - Fotosöndag

There is some hardware, like a nice keyboard or an ergonomic chair, which you can hardly test.

Sure, you can go into a store and see if you like it or not, start typing on the keyboard or lean back on the chair.

But how will you feel one week after using it? 3 months? One year?

I don’t think that first impressions are the best in these situations.

As I see it, you can only test if you don’t like some things like that – if you really hate the chair, if the keyboard annoys you a lot.

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Shrek vs. The dream princesses

Some consider that Shrek wasn’t a success:

“The fairytale comedy was a hit with critics and audiences but its toilet humour, glibness and shoddy animation mark it out as a misfire”. (Shrek at 20: an unfunny and overrated low for blockbuster animation | Animation in film | The Guardian)

When you compare Shrek with the dream-like princesses, to me some things are worth mentioning:

  • Shrek didn’t do much self-improvement. Sure, as in any movie, the main hero wants to improve on a specific thing. But, all-in-all, Shrek was happy with not succeeding. Not great, but happy.
  • On another hand, most of Disney princesses focus on being almost perfect, like a dream. They focus on self-improvement a bit too much. Great, but, perhaps, less happy.
  • What’s the solution? Get the best out of both worlds. You do need to become better, you can’t just be happy with your state. On another hand, you can accept some things are they are and fully enjoy life.

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Fully developed professional

Fernando Vega - DSC03441 In Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

I think that in order to be a good professional, you might need to know some things outside of your area.

Leonardo da Vinci knew a lot of things.

Nicolae Steinhardt, if I’m not mistaken, recommends monks to know some other things, not necessarily focus 100% on Theology.

Andrei Pleșu: “Dar cine îşi imaginează că a nu citi, a nu cădea niciodată pe gînduri, a te purta birjăreşte, a te ocupa numai de şmecherii şi aranjamente adaugă ceva calităţii tale umane e la fel de smintit ca cel care crede că a fi frecventat bibliotecile e a fi deja cu sufletul în rai şi a avea un ascendent inatacabil asupra oricui.”

There was a quote that when you need to choose between two professionals if they’re of generally equal value it might be a better idea to choose the one with a greater culture.

Even if you work with numbers and information bits (0s and 1s), you might still need some theater, some literature.

You do need logic, demonstration and technical parts.

But if you want to be a good professional it might be wiser to have a balanced formation, not just technical, but also art-related, not only art-related but also technical.

A quote:

Andrei Pleșu discută cu Sever Voinescu, redactor-șef al Dilemei vechi, despre cultură și tinerii de azi. „A venit un om la mine, un inginer, și mi-a spus: După ce am citit Jurnalul de la Păltiniș, am devenit un mai bun inginer“. (Andrei Pleșu despre ce poate stîrni cultura în oameni – Dilema veche)

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Changing someone’s mind

byronv2 - Thinking

”The best arguments in the world won’t change a single person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.” – Richard Powers

I tend not to send others information about vaccination – if you believe the information, you don’t need it, if you don’t need it, you won’t listen.

Things go the same with faith – you don’t need to be proven that God exists, you believe in Him or not.

My purpose is not to try and influence anyone’s opinion on this.

I want to state my views, but without ever hoping that this will change someone’s mind.

The wish to change others is natural, the expectation that this will actually happen, is not, in my opinion.

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I have no mouth and I must scream

Tizzy Canucci - Open Chords

On I have no mouth and I must scream (I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream – Wikipedia): for a lot of time, I thought “there’s something wrong in the way I think”, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I talked to various people about this.

One issue? I was very weak on expressing my thoughts. I could write, but it was difficult to speak.

Thus, I turned to blogging, I wrote some very large posts, and, with time, I found the solution (My soul and “Încrederea în sine e tăcută. Nesiguranța de sine e vocală!”).

Then, and only then, I could speak.

But it wasn’t that important anymore, there was no more need to scream.

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Chocolate, sex, and money in the Bible

Stanley Zimny - Golden Ceiling

Long ago, I went to a conference.

The speaker said something in the line of:

You can see a man’s character in the way it has a relationship with three things – chocolate, sex, and money.

It was an instant “A-ha!” moment for me.

I kept thinking about that assertion long after that.

I won’t speak in this blog post about how I connect with these three things – it’s rather personal.

Instead, I want to say some things from the Bible.

Chocolate

Sure, in the Bible I don’t think that this is ever mentioned.

But there are some foods which might be similar.

Some ideas:

Sex

Money

When I think of money, some things come to my mind:

Some conclusions

  • While sex is a no-no, for chocolate (or other foods) there are pros and cons. Food is not inherently good or bad. Also, money are not necessarily bad, but you need to know how to use them (generally, give them away; but also treat work with care – you need to be a good professional and invest your gifts/talents well).

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Find what you love and let it kill you – Charles Bukowski

iezalel williams - Passion star unit by iezalel williams IMG_5792-004 - Canon EOS 700D

“My Dear,
Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.
-Falsely yours” ― Charles Bukowski

Days come, you need to clean your house, organize the desks, pay the bills, go shopping.

But you can also choose to spend some time on the things you love.

Enjoy those moments.

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