Archive | May 2012

Into The Wild

Quote shared by Pascale 🙂 – extracted from the movie “Into The Wild”:

“make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”  Jon Krakauer

 

M

Don’t Fear

Unfortunately, we are at an age where we are considered adults.

Our decisions therefore are being taken by us, and only us. Like career decisions for instance. HUGE pressure is put on that. At any point in our lives. Yeah it’s important, it will be your main everyday activity, but who says that it will be binding for ever and ever?

Who says you can’t just decide to change, pack your bags, leave and go do voluntary work in Ethiopia? No one. Because you can.

NO DECISION IS COMPLETELY IRREVERSIBLE.

Take that decision and try. If it doesn’t work, just leave it and move to something else. It is as simple as that.

Song of the day: “The Fear”- Ben Howard (Thanks Joe!):

Here’s to my loved ones who are going through a big career change. You know who you are : )

M

Competition

Some kind of competition is healthy, the kind that makes you better yourself. The other kind though, which is the most threatening one and the most common one, is the kind that destroys you.

Being used to a Lebanese society where people live off comparison with others, I was the happiest person in the world when I joined the international program I’m in now.

I became surrounded by so many different characters that there was no way that a culture of “fitting-in” would emerge. The shy chinese girl, the blond chic belgian guy, the tech-freak Indian, the fashionista parisian, the party-animal Indonesian, the fraternity leader American, the haitian dancer, and so many more contrasting personalities.

And that’s when I realized, the more a group is different, the better the people of this group get along.

Living together (literally) for 8 months, made us each become an even more “pronounced” version of our differences. This uniqueness created a respect and openness about differences amongst us that is incommensurable. No competition whatsoever, since there is just no base on which to compete!

We had to read an “Economist” article for tomorrow’s class. it was entitled : “What’s wrong with America’s Economy”. And, believe it or not, one of the major problems was that competitive view of things: “The first failing, of which Mr Obama in particular is guilty, is misstating the problem. He likes to frame America’s challenges in terms of “competitiveness”, particularly versus China. America’s prosperity, he argues, depends on “out-innovating, out-educating and out-building” China. This is mostly nonsense.”

But seriously, stop comparing, it’s exhausting. Relax.

M

Keep Aiming

 

 

M

Make The Best

What’s more is that the people who do have everything are, most of the time, the least happy.

 

 

M

More Smiles

Song of the day- Refreshing 🙂 “Black Cloud”- Mike Stocksdale

Have a great day!

M

Believe

(Picture by Joe Khoury 🙂 )

My latest plane ride was 6 hours long, and it did not start with high expectations: We had no individual TVs, I only had a few pages left to read in my book, my iPod’s battery was almost dead, and I was not close to being tired.

So I decided to start talking to the guy next to me.

Oddly enough, he was lebanese 🙂 a professor in a US college, the kind that travels a lot and has lived abroad for many years.

He is from the generation who has lived the lebanese war, the most pessimistic Lebanese generation. So what stroke me in our conversation is that, for the first time, when I told him my plan was to come back to Beirut one day and try to improve the country, he did not discourage me. He did not say “The country is doomed, it cannot be fixed. Stay abroad, it’s better for you”, and he did not, once, mention the political tensions.

We had a long, interesting and enriching conversation about what needs to be improved on the community/educational/social level, about how to go about it, which led to a conversation about people’s roots, families, and patriotism.

And before we knew it, we landed 🙂

(Picture by Joe Khoury)

One of my favorite texts by Gibran Khalil Gibran:

http://leb.net/mira/works/mylebanon.html

“You have your Lebanon, and I have my Lebanon”

M