Monthly Archives: July 2012

Greed is All Around

I know I’ve written about this topic in a few of my posts, materialism, greed etc. and I’m writing about it again because a recent occurrence has made me feel the need to rant.

What I’m seeing is, that almost all people who have more than enough to meet survival will be greedy. What annoys me most is when people who live in developing countries who are NOT poor, i.e. they’re well fed, have clothes on their backs, can afford university tuition see the need to try to mooch off of westerners…I can recall that I mentioned the family who ran the place I volunteered at were amazing, they valued my time above all and never asked for anything beyond that, and invited me over every day for tea and I was entertained by interesting stories of travel and how the grandfather of this family ultimately chose to return to Tanzania to live a simple life after years of traveling, schooling and working abroad. I was impressed by this, because he could have expanded his life materially so much by opting to stay in either the US, Germany or Australia….but he chose family, and a more difficult life instead.

I’m pretty sure his grandson, who I met only once or twice didn’t take any of these stories to heart because since I got back home I’ve been continuously harassed being asked to send him stuff….and not small stuff either. This kid had the nerve to ask me to buy him an iphone LMFAO!!!! Obviously I replied saying I can’t do that and I tried to explain to him that not all people living in the western world are loaded. His reply was “any smart phone would be ok”  and he tried to reason that he needs it for when he starts university in Dar Es Salaam, LMFAO again. This guy already has some kind of smart phone as all of the fb messages he’s sent me have been sent from a phone. He’s been blocked and deleted from my Facebook and I am completely pissed off that there are so many people in this world looking to just take advantage of people’s kindness.

I had another situation in Tanzania in which one of the staff members from where I was working asked me for money. She claimed she couldn’t pay her rent. My thoughts on this were “well if you can’t pay your rent how do you pay for time on your phone and for internet to check your email and Facebook?” She was clearly just greedy and looking to advantage.

I think this goes to show that the majority of people, once they have something…..even if it’s not much more than the basics, they can easily become greedy looking for more and more. I can understand all this materialism stuff of course, because I, like most people, have been there….There are a lot of things I used to think I wanted cause in my mind they represented accomplishment. Now all I really want though is a space big enough to live in and some money to travel with, it doesn’t even have to be luxury travel as I’ve found travelling cheap to be the most interesting. Dirty hostels always seem to be where you meet interesting people, 5 star hotels…..not so much.

Although I had all these materialistic wants, what I can say is that I have NEVER tried to obtain them by using another person, and I think that’s why I’m so sickened by the fact this guy asked me to buy him an iphone, and then when I said no said any smart phone. Being materialistic is one thing, fine….if you want things you can work hard to buy them and enjoy. Materialistic people who are leeches though, getting all that they have not through hard wok but at the expense of another person makes me sick!

That brings another thought to mind, and I will write about this one at a later time, I have major issues with gold diggers.

A Rare Thing, A Look Into My Inner World

For some reason I haven’t had much to write about lately….Not sure where this writers block has come from because usually I’m inspired constantly by the various conversations I have with people, or things I hear and read in the news.

Lately though, I’ve just been experiencing “real life”, when I say this….I’m not referring to life in the physical, work 9-5, have a shit load of responsibilities to take care of, go go go kind of sense…..I mean life in an internal spiritual sense. Learning more about myself, my strengths, my flaws…..learning more to decipher between what’s my ego and what my genuine impulses and emotions are.

To be honest, I’m not even sure exactly where I’m going with this entry….I just felt I should write, didn’t know what to write about but went ahead anyway and this is what’s coming out. That last line actually has a lot of meaning to me as it’s very relevant to what I’ve been reflecting on the past couple days. I felt an impulse, didn’t know where it would go but just ran with it anyway.

I’ve been discovering my life is most fulfilling when I just go with my impulses in the moment rather than pondering on what the end result of acting on said impulse will be. A lot of people may see this as irresponsible, foolish and not being conscious of the consequence of my actions. However, I feel a lot better putting this into practice because I’m seeing that living by those internal impulses rather than what you’e socially conditioned to think you’re supposed to do results in having a stronger sense of inner peace and a clearer sense of direction in life because you’re not stuck thinking “what if?” with regard to everything that could possibly go wrong…you’re just living every moment as it comes and crossing every emotional bridge, happy or sad, when you get there rather than mentally fighting with it sooner.

I have seen that living an overly strategic life where one is rigidly attached to a specific outcome rather than just going with what feels right can ironically be a huge impediment to action and progress. I hope I am not being misinterpreted here and coming across as “Just don’t have any goals in your life and be a hippy who goes nowhere in life”. I am definitely not big on that extreme either, and don’t think I could ever see myself as hippy who speaks of changing the world  and peace yet sits on their ass smoking weed and living in their imaginary world.

I think it’s a matter of assessing whether you’re working towards your goals out of passion (the internal impulses) or not. I’m honestly not even sure exactly how to assess that, don’t know what questions you would ask yourself. I just know for quite a while, about 2 years, I haven’t felt totally happy with what I do despite making good money, not having to work a lot of hours and living what most people would consider a very high quality of life. I realize most people will feel like smacking me over the head for complaining…..but what I was seeking all that time wasn’t more material gain, I was looking for a sense of purpose. It’s a bit funny how I didn’t find it until I just stopped over thinking about the long term possibilities of what could happen if I choose career #1, career #2 and so on. I stopped focusing so heavily on the financial logistics of it all, stopped focusing so hard on employment prospects etc. and quieted my mind a bit. That’s when all the signs started pouring in.

In particular it was when I was in Africa that the signs were coming my way,  one of the paths I had been thinking about was Masters of Public Health. When I was speaking to people I met over there about not being sure what I want to do with my life, based on my background up to now and my interests I kept getting the suggestion “you should consider a masters in public health” I took it to heart that I got those signs and made a decision based on that, I guess you can say it’s a leap of faith I’m taking. Also, with the interest I have in international development I narrowed it down to masters of international public health. Now, going along even further with this whole talk about impulses and gut feelings…..I can recal having two dreams back in January, in the dreams I was living in Australia. In one of the dreams I was skyping my parents telling them I was really happy there….in the other dream I remember going to visit one of my friends who lives in Sydney with her bf, and also my parents were going there to visit me…..I had no idea what all that was about, but I remembered that back in late 2010 I was out for dinner and group of two couples sitting near me were talking about moving to Australia soon….the younger couple were the ones moving. When overhearing the conversation I reacted….it’s really hard to explain how I reacted…it’s just like I was struck with a feeling of “I’m going to be living there too someday”, a gut reaction.

I didn’t put together the pieces about the dreams and why I would be living there until I did some research into masters programs. I checked out the ones around here of course, and there are only two that offer the option I’m interested in, and out of the two programs I feel only one is exactly what I’m looking for. I then did some research on schools outside of Canada, and it seemed Australia had the most interesting programs, was also able to get feed back from a friend of a friend who did her masters of international public health at Queensland and everything sounded awesome, so I am applying to schools there. I’m sure most of you read that anecdote and thought “self fulfilling prophecy” I don’t know though…..I’ve had stuff like this happen before, where I’ve felt like something was going to happen, or dreamed about something and it has indeed happened. I think the best examples are car accidents that I’ve dreamed of happening, cause those are the kind of things you avoid turning into a self fulfilling prophecy…..I remember the time I dreamed I rear ended someone….and yes, it happened the next day, ugh. Last week I actually had a dream my car got t boned, and a couple days later it ALMOST happened. I saw them coming and swerved into the next lane on yonge street almost hitting someone…..I was shaken up a bit, but very happy that one didn’t actually happen…..I realize I’ve gone off on a major tangent here lol….and I could probably go on and on about things I’ve had gut feelings about or dreams about happening, things that would freak you all out and have most of you thinking I’m nuts….but I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Now I will get back to my main point, about how to decipher whether or not you’re following your passion….

I believe that when people follow a genuine passion it’s not going to be entirely self serving, it can still earn you a high income, but at the same time it will be about sharing a valuable part of yourself in a way that impacts other people positively….and that can be in a mass way, or one on one, doesn’t matter. When what you’re doing becomes solely about yourself…..that’s when I think it’s no longer serving much purpose. When the job is just about you and making material gains, that’s when I think it becomes miserable. I was chatting with a friend earlier this evening about how she’s gone into a dept. management role at the hospital, and it being a big change from having only the responsibilities of caring for patients before….I remembered her talking about not thinking management roles were for her in the past due to her life being of a more spiritual nature rather than materially driven…..We came to the conclusion that with most jobs, regardless of what level you’re at, it can be done in a way that’s self serving, or if you’re genuinely passionate about what you do, it can be done in a way that’s beneficial for many.

I do realize there are people who need to work solely for the purpose of material gain to meet survival needs. My point applies to people who have gotten beyond fulfilling their survival needs.

I’m not sure if everything I wrote tonight made sense because I now have my head on my pillow and am about to fall asleep…zzzzzImage

Mmmm Alligator

Hello everyone 🙂 I haven’t blogged in quite a while because I’ve been super busy so not in the right head space to be writing anything. Still busy, but I was struck with an idea about something to write today thanks to this photo I saw on Facebook earlier in the day. Many of the comments were talking about how this is cruel and inhumane.

I have no idea if the people making those comments are vegetarians and/or vegans for ethical purposes, if so, fair enough. In that case they would say the same about eating any animal. However, if they eat a typical diet consisting of mass produced chickens and cattle how is this any worse? I’m fine with people saying “ewww, gross” implying they wouldn’t eat this, but when a judgement is made saying it’s cruel to eat one animal and not another that bothers me a bit because really an animal is an animal whether it’s a chicken, a gator or a kangaroo.

Perhaps we’re just socially conditioned to only accept killing and eating certain types of animals.  This is how I see it:

Farm animals: cows, chicken, pigs, lambs….these can be eaten

forest animals: moose, deer etc….these can be eaten

sea animals: fish, shell fish, crustaceans….these can be eaten

zoo/safari animals: kangaroo, zebra, monkey……absolutely cannot be eaten

pet animals: dogs cats etc…..absolutely cannot be eaten

To be honest I find the consumption of any animals that falls under the last two categories to be pretty disgusting. However, due to the fact that they are more likely to be “free range” rather than factory produced I would have to say that eating a kangaroo, zebra or monkey would be less cruel and inhumane than eating a chicken.

I think people should just be more open minded about cultural differences in terms of what can be eaten, just because it seems odd and is something you would never eat doesn’t make it wrong. I am sure some of you are wondering how or why I even condone eating animals period considering I was a vegan for a little while. It’s because the motivation behind my veganism wasn’t so much ethical as it it was about my own health. It was ethical in a sense that I didn’t want to eat animals that were crammed into overpopulated warehouses and fed unnatural diets. I still don’t eat those, I only eat free range, and yes I do realize this must have been one of my weirdest blog topics to date.

What’s  your opinion?