Miscellaneous, My Digital Universe

Rock Vs. Water

Determination requires discipline and discipline requires consistency. Do the best you can and do your best to do it for the right reasons.

We can be a leaf in a stream and get taken wherever the water flows. We can also be a rock in the stream. But it’s better to be the stream.

The stream will flow where it needs to flow. It will go around the rocks or over the rocks to get there.

Consistency has power that a stale rock doesn’t. A rock can only resist. But water can overcome resistance.

A rock, that’s too heavy, cannot move. Though strong, it can only experience decay. Water sustains life. It is refreshing. It flows. It can carry. It can be useful. It can transform. If it is stored for too long, it will evaporate or seep into the soil and nourish the earth. When it is too cold, it can be hard enough to destroy the Titanic. If you boil it enough it will disinfect and get rid of the germs.

Be like water. Strength is not only what we can see or do. It is also what we can become!

Miscellaneous, My Digital Universe

Inside, looking out

The eyes reflect what the heart tries to hide,

Your thoughts won’t contain, although you fight,

Your concern for how I should fly my kite,

Is eating up the moments before your eyes.

Life is but a moment depleted,

So why focus on someone else’s misses?

Time is only moving forward,

Why not focus on your journey?

There are no secrets in life. A sincere smile shows a sincere heart. It reflects that a person has no qualms about what someone did or ought to do.

The words spoken behind someone’s back, a negative thought or dislikes cannot be hidden with a smile or a gesture.

It all shows.

There’s no magic about it. What you think of someone will show with your smile. What you told of someone will show through the one that you told it to.

Call it energy, vibes, juju … These are all ways that someone’s perception of another manifests and how the receptor experiences it.

Perhaps one solution is to not concern so much about other people’s lived experiences. Curiosity has a place. When curiosity becomes an obsession over what someone else is doing, you forget to live the very short life you have. Now you are not only meddling with the limited moments another has to experience life, but also wasting your own, on futile analysis’.

Ever wonder why faith causes so many problems in the world? It’s not so much the teachings of a faith but the application and interpretation of that faith that cause issues. Often times the application of faith is blatantly hypocritical when compared to the teachings.

Devotees are so concerned of how someone else is living their life that they feel the need to take on the role of a deity. Or, do they feel as if everyone must agree with exactly what they perceive to be correct in their minds? I don’t see an issue with someone’s firm belief that what they believe is right. However, when you impose that onto people and derive moral authority, it becomes a problem. Spiritual practices do not have measurements or evaluation procedures. For better or for worse, that leaves room for all sorts of things. If you can’t accept another human being based on their merits, I don’t mean the standards that you uphold to be worthy, but simply for who they are, perhaps you need to reevaluate your faith.

Is it a spiritual practice at that point? Or is it a crutch that you need to define who you are in terms of who someone else is?

Part of the issue lies in hierarchical view points that dominate our society. Whether we like to admit or not, modern society in general, still operates under the pretense of importance that people attach to professions, qualifications and achievements. So instead of seeing the most obvious oneness, we are programmed to compare, dissect and position ourselves in relation to those we meet.

Ever thought what a human would look like to an alien? At a glance, an extra terrestrial would categorize animals based on their common characteristics. And all humans, regardless of color, race, gender or qualifications will be categorized under one generic umbrella.

If we need faith to feel good about ourselves in relation to another, to me there’s little value in that belief. A spiritual practice, first and foremost should nourish and sustain the individual practitioner. Next, it should create harmony and unity with everything around them. It should dissolve and dismantle illogical untruths that one accumulate as they grow up in a world with conflicting opinions and ideas.

At the end, truth shouldn’t require any justification. If it requires persuasion, think twice. If something is so true, wouldn’t it be undeniable obvious? Wouldn’t it be inescapably comprehensible? Is it fair for some individuals to understand it and not others, if something is true? Or is truth like mathematics? If so, wouldn’t it be math and not the truth? Can truth be relative? If that’s the case, what’s the point of enforcing laws?

Miscellaneous, My Digital Universe

So, you think you know it all?

Don’t expect someone that didn’t see you break a sweat to understand your journey.

Sometimes it’s all about how you interpret something. For some, a journey is straightforward, so when they see someone that is curious and don’t mind getting lost, they may interpret the wanderer as someone that’s lost. But, isn’t life more about the journey and less about the destination? Then again, sometimes it’s less about the journey and more about the destination.

Some journeys, like the Annapurna circuit in Nepal, is about the journey AND the destination. Which brings me to my point: it’s always better not to jump to conclusions about another’s experiences or choices. Don’t play God.

A person’s experiences in life, what they do and why they do it, is a subjective mystery for everyone (except the person). Who can see the insides of someone’s mind, their emotional state, their true desires, to be able to accurately decipher why they chose chocolate over ice cream?

Perhaps I am one of those that feel as if I can sense the pressure of the probing eyes of those who know me, wandering what I’m doing with my life. I feel as if I can sense their judgmental (not always negative) interpretations as to what may be going on with me. Perhaps they are right. If so, they know about the inner workings of my mind and heart more than I do. But, do they really? On the other hand, they are making judgments based on their subjective understanding of the world and the even more limited understanding of who I am as a being. For in reality, we all pick and choose what we share with the external world.

We share our sense of fashion with total strangers by the way we dress (whether we intend to or not), while our smile can communicate our stress-levels to someone that’s known us for years. Since there’s no exact science (to my knowledge) that accurately decipher what’s goes-on inside someone, the goal is not to figure out how to get that information. It’s none of our business to figure out something that another person is purposely hiding. THAT, is an invasion of privacy and extremely annoying. What’s more annoying is when people THINK they know what’s going on and try to interpret or TELL the person as if they know what’s going on with them.

In my opinion, it’s better to make anyone feel at ease and accepted, so they can freely share and be themselves around us without fear of judgment. Let them define who they are to us. Listen more and remind yourself to put your interpretations in check. That will open up an opportunity for honest conversations rather than playing hide and seek. Hide and seek is best played with kids, not adult behavior.

Miscellaneous, My Digital Universe

My Sri Lankan road trip

I come from a family that loves the open road. During road trips, my two siblings and I gave my parents a headache from the time we got into our minivan. I remember packing little snacks and claiming the window seat, every time! I liked to put down the window and feel the cool breeze run across my face. In Sri Lanka, where I grew up, you could smell the ocean when you got close to the coast and smell tea when you got close to the mountains.

I live in the U.S. now, but recently my whole family went back to Sri Lanka. The kids were all grown up and the love of the open road had only gotten stronger over the years. We have been out of the country for some time and were excited to be back on the road where cattle, monkeys and even elephants made frequent appearances.

Driving in Sri Lanka is very different than driving in America. For one, people drive on the opposite side of the road (like they do in England). Unlike the straight, flat roads in Texas, Sri Lankan roads are bumpy, winding, narrow and full of surprises. Depending on which part of the island you are driving through, you can expect to see scenic mountain views with lavish waterfalls, white-sand beaches, landscaped tea estates and herds of elephants crossing the road! Ah, and… coconut trees–they are everywhere!

Everything about a Sri Lankan road trip is amazing. There are road-side vendors selling all sorts of exotic fruits, hand-made crafts, pottery, furniture, souvenirs, etc. You’ll also see cattle, water buffalo and elephants crossing the road at their leisure–so you have to watch out! And I love the paths in central Sri Lanka that are surrounded by green paddy fields and tall pine trees found at higher altitudes.

My family loves to make pit stops during road trips. It offers a chance to get out and take a few pictures or buy some fruit from a roadside vendor. When we were visiting the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on our last trip, we saw some fishermen bringing in their daily catch. So we pulled over and gave them a hand. Pulling a net full of fish is a community activity. A rhythmic dance-like movement helps the fishermen pull their catch ashore. The net is so heavy!

If you ever get a chance to visit this beautiful island, I can guarantee you one thing: you will not be bored. It is an adventure that will take you into a world of “exotic overload.”

By Cheran Ratnam

If you have a road-trip experience you want to share, tell us about it at scusasocial@gmail.com, RoadLoans would love to go along for the ride. Don’t forget to send pictures.