Month: May 2014

Fix a BRT Lane for your days

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Once my brother explained to me a story about how some town or city wanted to clear a lane to allow a Bus Rapid Transit system. However most of the roads were already so jammed that it didn’t make sense to one of the officials to clear an entire lane for the BRT, so they suggested to give the BRT planners a lane in one of those areas that didn’t suffer from so much traffic. Which totally misses the point, because the whole point of a BRT system was to help clear the traffic jams.

For some reason I remembered the story today when I was reading about how everybody should take some time everyday to plan out their day and write down what they need to get done. Some people might say, “We’re so busy, we don’t have time to waste on something like planning for the day and reviewing whether or not we’ve achieved whatever tasks we set out to achieve.” Some might claim that it’s better to do such things on days when they have less things to do and are more free. But the whole point of to-do lists and a proper planning system is to help clear the traffic jam of your day, prioritize to make you see what tasks are most important for the day and which ones can be ignored later, so you can easily breeze through the day the way a bus breezes down a BRT Lane.

So how do you plan for the day? What system do you like to use? Simple to-do lists on post-it notes or daily planner? Write down your comments in the comments section below…

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Silhouette Moments

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We go through moments in life that appear dark. Nothing is clear and the sadness and uncertainty of it all threatens to stifle us. But what if we choose to believe that this darkness is nothing but a silhouette? A form that appears dark only because it is standing against a source of light? A source of light we don’t really perceive even though it’s ironic because its presence is the sole reason the dark silhouette exists in the first place? What if the light was there and we could see it if only we stopped focusing so much on the darkness and shifted our focus instead to the light that?
What if we internalize the idea that every moment we take a step forward, we are giving time for the light to shift so things would clear up and we could see the moment for what it really is; a lesson in disguise, a test of character or simply, a moment of growth? What if the uncertainty was an opportunity for extended hope, because certainty could catch us at a time when we’re ill-prepared to face it and the result might actually crush us?
So study your troubled moments and hang on to the hope that they might just silhouette moments, that the light is somewhere, behind them….

Of Failed Attempts at Capturing Sunsets

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Yesterday’s sunset was especially beautiful. Maybe it’s because I took a break from my screen to actually notice it. But  then I tried to capture it using my iphone, but the image never really matched the beauty I saw with my eyes. After multiple attempts at playing with the image using Snapseed, the best I could get was this…
photo 2

Which made me think of something my friend once said about how today’s technology-savvy people need to stop experience things through the lens of their cameras and smartphones. The experience is never the same. As mentioned in the last post, you have that distortion thing and this time it’s because you decide to let your phone’s sensors do what your own senses are supposed to do. And that leads to the experience’s degradation.

So here’s a question for you; is your first instinct capturing the image or living the experience fully? Leave your response in the comments section below.


On First Impressions and Misjudging Others

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You know how they say that the first impression you make matters? If you really think about it, how many of your friends were people whose first impression was negative? It’s only once you get to know them better that you realize that they’re all right and that the negative vibes they gave out at the beginning were misleading. Actually, maybe there was nothing wrong with the vibes they gave out. What was wrong was actually the sensor you carry inside of yourself, since it’s calibrated against your unique past experiences, and judgments.

Yet despite knowing this, how many times have we judged someone based entirely on what we’ve heard about them from others? So in this sense, not only are we receiving data that is calibrated against a different setting than ours, but our own receiver works on that data as well so that the data is doubly distorted.

Living in the small Kemeni society such as ours, where it’s easy to know so much about someone without ever meeting them thanks to the highly fibre-cable-like networks set within the society, let’s break out of the norms and actually take a minute to listen to each other before we start making judgments based on third parties (or our own first impressions).

Once I was walking around and I saw two rows of green chairs. All the chairs were facing front, except one of them on the front row that was facing backward. My first instinct was to orient the chair such that it was facing the front as well. But then it struck me, that’s how we’re built up as a society. Anybody who decides to change the order of social protocol is either forced to change their mind or is shunned. However, having that chair facing the chair right behind it is how we can actually speak face-to-face with each other, and open the floor for conversations. And that’s how we get a diverse and rich society instead of a single-bland-flavored one.

Ending with a quote, “There’s a reason behind every person. There’s a reason why they are the way they are. Stop judging and start listening.”