Contradictions in the world

 

The universality of contradiction. According to Mao Zedong “contradiction exists in the process of development of all things.” Lenin followed the same way of reasoning by stating that there are mutually exclusive, opposite tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature. Does this mean that things come into being/ are referred to/ are defined only as opposites to other things? 

This way of reasoning is related to the anthropologist’s Claude Levi-Straus, who emphasized the binary oppositions between elements, at the language and culture levels, present in 187 myths of societies around the world. 

My question here is: If this kind of reasoning is correct, then which was the first element to be defined on its own, not as an opposite to something else? 

50 shades of deviance

DVM78_3

 

Dear Sir/Madam, 

 

Are you politically correct?

Do you blame migrants?

Do you endorse the death penalty?

Are you pragmatic?

A Kantian at heart?

Selfish to the bone?

Composed and analytical?

 

Do you have a fetish for norms?

Of the country, of the culture

Of society, of community

Of the nation-state, of the leaders

Of your group, of your partner

Of your inner consciousness? 

 

Are you a career builder?

A pursuer of wealth and reputation?

A creator of acquaintances

But never deeply rooted friendships?

A pretender, 

Someone who feigns to 

Like debates, freedom of thought

Noir art, cooperation

Quirkiness and consensus

Insurgent ideas, innovation

Tough fights

The best fights for causes

Worth the blood

The pain, the tears

Your own skin and bones.

 

Your PR developed persona

Hides in the closet.

Behind the layers

Of righteousness and ethics

There is a distorted, hungry

Monster, an alter ego

Subtly nodding

To other hungry monsters.

To push for change

But keep the system intact.

 

Where do the outlanders fit?

The ones who challenge, 

Who cause unrest, 

Who offend and disturb

The ones who dare 

To provoke, to smash hegemons

To be outraging.

You call them deviant…

But the foundations of your core

Devour aberrations

In a cocoon adorned

With 50 shades of deviance. 

My greatest love: The sea

Roman Payne, extract: 

 

“O, wandress, wandress

When did you feel your

most euphoric kiss?

Was I the source

of your greatest bliss?”

Sanya 2

 My greatest love and my most euphoric kiss has been and I think it will always be with the sea. 

My (old style) response to Roman Payne:

 

O, my beloved, my dearest

I shall never love another,

Such devotion is impossible

The way I love thee!

 

I drown my sorrows

Mingle my depths with yours.

Cleanse my body! 

Take my spirit!

All I am

And will ever be.

 

To the waves of your eternity

I lose my boundaries

I tremble at the sight of you

I bid my farewells in silence.

With each return I feel anew

With longing, passion, love

At the sight of you.

 

Caress me, the returning wandress

O, my bewitcher, the sea! 

 

Sanya 3

 

Drunken Love

 

Close your eyes and whisper:

If red wine ran through your veins

You would be Dionysus’ muse

The lover of gods

The inspiration for legends

The nymph of dreams

The vineyard of hungry lips

The grape of thirsty souls.

 

If red wine streamed from your breasts

You would be the fountain of life

The eternal source of happiness

The discord of drunken lovers

The refuge of aching spirits

The companion of starry nights

The healer of the tormented

And my everlasting glass of rapture.

A small step for a big change: Rational compassion

Big sister comforts and embraces her little brother to alleviate fears and anxieties

Human nature is a concept that has been debated for thousands of years by philosophers,  and more recently by psychologists, a wide range of scientists, but also by common people. This concept is essential to comprehending our own nature and our purpose on Earth. While there is no common definition or shared understanding of human nature, I believe that empathy is a prevalent characteristic of human beings. Whereas human nature differs substantially from individual to individual and is understood and manifests itself distinctly across countries, cultures and communities, oftentimes there is this shared feature of humans: empathy. We can connect that to the fact that across cultures and borders people seem to want similar things, such as health and happiness, in whichever way they might manifest themselves for the individual. The desire to be healthy might be associated with what the Epicureans suggested of human nature: that it is quintessential to our nature to avoid pain and to seek pleasure. Thus, when witnessing suffering in any perceivable way, in ourselves or others, our instinct is to avoid or to remove the cause of pain. That is a natural reaction because our first response to human suffering is feeling emotionally touched and feeling empathy.

The next thing we could do is to act on the feeling of empathy in a rational way. That would bring us exactly to rational compassion, a concept supported and spread by Paul Bloom through his book “Against Empathy: The case for rational compassion”. We could easily employ our rationality to act on our feelings of empathy if we believe ourselves to be rational beings, as Aristotle claimed. How can we use rational compassion in our societies? How can we apply it to make countries a bit better for their inhabitants? For instance, as Paul Bloom suggested, we could commit to analyzing which charities and NGOs are the most efficient worldwide and start by donating a certain monthly amount to these organizations.

More specifically, how can we use rational compassion in my own country, Romania? First of all, the most useful thing would be for each of us to change the perception we have of animals and people in need of support, money or treatment by educating ourselves and by reading more about manners of contribution to those in need. I believe that in Romania there is a high need of workshops and seminars conducted throughout schools and universities that could lead to future generations understanding that less is more. Give a bit of what you have, renounce some of your material possessions and you can help others lead a better live! What is more, there is a dire need for pupils, students and other categories of people to get involved with charities and NGOs, to learn more about these organizations and to start volunteering. The more direct contact with and the more awareness of societal issues we have, the more we can develop the feeling of empathy and act on it afterwards. I also believe that certain sensitive issues that people misconceive should be publicly discussed in educational environments. Therefore, universities in Romania should learn from internationally famous universities that have a variety of societies for like-minded people. These associations provide students with an adequate space to socialize, to generate revolutionary ideas and to create innovative projects. The student societies we usually lack in Romania and we definitely need are: LGBT and feminist groups, animal rescue and animal protection groups, environmental groups. and minorities’ rights groups. Another thing to do is to use crowdfunding and other social platforms to raise awareness of those in need. For example,  someone can create a webpage dedicated to marginalized, peripheral villages inhabited by Roma people, who are in need of better housing conditions, jobs, education for children, a stable source of electricity, running drinkable water and so on. A considerably numerous group of empathy-led people could take everything in their own hands and alternately go to the village to teach the children who do not have access to school.They could also gather second-hand things and donate them to the people in the village and make a campaign to raise money in order to improve the living conditions of the village inhabitants. Last, but not least, a pressure group can be formed to force the local authorities to deal with the electricity and water problems. This is just one possible example, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of such cases in Romania, from poor children, orphans, lonely and sick elders, abandoned animals to mistreated wildlife and so on. I want to believe that we can act on our empathy and transform it into rational compassion for the better of the country. But what Romania needs most is ‘acting’ and people who would be willing to do something. Unfortunately, most people sit and discuss the corruption and the miserable state of the country. Stop complaining, start doing Romania! Life is not going to give you lemons for your lemonade, you have to grab them for yourselves!

Ugly Souls

decay_by_lorettamay

If God could whisper to us

If God could talk to us

If he could speak out loudly

What could he say?

 

What would he say

About our ugly souls?

Our uses and abuses

Of human souls

Of human bodies

 

We touch, we take, we lie

We force, we break, we die inside

We build and then destroy

We mock, we cry, we die inside

We hurt, we fight, we disregard.

 

Our human souls

Used to be…

Serene and kind

Now they are dark and blind

If God could talk to us

Would he say…

Wash your ugly souls

In fresh and cold mountain waters

In the salty, cleansing waters of the sea.

 

Nature and its purity

Are shaking slowly

Are collapsing wholly

Endangered with our fellow beings.

The cause and the effect of our ugly souls.

 

We punish, we hate, we ignore

We are wrecks, shadows

If we could hear God’s voice

Would we still die inside?

Just for laughs: Gags in China

Sometimes I am stuck inside of a huge, grey, dismal world, but then, all I have to do is step out of my apartment and discover the wonders around me. I am lucky enough to be in the right place for observing a multitude of things that can make one giggle out of the blue and bring a long-lasting smile on one’s face. Here are the things that turned my mood around in the past in China:

  • A middle-aged man carrying a Winnie the Pooh textile design suitcase in the metro.

 

  • A conversation with a 5-year-old during English class that went like this:
  • -Do you have cat?
  • -Yes, I do.
  • -What’s its name?
  • -Cat.

 

  • Women matching summer shoes with cotton socks.

 

  • -Hey, let’s have a nap!
  • Where?
  • Does it matter?                                                                                                                              
  • Old men wearing socks that look like lace or a type of laced transparent women’s stockings.

 

  • People heading out for a walk, for shopping or for other daily tasks in their pajamas.

 

  • Welcome to the new world of the latest fashion trends embraced by the old generation.
  • Migrant workers carrying heavy loads in raffia or nylon sacks in subways, buses and trains.

 

  • Some people bring their own foldable camping stools to sit down on when it is too crowded in the subway or trains.

 

  • People eating sunflower seeds pretty much everywhere: from airplanes and trains to restaurants, while waiting in the queue to get a dinner table.

 

  • People buying and wearing t-shirts, blouses, jackets and bags with messed-up messages in English.                                                                                                                     
  • Small bubble tea shops that have more than 12 employees on the same shift and can barely accommodate all of them.

 

  • Chinese restaurants that don’t provide tissues at tables or together with your ordered food.

 

  • People cleaning their plates, soup bowls, cups and glasses with hot tea before proceeding to serve themselves from the common dishes.

 

  • When at the beach, try the popular facekini!
  • Old Chinese people saying hello to me and smiling out of nowhere.

 

  • Kids shouting to their moms or grandmas, whenever they see me ‘laowai’ (foreigner), as if I were some sort of exotic monkey.

 

  • People occupying two seats in the subway and not bothering to move when other commuters are standing.

 

  • Young boys and toddlers getting a ‘bowl style’ haircut as if it would be the most fashionable thing ever.                                                                                                                
  • Other popular haircuts for kids!

 

  • People stocking up on rice and oil in the supermarket as if preparing for the end of the world.

 

  • Some people carrying enough crap on their e-bikes or simply on their backs to furnish an entire apartment.                                                                                                      
  • Street cleaners still using the old style twig broom.

 

  • Cleaners in subways and in some small Chinese restaurants mopping the floor while people are still walking by, ending up with a wet, dirty, slippery mess.

 

  • Toddlers, show us your butts! Trousers or overalls for kids that have butt holes to make peeing and pooping faster and easier, anywhere, at any time!                                        dsc04737.jpg
  • No space is too public to stop you from doing urgent tasks , such as toenail clipping or having a haircut.
  • The new use for the extra baby stroller in the house: walking the dogs or carrying grocery bags.

Holdorf-dogshow-012

  • Dogs in China be like: Bitch, I am more fashionable than you with my new trendy hair color!                                                                                                                                        
  • Chilling out, talking or waiting in the most natural position of all: squatting.                         
  • Talking about road and baby safety!

gettyimages-487258554_wide-2dbe000629dc698aefa9a209a86ec4d655b5cec8-s800-c85

  • The kingdom of fake stuff!