Happiness = love + grace + gratitude

I need music the way I need air to breathe

My desktop computer died on me a few days ago.

I should’ve panicked because I worked until 2 am the previous night to complete about 60% of an assignment which needs to be handed in soon. There was no back up copy and my PC simply wouldn’t let me in.

I should’ve panicked over all the photos of beautiful memories that would be lost.

However, not too surprisingly, I re-discovered that what I missed most was not any of these… it was my music collection.

With over 2,000+ songs on my playlists and the ability to blast playlist on my PC while I go about my business – I missed it the way the desert misses the rain. I missed it like a lovers touch. I missed it like the morning shower that wakes me up. I missed it so much that I kissed my computer welcome back when it finally got fixed and promptly proceeded to find new playlists to add to my collection :) 

My desktop, my muse, thank God you are back ;)

My desktop, my muse, thank God you are back ;)

So here’s the top music on my playlist this morning:

 

 

Mayors from all over the world at the Vatican to talk about climate change

Arman:

More often then not, people are not thinking of the long term effect of their choices because they are busy trying to meet immediate needs. In discussions and policy debates, we need to start putting the need of our future generations first to start making a dent to the damage that we are causing to our environment now.

Originally posted on Marcus Ampe's Space:

MayorMitchell Landrieu of New Orleans at the meeting in the Vatican could be pleased to hear what other mayors were doing to make cities more resilient and “get a practical guide on climate change.” When Hurricane Katrina hit 10 years ago, he said, his city became “the canary in the coal mine” showing the world how extreme weather associated with climate change can devastate a major city.

Mayor Tony Chammany of Kochi, India said that mitigating climate change and curbing poverty and exploitation cost money and demand investments. Today’s financial crisis is hindering greater efforts. for that reason the greater worldpowers should find solutions to get a better balance between rich and poor and getting their priorities right.

Governments must make the environment and social problems a top priority in public spending.

said Chammany.

Bill de Blasio 11-2-2013.jpg Bill de Blasio in 2013, when he held the citywide office of New York City…

View original 995 more words

The beauty that connects us

In this awesome Ted Talk photographer Jimmy Nelson talks about his journey to photograph tribal people around the world. The lessons he learnt and  how he was affected as a person by the interactions he engaged in. Well worth the 17 minutes to watch this talk :)

When Jimmy Nelson traveled to Siberia to photograph the Chukchi people, elders told him: “You cannot photograph us. You have to wait, you have to wait until you get to know us, you have to wait until you understand us.” In this gorgeously photo-filled talk, join Nelson’s quest to understand — the world, other people, himself — by making astonishing portraits of the world’s vanishing tribes and cultures.

I can’t accept not trying

Can't accept this

The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day

 

job & zucker

 

Have you ever thought about how much time you likely waste deciding what to wear in the morning? It’s probably made you late to school or work more times than you can count.

We waste so many precious moments concerning ourselves with frivolous details. An outfit will not change the world, it probably won’t even change your day.

This is not to say that fashion isn’t important, as it has an immense impact on culture and, in turn, the direction of society.

Indeed, fashion is where art, culture and history intersect. If we look at the 1960s, for example, the way people dressed was very much a reflection of the counterculture movement and the anti-establishment sentiments of the era.

Simply put, clothes can tell us a lot about sociology.

Yet, at the same time, we’ve arguably become an excessively materialistic and superficial society. Undoubtedly, there are greater things to worry about than clothes.

Similarly, as the great American author Henry David Thoreau once stated:

Our life is frittered away by detail.

…Simply, simplify.

In essence, don’t sweat the small stuff. Make your life easier by concentrating on the big picture.

Correspondingly, a number of very successful people have adopted this philosophy in their daily routines.

Decision Fatigue: Why Many Presidents And CEOs Wear The Same Thing Every Day

Whether you love or hate him, it’s hard to argue against the notion that President Obama has the most difficult job in the world. As the leader of the most powerful country on the planet, the president has a lot on his plate.

Regardless of what he does, he will be criticized. Simply put, he’s got a lot of important things to think about beyond his wardrobe.

This is precisely why President Obama wears the same suit every single day. Well, almost every day, we can’t forget about the time the Internet exploded when he wore a khaki suit. Although, that probably says less about him and more about us.

The majority of the time, however, Obama wears either a blue or gray suit. In an article from Michael Lewis for Vanity Fair, the president explained the logic behind this routine:

‘You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits’ [Obama] said.

‘I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.’ He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions.

As Stuart Heritage puts it for the Guardian, “Barack Obama has pared his wardrobe down to such a degree that he can confidently walk into any situation and make decisions that directly impact on the future of mankind.”

The president is not alone in this practice. The late, great, Steve Jobs wore his signature black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers every single day.

Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg typically wears a gray t-shirt with a black hoody and jeans when seen in public. Similarly, Albert Einstein reportedly bought several variations of the same gray suit so that he wouldn’t have to waste time deciding what to wear each morning.

This is all related to the concept of decision fatigue. This is a real psychological condition in which a person’s productivity suffers as a result of becoming mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant decisions.

Simply put, by stressing over things like what to eat or wear every day, people become less efficient at work.

This is precisely why individuals like President Obama, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein decided to make life easier by adopting a monotonous wardrobe.

Obviously, as these are some of the most successful and productive individuals in history, they are on to something.

Make Life Simple

Indeed, having a diverse collection of clothing is overrated. We waste so much time worrying about things that have no substantial consequences, and don’t even realize how easily we could change this.

This is exactly why President José Mujica of Uruguay rejects conformity and refuses to wear a tie, stating:

The tie is a useless rag that constrains your neck.

I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness.

He’s absolutely right. The vast majority of us are guilty of obsessing over material things. When it comes down to it, they bring no real value to our lives. True fulfillment is acquired by going out into the world and fostering palpable and benevolent changes.

Buying a new pair of shoes might make you feel more confident in the short-term, but it will not enrich your life in the long-term.

Undoubtedly, the world would be an extremely boring place if we all wore the same exact thing every day.

Yet, we might all consider simplifying our lives a bit more by reducing the amount of time we spend thinking about pointless aspects of our day. In the process, one might find that they are significantly less stressed, more productive and more fulfilled.

Life is complicated enough, don’t allow the little things to dictate your happiness. Simplify, simplify.

 

Happy

Neither am I this… nor am I that

It’s a poem, that they made into a song, it’s from an old Sufi poet named Bulleh Shah, who was born in 1680. This poem, describes men’s everlasting quest to discover his place in the world. By saying he is neither this or that, compares himself to something that transcend humanity. Identity is either created by us or created for us. The world needs a lot more understanding of others than division among us.

The greatest quest for knowledge is perhaps to understand ourselves. Without knowing oneself, one cannot know another. We are limited in our perceptions, by experience, by the extent of our empathy … since each one of us walks a path that is known only to ourselves.

Here’s my toast to this song, to the eternal quest of self-knowledge :)

(translation of the song is in the video but there are others on youtube with only lyric and translation but I liked the video on this one better)

The grass is always greener on the other side ;)

Schapiro’s Explanation:

The grass is always greener on the other side,

but that’s because they use more manure.

If you are jealous of someone else’s success, if you are constantly comparing yourself to others and coming up short. Then the time has come for you to have an honest conversation with yourself about whatever it is that you are jealous of in others. Take an inventory of your life and decide on what needs to change for you to be happy.

Just remember ….

You can’t change others, you can only change yourself.

When you can’t change a situation, you can change your attitude towards that situation.

Whatever you can’t change – you have the power to decide on whether to accept or discard.

Whatever you can’t accept, discard it, if that means having to let go of people, situations, dreams, jobs, clothes in your closets… just do it.

You only get one life to live, why waste it in unhappiness of jealousy?

Should safe food be a privilege? or a right?

The issue of Food Safety has been on the media for quite some time now. The resulting backlash has been worrisome, not just for the families wondering what to feed their children but also for the small holding farmers linked to the markets.

For example – there has been an outcry against use of formalin in fish. The market mechanism responded by transporting live fish to the kitchen markets in small drums. It’s a commendable effort and many families has resorted to buying live fish only. Live fish typically retails at a higher price – the cost of transporting the fish is higher, you can transport only a certain amount of fish in these makeshift tanks and fit in a significantly reduced number of these tanks & barrels in the trucks. These higher costs essentially relegate the poorer segment of consumers to resign to the reality of buying whatever other fish are in offer within their price range. On the small farmer side, the cost of investing in this supply chain can prove to be either inhibiting or alternatively leaves them more open to exploitation by the middle men.

This begs the question – should safe food be a privilege? or a right?

The constitution of Bangladesh is the only one in the world which guarantees safe food to its citizens. The recent Safe Food Act 2013 and other measures put in place demonstrate a certain level of commitment to this issue. Yet media are rife with news of adulteration and subsequent drives by the government inspectors. All these are made more difficult by the lack of widespread access to scientific tests for accuracy in determining the level of adulteration or other contamination in the food.

A certain level of chemical fertilizer and pesticide use is inevitable in the field. We cannot feed 160 million people on organic production alone. Chemical fertilizer, pesticides & certain human-grade preservatives on their own are not dangerous – in the right doses. And there in lies the crux of the matter – adequate and safe use of chemicals in the production process and monitoring the value chain against contamination and adulteration.

At the same time, a Canadian study indicates that 40 to 60% of food-borne illness are acquired in a home setting. In the rural setting of Bangladesh and with lack of adequate awareness on the importance of hygiene in food preparation, this could be significantly higher. Therefore, large-scale assumption and panic created from assumption that outbreaks of illness are created by adulterated or contaminated food should also be avoided. 

What is needed to tackle the issue of food safety is knowledge, commitment and awareness of the public, private and regulatory actors. Awareness of importance in hygienic preparation of food, greater information accessibility, self-regulation and reporting by the private sector and a functioning authority on Food Safety could start to tackle this threat to public health in a holistic manner.

For more information, you can check out the following website: http://www.bdfoodsafety.org/

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