it’s interesting to me how some people put their own self-interest ahead of other’s well being.

like several days ago when a truck just went straight through a roundabout (probably because they felt safe and were confident the other vehicles would stop), when our cab had been travelling around the “circle” for some time. or when cars suddenly “just” change lanes without looking back. forget right-of-way (and other sensible driving precautions), other drivers just need to avoid me (and “react” to my “whims”).

i still can’t reconcile when able-bodied patrons choose to park in disabled spots for convenience when there are clearly a number of bays free. or when the able-bodied use disabled stalls or lavatories (as it’s more “spacious” i would think) when there are other free “facilities”. fair enough when it’s “chockers” and there’s no other option- when you have to go you gotta go.

yesterday, my taxi driver obviously had a cold and didn’t even bother to have a single window cracked open. given we’re currently in a global pandemic, i don’t condone his behaviour but understand – when he doesn’t drive, he has no income for the day. but his actions does affect others – i’m careful as my wife’s immune system is compromised

lately, it’s been health, economic, and political justifications. surely, IMHO, it’s an opportunity for psychology and sociology to “shine” and offer “impactful” advice given the irrational action of some. like how people flock to the beach during “nice weather” or for certain occasions and flout physical distance (or wearing masks) due to several weeks of isolation – i find this strange since i’ve been mostly home-bound for over a decade.

i suggest again our “leaders” (and everyone for that matter) read Nudge: Improving Decision about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by the Nobel Laureate in Economics, Richard Thaler.

our parish priest of several years celebrated his farewell mass earlier because he’s been reassigned to PNG. this post isn’t about him but him ending his homily with a few quotes triggered my “tangentially-associative” memory.

i’m not terribly religious but had Augustinian priests for my primary and high school education. one of his quotes was deeply ingrained in me: “To sing is to pray twice”. i didn’t think i would be disturbed but a while back a contemporary personality effectively claimed that the quote was theirs and originated from them.

that was the first time i knew that a person “blatantly” appropriated someone else’s work – the interviewer didn’t challenge them. perhaps it was ignorance. perhaps they didn’t want the interviewee to be embarrassed.

my intent isn’t to shame anybody – in any case, i encourage everyone to share and spread individual’s words, works, ideas, or the like so that they are properly attributed. that said, let me qualify, some times somebody from another time or from a different part of the world may come up with a similar “thing” – the point is that their intent was never meant to “plaigarise”, it’s claiming something is theirs when they clearly know it’s not.

publicising something appears to be an “effective” remedy in dealing with or preventing its occurrence.

CAVEAT:  you might have noticed that my title format has slightly changed.  i’m still starting it off with what ever comes to mind and after the colon i’ve appended what i think the post is about (you might interpret it differently or have an alternative understanding when you “read between the lines”).  it has been brought to my attention that some readers may not want to go through the entire thing for the title to make any sense.  this is not an egregious attempt to increase ‘likes’  or to act as ‘click-bait’ but shouldn’t it be part of ‘sharing’ to make stuff ‘more digest-able’ – looks like i still have a ways to go.

i underwent a medical procedure recently – recovery time is typically from one to two days –  because of my age it took me three days. so i temporarily stopped my daily exercise program for about two weeks – this affected me but i didn’t notice right away.  it became first obvious to me at a speech pathology session.  i used to get through them just fine even if they were during the afternoons – i didn’t feel winded afterwords but my sound production performance faltered occasionally.  Moreover when i went to my regular neurophysio appointment, she could physically feel the difference – i found out that apparently pain can also cause your muscles to “relax”.  At first i had done this to reduce my anxiety levels (but perhaps because i now take a natural supplement for it it’s less pronounced) but, also very importantly, getting my core strength up not only helps me avoid falls (and minimises potential injury) but also helps my speech.  Suffice it to say i’ve started up again and hoping to get back to the level i once was.

these aren’t directly related but are also from recent “trips” outside my house so…

i want to whinge about the three (let me be clear: not all or even a majority of them) taxi drivers driving skills were really bad:  the sudden stops-and- starts, not slowing down enough to take a round about, or abrupt jerking of the steering wheel.  These gave me a headache despite sitting in front and having the road visible – imagine how much worse i would have felt if i sat in the back.  i was going to complain about another thing but in hindsight one of my drivers was “self-obsessed’ that he would have acted that way to an “able-bodied” passenger.

Despite using my “letter board”, some drivers (not only taxi drivers but one support worker), still misunderstood me.  i suspect it’s either because they’re not patient enough to listen or having a preconceived notion of what i’m going to say (Ding!  Ding!  Ding!:  it’s usually wrong).  i understand that my speech can be hard to understand especially since this is probably the first time we’ve talked (on a few occasions i get the same drivers) but mistakes ca be avoided:  like going the wrong direction, it’s on the other side, that’s the wrong address, accidentally running me over,  etc.

we just want to feel listened to.  here’s a video by Purple Orange (it kind of reminds me of the You Can’t Ask That format on the ABC) about diverse communication shared on Darryl Selwood(Ph.D.)’s blog:  http://darrylsellwood.com/?p=998.  While i don’t  relate to everything said, i agree with the central premise of respect and the underlying theme of “not judging a book by its cover”.

it is very easy for me to accuse the drivers of not thinking: parking too close to the incline, the ramp, or curb so it’s “tricky” for me to get into or out of the car;  dropping me off by an entrance with only stairs ; driving “far” the door so need to cross the street, walk “some” distance, or negotiate a challenging surface (like inclines, uneven surfaces, pebbles, etc.); ask me directions or instruct them where to pass or stop; or turn the meter on while i’m still trying to get in the car (i believe the law states it should be only activated when i’m seated).  sometimes they can’t be bothered or are in a rush but sometimes i think it’s because they haven’t been exposed to or educated about disability – these are tasks they take for granted so there’s a need for more “training”.

FINAL WORD (let me know if these prompt helps with readability or i should go for more “traditional” headings – i know a poll is a more suitable for this but i probably won’t get enough respondents for a truly statistically valid result and, frankly, confronting my readership numbers scares me).  There’s a tension between keeping the post short-and-sweet and making it comprehensive enough to be informative – after all like they say, perfect is the enemy of good. Moreover timing is an issue, some thoughts have an ‘expiry date’ while others not so much.  While Twitter isn’t for me (trolls aside), it take me some time to type – this has the added bonus of letting me reflect and not simply reacting, All-in-all, i’m still struggling with the balance.  Furthermore, i feel the pressure to post frequently – as evidenced by the number of “self-corrections” right after i publish – when i should learn to recheck my drafts first.

 

sense and sensibility

January 26, 2019

i no longer complain a lot and am now have less severe and frequent bouts of anger but i’ve had a few “bad” days and despite not really being part of the “outrage machine” my cup runneth over with “self-absorbed” acts (and it hasn’t helped that i’m recently sporting an injury and can’t do my daily exercise regiment in full but i’ve got to vent somehow to keep from “going-off” on someone undeserving).

my wife had to move a (push)bike earlier that was “parked” atop a ramp when we were headed to mass because my walker couldn’t otherwise get through (luckily i wasn’t alone)  Someone without a placard also parked their car in a disabled bay (sadly, i’ve encountered this multiple times) so my wife had to leave our vehicle somewhere else.  Some people don’t really think about the inconvenience they cause or fail to consider how their action(s) affect other people and instead focus solely on themselves.  i’ve experienced able-bodied patrons using disabled stalls/toilets when standard ones are available (i’m flexible enough to know that sometimes you don’t have an option and that if you have go, you have to go) – why make people who need special facilities wait because it is more “spacious” or private.  i even had an experience of someone growling at me because i walked in on then (because they had forgotten to lock it) and wasn’t “quick” enough to immediately exit (as i require a wider turning radius with a walker and have great difficulty going backwards).  Not to be gross but i can’t understand why some people don’t flush after doing a”No. 2″  – they already stink most of the time since access toilets are often combined with baby change/nappy/family rooms to save space.  Moreover, a few individuals “rush” into the lift so they can get on before me.

sorry – this type of whinging shouldn’t be common

born to run

November 24, 2017

PBS Newshour showed again Part 1 of Jeffrey Brown‘s interview with Bruce Springsteen (originally aired December 19, 2016; the video url: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/bruce-springsteen-tackles-truth-song-memoir ). It was meant to be a promo of his memoir but it was much more to me.

He might not be my favourite artist or a technical singer but like he says: he’s learned to ‘inhabit his songs’ which makes his songs more believable.  Moreover, his working-class roots makes him seem authentic and relatable. I don’t pretend to be an expert on him (or his numerous works) but it wasn’t until I heard the original acoustic (and much more slower) version of ‘Born in the USA’ that I thought I understood the lyrics and what that song was truly about.

As he says in his interview and his in his new memoir “I wasn’t modest in the assessment of my abilities. Of course, I thought I was a phony (sic). That is the way of the artist. But I also thought I was the realest thing you had ever seen.” It’s about dichotomy, I guess – existing on two different planes at the same time.  For me, a real artist lives (and exists) with contradictions – they are only human after all.

You can watch Part 2 at https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/music-medicine-bruce-springsteen

power up

April 19, 2017

had a recurring “nightmare” last night about people seeking any shelter they could find.  What’s weird is that I have a different dream each time I get up from bed but for some reason it just continued where it left off.  I thought I was not really bothered by the threat of nuclear winter but it looks like subconsciously I am.   This just illustrates how, often, control is not in one’s own hands.  Like my mum used to say:  you’re ok but other people might be “crazy”.

me, myself & I

April 13, 2016

movies like “The Big Short”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “2oolander”’ and television shows like “Billions” and “House of Cards” remind me how much narcissism is prevalent in our society.  Media often reflects back the world we live in. I most of the time (in my view at least) can overshadow community. We still look to “exceptional” individuals as “saviors” when we should also “empower” everyone to contribute to changes ourselves (no matter how miniscule in the grand scheme of things).  We should not solely have to rely on others to improve our lot but also allow for “grassroots” changes.   We should not only embrace a “top-down” approach but additionally combine them with “bottom-up” methods.

Like all technology, social media can be a double-edged sword:  at one end it is a tool for empowerment, at the other spectrum it feeds the “outrage machine”.  We do not need to know all the minutia of your daily lives:  we do not benefit from what you are doing 24×7.  The majority of expressed opinions are often unconsidered – relative ease has trumped reflection, emotions override thoughts.  Immediacy and convenience are at times not desirable nor appropriate. Do not get me wrong:  providing a voice to the voiceless is good but one needs to consider the source/context and weigh the different perspectives. It is sad that some people hide behind anonymity and screen names to hurl abuse:  a case in point is the withdrawal of such luminaries as Stephen Fry from Twitter – context can alter perceptions.  Unfortunately, akin to what Churchill said about the shortcoming of democracy, social media is in the same boat.  Like most prescription medication, the good hopefully outweighs the bad effects.