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Month: May 2018

gaijin

In japanese there is a word that means “foreigner”, a person that does not belong to this place.

It’s Gaijin, and if you will ever happen to stay in japan for a long long time (like 10 years), chances are you might still be called gaijin, because you will still be gaijin.

The curious thing about the japanese language is that when you talk directly to a person, let’s say Jon to Kate, you use a part of their “Mr”/”Mrs” that describe your relationship with them.

For example if Kate is simply an acquaintance of Jon he might greet her with something that resemble the phrase “Hi Mrs Acquaintance Kate”.

While if she sees Jon as a friend she might say “Hi Mr Friend Jon”.

This would happen all the times they meet. Which means they would always state the relationship each and every time.
And gaijin might be repeated that often, since you will always be a gaijin..

I love Japan culture, and I wanted to digress a little bit because in the last few days a friend of mine always write me sms such in Japanese Addresses form, like “Hi Friend”.
He never did that, and now he does this all the time.

And I must admit I was somewhat unsure what to think and a little nervous.
I realized in the end that my problem was that he was stating it all the time, making the word “Friend” less and less important, thus removing value from such word.

In japanese this wouldn’t happen because it’s the language itself that doesn’t allow you to change this format, but in other languages you’re removing power from your verb, and the more you write, the less it’ll be important.

how to raise an argument

Let’s say you felt betrayed by a friend and now you both hate each other, how do you manage that? You might try to ignore it, fake the relationship, or think about how to fix it.

Maybe you won’t be able to fix the issue with him/her, but at least having such desire is a good thing.

But how to do it?

You might be tempted to go straight to him and say “Oh you’re such a bad friend, you don’t care about me, you only care for yourself”, but what’s the point here?
The message is all about you trying to blame someone else. What’s written here is that you want more care, but it’s not even written, it’s hidden in the words. 

Given this phrase it’s obvious that the outcome will raise a heated discussion with no great way to exit it without some extra problems.

Also, if you frame the question that way you are not talking about the problem itself.

So, what other options do we have here?
First: the way around question

This is easy: You ask the opposite question: “Did I do something wrong that made you upset?”

Here’s the thing: We only know our version of the story and it would be pointless to desire a resolution witouth trying to understand what’s their point of view, right?
I know that it might sound like if we’re not protecting/explaining our reasoning, but it’s not about being right. It’s about discussing and understanding.

Option 2: What I felt

Sometimes we forget that if we explain our struggle and if we open up our vulnerability, good things might come.
So another option would be to say “I really felt betrayed and lost when you did X, I thought about it all day and it made me really sad, why you did that?”

It will clearly open up the discussion, but we’re not judging the action, instead we’re exploring our world of emotions and asking them for reasoning behind it.
Obviously if the reasoning is sound we should accept it because, as I said, we’re not trying to be right or to prove someone wrong.

And that’s about it. 
There will come a time when both option will fail, and in such cases if you’re out of ideas you might as well accept the fact that this isn’t the right time to discuss this. 

There might be some extra walls to pass in their/your defence that we can’t simply overcome today.

jungle rules

I truly believe that we should all either survive to our problems or die by them.

I do try my best to help people around me, but in the end it’s clear that we should all take on our problems, face them, and fix our lives. There are no shortcuts, no easy ways. It’s just failing, trying again, until we succeed.

Some people make it, some other don’t and they get drowned by the consequences as if life is something we can’t manage.

Few weeks ago I was deeply saddened by an event, I was shocked and felt powerless in front of that situation. I still do have some scars left, yet today I remember that  few months ago, another problem that felt impossible to overcome was living in my mind.

Both problems will disappear in a couple of months, or maybe years. Who knows, in the end they’ll all become dust.

Once we fix one problem, we will get another one and this never-ending story won’t change.
The point is: they are not “problems”.

It’s life.

what death leaves us

There are a hundred ways to both act in death and react to death.

What will happen at your funeral? Will it be joyful or sad. Will it give people a chance to think about their future or simply leave with no message?

There’s a lot behind a death, a person leaves an empty space yet if they’re lucky enough they can leave something behind, something more than that void.

My mind goes directly to the father of a dear friend that to me left one of the most memorable marks in my life.
He was a great man, a man that everyone loved, joyful but without excesses. He was great, really.

On his funeral I think he asked his dearest son to remember everyone that even though we parted ways with him that we should not sadden. He left a gift at the exit of the church for the people attending the funeral.

It was amazing.

Today I was at a different funeral, and there was no such message, and in those moments I wonder: What’s the gift that we plan to leave at our funeral?
What’s the message, the ideal?

None or something?

a cat understands only the now

They don’t have a past, they can’t link situations in the way we do, nor they do care about the future.

Cats only live the present.
Which is nice because when you want them to learn something you have to do it “now”. You can’t blame them if they do something wrong and you’re not there, you can’t blame them after ’cause they won’t be able to link them.

But in the present, they’re 100% aware.

Something we should learn too, so that the past won’t drag us and the present can be full of presence.

your recovery time

Healing takes time, and often the small changes that will make a big impact on your life, can’t reveal themselves instantly. They take time to build, time to heal, to change.

I recently undergo a surgery at my nose, to breath better, and guess what? I still can’t breath properly because the surgery left a lot to be healed before I’ll be in “clean nose” mode 😀

This is part of the game. We can’t heal/change fast. It’s a step-by step process. It’s a marathon, not a spring.

we don’t need you

We don’t need your presence when we’re sick, we don’t need your comfort when we’re sad, we don’t need your help when we’re building our ikea table, we don’t need your suggestion when we’re facing a problem.

We might need some presence when we’re sick, but we don’t need it from anyone. We need it from the people we care.
If something good happens to us, like the birth of a child, we don’t need everyone to pass by right after the fact, take your time.

We don’t need your comfort when we’re sad, we might need your presence when we’re blue. We might need time to build an ikea table and we’re likely to be happy taking some wrong turns doing it because that’s the joy of learning.

And yes, we would like to listen to your suggestion, but we’re not obliged to, so if it’s not a good time, silence is still golden.

that angry man and you

Open Space office, around 20 to 40 people.
A single man is shouting, directing his rage towards someone, possibly on the phone or with a silent employee.

He’s loud, very loud. 
Anyone can hear his voice in the big open space, and many of them are smiling, like if this situation is a bit extreme, thinking “he’s overreacting”.

Eventually the man stops, and for the whole day everyone in the room talks about that angry man, the words he spoken, and how angry he was.

It’s easy to see the excess of anger in someone else, right? But we rarely see this in ourselves.
We fail to see it, because when we’re the one shouting, we think about one thing only.

Our ego.