30 April 2011

You Are What You Do

In my world, bears' world, bears are just bears. We all do the same things - we hunt for food, we eat, sleep, have little cubs and just carry on with our lives. That is why I find it quite fascinating that humans, although they are all the same species, do different things in life. Some of them are doctors, or lawyers, or builders, or plumbers, they could be anything they choose to be.

I read that in the old days, very old days, people were actually named according to their occupation, supposedly for tax collectors to be able to identify them and their families. Thus we have surnames or family names such as Mason (stone worker), Sawyer (wood cutter), Baker (bread maker), Carpenter (wood worker) and the likes.

What you do is what you are in the human world. In fact, it is almost unimaginable to know a person without attaching what he does for a living. When you are introduce to someone, you don't just remember their names or physical characteristics, you associate that person to what he does. So you have Katy who works in the bank, Peter who manages a restaurant, and so on.

The idea of what you do defining who you are is so ingrained in the human society that when someone is not working, either temporarily or permanently, that person loses his or her identity. It is not uncommon to hear retired people who became depressed because they feel "lost". Some would get deeply involved in some causes or community activities in order to feel like they established a new "self".

Imagine if all these attachments of occupation and self is gone. Imagine you being introduce to Mr. X and what he does is cook, eat, sleep, read, walk in the park, listen to music, tend to his plants and pets and cleans the house. You probably think he is a loser.

25 April 2011

The Royal Waving

"I can't wait to watch the Wills and Kate wedding on TV this Friday!!" I told Mr. B. excitedly.

"And why would that be on any interest to you?" he answered.

"Because it's cool. I love the royalty. And also their famous wave!"

"What wave?"

"You know, where the royalties wave to people like they were screwing bulbs." I said.

"They invented that to conserve energy, otherwise waving for a long time would hurt their wrists if they do it madly like they are leaving on a ship."

"Oh I see!"

"Did you wave like that to your fans when you were in Europe?"

"No. I just flap my paws up and down in excitement!"

"It's time to learn."

22 April 2011

What Do I Say?

Because this week is Lent, Mr. B. taught me the importance of prayer. He said I can talk to Jesus anytime I want, that I can do not at home because bears are not allowed in churches.

"What do I say to Jesus, Mr. B.?"

"Anything. You should thank Him for many blessings that we have in life, like the family and friends we have, the food we eat, the things we enjoy. You can also seek His help if you have any problems." he answered.

"But I don't have any problems."

"The you should pray for the other unfortunate people. Others who are suffering, that Jesus would help them recover from whatever they are suffering from."

"Then Jesus will help them?"

"Yes, Jesus will help them." Mr. B. replied.

"And if I don't pray, will Jesus not help them anymore?"

19 April 2011

Cheer Up! It Could Be Worse!

Once in a while I feel grumpy. No special reasons. I just don't feel happy, or I don't want to feel happy. There are things that worry so I am not happy. I am sure I am entitled to not be happy or feel happy. The same can be said with humans.

When I'm in one of these moods, Mr. B. would try to console me by saying "Cheer up!" or "It will be alright!" or "It could be worse!". I am sure you have said the same thing to someone in more than one occasion. I think that is wrong.

Firstly, when you tell someone who is not feeling happy to "cheer up", you are basically negating and invalidating what that person is feeling. You are implying that whatever is making that person unhappy is not important so he should not feel that way about it. Secondly, most likely the reason why you are telling that person to cheer up is because you are not comfortable seeing him grumpy. In that sense, you are selfish and not sympathizing with the unhappy person. That is not good either.

The worst thing to say to an unhappy person is "I know how you feel." because most likely, you don't and you can't know how the other person feels.

So what to say to a grumpy person? Nothing. Just acknowledge the fact that he or she is not feeling cheerful and these things do happen. And it will pass. In his or her own time.

Don't try to cheer him up.

14 April 2011

The Mathematics Of Aging

Many humans are quite sensitive when it comes to aging, which of course is a natural occurence in life. They try everything within their own power and the wonder of science and technology to defer the aging process as much as possible. They also stop celebrating birthdays so others will not have the chance to know their ages. I think it's strangely funny.

For many, birthday is a commemoration of another year in one's life. But I have a different concept. I think birthday is a reminder that another year has past and taken away from one's life. It's like the mathematical formula x-12, where 12 is my age and x is the number of years i will live. The mystery number x is something that many humans are apprehensive about because no one knows what the number is.

The way I see it, since no one knows what x is, it is totally useless to worry about it. It is more important to do your best everyday. When the time comes to celebrate the passing of another year, you can at least be proud to say that it was another year well spent and well lived.

10 April 2011

Easy Eats #14 - Potato Bacon and Lentil Soup

"You are making soup again?" Mr. B. questioned.

"Why not? Soup is good for you." I replied. "Besides this is so different from what I made 2 weeks ago and it's got all the stuff that is good for you!"

Indeed, our soup this week has vegetables, roots and pulses. Lentil is one of the healthiest food and is easily ignored in Asian cooking. That is why I am presenting this very hearty soup to you. It is easy to make and so flavorful.

1 carrot finely diced
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 potatoes coarsely diced
2 strips thick bacon diced
Chicken stock
Dried tarragon leaves
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

1. In a heavy soup pot, heat olive oil and saute onion until transparent.
2. Add the bacon and stir until the bacon renders some oil
3. Add in carrots and celery and stir for 2 minutes.
4. Add the potato and lentil and stir for 2 minutes.
5. Pour in chicken stock, add tarragon leaves and simmer away.
6. Season with salt and pepper.

Lovely, isn't it? I let Mr. B. have a bowl of my soup and he asked for a second helping. I will have to think about that. Enjoy!


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