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Blame the Zombie

One peculiar thing about this topic in my head is that is in interconnected in what might seem logical to me, but not to others. Modern society is full of zombies and it is almost doomed to turn us all into them as well.

The news right now is buzzing with the Penn State scandal. I myself have joked about it, not to be insensitive to the victims but to gauge how people react to it. It seems that most people are so numb to the word “rape” that it is seldom truly understood. Play any online video game and you will hear the word thrown around like candy.

My feelings about the whole mess; besides pity for the victims, is that today everyone is more worried about letting someone else take care of the mess. The more people you tell, the less responsible you are.. right? someone else will do the right thing.

The bystander effect might be in full effect in the modern world (don’t click the link unless you potentially want to cry RIP Wang Yue), however I think that needs to change.

Sure, there are plenty of excuses (someone might get sued for trying to help someone) but humans need to go back to helping one another.

Are we really all becoming zombies that care only about wealth acquisition and people around us don’t matter all that much?

That might be a bit harsh, but I think it gets the point across. It looks to me like most people in today’s world think responsibility is about finding who it is to blame other than me, not about taking action when action should be taken. Some people assume responsibility simply for the benefits it brings, and whatever it is that they need to perform is secondary.

I joke all the time that left in the middle of the jungle I could survive. Also that if the zombie apocalypse happen I would also be a good ally. What about the real world, right now though. I am not CPR certified, and while I could perform it if I had to, I think it is something that we all should practice.

I hope I am never tested, but I do hope that if I am ever in a situation that requires me to assist another human being I can. I don’t want to be one of the zombies, so please don’t bite me.

Funeral

I used the line a “a child stuck in adulthood” as my blog tagline for quite some time. What many people never understood about it is that I had to do a lot of adult level decisions when I was very young. Not many 16 year old have to talk to a landlord about renting an apartment for their family.

I hated feeling like an adult back then, and even more so now. Before I hit 30 it was easy to just dismiss it as a joke and move on. I have never been able to related maturity with adulthood because of how many people older than me acting like children, and so many kids acting more responsible than they should be for their age.

Coming of age movies always interested me in many levels, also the cultural differences when determining what makes someone a grown up. That is until I recently started to realize that I am an adult. When the grown ups in my life start looking at me for answer, options, and comfort. It really sucks. I don’t want to be an adult.

I don’t think anyone in my family expected my Grandfather to pass away for another 10 year or so. He comes from a very resilient family. One of his older sisters still has a head of full hair and is still very active, probably with many years still to leave in front of her.

This past week was really rough for my whole family. Funerals are very expensive, and funeral homes can treat the process in a very aggressive way. I am not buying a car sir, I am trying to lay my loved one to rest.

The cost was almost 10K by the time it will all be said and done. Nobody had planned for it, because remember, he was going to be with us for at least 10 years.

Most people don’t even like to bring up that conversation at all. Even in the face of what is going on, some people won’t decide if they want to be buried in the ground or cremated. Yes, both of those options have dollar signs attached to them.

Our family was able to pull together and take care of the costs. We also had many generous friends pitch in. It does make me think about my future, mortality and the costs associated with it.

Nobody likes to think about it, but it is something we should all plan for.

On a side note, being in a hospital in the middle of the night with no cash is not a good idea… specially when the change machine had coins jammed inside it.

Eduardo Antonio Sanchez

Luchador es una palabra que se le atribuye a muchas personas, pero mi abuelo fue la definición de ella. Desde los diez años perdió a sus propios padres y empezó una vida de trabajo. El no tuvo la suerte de estudiar, sino que solo, preguntándole a la gente con periódicos que recogía, aprendió a leer. Llegó hasta el punto de aprender enfermería y obtuvo suficiente conocimiento para tener su propio negocio.

Aunque no creció con la familia y oportunidades que muchos hemos tenido, siempre valoró mucho la familia que él construyó. Tuvo cinco hijos, diez nietos y seis bisnietos.

El proveyó para toda su familia con su farmacia, “La Drogeria Eduas.” Así le llamaba mucha gente, Eduas. Fue ya cuando había emigrado para los Estados Unidos que yo entendi cuan importante fue mi abuelo para ese barrio en Colombia. Nuestra identidad se formó un poquito por el orgullo de ser el nieto de “Don Eduas.”

Mi abuelo me enseñó a jugar ajedrez, y según cuenta mi mamá yo le decia cuando pequeño que yo iba a ser el heredero de todos sus frascos.

No es fácil ver como los años golpean a una persona, pero como siempre lo hizo, luchó hasta el final. Quién sabe cuál de los dos es más terco, pero como dicen por ahí, lo que se herada no se hurta.

Adiós Abuelito. Siempre estaré orgulloso de la familia que construiste y que sacaste adelante; gracias a ti yo tengo la oportunidad a una mejor vida. Que estés contento en algun lugar donde te dejen comer toda la carne que quieras y tomarte todos los whiskeys que tanto te gustan.

Fighter is a word that is used to describe many people, but my Grandfaterh was its true definition. Since he was ten years old he lost his parents and started to have to work. He did not have the luck of going to school, instead, he would pick up used news papers and ask people what they said, that is how he learned how to read. He went as far as to eventually become a nurse, he eventually adquired enough knowledge to open up his own business.

Even though he grew up without family and the opportunities that many of us grew up with, he always valued the family that he built. He had five kids, ten grandkids and six great grandkids.

He provided for his family with the pharmacy he owned, “La Drogueria Eduas.” That shortening of his name is what many people called him “Eduas.” It was later on when I was a little older and he had already emmigrated to the USA that I understood what my Grandpa meant to that neighborhood back in Colombia. My identity was formed a little by the pride I felt that I was “Don Eduas” grandson.

My grandpa taught me how to play chess, and my Mom tells me that when I was very little I use to tell him that I was going to inheret all of the little bottles in his pharmacy.

It is not easy how age beats people up, but like he had always done it, he fought until the very end. Who knows which one of us is the most stubborn, but there is a saying, that what you inheret is not stolen. (Its a Colombian saying geared more towards personality traits and not posessions.) I definatly inhereted some of his stubborness.

Good bye Grandpa, I will always be proud of you for the family that you built and propered; thanks to you I have the opportunity of a better life. I hope wherever you are you are eating lots of steaks and that they are letting you drink all the whiskey you liked so much.

Is Commitment a thing of the past?

I enjoy reading a blog called Satisfying Retirement, it is written quite well and it has a lot of great information, not just about retirement but also offering a great point of view of the world from a retiree’s perspective. The blog is both honest and candid about a lot of topics.

One of the articles that I enjoyed reading quite a bit was about commitment. With the economy the way it is looking, not just in the US but globally, it really makes you want to look for causes. I don’t want to look for someone or something to blame, but more of what behaviors can really affect the overall way we live.

I found that one of the biggest culprits is the lack of commitment in everything from relationships to people doing what they say they are going to do.

It was eye opening the first time I found out that there are people that will tell you that they will do something just so that they can get you off their back. Even though the have no intention of doing what it is that you are asking or suggesting, they just agree. The funny thing is that this culture is a lot more strict about communication in this sense. For example, in India, a yes means, I will try and you hardly ever hear a no to reply to a request. In this society, when you say yes it means I will do it. At least I thought it was supposed to.

Is this a value that has been eroded? Is bending the rules also part of the general consensus?

Follow my train of thought for a minute or two. The moment that the individual thinks of a commitment as something that can be broken, it is the moment that a system fails. Systems function based on rules. When you say something you are supposed to mean it, if not, then there is no accountability.

The post in Satisfying Retirement was more about how inconvenient it can be when business and people don’t respect a schedule, but this same thing permeates everything that we do. I have watched some documentaries about the economy recently and they all seem to have the common theme of not rule breaking, but lets see how much we can bend the rules. Eventually the rules just don’t apply and it turns into, lets see how much we can get away with.

I have also had interactions with people that love to see how far they can push others. They find it interesting to find others breaking points. To me this behaviors shows a lack of respect and it affects everything else in life. How about you, do you trust people’s word anymore? is that someone you value?

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