Chinese Wisdom – Precepto Chino

Version en Español abajito!

I received a chain letter like many others that clutter our inboxes every day. But this one was one that I do want to pass along. While the winning the lottery promise is always a good one, I think this little letter reminds us of something that we should already know.

Chinese Wisdom about Money.

Money can buy a house, but not a home,
Money can buy a watch, but not time.
Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
Money can buy a book, but not knowledge.
Money can pay a doctor, but not buy health.
Money can buy you position, but not respect.
Money can buy blood, but not life.
Money can buy sex, but not love.

I think that posting this counts as forwarding it, so I expect my good fortune to come soon!

Version en Español Read more…

Contacto Humano – Human Contact

English version below

Las diferencias culturales entre regiones geográficas son enormes. He encontrado muchas diferencias entre la ciudad de Chicago en Illinois y Midland Michigan. Se pueden imaginar como serán de distintos dos países. Una de las diferencias que más me a afectado personalmente es el contacto personal.

Es costumbre en algunas familias latinas de saludarse de beso en la mejilla. Hasta entre hombres es muy normal un beso, o por lo menos un caluroso abrazo. Mi Papa y yo tuvimos un tiempo que estábamos trabajando el uno cerca del otro. De vez en cuando nos encontrábamos para almorzar juntos en restaurantes en el área. Un día llegamos ambos casi al mismo tiempo y parqueamos los carros uno al lado del otro. Cuando cerramos las puertas y nos dirigíamos hacia la entrada del restaurante como siempre nos dimos un abrazo y un beso en la mejilla. Algo normal en un saludo de padre a hijo, bueno o por lo menos los dos pensábamos eso.

Nos sentamos, charlamos y comimos. Cuando salíamos note a mi Papa un poco consternado. Le pregunte que le pasaba, y le note en la mirada duda. Cuando me empecé a preocupar me dijo, “un tipo en el restaurante no hacia sino mirarnos y hasta me pico el ojo.” Yo en ese momento me cague de la risa. En ese momento me acorde de que cuando llegamos nos saludamos de beso y bueno, a una persona de acá de los estados unidos le debió haber parecido ese comportamiento algo “gay.” Aunque me parece casi imposible que alguien que vea mi Papa y a mi juntos no nos haga familia, si entiendo la deducción que esa personal hizo. Porque, bueno porque acá en los Estados Unidos el contacto humano es mínimo, y con personas que nos son familiares es casi no existente.

Otro ejemplo es ir a cine con amigos. Si uno se sienta en la silla directamente al lado de otro hombre automáticamente es considerado homosexual. Es algo que me parece triste porque acá las personas tienen mínimo contacto personal, hasta el punto que usted puede pasar un día entero sin tocar a otro humano. Darle la mano por lo menos a su jefe puede que solo pase una vez en su vida, el día que lo entrevistaron. Esto lo he experimentado en carne propia.

En Colombia uno esta acostumbrado a saludar a las amigas de beso, y a los amigos de mano. La mayoría de las veces que usted va a interactuar con otro humano, usted los toca. En esta sociedad eso en realidad no pasa, he conocido gente a la cual nunca le he ni siquiera dado la mano. En las familias americanas he observado que entre ellos mismos solo las parejas se muestran afección, un beso o un abrazo a los hijos que por ejemplo ya no viven en la casa nunca pasa.

Siempre me ha parecido la gente en los Estados Unidos mucho más fría que la gente en Colombia. ¿Será la causa de esto que les hace falta el contacto humano?

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Trust – Confianza

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”
-Frank Crane

Version en Español oprima el enlace abajo

All my life I have been a trusting person, it has caused me a lot of pain that some might consider by principle self inflicted. It has been difficult to learn that you cannot trust people. Even those you call friends always have thoughts about you that they don’t share with you. It could be fear, it could be difference of opinions, I call that lack of trust.

Over the years my ability to give trust has been chipped away at by life. Recently Cielo and I experience a breach of our trust that has been difficult to deal with. Ultimately the lesson learned is that you should not trust people, at times no matter how close you think you are to them. Is it too high of a price to pay in life to become distrustful of everything around you?

This quote made me think about all the situations that I have lived. I was burned over and over by relationships, and I always chose to again give all my trust away until I had a reason to take it back. This might have been the wrong approach but I think that if you don’t trust when in a relationship, then that relationship is not worth it. I want to be able to have relationships with people that I can trust, because the alternative to me is not appealing. I rather put effort into building other aspects of a relationship than putting stock into distrust, being paranoid is no way to be.

As always is that difficult task of striking a balance between trusting enough but not too much. I guess learning what that balance is what leads to good trust in relationships. Even though I still cannot let go completely of the thought that trust should be absolute in relationships, I guess there is not many people in the world that deserve or even want that kind of commitment.

Para Español Oprima aqui – Read more…

Being a Parent – Ser Padre

Para la versión en Español, oprima el ultimo enlace de este post

Today was Ty’s first day of school, he has just started 3rd grade. He has had a pretty good summer and by the end of it I think he actually started enjoyed going to summer camp while Cielo and I were at work. That was something he was dreading like having a tooth removed.

He has experienced a great deal of changes in his life over the past 9 months. His mother and I starting a relationship, having to move, switching schools, his Dad being in Iraq, having his new friend that lived in the house behind us move about 3 weeks ago… at times it seems like the kid can not get a break. A lot of the changes came with some positives, but remember that when we were kids changes at times seem to be negative just because they are changing our little world. We all feel safe even at precarious situations because that is just what we are used to, and change is a difficult thing to deal with even for adults.

Last year he got into some trouble at school. His teacher was not the best, and she labeled him a troublemaker, so even if he sneezed he would get in trouble. Now, some of the trouble that he got into was his fault, but it was hard to determine what was something he started vs. something he was just a part of. Now being in a new school we are hoping that he can shed some of that skin and create new relationships with both classmates and his new teachers. We are also looking forward to him meeting new kids around the neighborhood.

I must admit that I had no clue what I was getting into when I made the decision to enter a relationship with someone that had a child. In the past always, I had avoided relationships with people that had children, not because there is anything negative with being a single mother, but because I thought that unless I was ready to make a commitment to both the children and the mother I had no business dating someone in that situation, even casually. Even though I had that in mind, and had also always believed that you should always put kids before you in life, it still did not prepare me for the daunting task that it is being a father.

I struggle even today with being a father to Ty, mostly because he already has a real father and I do not want in any level to compete with the love that he has for his real father. His father has remarried and has his own family. Even though he has another family there, Ty is with us most of the time. Especially now that his father is in Iraq, and he needs that strong male figure and craves discipline, I feel a sense of responsibility to be a father figure to him. It is also difficult to come into the picture laying ground rules when 9 months ago everything just revolved around the relationship between him and his mother with little or no outside influence. They have a beautiful relationship and love each other, and I have tried to make sure that I enter a circle and not form a triangle.

It has taken a lot of work to get to some levels of understanding and balance in the relationship we have. I feel it has a long way to come, but I think that in any son father relationship there are changes as people grow older, change and experience life. While it has been a difficult change for him, it has also been a difficult change for me. I thought I had experience with children because for a year I lived with my cousins when I first moved up here. They were 2, 5 and 8 at the time, but that was not even a glimpse at full time parenthood.

There is really nothing I regret about the decision that I made. Cielo and I went into a relationship full force early on, but I now understand that we needed to. We had a child’s best interest before us and did not have the opportunity to do just casual dating. We had to enter a fully committed relationship and all the responsibilities that come with it or date while placing Ty in the back burner. It has been a big task, but I think we are now seeing the fruit of our commitment and our hard work. I think Ty has gathered a lot of new tools to deal with things at school over the summer and is ahead of things emotionally vs. where he was 9 months ago.

Today he starts 3rd grade, I have faint memories of those years. While I still remember most of the people I went to school with, I could not tell you what really happened during those days without looking back at a book that I wrote as a school project remembering those days. I went to a very small school where we all did our first 5 years together, even though I did not keep in touch with anyone beyond that, I know that they all went to become productive members of society. So much is being formed right now in his mind, values, morals, and outlook on education. I was so blessed to have wonderful teachers; they did a lot to shape who I am today. We just met his teacher last week, she seems like a good person, I can only hope she is also an excellent teacher.

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Versión en Español, oprima -> Read more…

El Que Dirán

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Hace tiempo vengo pensando bastante en le concepto del Que Dirán. Es un concepto a veces difícil de discutir porque la mayoría de la gente no admite el dejarse manejar en muchos niveles de su vida por algo externo como la sociedad. Todos tenemos dentro de si mismos un innato deseo de ser individuos, de pensar por nosotros mismos, pero muchas veces terminamos dejándonos manejar por lo que la sociedad dicta.

Mi primer ejemplo de este tema viene gracias a mi mama. Cuando vino una prima a visitar desde Colombia, trajo con ella la pena común que le da a la gente, principalmente a las mujeres cuando salen a la calle. Mi Mama ya estado viviendo por estos lados mucho tiempo ha dejado ese miedo al que dirán y no tiene ningún problema salir a la calle sin pintarse o ir a comprar ropa al centro en chanclas. Su prima se mortifico al ver la tranquilidad con la cual mi Mama salio sin importarle el que dirán. Reconozco que aquí también hay mujeres que no se atreven a salir a la calle sin pintarse, pero a la mayoría incluyendo a mi Mama no les importa.

Me pregunte yo en ese momento, será que el que dirán es mas preválente en Colombia que por estos lados. La respuesta fue no, el que dirán es distinto pero todavía existe. En algunos aspectos de la vida los Americanos son un poco mas prácticos pero de todas maneras la vida cotidiana todavía esta dominada en muchos niveles por el que dirán. Sin embargo parece que acá la gente se preocupa del que dirán en una manera mas localizada. Utilizan el dicho “Keeping up with the Joneses” que se refiere al aspecto socio económico de que dirán, comparando las posesiones materiales con los vecinos. Es una de las cosas que yo creo que mueve a este país capitalista, el no solamente querer tener mas, sino mas que los demás.

Personalmente a mi no me gusta el que dirán, y siempre he tratado de vivir como si no me importara. En realidad si me importa, solo que de pronto no tanto el lo material pero si en lo social. Pensando en escribir otra vez en Español tome en cuenta bastante que pensarían mis lectores, de hasta mas de lo que debía. Yo creo que todos nos preocupamos del que dirán en algún aspecto de nuestras vidas, la única manera de ho hacerlo seria ser un ermitaño que viviría afuera de la sociedad. Vivir en cualquier sociedad es vivir afectado, queriendo o no, por el que dirán.

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