The last thing I usually think about when I'm sitting in my daily hour of traffic is how I would answer the girl who is being a complete witch to me for absolutely no reason. 

 

And yet that's exactly what I was doing today after my recent confrontation with a snarling, innocent-looking, know-it-all, out to rid the world of manners and smiles.  There she sat across from me, carefully glaring at my naive smile as I greeted the new faces at an annual gathering she had been to before. 

 

Ok, so you know everyone and everything, get over it.   What is it about me kindly greeting everyone and asking about their occupation that makes you frown?  Is it in your habit to naturally make those around you feel awkward and uncomfortable. Or are you just trying to break the world record for longest held death-stare? 

 

Maybe it's just me.  I tend to be overly sensitive and react to people's possibly innocent outward emotions, assuming there is a problem, or that I had just said something entirely inappropriate.  I tend to be a little hard on myself.   But even assuming the worst, why is it so hard to find a soul who only naturally reaches out their hand to grab yours and lead you to your best self?  I can't help the tendency to constantly do this myself to others, which consistently puts me in the unagreeable position of being taken advantage of.   The emotional consequences of too much kindness can be pretty damaging to one's optimisic view of the human race.

 

But back to the point.  One thing that never ceases to tighten its grip around my heart is the unfeeling desire for another person to call out your lack of knowledge on a particular subject halfway through a flowing conversation.  And I mean dead stop in the middle of a sentence after minutes of me kindly nodding in agreement, to abruptly ask me if I know the specific meaning of whatever subject or word in question.  Way to make a newcomer feel nice and squishy inside.  The day that I learn to do this without so much as a thought of compassion is the day you find me beating up all the homeless for taking up the good seats in a park on a nice day.

 

                                                

                                                             picture courtesy of this site

Tags: observations, thoughts, psychology, sociology

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For as long as I can remember, my Arab and Persian peers have almost gotten physical over the true name of this body of water that is known to the world as the Persian Gulf but to many of the Arab countries as the Arabian Gulf. 

 

I can see why this subject can be a sensitive one, as evident with the Israel/Palestine and Syria/Lebanon land issues.  But the intensity of debate over this in recent weeks is becoming quite ridiculous in my opinion. 

 

I'm sure everyone remembers the Arabian Gulf googlebomb from a few years back.  But every so often the media and blogging world decides to pick this issue up again and ruffle some feathers.  The sad thing is, too many (self-inflicted) gaps exist between the Arabs and the Persians for a trivial issue such as this to fade away.  We need to move on to more important issues and concerns of our respective regions and the world.

 

Who cares what this body of water is called as long as it serves it's purpose anyway.  But since a simple scolding will not appease the opposing factions, maybe a simple renaming will.  I suggest that we just combine the two entities, renaming it the Perarabian Gulf (this is not the same as the alternative names listed in Wikipedia).  With both parties  satisfied, the healing of the wounds inflicted by years of hurled insults and name-calling can finally begin.  

 

And then we can move on to what really matters; if baklava is Greek, Arab, or Turkish.

 

Tags: ideas, Middle, East, observations, politics

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The problem with binge drinking in college isn't the fact that it's a forbidden fruit and so teens engage in the behavior out of rebellion.  It's the fact that it has become so part and parcel of youth culture that to refuse it is to in a sense deny your youth.  Resisting the urge to engage in heavy drinking and partying is impossible if we don't change our conception of alcohol.  It is cool to drink, just as it was cool to smoke pre-1970's.  Although both are bad for our health, alcohol seems to fly under our health radar.  We must change as a society the way we view alcohol.  We must change our perception of it as a cool, fun, and attractive substance that is connected to confidence, popularity, and self-esteem.  This is one of the most significant elements of the problem with binge drinking on college campuses.  It is the fundamental definition of what it means to drink that needs to be changed so that teens perception of the substance when entering college will guide them towards logic and moderation, rather than excess and recklessness.  

Tags: observations, thoughts, psychology, culture, lifestyle, media

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