Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 9, 2011

I’m lording it over all of you

My friend Allison of the undividing blog has passed the Overlord Award on to me. Being the self depreciating man that I am, I have decided to accept. With this award comes some responsibilities: (1) List 3 things you would change if you were Overlord; (2) List 5 blogs you think are worthy of world domination; (3) Leave them a message in their comments section saying you chose them.

Here goes. If I were Overlord, my first act would be to cure world hunger. It’s obvious why this would be a good idea.

Secondly, I’d block the “The Fast and the Furious” series from making any more movies. Seriously, we really needed to make 5 of these things?

Finally, I’d bring back afros and bellbottom pants. Afros because they are cool and bellbottoms because of the comedic value.

Last order of business, picking 5 bloggers to bestow this honor upon;

1. Girl on the Contrary
2. Catherine from Simply Solo
3. Jaena from snip snap
4. Pushing thirty
5. My parents are crazier than yours

August 23, 2010

On debates, thickness of skin, and cordiality. (via The BrandBuilder Blog)

I thoroughly liked reading this post because I enjoy good, healthy debates. I especially liked the point he made about losing a debate. Most people I know seem to take the approach that they have to win a debate. However, I believe that I learn more from losing debates than I do from winning them.

Having said that, I don’t quite agree that complete objectivity can be acheived in a debate. There is so much around us that is subjective that I find myself being wary of those who claim to be entirely objective. I think objectivity should be treated as a scale with people being more or less objective than others. Thus, a good debator has to know that he/she has to deal with inherent subjectivity.

On debates, thickness of skin, and cordiality. A debater with thin skin is much like a soldier without composure: He isn't much good to his craft, not to mention his cause. I find myself debating a lot these days. Many of the topics revolve around business, brand management, crisis communications, Social Media, R.O.I. and marketing, while others touch on far more impor … Read More

via The BrandBuilder Blog

August 18, 2010

Adversity Wrapped in Hope

The past few days, we had some pretty atrocious weather here in Chillán. At night, I would lay in bed bundled up in my sleeping bag and with the wind howling at the window beside me and the rain rattling the roof above me, I found myself thinking about the families, who lost their homes in the earthquake and now live in temporary shelters, referred to by Chileans as “mediaguas.” I thought about my complaints of being cold or inconvenienced during our time here and suddenly it all paled in comparison to the plight of these people.

Angry clouds promising the threat of rain rolled in on Sunday, while I stood over a pot of boiling hot chocolate. After stirring the hot chocolate to perfection, we poured it into thermoses to deliver to families in mediaguas along with the chocolate chip cookies and brownies that we had spent baking and packaging the day before.

Rain tapped on my hood as I stood at the front door of the first home. We knocked on the front door and suddenly every insecurity that I’d been intentionally ignoring rushed to the front of my mind like the cold wind blowing at my back. “What would they think of these gringas showing up at their door? Would they understand my Spanish? Would they be blessed by our gift or would they find it impractical and possibly even insulting- the door opened and we were immediately invited in to take shelter from the weather.

I stepped into their home and all my fears melted away with the warmth of their greeting. Like typical Chileans, they proceeded to offer us food and drink. I couldn’t help laughing at the irony. The plan was to bless them, not the other way around. Overall, everyone seemed to be receptive. Most families were pretty open about their circumstances. One family in particular, a single mom with her aging mother and ten year old daughter, touched our hearts though.

With every family, the children were always eager to immediately try a chocolate chip cookie or brownie, but despite repeated encouragement, this little girl continued to decline. I could see it in her eyes. She didn’t want some sweet that would soon leave her yet again in want. She wanted something more.

As her mom was sharing about the hardships of caring for her family, while having no job for the past few months, the little girl began to cry. Feeling the weight of the burden this family was carrying, tears streamed down my cheeks. Trying hard to keep from sobbing, I wondered, “What am I doing here? Who am I kidding? We can’t fix these people’s problems.”

One of our friends, who came with us, circled everyone around the three of them and began to pray. I’ve been wrestling with God a lot these days and lately I’ve been finding prayer with other people to be a bit strange and often uncomfortable, but in this moment it couldn’t have felt more right. When our friend finished praying, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Though the burden was still there, it now felt lighter and a sense of peace was greater.

At that moment, I realized what this little girl wanted and every one of these families we visited are in need of is hope. I wish I could rescue them from their problems, but I can’t even rescue myself from my own. I think I know someone else, who can though. Someone, who often for reasons I never seem to understand, doesn’t always rescue us from our troubles. Yet I can’t deny the grace I’ve always seen given in the midst of those troubles or the times that I or others have clearly been rescued from unwanted circumstances. Some days it’s harder than others to believe that Jesus Christ is our only hope, but I guess it wouldn’t be faith if it was easy.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23 (Holy Bible, English Standard Version).

August 12, 2010

La belleza de la humanidad

It’s been a week since we arrived here in Chile and I still can’t seem to believe that I’m actually here.  Memories flood my mind with every familiar sight, smell, and sound.  Friendly faces greet me with warm hugs and kisses asking, “Te acuerdas de mí?  Me acuerdo de ti!”  (Do you remember me?  I remember you!)  To be honest, there are some individuals that I don’t remember, but I have never forgotten the Chilean people as a whole.

Anyone, who knows me today, knows that I have a border-line obnoxious love for Latinos.  However, this wasn’t always the case.  In fact, the first time I came to Chile, I didn’t really want to be here – for many reasons that would take far too much time and detail to explain, but my heart just wasn’t here.  I didn’t completely hate my experience, but I clearly remember counting down the days until we finally got to leave.

Sitting in the Santiago airport waiting to board our flight back to the US, I remember staring out at the massive Andes before me wondering whether I had squandered my time.  In that moment, as clear as the marvelous view before me, I heard God say, “Yes, this is a sight to remember, but you will soon behold it again.”

Ever since my feet left the land of Chile in 2005, my growing passion for the country has confirmed the common saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Never in a million years, would I have wished the devastation of the February earthquake on my dear brothers and sisters, but in a way, I’m thankful that it motivated me to return.  My love for Chileans is so strong that I can’t help, but let it overflow.

When I was asked to contribute to the roundtable during my time here, I wondered, “What could I possibly have to contribute?  I’m just a crazy white girl with an unexplainable infatuation with Latinos.”  However, in the presence of my Chilean friends these last few days, I’ve been humbled by both their strength and contentment despite the many adversities of this year.  In only a few days, I’ve already been challenged to consider what really matters in life.

I am reminded of a quote from Mark Twain, which is my mission statement for traveling. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  For those of you, who may never make it to this beautiful country and those, who still may, it is with this new perspective during this experience that I intend to share my thoughts with you – thoughts not merely about Chileans, but about the beauty of humanity.

December 1, 2008

When enough isn’t enough

Juliet Schor in her book “The Overspent American” talks about the current American culture being one of over consumption. She makes her case by providing evidence that the “average American now finds it harder to acheive a satisfying standard of living than 25 years ago.” She points out that despite the fact that we are working harder and for longer hours, making more money and buying more stuff, we aren’t satisfied with what we are spending it on. She also argues that consumption in this country is social, we are trying to keep up with other people or we simply buy things because it is the thing to do. A country as rich as ours shouldn’t be looking to get more money, instead we should be spending time figuring out how to spend it more wisely. Of course this is made infinitely more difficult because billions of dollars are spent every year to convince us to spend money on what we don’t need. Schor’s book came out in 1999 so things are probably worse now than they were with her research.

It can clearly be seen in the economic mess that we are in. It wasn’t that people didn’t know that something like this was bound to happen. Instead, we were all content on trying to accumulate more and more stuff with every single extra dime we made. You might think that you are immune to this because you didn’t lose your house and could afford to pay for it, but just consider just how much debt you are in. Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt and for what? A bigger car with speed and power that we don’t need? A house that is bigger than what we actually use? How many countries around the world actually have a full fledged storage business? Think about that for a second. We have so much stuff, that we actually have to pay someone else to store it for us.

I am not going to keep harping on all our excesses. Smarter and much wiser people than me have written about that ad nauseum. My focus is on the what now? Is this something we can’t fix because it is too much a part of our system? Is it just the curse of capitalism? I don’t think so. I think we can take back our wallets and fight this extreme consumerism. The first step would be changing our priorities. We need to get away from trying to find self worth from what we buy. We need to stop trying to keep up with other people and focus more on what we need. It doesn’t make sense to me for a father to pull 60 hours a week working just so he can afford a huge house when he can cut those hours in half and spend more time with his family. We should put our money into things that matter like our schools etc., instead of buying that new car. Or maybe I am just in denial.

June 30, 2008

Video of the Day

Stop Snitching!!