An Untitled Tribute

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What a truly magnificent semester!

As accurate as that sentence is, it doesn’t do justice to how life changing these past 5 months has been. How can I ever express in words just how privileged I am to have been given a chance to experience love, life and hope?

Well to answer in short, I can’t. But such a milestone in my life is worth struggling with the blank page for. Because an experience like this deserves an homage.

So here is my tribute to Ecuador and the semester that changed my life.

From the people I’ve met to the things I’ve seen, Ecuador has thought me one thing. Love trumps everything. Love has the power to build and destroy. But when you learn how to love in the right way, the amount of bad decisions you make in life will decrease drastically. Because whenever you think about doing something, you think about its effect on others. And through that process you learn the art of responsibility, which means the responsibility to yourself, to others and to the world at large.

Ecuador has also thought me the importance of taking care of our environment. Whether it is the utter disregard for the environment that some people have or the conscious effort by the blessed few to make sure nature doesn’t suffer because of our selfishness, the message is clear. It’s time for active changes to be made. We need to stop oil companies from digging wherever it wants. We need to stop over-fishing. We need to recycle more. We need to prevent our wants from killing the earth. The list goes on. And I plan to do my part. I plan to make a conscious effort to consider the repercussions of everything I do on the environment. It’ll probably be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do but it needs to be done. And I hope you will join me.

But I think the most important thing Ecuador has thought me is the importance of harmony. Globalization will bring together a group of people so diverse into one place that it’ll become easier to find differences rather than similarities. And with that inevitability comes a unique task for our generation of individuals. The task to acknowledge that while we should embrace differences, we no longer have the luxury to think that our way, our culture or our religion is the one and only. Because that mentality leads to our unwillingness to compromise or our reasoning skills to be underutilized or even worse, our reluctance to love one another. Hence our unique task is to find a balance between embracing our self-identity while not encroaching another persons right to self-identity.

However amidst all these personal goals and realizations, Ecuador has thought me something I find very comforting. There is really no reason to be pessimistic, cynical or jaded because there is always hope. Hope is and will always be humanity’s saving grace. Hope gives us the strength to persevere. And that is really all we need.

So here is toast to the best 5 months yet. Thank you for shaping my path towards a more meaningful destination. And to all the people whom I’ve had the absolute privilege of knowing just a little bit better, thank you for making me understand what life is really about. And finally to my family and friends back home, I’ll be coming back a changed person but your place in my heart is permanent so thank you because keeping you in mind makes me make better life decisions in spite of the many bad ones along the way.

Let’s make this world just a little bit better and take it from there. 🙂

Peace and love,

Nic

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A Lesson From the Galapagos

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The Galapagos Islands. Perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth. How lucky I was to have had the opportunity to visit a place that the locals call ‘a little piece of heaven’.

Its powder white sandy beaches, turquoise coloured waters and abundant marine life provide us with an example of the type of paradise that was once aplenty but now scarce due to the excessive modernization we pursue in the name of ‘progress’.

Hence it is crucial for me to share with you what I learnt from the island in the hopes that we will all make a conscious effort to preserve these pockets of paradise around the world. And in the process, create a world driven by sustainability rather than by this false progress that will inevitably drive us to extinction.

Our current definition of progress still appears to revolve around us people. But we all know that this is logically invalid. Nature is what sustains us not the other way around. Therefore, our priority should be to take care of nature so that it takes care of us. And that is what is being done in the Galapagos. Although it takes a lot of effort, the pay-off is truly worth it. Wildlife is able to thrive in almost pristine conditions thus bringing in tourists like me that flock to see them. And with tourist dollars, the island is able to develop further to improve the quality of life for the locals.

But there is a distinct difference.

The people of the Galapagos do well to ensure that their development is not at the expense of nature. To them, nature is PARAMOUNT.

And correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t we feel the same?

Instead, islands just cater to tourists while completely disregarding nature.

Cities are so focused on development that they would rather see their city polluted to ensure economic growth.

Oil companies are willing to destroy the most diverse eco-system in the world (The Amazon) because of the vast amounts of oil under it.

So you tell me, who gave us the right to kill everything else so that we can survive?

We can blame everyone else.  But it is important to note that we are the main culprits because we are the demand to this ignorant supply. And when I say we, I include myself in it as well. We equate our needs with our wants. And it is the wants that kill of this earth.

Something’s got to change.  As with anything in life, a balance is required. And it is achievable. We just have to learn from the people who are already making an effort to get it right.

So let’s start with preserving nature. Because when we do, sustainability would be far more achievable.

Death & Me

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I am unable to comprehend death like most people. I do not feel sad when someone I love has left this earth nor do I feel happy that there is a possibility that they are in a better place. For me, it is simply a part of life. People say it is my defense mechanism. They say it is to prevent myself from hurting when a loved one departs.

Perhaps.

But I’m more certain of the contrary. A defense mechanism arises from the inability to cope during a previous experience. However, I was always able to cope, mainly because I never really felt anything.

So now the question is, how do I console a person who has lost someone they had loved so dearly? I can’t even imagine what they go through. This is because mourning is a different kind of sadness. Something I have yet to experience. Maybe I will in the future. But now all I can do is to be there for you as best I can. To listen when you need to talk about it. And to show you I care.

However I can neither console nor comfort because I don’t know how to do it in the face of death. I have become too much of a realist. So I guess what I’m really doing here is asking for your forgiveness. Since I don’t yet know how to give you what you need at this time of sadness and despair. And to be honest, I pray that I will never know how to give you what you need when it comes to this. Because that would mean that I would have had to go through an experience so emotionally heart-breaking to feel half the sadness you must be feeling now.

I guess I’m admitting that I have a heart of stone.

Change

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The world is truly changing. Societal norms are constantly being revised. Culture is updated more frequently that future generations will not have a culture to hold on to but a culture to modify. The gift of reminiscing will slowly fade away with time and people will struggle to find the time to truly ponder about the past and the good times that came with it.

We live in exponential times where change is not only constant but rapid. I fear we will one day lose the beauty of enjoying the moment because we now have the ability to do so much is such a short span of time. I’m not against the progress of society, far from. I am however pondering the fact that we may one day have this culture of rushing through life that we simply forget that the true wonders of life happen when we simply stop and absorb. We can’t fight the evolution of mankind. What we can do is to evolve rationally to fuze the old with the new, culture with modernity, love with infatuation.

While we are intelligent beings we are also simple ones. We can have everything is the world but we are driven by emotion and if we can’t satisfy them, everything else material would not matter.

Contentment

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What do you when you have so many thoughts that fill your mind?                              

When you bombard yourself with questions to which answers you may never find.

 

You learnt to overcome adversity only when you live in a structure,                                

but know you’re the happiest when you stand at the doors of departure…

 

Because you are always ready to leave since you have yet to find a home in anything, 

rather you just sit around to witness and except anything that your life will bring.

 

So forgive yourself for you know not what you want,

therefore to be contented with your life… you can’t.

The Question of Infidelity.

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Holly Hill (Pen name), author of the book “Sugarbabe” negotiates the fine line of infidelity and an open relationship everyday. Her job? She is as she calls it, a sugar babe. In simple old fashion terms, she is an escort with a twist. She charges $1000 for a week to be available to the client 24/7 and to does whatever they wants her to do, from cooking for them and having deep conversations right up to doing the dirty under the sheets. Honestly I don’t care what she does, it’s her clients that really hit me because they seem to come from the whole spectrum of the male gender and it could so easily be anyone of us.

Ms Hill’s clients ranges from young working men who are too busy to be bothered to court women, right down to married men who just wanna fuck because their wives either don’t want to or don’t want to do that specific thing they want. Guy’s, do you see yourself potentially being one of them? You can say no but in this day and age our culture and society may force us to be in this predicament one day.

And here is why.

Psychology Professor Lawrence Josephs states that personality types is an important indication as to whether the person will cheat. For example, people who are more narcissistic have a higher tendency to cheat or go astray. If you have an avoidant attachment style, you will have a tendency of just wanting to have an impersonal fuck.

However what takes the cake for me is the following, people who experience lower levels of empathy and/or guilt have a higher tendency to engage in more infidelity. And this is NOT exclusive to guys. Women are also part of this statistic.

In our society, especially in this dog eat dog world that we live in, it’s easy to develop these personality traits that I quoted above. So when you put it down to just simple logic, infidelity stems from society’s lack of respect for moral values. But of course that is just the conclusion I derived from what I’ve read.

Which begs the question, even when you really love the person and you want to be with her/him, will you still say “I do” when the time comes? Because there might inevitably be no honour in those words anymore.

On a lighter note and at the same time prove my point, I feel it is fitting to put up a picture of probably the best cheating man on TV. My man Don draper! Only he can make something so wrong look so damn good!