Friday, March 28, 2008

How to Smile

When it comes to happiness, smile is one of good keys to show that we are sincere, or simply it enable us to express themselves. And smile can be learned, really. Actors, therapists, politician, speakers, and many people have learned to smile sincerely, believably, and deeply.

First, don’t smile at things that don't make you happy or things you take as funny. This will save a lot of trouble. Then, develop a casual smile and learn well that you can pull it even when you are sad or bored. Even, by smiling you will be able change your mood into happiness. Remember, when you smile naturally, your whole face moves. False smiles involve just the mouth, and people notice something wrong. A false grin or bared teeth won't make it. The next time you are smiling, mind of the muscles in your cheeks, forehead, and temples. If you want to be able to really smile with all your face, you will have to practice this repeatedly.

Now about eyes. The real smile can't be faked, it can be judged via the eyes. When something really makes us happy, our eyes get brighter, taking on an excited shine or gleam. So you need to train your mind, just as you trained your face.

Finally, you need to learn to convince yourself that what you are smiling about is having a quality that you like. It means you try to take positive side of those things. If you can't do this, just practice quickly bringing to mind a memory or image that makes you glad. When you have to give your best smile (even if you are sad), quickly think of this glad thought and make that best smile. Then, you are smiling with your whole self.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Forgive and Forget

Think about what happened. Who knows, once you think about the situation from another perspective the problem may solve itself and you may realize that it's not too big. Then, talk to someone. If not with the person related directly to the case (how you can understand and rebuild/work this out), then maybe with someone else; or sometimes better someone away from the situation. It would let your emotions out. Expressing how you are feeling can begin the healing process.

Take responsibility. Maybe you feel that you are the victim, but it takes two to sides. No matter whose fault it is, you need to take responsibility for your own self.

While the thought ‘forgive and forget’ might be so good, it is much harder to do, especially if our feelings are hurt. "Forgive" and "forget" can be done in many ways. You can totally erase the event/person from your mind; you can forget what's happened and try to mend the situation; or you just forgive yourself and try to move on with your life. By doing so, you can learn how to forget and relax in next moments. You may remember that time will heal your pain. You will see later that there was a good reason why you experienced those things.

Which ways to take is up to you. If you want to forgive, keep in mind that you need time to forget. However, learning to forgive and forget will help the healing process. It is a good skill to have because there will always be things that happen in our lives that make us uneasy. It can be difficult, but when you finally truly find forgiveness in your heart you can find the complete personal healing in yourself.

Small Things Can Heal

There are times when we try get things accomplished. We do our best, but the result is make us disappointed. The biggest one didn’t come, the road is to winding. Then we may ask ‘was I the unlucky?’ Our mind fixed at thought about horrible problems. Our mind then are so absorbed, unaware of other things.

At a moment like this, it is worth we try to look things different. And it is fun too. How if we look at those small things? They are really so many nice things around. What a nice air this morning; hearing kid’s laugh, good greeting of old neighbours, finding new books, or just seeing how green is the grass outdoor.

Sometimes, what made us the happiest was the smallest of things. While the big problem completely in mess, we can ended up experiencing a simple things so relieving and refreshing our minds. Small things can heal. And the awareness that there are small things may make us happy too.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tragedy or Comedy

Which one is better, viewing this life as a tragedy or a comedy? It depends on the point of view I take, I think. There are two ways.

First point of view. It is common view that in comedy things ends happily, when I learn from what happened, forgive, and re-establish my identity, which may return to the original normality. In comedy I’ll end with a celebration. In tragedy, things go different. Here I lament over the significance of the life which lamentable. In tragedy I look back sadly over what has happened. In tragedy I’ll end with lament.

However, the above point of view is about ending things. Of course I can take tragedy and comedy as a beginning of another situation. Then I can take another view:

Second point of view. If comedy is seen as a beginning of other things, I should aware that the joy is limited. When I have settled for the joys maybe they will not push their demands on life beyond the barriers. Comedy involves a turning away from the most challenging human possibilities. Tragedy, on the other hand, although a sad situation, it would be a new beginning for another chance and affirms something: my ability to dare great things, to push the spirit to the limit no matter what the consequences. Beneath the sorrowful lament, there often will be an effort to manifest possibilites, strength or experiences.

So I think it’s okay to have tragedies in this life.


Social Theories

It is a fact that there is continuing interest in and relevance of social theories for our understanding of our social reality. They flow ceaselessly. A grounding in the classic tradition raises the perennial questions: What constitutes a social order? Is community possible in contemporary society? Are science and technology emancipatory or forms of social control? Is individual freedom threatened by processes of rationalization? Marx told me about alienation and class struggle, Durkheim spoke anomie, Nietzche with his hammer on reason and power, Weber with his bureaucracy, the Mead’s self, and Mannheim’s Intelligentsia. All flow through the my mind’s rivers and stir it up.

It seems that above questions provide the theorists with a critical perspective from which they view the dominant interpretations of social reality and the value presuppositions that inform them. The authors and schools categorized as contemporary social theoresies grounded in the earlier works of the classic tradition but present important departures. Functionalism of Kingsley Davis and Robert Merton; Wright Mills and Ralf Dahrendorf with their Conflict Theory, Peter Berger with his ‘everyday life’, Herbert Blumer with Symbolic Interaction, and Dorothy Smith with her ‘women’s experience’. They spoke on their own pulpit, and I am still here, keep my ear on them, I am not dozing however ….

Then, the critical theories and the post-modernists are engaged in intelectual battle in their attempts to refine and redefine the fundamental questions posed by those classical theorists. Herbert Marcuse told us about one-dimensional man, and the refinement of Jurgen Habermas on technical progress and our social life world. Not to mention, Michel Foucault who wrote on sexuality and the carceral, Lyotard who reported postmodern condition, and Richard Rorty deep insights. I see, there are thoughts to be reviewed in my minds. I think it’s okay to visit their lecture rooms one by one, I love it.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Learning to Live

I just keep on learning to live, think, and speak in this world. There are things invite me to change my life. Not only to change, but metamorphose into an increasingly meaningful look. The waves of thought was a delight, which made me keep wondering in this world. I encourage myself to live in a fuller way, some kind of enjoyment of life in a ‘proper’ way.

Although I’ve think about learning those ‘proper’ things I experience in this world till recently, none was quite as enjoyable as the fact that I am living here and now. Having this fact in my mind makes walking through the other obligatory steps of life much less daunting. Sometimes I feel that living in a fuller way is more than a challenge than one might think, it is an invitation.

Constructed Constructor

G. H. Mead (1934: 186) says:

“What I want particularly to emphasise is the temporal and logical pre-existence of the social process to the self-conscious individual that arises within it.”

What the heck? Does it mean primarily that individual selves and mental processes arise in a social context, and that the ‘content’ of thought and selfhood is to be understood in the light of the meanings which are available within the culture in which the person is immersed? However, we can dig another emphasis equally present in Mead above. For, if mind and self are products of social interaction, sure it is equally true to say that it is individual interaction that consitutes society. Of course Mead does not envisage a social milieu made up of role-playing machine, far from it.

Thus, we can say that having developed the capacity for mind and self as a result of interaction, the individual is then able relatively autonomously – in a continuing social context – to develop selfhood and personal tendencies of thought. Sure, here Mead provides an interactionism theory with implications which include an element of individuality. In other words, people are constructed and are also constructors.


I Have a Body

Dear me, what a thing to have a body. Having a body is a unique experience in my life. I thought over and over on this passage from Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641). Here it is:

There is nothing which this nature teaches me more expressly than that I have a body which is adversely affected when I feel pain, which has need of food or drink when I experience the feelings of hunger and thirst, and so on; nor can I doubt there being some truth in all this.

Nature also teaches me by these sensations of pain, hunger, thirst, etc., that I am not only lodged in my body as a pilot in a vessel, but that I am very closely united to it, and so to speak so intermingled with it that I seem to compose with it one whole.

For if that were not the case, when my body is hurt, I, who am merely a thinking thing, should not feel pain, for I should perceive this wound by the understanding only, just as the sailor perceives by sight when something is damaged in his vessel; and when my body has need of drink or food, I should clearly understand the fact without being warned of it by confused feelings of hunger and thirst.

For all these sensations of hunger, thirst, pain, etc. are in truth none other than certain confused modes of thought which are produced by the union and apparent intermingling of mind and body.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vipassana

Long time ago, Siddharta, 'the enlightened one' spent the rest of his long life walking and wandering throughout his country of India. He taught a very specific set of techniques for waking up spiritually.
One of that techniques is meditation, so simple yet effective, and I think I need to learn it. Buddha taught, that being aware of one's breathing was a primary meditation technique. It is called 'vipassana', and millions of Buddhists and people of all faiths around the world seeking spiritual awakening (or seeking peace in mind we may say) continue to practice it.
This is simpel yet powerful breath meditation. Just sit quietly in a cozy place (or doing something as usual) and gently turn your mind's attention toward your breathing experience ... just experience .... when you inhale and exhale. And everytime your mind starts to wander off into thoughts, bring it back to focusing on your breathing.
At first, my mind was whirling with all the different thoughts. But step by step I begin to find that I could encourage my focus of attention to let go of my thoughts and, instead, tune in to the actual sensations of my breathing.
Now I'm breathing, breathing, breathing.

Hermeneutics of Suspicion

I once read about Hermeneutics of Suspicion. It aims to discover, behind the things being analysed, a further reality which allows a much deeper interpretation to be made, and which can challenge the surface account. Plainly, we may see how psychoanalysis is definitively an instance of 'suspicion'; arguably feminism can be as well. The hermeneutics of suspicion is the explicit form of interpretative approach that Palmer (1969) refers to when he characterizes hermeneutics, the general theory of interpretative activitiy, as the method by which "Something foreign, strange, separated in time, or experience, is made familiar, present, comprehensive; something requiring representation, explanation or translation is somehow 'brought to understanding' - is 'interpreted'. (Palmer, 1969: 14)" A recognized early discussioin of hermeneutic method is found in the early work of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). In his work Being and Time (1927), he attempted an analysis of the everyday manner in which human beings go about their interpretative sense-making. For him, we live in an interpreted world and are ourselves hermeneutic; we are interpreters, understanders. For us, the hermeneutics approach provides a new view of the meaning of data. A conservation, for example, is the record of a process by which we can interpret people's constructions of their world.

Higher Education in Developing Countries

Higher educational institutions as well as other state and private institutions in developing countries play a profound role in the development of the the nations. Nevertheless, within this process this higher education cannot deny its problems. The problems faced by those higher education institutions are as follows:-insufficient number of full-time teaching staff-low number of staff with advanced degrees-high student-teacher ratio-insufficient number of reading staff and students-low book-student ratio-insufficient number of learning materials in their local language-high average time to graduate (low academic productivity)-insufficient time allocation for research by faculty members-small capacity of student admission due to limited physical facilities
The following factors have to be considered by that institutions of higher education in developing countries:-the rapid growth of student population-a continuing need to improve physical facilities such as buildings and other supporting facilities-a growing need of full-time teaching staff-the need to improve and to adjust the curricula with the progress of science and technology on one side and the social demand for professionals in multidisciplinary fields on the other side-the challenge to defend human dignity and values in the midst of increasing consumerism, due to rapid development of science and technology.

Reschooling?

You are probably as aware as I am of splendid things happened in schools, and splendid people making them happen. Presumably you question about that is happening and its effects. We may agree that there is at best something lacking, and at worse something vicious, about what we have. And the criticism are not just ours. Some of them are shared by people making the best of the educational system; as well as by those who have left the congested highways and byways to look for a free way to learning, or just a way out or through. Children, for instance. Some of them love school.But how many children are unhappy in school? Their unease is not always verbalized. It finds an outlet in many ways - in truancy and 'turning-off', in rebellion and violence, in refusal to cooperate, and sometimes in listless distress. A fourteen year old boy may have been to a secondary modern and to a grammar school -- with similar results. He can't bear to be robotized'. So he has become miserable, physically ill, and a layabout. Many wheels are set turning by the labelling of a child as 'school-phobic'. Out of the interviews, the consultations and the agonizing, comes a child's conviction that he is a very odd bod indeed to need all this special attention. Yet we might recognize rational and irrational fears of schools, and what it can do to you, as a breath of sanity. School, after all, requires a very special sort of adjustment - and it is just that adjustment which worries some of us.

Writing This Blog

Writing a blog about glimpses of thought is a new challenge for me. And from the very start I realized that it would have to be done in an atmosphere of love and kindness. People all around this world understood this too, and it is to all of them that I owe my deepest gratitude. Without their sensitivity and enthusiasm to think about things in this world, I would not have found the opportunity to post writings to this blog in my daily life at all. I wanted this blog to be a practical tools as well, an inspiring one. I'd like to enable myself or anyone to ground selves in the thoughts and insights posted in this blog. Hopefully, everything will be a useful text, in a more personal way. I do not take up myself as a professional thinker, therapist, or an expert. What I'm trying to do is writing down glimpses in my head and my heart. I only want to open the way to those thoughts and insights, acting as their midwife. Everybody has a chance to actually give birth them.