Dead or Alive?

image

Life is great and offers us many opportunities and plenty of ups and downs. While we live and go through the many struggles and accomplishments in life, the single biggest event that changes our life is death. It’s the one thing that we’re guaranteed out of anything, and one thing we can’t avoid.

In looking at life and death, do we mean more to people if we’re dead versus being alive? Yes, life is great and precious, but there are so many things that we’re not told about while we’re alive. Reflecting on any normal funeral and the recent deaths of some well-known celebrities, we as a society don’t truly appreciate a person or their accomplishments until they’re gone.

Life

While we’re alive, we spend so much time living our lives and dealing with our life struggles. We all genuinely have the greatest intentions, but we get caught up in life. Instead of sharing the things that we can easily be proud of someone for or truly loving them, we hold back and assume that this person will be around forever.

Death

The most unfortunate thing about death is that we hear all the things that we would’ve wanted to hear when we were alive and on the other side, we say all the things that we meant to say when someone was alive. While you’re alive, you’ll rarely hear how big of a heart you had, the amazing things you accomplished and how much people loved you; nor do we take the time to tell someone that they’re great at these things. Death tends to bring out fond memories of a person, but sadly things that were never said when alive.

In conclusion, the only thing guaranteed in life is death. We’ve got to love each other when we’re alive and say what we need to say. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

The Little Prince: The Essence of Life

10096319-le-petit-prince-premieres-images-poetiques

After days of enjoying and reaping the benefits of #SXSW, I finally had the chance to catch up on some movies and the latest news. I came across The Little Prince. While I was initially thinking that this would be a great film for my kids to watch, it turned out to be a great film for me to watch as well.

The Little Prince focuses in on a little girl and her hard working mom. The mom is plagued with the obsessive thoughts of getting her daughter into the top school in the area. After a few setbacks, the mom decides to plot her daughter’s way to success and take control of her days with endless studying and learning. The daughter ends up befriending her neighbour, The Aviator, building a great bond and friendship. The Aviator is an odd character who is seen as weird by most, and also completely out of touch with the rest of the neighbourhood. While becoming friends, The Aviator introduces the daughter to the Little Prince. Introducing the little girl to the Little Prince opens her mind to see what great things can happen when you use your imagination. Along with opening up her imagination she learns to step away from her books. The little girl gets a chance to see how the Little Prince grows up; he begins to lose the essence behind life when he grows up. But he’s able to recapture his creativity and live a happy life again.

If there’s one takeaway from The Little Prince, it’s to not get so lost in our usual 9 to 5 and academic and social standards. Too often in life, we find ourselves trying so hard to get the best grades, having the best house, best car; or just quite honestly trying to fit in with the social norm. What gets lost in the shuffle is what is truly essential in life. The constant phrase that is repeated to the prince is, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye”. In today’s society, we work so hard to get things that are in front of us and only seen with our eyes that we lose track of the things that are much more essential in life. Live life being happy, and don’t let anybody else determine what is essential to your life and your own happiness.

Restaurant Stereotypes

Do we judge a book by it’s cover when it comes to restaurants?

Yes, I’d have to say that it’s something I was guilty of and I’m sure I’m not the last and not the first person to have done this before.  In terms of judging restaurants,  I’m talking about when you’re attempting to try out a new place in town and find out that it’s run by someone other than the ethnicity of the type of food style that is being served.

While we live in a day and age where we want to be politically correct and avoid social pain, we as a society do have stereotypes when it comes to restaurants.  When it comes to restaurants, we expect Thai or Hmong people to make Thai food, Chinese people to make Chinese food, Mexicans to make Mexican food, etc… The moment that we try out a place where someone other than who you would expect to be running the restaurant is there,  we assume the food won’t be as great or that it might be lowered down in terms of the taste of each dish.

The truth of the matter is that if someone who is Caucasian and is running an Asian restaurant or vice versa,  we put up our guard and expect the worst out of the restaurant and stereotype the place.  Without even getting our food, we assume that the food might not be that great. 

I personally have gone through this experience.  When I first moved down to Austin, I was really craving some sushi and wanted to try out a place based off the great Yelp! ratings that it received. When I walked in I was completely caught off guard.  What I thought was a Japanese sushi restaurant was run by a mix of Caucasian and Asian adults. While eating away at my appetizers and sushi,  I was blown away.  The food was absolutely delicious and much better than most places that I’ve been to before.

In conclusion,  the moral of the story and topic is to not judge a book by it’s cover.

America: Home of the Brave?

image

Is America truly the home of the brave?  Based on our history,  some would say yes.  However when basing it off how some of our citizens live from day to day,  I’d say no.  While we’re a brave country when it comes to helping out the world and our allies,  we’re not brave enough as a country to break the norm and provide more for our citizens.

America provides opportunity seekers with the freedom to make a living and avoiding the threat of suicide bombers and guerilla warfare in our backyard.  However,  the simple things that other countries have that we lack are the means to provide our citizens with proper health care and affordable education.  In this day and age,  it’s honestly inexcusable that Americans must make the decision to feed their families or get health insurance and a college education.  Health insurance should be given to all citizens no matter what, as we should be talking care of our citizens. Along with health care,  education shouldn’t be that much of a life altering decision. All Americans should have the freedom to go to college without the fear of going broke and putting themselves in an extreme amount of debt for years to come.

Outside of being brave with world issues,  I’d love to see us as a country be brave enough to offer all Americans the ability to have health care and education without having to financially impact our citizens in such a negative way. It’s no way that a modern super power such as America should be handling things when other European countries offer such benefits as a benefit to all of its citizens.

Clearing the Bucket List, Part 1


Yes,  yes… I like many others was inspired by the movie The Bucket List.  Outside of making a big move to Austin just recently,  I really wanted to get started on my bucket list of items to check off.  Having a brother in-law based in Germany,  I took the chance to fly out to Germany and check out our neighbors across the pond.

The flight to Germany was second to none.  Major shout out to Delta Airlines.  I was so concerned about what I would do for the 8 hour flight, but the in-flight experience made me feel like I was honestly just at home for the duration of the flight.  I had the chance to watch an unlimited amount of movies, great food, and free drinks!

Upon landing in Germany,  I was amazed as to how wrong I was about Germany. Technology wise,  Germany was further ahead than the US on many fronts, and their customs process was more of a relief than a struggle as I’ve grown to experience when crossing our very own US border.

wpid-wp-1443619850301.jpg

Moving on with the rest of my day in the Frankfurt area,  I had the opportunity to attend a wine and sausage festival.  The experience on the way there and at the festival itself was very unique and refreshing.  The autobahn,  highway to Americans,  was clean and not limited by unnecessary speed limits at most stretches.  Instead of driving through war torn villages like seen in Saving Private Ryan,  we drove through beautiful green mountains and caught some breath taking views.  While at the festival,  the people were extremely friendly,  willing to speak English with us,  and provided top notch customer service.

wpid-wp-1443619904002.jpg

 Having only seen war movies about Germany until just recently,  I realized there was a whole other side of Germany that I was missing.

wpid-wp-1443619961909.jpg

On to the next stop on our trip.. London!