I went to pick up a smoothie At Juice crafter’s, and saw this random but meaningful message.
“Forgive Others, not because they deserve Forgiveness, but because you deserve Peace”.
Making the world a happier place one selfie at a time
Since the past few years, Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr have been flooded with selfies from around the world. So pronounced was the usage of the word alone, that Oxford Dictionary announced “Selfie” as the word of the year 2013. Not only does Internet abound with selfies of famous stars and politicians but almost anyone who owns a smartphone or webcam has at some point taken at least one “selfie” and in most cases several. There are reports of toddlers taking selfies as well as more disturbing accounts of people taking selfies with the deceased in caskets at funerals. Thanks to the ease of use; taking a selfie and posting it on social media has made it a worldwide phenomenon. Oxford’s editors say use of the word alone has gone up a staggering 17,000% in the past year. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/11/18/selfie-named-word-of-the-year-2013/3634727/)
Our fascination with the use and prevalence of “selfie” may define the millennia’s self-indulging and narcissistic fascination with self. But the concept of a selfie is nothing new. A visit to any Museum or classical Art gallery will confirm that selfies are as old as art itself. Artists have tried to create both artistic and realistic portraits of themselves in paintings and sculptures. Some notable artists who created self-portraits are Jan Van Eyck’s, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Paul Cezanne, Peter Parler, Henri Rousseau, Jean Fouquet, Van Gogh and many more. Artists have used all forms of medium to create portraits that actually help us chronicle history better today.
Posting a selfie on social media is the common man’s instant claim to fame. By a simple click of the button, one can share a selfie with the world and almost instantly start receiving hundreds of likes.
And what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Just as long as you do it in fun and don’t get too self-engrossed with yourself and your selfie. So go on, Smile and Selfie!
Yes I know, Thanksgiving was day before on 28th November, 2014. We just moved into a new location so we spent all of Thanksgiving and the long weekend packing, unpacking and settling into the new place. Until today I did not even have Internet set up at my new place. Moves are always hard; both physically and mentally. But change in itself is always positive or so we hope.
While it is hard to live out of cardboard boxes for a week or so, it is nice to get a chance to dig into the mountains of baggage one has accumulated over the years and do a thorough spring cleaning (literally and metaphorically speaking). After a long time I took a look at my closet and saw all the clothes, beauty products, hair products, vitamins, household goods, handicrafts and decorations that I never really used, and so I decided to box them up for Salvation Army. So this thanksgiving I took a resolve to be more vigilant while buying. Here is my resolve for future, “Buy little at a time, and buy only what you absolutely need.”
But Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, rather than lessons learned, correct? Well, here are the 10 things I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving. God bless them all!
I truly must have done something great in my past life to deserve wonderful parents like I have. When I was young someone told me that a child needs parents physiologically but a grown-up needs parents emotionally. I could not agree more with that person. While as a child, I may have needed my parents to care and provide for me, growing up I have realized how fortunate I am to have two beautiful people in my life as my parents. These are the kind of people that I would have fallen in love with for their kindness and seasoned intellect even if there weren’t my parents. While I am on the subject I want to clarify that my parents are not the adulating parents who fawn over their children and talk endlessly about them, condoning all their faults. Infact my parents are my toughest critics. They always tell me when I was in the wrong and are tough on me when I fail to do my best. They did not care whether I was the best in my class or not, they just wanted me to be the best I could be. But most importantly, they showed me that there are two sides to a coin and it is important to look at everything from the other person’s perspective. This has helped me see the good in everyone and accept the weakness in myself. It teaches one to be humble and accept life more openly.
*Deep breath*. I practically wrote the 10 things above, in one breath. Now, that I have given my thanks, feel free to drop me a line and tell me what you are most thankful for? And don’t forget to pingback to Ubecute with your own Thanksgiving post.
We live in a world where more is less and less is never enough. Commercials on TV and web abound selling us dreams of a life that would be impossible to achieve without these products. Likewise, markets are flooded with merchandise that promise beauty in a jar, a killer body by consuming weight loss pills, a great social life by virtue of sporting an expensive handbag and so forth. Movies and TV shows feature stars that are embodiments of perfection itself. Every year the bar for perfection is set just a notch higher thanks to the pressures of media and marketing. Unfortunately, material goods and outwardly appearances alone can only provide fleeting satisfaction. Is it any wonder then that more and more men and women feel the pressure of being less than perfect?
When our image of ourselves is based not by who we are inside, but how others perceive us, how are we to find happiness? In US alone, more than 19 million people suffer from depression out of which nearly twice as many women as men suffer from depression every year. Depression is even more common amongst young people. Although both men and women may feel the pressure of society, surveys suggest that women are more susceptible to feelings of insufficiency and low self-esteem. Could it be that sometimes we are our own worst enemies? Women are notorious for being unfairly critical of themselves. Young impressionable women are constantly exposed to ads showing thin, well-proportioned models that are not only beautiful to start with, but these pictures are also photo- shopped after. Women who are more likely to make upward comparisons with these extraordinary portrayals of feminine beauty may end up feeling less than attractive.
Movies abound where men are attracted to a woman who is not only stunningly beautiful but practically a wonder woman. She is an excellent career woman during the day and then in the evening she will change her Business suit for a sleek gown showing her perfectly chiseled body. She will then jump on the stage flip her hair and make an impromptu performance that would put the Spice girls to shame. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against a multi-talented woman. In truth, most of the women I know are really nothing short of amazing. They are excellent career women, great moms, perfect daughters, loving wives, sisters and friends in need.
My problem is merely with the portrayal of women in mass media. Such roles set high standards of expectation. The criteria for attractiveness just keeps becoming impossible to achieve while becoming more and more shallow. If the average American woman is 5’4” and 140 pounds why do we have actresses representing them who are 5’11” and 120 pounds? Why can’t we have more role models with less than “perfect” looks? Why are feminine characters in most movies, so two-dimensional and focused on their physical attractiveness?
In truth the portrayal of women as nothing short of “wonder women” is exacerbated by the fact that we women are tough critiques of our achievements and accomplishments. The ABC’s series “Ugly Betty” hinges on the portrayal of an attractive yet less than glamorous Betty fighting to make her mark in the glamour world while fighting her own self esteem issues caused by how her peers perceive her. To me, ‘Ugly Betty’ is a classic example of a regular working girl in today’s world. I am waiting for the media world to take more risks and start creating flesh and blood characters where women like men are valued as characters rather than their physical and sexual appeal.