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Free Billion Dollar Water

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One upon a time I was at my car dealer for maintenance.

I went inside every fancy car that I cannot afford to enjoy its interior.

I then went to the free water fountain to drink.

As I moved my head down to drink I reallized that while I can definitely live and even enjoy my life without the expensive cars, I cannot live without this free water, which is way more precious and expensive than all the expensive stuff.

A billionaire would trade all their wealth for this free water if they ever had to choose only one, that alone should teach us how wealthy we are if we just have enough food and enough water.

Thank You God!

How Late Do Our Computers Stay Up?!

If you’d like to waste two or three hours feeling busy, but doing nothing, get a computer and an internet connection!

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Well, you might watch some informative videos and read some interesting news. The question is: How do you feel once you disconnect? Do you feel full of the energy of knowledge, and fulfilled? Or do you feel exausted and put your computer away with a headache? The latter state is a sign that your computer time is draining energy rather than energizing your mind. Not good!

How much of our computer (now that really or mostly means: internet) time is really useful to our physical and spiritual well-being? We need to step back and think about that.

Do we really know how much time we spend online? If we  know, we might be surprised!

I come back from work, have my dinner, and connect to the world! Or so I think!

Is the world really contained online? Aren’t we just selecting very small and limited views or pieces of the world when we choose one web site or one news story over all (millions) the others?

Do we connect to the Internet to disconnect from ourselves? Our heart and our intellect? Reading an external story is always much easier than reading the real, internal stories! Language has some words for it: Introspection. Meditation. Prayer. Thinking!

As I put my laptop away at the end of the day, I feel exhausted. Time passes by so quickly online. I move from one blog to the other, I try to look at the videos titles on Youtube and select a few. I don’t have time to watch all those stories and documentaries that will reveal to me some more pieces of our World truths! I feel exausted by what I didn’t have time to read and watch!

We have to come to clear terms with our human limitations. We will NEVER be able to be gods, able to take, read, know, see everything that is out there. We have to be selective. We have to understand that all the world happens within!

So I decided to tame my Internet time. The way we try to discipline a child. Time for bed baby! I now try to put my computer/Internet to sleep at a particular time. 9:30 PM? Time to disconnect!

This way I actually get to sleep earlier, wake up for work naturally, without turning off the persistent alarm 3 times before I can make it out of bed!

Tame your Internet time. Don’t let it stay up too late. When Internet bed time comes, put it to sleep!

Why Write to No One?

I wish I could make a living by reading and writing! Oh why not add walking in nature and taking pictures too! :) Because making a living by doing something we don’t really enjoy (working for money) is not actually making a living, it’s making a dying!

I literally feel suffocated by doing work that I don’t enjoy or believe in. I start the job, feel ok or, at times, excited during the learning and exploring stages, then once things get down to repeating what I’ve learned, I start loosing my mind for boredom! And all jobs I had stop growing after a few short months! I thought I needed to look for that good job that keeps me excited, learning, exploring and growing. I’m sure there could be such job somewhere out there. But what if I can’t find it and it can’t find me?!

In a recent post by simple living blogger Tammy Strobel where she interviewed a minimalism pioneer, Leo Babauta, he described his early stages in simplifying his life toward freedom like this:

“So I sat down, and made a list of the 4 things that were most important to me — that gave me joy. Then I started eliminating everything in my life that didn’t match these priorities, slowly getting out of commitments.”

 

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As I was read these words, I thought of the things that I enjoy, simple things. I can summarize them all in one word: BEAUTY! Reading a good book is beautiful. My love for walking is about looking around at the beauties of this world. Taking pictures is an attempt to capture Beauty as we see it through our own eyes and perspective. Having coffee with a good friend is about experiencing the beauty of genuine connection. Meditating or praying is about feeling the beauty of feeling the presence of the Source of Beauty (“God is Beautiful and He loves Beauty” Prophet Muhammad).

 But instead of spending time with Beauty, I spend 40 hours a week in a dark office room, away from the beauty of sunshine, doing things that aren’t necessarily beautiful, adding beauty to the world or eliminating ugliness. Obviously this lifestyle is unsustainable for me. You can’t sustain an action that you don’t like and keep your sanity! I mean, we will be sane and normal and all, but we will live disconnected from our best human capabilities and potential to lead a beautiful life and to create beauty and meaning around us. That’s why we must seriously make our plan and get on the road toward Beauty!

We have to start small. As long as we don’t have a fortune and we have to work to survive, we have to build a reasonable plan in order to set our life free. That’s where simple living comes in as an absolute MUST. We have to stop wasting our money on adding just more stuff that we don’t need or enjoy. This will just keep us into the vicious cycle: working for money, spending this money on stuff, running out of money at the end of the month, having to keep working for the next paycheck, etc.

So I’m starting by trying to eliminate all unnecessary spending. Then I started to do more of the things that matter to me, reading and writing. Then I thought of what the title of this post is about: why write in a blog that is being read by a handful of people? This thought is so wrong. Because our focus should be on doing what we want to do, regardless of the outcome. Or to put it more accurately, regardless of the immediate outcome.  I’ll have all those blogs, experiment with writing, and work on being disattached from the outcome. That’s what real focus is about. I might wonder how is this improving my life. But the truth is, even while keeping my job and working for money, I’m already very slowly trying to do more of what I like to do. It’s not about getting out of my job right now. Because being in this situation is by itself a challenge. We just need to change how we perceive our circumstances.

Instead of hating where we are now, we better enjoy it as part of a marvelous journey toward our dreams!

Why we should thank the bus!

Many American cities are not car-free-friendly. If you don’t have a car, you’re stuck. Buses are far between, if you rely on them to get to work or school, you can waste hours trying to get to the nearest stop, on time.

But buses are great! I moved to Chicago in 2008, got a job downtown, which makes it impossible to drive to work, unless I’m willing to pay half my salary or so to enrich the parking garages.

The other day I was on my way to the bus stop when I saw the bus, too far to catch it if I keep walking, but close enough to get to it if I ran! So that’s what I did. I said to myself, me who don’t really exercise, that at least the bus forced me into a brief run! That’s something to thank Buses for. So I thought of listing all the good things about using the bus in cities where they are available and reliable.

So here is some of the reasons why we should thank the Bus:
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1. An occasional run!

As I mentioned above, the bus will force us to run every once in a while. May be this occasional run will give us a taste for running and introduce us to this type of exercise!

2. Even if you don’t run, you will definitely walk.

Compare the amount of exercise that those who rely on their cars to get around actually get to someone who uses the bus daily, or 5 days a week. You will rarely live as close to the bus stop as to your garage-kept car. If you take the bus to work or school, you might be getting somewhere around 30 minutes of walking per day, if not more, which is the recommended minimum amount of exercise we should get. Well, it’s nice to be forced to do what’s good for us! We might just need that or we will not do it, if left to our will power and ever procrastinated new habits!

3. When we have enough looking at the same streets every day, we can read a book.

The Bus can add many more pages to our reading life. If we take a book on board, we can easily add 30 or 40 minutes to our reading every day. The Bus can give us 5 or 6 books per year that otherwise we wouldn’t make time to read. And guess what, this one book, one idea might change our life forever.

4. thirty people in one big vehicle produce less pollution that thirty people in thirty small cars!

You know this one already. I think we can safely say that most cars running daily on our roads carry one person each!

But no matter how good the Bus is, it will remain unpractical for many of us until many of our American cities and small towns are re-designed to make them bus friendly!

Diagnosing TBA: The BUY Addiction

We buy stuff all the time. Some people have to buy something every single day, if not an item then at least a cup of coffee! They’re not living if they’re not entering into a store and spending some money.
 
Exercise: Count how many days a week go without buying anything, anywhere. If you buy something almost every day, or can’t go out without buying something, then you know you’re dealing with TBA!
 
Don’t you think that I am immune to that! Hey, if I write about some problem, it’s likely that I do or did experience it at some point!
 
Buying addiction is a serious problem in richer societies. It disturbs our inner balance as individuals as well as our global balance as a human community sharing one Earth.
 
We can see this global imbalance manifest in different ways:
 
1. Waste and surplus for some, starvation for many.
  
The rich societies that consume most of the resources contribute to a moral imbalance, which is a manifestation of injustice and selfishness. When food and cloths are thrown away in one part of the world, while hundreds of millions of humans can hardly eat, dress and find adequate shelter, something is grossly wrong.
 
Humans are meant to be one family with acceptable variations in wealth, but with a universal standard of dignity and availability of human needs for all, which our Earth naturally provides, if it wasn’t for the shameful greed and selfishness of some.
 
2. In order to buy more and cheap, the poor have to accept labor slavery.
  
Because money seems to be the God of an overwhelming number of businesses, they don’t see a problem meeting the needs of buyers for more and cheap by moving to poor countries where they can have labor camps. Humans who work most of their waking hours, in very poor conditions, for a pay that will barely help them survive. This imbalance is simply expressed in the fact that a worker could be paid in a week what we spend on a lunch for one!
 
All for the sake of us going into the store and buying a gadget that we might not use and didn’t need in the first place, or for us to be able to buy 5 t-shirts instead of just one. Wow, what a progress, we can have all those t-shirts and shoes in all the different colors. Boy hadn’t our life become much better with that!!!
 
3. More of the things that we don’t need end up creating mountains of toxic trash, and heavily polluted Earth.
  
Because people buy things they don’t need, they end up getting rid of them. In the worse manner possible: throwing them in the trash. Our addiction to keep buying stuff that we don’t need lead to factories producing more unnecessary stuff. Because they want to make them cheap, they use toxic material that will keep the cost low. Then this satanic cycle end with landfills full of toxic waste that no one really knows why it was even created to start with.
 
We lost, the buyers. We lost money and inner peace. They lost, the workers. They lost their life and energy to the factories. It lost, our Earth, and our future. It became full of toxic waste. The only ones who gained are the businesses, only a minority. Are those guys worth all those losses and suffering?!!
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