Thoughts. Experiences. Inspiration.

Sunday Selections #5 (11 August 2013)

August 11, 2013 0

I wasn’t able to do last week’s Sunday Selections because of a last-minute trip down to Singapore. So I’ve done something a little clever this week in case something else crops up tomorrow – yes, tomorrow – at the last minute…I’ve scheduled this post! Mwahahaha

Pesto So I know summer’s almost over, but these picnic sides sound amazing…and who cares what weather it is? Indoors, outdoors, if it’s good food, it still tastes good!

These days however, recipes (like these amazing pesto ideas!) tend to remain limited to my imagination because of the lack of a kitchen in Manjushri Hill. Which is just as well because if I had a full-blown kitchen, I’d probably spend more time cooking and less time working hehehe

The last time I cooked consistently was when I lived in England. One of my favourite memories (which I probably shouldn’t admit) is being snowed in. In a bit of a panic because the snow had caught us off-guard, I looked in my fridge and pantry to try and figure out what to cook for dinner. That was when I saw I had the ingredients to pull together my very first fish pie. I’m vegetarian now but I can’t lie – it was comforting tucking into that creamy pie whilst watching the genius that is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Speaking of videos, I’ve been on YouTube a fair bit this week, to get some background noise as I work (and hopefully pick up some knowledge from said background noise). YouTube’s wonderful for throwing up BBC documentaries that I’ve missed since leaving England. One thing I realised from these documentaries is that people often make a lot of excuses for their laziness and / or failures, and this documentary was no exception. My favourite line from this Fast Food Babies video? “I have no control over what he eats”. Hang on, aren’t you the adult and isn’t he just a toddler? Hmmmm, okay…no control, right.

I wonder if the parents would make the same excuses for their children if they were experiencing the same kind of poverty as these kids in America do. Would their children be so picky? Because it’s not right that a 13 year old worries about the lease, and a 9 year old has to choose between eating now and eating later.

Rinpoche and Buddhism teaches that our habit of being selective and our habit of making excuses arises from a life free from any kinds of struggle (note I said struggle, not suffering). How does it work? Well, if you have no choice but to accomplish something, then you will find any and all ways to get it done. But if you have a choice, or you’re used to having a choice, then the instant even the smallest difficulty arises, you’ve no perseverance to see the task through.

Whenever we make excuses, we reinforce in our minds the habit of not taking responsibility because “I don’t have to”. So the excuses the parents made in the fast food video, for example, were pretty scary because they are failing to take responsibility for their children’s diets.

And you won’t even realise it, but people who don’t know how to take responsibility will lose your respect. Just look at the video below and you’ll see what I mean – of all the people the presenter interviewed, the one who is most likely to disgust you is that lawyer who defends the Delhi bus rapists by saying it was the girl’s fault for being immoral / dishonourable.

The video below was pretty surprising for a few other reasons. First, in my ignorance (and until the Delhi bus rape), I had not realised that sexual harassment was such an issue in India. I’ve travelled in India on many occasions and apart from some overt ogling, I never felt it was any worse than anywhere else in the world. Second, I was surprised the police acted so quickly on the presenter’s complaints about someone groping her. Perhaps they were so quick because she is a foreigner, or perhaps there really is some good left in this world

Now on the opposite end of the spectrum from India where the cities are densely populated, something totally different caught my attention this week – ghost towns in America. I’ve always been extremely interested in abandoned dwellings and townships. I like to imagine what it must have been like to be there, and what events led to their abandonment, and how the people felt when they were forced to leave their homes behind.

I don’t make it my business to explore abandoned places but when someone puts together such a beautiful video, I can’t help but gawk at the fragility of human existence. So much time, effort and money spent on these places and then an event occurs which is totally beyond your control. Why get so attached to where you are and where you live? Eventually, you’ll have to leave it or it has to leave you. But god, imagine your town burning from inside the ground for the next 250 years…Dante’s Inferno, anybody?

And finally, the last but not least item for this week – this video and Robin Thicke’s amused expression. ‘Nuff said.

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