Showing posts with label Experiences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Experiences. Show all posts

May 22, 2019

Take Responsibility

I thought it was an interesting sign in the office.

Responsibility: At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start to be successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren't where you want to be, you will always be a failure.  - Erin Cummins


While I agree that we have to take responsibility for our lives and do the work hard to achieve success, at the same time, we obviously aren't in control of everything. 

We have to play the hand we're dealt in life and make the very best of it.  Whatever challenges that we have, they are there for us to learn from, grow from, and become better human beings from. 

Also, success means different things to different people--for some it's money, power and honer; for others it's physical fitness and dashing good looks; still some care more about travel, experiences, partying, and having a good time; and yet for others it's about G-d, family, country, and good deeds.

Whatever we want to achieve requires dedication and hard work from our end, but also a generous dose of prayer and good fortune for "the stars to align."  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 26, 2017

Entering The Oculus Rift Matrix

So this was my first time actually experiencing virtual reality. 

Using Oculus Rift and climbing this mountain...

I've got to say how incredibly fabulioso this was!

It is absolutely an immersive and real experience. 

When I looked over the side of the mountain and down at the water and "realized" how far up I was, I was freakin out. 

My feet were grabbing the floor like I was about to fall off the mountain and then I eventually did. 

This is the next big thing!

You can literally be anywhere and doing anything with this technology.  

The real world is not there. 

And now I believe more than ever, that just like we enter the virtual reality body and start to move around and interact in that make-believe world, so too our soul enters our human bodies and we are present in this material existence to experience the worldly wonders all around us. 

But like the virtual world, this earthly world is the playground for our earthly bodies are just a temporary vessel for us to face challenges, learn, and grow.

When the time is up, our souls depart our bodies and return to its maker, just like when the virtual reality game is over and we are back here. 

G-d is the greatest game-maker of them all, and we are copycats in every sense of the word. 

The body is the vessel, and the soul is the essence. ;-)

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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October 23, 2016

Awesome Drumbeat of Life


Just thought this was such an awesome drum. 

On the top of the drum was a painting of a drummer. 

And on the side was a picture of a beautiful lady dancing. 

It was so simple, yet so eloquently done.

There is something amazing when you can literally feel the art come so alive.

Almost like seeing and feeling the vision of the artist as if looking directly through his eyes.

Our experience her on earth is that of our soul moving and acting in a surreal physical world.

But in so interacting, we leave behind and impact this world with artifacts, and deeds to others, that last beyond ourselves and the moment. 

What a wonderful world G-d has placed us in to experience his wonders and to learn and grow.

I can feel the drumming of my heart and the dancing of my feet all along the way.

And even though I don't comprehend everything I am experiencing or the decisions that I must make, in it contains not only deep intrigue, but also genuine surprise and challenge, and ultimately meaning, every step  along the marvelous path of G-d's garden. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 17, 2016

Spending It All Down

So Parkinson's Law states that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

The more time you have on your hands, the longer it takes you to do something. 

I find this to be so true...like on a day off, I don't find myself typically getting any more done than on a regular work day. 

But what is true for time, also seems to apply to money. 

The more money you make, the more you need

And while you may get more or better quality for your extra bucks, you still don't have a lot in net savings. 

Thus in line with Conspicuous Consumption, we spend more on luxury goods when we have more money and we spend more of our leisure time on doing the same basic set of activities when we have more time to spend.

Either way, more time and money often means more wasting of each, with people finding it extraordinarily difficult to save when they have (too) much of either. 

Perhaps, that why the big time hip hop artist, Kanye West recently tweeted about being $53 million in debt.

Or why Benjamin Franklin said, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."

Your personal decision is what you end up spending your extra time and money on. 

The only real difference with time and money is that money you can put in the bank, but time passes whether you are busy or not.

Perhaps the best investment for both is to spend on education, experiences, on loved ones, and on helping others. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Parg)
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August 10, 2015

Skip The Religious Brainwashing

So my wife and I took this picture yesterday of this Spongebob outside a matress store, but which you frequently find at places like a car wash.  

It gets some attention when your driving by. 

This cartoon fellow reminded me of something I heard in a movie trailer recently.

It was about people of faith, but rather than relying on being genuinely thoughtful about their beliefs, instead they adhere to a form of brainwashing, where the people in the community are kept in the fold by closing out any and all outside influences. 

When one of the ladies in the community was asked about this, she replied "You know what someone told me about brainwashing? What's wrong with a clean brain!"

While I am a huge proponent of devotion and service to G-d, I think that relying on intentionally keeping people sheltered is not the path to G-d. 

Especially for the Jewish people, who are known as the "People of the Book" for their intense learning of the Torah, intellectual pursuit and challenge is a source of true faith.

Of course, there are bad influences in society--addictive drugs, alcohol dependence, indiscriminate sex, violent and deviant people, and more--and we want to keep our families away from these things and safe.  

Interestingly, when someone is free from drugs and alcohol, they often say that they have been "clean" for so many months or years. 

If that is what a "clean brain" is--then that is a positive thing. 

But if a clean brain is truly cutting people off from education and legitimate worldly pursuits just to force them to follow and keep them in state of brainwashing, then that level of a geder (i.e. gate or limitation) is destructive to the person and community. 

Recently, a 30-year woman, Faigy Meyer, "who broke free from the iron-tight grip of her ultra-conservative Hassidic community" and had been shunned by her family, leapt from a rooftop to her death.

The term iron-grip used in the article sounds like a medieval torture device used to force or keep people at bay, and if that is what the "religious" community is doing so-to-say to limit free choice of their members, then that is not honest belief and practice. 

For myself personally, I lived for some years in a highly religious community that despite having many wonderful people and families was for the most part not very accepting of anyone who believed or practiced not exactly like them--there was no room for that. 

One time, the legacy Rabbi on the pulpit (not the current one who is an extremely fine person that I greatly respect) even warned the members to beware of people in their midst who were not true worshippers (and could be a harmful influence). 

In a closed community thinking, one can feel quite alienated and a huge void of spirituality. 

Thank G-d, in our community with the Magen David Sephardic Synagogue, we have found not only a beautiful love of Hashem, but that mixed with acceptance for everyone to come and participate.

Now we actually love to go to synagogue and look forward to it. It has become a central part of our lives (similar in our own way to how it had been for my beloved father). 

Take away the iron-tight grip, the forcing, the brainwashing and fear of the regular outside world, and you have people from many walks of life, intellectual pursuits and experiences come together to seek and worship G-d with a pure and open heart. 

In a way, it is similar to technology: if you have a closed system (not connected to the Internet and the outside), you have a safe tool, but it is very limited as a standalone. Alternatively, hook the computer up to the Internet and while you take some risks browsing the limits of the virtual world, you come away with so much more you can do and richness in the experience. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle and Andy Blumenthal)
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August 26, 2014

Confronting The New



As the kids are starting a new school year, I thought these welcome messages in chalk on the sidewalk were interesting and hopeful. 

Everyone needs support when they are starting at a new place or doing something they haven't done before. 

Doing something new means opportunity for a fresh beginning and the chance to learn and grow, but it also presents changes and challenges. 

The messages the kids drew help to confront these head on asking the other students:

- What is exciting to them and playing up the positives of the new experience.

- Encouraging people to make new friends to help make the adjustment. 

- Offer emotional support with "Free Hugs" and camaraderie.

At times, we all end up in new situations and places.

We may be looking for discovery, adventure, or a chance to do something different or perhaps change our fortunes.

At other times, we may just get thrown into something and may not even be certain exactly how we got there. 

But either way, it definitely helps when we reach out to others and realize that while we are individuals, we are not alone as we go through it. 

People need each other...some more, some less...but no man is an island. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 20, 2013

Going For Gravity

A good friend told me to go see the movie Gravity.

He said, "You'll definitely like it, and make sure you see it in IMAX!"

G-d, I don't recall the last time that I went to an IMAX showing. 

So keeping in the mind the saying, "try it and you'll like it," we went for the $19.00 IMAX 3D experience. 

(OMG, I still remember when movies in NYC were $1!) 

I was hesitant about this movie having heard that there were only 2 characters, and that 1 was Sandra Bullock!

Also, that she was the only one left for the second half of the movie--and I thought how interesting is this going to be?

Okay, I told myself, I'll get excited by the action and destruction in the first half with Clooney and sleep through the second half with Bullock. 

But it was so much better than I anticipated--one of the best movie experiences for me ever!

The IMAX 3D was absolutely amazing...only thing better would've been a massive in-your-face hologram of the whole movie--and I bet this comes one day soon.

The space walks, hurling space debris, exploding space stations and daring escapes was right there and up close in this movie.

I found myself at times reaching my hands out to practically touch the characters--since they seemed that close. 

And Bullocks tears floating in space--were very moving and cool at the same time. 

Bullock is going to win a ton of awards for her performance in Gravity. 

Oh, and one more funny experience was when a lady told this guy in the theatre to hush, and when he didn't listen, she kicked his chair.

But that wasn't the end of it...

After she kicked it a few times, he turned around grabbed her shoe right off of her foot and then threw it at her. 

She ran out of the theatre to get security. 

Security told them both to cut it out, and then I heard the guards outside laughing about these two quarreling theatre-goers. 

Anyway, I didn't sleep a wink in this movie, and enjoyed the whole experience. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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July 31, 2013

Simple Sticks Showing Complex Feelings


I came across these funny YouTube videos (beware though a little racy) with millions of views.

They are done using stick figures (or the more provocative term the creators use).

The focus is on 2 friends--"Red" and "Blue" and their interactions with other varied colored figures.

I think the stick figures are a brilliant way to tell about them and their exploits, so that you focus on their inner characters and their message and not on their superficial body looks.

Also, the notion of "color" for the different people is one hand a easy way to differentiate them, but also seems to have implications for the varied cultures and colors of people throughout the world.

Apparently, there is a YouTube Channel with a whole series of these 2 minute + skits, and now I understand that this stick figure theme is being made into a full length movie.

What I like about these is the simplicity of using these colorful stick figure characters to show life's ups and downs, relationships, and feelings in a very direct straightforward (and also raw) way.

Sort of like seeing and experiencing the complexities of life boiled down in simple and unfiltered way.

While 2 minutes is entertaining, I think 2 hours of this "in your face" would have me wanting to throw these sticks in a great big bon fire, yep. ;-)
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