33 Moments of Introspection

Pine Trees in Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest

"What if I had a clone? What if my clone wasn't complete and he needed some kind of information that would help him better understand who it means to be me?"

It was an odd thought, but I went with it anyway. I was sitting in an office, peering into the darkness that enveloped the city of Boston. The shapes of buildings were outlined with tiny lights and red, green, and white colors flowed on the streets below.

"What would I tell a clone to help him better understand me?" I began jotting down specific points that came to mind and stopped when I reached thirty-three.

"Was this me? Did this list convey the essence of what it's like to live in my head?"

Over the course of the next few days, I went back to that list and spent time pondering each point. I jotted down stories, described examples, and otherwise tried to define what each thing meant to me.

Now I'm sharing that list here with you in the hopes that you will glean something useful from it. Continue reading

How I Discovered That I Was Discriminating

I consider myself to be a very open-minded individual, so the recent realization that I was being discriminative shocked me. The last thing I want to do is discriminate -- it wasn't intentional, it only lasted about ten seconds, and I discovered that I was doing it almost entirely by accident.

I want to share this story with you so that you can be more aware of your own actions and mental processes and hopefully avoid making the same mistake that I made.

As I travel around India, I receive many stares and looks from the local people. Even some of the animals look at me funny! But it's not everyone. Some people stare non-stop until I pass them, but others just glance at me and then look away, as if I was any other human being (the normal type of interaction you'd expect between two strangers).

After a few weeks of getting stares, the fact that it wasn't everyone staring started to bug me: I'm just another human, why do some of you have to stare at me? Continue reading

The good in others

Believe in the good that exists in all human beings. Never assume you know the way someone will react to a situation or believe that you understand a person enough to make assumptions about their future choices or decisions. Negativity can only make a situation worse (and if I say, "an already bad situation worse", then I'm being negative).

My Dad always says, "When you assume, you make an Ass out of You and Me", and that's exactly the way I felt last night. I assumed something about one of my tenants and it turned out to be the total opposite. When I realized how much I had been thinking negatively about the situation, I felt grateful for the opportunity to realize my mistake.