Deal with it, FT.

Sometimes I do like scrolling through anonymous advice articles. The writers you can relate to in their situation at times. I think this is the first time I feel like I had to do a double take to the author who responded to the letter. The “TL;DR” version – The first quote is a person who bullied people early in their life. Amy (the columnist) responds with a fairly neutral response in the second quote.


Dear Amy: I was a very unhappy person up until my 20s. I’ll spare you the melodrama, but I didn’t grow up in the best home and had very poor social skills. After learning to manage some real anxiety and depression issues and a lot of therapy, I’ve been in a much better place for a long time. I’m now in my late 40s.
After a recent class reunion and re-engaging with some old acquaintances, I have heard about a number of ways I acted back in the day that range from insensitive to downright terrible.


It pains me to realize that I was apparently an insufferable jerk. I don’t think I’m that way anymore (at least I hope not). But what do I do with these revelations?
I’ve tried apologizing, and some will listen, whereas others just apparently want the satisfaction of telling me off.


With one man who says I bullied and harassed him (I don’t remember it that way), I even tried saying, “I wasn’t a happy person then,” on top of apologizing.

I am left not feeling very good about myself, which is not a good path for me.
It’s like I’m never going to be able to redeem myself in the eyes of a large swath of people I grew up around.


I’ve thought about a universal, wide-ranging apology on social media saying, “Look, I know I wasn’t a great person to be around, but I’m not that way anymore.”


Thoughts? Suggestions?


— Formerly Terrible

Dear Amy, Local Sun

You can almost feel the desperation of the writer. After I read this, I was fuelled up to see how Amy could bring this person around. Some articles I read really put an “in your face” approach to people with problems. Usually they have a small hopeful positive, but it’s always something realistic in the end to put people in the now. I like articles that make people want to accept the situation they’re in and to move on.

At the same time, Amy responded.


Dear Formerly: I don’t suggest a wide-ranging apology on social media, mainly because it might lead to a piling-on, as people recall episodes and incidents from over two decades ago.


Mainly, I want to offer you a high-five. You have changed. You have tackled your behavioral problems and are now quite appropriately trying to acknowledge, as well as somehow manage the fallout. It’s a reckoning.


Acknowledging your behavior is huge. Apologizing to the people you have wronged is appropriate — and also huge.


There is an additional step, however, that you may have missed — and that is asking for forgiveness.


You say, “I did this to you. I know I hurt you. I am ashamed, and so sorry.”
Then you let the person vent, respond or recount the consequences of your behavior.


And then you say, “I’ve worked very hard to change. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”


That’s it.


Some people will forgive you immediately. Some will ponder your sincere effort at making amends, and will forgive you later. Some may never get there. And some will be inspired by your honesty and authenticity.

Dear Amy, Local Sun

So Amy does show some sympathy. Offering some sound advice by telling the writing (I’ll call them FT), don’t go public for something that happened in your private life. There are stipulations, in my opinion, on going public.

Acknowledgement and acceptance to the offending behaviour is a major step. To understand why people see it as offensive and the consequences that can lead to a bunch of closed doors.

Asking for forgiveness after bullying everyone around you is futile. The relief is the one that were bullied to submission will forgive you but it was you that bullied them to that position. They still see you as a bully but not a sincere person. You have not earned that apology as a person, you are still the child that demands attention from others.

I feel Amy was never really bullied as a child. I hope Amy or whoever respond to FT take it from someone who was bullied for over a decade with no support from anyone.

Amy, being harassed as a child is a heavily scarring thing that only we are beginning to realize. Those that say things that dismiss less than this, were the problems in our lives. They never aided anyone positively to fix the problem. Consoling in the victim does fix the problem alone. We are social animals, meaning we have the ability to grow and heal as a group but have the capacity of aggression like any other animal. When you realize these people exist in the world as your grow up, something riles up in you. There is a reason by violence and suicide in teens was highly publicized in the late 90’s to 2000’s, these kids snapped. Those kids who were bullied and without nothing to hold on to, they broke. I’ve had ideation to shoot up an institution. I’ve had ideation of suicide. I’ve had both, murder-suicide style. These are symptoms to bullying and much like a mental illness, these are symptoms to a bigger problem. Healing symptoms does not solve the main issue.

As an advice column, this answer is a very 90’s approach to bullying which is why we still have kids who are as messed up as they were. Little to nothing to really help FT in this situation. So my response:

Formerly Terrible,

As a personal who has been bullied by people like you, I don’t forgive. Your actions are irreversible to your victims as a consequence, you must live with that guilt and you must live with it as a sobering reminder. This reminder: always weigh your personal actions.

I hate people like you because people like you kept my life a living hell for years. My life is the way it is because of you turned me into the person as I am. That is something I can’t have back and if that disturbs you soul, then it is you that disturb it.

At the time, you did not think about because of your predisposition of whatever happened to you as a younger self. You have grown up, hopefully more self-aware than before. This is the path you chose and no amount of grovelling can take you back.

Your peers may not forgive you for your past, but now you know better you can lead the change to end the same problem for someone else. With age should come wisdom and knowledge of the world. Our ability for hindsight is what helps society change, if we don’t understand that hindsight then we are to repeat our mistakes.

Go on in your life knowing this is where it ends, no one can forgive you. However this is where you will begin to make amends to those mistakes.

nawkcire, Personal Blogger
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Adult nightmares are scary

Last week, I wrote about the repetitive dreams. This week, I haven’t had the same dream. With Easter Sunday, I probably had more blank dreams. But I forgot to touch on the unwanted dreams, the nightmares.

Thankfully for me nightmares don’t appear as often. Perhaps those blank forgotten dreams were nightmares and in which case it would be very disturbing to know every time I sleep. In recent history, I’ve had two nightmares that I remember either fully or partially to haunt me.

Once I dreamt of a dirt road with ditches, much as what you would see in a rural region. As I looked across the landscape beyond this unpaved roads, I saw nothing but short grasses and unseeded fields tended by farms. As I walked along this road, I began to feel the road underneath me piercing my feet. Looking down I was barefooted and raised my head back up, I see a plain concrete building. No facade, no windows, no people; almost like something built in the 60’s or 80’s but looked incomplete but the purpose is overt. The small even windows and balconies, it’s an apartment building. I walked into what appeared to be the front door. I looked in, it was dark and lit by the ambient sunlight. As I walked into down one of these hallways, I saw people massed into rooms sleeping. Occasionally seen were small fires in the middle of these unpainted, unfurnished rooms. No doors inside, but all I saw was sickly children and adult figures laying on the ground cushioned with debris. I felt very uncomfortable but I felt I should look deeper. I walked in and facial features were detailed; they all looked like they were of Asian descent. Impoverished people wearing nothing more than worn out clothes, tattered and ripped. I felt panicked as I paced myself out back into the sunlight. The last thing I saw in the dream was me looking back and seeing the people toiling in the field behind this small apartment building. Not far off, there was a mountain range beyond the large fields. I didn’t see any cars which makes me wonder where these people came from.

It felt like I lived a moment in someone’s body. It scares me with all these amenities, people still live like that. Even as an afterthought, did I dream it was it something metaphysical? Is my dream is someone’s reality out there?

Radio Is Dead

I’m starting to see why people dislike radio nowadays. I don’t think the internet is the problem.

Locally according to my new MP3 player, a SanDisk Clip Sport, I have about 20 stations playing music. Not just pop music but a bit of a cultural mix aside from the occasional talk shows. However most of the stations do play top 40’s from the present or yesteryear. Which is the realization, I remember back in the day there were hardly any new top 40’s. Now it seems like there’s a hit every few months or so.

Back in the day for you to discover new music, you had to listen to the radio or from background music at a store. Then you would just have to buy the CD or a cassette (if you’re as old as me). Different to now, where you can discover music through an endless stream. Then you just buy the single or the album – digitally. In a way, radio is playing catch up and playing more of sports recap of all the best music that has graced people’s ear. Then depending on your country, they have to abide with  censorship laws. So songs with profanity are edited for radio or it won’t be played. It’s unfortunate because some songs are great with the profanity. There is an upside to this.

Most of the tunes chosen by the DJ are usually great to listen most of the time. Though in the recent trends, the new urban hip-hop and R&B is kind of producing lacklustre songs. Catchy yes, but you can get sick of it so quick.

With all it’s flaws, I don’t think radio would go away. In it’s limited way, it’s an amazing free way to listen to some good music. Even as diluted as it is, you can always have  chance to discover a new song. Here, we have an indie station and usually it’s  hit or miss because it’s all music I’ve never heard of but that’s a classic trait about radio.

I’ll still listen to the airwaves but I’ll be station surfing.

It Could Be Anyone

I’m terrible at keeping this thing updated. I’ve been kind of just going on my own thing and I was planning a week long trip. Unfortunately all best plans fall short, especially with me.

With the recent ongoing crisis in my city, I feel like the aftermath brings so much hate and ignorance. Three months, a van attack with 16 injured. A shooting involving two children. Another that killed two downtown. Now 13 injured and 2 dead with the shooter slain. To each, a reason why. To each, a victim undeserved.

Watching the news about the recent incident causing mass bodily harm, I realize not just the victims can be anyone. The man with the handgun, 29, mental health in question, deceased.

We all make choices in life, acting mostly to the obvious and some the obviously easy way out. Of all the things I try to spearhead, mental health is the strongest issue I try to push onto others to learn. Since ever I identified my own demons, I was given another option. With everything I’ve learned in my short life, there’s always another way to fix all your problems – a peaceful and mindful fix.

For me, I do my best to help others and capture the intricate moments with my camera. I always felt like an outsider and tried to be in. But I’ve accepted who I am and now I’m just working on being comfortable with myself.

As much as anyone can be a victim, anyone can be their own bad guy. However a good human being is the power within knowledge and understanding the world around you.

 

 

 

Google Map Reviews

It’s been awhile that I signed up as a Google Guide, a service that allows you to participate in editing and reviewing locations on Google Maps. Recently (though I don’t want to brag) I reached by 100th review and I’ve seen some good and bad reviews.

Full disclosure of how I rate and review, Google uses a 5 star system. With it, I base all ratings on the following:

  1. Does the place physically exist? Kind of mandatory for most of the places I’ve been.
  2. How’s the customer service? How was my personal experience?
  3. How was the services and products offered? Were they everything I expected?
  4. How does the physical location look? Optionally, how’s the washrooms?

I don’t usually offer a 5 star rating which means from me, 4 stars is the most. However 5 stars just indicates I’ve had an exemplary time and experience. Meaning 2 through 4 were exceptionally greater than the places I’ve been. This is fairly hard since a lot of restaurants and shops provide the same amount of service and usually meets a pseudo-standard which seems professional but accommodating.

In terms of a written review, it follows a personal standard. First beginning with a preamble about the general location, nothing bias here. Then I move on to atmosphere of the place, products and services, then customer service. Along with it, I put down anything I’ve observed to be interesting to me and the last paragraph is for if I want to recommend this place or if I would visit again.

It’s likely not the best way to be labelled as a useful review however I’ve seen some really ridiculous reviews on there with a bunch of users saying they found it useful. On Steam it’s the same thing but that’s another story. Usually these reviews have no content besides from a star rating and the phrase “not bad”, “great”, or “would visit again”. If I was a stranger, I would like to know why people enjoy this place and something to really be convinced on going. The idea of a review is not to just let people know what’s going on here but to provide people a reason to go there or should not even bother. I know some people can be extremely critical (some of my reviews sound like that as well) but the idea is to be honest to provide feedback to a place while giving something a potential customer needs to go there.

Regardless I found a lot of places over Google Maps because reviewers have provided some good feedback. Then there are places with those 2 word reviews that turn me away because I don’t feel like going there. With a lot of users, I think Google should extend this Guide program to products. Perhaps a joint product review with Amazon but the Guide program does offer a somewhat credible system for folks.

Four out of five, will review again.

People are terrible.

Before I say anything, I’m going to say this. I’m a lurker at Imgur. I’ve never made an account on there but I like to browse through some of the content over there. Sometimes it keep things light hearted and some things I see there can make you feel passionate about things. As a hobbyist photographer and I don’t know why, I saw this and my jimmies were rustled.

For those who like to play it safe, let me tell you what you will see in that link. It’s a long list of pictures of people taking photos, seems innocent. However each image has those people abusing the environment. You would see a person standing atop a ledge, one harassing a large bird, and a person shaking a cherry blossom. Then the last one which had me wound up; a man wielding a camera taking a close up of a bird which looks like it’s being choked.

I was shocked and I’m happy I haven’t seen people do that yet. However the reminders are there when taking a photo, never jeopardize your safety and never harm your surroundings. Some people don’t necessarily think of their safety until it happens to them. It’s one thing to stand high and tall to get that majestic shot but once you lose an arm and a leg, not having a good picture is the least of your problems. After seeing the gallery I decided to see if there was a list of selfie deaths. Surprisingly, there is a list! Even worse is the list a long. A lot of folks doing, not much thinking. And I thought I was a bit impulsive.

Then there is the wildlife cruelty, I just hope there is a special dark place for people like that. Whether it’s animal or plant, I do think as a photographer I should be observing and not influencing. There is something about studio photography where you are capturing a subject but when you’re in the big wide world, you are just there to take what may come. If you’re using the world as your backdrop, then you should be responsible to minimize your impact to the environment. Don’t tread on a flower garden or shake a tree because it suits you.

Anyways, I will be doing a bit more photography as the days grow longer and sunnier.

This. Phone. Company.

A couple weeks ago while I was writing the last blog post, I kept getting calls throughout the week. At first I understand these people are being paid to call me to sell me the company I subscribe to for my telecom service. However after the third phone call in a week, I’m starting to get fed up.

Of course it makes sense companies call you by their means to be friendly to let you know you’re due up to renew your service after a contract (if you have one). As important is to keep repeat business going to make money off their customers. However I’ve been called a few more times than usual within the week. Prior to this, I would receive the occasional text about local discounts on entertainment and venues. Those customers similar to me might know this company.

It sounds to me this company is desperate. Their constant calls in the evening seem to be more hostile than informative. It’s really getting on my nerves that around 8:10 in the evening, a lady calls me to tell me about their “new fast internet service” they would like to  offer to me as a “loyal customer”. There are a bunch of problems.

Starting with the speed of about 25 mbps, it’s great speed – incredible speed, even. However at $50 a month, I am still paying for my internet. No matter how affordable it may be, my current living arrangement has given me access to the Internet. My income isn’t enough to pay more bills considering I would pay double for communications. So if my phone company is reading this, know this – please stop calling me. I’m set for the time being.

Thanks for “considering”.