Stone Faces Hide The Heart

Some people are so cold and emotionally distant.


They go around with a stone face.  


No emotion seems to seep in or out. 


The face doesn’t betray the heart in any way. 


You say something or do something, and they just sort of stare at you. 


No words, no outward response. 


Just a stone face like a poker face. 


You don’t know what’s behind it. 


But worse yet is a heart of stone–nothing impacts the inside just like the outside. 


Are some people this way because they have been so hurt in the past that they become hardened like a turtle’s shell to protect from the outside world. 


…Ain’t gonna let nothing hurt me again. 


Or are they great at using their poker face to fool, manipulate, and get what they are after. 


Perhaps the worst possibility is that they are simply a real psychopath–someone without conscience or empathy. 


Yes, that is scary because the unthinkable becomes thinkable. 


For most of us, reading verbal and non-verbal cues is critical to understanding other people. 


Hiding those cues can mean that the stone face is going to shatter someone’s world and that won’t be a pretty face at all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Transcending Suffering and Impermanence

There is a buddhist philosophy that life is all about loss and suffering. 


The Budha says:

Life is suffering.


Why? Because life is impermanence–whatever we gain, eventually, we must lose. 


– Riches, power, people, health, even our memories perhaps. 


In a sense, this is like the saying from “War of the Roses”:

There is no winning, only degrees of losing. 


However, there is one exception to the impermanence and loss in life:


The only thing that is permanent is our good deeds, and with this we can achieve an everlasting good name for ourselves.


In Judaism, we teach:

A good name is better than fine oil.


Hence, this is the permanence that we strive for in life and in death.  


If we can attain a good name through purity of soul then in a sense, we can transcend life’s suffering and impermanence.  


By becoming non-attached to all of life’s temporary things, and instead focusing on perfecting ourselves, we can free ourselves from suffering and from this world, and then we can go on in everlasting-peace to the afterlife. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Unbridled Government Spending

I liked this notion from Margaret Thatcher:

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. 

And from the Wall Street Journal:

The problem with resisting socialism is that until the money runs out free-spending progressive politics are remarkably seductive. 

In other words, we love to spend what appears as “free” government money–more and more entitlements, bigger and bigger government…basically, we can’t resist the candy in the candy store.

But the problem is that the money eventually runs out and by then we have gone too far and are left eating our own flesh. 

 Why can’t we spend our precious money and scarce resources prudently and also save wisely for a rainy day–why do we have to act like pigs in the poke?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Upside Down Bird, Black Sheep–Same Thing

I thought this art was funny and accurate:

There’s always one in every family.

Really, it should be there is always one (or two) in every family, group, and organization. 


Whether it’s the upside down bird or the “black sheep”–I think we call it that person a troublemaker!


Is it the attention they crave? 


Is it a good fight or argument they are after?


Are they just different and that’s okay.


Listen, we are all the same, but we’re also all different. 


Imagine being completely the same and how boring that would be. 


So being the upside bird isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 


The other birds may look at this upside down bird as cuckoo.


But the bird may not be a cuckoo bird at all.


He may just be acting himself. 


To the upside down bird, he probably thinks of himself as being right side up bird, and that it’s the other birds that are the cuckoos.


From my experience, there is being different and then there is being cuckoo for real. 


There really are one or more cuckoos just about everywhere you look.


Worse yet, if the other 4 birds are sane, then watch out because you may be the cuckoo bird.


And then there was the movie, “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

No One Cares How You Feel

So parenting is not always an easy job. 


But it is one full of love and helping your kids. 


Sometimes, I remember listening to my kids say that they feel this or that and seeing that it was holding them back from accomplishing their goals.  


Often, I would tell them that the only people that really care about how they feel is your mother and father–but generally-speaking, it a tough world out there, and: 

“No one [else] cares about how you feel.”


I tried to focus them–not on being cold and unfeeling–but rather on being strong inside and focusing on the tasks that need to get done. 


Sure, feelings are important, but if you are getting held back from doing what you need to do–then there are times when you need to put the feelings in abeyance and go forward. 


Overall, there is plenty of time to feel what you feel, but don’t let anger, fear, or anxiety get in the way of you accomplishing your dreams. 


In a book that I am reading by Amos Oz, “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” he writes: 

‘I want’ and ‘I don’t want’ aren’t reasons, they can only be defined as self-indulgence.


Yes, it’s a little tough love, but also it is out of true love to help the kids to be willing and determined to try their best and not get held back by anything in the pursuit of the destiny they choose to follow. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cannibal Soup

Two funny things came to mind about eating dinner.


The first was a joke my dad always told which was something like:

We had our mother-in-law for dinner…and boy was she good!  LOL

The second was something I heard recently about power and politics, which was:

If you’re not at the table then you on the menu!

Ah, you better have a seat (and welcome voice) at the table or else you may find yourself part of the next batch of beef stew coming out of the kitchen. 


Two new ways for us to think of dinner time.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Them Tables Always Turn

Just wanted to share a saying that I liked.


It is an ancient Mongolian proverb and was in the movie, “Mogul” about the rise of Genghis Khan:

Do not scorn a weak cub; he may become a brutal tiger. 

I think this is the Asian equivalent of:


1) Don’t burn your bridges.

2  Don’t start a war you can’t win. 

3) Pick on someone your own size.

4) What goes around comes around.

The Asian version is better! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)