Blog Archives

“Race, Shame and Self-defence” by Sam Yang

I love Sam Yang‘s blog. He writes very interesting and thoughtful articles. This article discusses the subtle and poorly understood social challenges of being part of a minority group in the colonial mentality of the anglosphere, and perspectives on the racial hierarchy. Well worth a read.

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#racerelations #race #racism #colonialism #martialarts
 
On survival:
“Martial arts work in isolated situations, but when the danger is systemic, then one must hold on to the principles, rather than the physical techniques. When fighting perceptions, there is no solitary “bad guy” to defeat.”
 
On understanding the perspective of a minority:
“Because if you are at the top of the institutional food chain, you may not sense the same dangers. That is good for you, but you are not the whole of the collective experience.”
 
On racial biases and stereotyping:
“Often people will relate to us in the only ways they know how, they relate to us based on our race — as if we were the representative of a whole people and not individuals.”
 
On falsely imagining racial diversity:
“The two common types I have found in the US are, liberal and conservative, and everything must fit into one or the other, no overlap. Everything then becomes mutually exclusive. Racial diversity is often tossed into the liberal bin, so people assume if a city is liberal, it must have racial diversity.”
 
On false equivalence in “reverse racism”:
“There is a difference between being bullied and institutional oppression. There is common ground but thinking it is exactly the same is a false equivalence.”
 
On recognising the differences between equality and equity:
“We cannot close that gap if we pretend things are the same. If two people run at the same speed, the person who started out in the lead will stay in the lead. To catch up, the person in the back will have to run twice as hard. Equality is nothing without equity. These are not complicated ideas; we can float these thoughts in our heads. We just may not want to if it does not work out in our favor. A quality of a civilized culture is that of empathy. Survival of the fittest is natural, but it is also primitive. The very existence of medicine is a challenge to the survival of the fittest, yet a civilized society means giving everyone a chance at life. That is what civilization is consistently working towards.”
 
On dealing with an inescapable reality:
“Race is one of those identifiers that is immutable — people will just know, which makes it the hardest thing to see past.”
 
On oversimplified racial stereotypes:
“Simplifying a minority group as always “good” or right, is exchanging paternalism with infantilization. It is reducing a group to a stereotype when there is a wholeness to people. Some people are good, some are not, some are right, some are wrong — the same wholeness that exists for the majority group.”
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This post is in relation to this article in Entrepreneur magazine about Adriana Huffington (of the Huffington Post) who was interviewed by Oprah.

It’s important to take a step back and realise what’s really important, balance ourselves, and think harder about what “success” means – it’s such a vague word. 

For me, breaking away from a soulless, empty, work and money driven lifestyle (paradoxically a means to this end admittedly) to make time to work more on chronic physical, social, and mental issues I have, has been incredibly enlightening.

It has taken time to find answers to important existential questions, spiritual introspection, and find fulfilment in doing things that I’ve wanted to do but never did enough of.

To me, success has become overcoming my issues, discovery of my genuine life purpose and values, and finding how I can live with these in mind, in harmony with the harshly financial and image conscious reality of our modern society.

 

MORE ON SATURATED FAT

Great article on the historical basis of half a century of misleading dietary guidelines from the Wall Street Journal.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303678404579533760760481486?tesla=y

What I learned from this article was:
– how easily the general population can be influenced to believe whatever they are told
 how much power those in the know, have over those who aren’t
– how easily money, politics, egos and self-interest can lead to perpetuating falsehood as truth
– how easily scientific studies can be manupulated and promoted as gospel despite not being scientific
– how easily misleading ideas can be perpetuated through generations and through the population

Stay vigilant, do your own research, educate yourself, and ask the right questions for your sake and the community’s sake.

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STAYING OUT OF HOSPITAL

This is in response to this article published on news.com.au

I always say, there are four main overarching reasons to end up in hospital, often a combination of these:
1) Elderly
2) Obesity
3) Foolish
4) Unlucky

Unfortunately for some, for whatever reasons (genetics, some unique circumstances or environmental exposure or who knows), they can do everything in their power and still get sick, like this poor man, who falls into the least common category of being exquisitely unlucky.

But the message here is not that we shouldn’t bother; because there are still plenty of other of ways in which we can end up in hospital, through aging poorly, eating poorly, gaining excessive weight and negatively affecting our body composition, or doing something stupid like getting addicted to drugs/alcohol/cigarettes or jumping off a roof while we’re drunk.

This man is in hospital by fate of misfortune; but his fellow hospital mates are there by their own design, and he is not impressed.

The point is, as expressed in the disgust this man has for his fellow patients: though on rare occasions sickness can’t be avoided, in the case of the 99.99999% of other reasons that it can be avoided, we should put in the effort and do the right things to stay out of the hospital. Because in the vast majority of the time it can be avoided, and thus we should not take our health for granted.

It is to the benefit of ourselves, and to our fellow man by the examples we set and the community resources we save by not ending up in hospital, that we do our best, within reason, to maintain as high a level of health as we can.

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