How I wish I’d been taught about kindness

How do we teach children about kindness? Unrealistic and overly idealistic models may discourage children to embrace the act of kindness.

After very satisfying swim laps, I stopped by at a store to buy a couple of mini containers to put my post-swimming moisturiser in. There were several kinds on display on bottom shelves so I squatted down and examined one by one to see which one fits the best for the texture. A woman next to me asked me to confirm whether the product she was holding was mascara. I said it was, thinking the Korean text description might be too small for some people to read, as my mum often asks me to read things written on products. Then I heard noises from the cashier counter. Something that always bothered me; open-mouth eating noise. The more I tried to focus on my product choosing, the more I got obsessed with the worst pet peeve of mine. A guy was having a trivial conversation with either his wife or mum with his mouth open stuffed with food. I couldn’t stand it any longer so I picked one and took it to the cashier. My eyes automatically turned to the origin of the noise and there I saw him! Familiar face from my middle school days back in 2000s. I didn’t look twice as I feared he might recognise me. I greeted kindly to the cashier and got out.

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In defence of my face

I’m okay with my face. But are others okay with it? Assumption that we all pursue physical appeal for anything is the by-product of our highly competitive, low self-esteemed society.

A few weeks ago, I had to have my picture taken by a professional in order to renew my passport. I had some thought, as the photo will follow me for 10 years from now, that I should not take it so lightly in choosing the place as I did when I had my long hair chopped half in a local hair shop, which made me look 13 year old. So I took the chance of being in Seoul one day and found the photo shop on the main street of Gangnam which often considered to be the show window of mainstream culture.

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On virality and dichotomy: mansplaining and more

We live in dichotomised society with fast and instant thinking process backed by internet. In the middle of virality, are we making right judgments? Words on mansplaining and discrimination.

Mansplain |manˈspleɪn|

verb [with object] informal
(of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

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Do we need empathy in politics: the power of motivation

Does empathy go with politics? Empathy is not necessarily what makes good policies. Yet, it’s what determines the motivation for making good policies. On the value of empathy.

More than any time in recent decades, it seems like we are now experiencing the point where empathy and logic are needed most in politics and not only in the US considering the newly elected president. The issues of refugees, gay marriage, immigrants, and the poor are only getting intense from both ends. This past week so many were affected by the tips of Trump’s well-fed hand which later probably was used to hold his Champaign glass to celebrate his great achievement on signing executive order on halting nationals from 7 countries, in which Muslim consists the majority, from entering US territory. Some say evil, some say idiot, others say “the greatest man ever elected who legally opened my closet doors to the true ‘merica!” Are we angry because he has no heart or because he’s being unreasonable? He says “America first.” It means he will see things from the American’s perspective. Then why are so many Americans still angry? According to the news pieces and his personal twitter account, I believe Trump’s America represents something different and exclusive from other Americans’ America. His perspective didn’t seem to go as deeper as diversity and equality. Perhaps he is not capable to interpret others’ lives through his life experience. Perhaps he disagrees with the first amendment. While I’m watching his footprints, I started thinking about morality and the desirable leader figure. To be moral, one has to know what’s right or wrong to simply put. To know what’s right or wrong one must acquire education and experience. Then without proper absorption of the education and experience, one does not have any idea what they are doing. So yes the leader doesn’t have to be a warm-hearted person but morality should be the one of the prime qualities of the desirable leader. Then what does empathy have to do with politics?

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Sudden flashback when the revelation was subtle

How we perceive information influences how one views others’ social status. How much does it influence on women’s social status specifically?

A few days after I arrived in Malawi, my temporary boss told us new-comers that we need to meet this Korean lady who can be a great help if we got acquainted. His description of her went something like this in this order.

“Her name is C. She’s married to a German-South African man. She knows a lot of people and she will help you if you have any struggles in dealing with processes including legal matters.”

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Locked out: the nationality and border

Trump administration banned the entry of people with certain nationalities. It’s discriminatory. But what did I do when it happened in front of my own eyes?

This particular time when people with proper visa were reported to be stuck in the airport due to the travel ban, I wanted to write about the story that I find equally silly.

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Online discrimination: Can I get rid of my nationality?

I’ve been having some trouble buying things online because my nationality makes it difficult. It’s the constraint within free.

As much as I love the smell of books and its public representation of my character, most of the time in recent several years I’m bound to look for ebooks as I make living in countries where only small bookstores with selective collection of genres are available. However, I cannot always find the exact book or the right format online, which forces me to download it for free in pdf forms. But even that, it’s not commonly available because the books I look for often are not the bestseller-kind, but academic purposes.

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The patterns: labelling, stereotyping, and ADHD

As human, we create ideas and give them names. It goes the same when we identify a person. My recent experience of ADHD test taught me how we label others.

A few weeks ago, I had an odd experience of my feeling. Having a right feeling from an odd experience might sound better fitting. I was visiting Korea for a holiday and first thing I did was go on Youtube and watch almost everything that I couldn’t in internet-deficient rural Malawi. Then I stumbled upon one video showing 2 children asking which one had an ADHD. It was a bit of eye-opener given that ADHD symptoms I know was just about lacking focus and having lots of distractions. The child with ADHD answered questions calmly and very grown-up-like, compared to the other non-ADHD child. After all, the disorder wasn’t just about lacking focus and being hyper-active. I instantly got interested and searched for more about it until I made it to ADHD in adult topic. Upon reading related articles, I had some feelings and got curious if I had ADHD in adult. So I tested myself using the unofficial ADHD test for adults. (Author’s note: The points really don’t matter. This is meant to be a fun and educational video on ADHD. Lots of this can be normal behavior. We’re adding a note to this video soon to help avoid confusion. ‘WARNING: Many of these ‘Symptoms’ are common human behaviors. With ADHD they occur often, and they impair you.)

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Politics of bathroom: that’s not what I meant, lady

I’m okay with not being understood. But I guess I’m not okay with being misunderstood. But do I have energy to correct? Not every time.

There’s always the moment where I think, ‘that’s not what I meant’ but it just costs too much energy to correct it. And we just let the conversation float to somewhere I never would have thought to be, because that’s an awful place.

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Lost language or too much language

What we say and what we mean does not share the same path anymore.

What we say and what we mean does not share the same path anymore. What we understand, let alone does not anchor the word we say. The article ‘Trump, the University of Chicago, and the collapse of public language’ written by Nathan Heller for New Yorker after a period of puzzling impressions over multiple events, led me to a judgment how unbearably light our – public – messages have become. The article explores down to the point how public language has lost its weight of authenticity and visualisation. One group with certain ideals and demands fights against the group on the other side who also has the same ideals and demands. It wasn’t a power game. Neither was it about fulfilling conflict resolution exercise hours required by any course regulations. Lack of communication? Maybe. Two parties stand against each other for the same ideals.

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