Value and Worth

Value and Worth feel mad.

Value and Worth have just had enough.

At first they were sad,

but now they’re distraught.

Nobody cares.

Everybody would use them

interchangeably.

 

Look: Value is the “quality

that renders something desirable”.

No, it’s not always measurable.

While worth is calculable-

denoting the cost

of that which is tradeable.

 

The issue is one

which can’t be ignored

because most people deem

one or the other

as a synonym.

 

But Worth is oft-attached

to finacial gain or expense,

while Value conveys a price

and also our sentiments.

 

So Value and Worth try to go on

feeling no scorn,

but they are uncomfortable.

They hope that someday

people will see

how distinct they are.

“Just like siblings”, both would agree

“we are not the same, only similar”

 

 

Sources:

  1. http://wikidiff.com/value/worth
  2. http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-value-and-vs-worth/
  3. http://www.ehow.com/info_8785703_differences-between-value-worth.html
  4. http://www.thesaurus.com/

 

 

 

 

Of Bears and Men

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Image courtesy of: http://amountainjourney.com

The bear went over the mountain

The bear went over the mountain

The bear went over the mountain

to see what he could see.

And all that he could see

and all that he could see

was the other side of the mountain

the other side of the mountain

the other side of the mountain

was all that he could see.

The bear went over the river…

(Sang to the tune of “For he’s a jolly good fellow”)

I learned this song so I could sing it to my son. He would smile until his eyes become two flat lines in his chubby face, while generously showing his toothless gums.

One day, while feeding my very own almond-eyed baby bear, I remembered part of the cover story in the National Geographic’s May 2016 edition:

“Le 7 août 2015, à Yellowstone, un garde a découvert le corps en partie dévoré d’un homme, près d’un chemin de randonnée, non loin d’un des plus grands hôtels du parc national. La victime, Lance Crosby, 63 ans, du Montana, occupait un emploi saisonnier d’infirmier dans une clinique du parc. Ce matin-là, ses collègues avaient signalé son absence.

L’enquête a révélé que Crosby était parti seul en randonnée, la veille, sans emporter de spray anti-ours, et qu’il avait rencontré une femelle grizzli avec ses deux petits. L’animal avait tué et en partie dévoré- ses oursons avaient aussi eu leur part…

L’animal a été capturé. Une analyse d’ADN a prouvé qu’il était impliqué dans la mort de Crosby. Partant du principe qu’un grizzli adulte qui a goûté de la chair humaine… est devenu trop dangereux- même s’il n’était pas responsable de la rencontre fatale- on a administré un sédatif et un anesthésiant à l’ours avant de l’abattre.”

(“On the 7th of August 2015 in Yellowstone, a guard discovered the partially eaten corpse of a man near a trekking trail not far away from one of the biggest hotels in the National Park. The victim, Lance Crosby, 63, from Montana, seasonally worked as a nurse in the park’s clinic. That morning, his work mates sounded the alarm for his absence.

Investigations revealed that Crosby went to trek alone the night before without applying anti-bear spray, and that he had an encounter with a female grizzly and her two cubs. The animal killed and partly devoured him- her offspring had their share as well…

The animal was captured. A DNA analysis proved that it was involved with Crosby’s death. Considering that an adult grizzly who has tasted human flesh has become too dangerous- even if it was not responsible for the deadly encounter-, the bear was given a sedative and an anesthetic before it was shot to death.”)

WHY?

What was the point of killing the bear?

Oh the irony! wildlife reserves (national parks, safaris, etc…) were built and are maintained because progressive minds wanted to preserve that portion of untamed earth, while letting ordinary citizens enjoy it as well. However, when the “savage” side of this project shows itself and as a result claims a human life, these same progressive minds intervene and apply their rules to something that was supposed to be left “pure” and “natural”

  * * *

According to the information I found, the genus Ursus which gave rise to the Grizzly Bear has existed for more than 5 million years ago. Meanwhile the earliest remains of  the genus Homo where humans belong, dates 2.8 million years ago. This means that bears have populated the earth millions of years before humans.This also means that it was our race that invaded their territory, pushed them further back to the mountains and reduced the expanse of their habitat to parks and other “protected” areas. Already, we have committed this first transgression: we knowingly trespassed the their territories.

The bear-human relationship has oftenly been deemed unsafe, causing numerous “Bear Awareness Programs” to be conducted to avoid future damages. However, the fact remains that bears act out of instinct: usually shy and not known to actively prey on humans, most attacks “result from a bear that has been surprised at very close range, especially if it has a supply of food to protect, or female grizzlies protecting their offspring” (Wikipedia).

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Image courtesy of: http://www.defenders.org

On the contrary, men act out of judgement. An example is that according to them, people should be protected from any harm and should not be exposed to a risk such as an animal attack. Thus, the animal that caused the death of one of a person should not be allowed to live any longer, lest it puts another human life in danger.

I don’t see anything wrong with the principle, except when we place it in a context where an attack occurred inside the natural habitat of the animal- where it was supposed to roam freely and live as it should. For me, trouble starts when these kinds of incidents (because I believe they could be prevented), happen in places where people are supposed to have been briefed about the risks and dangers of not following the recommended precautions.

  * * *

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that men have always tried to dominate nature- the first human beings started with animal domestication and plant cultivation. Men did it and are still doing it because men could.

In the same way, the female grizzly fed on Crosby because it could: the two-legged animal was alone, with no weapons or thick clothing to protect himself… Indeed, it was one of the few moments when the natural order of things came to pass: man, once reduced to being a part and not master of nature, was subjected under its laws. It did not last long, though. For as soon as this was discovered, men quickly reacted and sought justice for the loss of a human life.

This manner of seeking retribution made me realize that the Yellowstone National park is mainly located at the US Federal States of Wyoming, extending up to Idaho and Montana. These are 3 out of 31 states where  death penalty is still applied (the other 19 have already abolished the Capital Punishment). Which means that if the inhabitants of these areas punish their fellow humans by taking their lives, how much worse will they treat an animal? a creature easily classified as second-class citizen?

Instantly, I reflected about occasions when we find that man is capable of granting leniency towards certain groups, like those under the legal age and the mentally ill. The reason seems obvious: they cannot be held responsible for their actions. Digging deeper, we find a humane consideration placed upon terms such as “minor” or “insanity”; which could also be connected to an “inadequate psychological and/or emotional development” leading to a lack of basis for making sound judgements (to discern right from wrong). This is why they are given “lighter” sentences when called to answer for their crimes.

Thus, it bothers me so much that the female grizzly was given the same punishment as an adult, mentally fit man who killed another. Animals act mostly on instinct. The only criterion they apply to discern right from wrong is their need to survive. That is the only way they are wired to react and this makes them unable to judge situations the way we do.

I can’t stop asking questions… If we are open to assessing situations according to the context and the characteristics of the parties involved: why was the bear sacrificed? was there really no other way of managing the situation? Furthermore, didn’t anyone try to find an alternative for the bear? Most importantly, what happened to the cubs?

Now, I often think about the executed female grizzly- suppose she was just going over the mountain to see what she could see? and all that she saw was the other side of the mountain harboring either a potential danger or a promising meal for her and her cubs; all that she saw were two-legged creatures populating that side of the mountain, and how these beings try so hard to place her kind under their own rules; and the last thing that she saw was the barrel of a gun. She must’ve been dismayed.

The day of Crosby’s death was a sad day because a human life was lost. Death, especially one so absurd, is always distressing. But I find no reason to purposely end the life of an animal for having followed its natural instinct: perhaps to procure food for itself and its young or perhaps to defend itself from threat.

More questions arise: What’s next? will they kill another bear or a wolf if it took another person’s life? how long will they keep doing that? how long are men going to force their will on something so complex as nature? how long will it take for men to (at least sometimes) humble themselves before the mystifying and sophisticated system in which they are part of?

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Image courtesy of: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I wonder where this leaves mankind, we who love to boast about how far we’ve evolved; we who insist on our superiority over animals because of the soul we possess…

 

Sources:

  1. Quammen, D. (2016, May). Yellowstone, le vrai Far West. National Geographic, 40-65
  2. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/states-and-without-death-penalty
  3. Wikipedia

Why do Classical Greek sculptures have small penises? (translated from Spanish)

This article caught my attention because I have always wondered about this myself. A few years ago, when my husband and I went to the Rodin Museum we asked ourselves the same question. At first I thought it was a matter of balancing the weight of the sculptures: if there’s too much weight in front, it could be difficult to compensate it by adding some kind of weight at the back… I was never more wrong!

This article was originally written by Anibal Clemente Cristóbal in his blog “Historia y Arqueología”.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Mr. Torres of Miter Arbórea for sharing this article in LinkedIn.

Why do Classical Greek sculptures have small penises?

The answer is more serious than it may appear. As explained by a professor and expert in Classical Antiquity, after forty years of research the mystery of the famous “Bronzes of Riace” also known as the “Warriors of Riace” is revealed.

In 1972, two Greek statues dating around 5th Century BC were found by scuba divers 300 meters from the Riace Coast (Calabria), in the south of Italy. During the inauguration of the Magna Grecia Museum (a splendid home for these works of art) presided by Prime Minister Mario Renzi, details from investigations about the two impressive bronze pieces were disclosed: it is discovered that they were created in Argo and Athens, inside the workshops of the best artists of the time. It is assumed that during the Roman era, a shipwreck caused them to fall into the sea while being transported to Rome (Romans were seduced by the beauty of the Classical Greek art, thus they tried to decorate their houses with these magnificent pieces). Fortunately, many marble replicas have been fabricated.

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Image courtesy of: http://arte.laguia2000.com

Greek bronze pieces- which were both grandiose and costly- numbered in the thousands during that time, but they have reached us mainly through marble replicas. Due to ignorance, (most) art made from bronze were melted. However those that were able to survive until our day and age such as the “Riace”, allow us to admire their (utmost) precision: the veins, the perfectly-defined curls, the eyelashes, the teeth that appear in between the lips, the scrotum behind which we could perceive the shape of testicles.

Given this symmetry and perfect harmony, it is striking that the two gigantic warriors each present a small penis. Why are the penises small? This question, asked by many as they admire the sculptures in the museum, is spontaneous: Why do Classical Greek statues have small penises? Surely, it is neither due to commonplace prudence nor due to fear of creating public embarrassment. The reasons for this were significant.

The Greeks’ ability in using sophisticated techniques and achieving perfection, especially in reproducing the human body, has fascinated the whole world. For instance, the perfection of the “Riace Bronzes” is astonishing, but their virility was considered, with much surprise, exceedingly small. The reason behind these limited dimensions is much more serious than it may seem: where statues are concerned, a large penis could mean little control over one’s impulses and the inability to exercise restraint. “In Ancient Greece, a small penis was a coveted aspect by the alpha male” (the male which the majority aspires to become because it is the dominant figure), explains Professor Andrew Lear to the Quartz web, an expert in Classical Antiquity who teaches in Harvard, Columbia and New York University.

“There is a distinction between the non-erected masculine genitalia of ideal men (such as heroes, gods and athletes) compared to the thick and erected penises of the satyrs (mythical creatures characterized by their carefree attitude, drunkenness and untamed lust) as well as with other types of men who are not regaded as ideal. The statues of very old and decrepit men were usually represented with big penises”, added Professor Lear. Undeniably, for Greeks, a big penis defined a vulgar, wild and barbaric man. (Back then) Beauty was something else. In fact, Professor Lear did not have to discover this; the famous playwright Aristophanes already wrote about it in “The Clouds”: “Healthy chest, wide shoulders, short tounge, strong buttocks and small member.”

Those were different times. The ideal Greek man was rational, intellectual and authoritative. This concept was inherited by the Romans: since Vetrubius (80 BC – 15 BC)- an architect, engineer and a Roman writer, the most famous architectural theorist of all times- the proportions from the Classical era have always been a real obsession for artists and sculptors of all periods… In that ideal governed by harmony, the small penis symbolized virtude, spiritual superiority, the allure of the hero. We can likewise appreciate this in Michaelangelo’s David, a great figure of the Italian Renaissance. This idea has evolved over time. Now, the penis’ size matters, something that according to Professor Lear could be because of the “expansion of pornography”. While a Greek man considered that beauty was elegance, which translated to behavior, the tendency today is to gravitate towards a false concept of beauty perhaps caused by the (general) acceptance of plastic surgery. Times have (surely) changed.

********************************************************************

For those who are wondering…

It is not merely out of caprice that I have translated this article. I admit, I thought about drawing a few laughs from people’s first impression. But the reason goes far beyond having a good time.

In women’s struggle for equity, fairness and higher regard from the society, it is easy to make light of what men are going through themselves. After all, they are considered as the “oppressors”, our “enemies”, aren’t they? Well, that is not always true! I know many women who tolerate and encourage macho attitude from men. Honestly, isn’t that far worse? Yes, most men oppress us, but there are times when we ourselves are also very tough, judgemental, biased and very demanding to our fellow women.

The truth is, I would like to question how it is to be masculine in the time of now. I wrote about being feminine during modern times in my last post, but have we ever stopped to wonder about the type pressure our male counterparts have to face to demonstrate their manhood? As far as gender equity goes, it is not surprising for them to be equally affected by the evolving definition of what is “masculine”.

There are so many male figures across continents and along human history who have been considered as the ideal alpha- he who embodies the very definition of masculinity. Images ranging from Greek heroes to football players are surely flashing through your mind. Every culture would also have their own understanding of manliness. For instance, did you know that in some countries wearing a flower behind the ear is considered as enhancing not only to the female beauty but also to the male attractiveness?

It may appear that men are not bothered by these issues, but isn’t nonchalance also expected from the homme? How would we know if they are not “allowed” to show sensitivity or express such concerns without being snickered at?

The wider object of this post is to create awareness that if we are really determined to build a society that is generous and unbiased, the first step really is to reach out for reconciliation, search for forgiveness… Perhaps in admitting our own shortcomings and forgiving ourselves first, we may find it easier to pardon those who do us wrong and make our pursuit of justice a journey less rough. Possibly this process of reconciliation could lead us towards finding a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it- compassion, in short.

Where there is compassion, there is understanding. And where there is understanding, appreaciation of the other becomes a natural reaction. When that time comes, maybe people’s worth will be recognized essentially for their deeds and words (as reflection of their thoughts). By then, maybe there will be no need to make a big deal whenever a woman’s name is included among the “Top-Whatever-It-Is” list because it will be normal. Likewise, masculinity will not be a hindrance to a display of men’s emotions and they can freely be in touch with their feminine side without being targets of jokes and teasings.

At the end of the day, it is neither feminism nor male chauvinism which would bring “true” progress to our society. It would benefit us more to define what it is to be a humanist and for that definition to be put into practice.

Here’s to a brighter future!

 

Sources:

  1. “¿Por qué las clásicas esculturas griegas tienen el pene pequeño?”, available at: http://www.historiayarqueologia.com/profiles/blogs/por-que-las-clasicas-esculturas-griegas-tienen-el-pene-pequeno?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=linkedin
  2. Merriam-Webster online dictionary, available at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compassion

 

To Be Feminine in the Time of Now

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Image courtesy of: http://www.shutterstock.com

Cousin V and I frequently chat thanks to her patience and my eagerness to show her pictures of my son. Somehow, we’ve managed to slip little moments of pure, girly-cousin talks in between work, groceries, meals and nappy changes. I have a lot to thank her for this entry because she reminded me of some thoughts I posted in my old college blog. Honestly, I thought she confused me with another cousin! I remember the blog, but not the specific article she was talking about. Well, it turns out that she couldn’t forget how I wrote about how “girls could still be feminine even when they laugh with their gums in full view”. I believe that what I was trying to say then was that we should not be afraid to accept that the idea of femininity is evolving to fit the new roles women wish to play in this modern society. 

An astounding reality

Last May 20th, I attended an event organized by the French Pôle Emploi (Employment Center) oriented for young, digital women (Jeunes Femmes et Numérique). During the opening conference, the two guest speakers (both women under 40) were asked about the toughest obstacles they have had to beat. One of them said that the toughest enemies she had was herself suffering the Cinderella Complex. She explained that in her case, she believed that she just had to continue working very hard and be patient because soon enough “someone” will see her efforts, “save” her and give her the reward she deserves. That concept has been tattooed on my mind ever since.

I started reading about the Cinderella Complex (Syndrome) and even though it’s not a clinical term, I believe it is useful in helping women understand ourselves. And this deeper understanding of myself is allowing me to be kinder towards other people- especially with my fellow women.

The term was coined in the early 80’s by Colette Dowling, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Wikipedia summarizes the concept well: “It is based on the idea of femininity portrayed in that story, where a woman is beautiful, graceful, polite, supportive, hardworking, independent… but she is not capable of changing her situations with her own actions and must be helped by an outside force, usually a male.”

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Image courtesy of: http://www.quickmeme.com

One of the many hypothesis says that this condition is caused by the modern women’s fear of losing their femininity if deemed “too independent”- if they are single, they might not find a partner (because what would a man do with a woman who is beautiful, intelligent and independent all at the same time? Hahaha!) and if they are in a relationship, they might suddenly become unlovable to their partners.

Threat to Femininity?

The author/therapist herself wrote: “Women’s leanings toward dependence are, for the most part, deeply buried… it has its roots in infancy, when we were indeed helpless… that part, buried and denied, is the troublemaker. It affects the way women think and act and speak – and not just some women, but, to varying degrees, virtually all women. Hidden dependency needs are causing problems for the protected housewife who has to ask her husband for permission to buy a dress as well as for the career woman with a six-figure income who is unable to sleep at night when her mate is out of town.

The Cinderella Complex leads to inappropriate or ineffectual behavior on the job, to anxiety about success, to the fear that independence will lead to loss of femininity. These fears are not surprising, considering that only a generation ago dependency was inextricably linked with what it meant to be feminine. Caught in transition between two vastly different concepts of femininity, women are still emotionally reluctant to commit themselves to independence.

This idea equating femininity to dependency (and at a certain point, to weakness) has been present for generations and can be witnessed not only through real-life situations: the movies we watch, the series we love, the books we read, the magazines we leaf through… somehow, there is always this image of a woman portrayed as being feminine using the very narrow criteria of delicacy, daintiness and fragility. However, we only have to look across the globe and throughout history, to see that this is not the only definition of femininity. In fact, there exists a whole spectrum of how a woman’s essence could be described.

Femininity is inherent to being a woman

In prehistorical times, women were gatherers and shelter-keepers. When the men went out to hunt women were left alone in the settlement with no adult male company, except perhaps the witch doctor. Some hunting expeditions would last for several “moons” and these women did not depend on their men to defend them or procure food for the “family”. They did all these by themselves, aside from the very important task to guard their shelters from beasts and/or bad weather.

In places where running water and modern fuel are still considered luxury, women are tasked to gather these supplies from wherever they are available. Sometimes the wells or springs are located kilometers away from their dwellings, and sometimes wood or animal manure have to be carefully chosen to be efficient combustible. Any of the two cases would require a lot of legwork, backstretching and patience before the work could be considered done. Can you imagine the amount physical strength and tenacity needed? Not to mention the risks these women are exposed to, may they be accidents or man-induced …

In my whole life, how many girls have I known who have taken the place of breadwinners in their families? These ladies would end up working in countries far away from their families, they have sacrificed their own happiness and the pursuit of their own dreams just to give their loved ones a more comfortable life. They are currently living a life away from their comfort zone, trying to win the littlest battles with not even their mothers’ cooking to console them…

My very dear friend, M is one of those women who chose to be a mother even without a partner. She is the sole parent and guardian of her son whom she met when he was 9 years old. (Now he is on his way to college, a kind, responsible and noble-hearted young man.)

There are also those women who are very much driven by their ambitions, most of the times tagged as “bitches”,  “status seekers”, “self-servers” and more… They fiercely fight to achieve what they believe they deserve, they channel their energy and their determination to fulfill their desire for success.

Somewhere in China and Mongolia, there are still traces of matriarchal societies. They are heads of the households and make business decisions.

And of course, we cannot forget our LGBT sisters who are fighting everyday for their right to be accepted as they are, to be acknowledged as members of the society. Just as the women fought for their rights in the 19th century, the struggle that they (males and females) are currently engaged in could be just as ardous and just as relentless.

All of the types of women mentioned above presented different situations and are living very contrasting circumstances. Yet, all of them are feminine because all of them are women. I have no intention of starting a philosophical essay about the subject, but common sense dictates that: it is in being a woman that a person becomes feminine. Therefore, a limited definition of femininity should not be the only determinant of what it means to be a woman.

Maybe only some of them posess the qualities of daintiness and delicacy in etiquette but I don’t think any of them are fragile! these are strong, independent women and I choose to believe that they are lovable to their husbands (for those who chose to marry) and/or their lovers.

An honest evaluation

I have always gone by the saying: “Live and Let Live”. This means that I do not judge however anyone chooses to define “femininity”. What’s important is that people like me have a chance to make space for a more dynamic, evolving idea of what it is like to be a woman in the “now”. A very honest self-evaluation is critical for this action to even begin. In my case, I fully admit the confusion I got myself (and my husband) into in the past because my attitude was that of, “Let me live my life but also take care of me”. I was one of those suffering from the Cinderella Complex, a feeling fed by my fear to be unlovable once I became “too” independent.

One logical solution is for one to know what one wants. Alas! if only it were that easy. It isn’t really, especially when living in a society such as ours- where individualism and uniqueness are useful only as marketing slogans. So one suggestion that could perhaps alleviate the pains from our struggles is for us to be genuinely kind, fiercely loyal and unendingly encouraging to our fellow women.

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Image courtesy of: http://www.wickedgoodies.net

I have no doubt that Ms Dowling and her colleagues are already helping a lot of women overcome the Cinderella Complex. I am sure that they are also giving tips that would help raise their daughters without conflicting principles. In the meantime as this type of wound takes time to heal, women need to be present for one another until then. And when that time comes, our bond will be stronger and we can truly be unified and unanimous in our continuing fight for equality.

 

 Sources:

  1. The Cinderella Syndrome, available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1981/03/22/magazine/the-cinderella-syndrome.html?pagewanted=al
  2. Cinderella Complex, available at: http://www.womens-wellbeing-and-mental-health.com/the-cinderella-complex.html
  3. Wikipedia

A Letter to My 20-Year Old (young) Self

Dear me (*wink*),

I come from the future, from almost twelve years ahead to tell you that one of your ambitions will come true- the one you would least expect to happen. But it is one that you truly deserve because you worked (would work? will have worked?) hard for it- money, time and effort were patiently set aside for this dream to come true.

Let me warn you though, that contrary to what you believe there will be no signs of good omen to let you know it is about to happen. No, there will be no big band playing your favorite music nor will there be fireworks to accompany the scenario. An SMS and you losing your way to a restaurant will be the only prelude to the fulfillment of this wish.

Since you have always been a lover of spoilers, let me humor you…

You see, on June 2nd 2016 you will be meeting two very nice girls from where you used to work. One of them, S (one of the prettiest, friendliest and most outgoing persons you’ll know) would be the one to initiate the meet up and the other friend, J (a lovely redhead, your first ever Russian-speaking Parisian friend and one of the most dependable people you’ll meet) would also confirm her attendance.

Are you freaking out yet? Wait until you hear the rest:

The three of you will meet at a very nice and affordable Korean restaurant on the 12th “district”. You will start the conversation by asking how the other is doing, but you will not be speaking in English, nor in Spanish. No! And nooooo not Visayan, you nerd… You, my dear geeky self, will be speaking confidently and perkily in French! Yes! French, and in Paris, of all places!

So there you go! and yes, I confirm that what I have just told you is not a delusion: you will have friends, these friends will want to spend time with you “just because”, you will be speaking French, it will happen in Paris and the feeling you will have will be greater than fleeting happiness. You will feel both blessed and peaceful at the same time. Blessed because you have found such beautiful people to share with (and practice your French with!) and peaceful because you will be able to tick that thing off your bucket list.

I’m sorry to say, though: you won’t be dressed in haute couture, this will not take place in a Michelin-starred restaurant and you will not be holding a slim cigarette while sipping on champagne. But you will talk about your son and husband (oopss… sorry! I didn’t mean to spill that…), summer plans, politics at work, the job market and even the human digestive system! And you will eat a perfectly fried fish with plum wine. And you will be at peace. That is a promise.

So girl, get up that couch and stop moping because your future looks good. I understand that none of these is believable right now because all you could think about are passing your exams, going back to the Philippines, forgetting what’s-his-name and maybe getting yourself a tattoo. I wish I could deliver the punchline and say “Ha! gotcha, just kiddiiiiiiing….!!”. But it’s not going to happen because these will all come true.

I know, I know… 12 years is such a long time for a dream to come true. Things happen for a reason, you know? And another promise: time will fly past you like a flock of migrating birds. You won’t even notice anything until it’s gone. So listen to an older, wiser you and take every chance that life gives you to be happy. Pay attention because within every moment, a dream might be on its way to becoming a reality.

Take care!

Yours truly,

Almost 32 year-old me

A short note on: A materialistic society

The other day, I was chatting with a friend about my impression that being a mother to a baby affected my chances of being hired. Super A, as I lovingly call her, was quite unbelieving in an indignant way. She said that this “peak would be hard for me to climb” because I’m midway into building a career and simultaneously a first-time mother.

After airing her frustrations about this “macho” attitude, she suggested that the next time I go to an interview I should mention how I was able to develop certain qualities thanks to my baby: empathy, patience, multi-tasking, organizational skills and time management. I was delighted at this idea (now you know why I call her Super A), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the majority of hiring teams are not yet prepared for this kind of idea. I don’t say this because homemaking results might seem “silly” when presented as achieved objectives (such as: able to establish a routine with baby by 4 months of age, or could cook baby food while cleaning the house and keeping baby entertained, or refrigerator does not go empty for more than 24 hours, etc…). I say this because there is no monetary value assigned to such achievements. Certainly, when a candidate tells an interviewer that he was able to raise sales up to 5% in a quarter, or he was able to save 10% of last year’s operating costs it’s easy to imagine the amount of money those efforts translate to.

In the event where I could measure certain milestones as: able to sit up straight for 3 minutes without support (8% increased time compared to last month), 10% increase in attempts to crawl or perhaps 30% increased sleeptime at night, could anyone honestly tell me that a hiring team (any) would attribute these achievements to my newly-developed skills? Would anyone consider hiring me as Project Manager because I am being able to run a house and care for an infant with a little help? Would anyone employ me as a Research Assistant because I tirelessly read about a baby’s development, research about a baby’s nutritional needs, look for varied playtime activities and interview fellow mothers to learn about their experiences?

My baby is a happy, healthy, strong, active and well-behaved tot and I am proud of what I have contributed for him to be. Many of my friends and relatives have also done good, if not better jobs in raising their kids too- but how does society interpret that? Would women be considered as tougher leaders because they are able to “deal with” stubborn children who are more difficult than stubborn adults? Would women’s salaries at some point equate that of men’s because their emotional intelligence give them skills and talents comparable to those that men have?

Oh, Super A! our world has yet a long way to go…