Thursday, June 13, 2013

There is Nothing Wrong with Being Introverted

I give up. I'm tired of trying to be something I'm not: an extrovert. I've been doing self-improvement for years, especially the last few years, and I realized that there are some things that just don't change.

Personally, I have challenges that occur when I speak; my thoughts never translate well into words, I don't form very good ideas right away, I often forget particular words or names which then brings my whole train of thought to a screeching halt, and I often say the wrong things. Whenever I talk to someone, they never quite understand what I'm really trying to say. My husband tells me this all the time. In fact, the more I try to explain it, the more confused they get. My mom has been telling me as long as I can remember that I just need to practice and be more sociable, but I've tried. I'm still the same.

I like to get intuitive readings about myself, mostly because it's fascinating how all sorts of different methods and people all give me the same information in different ways. I've had tarot card readings, Mayan calendar readings, astrology readings, Life Readings... The Mayan calendar reading was the most interesting because Raymond Tarpey described me perfectly with a single metaphor. I'm like a king or ruler. I have wise things to say, but if someone doesn't get it, I should just stop talking. This is 100% true, and it's taken me about a year to realize that I've been trying to be someone I'm not.

In the world of positivity and self-development and ego-conquering, I've noticed that people often view introverted traits as things that need to be improved upon. I've been especially hard on myself, trying to push myself far from my comfort zone (with little success). After reading or watching other people's work on the internet, I realized that introverts are just as powerful as extroverts, but in their own way. Unfortunately, society favors extroversion, tending to view them as more intelligent, attractive, or capable, even though it statistically is not true. Introverts need to take time to develop their opinions, which may seem bad in a fast-moving world, but as a result they come up with better ideas. This blog is a result of a ton of ideas and experiences that have been stewing in my head.

Now that I've decided to be who I am, I'm going to focus more on building on my strengths. We only have a finite amount of time and energy. I don't want to squander my energy in areas where I would make very little gains.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

RPG Camp Kickstarter is Not A Scam, But Probably a Mistake

There has been a controversial Kickstarter called "9 Year Old Building an RPG to Prove Her Brothers Wrong!" which was attacked by mens rights activists on Reddit for exploiting gender issues. Essentially, people believe she is a scammer because she is a multi-millionaire asking for free money, she's breaking a Kickstarter rule, she's exploiting her children and gender issues to make money, and her actions indicate that she has questionable business ethics. Many people actually sent her discouraging messages, sometimes wishing harm on them. I've read all of the comments on Reddit, as well as other articles that include her rebuttals, but I don't think she's trying to scam people, I think she's just trying to be a good mother.

When I read the Kickstarter page and watched the video, my first thought was that this is a juvenile project. It makes sense, since the girl is only 9 years old. I remember the "boys vs. girls" thing lasted until.. well, never! Feminism, in my opinion, is juvenile in some respects, but I think I'm going to literally have to write a book about that someday to explain why. In any case, I do think it's silly that a mother would encourage this, but not surprising at all for a feminist to do. To me, this project was just a silly fun thing to do that allowed the little girl to be creative and accomplish something. Obviously the mother, Susan Wilson, didn't take it seriously and think it all the way through (who would have seen this coming?) Unfortunately, many internet users took it very seriously and looked for any dirt they could find on her.

I was compelled to write about this because my opinions are usually quite different from most people, and I feel that Susan Wilson's situation deserves another point-of-view. It's easy to judge others based on their apparent actions, but I think intentions are more important. In any case, all of these strangers are assuming to know her intentions, which is unfair and unwise -- an injustice to anyone. It's easy to make anyone look like a bad guy, especially if they have a lot more money than you. I saw many comments that expressed how unfair it is that this little girl is able to "break the rules" to get free money to make a dumb game, which her mom could easily pay for herself! Whoa. Really?

First of all, its not breaking any rule; it clearly states that she is going to make a video game that will be given to backers. It doesn't say that she has to make a good game. The class will of course be fun for her, but even the whole purpose of the class is to make a game, so there's the end product right there. Kickstarter is aimed to support the creation of creative projects like that. Why is it totally acceptable for a business to use Kickstarter to raise money for a game? The only difference is that the overhead costs are different. For the business, its to pay rent and utilities, employees, and whatever else. For the girl, it's to cover some of the costs of the camp (i.e. business fees). Secondly, it's not entirely free money. The backers will receive something in return, depending on how much they pledge, just like all Kickstarter projects.

Of course her mom could easily pay for it, if she were truly wealthy. According to the latest update on Kickstarter, she's unemployed and isn't wealthy, despite having been successful in the past. $829 wouldn't phase me if I made a million dollars a year, but I would make my child work for it somehow. Easy come, easy go. I bet these same people would attack her for spoiling her kid if she just paid it herself. Obviously, the idea was to encourage her daughter to start a project with a goal in mind, and then achieve it. Not one person, EVER, pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps; people had to choose you over someone else for that job or that sale. The whole point of Kickstarter is to get "free money" in exchange for something else: a game, a film, whatever. Supporting a Kickstarter project is directly enabling a person to accomplish their dream, who have ALL made mistakes, wronged others, lied, cheated, hurt others, including the backers themselves. It's easy to forget that nobody's perfect, so it's unfair to judge others. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to act on your ideals.

It's surprising how vicious strangers can be. It's ironic how people are wishing harm on someone they view as "evil." I don't care who you are, you are the epitome of evil if you sincerely wish harm on another person. This world lacks true understanding. It's not easy being different or controversial. I like to voice my opinions on the internet just so people are exposed to other point-of-views, but sometimes I get attacked for having radically different opinions by even the most "open-minded" people, and frankly, it's rather stressful. Sometimes I feel anxious when I see that I have a new message or comment. I can't possibly imagine being the center of backlash like this. Perhaps I should get used to it since I'm putting myself out there on the internet, expressing my opinions. I think a little differently though -- I hope my work will help others become slower to judge, attacking my ideas more than myself personally. Most of all, I hope I'll be a better person that can overcome these challenges and dismiss the people who want to drag me down to their level.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Parents Sue Over Religious Roots of Yoga

I wrote this letter in response to this lawsuit I just read about. These sort of lawsuits make me angry, but lately I've been much more proactive and have actually started speaking my mind directly to those who need to hear it the most. It certainly feels good, and I hope my opinion makes a difference.

I'm a resident of San Diego county, and I wanted to comment on this lawsuit because I'm so ashamed that fellow Americans would be so closed-minded like this. In fact, I hope your client will read my words.

First of all, the children were not forced to participate, so this program is not restricting religious freedom in any way. In fact, since you are trying to get rid of it, YOU are restricting these children from exploring whatever religion they want to learn about or practice.

"The method of practice taught in Ashtanga Yoga relies on the linking of yoga postures through prescribed movements and incorporates deep, even breathing and steady gazing with the eyes." This isn't religious indoctrination, this is FITNESS and WELLNESS. Just like laughing yoga, or would laughing be banned also due to "religious roots"? This yoga practice being taught in the school is basically MEDITATION and physical activity, combined. Meditation is not spiritual or religious, it's a method to become centered and present. It's a mental process to shift focus. Meditation is also scientifically shown to improve memory, reduce blood pressure, increase density of gray matter in the brain, lengthen attention span, and strengthen activation levels in their temporal parietal junctures, a part of the brain tied to empathy. So there is fact that this yoga program WILL increase the overall health of children, and maybe even their ability to learn and function better in schools, while also NOT teaching them any religion. In fact, I would consider meditation and yoga to be HISTORICAL not religious, because it precedes some religions, and many religions have similar roots that used meditation and yoga.

I did yoga in public school and it was a very positive fitness experience, but it had NO effect on my religion whatsoever.

This is America. We are successful because we take the good we see in other places, and apply it here. The Jois Foundation is doing this, but your client is inventing a "danger" that is inherently PART of American culture and history - the introduction of new, and different kinds of people. In any case, most religion is about the same end, but differ in the means.