What is on your mind when you think of the word "great?"
Which story do you consider a classic?
Who is your most admired person?
Where do you go to get inspired?
When does a moment become experience?
How do you advance a civilization into the golden age?
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This world is endowed with many great things. Some are eminent, some are waiting to be discovered; some will become a memory, some will never extinct despite of deliberate neglect and distortion. They all deserve to be cherished and preserved.
* * *
Can you put a price on...
...the feeling of falling in love for the first time?
...safety and feeling alive?
...respect and compassion?
We have an unprecedented number of homelessness. Everyday I ride on a train, I can see encampments so great, that some portable toilets are placed around them, which I assume is to maintain public health for all the surrounding community. On another day, I went to a flea market. Being educated in healthcare for a couple of years, I cannot help but think we might have an outbreak of weird diseases due to the near proximity of homeless camps and squirrel population. (Please do not feed wild animals as some bacteria unique to them will crossbreed with bacteria unique to human, and these hybrid bacteria will infect both species.... We may or may not have the capability to control the mutated bacteria)
All we hear on the news nowadays are bunch of big babies attacking each other over some petty issues, ignoring human conditions.
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Why nobody ever tries to find out why more mass shootings happening nowadays? It always turns into a political drama rather than addressing the most fundamental issue. This is people's lives we're talking about, not an opportunity to further one's political career.
I still remember the days when school taught students pipe bombs (though I never learned), but nobody ever seriously contemplating using it to harm others. Now no school teaches that chemistry and yet more people died from violence. What happened?
I still remember the days when people can freely go into airports and museums without needing to go through security gates. Why is my personal freedom and happiness compromised because of a minor chance of threat. The security measure is not even effective guarding against people who have no regard of the laws anyways.
I still remember the days the Internet was used to increase people's IQ by exposing to differences rather than reinforcing one's limited perception. It used to be an Utopia of tolerance, a haven of self-regulation, a pool of endless knowledge. Why is it used to propagate greed and misinformation nowadays?
Isn't the fact-based journalism the propeller of democracy? Didn't Jefferson want to be remembered to be the Father of Virginity University because educated people are the core of democracy?
Doesn't George Washington's Farewell Address warn: "[Geographic politics] agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions"?
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Today after work I went to buy some tapioca tea. There was some misunderstanding between the cashier and the customer before me, so the order was not placed correctly. The prior customer basically suggested he had the power to recommend more corporate customers only if the store would simply replace his new order for free. The small shop owner with her limited English skill couldn't understand what daft-dressing guy was trying to suggest, so she offered 50 cents extra for the replaced drink, because cashier/server charged him only for the regular tea rather than milk tea, and served him according to the wrong order. Given I worked in food industry before (among many odd jobs I had held), I knew it's a big loss for the shop because it's not a simple adding milk to the tea issue. The store needs to throw away the original order due to health code, irregardless whether the drink was consumed or not. The shop keeper insisted on quality didn't help either, but she eventually agreed to just add milk to the order for free instead of remake the whole order to satisfy the customer.
I have seen many of such disputes before. It is not limited to restaurant order, or language barrier issue. Don't know whether it's because their perceived financial standing or their education level, people are getting less humble. Most people don't realized outside of their career specialization, they actually know extremely little how the entire world functions. In this case, the customer before me did not realize it is a health code that the shop cannot serve tampered food.
Everything in life is simple; even the simplest thing is difficult.
What that quote (which I thought was attributed to Nietzsche, but I can't find it) means to me is one has to be humble, and be respect of people of all trades. Everyone is an expert of something, disregard of our social standing or the wage we're paid for our work.
If this were the old California I knew back in the 90's, people would be more graceful and asked why 50 cents is charged, rather than immediately pull the consumer/corporate pressure card without actually asking a probing question. Because that customer might have learned something about the food industry. Instead, he sounded like a crude and tactless person dressed in sharp suit. Our California value of tolerance and acceptance is dying everyday, and it's such a sad sight to see.
I wished my brain could be faster, and paid the 50 cents extra for the agitated customer and everyone would be happy. Though when the shopkeeper apologized to me profusely because she was busy making the replacement order for that customer (who was not even there when she finished the order because he just had to answer a phone...), I simply told her to take her time. I know how little gesture like this means a lot when you're working very hard for very little money. Besides, I was late for my train anyways, so time wasn't that important to me at that point, but it'll brighten up her day.
I wish I have made the point clear enough. Great, despite current events might have you believed, is not based on selfish interests. We can actually make the world great again, no matter how small or insignificant the contribution might see at first. Be gracious of others, be respectful of nature, and treasure every moment we share. The world doesn't need to be shallow and petty. There can be a lot of beauty and greatness if we tried.