For those who hate advances.

Those who hate advances“Back in my day, books were a handmade craft. This new printing press thing has taken the beauty away from one of a kind books, all thanks to that Gutenberg guy… Unacceptable.”
Does this sound familiar to you? It sure does to me.

Perhaps you’re not used to hearing it just like that, so let me try again: “Back in my day, I had to use encyclopaedias to complete simple assignments and dating did not rely on text messages, these young people have no clue of what hard work is like… Unacceptable”
Does it ring a bell now? I bet it does.
But it’s not the only format that this phrase comes in. I hear it on a regular basis, whether I’m looking down at my phone or using my tablet to read a free ebook, it’s not uncommon to receive criticism from older generations. And it frustrates me because technology is a big part of my daily life, and certainly will be in my future.

The trend of attacking the way in which generations evolve is not a very productive one. I say this because I am aware of all the drawbacks of the computer-based lifestyle: I live in the computer age after all. The pressure of social media is very present in my life as well as the opportunity of procrastinating and putting my privacy at risk. However, the criticism that I’ve received has never been accompanied by any advice on more efficient internet use.

There are so many upsides to the new and advancing technologies that completely overseeing these because of nostalgia for the good times seems a little foolish. The fact is, people in my generation will not stop using technological devices just because they get given an article that explains the negative effects of their overuse.
If you won’t stop teenagers from carrying their phone everywhere, help them find ways in which their habit will increase their productivity.

The fear of change is not exclusive to smartphones and computers. People tend to reject anything that is new. I can make a long lost of all the things that have been looked down on throughout history for being different, from the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh to women’s right to vote. We as humans are scared of the things that we aren’t familiar with, and we are quick to assume that these things are bad for us. It seems like we are forgetting that all things were at some point unfamiliar to us. If we lose our ability to explore novelty, I believe we may be putting our educations at risk. If we are too intimidated by technological advances we may not find the ways to make them work more efficiently for us, and this can have a big effect in the way we live our daily lives.

In the time spent tormenting others for frequently using their smartphones or for wasting all their time browsing through social media, we could be showing them ways in which these technologies can improve their lives.

You see, just like the people who spoke out against the printing press should have looked for ways in which to fight the disadvantages of Gutenberg’s project (whatever they may be…), we should make an effort to solve problems as we move into the future and not to look back into the past for solutions. We left the past behind for a reason.

And so I leave you with one final idea to take with you:
Don’t prevent the development of education by complaining about how something else is preventing education.

-teresa-

TASTE, LISTEN, LOOK, SMELL, FEEL

Hopper

For many, eating alone is a dreadful event; feelings such as loneliness, ridicule and boredom are present. This could be blamed on the fact that it strips a meal of all the “fun and interesting” bits. Human beings don’t eat merely for the purpose of nurturing the body; many things accompany us on our meals. Each culture has it’s own traditions regarding food: preparation, service and the journey towards our mouths tends to change drastically around the world. The whole of our experiences around the table are almost like a ritual- although I enjoy my food with fork and knife in a high table, some may do so while sitting on the floor with chopsticks.

Food really is a cultural manifestation.

And yet spite of all the diversity, these rituals seem to have one thing in common:

the act of sharing.

However, I’d say it’s about time we see the possibilities that sharing a meal with oneself has.

Having no company means your five senses can give their undivided attention to food and the process of eating.

Being by yourself in a meal does not have to be an impediment, but it should be considered a golden opportunity to engage with the meal itself. Without distractions, a plateful can turn into a much deeper aesthetic experience.

When eating, we often make TASTE the protagonist.

But if there is no conversation, you can LISTEN to your surroundings and to your own thoughts, which can often go unnoticed.

You can put attention to what your food LOOKS like, admiring different colours and textures that are nourishing you.

Moreover, you can close your eyes and SMELL, trying to identify the aromas of the different components in your food.

Finally, you can truly abandon yourself, concentrating on how your body FEELS.

I don’t mean to ditch tabletop conversations and lingering smiles over a meal, but rather to invite those while feasting on instant ramen in their underwear in front of the TV set, to stop feeling sorry for themselves and start enjoying those meals alone.

Set the table and treat yourself, because if there’s one thing that separates us from chimps is our ability to enjoy a meal not just for its nutrition, but because we feel like relishing it.

-ana-

Why I sleep on dirt.

Alaska

After 20 days spent isolated from the commodities of my daily life, I felt a strong bond to the dirt which had nestled under my fingernails. After weeks of letting the dirt pile on, I found myself standing in the shower, and a bittersweet feeling fell on me like the warm water.

I’m often asked why I enjoy the outdoors, why I love living without walls and why I sleep so soundly when I’m so close to the ground.

I think that during my time in the Alaskan wilderness, I found an answer to this question.

Here it goes:

This land-

Aggressive, immense, impressive,

Belongs to those with blisters on their feet.

This view-

Amazing, colourful, exciting,

is the treasure of those who shiver in the chilled air.

This feeling-

Overwhelming, exhilarating, magnificent,

Lives in those who get drenched by the rain.

This experience is ours because we put up with the dark side of adventure and we submerge ourselves in its beauty.


I believe that the outdoors bring out the best in people, I have seen it happen over and over again. If you let yourself be tamed by the wild instead of trying to tame it, you will find peace. You will find that you are alive.

-teresa-