I told myself that I would write something happy, optimistic and positive, even though it seems like the things that seem to be going on are the opposite.

So I will list things I’ve been thinking about the past week:

1. I learned that people lie…

…but if you study psychology enough, there’s always a reason to lie, and you can’t be mad when you find out the reason. Sometimes if you could understand why a murderer murders, or a person steals, or a rapist is created, would you still be encapsulated with the same anger and agony prior to not knowing it at all?

You may still be mad, but at the same time, you feel a different kind of empathy, a different kind of sadness, unforgiving but calm, unease but accepting.

2. I learned that to foster relationships…

…it’s sometimes better to not show everything on your hand. Every relationship should be transparent, honest and understanding, but the one who shows their deck first is always risking themselves to either watch their opponent fold or themselves to be the “idiot” in taking that risk.

In securing a client, no one tells about all the good, bad and ugly of the very thing they are selling. They choose their strong “goods”, carefully craft their “bads”, and subtly show their “uglies”.

An example would be watching Apple sell their products on stage shows how powerful pitches and glitches can still skyrocket sales each year.

3. I learned that people always find fault…

…in others and then themselves. For those who find faults in themselves may find fault in themselves more often than they should, and those who find faults in others should find fault in themselves more often than they would.

The takeaway is not to dwell in the issue but embrace it, learn from it, don’t take the easy way out. Don’t avoid the problem, don’t bury it, because it will not cease to exist if you choose that route. Recognize that it is a problem, it will be a problem for as long as the problem should stay, but you can mould it into a solution. As such is clay; treated like dirt beneath your shoes, but have found its way into decorations placed in your eye view.

4. I learned that it’s hard to be loving…

…to the people who deserved to be loved the most. Perhaps it’s that friend who is depressed. Perhaps it’s your parents who deserve to be called once every day. Perhaps it’s that lad who begs you for money to buy their newspapers. Perhaps it’s that friend who you thought was a friend but had different intentions.

Perhaps it’s even yourself.

All these may apply to you, or may not apply to you. But I watch people pouring out their attention on those who don’t deserve any of it and people who’ve given so much but expected nothing in return.

Do what’s loving for yourself and the people around you. Do what’s faithful to your values, assuming that your values are also equally loving to the right people.

5. Lastly, I learn that there’s always potential in everyone…

…but it’s whether they do something about it. This was one of the things that stuck with me from the commencement speech that Russell Wilson gave yesterday, but his advice wasn’t new. I’ve heard it from my supervisor years ago, I’ve heard it from the lecturer who I met over coffee to talk about life, I’ve heard it from a boy who believed in my capabilities, I’ve heard it from the person I just met for a brief survey. Potential is untapped, but present. And it can come, like how all superheroes find their powers in desperate times, or it can come as gradual as the sand that flows down the hourglass.

I would like to think of potential as the former. Tragedy sparks the inner survivor in people, the way Russell Wilson copes with the death of her father, the way Sheryl Sandberg copes with the death of her husband. The deaths may not be catalysts, but they have ignited a new found perspective. What has been blinded, has been cast in a different light.

I will cue in Sheryl Sandberg’s excerpt from her commencement speech at UC Berkeley:

“You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”

Here’s Sheryl Sandberg’s agonizingly well-written speech, who’s thought-provoking Facebook posts have enthralled me: link


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