Why? (aka Killing In Any God’s Name Seems So Contradictory)

[Adverb; ~ Pronunciation: /wahy/]

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”
– Friedrich Nietzsche –

Why do people kill each other in the name of their god? When I was growing up I was always told God (I’m officially Catholic) was made of love and He loves everyone equally. Then why would He want anyone to blow themselves up, taking tens if not hundreds of other, innocent people with them? Beats me.

Right after the bombings at Zaventem in Belgium earlier this year the question arose: where will the terrorists hit next? The Netherlands seemed like a very plausible answer, so we sharpened our national security and introduced even more tedious and time-consuming safety measures at out national airport. Because you cannot be too prepared, can you?

Turns out you can’t, as the next target (presumable, the attack hasn’t been claimed yet) was Istanbul’s airport. I’ve seen footage of the attack and all I can think is: why? Why do people brainwash fellow people into blowing themselves up? Why would anyone believe their god really, desperately, wants them to break down a piece of the world he has supposedly created? It doesn’t make any sense, does it?

And why would you be proud of it, too? Murdering people who don’t share your view of the world is bad enough, but then you have to go and “claim” the attack, as if someone else might if you don’t. As if it’s something you get to be proud of. I don’t get it.

After my initial “why-do-people-do-this-to-each-other”-reaction, my second thought after learning about Istanbul (and every other terrorist attack) was: what if everyone would conform to their rules and wishes? What if everyone in the whole wide world would give them what they want? Would that help? Would they stop the killings? Would they be happy? Would they think their god was proud of them for succeeding? Would they find inner peace?

I don’t think it would matter one bit. Because people who murder in the name of their god do not have a single clue what their god is about. They don’t have a conscience, they don’t have empathy. If we were to give them everything they are “fighting the good cause” for (please note a heavy scent of sarcasm there), they’d find something else to fight about.

God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, the Universe, they all have some things in common: love, respect, acceptance. These are the basics of every religion, and not of war. You cannot possibly go around fighting a war and claiming it’s what your deity wants. It simply doesn’t rhyme.

So why do people really do this to each other? I have no idea. Then again, I am not a terrorist, so maybe it’s for the better I don’t know the answer to this one.

My thoughts go out to all those involved in the Istanbul bombings and everyone involved in any attacks before. At times like these I feel so sorry for being human.
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Wednesday Wisdom-Tile

I started Icelandic declensions today… Found this quote to help me stay motivated:



Decision (aka Introducing A Cure For “Decision-Stress”)

[Noun; ~ Pronunciation: /dih-sizh-uh n/]

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”
Theodore Roosevelt –

My parents are buying a new car. That is to say, they are in the process of going around different showrooms to see what they like. The funny thing is, my father wants something like the one he has now (a Seat Ibiza, for those who are curious), and my mother is looking for something more her size (like her current Daihatsu Cuore).

You see, my father’s retired and doesn’t really need a car to drive to work any more, and my parents are looking to trade both of their cars in and get a new one together. But the decision-making process is a tedious one, because they both have different wants and expectations, and what also doesn’t help is the wide range of choice (and options); it’s not like it’s an easy task to pick a winner.

This all got me thinking. Life consists of making decisions and when there’s too many choices involved you can get stressed and anxious, not knowing what to do.

At the moment I am finding it difficult to choose the next path to go on: do I find myself another crappy job to save up for another amazing trip, do I find myself a crappy job overseas so I can finally move out, do I go back to school instead or should I not worry about getting a job and just move out, turning the process around (as, clearly, the way I’ve been handling my professional life thus far hasn’t worked).

I fall back into blaming myself for not being able to come up with a solution, for not being able to find a job that’s somehow remotely linked to what I did in college (sociology), and for still being “stuck” at home, nearing 30, and no step further onto being out on my own.

In times of great despair (and trust me, when you start having panic/cry attacks about a decision, it’s time to start calling it that) I dream of my grandmother.

In my dream she told me to take a few steps back. Even though I learned “patience is key”, I am a very impatient person by nature and I feel as if I’m wasting my life. It’s frustrating, as I am in that period of life in which all my friends are settling down, finding jobs, buying houses, and I am still utterly lost. I feel as if I desperately need to catch up in order to prove myself.

But my grandmother soothed my cries and told me it’d be okay. I’d see my forest again once I stopped staring at all those trees.

So here is the cure for decision-stress: relax, take it easy! If you’re on the brink of making an important decision, it’s okay to sleep on it. Rash decisions never did anyone any good, anyway.

And if, like me, you are lost, just stand still for a while and orientate. Find out where you are first, before moving into any direction.

Just like my parents with their future car, I have some decisions to make. But just like my parents, I’ll make the right one and be okay, I am sure of it. I’m just going to have to sleep on it a bit longer.

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Sunday Summary

(Week 25)

“I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught”Winston Churchill

It is the end of the week (and weekend), which means it’s time to summarize what I’ve learned these seven days:

  1. Patience is key. Barbara Benagh told me this. If you wonder who she is, Barbara made a DVD with AM and PM yoga exercises for beginners which I have a copy of. I cannot say I am a die-hard yoga-person or that I’d like to be, but I can honestly say I try my best every now and then. Last time I did so was last Monday, and I chose a 40+ minute PM yoga workout. Just when I was gasping for air and wondering how the heck Barbara managed to get her foot so high up in the air, stretching her leg to the fullest and all, she said it: “patience is key.” I know practice makes perfect, but I was gladly reminded patience is quite important, too. Basically, just don’t give up and keep trying. Even if things go slow, change is already happening.
  2. Pick-pockets often work in groups. Here’s a common personal deception: a pick-pocket is a loner. Well, guess again! After seeing a TV special about con-men in foreign countries I am completely in the loop (I know I watch too much TV, but there’s so much to learn! And what else is there to do when the weather is bad? Exactly). Pick-pockets often operate in small groups of 3-6 people. They’ll surround you very subtly, closing you off from your friends or whoever you’re travelling with, then distract you, pick-pocket you and swiftly fan out and disappear. And the most brilliant part of it is, I am sure I’m not the only one who always thought they work alone! So instead of looking for a group of dubious people, you look for one creepy person!
    Except now that I told you this, of course. Now you know to look out for clusters of potential pick-pockets. And they’re everywhere…
  3. Hardship is necessary in order to grow as a human being. One of the things I keep struggling with is my place on this planet. What is my role? What am I supposed to be doing? And if I am meant for “greatness”, how come the path leading towards my destiny is so bland and long? Pondering life is a great way to get in touch with your inner being, and with the Universe for that matter, and eventually I came to realise that if everything you want in life was to be handed to you on a silver platter, then how could you possible learn from it? How would you be able to appreciate it if you never had to work for it?
    I always imagined you needn’t find your destiny as it would find you, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe having to fight to find a goal in life will make it more worthwhile.
  4. The road home is always toughest. Sounds so deep, doesn’t it? It hit me as I returned from a run. I can’t seem to dose my energy correctly, meaning I start off too fast and don’t always have plenty of air left in my lungs by the time I get home. Hence, the road home is toughest!
    Then I thought about returning from a holiday, which always kind of fills me with a sense of despair. I mean, it means your vacation is over and you need to get back to everyday life. And think about all the lovely people you met and who you’ll be leaving behind.
    Then I thought about experiencing something incredibly awful or sad, making you long for home. Home, where you’ll find comfort in your surroundings, your safe haven. Even then the road home is toughest, because when you want to get there as fast as you can every minute feels like a minute too long.
  5. Life is not always a competition. My ex-sport buddy is driving me insane. She took a personality test a little while ago and it said she’s very competitive. Now that she knows that, she seems to use it as an excuse to be even more so, in every aspect of life. We’re going for a run next Thursday. She’s recently started training and I’ve been training for over a year (all in all). I don’t mind adjusting my speed to hers, but she told herself she needs to be able to keep up with me and made herself go on a twenty-five minute run. When I told her it’s okay to not (in this case) outrun someone as I was in for the social aspect, she said: “Well, it’s in my character, you know that.”
    By then I realised you don’t always have to be the best. In fact: you cannot always be the best! There’ll always be someone faster, smarter, more creative or more talented than you. Best to accept that, take a step back and not push yourself beyond your limits in order to prove that… what? You live up to your test results? :p Take it easy, enjoy the ride that’s called life. You only get one ticket to it anyway.
  6. For small retainer-issues, do not consult your orthodontist but see your dentist instead. I’ve had braces during my early twenties, leaving me with what they call a retainer (two small wires attached to the backside of both my upper and lower teeth). My orthodontist ensured me that if anything were ever to happen to my retainer, he was only a call away. So when I noticed one of the glue-blobs (to fasten the wire to my teeth) was loosening I didn’t hesitate to phone him up indeed. I went there, his assistant fixed it in about five minutes, and off I went.
    A few weeks ago I received the bill: nearly thirty-five Euros! Enclosed was a brief letter in which was explained my health insurance didn’t cover it and could I please pay within thirty days?
    Today, I saw my eldest sister and she’s a dentist. I told her my story and she said she’s done such work for her clients sometimes. Just easy-peasy, re-fastening a glue-blob-thingy. When a dentist does it, it’s described as a dental action and not an orthodontist one, meaning my health insurance will cover it completely.
    I feel like a thief of my own wallet. And I was only playing by the rules ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  7. Let’s end this list with some paper-wisdom, shall we? Life is not a problem to be fixed. It is a mystery to be lived. I just decided to view my life situation as a “problem” and set out to find the “solution”, but now I get this! It’s like the Universe is trying to tell me something… Eerie.
    Anyway, my paper is probably right. Instead of thinking in terms of problems, we ought to think in terms of adventures. The solutions will come to us eventually (I hope).

Earworm Of The Week-time! This particular song is great to start a run on, as the beat is just right! Hope you enjoy it!

Keep safe, stay healthy, and never stop learning.

Have a good week, everyone!



Luck (aka I Should Have Bought A Lottery Ticket!)

[Noun; ~ Pronunciation: /luhk/]

  • Definition: Finding that, for a change, everything in a day is going right. The weather works for you, karma seems to be laughing at you kindly, and all you had to do to exploit this possible sheer window of extreme luck, was to buy a lottery ticket! Which I didn’t, so I guess my luck is over.
Luck“With luck on your side, you can do without brains”Giordano Bruno

The little figurine in the photo is from my first trip to Ireland, and I always hoped it would bring me luck. Which, of course, is silly, considering this is one out of a million made. But still, a girl can hope.

Now, another thing I’m always worried about is karma: I try to be the best person I can be, so I’ll build up my good karma and hopefully be able to use that one day when in need of some help. Or whatever.

But today things happened rather strangely. It started this morning, as I rose early to what would turn into a beautiful, sunny day. Please note that sunny days in the Netherlands mean hot, damp, oxygen-low days. We don’t know normal heat like other countries do, we know breathing-problem-damp-like-air-heat. Just to paint a picture.

I wanted to go on a run, which I usually do on Fridays or Sundays, but I am meeting up with a friend tomorrow and Sunday’s no good either as my niece is turning two and we’re expected to come early. So, today was going to be the best pick for a run, but I needed to be early in order to outsmart the sun (and rising dampness).

Apart from having to take an extra break, I finished my training without dying of shortness of air. Woohoo! About half an hour after I got back, the air was so warm and sticky, even setting a foot outside was proving to be dangerous. This was Luck Point One.

Luck Point Two happened a few hours later, as me and my parents went to a store to buy some things we don’t necessarily need (it’s one of those cheap bargains-shops and no matter how many times you tell yourself you only need that ONE THING, you always find yourself going home with armloads of useless items).

Anyway, my parents saw a suitcase for sale and decided to buy it, only to find out there was a smaller one inside when we got home! Turns out the check-out lady hadn’t searched the suitcase, and although my parents were at first convinced they had bought a set, a quick Internet search and scan of their receipt told us otherwise. Now, normally we’d be all honest and return it, but the store’s a fair bit away and it wasn’t my parent’s fault: they didn’t know there was another one inside. We ruled it as Luck Point Two (fair’s fair: karma was going to bite me in the butt about this later. Or rather: in the toe).

Then, as I was yet again thinking I didn’t like the thought of having to go to my client tomorrow (not because I don’t like her, I do, but because it’s so hot and moving a finger makes you pant, I can’t imagine running through someone’s home, cleaning everything, would be enjoyable), said client texted me she’s got an extra meeting tomorrow and has to cancel our appointment. I say Luck Point Three.

As I was about to celebrate this last fact by throwing my hands into the air going: “Whoop whoop!”, I shifted in my seat and managed to get the chair’s leg onto my left toe. I’m not sure if there’s a name for the toe (much like “index finger” or “thumb” makes it easy to distinguish which finger exactly you mean), but it’s the second one from the left.

It hurts, it pounds, and I swear I saw some blood (my parents disagree heavily on this last matter, though).

Serves me right for finding luck in someone else’s ignorance, I suppose…

But still, today was a good day! I should have bought a lottery ticket or one of those scratch cards to see how far I could push it. Would be nice to win some money.

Then again, money doesn’t make you happy. A little luck does ๐Ÿ™‚

PS: Oh, and even though I don’t really watch football/soccer, my day really started by reading in the newspaper that Iceland made it to the next round of the European Championships. Go รsland! ๐Ÿ˜€