Watch Something Progressive

Have you watched a kids’ show lately? Maybe if you don’t have children, you haven’t seen one since you were a kid.

My kids watch Sesame Street on a daily basis. I remember watching it when I was growing up and liking it. Now? I seriously love it.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m an adult and more aware or that our country suddenly has a serious number of issues that have been brought to light. I’m finding that kids’ shows are more progressive that our actual world seems to be.

Before everything got kind of crappy, I would have been proud that Sesame Street showed episodes about the Indian culture. Now I’m relieved. They also have episodes about other cultures (such as Chinese New Year and a South African exchange student), bullying, autism, and just liking yourself as you are. It’s amazing. They are teaching my kids (and myself) so many positive things that sometimes, I wonder if we are actually in this time frame where people are acting as regressive as they are.

The other 2 shows that my kids have been watching lately are Doc McStuffins and PJ Masks. While it hasn’t come up in the few episodes I’ve watched, both shows star children of different backgrounds doing awesome things. I especially love that my little girl is watching Doc McStuffins because I love the idea that she has a role model that plays doctor and isn’t just into a bunch of princesses.

I feel like there are plenty of adults that need a good dose of some of these children’s shows. They have fantastic messages and teach you a lot about the world. You can stream Sesame Street on HBO, Doc Mcstuffins on Hulu, and PJ Masks on Netflix. Take some time out of your day and learn something new.

The First Thing To Go Out The Door

Self-care.

As a mother, I think this is the first thing that we abandon when we have kids. Our priorities shift enough that the order of important is the following: kids #1-however many and our partner, work, home, extended family, the world, everything else, ourselves.

We forget we exist until we run ourselves down enough that there is only a shell of our former selves left. Then, all of a sudden, we are locked in a bathroom, crying our eyes out because this isn’t the life we imagined.

We have to take care of ourselves. If we don’t feel good about ourselves, then how can we be a good example for our kids?

I’m not only talking about the physical stuff like showering, grooming, exercising. We have to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally. We have to take that time in the day where we can focus on ourselves.

Doing all of this other stuff is wearing. It’s tiring. It’s hard to refocus on yourself. When I finally get a few minutes of quiet, I just sit there and stare into the abyss. Okay, the abyss in reality is the tv. It’s like I forget how to function. I can’t even think of what I’d want to do for myself. If I do figure it out, I don’t have the energy.

It’s easy to get caught up in resentment and anger when you get used to putting yourself last. As a South Asian Indian mom, I’m programmed to put myself last. I’m supposed to put my kids and husband first. And every time I feel neglected, I end up feeling a mixture of sadness and anger.

The thing is that you have to find the solution. Your kids are never going to put you first and your partner can only help so much. You have to find the time and energy to do things for yourself. You have to be okay with putting yourself first sometimes. You have to find ways to take care of yourself.

If you have any self-care tips, I’d love to hear them. I am always looking for new ways to take care of myself.

Who We Are Today

Over the last few years, I haven’t written as much in this blog as I’d like to. If I’m honest, it’s probably because most of the exposure I have to the outside world is limited to my family and sometimes, I don’t want to write about the things I feel within that limitation. My original intent for this blog was to discuss things that South Asians don’t have a tendency to discuss. I’d like to try to continue that and make more of a commitment to writing regularly again.

Being surrounded by my kids most of the day means that most of my experiences are child-oriented right now. I am not the stay-at-home mom that is able to do all sorts of arts and crafts and bake and teach my children all sorts of lessons (with unending patience, I might add). I wish I was because that would give me a ton of inspiration in what I write about.

I loved writing but it’s taken a quite a back seat to the rest of my life. It scares me sometimes that I’m not experiencing the outside world the way I used to. My world view has narrowed (other than what I read in the news). So now I need to figure out what I should write about. What are things about parenthood that need to be discussed? What can I write about where the discussion can help improve and influence the lives of other South Asian people? How do I translate this new life of mine into a conversation?

This blog was started for a reason and with a purpose. I don’t want to lose that. That means I have to adapt to the change. I have to find times and ways to continue writing with a purpose.

There are always things to talk about. So let’s talk about them.

Doing Something Nice

The world is a little crazy right now. Okay, let’s be honest. A lot crazy.

It’s enough to give anyone anxiety.

Between that and trying to figure out how to live our own lives in this craziness, it’s easy to worry about yourself quite a bit and forget that we live in a collective world that it’s nice to connect to. So much so that we forget that sometimes the best way to stop worrying is to do something nice for someone else.

The world could use more kindness right now. And we all could use some relief from the stresses that have been popping up.

I can’t remember the last time I did something nice for someone else. I’ve been pretty immersed in my own life. I do know that whenever I have put someone else first, I feel better about the world that we live in today. There is nothing like kindness to help reconnect us. We are able to relate to someone else even if we don’t know them. I know that when I start having intense anxiety about the way people seem to treat each other or have opinions that I don’t agree with, the best solution for me is to go out into the world. As soon as you feel others being kind towards you, it is enough to reassure that most people are still grounded and are just trying to live their daily lives as you are.

Think about how it makes you feel when someone does something nice for you when you least expect it.

Now, with that thought in your head, go out there and do something kind for someone else.

Evil Does Not Have A Race or A Religion

Evil does not have a race or a religion.

People who have the ability to hurt other people deliberately ARE evil.

But can we blame everyone of a specific background for tragedies that happened around the world in the last week?

Well, let’s see.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed into power in Germany. By 1935, his message of “No Jews” is clear. By 1945, when World War 2 ended, over 5.5 million Jewish people had been executed.

In 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols attacked a federal building in Oklahoma City because they didn’t like the way the federal government handled Waco and Ruby Ridge.

In 2002, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, attacks were organized against the Muslim population because the Hindu people believed that they had attacked a train with Hindus returning from a pilgrimage. An independent investigation found the cause of the fire to be accidental but yet, the attacks still took place. Regardless of the instigation, many Indian Hindus and Indian Muslims died.

In 2012, James Holmes killed 12 and injured 58 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

In 2012, Wade Michael Page killed 6 and injured 3 in a gurudwara (Sikh temple).

In 2012, Adam Lanza killed 27 and injured 1 in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

in 2014, a UN Commission found secret prison camps in North Korea with some of the worst violence in the world.

In 2015, Dylann Storm Roof killed 9 in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 2015, a journalist and four women were executed by cartels in Mexico City.

In 2015, the amount of violence in Ukraine between rebels and the government has been consistent, leaving thousands of Ukranians dead.

I could keep on giving examples that go so far back in history but the point is that evil people are evil everywhere. They aren’t defined by a race or a religion. They aren’t defined by anything except that they had the ability to hurt other people.

With regards to the attacks that happened this past week, I do believe that those who planned and carried out the attacks were evil. But I will not accept that every Muslim person or every Syrian person or whatever nationality one might be is evil.

The only way this world wins against evil is by bonding together. If we have suffered from an injustice against us, how can we cause injustice to someone else? Tolerance and support are two of the most important things we can provide to others.

So when you see someone who might be of the same religion or race that one of the attackers was, remember that they are suffering as much as we are. They have to deal with being stigmatized because they are of the same background. They had no choice in the matter as well.

Let’s find a way to fix the evil in this world. We aren’t Hindus versus Muslims versus Christians versus Catholics. We are the good of humanity versus the evil of humanity. We want peace and love. We want to raise our children in a place where they don’t have to worry about their ethnicity or religion as being something they have to hide.

We want to live in a world without evil.

 

 

 

 

Cheating Through Life

Recently, I have been experiencing people trying to take advantage of me. And the funny part is I see it happening almost like an out of body experience point of view and I think it’s just a little sad. If I were to put in a pie graph, 20% of people I have encountered are nice and 80% are out to “get someone”, cheat them to get ahead.

I recently got in an accident. Luckily, I was okay. Little setup: The accident happened near south central LA. As I was calling my insurance trying to figure things out, 2 tow truck owners came to the scene and started asking questions. I had to ask them to hold back so I could talk to my insurance. Then, another tow truck showed up a few minutes later, parked behind the other two, and then took off. I resolved everything with my insurance company and they were sending a tow truck. I told the tow truck guys, “sorry but the insurance can’t approve you over the phone since they have a system”. The guys were super nice and said, “hey no problem, just here to help. we’ll kick back in case things take long with your insurance”.

The insurance was suppose to take 45 minutes or less but they were taking a lot longer, over an hour. I called them back to get a status and apparently, they were backlogged. A little notification to the waiting client would have been nice. So I waited. Then, a tow truck showed up saying “Mercury? Mercury?” (the name of my insurance). Naturally I said “YES!”. He proceeded to be nice, very nice actually, introduced himself, and said “Coo man, let me set you up.” He proceeded to attach the car to the tow truck. I found it a little weird that he didn’t ask for my license or Mercury card. But I figured that was being handled by the insurance company somehow and they were just trying to get me on the way. I had been waiting over an hour and was just happy someone from the company finally showed up.

He hooked up the car to the tow truck and when I got in to the tow truck, I asked him if we were going to Fix Auto Body Shop which is where my insurance told me we were going. He said “Oh nah man, they changed it to one local to here. Yeah, yeah it’s over here”. A red flag went up.  Unfortunately, we were already on the way. I didn’t want to create a scene. Obviously, this was a semi-kidnap scene.

He proceeded to be a great friend all about putting me at ease.

Now we get to the body shop “Impact Body Shop”. The owner makes me wait a few minutes. Then, he asks me what happened. Weird, I thought the insurance would tell him that. The he asks “what insurance do you have”. SHIT, 2nd Red Flag. It was then that I realized the tow truck guy was the same as the one that pulled up second on the scene. He talked to the other gentlemen there to ask what my insurance was… DUH!

So I was able to stall him and get back to Mercury and get another tow truck which got me to the right body shop. After 5 hours.

So, why do people lie? Cheat? Their fellow human beings? Is this survival of the fittest?

How can we become so low as a society to come to this?

Bear with me, I am not ranting about anyone specific in LA. I have had the SAME experience of people trying to cheat me in London and back at home in India.

Over the past month, the balance of people being nice vs. being nice to get me has been really skewed.

I can only thank my parents for raising me in a way to stay strong and hold my ground. I get the true value of their teachings and an even more heightened respect for them. I often said, “oh dad/mom don’t worry”. Now, I get why they worried. I get what I need to do when I bring a kid into this world. I get it. But I can’t help but think how sad the whole thing is. Human nature, survival of the fittest.. it makes you grow some balls.

To Be Free

There are people who seem to glide through life just going with the flow. They seem so relaxed and nothing really seems to stress them out. This could be perception but I honestly believe there are people who really are able to just hang out and enjoy their experiences.

And there are some of us who stress at every turn, who let every little thing get to us, who are bothered by so many things. We can’t seem to relax and just enjoy the moment. We worry if things are going too fast or if things are going to slow. There isn’t a moment of peace for us. 

How do we achieve this peace? I know some suggestions are working out, yoga, meditation. It requires great discipline to be able to put your mind in the right place so that this is something is able to be achieved. But it’s a constant struggle. It definitely doesn’t come easy. 

Calming the mind, being free of your every day thoughts is a place that I strive to get to. It’s amazing how much power your thoughts have over your every day life. It affects your moods, your energy, your interactions with others, even your interaction with yourself. And it definitely affects your health. 

Positive thoughts are another challenge completely. To be able to really believe in the best of people and to be able to see the world as a beautiful place even when there are challenges is an amazing quality to have. 

Here’s a day dedicated to trying to free yourself from the confines of your mind. I want to try to just enjoy my surroundings and really admire the miracles that are occurring constantly in our world.

I want my mind to be free.