The problem with an inferiority complex is that those affected by it look down on their own knowledge. This strongly impedes their ability to take in new knowledge because they cannot integrate it with what they already know.

was originally published on Meandering home

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The meaning of life is thus a bit like playing with a live hand grenade. Once you pass it on to somebody else, you are safe. – Yuval Noah Harari

was originally published on Meandering home

Lyrics: Andrew Bird

We often overlook how important poetry is in our society. Our identities are nearly unthinkable without the poetic, artful language that we share. We just don’t call it poetry.

We call it slogans. We call it sayings. And above all, we call it lyrics.

Take the pop violinist and singer Andrew Bird. Here is a fragment from his song “Roma fade”:

You need a witness just to know you’re there
From the tips of your fingers, every strand of hair
You know someone’s watching you watching me watching you
And all that we look upon
You may not know me but you feel my stare

[Chorus]
And if I see you, how it changes me
And if you see me, how it changes you
Changes you
And if I see you, how it changes me
And if you see me, how it changes you
Changes you

From: Are you serious, a pop song like a pop song ought to be:

I see that you’re down there and I’m up here
Your boyfriend’s gone to get a beer
Leaving us crystal clear lines of communications
Promise me you won’t avert your eyes
I’ll drop my third-person disguise
You know it’s time to do or die
No useless explanations

From Three white horses:

You’re gonna miss me in the evenings
You know I won’t be needing
Somebody when you come to die
Yeah, I won’t be needing
Somebody when you come to die

Lyrics: Andrew Bird was originally published on Meandering home

Shopping alone when you are five

The world must be so exciting for her. I try to imagine how she experiences the shops, the distance to the riverside park or the large playground, the roads full of traffic, the market. Buying a snack in the corner store is something trivial for us, a relatively meaningless act we won’t remember. It’s no achievement, it doesn’t exhilarate our spirits. It is a dull and mundane task that would instill a sense of awkwardness just because I am writing about it.

But when Miru goes shopping, she is all excitement. It is one of my tricks to make her understand the usefulness of elementary math: she must count her coins. I follow her on the street because I want to know if she observes the safety rules: look left, look right, stick up your arm as you cross the street. She does this flawlessly and it looks most adorable. I see her enter the corner store and come out, five minutes later, with a plastic bag. Much as I prefer she buys broccoli, this little step towards independence is most endearing.

I don’t want to speed her up to get her out of the house earlier, Eighteen years of a daughter like we have is a blessing. It is the other way around: by encouraging independence at this tender age will enable her to rely on her parents without embarrassment, says my intuition.

Most of the time it is chocolate biscuits or “pepero”, biscuit sticks dipped in chocolate. Yesterday she bought princess lipstick candy. Shopping alone when you are five is exciting, memorable and gives you a real sense of achievement. It makes me wonder what the equivalent would be for adults.

She just offered me one of her treasured cookies so I am going to wrap this up. Being a parent is a tough job.

Shopping alone when you are five was originally published on Meandering home