Archives for posts with tag: Literature

Let’s try to move away from the stereotypical image of the shrewd and cunning businessman who would not blink at selling this wife and kids for the right price or who would lie, cheat, and steal just to get ahead.  For fellow Star Trek fans, this stereotype would call to mind the Ferengis who have as their revered codex the Rules of Acquisition as a reflection of their ultra-capitalist society.  We are at the age of intense capitalism, yet we must not forget that we are humans before we are capitalists.

As members of the human race, we must not neglect to espouse the qualities which humanity should be proud of and these would be generosity, faith, honesty, resilience, resourcefulness, kindness, compassion and goodness.  These qualities which we would appreciate in a friend, a family member, and/or a spouse, should also be the same qualities which we hold dear in the realm of business.  There seems to be a double standard in business at times where when someone is “too earnest” or “too honest” it becomes a criticism.  It reflects that the values which are seen as pertinent or relevant to the business world are not the same qualities which we might want to find someone whom we would idolize as the epitome of human goodness such as Mother Theresa.

This dichotomy in commendable traits creates a schism in our psychological development as we reach the age of maturity where one must earn a living whether through providing services or products.  While growing up, we are taught through parables and fairy tales about the importance of being good and honest, and yet when we enter the real world, we find that the qualities admired in a business person is aggressiveness and ruthlessness and we find that we might have been mislead and therefore all the cautionary fairy tales warning us of cunning and deceitful character ill-prepare us for entering a capitalist society where opportunism and shrewdness are admired, valued, or at least, become seemingly favourable traits to getting ahead.

There is a disconnect between the values and ethics which are espoused by our religious institutions and spiritual education with the worldly concerns and requirements of thriving and surviving in a complex society.  We then become schizophrenic in trying to both be a good person to our friends and family on a personal level and yet be calculating and cold on the business or career aspect and only very few people, if any, can sustain these unrealistic and incompatible expectations.

We must be aware that it is unfair to preach goodness, kindness, and compassion to our young ones while at the same time expecting them to thrive in a cynical and savvy world without considerable confusion, trauma, and upset.  There needs to be a paradigm shift in what is considered valuable in our society.  It need not be said that the qualities of goodness, kindness, and compassion are immensely preferable in every facet of life–even in business–though they should be balanced by awareness and applied with discretion and caution.  There must be a way of thriving business and society without losing our soul in the process.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

Advertisements

It’s sad to have to say goodbye to something that we have all grown-up with, but alas, it’s time. The epic finale did not fail to disappoint since it stayed relatively more specific to the plot of the book.  The darkness permeated the whole mood of the movie and we see a very adult theme that permeates throughout.

While the earlier Harry Potter books/movies were about escapism, fun, joy, and bravery, HP7 is more pragmatic in that decisions have consequences and the overall message that evil and its proponents are very real–and there are quite a lot of collateral damage along the way.

In the darkest of times, however, heroes emerge and this is certain the silver lining which appears to herald hope against the dark backdrop of the last stand against Voldemort.  A somber and fitting ending–though it leaves one wishing that there would be more HP books.

It has to be said that the Deathly Hallows movie, while being fantastic and a definite tear-jerker with moments of humor, still ought be complimented by the original HP7 book which provides the original inspiration, rich back stories, and the poignancy of the experience.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

It is a pity that Jane Austen was not aware of the mesmerizing effect her novels would have on generations of women in the future.  She writes about love, courtship, and social graces where the men exist in the novels as objects of romantic affection as well as the pursuers in matters of the heart – the perfect “modern” fairy tale.

I use “modern” here as a phrase relative to the usual setting of fairy tales which would probably be more at home in the medieval  age of chivalry.  Of course, compared to our early 21st century era – Jane Austen’s period would not be considered modern anymore.

Even if we do not admit it out loud, in our heart of hearts we would like to imagine men to be as they are in Jane Austen’s books – which portrays their roles and existence from the feminine perspective.

Why our minds more easily get caught up in the ideas of love and romance is a source of both delight and disappointment to us.  (But, I digress.)

Back to the topic, Jane Austen is simply a genius–she is the writer’s writer of her genre–her observations of the nuances and subtleties of human behavior pours into the story, characters, and pages smoothly… and we laugh, cry, and get annoyed the lead characters as they experience the story unfolding around them – and almost wish that we were part of that world.

She writes about love and courtship so gracefully that it seems as though she has been out there and experienced it all.  However, the question would have to be raised that had she been out there experiencing it all, she might not have found the time to put pen to paper and entrance us with her novels.

Her keen insights into love, courtship, romance, and marriage are exquisite… and it is evident in her novels. Her novels serve as a commentary on human nature –their frailties and foibles–which, despite ongoing advancements in science and technology, remain pleasantly and disappointingly similar.

Her characters are poignant, memorable, infuriating, and delightful… one cannot help but wish that she had lived to write more of her masterpieces.

In our hearts and in our minds, we proclaim, “Long Live  Jane Austen!”  Thank you for teaching us about the joys and pitfalls of love and romance, among many other things.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

When I do get the chance to go to a mall, the first place I find myself heading to is the bookstore.  It has been this way since I can remember.  I remember when I was young, I used to save up my allowance and scrimp on buying merienda (snacks) just to be able to buy the book I had in mind for the week.  It is as if I would wither away without a steady diet of books.

It has happened that I’ve gone into a bookstore and was not able to find any book which spoke to me, which I feel that really must have. While it meant that there would be no extra expenditure for books, I would feel rather disappointed, since there’s something about being able to find a new book to devour.

Recently, I have had the good fortune to come across several interesting books which have struck my fancy.  I’ve placed them on hold and I’m planning to pick them up soon! I can’t wait! I don’t know if other book lovers will agree with me, but each new book promises a whole new experience with unique insights and ideas.

As of late, I have tended towards non-fiction books, and while I still do have some room for reading fiction, I am more sparing with my choices.  Some days when schedules have been rather full on and I have been unable to manage to read a couple of paragraphs or even a chapter of a book, I almost feel unsettled and restless, as if exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal.

It would not be unusual to find me reading five books at a time, jumping from one to the next, grateful for the invention and existence of bookmarks.  There’s just something graceful about a well constructed sentence.  There’s something profound about a well-articulated thought.  There’s something magical about the world of ideas which each book invites us to explore.

Reading is an avenue by which I indulge in the my version of man’s quintessential search for meaning.  There is a certain sense of satisfaction with the successful search and acquisition of choice titles.

The anticipation of the enjoyment of new words and concepts are complemented by a genuine appreciation for the melodic symphony of intellect, logic, emotions, and experience.  This is accompanied by the realization that there are so many books, and so little time…

As such, I hereby proclaim myself a certified bookaholic – and have created a badge to prove it!

(c) Niconica 2010