Writer’s Quote Wednesday

And of course you’re laughing at me, the quote, or both , right? I’m feeling funny today….

Now seriously…there is another quote inside the post for today.

I got a short video via whatsapp that made me laugh a lot. In short: A man is at home reading a book and stops when the doorbell stars ringing insistently.

At the door there were many of his friends, in total disarray, crying and screaming, expressing their relief for having found him at home, safe and sound. The man shows surprise and perplexity with the explanation for such a commotion.

He had disconnected his mobile telephone for two hours , to read his book peacefully. Meanwhile, his friends sent messages via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail, etc. and left messages on his voicemail. After two hours of no replies, his friends concluded that he was kidnapped.

They had also called the police and started a campaign on twitter. #Findourfriend #Comebackfriend, etc.

He asked a simple question: “why didn’t you call my home number?” The replica came with laughter. “You didn’t answer for two hours! And who uses a fixed phone line in 2015? ”

My conclusion:

This is not a surreal story. I have been in a situation once, where someone sent an e-mail to me on a Thursday after 23hrs, with a request, and a deadline for me to send some information on Sunday.

I haven’t seen this e-mail though, as the person didn’t use my private e-mail address but another one that I rarely check.

On Sunday evening while checking said email address, I found an angry and insulting message, calling me hypocritical, because I hadn’t replied yet.

Notes to self: It is still Sunday. I hardly know the person and there is no history of conflict between us. This is not my problem. This is not worth my while. This person might have a serious problem and is shooting me, or everyone around. Stay away from this.

My reaction was not my usual one of not taking unfair and unjustified insults from anyone. I took the highroad instead. I gave the benefit of the doubt. I replied politely asking for clarification, and after an exchange of a few more messages, which continued with an aggressive tone, I delivered the information requested, after the tone of voice softened on the other side.

I have never received an apology. Instead, I got a little note thanking me for being such a good sport.

Note to self: This is gross.

I have not, at any rate, engaged in confrontation or defensive behavior. Remember my note to self? This person had a problem.

Have I become more mature or zen? Maybe. But in truth, it was my old and tried rationality and optimism which prevailed. It has easily detected an uncontrolled and misguided emotional reaction from someone who maybe was in need of help. Maybe this is someone who is not self-confident enough and doesn’t trust anyone.  All in all this didn’t deserve to disrupt my peace of mind.

And do you know why? Because it is up to us, to let or not other people take our power, and our light, away from us. Let them handle their fears and insecurities. Alone. We don’t own this.

So, let’s keep reading our books in peace? Go offline.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

René Descartes Bio

Academic, Philosopher, Scientist, Mathematician (1596–1650)

Philosopher and mathematician René Descartes is regarded as the father of modern philosophy for defining a starting point for existence, “I think; therefore I am.”

René Descartes was born on March 31, 1596, in La Haye, France. He was extensively educated, first at a Jesuit college at age 8, then earning a law degree at 22, but an influential teacher set him on a course to apply mathematics and logic to understanding the natural world. This approach incorporated the contemplation of the nature of existence and of knowledge itself, hence his most famous observation, “I think; therefore I am.”

 

This quote goes to Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday!

 

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate slave, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do, when I want.

53 thoughts on “Writer’s Quote Wednesday

  1. So so true . . . .we are allowing technology to control us and to determine as and when we do things. When I started work is was still normal to receive letters and to know you had the time to consider them before you replied. Some days I miss those days!

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  2. Fantastic! Such a good reminder to take the high road and not let them take away your inner peace, keeping you grounded. I absolutely needed to see this today as someone yesterday stole my peace (or I let them). Thank you, Lucille!

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  3. thank you for the internet humor…a gift of laughter which, for a moment or two, chased away a troubled mind. The words which followed Lincoln’s quote…a gift of thought I needed to help reground myself.

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  4. Love this story!!! Yeah let’s get off and do some things without internet, FB, twitter etc……
    Love the last quote: and remember, the optimist will thanks the pessimist for the dark and find a new ray of light…..anywhere 🙂

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    1. I really don’t know if there isn’t any recognition for realists. Maybe it’s sometimes difficult, even for realists, to know the difference between pessimism and realism.
      I’m more at ease with my usual way of being rational, which sometimes is confused with pessimism, which has nothing to do with me.

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    2. It’s my rationality that drifts me toward pessimism, but that’s more relating to the world in general. On a personal level, I’m cautiously optimistic.

      When it comes to sayings regarding optimism and pessimism, I always fall back to this one:

      The optimist sees a glass as half full; the pessimist sees the glass as half empty; the engineer sees the wrong size glass.

      Yes, I’m an engineer.

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      1. Good one! I knew this one without the engineer’s bit. I may use it one day.
        It’s not unrealistic to look at the world in this way, as it seems to be getting from bad to worse. Maybe my glass is half empty today because I’m very upset with the treatment of refugees from Syria in Hungary. It’s inhuman what’s happening there. Heartbreaking.
        Makes me sad but also discouraged because the politicians of the European community are doing their best to do nothing, just talk and accuse each other.
        Then on a personal level, where I can do something instead of watching this drama on TV, I decided to volunteer to help. It’s chaos right now, so there might be an organization I can help.

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      2. You have more determination than I do . . . then again, you are probably younger.

        Me? I’m tired. If someone ever wants to give me the authority to actually solve problems, I’ll get involved again, but for right now I’m going to concentrate on whatever life I have left.

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        1. I don’t know if it’s age or not. The problem is just on my face and it hurts watching this people suffer while I have a good life.
          I’m not an idealist at all and don’t think I’m responsible for what’s happening and should resolve it.
          I just thought that this could be happening to me too if I had been born during WWII in Europe.
          It’s fair to focus on your life too. World’s problems when seen at macro level become too big, too complex and let us feeling unable to do anything.
          Have your ever read Poor Economics: A radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty?
          It’s key thought is that nothing happens because of this perception.
          Grass roots actions are therefore more effective.

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        2. It’s age . . . forty years of fighting the same battles has wore me down some.

          I read a lot of things relating to various ways we could be truly effective in bettering life for many, and some of it is contradictory. I agree with the global picture being too overwhelming, and I also agree grass root efforts work.

          You might like listening to this episode:
          http://freakonomics.com/2014/10/02/fixing-the-world-bang-for-the-buck-edition-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/
          or, it may be faster reading the transcript.
          http://freakonomics.com/2014/10/02/108967/

          By the way, by any of the most popular metrics, we live in a world that is much better off than it used to be. No, we can’t get complacent, and there is still a lot of work to do.

          If you care to read something interesting and informative:
          http://www.interestingideas.com/ii/better1.htm

          The thing is that while people’s sufferings is an immediate problem, the underlying causes often take lifetimes (sometimes literally) to address and change.

          Understand, I make no apologies for my current course of action; I was not being flippant when I said I am tired and I don’t have it in me anymore. Sure, I still donate to certain causes, but personal involvement is now too costly; easier to give some money even as I suspect most of it gets wasted or goes to corrupt individuals.

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          1. I know young people who behave like the caveman. You’re here, blogging, writing with brilliance, creating beautiful things, sharing…
            That’s a fact.
            I don’t buy the age thing because I’m biased. My father is a 87 y/o man, still working everyday as the head of the business he created.
            Having become a corporate exec myself, I know that these aren’t comparable working lives. No corporate employee gets a job for so long and can be his/her own boss.
            I’m digressing now.
            Thanks a lot for the links. I liked the podcast. It exposes a lot of the contradictions you may be referring to.
            The link on interesting ideas is also excellent.
            I can say that after listening to and reading this, I cheered up.
            I’m not in favor of charity exactly because of what you said. I prefer what people from Acumen Fund are doing.

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  5. I do love quotes (and that first one always makes me laugh.) I have mixed feelings about the “instant-ness” of texting, email, etc. It can be extremely useful, yet people grow to expect instant answers, as you so well discuss. I think it’s another aspect of current technology that we have to consciously control in order to keep our lives from spinning away too quickly and from being too full of the “now.” I close my laptop and read, work around the house, walk, etc. and on vacation, especially when we’re in Wyoming where we have internet, but it’s not fast and we can’t get it everywhere in the cabin all the time, I do enjoy being able to be out of contact. Of course, I love being able to do my blog, even though it can take an excruciatingly long time to load photos, but I LIKE not always being available and I guard that time and the relaxation that comes from it.

    janet

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  6. Lucile, this was absolutely fabulous! The Abraham Lincoln “quote” made me laugh. You are so right in your thoughts about the pessimist and the optimist! I did a huge report in college on Rene Descartes. He is still one of the most fascinating men that ever lived. Well done, my friend! ❤

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  7. That’s a great post. I wouldn’t have expected the turn when I saw the funny Lincoln eyecatcher quote. Still being online, I should go and enjoy my book that I just bought at the airport some days ago. At the plane a girl asked my why I did not use my kindle or tablet for reading (I was using quite a lot of space with my over-sized newspapers). Regarding books and newspapers, I enjoy being old-school, and offline…..

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    1. Thank you. I think many people will not even open the post after seeing the first quote.
      How bizarre to ask you such a question. I like better to read the paper version of newspapers. Regarding books, I’m totally online since a while ago. But this doesn’t mean that I only read online. I still like to have the book with me.

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      1. sorry after writing about offline time, my computer shut down 😀 the girl was quite funny, pretending to know the world at her yound age, giving me advice for reading the news but being too shy to ask the stewardess for some more water 😉

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  8. That quote cracks me up, really had me laughing. But the quote inside is so true and really shows the frustration we can feel with those sorts of people. As for the person who sent you offensive emails just because you didn’t reply immediately?! Madness. It’s one thing to be frustrated at getting no reply, but quite extreme to take it to the level of being offensive rather than just checking in to see if that person is ok or giving them the benefit of the doubt for having missed it. Have we reached the point where everything requires an instant response?! Good grief, what’s next?
    Lucile – this post was so well written – thoughtful and calm and intelligent. Bravo xox.

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  9. I love this post in so many ways. First I adore the opening quote. Laughter is always welcome. Second, despite some concerted efforts on my part to disconnect (I have a pile of books waiting for me), I still feel the tug of technology. But most of all, thanks reminding me that I don’t have to roll over for people that I’ve allowed in the past to steal my time and equilibrium. I so understand your frustration about the treatment of refugees. We’re so far away, and I feel quite helpless. But there is a growing movement here to force an increase in the (appallingly small) number of refugees NZ will resettle. That is something I can add my voice and energy to. But such a small thing in the face of an enormous problem. Cheers, Su.

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    1. Laughter is a good thing.
      We’re conditioned to being online and we don’t even think about that anymore. I don’t think we will
      Change much, because the world won’t retract from this path. Hopefully we will find a balance.
      It’s been disgusting to watch the news and inertia of the European Community. But I believe that it is only small actions which really help and trigger bigger actions.
      Today, finally, European leaders agreed on some actions towards the refugees crisis. The Hungarian prime minister though, keeps his tough and unhelpful policies.
      I’m waiting for reactions of the EU.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is heartbreaking to watch. I’m slightly heartened that people here are challenging our government’s appalling inaction. Our Prime Minister is the son of a Jewish refugee from WWII, and yet he continues to behave as if there is no problem.

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        1. I spent the weekend watching TV, which is not a habit, just to follow the news in Hungary. Finally the situation was resolved and over 10k refugees could enter safely in Austria and Germany. It was emotional to see how they’re received with warmth and applauses by the Germans adults and kids at the train stations. Makes me restore faith in human compassion.
          This is just a little action but one that creates a great impact in the mindset of Europeans who were not interested in the subject. The Germans are teaching the world a great lesson of selflessness and fraternity.
          I do know that this not the end but just the beginning of a long term issue, and that the costs are high, therefore it won’t be easy for politicians to manage this because Europe is still in crisis, unemployment is still high and there were already many refugees here. There are people opposing it.
          However there is no way out. Either help now or face a catastrophe later which no one is prepared to handle. For those racists who are against these people, there isn’t a solution but they’re minority.
          Your PM might be looking at them as Muslims and not as human beings who lost everything and need help.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I totally agree; this is the start of a huge issue that I think will define the world for many years to come. Gross inequalities in the world were always bound to lead to those with the least fleeing impoverished and war-torn places for the hope of a better life. I suspect our PM is not a particularly ideological person. I think he is driven mainly by how he perceives public opinion, and I think he misjudged NZers capacity for care and compassion.

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  10. This post is really well written and shows your generous spirit. You have shown your optimism and ability to deal calmly and maturely with this issue. Love the photo and quotes too!

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  11. I was laughing WITH you; never at you….you were laughing, right? 😀
    I had a friend at work so angry because his supervisor emailed him, then called him to say he had just sent him an email. What?! I love people that think so highly of themselves that we are expected to drop it all and tend to them. No, thanks. Your reaction was commendable, Lucile. Very commendable.

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  12. Well said, Lucille. Caution and taking the high road is often necessary on the internet. Particularly social media groups can be vicious and seem to offer anonymity which allow others to vent their frustrations. I will have to stop by on your Wednesdays as I am a fan of quotes, tongue in cheek or authentic. I do hope all the ones I post on Proverbial Thursdays are solid!!!!

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  13. Eye-catching quote! Loved the story behind it although an e-mail like that would p*ss me off! I read right before I go to bed, or take my kindle to the gym. While everyone is connected to their phones or even watching TV, I just read in bliss for 30-45 minutes (if on eliptical or treadmill)! I also love to read when on vacation, on a plane, or at the delta. No social media distractions in those places. Thanks for the reminder to unplug more often!

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