Free Your Mind

My last couple of posts have been rather long winded, in depth and rather “ranty” in their nature, I’ve even been accused of it being a long series of complaints. I do apologise (a bit) but it felt good to write something for a change that I actually had something to say, as opposed to just posting things which I can comment on.

Either way, I found something I’d like to share which would just give some food for thought. Excersize your EQ (as opposed to IQ). Here are 50 Questions to Free Your Mind.

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  22. Why are you, you?
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  25. What are you most grateful for?
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  32. If not now, then when?
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?


Facebook and the New Generation

My little brother just turned 10 last week and has increasingly been talking about facebook. He sits and watches my mom while she occassionally checks hers, he takes her Blackberry and BBMs a family friend and keeps telling me how he wants facebook because “all his friends are on”. I dont suppose it is a good influence that both myself and the middle sibling spend much of our days on facebook either. A couple of days ago, I found out my father had set him up with a facebook account.

“WHY???” I asked. “He’s 10!!”. “But his friends are on,” my dad said. I find this whole young children on facebook thing somewhat bothering. It shows how much and how fast the world is changing. I signed up for facebook when I was 17, yet at that stage facebook was only starting up and arriving on our Southern African shores. Now that times are different, and everyone is on facebook, is it such a problem when children who are only just maturing into the age of double-digits are immersed into this new world?

Perhaps I’m just being overprotective of my little brother (who is 11 years younger than me) as facebook is a dark and scary place, lacking privacy of any kind. I’m not worried that he is going to befriend a 37 year old paedophile, perhaps it is more the excessive exposure which the internet brings to users. Before this, he would just play kiddie games on the internet, now with facebook and games on there, who knows what he will find?

It bothers me though with the ammount of young children on facebook who befriend every adult they know. Their parents friends, their friends’ parents and even adults in the community. Looking at my brothers friends (I havent added him on facebook) I see he has added a woman within the community who adds everyone. She spends much of her life on facebook talking to everyone and everyone she has on her friends list who happens to be online. Even a friend of mine the other day said this woman randomly speaks to her all the time, but they never see each other, would never speak in real life and aren’t even the remotest definition of “friends”. This woman has tried to add me many times, and because I do not like to clutter my list of facebook friends (because that is the distinction – friends vs facebook friends) I have ignored her each time without any feelings of remorse. Because we are not friends. At all.

My mom told me my brother added this woman to get to her sisters child. Explain to me how that is going to help him? Which adult is going to have their sister’s chlid at their house chilling on their facebook account? No. Sorry. If the kid is on facebook, add them, fine, chat. But don’t add the kids aunt. A random adult. And worse yet, dont chat to her! You don’t know each other and have nothing to do with each others lives! Thats another thing that bugs me, because he is a little child (c’mon, 10 is still little) he has no concept of when or who he should speak to. It also perhaps comes from the fact that he spends a lot of time with adults. My middle brother and myself are often out or busy and can’t look after the little one, so my parents often take him with them, only holiday, to friends, to dinner with friends…But for him to sit on facebook and bother these adults frustrates me, he should learn better, a parent cant facilitate what he does on facebook – unless they block him off it completely. He also added a cousin of ours from overseas, she’s in her 30s, married, with 3 kids. They’ve never met. On the one hand I suppose its sweet, forming a connection and what not. But what are they going to speak about aside for “Hows mom? Hows dad? Hows this one, that one, etc?” I feel it is indecent for little children to encroach on the time of adults.

Him being on facebook also definetelly has something to do with the age we live in. Back in the day when I was 10, we had 1 household computer for everyone. My brother (the middle one, this little one wasn’t even born when I was 10) and I would play games, we didnt have or have the need for email (which my little brother now clearly has his own email, because you need one to be linked to social media sites such as facebook) and had to make time to share the computer. We had endless fights. At one points parents friend’s suggested we each have our own days for the computer. What a disaster! Nowadays, we have many computers in the house. Actually, we dont. We have many laptops in the house. 3. My dads (which he leave in the lounge the whole day), my old one (which lies unused in my parents room) and my own – all of which can be used in he privacy of ones bedroom. The middle brother has his own computer in his bedroom, so even though its a desktop pc which in prior years would have been placed in an open part of the house to be shared, it may as well be a laptop used in the privacy of his room. And now that each family has so many computers, of course my little brother is going to have use of one and if everyone else is on facebook – well, I suppose he is now too.

My brother always used to annoy us with the sounds of guitar. The child is obsessed and on the morning of his birthday I was woken by 6:30 to the sounds of yet another guitar for his birthday. Though now, the sound of the guitar doesn’t seem too bad in retrospect. I would much prefer him playing that noise (its actually not “noise” as the kid is an absolutely incredible guitar player) that spending all his time in front of a laptop on facebook. Yes, that is often what myself, my other brother and many other people are age are doing. It doesn’t make it right. But it doesn’t stop us from doing what we know is a waste of our time either. I suppose I would just prefer to save him from the procrastination, and let him get on with his life and actually achieve things in his life.

I don’t know whether I am right for having these thoughts or have mentioned above, perhaps I am simply being overprotective, or I think facebook is for “older” people. I’m sure at a point there was a thing you had to be over like 16 to sign up? I understand the need for “constant communication” between friends, especially in the holidays. But still. I wonder if facebook were around in my day would I have been signed on when I was 10? Times are so different. The technological age is forever advancing…and to think when I was 10, we probably only got our first computer.

Feel It… Wait – Where’d It Go?

Clad in every item of green and yellow they could find and wrapped in flags, South African’s gathered to support Bafana in the match that could get them through to the next round of the World Cup 2010. Thats a big thing! All over my facebook homepage throughout the day people were cheering on Bafana, in the hope of them winning tonights match against Uruguay. The thing is, did we really expect them to win? Or were we merely hopeful? I’d say we were filled with masses and masses of hope, rightfully so. Bafana had been doing so well and winning matches prior the start of the World Cup but as I sat with hundreds of people cheering on Bafana, oohing, aahing, whincing, and shouting in all the right moments, what I saw tonight on that monsterous screen was one big disappointment.

Now I will start and be honest by saying that I am no soccer fan. I have minimal knowledge about the rules or skilled required for the sport, so much of what I say is open to criticism and correction of facts. But I did watch the game, and do have some thoughts – be them valid or not.

I cheered on Bafana throughout the match. It was upsetting when Uruguay scored that first goal, but it was only 30 minutes in leaving us with a whole hour to come back in. I thought that was pretty do-able, with my optimistic attitude towards the nights game. At a point, I realised I was quite impressed with Bafana, now I dont know soccer or tactics but I found it quite impressive how they would pass to each other much of the time as opposed to carelessly kicking the ball across the field. This way they at least kept posession of the ball. Though it got to a point where it became ridiculous. Yes, they were in possession of the ball but they just weren’t moving it beyond their half and into the next, in attempt of scoring. Instead they passed it backwards, which as the game progressed and Uruguay kept outdoing them, became a bit frustrating as all you wanted was for the ball to reach the goal posts. And if not the goals, at least the halfway mark of the field!

Uruguay played well for the most. Well, clearly if they beat Bafana (OK, kind of). But I just have to vent about Diego Farlan. Oh my word did he irritate me the entire match. He may have been cute, but seriously from early on he just struck me as a one-man-show and a show off. And that other guy who kept on getting injured… wow, seriously, I’ve heard people chirping soccer players recently for having great acting skills but wow. Seriously?

Everyone is furious, and wants to hunt down, burn at the stake and subsequently castrate the ref for giving the goalie, Khune, a red card. I was just as angry, the thing is I’m not sure why he was given the red card or what he had done wrong? This is in pure ignorance of the rules of the game, and not in disagreement with the ref’s decision. I’d actually appreciate it if someone could explain to me. To me, it didnt look like he had been any more violent than any of the players.

Though that is another complain I have about Bafana. Perhaps it is because I don’t watch soccer, or sport in general, but Bafana tonight (in comparison to the other matches I’ve been watching since the World Cup started last week) just seemed particularly violent. Watching them throw down players etc. Yes, I was rooting for them, but I didn’t see the reason for their barbaricness. For the love of the game? Maybe sport just isn’t meant to be my thing.

And yes, Uruguay scoring that 3rd goal in the last few seconds of extra time was terrible. It tore away our last scraps of hopes, stomped on them, and used it to wipe our tears. It burned. But it was embarrassing. In my opinion, Bafana did not play on top form tonight. I have heard chirps from people overseas saying how we’re only in the games because we’re the host country, and tonight proved why we’re just the default. In all fairness, of all the people who were so hard core Bafana fans tonight, how many of them believed we even stood a chance when 2009 rolled into the ever-waited 2010? I’m not so sure.

Tonight hurt us. It could be seen as soon as Uruguay scored that goal, and even on screen you could see spectators leaving. The camera panned across empty seats of which minutes before were filled with hopefuly supporters. Even the venue where I was, seating a good couple hundred people, saw people slowly moving out, not wanting to bare witness to the final score. The thing is, this doesn’t stop our pride at being South African. So we lost a soccer match, we’re not gonna win the world cup. 31 other countries experience it every 4 years. The fact of the matter is the when push came to shove, South Africa as a host country pulled through and showed the world what they were capable of. Bafana were squashed by Uruguay. The ref was an idiot (or so I am reading on facebook). But its over. Well done Bafana, your country supported you – worse could have happened. At the end of the day, its only soccer. Better luck next time.

Feel It… It Is Here!

Right now is the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2010. I’m watching the game live, as I type. I’m sure the world is excited for this event, but its never the same as posting from the host country. I am definetelly not the first blogger to post about this event, and probably not the first from South Africa either. But each experience is unique.

I can’t speak for how the vibe is in other parts of the world or even here over past World Cups, as I’m really not much of a Soccer fan. But its hard when you’re living in the host country to not catch on with the hype as you see it everywhere. You don’t just see it. You Hear it. You feel it.

We never thought we’d be ready – and look at us now. Its been a very exciting day. I was out today in town walking the streets and I’ve never seen such excitement. This was at a time where there was as of yet no match being played, let alone in the city – and the vibe was awesome. The trees were wrapped with flags, flags hung everywhere and people were all over the show dressed up in their Bafana Bafana paraphanaelia. The country has never been so united, or so proud to be united. All over the show, cars have South African flags – on their dashboards, off their windows and over their car mirrors (I love love love mirror socks!!!).

How can we forget the sound of the Vuvuzela? The instrument which after the Confed Cup was meant to be banned. But oh no, no one can take this sound and spirit away from South Africans. We go to sleep hearing them in the distance, wake up hearing them in the morning, and continue to hear them all day. As I type, I hear them from the live match. Today, walking through town I saw masses of people carrying them as they walk, blowing them at odd moments whenever they felt like. But it doesnt matter when you blow, because somewhere nearby, another person is blowing theirs. Its like a mating call. The sound of South Africans coming together. And after our past, that in and of itself is something magical.

Its hard just not to be excited. This morning just getting in the car and hearing the radio changes everything, the media has all the power in the world to intice excitement. And theyre doing a fantastic job! On 5fm, a local radio station they were giving away tickets to each of the playing countries. All over facebook, South African statuses state “It is time” or other such phrases which capture their individual excitement. People posting about being proudly South African after watching the Kick Off Concert last night, last night people were at fan parks going crazy, everyone sharing their excitement with the world – or at least their facebook friends!

Friends of mine were up Table Mountain today, and even they heard the sound of Vuvuzelas all the way up there. Amazing. As we left town, yes so there was traffic but thats besides the point, we forgot that there was the opening match at 4 and everyone was going to the Fan Park. The ammount of people you see walking the streets to the same central point. Dressed proudly supporting Bafana. In all their crazy attire. We bring the magic. We bring the gees. Its enough to keep you entertained, or ina good mood all through the traffic.

This is what the country has been counting towards for the last 6 years. The Gautrain. The rapid transport system. The stadiums. All are ready. We’re clearly ready. Let the world see us shine.

1 day to go...& the 35m Vuvuzela!

Splash Life With Some (water)colour

Sometimes life gets old and drab. Same old, same old, every day. Day in, day out. You deff can’t say that in SA with the Soccer World Cup happening in TWO DAYS!!! Anyway, sometimes you need to splash your life with something new, with some colour. In this case, as I”m on holiday, 7 weeks can get quite long and boring. So the perfect way for me to entertain myself is to learn new Photoshop skills (as you’ve read about in the last few posts). Here I found a tut which helped turn pictures into awesome water colours splodged works of art 🙂 Its really a simple tutorial, the paint spoldges are a big file to download but once you have those you can make as many as you like. So follow the tut here at 10steps (  — [sorry, my computer still freezes when I try link! :(]