Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bullying matters

Freedom of expression is being strangulated slowly and almost painlessly in the USA.

In Brazil, where people loooove to copy everything from the US, it's not being much different. At least, that's what I have noticed, being half American, half Brazilian.

One can be sued for expressing his true thoughts, opinions and tastes. Your kid can be called a bully if he calls another kid Four-Eyes, or Fat, or Walking Stick.

Maybe I shouldn't lose my time writing about such provocative topic: bullying. But I will, because I, too, have the right to express myself.

 According to Merriam-Webster:

When I was a kid I also experienced someone provoking and threatening me. It was either because I was "four-eyes" until I was fifteen (no, not fifteen eyes; years old); or because of my Italian nose, which yielded me funny nicknames like Toucan, Pinocchio, Big Nose, Air-Thief, etc.

Also, in school I was too smart for the average kid and (gasp) for the average teacher, too. So, by the kids I was called "caxias" or "CDF" - I don't know what they call nowadays, but  they are equivalent to "teacher's pet", only more disdainful. By one teacher I was meanly  called "Dazzled Doll", and she used to threaten me. Well, I guess I was a threat to her, wasn't I? And I was only 9 years old!

In my early twenties I was teaching English and I had a few students - grown-up boys - at the back of the classroom who have been held back for years. They hated English and they liked to threaten me. One day they waited for me outside the school and when I left the building they frightened the heck out of me, yelling and threatening to "catch me".

Did I suffer awfully because of all that bullying? Did I make to the news? Was there a fundraising campaign to protest against the harassment? Did the bullying interfere in my upbringing, my personal, moral, and behavioral developments?  No, of course not!

To be provoked by peers, classmates, neighbors, even cousins, best friends and the whole society used to be normal until a few years ago.

In the country where I was born and grew up it is (or was?) completely normal to friendly call a black man Nigger! It was also okay to refer to someone as "fat", if she was fat. After all, it's just a characteristic like being blonde.

In America, once upon a time, it was more than appropriate to say that a woman who is a steward is a stewardess, or a woman who waits tables at restaurants, is a waitress. Now, we have to use lots of euphemisms, or we will be considered rude.

Where does all this bullshit come from? (Oh, pardon my language! Did I offend you?) Now, we have flight attendants on the airplane, and servers at the restaurant. It's like they all have the same sex now. No, gender is a better word. Or no gender. So dull and boring it is now! (Hard to identify the parts, too!)

All against sexism - is that so?  Which is real sexism? Using the original and clear words for what we mean, specifying which gender we are talking about;  or generalizing genders (because of an agenda, of course), making that all be the same, just to protest in favor of feminism? The latter sounds way more sexist to me!

Did I say feminism? Oh, never mind!  I'm behind the times, aren't I? That's not fashionable anymore. Transgender is all the rage now. And don't you dare express your real feelings about that concept - you might get in trouble for that!

But, I digress! Let's get back to the bullying matters, which are made worse by the society, by the media, by the narrow-minded people who are always trying to blame someone for their weaknesses.

The bullying referred by the media (and don't forget the cyberbullying) is essentially made of verbal insults, but they encompass physical aggression, too. Yes, some school kids are pushed around, poked, kicked in the ass and so on... but those, to me, are normal things among kids - except if it is beyond proportions, which could be classified as physical violence and not simply bully.

It seems to me that people are mixing meanings, adding different connotation to old terms, over reacting, and especially over-rating the word "bully" (among others, of course).

In Brazil, "bullying" (yes, in English, even! No translation! And most Brazilians can't even pronounce the word correctly!)  is a new way to express that someone who is apparently weak is being insulted. Well, people have always being insulted, in one way or another, and never needed an international word or craze to fight it. What's the big deal now?

If parents cannot teach their kids how to manage insults in life; and if kids have to be constantly protected from bullying, they will certainly grow up believing they are weak and the world is out to get them! And they do become weak. And the world does get them! Self-fulfilling prophecy.

When I was (ahem!) "bullied" I did not like it, of course. But I learned early in life to deal with things that I didn't like. No one would come and defend me all the time. And it was not a good idea to attack my opponent, either. I soon realized (also by following my wise parents' advice) that ignoring the opposition was the best thing to do. It was, and still IS! Just LET GO!

So, my point of distress with these trends I see now is: why aren't kids being taught anymore to be smart, self-sufficient, self-confident in a balanced way, and over all unattached from such trends? Why can't kids be taught to ignore the unfavorable, instead of giving too much power and attention to it? 

Simple! Because parents themselves cannot do that either. Do you see how much attention goes to unfavorable things?

The bullying matters are going too far and it's becoming more than ridiculous! More even in Brazil, where people just copy concepts, words, and trends without thinking of what they mean and what's the repercussion in the society.

Not so long ago I saw a post on Facebook; it's a video talking about a fat guy - yes, a fat guy (let's call him Sean), dancing with a fat woman.  According to the news, some unscrupulous person videotaped the man dancing and shared on social media, mocking him because he was fat. It turns out that Sean became an "overnight sensation" because of such mocking video. "Anti-bully activists immediately reached out", they say. And even donations (can you dig it? DONATIONS!) were made to bring the fat man from UK to LA, for a dance party they had promoted for the cause. The captions on the news video say: 'Support goes viral after man "Body-Shamed" '.

Such shame for being bullied for his fat (or his dance, or both) certainly became even more spread out after all that fuss about being bullied. Do you see how those reactions against bullying just make it worse and let people even more exposed? Don't you think that a big, fat, mature man could survive the fact that some idiot filmed him dancing and laughed at him?

First, the bully who laughed at the fat guy was just expressing himself. He has the right to do so. Second, Sean didn't have to pay attention to this fact - why should he care if someone filmed him dancing and laughed because he is fat?

When people pay attention to things like that, and get shocked by them they give more power to them. That's exactly what was intended by the bully: being noticed; going viral; being talked about; shock a few people. He won!

I guess publicizing the video without permission is another issue. But I still wouldn't call that bullying.

Do I care about all this?  Nope! Do I believe or get affected by all this?  Nope, nope! So why am I sharing this with you?

Because of the concept behind of it all. Because of the "monkey-see-monkey-do"  behavior that is affecting deeply the American society (they see on the news, they believe, they spread, they act upon it); and the Brazilian society, too (they see in the international news, it's cool, let's do the same!).

What I see now is that the attention to bullying has become a ridiculous fad, and may not be for a short time because people are buying it.  I have seen people attending to Zumba events, called anti-bully fundraising Zumba - for $20 "donation" for the "cause". Which cause?  Who's is receiving that money? And what for?

The word bully was first used in 1609, according to MW. But, it was never used with tremendous concern or so forced into people's mind as it has been for the last decade or so.

Now, people just repeat what they hear in the news and think they are all victims. They are all weak, needing protection from some source.

That's also what our leaders want the nation to believe. Everybody frightened, defenseless, waiting for protection and care from those who set the rules. So they can perpetually set the rules.

Got it?


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Life is... WHAT?

Which phrase best resonates with you?

a) Life can be great... but not for every one.
b) Life sucks!  Well, most of the time.
c) Life is just a mission on Earth, and most people suffer to reach heavens.
d) Life can be good or bad, depending on the environment you are.
e) Life is as good as we make it, regardless external influences.

Well, we could go on and on here and give many, actually, an infinite number of definitions for life. However, the challenge here is to choose only one of the the five options above  -  the first one that comes to your mind - and THINK about your answer, if you will.

I think that if you chose anything from a) to d) you are giving away your personal power. If  you stick to the fifth option, consciously observing yourself, without judgement or criticism, you will notice that all the other statements lose power. Thus, your life will have no chance of being less great than the beauty you visualize for it.

What do you visualize, anyway?

Here is a reminder: your thoughts and feelings are projected out in the Universe, translating into facts and situations that then come to you. That means that whatever you have in your thoughts and feelings (the first creates the latter) will be projected out of you in form of reality (in different forms and shapes), coming to you. You think of war, you feel sad, you project sadness out in the world. And what you project, you receive. Peace cannot be established in the world - or inside yourself - if your state is of sadness, pity, anger, sense of injustice, fear, etc.

And ye,t another reminder: DECIDE to be joyful, no matter what; CHOOSE the things that are favorable to you, that feed your well-being, and stick to them; KNOW inside your heart that you are the only responsible person for your life, so MAKE it worthwhile living! Stop expecting the world to be better, so you can be happier, be in peace, be fearless. Understand that the process is the other way around! First you feel good, then the world gets better - at least yours, that much I can guarantee! And, the more people feel good and peaceful, the more the world feels good and healed, too! It's an Energy Equation!

So, stop criticism. Stop complaints about the world. Stop fear. Stop judgement. Stop angry. Stop feeling small, Just STOP!

You can do it! It's your mind, it's your decision!

And you'll expand... naturally. And so the world!

LOVE YOURSELF, then it will be a walk in the park to be loved by the world, and to love the world as it is....

Just LOVE!

And keep loving, and knowing that you are loved, too!

Your life can and will be the paradise you make.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Poetry, Love.... These are what we stay alive for.

 "We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for." 
~ John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Be passionate!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Open Mind, Open Eyes

The Elephant and the Fairies

by George Guild

It is a fact that few of us realize that we have never seen a fairy wearing glasses. Why shouldn't they wear glasses? Little boys and girls wear glasses. Little boys and girls like fairies, yet it is unheard of for fairies to imitate what other people do, and wear those dreadful goggles which spoil the eyes and faces of beautiful young children. Many a fairy has whispered in the ears of children that glasses are bad. Many a fairy has whispered into the ears of a mother that glasses were an injury to the eyes, with the result that mothers who enjoy the society of their children are troubled about the glasses.
One evening after everybody had gone to bed, the father of a family sat in his chair dozing, after he had read the evening paper. Many fairies came and whispered in his ears that glasses were bad for his children. He tried to argue the matter with them.
"Why shouldn't they wear glasses? The doctor says it does them good. They cost a lot of money, and my children are all the time breaking them. But if it does them good, why shouldn't they wear them?"
The fairies remonstrated with him and told him that he could not see with his eyes, he could not see with his mind, and that he was just as blind as the five men were who tried to describe an elephant which they had never seen.
"Well, tell me all about it," said he.
So one of the fairies perched herself on his right shoulder, and told him the story which illustrated how wrong some people can be.
Once upon a time many centuries ago, an elephant came to a small village where no person had ever seen such a creature before. Five blind men were coaxed with some flattery to give their opinion of the elephant.
One grasped the tail and declared: "The elephant is very much like a snake." The roar of laughter from the spectators upset him very much.
The second blind man leaned against the side of the elephant and said: "The elephant is very much like a high wall." The applause of the mob was tremendous.
The third handled one of the elephant's legs. "Yes,” he said, "The elephant is very much like a pillar." The applause which followed bothered him.
The fourth grasped one of the elephant's ears, and very solemnly asserted: "The elephant is similar to a fan." More applause and laughter greeted this opinion which also disturbed the blind man.
The fifth felt of the sharp pointed tusks, and said: "The elephant is very much like a spear." As an encore to the applause, he corrected himself and announced: "The elephant is like two spears."
The five blind men gathered together. The vigorous arguments of each blind man to prove that he was right and that all the others were wrong, amused the populace for some hours.
The world is full of blind people who have eyes and minds which do not see. The world is full of Good Fairies who teach us how to see with our eyes and minds.
The next morning the father told his wife all about his experience with the fairies, and when the children appeared for breakfast wearing their large rimmed spectacles, he saw how their eyes and faces were injured by them. His wife saw the same thing, and they both exclaimed in one breath: "Take off those horrid glasses, and never wear them again."
Then the little girl took off her glasses and dropped them in the waste-basket with a smile. The little boy dropped his on the floor and, with the heel of his heavy shoe, he smashed them into little bits, and laughed.
The father was astonished, and asked: "Why did you do that?"
The little boy laughed loudly, and cried: "Because I have got the best of the horrid things. They never did me any good. They hurt my eyes and kept me off the baseball team. I cannot tell you how glad I am to be rid of them."
The little girl also was smiling, and they soon were all smiling, and they have been smiling pretty much all the time ever since.

If  got it right, this old Indian parable was published this way (with the addition of the fairy, children, etc) on  Better Eyesight - A Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Prevention and Cure of Imperfect Sight Without Glasses -  Dec.1919. Wiliam H. Bates.

About the Blind Men and an Elephant parable, there are more interesting points here (worth reading the whole article on Wikipedia):

"Two of the many references to this parable are found in Tattvarthaslokavatika of Vidyanandi (9th century) and Syādvādamanjari of Ācārya Mallisena (13th century). Mallisena uses the parable to argue that immature people deny various aspects of truth; deluded by the aspects they do understand, they deny the aspects they don't understand. "Due to extreme delusion produced on account of a partial viewpoint, the immature deny one aspect and try to establish another. This is the maxim of the blind (men) and the elephant."[4] Mallisena also cites the parable when noting the importance of considering all viewpoints in obtaining a full picture of reality. "It is impossible to properly understand an entity consisting of infinite properties without the method of modal description consisting of all viewpoints, since it will otherwise lead to a situation of seizing mere sprouts (i.e., a superficial, inadequate cognition), on the maxim of the blind (men) and the elephant."[5] "

Sunday, April 26, 2015


The Poem-A-Day challenge today, by Poets Aside, brought us an interesting prompt -  a word coined by Shakespeare (each poet's choice) should be the title and the theme of our poem. I'd have never imagined that more than 1700 words we commonly use today were created by Shakespeare. That inspired me, because I do, too, love to create words!  People look at me funny sometimes, buy hey, if Shakespeare could do it, so can I! :)

If you're interested in seeing some of Mr. Shakes' words, check them here:

For this poem I chose "dishearten".


Some individuals just like to dishearten you,
you might have tasted that bitter feeling, too.
Some creatures are soulless, I don't mean
they are mean – no! They are just empty,
therefore they know less, they do less good,
they hurt more often, and they like to
dishearten you, and me, and the kids along.
I call those species “dishearteners”.
If you come across a disheartener today,
just dispatch the gremlin away!
Because to dishearten is really easy,
and it can be confused with good intentions,
so you may not realize the deep thought
behind the words of a disheartener.
It may come in different ways, like
hypocrisy, envy, harsh criticism and
the worst of all that throws you against the wall:
pretended good advice for life.
Those who unwillingly dishearten you
start saying that you'd better be, do
or have it (whatever it is)
some other way.
And that's how they discourage you
from being, doing, and having it the way
you feel like. They wring your confidence
and daunt you from living the life you choose.
If you meet a troll like that when you go for a stroll
and it says that this way you won't amount to anything,
tell it to go take a hike, because you live
your life the way you like.

- Rosangela C. Taylor

Friday, April 24, 2015

Disguised Damage

Four people
Two people
Two people
decide to meet.
Two people
have fun while
two people
drag their feet.
Two people
fall in love
and awake
for life.
One person
finds it out.
One person
knows nothing.
Two break inside.
Three broken hearts.
Two people fall
sick. Disillusion.
One person forgives.
Three people
drag their feet
while one person
Four people smile.
Two people still
Four different lives,
one need.
Two loving hearts
But everything
looks good...
at the end
Four people smile
and three pretend
for a lifetime while.

- Rosangela C. Taylor

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wrong Label

And the Poem-A-Day Challenge continues... today the 21st day with the prompt "what I am" and/or "what I am not".

And here we go...

Wrong Label

What I am, nobody knows
Where I stand or
where I go
nobody can see.

Not even me.
Because I transmute
often, I change route.

You think I am what you see
but you know nothing about me.
You are part of my story
belong to my inventory
but you never fought my battles.
You didn’t rebuild my castles.

You just fantasize.
And you envy my paradise,
you vaguely see my treks,
you don’t know about my wrecks
and yet, you judge my acts.

You don’t know who I am
and you don’t give a damn!

You know nothing about
what’s in and out
of my changing views
from the lowest grounds
to my highest hills.
From my spring valleys
to my pitch-dark alleys.

And you label me,
anyway. As if I were
a box of Lipton tea.
You are unaware
but I am not
what you thought.
I am not a finished product,
ready and packed.
Me, you cannot predict.

Where I am today and where I go
remains an incognito.
Who I am now won’t be tomorrow
that’s life’s sweetest marrow!

I am the expedition –
A special edition.
Or the expeditionary –
A visionary.

No delimitation
or definition.
There is no end of me.
I am just free to be.

– Rosangela C. Taylor

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Daring Wish

I'm truly enjoying the month of poetry with the Writer's Digest challenge, a Poem-A-Day. Poetic Asides dared me today to write a daring poem. How couldn't I take a dare??  ;P  Here it is...

A Daring Wish

I know you wouldn't dare
because you no longer care;
you know I would be there
and even what I'd wear.

Would it be unfair,
or just another err?
That yellow dress, I almost bare,
long black hair flying in the air...

I bet you would care
again, if you did dare.
Bursting again, in that flare
feelings that are so rare!

But you are not aware
anymore of the glare
that belongs to our affair.
It's still there, I swear,

while you, in that chair,
daydream our soul-repair.
Lost, hurt, you just stare,
because we're no longer a pair.

Maybe, secretly, you still care -
but think you cannot declare
'cause you are too square.
Oh, how I wish you would dare.

- Rosangela Taylor

P.S. Here is the link in case you would like to share your poems, too!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Only if I still loved you

If I still loved you
I'd write you another poem.
Not like any of'em,
but a poem about you.

And about us.
The rise of a sentiment,
and the so imminent
destructive fuss.

We took risks in those days,
January to December
jumbling our ways.

We were kids inside
and we just followed the heart.
We knew the art
of going with the tide.

The poem would gather
our moments of laughter,
the magic during and after
the bliss of being together.

Your boyish personality,
your strong passion and desire
for more life, more fire.
Your best quality.

One verse would be like this:
Among all the experiences
and despite our differences
we lived in true bliss...

And I'd write about your smile
and the way you'd look at me
how you'd make it easy to be
so alive, so wild in a little while.

The poem would refresh your mind
about all the things we lived for:
burning desires, love, fun, and more.
It would remind
you and me
that we might never find
a better way to be soul-free.

I'd write you a poem,
if I still loved you.

- Rosangela Taylor

Friday, April 3, 2015

She keeps smiling

Nobody believed her
but she insisted smiling
and saying there was no

“What's your secret?”
was not the right question
to ask, since if
there were one it
couldn't, obviously,
be revealed.

Or, it'd no longer be a

And she had one. Much
At least one. A good,
audacious, hot one.

A red, passionate secret
that kept her
young, joyful,
wise like a witch,
brilliant like a goddess.

She lived for it.
And she kept smiling
and saying there was no

She died 
for that secret.
And she never
told us what it was.

But you and I -
we know,
She still has a

Yes, she's a secret.
And she keeps smiling. 

Rosangela Taylor

Thursday, April 2, 2015

How can I not?

How can I not?

You show me the bad
you try to change my act
you think I cannot think
and I turn you off in a blink.

You – you rob me,
straight face!
That is not a fee,
there is no trace
of liberty;
it’s not my free-will
or collaboration.
It’s a bill
for distortion.

You lie when you say
this is the land of free.
Nothing you know about freedom
when you abide to a kingdom.

How can I not resist
to this huge farce?
How can I exist
like a harnessed horse?

Rosangela Taylor
(for Writer's Digest Poem-A-Day Challenge, April/15 - Theme, "Resistance". Photo also by Rosangela Taylor)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Your Truth resides in your own perceptions

You can either see a shattered shell and be reminded of destruction; or you can see the exuberant moon partially covered by tree leaves, having the sexy darkness of the night for background. And then, be reminded of the Universal ecstasy that surrounds you.

That's how we can see our lives, too. It all depends on where we focus our perception.

There is no absolute truth - not even this one. It's all in the eyes of the beholder. 

It's not because we read it somewhere that it's true. It's not - especially not! - because we saw it on TV or on the Internet that it's true!  You know that, I know you know it.

However... how many times have you and everybody else believed in facts (or "so called" facts) that were transmitted to you by any means, without knowing (or even questioning!) what else was behind that? The subjects are numerous. And numerous, too, are the different perspectives on each one. In the News you can find endless examples. Stories about celebrities' lives, the economy, politics, society, and health. They are all "stories" told from someone's point of view. There is so much speculation about everything! It's said that it is what feeds the media. But, no! Actually, what feeds the media is YOUR belief in their speculation. 

And we all, as a society, have been trained to believe the strongest argument. No matter what lies  behind it. In other words, our perception has been tamed to the point of being numb. It's been easier to accept media-made perceptions than use our own.  But, not everyone has been trapped!

Perceptions will ultimately become beliefs (your own Truth), and even worse - they can become dogmas, a way of life. But they start innocently as experiences and opinions go. This is the cycle:

Each person is unique, and has a unique background - be it genetic, ancestral, conceptual and/or experiential knowledge. All these form each individual's experiences and opinions. Over time, they become beliefs. These opinionated beliefs will determine the person's perspective on life: the angle from which that person will stand to look at things, and "how" he will look at those things. And by that angle or perspective he will form his perception: "what" he sees and what he understands from that.  (And what he sees/understands  is added to his background/experience again, and the cycle continues.)

This cycle has four elements, in this order: 

=>  experience/knowledge => 
=>  opinions/beliefs => 
=>  perspective/how you see things => 
=>  perception/what you see/understand =>

You can start analyzing it from any element and follow the arrows, and the result will be the same.

To me, the key point is: perspective defines perception.

Those perspectives, or the way you look at things, will determine your Truth. ONLY YOUR TRUTH. Not everybody else's truth. Not absolute truth (unless worse comes to worst and it becomes a dogma, where a whole group with numb minds follow one mass perception).

So, what is YOUR Truth? What do you choose to believe - according to your own opinions and knowledge? Have they been favorable, so far?  The answer can be found in your own life. If you are living a life that is abundant in joy, harmony, good thoughts, health, love, money... yes, your perspectives on life have been favorable to you, creating favorable perceptions, and consequently beautiful experiences in return. 

If you are living a life where you lack money, health, sincere friends, creativity, inspiration, energy... Where everything is a drag and getting up in the morning sucks, then it seems that your perspectives about life are not being that beneficial to you, are they?

Knowledge cannot be returned. Once we gain it, we have it. Or at least we think we have it, until we change it, transform it for a better use. That said, even knowledge can be changed. Not eliminated, because we cannot eliminate acquired experiences, but we can improve that knowledge by simply changing the focus! Consequently, we'll be changing the perspective. Then, the  perception; and by doing so we'll be creating a different knowledge/experience. Which, ultimately will lead to a different belief, our new Truth! One that's favorable to us!

It's all in the eye of the beholder.

If you see a cracked shell in the picture above it's probably because your eyes first caught the very moon. The light part, which may not look like a moon to you, at this point. It's in the foreground for you, thus the appearance of a cracked something, because the whole (the darkness) seems farther and greater.

On the other hand, if you look at the picture and your eyes are first attracted by the surrounding darkness of the shady leaves, then it appears in the foreground and you can now see the moon in the night background, even behind the dark leaves, which mingle with the dark sky. 

Try both perspectives and notice how cool is to change the focus of the eyes and shift between the two perceptions: a cracked shell and a sensual moon.

Same thing goes for the way we focus on life. What we focus on  - the brilliance or the darkness - will determine how we judge the big picture. 

The broken aspect of things, or the exuberant life that is in all things. It's a choice, actually. Both aspects are there. The wise observer will choose that which makes him feel good inside.

What things are you choosing to see that are not making you feel good inside? Maybe they need a shift in perspective, too! The way your country is being managed? Some people's behavior, of which you don't approve? Facts that you condemn? The decay of something? Your appearance?  Your finances?  Remember, they ALL have multiple aspects to be looked at. If the aspects you have been choosing to see are not leading you to peace and contentment, something is wrong. Just switch your focus and claim your well-being!

To think about perception - and to change it when necessary in order to see more beauty in the world - is not only a very interesting mind/spirit exercise, but it is also vital for the well-being: our own, individually, first; and as a consequence, the planet's, as a whole.

We better ourselves first. And the rest follows. (It's not the other way around!)

Sparkles of Passion to You! 

Rose T.