Saturday, 31 January 2015

Stress = disconnection from the present moment

(Originally posted on Wednesday, 2 November 2016)

Stress = disconnection from the present moment.

It's not my idea, but when I heard about it during a training course at my work it blew my mind. This definition of stress is true in vast majority of cases.

How often are you stressed by the present moment? Probably when somebody is yelling at you because you have actually made a mistake. But otherwise the present moment is not really stressful. It's the thinking about what can possibly happen in the future or what had already happened in the past that is stressful. In such cases you can consciously come back to the present moment (stop thinking about the past or about the future and focus on what you are currently doing) to get rid of the stress almost completely.

To be clear: it's obvious that we have to think about the future because we have to plan some things in advance. The point is that when we have already thought a particular thing through and we have made a particular decision then there is nothing more that we can really do. It is pointless to worry about all the possible negative outcomes when there could be only ONE such outcome or NO such outcome at all (the problem may work itself out and disappear).

Friday, 30 January 2015

My previous New Year's resolution (for the year 2016)

(Originally posted on Sunday, 1 January 2017)

My previous New Year's resolution (for the year 2016) was to exercise twice a day. That would give me 732 sets of exercises in the whole year. With only 5 reps for each kind of exercise it would give me 3660 reps of every exercise I do during every set.

In reality in the year 2016 I managed to do only 130 sets of exercises, which is only 17.76 % of the plan. Nevertheless it means that during the year I did 650 push-ups, 650 knee-bends, 650 “leg-ups”, 650 dumbbells lifts and 650 reps of every other exercise I do during every set. That is almost a 100 % improvement compared to the year 2015.

My New Year's resolution for the year 2017 is exectly the same as for the year 2016 – to exercise twice a day – preferably one set of exercises before midday (in most days it would have to be before my work – very early in the morning) and one set after midday (in most days it would have to be after my work – rather late in the afternoon). Maybe this time I will be more successful.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

My previous New Year's resolution

My previous New Year's resolution (for the year 2015) was to exercise every day and I would like to sum it up.

I created a short (maximum 10-minute-long) set of exercises about 15 years ago (about the time I stopped playing amateur basketball – toward the end of my college times). The set in my opinion is very useful for “normal” men (men who have no time or no possibility or no “power” to exercise regularly for longer periods of time). Maybe I will describe it in detail some other time, but now I would like to point out only the main things.

Nowadays I repeat almost every kind of exercise ONLY 5 times (there is one exercise I repeat 7 times and one that I repeat 10 times). Toward the end of the set (after some warming up and stretching exercises) there are the most difficult exercises: push-ups (all the way down – until I touch the floor with the tip of my nose), knee-bends (on FULL feet and NOT too deep – until my thighs are PARALLEL to the floor), “leg-ups” (lying flat on my back with my hands partly under my buttocks and then raising my STRAIGHT legs and moving them over my head and a little farther, but not too much) and dumbbells lifts (ONLY 7 kilograms in each hand).

Now to the point of my post – even with so laughable number of repetitions (5 reps for each exercise) you can achieve VERY good results if you are able to exercise every day. That was my plan for the year 2015, but I failed, as it was to be expected. I managed to do only 66 sets of exercises during the whole year. Pathetic results considering my New Year's resolution, but it still means that during the year 2015 I did 330 push-ups, 330 knee-bends, 330 “leg-ups”, 330 dumbbells lifts and 330 reps of EVERY other exercise I do during every set.
Not so bad.

My New Year's resolution for the year 2016 is to exercise TWICE a day – one set of exercises before midday (in most days it would have to be before my work – very early in the morning) and one set after midday (in most days it would have to be after my work – rather late in the afternoon). If I succeed then by the end of the year 2016 I will have done 3660 push-ups, 3660 knee-bends, 3660 “leg-ups”, 3660 dumbbells lifts and 3660 reps of every other exercise I do during every set. THAT would be something. We'll see.

(Friday, 1 January 2016)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Kids and parents (my own rhyme in English)

(Originally posted on Saturday, 27 May 2017)

My daughter wants to take part in a recitation contest at her school, but this time she is supposed to recite a rhyme written in English. I didn't like the two rhymes she got from her English teacher and she didn't like a rhyme I found on the Internet. So, I decided to write my own rhyme in English that would suit her needs – a short rhyme with simple words that she could memorize and recite rather easily. I am quite pleased with the result and I would like to share it.

Kids and parents

Kids are happy, kids have fun
Parents are calmer and kids wonder why

Parents are older, parents are wiser
Kids are just learning, as their life keeps getting harder

Life can be harsh, life can be bleak
As parents get older, they thank God they have kids

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Why I hate Halloween

Halloween happens on 31 October – one day before All Saints' Day. Halloween is a total opposition to All Saints' Day which is one of the most important days in Poland.

Every year on 1 November (All Saints' Day) millions of Poles visit cemeteries and light candles on the graves of their dead relatives and in places of special memory of people whose graves are far away.

All Saints' Day is a day when everybody gets thoughtful about things that are really important. Not about stupid jokes, not about work, not about career, not about money, not about hedonistic pleasures, but about life in general, about families, about relatives, about things that made us the people we are today.

Some people claim it's a sad day, but I totally disagree. It's a day when relatives meet together and never quarrel. It's a day to remember good things about people from our past. It's a day full of peace. Of course people who have recently lost a close person have a hard time, but they would have a hard time anyway.

I like to go to the biggest cemetery in the evening, when it's already dark, to see thousands of burning candles. Unforgettable feeling. On almost every grave there are several candles, and in places of special memory there hundreds of them.

Halloween is a disgrace compared to All Saints' Day in Poland.

Below there are some pictures I took today (on 1 November 2014). Unfortunately my camera is too weak and they are somewhat blurred.

The graves on the first picture are random – they are not graves of my relatives. The next pictures are from places of special memory. The words on the third picture are “TO VICTIMS OF WARS AND VIOLENCE”. On the fifth picture there are words “TO MEMORY OF DEPORTEES TO SIBERIA” and a map of Russia with marked places of forced labour camps where many Poles were deported. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybirak






(Saturday, 1 November 2014)

Monday, 26 January 2015

Glycemic index makes fools out of people

(Originally posted on Thursday, 13 July 2017)

Recently I “discovered” what glycemic index really means and I am pissed off because nobody has pointed it out clearly to me. It is NOT explained properly even on the Internet sites where there are whole tables with glycemic indexes for many different foods!

My wife suffered from gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and she ate mostly foods with low glycemic index. Unfortunately, even though she had changed her diet very significantly she still ended up using insulin. She did her own thorough search about diabetes on the Internet then, so I didn't analyzed the topic myself. The only thing I remember from that time is that “white bread is bad because it has a high glycemic index”. I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now. To make a definite opinion I had to understand what the glycemic index really is.

The problem is that hardly anybody explains the methodology behind the glycemic index OR sometimes the methodology is explained incorrectly!!! What’s worse some Internet sites don’t give precise numbers and just group different foods into 3 categories based on their glycemic indexes (good, medium or bad). Even worse, some isolated results for some foods are so strange (compared to other sites) that there had to be a mistake somewhere (as always, you shouldn’t base your knowledge on just one Internet site).

Below there are glycemic indexes for several foods that are rather universal, except for honey. It turns out that the glycemic index of honey depends heavily on what kind of honey it is. Some honeys are mainly glucose, which makes the index very high, and some other honeys have much more fructose in them, which makes the index much lower.

Glycemic index (GI):
1. Glucose (the base for all the glycemic indexes): 100
2. Baguette French bread: 95
3. White wheat flour bread (average): 75
4. Honey (average): 70
5. Sucrose (white sugar, table sugar): 65 (!!!)
6. 100% Whole Grain bread: 50
7. Pumpkin seeds: 25
8. Fructose: 20
9. Mayonnaise (classic, homemade): 0

Looking at the results above some people may come to some strange conclusions, for example that white wheat flour bread is worse than white sugar. Or that any amount of such bread is bad just because it has a “high glycemic index”. Or that it is safe to eat lots of fructose (pure sugar from fruits) just because it has a “low glycemic index”. Some Internet sites really say such things, but I always felt that there is something wrong there. Now I know what the problem is – it is the methodology behind the glycemic index or rather the meaning of the results given by this methodology.

Buried somewhere on this site:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index
there is a rough description of the methodology behind the glycemic index:

“The glycemic index of a food is defined as the incremental area under the two-hour blood glucose response curve (AUC) following a 12-hour fast and ingestion of a food with a certain quantity of available carbohydrate (usually 50 g).”

Basically it’s a relative comparison of one kind of food to glucose as far as blood results are concerned measured after 2 hours after eating the food. The problem is that it does NOT compare the same amounts of foods!!!

For example let’s analyze the glycemic index of bread calculated in reference to 50 g of glucose. In a typical bread there are around 50 % carbohydrates, so to deliver 50 g of carbohydrates a person needs to eat at least 100 g of bread. And this is how the glycemic index of bread is calculated – after eating at least 100 g of bread. But it is calculated relatively to the effect of 50 g of glucose! And this is exactly what makes glycemic index so unnatural. And vastly misunderstood.

What’s worse the methodology uses the term “available carbohydrate”, which means that the amount of eaten food was even bigger than it may seem at first. Let’s ASSUME that 20 % of carbohydrates in bread can’t be digested, so only 80 % of carbohydrates in bread can be labelled as “available carbohydrates”. It means that there are only 40 % “available carbohydrates” in bread. So to calculated the glycemic index of bread a person needs to eat 125 g of bread (125 * 40 % = 50 g). So, the glycemic index of bread actually shows the effect of eating MUCH more bread (125 g) than 50 g of glucose that it is referred to. Strange isn’t it?

On top of that, or should I say at the base of that, there is a problem that is completely ignored: it is hard to precisely calculate the percentage of carbohydrates in every food and it is even harder to precisely calculate the percentage of “available carbohydrates” in every food. Different calculation of a particular glycemic index may be carried out with different assumptions about the amount of “available carbohydrates” in the analyzed food. It would explain why some glycemic indexes of the same food are sometimes so different from each other.

The truth is that it is MUCH better to eat 50 g of ANY bread than 50 g of white sugar just because there are only around 25 g of carbohydrates in 50 g of bread (compared to 50 g carbohydrates in 50 g of white sugar).

Some people might say that my way of thinking is wrong because the amount of delivered carbohydrates is different. I disagree. I believe that we SHOULD compare foods this exact way. The problem in most of today’s societies is that people weigh too much and it is caused by them eating too much, especially too much carbohydrates. When people start eating less carbohydrates it will be good for them. Of course we shouldn't avoid carbohydrates completely, because it is the main source of energy for people, but on the other hand we should not “maintain” the same level of carbohydrates consumption when we see that our weight is not what it should be.

A better way to compare foods is the glycemic load (instead of glycemic index):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_load

“The glycemic load (GL) of food is a number that estimates how much the food will raise a person's blood glucose level after eating it. One unit of glycemic load approximates the effect of consuming one gram of glucose.[1] Glycemic load accounts for how much carbohydrate is in the food and how much each gram of carbohydrate in the food raises blood glucose levels. Glycemic load is based on the glycemic index (GI), and is calculated by multiplying the grams of available carbohydrate in the food times the food's GI and then dividing by 100.”

The above description is strange, but the idea is to compare the same amount of food instead the same amount of “available carbohydrates”. The formula for the glycemic load is actually pretty obvious:
GL = GI * % of “available carbohydrates” in a particular food

In the above example (with the GI of bread) it would be like this:
GL = GI * 0.4,
which is consistent with the actual amounts of foods used – the GI of bread compared the effect of 125 g of bread with the effect of 50 g of glucose, so to make the foods comparable as far as they actual weights are concerned we have to makes this calculation:
GI * 50 g / 125 g = GI * 0.4.

To calculate glycemic loads for the foods mentioned above I needed the percentages of “available” carbohydrates in the foods, but I found on the Internet only tables with percentages of overall carbohydrates (sums of “available” and “unavailable” carbohydrates per 100 g). What's worse the percentages for the same foods were sometimes very different from each other (on different Internet sites). I decided to take the MAXIMUM overall carbohydrates percentages that I found on the net, which means that I calculated the WORST possible values of glycemic loads.

Overall carbohydrates percentages in particular foods:
1-3. Glucose (the base for all the glycemic indexes): 100 %
1-3. Sucrose (white sugar, table sugar): 100 %
1-3. Fructose: 100 %
4. Honey: 80 %
5. Baguette French bread: 60 %
6. White wheat flour bread: 56 %
7. 100% Whole Grain bread: 50 %
8. Pumpkin seeds: 18 %
9. Mayonnaise (classic, homemade): 0 %

Glycemic loads (relative to glucose):
1. Glucose (the base for all the glycemic indexes): 100
2. Sucrose (white sugar, table sugar): 65
3. Baguette French bread: 57
4. Honey (average): 56
5. White wheat flour bread (average): 42 (!!!)
6. 100% Whole Grain bread: 25
7. Fructose: 20
8. Pumpkin seeds: 4.5
9. Mayonnaise (classic, homemade): 0

The list for the glycemic load is significantly different than the list for glycemic index! Now it is clear that “white bread” is not so “lethal” after all. Its effect is only 42 % of the effect of glucose and 65 % of the effect of white sugar. Sure the 100% Whole Grain bread is better than “white bread” as far as glycemic load is concerned, but what do the numbers above actually mean? They mean that instead of eating 1 slice of white wheat flour bread you “can” eat 1.68 slices of 100% Whole Grain bread (42 / 25 = 1.68) AND the effect after 2 hours after eating will be exactly the same. However this “can” in fact should be said “can't”. Why? Because the glycemic loads regard ONLY what will happen exactly after 2 hours and ignore completely everything else. For example glycemic loads don't “show” what will happen after 3, 4 or more hours after eating! Remember that all those “available carbohydrates” don’t disappear, but are just digested at a different rate! They will simply “load” some other points in time. We'll get back to this issue later.

I noticed yet another strange thing – on the Internet there are some tables with glycemic loads for different foods, but they are calculated for “servings” of different weights! This is ridiculous! It makes the foods still incomparable! However, that made me come up with a cool idea – I decided to calculate glycemic loads for the weight equal to the weight of glucose that is usually used to calculate the glycemic index (50 g).

Glycemic loads (relative to glucose) for “servings” of 50 g:
1. Glucose (the base for all the glycemic indexes): 50
2. Sucrose (white sugar, table sugar): 32.5
3. Baguette French bread: 28.5
4. Honey (average): 28
5. White wheat flour bread (average): 21
6. 100% Whole Grain bread: 12.5
7. Fructose: 10
8. Pumpkin seeds: 2.25
9. Mayonnaise (classic, homemade): 0

Now we can calculate how many grams of food a person can eat to get the same effect after 2 hours after eating (relatively to 50 g of glucose):

1. Glucose (the base for all the glycemic indexes): 50 g
2. Sucrose (white sugar, table sugar): 77 g
3. Baguette French bread: 88 g
4. Honey (average): 89 g
5. White wheat flour bread (average): 119 g
6. 100% Whole Grain bread: 200 g
7. Fructose: 250 g (!!!)
8. Pumpkin seeds: 1111 g (over 1 kg!)
9. Mayonnaise (classic, homemade): infinity!?

Please notice that the numbers are consistent with the example with the breads: 200 g / 119 g = 1.68, which still means that instead of eating 1 slice of white wheat flour bread you “can” eat 1.68 slices of 100% Whole Grain bread AND the effect after 2 hours after eating will be exactly the same. As I wrote earlier this “can” in fact should be said “can't”. Let’s analyze a little more the example with the breads. Those 1.68 slices of 100% Whole Grain bread will actually make your carbohydrates consumption (50 % * 1.68 slices * the weight of 1 slice = 0.86 of the weight of 1 slice) significantly higher that when eating just 1 slice of “white bread” (56 % * 1 slice * the weight of 1 slice = 0.56 of the weight of 1 slice). I made similar calculations relatively to 50 g of glucose.

The amount of carbohydrates consumption leading to the same effect after 2 hours after eating (relatively to 50 g of glucose):

1. Fructose: 250 g (!!!)
2. Pumpkin seeds: 200 g
3. 100% Whole Grain bread: 100 g (!!!)
4. Sucrose (white sugar, table sugar): 77 g
5. Honey (range): 71 g
6. White wheat flour bread (average): 67 g
7. Baguette French bread: 53 g
8. Glucose (the base for all the glycemic indexes): 50 g
9. Mayonnaise (classic, homemade): 0

Interestingly after I made all those steps in my analysis I ended up with a list that could be calculated from the first list with the assumption that the base is 50 g of glucose. Bravo me! But I would never understand the meaning of the last list without all those little steps I made earlier, especially the list for the glycemic load.

Again the numbers are consistent with the example with the breads: 100 g / 67 g = 1.5 = 0.86 of the weight of 1 slice / 0.56 of the weight of 1 slice.

What this last list means? It means that eating lots of foods with low glycemic index or low glycemic load actually makes the overall situation worse! Don’t fix yourself on the glycemic index nor on the glycemic load! They have to be analyzed together with the overall carbohydrate consumption. In fact the glycemic index and the glycemic load are a secondary issue, behind controlling the overall carbohydrate consumption.

Basically the most important thing is the overall amount of eaten foods, especially foods with high carbohydrates percentages, mostly sugars. And the foods with low glycemic loads only help you prevent rapid increases and decreases of the level of glucose in your blood. And that’s it. Eating 1 slice of ANY bread every 2.5 or 3 hours is more than enough to keep you satiated, especially when it is eaten with a little cooked meat and/or a little vegetables. Consumption of big amounts of food should be generally avoided – even lunch or dinner should be eaten in modest amounts. The same goes for fruits and “sweet vegetables”. The rule “Eat little, but often” is still valid. In fact it is as valid as ever.

By the way, I found some interesting things about breads in general:
https://greatist.com/eat/best-healthy-bread

I have to also point out that fructose in high quantities is very BAD on its own:
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/5/1189.full

Overall, any “sweet water” is NOT healthy:
https://authoritynutrition.com/fruit-juice-is-just-as-bad-as-soda/

Obviously mayonnaise can't be eaten in big amounts either, even though both its glycemic index and its glycemic load are zero. I myself eat mayonnaise regularly in small amounts and I believe that people should NOT avoid it completely.

Some time ago I've become a “fan” of pumpkin seeds. Apparently they are one of the “super foods” and their low glycemic index and their very low glycemic load are only two of many of their virtues:
http://superfoodprofiles.com/raw-pumpkin-seeds-nutrition

PS. Analysing carbohydrates consumption is much more terrifying than thought. I bought a small kitchen scale that allows taring and weighted several foods and liquids. Then I made some calculations and I got one shocking result.

In one mug (250 g) of very “healthy” juice (based on 44 % carrots,
11 % apples and 9 % oranges, with some cane sugar) there were
26 grams of pure sugar! This may seem like not a big deal, but I checked how much is that compared to an average teaspoon – it's a little more than 4 (FOUR) heaped teaspoons or a little more than 8 (EIGHT) level teaspoons!!! That's around 10 times as much sugar as I put in tea in the same mug!!!

Let's compare the “healthy” juice to the “very unhealthy white bread”. There are only 20 grams of carbohydrates in one slice of “white bread” (that weights around 35 grams), compared to 26 grams of carbohydrates in one mug of the juice. More importantly one slice of “white bread” will definitely keep you more satiated than one mug of “sweet juice”. The truth is that “healthy” juices can in fact be a carbohydrate trap, not to mention other “sweet waters”.

I think that we should drink liquids just to deliver water to our bodies not carbohydrates. Sure there can (or even should) be a little sugar in the water (for example in the form of concentrated syrup) but ONLY
3 grams per mug. Not 26 grams per mug!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Asceticism is neither the key nor the goal

(Originally posted on Saturday, 28 January 2017)

Several days ago a phrase popped up in my head that made everything clear to me – the best phrase to build the proper picture of asceticism is this: “Asceticism is neither the key nor the goal”.

The sheer fact that there are named many different types of asceticism proves that the concept of asceticism is not so simple after all. Moreover the main definitions of asceticism concentrate on religious reasons and/or avoidance of pleasures, which is a mistake in my opinion (a mistake in definition, not in behaviour).

With the above phrase in my head I imagined an example that shows what asceticism is all about. Let's imagine a person who is “materially” ascetic, but considers it as a way to reach a bigger goal – a way that should make him (or her) calm/happy/good/holy/whatever. He (or she) owns only basic commodities and refuses to get anything more, but in fact he does it against himself – he would like to own more, but he sacrifices himself for “a bigger goal”. Would such a person became calm/happy/good/holy/whatever? I doubt it.

Now let's imagine a person who is “spiritually” ascetic and is free of any kind of desire, except for a desire to own some basic commodities in order to satisfy his (or her) basic needs. If he doesn't desire to own more than some basic commodities then he will own only basic commodities, just like the first person. The difference is the fact that the second person is calm/happy/good/holy/whatever because he doesn't do it against himself. So his “material” asceticism is the RESULT of his “spiritual” asceticism. And what is his “spiritual” asceticism? It is his state of mind. Just a state of mind. It's neither the key nor the goal.

Please notice that this “spiritual” asceticism has nothing to do with a religion or pleasures, but with a simple concept of desire. In the above case it was a desire to own things, but the same example can be used for any KIND of desire. And this is what a true asceticism is all about – being free from desires.

Obviously we can't reject all our desires because we have to eat, breathe, have a place to live, have a family and have a little fun too, but the more desires we reject the more happy we become. “Let's enjoy the little things, for in them the formula for happiness is written.” With a true asceticism the joy from little things comes in a kind of automatic way.

Almost every human activity is based on a desire – without a desire there would be no willful action at all. If there is a desire then we can control it in most cases. There are some obviously “obligatory” desires, like a desire to eat or a desire to drink fluids, but a desire to eat a lot of foods, a desire to eat sweets or a desire to drink alcohol are the kinds of desire that are NOT “obligatory”.

In my case the sheer fact that I can identify a desire makes this desire much weaker – it's embarrassing to realise that you are a slave to your own desires. And I can identify a desire practically always. In fact it's very easy when you actually think about it.

I must point out that there are also positive desires that turn into something negative when they are too strong. For example reading books. Nowadays fewer and fewer people read books, so it is generally a very positive thing when a person reads books. But if he (or she) reads them all the time and neglects other things then it is clearly a bad thing. Similar examples can be given for anything that is considered positive and in extreme cases it concern even religion.

I'll give you two more examples. Just two. When I see that somebody, for example my wife or my child, has just done a thing that was illogical, impractical or that it could have been done more efficiently I feel a very strong desire to tell them about it – to explain it to them – to give them an advice. Usually this “advice” is considered as a criticism and makes them angry, no matter if I'm right or not. Over the years I realised that in most cases it is actually better not to say anything to them at all or maybe to turn my advice into a kind of joke. Now when I realise that all my actions are actually based on my desires, in this case it is a desire to make other people “better”, I feel less inclined to do it (to give them an advice), because it is my desire, not theirs.

The second example came to my mind while I was writing this very post. It's about expectations – a particular expectation can be considered as a desire too. In this case my desire was that when I was writing this post my children would understand that I was busy and would leave me alone for some time. This desire was in fact silly and it made me nervous because my children kept coming to me to tell me something or to ask something from me. Without my desire I wouldn't get nervous because of it.

I came up with this idea (asceticism considered as being free from desires) a week ago and I must say that it is rather helpful. It's enough to keep thinking what desires make you do what you actually do. Just thinking about your desires, without trying to change yourself right away.

By the way, here's a great song that makes me calm and peaceful:



Saturday, 24 January 2015

A tribute to my Father

It's been almost a year since my Father died and I would like to pay Him a tribute.

There are no perfect people and my Father was not perfect either, but He set a very good example to me in most cases. Interestingly He sometimes tried to convince me that I should behave “this and that”, even though He himself behaved differently. But He did it in good faith – He tried to make me more “successful” than Him. And He failed – I am as “hopeless” as He was, but I think He was quite successful in His own way. There were many important rules that He (together with my Mother) taught me, just by setting an example.

He was honest. He never tried to gain anything at someone else's expense.

He was lawful. He believed that official rules should be respected.

He was truthful. He was not afraid to face the consequences of His own actions and opinions.

He was sincere. He always tried to make everything clear, so there would be no misunderstandings.

He was assertive. He defended his own rights and He didn't take blame for other people's faults.

He was proud. He was not impressed by strangers, even if they held an important position.

He was peaceful and non-aggressive. He didn't like violence or imperialism of any kind.

He was strong-minded. He didn't change his opinions easily and He believed in His own conclusions.

He valued balanced opinions. He often explained to me what understatements or simplifications were made in a statement we had just heard on TV.

He was objective. He was not afraid to admit that our team won a game just because the referee made more mistakes in our favour.

He was compassionate. He fully realised and felt the tragedy of other people and He never laughed at other people's accidents or other misfortunes.

He was careful about other people feelings. He taught me that we shouldn't brag about our achievements or emphasize our material possessions.

He was financially responsible. He didn't fall into any debts just because some other people had more money than Him.

He was against vegetarianism. He was convinced that it is simply not healthy and that humans are more much more carnivores than herbivores.

He was not a mindless devout in any sense. He had his own opinions and beliefs, but He was not displeased by different opinions or different beliefs of other people, as long as they were not harmful or evidently untrue.

He was against taming of wild animals. One day when I was very young He drove me and my Mother to a circus, but He didn't go in with us to see the show and He simply waited for us in the car.

He was a sportsman when He was young. He encouraged me to try many different sport activities and He controlled how my body was developing, mostly by checking if I didn't have scoliosis or hunchback.

He was forgiving. He was surprisingly calm when I did something stupid as a child and He cared only if I was hurt or not.

He didn't use physical punishment. He tried to persuade me with words and bonuses or, as a last resort, with non-physical punishments.

He was not a despot. He didn't plan my life for me.

He was foresightedly wise. He discouraged me from engaging too much in one set of activities or deciding too early on my future goals.

He was imaginatively careful. He taught me to foresee what dangerous things can happen even in seemingly safe conditions.

He was critical of extreme sports. He thought that it is really stupid to voluntarily risk your health or even your life just for some excitement.

He was interested in science. He encouraged me to read books and magazines about how our world is functioning.

He was always reconciled to his life. He never anguished over his misfortunes or despaired over his life, even after He was diagnosed with blood cancer.

I feel very lucky that I had such a great Father.

(Thursday, 22 October 2015)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Make Your Own Life Your Own Hobby


Make your own life your own hobby. Enjoy the little things like washing your face or preparing your meals. Take your time doing such things. Relax just for a while.

Try to make other people feel better. Be kind and do some small favours even to total strangers. Surprise your family by doing things you don’t really like to do. Take pleasure in making them happy.

Do the things you know you have to do. Listen to your own common sense. Remember how you feel when you are finally done with something that was hanging over you for a long time. Do the things that need doing and enjoy your inner peace.

Don’t daydream. Concentrate on the thing you are currently doing. Think even about your movements. Take pleasure in controlling your mind and your body.

Keep fit, however you can. Do some light exercises every day. Make them short, but regular. Help your mind by helping your body.

Don’t try to do everything perfectly. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Be yourself. Realize that you are exceptional just because there is no one else like you.

Be aware of what is happening around you. Take pleasure in finding beautiful things in your everyday life. Enjoy the sunshine and enjoy the rain. Decide to be happy.

(Saturday, 14 January 2012)