Saturday, July 9, 2011

first, be respectful, then be open-minded.

the diversity of people's opinions of the same thing, and their refusal to even rationally and (for a brief moment) objectively consider the opinions of others, is truly unbelievable.

Education of the mind and heart, that is the ability and willingness to be respectful and logical, it seems, falters under the invincible crush of beliefs rooted deeply in the mind.

To solve problems, we first need to identify and acknowledge the problems.
Then we need to consider every plausible solution, and decide on the most suitable ones.

If it's my own problem, I can label it any way I want, and I need only find my own solution. I needn't consult others or consider their needs. Easy enough, except that there is no such problem--unless you are living alone on an island, and your problem is 'when should I sleep tonight?'

If it's a problem that concerns others, and (almost?) every problem in the world falls into this category, then it would be very un-civic and extremely selfish of me to deal with it as if I am the only one that matter.
I would then need to ask the others who are involved to participate, voice all our concerns, see all perspectives, and try to understand the fear and hope that are within each of us.
I would then need to acknowledge the equal right of each individual involved to contribute to the solution of the problem, and I must respect each individual's standpoint.

Of course I will have my own personal bias due to my unique upbringing that will differ from the others, but we must all remain logical and open-minded as best as we can.
We discuss in cool tones, we debate in fiery words.
Our fists don't clash, our ideas do; our identities aren't destroyed, but ill-conceived ideas are.

I think civilized, intellectual discussion that caters to the emotional shades of our beings must be taken as the first step in addressing conflicts. It must be the first step and all will must be taken to retain it as the only step.

That is, until some parties just cannot hold discussions without discrimination, without bringing in prejudice and refuse to be open-minded. You can be as patient and as witty as you can be with these people, but in the end, we have to accept that there is not ONE way that leads to all nice endings.

Then time for words around the table has come to a sad end, and time for words through action has come.
There will always be people who would condemn peaceful gatherings, people who would hate violent uprising, people who would rather remain in the status quo because they think they can afford to do so. Risk-averse, most of us are by nature.

It's impossible to label any view right or wrong per se. Yet (most of us) we live in a democratic society where each of us has equal rights to our views and to determine our own fate. So, no matter which side you are on, which part of the picture you choose to be, I implore you to at the very least, be open-minded, be respectful, and be brave in defending your stance and the right of others to practice their freedom.

And oh yeah, since you are undeniably a small part of a much larger picture, PLEASE TRY TO SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE. damn it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Reunited with assassin bugs!

In two posts ago, I mentioned that I found assassin bugs in a rosemary bush outside my favourite Chinese restaurant in Davis, right? I was very excited then. Today I finally had time and the good opportunity to collect them. I had dinner at the restaurant again, and I excused myself for like 4 minutes, taking leave from my friends to head out to the bush and find them assassin bugs.

There were quite a handful of them two weeks ago. Today I only found two after 4 minutes. Not bad, I am sure I could have found more with more time, but it wasn't nice to keep my friends waiting...certainly rude to forsake them for some insects!

Fondly fed them fruit flies back in the lab. I collected a nymph and an adult. Couldn't really tell if it was a female or male...I would lean toward female though, based on the curve of her ventral side of the abdomen. In any case, she wasn't least not yet. Perhaps she has already mated and will develop eggs soon. I can only hope. Perhaps sometime this weekend (Monday is a holiday, July 4, Independence Day in the USA) I will go collect more of them.