blog > 2012 > September

A judgmental jerk by Misha Lyuve

Sep 23, 2012

The bed & breakfast was clean and cozy. The owners were friendly. I mean, very friendly. To tell the truth, so freakin’ friendly, they were killing me. Do you want coffee? Smile. More toast? Smile. Eggs? Big smile. More coffee? Juice? Pancakes? Home-made granola? Smile. Smile. Smile. More coffee? Anything else you need? I tolerated this with a semi-cheerful New York smirk, but inside I was rolling my eyes so hard they were hurting.

The day was perfect. Early fall. I climbed a mountain and was rewarded with the views of lake George; they made me pause. The lake seemed so big and mysterious when I stood right in front of the water. But from the top of the mountain, it felt innocent and easy to embrace; tucked, like a child, between the woods.

I could also see that those moments when we are so vested in life’s drama look very different when we manage to observe them from above. And when I thought of myself and the couple from the B&B from the top of that mountain, I looked as a petty judgmental jerk. And why exactly I had to get so engaged in being annoyed with those people, who at least did me no harm and at best provided me with a great service?

They say “judge not and you will not be judged”; that judgements use much of our energy that could be applied in more productive ways; that they stay in the way of us seeing, understanding and loving others and rob us from blissful moments of affinity. And hell yeh, more than anything we dislike when others judge us, misunderstand our intentions and don’t give us a chance. As you, I know all this too well. But often I just forget. But when I am aware, I can let a judgement go as a feather off my palm on a windy day. It is always liberating.

Who do you judge?

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5


Writing from C.S. Lewis by Misha Lyuve

Sep 13, 2012

In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.” - C.S. Lewis

Why NOT give money to politicians by Misha Lyuve

Sep 8, 2012

The 2008 US presidential and congressional elections cost the country $5.3B. 2012 projections are closer to $6B ($6,000,000,000 – in case you are not proficient in billions). This amount is an equivalent of a yearly GDP of a small country like Rwanda or Malawi. It is also expected that this hefty sum will be approximately equally split between Democrats and Republicans.

More than a half of that money is spent on advertising. I am not diminishing the importance of political candidates to make their platforms known. However, the nature of political advertising nowadays looks like this: first you use some partial-truth-fact or take an out-of-the-context quote of your opponent and make it into an ad. Then point a finger at your opponent and, in justifiable outrage, call him a liar for doing exactly the same thing against you.

Some people blame politicians, call them untrustworthy scumbags; while others are resigned to the fact that the reality of being a politician is such that the only way to win is to play the established game of dirty tricks. And while both points of view might have some truth to them, let’s not forget that in a democratic society, its political system is just a mirror reflection of values of the society itself. In other words, blaming politicians is like pointing a finger at yourself.

By the way, I am not talking as a person who doesn’t have political opinions or doesn’t care about the future of the country. And if you, just for a minute, pull away from particular ideas you passionately support or furiously detest, you will see that politics became just a game of two sides that are more interested in winning than truth. That is why politics turn into one of the most divisive forces. The easiest way to know it if you have a family member that shares views of the other party than the one you support. Can you have a meaningful conversations about politics with that person?

I don’t suggest to dull your passions. I am just saying that each of us has a choice where to channel our enthusiasm. There are many ways of contribute to ideas you believe in and change you want to see happen. In fact, it starts with you.

Here are a few donation alternatives:

World Wide Orphan foundation

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Just Food

ASPCA

Global Medical Relief Fund

UNICEF

Surfrider Foundation

Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Friends of Maiti Nepal

Cooley’s Anemia Foundation

Smile Train

A long life by Misha Lyuve

Sep 1, 2012