Kindness: The Underappreciated and Underused Resource

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Kindness has become an inseparable part of how I identify myself as and what I do in my daily practice

Dropping out of my Master’s program has quite possibly been one of the best things I have done for myself. As I approach the two-year anniversary of making that crucial decision, it freed me from expectation and faith in something that made no promises for anyone who sacrificed their time and money in hopes of living out their dreams. More importantly, it humbled me and spared me from humiliation, because I had approached it with a lack of maturity. I had mistakenly assumed that by theoretically liaising with like-minded individuals in the form of my colleagues and professors, I would somehow magically be qualified to save the world after having two initials appear after my name in my e-mail signature.

What I was left with was a monumental task that seemed daunting, but doable, because I was left to prove my creativity could surpass privilege and status with my writing and camera. It was upon going overseas that I realized the real resource I had that has taken me farther than any skill, personal connection, degree, or salary has been kindness. Kindness is universally appreciated, and is something that can not be faked. It may be hard to see because it seems so rare in the age of increasing the size of your professional network rather than building quality relationships, but when the ulterior motive is only to infect others with that inner harmony as well, it makes waves in the sea of life.

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Marathon of the Mind: How to Get Ahead Emotionally, Physically, and Professionally

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I was once criticized by a disgruntled former colleague in grad school for my tendency to take long walks instead of sitting in class. It was a comment I ignored, but I noticed Einstein and many other intellectuals tended to eschew norms and daily routines, preferring to literally run with their thoughts and catch up with them, including how the American Constitution was written during long walks and discussions. The other month, I walked for over 52km around Bangkok on a single day, and that same week, I’ve had plenty of opportunities and inspirations, not unrelated to the post on Art of Manliness relating to the healthy benefits of walking–for your mind and soul, too. You can see more in these Lifehacker articles too.

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Cambodia: Angkor, Siem Reap, Blood, and Revelations

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I haven’t posted much in the project blog lately because video editing work back in Bangkok has become a black vortex devouring my time every day, including weekends, as deadlines start creeping in. Worse, I no longer had India on my agenda of mission to deploy to, so it would be another month without travel, even if the good news is, I now have extended my contract with their approval to June 19. No travel on a monthly basis makes me suffocate, but thankfully, Songkran (Thai New Year) and Khmer New Year came in, and I decided on a spontaneous trip to Cambodia for the long weekend to breathe.

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Youth in Development: Speaking and Doing

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My college history professor Donald Campbell once made a bold statement: “The youth are the empire builders and the empire breakers, for they are the ones who historically started and fought revolutions or built the monuments and served in the military of empires.” It got me thinking, because in this day and age, despite protests worldwide against injustices during the Cold War, and now the New Media generation using Twitter, blogging, Facebook, and YouTube, they are a lot more vocal about issues that mean something to them, or being introduced to what is not readily familiar. Continue reading

Johnny C’s Fatalistic Philanthropy Game

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You’ve all heard of the game with the scenario where your life will end in one year, six months, one month, one week, three days, or one day, whatever time it is. What would you do?

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The power of love in Sri Lanka

Never underestimate the power of love. It is the one truth in the universe: love conquers all, and transcends time and space. No gun can do what love does, no master’s degree and expertise can match the small gestures of the heart with pure intent, no amount of money or possessions can equal even a drop of water to the endless ocean that is love. This is the truth that has been taught through the ages by the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Laozi, Gandhi, Krishnamurti, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon, and many, many more. Today in the northern part of Sri Lanka, ravaged by war, I have shown people just what power there is with love.
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See you later Indonesia!

As of this writing, I am now sitting in a cafe in Manila, where I have been for the past three days since leaving Indonesia. The video above is the summation of my talents in one piece of work: my filming and video editing, my humanitarian aid and development knowledge and effort, my writing, language skills, and photography, and voice over work.

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