Links I Love: Volume 4

Hello people. This one is late because I was under the weather over the weekend. I’m better now, but I’ll probably still go to the hospital.
Anyway. This week I bring you articles on sexual abuse and why we should talk to kids about sex early; what saying thank you means in different cultures (one Indian and one Chinese); why you shouldn’t care (in general); the best piece of marriage advice ever; and why you should pause before saying amen to prayers (there are 2 articles on this actually).
There’s an interesting article on this widely experienced phenomenon now tagged “parental Stockholm syndrome“. There’s an article discussing why daughters don’t have to get married, and another on why there’s no big deal in a man taking his wife’s surname (if you don’t read any other article, you should read this one). There’s an article on procrastination, the “procrastination doom loop” and how to break the loop (great read, and actually very helpful).
There’s another interesting article on “the beauty of the brothel” (another one you should read) and a true story that takes catfishing to a whole new level. There’s a work of fiction that I loved.. It’s titled “You’re not dying, and this breaks your heart
Enjoy and let me know your comments on any article!

5 things I want my kids to know about sexual abuse.
Most of all, she taught us to be comfortable and aware of our bodies. We always used all the real words (“breasts” and “vagina”). We knew how babies were made. We knew that sexual feelings were normal. If we touched our own vaginas, we were never told to stop, but that we should do it in private. We were told that there were nerve endings in there that made touching “feel good,” but that we were the only ones who could do it. Sex was normal between consenting adults, but not until then.

Parental Stockholm Syndrome
I might fight it, clinging to the adult world I left nearly eight years ago, struggling to maintain the illusion that I’m not captive to the passions and imaginations of two little girls. Or I can sit back, let go, and allow myself to tear up when Rapunzel is finally reunited with her parents at the top of the castle.

How Thank You Sounds to Chinese Ears.
My Chinese friends say they notice that Westerners use lots of pleases ( qǐng) and thank yous ( xiexie) when speaking Chinese. And actually, they say, we use way too many of them for Chinese taste. A Chinese linguist, Kaidi Zhan, says that using a please, as in “Please pass the salt,” actually has the opposite effect of politeness here in China. The Chinese way of being polite to each other with words is to shorten the social distance between you. And saying please serves to insert a kind of buffer or space that says, in effect, that we need some formality between us here.

The beauty of the brothel
No one wants their work or existence debased by the idea that they may have had to “reduce” themselves by having sex for pay, especially in societies as conservative and patriarchal as Ghana and the American South. And yet many of our most beloved and influential members of the global community have had to do just that to get a foothold on the pedestals we’ve placed them on. Many of the world’s most talented people have either had to work in a brothel or were born in one.

This Is What It’s Like To Fall In Love With A Woman Who Doesn’t Exist
Everyone knows that, on the internet, it’s possible to pretend to be someone you’re not. For many people, that’s part of the appeal. There’s a whole TV series, MTV’sCatfish, based on people using false personas to lure others into handing over their cash, or their heart.
But the case of Leah Palmer is extreme – and bizarre – by any standards. For three years, someone lived out a fantasy double life using pictures they had stolen. They built up thousands of social media followers, and developed real friendships and at least one romantic relationship.

My daughters don’t need to get married
In the world I grew up, a woman’s worth has always been measured by her ability to secure a husband. I hate the world I grew up in. For all intents and purposes, a man is a terrible prize for anyone to aspire to. We are too much work and we are usually not even worth the trouble. Securing a man for life should be considered a charitable deed than a life aspiration. But that is the world I grew up in. The world where women have it so bad that every piece of crap served to them is branded as an accomplishment.

So, what if men took their wives surname?
Surnames began in various regions of the world at different times. In England they began as a way to prevent confusion when referring to people. In the early years of the middle age, people lived in small communities, and as these communities began to expand so did a need for differentiating between people who shared the same name. You heard a name like “John Smith” and instantly knew it was referring to John who is a black smith, not John Baker the baker. So yeah, surnames weren’t that big of a deal when they began, and were more descriptive than a cultural or legal necessity. As time went on, it became a norm, and norms aren’t exempt from human biases. In this case, the gender bias and surname norm came together in holy matrimony.

Lovengers: The Age of Gambrach
King Gejoshaphat contended against Gambrach of Gunn in Electoralis Federalis and was defeated. Such was the defeat of Gejoshaphat however, that he surrendered just before the battle ended. Wherefore it was said of him far and wide, and beyond the 37 kingdoms that he had set a worthy precedent. Wherefore, with Osinoshin as his Hand, Gambrach ascended to the throne of the 37 kingdoms.

The Procrastination Doom Loop—and How to Break It
Productive people sometimes confuse the difference between reasonable delay and true procrastination. The former can be useful (“I’ll respond to this email when I have more time to write it”). The latter is, by definition, self-defeating (“I should respond to this email right now, and I have time, and my fingers are on the keys, and the Internet connection is perfectly strong, and nobody is asking me to do anything else, but I just … don’t … feel like it.”).

You’re not dying and this breaks your heart
For some reason you hope it’ll be something big. Maybe she’ll tell you you’re dying of cancer or something even worse. Maybe then, everyone will love you like they do dying people in the movies. It’s not easy to understand this need that you have- to be pitied. Everyone believes you got it from your mother but you are nothing like her. You do not sigh at every opportunity or constantly complain about the hand life has dealt you. Maybe you do not need to be pitied. Maybe you just want people to feel like they are losing you.

I’ll Have That Word With A Side-Dish of Discernment (Intro)
These are questions that have, in part been answered for me. For the most part, these are questions I’m grappling with still. One thing I have learned is that as I live in this walk, discernment is called for. I am not to blindly follow teachings. I am not to shout an “Amen” because it follows “Hallelujah”. This may sound a little rebellious, but in all honesty, I have a responsibility- to myself, and to this God I claim to love. I’ve got to be a little smart about my faith- to test what I’m taught (1 John 4:1-6), weigh whatever teachings I come across against His word! Over the next few weeks, I will share my journey with discernment, along with what I’ve found in my own devotional time.

The Single Best Piece of Marriage Advice Ever Given
You have to banish contempt. Contempt is an acid, and it etches ugliness into love. To banish contempt means that when your husband has given in to his least attractive tendencies, his most fearful, or fearsome; when your wife has lost her focus, her patience, or her heart, this is the moment when you must exercise the x-ray vision I’m sure Yeats would have mentioned if he’d known about Superman. This is the moment when you must see through the annoying, demanding, complaining, failing, faltering wreck in front of you—and find the strong, kind, fascinating, functional person you know your spouse wants to be.

I’ve Never Thanked My Parents for Anything
In India, people—especially when they are your elders, relatives, or close friends—tend to feel that by thanking them, you’re violating your intimacy with them and creating formality and distance that shouldn’t exist. They may think that you’re closing off the possibility of relying on each other in the future. Saying dhanyavaad to strangers helps initiate a cycle of exchange and familiarity. But with family and friends, dhanyavaad can instead chill relations because you are already intimate and in a cycle of exchange. And few things can be more painful than ending a relationship.

WHY YOU SHOULD PAUSE TO PROCESS PRAYERS BEFORE SAYING AMEN
Don’t think this is an article of unbelief in prayers, if you do then you are as-well unbelievable. Because when people like us, who just want to live a life of worship in appreciation of God’s endless love and mercies and live our essence –praise, are castigated by awful glare of shes-not-even-praying-shes-the-demon glare, I just want to glare back an I-know-you’re-holier-than-me-but-i-am-content.
Just so you know, I think it is high time we awaken to the consciousness of the words of prayer we say, and consciously make out declarations to the best of our knowledge for the betterment of our lives and not as a religious obligation and a mindless clichéd echo of thats-the-way-we-were-brought-up default ‘Amens’. Say ‘Amen’ when you must, with substance. Say ‘Amen’ with a strong understanding of what you are amening towards, I mean, aiming towards.

What Happens When You Don’t Care
Not caring doesn’t mean you stop pursuing things. You pursue the things that whisper to you. Things whisper all the time.
Seeds aren’t covered in shit forever: they get rain and sunlight and nutrients and they grow.
People can say, “some people can’t get those opportunities”. But to be honest, I have NEVER seen who didn’t get opportunities when they consistently tried their best and didn’t care about the results.

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