Saturday, September 01, 2007

The internet is right, it took a year.

About a year ago, I had one of my toenails damaged to the point where it fell off:
Injury, nail pops open, nail pops off

The information that I received on the internet was that it would take close to 18 months for a new nail to grow in. I can attest that finally I have a nail on my toe that looks almost normal, and it has been nearly a year of time. So, although one cannot believe everything that one reads, or learns, one should be open to possibilities and potential knowledge available on the web.

Sure.. I've seen, and read some rather unbelievable statements that I have to shake my head and wonder if it's real. For example, in Japan, is it true that a drinking product is sold called Pocari Sweat where they have factories of an animal called a Pocari housed in a warm environment with collector tubes attached to their sweat glands to capture the sweat, and then they sell this like bottled water?

Check it out.

You MUST be kidding me! Who in their right mind would want to drink the sweat of an animal that looks like a grey half cat/ half rat? Who would pay for such bottled stuff? Who would accept that kind of animal abuse.. IF this this happening? But there it is on the net, over and over, labeled bottles of pocari sweat available for purchase at only $2.60 a bottle. Someone is buying it, otherwise the product couldn't exist.

Not everyone is a nice person on this earth. I like to believe in the goodness of others, and people like to believe that they are always the good guys, but I have learned through experience that there are many who have developed different outlooks, and goals for themselves. Perhaps it is their pride that overruns their good judgement, or perhaps it is internal faulty values that guides their thoughts, but these people make their own lives miserable by the negative emotions, choices, and thoughts that swirl in them.

For example, my daughter and I were riding the bus home. The bus driver had to stop a little sharply for one of the stops. We passengers was unbalanced some by the momentum. My daughter and I calmly brought our balance back into play, adjusted, and waited patiently. However, the fact that this happened totally unsettled one of the lady passengers who then erupted in a cascade of anger, and swear words towards the driver for the next 5 minutes until she stepped off of the bus. She attacked his skill as a driver, and his personal character. I heard the driver defending himself against her charges, and then I realized something important. There was really no need for him to defend himself. The anger, and negativeness of the woman was coming from a spot within her, not from the fact that the driver had to stop the bus more sharply than usual. None of the other passengers were reacting negatively, we all had calmly readjusted our balance to compensate. None of us had the slightest inclination to even complain. This one woman was speaking as if we were "with" her in her opinions, and anger... but we weren't. In fact, what I saw in the eyes of the other passengers was a non-emotive response of "Leave the busdriver alone, get it over with so we can continue in our travels"

That woman got off of the bus, and walked away still angry and cursing. I could see her carrying her anger with her all the way down the street. I turned to my daughter and said "She is hurting herself. This negative anger is causing all sorts of damaging chemicals, and stress hormones to be released into her body which will cause tons of chain reactions. The longer that she carries this anger within her, the more damage she will do to herself. Learn to react to a moment, learn what motivates your response, look at how you are judging others behaviours, and learn to calm yourself down, and see the bigger picture so that you can let go of the little things, and live a happier life." I remember a very good, wise, priest friend of mine saying to me "Standing at the end of a dock crying, and feeling sorry for the whales predicament will not change anything. All that you will get is a headache, and a sore stomach. The whales will be no better off. Choosing not to embrace, or accept the attitudes, and behaviours that has placed the whales in the situation that they are in can change your life and theirs."

I have seen this Pocari sweat product, realized where it's source comes from, and personally decided that I would not support such a thing. I have seen the negative reaction of that woman discharged at someone who was just doing his job, and I have decided that I do not want that in my life.

There are alot of judgements that people like to place on each other which should be shrugged off. Ideas like "fat people shouldn't bother exercising". Honestly, who in this society of overweight children, and adults needs to consider improving their lifestyle the most?? There is no shame in starting off in exercise as a fat person, and working towards a healthier lifestyle by training, and eating more healthy. However, this effort takes humility, because when you start training as a fat person, there are many people with negative judgemental attitudes that will attempt to discourage you from your goal. They will wag their tongues, and give you disgusted "looks" to shame you back into hiding in your home, eating chocolate ice cream, and watching t.v.. Again I quote my wise priest friend "Choosing not to embrace, nor accept the attitudes, and behaviours that have placed the whales in that position can change your life, and theirs."

Since Christmas, my husband has lost 40 pounds, and I have lost 30 pounds. Does that make me a better person? No. Does it change my value, nor the effort that I have placed towards my karate training? No. Does it enhance my knowledge of karate? No. All of these things were there regardless of my physical side. The changes of losing weight means that my clothes are now baggy on me, and I have to get another wardrobe. Also, I have gained some greater physical health benefits. Less chance of diabetes, heart problems, sleep problems, etc. If I had allowed the negative attitudes of other people dictate whether or not I trained in martial arts, I would have chosen a different path. I would have continued avoiding all exercise, and eating tons of unhealthy food. Today, I would probably weigh in over 230 lbs by now, and have such an unhealthy lifestyle that I would have difficulty walking from my kitchen to my dining room. I am SO grateful for the gift that my first Sensei gave to me when I approached him and asked to join his dojo. The honest respect, acceptance, and dignity that he gave to me which allowed me to see myself as something other than a fat, useless, out of shape, sickly, ugly, and unwanted person opened the potential for so much progress in my life. He saw the predicament of the whale, and chose to embrace a different perspective. When others saw futility, he saw potential. It only took the hope of a promise in his eyes that perhaps I might be able to achieve something to fuel the same hopes within me.

Sure.. we human beings can affect each other negatively, or positively, but I believe that in the end, it is our own personal choice whether we stand and cry for the whales, or choose to change ourselves.

9 comments:

Silverstar said...

That 'pocari sweat' thing is really gross! (If its true, but people consume all sorts of weird things so its not that unlikely)
That's great that were able to receive positive encouragement from your first Sensei and have chosen to live and think positively as well.:)

wmioch said...

Psst, it's not really from an animal. It's a famous example of Engrish, English words that are used in Asian (typically Japan) countries in such a way that is humourous to native English speakers. In this case, the sweat refers to hard work, and the drink is kind of like Gatorade.

See a huge range of examples at http://www.engrish.com/

Very funny if you've got time to kill and can download the pictures.

Bill

[Mat] said...

"She is hurting herself. This negative anger is causing all sorts of damaging chemicals, and stress hormones to be released into her body which will cause tons of chain reactions. The longer that she carries this anger within her, the more damage she will do to herself. Learn to react to a moment, learn what motivates your response, look at how you are judging others behaviours, and learn to calm yourself down, and see the bigger picture so that you can let go of the little things, and live a happier life."

amen.

"However, this effort takes humility, because when you start training as a fat person, there are many people with negative judgemental attitudes that will attempt to discourage you from your goal"

Each time I see someone with some extra weight training, running, whatever, I am reminded of myself at 14 years of age. And I think : "keep running. you're doing good." Not : Oh, you overweight thing. stop it, don't you see it's not giving anything?

Forgetting the body-soul-body temple connection is easy. I've done it countless times already. But now, I remember.

That's what's important. And now, you remember too.

Cheers!

supergroup7 said...

Thanks Silverstar. I'm glad that my life took a turn too.

OH.. I sure hope that it's not really some sort of animal cruelty thing, Bill. I would rather believe that it's just a gimmic to get people to buy this product. Thank you for the Engrish link, I'll go check it up as soon as I can.

Forgetting the body-soul-temple connection is REALLY easy, Mat. There are many times when one gets stuck in the body level, and can't see past it. I wonder if negative emotions like anger can be at the body level too.

chosha said...

It's totally NOT sweat. It's a soft drink that tastes kind of like a sports drink (non-bubbly, sweet and a little salty at the same time), which I think is the point of using the word 'sweat', but without them realising that it sounds to an English-speaker like it contains sweat. Like Bill said, Engrish can get interesting, and pretty funny. The link to that page wasn't working for me, but I'm guessing it's a joke page like the fake page about "bonsai kittens" supposedly kept in jars to keep them small and alter their shape like the trees - just someone having their fun and playing on the funny name.

supergroup7 said...

Thanks for your comment Chosha!

It's a relief to find out that this product isn't as said. I could believe that a rival company could even want to place defamatory information on a product on the internet hoping to drive down sales.

BUT.. IF this product was being produced in such a negative way, I would still reject that.

Colin Wee said...

I've drunk pocari sweat before - and like it! But then maybe that's the Asian in me. :-)

Colin

supergroup7 said...

Colin.. Would you know if that stuff really "sweat", or is that just the words in the title? How did it taste? Was it sweet and salty? or just salty?

Sarah said...

I loved this post, all of it.
I too have been on the bus ride, plane ride, walking down the street even - and there will be a person in the exact same situation you described. I feel sorry for the 'victim' more so than the 'perpetrator' in the case of pointless anger - it hurts the self esteem of that person greatly. But I also really feel bad for the other person, who is so angry that a misbalanced stop or a lengthy wait would cause such a tirade. There really has to be a lot going on with such a person, and you can see it in their eyes, face, and posture. As a hard-of-hearing person, I take extra care to watch the body language of a person - I miss a lot of what people say, but the message reaches by watching the face (and lips) and body language. Then, I can usually pretend, at the least, that I understood. I can usually come up with an appropriate response. But that's a different thing altogether. When people are angry, sad, upset - their whole body says it. They are tense, riled with emotion - ESPECIALLY someone who is angry. It's actually interesting to watch and pay attention if you ever have the time.
But, anyway, I find the whole discussion of sweat/sports drink drinking bizarre and very funny. I'll stick to my grapefruit juice, thank you, regardless of whether it really IS sweat or not.
As for the position you presented on being overweight, I understand completely.
You said "Does that make me a better person? No. Does it change my value, nor the effort that I have placed towards my karate training? No. Does it enhance my knowledge of karate? No. All of these things were there regardless of my physical side."
Exactly.
Those things don't change. The physical differences make you feel better about the way you look, increase your stamina and fitness perhaps, and of course lower health benifits, but they don't really change who you are. I too have lost a good deal of weight recently (I'm proud to say, though embarassed to as well, that I am FINALLY below the "obese" line - seriously lowering my risk for any number of problems), but I have to say that it doesn't change anything. I am no smarter, I don't think I am any more or less beautiful. Losing weight didn't magically make me a better karate student - though the training that made me lose the weight did.
And I, too, hate that an overweight person exercising is seen as a joke. How else are we to change our size BESIDES exercise? I have never been one who likes to diet, and dieting alone is not healthy anyway. I prefer to just train obsessively - fun and rewarding and I get to eat more. But I have experienced that. Riding my bike through town, I have had rocks thrown at me, been called names - "fatso," "bitch," "lardass," among them - and any number of things by the general public. And it really pisses me off. Mainly because I, in contrast to all the others in their nice, air-conditioned and high speed motor vehicles, am getting somewhere on my OWN steam. I would have to say that I am being a good deal less of a 'lardass' than someone who throws rocks from cars at fat people on bikes.
But people still think that's okay, that they can do that. I would never, ever comment on an overweight person exercising - I think it is wonderful - FAR less concerning than the walking sticks that I see passing out on the treadmills.
Far less.
And, like you, karate changed my view about exercising. My sensei never made my weight an issue. I was, of course, expected to do anything any one else did - and while it took a while at first, I was able to. I wasn't treated as a fat person. I was treated like everyone else. I thought it was fun though, because I got to play the middle line. I was the example for both "when someone larger comes at you... they'll have more power because of their size" and "a short, small woman(I'm 5'3), like Sarah would be faster and more able to get into quick and smaller places than a taller man, larger man"
Interesting dichotomy.
But yes, excellent post, I'll keep reading.
Sarah