How to Reduce Expenses

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Here are 5 advices to help you to reduce your expenses:

1.- Know where you are

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Some people suggest to keep a detailed daily list of all your incomes and expenses in order for you to know exactly how much money you have in your bank account and your wallet at every single moment in your life, the objective here is for you to become more conscious when is shopping time. Although, theoretically this makes some sense, if you try it, there’s a big chance of ending up feeling like a miserable and cheap bastard in less than two weeks and go back to your normal habits.

No extreme is usually healthy, but, you do have to get a general idea of your incomes and expenses, for most people is something like this:

Income: salary

Expenses: credit card balance + cash I retired from the bank account.

2.- Set a goal

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Why do you want to spend less? If you don’t have a clear answer to this question, eventually you won’t see the point in making an effort. Take your time before answering it, think about it for a while, a clear reason will be your goal to remember when the time to control yourself comes, once you have it, write it down and look for a way to be reminded about it constantly, maybe set an alarm in your phone, or perhaps a post-it next to your bed for you to read it every morning, the thing is that if you know your goal by heart, it will help you to get your mind in the right track.

Every situation is different and it can change, when I started a relatively well paid job some years ago, my goal was to reduce my expenses in order to save money for buying everything I wanted; I don’t like luxury so it wasn’t that hard, I bought some nice clothes, the latest smartphone, two smart TVs, traveled to another country, etc. Problem is, I hated my job, so about a year ago, I started to save money in order to hold on a year with no job until I figure out what will I do with my life, I did it and quit, however, I wasn’t expecting that the company I worked for, would retain what they owe me since last year (third world problems), therefore, right now, I’m in survival mode and my goal is to reduce my expenses just so I can eat and have the basic services (the good thing is that I’m highly motivated).

3.- Figure out what really matters and what doesn’t

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We all have our priorities, to be clear about them will help us to make the right choices. There are some things that we just can’t cut out, at the very basic we all need a place to live and food, and if you want to have a happy life, you probably want to pay for a place (rented or not) where you can feel save and for food that won’t make you sick, after that, priorities may vary from person to person,  make a deep search within yourself and see what really matters and those thing that doesn’t, maybe cut them out completely or look for a cheaper option to replace them.

Some people think I’m crazy for leaving a well-paid job without securing a better income before, but for me, stuff and money aren’t as important as I thought, I found out that my top priority is to be happy, and in my life that means having time for my family, working out and making posts like this, and if that means I’ll have to eat canned tuna for the rest of the month, I’m ready for it.

4.- Connect with other goals

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Is hard to change our bad habits, we’ve all been there, but have you ever stopped a moment to think how much money you spend in those habits that really aren’t any good? There are probably some things in your life that are consuming your hard-earned cash and you know they are affecting your life in a negative way.

In my case, I liked to smoke daily three or four cigarettes, junk food was a necessity every three or four days and having a glass of some good old whiskey was part of my end of the work week routine. I still enjoy all of those things (yes, I know smoking is bad, let’s move on) but now I consider them a luxury, as a result I have just a cigarette a day, junk food isn’t on the menu unless somebody invites me, and the good old whiskey is now a small beer.

5.- Look for a cheaper alternative not a bad one

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Unless you’re some kind of monk living in some sort of spiritual retreat for the last few years, chances are, you’ve been brainwashed by advertising to some degree, perhaps when you’re hungry some fast-food brand immediately comes to your brain, when you’re shopping at the supermarket you are probably looking for a name and not a product, the price didn’t even occur to you, and deep down inside you too want the latest iPhone (even if you’re an Android kind of person like me). The thing is, if you want to decrease your expenses, you’ll have to be smarter than that and allow yourself to explore other options, cheaper options. However, don’t put yourself through misery with bad quality, in the end that will certainly be frustrating.

Some other adjustments I made in my life include: buying cheaper brands and cooking healthy food, fruits and vegetables aren’t that expensive around here; I cancelled my gym subscription, now I run and exercise at home; and, I spend less money on gasoline, now I usually bike, walk or use public transportation (when desperate, public transportation in a third world country isn’t that nice).

 

Bonus.- Just a thought:

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The less you need to be happy the easier it will be for you to feel free.

 

 

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How to Gain Persistence

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How many times have you started something with lots of enthusiasm just to leave it forever after just a few days? It can be something simple like finishing a book or eating healthier, or it may be something more challenging like getting a professional title or creating a stable business, we begin many things, but for one reason or another we don’t follow through.

There are many times we leave things for no apparent reason, or maybe just really weak reasons and after a while we start to wonder why, ‘why did I stopped practicing football if I was really good at it?’, why I never finished that dessert course if I know how to cook and it was fun?’, why I stopped fixing things around the house? It made me feel handy and the sound of that leaking sink drives me crazy every night’. There are all kinds of answers for those questions but from what I’ve learned most of them are excuses that try to cover up the real answer, a lack of persistence.

So, here are 7 advices to keep in mind about how to gain persistence:

1.- Make a plan

Just because we like something it doesn’t mean that’s going to fit right into our daily life, we are usually already booked up for the entire day with work, family issues, a TV program, etc. So, if you want to be persistence at something you’ll have to be smart and figure out how you’re going to include that activity in your life, some things can be re-arranged, others can be eliminated and others you just can’t touch (like that awesome TV program!). It is your life so you’ll have to figure out your own priorities before making a schedule that makes sense for you.

When you’re making a plan, it’s very important to be realistic, don’t set the bar too high, because if you don’t get even near it after a while, there’s a good chance you’ll get frustrated and stop trying, but don’t set the bar too low, when you accomplish an easy goal it doesn’t really feel like an achievement so you won’t get the motivation to keep moving forward.

2.- Keep your eyes on the prize

When you’re at the middle of something you started, it’s very easy to forget why you started it in the first place, especially when it’s something challenging which results you may see after a long time, in these moments is really helpful to remember what you’re attempting to achieve, the benefits of completing that challenge, the satisfaction you’ll get when you’re finally able to say ‘I did it’, or, on the other hand, how miserable you’ll feel if you don’t try hard enough and after a while you say ‘I could have finished that, if only…’.

Concentration is the key and to improve it is a process, you have to learn to control your mind, don’t be too hard with yourself if you get out of focus, you just keep trying, if you want to improve your concentration I recommend meditation, I wrote a little about it, here is the link if you´re interested: A Short Intro About Meditation.

3.- Join a team that shares your passion

This is one of those advices you’ll find in most self-help books and that just makes sense, but if you’re an introvert like me, it’s really hard to follow, nevertheless, is something to keep in mind. Whatever your goal is, it’s much easier to achieve if you have the support of other people that’s going through the same things as you, and if you share your thoughts with them I bet they’ll be able to motivate you enough in order to keep going.

I remember when I was at law school, and to be honest, I can’t say that I had friends in there, but there were many times before a test that out of stress, I opened my mouth and spoke my frustration to some random classmate, and to my surprise, most of the times they were eager to explain things to me or other times, just listening to them having the same doubts and fears, reduced my stress.

4.- Cut out negative people

Start listening to what people really say to you when you tell them about your goals, sense the tone of their voices and the meaning of the words, many times you’ll find out that for no apparent reason they are discouraging you in every way they can. This is pretty common with some of the closest relations we have in our lives, in my case I realized that 70% of my family members were always putting me down, and the sad part is that I’m 100% sure that it is with the best intentions, so, why do they do it? The thing is that many times, these people are really trying to help you from their perspective, the problem, is that their perspectives are full of their own insecurities.

Learn to avoid the themes that may trigger a negative speech towards you, and if that just seems impossible take them out of your life as much as you can, in my case that meant meeting that 70% percent of my family exclusively on Christmas and New Year (couldn’t take them out entirely, after all they are family)

5.- Keep it interesting

So, you started something, set your goals, made a schedule and you’ve been following it for the last three months keeping your focus at all time, but wait, somethings wrong… you´re bored to death, it’s been the same week after week, and now, you’re starting to hate it and quitting doesn’t sound so bad. This is pretty common, but, before you give up, answer this, have you tried a different approach? Is there something you could do to make it more appealing? What are the parts you think are boring and what are those you like?

Sometimes, all you need is a different point of view, a new tactic, to re-order and reshape your goals, not everybody learns in the same way or enjoys the same things, try to surprise yourself constantly and be creative. I’ve had weight problems since I was a kid, I tried different diets and sports but nothing seemed to work, the problem was that I got bored pretty fast, what did I do? I learned to vary things, now in a normal week, I run at the park, practice kickboxing, go out biking, and play tennis (ok, I just hit the ball against a wall, but still), now I’m seriously considering to enter a local marathon of 15 kilometers (9.3miles), the thought scares me, but I’m certainly not bored any more.

6.- Take a break

To make an effort to accomplish a goal is ok, to force yourself up to a point that all you can feel is stress is not, like I said, you got to keep focus in what you want to accomplish, but not at expenses of your health or all enjoyment. I get it, a little suffering is part of growing in life and there’s no reward without some sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean you have to live the life of a martyr, it’s ok to take a break, breathe, enjoy the little things (as cliché as that may sound, things become clichés for a reason).

Take a good look from the outside at what you’ve been doing, what you liked, what you don’t, what you could do better, and when is the right time, go back into chasing that goal, just remember not to take too much time into that break, the objective is to recover in order to go back stronger and more motivated, not to cheat yourself by procrastinating silently things into oblivion.

7.- Know when to move on

There’s a window of time when leaving something is the right move, you’ll have to learn to identify it. Not everything is going to seem awesome from the start, give it a try for a while, don’t quit in the first class, you’ll get better with practice, that’s a law for everything, however, there’s a fine line between being persistent and stubbornly stupid. If you’ve tried something for a while, you really made an effort to like it, tried different angles, but it just isn’t for you, don’t be afraid to leave it, there are many other activities for you to try, nothing is more valuable than time, don’t waste it in something that clearly isn’t for you.

You don’t have to finish everything you start, who cares what other people think, if a book seems boring as hell after a few pages, don’t feel sorry for it, pick another, there’s an entire world of books to choose from, if you started medical school but when you’re at it, you realize that the sight of blood makes you want to vomit, the smart choice is to get the hell out of there as soon as you can, don’t mess your life just because you’re afraid of leaving something unfinished. If you want to increase your persistence you’ll notice that’s much easier when it’s at something that you really like, find it, and don’t be afraid to be wrong, you’ll learn from it and will be better prepared for the next challenge.

 

Book Review: The 4-hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris – Genre: Self-help

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This book promises to show you the right path to achieve a life balance in which you can work only four hours per week and still make enough money to accomplish your deepest dreams, from writing that novel you’ve always wanted or learning how to cook, to enjoying the favorite clichés like traveling around the world, climbing the Mount Everest, running with the Pamplona’s bulls, etc. If you thought the promises from other books of the self-help genre were unrealistic, the 4-hour Workweek takes it to another level.

It sounds too good to be truth and it certainly is, but come on, how naïve do you have to be to honestly believe that a book that can be read in a week will instantly give you the secret to obtain the fantasy life of the rich and famous. I’m relatively a new reader in the self-help genre, but it seems pretty obvious that the best you can hope for from these titles is to obtain a few new tips for yourself or be reminded of some good old advices you forgot, and who knows, maybe they’ll help a little in your daily life or even will be the difference between a good and a bad decision in the long run, but that’s all.

The good

The book has some interesting concepts that make sense, the first one, the idea that a rich man is not really the man who has millions of dollars in his bank account and spends all of his time worrying about those same millions and keeps working for more money in a straight and unhealthy path to an early grave, instead, the book invites you to pursue the richness of working as less hours as possible but still making enough money to enjoy your free time however you want, it encourage you to be smart and use the tools of outsourcing and technology to maximize your productivity in order to become what the book calls the ‘New Rich’, is not really a new concept but it’s something to keep in mind.

When I said technology, I was refereeing explicitly to the internet, another concept that you may have heard many times before, but the book does tell you about some interesting programs, webpages and apps that you may not know about. Personally, I ended up including in my life ‘Rescue Time’, it’s a web, an app and a program which purpose is to keep track of the amount of time you spend on the internet and the programs you use, in order for you to start focusing on some real work instead of wasting your time on Social Media.

The bad and the ugly

The general tone of the book is pretentious, it spends too much time praising itself about its own concepts and tries to cover too much information in the form of advice-pills. It never goes deeper than a self-help advice slogan, the author tries to convince you that he has all the answers for success but it seems that he’s trying too hard, as if he was still trying to convince himself.

Like a salesman that seems enthusiastic at the beginning, this book starts with some contagious energy, however, when you start to ask questions and it doesn’t know the answers, that enthusiastic salesman becomes forceful and annoying.

It is also not directed for everyone, if you wanted to follow many of his advices you would have to be in a stable position, even with a few thousand dollars in your bank account, the author encourage you to “be smart”, he tells you that with just a few bucks you can get a personal assistant, a manufactured product, a web, etc. Maybe but, what if you don’t have those “few dollars”?, well, until you do, 80% of the advices from the book are useless, and I wouldn’t ask for a loan to follow what seems to be the advice of a stranger you just met in a bar.

The really ugly part, and I may differ with other readers being beauty a subjective thing, is that I found the writing style boring, the tone is too high and superficial and it never changes, I read another review that said it was like the mixture from the character of Brad Pitt in the movie “Twelve Monkeys” and an infomercial, and I couldn’t agree more.

The recommendation

Don’t buy it, it isn’t worth it. Is not the worst book I’ve ever read, and if you’re technically fair there are some interesting advices like I mentioned in “the good” part, but “the bad and the ugly” part, are too much.  Also, there are many summaries of the “good part” on the internet, specially YouTube, just watch them take some notes and move on.

If you’re still interested, borrow it or get that free sample that Amazon offers first, who knows, perhaps the writing style just wasn’t right for me and it is right one for you. However, if a friend asked my honest opinion I would tell him to watch the videos, keep his money and invite me to eat something in return for saving him from some hours of boredom.

 

Here are some of the videos I mentioned:

Fiverr, Is it Worth it?

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Image taken from: https://commons.wikimedia.org

For those who don’t know, fiverr.com is a web page where anybody can offer a service, almost any kind of service, starting from 5$. Obviously, this doesn’t include illegal services or ‘Adult oriented services’, if you know what I mean… and if you don’t, I meant services related with sexual content.

When my friend Mark told me about it, I thought the idea was genius, and it really is, for the owners of the web at least, they win 20 percent of every delivery that take place using their platform, that means that if you managed to sell something at 5$, you’ll only get 4$ and they’ll get the rest, I thought it was fair, after all, without it, the work wouldn’t be possible, but after a while, it doesn’t feel that fair, hours of work in order to get miserable 5$ and they take 1$ of them for doing nothing (I know it’s not for doing nothing, keeping the page working must have its costs, but I have nowhere else to complain but here, that’s one of the problems of freelance I guess).

Anyhow, I decided to give it a go about two years ago, in order to gain a few extra bucks, but mainly because I was too bored at work.

The only thing I could think about offering were translations, from English to Spanish and vice versa (btw, if you need something translated, please make my day and click this link: fiverr translations, or better yet, contact me through my contact page in this blog and let me keep that dollar I mentioned before). I liked the idea of putting my English into use, after all, I’ve been learning it since before school, went to some private institutes, but, if I’m being honest, I got into another level after taking things more seriously by watching TV, movies, music, and reading several books, (yes, I know this article probably have many mistakes, but nobody is paying me for it, so please accept my apologies, and let’s move on)

It was interesting at the beginning; got some clients pretty fast, but when I was at the making process, I realized why, I had offered the ridiculous amount of 5000 words of translation in just one day, I didn’t even care about the money, but so many words meant a lot of time writing and my fingers started to hurt, just to give you an idea, up to this point this article has about 410 words. Anyway, It appeared that it was a successful first try, maybe it was just a matter of regulating the number of words, the time and prices.

So, I tried more reasonable offers by increasing the prices and the time for delivery, but nobody came, I lowered my prices a little, but still no clients, then a little more, but still cero clients. At the moment, I had my job so I didn’t care. However, now that I decided to come back at the fiverr world after quitting my job, it’s been pretty rough, now that I see things more consciously, I realize that the competition is brutal, there are hundreds of people in here from all around the world offering the same thing, competition at its best, however, there may be some disloyal competition when the other providers come from countries where you can buy a full meal for just a dollar, and you have to pay at least 5 or 10 in yours (I know they probably need that money more than I do, but then again, I got to complain somewhere, right?).

Based only on my experience, this fiverr thing isn’t worth it, but I haven’t given up for a reason. It appears there are many people making a decent living from it, perhaps they played things smarter, maybe they had some luck, offered more profitable gigs, or maybe they’ve just been at the game for longer, whatever it is, it seems there’s a chance, and I’m not ready to give up just yet, worst case scenario it’s a start for making money from the internet, and there’s something about the idea of making money without leaving your home.
If you want to know about fiverr, here’s the link: Fiverr
Like I just said, it’s a start but it also may feel like a dead end, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A Short Intro About Meditation

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Pic taken from: Wikimedia.

I started practicing meditation about three months ago, and it may be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It all started when I decided to quit my job after feeling tired of the same routine, year after year of the same, again and again, it was just so boring, life had no taste at all and I only got enough money to pay the bills and go to the movies from time to time (not to mention that they didn’t pay on time, in fact they still owe me my last check) so, I finally got the courage to put an end to it, but with no plan and just a few savings I had no idea where to start, anyway, one of the first things I tried was meditation, and in a life full of mistakes it seems that I finally got a hit.

There are many types of meditation and mainly I’d say they differ between each other about the object of focus, personally, what’s been working so far for me is ‘Mindfulness’ or Vipassana, and that’s what I’m going to review in this article, but if you want to know a little more about other types of meditation, here’s a link: 7 Types of Meditation.

What is Vipassana or Mindfulness Meditation?

Is a type of meditation that focus on your breathing, its objective is to increase your awareness of the present time.

How to start?

In simple words, you choose a comfortable position, (preferably seated over lying in order to avoid getting sleep), you can sit on a chair or as we usually see in the movies, cross your legs and sit in a yoga mat or your bed, set an alarm for a determined time, perhaps 10 minutes to start, and start focusing on your breathing, and basically that’s it, the concept is simple but the practice can be very challenging.

What to do during meditation?

Try to feel every step of the process of breathing, when the air comes in and when the air comes out, feel the sensation in your nostrils when you inhale and when you exhale, put your attention in the small pauses between inhaling and exhaling, notice the variation of the rhythm of your breathing, notice if it starts to get slower or faster. Finally, this is important, focus on the breathing, not on judging yourself, don’t indulge thoughts like “I’m breathing too fast, this must be wrong” Don’t do that, there’s no wrong in meditation, as long as you are doing it, you’re doing it right.

What to expect at the beginning?

Expect distractions, probably your first thought will be “this is easy, sounds really simple”, but after a few minutes or even seconds of meditating, you’ll notice how restless the mind really is, you start focusing on your breathing and suddenly you don’t even know how or when you changed the subject, but now you’re thinking about a TV Show you used to like in the 90’s, and trying to figure out what could all of those TV stars be doing right now.  You may also start to notice that you don’t feel all that comfortable, your nose itches, the refrigerator is too loud, you feel hot, you feel cold, etc.

That’s ok, it’s normal, like I said, don’t judge yourself, it’s a long process and you’re just starting, think that your mind is like a muscle, and your training it, no athlete accomplished all of his or her success within a few days, it usually take years, but don’t worry, if you´re consistent the benefits will show up sooner than you may expect.

 What to do about distractions?

First, try to avoid them, choose a peaceful time and environment, wear comfy clothes and try to schedule a time when you know you won’t be interrupted. Before you start meditating remember that your goal is increasing your concentration, and once you´re at it, you’ll have to make an effort to control your mind, however, be gentle with yourself, don’t fight your mind, guide it, and if there’s a subject that your mind keeps bringing to your attention, pay attention to it, observe it, be aware of how you feel, it eventually will pass, and when you feel ready, go back to focus on your breathing.

What are the possible benefits?

I used to be a pretty angry and depressed person, worrying about everything, always focused on the details that made my life unperfect, now I’m much more relaxed, I care less about “perfect” and just feel at peace with what I have and what may come. This sensation of calm has allowed me to explore other things, now I cook, started to exercise and pay more attention to my family, it’s like getting a better perspective about what really matters in your life.

I still feel stressed, depressed or angry sometimes, like everybody else, but now I can honestly say that I’m happy, and I’ve never been able to say that before.

All what I learned about Mindfulness or Vipassana, comes from this book: “Mindfulness in Plain English” by Bhabte Gunaratana, it’s available in Amazon.

My Experience with Freemasonry

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From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry#/media/File:Square_compasses.svg

I was initiated in Freemasonry about five years ago, and I got to say that it was quite an experience. If I’m being honest, the truth is that I had no idea what the masonry was about, I just had the idea that it was some kind of secret power group that had secret meetings to bond between each other and make connections that may allow them to progress in the business or political world. At the time, I was finishing law school, and, insecure as I was, it just seemed like a good opportunity to impulse myself into a position of power, I wasn’t really an ambitious person and now I realize that I was just very insecure and wanted the power to feel safe. Anyhow, this was my experience.

My father was the one that introduced me into this world, he had become a freemason about three or four years before me, he wasn’t really into masonry in the practical sense, he just like the ideology and the study, but after I insisted for a while he agreed to introduce me into his lodge. To become a free mason, you got to go through a very interesting ritual, I had no idea about it, so it was a surprise when I was blindfolded. I’m not going to detail the entire ritual, not because is a big secret (as they want you to believe at the beginning) but because there are too many details to describe and that’s not the purpose of this post (ok, it’s also because I made some oaths and I try to be a man of my word, but seriously, if you really want to know, the information is very public, I recommend finding a book from a respected author, because there’s all kinds of stupid things on the internet about masonry).

After the ritual I was pretty amazed, I wasn’t expecting an entire philosophy or dogma, and that was pretty unusual from my behalf, after talking with other ‘apprentices’ (that’s the title you’re given when you begin), it seems that I’m the only one that didn’t bothered making a research about what I was getting into, it made me feel a little ashamed, but the truth is that I trusted my father enough to know that he wouldn’t get me into something that may be bad for me, and strangely enough, to not know what the masonry or the ritual is about is actually recommended for the beginners, that’s because the surprise as part of the ritual may be the main factor to really get the knowledge to penetrate your subconscious and getting interested in all the knowledge there’s there to share.

I felt really excited, they gave me a little red book to study, so I read that one more than once, and many others I came across, I went to the lodge every Monday – masonry has some similarities with some religions like Catholics or Jews (actually there’s a heavy influence from both in masonry)-, and tried to accomplish my duties as an apprentice, mainly being active and helping setting things at the lodge before and after a held (the equivalent to mass)

What got me into masonry was their main ideology, or at least what I understood it was, and that’s it that they worship knowledge as a path for understanding and/or reaching god, they respect religions and all of them are welcomed as long as they don’t attack other people believes, discussion on every subject is welcomed as long as there’s a real thirst for learning and sharing, they invited you to ask things, to ask why in your life, not just to follow as mindless sheep, and in the end the entire institution was meant to do good for the rest of people, to help, not to judge. I was astonished, this was what I’ve believed all my life but never really found an institution that shared all my points of view like this, I was raised as a catholic, but even my parents agreed that in the strict sense catholic vision is too narrow, that you have to see beyond their dogmas sometimes in order to make sense.

I was very enthusiastic at the beginning, sadly I got gradually disappointed. Monday after Monday I went, and after three or four months it seemed all the same, the same subjects all the time, there was no progress at all, and I started to see the flaws everywhere. The flaws were not in the teachings, they were not in the philosophy of the institution, they were clearly in the people, the flaws were especially in my so-called masters, and it’s really sad to speak against them because I got to know them and I honestly can say that they were very capable and apparently good people, however, that capability wasn’t used in the practice of freemasonry. They were always busy with important jobs and half of the times they didn’t come to the meetings, the institution felt abandoned, and most of the times there was literally not enough people to start a gathering- I’ve heard in other countries like USA the freemasonry is another thing entirely, but from what I lived here in Ecuador, freemasonry is really neglected by their own people, eventually, after a year of trying to accomplish something, tragedy came to my family with the disease of my mother and I just didn’t have the strength to keep pushing an institution that seemed to give so little in return and so did my father. We stopped going and to my surprise it didn’t took long after we left the lodge was dissolved.

But I got to say, even though there were not enough people to form a stable group, or that many times it felt like I was going nowhere, what I learnt was so inspiring that I would love to return and help the freemasonry to rebuild. Me and my father are still their students, and the knowledge we received has helped us to overcome many difficult situations and maybe also to be better human beings and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry

What’s going on with the world today (23/04/2017)?

I woke up today (Probably more like yesterday because I’m finishing this post a few hours from midnight) and asked this to myself, not because I was feeling sorry for the world or regretful on behalf of the human species, I asked this in the simplest sense of the question after realizing that I’m honestly not so sure. The advance in technology and specially communication is causing the world to change faster and faster and in my case, it doesn’t help to live a loner’s life alienated by choice from regular news, the only things I find out come in the form of memes from Facebook or at family dinners on holidays.  So, I decided to make a little research and this are the three main news I found out  today:

1.- War

The first article I came across was this:

“Mourning declared after scores of troops die in Afghan base attack”

by Abdul Matin and Hamid Shalizi

From: https://www.yahoo.com/news/death-toll-afghan-attack-rises-140-officials-052205812.html

Yes, apparently half or even more than half of the world is currently at war, here is the map I found in Wikipedia that shows the places of the ongoing conflicts (all the painted areas).

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Taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts#/media/File:Ongoing_conflicts_around_the_world.svg

I was surprised not to see U.S.A., but then I realized that the map refers only to the places where the war is actually taking place, in other words, to my understanding, these are the places where bullets are flying and bombs are exploding. I was planning on commenting about war, but that has to be another post, it’s too much of a subject to comment on a paragraph.

2.- Science (In protest)

Second article I found:

“March for Science: Protesters gather worldwide to support ‘evidence’”

By Laura Smith-Spark and Jason Hanna

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From: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/22/health/global-march-for-science/index.html

 

International Marches took place today as a respond from many people to the threats of the President of USA Donald Trump, about making cuts to the budget that support scientific research and programs. I believe this must be treated carefully because, even though, our first instinct may be to sign up for the next protest near you, maybe making cuts to the budget isn’t the worst idea ever, they don’t have to be if they are made in a smart way, I mean, does people really need millions of dollars spent for research about Mars? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s amazing all the latest discoveries about space, but is that a priority over fighting drug abuse, domestic violence or the decrease of education’s quality? Now, if the cuts to the budget are directed to close projects related with global warming or medical research and investing in more weapons of mass destruction then I guess I would have no choice but to be signed up in the next protest.

 3.- More War

The third article:

“Sure hope the US doesn’t go to war with North Korea over the weekend”

By Dylan Matthews, Naomi Shavin, and Dara Lind

From: http://www.vox.com/2017/4/14/15300224/vox-sentences-north-korea-nuclear-test

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First, I want you to know that I tried to end this post with something interesting and perhaps cheering, but this one looks too important not to mention. So, it seems nuclear missile tests will probably take place tomorrow on behalf of North Korea, in response, President of USA, Mr. Donald Trump has sent an aircraft carrier directed to North Korea as a warning sign.

I was shocked, like I said, I’ve avoided what’s happening with the world for a while, however, after chatting about it with a friend, she told me that even though things have been escalating for a while now, and the situation is pretty tense, it always seems as if tomorrow was going to start the Third World War, and that I shouldn’t worry about it. I guess she is right, I remembered that the reason why I stopped following the news was because 99% of the times it won’t matter if you saw them or not, what you can do with the information you get as small pills is pretty limited and 100% of the times you’ll feel like the world is about to explode, but in case she isn’t right, well, thanks for reading this post, and good luck on WW3!