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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Just Want To Go Home

It's Friday, 6.30 am in Bali, Indonesia. My mom would already be off to the market to buy fresh vegetables and meat for today's meal. My youngest brother would be in the shower, getting ready to go to school. My other brother would still be in bed, sleepily resting from his late-night wondering. My elder sister would wake my little nephew patiently for his school, too; and boiling water to make tea and milk. He (my nephew) would staggered sleepily to the sofa, and laying there with his bottle of milk, watching morning cartoon. My dad would come from his pavilion and sat on the sofa too, teasing my nephew and trying to win the remote control back. At that point my mom would be back, with plastic bags filled with groceries hanging from her scooter. My brother in law, who would be watering the plant then, would helped my mom with the groceries, as well as my youngest brother (who only done so with my mom's strict request/yelling). She would come to the front door laden with grocery bags and scolded my dad for teasing my nephew, and will kick the door to my brothers' room to wake my sleeping brother. A cup of coffee and a small traditional cake would be deposited on the patio table, where my dad would sat and enjoy while reading a newspaper and smoking his cigarette. Then they would all go, one by one. My youngest brother would go first, because he is the nice-kid-you-want-to-date type of kid and hates to be late. My younger brother would go next, because he is a rebel type of kid (or asshole, depends on the situation) and he didn't give much care on things. Then my brother in law. Then my little nephew, walking to his nearby kindergarten with his mom. Then my sister, after returning from my nephew's kindergarten. Every single one of them would give my mom - who would be cooking in the kitchen - a kiss in the cheek, every single one of them would give my dad a cheery wave and the customary "Going now, dad!" (in exception to my nephew, who would give both my mom and dad a kiss and a hug), every single one of them would say hi and greet my grandfather (if he happen to woke up and fiddling with the front yard garden). And with that, our morning ritual ends.

Lazy brunch with mom and my little sister

I miss my family so much that it hurts. But what I really missed most was these interactions, these jewels of human relations. We don't have much, and at times we don't have any. A liter of soda is considered a feat, and we shared it with the 9 of us. Our meal is a chicken divided into 14 pieces to accommodate every one, or two slices of meat as big as a thumb. My nephew's toys were inexpensive, yet he could easily change a chair and helmet and other mundane daily object into his own racing bike or train or whatever he wanted. My brothers have a second-hand PlayStation2, which they were obliged to share with each other (and occasionally my nephew). And that is all there is to it: Share. None of us hoard our food or our belonging. The rule of the thumb is that if you decided to eat food at the house, prepare to share. If one of my brother opens a bag of chip at home, everyone could stop and ask to sample it. And even if you played secrecy and eat it in your room, you'd eventually share, at least with my mom. Not because she wanted to, but out of respect since she was indeed, the lady of the house. And that's one more thing: respect is earned, not demanded. My mom and dad never demand us to respect her, but what else can you give for someone who had worked themselves out just to ensure you have a good education (all the way through college) and good future ahead? If they had demanded me respect for those reasons, I would've hated them. Education and future is a child's right, not a privilege that parents can give the child and he/she should be grateful for it. But my mom and dad did not demand that respect, nor do they complain on the cost of raising us, and for that they earned our highest respect. These little things are what have been keeping me alive. It is a strong pillar which I can hold on to and not get lost in this harsh, cruel world. Yet now I lost that pillar. And thus, I lost myself. 

The boys

I met some really nice people here, but there were too many insecurities. I talked to some of them and despite our pleasant conversation, I could always feel their insecurities deep down inside. And plain jealousy. And indifference. And no respect. I saw children hooked on games on their cell phones during dinner parties, seemed oblivious and careless about the world around them. I mentioned this at a dinner party, and a man in his mid thirties gracefully explained, "Well I think I have seen more in my lifetime than you, and you need to realize that...." which then followed with an excuse why I should understand these rascals' behavior. And that is the other thing: I don't take excuses. This is not to say I refuse to understand on why people behave the certain way they do, I would and I have been preaching on better understanding on people in general. But I would not take an excuse that aimed to justify the said behavior. For instance: "You don't know how to speak nicely because your parents cussed you all the time? I am sorry to hear that, and I would tolerate your cussing now and then, but you need to understand that it is unpleasant for me, and for your own sake learn to try to speak politely." See how civilized it is? But what happen is these jerks keep pulling the same stunt and again and again blame their parents/government/world/mental health for their behavior instead of forcing themselves to fix themselves. And coming from where I am, it is incredibly hard to have pity and understanding and tolerate the selfish behaviors when people here have a lot more to be grateful for. Life doesn't take our sorry excuses, the hardship is there for us to conquer and made us a better person. It doesn't care whether you have a rich parents/poor parents/one parents/no parents, it would move accordingly and you better stop complaining and shout out excuses because like it or not it would still move the way it had been destined. Difficulties should be a reason why you are so proud of yourself (i.e. you manage to overcome it) instead of an excuse on why you are a failure. 

Chow down!!

Sheltered in the security of  a stable government, I could see why people here are somewhat out of touch with the 'real' world. I laughed every time someone say: "I have seen more in my lifetime". Really, but have you experienced it? Knowing that you might not be able to finish school because you lack of money, knowing that you might not be able to eat or worse - give your family and especially the little one something to eat, knowing that the law is so unfair and you can't trust the police and not only you have to worried about the bad guys you also have to worry about the police, knowing that you have no health care of whatsoever and you will be screwed if you are ill for more than 2 days, knowing that your government doesn't care about you and you are left to fend off yourself, knowing that life will not reason with you and there is no dignity even in death. The fact of the matter is, people who had experienced such things would never, ever be so rash and cocky and said "I have seen more in my lifetime", because the experience is so humbling and they know and realized that there are far, far worse thing in life even though they haven't experience it. Sometimes it is almost funny to hear these so-called experienced people calling out to themselves, yet sometimes it hurts. Like when people told me they know how I feel because they had spend some time in tropical paradise. It made me feel I want to bitchslap them. I left my family, friends, and everything I know and love behind. It was my fucking life and not just some half-ass vacation. Talk to me like that when you have spend at least 20 years there and could speak in my language and understand my culture; otherwise please shut up and stop thinking you can relate to me. The annoying thing is I couldn't even be that upset with these people, because I know that they are just ignorant and misinformed.

I just want to go home and restore my faith in humanity, and more importantly, I want to found myself. I want to go back and give and accepted love unconditionally. I want to see the extravagant power of life, the beautiful display of human conquering life's challenges and came out as winner. I am sick with this lame excuses and "You have to understand!!!" thing that is forced upon me. And that's just the thing, I wanted and willing to understand, but I will not cower to someone's demand to understand him/her. It hollowed me, and I can feel I'm losing more of myself every day. I just want to go home. I really do.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Baby Mama's Dilemma: Put an Implant On It!

Tagline: The Baby Mama's guide to Tracking Down
a Deadbeat, Finding His Cash and Making Him
Pay Every Dollar He Owes You

I don't understand. I just don't understand. In a country where health support is far superior than a lot of other country in the world, in a country where getting contraception is as easy as getting your nails done, in a country where you can talk about sex freely and get proper sex advice, why on earth this so-called-baby mama is still existed?

In US children are a huge issue, or at least the source of many issues. Abortion, for one; and education; and even welfare/SNAP debate. And eventually this lead to one source: Women, who happened to gave birth to these children because they are the ones with the ovaries and wombs. Coming from a country where I couldn't even buy birth control pill without getting a very dirty look from the cashier or getting a "You whore" stare when I obtain a pack of condom (and know for sure they would gossip me afterwards), it is insane to see women who had babies without properly planned for it. There are rape victims, yes, and there are also couples which the dead-beat dads got cold feet and left the moms; but then there are also many others who decided they would have sex just because they can and all those YOLO swag. Don't believe me? Check the Facebook on Friday. All conveniently brag about sex, all conveniently forget mentioning about proper protection. No, I am not talking about protection against STDs. STDs are curable, and even with AIDS you can still live a good life and not become a burden to your family. I am talking about protection against pregnancy, because a child would stay with you to the rest of your life and affected life of everyone around you, because a child deserved to be born where he/she is wanted and have a good environment to grow and have a better chance in life. And this, is what women should know and realize.

For those of you who would argue that men should be held responsible as well, guess what, we women are the ones with ovaries and wombs. That means we are the one who should be more careful and think ahead for the sake of our unborn children (which nature had been so kindly reminding us of their existence every once a month during our period). It is not fair and women deserve fairness and equality just like men? Then let me ask you, what is your definition about fairness and equality? The freedom to have sex anytime you want? Observe dear women, we are created different than men; not that we are lesser than they are, but simply that women and men are different from one another. Women and men have different body shape, that's for one. How the female genital is shaped made it very easy for diseases to go unnoticed, and the inward position (directly inside the body) made it very easy to get infected as opposed to male genital which conveniently jutted out. Men have faster response on sex drive too: ever seen how a man's genital go erect just by seeing picture of boobs and nipples and ass? Women basically can't get high and wet and ready for sex just by visual stimulation only, at least not as quickly as men. Think about it, if women does have the same speed and urge on sex drive then we'd have as many Phytons as Hooters.

I believe a man should be responsible for his action, and that includes his choice in baby-making a.k.a sex. Yet it is not enough to just blab and screamed: "Men should be responsible!". Tell me, when was the last time you've seen or heard things (articles, memes, songs) - especially by men - that condemns men who had many ladies? I think every cool boys video clip I've seen would have at least a woman in it (in exception to love ballads - but no cool men listened to love ballads anyway), and in rap musics sometimes they'd have a horde of girls. The message is clear: You are a man only if you have girls flocking to you. This is the mantra that has been repeated over and over again, and there is no or very little effort to change it to what it supposed to be: The amount of girls you had sex with had no correlation of whatsoever to your manliness. To make matters worse, it is difficult for men to control their sexual stimulation. Telling a man to not get excited about a woman's body is like telling an OCD person to just get easy with things. True, men had no rights to sexually harassed women just because how the women dressed; but think it from their perspective: that see-through dress that you wear which artistically showing silhouette of your thong and that nice perky ass or the hard nipple that can be seen from your tight thin tube top is - to their mind - like a dynamite dropped into an open fire. You might like the pretty explosion (i.e men's attention), but you can end up getting burned pretty badly too.

Men and women are different, period. You want to have as many sex as you want just like men did, go ahead. But please, please, please protect yourself from pregnancy for your own sake and the sake of your unborn child. If you really want a child, make sure you discussed it with your partner and he complied to it. It is not fair to go ahead and made baby with a man who strictly said he didn't want a child, and then asked him to pay for child support. If you want the baby but your partner doesn't, imagine it like having a sperm donor and let the father out of the way. If he said yes but then got cold feet, go for it and get him responsible for his previous "Yes". But there is no reason to sue him for child support if you yourself failed to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy. Will you sue someone because they gave you HIV or other STDs during your unprotected conscientious sex? No, right. Then why you should sue him for the child? It doesn't seemed fair, but that's just how life is. Just like how it isn't fair that us women could easily got undetected STDs or Cervix cancer from our sexual escapades, and men don't have to worry (too much) about it. Seriously why risk yourself with 9 months of pregnancy and a lifetime burden of a child just for your ego? For some stupid "If men can do it so can I"? Trust me, if men could ever experience the full pregnancy they would think many times before having sex unprotected.

You want men to be responsible? Then change your own perspective. Be this cool person who can talk to your son/nephew/young cousin/grandson/etc that a real man is a responsible man, who respect women and not objectifying them. Be someone people can look up to and spread this wisdom. Think twice before you risk yourself with a child. It's not fair for the child to be born without his/her father around, because it is his/her birthright to have a father. And if you are not mature enough to be a parent together with the baby daddy, put the 3 year birth-control implant under your arm (or even vasectomy for men) so everyone could live happily ever after. When speaking of sex and the child risk, it was never about you and what you want, it was always about the future child. Stop treating a child like an object, a leverage to get baby daddy's cash like the book clearly stated. It is so hurtful and disrespecting for the child involved. A friend's baby mama demanded child support, but made no effort of whatsoever for the baby daddy to spend more time with the child and very uncooperative when he asked for more time. This is absurd because child support money would helped her household, but the dad's presence would be more invaluable to the child. This is like wanting a child and the money to support it, but no father involved. How selfish can it be? In cases of deadbeat dad, sure, money is better than nothing. But when the father is willing and have no issue that can endanger the child, it is incomprehensible for the mom to keep the dad away just because they have a "fall out". Face it, a child is made by a man and a woman and the relationship that they have will stay forever as long as the child live.

Noticed that if a similar expression is used on men it would be taken as compliment? 
Or that this kind of bashing is mostly found on women's social-media page?
Welcome to the "Equality", ladies. 

Can't deal with such complex emotional issue? Put the goddamn birth control implant on. Not the measly birth pill that you have to take everyday on the exact hour (it's a miracle for me to arrived at work every single fucking day on the exact fucking time, let alone to remember to drink my pills), not the vagi-ring or hormone patch that only worked a month or three, but good solid long term reversible contraception that would keep you safe for years to come. Protect yourself and be responsible for your own safety. Remember though, no contraception is 100% safe and you will always have the child risk factor every time you had sex, even with condom. Just like you have a chance to crash your car when you driving impaired (or even driving in general). Life is always a risky business, but hey that's life. Don't kid yourself, really. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Stop Poverty Porn!!!

This Guinness commercial is above par. Period.

Why is a beer commercial that portrays a group of poor man who played dress up be something remarkable? Because it managed to successfully destroyed the said description.

I really, really hate poverty porn; the way people emphasize poverty on media (video, writing, pictures, etc) that tug the heart string of the viewers and made them go: "Oh poor, poor, poor thing...!!!". And with this the transaction would swiftly commenced as follow: some money would be given in exchange for the self-satisfied feeling ("oh I am such a good person") of the donor/giver. It's the old "buy and sell" kind of thing, just that. And it's not just poverty. I've seen commercials for pet adoption with the same theme, where the pets look so miserable and sad and lonely and somehow whoever made the commercial thinks that it would drove the people to adopt. I mean like, fuck you. If I am thinking about adopting a pet I'd want to see some lively action on the advertisements: jumping, barking, clawing, mischievous even. There is no way I'd want to give donation and/or adopt a pet who'd look like it'll be dead soon, or having more emotional issue than I do (and that says a lot!). Sounds cruel? Probably. But I am willing to bet that the vast majority of people think like I do, that we ain't got time for some sappy sadness in our life. Nobody does, to be exact.

That is why this Guinness commercial is so awesome. Instead of the regular "I'm poor but I want to be something" routine (which put the Sapeur into the 'unfortunate dreamer' role), they kicked it up by making a video where the Sapeurs are proud with what they are. There are just enough scene to show that these men don't have a lot of money, but the video maker did not highlight their poverty; it instead become a subtle background for the whole video. The video maker give these Sapeur a sense of pride and dignity; which we so often see robbed from other poverty-related advertisement and video. And they are not the only one, this commercial that highlight the water-distribution in a poor village in India also done the deed. It was not about how poor the subjects in the video were, but it was about themselves as a whole. And thus, their pride and dignity remain intact.

I worked with a non-profit NGO once in Bali. They exploit how poor the people they wanted to help to get more donation, and the announcement for their 'graduates' was down right disturbing: sprinkled with the word 'disadvantage' as if these people were from a lower quality of life than the wealthy donors. Think about it, how sick is it if you want to help people because you feel you can, because you feel you have the power to do so? I know there are a lot, and I mean A LOT of people out there who helped others just because they feel that it was the right thing to do; but sitting there in the fancy restaurant with other fine diners that dressed top-notched and hear the chairwoman said that they have successfully gathered this amount of money for this poor boy etc etc etc made me questioned their motifs. The reason these poverty porn exists is to feed on this emotion, this demand, to feel that the donors are somewhat better off than the poor guy because they can help the poor guy. It is sick and ugly, and it needed to stop.

As a citizen of not-so-developed country, I can say that there are a lot of people who is interested in making this poverty porn, one way or the other. It is time to stop. It is time to stop allowing ourselves as Indonesian to be portrayed as poor, uneducated fools with low quality of life just for a handful of dollars. It is time to stop for the filmmakers or charity organization to stop relying on poverty porn to make that handful of dollars. Quality of life, just as quality of a person, does not lie on how educated they are or the amount of money they have. I have been told for so many time how "lucky" I am to be in US, which I found offensive because I think I have a better and more fulfilling life back in Indonesia than I am in US with all its amenities and perks. That poor boy in shabby clothes that had to walk miles to school in the rain and have little (or no food) is probably happier and have a more in-depth grasp of the world than the little rich girl with her drivers and walk-in closet and iPhones and such.

Remember: Just because someone has less than you it doesn't mean he/she is a loser, a poor person that deserves your help. Instead, congratulate him/her for being a survivor. Help him/her if you like, and I think you should, because what better way to spend your money etc than to bet on a winner? If these people with 'disadvantages' could live a somewhat normal day-to-day life with their already limited resources, imagine what they could do with your help? This should be the approach for any charity/filmmakers, to give the subject their pride and dignity instead of putting that big humiliating stamp of "poor people" by focusing on their poverty only. Stop poverty porn. Enough is enough.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Turkey-ing Around

I had been living in US for a mere 5 months when I experienced my first Thanksgiving and holiday festivities here in the state. It was grand, mind you: rows and rows of nuts and dried fruit and colorful harvest/autumn decoration which soon followed by the shiny decoration with red and green and poinsettia all round. And lest forger the turkey, the biggest bird I've ever saw in my whole life, for a mere 59 cent a pound. Uhh.... Say that again??

For some reason, the supermarkets near where we live in California had these turkey galore just before Thanksgiving, selling their 16 lbs (about 7.2 kg) turkey for a mere 10 dollar. My husband decided we should have a real turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, and off we went to fetch one. We found a deal in our supermarket, 59 cent/lbs if you purchase additional $25 worth of groceries. That was easy. At the cashier I handed him a coupon I got from the supermarket flyer, which then reduced the price to a mere 47 cent/lbs. Our 13 lbs turkey costs us a mere $6.30. We didn't do turkey dinner though, and went Thanksgiving with his family instead. So instead I cut the turkey into pieces and conveniently threw them in freezer bags for later use. I ended up with these parts: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wing drumsticks, 2 wings, 2 wing tips, 1 neck part (they're big enough for snacking), 2 boneless breasts, and the backbone/spine.

Rice congee/porridge; Turkey soup 

I immediately threw to backbone and the breast bone into the crock pot and, adding up some onion-carrot-green onion-and potato to the mixture, making it into soup/broth in a mere 4 hours. The meat from the bones were enough to fill a big lunch box, and I ended up with about three 24 ounces jars of turkey stock. I used one jar (plus some cooked turkey meat) to make rice congee/porridge for me and our son. It was delicious, and especially easy since all you need to do was to put some cooked white rice in the broth and let it dissolved into gooey deliciousness for about 20-30 min (don't forget to stir it now and then). Our son gobbled it up!!

Roast Turkey with baked asparagus and Dhal; Turkey Potpie and assorted stuff 

The drumstick, neck and wing parts went the next day. I used Pioneer Woman's Caveman Pops Recipe, but I somehow screwed up. The wing parts and necks were delicious, but I ended up chopping the meat from the drumsticks (legs and wings) to be used later because they were too dry and too spicy. The thighs were used for Turkey Potpie, adding up the remainder of the meat from the Caveman Pops recipe for taste. The result was a very flavorful potpie, and only a small portion remained which I salvaged for my husband. Again, this was relatively easy since I was using the frozen vegetable and turkey stock for the potpie and my husband made the mashed potatoes. You could even cheat and use the instant mashed potatoes if necessary.

Turkey Sandwich; Popcorn turkey with celery and ranch dressing

The delicious breasts coming up next. I roasted one half of the breast in the crock pot using this recipe. The writer was right, it came out really moist and tender. I propped the meat on top of 'rack' made from carrot and potatoes, allowing it to be cooked with being immersed in its own juice and thus dilute its flavor. I sliced them carefully and conveniently used the sliced turkey for turkey sandwiches. The beauty of cutting a whole turkey is that you could easily used them anytime you want and not having to eat the same thing for the whole week. It took me well over a month to finished up the last part of the turkey, the remaining one half of the breast, as I was alternating the turkey with other meat for variety. For the last dish I decided to just cut the turkey meat into cutlets and made spicy breaded cutlets. It's great for lunch, it's great for snacks, and it's so convenient to carry on our weekend excursion. And again, these all for a mere $ 6.30.

After Thanksgiving they still had sale on turkey, and I saw a whole lot of turkey that only costs $6-$13, but not many people bought them. Seriously, all you need is a big sharp knife and about 30 min of your time, max. Granted, you would need to pair the food up with something else and you would need other ingredients too; but that said, you can always keep the ingredients to the minimum: celery sticks with the cutlets, frozen veggies for potpie, baked asparagus with the caveman pops, green onion with the congee. I always think less is better, no need to go over the top especially when you have a small family or cook for yourself. And at 59 cent/lbs you seriously couldn't get a better deal. You can also do this with chicken (lowest price at my supermarket was 88 cent/lbs) which still made for a cheaper alternative than beef and pork, and a much healthier option than processed meat. If you are still in doubt, watch the how-to video below.

I am not a vegan, but I believe that human should eat with conscience and waste as little food as possible. And I am also efficient by nature, my country's diet was not really of abundance. By being creative and keep your mind open, you can maximized the food that you eat. Discarded fat and bones from pork/cow/chicken would make really good broth, for instance, instead of buying the factory-made broth. This would helped not only the tension on your wallet, but also increased your health and, and eventually helped the animals too. Don't bother saying you can't afford it, even at $1.29/lbs (normal price for whole chicken) it still packed more flavor and nutrients (and waaaaaay less preservatives) than a can of processed meat ($3/can). A 30-minute marinade sauce only costs $3 and it can be use for the whole chicken (and more); or simply use whatever dried herb you have in the pantry and salt and pepper. Don't get discouraged with complex recipe or long cooking time, there are tons of recipes that don't need long cooking time or a 2-pages long ingredients, just keep things as simple as possible. Give it a try, you'd be surprised to see how nice it is to eat fresh instead of processed food.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dimes and Pennies: A New Year Resolution

In case you didn't realize, the coins lined up on the book are US dimes (10 cent each). The exact price I paid for my almost-new Michael Crichton's book.

When we went to a movie with our nephews, the youngest one excitedly exclaimed that he found a dime; in which his brother scoffed: "It's just a dime!". Maybe so, maybe so. But I told them that five of them gave me an intense 4 hours reading pleasure. Yup, I said as they looked at me skeptically, 5 measly dimes. That's the exact coins I pushed through the my library's book sale box in order to get a copy of Michael Crichton's State of Fear, and also to The Lost World. FYI, the same books are priced at around $4 at the big Bookman store in Tucson who specialized in used books. You can't get a better deal. But back to the dimes, 10 of them makes a dollar and 100 of them makes $10. What's not to love about them? 

What happen is, in my opinion, that we are desensitize over those "small change". I know I do. When I first come to US, even $1 seemed to be so valuable because when you exchanged it to my currency it's enough to buy you a hearty meal. But then I realize that $1 is not even enough to buy candy bars here. That is, if you choose to see it that way. A $1 and a dime is enough for a burger from fast food's dollar menu, or a pack of crayon from the Dollar Store which sell various things for only a dollar. It sure is not Crayola and God knows what the beef patty made of, but to some it is lifesaver. The list went on and on. 99 cent store-brand cream cheese (on sale), 40 cent candy cane, 39 cent Kiwi, 69 cent banana, that dimes of yours can translate to something awesome if you know what to look and be alert. 

We often neglect these "little" things. Not only change, but also with people who we think of less importance to us. Guess what? There is no such thing as "too little" or "not enough significant". As little or as insignificant as it look, added up these things can make an impact in your life. Just as you'll be surprise of many ways to utilize your change, you'll also be surprise to know how important the people in your surroundings are. Take time now and think and recount the people who made your life possible for a day: the toll attendant, the store clerk, the barista, the restaurant worker; think hard and recount them, you'll be surprise on how many people touch your life in only a day. They are the dimes and nickels and pennies we often dismissed, yet together they made your life a much easier one.

The standard "New Year Resolution" is to be a better person: stop procrastinating, lose weight, eat healthy, bla bla bla. Why not make a different resolution this year? One that involves acknowledging and appreciating all the "small change" in your life for a year, and see where it leads you. Somewhere pleasant, I would hope, because like I said those dimes and nickels and pennies can give you great fun if you can open your mind and explore the possibilities; it'll be so exciting and interesting to do it with people in your life. This is also a path to be a "better person" and spread good karma, since there is nothing simpler to show respect than acknowledging one's existence and appreciate what they do. Give yourself a gift of possibilities this year, a broader sense of awareness and a deeper appreciation of life. Let there be no more "small change", and that includes yourself. Happy New Year!

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