On Doors and Other Useful How to's


Disclaimer: The following are comments on people's behaviors only. They do not imply a feeling of aversion or hatred toward any particular person. They have the sole purpose of denouncing harmful attitudes and behaviors.

I have noticed that as of late Drama has developed this despicable habit of following me around. Know that I do not like it, and that a different target should be chosen in order to avoid unwanted consequences. Moving on...

The United States of America is a country founded on principles of freedom and very specific rights, such as the right to privacy, property, freedom of expression, and freedom of thought and religion. This being the case, I find it disturbing how a very prevalent and harmful attitude of entitlement causes the violation of these freedoms and rights, sometimes even unconsciously. So, I have decided to post several "How to" essays or instructions to attempt to reduce the frequency of these violations. Here they are:

1. How to Knock on Doors
(taken from http://www.swingmachine.org/issue12/knock.html)

Welcome to the exciting world of knocking! Many times in your life you will come upon a closed door. Knowing how to knock is critical to ensure a satisfying door opening experience for all involved. If you follow these simple instructions, all your door endeavors will be guaranteed crowd pleasers! Failure to follow this suggested protocol may result in embarrassing experiences, trespassing charges, or even unwanted gunfire.

Step 1: Upon discovering the closed door, lightly knock your hand on the door. Then wait several moments. If you do not receive a response, knock a second time, in a more powerful fashion. It is recommended that you vary the stregnth of the knock in relation to other local noises.

Step 2: Wait for a response.

Step 3: React accordingly. This is the trickiest step, as it can vary from one door experience to another. Here are some suggestions of sound actions for likely situations:
  •       Situation 1: No response
    Repeat steps 1 and 2. If several attempts don't produce a response, we recommend you try knocking again later. The place is likely unoccupied or the occupant(s) are sleeping.

  •       Situation 2: A response such as "Yes?" or "Who is it?"
    Identify yourself and your reason for calling. Be careful not to jump the gun and open the door wide open. This is a big no- no that many people new to knocking make! Très gauche! Make sure you wait for permission

  •       Situation 3: A response such as "One moment!" or "Be right there!"
    Respond with a statement such as "OK." The occupants of the place are about to open the door for you. Be patient and wait for them to open it. Patience is a virtue you know! If you haven't identified yourself yet, this is a splendid chance!

  •       Situation 4: A response such as "I'm asleep!" or "This is a really bad time!"
    This requires sound judgment. If your buissness is critical (Examples: House on fire. Occupants needed to perform CPR), then state this and wait for another response. It is acceptable to use a raised tone of voice for this, but screaming orders is frowned upon. If your reason for knocking is of a more benign nature (Examples: cannot find telephone / need help hooking up a TV / need ride to supermarket) then the proper response is to leave the occupant alone at this point. You are welcome to inquire again after a reasonable period of time (1 hour if occupant is not sleeping and doesn't say otherwise, several hours in other cases.)

  •       Situation 5: A response such as "Come in!" or "It's open!"
    This is an invitation to open the door. Do so, and do it joyously.

2. How to Appropriately Show Empathy and Compassion
(taken from about.com)

The answer to this question lies in learning to distinguish between empathy and sympathy. So, what's the difference?

Sympathy: the act of imagining and interpreting the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives of others from our own lens (e.g. our history, experiences, priorities and values).

Empathy: the act of attempting to understand the thoughts, experiences, and perspectives of others from their own lens (e.g. their history, experiences, priorities and values).

What Empathy is not:
  • An attempt to assert your opinion
  • An exercise in convincing others of your point of view, or having them convince you of theirs
  • Anything that starts with "I...."
  • Automatic agreement with the other individual's perspective
  • Acknowledgment that you are wrong in any way

What Empathy is:
  • Listening
  • Asking questions - for aid in clarification and understanding
  • Temporarily suspending your own ideas, opinions, and emotions (particularly anger and resentment)
  • Best when paired with validation

A few more important points about empathy:
1. In the context of race and culture difference, we must remember that although we may have formed opinions over time, on the basis of our observations, we have not lived the experience of another person of another race/ethnicity. For that matter, we have not lived the experience of other individuals who may be the same race, but perhaps come from a different class, region, ethnic cultural background, etc. This makes empathy -- refraining from judgment and attempting to understand how the other individual sees and experiences things -- all the more important.

2. Empathy must work both ways - not only must we make the effort to understand the other person's underlying knowledge, thoughts and feelings, but we must be willing to examine and share our own.

3. Empathy requires that we overcome obstacles to understanding, such as the harmful stereotypes we have all inherited about one another. All of us have them. No one is exempt. (An exercise I've repeated in workshops has shown this to be absolutely fact. In a very short period of time, a group is able to generate and agree on a very long list of stereotypes about specific groups of people, whether positive or negative attributes are assigned. This happens 100% of the time.)

4. Empathy requires that we be willing to question whether our opinions, especially those we dearly hold, are based on real knowledge and facts, or whether they are based on misinformation we've inherited or acquired somewhere along the way.

5. Empathy requires trust and that we temporarily suspend judgment. We must be willing to trust that the experiences shaping the perspectives of others may be very different from what we know and have experienced. If our immediate response is to attempt to invalidate the underlying knowledge, experience, and feelings shaping the other individual's perspective, then we enter a judging mode and fail at empathy.

The first step: many people believe they are demonstrating empathy, when really, they are showing sympathy. But in fact, empathy requires patience and practice, and oftentimes, that we adjust our attitudes in the interest of learning something new and creating peace with others.

The reward: Gaining wisdom about other experiences and perspectives; resolving conflict quicker; greater intercultural understanding; better relationships; racial harmony; peace.

It is important to note that empathy and compassion are feelings (i.e. internal realizations) that do not always require a direct involvement in the situation that others are experiencing (i.e. attempting to solve their problems, or meddling in their fights). Empathy should not be used as an excuse to introduce more drama to anyone's life. It is a means to reduce conflict and drama, not a means to create them.

3. How to Persuade Others to Do What You Want
(taken from helium.com)

It is a necessity in the world we live in to be able to get other people to do what you want. Being persuasive and cunning is important if you want to lead a comfortable lifestyle, so here are five helpful tips to use in life when you want something from someone.

Tip number one: Know what it is you want

Don't bother people to have them do something for you until you know what it is you want them to do. The easiest way of finding out is to think beforehand. It is simple, yet often overlooked.

Tip number two: Ask in advance

Nobody likes to feel rushed, especially when it comes to big tasks, so when you want something out of someone, give them a little notice. Just like a student will be more comfortable with a test they knew was coming in advance than with a pop quiz. So when you ask, ask a little while before you need whatever it is you are asking for.

Tip number three: Be nice about it

Yes, I know, this one is quite obvious. When you are asking for something from someone, be non confrontational, smile a little, and be polite. "Please" and "Thank you" can take you very far in life, believe it or not. Also a small compliment never hurt anyone. Be sure and seem sincerely nice about it, don't look like you are trying to use them.

Tip number four: It's a question, not a statement

One problem some people have when asking for something is they tend to turn it from a question into a statement. "Would it be alright if I left early to go to my kids game?" is better than "Hey I'm leaving early for my kids game, okay?" Because when you put it as a statement, it makes you seem to be the person calling the shots, which quite obviously you aren't, or you would not need to ask for something. When others feel like they are being ordered, they are more likely to be unhappy by it. Let them feel it is their choice and that they have the power and they will be more likely to say yes.

Tip number five: If yes, be grateful, if no, don't whine

Getting someone to agree with you is only about two thirds of the task. The other one third is making sure that in the future they will say yes again. To do this make sure that if someone says no to you, do not cry, pout, or whine. This will get on their nerves and make them not want to do you any favors ever because you are a brat about not getting your way. Instead, just say alright, and act okay. On the other hand, if the person says yes, be sure to appear genuinely grateful and let them know you appreciate what they are doing for you. Look them in the eye and say thank you. This lets the person know they are not being taken for granted and will make them more likely to say yes in the future.

Tip number six: When all else fails, negotiate

Yes, thats right, sometimes you have to give a little to get some. If you want to take off early, you might have to work a little late one day. If you want Timmy to take the trash out, you may have to promise to get him some ice cream. Now be sure to not whip out the negotiation on the first try. I mean, you don't want to be suckered into those extra hours in the office if you don't have to be. Ask the question, if they say no, then lay down a bargaining chip. But be sure not to make too many offers or else they can get annoyed with your continuous asking.

The art of persuasion is an art that takes practice, but the more you try, the better you get. I hope some of you out there benefit from my tips. Remember the world is ripe for the taking, you just have to know how to pick it.

Disclaimer and Apology


I just want to take the opportunity to apologize to people that have taken offense from the comments posted here. I want to clarify that it has never been my intention to degrade people or make them feel inferior in any way. I am a firm believer that one of the biggest lies out there is that "we are all equal." This is not true. We all have different looks, opinions, attitudes, and reactions. We have different feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. However, we are all, as children of God, of infinite worth, and if I ever came across as trying to imply anything different, I apologize.
If I complain, whine, or protest about something, know that it is not a personal attack. In the past I have made comments about particular attitudes that irritate me, but this does not mean that I have personal grudges against anyone.
I know I have my own limitations and shortcomings. I am very aware of my imperfections, and as I am imperfect, I cannot demand perfection from others. I am truly sorry to anyone that has been offended by my personality. I have said before that I am not a gold coin to be loved by everyone. I am aware I can be abrasive very often. I know I can be overbearing and guilty of the same things that I comment about. I accept the responsibility and the irony of that fact. I am sorry to anyone who has felt that I have been intolerant. I try to love everyone as myself, but maybe that is just not a high enough standard.

Psychiatrists,Tai Chi, and Things Done Without Thinking


Because of my kind of work, I have the chance to talk to different kinds of people and say things to examine their reactions. Sometimes it can be humorous, and sometimes it produces unexpected reactions.
Throught the course of these "experiments" I have noticed that there is stigma associated with psychiatrists and psychologists. People consider it to be offensive whenever counseled to visit one of these professionals, even when done with care and not maliciously.
Personally, I think that people should be better informed as to what they actually do. These two professions seek to help individuals with problems of the mind. This does not necessarily mean that the patient has some pathological condition, that are disconnected from reality, drug addicts, or chemically imbalanced, but rather, individuals with a need to overcome a problem, which they cannot do by themselves.
Psychologist and psychiatrist have had many years of training, and hence, they know techniques that may help individuals overcome their problems faster and more effectively. I have visited a psychologist before. I don't have any severe personality problems or mental conditions, and so when I recommend a visit, it's not done with the thought to offend, but to help.

Moving on to a different subject here, I had this "conversation" with an individual last night. I say "conversation" because I don't know how else to define it. I have noticed that every time I speak with this person, we follow the same pattern. I say something she does not agree with, she makes a bold (some times overbearing) statement; then I proceed to respond, and she closes herself with this rude and irritating self-righteous, you-don't-know-anything, or I-don't-care-about-your-words attitude. It's like that annoying person who throws the rock at you for no reason and then tries to run away. Anyway, we were watching this trivia TV show at my house, and there was a question that went somewhat like this "what practice has been seen as a mixture between oriental martial arts and ballet?" the answer was Tai Chi. Having practiced both at some point in my life, I disagreed outloud and said that I didn't think that there were evident elements of ballet in Tai Chi (big mistake on my part, given the people I had around me). The usually loud, rude, and irritating individual proceeded to fulfill her self-imposed mission to dispute anything and everything I say (and then close herself... the usual throw the rock and run away routine). So she said that I was wrong because she had some hippie professor who practiced Tai Chi in the mountains (a great source of evidence if you ask me...) and that Tai Chi was not a martial art and was so related to ballet. To attempt to make the story shorter, I tried to explain myself and my evidence, followed by stuff being thrown at my face, and we all ended angry (I guess it was mostly myself, since normally the rock throwers do their deed and run away).

Just for the record, Tai chi chuan is defined as an internal Chinese martial art often practiced for health reasons. It dates from before the 1700's and it has an oriental Buddhist/Taoist/Confucionist origin. Ballet on the other hand, is a western fine art (not martial art) born in Italy in the the 15th century but raised in France in the late 1700's, early 1800's when it was popularized and further defined under the influence of Louis XIV. So, the ballet we now know is newer than Tai Chi. If the statement that Tai Chi is a mixture of martial arts and ballet were correct, it would require ballet to be older than Tai Chi, which is not, or have a similar origin, which they do not. Regardless of these theories, all you need to know that the statement is mostly incorrect is actually have practiced them.

Why does this bug me so much? It is not the fact that we were talking about Tai Chi, or that stuff was thrown at my face, or that I received a text later that night that bug me, but the fact that I was disrespected in the process by guests at my house. Respect is such a little thing, but it has a great influence. Is it too much to ask?

Holi: The Festival of Colors and the Red Dot


This weekend I had the chance to participate in the celebration of the Festival of Colors at the local Krishna temple. To be honest, when I first got there I had no idea what the festival was about. The only reason I wanted to go was that I had heard from many people that last year's festival was a blast, and also because a lot of my friends were going this year too.

When we finally got there, we purchased a couple of bags of powdered colors, so that we could have something to throw at each other. We also so a lot of people with the traditional "red dot" on the forhead and decided to get one myself. After getting one, I ran into a friend, who asked me what the dot meant. I was little embarrassed to confess that I didn't know, but I tried to play it cool and left. Internally, I realized that I knew nothing about the tradition, and felt like a fool. I was just following the crowd. What was I doing there and for what purpose? I decided that I would find out what the celebration was about, first to show respect to the religion and culture, and also to get rid of the feeling of foolishness.

After reading a little explanation on the bag that contained the powder (very convenient), I learned that the whole point of the celebration is to commemorate the burning of a demoness, Holika (that's where the name Holi comes from), who attempted to kill her nephew Prahlada, because of his devoutness to the god Krishna (or Vishnu in other traditions). Holika had a shroud that gave her the mystical ability of immunity to fire, so the plan was to take her nephew into the fire, take care of the problem, and come out of the flame unharmed. It turns out that as an answer to the nephew's prayers, the shroud flew from Holika to him, protecting him from the fire, and burning her in the process. This teaches us the lesson to pray always.

Now, after reading that I wondered what all that had to do with the colors. That took a little more work to find out. The god Krishna is believed to have complained to his mother about the contrast between his dark skin complexion and Radha's (Shakti or energy that drives the world) fair skin complexion. Krishna's mother decided to apply colour to Radha's face, thus introducing the concept of equality, love, and unity to the celebration, which is also a way to usher in the spring, the season of love.

Knowing these things made the experience a lot more significative for me. I was not doing things blindly anymore.... Yes, it was a blast, and a bonding experience for me and my friends.
So from the whole experience I learned that there are beautiful lessons to be learned from different practices and cultures. I also learned that doing things just because is not a good idea. I have decided to never again participate in activities without knowing the meaning and purpose of them.

Now, about the red dot.... I found this information online. It was very enlightning, and somewhat ironic, since I was wearing it without knowing this. Now I can wear it knowing what it means. I post it FYI:

The 'Red dot' on the forehead is not always only red and nor is it always a dot. The dot is called 'Kumkum' or 'Bindi', and when worn by men it is called 'Tilak' (mark). Usually Hindu women, priests, monks and worshippers wear it. Men wear it on auspicious occasions such as Puja (ritual worship), or marriage,or Arati (waving of lights) on festive occasions such as on Bhaai-duj, Karvaa Chaud or Paadwaa or Dasshera) or while embarking on, or upon return from a voyage or a campaign. It is also worn by Jains and Buddhists (even in China). Like all Hindu symbols,'red dot' has multiple meanings which are all valid at the same time. Let us explore them :

1. By one simple interpretation it is a cosmetic mark used to enhance beauty.

2. In meditation, this very spot between the eyebrows (Bhrumadhya) is where one focusses his/her sight, so that it helps concentration. Most images of Buddha or Hindu divinites in meditative pose with their eyes nearly closed show the gaze focussed between eyebrows (other spot being the tip of the nose - naasikagra).

3. The encyclopedic dictionary of Yoga informs that this 'Ajna Chakra' is also called as the 'Third eye'. This center is connected with the sacred syllable 'Om' and presiding it is 'ParaaShiva'. After activation of this center, the aspirant overcomes 'Ahamkar' (ego or sense of individuality), the last hurdle on the path of spirituality. (Encyclopedic dictionary of Yoga, by Georg Fuerstein, Paragon House Publ, NY, 1990,p.15).

Thus the monks apply the auspicious mark of Kumkum on the forehead as an act of worship to the inner Guru to overcome ego. It is also the same reason why married women wear the 'red dot'. After marriage Hindu women give up their name. They take the pains of pregnancy and delivery, yet the child carries father's name. This selfless sacrifice is done out of love, and for the sake of family and society. It is for this reason wearing the red dot is considered a sign of 'Soubhagya (good fortune)', because sacrificing you ego and performing selfless action out of love is considered a sacred act and a good fortune.

4. Magsasay Award winning Pandurang Shastry Athawale who is kindling 'back to Vedic basics' spirit, writes 'Tilak is not a mere cosmetic adornment, or sign of being religious, it is a symbol of worship of intellect.

Worship of intellect is trusting your own intellect AND other's intellect, especially in the fields you do not have enough knowledge. Intellectual honesty and its worship have been corner stones of Hindu thought. At the end of Gita (18:63) Bhagwan Krishna asks Arjun 'Vimrushyaita dashesheNa yathechhasi tathaa Kuru' 'Fully THINK (ponder) on what I said and then do as YOU deem fit'. Indian scriptures ask 'Drushtipootam nyasetpaadam, vastra pootam pibet jalam' - Look (think) before you leap (embark on any activity) and 'filter he water with a cloth before you drink'.

It is this intellectual honesty that made losers in debates such as Mandan Mishra sincere followers of the victors like Shankaracharya. Shankaracharya writes 'If Vedas tell that fire is cold, then I will not accept that. But at the same time I am confident that Vedas will never tell me such things'.

Kathopanashad calls intellect as the charioteer. Body is a chariot, Indriyas (sense/conative organs) are horses, mind is the reins to be used to control them, Atman (Self) is the rider within, and Vishay (objects of senses) are the tracks on which horses run. (Sanskruti Poojan, by Pandurang Shastry Athawale, Sadvichar Darshan Trust, Mumbai, 1988, pp.225-8 in Hindi/Marathi/Gujarati) Shastryji also mentions tilak as the 'third eye' of Shiva and reminds that Shiva destroyed Madan (God of desire) by opening the third eye. Thus the Tilak asks us to not look at women as object of desires, but look with 'Bhaav'- respect, honor and worship for their sacrifice for the family and society.

It is intellect worship the Kumkum symbolises. Hence a victor returning from a campaign is applied a Tilak. It asks us to overcome the ego, be selfless, yet asks to do all actions/ work/ worship with intellect.

Fortunes and Misfortunes of Life


Life has this nasty habit of using the element of surprise. Things happen without notice, which force us to find a way to adapt in an attempt to "prosper" or "survive."
One of such surprises are the sudden changes of weather. Last week was sunny and bright, birds were flying and singing, people wore shorts outside, and everyone started getting into the twitterpating atmosphere of spring. Yesterday and today have been windy and cold, snow falling and sticking to the ground. It is below freezing.
The injustices of life are not limited to the inclemencies of the weather, but extend to all fields and areas I can think of. Opportunities arise, and just when one has built up the hopes of finally receiving a reward from destiny, she hides her hand and closes the door.
When I find myself in that situation, I feel like joining the choir in singing the words of one of my favorite choral compositions, Fotuna Imperatrix Mundi, from Carmina Burana:

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing
and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
and power
it melts them like ice....
I bemoan the wounds of Fortune
with weeping eyes,
for the gifts she made me
she perversely takes away.
It is written in truth,
that she has a fine head of hair,
but, when it comes to seizing an opportunity
she is bald.

How can one deal with the ever-changing circumstances of life? The wise suggest optimism and preparation. It is amazing to me how those two things can help overcome the injustices of life, but they work. It is just as Gordon B. Hinckley said:

Life is to be enjoyed, not endured.

On Weddings and Reencounters

Time flies. It is one of those non-renewable resources that we have, and it really sucks when you realize that you have wasted it. But it can be comforting to look back and see that there has been growth and strengthening in the process of moving from point A to point B in the time dimension. This is what happened last weekend.
I had the chance to visit with some old friends that had come to celebrate a friend's wedding. It somehow reminded of home, since we only have family "reunions" when we see each other at funerals, but this one was a happier occasion.
Going on a tangent here, I want to point out that for some inexplicable reason, celebrating someone else's happiness makes me happy. It makes me feel good inside to see people I know get married and enjoy of that happy feeling. They always have this look on their faces that says "I made it!" (Ignoring the fact that it is just the beginning....). At the same time, it also makes a part of me crave to have that look on my face. Experience that feeling of accomplishment and the joy of knowing that I won't be alone forever. I hope it is somehow different from my college graduation day. Yes, I had that feeling of accomplishment, and maybe that look on my face that said "I made it!" but it was quickly followed by the realization that now I had additional obligations. I needed to find a real job, look for real health insurance, pay full price at the dollar theater, etc. I really hope that bliss lasts longer on my wedding day... not that it's happening any time soon anyway....
Now, back on the first topic, I was really happy to see old friends. I realized that they were an important part of my life at some point, and that they still were. I found that I had missed their unique humor, mannerisms, smiles, and delicious creations. I was happy to see that they have grown, and have succeeded in their carreers too. But most of all, I was happy to see they still remembered me, and cared about me.
Every time I have to part ways with special friends I am faced by the desire to have these relationships last longer, or even not change. I am also faced by reality that change is not always bad, and that these relationships can last forever, at least within me, as I will always remember the ways special friends have made me feel, keep the memories of good times, and learn from the bad ones.

The Ups and Downs of Life


Sometimes it feels like the natural course of things is chaos and decay. I mean, pretty much everything in the world has an expiration date: our bodies, therapeutic drugs, some relationships, yogurt and cheese, and most recently, our jobs. It seems that most of our energy (I would say it is 99% of our time and energy) is used in our efforts to stop that decay and worrying about not being able to do so.
But even when we feel overwhelmed with all the things we do to avoid this decay, there are those little moments, the sunrays after the storm, that make it all worth it. Those are the moments I wish could last forever: when I spend time with loved ones, when I learn something new, when I have helped someone, or when I witness creativity. Even though those little moments overpower all the bad and the ugly, I can't help but wish that they were more abundant. I guess that depends only on me.

Plays and Feelings


On Monday I went to see a play with some friends because our friend Ashley was in it. To be honest, at first I wasn't really excited to go. I was thinking about the many other things I had to do, and about how tired I was after a long day at work. However, I am so glad I did. The show was titled "Do You Love Me?" and it was a collection of short plays, with relationships and love as the main theme.
Again, I am glad I went. The playwrights, directors, and the actors all did such a good job. They provided me with that great feeling that comes from witnessing something aesthetically pleasing and tasteful. They really connected with me, and transformed what is commonplace and ordinary into extraordinary. Reltionships became something deep, complex, humorous, rewarding, and fulfilling. They reminded me that people are ends and not means.
They really made my day. They made me think about relationships and about love. I wanted to stay there forever. It is weird, I just wanted to keep watching these people interact with each other. I was mesmerized. I don't know how else to put it....
It is true what they say, that man is not meant to be alone. It is because of this that we have this need to connect with others. Friendships, family, romances, they are all there to help us fill the emptiness, to help us feel complete.
One of the lines in one of the plays was "Love is madness." It is so true. There is nothing like it, but it feels so good. It's the good kind of madness.

I'm a professional, would you please stop trying this at home?


Lately, there has been a lot said about the new Facebook craze, the "25 Things About Me." Columnists in periodicals and newspapers have raised their voice of condemnation against this practice, as well as against blogging and twittering, calling the newest form or narcissism, a transparent and sickening expression of self-love. They have called it stupid and dumb, and they blame the loss of 800,000 hours of productivity on it as well.
Why does it bug them so much? I find it amusing that these "professionals" are so irritated that normal people have decided to write about themselves and about what they consider to be important in their lives. It is the constant rant about how they don't care, how it is too much information, and how it is pointless.
The funniest thing is that even though it bugs them so much to be tagged on these notes of 25 things, they still read them, and what is worse, they still take the time to write about it, and even write their own list of 25 things. It is the epitome of irony.
Who are they to decide what is worth reading and who is qualified to write to express themselves? It is ridiculous and hypocritical of these people, who are making a living out of writing and publishing their opinion on current events, to try to put an end to others doing the same (who, on the other hand, do it without getting paid).
After vilifying Facebook or blogging, they give it a try, and they write their sorry confessions about how fun it turned out to be, or how they got some benefit of it.... Give me a break.

Don't you go messin' with mah sleepy-time!


As I have pointed out earlier, sleep is an important part of my life. I am addicted to it. It helps me function properly throughout the day. When I don't get enough sleep I experience "sleep withdrawal symptoms;" My degree of tolerance for the world is reduced exponentially--I get annoyed by everything and anything; my head feels heavy and my eyes hurt. The more sleep I lose, the more severe the symptoms are.
I have been reported to say that I can sleep anywhere, which is true. However, quantity of sleep is not as important as quality of sleep. So even if I can sleep with the light on, or with noise, on the bus, on my desk, or even standing up, it doesn't mean they are the optimal conditions for sleep.
My roommate has recently developed this habit of online after-midnight chatting which has slowly but surely destroyed the quality and quantity of sleep I'm getting. I started noticing the development of this downward spiral a couple of days ago, and today I feel the crappiest I have felt in a while. Today I am grumpy.
When did people decide to start doing things backwards? The night is to sleep unless you are a nocturnal creature. Humans are not nocturnal creatures. Our brain is wired to function during the day; that's why it makes sure glands in the body secrete the necessary hormones to cope with the stresses of life during the day, and secrete hormones that make us want to go to sleep during the night.
But let's pretend there is a sudden mutation in the human genome, and there are two rare cases of messed-up nocturnal humans (since we need two people to chat). Do they have to impose their lousy lifestyle on non-nocturnal humans? No! Civility and common sense dictates that they should be considerate towards those traditional sunlight-loving, night-sleeping beings like me. Unfortunately, some people out there didn't get the memo.