What is a Langkah?

Langkah (Indonesian) - noun: literally step, move, pace, action, measure, stride, leap, foot, footstep, gesture, tread, footpace

In Indonesian martial arts, Pencak Silat, it commonly refers to geometric patterns on the floor used to train footwork and develop an understanding of the role of the lower body in maintaining balance and a base from which to generate power.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Love Puppets? I think not.

As I sat eating lunch, I overheard a reporter on television talking about Joyce Mitchell—a woman now facing charges for helping several convicts escape from the prison where she worked.

A female reporter said, "I wonder if she was coerced or manipulated by love or fear."

A male reporter said, "Love. Definitely. It's the ultimate manipulation tool."

I find this statement disturbing on so many levels. First, it tells me a great deal about the reporter and how skewed his perspective of the world and, especially, of love is.

In my estimation, love is not manipulative. It can't be manipulative. It can't be used for manipulation. Only fear can be used for manipulation.

There are several ways I can see how love might be involved. Someone may try to manipulate another by threatening a loved one, but the fear of harm to the loved one is the manipulator, not the love. Someone may manipulate someone who loves them but the manipulation happens because the other person fears losing that love, or fears upsetting the person, or fears disappointing that person.

Fear is the manipulator. If love is involved in the equation, it has nothing to do with the manipulation.

I think people—like the male reporter—who look at a situation and say love is the tool used for manipulation don't understand love. Or their perception of love is so tainted with fear they can't untangle the two.

While I'm not religious, I do think the bible hits the nail pretty squarely in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

By this definition—and I believe it's a great definition—love cannot manipulate or be used to manipulate.

Only fear manipulates or can be used to manipulate.

The Wandering Guru

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable." — Joyce Brothers

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jenner: My Two Cents

I have seen quite a few derogatory posts on social media about the Jenner sex change. I'm going to throw my two cents out here.

First, people keep using male pronouns and the name Bruce. This is disrespectful. Period. If you're talking about Bruce Jenner, the man who won an Olympic gold medal, fine. He was a man then and his name was Bruce. But if you're referring to the post-op person then her name is Caitlyn. Why is that so difficult?

I have a friend named Otis. Years ago, Otis legally had his name changed from George to Otis. Knowing this, should I call him George? No. He's Otis. Period. Calling him George would be disrespectful, unless he gave me permission to do so. And just because he gives one person permission—maybe an old friend who knew him back when—doesn't mean anyone else can assume the privilege.

So when you read that Caitlyn's children still call her Dad, that doesn't give you permission to call her a him. She didn't give you that permission.

Second, people are naysaying Jenner's courage and saying things like, "If you want courage, look to our soldiers." Calling Jenner courageous DOES NOT detract from the courage of soldiers.

Consider this:

cour·age ˈkərij
   the ability to do something that frightens one. 
     "she called on all her courage to face the ordeal" strength in the face of pain or grief. 
     "he fought his illness with great courage” 

Courage = overcoming fear. Period. It's completely subjective. Picking up a spider and putting it outside, for most people, isn't a courageous act. For an arachnophobe, this simple act requires an immense amount of courage.

Jenner's decision to go public with her sex change was courageous.

Calling one person courageous does not diminish anyone else's courage and if you think Jenner's actions weren't courageous, you're welcome to your opinion but the next time you have to face a fear of your own, I hope you find your own courage even if other people aren't willing to recognize it.

And before you throw Noah Galloway into the mix, read this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/a-double-amputee-soldier-did-not-lose-the-espn-courage-award#.cjO4GMxW

This is also a bit of food for thought: http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/man-learns-amazing-lesson-in-irony-after-mocking-caitlyn-jenners-bravery-in-viral-facebook-post/


Jenner was courageous for going public. Period.

Jenner is a woman named Caitlyn. Period.

The Wandering Guru