To love OR not to love…

“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

woman about to kiss man

Photo by Сергей Гладкий on

All grown-ups were once children … but only few of them remember it. The Little Prince reminds us who we are and what makes us special by helping us to see the world through the eyes of a child.

As Michael Rennier points out, “adults aren’t disappointing simply because we have grown bigger, or obtained jobs, or taken on responsibilities. We are disappointing because for many of us these pursuits have taken on a disproportionate importance. We have forgotten how to see the world as it actually is and are blinded by appearances. We see people as statistics, education as functional, food as fuel, clothing as utilitarian, books as unnecessary luxury… We vastly over-value what we can experience with the senses. If this is what it means to be a grown up, is it any wonder that Saint-Exupery refused to condone our way of life? We are like the accountant he describes, spending our days working over our books, counting everything up, claiming ownership of all we can fit in the ledger, and failing to see that we live in a whole, wild universe filled to the brim with stars somewhere in the midst of which one, unique rose lives on a planet and calls out for love.

anniversary beautiful bloom blooming

Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on

The rose, for Saint-Exupery, represents love, the way in which we tame each other and allow ourselves to be tamed. It is this invisible virtue that makes one, single rose special. It isn’t the flower itself, after all, there are fields and fields of roses out there. By outward appearances, a rose is like any other rose. So how is it different? It is the invisible bond of love.

In order to have a truly perfect love, we are required in a way to become children again and learn to whole-heartedly trust and give all we have to the beloved. If we care for one another, we deny ourselves for their sake, even if this means we sometimes get hurt. It is worth the risk because the only other alternative… is to treat every other person as an object… to see a field of roses, objects that are nice enough but fairly common… ”

The cost of not daring to love is to miss the warmth of a close connection with another person, inability to open up, be loved and understood…



Be a Player, not a Victim


The Player/Victim principle is about how we respond to the circumstances in our life. The concept here is fairly simple. As a player, we take responsibility for the situations we are in. As the word responsibility indicates, we have “response ability“. We can pay attention to the factors that we can influence and we do our best to affect the results.

In moments of failure, the Player perspective is the only one that allows us to learn from our mistakes and to become better. Why? Because we take responsibility for the outcome and don’t blame the circumstances of our life. It’s a self-empowering perspective that can get us far – very far – in both work and life.


The Victim might say that a situation is hopeless. The Player will look at it and say he/she hasn’t found a solution yet. The Victim will think himself that someone should take the first step, the Player is determined to pioneer ahead. The Victim will complain that he/she doesn’t have time for a certain thing. The Player will admit that he/she has different priorities. The Victim will say he/she has to leave. The Player makes clear he/she wants to leave.

We come across so many situations in our life when things do not go according to plan. All these things happen but it is up to us to decide how we deal with them.

Do we choose to turn sour and depressed? Do we choose to blame the situation and claim that life is so unfair?



… OR do we choose to  come out of the situation stronger and wiser? Do we choose to look at our own behavior and see where and when we could have effected a different outcome?

Mental health stigma quote: "I am not a victim. No matter what I have been through, I'm still here. I have a history of victory."

Be a Player, not a Victim.

The choice is yours…


Credits: From ‘Are you going to be a victim or a player?’


‘Till Death Do Us Part’ or ‘Till The Kids Part’?

From Pininterest

As Jill Brooke points out, the words “Till Death Do Us Part” have defined how we look at marriage for generations. But in fact, they are five of the most polarizing words. “Why?” you may ask. Because if you look at the stats, almost 50 percent of you may not stay married to the person you are lovingly gazing at. Instead, there is a possibility you may get tangled in a divorce.

Don’t you think it is unrealistic to have the expectation that love will flourish for a lifetime that now runs into our 80’s and 90’s? We’re living longer than generations before us did, and “till death do us part” could mean 60 or even 70 years together instead of 20 or 30 years. It is very hard to fulfill that promise, till death to us part, for such a long time.

When a marriage lasts decades, it’s a gift, but no longer the norm. However, when people break up because they have had the expectation of forever, deep inside they feel like they failed.  Why do we focus on failure rather than acknowledging and celebrating the decades of success?

As Jill Brooke points out, it’s time to say what a success these marriages were for lasting as long as they did and accumulating memories and milestones.

Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean that you and your ex don’t have a relationship. It just means that it’s changed. You won’t stay married, but you will always be parents to your children. You will always carry your histories.


Stephanie Coontz, one of the great sages and scholars of relationships and the author of Marriage, A History, points out that “by having high expectations that marriage should last, we may work harder,” she said. “But studies have also shown that those people who have the strongest sense that marriage is sanctified and should last forever are most likely to see it as a failure and betrayal and have more anger and disappointment.”


For Jill Brooke, second marriage has now lasted 15 years. “Till Death Do Us Part” were not in the vows. Why has this marriage worked? “Luck, compatibility, a commitment to family and each other,”she writes, “One big reason is that I don’t feel entitled, I feel grateful. That has helped me manage expectations and not take anything for granted, which I believe is essential for long term marriages to stay alive and thrive.”

So may be, as proposed by Vicki Larson, instead of wringing our hands about so-called gray divorces and seeing those long-term marriages as failures, perhaps we should consider marriage as more “till the kids part” than “till death do us part.” The partner we need in our 20s and 30s, when many of us are looking to settle down and raise kids, may not be the partner we need in our 50s, 60s and beyond, when we’re free to explore new passions or reinvigorate the ones we gave up when the kids came along.

Can’t we just be honest about that and move on?

From pinterest


Real Men are True Supermen

Superman-Lois-LaneFrom True Supermen

In the same way as most women are genetically “programmed” to protect and nurture their children, most men, REAL MEN, are programmed to protect the women and children in their lives. Real men do protect women and our society should back them up on it. The physical-strength advantage that most males have over most females puts them at a huge advantage over women – advantage that, unfortunately, gets abused by some men. Luckily, the majority of men are not like that therefore we should stop generalising and treating all men as potential predators or evil.

Unfortunately, some women take for granted men’s natural inclination to protect them from harm. Other women blame men for being too ‘controlling’ in the situations, when men are trying to protect them from harm or when men are suggesting some risk-minimisation strategies (e.g. dressing up less provocatively, not drinking too much, letting them know where they are so that men could come to their assistance if required.) Some women consider such ‘protection’ is patronising and limiting their independence. In a stable safe environment police might be able to provide sufficient protection for those women, so they could lead a more independent life style without relying on men’s protection. However unfortunately in most parts of the world that’s not the case and women suffer a lot if they don’t have caring men protecting them from harm.

Let’s appreciate those brave men who protect women, often putting their own health and lives at risk.


A few real examples of men protecting women are provided below:

An interesting discussion on whether men do still protect women is available on YAHOO!Answers.

A few examples from the literature:

A song of Merchant Kalashnikov before his execution for protecting the honour of his wife
from “The Merchant Kalashnikov” opera by Anton Rubinstein.

Place: Russia

Time period: during the reign of the Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584)

Kiribeyevich, a member of the Tsar’s guard (oprichnik) publicly assaults Alyona, the wife of Kalashnikov.

“Even now I came from the vespers home
In the twilight alone, in the lonely street;
And me thought that I heard the snow rustle behind: —
I looked back, — ’twas a man running swift as the wind.
Then I felt my legs beneath me fail,
And I covered my face with my silken veil.
Now he caught my hands with a grasp of might.
And softly he whispered thus in mine ear:
‘Fair woman, why tremblest thou? What should thie fear?
No brigand am I, no thief of the night;
Nay, I serve the terrible Tzar himself.
For my name, it is Kiribyeyevich,
And I come of the glorious house of Malidta.’
” Oh then did I count me for lost indeed,
And mine ears were filled as with roaring of waters;
And then began he to kiss and embrace me
And, kissing, murmured and murmured again :
‘ Answer me, tell me what thing thou desirest,
My beloved, my sweetest, my fairest one !
Wouldst thou gold, or pearls from the orient seas?
Wouldst thou flashing jewels, or silver brocade?
As a princess, so will I trick thee out
That all thy neighbours shall envy thee.
Only let me not perish of bitter despite;
Ah, have pity and love me, embrace me but once
Nay only this once, ere I leave thee ! ‘
“And he crushed me against him, and kissed me again;
Even now I can feel them scorching my cheek,
Burning as burneth the fire of hell,
The accursed kisses he planted there.
And the cruel neighbours looked out at their gateways
Laughing, and pointing at us with their fingers.
” When I tore me out of his grip at last
And ran headlong home to escape from him,
In my flight I left in the brigand’s hands
My broidered kerchief, thy gift to me.
And my silken veil of Bokhara work.
He hath shamed me, he hath dishonoured me,
Me, a pure woman, undefiled . . .
And what will the cruel neighbours say?
And before whose eyes dare I show me now?
” Give me not up, thy true and faithful wife,
To evil-doers for a mockery!
In whom but in thee can I put my trust?
Unto whom but thee shall I turn for help?
In all the wide world an orphan am I;
My father lies under the churchyard mould
And beside him sleepeth my mother dear;
And mine elder brother, thou knowest well,
Is long lost to our sight in far-off lands;
And my younger brother is but a child,
But a little child, understanding nought ! ”
Thus pleaded with him Alyona Dmitrevna,
Weeping and wailing, lamenting bitterly.”

Kalashnikov challenges oprichnik Kiribeyevich to protect the honour of his wife and kills him in a public bare-fist fight.

“My name is Stepan Kalashnikov,
And begotten was I of an honest man,
And have lived all my days by God’s holy law.
I have not shamed another’s wife,
Nor lain in wait like a thief in the dark.
Nor hid me away from heaven’s light.
And verily, verily, sooth hast thou spoken:
For one of us two shall the death-mass be chanted,
And that ere to-morrow’s sun be high;
And one of us two shall boast him indeed,
Feasting in triumph among his friends.
Not for a jest, to make sport for the people.
Come I hither this day, thou child of damnation;
I come for the death-fight, the terrible fight.”

And hearing these words, Kiribyeyevich
Whitened in face, like to autumn snow;
Shadows of doom flitted over his eyes,
Between the strong shoulders the frost went by
And speech lay dead in his open mouth.
Silently therefore they drew them apart,
And in silence the battle of heroes began.

Then first lifted his arm Kiribydyevich,
And he struck the merchant Kaldshnikov
Full on the breast with a crashing blow,
Such a blow that the breast gave back the sound
And Stepan Paraminovich staggered and reeled.
Now there hung on his breast a brazen cross.
With relics of holy martyrs from Kiev;
And the cross was driven deep into the flesh.
That the blood from beneath it dripped like dew.
Then said in his heart Stepan Paraminovich:
” What is fated to be shall surely be.
I will stand for the right to the uttermost.”
Then he gathered his strength, and made him steady,
Crouched for a spring and a shoulder-blow;
Aimed at the side of his enemy’s head
And struck on the temple, with all his weight.
And the young oprichnik faintly sighed,
Swaying a little, and dropped where he stood.
Dead he fell on the frozen snow,
On the frozen snow, as a pine-tree falls.
As a pine-tree falls in the forest dank.
When the axe goes through at the root.

Despite the pleas of Kalashnikov’s wife, the Tsar condemns the merchant to death for killing his favourite oprichnik (guard).