Ask Vinni

Longer, well researched posts primarily focused on philosophy, psychology and self improvement. Topics I've mulled over for weeks. Irregularly updated.

 

Essays and other writings

Shorter, weekly articles on principles and thoughts that have been in my mind for a couple of days. Contradictory and rough, evolving as I do.

Trigger Warning

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There have been several things rampant over the last few years, but the one that worries me most (except for climate change), is how people have been refusing to feel offended. Not in a healthy, “I see your point but it doesn’t affect me” way, but in a coddling, overprotective way.

“Don’t teach rape law1 say anything about sex 2 anything related to violence3 and oh, I also don’t like the word ‘meat.’4
Warning: you will be triggered.

Mental Models

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If there’s one thing that always fascinated me, it’s the concept of using psychology to influence our behavior. Of using our minds to create a certain image of the world that will cause us to act and live differently. And yes, this is as pseudo-sciency as it gets.

Take for example one of the beliefs that most define me: I believe that nothing that happens is ever bad. The good in a seemingly bad thing can be a learning experience or getting our asses away from bigger trouble, even if it’s not apparent at first sight. I believe the universe knows best what is good for us and whatever happens, happens with that as its purpose.

That of course puts me in a group that everyone refers to as “the optimists.”

On “The Way of the Warrior”

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Whenever we try out something we never did before, we learn a few things.

Yesterday (as the time of writing) is when I finished the last edit in the final “The Way of the Warrior” article, just two days before my deadline to publish it. Since even before finishing it, I’ve wanted to write an extra piece on the matter. Nothing about the topic itself, but more about the process of researching, writing and editing. I might make this a tradition for whenever I finish a big series, or I might not. Only time will tell.

It’s your fault

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Living in the (pardon my French) shithole I have been for roughly the past year has made me realize several things, the latest of which probably being the most important to take to the future.

And let me preface it by saying that I’m loving it here.

The latest thing I realized came from a conversation with my flatmate. I realized something that I’ve always known and believed, but probably never “got.”

Service

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“We offer service, there’s no higher purpose.”
“Than pumping gas?”
“Service to others.”

To help pay the bills, I’ve been working as a waiter for some time while going through my schooling. The salary isn’t particularly good, has me on my feet for several hours and whenever I could rest a little, I’m sent home so the restaurant doesn’t have to pay me any extra hours.

My experience isn’t far from the conditions most waiters find at most restaurants. The hours suck, your social life is compromised and you can be sure that whenever you’re inside, you’ll be running around doing something. The customers? Some better, some worse.

Everyone knows all of that subconsciously, we’ve all been in a restaurant at one point in our lives and it’s not too hard to form a picture, which is why everyone is surprised when I mention that yes, I do like working there and if I’m running around with a smile on my face, that’s not for tips, it’s because I’m enjoying it immensely.

“I’m serving others,” it’s my argument, which is always met with skeptical looks and phrases like “for money,” “you’re just bringing them drinks,” or “you’re too idealistic.” I won’t argue with any of that, I am doing it for money, technically I am just bringing them drinks and I am very much an idealist, thank you.

I think a fair amount of idealism is even necessary at times. I like the idea that we can put as much meaning as we want into whatever we do and if that helps me treat the customers better, or live better in general, I’ll be doing exactly that.

The beauty of service is that it leaves us vulnerable and as a direct result of that, makes us a lot more human. In serving, we put ourselves at other people’s disposal and allow them to guide us. A more extreme case of that service was seen in the Way of the Warrior series, in warriors serving their leaders and putting their lives in line for that, but not all service has to be like that.

Just like not all service has to be while working under the umbrella term of “service.” We can serve when a friend asks us for help, we can serve when we see someone going through a tough time, we can even serve by being good students or good citizens.

Just like how we should create instead of only consume, we should all serve and not only be served.

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