Thought for the Day: If you are awake . . .

“If you’re awake and paying attention, you will find that things happen. They might seem good, they might seem bad, but the important thing is how you reacted,” says  Dr. Leonard Mlodinow.

Dr. Mlodinow is a physicist and the author of several books including The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, and his latest, The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos.  As the child of two Holocaust survivors, he asks questions about our capacity to create our lives, while reflecting on extreme human cruelty — and courage.

When you look at your life, if you had to sit down and think about — and I’m talking about in detail, not just the headlines — if you think about all the details of what happened to you, you will find that there was a time where you had the extra cup of coffee, where if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t have met Person A. When I look back in my life, I could find so many instances like that . . .  And the course of your life depends on how you react to those opportunities and challenges that the randomness presents to you.

From Krista Tippet’s On Being – “Randomness and Choice”

It’s true.  In my life – and likely yours – what at first seems bad often turns out to be an opportunity or new, perhaps better, direction in your life.


What’s your next best step?   You need to do just that.                                                            Waterfall at the bottom of Jalan Bisma, Ubud. – rr photo


Aloha, Renée

P.S.  This post is especially for those struggling right now.    xoxo


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

3 responses to “Thought for the Day: If you are awake . . .”

  1. Rosita says :

    OF COURSE! 😊 It’s all a matter on how we see life, so, let’s see life through rose-colored, hopeful lens, as we used to do while kids. Well, I USED to be pretty naive as a kid, growing up by the bay, seeing the sunset on the sea, and living far enough from Belém and having little to none knowledge on criminality and trusting ppl. Now, I know how harsh life can be, and how mean ppl can be, not just with each other, but yah all living beings 😥 So, instead of having depressive manners & life-wasting thoughts, I decide to make a difference in this world, ’cause I wanna be a vet, move me to USA or the Caribbean ANd do volunteer work abroad, with stray and injured domestic animals in need, as well as through my arts. Did u even noticed my poems always carry on messages of hope, redemption, or even against wars and speaking of social, politic problems? Well, I’m talking about that now. It’s a stuff we should reflect, but never, never, under none circumstance, lose our hope on our own specie, ’cause God made us knowing we can be good. If He never desisted of us, why should we desist? Why should we have depressive, self-harming thoughts? It won’t help anyways. Instead that, we should always carry a smile in our faces & speak words of kindness instead of hate and discourses, ’cause it will just worse our hopeless. But, if we carry on seeing the world through optimistic, hopeful lens, we’re changing ourselves & the whole society, instead of drowning ourselves on a sea of despair. And, BTW, if are y’all still in Indonesia, I’d suggest u to do the rabies post, as well as visiting Komodo & Flores isles, as well as Lombok and the Gili ones. Personally, I’ve never been in Indonesia, but it’s a dream of mine.
    Hope y’all are fine,

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi Rosita: You have excellent values to guide you in your life. You will be a terrific vet. We are still in Ubud, Bali, and we aren’t likely to go travel around much since we love it here and like what we get to do here. So you are the one who will need to tell everyone about Komodo and Flores and Lombok and Gili. Last weekend, the Bali Vegan Fest was here in Ubud. One of the sessions was on the plight of the Bali Dog. You would have been very interested. I’m working on the rabies, Bali Dog etc. posting. I hope to have it to you soon. Aloha, Renee

      • Rosita says :

        Awwwnnn thxs, buddy 😊 Love y’all! I hope yuh’re enjoying that trip 😚 And wha’ are some typical Bali dances? Is Bali an example of religious tolerance?

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