Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quest for the Effective Anti-Age Creams

Nowadays, TV commercials are emphasizing too much on selling anti-age creams as if it's really unacceptable to see wrinkles on a human face. "Anti-age", as it denotes, suggests that these brands of facial creams can fight the age-ing process and that they can manage to stop the body's natural process of deterioration.These TV advertisements just teach people to be scared of looking old and being close to death.

They instill into our brains the idea that getting a wrinkled face is a bad sign-- a symptom of a disease we call death. Of course we buy their crap advertisements of their commercials. It will get encoded into our brains whether we like it or not. you know how? --through repetitive exposure. They keep on showing it again and again until your brain will finally accept the information. And you still wonder why you suddenly hum a song you don't really like later after you heard it played everywhere. They know how it works and if you are not aware of what's going on around you, you'll surely be one of those who got under their control and yet you still don't know you've been manipulated into buying their products.

The truth is, everyone will get old whether we like it or not. And everyone will have wrinkles and crampled skins as the years pass by. And there is no such thing as anti-age cream. These creams don't work miracles of fighting the ageing process... it could delay the process,yes, but it's not a permanent solution. We have to accept the fact that nothing is permanent except change. Everyday, we change and our body changes as well. We see the visible marks and traces of the years we have experienced in this wonderful world-- the scars left on your left knee because you fell from a tree when you were a kid, trying to get your kite on a windy day, or the stretch marks left after a wonderful pregnancy and successfu delivery of your baby that left scars and damages on the mother's body figure. These are marks that tells a lot of story about your life and experiences-- how you enjoyed playing under the rain, exploring beautiful places that left traces of cuts on his arms and feet as you walked through a thick bamboo plantation, how you fought and escaped during the war and left a scar on you thigh due to a bullet that passed through the skin. Stories like this made an admiration of that person inspite of all these ugly visible traces of his past adventures.If I had those unforgetable memories,I wouldn't trade them for anything.

It's not about looking good that makes up a personality attractive and desirable. It's about feeling good about yourself no matter how much the society tells you how unattractive you are because of how you look. Knowing that every trace of wrinkled skin is a reminder of the body's progress as it matures and leaves traces of wisdom in life --that living and enjoying life and what it can offer-- all these years of life's ups and downs is a gift of joy a person can possess.And no matter how many times these creams and surgeries will try to erase the signs of the passing time, it will always leave traces that will remind you of the time you have spent on this journey of life.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Coltan and Congo Conflict

I have recently found out that I am partly accountable for the misery and war going on in Africa…as a consumer of the many latest electronic gadgets like cellphones and computers,I became a part of these people who profit on other people’s misery through my desire of owning things of comfort and sophistications.

Why do I blame myself? Because one of the root causes of the conflict is the battle over Congo's vast mineral and resource wealth-- a fight for control of minerals that drives the global economy. A mineral called “coltan” is the cause of the trouble in Congo. 80% of the world’s known reserves of coltan come from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Coltan is used in computers, cell phones, and various other electronic equipment such as the Playstations. Indeed Nicholas Cage was right in his phrase “there is always money in misery” in the film Bangkok Dangerous. Companies who depend on coltan don’t care much on what’s actually happening in the mining field…as long as they get their supply whatever it takes, that’s all that matters.

I have learned that this crucial mineral is often mined in working conditions that we would deem as utterly unacceptable in an American or European mine. The child labor documented in these mines is absolutely appalling, as most of us could never even fathom having our children face such conditions that threaten their health and life. Many multi-national corporations have displaced whole villages without adequate compensation in order to exploit minerals and they operate without regard to any sort of human dignity. I wonder how they can care more for money and care less for their fellowmen…especially those innocent children.

As I am sure you are aware, conflict has resumed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a conflict that is fueled by control for Congo’s riches. Over 5.5 million people have died since 1998 in DRC, which is the equivalent of seven Rwandan genocides and five Darfur conflicts. Much of the coltan finds its way to the US via Rwanda after it has been extracted by men, women and children, who are meagerly compensated for their intensive labor. There are workers who are even terrorized by beatings, killings and rape at the hands of soldiers, rebels and militias who trade coltan for funds and weapons. There are many armed groups who are even hired by western corporations to protect their interest.

The film “Blood Diamond” by Leonardo di Caprio portrays the same scenario of people living in misery and fear because people in power control the wealth of the land through war. Children end up working in the mines or recruited as a soldier instead of going to school to learn good things.

What can I do to help? The only thing I can think of right now is to make the people find the right answer to mankind’s big question… Why there’s poverty and misery in the world? Let’s start to evaluate ourselves. Our way of life, our actions, in some ways, contributed directly or indirectly to the poverty and misery of other people. If you are a millionaire, you are guilty of acquiring more money to yourself and so in this situation, many people get less…and much less because the more you have, the less you share due to fear of losing what you have possessed. You’d prefer to spend your money having a good time in casinos and partying all night long with other rich people rather than providing aid to help the less fortunate. By fancying things of comfort and luxury, other people have to work very hard to produce it for you if not exploiting other people to do the job.

Now, I’ll try my best to desire less and hope this way I’ll be able to at least minimize the damage that has already been done and help in the process of recovery and healing. And right now, I’m starting to spread the word to make the people aware of their participation in the world events even if they are miles away. What other thing can we do to help heal Africa? By surfing at their website Heal Africa or just by using the search engine you can contribute a donation not coming from your own pocket but from Microsoft company. Check here Search and Give to help even in just a small and simple way.