If you judge people… | Everyday Inspiration

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Theresa

 

No matter if you’re religious or not, you cannot deny the wisdom behind these words. The message is clear and to the point, yet so easy to be disrespected.

It might be a common human flaw to judge easily and negatively other people. Whether we’re talking about a haircut we find particularly unflattering or a poor choice of matching colours in someone’s outfit, to more important topics like a friend’s decision to marry someone we don’t approve of or to quit their job to find their true self – it’s always easy for us to have strong opinions on other people choices.

What most of us don’t realize is that their opinions can sometimes result unfair and unnecessary. It’s all good when you get asked for advice, but one should never presume to know the right answer for someone else better than those people themselves.

But these is not quite what Mother Theresa meant to say, or at least not all of it. Judging someone based on their choices or lifestyles takes away from you the real pleasure of knowing someone. Starting any kind of relationship with a mental block because of some silly prejudice is downright sad and cuts any possibility for real love and understanding.

Even when we don’t understand someone’s motivations, even when people’s point of view are so different from ours we might as well come from different planets… it should always be a priority to try to be open minded. We might even learn our own ideas were not the best – because what else makes the world interesting if not the fact that we’re all different?

Sadly most societies raise us to have firm prejudices on thousands of different things, one for all being that our way is the best way. I hope we can somehow learn, while growing up, to be more accepting of the different.

pocah 1

 

Feeling HOME | Everyday Inspiration

I have never truly felt at home in my own hometown.

Don’t get me wrong – my city of origin, Genoa, in the north of Italy, is truly beautiful and full of places to explore and admire. I was lucky to be born here, but this does not negate the fact that it has never felt right for me.

2016-04-18 16.05.42.jpg

Pegli, Genoa (Italy).

Have you ever had the feeling that you were just not meant to stay in one place? This is what Genoa is like for me. I love it, it will always have a special part of my heart and it will always be familiar for me, but I just know that it’s not where I’m meant to spend my life.

I don’t feel part of the spirit of the place – it has never given me a sense of peacefulness. But are there really places that are more meant for us than others?

I believe there are. The very first time I felt in complete harmony with the world around me was when I was walking down the streets of Cambridge (England), during a holiday I spent there to improve my English. I wasn’t doing anything special: it was a sunny morning and I was walking towards my morning classes. In that moment, I had the most intense sense of certainty that that was where I was meant to be in that exact moment. It’s a great, powerful feeling.

cam.jpg

Cambridge (England).

That same sense of having found my place has never left me during my months in Edinburgh (Scotland). I don’t think that’s where I’m meant to be forever, but I knew that it was right for me at the time.

edi 2.jpg

Edinburgh (Scotland).

One should always seek their true home. Don’t settle for wherever you have found yourself to be just because it’s easier – feeling like you belong somewhere is truly one of the best sensations in the world. Wonder, explore, don’t rule anything out. Everyone has a place in this world – find yours.

Cat or dog person? | UNDERESTIMATE

Are you a cat or a dog person? This is such a common question, a silly one maybe, but I have been thinking about it and I believe it can be easily underestimated. Don’t you think in many cases it can actually tell a lot about an individual?

I have a theory that, at least in many cases, preferring cats over dogs or vice versa can actually sort of tell what kind of people you are more likely to find fascinating or attracted by.

Let’s make an example to clarify…

First of all, I think that when asked why someone prefers cats or dogs, the answers are usually quite similar to one another. People will tell you they like dogs more because they give affection freely, loyally and enthusiastically, and are generally very friendly and happy creatures. They act how they feel, they are positive beings and the embodiment of a warm hug and a smile. Those who like cats will tell you that a cat is a more fascinating, obscure creature. You have to really earn their trust with hard work and patience, but once you do their loyalty is unwavering and gives a deeper satisfaction. A cat rarely really loves more than one person, so being that one person makes you feel special. They are complicated and unpredictable in their behaviour – it’s hard to tell what a feline is really thinking about. Their eyes are often a mystery.

I am a cat person. I prefer cats. What does this say about me? Well, I think is says that I am generally more fascinated by people who act like cats – like my best friend for example. Years of hard work to get her full trust, and it is one of the biggest and most precious achievements of my life. At the same time, I am probably a lot like a dog myself: friendly, enthusiastic, I like to lick your face when you’re sad. This is probably why we work together, me and my friend – she definitely loves dogs more than cats. Do you get my point here?

Try to think about this theory, applying to someone close to you in your life: are they cats or dogs people? And you? Are they more like cats or dogs? And you?

The differences between a cat and a dog

Underestimate

Life is beautiful | VISION

Let’s start by saying that while I might act wise and profound, I’m just a 21 year old who knows very little about life. That being said, I do believe I have had my fair share of good and bad adventures during these handfuls of rotations around a merry star of our universe. What I have gathered so far is that while there are a lot of bad things going on in our world, life is so very… beautiful.

I must admit I am an optimist and a dreamer at heart. Maybe I have far too much faith in humanity sometimes. But one of the things I am most positive about is that the key to a happy life is to be appreciative of what we have. I write this as I am attached to an IV in the hospital, where I have been for almost 9 hours and it still looks like I’ll be for a couple more. I know life can be tough. But it’s worth fighting for.

Maybe today wasn’t the best day. It wasn’t yesterday and it won’t be tomorrow. But you can be sure that tonight I will still fall asleep smiling and thanking whatever power is above for giving me these days, this life, the chance to see all that I have seen. Because the rain looked pretty last night. Because my best friend had a nice day. Because my mum is always here for me. Because my cat smells nice and my stepdad is the best. Because it’s good to be alive, always, no matter the hard times you have to deal with.

I believe in the power of positivity. I believe that having an optimistic view of the world and appreciating every single little good thing is extremely helpful. If that is naïve of me… so be it!

tumblr_mfy3tcqEyk1qgmfzso1_500.jpg

“I choose to be happy today.”

 

Vision

I write because… | Everyday Inspiration

I write because I am fascinated by words. I find they hold a beauty unlike anything else created by men. While on one side they are purely meaningless and have no real tie to material things, it’s marvellous the way over time humanity has created such a huge variety of them and studied perfect ways to use them for various needs. I would love nothing more than to get glimpse of the moment the very concept of a word was born – what must have that looked like?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare

rose.jpg

I write because I like to express myself. The idea of leaving any kind of print of my passage on this planet is a strong source of motivation, even if I have no delusions that anyone will remember me for my words. I still think it’s worth a shot to try and express my opinion on things, as I am sure that sometimes everyone has something worth being heard. I believe in the individual power of making small differences.

While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, “It makes a difference for this one.” I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.” Loren Eiseley

starfish.jpg

I also write because I would like to make a living out of it someday. I’m not sure whether I want to be a novelist, a journalist, or even just work on social networks, but I know I would like writing to be somewhat relevant to my profession. So practicing could be useful for my future as well. Considering I’m also interested in a possible career in academics, having a way with words could help me get something published in my field of study. There are endless possibilities.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

content-writing-typewriter-paperballs-ss-1920.jpg

So that’s it. I write because I like to. Because I feel it’s something that I am meant to do in my life, even if for none else but me. I write because it makes me feel good.

 

 

The rainbow shines over Italy

Yesterday’s date marks a revolutionary day in Italian history. Equal rights take a step in the right direction with the passing of a new law on civil unions for LGBT people. So what exactly changed?

Rainbow-Flag.jpg 

The Good…

Civil unions ensure the basic rights that straight married couples have. This means the right to your partner’s pension, aliments in case of divorce and hereditary privileges are now granted to same sex couples. Divorce is actually easier and quicker than in regular weddings, cutting times and expenses for those who no longer wish to stay together.

While to be considered a couple you have to share a residence and have moral and material duties towards your partner, there is no mandatory fidelity in civil unions. In case of premature death of half of the couple, the living has the right to keep living in the previously shared house for 2 to 5 years (depending on how long the relationship has lasted and if there are minors in the picture).

LoveWins.jpg

The… Bad?

Of course not everything has been fully addressed and some points remain a bit dubious. The first thing worth mentioning is a part of the law that did not pass – the “stepchild adoption”. Kids that are biologically of one of the partners won’t be able to be adopted by the other one, or at least this is what the law states. The unclear – but positive – factor is that at the end of the day judges will be able to address every case on an individual basis, so the real decisions will be up to them.

What also remains missing is a title for those who will engage in civil unions. They are not married, so what are they? While Shakespeare might be right when saying that names are not truly necessaries in determining the true nature of something, a lot of people are of the idea that having an actual title would help granting this new unions some validity among the masses.

tumblr_nqkcr8mhye1tkv3afo1_1280.jpg

The reactions

As with any big changes, people’s responses have been the most diverse. While there is probably a significant portion of the population who simply does not care either way, there is plenty of people whose opinions are hard to be missed.

Celebrations have been held. The colosseum has been lighted with rainbow coloured lights and tweets have been shared by famous supporters. The LGBT community has celebrated this important victory together with their supporters in the classic joyous pride style.

It remains impossible to ignore the haters – on social networks and in interviews, you are bound to find the comments of those who claim this new law to be morally wrong and against the principles Italy is founded upon. From the iconic “my relatives didn’t fight a war for this” to the disconcerting “if we give those people these rights, what is going to happen next? Anarchy? Dictatorship?”, it is impossible to escape the most radical views. Still this won’t spoil the hopeful atmosphere that we are enjoying today – you cannot get the rainbow without some rain!

13165995_1011702145544812_1420605312071085564_n.jpg

 

“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love. It matters only that you love.” – John Lennon

Survival

Do you want to be a hero?

You might have never thought of this, but we can all have the chance to be called heroes in our own way. Thanks to the incredible progresses of our days it can be actually quite easy to help save someone’s life, make a real difference – the only problem being the lack of information about how to be useful to those in need.

hero

 How?

So let me talk to you about the possibility of donating bone marrow (BM).

I joined the Italian data bank of eligible donors (the actual registry of BM donors is worldwide, there are seriously a lot of people registered out there) a few years back because it seemed like a decent enough thing to do, so why not? I had the luck of being talked to about the topic when I was still in high school because of a specific campaign that was being run in my city. I was terrified of needles back then but I thought that if all I needed to do to make a good deed was giving a tiny sample of blood, I could just deal with it. I’m fully aware needles can be a real phobia for someone, but it’s also true that most of us can power through this minor discomfort without it being too traumatic.

Sadly in the moment of the registration, at least in my case, they didn’t give out that much information about what would actually happen if you were found to be a possible match for someone. So this is what I’m trying to do today: fill in some gaps, in a way that can be easily understood and actually useful and practical.

Why would you become a donor?

Sadly, although the discoveries and new solutions found in medicine in the last decades have been dumbfounding and saved countless lives, we are still very far away from having magical and easy cures to some of the nastiest diseases out there.

Haematology is the part of medicine which deals with blood sicknesses, going from the more famous Leukaemia to less known but still deadly illnesses like Lymphomas, Myelomas and Aplastic Anaemias (there are countless kinds, these are just a couple of examples). All these evils affect the bone marrow, which is a very important element of our body (partially liquid and partially spongy) present in our main and biggest bones, particularly the spinal cord and the hips. Why is it so vital? Because it produces all the good and useful stuff that can be found in our blood – red and white blood cells, platelets, things that are very much necessary for our survival.

What happens then if your BM gets prevented from doing its job for whatever reason? You guessed that right – nothing good. While sometimes and for some diseases you can heal with medicines (usually chemotherapies), for others the only chance is getting a brand new bone marrow – a transplant (BMT). It’s literally a life or death situation.

First step!

If you want to be a BM donor, what you have to do is find a hospital that has a register and fill out some boring papers about yourself and your family’s medical history (plus contact information of course, obviously everything is very strictly confidential). You have to give a really little sample of blood (sometimes even just a tampon from your mouth to start!), like when you go to the doctor for a blood count.
You have to be at least 18 and not older than 45 to register (though it’s another matter if you ever get asked to donate for a family member) and weigh at least 45-50 kilos (these rules might vary slightly in each country, but this should give you a pretty accurate idea).

I might be a match!

What happens after? You might get called to donate. The possibilities of you being a match are very, very low and about 1 registered person out of 12 gets called. And if you do get called, you still might not turn out to be a perfect match! (Further blood tests will be needed to clarify that).

Let’s now say you get called to donate. You are a match! Someone needs you to save their life! Your life, no matter the fact that you have to be 100% healthy, is always, always put first. Don’t ever be afraid that someone will ever let you undertake useless risks. The donor is the privileged part – you’re trying to do something good, it’s only fair that your safety is put first.

There are two ways to donate BM. They might request a specific way, but it’s still your choice which method you decide to choose.

Option 1 – the easiest, 100% painless, just maybe slightly annoying, way: you have to be hospitalized for a few days (at zero expenses for you! You are a hero and heroes don’t pay, obviously) and in those days they give you little injections that basically separate the stamina cells in your blood from all the other cool stuff you need and keep. After these days you get one needle stuck in one arm that sucks your blood, filtrates the stamina cells through a cool machine, and everything else gets put in your other arm through another needle. I won’t tell you lies, it’s a slow process, but mostly just because it can get boring.

Option 2 – shorter but could be slightly painful, though you are asleep through it all: they get your BM directly from your bones (again, hips and back), so what they do is put you under total anaesthesia and draw (with slightly bigger needles than the ones used for blood tests, but it’s not like you ever even see them anyway) directly enough of your actual BM to donate (the liquid part of it). You might have a bit of a sore back for a few days afterwards, but it’s kind of like you had a fall and got a bruise from it, so even in this case nothing too harsh to go through.

Note: it’s true that pain tolerance is subjective, but I can promise this is the general response.

…This is it?

Done that? You are free to go! There goes your bit of Heaven if you believe in such things, or alternatively you can wear your “I’m a hero” banner proudly. You have made a difference. You have saved a life – feel good yet? And it was literally that easy!

Donating is very important. I know what I’m talking about – if I’ll be alive a year from now, it’s going to be thanks to my very own personal hero, whose BM has given me a chance to survive. Heroes exist, please consider being one of them.

One last thing worth mentioning…

The last thing I’ll remark is that your privacy is fully respected and therefore, even though norms change basically in every country, discretion is very important so all that we (who are donated to) are told are the sex and nationality of the donor (if that). I believe that in case you and your receiver both want to get in touch, there are both anonymous and non-anonymous ways to do so, but it will have to be a mutual choice.

 

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” – Dr. Seuss