To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
“Angry people feel that anger entitles them to let loose. It’s up to other people not to take seriously hurtful things they say or do. After all, they say, they were just angry. They don’t get it that other people are legitimately hurt, embarrassed, humiliated, or afraid.”
They can’t help it. Angry people have lots of excuses. Women will blame their PMS. Both sexes will blame their stress, their exhaustion, or their worries. Never mind that other people who have PMS or who are stressed, tired, or worried don’t pop off at the world. Angry people don’t yet understand that they are actually giving themselves permission to rant. In that sense, they are very much in control.
The only way to express anger is to explode. People who rage believe that anger is like the buildup of steam in an overheated steam engine. They think they need to blow off the steam in order to be OK. In fact, raging tends only to produce more of the same.
Frustration is intolerable. Angry people can’t sit with frustration, anxiety or fear. To them, such feelings are a signal that they are being challenged. When life doesn’t go their way, when someone doesn’t see things as they do, when their best-laid plans get interrupted or they make a mistake, they simply can’t tolerate it. To them, it’s better to blow than to be left with those feelings. They don’t get that frustration is a normal part of everyone’s life and that it is often the source of creativity and inspiration.
It’s more important to win than to be right. Chronically angry people often have the idea that their status is at stake when there is conflict. When questioned, they take it overly personally. If they are losing an argument, they experience a loss of self-esteem. At that moment, they need to assert their authority, even if they are wrong. When it is certain that they are wrong, they will find a way to prove that the other person is more wrong. For mature people, self-esteem is grounded in being able to put ego aside in order to find the best solution.
“Respect” means that people do things their way. When another driver tailgates, when a partner refuses to go along with a plan, when a kid doesn’t jump when told to do something, they feel disrespected. To them, disrespect is intolerable. Making a lot of noise and threatening is their way of reasserting their right to “respect” by others. Sadly, when the basis of “respect” is fear, it takes a toll on love and caring.
The way to make things right is to fight. Some angry people have learned at the feet of a master. Having grown up with parents who fight, it is their “normal.” They haven’t a clue how to negotiate differences or manage conflict except by escalating. Then they become very much like the parent they loathed and feared when they were kids.
Other people should understand that they didn’t mean what they did or said when they were angry. Angry people feel that anger entitles them to let loose. It’s up to other people not to take seriously hurtful things they say or do. After all, they say, they were just angry. They don’t get it that other people are legitimately hurt, embarrassed, humiliated, or afraid.
I’ve heard about credit card scams and about how easily a credit card with magnetic strips can be cloned but I never took it seriously, until it happened to me. Hope my story will help you be more aware of the risks of credit card use and how we can avoid being a victim of credit card scams.
Just last Monday, April 30, 2012, I started receiving text messages from Citibank informing me that my credit limit is exceeded. Exact message below:
1/2:Service message from Citibank. Your Card balance has gone beyond its credit limit. Should you wish to apply for a Credit Line Increase, simply submit an
2/2:updated income document online at <http://www.citibank.com.ph/income or call 995 9999>. Thank you. Line increase is subject to evaluation. T&C apply.
I received these messages 3 times, starting 3pm in the afternoon. I was at the office that time and was not paying attention to my phone. Once I read the messages, I thought my credit card payment last week is probably not yet posted and Citibank is reminding me about my limit being used up. I did not pay much attention to it. The next day (May 1), I received the same messages twice, starting at 1pm. Since I have my card with me and I have not made any purchases, I thought that Citibank is probably having some technical problems with their sms service. I also did not pay attention to it.
Today, May 2, I decided to check with Citibank if my card payment was already posted. The csr agent told me that the payment was already posted. Then I asked how much is my outstanding balance, the csr agent told me I have 18k total outstanding balance after payment. Then I asked how come I keep on receiving a text message that my balance is used up? That’s when the csr agent told me that there were floating transactions since Apr 30 totaling to around 18k.
I WAS SHOCKED. Below are the details of the purchases
30-Apr jc enterprises 12,276.00
30-Apr yellow cab 3,490.00
1-May kidsville toys 2,799.00
I told the csr agent that those purchases were not mine. The agent was kind enough to act immediately. He blocked my card and told me a new one will be sent within 3 days. Since the fraudulent transactions are not yet posted, I have to wait for them to be posted before I can file a dispute against them. Once a dispute is filed, they will not be included in my next bill. An investigation will take place that could last up to 60 days. If proven fraudulent, the expenses will be reversed. But if their investigation finds the purchases valid, I will have to pay a fine on top of the expenses!!!!
My last valid purchase was at Johnny Rockets restaurant in ATC. Prior to that, I also used the card at the following establishments:
- Bollywood restaurant, greenbelt
- Total gas station, alabang
- Army Navy, alabang and bicutan
Since I’ve learned about what happened to me, I’ve been researching about similar cases online. I’ve found countless forums discussing credit card cloning and how easily it is accomplished. Usually, a service staff (gas boy, waiter) is bribed an amount (ex. 500pesos a card) and given a machine to use for swiping the card. At the end of the day, the card machine is given back to the card syndicate. This is done to credit cards with magnetic strips ONLY. This is not possible for cards like BPI with both magnetic strips and smart chips.
Oh, so now money can buy happiness. A bit true for me as I find myself most “happy” when I am travelling, visiting places I haven’t been to before and getting to see other people and experiencing culture different from mine.
A new study suggests that those who spend money to do things are happier than those who spend their money on possessions.
In the study, investigators determined extraverts and people who are open to new experiences are more apt to spend more of their disposable income on experiences, such as concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than hitting the mall for material items.
Investigators, led by San Francisco State University Professor, Ryan Howell, discovered the habitual “experiential shoppers” reported greater life satisfaction.
To further investigate how purchasing decisions impact well-being, Howell and colleagues have launched a website where members of the public can take free surveys to find out what kind of shopper they are and how their spending choices affect them.
Data collected through the “Beyond the Purchase” website will be used by Howell and other social psychologists.
The site is designed to study the link between spending motivations and well-being, and how money management influences our financial and purchasing choices.
In the current study, Howell and colleagues surveyed nearly 10,000 participants, who completed online questionnaires about their shopping habits, personality traits, values and life satisfaction.
“We know that being an ‘experience shopper’ is linked to greater well-being,” said Howell, whose previous research on purchasing experiences challenged the adage that money can’t buy happiness.
“But we wanted to find out why some people gravitate toward buying experiences.”
Investigators determined an individual’s personality via a model that classifies how extraverted, neurotic, open, conscientious and agreeable a person is.
People who spent most of their disposable income on experiences scored highly on the “extravert” and “openness to new experience” scales.
“This personality profile makes sense since life experiences are inherently more social, and they also contain an element of risk,” Howell said. “If you try a new experience that you don’t like, you can’t return it to the store for a refund.”
Researchers believe it may be helpful if people would realize that life satisfaction and happiness can be influenced by their spending habits.
“Even for people who naturally find themselves drawn to material purchases, our results suggest that getting more of a balance between traditional purchases and those that provide you with an experience could lead to greater life satisfaction and well-being,” he said.
The research findings are published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.