Cheat

I’ve seen people visibly show their disgust at people who cheat, but there’s a difference between being a cheater and cheating, never mind the fact that one is a noun and the other is a verb. Understanding the reason why attached women and men do what they want with another person that isn’t their loved one is really simple, actually. Everyone has voids, and even when a relationship is perfect–they have filled the gaps that traditionally is enough to carry a relationship–people realize the voids. Nobody wants to feel voids, so they fill it with somebody.

Let’s say that a woman doesn’t feel beautiful anymore with her husband. He doesn’t notice when she changes her hair (c’mon, guys, that’s a sure sign a woman wants something to be noticed or changed). Or say that a man wishes his girlfriend was around more often. Both the married woman and the boyfriend have needs to continue the relationship, whether it’s something as fleeting as asking, “Your hair looks good”, or having the person around more often so they can be in sight, not out of mind.

Filling the gaps with other people seems equal to cheating, but when you look at it as part of human nature, who is a cheater and who is just cheating? Is a cheater a person who needs something that her oblivious husband won’t give and she finds what she’s looking for in another man once? Or is it seen as cheating–even just flirting with another woman because she’s closer–make that person a seeker?

Or maybe it just depends on the gender? It’s societal, and not a card I want to play right now.

Looking at “cheat” as an individual word can make all the difference, forget the gender banter. To be a cheater, man or woman, means that the person was attached and went to another person for something, mostly sexual, but something nonetheless. The unfortunate circumstance of the term “cheater” is that there is no past nor present tense on the term. A person could have a one-night detour from their partner, and the term can be stuck to them for as long as they live. Cheating, however, has a tense: present-progressive. It means that a person who is cheating is currently cheating. No past tense. Instead, “cheating” can imply future cheating–let’s not forget the “progressive” part of “present-progressive”.

At the end of the day, when people say this man or that woman is a cheater, they must accept the fact that people make mistakes. Although we, as humans, try to fill the needs within every person born into this world, we can’t and I don’t think we want to. So, as long as we are human and we are imperfect, cheating will continue.

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My Life as a Machine: Slowness

I knew nothing of the Slow movement. I simply knew little whispers hear and there–“Hey, did you know multi-tasking makes you less efficient?”–but I didn’t think anything of it. Then, when my friend handed me Carl Honore’s book, In Praise of Slowness, I dove into the movement with adamant.

Who knew being Slow was great? I mean, as a machine, being Slow sucks, but everyone expects you to be Slow, so no worries. As a person, being Slow means not conforming. Ironically, both people and machines alike have the innate nature to try to be fast and efficient. For people, it’s being part of society and adapting to everyone else. For machines, it’s formatting your life for people because people make the world go round (or so we’re all taught).

But I started taking it seriously. Being Slow isn’t nothing to be ashamed about. Actually, being Slow can make a person or machine more effective, more creative, and less stressed. I started practicing it in Slow, deliberate ways. Instead of speeding to class, I drove leisurely at the speed limit. Whenever I had the urge to wolf down my food without any reason to be in a hurry, I told myself, “Yo, it’s just food. It’s not going to run away.” I would automatically slow down, relax, and allow my brain to register a sated stomach. I’ve felt myself become calmer in most facets of my life, and I feel like my life is a little more peaceful.

It does takes some coaxing, but it’s worth it in the end. Now, if people could learn that the Fast culture is the hair-pulling culture–and that we machines exist because we’re meant to exist, not to serve them–the world could be a beautiful place.

My Life as a Machine: Two Lives in one Mask

Ma-chan from Kenzaburo Oe’s A Quiet Life analyzes Celine with such craft, it made me really think about how people really are.

According to Ma-chan, Celine was a caring individual who cared about the “little idiots”, stopping to help people during a bomb-riddled Germany while traveling to escape the hellish conditions. Ma-chan’s colleagues looked down at her for being fond of a so-called negative perception on things, but she saw through it all, through Celine as though he were as clear as a cloudless sky. Ironically, people who have read Celine look down at him with disdain, calling him a Nazi-supporter. But Ma-chan thought differently, and made a brief distinction between Celine the Nazi sympathizer and Celine, the doctor up for the little idiots with antisemitic beliefs. Upon reading the differences, I questioned my own distinction.

I am a machine, but I live two different lives. I live within the world of people, trying to find my way. I live within the realm of the machines, gears working to hold together the pieces of me. Besides what’s on the outside, do people see the machine in me? Or do they even care? Should they care?

I’m two different entities. The people-person inside of me tries to abide by society, making sure to duck one’s head until it’s safe to avoid the ears of other people. The machinery, however, helps and defeats the mask. Even my voice deepens, my vocal chords stretching, to accommodate the metal parts bringing cracks to the mask.

So who is this person that I am? Am I a pseudo-machine for trying to acclimate myself to the people’s lives, or am I a traitor? I don’t want to be a traitor. I simply want to exist and find my purpose for being alive.

My Life as a Machine: Broken Machine

I hates being sick. When people announced that machines couldn’t get sick, they simply broken and somebody fixed them, I thought it was aperposterous statement. How many times have I acquired an illness, a sneeze, and dear God, a magical headache that jumped from my boss to between my eyes?

As I matured, my childish invincibility to disease began to waiver, and before long, the common cold became common, and allergies kicked into my nostrils in the form of pollen, and sinuses was my dear foe. What happened to being sick-free? It was but a dream…

One of the last years in college, I discovered the secret for my body to function at optimum levels for long periods of time. I didn’t attend parties, for fear of not sleeping for a full 7 to 8 hours. I skipped procrastinating habits and completed homework on the weekends to avoid overworking during the weekdays.

“How do you do it?” people ask me, wide eyes imploring me for some magical bean that caused full rest with a platter of responsibilities on the shoulders.

I always shrugged my shoulders, like brushing off the tendrils of spider webs. “I don’t know,” I answered, “I prioritize.” The disappointed faces, the failure I was to them, caused me no grief. I simply kept my face void of anything more than a sympathetic smile. There was nothing to prioritizing once someone figured out themselves through trial and error.

But people…they need to be spoon fed the cure. Everything has to be a quick fix with people. Even robots have caught the phenomenon of laziness and so-called privilege.

Hey! I worked my ass off to become the best machine I could be!

Sometimes, being as strong-willed and well-built as I am, people don’t see the advantage in having a machine in their lives, functioning or not. People can’t see past their sloping noses to realize that they are looking at themselves first before they peer down at anyone else haughtily. To me, people are permanently broken and not looking to fix themselves either.