When people ask me to define love, I say, "Love is like handing someone a gun, having them point it at your heart, and trusting them to never pull the trigger." (Sponge Bob)

When they ask me why I laugh at my mistakes and even write them with pride in my blogs, I say, "I'm not crazy. I just don't give a damn!" (Daffy Duck)

When one time I was conducting a group activity, a student asked what road sign I love the most, I said, "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere…" (Bugs Bunny)

And when for the nth time a friend would ask me what do I get from writing, I'm not even sure if there are good old souls out there visiting my site, I just smile and say, "Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, eh di magsulat ka. Simple." (Bob Ong)

And last night when Eva said she wants to quit from her work because nobody believes in her, her boss got mad at her, she doesn't even have friends at her agency, and she's crying like hell, I said, "Either you stay to prove your worth or you quit and just show them you're a loser, you have to strive for your happiness." (MY original)

My CHOICES: I remained believing in love. I continued spicing up my mistakes and rewriting my life, accepting failure but keep on dreaming until words would fade into thin air.

Sep 10, 2008

The QWERTY Keyboard

"Normality is merely a matter of consensus; that is, a lot of people think something is right, and so that thing becomes right."

"Some things are governed by common sense. Putting buttons on the front of a shirt is a matter of logic, since it would be very difficult to button them up at the side, and impossible if they were at the back."

"Other things, however, become fixed because more and more people believe that's the way they should be... Have you ever wondered why the keys on a typewriter are arranged in that particular order?"

"No, I haven't."

"We call it the QWERTY keyboard, because that's the order of the letters on the first row of keys. I once wondered why it was like that, and I found the answer: The first machine was invented by Christopher Sholes in 1873, to improve on calligraphy, but there was a problem: If a person typed very fast, the keys got stuck together and stopped the machine from working. Then Sholes designed the QWERTY keyboard, a keyboard that would oblige typists to type more slowly."

"I don't believe it."

"But it's true. It so happened that Remington -- which made sewing machines as well as guns at the time -- used the QWERTY keyboard for its first typewriters. That meant that more people were forced to learn that particular system, and more companies started to make those keyboards, until it became the only available model. To repeat: The keyboard on typewriters and computers was designed so that people would type more slowly, not more quickly, do you understand? If you changed the letters around, you wouldn't find anyone to buy your product."

-- an excerpt: Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

There are two points to ponder on from the excerpt above:

First, normality is dictated not by our conscience or by our individuality but by what the majority thinks. Consensus Theory in Social Psychology is categorized in two areas: A descriptive theory is one that tells how things are, while a normative theory tells how things ought to be (Wikipedia).

More and more people are discontented with their lives and have grown unhappier each day. Families break. Job turn-overs. War against countries. Economics depleting. Questions about ones own existence and God's. Some built walls within themselves. Others created a paradise of their own -- in their minds and they have been trapped inside those walls... inside those paradise and the "normal" people spit on them calling these people "insane".

But the question remains: "Who is normal?" and "Who is insane?"

Is it the man in coat and tie riding his ferrari to work, kissing his wife goodbye in the morning, telling her he'll be late due to a dinner meeting with associates and at night goes to bed with another woman whom he loves so much but because for political reasons he needs his family to be intact?

Or is it the greasely man across his company who sold all his belongings just to live with the poor and the oppressed and is now begging for alms with placards on his chest saying, "The TIME has come. SAVE yourselves!"?

Is it the woman who wakes up each day attending to her family's needs and her drunkard good-for-nothing partner, working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week because she says she cannot leave her children and husband because it is her obligation to fill-in their hungry stomachs?

Or is it the young lady her neighbors call a rebel because she painted her house in red and black, wearing only clothes with skull, adorned herself with metals, pierced herself here and there to broadcast her individuality?

It is up to you to say who is happy and who is not.

Who is normal and who is insane.

The catch however is this: When you judge, then you become like anyone else.

Second, some things come and they are the way they are or some things aren't there as we please not because they make life easier for us or difficult to punish us in some ways but because they make us feel that life should be lived in slow motion so we can savour and devour every detail of it.

Always in our lives, we want our wishes to be granted in a split second. Though we know it is not often like that, we still think that way, then we become more and more frustrated, discontented... and the more that we feel that, the farther we become to our happiness. I too often contemplate, if God is a good God, why are there illnesses of all sorts, or accidents, taking our love ones away from us? Or why are there so much injustice? Why didn't God just broke the lands equally among each people so territorial issues don't instigate war among brothers and nations? Why are there so much doubt in people's hearts about there being who they are when the only reason of there existence is God's great love which He wanted to share us?

Then again I ask:


Why is it that a step is very difficult to take?


aart hilal said...


I’m a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He’s the first best-selling
author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

Have a nice day!


SandyCarlson said...

You have turned me on to this great writer through your excerpts and the thoughts you share. I love the irony of this and am laughing to myself as I type this. Human nature can overcome the marketing ploy!

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