The Restaurant Metaphor

Hot Topics, Musings

I always lived with the belief that if you want something, you have to live with the attitude that will bring your desired outcome.

I like to think about a restaurant as a metaphor for life.


 You are the chef of this restaurant and you create all the meals. If you believe your dishes will be delicious, then you will put in extra effort to make sure the lobster bisque turns out just right. On the other hand, if you believe your meals will taste like garbage, then of COURSE you’re going to add too much salt or burn the soup. (Speaking of which, is the latter even possible?!)


I’ll come back to this metaphor later.

 I truly believe that what you put out into the world is what you get back. If you give love and positivity, those good things will come back to you.

However, in my AP Literature class, while we read Kafka’s Metamorphosis, which portrays existentialist traits of randomness and injustice in society, I began to question my initial beliefs. Look around at all the sickness, tragedies, and violence. Is the world really fair?

We were prompted to write a few sentences about our ideal city. My city included improved, free resources for dealing with mental health and abuse and ran completely on clean energy. I also described it as celebratory of all religions and the LGBTQ community. We were then asked to share. Unsurprisingly, my classmates answered with similar views: no violence, no poverty, the list goes on.

My teacher then asked us the following questions: Can we end poverty and sickness? Do you think it’s possible to end all war and violence? 

Personally, I’m not sure. I became skeptical about there being some “larger truth” of the universe. Maybe the world really is just a random, meaningless place, I thought.

Philosophers like Plato and Buddha dedicated their entire lives searching for the meaning of life… then hundreds of years later, Nietzche, Kierkegaard, and Sartre lay some major objection bombs and send the general public into a vat of existential crises. (Just kidding, listen to your humanities/history teacher for the real facts.)

While no one knows for certain if there is some higher truth about the world, I believe it’s important to not just give up and say, “Hey! You know what? Life is meaningless so I am just not going to care about anything!”

Instead, I got to thinking: can I do something to better the life of another human being? To which I immediately said (literally out loud): “yes.” For me, life about taking action and practicing what you preach (oh yes, I went there with the cliché).

Going back to the restaurant metaphor, I forgot to mention that you are not only the chef, but SURPRISE! You own the restaurant. This means that you are not only responsible for cooking delicious meals for yourself, but you also must be able to feed your customers and make sure there are enough seats to accommodate more than yourself.


To put it simply, the customers are the people around you who cannot afford to cook their own meals.

The ability to brainstorm a perfect world is a luxury. For many of my peers (myself included), we can dream endlessly of a perfect world and still have a life with—at the very minimum—our basic needs met. But simply thinking and planning are not enough. 

Life isn’t always fair. There is so much poverty, sickness, and violence around the world. Often, people in those situations are defenseless or have difficulty acquiring necessary resources. It is up to people with platforms and voices—the chefs— to be proactive in helping others.  


When I say, “if you put goodness into the world, you will get it back,” I mean: if you have the ability to influence a situation in your life, then take action. And if you are in a position to help others, spread that goodness around by taking action so more people can sit at the table. 

blog pic 5

Will we end poverty? Or war? Such broad statements are hard to answer. But can we bring more chairs to the table so more people can eat? Absolutely.

The world is not always fair, but we can make it safer, more welcoming, and happier if we use what is given to us to help others.


I challenge you to do something this holiday season, even if you want to start small, to help another person…And don’t forget to take time for yourself too 🙂 


Put your goal into writing and comment below!

All rights reserved (c) 2017 Luisa Rodriguez.


My current project/ inspiration behind this post:

I’m currently working on a school-wide fundraiser for YouthCare, a nonprofit (local to WA, U.S.) whose mission is to end teen homelessness in the Seattle area. As a school, our goal is to raise $4,000 and other needed supplies. If you wish to donate to YouthCare, please feel free to donate at this link (if you are affiliated with International Community School, please put “ICS fundraiser” in the comments of the donation link so we can track your donation to our goal!)

 For more information about YouthCare, visit http://www.youthcare.org/

 

 

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Letting Go of It

Musings


Why is it that we hold on to the things we no longer want?

Is it because we hold sentiment and carry memories with it?

Do we actually really want it? 

I’ll let you interpret what “it” is, maybe something going on in your life.

Maybe we’re afraid we won’t find something better. Maybe we think we’d better hold on because something this great won’t ever come by again.

But the truth is, you can never find what might be better, more suited to you, more rare, if you only search and cling on to what you know.

Never settle for anything that doesn’t bring you joy or excite you about life.

I hope that one day you will find the spectacular, miraculous “it”.

I know you will.

A Little Brighter

poetry, Uncategorized


Sometimes I feel very small
And my heart feels weak

And I don’t stand tall.

I don’t know what to do

Sometimes I’m red

Sometimes I’m blue.

And I feel all alone…

Can you hear me?

But I’ll be okay

Because tomorrow is a brand new day.

 I know that God carries my soul

And He loves me.

I stand a little straighter,

I smile a little brighter,

I pick myself up from the fall.

Because I am loved by so many wonderful beings-

So I continue marching 

Strong and tall.

Copyright Luisa C. Rodriguez 2016

#TrendingTuesday: Is It Real?

Hot Topics

  
They say not to believe everything you see on the Internet. 

That the Internet is not reality.

Let’s talk about Instagram. Is it real? Are the colorful, visually appealing pictures on a person’s feed their world? 

The answer is no. The truth is, we only post what we want the world to see. We don’t snap pics of our faces at 1 am while we study for chemistry tests. 

But does that mean that what I  choose to show my followers is a lie? 

Think about it. 

Today I am going to share some things that I wouldn’t usually post on my Instagram.

About 6 weeks before this, you wouldn’t know that I stayed up till midnight almost every night to prepare for violin auditions. I didn’t show you the hours I stayed up with my violin and metronome, when everyone in my house was asleep. (I love my violin, but when it’s 11 and I still have to practice another hour, sleep is the only thing on my mind.)

I don’t show you my undereye circles, which keep getting darker.  

I didn’t show you the three breakdowns I have had just in the past few weeks of school over all the stress and pressure to do well, not just in school but in every aspect of my life. 

I am tired. 
And I still haven’t said everything going through my mind. Because it’s hard to talk about our problems.

But does that mean the photos I do post are fake? Are we all phonies?

I don’t think so. We post what we love. We post our passions- things that we can look at, no matter what it is, and feel an emotion. Happy? Inspired? It’s up to the person. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself, online and in real life.

When I post pictures on social media, I hope I can connect with someone. I try to post things that are colorful, fun, and remind me of my dreams.  I love fashion. I love music. I love my friends, my family, and life. In being true to myself, I hope that what I offer can inspire someone else to go after their goals, whatever those may be.  

We post what we want the world to see. 

What kind of message are you sending? ❤ 

  

Instagram: @lovelulugloss

Let’s Be Realistic!

Hot Topics, Travel

This whole idea came to me while I was taking a shower. And it inspired a rather spontaneous write. 

                           •••

“Let’s be realistic” or, “realistically thinking”, is often told to people who “dream too big”. But that’s a negative way to think of it. Being realistic is not about downsizing your dreams. Being realistic means that the world is huge and opportunities are endless. Being realistic means that it will take hard work to reach your goals. And your dreams are completely, infinitely up to you to imagine.

     It isn’t always easy to bolt after your goals. There are going to be challenges. Parents that want you to be a doctor, not an actor. Friends that think your love of poetry is too hippie-dippy. And most commonly, there is that little voice in all of our heads that says, “you know what? You can’t do it. So give up.” But that voice is not you. That voice is an external source, shaped and feeding off our surroundings in everyday life. You are, however, in control of that voice. You are who you want to be. Realistically speaking, you ARE what you make of yourself. You change yourself. You learn from yourself. And you can never dream too big. Shut up that little voice saying, “let’s be realistic…you can’t” by responding with, “let’s be realistic! I actually can!” Doors are open. Your journey to being who you want to be starts right… NOW!  
  

Top of The Rock
    

In front of the Flatiron Building 
 John Lennon Memorial with my best friend, Abbey, in Central Park