Inside the Trump campaign

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Photo via Business Insider; overlaid text by author

I will put this softly: Trump is a loser.

Losing in itself is usually not some dishonorable event. Instead, losing provides powerful lessons in resilience, humility, and growth, that all converge to make us better people. This is what we teach our children and expect adults to model.

Shamefully, Trump is a 74 year old sore loser. More specifically, this giant baby king is incapable of being charitable and gracious. Instead, he has deployed blame for his presidential lost, on everyone else, including on American voters, but himself. …


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Photo: The author’s cat/ Photo by Trang More

I reached that proverbial age when a mammalian female is known to desire spawning a mini one to coddle and nurture. As if some interstellar force overtook my body, my feet propelled to the door and I was teleported to a concrete room buoyed by cotton paws and glimmering pink noses. A trio of kittens rolled over my feet and across the room like tumbleweed. A kitten with a nipped ear beamed onto my lap. Ready for tummy time, he settled into my puff jacket and rested his head on my chest. His emerald eyes twinkled as he gazed at me while his whiskers fluttered, sending galactic signals to the universe that love is love is love. I knew that I would return home, with this kitten, a better human than when I left in the morning. …


When reality morphs into an Orwellian classic

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Photo: Pixabay.com (Apologies to this pig for using its photo in vein for this article)

I turned on the television and witnessed true American carnage.

President Trump was giving his presidential nomination acceptance speech and having a performative political campaign rally on the South Lawn of the White House. Although I did not know about the potential violation of the Hatch Act at the time, it certainly felt like a misuse of government property for the President’s political gain. His audience in front of the White House started cheering “four more years, four more years!” There was something about his speech — how it propped up an enemy conglomerate and distorted facts to induce fear in its supporters — and the ensuing rhapsodic chant that brought me back to George Orwell’s 1945 novel Animal Farm. I immediately dusted off the withered pocket-size book that I had earnestly consumed as a child. …


Do the same and your child will thank you later.

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Photo: Letizia Ferrante/Unsplash

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Is that not one of the most dreadfully banal questions you have ever confronted as a child? It was for me.

I remember family members asking me this question — I looked around our tenement apartment for inspiration, grasping for anything familiar that would lead to some job outside New York City’s Chinatown. My eyes darted to a pile of clothes from the factory that needed to be sewn, and then over to Chinese take-out boxes stacked up high like the pagodas pictured on the boxes. And then my eyes settled on a shoe box filled with strewn Chinese newspapers tenuously balanced on the window sill, creating a nest to nurse a wounded city pigeon that my uncle brought home. The bandaged creature looked at me as if signaling me to soar above the circumstances in front of me. So, I chirped back and declared that I wanted to be a veterinarian. …


Lessons from a sixth grader

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https://i.imgur.com/byO0Z.jpg

I entered some sort of social consciousness in the sixth grade.

Having moved to a working class Puerto Rican neighborhood in Brooklyn, I started to take the train on my own to continue attending elementary school with my friends in Manhattan’s Chinatown in the Lower East Side. Every day, I descended into the train abyss, where after my first train, I took a staircase that ejected me into a dingy urine-scented tunnel. My backpack jostled behind me as I quickened my pace past the homeless people who took nightly shelter in the tunnel. The smell of urine infused my nose as I huffed and puffed up four flights of stairs to reach the platform for my next train. Along with awakening my sensory glands, I became acutely aware of my physical being as I shimmied through the crowds of people to find my balance on the train. Often space was so tight that I was only able to catch my breath when the train emptied at a stop near Wall Street. …


Find your herd

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Photo: Shutterstock

The car zigzagged through the harrowing mountain peaks, swerving past llamas that dotted the road. When the car finally stopped, I flung open the door to gasp for fresh air and toddled out with my luggage onto the pavement. A group of colorfully dressed local women looked quizzically at me as if I just beamed in from a space machine.

I was in Urubamba, the valley of the Incas in Cusco, Peru, my home for the next ten weeks to conduct a community development service project. I had insisted to take a shuttle from Cusco, about one hour from Urubamba, instead of being picked up by program personnel. …


How to continue loving loved ones whose beliefs and decisions offend you.

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Photo: Charles Etoroma, Unsplash.com

The era of cognitive dissonance has never felt more heightened than it is now. I have been disappointed with friends who purport anti-science and deep state conspiracy theories. It certainly does not help that when the leader of this country takes incontinent liberty in transmuting the facts, his supporters seem to enwreathe him with a bevy of excuses to protect their sire.

These people, I recognize, are engaging in cognitive dissonance — They bring fear. They bring misinformation. They can be racist. They can be sexist. And some, I assume, are good people.

Recently, my heart was crushed when I discovered a dear friend of mine who, not only revealed that she believed Trump to be a virtuous man, but that she was also immersed in harmful conspiracy theories. I have always valued the process of challenging and expanding my world views by learning from people from different walks of life and with different perspectives. However, peddling in counter factual and anti science movements seemed hard for me to reconcile, because the starting point for discussion is a bottomless web of misconstrued and altered factoids, shrouded in hubris. I engaged my friend in discussion and tried to reveal logical and informational gaps, conjuring up my use of ethos, pathos, and logos — but to no avail. I lamented — How could someone who seem so level-headed, independent minded, and someone who I cherished so dearly be living in such a different reality? And in a reality where killers, rapists, and pedophiles are the arbiters of the government, and Trump is the moral leader who will bring this growing debacle under control. …


When more knowledge is not power, but a distraction

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Donny Jiang: Unsplash.com

I often wondered what drove my parents, who fled China’s Communist regime and immigrated to the US as refugees, to so fervently jump into the arms of President Trump. His administration has worked to systematically dismantle the country’s long-standing role as the world’s leader in welcoming people fleeing violence and persecution, such as my parents. However, their support for Trump is unyielding. Their loyalty to him transcends to a spiritual level that surpasses any productive grounds for discussion or criticisms. …


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Photo by Eliot J. on Unsplash

“You create your life, and you can recreate it, too.” — Ken Robinson, Educator

I received a world class higher education, but it was the third grade that prepared me for life.

Unhindered by the pressures of good grades and college admissions, my eagerness to discover and experiment never seemed as pure and uninhibited than in the third grade. My teacher was a free-spirited hippy teacher named Ms. Kenna. Her flowy skirts and wispy gray hair that blithely swept her shoulders seemed to sway the buoyant mood of the class. With Ms. Kenna, school did not feel like school. The classroom was an indoor playground, where we were given free reign to self direct how we wanted to interact and master the topic she taught us. I don’t remember the topics, but at the age of nine, the feeling of deciding our own agenda was powerful. Whenever Ms. …


As a barista — I learned the art of the small talk, the skill of performing on stage, and how to be spontaneous.

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Stock photo: canva.com

I still remember as a senior in college, excited and anxious about what it meant to work for a living, I was guided to take a personality-career matching test. The results it yielded felt like it doomed me to a certain perceived existence: confined to four walls, making best colleagues with a computer and having water cooler conversations with my favorite books. Editor, researcher, accountant, and librarian rose to the top. …

About

Lisa Lau

Insomniac, knowledge thrill-seeker, leisure and cathartic writer

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