2012-07-20

Burden of daily cooking

Theoretically, I like cooking, and ideally, I would cook for myself not only supper, which I do, but even lunch, which, again ideally, I would take with myself to work. But in reality I do not do so for two reasons: I can save time of cooking by eating lunch cooked by someone else; I am likely to get bored less by eating lunch cooked by someone else. On the other hand, if I cook for myself, I can save money and eat what I consider healthier. In other words, there are two conflicting pairs of factors in cooking for myself vs. eating outside: money and health vs. time and boredom.

Are these two pairs of seemingly conflicting factors really incompatible? Unfortunately, I have to find a solution as soon as possible as I am also left with no choice but to prepare lunch for myself in my sabbatical in the next academic year. I am very excited that I will be able to return to my Jewish alma mater, an American Lithuanian-style haredi yeshiva in Jerusalem, spending four hours every weekday studying the Talmud there. As a formal student I will be entitled to have lunch for free there, but it is both unhealthy and boring. So the only benefit I will have is that I will be able to save time, but I am afraid that if I eat lunch there every weekday, my health will be seriously damaged. It is so sad that an institution that excels in developing intellectual and spiritual health of its students puts so little emphasis on their physical health.

So my "mission impossible" now is to find a solution for cooking something healthy every weekday without getting bored with it and without spending too much time in preparing it. The interim solution I have found so far after spending days and nights on the Internet is to use a steam case by a Spanish company called Lékué. I have not tried it yet, but I am planning to buy and try it in the near future. From what I have read in many testimonies of its users, it seems an ideal solution: it will allow me to prepare a variety of healthy foods within a short period of time, thus liberating me from the burden of daily cooking. If this method works, I will take with me what I prepare in a lunch jar made by a Japanese company called Zojirushi.

2012-07-06

Why so many people make promises they cannot keep (and do not apologize for breaking their promises)

I believe that if each one of us were a little more sensitive even in one of the ways we relate to each other, our society would be a more habitable place. One example of these ways is making and keeping promises. I cannot help wondering why so many people, including those I know personally, make promises they cannot keep. But what confuses and disappoints me far more is that many of them simply do not apologize for breaking their promises!

I have been extremely careful in making promises. Before I make a promise, I consider all the imaginable conditions, and only after making sure that I will be able to keep it, I make a promise. But I have an impression that many people do not bother too much to ask themselves before making their promises. Do they do so simply in order to please others with their promises that sound pleasant at that moment? I simply cannot understand their mindset, as I prefer disappointing someone by not making a promise unless I am sure that I will be able to keep it.

But of course, there may arise conditions you could not foresee. So it sometimes happens that you are left with no other choice but to break your promise. I think this is understandable and pardonable. But what I can neither understand nor pardon is lack of apology for breaking a promise whatever the reason for it is. In my opinion someone who could not keep his or her words has an obligation to explain why and apologize. I can be rather tolerant of people who cannot keep their words as long as they apologize for this, but I cannot be equally tolerant of those who do not apologize for breaking their promises.

It takes a long time to gain trust of someone else, but it often takes a moment to lose his or her trust instantaniously. Unfortunately, I continue to encounter people who do not share the same view with me about the above mentioned two principles of sensitive interpersonal relationship. But every time I encounter such people and suffer from their misconducts, they remind and convince me that I should be extremely careful so as not to behave as they do, as theirs is one of the best ways to lose trust by many sensitive people, including those whom we considered as our best friends. In my life I have no room for such untrustworthy people.