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“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

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The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

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Going all heavy on you guys now, but I felt like getting a few words off my chest. Been doing some thinking lately and it’s all become extraordinarily clear.

I’ll be honest – being a female in a man’s world makes you feel all sorts of unpleasant emotions, especially when you’re in Asia. It’s been particularly challenging for me, to go from a generally gender-equal society in Melbourne, back to a brazenly paternalistic society here. Especially with my library of knowledge and excruciating awareness of the female condition in this world.

Even if I occasionally felt the sting of racism in Australia, I never felt looked down upon because of my gender and in a way that was pretty great. You know, in a morbid sort of way.

It’s the exact opposite on this side of the world, though.

It’s rough, especially if you’re a woman who believes in democracy.

Which I absolutely do.

I guess though, in the end, it’s important to remember that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Steve Jobs and the Dalai Lama know what they’re talking about: Courage to have your own voice and to possess the presence of mind to realize your present are gifts you can give yourself, that nobody can ever take away.

And that, my friends, is what pure awesomeness is all about, in the face of adversity.

xo, minty

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