the interesting idea... the start of this project... the conversations to come

I'm a member of Post Crossing, the internet site for postcard exchange. I sent a card to another Post Crosser, Ilona from Germany. She asked that people tell her which magical power they would like to have. Her question really made me think!

In turn, I thought it would be an interesting project to ask people to pose Thought-Provoking Questions. I would do my best to answer with my opinion, and I would encourage others to add theirs.

And, so was born this blog! I hope that it will be the home for many interesting conversations in the year ahead!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Crazy is Catching!

Fleur, from France (where else?) wonders...

When you're very sensitive and heartsick, how can you deal with someone who's having a nervous breakdown (like a work colleague)?

I say, distance yourself because crazy IS catching! Such a situation must make you feel like the person on the high wire in this card!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Travel Bug?

Agata, from Poland, who will soon be embarking on a big adventure of her own (going to university!), wonders...

Would you decide to drop everything and travel all over the world?

Hmmmmm... I'm a little bit in the camp of "there's no place like home" and a little bit in the camp of "have suitcase, will travel." Probably yes, I'd go, provided I could pop home for some TLC!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Ballerina? A Lawyer? A Bareback Rider at the Circus? Still Don't Know!

On Saturday, February 12, I posted almost exactly this same question, and I still don't have the answer!

Chloe wonders:
What was your biggest dream when you were a child and did it come true? What was your dream job as a kid?

I still find it funny/peculiar that I have no clear memory of any such childhood dream. What the HECK could I have been thinking about instead?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Do Onto Yourself?

so that you can do onto others? That's the question that Hannah poses:

Being selfish is usually considered a negative quality, but maybe people should be more selfish and take care of themselves first so they can better help others. What do you think?

It's always been a problem for me to take care of myself first. I'm learning... learning... slowly!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Didn't Understand It Then; Don't Understand It Now

Silvia, from Italy, asks:

What is the so-called "good luck/bad luck"? For example, why do some great people get deadly diseases and others have a beautiful life when they don't deserve it?

When I first realized that this inequity existed in the world, I was quite young. Now, I'm not quite young, and I still don't get it. Perhaps there's something to the karmic explanation: this life is all about what happened in the last one.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ten Unanswered Questions

I simply HAVE to catch up! So, in one big burst, here are 10 cards and 10 questions! Get ready to be provoked!

1) If you could do one thing to help others (assuming money wasn’t an issue), what would you like to do?
2) Why do we exist?
3) If you could relive one day in your life, what would it be?
4) Why is it 60 minutes per second and 60 minutes per hour?
5) After taking away all of your layers/masks, who are you?
6) Would you give your life to save someone else’s?
7) What do you think about peace in the whole world?
8) What does someone need to do to wake up happy every day?
9) Why do round pizzas come in square boxes?
10) If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?

Nosing Around?

What are the odds that I'd get two postcards concerning themselves with noses? Yes, indeed, the old olfactory organ is the topic of the cards in this post.

On the left, on a card from Julia, comes the question:
What's going to happen to Pinnocchio if he says that his nose is getting longer? Did he lie?
The two images to the right of Julia's card are the front (the finger) and the back (the nose) of the same card from Elisa from Finland. Her question is a simple one:
What's your nose taste?
Now, the reason that I had to show the back of Elisa's card is that THAT's where the nose is. As you can see, I've obscured her writing, but write she did in the teensiest tiniest little handwriting all around the nose she drew herself, which (she says) is modeled after her own.

So, as far as Pinnocchio is concerned, I think that's one of those liar/truthteller puzzles and they always make my brain itch.

As for Elisa and her question of taste.... well, I will keep trying (in the privacy of my room) to taste my own nose. And, if I should ever be able to achieve the feat, I will report in.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Three More Questions!

So, from left to right, there's Ilona from Netherlands, Leonardo from Slovenia, and Inga from Norway.

In the same order, here are there questions:

Ilona, who lives near the sea, wonders whether the sea levels are actually rising and what it means to her if they are.

Leonardo explains the image on his card: the yin-yang symbol shows good and bad, nay and night, two opposite energies causing everything to happen, and asks, "there's a lot of bad in the world lately; do you think bad will win, that the yin-yang symbol will become one big black circle?"

Inga, who I learned spent a year in Japan so she asks her question from experience, wonders why all Japanese people seem to love Americans.

In the same order, my "answers:"

I think so. One only has to consider the island of Tuvalue which will be underwater in a very short time!

I certainly hope not. I hope there will always be a pinprick of light in the darkness, and I hope that's enough.

I had no idea they did, but my guess would be that we have, in equal parts, an attraction to and a revulsion toward the unfamiliar. But that's just a guess!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

An Astronaut? A Fire Fighter? An Engineer?

Dianne, from Australia, asks several related questions:
Do you remember what you wanted to be "when you grew up"?

Can you imagine pursuing that path now in hindsight?

What might have been different if you had?

Wow. I realized that I don't remember a childhood fantasy of "when I grow up"! I am going to have to ask my dad, whom I will see in a few days if HE remembers anything!

Chicken, NEW and IMPROVED!

Naiche, from Singapore, talks about hearing a news item on the BBC that mentioned genetically engineered chickens that are resistant to disease. Theoretically, he says, the same technology can be used againgt multiple existing viruses which currently affect livestock and combat the world's growing food resource issue. But, he wonders...
Is "toying" with nature a correct and wise solution to our problems?

It seems like it's a question of how far along a continuum do we travel? We already selectively breed livestock and plant strains for disease resistance, weather hardiness, and so on. Is tinkering at the molecular level only one step further along the continuum?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Multiple Choice PLUS the Joy of Little Things

Pyu, from Japan, poses a multiple choice question.

What is the most important thing in your life?

a) Love

b) Family

c) Money

d) Time

For me, Time to spend with the Family and Friends whom I Love (and Money enough so that none of us is in need).

Which leads to Marjoke's question (which comes with a story).

Last year, I started enjoying all the little things. It started snowing one day and I decided to walk home. One moment, I was standing on the street lookng up to the falling snow and everyone ran by me in a big hurry but if you can get energy out of such little moments, why isn't anybody else standing still in the middle of the street and enjoying the little things?

Beats me, Marjoke. The little things are the things I like to have the TIME to spend enjoying with the FAMILY and friends whom I LOVE.

(See how neatly this all comes together?)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beauty, in the eye of...

On a very cool card from Estonia, Kaia writes,

Should Art be beautiful?

Who's to say what beautiful is?

Once, I was at a small gallery/gift store kind of establishment with my in-laws. There was a W-I-D-E range of artwork on the walls. My MIL asked what I liked. I replied, "no offense, mom, but the best way for you to pick what I would like is to pick what you don't like." I knew that our tastes were just that different.

Art should move me - a little, a lot, but somehow.

Discrimination and Being the Queen of the World

From Germany comes this question:

Why are people afraid of gays (especially gay guys, because lesbians are tolerated, sort of)?

While from Spain comes this question:

What would be the first law you would create if you could be Queen of the World?

IF my law was guaranteed to be obeyed, I'd outlaw discrimination so that the first question would become irrelevant. As things stand right now, I doubt even the "Queen of the World" can make any such change happen.

I don't know, deep in my heart, why any one group discriminates against any other. I mean, I do know the socio-psycho-whatever-o underpinnings of discrimination, but as for me, I just don't get it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

History Mystery

In the funny sort of way that things go, these two cards simply selected from the top of the stack, seem related.

One, from Brazil, wants to know

If you could go back in time and change one historical moment of the world, which would it be?

While the other, from Prague wonders

Why don't some people want to know the history of their nation and its past mistakes?

Well, for sure the people in the second question would never entertain the notion of the first question, would they?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Catching up

Suddenly Post Crossers have been inundating me with Thought Provoking Questions, so (in an effort to catch up), I'm going to post multiple questions for a few days. Pick the one you want to comment on!

Robert, from Israel, wonders "Can one imagine a world where humans no longer destroy?" To that, I respond, "If hoping for something with one's whole heart is a way of imagining something, then yes I can."

Luis, from Portugal, sent a question concerning Assange and WikiLeaks, but the back of the card was damaged and I can't figure out what the question is!

Semmese, from Hungary, asks "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf" and that whipped me right back to my undergraduate days as an English major!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I don't think so, I really don't

Judy, from Queensland, Australia, wonders:

Are religion and ethics essentially necessary for each other?

I think you can be an ethical person without subscribing to any particular religion, and sad current events show that you can identify yourself as a religious person without exhibiting so much as a scrap of ethical behavior.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Front and Back

Technically speaking, I'm not supposed to post the back of the card... protecting the addresses and so forth. However, this card's back contains the question in such a way that it would be a shame not to share. So, herewith:


Saturday, February 5, 2011

A year... and a day?

From the other side of my continent comes this thought-provoker:

If you had the chance to visit the future for one year, what year would you choose and why?

Well, my original thought was to return the year AFTER I died, to make sure people were still missing me, but then I decided that idea was entirely too petty, and well. human.

Now, I think maybe the year 3000. I remember how astonished I was (as a child) to realize that I'd was going to be alive in the year TWO THOUSAND and how astonised I was (as an adult) to realize that it wasn't such a big deal after all. Perhaps THREE THOUSAND might be enough of a shift.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New and Improved... maybe not

MinouMinou wonders:

Do you think the application of such science as eugenics was a mistake in several ccountries?

I turn to the great philosopher, Sting, who said "I never saw no miracle of science that didn't go from a blessing to a curse..."

Until HUMANS get smarter, there's always that risk.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Food, food, food, food....FOOD!

Eveline wonders, on the back of this card fiiled with treats,

What food would you miss if you moved abroad?

I am QUITE addicted to Starbucks Iced Tea, but now that Sbux blankets the planet, I probably wouldn't have a chance to miss it.

I'm thinking it would be more something I cook that maybe I couldn't find the ingredients for so easily.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beats Me...

Here, on an ironic "bunny suicide" card is a serious question:

Why are people so desperate thay they think of suicide?

I don't know. I can't imagine that depth of despair.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Same question, different places

Within days of one another, these two cards arrived. They both asked the same question:

What do you know about my country?

One writer is from Norway; the other is from Romania. The Norwegian writer also instructed me to avoid using the Internet and instead encouraged me to use my own brain. Hmmmmm.

What do I know about Norway? Sad to say, the first thing that came to mind was the frequency with which the answer "Olaf" comes up in New York Times crossword puzzles, with the clue having something to do with Norway.

What do I know about Romania? Well, there's that Dracula thing... which I imagine the Romanians are well and tired of hearing about.

What did I really learn? "Don't know much geography!"