ONE-STAR RATING

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Nowadays, more and more people buy items on the internet: books, electronics, musical instruments, cars, shoes, and so on. Usually, they read the product review before purchasing, which ranges from one-star to five-star.

If an item is rated one-star, people don’t even read the product review and skip it to look for another article with more stars.

Have you ever asked yourself if this way of judging is the right one?

Three years ago I posted a comment on Reddit, which is a social media.

My comment was about what happened at a restaurant in Houston. A family of four asked to have dinner at a distance from the table where another family with a disabled child was dining, and addressed the waiter with a few pungent words.

“Disabled children should eat in special places when they enter a restaurant!”

On hearing those words, the waiter refused to serve those intolerant customers, who left the restaurant.

The news spread quite soon, and the restaurant was praised by host of people due to the waiter’s behavior.

My voice was dissenting from those who had praised the restaurant.

In my opinion the waiter had the duty to serve the intolerant guests, although he had different ideas in his mind.

My article was misunderstood and misinterpreted.

A few anonymous people posted some tart replies. An anonymous reader bought the electronic copy of my newly published book The Vibrations of Words, and immediately posted a one-star review on Amazon.

That pseudo-review has nothing to do with the contents of the book, as it is related to my article on Reddit, but the readers don’t know that, and seeing my book on Amazon rated one-star, they pass over it.

Reality is different from appearance the Buddhists say, and I agree with them. Not everything that at first glance seems to be true is the truth.

The Vibrations of Words is a wonderful book indeed, and I recommend it to the readers. Who knows! Maybe someone, after having read it, can post a good review on Amazon to counterbalance the fake one, and give my book the luck it deserves.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WHAT IS A BALUT?

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Traveling across the world, it has happened to me to eat every kind of food. I have eaten cockroaches, worms, grasshopper, frogs, raw meat, raw fish and so on, but at first glance what I was not able to eat was a balut.

What is a balut? It is a fertilized egg, that is an egg with a chick inside. It is considered a delicacy by the local people in Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.

While I was travelling Indo-China I came across a balut twice.

The first time in Thailand. I was in Chang May, eating at a restaurant, when I saw a pile of white hard-boiled eggs in the shape of a pyramid that were kept warm by steam.

I was attracted by those eggs and ordered two of them. When I removed the eggshell, I saw some strange red veins. “This egg is not good!” I said to the waitress.

“No, it is very tasty! There is a chick inside” she replayed.

Despite her insistence, I was unable to eat that strange food and paid in vain.

A few years went by, and in Vietnam at a restaurant a waiter served me another balut. This time I wanted to try it, and little by little I ate both the chick and the egg.

Why I am writing about a balut? Because I want to draw attention to the fact that very often we humans cringe if a chick is eaten or a nest is destroyed, but we are left completely indifferent whenever thousands and thousands of migrants drown in the Mediterranean sea while trying to reach the European coasts. There are even people who love animals, but hate their neighbor. We had better observe reality as it is, regardless of our feelings of pleasure or displeasure, taste or disgust.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Thought
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

The eightfold path is the heart of Buddhism, but it can be followed by everybody, even if they are atheists.

Once a friend of mine who was a non-believer couldn’t join an esoteric society, because it was necessary to swear on the Bible to be admitted. Despite he liked esotericism very much, he refused to swear on the Bible. In fact, he had no intention of giving up his atheistic ideas. Later, he said to me that he wouldn’t have raised difficulties if he had been asked to swear on Gautama Buddha’s Eightfold Path which was compatible with his ideas.

Actually, the Eightfold Path is a way of living; it can help everybody to live a better life.

  • Right Understanding means to understand things as they really are, not as they appear to our deluded mind. How many times we misunderstand people and situations, and mistake candles for lanterns!
  • Right Thought. Our thoughts are subject to the “Law of Attraction”; the more pure they are, the more they attract pureness.
  • Right Speech – Right Action – Right Livelihood are related to keeping good moral conduct.
  • Right Effort indicates that we have to put an effort in our spiritual life. A little effort is needed if we want to grow as spiritual beings. Without a proper effort we live a lazy life, which clouds the mind instead of elevating the spirit.
  • Right Mindfulness. This recommendation is particularly useful when a person is too sensitive to self-pride. As for me, in the past whenever somebody offended or made fun of me, my self-proud was so wounded that I easily lost my self-control and was unable to see things, people and situations as they real are. Nowadays I strive to be more mindful, without ever being clouded, whether good or bad, by life events.
  • Right Concentration is also called right meditation. Whenever we meditate, we should focus our attention on one single object, without being distracted by trivial worries.What about trying the Eightfold Path in your ordinary daily life? Is it difficult for you.
  • Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
  • A Hidden Sicilian History
    The Vibrations of Words
    Travels of the Mind
    http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo
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