My name is Arnold. I am not a writer nor a journalist. My craving to write is, I think, the only thing that qualifies me to create this blog. I see myself as someone in a life-long pilgrimage and is now in a temporary sojourn . . . and as I stay here I want to learn and grow.
Reading dominates my waking hours. Most of the times, I read books while listening to mellow music, sometimes, in total silence. I like expository books more than narratives. At times I read magazines like Reader’s Digest and Times. Sometimes, I surf the web looking for modern-day-thinkers—those who write not about cars or websites or parties or food, but rather about abstract ideas like relationships, leadership, faith and doubt, forgiveness, and the sort of things that baffle our minds, pushing us to ask deep personal questions such as “What should I value more, or pray for, justice or grace?”
In times when I don’t read books, magazines or blogs, I read the environment, the events, my own experiences past and present—observing my immediate community, my roles as part of it, my relationships, taking notes inside my heart about the principles at work in every choice people make and the results of those choices that affect us all—as separate individuals and as whole society.
Movies fascinate me too. Although I choose movies randomly—mostly based on my moods—there are certain genres that I like more than others: intellectual movies, history-based, true-to-life stories, a few wars, suspense, martial arts, and a few science-fiction. I love cartoons and 3D movies too. Of all the genres, however, it’s the horror movies that I dislike the most.
Music moves me. Mostly, I listen to mellow music. Sometimes, country songs make the list of my likes; but the most favorite songs that become part of me are religious songs that express the philosophy of the one who sings it. Well, I included a page in this blog that contains the list of my favorite music.
Painting helps me express myself. I love to paint close-up foliage and scenery in watercolor. Sometimes I choose charcoal to paint objects, and soft pastel to paint faces.
Chess intrigues me. Studying positions in chess, and how grandmasters execute their astonishing strategy fascinates me. I am more fond of chess strategy than tactics, positional games rather than tactical ones. Because I play chess poorly, I resorted to just watching or exploring how masters do it. Yet whenever I play chess, I play simply to express myself, not necessarily to be a champion. When I first learned chess, I played it as a sport. Later, I learned some strategies, prompting me to play chess as a science. And then, I learned some tactical combinations. This taught me to play chess as an art. Now, however, I play chess as a way of life—expressing my life’s philosophy in every move I choose—putting together my perspective to it as a sport, a science, and as an art.
Writing allows me to think and feel out loud. What I express in painting through shapes and colors; what I express in playing chess through my moves, I express in words through articles. Although I am more interested in expository writing, I am now exposing my self in learning narrative style. I have no formal education or training in writing though.
Far Away Mentors
I always believed that “What kind of person I will become depends on three things: the people I associate myself with, the books I read, and the choices I make.”
Although they are not even aware of this, here are they—my far away mentors. Their books shape me.
Philip Yancey is the author that made the most contributions in my philosophy. His books gradually yet strongly and continuously shape my perception about life, about God, relationships, faith, myself, and many other life-matters. He’s my favorite author, and his books are my favorite books.
John C. Maxwell takes my notion of “leadership” and “attitude” to a higher level.
Stephen Covey (like Philip Yancey) helps me learn to integrate seemingly unrelated ideas. He contributes a lot in my paradigm shift. The only difference is the topic. Stephen Covey covers the topic of leadership, and paradigms.
Warren Bennis teaches me the art of growing . . . treating every difficult circumstance as a crucible that continually shapes me as a person, and treating other things as opportunities.
Daniel Goleman helps me relate with my own emotions—teaches me to dissect myself and discover those things that I didn’t know about me.
Kenneth Blanchard reminds me that I am a servant…that I am an instrument to bring out the best in others.