What does it feel like to be Indian-born, living abroad and marry someone outside your race?

Answer by Dolly Singh:

Thank you for the A2A.

It's the toughest decision I've made in my whole life – so I'm nervous about attempting an answer as I'm not quite sure what I should or shouldn't say.   

It's such a divisive question and people on each side of the fence are ideological in their viewpoints, myself included. 

I must also say, there are serious consequences in this decision for anyone; and I was able to make my choice and can share my story in the hope that it helps someone else. . .  But if you currently live in India this decision could impact the safety of your life and the life of your love – so this post should not be license for you to run off with someone in a moment of passion and rebellion.

So with that said – here goes nothing.

My parents moved me to the United States from India in 1983, when I was 4.5 years old. 

My family is from Punjab, where we have 300+ years of a rich history tied to culture, religion and bloodlines.  They were raised to see their own kind as the best, and see everyone else on a range of less than.

It's not that they wanted to be terrible people; it's just what was passed down to them and repeated to them and all they ever knew. 

They didn't hate or fear anyone else, but they didn't want to interact with them unnecessarily. They just wanted to stick to their own kind and didn't see anything wrong with that.

On some level it's a survival mechanism – a people or culture that doesn't 'stick to its own' is at risk of assimilating and disappearing – so I do try and understand the evolution and prevalence of this thinking.

My parents were 29 when they arrived in the states, so the entirety of their formative years were spent in a universe where color and caste defined everything about you. 

Our caste comes from the top of the totem pole which happens to be more 'light skinned'.  In the Indian caste system you basically go down a bracket by each shade darker your skin color gets. So light is good- dark is bad; this is the only universe they ever knew.

When we arrived in the States it was culture shock for everyone.  They had never seen such a diverse nation (we had moved to the Bay Area of Northern California), didn't yet speak the language and were just here on the faith that they allowing their children access to the best educational institutions in the world was the best thing they could do for their family.

We all started to adjust over the next few months and years; me probably easiest as I picked up English in about 2 weeks.  The brain is so primed to learn language at that age; and with full immersion it set up ideal conditions for me to learn quickly and start to acclimate.

My parents took longer to catch up; my mom picked up enough English to get by by watching PBS and taking classes at night while working as a seamstress during the days.

My Dad was able to get a job in one of the many semi conductor factories in the area, a hands on trade that made it easier to get by without mastering the English language.

My parents had left a high class life in India for a working class life in the US, but we had lots of extended family and a strong community around us.

My father's sister had preceeded us to the US and was able to petition for my Dad after having been in the states for 7 years.  Many other families had done the same so there was a vibrant and growing community of Punjabi immigrants to Northern California during these years.

Things were pretty normal for most of elementary school, with the occasional bullying episodes over my Dad's turban.  But all in all life was good.

When middle school arrived I was able to get my old fashioned Indian parents to be progressive enough to allow me to play sports.

I played volleyball, softball and basketball; but basketball was by far my favorite.  From 6th grade to12th grade, I played every day at the parks around my neighborhood.

My neighborhood was a lower middle class area called, "Seven Trees" for the apple orchards that used to be on that same land 20 years prior.   It was comprised of about 30% African Americans, 30% Hispanic or Latin Americans, 20% Asian Americans and 20% others.

During those years between age 12-17; I would get home from school, finish my homework, make sure my brother and sister were done with their homework, and then grab my ball and head down the 8 blocks to the closest basketball court.

Street ball isn't usually played by girls; and it certainly isn't usually played by young, super skinny Indian girls.

The first few weeks I went down to that park, I didn't have the guts to ask to play.  I would shoot on one side of the court when the action was on the other side of the court or I'd just dribble around while watching the games being played.

One day someone else had brought their younger kids with them and they were short a player and asked me if I wanted to play.  That was the the question I had spent the last few weeks waiting to hear.

I quickly became a regular at the court every evening. Over those years I grew really close to the other regulars who came to this court; most of the players that visited these courts were 15-25 almost entirely male, and predominantly African American.

At the time I didn't think about their skin color; they were just my friends and guys who made me a way better basketball player.

When I turned 15 and had my first crush, it was on a 16 year old boy from my neighborhood who I had been playing bball with for a year or so – that young man happened to be African American.  We never actually dated, or even kissed – I just remember a tingle in my chest every time I we had our quick hugs for hello and goodbye. 

I knew my parents would be mortified if they knew what I was feeling but I couldn't really help what my hormones were doing.

I just found myself much more attracted to dark skin and muscular frames.

In the Indian culture you are not supposed to date, hug, kiss or obviously have sex until after you are married. 

And you're not supposed to get married when you love someone and want to hug and kiss them, but rather you get married when it is deemed appropriate and beneficial by your parents and to someone who is a total stranger and may be totally unattractive to you.

I clearly knew I wasn't supposed to 'date' and I knew I was definitely not supposed to date outside my race – because apparently I was supposed to save myself for some random future stranger. . . but I couldn't get myself really to buy into this model of life.

Over the next year – as I matured and learned more about the world; I began to see a lot wrong with the worldview my parents has been brought up in.

It wasn't just the fact that they were racist and didn't know it; it's also that the practice of arranged marriage itself rings so loud with gender inequality.

So in a short period of time I realized- my parents and my culture were both racist and sexist.

It wasn't with malice – but rather through default; but it was wrong nonetheless and I knew it in my heart.

I also was starting to get to know myself more and more during this time; and as it was turning out I am the ultimate black sheep.

I swim against the current every time; I don't like to be told what to do, I don't tend to back down, and I am about as far from submissive as one could get.

The problem however, is that being submissive is a highly desirable attribute in Indian women- perhaps more than desirable it is almost a requisite trait in order to try and have a tension free life.

Culturally – Indian women are taught to serve and not speak – so it was becoming clear to me by this point I was going to be an epic failure at being a good Indian daughter.

The day after I graduated high school, when I was 17 years old, at 1:06am, I jumped out my bedroom window in the dark of night with $700 I had saved from my weekend job at the mall, a backpack full of clothes and nothing else. 

I left my parents a note telling them I was sorry, but I couldn't and didn't want to be who they wanted me to be – and that I was leaving to find God's plan for me.

I spent the night in a friends van and in the morning she took me to another friends house where I stayed for the next two weeks.

I cried for 10 days straight; I sobbed until my skin was dehydrated and my lips were bleeding, and I slept only in small fits of exhaustion.

I was crying less for myself and more for the pain I knew my parents and sibling were feeling at those same moments in time – I knew I had broken the hearts of the people who had prayed for and cherished my life more than anyone else in the world. 

But I knew in my heart that I couldn't turn back; I wasn't cut out to be someone's good Indian wife and that was the only option in my parents' universe.

I moved 6 hours away and spent the next 5 years putting myself through college; I contacted my parents after about 6 months once I had turned 18 had pulled together a enough stability to get a small apartment. 

They were crushed and angry but knew legally they couldn't force me to come back. 

They also didn't really understand what or why I was so terrified of what they saw as normal.  I told them I didn't think I could just be happy with a typical Indian life- but they didn't really understand what that meant.

At one point my once favorite Uncle in India had told them they should kill me to prevent me from setting a bad example for my younger siblings.

Thankfully for me, they loved me more than they probably wanted to at the time and resigned into some level of acceptance as time wore on.

Even during these years as we worked to rebuild a relationship of some sort while I continued to demand my independence I never dated anyone in front of them.

In my last year of college I started dating the man who is now my husband,  I fell in love with him within a the first few months we were together and I was pregnant 6 months into the relationship.

I had been brave enough to leave my parents, but I had never been brave enough to tell them I wanted to marry or date outside my race – and now I had no choice as my first child was coming and I was with the man of my dreams and I was determined to marry him.

So, at 22, 5 years since that terrified 17 year old jumped out her bedroom window, I found myself terrified again.

I had to break my parents' hearts for the second time; I had to drag their names and reputation through the twisted mud of the Indian community – again.

I flew to my parents home, told my mom I was pregnant and going to get married.

She flipped out.

I flew home.

Over the next two months my mom collected herself and worked with a couple other relatives in my family to speak with my dad and to help arrange an Indian wedding ceremony for me and my very non Indian husband.

They decided their daughter meant more to them than the reputation they have with people who love to gossip about everyone anyway.

I'm sure it wasn't easy for them; but they decided they didn't want to lose me and I am am very thankful to them for that. 

In the 13 years since, time has healed my family; my husband is such an overwhelmingly nice man that my parents like him much more than they like me. 

He is far more kind and patient and warm than I will ever be – and they now know the human being under the skin and found that they really adore that human being.

I love my husband and family dearly; and I love my country for making this colorful life possible.  I know my story isn't possible in any other nation.

I love my parents for finding the acceptance and growth in their hearts to allow me to be me.

My choices were not easy, but I am so thankful to God for giving me the courage to make them.

They allowed me to help create some of the cutest kids ever 🙂

Addendum: Thanks to everyone for the great support and comments on this answer.  

Really refreshing to hear so much support from many in the Indian community; it's very nice to see that progress is indeed afoot.

A couple comments have asked questions about the kiddos so I thought I'd share a drawing I found in my oldest son's backpack when he came home from school a year or so ago.

I think they have had no trouble reconciling their two families/cultures at all.

🙂

What does it feel like to be Indian-born, living abroad and marry someone outside your race?

Advertisements

How do programmers flirt with someone or show them love?

Answer by Ramnath Sagar:

A couple of years ago, I hijacked my wife's laptop and set this as her browser's homepage.
This is how I surprised her on V-day 😉

EDIT: Wow!! I never went back to this question. I am actually surprised for so many upvotes it got. Thank you all..

Since the question changed a bit, let me answer that as well.
It didn’t take me so much of time to put together a code to do this. Bunch of css files, html code and javascript, and some photoshop. Tada!! Couple of things that I however want to mention,
1. This was the only time I have ever used javascript.  😛
2. To spice it up a bit, if you click Google Search , it actually takes you to an online dating website.
3. I'm feeling lucky takes to our wedding website.
4. The "ring" in O was actually our wedding ring. (Thanks to my horrible photoshop skills).

How do programmers flirt with someone or show them love?

How should a 24-year-old invest time?

Answer by RyzVan Rashid:

(8k+ Upvotes in 7 days… I'm truly humbled. Thank you.)

When I was 22 years old, I spent time going out with my friends, talking to my girlfriend all the time, spending time smoking-up, and generally being an a$$.

10 years later I discovered a secret that helped me achieve and learn more in 1 year than I had in all the previous 10 years.

Here's the secret for you to apply this in your life and get results and success that you've never even dreamed possible.

Invest your time in the following activities and you will gain more power, money, friends, love and affection.

Your friends will look up to you for your courage to do the things that they've only just dreamed about, your family will look up to you and be proud of your many achievements.

 Your colleagues will become jealous of your stratospheric success. They will look towards you for advice on how to become successful like you.

If you don't do these things, 10 years down the line you will wonder where all your time went, what you did wrong to become such a failure.

Your friends will forget you as a has-been, and your family will treat you like that 'bum-sibling' they have.

Here are 5 things you should invest your time in everyday to become a success.

But a WORD OF WARNING…

If you try doing these things at the same time you will fail. So pick one of the things mentioned below.

Learn how to do it. Figure it out. Then spend 1 month to learn how to do this better. Practice it every day for 1 month before taking on anything else.

After the 1 month is over this will have become your habit and you will be able to do it unconsciously. Then when you add another thing from the list below it won't seem very hard.

Within the year you'll be doing each of these things unconsciously and will have developed an arsenal of habits that will support you for the rest of your life.

The Power Of Creating Good Habits

The biggest secret that man has discovered over the last few decades is the power of habit. Once a habit is established it lasts for a life time.

Developing a habit in the beginning seems hard, but once you master something and include it in your habits, this will be forgotten and you'll just do it easily.

Think about tying your shoelaces. How do you do that? Do you loop each lace and then knot them, or do you loop one and then knot the other lace through the loop.

Each of us ties our shoelaces differently. But once we get this, we'll tie them each time the same way, without even thinking about it.

This is the power of habit. This is the first thing you should invest your time in.

A habit is usually formed when you repeat something in the exact same manner everyday for at least 21 days. Some habits take longer, some shorter.

So to average it out – invest 30 days to establish each habit.

The 5 Most Powerful Habits That Anyone Can Learn

These 5 habits will support you throughout your life

Whether you decide to become an academic and do multiple Ph.Ds, or are an athlete looking to become professional.

Whether you are a mother looking to give your kids a better life, or a high powered business woman seeking venture capital investment.

The habits are universal.

1. Take Care Of Your Body

No matter what you do in your life, you will do it in your body. You cannot replace it, get a new one, or trade it in. This is your body and your will live in it.

It might not be the perfect body that you want, but this is the one you have. If you take care of it now – it will take care of you when you 60, 70 or 80 years old.

The way to take care of your body is simple. Eat less & Exercise more.

Spend 30 – 60 Minutes Each Day Exercising.

This does not mean that you join a gym and start pumping weights. It means that you work every muscle in your body.

Spend conscious time to move the muscles in your arms, back and legs. Take the time to join a gym and workout and use your muscles. Do this because most of us now spend more time sitting on couches than moving around.

The human body was made to move around to do things. That's the first thing to take care of the body. Learn this habit first.

Spend 30 – 60 minutes each day exercising.

Eat Food That Is Fresh & Healthy

The next step to take care of your body is to eat well. Treat your body like a home. This is the home where you live.

If you bring good things to this home the home will become nicer and you'll enjoy living in it. If you bring rotten stuff into this home the home will decay and you'll hate living there.

So eat good stuff. Eat as much fresh fruits & vegetables as you can everyday. Include a fruit and vegetables in your diet. This will give you the energy that you need.

Play A Sport That You Like Everyday

This is something that will help you relax your mind. That can get you moving physically and get you out of your head and present in the moment.

Something that you do physically, like Tennis or Basketball. The benefit of these sports (or other sports) is that you get out of your head and get in the moment.

The rush of the moment will help your mind relax for a minute and focus on the right now instead of being stuck on analyzing the past or estimating the future.

Additionally the competition will rejuvenate you. Competition in life is how we grow. The more competition we have the sharper, faster, better we become.

Unfortunately in the current job environment that we work in – we can't get immediate feedback on competition. Most of the time at work we are working in teams where we need the team to succeed. But our personal success is often based on the failure of other members on the team.

For e.g. You can't become the manager of your team – if everyone in your team also becomes the manager of your team.

So taking up a sport will give you the immediate rush of competition, the instant feedback of success or failure and you will grow.

Avoid Junk Food

Junk food as the name suggests is junk. It's useless, worthless for the body. It doesn't provide the nutrition that your body needs.

If you feed your body with junk food, you will become lethargic, you will lose energy and over a period of time you will gain weight and lose health.

Eat food that is free of preservatives, sugar, corn, syrup and overly loaded with salt and carbs.

These sugar and carbs have an addictive effect on the body and will cause you to crave them more and more causing your body to become dependent on these foods.

Good foods will make your body strong and healthy. Addictive foods will make your body lethargic and rotten.

2. Take Care of Your Mind

We are living in a time when we do most of our work using our minds. We sit on desks and computers creating for people using our minds.

Even if this isn't true for you, it is. If you are a construction worker who lays bricks, or a day care assistant who helps kids, this is true for you.

Your mind is the one thing that controls your thoughts everyday and the thoughts that you think create the reality that you see around you.

So take care of your mind.

But how do you take care of your mind?

The mind like anything else is has the characteristics of a muscle. You use it, or lose it. And as long as you are using it, it will remain fit and healthy. The minutes you stop using it, it will decay and rust.

So you keep this muscle active by doing the following.

Read Every Day

There is no difference between the person who does not read the one who cannot read. Spend 30 minutes each morning and night reading.

Read motivational books. Books about philosophy, economics, politics, literature. Read fiction. Read self-help books. Read about parenting, read about health. Read about science and technology.

But read a book not a blog.

A book has a very permanent nature. It is written with a lot of thought and research. It is the gist of an author's life experiences. So read a book everyday.

This will keep your mind stimulated and open to ideas. You will get a number of ideas for each author that you can implement in your life. You will also get opinions from across the globe.

Ideas that would not have reached you if you only spoke to the people you met everday. So read a book. Spend 30 minutes morning and night reading a book.

Write Every Day

The only way to bring your thoughts to reality is to write them down. If you don't write them down they will be lost to the electric impulses inside your brain.

So write your thoughts down, write ideas that come to you, write your philosophy about life.

Write ever day. This will help you clear your thought and formulate complete ideas.

If you have a problem. Write it down. You will be able to come up with a solution better, once you've written down the problem.

If you have a crush on someone. Write it down. Write down the things that you like about that person, how it makes you feel, what you would do for them.

All these things when written down will help clarify your thoughts about love and life, about right and wrong.

Writing will help identify truths about your thoughts and define how you think. As you progress in your writing, read about writing better. Then write better.

The better you write, the better you will think.

Develop Your Mind In Other Ways

The more neural connections your mind has the better it is. The faster it can do things. The better it can fight against disease in old age, like Alzheimers.

You can create new neural connections in your mind by doing new things. The more 'new' things you try the more your brain will become developed.

Even if you suck at something – the experience of doing it, learning the rule, trying it out will develop your mind.

Listen to and watch things that will develop you mind. Instead of watching TV, watch TED Talks.

Instead of listening to 'distressing' music, listen to sweet, kind music. Listen to Mozart, listen to Beethoven.

Plan to learn a new skill every year. Pick up playing an instrument one year. Spend time learning this instrument like this will be something that you will play all your life.

The next year learn to play a new sport. Something that you've never tried before. This will both help your muscles improve and improve your mind.

Avoid Junk In You Mind

Just like your body needs good food to run, your mind needs good fuel to run.

If you feed your mind with junk 'input' like mindless television, excessive drama, or constant news coverage whether TV or newspapers, your mind will become lethargic and fatigued.

You will lose the will to do things, since your mind will associate doing things with depressing sad news.

So avoid all news, whether TV or newspaper. Avoid junk TV like dramas on TV. Avoid excessive emotional drama on TV. This will give you space in your head to do things that will help build up your mind.

So avoid junk food for your mind and give it the resources to build itself.

3. Take Care Of Your Relationships

How do you get a friend, by being a friend.

In life you are born with a very few people in your life. Your parents. Your siblings. Your grandparents if they are still alive. Your cousins if you are close to them.

Every other relationship in your life you have to go out and create. You make friends along the way. Some of the good, some of them not so good.

These friends that you make in your journey through life will become your support system. the people you meet everyday, from the grocer, to the kid working at Best Buy.

Sure, at 24 you're probably thinking, 'who gives a f*&K about these people…' but down the line it is these people, these relationships that will matter most to you in your life.

The way to take care of your relationships is as follows

Remember Birthdays & Anniversaries

Even if your friends tell you they don't celebrate birthdays. Even if your family become sullen when you call them for anniversaries. Remember them.

Even though people say they don't care, everyone cares about their own special days. When you remember their birthday & anniversaries, they will remember your kindness.

But it doesn't end there. Remember the special moments in their lives. If they had a kid, remember the date and call them, or write them a card on that occasion.

Yes, even in the day of email, and text. A phonecall or a card have a HUGE impact than a Facebook message or text. Over the years your kindness for others in the form of remembering their special days will snowball and you will become a powerhouse.

It good to know that some one cares about you – both for them and for you, when you are in trouble, or they are.

Remember when they had hard times in their lives. If they were close to their grandparents and they recently passed away. Remember them on that day. Help your friends get over these moments.

When you need them, when your loved ones leave you, your friends will be there to catch you before you fall.

Forgive Them Before They Ask For Forgiveness

In the long scheme of life small things don't matter. It doesn't matter if your friend forgot to tell you first about their new job. Or they didn't tell you about the girl they were proposing to.

Be a gentleman and forgive them in your heart even before they ask for forgiveness. Then let the incident go. They will realize you are a big hearted person and treat you like that.

But when you do this – don't resent them after. Really forget the incident and forgive them.

This is more for you, then for them. If you keep holding onto every single hurt that any one has done for you then your baggage will become so heavy you won't be able to go through the door.

You'll be stuck inside your own head and no one will want to be around you. No one will want to trip on your baggage.

But if you do forgive them and forget the incidents you will be free. Your carefree nature will be reflective in everything that you do and everyone will want to be around you.

Avoid Emotional Vampires

No matter how good you are to people, occasionally there will be some who are vampires. They suck all the time and energy out of you.

Sometimes you will encounter them at your workplace. Some of them will be your childhood friends, or even a member of your family.

No matter what you do, you can't change them, you can't help them improve, you cannot guide them.

So the best thing to do with people like this is to avoid them. Though it might hurt you in the beginning, but the best thing for you and them is to avoid them.

You can be kind and make an excuse for not meeting them, but that will only last so long. So take the bigger step and let them know that they are an emotional strain on you – and you'd much rather hang out with more positive people.

People who support your goals, your dreams, your aspiration. People who share your ambitions and values. These are the people who will really help you grow.

The vampires will get hurt – but there is no better way to deal with them. The sooner you take care of them the better.

Really dig deep and find out the people who bother you in your life like that and then stop meeting them and hanging out with them.

CAUTION: If it turns out that everyone in your life seems to be a vampire you either need to change them all, or look inside yourself and change yourself.

Most likely, the conclusion will be to change yourself and your attitude towards them.

4. Take Care Of Your Finances

No matter how you grew up, in abundance or poverty, it is your duty to take care of your own finances.

Even if you parents have taken care of them for you, even if you have a trust fund, even if you have an empty bank account. You are responsible for it. It is your responsibility to take care of your finances.

If you take care of your finances starting today they will take care of you when you most need them. When you are old, or sick, or sending your kids to school, or helping a parent through sickness. Your finances will help you.

If you don't take care of your finances you will end up in debt. Your shoulders will droop and your mind will be gripped by thoughts of money. You will end up living the life of an indebted servant, where you have to work to pay of your debts.

But how do you take care of your finances

Get Positive Cashflow

To begin taking care of your finances you need to have more income than you spend. You need to have more money coming in to your bank account than you are spending.

Most people don't learn this until after they get their 1st job or after they've maxed out their first credit card.

As long as you have a positive cashflow you can get other things in your life a lot easier. If you don't have positive cashflow in your life spend the next year or two getting positive cashflow.

Spend the next 15 minutes figuring out how much money you spend, include rent for the house you live in (or your contribution if you're living with parents), utilities, groceries, car, internet, other monthly expenses, insurance, and monthly spending on shopping & entertainment.

Once you have your expenses take them out of your income. If you have no income – then you have a negative cashflow. Do whatever you can, teach other people, pick up a 2nd job, mow lawns. Whatever you have to do to get this to positive cash flow.

What do you do after you have positive cashflows?

Pay Yourself First

Every cent you earn will be spent by other people for you. The government will want its cut in the form of taxes. The bank will ask for the mortgage payment, insurance, car payments… and so on. Until you don't have anything left in your account.

So before this happens, pay yourself first.

Get into a retirement scheme where they take 5 – 10% from your salary and put it into a gratuity and provident fund. Then when you get your salary, take another 5 – 10% and put them into another account.

This account is your retirement account – also known as F*&K You money.  This is the money that will give you the balls to say F*&K you to anyone you want to.

Because you have this money sitting in your account – you won't become a slave to anyone, no one will control you.

But a word of warning… You can't just get a small amount and then stop. This is a lifetime practice. You have to keep adding to this account. Until it become big enough that you can invest this into assets that make money for you.

This is money that you only spend on assets that make money. Like a house you put up for rent, or government bonds, or dividend funds, or buying a profitable business etc.

Financial Sinkholes To Avoid

If anything sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

A few things to avoid when you're taking care of your finances.

The Stock Market – Most people will tell you to invest in it – but don't. Only invest in a S&P Index Fund at best if you really want to. Even though some friend of yours will tell you they have a big 'tip' on a stock that could make you millions – don't invest.

Business Opportunity – If someone tells you that you can make a million dollars in 3 years by investing a small amount of money, or any other such scheme – don't listen to them. Shut the door, bang the phone, kick them out. If it's a friend – stop meeting him again.

Lottery Schemes – If you ever hear that you've just won a cruise, or are tempted to buy a lottery ticket, or that you will earn X number of points. Run away – don't walk, run away.

Credit Cards – Yes, even the lovely credit cards. These are probably the worst things invented since the dawn of time. Credit cards don't increase your spending power – they just make it seem that your spending power has increased. You still have to pay for what you bought, plus interest.

A better alternative is to save for what you want – then when you have the cash then go buy the thing that you wanted to buy.

This has 3 benefits

1) The thing will in all likelihood be cheaper by the time you've saved for it

2) There will be a newer shinier model that you can now buy based on the money you saved.

3) You will realize that you didn't want it in the first place anyway and were buying it on an impulse.

These sinkholes mentioned are all just ways to get a single $1 out of you. Don't give them the dollar. It represents a part of you, of your life. You might think what's the big deal about a dollar, but a dollar properly invested can become the greatest fortune in the world.

Read the story about how the Native Americans sold Manhattan for a $1, and how much that dollar would be worth today invested properly. Hint: It is worth more than the value of all the buildings, land, and businesses in those buildings on Manhattan – put together.

5. Take Care Of Your Communication

The biggest problems in the world arise because of mis-communication. People mis-understand each other.

Spouses fight because they don't understand what was being said.

Employees get fired because of a communication error.

Friends fight because of something that was mis-understood.

Communication errors cause major problems in relationships between friends, employees, board members and even countries.

So take care of your communication. Become a communication master. Become some one who can communicate clearly and effectively. Not just in your speaking, but in your writing, in your thoughts.

But how do you improve your communication?

Communicate At The 6th Grade Level

Yes, at the 6th grade level. This is one of the most important thing you can do for your communication. If you can explain things to a 10 year old you can explain them to anyone.

You might think that most 'educated' people will get turned off by this. But the truth is even most educated people think at the 6th grade level. When they are reading research papers, or grading Ph.D thesis will they get into the 'educated' mind and think this is stupid.

Just by communicating at this level, your communication will be understood every time. Your kids will understand you, your parents will listen to you, your employers will 'get' you.

In fact by communicating at this level every one around you will think you are wise that you are able to explain complex ideas in the simplest of manner.

Learn The Vocabulary Of Whatever You Are Doing

By learning the vocabulary of what you are doing you will learn faster. You will be understood quicker. Your responses will be on point.

Every profession, sport, online forum, clique, had a different vocabulary. The faster you learn this vocabulary and use it in your conversations the quicker you will rise.

If you play tennis, learn every thing that the pros are saying. Learn their meaning and then when you talk to your friends at tennis using the vocabulary will enhance your game.

The same applies to your profession. The sooner you learn the vocabulary of the profession the faster you will progress. But this isn't a technique, use it to enhance your overall vocabulary.

Putting It All To Work For You

These habits when put in to action will enhance your life profoundly.

You won't feel it when you turn 23, or even when you are 24. But as you progress as you spend more and more time in this, your results will multiply and compound.

Each day that you spend doing these activities your results will increase ten fold.

By the time you turn 30 you will have more friends who love you, more employers who want to hire you, and more energy than you can imagine possible.

But on top of that because your life is built around a number of activities, not just your job, you will be more fulfilled and happier in life.

I know even starting at 27 yrs old and implementing these in my life – by the time I turned 33 the results I was getting was more than I'd ever imagined.

It still amazes me the way my life keeps changing every 6 months to a year.

Every year. The results will speak for themselves when you apply these.

P.S. Originally written for the question How should a 22-year-old invest time? but it applies more so here.

How should a 24-year-old invest time?

What are the pros and cons of a real world military jacket, as portrayed in “Edge of Tomorrow”?

Answer by Jon Davis:

I just want to list a few additional cons to Advait Thakre's list. He did pretty well on the Pros.

Now the Cons:

Physics… it's important.

Those guns… would rip right off those armatures. Weapons, especially heavy weapons, cause a lot of recoil. I mean a lot of recoil. For comparison, I am going to consider the machine gun farthest back to be comparable to the US military's 240-G.

Do you see the way he is directly behind the weapon with it seated directly in his shoulder? That's important. The recoil of the weapon is actually supposed to travel through his body so that it doesn't affect the aiming point and the muzzle. If those move, essentially you are aiming at a completely new point and the only round that mattered was the first. It defeats the purpose of having an automatic weapon. Besides the fact that this weapon, as it seems to be in the movie, could not possibly overcome this engineering defect, it would probably rip itself right off.

Also, Tom Cruise would be deaf.

There is no Armor!

Lets look at that image again. In what is probably the most reminiscently "Saving Private Ryan" battle scene I have ever seen in a sci-fi, there is a complete absence of decent armor. That isn't true. There was this one guy who went in wearing the "heavy" version that had plating. Of course, he also went into battle completely naked otherwise, so whatever. The point is, that battlefield is horrible and stuff that happens in battles like it involve a lot of sharp, tiny, flying objects. This is called shrapnel and it sucks. Nowadays, we wear a lot of armor made to stop stuff like this across our entire bodies and thicker armor for bullets.

And yes, actually it is uncomfortable to wear. It's better than dying, though. We don't normally wear all the pieces you see, but we wear most of it. That vest can also be included with ceramic plates which can stop rounds from that machine gun I mentioned before and the rest of the jacket can basically make the warrior protected from 9mm to 5.56 rounds if they are lucky. Also, small fragments from grenades, IED and other explosive elements are almost all caught by the system. Other protective coverings, along with the basic uniform basically stop a lot of the problems before they become medical issues.

In the movie it appears that Cruise wears a police issue flak jacket, intended to stop small projectiles like 9mm to his chest (vital organs). Well that's ok, but it really isn't a good excuse for battlefield armor.

If you're interested the US military actually does want to make this into a real thing complete with actual armor… PS, that would make it an Iron Man suit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFObTuJqEw4

That Thing is so Slow

I really don't know how to show this because the trailers just don't show how underwhelming these things are to watch move. When you watch their top speed, you realize that you could outrun them pretty easily. They are pretty good at stamina, but in a battlefield, without being able to move, as in move really damn fast, at just some points… you are going to die and that means a lot to all of us who aren't trapped in a Groundhogs day from Hell.

The System Lacks Fine Motor Control

After I realized that those hands don't actually help anything, I really started to wonder how a lot of things got done. They are basically like trying to do everything you need to do on a day to day basis wearing boxing gloves. It really doesn't make sense. And Emily Blunt holding a sword… yeah, that also wouldn't work since they aren't made to improve your grip. There is also a scene where they hotwire a car, without giving spoilers, that should be a lot harder.

Also, I seemed to notice that there is no aiming mechanism at all. Just look and shoot. It's basically all just shoot from the hip… with no aiming mechanism at all. Don't know how that works. Maybe it is why they lost every single day, after day, after day, after…

I'm just saying, aiming is kind of a big deal when you don't have an unlimited amount of ammo. Which reminds me:

You're Doing it Wrong!

So did you know that this whole technology already exists? Yeah, the exo skeleton that Cruise and Emily Blunt are wearing is based off of an actual thing that Raytheon is building. It's nowhere near ready, but still… something looks familiar.

 But it isn't made to make a regular "untrained" soldier into a super soldier, at least not the type of car crushing one. It's made to just make them really strong as in "load bearing". This is one of the most important images for how this technology will be used.

As a former Lance Corporal in the Marines, I know the truth. They just want this technology so that we can carry more stuff. Honestly, that's what its going to be for. Expect to see future Marines wearing armor like this packed floor to ceiling with massive "turtlebacks" overflowing with extra ammo, weapons, food and supplies, medical equipment, and probably adult materials. I'm just being honest.

What wasn't featured at all? Anyone on that battlefield with extra anything. It just simply made no sense. In fact, there is a moment in one scene where Cruise says with manly bravado, "give me more ammo and another battery" (see Advait's answer about power). I am sure to non-military this delivered the intended message that, "Oh, he's growing as a warrior. He's much more prepared now." What the rest of us who have ever been in were thinking was much more like, "What the Hell?! You mean you haven't had full ammunition this entire time? You're a friggin idiot!"

The truth is that in the battlefield of tomorrow there will be a few guys in every squad who are simply caring massive, massive amounts of extra gear like what I am describing.


Thanks for reading!

Everything I write is completely independent research. I am supported completely by fan and follower assistance. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like it, follow my Quora blog Jon's Deep Thoughts. You can also show your support by checking My Patreon Support Message or directly by checking out my support page here: Support Jon Davis creating Short Stories and Essays in Military, Science Fiction and Life. Once again, thanks for reading and supporting independent writers.

What are the pros and cons of a real world military jacket, as portrayed in "Edge of Tomorrow"?