Sunday, October 19, 2008

Making Sacrifices

We all know that change is the only constant thing in this world. This is very true, as i have just lately realized. I also realized some changes are forced unto ourselves while other changes are willingly influenced by our own selves, depending on the need and the situation.

How does one introduce changes into their own lives? The one important word is: sacrifice. To make changes, you have to make sacrifices. Making a sacrifice, coupled with the need to bring in change, is as difficult as changing already is. Sacrifice requires emotional and social strength. Sacrifice is not only about giving up something, it's about giving up people as well. It's as hard as it gets, but sometimes you have to sacrifice for the betterment of things.

I have given up people myself, while some people have also given up on me. Things like that hard can be hard to cope with, but for the sake of changes, you have to have the strength to accept such a truth. Again, you must also have the strength to sacrifice some people in your lives if you think doing so will change your life for the better.

Then again, I find it exasperating that people fail to understand or even try to understand what I am doing. Instead, to cope up with that, they try to force their perspectives on me and try to prove me wrong. It's counter-productive. Doing so only creates confusion and disrupts the flow of things. Only in trying to understand and having the openness to understand a person's actions is the key to comprehending and finding peace.

Pain and maybe even anger are part of a separation and the process of sacrifice. They are but normal reactions. However, these emotions should not bar us from the process of understanding. The key to this is looking past your personal opinions and reactions on the matter and looking into the other person's mind. Empathy. It's exactly easy to do.

Sometimes, too, trying too much to read a person is counter-productive as we are almost always wrong. Perhaps the best way to understand what happened is just to live with it; the answer will soon float to the surface for you to grasp.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No Free Reading Please!

We always see in this bookstores, imploring would-be buyers to avoid ripping off the plastic coverings of the books sold. There are several explanations for this but the answer is actually very simple: it hurts their business.

They would say it looked like they're selling books that are not straight off from publishers. They would also cite to their defense the presence of the following passage in many books: "If you bought this without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this "stripped book.""

Fancy words, but the end means the same: It hurts their business. It's actually pretty simple. We all know about this but I just love the blog about it. I always make it a point to preach from personal experiences so I'm going to use a personal experience about the "No Free Reading Policy."

A few months ago, I bought a book entitled "The Only Basic Piano Instruction Book You Will Ever Need" by Brooke Halpin. The book is actually very good, very informative... good value for the PHP545 investment I made for the purchase. I learned quickly, and am now progressing through the major and minor scales of music. The circle of fifths, if you may. I wouldn't say that I'm good at playing the piano. I plain suck. Anyway, it is at this point irrelevant to our discussion or conversation, whatever you may call it.

If you were in my place, would you right away make a purchase of PHP545 for a book whose contents you don't even know? As for me, I'm normally a risk-taker, but I was on the lookout to learn. There were a lot of other books that were cheaper, but still I chose to buy Halpin's book. You want to know why? It's because I violated the No Free Reading policy. I opened the plastic cover -- it was actually opened by someone who browsed through the book before I did -- and browsed through the contents. That's how I found out that the book would really teach me to play in as short a time as possible (it's still constant practice and study that matters, after all).

Business is war, they say. Businesses are not only at war amongst themselves, but also against consumers. In these days of financial hardships, consumers have developed ways to make sure their money don't go wasted on products that would otherwise be unusable. In the context of books, people want to make sure that what they need is on that book and it will help them in whatever purpose they have for that book. As for me, I needed to make sure the book has the right structure and the lessons that will help me learn the piano as quickly as I could possibly learn. So far, it has been effective.

Businesses are always out to earn something, and in this age, they are evolving as well to make sure customers buy their products. The No Free Reading Policy is intended to make sure the bookstores' stocks are emptied or else they incur loss. Of course, it's part of business but from a businessman's point of view, losses should be minimized which is true hence the policy.

But, in the end, the customer will always prevail if they are just keen enough. That's the same reason why there are a lot of opened and unbought books in National Bookstore because people are browsing through the books and magazines before they decide to buy them. I may think that's the reason why there is a spot there where people can read some magazines and books for free. Businessmen may have realized they are powerless against the consumers, who actually have the power to hold their business hostage.