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Thursday, April 24, 2014

We Are Cars!

Posted by Raul on January 24, 2011


If you decide to diagnose your vehicle why it doesn’t start, check first the Crankshaft Position Sensor instead of the Ignition Pack and harness…it’ll save you a lot of time!

Last week I’ve been spending a lot of time with a vehicle that simply refuses to show what the problem is and why it doesn’t want to run. I’ve checked the ignition; timing; wiring; fuel delivery system; vacuum controls for leaks; etc, and it shows everything fine, yet it refuses to run!

For many years I’ve considered cars as a reflection of people; not only because we all tend to choose a car for a shape and characteristics that suppose to reflect us in many ways, but mostly because vehicles tend to “behave” in the same way we people do.

Take for instance this vehicle I’ve been working on (and still not finished); doesn’t it look like those situations where we are asking a loved one “What’s the matter?” and the only response we get is “Nothing”.

So we quietly think and analyze every memory we have from the past couple of days, trying to find a reason why our loved one is “functioning” in a completely different way than normal. We ask questions, but the answers don’t give any information of what the problem could be.

With the vehicle I’m working on, if the problem showed clearly, it’ll be really easy to apply a solution and the necessary corrections to make the car run smoothly again. The whole process would be quick and painless, and would avoid any unnecessary frustrations and loss of time.

With an honest answer to the question of “What’s the matter”, a change in common actions, or corrections of results about past ones, could mean the solution to the affecting problem, so the situation would be corrected, the problem solved, and friends again, without any misunderstandings and bad moments to everyone involved in the situation.

But just like some vehicles simply refuse to tell openly what the problem is, and somehow start a game of deceiving, with a loved one the same exact situation can happen, leaving us all like that car mechanic (me), who is trying to find the solution by just observation, testing and analysis of responses as the only way to get to the real reason for the change in operational mode.

I know in human situations many times the refusal to “talk” could be with the intention of not hurting feelings, but if both parts have love for the other, then the one with the problem could trust the other and be capable of openly telling what the problem is, and the other part should be able to accept a possible painful criticism that could mean the need of changing a personal behavior.

A car mechanic would want to know what the problem is in the vehicle because his intentions are to fix that problem, and is willing to accept the possibility to have to disassemble lots of components just to reach the part that is the reason of the failure; compared to the driver of the car that, normally, is not interested in fixing anything by him, but in only to have a good running car to use.

So, instead of being just drivers in our love relationship, we have to become mechanics ready to diagnose and repair any problem the relationship might incur in, no matter how much work might be involved from our part.

And like that stubborn car I’m working on, please, please, just tell what the problem is, instead of playing games that only make the mechanic think of the possibility of sending a still good working car to a junk yard! 

We already have too many “good working units” roaming the lands in despair after being “discarded”, just because too often in their relationships they refused to tell what the problem was.


Problems With English

Posted by Raul on September 27, 2010



These are some situations that happen when you are in a new place without knowing the language; some happened to me, some happened to friends from different nationalities that also didn’t know the language at the beginning.

-After asking for directions in a store, she was told the place she was looking for was in Colorado Avenue in thirty seconds. She thought: “That Avenue cannot be just thirty seconds from here!” It was Colorado Avenue and 32nd.

-A friend just arrived to the States was lost after going out for a walk to see the new place he was going to live in. After finding a public phone and calling home he was asked where he was so someone could go get him.

               (in Spanish)

            -Where are you?

           -I don’t know where I am, I’m lost!

           -Read the street signs to me so I’ll know where you are.

          -I am in “One Way” with “No Parking”

-Another friend had a hard time with hot and cold water. Every time he wanted to use water from the sink he got burned.

In Spanish cold is “helado” and hot is “caliente” so, forgetting things were in English here he always looked at the knobs and chose “H” for cold (Helado) or “C” for hot (Caliente). It took him a couple of months to get in his memory the real meaning of those letters in the knobs.

-I was told the story of a guy who was very happy with all the money saved in food after he found some specific cans in the grocery store; he didn’t know English so he couldn’t read, but he recognized the food by the picture of a dog in the labels.

-When they say Cowgirl, are they saying she is fat?

-How can I Get Lost if I’m standing in front of you without moving and I know my way around?

-Raining cats and dogs! Do the clouds get a lawsuit from PETA? (Just the thought of those poor creatures hitting the concrete floor! Bones, blood and flesh spread everywhere…yikes!)

Training: (noun) The action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behavior

Your: (possessive determiner) Belonging to or associated with the person or people that the speaker is addressing.

Mind: (noun) The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think…

So “Training your mind” could be: “Teaching your dog for him to be aware of the world”

Strange indeed!

It is my belief that a language creates the way we think, so people who learned English as their first language think slightly different from people who learned Spanish as their first language, from people who learned German as their first language, etc.

The brain works in a different way moving the elements to associate in a different order, so conclusions and ideas take a different perspective and meaning.

That could become a barrier and a problem, but also can be a possibility to give ourselves the opportunity to see the world from other people’s perspective and learn something else from them.

Since living in the US I had the opportunity to meet many people from different countries and with different languages, and although some times it has been complicated to understand the way of thinking, it has always been a very rewarding experience.

The human brain is such an amazing thing!


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