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Does Popularity Destroy Quality?

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

I have a strange question to ask you? Do you like pizza? I would say that most people do and they all have their favorite toppings from all sorts of cheese to...pineapple! I'm pretty sure a lot of people still are unsure about pineapple on pizza. I don't think people in Italy would appreciate pineapple on their pizza very much. Worse, frozen pizza, does it even taste good? You see, when something becomes popular and everyone wants to mass produce it to make it accessible, and when the emphasis is also on the product being 'affordable', we tend to lose a lot of the essentials and even quality along the way. Maybe the example of pizza isn't the perfect example so let me bring up a few more things.

The noodles I made today.

How about noodles? I love noodles, well I love food and cooking in general but I do have a soft spot for noodles. I grew up eating a lot of those instant noodles you can get from any supermarket as well as eating noodles at noodle shops. I even make my own noodles now and then. Like today, I was making my noodles and thought about how good they can really taste and how noodle masters can make them so tasty they even feel comforting. And when noodles became popularized and we get cheap instant noodles that taste more like 'chemicals' than food. I can't just not talk about the next thing, I'm sure some of the closest people to me have heard enough of this but I'm going to say it again.

I'm sure a lot of people have heard of a Thai dish called Pad Thai, maybe you've even tried it. Apparently this dish has become popular outside of Thailand and many people want to make it at home, which is flattering to me as a Thai... Until I came across a recipe online that called for rice vinegar! You see, we don't even have rice vinegar in Thailand, well, of course if you go to certain supermarkets that sell Japanese ingredients then you probably will find it, but apart

from that, good luck trying to find it! For the sourness in the dish called Pad Thai, we use tamarind juice, and this is a traditional recipe that no Thai in their right mind would alter, and for a foreigner to claim they know how to make it and their recipe calls for something that doesn't even exist in Thailand is almost offensive. And something like this happens all the time. I can also think of a lot of things people in Thailand call 'western' that a lot of people from the west have no idea what those dishes are. This happens with food as well as with many other things, have you noticed?

My point is, when something good becomes popular and people want an easy, affordable and instant access to it, that thing has to transform to fit the demand (easy, affordable and quick, for example), and that isn't always the best type of transformation. Sometimes, the end product after that process can be something unrecognizable by those who are familiar with the original product and often there is also a big difference in quality. We, humans, tend to do this with almost everything including knowledge.

I just finished reading a book on crystal Reiki, something I'm interested in because I do energy healing and sometimes, I do include crystals in my practice. I can't say I'm impressed, on the contrary, I was horrified. It seems to me the author doesn't even understand what Reiki is supposed to be about. And both Reiki and crystal healing are two very big topics that can take years to learn to master. Unfortunately, like anything that becomes popular, there will be cheap courses to cater to people who might be curious but don't want to or cannot invest their time, effort or money in it. Or maybe people have become so disrespectful to any art and knowledge that they think they'd just grab something quick and cheap and that would be enough for them. Apparently the author has also taught thousands of people to do Reiki (in video classes) and these people also become Reiki teachers. Now, that is scary! This is not the first time I've come across a Reiki teacher like this. In fact, Reiki has become so popular and so 'diluted' that I have even come across people who call themselves Reiki masters but they don't recognize Reiki energy when it comes through during the sessions. That really upsets me.

Actually, I've also seen some videos of people saying they were performing Reiki when it doesn't remotely resemble Reiki at all. I also know people who would run upon hearing the word 'Reiki' because they only Reiki they've encountered was the kind that I would also run away from. So when people talk to me about Reiki, I often have to explain what it actually is, just to make sure we're on the same page. And to be honest, this is why my healer training program is lengthy, I need to clear the confusion of what Reiki is since the course focuses on Reiki though you will learn about energy work in general as well as the mechanism of it. (If you're interested, see the details here: ). If you look at any culture and tradition, sacred knowledge like this was never passed on to the mass the way we do now. I know that there are still some massage masters in Thailand who refuse to take new students unless they have proven worthy of the knowledge. From what I understood, when Reiki was first introduced to the world, the masters, even Usui himself, charged a lot of money, which makes perfect sense!

First of all, there needs to be an energy exchange, you need to have the balance of giving and receiving. This is actually another subject to discuss. Many people tend to think that if someone is gifted with healing or psychic abilities, they should help other people for free. Why? Yes, they're gifted and they probably should use their gift to help others for the betterment of humanity. However, as long as they are still humans, they still need to eat and pay their bills. If they give their time and effort to give you services, the least you could do is to give something in return. Oh and don't say that monks help people without charging (yes I have heard this), because while the monks don't charge, people donate to them or someone somehow pays their food so they could do their 'job'. Besides, have you noticed that people don't value things that come for free (or cheap)? People need to value the knowledge and then they actually receive more benefits with that gesture of appreciation. When the value and respect disappear, which is what's happening these days, we get something that resembles mass-produced items that come with low quality. Just like you can get great food done by someone who knows how to cook and some frozen, store bought stuff that doesn't even taste like food, or worse, packed with harmful chemicals!

So it seems that we always have to choose, the kind of food we want to eat, the kind of information we want to take, the courses we want to learn because there is so much trash out there. I suppose we pay for the quality, as usual, you get what you pay for!

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