19 October 2005

Words for the faint-hearted

I'm mentally drained, and sleep-deprived. Not severely but enough to make me want to shut down for an entire day. These past few days has been challenging. There's been lots of debate and questions about life and the risks in everything we do everday. So much opinion and advice being thrown around when I don't even think there's a right or a wrong anymore.

In life there will always be risks no matter what we do. If you can name me one thing that doesn't have any risk to it at all, then by all means do so. Anything other than doing nothing. I don't think there's such a thing as risk-free, unless it's not doing anything at all.
Then comes mistakes. These are the lessons that we learn from as long as we're still alive. The more we learn, the further we move on. But the more we resist, the more we go through the same old thing over and over again. Until we learn our lesson. Life teaches us gradually... it touches us at first, if you give no response it nudges, and if there's still no response it punches. Hard. Until you do something.
That's just how it is.

For most of us, we tend to dwell in the past. We'd think that our past determine our future, when really there's no such connection whatsoever. To live in the present is a challenge by itself, but it is rewarding, because it's what we do now that determines what happens tomorrow. For instance if you set fire to your curtains and watch it burn the house down, you won't have a home to live in tomorrow. Then you'd probably kill your family, or yourself, or worst, your neighbours. And tomorrow you'd be all over the news, and then you'd end up in jail for damaging property - possibly government's property, and for attempted murder, and the whole country will hate you.
But that's just an example. Don't try this at home. If you were to do so, hold yourself responsible.
However, on the other hand, if you don't do anything now, nothing will happen later. Or tomorrow. And that could either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your situation.

"What has to be done tomorrow, do it today.
What has to be done today, do it now."
- I have no idea who's quote this is but it makes sense.

Moving on.
Besides dwelling in the past, we also tend to argue with ourselves when it comes to the things we really want that we have to work for in order to achieve. I thought about this today. I know what I want and I know why I want it (even though I don't know where or how to start), but I keep coming up with excuses to further hold myself down so I could stay 'empty handed' since that would give me license complain for the rest of my miserable life. Where is the logic in that, I wonder? Why would I not even try in the first place? Do I have more reasons to hold back than to take just one step ahead?
Consequences are.. I'd still be where I am and I get nothing out of wanting something, but yet I give in to self-doubt and laziness.
Ugh. God forbid. I've been making things harder for myself.

Being the person I am - social phobic, always afraid of the wrong things like embarrassment and rejection - it's not easy for me to shake off the doubt that I piled on myself all these years. Maybe I should learn from the people who has never been taught to be perfect all the time. Maybe this is why I've always hated school where they only teach you never to make mistakes - that people who make mistakes are stupid people, and mistakes should be avoided in any way you can.
Wow, now I really hate school...
Anyway I'm not saying that school is bad. Education's still important to a certain extent especially in our time. I just wonder why they can't teach things like financial education... I mean, when it comes to money and knowing how to make or manage it, does your report card really matter?
See, education's something, but it's certainly not everything.

And here's another interesting thing I learned: Love + Hate = Passion.
I learned that whatever we do in life, let us do it with passion. "Love" indicates the things you "want" in life but not yet have, like buying whatever you want, travelling to anywhere you wanna go, or being known as a writer, or musician, or artist, whatever. And "Hate" indicates the thing you "don't want" in life but it's all that you have, like always being unable to afford things, not getting the chance to see the world, or pulling your hair out because you know you have the talent but you're sick of being distracted by disturbing thoughts that cause you to lose interest in what you're best at.
If you put these two together, you get an interesting 'vibe'. And little by little you'll realize that something's starting to happen.

Read the poem below carefully. It was something a teacher back in 2003 passed on to me, but I was too ignorant and I refused to take interest in this poem that he said was very good. Just recently I took the time to read the whole thing, and he was right. It moved me.
And too bad it took me 2 whole years to notice it...


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

1 comment:

  1. I've come by your page like 4 times since you've updated it, and I never read that poem. Now, the 5th time I've stopped by, I've actually spent my time to read each paragraph line by line. Your teacher was right; it's very good. I've taken parts and made them my away message on AIM/AOL. I've been in these moods lately where I feel that no one really cares and I have no place in the world. I can't say this poem changed me, but it's definitely made me feel better.

    See ya, Eira = )