Thursday, 27 December 2012

Every Experience is a Gift, be it Good or Bad

"For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every sky has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously."
— George Gissing

I have lived by this quote for quite some time now. Every experience is a gift, be it good or bad. Every experience affords a chance to learn something, and that makes it valuable.

On one hand, this could mean that it all boils down to how we see the situations we're in. I could be criticized here for saying that I merely have very good rationalization skills, which makes me good at justifying anything that I've been through, minimizing my regrets.

On the other, I don't think it's as simple as that - being merely good at looking at the bright side of things is a diminished form of living; it is passive and rather uninspiring. Instead, what this importantly entails is having a frame of mind that embraces every opportunity one is thrown. Enter into novel situations with the perspective that one will come out stronger. We have no idea how much we can do until we do it. We are also more liable to regret the things we do not do more than the things we did (if it is the reversed, well to put it bluntly, that would be somewhat unfortunate). Every daunting challenge has its silver lining in the aftermath, and every emotion felt is beautifully intense inasmuch as it is fleeting. To have anything less (or worse, to want anything less), you're selling yourself short on life.

Every individual has potential. To waste it with negativity, hesitancy, fear, reluctance, sloth, and subsequently, regret, would be sin.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Bottom of a Bottle

'O Patience, how you tug and you push. Bestowing upon me your evil twin, impatience. I know this is a marriage I will never be able to divorce myself from, an attachment I will be doomed to be unable to wean off.

But I will straddle the two, because I must. It is the only way. And although the balance is an artful one, it is a fine line between pleasure and pain, and heaven and hell. Choices now revolve around choosing what is right, and what is easy.

Some advice to arrive at my doorstep; just four years quite late. It is fascinating how the world works so seemingly strange, but at the most abstract of perspectives this whole thing makes so much sense.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

"We defined thinking as integrating data and arriving at correct answers. Look around you. Most people do that stunt just well enough to get to the corner store and back without breaking a leg. If the average man thinks at all, he does silly things like generalizing from a single datum. He uses one-valued logics. If he is exceptionally bright, he may use two- valued, ‘either-or’ logic to arrive at his wrong answers. If he is hungry, hurt, or personally interested in the answer, he can’t use any sort of logic and will discard an observed fact as blithely as he will stake his life on a piece of wishful thinking. He uses the technical miracles created by superior men without wonder nor surprise, as a kitten accepts a bowl of milk. Far from aspiring to higher reasoning, he is not even aware that higher reasoning exists. He classes his own mental process as being of the same sort as the genius of an Einstein. Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal."

- Robert Heinlein, Assignment in Eternity (1953)