“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Just a reminder. As I had mentioned, the Food For Thought series that I started a couple days ago will end, though short lived, if no one comments by tomorrow (Sunday, 02/26/17). So, if you think you are interested, I request that you comment. I am hoping that at least 5-10 people will participate. If not, I am afraid that I will have to terminate the series.
Please do not hesitate to comment even if you think your answer’s wrong. This is all about having fun!
Simply beautiful. If you are not familiar with this wonderful speech of Margaret Atwood on Attitude, which was given to a group of graduates of University of Toronto during commencement ceremony in 1983, you should read it here now. Do know that the reading of or listening to her speech is not required for you to read (or skim) the rest of this blog post. I merely recommend it just so I would like you all to feel as inspired and motivated like I get each and every time I read or skim through it.
Here is a quote that represents the essence of Margaret Atwood’s speech:
You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality. Try it and see. – Margaret Atwood during commencement ceremony for graduates of University of Toronto in 1983
How do people come up with such inspiring and motivating sentences? What goes on their mind when they pen them? What were they thinking? Where were they at the time? Do they just come to them as naturally as one breathes or takes days to get them down to that level of perfection?
Her words are true. No matter how bad life gets, it is up to us as to how we choose to react to those uncomfortable and painful moments. As Margaret Atwood says in her speech, every single matter has two sides, positive and negative. It is entirely dependent upon our goals, values, experiences, and attitude to either side with the negative side or the positive side of the issue we might be dealing with now or later in the future. I am not sure whether the following saying is universal; however, in India, we have a saying somewhat as follows: “Everything happens for our own good.” Is any one of you familiar with this? I was listening to this spiritual discourse given by a religious leader the other day and the person giving the discourse told us about a moral story that illustrates both Atwood’s speech and the aforementioned saying. The story is as follows:
There were once a king and his advisor. They used to have long discussions over various topics. The advisor is such an optimistic guy as he always manages to find positivity in everything. Even if he were to encounter an accident, he would undoubtedly find some bright side to it. He would always find one way or another to bring up the idea of divine providence into every conversation he engages in with anyone. He connects every event, be it small or significant, to God. As the king likes outings, he invited the advisor for hunting in a forest. The advisor was given a rifle for hunting. Do keep in mind that our sweet advisor never before handled a rife up until that moment! And so, he fumbled and fumbled with the rifle to get used to the weight of it in his hands. At some point during all that fumbling, he, inadvertently, shot the rifle, which was pointing at the king at that precise moment. The king screamed in pain! The rifle shot one of the king’s fingers off! Event then, the advisor kept saying that it all happened for our own good to the king at which point the king became frustrated and said, “You stupid person! Are you blind? Can’t you see that I am injured and bleeding? Can’t you feel my pain? How can you say that this all happened for my own good when ,obviously, I am in excruciating pain? How can you expect me to forgive you? You are rejoicing my agony and suffering, aren’t you?” Without even wanting to listen to the advisor’s apologies, he put our dear advisor in prison with an indefinite sentence.The king slowly, but surely, recovered from the injury. One day, as usual, he went for an outing to an unknown place, where he met a hideous giant. This particular giant that the king came across likes to eat human beings. The king became panic-stricken at such an encounter!! The giant has this habit of inspecting his “merchandise” before feasting on them. He asked the king, “Oh human being, are you whole? Any body parts missing?” To this, the frightened king was not able to form any words. But the giant was impatient and growled, “Oh you, are you deaf or what? Didn’t you hear me asking you a question?” This time, our poor king said, “N-n–no sir! I have a finger missing due to an uneventful hunting experience. The giant then said, “How sad for me!! I do not eat men that have their body parts missing. I will have to find another human being.” With that, the giant left. The king then thought of the advisor that he put in the jail. Now he realizes the value of being optimistic. He hastily returned to his village and proceeded to release the advisor. The king, upon releasing the advisor, apologized to him, relayed his encounter with the giant, and happily shared his enlightenment. The advisor then said, “Oh king! I am so happy for you! See? I kept telling you that everything happens for our own good. Everything has a positive side if you choose to look at it. And, being in jail also did some good for me.” At this point, the perplexed king asked, “Oh intelligent one, how can you think of your time spent in jail as pleasant? Please explain you reasoning.” The advisor said, “Oh king, so simple. If I was not in jail, you would have asked me to accompany you on that outing of yours. Then we both would have encountered that giant. After learning that you have a finger missing, he would have moved on to me. He would have devoured me right then and there as all my body parts are intact.” After hearing this, the king was amazed by the ever unrelenting optimism of his advisor. Since then, the king learned to accept everything in his life with optimism and enjoyed the rest of his tranquil life.
As you can see, the attitude that we choose to be in is entirely dependent upon us. You can either choose to see the glass as half empty or half full. If it is the latter that you choose, then you will have no issues with anything that you might encounter in life. If you cannot change an inevitable event, then it is better to accept it and work around it rather than waste your energy over being sad and depressed about it. You are the only person that has control over your feelings and attitude. No one else but you can initiate the necessary change to live your life as happily and blissfully as possible. You are in charge of your life. Take control. It is your life so make it work for you. If you happen to run into troubles, do not choose to escape them but rather face them with determination and self confidence. There is nothing that you cannot do as a human being. Other creatures living alongside us on this Earth are incapable of reasoning, unlike us. Do not let some bad events define the way you choose to live or face problems for the rest of your life. That is not you. You are much stronger and courageous than that sort of life. Let us not let problems scar our lives but rather wear them as proud accessories on us. Make them add meaning to your life, not make your life a meaningless one on this Earth.
Let us all try Atwood’s tip and see how it goes for us.
This, therefore, is Mathematics; she reminds you of the invisible form of the soul; she gives life to her own discoveries; she awakens the mind and purifies the intellect; she brings light to our intrinsic ideas; she abolishes oblivion and ignorance which is ours by birth. —Proclus, c. 450
I guess that Mathematics is a woman, well, at least according to Proclus. Yay women!! Interesting.
Catch you guys later, must study for an exam.
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu
So true, isn’t it? Some of us are just never content with what we have. We are always looking for new stuff AND people. I am not saying that we should not get new things or even develop relationships with new people. What I mean is that we tend to go after “new” people and materials while ignoring the ones we already have. We forget that they even exist. And when you lose them (referring to both materials and people), that is when you actually realize their value. By then, it is too late!! There is nothing that you could do but regret the times that you ignored them either intentionally or unintentionally. And when we actually do get new things or people, our happiness does not even last that long!! This is so sad! I would love to elaborate on this topic a little more but I have to call it a day. I have got a volunteering event to attend tomorrow morning.
Good night and Good morning, peeps!
Yup, you read it correctly! I did say that a process engineer repaired his own heart!
I was browsing some of the talks on TED’s website and the following video, “Tal Golesworthy: How I repaired my own heart,” caught my attention. And so, I watched it (not the whole thing as I am on campus about to leave for Calculus class)!
People are doing amazing things these days!
How could a process engineer, not even a biomedical one, repair his own heart? Well, it happened, you guys! He brought together a team of individuals from various disciplines and designed a plastic valve that would replace the real aorta valve. If compared to the actual process done by the doctors for his particular disease, his technique:
1.) Takes two hours only as opposed to six hours
2.) No antibiotic therapy necessary post operation
3.) No anticoagulation drugs to be taken after the surgery
4.) No need for heart/lung bypass
5.) No need to cool the entire body
Wow! This is very inspiring. When he was told by the doctors that he needed an extremely complicated heart surgery, he did not jump at the opportunity to have his heart repaired by them. He thought about the process and the quality of life obtained after the surgery. He did not like it for the thought of being on anticoagulation drugs (by the way, which come with side effects) for as long as he lived did not appeal to him at all. He disliked the process as well for he has to be under for at least six hours while the doctors performed heart/lung bypass and cooled his body temperature. In addition, he hated that if he were to go with the doctor’s current “gold standard” technique, he would have to be dependent on the anticoagulation medication and as well as antibiotic therapy for as long as he lives. With this in mind, he set out to repair his own heart with assistance from a team that he brought together. Together, they developed their own plastic valve that does not require for any of the above listed things to happen! Isn’t that cool?!!
This story motivates and inspires to do and be better! I would like to be able to do something excellent that improves public health. Just gotta keep learning and practicing till then!
Yup, it is that time of the year: stating one’s resolutions.
Here is my list in no particular order:
- Pray more and read more scriptures on a daily basis
- Learn at least two or three programming languages
- Make time to draw
- Stay on top of my studies
- Read and write more
- Stay healthy
- Be less credulous
- Start a research project of my own
- Participate in a career related club at school
- Be happy and enjoy life
- Don’t get too emotional/sentimental
- Be independent
- Do not be afraid to say NO
- Do not dwell in the past. Past is in the past. Enjoy the present and prepare for the future.
- BE CONSISTENT IN EVERYTHING THAT I DO, WHICH I BELIEVE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN LIFE.
I would love to hear yours!
A very happy new year to you all!!!
I have recently finished reading Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I am sorry to say that I did not enjoy it at all. I stuck with it till the very end just so I will have the satisfaction of finishing a novel, something that I have not been doing as often as I would like due to time constraint. The only reason that I picked this particular book to read was after seeing that it won the fiction category in Goodreads Choice Awards (2016). Very disappointed. The story and the characters were so dull!!
The book was too long, weak storyline, and very dull characters. I guess I was expecting more, may be a faster pace and a more interesting story.
I still cannot believe that this book was picked as a winner of all the fiction books released in 2016!!
Truly Madly Unbelievable!
However, there was one thing that I really liked, the title, of course! 😉