Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Incredibly Exciting Thing, This One, Meaningless Life"

Dreams were my driving force. Still they are. Recently I came across a wonderful speech which caused an intellectual quest inside my head about what I'm really doing. At first, I thought it is a challenge to me just like a revolver pointed right on to my head. After reading it again and again, I realized its not such a challenge. It's a wonderful attitude of a wonderful guy which asked me to revise my own attitudes. He is correct at some points according to my own attitudes and he is absolutely wrong at some other points according to my own point of view. Anyway it is such a beautiful speech which deserve my own attention.

Tim Minchin is an Australian artist. He must be a very famous guy I guess, even though I hadn't hear much information about him. Oh, poor me. Anyway, very recently, he attended to a graduation ceremony and delivered an amazing speech at University of Western Australia. First of all, I have to mention that he speaks in a so beautiful way. Its really attractive whatever he say. Secondly I have to accept that I got shocked at some points in the middle of his speech. Some ideas he expressed in his speech challenged my own perspective about life. It caused me to rethink and be prepared to adjust anything that could have gone wrong in my life. So, here we go.

Among the life lessons he mentioned, I'm starting from the points which I agree and which I consider so beautiful. Minchin says, "Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect". This is really the definition of happiness. Throughout the past two decades I've realized that happiness is not about doing things which generates it on my own. Happiness is about making others happy. Specially the people who really cares you, the people who are ready to loss their own self for your own good. They will do everything they can to keep you happy and alive. So, they deserve your care and sacrifices to maintain their happiness. When you see they are happy, you will realize that you are happy too. That's the ultimate happiness. The selfless happiness. At some other point, Minchin expresses about the definition of our own self. He says, "Define yourself by what you love". I truely believe him in this point. I always prefer to define myself by what I really love to do. That's where I put my genuine effort, my sweat, my tears and everything I have. I always tried to do things which I really love to do. So, thats the way I can define myself, who I am, whom I really want to be and how I should get there. I'm with Minchin in there in that point.

Now it's time to talk about the things which challenged me, which shocked me and pushed me to an intellectual quest. Minchin said in his speech that, "You don't have to have a dream". The way he elaborated his view convinced me like those who have big dreams are crazy and just wasting their short lifetime. Well, I'm a dreamer. I make progress in my life by trying to chase dreams. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I failed. But I never blamed my dreams. They were with me almost all the time of my life. Sometimes they were with me even when nobody else was. They have been dragging me so far in life which makes me face so many challenges. Sometimes they makes me tired. Sometimes they makes me fall down and even cry. But they sit besides me until I wipe the tears, take a long breath and start moving again. So, I have a great respect on my dreams. Sometimes they are the only hope. I will keep them, feed them and love them. They will not leave me alone when I fall down next time in the battle field of life.

So, in conclusion, thank you Tim Minchin for this wonderful speech. Its truly wonderful, incredible and enlightening. Its true that there are some places where I don't agree with you. But your speech really deserve my time. He says at the end, "It’s an incredibly exciting thing, this one, meaningless life of yours". Of course, its an incredibly exiting thing, this life. And yes its truly meaningless since we are a result of random events occurred in the universe for millions and billions of years. But still, I believe its worth searching for a meaning, chasing dreams until oneday I fail, fall down and die somewhere in this universe. That might be the meaning of my life. Nobody knows. Perhaps I will never know.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wandering around: what life has to offer?

I'm in almost the same place. Same milky way  galaxy, same solar system, same planet. But in a different country. Far away from the home which I considered as my own place. After being here more than half of a year, today, at this particular point of time, when I stop everything and turn back to see what happened so far, I see some great insight. During last seven months, I forgot lot of good things which I used to practice for many years. There was a time I used to day dream a lot. At home I usually walk here and there from living room to the kitchen, from front door to the rear door thinking about so many crazy things. May be I have walked so many kilometers inside our home a day. I used to read a lot of books. They helped me to improve the quality of my day dreams. They added good ingredients to life. But suddenly I quit living that life and stayed alive for about seven months .

image credit: Udaya Wijenayake
During this time period I could not find time to walk around day dreaming for hours. Everything is scheduled. Wakeup, have breakfast, goto lab, lunch time, dinner time, come back to dormitory and goto sleep. Everything has a specified time. I'm not used to follow these time tables which are virtually unbreakable. At home I used to hold my plate during lunch for more than an hour since I was thinking while eating. I used to stand under the shower for a long time keep thinking. How much wonderful the day dreaming was. I made a mistake by quitting it. Now I know I have initiated to roll back. Back to the mysterious world of day dreaming. Whatever the reasons are, back to the dream world is good. It feels good. Its not easy to find time for that. So I do it all the time. The ingredients provider has started the service again. I'm reading books again. Not just the research papers like last seven months. I read good books. Good as a good book can be. Besides that, the most important function is started now. Let me try to tell you how it feels. 

About a week ago, we had a holiday. That's last Thursday. I couldn't find any enjoyable plan to spend that holiday. After different failures, finally I had the only choice that is going for a ride. A ride on my bicycle. Just me and the bicycle. On that day I woke up late at the lunch time. Had the lunch from dormitory cafeteria, took the bike and left. In my backpack there was a really good book. The book I'm still reading these days. My plan was simple. Go to the river side near the university, ride the bicycle in the track along the river and when I get tired, sit down on a bench and read the book until the stars appear and ask me to go home. However the plan started to shift away from the very beginning. Riding the bicycle along side the river felt so joyful than ever. From one side, the river that flows so calmly. Ahead, the never ending bicycle track. All over I see mountains, trees, and the clear blue sky above me. The faster I ride, the cooler the river side breeze which washed my face. There was nothing to stop me from keep moving. So, I kept moving, riding like crazy.

Carl Sagan once said, "We began as wanderers and we are wanderers still". I was wandering without a hope for no particular destination. I didn't know when I will fed up, when my legs start to hurt and ask me to stop moving. I didn't know when I should turn back and get to home. I just knew that there is a long way ahead and I can try to move a little bit more before I fed up of this long way joyful campaign. For a long time I wondered what life has to offer. What it will bring up finally. Its always the curiosity and uncertainty what fills our lives. There's nothing for sure. We just see the blue sky, the surrounding mountains, the long way ahead and the memories of our starting position of this journey. Whatever the decisions we make either to keep moving ahead hoping for the best or to turn back and go to the beginning is totally based on the limited information we have at the moment. But most importantly, whatever the decision we made, we should have the courage to stand by it without giving up easily. The situations can be really unfavorable for keep moving. But still its worth keep moving until we are really sure that it's time to give up and turn back.

image credit: Udaya Wijenayake
Anyway, this lonely voyage didn't last longer. Suddenly I got a message from Udaya Aiya who is a senior and a close friend of me. He was worrying where I was and then he decided to join the journey. Within the next half an hour, he arrived with his bicycle. Then Pathum joined. Finally Nadee akka. Together we all, traveled a long way. It was so much an exciting experience. We decided to turn back and go home when it was darkness all over, leaving the distant stars staring at us. I returned to the dormitory but not as the person who left in the lunch time. My mind was full of fresh thoughts and great insights into life which I collected from the cool breeze of river side. I hope they will last long with me in the voyage of life. 

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