Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Greatest Hits

My favorite guy in the TV series Lost is Charlie Pace. He might not be of very strong character, but he's kind and brave without knowing it. Having learned that he was destined to die, Charlie made a list of five happiest moments in his young life. Being a musician, he called them his greatest hits.

Learning from Charlie, I tried to make a list of my own greatest hits. Sadly, my list was even shorter than his. Has my life been really that lacking in these magic moments when everything in the world feels so right and a glowing warmth fills up my heart? Have I really been that unfortunate?

All I'm wondering at this moment is whether I'll be able to put together a longer list of my greatest hits five years from now. And I'm wondering which plays the major role in this game -- fate, free will, or just chance.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Counterfeit Money

On my desk is a counterfeit detector pen. A couple of months ago my sister bought me one after the news that a woman in Conyers had been caught trying to use counterfeit money to pay for cupcakes. Criminal as her action was, it was at least rational because she deceived other people for her own benefit.

What baffles me is when people knowingly keep counterfeit money and circulate it among themselves as if it were real. Of course I'm not literally talking about money but about values. Too many people hold on to empty values and build their worlds around them without stopping a minute to think. Dogmatism, prejudice, pride, vanity, conformity, even cowardice and fear, whatever the reason may be, the point is that life is invariably wasted when it is built on a hollow foundation.

It's a shame when one person deceives another for gain. It's a weeping shame when people deceive themselves into collective foolishness.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Moving On

It's time for me to move on again.

The past two years I've tried my hand in entrepreneurship, and after much toil and pain my small business has gained traction and is yielding a modest profit. Now that the thrill of building something from scratch has subsided and the daily work has been reduced to drab routine, I yearn for more activities. Well then, I will move on.

If there is something I have gotten used to in my life, it must be change. At one point in my boyhood my family moved to a rural area where simple cottages lined dirt lanes except a few bright brick houses surrounding the market place. Ten miles away was a little town with narrow asphalted streets and small stores, yet an occasional trip there to see their relative prosperity was always a special treat for me. I used to stand at the edge of a footpath on my way home from our little patch of hardscrabble land, gazing at the late afternoon sky across a meadow of tall grass, dreaming of faraway places where excitement and sophistication made their presence tangible.

Since then I have left behind many places, near and far. When I returned to those places that had impressed me as a boy, I was astonished at their puniness. Many things I used to admire and with an intense heart long for, now I find them pathetically unnecessary. Many values I used to hold dear with no questions asked, now I view them in a skeptical light. Dang if what you're feeling isn't change, as Bobby Darin sang in one of his songs.

After all, life is about changes, for better or for worse. The thing is, when you make changes and the people around you refuse to budge, you will end up being a solitary traveling figure on your own path, which I don't mind anyway. For had I stayed in one place then I would have steadfastly believed the only three-storied brick house at that tiny market place of my childhood the most magnificent building in the world.