Monday, September 14, 2009


“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?”
Hahlil Gibran

Birthdays as well as some major holydays have been – at least for me – a time for reflection and resolution.
The problem with reflecting on ones life is that it is very difficult to be objective.
To look at yourself and give yourself a good analysis and measurement it is practically impossible.
It is like trying to figure out if you have a piece of spinach stuck to your teeth without a mirror.

What you need is somebody else’s point of view.
A very good friend that knows you inside out and also somebody you can trust to be absolutely honest with you – and as you know, it is so very rare and so hard to find such a friend.
So what you can do – what I do – is to borrow somebody else’s eyes and look at my own life from their POV.
Like the starving child in my last post.

Here I am fighting my “weight problem” while a child in Africa is dying of starvation.
Do you realize what that means?
Do you realize that half of the world population can not even afford to have my problems?
From that standpoint my problems are “luxuries”
It is a very sobering point of view and it puts my life in a totally different perspective.

I have a very good life.
I have the life I dreamed of having when I defected communism and immigrated to USA.
I’m living my own dream yet some where in the back of my head there is this nagging feeling that some how my life is not quite the way it should be.
Why is that?
Why do we feel that way when we know that we have nothing to complain about?

That is because your subconscious mind is not a logical, reasonable mind.
The subconscious judges reality based on emotion not on data.
The subconscious sees life as a dynamic, as quantitative changes, not as static status quo.
In other words it looks at what your life was and where your life is going.
And in the last couple of years my life was in a very static “survive” mode.

So here it is – the feeling that I am stuck.
Not that I have a bad life, nor that I am a failure but that ominous feeling that my life is going nowhere at this point.
I need to get “un stuck” or it will drive me bananas :)


Ted Bagley said...

4,3,2,1...try again.

Mariana Soffer said...

Break the inertia (I am sure you will). I think what you need to do are more things involved in making the world a better place for the humanity. I guess you are just seeking the way to do that, and how to start. You will figure it out, or we can think about it, I always do that, and it is nice to plan those kind of stuff using your rational (if we have) thinking part. In order to take advantage of our resources to help the most that we can.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Actually it's an interesting point. As a kid i was told to eat up or my food would be packaged up and sent to biafra - like even a starving kid would want mouldy leftovers.

But with regards to the starving child - perhaps part of our guilt comes from the fact that the child will never have the chance or the choices that we have, and yet we are squandering ours.

Look at the turn-out to elections in pre-despot countries where people go despite death threats and compare that to the low turn out in the so-called free world.

We just have to try and do the best we can with what we are given i guess

Flight said...

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. Alexandre Dumas

I myself have been to a very poor and desperate country . I see their children laughing and playing in the streets , Old people who have this wealth of knowledge and pride . And I ask myself how can they be happy , Don't they know they are poor , Don't they know they are hungry , Don't they know that they have very little if any health care ? Then I think they do now that you told them you idiot .

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.

Talon said...

When you let go, that's when the movement starts. That's been my experience.

smoke said...

that is quite true. I actually blogged on the same topic about my friend Patience. the worst part of it is that some starving children are often happier with the little they have, than we are with the lots we got

Quantum_Flux said...

Starving children can also be blamed on socialism. Why Africans have such great material resources (oil, sunlight, and diamonds) and yet such great poverty is a matter of governance.

Diego said...

You can only do what you can do.

Ted Bagley said...

You can only do what you can do and not do.

Buddha said...

@ Ted – Success is to never say “I quit!”

@ Mariana Life is a continuous battle against inertia…
Just when you think you have overcome it, it hits you again.

@ Pixie – We take too many things for granted, we get complaisant and lazy.
The evils of a convenient life I guess.

@ Flight – Very nice comment.
It shades a lot of light on the subject.

@ Talon – Letting go sounds a lot easier said than done.
It is like sky diving. You want the thrill and the safety at the same time, but you can’t have the cake and eat it too.

@ Smoke – I guess happiness comes from who we are not from what we have.

@ Quantum – Government is a big part of the problem but it is more complex than just that.

@ Diego – We only do what we do ;)

@ Ted – Ditto!

Talon said...

You gotta trust in your parachute, Buddha!

Buddha said...

@Talon - LOL! Yup! That's so true :)

mickael said...

smart people live a life of many problems. my orange tree is always smiling. :) can you guess why?

good luck.

smoke said...

@ quantum. I agree with budha. As I am from South Africa, I find that international companies tend to hold majority stakes in our resources. And when the government wants financial stakes, then they get labeled with all the nasties. Well, the less developed ones anyway.

Argent said...

"Problems as luxuries". That's a refreshing way to look at them, and a useful way to get a handle on them, I tihnk. I can certainly realte to the feelings you express in this post: I keep getting the same "my life is great, so why am I not content with it?" vibe too. Time for a garage-sale - anyone want any of my luxuries?

Quantum_Flux said...

@smoke: Government shouldn't have financial stakes, it should have free enterprize. Instead, it is the people whom should have financial stakes in things.

Ted Bagley said...

@ Quantum-
Maybe finances need to be taken out of the picture.