I took a picture of this little paragraph today that someone jotted down on the wall at the library at the university. It somehow stuck with me throughout the rest of the day. It made me think. Made me think about my life even while I was at the supermarket with my son shopping for supper. I realized that the most obvious and ubiquitous things in life are for some reason the ones that are the most difficult to talk about. This little banalities in our day-to-day life while we go on, what gives our life “meaning” or importance. [
I love reading the scribbles on the walls at the library]
So, what is the value of this education and the degree I am getting and “earning”? Does it pay off? Does it even have to pay off? All these things I learned in the past seven months at university and gaining a myriad of new knowledge: Is it supposed to just fill me up or should it teach me how to think on my own? Do I need anybody to teach me Statistics and all these formulas in mathematics or should I be proud that I had been accepted at a university to start and finish this degree? It rather gives me the choice of how and what to think about, I reckon. I believe this has value to me. An atheist friend told me once that she is really depressed most of the time. She usually feels like she is stuck in a toilet bowl and someone keeps flushing. When she was at her lowest point she asked another friend (pretty catholic) for help who told her to just pray and ask god for help. So my friend did exactly that. She said: “God, I cannot take this anymore. Please help me”. When those two met again my friend felt a lot better and the catholic friend said: “See, I told you. God will help you. You must believe in him now, right? He saved you from drowning in your toilet bowl!” My friend just answered that she met a man, now current husband, two days later who is the love of her life and she is the happiest she has ever been. Was it god or coincidence? Who’s interpretation is true and correct now? We construct meaning to whatever we do, I think. Everyone interprets life differently; for example some are arrogant, blind, religious, open or closed-minded, certain or imprisoned in their thoughts. But usually, when I feel most certain about something, it turns out to be totally wrong. I guess, the only choice we have is what we worship. Go figure!
While I am passing the sushi aisle I thought about that I am not the center of the universe. I am not more important than the guy who is digging through my garbage in front of my house looking for food. I won’t preach about what’s right or wrong or bring up any personal virtues here I am just interpreting what I am doing through my own eyes and experiences. Through my self. How much of this work I am doing every single day involves actual intellect or knowledge? I guess it all depends on what type of knowledge I am talking about. I think academia is great but it is salient to pay attention what is going on right in front of me as well as inside me. To also pay attention and focus on what my head and heart tell me is great. To be aware and conscious to choose what to pay attention to while I create meaning through experience is important to me.
The mind or brain is our servant but I don’t want to be a slave to my head. Most likely
and I assume here, the person who wrote the paragraph on the wall, does not know what it means to have a “9-5” job from Monday to Friday. This boredom and routine that slowly creeps in with almost every job and people end up frustrated. You come home after a long day and decide to go to bed early because you have to do the same routine again the next day. But you realize you don’t have food at home. So you drive to the store. This is where you meet me and my son just in front of you at the cheese counter. You are annoyed because the traffic was bad and this stupid kid is jumping all over the place wherever you want to push your cart and all you really wanted to do is get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Of course, after you put all the food you need in your cart and you walk tiredly to the register, this kid is right in front of you again in this incredibly long checkout line while the person behind you yells in his cellphone pretending it is a megaphone.
Meaningless little routines, day in and day out. This frustrating stuff on top of everything else. Papers to write, finals to pass, assignments to hand in. Priorities. Does it all matter?
But, thinking differently like, maybe this person in front of you in the car had a bad day as well, their dog just died, the wife just left, you name it. Maybe I am the one bothering someone in the supermarket as well. Again, it is all about choices and luckily we are able to choose and look differently at certain things and I always have other options. If I cannot deal with X, Y and Z. I can transfer any situation from good to bad I believe. I can consciously decide what I give meaning to and what I don’t really care about. This for me is real freedom.