I just realized: I’ve been running away from all my problems.. Instead of facing them and doing what I can to alleviate them.

After all, life is chalk full of problems.: That is what being human is all about. Humans err (period). But it’s how we combat the mistakes we make to produce actual good in the universe. [thus justifying the witticism “To err is human. To forgive is divine.”]

It’s how you react to problems that makes life better or worse than what it would have been otherwise.

And this is a quite pessimistic view. May we not settle also, for a more optimistic one during more hopeful times?:

At times, life may not seem to be “chalk full of problems” as stated above.  There are brighter days in which life is a nice and relaxing stroll in the park.

… Not only is it how you react to problems that make life better or worse than it would be otherwise…. BUT::

It’s also how proactive you are in learning new things or helping other humans that makes life possess a more positive or more negative quality than it would possess otherwise.

:]

And remember if you have an objective: achieving the objective depends greatly on whether or not you’re willing to make the sacrifices that you need to make.

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Love (Shakespearean Sonnet)

October 26, 2009

I stare into those eyes… the morning sun!
It keeps me going when my hope is gone,
And it ignites inside me hope to run
a steady pace along my course of dawn.
The morrow shares with men light by the ton
To ruminate how did they love foregone
And ask the questions how he had such fun
In such short time upon his very lawn.
For if men halt their innate faculties…
For if men discontinue being men…
The world shall see much darker properties –
Such properties of baneful destruction.
So let her eyes arise in me a new:
Good soul, and heart, and love – so very true!

Some days I wake and do not greet the sun,
For not a sound from it rings out to me.
Because no fun exists here where I see,
Some days I wake… realize that life’s no fun.
I stare into the sky when day is done –
My head, so dense, falls down so emptily.
The world stands motionless save for the sea.
This Banzai Cliff says, ‘fore things get undone,
“Embrace this island to enjoy your life.
Embrace the nature of this lovely land.
Live on and on and past days of long strife.
So you may see the beauty in the sand.
So here upon this cliff that men have jumped,
Life shan’t make you so sad and much too stumped!”

Without Wings (Haiku)

October 26, 2009

I watch the birds fly,
See the insects also fly;
But humans don’t fly.

Your environment

October 25, 2009

After having read several of my documents from my Junior Statesman Summer School Program, I came to a realization. Your environment plays a huge role on the way you live.

Compared to the dorm life at Stanford, home is so easy-going. At home, in Saipan, I am able to do whatever I please, whether it be indulging in music on my seat in front of the computer or walking to the store “next door” for chips to eat in front of a television. There are no worries, no stressors, and nothing that requires your focused attention. There are also not many people around you doing something different. When I’m at home, I’m at home surrounded by others who are at home, doing what they please, and living life as they like, despite whether or not they trample upon other people’s assumed freedoms.

But when you’re at summer school, living on your own, without your parents or the comfort of having your belongings from home, you’re in a different environment. You are not expected to take care of yourself at home. At home you have your parents who are continually concerned and thinking about you and about everything you do. But at summer school, you have no one but yourself. Sure your dorm mate might be somewhat concerned but that is likely not the case. So I learned at summer school. I learned when I couldn’t focus and brooded in my own self-pity of not being able to make friends, shutting myself off in the corner of my room on my bed, listening to music, while the overwhelming majority of [other] students partied all night long at the dance. I also learned when I picked my feet up off the ground and decided to move – decided to take steps toward something I wanted, rather than suffered from sedentary pitifulness. I learned that I needed to move – to take action – to get something I wanted. And this was not ONLY because I was living alone, but because the people around me were doing it. At Stanford, I was surrounded by a group of friendly, gregarious intellectuals who wanted not much else at the summer school but to make friends. So I arrived at Stanford a young and vulnerable individual. I came out somewhat more knowing, more capable, and more deliberate with my actions.

Then I came home. And school started. And I was not surrounded by those people anymore. And thus returned the comfort of doing as I pleased, just like everyone else around me. I was not forced to think for myself anymore, to be accountable for what I do and do not do, to take responsibility to take the precautions in order to make my life more pleasing form myself.

As I came into school, I was open to making friends, because the summer school taught me to – that you have something to learn from others and ways to benefit. So started school at Saipan International School open to new relations and friendships. I had a lot to share, and my classmates either had nothing to share back with me, or did so in a somewhat negative or unopen manner. This took a toll on all of what I had become at the end of summer school, and gradually the environment that school in Saipan provided me began to bite off my confidence and all of what I learned was good in Stanford. It reacted with me and resulted in gradual decay. At Stanford, I learned that hard work and political involvement was not only good but necessary; although, in school at home (Saipan), I realized otherwise – that hard work and political involvement is a good way to distance yourself from your classmates who could be your friends. At Stanford, I learned that friendliness and openness is a good way to share experiences with others and to make friends with them; although, in school at home (Saipan), I realized otherwise – that friendliness and openness is just a way to brag about your summer experiences (the experiences you’re classmates didn’t have) and to be an outsider among your classmates.

For some reason, the more I act like myself at school, the more I seem to distance myself from my classmates. This is because I consider acting myself to be positively engaged with academic studies at school. But as with my classmates, academic studies are the reason they hate school, and everything involved with it.

But I’m human. I want friends, and it’s not easy to make friends outside of school. I try desperately to see and understand my classmates’ perspective and point of view, thinking that I may hopefully find a study partner as a result. But they don’t even read. They don’t read. They don’t do their work all the time. They cheat sometimes. They don’t care. School is nothing to them. School is shit to them…

I still try to make friends. Eventually, I become friends enough to lose my focus. To evolve into one of them. Laugh at the same perverted things they laugh at, talk about the same hateful things they talk about, think about the same self-centered things they think about. [I know I should have stayed on topic about environment but this is more important for me to express.] So I have lost my focus and direction. I have adopted the direction they have in order to make friends with them. I wished they could do the same for me when I act like myself. But that’s not aligned with their philosophy in life.

So I give up. I don’t need them as friends anymore, if I have to sacrifice my goals and aspirations for my future. It’s time I cut the string… in order to be realistic. I cannot be friends with everyone. Not all people get along well, no matter how much they try to. Some point of views just can’t coexist with each other. If time was endless and what I did in the present did not so greatly affect my future, then I could most definitely befriend those who take a dramatically different perspective on life from me. But time is not endless, and the present affects my future in ways I cannot even comprehend.

Let me never completely forget what I learned at Stanford, that hard work and political involvement is a good thing… that friendliness and openness really is a good way to make friends. Let me store it somewhere in my head, so that I may retrieve that knowledge when a positive environment asks of it from me. But as I go to school at Saipan International [School], I shall rid myself of this communal consciousness shared by my class as a whole. I live to learn; not learn to live. I love for people, people do not live for what I can get out of them. Despite how much Capitalism promotes “breaking the rules” or “beating the law,” I will not succumb to such a lowly notion.

Let me revive my true self – and the morality, integrity, honesty, diligence, responsibility, and positivity – that is encompassed within it. Let me be myself again despite the extraneous outside forces from my classmates, that plead for my cooperation to be all that I am not. I shall remain loyal to myself, and to the positive principles that I stand for. I will not acknowledge the negative or selfish beliefs that some of my classmates live for. Life in school will be the medium through which I may express my true self – my love of learning, my commitment to integrity and openness, my kindness and friendliness to others, and my boldness in sticking for what I believe in, in spite of the lameness my classmates may exhibit in taking action to express what they believe in or the hatefulness they may exhibit towards me for contradicting their motives, desires, and beliefs.

“I must live honestly for myself – and never for one other.”

-T.M.Y.

The day I first realized the meaning of success was when I won the island-wide Mathcounts Competition in 8th grade. When I first made the team, I had had no idea that I would have to meet with my coach after school, for two long hours every day of the school week, to solve numerous math problems. I worked hard and resiliently during these practices but did not think I had a chance at winning the competition. Then the long-anticipated day of the Mathcounts competition had arrived. That day, when I truly did win 1st place, I was undeniably stunned. It seemed to me that I would not have achieved success in this competition without the long journey of persistent, hard work, preceding the competition, that I had endured. And it was at this moment that I had realized: success, to me, is not about obtaining something I want, but about persevering in everything I do. In this respect, success was not centered on the gain of material things, but rather on the improvement of oneself. Success can thus be defined as being the best one can be.
As I worked through my high school years that followed the Mathcounts competition, my idea of success began to crystallize. It became clearer to me that success is directly related to the amount of effort I give towards becoming who I want to be. Since I have always been fond of learning and being as knowledgeable as I could about different things, each school assignment I completed was a success.
Success continues to be a path of self-improvement, associated with making the best, possible decisions. Learning from mistakes are also successes. For instance, school assignments that I had spent too much time on led me to revise my method of studying. Taking too much time on any one assignment was a mistake indeed, but since I seized the opportunity to learn from the mistake, I remained on my path of success.
My victory at the Mathcounts competition can be compared to a final arrival at land after a long-lasting voyage. Just like when the captain of a ship is focused solely on the task of avoiding danger and keeping his ship going, I did not get distracted but stayed focused during my Mathcounts practices. And just like the felicity the captain experiences after arriving at land after a lengthy and exhausting voyage, I felt a high degree of satisfaction and relief after receiving the Mathcounts 1st place plaque after hours and hours of relentless problem solving.
The philosophy of being the best one can be has guided me throughout my life and has taught me to work diligently and to take advantage of special learning opportunities like the Junior Statesmen Program. I am truly excited about the wonderful opportunities this program will provide and cannot wait to go, as it is a highly welcomed change from my young and still growing school (preschool through twelfth grade) of less than 300 students!

Philosophy of Good-Doing

October 22, 2009

In life, the most simplest way of judging things is black and white. But when you’re referring to things that actually have a direct effect on you, then things can be easily categorized, instead, as good and bad.

When you get something you want, then, generally, you will instantly recognize that as a good thing. For example, if you get accepted at the college of your dreams, that will be characterized as a good thing. Not only will acquiring things be recognized as good, but also, if a person shows you good will or complements you, saying something like “You look nice.”, that can also be characterized as something good.

On the other hand, when you get something you don’t want, you will recognize that thing as a bad thing. For example, if you find out you have a disease or illness, that will be a bad thing.

To conclude, it is very easy to tell when something is good or when something is bad.

My philosophy on good doing is that if you do something good for another person, it will end up being the best thing you have ever done in your life; and, if you continue to do good things enough that it becomes a part of your nature, then the quality of your life will be elevated. Just like there is no bare minimum to how much good you can do (some never care to do anything others would appreciate), there is likewise no limit to how much good you can do in life. Therefore, if you continue to exhibit good will and nature towards others, day by day, month by month, year by year, and decade by decade… you will eventually instinctively be a good person.

Being a good person is not just about being liked by others. Although, the reward definitely varies between person, in general, doing and then being good, improves life, for a few good reasons:

  1. The contrast between good and bad is so great, that being good will shine even brighter. (If everyone was doing good, the people around you will not appreciate it as much… which brings me to my second point.)
  2. As a person who continually helps others and considers helping others before himself, he will become more accustomed to it. And as he truly grows into that “good” mold that he is everyday, it will become progressively more satisfying – as “thank you”‘s from other people will be less expected, but very highly appreciated when they come by.
  3. And lastly, just like something recognized as the law of attracting positive things, if you exhibit good will and nature to others, they will more likely do it for you in return (and even more so when good is not so commonplace.)

So if possible, if you have no other matters that are more pressing than improving your level of happiness in life, then try to do one good thing today. And then, if you can, try to do it again the next day. Hopefully if you continue this for a week, you will reap at least one positive result from a person – a positive comment of appreciation. If not, then you shall continue to work at this as long as others appreciate it. In the words of Confucius, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Just remember, there is no other, more satisfying thing to know in life, than to know that you are doing good for others, that you are contributing to something that is bigger than you are, and that you are being appreciated for it.

Nothing else is more gratifying – nothing else more worth living for. (Even if it is a result of some other goal you are working towards; what’s so satisfying and uplifting is to know you’re doing good, and that you are appreciated for it.)

I wrote this as best as I could, in the short time I have allotted for myself. I thank you for taking the time to read this. Take care [of yourself].

Wailing, Withering Emotion.

October 8, 2009

Fantasies…

– Deep-rooted –

Sitting under a Tree

Waiting, in the Shade,

for the Sunlight.