Monday, July 30, 2018

Musset's Roses

An In-class Self-questioning…
"La vie est une rose dont chaque pétale est une illusion et chaque épine une réalité." By Alfred de Musset
So, it all began like this:
The teacher is saying something I don’t understand, again. For a Chinese high school student who often can’t get much sleep, what the teacher is saying sounds like total gibberish. Aside from the fact that this is normal and wrong:), I am distracted by a bee that is humming at every corner of the classroom. This is the whole set-up.
Next, you all know how it goes: As you can imagine behind the screen, the teacher noticed that I wasn’t paying attention and immediately asked me to answer the question. I didn’t even know the question! So the teacher repeated, “ what is your dream?” Before I could answer, a friend of mine(?) replied, “he wants to be a princess!”
Everyone laughed and I felt humiliated at that moment. But none of those were important. Aside from the humiliation and everyone’s laughter, I was silently thinking the teacher’s question.
I came to the conclusion a day after the incident that I have NO dream.
No dream! How absurd! Everyone has a dream, even a dog has a dream. At first, I felt the same way. But after a while, I realized that “no dream” is like a wake up call. It struck me with power that made me to think of a reason why I don’t have a dream.
I think too much. I want too much.
This is the reason. Simple.
I am interested in everything from quantum physics to art, from international relationship to philosophy, to history, to astronomy, to politics. I want to be rich, to be happy, to have someone to lean on, to come out, to be famous, to not be scared, to tell stories to strangers…
So how can I answer the teacher’s question when there’s so much I want to achieve?
But how is “no dream” a wake up call? Because it tells me that actually no one, not even myself, can and should be forcing me to have a specific dream.
Who told you that you can only have ONE dream instead you actually can have a DOZEN. You can be a quantum physicist and also a professional video game player or who knows, if you want, you can even be a porn star (Ouch, mom!). All at the same time.
It is a wake up call because it tells me that my future is not limited. It contains all kinds of possibilities. So, I am aimless. It actually sounds negative, right? So what?
Back to the title “Musset’s Roses”, what does it have to do with all this?
According to Musset, every petal is a dream, every thorn is a reality. And I don’t want to be the rose with just one petal, I want to be the perfect rose that everyone wish to be.(not possible:))
OK, that’s all. Night.
22:30
5 Feb 2018
China

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Decay of People's Curiosities through Time

Why people are not curious when they are getting older?

    You know, lots of people, including me, when we were very very young, we often ask a lot of questions about everything, we wonder everything, " what's this, what's that? " But when we got older, those kinds of questions just disappeared. When people ask, " Do you understand? " We often say, " Of course I do! " With a " I don't give a crap " attitude. That makes me wonder, What changed? Why aren't we curious any more? What happened with our curiosities? Some people might say, " Maybe it's because we know more." That is probably the case with a certain amount of people, but not everyone. I believe there are three stages in life that effect our curiosities:

      1. When we know nothing or know too little.
      2. When we know enough to live an ordinary life.
      3. When we know very much.
    Now, these three stages, like I said, are what I believe effect people's curiosities. Allow  me to explain.
    The first stage: When we know nothing or know too little. 
    How does that effect our curiosities? When we know nothing or too little, though we see things or we see what people do with it, we still don't know what it is, or what it does. So we simply ask the people around us. Like when we were children, we would bombard our parents with millions of whys. This is the stage when our curiosities are the most intense. When we've asked enough, we move to the next stage.
    The second stage: When we know enough to live an ordinary life. 
    In this stage, I believe we don't generate much curiosities. For instance, in China, people are taught not to question if they can solve them themselves. Also not to question any authorities, like parents, teachers, etc... Due to this, even if someone is curious about something, they won't say it out loud. This particular problem is now appearing in the western countries. But not because of the pressure from society, it is because there is something called Google. We just tap what we want to know, and the answer pops up on the screen. We like using smartphones, but unlike children, we don't ask questions like: " Dad, how does it work? Why can it work like this? " Instead, we just sat there, and enjoyed the convenience it brought us. So, you now can see the problem hidden behind the second stage, " We don't ask, and we don't want to know. "
    The third stage: When we know very much. 
    This is the stage I believe our curiosities are the second intense comparing to the second stage. When we managed to gain a lot of knowledge, we became wise. People consider a wise man a know-it-all. They believe that's what genius is. But the truth is.. (And I am sorry to slap you in the face) The more knowledge you gain, the more curious you will be. To put it in a nutshell, a wise man asks more questions. But what's the difference between a wise man and a wiser man? When a wise man asks himself a question, he will turn to another wise man for help in order to solve it, but when a wiser man asks himself a question, he focus on solving the question himself. Take Einstein for example, he had a terrible hair-style, but because he asked a lot of questions, and he focused on solving them, he created the Theory of Relativity, and became the world's greatest scientist. 
    Curiosity is like imagination, they are both treasures. When you find yourself stuck in  the second stage that I told you about, you should try as hard as you can to push yourself through this rigorous period, read a bunch of books, try something new, or even meditate. I'm sure you can conquer any problems. If you find this to be very difficult, or that you are not motivated to push yourself any more, try going to Ted.com. That has really helped me in the past. Hopefully you can find something to motivate you to stay curious, and ask lots of questions. Remember, always carry your sense of curiosity, no matter what comes next.