27 May 2005

The little things

I envy those who can write incessantly on their blogs.

Weeks, months can pass for me when I feel I have absolutely nothing to say. Nothing of significance. Nothing to indicate the slightest growth in thinking or seeing. Nothing, I feel worth giving to the larger world. But am I right to feel this way? Perhaps it is the little things, the seemingly insignificant, the unremarkable that are the real building blocks of life. The things to appreciate and value.

I read that those who undergo major depression find it an immense challenge just to put food in their mouth or take a shower. When I am depressed, I can't find the strength to get up to go to work. To open a book to read. Or even say hello to a friend walking by. There is barely a will to go on living - only the compulsion of self-preservation to keep me going. Beset with such recurrent dips, even the slightest moments of relative freedom from unexplained sadness is great joy to me.

The slightest things.

To be able to think one's thoughts uninterrupted by anxiety attacks for the Obsessive-Compulsive. The taste of walking down the street freely for the political prisoner. Simplest things that we take foregranted if we had not first lost them. Such is the irony of living - we only treasure the things we have lost, and what we have we take foregranted and waste.

Sometimes the only thing to do is to look for the things of grace, the gifts of life and to summon all of one's soul to love it and cherish it. Even in its absence.

23 May 2005

Are you lost?

Reviewing my goals today, it seems I've pretty much lost my way in life. I've forgotten the higher purposes and it's no wonder I wander aimlessly. To pursue God's heart, to be a friend and home to others, to be an exemplary physician, to be a scientist who merges science and spirit, to be a writer of Truth - these are among the things I cherish most in life.

Perhaps living in the city has been distracting. Tonight as I walked out to get my mamak fix of mi goreng and milo ais, I started to miss the Sarawak days (1999-2000). Quiet nights. Solitude. Strong mountain winds whistling hauntingly through the cracks. City life bombards you with a zillion demands, temptations and ought-tos. I miss the days when there's nothing to tell you what you should be, do, earn, own... When you are you and it's all that matters.

I have a beautiful home and beautiful wife. Stable job doing what I love. Lots of challenges, areas to serve and give. Meaningful relationships, surrounded by loving people. Nobody can tell me my life is lacking in any way. Nothing should stop me from giving my life wholeheartedly to the things I care about.

Sometimes I feel I want to live a more significant life. One with more contribution to society and such. But really, chasing after significance is like wanting to be rich. It's never enough! The best thing to do is to pursue what satisfies me and keeps me challenged.

I am confused by too many conflicting goals. I should do instead what will make me proud and satisfied at the end of my days here on earth, and 10,000 years to come. Seen from that perspective - values change. Convictions are what determine actions, worldview is what influences behavior. So what ARE those convictions? How DO I see the world and myself in it?