The strangest thing to here your vet say to you: “Oh, Rhino will stop leaking a bit.”
Get well soon, buddy.
The strangest thing to here your vet say to you: “Oh, Rhino will stop leaking a bit.”
Get well soon, buddy.
So my mom likes to send me random bits of the internet from time to time. This could range anywhere from spam mail to some pretty profound articles. As I was working late last night, I happened to open some of my old emails and found this little gem:
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘I know why.’
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, ‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’
The six-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
1. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
2. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
3. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
4. Take naps.
5. Stretch before rising.
6. Run, romp, and play daily.
7. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
8. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
9. On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
10. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
11. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
12. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
13. Be loyal.
14. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
15. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
16. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
You know, maybe we got it all wrong. Maybe it IS just as simple as a dog sees it.
Its somewhat an odd statement to say that someone “deserves happiness.” What does that mean? What do you do to deserve it? What do you do you to lose your entitlement to it? It seems to me that this statement should be more of a statistical conclusion – something along the lines of “because of historical data, I can conclude that I deserve happiness.” Its simply a measurement of how many things go right when they could have gone wrong – or perhaps a statistic about a streak of events someone deems to make them happy – and then we can conclude that whether or not that person was born with the entitlement to happiness.
So with that being said, I can say with 95% certainty that I do not deserve to be happy – and I have no clue why.
Sometimes the whole world forgives you.
But to grow, you must not forgive yourself.
Sometimes the whole world refuses to give you a chance.
But for hope, you must give yourself a chance.
Unknowingly, I have been giving up on myself. No more, I refuse to lose.
What an amazing message.
Because no one is “entitled” to anything. No one “deserves” happiness. It is not something that drops into your lap, it is not something that had your name on it at birth. We must all fight – fight and struggle and claw through our experiences in life. Because, at the end of the day, the end doesn’t matter – it is the journey that defines us. The fulfilled life is a consequence of meaningful journeys, not of well-kept accomplishments.
And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.
Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion – and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.
Because everyone is.
So now that the crazy spring exam season has ended, I think its time to make some plans to make the most of the short hiatus before the next one comes.
1) Restart P90X.
Okay, no more excuses about not being able to do it because I live in an apartment and someone lives below me. I definitely want to keep this one going. Lets do this.
2) Shift my work schedule from 7AM – 4PM
This is going to be pretty difficult as I have already gotten used to late night random pointless browsing on the internet. However, getting in early and leaving early is gonna do wonders for all the things I want to accomplish in this time.
3) Join the Concord Table Tennis Club
I seriously have been wanting to do this for a whole year now. I have no idea why I haven’t yet. I need to get out there and meet new people and play ping pong. Book it.
Oh yeah, now that I have a garage, time to get a ping pong table. Woo.
4) Play more basketball
I want to join a league or something. Or maybe find a place near my house where I can play randomly at night. Or maybe figure out how I can put up a hoop in my backyard.
5) Work more
Yes, this might sound crazy, but I definitely want to work more. We’re going through new product development at work (which happens maybe 1 in every 10-20 years in an insurance company) and I definitely want to do as much as I can. Furthermore, it is fairly rare when your vision for the product’s future aligns with that of upper management – so now its time to take that support and run with it and make something great.
6) Study more frequently
Because unanticipated events = GG
7) Get a dog
Can’t let that “huge” hill backyard go to waste!
My mom’s take on this: “Don’t get a dog! Its such a huge time commitment and so expensive! You should go to Berkeley on the weekends and get a girlfriend!” Since when did girlfriends become cheaper than dogs?
Read books, read magazines, read the new yorker, read the economist, read self-help books, read statistics textbooks, read actuarial research papers, read whatever. I feel like I’m missing out on so much information by not getting in the habit of just reading 40-50 pages each day.
9) Explore more
Now that I know I’m staying put for the next couple of years, time to figure out whats around me. While on the surface it seems like this is just boring old suburbia, there are actually so many things to do around here. That, coupled with convenient transportation around the bay = ADVENTURE TIME.
10) Decorate my place
Furniture, designs, yardwork, etc etc. This is going to be a long project, but I think its time to get started.
So while studying for my next actuarial exam earlier tonight, I got kinda bored and decided to mess around a bit on draw something. After a friend drew a hilarious rendition of Kobe, I decided to counter back with one of my own (re-enacted in paint):
It was even funnier watching her guess.
Yes, yes; good move, good move.
So I finally moved into my new house, after much struggling for the past 2 weeks of moving, dealing with contractors, cleaning, etc. As I was assembling my bed, I just realized how fast I managed to make it. Thinking back, I vaguely recall all the times that I moved this old piece of junk…
1) I just got this bed the summer after my freshman year of college. I remember I didn’t really have much of a preference except I wanted something larger than the twin XL beds they made us sleep on in the dorms. At that time, I just moved to a place on Francisco (yeah, I bet even most Berkeley kids won’t know where that is – it was pretty far) and had IKEA ship it me. The day when i got it, it was an all out furniture build-fest. I remember this bed being particularly difficult due to the retarded design of how to affix it to the headboard. It took David, Danny and me a good 1.5 hours filled with colorful curses before we got it down. Finally, a bigger bed.
2) Sophomore year passed by like a blur and it was time to move out. I joined the SLC that year and met someone who actually lived close to me, Ran. After bumming at his place watching basketball with his roommates a couple of times, he agreed to help me move at the end of the school year. Now this was truly the most hilarious move ever. Kevin, my future roommate, decided to come help out. We got so tired of moving things up and down the stairs (I used to live on the 3rd floor) that Ran suggested we toss my foam mattress down from the 3rd floor and he would catch it. Needless to say, we threw it. He did not catch it, I don’t think he even tried. As for the bed, we decided to move it down as is, with the headboard removed. This beast scratched that staircase pretty badly, leaving black marks everywhere. Probably should’ve taken it apart.
3) After sleeping on it for 2 more years (and surviving a room change between me and Kevin), I found a job up in Vallejo and had to take it up north. Lawrence’s dad helped me move all my junk up there via van into the new house. At that time, it was pretty exciting. The house seemed big enough to actually do something in and I was gonna spend some time chilling with Lawrence while doing some actuarial work. Didn’t quite work out though as Lawrence decided to continue bumming around Berkeley (LOL) and I moved into the house in the back. I did manage to get some actuarial work experience, but it was in pension. Dark, dark days.
4) Then, due to a miraculous twist of luck, I got a job offer from AAA (they called me about applying one random morning at 9AM – I’m pretty sure I ended that conversation with “good night”). So lo and behold, I borrowed my boss’s minivan and moved my bed and other larger stuff down to Walnut Creek. This move took me 5 trips with my small camry, but it was pretty relaxing figuring I didn’t try to do everything at once. Life was getting better!
5) Finally, I am at where I am now. After one exciting year at AAA, I decided to buy a house in Concord and stay for the long haul. I saw the opportunity and the appeal, why not stay for the ride? So after battling through studying for exams, getting a contractor to repaint and refinish my floors, I finally moved my bed in (one of the last things I moved from my old apartment – since I needed a place to sleep). Now what originally took 3 guys 1.5 hours to build, took me a measely 5 minutes to finish. What a journey it has been. Throughout college, through multiple moves, I’ve always had to rebuild this bed. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, but I seriously need a new bed.