Saturday, June 26, 2004

Introduction to the unknown



Ki Ora.

or "zdravo" - as you would say in Macedonia. You can learn how to say hello in over 800 languages at

This is the beginning. The genesis of what will hopefully prove to be an interesting repository of my verbose yet occasionally concise wonderings. Writing is something to be enjoyed when it is beautiful, as is reading. Sadly, it is common to read in seven sentences what could have been said seven words. Indeed, the eloquence afforded us by the less-known words of the English language seem far more useful than the mindless casual banter of the typical Western commoner. These less-known words are a dying variety, and perhaps their rarity makes them all the more colourful.

Needless to say, this is not the place for belligerant bable, of no relevance to anything significant. Now as for the definition of significant... that is hardly relevant.

The significance of life is far more pertinent. What are we to do with our time, to not look back when we are 50 (failing global nuclear annihilation) and wish we had done something else? Oh course, the only things we do that really matter are for others, not for ourselves, this much is clear. How we influence others outlives us, and in reminiscence become gifts of most precious significance. The striking nature of how we affect others stems from the ultimate meaning of our existence - love. Of course, this is love in its purest and most unadulterated form, in relationships that are deeper than the clothes we wear and the reflections we see in the mirror. I do not speak of the selfish greed, lust or other such things so commonly mistaken.

Where is the point of doing things for ourselves? We gain recognition, we achieve just so that we may feel better about ourselves. In ten years, neither that recognition nor our achievement continues to hold any sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, or even purpose for us. What matters is the lives we touched on the way, the friendships we made. We cannot take our achievements with us, but shadows of those we love live with us forever.

We can forever wonder what our lives might have been, not that it is a healthy habit. Yet, what an incredible thing it is to be told that we have made someone else's life somehow better. How does friendship achieve such a wonder? What is it about friendship that is more precious than countless mansions? Perhaps that is the subject of another post, but whatever it is - let us never take it for granted.


Nathan said...

I was wondering when you would join us

And I get the first comment. Hurrah!

Nathan said...

(After reading the post...)
Very good post. A lot of people wouldn't jump in the deep end at first, so good on you.


Not much else to say.

Kelly said...

Aaaaargh! Reuben, Reuben, I am impressed that you are being such a good engineer and learning big words, but why must you babble so much? I think there were some deep and meaningfuls in there, but I tuned out a bit when there were too many excess words.

Now be a good friend and help me wax my palms, hmmm?

incognito said...

Bite me. I'm sorry about the big words, but hey - why not. Not all my posts will be of such morbid formality =)

incognito said...

After a comment from Jess, I see I have to explain a few more things. This is the comment I left on her blog:

There are two things that I think we're getting confused about. One is our sense of self-worth. The other is the love we have for ourself - i.e. the " "Love your neighbour as yourself" type. This love for ourselves is healthy and not selfish... I think selfishness or its opposite is determined by what we keep our attention mostly on, what we spend our time and energy on, what really matters to us.

I was talking about self-worth. I find our achievements give us reason to like ourselves more, as you said - but I haven't found that our self-centred achievements make us feel like we are worth any more in and of ourselves. Personally, I find the only things that make me feel like I am a 'worth' anything are of two-types: First, the fact that God loves me, lives in me, and I am a tool in his hand. Second (and the one I was talking about) are things that I do for others.

I think of all the things I've done for myself, and they mean nothing to me when compared to what I've done for the people I care about.

That's not to say the things I have done for myself didn't give me a sense of satesfaction. Often though, that satesfaction seems to be eroded by the sands of time, revealing the more solid fulfilment I find in the things I've done for others.

Yes, I find that depressing. But it sure motivates me to put my energy into things that I believe really matter.

Hope this clears it up a bit.