Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Prayers in pain

Dear Lord all I wish for is for my mom to find a working combination of painkillers. That if surgery is an option that it goes safely and successfully. That we can eventually live past this and think "thank God that's over" instead of living in this for as long as she lives.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On expectations and friendships

The man from the west (Ironically currently in the East) mentioned that pain and suffering only result from expectations. My mom told me that it was meaningless to feel pain and sadness over things you have no control over. You subject yourself to unnecessary pain, unnecessary sadness. You cannot hurt the man who never had expectations in the first place.

If the pain, the suffering can be prevented then, is it wrong to subject yourself to avoidable pain and preventable suffering? No, he says, there is nothing wrong - it is human to expect and human to be hurt. No, she will probably concede, there is a difference between meaningless actions and wrong actions - futility and moral wrongness are separate entities to compare.

Expectations, he says, can be likened to a form of human attachment. Perhaps the follow-up to that is that having no expectations suggests detachment. If you have no expectations, you cannot personally associate with the pain and disappointment - after all, you never expected a good outcome, how could you feel bad over a bad outcome? But in a good outcome, do you actually feel good about it? How happy is the man who expected to get second but got first, compared to the man who expected (and hoped) to get first and got it?

You wrote that friendship is beautiful because you have less expectations of it, and its reciprocation is a pleasant surprise - an unexpected joy. I disagree - you have expectations and hopes for it, regardless of the fact that you're aware they might not be met. Friendship is beautiful because people meet expectations even though they are not obliged to. They sound the same, but the disappointment that results is different - after all, you can't feel sad if you never expected anything. You can feel sad if you expect something even if you're aware it might not happen. Friendship is beautiful because it goes in spite of possible  disappointment, not because it is a pleasant surprise over a situation where no expectations are harmed.

Are my expectations of friendship then wrong? If the annoyance, pain and hurt I feel is completely preventable, is it wrong to not prevent it? "In the first place", he asked, "is this something you have a choice over? The zen person doesn't think about not-thinking, he just not-thinks. There is no choice."

He mentioned that there are times where there are no skillful and diplomatic means to solve a problem, that the idea that you could overcome any problem if you tried hard enough is but American fiction and myth. Is it wrong to recognize the myth, yet subscribe to it regardless and to feel pain when you are forced to realize its mythical nature? To try to fix something that cannot be fixed, to rebuild a friendship that either spoiled or never existed?


I seem to have, at this point, an obsession with associating moral rightness and wrongness to ideas of efficiency and utility. A rather unhealthy behaviour I must say.


I considered why I was staying and didn't just quit, leave it all and be rid of these feelings. He mentioned feeling that way for ICT - mistakes better ignored but best confronted. "Deep down", he conceded, "it kind of unsettled me". Another good friend mentioned it as something to be proud of - to continue in spite of it. Is the struggle really as noble as they put it, though? Maybe I'm just a selfish and foolish guy thinking that this will pay off in the end. Who knows how I feel deep inside?

What I do know is that for a group to perform better, you need to have better teamwork. And while I've learnt that it isn't always true, I still prefer to subscribe to the idea that it's easier to make teamwork work if you're on good terms with everybody. Nothing wrong with the more professional approach but I wished it could've gone down this line instead.

For today, though, I just wish I could perish the thought that friendships can be bettered or fixed by trying to reach out to mend them...

...or perhaps stop seeing friendships where none existed, though that's even more pessimistic.


The whole writing ended up much shorter than I would've thought it would, but I guess I should be thankful for the distractions that made it so. If there is any good in this it's that I now know better the people who do stick around with me in... more annoying times.

Alternatively it's just because the Amaretto's effect wore off and I'm more sober again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014