What if happiness is contained inside a Pythagorean cup? Overflowing happiness would then simply drain away and empty the cup completely. This is why it is important to listen to Mr. Micawber’s advice and live within our means.
Similarly, if we apply the same concept to knowledge, it would be difficult to learn if one were to be satisfied with a certain level of knowledge or overestimate themselves. According to the Dunning-Kruger effect relatively unskilled persons suffer from an illusory superiority as a result of a meta-cognitive inability to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their ability accordingly instead of letting ideas/perceptions stagnate.
At the end of the game, both King and Pawn go back into the same box. It is there they await the next battle until which a tentative truce is in place between opposing sides. I’m here to tell you that life is a lot like a match of chess, at least more than meets the eye that is.
It would be nice to pick a neutral stance all the time wouldn’t it? I wish that was possible, however, to do nothing is a choice in itself. On the surface it may appear that as long as you don’t choose everything remains possible but the truth is time will wait for no one. We must acknowledge that there are time constraints which factor into the equation and that each and every choice is just as meaningful as the other.
Instead of fence sitting why not try divergent thinking? Brainstorm! So many possibilities are likely to rush into our minds all at once, precisely why we must filter those thoughts and switch to convergent thinking; at which point it is necessary to narrow down the options leaving only the best ones.
Chess is all about sacrifice: each move has an opportunity cost. The King must be protected at all costs while every other piece is dispensable. Think for a minute, do you not have something you treasure above all else? It could be your calling, a lifelong friendship, and even weekend trips to the local arcade. Whatever it was that came to mind is sure to be something you’re not willing to part with, which makes it your metaphorical “King”.
Recall that scene from Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone when Ron sacrifices his own well being so his friends can carry on to the next room? In a similar fashion it is important to weigh the importance of hobbies, friends, among other things in one’s life to ensure that only the essential remains after we’re through with the game.
With that being said, it must be noted that there are moments in our life when we are faced with impossible decisions; during which we are made to choose between two things we hold dear. No matter how much we want to sit it out, we have to do something as it is our “turn”, hence the “Zugzwang”- German for ‘compulsion to move’- situation is established and either way we are at a decisive disadvantage. Trade offs are inevitable and it is something have to reconcile ourselves with.
Søren Kierkegaard was known to say “Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards.” The only thing certain about the future is that it is uncertain, and there is always a flip side to our current situation yet to be determined. In hindsight every choice has helped shape who you are and what you believe in. Keeping this in mind, regardless of the decision tree that led you to where you are now, this life you are living is just as meaningful as all of the infinite other lives you could have been living had you chosen differently.
AN: this writing… clearly is not flash fiction, I apologize if the title appears to be misleading… the choice of words was deliberate in that today I was thinking about how little time we allocate to understanding others relative to the time we make snap judgments about their character… if we’re going to interpret/characterize someone’s life story… might as well do it right…please note that it is not my intention to suggest in any capacity that flash fiction is bad…it’s not my call to make after all…
“Say has Ahmed called in sick? It’s not like him to be tardy”
“Don’t expect to hear from him anytime soon, he’s standing in line collecting the wages of sin as we speak, and it’s a lamentably long line for a sum that’s as paltry as the poultry we eat once a fortnight.”
“What on Earth are you insinuating? Pray tell!”
“I see. You’ve not heard then. He got the axe for duplicating receipts and charging customers more than the service fee so he could pocket the extra. “
“That doesn’t sound like the Ahmed we know. Polite, patient, pensive, he’s not a man to make rash decisions that jeopardizes a job he’s held for so long.”
“Can you blame him really? He’s worked for the organization longer than all of us put together, and yet what did he have to show for his input, the sweat above his brow perhaps. Years of backbreaking work translated into cries of woe at the sight of the proverbial stork…”
“Surely that doesn’t excuse him from the moral imperative of ethical conduct at work. Yes, the utility bills add up, and our line of work leaves little time for much else, still it’s honest work and what more does a man need?”
“The ability to pay his child’s tuition, methinks. It’s every parent’s dream to see their child pursuing the dreams that they themselves were unable to fulfill.”
“Nonsense, what with all these state funded schools, there’s no necessity for a lot of money.”
“Sure, provided that you win the lottery of birth. The kids who don’t have to juggle part time jobs with their studies have a comparative advantage and it shows in the CGPA.”
“Well when you put it that way although I will stick to my viewpoint that his actions were immoral to say the least, I do concede that his intention was not inherently wrong in that he was doing it for someone else’s sake. I only wish that he had more faith in his progeny.”
“Yes, it’s best to not let emotions cloud our better judgement, but to be completely devoid of any and all emotion is the height of folly. Just look at Spock or Gregor Samsa, work can be dehumanizing… however, that’s only the case if one lets it be… and with that I take my leave.”
“Until next time. Oh, and would that be leave with or without pay?”
“How very droll, well you know what I mean, no need to read too deeply into it.”
I found myself logging into ask fm today after what seems to have been a year. Here are some of the more interesting replies I may have given in response to questions by anonymous individuals.
Why do zombies attack?
To gain xp
You’re an interviewer. Your job is plain and simple(theoretically). All you have to do is pick 1 person from 3 “equally qualified” individuals to work for the firm. The first man is poor, the second was rich until only recently but now he is the unhappiest and the third is chronically ill.
Firstly this is a normative question. It is outside my professional capacity when I start thinking about how things “should be”.
If I employed the poor man, I would help someone who has worked hard to raise the value of his human capital when he could have spent his meager resources to subsist without any ambition. Someone who needs that one shot in life will work harder than anyone else to keep it, which will work in favor of the company by boosting productivity. This will likely improve his financial status and standard of living for his kids and so on.
(re-allocation of resources)
Arguably the second man is the least desirable candidate as he has been happy before and received many privileges the other two candidates could not have even dreamed of but he is not to blame for that. I don’t know how many of you are acquainted with the story “Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde…but from what I can tell, those who have not come face to face with poverty cannot handle it so well. Furthermore, everything starting from your accent, rigid behavior and formal attitude will mark you- which only makes it harder to deal with. Let’s be honest, this guy got the least sympathy. He’d be the happiest if someone assisted him. How many of you would discard your pride and turn from prince to pauper willingly? With that being said, men of means tend to have contacts so that may come in handy. However, it can be disputed that if he had useful contacts he wouldn’t be looking for a job.
(highest net gain in happiness)
Personally I’d choose the third as someone who is chronically ill will have medical expenses and that will weigh down on their standard of living. Alleviating the pain through treatment is vital and to those saying that unhealthy people won’t contribute to the workforce properly, I’ll simply say though your argument has merit, these human beings are not going to stand down and just take charity you know? Also, chronic means a constant pain and not terminal illness which threatens the life at any moment.
(pride and independence)
Do you think there is life on other planets?
I don’t think there is life on this planet. We’re all zombies being told how to live.
What music are you listening to right now?
In bloom by nirvana.. it’s about Kurt’s fans not understanding his music and how that depressed him
In three words, how would you describe your best friend?
“me”, “myself”, and “I”.
Who are you?
A man of many masks, yet one who wears none.
What do you do when the remote is too far?
take out my mobile and use chromecast as a remote
What would be the title of your autobiography?
I’m doing this for free so don’t expect it to be good.
Are your rationalizations rational?
Now the real question is do they need to be? I don’t need a reason to reason.
How do you see yourself spending your time in your old age?
same “old” same “old”.
Where is the most fun place you have ever been?
Kinokuniya let’s people read a book the whole day and doesn’t ever force them to buy it as long as they treat it with respect….
What is it like being the person who makes other people happy but is not usually happy themselves and the happiness is just a loose mask?
Happiness can be shared. You can bestow your knowledge upon others who will feel ample joy at being able to see the world as you do(they can do the same for you). If you think in terms of loss and gain, give and take, happiness seems a lot grimmer than it really is.
There may be no true examples of selflessness yet giving up a part of you to someone else, allowing them to preserve it, be it in memory or through the heart(Sharing of moments/feelings), I’d like to think that goes both ways.
Wearing a mask and putting up all that false bravado to keep your close ones safe from worrying about you does not work. They will know something is up and the very fact you kept it from them will do more damage than good.
It’s best to find someone to confide in or keep a journal, you need to express yourself in one way or another. I’d compare the feeling to being the last castaway on an island writing a message and sealing it into a bottle before throwing the object into sea,hoping one day someone finds it.
starting from memories with brothers and grandmothers
while accessing all those micro magical moments
not once did I let antipathy foment
knowing full well
lasts only so long
but broken bonds still stay strong
I learned without appreciating fully
just how incredibly insipid instants could pass me by dully
though I may suffer from digital amnesia
black and white pictures color outside the lines
memoirs with its concomitant hardcover book spines
perennial pages perused in the market place of ideas
act as an alternative analogue ambrosia
an advanced age
of 128 gigabyte solid state drives package deals
come along with 2 bit hearts
Technology changes the way memories are formed. You can always google the birthday of your friend -that is if you don’t wait for facebook to send you a notification- among other things. There are interesting tools available such as that of the website Future Me where you can address an e-mail to yourself in the future. I’ve met people who go to exclusive places just to take selfies and post it on the internet. Since when did experience make room for what others thought of the experience and get ranked accordingly? When I hear people say “Live a little” I don’t assume they mean on the internet! Not that netizens are not entitled to their memories on mmorgps or internet relay chats, it’s just that those should not be a replacement for off-screen memories but rather a complement.