I aspire to do a few simple things in life. I do not aspire to be President of the United States; I do not aspire to be a millionaire; I do not aspire to be a social icon; I don’t even aspire to have friends. While there are a lot of things I do not aspire to be, the list of things I do aspire to do is much shorter. I aspire to help others, make a difference, learn something, and then return what I’ve learned in an effort others can build up on my foundation. Sure, those are very broad goals, but I think they make a good life outline. I can say life has been good if I’ve met most of those goals, and I haven’t been trying hard enough in life if I haven’t met those goals. My wording in that last sentence is specific for a reason, I didn’t choose to say “Life has been bad if I didn’t meet those goals” because I don’t believe in giving up until those goals are met; this is likely the source of my optimism, patience, perseverance, etc.
Am I satisfied with my current progress toward my aspirations? I don’t know. I put forth a valid effort in Boy Scouts to help other people, and I still try to right now. I understand that sometimes helping people might put them in a better situation than I am but I’m okay with that. I don’t aspire to be on top, I think that is a silly idea. I am not completely enraged if people use what I help them with to their sole advantage. Yes, it would be nice if people “spread it alone” but people just don’t work like that, the best I can do is help as many people as possible, and hope one day I can light someones fire.
How much of a difference have I made? Probably a negligible one so far. I am constantly reminded of my failures with the Tiger Times, and how my attempt at starting High School News is no longer something I should be proud of; how my 4 years of staying after school for 1.5 hours means nothing to anyone. I understand that maybe I didn’t create the worlds most awsomest show, but I like to think there is at least a spark of good left. I’ve also been trying to make a small difference here at RPI. All thoughts about RPI the school aside, I like to think of it as a community of people. My influence here is small and pretty unsubstantial, and what effects I do generate have only come back to haunt me. There is no project that I’ve worked on that everyone seems to like, or at least not have disagreements with, and I’ve almost noticed this desire for me to not be in charge of projects for some unknown reason. No, here at RPI I am certainly not changing the world, I am having a hard enough time changing how we title footage recorded on the hard drive DVD recorder.
Learning is very important to me, I don’t you can accomplish very much in life without a strong background in whatever it is your doing. For some people this background may consist of false facts and rumors, but I can still call that a background. In today’s society its even harder to make a difference without knowledge, a lot of the “stupid” ways of making a difference have already been thought up and are happening. A lot of my learning coincides with trying to make a difference, working on making a difference sometimes requires us to learn new things, procedures, etc. I have a fundamental frustration with people who attempt to block learning. Let me us an analogy to explain this. I think we can agree that it would be beyond frustrating if someone told you that you could not eat anymore ever. No food for you ever again. I think knowledge and learning new things is like food for my brain. Yes, my brain can starve for a few days just like you can last without food, but there is only so long before its eat or die, learn or shut down.
Paying it back. You can learn 8 million different facts in your life, win Jeopardy, get some cash, buy stuff, die. Who cares really? The problem is that you learned those 8 million facts, you didn’t spread them to anyone else. Wasn’t it kind of selfish for you to keep all those facts to yourself? Sure, if everyone knew them then you might not have won the show, but then everyone would have been a whole lot smarter. Are people following where I’m going here? I can write some code, do some math, work on a project, whatever, but if I don’t share that outside my brain it seems kinda selfish. No, I’m not hording all the PHP to myself or letting you download my source files all the time, but its nice for me to pass along any tricks I’ve picked up or hints I have to make it easier for the next person. I think thats one of the main reasons I blog, besides just to talk. I like to think someday someone will read this and learn from my mistakes. Feel free to call me and idiot, you’d be right, but if you can figure out how to not be an idiot from me then maybe I’m not such an idiot after all.
A lot of people base their lives off having fun and being financially successful. I don’t believe in either of those two. If I wanted to have fun, and that was a primary goal of mine, I would most certainly be doing that. Having fun is pretty easy in today’s society; modern youth promote bad behavior, society is filled with images of enjoyment such as vacations/get aways, drugs to enhance how one is feeling, sexual pleasures, alcohol stuffs, expensive items to boost ones popularity, etc. Its easy to have fun, and its much harder to not. No, I don’t avoid fun at all costs. But I do think that there are limits, and for me those limits are drawn pretty low. I can’t say I feel all giddy inside when a function works, or when a production I direct is on TV, but I do enjoy watching shows on TV, I do enjoy reading things that might be off topic every once in a while; all in moderation. Financial independence is certainly a very powerful thing, but I believe its much more of a tool then the well-being it might seem to be. I don’t own the fanciest power tools but they get the job done, I don’t need all the money in the world for my aspirations. If I aspired to have fun all the time I might, but aspiring to learn, help others, etc tends to be a pretty cheap business. Sure, I could charge people an arm and a leg for my services. I’m sure my girlfriend would greatly enjoy expensive gifts. But nope, for me the biggest payment is the learning and feeling of helping other people, but thats not the gift thats easy to show people. Its not tallied by any bank or kept in your wallet; it only lives inside yourself.
I have to use the restroom.