interweb gems

knowledge for love

reposted from yesdarlingido — though I’m not this exclusively, I can totally relate

APPETITE

People say they’re hungry for knowledge, and I’ve always wished I could say the same without feeling like I was lying. Sure, I love learning and what a gift it is to be both a learner and a teacher, but I have struggled with knowledge. I don’t crave it like good students do. I am hungry for love—and I’m not talking about romance. I am hungry to love you, and everyone else. I don’t always feel this way—I’m not claiming selflessness, but this is the ultimate theme driving my life. I only feel fulfilled in life when mine is actively demonstrating love. I’m starving when I’m not extending or receiving it. I am hungry for love that welcomes, engages, nurtures, and frees. And so, my desire is for a specific branch on this tree of knowledge. Knowledge with a purpose—that’s the only kind I’m after. Wisdom values knowledge, but not on the basis of itself. I’m not interested in knowledge alone. I want to grow in knowledge because as we shed ignorance, opportunities to utilize our knowledge in ways of love allow us to be a gift. And being a gift means having more to offer than a good GPA. Our external form encases heart and mind, so being a gift to this world means using both for the benefit of others. Heart—the source of compassion; mind—the source of action. Compassion is where justice and mercy collide and wisdom is learning how to balance between the two. This is a worthy pursuit.

I’m a daily seeker and gatherer of knowledge that equips me to feed a deeper hunger. I want to feed my brain to mature my heart; I want to feast on knowledge that builds my character. Maybe this is why I struggle to make time for things that don’t immediately gratify my pursuit of love. Maybe this is why I’ve been such a mediocre student all my life—struggling to care about generic knowledge that I couldn’t connect with. I’m sure if I pondered this long enough, I’d realize that all knowledge can equip me to love in some way or another, but that’s hard for me to accept when I think of the power-points and deadlines. I have a deep appetite to grow in knowledge that awakens my understanding of people’s needs, emotions, longings, fears, and struggles. I crave the knowledge that strengthens an awareness of injustice, inequality, and suffering so I can know the oppressed and stand against the oppressor. I want to know the brokenness so I can be a propelling force towards healing; I want to know truth so I can live as a banner exposing the lies. People say they’re hungry for knowledge, but be specific. What is it you want to know, and why do you want to know it? Knowledge without application is powerless. Knowledge without love is empty. Knowing without growing is worthless because it generates potential without implementing purpose or cause.

also:

“As you get older you start doing things in reverse. You start cutting people out from your life. Your Christmas list becomes practically nonexistent. You don’t need to be the first in line for everything. You take less pictures because some memories are best kept in your heart and not your hard drive. And instead of looking for love, you dig for it from within.”   — bookmarks in my life 
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a case for fiction and libraries

Transcript: Neil Gaiman on the importance of reading

Excellent, convincing argument by Neil Gaiman about the importance of reading, particularly fiction, and of access to libraries. Some of my favorite points include 1. fiction is important to expand the imagination, by promoting thoughts of escapism that will have us readers desiring more, and therefore, being motivated to MAKE more in real life, and 2. libraries being important as havens from children to be exposed to and grow a hunger for reading, without distractions of other things.

To play devil’s advocate, here‘s a commentary/criticism from Lee Seigel written for the New Yorker. Seigel comments on the very real possiblity that we are seriously overthinking the benefits of fiction…or really, of anything in general. As Seigel points out, it is fair to say that you cannot assume ’empathy’ always means the ‘good’ kind of empathy, or that the effects of fiction as argued by Gaiman are attributed purely to fiction. Correlation does not equal causation. In the end however, Seigel’s essay came off more as almost bitter and overly cynical, whereas Gaiman’s is open and welcoming. I mean, I certainly see no HARM in reading fiction vs nonfiction 😛 So I will keep my stance in agreement with Gaiman…the importance of reading must be maintained!

the world is your oyster

IMG_5503

Travelling (nearly) emptyhanded: The article title aside, this essay is pretty much ‘backpacking’ at its extreme: “Traveling with no luggage and no plans was much more than a minimalist lesson in living well with less. It was an intense, in-your-face invitation to the unknown. There’s a truly magnificent side to the unknown, but we aren’t taught how to welcome it, let alone explore the breadth of its possibilities.” To be honest, really tempted to try this myself…anyone want to join me? 😛

In somewhat tangentially related news, this guy traveled with no plans…just in the other direction. Crazyyyy story, reminiscent of a real life slumdog millionaire: Indian Orphan finds his way home via Google Earth

And finally, kudos to google 🙂

this week on the interwebs…#1

I think I’m going to start a compilation of interweb articles that are not necessarily from news sources, or related, but just gems in and of themselves. Here’s my first list of articles I’ve come across (most from fb haha), in no particular order, 1st edition! There is no real reason I am putting these here, other than the fact that I want to come back to them later. Is that so bad? Enjoy! 🙂

Theory: How the brain creates personality

Revolutionizing heart transplants…literally an ‘out of body’ experience – YAY technology!

SPEAKEASY’s IN NYC!!! – to come back to for reference

Hilarious comics on the differences between HK and Taiwan

History behind the plane in the desert — the fact that this is real is mind blowing. In the most awesome way 🙂

math in real life!!!

photos within photos

THIS:
75-captivating-looking-into-the-past-pictures

So cool!

Also, quite pleased I actually got my butt out the door and on this trail! Went the opposite direction from the original plan, but it was a nice run regardless (click to expand)

update: didn’t think it was possible, but woke up still with a runner’s/endorphin high! definitely need to do this more often! 🙂

wanderlust #2

Favorites from the National Geographic Photo Contest, 2012:
Village and islands in background in Gásadalur, Faroe Islands
Baobab forest in Avenue du Baobab, Morandava, Madagascar.
Buddist temple in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens, OR

Looking at these photos makes me want to cry. Because I want to be in those places SO badly. In reference to my previous entries, I have SUCH a wanderlust…to the point where I really want to run away and explore the world for a year. Too bad reality is that I am stuck until I finish my career. Or am I? What is stopping me?
-logic
-lack of money
-safety
-money

But why should I do it now?
Reasons from this guy (from previous post)
-i’m young
-no ties down.
-no job that demands things out of me 360 days a year (*cough* residency)
-clearly, i am currently miserable haha

Just putting this here too:
Pictures of the Szechuan Earthquake 5 years later