Early this year, one of my friends asked me, “If you could give a Ted-Talk on any subject of your choice, what would you talk about?”
It took me awhile to answer but I replied, “The importance of singularity, of not taking your cues from the crowd and daring to stand alone.”
But his question has haunted me over the past one month and I realize now that I’d actually talk about something else, if I got the chance. I’d talk about the importance of friends. Because no matter how much I want to believe that I have always done my thing, it would be slightly dishonest. I am the sum-total of all the people I have let into my life. And everything good about me, I have because I aped someone else. Ditto everything bad 🙂 (this is a sub to relevant parties. You know yourself).
But honestly, I have been privileged to know and count among my friends, some pretty cool people. And I want to share them with you via “Ted-Posts”. If you’ve listened to a Ted-Talk, you know that they’re usually short, meaningful and give new insights on the most diverse of topics. So I asked some of my friends to give their own version of a Ted-Talk, only in written form. The very first one goes up on Wednesday, and I hope you like it. Plus, if you (or someone you know) would be interested in writing a Ted-Post, let me know. Just ask yourself the question: If you could talk for five minutes about anything in the world, what would you talk about?
In Other News
So, last Tuesday, my Dell XPS 15z laptop slipped from a sofa, fell less than 2 feet and soft-landed on its side, on a carpeted floor. Nothing to worry about, I thought. Till the screen refused to light up, and the computer refused to boot. I had to replace the screen *sob* and reformat the hard disk *wail* and I lost all my info and data.
Everything. The novel I’ve been working on for the past one year. My pictures from university. My various reports, presentations and what-not. All gone. I’m still in shock; it hasn’t quite hit me how much I’ve lost. I promised myself I wouldn’t get sentimental, or sad but it’s hard not to grieve a little. I’ve learnt my lesson now. First of all, not to leave my laptop on surfaces of dubious stability and secondly, to always, always back up my data. To that end, I’m getting an external hard drive. It seems like medicine after death but hey… *shrug*
And it’s Lent. That time of year when we do a lot (A LOT) of reflection on our short-comings, and how we can better live out our Christianity. It’s a reminder about the Crucifixion, but also ultimately a reminder about God’s enduring love
. A lot of people have asked me about the Catholic practice of sacrifice and mortification during this period. I actually thought those practices went across all denominations but it would seem I was wrong. So here it goes. Many people are fasting, true. It’s a form of reparation for sins. But more importantly, it’s a very physical way of reminding oneself to be contemplative during the day. Every hunger pang reminds you why you haven’t eaten (I’m fasting), and that in turn reminds you why you’re fasting (it’s Lent, and I’ve chosen to draw closer to God and subdue my flesh). So invariably, you’d find your thoughts turning more and more to God, as opposed to when you weren’t fasting.
The fasting is not to win salvation, don’t get it twisted. And not everyone fasts. Some people give up TV, others chocolate, others alcohol. Any licit pleasure can be given up. A side-effect of this “fasting” from a particular pleasure is that it just might wean you off a possible addiction. For instance, last year I gave up Facebook for the whole of Lent. And after Lent, I found it hard to pick up from where I left off. These days, I daresay I use Facebook more responsibly. Let’s pray this year’s sacrifice works just as well 🙂