1: “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”
2: “Never try to lock the virtue’s door with the key of vice
It may lock forever; never to be opened again”
3: “I’m not denying their kindness,” said the Rani. “But after all kindness isn’t the only virtue.”
Aldous Huxley, Island
4: “The more you're willing to pay, the more valuable the prize. The question is: Are you willing to pay the price?”
5: “Know you not that a good man does nothing for appearance sake, but for the sake of having done right?”
They say that hindsight is 20/20. When I look back at the things I've thought and done, I see the mistakes of a young man, trying to find a sense of meaning and purpose in the world, battling any regrets along the way. As the older person I am now, I realise this is human instinct at play, and that we are all trying to find a sense of meaning and purpose.
How we achieve meaning is what varies. One may aspire to become a world-class painter, an innovator that makes his or her way into households, or perhaps they aspire to climb a mountain, be it physical or metaphorical. Greatness comes in all forms.
The problem many, if not all, of us face is putting our dreams into action so that they do not exist exclusively in our minds. Frequently, the most ambitious goals are the most expensive, not necessarily financially, but one's personal resources such as time and energy. It's been said that the more we are willing to pay, the more the valuable the prize. We ought to ask ourselves if our dreams are worth pursuing or if they're something we flirt with in a fantasy world.
I've personally set myself goals and admittedly, some are far more ambitious than others. It's not necessarily a physical thing I'm searching for, but rather a sensation of life satisfaction, coming in the form of emotion from myself and the people around me. I ask myself how I can achieve this.
I think of advancing my personal education as a keystone towards my goals. Knowledge is power as is so often quoted. But I believe this to be true. As we age, our way of thinking tends to become more rigid, like some kind of mental concrete. We become less open to ideas as we become more cognitively dissonant.
I try on a daily basis to ensure that I stay open-minded and free-thinking. It doesn't stop me from making mistakes - if anything it makes me more likely to stumble on them. But I am often exposed to new ideas and some of the best lessons are those when we're down.
Sometimes this can conflict with my personal life. As I pursue my education goals, the people around me may view my aurora as being somewhat blunt or cold. Sometimes I'm aware of it, sometimes I'm not. Regardless, none of it is with bad intention. I believe it somewhat of a necessity that things like enjoying time for hobbies, travel or relationships must be placed aside in order to achieve my goals.
It's a double-edged sword of course. I want to be a good friend and have time to enjoy life outside of the classroom and books. Pursuing a high level of competency in knowledge does not supplement a lack of varied experiences. We ought to avoid chasing a dream with such fervor that we miss the little bits of beauty all around us. Sometimes we should slow down and enjoy the sights.
As with everything in life, it's all about balance. Perhaps that should be our goal, in the end. Education is infinite. We can't know all there is to know, but it is worth the effort if it can inspire change and motivate people to emerge from stasis. I want to be as knowledgeable as I can while I am young so that some day in the future I can apply this power to build a better tomorrow.