In a perfect world, no one would feel inadequate or unattractive because of the whims and beliefs of others. There is no shame in using makeup to get a confidence boost when one is needed; the shame lies with those who would tell others they are not good enough without it. There is no beauty more natural than that kind that is able to understand, recognize, and appreciate itself without altering its foundation; the foundation being the real person beneath it all. Be proud of who you are.
I am sorry that you’ve gone away from my life…permanently. My life had just started when you brought me to the U.S at such a young age. Despite all the lies and struggles you encountered to bring me to a better life, it was all definitely worth it. I haven’t thanked you enough dad. You taught me to speak English when the ESL teacher grew frustrated with my slow progress. You taught me grammar, reading, social studies, science, and most importantly–your favourite subject–mathematics. I have made several mistakes in all aspects of my life but you never gave up on me. I’ve come to the conclusion that, while the digits I multiply together yield a finite product, your love for me is unconditional and infinite.
Nothing can beat that, dad. You were patient, kind, understanding, and encouraging. You made me a chalkboard with your bare hands just to make me feel like I was part of a class, so that I wouldn’t be left out because I derived from a different country and had trouble adapting to the American culture. Thanks to your lessons, your patience, and your dedication, waking up early on the weekends to teach me, I’ve learned to write this letter to you.
You know, I remember that one night, around two in the morning–(of course the usual time you’d grab something to eat), you stumbled upon me bawling my teary eyes out. You stopped and asked me what was wrong, and I replied “I got my first C on my writing paper.” You grabbed a chair, sat next to me, and said, “We have to struggle in life to get what we desire. If we didn’t struggle, then life would be completely senseless. I had to struggle a lot to bring you to the U.S. but while struggling, I knew that it was a for a purpose: a purpose that would make any father proud to have you as their daughter. I’ve taught you writing for as long as I can remember and I wasn’t always the best teacher, but I tried and I made it. You will do better and I know you can, so don’t beat yourself for that one C. Allow that C to become a motivation for you.” While listening to you , I couldn’t help but become more teary. I’m not sure why I did, dad, but a nerve inside of me simply started acting in such an odd way…it became unexplainable. My favourite lines of yours were, ” I will be by your side for as long as God is allowing me to be.” Those were the last words I heard from you. In the blink on an eye, you were gone, dad.”
During the times you’ve spent on earth, you have taught me many things I have encountered but never knew how to handle them. I didn’t have to tell you these things. You already knew. Those things were particularly about boys-eventually men. You taught me that first and foremost, a man must have respect for himself, me, and everyone else. Respect goes a long way, dad I know. A man must love me unconditionally, just as much as you do and just as much as God does. He must be supportive, willing to sacrifice, and protect his family. You told me an analogy about the Ford and Honda cars. You explained to me that the Honda isn’t a nice looking car but has all the elements. It has a high performance, has a manual transmission, and runs great whereas the Ford is the shiniest car of all. The parts of the Ford do not work internally but the physical part of it is what attracts the buyers. No one would ever pick the Honda. As weird as this analogy was , it made sense. A man should not date me because of my looks but for my personality. A man should not date me because of one reason. These Fords should be no part of my life. It isn’t worth it. I get it. Thank you for being the best father I could’ve ever had. Thank you for being there when I needed you (which was always). Thank you for everything.
I’ll see you soon, dad.”
As I walked in Barnes and Nobles to purchase the book, “Einstein’s Dreams”, I was curious as to why it was titled that way. While I waited in the seemingly unending line, I started to read the plot of the book. Alan Lightman talks about Einstein’s Life and the concept of time. He gives time a new definition which changed my mind set on time. Then, when I started to read the book in class, my views suddenly changed. Despite our attempts to manage or handle time, it is something we cannot utterly decode. Time is measureless, it is impersonal, and it is always moving forward.
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman recounts the life of the genius Albert Einstein as an eccentric young scientist who is disturbed by a series of dreams while he works on his theory of relativity in 1905. Lightman portrays vivid details in the dreams and how important and precious time is. Too precious actually. The novel takes a step back and ponders about what time really is and how sometimes people spend so much time reflecting about tomorrow or regretting yesterday that they forget they still have today. It isn’t a bad idea to have plans and goals but there’s a difference between making plans one intends to follow through and living their heads in the clouds, which is exactly what Lightman tries to tell me in his novel.
There were several dreams that showed me how essential time is and how it affects my life. On May 10th 1905, where a mother continues to write letters to the old address which she remembered her son used to reside at. She was still living in the past and that is the issue with people not understanding and grasping the idea of what time is. Her son, with puffy eyes, who was a drug dealer, visited her and begged his mom for money while she bluntly ignored her newly transformed son. She could not cope but only envision what her son looked like back then, then and was unable to see the present man he was.
In the real world, time affects everything just as it influences the dreams in the book. It determines everything. Once, I was watching a scene where a man was standing below a bricked building filled with icicles from an old snow storm. The man was waiting for a taxi around 7 a.m and there was a bicyclist coming towards him while quickly ringing his bell to let him pass through. The man slowly stepped to the left before two keen icicles fell down on the ground breaking into pieces of chards. Time played a major part in this situation and surely did have an impact on the man’s life. The time it took for him to move away and the few seconds it took for the bicyclist to ring his bell showed me that time regulates everything. For example, how long will I have to wait to catch the bus, how long will it take me to finish my homework, how long will I live, how long will it be until the snow melts away, and so much more. Well, there’s more to it than that and little do we know what time has in store for us. Starting from the trees, animals, including everyone; everything gets old. Food loses its flavor. Pictures lose their color. Often it’s not just time that does this, but the effects of nature over time. But other people will be in a hurry to beat the clock. Trains and buses run according to their schedules so people will be running to those, or try and get around them while driving. Someone will stress over a science fair project that they never did, and are running out of time on. Time makes some things better and some things worse, but it’s always going to have an effect on people. We’re the only species on Earth who are really aware of the implication of time. The only other animal that you’d ever hear saying, “I feel like I wasted today” would be a parrot. I think that time is distraction, a treasure, something that allows me to show the unlimited amount of knowledge that I have. It is also something that is more easily ignored than acknowledged. I think time is funny. It always goes slow when I’m waiting for something or doing something I don’t want to, but it goes so fast during the moments I’d like to cherish. Time with someone I care about goes much too fast. It is also a measure of where I’ve been and what I’ve done; how long it took to do those things and how long ago. We’re alive one second at a time and each second just becomes a memory for us that move forward. Time is the potential of the future and the memory of the past and the one second at a time that we are all alive. It is in everything that we do and the only differences between time and human being is that it makes no regrets. Humanity regrets the people, or things left behind, the things left unsaid or undone and time just keeps onward.
In the quote by Khalil Gibran, I think he is trying to say that to try and put any sort of label on how much time has passes, or how much time there will be, is futile, because time has been going since before people existed, before anything existed, and will keep going long after everything else stops. Time is infinite and though we can look at a clock and say how long something has taken, we can’t ever really get a full measure of the vastness of time and that maybe our consciousness, or some bit of us, some piece of our essence existed in the first moments of everything. So even when we think we have a measure of our own time, we’re wrong because some parts of existed before we did. And, doubtless, first moments of the universe exists in all of us. While the influence of our lives and who we are going even after we are gone. Time is infinite and though we can look at a clock and say how long something has taken, we can’t ever really get a full measure of the vastness of time and the role of people in it.
After all of our human history, we’ve learned to master our capacity to describe the things we experience. But when asked to describe time, we have fallen short. It has been compared to rivers flowing onward, a monster consuming everything in its realm, a race with an invisible, unbeatable opponent; but to no metaphor or description for time has ever fully encompassed every facet of time. Time is a race, it is a gift, a monster, a river, a moment and sure, time is money. Stripped of everything, all and our earthly possessions and relations would be time we all had. With a lifetime, a person could seek to describe time, and at the end their description would be like a drop of water falling into a pan. The greatest testament of the vastness of time is not to try and describe its massiveness but to know that in even trying to describe it, we will only cover the tiniest bit of it.
Dale Carnegie once said ” Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept trying when there seems to be no hope at all.”
Meanwhile, I have been contemplating on how to gather my thoughts on the meaning of this quote.
….Well I think it’s just another way of saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. For example how people wouldn’t have accomplished some of the greatest things ever, if everyone gave up when things seemed impossible. Before there was a human harness put on electricity, who would have imagined light that wasn’t made entirely of fire? Back then it would have seemed outrageous to conceive of little white globes that people just switch on and off. But that didn’t stop people. They knew it was possible but wouldn’t be easy so what? Anything worth doing is worth doing even if it seems like stuff isn’t going to be a walk in the park.
Finals are finally over! After running a week-long gauntlet of studying, hard work, developing major test anxiety, and coping with a handful of sleepless nights…I have to say it’s been one heck of a ride!