Thursday, March 17, 2011

Curiouser and curiouser

To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.

Kofi Annan
(Ghanaian diplomat, seventh secretary-general of the United Nations, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.)

This quote is stuck on my laptop desktop ever since I started grad school.

Who are you?
What do you stand for?
Where do you want to go?
Why do you want to get there?

"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then."

Basic questions under any kind of scenarios - so much so that it feels like a joke to be actually asking them. But I guess it is exactly because they are so fundamental, people miss them...

"I quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of that is--'Be what you would seem to be'--or if you'd like it put more simply--'Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'"
"I think I should understand that better," Alice said very politely, "`if I had it written down: but I can't quite follow it as you say it."

I know enough of my strengths. I recognize and acknowledge my weaknesses. I wanna head in a certain general direction, but nothing more precise than that. Sometimes, when I get introspective, I mull over it and starts to end up in a circular thought...

`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'

Many a times, I do not know where actually precisely I wanna go. Life can be like boxes of chocolates (instead of one) - spoilt for choices. But I know my preference, my idiosyncracies, my habits. Good choices or bad choices, they all add on to your experience. So that you know more of YOURSELF to choose again when you are faced another box of chocolates...

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. "Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked.
"Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

Lewis Carroll "Alice in Wonderland"

Then I guess I will just trudge on ahead fearlessly.

Learning how to trust myself along the way.

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