Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Airport ramblings

I realised something. Sitting in the departure hall of terminal two in Heathrow two hours early, I read a book -- Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto -- to kill time. Opposite me are a British (I think) couple, probably in their fifties, with eyes peering through their spectacles at the ipads held between their slightly stubby fingers. And here I am, reading a small, thin novella, 150 pages, with a glaringly pink cover. As my own tired eyes (five hours in the bus is no joke) and foggy mind struggled to comprehend the printed words, relaxing and unwinding, a thought, quiet as a passing whisper, struck me like a gong. I've always enjoyed reading physical books where I can touch, flip its pages and smell them, feel its weight in my hands. Electronic devices like tablets have been introducing new features with each new model; the feeling of flipping a page, the sound of flipping the page, all without the hassle of weight and with extra capacity. But, obviously the very experience of reading an actual book in hand has been compromised.

Now, the reason I've gone on talking about this is because, without that base thought, this revelation wouldn't be as profound. Coming back to the the initial point of the post: I realised something as I was reading. Words printed in books, inbued into its parchment, it's black ink against brown or white, there is something permanant about it, as though they were etched in stone (or paper, if you're being literal). Whereas electronic words are ephemeral. One touch of a button and your words disappear, refreshes, changes. The very content you had been reading -- now old news -- is replaced by something new and exciting. I don't think this is an issue in itself, but rather the fragile state of the words, and information and experience it gives the reader. Compared to books, you can't change anything without ruining it, say, with liquid paper or strikes of ink or carbon. It is, as I said, etched forever, until the book disintegrates, lost to the merciless hands of time.

But what is the reason for this post, you must wonder? Ah, my dear reader, there is no reason. No reason at all. Just listless thoughts in the airport.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Your money or your life?

I think God taught me something today -- that's not to say that he doesn't teach you something everyday, but today, for some reason, after getting my pay I was, in a way, placed in a couple of situations where I was forced to use that money (for reasons I won't state) instead of keeping it for my saving's account like I always do. The lesson only struck me as I sat down for a relatively cold dinner: money is not meant to be kept and never used. You don't earn money to hoard it all, admiring the numbers that increase each time you deposit your salary, but to spend it on the things you need. Money, if you think of it in this way, is essentially not yours. Sure you earned it, and have every right to claim your hard earned cash -- but it's not yours. If you think about it this way, it is God's money you're spending. Why? He's the one who provided you with the job. He's the one who gave you the means and chances to hone your skills to get that job. He's the one who gave you the talents to even learn those skills, etc. Etc., you get my point.

It's just like the parable of the talents, roughly, anyway. The main point? Everything you own is not yours completely. This thought is what, I assume, drives people to greed and to stinge like that old man in The Night Before Christmas -- which I realise I'm slowly becoming. So, I guess it was a good lesson. Not exceptional, but good. And besides, money can be earned back. What's the point of keeping it, if you're not going to do anything good about it?