Friday, April 6, 2007

Enlightenment

Last week I asked my readers that they like to read and didn't really get any response (Thanks for your comment Katie, otherwise I would have zero comment for that post, which would have been pretty embarrassing...)

Actually, one friend told me that I should write more about my daily life. Yeah, most of the blogs I've seen before are like that: people write about what happens to them everyday, much like a diary to me. You may not agree with me, but I think it's kind of boring. People usually are interested in the private lives of celebrities not because their lives are particularly interesting; a mountain climber's daily life probably is more fun. We buy magazines that reveals private lives of celebrities because they themselves are interesting to us. Will you be interested in who your neighbor (whom you only say "Hi" to and don't care much about) is dating this weekend? Probably not. Will you be interested in who Britney Spear's new boyfriend is? Well maybe not now, but it should be a "Hell yeah" a few years ago.

Do people find me as a person interesting? I don't really think so. How can an engineer be interesting anyways? :) (In a recent event named Three Strangers and a Wedding held by Mark and Brian, that poor engineer potential groom was obviously not attractive to any of the brides) So, writing about my daily life is most likely a good strategy to drive my readers away :P


What should I write about then? Since I started this weblog, I've been writing stuff similar to what I like to read. There're two types of stuff I won't be tired of reading everyday:
  • Something that makes me laugh/happy
  • Something that enlightens me
Like many nerds, I've a constant appetite of learning. However, one thing that excites me more than gaining new knowledge is enlightenment. What I mean by enlightenment is something that changes the way I think about certain thing, especially if I'm so accustomed to a "standard" perspective.

For example, most people would agree that rewarding employees with certain incentive will increase their productivity. However, Joel did not agree about that. Although I didn't not completely agree with what he said, he made me think of this traditional incentive/bonus management methodology in a completely new perspective. To my mind, a new way of thinking like this one is more valuable than functional knowledge (such as learning how to do oil change for a car or how to set up a server) as it opens up a new horizon of viewpoints for me to explore.

One of my old posts "Do you really see the reality?" was written with that purpose. I don't necessarily want people to agree with my opinions. Actually, I'd feel happier if people don't agree with me and tell me about it since it can very well be another enlightenment to me. That's why I always welcome people leaving comments on my weblog.

A scene in the TVB drama "To Get Unstuck In Time" kind of impressed me. Roger Kwok was walking Flora Chan (who was in a wheelchair) on a pavement along a seashore. The sun was setting and Roger exclaimed in awe how beautiful it was. Some auto sprinklers were sprinkling the plants along the sides of the pavement. Suddenly, Flora told Roger to kneel a little and look at the sunset through the mist. What appeared in front of Roger were several rainbows reinforcing the grandeur of the setting sun, which was a marvelous picture.

"People who cannot walk like me may have lost many opportunities in life, " Flora told Roger. "but these beautiful rainbows could only been seen by people riding in wheelchairs since normal people see the world at a different height."

This is a perfect analogy of what I regard as enlightenment: seeing something in a brand new direction, which may not be discovered until someone points the way to it.

I don't and am not qualified to have the greedy hope of being the source of enlightenment (this is the job of saints like Gandhi). However, I'd be so glad if my posts can make you think differently once in a while in this busy world :)