The second edition of my random posts. As expected from something that emerges five days before Christmas, it can be seen as somewhat holiday related. As might be expected from my posts, it’s random. And as expected from terry*, it’s a musing on issues that hopefully has relevance for you, the reader. Here are three thoughts, in paragraph form with lots of brackets and not necessarily in full sentences.
(Holiday) Thought #1: Kindness
-We always hear about the benefits of random acts of kindness. If not for others, then these small gestures at least make us feel better about ourselves. I feel just a bit guilty whenever there is an opportunity to be good and I act like the average person, ignoring the chance to make the world just a little bit more friendly. Holding that door open. Shouting at the bus driver to wait from the person running to catch the bus. Dropping loose change into that rattling coffee cup. Saying please and thank you and have a nice day to the cashier. Grabbing an extra coffee for that friend who’s studying hard in the library. I wonder though, sometimes, if the small things add up to who I am.
I’d like to think I’m a good person in general. But I am no Ghandi, no Mother Theresa, not even one of those people we like to call “everyday heroes” like firemen or nurses. Sure I volunteer (then again do most young people, apparently), and I donate to Amnesty International, and I even invite in Mormon missionaries when they knock on my door. But faced with all the issues we talk about on this site, sometimes all I can do is read up, maybe sign a petition, maybe spread the word, maybe donate…and hope for the best. I wonder though, sometimes, if that’s all we can do.
(End of the year) Thought #2: 2009 in review
– New US president. Elections in Iraq. Plenty of terrorist acts. Israeli/Palestinian saga continues. Stem cells make the cover of Times. New Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church (I didn’t know about it either). Coup d’etats (e.g. Madagascar). G-20 summits. North Korea controversies. Swine flu craziness. More recession-related news. Sri Lankan civil war (apparently) ends? Air France flight (along with lots of other planes) crashes. iPhone (and apps) mania. Greenland becomes more independent. Sweden = presidency of EU. G-8 summit. Natural disasters (e.g. in Taiwan, Indonesia). Leno (not really) quits late-night. Brazil becomes the newest Olympic host. Prisoners get caught, some released. Guantanamo stuff. Political scandals around the world (way too many to reference here). Iraq and Afghanistan continue. Vancouver 2010 revs up even more. Copenhagen. And much much much more. … (All this courtesy of another Google feature).
I can’t believe the time has passed this fast. I say this every single year, and so do almost everyone I meet. Is the world worse? A better place? Just about the same? If I took a poll, I doubt I’d get a consensus. For my part, I work by the old adage: expect the worst, hope for the best.
(December) Thought #3: University, Family and Friends
-I often talk about school. Namely my struggle with coming to terms with this beloved institution of ours. Now that exams are over, I am much more inclined to be positive. It’s been a crazy year for UBC as well, with the latest head-shake-inducing news coming from our AMS president, Mr. Blake Frederick. There are plenty of room for improvements at UBC: better teacher evaluations, tuition increases, exam scheduling, administrative transparency, etc. There are also plenty of things to be glad for: great lectures offered throughout the year, all sorts of buses running in and out everyday, clubs coming out of every orifice, student services that know the answer to almost every question, etc.
Lots of things happened at home as well. But as long as my family is still healthy, and my cousins are still cute. I finished wrapping almost all of my presents today. Only a couple more hand-made presents to go… Thankfully my mother can’t operate a computer to go on the internet to find out what she’s getting. Writing inscriptions in six books makes me think about what I want to say to the people in my life. I find that I try to be clever a bit too often, but mostly, I try and tell them I love them. My best friend is coming back from Greece soon; I’m seeing a very nice guy this winter; my family are all doing what they do best (being the best family I could ask for). There’s not much more I could ask for.
Personally, I’m happy to have met the people that I’ve met so far this year. I’m glad I survived my classes (at least I assume, SSC isn’t updated yet). I’m pretty blessed to be able to spill out my thoughts on a cool site like this. I have limitless knowledge to be stuffed into my mind over the next 54 credits… Yes, I should be grateful indeed. I’m guessing so should we all.
So.. this is the end of randomness for now. Just a few more random facts: according to the CIA world fact book, Canada has the eighth highest life expectancy (81.23). Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture. 26% (digits which add up to eight) of the Canadian population is of mixed backgrounds. Huh.