This is another reason why I'm pretty sure I'll be in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. ;) I really need to get my act together in the next couple of years to plan this reunion out. Man, that structure is quite stunning to the say the least. Mick thinks the idea is a no-brainer and the execution is what's going to make it or break it. Well, let's hope those guys do a good job, cuz you really don't want to piss off the Chinese government. ;)

Speaking of Beijing, it's that time of the year when I long so desperately for my friends back home. It's the holiday season, what can I say... I think the feeling gets stronger and stronger every year, and it's probably the single most prominent proof that I've not yet reached zen status in terms of having become that oh-so-rational-and-completely-uneffected-by-emotion type of geek. Yay~ technology has yet to take over my mind~ heh heh :) While it's true that I saw them just a few months ago, it's not quite as easy as measuring the "missing" factor in such a quantitative way. I'm beginning to think that perhaps the way to go would be to take a vacation during the winter time rather than during the summer time. Hmm... I hope it snows a lot in Corea next winter. But, I digress...

While trying to calm my emotions a bit so that I can endure this holiday season without my beloved friends and families, I was reminded of some of the teachings I had recently come across in my readings on buddhism. In the context of the Mahayana buddhism, there seems to be quite a bit of mention on everything being relative. You could say that it's the usual yin and the yang idea, but it does talk about it with more concrete examples, such as the notion of only being able to derive the concept of non-being from the concept of being, the fact that one cannot completley understand light without darkness, etc... After hearing about this, it occured to me that, perhaps, this is exactly why we have such trouble measuring our emotions in a relative way. Having trouble understanding the relativity because of the concept of relativity? Does that sound ironic? Lemme explain.

As far as I can tell, we are, by nature, extremely selfish animals, and a rather short sighted ones at that. You can argue all day how you consider yourself to be an enlightened being or that you can look all the way into the future, blah, blah, but unless you can tell me that you can shove a 10 ft. long aligator up your ass and not feel a thing, I ain't buying. Let's assume for a moment that we agree that the way in which we deal with our emotions is largely based on our limited knowledge of the universe which is derived from our own as well as inferred experiences. Given that at the time of birth we don't have a whole shit load of either, we're basically left with a very low threshold in terms of being able to adress our emotions. Babies are quick to just cry their lungs out if they feel discomfort in the form of pain, hunger, etc... The absolute threshold by which they decide how to deal with different emotions is very low. They don't think about how little bit of hunger is actually nothing compared to starving for years and years, or the fact that bumping into a table hurts nothing lke being stabbed with a knife. In the absence of anything you can compare to, they just all become absolute measures. As we grow, our threshold is raised, and we get better at dealing with emotions. We're now much less likely to cry because we've skipped a meal or have bumped our knees against a table since we now have a better sense of where those feelings fit in the spectrum of pain we've suffered so far. Now, you may argue that the very act of being able to compare all your past measurments of pain before deciding whether or not any pain is considered worthy of your tear drops, is a sign of being able to fathom the concept of relativity. However, I'd like to argue that the threshold itself is a rather selfish one, and it pegs itself so short that we may as well still be dealing with an absolute measure.

The point I'm trying to address is that the threshold gets set by ourselves, and not by some universal emotion registrar. So while one can preach all day about a kid living in the 3rd world country who would kill to be able to study at a university, the poor freshmen who's struggling with his super advanced calculus course at a highly competitive university isn't likely going to give a rat's ass. I also tend to think that even if that kid were to be given the chance to leave the 3rd world habitat in order to study at the same university, it may just be a matter of time befoe the kid also starts complaining about the workload. Let's face it, if there's one thing we're pretty good at, it's thriving towards becoming a lazy bum, and our emotional threshold, naturally, tends to decline along that general direction.

I honestly don't think we can really ever tune ourselves to the truly relative measures of emotion; if it hurts, it hurts, and we don't care if it hurts less than giving birth cuz it just f'in hurts. It's simply unnatural for us to reach that sort of zen status, and when we're constantly compard to others, it simply produces knee jerk reactions that ultimately lead to ignorance more than anything else. In general, human nature seems to dicate that any notion of relativity has to sink in by itself through personal experience or self realization, as we rarely look beyond the current emotional threshold that we're accustomed to. Man... ain't human nature a bitch?

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Just in case you were wondering what Jun Young looks like; here he is! :) He is an exact replica of his dad, I swear... It's uncanny! I wonder what his soon-to-be-born sister would look like!! Oh, yeah... Speaking of birth... Corea recently tried to come up with a more "user-friendly" name for condoms as a promotin for safe sex and HIV prevention. The idea seemed like a good one, until they picked "애필 (Eh Pill)" which literally means "Must for love" out of about 20,000 public suggestions. I can't say that I really like the ring of that word, and I was kinda weirded out about the whole use of Chinese characters over pure Corean. At any rate, it looks like they're going have to go back to square one, as they've been getting numerous complaints from people who, incidentally, were now officially named after a condom. Pu heh heh. Never knew "Eh Pill" was a popular first name in Corea. I definitely did not see that one coming! :D

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