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Another way to give back

This post includes a bit of my shameless confessions with the hope that it can help younger friends to think of their lives in healthy way.

Youth: purity, devotion, and disillusion

I am not very young. My college days are almost two decades ago. When I was in college, I was one of those kids who never had doubt that he was going to do important works to the mankind. Now it is clear that I am not one of those exceptional figures who leave big footsteps at the early stage of their life. Far from it. When I finally had to admit it (it happened may be five to ten years ago), I had a little crisis.

Thanks to the school I went and places I worked, I also have many friends who are high achievers. I think of them with a great admiration. But the thought sometimes heads to a wrong direction, and start telling me that I am not as great. That is not good, and certainly not fair to myself because I am looking at 10 great people, picking up their talented areas, compiling them as an imaginary Frankenstein who is super good at anything it does. Then I am comparing this monster to me. I always lose in this competition.

I confess that I often hurt my own feelings that way, and I certainly remind you not to do it if you are like me in this way. Gradually, I made a reconciliation to myself, and started to think, from the very bottom, how I am going to project my life from where I stand actually.

Lavender in our backyard

When a superman retires, he does gardening.

I first relieved myself from the pressure that I had to change the world. Instead, first focus on my own health and happiness more than anything else. After making sure that I am happy, I make sure my wife and my family are well. Then I can be good to friends and neighbors. I started to be self-centered because I used to think from the very opposite when I was younger. As noble as it sounds, starting from the biggest picture does not work well for earthling creature like me. I must live my life first, and gradually reach out to the surroundings.

What would I do once I retire from the heroic ambitions of saving the world? I cook good food to myself. I do home projects for fun and practical uses. I self-trained myself to run a marathon twice. I plant flowers, vegetables, and fruits in the backyard. I make silver jewelries. I am just having fun.

Growing the center circle of self.

Then I got married to a wonderful woman. I am sharing those funs to my dearest partner in my life. I cook for her (though she does more often to me). I entertain her with my strange home projects. I share moments with her. When I am happy, she is also happy (and vice-versa, of course). Pursuing health and happiness for myself suddenly got connected to someone else's happiness.

I am also getting this feeling of being established slowly. I don't need to look for a date. I don't need to worry too much about financial situation. I have mental, physical, and small financial wealth that I would rather like to use for my family than my personal adventures. It's not as self-centered as before. At least, the center circle has grown a little bigger.

Knowledge is power. France is bacon. So share it. 1

And there is knowledge and experience. The thing about me is that I always want to learn some new subjects and new skills. I want to put them to use for my daily life. Many of them turn out to be utterly useless, but knowledge gained from both successes and failures are equally valuable to me. So, I am now starting to re-think how I do things and document what I do, and share my learnings before my memory fades away. Thanks to the people who worked to make knowledge so accessible, my little projects and silly questions are answered so efficiently from the web everyday. Many gems of the web pages that I find are written by ordinary people like me. So, why should I hesitate in doing my share?

So, my friends and family, I hope I at least entertain you with the hobby electronics projects. I hope you enjoy the home made kale chips that I made with a DIY food-dehydrator. I hope you laughed to the silly video I make for April Fools'2. And I hope, by repeating those silly activities, I learn something in depth little by little, and one day things I share can be of help to something that matters in this world.


  1. I thought my projects fits well to this propaganda (?) as it is about learning through doing silly things. Lard_Baron comments on What word or phrase did you totally misunderstand as a child? 

  2. Sorry, I cannot quite share this video yet. This was an internal joke at the company I work. I try to pull a prank every year. 

Original post: April 6, 2014 | Last updated: April 6, 2014

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