The Root Of It

Have you ever thought about where your beliefs came from? I know that the majority of what we believe as adults was instilled in us by our parents, they taught us what they thought to be true, how they understood the world to work. Of course, as children we believe that our parents have all the answers.

I’ve long since realized that my parents are just people. When I think that my mom was pregnant with my brother at my age, I cringe. She had no more knowledge of the world than I do and she was about to have an entire human life dependant on her for survival. It baffles me how one can expect to teach another human being all about the world when they in fact, one knows nearly nothing about it.

But, I digress. Some of my beliefs come from my parents, that’s for certain. Many of them can be pin-pointed to a specific moment when I was told that that was how the world works.

There is, however, one belief that I can’t seem to pin-point the origin of. I’m sure you all have it, that one thing that you believe deep down in the pit of your stomach, but can’t really understand where it came from.

Moments ago I held an eyelash on my finger tip. “Make a wish,” I told myself. I started thinking about all my eyelash wishes, all my breath-holding tunnel wishes, all my shooting star wishes, and I remembered something I used to do as a kid. As far back as I can remember, whenever I was presented with a wishing scenario the majority of the time I wouldn’t wish for myself. I always thought that if I give up enough wishes to someone else (generally it was someone less fortunate than myself) then maybe, just maybe the one time I actually wish for myself it would come true. I suppose this was a rudimentary understanding of “karma.” But, I was never told about karma. I was never told that if I do enough for someone else someone would do something for me. It could have merely been implied in my parent’s rearing tactic, but something tells my parents didn’t think that far ahead.

What was this innate desire to better someone else in the hopes that in the end it would better myself? Perhaps it’s social conditioning or an evolutionary heard mentality. Whatever it is, it stuck with me.

Despite entering the “selfish” years of my life, I still feel the need to give up my wishes, so to speak. While, I’ve learnt that it’s not bad to go and do something for myself, I still feel that tug of guilt weighing at my heals whenever I decide to do something that’s all about me.

Needless to say, this is human behaviour at its finest. What belief is deep seeded in your DNA, that one thing you’ve always believed in your whole life, that one idea you just can’t ever shake from your ideals?


There Was Laughter, But There Will Be No Forgetting

First off, I apologize for my long absence. There is no excuse except that I have been distracted.

Moments ago I finished reading¬†The Book of Laughter and Forgetting¬†by Milan Kundera. It’s an excellent read, although I sometimes found myself getting lost between the myriad of characters and the bounces from plot to plot.¬†

Milan Kundera is the first Czech author that I have read and being of Czech heritage you would think I would know more about the country from which my family hails. Sadly, I know very little. However, through this book I learnt quite a bit about the Communist Revolution and the Russian take-over.

Despite the history lesson, Kundera provides great insight into the vast and unknown human condition. It’s odd how well and easily I related to so many of the occurrences in this novel, and yet I’m only in my early twenties and yet to experience most of them.

The novel is deep, light, comical, serious, erotic, humorous, delightful, heartbreaking, and questionable. It’s safe to say I really enjoyed it and that Kundera is climbing my top favourite authors list.

If you haven’t already experienced Kundera’s work, I urge you to do so. You’ll learn something about yourself.