The title of this blog comes from the inscription on Hopkins Gate at Williams College, my alma mater. You walk through this gate and past these words after graduating—they set a pretty high bar for their graduates at Williams. The picture is of the coolest birthday present I have ever received (not to slight any other present—it’s always amazing to get a present)—but this one is a quote from one of my books! Sewn in multi-colored gloriousness by my friend! Thank you, Alison!
I start with these two thoughts because they are about aspiring to accomplish grand things. A little over a year ago, I started this blog with the intention of writing a critical essay on an aspect of the craft of an entire children’s or young adult novel every two weeks. That, I’ve realized, was a “star” goal. Maybe, like, a quasar goal. (Little astronomy joke…) I have achieved, at my most rigorous, one blog a month, and at my least, one blog every four months. And so I feel I have to change things up.
I plan on doing a craft blog every three months. Four a year—I think I can handle that. In the interim months, I’m thinking of posting little weirdnesses. Like today’s blog, which features a scrap of my past, some luscious juvenilia dredged up from the depths of the storage boxes.
This treasure is a part of a larger essay that strangely printed on five pages even though it’s only twelve paragraphs long…which is pretty long, considering I wrote this in third grade. Ah, the wonders of word processing in 1985. Check out the little perforated daisy wheel printer strip. Awesome.
The paragraph reads:
When I grow up I’d like to be a teacher, a scientist, a doctor, a writer, and an interior decorator! I’d like to get married, have two beautiful children, and live in a warm climate. I’ll have five horses, two dogs, three cats, twenty-five tropical fish, and some rodents (guinea pigs). I also want some artwork, and I like artwork that is abstract, non-objective, and cubism. My home should also have sculptures that look like big golden brass horses, and crystal swans in the window. Around the swans I would like hanging plants, and there will be palm trees in the backyard surrounding a lacquer pool with crystal vases full of big tropical flowers.
Now, those are some goals.
I can confirm for my eight-year-old self that I have been a teacher, but never a doctor or a scientist, though I did take chemistry in college and have learned a lot on my own about ocean life (and giant squids in particular) by watching the Discovery Channel. I’m going to give myself “interior decorator” because I picked out our living room couch. And, YES! I’m a writer!
I am married with only one child (who is beautiful:), but live in a climate where spring equals sleet-frozen mud all over everything (read: not warm). I have the two dogs, but only one cat, and none of the other menagerie. I am actually quite perplexed by my eight-year-old self’s interest in cubism and abstract art. Most of all by the fact that she knew of such things and by those names. Alas, I don’t think there’s any cubism in the house.
Most interesting to me, however, is the amount of detail I put into the pool at my future home. Talk about reaching for the stars! But this is what I mean: you gotta reach for them quasars, baby.
The part of this essay which warms me to my core is that my eight-year-old self ended with this:
Even if I don’t have all this, I want to be happy and with the people I love.
Eight-year-old self, we may not have the lacquer pool, but we’ve nailed this last one.
I’m counting this blog as the May blog because heck, it’s almost May. So look for my next blog in June! And it will be the promised craft blog on textual anomalies!
25th April 2011
Importance of Aim in Life
Importance of Aim in Life :
"A soul without a high aim is like a ship without a rudder." - Eileen Caddy
The rudder of a ship steers the ship to a particular destination. Similarly aim or goal set by us directs our life to a particular destination. A life without an aim is absolutely meaningless. Thus , needless to say that in order to shape up one’s life ,one must not only have a proper aim in life but should also have a profound desire to achieve it.
Aim can also be termed as Goal or Target. Once the goal is set, human minds start formulating several ways and means following which the target set can be reached. All our thoughts and efforts are channelized in that specific direction leading towards the target. Many a times we find the route to the target is very tough and turbulent .There are various obstacles overcoming which becomes quite a difficult task for us, we feel completely exhausted, thereby losing our focus, self-confidence, concentration and most importantly our hope. Precisely speaking it is the challenge that life throws at us, our destiny starts testing our patience, confidence, courage and stamina. At this stage, we should not feel despaired, instead we should scrutinize every step of our movement, learning from our previous mistakes . This is the time when our intense desire of achieving our aim replenishes us with self-confidence, optimism, stamina and enthusiasm which helps to regain our positive energy to fight back and throwing a challenge towards life, destiny in return.
In other words we can say that our intense desire to achieve our goal rejuvenates our minds in all possible ways, we regain our stamina, energy, enthusiasm to experiment with our potential, our capabilities, our expertise. Thus we can say that setting an aim in life and being passionate enough to achieve it do not only direct our life to a particular destination but also sharpen and strengthen our mind and body, thereby firming our character in totality.
In life we all set our goals and pursue them to the best of our capacity, but all our goals need not be money oriented. Certain goals are set to serve humanity. Sometimes certain goal set by human beings are so noble that monetory factor turns out to be very insignificant compared to the chastity of such an aim. For instance, Mother Teresa, her sole aim in life was to serve the downtrodden and distressed people surviving in this world. The world salutes Mother Teresa for her gracious contribution to the society.
Unfortunately, today we all are accustomed to materialistic life to such an extent that all our aims are mostly money-oriented in nature. In order to live a healthy life and to maintain a proper standard of living we do require money. Money is essential for survival, but let us not forget we are human beings and not machines. As human beings we do have moral responsibilities towards our families, society, country, but our extremely money-oriented ambitions are making us mercenary, exterminating our humane qualities in totality, thereby giving birth to several malicious qualities in human minds. This is one reason why today a certain category of people do not hesitate to dump their old, ailing, helpless parents in old age homes.
Human beings are blessed with several benevolent instincts, to name a few - love, compassion, respect, geneourosity, most importantly - unique mind power which can distinguish between the right and the wrong. Therefore we should exercise our mind power to such a level that our mind should guide us to take only righteous steps and decisions in life. Humans without benevolent instincts, a thoughtful compassionate mind is same as a brutal animal. We should always maintain a balance between our ambition and our moral responsibilities, our inefficiency in striking a proper balance between the two is giving birth to several family, social problems which is rottening the society.
It is very important to have a constructive aim in life . Our aims should construct our lives with everything virtuous, righteous that life has to offer in plenty. We should always remember that for purchasing the best quality product from the market we have to pay a high price. Similarly higher our aim, tougher will be the road leading to the target, but with complete focus, concentration, dedication we can reach our goal, breaking all barriers and obstacles. An aim which is destructive in nature might provide us with all luxuries but it robs us of all humane qualities.
AUTHOR : Ms. Sormista Pal - India
Importance of Aim in Life - Importance of Aim in Life