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Travels in Life - Transience Divine
January 16th, 2008
12:25 pm

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Travels in Life
One of the powers of travel-- or maybe it's of truered's book-- is that it makes you think about the direction of your life. I told a friend recently that what I wanted in life more than anything-- more than enlightenment or good friends or incredible experiences-- was to leave it a better place than I found it. But instead over the past two years, I've spent my time chasing after women, spending gobs of money and time to start a travel blog business, and spending more to see the world. And for what? To better be a person, to make something cool, to understand the world? It's all dry-runs; practicing instead of doing. I'm the only one to benefit. And for all the fun I get out of my contract work, it's just fun; I can't take pride in it, because it's isn't helping anyone.

There are a million ways my skills could go towards making this world a better place. I have a project already made to help college students find host homes in swing states so they can change the political sphere. My aunt is bringing infrastructure and computers to the wilds of Costa Rica. One Laptop Per Child needs skilled programmers. And if all else fails, there's always Pakistani schools.

I've been thinking of where to go when I leave Cambridge. Prague has a huge appeal. It's a place for artists, and people who live life as art. We are all artists, desperately trying to manifest our deepest selves, and let our art shine so that someone else will want to share its glow. That (translated, distilled, reduced) was the understanding that came from my recent acid trip.

Now I disagree. Life is love, and a love of art is to mistake the finger pointing for the object it's pointing at. Loving is easy; I don't want to love my art-- I'd rather love children in third-world countries.

Of course, I won't totally give up life as art. It's too much a part of me. Or for that matter give up chasing women (especially not in this lovely country) or my travel blog (it will be great and useful) or travel (it continues to serve me well). But Prague? I'm more likely to move to Africa.

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From:richenza
Date:January 16th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
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Well, if you did move to Prague, perhaps we'd see you there. Jack is talking to a company that wants to hire him to project manage - part-time here in Boston and part-time in Prague. If there is any sort of god, we'll be making babies soon, so I will be out of conventional work for a few years. (I'm planning to try writing professionally, but parenting is such a time-sink that I don't know if it will work. Also, I know fuck-all about publishing one's work. Still, it's better than doing no grown-up things for five years.) We'll see.

Making the world a better place is such a subjetive thing that I don't think you can easily quantify it. Do what you have to do to be happy, and to share that happiness.
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From:jrising
Date:January 16th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
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That's sounds fantastic! I hope that works out for you (especially the baby-part!!!).

I do plan on doing what makes me happy, and I think that's one of the best ways to approach making the world a better place. But I'm interested in seeing what I can get out of a life more dedicated to helping-- I think the personal rewards will far outweigh the difficulties.
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From:redcat9
Date:January 16th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
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I would agree that the goal of life is to make the world a better place, but I think that can be done on any scale. Yes, educating children and curing disease has far-reaching benefits, but I think being a person that brings light and laughter into other people's lives is more important. The world has many jerks: people who argue at ticket counters with workers who have no power to do anything; people who cut you off in traffic; people who give others the finger for no reason. Being the person who is pleasant when things go wrong and makes other people a little happier is I think the most important thing.
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From:truered
Date:January 16th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
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Glad you like the book!

It really does make you think about saving the world doesn't it?
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