On Lines, Planes and Distances

Lines.

“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”

Euclidean geometry speaking.

The path between two goals is not a straight line- it’s a wavy, over-sideways-under, ascending-descending line. Things won’t always go according to plan, so I’ve learned that in the face of difficulties, you have three choices.

The first is to face it head on and break it.

The second is to find a way around it.

The third is to endure it.

My older friends were right: while college does open the doors towards the future, it won’t give you the keys to open them. You have to find the keys and open the doors yourself. Using these three methods have only done so much. When I did it the first way, I didn’t break all the challenges. When I did it the second way, I found out that only the third way is the solution. When I did the third way, I found that it deprived my spirit.

In college, I’ve learned a fourth way to face difficulties: to turn it into a strength. My personal favorite is to use those challenges to inspire me to fight harder. No challenge shall confound me. They’re all going to be my bitches.

Planes.

There is this Indian story about a group of blind men touching an elephant

and comparing what they think an elephant is. Each touched a different part of the elephant.

One man, after touching the tusk, said that the elephant is a hard, thin beast. The man who touched the elephant’s rump argued otherwise and said that the elephant is like a wall. Another told the two that they were wrong; he said that the elephant was like a snake after touching the tail. Still another said that the elephant was like a bird after touching the tail.

Naturally, they didn’t see eye-to-eye, (no pun intended). Going to college has opened up my eyes to new perspectives and has shattered my misconceptions. The plane I’m in now isn’t as one-sided as before, it has grown by meeting new people, facing new challenges and discovering new things about the self.

Distances.

The young shall succeed the old.

Filipino parents would usually tell their children: “Papunta pa lamang kayo, pabalik na kami.” (“We’re already going back when you’re only on your way.”) whenever they feel that they’re being naive and foolish. They use it as a justification for their authority.

I would like to believe otherwise. They may have already gone the distance of their lifetime, but they fail to consider the distance that we shall journey in our lifetime.

The challenges we are facing right now: terrorism, recession, pandemic, pollution, war, famine, are far different from what they have experienced. I would like to believe that the distance you and I shall travel shall be farther than what they have. This makes our line wavier that theirs.

So where do we lie? We lie on a plane called life and we intersect at one point or another (Elliptical and Hyperbolic geometry speaking). We make our own line, and we bridge the distance our own way, using our own choices.

Enough of this. I’m hungry.

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    For people who love to think.

    Jian Carlo R. Narag, MD

    2005-2017

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