Sunday, 24 January 2010

on elephants

Taken from Random Acts of Heroic Love:

“Elephants live to seventy, reach adulthood at twenty and socialize in groups. When an elephant dies in the wild, the other members of the herd will stand over the corpse for days mourning. In one case over a hundred elephants stood vigil over a dead elephant. One of them tried to pick it up and stand it on its feet nearly sixty times before eventually giving up. Sometimes they will cover the body with leaves and branches. Eventually with visible signs of distress they will leave the corpse but they often return over the following days to pay their respects. One female elephant was observed leaving the herd and walking thirty miles to visit the bones of a recently departed mate. Whenever elephants pass the place where another elephant dies they will stop and stand in silence for long periods. They might pick up the bones affectionately and hug them as if mourning the loss. In a zoo in India a female elephant watched her cage mate die while giving birth to a stillborn calf. She stood stock still for a long time until her legs eventually gave way. For three weeks she lay in one spot with her trunk curled up, her ears drooping and her eyes moist. No matter how hard they tried her keepers could not persuade her to eat. They watched her slowly starve herself to death.”

-Danny Scheinmann

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

"Don't Just Like"

A blackberry ad I came across and liked/(loved?) that builds on my last post...

“Don’t just like.”
Like is watered-down love.
Like is mediocre.
Like is the wishy-washy emotion of the content.
Athletes don’t do it for the like of a sport.
Artists don’t suffer for the like of art.
There is no I Like N.Y. t-shirt.
And Romeo didn’t just like Juliet.

LOVE. Now that’s powerful stuff.
Love changes things.
Upsets things.
Conquers things.
Love is at the root of everything good that has ever happened, and will ever happen.
LOVE what you do.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


TM is a source of inspiration, not in the way he teaches or his ability to teach, but in his passion for the subject that he teaches. Out of my class of 15, only 8 are present for his final lecture in a series of classes. Not that my class has an amazing attendance track record, but TM’s teaching style definitely contributes to the lack of motivation to attend class. Often, as I look up at him and around at the class, I know at times he is talking to himself, fascinated by whatever it is he is presenting. The class is either preparing for another class, taking notes that are basically just words on a paper with no coherence, googling directions for a place they must be after class, checking email behind their laptop screens, practicing writing with their left hands, or simply daydreaming. While TM may not be able to teach to the class’s level or whatever it is the class requires, thus making the class less than a phenomenal one, one cannot leave without admiring his passion—something so many people lack. I find that people do things half-heartedly, and so TM is a breath of fresh air in a sense that he can be so engrossed and excited about a topic that he has spent years studying.