Monday, February 19, 2024


Be remembered for the brief but glorious life once lived.

Be a distant memory and leave the party quietly. 

If one has to make a choice, what would it be?  

Should we listen to the heart or the head?  The world always moves on. 

'Is it fair' is no longer a relevant question to ask. 

The message on the banner I saw in 1989 flashed across my mind as if it was a recent encounter. 

The four Chinese words on that banner was a stark reminder of what life really is. 

To my young mind, that was the truth. A bitter truth. I shed tears. At first, just some. Later, buckets. 

For a long time, the brutal truth screamed in my head. Until I was distracted. 

Being reminded in 2003 of its truth once again. It was painful and yet not so much too. 


Why is it so hard now? 

Friday, June 2, 2023

OneMIT Mark Rober

“While the world — and possibly your parents — may be expecting big things from you right away, I want to give you permission, for a while, to not know,” Kornbluth said. “And to try different paths. And to change your mind. Especially in this world with new industries, new disciplines, and new jobs emerging on every frontier.”

In his address, Rober offered three distinct pieces of advice for MIT’s graduates — accompanied at times by the theme music from his videos. Roper’s first item was to “embrace naive optimism” as a way of avoiding excessive doubt and discouragement.

“It’s easier to be optimistic about your future opportunities when you’re sort of naive about what lies ahead,” Rober said, using the challenge of graduating from MIT as one example. “If you truly understood what would be required, that discouragement might have prevented you from starting.” He added that such an attitude can also aid a big life decision. “When you feel like you want to know the results before you decide, but the true outcome is simply unknowable.”

Instead, Rober suggested, “Life is like trying to cross a big flowing river with lots of rocks and boulders strewn about.” We must negotiate things one rock or boulder at a time, he emphasized, remarking that “the willingness to jump from my current safe rock to the next is what I feel has led me from college to NASA to YouTube to eventually landing on this rock, of giving the commencement speech at M-I- freaking-T. There’s no way I could have predicted that path when I was exactly in your shoes 20 years ago.”

As a second nugget of advice, Rober advised graduates to “frame your failures” in order to learn from them without being too stressed by them — as one might in a casual setting like video gaming, where people are unselfconsciously motivated to improve.

“I feel like when you frame a challenge or a learning process in this way, you actually want to do it,” Rober said. “If you want to cross the river of life, you’re gonna get wet, you’re gonna have to backtrack, and that’s not a bug, that’s a feature.”

Thirdly, Rober advised the graduates, “foster your relationships. A sad truth about getting older is, life gets busier and busier and it gets harder and harder to make really close friends like you made here in school.”

We have evolved as cooperative creatures, he noted, and should “positively apply confirmation bias to [our] relationships. If you assume good intentions on the part of your friends and family, and you tell yourself you’re lucky to have them, your brain will naturally work to find evidence to support that.”

In an address laced with humor and quips, Rober turned serious while discussing his mother, who “took being a mom and instilling values in her children really seriously. As such, she’s the single biggest influence on my life by far.” Over a decade ago, Rober’s mother died from ALS. Even so, he said, “I love the idea that the ripples from her influence are being felt as strongly as they ever have, through the work that I try and do now.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Poem by Becky Hemsley on Dementia

When I am older
I might not remember
I might get confused
And I might lose my temper
And there may be times
When I don’t know your name
Because it’s been trapped,
Locked away in my brain
And though it will hurt
To think I could forget you
Offer me smiles,
Hold my hand if I’ll let you
And talk of adventures
We had long ago
Show me the photos
Of people I know
Play music we’ve danced to
And songs we have sung
Read me the books I read
When I was young
‘Cause your voice and your words
Might just be the key
That opens the door -
That unlocks it for me
And maybe the music
Will spark tiny embers
Of memories dormant
And I will remember
Your name and your face
And the words to our song
The times and the places
To which I’ve belonged
And it might last moments
Or minutes or more
As the fire sheds light
Through the crack in the door
But when the door closes
And gone are the flames
When you are once more
A stranger again
Just know you’ll have stirred something
Deep down inside
Something familiar
That I recognise
Something that’s real
That’s not stored in my head
But right at the core
Of my heart space instead
Something that’s stirred
By your smiles and your stories
The touch of your hand
And the songs you sing for me
And though I’ll have no words to tell you
Just trust
That deep down inside
I’ll remember
I’m loved


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