This is a curious thing. Maybe I'm thinking too much again. So at the dinner table, two women sitting next to me asked me to open a jar for her. Sure thing, The there is a girl sitting across to us on another table said, "turn it upside down and hit bottom a couple times." Well, I tried first to open it without doing anything, it didn't open. So I know exactly what it will take, just hit the lid on table edge slightly, and after that, since the girl was saying so, I turned it upside down, hit bottom a couple times, and after a few seconds of struggle, the lid came off. The woman who requested this job said, "还是小姑娘利害"... errr...


    This gets me thinking, why? why people care about credits? why such a comment will make me think more than once? is that because it bothers me? but then, I couldn't care less what she said in return, or whether credits go to the young girl who chipped in an advice, which I knew for sure will not work (because this is not a Snapple bottle, and I'm sure her experience is from that kind of opener), and hitting lid will leak air, thus balancing air pressure of the jar, and that's what makes it possible to open the lid. Well, but I won't, and won't be able to, explain all these to them. So the woman had no sense of thanking me for the hard work, and the girl said nothing and took full credits. Awkward, isn't it?

    But why did that happen? and isn't there other moments in life that this exact same scenario plays? How about someone comments how well doing your son is, and you are happy, because without saying, you, the parents, own all the credits?

    But is that so, at all? what about his teacher at school? or his friend at YMCA? or a butterfly effect that any minute affair can just change your life, so what you have today, see today, is really an accumulation of all these little events, encounters, combined!? then what about credits to these people? Even if you want to send them all the thanks and appreciations, it is impossible to execute. So these hidden influencers, will not get any credits. How unfair!

    This is really strange. But we all know we care about getting a thank you when you did, or you thought you did, something good. This is exact the problem of a broken marriage, in which two become out of sync of who is doing whom a favor, and who owes whom a thank you, or an apology! Therefore, it's only logical to argue that such expectation is built in, that it is only natural for you think and to expect that way, thus, will be disappointed when it doesn't happen. In other words, the annoyances, or even hate, is a logical result of you having such expectation at the first place.

    But you don't get to choose not having such built-ins at all. Just like another thought I realized yesterday — life is such a misery, that you don't get to choose its beginning, nor its ending (as of today), then it will only be extremely foolish to believe that you have control over the process in between!

    The truth must be, you don't. So, what is life about? A journey you are put through, no choice, no option. Then, what's the odds that it is already written, somewhere, by someone!? Very likely I would say.

    pattern, control

    Then, there is another interesting conversation I picked up the other day. A nurse at Taikang was commenting that she "figured out" a 规率 of a patient, and this is common in daily conversations. The speaker usually showed a face of pride, and it is taken as a positive comment because it feels we now understand a pattern, and feels we are now in control → we can next time manage this, better.

    This definitely makes me believe, that seeking a pattern, is another built-in feature of human — we are actively looking for patterns, summarizing in order to formulate a pattern, and without a pattern, which in my mind is a repeatable process or action, we don't have management. Period.

    But having pattern, or thinking that we have a pattern, gives us a false sense of being in control! I would simply argue that seeing a pattern is a clue to figure out a causal effect relationship, but it does not logically yield better management at all — and for being in control, well, I have just said in previous section that we simply do not have any control. Period.

    So, how many of these human built-ins are there, I wonder!? I feel we know so little about ourselves, that it can leave people like me to wonder, to 胡说八道, to entertain myself with these words, these thoughts, and leaving myself a laughing stock for God or anyone else for that matter.

    If only I could even be a joke, so at least it makes someone smile ← wait a minute, then, do I get a "thank you"!??


    — by Feng Xia


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