Sam Berns’ Philosophy for a Happy Life
- Be OK with what you ultimately can’t do, because there is so much you CAN do
- Surround yourself with people you want to be around
- Keep moving forward
- Never miss a party if you can help it
The talk was given by Sam Berns, who had a rare genetic disorder called progeria. The above quote is a summary of Sam’s philosophy for his life. He himself explained his philosophy quite well, and I want to add nothing more.
So many people in this world have inspired me, and I want to be the inspiration to others. I do not only want to pay back the good, but also pay it forward.
Sam definitely played an important part in this, he inspired me a lot
though I already had absorbed similar ideas from other people. He was one of the many reasons why I started this site.
Oh Sam, you did change the world.
The matter still needs a lot of thought, study and work, I would really love to hear your opinions.
- a) The nodes are entities.
- b) The labels are perspectives of the nodes.
- c) Each node has a default label.
a) is graph related, nothing special.
b) is related to Neo4j, explains what labels are in the model.
c) is an axiom. It means there is a default perspective for a node.
Every GraphObject in py2neo.ogm, as long as it is to be actually used to wrap a node, has a primary label, thus is a perspective of a node. But not every label has its own corresponding GraphObject.
A month has passed, I’ve made some progress.
- I decided to use the neo4j.
- In order for the content to be manageable, I did the following:
- I chose py2neo, as its developer is the neo4j driver team lead.
- I extended the py2neo.ogm module to fit in the project.
- I designed the development model to help develop the model for the project.
- The model for the project now has its initial form.
NOTE: Things definitely didn’t lineup in the order above, actually I tried to directly use the neo4j browser and cypher first, then I realized that it would be such a pain to maintain the database.
Home, what is home? Where is home? It’s something I didn’t give much thought to. I’ve been away from my parents since high school. I always had the feeling that I don’t belong anywhere. A third of my life has passed, I’m not particularly searching though, I still haven’t found the right place.
Last week I moved to a new apartment, I had to do some cleaning, decide the layout and organize my stuff. When I finished the work, I felt tired and relaxing, and home, a little. I don’t know for sure that I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in this city, definitely not in this temporary apartment though. This time, I have got to choose how to live my life.
I guess home is not found but built. And there’s no place like home. 😊
I haven’t finished reading the whole book, but I’ve read enough to get me started writing. And indeed, it’s about life too.
Good writing is about telling the truth.
E. L. Doctorow once said that “writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only
as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard.
Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draftis the down draft — you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft — you fix it up. You try to say what you have to say more accurately. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it’s loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy.
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.
Besides, perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force (these are words we are allowed to use in California). Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground — you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it’s going to get. Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move.
Writing a first draft is very much like watching a Polaroid develop. You can’t — and, in fact, you’re not supposed to — know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing.
Recently I’ve started reading this book, “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” written by Anne Lamott, and it’s an excellent book. Although I’m not quite the target audience, I still learned a lot. The first lesson I learned is that “good writing is about telling the truth”. And if I don’t know where to start, I should start with my childhood. Don’t worry about doing it well, just start getting it down, as truthfully as I can.
But here’s the problem, I don’t really know what I was thinking when I was a child. The past doesn’t define who you are, you are defined by how you look at your past. I think that’s what I choose to believe, if not always, at least most of the time. I constantly think about the things that have happened, and “the truth” I know evolves. I shape the truth into whatever I see fit. It’s not good or bad, it’s being human, though often I am scared, scared of changing my core principles without being aware of it. Guess that’s one more reason to keep some records.
I assume the best thing I can do is truthfully write down what I am thinking while writing. And probably I don’t have to start with my childhood.
I’ve always wanted to write something, but I found it hard, mainly because there was so much to tell and I didn’t know where to start. And it’s always easier for me to read, think and simply enjoy the collisions, sparks, and enlightenment.
But there is something wrong, because ultimately you’ve got to share. The more you know about the meaning of life, the more you know about that of death. And the clock is ticking. I know I need to change, I want to make most of what I still have.
I can’t think of a better way other than writing to help a person who likes thinking. This post, being my first, is a little late since I started this site almost two years ago. But it’s never too late to get started.