A Boy’s Journey for Love

Up 20 miles of winding road,

A boy traveled with a heavy load.

His heart was set on just one thing,

To see the girl who made his heart sing.

The journey up was long and tough,

But he knew it would be worth enough.

For at the top, he’d finally see

The girl who held his destiny.

With each step, his heart beat fast,

Anticipating the moment at last.

And when he saw her standing there,

He knew that love was in the air.

Their eyes met, and time stood still,

As they moved in for a kiss to fulfill

The longing that had brought him here,

And erased all doubt and fear.

But as they parted, reality hit hard,

For he knew he had to journey back afar.

Downhill he went with a lighter heart,

Filled with memories that would never depart.

Though the journey back was easier still,

His mind was racing with thoughts until

He reached home safe and sound,

With love so true, forever bound.

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The Gladiator’s Creed

Marcus Aurelius’s quote, “What we do now echoes in eternity,” reflects his Stoic philosophy, which he wrote about in his Meditations. Stoicism is a school of thought that teaches us to live according to reason and virtue and accept whatever happens to us as part of the divine plan. Marcus Aurelius believed that we have control over our own thoughts and actions but not over external events or other people’s opinions. He also believed that we should act with justice, kindness and self-discipline and avoid being swayed by emotions or desires.

Maximus’s quote, “What we do in life echoes in eternity,” is inspired by Marcus Aurelius’s quote but also reflects his own personal situation and motivation in the movie Gladiator. Maximus is a loyal general who serves under Marcus Aurelius but is betrayed by his son Commodus who murders his father and orders Maximus’s execution. Maximus escapes death and becomes a gladiator who fights for his freedom and revenge. He also learns that his wife and son have been killed by Commodus’s orders. Maximus’s quote shows that he believes that his actions in life will have an impact on his afterlife, where he hopes to reunite with his family. He also believes that he has a duty to honor Marcus Aurelius’s legacy and restore the Roman Republic. At the movie’s end, he dies but asks for political reforms, such as freeing the other gladiators and reinstating senator Gracchus. Through this, once again, his actions do echo into the future of the Roman Republic. He is also shown to have a vision of reuniting with his deceased loved ones.

Both quotes express a similar idea: that our lives matter beyond physical existence and that we should act with courage and integrity regardless of our circumstances. They also inspire us to think about how our choices affect ourselves and others, both now and in the future. Gladiator remains one of my favorite movies of all time, and Meditations is a quintessential work of Stoicism to which I aspire.

Additional resources you might find interesting:

Meditations Book Summary by Marcus Aurelius – Shortform. https://www.shortform.com/summary/meditations-summary-marcus-aurelius

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Plot Summary | LitCharts. https://www.litcharts.com/lit/meditations/summary  

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Summary – 13 Lessons to live by. https://www.mindbydesign.io/meditations-by-marcus-aurelius-summary/

Marcus Aurelius – The Meditations | Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Marcus-Aurelius-Roman-emperor/The-Meditations  

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: Book Summary and Review – Four Minute Books. https://fourminutebooks.com/meditations-summary/  

Reflections and Hopes

Write a letter to your 100-year-old self.

Dear 100-year-old AC,

Hello from 2023! I hope this letter finds you well and happy. I’m writing this letter to share with you some thoughts about my life right now and my hopes for the future.

Right now, I’m 41 years old and living in Port-au-Prince. I work as a Principal Investigator in a project that aims to improve the quality of health services in Haiti. I love my job because it allows me to use my leadership and research skills while positively impacting society.

I have a wonderful partner who supports me in everything I do. We met nine years ago while working in the field and started dating seven years ago. We share many interests, such as traveling, reading, cooking, and watching movies. We also have our differences, but we respect each other’s opinions and preferences.

I have three kids, a boy who is the eldest and two girls. They are smart, beautiful, and kind. They make me proud every day with their achievements and personalities. They also challenge me sometimes with their questions and demands, but I try to be patient and understanding.

Some of my hobbies include playing games β™ŸοΈ, learning new languages 🌎 , writing from home 🏠 , and meditating πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ . These activities help me relax and grow as a person.

Some of the challenges that I face right now are managing my time ⏰ , balancing work πŸ’»Β  and personal life πŸ’• , dealing with stress πŸ˜“ , and saving money πŸ’΅ . Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities that I have but I try to stay positive ✨  and optimistic 🌞 .

My goals for the future are:

– To travel around the world 🌍  with my partner

– To publish my research findings πŸ“š

– To write a memoir πŸ“

– To finally learn how to play guitar 🎸

– To retire soon 😎

I hope that by the time you read this letter, you have achieved some or all of these goals or even better ones! I also hope that you are still healthy 😊 , happy 😁 ,and curious πŸ€” . And I hope this letter sparks your memory if you’ve forgotten any of this!

Some questions that I would like to ask you are:

– How have you changed over the years?

– What are you most proud of?

– What are you most grateful for?

– What advice would you give to others?

– How do you celebrate your birthday?

I want to end this letter by expressing my gratitude and kindness for myself.

Thank you for being who I am today. You are smart πŸ’‘ , brave πŸ’ͺ , kind ❀️ ,and fun πŸ˜„ . You have overcome many obstacles πŸ”₯  and achieved many successes πŸ† . You have made many friends πŸ‘«  and helped many people πŸ‘ . You have learned many things πŸ“š  and experienced many adventures ⛺️ .

I love ❀️  myself unconditionally πŸ’― . I accept myself fully πŸ‘ . I forgive myself easily 😌 .I appreciate myself daily πŸ‘ .

You are amazing ✨ ! You deserve all the best πŸ”₯ ! You rock 🀘 !

With love,

Your 41-year-old self

Freedom to be…

What are three objects you couldn’t live without?

What are three objects you couldn’t live without? It’s a question that may seem trivial at first, but upon closer examination, it reveals a lot about our priorities and values. For me, personally, I would say my phone, my passport, and my glasses. These three items enable me to navigate the world and stay connected to the people and things that matter most to me.

Let’s start with my phone. I’m sure many of you can relate to this – we use our phones for just about everything these days! Whether it’s checking our email, browsing social media, or streaming the latest episode of our favorite show, our phones have become an indispensable part of our lives. And it’s not just about entertainment – we can also use our phones for work, banking, and other important tasks that require our attention.

Moving on to my passport, this little booklet is a symbol of freedom and adventure. It grants me access to other countries, cultures, and ways of life that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. Of course, there are limitations and restrictions to where I can go depending on visa requirements, but even so, the mere fact that I have a passport means I have the option to travel and explore new places.

Finally, my glasses. As someone who has myopia (or nearsightedness), my glasses are an essential tool for seeing the world clearly. Without them, everything would be a blur, and I would struggle to perform even the simplest of tasks. It’s incredible how much of a difference a small pair of glasses can make in one’s quality of life.

These three objects – my phone, passport, and glasses – are just a few examples of how certain items can hold significant meaning and importance to us. Of course, everyone’s list of essential objects will look different depending on their individual circumstances and needs. But the underlying message here is that objects can play a meaningful role in our lives, and it’s worth taking some time to reflect on what matters most to us.

So, what are your three objects that you couldn’t live without? Take a moment to think about it – you might be surprised at what comes to mind!

Logic dictates…

Do you believe in fate/destiny?

The concept of fate and destiny has been debated for centuries, with many people having their own beliefs and opinions on the matter. Some believe that everything happens for a reason, while others believe that we create our own destinies through the choices we make. As for me, I have a somewhat complicated answer to the question of whether I believe in fate and destiny.

On the one hand, I do not believe in fate or destiny as a mystical force that controls our lives. I believe that the choices we make in life, along with the circumstances we are born into, ultimately shape our future. Occurrences follow causality, meaning that our exact circumstances and choices will lead most likely to a similar or identical result. However, on the other hand, I believe in the concept of destiny as a fixed or most probable outcome.

In other words, the choices we make in life lead to specific outcomes that may be more likely to occur based on the choices that were made. This is what many people may refer to as destiny. Defiance of destiny is that infinitesimal 0.0000001% probability that the event may not occur if the correct changes are made in the choices that can be made up to the point when you know of the outcome you want to change. This is the main element that led to the choice made by Dr. Strange in the MCU during the fight with Thanos.

It’s important to note that destiny as a fixed or most probable outcome is not a mystical force but rather a logical thing to believe in. People will always do what they do when faced with specific situations, thus leading to a particular outcome assuredly. This is why we can look at certain historical events and see how they were likely to occur based on the choices that were made.

However, one thing that makes it difficult to arrive at any form of defiance of destiny or fate is the fact that human responses to specific stimuli are both fixed and unpredictable. New stimuli may lead to unexpected reactions, which can change the outcome of a situation. This is why it’s essential to keep an open mind and be adaptable in life, as we never truly know what’s going to happen next.

In conclusion, while I do not believe in a mystical force controlling our fate or destiny, I do believe that destiny as a fixed or most probable outcome is a logical thing to believe in. This is because our choices and circumstances ultimately shape our future, and while we can defy the odds at times, our choices and responses to stimuli are often fixed and predictable.

A Poetic Ode to the Bold and Cheesy Cheese Curls

I love me some cheese curls. I haven’t had any in quite a while and this morning my wife brought some home! While munching I thought “these deserve recognition!”. And silly as it may sound, here is my poem celebrating this delightful junk food!!

Cheese curls, oh so bright and bold,

Crunchy, cheesy, a joy to behold.

With their neon hue and twisted shape,

They make my taste buds come awake.

A salty tang that hits the tongue,

A crunch that echoes, a chorus sung.

A snack that’s perfect for any time,

From lunchtime break to midnight rhyme.

They’re the perfect partner for movie night,

Or for a snack on a lazy afternoon delight.

And when the craving hits me hard,

I’ll reach for the bag, oh so unmarred.

So here’s to cheese curls, oh so fine,

A snack that’s truly divine.

They may not be the healthiest treat,

But their taste can’t be beat.

Sheets Upon Sheets

Write about your approach to budgeting.

Budgeting is a no-brainer, essential part of financial planning. It helps you track your income and expenses and allows you to allocate your resources effectively. And yet few people really do it or stick to whatever they try to do based on ideas found on the internet. Creating a successful budgeting approach requires some thought and planning, but it also means you need to adapt as much as you can based on your own reality. Here’s my own approach to budgeting, based on some tips found both online and offline in my real-life work.

Step 1: I List My Obligatory Expenses

My first step in creating a budgeting approach is to list all my obligatory expenses. These include rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, groceries, transportation costs, and any other expenses that I CANNOT not pay each month. I put these expenses on an Excel sheet, using a column for each month and rows for each line of expenses.

Step 2: Include Debt Payments

Any outstanding debts are included in my budgeting approach. I write down the minimum payment required for each debt and plan to pay off more than the minimum whenever possible. You can also include a column for debt payments in specific months when you expect to pay them off.

Step 3: Add a Miscellaneous Line for Leisure Expenses

While obligatory expenses and debt payments take up a significantly heartbreaking portion of my budget, it’s also important to enjoy some leisure spending. To do this, I add a miscellaneous line to my Excel sheet, which can be about 10% of my salary. This line can be used for non-essential expenses like dining out, shopping, or entertainment.

Step 4: Use a Different Bank Account for Expenses

Using a separate bank account for expenses helps me stay on track as much as humanly possible with my budgeting approach. When I receive my salary, I transfer the allocated amount for expenses to this other account and use it for all my obligatory and leisure spending. This helps me avoid accidentally overspending. I won’t be able to spend more than what’s available in that account!

Step 5: Track Budget and Make Adjustments

Finally, it’s essential to track the budget and make adjustments as needed. I review my Excel sheet periodically and ensure that I’m sticking to my budget. If my income or expenses change, I have to update the budget accordingly. I also adjust my miscellaneous line as needed, based on my “discretionary” spending habits and also on any additional money I can make outside my salary.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

To recap, creating a budgeting approach requires planning and discipline, the latter being *extremely* important if you want to stick to it as much as you can. So I listed my obligatory expenses, included debt payments, added a miscellaneous line for fun expenses, used a different bank account for expenses, and tracked my budget. If it fits you, you could consider this approach and make any necessary adjustments to suit your unique financial situation.

Why Would I EVEN Tell You?

Have you ever broken the law and didn’t get caught, if so how?

Why would I reveal such a tale,

Of breaking the law, without fail,

If caught, the price to pay is high,

A risk too great to justify.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So let my secrets rest in peace,

For lawless acts must surely cease,

And while I may have slipped the net,

To speak of it, I can’t forget.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So let this be a lesson learned,

For any lawless act discerned,

The safest way is to abstain,

And avoid a life of shame and pain.

Raised with Love: To My Parents and Grandmother

What were your parents doing at your age?

At my age, my mother held the reins,

With my sister and me, she felt the pains.

My father lived apart, but still he cared,

Visiting us often, love he shared.

Both worked hard, to give us all they could,

Their love for us, pure, strong, and good.

My grandmother was a blessing, that’s for sure,

Supporting my mother, her love did endure.

Together they raised us, with grace and might,

Preparing us for the future, guiding us with sight.

Their lives they lived, with love and care,

Making sure we’d be ready, when they’re not there.

So here’s to my parents, and my grandmother too,

Their love and guidance, always shines through.

Forever grateful, for all they’ve done,

Their love and support, second to none.