"How many lives have I touched?"

Discussion in 'Daily Living' started by Ho Ho Tai, Oct 1, 2016.

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  1. Oct 1, 2016 #1

    Ho Ho Tai

    Ho Ho Tai

    Ho Ho Tai

    Well-Known Member

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    "How many lives have I touched?"

    I will be 79 y.o. tomorrow (or whenever you read this). This is a question that introspective people like me ask themselves at this time of life. I explain below how and where I encountered this quote. The real question is "How many lives have I touched?" in a positive, enduring way. Our children and grandchildren. My dear wife, Mrs. Ho Ho. All the ways in which we have 'paid forward' the happiness we have found. Scholarships, financial gifts, University projects - or the 'little' (not always so little) things - a kind word, a pat on the head, a hug, a letter, e-mail or post. Perhaps you are a teacher or other mentor, an author, poet or painter, in which case the lives you have touched run to the millions.

    Over our lifetimes, we have probably helped hundreds - maybe not that impressive in numbers but every one twinkles like the stars in the sky.

    Now the source. What follows is most of an e-mail to a friend with whom I communicate regularly. In the bottom line, it is she who holds the mirror.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    I've gotten hooked on re-runs from c. 2008 of a TV program called Numb3rs (not a mis-spelling). It's an FBI-&-bad-guys show with a twist. They work with a math professor who devises algorithms to track down the bad guys. I was watching one this morning and caught the end just as the cable pooped out. I caught a fragment and decided to see if I could find it on line. Not many references but I found this on an amazing blog. I wish I could write like that. I wish my life had been so full that I couldn't help but write like that.



    From

    OUTLET



    safety-valve for a confused mind








    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    How many lives have I touched?




    "The question isn't who you are. The question is : who did I turn out to be ? Who am I to you ? Are faded chalk marks and scratches on the floor the only evidence that I was here., or did some scribbled note, some fragment of a proof invert your perception of the world, even confirm it, cementing what you knew in your heart to be true with the balance of left column to right? What footprints have I left behind? Do they endure, or has the ocean of discovery washed them away already? How many lives have I touched? Have I touched yours?"
    - Charlie Eppes, Numb3rs (T.V. Series)


    and


    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Pen Pal




    "Pen pal? What does that mean?", I had innocently asked my English teacher. Having studied in different schools at different cities, I find it hard to remember when and where exactly did I ask this question, but I have a clear memory of coming across this term in a classroom - or a memory hardened by my belief of it being true. In any case, the answer came as quite a surprise to me. Never before had I thought of a friend whom you had not met; a friend whose face you hadn't seen; a friend whom you hadn't heard; but just a friend with whom you had shared your life and got only experience in return. At first the idea amused me. It wasn't only a 'pal' who hadn't seen you but also a pal who knew as much about your life as you told him (using 'him' as the gender neutral pronoun); who judged on the small portion of life that you showed him; who couldn't shout at you; who couldn't see you create a world that you wanted him to see. A pen pal offered a person to lead another life, probably the one he would like to have led, and still have a friend in that fantasy world.

    Despite the appeal of the idea, I never felt excited enough to try to have a pen pal. It was less due to lack of motivation but more because pen pals appeared a thing of the past, at least until very recently.

    Fast forward into the present; pen pals might still seem a thing of the past in this world of emails and Instant Messages. Take away the pen-paper based letters from the custom of pen-pals, the visits to post-office, the long wait for reply, and replace it with emails and a new culture begins to appear. A culture so similar to that Pen Pals, that it is hard to believe that it had ever left our side. I am not sure if it was me, who was unaware of its ongoing existence all this while or has this generation revived something that probably should never have been lost in the first place.

    So, have I been able to create the fantasy world I imagined it would help me build? No. Why? Because the correspondence didn't begin with the intent of forming long term bonds the only evidence of which were words exchanged over the Internet. Even before I knew I had found a friend in the person typing in those alphabets from another corner of the world, I had shared enough about myself to keep the friendship real and not just based on the person I would have wanted to be.

    However, I have had the opportunity to learn more about myself. Written (or typed) words offer the possibility of re-reading your own words - a definite advantage over spoken words. This let me, quite unconsciously, observe myself as a person I knew little of. It let me be the observer of my own life and watch myself narrate it to another. I have been amazed, impressed and even disappointed by things that I have written.

    Wittgenstein equated the writing of an autobiography with self-discovery. I would state that a pen pal serves the purpose just fine and probably is easier to come by. In this world where a person sitting in another part of the world is only a mouse-click away, I would urge people to find a 'pen pal' that can help you discover yourself.




    In the days just before Mrs Ho Ho re-entered my life, when I lived alone (and lonely) in Massachusetts, I journalled almost every night, scribbling away, trying to put in words the tumult that was going on in my life, then re-reading what I had written - holding the mirror up to my own soul - and asking myself if what I had written was 'true'. It was some of this material that I wanted to share (and did) with my old friend M...(later, my 'best man') when she came to visit me, bring the future Mrs Ho Ho with her for the sake of decorum. Perforce, Mrs Ho Ho was a part of this sharing. I was reluctant to share it with someone I had worked closely with but couldn't very well ask her to wait in the hallway. Later, Mrs Ho Ho told me that it was this material that rounded out the person she had known and drew us together, not only as partners and friends, but as lovers also.



    Nothing in my current existence could match the storms of my life at that time, as the waves came crashing down on me, but I still need to write, to reflect, and to share.



    Now, it is you who hold the mirror.


     
    CleverBomb and Green Eyed Fairy like this.
  2. Oct 1, 2016 #2

    Still a Skye fan

    Still a Skye fan

    Still a Skye fan

    Normalcy is overrated

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    Wise words and early birthday greetings, sir!:happy:
     
  3. Oct 2, 2016 #3

    Green Eyed Fairy

    Green Eyed Fairy

    Green Eyed Fairy

    Keeps on dancing

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    Happy Birthday Mr Ho Ho!

    Glad you're still around and I hope you will be for many more years ahead :)

    For what it's worth, I consider you one of the much more pleasant elements around here. Just realized lately I've been coming to Dims for ten years and your posts have frequently made me smile.

    So thank you - you have touched my life with a bit of glee :D
     
    Ho Ho Tai likes this.
  4. Oct 6, 2016 #4

    Ruffie

    Ruffie

    Ruffie

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    Happy Birthday. You have touched mine with your positive posts, and an offer to help me when you thought I could use it. I would suspect you have touched many, many lives in your time on this planet.
     
    Ho Ho Tai likes this.
  5. Oct 9, 2016 #5

    Angel

    Angel

    Angel

    no apologies for being me

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    Happy Birthday, Mr. Ho Ho Tai!

    I have always thought of you as the consistently pleasant wise soul here. You have always been kind and have shared your life experiences with the hope (I believe) that they may somehow enrich the lives of others and/or possibly serve as a guiding light to those struggling to find their way.

    The last couple of generations have sadly chosen technology over getting to know their grandparents and elders. Even parents and siblings are cast aside. Family unity has disintegrated to not much more than text messages. The value of knowing family history and heritage is elusive. Like cursive writing, communication is slowly and similarly becoming a lost art. One can only imagine (or maybe not!) how family dynamics - or the lack there of - will present themselves in the near future.

    May your family and friends and those whose lives you and Mrs. Ho Ho Tai have made the effort to touch and bless come to appreciate and cherish your kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity; and most of all may they have full realisation of the genuine concern and love behind all that you both have done and all that you both continue to do.

    Many blessings to the both of you!
     
    Ho Ho Tai likes this.
  6. Oct 11, 2016 #6

    Ho Ho Tai

    Ho Ho Tai

    Ho Ho Tai

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    I sent this message to a number of our friends. I want to share it with you folks too.

    Isn't that lamp just about the coolest thing you ever saw?

    Friends -


    I gave this gift to Mrs Ho Ho to commemorate our 'anniversary', November 25, 1988, the day that she and I knew that we would be 'us'. Our wedding day was exactly 18 months later, November 25, 1990.


    The lamp shade is made of bamboo filaments, extruded as ribbons. The ribbons are fastened together, layer upon layer upon layer. Illumination is via a 40 W equivalent 'warm' LED. The whole thing is sitting on one of my telescope tripods - a temporary resting place.


    This picture was taken against the wall of our condo. Note the fascinating pattern of circle-projections, floor to ceiling. Eventually, we will have a low bookcase on that wall, with the lamp on the top. We looked at several furniture stores and decided to buy one made by Amish craftsmen. We have a sofa / loveseat in the condo from the same people


    If I were to invent a bit of symbolism, the rings represent the many circles of skills, interests, and emotions within each of us, merged into one complex entity. Isn't love a wonderful source of metaphor?


    Ho Ho Tai

    Bamboo circles lamp condo Nov. 25 gift.JPG
     
  7. Oct 11, 2016 #7

    Dr. Feelgood

    Dr. Feelgood

    Dr. Feelgood

    intellectual nerd

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    The pattern your lamp casts reminds me of a myth from India. Indra, the king of the gods, has a jeweled net. Where each two threads of the net cross, a precious jewel is set, and each jewel reflects all the others. And we are the jewels. :)
     
    Ho Ho Tai likes this.
  8. Oct 11, 2016 #8

    Ho Ho Tai

    Ho Ho Tai

    Ho Ho Tai

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    re: " And we are the jewels." I was familiar with the story (or so I thought) but not that metaphor. That is incredibly profound. Is that your interpolation? We are all reflections of each other. As Joni Mitchel wrote, "We are stardust. We are golden." We all carry a bit of the same light.

    Namaste!
     
  9. Oct 13, 2016 #9

    Dr. Feelgood

    Dr. Feelgood

    Dr. Feelgood

    intellectual nerd

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    I wish I could take credit for the metaphor, but, as I understand it, that is the meaning of the net: each jewel represents a sentient being, and we are all interconnected.
     

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