It’s still life, and still worthy of your commitment

FRIDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2004

On Saturday, 14 March 1998, I wrote: “I’m afraid to commit to anything where success is not guaranteed. To tell the truth, I am unwilling to commit to anything where failure is even a vague possibility.”

How do I feel about that now?

I have so far spent five years in Taiwan as an English teacher in a city that does not rank as one of the top locations in the world (I am talking about Fengshan, not the larger area of Kaohsiung, which is the fourth largest container port in the world).

I would probably not have considered such a life worthy of my commitment on 14 March 1998, and if perhaps such a life, certainly not in this place. Yet, I can categorically state that despite the price one pays and the imperfection of it, it has definitely been worth the time. Or, like a character remarks in the movie Breakfast for Champions, “It’s all life.”

The alternative is to get older year by year, never committing yourself to anything, all the while waiting for the elusive “perfect” project, or “ideal” life. What will of course happen is that you will realise too late you have gotten old, you mean nothing to no one, and you have done nothing with your life.

Get busy with anything remotely to your liking. It is a million times better than to allow your life to expire while you wait for “something better”.

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