Reflections on the Rock

Coming back from rock climbing. Three days without shower is not that bad. OPRA teaches me a lot about life.

Rock climbing is a very meditative sport. With your fingers connected to rocks that are millions of years old, you will realize a lot.

Rock climbing is very mentally challenging. It is a test of how strong your will power is.

In many situations, you see no hope at all. You want to give up. But once you push you legs and stand up on your feet, a whole new world opens up in front of you. Even if it is just several inches higher, you will see so many new opportunities.

Sometimes, I feel exhausted up in the air, hanging in my harness. Then I realize that I am actually not physically exhausted, but mentally. I am running low on confidence, not strength. Mental strength is just like physical one. It needs practice; it needs rest. Sometimes, you really need several minutes of break, taking deep breathes, and refresh your mental homepage. The good thing about mental strength is that you can refresh it any time, much faster than a physical recovery.

There are others things that I am thinking about when I am on the rocks.

I realized how lucky I am. I have the time, money and freedom to go rock climbing. We have world class instructors and the best peers to climb together, debate together, laugh together, cook pasta together. This is indeed very lucky and luxurious.

I was thinking about the power and limitation of human will. Human Wills determine everything. All great success are driven by unparalleled wills. There's not much difference in IQ. The difference lies in how strong our will power is. At the same time, we have to respect the Law of Nature. There are limits to what our wills can achieve. Our will power has to match our physical ability. Otherwise, a too strong will can burn the physical body that is hosting that will. "Having a strong will" is called courage, but "knowing the limit of our wills" is called wisdom.

This is true for a nation. The ambition of a nation must be built on its economic, military and cultural foundation. Don't overstretch, don't underestimate.

I am also thinking about this year's Nobel Peace Prize. I think we should cancel the "Nobel Peace Prize". It is creating more trouble than it solves. Nobel Prizes in sciences are easy to accept by the whole world. Science is a sure (or less controversial) thing. But "Peace" is value judgment. Behind each definition of "peace", there is an agenda and an ideology. The Nobel Peace Prize is promoting only one among many types of ideology, which creates a lot of issues.

I do not believe that any group can decide "what is peace" for the rest of the world. Any attempt to "define peace" is dangerous and fruitless. It will cause even greater conflicts. Awarding one kind of peace will destroy another kind of peace. Who are we to say what kind of peace is the true peace?

If the Nobel Committee really insist on issuing a annual peace prize, then we should simply ignore it. In the end, the Nobel Committee is a nice group of Norwegian grandpas, deciding on their favorite list. They are 100% free to do so. But, given how much they love democracy, the prize's selection process is not open or democratic at all. Why should the rest of the world pay so much attention to it?


Anonymous said...

Maybe nobel prize could just be 'norwegian grandpas' are deciding on their fav. list. However, I believe 'peace' is what defines human intellect. One of the goals of intellectual evolution is to understand that eveybody desires peace. And it the only way to go to make everybody happy.


Anonymous said...

btw, the Nobel Committee are more than "norwegian grandpas". Four out of its five members are actually women.