Saturday, November 08, 2003

Gluttony of the Mind

Gluttony of the Mind

Wanted to do some work in the office early this morning but unfortunately workers were fogging the place. Had to abort my plan and do my usual Internet cafe routine at Sarinah instead.

When I was in Singapore, I used to work at odd hours--going to the office when everyone else was going home and then working throughout the night. Part of the reason was because I always had to be calling people in the US at midnight or participate in conference calls with them. I also liked the peace and quiet in the office at night; I could accomplish more in one night than an entire week at the office, working from nine to five.

Since coming to Jakarta, my work hours have been pretty regular. I try not to give too much importance to work. I have a lot of other personal projects to pursue--some which I haven't even hinted in my blog yet.

My colleague Djoni sent me an SMS last night, asking me to purchase a book for him, The Tibetan Art of Living from the QB World bookstore where I am a member and entitled to 10% discount. I haven't read the book myself. I have to be very selective about what I read because my time is very limited. Sometimes just browsing and scanning through a book at the bookstore is good enough for me to get a gist of what the author is trying to say.

I used to have more patience in tackling difficult books during my teenage years. I would read a book from cover to cover even if I only understood 30% of its contents. But at that time books were rare and expensive to me; every one of them were perused thoroughly and treasured as a prized possession. These days I buy more books than I could ever read in a lifetime.

And other things vie for our attention too--movies, DVDs, music CDs. We are so spoilt for choice these days. Our attention span is getting shorter and shorter--we are already used to the quick cuts of MTV music videos, where scenes never last longer than two or three seconds.

Our minds are insatiable; we want to be fed things constantly. Not sure whether this is good or bad. But I suspect, gluttony, whether of the mind or the body is bound to do harm. Ramadhan is a good month for some abstinence. Let's take this opportunity to put our much abused minds back in order, by regulating what we feed into them.

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