Monday, May 23, 2011

Rubik's Cube

I'm not going to waste an entire post on why I'm only now coming back to posting. There was school, and then the play and then exams, and then the leadership retreat and then the rapture, so this is the first time in a very long time that I have had time to post. I should be able to post more regularly for a while.

Many people ask me why I'm doing engineering if I like writing so much. The truth is, I really do love engineering as well. Probably not as much as writing, but I really do like what I study. You see the core of engineering isn't building stuff. It's understanding stuff. You can't build a car, until you understand how every thing in a car works. Engineering takes the simplest of things and breaks them down even further. Like how a length of PVC pipe is made, or why a beam sags or exactly how the heat in a room is circulated throughout it (which I frankly still don't understand). I guess the reason why I like it so much is because I like knowing. I like having all the information that I need before I make a decision. I like understanding a system, so that I could have a firm grasp on it.

One thing, I have come to understand however, that the skills engineering skills that help you understand physical systems, in no way help you understand human systems. And I don't mean biological systems. I mean mental and emotional systems. I was never really one to have many friends, but recently I found that my friend circle has exploded exponentially. The thing is, that sometimes, out of ignorance, I may do something that may offend, upset or seem weird to some people. I try to learn from my mistakes, but there is just so much to learn. You can never have all the variables for a human system. They are constantly changing and evolving. The harder you try to understand someone, the more difficult it becomes. And perhaps the most frustrating thing about human systems is that you can't fix them. If you snap an axle, you can always get it fixed. If you break someone's heart, that could take years to heal.

Humanity is hard to understand, but we crave to understand each other anyway. Perhaps we are confused with ourselves and try to find the answers in each other. Whatever it is, we gladly throw ourselves into frustration for one moment of clarity. For that one time that you feel you can truly understand someone. And perhaps in the vein of trying to understand others, we make it easier for others to understand us.

See you tomorrow.