Worth its weight

While I was going through my safety deposit box, I looked through all the gold I have. It's not much (please don't rob me): a few coins, some jewelry. It's all 24 karat. The reason why is because all my gold comes from my parents. Now, a lot of Asians are obsessed with 24k gold, but my parents are war survivors.

For those of you without Asian parents, gold comes in a variety of purities. 24k gold is the most pure gold available. My parents have never bought anything 14k, with the explanation that it is worthless, fake. And to understand why, you should understand that my parents lived through war. My friends talk about their parents growing up in post-war America, in suburbs or on farms. My parents grew up in a war zone. My parents' stories of their youth involve starving and refugee camps and bombs and explosions.

And so my parents have an acute awareness of the value of things. Paper money is only paper. Credit cards are just plastic. Banks are only buildings. But a can of spam can feed a family for a week, and gold is always valuable. No matter where you are in the world, no matter what the circumstances, someone always is willing to trade for gold.

And it seems strange to me that other people don't grow up with this kind of wisdom. Sometimes, I wonder how much of what I do is influenced by tidbits of knowledge like this.

Safety deposit box

Now that I have a J-O-B, and I am officially an adult, I decided to get a safety deposit box to store all those invaluables, like some jewelry and papers.

I went to the bank and signed up for a box. The bank teller and I went into the vault, and we both put our keys into the locks, and I pulled out the box. The teller escorted me to a private room, and I played with the contents, putting this in and taking this out.

And driving away from the bank, I thought it was so funny how much trouble it was: the vault, the locks, the security, the private room. We spend so much time and trouble to guard and protect things. Everything in my safety deposit box, it can't be worth more than a few thousand dollars.

Yet we are so utterly careless with our emotions. We hurt each other so recklessly without a passing thought. We guard things that can be replaced, but we don't protect the things that really matter.

And sometimes, I can see why, because if we could lock our hearts in little steel boxes, then how could we ever give our hearts to each other, share our joys and sorrows? I'm learning, slowly, that I have long locked away my heart, and I have kept it safe, but how can I share my heart if it's hidden away?

Worth a bag of moon sapphires

So, unless you were living under a rock, you know about LiveEarth, which for you under-rock dwellers is a concert to help promote the cause of preventing climate change. There were a few things offered as simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. These suggestions were (1) changing to fluorescent lightbulbs, (2) using energy efficient appliances, (3) turning off lights and unplugging things when not in use, (4) carpooling or using public transport. Gosh, that looks familiar, doesn't it?

I have to admit, I like Al Gore now. I wasn't a big fan of him when he was running for president, but he's managed to pull a Jimmy Carter, and make a bigger name for himself after politics than he ever did in Washington. I'm pretty impressed, and seeing as we're on the same page about a lot of this environment stuff, he's okay in my book. He has ridden the mighty moon worm, after all.

You're probably wondering what's up with me. Graduated residency. Got a job. Moved. Still in the Midwest. That's pretty much it for personal details.