When the formal syllabi has been learnt to death, and has made its use in getting us the formal degrees, then – or maybe a bit later – begins the craving for real knowledge.

The knowledge that won't get you a degree. The knowledge that a degree won't get you. The quest for the meaning of life. This is the knowledge you set off to find. And on this journey, some will discover treasure troves, some will find just a pinch – but none will ever be satiated.

Experience is a mandatory gift of years; herein some wisdom is ingrained, in the very least as a by-product. Not having any experience at all will be a kind of experience too. And when curiosity finally fetches you some answers, that is when the enormity of life shrinks into a little bubble.

Life, with all its philosophy!

Analyze, deduce and realize that all life revolves around relationships, and that the essence of life is reduced solely to relationships and their derivatives. We shall learn that we are defined by our interactions with the people in our life. Parents, children, spouses, friends, lovers, employees, bosses, neighbours... and so forth.

However, whether we are wanted or needed, there is a difference.

Relationships revolving around needs are simpler. Sheer honesty and hard-work can make them work. They are emotionally detached, as required for optimal performance. The boss needs us and we need him, so does the teacher and his students. On the other hand, our parents want us, our children want us, as much as they need us. These are the complicated ones, and these are in focus here.

We are defined, in life and after death, by the dynamics of the pull or the push – attraction or repulsion – to the people in your life.  People who intrigue, people who attract, people we belong to, people we want to sprint away from, before they come near.

We shall realize that life, with all its mazes and unanswered myths, is reduced to one simple equation:

the emotional investment we make in people, and which in return, makes them our assets. We would invest our time, energy and love in making people who “want” us happy. Attending to the wants lovingly attends to the needs indirectly. We want our children to perform well academically, so we tend to check on their work habits, trying to optimize their abilities. That way, we are catering to the wants of being close and ultimately the need to supervise our children. We want our spouses to be healthy, and we decide to take a walk with them every day.  Needing and wanting them; needed and wanted by them – both tasks accomplished by being together. However, the emotional bonding which we develop while telling our children a bed-time story, by playing roly-poly in bed in the morning, and while painting and baking with them; the touch, the pecks, the hugs, will remain the taste-enhancing condiments in the casserole of life.

Love is not just about scheduling your old parents' meals and meds, but also sitting long enough with them, so they are able to share some good memories.  It's a pity that most of the married women are emotionally (not sexually) deprived. Most of the daughters and sisters in our region cannot communicate effectively to their fathers and brothers.

Needs are met and wants remain!

Just break-even

Not a gain!

I would like to conclude this with the only good thing I know related to George Bush, that is, Barbara Bush's unforgettable words in her Wellesley commencement address. She goes:

"Cherish your human connections: your relationships with family and friends. For several years, you've had impressed upon you the importance to your career of dedication and hard work, and, of course, that's true. But as important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer or business leader will be, you are a human being first and those human connections -- with spouses, with children, with friends -- are the most important investments you will ever make. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent."