I walked into a massage parlor with my dad today (my dad loves massages) and probably got one of the most painful massages of my life. I could feel the guy’s thumbs poking into my nerves and it even made my fingers twitch when he was massaging my arm. More pertinently, my dad observed that most of the people in there have bad eyesight, and his observation caused me to notice something.

Every single person in there had their eyes squinted, or otherwise had an eye set off. There was something wrong with the vision of every person in that room. It made sense, then, that they would be in that shop; they could do nothing else that would require their eyesight to be better. Surely they didn’t have much ability to read for schooling.

The impression of seeing their eyes is still with me, and I wonder what should determine that their vision should be as such? That they should be blind in an eye, or hopelessly nearsighted with little hope for correction? What should determine that?

Then I think, “at least they’re not jobless. At least they’re not homeless. At least they’re making something of the situation they have.” My dad and I were talking about choices, and how our generation seems married to the idea that we must have a choice, yet choices don’t necessarily make us happy. He illustrated it this way: if a woman has to wear a uniform to work, she will be perfectly happy to take that uniform and clean it each day and make herself presentable to go to work. Give her five outfits for five days, however, and she will be unhappily trying to figure out what to wear for each day.

I’ve little insight to this, only the thought that perhaps the key to what we think is happiness is far simpler than we realize; it may not be at all that which we expect. Paul said he learned the secret of being content whether living in plenty or in want, and I wonder, have I learned that yet?

I’ve a lot to think about out here in Taiwan… I wonder what this contemplation will lead me to.