Archive | September, 2012

Timeless advices?

30 Sep

We are confronted every day with tips, advices, rules and expectations in all aspects of our lives. We often understand them only superficially, yet we treat them as some kind of eternal truth and guide our behaviours accordingly. But how relevant are they in nowadays world and what were they really aiming to achieve when they were first formulated? I came across two such rules recently which made me think about the topic further.

Pre-marriage sex

Having travelled and lived in Asia, I came to accept the concept of no sex before marriage as something ingrained in parts of the society and as one of those timeless cultural habits you do not question. My friend of Chinese origin pointed to me last week however, the absurdity of trying to fit a centuries old rule to these times. Historically, people lived 30 to 40 years on average. They got married as soon as they could have babies or even earlier, in order to survive and manage to bring up new generations before they die. This corresponds to age of 12 – 15 for girls. Put simply, they did not have much time to get naughty. Also, women were dependent on man for survival and stood no chances of being able to bring up kids on their own. A lot has changed since.

Many people get married nowadays at the age when our ancestors used to die yet people are still expected to have no pre-marriage sex. That is ten to fifteen years of waiting people did not have to endure before coupled with widespread availability of contraceptive methods and economic opportunities for woman to be single mothers should they want to do so. How relevant is the rule nowadays when times are so different?

Drinking red wine at room temperature

Couple days later, I was having some red wine with my grandfather. I know that we chill white wine and drink the red one at a room temperature. I was therefore surprised that he put it in a fridge in between pouring it into our glasses. What I learned is that the idea of ‘room temperature’ comes from medieval times when there was one fireplace in a huge room and consequently the temperature there was about 14°C. A lot less than the 20°C we have in our homes these days and what we now understand as room temperature. It tasted great.

So next time somebody tells you a moral, take it with a pinch of salt. Chances are, circumstances under which it was first formulated have changed a lot making in either irrelevant or deceiving if taken on its face value.

Will you remember in 20 years what you did this year?

7 Sep

I finished my last placement with AIESEC on Friday August 31st which was the last thing as did as an active member of the organization. Now, I am an alumnus. I have spent amazing five years in the organization and have had countless life changing experiences I will remember until the end of my life.


I was a chair at an AIESEC conference in Moscow the very next day . I saw how much more the delegates have ahead of them and I felt little jealous that my experience is over. On the other hand I felt proud of myself that I have grabbed every opportunity available to me over the five years and made the most out of that time. I was feeling satisfied and at peace with myself, excited about the future.


During the closing plenary, I encouraged the delegates to fully embrace the next couple years ahead of them. I wished them to be proactive in creating powerful experiences for themselves and to have as many great memories as I have to look back on 20 years later.


One of my favourite quotes is from Mark Twain:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


And how about you, are the experiences you are living now so powerful that you will you remember them 20 years later?