The Story of the Taoist Farmer.


A farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbors came to condole over his terrible loss. The farmer said, “What makes you think it is so terrible?”

A month later, the horse came home–this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbors became excited at the farmer’s good fortune. Such lovely strong horses! The farmer said, “What makes you think this is good fortune?”

The farmer’s son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All the neighbors were very distressed. Such bad luck! The farmer said, “What makes you think it is bad?”

A war came, and every able-bodied man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only the farmer’s son, because he had a broken leg, remained. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. “What makes you think this is good?” said the farmer.

The point of the story here is not to frame daily events in ones life  in terms of good or bad, but dispassionately.  You never know when or how fortune will shine or cast a shadow on you.


Power in words.

Uphill Struggle

Uphill Struggle

“Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”  Excerpted from Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Ulysses.

I first read this quote my sophmore year of college on my roommate/fraternity brother’s AIM account.  I was immediately impressed both by how reading that passage made me feel, and also the simple eloquence of those words. 

The quote is timeless.  I read it now for inspiration the same as I did as a sophomore.  Tennyson’s words are powerful because they resonate (they should) with any person engaged in the world, but especially young professional just beginning their careers. 

Everyday will not be awesome.  There are ups and downs, things out of our control, things which generally are in Fate’s hands.  However, the heroism Tennyism refers to is having an unyielding will, “to strive, to seek,  to find” our path in life, even when you feel beaten and broken.  That is true strength.

Three things about my name.

First, my real name is Alfred L. Bingham Jr., but I go by A.J. (Alfred Jr.).

Second, it seems that A.J. is fairly easy to remember, which makes it awkward when I don’t remember other people’s names.

Lastly, my name generally will be at or near the top of someone’s cell phone contacts.  This means I invariably will get accidental calls from the pockets or purses of people that know me.  More awkward though is getting accidental calls from women you dated.  Those it’s best to let roll to voice mail.

Working late.

At some point, maybe last Monday when I worked until 1:30 AM, I realized that I simply no longer have any feelings about working into the night.

Early on I used to have the little twinge when the clock hit 5:OO PM and I was still busy, typing away.  But that twinge is gone.  I’m not complaining, I knew and was told countless times by different people what the hours would be like.

Actually, I believe working late hours has been good for me.  Not necessarily staying until the early dawn’s light, but learning to push past the standard “quitting time.”

I try to always take away some good thing about situations I find myself in, and with my current job, the late hours have been a character builder.  Also on the plus side I don’t have to deal with afternoon traffic, which means I burn less gas getting home, and in shorter time.

For where I’d like to be, or at least the positions I want to hold some day, late hours are the norm.  I’m fortunate to get exposed to it sooner rather than later.


The twins.

Happy Easter!  I had the opportunity, after a long week at the Capitol, to spend Saturday with my twin cousins Bryon and Bryson.  Well, it actually started off more as being conscripted since my mom informed me I would be escorting them around our church’s Easter egg hunt and related activites (inflatable obstacle courses, slides, moon rooms, balloons and face-painting).

Following the church events we all went to see Monsters vs. Aliens, followed by a trip to Buger King.  This took place in a little over five hours, but it was tiring.  Just me and two energetic boys.  In any event, ignoring my intital reluctance it was very much a learning experience.

The main lesson I learned is that children are expensive!  Not just in terms of monetary cost, but time as well.  This isn’t meant to be taken in the negative, just a fact.

For me right now both, money and time, are at a premium.  Meaning I have very little of either, and that which I do have I am not quite ready to give up selflessly to be a parent.

Maybe in another, ooh, five years.  I should probably get married first though.