Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.


Some events are unexpected and require one to adapt. The amount of time given to adapt can vary depending on the event in question. In some cases, one might be afforded a lifetime to adapt. Consider a parent whose child just starts talking. In other cases, the time can be limited. Consider college. At the other extreme, there is no time to adapt. All of the above fall into a category often called a surprise.

Case A provides an example of a surprise:

Brother walks into bathroom. Sister sees Brother and waits around the corner. When Brother leaves, Sister pops out from behind the corner and yells, “Boo.” Brother jumps, and Sister laughs. Brother returns the favor a few hours later.

In the above example, the party who generates the “Boo” instigates the surprise while the party who jumps receives it. Not all surprises are necessarily unpleasant for the receiver. Surprise parties are just one example. Case B provides another:

Traveler and Explorer are great friends. Traveler makes plans to go to Unfamiliar Terrain. Explorer makes plans to go to Unfamiliar Terrain. Traveler is unaware of Explorer’s plans. Traveler and Explorer overlap in Unfamiliar Terrain and run into each other.

Not all surprises are between two parties. Perhaps the most satisfying are the ones in which we discover facets of ourselves we never realized. These are called epiphanies.


3 responses

  1. your sister

    whenever dude uses the main bathroom here, i am tempted to scare him for old time’s sake, but he wouldn’t get it. or find it funny. i wonder how many years we’ve taken off each other’s lives, scaring each other like that.

    January 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm

  2. Neelam

    Regarding Case B: did you run into someone in Bangalore?

    January 21, 2009 at 7:20 pm

  3. k

    Good guess! 🙂

    January 25, 2009 at 12:06 am

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