May 24, 2013

Busy With Love, No Time for Math

You Send Me
You Send Me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last night while watching TV, I "accidentally" heard a song by Sam Cooke: A Wonderful World. I heard this song long time ago but never really got chance to know it better. Last night I felt a little different, not only I wanted listen the whole song, but also I wanted to know the lyrics. I don't usually care about lyrics because I believe music is the "soul" of a song, but this time I felt an urge to know what he was sing about. So I got this from google:

Don't know much about history 
Don't know much biology 
Don't know much about a science book 
Don't know much about the French I took 

But I do know that I love you 
And I know that if you love me, too 
What a wonderful world this would be ...

I was literally "electrified' by these words, especially when they were sung by Cooke's - God helps me find a right adjective- voice. After some moment of emotional stir, I like to write down why this song means so much to me:

First of all, it relates me personally. As a self-claimed intelligent person who was forced into art profession by tyrannical parents, it was my "life time" pain that I did not get chance to develop my intelligence "academically". I fought my fate, fought so hard that I almost "died". At the end of battle, with plenty chronic health problems together with plenty of freedom in hands, I found LOVE, thus I realized that knowledge, or intelligence no longer matter that much to me. Of course, this doesn't say that I gave up pursuing what I once longed for, but only means that I no longer feel "anxiety" about all those that I have not yet known, or those that I will never be able to know.

Secondly, as a person come from a culture that lacks love, I especially appreciate this song. In Chinese mainstream culture, intelligence, or more accurately, "smartness", is something so "worshiped" that one's most fear would be being told that he/she was not smart. Though I am a person who respects human intelligence, how this culture practices "intelligence" is something I precisely despise (yes, I mean it!). It seems to me, for a significant amount of people in this culture, intelligence, or smartness, has only one single use: to compete with each other, or to climb to the highest (or as high as possible) position in social hierarchy. Compassion, love, have little rooms in this culture.

Finally, from humanity view. I adore ancient Greek culture, adore knowledge, but more and more I realized, that the best knowledge we could ever have, is just one simplest thing: Love. For a person that know how to love, he/she doesn't need any thing more. This is exactly what this song expresses in such a simple yet beautiful "fashion".

Yes, love alone is enough. For this reason, I found I do not mind that much about knowledge, about math any more; for this reason, couple of days before, I opened my door to two lovely ladies from Baha'i church. I am going to have friends. As long as they believe in love, I don't care to what church they belong. 


  1. Wonderful post, Yun Yi. I agree with you; love alone is enough, and "intelligence" is overrated. Maybe there's nothing more intelligent than love. As an aside, a Ba'hai family took care of my sons when they were small and I was a single mom working night shifts...I couldn't have asked for more kind, loving people to entrust my children to. I'm so glad you opened your door to these new friends.

  2. Kris, you are fast. I am still checking on grammar errors!
    Thanks. I am really glad you found help from these kind people.

  3. "there's nothing more intelligent than love", well said Kris!

  4. Really sweet post Yun :)

    I think we all believe in love, especially the ones that pretend they aren't looking for it or need it.
    Its what really makes the world go around.

  5. I always loved that song, yunyi. It sums up exactly how I've felt all my life. Knowledge and learning always bored me to tears. School was like a prison to me. In my home, there were no books, no paintings, no intellectual or philosophical discussions, but there was plenty of love. Simple, straightforward, genuine, cheerful, unconditional love. Real feeling that came straight from the heart. This has sustained me all my days, and made me the free, happy individual I am today.

  6. It's just amazing how a simple song can all of a sudden open up a different world for you. There have been a few times in my life when all of a sudden a song has spoken volumes to me and the scales have been lifted from my eyes, so I know what you mean.

    Love is extremely important, and we can fly as high as we can in this society but without love, we are absolutely nothing, and our lives seem a little meaningless. It's lonely being at the top without it.

    Great post Yun Yi with a great song and have fun making new friends.

  7. Love is everything. It is the seam that binds our society.

  8. Hi Yun Yi, wonderful post, but allow me to disagree. We are all different. For some people love can be all they need, for some, having an intellectual problem that they can delve into and spend their life solving is all they need. For the majority it is some balance. There is no one solution fits all. And this is what we need to celebrate.

  9. Beautifully said Yun Yi.
    With you on board, your nation does have love.

    Yes, Sam Cooke really was THE man. What a wonderful voice. What wonderful words. Wonderful songs for a sometimes not so wonderful world.
    Cheers, ic

  10. Great Post - This song was featured in a movie entitled Witness. It makes for a delightfully tense interaction!

    I just finished my post for the day on generally the same topic -

  11. @np, I know you claimed you don't read anymore, but for me, you are one of the most intelligent persons I've ever met.

    @RPD,glad we had same experience with music. And you are absolutely right that we can fly as high as we can with love, but without it, we can do nothing. Or we do harmful things!

  12. @Robert Morschel, well said! and thanks for stopping by.

    @ranfuchs, I agree we all different, but somehow I was convince we all need love. To say "love alone is enough" might be a little exaggerated, but only a little. To be specific, I probably should say: love is the most important thing in life. As matter of fact, I found that persons who understand true love do not really have any intelligent difficulty, they either don't have chance to develop it, or they don't care to do so.

  13. @ic, I just love what you said! I believe love is in everyone's heart, regardless race and gender. Cheers!

    @rachel, thanks for stopping by. I will have to check out your post shortly. :-)

  14. Wonderful post, Yunyi. Wonderful song. You already know I’m a big fan of the late, great Sam Cooke. I’m so pleased you have discovered him too. I am sorry your parents pushed you into an academic direction not of your own choosing. It seems that coming from the culture they grew up in, they were unable to understand. I agree with you about intelligence. “The best knowledge we could ever have is just one simplest thing: Love.” Well said!

  15. Hi Yun Yi,
    When I read your heartfelt comments about your own culture's absolute reverence for intelligence and your own strict upbringing I was reminded of the life of Hollywood film director Ang Lee. Born and raised in Taiwan by a strict schoolteacher father, he was rejected for failing his university exams in Taiwan and left for the US, where he pursued his totally unworthy artistic goals (according to his father that is).
    His whole life became mired in this ultimate need to prove himself and yes, his father did ultimately come to show love and support but many, many years later.
    I understand your outpouring with this excellent post better, because of my research into his life.

  16. Thanks Madilyne! Yes, I was very happy that you are Sam Cooke's fan! And thanks for your compassion regarding to my fate. Truly appreciate it!

  17. @Neil, yes, children's life choices were/are overwhelmingly controlled by parents in China. I understand this is a universal facts but in some cultures, it appears to be worse. And you know what? my parents made that decision when I was 12!
    Thanks for your stopping by and understanding!

  18. What a beautiful article, Yun.

    My mother says that people who have a lot of education but do dumb things are "educated to the point of stupidity".

    Education is like a bunch of tools tools.

    If you have a lot of tools but build shitty things, you are just plain stupid.

  19. "education is like a bunch of tools". --- well said tom!