"··· And how tiny a part of the universal substance! How tiny of the universal soul!" ---Marcus Aurelius.
What is a kernel?
It’s not just a soft, edible part of a nut, seed, or fruit. The Kernel I’m looking for is the central, or the most important part of our purposes. How to find our kernels? To find our kernel we need time and reflection. Thus, I call this process "finding my kernel" or "to re-find my kernel".
In this present day, people get together during work then they busy get together on social medias after work. This constant buzzing of busyness distracts us. So we never have enough time to think about what we genuinely want to do. I don’t mean the things our parents/friends/colleagues wish us to do. I mean the special something that we traverse mountains and ridges, pass countless roads, then discovers, inspires us of what we should do in this short life.
Sometimes, an exceptional experience (e.g. an accident or a big failure) would trigger the process of finding our kernel. The feeling of certainty is similar to the movie "Big Fish": When Edward Bloom was in a dilemma, he said: "This isn't how I die", because he had looked through the witch's eye and saw how he would die.
Looking back on my past 25 years of life, there are three moments that I can recall that might have taken my life. Twice were in the sea. The most recent one was the time I was confronting a bull on a farm close to Lake Te Anau. It is the hardest memory to forget, and it triggered me to find my kernel.
Lake Te Anau 丨 Kun Lu
Last September, some good friends and I stayed in a farmhouse close to Lake Te Anau. It was during a study/university term break holiday. One day, we were out of timber to warm our place of residence. So we decided to pick up some woods on the farm (with permission from the owner). The wood collection experience was delightful until a bull silently moved behind my back then he was standing and staring at me from just one arm’s length away.
On the other side of the field, a crowd of bossies were watching us, like wives admiring how their husband was expelling the outsiders. My heartbeats were so fast that I wouldn’t even notice if it had stopped. “Death” was so close. So close that I saw flies hovering around the bull's eyes, and every strand of hair on its face. Giant face, like the 9kg wall ball I used for training.
There were so many pictures and thoughts flashing through my mind during this confrontment. Including, “this isn’t how I die.” What else do I want to do in my life if I am going to die now?
Of course, we found a way to escape from this dilemma. Then, here I am.
I want to be a strategist because it is my kernel to help people. In the "Meditations", Marcus Aurelius presented the notion of individuals as a part of the universe, and each of them has a role to play and a mission to complete.
Now, it is your turn to find your kernel. Take some time to meditate, reflect and search for it.