Continuing with the theme of weird things about me that could possibly point to some psychological conditions - I hate birthdays. Rest assured that it's not my birthday. I wanted to write this on my birthday, but instead I waited some amount of time so that no one would know when it is.
Yeah, that's right. I don't tell people when my birthday is. My family knows, since they were intimately involved in the event we're supposed to celebrate, but very few of my friends know. Kristen bribed me by making me a really cool clay rock for my fish tank, so I told her. The only two friends who called were Nicole and Nick, both of which I would have thought would never call. I've seen Nicole once in the past two years, and Nick has been in Pennsylvania for quite some time.
I don't know exactly what it is about birthdays. I just don't like people making a big deal out of it. I hate getting birthday presents (along with Christmas presents), and I hate it when people wish me a happy birthday. All these family members and Nick and Nicole called, and I ignored all of their calls. I didn't call them back either.
On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL
A few days ago, I wrote an open letter to a good friend of mine - "I Think Greatness is Something You Are, Not Something You Do" - I said to him, I'm not a great man, just a normal man working on great things. Greatness is something you do, not something you are.
To give you some background, my friend Brendon is just one of the most amazingly good people in the world. He takes care of everyone around him, his mind, body, and spirit are sharp. He's a black belt, an excellent programmer, a philosopher, a Shodan in Go (actually, even stronger than that - he's a Shodan under the Asian rankings, so probably even higher in America), a hard worker, extremely loyal, a clear and free thinker, widely read and knowledgeable, and again - an amazingly good guy. I've learned a lot from him (notably, he taught me how to play Go, sysadmin Linux, understand basketball at a very high level, improve at martial arts, improve my fitness, and other good stuff - we'd usually go drink green tea and play Go at Samurai Restaurant in Boston, go fight in the park, talk philosophy out at nightclubs, do stuff like that).
He wrote back to me about greatness and humility. I think this is a really beautiful piece, so I asked him if I could gently edit it and put it up. He graciously agreed. It's long, but go ahead and just start it and give it whatever time you have - there's a lot of amazing insight in here.
A Quick Favor Request - if you learn from this or it helps you, please send Brendon a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org - he was actually a little gun-shy about having such a personal piece put up with such raw power in it. He only agreed when I told him how many people it could help - so please, drop him a short line to say thanks if this teaches you as much as it did me.
Without further ado...