Impermanence 無常


Impermanence 無常
Photo by Linus Nylund / Unsplash

Three years ago, when I decided to drop out of university, I was more scared than anyone else. Standing in front of the future with tremendous uncertainty, I had no idea where the world would take me. From then on, my biggest challenge was: how do I live with uncertainty and move my life forward, little by little, on a path that I don't know where the end is?

Three years had passed. Now I'm proud to say that even though the decision was reckless, ignorant, and conceit, it was undoubtedly the best decision I ever made in my life. I gained the knowledge I craved, found the people I loved, and figured out what I wanted to do in life. The feeling of hesitation disappeared, wounds recovered, thoughts matured, and all these years' efforts finally come to fruition.

But deep in my heart, I knew that this was not the end. It was just the beginning. Uncertainty is not only the norm of life but also the norm of the world.

Minerva's students have to travel between cities in seven different countries over the course of four years. Whenever I came to a new city or chatted with my classmates, I found that the world is full of problems: the US has the widespread COVID-19 cases, South Korea has border conflicts with North Korea, India has religious riots, Germany has refugee problems, Argentina has a debt crisis, Britain has Brexit issue, and Taiwan has the increasing tension with China.

In addition to adapting quickly to new places and understanding new problems, I also have to continuously adjust my lifestyle to manage long-distance friendships, relationships, works, and academics. Although I think I am good at time management, I still get tired sometimes under this kind of situation.

My best friend is an artillery sergeant from Armenia. This country just went to war with neighboring Azerbaijan a few days ago. Yesterday, Azerbaijan sent four drones to attack Yerevan, Armenia's capital, raising the war's stakes, forcing the Armenia government to draft all men in the country to the battlefield. If Minerva's semester started a month later or the war began a month earlier, my best friend would now be a target at the war's frontline.

In the past, I have been continually asking: Why should I live? What is the meaning of life?

Now I don't ask those questions anymore. I still don't know what the meaning of life is, but I do know that life is uncertain, and every moment of life is worth cherishing.




Minerva 的學生在四年中會在七個不同國家的城市之間遷移。每當我和不同屆的同學交流時,便會發現這個世界處處是問題:美國有新冠肺炎疫情、南北韓有邊境衝突、印度有宗教暴動、德國有難民潮危機、阿根廷有債務風暴、英國有脫歐問題,台灣也有日趨緊張的兩岸關係。


我最好的朋友是一名來自亞美尼亞的砲兵中士,這個國家在幾天前和鄰國亞塞拜然開戰了。就在昨天,亞塞拜然派送四架無人機對亞美尼亞首都耶烈萬發動攻擊,擴大了戰爭的規模,所有亞美尼亞國內可以上戰場的男性都被強制徵召到前線。如果 Minerva 晚一個月開學,又或是如果這場戰爭早一個月開戰,我最好的朋友現在就是戰場最前線的活靶。