Monday, May 23, 2011

"It is never good to be too dependent"

“It is never good to be too dependent”, my dad would always tell me. And as years pass by, I’m starting to understand where he’s coming from. I was reading an article on BMAA, an environmental toxin called beta-methylamino-L-alanine, which recently was discovered to cause ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) – I’m killing you guys with the scientific names aren’t I? lol. Well, fret not, this post ain’t gonna be much about the chemical, but more on the person who discovered it.

Apparently, the research on this chemical was about to die out, until a dude named Paul Cox revived it. What is interesting about this particular dude is that he was totally out of his expertise, totally out of his field considering he was respected in ethnobotany, and nuthin’ neurological like to be doin’ nethin even RELATED to BMAA. So when he thought he made a breakthrough with how BMAA came about, his hypothesis was through fruit bats by the way, and when he presented this idea of his,

“…the veterans of the Guam epidemic regarded him as a newcomer unlikely to succeed where the giants of neuroscience had failed” – Kathleen McAuliffe, Discover Magazine May 2011

But that did not stop him. He kept working on it, kept researching about it, until he actually caught the attention of some 50 BMAA researchers around the world in 2009. He was pulling out all of his contact cards perhaps, calling everyone that could help him with this, spent a whole lot of time, money and effort to do tones of research on his own and managed to make a huge step regarding this particular topic. Although there are more to be discovered, more questions to be answered, and the research is still ongoing, without Cox, it might have just died out.

I was chatting with Haidir yesterday, he just finished reading 3 chapters of Dr M’s memoir, and what triggered me thinking caps was when he told me, that he wanted to be like Dr M, very bold and visionary that pursued his beliefs without fearing what or how others may take it. And when I look back at Dr M, and then at Paul Cox, both of them share something in common, and that is having the courage to step forward, alone.

And then I stumbled upon some article from I think, one of my friends must have posted the link on Facebook, and it stated there that it is not wise to be too at comfort with the happiness that you have now. The exact words were, “Janganlah engkau leka dengan kebahagian yang sedia ada”. Perhaps you don’t see this sentence the way I do, lol, but the message that whoever wrote it conveyed to me was to not depend on what you have now too much, to not be too satisfied or at comfort with the present, and that you’ll always have to think of plan bs and plan cs. You have to face reality that nothing is forever, and that you have to be ready for that day when things would be gone, and everything would change.

We live in a dynamic world, where everything progresses, and when I say everything, I do mean just EVERYTHING. And to be successful in this world, to make an impact, you’re not only required to catch up, but to be a few steps ahead of everybody. You can’t do that when you think too much of what others may say, or what others might think or affect you in any way. You can’t do that with too many strings attached. Ayah was right, it is never good to be too dependent.

Perhaps politics ain’t the thing for me, but what Paul Cox did, with the similar passion and courage Dr M had, he was able to discover something new, a new discovery where many have failed to understand. And the moment I read about him, I knew I wanted to be something similar to him, especially now that I’m attached to this particular research group, knowing how things work and stuff, something is telling me, this life might be the kind of life I’ve been looking for. True, the salary wudn’t be much, but hey, who says im in it for the salary? Lol. Alhamdulillah, syukur ya Allah, for pointing me into the right direction… :D

Ps: You guys should read DISCOVER magazine, its soo informative and cool! Lol :D – nerdy talkin’ haha ;)

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