June 30th, 2008

Wisdom Tooth, Warm Coffee and World Domination

Wisdom Tooth

Wisdom teeth are so named because they appear in the late teen years or early twenties, when one becomes an adult, hence wiser. I had my wisdom tooth extracted last week.

My first wisdom tooth surfaced when I was 27. I have a two theories on why it came out so late:

  1. The lack of calcium in my diet has impeded its growth.
  2. I wasn’t wise enough in my late teens nor early twenties to rightly acquire Teeth of Wisdom.:p

Does wisdom come with age?

My nephew announced that he wasn’t keen on finding a girlfriend because that would mean he’d have to get a job “to keep her happy”. He doesn’t want to start working now because he needs to play while he’s still young and “that’s why you have these big ambitions for later. Wise words, from a boy barely 6.

Me? Despite the dentist’s advice, I kept rinsing my mouth regularly the first few hours after extraction, causing the protective blood clot that formed at the former site of my Tooth of Wisdom to be partially unplugged.
Not very wise. :\


Warm Coffee

I had my first cup of coffee today after days of having only water and yoghurt. I had to drink it lukewarm so as to not aggravate the newly-formed plug in my mouth. Though I had to be content with tepid beverage, the service was sunny.

While waiting for my coffee to cool, I observed the catering staff busying themselves in tasks with clockwork efficiency. Everyone had a part to play. The cheerful old lady has been serving me coffee for the past 5 years. It wouldn’t be wise to assume that she is without lofty ambitions. Probably one of her goals is to provide excellence in customer service.

If that is the case, she has succeeded.

Do all ambitions need to be of grand scale?


World Domination

I believe there is room in the world for all kinds of ambitions, all types of people. Our world needs all types of people to keep it running smoothly — the ones to do the job and the ones to lead, and the ones who’ll rise above and beyond the rest in terms of influence and reach because they can and because what they do may have the potential to make the world just a little (or a lot) better.

Which type are you? Which would you rather be?

Dashed Line

If you’re interested in being the latter, Chris Guillebeau of the Art of Non-conformity has recently launched A Brief Guide World Domination.

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Comments: 9 Comments | Add your comment
I'm amazingly lucky that I've not had to have my wisdom teeth removed...yet. Or maybe I haven't achieved wisdom yet. Thank you, though, for cutting down the idea that "ambitions" must be grand and expansive to be of value. A teacher of mine, who was in the running to be the first teacher sent up on the space shuttle, gave a speech to the school one year in which she told us to “reach for the stars”. Now that I’m older (and possibly wiser) I realize it doesn’t need to be that grand. It may sound cynical, but there can only be a very few astronauts. We don’t have to consider it “settling” to pursue smaller ambitions just because they may be easier to achieve, as long as they make us happy.
Christopher Waldrop  at 8:56 am on July 1, 2008
on teeth: i've had a dry socket before and it definitely wasn't fun. i hope you don't lose that plug!

on coffee: i struggle with a related concept frequently; i often ask myself which do i want more - success or contentedness? can they both be considered happiness?

on world domination: i agree that diversity makes us thrive as a whole and i've noticed that my role changes as i go. sometimes i lead, sometimes i support. i don't think it makes me any less or more influential either way. i think being both balances me out, personally. right now i am a big supporter :)
seagrass  at 3:57 pm on July 1, 2008
i had 4 teeth pulled when i was about 6 to make way for braces, but my dentist tells me i still have 2 way back there that need to come out, should, as he says, "just pop out." i'm 50, and i REALLY don't like the idea of having teeth pulled. big baby.
stephen  at 9:08 am on July 2, 2008
Oh, my. Yes. Wisdom teeth. Who thought THAT was a good idea? I sympathize completely.

I had my first wisdom tooth taken out while I was pregnant -- read: drugless. The oral surgeon -- and I use that term loosely, given that he looked like he'd just taken the SATs -- kept saying, "I feel so bad doing this to a pregnant lady!"

No, he didn't. Sadist.
Naomi Dunford  at 10:51 pm on July 2, 2008
@christopher - I was imagining the world filled only with leader types while writing the above and concluded that it would be disastrous.
@seagrass - luckily I didn't get a dry socket!
@stephen - I hate having the taste of blood in my mouth days after the extraction more than the procedure itself. Bleargh!
@naomi - oh dear! wisdom tooth extraction. while pregnant. without anaesthesia. *faints*
Ginger M  at 9:25 am on July 3, 2008
A world filled solely with leader types--or even with just really ambitious, type-A personalities, would be disastrous, or, at the very least, a miserable place to live. Every once in a while a little voice in the back of my head whispers, "You should be doing so much more". And I tell it to shut up. I'm perfectly happy where I am.
Christopher Waldrop  at 10:56 am on July 7, 2008
I hope by now your mouth feels better! I love the way you contrast your nephew's statement with an "unwise" adult decision. Great post. The title drew me to it and you are a very clever writer.
Damien  at 11:24 pm on July 11, 2008
[...] Social Worker Non-Competitive Part-Time Athlete (this one’s pushing it a little) Benevolent World Domination [...]
Dream Job Titles | Growing Happiness  at 3:39 am on September 1, 2008
That is a very fascinating concept that you;ll gain only wisdom when your wisdom tooth appears.
engraved clocks  at 9:45 am on February 10, 2011

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