The 34th Rule, for Kento

Damn, Oregon is beautiful. I'm talking, take your breath away, sit stupid, and stare, BEAUTIFUL. Much like me staring at this screen, I was often left dumbfounded by its raw nature and vast space. I walked around barefoot on the grass in my buddy's yard (a.k.a park next door). I smoked more tree in 7 days than I had in a year (and I didn't break any laws). I witnessed a wedding full of life, love, hope, family, and alcohol (causing me to dance worse than I ever have in my life). What a damn good time! 7 days to relive some of the most raucous days of my life with some of the kindest people I've met. What did I do to deserve such reckless abandon?

I wouldn't dare try to make up an answer.

Embedded in the 7 gluttonous days of debauchery I had time to talk to my buddy "Kento". One of my best friends from college and someone I hadn't seen in a couple of years I told him I was going up to Oregon for a wedding and asked if he'd be so kind as to let me crash on the couch for a couple days. With no hesitation, he let me sleep in his spare room, where I neglected to put an alarm on every day as the man worked from his home office. Damn! What a wonderful feeling when friends share their success with you. We drank plenty in the days I spent there, but we talked more.

Kento's writing a book. It's a fictional narrative where the protagonist (among other things) has 33 rules. In our conversation after I left, he spoke of the 34th.



"Scratch your own itch."

Kento, I would've been happy to make you ponder, but to write it in the rules implored me to explore a deeper meaning. Where do we learn the things we learn and why do some things resonate with us down to our rulebooks while others fade away with our middle school math? I imagine we could agree in saying, "we remember what matters."

I can't take credit for the 34th rule. You see, it mattered to me when I read it years ago. I'm pretty sure various authors have said it, but I got it from Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Work-Week . If I remember correctly, he was spending a lot of money on workout supplements, so he started a supplement business. I enjoy drinking beer and partying, so I got a job at a brewery. You like the sound of flowing water, so you bought a fountain for your living room.

"Scratch your own itch."

Kento, my question (if one exists in this rambling) for you, is "why do we itch?" Are we filthy animals who roll around in the dirt, and because of the insects, bacteria, microbes, and debris in the dirt aggravating our skin we want to scratch our itch? There's a metaphor here, Kento.

Perhaps, we are clueless simps. Recipients and acceptors of what the world throws at us, so much so, that when our senses come into contact with an arousing stimulus we desire without reason? Does desire rule our rulebooks?

We talked about meditation and desire, and the benefit from one and the trouble from the other.

The connection between the two is acceptance right? Or is connection the consequence of meditation, leading us better equipped to cope with our desires with acceptance?

I had a great time in Oregon man. For all its faults, it is not without charm. Especially in the summer.

And that's not hard to accept.

Kento, I hope you finish your book, continue to meditate and find acceptance so that your desires don't rule your rules. But if they do, you find a way to scratch your own itch.

Want not, Kento!

- Jacobs