Sometimes, we think and talk too much about publishing papers, and forgot the real meaning of publishing papers: to share the jewelry you found in your way of seeking the truth.
These days, publishing papers means lots of things, getting graduate, obtaining funding, being promoted, etc. This is because the society judges researchers by their publications, i.e., how much jewelry you are wearing. Publications also mean fame and reputation, just like artists and movie stars: the more you get shown to the public, the more you become famous. These are not wrong (in fact they are also the truth of this society). But, as Confucius once said, when you have desire, you are weak. When we desire something different from the truth such as degree, money, or fame, we become weak in our initial tasks of seeking the truth, and even become depressed or sleepless when we couldn’t get them. It is not because of degree, money, or fame that we devote ourselves to a scientific career, but because we love and enjoy finding out the truth. Yes, before that we need first get us food and a shelter, but no more. When we desire more, we are weak.
Sometimes or usually, by the end of the road, we find nothing. And look at ourselves, we also have nothing. It doesn’t mean that we are not strong enough to find anything. It’s only because we are unlucky. Does it worth it? That depends on what you value. If you value the wealth of food and luxury of house, then it does not. If you enjoy the walking on such a road, then whether finding any (large and beautiful) jewelry or not really doesn’t matter. The road itself is already a reward.
Sometimes, we are so eager to find the jewelry that when we get a beautiful piece of sand or rock, we want to turn it into jewelry or even mistaken it as jewelry (because we are weak). This doesn’t mean no contribution. The scientific world is made out of sand and rocks, and they will inspire others and yourselves to find the real jewelry. The only problem is that if we want to build a magnificent world, we had better share more real jewelry and pour in less ordinary sand.
May everyone find large and beautiful jewelry in your way of seeking the truth.