Friday, May 29, 2009

                                   Give them a chance to start missing you.

I've just crossed my 1st year anniversary's posting on  May 2nd.

It's been a rather hectic and sort of erratic year - both ups and downs as with every life and as it should be.

Happily there's been a lot more happiness and love being spread all around rather than the other nasty stuff -  suffice it to say that due to nothing major to report nor to  expound upon I haven't posted - in general there's been some serenity, some disquiet, a lot of exasperation (especially with the local political situation) but many occasions of real "happy moments" ... after all - isn't that what's life all about? 

At a certain stage in one's life, one tends to reflect back upon what one has accomplished (or has not) and if truth be told, no one can say that he was entirely satisfied that he or she has led the life that he/she had wanted, planned or even anticipated.

An ideal or perfect life is not to be.

Being human, one tends to go for perfection anyway, irregardless of the obstacles, or in spite of it.

My lot in life has been, happily to express it out loud, mostly good, sporadically could have been a lot better and in fact from time to time was very trying - at least challenging, almost to the stage of one falling off a cliff  - but eventually the spirit of family and of good fortune had somehow or other fortuitously stepped in.

There's this one little interesting question at the end of the day.

What would one have done differently - if at all one had wanted to do things differently in the first place?

In my case, in hindsight, I thought that I might (or should)  have been a lot less being an over-bearing parent or partner, both being over-protective and caring; maybe I  should even have been a lot more relaxed, laid back and receptive and passive... for me I found it very difficult with the sort of upbringing that I had. 

I was brought up in a very strict, regimented and stuffy family in the late 50's and 60's - where both the family name and cultural tradition were the templates of our regulated lives.

Because of that I had never given my own family in the late 70's and 80's  a chance to know me better; and later on in the growing up years had probably paid too much  overbearing attention over every step each and every one of them made.  

I was always there - a phonecall away when one of them fell sick; just 15 minutes away when they needed a ride; calmed their fears; uplifted their sadness; had fed and clothed and sheltered them - as a parent was duty bound to do anyway, and all that other everyday living stuff...

Thinking back maybe I should have once in  a while left them there when they were hurting, when they were in need, when they had wanted someone to be there for them? Maybe that would have helped them strengthened their character?

Maybe I should have given them a chance  to have felt how it was to be lonely; to have felt hunger; neglect; solitude; unloved; lost; in despair; homeless and unsheltered?

Maybe I shouldn't have insisted that they must come back home for a nice warm  meal once in a while after they had grown up and gone their own way?

Maybe I shouldn't have advised them to be wary of the weaknesses of the many different vices they will encounter in  life - like  smoking,gambling,insincerity,disloyalty,intoxication and being uncouth and loud?

Maybe I should have just left them to their own devices, to find out things in life the way that  I did, on my own - without, or with a minimum of any parental guidance or control?

Maybe that was what was  best.

One now looks back  at oneself in the mirror and realised that - being very independent at sixteen then - many years ago - in the mid-60's - that one hasn't done too badly after all.

Being rebellious is the scourge of the young. 

But for us now it should be time for us to  sit back and relax and to enjoy the rest of our lives -  most of all, to finally let them, your wife, your children - to  start missing you. 

Maybe then one day they will realise that all that you had ever wanted in your life was for them to  find and to lead a better life than the one you had lived before.

Isn't it sad to know that chances are by the time that one of them realises this, you might not be around anymore for them to acknowledge it.

Maybe that's how things are  supposed to work out in the first place.

Ain't life grand?


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Oogamy: Between perception and reality is a place full of ambiguity

Oogamy: Between perception and reality is a place full of ambiguity

Between perception and reality is a place full of ambiguity

First there is always a perceived notion, an assumption of a view, an idea, a matter of opinion or even an image in one's mind of an issue at hand, be it on how to cook a perfect pot of rice or on more serious matters like the general state of affairs of the country.

Usually in today's opinionated society at large one's personal perception of something tend to be one's informed opinion of another person, or a different idea or something new or strange.

From young we were taught to be aware that there are many different and varying views to life in general, from the way we are supposed to behave, to how we dress, and most important of all to how we express ourselves.

As we grow older we acquire more complicated ways on how to make friends (and ofttimes too, unknowingly creating enemies.) Our interactions with both camps help us to eventually form our own opinions of friends and enemies - on their individual and different characters, and also with regards to their behaviour and mannerisms.

Most of the time we cannot tell the difference between an enemy and a friend, and how they got to be one or the other. Basically the flaw lies in ourselves, not them. Otherwise everyone would be a friend. It's harder to make an enemy than a friend.

We would express our opinions to them (sometimes ours of them) out in the open (although this was very rare in the our society of pre-1990's) or we would decide to privately keep them to ourselves.

From personal experience, I found western society in general tends to be more open in this regard.

Today however I find in our society this land I would call "Ambiguity" and it strangely occupies an immense area of territory, taking up more space than it's brothers of "Perception" and "Reality". By right, Reality should take it's proper prime and overwhelming space; with the lesser siblings perception and ambiguity being relegated to the swamplands as far away from the Capital as possible.

Let me tell you a story.

There is a friend I know reasonably well whom everyone in our circle perceived as an "ideal husband, diligent bread-winner, a loving parent and a model of a successful professional in his field".

Recently it came to our knowledge that most of the above, if not all of the above opinions of his character were seriously flawed and that he was not the epitome of the "good guy" as we had known him to be.

But no evidence of any wrong-doing had ever been uncovered nor any credible witnesses to his wayward ways came forward; not to any of us anyway.

He has managed to continue to live his normal life and go his own way ... in this wonderful land called "Ambiguity". He has said he had done no wrong, had committed no crime and has not gone into hiding, although he had after a time received feedback on his supposed transgressions.

My friend has managed to deflect most of the obvious slanders and the many malicious insinuations against him.

A cloud of ambiguity now appears to float above him like an unseen halo.

However as far as I'm concerned, it's very much up to oneself, either as an envious onlooker who would "see" this big dark black cloud of dubiousness pointing an accusing finger, or as a friend who would overlook the small grey brief whiff of mist as just being that...something airy-fairy which has evaporated by the time you perceived that it's there. Or probably not there in the first place?

This is only a story of a friend, someone I know.

The greater story lies out there... in the land of the never-never, not so far away. Maybe it's even a true story that is happening right here, right now.

Someone said to me once that "Ambiguity is the stuff of life in this country if you look around you, and this aura surrounds many, if not all, of our prominent leaders."

Who's to say whether that was a dark cloud or a whiff of mist floating above his head?

God only knows.

Take care.

[ The foregoing piece is dedicated to RPK. ]

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Modern Fable - Innate Goodness Vs Transcient Friends

I have to thank at least six people for my entry into the world of blogging - firstly my two sisters, Edrea in Zurich and Edwina in Singapore; then a dear friend Sharon in Singapore; and also by a quirky accident I happened to watch on Alzajeera Network last Saturday when Paulo Coelho was interviewed on "One to One" when he announced that he had just started blogging; and then a rather famous Dr M. who had just started his personal blog on 1st May. The deciding point (or as you'd say the straw that broke the camel's back) came from a very good friend named Peter Ting!

That's the reason I'm now here blogging away.

My mother (who's going to be 80 come December 6th this year) but won't be able to know the difference as she's now reached her end-stage of the deadly Alzeihmer's Disease,having suffered from it for the past 10 years; would have encouraged me into this field...but may have cautioned me to thread lightly....for alas, at precisely the same time that cyberspace arrived , her memory-cells had departed from her.

I have an interesting moral tale as my first blog entry.

A very good friend of mine told me a true story which had transpired recently and over which he still cannot get over from, himself being a pretty straight-forward regular kind of guy being generous, intelligent and all that. He is extremely well off, well to do with no pretences and nobody to impress upon and who doesn't owe the world a living or have a chip on his shoulder....that sort of guy.

In his course of doing business and being on the receiving end of many reciprocal benefits, a generous travel agent gave him a "carte blanche" invitation for 10 of his friends/business associates free round-trip cruise holidays (all paid for) onboard a luxurious cruise ship (worth at least a couple of thousand dollars each); and for which he happily accepted.

He then invited 9 of his closest and best friends.

These are friends whom he had liked and known for quite a number of years, people whom he had either socialised with frequently or had interacted with in the course of doing business.

Within a couple of days he was barraged with queries like:

"Hey, what's the deal? Do I need to do something for you?"

"What's the catch,Pete? There must be a catch to this invitation! Do I have to do you a favour in return?"

"Sorry pal, I've got better things to do. Are you sure it's for free?"

"Are you sure it's legit? It's worth 2k each ticket?? No nonsense?"

He accepted the skepticism and the negative responses...but not to the extent that EVERYONE of his invited guests virtually didn't believe or didn't accept his very genuine invitation at its face value.

And these are guys whom he think he's known well and had believed were among his closest and best friends!

The moral of the story?

1) Why bother doing a good friend a favour? He thinks there's a catch.

2) Are your friends really your friends? They've known you so long yet they disbelieve a generous and genuine offer or invitation from you.

3) Accept the reality - nobody expects a freebie, not even from a close friend. They expect a "payback" for something good.

4) You might as well sell off the free tickets at half the market price, then you'd probably get more grateful friends that way!

For me, after having been told of this, I reckon it's a lesson in life, at least in this part of the world.... learned the hard way.

Take care.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Welcome to my Blog!

It's taken me a few years to get here,but with the constant prodding and encouragement from family and friends I have just taken the first step towards blogging.

Firstly it wasn't easy to settle for a name, I had wanted something else completely diffferent but they have ALL been taken up - yes, it is true that there are literally millions of bloggers out there and they have used up all the usable good names and words for their blogs.

Imagine my naivete when I had wanted names like "Man on the Moon" (to reflect an "observer's view from afar") when my by-line could have read "We managed to put a man on the moon, but yet we cannot communicate with our neighbour next door!" (Searches on Google for moonwalks and Michael Jackson would have directed traffic to me!)

Or the other favourite of mine "Serendipity" whose dictionary meaning is "the ability to make desirable but accidental discoveries". (Searches for Sri Lanka and Arthur C.Clarke would have taken them to me as well.)

And so on and so forth.

Then I was flicking through the dictionary and my eyes landed on the most obscure page on double-o's (oo...) and this heretofore unknown word "oogamy" jumped out at me! I've never seen it before, never heard about it before and certainly no one I know has EVER used the word, not even my doctor! Nor has it ever been written about,spoken about or been mentioned on Discovery Channel or National Geographic. Hmmph....strange word. Nice dic. (I rechecked and Oxford doesn't even list it as a word!)

BTW it was an Australian dictionary.

Sounds good enough, and Google Blogger says it's available! Thirteenth time lucky after a dozen or so "this name is not available" searches and tries. So here I am.... the blogger who owns the word for "OOGAMY" (at least on Google!) which I think is a nice word, creative (cheeky!) enough, and certainly memorable for most of us.

Besides which most of what I'll be writing about in the days,weeks and months ahead (hopefully) will be on matters affecting the very nature of our creation; life as we know it; opinions and comments, words of praises and criticisms, a bit of sharing, lots of reviews and in general, saying my piece.

And of course, hopefully YOUR feedbacks. Nothing can beat this. I hope you'd take part and let me know when you agree,disagree or have a different point of view.

After all, that's what blogging's all about....isn't it?

Take care.

P.S. I cannot promise to post/blog on a very regular (like daily or hourly) basis, but whenever I feel like it, have something on my mind, an idea to throw around, or just as a sounding board...there I'll be.