Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Whatever you do, remember what Dad said

We always say that whatever we do, make sure we know what matters most to us, because that’s what will be on our minds on our deathbed.

Dad told me once: don’t forget that family is important, and that you’ll learn many times in life, that if we chase the material, once it’s within grasp you will look back and then realise so much had been lost, and what is lost is too late to retrieve.

It hit home hard when I went to see grandmother at the altar on the anniversary of her death, she lives less than a mile away from my parents, but in 10 years I’ve seen her maybe twice. The third time she was on her deathbed, unresponsive, struggling for breath and seemed tortured by the manner of her death. What was for me to say to her? I’m sorry sounds selfish, I don’t want to say I wish I can turn back time-  My stroke of ignorance had already relegated her to mere memory-dead to me a decade before her death, what right do I have to say anything on her actual deathbed. It hit just as hard a year before her death to see my gray and wrinkled parents at the airport. Was my 12 years away worth it? Yes, but I can’t deny the many pangs of emotion mourning of lost time, lost opportunities.

Since that time I strove a different direction, using Dad’s advice to guide those little, seemingly ignorable decisions in life that culminated in me ultimately leaving the UK, to China, to be closer to home, no doubt I’ll move closer still when the chance arise. It took away many excruciating indecisions, many dilemmas because I have a direction, a weighted reason to give up the less important for what is most important. I have chosen the tried and true cliché- I value people more than anything. I will change my career and lifestyle, even my life’s trajectory to ensure that I maintain my relationship with those I people that I value.

I’m committed to writing this down today because of recent events; of a situation that forces you to choose between family and love. I am not the protagonist of this story, someone dear to me is. All the same, she found her love, someone she loves and is willing to do anything to be with, but to have that she will have to accept a cruel fate, these joker cards that are social stigma and religion. What do you do in such a situation?
She’ll always have all my love and my blessing, I want her to be happy, and I want her in my life. No religion and social requirement gets to dictate love.

But here’s the thing, what of the staunchly, vehemently, disagreeing parents, that it is the marriage or the parents- choose? How? What choice would sis have in such a situation? Frustration’s an understatement, this feeling must be overwhelming, that in looking for an ideal outcome you realise that actually you have no choice, no control, not in the outcome nor the fallout- not matter how hard you try; like a cattle being herded into, pushed by fellow cows along railings that ultimately guide you past those narrow open slit, and beyond it into the abattoir.

Society have this way of influencing life, of imposing its will, like an ether it is everywhere. It can be seen in every decision; It is behind every love and hate you feel, every right and wrong you know. Fight it to discover how easy it can threaten to change what you thought are solid relationships, it can tear any loving family apart and once done, like a jihadist or crusader it can just as easily pull on a veil of righteousness to say the end justifies the means.

I’ve always thought- proudly and gratefully so- that my parents raised us very well. They strove to educate us to be better than them in every regard. We had higher education than either of them, we had fantastic, healthy, wholesome childhoods. We graduated debt free and with financial backup. Now, as adults we have better opportunities, we have great careers, we earn multiples of our parents’ wages. More than anything, we feel less bound by societal prejudices, we are open to new ideas, we don’t judge others by the colour of their skin, we take people for the content of their character, we respect differences, and we are decent global citizens.

So tell me how crushing the irony of our current situation is? Simply being who we are, simply living life as we intend for ourselves is testament to our parents educational efforts. Yet it is also the cause for this dilemma, we may have moved on too far from them.

When life affords you the luxury of multiple choices, your task is always an easy one- you choose to be with all those dear to you and choose also all the materials you want. Less luxurious but more realistically is you are only allowed one single choice, at a single time, but you can juggle, you can time share- be with the loved ones sometimes, but spend other times chasing gold; Cruelest of all, and a realistic rarity is the cruel choice between your partner, or your parents and lifestyle. This is cruel because you’re on the losing end either way. I think this is entirely avoidable, it is cruel because it is a result of prejudices, I think to call it barbaric wouldn’t seem out of place either- to allow the resultant of forces beyond your control, of forces you did not adopt but were born into to twist and turn your every choice into agony.

To me the answer can be simple, albeit courage is required. The cattle abattoir analogy could be mightily descriptive, but as a solution it isn’t useful, we are not livestock. As humanists we stand taller, we see railings as something to just hop over, to get away from those who chose to remain squeezed and  bound - perhaps because seems purposeful that everyone is in it together and going the same way. Society is just that- it is a phenomenon of accidental coincidences borne of outdated habits and legacies of those who came before us, with the origin reasons unknown it is then disguised as prideful identify for which many had and will bleed and die by.

It is oft said that age brings wisdom, what Dad told me was simply that. May many more let it guide them the way it did me, then by the very least we might have one less regret on our deathbed.

Written 22nd September 2015


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wow, 7 year absence.
So much has happen since, not just the world, but my li
I'll have to get back into this, and start telling it all. I don't think many people read this, but if anyone do, i hope you'll find it interesting.

So many things happened, some good, some bad, some indifferent, how to begin?
I'll just list what I think i'll like to write about below, and hope i'll get thru them all some day.

  • My 11 years in the UK
  • Moving to Cat
  • Leaving my first job
  • Getting hitched at the registrar and moving in with the fiance
  • Leaving the UK
  • My thoughts on China
  • Missing the UK
  • New love of Photography- Street photography
  • The weakening Malaysian government & economy
  • Scary China, Mighty China, all about China's diplomatic dealings that I don't approve
  • Turning 30, 31....32...
  • Probably time to get the wedding done
  • Consumer technology during the last 7 years- WOW.
  • any much more...
  • comments and spams on my old articles- they can be interesting.
  • What I haven't done in the last decade that I should've
I still don't think i'll get much readership, I don't remember my old intent of starting a blog, but now my thinking is that I want to write it for my future self- a sort of diary.

P/S: but if somehow it becomes so popular and I become a famous person and earn shit loads of money- I don't mind too. But in the likely event that it doesn't, its good too.

Wei (a much older one)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The third sex


Malaysian news talks about gender imbalances in Universities. While most minds will focus on the fact that we have more female than males in uni, I have found the following statement liberal

"As of July this year, 60.39% of students in all IPTA were female while the rest were male..."

the rest were male? there are only 2 sexes right? all you need to say is 60% female and that's it.
But maybe the report does take the 3rd sex into account after all!