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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just my reflection

Wow, Zoey, whachya looking at?

Since there are military air fields around Las Vegas, you see a lot of fighter jets flying above the city.The weather was great that morning, so I took some pictures of the jet streams in the sky. I think the photo qualities don't do justice to the magnificent daylight spectacle.

Time flies.

Sometimes when I look at Zoey, I get some glimpses of how I used to be. Yet Zoey is also growing very fast and I can see her developing perceptions of her environment. In other words, she is not so 'blur' now.

Perhaps 'blur' is how you can describe me. There is a local phrase in Malaysia and Singapore 'blur like sotong'....I don't know if sotongs (squids) are really blur. A very long time ago, somebody also mentioned that I was an aloof person. At that time, I didn't really know what it meant but I thought she meant I was 'a fool'. Maybe blur is the same as aloof?

Nevertheless, what kind of person you become is very strongly influenced by your parents and your environment. A friend I once knew told me that Muslims believed that a child is like a white piece of cloth and the parents are responsible for what is written or drawn on it. Then there is a Chinese saying that says 'to scold is to care, to beat is to love' or something like that.

As for me, I am still a 1xPa and therefore learning as I go along. However, having been on the receiving end, I guess I do know a little bit about child upbringing. My reference book is how my own parents brought me up and my observation of other people's lives.

My mother was the police officer at home. Whenever I was up to mischief, I got my reprimand or 'rotan' (cane). Eventually, these lessons of discipline would become my Jiminy Cricket and for this, I am eternally grateful.

Some children may need to be explained to them why they are punished and so on. I think this is the trend among the modern generation and society - they need to explain to their children. Back in the old days, you get your 'chili pedas' ('hot chili') and that's it. However, I was able to appreciate my mother's disciplinary actions.

When I was young, I also had a lot of time to wander around. Unlike these days, kids could roam more freely then and not have to worry about bad guys. I think because I spent a lot of my time on my own, I discovered myself. Whoa!

I think this is in contrast to growing up in an environment where you are constantly in contact with other people or external influence. As time goes by, you lose the connection with your inner self. Then you will feel lost and then go around looking for spiritual guidance. I think the same thing happens to people only seeking money and fame, because of these are external factors.

Don't think I want to go into the debate of the importance of money now. There is a teaching described as the "birds of heaven and lilies of the field" in Matthew 6:24-34 (Luke 12:24-27). Basically, it tells us not to worry too much in life. If you worry too much, you cannot sleep well. Sometimes, teachings like these can sound contradictory to your situation but if you try to detach yourself from the world temporarily, you will be able to see the wisdom in it. Some people will say a short prayer or meditate before reading. This will help....

On the other hand, I think there can also be a side- effect when you are in your own world for too long. You are isolated from reality and society. In my case, maybe that is why I was labelled as aloof. Blur like sotong.

Sometimes this has brought problems to me too. For example, I realized that people always assumed that I have certain intentions or motives when in fact I had none. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and I was actually happier when I didn't realize this. It is really disappointing to know that the majority of people have this kind of mentality but gradually I also realized that this is a survival trait in a competitive and unfriendly society.

That's what growing up is all about, I guess. Part and parcel of life.

Time flies.

I guess it is every parent's dream for their children to be truly happy with themselves. It is a journey we all take together....as we help our children to discover themselves, we discover ourselves.