Your Father’s 39th Birthday

Your Father’s 39th Birthday

Dear Boys,

This 39th birthday I truly understand the meaning of family. It is simply because I felt a sense of abandonment from my mom and brother. I heard from my mother’s sister, my aunt, that my mother and elder brother has moved, she invited her sister to her house for some kind of house warming but she didn’t inform me. Given the kind of relationship I have with my brother, I can understand why she didn’t invite me, at the very least, tell me where they’ve moved to.

That is quite a psychological reality check for me, I guess I should have seen it coming, things hadn’t been the warmest between me and my brother and mother, but I still would think of them as family. The signs are there when I visited them one Chinese New Year and me at the gate, roused my brother from his slumber, only to hear him said, ‘Brother? I don’t have a brother.’ That was when I greeted him and asked him where is mum, and I’m his brother!

So now they’ve move, and without an address the cut is complete, and absolute. Perhaps is better this way, boys, I don’t know, things are always happening in future tense that leave us with little preparation in the present. The reality is that, I felt the loneliness in a deep and profound way.

So this birthday, it was a very small family affair, just your mum, and the 2 of you, there’s really no one else left who will remember my birthday, not to mention the mere celebrating the day. When I die, if anytime sooner, my wife will have her parents and little brother to remember her birth and celebrate with her, she has the both of you, that kind of birthday song, would sound a little louder.

For me, this 39th birthday for me, looking at the 3 of you, singing the song, made me really, really wish, and I want to hold true to that wish, ‘I wish that the 3 of you, sitting before me, will be by my side for as long as I live

Posted February 23, 2015

Stop at Success

Stop at Success

Dear Sons,

Your mum baked butter cakes yesterday. Twice.

For the first round, the 2 of you tried to help in the process, In measurements and cutting of the butter, it was good to have involved the 2 of you, even though you boys monkeyed around more than being helpful.

The cake wasn’t very well made, it rise in the beginning but the cake collapsed towards the later part of its time in the oven. Of course your mum, was dejected, it was a failure. The texture of the cake was too light, and it felled apart when we cut it and when we ate it, even thought it tasted good, but it wasn’t a ‘cake’.

I saw the opportunity and told her “Let’s bake another one!” I wanted to drive this point home, Do not stop at failure, stop only when you are successful. Later that afternoon, I went out and bought another bunch of ingredients and we tried at it again, and this time the cake turned out alright.

You see, boys, the difference is that if we stop at the first bake, what would have locked into our minds? The end process of it was ‘failure’. And if we do not correct that immediately, the feeling, the mood and the psyche of having failed at baking, would have sunken in, gotten locked into our sub consciousness, and the next time we bake, may be next week, next month, we will go to our sub conscious file and access the last time we tried, which was locked in ‘failure’. What a way to starting making something as beautiful and delicious as a cake! Will our next attempt fail again? I don’t know, but I’d rather start a new endeavor , with a past history and memory of success rather than having a last records of failure.

We also did something different the second time we bake, we wrote down every bit of the process, step by step. For the second time around, you boys were playing in the living room and had no part in the baking process, maybe the absence of you 2 monkeys would help in your mum’s concentration as well?

We wrote down every writable details of the baking, so that if we fail, again, we will know, more than less, how we can adjust our process.

The second time was a success!

And what a difference it made for your mum! From dejected, deflated talk of failure in baking the first round, she is now beaming with joy knowing that the second bake was a success. This is what I want to have locked into her psyche, that she can bake and baking is a process of success. And with the formula on hand, now she can bake and repeat the same success.

So boys, when you do fail in future, quickly dust yourself off and try again. Do not stop, never stop until you have successfully achieve your given tasks. Failure and success is nothing more than a state of mind, be careful at which state of mind you decide to take a rest, for it will affect you and your next course of action. so when you fail, do not stop, keep going, stop only when you are successful.

Posted August 12, 2013

How we spent our Deepavali-Istana Visit

How we spent our Deepavali-Istana Visit

Dear Boys,

I decided to give your mum a ‘me time’ for the hardwork she put in helping you, Ian with your exams. So I took you boys out so that your mum can go for her nail message, compliments of Auntie Chai Ping.

Where can we go, 3 male members of the Lim family? The Istana was hosting an open house and it is free entry for Singaporeans, so why not? We packed up and headed out, looking forward to spending some time at the official residence of our President. After all, it is free entry and its been a long time since I’ve step foot in the Istana for a visit.

We reached the place and found it to be raining a little, and got heavier as we approached the Main Building. the compound is really a nice place to visit, with the sprawling greenery, and magnificent lawn. Once we passed the tight security, the first sight that draws us towards was the Swan pond.

Swan Pond. Admiring the Swan

The both of you were fascinated with the single white swan there and snapped pictures like it was the last living White Swan on earth. Thankfully the turf on the Istana ground is quite well maintained, despite of the rain, and wet grounds didn’t translate into a muddy quagmire, despite of the heavy trampling by the large crowds.

P_20151110_143133_1_p

As we walked up and towards the slight gradient, the both of you chatted that this was where they saw on television the funeral procession of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and wondered where is the Sri Temasek.

The Sri Temasek

The premises was out of bounds and we can only stop to appreciate the diminutive building, where so much of our country’s history has happened there. While we watch, our minds played the mental image of Mr Lee’s cortege rolled out from the place, in a wet day no different from the day we visited Istana.

The Main Building

We had to seek refuge there along with many ‘un-umbrella’ folks, as the sky decided to open up on us. We learned from a Scout there, that we can actually buy a ticket to go into Istana for a house tour. With nothing better to do, I decided to leave the 2 of you with the Scout and headed out in the downpour to get the tickets. There is no photo taking allowed inside so we have to keep our pictures in our head.

The interior is a grand place, which is of course, as we have to host our nation’s guests there. There is an air of importance as well as decorum, you can’t help but feel the importance of such a place to us ordinary Singaporeans. it is important that we host our country’s guests in the highest pristine so that we get the respect and voice in the global community.

The Gun Terrace

This is certainly the highlight for the both of you as you boys take turns to take pictures of it, walk around it and explore this World War 2 relic.

The Military Guardroom

P_20151110_153119_1_p

We did a few fun shots there with a few ornamental mini cannons, your little brother, as usual, is such a pain when it comes to making him look at the camera and do a decent pose!

Our signature childhood photo

This is the kind of photograph where we can look back, decades from now and relish the memories. I am sure many of us and our parents out there has a photo like that taken with a soldier standing at attention. This will certainly be a journey I hope the 2 of you can cherish and remember fondly.

P_20151110_155601_1_p

Posted November 19, 2015

Meeting my MATADOR (Army Story)

300px-MATADOR_Stand

Dear Boys,

Let me tell you an Army story.

During your father’s Reservist, he has fired a MATADOR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MATADOR). This is an Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW), that is in used with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Our unit was given some organic weapons training, the NSmen were given a few choices: M-16/SAR21, Ultimax 100/SAW, GPMG, or the MATADOR. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I chose MATADOR.

I mean, who in this world actually get a chance to fire a real anti-tank rocket? It was a chance too good to pass up!

Of course there was a familiarization lessons to go through. We handled the dummy version, understand the immediate action (IA) drill in case the weapon malfunction. This mainly have to do with the weapon not firing and we have to leave the weapon, more gently than you put a sleeping baby down! Any jerk could set off the malfunction weapon and blow everybody up with the most unintended consequences! The reality is that it can be nerve wrecking to know if that high explosive thing you put on your shoulder failed to go off.

Anyway, we went through some technical handling and we made it to the MATADOR range, which was actually an open area where we get to shoot at some metal targets simulating vehicles. Since a single live MATADOR cost more than S$10,000, the army has to make sure we are familiar with it. So we were given to sub-munition rounds to get ourselves familiar with whole drill of handling the MATADOR. There were 2 rounds of sub-munitions for us to shoot at the targets. So when we squeeze the trigger, a small projectile will be sent flying towards the target. Piece of cake.

When it came to the real thing, all of us got somber and serious. We were told that the MATADOR packed a nasty back blast, and true enough the amount of back blast was phenomenal. Anyone standing 5 meters behind it will be severely injured by the back blast. No joke, it threw a blast a good 10 meters or more.

Matador

Because it was an expensive round to fire, everyone only have one chance. and due to some military mess up, I was the last shooter for the entire cohort.

It was an exciting moment as I hefted the real thing onto my right shoulder and as I peered through the simple sights, I took aim at the big vehicle shaped metal sheet, about 250m ahead, well within the MATADOR’s maximum 500m range.

So I repeated the commands and grasp the pistol grip and flicked the safety off. The moment of truth.

Nothing prepared me for what was going to happen.

BOOM!

I squeezed the trigger and was totally taken by surprise the amount of recoil of the weapon packed. And the amount of smoke! I totally lost sight of the target momentarily.

When the smoke cleared, I couldn’t hear what the trainer was trying to tell me, I pulled my earplugs off while I exited the little mold of earth making up the firing point, everyone at the training shed was on their feet cheering!

I thought they were cheering since I was the last firing, so I lifted the empty, and light MATADOR casing in bravado. It was later when I reached the training shed that I realise what my buddies were cheering about.

As I didn’t prepare for the recoil, the warhead was jerked upwards when it left the MATADOR. Hence with an upward trajectory, the warhead totally missed the target and instead flew for its maximum 500 meters and landed beyond the range parameters!

It probably blew up some tree and killed some ants. What a way to waste a $10,000 weapon!

Link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=10154083797606063

The “Bastard” Story

The “Bastard” Story

Dear Ian,

You have been acquainted to the word ‘Bastard”. No thanks to some kid in your school.

Well, this might be something we forget years from now, but it is one of those things that we would like to pen down.

You came home yesterday and asked your mum, “What is the meaning of Bastard?” Your mum, shocked to even hear you mention the word, told you in a reactive rebuke, it is of course, a ‘bad’ word. And she asked you if you’ve used it. And you obviously said ‘no’.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

What we learned from you was that someone in school used the ‘B’ word on you during your basketball training, and it was, in your account, perhaps the senior boys, in Primary 4, 5 or 6. who scolded you and added the ‘B’ word.

On top of that, there is this kid who smacked you head with Colin’s from behind. And someone threw a ball at your face. Those rough and tough stuffs you can rough it out, tough it out.

The twist of the story came this morning, when Colin’s mum got a call from school from the teacher to tell her about what happened. Long story short. The teacher mentioned that you used the word ‘bastard’ in school. and Colin also said you did.

Your mum knew now, you used it, but you learned it from someone, and the teacher only caught you using it, but she is not aware that you learned it from someone else in the basketball lesson.

To set the records straight, your mum went to the teacher after class and clarified the matter. Not in your defense but to make sure that the facts are set right. You used the word, which you should aptly be punished. But you didn’t bring the word into the class, someone did, and you were caught using it. That doesn’t make you less ‘wrong’ but it matters that the teacher sees the situation from another angle.

So the point is this, Ian, you have to let us know what is going on in school, even if you are punished for some reason, or you did something wrong, please let us know. Because you could have been contextually right in the wrong content and vice versa.

Had we not set the records straight, you would have been branded the boy who brought the ‘bastard’ to school. We do not want such stereotypes on you, not like this.

Posted January 28, 2014

Your Parent’s 10th Wedding Anniversary

Your Parent’s 10th Wedding Anniversary

Dear Boys,

December 14th is a significant date for your parents for it is the day your parents got married. This year is our 10th year together, and indeed is has been quite a 3650 days!

I’ve booked a room with M hotel, the hotel in which we got married back in 2003. The room was a deluxe with a King size bed, I thought it could fit the 4 of us sleeping and it did! Well, we have to snuggle width of the bed.

It was a nice roomy room. And on top of the room, it was packaged with a one way paid trip into Sentosa. I told your mum it will be a “best of both worlds’. One was we can spend time in the hotel where we had our wedding dinner in, the other was Sentosa, where I proposed to your mother.

We ‘booked’ a London cab, since none of you boys has ever taken one. Unfortunately, the hotel wasn’t able to get us one through the phone booking, as all the cabs are taken. Luckily for us, the hotel called back moments later and informed us that there was one London cab just down at the lobby having dropped of a passenger. What luck! We rushed down for the cab and it was an unforgettable ride!

We headed to Palawan beach, for the rope bridge where your dad proposed to your mum. The weather wasn’t in our favour this time as it started pouring which caused us to make a dash across the bridge and headed to one of the 2 towers at the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia.

We soon found out that the rain was a blessing in disguise as it turned out that there was young couple on top of the tower, preparing their proposal! Well, the boyfriend got some friends to help him, and they tied some balloons around the wooden handrails, and the bride-to-be was supposed to pop the balloons to get the message. We chatted up with them and they loved Wayne so much that they get him to bring a balloon to the bride-to-be and pose with her as well.

We didn’t stay to find out the success of that proposal, as we have our own agenda to run, your mum and I, posed at the spot on the bridge, where I put the ring into her finger. It is still as memorable as if it was only yesterday.

We head back to the hotel and you boys had such a splash in the bath tub. We used up all the light sticks I bought and when the lights was turned off, the bath tub emits a funky glow of green, red, blue and yellow. It was such a splash! Well, that has to come to an end when I see your 弟弟 shivering from the cold water!

While you boys were in the bathtub, Shakir, the hotel’s duty manager came up with our Anniversary Cake! It was a delicious Tiramisu cake, made to perfection. It was fluffy, light and sweet. It was so good we polished off the 1 kg cake that night. The 哥哥 who is not a cake lover, predictably couldn’t stomach his share which is to our delight! Your mum and I totally relish the cake.

We went down to the ballroom on the second floor where your parents walked down the isle. There was another couple getting married, doing the very thing we did 10 years ago, so we didn’t wanna crash their party. We took some discreet photos, and it must have look odd, thinking of it now, since we were at the wedding reception area, the parents in bermudas and slippers and the kids in their PJs!

We ended the day with all four of us squeezing into the King size bed and woke up early for another day of fun before we pack up.

Too bad, M hotel is a ‘business hotel’, because the swimming pool is not kid friendly. the shallowest part is 0.9 m and the deepest 2m, too deep for 弟弟to have fun, so we end up hoarding the Jacuzzi, both of them alternating between them.

We ended our day checking out and it was a day of great fun and memories.

Posted December 17, 2013

My First Job

My First Job

Dear Boys,

Your dad has a checkered past, not in a sleazy way but he left school when he was 15 years old because he wanted to learn Japanese language to become a tour guide and travel the world. Look at what the world has become of him!

All this means that I must have my parent’s support to leave school, and have money to go and learn Japanese language and then become a tour guide. There wasn’t much thought put into this and my parents wasn’t the best in parenting, so the gave in and I left school to study Japanese.

Or so I thought.

Along the way, my ‘businessman’ dad, hinted to me: “What happens if he is no longer able to support me?”

That was a sign that I need to find my own work, make my own money, and without a trace of resentment or angst, I looked around and I’m not sure how it happened but someone I knew (or most likely my parents) recommended a job for me to work as a sales staff in Changi Airport.

1991- Changi Airport Terminal 2

With my colleague Josephine.

Working in the airport has a very special vibe to it, back then there was only 2 terminals, in fact, only one, since terminal 2 wasn’t officially opened yet, and the airport community was very small. I never forget the Airport Policeman’s name, Rudy, who said that I was probably the youngest person to ever work in the Departure hall, when I was at the Airport Police Station processing my Airport Security pass.

me tinkering with cameras

Sound Electric Centre

My employer was Sound Electric Centre (last I check ACRA, the company is still around! Incorporated 13 March 1975!), they have shops in Terminal 2 as well as Terminal 1, selling all sorts of audio, video, camera, electronic games, CD players, binoculars, you name it. They also used to have a shop in Far East Plaza down in Orchard Road, and in their hey days, they were quite reputable.

with Jun Jie, not sure what we were laughing about.

So I worked in Terminal 2 selling cameras and photographic equipment to customers, as a retail staff. This also started my life-long love for photography, albeit an expensive hobby to really keep up with. It wasn’t backbreaking work, but it taught me a lot about managing people, and how the working life is. There’s a lot of stories of our colleagues getting into physical scuffles over some childish antics (both got fired), theft of a large scale, love affair, legit and illicit and of course many life lessons along the way.

Selling camera also meant that there was a bit of technicalities involved, customers wants to know certain features and you will need to explain it to them, both as novice to even professionals. I learned how to handle Single Lens Reflex (SLRs) cameras, brands such as Nikon, Canon, defunct Rollei, Chinon, Minox, Yashica, expensive stuffs like Leica, Contax and other brands.

I also learned some sales tricks to boost our sales, such as selling camera cases when it actually came free with the camera, and selling additional batteries, or mark up film prices when we gave discounts on the camera.

Celebrities

Working in the restricted area of the Airport means that when the superstars came to town, we are the ones who have the first cut in seeing them, and welcoming them to Singapore, I remembered the whole place was so swoon over Alan Tam, Aaron Kwok when they came. I wasn’t a big fan of theirs but I heard they were swamped by Airport staff first before they were swamped by their fans in the general public area in the Arrival Hall.

Jon Bon Jovi

This guy, I remembered vividly serving him, I think it was an early weekend morning, and there wasn’t a crowd, and I read in the news they were in town for a 2 night exclusive concert, in and out just over the weekend. So I was just starting shop, and this Ang Moh with a wild shock of hair came in, and looked at some camera, I recognized him, but I served him as a customer, somehow not fazed or impressed by his presence.

He was very low-key, very human. The choice of camera was the bestest, most expensive one. He was one down to earth, pragmatic superstar. He was looking for a simple point-and-shoot, so I recommend him an Olympus Mju 2, one of the low range, dummy camera. He looked at it, liked it and bought it, whipping out his platinum Amex Charge card. Of course there was no question his card purchase would get approved. He didn’t want the box so I packed the camera up, thrown in a free roll of film and off he go.

He will always remain one of my fav celebrity whom I can say I’ve rubbed shoulders with and he has never made anyone felt a need to serve him in his superstar status. Just an awesome plain and simple human being.

The Queen came

I was there, too when Queen Elizabeth II came to Singapore, I think it was back in 1992/93. Back then, we knew that Changi Airport is one of the places in Singapore that is never closed. But they closed it for the Queen.

Security was really tight, but we still opened our shop as usual, I didn’t get a close glance at her, just a back view from about 25 m away. While they didn’t close the airport for the whole day, they did it enough for her to tour the place and soon it was back in business.

Changi Terminal 2 today

Due to Covid19, the Singapore Government took the opportunity to close Terminal 2 for a whole sale renovations. It was quite a nostalgic sight and feeling for me to walk the deserted grounds, the usually bright and welcoming Airport Hall, now dark cavernous and empty.

I’m sure by the time COVID 19 becomes a distant memory, Changi Airport Terminal 2 will be up and running even better than before.

How Relationships Breaks Apart

How Relationships Breaks Apart

Dear Boys,

Last weekend I happened to ‘walk’ into one of those moments where you both were arguing about something. I asked tersely: ” What is going on?!” There tension in the air and 弟弟 is looking the way he looked downcast when there is certain accusations flying around, and the 哥哥 has a hard tone, and walked out, telling me to ask the 弟弟 instead.

I did and of course, I will not get the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, all I got from Wayne was snippets of “I said something, and kor kor is not happy with what I said and…”

It’s typical for anyone, not just you, Wayne to hide the truth about what has actually happened, especially when the person in question is the perpetrator.

I called Ian in and hears from him: “Wayne was saying that he sometimes feels like a dog and simply follows his feelings and moods.” ” I cannot take it anymore and so I told him off.”

Pushing People Away

Sometimes the reality is too much for us to handle, we can get overwhelmed and suddenly we say ‘Enough is Enough!’ Negativity can be infectious, and brings the collective mood down, granted that 弟弟 says such a downer statement on 哥哥’s birthday, can add to rain to the parade.

So we start to push people away in a bid to protect and collect what little optimism we got left, or we got so hung up and focused in our work, we shove people away, people who needed our help. It happens when resources is scarce and we are left fighting for ourselves. We often want to find a hole, jump in and disappear from the world’s problem. We want to tell people:

“GO AWAY!” “LEAVE ME ALONE!” “HAVEN’T I GOT ENOUGH PROBLEMS ALREADY?!”

The Consequences of Pushing 弟弟 Away

The issue here is, that person you pushed away, is your 弟弟, he confides in you, and you only. Everyday when he comes home earlier than you (more often than not), he will look out of the window, constantly waiting and eager for you to come home. You are the only one he share little nonsense with, the inside brothers jokes, chit chats, and things as a parent wouldn’t understand.

He will confide in you, good and bad, and sometimes the bad can be a little irritating, I know 弟弟 is still young and learning, and in the process he can be whiny and clingy, emotional and self-depreciating. So if he don’t confides in you, who else can he go to? Me, or your mum? Sure, but we have a different vibe, we are his parents, dad and mum, you are his brother. It is not the same talking to us, talking to you.

Don’t Tit for Tat

Not forgetting that you will confide in him sometimes during your times of need and share your brotherly bonding time, and sure enough, you wouldn’t want him to push you away and say he have enough of your Bulls**t and negativity?

You are his only brother and if he don’t confide in you, would you he rather confide in his friends and end up joining teen gang because they appear to care more about him than you do?

Pushing him away now may look insignificant, but doing this often enough to form a habitual response, will build a rift so far apart in future, that you will eventually forget what you guys are fighting about, and just simply fight because that’s all the strong emotional response you both can remember. Small cracks sinks big ships.

I know because that’s what happened between my elder brother and me.

Properly Expressing Yourself

Ian, you are just coming 16, you cannot solve the world’s problem, you cannot shoulder your 弟弟’s problem; you don’t have to, we are around, you can refer your little brother to us, if you are up to your neck with issues. Instead of blowing up and shoo your brother away, and leaving him to fend for himself, and deal with his own sh**ty emotions, you can ask him to come to us.

We are your parents, and we have been there, done that, and here to help you with your problems, escalate to us and we can come together with a solution. There is nothing we cannot figure out as a family. So instead of saying:

“I don’t want to deal with your problems, you negative, whiny little boy!”

try saying

“Frankly, I’m kinda not in the mood to handle this, I think we can talk to papa or mummy, and maybe they can help you.”

or

I’m kinda not able to take in what you are feeling now, because I’m swamped myself, can I come back to you when I am better?”

As you grow up, you will need to learn how to use such coping phrases to help you stave off certain onslaught of strong emotions, we cannot deal with everything and anything that comes our way so learning to better express ourselves can help people understand that we have limitations too.

Lean on each other

Unfortunately, the elder brother is the elder brother, Ian, there is no way around it, you will have to have the strength to save your little brother’s ass again and again, never failing him. He will always look up to you as the elder brother he can depend on and emulate. Ian, you become a leader because you are in a place to be one, Wayne you will become a leader because you learn from your elder brother how to be one.

So learn to lean on each other, I will be tell the both of you again and again, and there will be times where both of you have nothing left except each other, so instead of pushing each other, with ignorance, hate and defensiveness, hold on to each other and your world will be all right.

No off-days

No off-days

Garfield hate Mondays, just like many of us.  and when we reach TGIF, we all know what that means.

We all also know what it means when the holidays are here, birthdays, anniversaries, and all those special days.

Erm, wait…

Excellence and quality has no desire for a holiday. If you are good, you are good 365/24/7. There is simply no day offs for quality. If you think your life suck and you want the weekend to come quickly so that you can escape the weekday doldrums, then well, you are in for a jolly fool of a time.

I used to think that there is a ‘plateau effect’ in our learning curve. Sometimes when I was training, I will hit this feeling of flat-line, as if my learning is not getting anywhere. Or things seem to be turning into ‘SOS’, Same Old Shit’ mentality.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

There is no such thing as a plateau, flat line or whatever you call that. There is simply no off-days, if you are good, you will continue to be good, whether you like it or not. If you are bad, and you continue to train diligently, you will become good, at something you used to be bad at.

Hell, even if you are piss poor lousy with something, there is no off-days too! So since there is no off-days whatsoever, good or bad, keep going at it, like it or not. do not give yourself, the delusion of an ‘off-day’. No one has a holiday, even when you are on a holiday, you will continue to do what you are doing, your life never takes a day off. you will continue to carry yourself to wherever you are going, wherever you are heading to, so don’t lie to yourself, and give yourself a break. there is no such thing.

You only rest, truly rest, when you are  dead. As long as you are alive, continue to live, work on your bad, better your good.

Posted on November 13, 2012

病从口入,祸从口出

病从口入,祸从口出

Dear Boys,

If there is any life skills that is pertinent and you have to constantly learn and relearn, this is it.

病从口入,祸从口出

It means that illness goes in from the mouth, trouble comes out from the mouth, literally speaking.

Kids says the Darndest Things

image from Google

Back in the late nineties, there’s this very popular American variety show called Kids Say the Darndest Things. This was hosted by Bill Cosby, who is convicted of sex offences and child abuse offences.

In the show, people watch it for a good laugh over some of the things the kids says, through their naivety, innocence and often out of context statements. It was a very popular show because kids often do say the darndest things and their response are quite comedic and can evoke a sense of awe, and ga-ga by the adults.

These kids, says it not knowing the kind of context as well as the consequences of their saying. I mean who can blame them? People are not hurt by what these kids said, they are after all, kids right?

1998 to 2021

Let’s say that back in the first season in 1998, a kid in that era filmed for the show at say…6 years old, fast forward 23 years, that cute kid who said that darndest thing is now… 29 years old. Would this 29 year old person, saying the same darn thing, have the same comedic effect? Would it even be considered ‘cute’? Probably cringey at best!

What you say have Consequences

As you both grow up, the line for you both to say the ‘darndest things’ and get away with a simple laugh, is thinning. As kiddos, you can say anything and we can understand that it is quite out of immaturity, and forgivable. Lies you both tell, are also understandably accept, and corrected. We try to talk to both of you about how the reality doesn’t correspond with your version of truth. At a young age, and lacking cognitive maturity, coupled with a narrow range of vocabulary to express yourself, you might say a certain things but don’t mean it the way you say it. We know, it’s a kid thing.

Things are going to be different as you grow up; you simply cannot go around cracking a wise-ass joke as expect to get away with it. There will be consequences when your version of your truth vary widely from reality or societal norms. Always think before you say anything, as much as it is practicable, as things you say can be taken out of context and hijacked for the wrong arguments and reasons, and it will be too late for you to correct what you say and goes ‘I mean, I mean…’.

One prime example, try to jokingly say ‘bomb’ in an airplane, that wouldn’t have been a very ‘ha ha ha’ moment.

Badge Lady and The Glynn

image from Google
image from Google

These 2 individuals are amongst the many that has been publicly and socially crucified for their lack of ability to understand how the norm at large is demanding a homogeneous response to a global pandemic. They say things that made them famous for the wrong reasons and of course, getting into the wrong side of the law. Of course in their own world, and perhaps in another universe, they’d be kings, but unfortunately, back down on planet Earth, what they did are criminal, no ifs and buts about it, and there is no way for them to explain what they did under any and all reasonable circumstances.

Let’s not go into the specifics about what they did, but these 2 are examples about what you say and/or do can get you into serious trouble, and in a COVID-19 situation, the virus certainly does enter your body through… your facial orifices, ala 病从口入.

Me against the World

Sure, if you would like to make a statement for yourself and go against the world because you are empowered to carry out an act, and expression. You feel that you have what it takes to change the world, don’t let me or anyone stop you. That is the learning point, the skill and art of getting things done your way without causing too much trouble. There is a constructive way to change the world and there is a destructive way, you decide what kind of impact you want to have on the world.

You want to change the world. rock the boat, people will be unhappy with you, troubles will find you, and you will face difficulties, and insurmountable challenges. These are inevitable part and parcel of being a pioneer, an innovator, an original. But please don’t go out of your way to antagonize people, say things to make people unhappy in the spur of the moment. Once you carelessly say something and is heard, and hurt someone, there s no taking it back.

Always make a point to think through what you want to say, and when you are not sure, always make a note to admit what you don’t know. This is where the skill and art which we will take our lifetime to master.