Love and Hate

Dear Boys,

We talk a lot about love and hate, and it seems like ‘hate’ is always getting a bad rap for all the negativeness and people tend to hate the ‘hate’.

While love is certainly a good thing to have and the more love the better. We tend to forget the value of hate, how it can be a fuel for change and an impetus for us to become a better person.

What is hate?

It is easy to talk about love, everyone wants a piece of that, the more the better. But not a lot of people want to talk about hate, and yet, hate is one of the most powerful emotions, and when it is least understood, it can be the most destructive force to be reckoned with.

Love and hate

There is no distinction, really. And they are not duality. love is not the opposite of hate, nor vice versa. Love is love and hate is hate. When you look at them individually, you’ll be able to see the actual value these emotions really have. Hate is not a bad thing, love is not necessarily a good thing either.

When we hate, we need to understand if that hatred is extrinsic in nature, something outwards, a person, a thing, a situation. If that is so, we have to look inwards and see how that externally directed hate, is affecting us, in the inside.

So we need maturity to know what hate is, and how we can deal with it, and turn it into a force for good. We may hate a person who is a liar, but we need to know why that person lied, and look deeper, we don’t really hate the person, but we hate the act of lying. Let that hate be a powerful emotion for change, and tell the liar, we hate lying, the act of lying and if that person continues to lie, then there is no way for anything constructive and open.

Personal hate

This is so much more powerful, when the hatred is internally directed. We always hold ourselves to a personal standard, we look at things and tells ourselves if that thing is on par, or sub-par. We hate it when we does sub-par things. There is nothing to love about a sub-standard outcome. We need to channel that hate, and let it drives us deeper into producing a level of quality we can be happy about.

Let that hate, become masochistic.

That doesn’t mean self-mutilation. We need to push ourselves to become better, and sometimes, Tender Loving Care is the least we need. We need focus, we need effort, we need to push ourselves further than we can, and the best way to do it, is to hate ourselves for delivering anything less than our own personal best.

Love the hate

So don’t turn away from hate. when it happens, don’t let that turn destructive.  Let that be a force for good. Channel the hate into an action, a positive action which will allows us to strive above and beyond our comfort zone. Love will give us that warm cushy feeling, that is good, to know that there is love. But when there is hate, you will be propelled to rise above mediocrity and do even better than you ever did in the past. And when that happened, that is even a greater reason to love yourself.

The melancholy man @ 41

The melancholy man @ 41
Collage_Fotor me 41_Fotor.jpg
It is quite a challenge finding 41 pictures of me to do this montage!

Dear Boys,

I’m forty one this year, and unlike your mum, I was never a big fan of celebrating birthdays.

It is not as if your mum has big birthday celebrations, but the least was she has it, every year, her family would celebrate her birthday, even the lunar one. Me? The only birthday I vividly remembers was my 12th birthday, that’s it.

While I grew older and earned my own money (I started working when I was fifteen), birthday, as I know it is a significant day, especially when it’s mine. There is something special about me, on that day, but I couldn’t figure out what. So I started taking leave from work on my birthday, not to celebrate with cakes and parties, but to spend time with myself. That was until I met your mum. She usually fuss over my birthday, not me.

Until now I still cannot understand what birthdays is all about.

Birthdays depresses me

In fact, as the years pass, I get more depressed.

Depressed that at my age, I hadn’t accomplished anything ‘big’, nor did the things my peers are doing. Yes, keep up with the Jones to get to me sometimes. Of course the consolation is, that I lived a mediocre life, free from worries, debts, major diseases, war, poverty, and all those things. I should be lucky, contented and happy!

I am not, and I can’t figure out why.

So what’s the surprise?  

I don’t see the need to figure it out, so what if I do figure my life out? I’d never be able to get out of it alive! So what if I created a solution that save the world? I’ll still die?

Legacy? What’s that?

At the most selfish level, nothing I can ever do, can save me from death. Death is certain. but people are busy celebrating ‘birthday’ and not too concerned with deathday. Well, death is the ultimate storm on anyone’s parade, huh. We’d all rather looked at the happy, dandy side. Focus on the birth-day, nevermind that death is on the opposite side of the same coin.

It is at this juncture, I get stuck. Even in writing as of now. Death kills my writing…

Death kills everything I can possible think of. It is over before I can even think about the beginning. I simply don’t have the upbeat optimism good vibes to overcome death, no one can, I guess. So why even try so hard?

And yet, I cannot reconcile with the reality that I am put on earth to just convert Oxygen to Carbon Dioxide. I am made for something more, I just don’t know what. Hell, I’m such a genius.

I live for you

One thing for sure, I think I am here for the both of you boys, and your mum. Other than the three of you, there is no one else. No one else who knows that I really existed, whom I really matters in their lives. It is the three of you whom, if I for one reason, disappears, dies or get kidnapped by alien, will grieve for me, worry for me, thinks of me, and cares about me. And for I play a key important role.

I’m always grateful for your mother’s love. She has been the most incredible woman, at the same time, dumbest to follow this melancholy man. I guess that is what love is all about, she believes in me  more than I believes in myself, and she takes my shit, all the time, dust herself off and continue to love me. I cannot be here if it is not for her. Sometimes, I let her celebrate my birthday, not because I am important, but it is because I am important to her. And my birthday is an important day to her, much more than it is an important day to me.

So the big Four-One is upon me, and I’m still here, doing what I am doing, everything looks the same, for me. The only thing changing is the both of you boys, growing up, while your dad is growing old. I hope us celebrating your birthdays year on year will give the both of you some meaning. This is what is blog is all about, a dad’s introverted hope that you can make better sense of your lives, and use my life and folly to make sense of yours.




1 Rule of Marriage


Dear Boys,

There are many, many rules out there for marriage. The wife will say ” What’s mine is mine, and what’s his is mine.”

You can check out the web and find more of these nonsense rules for a good laugh.

For your dad, there is one golden rule when it comes to marriage.

“You don’t have to understand the decision, you just have to respect it.”

You see, everyone has their idiosyncrasies, and your mum has hers, I have mine too. There is no possible way for everyone to come to terms in a logical and coherent manner about every single, little, itsy, bitsy teeny, weeny decision our spouse make. Couples can bitch, fight, quarrel over why, your spouse is afraid of cats, why you want to turn on the fan and blow it at the wet laundry. There are many, countless ridiculous decisions, often based on outdated bias or superstition. As long as they are not too extreme, like for example, if your spouse support the Nazi and wants to paint a huge Swastika in the living room, get out of there, that is one decision by a crazy deranged person.

Point is, there are many small little trivia we can quarrel over, and we took such a long time, and committed so much energy, only to break it up over your spouse who do not cap the toothpaste every single night after use?

The origin of my marriage policy probably stems from some professional dogma I learned somewhere, mostly likely from the military. You see, as a professional in any field, you can voice your opinion, have your grievances heard, says that the plan suck, oppose it, but when it comes down to execution, and you have to run it, you have to run it like you own it, irrespective that moments ago, you were opposing it like mad.

We often do not see the bigger picture, on why things have to be done the way it was done. We may question, bicker, bitch, complain about it, but when action is needed, all talk has to stop. It is not productive, nor constructive to continue the bickering while you are acting on the thing you are bickering about, it is bad vibes, it is bad attitude.

The other side of the coin is, ‘ If you can’t do the small things right, you cannot do the big things right.’ whatever… Marriage is not about big things or small things, it is the togetherness that matter, to thrive in a marriage is really compromising on the small things for the sake of the greater good, trying to fix the small things and you’ll eventually lose sight of the big picture. Because it is not a thing, matter, or situation you are trying to fix, you are dealing with a human being, and human beings cannot be fixed, or fixed.

So learn to accommodate to your spouse, as you both have already gone through the dating stage and hopefully as boyfriend and girlfriend, you both would have ironed out most of your individual quirks and funny little things. When your word to each other, for better or for worse, and more often than not, you’ll have to deal with the worse, remember this:

“You don’t have to understand the decision, you just have to respect it.”

What you see is what you get

I used to have a very existentialist opinion; ‘Until I see it, hold it, touch it, it does not exist’. Something to that effect…what I was thinking back then, I will not belief in things that is not tangible. Things change, sometimes this adage holds true, sometime, the rules have to be bent a little.

So in Aikido, in the strictest, and narrowest in sense, you have someone coming up as an ‘attacker’, and you ‘defend’ with one technique or another. Of course, what you see is what you get. Or really?

Our situation outcome is dependent on our cognitive.

Look at things on a larger field of things, it is no longer ‘what you see is what you get’ What we think we see, gets us.’ If we think we see an ‘attack’ we get and ‘attack’. fundamentally, we join martial arts, for me; Aikido, is to fundamentally change how we think, so that when we see, we think differently, and then what we get is different. Our situation outcome is dependent on our cognitive.

On that note, that is fundamentally how people think and process information, and present them in action. Our actions helps us relates to the world at large, our actions brings our thoughts to life, our actions can bring about consequences that we cannot have thought of.

So when you partner ‘attacks’ you, it is an action. In plain non-judgmental perspective, that is an action, which warrants a defense, in response. So there it ends in a duality, which swings back and forth until it ends with one standing.

We need to see action as a representation of our thoughts.

Many people have funny ways of doing things, sometimes our thoughts gets better of us, sometimes our thought overwhelms us. Sometimes, our physicality is so limited, it frustrates us. Basically our thoughts are free, mind wanders, imagination runs amok, but in strict reality, the physical body cannot do many things the mind wants to, so it causes this conflict, and it can explode internally in violence, anger and hurt.

People want to hurt us, not because they want to hurt us, they want us to get their message. In some sense, the perpetrator does not even knows what he/she is doing, we are often so ego-centric we don’t know our actions are hurting other people. Everybody wants to do good, but the expression of doing that good is acted out in many different way, sometimes destructive ways.

If we are the target of their intended message, and if the delivery methodologies could be better, we have to intervene. We have to say, ‘Hey, wait, there is a better way.’ And redirect that energy towards a more peaceful and sophisticated way. So look at things differently, because what we learned in Aikido, we will apply everyday.

If you lived with a drunkard, you need to understand that that is the person’s way of expression, until the person learned a new way, drinking to a drunkard is the best, and probably the only way to express his cognition.

It is not our job to save the world, we cannot save a drunkard if the drunkard does not want to be saved. In the event that we are caught in that drunkard’s web of bad habits, we can do something, firstly for ourselves, to protect us from becoming the unwitting victim of the drunkard’s poor choice of lifestyle. Secondly, we intervene to show that there is a better way to get our thinking to action. If the drunkard picks that up, and appreciates it, he/she might change, and if that doesn’t happens, don’t leave the drunkard any worse than when it first started out.

In another manner, a person swings a bat at you, in anger, or even premeditated. We disarm him, either breaking the person’s arm or some other more horrific violent ways. Or we can disarm him, leave him with minimal damage, so that he can preserve his thoughts, cool down and perhaps think things through. Always leave people a back door for them to live.

Of course this is hypothetical, in many situations, to think so rationally is not the norm, under stress, we ‘fight or flee’. Either way is fine, the line to draw is, we can choose. Aikido gave me that choice, when we choose to fight, we think and choose the best method to end the violence, without begetting more violence. Ending violence with our own brand of violence, does not end violence, it propagates violence. Violence can only end with a peaceful action. If you punch better than that guy who threw you a punch, he will learn to better his punch and return with a better punch to punch you.

Lead your attacker away from anger, violence and destruction. Spiral his negative energy out, away from his own hurt. Dissipate the terror. Absorb it, not repel it. Don’t fight the fight with more fighting. we can do better than that!