The importance of having good relationships with others

April 17, 2014

Early this morning while walking the dog. I came across a convoy of lorries carrying palm fruit. When the driver of the lead lorry saw me standing on the hill, he shuddered visibly. You see these kampung folk all think I am the devil, but all I did was to pretend that I didn’t see him, so they just drove right by.

Latter in the day one of my neighbors came over to pay me a visit. He told me that thieves had stolen all his fruit in the night and he has every reason to suspect that they used the roads on my land to transport them out…he asked me whether I saw anything suspicious.

I told this man…. four years ago when I first came here to turn the wheel of life as a farmer. The same thing had happened to me and I had gone to him to ask the same and he had told me, ‘perhaps you should sell me your land….if you keep losing fruit.’

So this time, I asked of him, ‘Perhaps you should sell me your land….if you keep losing fruit.’

Thereafter I asked a man with a shot gun to escort him out of my lands….the conversation was over.


‘I am a very strong believer in the idea that if you are good to others then they will also be good to you. Of course there will always be a few rotten apples in the barrel who will try to game your goodness, but by and large, since most people are well adjusted, reasonable and they all want to get along, so they can reliably be counted on to reciprocate in kind your goodness.

It’s really as simple as that, there is nothing complicated to this philosophy and it really just boils down to one word, good will.

Good will is a commodity that will always command a premium to me. I suspect this may have something to do with the many hardships I encountered when I first started to turn the wheel of life as a farmer. All I can say is when I first started out, most people just didn’t believe that I could last it out. It may have something to do with how kampung folk have traditionally seen city folk as soft people who can’t nearly bear hardship as well as them. Or maybe it had something to do with a powerful landowner who saw my kind as a ‘dangerous new breed of farmer’ and was hell bent on making my life a living hell. This fellow though he could drive me out and just take over my veggie patch and he did this by denying me the benefit of good will.

So I know from first hand experience how it is like to start an enterprise without good will. I know how it’s like to be hated just because one is different. I even know how it’s like to make a police report only for everyone to laugh at you, as the forces you’re going up against is so powerful. I know all these things and they tattooed in my head forever and will always shape the way I see the world.

Things are very different today…the landowner who once wanted to drive me out now lives in fear everyday that the same may happen to him. I am not saying he’s defeated, but he is certainly not as self confident as he used to be. These days I can more or less get things done without too much difficulty. Most people know what I can accept and what I will throw out -some may not still like me, but I reckon, they respect my POV and that is really good enough for me – most importantly they all know my line and they don’t cross it. They may not understand completely how it’s possible that such a turn around could have happened and kampung folk being kampung folk will always weave plenty of myths to explain the strange and mysterious…. So many continue to believe, the boy who once came here was killed on moonless night by the evil landowner and all that remains now is the devil….a man who is very different from that other man who once came here….but I am not the devil….not at all. I am just a man who knows and values the importance of good will.’

But I will be very honest with you

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