December 31, 2015
The less people know. The more insistent and stubborn they will hold on to what they believe to be ‘true.’
‘There was a time, not so very long ago when I felt a deep compulsion to be understood. Call it what you may. An infantile craving to be accepted and liked even. An attachment to the crumbly belief….if only I can some how make them understand my point of view…then perhaps they wouldn’t keep calling me names….or treat me like some kinda freak.
But these days that sort of sand box expectation seems to have given way to (I hope) a much more mature and self confident realization of how I see myself alongside the way of the world – it’s an attitude that came because one day I made a commitment to be very honest with myself….no bs…no choosing the facts to fit the assumptions either…not even if the naked truth hurts….as soon as I took that one step – suddenly I experienced a moment of epiphany….a perceptive shift of sorts….suddenly it all became so very clear how immature it is to expect others to understand me. How futile it is even and how if one builds on that false expectation it can only lead to suffering.
The question really starts like this? What’s at the nucleus of this expectation to be understood…accepted and respected by others. I had to go very deep into my being and nature to discover how much this primal impulse had to do with really childish wants and desires…. craving…greediness…and perhaps even selfishness on my part.
Craving….Greediness and selfishness.
There’s nothing complex about craving for something – a craving to be understood is simply a deep yearning for something you like. Like how you much prefer to have an extra dollop of ice cream and if you don’t get your way….you throw a tantrum – it’s remotely related to narcissism as well, that at least is how I see it. But let’s keep it simple for the time being and not go there.
So a craving is a very immature impulse….Where I am going. I don’t ever need that dead weight! So I dumped it!
Greediness is much complicated to sense and even explain in the emotional context of what it has to do with the whole idea of wanting others to understand me – at first the relationship between greed and to be understood seems to have a remote nexus like the question what does algae have to do with jet planes that can fly at Mach 2. But like I said, I had made a decision to be a honest Joe to myself – to even say to myself that I am prepared mentally to see the world and myself without the slightest embellishment and abberation…greed is a function of attachment….it’s really like Linus’s security blanket in the comic strip Charlie Brown….when we feel attached to something or someone, it’s just another way of saying, we don’t believe in ourselves nearly enough to make it thru the rest of the day without that person or thing either holding our hands or being by outside….it’s a clingy needy thing, a prosthetic and again it’s a very immature and childish primal survival impulse. So I threw that into the dustbin of life as well….don’t need that!
Having said all that. I don’t mind being greedy about certain things. For instance, I much prefer twelve airbags to only one, when I am driving off road at full speed….I am greedy about hedging my bets when it comes to business I never put all my eggs in one basket and harbor a healthy mistrust of governments and big businesses…but if being greedy for people’s approval, their attention puts me in a position where I am always like a drug addict who needs his daily fix just to get thru the day – then I don’t want it!
Lastly selfishness….question – what does selfishness have to do with the deep yearning to be understood? The short answer is a lot! As a selfish expectation implies what we have to say or even the objects of interest we choose to dwell and talk about passionately is something others will always choose to put on the very top of their life list. Truth is very different…..what you, I or the next person sitting next to you in the MRT wants to consider important…mundane…insignificant or just plain trivia is essentially self selecting – it’s horses for courses out there. I am not saying false eye lashes is more important than whether it’s possible to split the molecule into the sum of smaller parts. All I am saying is you can’t stop people from taking a disproportionate interest in some things which you would never consider doing and vice versa.
So do you see how the yearning to understood has everything to do with feeding one’s selfishness that the world revolves around you…again it’s sandbox politics and belongs in the kindergarden.
Like the last, attribute. I don’t mind being selfish about something’s – like if I am stranded in a boat marooned out for days at sea. I am selfish enough not to volunteer to be eaten and rather wait for someone else to make that offer.
That’s why these days….I rarely ever feel the need to explain myself to anyone any longer……I am not saying I don’t feel a deep sense of validation when others share my POV…I do…as I can’t deny that can be incredibly edifying.
Only these days. I don’t ever see the need to push so hard for it – I rather just do my own thing in one little corner of the world and should ten or twenty people believe it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans – I just look at them impassively for a few seconds and life just goes by….I guess that’s another way of saying….for me to be happy, whole and complete….I don’t need to crave for your approval. Neither do I need to fulfill all the tick boxes somewhere in your head either as I am no where near greedy for you to think the best of me – I am no longer greedy to aspire to that self imagined status. Lastly, I realize it doesn’t pay to be selfish any longer or to put myself in a position where I am always looking for my security blanket just to get by.
So at the end of the day…All you have is the man called me. This man doesn’t ask for anything…not even your assent, approval or consideration…like I said, all you have here in this mental diorama of a picture that I have painted in this blog entry – is a man with his own thoughts.
A man who might perhaps even believe he’s slightly foolish, if not a full blown fool….but I don’t think that such a bad thing. Not at all.
Not when one considers how destructive it is to believe in a diametrically opposite position and how the world is filled to the brim with fools who actually think they are sages when in reality – they’re really just fools…it’s so fucking scary for me these days to even be around these people…that could be why these days very slowly…so very slowly and surely like fingernails or hair growing…I am slowly turning inwards and becoming a quieter man who doesn’t seem to have any opinions on anything to say any longer…not as forcefully as I did before….and that could well be all I can hope for when this year bows out and another steps in…as I don’t consider that a bad thing….not at all.
Happy New Year!
December 30, 2015
I want to be crystal clear. You don’t have to agree with what I have to say about my objects of interest. You don’t! If you feel the pressure to agree or even buy into my point of view of how I see myself and the world at large…that’s an imposition that you have somehow convinced yourself you need to do….but you don’t…..you see it’s really your life and not mine!
Do what you think is right!
December 29, 2015
It’s cut and dried. To me at least. Russia will be bankrupted. It will go down the same tragic long and windy road with no prospects of ever seeing the light of hope just like Greece. Too many forces are conspiring against Russia’s attempt to maintain it’s primacy as a oil exporter. OPEC, the US and EU, they have their own agenda of shifting their oil dependence from Russia to the Middle East. That is why Putin is allying himself with Assad – he means to deny the Saudi and Turks a means to supply cheap oil by stopping the construction of a mega pipeline that will link the Middle East to the Mediterranean and beyond. Putin knows if this new pipeline is built – Russian oil will simply to be too expensive given the convoluted logistical cost of funneling it thru the fractious Balkans and Caucasus.
However even his best attempts to preempt the price of oil discovering renewed lows will fail miserably as it’s only a matter of time before Iranian oil will begin to flood the market.
That is why recently in the Kremlin’s annual speech. Putin spent nearly thirty percent of air time babbling about transforming Russia into an agricultural superpower. One that is specifically rejects GMO food. Truth is it’s not that Putin doesn’t see any value encouraging the agricultural sector to grow GMO food – that makes no sense to me. As GMO produce have significantly higher yields than non GMO produce – since they are biologically engineered they can be tweaked to be more drought resistant and in some cases even customized to produce higher yield in regions in Russia which would otherwise remain barren and useless.
Fact of the matter is GMO produce is the space age high tech farming – it’s scientific farming that only the West can put together with their pheltora of complimentary bio tech seeds and herbicides – hence all this talk about Russia streamlining it’s agricultural sector to be the world’s largest food exporting producer is closer to bravado than something achievable. Fact: Russia seriously lags the Americans and even the Chinese when it comes to agricultural research – it is so backward most of it’s commercial agricultural methods and technology still hark back to the quaint days of Nikita Khrushchev complete with horse drawn ploughs. Fact: twenty five years of dependence on cheap EU surplus and US wheat and corn produce has all but hollowed out all competencies needed to make possible intensive commercial farming. Analogically, comparing Russia agriculture with Europe or North America is not dissimilar to comparing a horse drawn buggy with a modern F1 sports car.
As the Russian economy begins to unravel. And it will! As Western sanctions are bitting hard and choking off all known means to commercial fund large scale projects – There is little doubt in my mind – Putin’s recent speech is nothing short of a nation wide policy to put food security at the very top it’s national agenda.
Given the sheer amount of land in Russia, I have very little doubt, if the Kremlin can get their act together, it could probably feed the whole planet twice over and bit more to spare.
‘Food security to me is the highest expression of Realpolitik and Geo politics in the Von Clausewitz’s sense – that is to say just as it’s probably axiomatic to state the claim – war is simply the continuation of politics by other means – it’s also true to state my new theoretical claim, the accessibility to food or it’s denial to another state is also a continuation of war and politics by alternative means.
When we look at history it’s easy to tease out how food specifically the lack of it or being able to engineer a deficit at a critical turning point can often have a preponderant effect on triggering precipitious regime change.
The French Revolution was sparked because Parisians couldn’t afford to buy bread. Many blamed the ruling aristocracy for the resulting famine and economic mismanagement. All that flowery shit like equality, liberty and fraternity came much latter – at the point of inception when thousands of Parisians were storming the Bastille – it’s scary to think that all that social upheaval could just have been averted with a truck load of Big Mac. Same thing occurred not very long in Egypt, hungry Egyptians began gathering around Tahir square as poor twelve year old Abdul couldn’t get his daily fix of naan and dad was so pissed off he decided to go down and start a revolution to kick out Mubarak.
Very recently Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria and even Turkey are all riven with political nervous energy. Of course, the media blames Facebook et al and governmental mismanagement are getting most of the credit for spurring the turmoil, but there’s one common denominator at play – many of the disgruntled are protesting about dramatic price hikes for basic foodstuffs….they’re hungry.
So food to me is strategic.
Now Putin is not an idiot. This guy used to work for the KGB. He probably knows if anything is going to make him lose his balance it’s probably going to be the median price of how much is a combo meal at McDonalds in Moscow and very little else – Russia is not like Singapore where it used to be only educated Bo Lang Ai’s like Bertha Henson and Sumiko Tan opting to remain single – now even Sengkang Sally is hanging up her eggs as well as most Singaporeans consider having kids a liability. Hence our abysmal Total Fertility Rate. But in Russia, it’s the direct opposite – they’re experiencing a second wave, a sort of new social revolution where couples are having more kids – so it’s only natural that this growing population has created major concerns about its future food security. At the national scale, food security means having reliable access to enough food for all citizens, and this is a challenge that will grow right along with Russia’s expanding population…..Putin knows this!
Coming to think of it every single government that has a two index IQ above idiot status knows this as well. That us why China is always gobbling agricultural land in Africa. Same goes for the Saudi’s and every single regime that has to live with what I refer too as the mathematics of scarcity viz- a-viz limited arable and farmland per capita – and even if these conditions of acute scarcity do not exist – there is always the competing interest of increasing pressure on the existing land being gazumped for urbanization.
Now that you know all this – how much common sense does it make when the Kremlin declares to the whole wide world – they have rejected the entire notion of growing GMO food on a commercial scale?
Are you telling me Putin & Co have all decided to go back to the hippie kibbutz life of communal living where everyone weaves their own cotton socks and only chow high-quality organic food and free range corn fed chickens – where the yield is so paltry per hectarage that not only does it make absolutely no economic sense whatsoever to pursue such a strategy….but it’s arguable, it’s even suicidal on a national scale to pursue such an agricultural policy.
Now you know why I say – there is more here than meets the eye….much much more.’
December 28, 2015
Forgive me if I speak plainly. Putin has painted himself and all his oligarchs into a tight corner. He knows it! He is not stupid. The day, he ordered tanks to roll in an annex Crimea. Russia declared a clandestine war with the West. While the occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula proceeded without major difficulties, the ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine has proven much more difficult to contain, it’s likely to be a second Afghanistan. The way I see it, the west didn’t give Russia anything resembling a choice. The Crimea will always be like Pearl Harbor to the US or Gibraltar to the UK…it’s their own means to secure their realpolitik and geo political interest by sea power….there is no other choice.
On the strategic front, there is no doubt Putin’s decisiveness to annex the Crimea has succeeded in throwing a spanner into the CIA and the Western clandestine services plan to integrate westwards to EU status ship – on the conventional front. Russia has won.
However on the economic front. The sanctions imposed by the west has proved crippling to Russia. Judging from the massive flight of capital and the collapse in the price of oil, the prospects for the Russian economy is likely to degrade further into a full blown recession.
With petroleum and crude revenues comprising over 55% of the state budget, the collapse of the price of oil from a median of high of $100 and above just a few years ago to $35 will bankrupt Russia! Even by the most forgiving estimates, Russia needs the critical $60 to $70 per barrel to balance its budget. Even should by some fluke of miracle occur and prices remain at roughly $60 throughout the whole of 2016, the specter of a full blown recession is in the cards for Putin’s planners. That’s why Putin has no choice but to outflank this economic meltdown by bombing the shit out of all oil refineries from Syria to Iraq and possibly even to the Arabia Gulf. The Saudi’s and Turks smell blood – they want Russian oil to be squeezed out of the world market and Putin is resolved to demolish their designs with endless bombing sorties. But even if Putin can wipe out all the factors at ground zero to engineer an oil surplus, it cannot pre-empt the prospect of Iran emerging out of its pariah nation status and to ramping up its oil production to further depress prices even further. The race to the bottom for oil is inexorable! All this talk about Putin taking the fight to ISIS is just blunderbusting, the Russians have to engineer a oil deficit in the gulf. But let’s face it, their air assets are old and their ordnance is finite, it’s unlikely they can engineer such a Byzantine feat. The Western clandestine services know this is Putin’s Archilles heel that was why they are even prepared to live and let live with the prospects of Iran graduating into the nuclear power club just to keep the oil flowing and creating a surplus in the world market to keep it dead cheap. And when that happens, Putin will be fucked from all directions.
To further exacerbate problems Russian debt is growing at an alarming rate. Back in 2012 to placate the Russian electorate, Putin set in place massive spending on healthcare, education, military research and social services. That decision effectively doubled the debt load of Russia’s regions. The risk of Russia and the entire Caucasus going the way of Greece is very real.
A slim tongue of light for Putin’s nightmarish dystopian Greek tragedy is perhaps making the best out the Minsk accord that has hatch earlier this year between the Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. But again it’s unlikely that this long shot will hold out the promise of the silver bullet Putin desperately needs to avert a Russian economic meltdown. The Ukrainians are refusing to play ball – they want nothing short of full autonomy. Moscow will say ‘neit’. Hence it’s unlikely the Minsk accord will ever be Putin’s life line that he desperately needs.
With the Minsk accord in the dustbin – new round of economic sanctions can only follow. The US and EU clandestine services seem to be doing exactly that – if this happens western credit to Russia will be cut. Under the existing sanctions, many Russian companies are already either folding up or relocating to the other Balkanized states since there remains no coherent way to borrow money from the West.
The Western clandestine services are planing to cut off Putin’s sphere of influence to accomplish this feat – they need to hit the oligarchs in Putin’s inner circle hard and furious, thereby effectively demolishing any hope of their businesses securing any prospects of long-term funding from western markets.
It is only a matter of time before the US with it’s side kick the IMF will kick out Russia from the SWIFT inter-bank clearing system – if and when that happens Putin’s money men will all be migrating to Singapore or any other country. As it will be impossible to transact intercontinental banking instruments that makes possible trade and commerce.
Russia will go the way of Greece. Combine harvesters will grind to a halt as there is no way to procure spare parts to keep them running. Since there can be no way to secure long term financial instruments to support the convoluted logistic chain necessary to support commercial farming that feeds Russia and the Caucasus – farmers will drink 60% proof vodka and commit suicide en masse, farms will be abandoned. Business will foreclose. No produce will be harvested. No trucks to even transport or warehouse produce. The shelves will be empty. There will be anarchy and the whole of Russia will be controlled by warlords like during the tumultuous period when the KMT and the Communist were vying for power only to create a power vacuum….what we are witnessing here gentlemen is a one in a life time opportunity to be rich!
This is happening now! It is real….opportunity is knocking!
The future is in Russia!
‘Taxi driver who used to be a financial analyst asked me once when I took his cab, how do I be rich? I told him go to the most fucked up place in the whole planet, where people have to regularly dodge bullets just to cross the streets and when you call the police, it’s so thoroughly fucked that when the men with no necks eventually appear carrying semi autos, you don’t even know whether they’re the good or bad guys. So fucked up that when you turn on the faucet, shit instead of potable water spews out. So completely fucked up beyond all recognition that it’s like one those drinking holes smack in the middle of the edge of the universe that Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars version 1 went to when they were looking for a smuggler to escape from that shit hole….start an enterprise there.
This taxi driver called me a mad man and accused me of trying to get him killed. He went on to mention what I just recommended to him was hazardous to his well being. I told him, you’re sitting in a chair eight hours a day and driving a cab….are you telling me that ain’t dangerous? Your back is going to turn to jelly. Either that or you’re primed for type two diabetes before forty. You’re picking up people who you hope aren’t crazy or had too much to drink and you’re telling that’s not dangerous! You could even lying down in one of those deck loungers in a five star resort and a coconut the size of a bowling ball falls down and misses you by two inches – are you telling me that ain’t dangerous?
Took another cab. Another cabbie asked me exactly the same question – I told him exactly the same thing. He mulled over it – soon he picked a spot on the map where everything was completely fucked up beyond all recognition. Bought a one way ticket and poof he was gone. I am not saying his life was easy. Nope! It was hard as tungsten nails into concrete with your bare fist, but this man persevered. He adapted and overcame. Eventually he discovered his El Derado!
You see this what they never teach you Harvard Business School – where there is crisis, there will always be loads of opportunities. It stands the litmus test of reason – after all who the hell for instance is going to send a safety or environmental safety uncle to conduct a surprise spot check on your enterprise if the country is so fucked up that everything is topsy turvy – do you think anyone even gives two shits about whether the people who work for you are wearing hard hats or steel capped boots if no one can even walk down to the news agent to buy a packet of cigarettes without getting shot by a sniper with a full metal jacketed round! Think! Use your mentally!
Danger can always be managed, but my point is the entry cost for starting enterprises in countries where everything is either broken or falling to bits is so incredibly low that your chances of failing is virtually zero – for example if you go to the Ukraine and propose to start an enterprise, the authorities would probably agree to every term that you ask for in your unsolicited bid proposal for a land concession…fact: they have no bargaining power! Fact: if they say no, the fall back position is full scale starvation Fact: you have never had it so good before! – the best part is you’re never going to have to compete with the MBA types or the people who are so accustomed to playing it safe, they spend 99.9% of their time within the four walls of a five star hotel. Those people are allergic to those places.
The best part is there will always be a lot of room for improvisation and you could just make it all up as you go along….so tell me how is it possible to fail?
You see I still believe in the idea of the age of discovery – I still believe in El Derado!’
December 28, 2015
Let us be frank. Let us speak plainly. The facts are like this – the West waging a secret clandestine war to bankrupt Russia. Despite the Kremlin’s insistence Western economic sanctions aren’t making the slightest dent on their economy. In reality, it’s having a crippling effect on every conceivable aspect of trade and commerce.
It’s essentially a war of attrition that Russia cannot possibly win. As so many aspects of Russia’s economy is inextricably linked with the West.
In truth for Russia to remain economically, socially and technologically coherent, it needs to revivify many of it’s industries that it once mothballed as it was much cheaper and better to buy from the West.
These days Russia is too dependent on the West – most of it’s food produce comes from the West. At least 20 percent of it’s oil and gas industries rely on Western technologies. Even base line engineering core competencies which were once strategically directed to produce cars, planes, trains and trucks no longer exist in Russia any longer.
From my assessment, there are two main issues. The first is lost of confidence – specifically, the difficulty experienced by businesses to get money out Russia by any known or recognizable financial instruments as a consequence of economic sanctions imposed by the West – coupled to this low oil prices offer very little way out of this quagmire. It’s only a matter of time before Russia will go into the red of recession.
That is why the Russians have offered me prime land in the Ukraine. Men like me are highly sought after in Russia – that is only to be expected as frontier men are a very rare breed. They are the only category of men who can get a beleaguered country like Russia back on it’s feet again with duct tape, superglue and hard work.
I must say it is a very enticing offer.
December 27, 2015
Everyone at one time or another gets bullied! Even I. They try. They certainly do – in my case it’s strategic. The first rule of warcraft. Do not be emotional! Look at this thing that is pointed at you…look at it carefully and study it’s shape and form.
Then remove the one essential quality of satisfaction. Once you surgically remove the satisfaction quotient – then everything is defused…it’s rendered benign and harmless.
‘A man who was once bothered about being teased for not having a wife by the villagers – once told me, this bothered him. I told him, they do this because they all know when they mention you are a man who is wifeless…you always jump up and down. Next time, remain calm smile and even look at their wife’s and say to them, you must lucky to have such a perfect chain and ball around your ankles day and night…..whereas I am a free man.
When the took my advise, soon the teasing not only stopped, but the tables were suddenly reversed. Suddenly all the villagers began to envy him.
The highest acme of warcraft is to disarm your enemy at the level of the mind – once you have planted a thought in his head and it grows like a vine to take hold of every aspect of his thinking….you have prevailed!’
December 27, 2015
It’s perfectly natural to look for someone to complete a missing part of your life….If you don’t feel a deep yearning to fulfill this desire…you’re probably in denial of the strongest human impulse that canals thru your veins.
However if you’re searching for love. It’s needs to be approached intelligently. Love is not a casual thing. Not to me at least. I see it as both a wonderful and destructive force, salvation or perdition, a force for good or evil, that is why I have immense respect for this powerful human impulse and treat it with great care and attention that it deserves.
One needs to first prepare for love. To love. And to be part of it.
If one looks for love without FIRST getting the things that needs to be righted first…. instead of enjoying all the goodness of love. You will probably discover grief and hurt.
This is one biggest mistake most men and women commit – they simply fail to understand it’s not possible to gainfully make any progress forward by putting the horse before the cart…..it’s no good…it’s on the wrong side. For the horse to pull wagon, it’s got to be facing forward so that it can pull the wagon.
It’s the same when it comes to a man or woman looking for love. One must first work to be mentally and spiritually whole, complete and strong first BEFORE one can even begin looking for that special person to share one’s life journey with.
If one is damaged goods and the direct opposites of whole and complete – then all one will do is bring past hurts, resentments and anger into the new relationships. It’s like mixing old with new wine – it can only turn the good sour.
Instead of enjoying mutual growth and all the abundance life has to offer to two people who love each other. All you are doing is living in the shadow of the hurtful past and soon you will see these past ghost appear in your partner again….you will. You may not even be consciously aware of this process – but because you are still damaged goods, it is really only a matter of time before these past demons will surface and cause both you and this person who you consider to be your soulmate grief.
‘Most men shy away from the subject of love. But not me. Past hurts and resentments don’t ever die and just go away. They don’t. They’re up there somewhere nestled deep in one corner of your mind. You’re not even conscious of it most of the time, but trust me it’s there.
And if we don’t deal with them and set them aside in the way a man makes peace with a grudge, wrong or hurtful episode by putting it all in an old cigar box and burying it in the backyard….chances are these ghost will reappear again.
You will see it….a little goes a long way. And when these ghost reappear a storm of hurtful memories will all come back and spoil the present – could be the way your partner keeps calling you up ten million times a day to ask you where you are….who are you with…or even the way he or she looks at someone. It could be a thousand other things that only you know because only you have experienced it first hand.’
December 26, 2015
Some time back ago a man who always likes to put down his wife in public at every opportunity….she is always not on time….she never plans ahead…..she is always spending my money buying frivolous and useless things…..with this man there is no end to the endless list of things that is either wrong or needs changing about his wife.
One day the priestess of the village Kuan Yin temple hinted to me. I should have a man to man talk with this man who always complains about his wife….as their marriage is very strained and there is a possibility the poor woman is at the very limit of her edge.
When I first meet the man we began to talk about so many things. Eventually as we walked further in my lands – I asked of him, do you see the clouds, they are turning dark. The man replied knowingly, ‘yes, it is going to rain soon.’
That was when I pretended to be most surprised by his calm reply and exclaimed….you are not angry that it might rain?
The man looked at me quizzically and replied, ‘why should I be angry, surely even you must know it’s natural…when the clouds are dark rain always follows.’
So we walked on and soon the subject turned to my dogs as they suddenly began barking and behaving excitedly as they must have spotted a monitor lizard or something….and the man mentioned casually, your dogs they are very alert it seems…again I feigned surprised this time to such an exaggerated extent I even deliberately allowed my pipe to fall out of my open mouth – and asked of him this time in a tone of surprise…..you mean to say, you are not angry these dogs are running around in a frenzy and barking so loudly? The man replied in a half bewildered tone, ‘why should I….surely, of all people. You the man who is knowledgeable with dogs knows this is the most natural thing that dogs do all the time!
By now he was already quite irritated by me….as he had sensed I was trying to convey a message to him that he had not quite grasped.
That was when I diffused the tension and shares with this man. Indeed you are wise. A dog is a dog. A dog can be nothing except a dog. It is what it is. It is the same with a horse. A horse is a horse. A horse cannot be chicken. Neither can a chicken be expected to be a horse. Again…it is what it is.
Everything in this world has a nature, form and dao (way). And once we come to terms with the intrinsic and elemental nature of things in the same way as you are able to accept with a knowing calmness how when the clouds turns dark the rains will follow….or how it’s very natural for dogs to run boisterously around sometimes only then can we aspire to live in peace and harmony with the world and others….only then can we cultivate the insight to manage ourselves and others wisely.
However, if we spend our time, energy and every opportunity fighting, resisting and trying to shape their nature to our ideal – then we will only end up feeling tired, frustrated and angry all the time…the man bowed his head in deep reflection and on the way back he told me in a half embarrassed tone, ‘I will strive in future be more patient with my wife…..she is after all a woman.’
‘Everyone is different. I am different from you and the chances are…you are very different from me.
So in a sense, we are all not so dissimilar from different animals – when an eagle dives for the kill, it shrieks…that is natural! When a dog is in a strange environment, it will begin to mark it’s territory again that is very natural and when a cat sees a mouse, it will begin to chase it. Again that is very natural. This is the nature of all living things…they all have an elemental shape and form and dao (way).
The same goes for people as well – some people will always be inconsiderate and the opposite of thoughtful – others will always try their very best to put you down, cut you down to size or to make you feel small, so that they can feel more superior than you. Again this is the elemental nature of some people’s nature.
Why are they like this is not the question – you might as well go and plough the sea, if you want to waste your time and energy trying to seek answers to this question.
What is jugular here is to understand without a shadow of doubt – it is quite stupid, impossible and a criminal waste of energy to try to change people or to force them into a mould which we believe is the ideal of what a person should be….that is like buying a dog and expecting it to behave like a rabbit. Or getting a cat and expecting it to behave like a dog. That is not only stupid…it goes against the grain of nature! You are only setting yourself up for an epic fall or creating perfect conditions to spike your high blood pressure!
However when we cultivate the art of the seeing people as they really are without judging them. Then soon it becomes very clear – some people will always be greedy…short term….vindictive and others may even harbor evil intentions towards us….again this is very natural! Just as there will always be well intentioned, balanced and good folk as well in this world whose friendship will always be a blessing.
So if you find out that your air con man is a greedy and unscrupulous fuck that always overcharges you for work that you could get done at one third the cost – why waste your time trying to change or reform him into a honest and principled businessmen? Do you not realize he might well be a lowly coolie precisely because of the attitude he harbors and nurses! So my point is let the world deal will such nefarious people – they will get their due….it will all come around and one day everything will be squared!
You don’t need to be superman….people and planet do not require you to right the wrongs and misdeeds of evil men!
So do not waste your time or energy trying to change people. Instead spend your time and energy changing your OWN attitude as to how you see others and respond to them.
Recently a group of evil landowners tried to frustrate me. I imagine they wanted me to get very angry so that I will lose my balance…overact and behave like an irrational person, so that they can derive the pleasure of telling everyone….look he is a crazy man!
So when they put up a parcel of land for sale which I expressed interest to buy. They ignored my numerous request for more information.
In this case, these evil people are trying to fashion time as a weapon….by creating conditions where I may feel anxious, desperate and unsettled….so that I will behave rashly.
So one day when one of them asked me with an air of expectancy ‘are you still interested in the land? Because you seem to be so cool about the matter.’
I simply told him along with the others politely – what is the big rush? Do you mean if I don’t buy land now….I will get third stage liver cancer and die within the month! The money is still in the bank earning interest! Besides, buying land is like catching a bus, when you miss one….it is not the end of the world. As another bus will always come along…so what is the big rush?
Please try to see this is the right scale and perspective….after all, all of you landowners are much older and should be wiser than me? I went on to add sarcastically while pouring each of them tea.
Besides, it’s not as if you landowners have the divine power to live forever. This was when I took off my sunglasses, glared at them sternly as my features turned hard as granite and told them all in an intimidating tone like a hish of a cobra – after all….all of us will have to travel to the other side one day and amongst all of us on this table….I am the youngest….I have time on my side…..so I went on to tell them all in a sarcastic and patronizing tone of false humility – so I must learn to cultivate patience and wait for good things to come to me….thank you for teaching me this aspect of life…..as with this, I will have the patience and sagacity to wait and hopefully I can wait ten, twenty even thirty years…..that was when I used the back end of my chopsticks* and pointed to their children and relatives seated on another table and told them all in a very serious tone….one day I too hope that I can be a wise teacher and counsellor to all those who you love when you all no longer around….you have my solemn word….the circle will never be broken!
That was when the knife was turned very suddenly…..do you all see how when you understand the nature of a thing. Then you can defuse it like a bomb – in this case when the essential quality of SATISFACTION is surgically removed…then all their plans to irritate, press my hot buttons and make me jump like a man with his pants on fire simply turns to dust!
Suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted! Suddenly the knife is turned!
Always remember when dealing with people. LEARN TO ACCEPT THEM for who they are…NEVER try to change them. NEVER try to make them like you….just know their nature and everything will fall in place nicely.’
*The great swordsman Kwai Loong was once dinning in a tavern all by himself. When four burly ruffians approach him menacingly and demanded to know, whether he was the famous swordsman who went by the name of Kwai Loong.
Kwai Loong did not answer. Instead he ignored their questions and continued chowing his noodles. And soon one of these ruffians unsheathe his sword, but before he could even strike, the master swordsman had anticipated this surprise attack and the drawn the hilt of his sword out half way to strike this man’s hand so hard that his sword fell to ground. Another who was wielding an axe raised it, but before he could bring it down. The same thing happened, this time, the hilt of the sword was used to strike his face and he too fell to the ground. After that the rest simply bowed and said, you are indeed Kwai Loong the greatest swordsman who has ever lived.
Since that day – in the silent language of the old country, when words are spoken with a reversed chopstick pointed, it can have many many hidden meanings….be very observant and very careful of hidden meanings. As when a man reverses his chopsticks and uses it to emphasize a point – it can very well mean, please take the time and effort to understand a nature of a thing first before deciding to speak and act rashly to spare one any unnecessary embarrassment.
December 25, 2015
Everyone takes off during the festive season. They’re all either drunk or recovering from the stupor of a hang over. Everything just grinds to a halt. Everyone is distracted. Inventories all the way to supply chains from shipping, warehousing and logistics builds up……surpluses build up…too much comes in at one time, but there is no one to move it or pallet it.
This is the best time to snap up fertilizer at fire sale prices….only the wolfs are wide awake when the forest is fast asleep.
December 24, 2015
Some time back ago I heard a proud owner of handsome Alsatian declare to everyone he has the most beautiful animal in the neighborhood….a few weeks later that same owner ended up with seventy stitches lying in intensive care with a tube sticking out of his mouth….as his ‘beautiful’ animal nearly mauled him to death.
The problem here is this man actually believes he can control this animal…WHY? Because he paid for it and so it is legally his property! Therefore this dog is his possession. He owns it!
Do you see how the world and it’s funny way of making sense of things has lulled this foolish man into a false sense of confidence that nearly got him killed.
The irony about this needless tragedy was when this man was showing off his dog – I actually asked him in an exceptionally serious tone, tell me what do you actually own about this beautiful dog? He brushed my question aside non chalantly. That is only to be expected as he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about….so I knew this would happen….it was in cards.
And that’s why it all ended so violently and tragically – but let us be guided for one moment by the common sense school of thought – how is it possible for an average built human to control a 70kg mass of muscles, sinews, claws and fangs that has evolved for centuries with only purpose – to kill efficiently, purposefully and ruthlessly….how may I ask is that possible?
Even if we should look at our feeble hands and bodies in the mirror – soon it becomes evidently clear, there is nothing about man, not even a well built muscle freak that can be weaponized as naturally as a fully grown Alsatian dog….nothing whatsoever…the sum total of our firepower against a fully grown German Alsatian is zero!
So when it comes to animals and things that are intrinsically primal and have either one or both feet planted in nature (or the shopping mall) – let us not be foolish….let us not talk about nonsense like ownership, control or possession – that is a completely wrong concept that can only produce tragic results.
Rather it is all about the simple act of appreciation. As when one appreciates a thing and take time and effort to go beyond the whole superficiality of ownership and control and possession – then it is like a man who simply sits quietly to appreciate the beautifying of a flower. He is not thinking about stupid things like how to come back in the middle of the night when the National parks uncle is not patrolling around to steal the flower. Neither is his mind occupied by nonsense like how nice this flower will look in a pot in his void deck.
This man is just sitting down quietly and appreciating the beauty, symmetry and fragrance of the flower….he is not judging…he is not even expecting anything…Rather he is allowing it’s very form, nature and essence to permeate deep into him…to touch his core – that is the highest form of understanding for a thing – for what it is and not what others think or say it is. When one begins to approach anything or anyone that has the power to turn nasty….do not begin by believing you can control it like you break a horse in…that idea only exist in cowboy movies. In real life a horse, even one that is stabled, can throw the rider off like baseball flying out of the stadium…same goes for a 70Kg Alsatian that has all the natural weapons to put you in a NTUC plastic bag in less than thirty seconds flat…you can control nothing….you possess nothing…there is nothing about it that you can even own….all you can so is aspire towards understanding it…only through complete and total understanding can there be mutual appreciation between man and beast and with this…agreement, love and respect will follow.
People who know how to manage dangerous animals and things well know this. People who do not know…simply do not know. That is the cruelty of life.
December 23, 2015
A man once lamented to me. Heaven has not been kind to him. As since he was a man of limited means. He could only afford to buy hilly and swampy land, both which of can only produce modest yields even under ideal conditions and the best efforts. He also went on to share with me since his wife and their family did not believe in him – he received very little help from them and they often ridiculed him as a lost cause.
When he asked me why has heaven cursed him….I simply told him. One day it will all be revealed…one day you will come full circle. No one can avoid this karmic law – the circle can never be broken.
‘I happen to know a helluva lot about restauranting. I know it so well that it’s not unusual for venture capitalist to consult me regularly on what can and cannot work – and usually eight out of ten I get it spot on. Usually, when I speak, they all prick up their ears, listen and take notes – that in a nutshell is how life works. If you know your stuff so well that even before it’s served up, you can intuit whether it will score or fall flat on it’s head. Do this enough times and people can only take your seriously.
But my intuition for what will work and probably fail in a commercial kitchen didn’t just come about from reading books, enrolling in cooking courses or working briefly as an intern. I put myself thru university by cooking seven days a week, 365 days a year. I worked as a chef in a Cantonese, Italian, North Indian and believe it or not even a Lebanese restaurant. Neither did I work under ideal conditions either as since foreign students are only allowed to X number of hours a week and no more and if you get nicked. It’s game over. You get deported! So not only did I have wok all day long. But I also had to learn a host of skills like how to camouflage myself by impersonating a pile of garlic, how to be a contortionist to fit into impossibly tight ventilation shafts, impersonate Spider-Man by super gluing myself to building facades. I even once had to cook in a terracotta warrior outfit and paint myself from head to toe grey so that whenever the authorities raided the Cantonese restaurant all I had to do was stand really still in the store room, to impersonate an out of season restaurant artifact. The only reason why I didn’t get caught was because I have always had a way with canines that are usually used to ferret out illegals. They all love me and they all can be influenced to convince their masters, they saw nothing unusual – dogs can be political, if you know how to rub them the right way.
My life then was hard like tungsten nails. There were times when I worked under evil bosses who even withheld my pay or simply refused to pay me the going rate as they knew I didn’t have much bargaining power – I had no choice but to lump it.
One day when I was walking along London bridge. I looked at the dark moonlit waters and said myself – if this is going to be the prelude to my life. Then I might as well end it right here and now.
Many years later I found that everything I once learnt as a cook came full circle – that’s because when one has to cook for a living under less than ideal conditions and always has make do and still whip up a killer dish where the customer will be so delighted he will always come back for more…..I finally realized that creates a very strong basis for a very solid knowledge foundation based on experiential learning – so it wasn’t all wasted….like I said, it all came full circle.
So if your life is hard and no one really even cares enough to take the slightest interest in what you do or they cant even be bothered whether you are dead or alive….just keep it….because the circle will never be broken and you will close the circle….you have to trust me on this!
December 22, 2015
Every time I go to the mall in town to stock up provisions and necessities. I get ambushed by the girl who once proposed the idea to be my contract girlfriend.
This girl is in her mid twenties. She really puts in a five chili effort that much I can say – as once I told her, I don’t care much for women who highlight their hair as they remind me of how my pariah dog looks. Shortly after that, she dyed it jet black just to please me. She even got braces, the variety that’s hidden to straighten her teeth because I once told her I like girls with smile with all teeth – it’s obvious she’s got me squarely on her sights as every time when I go to the mall – she drops everything. Doesn’t even give a fuck whether the manager sacks her for leaving her post and makes it point to get as close as possible to only me. Most of the time. We just talk while I shop for stuff. I allow her to push the trolley. While I move from section to section stocking up stuff while we talk on the go. Mostly about irreverent stuff like, stuff that you just know will never go anywhere only because one’s mind is really somewhere else and not really there.
One day the contract girlfriend grabbed my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and even asked me in a whispering hush to remove my dark glasses and asked – why aren’t you attracted to me like other men? Don’t you find me attractive?
I simply smiled and told her, you know what – you may not realize this…but that could well be the only reason why whenever I come here. We always end having this conversation.
The girl who once offered to be my contract girl looked confused – that was when I revealed to a profound agricultural fact known only to farmers – low fat milk is a scam. It’s just the marketing manifestos way of selling watered down milk – if you really want low fat milk, all you have to do is add water to it and that will get you two cartons…you get one for absolutely free…as full cream will always be the real and not the fake thing…that’s why I always buy only full cream milk. Since I am a perfect gentlemen with impeccable manners while I was recounting this to her I kept my eyes on hers and never looked once at her 34D fun bags.
I had no idea whether she understood me at all – and that’s really how it goes whenever I visit the mall to stock up on supplies every two weeks.
Do feel free to read between the lines….I hope you discover some compelling and profound.
‘I happen to be one of those rare people who actually believe the word ‘maturity’ is perhaps the most misaligned, misrepresented and embellished word in the whole compendium of the English dictionary.
You see, when most people speak about maturity – all too often it’s associated with age and experience and viola suddenly you are mature and wise.
There’s a big blank there! It’s like one of those magic tricks where the magician pulls out rabbits from a top hat and you can’t figure out where it came from – you know it’s an illusion. But you don’t know how it’s pulled off. That to me is how the vast majority of people speak about maturity – they associate automatically with wisdom…coming of age…mellowing down or going thru something like a baptism of fire and emerging out of it a stronger and better person, but they NEVER explain it just like the magician never reveals how the trick is pulled off.
They just impute the idea of maturity or worst treat it as a fait accompli – that maturity necessarily means being wise. And usually it’s very easy to tell, there is a big gap in their knowledge in this area – as how they go about making the perceptive leap of faith when they talk about how does one actually become mature – because they can’t really tell you the A to Z as to how maturity = wisdom. They cannot. Not without demonstrating how little they actually know about this subject called maturity and even less about how it’s related to wisdom.
That’s because maturity has nothing whatsoever to do with experience or age. It’s got nothing to do with the sort of intelligence that gets you good grades even and even less to do with how much money you have managed to accumulate in your life time or the whole idea of prestige and how people might regard you.
If that were really true, then how can you account for the contradiction where there are so many young men and women who are mature along with so many older men and women who are still behaving no better than petulant teenagers.
I guess what I am trying to share here is my idea how I see the whole idea of maturity being associated with the concept of sustainability – but you know as soon as we go there. We end up hitting a brick wall again. Because these days , the word sustainability has become one of those sobriquet terms of endearment that people just feel the need to add on as a prefix to come across as credible – it’s one of those words that has been so abused, it’s evacuated of all intrinsic meaning – wonder no more why it’s bandied around like sustainable farming….sustainable energy…sustainable ecology….blah blah blah.
So if you really want to understand maturity. You need to reclaim the real meaning of the word sustainability – because when we talk about maturity. All we are really doing is creating the idea of a sustainable person – and that can never be a simple idea, it’s a variety of man who takes the trouble to go deeper into himself with the goal of coming full circle. That is essentially how I see a sustainable anything be it an enterprise, relationship or even just the simple idea of opting for carry your groceries with a reusable bag instead of a plastic bag .
So when we speak about the sustainable man – it’s the idea of a man who goes deep into himself. So deep that he has discovered his core. When a man has reached the very center of his being, he can only be mature. As that is the moment when the person whose always distracted by what others say, think or even believe about him disappears completely. Suddenly that whole great diffusion of worthless energy of wondering what he or she said, did or is trying to do just disappears completely. Because at the core, it’s like being in the eye of a storm – there is perfect stillness, silence and clarity – hence who is mature is the man who exist only in the moment and whose always in the present.
So to me maturity can never be an acquired state of mind or school of thought that you can upload into your brain – rather it’s a verb…a conscious act of self discovery, like journeying into your inner core like an explorer to know more about yourself till you reach that point of total realization. When this stage is attained, a person can only become very beautiful. As he or she is like a flower in full bloom. At the very zenith of it’s fragrance and completeness of form and that is the unabridged definition of beautiful.
December 22, 2015
A good friend of mine once asked me to spend an afternoon with his son – I did not ask why, neither did he explain…but it must have had something to do with this young man’s altruistic nature and idealism that even shifted his interest to politics.
When I asked this young man why do you want to be a politician. He replied in a condescending tone that can assume that question hardly requires any elaboration. He went on to tell me – a politician is like a world class soccer player. You dribble, pass the ball and when you’re part of a great team…you can really make things happen and everyone cheers for you! Because they know, you did it all of them.
We were sitting down in the verandah and judging from his body language – he expected a reply from me. But I simply kept quiet…then finally when he could stand the silence no more. The aspiring politician who hopes to make a better tomorrow for people and planer asked of me……you don’t have a lot faith in politics or politicians do you?
I told him. Being in a winning team is great, but do you notice these star players never ever seem to close the circle very well. They either end up having to always fix their knee caps and even if money comes their way, they always seem to end up penniless as once they’ve past their prime – it’s game over. But do you notice, the guy who owns the football club. The man who owns the franchise that makes it possible for a $2 made in China polyester jersey to sell be in the high streets for $300…..he’s the guy you should seriously consider aspiring to be…..I reckon he can do more than the whole team put together with just his little finger.
‘If you are well read in the history of power and politics. And mid way in this conversation, the name Rothschild or the Medici’s is mentioned – you would know intuitively where I am coming from along with probably where the conversation is going to go.
If you don’t know, then it’s best to click on the next excellent blog elsewhere or drop in on Mr Brown. Better still spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how to get to level eighteen of angry birds….you see when you don’t know about these things that you should know, it’s not the simple case of you just don’t know, like how you don’t know where the black or yellow wire is supposed to be screwed in a three pin plug.
In this case when you don’t know, it’s like during moment of my averagely miserable childhood when I actually believed – there were people living in the radio. I just couldn’t figure out how so many people along with all the stuff like drums and even trains could fit into such a small box. That really bothered me, so one day when all the adults weren’t around I opened up the radio and to my surprise I found no one there. There were just stuff like wires and colorful things stuck together in a jumble on a flat board. So like how one eventually figures out his the head bone is connected to the neck bone and that’s connected to the backbone and so on – I started to educate myself about transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitors and the whole idea of shortwave radio etc etc.
That I reckon was a very life changing experience for me. Because it taught me the valuable lesson of always looking beyond things for what they merely appear to be.
When I was in middle school….the same thing cropped up again. I became fascinated with a TV commercial character simply known as the man from Del Monte.
This chap was exactly what I wanted to be when I grow up. He drove a really cool period Mercedes Benz. At times he even flew on of those seaplanes that could land on water. The man from Del Monte was my role model. He always wore a pristine creme suit, sported a stiff Panama and when he gave the thumbs up…things just happened.
So I read up everything there was to know about commercial farming. This was before the internet age, when everything was either analog or proceeded by slow mail – but I wrote to every company on this planet that farmed banana’s, pineapples, apricots etc etc etc. I even wrote so many times to United Foods, they actually posted a case of premium canned apricots begging me never to write to them ever again and this was curtly followed with a by note that mentioned, for further information concerning the man from Del Monte please contact the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN.
So I wrote to them as well, asking his mail address and the life history of the mythical man from Del Monte. They were equally clueless as well. I even wrote to the ministry of agricultural and livestock of the Soviet Union who actually believed I was a CIA spy masquerading as a geek who had a fetish for combine harvesters – tasked to find more about their failed five year agricultural plan for the Ukraine. Eventually when they couldn’t tell me more about the man from Del Monte – they too begged me never to write to them again or the Kremlin and even offered me an all expense paid tour of the glorious Soviet Union providing I stopped asking about the man from Del Monte.
Guess what? Despite my best efforts. Eventually I realized, he didn’t bloody exist at all! The man from Del Monte was essentially a figment that probably emerged from some faceless advertising firm where the copywriter probably couldn’t even tell the difference between a pear or lychee!
So I started to read more about how banana’s and pineapples are really grown – I started to read about chemicals, herbicides and their effects and what happens when the land is milked for all it’s worth in the grand capitalist name of the profit motive and even how this was all accomplished….and let me tell you this succinctly – it’s not a very pretty picture. Not at all.
That was when it dawned on me the idea of power and politics is not merely the two dimensional image of a man talking about a better tomorrow on TV or for that matter the homily sugary character of the man who likes to yes to the very best from Del Monte…it’s a much broader expanse of competing schools of thoughts and states of minds that involves so many elements like how tiny cogs, springs and levers all combine seamlessly together to create the complication of a watch.
So to me the world just like the entire disquisition of power and politics can never be a simple thing that can ever reside in the hands of politicians – it’s terribly complicated and when we ask ourselves the real question of where does power actually reside? We don’t need to discuss whole seminal schools of thoughts or even go to far from where we are to get to the crux of the answer – it’s like the perennial haze, it’s a pithy summary of how the vested interest of a select few who belong to the oligarchy of the rich and powerful will always trump over whatever politicians and politics can ever hope for do when they wax lyrical about delivering a better tomorrow.
It’s been this way since the beginning of time.
All I am willing to say is, do you see the Rothschild’s, the Medici’s or even the post modernist agent of change George Soros taking the slightest interest in politics or politicians? Of course not – they’re playing a bigger game with higher stakes as for politicians they’re chips in the larger scheme of things – because when you ask yourself one fundamental question what after all is politics all about – who is it supposed to serve? What’s the goal? Where is the logical end? no matter how you cleverly you decide to cut and splice those questions, it all comes right down the age old hubris of maximizing resources and opportunities in an age of scarcity and diminishing opportunities – that’s all it is and when you know this interrelationship between power and politics as a dynamic idea and not one that is set in stone or can even remain the same – then you would know why the man from Del Monte along with politicians who exist to serve and make life better is at best chimeric. Neither do they have the power to change anything whatsoever let alone craft a better tomorrow for all of us…..truth is stark, brutal and cruel…only a select few stand to reap it all while the rest have to make do they best they can with their averagely miserable lives.’
December 21, 2015
The problem with the workers party has nothing to do with how exceptionally the PAP is – truth is. The PAP is a mediocre political outfit that offers nothing exceptional, except maybe a very unimaginative and crude means to perpetuate the status quo ante and their class politics with as much intellectual power as tying your shoes laces.
It is what it is…..hello! I am a farmer. I have taken a solemn vow to call a spade a spade. That’s what the PAP is, a half shot watered down whisky that can never hit the spot! To paraphrase the best of the worst lah! Like settling for paper disposal underwear when your 800 cotton thread count one start to smell a bit fruity.
The real problem with the workers party is for some inexplicable reason – they are either not able or lack the imagination to craft a coherent strategy to come across as a credible alternative to the PAP.
And one big reason that accounts for this deficit that makes the Grand Canyon look like a faint sinkhole is the incomprehensible inability of their leadership to come to terms with the whole idea of being relevant…timely and hard hitting when the public expects them to weigh in on so many pertinent issues that affect millions of Singaporeans and stakeholders.
That is why they can really only fade into oblivion. Because when people expect you to say something, react or at least stomp your feet and all you can do is keep stoically silent….you can’t blame them, after a while when they expect very little except that which you excel in….keeping silent!
‘When people expect you to say something, react and weigh in on a subject and instead you opt to play safe by preoccupying yourself with how to bubble warp yourself head to toe by opting to keep silent.
That strategy may work very well if you decide to sit by the sidelines at times – I can understand that. As power and politics is finite and the last thing one one’s to get sucked in is a war of attrition. So it’s strategy in politics to always to pick and choose your battles.
But as a politician outfit, if you consistently display a total lack of urgency to respond in a timely manner to give voice to the prevailing public sentiment. Or worst still don’t even seem to have any opinions whatsoever that compels you to discuss at length or any intellectual depth about what you think should be done and all you can really do is just sit by and watch it all go right by with a savoir faire comme ca comme si attitude…..then I think. No correction. I believe at some point in this process of political hara kiri along with hollowing out your raison and why you have even bothered with the whole idea or starting an oppositional party that doesn’t have the courtesy to behave like one – most intelligent people will simply turn off and if this persist – eventually no one will expect you to say anything any longer.
That to me can only be tragic for a person, institution, firm and political outfit.
Understand this! Silence can only really commands an intrinsic value, IF people expect you to say something….but if silence becomes the hallmark of a political outfit or worst still the innards of it’s strategic design and it even becomes emblematic and climatic to a point where people have come to expect it as the norm.
Then should you have anything to say one day. No one will take you seriously any longer….the serious men of this world, will have no time for you! Because that is the height of irresponsibility and the direct opposite of every definition of leadership.
That is why I don’t take the WP seriously. I happen to know ten or fifteen serious bloggers who share my opinion and as for my business colleagues – they have as much political utility as bollards, fire hydrants and door stoppers….no firepower lah!
That’s why if you notice wise people who are adept at the game of power and politics – CONSISTENTLY hit hard, when people expect them to swing for a six! They CONSISTENTLY have perfect timing to be there…to be seen…to be part of. You don’t see them playing golf or Soduku wearing a Hawaiian shirt and drinking cocktails with dinky paper straws when things are going down the chute – they’re all without exception there at ground level to supply directional and instructional leadership. Above all they don’t expect twelve air bags when they’re in the game of politics. If they are tough…if they get hit, they roll with the punches and come back for more doesn’t matter what the other side dishes out – bring it on lah!
That’s why if you care to observe most bloggers have turned their backs on the WP! To many, they’re a loss cause. A political party that premised on covering their flabby backsides before putting the common man first. The only one’s who are still harboring whatever remnants of fandom concerning the WP are all twelve year olds and to be quite frank they just don’t count lah! Besides we all know they’re just there to add color selfies…to win…you need serious people on your side and if they give you the thumbs down. All I can say is, you better start prospecting for a day job!
That’s one reason why any discussion concerning power and politics in Singapore can only be heart wrenching and depressing….I much rather talk about urination techniques.
December 21, 2015
Today a well heeled plantation lady and her sister visited me in my estate. When they saw my pack of Doberman – they began to cringe in fear and even trembled visibly – I pretended not to notice this and called one of my dogs to approach us – when the majestic Doberman stood before the plantation lady in attention…She shook like a leaf and look distraught. Suddenly I grabbed her hand forcefully. She gave me a look of utter surprise which could express – what are you doing? That was when I remove my sunglasses and stared into the eyes and told her – please let me share something very beautiful with you. A pause ensued and soon she relented her. At first she was very reserve this soon gave to hesitation and soon she was in the moment. As I held her hands over her’s and ran it across the fur of the animal. Soon her features began to almost soften as if fear has left completely only to be filled with fascination. And with every stroke the woman who once feared this variety of dog who everyone told her could never be trusted began to marvel at the beauty of this fine animal.
Later on during a garden luncheon in the planters club – this plantation lady shared with me her morbid fear of Doberman’s – as since the moment of her youth she had always been told, the Doberman is a very violent and psychotic breed that has a habit of turning against his master….she also went on to tell me, her father told her I am a dangerous man who one would should always be wary of.
I simply told her….that was what you were told and believed in the past. Now you know a thing for what it is and not what others tell you and that is all that really matters to me….good day madam.
Old beliefs need to be discarded. As if they continue to remain encrusted in your thinking – it can only hold you back and work against you. I once knew a girl who harbored an almost irrational mistrust for handsome men – when I asked her why, she told me – they have always hurt me!
But when I shared with this girl even the most handsome man and beautiful girl – never ever see themselves as truly handsome and beautiful. As they know only too well their flaws and have heightened them even if others do not notice their flaws….very slowly this girl began to come around and soon she was able to wean herself from her negative impression of handsome men.
My point is we have to always be diligent about the business of discarding old thinking, setting aside bad experiences and if possible even revisiting wrong assumptions no matter how many people believe in them – because if we don’t do that. The mind doesn’t stay the same, these positions will harden with time, they calcify and even turn to stone continuing to hold us back from going further.
And once the mind is filled with road blocks…it is very difficult and even impossible for any form of understanding of any kind to take root; then the motivation to explore, the curiosity to seek out, to compromise, agree to disagree along with the will to take risk can only be snuffed out.
And when we fall into this mind trap of our own making without even realizing or worse still we surround ourselves with exactly the same people who reinforce this dead weight belief because they don’t know better – then it is almost impossible to get excited about anything any longer. Instead of being embraced by a sense of mystery to want know more. Instead of being in a state of awe and fascination to what to be part of…we simply surrender ourselves to apathy and the destructive belief, it’s better to stick to the devil we know than to take a leap of faith. When that happens, life itself can never be filled with mystery anymore, it will cease to be an adventure and that is when something important dies in a person….if you look around, there are so many people who are already dead…..they just look alive, but when you look deep into their eyes….they are so dead!’
December 20, 2015
Not very long ago a farmer posted a substantial dowry for anyone who was willing to marry his daughter. Two acres of prime land thrown in with one year of free fertilizer and even the possibility of inheriting everything the farmer owns. However despite the substantial offer there were no takers. Soon many of the villagers started to make fun of this farmer and his poor daughter. Villagers would whisper behind their backs…she has unsightly huge feet, they are so big even if the Yeti saw her footprints, he too will run away! He is so desperate to get rid of her! etc etc etc.
One day while walking the dog on my land – I came across the big foot girl weeping all by herself. When I asked her, why are you so sad girl? She began to recount how her family has been scolding her day and night as they say she is a curse and embarrassment to them as she is born with unusually large and unsightly feet. When she mentioned this, she curled her feet inwards to make them look smaller.
The following day I paid a visit to the village barber who also doubles as the my personal Central Intelligence Agency of the the Kampung. I would have you know the clandestine services that I have put in place has as many eyes as a pineapple that would even make Mossad look like the 80’s version of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I told him to arrange an anonymous acceptance of the offer for the hand of the big footed girl posted in the kopitiam. The following day everyone in the village was in a state of shock and disbelief. I was informed by the kampung foot doctor, many people pengsan when they heard the news – when the pandemonium was at it’s highest. I went down to the kopitiam dressed in my sporting bushjacket, briar pipe with my hair pomaded back complete with a walking stick that makes me look at least ten to fifteen years older – and told everyone in an imperial tone…how dare this man ask for this beautiful girls hand! What insolence! I will challenge him to a duel. Everyone was of course shocked…pengsan galore some more! That was when I turned to the marriage broker who also happens to the village barber and told him in a loud tone for all to hear – tell the father of this girl. I don’t need his dowry. Instead I will offer ten acres of prime land, a brand new tractor and one kilogram of gold for the privilege of being her husband.
When the entire village heard about this strange evolution of events it was like an atomic bomb exploding and sending shockwaves thru out a 300 mile radius – news of this unprecedented offer even spread like a firestorm to other adjoining villagers and it became the talk of the region – everyone exclaimed in a tone of disbelief – how is it possible that the man who lives on the hill has offered such a handsome bounty for this ugly big footed girl? The conceited among them went on to add – there must be more to this than meets the eye! That was when some of them who once made fun of the girl began to ask themselves why would such a prestigious man make such a remarkable offer for a girl that seems to offer so little – they remarked, the man who lives all by himself on the hill is no fool! Bear that in mind. He’s a smart cookie. This was the same man who once outwitted ten landowners like a sly fox…so if he is willing to make such a handsome offer for the hand of this girl…there must be something very precious and valuable about her….yes that must be it! There is gold somewhere!
Soon I was asked my the village marriage broker to consider a host of other prospective brides – there were many of course…bus loads of them, one of them even looks like a younger version of Serina Wee as she even paraded herself before me. I told the marriage broker in a tone loud enough for all to hear – no doubt she is beautiful now, but lets face facts, once a woman hits thirty. She’s like a old tractor that needs a lot of maintenance…she’s a bloody liability – besides her arms are like twigs and as for her feet they are too lithe…tell me what fucking use is she to me in the field? Can she can carry fifty kilogram bags of fertilizer up a hill with those feeble feet! What if I am bitten by a snake? Can she carry me to safety? Besides she dyes her hair brown and that reminds me of my pariah dog! The family was so insulted they promptly stormed off!
Then drawing the attention of the entire village to my four by four Toyota landcruiser – I exclaimed in a tone of quiet appreciation and admiration – do you all see how big the tires are on my mechanical horse?
Can you all not see how form follows function and how harmonious this symmetry sits with the divine laws of heaven and earth – it is poetry in motion – a delightful thing…a very beautiful thing. I went to declare in a loud tone, ‘I can go where no man can go with these magic tires!’ That was when all the villagers murmured in agreement….yes, he has a point….it’s certainly functional and very practical in the field. That was the cue for the village dunce to add, he had after all been primed by the director of intelligence services in the kampung – ‘those big tires on your mechanical horse, they are like the big feet of the girl you are proposing marriage too!’ To which all the villagers chorused, ‘Aha…yes of course…now it all makes perfect sense!’
After that a counter offer was made by a suitor from a neighboring village – the man was none other than a cognoscenti of big tires as a he owned a fleet of tractors who promptly bettered my offer with twenty acres of prime land and five kilograms of gold.
When it was finally announced by the marriage broker – the offer for the hand of the big foot girl was accepted by the family. Everyone in the village was so sad for me – they would be heard recounting, the man who lives all by himself on the hill is once again condemned to be alone again…..how cruel fate is to conspire against him…he was so close, yet so very far it seems.
That evening when I went to the Kuan Yin temple to offer alms – I overheard a old couple whispering to themselves, ‘this is so sad for the man who lives on the hill all by himself with only his dogs. Perhaps in his next life, he will be reunited with the big footed girl and heaven will smile on both of them as husband and wife.’
I simply smiled and thanked my lucky stars there was actually a higher bid…otherwise. But let us just leave it at that.
This is a true story.
‘Nature is incredibly democratic. If she takes with one hand. The chances are she has given with another. The question is not whether she has given? The question is do you have the intelligence, imagination and wisdom to appreciate what she has given to make up for what you wrongly perceive as the shortfall?
It’s not alway clear! Seldom apparent. At times, it takes time to show itself. At other times, it remains hidden like a secret and sometimes you may even have to ferret it out….but trust me it’s there?
That’s my point….nature is incredibly democratic.
So if you are born pretty or handsome. Don’t think you are blessed and have a natural advantage over others. If it seems that you have the upper hand all you’re doing is drawing strength from an illusion. To put it crudely, you are living in a lie. As what you placed all your hopes and trust in cannot possibly give you a good return on either your energy or investment. And even if in the short run, it seems as if it can confer you a competive advantage – it’s appeal will always only be limited to the lowest category of men and women.
Wise people. Rich people who know how to buy low and sell high. People who can consistently make good decisions 8 out of 10 to alway outperform the curve always look beyond the obvious…so if you are one of those who think you can go places by jiggling your fun bags, shaking or ass or trading on your six pack. You’re playing a losing game against the clock and one day, when it counts down to zero….you have nothing else to fall back on.
However if like me you happen to be born not too smart, handsome, pretty or always seem to be awkward around people and always find yourself out of place and that causes you to feel sad. Do not despair.
Always remember nature is very democratic – she has given and so you must seek it out!
You often find your natural advantage in the most unlikeliest of place. Take the case of something as seemingly ugly as sadness. That too can be beautiful as it gives depth…texture and nuance to one’s character. Happiness of course reaches for the skies. There is no Da Vinci code there. No mystery even. It’s just a tree reaching skywards to touch the sun…but this wouldn’t be possible without sadness that gives roots that enable this miracle to happen. Both the twin heads of ugliness and beauty are required. Each compliments the other. They don’t take away as much as reinforce each other in the way black gives white meaning and vice versa. One cannot exist without the other. They are all one of the same reality. As the higher a tree goes, the deeper it’s roots goes to the womb of the earth as well. This arrangement is always proportional….equal and truism in nature. This what it means when the wise speak of balance….harmony….symmetry and the whole idea of organic growth.
Do you see how something as ugly as sadness can bring forth happiness and how inextricably encrusted they both are to each other?
So never cling to worthless things that only seem to give you confidence, strength and a false sense of happiness – as these things are not meant to last and all have a built in expiry date – never invest in things which will wax and wane with the chastening passage of time. As even now when you read this – you’re decaying…you’re losing your freshness and the mystery of change is furiously at work.
That is reality!
The only thing that endures is character. This is the one thing that will always remain timeless, real and get’s better with every passing year PROVIDING you cultivate it diligently like a farmer who tends dutifully to his orchard.
This is not a quest for plastic knick knacks or Hello Kitty toys. It is NOT a mindless chase for money, influence, power, prestige, respectability etc etc etc or any of those paper mâché status symbols; it is a fundamental question that intrinsically involves HOW and WHO you want to be at every stage of your life…be it in your twenties, thirties, forties and beyond.
Most people don’t ever think consciously about this at all, they proceed from one level of life to another with that sanguine attitude of same shit, different day.
That is why the wise are great investors in character – they read broadly, think deeply, network strategically, manage themselves and others with a long term view, but above all they know how to seek out value in the most ugliest of places.
Where do you find a diamond? You think you can walk around Orchard road and discover a diamond? You find it in a filthy and smelly mine – that is what the wise always opt for because they know investing in one’s character pays out the highest dividends in the long run…only be warned…what you may see when you look honestly inwards may not always be a handsome thing…at times it is very ugly…but this is the only reliable way for one rise beyond the vapidness of trying your very best to fashion yourself into the eye candy the month. Or diffusing all your time and energy to titilate and even amuse, but only understand this it can only do just that and very little else because it’s superficial and at best only a wafer thin notion that doesn’t even come close to the gravitas when I speak about character. As it lacks the essential quality of resilience and durability and most importantly the means for you to grow mentally and spiritually from strength to strength with the passing of time.
When you invest diligently in the things that matter such as character….you will have to come to terms with your own ugliness…your greed, envy, feelings of inferiority, your prediclition to always slake your ego, your vindictivity, pettiness, conceit etc etc – it is only when we confront our own ugliness deep within us that we are able to grow at every level of our age. This is the only enduring way that you can remain beautiful, interesting and timeless at every stage in your life. Even should you be in your forties, fifties and beyond there will always be contours in your thought processes. You a man with many dimensions of complexity a nuanced profundis and it will show in the way you speak and convey your thoughts and how you relate to others – this arcanum of knowing things for what they are and not what others say it is – it’s this elemental quality that makes a person truly beautiful and timeless at every age and not oonly when they a young with beautiful teeth. As for the rest, it will wither, it will be grist to the mill and lose it’s lustre…invest always in the real and worthy things.
Life is too bloody short to do otherwise!’
December 19, 2015
I have a very strange and unusual habit of dinning alone in public. Usually prior arrangements are made to ensure the restaurant is emptied of all patrons and the doors are all locked and a close sign is placed on the door before at table is set for me with my back against the wall.
Only the most trusted cooks and those who I consider loyal are allowed to mingle and serve me.
I do not know why I have cultivated this strange and peculiar habit thru the years…I can’t even pin point when it all occurred.
But recently my dreams have sharpened and heightened…..No. I do not fear death. Not at all.
I only wish that things could have been easier for me. Had that been the case, I would not be such a feared man as I am.
‘My recurring dream always begins and ends exactly the same way. There’s no variation. The setting is exactly the same on every occasion. Even the patina of the light and how it renders the walls a creme sunflower parlor remains the same as I’ve always remembered it. I am dinning all alone. Suddenly a stranger walks in. I can tell by his gait, he’s purposeful. I watch him impassively as he makes his way to my table – I even know why he is here.
I can tell.
I am not afraid. Not at all. The stranger is nervous there’s an unsettled rhythm to his movements as he reaches for something in a paper bag like the moment when a man searches frantically for his keys believing momentarily he has left it somewhere he can’t recall. I train my eyes on this stranger, my features are calm and collected as I tell him to take his time about it…don’t rush….remember you have all the time in the world…so get it right the first time.
The words startle him and soon he fumbles to grip the revolver as steadily as he can – I look at it impassively…knowingly….as if it could really only be that and nothing else and set aside my plate while preparing myself for what has to come. I tell myself – this day was always meant to be….I look around and soon I am filled with an inexplicable calm assurance- this is a very good day to die.
The stranger hesitates. It’s as if he expects something from me…a reaction maybe…it’s an unknown quality like the moment when two stray cats suddenly freeze when the come across each other for the very first time after turning a corner – I can tell by the way he wavers, this is not what he’s expecting – it’s not playing out the way, he imagine it to be. Then I say to him, remember you have all the time In the world – I point to my solar plexus, the chest first, it’s got to be that way, otherwise it will be messy followed by another to the head. I sit back erect in my chair and ask, ‘do you understand!’ The assassin looks at me quizzically – he hesitates again. The pause this time last longer than usual and somewhere in between this excruciatingly lull. A thought creeps in as I begin to consider the prospects of drawing him closer to me. As by now I see to know instinctively, he’s never done this before….it’s his first hit and he’s very nervous. I can tell. As he lacks the essential quality of all professionals, single mindedness – instead he’s invested too much of himself in the act that it’s sucking up all of him leaving very little for anything else that’s why he’s darts around furtively. He’s very nervous, his hands begin shaking as he levels the revolver towards me – and for a while, just a mere fleeting moment I am weighing the odds, how easy it is to lunge suddenly forward and drive my stiletto deep into the space between his second lower right rib followed by a twist and a very upturn thrust into his heart – how easy it is to push it in so forcefully that I can even see it all – his life force ebbing and flowing out as he gives all of himself away to the atmosphere like a ball of camphor – in the way the river suddenly turns languid as if discovers the infinity of the sea….but instead, I do none of these things and simply lean back into the chair again and smile weakly as the stranger has now managed to steady himself as he trains the revolver squarely at me. Soon a click follows. I can’t see his features, the backlight is too strong, but that hardly concerns as I know something has gone very wrong. He’s fumbling with his revolver again, this time hitting it with the square of his palm as if to set it right. A few bullets patter on the marble floor while he prepares for another try again. Then on the second try, it goes click again ….nothing happens. By this time, I am livid. I lunge out of my chair to snatch the revolver from his hands. He doesn’t resist me. Instead he stands there babbling something about this being his first time, he’s stuttering and it’s beginning to make me very angry – I snarl at him as if telling him to shut up…for God sake put yourself together man!
It seems to work. He stands very still this time while I examine the revolver – it an old Webley Mk 1. I notice the serial number hasn’t even been filed off, I give him a what the fuck look! I can’t tell whether he registers my disgust, as I can’t make out his features against the strong backlight. I am aware a failing common to that variety of sidearm is it’s finicky hinge that has a habit of not closing properly to align itself snugly with the firing pin – I clean out the gunk with a toothpick from the latch while glaring at the stranger in disgust whose face I still can’t make out – as if telling him, for god sake, if you’ve going to shoot a man at least have the courtesy to clean and oil your firearm the day before. After that I empty out all the cartridges and insert only two which I consider to be the best or the worse. Promptly cock the revolver wipe my prints clean with a table napkin and hand it back to the stranger whose features I still can’t make out. This time my features are hard and stern as I growl at him…now one more time please…and it goes click again…nothing happens and this goes on and on and on for the whole dream…this is how the dream always begins and ends…..what does it mean?’
December 19, 2015
When you have neither the intelligence, imagination or experiential knowledge to understand a thing or someone – then, that which confounds you no end will make you angry and you will abuse it. Why? Because that which you cannot, will not or simply don’t have the intellectual raw material to comprehend can only gnaw at you, make you feel small and insult you.
You cannot understand it! YOU cannot understand it? And that seeming presentation of impossibility compels you to shift the blame to that which you cannot comprehend – so it must his or her fault….he is wrong….he’s mad….and when one falls into this mind trick to abuse things and people we don’t understand, one begins to talk, think and act in a nonsensical way without even realizing it.
‘Not very long while driving thru an estate. I came across a group of men wielding sticks and standing over a frightened child. I promptly stepped out of my car and demanded in an authoritative tone of a landowner – what is the meaning of this?
A man shouted angrily, this mischievous boy claims there is a talking tree in this orchard. Another jumped in, he’s fibbing as usual to scare us all! Yet another who was about to wallop the child screamed out, he’s always making trouble and the whole village has had enough of his nonsense!
I asked in a calm voice – where is this talking tree? Someone in the crowd exclaimed, ‘what the hell are you talking about? Trees don’t talk!’ I asked again, ‘where is this talking tree?’ Everyone looked at each other and soon they all turned to the boy and asked him to lead us all to the tree.
That was when I intoned sarcastically, so no one it seems even knows where the talking tree is?
Soon we were all standing before the majestic sprawling ficus talking tree. The crowd was murmuring. I took off my sunglasses and glared at them and in a whispering hush told them, ‘Can you all please do me the courtesy of shutting up….can’t you see I am having a very important life and death conversation here!’
Soon the men who were once angry loosened their grips on their sticks and the crowd began to fall so very silent as they all strained their ears….that was when I noticed the boy flashed me a smile….I winked at him.
December 18, 2015
It’s virtually axiomatic. What goes around…will and must definitely come around.
When Mahathir was in power for over twenty years in Malaysia. He was a downright dictator in every sense of the word. I am not going to mince my words…it is, what it is – if someone stood against him, he bulldozed and buried them…right or wrong didn’t matter a bit….when challenged he took pride in adage, ‘I did it my way!’ Nothing was sacred to this man…everything could be negotiated…circumvented…embellished with one sole purpose to perpetuate his hold on power and politics.
Now at the age 90. Within his life time, the man who once believed he was a living God is compelled to come to terms with his utter powerlessness and hopelessness as he watches helplessly the very same corrosive ritualize politics, culture of patronage and corruption that he once meticulously created that now allows Najib to run circles around this old man along with consolidating his iron grip on power.
Do you see how it has all come full circle…..life it seems is so fair and just after all.
‘I always say to people – never do to others what you do wish others to do to you! Never!
If you expect others to give you the benefit of the doubt…then extend them the same courtesy. If you expect to be treated fairly, then conduct yourself like a gentlemen by keeping to your word. If you want to be respected, then respect others.
Because trust me when I say to you – it will all come back! Trust me, it will come full circle to the very point where it all once begun – that’s the way of the world.
Let’s not call it karma, if you happen to be uncomfortable with religious terms…let us just reduce it to the technical process of what physicist would term as the science of cause and effect.
Because that is really what it is..nothing more or less.
So if someone comes to you seeking a job. Always remember. Treat them with dignity. Be thoughtful. Take the trouble to put yourself in their shoes by recounting how you were once there on the other side of the table not so very long ago and if possible imagine how anxious they are. And even if the fit isn’t right see them to the lift and tell them – I believe in you…even if you don’t really believe it.
Because if you just do this one thing thru out your life and keep in mind always – never do anything that you don’t ever want others to do to you.
You are really like a very wise farmer who sows seeds of goodwill wherever you go – and somewhere down the line in the long journey in life, someone who you once gave the benefit of a level playing field….good light or just a helping hand will remember you fondly and repay the favor.
You know life is very short and all of us no matter how smart or stupid tall or short, beautiful or ugly, fat or thin are really only given X number of seeds. No more! We all get the same quantity and quality of seeds. May not seem like it, if you are born a hunchback or you are used to being passed over for people who seem to be more beautiful and confident that you. But that is how I see!
Many people waste their seeds by throwing it to the wind. But the wise always makes sure everyone single one counts. Because when you get older and those seeds which you once planted carefully and diligently grow into strong trees that is when you will begin to reap a bountiful harvest.
So start planting seeds in the hearts of others now! Don’t delay! Do it today!
Most people these days don’t ever think of the world in such agricultural terms – to them it’s always about – what is in for me? How much can I milk out of this? They don’t think about what happens the day after. The reflect even less about the whole idea of how it will all come full circle one day.
But I don’t reckon that’s sustainable. Not at all.
Because when you are in your twenties and you don’t sow these seeds wisely. Then when you hit your thirties, you’re going to find it uphill. And by the time you push into your forties, since you never ever bothered with the whole idea of planing to close the circle – it’s just going to be a grind. You will find that when you ring up someone, they wouldn’t even bother to pick up the phone – why should they, after all you’re the person who keeps taking and taking all the time without ever once giving back. You’re the person whose always so fixated on the short term and transaction instead of the long term and relational. So by the time you reach your fifties when you should be ideally basking in the full glory of an abundant orchard filled to the brim with sweet and succulent fruit…..you’re no better than a twenty year just starting off in life.
By then, you don’t have the vigor to see a thing thru to it’s logical end any longer. As since you never once sowed those seeds all you really have is a barren land.
Do you see how it all comes full circle? I guess what I am trying to illustrate here is the idea of how none of us seem to have any problems buying into the idea of sustainability – be it farming, running an enterprise or just living without destroying the planet….but the real paradox of our age is no one ever seems to talk at length about the whole idea of crafting the idea of the sustainable man.
December 17, 2015
Ok lah! I can accept that! Not many people I imagine can. But I can respect that. My hope is other people can at least extend me the same courtesy as well to respect my point of view. Then again not many have the imagination to see it for what it is – but trust me when I tell you I can.
Truth is some people are just different. Nothing wrong there. But if being different is to command an intrinsic value to society, then it must be capable of producing something significant.
My hope is the likes of Amos Yee can go make sometime memorable and spell binding out of their lives!
Shake the world up! Stamp your name in this world like the Grand Canyon! Get a private jet. Build the tallest building in Manhattan. Get a yacht with a tennis court. Grow so big that you’re even larger than life itself that way, when you use the four letter word… Politicians just have to laugh it off. They have too. It’s not as of they have a choice. Because if they decide to go the other way. You will pull out jobs…close down their factories that employs thousands….bankroll a regime change….make them lose votes!
I once had the rare privilege of witnessing first hand like a proverbial fly on a wall – how a great planter expressed his difference of opinion to the ruling Burmese junta who wanted him to be part of their nefarious designs – and since this man could only be very different from all other men. He did not share their political inclination. Nor did he agree with their cruel methods. But what impressed me most about this man who was different from all other men was not his militant refusal – which let me be perfectly honest – any of us could probably do that as how a puppy might even piss on a tall building. No la effect…in being different in that manner…no élan…no panache…no métier…no je ne sais quoi….just a stab of the finger up in the air!
What’s so great about being different in that so irreverent manner? It lacks the essential quality of class stupid!
Rather what impressed me most about this man who held a difference of opinion was the sublime elegance in which he was able convey what I can only describe as the irrevocable facts of life of what would have to happen if they pushed him too far.
A subtle allegory of poetry in motion which began when he leaned forward, reached out for a stalk of wheat and crushed it in his hands with a rasping sound while the kernels pattered like dripping blood on the polished table.
Then turning to these paper generals who by then were all breaking out in cold sweat and dabbing themselves – the great planter held out the spent stalk before them like the terrifying map of the empire of the bones and asked of them in a prosaic tone like only death could ask – gentlemen….have anyone of you ever experienced famine before? He went on to add in a sonorous sad tone – I have seen so many terrible things I wished I did not see in Africa!…and I certainly do not wish to see it happen here…. Then turning to each one of them, the great planter asked – Tell me if you would…what would happen to all of you and your masters, if the crops should fail this year? Or the next? Mind you that can very easily be arranged….that gentlemen you may all consider as my answer to your request!
As I looked on I knew this one episode I had just witnessed would have a profound effect on how to transform my difference into a decisive life tool. I couldn’t help but feel thru out the entire meeting how the great planter looked like a poisonous cobra standing erect before a bunch of shivering rabbits…..that was my first education in weaponizing one’s difference from all other men into power…..real power. The variety that shift mountains or part the waves only with a twist of difference….just a mere suggestion of a hint of difference!
My point is being different for the sake of being different counts for absolutely zero lah! Da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, Thackeray, Shakespeare, Turing, Houdini even Al Capone and more…they were all different in their own way, but what differentiates them from all other men who may be different like them was their ONE ability to make their difference really count!
Want to go bad! Go all the way lah. Go the full nine yards. But don’t get caught hiding underneath a bed. Because if it comes to that…what can I say?
Then you are just different for the sake of being different and like I said that counts for as much as flies smashing against the windscreen of your car when you drive at night….it means nothing. Or worse still don’t do a Alvin Tan special. Because to be honest with you, he is not going to amount to very much, except maybe living out a whole entire disquisition on how to live a life without really amounting to anything significant. The way I see it. He’s just going around in big and small circles…going nowhere. Not realizing that sometimes the most you ever get is one or two bites at the cherry and once you miss that aperture of opportunity…then that’s your lot.
Make your difference count. Write a book that sells millions of copies. You know the sort where if you’re on the plane everyone is reading very same book. Make that difference count for something so that one day when you look back. You can categorically say to yourself and others – your detractors were dead wrong about you. Make that difference count so much. You know deep down that’s what everyone aspires to be exactly like you because you have set the benchmark.
I can’t say for certain I believe in you. I am not going to say I don’t believe in that idea either. I am neutral. But what I will say is this….nothing ever comes out from just being different for the sake of being different.
I am not like the rest of the people out there. I wish you well. I even want your parents to say proudly one day – I knew he would make it to the other side and prove them all wrong.
And I mean that – this goes out to all those are different from all others.
See you all on the other side…tea and sandwiches will be waiting for you when you emerge out of the rabbit hole.
‘If you’re angry with the world. Then I say sit down and look at this life force. Observe it carefully….study it long and hard and set about learning how to harness it like a windmill or water wheel and if possible harvest that negative energy in the way you focus stray light into a point like a laser beam.
Then direct that concentrated energy of the sun to something significant, transformational and historical. Fuck the world! Because if you happen to have that as a starting premise in your life…being different…. it’s a rare gift.
But I need to warn you – it’s a double edged sword….it can be perdition or salvation….heaven or hell.
I am not like most people. I don’t see the idea of being different as a curse or character flaw. Most people if you take the trouble to observe don’t ever have that sort of raw intensity or unbridled verve in their lives – they’ve never felt that life force pulse thru their veins before. Never! They have only read about it or seen it in the movies….but they have never felt it before…it’s like being a vampire walking amongst mortals! It’s like trying to explain snakes to Eskimos! The vast majority of humans go to work, save money, take holidays, get married, have kids, hold down the same job for 20 or 30 years, take their quota of shit that life shovels at them and they just die.
But if you can just learn to direct all that energy that makes you different to something significant – and I am not even talking about inventing rockets that can make it all the way to Mars. I am referring to really mundane stuff like how to make scramble eggs better than anyone else in the world. Or how to fold paper aeroplanes that can fly higher and further than anything that has ever existed before. Or even sometime as forgettable as how to mix paint in such a unique way that people would just stop, pause and look at it longer than usual, because it provokes and stirs something deep and compelling that they have never sensed before….then I think you’re on the right track of harnessing that once destructive force into something useful and meaningful.
But if all you’re good for is being different for the sake of being different – then I say, there is no mileage there lah. Look here! That’s a dead end!
Because one day when you hit your thirties and you’re still living with your parents hacking away at a computer in a room where overnight pizza and clothes go to die and your nett worth is a tube of Mentos and the sum total of your blog entries with X or Y cachet of readers – that counts for nought lah!
You know why….because that’s not reality. Let me tell you what is reality – reality is when you can make things happen – when you can harness that which marks you out as different from the world to make a difference.
Alan Turing was different. He was so different that, he was even light years ahead of his time that was why they feared him – but when you consider the sum total of his singular contribution to mankind amounted to shortening WW2 by maybe two years and a bit more and saving maybe twelve million lives…that puts it all into the right scale and perspective….the power of being different and what it can do. Same goes for every man who has been able to harness this power of being born different.
It all begins and ends right there lah…..take and run with it and I guarantee you, it will serve you, people and planet very well. Go the other way and I say, you’re just throwing away a rare gift.
This is wisdom that your mama and papa will never even share with you as very few people know of this and can appreciate it for what it is…..’