Amos Yee on the run!

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!

Checkmate!

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…..’

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