Friday, December 30, 2016
It's just another day in the Gregorian calendar. Muslims already had our new year a couple of months ago, and, was treated by many as another public holiday.
The Gregorian Calendar is named after Pope Gregory the XIII who refined the original calendar started by the Romans. Julius Caesar tweaked it a little and changed the name of the 7th month from Quintilis to Julius... or as we know it today, July. (Subsequently, Augustus Caesar also changed the 8th month to August from Sextilis... which is a good thing).
Anyway, 2016 was an eventful year I supposed, with all the things happening around the world, death and mayhem, suppression and oppression, corruption and pollution. Children killed, women raped, immigrants drown fleeing unrest in their home country.
Sometimes I can't believe that we are already in the 21st century, almost 2 decades deep. Yet, racism is still as much a problem as it was in the last century.
For me, 2016 has been a year of change. A shift in paradigm. My wife quit her job in October 2015 and, to occupy her time after the novelty of not having to go to work wears off, she start selling stuff she bought from Bandung. Textile, blouses, dresses, hijab and telekung... even hoodies and ointments and cosmetics.
We were never business people. I have made that conclusion when, in 2003, I tried and failed as a businessman. Robert T. Kiyosaki wrote in his book that to do business you need a mentor. I mean that's what his book Rich Dad Poor Dad was about. His mentor was his Rich Dad.... but I guess I miss that part... emblazoned on the front page.
Wiser and older (in that order), and with a bit more resources (a.k.a Money) to spent to go to seminars and courses, we are now weighing anchor and casting off on our new ship, into areas we never thought we'd ever venture into. We have new circle of friends... or at least my wife has. Friends who's been there done that and friends are doing it as we are.... although, most of them are much younger than us....
So here goes everything. Will we make it? I pray to God we will.... there's no turning back now....
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Aesop's Fables was probably the first book that my father ever bought for me. It has left a couple of profound marks on my development as a human being. One, I now only read short stories... and two, I am Shams... the Sun....
THE WIND and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
“KINDNESS EFFECTS MORE THAN SEVERITY.”
That's why many people tell me I am soft.... but hot tempered.
Friday, December 2, 2016
God made us such that we keep wanting things. When we were small, we want to grow up, when we're grown up we want to get married, after we're married we want to have babies... then we can't wait for the babies to grow up and when they've grown up they treat us like a bottomless ATM machine. And, they think they have a right over whatever we own. And, that the things we gave them, are their rights to have. And, you ask yourself..... why did I want babies?
I am envious of a friend. A very successful friend. He treats his children like adults. He doesn't worry where they are, or whether they'll come home or not, in fact he encourages his children to get out of the house as soon as they turn 18. They all turned out ok, I think, at least, from where I was, as we sat on the patio of his club, smoking cigars.
Me... I am one of those over protective dads. I get anxieties, thinking about my children. Are they safe? Will they be able to take care of themselves when I'm dead? What if they get into trouble and I can't get to them? I need to know where they are all the time..... It calms me to know they have reached their destination. When one of them comes home late, I have this imagination that they could be in an accident and bleeding to death somewhere.
But, in return, they think I am being silly. I think so, too.
The weird think is, all this seems oddly familiar. A dejavu.... from a different angle.
I read somewhere that, children are the grandparents' revenge. How true that is, at least in my case. This was how my parents felt while bringing me up. These are their anxieties, their anger, their exasperations. Only now as a parent, I am understanding what my own parents went through bringing me up.
If both of them are alive today, they will probably say... Serve you right!!
God bless their souls.