At a loss for words ….?

My friends will say, “Now, that’ll be the day.  She? Lost for words?! Never!!” 🙂

But it’s true, I’ve started at least three posts and abandoned them mid way.  I start and I can’t end. I never do that!

I’m at this point where I just don’t know what to think.  What to say.

Like how to reconcile why it rains over the good and the wicked?  In fact, sometimes it appears to rain over the wicked and not the good.  The good go through drought and deal with barren ground and the wicked go to green pastures. How does that happen? 😮

The dishonest prosper.   The rich get richer.  The rich get greedier.  The powerful get corrupt in their souls.  The poor get poorer.  The old live longer and can’t afford the medical care (JB’s calling :p) and the young die younger.

Everything seems to be topsy turvy.

I sometimes yearn for the simpler days.  When politics was really about a shoulder-to-shoulder-to-the-grindstone struggle among the ruler and the ruled (in any situation – national, professional and personal).  And justification doesn’t overtake accountability.

Where life is simpler.  We were poorer as individuals and as a country;  But people were kinder.  We didn’t need any “Kindness Movement” – no offence to Dr William Wan, who then might be out of a job. :p

We lived in rent-controlled housing where neighbours were family (well some of mine literally, were :p).  We shared everything.  Chapati and dhal from my Bengali neighbour.  Thosai, appam and putu mayam from my South Indian neighbours (who sold them for a living).  Lontong and rendang and serunding from my Malay neighbour. I got to eat Peranakan kueh every morning from our immediate neighbour, my father’s cousin, (who is actually one generation older than him.  Her daughters who are my dad’s age call me “sister”… hahaha… I digress but I get a kick out of that). And my granma would give them her “rempah” curry (curry powder which she made and sold for income) and her concoction of oils – one for the bloated stomach and the other for aches and sprains (which she also made to sell).

I am not saying stymie progress.  There are so many things now that make life easier. But I want the kindness back in our souls.  Where it is innate.  Not taught.  Not campaigned.

Surely one does not need to displace the other?  Surely it’s not a “this OR that” situation? Can we not grow without losing our souls? (which by the way is not only determined by the Arts alone.  I’ve written about that in my earlier blog so I won’t repeat it).

Since when does looking wholistically at policy development and implementation need to equate to slower growth. Which therefore means less jobs and lower starting pay?

How did it go so wrong as we progressed?  When did we learn not to care?  At which point, did we forget to put others’ needs ahead of self?

When did we start fearing that showing kindness is a form of weakness.  That you need to be ruthless to get to the top.

When did ROI overtake everything?  When did employee welfare get reduced to “Family Days”?

When did schooling become solely about ranking and not about gaining knowledge and building character?

When did parents pass their moral authority to teachers and helpers?

When did our kids stop carrying their plates to the basin and washing them themselves?

Kids playing in Shirakawa-go

When did they stop going out to play in the rain with the neighbours’ kids?  Catch spiders?  Catch longkang (drain) fish?

When did the boys stop cooking for themselves in the army and get catered food?

When did everything become pecuniary?…. When did we become mercenaries?

I guesss my friends are right.  I am not at a loss for words.  I could go on and on… What it is, is that I am at a loss for answers.

Tell me there’s hope for us.  That our hearts remain in the right place as we place ourselves on the world map.

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2 thoughts on “At a loss for words ….?”

  1. Thanks 2 Cents. 🙂 I have a series of pictures of these kids from my holiday to Shirakawa-go. I love taking pictures of kids. So cuuuuute….and before the world taints them :p

    These girls and presumably their brother were playing and collecting stones and leaves from the drain which they then lined up to dry. Well it looked like that. It was pure simplicity and they were having fun!! No need for sterile playgrounds or computers or other enrichment classes to overstimulate them. They were just playing and making it up as they went along.

    Pretty much how our masak-masak or longkang exploits went (yeah I played with dolls and in drains! 😉 ). And I think we were better for the wear. 🙂

    Those were simpler days…..

  2. I know what you mean….we seem to have traded our souls to the in our quest for progress. Sometimes, we rationalise it by saying that I will feed my soul when I have achieved my material wants in life. But alas, the quest for material wants never ceases……before long it is too late.
    Nice pix…..reminds me of a time when we climbed trees, crawled through drains, made our own toys from bottle caps, rubber bands, etc. These days, parents bring their kids to enrichment classes to crawl through man made, sterile, lead-free, injury-free devices. Oh yes, there’s air-con too…..and we wonder why the younger generation has gone soft…I wonder wonder wonder 🙂

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