Friday, July 22, 2016

Comparing and Competing

As an Asian, we take pride in being good in a lot of things. One good example is how good we are in Mathematics and Science. Asians grabbed the five first place of the global ranking in Mathematics in which China is the first, followed by Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Korea in 2013. The Westerns don't call us Asians for nothing. [Source]

While that is true, it's inevitable to see that the competition among ourselves is strong. Gruesome, even. Parents compare our grades with our peers and more often than not, they compare our talents as well. Oh, your son can play the piano? My son can too! What grade is he in? Aw, isn't he a little tad slow compared to mine. There goes more pressure for the kids. 

Since we were small, we were told that we must be number 1 in class. Don't know why, but must get number 1. We thought that that means we can get some form of rewards from our parents (maybe some cool electronics?). We study day and night, concentrate in class, go for extra classes and tuition, spend our supposedly past time to do homework and not to forget our extracurricular activities because you know, they want to make you an all-rounder. 

Nobody cares what you want. Because you're not supposed to know them. 

And because you're Asian, so you do what your Asian parents told you to. 

So the habit of comparing ourselves with our peers and compete to become the best unnoticeably embedded in our minds and souls. Whenever there is some form of interaction, there shall be some form of competition. Taking the same tests? Starts comparing our scores. Handing in exercises? Who got the highest marks? 

I'm not trying to discourage competition. Competition is good. It ensures the species survives. Over-complacent will only retard the advancement of a certain species and/or person. Competition is also good because it drives prices down. But when people starts comparing every single form of assessment or even lives, it gets downright annoying. 

Wake up. No one is supposed to be good at everything. The purpose of school is to discover what you are good at, not how good you can at everything. We are giving the schools a wrong definition. If you're good at Literature, you should study them and create poetry to inspire and be the next Shakespeare. If you're good at Biology, you should study them and be a meticulous surgeon to save lives. Don't just be good at everything, find something you truly have an interest in.

Maybe because we are wired this way, where being good at everything means you have a better chance of surviving thus being able to pass down your genes. Nature got to be blamed on this. Thousands of years and evolution and this somehow unavoidably printed in our DNAs already. 

If you had noticed, my favourite quote on the right hand side of the blog is from Einstein. It is as follows:

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
Seem pretty straight forward to me. Don't compare yourself with others because you do not share the same life and talents as them. Create your own path. Shed off the mentality of comparing unnecessarily. Or try.

For anyone, stop judging people solely from what the society picks as a norm. Ubiquitous is too mainstream. Be weird, be uncanny, be enigmatic and be unpredictable. Most importantly, be yourself, because if you do not, no one else will. 

Fill in the some of the points that I did not expand with more thoughts. That way you find it more personal and be able to fit my idea somewhere inside of you. Everyone has different opinions, but it shouldn't sway from the original intended intention. 

Disclaimer: Not everyone shares the same experience that I described above. I am aware of this. And you should know too. No one in the world shares the exact same experience as anyone does. Only a certain groups does. So anything, really, is up to own's interpretation.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Three Things We Fundamentally Should Live For

I believe that all of us are here for a reason. For some of us, a reason that we yet to discover. Are we supposed to solve climate change? Are we supposed to record the best moments of human history? Are we supposed to serve people dish every night at a ghetto? While we do not know for sure, I truly think that there are three things that we fundamentally should live for. We might already do this unknowingly or do it in a different term that I name it here, but it is still what it is. 

1. Adding value to people's lives

We are here to add value to the lives around us. We help the less educated to become somewhat more educated. We donate a (little) portion of our paycheck to the needy so that they may buy what they need to survive. We held out our hands and borrow our shoulders to our family and friends whenever they need it. We go out of our comfort zone in order to make someone else's life better. All these adds values to someone's life and it does make a positive impact on them shall they do not take it for granted.

2. Creating memories with people

Gatherings are there for many reasons, to create a memory that we one day could talk about it someday in the future. It is an indicator to show that we spend some of our time to and for each other because we care one another. If you do not truly see the aim of the gathering, you might as well as be at some other place that you find fit. I guess more often than not some find gatherings to be a pain in the ass because they are required to socialize whereas socialize is the way to create memories. After all, memories are the ones that we have when we are at our dying bed. Probably too late to say "I wish I had been there with you guys" when you are minutes away from death. Of course, there are still many other ways to create memories with people!

3. Bringing positive change to the world

"They (our fathers) left the world worse than they found it. We're going to leave the world better than we found it." - Daenerys Targaryen

Pretty much sums it all. If all of us (all 7.4 billion of us) makes a little positive impact to one another, the world would be a better place. Pass the good deed on. The world is undeniably better than when our fathers were born into it if you count the consequences of globalization and technology out. We now have excellent health care, which increased the life expectancy of the human race by at least half (Wikipedia). It is expected to increase in years to come.

In most part of the world, we are able to live as a multicultural society without causing a tension that is far too great to trigger a massive massacre. On another note, slavery has ended as well. That is one of the positive change that I feel is very important for the world.

Do whatever you do that you feel that the world would be a better place if you do it. However, if it displeases a majority of people, it is best to consider the consequences and unwanted repercussions. We can't do whatever we want, however it may contradict the first sentence.

Monday, July 4, 2016


Soon everyone will have their own life, getting that job that they always wanted or needed, building new relationships, forming a tie with their other half, have babies and finally taking care of them. Along the way, we just stay together because we allow ourselves to indulge in the fact that we are friends since school. We might forget how we truly get to know each other, the feeling of saying hi the first time, how we bonded, how we work together as a team, how we learn boring subjects together, manage clubs together, spraying water and flour after party and confessing for the first time. I always hope that the reason that still keep us together in five or ten years time isn't because we are in the same Whatsapp group that everyone mute it (FYI, I do not mute it). 

At the end of the day, I value my friends more than I should even though I show like I don't care some of the time. I want to keep them together, but not everyone shares my mission. I do agree that our group is pretty selective and I apologize for what it is. Most of the times we only celebrate certain person's birthday and buys them present. I do not like this, but it happens every year. It is only logical that you feel less attached to the group that does not celebrate you. Naturally, you will find that one group that finds you interesting and shows that they appreciate you by celebrating your birthday with you (not the only way, but one of the way). Although no one explicitly said this before, but somehow it is predictable. 

I have so much of bad deeds done in the past I couldn't forgive myself. I broke my friend's relationship. I probably changed the course of my friend's love life. To think about what would happen if I didn't do what I did makes me feel bad. I often think myself as the bad guy ever since. I don't deserve, yet the heart yearns. I don't deserve, yet the heart cannot stop wanting. Somehow somewhat I uttered and made some stupid mistakes again and stabbed each of us with a double-edged sword. Further deepening the wounds that are already there, if not forming new ones. 

There are many reasons why I don't try to form a new romantic relationship. One being afraid of hurting others again. Another being it's hard to forget. Yes, the brain and the body seemed so inclined when you see your friends are already starting to dwell themselves in the love pond. I feel like jumping onto the bandwagon too. It would be a lie if I say I don't find some attractive in my new environment, and I did make some effort but I ended it soon after. I don't really think I am ready for any of those again. Sometimes when I am alone I remind myself of what kind of person I am and reinforce the idea of keeping the double-edged sword at bay. Of course, I don't consider myself decent looking so it might be a reason why I am not in a relationship. 

Back to home and another hardship seems to surface itself. I think that part of the reason it surfaced is because of my action as well. My mom has been glue-sticked to her iPhone 6 Plus whenever she has the time. She seems to ignore what is most important to her (I can't critisize her much because this is the 21st century and I do that all the time as well). What's worse is that I feel like her relationship with my father is worsening as the days pass. Part of it I feel like it is her fault, but as a family, there is not truly one person at fault. We all share the responsibility. I ought to do something before something bad happens. I can't imagine the worse outcome of this to us. I never thought that it could happen to us, but I am beginning to think that there is a possibility that it will happen. You know what I am talking about. 

On a positive note, I am probably going to Osaka, Japan, coming September for one semester for the student exchange programme. When I say probably, I mean 90%. I am already accepted to the university as an exchange student, but currently I am looking for the confirmation for the JASSO scholarship. That is really the main reason why we applied to go. Looking to see some news from the international body in Kansai University real soon. We have to apply visa, afterall. 

Other than that, my three friends are coming back from the UK. That ought to look forward too.  I am happy to see them coming back after a year (aprox a year). Some gatherings felt lacking without them. Afterall, I went through the secondary school with them so missing them would be normal. Can't wait for our trip to Cameron.