Weird

Sometimes you wonder if certain things
Are about you or about them
About how you feel or how they feel
Or even how they want to make you feel;

Are questions asked really about the answers
Or do the questions themselves mask the answers?

Herein lies the issue with our stuff:
We simply write it all out in rough
Then substitute words to make them flow
Yet most times we forget the larger whole;

If everyone took care of themselves
There would be more hands to go around;

Does this all sound a little weird?
Who knows.. maybe its deliberate.

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The Irony Behind Advice

Advice can come in all forms of shapes and sizes, and from anyone at anytime. It can come from your mum when needed most (“Just follow your heart sweetheart, everything is going to be okay”), or it can come unwelcomed from a rival (“Why don’t you learn how to dress for success even a little like me?”) 

Given the assumed constructive nature of an advice, most are friendly and designed to improve a situation or an individual, be it in influencing a decision or how to do things better. Friends advice each other all the time when things look a little dry for the other, and the Internet is full of people writing advisory articles in forum pages and websites. 

The irony however, is this: we often tend to take the advice given by strangers or random sources more seriously than those given to us by our families and close friends. This is a weird phenomena, but it’s true for a large part of us. Take for example when we’re young: When our mums tell us to eat our vegetables, we tend to shrug it off but when we read up on the advices online on the importance of vegetables to our diet, or when we see our friends or crush enjoying their greens and egging us to eat them, we start to appreciate and consume them. 

How different is it from when your mum nicely tells you to eat your veggies at dinner time? Not much really, the vegetables still taste about the same. 

There’s something strange about this really, that we choose to ignore or neglect the advice of those who know us best, and those who want the best for us. Perhaps it is taking for granted the goodwill that our loved ones have for us, or maybe we seek to learn only from experiencing it for ourselves. The hard way, if you ask me. 

It would probably be good if we learn to take advice for us more seriously, and give them a thought before throwing them away into the mental garbage bin at the back of our heads. We should of course have a mind and an opinion of our own, but we could always use for a different (perhaps previously hidden) perspective in a situation. We may think we know better, but sometimes.. we really don’t. 

(P.S another irony of advice is that we often give them to people like they are free, but use them ourselves as though it’d cost us a new car or apartment, but thats to be saved for another day. Haha.)

Competition?

(Here’s something I wrote on the theme of ‘Competition’ a couple of years back, and I thought I’d just share it just for laughs. It went a little off topic so I find it quite funny, looking back at it today)

The truth about competition is that it is everywhere – anytime, anyone, anyhow. It exists in every aspect and part of life and it is a question of the form it takes rather than the part it plays; the significance of competition in people’s daily lives is too overwhelming to be called a part: life itself can be regarded as a competition and understood as a collective experience of competitions continuous and sequential.

Mankind has achieved countless illustrious milestones and succeeded in numerous astronomical conquests since humans first walked on Earth but one opponent Man has yet to overcome and possibly never will triumph over, is death. This insurmountable obstacle creates an inevitable competition in life that no one can ever escape from – the competition against time. Humans are born into this world with one certainty in life, and that is death; nothing else in between is as definite as the end itself. This presents the general understanding and consensus that everyone has a limited time on Earth and what is made of life is what happens in between the twin poles of start and end. This sets Man in competition against the clock and though each person moves at a different pace from the next, everyone is aware that there are only so many years in life that each person can possess before Death comes to claim all that life has given and withheld. This is the truth underpinning life which drives progress – people want to move faster, know better and live longer such that everything invented ranging from the television to the steam engine to the airplane is done with the purpose to allow mankind to maximize the human experience and lengthen the duration of competition against the running down of time before age catches up and the battle is eternally lost.

As the clock ticks away, the next competition which comes alongside the ever present race against time is the competition against the self. As much as Man would covet escaping the hands of Death, Man seeks in equal magnitude to outdo and better himself. Everywhere in society the sight of people sloughing away trying to achieve more and climb higher in a never ending conquest to do better and be better reveals an underlying desire innate to humans to outperform themselves. This inborn urge to do well in tasks and affairs undertaken and to soar above challenges are but manifestations of the true inner want to rise beyond circumstances with the eventual aim to prove better than oneself. It is ingrained in the psyche of humans and lurking somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind that the ultimate rival and only opponent necessary to triumph over is the self and all other victories scored in everyday life are but points accumulated in the grand contest within.

While the competitions against time and self are both simultaneously in progress, many other competitions occur in people’s daily lives and tend to serve duo purposes of enforcing and distracting them from the two main ongoing encounters. Competitions can take the form of sports, where individuals or teams go up against each other in a certain sport such as in track & field, tennis or football; it can also take the shape of music and singing competitions, the outline of competing sale revenues in an insurance office or the shadow of examinations typical in school halls. Competition is undeniably a human construct with the specific purpose of satisfying the natural appetite to feel good about oneself and to better oneself. They were created to focus the mind and being for a period of time onto a purpose, that is to improve and eventually emerge victorious in the competition arena meticulously crafted. People are born with an inherent restlessness and a need for activity and purpose; competition is the exact creation to fulfill this need and bring calm and peace to the restlessness that otherwise would run rampant. The human mind has the natural tendency to question the causes and reasons for it’s own existence and this leads inevitably to frustration and unrest as the answer is metaphysical in nature and cannot be ascertained by mortal determinants. To make existence more bearable and give some meaning to life, humans create surmountable obstacles everywhere and the attempts to clear such hurdles and achievement of mini objectives are but small competitions against the self, circumstances and environment in themselves.

It is a revelation to realize the fundamental nature and beginnings of competition and how they are very much intertwined; it never fails to amaze how they arise out of each other. The lost cause against the unstoppable advancement of Death upon every human being creates the competition against time, which in it’s very nature breeds the competition against the self to better oneself and maximize the human experience; this manifests and materializes itself in the form of visible, tangible human-constructed competition such as sports and other competitive activities.

It is deeply ironic and paradoxical that the very unconquerable nature of Death in which humans have failed to overcome has been the main driving force of competition and progress. Even with the advent of technology and huge advancements in the field of genetic engineering and medicine, the two fundamental competitions that every human has against the ticking hands of the clock and with himself will stay constant in their presence, albeit conscious or subconscious to the mind. It is as such safe to propose that competition does not simply play a part in people’s daily lives; competition is the very essence life is made from and is itself one big competition; as long as humans do not triumph over death, there always will be competition in this world, either within or without.

Reverie, Memories

Standing in the middle of the square
Looking around at people everywhere
A million scenes flash before his eyes
Trying not to think of all those dreadful lies;

His dad told him to write a poem with a rhyme
Like how he thought writing without one was a crime
But all that doesn’t mean much to him now
Standing there thinking nothing but why and how;

He remembers the times she waited for him by the shop
Looking at the spot now he almost sees her in her spaghetti top
But all that is nothing more than just a distant pain
Standing there alone staring at the same spot in the rain;

The poem has long expired from the first word on
The fact of the matter is nothing more than ‘now she’s gone’
Yet lost deep in his memories he sees her again
And off he runs after her not knowing it is all in vain;

Reverie, memories.