Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The child in us

When we were growing as a child…

I used to hug and kiss my dad whenever he came back from work. At around 3 to 4 years old, I was daddy’s sweet little girl. Time passed very fast and I grew up. Somehow I have forgotten when I stopped hugging and kissing my dad. I guess it was a gradual process, like I did it lesser and lesser until one day I just stopped doing that altogether. Or maybe, he scolded me real bad and I got mad and just stopped being close to him.

Now, whenever I have the chance, I would open the door for him and greet him at the doorstep when he came back from work. It was not often because I no longer lived with my parents. However, at those moments, deep inside me, I would remember how it feels to hug and kiss him like his little girl again.

I realized these.

Sometimes, no matter how we grow up, there is still this little child inside us that never want to grow up. And, that child guides and affects us in a lot of ways more than we can understand.

When we were growing as an adult...
When we stop growing and become lost...

Being grown-ups, we are always expected to behave in certain ways. We are supposed to know more things than the children. We should act mature. We have seen more things in the world , so that also make us more correct in our thinking. We know how to do our jobs well. We know how to plan for ourselves, our families and our futures.

Sometimes, unfortunately, we are so totally wrong and illusional about what we have achieved and what we think we know.

I realized these.

Somewhere in our life, we stop growing. We stop asking for help and advices. We stop wondering whether we do things correctly. We do not like to accept criticism. We hate to have someone set the rules for us. We do not want to follow sound advices, but choose to follow stupid advices. That is where we made our gravest mistake sometimes.

Pride is also part of the culprit. We hate to admit that we do not know how to do certain things in life. That is why, instead of asking people how to do something; we do not want to look bad, so we have to find out by ourselves. Sometimes this is good because it seems that we have initiative and are not dependent on people. But sometimes we waste so much time on trials and error. We can be much more productive if we can just ask from the person who has done it successfully and then we can just follow and get the result right away.

But of course, there are not a lot of smart people around that we can ask and who can help us. But there still are someone out there, and that depends on where you look and how hard you look for them. If you find someone smart, stay close to them.

When we changed and grow again…

It has been ages since someone really pointed to me what were the underlying problems with me and how I could change that. And, how it could have been my funeral if I choose not to change.
At first, I was very defensive and did not really want to look like a defective person. Eventually, I have changed. It was a gradual and painstaking process and I am still changing.

If you read a lot of articles and books out there, most of them said it is hard for people to change, especially their characters. It is hard for people to improve on their non-talents. Like we would never be a good fashion designer because we do not have a good fashion sense or I would never be an organized and tidy person because organization skill is one of my non-talents.

I realized these.

That is just partially true. Sometimes, it is not because we do not have talents in things. It is just, somewhere in our life, we encountered something that made us believe we cannot do it and we just give up trying. And when we are pushed to try sometimes, in the back of our mind, we would tell ourselves there is no use trying and we will fail. So, we fail and we prove ourselves right by failing.

To key is to overcome the negative thinking and fears of failing to step beyond our comfortable zone and start doing things diffferently while believing we can achieve what we set out to do.

When we continue to grow while reflecting on our past, what matters to us and who we want to become...

Try to think back about your life, especially those incidents you never seemed to be able to forget.

I realized these.

There are some parts in our childhood, where somethings happened and then we just decided to be who we are today. Like why I did not like to do housework is not because I was not capable of doing it or did not have talent for it. It is just during my childhood, at some points, I gave up doing the housework and decided I just want to focus on my study and get a good result.

For some of you, maybe when your parents always do not seem to understand and scold you for things you tell them, then you decide it is better to keep things for yourself and that is where you start to close up yourself. Or when you get cheated by your loved one and you decide you do not want to commit your heart to anyone anymore and start to cheat other people the way you are cheated.

But, no matter what happened in the past, sometimes, it is good to remember what our childhood was like. Remember what are our basics, what shape us. Things are always so pure and innocent during our childhoods. It is not at all like what we need to face today.

As an exercise, my mentor asked me and his other students to write 1000 words about ourselves. Anything that we feel like writing about ourselves and it should be handwritten. I wrote mostly about my childhood, how I was brought up and what changed me along the way. That was where I realized my values have not changed that much. I am still the sweet little girl inside. The objectives of the exercise is to remember who we were, and to constantly reflect on our past on the journey to become who we want to be.

Try this exercise yourself if you want. I bet you will have tears welling in your eyes halfway through what you have written.

For those of you who are good now and want to be someone great, let us not forget how we grow until now and like Google's mantra - "Don't be evil".

For those of you who are doing bad things to others, even to your defense, to survive in this world, hope you can remember your childhoods, your roots and remind yourself that you do not need to survive by cheating and hurting other people.

Let’s not forget the child in us. Let the child be our guide now.

When we become parents and growing our children...

My mentor mentioned this:
If you are a human being, you would not want your children to go through worse or have less than what you have gone through. Thus, it is your responsibility to provide better for your children than what your parents have provided for you.

When my mentor was young, he aspired to become a police officer or a mechanical engineer, both of which were disapproved relentlessly by his father. Eventually, he became a salesman and would then continue to hold senior managerial roles in corporate environment. His life would be pretty much different if his father allowed him to be who he wanted to become then. Maybe it would be much better or much worse, or maybe there is no different. Maybe he would end up to be a corrupted police officer or maybe he would become a well-respected police officer who save many lives. Maybe he would be an outstanding mechanical engineer who design a new generation of affordable cars that do not use fuels (due to the recent fuel hikes, this is very very much welcomed) or maybe he would be the director of Toyota today.

For me, my parents never disapproved of my ambitions , although at most time, they did not know what were my ambitions. I was not even clear about my ambitions back then. There was one time when I was in primary school, I wrote "Typist" as one of my ambition because I like typing. Luckily, I did not just become a mere typist, but I did earn my living through "typing" programming codes, reports, and book (yeah, when my book can really sell next time or when I really can finish it in the first place).

I realized these.

We largely determine who our children are going to be. In fact, we play a major role in shaping their characters and values of life. We can literally change their lives forever.

So, let's strive to be great parents to our kids. What our parents have done for us, we can only do better.

A handsome man and a cute girl.
Photo of me and my dad when I was 2+ years old.


autumnmusic said...

so cute neh~~~ ^.^

wen i tink of my dad, i'll somehow feel sore in the heart and tears would well up in my eyes. nothing serious actually, but there's this love and hate feeling towards him tat i'll never be able to fully comprehend myself.

yes, i thoroughly agree, parents play a BIG role in shaping the character of a person. or guardians, for those who grew up without parents. you want to have good influence on your kid, you yourself must set good example, no exemption. i can see quite a number of unhealthy traits in me that i 'inherited' from my parents, as well as the good ones, of course.

anyhow, i'm still very much a kid inside, even though im approaching 28... -_-'''

Susan said...

You are right, autumnmusic. I am a bit reluctant to admit it also but I also have this love and hate feeling towards my parents.

Sometimes, when they do things, they feel I should always follow what they say. Instead of giving me respect as a grown-up, they treat me like a kid.

I just hope they can just say sometimes - "I trust you can handle it as you have handled all your life so well and always are independent. So you decide what you want to do.". And give me the pat on my back and show the faith in me that I really deserve. After all, I grew up with understanding on their difficulties in providing for the family and never really use their money inappropriately.

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