Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kids Today

Thank God the URL to my blog is still valid. And I can still remember the password to my blogger page. Since my last entry, only today I come check my blog, read comments trailed by readers.

Thank you guys! And thanks to the ones who have left no traces too.

I am prone to write long stories because telling stories are always the acme of my purpose. But this time around, I try to be short and sweet.

I have been dealing a lot with the educationists lately and quite naturally this entry has got something to do with children and education then. Well, it tickles my mind over the youngsters of today. The way the education has made them. As far as what learning and knowledge is all about, it comes in abundance. They can be easily tapped through various resources the technology can offer. They are well-informed and smarter in many ways.

But, I personally see something lacking in our future leaders when it comes to moral and ethics. We were just a havoc like them too when we were young but I remember there were still boundaries we observed.

I am from the old school where teachers were dedicated to make us humans and we kids looked up on them. Whilst today, teachers are perhaps treated by our youngsters just like facilitators if not dissidents.

It’s not fair to say teachers today are of a lesser quality as they are now better educated and equipped as compared to the teachers those days. And it’s not substantiated well statistically either when we can see many achievements in moral values in the country are realized by the brains of later and new generations through a well-structured approaches. Neither technology can be blamed for creating a new landscape of mentality since technology is only a tool to help achieve the educational objectives.

So then, what is?

Albert Einstein said,

“Not everything that counts, can be counted and not everything that can be counted, counts”


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Juggling Between Our Needs and Wants

On Monday, Apr 16, I will be attending a conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It will last for 4 days until Thursday. On Friday, again I won’t be able to have my free time in office. By the look of it, for the whole week next week I will be away from internet and my intention to catch up with blogging community will be at bay.

While thinking about the schedule that gets tighter week after week, for a moment it came flashing in my mind with questions like, what exactly am I running after in this life? Am I not having enough with what I have right now? Am I in the right course in selecting priorities for my day-to-day life? What about for the life as a whole? Am I that grateful with all that God has destined for me? Do I pay back enough for what God has given me in a form of my ibadat?

At once the thought of Marslow Theory I used to learn some decades ago also came playing in my mind. I am particularly interested in the bottom most needs for humans – physiological needs – as simple as needs to eat to continue living.

Marslow Theory or not, the words from my religious guru rings in my head until I almost see in the manner it was spoken. Of course it was in Malay language and it literally means, “We are sent by God to live life on earth nothing other than to submit to Him in total. But God has encased us in a physical body. Physical body needs food to survive. Hence, the food that gives the livelihood to the physical body is just merely to enable us to submit to Him”.

On the same note, imagine if we were to be created without the need of foods. We can remain idle just like a box in a store room for decades and yet still alive. Don’t talk about using toilets since you have nothing to purge. We can just enjoy looking at the sky witnessing the changes of the day and night for months if we wish. We can just remain sleeping for years. Why should we bother to trouble ourselves with all those earthly things when we could even survive without moving a finger? One thing certain, there will never be any progress takes place for mankind.

The irony is, being humans; nothing will ever satisfy us because we are created to be such. While drowning in a swimming pool, it is absurd if you are thinking of having a big bungalow and a luxury car, instead of screaming out for help for you to be able to breath. Once breathing is taken for granted, our stomach is constantly demanding to be replenished. Starving person never wants to see a menu to order his food, anything will do. But once the food is regularly delivered until we don’t have to think much of it, don’t you think it’s time to consider where to put up a night? Where the place is provides better shade from the sunlight, better protection from the rain? Having all those, so then you’d say, “Hey, I am human too; I think I am in love…”

Well, well, well, I tell you what, it goes on and on until we don’t know where is the point for us to stop. As a matter of fact, on the other hand, stopping or not is out of question here. The only concern is whether we understand or not what grateful is all about – at any point of life while having what we have or wanting what we don't have. The answer will only be unveiled if we can really understand the deeper meaning of “grateful”, far beyond the meaning of the word can offer.

Let's pray to God for the verse below to inspire us upon something:

Al-A'raf (The Heights)

وَلَقَدْ مَكَّنَّاكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ

YEA, INDEED, [O men,] We have given you a [bountiful] place on earth, and appointed thereon means of livelihood for you: [yet] how seldom are you grateful!


Monday, April 09, 2007

Adrenaline Rush

It must be due to age. The more numbers you add to your age, the more careful you are in doing things. Getting wiser is a good explanation to it or rather can serve as the best excuse for the deterioration in your physiological capacity and physical ability – that unknowingly make you live in the state of denial.

If I was born into the Ringling Brothers family, the world’s renowned circus entity, chances are I would have been either a trapeze, flying like a Superman under a big tent or a tightrope walker, balancing on the high-wire, and less likely for me to head the Clown Department though. If I was born into a stunt family of the Leavitts, more likely I would be a stunt man for a movie in Hollywood, with me behind the wheel pressing the gas pedal down to the floor and more than delighted to flip the car, tossed into the air before it comes down crashing and burst into a ball of fire. And if I was born as a son of the late Alton Senna, the legendary F1 driver who had died in a crash, it requires no stretch of imagination to see me as Alton Senna Jr now.

But, on the other hand, I don’t know what I would be if I was in the family of the Snake King, Ali Khan Samsuddin who died of a cobra bite late last year – for I found it treacherous and bloodcurdling – spine-chilling to deal with a serpent. I might then be in contentment as a Carpenter-in-Chief, in command to make boxes for snakes, instead.

Granny knew it all too well when it comes to how bold, intrepid and daring I was when I was a little boy that always left her nerve-wrecked. I couldn’t comprehend why people were hysterical seeing me on the tree top for I was not scared of height. I would even be in airborne leaping from one branch to another like a monkey, at the dizzying height of 3, 4-storey building of a tree with nothing less than fun to me.

Alas, fun or not, that damn branch of the pokok bacang was not in my favor in that afternoon. It snapped when my hands were just inches away to grab hold on another branch that brought me down to the ground to some 20-something feet below. And thus, it was as good as all joints on the right hand side of my body except for the knee, were dislocated. The pain was so unbearable that put me drifted in and out of consciousness. The hardest hit was on the pelvic joint. I tell you, it’s not a good idea for you to dislocate this major ball-and-socket joint. It’s killing you. Don’t try this at home!

Did it stop me from coming back dissipating my energies on more perilous acts after the incident? Well, the word quit or repent was not in my dictionary. I was still full of zip as before, perhaps with better skills.

Telling a wounded but brave warrior to stop fighting a battle and turn effeminate is just like telling a succulent lady with passion for stitchworks to stop stitching after a needle pricks into her finger. They are not deterred.

Likewise for me, it lives on – the trait lingered. Perhaps the zest was only channeled into something else. In no doubt I would be foolish to still meddle around with trees when I got older.

“No hands…! No hands…!” as I tried to conjure up with hands off the handle of the bike. I fell off the crude wooden bridge without guard rail spanning across the swampy waterway. Not too bad to be drenched in the swamp below as the mud had cushioned up my fall but the bike fell off later right onto my head is a different story. Mind you, it was not BMX or Chopper, you know. It was Raleigh. Raleigh was like Harley Davidson for motorbikes, damn bloody big and heavy, strong enough to carry a pregnant cow. Anyway, this incident with some cuts and bruises can still be downplayed and not fit to be blown up in my resume since I have a few major motor vehicle accidents in my late teen and early 20’s.

You can imagine when I started to mess around with motor vehicles – motorbikes and cars after a measure off from bicycles. I had one ugly incident with motorbike as well. But I think this one deserves an entry of its own since I do have a long story to tell about the “tragedy”. In short, since the risk-taking attribute was still streaming in the bloodline, I did many “ridiculous” things in the name of fun – enjoying a kick from the rush of adrenaline.

This is the hardest. It was a head-on collision between my Ford Mustang and a Chevy. It brought me to the Intensive Care Unit which I was practically in the threshold of death. I had to go through surgery due to the massive internal injuries; fortunately my head remained intact. It could be fatal if the medical team did not act fast. Lucky I still live to blog this up. Lucky I did not make news in the media back then in the home country. Perhaps it would if my dead body were then flown back to Malaysia. The centipede-like of an 8-inch permanent scar on my belly serves as a very good reminder and it will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Well, due to age that along the way has taught me lessons together with the tapestry that decorated on my leaves of experiences, I am becoming more careful by the day in doing things with only well-calculated risk taking involved.

Whether of you are a risk taker or not, I think all of us can see within ourselves the changes that have taken places from one phase of our lives to another. We are somewhat more cautious today than 10 years ago in any actions we are taking; be it in conversations, in dealing with people, in making decisions regardless of personal, professional or family matters, perhaps in every area of life. It is essentially reflects the wisdom we are acquiring as we waved goodbye to the years passed.

As for me personally, risky moves, shoddy if you like, were long gone but not until I paid those with heavy prices. The basic trait of a risk-taker is somehow still in me but the question is how is it being channeled to suit the phase of life I am in. Doing what I am doing now, like it or not, risk taking requires a big chunk of it. To certain extent, it becomes pre-requisite to see through things effectively.

The rule of the thumb says, the higher the risk taken, the bigger the reward will be. And at the same time, the higher you go up, the higher the stakes will be and if you were to fall, the harder the impact will be.

In whatever things I am doing now, I pray to God that I don’t have to absorb the impact like the way I absorbed when I fell off from the tree in my childhood days. Or the kind of blow I received upon hitting on the oncoming car.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Why Blog?

The picture above is a map of the blogosphere from Matthew Hurst's fascinating Data Mining blog. Here's Matthew's description of the above image:

The dark edges show the reciprocal links (where A has cited B and B has cited A), the lighter edges indicate a-reciprocal links. The larger, denser area of the graph is that part of the blogosphere generally characterised by socio-political discussion (the periphery contains some topical groupings). Above and to the left is that area of the blogosphere concerned with technical discussion and gadgetry.

Funny thing about blogging is there’s a sense of guilt in you when you are not being able to update your blog. You’d feel like disappointing your regular visitors. Similarly, you don’t feel good either for not replying to the comments left by readers. And even to the point that you’d feel it’s not fair for not making reciprocal visits to their blogs. Is it me or I really am sharing the same feeling like other bloggers here? Or is it in any way it suggests me as a concerned blogger that care about the community? hehehe

Lately I really don’t have time to do those. I even had on mind to write something stupid for the “April fool” but I had my hands full. Since I had to miss the date, I have to forget about the idea then.

I involved in networking very heavily in the past weeks. I had to be in the circle of technopreneurs with one meeting after another, from one casual drink to the next. My sense of time has gone haywire when my lunch was at 3:21 pm while I’ve just had my breakfast at 12:58 pm and a couple of dinners past the working hours or may be feeling very hungry once reaching home. Since throughout the day I was on sugar-high, countless of teh tarik and Nescafe were left cold on the tables; perhaps it adds volume to it with the saliva splattered while talking. It then entails “Ais kosong satu!” as a common echo heard in the next meet-ups.

The spectrum of places were like from the nice and soothing voices of the waitresses taking orders at 5-Star hotels to the shouts of a mamak for orders that left ringing in the ears. The deliveries were like from well-controlled deep “intellectual” voice to match up the ambience and the surroundings until almost yelling as to counter the revs from the motorbikes nearby.

Of all the meetings and casual talks we had in the past weeks, there we had to draw off our precious Sunday afternoon for a small meeting with our associate – an associate by the name of Dzof – acting as a consultant for the technical side of our operations. This gentleman can be considered as the lifeline of our organization. Much of the spin-offs in our directions which later we call it as brainchild are originated from him.

Being him as an Oxford-trained mathematician, I can tell that he is very resourceful. And not too much if I label him as a genius. Anyway, during our break at the mamak shop last two Sundays, there was one topic derailed from the main topic we were discussing – about the corruptions in our country. Perhaps the topic took longer than our actual meeting did. Since he is also a columnist on a fortnightly basis with the Star newspaper, it as well inspired him to write about the topic. See here. I am not too sure whether the big story of it had to go through censor board, deemed not fit for print or he chose not to write it in the first place.

And back to not having time to actively blog, I think next time around it’s a good idea if I just link to some write-ups by my personal friends over the net or may be copy & paste on some interesting topics.

But… on second thought… Naahhh…! I may not be prolific but I have a hunch that people would prefer to read something original. If not, why blog?

Well, maybe to write once a week is no big deal to me but to go knock on the doors of other bloggers with bouquets of flowers in hand, it’s kind of hard to do now.



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