Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Year Gone By

Well, technically the year is not yet over. There's still a month more before 2013 closes. But for me, the year is as good as over. School break is on... and the first week is almost over. Before long, the new year will be knocking and everything starts all over again...

New sets of students await but the same sets of challenges. Changing times might require some tweaking but generally the challeges remain similar. Teenagers, those about to enter the threshold of secondary school life... I've come to realize that time generally stands still for them. Some might say that this gen has more sophistication, more of everything perhaps... but I have noticed that the challenges of growing up remain. Every generation will have different variants but they are challenges nevertheless.

Changes... they are inevitable. Yet those changes are actually the same too. It's just that cos we're experiencing them for the first time in our lives that they might feel different. But essentially, I guess every generation before probably feels the same way how many of us might feel. Living once.. well, that more or less ensures that they feel new. So sometimes I feel it's not a bad idea to heed the words of the wise ones before us. But that too poses it's own challenge.

Social order... sometimes I wonder if all of what we have is conditioned. Social conditioning for the greater good. Gender roles, societal structures... etc, etc... I have been thinking a lot lately about the roles that each of us is to play and how social conditioning has played its role in shaping roles.

I still do the things I do. I still believe in some of my ideals. I think life is better for them. But I'd like to think that I am a little wiser... maybe wiser should not be the word... a little more discerning perhaps?? But I am painfully aware that every step that I make into my future is a step of discovery... cos they will all be first steps. I don't have the privilege of foreknowledge. And I have realised that ideals are just that -- ideals. They are only as good as you make of them.

Age is something that none of us can escape. No amount of make-up will be able to hide the lines that will appear on our faces. The body will fail. It should. Steve Jobs said something about death being one of life's greatest inventions. I see his logic. The old must make way for the new. When the old digs in and tries to stay put, the final picture is usually not very pretty. We are corrupted creatures...

Finding meaning... I realise too that many are searching for meaning. Everyone wants to be heard but few want to listen. The art of listening is a dying art. It took this new work environment to make me see that clearer too. Maybe having too many choices has something to do with it too. Noises, inability to listen... these are the hallmarks of my (not so) new work environment. Kids today do not stay very focus. I tend to think that delivery has a lot to do with it too. The old refuses or finds it hard to change with changing demands.

And one final thing... There is nothing new under the sun. The Philosopher's word. Indeed true. It only feels new to us cos every step we make into time is a first step to us. Yet millions before us have trodden on the same path.... there are variables but the constants have remained the same I think. Hence, nothing new under the sun. How we choose to live... I think that's what makes the difference.

A student of mine recently said that if we want to serve people, be a politician. I gave him a quick retort and told him if he wanted to serve people, be like Mother Theresa!

I am in a reflective mood tonight...

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