Sunday, August 24, 2014

Take Time To Smell The Roses...

Growing up in an idyllic surrounding, with time in hand for so many mundane things... climbing trees, cycling through the rubber estates and stopping to collect the rubber seeds sometimes, going to the beach, sometimes on many consecutive weekends, hiking, playing games.. we seemed to have our hands filled with activities...

Most of the time, we were game enough to try any thing. We built, took things apart, made our own toys, played seasonal games... kite flying, marbles, gasing... We still had time to smell the roses...

Many kids I see do very little of those activities.... Maybe there are other pressing needs now, tuition, music and art lessons. Busy lives we lead now. The young seems to be as busy as the adults. Busy topping up knowledge..... certs. We are all on the superhighways now, zooming at prescribed speeds trying to get to our destinations ASAP. Gone are the winding roads hugging the hillside and snaking through the countryside. The terrain used to dictate how the roads traverse the country. These days, the roads bulldozed through everything.....even mountains.

Many of us seems to be in a constant rush.... I think many of us don't have time for small talk. Or time to ask each other about the mundane.. When we have no time for that, I think we don't take much interest in each other's lives too. There are more who want to talk and less who are willing to listen... We seem to thrive on the sensational or events that will elicit oohs and aahs. I don't know whether it's just social reengineering or we are more prone to the continuous effort of creating an image.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... They have changed the way we create image too apart from the interacting part. The Ice Bucket Challenge for example. It succeeded in collecting close to USD16 million compared to just USD 2 million the previous year. ALS is a debilitating disease. But once this hype dies, ALS will be forgotten again. If it was donation sought, even a million for many of the celebrities is just small change.

Then the honours accorded to those who died in the MH17 tragedy... even the King was there! There are many who die senseless deaths in the country every day. And there were many too who gave their lives for the country who did not get the same honour. It's rather peculiar the way we operate.. we seem to have this need to show that we care or grief in a way that lets the whole world know that we are feeling that. Or maybe it's just to satisfy this need which is innate in every one of us.. the need to show. Maybe it's just we have no time..... and we need such outlets.

A 'one-off' grieving moment... or a moment to show we care. I don't know. Over the years I have learned that it takes time to build a character. It needs time to show we care. It requires effort to know. And we don't have that sort of time. No time to even smell the roses. Maybe the social structure has changed. Maybe this is the reengineering of the way we should operate as a society of the new millennium.

But perhaps in all these.. it might do us well to take time and smell the roses again. Sit down face to face, over a cuppa and sembang-sembang...


1 comment:

Thomas C B Chua said...

Cannot agree more with you.