I was working the entire afternoon at the Great World City on this Father’s day. It was the launch of DBS’s EduSmart insurance scheme. I was dressed as the Judge while Dylan was dressed as the astronaut. The place was full of parents with children. It was expected. After all the edusmart insurance scheme was mainly targeted at young parents with children of pre-school age.
I was chatting with some of the kids and was asking about their dreams. What did they really wanted to become when they grew up. Apparently their dreams were mainly restricted to what professions they would like to enter into during their adult life. Lawyers, teachers, detectives, judges, car racers, astronauts! (at least 2 of these were high enough on the outrageous , and must be applauded on and strongly encouraged!)
Seeing these kids with their future with endless possibilities open before them, I had at the back of my mind some thoughts. How many of them will actually achieve their dreams and live the life they want? How many of them will eventually choose to give up their dreams as they go along in their lives and go for second best?
As one ventures further along one’s path in life seeking one’s dream, circumstances will happen. Some doors of opportunity will open and others will close. It almost feels like a game of deal or no deal. In this hypothetical game as each door closes, the possibilities available becomes more and more limited. One is mentally breaks somewhere along the way and decides to come to a compromise and go for second best.
In the real world however, the rules of this hypothetical game does not necessarily apply. Till the time of one’s death, the possibilities available will be limitless! There are multiple doors leading to the same intended path. One need not feel despair if one such door closes. All that is necessary is to seek the next door that leads to the same path.
One thing I fear most for these kids that I had the chance to come in contact with today is that some day their parents or the social system in which we live in today might fail them and that they be mislead to believe that the hypothetical rules of deal or no deal actually applies to real life too. Johnson my cousin has one extremely nice phrase to describe this sickness that I have just described “THE SINS OF FATHERS”.
The sins of fathers is when the previous generation in an attempt to protect the younger generation from harm attempts to inculcate values that are already outdated and in some circumstances extremely harmful. These values are based on the norms perceived to work for the prior generation which might actually be very true back in the old days, however no longer applicable due to the rapid changes happening in this century of ours.
I had during today’s publicity event came across a few kids in their early stage of adolescent who gave me this very worrying response to my question “I don’t know!” Obviously something must have killed their dreams somewhere along the way between their times of early childhood and now. With no more dreams these young individuals are now cast away without any true sense of direction for their own lives.
I really wanted to grab and shake them hard then screaming right into their face these words “recall what your dreams are! Don’t let them die in some metaphysical graveyard! Fight for it! Bring it to reality! So what if society says it is not possible! So what if your parents tell you it is not practical. There is never any need to compromise! Put everything that is in your path out of the way and your dreams will definitely come true one day. Even if not, to die trying will really make this life of yours one that was really worth living!” But of course, I didn’t. Their choice of path is theirs to make.
In a sense one has to be extremely selfish and machiavellic a person to follow a path totally according to one’s desire which somewhat explains for the anger, frustration and utter helplessness sometimes felt by my parents and my love ones (or rather ex-love ones before they finally shed one tear too much). Somehow, I could not help myself , attempts to have me shackled with those invisible chains called relationships will always invoke in me either of the following three. Physical aggression, physiological aggression or simply out right rebellion. My will is my own. I was somewhat amazed that Win managed to decipher this from just reading my palm one night when we were out clubbing in Clark Quay. “My way or the high way” he concluded. Which is very true to my beliefs of life. After all, I have but an estimated 42 years of time left, I have no time to waste on making compromises.