Wednesday, January 15, 2014


As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I was plummeted with a hail of backlash. 

I was talking to a person who was bitterly grumbling about how our world (i.e. society, economy, standards of living, education, etc) were all going down the drain and that people should consider themselves beyond lucky if they had even rice and soy sauce (and kangkong) to eat.

We shouldn't be asking for more, we should be grateful having just enough to 'get by', we shouldn't complain about our beloved government (ha!) and instead just keep our noses to the grindstone and shut up because really, we should be thankful for the very skin on our backs.

We shouldn't take chances, risks are too risky, we should treasure our pennies and not think of dollars (or ringgits) more. The road to success is riddled with too many potholes. No, no, one should not even dream of pursuing greater things because there are too many dangers lurking in wait! Better to lie quietly and let others test the waters. Better to reside in safety and let others take the fall.

I responded :

Would you encourage your child to aim for a mere pass on a test? Would you ask an employee to do their job just enough to not get fired? Should an athlete aim to just complete a race, or to charge across the finish line and sweep first place? Would you want to barely cling on to existence, or do you want to richly colour your days with passion, vibrance, and life?

It is NOT good enough, to be merely 'good enough'. To think as such would be to breed complacency, which leads to failure. Good is the enemy of the great. 

The wind momentarily taken out of her sails, she gave me a look of irritation that I was not nodding to her beat.

" You say you aspire to be great? My girl, I have eaten more salt than you have eaten rice and I tell you, you are young and foolish indeed to even utter such words. Pride comes before a fall, and what a fall yours will be! "

After which she said a whole load more of other dogmatic drivel which I can't really remember because they all went in one ear and out the other. At this point, I realized some people are happy just being an unhappy grouch and it's pretty much pointless to try to cheer them up.

It's sad, pitiable even, to know that there are people with such miserable mindsets. What more when they sullenly glower in their corner facing the wall and snap at anyone who dares tell them that there is so much to rejoice and live for.

You can continue scraping the bottom of the pot and tell yourself that you are beyond blessed to be able to eat burnt crusts but I am setting the bar high and fixing my sights on greater things. Which hands down beats resentfully receiving your circumstances and playing the victim.

" Good is the enemy of the great. "

Don't tell me that being great holds no appeal for you. It is what everyone desires, but not all have the balls to declare.


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