Archive for July, 2016

Sorry seems to be the easiest word

July.13. 2016

The Chilcot report came out last week, and it was interesting to see Tony Blair’s response.

In a statement, he takes full responsibility and ‘apologizes sincerely’ for taking the nation to war.

It reminds me of an incident a few years back in another country.

It was a case involving a few men who attacked another man. They bludgeoned him with every weapon they could find and beat his body into a pulp.

There was a huge outcry and the men were caught.

In front of the judge, the men were very contrite. One of them said to the judge, “Sorry Sir, we won’t do it again.”

Yes, sure.

That’s what Mr. Blair forgot to add, he won’t do it again.

Judging a book by its cover

July.8. 2016

People often say, don’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ve found that the reverse is true.

The best way to judge a book is by its cover.

There’s a reason it’s called a ‘cover’—it’s there to cover up something.

For example, I’ve found that people who pray a lot are the most dangerous.

Why do they need to pray so much?

Is it to cover up some unholy intentions inside?

People who are overly generous with their time and money—why are they so interested in helping other people?

Well, there’s a reason, which I call the Sandusky principle.

(This particular principle applies to older people who like to help young people, but you can change it to the Bill Cosby principle, in which case the target of the interest would involve a different segment of the population.)

Why the strong desire to help young people? Why not older folks who need the help more?

I find people who like to have titles appended to their names interesting too. (This seems to be a popular practice in some parts of the world.)

It used to be only politicians who sought these honors but now every Chong, Dick, and Ali with enough cash on hand are getting into the act.

Why the need for all these titles?

Is it to cover a lack of self-worth?

This is the ‘manufactured wood principle.’ If all you have is sawdust (and other crap) inside, better cover it up with some nice looking veneer outside.

Back to books.

These days, I never buy any book with a slick and overproduced cover.

That’s one sure indication that the contents are going to be pretty vapid.

If the book is really good, why would they need that fancy cover to try to sell it?

Got come got go

July.7. 2016

Every human relationship is a transaction. An old Chinese saying sums it up perfectly, “Got come, got go.”

This means if something comes in, something has to go out too.

If you give me something, I must return in kind.

This may sound like a calculative and cynical approach to life. Is this the only reason for relationships, so that we can take advantage of one another?

But let me give a few hypothetical situations.

Suppose you have a good friend (or so you think), and every birthday (his) you send him a gift but when it comes time for your birthday, he conveniently forgets it.

How long do you think will you keep on sending him those gifts?

Or you have another friend, (again so you think) and one day, you need his help with a certain problem but at that critical moment (for you) he is nowhere to be found.

Will you still call him a friend after that?

In my business, people are extremely touchy about supporting each other.

The operative phrase is “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

So if they give a concert, be sure to show your face because if you don’t, don’t expect them to show up at yours either.

(In the event that you still expect them to come to your concert even if you don’t show up at theirs, you’re either an egomaniac or a fool. What makes you so special that people should come and support you if you don’t support them?)

Blogging thrives on this ‘got come got go’ mentality.

If someone comes to your blog and post comments, be sure to return the favor, otherwise don’t expect them to be back.

I had a few people who used to come to this blog and post comments. At first I made valiant efforts to visit their blogs and return the favors too. But there is only so much of their cute kids that I could take and need to know so I stopped going after a short while and sure enough they stopped coming to my blogs too.

Which is perfectly fine with me.

This leads to a corollary to the law.

To be sustainable, the ‘come’ has to match the ‘go.’

If the ‘go’ comes at great cost to you, the ‘come’ may not be worth the effort.

In other words, if the required investment in time and effort is too great, then sometimes, it’s better to dispense with the return altogether.

So why is this good to know?

It puts you in the driver’s seat. You get to decide how much ‘come’ you want in your life.

First, despite what you may think, you’re not that special. Ultimately, the only person people care about is themselves, otherwise known as ‘Number 1.”

If you want people to care about you, start caring for them first.

And weigh the effort versus the return.

If it costs too much to perform the ‘go’, then forget about it. But don’t feel bad if you don’t receive the ‘come’ one day.

The heart of lightness

July.1. 2016

Summer is a good time to be stuck in the heart of Borneo with not much else to do.

The dry season doesn’t help, too hot to venture outside, best to stay indoors and practice, and ponder life’s great mysteries and wait for moments of enlightenments.

And enlightenments there have been aplenty.

Not of the spiritual kind but more the mechanical kind.

As in aligning certain fingers to produce moments of magic, effortlessly rippling in perfect harmony.

A wise man once said, “Knock and the door shall open.” This same wise man also told of the patient old man who waited for his prodigal son to return and was rewarded in the end.

Well, in the heart of Borneo, the door did open wide, not once but three times and the prodigal son returned too, after thirty years in the wilderness.

A summer of endless discoveries.

As I find myself penetrating deeper and deeper into the heart of lightness.