Here is the beginning of my post.
Quiet Thoughts From A Restless Soul
I used to think that one’s career and activities would make the person. That was many years ago of course.
I joined the Christian church at age eight and thought that I would immediately become a better person by default. That didn’t happen of course and I remained detestable and utterly repulsive until I was truly convicted of my transgressions ten years later on a lonely, quiet night in the solitude of that place called home. In the meantime, I was searching for something to form my desired identity in the walk of life.
I joined the boy scouts in secondary school and stood in attention as I recited the scouts’ honor every Saturday morning, foolishly believing that a weekly pledge would better my character and personality. I had the Ten Scouting Laws at the tip of my fingers, reminding myself to live out those ideals and lofty values in daily life. Little did I know that boy scouts are among the most sneaky and cunning characters around. The adventures and activities were enjoyable and educational. The camaraderie was refreshing and priceless. It came at a price though – my studies tumbled and I learnt many new and colorful terms that come in especially useful in times of conflicts and arguments. I attained King Scout-ship eventually but my character was far from the ideal boy scout that Lord Baden Powell wrote about. So much for Scout Laws and Pledges.
I entered medical school with more aims than just being a doctor five years later. I reckoned that the heavy demands and high expectations of the community upon a doctor might somehow force me to adopt a more honorable lifestyle and commendable worldview. I was mistaken and blatantly naïve for the umpteenth time of course. My first two months in medical school were all about kowtowing to ‘super seniors’ with an overinflated self-ego and a deplorable character to match. The medical fraternity it seems are stocked with variable personalities – drunkards, sex addicts, arrogant morons and self-centered prodigies. Not uncommonly, these traits co-exist within the same person simultaneously.
I wonder where I am getting with this article. I suppose my point is this – one’s career and position in life does not make one’s character.
One can be a doctor and a bull-shitting jerk at the same time. At least one consultant surgeon I know personifies this. One can be a evangelistic priest and a compulsive paedophile and do so while maintaining a clear conscience. One can be a committed father and a regular patron of paid sex with no apologies in between. One can be a religious teacher in waist-length tudung and still appear at a shady clinic seeking an abortion for a child conceived in an illicit affair with a fellow religious figure with goatie and skull cap. And of course, one can be a corrupted deputy prime minister and a masked murderer with no regrets or remorse.
More important than formal education and choosing the right companions are one’s experiences and events from the cradle to the grave.
I am what I am today because of what I have been through, which isn’t much compared to the Karen refugees of Burma and the Sudanese children under siege from the Arab janjaweeds.
I doubt I will be emphatic to the devastated mother of a special child if I did not grow up with Brother with Down Syndrome.
I doubt I can understand the daily struggles of a lady paralysed from the neck down had I not watched my own mother battling a crippling disease for ten years.
I doubt I can accept the stress and frustration of the family caring for a stroke patient if Grandfather is still around and up and walking.
It seems callous and cold and heartless, but I am grateful to God for the bitter experiences and hurtful events in my life.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Here is the beginning of my post.