Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quiet Thoughts From A Restless Soul

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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Indeed as many a times, I do feel so much of being a hypocrite. On the one hand, I do know that it pleases God for me to live as He wills yet I harbour and succumb to temptations. As if it is not enough that my life has been saved by grace. Yet I can sense so strongly that He is watching me and leading me to His way more and more each day. Only that I can see myself so easily being swayed to take the easier path. Your thoughts assures me that surrendering to Him and to walk on His chosen path shall certainly be more eternally fulfilling. God Bless, my friend.

sojourner said...

I always thought that if we found God, we won't be restless anymore. but i guess that's just me being naive. Maybe it's time to take a step back and not rush through life just like that. life's too short for you to rush through.

Gan said...

deep thoughts ...