I am kind of a restless individual. I am the type who tries out and enjoys doing many things – travelling, blogging, writing, reading, hanging out with friends, running a website, painting, swimming, hiking, and cooking – on top of my full-time work as a lecturer. I just have to keep myself occupied, if not indulge myself in deep thoughts most of the times.
I am now at a point where my value system is slowly shaping up. With this unfamiliar process that I am actually quite apprehensive of, I have started picking up certain values consistent with my schemata and also foregoing some I no longer subscribe to.
For instance, I have begun seeking comfort and peace of mind in my religion – something I could not relate to before and would regard as superstitious. I now find myself frequenting temples, performing prayers whenever I can, as well as reading up books pertaining to religion and spirituality.
As time goes by, I have only grown wiser and more thoughtful through the practice of religious values. Sometimes seeing it bring nothing but positive changes to my life just puts a comforting smile on my face.
Nevertheless, there are also moments when I would feel especially powerless and small as an individual. I had never in my life regarded myself as a lonely person, but as I reflect upon myself again at this stage, yes – some kind of loneliness really does creep into me at times.
Yet, the “loneliness” is not in the conventional sense of desiring companionship, but in the more spiritual sense of needing some beautiful souls who share similar values: ones whose value system is centred more on spiritualism and less on materialism, ones who would spread positive energy together with you, and ones who are willing to strive for betterment with you
Yet these are probably the rarest individuals to exist on Earth.
It can be such a challenge learning to strike a balance between tolerating the material values demonstrated by most members of the society today, and upholding the spiritual values I personally believe in.
Conversations that revolve around the mundane topics of good looks and getting rich and living the so-called “modern” lifestyle would have me worked up at times – they would pop up so naturally and habitually in social conversations, much like water that humans cannot live without.
Sometimes I cannot help but to feel perturbed by the overload of such topics at times, because in my pursuit of happiness, materialism has never claimed any special place in my heart; I feel there is so much more to life than putting one’s focus on the material things in the world.
Well, maybe it is only natural that people tend toward material values nowadays. After all it is a highly materialistic world we are living in: good looks will likely get one the job, promotion, and raise according to a sociology professor, and women are found to be more attracted to men in expansive cars according to a survey. It sure feels good to be able to live in a luxurious house, or being able to drive around town and pick up girls in a Porsche – much like the scenes often portrayed in Hollywood films and music videos.
But then again, is it not sad to realise how we can be so easily manipulated – whether physically, mentally, or emotionally – by the material things that cannot even be carried with us when we die one day? Is it not worrying to know that material values are constantly being instilled into the minds of the society members – many of whom are probably too young to even understand what is going on?
Today there are parents who would over-pamper their children in the name of love. The infamous phenomenon where students would rely on memorisation rather than understanding just to score straight A’s – a much glamorous thing to achieve in the Asian societies, is incredibly common although nothing short of absurd.
Too, what is also rampant is the “I paid my tuition fee so you mind your own business” kind of attitude that college students are carrying with them. Could these phenomena be indications of the possible “dumbing down” of the society today due to the material values that people have increasingly adopted?
While some people do realise being part of such a system, most of them choose to be silencers instead; they refuse to stray away from their comfort zone. Albert Einstein certainly said it best, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Will they ever wake up and realise that the flaws in the current system are causing more harm than they imagine, and start doing something before the situation gets out of hand?
Well, people may call me unrealistic to have placed upon myself and the society such high expectations, but I know for a fact that I cannot just close one eye and throw a wait-and-see attitude. I may not be able to change the world overnight or solely on my own, but what I do believe in, is the power of small.
I shall try.