i think it is very tempting for me to be indifferent to my surroundings that i feel familiar and comfortable with. Due to this sense of familiarity, i assume that i have nothing important to learn anymore. it happens to me quite often.
talking to foreigners and travelers who do not grow up here in Singapore or around the region opens up my eyes to the many more opportunities to learn and explore, about our selves as individuals and the society we live in.
i am ashamed that many times, my heart and eyes are closed. Subconsciously, my experiences in the distant past ( as a child and teenager) seem to have given me fixed and predictable perceptions about the place i grow up in.it's only when i talk to these people, that i realize singapore and southeast asia could be as exciting and intriguing as we perceive it to be, and that existence here could be always seen in a different light,always shifting, depending on our feelings, the color of the sky, the music we play and the lovely souls that come into our path. in the past, i would never have any strong desire to travel to cambodia, vietnam, bangkok or indonesia.
the curiosity was never there. i took the regions surrounding me for granted.
but now, i want to go places around asia.i have a lot to learn, and i dont' want to miss anything that could alter my life, maybe not dramatically but in every little bit that accumulates to a lifetime metamorphosis.
when i was in the west for 6 years,i was constantly bugged by a sense of wanderlust because the whole place was novel, and therefore exciting to me.
this place that i used to grow up in, and my surroundings could possibly be also very fascinating and romantic if i would open up the eyes of my heart and imagination.
and of course, this is my dear sister seen in a different light:
Monday, October 16, 2006
it is amazing to have conversations that are psychologically and emotionally unrestrictive, with few boundaries to hinder deeper understanding.
it is always such a liberating, beautiful experience.
i admit that i am currently in a pretty conservative society, and certain topics and social behaviours are still forbidden or even frowned upon, even though there are no external rules being imposed on us. the rules are implicit ( or invisible) but once you break them, there are sometimes accusations and opposition. In a western society, there seems to be less social "punishment" against unconventional behavior.
Recently, i think i might have inadvertently broken one of the unseen rules. it has nothing to do with religious conduct or anything, but i supposed i had been so used to a free and liberal society, that maybe i have forgotten how to behave accordingly in the one i am in right now. this morning, i received an email of emotional accusation from somebody for something i feel that i am not at fault. yet from her perspective, i might have done something not so right.
just because something is wrong in this society does not mean it is wrong elsewhere.
and if a person accuses me solely based on his or her own unique perspective, it would be hard to enter into a fruitful discussion. I think there is a difference between cultural sensitivity and strict and uncompromising adherence to certain rules that sometimes restrict and inconvenience other people.
i desire to continue the path of freedom, and of a clear conscience. I want to be free from condemnation even we are made to feel guilty for not being able to conform to certain colorless rules in a society.