Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Neutral, yet Subjective Post
Oh, when differences merge together and separate what they consist of. As an attempt to be a middleman, as I have always been, how about I delve into the problems between an argument between two of my closer friends. I would have been nonplussed had not they having taken it a little bit too far. Perhaps we shall start with some history.
Last year, approximately the same time of the year. First day of actual lessons after the second orientation, four of us stuck together. Daniel, Collin, Tay Yi and I. Collin was there because he was in the same orientation group with Daniel and I, who seemed to share an interest for music. Tay Yi joined in later after Daniel met him in class before I did.
Oh so how differences separated us. At that time, we would go to the hall during breaks to slack around and perhaps use the piano. However, Collin's differences soon separated him from us. He was a more outgoing type I guess, and lazy as he was, he probably felt more bored slacking with us. So we were left with us three during breaks, which we stuck around for quite a while. Though Daniel and I did play piano quite a bit, we seemed to have interests in music genres, but that wouldn't be an obstacle. Tay Yi, having halted his piano playing for several years, actually regained his interest after being inspired by us and is now much better than he was a year ago. Not to mention we actually bought DS-es after seeing Daniel's one.
Now we fast-forward to right after the June holidays. In my opinion, Daniel came back with a louder character. A few weeks into the new semester, somehow I had already sensed he was getting slightly more annoying. I did tell him though the key to success to life is based on three factors x+y+z. X was studies, Y was playing and Z was knowing when to keep your mouth shut. Now the thing that confirms my opinion with the class is that the whole class seemed to be feeling awkward towards him. He should have noticed it as I had mentioned to him more than once.
Meanwhile, Tay Yi came back with a lesser character in general. Less spirit and less energy, it seemed. It appeared to me he became more inactive. Even his lameness stalled for a while until he attempted to regain it in the last term of the year.
Their little argument probably started when they were in the same project work group. Knowing Tay Yi who would probably be too lazy doing much of the work (especially when there are the hardworking girls), and Daniel having some responsibility in the group, he would start lamenting about his inactiveness.
However, Daniel, for some reason, became easily flustered, which gave Tay Yi the window of opportunity to counter what he didn't like Daniel asked him to do. Nobody obviously liked being publicly poked so hard for being lazy, so he started returning the favour by picking on Daniel for his apparent weaknesses. At first, it didn't have much effect. But somehow it is different this year.
How did it all become like that? Daniel, for some reason, isn't getting numb from these little insults. In fact, he is storing them, waiting to unleash them back at him if need be. What is this, revenge? Will revenge do you good? In fact, it will make you more ridiculous, since the class is obviously not on the side that is going to get bullied.
Unless of course, you don't know how to deal with being bullied. I am quite sure, in some time in your primary or secondary school life, you have been bullied, unless you are the one doing the bullying. You would think we had not been bullied? As a uber-introvert during my primary school days, I dared not say anything! And I would hold my pee for as long as possible because I was afraid to ask a teacher to go to the toilet! So what, talk back at those who call me a lamb chop? It gets old, and by far, being called fat is one of the, if not THE, oldest type of insults one can receive.
Tay Yi is just one person. He makes insults, yes. What makes the difference is the receiver. You choose to ignore it, it means nothing to you. The bully turns others against you? Then slowly regain their respect by progressing further than them. This advice I can give is up to you to heed, as now much of the class is beginning to turn against you. Even I have been affected. But now, to tell your faults, is for you to know the vicious cycle that you have been locking yourself in, and the only one to suffer is yourself. Slowly and humbly release yourself, and not enraging outbursts against others, as that will make you a target who know your vulnerability. You can say you have your family and other friends. Unfortunately, you are forced to face the class five times every week. Rather than adamantly endure their taunts, choose to approach them. Slowly again, I can't seem to emphasize more on this. Do not think you already know what others are telling you. Listen then ask. The number of times you make yourself look stupid because you ask a question that is yet just about to be explained are numerous. You have to know what others feel about what you do.
Right now, you make a fool out of yourself too much. A quote, lest say. "I will use anything and everything in my arsenal", is what you used to describe your 'speech contests'. Can I say I witnessed one of them last week? Yeah you might have been attempting to bring out the big guns, I could see that, and you didn't stop, but as you said, you would keep going even if you don't win. So if you win yeah you have beaten them with your force. Unfortunately, this little 'gamble' here puts you in a worse situation than before due to the third party, namely, the class. You are spouting your arguments, while the other side just has to lie there and say a few words calmly to turn everything back at you. And in your bid to counter again, you make a fool of yourself. Even if you win this battle, you lose to all who have seen it as you have given them a bad impression.
Is this 'gamble' worth taking just for the sake for one person? One person that you know WILL come back to gamble with you because he usually wins. Instead of making yourself win, you are trying to make him lose. The difference is that there is the possibility that both of you lose. Know how to conceal your feelings and give a better impression to others. You may say that this concealing of your feelings is too much for you to handle, then I say I am sorry, you've seen nothing yet.
That is why, from the way you speak to the way you post, it seems that you are still oblivious to the general world. You may have apologized about your piano comment which shot your elitist-bar to over 9000, but instead of leaving it alone, you still back it up with a weaker version of it in your reply post. Actually, let me put this into a scenario. If you were told you were comparable to professionals by your piano teacher, consider the validity of the statement. If it is true, yes, let your skills do the talking. By even having the idea of posting this comment on a blog defines what you think is right about that statement. Perhaps if your piano teacher is a well-known professional himself/herself. But don't you think, at this stage where you have not reached grade 8 yet, you are comparable to professionals? How about those who are already at grade 8 level by secondary school? If you were truly comparable to professionals, you would already have the talent, unless you were at home committing yourself to the piano for at least three hours per day. And if you knew that, you won't be stressing yourself over mathematics in Pioneer Junior College. How about thinking about it. Don't take all the words from others you respect literally and following them like they were your orders.
Which brings me to the last point for you, Daniel. This point which I do have to agree to whoever is thinking about you because of what you do and how you act. Your ignorance and low standard of life, which I have been ungladly enlightened by my father. Once, my father asked me: "How satisfied would you be with 75 marks for mathematics?" Of course I said I would be delighted because I'm not even close to half now. He then turned into a fit of rage saying everybody should aim for 100 and such...of course his standards might be too high, and I know my standards are too low. Daniel now, you have set a standard that is low. I don't know if you know it or not, but getting praised by a piano teacher is no big deal. Completing your tutorials means you have just met the mark. Your diet on computer games would, in my life, translate into my father locking me up in my study. You might have thought you have cut down a lot. You might have thought you have tried. But to those who have slightly higher standards, that difference is nothing. I do regret my standard is even lower, but I do acknowledge about it. Now ask yourself if you are going to help yourself. Don't balloon what you have achieved because in other's eyes, the change is minimal. That is the reason why you are ridiculed. There is a reason why you have the most 'enemies' in the class.
Think if you're wrong. In the end, you're fighting with yourself.
Saying Tay Yi has no sense of reality doesn't mean you do have it.
Moving on to the other side, Tay Yi's side will be considerably shorter not because I have a hard time typing letter 'y's all the time but because his part in this is less acute therefore resulting in not having the whole class going against him. But of course, there is no definite right or wrong in an argument.
After returning the favour to Daniel last year, I didn't see the need to continue the insults except for some lame humour. Yeah the class could do with some lame humour alright. You do have some of the class behind you, but otherwise you're quite self-dependant. However, your little insults turned into full-fledged blogposts too, as you two attempt to look as if your posts referred to somebody else you're insulting. Why was there the need to indulge in this war between him? Additionally, you are just going keep this going on and on when you exaggerate on some of his qualities. Seriously I think nobody would have noticed if he was whiter hadn't you not mentioned it as an insult. Even so, you had made the class believe he was.
Pointing out individual traits yields less amusement too. It was unnecessary to put all those little things about him like what he eats. Your complaints of hunger could be solved had you not taken laziness to the extreme by not eating anything after you wake up. Not like these points should be a basis of your arguments.
To an important point: perhaps finding yourself in that elitist state. Many of your ideas, based on what you know, is made in the basis of many of your arguments, but that is what you think. In having a more privileged background, it should not be in your hands to know what Daniel is actually experiencing. For others life may not pass as simply as you can choose to skip school. By determining what lessons are good for yourself and being subjective on the subjects themselves. Think you already have a future there for the taking? It may not be as simple as it may seem, but I am venturing into uncharted territory there. It seems, at this kind of time, life is going by too simply for you. At least my father is still giving me reality checks =.=
There lies the differences between the two. You have, what you know in your hands, but you are taking it for granted. I am in no liberty, of course, to determine your future, but you must also know what others are experiencing. Is this satisfaction really worth it on a person? Why taunt that person when you can help him overcome his difficulties? At the time when we were still friends, instead of closing up and then returning the 'insults' back at him, why did you not co-operate? It was because you did not value project work as a subject worthy of your time. You had no commitment to whatever you were asked to do. Daniel, bearing the responsibility had to command you to do your work. Instead of just doing something had you needed to actually start this little argument between yourselves that severe the ties so badly? You are also to blame for being ignorant to what is actually important to others. Some people may actually need those few points project work could give. Could you not just contribute to the minimum?
And in the end we see two people thinking they are the better one degrading the other. Tay Yi makes less news because he is more low-profiled. Both of you refuse to give up, which is actually a good point by itself. But know when enough is enough. Enough poking at other people, enough trying to counter others, enough time for me spent actually for you to realise what you are actually doing. Apologies if I have offended you, but it is only inaccuracies I am concerned about.
I see as Daniel types in a way of mockery. Tay Yi types in a way of sarcasm. Both that generate emotions to those that read them. Namely, the other party.
Now if I would direct myself to a quote in the World of EViL:
"People who do not understand the virtue of patience, humility, creativity, unselfishness, optimism, flexibility and the ability to tolerate anger."
Do you think you have fallen into one of those categories? If not, then you are definitely elitist or have an extremely low standard of yourself.
Because you may hide the truth from yourself, but never from those that can see you. That is just a portion of the power of DiViNE EViL.
Remember to know when to keep your mouth shut.