When are We Adults?

I think that these days, there is too much emphasis on age. Can someone tell me when one reaches adulthood? I highly reccommend this short essay by a 14-year-old girl, called Ashley Webb: When Should One Be Considered An Adult?

If age is anything to go by, this girl’s essay shouldn’t make anyone care a hoot about. However, judging from that essay, and the essays I have seen of my peers, you can be sure that what you’re looking at is an essay worthy of someone older.

If anyone told Michael Dell that he was too young to be a CEO, or Bill Gates that he was too young to be the richest man on Earth, it’d be laughable. Then why do “adults” say that I’m too young for anything? There has to be a difference between maturity and age.

In Elizabethan (Shakespeare’s) times, they were getting married and having children at the age of 14! Take for example Juliet! Now, it would be illegal to do so, and be considered, culturally, disgusting.

I think that “adults” make such distinctions due to insecurity, and profit. If you go to a buffet, as long as you are over the age of 12, you are considered an adult. Try going to watch a R21 movie using that claim, and you’d be kicked out with a laugh. Security simply because they’d have less people to compete with. Secure adults don’t care about your age, as long as you’re willing and able to do the job, you can do it.

When someone says you’re too young for anything, tell them you pay adult fare for buffets (and airfares, and kiddie rides, and etc, etc.), and go ahead and do it! No one’s too young.

On the other hand, if someone says that you’re too old, tell them there is no such thing! Less than a century ago, the average age of death was less than 40! So if someone calls you too old, that person’s probably already dead anyway (as he doesn’t belong in this time).

There is no such thing as too old or too young, it’s all in the head. Today people live ridiculously longer and healthier; and “children” can mature younger, and better if given the chance.

Age-related thinking should be stone-age by now… unfortunately, it’s not.

Serve the World

I would like to share with you this quote, written by Marianne Williamson, in her book, Return to Love, though also popularly (but wrongly) referenced to Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech. Anyway, whoever said it, it’s still beautiful. Take some time to ponder the meaning of it. Better yet, do what I did: I printed it out and put it on my wall, to remind me everytime I felt hopeless.

Our biggest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our biggest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a Child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.

Homocide: Murder One

Something’s come over me today. When I was coming from work today, I felt like killing someone: that someone could have been anyone, could have been me, her, him, it, that guy over there, that girl over there, anyone. If Singapore had allowed guns, there might have been a homocide reported today, and if I had my way, a suicide would have been reported.

But I guess, the law saved the lives of some people today, and habit prevented me from dying. If habits were easy to break, I would have broken my habit of life. As I was thinking these death thoughts, I was thinking about my future. How would I react if I was raged and facing my wife? Would I murder her?

It scared me, so much so that I felt compelled to call up the Mental Institute of Health and self-admit. I wanted someone to die today — so much.

I have been through “rages” before. I would smash and destroy, and use brute force all over the place. But during those moments, my rage was targeted towards objects, not people. Today was different… it was towards people… even after I stepped off the train, I glared at the people inside, in a show of contempt of their lives, in contempt of mine, and in contempt of everyone existing today.

To those who dared, or were smart enough, to have ended their lives early, I salute them. Life shouldn’t be lived alive, it should be lived dead. And actually, that’s what most people are doing. A life lived alive, will make a person want to die, for a person truly alive will see, and be enlightened that life is suffering, and if smart would detach himself from suffering, and thus life.

And I used to be happy. This morning I was esctatic, right now, downright low. So damn the world. I don’t know if I can take extremes anymore. Life in the middle seems the way: if I’m never happy, I’ll never be sad.

World vs. Me

Is there such a thing as meaningful existence? or is it an oxymoron just waiting to be discovered through some thought? Is a happy life a meaningful one? or could happiness just be a figment of your imagination? or even worse, somebody else’s? Should you be happy or be sad?

I haven’t been in the best of moods for the past few months, perhaps past few years. Things have gotten worse recently; my youthful optimism has been eclipsed by pessimistic shadows; lingering, yet often teasing to go away — only to return seemingly darker than before.

If every cloud has a silver lining, then the cloud currently hovering above me must be larger than the sky itself for I see none.

I have been thinking about how self-pity, and doubt, and depression, and moodiness, and apathy can serve to bring me down, to destroy me, to bring me away from joy, happiness, freedom and enlightenment. But I have nonetheless chosen to have them.

These are but terms. Things that we categorise and put into a box, gift-wrapped in what we call words. I quote Shakespeare in Hamlet that there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

And who are we to say what is good, or bad? Is good really good? And likewise, is bad really bad? Perhaps we got it all wrong, negative emotions are really actually good, positive emotions are bad.

If we look at it this way, there would be no looking for happiness, no looking for joy, but more looking for suffering and pain, strife and distress. Brings to mind what I seem to be attracting of late.

And if you say, Donn, don’t be so pessimistic, look on the brighter side of life, or come on now Donn, don’t be such a jerk, don’t be so stand-offish, who are you to tell me that? Did I ask for your advice? Did I ask you to judge me? Well, if you are, I’m going to judge you. I want to say that you think you are a know-it-all.

You are also selfish, as you want me to change so that it would be easier for you — and if you say that you are doing this for my own good, how do you know that I do not prefer the sadness, the pain, the suffering?

If I told you I liked it, you’d think me mad, and want to change me even more, before I become worse and make life worse for you. I am selfish, I admit it, but you, dare you admit it? If you accept me for who I am, then you are gracious, if not, you are selfish.

And don’t give me the “for the common good” crap, a person IS NOT THE PEOPLE. Society CAN be a group of people with flawed thoughts. Just think of the holocaust or the absolutely ridiculous and deplorable Hello Kitty craze here in Singapore, where people actually beat up each other for toys; cheap toys.

In trying to make me see the bright side of life, you are trying to control me. You are deciding what’s right for me. You are telling me, Donn, life should be lived happy, not sad. Or perhaps com’on, liven up Donn. Life is short, it shouldn’t be spent sulking all day.

I shall then tell you, life’s too short to be happy all day.

Little Blue Kid

There once was a little blue Kid,
Whom most people had called Sid
He frowned all day
And cried all night
He found that life was a bitch

I always told Sid to be happy
But he never did listen to me
Now Sid has died
And he’ll never cry
I think he is finally free

Download Sid.mp3 (307 KB), a song I created using the poem above.