Election fever is contagious and it has spread among my family.
My mother’s MP went on a house to house visit but Mom was not there to greet her. I saw a leaflet left by the MP and told mom. Mom did not even know about it – and missed all the excitement.
Some relatives have been circulating emails regarding the election. As expected, all are anti-PAP. Even my brother-in-law, who drives a taxi, hears more complaints about the government now.
Mom told me about an email she had received about how the ministers pay themselves 31 month bonus. Her eyes wide, incredulous at the amount of bonus, but not the news. I asked if she believed the nonsense and was incredulous that she actually did. “Why not? Must be true for people to say it.”
I told her about my blog, about a political forum I had attended – a very objective blog in my opinion. Mom, if you have read the comments on what they wrote about your daughter – the personal attacks from complete strangers while hiding behind anonymous pseudonyms, you won’t be so quick to believe the internet then. Instead of reading the internet, go and read the government’s financial report to see if it’s true. As if she will, for her reply was, they (the Gov) will find ways to hide the facts.
Next, she talked about the Ministers’ pay. I asked how much she contributes to their pay? Zero right? So why complain? (The fact is, she doesn’t pay for many things, but she complains about them all the same – restaurant food, toilet papers, etc.)
I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, the actual book, not the audio one. I read and re-read many sentences and the book has a profound effect on me. I try to be aware of my reaction to everyday thing. Just being aware is good enough, Tolle says, for that would lead to change. Where I use to absorb all the negative gossips with glee, I’ve found them to be distasteful now.
Since I started volunteering at the school, I found volunteering really humbling. Time, effort and money are spent. You get some appreciation, but you may also get some complaints. We have a hard time recruiting more volunteers for people cite lack of time. If so many people can’t even volunteer for their child’s school, for their own children’s benefit, that makes the very few who does worthy of our respect, right?
Dittos for the grassroot volunteers, which Tin Pei Ling was one. She had committed time and effort volunteering and that speaks a lot for her. Many women her age would rather be shopping or dating, or just lazing at home after a hard day at work. She chose to serve. For that, she does not deserve the tirades. Before you open your mouth to criticize, ask yourself, what have you done?
It’s easy being an armchair critic. I do it often enough as I review books and movies, but I do it with an awareness of how much hard work and effort went into it. Not blindly badmouth.
Where I used to oppose for the sake of opposing, a more mature and mellowed me has emerged. It has taken me some time to appreciate what I have and who contribute to it. Books help. But the biggest shift to my paradigm was from a friend in KL. She pays about 25% income tax but has no public transport from her home, no library and other amenities. She envies what we have.
I realise after, that yes, I have a lot to be envious of.