KD-ADS: Expanding Horizons

Cos thinking should never be stagnant...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Songstress

Her voice touches all,
the words tell a tale,
an exploration of her feelings, emotions, beliefs and thoughts,
do they come from her heart or mind,
pray tell where do the masters of love, sadness, hope and kindness hail from,
do the lyrics string a story of a beginning and an ending,
would she continue to hope to live up to the journey,
when her future has revealed no certainty,
and Anxiety becomes her companion,
and yet all she would ask from all those surrounding her,
is knowing that an empty abyss does not await...

Do the conventional and old-fashioned tales of chivalry and heroism carry her,
and should the book of tales burn in crisp,
who will come forth and guide her along the way,
when her panoramic view of people and the world as benevolence,
has been distorted by the masquerade party of malevolence and hurt,
without relying on the cold trails of rationality,
would she adopt the age-old advice of being led by the warm tugs of instinctual passion,
are the paths bestowen with the gift of leading her to salvation,
not when the steps that she takes on each day,
are met with her piercing eyes of skepticism,
for Fear has whispered into her ears,
that all may lead back to the same world of guilt, pain and injustice...

The songs that arise from her beautiful voice,
the audience sits back and contemplates as she opens up her mind and soul,
will her songs end on a high note filled with grace, victory, love and joy,
has she been able to wield the musical notes of rhythm and tune,
no longer relying on the musical notes as her reference,
the audience knows,
when she sings,
there is no deceivement and no false pretense,
and though the surrounding noise attempt to distort the mood,
even if her mind has to contend with the nemesis of Fear and Anxiety,
should she look beyond the non-existent abyss,
that she always had the song,
of strength, courage and love,
all in her heart...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Remembrance, Regret and Possibilities

Before I turn into the theme of my post, let me give some unreserved apologises for not updating for so long. There have been major changes in my life, and I have not given any thought to updating my blog since I doubt it has attracted any readers. Nevertheless, there has been a pivotal moment in my life, and I would like to elucidate my thoughts. My hope is to continue penning my thoughts on a regular basis from here on.

When one catches up with the past, such as meeting an old friend, or an ex-partner, there is usually the tendency to conduct a "review" of the times spent together in the past. In many cases, most people would surprise each other of the developments that each has undergone since those years. Further, they may learn more about each other when they reminesene about the past, and reveal the underlying feelings, thoughts, and experiences that each other had not expected.

This is one of the beauties of an exercise in remembrance. In conjuring up memories, one is met with new interpretations and a "re-experiencing" of those experiences. Falling in love for the first time can never be copied again, due to its very nature (i.e. the first time), but in remembrance, one almost imagines and "re-lives" that experience again. Perhaps you even fall in love for the 2nd time, because you are now able to appreciate the moment more deeper. You may even appreciate what was done in the past, and wish to improve the present from here on. That is one of the mysterious wonders of memories. Memories are not just units of stored experiences in a box; rather, they can become alive and refreshed, almost as crisp as a touch of fresh air when you surface out of a sea of water.

Nevertheless, in remembrance, there are also negative and painful aspects in the exercise, especially when one recalls the embarassing, shameful and painful moments of their past. Typically, one only cringes at these thoughts, because it would seem so out-of-character and outside-of-their-being to have done that, such as dating a particular person or doing something ridiculous to impress a person. Here, the person has the gift of "hind-sight" to understand the implications of his/her previous actions. Further, s/he will perhaps wish that they had the "fore-sight" at that time not to have followed that course of actions. There arises the question, is that said person experiencing "regret"?

There are many people who are fearful of carrying "regrets" in life. For these people, there is an implicit notion that "regret" connotates "stupidity", "naive-ness", "ignorance" or simply "lack of foresight/hindsight" at that respective moment in time. Rather, there seems to be great comfort in saying "I have no regret in life" because the notion is read as: "I learnt a lot from what I experienced, and since I can't take it back, I shall have no regrets" or "Regret is only for the weak". Indeed, it seems that "regret" is like a form of self-punishment, because it begs the question of why a person has been foolish to have done what s/he should be ashamed of.

However, there is an interesting interplay here, whereby, in his/her attempt to acknowledge "regret", a person seems to say that "I never had that foresight or hindsight in the first place, so I had to experience what I had in order to learn my lesson". The odd thing, that we have to ask, is if that is true? Do people enter relationships with partners, friends, business colleagues and activity partners with no sense of the likelihood of outcome or the future? Can a person claim to be betrayed when she enters a relationship with a man known to be promiscuous, deceitful and unfaithful and yet claim that she had no fore-sight of what's to happen? Can a person claim that he has nothing to "regret" when he enters and loses a business venture with a colleague of less than credible qualifications, and yet claim that he had no other choice but to learn his "lesson" about business survival tactics through this experience?

It seems to me, that "regret" is not a dirty word when viewed in the perspective of a human being. Unless you are a omniscient God, nobody can claim to have hindsight before an incident happens. That's just the meaning of the word "hind-sight", that only upon the expiration of the event, would you have obtained insight and reflection. Only with hindsight, then perhaps should the event ever happen again, you would now know what to do. And anybody would guess that by now, you would pursue a slightly different path. Even if the action undertaken is the same as before (i.e. enter the relationship with that recalcitrant boyfriend of a bully), the impact and effects would surely be different (i.e. with hind-sight, you would not be so easily hurt; not give in to him so easily; or maybe not bash him with that lamp).

Perhaps there are two kinds of "regrets". One of them, which has been discussed, is what I label, as the "no-face regret". Namely, the kind of "regret" most people don't have on their face, which is to accept that whatever has happened in their lives, can not be changed, and they have come out a "better" person after that. Whether it be coming out of an abusive relationship, a truth-telling session with your beloved family members, or a rough interrogation of your friend for his/her licentious ways, most people seem to assume that it is for the better that they have learnt from that experience.

But that raises a puzzling question if that particular "experience" is essential to the learning and adoption of a lesson learnt. Simply put, Wouldn't it be presumptuous to assert that in order to learn algebra, one can only obtain it by going for the maths class in secondary school? Were there no other ways to gain the knowledge of algebra? Or do we still claim that in order to learn about child abuse and its horrors, a person has to be abused as a child in order to understand that "experience"? Does learning about the negative effects of betrayal have to come about from actually having to experience betrayal itself? If the answer to these questions is yes, then we can never claim to have any knowledge of fore-sight. That is the opposite of hind-sight, which is to have knowledge and an intuitive understanding of the "experience" before living the actual event. A "yes" answer to the above questions implies that fore-sight would be an impossible task for our cognitive structure, and everyone is blessed or doomed (depending on your view of "regret") to always have to undergo an authentic (and one assumes, painful) experience in order to obtain hind-sight.

Hence, there is another kind of "regret", perhaps abruptly simplified, to my mind, as "regret of not knowing what I know now", a.k.a "regret with a human face". There is a simple illustration to this. Thinking back on the past pivotal events in my life, there is a sense that I have regrets on what I have done. I had no fore-sight at that time, and no knowledge of the impeding outcomes of my decisions and actions. When the time has passed, of course, I would like to say I never regret doing what I did, i.e. "no-face regret". But then again, if I were possessed with the knowledge of what I hold now, perhaps I do regret that I had not undertaken a different course of action, i.e. one which would have less negative impact, i.e. "regret with a human face". For being a human being, I would no doubt not ask for pain and suffering where possible. And if I knew that doing something different back then may have changed the magnitude of pain, shamefulness and suffering that came along with it, I would have to say I "regret" doing what I did.

"Regret" is never usually seen as synonmous with "possibility". One imagines that "regret" is such a negative word that causes one to lose their perspective of their own life, values, strengths and is essentially "self-denying". But, as with sadness, anger, jealousy and bitterness, these emotions can never be just categorical moral epithets; rather, they are always part of the make-up of happiness, envy, joy and peace. Just as one can feel contended with their life, it is the complete human being who feels "regret" that s/he is able to move on and progress into a different stage of their lives. If growth in self-actualisation requires critique and self-reflection on one's history, then surely ponderance on alternative actions and desires in previous experiences will surface up, in which case "regret" is to accompany along.

Possibilities only arise when someone is able to assess the gaps and inadequacies of his past, present and future. The idea of "regret" is to teach you that there were possibilities in the past; it does exist in the present; and it is up to you to take advantage of them in the future. Nobody can do the impossible task of having "regret" for the future, because the window is always open and the empty spaces are always perceived as possibilities (no matter how weak or strong). What matters is whether people are open to learning from "regrets", and not living away from a life with no "regrets".

Writing this post came at a certain point in my life where the significant people in my life have come together and each of them have changed my life in various ways. I feel obligated to dedicate a brief note to these people, who have been the main drivers for the themes behind this post.

To the person who has initiated a long conversation with me in reviewing our history, it was a beautiful and unforgettable episode where I was satisfied to resolve our differences, but also learn of your new feelings towards me.

To the person who I may have to contend with possible "regret", it is with due remembrance that I will forever think of you as one of the most important person in my life , who has taught me a lot about myself and joined me in learning more about the world. Painful as life can be, my memories of you will remain pivot to my life, and rest assured, there is no regret in ever knowing you.  

To the person who I have helped to give life, the world is now in your hands, full of possibilities, and left up to your discretion to create your own memories. Even if you should live without any memories of me, know that there is nothing for you to regret and that you shall live your world with fresh optimism and eagerness. Never ever live your life with a regret that you were born. That is only what I would want out of you.

Monday, March 12, 2007

What am I doing?

A Stock-Take of the Morning

Sitting on a vehicle that transports the masses,
knowing not what awaits the future,
but yet expecting the same for the rest of the day,
thoughts of a warning nature cast over,
and I ask myself,
What am I doing here?

They sit and organize themselves,
the suits, the skirts, the bags, the shoes,
we all sit and drown ourselves in a sea of sorrow,
but we never taste the same drops,
cos we know not each other or past or present or future,
and our common destiny for death is not shared,
neither is our passion for our own life,
to be consumed by the trip that today brings us,
the question remains in my mind,
does anybody know what they are doing?

The whiff of a perfume like poison,
the shoes stamper like chatter,
I sit above and watch as they clamer for the ride,
I feel their pain and sense their irritance,
too many people rushing to the same destination,
the sun in their eyes can't lift a black face,
and the noise doesn't smoothen their worries,
we all are in for the same ride,
but yet I say to myself,
am I really doing anything different from you?

Wheels are churning,
the air-con blasts its chilly air onto my face,
I hear the voice of the newscaster,
they hear it too and allow her voice to occupy our silence,
but somehow my ears pick up a different tune,
the seduction of her voice frightens me,
her calm demeanor in relaying the news of horror,
her common sense manner of speaking about senselessness,
should I laugh or cry and be judged a lunatic,
insanity, madness, despair, sadness, melancholy,
how can these be my partners,
on my daily journey every morning,
when all I am simply asking is,
what are you doing to me?

Time is ticking,
we all must meet our destination lest we be punished,
but how can someone else be worthy enough,
have we lose every understanding of ourselves,
that we allow an ordinary person or a fictional entity,
to tell us how we should spend our time,
the news, the man and the radio can not speak to us,
our consciousness doesn't run independently anymore,
our emotions continue to be played to their dictations,
have I allowed my own interior self to be torn and played,
as I listen to the voice of seduction,
as I sit on the seat of a mechanical death machine,
as I see the eyes of boredom and restlessness,
as I smell the air of sterility and dryness,
my heart only sinks deeper into the void,
for there is now only one question,
and answers appear so distanced and out-of-reach,
there is only one person asking,
what am I doing?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lies, Liar, Lying, Big Lie, Small Lie, White Lie, Lousy Liar....

"Don't you lie to me!", says the mum to the child. "You are such a bad liar", says the lover to the spouse. "It'just a small white lie," protests the colleague to his/her co-worker. And Jennifer Lopez sings, "Don't you lie to me...."

It's an interesting world out there, particularly with the prevalence and magnitude of lies out there. Friends continually feel the stings of betrayal when they are lied to; lovers break up and fight because one of them just had to lie; colleagues shoot daggers at each other across the table, thanks to their liberal use of back-stabbing; bosses need to be licked in glory and fame which requires the subordinates' skills of a quick (and lying) tongue; corporations overblow the status and value of their products and call it "marketing"; yes, it's an interesting world out there but it almost makes it impossible to live, when every corner and every entity you meet seem capable of lying to you. It doesn't matter if you trust the person with his/her charming and benovalent personality, with the framed up qualifications which glitter and shine to back up his/her authenticity; you just know this person, no matter how squeaky clean, is capable of lying if they have to save themselves.

What is the essence of lying? Principally, it is an act of deception. A lie, even without referring to a dictionary, involves an act of deceiving, swindling and cheating someone. It is best defined by what it is (not): it's not truth. A lie is to twist, defraud, make up, distort, change the nature of what was once a truthful statement or event (but in most cases, feelings) and then to present that as it was truth. And obviously, there is one missing element in this equation: the assumption always is that lies are spoken with intent.

In very few societies, the act of lying could be conceived as a virtue. And in literally most moral, religious and ethical systems, honesty is forever extolled as a virtue. Better to be a honest man/woman than to be a lying rat. Further, the moral weight on this virtuous trait is extremely expensive and costly, for you will usually find that a heavy penalty must be paid for carrying out a lie. If it is in a marriage, divorce comes next. If it is between friends, typically the cracks truly never get fixed. If it is told in the court, it is amountable to spending time in jail. Yet despite these risks and the heavy punishment that trails behind them, we are confronted with a deep puzzling picture: Why do we still continue to lie?

Without asking you to spend a moment of your life in reflection, you may nevertheless agree that there may have been a few instances where you did lie. And even if I had to hazard a guess, it would most likely be during times of childhood, where perhaps you told a little lie to your parents so that you can get that new toy. You may also think of the times as a teenager, you lied to your parents about studying with friends when you were actually satisfying your raging hormones with kissing your teenage sweetheart. In looking back on these adventurous moments, you would probably brush them off as a sign of immaturity and that you have since grown up to be a person of stronger character and virtue.

Funny then it must seem if you are to be excused for these little acts of mishap, then why should we be so outrageously uptight and parochial to accuse with eternal condemnation that "Person A is a liar! Don't trust him/her!" or "S/he lied to me and I can't forgive him!"? If that's the case, your family members and those well-acquainted with you shouldn't be placing any faith in you being the truth-teller of the century. Are lies to be taken so literally that one is not only sentenced to a life of solitude but also judged to be a person of sinister and malevolent character?

Undoubtly, most people do lie with an explicit intent. Perhaps the intention to enjoy an activity without guilt or obstruction (like when your mother told you to stop seeing that boy); or perhaps to protect your image of yourself (Be happy driving that BMW and wearing that Gucci bag but come back to a poor-ridden family); perhaps to cover up your mistakes so that you can correct them (oh my, you better tell your dad that you have fixed the car's tyres when now you have to repair both the tyres and bumper) but you know what people say, don't you? That it doesn't matter why you lied, it dosn't matter if you did it to protect me, or to make things up, the fact of the matter is that you LIED.

Yet, are all sorts of lies so easily disapproved of? If they are, then why are still a majority of the lies out there being accepted? Just like when our "favourite" President of all time declares frivolous and ridiculous reasons and intents for invading another country, or when the politician continues to propagade better prosperity and wealth but you find your wallet getting emptier by the years, or perhaps when your boss presents a clean picture of the company's practice when you have seen and experienced all the dirt floating around the place. In fact, we continue to accept being lied to from our family members (who criticises you to your trustworthy siblings), friends (who don't really think you have the best taste in clothes), colleagues (who is desperate to ask for your help but thinks you are a doofus) and many others, all of which we know, if "real" honesty were to surface, the ugliness that has been lurking in the shadows are bound to appear. Oh yes, it doesn't become any more pleasant, does it, if someone is allowed to be brutally honest with you? It seems that only your idealistic thoughts and feelings will be crushed by the cold hard stamp of "reality bites".

This then brings the whole irritating problem into one full circle, doesn't it? To lie is regarded as a repulsive act, and something (that I rightfully) think should be condemned; but yet, to be honest and to be truthful also means facing the ugly realities of human relationships and nature, and also to realise that much of your cherished assumptions and thoughts are just wrong.

In writing this post, I am to recall the many instances where I have seen and experienced lies. Friends of mine have been lied, they have also lied; I see lies on a daily basis in my job; and there are also lies continually being perpetrated on the public. My own family members have lied to me, and of course I can't claim to be any more of a saint, I have lied in some occasions. But somehow, I have also found that the policy of being honest, despite suffering considerable consequences, a much enriching experience. The state of the world now is that there are too many people reaching harsh and overbearing conclusions based on lies, and not enough people recognising that honesty, for all its faults and ugliness, should continue to be promoted. Rather, lies continue to be accepted because deep down, as human beings, we have accepted that there are legitimate reasons to give a lie and retain them. What has become lost in the process, is that the negative responses from being truthful and honest should not be shunned away from; but rather to be embraced as a painful lesson in humility and acceptance.

Lying with a conscience. That's what we have always been doing. But it is far braver to be honest with a conscience and a heart.

Friday, February 09, 2007

*In Awe*

If you thought that Taekwondo is just simply a bunch of flexible kicks, this video should change your mind.

Of course, it is acrobatic in nature so it is way more than just Taekwondo; nevertheless this is an impressive theatrical martial art performance by a very talented group. Now that's what passion can bring you.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Everywhere is NOT the Same

I am going to blog this post while I am at work (though I have finished my tasks for the day) because this would be the most appropriate context to write my BIG FAT MESSAGE to everyone who have put their ideals, hopes and ambitions aside (especially those who would build their goals based on the narrow limits of societal's expectations) and resigned with absolute discontent that, "Everywhere is the same". I have one loud slogan for you to chant, and if you choose to ignore or disregard it, do so with the recognition that you are a narrow-minded bigot. My chorus for today and ever is that "Everywhere is not the same".

Yes, I hear it all the time, ladies and gentlemen of this destitute island. I first heard it on the small screen of my television set, when my DVD player was playing to the tunes of the local movie, Singapore Dreaming, when one of the characters (the Sister) told her struggling husband to get with the times, suck up that pride and get on with that mundane and dead-boring job of his, because "Everywhere is the same". Then, I heard it again when my colleague repeated those chilling words to me, when I was lamenting about the drudgery of a corporate 9 to 5 job (in her case, it is 8 to 7), that "Everywhere is the same". If ear plugs can't save your ears from bleeding to listening to those words, your heart will stop and sink into the abyss from the starving of hope and spirit because you never saw that in some other place, in some other time, things can be different.

What do I say to the disillusioned? How do I sing a hymn that can break them out of their dark but contended void of emptiness that no matter where they go, all they will experience is the "same"? Is life to be filled with the routineness of a cog in a running machine? Are passions and aspirations meant to sizzle and fade, like a passing dream or a shooting star? Are people entitled to dream of the unreal, the unexpected, the different, even when everyone is shouting to the point of breaking their voice to shut up and do your job?

How ironic it is to hear people talk about different cultures, or to contemplate living in a different place, or to experience a different lifestyle, but the next day they jump back onto the bandwagon of mundane routine, thinking that "everywhere is the same". They look around them, they see no escape, they see no hope for their dreams, they know that they better sit down, shut up and look pretty otherwise they ain't getting their dough, or they will be shunted and vilified by the majority who continue to ask, beg and request that they all sit in the same mud hole together. But two seconds ago, an hour ago, a day ago, they visualised the greener grass on the other side, and for a second there, wished to be there. It's almost like knowing there is a real home for you, but you never can get it.

My fellow friends, you claim that "the grass will always look greener on the other side", but there is definitely a brown patch of mud that you know better not to step on to. And if all that shit is getting on you, why do you choose to grovel in it, and ask others (like me) to share in it with you? Why do you wish to tie them down and torment them that you are being "realistic" and that everywhere you try to go to will always be a muddy pool of dirt and filth? If it is already bad enough to be in there, what further harm can one person incur if he/she steps out and searches for new lands? Maybe you might find more endless mirage of a brown dry desert, but you never know if that other person may find his patch of fresh green grass with a sip of cool water. Yes, things now look differently, doesn't it?

I know and kid you not, my loyal defenders of despair and futility. For I have no objections to your choice in life, be an insurance agent, be a pretty sitting office lady, be a well-to-do corporate manager, be a obedient quack, be the person crunching numbers till the early mornings, be the person you have always felt comfortable to be, and the person that society may have asked that you designated yourself to. Passions and dreams? Fret! You know nothing of them, except that they are the kind of childishness and foolishness that an adult person should never dare to tempt him/herself with.

Me? I got my third finger up to the world; I got a crazy and raving mind to do as my passions and ideals take me; I am going to go on that spiralling merry-go-round, leave the jealous and envious behind, and claim reign in my own kingdom of unadultered self-fulfillment. No, no, don't wish me luck, don't pray for me, don't try to persuade and restrain me, and please, don't ever ever ever ever say I am a idiotic fool. Don't even think that I will always be happy and lucky in my journey. I won't be, and I know I won't be.

But darn it, I will obtain and live in the attainment of two things you only wish you can taste. One is freedom. Oh yes, you possess freedom but you don't have the mental strength to use it. The second is control. Although you are always in control, you have choosen to give it up. There's no control of who you are if "everywhere is the same". In fact, there's no you. Give it up as you please, whereas I still hold onto it, and still say it's mine.

Hey, I know that whatever I do, whatever I think, wherever I go, however I choose, whichever way I run to, things will just never be the same.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Failed Dreams

Finally found some time to blog a running thought that has preoccupied my mind for a period of time. In a way, this cognitive intrusion was precipitated by my participation into the world of martial arts. Although I have never felt more fresh, young and active in my new world, I have also been met with lingering skepticism and doubts about myself. As Bruce Lee said, martial arts is an honest form of self-expression. But honest self-expression does not imply one comes across with a clear conscience. It also means facing self-doubts, limitations, fears and regrets.

Charlatans and propagandists, but also truly well-meaning and caring acquaintances, repeatedly chant the message that we all should pursue whatever our hearts desire, or where our passion lies. The rationale, which is unduly a truism, is that by we only perform at our best in ambitions and goals that we are completely passionate about, and which we reap tremendous heart-filled pleasure and joy from. Although this idealistic message is sometimes rebuked with a dose of practical wisdom that we should go to where "the money is" or to fulfill our social role in a productive manner, nevertheless, even the technological managers of today may preach that message without any regard to the hypocrisy behind their words.

What does it mean to chase after a dream? Or to attain success and satisfaction from a daily endeavor? Unfortunately, the answers are much too myriad and incompatible at times. The accountant who has achieved his goal of making number-crunching as a living may have failed to achieve his dream of marrying his dream gal, who is after the rich CEO. Likewise, this very same girl may display delight and happiness in obtaining a wealthy benefactor but yet fail in securing a partner who can be said to love her for who she really is, instead of her looks. Then perhaps the rich CEO is probably euphoric to have captured the heart of a lovely bride, to sit in the chairs of a Porsche, but yet has the inability (perhaps due to simple ignorance or time committment to generating riches) to develop a secure relationship with his children.

Our lives are not only that intertwined with contradictory aims and meanings but also we have also the unfortunate capacity to imagine the alternate reality of our lives. As we sit in the dull and deadly silent office, our thoughts run wild with fantasies of rock stardom, being a dancing queen, fame and glamour on the Hollywood carpet, receiving prizes and applause from fans of your personality and charisma, or even less glamourous realities, such as flying an airplane, sailing on the ship of love, or trekking through the African jungles for the scenic pictures of Mother Nature's grace. Blessed with the gift of imagination, we are also cursed with the capacity to evaluate and regret.

No doubt, not everyone lives to confront themself with the troubling question of "What if...?". Probably not everyone watches Sliding Doors, or comes out with the psychiatric condition to hallucinate and occupy themselves with illusions of the "what if...?". Do they live much more contended and at peace with themselves? Is it more less distressing to live the life of the simple?

My inclination is that it is far worse to choose the life of the self-contended. There is a great deal of anxiety and stress to admit, confess and proclaim that our own lives have not been always followed the roads of our dreams, such is the reality of a world which presents no rewards for being an independent thinker and crafted in such a fashion that provides limited paths for any individual to take. Similar to the fable of the frog who lives in the well, how does one get to understand the depths of his/her ego, inner self or soul if one is unable to conceptualize the life of the possibile? How can dreams be of any other nature if they are always achievable and within reach? Where can aspiration spring from unless one is in a state of inferiority and subjugation?

There is, of course, the alarming calamity that we could have lived up to a higher potential had we chosen a different path in the past. Not being a skilled musician now could mean that I never took the initiative to submerge and absorb myself into the lessons of music in my past. On the other hand, not being a sketch artist presently also means that I never had the interest to chase and develop this particular talent. Many revelations about our inner interest and personal strengths and weaknesses tend to show up late in life, and that explains the churning storm of dilemma and frustration when we learn more about ourselves later in life.

However, let us take stock of what I have personally come to believe: Would the man or woman, who fulfill their dreams as cogs in a self-absorbed, run-of-the-mill, machine of life, with no aspiration or no imagination of an alternate or deeper self, claim to live any more worse than the individual who passes, turns, falls and runs through a colourful and rich spiral of life, despite the occassional blip of success and the ditch of failure and contempt? Who can claim to love his dreams more even if they will continue to fail to his/her expectations?

There are certainly limits to the human potential in any skill or talent. But there have never been any limits in the human spirit to pursue the fruits of his/her passion or dreams. Thus dreams, in a way, were built to fail. But they have also the potential to be fulfilled, even if not in the picture-perfect world that our fantasies would like it to be.