Archives for the month of: July, 2010

Friends.

They are the most influential people of our lives and sometimes, even more than our own family.

I am sure that most of us are rather familiar with this saying: Many will walk in and out of your life but only some will leave footprints in your heart. Actually while looking back, I personally feel that most people do leave a trace in your life, be it pleasant or not.

I find that there’s a certain resemblance between relationships and gardening.

Every person we meet in life is like a seed.Given the right conditions such as timing, opportunities and chemistry, it provides the foundation for the seed ( relationship with that certain someone) to sprout. Of course the fertile soil isn’t everything for a seed to grow well. Sunlight (warmth) , water (care) and minerals (appreciation) are needed to ensure the growth of the seed. Later, the seedling would have grown into a young plant where it is susceptible to many external threats and harm. Aphids, fungus and weird diseases will begin to attack the young plant and often, the gardener only begin to notice when the plant is showing signs of sickness and deterioration.

It is not too late to either kill the aphids with pesticides or apply antibodies to the plant, however whatever measures taken requires time. Some plants will emerge stronger after the ordeal; some weakened slightly but with time, will grow to be strong again; some weakened for good and some just never made it through.

Later on the young plant would grow into an adult plant and its nature will be fixed by then.Whether it requires much attention,grooming, etc.. Just like how every person and relationship is different from the other, every species of plant is different from the other. And within the same species of plant, some are just grow better in certain soil and some don’t. Like how we need to work so hard to maintain some relationships and so effortless in others. Plants can never go without sunlight, water and minerals, the same as how every relationship needs constant warmth, care and appreciation. However some plants just requires great amount of all the necessities, or it will just collapse within a short while.

And it is really tiring for the gardener sometimes. So the question boils down to how much is it worth to keep that plant going? Is it the beauty of the flowers ( superficial reasons), sweetness of the fruits ( advantages/benefits), or just the satisfaction of keeping the plant alive ( attachment) that the gardener should continue to relentlessly care for the plant? Should the gardener just let that plant die?

Of course, there are also many plants that grew sturdy and strong despite frequent attacks from endless list of bugs and diseases. The gardener may even forget to water or nourish it from time to time, and they may lose their colour for while but these plants never wilt. They always survive long enough till the gardener takes notice of them again.

And despite having had many seeds that never sprout, or seedlings that never even made it to a young plant and plants that just wither on its own or plants that I’ve allowed to wilt, I am thankful that I have plants that are sturdy, strong and striving. Some have bore fruits and for those which haven’t, will bloom in time to come.

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.  ~Elisabeth Foley

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As a child, I’ve always stood out more than my fellow peers due to my gregarious personality which was also fueled by the encouragement from my dad to voice my thoughts and opinions. While most kids were really quiet and shy on the first day of each school year( being in a new class and all) and could not wait to just quickly get over the introductory session, I was enthusiastic in introducing myself to the whole class and also those who sat around me. And so I went through Primary school( also known as elementary school) active in all school or class activities, always surrounded by a bunch of good friends. The emotional roller coaster which i went through since childhood and also my teenage years, had also pushed me to think differently from my peers later on. So the ability to “stand out”  and  “difference in thoughts” had sort of molded me in believing that I am a very unique individual( which I believe that most people think so of themselves).

I mean I still believe that I am unique as an individual and that everyone is also unique in their own ways. However in the recent months after having intense conversations with friends and random chats with strangers, the similarities and patterns got too much to ignore. I’ve realized that despite the personality difference between one person to another, when cast off the outer shield that we all don, we are pretty much the same. Most people ( belonging the same age group) have very similar needs, wants and also fears. And when breaking down all these, everyone is indeed quite similar.

Let’s do a breakdown of needs, wants and fears ( See how many you actually find yourself relating to)

Needs are basically very straightforward as everyone needs almost the same stuff. In fact the Masglow hierarchy of needs is a good illustration.

Masglow Hierarchy of Needs

List of  wants

  1. A good degree
  2. An interesting career
  3. A good car
  4. A nice house/apartment
  5. Singles: A good girlfriend/boyfriend/ potential spouse
  6. Get married
  7. Have kids
  8. Promotion at work
  9. Own business
  10. Early retirement
  11. More…

List of fears

  1. Fear of flying
  2. Fear of public speaking
  3. Fear of heights
  4. Fear of the dark
  5. Fear of rejection
  6. Fear of death
  7. Fear of intimacy
  8. Fear of failure
  9. Fear of commitment
  10. Fear of spiders/hamsters/cats/dogs/birds

So how many did you find yourself agreeing to?

The realization that people in general are more or less similar , has helped me to be even more accepting towards people and also breaks down the barrier of communicating to strangers or new friends.