Sunday, November 29

A contrarian approach

My parents were avid newspaper and local news readers. I grew up hearing alot about their analysis on politics and general knowledge. Even when I visit my relatives, the uncles will somehow discuss about politics and policies. One of my uncle is a big fan of Adolf Hitler (I don't know why), while another uncle is against Singapore's popular forefather, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Particularly, everyone in my family are pro-China, denouncing Taiwan's independence and the Dalai Lama.

Growing up under this influence, I subconsciously learnt that there was no clear division between good and bad people.

Bad people are "bad" for a good reason. In one of the Hongkong movies I watched when I was in primary school, the vicious guy who robbed the bank was shown in the next scene nicely talking to his blind grandmother, and giving her some money (from the bank loot). His actions to kill innocent people at the bank should have him condemned to the last level of Hell, but it doesn't mean I can't feel a little sorry for him just because "at least he was nice to his Grandma".

Similarly, we see that nice people have their dark side. Batman, Spiderman and also Iron Man. All had their mortal weaknesses and mistakes.

Some of you may read about the 6 months I spent at the age of 18, reading all sorts of "Be Happy" books in the library just to correct my mindset and make myself a happier person. One of the lessons I learnt was never to judge people by what they do. It doesn't make me an unbiased person, because let's face it - everyone, no matter how holy or kind, has some form of biasedness or preference when it comes to people.

For any person you are having a problem with, be it your demanding boss, your possessive girlfriend, your whimpy colleagues, or your naggy mother, ask yourself this GOLDEN question.

Recall an incident when there's something good about this person.

The boss may be demanding, but from your conversations with him, you at least knew that outside of work, he's a caring and endearing father to his daughter.

The possessive girlfriend have some trust issues with you, as if you are going to stray anytime with any girl on the street. But you remembered a time when work life was hell, but she was there on the phone for you every night, to hear your never-ending complaints.

The whimpy colleague complains about the smallest issue going on in the office, even though everyone in the office knew the problem lies with herself. But when this whimpy colleague gets you a cup of coffee seeing that you are working late, for a while she seems like an angel.

The naggy mother keep repeating the same issue that has gotten you frustrated everytime, that you wonder if she's just trying to piss you off. But then she goes out of the way to make you herbal soup whenever you are sick. And then you realised, that she loves you so much.

Once you have helped someone you dislike to come up with a past incident in your mind on why he is really not that evil, you will start to realise that the hatred/displeasure will start to ease. And that's when you start to cool down, and even help to think about "good reasons" on why the person did that "bad thing".

And you start making rational decisions on your next action, rather than boycotting the person, or slandering him in front of your friends.

Practise make perfect. For all you know, soon your enemy will become your friend with your newfound judgement of him.

And that's the reason why I am always popular, with both people are who popular or unpopular.

Yes, the world will become a better place, and you get things done easier with this newfound contrarian mindset.

People are not binary - 0 for bad and 1 for good.
Everyone is 0.5, if only you look harder.

17 comments:

Plankton said...

For me, not everything has a dichotomous value ascribed to it, like good and bad, black or white..

But truth is being typical or filed in that grey area is boring since the polar extremes are usually the things fun enough to be paid attention to :)

Tiramisu said...

True true, there's both side of the coin to look at~ Old HK gangster films always shows this too right. :p

wenn said...

true..don't judge a person by his/her looks..and just be happy..

Lily Riani said...

very well thought through and well said. at times i do that too....trying to think the best of the person, but (sigh...) sometimes the extreme part got the better of us...

MKL said...

Very good post. I agree with you in many aspects. But I have no further comments :)

Ai Shiang said...

In my mind, every human being is born bad. There is no good people around. It's the "degree" of badness we're talking about here. From being racist to being hungry for power.

We are all human seeking to "survive". Have you heard of "natural selection". Any organism will do anything to survive. To rob a bank? Well, I won't say it is a good thing to do, but I bet the person did it for survival too. Unfortunately, the way he picks just not as tasteful to society.

khengsiong said...

Majority of Chinese Malaysians are pro-China. I write in my latest post that Chinese Malaysians like to fantasize about the Middle Kingdom. That's the reason.

numbernine said...

Just because people are never 1.0 or 0.0 it doesn't mean they are 0.5! Some people are 0.9, and others are 0.1.

I would look at a person's good points first, but in the end I would still judge him. Unfortunately I often forget the first step.

HappySurfer said...

The eternal truth is, there is always, always a balance of yin and yang. An excess of either will somehow balance out. Some spiritualists, in view of the increasing degree of negative forces/events in the world today, attribute this to the increasing goodness in the world. This sounds paradoxical but if we look around us, we are seeing more good being done, at the same time more bad deeds as well.

Contrary to what Ai Shiang believes, my stand is that everyone is born good. The environment that we are exposed to makes us turn bad. Survival, if you will, like what Ai Shiang said.

Good advice you have there though I refuse to let a person's badness affect me. There's always karma to take care of that. Btw, karma, once created (good or bad) can NEVER be erased.

Superman said...

That is really true!

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

Wow. such an intellectual topic.

Shingo T said...

Plankton:
If good and evil are easy to separate, the police and judges would have an easy job! But ya, extremeties are fun nonetheless. =p

Tiramisu:
haha, ya. The HK movie "wu2 jian1 dao4" comes to mind, though it's not a very old show.

wenn:
Life becomes much happier when there's no hate. And it's easy to achieve that with the correct mindset.

Lily Riani:
Keep on trying.Don't let the little devil get the better of us. ^_^

MKL:
Appreciate the acknowledgement, bro.

Ai Shiang and HappySurfer:
haha, I realise that the 2 of you have been making reference to each other's comments in other blogs.

I am on HappySurfer's side this time that people are born good, though there are no right or wrong answers. Everything is grey.

khengsiong:
haha, I have read that post. Sometimes I think my parents are secret members of the China Communist party with all their preaching of uniting Taiwan. Haha.

numbernine:
any number between 0 and 1 (exclusive). Well said, bro. But it's hard to give a score for any person, so I just convenienetly say 0.5. You get the drift. =p

Superman:
vote me for preseident then. ^_^

Willie:
oops, hope I didn't bore.

Roxy. said...

Nice post. Sometimes, i also fail to look at the positive side and just remember the bad stuff that happens. Probably its time to look at times at the good sides of some people.
That's y we are all humans. There is a conscience in everyone of us.

Mei Teng said...

I am really curious as to why that uncle of yours is a fan of Adolf Hitler...hehe.

Shingo T said...

Roxy:
It's never too late to start looking at the bright side of life. ^_^

Mei Teng:
hmm... I can't remember why he was a fan of Hitler. Interestingly, he's a retired school teacher in Malaysia.

TeeHedgeBee said...

I am very nice and kind when you don't cross my path. Hur hur hur...

Shingo T said...

HB:
So what you are like when people cross your path? Scratch and bite? Haha.

Facebook "Like" Button