Why You Should Respect The Elders

I was stunned this afternoon by another random event in my life. It’s amazing to realise that there’s so many things in life that will surprise me in the least expected times, just like this afternoon after I bought groceries near my place. That time, I decided to buy an ice cream cone, and sat around the “bench” to enjoy it.

While enjoying the ice cream, came an uncle and he sat next to me. Apparently, he just finished shopping like me.  the bench

From the image above, I sat on the right side while he’s on the left. In case you’re wondering, my plastic bags were full with healthy stuffs, like…….pepero……and stuffs.

Just right after he sat, he took out his cigarette pack, and I was like, “Great…..even just to sit here to enjoy my ice cream is difficult”.

Well, I know that area is normally filled with a lot of smokers. They normally sit there smoking while drinking coke and having chit-chat together. I just so happen to be the one sitting there that afternoon while enjoying ice cream.

Coming back to my situation, realising that he will start smoking there, I started arranging my stuffs, kinda difficult because I have to hold my ice cream with one hand, and there were 3 plastic bags. And then…just before I got up, the uncle stood up, walked to the trash bin in front of us.

smokingI was curious…wondering what he was trying to do.

Surprisingly, once he’s there, he lighted his cigarette, and started to read newspaper….and just kept standing there.

Well, to be honest, I don’t like to read newspaper. They are just sooo big and the content is just too cluttered for me to read. And having to hold that big paper while smoking is quite a challenging task. He can just stay sit next to me and light his cigarette there, and “silently” force me to leave, but he chose not to…..instead, he walked away and gave me some space to enjoy my ice cream.

Normally, the elders feel like they “have” the right to be respected because that’s just how culture is. They have been living more time than we are the younger ones. They have done more than we are…etc. So sometimes, again…sometimes…they can become a lil bit difficult to deal with.

But this afternoon really change my perspective.

I feel ashamed of myself for being prejudice.

You, Sir….deserve the respect!

I hope younger smokers can follow his wisdom :)

Being 30

Couple months back I celebrated my 30th birthday. It was quite sentimental for me, since now, I have to bear the 30-something badge, making me feeling old, or at least…older. Aren’t we all?

Anyway, being a 30 is important. But what does being 30 mean to most of us?

It is interesting to see what other people think about being 30. For example, take a look at cool project being30yo here.

My Take on Being 30

Being 30 is important and it changes me. Certain aspects that I can observe:

Physically different. Honestly, I become less fit. I got sick easily and I can’t stay up late without affecting my activities on the next day. Now, I’m not really sure if this is purely due to aging mechanism in my body, or simply because I do less sport in the last 2 years. I do hope it is because the later one, since I’m starting to get back in my exercise routine. Finger crossed on this one.

Wisdomly wiser. Haha…First, I’m not sure if “wisdomly wiser” is even a term, but you get the point. Not sure if the 30 got me this, but now I believe in there’s no a single truth. If I’m right, it doesn’t mean other people is wrong, they could be right as well. Perspective plays a big role now. You could either see things the way you want to see it, or change your angle to see from someone else position.

Financially challenged. But this one is actually quite a balance. In my 20s, I earned less and spent less. But now, I earn more but spend more as well. Since my late 20s, I’ve been allocating some funds to several new posts in insurance, education and investment. But at the same time, also taking risk in venturing new business to, hopefully, earn more.

Spiritually inclined. I think this has something to do with all the things I’ve experienced in my journey so far. It’s just amazing when I look back and see how all the dots are connected. But obviously I still have a lot of homework to reeaaalllyyyyy get there.

But above all, the most important take from being 30 is about the time I have spent and the time I have left. Having living three decades on this earth, I think it’s time to be true with myself, find the purpose of my life and walk the path for whatever time I have left.

And so, life begins at thirty..

I’m A Father

It’s been a month since new year and I’m still trying to get a hold of myself. Time flies, really fast, and in times like this, I find it hard to live in the moment. Just to sit down, thinking about this exact moment. Everything is  happening so fast.

I’m going back to Jakarta for 6 days, to “fulfil” my role as family man, to be the husband of my wife, to be the father of my son, and to be the son of my parents.

Upps…it’s time to catch the flight. I’ll continue later. :)

My family…here I come.


Goodbye 2013

It’s only couple hours left till 2014, and it makes me thinking, what have I done in 2013? Well, most of us actually, don’t you think? We have spent a year, 365 days, and it surely was a lot.

A year, it’s a lot of chances, image if you try to solve a puzzle a day, you would have 365 chances to do it. If you try to learn a new language by remembering 1 new word per day, you would have 365 words in your head now. If you try to publish a book by writing a page every day, you would have 365 pages by the end of the year. It was a lot of chances, yet, I’ve wasted most of them.

I managed to read couple of books this year. Mostly self-help ones, simply because I realize, well, I need help. I’m loosing control of my own life, my own mind, and my own body. People said, to solve a problem, first, one needs to realize that there is a problem. Well, checked that! I realize there’s a problem, there’s something wrong. I provided myself with several probable way outs. But to do it? To actually put myself together to solve it? That’s the real challenge. And I had 365 chances to do it right, yet, I have failed. Is this what they call ‘worn out’, where you are totally exhausted of your life and can’t do anything about it? Or is it just me just trying to find another excuse for my mistakes?

I’m not proud of me in 2013. I’m really not. I failed. There were so many things that I could’ve done better. I mistakenly think that wanting to be better was the answer, that it would defined myself. But I was wrong, because we are not what we think, or what we want, or what we intend to be. We are what we do. And I’ve done nothing to be better.

I was lucky, that somehow, I survived. But the real question here is, will I still survive? Shit happens when life slaps you with something, but stupidity happens when life slaps you with the same thing again and you still haven’t prepared anything.

Again, my intention is clear, but we are not what we intend to be, we are what we do! I can sweet talking all I want here, but in the end, what really matters is what I do.

The good news is, maybe, I still have another 365 chances.

And it starts tomorrow.

Good bye 2013…

Dr William Tan: Building Resilience to Life’s Challenges

August 23rd, I was skimming through my inbox that morning. Since I started my master study at NUS a month ago, it becomes another morning activity of mine. Mostly all the emails are invitations from my faculty, School of Computing, to attend their technical seminars. But since I’m working through the day and only available after working hours, and meanwhile the seminar are scheduled mostly during working hours, so I skipped.

But something caught my attention, an invitation from Beyond Borders initiative. Curious about what Beyond Borders is, I googled and found out that it’s an initiative by Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to enrich & inspire the NUS student community through a series of motivational talks. The talks are centered around 4 themes, Arts & Culture, Community Service, Environment Conservation, and Sports & Adventure, from ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

The invitation is scheduled for September 19th. And I realize, I’ll quit my job soon by September 13th, and will start working at the new place by October 7th. So why not use it for something different like this.

Waking up late and feeling lazy on that soon-to-be-noon morning, I rushed to Central Library at my campus. Curious of how the talk is going to be, I read again about the speaker profile. It’s amazing:

Dr. William Tan,
WAS born into poverty, paralysed from waist down since age two, expelled from school.
IS a neuroscientist, physician, paralympian, world record’s holder, survive stage 4 leukemia, maximising life!


12 something, I entered the seminar room, and I saw a middle-aged bald man on wheelchair, preparing himself. 12.30, the “Building Resilience to Life’s Challenges” talk begins.

He started the talk by showing us a short video, titled “You Raise Me Up”, showing us a capture of how tough his life was, from a child with polio until become a paralympian, how he keeps rising up every time he falls. And I swear to God, I cried the moment we finished watching it.

He continued the talks for 1 hour and finally close it with another short video, and then I cried one more time.

As he close his talk, he says:

Tough times never last, but tough people do. My friends, building resilience for life challenges, always remember who you are, because the tough times will go, but the tough people will last.

Me with Dr. William Tan

Me with Dr. William Tan

I waited quite a while until I have a chance to go and talk to him after the talk. I have so many things I wanted to say, but by the time I shook hand with him, all gone. I was speechless. It is an honour and inspiring at the same time. I can’t imagine how many life has been touched by his story, how many losers like me feel the confident to raise up and face the challenge.

All my life, I’ve been listening to a lot of people that close to me saying “Don’t give up”, and I’m always like, “Yeah…it’s easy for you to say that, because you don’t really know how it feels”. But it really reaches me when Dr William says it. Honestly, my condition is nothing compare to his condition, yet…he doesn’t give up. He resist to live in mediocrity. He doesn’t blame himself, he doesn’t blame his parent, he doesn’t blame God, he doesn’t blame the world for his condition, he overcomes it.

As to what he says, “Winners don’t make use excuses”.

I have to stop making excuses.

Lastly, I sincerely pray for his best. His story and his strong will, will always remain on everyone he touches.


*To my unborn son, I hope one day you’ll meet people like Dr. William to inspire you.

When We Have Only Few Hours Left

Hari ini, dengan segala euforia akhir tahun yg mewabah dimana-mana, terasa begitu kontras dengan suasana hati. Entah itu beban pikiran atau memang mood yg sedang tidak stabil belakangan ini, ditambah dengan kondisi langit yg gelap, hujan yg terus mengguyur, lagu akustik “With Arms Wide Open” yg terus melantunkan nada-nada sendu ke gendang telinga dan situasi kantor yg sudah benar-benar sepi, meninggalkan hanya gue dan beberapa orang yg masih berkutat dengan komputernya. Yeah…It’s a quiet new year’s eve.

And no…I’m not gonna write about all kind of achievements, failures and new year resolutions now. Not now. I just want to sit and enjoy the view quietly. Melepaskan akal dari tugasnya sejenak. Membungkam mulut yg mungkin telah lelah berbicara selama ini. Menatap lepas keluar jendela. Mengamati tetesan air yg mengalir di jendela ditemani hawa dingin yg mulai menyelimuti leher. Sesekali terlihat pesawat lepas landas di kejauhan dan perlahan menghilang di balik awan. Samar-samar terlihat pohon yg bergoyang terhembus angin. Melambai…seolah mengiringi kepergiannya. Yeah…It’s a quiet new year’s eve…

Dan dalam kesunyian itu terbisikkan…”Bukankah hanya tinggal beberapa saat lagi??”

And what will you do when you only have few hours left till good bye?? Mungkin diam sejenak untuk perlahan mengantar kepergiannya bukan hal yg buruk.

Good bye 2012..

To Find Something You’ve Lost

lost-rooster-posterI think most of us have experienced this before, you lost something and you want it back. Macam-macam, mulai dari yg gede ampe yg kecil, dari yg murah ampe yg mahal, dari yg gampang diganti ampe yg ga tergantikan. Well, it’s our nature actually, either it was caused by accidents, we have bad memories, or simply it’s just that we take things for granted. There’s NOTHING you can do about accidents, A LOT of thing you can do if you have bad memories, but NOT SO MUCH if “take-things-for-granted” is the reason.

Paling sering sih hape ya. Btw, a word of advise, jikalau Anda menyetor berbagai macam gambar / video seronok yg melibatkan siapapun atau apapun di hape Anda, entah itu rekaman Anda dengan pasangan, Anda dengan ttm-an, ataupun Anda dengan hewan piaraan (just in case), pastikan data tersebut aman. Minimal password protected. Lebih baik kalo Anda tidak menyetornya di hape. Atau lebih baik lg, Anda tidak perlu menyetornya sama sekali!!

Oke sip…lanjut!!

I remember when I lost my wallet just night before my departing back to Jakarta after my surgery here. I was having dinner with my girlfriend (now my wife), and then we walked to the nearest park where I used to jog. So we sat there, talking, sight-seeing, just enjoying the night, and then we went back to my place, and that’s when I realized I lost my wallet…shit!! Gue panik. Segala macam kartu ada di dalam, baik yg berkaitan dengan Indonesia ataupun Singapore. Bakalan repot musti ngurus kaya ginian.

My wife told me to calm down, and try to remember when was the last time I felt it. Dengan 5 bekas sayatan di perut, kita kelilingin tempat-tempat yg tadi dikunjungin. Die hard bgt dah!! But sadly…hasilnya nihil. Akhirnya gue balik ke rumah sambil nelponin bank buat de-activate credit card. Bad luck happens though..

Long story short, akhirnya gue pasrah dan balik ke Jakarta besoknya tanpa kartu identitas, KTP, ATM, SIM dan lain-lain musti diurus mumpung gue di sana. Alhasil cuman sempat ngurus KTP & ATM. Udah kebayang repotnya pas balik ke Singapore. Kebayang apa aja yg musti diurusin ulang. Sigh…

Hari pertama ngantor, gue terkejut karna ada kiriman paket di meja. “To Riki Pribadi”, tertulis disana, tp ga ada informasi tentang sender-nya. Asumsi gue sih promosi sale atau bank. Ga nunggu lama akhirnya gue buka, dan betapa terkejutnya gue ketika gue tau isinya adalah segala macam barang-barang gue yg ada di dalam dompet gue yg hilang……semuanya, mulai dari kartu identitas, sim card bahkan tiket masuk Kawah Putih Ciwidey juga ada, well…minus duit & dompetnya. In the end,  gue cuma bisa berterimakasih dengan mendoakan orang yg sudah mau mengirimkan kembali isi dompet gue, minus duit & dompetnya (teteup), bersyukur, dan berjanji untuk lebih menjaga dompet gue….dan nari-nari bahagia. Good luck happens though..

Terus?? maksudnya ?? gue cuman pengen bikin tulisan tentang kehilangan dompet, gitu?? Mending ganti aja judulnya jadi “The Missing Wallet”!!

But no…It wasn’t the main story here.

I’ve lost some of good sides of me

That’s the real story here.

One of those good sides is my creativity. I realized that I’ve become dull in a lot of thing, playing with words, expressing my self, finding another solution, looking from different perspective….It’s all connected to my creativity. Well, bukan berarti  hilang total sih, tp yg jelas gue rasakan, jauh sekali berkurangnya dibanding dulu. The moment I see clouds as just…..clouds…I know something is missing.

So if you lost something and you want it back. Try to remember when/where the last time you saw, felt or still have it. Why? Simple…So you can pick up the last trail and start working from there.

And this is what I’m trying to do now. I start to write again. No matter what kind of posts, articles or what ever…This is the last trail. So…until I find  that good part of me again…I’m picking it up from here.

Fake It Till You Become It

One of many good ways to spend your free 30 minutes time is to watch one of an inspirational videos from TED Talks. This is a video by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, titled “Your body language shapes who you are”. To be honest though, the first reason why I clicked the video was because she looks pretty….and it turns out to be a very good talk. “Fake it till you become it” is one of her famous quotes in this video. Enjoy.