My blogo-friend, Frannxis has written a very short and yet meaning post in his blog. I fully agree with Frannxis’ outlook. As it had only a couple of paragraphs, I think he will not mind if I just reproduce the entire article here for the convenience of my readers.
“Last week one new post65 MP said it was cool to be square. He was commenting on the PAP trying to be hip in order to connect with the younger generation. No need, he said, people support the PAP for what it is – serious and square.
In our relationship with friends, I feel you don’t have to put on an act if you don’t like or enjoy it. Your friends should accept you as yourself.
My friends sometimes say I am not sporting or not sociable when I refuse to join them do certain things. Never mind what they say.”
Frannxis’ article reminds me about something one wise commander in the SAF said to us newly commissioned 2nd lieutenants in the officers’ mess of Gillman Camp back in 1977. He boldly declared that you cannot be an officer if you don’t drink (liquor).
Well I have news for you sir. I survived all the way until age 50 as an officer; albeit only a humble two-pip platoon commander. In fact, when I ROD’ed in 1978, my CO in 30 SCE tried to persuade me to sign on, saying the Combat Engineers needed more graduate officers. I was really proud to be acknowledged as ‘one of the better officers’ because I always knew that I didn’t have much leadership qualities in the conventional sense. Thank you, Captain Wilson Tay, for your kind words.
In the business world too, it is not uncommon to meet people who think that you must conform to stereotypes to survive. For example, you must have heard well-meaning people say that if you want to succeed in doing business in China, you must know how to ‘yen-jiu’ (烟 酒); i.e. smoke, drink and embrace other vices. I don’t have any personal experience to refute these people, but I am pretty sure they are as wrong as the wise officer in Gillman Camp.
Be prepared, though, to be called names; as I was once. One Malaysian client called me ‘member of the soya bean brigade’ because I declined his offer of beer. Irony is; he was a Muslim.
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