When I was in the third year of my engineering course in the University of Singapore, we had to do a non-technical elective one semester. I chose Sociology and I found that I liked it very much. Until today I still think, I wish we had counselors back then to advise us on what courses to pursue in university. I certainly would not have chosen Engineering if I had the chance to choose again. It is such a boring subject compared to Sociology. Instead we just went for courses that were the most popular and which the best students pursued.
I remember our Sociology class was taught by a part-time lecturer; a young Indian man who worked for one of the newspapers. He taught us this term, deferred gratification. It certainly applies to many people of my generation. When we were young, we held back from acquiring many things that we loved. Instead we slogged and saved until much later in life.
Take the example of pop music records. A few years after my elder brother and sister started working, we bought a cheap hi-fi system. But we could not afford many of the 33 rpm LP records; especially the English songs. And so we used to borrow them from our more well-to-do friends. I remember my younger brother James had a classmate who used to lend us his records. One of them was an album by Lobo with the title, Me and you and a dog named Boo. (How can anyone forget a title like that?). Another record was by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass – another hard-to-forget name don’t you think? There are other examples (of such deferred gratification), but I think I should keep them to myself. I am sure older readers have similar examples to share.
But anyway, no regrets. The good book says; “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife." (Proverbs 17:1)
Furthermore, when you are deprived, you work harder; and when you finally get what you want, you relish it more. But sometimes that is not true. By the time came when you could afford something that you used to like, you may have already passed the age where you relish those same things. Thankfully, Lobo isn’t one of them.
Anyway, back to my Sociology lecturer. Once, he made a really nice comment in one of my essays. He wrote something to this effect; “They say that engineers can’t write; but you and a couple of others in this class have proven how wrong that stereotype is.” So instead of spending my time studying my Engineering subjects, I spent much time on Sociology which did not even count towards my final grades. Likewise today, I am busy writing my Good Morning Yesterday blog, when I should be spending more time on my other business-related blog; My 5S Corner.
Sigh …. Some will things never change. That just the way it is.