Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Uncle Mun

It was raining on Saturday night. I followed Ben to fetch his father from a gathering with his old friends. Friends he had known and worked with since 1972. When we were there, we were told to join them for a drink. Sitting beside Ben's father was Uncle Mun.
Uncle Mun is not an engineer. Neither is a degree holder. But do not underestimate Uncle Mun. He may not have been well educated, but back then, the general public all over Malaysia may not have the opportunity to taste soda crackers without him. No, he is not a baker. He is the man that engineered machine that could mass produce soda crackers. There is no formulated calculations, nor is there blue prints to build the machines. Everything was done through trial and error. Resources and technology back then was limited, but what he possesses were homo sapiens basic creativity and determination. Traits that all of us possessed but failed to develop. As we sat there drinking and listening to them lamenting about all the knocks and bruises they tackled along the walks of life, I kept asking myself 2 questions.

1. Did we ever asked the elders in our family about their story?
So many things we could learn from people so near us, but why are we looking so far away from them?

2. How have we digress?
How many times have you heard people lamenting their fortune and destiny instead of fighting for their goal?

I kept studying their faces, Uncle Mun, Ben's father and Uncle Choong. They may not be the richest tycoon or most famous celebrity, but you see their pride and integrity as clear as the sun. I wish their legacy could be passed on to the next generation. Not the machines, but their spirit.

There isn't really a need to buy books to learn about philosophy and life, as long as you are willing to sit and have a drink with the golden citizens.

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