Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The things worth believing in

Richard and I were riveted to the internet on Saturday, keeping track of the rally in Kuala Lumper. Moving for clean and fair elections, the rally organised by Bersih 2.0 united people from all races, religions and walks of life, all marching peacefully for change. I was filled with admiration and pride at the courage and passion of the people, all of whom believed that change was possible and that the people's voice will be heard.

Is change really possible? Perhaps that's not the point. As I've mentioned on this blog before - you should believe in something that worth believing in, doesn't matter if it's true or not.

If you've watched the 2003 movie, "Secondhand Lions", you'll remember Hub (Robert Duvall) telling his young nephew Walter (Haley Joel Osment) this:

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most.
That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything;
that power and money, money and power mean nothing;
that good always triumphs over evil;
and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies.
You remember that, boy. You remember that.
Doesn't matter if it's true or not.
You see, a man should believe in those things,
because those are the things worth believing in."

These are the lessons that I hope my children will learn. I will love them no matter what but I will always wish the best for them and this is what I wish - That they will believe in something worth believing in. That they will hold on tightly to those beliefs. That they will be brave and courageous enough to step forward and stand up for their beliefs. That they will not just talk the talk, but more importantly walk the walk. That they will lead without fear, that they will pitch in without ego. That they do not live their lives making excuses. That they will meet each obstacle as a challenge and not a defeat. That they will say, "Can do!" instead of "Why me?"

I want them to understand that it is our choices and our actions that make us who we are. Not what we own, not what we do for a living, not our abilities, not who we know, not how famous we are. It's whether we live our life with compassion, love and kindness. It is what we choose to contribute to this life and how we choose to leave this world a better place, whether in big ways or small.

Maybe it is aptly summed up by Hub in the movie, when he introduced himself to a potential troublemaker:

"Hood 1: Hey, who do you think you are, huh?
Garth: Just a dumb kid, Hub. Don't kill him.
Hub: [to Garth] Right.
[Grabs Hood 1 by the throat]
Hub: I'm Hub McCann. I've fought in two World Wars and countless smaller ones on three continents. I led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I've seen the headwaters of the Nile, and tribes of natives no white man had ever seen before. I've won and lost a dozen fortunes, KILLED MANY MEN and loved only one woman with a passion a FLEA like you could never begin to understand. That's who I am. NOW, GO HOME, BOY!"

That's what I'm talking about.

So how will we pass on these life lessons to our children?

Richard told me that a man said on the internet that he would definitely be at the rally and the main reason was that, many years from now, if his son asked him where he was on 9 July 2011, he would be able to tell his son that he was there, doing his part, standing up for what he believed was right.

That's the answer, isn't it? Lead by example. Put your money where your mouth is. Live the values that you want your children to live. Above all, be the person you want your children to become. After all, is there any other sort of person that's worth being?


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