Monthly archives: August 2021

A Rose Among The Thorns: Offshore Lady’s Story

Dayang Syafiqah at Dayang Opal

Tabi basa & greetings! Today I’d like to share a story about Dyg Syafiqah Atiqah bt Abg Suhaili from Miri, Sarawak. This 32 y.o. lady has been working offshore since 2018 starting with Chemical Skid (Service Engineer & Project Engineer), followed by Transfame Sdn Bhd and now Sapura Energy Berhad, both as Field Engineer, though has been involved with #oilgasindustry since 2015, a challenging year for many.

She was blessed with career options in her hometown of Miri. However, it is not as easy as people think and it has taught a lot of lessons. For her, mental strength is the most important thing because she spent months working on a project jn the middle of the sea, surrounded by men. “Safety First” is her paramount slogan because she is working around the flammable materials under great pressure and treading a thin line between life & death. One wrong move & that’s the end. So, everyone looks after one another.

Weather is also a great challenge, especially when residing in a workboat or barge & it is bad weather outside. Seasick will accompany quite often too, especially during her early days. While working there as well, telecommunication is also another hassle that she has to face because it is limited and totally dependent on the connectivity strength provided by vessel or platform. Worstcase, just assume it is offshore life in pre-wifi days back in the 90s.

She hoped that from her sharing, people will realise that working offshore is not easy as people might think and to empower other women, especially young ladies to embrace the challenge. Though she is a lady, she has no problem because she is surrounded by professional men & those who accepts her as part of the great team. All the best to your great career ahead, Pika! Kitak tok nang antap. 😄👍🏻

Tukang Rantek,

Claudius

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Racial Issue & Dirty Tactic To Fame

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INTRODUCTION:

Thank you to those who reads and shares my post yesterday about Cardock. My writings that was shared at Miri Community was deleted by its admin and I was removed without any prior warning. But it’s okay because it will not change anything at all and it will not stop me from voicing my opinions out based on what I think is true.

Thinking of creating my own TRibe Group. Not a fan of CLan word,.

Back to the story that I want to talk about today, it can be said that it has been a trend among Malaysian celebrities to be involved with controversy to raise their publicity. From sexy video, sexy clothes, fight, picture in a bathtub full of money and so on, it is one of the way for them to be famous. Afterall, it’s very Machiavellian: the aims of these celebrities – such as glory and survival – justifies the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.

Among Malaysian influencers, the issues that they are facing now is more unique because they are from a wider group. One of the more famous way is to trigger racial issue to gain publicity, and ultimately able to popularise their brand and sell their product.

MALAYSIA – MULTI-RACIAL COUNTRY

As we all know, Malaysia is a country that has lot of races residing in it. At Peninsular Malaysia, we have Malays (Melayu Anak Jati, Melayu Anak Dagang, Melayu Kacukan etc), Cina (generally, throughout Malaysia and has lots of dialect), India (majority is Tamils, including Telugus, Malayalees, Sikhs etc), Orang Asli group (e.g. Semang, Senoi, Proto-Malays), Papia Kristang and Kristang; at Sabah we have the majority group of Kadazan-Dusun, Murut, Rungus, Bajau, Suluk, Bugis, Iranun, Sungai, Lun Dayeh etc; in Sarawak there is Dayak Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu group (cth: Kayan, Kenyah, Kajangs (e.g. Kejaman, Seping, Lahanan, Punan) Kelabit, Bisaya, Lun Bawang etc), Sarawak Malays, Melanau, Kedayan, Miriek (Bahut & Permaisuri) etc.

The list above barely covers every group in Malaysia, but it is adequate to show that Malaysia has a multi-racial citizens. As a Sarawakian, I know and I am aware about the need to be tolerate and respectful among one another because if there is something happening that triggers racial issues, it can only spell disaster.

Bidayuh girls
Indu Iban
Saban ladies
Kenyah lady (Kayan-Kenyah are reatively similar in costume because they share a similar history.
Sabahan girls.

PREVIOUS CASE – DURIAN KIMCHI (MAY 2021)

I have a belief that most Malaysians know about racial issue and how crucial it is to be aware of racial sensitivity. But it doesn’t stop Ryzal or duriankimchi to subconsciously joke to beyond the line and uploaded it in social media.

You can read its summary and watch the video in this link below:

After becoming a virla issue and caused the uproar among Iban communities and Sarawak in general, finally duriankimchi made a public apology and with Iban society, including the famous Embat Lala and Cardock, making netizen to pity him because he realised his mistakes. Now, his followers count is 1,262,223 followers in Facebook.

LATEST CASE – CARDOCK (AUGUST 2021)

About the issue that was viral recently, Cardock and his original post “Raja Kayan dan Gundik-Gundiknya”, you can read the details here in Facebook or in my other blog posts here.

Few people commented at his original post, which was taken down since then by Cardock’s page admin.
Cardock apologies, but still there is a lot of people unhappy with his apology.

Being a famous influencer, no doubt, Cardock has an immense drive to succeed and also by right has a high tolerance to jokes. But not many people can accept such racial joke. I was informed that the Kayan society and everyone who is not a fan of him was not happy with his way of apology, which seems to be insincere and therefore, it will be brought to justice as per Adet Kayan Kenyah 1994 (Kayan Kenyah Customs 1994, under Section 46: “nyelupoh” (mocking) or “panyi” (making fun of people).

Adet Kayan Kenyah 1994: Section 46 Mocking

SUMMARY OF MODUS OPERANDI

Quoting comment from famous Sarawak singer, Melissa Francis “ngaga salah, dahnya minta ampun secara terbuka. Last2 ke salah nya kena belas kasihan, nama pun viral, dahnya alu nyual produk”. In English, “make mistake, then make a public apology. Lastly, the offender earns pity from others, their name went viral and finally sell their product).

She’s speaking the truth. It is sad to see some fanatics attack her comment though simply because they can’t accept that their idol is doing wrong.

What she mentioned was straight to the point. Final aim of becoming famous is a priority and racial sensitivity that was being safeguarded all this while in total care is not important anymore, as if our racial dignity doesn’t mean  anything.

In short, the steps are as follows:

1). Make mistakes, better racial-related to trigger certain group
2). Viral and became the talk of the web (town)
3). Make a public apology, better if you do it in groups to gain their followers too.
4). Netizen pities you.
5). Rise in reputation.

WHY WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT RACIAL SENSITIVITY?

As what I mentioned above, racial sensitivity is important because it will safeguard in a country. Just imagine if our country has a racial issue just like what USA and South African had once upon a time. That was only the impact from 2 main groups. We haven’t include the countless beyond phalanx like what we have in Malaysia or Sarawak specifically. 

Every races in Malaysia, from Bukit Kayu Hitam in Perlis to Simpang Mengayau in Sabah deserves to be respected and not to be made fun off. Dignity of a race is not something that you can trample upon like a rag. Our 5th National Principle (Rukun Negara) also mentioned “Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan”, which means Courtesy and Morality. We have to watch out for our words because indirectly, we are the ambassador of our own race to the others.

For example, when Race A’s member created a problem with Race B. Until the end of time the peoples of Race B will remember that Race A is the bad guy, because first impression lasts forever, even though the offender is only an individual from Race A and it doesn’t represent Race A as a whole. That’s what we call bias. That person’s mistake already shapes the worldview of Race B and it is difficult to correct and fix that first impression.

That’s why, best if we avoid any racial issues at all cost. If there is a mistake done however, for us Malaysians upholding our National Principles, we should apologise.

INFLUENCER’S SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Once upon a time,  there is a lot of youngsters who wants to be a teacher, soldiers, government officials or even doctors because those occupations has a good reputation in the eye of the soeciry and it is considered glamourous.

But today, the answer from Gen Z is more inclined towards influencers path, Youtuber, Gamer, and recently, Tik-Tokers where their lives revolve around social media platforms.

Who doesn’t like if we have millions of followers and everytime we do a Facebook / Instagram / Tik-Tok LIVE, we will have thousands of followers. Each tweet will be liked and retweeted by thousands of our fans. YouTube video views are more than a million. Enticing, isn’t it?

But the reality is, the more followers you have in social media, the heavier is the social burden that you have to shoulder. This is because, your followers are going to resonate with whatever values that you are projecting. Most of these peoples are youths and Gen Z that look highly upon you.

Parents are striving to give the best to their kids, toiling day in and day out be it at the village or at the city, and even offshore or frontlines. Most of them doesn’t even bother about the current trend because they are committed to their works and to provide for the family. The once, so cool lad is now a boring dad. The education of their kids comes first, their hobby later. It’s okay if my phone has many buttons as long as I am not taking loans here and there for my kids to further their studies. Those might be the unspoken words of a parent.

Back to these influencers, best if they became the positive vibe generators and not toxic or negative vibe because whatever that they are doing,  it will have a tremendous impact to the social group that follows them, their followers.

For those who followed me since the beginning, you will realise that I am trying to use as much as proper Malay language even in my FB Live and in my posts. Even if I am using English also, I will use a proper English. When I was in school and even in university, I was always ridiculed because I prefer to speak in proper Malay than to use mixed, street language which is quite famous now. My principle is, “Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa” (language is the soul of the race/people). If we are not taking care of the values of our race, who else will? Do we want to see that our kids want to put aside our national language to put forth something more “in” or viral, and our national language is not relevant anymore?

EPILOGUE:

Rise and fall of our nation lies at the hand of the current generations. People outside of our nation are racing to send people to the stars using a cheaper cost, while us here are still busy quarreling.

Kerana Pulut, Santan Binasa,
Kerana Mulut, Badan Binasa;
Terlajak perahu, boleh diundur.
Terlajak kata, buruk padahnya.

Literal translation:

Because of glutinous rice, coconut milk perishes
Because of the mouth, the body perishes
Overshot boat can be reversed
Accidentally speaking bad words spells disaster.

Words are very powerful, it can be constructive, and it also can be destructive. So, speak wisely. I sincerely hope that after this, there are no other parties who tries to stir any racial issues in Malaysia.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Nota: “Tukang Rantek” bermaksud jurugambar di dalam bahasa Bidayuh.

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Lesson From Cardock’s Issue

Tabi basa, silamat narang andu, selamat ngalih ari, sayu ngedau, selamat belua tau & celamat dau adak.

First and foremost I’d like to convey my deepest condolences to the family of the fallen solders at the 13 August Incident, where four of Malaysian Air Force died due to shooting incident that happened at Guard Post  of Handau Squadron 330 around 7.15am today, at Kota Samarahan.

Back to the issue that I’d like to talk about, I have received a screenshot from fellow PPPOU’21 participants about Cardock’s post, which exactly the thing that we don’t want to happen at Sarawak, the Land of Hornbill which consists of various ethnics and tribes. That’s why I am compelled to write about this.

Disclaimer: I am not hired or influenced by anyone to write this article. It is purely my own opinion.

WHAT HAPPENED?

For those who didn’t know, what happened was Cardock uploaded a picture with him and caption Kayan King and his concubines (original post: Raja Kayan dan Gundik-Gundik).

For those who wants to know about Kayan peoples, you can read about it here.  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=495958447250617&id=495294393983689

EFFECT FROM THE POST

For those who knows Cardock, where he always do live video, they will know about his character, his conversation and that is part of his charm and charisma, making people likes to follow him and follow his adventure to promote Sarawak in the eyes of the world. Cardock also has his own fans that is called Cardock Clan.

Cikgu Emmet also wrote a good summary about Cardock and his accomplishments so far. You can read about it here. https://www.facebook.com/…/a.74617559…/4177085132339458/

However, as an effect of his post, a lot of peoples have spoken out to voice their opinions. Just like in the snapshots below, it actually begins at Miri Community, then a lot of other individuals that posted about this, including Nissie A that quotes Cardock’s LIVE with Durian Kimchi with regards to the insult of Iban’s Ngepan as well questioning why there was a silence from related Orang Ulu associations, and there was also Viviana’s post. That post was also shared at Pulau Borneo Tanah Dayak, where it was written there about the act where Cardock degrades the status of Kayan women.

Because of that Cardock changed the caption to “Cardock dan Mak-Mak Orang” (meaning, Cardock and Other People’s Mother) as well calling the peoples who doesn’t like his caption as “terlalu pembaris” and “tak boleh gurau” (meaning, can’t take jokes and too sensitive).

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL BRO? IT WAS A JOKE ANYWAY.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison. We can’t expect everyone to accept our joke, especially in Sarawak. What’s a joke for us will be an insult to everyone else.

I have experienced this first hand when I was starting with Pertandingan Personaliti Popular Orang Ulu 2021, where they claimed that I am not alert about Orang Ulu’s sensitivity. The seemingly harmless joke at my Google Form also was taken out of context (“mambang”, meaning spirit) and was formed in such a way I insulted Orang Ulu. I honour relationship above everything else. Therefore, I get in touch with OUNA’s president and apologise from him, written and verbal and did an open LIVE Facebook apology though a lot of people said that it was totally unnecessary because I didn’t do anything bad.

However, I lower down my ego because it is better to earn respect than to win and lose respect from Orang Ulu community, and Sarawak peoples in general. The key to Sarawak’s peace is respect. Even though such joke is normal and small matter for us, we can’t impose our standard to others. They can’t see our intention, but they can see our actions.

OBSERVATIONS:

From my observations on the comments and shares, here’s my summary:

1). Firstly, calling Kayan women as concubines. It is a joke for Cardock, but not many people can accept it. One wrong move, there will be a police report about this matter. It is not wise to call those mothers, grandmothers as your concubine. It as if you are stepping on their dignity.

2). Secondly, King of Kayan. For Kayans, the royals are called “Maren”, and their chief is called “Maren Uma”.  Not everyone can be a Maren because they have to follow the ancient ways and customs, what more to say about becoming Maren Uma. It is not easy. With respect to the traditional customs, the usage of “King of Kayan” should be avoided at all cost to respect the sensitivity of the Kayan peoples. It is a different story if you are making a joke with your close friends, but it is totally not suitable for public use.

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

For your information as well, Cardock is half-Iban, where his mother is from Sibu and his father is a Malay from Perak. Because of this family ties, Cardock has an immense passion to promote Sarawak at the eye of the world. In short, whatever that happens, is like Sarawakian versus Sarawakians. This is something that makes me sad deep in my heart.

Cardock has helped to promote Sarawak to the eyes of the world by doing Live from one place to another, usually the place that prime media won’t cover all, and you won’t see it in mainstream media. Currently he is doing “Jelajah Sarawak” (Sarawak’s Adventure), indirectly helping the locals at Belaga or Balingian and everywhere else to extra exposure and ultimately more income.

Taking lessons from this matter, I sincerely hope all of us, be it normal peoples, Ybs, influencers etc to be alert and ensure that the content of your post is not breaching any people’s sensitivity so that we can live in peace with one another, be it at Sarawak or anywhere else in Malaysia for a greater good. Lest there will be another Durian Kimchi 2.0.

Take care and stay safe. Delta variant of COVID-19 is raging outside.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Note: “Tukang Rantek” means photographer in Bidayuh language.

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Malay Version:

PENGAJARAN DARIPADA ISU CARDOCK

Tabi basa, silamat Narang andu, selamat ngalih ari, sayu ngedau, selamat belua dau & celamat dau adak.

Terlebih dahulu saya ingin memberikan ucapan takziah buat keluarga askar-askar yang terkorban di dalam Peristiwa 13 Ogos, yang mana 4 orang anggota TUDM maut di dalam insiden tembakan yang berlaku jam 7.15 pagi tadi di Balai Pengawal Handau Skuadron 330, Kota Samarahan.

Berbalik kepada perkara yang saya ingin tulis, pada pagi ini, saya telah menerima tangkaplayar berkenaan post saudara Cardock daripada beberapa peserta PPPOU’21. Ianya merupakan salah satu daripada isu yang kita tidak mahu berlaku di Sarawak, Bumi Kenyalang yang terdiri daripada pelbagai etnik dan suku. Oleh sebab itu saya tergerak untuk memberikan ulasan saya akan hal ini.

Penafian: Saya tidak diupah oleh mana-mana pihak atau dipengaruhi oleh mana-mana individu untuk menulis artikel ini. Semua yang anda baca adalah pendapat saya sendiri.

APA YANG BERLAKU?

Bagi yang tidak tahu, apa yang berlaku adalah Cardock telah memuatnaik gambar dengan kapsyen “Raja Kayan dengan gundik-gundiknya” pada tiga hari yang lepas.

Bagi yang kurang arif akan Bahasa Malaysia, berikut adalah definisinya.

Definisi (Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat):

Raja (King):

1. orang yg mengetuai dan memerintah sesuatu negara (bangsa), kepala negara (yg diwarisi).

2. kepala negeri, sultan: di Malaysia Barat lapan drpd ~-~nya bergelar sultan;

3. kepala suku (daerah): di Nusa Teng¬gara masih banyak ~;

Gundik (Concubine):

1. isteri yg bukan gahara, isteri tidak rasmi;

2. bini gelap;

Kata ganda bagi gundik adalah “gundik-candik”.

Kayan: salah satu daripada etnik di Sarawak.

Boleh baca sejarah orang Kayan di sini: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=495958447250617&id=495294393983689

Dalam Bahasa Inggeris, “Kayan King and his concubines”.

KESAN DARIPADA POST ITU

Bagi yang mengenali Cardock, yang mana dia selalu membuat Live dan biasa akan perwatakkannya, gurauan ini adalah biasa dan ianya adalah sebahagian daripada daya tarikan Cardock yang menyebabkan banyak orang tertarik untuk mengikuti pengembaraannya mempromosikan Sarawak di mata dunia. Cardock juga mempunyai kumpulan penyokongnnya yang tersendiri itu, Cardock Clan.

Cikgu Emmet telah membuat ringkasan yang padat tapi bermakna berkenaan Cardock. Anda boleh baca di sini: https://www.facebook.com/…/a.74617559…/4177085132339458/

Namun begitu, berikutan daripada post Cardock itu, beberapa orang telah bangkit kerana menyuarakan pendapat mereka. Seperti di dalam gambar di bawah, mula-mula sekali adalah di Miri Community, dan kemudiannya oleh berbanyak individu termasuk Nissie A yang memetik berkenaan Live Cardock dengan Durian Kimchi berkenaan isu penghinaan terhadap Ngepan Iban, serta mempersoalkan persatuan berkenaan yang memilih untuk berdiam dan juga post Vivianna dibawah. Post itu juga telah dikongsi di group Pulau Borneo Tanah Dayak, yang mana ditulis di sana perbuatan itu ibarat menghina saudara Kayan dan merendahkan martabat wanita Kayan.

Berikutan hal itu, saudara Cardock telah mengubah kapsyen kepada “Cardock dan Mak-Mak Orang” serta menggelarkan mereka yang tidak suka akan kapsyen tersebut sebagai “terlalu pembaris” dan “tak boleh gurau”.

APA MASALAHNYA BRO? GURAUAN JA PUN.

Apa yang menjadi gurauan bagi kita, mungkin adalah satu penghinaan bagi orang lain. Lebih-lebih lagi di Sarawak, yang mana sensitiviti kaum hendaklah dijaga.

Saya sendiri pun pernah mengalami akan hal ini, iaitu berkenaan dengan Pertandingan Personaliti Orang Ulu 2021. Saya dikatakan tidak menjaga sensitiviti Orang Ulu. Konteks lawa jenaka saya di GoogleForm berkenaan istilah “mambang” tidak diterima oleh sesetengah pihak. Disitu apa yang saya buat adalah berhubung dengan Presiden OUNA, dan meminta maaf daripada beliau dan membuat permohonan maaf secara terbuka melalui Facebook Live walaupun banyak yang mengatakan tidak perlu minta maaf kerana tiada yang salah yang saya buat.

Namun saya merendahkan diri saya kerana bagi saya, adalah lebih penting untuk menjaga hubungan baik sesama warga Sarawak daripada perkara yang lain. Kunci keamanan Sarawak adalah hormat-menghormati. Walaupun perkara itu adalah normal dan gurauan bagi kita, namun atas dasar hormat, kita tidak boleh memaksa orang lain untuk menerima gurauan kita. Orang tidak lihat niat kita, tapi orang lihat perbuatan kita.

Berdasarkan pemerhatian saya terhadap komen-komen dan post-post tersebut, ini adalah ringkasan isu ini:

1). Pertama, menggelar wanita-wanita Kayan di sana sebagai gundik-gundik. Gurauan bagi Cardock, tapi tidak semua orang boleh menerima gurauan ini. Silap haribukan, nanti ada report polis akan hal ini. Adalah tidak elok sekiranya anda menggelar ibu-ibu, makcik-makcik orang sebagai “gundik”. Seolah-olah merendahkan martabat wanita itu.

2). Keduanya, Raja Kayan. Untuk orang Kayan, golongan bangsawan akan digelar sebagai Maren, dan ketua mereka akan digelar Maren Uma. Tidak semua orang boleh mendapat gelaran Maren kerana ianya harus menurut lunas adat, apatah lagi menjadi Maren Uma. Atas dasar menghormati adat, maka penggunaan istilah “Raja Kayan” sewajarnya dijauhi bagi menjaga sensitiviti kaum. Mungkin bagi sahabat rapat, ianya tidak menjadi masalah, namun untuk penggunaan umum, ianya tidak sesuai. Nasihat ini saya berikan atas pengalaman peribadi saya.

HARAPAN UNTUK MASA HADAPAN:

Untuk pengetahuan anda semua, Cardock juga berketurunan Iban (daripada sebelah Ibunya). Bapa Cardock adalah orang Perak (rasanya). Disebabkan hubungan kekeluargaan itulah Cardock mempunyai semangat yang membara untuk mempromosikan Sarawak dimata dunia. Jadi, secara ringkasnya, hal ini adalah seperti perbalahan sesama orang Sarawak. Ternyata ini adalah satu perkara yang menyedihkan buat Sarawak secara amnya kerana “miak Sarawak bergaduh ngan miak Sarawak”.

Cardock telah membantu untuk mempromosikan Sarawak ke mata dunia dengan membuat live dari tempat-tempat yang ditidak mendapat liputan media masa, seperti Jelajah Sarawak yang sedang berjalan sekarang, secara tidak langsung memberikan publisiti dan membantu peniaga-peniaga tempatan kita, baik di Belaga, Balingian mahupun dimana-mana sahaja di dalam Sarawak.

Mengambil iktibar daripada perkara ini, saya juga berharap agar kita semua, baik rakyat marhaen, YB-YB, “influencer” dsb sentiasa peka dan pastikan isi kandungan post kita media sosial tidak melampau batas gurauan kita agar kita sentiasa menjaga adab, menjaga sensitiviti kaum lain baik di Sarawak atau di mana-mana dalam Malaysia demi kesejahteraan bersama. Jangan ada lagi Durian Kimchi versi 2.0.

Terlajak perahu boleh diundur, terlajak kata, buruk padahnya.

Jaga diri anda semua baik-baik. Varian Delta COVID-19 sedang mengganas.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Life Is Not A Race

Tabi basa and greetings everyone! How was your day? I hope you are doing fine despite the ever-increasing case of COVID-19 now, especially when you are residing at Peninsular Malaysia. For Malaysians, that is always the struggle that we will not be able to get away from anytime soon. Let’s call it our war (Boku no Senshou). As of 11 Aug 2021, there is a huge number of COVID cases in Malaysia. At 1.3 million, it is approximately 4.0%, a figure that’s quite high, even higher than India’s case in terms of COVID-19 percentage. That is scary. Even worse, there are some local “treasonists” who has the balls to sell fake COVID-19 certificate to Malaysian citizens. Their business idea seems to be out of this world, risking general’s health in order to gain extra money. For as low as RM200 (47 USD), you put aside your integrity and gave others a false sense of security? That’s lunatic.

Latest COVID-19 case.
This is madness. Insider can help to adjust MySejahtera status for as low as RM200. Way to go, Treasonist.

Setting aside COVID-19 case in Malaysia, one of the thing that I want to talk about today is regarding life’s philosophy, where I always find it fascinating to be able to hear more inspirational words from other authors, especially that talks about improving lives.

One of it is definitely the notion that “Life Is Not A Race”.

Life Is Not a Race

One of the thing that I commonly see among my circle is that they are constantly thinking that life is a race. I find it sad to see man/woman with high potential for the future but jeopardise their potential by not doing what’s required. Most of the youngsters are trend-hoppers, jumping from one trend to another. I am guilty of this as well, because like it or not, peer pressure is always there.

But in my silence (I’m doing silent retreat), I realised that if we are not happy with what we are now, we cannot be happy with whatever we posses.

If we are not happy with our present, we’ll never find happiness in the future.

But why is this happening?

It could be probably due to the accumulation of disappointment that we receive up until now, as of the past is still haunting us. Call it a joke, it happens to some bloke. To be able to handle disappointment would be a superpower for many of us. We are not well-equipped to handle rejection, at least that’s what our brain wants to hear.

A lot of our problem stems from our inability to be still, mentally. You can be sitting quietly in an empty room for hours, but if your brain is still erratic, you can’t find peace.

It all boils down to your ability to the harsh reality of life, and not being overly optimistic because down along the line something undesirable will definitely happen.

According to the famous Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

CAPT ED MURPHY

The law’s namesake was Capt. Ed Murphy, a development engineer from Wright Field Aircraft Lab (Source: Bloch, Arthur (1980 edition). Murphy’s Law, and Other Reasons Why Things Go WRONG,).

Because of this, things might happen no matter how good we are in preparing to avoid it. As long as there is percentage of probability, no matter how small, it might happen.

But so is happiness. But, then again, why is it so difficult to improve our lives?

For me, one of the way to improve lives is through Stoicism philosophy.

What is Stoic?

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of stoic are as follows:
1. Capitalized : a member of a school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium about 300 b.c. holding that the wise man should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submissive to natural law.
2. one apparently or professedly indifferent to pleasure or pain

Synonyms: forbearing, long-suffering, patient, tolerant, uncomplaining
Antonyms: complaining, fed up, impatient, kvetching, kvetchy, protesting

I first heard about this philosophy from Eric Kim, a photographer from America. You can read more about his view of stoicism here.

Why Stoic?

When it comes to Stoicism, this person comes to mind – Ryan Holiday. He is the writer of Daily Stoic. You can follow him here (personal Instagram) or at his famous Daily Stoic Instagram account. From Daily Stoic page, you can get your daily dose of Stoicism where for me, it is a good daily reminder and it provides me with something to think about for the rest of the day.

Aspiring to be a stoic person.

In short, Stoicism teaches us that, before we try to control events, we have to control ourselves first. 

Yes, that’s right. Often we think that we are not in control of our lives, and we are living in an autopilot mode. That is actually not true. We are holding the flight stick of our life. Sometimes, we forgot, due to various reasons.

Our life is dynamic, and we are living in a turbulence. Our reality and our ideals are not aligned to one another. If we can calibrate our expectations to meet our reality, then we will be much happier with our lives. Sadly, that is not the case to most of us.

Our brain are wired to accept only the best but forgot that we are not a perfect being ourselves. It’s like boys expecting a perfect, Barbie-like spouse when they are not even close to look like Ken.

Having a passion in our life is important because we need to have a locus in our life. We need to identify it as early as we can so that we can leverage on time that we have. We can’t play short term gain because like Malcolm Gladwell said, we need to have at least spent 10,000hours of intensive practice to be a good in something, whatever it is. 10,000 hours, divided into 8 hours per day, is equivalent to 3.5 years. Or maybe more, depending on your commitment level. Some are better than the other, but that is dependent on their physical advantage. People will always use the word “talent” to someone who is better than the other, but little did we know, most of the time, it is down to their effort, or how bad they want it.

One of the most profound thing that I heard is “You can’t fix internal issues with external accomplishments”, a quote by Ryan Holiday, the writer of Daily Stoic. You can follow him at Instagram for more inspirational quotes.

Don’t Take Things Personally

Your value does not decrease just because someone’s unable to see your worth.

Usually we take things personally because of our ego and our desire to be right. Our brain is not wired to accept the fact that it is lacking in so many ways.

To deal with these, we need to look at their intention and try to understand where they are coming from, for example, deep down, they want to be right, or have something in mind for the whole day.

Improvement-wise, our negative beliefs, we take things personally because we know that we have some truth in it. Our childhood has an effect on this.

The account that engages the most with our limbic brain will have the most following. Don’t believe me? Have a look at those popular images at Tik Tok or Instagram. They are eerily having the same pattern. In social media, previously it was chronologically-arranged, and now it is done by using algorithm. Usually the minorities are being left out. That is why, if you want to pioneer something for a long run, don’t put your base in Social Media, It’s like building with sand as its foundation.

For your own good, learn to walk away when you think you are not being appreciated much. I wish I knew this when I was younger. 20s was a decade of experiment, and 30s is when you know what you want in life.

The Wise and Foolish Builder

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27

If you want whatever that you are building last, do it on a solid foundation. Not temporary trend like Tik Tok or Vine, or even Facebook and Twitter. These things will evolve, and new form of platform will take place.

The best time to be invested is in something that will give you a return in the long term. Public speaking, writing ability, guitar-playing, singing, photography mastery – those are the things that will pay in the long run. Don’t play short term. Aim for long term. I had my time experimenting on mobile games such as Mobile Legend: Bang Bang and League of Legends: Wild Rift just to find out that those things are not suit for me. Firstly, they consume a lot of time, and with the right community, you are hooked by its promise of endless dopamine surge. But what does it cost you? Time, sleep, energy, death of a dream et cetera. Even the 15 seconds video of TikTok actually took a lot of time to prepare, don’t underestimate it.

In essence, time is gold.

Epilogue

From the stories that I have written here, from Life Is Not A Race, to Stoicism and finally Not Taking Things Personally, I hope I have given to you something to ponder upon and ultimately, improving your life.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Note: “Tukang Rantek” means photographer in Bidayuh language.

Follow me at: Tik Tok Instagram Facebook LinkTree

Dopamine Rat Race

Nothing to do with dopamine or Rat Race. I just like the view.

Disclaimer: This article is not written against social media, but to highlight the effect if it’s being used excessively. Everything, if being used in moderation, is great. That includes social media that we have nowadays, which is a blessing especially during MCO.

Tabi basa and greetings everybody! How was your week? I hope all is well with you. For the past two months, I have been doing online competitions , back to back, starting with Pertandingan Personaliti Popular Mparing Sawa / Ngiling Bidai (Gawai Closing Popular Personality Competition), followed by Pertandingan Personaliti Popular Orang Ulu (Orang Ulu’s Popular Personality Competition).

Recently I went through the comments that I have received on my blogs. There were two popular posts, first one is Be Fearless and the second one is The Price of Freedom. Back in the day when I wrote it, I was having mild fever and had a runny nose. I wish that I can have be free from those diseases, which caused a minor discomfort for me. Now, all of us are suffering from COVID-19 that is plaguing the whole world, causing us to be confined to our own residence and some even stay at quarantine.

Amidst the silence of these quarantines, I decided to write something based on my observations of our current trends and life that revolves around social media because being confined at home, what is the best thing that we can do, right?

No photo description available.

THE OBSERVATIONS:

Based on current trends, since the beginning of Movement Control Order in 18 March 2020, we are getting used to various types of MCO such that we are no longer bothered by the latest announcements. All we know is that this “war” is not going to end anytime soon. It could go on until 2023, if we play our cards incorrectly because these viruses can mutate into an even stronger strain. Now we have Delta variant, which is much deadlier and stronger than the previous versions.

Because of that, subconsciously we are thinking, how do we survive our lives indoor? Easy fix for that is by spending our time in front of the screen. I was blessed to be able to live my life without any smart devices, where that time, everything is mostly analogue with some digital support. Back then, when I want to withdraw my scholarship money during Secondary School at SMK Tebakang, I have to request for my BSN account book from our school counselor who was assigned the task of safe-keeping scholar’s bank book for SMK Tebakang. Not sure about other school though, but that how we do it at SMKT. Usually I will request for RM100, and that amount is huge back then.

I vividly remember when I was still in Primary Four a couple of decades ago, most of my classmates have remarkable dreams; some wants to be a teacher, some police, some elite soldiers. If you ask those of the same age now, they would tell you a different story. They want to be a Youtuber, an Instafamous person, a Tik-Tok star or an influencer. It is quite obvious that different generation has a different views. But I still believe that we should be equipped for the future. What are the things that we are doing today that will benefit us in many years to come? That very topic deserved its own dedicated article.

DOPAMINE RAT RACE

Believe it or not, most of us are dealing with smart devices, in one way or another. Have you ever wonder, what was the first thing that most of us do when we wake up? For many of us, the first thing that we do when we wake up is to touch our phone to turn off its alarm. While we’re holding our phone, out of habit, we often look at our newsfeed, be it at Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok. The seemingly brief job actually costs us almost an hour to get off. By the time we realized it, it’s too late. We’re late for whatever things that we do, though some who is very well-disciplined can break off easily. But how many of us are like that? Not many, I can say. Most are chained and confined to their modern day prison, the prison of their mind, the one that you cannot touch, smell or see. That’s the most dangerous of all.

This habit also caught the attention of medical world, where the compulsive checking of smartphone is a sign of habit, a dependence to the smartphone. Metaphorically, we are akin to riding a treadmill. For first time users of smartphone, the joy and the feel that they felt when they used it, creating first Facebook account, TikTok and Instagram is unmeasurable. The joy of getting your firsts are thrilling, but that is until you compared yourself to others. Suddenly, your happiness from getting few hundred / followers are eclipsed when you compared yourself to others who has more than a thousand followers. That drives many to do follow-for-follow movements, or Like-for-Like movements. That happiness and excitement that you acquire from achieving your social-media goal is called “Dopamine Rush”. Not only confined to social media, but also in everyday life. For example, you won a million ringgit jackpot, or your found out that your crush likes you back. Well, that’s an easy example. But for the sake of this article, I will only confine it to social media-derived dopamine pleasure and its withdrawal.

Every single time we post our picture, when people likes our picture, we will feel that excitement – that’s dopamine in action where it is being released in our brain. You can call it our reward and it makes us feel good. What’s not good is when you look at someone else’s higher likes and our of a sudden, your brain will release cortisol, or stress hormone. In some cases, it will be released with adrenaline to prepare our body for some possible physical action, such as a brawl, though it is not really a common occurrence nowadays.

Then came Tik Tok. Somehow, we do crave for dopamine rush, whether you like it or not. Most of Gen Y and Gen Z are the main consumer of TikTok, with some Gen X adapting to its trend in order to boost their business or to reach out to Gen Y & Z.

For those who didn’t know, these are the definition of the generations:

  • Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964.
  • Gen X: Born between 1965 and 1980.
  • Gen Y: Dubbed “Millennials”, born between 1981 and 1996.
  • Gen Z: newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012.
  • Gen A: Generation Alpha was born in 2012 and will continue until 2025.

You might wonder, why is this important? The generation before a generation will always say that the newer generation is lazier, but they forgot that we are adapting. It’s like you’re still riding a horse when everyone else are driving their own cars across the street. Baby Boomers generation has their own different ideals, where they admire someone who works in the government office, works in a traditional job, holding ranks as well as doctor profession. Meanwhile, the latest gens wants to be otherwise. With the rise of e-Sport, famous peoples gamers like Faker, Rekkles, Perkz from League of Legends communities, and not to forget YouTubers such as PewDiePie and MrBeast, of course these gen shifts their attention to the current trend. As for TikTok, many would know Khaby Lame, a Senegalese-born Tik-Toker based in Italy that sarcastically points out people who overcomplicate simple tasks for no particular reason. He has the record for being the most followed Italian on both TikTok and Instagram.

Khaby Lame. Just looking at him reminds me to all of his funny videos.

Look at all these peoples, their lifestyle seems to be easy and they are living their dream, isn’t it? Wake up, do Tik Tok, and money comes in? Is that why a lot of people are trying their luck to be Tik Tok famous? That’s where the rabbit hole started.

There was a time when me and my buddies (3D) dreamt of becoming famous like Muse, and acquire that blue tick at our own Facebook page.

CONSEQUENCES

While it looks attractive in the beginning, as you look closer to these trend, it actually has its own dark side that not many soul wants to talk about. When I first started my photography journey, I created my own Facebook page. I started as an unknown and nobody knows about my photography journey. My style is to post a picture and write about it. I don’t do jokes because it doesn’t suit my style as I prefer more solemn mood in my postings. Though I only have around less than 128 followings in my first year, I didn’t give up, but continue to work on my passion and photography skill until it’s being acknowledged. My Instagram is even worst. I have very little postings too but that’s because I am not good at photography yet. So I attended trainings after trainings to improve myself and to open up my mind and perspective.

If money is no object, I will buy all of these. Four years ago, this setup is the best. Now, new breeds are here.

Now, as my skill improves, as my work is being acknowledged, I am getting more followings. But does my following defines who I am as a photographer, and especially as a person? No. It doesn’t change who I am. Our social media trend may change overnight and our efforts to acquire followings might go down the drain and we have to start all over again.

Did you notice that more and more people starts to tie their own approval and self-worth to how much attention they get from other peoples via social media? I am new to Tik Tok, but I already noticed a trend where is a lot of peoples requests for follow-for-follow trend. I was told, it is not new, but it is one way for them to improve their followings. My Tik Tok followers is only 165, but I doesn’t make me anything less than I am. Tik Tok is just the current trend. Previously it was Vine. That’s why, people called it Vine 2.0.

My current Facebook page. It’s not easy to reach this stage. It’s all thanks to the followers who has been supporting me since 2017. Tiga tawai! Sayu kenep! Jiak cengah! Terima kasih mayuh-mayuh/ahi-ahi ndug bala kende!

But the fact that many starts to tie their own approval and self-worth to attention given by others via soc-med is just sad. Just imagine how many hours wasted just to create that “perfect” 15 seconds clip and yet others just scroll it down at “For You” section. That’s disheartening. That’s why I just do what I love most. I write as long as I can in my blog because in soc-med, there are limitations in how many words you can type. In my own blog, it is limitless.

Talking about these attention-craving creatures, Will Smith said it best.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like”.

Will Smith

Those that’s not really mentally-strong might follow the trend. That’s why, even he/she is good with something, getting acknowledged by their peers, friends and family, but deep inside, they knew that something is not right. That’s what I call, pleasing others, not pleasing yourself. What is the point of life then?

I can even quote this about a guy who is learning to cook, instead of learning how to properly make-up just because he is was being raised in a family of excellent cooks. What if he wants to learn how to cool properly? It is wrong for him to do so?

It is easy for us to label someone than to help them to become a better person. Generally if we saw someone with low followings, our perception varies from not famous, not popular to weirdo. But it is better to be called names than to lose who you really are..

RESISTANCE

Like it or not, these are the world that we live in, where we can’t escape from social media and those viral items. What we can do is to spread the message of good news using it. Some also spread the Gospel/Bible or quotes from Al Quran to their fellow believers. When we wake up, try not to immerse yourself further other than to stop the alarm clock. The best thing is to hit the cold shower to properly wake up and start your day as early as you can. Stop scrolling down to seek happiness at Tik Tok or Instagram Reels because what you seek is not there. What you seek is inside you.

Unhappiness is actually the product of our thought. Some worry about yesterday, some worry about future. To be happy, we need to let go of what’s already gone, focus on what we have at hand and prepare for what’s we have.

May be an image of 1 person and smiling
Focus on the NOW.

The genuinely happy person only focuses on the “NOW”. They cherish the friendship that they have, the peoples who supports them and enjoy the nice things that they have. Most of the time, we already have what we need, but not what we want. What we want is not necessarily be good for us, because our Creator has something better in store for us.

EPILOGUE

Dopamine rush is a real thing and many of us are subject to it. Ignorance is bliss, after all. But once you are aware that you can’t derive any particular form of happiness from those red pop-ups from your soc-med notifications, you will start to realise that it is much more important to be happy with the present moment, with those who really loves you. Our parents are getting older, our ex-teachers are leaving one by one. Life is short, so cherish it.

No photo description available.
Once Upon A Time at Miri.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Note: “Tukang Rantek” means photographer in Bidayuh language.

Follow him at:

Tik Tok Instagram Facebook LinkTree