#11- Thoughts on Childhood


We met this little boy at one of the random pagodas we tried to climb up in Bagan. He was really curious, and yet behaved in a really warm way, sharing about the pagoda with us in whatever little English that he could speak. The bulk of the communication was done through pointing and gestures. At the end, we were thinking if we were supposed to tip him, as this was always the case in SEA. To our surprise, he simply said bye to us, and signaled for us to make our way down the pagoda.

I enjoyed the short encounter with this kid, as this reminded me of the innocence that children have. Circumstances, more often than not, take that right of childhood away from them, evident from the neighbouring countries we have traveled to.

Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood, regardless of where and what sort of families they are born into, and this is definitely an area I hope to make a difference to, if given a chance to.

As I look at how the children in the city are spoilt rotten with the introduction of first world “necessities” such as Ipads, Iphones, tablets, I cannot help but think that I was lucky to be born into a time where I could enjoy my childhood in a tiny village back in Hong Kong in the 80s, where I lived in wooden houses. Even though we did not have any of the luxury that we enjoy today, I definitely think that we were all happier then. Much of it was filled with running around the tiny village with my neighbours, and getting screamed at by the adults as we ran around the neighbourhood. I think I miss that pure happiness, and am ever more so thankful that I had the opportunity to enjoy my childhood.

#10- Taking things for granted


I met this uncle whilst visiting one of the villages in Myanmar. The village had just started to have electricity just 2 months ago, and I could see that they were still trying adjust to the new lifestyle, with firewood placed everywhere around the village. This village had no locks, doors, but with the introduction of electricity, the wealthier families were beginning to build their own wells, so as to have a stake on clean water before everyone else. Seems that as society progresses, the notion of selflessness begins to diminish, and personal gains become prioritised.

Civilisation definitely drives the change in humanity, but I am not too sure if this is a good thing, as I look at how our houses these days have to be locked up, and so many measures have to put in place to ensure that others do not take advantage of another.

On another note, visiting the village was a humbling experience, as it got me thinking about how I should be grateful about the availability of electricity, clean water, which we very often take for granted. The flick of a switch, and the convenience of modern life drives one to take many things for granted. There is just so much in life to be grateful for.