Depressed by the stock market? Excited by the stock market? I shall not add oil to fire but there are bound to be people on both sides of the fence. Like I once said, these are real people holding on to real portfolios. Real money and real lives at stake. Some will benefit greatly from this bear, and some will get burnt badly.

How about some turtle talk i.e. random ramblings to distract your mind?

Warning : Ip Man 3 Spoilers

Ip Man 3 / 叶问(三)

I just caught Ip Man 3 over the weekend (avoided the crowd – phew) and enjoyed the movie, but not because it was an action film. It is actually story about life and love disguised as a kungfu flick.

Looking at Ip Man from the point of view of the five pillars of life, it is really interesting to say the least. From what we can see from the movie, he has little to zero commitment in the spiritual and social aspects. How many friends does he even have?!

On the other hand, he seems to have overwhelming emphasis on the community (not necessarily by choice) and professional pillars.

He is the ultimate nice guy, and is unable to say no to people who needs his help. And yes, he is aware about it and feels guilty for neglecting his wife and son.

Why is Ip Man always so accommodating towards his wife despite his so-called status in society? Is it because he, of all people, recognized her importance? Without her, there would be no Ip Man?

Imagine how you would feel if your wife chose to go to the hospital by herself, to face an unfathomable horrific outcome, and you didn’t even know? Only to find out from a phone call from the hospital?

It would be a mistake to assume that Ip Man doesn’t care about the title of the authenticity of Wing Chun, although he is humble about it. It just happens that when forced to choose between the professional pillar and the family pillar, he chose family. This is why he said : “其實最重要的始終是你身邊的人”. Family will always be the most important. If I were in his shoes, this would be my answer too.

That is his choice, and his perspective. He would rather spend time learning something out of his comfort zone in order to enjoy a last dance with his dying wife, while the whole world was waiting for him to spar with his opponent.

The absolute beauty of the story is that Ip Man’s wife recognized that she had put Ip Man into this position, even though it was something not within her control. Even better, she set up a way for Ip Man to fulfill both his greatest needs without letting either one down. She set him up for an ending with no regrets.

What more can a man ask for?

What really matters in life? What is the most important? At the end, it is up to the individual to find the answer for themselves.

How many of us worked hard for our entire lives only to find out that we are merely pawns which went along the flow of least resistance? That we simply did what everyone else did? Or what people wanted us to do?

A Walking Shadow

I’m not one of those who meticulously crafts and schedules blog posts. Sometimes, I get inspirations from the weirdest of places and occasions – which is what happens when I rojak-ed two things into a single post like this.

I was doing one of my regularly runs along Punggol Waterway when a famous soliloquy by Shakespeare’s Macbeth popped into my head. I know – one of those really random things huh?

Many years ago, I took Literature as one of my ‘O’ level subjects and ultimately, it was one of those things that I couldn’t really excel in academically no matter what I do. I’m more of a science/maths person – heh.

The famous soliloquy by Macbeth goes like this, after he was informed that his wife, Lady Macbeth, has died –

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The funny thing about the subject of Literature is that many years later, on various occasions, I derive some form of higher appreciation regarding something that I had assumed to be meaningless.

The key often lies in the way we interpret the words and read between the lines. (hey this reminds me of someone) What does this soliloquy actually mean to you? What significance can we infer from it?

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Repeated not twice, but thrice. The tone has been set. Time creeps – almost in a stealthy and unimportant, petty way. From day to day (again, the idea of repetition) till the end of time. Every single day, people like you and me have passed on in the same manner to a dusty (another reference to triviality) demise. Are we all just pathetic beings? Are all our actions during our limited time on Earth for naught?

And perhaps, is this why we do what we do – buy a house, start a family, have kids, invest, strive for financial independence so that we can do what we enjoy? We want to be able to mean something to somebody. We don’t want to be trapped by our jobs. We want to pursue things that make us happy and gives purpose to our life.

In stories or works of fiction, many times, I’ve realized they are an reflection of real life. Has your life been a walking shadow?

Ah. Too heavy-hearted to end the blog post like this. Let’s watch something rather funny I’ve recently seen on Facebook. I picked up a valuable tip or two, too!