Being away for a few days, now that I am back, I was compelled to quickly scan the headlines of some major papers, now that lunch is over and I have cleared the pressing and urgent issues. A few that instantly caught my eye are below. Let's reflect on what we were doing, went through the last few days. We are often so caught up in our own myopic worlds, we lose track of what else can be happening around the world, that there are real people out there who go through what we do, who we both are not aware of the others' existence. Anyway, bad English aside, let's move on...
This article is about companies that handle daily mundane tasks that people outsourced to them, tasks that people either can’t, won’t or do not have the time to do. 1 such task was breaking off a relationship and another task involved a man asking someone to clean his ears for him. Seriously, you can’t find the time to do THAT? But on another note, it got me thinking, and there’s really a lot of stuff that could be done that way, for example, if I’m out doing some grocery shopping, and someone in my neighbourhood needs to get his laundry, and someone else needs to pay his phone bill, I could, en-route home, do their tasks for them, and get paid to do so. This reduces the number of cars on the road, thus easing traffic jams and petrol usage for everyone, saves time, and gives me a little pocket money earned that required not much effort at all. However the article goes on to say that people could outsource tasks like booking a restaurant, researching a holiday…I think stuff like that should still be done by us. It retains the ‘personal touch’, and makes romantic gestures that much more meaningful, as well as allowing for greater control.
In another article, I read about a Vogue model who committed suicide and died. Now, the article does not state why she committed suicide. But it just reminded me of how the constant striving for what society deems aesthetical beauty is really going too far, and is not only affecting very normal, healthy, good looking young girls, and spoiling girls’ self images, and making them insecure about their looks or unable to recognize it when they are in fact pretty, but it has now come to the point where it pushes people to extremes that now include not just anorexia and bulimia, but also death. I really hate how society does this to otherwise perfectly pretty girls with absolutely wonderful bodies. They just can’t stop thinking that they look less beautiful than what they really are, and it can be quite frustrating. To some girls, in the bid to make them more beautiful, they end up going too far, even to the extent of sleeping around just to attain the reassurance that they are desirable. Admittedly, such girls’ behaviours are the manifestation of a deeper psychological problem, but this affliction also infects girls with stronger constitutions than that, just in different ways.
How many of us really believe that there is freedom of choice in today’s world and that we are all completely in control of our own behaviour? IF you think you are, then you are deluded. Everyday, there are many instances where what we think/do are subliminally controlled or influenced by the environment around us, cleverly manipulated and designed by marketers or lobbyists. For example, I strongly believe that smoking is a personal choice. And given that some people do not like cigarette smoke, it is correct to gazette smoke-free zones. But you can’t take this too far. Why not let entertainment establishments decide for themselves whether they allow smoking in the joint or not, and trust that people can choose to decide for themselves whether to patronize the joint or not? I hate it when anti tobacco lobbyists, in their overzealousness and whatnot, ban smoking here there and in pubs and bars. What makes them think they know better than the people themselves what is good for them? Let people choose, give us freedom of choice! If you are going to ban tobacco smoking on the grounds that it harms others, well, why not ban alcohol as well? That affects far more people, from spousal abuse, familial neglect, rowdy behaviour, being nuisances, broken bottles in public places, drunk driving and its associated accidents etc, and the list goes on.
A lot of us have the same thought of going backpacking. We have all entertained ideas of making like those Canadians, Europeans, Aussies, and go backpacking around the world on a shoestring budget. The closest I’ve done to that is gone to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef with Sze. I must say it was a nice experience. But I’ve hardly ever read about tourists’ backpacking experience in Malaysia. This is 1 account. I’m sure there are many more. It does make me wonder, perhaps I could start a back packer’ establishment here in Malaysia, with reasonable rates. After all, for a tourist, what better than an English literate, honest, local guy who can give you some good recommendations, and who is just an internet click away, and who won’t lure you into some dubious tourist scam?