Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Papers To The Heart...



"Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations"

~George Bernard Shaw~





"One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning"

~James Russell Lowell~


Sigh...

I was looking through my list of certificates and I just realised how many trees were felled because of them...

And while looking at all my certificates I really wondered if they meant anything.

After all, they are but a bunch of useless paper(s), with measly ink spots on them, and will probably turn yellow in a few more years because of chlorine in the air...

But as I look at each and every entree', I saw just how much I had grown, and the lessons I had learnt as a result.

Behind every certificate is the story of triumph, of victory, of learning to accept defeat, of teamwork, of loyalty, of fears overcome'd', of tears shed, of painstaking work, of lessons learnt, and of friends made...

I joined debate 7 years ago because I was afraid of the stage. 7 years down the road, I still fear the stage, but it is a fear fuelled by a little experience, and the knowledge that I have friends to back me up. My heart still hammers like crazy against my ribcage every time I have to present a speech, and I still have to have half an hour to panic before I get my mo-jo, but it is made all the easier because I don't care if I make a fool of myself anymore, so long as I fulfill what I stepped out to do.

I have done so many things in this short life, and as I looked at each certificate, I can almost replay the entire day(s) in my head. I sure thought this old-photographic-memory-camera ran out of film a long time ago, but I guess some moments will always remain hidden, but remembered...


50 years from now (If I am still around!), when my skin is so wrinkled it has formed world rivers, when my hair has lost its purpleness and is journeying down the road of gray, when unmentionable body parts have begun to droop, and when the memory-camera has just been exposed once too many, I will look back at these yellowing pieces of paper and I will revel in them.

I will revel in the knowledge that I have been through a lot, and that I have made something of myself, even if it is something very small. I will revel in the knowledge that I have made mistakes, but that I have learnt from them. I will revel in the knowledge that even if I failed, I tried my best. I will revel in the knowledge that I can be what I want to be if I set my heart to it.

These pieces of paper may not mean anything to anyone else, but they will mean the world to me.

Because behind every piece of paper, is the story of the journey of a girl into adulthood, and the story of how she became a better person...

Behind every piece of paper is the story of how a girl overcame the biggest adversity of all:- Herself...

But most important of all, they will mean the world to me because through them, I see a glimpse of the person that I might just one day become...

11 comments:

U.Lee said...

Hi Daphne, I love this post of yours. Your life, your strives. Your future.
You should always learn, with life comes wisdom and with wisdom comes the courage to live your life selflessly. The more you learn about yourself and the experiences
surrounding your life, the more opportunities you have to make your life better and more fulfilling.
Re giving speeches, my first time I was like John Travolta in Saturday nite fever, legs shaking, body trembling like kena malaria. After three, I enjoyed it, after 5, I did it without script. And that was in other countries, with International businessmen.
I always add humour in my speeches, especially if my turn is after lunch break.
I remember one time I had to give a boring lecture re marketing, after lunch too. As well present viewgraphs. Earlier I had sneaked in a couple of sexy, bikini clad ladies pics, and when I noticed several people yawning...I had the pics shown, but only for few seconds, "ooops, sorry, my mistake". That sure woke everyone up.
I did learn something, avoid lectures or speeches after lunch. Ha ha.
And Daphne...re your certificates and notes, I brought with me 15 large executive diaries (AIA, Malayan Banking, HongKong Bank etc) and quite a few notebooks of my old working days since 1968.....its locked in a box. Inbetween the business notes, reports, budget proposals, negotiations, are my 'adventures, romances, experiences' that you have or reading presently in my blog...of course the 'experiences' are all in morse code or Alfanumeric codes. Ha ha.
Otherwise how to remember my escapades of those days.
Irene alone occupied two diaries.
You keep well, Daphne. UL.

stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Daphne,
Certs are the confirmation of the lessons we sought to learn. Its achievement thats tangible. But certs don't make a person. Its the person himself/herself. We are what we are. We can only get better or worse or stagnate. The choice is ours. From your writing, I see you as a visionary. Its good. We all need vision otherwise we do not know where we'r going. My mentor once said..'Give your best today and tomorrow do a little better than today'.

Jo-D said...

Daphne daphne daphne! Beautiful post and it mades me think too. There are many people who view certificates as something to show off and be arrogant about. It's humbling to see someone seeing a certificate as a memory of becoming someone better because of learning. Thanks for sharing that. It was made me re-examine my values as a person now.

Anonymous said...

Learning fom mistakes is one thing which makes a person better. Glad you have remembered the bigger picture when looking at your certificates. Your view of them as being a symbol of triumph over adversity (difficulty, fear etc) shows your maturity, young lady. Keep it up! Good post! I see you making something worthy of yourself in the future!

J.T. said...

Daphne, I wish more people had your view about certificates of achievement.

I have been told indirectly that I am not as qualified or as ambitious as those who possess degrees. But if I told them something like what you posted today, I would have been called a 'sour grape'. If only they could see what you see. So young and you view life so maturely.

I agree with Stand Up Philosopher. "Certs are the confirmation of the lessons we sought to learn. Its achievement that's tangible. But certs don't make a person. Its the person himself/herself."

Lessons in life that accompanied lessons we sought to learn are just as important. Behind every certificate lies a bigger story of how one got from point A to point B. Those are struggles that only the individual knows and feels. That makes one feel that something great has been achieved in one's life.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi U.Lee,

Thanks for sharing that with me (us!)...15 large diaries? Wow...Wait, one day, one day...

"Earlier I had sneaked in a couple of sexy, bikini clad ladies pics, and when I noticed several people yawning...I had the pics shown, but only for few seconds, "ooops, sorry, my mistake"."

Haha! I bet that really had all their eyes popping outta their sockets!

You're hilarious U.Lee ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Stand-Up Philosopher,

Thanks! I guess having a vision helps keep you grounded and to help keep you on your path huh?

Daphne Ling said...

Jo-D,

You never fail to brighten my day with your cute comments! Thanks for that, and great having you here!

Daphne Ling said...

Anon,

Thanks for the vote of confidence...I hope that 50 years from now, people will say: "Hmmm...Daphne really did try her best"...

That is enough for me...=)

Daphne Ling said...

JT,

"Lessons in life that accompanied lessons we sought to learn are just as important".

I couldn't have put it even nearly as good as that!

mott said...

hey...

being the ol lady I am, I chucked all my certs in one lil folder. One day, while hunting for something else...I found all my certs. It definitely brought me a lot of memories. All neatly tucked away in one tiny corner of my brain.

So..yea.. certs aren't just papers. They're records of your memories.

Plus...the older you get, the less certs you'll get and ..ha ha ha..have to rely more on your brains!

A big "Oh!Dear!" for me! HA HA HA!!!