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Monday, January 30, 2006

Caves and Clubs

Read in Subnixus, the blog of a professional blogger:

“The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave. His fetters fall… freedom and slavery are mental states. - Gandhi”

How true, how true.

Although if you read his entry, I'm not too sure whether you can reasonably live in Singapore with USD$640 a month considering that the rental on a room in a HDB flat could cost u around $300 [without Internet] the last time I checked, but hey, least in Singapore, food's cheap. :p

But can any of us ever do that?

Because we're not talking about just living cheap here. We are talking about completely shackling off the rat race and living on a meager lifestyle in order to pursue whatever it is one wants to do. It means not earning a safe salary every month into your bank account, it means not going to work with the rest of the corporate rats, and also a lot of embarrassing scenarios at festive seasons when relatives ask you "so exactly what are you working as?"

Trust me, I've been there. And it's not something you should take up lightly.

But yet, so many of us get caught in this rat race. We become convinced/persuaded/fooled into thinking that we need that new car, that house, that home entertainment set with surround sound [ok, maybe I go too far here] in order to live. And it makes sense in a Darwinian sort of way.

Turtle the other way was griping about how materialistic women were in Singapore. They would never go for a guy with an 'ok' salary, and with no career aspirations, even if they didn't have any themselves. They always went for the guy who was 'confident and outgoing' and focused in his career development, and who could provide them with a measure of material security, which in his opinion, was much higher than was necessary for living.

His conclusion was that most of these girls were superficial and materialistic. [something which I agree with him to a certain extent]

But from the standpoint of evolution it makes sense. We women are most vulnerable during the 9months of pregnancy, and that's when the biological need for security developed. I think somewhere along the way, some cavewomen decided that the caveman with the bigger cave and the bigger club could take better care of more of her children than the guy who was sleeping under the open sky. And all of womenhood followed suit.

And once all of womenhood followed, the guys had no choice but to follow. In order to get a mate, they had to prove that their cave was better, or they were better at clubbing animals for food, literally bringing home the bacon.

Skip forward a few million years of evolution and here we are.

But where are we?

Still looking for that bigger cave. *sigh* But now your cave comes made of brick and mortar, and comes with running water and decent toilets.

Sometimes I get so sick of it, I wonder why I even signed up into this system in the first place. Like, why should I put myself through this grief if my other life wasn't going too badly.

But sometimes I guess I just have to remind myself: Freedom is a state of mind. If I believe that I am free to pursue whatever it is I want to, if I believe that the only limits exist only within my own mind, then nothing can ever really imprison me.


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