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Suck Thumb

I was very naughty while growing up (still am now), and when you grow up with a couple of siblings that are literally geniuses (no, seriously. I am not exaggerating), it kind of eats at you. I think I am somewhat intelligent, but I will never be as bright as my brother or my sister. I used to joke (although I do mean it) that my parents only planned to have 2 children, and I was somewhat of an accident (as my dad loves to remind me), that my parents had already split the intelligence for the next generation 50% to my brother and 50% to my sister. I had whatever little that was leftover.

But I think my family has taught me well. My father, while spoiling as much as he possibly can, was also quite the disciplinarian. But if you think I had it bad (I got kicked out of the house for not paying attention while he was teaching me, mathematics I believe), I can definitely assure you that the stories I’ve heard of my older siblings are definitely real. The good thing about my dad, as strict as he was (and still is sometimes), was that he was a firm believer of “suck thumb”.

I used to get into fights in school, and if I ever came home because I was bullied (I was a very big crybaby), he always said that I must have provoked it. As an adult I heard it a lot more often. Life gets you down? You’re being picked on in school? You got passed over for a promotion? Boyfriend left you (ok, first he will curse and swear and promise you he will hunt him down and break his legs…)? No food at home and you’re hungry? Got stuck at the train station with no bus or cab in a downpour (Seriously, my sister managed to get him to pick her up when there WERE cabs and buses and it wasn’t raining)? TOO BAD. THEN HOW? SUCK THUMB LOR.

But it is because of this philosophy which he actually lives by, and that we witnessed while growing up, that my family is not a group of complainers. We raise issues up, we seek solutions, and we never ever sit and complain and wait for something to fall out of the sky. (Although, yes we do dabble in the lottery a bit). I think that all 3 kids had inherited my father’s work ethics of working really hard for something we really want. And none of us had the good life in our careers – we’ve all been discriminated against, passed over for promotions, taken on tasks that no one really wants. In a nutshell, we’ve all been dealt the short end of the stick before.

There’s this one thing about us. I believe in our own industries and our careers, we are problem solvers because of this. We see issues that everyone sweeps under the rug or assumes that nothing can change. If it CAN be changed, we will push for it, whether or not it is a direct task for us. Of course, as age goes by (although I think this is something they learnt a long time ago, for me just recently so), one must choose your battles. But we seek solutions. “Cannot be done” was never an acceptable answer to us – in work or in life.

We are not rebellious, in fact, I think we follow the system so well that I think we seek to ensure it works better by pushing out the kinks. There is no such thing as “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure”. We are resourceful because of that – we can never accept that this, whatever it is, is just that. There MUST be a better solution. There MUST be a better way to do things that can improve everyone’s lives.

I know that this irritates my friends a little. Why can I never, NEVER. Just. Let. Sleeping. Dogs. Lie. Why, Lee, Why? (Yes, this is the exact way an ex-colleague told me). Because. Because if we always have let sleeping dogs lie, we wouldn’t have inventions. Nor republics. Yes, everything that you love and use and see is the consequence of someone saying… “Why must it be like this? It can always be better.”

It can ALWAYS be better. If not, what can you do? Suck thumb ah…

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