Mirror Mirror.

I remembered how my mum used to reprimand me for making careless mistakes in my school examinations. As a child, I didn’t think of such admonitions as criticisms to my aptitude or attitude. Moments after some tears and mucus, I would simply move on and ponder over what Lego structure to build or what cartoon to watch. Such is the carefree life of a boy; sometimes I envy Peter Pan.

No matter how much I’d wished for Neverland to exist, there is no escape from the ruthless passing of time. We age, and we grow dreary as we trudge through the trials and tribulations of life. Soon enough, we will learn how to look at ourselves in the mirror and see the greatest critic of ourselves.

Most unfortunately, that mark of self-awareness comes all too late for some people, and I don’t know if it’s pity or envy that predominates when I encounter them. Instead of reflecting upon the validity and coherence of their own thoughts first, and how their opinion affects others, these people vent their human love for criticism upon the world, the system they reside, and the people around them. This leaves people hurt, and themselves regret.

Over the past few years of conscious reading, I have come across, much too often, writers of all forms dispensing their criticisms with an almost comical lack of thought. These “writings”, more often than not, come under the limelight of social media, and it ends up in a vicious cycle, when people start to write ridiculously to gain attention. I am doubtful of this conclusion, because the capacity to conjure such an idea is an insult to the human mind – an organ that we pride our species on to great extents. In the context of Singapore, as we recall recent examples of “impassioned expositions” directed at prominent individuals or political parties, the prognosis becomes increasingly negative. Perhaps this isn’t a surprise, considering how a ritual dance of Golding’s savages led to the murder of Simon. On a positive note, many are not drawn to the fire; instead they undermine such baseless criticisms with much civility.

Nevertheless, there is nothing inherently uncouth about making criticisms, but only with the right intentions. When we voice criticisms for attention or votes, we undermine our opinions. Falling back on our instincts to nurture our young, our parents criticise us because they wish for us to be better people. That should be the underlying reason behind most, if not all, of our criticisms, towards others, and self. For the self-critical, like myself, understanding this rationale makes it easier to look at ourselves in the mirrors of judgement.

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4 comments
  1. one would hope people with negative intent would keep silent but that likely calls for more self-awareness and restraint than they are capable of.

  2. Hi, I’ve been searching for a photo of a croissant to use on my new blog “Traveling Light” … it would just be my third blog, and the first from my vacation in Paris. I wrote it on the plane and it’s titled “To Butter or not to Butter” …. in searching for images, since I was in too much of a blur to remember to take one of my particular croissant on Air France, I’ve found yours …. which is delectable. May have have permission to use it?

    • Roo said:

      Sure of course! I would appreciate it if you credited the photo, and I’ll be interested to read about it too!

      • Thank you so much! The blog is up with the photo and we will credit as soon as I hear from you as to how you want the credit to read. I am afraid I am simultaneously announcing the closing down of an international foundation I founded 12 years ago, landing in Paris, and starting a blog…. so I’m a little scattered and will catch up over the next days. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Mine is at travelinglightredux.wordpress … something or other. If it doesn’t pop up for you, let me know and I’ll send the actual complete final and total blog address.

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