Monday, October 11, 2010


An old man was sitting all alone in the grocery shop in a petrol station, reading an English book. He was indifferent to anybody that walked pass him or threw him weird stares.

He was well dressed with a red shirt, a pouch on his waist, a pair of khakis shorts and a pair of hiking shoes, tied with raffia shoe laces. I couldn't make out what book he was reading but it was a thick and worn out book. His face was aged with wrinkles and the glasses didn't make him look younger. His right hand thumb was bandaged and he had a sling bag full of some English newspapers.

He appeared to be unhappy.

I didn't know why but this scene struck me. An old man, all alone, appeared to be well educated, read a book in a petrol station.

It made me ponder. An old man who could read a book like this must have read a lot of other books in his life. A man who read so many books had to be a well-educated man, or at least a man that looked at the world and knew what was going on.

The point was, I was always taught that education is the key to success, that knowledge empowers you to be who you want to be and at the end of the day, brings you happiness?

I was inspired by people who stood on the stage with glow on their face, rewarded for their academic achievement. I salute people with higher qualification or multiple degrees.

I couldn't help but wonder what were the stories behind this man. Did he have his heyday back then? What brought him down a road like this? He didn't seem like a street wanderer to me judging from his well-tugged shirt and nicely-tied belt.

But I was just like anybody else in the shop, got our errands done without paying much attention to a distraught old man.

He might not know but without him doing anything, he created a little conundrum in the mind of someone who just started his life, his career.

I guess, I will have to slowly redefine my perspective of life.

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.

Book of Ecclesiastes, 1:18


Kenneath said...

how true it is..!

calvin said...

Very chim la...

Niel said...

It may well be his choice. It is so easy to trust our eyes readily, when the smallest things can disrupt them ...

If he is without sadness, could it be that he chose a life that many would not, would dare not, take?

Good to see M'sia having these chim-my people. xD

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about this guy, but for me, it is always not a smart idea to look down at ppl like him.

I always imagine that one day after a long time of being wealthy or highly respected, I would give up everything and start a so called journey of searching the truth ~
one of the things can be like, playing the beggar role...
and you get to know more about life perhaps.
becoz u start to see it from different perspective. feel the sarcasm of humanity.
instead of being what "you are" for the rest of your life and die as what "you are".
it is no longer important to get "looked down" or "bullied", becoz you're already standing high up there, just like what Jesus said in the last moment - 他们并不晓得。

Anonymous said...

kae min up there zzz

[I Live For This] said...

He lives for that

kykhor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kykhor said...

Oops just realized that you're not refering to the spiritual life.

Hmmm 'don't judge a book by its cover' is all I can say.

A cert is not a mandatory requirement to make money. A suit is not a dress code of a rich. Maybe he's a half retired millionaire who loves reading lol.

What was he reading?

kykhor said...

and oh success/money doesn't always bring happiness.

kae vin said...




no it's not. Just that you are too shallow


Chim-my? What a word! haha. Well, it would be interesting to know the stories behind him :)

kae min:

I am not looking down on him. Just reflect on my life based on what I saw.

I live for that:

Ya. Makes me wonder what I am living for? :)


I didn't know what was he reading. I tried but I couldn't see. haha :)