One Item You Need To Calibrate Everyday By 12am

Summary – Your conscience

Imagine you are jungle trekking with a little boy. This boy is holding the compass and only he knows where the north is. You are supposed to go north all the way.

After a few minutes walking, you ask the boy, “Where is the north?”

The boy shows you the direction, “This way sir.”

You see that there is a mountain in front of you. You then suggest to the boy, “We are going around this mountain.”

The boy starts wondering, “Maybe the direction is not important, it’s the destination.”

After another hour, you ask the boy for the direction. And when he showed you the direction, “It’s a 12 o’clock sir”.

Feeling a bit bored with all the trekking, you decide to have some fun. You said, “Instead of 12 o’clock, why not we walk in the 11 o’clock direction. What harm could that slight deviation do?”

From your answer, the boy conclude that a slight change of direction is acceptable as long as you know where you’re going.

Now guys, imagine keep dismissing his answer everytime he answers the whole trip. What will he become?

  • He will no longer believe that he is right or that his opinion matters
  • He doesn’t even bother to look at the compass when asked for direction
  • He may make up his own direction just to have fun

Now imagine that the little boy is actually our conscience. Wouldn’t it be a disaster?

It often start with the smallest thing like a white lie. Also it is usually done with very good intention. We tell lies to protect our loved ones from getting hurt for example. We then tell more lies to cover the previous lies we told. After a while, lying to someone become as natural as everything else in our life. And we are starting to feel that lying is never wrong.

When it reached that level, it’s as if the little boy has totally given up on us.

Now if you would excuse me, I would like to go check on my compass boy and maybe have a look at the compass before going to bed. Hopefully they are repairable.

– I wonder –
Tell any white lies lately? :)

———– Personal Note ———–
I just came back from my long Aidilfitri holiday. And as usual, I never feel excited about working after a long holiday. It’s been a long day and drive so I will leave you with an Aidilfitri photograph of the family (Me, the mrs and Zafirah)

Have a happy Aidilfitri :)

Aidilfitri Banji

Compass Photo Credit – Matti Mattila

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This post has 6 comments.


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  1. Gale P
    06 Oct 08 4:16 am

    What a lovely photo of you and your family. Nice touch to add here. I like an unspoken moral of the story that dismissing a young boy in charge of their direction has repercussions on his future and your relationship with him. How many young boys use and respect what they know about a compass these days anyway? I like that young man. Perhaps we should have asked him how long he thought it would take to climb the mountain. We always look at the path of least resistance and try to go around a problem. I read a study recently about children and creativity or “possiblity-thinking” and one of the concepts they came away with was that “risk-taking” even in conversation and being willing to step outside the box seemed to be key to creativity. It is something that can be nurtured. Just a thought.

  2. 06 Oct 08 12:49 pm

    Gale P – That’s another way to look at it. Children are very sensitive when it comes to their education. You teach them wrongly, they will hold on to that their entire life.

    And I like that concept of “possibility-thinking”. The idea of taking risk without actually taking risk. It’s really a win win situation. I remember reading something just as similar. If I’m not mistaken it is also called as “guided mistake”. It’s when we encourage the children to make mistake but the mistake done is purely educational.

    I may write an article about this later :) Can I?

  3. 06 Oct 08 2:14 pm

    it was the same when i tutored my brother. i would be tutoring him every night, but one day, i was too tired because i just got back from usm. so i decided to cancel the class. n since then, it was soooo hard to start the class back. he started to give 1001 excuses. tired, learnt already at school, got so much homework..’sigh’…

  4. 06 Oct 08 5:42 pm

    Wilda – I guess his first impression that the tution is unavoidable has changed when you cancel the class. Hm but it’s going to be very hard to give tution everyday without fail.

  5. 09 Oct 08 2:06 am

    Selamat Hari Raya Bro, a very nice picture of your family. How old is she? “Muhasabah” like what you stress here should be done every day. A I could say more, since it’s still hari raya, it’s time to get rid of those lies with forgiveness. No matter painful it is.

  6. banji
    10 Oct 08 10:18 pm

    Hamdani Amin – And Selamat Hari Raya to you too. Zafirah is now 4 months old. She just learnt how to “meniarap” the other day :) Thank god for cellphone with video recording

    Forgiving people is a very courageous deed. They are never to be taken lightly..

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