The Most Important Body Part

Today, my crush patted me on my shoulder, alongside words of encouragement.

Today, my close friend smacked my shoulder really hard, as his way of greeting me.

Today, my parents put their arms over my shoulder, complimenting me over good deeds.

-♍-

Through the course of my junior college life thus far, many of my friends have broken down from the sheer pressure due to school commitments. Having persisted through such an arduous and hectic lifestyle, all they really want is a pillar of support and encouragement.

Recently, I came across a heartwarming story. Despite going against scientific facts, it conveyed an inspiring message – our most important body part is not our eyes, ears, nor heart. It is our shoulder, for friends and family to cry on and lean on.

-♍-

In Singapore, it is common to see people rushing around, to and fro, from work, from school. Sometimes, we rush through the crowds so hastily that we tend to focus all our attention towards the destination, the end-result, blurring our surroundings and neglecting the people around us. I myself committed such a heinous crime. Being in a pragmatic and meritocratic society, I decided to orientate the two years of my JC life towards the attainment of academic success. And in the process of mugging and rubbing subject notes all over my depressed face, I did not even realised that my shoulder had turned cold.

But that wasn’t all. A few weeks ago, my close friend broke into tears, after screwing up an important project work. He was frustrated enough, and was simply overwhelmed by our suggestions to help salvage his work. I tried to comfort him, but that was when I realised, I couldn’t. I tried to think coherently for words of solace, but I couldn’t and I ended up just standing there, staring into space. At that point in time, I feared that I may or may not, have acquired a state of apathy, and may or may not, have lost my shoulder.

Or maybe I didn’t misplace it. Instead, I jettisoned it on purpose, in order to be rid of useless dead-weight. I discarded it, ditched it, hurled it vehemently on the ground, for it invited these annoying people to lean on me, shed stupid tears on me, to pass their baton of burden onto me, slowing my pace as a result. It was a hindrance, an obstruction, barricading the achievable success that was almost within my wrinkled hand’s reach.

-♍-

And that was when my crush, my friend, and my parents tapped on my shoulder.

It felt strange, unfamiliar, as if a foreign organ was being transplanted into my body. I didn’t realise until I noticed it, dirty and soiled from being tossed onto the cold hard ground previously. But as if graced by their touch, the body part was restored, back to its clean original state. Their words, praises, greeting, encouragements, infused the body part with brimming hope and energy. This optimism spread throughout my worn-out body, rejuvenating it, revitalising it, reviving it.

I realised then, that life wasn’t meant to be lived alone, wasn’t meant to be shouldered alone.

 

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{AHS Lesson 3} Blood Is Thicker Than Water

Yo students! Hisashiburi~

Me: “Today we’ll be looking at a particular idiom. Can anyone guess what it is?”

Student (Iris): “Blood is thicker than water!”

Me: “Iris. What did I say about using your telepathic powers in class?”

Student (Iris): “Erm… It’s on the blackboard…”

Me: *turns around* “Oh…”

Students: *awkward silence*

Me: “Well class, I was just joking! Iris totally doesn’t have telepathy ha ha ha… MOVING ON.”

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Akame ga Kill! Episode 15

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Currently, this idiom is mainly used to imply that blood relations are more important than common ties, such as friendship. Also, it can also be said by family members themselves to remind one another not to forsake their family relationships for a friend or an acquaintance.

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In my opinion, we should not blindly just follow this idiom, but instead, just keep this idiom in mind when making decisions. Of course, family is the most important thing in the world. But, friends, especially those that are there for you when you need help, are important too! In other words, blood may be thicker than water, but water is also quite thick and viscous, as compared to acetone and gasoline.

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Anyway, here’s the interesting fact. The meaning of this idiom has actually been flipped around along the decades.

Students: “WHATTT! HONTOU DESU KA?”

Student (Jovan): “Then, what is the original meaning of this idiom?”

The first recorded instance of this idiom was in the year 1180, in Reynard the Fox by Heinrich der Glîchezære, in which he wrote this: “Kin-blood is not spoilt by water.” Then, after a few centuries later, this idiom gained popularity in its modern form: “Blood is thicker than water.” During those times, it actually meant that the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, or in other words, ties made through loyalty are stronger than kinship; friends made through bloodshed are more important than family. This is because wars were much more common in those days, and so, the bonds made in the army were actually very precious. The soldiers would spend their lives, until the day they die, with these fellow comrades around them, eating together, sleeping together, and well, they were also prepared to die together

In Chinese legends, there is this fable called 《三国演义》, in which, there is a famous Chinese quote by three people: “不求同年同月同日生,只求同年同月同日死“. It simply means that, even though they were not born at the same time, they swear that they will die at the same time. Although they have no blood relation, they have a common goal, which allowed them to swear loyalty to each other and are willing to sacrifice their lives for one another.

Anyways, going back to topic, the meaning of the idiom has since, experienced a 180 degrees change, probably due to a lower amount of wars now. Therefore, in the army, lives are not really at stake, and thus, the bonds formed are not as strong as before.

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Either way, I believe that both family and friends are important to us in their own ways, and we should always treasure them and appreciate their presence in our lives. Sometimes, we might be stuck between the two and would have to prioritise one over the other, but I hope that everyone can weigh the pros and cons of both sides of the coin and carry out what they regard as the best course of action.

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That’s it for history class. Next period’s ‘Organism Science‘ again, so make sure you reach the laboratory on time! Thank you class 🙂

Rely on One Another

Donten ni Warau Episode 4

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The United Nations recognises the family as the basic unit of society, not individuals.

This is because human beings are unable to survive alone. Without a family, there is no one to provide daily necessities for the child, no one to teach the child what is right and wrong, no one to love the child. All of us need to rely on others, be it for emotional support or general assistance in life. None of us are perfect; we are unable to accomplish every single thing in the world. However, with a family, things can be worked out together and problems can be solved. They can help you in the aspects they are talented in, and you can help them in the areas you specialise in.

From a spiritual point of view, a family is completely necessary to ensure that everyone can learn from one another’s mistakes and to provide everyone with adequate emotions in life.

From a practical point of view, a family is entirely crucial for individuals because it is a ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ form of relationship, that is beneficial for all parties.

We need to start appreciating our family more, and realise how significant their impact is on our lives. Our parents are our first teachers; our siblings are our first friends. Were it not for them, you would not have been who you are today…