analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

31 March 2001 Saturday





This time last year, I was reading four books on my four day safari in the Massai Mara of Kenya. The peace of being alone on a holiday meant for honeymooners was strange at first. But I soon settled into my books.

Visiting my friend, who had earlier spent six years meditating in the Himalayas, taught me many things. One of them was the scale of life. Perhaps, it was the combination of the books I read and the meditation room I slept in that re-enforced this lesson.

I have always compared myself against my peers and against my younger self. The scales were that of quality of life which was defined by level of education, remuneration, number of overseas trips and exotic holidays, and overall ability to do what I wanted to do. This had nothing to do with spiritualism, which my friend defined as the attainment of a higher self.

Upon my return, I learned that another friend had started meditating, as a way to control her mind. She said, "If you can control your mind, you can control anything."

So I gradually realised that the numeric scale I had been using was too restrictive. I will never be satisfied by comparing my salary with others. I will never be happy by measuring the rate of promotion. I will never be content by counting the number of trips or the number of days spent abroad. I will never have a big enough home or a big enough piano. The scale of life may not be a yardstick to compare everyone's lives by. It has to do with the lessons one learns and mistakes that aren't repeated over and over again.

My married friends tell me that I'm just tasting the icing on the cake. I don't have any idea what the cake tastes like. To live, one must go through the stages of life. To reach a higher level of understanding and maturity, one cannot stay in limbo where flirtation with uncertainty breeds the flexibility of noncommitment and maximum opportunity.