Think Different (Musing)
I was at a coffee shop and I chanced upon a meeting with some elderly friends and one of them introduced me to this old uncle that had a different thinking altogether towards life.
At first he sounded boastful and almost to the point of bragging, but I got to admit that he does speak a lot of common sense and natural wisdom. For example he was boasting confidently that he can teach anyone to learn how to swim in just three easy steps.
I thought to myself “wow”. Here’s my chance to know that secret. So I asked him.
He simply said “Hold the bar at the side of the pool. Then dip your head into the water. And when your head is underwater, make sure you open your eyes. Look around.”
He then explained saying that most people when they start out learning swimming typically gag at lesson one. If they are unable to overcome their fear of the water, if they were unable to overcome their fear, then learning anything else about swimming was going to be very difficult.
So by opening your eyes while you dip your head into the water, it builds the necessary confidence.
Wow. That makes sense.
Lesson two was about floating. Learning how to float face down as well as learn how to float on your back. Once that is achieved, you can talk about swimming. Thereafter, it is just about moving forward.
I am inspired.
Then the full of ideas elderly went on to show me the MP5 player he had bought for $80 at a shop in town. He said the shop owner had a tough time selling the product to foreigners who did not understand the mandarin words on the device. It was the cheapest and best item for its value, yet customers were mostly browsing and mostly stumbled at the foreign words printed on the unit.
The innovator instinctively saw the problem and deciphered the words, then printed them in English on a used phone card and displayed it next to the device. The shop owner needless to say caught on the idea and printed the labels and start leveraging on that simple translation and eventually sold out all his units at the store.
The uncle proudly said “think different.” Essentially that was the gist of our entire chit chat. He then went on to share his life story and how he help this person and that group, how he joined the UN as a volunteer and helped rural communities build necessary irrigation and helped them gain access to clean water which was necessary for sustenance of life in villages deep in the recesses of the hilly regions.
He truly exemplifies the values of “Ho Sim Lang”. If I were to have an annual Ho Sim Lang awards, I would definitely put him up as a nominee for Ho Sim Lang of the Year 2014.