Anyone Lives Here?

neighbourhood house

Anyone would have passed off this house as a deserted place with no one living in it. Actually there are. Each time I pass by the house, I try to imagine how in the world people can live in such a state in the Taman Tun area which is known for its affluence. Certainly this one does not represent the high profile this housing area has been accorded.

I have a special interest in this house not out of contempt but of curiosity. I can’t help having this feeling as being a coach, we naturally get into this mode to discern the underlying issues and to go into the inner world of people to really know who they are and why they are doing what they are doing.

Let me paint you a picture of how the house looks like from the outside: the grasses have grow tall; a thick undergrowth is slowly engulfing the entire façade; the door, windows and gate are tightly closed most the time to keep people out; and worn out paint on a rusty gate makes the place not worth a second glance. In fact, it really looks like a seemingly deserted place that belies the existence of human beings living there.

So what would you make out of this place if you were to spend 3 minutes looking at it? What are your thoughts?

Let me offer mine and you see how many of my observations are yours as well. And, what else does this place tells you about it!

I see the people in the house as highly troubled who have too much on their plate. Other things in their lives are seemingly of much higher priority than taking care of a dwelling place.

The tall grass and the thick undergrowth unwelcomingly says, “Don’t come in”! It provides a escapism of sorts for them to keep others at bay so that they can peacefully get on with their lives inside without any interference. The door and gate which are hardly opened allow them to cut off from the mainstream of life. They seem to say, “Its none of your business.”

So, let us extrapolate the picture of this derelict house to what goes on inside people. What have you made out from your analysis?

This is my analysis: Many people’s lives are like this pathetic-looking house where their exterior appearance and behaviors speak much of what is going inside their private world. They dress poorly; they speak foul language; or display weird abusive behaviors as a way to repel others from their lives. They want to appear unattractive (much like this house) so that outsiders don’t come near them. It is easy for us to be put off by them. But condemnation and contempt have no place here as it is not helping them. Instead what they need are compassion and understanding from us to put their lives and houses in order again.

To the occupants of this house, I pray that there will an opportunity for us their neighbors to help them through this episode so that this house can be a normal home once again!

Have MOUTH Will Travel

I got this idea of the title from a cowboy movie called ‘Have Gun Will Travel’ that I enjoyed watching when I was a young kid. I can’t remember who the casts were but I remember the storyline of the hero who had to rely on the only sole weapon of his gun to protect him and to keep him away from dangers, threats and challenges when he was traveling horseback.

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When I grew up I have never forgotten this lesson that there is always a fundamental in every situation and pursuit that cannot be negotiated, compromised; when we fully abide by this rule, we can make the very best of it.

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For instance, a sales person needs to be expressive; a tour guide needs to be service oriented; a coach needs to listen and the list goes on. So when we continue to build on this fundamental quality or skills, we gain so much out of it for a higher level of success and fulfillment.

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For me, when you are a traveler or tourist in a foreign land, it is the ‘mouth’ that is fundamental for one to really enjoy and have a good time. It works wonders: helps you to move around with greater ease, get better bargains, get into the ‘intricacies’ of a foreign culture and their way of life, get much needed help in tricky situations, meet and make good friends from people in all walks of life.

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And it is this that I have been doing for the past 1 week in the Philippines which I came back to after 35 years! So it was completely new to me and I had to manage it to enjoy my stay here. Moving around in Manila and the Tagaytay can be a challenge if I had my mouth zipped. This place is not the easiest to get around without a guide with you. But with a mouth, many of the difficulties were made easy, normal events become extraordinary ones because I put my mouth to action.

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