Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Two Extremes and The Golden Mean

I received news from my mother this morning about a friend of mine in Malaysia that she is very familiar with. He is getting married. He spent about RM15 000 to invite the friends for dinner in a 5 stars hotel, just to witness him propose to his girl friend. He gave every guest a t-shirt with the front written, “Will you marry me?” and the back part of the t-shirt goes, “Yes, I do.” And then he has the sleeves of the shirts with his name and his fiancée’s name printed on each side. This high-profile proposal gave me some thoughts and I decided to write it down. Before I go further, I would like to tell anyone who is reading this that this is just my personal opinion. I am neither criticizing anybody nor disagree with any of your actions or decisions that you made for your personal lives.

Lately I notice some of my friends like to show the whole world how lovely their relationships are in a "high profile" way. I am not considering posting the status of "In a relationship with so and so" on facebook or posting some of their sweet kissing pictures to share with friends as high-profile. I have many friends, literally many friends that just got married, just gave birth to babies and they posted their wedding pictures and baby pictures to share with friends their happiness. I am totally fine with it and actually appreciate them for doing so because they updated me with their current situation. And I am sincerely happy for them. However, when thing comes to an extreme then perhaps it is not a good idea anymore.

I have friends who do not care about their privacy at all. They post every single detail of their lives as they can through pictures and status on facebook. I am hooked on facebook lately because of the game but every time when I log on, I definitely see some of my friends who are extremely active in facebook posting the pictures of what they have done during the weekends. For example, if they went out to dine in a restaurant then they will post the picture of them standing at the front of their house, following by the picture in front of the restaurant. They will make sure the name of the restaurant has snapped and posted and then they took the pictures of the Menu. Then they will take the pictures of the food before they eat as well as in the middle of eating. Therefore even I was not at the scene, I know exactly what was going on including what food they ate, who they out with, what cloths they put on and what other activities they have etc. If they are going to some sort of “extraordinary” restaurant then it is understandable. However most of the time it is just a normal restaurant. Some other "interesting" status they post including what lunch they have today. If you are having some sort of "Lobster Fest" then brag about it is fine. When you are having Tuna sandwich or chicken rice for lunch then I think people not really care to know about it.

And then I have friends who are couples, posted on each other’s Wall (if you are using facebook then you know what “wall” am I talking about, and you sure know almost the whole world can see what has been posted on your Wall) hundred times a day telling each other what they are doing at this second. Those messages are actually normal and sweet between two people, using private text messages or email or anything else that are private. They are just so “special” to choose this high-profile way, letting the whole world know almost every detail what they are up to. And then I also have friend choosing high-profile way to celebrate their “anniversary”. There are certainly nothing wrong telling people you are celebrating anniversary. According to the dictionary, anniversary means “the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event”. Notice the word yearly. And they are actually together definitely less than 200 days and then they tell the whole world (well, almost all of the friends) that they are celebrating xxx months anniversary. Interesting!

It is interesting to see how the public figures try to protect their privacy and fight for it. They are so frustrated with the paparazzi that trying to disclose their privacy. However, look at some of my friends who just do not mind to share their really private parts of lives to others. Of course, I also witness another kind of extreme. I have friends who are couple but do not look like one at all. They do not hold hands in front of friends and pretend they do not know each other well. The guy would pretend to be not caring in front of the family members and friends. When everybody sits down to have meal, he will try not to sit beside the girl. This happen to some of my girl friends as well. The reasons that they provide might be ethnicity, financial situation, cultural background... Whatever reasons there are, I just do not feel comfortable seeing couples like this.

What do you do with the two extremes? I guess I would not respond too well for the “high-profile” extreme. For the latter example of extreme, I might start wondering whether he is the right partner for me. I do not need my partner to treat me extremely sweet and loving in front of people and act differently behind them and vice versa. Dear, are you the right one for me?

I am not opposing any of you who like to be high-profile or posting some intimate pictures with your partners online, with very little cloths on and some sexy postures. Just a friendly reminder here: Please do it with caution. One scary thing about technology is, even you do not put your own photos online but you can still see it online. For example, you can tag any of your friends in the photos and that photos will appear on their profile. Even after you remove the tag, the photos will only not appear in your profile but still remain in your friends’, once they post them. I have only posted 2 photos in facebook so far, which are the profile pictures. However, I have more than 70 photos in my profile currently. Besides the 2 photos that were uploaded by me, the rest were all uploaded by my friends. Isn’t that scary knowing the fact that even you want to keep your life private, your friends will still help you promote in ways. Of course, I am not blaming them for tagging me and have my photos appear online. They are nice for taking time to do that. I am just started to feel the deep fear for the powerful of the technology in this new century.

Please take some time and watch this video.

I think Mr. Obama is so right. We made mistakes in lives, especially when we were young. We might not think that is a mistake at this point of life but it could turn out to be a mistake some where in the future in our life. The mistake could be serious enough to threaten our future career or relationship. So please my dear friend, think twice before you post.

All right, I realize I am a little off topic. Back to our original topic here: the extreme and the golden mean. Confucius has talked about “Doctrine of Mean” (中庸之道) thousand years ago. There are things that I do not agree with him but I really think we should practice this. Balance in life is very important. Aristotle also talked about theory of the mean in ethical thinking. I think this theory not only applies well in ethical issues but our practical daily lives as well. Let’s work hard and monitor ourselves to gain the wisdom to be able to find the balance in our lives.


~~Dreams Come True~~ said...

Very well written. Totally agree that some ppl want it to be extremely down the lane, some who begged to be in the spot light. Guess somehow, we couldnt find the balance, at least i hvnt...

Zoe said...

Thank you for the compliment. Well, the girl that I know was a person who value "balance" a lot in life. There are times you tried to pursue perfectness in life but most of the time you accept the imperfect part of reality too. So I think you shouldn't worry too much finding balance cause I think you already found one ^_^

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