The key turned in the lock and Dad stepped in, his commanding presence filling the doorway. As he had been doing over the past months, he had caught us red-handed yet again. Bats in hand, we looked up, waiting for the tongue lashing (my brother and I), then he said: “I never thought you people could have degenerated to this level.” His words hit me. Water welled up in my eyes. Denegerated? Just ‘cos we played table tennis on the dining table?
Okay, I think the dining table was taking it too far, but you have to understand there wasn’t any other table in sight. I knew ‘degenerated’ had to be a strong word, and I checked it up, and lo and behold, it implied we had descended to an unimaginable depth. My heart sank!
I like to think I’m of a fairly sturdy build, though you’d be deceived to think I’ve ever been some sort of athlete. I didn’t grow up with a mind that sought to play soccer or throw the discuss or javelin, neither did I jump hoops or play basketball or some other random sport. Infact, the few times we tried to play smart and play monkey-post soccer with the more exposed kids along the street (my brother and I), the rumbling sound of my Dad’s Beetle (Volkswagen) and its tumbling down the rocky street leading to the house we lived back then drove us in, back to the books. That house with algae infested gutters. That house we (tenants) had to take turns in washing said gutters. That house that we lived in so long that I became old enough to become an experienced gutter washer before we finally moved to our own personal house. Don’t get me started please.
Where was I? Yes… Now that I’m much older, I can’t blame Dad much for appearing to be so unreceptive to the idea of his children engaging in anything not having a solid intellectual implication. Afterall, he could only raise his children how he knew best since there’s no special school for training on parenthood. In actual fact, I’m always grateful for how he instilled a reading culture in us and made us learn the rudiments of memorization early in life, because till date, I manage to enchant people I meet with comprehensive stuff I committed to memory early in life.
Anyway, the point is that along the line, I became attuned to words, their deep meanings, the ways in which we can weave ‘em together to produce beautiful art, the effects and related stuff.
At this point, I think I need to stress that I’m not some guru or avatar that can sway multitudes of people with words as the preceding paragraph may have led you to believe. I’m just saying I’m sensitive to words, and that was why the issue of our degeneration got to me. Dad didn’t need to wield a whip or make me kneel on pebbles. A single word ‘sent me to Coventry.’
I’m not sure I need to aggressively convince you that many people exist that telling them they’ve degenerated would hardly stir anything in them. You probably have to tell them off repeatedly or deprive them of some grand joy they’ve been used to enjoying, or discipline them sternly. It just goes to show the differences that exist between one individual and another.
And so we find in the more important aspects of life that the approach to people, to things, to events are by no means defined by some stringent rules. Every person has something he is irked or joyed or stimulated by, and the key to breaking grounds quick is discovering early and swiftly (as much as we can) what works for who, what works for what, and what works when.
The fact that we’re here, the fact that you’re here, on this particular line summarizes the point I’m trying to make. Afterall, you’ll probably have made with just two sentences the same point I’ve been trying to make and moved on. But you’re not me, are you?
Right. The shoe that fits John pinches Joe.
Have a smashing week ahead!