So today was the National Sports Day, and like a good public body, we had a programme in conjunction with that at the school. It was nothing too flashy, just a morning of some exercise and sukaneka. It was alright.
I was in the AJK Gimik Perasmian alongside my friend, and what that meant was that we had to come up with a bit of a show and some aerobics exercises. My friend was better versed at aerobics than I was, so she took on the role of choreographing tens minutes of that (and to her credit, she did a great job) while I took on the role of training three kids for a 90-second pre-exercise sketch. Only while typing this out am I reminded of how the format is not too dissimilar from the format of a boria, where there is a short sketch before they start the singing and dancing. And being in a school in Pulau Pinang, I think that's interesting.
I made the script and selected some Year Three kids whom I was confident would do an okay job, since I've seen them act before in their classes with me. To their credit, they delivered too. It is within my hopes that they continue pursuing acting in the future, because they certainly look like they enjoy it a lot right now.
We spent about a week getting ready for the day, and if I were to judge the final outcome of our work, I must say that we didn't do too bad a job. People seemed to enjoy both the sketch and the aerobics workout (more so the aerobics workout than the sketch, but then again I suppose they weren't expecting the sketch at all).
After the day was over and done with, my friends (including the aerobics choreographer) and I had a bit of a chat and a quote came up in the conversation. The quote went "Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don't strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt," and even though that might sound cliché to some, it is rather sound advice that I've been trying to follow for quite a while now.
I think I first heard (or more probably read) that quote several years ago, while I was fresh out of school, so it's been within my consciousness for a while now, and it resonates so much with me that I find it difficult to understand it when people act in a way that contradicts the quote.
I see (and hear of) some people who are really trying to find any avenue they can to gain attention while doing as little substantial/significant work as possible. I see (and hear of) people not doing a beneficial thing just because nobody would be around to applaud them for doing it, or no sijil would be given to them by doing the thing, or they won't get a tangible form of reward for their troubles. I see (and hear of) people taking credit for things they had no meaningful contributions in.
I can accept that not everyone will share the same values I do. I can accept that for some people, other things are held in higher regard than the things that I hold in high regard. I can accept that maybe, to some people, the quote I mentioned earlier doesn't mean anything. And maybe that quote isn't as common a saying as I thought it was, and I am part of a minority that holds on to it.
Even so, I am glad that I have found some people that share my values, at least in this regard. I am glad that we can work together on a regular basis. I am glad that I can call them my friends.