READ!

I love poems and one of my favourites is Roald Dahl’s Television.  Telling us the importance of reading.  Now, I love to read and I keep telling people to always read.  Not to gain knowledge, although yes, that is one of the benefits, but reading can have an amazing impact on our soul and of course reading fires our imagination.  No doubt about it.  So, here is one my favourites poem by Roald Dahl.

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

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NY Celebration

Okay, before I proceed, just to let you know, I accidentally deleted the things I wrote here. I didn’t know how it happened, but it happened very fast. So, I had to retype it. It was not a good day for me, particularly tonight. You will know it later.

So, today marks the 15th day of Chinese New Year, also a final day of New Year. 15 days gone, just like that. People got off work early today, just for the celebration; good food, firecrackers, fireworks, and maybe listening to Chinese New Year song for the last time this year. For me, I posted the video of pupils dancing to ‘Everyday is a good day’ song on Instagram.

Tua Pek Kong temple was once again filled with worshippers causing traffic congestion. It wasn’t their fault though, they had to fulfil their duties; give thanks for the things that happened for the past 15 days and to ask for blessings throughout this year.

I planned to celebrate it with my family tonight, but it didn’t go as planned because I had a dinner at a restaurant tonight. I wasn’t looking forward to go, not because I wished to be with my family at home and celebrate with them, but because I was fighting flu. I wasn’t feeling so well.

Nevertheless, I had to go there with an open heart and positivity. I went there with such great spirit, but met with disappointment. You see, there were three of us in the initial plan. Three of us agreed to attend because nobody else wanted to attend. None of them showed up. I was disappointed because I felt like I’ve been left alone. Now, I was trying to be a baby or to give in to self pity, but I wasn’t particularly comfortable sitting at a table full of strangers. I wasn’t good in meeting new people.

So, I need my teammates with me! I just could not enjoy my meals and yes, I left after the second dish because I felt stupid and because I was feeling very tired and quite sick. I think, if one of them was there, I would feel better. But yes, I was quite sick, so I decided to go home and it was already 9pm! We had just finished our second dish!

I left with disappointment but at the same time relieve that I had left. I could breathe the air again! I went for a slice of pizza and went home. There went the last day of CNY celebration. Slowly my disappointment slipped away and I listened to ‘Everyday Is A Good Day’ many times. I tried to sing along too. It didn’t matter what happened tonight, I am still living.