Monday, October 17, 2011

One Pen Ma: Seldom Say "No/It's Not"

Clear newspaper
one pen ma
Steven Ma
Date: 9/1/2011

 Seldom Say  "It's Not"
I seldom say, 'no' (not), especially when in discussion with someone, and it is almost never when listening to someone expressing his/her feelings! Of course, if someone ask me if my surname is Chu (pig) or my Chinese zodiac is horse (Ma), I will of course say 'no'. But I feel that this word with its negative and defiant connotation is better to avoid using when possible. 

I recall during high school era, from grade 10 until grade 12, everyday after school I would go to the ice cream store at Star Lane in Tsim Sha Tsui to sell ice cream.  At the time, the store manager was a thirty some years old Mr. Sai, who was very amiable and willing to patiently teach new employees.  In my recollection, whether towards us or customers, he rarely said 'no/not' (mg hai).  And in his colleagues' eye, listening to him talk had a comforting effect on them. By and by, I began to grasp that besides his amiability , even more so, what convinced people was his 'power of speech'.

To really discuss this so-called 'power of speech' , a few words would certainly not do it. But there is this one positive suggestion, which is, as much as possible refrain from prefixing your response with this two words, "mg hai" (no/not). More importantly, do not let 'no' become your mantra.  If you don't get it, then get some friends to do an experiment with you; ask them ten questions and each time have them prefixed all their responses with a 'no', I believe you will get the meaning of it.  

TN: 'No' is often prefixed to a response because it is easier to say no to something than to say yes, because yes entails carrying out what has being approved or agreed upon.  Whereas, with a no, there is no more action behind it.   Like how it was easy for VL to say no to Steven's mainland series because she just could not be bothered with him or his career. For whatever VL's reasons, Steven truly suffered neglect at her hands because of her 'no' attitude towards him.  

I believe Steven did nothing to provoke such responses from VL. It would be very unfair to Steven to presume that.  Sometimes, one's superior or teacher just took a dislike to or disfavor oneself despite how well one performed.  They just do! So truly, it is time for Steven to move on, away from tvb.

From young, my siblings and I were taught to avoid using the word 'stupid' on family members or other people. We could say the action was stupid but never the person was stupid. 

As I grew older, besides 'stupid', I also avoid using 'should' or 'should not'  because they are too confining and judgmental with expectations and regrets.  Other words include absolute words: all, none, every, always, never, etc.  And of course, that taboo word of "Can't".  And I guess now I will include in my words to avoid -- "NO!" with exceptions, of course.

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