Monday, July 12, 2004

The Solitary Life

The Solitary (and Selfish) Life

Another quiet weekend in Jakarta spent working from my hotel room. When I was living in Singapore, I used to look forward to weekends as being time where real work could finally be done--without the distractions of meetings and conference calls. Thank God I am free from all that now.

In Jakarta, I look forward to weekends because I get a chance to be alone to indulge in my wide-ranging interests. I actually keep a long list in my PDA of possible activities that I could pursue--something which I only need to refer to whenever I feel like I have "nothing to do". Everytime I look at the list, I feel like I have wasted way too much time.

I suppose one can accuse me of being over-fond of living the solitary life, but I'm not at all bothered. You see, a solitary life doesn't mean a narrow life. Without the burden of having to spend "quality time" with your spouse or family, you get to diversify your interactions with the world--you get to meet a lot more people in the process. There's no "favouritism": the entire world becomes your family.

Isn't the solitary life a very selfish one? Perhaps. It depends on how you look at it. But then again--unless one has the soul of a Gandhi--tell me who isn't selfish? To quote Vivekananda, "In the end, even the love between husbands and wives is selfish".

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