Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life with Passion

For the past few days, due to this and that at work, I wasn't exactly feeling like I was on top of the world and most of all, I was really questioning my job. As most readers would know, I am a civil engineer working as a lecturer in a public university. I quit from the industry more than 6 years ago and went into teaching, not because of the more flexible hours, nor because of it's 'fantastic' pay. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a noble character but I was really sick of my profession and the industry which if full of people who cannot and are not qualified to be called professionals.

Corruption, bribes, big boys bullying the small. Justice is for those who have more money and power. These are all common stuff. Engineers bowing down to employers, and contractors kiss the feet of engineers and employers, and the story goes on in every project. I am sick of being the only lady in the group of males who expect me to pay for every single meals after meetings just because I work as a contractor. For anything that goes wrong on site, it is never the engineer's fault, their excuses are so ridiculous, and I don't even know how they have the nerve to say it and if these people join the Tai-Chi category in Olympics, the Chinese will have to step aside.

There has to be a better way. This industry is really sick, like terminally ill.

6 years in university and more than 6 years of trying to do my best for these future engineers so that they can be better equipped and hoping that they go out with some integrity if they cannot remember anything else I lecture. Meanwhile, the industry has gone from bad to worse. And what's new?! The industry is just the miniature version of our government. The government probably thinks that we want to change them, but really, all we just want is for them to change the way they do things. But nothing has change. And If I say some more, I will soon be finishing my PhD in the detention camp in Sungai Buloh.

But yeah, back to the story, I was really praying very hard to God, asking him so very hard, what the hell am I doing in a place (which is like another miniature Malaysian government) that does not give me credit and appreciation for all the effort I put in. Is the university where God really wants me to be?

On Tuesday, I attended a course on contract management and I was caught in a jam from the campus all the way to Stutong. Was getting really agitated because I was running late. Then all of sudden, I remember Alvina sending us one of those encouragement email. This IS where God wants me to be. Right in the middle of jam. And I talked to Him for one whole hour, asking again and again the same question. It is indeed a very rare opportunity to have a one hour conversation with Him. At the end of it, I had the necessary peace in my mind and heart to sit in and listen to one of top authority in the area of study in this country.

And God finally answered my question, through firstly the speaker, and then a young man who came to discuss about his future career path. This is what God said,

"Why are you looking for appreciation and acknowledgment in this dirty and unfair place? Can't you see that I want you to love and focus on these young people? Yes, the society is a bad place. But don't complain. If you want it to be good, you have to start making sacrifices. Can't you see how you can affect the direction and thoughts of these young engineers that will be unleashed into society. Out of the 100 graduates each year, if just a handful can be good, the industry will be a better place, the society can improve and it may not be such a bad world after all."

But God, I am nobody. My work is probably not read and my students are probably sleeping half of the time.

"It is not about you. It is about Me making the changes. Appreciation and acknowledgment CAN'T be forced because it is from the heart, not the mouth. As long as you use your heart when you work, that's all you need to do"

So to all the sad people out there who only cares about what advantages they can dig out from another person, who spend so many hours trying to strategize and position themselves to get the best of everything and everyone, who can make differences but do not hestitate spoiling the minds of the young, who want everything yet not willing to give anything, you are sad because you are empty.

Something you really want with all your heart and soul is your passion. Well, now I know what I really want, reminded of what I really want. You can crush my body and spoil my day but you cant disturb my spirit because my God is my Boss and I only have Him to answer to and my belief that my work and my students will some day, one day make a small difference is as strong as ever. My chin is up because my life is filled with Passion! Thank you Lord!

10 comments:

Sarawakiana@2 said...

DEar blogger friend
It is a good thing to vent your "a...." but I am glad within the short time God showed you the way.
I was a civil servant/lecturer for 35 years and know what you are going through.
No matter how big our outfit is there is politics. There will be mean people and there will be Malaysia boleh kind of attitude.

What is right is not often done hence many engineers doctors and professionals go to greener/just-ier countries.

There are still some good leaders in small places in malaysia where the right is done and the good are working together for the good of all.

I just hope that some ripple effects will take place where you work and your example will be impactful. Remember ...there is a voice crying out in the wilderness...

May God bless your good heart.

marlene said...

thanks for sharing, Nee. This sharing is something impacts me.

Shirley said...

I think that was a very beautiful thing to share.

William said...

I worked as Electrical engineers in Malaysia for more than ten years. I have wear the shoes of both consultant amd contractors. In addition, I also studies part time in UNIMAS and got a M.Eng. I understand what you are going through.

I was so disappointed with my last project that I have decided to leave the country. I saw blantant miss use of public funds. The rule to keep your job is indeed very simple. Obey your employer and you will be safe.

I have since working in Australia. By comparing the quality of engineering in both country, Malaysia engineers are far lagging behind their oversea counterparts. It is a long way to catch up and the main obstacle is the political situation in Malaysia.

terri@adailyobsession said...

i am so touched by ur honesty in sharing. i too am feeling a little down bc a dear friend is strickened with a serious illness, surgery is on monday...

i am glad tt u turn to God at the low points of ur life. i love The Spirit Song (u can google it), the part where the lyrics go "O let Him have the things that hold you, and his Spirit like a dove, will descend upon your life and make you whole".

hold on to ur integrity, do not join the corrupted. i know u won't bc u n greg have such high integrity frm the struggle u both write about now n then. one way to prevent theset hings from hardening ur heart is to help those who are less fortunate, like the poor. u will be blessed, not materially, but spiritually n emotionally:)

God bless u!

terri@adailyobsession said...

nee ah, i think now tt u've vented ur dissatisfaction, i advise removing this post. not just bc ur present employers will not like it, but ur future employers, if any :)) i know how u feel, but don't open urself to trouble.

dt said...

aloz nee, the hour before dawn is the darkest. There will come a time when darkness is allowed to reign. God allows this in order that we may see, understand and appreciate the light even more. So when darkness is at its worst, take comfort in knowing that light is following close behind. Darkness has never and will never prevail over the light.

ArchangelMC said...

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened."
Take Courage
1 Peter 3:14

We all love you.

NEE said...

Dear Sarawakiana, thanks for you encouragement and reminder that it happens to many people as well.

Marlene and Shirley, it is my pleasure to share. life is never simple because people are never simple. but we can keep ours simple and straightforward.

A Terri, Thanks for your advice and i really glad that God sends me very lovely people to encourage and help me persevere. As an academic, i simply enjoy learning and teaching and sharing my knowledge. maybe sometimes someone like me who has no ambitions except for a peaceful life in this turbulence world (that may be quite an ambition maybe) are perceived differently. Guess God never promise a bed of roses or smooth sailing.

Dear William, it is just sad the country has to lost talent like yourself. think of how much our young people can benefit more upright and good people.

Dt and MIC, that is very sweet encouragement.

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