I was in an office getting ready to meet the CEO of the company. While I was seated at the reception, I noticed a young woman seated across the table from me. She did not look like a staff of the company. Whoever she was, I liked to know her. When someone is seated next to me, I like to make friends. Naturally, I got up and walked over to introduce myself.
“Hi, I am Chee Wah, how are you?” While smiling broadly, I extended my hand.
“Hi …” hesitantly she extended hers and limply took my hand. Seeing no further response from her after our somewhat cool handshake, I tried to encourage her to speak, “How are you?” She
just smiled while holding her mobile.
I was not deterred, so I continued, “ What’s your name?”
“I’m Mr Tan’s sister,” she smiled. She had a sweet smile. Mr Tan is the company’s CEO.
“Oh …,” I did not get her name.
When I came out from the meeting, the young woman was still at the table. While I bid goodbye to the receptionist, I went over to the young woman determined to get her name, “Hi, you are still here, you want to go in to Mr Tan’s office now?” She looked at me while holding her phone, and I repeated the question earlier, “I still didn’t get your name. What’s your name?” I gave her my biggest smile.
“I’m his sister.” She pointed into Mr Tan’s office and gave me her sweetest smile again.
I still didn’t get her name.
This is just one of those games I play to find out people’s characters. Why do people react the way they do? I find, sadly, many young people do not know who they are. Many have lost their identities, lost their voices, their rights to speak, to stand up for who they are. Innocently, these courage and strength have been taken away by their parents who are always there to protect them, plan for them and organize a ‘perfect’ life for them. Parents think that this is love for their children while keeping them safe under such subjugated protection. Appalling as it may sound, when children are asked a question, parents are there by their side to answer for them. Then, it is no wonder that the older we get, the more we will not be able to answer the simple question, “Who am I?”
“I am his sister …”