Soldier

Written by Jenkin Au
Edited by Jenkin Au
Photography by Jenkin Au

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We have no money. We had no talent. We only had one thing: ambition. There are many times where I truly think that this is all you need to succeed and perhaps ambition itself is a talent. Skills that you don’t have and equipment that you don’t have can be acquired, skillfully or legitimately. Even though justalilhype! is a long way away from where it needs to be and where it can even be considered successful, we humbly say that we are much more successful than many smaller organizations on the come up. We did this with no money and absolutely no skills. None of us were skilled in web, nor were we skilled with photography. If you track back, our articles were poorly written, too, but we had the ambition and we had the drive to succeed and to take it further than other people thought we could take it. Even to this day, I am not dissuaded by my best of friends who doubt my own success to come. We always have the mindset that some form of success will come from this and we never doubted ourselves. We set out a goal for ourselves – by having a dream and an ambition, we knew that it was attainable one way or another and we just had to find that way. Much like Star Trek technology 40 years ago, they had the dream to think of it and it became a reality today.

As we relied on helping hands, we slowly developed the skills and talents ourselves, practicing our craft. We learned web, photography, videography, writing, and interviewing. Although we’re not masters of any of these crafts, we are confident in our own skills enough to present it. Slowly, we became a disciplined and well greased machine, capable of doing everything ourselves. As we sat back to think about what we had, we realized that we had what so many people lacked: a complete set of skills that can make us autonomous and self-reliant.

Many people are able to succeed, yes. With money, the chances of success are even greater. I have always despised how money was one of the greatest separators of success in colloquial considerations. Why is it money? Why not skill? Comparing two people side by side, the only thing that differs between them is the amount of money they both possess. Because of the way our society is structured, the person with money is much more likely to succeed than the one without money. This is because the person with money can simply outsource their needs and get things done quicker. However, is that a true testament of success and talent? No, that is only a testament of the flex power of money. Even the creativity factor can be outsourced to consultants and agencies. You pay the money, you get the credit.

What happens to the person who didn’t have money? That person’s journey will be long and slow, but by the time they reach the same destination, the person who started as one of two of the same will become miles different and ahead. However, will the public know this? Unlikely – they will see two of the same people at the same destination, receiving the same amount of attention. While this may seem like such a materialistic and unimportant aspect, it serves as motivation to many talented people. Without recognition, many talented people may think that the industry is not for them, especially after they worked so hard for it. A sad reality is that they may drop out before they even realize what they had going was great and only needed a smaller push to take it even further.

Having said this, the problem comes to this: what kind of benefit does working for your success give you over and above using money to get what you need? Another sad reality is that there isn’t any real societal benefit. What it does give you is affirmation that you are true to your craft and a completely different state of mind. You are trained to think around your problems, whereas the latter will only look at problems directly. “No” is not something in your vocabulary of answers.

Money is no testament to one’s talent. What people need to do is reflect upon their own craft and ask themselves this: “If I had to start from scratch tomorrow, what would happen to my craft and product? Will I still be able to know how to use a cheap camera and make great pictures? Will I still be able to make music without my technology? Will I be able to read music and notes without the computer telling me?” Most of us will say no to questions like this and with technology, there isn’t a need to questions ourselves like this. People who said no will most likely will not have sustained success or will never see success, and in many ways, they don’t deserve it. To the people who answer with a yes to many aspects, success will come, however slow it comes.

Soldier on.

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1 Comment

  • March 14, 2011

    Colin Chau

    This is a thoughtful exhibition of one’s own nuanced story and carries the air of triumph, and certainly is an inspiring monologue, however I think that it may not entirely serve as a monolithic moral lesson or the path of individual pursuit in the perfection of epistemological approaches, which to each is wholly its own. The ultra-positivism shouldn’t be taken only as such, though – there is an importance attached to the positivist treatment that has been given to this monologue that can give voice to and frame the equal circumstances of others that may have s similar story to tell. Half curmudgeonry and disdain for past transgression, but also half compassionate humanism makes this monologue a reflection of a tempered heart and personality that is neither resigned and submissive, nor seeking a hegemonic monopoly over the discourse as to the meaning of life.

    THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE by LES MURRAY: Everything except language / knows the meaning of existance. / Trees, planets, rivers, time / know nothing else. They express it / moment by moment as the universe. // Even this fool of a body / lives it in part, and would / have full dignity within it / but for the ignorant freedom / of my talking mind.

    [About] Colin Chau specializes in Canadian and Euro-Asian (Western Europe and former Soviet-Bloc) defence management and security policy, weapons (small-arms and ordinance) proliferation, global transmigration, international political economy, espionage, terrorism and terrorist financing.
    Twitter: @cpcolinchau | LinkedIn: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/chauc | WP: http://cpcolinchau.wordpress.com

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